Genesis 39:2 says, “And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”
This was at a time in Joseph’s life when he was serving as a slave! His own brothers had sold him into slavery and told his father he was dead. No longer the wealthy, well-dressed, favorite son, Joseph found himself on an auction block in a foreign land, stripped of everything—including his clothes.
Joseph’s rich Egyptian master, Potiphar, had all of the luxuries that came with abundant wealth, but the Bible records Joseph as being the truly prosperous one.
Material things alone are not indicative of prosperity. True prosperity is knowing that God is with you. True success is keeping God’s purpose alive in your heart despite adversity. True richness is God’s grace, anointing, and power working in your life.
Joseph had a positive outlook on life which enabled him to operate in faith. Even after being unjustly accused and thrown in prison. Joseph did not complain or become bitter at his mistreatment and abuse. In prison, Joseph served others and ministered wholeheartedly to their needs, so much so the prison warden entrusted unto him all the prisoners. “The keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.”—Genesis 39:23
As Joseph diligently and faithfully served, God blessed the work of his hands. As a prisoner, he did not have material wealth but he prospered spiritually and made others prosper while God was building his character. Worldly power and great material wealth were eventually to follow.
Joseph didn’t have the fullness of the Spirit promised to Christians under the NT. Consider yourself as God sees you, a prosperous person, regardless of your present circumstances. Recognize and acknowledge the fact that God is with you, that you are anointed and highly favored. Serve God and others with all your heart as unto the Lord. Eliminate murmuring and complaining. Replace negativity with praise and thankfulness, knowing God will complete what He has begun in your life.
Joseph overcame evil by doing good, even to his brothers, who had betrayed him. Joseph is one of the most Christ-like figures in the O.T. Despite being persecuted, he did not develop a “woe is me” complex. He won over his persecutors. He could have had his brothers put to death but he turned out to be the means of their salvation.
18Jed Smock, Laurie Tipton and 16 others9 Comments3 SharesLikeCommentShare
April 26, we celebrate the 110th birthday of my mother, who has been residing in her heavenly mansion for 26 years. My mother is the most influential woman in the life of my wife, Cindy. After Cindy’s conversion in 1978, I asked my parents, if I could bring Cindy to our home for a visit. My mother, who was born in NE Pennsylvania and schooled in all the social graces, sent Cindy a formal invitation. Mother served Cindy her first formal dinner. Cindy was raised in a trailer and not one of her step-mothers had a complete set of glasses, let alone authentic silverware and sets of China. Cindy had not been brought up to enjoy the finer things of life. She later remarked that entering our home was like entering heaven.
I was raised in a Victorian social setting. During my hippy days, I had rejected Victorianism for the counter-culture so I was not too taken aback the first time I visited Cindy’s country trailer with an Elvis album covering the hole in the screen door. I ate raw oysters out of a barrel. The men and some of the women were drinking beer. My parents never served alcohol in their home. Cindy’s last stepmother was a sweet lady who was a good southern cook. Although I did not have much in common with these panhandle Floridians, Cindy was always a fun company. Besides, despite my Victorian upbringing, my parents were never snobs but cordial towards all. By the 1970’s, the ruling and professional classes were already relaxing the formalism of Victorians. Therefore, my parents’ way of life was becoming somewhat of an anachronism. I made it a point for Cindy to spend quality time with my parents, so she could learn the waning way under which I was raised. Cindy and I married in 1983, months after the passing of my father. In our early married life, we spent most of the time traveling. We lived with my mother when not on the gospel road so Cindy had the opportunity to learn the social graces from my mother.
Cindy has always been a fast learner. Cindy not only learned all of my mother’s favorite recipes but she added a southern flair to new cooking skills. She developed an interest in China and silverware and decorating an attractive and traditional home. When we established our own home in Central Ohio, pastels were the decorating rage. When she brought home pink drapes for the windows, I nixed that for solid blues.
