Joseph’s Diary.

Episode 10

(Reference: Genesis 41:15-41)

This is an account of what transpired between Pharaoh and I.

Pharaoh said to me, “I have had a dream, and no one can explain it. I have been told that you can interpret dreams.”

I answered, “I cannot, Your Majesty, but God will give a favourable interpretation.”

Then he shared his dream with me.

In his dream, he was standing on the bank of the Nile, when seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the river and began feeding on the grass.

Then seven other cows came up which were thin and bony. The thin cows ate up the fat ones, but they looked just as bad as before.

Then he woke up and had another dream.

He saw seven ears of corn which were full and ripe, growing on one stalk. Then seven ears of corn sprouted, thin and scorched by the desert wind, and the thin ears of corn swallowed the full ones.

When he finished, I said to him, “The two dreams mean the same thing; God has told you what he is going to do. There will be seven years of great plenty in all the land of Egypt. After that, there will be seven years of famine, and all the good years will be forgotten, because the famine will ruin the country.
The repetition of your dream means that the matter is fixed by God and that he will make it happen in the near future.”

After the interpretation, I made a suggestion.

“You should choose someone with wisdom and insight and put him in charge of the country.”

Pharaoh nodded, and I continued.

“Together with other appointed officials, a fifth of the crops during the seven years of plenty, will be stored up in the cities and guarded.

The food will be a reserve supply for the country during the seven years of famine which are going to come on Egypt. In this way the people will not starve.”

Pharaoh and his officials liked the plan, and he turned to me and said to me, “God has shown you all this, so it is obvious that you have greater wisdom and insight than anyone else. I will put you in charge of my country, and all my people will obey your orders. Your authority will be second only to mine.”

I almost could not believe my ears. I didn’t know when the tears began to pool, and I had hold my chin up to prevent the tears from falling.

  • Joe.

Joseph’s Diary.

Episode 9

(References: Genesis 40:20-23, 41:1-14)

Yesterday was Pharaoh’s birthday. And just like I had predicted, his wine steward was pardoned, while his chief baker was executed.

I pray that God reminds the wine steward of his promise to me and helps him to fulfill it.

***


It’s been six months since the wine steward’s pardon, but I am still here in jail.

Some new inmates have arrived, while many of the older ones have been released.

I spoke to the jailer a few times about pleading to pharaoh for my reason, but he said I should not get my hopes up.

According to him, Pharaoh hardly pardons slaves, especially foreign ones.

***


Today has been the most amazing day of my life.

It started out like any ordinary day, until it was time for lunch. A messenger came and told the jailer that Pharaoh had sent for me.

It was unbelievable, it felt like a dream. I was asked to shave and made to wear a clean robe, for the first time in over two years.

As I was ushered into Pharaoh’s presence, I noticed how everyone was excited to see me.

In a nutshell, Pharaoh had a dream and needed an interpreter, so his wine steward told him about me.

As soon as Pharaoh had told me about his dreams, the Lord gave me the interpretation.

  • Joe.

BOOK REVIEW: Millionaire Women Next Door.

||Author: Thomas J. Stanley

||Genre(s): Personal finance, Business, Biography.

||How I came across the book:

I saw this book on my parents’ bookshelf and fell in love with the title. 😁

||Expectations:

I desired to learn about financial intelligence that would eventually culminate into lasting wealth.

||Challenges:

The book is quite bulky, so I couldn’t take it with me everywhere and it took months to finish it.

||Lessons:

In America, only about one in ten businesses with annual revenues of $1 million and more are owned by women.

– Millionaire Women Next Door

Here are the 12 major lessons that I picked up, with a few excerpts, from the book.

  • 1. Independence:

  • Most self-made millionaire women became financially successful because they fervently wanted to be independent.

  • Financially successful women have learnt never to be fully dependent on others no matter how sincere their promises.

  • 2. Budgeting:
  • Most millionaire women are fastidious budgeters. In order to budget, one must account for expenditures.

  • Self made millionaires are great keepers of records.

  • Millionaire women learn to account for their expenditures long before they reach the millionaire status.

  • 3. Frugality & Generosity:
  • Millionaire women are a living proof that accumulating wealth and providing financial assistance to others are not mutually exclusive.

  • Millionaire women are able to give generously because they avoid the hyper-consumption mindset.

  • Charitable giving and financial planning are birds of a feather. You can’t give if you spend most of your income on yourself.

