Tag Archive | journey

4 Life Lessons from Joseph’s Journey with God

All of us are treading a journey. Some are just beginning one and others are almost done. Many are at a point of success while some are still recovering from a life that was in shambles. Some are pretty sure of the direction they are heading while some are facing a crossroad. Some may be like me–at a point of relearning to follow God’s direction because life is simply full of the unknown.

Our journey will be totally pointless if we are not sure of our purpose in whatever route we are taking.

For our journey to be significant, we need an understanding of two key things–our purpose for living and an understanding of God Himself.

We can learn about God best from His inspired written word–the Bible.

At the beginning of year 2018, I started following a different Bible reading plan. That is, the chronological one. Whether I follow the traditional or the chronological one, nothing has changed. God speaks to me through His word.

In the book of Genesis chapters 37 and 39-50, I read of the detailed account of Joseph’s journey with God. I assume that you all know that Joseph (a.k.a. Joseph the Dreamer) received a colorful coat from his father because he was his father’s favorite. Once, he told of his dreams implying that his brothers will be under his authority someday. This resulted in the anger and jealousy of his brothers and him being sold by his brothers to Midianite traders. Lo and behold, Joseph found himself in Egypt serving Pharaoh.

God impressed upon my heart a few life lessons worth-remembering from Joseph’s journey with Him.

  1. Intimacy with God leads to earthly success.
    “The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man…His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.” Genesis 39:3

    If you were to read the account of Joseph’s life in Genesis 39, the first few verses describe Joseph’s notable success in Egypt all because “the Lord was with Him.” It is an implication that Joseph had an intimate relationship with God. The result? Effective execution of his tasks and a visible success in the eyes of men. In light of that, we realize that whatever career we are pursuing or whatever calling we are fulfilling, people will notice when God’s blessing is upon us. God’s blessing is evident upon a person who keeps an intimate relationship with Him

  2. Intimacy with God leads to spiritual success.
    “And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, ‘Lie with me.’ But he refused and said to his master’s wife, ‘Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?’… But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, ‘Lie with me.’ But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.” Genesis 39:7-9

    Immorality is an abomination in the sight of God. Definitely, Joseph understands that principle and the holiness of God. In Joseph’s reverential fear of God, he ran away from the situation that tested his morality and chose to honor God and his earthly master even in his absence! Unless we fear the holy God, we cannot flee from temptation and achieve victory in our spiritual battles.

  3. Intimacy with God doesn’t exempt us from life’s tests. We read of the integrity of Joseph and yet he was falsely accused by the wife of Pharaoh (Genesis 39:13-18). Imagine Joseph’s stabbing pain in his heart caused by her false accusation and an unjust verdict from Pharaoh who once trusted him. Undeterred, Joseph kept his steadfast faith in God. We don’t see any record of Joseph’s complaints to God. You might be facing a trial you feel like you don’t deserve. It may seem to be beyond your understanding. Take a look at the example of Joseph and remain steadfast in believing that God knows what He is doing.
  4. Intimacy with God gains people’s favor.
    “So Joseph found favor in his [the Pharaoh’s] sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had….But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.” Genesis 39:4, 21-23 (emphasis added)

    Teachers, classmates, bosses and colleagues are not blind to God’s blessing upon His children who are walking closely with Him. In fact, they are confident that whatever task they give to faithful followers of God will be accomplished successfully.In the case of Joseph, Pharaoh was pleased with Joseph’s attitude toward work and so was the keeper of the prison.

The bottom line is intimacy with God brings both blessings and testings but we need to remain steadfast in clinging to our God whether we are on a mountaintop or valley on our journey. Let’s remember the life lessons from the life of Joseph.

A Bundle of Joy

Children (1).jpg

To some extent, I do agree.

Last week, I was browsing my Facebook account and saw a very touching video about parents’ sacrifices for their children.

After watching the said video, I wept discreetly.

I suddenly missed my mom. As you all know, I am here in Bangladesh to support my husband in doing what God has called him to do. It is inevitable that I get homesick at times and it hits me out of the blue.

My daughter came to the room where I was, minutes later. She noticed that my eyes were wet with tears.

Joanna (my daughter): “Why are you crying Mom?” 
Me: I just miss your Lola (grandma). She’s so far. 
Joanna: (hugged and kissed me).

My daughter ran to the open window and started shouting.

“Lola, Mom kande for you.” (i.e. Grandma, Mom is crying for you.) She thought that her grandma can hear her.

She came back to me and sat on my lap. She said with all her innocence and sincerity.

“Mom, don’t be sad. I’m here. Don’t be problem.* Don’t be silly.”

I got so moved by my daughter’s effort to comfort me. I know that her grammar is not perfect since her first language is Bangla. What she said, though, made me realize is that she’s, indeed, a bundle of joy.

I guffawed at the end because it’s true that I shouldn’t “be silly” anyway. Someday, in God’s time, I will see my mother again. I just need to trust God as He shows my family the perfect timing to visit her again.

If you, like me, have a daughter who is there for you when you are despondent, rejoice! Remember that God has blessed you with a very loving child!

It’s undeniable that children are reminders of God’s love and comfort. They are indeed, a reward from God (Psalm 127:3).

What are the funny and yet moving conversations you had with your child? How many times has God comforted your soul through him or her?

I hope that you can appreciate God’s reward (i.e. your children) to you daily. You are blessed. 🙂

Leaning on Jesus,

P.S: I think she meant, “Don’t think about your problem.” (lol!) Isn’t my daughter funny? 🙂

 

 

Book Review: “Fan the Flame” by Joseph Stowell

Click the image for more info.

