Gregory’s Vaction Bible School: Jesus Gets Baptized

Welcome Dear Readers to Gregory’s Vacation Bible School.  Today Gregory is telling the class about the time Jesus got baptized. Let’s listen in, shall we?

Jesus Gets Baptized

Before Jesus came along, John the Baptist was the official spokesperson for the Lord.

John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus, but he was from the side of the family who were a little different.  John the Baptist’s favorite outfit was a romper made of camel’s hair and a wide leather belt, and he ate nothing but locusts and honey.  (He had the Jesus family sweet tooth though!)

John the Baptist had a little baptizing enterprise on the Jordan River.  One day Jesus came to him to be baptized.

Here’s what scholars believe the conversation might have gone like:

John the Baptist:  Jesus! Cousin!  Nice to see you again.  I was just having my lunch.  Would you care for a locust sandwich?  There’s plenty.

Jesus:  Uh . . . no thank you I’ve already eaten lunch.  I stopped at Saul’s All You Can Eat House of Figs on the way here.  I’m stuffed!

John the Baptist:  Well how about some dessert then?  I’ve got honey . . .

Jesus:  Sure, but first I was wondering if I could get you to baptize me?

John the Baptist:  What?  No!  Me baptize you?  NO!  Get out!  You should be baptizing ME!

Jesus:  No!  You should be baptizing me.

John the Baptist:  No you!

Jesus:  No you!

John the Baptist:  No you!

Jesus:  No you!

John the Baptist:  Okay okay, you win cousin Jesus!  Just let me finish my sandwich first.

"That's not honey is it John?" "Ha ha!  No but I love your sense of humor, cousin! "

“That’s not honey is it John?”
“Ha ha! No but I love your sense of humor, cousin! “

Well, John the Baptist must have done an extra good job at baptizing Jesus because as soon as Jesus came out of the water, the Heavens opened up and the Spirit of God came down like a dove and landed on Jesus and then a voice said, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased,”  which didn’t normally happen — if ever.

Right after that, The Dove lead Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the Devil.  After 40 days and nights without food, Jesus was so hungry he wished he would have taken John the Baptist up on that honey and locust sandwich.

Just about the time The Dove was starting to look pretty darned delicious, the Devil showed up.

“If you are God’s son, order these stones to turn into bread.”

To which Jesus replied that man cannot live on bread alone but needs every word that God speaks.  (Plus Jesus didn’t really care that much for bread that was made from magically transformed stones.  He always though they had a funny after taste.)

"Turn these stones into bread!""You mean Including the one I'm sitting on?"

“Turn these stones into bread!”
“You mean up to and including the one I’m sitting on?”

But the devil had another trick up his red leotard 

He whisked Jesus to the top of a temple in Jerusalem and told Jesus that if he threw himself off and the angels caught him, the devil would give him the deed to the world — all Jesus had to do was get down on his knees and worship him.

Hello?  Could you be anymore obvious?  Scholars believe Jesus might have thought just before blurting out, “Go away, Satan!

So the devil went to crawl back underneath the rock he had crawled out from under, but, by then, they were all loaves of bread.

And there you have it, Dear Reader, this week’s installment of the Bible According to Gregory.

Jesus composing himself after seeing what John the Baptist was wearing.

Jesus composing himself after seeing John the Baptist in his camel-hair romper.

Until next time . . . I love you

 

The Bible According to Gregory, John the Baptist Linda Vernon Humor

Gregory’s Vacation Bible School: Paul Sails for Rome

Welcome Dear Readers to Gregory’s Vacation Bible School.  Today Gregory was throwing spit wads so the teacher made him get up in front of the class and tell the story of the time Paul sailed to Rome.

Let’s listen in shall we?

Paul Sails for Rome

Today, our story begins just after the Apostle Paul has been released from prison in the town of Caesarea (home of the Caesarea Salad) after a little misunderstanding between Paul and some Asian Jews or perhaps they were Jewish Asians (Some scholars believe that was the crux of the misunderstanding right there).

Anyway, Julius, a Roman Centurion, and possibly founder of  Orange Julius, was to guard Paul while they sailed to Rome where Paul was to stand trial.  Julius was kind to Paul and let him drink all the Orange Julius he wanted on their voyage.

But as biblical sailing luck would have it, there soon arose a terrible storm.  So in keeping with biblical navigational law, everyone agreed that this would be a perfect time to set sail out onto the open sea, while at the same time double-checking that all the lifeboats were left safely on shore.

Paul tried to talk them all out of it, but they failed to heed his advice — even though Paul’s info came from his special ability to accurately predict weather conditions due to his apostle status with “The Big Cheese and The Little Cheese who were one in the same Cheese.”

The next thing you know, an extraordinarily strong wind kicked up — known as the North-Easter Wind — which was much worse than it sounded.

It just kept blowing and blowing and blowing so that by the next day everybody starting throwing cargo and/or up overboard. Julius even had to dump his oranges.

Bible According to Gregory Apostle Paul

“No Paul!  Not my oranges!”
“Hey listen, I just threw an entire case of Cesearea Salad Dressing overboard, we all have to make sacrifices, Julius.”

But that didn’t help, so they decided to throw the ship’s cutting-edge, navigational devices overboard, which, in those days, consisted of an anchor, a sun-dial and a magical goat purported to know right from left.

Finally, they  gave up and lowered the sail and let the ship be carried off by the wind, and that’s when Paul decided it would be the perfect time to get up and make a speech starting with “I hate to say I told you so but . . . “

Before anyone could get close enough to wring Paul’s neck, he quickly explained that he had been visited by an angel of The Big Cheese who said they would lose the ship but not their lives.

After that, Paul insisted everyone have a nice meal together, which they did, except for Julius who was still pouting about his oranges.  Then they threw the rest of the wheat overboard just for kicks and giggles.