  • If you want to be wealthy yet don’t watch what you consume you are unlikely to be ever rich.

  • Women who wish to become financially independent early must learn the principles of frugality and thriftiness.

  • It is possible to be satisfied with your life without indulging yourself with material artifacts.

  • Many millionaire women never feel a need to brag about their financial success. On the contrary they deliberately and pro-actively guard against revealing their economic circumstances.

  • Showing off and displaying your economic success is a good case of poor taste.

  • Consumer indulgences like stocking up on luxury goods or joining an exclusive country club, does not make one wealthy, rather they are substitutes of wealth.

  • Buy the toys well after you become wealthy. Not before. If you buy your toys before you become wealthy you’ll never reach your goal of becoming financially independent.

  • As stewards of God’s wealth we’ve been called to be generous and gracious with what we’ve been given.

  • 4. Perseverance:
  • The topmost quality of millionaire women is their perseverance.

  • Millionaire women persevere in their ability to overcome regrets and adversity
  • .
  • To succeed in life and in business, you must become a type of woman that cannot be defeated. Let your adversity make you stronger.

  • Success comes to those who are willing to succeed, because YOU are the loom that weaves the tapestry.

  • It is difficult to succeed in any area of life if you spend a lot of time living in regret.

  • Most successful people are able to succeed in part because of their ability to get the most out of their circumstances.

  • Successful women learn from their past, but focus on the future.

  • Overcoming obstacles is not the end of your journey, it’s only the beginning.

  • If you’re determined that no one will stop you, then no one will stop you.

  • 5. Leadership & Courage:
  • Women who are not comfortable with taking leadership roles are not likely to succeed in business.

  • Successful business owners by definition are people who have a history of taking initiative.

  • Most self made millionaires have great empathy and respect for those who have a strong desire to follow in their footsteps.

  • Financial independence requires courage. Never let the fear of losing out overweigh your knowledge of financial prudence.

  • 6. Financial Investments & Risks:
  • When it comes to investing, men are bolder than women, but being bold doesn’t necessarily translate to being rich.

  • Women, unlike men are more uncomfortable with making quick decisions.

  • Women are more likely than men to research a stock thoroughly before making it part of their portfolio.

  • Success in taking economic risks has much to do with how one deals with fear and worry.

  • Fear is the cornerstone of panic and panic is the mother of financial disaster.

  • Wise investors take risks. Timid investors allow visions of total financial loss to overwhelm their judgement.

  • The key strategy to financial stability is to never spend more than you earn.

  • Income is a correlate of wealth but it is not wealth.

  • To build wealth, you must minimize your taxable income and maximize your capital appreciation.

  • Accumulation of wealth is like a long distance marathon, it takes years and years of frugality and wise investments to accumulate wealth.

  • 7. Hardwork & Goal-setting:
  • Believe in your dreams. Set simple goals and achieve them. Those achievements give you the confidence to aspire for more.

  • Success is not an accident, it’s a product of deliberate choices. Success is not given, it is earned.

  • Be organized and decisive about your plans, but stay flexible in your approach.

  • Most millionaire women were late bloomers in the world of commerce. You can follow your dream no matter your age.

  • Millionaire women are more goal oriented than their counterparts. They have clearly defined set of daily, weekly, monthly, annually and lifetime goals!

  • Self-made millionaire women succeed in business because they work hard and are smart.

  • Success is not indicated by consumption, it is defined by contribution.

  • Truly financially successful people have a growth mindset that pushes them to keep learning on a daily basis.

  • Knowledge must be leveraged properly if one is to earn a good living.

  • 8. Positive Parental Upbringing & Childhood traits:
  • Most successful women were raised in a parental environment that was a training ground for success.

  • Their parents were proactive mentors, positive role models and cheer leaders. Only very few pampered or overindulged their children.

  • Money handouts will not make an unproductive child productive.

  • Emotionally secure parents raise financially and psychologically secure children who have high self confidence and self esteem.

  • While dependent children spend much of their time planning for shopping, independent children spend most of their time planning to achieve and succeed.

  • Every responsible parent’s goal should be to give much more than money. Teach time children how to think, lead and succeed.

  • Being different and being creative are qualities that should be nurtured in a child not ridiculed.

  • Creativity is not discerned by how book smart a person is, but by the unique solutions he or she brings to problems.

