February 2010 Archives

Goodbye Joseph :(

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Genesis 50:14-26

I've really enjoyed our readings in Genesis the last few weeks and also our radio series on Joseph on Back to the Bible. Slowing down and really looking at and considering Joseph's life, was a good exercise for me. I found lots of little takeaways, but there was one big message that God impressed on my heart--that I could trust Him completely in all circumstances. Yes, I already knew that, but I needed to see and hear it again the last couple of weeks.

So how did Joseph's story impact you? Did God impress a message on your heart like He did mine? What did you learn, takeaway, realize, discover? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Tami W.

P.S. To get a copy of the entire 3-week cd series on Joseph, visit our online store.

Going the distance

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Genesis 49:28-50:14

Joseph's faithfulness to Jacob stood out to me today. Jacob takes his last breath but before he dies he makes his sons promise that they will take Jacob back to be buried with his ancestors. Once Jacob passes on, Joseph immediately gets to work on the commitment made to his father. This was not a simple task. It involved embalming, getting permission from Pharaoh to leave, lengthy travel with many family members, servants and workers, just to name a few. Yet, Joseph pursues this task wholeheartedly.

So how are you doing in the "being faithful to others" category? I find that I have great intentions, but those intentions don't always come to fruition. Sound familiar? So if we're lagging a little, what can we do to improve on being there more consistently for our family, friends, even a neighbor in need? Is there someone or a situation in which you can go that extra mile for this weekend? Tami W.

Impressive

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Genesis 49:19-28

Joseph was quite the man of God. We're almost to the end of Genesis (just two more days) and once again we're shown how special Joseph is. I loved verses 22-24 "Joseph is a fruitful bough...the archers bitterly attacked him, shot at him, and harassed him severely, yet his bow remained unmoved..."

So what does this passage show us about living life for Christ? How can we work on staying strong as we fight the good fight? Tami W.

Genesis 49:1-15

Well Jacob certainly took a bold approach with his sons in today's reading. Some of what he had to say certainly would have been hard to hear. I found myself asking I wonder if Jacob had addressed these issues and problems with his sons previously? The sense I get, is probably not. And if that's the case, it's unfortunate because maybe some of these problems and behaviors could have been changed or avoided.

So what did Jacob's interaction with his sons show you today? Did it prompt you to think about or consider some of your relationships? Tami W.

Pass it on!

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Genesis 49:1-22

Even in his old age and with failing health, Jacob was true to God. Did you notice how he made sure he told Joseph and his grandsons all about God, His promises and His faithfulness? Jacob got the whole generational impact thing. Who better to tell Joseph and kids about God than grandpa?

Think about the people you know best, those people who you come into contact with regularly, particularly family. How are you letting them know about Christ? Are there additional ways you might communicate that message? Tami W.

Genesis 47:13-31

Joseph possessed wisdom like no one else during his lifetime. All you have to do is read Genesis 47:13-31 to get a vivid picture of that. He saved an entire nation of people from starvation and suffering. And at the same time, increased Pharaoh's strength and position as the country's leader, as well as preserving the country of Egypt as a major force in the world. Impressive.

Proverbs 2:6 tells us that "The Lord gives wisdom." Joseph didn't have the luxury of a Bible to hear from God. We do. So how can we use this incredible resource to gain wisdom? Tami W.

P.S. If you're looking for some good instruction on wisdom, take a look at Proverbs 2:1-10.

Let it all out

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Genesis 46:28-47:12

Joseph cried, he wept. Does that strike you as odd? I mean, after all, Joseph is a powerhouse figure in Egypt, yet he cries in front of some and loud enough for people to hear.

It is unusual to see (or hear) someone in a position like Joseph's crying so openly. But I found it refreshing. And I love how it conveys to us that it's ok to be real.

So how can we work on being more open and free (in a good and Godly way) with the people around us? Tami W.

Take Him at His word

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Genesis 46:1-27

I love the exchange between God and Jacob today. A lot of time has passed (Jacob is an old man) yet the relationship is still strong and intact, particularly from God's side. I never get tired of seeing God's faithfulness like it is here, front and center.

So here's my question--how are we doing at taking God at His word? How can we work on fully relying on His promises? Tami W.

Love that Pharaoh!