Shortly thereafter,  they spotted the shoreline of Malta, the ship broke apart, and everybody swam or kick floated to shore, and they all celebrated with the Maltan natives by partaking in a three-day fire, the biblical equivalent of a Luau.

While Paul was collecting firewood, a snake bit his hand and everyone took time out from the festivities to watch Paul die.  But not only did he not die, he felt so good he went ahead and healed everyone on the island of dysentery. (They even changed the name of the Island of Malta to the Island of Dysentery but changed it back when tourism started dropping off.)

Paul did make it a point, however,  not to drink any of the water after that.

And there you have it! This week’s edition of Gregory’s Vacation Bible School.  Be sure and check back next week for more biblical adventures.

Until next time . . . I love you

The Adventures of Roger the Baby

Today:  Roger’s Teeny Communication Foible

“I need your advice, Roger.” I remarked to my three-month-old baby, Roger.

“Wait until I’m through drooling.” Roger replied evenly.

“I’m hiring a babysitter.”

“Nancy, listen . . . “

“Don’t call me Nancy, Roger. Call me Mother, Roger, remember?”

“You mean you want me to call you Mother Roger Remember, Mother?”

“Oh Roger!  Your linguistics are appalling!”

“Perhaps, but no babysitter, huh?  I’ll just nap.”

“I’m acquiescing but reluctantly, Roger.”

“Oh and bring home a rattle, Nancy.”

“You mean bring home a rattle, Mother, Roger!”

“Fine! Bring home a rattle mother roger too, if you must then, Nancy.”

Roger and his mother, Nancy

Roger and his mother, Nancy

Until next time . . . I love you

Peculiar Poetry: An Annoying Visit From the Muse

 

MUSE REHAB

The Muse unused

marched into my dream last night

Standing there in leotard and tight

Lit up and fully boozed

The Muse pulled out a kiteLinda Vernon Humor Horrible Art

 

I snoozed enthused

The Muse released the kite to flight

And held the string so very tight

No blood therein could be diffused

Its knuckles turned to lily white

 

I perused bemused

Its fist was like a candle light

I couldn’t sleep (it was too bright)

With this, the Muse was quite amused

(I blew it up with dynamite)

 

Until next time . . . I love you

National Bleh Day

The Bored Family

Welcome, Dear Readers.  Do you ever wake up in “one of those moods”  where the whole world is just one big ball of bleh?  

Well, this blog is officially announcing a new holiday.

National Bleh Day!  

And in honor of National Bleh Day, let’s do something bleh by taking stupid pictures of the stuff on our desks.  Here, I’ll get us started:

desk 1

Bleh doesn’t really get any more Bleh than this. The centerpiece of this picture is the spoon I ate my cereal with. I don’t know what happened to the bowl. I think I might have accidentally eaten it. How does it fee to eat a bowl?  Frankly, I don’t even remember it.

Here's the Old Fogey cereal that was in the bowl I ate.  It's got fiber and 80 calories so I ate four (4) bowls which probably means I ate the same amount of calories and sugar as two maple bars.  Why didn't I just eat Maple Bars instead?  Because today is National Bleh day.  And what better way to Bleh Out!

Here’s the Old-Fogy cereal that was in the bowl I ate. It’s got fiber and 80 calories so I ate four (4) bowls which probably means I ate the same amount of calories and sugar as two maple bars. Why didn’t I just eat two Maple Bars instead? Because today is National Bleh Day which I am beginning to hate already.

Here's a notebook I've had in my desk drawer for probably 6 years.  Just judging from this note I made myself, you can kind of see why I'm always missing appointments and why I'm not a millionaire.  I start to doodling half-way through every note rendering every note I've ever made totally useless.  Frankly that's one of the reasons I've started National Bleh Day.  So I can finally get some use out of all this pointless stuff I have/

Here’s a notebook I’ve had in my desk drawer for probably 6 years. Just judging from this note I made myself, you can kind of see why I’m always missing appointments and why I’m not a millionaire. I start  doodling half-way through every note rendering it totally useless. Frankly, that’s one of the reasons I’ve started National Bleh Day. So I can finally get some use out of all this pointless stuff I have. ( I would have turned this vertically so you could read it better, but what with it being National Bleh Day, why bother?)

How much more uninspiring can this picture get?  The answer is none more inspiring

How much more  Bleh can this picture get? The answer is none more Bleh.  I probably went to too much work for this picture as it is.   Anyway, that pen is the pen I sometimes use when I need to write something with a pen.  The nail polish I have on right now (see below).  That’s my coffee in the background (it’s cold).  And that little green block is something I bought one time.  Why?  

Okay, here's what the nail polish looks like on my fingernails.  I know they kind of look like my toes, but their not.  My toes are shorter and fatter.  I kind of like clear nail polish because when it chips off, you don't really notice.  Who do I even bother with the clear?  Well, it's the kind of thing one contemplates on National Bleh Day.

Okay, here’s what the nail polish looks like on my fingernails. I know they kind of look like my toes, but they’re not.  My toes are shorter and fatter. I kind of like clear nail polish because when it chips off, you don’t really notice.
But then you have to ask yourself, if you can’t tell if it’s chipped, it probably doesn’t show enough to even bother with.
I don’t’ know whether to put a question mark after the above sentence because I can’t tell if it’s a question or not.
See this is the kind of stuff discussed on National Bleh Day.  Aren’t you glad I started National Bleh Day? No? Me neither. (Wait . . . did  I just agree or disagree with myself?)

Oh hey!  Here's an old piece of candy I found in my desk.  It looks old.  It looks like it would taste pretty Bleh.

Oh hey! Here’s a piece of candy I found in my desk. It looks old.  It looks like it would taste pretty Bleh.  Let’s find out shall we?

Yup I was right.  It does taste Bleh.  Probably because I think it's been in my desk drawer since 2012.  Of course, that doesn't stop me from eating the whole stale piece.  Why?  Because that's what people do on National Bleh Day.