My mother knew how to entertain a large group of guests or family but Cindy found, as a minister’s wife, she regularly served church folks along with her family for Sunday dinners in our colonial home, not to mention the sinners she invited into our home. Cindy has often served a semi-formal dinner to up to 50 guests.
My mother regarded my father as the family spokesman in public, civic, church and academia. Yet she was perhaps more of a social conversationalist than my father who, like myself, was basically a quiet man outside of the classroom. During the ’70s women were coming into their own as spokesman so I gave Cindy free rein to preach on campus. Now she has become more of a celebrity than I. As Cindy puts it, “Brother Jed is the legend; I am the celebrity.” My mother was a reserved lady, as Northern women tend to be. My friends often remarked, “Your mother has class.” Whereas, Cindy is candid as southern women usually are. There are no secrets in the south. My tactful mother would not have considered using the blunt and coarse language which we use in preaching against sin on campus. My mother did take noted stands for righteousness in her discreet manner. One day at the height of my rebellious hippy days, she said, “Jed, you have become mothering but a glorified bum.” That private straightforward reproof did challenge me to reconsider my ways. After my return to sanity and to the ways of my upbringing, Mother’s manner for expressing her disproval was to ask questions. For instance, I took Cindy and Evangeline to South Africa, which was a dangerous place at the time. Mother repeatedly asked, “Now why are you and Cindy going to South Africa?” However, once we were on our way, Mother was supportive. Upon our return, she edited my book on the experience, “Gold in the Furnace: South Africa on Trial.” Although Mother did not have the scholarly credentials of my father, she had academic skills. She had graduated valedictorian from high school and magna cum laude from Syracuse University. Even though Cindy did not have the educational credentials of my parents, I immediately recognized Cindy’s aggressive journalistic and communication skills and her intuitive intelligence. Years ago, the chairman of the Department of Communication at the University of Minnesota said, “Brother Jed, your wife, Cindy, is the best communicator that I have ever heard.
”A disciple should surpass his mentor. Because the disciple is able to quickly learn what it may have taken his teacher years to learn. Then the disciple has the opportunity and time to build upon the foundation which his master helped him build. Jesus said that his disciples would do greater works than he. As outstanding as my mother was, in some ways Cindy has even surpassed my mother and myself which is the way it should be when teacher/student are doing their job as it should be done. So, watch out world, the fabulous Sister Cindy is just coming into her own! As for Mother, I like to think she is looking down from Heaven on her birthday approving of her children, even though she would still likely be asking some questions, “Now, Cindy, why did you say that?”
For we [Bro Jed & Co.] are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?—2 Corinthians 2:15-16.In other words we are a sweet fragrance to the saved; alas, to the lost and perishing, we carry the stench of sewage and death.
Bro Jed & Co. are God’s sewer workers. Daily for a half-century, we open the manholes and drop into the sewer tunnels where liquid and solid waste slowly flows, except when blockages interrupt the movement of the waste. From the ground up our University campuses are a place of ivy towers and lovely green lawns. Below the surface, however, in the intestines of the campus, there is no beauty, just darkness and muck.
If the intestines get blocked, if the sewage system is obstructed by something, the campus and surrounding quaint town will see its pleasant streets awash with dirty stinking sewage
.Keeping the campus community clean is a team of dedicated sewer workers who may well have one of the worst jobs there is. They work in the dark, in dirty water, excrement, dead animals and garbage.
Pumping stations move the sewage from dorms, lecture halls and surrounding hotels and restaurants to sewage treatment plants.
The divers go underground to locate and remove blockages and make repairs and inspections. Divers have to survive in the poisonous atmosphere of the sewer pipes where toxic gases created by the waste can prove lethal when absorbed over a period of time.
There are other dangers such as being washed away by a sudden intake of water or sewage.
Sanitation workers must be in excellent health. Divers can’t have high blood pressure or heart problems. They go through a physical examination regularly. It is important that they are intelligent, flexible and ready to respond quickly in emergencies. Above ground so-called students [party animals] are getting drunk and high on drugs and becoming woke. When sewer workers are in the water, they can see little. They have to act the way they feel they should and the way they remember things and the way they assess situations. They are rarely seen although they go to work every day. They usually labor outside of busy hours and sometimes work at night.
