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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Let All the Nations, the Whole Earth, Praise Him

Here, again, is another of my attempts at hymnody.  I've taken this week's readings from Psalm 67 and John 14: 23 - 29 and adapted them to be sung to Charles H. Gabriel's hymn tune O That Will Be Glory  (also known as The Glory Song)

Let All the Nations, the Whole Earth, Praise Him


May God be gracious and bless us, we pray,
for his good blessings on this and each day;
but not to ourselves this blessing reserve,
Lord, make your ways known through all of the earth.

Let us all praise, the Lord above all.
Let us all praise, the Lord above all.
Be glad and sing for the Lord, he is king;
let all the nations, the whole earth, praise him.

He gives peace to those who follow his word,
not as the world gives, where war is preferred.
The peace he gives comes not through strength and might;
with justice he guides the nations to right.



It's yours if you like it.  Use it freely.


The Complete Anomaly

All this month I have been writing what I have described as April Anomalies A - Z - a creative writing exercise to challenge myself.  Now that the month is over I have compiled all of the creatures into one brief bestiary - a compendium of monstrous creatures, strange beasts, and frightening individuals.

This is The Complete Anomaly



April Anomalies A-Z: Ziz



Speak to the earth
and the Behemoth will answer;
call for the sea
and Leviathan will reply.
But if you would converse with the winds
and if you could speak with the sky
you would hear the voice of Ziz.

When wise King Solomon
ordered the animals
to bring him word from distant lands
only Ziz returned with a report,

Feathered Zis, who flew
all the way to Havilah (where there is gold)
and back again, to say:

“As I am king of the birds,
you are king over men.
I am Ziz that stands with my feet upon the earth
and my beak in the heavens.
If I spread out my wings, do I not blot out the sun?”

As Leviathan is king over the fishes
and Behemoth emperor over the beasts of the earth
Feathered Ziz rules over the flocks and birds of the air,
yet even he, in his feathered splendor,
is subject to the Great Name.




This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Emma in Purple

My daughter doesn't like it when I try to take pictures of her. But it hasn't always been this way; she used to be quite the ham for the camera.

Still, I manage to get a good picture of her every now and again.

 photo Emma_zps867730ac.jpg

April Anomalies A-Z: Yahoel



You have called upon the name,
the great and ineffable name;
how could I not come to your aid?

Who moves within the seventh expanse of heaven
has sent me to your aid in this,
your hour of trembling.

All that is within his power
all spoken word
has been given unto me for you, power
over earth, and sky, and sea, and
everything under the sea.

Lift up your head;
lift up your voice, and fear not
                the attack of reptilian spirits.

Eternal One, you have sent me to this man,
                this child of earth and breath;
only give him strength to praise and
he will sing your song,
                the song I will teach him.

All that is within his power
                all spoken word, all recited praise is
yours, o child of earth and breath.

Hear the names of the Mighty One:
                Holy El, Holy Sabaoth, Most Glorious El Yahoel,
who has heard your prayers.

Here I stand, for you have called, and I am
Yahoel, whose name is like unto that of God himself.


This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. 


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Powerpoint Slides for Everyone - 2013 - Week 19

I make a new background image each week for use in Powerpoint (or similar presentation programs). I use them at my little church, but I make them available to you here on my blog - for free.  Use them at your church, in your school projects, at work, or for your own personal projects.  Use them however you wish, I only ask that you share them freely and that you tell others that you found them here.

Week 19 photo Week19_zpsd2c99cc2.jpg



May You Love



When you are betrayed,
may you love.
When you are turned over, turned out and turned down,
may you love.

May you love as you have been loved
                and as you are loved
for this is how the world will recognize you,
and how he will be glorified in you.

When you are abandoned by friends,
may you love.
When they deny and leave you when you need them most
may you love,
for in this the Son of Man is glorified,
and God is glorified in him.



