Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I was doing my normal Metro commute in today - reading my daily Bible that I have on my phone (the app is called 'YouVersion' and it's great) when I came across some really humorous situations.

The amazing thing is that these biblical comedy moments are in Genesis - YEAH GENESIS!

Now, you have to read The Book close to catch this so let me set this up:

Genesis 46.

Joseph has just revealed who he really is to his mean brothers - the same guys who traded him away to become a slave - then they took his colorful coat - ripped it up - splotched it with animal blood and then told dad that they found this bloody coat along the way. Is it Joseph's coat? If it is he must be torn to shreds.

Dad (Jacob) is devastated.

The brothers are free of their sissy boy - daddy's little pet - tattle tale of a brother.

Joseph's screenplay begins - the title is not 'Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat' - a more fitting name for this movie is, 'Boy Interrupted'.

You know the story - if you don't then stop reading this blog and go read your Bible for crying out loud! :-)

Joseph finds himself in a...

Potiphars Play House...
Pharaohs Palace...

Joseph saves Egypt from famine.
His brothers show up wanting to buy food.
He plays some pretty cool mind games with them.
And now the funny stuff...

Gen. 46:21

Funny Fact #1 - Benjamin names 3 of his sons, "Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. What's up with that? He has some really good Bible names for the others but then it's like he gets a little cooky when the last three are born.
Perhaps Muppim and Huppim are twins that performed a cool puppet skit - an early form of a PBS kids show - I don't know.

Ard? Seriously?

Maybe Ard is the son that ate little bugs Can't you hear Muppim and Huppim crying, "Daaaad, Ard is licking stink bugs again...he's messing up our 'Super Terrific Happy Hour'!"
Sorry all of you that belong to the biblical scholar society - I realize that their names represent....oh forget it - the names are flippin' hiliarious - let's move on...

Gen. 46:29-30

Funny Fact #2 - Reunited?

Joseph pulls up in his chariot - he sees dear old dad - dad sees his long lost son - the emotional music swells - they run across the field in slow motion - they embrace - tears are flowing - snot is running - everybody is bawling and then Jacob looks at Joseph and says...

"Im ready to die now"

Nice. Just what your newly reunited son needs to hear you say.
'But dad, you just got here!!! Can't you hang around a few days to take your grandkids fishing in the Nile?' I don't think Joseph asked him that but Jacob did stick around for another 17 years. Thank the Lord he got a chance to make up for some of that lost time.

Side note: You ever know anyone who always lived with one foot in the grave? I do....uh or should I say I did....he finally really - this man's wife and daughter would always tearfully request prayer for their husband and their dad because 'he's inches from death! He'll probably be walking with Jesus before sundown!'

They talked like this for 12 years. Poor guy.

He should have watched Shawshank Redemption and followed Brooks advice:

"Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'."

Gen. 46:33,34 - 47:1-3

Funny Fact #3 - "Don't say the 'S' word.

Joseph knew the ropes. He had a good handle on Egyptian etiquette.
So he tries to coach his mean brothers in verse 33,

"When Pharaoh calls for you and asks you about your
occupation, you must tell him, "We, your servants, have RAISED LIVESTOCK all our lives..."

It was like Joseph was telling them - 'tell Pharaoh what you do but don't tell him what you REALLY do for a living because the Egyptians despise shepherds. Don't use the 'S' word guys.'
Now, Joseph told his brothers that he was going to inform Pharaoh that they were shepherds but when the time came...he didn't. Now, fast forward to when the hillbilly brothers appeared before Pharaoh and he asked them about their resume - they flat out told him what they did and I imagine them sounding like Forrest Gump when they started talking:

'We are shepherds - in fact our whole family are shepherds - our daddy's daddy's, daddy was a shepherd - I just guess our family likes sheeeeeep - mama always said...'

Just follow the instructions. Don't you wish we could all just follow the instructions?
Do what the Bible tells us to do. Obey the laws of the land like we're supposed to. We fail to do this don't we. Thank the Lord there's grace and mercy for those of us who have a hard time doing what we're told to do.

Gen. 47:7

Funny Fact #4 - Jacob speaks his mind.

Joseph finally shoves his brothers out of the way. Now, he presents his father, Jacob, to Pharaoh. There's no hello - my name is - no, 'how ya doing?' - Grandpa Jacob just starts blessing like there's no tomorrow. Awesome. Finally Pharaoh asks him what I think is a funny question - 'how old are you?'
Jacob gives an even funnier answer - no disrespect intended here but just imagine this crusty old man standing in mighty Pharaohs golden throne room and he say's...

"Well let me tell ya there sonny I'm a 130 years old but compared to my kinfolk my days have been short and not worth a spit in a can.
How 'bout yours?"

Pharaoh just sits there looking at Jacob.

That ends the conversation but THEN - out of the blue - Jacob starts blessing Pharaoh all over again.

Absolutely priceless.

I love the Word.
I don't believe in adding to it but I like to slow down and really think about what I'm reading. The Bible is so fascinating. So powerful. So necessary. So ignored.

But it can also be extremely hilarious in places.

A good rule of thumb for me is to slow down when I read my Bible - look for answers, direction, encouragement, correction and even a little comedy once in a while.

"A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired."
Proverbs 22:17 (The Message)

Friday, February 13, 2009

What is she saying?

Something really strange happened to me today.  Something strange and amusing but also very encouraging!