  • One of the most pervasive characteristics of successful women is their history of early work experiences.

  • Standardized tests don’t measure some qualities that explain success in life.

  • 9. Self-Confidence:
  • You’re your own greatest and best resource. If you don’t believe in you, no one will.

  • You’re your most important asset. Not your savings.

  • Pacesetters are people who have learnt how to question conventional wisdom.

  • Being different in thought and deed is something to be proud of, not condemned.

  • Find something you’re passionate about and pursue it with passion.

  • 10. Mindset & Life choices:
  • Controlling your mind helps to control your money. A positive financial mindset is the key to becoming successful.

  • Millionaires are not only about the money, they are also about the freedom their financial status gives them.

  • Approach all your major purchases in terms of hours. Ask yourself, “Exactly how many hours do I have to work at my present pay rate to be able to afford this purchase?”

  • No matter how smart or well educated you are, you can’t make a living without a job.

  • Women whether you work outside the home or not you must develop budgeting, saving and investing skills.

  • It’s better to marry for love, respect and ambition than for a spouse’s ancestors and their financial artifacts.

  • Joining a family business is never a decision that should be made lightly.

  • Just because it’s your family business doesn’t mean it’s a good career move.

  • In working for a family business you must realize that being a good daughter is different from being an effective manager.

  • Before you join the family business you need to think about yourself, your goals and what you find fulfilling. If it doesn’t fit, consider a different job.

  • Even if you inherit the business, you must earn it through hardwork, commitment and contribution.

  • If you don’t know how to deal with money, it will not matter if your husband leaves you well off financially.

  • 11. Business acumen & skills:
  • Building a business is like building a home, if the foundation is faulty, no matter how lovely the rest of the house looks, it won’t produce joy to the owner.

  • Most multimillionaires are much more likely to be involved in industries other than retailing.

  • Doing what you love best doesn’t always translate to making profit.

  • Necessity and Adversity are often the parents of a successful business operation.

  • Passion and perseverance can’t be planned, they must be experienced.

  • Intuition plays a major role in choosing one’s vocation.

  • Enthusiasm is highly contagious. If a leader is passionate about her job she can excite others to adopt similar emotions.

  • Are you good? Really good? Then why do you sell yourself to strangers? Why not sell your talents, emotions, drive and intellect, first to yourself. Give yourself an exclusive deal on all your skills.

  • 12. Mentoring
  • One of the greatest tips to becoming successful is to hangout with people who are already established in their success.

||Conclusion:

I think it’s a beautiful thing to know that women can be just as financially savvy as their men counterparts.

||Recommendation:

This book is an eye-opener, and I think every woman, no matter the current status or phase, should try to read it.

Thank you for reading!

:::requ1ne:::
♥️♥️♥️

Joseph’s Diary.

Episode 8

(Reference: Genesis 40: 1-22)

It has been an interesting week here in jail.

The royal wine steward and chief baker offended the king and were brought into the prison.

None of them has shared the details but it looks bad, because I’ve heard rumors that the King usually executes his offenders.

The jailer also specifically assigned me as a special assistant to the both of them.

A few days back, I went in to see them and noticed they both appeared gloomy.

“Why do you look so worried today?” I asked.

“Each of us had a dream, and there is no one here to explain what the dreams mean.”

“It is God who gives the ability to interpret dreams,” I said. “Tell me your dreams.”

The wine steward went first. “In my dream there was a grapevine in front of me with three branches on it. As soon as the leaves came out, the blossoms appeared, and the grapes ripened. I was holding the king’s cup; so I took the grapes and squeezed them into the cup and gave it to him.”

When he finished narrating his dream, I told him, “This is what it means: the three branches are three days. In three days the king will release you, pardon you, and restore you to your position. You will give him his cup as you did before when you were his wine steward.”

The royal wine steward was pleased with the interpretation and thanked me.

I then pleaded with him to remember me when he leaves the prison. I told him of how I was kidnapped and sold as a slave into Egypt. I also recounted why I was thrown into prison.

The wine steward promised to do his best to facilitate my release.

When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the wine steward’s dream was favourable, he said to me, “I had a dream too; I was carrying three bread baskets on my head. In the top basket there were all kinds of pastries for the king, and the birds were eating them.”

I looked sadly at him and said, “This is what it means: the three baskets are three days. In three days the king will release you — and have your head cut off! Then he will hang your body on a pole, and the birds will eat your flesh.”