John 13:18 - 38

Saturday, April 27, 2013

4,000 B.C. - The Movie

4000 B.C. photo 4000BC_zps6512ae59.jpg

One Fundamental Sermon

One Fundamental Sermon photo OneFundamentalSermon_zps23ff33a7.jpg

April Anomalies A-Z: Xerxes



And now, doom to foreshew thee, a king shall rise in Persia, the fourth from this, rich in great riches beyond all the others; in the power such wealth gives him, he will set the whole world in motion against the realm of Greece … Daniel 11:2

He assembles his armies for war.

Never before such a levy of men,
assembled and armed for battle,
over five and a half million
men at his command.

Xerxes the great
is great in power.

He has but to speak the word
and they will rise to stand forth.
He has but to say “Go” and they will sail.
They shake the earth;
they drink the rivers dry.

The king of kings and lord of hosts
sends his assembled armies forth for war.


This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

April Anomalies A-Z: Wizard



Men will bid you consult wizard and diviner, that talk in ghostly voices over their enchantments; Who doubts, they say, God will send his own people answer, an oracle from the dead to the living? Isaiah 8: 19

The wizard came from east of earlier
with whispered voice to cast his spells,
incantations in the fog
to raise the shades of ancient men.

No sparks or schizophrenic flames,
but he speaks in peeps and mutters,
to call up the spirits of the dead.

Word for word he speaks the chant;
the hypnotic cadence of his words
brings the knowing one divinations
and familiar dreams and omens.


This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

April Anomalies A-Z: Viper



“There is no head worse than the head of a serpent...” Sirach 25: 15


The shudder is involuntary
when the serpent strikes from the fire;
the apostle is bitten
and the viper glides away.

They hatch the viper’s egg
and spin a spider’s web;
the prophet is stricken
when the viper has his way.

Through a wilderness wide of terror
waterless wastes where scorpions and serpents
crawl among the rocks and sand and dust,
and on shipwrecked shores
from where there will be no escape,

The shudder is involuntary;
when the venom is injected
the flesh swells up and blackens
as the viper glides away.


This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Humanists Control America



 photo HumanistsControlAmerica_zpsa93da2f0.jpg

The Big Bang Never Happened



The Big Bang never happened;
we are not here.

And this can be demonstrated
with a simple experiment
using common household items:
A Superheterodyne Radar Receiver
A Magnetron Microwave Generator
An Antimatter Plasma Inducer
3 Tablespoons of Dish-soap
1 Tablespoon of Gelatin
Glitter

The growing pessimism of our modern age
is the direct result of misfiring neurons
sending erratic electrical impulses
along a set of predefined pathways.
But, as I have said, this is not real.

Our total existence is an unstable system,
an evolving cerebral flux.
There never was a period of inflationary expansion.
There never was a Cambrian explosion.
Tertullian would have been right
in declaring the material world evil
except that it was a
creatio ex nihilo nihil.

Of course, it is true that distant objects are red-shifted
but that’s only an illusion of time. 

April Anomalies A-Z: Unicorn



Karlheinz Stockhausen has done it,
what none other before him could do;
the greatest (and most controversial)
German composer of the 20th century
has harnessed the power of aleatoric music
to capture the long fabled Unicorn.

The intemperate and fearsome beast,
the Unicorn of myth and legend,
valued for its horn- an effective antidote against many poisons -
once could only be captured by virgin maids,
can now be tracked and captured with stochastic processes.

“Indeterminacy is the new virginity!”
has become the rally cry of a reinvigorated industry
of unicorn hunters and alicorn providers.

John Cage is reportedly working
on a similar process to ensnare Wyverns.



This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of either the unicorn or of Karlheinz Stockhausen or John Cage. 

The Catabasis of the Christ



A catabasis in reverse -
he went up to Jerusalem
where he was lifted up
in order to descend.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April Anomalies A-Z: Tiamat’s 11 Monster Army



Angry Tiamat, robbed of her husband
chaotic and unruly; she will not be restrained.
She will have her vengeance.