How are you doing as you walk the journey God has called you to pursue? Have you been weary? cold? just going through the ebbs and flows of life?

I found a very special book which is about as old as me. It was published in the year I was born.

I found this book quite engaging and indeed, soul-inspiring!
I got a copy of this book all because I tried to dig up some books to read from my father-in-law’s library.

One of the most interesting books I discovered was this one by Pastor Joseph Stowell called “Fan the Flame.”

I decided to write a review because it’s too stellar not to be shared about. I believe that this book will definitely ignite the fire in your heart toward God, which might have become cold because of too much familiarity with the Christian routine you have been doing.

I hope the following details will persuade you to get your personal copy or borrow the one I read.

1. Price on Amazon: It’s only $0.01. Isn’t that a great deal? It’s almost free! Click here to get your own.
2. Length: It’s only 138-page long. It should be a great read during your breaks in a day. 🙂 I read it during the holiday break. The point is whether you are busy or not-so-busy, you can afford to read a chapter or two in your spare time. It’s definite that you will find the words in this book truly encouraging!
3. Quality: It’s full of stupendous illustrations from the life of Pastor Joseph Stowell. It’s filled with encouragement from the Scriptures on how to keep your love for Christ alive. I assure you that you will have so much indelible takeaways from this book!
Here’s a sample for you:

What’s the latest book you have been reading aside from the Bible to help you to continue your spiritual journey? Let me know what that is in the comment box and I will try my best to get my own copy or borrow from one of my friends’ library when I can.

May God inspire you to remember your first love for Christ as you read this book. Keep moving as the Holy Spirit leads you. Have a wonderful journey! God loves you unconditionally.

Leaning on Jesus,

Our Engagement Story: “Do You Know That Guy?”

Love Month is coming over and many couples are getting engaged. It is inevitable that some young girls turn to me and ask, “How about you Ate Nance? Tell us how Kuya Joseph proposed marriage to you.”

Soooo….here’s our engagement story:

Just like any other couple, it is but common for us to talk about excitement to grow old together. Of course, prior to that long commitment is marriage proposal. All the while, I knew that my husband would give me our engagement ring but the question was how and when. 🙂 My mother and Joseph’s parents, our ever-loyal love team fans, had given him their blessings and so did my pastor.

rana & nance

Upper Left, Right & Lower Right: A usual visit of Joseph to our house means my mom would cook special dishes which she would not cook for me. That’s how special he is to my mom–I’m jealous. 🙂 Lower Right: A shot from our Bridal Shower.

——————————————————————————————————————————

“Did you know that guy?”

Last New Year of January 2010, it was expected of my first and last boyfriend who is now my husband (Joseph) to come over and celebrate New Year with us. His family is in Bangladesh so we got used to having him over during special occasions.

He then came over to see my mom and me. A few minutes after our chitchat, he called my mom and discreetly talked with her. Clueless, I just stayed quiet in one corner.

A few minutes later, my mom was blushing so much in excitement that she told me that Joseph is finally giving me my engagement ring in a restaurant. She’s also invited! She said though that she wants us to go by ourselves. I took a deep breath and acted as if I don’t know what would happen next. 😉

Joseph then invited me to go to Dencio’s restaurant. The stunning view of the Taal Volcano and the cool breeze of Tagaytay made our day very special.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Taal Volcano View

During our meal, he asked me whatever I would like to eat so, thinking of our limited budget, I ordered stir-fried shirmps and adobong kangkong. Please don’t laugh. Those were delectable for me! 🙂

Next, he asked me to order whatever drinks I would like to have so right away, I thought of having Buko (Coconut) Juice in its shell. Of course, while eating, we talked about many things. In the middle of our conversation, he asked me to look behind and asked me, “Do you know that guy?” I said, “No.” So he added, “I thought he is from your church, isn’t he?” I laughed and said, “Of course, not. There’s no one who looks like him from our church.”

After that short “out-of-the-blue” interruption, we kept on eating. The food was so enjoyable and to end our meal, I sipped my favorite Buko Juice up until it was finished.

To my surprise, there was something in the Buko shell!

Eventually, I learned that my husband mischievously dropped the lovely gold engagement ring into the Buko shell. After finishing my coconut juice, he initiated to take the ring out of the shell and put it into my ring finger.

I think he was so nervous that he forgot to ask “Will you marry me?” He said from his heart “I love you so much Sona.” Later, he told me that the ring was made from his childhood necklace. His parents had it made into my engagement ring.

377542_2905669325852_1950528690_n

A personally customized engagement ring from my husband’s childhood chain.

I was so touched with what he and his parents did just to be able to give me an engagement ring.

On March 6, 2010, we had our pre-nuptial arrangement in my church with my pastor, my mother, two of our Bible College professors and their family.

Prior to that pre-nup arrangement, my fiance and I, along with our American college professors, climbed up the mountain beside Taal Volcano. The funny thing is, a week later, people were prohibited to hike that mountain for a while since it was showing signs of possible eruption.

hiking before our pre-nup arrangement

Sweaty and yet more than happy after an hour long hiking to the top. Taal Volcano is the smallest volcano in the world. Glad to have made that memory with my fiance. ❤

Anyway, it was decided that our wedding day would be on April 9, 2011, a year, three months and three days later. I praise God for giving me a wonderful engagement! The lonely part is that we lost all the pictures in the restaurant due to the virus on his old laptop. 😦

All we have is the memorable moment of being engaged in our hearts. ❤