Since then, the countenance of the chief baker has been hostile towards me, while the royal wine steward has been more friendly.

  • Joe.

November 2020|| AMEN.

When hope is crushed, the heart is crushed, but a wish come true fills you with joy. Proverbs 13:12 GNB


A November to remember.

The first time I thought of suicide was about five years ago.

It was the Christmas season and every where was bubbling but I felt so hollow and sad on the inside.

There was this indescribable atmosphere around me that seemed to drain my energy.

Everyday appeared to be the same.
My life seemed to be on autopilot, and it felt like I was merely existing.

At that time, I didn’t realize I was going through a depressive episode.

My life on the outside was relatively great; I was a year away from finishing medical school, and I had a network of supportive friends and family.

I was doing a hospital rotation at the time, and my preceptor said something about me was not quite the same.

I knew something was wrong with me but I didn’t know how to explain it.  

I was still an active christian, but my moments of fellowship were mostly full of tears. My prayers mainly centred around asking God to help me, heal me and forgive me for feeling so down.

One of the images that became so vivid in my subconscious during that phase, was to fill up a bathtub, stay under and let go.

The only problem was, my apartment did not have a bathtub.

Thank God for small favors. 

I still can’t explain how I came out of that phase.

One moment it felt like I was drowning, the next moment, I was glad to have my life back on track.

***

About four years later, just some weeks after the new year, I started to entertain the thoughts of suicide again. 

To be honest, this time around it felt like an attack.

Again, my life was relatively great on the outside. My love life was bubbling, my career looked promising and my family and friends were being loving as usual.

But there was this whole crazy feeling of being worthless and hopeless. And it took God’s divine intervention to come out of it.

There was a day, the urge was so strong that I started to rebuke the spirit of suicide right there in my bedroom.

Coincidentally, not too long after then, there were a number of suicide-related deaths across the country that made it to social media platforms.

It was such a sobering feeling, to think I could have been one of the statistics.

***

Lastly, some months back, I had a major life crisis that had me questioning my sanity.

In addition to that, I was experiencing burnout at work. I became so overwhelmed that I had to seek medical help.

The doctor placed me on some medication and just before I commenced it, I got better.

Now this is no tale by moonlight, I have some close contacts who can attest to this. 

The funny thing was, things got worse as the suicidal feelings disappeared. My whole life took a detour.

But I truly believe that just when I was at my wit’s end, God saved me by his right hand.

Another thing that helped during that period, was the knowledge that I’d gone through similar phases in the past. I knew from experience that the darkest night would eventually give way to light.

Maybe like me, you feel this year is too far spent and things have not exactly worked out as you desired. I want you to know that it’s NEVER too late for God to step in.

At the nick of time, he CAN turn your situation around.

Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. Romans 12:12 GNB

PS: If you ever feel suicidal, please see a doctor, OR talk to a therapist, a spiritual leader or trusted friends. It may not look like much, but speaking up always goes a long way.

Expect your miracle this new month. I will be back to share my testimony.

And so shall it be, AMEN.

:::requ1ne:::
    ♥️♥️♥️

Joseph’s Diary.

Episode 7.

(Reference: Genesis 39: 17-23)

I am living in another nightmare right now.

I have been thrown into prison by my master, Portiphar, after his wife falsely accused me of trying to rape her.

I felt really terrible when the other house servants denied knowing anything about Mrs. Portiphar’s previous advances towards me.

All my pleading fell on deaf ears and the master told the jailer to keep me in the prison indefinitely.

For the past three weeks, I have cried myself to sleep every night.

I miss Canaan, especially my father, my younger brother, Benjamin, and even my troublesome elder brothers.

I’ve prayed to God to prove me innocent, but it looks like there’s no way out of this.

Now, I’m not just a slave but I am also a convict. It seems those lofty dreams I had about the future were just a mirage.

Thankfully, the jailer in the King’s prison, has been unusually kind towards me.

He told me that I looked like a responsible young man, so he has made me a supervisor over the other inmates, many of whom are older than I am.

Just last night, I separated two inmates from a fist fight. One of them had his nose broken, and the jailer was ready to flog the guilty party, but I pleaded on his behalf.

No matter how dark my life seems at the moment, I have this assurance that God has not forsaken me.

  • Joe.

Joseph’s Diary.

Episode 6

(Reference: Genesis 39: 8-16)

What an awful week it has been.