She calls forth an army of monstrosities,
sharp of tooth and fierce of fang,
with venom for blood and clothed as gods,
she sends them out to war.

Baŝmu
The venomous viper, double 60 miles long,
swallowing ships on the sea and herds of cattle upon the land.

Uŝumgallu
The dragon clothed with fearsomeness,
the great dragon that will kill.

Muŝmahhu
The exalted glorified serpent
with the bead of a bird, the legs of a lion.

Tiamat calls to them:
“Come, my darling ones;
come my beauties.
Come make war upon my children!”

Muŝhuŝŝu
The fierce serpent, the serpent of splendor,
look upon him and shudder.

Lahmu
The hairy beast, the muddy one,
dressed in a royal red sash.

Ugallu
The big weather beast, the lion-headed storm demon
to destroy with rain and wind and hail.

“Rise!” Tiamat commands them,
“Rise up for me;
rise up to avenge my husband’s cruel death!”

Uridimmu
The raging lion, the deranged beast
snarling and snapping his jaws

Girtabullu
The scorpion man whose head touches the sky;
his terror is awesome, his glance is death.

Umū Dabrūtu
The violence of storms
fierce day and cruel weapons.

Kulullū
The pitiless fish-man
swimming up from the depths to murder men.

Kusarikku
The powerful centaur,
coming down from the mountains.

Tiamat arms them for battle,
arrays them in halos,
and sends them out to kill and to destroy.




This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above.  Tiamat's 11 Monster Army marches here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Strange Communication

My youngest brother and I have begun collaborating on a new film project.  We're really only in the beginning stages of writing down our ideas - but the film will likely include some of these strange communications.

This is based on the Number Station broadcasts.  I cobbled it together myself.  The 'code,' such as it is, shouldn't be incredibly difficult to decipher.


If you'd like to download it, click here.


April Anomalies A-Z: Salamander



The following are unclean for you among the small creatures that swarm on the ground: the weasel, the mouse, the various kinds of lizards, the gecko, the land crocodile, the skink, the sand-lizard and the salamander. Leviticus 11: 29 -30

With no digestive organs, he eats nothing but fire,
from elemental fire he is born, to eternal fire he goes,
but the fire can do nothing to him,
even the flame of Gehenna has no power over him.

Eating nothing but fire, he excretes nothing but fire,
nourished on flames but never consumed.
Though his skin is cool to the touch;
mortal flesh is burned by the poisons he exudes.

Prestor John, in his hidden kingdom,
wore a robe of salamander skin
to ward off the fiery darts of the enemy,
for he was one of the wise.

Capture and pierce the salamander,
you who are wise,
for his blood, smeared over the skin,
will protect and preserve life from the fire.




This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Collection of Obscure Curses, Imprecations, Oaths, and Profanities – as Observed by St. Aladast of Rimmersgene



It has been my fortune in this life to travel to many distant lands (some might otherwise call it my curse, but I believe that holy Providence has ordered all things well) and to observe their peoples and customs.  One of my great joys in all this travel has been to hear the variety of curses and vulgarities uttered by the peoples of faraway places.   

- By the Dark Cat’s Claws…
- On the Horns of the Moon Cow…
- Great Sneezing Silas!
- By Column’s Spattered Brains…
-By the Sacred Candle of Illion…
-By the Braided Beard of Mother Cisaly!
-Under the Shadow of the King’s hunched back!
-May the stench of St Lazarus the Leper’s grave infest your home!
-Saint Enzo’s three humped camel!
-May the merciful Clarice forget the names of your children…
-The fires of the salt-water dragon!
-I swear by the engorged breasts of the Mother of Giants and by the milk they contain…

Powerpoint Slides for Everyone - 2013 - Week 18

I have been making a new background image for use in Powerpoint (or similar presentation programs) each week.  I use them at my little church - and I share them here on my blog.  You are free to download them and to use them in your own projects at home, work, school, or church.  Use them however you like.  I only ask that you share them freely and that you tell others that you found them here.  Thanks.