Yup I was right. It does taste pretty Bleh. Probably because I think it’s been in my desk drawer since 2009. Of course, that won’t  stop me from eating the whole stale piece. Why? Because that’s what people do on National Bleh Day.

And there you have it, Dear Reader, our very first celebration of National Bleh Day.  I hope your day will be as bland, and mediocre and uneventful  as is humanly possible on, this, our very first National Bleh Day!

Until next time . . . I love you

Gregory’s Vacation Bible School: Jesus and the Pool at Bethesda

Welcome Dear Readers to this Sunday’s Edition of the Gregory’s Bible Stories! This week Gregory is still away a Vacation Bible School  learning about biblical swimming pools. 

Jesus and the Pool of Bethesda

It was time for the Annual Jews and Sabbath Potluck dinner and Jesus (who always got invited to everything) decided to attend.  Nobody knows what dish Jesus typically brought to these things, but chances are he just whipped up something Johnny on the spot.

Anyway, in order to get to the potluck, Jesus had to pass by the Jerusalem Sheep Gate behind which the sheep who were going to be sacrificed lived.

In biblical days people were cruel to sheep and kept them for the express purpose of killing and sacrificing them.  Unlike today, where people only keep sheep for the express purpose of killing and eating them.

While Jesus was walking past the Jerusalem Sheep Gate, he happened to look over and right next to the sheep gate was the Bethesda Memorial Healing Pool.  The pool had five porches upon which lay a lot of unhealthy people waiting to take a dip.

Some of the people were blind, some of the people were paralyzed and some of the people had a really bad case of eczema (sometimes called Leprosy).

This might be a good time to explain that the Bethesda Memorial Pool could cure disease if (and that’s a big if) you were lucky enough to be the first person to jump in the water after a heavenly angel would pop down and stir it with a Heavenly Egg Beater.

After that, the first person to jump in would get healed and everybody else was up the Bethesda Pool without a paddle until the angel with the Heavenly Egg Beater made another visit.

One man had been waiting in line to jump in the water for 38 years.  (It’s not as bad as it sounds because he was waiting in line while lying on his bed.)  Jesus saw him he asked, “Do you want to get well?”

The man answered something to the  effect that yes he did but he was too paralyzed to be the first one in the pool after the Heavenly Egg Beating.

So Jesus just cut to the chase and said to the man, “Get up, pick up your bed and walk.”

Jesus curing my by Bathesda Pool

“Get up, pick up your bed and walk.”
“Uh . . . are you sure, that’s not going to wreck my back? I’ve been laying down for 38 years.”

Now Jesus was telling the man to pick up his bed and walk, and this was a task that was considered work which was completely against the law on the Sabbath.

And sure enough, first thing Monday morning, the cured man was in deep trouble with the authorities for aimlessly wandering around carrying his bed on the Sabbath. (After 38 years laying by the pool, he couldn’t remember where he lived).

Authorities:  Who told you to carry your bed around on the Sabbath? You’re supposed to be resting.

Cured Man:  Sorry, I don’t remember his name . . . I’m terrible with names. I never forget a face though! 

Later that day while the cured man was praying in the temple (probably for directions back home), Jesus recognized him and said:

“Listen, you are well now, so stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

Jesus must have been wearing his monogrammed robe because the cured man ran right to the authorities and told them the guy who cured him was named Jesus.

So the authorities hightailed it over to Jesus and demanded that Jesus explain to them why He had worked a healing on the Sabbath.

Jesus answered by saying, “My father is always working and I too must work.”

This really made the authorities mad.  Aside from thinking that Jesus and His Dad were Sabbath workaholics; they were also completely put off by the fact that Jesus said his Dad was God.

Naturally this made the authorities want to persecute and  kill Jesus even more than they already did.

And the cured man who was wandering around carrying his bed on the Sabbath?   Rumor has it he put his back out from hauling his bed around everywhere and ended up right back at the Bethesda Pool.

Robert Bateman (1836 - 1889) (Artist,

“Hey wait a minute . . . did I grab the wrong egg beater again?”

And there you have it, Dear Readers, I hope you’ll come back next week for another installment of Gregory’s Bible Stories

Until next time . . . I love you

Gregory’s Vacation Bible School: The 12 Disciples Coloring Book

Welcome Dear Readers!  This week Gregory was attending vacation bible school which is just like regular Sunday School only hotter and with a lot more coloring. Let’s see what Gregory got to color, shall we?

 Gregory Brings Home The Twelve Disciples Coloring Book!

One day while Jesus was soaking up some rays at the sea of Galilee, he saw some fishing ships.  Well this gave Jesus an idea! He would make all the fishermen he saw, fishers of men!  So He got busy recruiting twelve disciples. 

So color along with us as we open the pages of the Twelve Disciples Coloring Book!

Simon was one of the first fishermen Jesus recruited.  He belonged to a sect called the Zealot Club where they spent a lot of time poo-pooing taxation and throwing darts at pictures of Pontius Pilate.

Simon

"Oops!  Let me try it again.  How about two out of three?"

“Okay, this one’s going right between his beady little eyes.  Oops!  How about two out of three?”

Andrew was known as the “introducer” because he introduced his brother, Simon to Jesus.  He and Simon owned a fishing business, and Andrew did all the marketing.

Andrew

Andrew

“Nice to meet ya! Hey, don’t forget to grab a business card before you leave!”

Bartholomew was in Jesus’s top six.  Jesus recognized Bartholomew as a man of imagination and vision.  Plus he had epically big guns!

Bartholomew

"Would you believe I only work out twice a week!"

And I only work out twice a week!”

Then there was John. Besides being one of Jesus’s favorites disciples, John was the first person to recognize Jesus after Jesus resurrected. He later went on to write a  bestseller called “The Revelations”.

John

"Hey, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that Jesus?'

“Hey, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that Jesus over there?’

Then there was John’s brother, James.  James was one of the three disciples who made up Jesus’s inner circle.  James was the first disciple to succumb to martyrdom which in those days was fatal.

