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Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘My brothers and those of my father’s house, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. And the men are shepherds, for their occupation has been to feed livestock; and they have brought their flocks, their herds, and all that they have.’ So it shall be, when Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ that you shall say, ‘Your servants’ occupation has been with livestock from our youth even till now, both we and also our fathers,’ that you may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”- Genesis 46:31-34 (NKJV)

Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

The Jungle (Enriched Classics)The Grapes of Wrath (Penguin Classics)Joseph did something with his family that many in Western culture may not be able to relate in recent generations.  Too many of us may be so far removed from our families being immigrants that we have no real understanding of what it took to be outsiders in a new land.  Upton Sinclair conveyed the concept in his classic The Jungle  and John Steinbeck shared a similar story in The Grapes of WrathImmigrants have long come into lands of opportunity, willing to do the work that others regarded as below them.

 
Joseph Advised His Family: He shared with them and spoke them.  He gave them advice from having some experience from being in the land during the recent “lean years” and before then.  He had some understanding and insight into how the Egyptians viewed shepherds.  Joseph shared what he knew and understood about the culture and circumstances that his family was embarking on living within at that time.

The Grapes of Wrath1931 Ford Model A PickupHe offered keen advice to his family members on how they would be viewed by the Egyptians.  He seems to have gathered them together before they unloaded their carts.  It is like seeing the Joads packed altogether with their belongings piled up on their Model A Ford in the 1940 classic film “The Grapes of Wrath” inspired by Steinbeck’s novel.  Most probably, Joseph huddled his family together to speak in a hushed voice or with whispers of wisdom in order to make sure that everyone was on the same page. 
He coached them on what to say.  He prepared them for being called before the king of Egypt.  He wanted to ensure that all of his people had their stories straight before they ever encountered or interacted with Pharaoh or any of his other officials.  He wanted to make sure that no one made a mistake or brought about any trouble due to ignorance of what they had come into when they entered into Egypt.
Prince of Egypt & Joseph: King of Dreams (Double Feature)Pharaoh Adult - Standard One SizeJoseph Advocated for His Family:  Joseph stated that he would vouch for them.  He shared with his family that he would inform Pharaoh of their arrival and their occupation.  He would alert Pharaoh so that the king would not be taken by surprise when he discovered that more foreigners had arrived in his land.
He would speak up for his family in the royal court and share what they all did for a living.  Joseph had a prominent position and could share such information with Pharaoh without the ruler feeling that these outsiders would present a threat to his kingdom.
In The Jungle, that is how the newcomers were able to join other family members in the factories and mills after their arrival into the city.  When you watch “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevye and his family are forced out of the land with other Jews during the Russian Revolution and, just like many other characters in the play, they plan on going to America where other relatives have settled.  The Joads were viewed as Okies and met obstacles in their travels as they sought to escape the dust bowls of Oklahoma and find work in California.  In many cases, foreigners, immigrants and refugees face opposing forces upon their entry into a new place.
The Shepherd Trilogy: A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm / A Shepherd Looks at the Good Shepherd / A Shepherd Looks at the Lamb of GodJoseph Assured His Family: Based upon his position, Joseph was able to assure his family that they would live in Goshen as shepherds.  They would be able to herd their livestock.  Even though every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians, they would be able to tend to their flocks freely in Goshen. 


These people would be able to practice their trade in this new land.  The occupants of the land would not care for them,according to Joseph, due to their occupation.  Yet, they would not bother them either.

Joseph gathered his family together to inform them.  He brought them together to prepare them.  He huddled them together to coach them.  He did all of this to protect and support them.

Look at Joseph’s family leadership example.  He did not seek to usurp any authority from his father.  He did not claim to stand in the stead of his eldest brother.  He did not seek to break any cultural traditions or forsake any religious practices.  He simply spoke up and shared some advice that could help his family survive in a foreign land. 

We sure could use a reminder of how to do likewise these days.

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Election day is upon us again.

In California, we don’t know if it’ll be Meg  or Jerry .  We’re certain that Arnold is done, though.  Could Barbara Boxer  be unseated after all of these years? Who knows but God? That’s about all that we are certain of in this election.

There are numerous laws and ordinances that prohibit many actions at the polls.  These make certain acts illegal.  Some sit and wait, watching to see who will slip up and break one of these sacred political rules.  These political watch dogs usually straddle one side of the fence or the other, rather simply leaning to the left or the right.

Yet, the Christian still has an alternative that outweighs man’s laws and remains legal.*

Pray at the polls today.

You don’t have to walk up and ask anyone for their prayer request.  You don’t have to ask the neighborhood poll captain or the registar of voters can you pray a short prayer.  Simply pray at the polls without disturbing anyone or distracting anyone.  Truly, God knows your heart.