For those who are interested in that sort of thing - this picture began as a photograph of the painted designs on a fancy plate.  I embellished it a bit in Photoshop.

Week 18 photo Week18_zps2790b69a.jpg

Of Shepherds, Messiahs, and Men Who Declare Themselves Gods



In other years the lectionary time warp jump back from the post-resurrection stories -set in the spring and garden green of the year-to John 10 where it is “winter” might feel incredibly awkward.  This year, not so much –not, at least, for many in the Midwestern part of the United States. 

So here we are; it was winter and Jesus was in Jerusalem in the Temple under the Porticos of Solomon – which would have been a very good place to be if one was in Jerusalem in the Temple during the winter months.  While it can, and occasionally does, snow in Israel during the winter, it is usually the rainy season.  Temperatures range from the mid 40s (Fahrenheit) to mid 60s. 

It was winter, probably raining, and Jesus was in the Temple teaching under the protective shelter of the colonnaded portico of Solomon during the Festival of the Dedication of the Temple. Jesus never celebrated Christmas, but he did celebrate Hanukkah.  I like to imagine Jesus spinning the dreidel and eating latkes but I don’t think those were part of the Hanukkah traditions of the first century.  He may have lit the menorah, though. 

The roots of the Festival of the Dedication of the Temple or Hanukkah (which the historian Josephus called “the Festival of Lights” though he’s one of the few ancient writers to do so…) go back to those inter-testamental years – the so-called “400 years of silence” between the Old and New Testaments. 

Israel had been under the control of the Seleucid Empire of Syria led by Antiochus IV Epiphanes who ordered that the practice of Jewish traditions and religion be forbidden. They were not allowed to observe the Sabbath or to circumcise their sons.  And, what is more, he insisted that a statue of Zeus (one that looked very much like Antiochus himself) be installed in the Temple in Jerusalem and that sacrifices of pigs be offered to it. 

He wanted to be worshiped as a god.  He wanted the people to refer to him as Antiochus – God Manifest, the Bearer of Victory. And this blasphemy did not sit well with the people of Judea. Judas Maccabee (the hammer) and his brothers led a rag-tag army against the forces of the Syrian madman who thought himself God and, were victorious.  They defeated the would be god-man.

In one account of Antiochus IV Epiphanes’ death it is said that God struck him with a plague – a bowel disease of some sort that caused him great pain.  And that as he was riding along in his chariot, breathing out curses and rage against the Jews, he was jostled from the chariot and run over by the wheels.   And worms swarmed out of his body.
  
 And the man that thought a little before that he could reach the stars of heaven, no man could endure to carry, for the intolerable stench. And by this means, being brought from his great pride, he began to come to the knowledge of himself, being admonished by the scourge of God, his pains increasing every moment. And when he himself could not now abide his own stench, he spoke thus: It is just to be subject to God, and that a mortal man should not equal himself to God.
2 Maccabees 9: 10 – 12

After this, Judas Maccabee ordered that the Temple be cleansed and purified, and that a new altar be built to replace the one that had been desecrated by Antiochus.  Oil was needed for the new menorah, but there was only enough for one day’s light.  However, this little amount of oil burned for 8 days, the time needed to prepare a fresh batch of oil.  And an 8 day festival was declared to celebrate

The twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev, in the year 164 was the anniversary of the day the Gentiles had desecrated the altar. On that day a sacrifice was offered on the new altar in accordance with the Law of Moses. The new altar was dedicated and hymns were sung to the accompaniment of harps, lutes, and cymbals. All the people bowed down with their faces to the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord for giving them victory.