James

"A martyr?  Me?  Well what exactly does that entail?"

“A martyr? Me? Well what exactly does that entail?”

Another Disciple of Jesus’s was also named James.  Everybody called him James the Less because he was younger than the other James.  He kept telling everyone to call him Jimmy but it just never stuck.

James the Less

"Hey James the Lesser!  Bring us some bread.""Not unless you call me Jimmy."

“Hey James the Less! Bring us some bread.”
“Not unless you call me Jimmy!”

Peter (or maybe Simon)

Peter’s name was actually Simon but everybody called him Peter for short except for Jesus who called him “The Rock” or possibly “Rocky” because of his  immovable faith.  And yet, after Jesus got arrested, Peter denied he knew Jesus three times until he heard a rooster crow which reminded him that oh yeah he did know Jesus after all!  Duh!

Peter “The Rock” Simon

Wait a minute . . . now that I think about it, I cock-a-doodle do know Jesus!"

Wait a minute . . . now that I think about it, I cock-a-doodle DO know Jesus!”

Another disciple was Thomas, who was cursed with the nagging doubts that are produced when an individual has low self-esteem combined with being a stickler for details. After Jesus was resurrected, Thomas refused to believe it until Jesus showed him the  nail prints and two pieces ID.

Thomas

" . . . uh . . . .hmmm. . .  uh"

“Well uh . . .hmm!”

Then there was Jude.  Not to be confused with Judas.  Jude was the least famous of the disciples except for maybe James the Less who was Jude’s brother. Jude was the introverted disciple who never raised his hand and who laughed at everybody’s jokes but never made any himself.

Jude

Jude

“And that’s why the chicken crossed the road? Hahaha! Get out! That’s hilarious!”

One of the disciples was Mathew, who was the richest of the disciples before he gave up everything to follow Jesus.  He was a tax collector and was good with details.  Mathew always had a pencil in his had and took it upon himself to write down everything Jesus said word for word. Everybody thought he was hard of hearing because he was always asking Jesus, “What was that again?”

Matthew

"Can you say that one more time only slower?"

“Can you say that one more time,  Jesus, only slower?”

And finally there was Judas.  Judas was the disciple who said all the right things but who was slightly sketchy. But nobody suspected just how sketchy until after Jesus got arrested and suddenly Judas had 30 pieces of silver burning a hole in his robe pocket and he was buying everybody drinks and looking at expensive pyramids.  Of course, in the end Judas repented so that he could still get to heaven.

Judas

I'll repent just as soon as I'm done spending

I’ll repent the minute I get back from Las Bethlehemgas

And there you have it, Dear Readers!  The Twelve Disciple Coloring Book!  Gregory says have fun coloring and be sure to stay in the lines!

Until next time . . . I love you

 

Gregory’s Bible Stories: Sodom and the Elephant in the Room

Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories!

Today in Sunday school Gregory learned about how God’s  two angels visited Abraham’s nephew, Lot, in beautiful downtown Sodom. It’s based as loosely on Genesis: 19: 1-10 — if you’d like to follow along.

Gregory's Bible Stories Sodom and the Elephant in the Room

One day, the Lord decided to do some evil-people spring cleaning so he sent two of his right-hand angels to Sodom to destroy every man, woman and child who lived there.

When the angels got to the gates of Sodom,  Abraham’s favorite nephew, Lot, was waiting for them. As they approached, Lot jumped up and ran over to greet them by bowing down before them.

Lot:  Welcome Angels!!  Hope you didn’t have any trouble finding the place.  My wife’s got a big bowl of water ready so we can wash your feet. We know how much you angels love a good foot washing. And then my wife will prepare you a fabulous dinner.

Angel #1:  What’s she making?

Lot:  Tacos.

Angel #2:  Out of what kind of meat?

Lot:  Good question.  You know I never thought to ask.

Angel #1:  Oh. well in that case, thanks for the offer but we’ll just spend the night out in the open, here in the Sodom city square. I’m sure we’ll be fine.

Lot:  Listen Angels, I wouldn’t advise that.

Angel #2:  Why?

Lot:  I’ll spare you the gory details, but everyone who lives in Sodom is horribly depraved.

Angel#1:  Really, you mean they don’t always return their library books on time?

Lot:  It’s worse than that I’m afraid.

Angel #2:  You mean they sneak and eat the last piece of Angel food cake without asking first if the Lord wants it?

Lot:  Worse than that even.

Angel #1:  Gasp!

Angel #2:  Gasp! Choke! Gasp!

The angels fumbled around in their between-wing backpacks until they found their asthma inhalers.  Then they all sat down and rested awhile and got to know each other better.  They were in the middle of exchanging their funniest foot-washing stories when it started to get dark.

Lot:  Aha ha ha!   . . . and you thought the bowl of dirty foot water was the soup? . . . ahaha . . . oh you guys are killing me.  Ha ha ha!  Ahhhhh!  But hey it’s getting dark, angels, we better hasten to my house and bolt the door shut, move the dresser in front of it, roll a huge boulder in front of that and then get the elephant to shore it all up with his trunk.

Angel #1:  Sounds like somebody got a new home security system!

Lot:  Yeah and if anybody breaks in and rapes us, we get one month free!

Angel #1:  Wow!  That a great deal.

So Lot and the two angels high tailed it over to his house.  Lot’s wife and daughters had just finished preparing the tacos and were sitting in the corner busily perfecting their foot washing techniques on the elephant’s feet and marveling, once again,  at how handy it was to have an elephant around the house.

Sometime after dinner:

Angel #1:  Those were great tacos, Mrs. Lot.

Mrs. Lot:  Thank you, but I thought I used a little too much–

Angel #1:   Salt?

Mrs. Lot:   You thought so too.

Angel #2:  What kind of meat was that, anyway?