There’s no kind of gimmick Mrs Portiphar did not try for me to have an affair with her.

After doing my best to ignore her, I finally gave her an earful.

“Look, my master does not have to concern himself with anything in the house, because I am here. He has put me in charge of everything he has. I have as much authority in this house as he has, and he has not kept back anything from me except you. How then could I do such an immoral thing and sin against God?”

Despite the confrontation, the shameless woman continued to pester me.

Then the unbelievable happened today, I was busy preparing the budget for next week in front of the fireplace, when I felt a hand on my shoulder.

I looked back to see Mrs. Portiphar smiling seductively at me.

I jumped up in anger and made for the front door.

She winked and held up the key. The door was locked.

Without thinking, I grabbed the key from her hand and started to open the door.

The evil woman held on to my robe and started pleading “Come to bed with me.”

Without looking back, I opened the door and ran out, leaving my robe with her.

It was strange that none of the other servants were inside the house when this happened.

The next thing I knew, Mrs Portiphar began to cry at the top of her voice. “Look at this! This Hebrew that my husband brought to the house is insulting us. He came into my room and tried to rape me, but I screamed as loud as I could. When he heard me scream, he ran outside, leaving his robe beside me.”

I am too embarrassed to go back into the house, so I’ll stay here in the horses’ shed until the master is back.

– Joe.

Joseph’s Diary.

Episode 5

(Reference: Genesis 39: 1-7)

This is my fifth month in this strange land, Egypt.

My nightmare has turned into my daily reality, as I’m now known as sqrw-anx, a bought slave.

Still I’m lucky to be owned by a well-to-do master, whose name is Potiphar.

My master is an official in Pharaoh’s court and serves as the captain of the palace guards.

He was kindhearted towards me from the onset and by the end of my second week, made me his personal assistant.

Now, I’m not only responsible for managing the affairs of his entire household, I also have to ensure that all the other slaves perform their duties accordingly.

Some of the older slaves are lazy and insolent, and I caught a few of them stealing from the master’s food supplies.

After a fair warning, some still went ahead with their delinquent acts, and I had no choice but to report them.

Portiphar’s wife is another thorn in my flesh though.

She keeps asking me to assist her with personal errands, like running her bath, combing her hair, and massaging her feet.

Just last week, she told the cook to inform me to bring her food directly into her chambers, and that I should come alone.

Meanwhile she has at least five servant girls attached to her, for her well being.

Her actions have been subtle so far, but I can already guess what exactly is going on in her mind.

  • Joe.

October 2020|| The Little Things.

Hello FAM,

It’s October!!!

And what a beautiful time to be alive.

Like many others, 2020 hasn’t gone exactly the way I expected.

However this scripture gives me some comfort,

People may plan all kinds of things, but the LORD’s will is going to be done.
Proverbs 19:21 GNB

And knowing what a good God he is, I can see him turning things around for my good.

While I trust God to do the miraculous, here are a few things I need to be more intentional about as the rest of the year unfolds.

  1. SELF-CARE.

Self-care is one of the first things many people overlook when going through a crisis.

Amidst the ups and downs of the year 2020, I’m sorry to say that I let myself go in a lot of ways.

It’s tough to pay attention to yourself when all you’re trying to do is to make it through another day.

But I’ve realized that in letting myself go, I’m the one who is losing.

Someday, the crisis will be over and I’ll regret some of the little moments I failed to take advantage of.

So going forward, I’m going to give more time to the things I enjoy.

Like re-implementing simple DIY routines such as facial scrubs and pedicure.

As well as stocking up my house with foodstuff and snacks that give my taste buds pleasure.

I’ll also spend more time in meditation, so that more creative juices can ooze out of the sulci of my brain matter.

Finally, and perhaps this will be the hardest, I’ll do my best to get myself outdoors as much as I can.

My village people have been trying to inform me that my waist line is expanding, but I have told them to keep quiet. It’s none of their business!

  1. PRAYER.

This is such a powerful tool for any believer going through a period of uncertainty or pain.

I understand that prayer can be the very last thing you want to do, especially when it feels like God has muted your side of the conversation.

Notwithstanding, a crisis consumes more strength than anyone can humanly generate.

That is why Prayer is not just a necessity in times like this, it is a LIFELINE.

Plus, there are so many behind-the-scene battles going on, than your human mind can possibly comprehend.