For eight days they celebrated the rededication of the altar. With great joy they brought burnt offerings and offered fellowship offerings and thank offerings. They decorated the front of the Temple with gold crowns and shields, rebuilt the gates and the priests' rooms and put doors on them. Now that the Jews had removed the shame which the Gentiles had brought, they held a great celebration. Then Judas, his brothers, and the entire community of Israel decreed that the rededication of the altar should be celebrated with a festival of joy and gladness at the same time each year, beginning on the twenty-fifth of the month of Kislev and lasting for eight days.  1 Maccabees 4:52 – 59

So this is why Jesus was in the Temple under the Porticos of Solomon during the winter, he was there to celebrate the Festival of the Dedication of the Temple.  And there, under the porch, protected from the rain, Jesus was teaching the people. 

He told them that he was good shepherd.  I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.  John 10: 14 – 15

And this wasn’t a new message.   This Shepherd of Israel theme goes back to the prophet Ezekiel who, in speaking for God said, “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” Ezekiel 34: 11 -12

I imagine that the people’s minds were attuned to the themes of leaders and messiahs that day.  They were there in the temple to celebrate the victory of one of Israel’s leaders.  And they asked Jesus, “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.  How long will you keep our souls in suspense?”

But Jesus insisted that he had told them – over and again – in his words and in his actions, but that they had not believed.

The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them from my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Fathers hand.  I and the Father are one. – John 10: 25 – 30.

What an inflammatory statement!  In that Jesus claimed that he and the Shepherd of Israel, God the Father, were one and equal.  He had identified himself as not just another leader, not just another shepherd, but as the Good Shepherd, as the Shepherd of Israel, equal to and identifiable with God the Father.  There in the Temple as they had gathered to commemorate their victory over one madman who had declared himself to be god, Jesus was identifying himself as God.
And inflamed they were.  The people who had listened (but not listened to his voice) gathered up some stones that were there and they were going to stone him to death for this perceived blasphemy.

Now I can’t say with absolute certainty that John had this in mind, but when Judas Maccabee and his followers tore down the altar that had been profaned by Antiochus’ blasphemy, they couldn’t decide what to do with the stones.  So they tore down the altar and put the stones in a suitable place on the Temple hill, where they were to be kept until a prophet should appear and decide what to do with them. 1 Maccabees 4: 46 I can’t help but wonder if the very stones that had been used in one blasphemy were now being picked up to put down what they perceived as another blasphemy.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saint Gabriel of the NRA



 photo StGabriel_zps3606363d.jpgSaint Gabriel Possenti (also known as Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows) is a relatively obscure saint.  He was born in 1838 and died of tuberculosis in 1862 at the age of 24.  And he might have remained in that relative obscurity, all but forgotten outside of Italy, if it weren’t for the St. Gabriel Possenti Society in America.  The St. Gabriel Possenti Society is working to have Saint Gabriel Possenti declared the Patron Saint of Handgunners.

According to one apocryphal story (that even the biographer who recorded it admitted was invented to “enliven” the story of good Gabriel’s life…) Gabriel single handedly defended the village of Isola, Italy from a band of twenty murdering, raping terrorists who were intent on pillaging and burning the village.  Gabriel wrested a handgun from one of the gang members and demonstrated his incredible skill with the weapon and compelled them to leave.

It’s a great story, right?  Sure – it’s a great story.  In it Gabriel is heroic and unflinching in the face of overwhelming odds.  He doesn’t blink, but instead he uses cold and calculated marksmanship to protect the helpless villagers with the power of a precisely aimed handgun.  The only problem is that IT ISN’T TRUE. 

And this is the same heroic story that the NRA and 2nd Amendment advocates continue to tell us: that handguns will protect us from murderers, rapists, and gangs of terrorists. 

But it’s still not true.  