Mrs. Lot:  It was—

Before Mrs. Lot could answer, an angry mob began pounding on Lots door.  

Lot:  Who is it?

Angry Mob:  It’s us.  Sodom’s angry mob of men, young and old.

Lot:  What do you want?

Angry Mob:  We want you to send out the two angels so we can–

Lot:  Have them go with you to return your library books?

Angry Mob.  Yeah that’s it.

Lot:  Well I have two daughters who could help you with that.  They’re virgins and spend most of their time at the library, so they know the fastest way there.

Lot’s daughter:  Dad!  Stop it!  You’re embarrassing us!  We don’t want to help them return their library books!

Lot:  One more word out of you, young lady, and I wont’ let you clean up after the elephant anymore.

Lot’s Daughter:  Sorry dad.

Angry Mob:  We’re going to keep pounding on this door until you open it.

Lot:  What shall we do?

Angel #1 to Angel #2:  We could strike them all blind.

Angel #2 to Angel #1:  That’s a thought.

Lot:  Or you could strike all of us deaf, and then we couldn’t hear the pounding.

Mrs. Lot:  But then we couldn’t hear the elephant, if he needed us.

Lot:  Good point.

Angel #1:  We could strike them so they can’t taste or smell anything.

Lot’s Wife:  How about striking us so we can’t smell anything.

Angel #1:  Why?

Lot’s Wife:  If you have to ask, you’ve never lived with an elephant.

Angel #1:  Let’s just go with my original idea to strike all of them blind.

Lot:  Okay fine.  But they’re pounding on the door already.  Won’t they still know where the door is?

Angel #2:  Lot.

Lot:  Yes?

Angel #2:  I think I hear your elephant calling.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, what Gregory learned in Sunday School today. Be sure to check back next week when the angels destroy Sodom and Lot’s wife becomes a pillar in the community.

Until next time . . . I love you

One evening at Lot's House

One evening at Lot’s House

 

 

Gregory’s Bible Stories: Abraham Pleads for Sodom

Welcome, Dear Readers, to this Sunday’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories.

Today in Sunday School, Gregory learned about God’s plan to wipe out Sodom. This week’s lesson is based loosely on Genesis 18: 16-33 if you’d like to follow along.

Gregory's Bible StoriesAbraham Pleads for Sodom

One day three men came to visit Abraham.  Or at least they looked like three men to Abraham who was 99-years-old and hadn’t been able to find his cotton-pickin’ glasses since the dang deluge.

One of the men turned out to be The Lord, Himself,  who liked to travel  disguised as a man because He didn’t like getting stopped every ten minutes to pose to have his statue sculpted with hordes of Japanese tourists.

Anyway, Abraham and the three men went to a place where they could look down on Sodom. Some biblical scholars believe the place where Abraham and the three men went to look down on Sodom was on top of a hill where Abraham kept his collection of step ladders. (He was storing them for his friend Jacob.)

“But Lord, don’t you want to climb up on a ladder in order to look down on Sodom?”                                        “How can you even ask that, Abraham, when you know how I feel about heights?”

While Abraham and the Lord were looking down on Sodom, the Lord remarked to himself about what he planned to do regarding Sodom.  He said it so so quietly to Himself that only the bible could hear: “I will not hide from Abraham what I am going to do.  His descendant’s will become a great and mighty nation and through him I will bless all nations.”

Abraham:  Did you just say something, Lord?

The Lord:  I was just thinking about the sorry state of affairs in the city of Sodom, and that I may have to take some unpleasant action to remedy the situation.

Abraham:  I know! They really ruined that place when they cut down all the trees and put in all those one-way streets.

The Lord:  Yes something definitely has to be done, alright.

Abraham:  Are you’re going to make them plant trees and get rid of the one-way streets then?

The Lord:  No, actually  I was thinking more along the lines of slaughtering every single man, woman and child.

Abraham:  Whoa!  I hope you’re joking!

The Lord:  Oh Abraham, haven’t you spent enough time with me by now to know I have absolutely no sense of humor — and while we’re on the subject,  I’d like to know what’s so damn funny about the platypus!

Abraham:  But Lord, what if there are 50 innocent people living in Sodom? Wouldn’t you spare Sodom in order to save fifty innocent people?

The Lord: Meh.

Abraham:  But you are the Judge of all the Earth! Shouldn’t you act justly? I may be just a man, but that’s mega messed up if you ask me.

The Lord:  Oh Abraham, you’re so high strung.  Okay, fine.  If I find 50 innocent people living there I won’t destroy it.

Abraham:  But what if you only find 45?  Will you still destroy the city?

The Lord:  45?  Oh I don’t know. I guess I won’t if you’re going to get all fussy about it.

Abraham:  What about 40?

The Lord:  Oh for crying out loud, Abraham.  You’re so anal!  Okay fine.  I won’t massacre the entire population if there are 40 innocent people.

Abraham:  What about 30 or 20 or 10?

The Lord:  You’re annoying, you know that?  Okay, listen, if I find there are 10 innocent people in Sodom, I’ll icksnay on the aughterslay?   Happy?   Now go prepare me a sacrifice. I’m starving.

Abraham:  So you actually eat the sacrifices then?

The Lord:  Well no . . . I  . . . I just like to smell them cooking.  Sometimes I eat them.  It depends on how fat I’m feeling.  Prepare me a goat, Abraham.

Abraham:  Sorry, I sacrificed the last goat this morning.

The Lord:  What about lamb?

Abraham:  Fresh out.

The Lord:  Okay just give me a first-born calf then.

Abraham:  86 on the first-born calves.

The Lord:  Well what do you have?

Abraham:  How does roasted platypus sound?

The Lord:  Okay, but if there’s a bill, you’re not getting a tip.

Abraham:  Lord!  You sort of made a joke!

And a good laugh was had by all — except for The Lord who never got his own jokes.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, what Gregory learned in Sunday School today.  Please check back next week when the three men go to Sodom and find out there’s worse things a city can have than too many one-streets.