The work is hard and dangerous. It can be freezing cold in winter and sweltering hot in summer.
Sewer work is vulgar. Brother Jed & Co. are regarded as uncouth usually by sinners and sometimes even by the church folks. We get down and dirty in order to maintain the sewage tunnels. I have the credentials to lecture from the ivory tower to students who will at least make a halfhearted effort to be respectful. Above ground students during the day tend to put on their perfume but at night they slip down into the sewer and actually eat and drink of the filth below. The lower the better in their lifestyle. When we come out of our ministry holes, we keep our ministry clean for the sake of the whiten sepultures but underground where we mostly work it’s a different story. We are often an embarrassment and disgrace to those who work in the above-ground places of worship.
Since November 3, we have heard from fake news of President Trump “ranting and raging” in the WH. They say that he is “unhinged” and “losing his mind,” etc, etc. These are based on “anonymous sources” within the WH or more likely just stuff the jackals in newsrooms make up.
Yet, since the fake news called the election for Biden, we have heard or seen relatively little from the most transparent and available President in history. Oh, the tweets are still there but his political enemies and even supposed friends have always complained about them. Meanwhile, Trump with his usual smile and upbeat demeanor is extending old fashion Christmas Greetings to the nation in the name of the Prince of Peace.
So, towards what may or may not be the end of his presidency for at least the next four years, the press and the Democrats and Never Trumpers and others of their ilk are resorting to the same tactic, which they tried in his first 6 months in office. That is questioning his sanity. Actually, they are not just questioning his mental state but declaring him mad.Really, there is nothing wrong with a leader ranting and raging as Moses did when he came down from Sinai with God’s Law and the people were having an orgy. Moses ordered 3000 of the revelers put to death. Jesus ranted and raged when he forcibly drove the money changers out of the temple.
He pronounced terrible curses against his enemies, the religious leaders of his day. Actually, Jesus’ own family members thought he had gone mad.It is time for the church to get angry, that is have righteous indignation against the enemy within who would steal an election in order “to change America to change the world” and establish international communism by bringing freedom-loving Americans and entrepreneurs to their knees. Democrats have been resorting to corrupt practices for decades but never as blatant against any Republican except Trump. Trump is the only president who has continuously and boldly stood against these subversives.
When I got saved in 1972 my immediate passion was to reach lost souls. God called me to be an evangelist. Some urged me to get a seminary degree. However, I observed that many seminary graduates lost their zeal for souls, if indeed they ever had such. I Cor 8:1, warns, “knowledge puffs up but charity edifies.
”For the first several years in my evangelistic ministry, I did not have much of an understanding of the differences between Calvinists and Arminians. Within a decade, I became acquainted with moral government theology, which seemed to provide the most reasonable answers to the philosophical and theological issues, which tend to divide Christians and isolate us into our various and separate camps. Still, I strived through it all to maintain an ecumenical spirit.
Through my almost five decades of preaching, I have continued my focus on saving souls from the power and dominion of sin and the terrible eternal consequences of the wrath of God. While I have somewhat of a philosophical bent, I am cautious about getting carried away with theoretical issues.
Paul said, “Beware lest any my spoil you with philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the teaching after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”—Col 2-8Some of the controversies, which I get caught up in myself from time to time on FB, are dominated by esoteric terminology, which few understand. If we are not careful these debates can tempt us to intellectual pride. Or at least we limit our audience by a message that few understand, wondering, “What the hell are they talking about?”
Meanwhile, the masses of men are being led to the abyss. Paul expressed his concerns, “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”—2 Cor 11:3I strive to keep my message simple. When the jailor asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”—Acts 16:31
The Apostles merely answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” And they spoke the word of God to him and his household, which I would assume concentrated on Jesus’ death and resurrection. That very night the jailor and all his family were baptized. Paul was arguably the greatest intellect of his day but when presenting the gospel, he kept things understandable to the common man.Jesus was wiser than Solomon; yet, his call for disciples was plain and unpretentious, “Follow me.”