April Anomalies A-Z: Raphael



DATE OF OPERATION:    04/20/2013

SURGEON:          Israfel A. Raphael M.D.
PREOPERATIVE DIAGNOSIS: Protrusions of the os frontis
OPERATIVE PROCEDURE: Exostectomy. Subchondral drilling of damaged articular surface.
ANESTHESIA:     Fiery Enflurane.
ESTIMATED BLOOD LOSS:             Less than 20 cc

JUSTIFICATION FOR PROCEDURE:  This is a 38-year-old male who presented to St. Clare’s Medical Clinic and was treated by Dr. Azucuna for painful bony proliferations, horn-like growths on his forehead.  These growths were causing microstatic fluctuations and distinct magnetic disturbances around the patient.  Dr. Azucuna determined that it would be necessary to remove them immediately. It was reviewed with the patient the likelihood for conservative treatment to be unable to completely resolve his problem. Surgery was reviewed.  The patient was explained that there would be two small bone cuts, taking away the sharp bony proliferations and there would be an incision on the frontal aspects of his skull.  It was also explained that there would be chance of psychic anxiety and a decrease of range of telekinetic motion for anywhere from 2-4 months status post procedure. 

PREOPERATIVE PROTOCOL: Dr. Raphael placed one large fish upon a charcoal brazier and intoned "I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord."  A bell was rung three times.


This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the angelic personage described above. 


Friday, April 19, 2013

Where America Worships

I'm convinced that this must be the church where America worships.






































Found at This Isn't Happiness

Put On Your Yamaka, It's Time for Hanukkah


This sunday's lectionary reading from John 10: 22 - 30 has Jesus in Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of the Dedication of the Temple ... Hanukkah.  It's a weird sort of lectionary time warp jump from the post-resurrection stories back to this winter story. Nevertheless...

The twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev, in the year 164 was the anniversary of the day the Gentiles had desecrated the altar. On that day a sacrifice was offered on the new altar in accordance with the Law of Moses. The new altar was dedicated and hymns were sung to the accompaniment of harps, lutes, and cymbals. All the people bowed down with their faces to the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord for giving them victory.

For eight days they celebrated the rededication of the altar. With great joy they brought burnt offerings and offered fellowship offerings and thank offerings. They decorated the front of the Temple with gold crowns and shields, rebuilt the gates and the priests' rooms and put doors on them. Now that the Jews had removed the shame which the Gentiles had brought, they held a great celebration. Then Judas, his brothers, and the entire community of Israel decreed that the rededication of the altar should be celebrated with a festival of joy and gladness at the same time each year, beginning on the twenty-fifth of the month of Kislev and lasting for eight days.  1 Maccabees 4:52 – 59

I like to imagine Jesus spinning the dreidel and eating latkes – though I don’t think those were part of the Hanukkah traditions in the first century.  He may have lit the menorah, though.  (Some would make the distinction that this is technically a "Hanukiah"… to differentiate it from the regular menorah.)

 photo FestivalofLights_zps4137279d.jpg


Let the Hate Begin



The next moment a hideous, grinding screech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the big telescreen at the end of the room.  It was a noise that set one’s teeth on edge and bristled the hair at the back of one’s neck.  The Hate had started.[i]

George Orwell’s “Two Minutes Hate” has begun (and is likely to last far longer than one hundred and twenty seconds.  And with our access to twenty-four hour “news” coverage and to social media sites on the internet – our Two Minutes Hate can be a full 24 Hours Hate.

Now that suspects have been identified in the Boston Bombing- and one has already been killed in an explosive gun battle with police – we can begin our hate proper.

quotes collected from FB:

“how cool would it be to hear reported if a lawful gun handling citizen took care of business...”
“get that bastard!!!!!!! shoot his balls off and torture him to a very very long and slow death.”
“[his] eyes are empty which means you have no soul.”
“He is a face with empty eyes...lost.”




[i]  Orwell, George.  1984

April Anomalies A-Z: Qeteb



You would do well to fear me
for I am the stalking terror of the night
and the swift arrow by day;
I am death under the sun at noon,
and the destruction that roams about in the dark.

I am Qeteb,
that which is cut off.