"Don't feel bad about the Platypus Abraham.  Next time just make it medium rare, that's all."

“Don’t feel bad about the Platypus, Abraham. Next time just make it medium rare and don’t give me the bill, that’s all I’m saying.”

Until next time . . . I love you

Gregory’s Bible Stories: God Changes Abram’s Name

Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories.

Today in Sunday school, Gregory learned about God’s covenant with Abram and how God gave Abram lots and lots of descendants in exchange for a little thing called circumcision.  This week’s story is loosely based on Genesis 17: 1-27.  So please open your bibles to whatever page that is.

Gregory's Bible StoriesGod Puts the HA! in Abram

When Abram was 99 years young, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the almighty god, obey me and always do what is right.”

Even though Abram was in the middle of brushing his tooth, he bowed down with his face touching the ground. (In biblical times, 99-year-old’s backs were way more flexible than they are today.)

The Lord had some terrific news for Abram.  The Lord had decided to make a covenant with Abram promising that Abram would be the ancestor of many nations.

In biblical days this was the very best possible news imaginable because Numero Uno on everybody’s biblical bucket list was:  being the ancestor of many nations– except for Noah’s bucket list which was: invent rain slickers and Eve’s bucket list which was:  find out what the apple-pie fuss is all about.

Anyway, the good news didn’t end there!  The Lord was also going to give all Abram’s descendants the whole land of Canaan forever, and the best part was that He, the Lord, would be their God!   The conversation might have gone something like this:

The Lord:  Abram!  I’ve got such great news for you.  You might want to sit down for it.

Abram:  Uh . . .well, I’m already bowing with my face touching the ground, will that work?

The Lord:  You, my friend, are going to be an ancestor of many descendants!  Aren’t you excited?

Abram:  Sweet! Who’s going to be their god?

The Lord:  Oh that’s the best part! Moi!

Abram:  Woohoo!  Can I get up from my bowing position now and maybe go sit on my donkey for awhile — my back’s starting to hurt.

The Lord:  I’d rather you stayed bowing.

Abram:  Not a problem.

After that the Lord had some lawyers (on loan from Satan’s office) draw up a contract (which in those days was called a covenant) for Abram to agree to. The conversation might have gone something like this:

The Lord:  Okay, I’ve got the covenant ready that promises you lots and lots of descendants.

Abram:  Great!  Where do I sign?

The Lord:  Well I wasn’t going to have you sign as such.  As you don’t know, I haven’t gotten around to creating the ballpoint pen yet.

Abram:  Fine just hand me one of those chisels over there.

The Lord:  Well . . . actually, I thought it would be nice instead of signing the covenant with a signature, that you and all your descendants could sign with a circumcision.

Abram:  A circum what’n?

The Lord:    A circumcision– it’s just a little procedure-y thing. I’ll explain later.  Anyway,  I thought every baby boy when he is eight days old from now until the end of time could have a circumcision. That way, there would be a physical sign that my covenant with you is everlasting. Thoughts?

Abram: I’m not sure I like the sounds of that . . . .

The Lord:  Tell you what.   I’ll throw in the letters HA! into the middle of your name. Then instead of people calling you Abram, they will call you Abraham. What do you say?

Abram:  Does that include the exclamation point?

The Lord: Ha ha!  Tell you what I’m gonna do . . .  I’ll also change your wife’s name from Sarai to Sarah. I’ll bless her and give you a son by her, and I’ll name him Issac. Now that’s an offer you’re just not going to see anywhere else!

Abram:  Ha ha! Sorry Lord.  I can’t help laughing.

The Lord:  Why?

Abram:  Sarah is 90 years old!

The Lord:  Get out!  She doesn’t look a day over 80!  So what do you say?

Abram:  I don’t know.  A circumcision is a pretty steep price to pay even for a son.

The Lord: I see what you’re saying, but what if I told you I planned to spell Issac with not one, but two a’s . . .

Abram:   Two a’s you say?  You drive a hard bargain Lord!  It’s a deal!

The Lord:  Great! Now get off your knees, jump on your donkey and get yourself over there in the circumcision line.

Abram:  Do I have to?

The Lord:  Abraham! Don’t make me go Satan’s Lawyers on your ass.

Abram:  Okay okay! I’m going I’m going!

And that concludes what Gregory learned in Sunday school this week.  Please check back at this same time next week, when the Lord stops by Abraham’s tent unexpectedly — just in time for dinner!

Until next time . . . I love you

Tary Not Dear Gwendolyn

Peculiar PoetryTary not dear Gwendolyn

O’er ice cream, cake or pie

Your stomach never proves to be

Much smaller than your eye

 

Tary not dear Gwendolyn

When heaping full your platter

A garden salad? Or french fries?

(You know you’ll choose the latter!)

 

Tary not dear Gwendolyn

With pralines in the pantry

Sweets like these although they please

 Make waists turn vigilante

 

Tary not dear Gwendolyn

On scents of roast beef gravy

Such nourishment will only serve

To make your waddle wavy

 

Until next time . . . I love you

 

Gregory’s Bible Stories: But Must We Call Him Ishmael?

Welcome Dear Reader to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories.

Today Gregory learned about how Abram’s wife Sarah was having a little trouble with her slave, Hagar, when she decided that Hagar should go to bed with her 86-year-old husband and bear his child.  Gregory couldn’t help imagining what that conversation must have been like.

Gregory's Bible StoriesBut Must We Call Him Ishmael?

One biblical day, when God’s pal, Abram, was 86 years old, Abram’s wife, Sarah, noticed they didn’t have any children.  And what with Abram being 86 and all, Sarah got the terrific idea that instead of her having kids with Abram, Abram should have kids with her slave, Hagar, instead.  The conversation might have gone something like this:

Sarah:  Say Abram I’ve been thinking about your descendants.

Abram:  Uh huh.

Sarah:  I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but we don’t had any kids.