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Genesis 45:16-28

Pharaoh stole the show for me today. His acceptance, really his embracing, of Joseph's family was nothing less than amazing. Why was that do you think? I think a large part of it was because everything Joseph did reflected God. Pharaoh respected Joseph (maybe even loved him?) and we see that in his generous response to the news of Joseph's family.

So what does today's passage show us about the importance of living like Christ in a world that doesn't know or follow Him? What are you going to do with it? Tami W.

Peace and healing

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Genesis 45:1-15

Joseph really gave us one incredible demonstration of forgiveness today. When you think about it, this whole situation was pretty bad. Yet, Joseph's submission to God and thus, his willingness to forgive, saved the day, not to mention his family. This passage really emphasized the necessary role forgiveness plays in our lives. I can tell you first hand that I've never been able to experience peace and healing until I've taken that step of forgiving. That can be extremely hard, but let me tell you, it is so so worth it.

How have you seen God work through forgiveness--in your life, in your family, in the Church? Knowing the importance of forgiveness, how can we be more forgiving moving forward? Tami W.

Round two

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Genesis 44:1-34

Today's reading was a little odd because other than a couple of changes in players, what took place was basically a replay of earlier. I couldn't help asking why. I never came up with a good answer, but i do know this---Joseph was wise and completely in tune with God. So with that said, I'm good with it.

Have there been times when God has worked through a situation differently than you expected? So going forward when the circumstances in your life might seem odd or out of sorts, how will you respond? Tami W.

Genesis 43:1-34

Today we read about Joseph's brothers' second trip back to Egypt. Did you take note of the circumstances? Jacob only decided to have his sons return because their food supply ran out and there was no other real option. Jacob's actions (or maybe I should say lack of action) kind of reminds me of me. There have been a number of times when I was unwilling to move--I was afraid, or unsure--even though I knew God was leading me in that direction. In some of those instances I eventually moved voluntarily, but in a couple of others, I didn't and then God took matters into His own hands and forced me to move.

So how can we do a better job at being in tune with God and moving when He calls? Tami W.

The blame game

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Genesis 42:18-38

Have you ever noticed how quick we are to blame God for things that don't go the way we plan? You know what I mean. We plan our vacation and the day we take off we get sick or the weather goes south or both. In the back of our mind, we're thinking What's up with this God? What did I do to deserve this? Well we see that same thing happening in Genesis 42 with Joseph's brothers. I had to smile when I got to verse 28, the part where the brother finds the money Joseph had put back in his bags. Did you catch the brothers' immediate words? "What is this that God has done to us?"

Newsflash--nothing that happens in our life is God's "fault." God's plans are not ours. He is the all knowing, all powerful, almighty God. And, yes, He may allow us to us to experience things we'd prefer not to or bring a difficult situation into our lives, but those things have a purpose even if we can't see or understand them at the time. (see Jeremiah 29:11).

So when something takes you off course this week, how are you going to respond? How can we work on drawing on God so that we're able to accept our circumstances whatever they may be? Tami W.

It's payback time

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What a perfect opportunity to settle the score. I can only imagine the emotions that must have been running through Joseph at the sight of his brothers--particularly when they say to him "No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food." (Gen. 42:10) But Joseph doesn't do it. Almost unbelievable.

This passage made me realize that there are going to be times when I need to step back and let God deal with the person who has offended me. That's tough because my flesh wants justice--and typically immediately.

So when one of these situations arises, how can we step back and let God handle it? Tami W.

Genesis 41:37-57

Joseph is 30 years young and now second in command of all of Egypt. Needless to say he's powerful, powerful, and in case you missed it, POWERFUL. In this type of situation it'd be pretty easy to set God aside and make it all about himself. Yet there's absolutely no indication of that at all. I love that in the middle of this passage when his children are born, Joseph's thoughts, his praise, his words are all centered on God.

When we're successful, when things go our way, what can we do to highlight God and make sure that He and He alone remains our center? Tami W.

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day everyone! We're still chatting on Facebook about love and what it looks like, so come join the discussion.

He had the answer

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Genesis 41:1-36

Joseph was summoned from prison to come before Pharaoh. That had to be scary. After all, Joseph knows that Pharaoh is moody and that he executes people when he feels like it (remember the baker?). So you'd expect Joseph to tread lightly, to respond super cautiously when he gets in front of Pharaoh, right? Well, that's not really what happens. Joseph is very respectful but he is actually very bold about God. Right up front Joseph tells Pharaoh, "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer." (Gen. 41:16) and he never stops referring and giving credit to God. I find that amazing.