The bridge is swamped with socialists. Where are the embattled farmers?Who will fire the shot resounding around the world? A legislator from one of the battleground states? A/G Paxton of Texas? Jim Jordon from Ohio? Or will it be Trump himself? Or will our guns remain silent as usual? We need not hear a literal gunshot for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to drain swamps. Yet, it is interesting that the Red Coats had come to Concord to confiscate the guns of the plowmen. We have changed colors; now the good guys wear Blue Coats and the bad guys the Red Coats. The battle lines are being drawn. How long will you straddle the line?Earlier on that fateful April 19, 1775, eight Americans had been killed by the swamp men. The situation appeared grim for the colonists; nevertheless, as a result of their stand at North Bridge, the British had to retreat and so started the American Revolution. Did those brave farmers ever imagine that a memorial would be erected in their memory in 1837 and their courage memorialized by Emerson’s sacred song?When I was in elementary school every boy read Emerson’s poem and it was often memorized. Sooner than you think; the iconoclasts will be destroying this votive stone in Concord. I doubt if Emerson’s poem is still usually read in school. Nothing is sacred to these people. Who Will Rise Up? Where on the sons of the Minutemen?
October 12, we celebrate what is still officially recognized as Columbus Day. It has been a difficult year for Christopher Columbus with dozens of inspiring statues of the brave admiral pulled down, some by the arbitrary decisions of mayors, others by a vote of chicken-hearted city councils and still others by lawless vandals.
Even in Columbus’ lifetime, he had to fight to get his just deserts and to protect his reputation. After his third voyage to the New World, he was taken back in chains to Spain. His champion, Queen Isabela, had him released. Columbus’ reputation is threatened more than ever but his stout character has never been touched. Columbus will survive this latest onslaught against his character!
As the new continent which he discovered, explored and labored to development, sinks back into the darkness of savagery, Columbus’ beacon shines brighter than ever pointing us to the crucified life of Christ Jesus, the light of the world.
The descendants of the indigenous peoples of the Americas should get on their knees on this holy day to thank God for the likes of Columbus.
The statue below was installed at Columbus State University in 1959, it was removed this summer. Makes one wonder when they will change the name of the institution to Indigenous Peoples’ State University.
One 18-year-old female ISU student is dead. Two males are wounded. Five persons have been arrested for possession of marijuana. Up to 100 attended a party Thursday night and early Friday morning in an apartment, just blocks off-campus. There could not have been much social distancing under confined circumstances. Does anyone suppose the partiers were wearing masks?
TH Police Chief Keen said, “Unfortunately, we have not had a lot of cooperation from a lot of the witnesses who were there. We would appeal to those people that this is a tragedy and we believe she deserves justice in this case, and we would ask people to think about that and hope they would come forward.”
When I read this report, I was reminded of a Saturday night ISU party, which I attended almost 50 years ago in a local motel. The following Monday, I was called to the Dean of Students office and reprimanded for attending the party where alcohol was flowing. The Dean tried to get me to name others who were in attendance. I refused. As a result, I was put on social probation by the Dean and required to do community service at the Boy’s Club.
Of course, the deadly incident the other night is so much more serious. But the rebellious attitudes of those attending the wild party and of my party going during my student years are the same.
I don’t know what the legal penalties are for withholding information from the police but whatever they are they should be prosecuted. Meanwhile, those attending the party should be immediately expelled by the ISU administration, which should have been my penalty, when I partied at a student.
A week before the killing, Bro Jed & Co. was preaching on the ISU campus in Dede Plaza. University employees, including the Dean of Students were zealous in insisting that both the students and preachers wear masks and vainly attempted to enforce social distancing. Perhaps if the administration were as fervent in controlling the moral and social behavior of students, the dead coed would be alive today.