Abram: Uh huh.

Sarah:  And, frankly, while it would have been nice to have some little Abrams and Sarahs running around, I’m over it.

Abram:  Uh huh.

Sarah:  And since I know the Lord was planning for you to have more descendants than you could count, I thought it might be fun for my slave girl, Hagar, to start the ol’ descendant ball rolling– if you get my drift.

 Abram:  Uh huh.  Is she pretty?

Sarah:  Is Hagar pretty?  Uh . . well, let me put it this way, she’s got a great personality and nobody sews a better pair of men’s slacks than Hagar.

Abram:  Uh huh.

Sarah:  You want I should send her over to your tent tonight?

Abram:  Uh huh.

Abram Sarah and Hagar

One day in Abram’s tent

Eight and a half months later:

Sarah:  Abram, I’ve had it with Hagar, ever since she become pregnant with your child she despises me. And it’s all your fault!

Abram:  Uh huh.

Sarah:  Would you mind if I treated Hagar cruelly?

Abram:  Uh huh.

Sarah:  Should I take that “uh huh” as a “go for it”?

Abram:  Uh huh.

An hour later:

Sarah:  Well I hope you’re happy Abram.  You said I could treat Hagar cruelly, guess what?  She ran away.  Happy?

Abram:  Uh huh.

45 minutes later, Sarah’s slave, Hagar, was walking along the road to Shur when an angel of the Lord met her at a well in the desert. 

Hagar and the Angel of the Lord

Hagar and the Angel of the Lord

Angel of the Lord:  Hagar, slave of Sarah, where have you come from and where are you going?

Hagar:  Hey do me a favor and drop the  “slave of Sarah” when addressing me.

Angel of the Lord:  Yeah okay whatever.

Hagar:  Anyway, in  answer to your question, I’m running away from my mistress for she treats me cruelly because I despise her now that I carry her husband’s child in my womb.

Angel of the Lord:  Yeah okay whatever.  Hey listen, if you go back and be her slave, I will give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them.

Hagar:  What is the fascination with the descendant counting?  Please don’t tell me that’s all there is to do where you’re from.

Angel of the Lord: Yeah okay whatever.  Hey guess what?  You will have a son and his name will be Ishmael because the Lord has heard your cry of distress.  Your son will be like a wild donkey.

Hagar: You’re saying that like it’s a good thing.

Angel of the Lord:  Yeah okay whatever. Be that way.

Hagar:   No it’s just that I’m trying to figure out which I should be more elated about, the Lord making my son be like a wild donkey or the Lord naming him Ishmael.

Angel of the Lord:   Well, you might also be interested in knowing that your son will  be against everyone and everyone will be against your son.  He will live apart from all his relatives.

Hagar:  Why don’t you just come right out and say it.  He’s going to be a total jack ass.

Angel of the Lord:  We prefer the term wild donkey.

Hagar:  Yeah okay whatever.  Be that way.

After that Hagar continued along the rocky road to Shur (luckily she was Shur footed) and she asked herself, “Have I really seen God and lived to tell about it?”  So she called The Lord who had spoken to her “A God Who Sees.”  

A couple hours later after Hagar gave birth:

Hagar:  Well Abram, I just gave birth to your very first descendant.  It’s a boy!  And he’s absolutely perfect except that instead of crying he brays. Plus he doesn’t seem to like anybody and nobody seems to like him.  Don’t worry though,  you’ll get used to it.

Abram:  Uh huh.

Hagar:  Oh and one more thing.  We have to call him Ishmael.  I know it’s a horrible name and that no baby should be named Ishmael, but who wants to to tell the Lord He has horrible taste in names? Not me!

Abram: Uh huh.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible lesson. Please stay tuned next week when the Lord decides to replace signatures on all his covenants with circumcisions and hilarity ensues.

Until next time  . . . I love you

Loosely based on Genesis 16

Sarai and Abram

Sarah and Abram

 

Gregory’s Bible Stories: Two Wrongs Don’t Make an “ite”

Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of the Gregory’s Bible Stories.  

In today’s Sunday School Lesson, Gregory learned about how God planned to give Abram’s descendants all the land that belonged to the tribes that had names ending in “ite”.

Gregory's Bible StoriesTwo Wrongs Don’t Make an “Ite”

When last we left the Lord and Abram, (God’s new best friend after Noah died), the Lord had just commanded Abram to bring Him a cow, a goat and a ram as well as a dove and a pigeon.

Abram: Okay, Lord,  I just drove my ox cart through Mcsafcrifices and got you a Cow-Goat-Ram Happy Sacrifice Meal with a side order of Dove and Pigeon as per your command.  Let’s sit outside and enjoy it, shall we?  It’s a beautiful day.

The Lord:  Wait a minute!  I just opened my Happy Sacrifice box and I am displeased.

Abram:  Oh no, don’t tell me they forgot Your toy.

The Lord:  It seems someone failed to cut the cow, the ram and the goat in half and place the halves opposite each other in two rows like I specifically requested!

Abram:  Does that seem a tad  obsessive compulsive to you?

The Lord:  What are you trying to say?

Abram:  Well, Look how anally you always want your sacrifices laid out? If I had a ruler you’d probably want me to measure the distance inbetween each piece of meat.

The Lord:  Do you have a ruler?

Abram:  No I was just pointing out that–

The Lord:  Abram! Behold!  MaSacrifices’s put cheese on my Dove and my Pigeon!

Abram:  What’s the matter with that?  You no likee cheese, Lord?

The Lord:  Ahaha!  Oh Abram, nobody cracks me up like you do!

Abram:   Uh oh Lord!  Look out for that vulture! He’s trying to get your cheese pigeon! You better make that vulture disappear!

The Lord:  Ha ha very funny Abram.  You know I don’t make vultures disappear. That’s why I created man.

Abram:  You mean you created man to shoo away the vultures?

The Lord:  If the shoo fits . . .