Like Joseph, I want to be bold for Jesus. Not just when I'm trying to witness to someone, but in everything I say and do as I go about life. So how do we get there? How can we attain the kind of confidence that Joseph displayed when he was brought before Pharaoh? Tami W.

P.S. This weekend, in honor of a certain upcoming holiday, we're talking about love & living out over on Facebook. So head on over, and join us!

We have a theme going

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Genesis 39:21-40:23

We haven't even read that much about Joseph yet but, even so, we can see there is a consistent pattern of God blessing Joseph in and through all circumstances. The last sentence of Genesis 39:23 kind of captures it all, "And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed."

Think about that for a minute. Early on in Joseph's "Egyptian" life, his circumstances weren't rosy. Even when he was in charge under Pharaoh, he was still a slave. Yet, through it all God never left Joseph's side.

Well I'm no Joseph, but I can tell you God has been just as good and faithful to me as He was to Joseph. I haven't always realized that in the heat of the moment, but there's no question about it as I look back.

So how have you experienced God's goodness, His faithfulness in the past? What about today, right now? Tami W.

Temptation City!!

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Genesis 39:1-21

Poor Joseph. He was literally surrounded by temptation with no where to get away. Talk about tough.

I've found one of the best ways to deal with temptation is to avoid it altogether. I know, for example, that I have a weakness for buying new clothes. But here's the thing, if I don't go to the mall, I don't have any problems controlling my spending. But as soon as I go to the mall "just to look," things can get out of control without much difficulty. So I've learned to not go shopping to fill time or just because. I only go when I really have a purpose to be there.

So did you learn anything from Joseph today? Moving forward what are some things we can do to deal with the various temptations that are sure to present themselves? Tami W.

We can be used

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Genesis 38:1-30

A hard passage today and, once again, a storyline full of sinful behavior. Even so, I do like how the Bible doesn't sugar coat things. It's real about what's taking place and why. This very candid story reminded me that God can and does use whomever He pleases to accomplish His purposes. The list of sinful and wrong behaviors coupled with bad decisions here in Genesis 38 was plenty long, yet God wasn't fazed at all.

So did this passage change your perspective or show you anything about how God operates? About how He uses people? Tami W.

A vicious cycle

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Genesis 37:12-36

Sin is abundant in our passage today and, boy, does it just keep piling on. I kept thinking that at some point someone was going to come to their senses and put a stop to all the lies, the cover up, the out and out sinning. But, really, I knew better. That just doesn't happen.

It got me thinking, though, how sin operates in our lives. It can be addictive and it's always destructive. Funny how we allow ourselves to sin in one area--just a little sin of course (yeah right), and before we know it, our sin is running rampant and running us.

We're always going to sin because we're human and that's part of our "sinful" nature. But, we don't have to cave into sin and we can and should strive to sin less. So how do we do that? What types of things help you overcome temptation and the sin that follows if we choose to give in? Tami W.

It's all about Joseph

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Genesis 37:1-11

We're starting a brand new three week series on Joseph on Back to the Bible called "Making Life Out of Lemons" so you'll be noticing that our readings for the next three weeks are dealing with Joseph' story. Today is our introduction at Genesis 37.

We don't really learn too much about Joseph here, but we sure do about his family. What we see--favoritism, anger, hatred, jealousy--is not very good, but it's also not that uncommon. Let's face it, being part of a family can be challenging, but it's also so worth it.

So what do you do in your family to foster unity, appreciation and fellowship? Tami W.

Giving it up

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Romans 5:1-11

Well Romans 5:1-11 was a hard one for me. There is just so much in there to think about and learn from. But, I finally landed on verses 3-5 because those verses hit me right where I'm at today. You see over the last several months I've been dealing with some health issues (nothing major or life threatening). I've gone to a number of doctors and unfortunately, no one has any real answers for me or any solutions. So I've been stressed and frustrated. However, over the past two weeks, God has put several things before me that have gotten my attention and helped me with my perspective (a bunch). So as I read our passage today it was yet another confirmation to me that God is in control, that He loves me and that giving it all up to Him is my answer.

So that's what I got out of Romans 5:1-11. Now it's your turn to tell me what you took away from this passage. How did God's Word speak to you today? Tami W.

