Archive for the 'Bible' Category

In-Between Time

wheatWhat do you do with in-between time?   The time between the creation and idea of a dream and it’s completion?  It can be confusing and disruptive when we are living out the dream or plan in front of us and it’s suddenly derailed.   The questions and confusion hit immediately.   Did I…?  Should I have…?   What might have…?

Walter Brueggemann wrote that the Psalms could be divided into three types:

  • Orientation
  • Disorientation
  • Reorientation

I’ll share a story from my own life of this process.

1. Move to Bend, OR feeling and hearing that God is going to take care of a piece of real estate I owned, knowing that if it’s not sold it could sink us financially.   ORIENTATION:  God’s given the clear green light to go – we go.

2. House doesn’t sell, job doesn’t cover bills, wife doesn’t get teaching position we were counting on, moving to a new home after 35 years in one place is NOT easy…  DISORIENTATION: God isn’t paying attention, I didn’t hear him right, He’s not there, I need to fix it, God sucks.

It’s in the Disorientation that we grow. In fact, thank God for these times.   I read a quote in the book I’m reading right now that states “the most important time is between the dreams, not the dreams themselves.”

3. So disorientation gives way to REORIENTATION: We’re okay, things are as we expected but we’re more aware of the need for daily surrender and trust in what God is giving, we’re communicating more about finances and living with more discipline and through it all, learning to be more generous.

Thanks God.   Sorry for all the mean stuff I said about you last year.

How bout you?  What do you do in the in-between time?

We all have these times.  Try to look for the opportunity and grow.    Know that DISORIENTATION is a natural part of maturing.  Embrace it as best you can.




I couldn’t think of what to name this post so I just dated it.   I wasn’t planning on blogging this morning, it’s early and I’m reading the bible as I start my day but I am overwhelmed by a simple truth.

In Genesis there is a well known story, I would assume even by those that do not read the bible, about Joseph, the son of Jacob.  Is is 1 of 12 brothers, all sons of Jacob and he is the favorite.   Joseph unfortunately in his youth does little to bridge the divide that forms with his brothers because of his status in the eyes of his fathers and immense it must have been because one day his 11 brothers see him coming from afar and decide to kill him.   One of the 11 has the wits about him to hold off the slaughter so they throw him in a pit and decide to sell him into slavery for 20 pieces of silver.

If you read on in this story it is unbelievable how many bad things happen to Joseph as he tried so desparately to be a man of faith, of integrity of deep unwavering character.   At every turn he is faced with this decision to turn on God, turn on his faith, give up, throw in the towel and believe me, as I read this story again I’m astounded that he doesn’t.

As the story comes to a close, however, we find Joseph as 2nd in command of Egypt, saving millions of lives during a famine and being restored to his father and brothers.   His explanation is simply that what they meant for evil, God meant for good.

Simple?  Yes.

What happens to us in life, betrayal, has been happening since the first act of man towards his Creator.  It happened to Christ when every single one of his 12 discpiles abandoned him when he was being put on trial and ultimately killed.   Abandonment, betrayal, these are not things that happen only to us, they are a fact of life.

It’s the simple way that these men, Jesus, Joseph, others…react.  They had as we have the same choice to grow angry and bitter at our circumstances or to trust.   To trust that our lives are meant for good, the circumstances that we face, no matter how lonely or how base are somehow, someway meant for good.  Even when people do us wrong, ultimately I, we, can trust that there is a larger story playing out, on a much grander scale than we can ever understand.

That gives me optimism and encouragement today, I hope it does you too.


I’m working through reading the Bible in a year. I was challenged by my good friend Roye and so far have kept up with it. Today I read a story in Matthew 20 and wanted to comment on a lesson I saw.

The story is told by Jesus and is about a boss who, early in the day, hires workers to work for him at a set wage.  He then goes out to the town and several times throughout the day hires more workers to work in his fields as well; all the way until the 11th hour, which I’m assuming is late in the day.  Then at the end of the day, he pays the workers who started later the same as he pays the workers who started in the morning.  The workers that worked all day grumble and complain because they see that everyone made the same amount of money even though they all made what they agreed upon.  The boos hearing their grumbling simply responds to one of them,”Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?


We have to guard our hearts against having an “entitlement mentality”; a sense that we somehow deserve unwarranted or unjustified gain simply because. These workers were not grateful, they were ungrateful; yet they had work, they received the wage they’d been told they’d receive, no wrong had been done to them. Their entitlement mentality caused them to take their focus off of what I think it should have been, and that…simple gratitude.

Here are some ways I’m working on this in my life.

  1. Daily try to cultivate a generous heart
  2. Look outside yourself as often as you can
  3. Approach everything as a privilege

What’s your GUIDEPOST from this story?



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