Abram.  Ah ha! You’re so funny Lord!

The Lord: Well you know what they always say, “The Lord works in hilarious ways.”

After their picnic, when the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep, deep sleep and fear and terror came over him.   (Mcsacrifices food always made him sleepy and gave him nightmares.)

The Lord:  Psst! Abram?  Are you asleep?  Well don’t bother waking up.  What I have to tell you is best heard while asleep.  Your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land; they will be slaves there and will be treated cruelly for four-hundred years.  What have you got to say about that?

Abram:  Glumpy habba woo woo hearth burl.

The Lord:  Good you’re still asleep.  Anyway some other bad stuff will happen.  But the good news is you’ll live to a ripe old age and be buried.

Abram:  Zzzzzzzzzzzzz!

The Lord:  I knew you’d love that part!

When the sun had set, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch suddenly appeared and passed between the pieces of animals.  Then and there the Lord made a covenant with Abram.

The Lord:  Abram, wake up.  I’m going to make a covenant with you!

Abram:  What’s a covenant again?

The Lord:    I promise to give to your descendants all this land from the border of Egypt to the Euphrates River, including the lands of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites as well as the Perizzites, the Hittites and the-

Abram: The Dolomites?

The Lord:  Shh!  You’re getting me mixed up on my “ites.”  Let’s see, now where was I?  Oh yes, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the-

Abram:  The Vermiculites?

The Lord:  What? No!

Abram:  The Manhattanites?

The Lord:  Abram?

Abram:  Yes Lord?

The Lord:  You’re annoying the “ite” out of me.

Abram:  You want I should shoo some more vultures?

The Lord: Si Señor.

And there you have it, Dear Readers!  What Abram learned in Sunday School this week.  Please check back next week when Abram’s wife’s slave becomes a surrogate mother and hilarity ensues.

Until next time . . . I love you

God's Covenent with Abram

God’s Covenant with Abram

 

Loosely based on Genesis 15: 9-21

 

 

Gregory’s Bible Stories: Abram’s 537 Thousand-ish Kids

Welcome, Dear Readers, to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories. 

In today’s Sunday School lesson, Gregory learned about how God told Abram he would have more descendants than stars in the sky, and he couldn’t help imagining how that conversation would have gone.

Gregory's Bible StoriesAbram’s 537 Thousand-ish  Kids

This week’s lesson is a continuation of the story of  God’s made-man, Abram, who filled the gap in God’s life after his bff Noah drowned. (Sadly, ark building leaves precious little time for swimming lessons.)

Property Procurement 

Last week, Abram had refused the King of Sodom’s kind offer to give Abram all the property Abram had procured from some people he killed. The very same property that had originally belonged to the King of Sodom who had procured it from some people he killed. (For more information about biblical property procurement, refer to the bible, pages 1-1600.)

Biblical scholars believe there are two reasons Abram gave the  King of Sodom’s property back:  1) Abram didn’t want people to say that keeping the King of Sodom’s property was the reason Abram became rich and 2) who knew where the King of Sodom’s property had been?

One day after a particularly trying day of biblical property procurement, Abram went to his tent, put out the Do Not וְנִבְהָ֑לְתִּי sign and lay down.   He was just drifting off when the Lord knocked on his tent (apparently the sign fell off before He had a chance to omnipotent it.)

The Lord:   Hey Wake up Abram!  I’ve got something to tell you.

Abram:  What?  Didn’t you see the Do Not וְנִבְהָ֑לְתִּי sign?

The Lord: Sign schmign!  I’ve got important news!

Abram:  It better be good.

The Lord: Well it’s this:  Do not be afraid, Abram I will shield you from danger and give you a great reward.

Abram: You woke me up for that?  What good will your reward be to me since I have no children? My only heir is my slave, Eliezer of Damascus, and I lost his address.

The Lord: This slave Eliezer of Damascus will not inherit your property.  You’re own son will inherit your property. Come outside with me!

Abram:  Can I at least change out of my jammies?

The Lord:  Look at the sky, Abram, and try to count the stars.

Abram:  Okay, one . . . two . . . three . . . four . . .

Two hours later:

Abram:  . . . 537,001, 537,002 . . .

The Lord:  I think you already counted that one.

Abram: Oops!  Make that 536,999 .. .

The Lord:  No that would make it 537,001.

Abram:  Are you sure?

The Lord raised His holy eyebrow most high.

Abram:  Okay okay.

The Lord:  Anyway never mind about the counting, Abram.  The point is that you will have more descendants than stars in the sky . . . isn’t that wonderful Abram? . . .   Abram? . . .  Hello!? . . .   Heaven to Abram!  What’s the matter, you look pale?

Abram:  I just thinking about all those school lunches I’m going to have to pack!

The Lord:  Ha ha!  Darn, I wish I wouldn’t have thrown away the mold I used to create your sense of humor!  Anyway, speaking of school lunches, bring me a cow, a goat and a ram, each of them three years old.

Abram:  One goat, one cow and one ram.Okay. I’m writing it down.  Is that all?

The Lord:  Did you get the  dove and the pigeon?

Abram:  No you didn’t say anything about a dove and a pigeon.

The Lord:  Oh yes I did.

Abram:  No  you didn’t.

The Lord shot Abram a don’t make me use the lightning look.

Abram:  Ha ha!  I was joking, Lord!  Of course I wrote down the dove and the pigeon.

The Lord:  Ahaha!  You know what, Abram?

Abram:  What?

The Lord:  You’re way funnier than Noah ever was.

Abram:  It’s a shame about the mold.

The Lord: Tell me about it.

And that concludes today’s edition of Gregory’s bible stories.  Please check back next week to find out what The Lord wants Abram to do with the cow, the goat, the ram and the dove and the pigeon! What could it be?

Until next time  . . . I love you

Abram counts stars Gregory's Bible Stories

 

Loosely based on Genesis 15: 1-9