Preach it, brother!

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Acts 2:22-41

Peter really nails it in Acts 2. I honestly don't think his communication style could have been any better (after all, about 3,000 people came to know Christ as a result of this message). So Peter gave me a good example of how to talk to others about Jesus. But his example goes further than witnessing. Think about this. If all of our communications were like Peter's here--direct, truthful, passionate, and delivered with love--how much more effective would we be?

So communicating more like this Acts 2 Peter is something I want to work on. As I see it, there are really two parts to accomplishing this task. The first is being straight with people--regardless. This can be difficult depending on the situation. Then secondly, is the whole "speak the truth in love" thing. I love the concept, but it's also not the easiest thing to implement.

So what are some things we might do to help us better communicate with our families--kids, husbands, siblings? People at work? At church? If you have any examples or success stories, please share them! Tami W.

Just be real.

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John 4:7-26

There's so much in John 4:7-26. But what caught my attention today wasn't a particular verse or even the important message that Jesus is Living Water. Oddly enough, it was the how the woman at the well acted toward and communicated with Jesus. She wasn't afraid of him. She talked openly. She was direct. She was honest. She was straightforward. Think about that for a minute. Isn't that exactly how we should communicate with God? After all, He already knows precisely who we are, and that includes what's on our hearts and minds.

So what do your conversations (your prayers) look like? Are your communications real? Tami W.

happy birthday

John 14:1-31

Today is a special day. We're celebrating two birthdays--one young (two years old) and the other a little older (that would be mine and, you'll just have to guess at the how old part). :)

So are you up for a little gift giving today? Because we (me and P4) have a special request. Last month our P4 family grew to over 7,000 (pretty exciting)! But you know me, I'm all about getting people engaged in God's Word and the more the merrier. So would you tell someone else about P4 today and invite them to join us? This is an easy one. Just tell them what you like about P4 and let God do the rest. (BTW, I'd love to know if you did this. So drop me a line on the blog.)

Now I haven't forgotten our scripture for the day because P4 is all about jumping in and reading the Word. So how about you tell me how God spoke to you through this passage? I know, it was a heavy one, but oh so good. Tami W.

P.S. Don't forget to join us for the birthday party complete with cake and lots of frosting (that was my request because I'm a frosting freak.) We'll post pictures by noon. Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter for updates. And thanks in advance for the birthday gift!

No glossing today

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John 3:16-21

John 3:16 is arguably the most well known verse in the Bible. (Did you memorize it in Sunday school like me?) You see it everywhere, and even most people who aren't Christians recognize the reference as being from the Bible. So all that to say, it can be pretty easy to gloss over this passage because we're so familiar with it. So as I read, I made it a point to slow down and consider each and every word. When I did that, these words from verse 18 stood out to me "but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." I went back and read John 3:16-21 several times and as I did that, I felt a growing urgency about getting out and telling the world about Jesus.

So are you with me? When you read these verses did you see the need and feel that urgency to tell someone about Christ? What kind of opportunities are you going to seize today? Tell us. Tami W.

P.S. Tomorrow is a special day around here. We're celebrating two birthdays, and you're invited to join us. Here's your invitation.

Opposite Reaction

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Luke 23:26-38

Jesus' actions through the crucifixion amaze me. Here he is--innocent--yet willingly being subjected to torture and humiliation that he knows will lead to his death. And, Jesus responds like no person I've ever known. No lashing out, no anger, no fear. Jesus, instead, demonstrates exactly what he has been teaching the people, that we should love our enemies.

So the next time we find ourselves being ridiculed, looked down on, or treated poorly because of what we believe as a Christ-follower, how can we draw on this passage when we respond? Tami W.

Psalm 115:1-18

Ok, today's blog is a little different. I'm having surgery this afternoon on my wrist. I've needed this operation for about 6 years, but because I'm a chicken, I've put it off and put it off even though my husband has been "gently suggesting" I get it done for quite awhile. So as I sat today contemplating my plight tomorrow, I read Psalm 115:1-18 and had to smile when I hit verses 9-11. Here's what they told me--trust in the Lord because He is my help and shield.

So what do you need to trust in the Lord for today? Whatever it is, how can you give it fully to Him? Tami W.

About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

About My Blog

I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2010 is the previous archive.

March 2010 is the next archive.

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