Whether the girl heard our preaching or not, I know not. Very likely she at least heard we were speaking out against the marijuana and the other sins which accompany the party life. Had the deceased student listened she would be alive today with her sins forgiven.
Friday and Saturday nights were considered party nights even when I was an undergrad at ISU in the early 60’s. In the mid-70’s the party nights were expanded to include “Thirsty Thursday.” Alas, party-time has become known as what the universities promote as “the college experience.”
It is time to raise the standards of education. Most ISU students are actually not college material. They often refer to themselves as “party animals.” Professors need to divide the serious students from the partiers by giving assignments, which will result in no time for partying, if one is going to keep their grades up and stay in school. Anyone caught using recreational drugs, including marijuana, anyone intoxicated or fornicating, whether with the opposite sex or same-sex should be immediately expelled and not be allowed to return.
A lot more students are going to die from drug overdoses and alcohol misuse than they are from the Coronavirus. There is an epidemic of STDs among college students which will have more ill effects over the long run than COVID 19. Immorality will have greater mental and spiritual consequences throughout their lives than catching the dreaded virus. Yet, moral relativism has been promoted in classrooms for decades beginning long before college. We are reaping the consequences.
Meanwhile, Bro Jed & Co. will continue our mission to save souls and save lives through preaching against sin and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. Listen up students and faculty and administrators; we never know what day or night our soul may be required of us and we stand before a Holy God in Judgment.
“I WAS INSTENSELY DRAWN TO THE GOSPEL THROUGH YOUR PREACHING!” I received this email as well as an offering to CMUSA last week:
” Bro. Jed, Actually, I was one of those lost young fraternity men who you warned at St. Cloud State between 1982-1986. In fact, you gave me an autographed copy of your book. It still is on my bookshelf. Although I wasn’t finally saved until 20 years later, I was intensely drawn to the gospel through your preaching. I tell people, if I could do only one thing differently in my life, it would be to have said yes to Jesus in college. His offer was definitely there, but I turned him down. I regret that. Even so, I shall be with Jesus always, forever and ever. Amen. Most people think your style of preaching drives more away than it attracts. I say those people don’t understand the gospel. Your preaching hits home with plenty of people. The fruit may take decades to ripen, but the message was heard. I’m witness to that.”
This is the fourth testimony like this in two months! Yes, the truth does hit home for many students! We need $4000 to meet our fundraising goal for Fall 2020. To make your investment in CMUSA click on the Network for Good or our website in the link below or PM me or Sis. Cindy. Week 6 of Fall Mission 2020 begins today!
There is an old saying among consumers of alcohol, “You can’t trust a person who doesn’t drink.”
Drinking has forever been the acceptable form of socializing in the political world and among the press, often the two estates drink together. The press knows that alcohol loosens tongues. The drinkers wonder, “How can we trust someone who refuses to relax and open-up, when we ourselves are well underway?” Drinking has also become such a big part of our general culture that when someone turns down a drink, it’s insulting.
Historically, much of what took place on the floor of the House or Senate had already been agreed upon in cigar smoke-filled rooms after a number of belts of whiskey. With women entering Congress, the State Houses and press room and with smoking falling into disfavor, the smoke-filled room has become the bar and the bed. People who drink tend to be loose in other appetites. Donald J. Trump enters into politics with a bang but without the booze. He announces that he never drinks nor smokes. The drinkers cannot trust Trump. While others are drinking, the President is devising and designing. His political enemies are too deranged by personal ambition and covetousness to figure out the President.
When it comes to anything in regards to socialization, according to the drinking set, you play by everyone else’s rules. To interact with others, you have to respect their wants and comforts, especially the drinking. Trump does not imbibe; therefore, he cannot be trusted.
Much has been made, mostly by liberals, that President Reagan could sit down with Speaker Tip O’Neill and have a few beers. Therefore, the libs thought they could control Reagan. But Trump won’t drink with any of them. Can you imagine anyone wanting to tip a few with Speaker Pelosi? She probably has to drink alone.
Trump is a dangerous man to the left, if for no other reason than that he doesn’t drink.