We all need prayer to sustain stamina in the spirit until the testimony comes.

  1. HOPE.

We live in a world that is rife with hopelessness and despair.

There is barely a day that ends without leaving disaster in its wake.

I won’t be exaggerating if I say that 2020 has been the most exhausting year of my adult life.

This year has drained me mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

So it takes a rugged sense of determination to look beyond the current ruins, to the wonderful things life has in store for me.

My current reality may appear hopeless, but my future is full of POSSIBILITIES.

I love how reassuring this version of the scripture puts it,

Your future is bright and filled with a living hope that will never fade away.
Proverbs 23:18 TPT

I will continue to invest in hope knowing that someday soon, this darkness will give way to light.

  1. RELATIONSHIPS.

This for me has been the most rewarding aspect of my life this year.

If there is anything I’m sincerely thankful for today, it is the gift of people.

Just some days ago, I was pouring out my soul to a sister-girl, and she asked that we set aside a day to fast and pray together.

That was such a simple yet very heartwarming gesture.

We all want people that will be there for us in times of our need, but relationships don’t happen over night, we have to build them.

Cultivating the right kind of relationships is something that cannot be overemphasized.

Going through a rough patch is a tough one for anyone, but having a support network is a blessing from God.

So for the rest of this year, I’ll be more deliberate about praying, showing affection, and being generous towards my loved ones.

  1. AFFIRMATION.

It is important that despite the challenges that have plagued me this year, my self worth remains intact.

There’s nothing as devastating as feeling like a failure on the outside and also on the inside.

I have decided that no matter how the rest of the year turns out, I will emerge a victor.

Though life has not been kind to me in the last few months, I choose to BE KIND TO MYSELF.

And this will be my mantra for the rest of the year.

Cheers!
:::requ1ne:::
♥️♥️♥️

Joseph’s Diary.

Episode 4.

(Reference: Genesis 37: 12-36)

I’ve been living in a nightmare for the past one week.

This has been the most horrible experience of my life.

It started on Thursday afternoon, Daddy asked me to go to Shechem and check on my brothers who were there taking care of the flock.

I left Hebron a little before noon, and got to Shechem about an hour later.

I went over to the usual grazing spot but there was no sign of my brothers or the flock.

I was about to return home but decided to take a stroll through the country.

On my way, I met a man who asked me what I was looking for. I told him I was looking for my brothers, who were taking care of a large herd of flock, and I described them to him.

He told me he heard they were going to Dothan, and if I hurried, I could meet up with them before sunset.

I hurried down to Dothan and I was happy, when I found my brothers with the flock, sitting around some wells.

As soon as they saw me, they started conversing in hushed tones.

I didn’t know they were plotting evil against me.

When I got to them, Dan suddenly grabbed me, tearing my robe in the process, and together with Levi and Simeon, threw me into one of the dry wells.

I cried and begged for mercy, but they turned deaf ears to my pleas.

They didn’t even tell me what I had done wrong.

I screamed at the top of my voice, but we were far out in the field, and no one came to my rescue.

I called for Reuben but he didn’t come to help me.

They all started to laugh and call me names.

“Dreamer boy,” they said, “we will kill you today and see what becomes of your dreams.”

Later, they roasted some corn and baked bread on coals, then sat down to eat. No one offered me any.

While they were eating, Gad pointed out a group of Ishmaelites traveling on camels.

Then Judah said, “What will we gain by killing our brother and covering up the murder? Let’s sell him to these Ishmaelites. Then we won’t have to hurt him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.”

They all agreed to the idea.

Zebulun suggested that they should kill a goat, soak my robe in its blood, then tell Daddy that a wild animal had killed me. That way, they would get rid of me forever.

When the traders came by, Dan pulled me out of the well.

While I begged them again for my life, they made a bargain with the Ishmaelites, and sold me for twenty pieces of silver.

The Ishmaelites were traders of spices and resins, and they were traveling from Gilead to Egypt.

They placed me on one of their camels. I was naked apart from the linen I wore around my loins, and my hands and feet were tied with ropes.

When it was nightfall, the traders stopped and made a campfire.

They prepared some lentil stew to eat, then spread out blankets made of goatskins to sleep in.

I was given a small portion of stew and some water, then tied to the trunk of a tree to prevent me from running away.

That night, I slept on a sack of spices, cold and homesick.

-Joe.