Pray individually or collectively.  Pray by yourself or with others.  Pray all alone or altogether.  Pray.

Pray for our nation.  Pray for Congress, the Senate and the House, even the Speaker of the HousePray for the government as a whole, state and local government, even down to the propositions on the ballot.  Pray for the Democrats, the Republicans, the write-ins, the independents, and all candidates.  Pray for the Tea Party and other conservatives as well as the League of Women Voters and other advocates and activists.  Pray for the voters.  Pray for all involved in the political process.

Pray prior to going to polls.  Pray while in line at the polls.  Pray when you receive and read over your ballot.  Pray prior to submitting your ballot.  Say a little prayer when you get handed that patriotic “I Voted” sticker that they give out as you walk away from the polls.  Pray at the polls.

Pray openly.
Pray privately.
Pray out loud.
Pray silently.
Pray long.
Pray short.
Pray.
Pray at the polls.
Pray about the polls.
Pray about the results.
Pray about each and every election and its impact from that day forward.

Pray for change.
Pray for integrity.
Pray for democracy.
Pray about our freedoms.
Pray for America.

Don’t proposition.
Don’t petition.
Don’t protest.
Just pray.
Simply pray.
All that I ask of you, as a Christian brother or sister today, is to pray.

Pray about the elections.
Pray for the elections.
Pray for safety at the polls.
Pray for those serving at the polls.
Pray for all of those involved.
Pray for all of those who will be impacted by every vote.
Pray that the elections make a difference in the way that we all live in America…
The Land of the free. . .
The Home of the brave. . .

Pray to God.
Pray today.
Pray with all of your heart.
Pray.
Pray.
Pray.
Again, I say, pray.

*This is still legal until someone decides that prayer, even in its simplicity and serenity, is so offensive that they rally and petition enough others to shut down the freedom to pray openly and publicly just in case that it may unduly influence or impact someone who doesn’t have the ability to resist the power of prayer.  Then, when that time comes, we must still pray as Daniel did three times a day, even with his window opened towards Jerusalem while in captivity.  God’s decrees are not constrained by man’s laws.

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UCSD’s Compton Cookout is turning into the Chancellor Cop-out. Nice try but no takers on freedom speech and such defenses when its your campus. The incident demonstrated that racism and bigotry can be seen as a laughing matter to many on a campus where 2% of the population is ridiculed and mocked as “ghetto.” The last time I checked UC had some pretty stringent standards. Time for change is upon us. It’s today. Promote as much Black pride as you can muster in these last days of Black History Month. Our children and youth need to see us as leaders, not laughing stocks.
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Get a daily dose of reality @ https://revbruce.wordpress.com
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Try sharing with a youth.
Surely, it can prevent teen-age pregnancy and drop outs.
Visit www.mentoring.org
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And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. Hebrews 10:24 (NKJV)

I learned most of what i know and have come to understand about God, salvation, church, ministry and being a minister of God right by the bay.  It has been under Dr. Timothy J. Winters, the pastor of Bayview Baptist Church in San Diego.  San Diego has presented many learning opportunities for me in the Lord’s service and through the non[rofit and educational sectors of service within my community, but I have truly learned a different skill set under Pastor Winters and through Bayview Baptist Church.  I have been built up in what has been dubbed as “America’s finest city” for the work of the Lord.  My past is exactly that; it has passed on.  So, as I look forward towards 2010, I am inspired by the man who influenced and impacted me as my father in the ministry to reach new heights and accomplish new things that will lead to others being inspired and influenced as well.  I pray that Life Path Ministries touches lives in new and innovative ways for God this year.  I pray that we are able to reach hearts and souls for Christ.  If God could do such a work with me,  He surely can build up others by the bay and shoreline, the border and beyond.

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“…Wisdom brings success.”- Ecc.10:10 (NKJV)

Business requires wisdom and patience. You can’t be foolish when it comes to taking care of business. Wisdom can come from experience, not even your own experience. You can learn from the experiences of others. Learn from their mistakes and make sound decisions based upon what others have shared with and shown you.

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About a year ago, I wrote out an article that was close to my heart, “Meetings Versus Ministry.” I have recently updated the article and uploaded it at Life Path Ministries. It is definitely worth a look for anyone involved in ministry or faith-based “work.”
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Yo, California!! We’ve got more to shout about than the Lakers and the Dodgers. There’s some real work being done throughout the state on HIV/ AIDS and prison re-entry as we speak. The government isn’t going to do anything new on behalf of the people unless the people start making some noise about the issues. Let’s check the issues out and get involved.

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