I had just walked out of Union Station - rounded the corner - and I was walking towards Ebenezers (NCC's coffee house) when I noticed a woman yelling as she was walking.  The strange thing was this - no one was walking beside her - no one was really close by - she was just yelling like we were listening.  Now, I had my iPod earphones in enjoying some music and I couldn't hear what she was screaming about so I just kept walking behind her - amused at this woman who apparently was a little on the strange side.  

Finally, we walked up to the door that lead to my office (the woman has continued to yell this entire time) and I was about to walk through the door when I stopped and took out an earphone so I could listen to what she was saying.

I'm glad I did.

What she was saying grabbed my attention and my heart.

She yelled out.....

"God is going to make a way for you....WAIT ON HIM!"

Now, I've been around people with mental issues - been around them on the west coast and the east coast and sadly listened to them ramble in an agitated and confused state.

But this was different.  
She wasn't yelling..........she was PREACHING!

I stopped where I stood and listened to what she was saying.
You may not believe this but I believe that she was

directly at

Was this woman crazy?  Maybe.  But crazy or not her words struck a chord deep within my spirit.

God is going to make a way for you - WAIT ON HIM!

Amen my sister - your words have been accepted - and I have chosen to believe not just because you said it but I have seen and heard enough to believe that God is going to do just what you said He will do - you have simply reminded me.  Thank you.

Come on Brad - you're really reaching here aren't you.

No - not really.

When God wants to get someone's attention...

He can use a burning shrub or a stupid donkey to do it.

When God wants His will to be done...

He can use the words and actions of prophets or the rooftops and ropes of prostitutes.

When God want's to provide for His children...

He can rain down bread from Heaven or bless a little boy's lunch.

And when God want's to speak to His kid walking on a DC street corner He can use a loud lady with no inhibitions if He wants to!

I believe that God speaks to us through His Word but I also believe that He uses unconventional methods to remind us of those promises that were recorded long ago.

I truly believe He can do this.

I truly believe He did that for me this morning.

Thanks God - I love your style.
Maybe I should take my earphones out more often.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sticks or Bricks?

I ride the metro into DC Tuesday through Friday.
45 minutes if there's not a delay.


It can be especially when I read or listen to the Word of God as I pass through the valleys, dash over the hills, and slam through the dark tunnels.

I also like to watch the video podcasts of Kerry Shook - a pastor in Houston, Texas.

He's an amazing preacher and I like his style. He illustrates his messages. Those of you who know me now understand why I like the guy.

The one I watched yesterday and today was one of the 'Stairway To Heaven' messages. Go to iTunes and check it out because it's FREE.

I'm not going to cover everything that Kerry spoke about but I will mention the main theme:

Sticks or bricks - what will you have to present to God when you stand before Him?

Are we more focused on the wood, hay, and stubble - the sticks - of our lives?
You know what I'm talking about - the things that are temporary that we devote our entire lives to.

50 inch plasma TV's
Money (yeah, I mentioned it 3 times and we both know why...don't we?)

Is there anything wrong with these? No, but do we keep it all in proper perspective? Do we remember that the 'sticks' are temporary or do we treat them like they're eternal?
Do we realize that we are only stewards and not sole owners of our STUFF?

On the day of of judgment (Bema Seat judgement for the Christian - not the Great White Throne - don't plan on being there for that one) our lives will contain some sticks and some gold bricks (eternal treasures)? The question is - what will we have more of when they pass through God's fire of testing?

Now, do we know what, 'eternal treasures' are?

Eternal treasures - precious stones - are the investments that we have made in people without a hidden agenda. Acts of love with pure motives and right attitudes that have been performed for the Lord.

Someone else may have a different definition but that's mine for now.

Eternal treasures:

Giving generous amounts of your precious hard earned resources of TIME and MONEY to help other people. Giving it to the, 'least of these.' Giving it to Jesus without expecting anything in return.

Now, I could take this a hundred different directions but I'm only going to choose one. So, here it goes...

I've known people who think that they fulfill the command to return their tithe by volunteering their time to the church.

Nope. Wrong.

I've known people who think that they can give money in the offering and then be exempt from acts of service for Jesus.

Nope. Wrong.

Do you know that I could determine what is priority in your life by examining 2 things that belong to you:

Your checkbook. Your calendar.

What would we find?

She loves eating out at nice restaurants. Dropping $25, $45, $55, $65, even $75 is nothing to her...

He loves hunting equipment. Spending anywhere from $150 to $350 every other month is fine for him...

They love going to all the sporting events - 32 hours a month when you figure it all up - it's cake to this couple. But compare it to the 2 1/2 hours they spent investing in the Lord the last 30 days...

Sticks or gold bricks?

And by the way. I'm not trying to be mean. But don't try to tell me how much you love Jesus when you know the above mentioned is out of whack in your life. We see you cry buckets of tears during worship but come on.....seriously? It's rather simple, your heart doesn't line up with your mouth. I'm sorry but 'religious white noise' just isn't on my play list. And for the record I'm not perfect in this area either...but I just admitted it. Love ya - just keeping it real...

Now, we need some sticks in our lives - God knows that.
Stick homes.
Stick cars.
Stick money.
Stick horses?
Stick play time.

But I need to treat all of that stuff like STICKS.
Temporary resources that are here one day and gone the next.

So today my goal is to be deliberate in my actions.

Spend time with Jesus because He is so awesome.
Spend time with my little girls and enjoy them being little.
Spend time making my wife laugh and smile - and that means helping her with the girls and the chores...
Spend time investing in a stranger that I will only come in contact with once.
Prepare to give money on Sunday in order to invest into the Kingdom of God.

Sticks or bricks.

It's my choice...and yours.