I am gnawing famine to consume you,
winged creatures with destructive fangs
to pursue you;
there will be no escape.

Poisonous serpents in the dust
to strike at your heel
fiery serpents to strike at your heart,
havoc without
and terror within.

I am Qeteb.
Oppenheimer only thought
he was becoming me.

I am the power of the grave.
I am corruption, destruction,
oblivion;
who could ransom you from me?

I am Qeteb.

I am pounding hail.
I am a whirlwind.
I am a swift flood covering the plains.
I am that line of despair
that you should fear to cross.

I am Qeteb.



This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above.  If you’ve become frightened, you might be comforted by this.   Thanks to Thom Stark for helping me find this one.





Thursday, April 18, 2013

Psalm 23 - A New Song

Since one of the Lectionary readings for this Sunday is Psalm 23 I am sharing a song that I wrote a few years back based on that particular passage.  It's not my favorite psalm (I don't even really like it...)  and this isn't a great song, by any means.  But it is what it is and, if you like it, it's yours.




To see the whole sheet (instead of the scrolling right window) click the double rectangle marked "view in window".

Yahweh's my shepherd,
I shall not want
in grassy fields he lets me rest.
To quiet streams
Yahweh leads me now
and restores my spirit
on paths of justice.

Even though I walk through 
a valley dark as death
I should fear no danger.
Even though I walk through
a valley dark as death
your rod and staff are there for me.

You prepare a feast
for me to enjoy
under the eyes of my enemies.
Kindness and love,
they chase after me
they follow me  all the way.

I will make my home in
the house of the Lord,
in the house of Yahweh.
I will make my home in
the presence of the Lord,
I will dwell with him forever.

What I'm Reading - J.B. A Play in Free Verse



When I was a Senior in high school, while many of my classmates were busy watching Beverly Hills 90210, I was reading J.B.[i] the play in free-verse by Archibald MacLeish based on the book of Job.  I was a strange kid, I know.

Anyone who tries to tell you that there is comfort in the book of Job is wrong. There isn’t.  There is only mystery and overwhelming wonder.  Injustice, death, calamity – these fall on men and cannot be resolved, not with an appeal to God’s justice, nor to his righteousness.  But still we love, or rather, we struggle to love.

J.B., the eponymous protagonist of the play is Job – blessed and fortunate, with a wife and children and a fortune – and if “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” his life will be played out on the stage, beneath the lights, beneath the dramatic masks of comedy and tragedy.  The story has been written, the dialogue composed.  The play will be performed and we will observe.

We watch along with two broken down circus vendors who assume the roles of God and the Satan.  We know the story, just as they do, yet Nickles – the stand in for the Satan- becomes our stand in as well, arguing and railing against the inevitable injustices that must fall upon J.B. And, what is more, he rails against J.B.’s acceptance of all of this.

Nickles:                Everything he ever had!
                             And all he asks is answers of the universe:
                             Why ? Why? And God replies to him:
                             God come whirling in the wind replying  -
                             What?  That God knows more than he does.
                             That God’s more powerful than he! -
                             Throwing the whole weight of creation at him!
                             Throwing the Glory and the Power!
                             What’s the Power to a broken man
                             Trampled beneath it like a toad already?
                             What’s the Glory to a skin that stinks!
                             And this ham actor! – what does he do?
                             How does he play Job to that?
                Attitutude
     “Thank you!”  “I’m a worm!”  “Take two!”
                                               
     Plays the way a sheep would play it -
     Pious, contemptible, goddam sheep
     Without the spunk to spit on Christmas!

You know the story as well as I – even if you’ve never read J.B. or Job.  Life is full of disaster, even for the faithful. There is no need for me to rehearse the plot.  We know how the story ends. Yet it is still and always a surprise that J.B. can forgive God – that he can endure all that is flung his way, accept it all, retain his integrity and in humility forgive God.

I re-read this play every so often.  Not because there is comfort in it – no more comfort than there is in its ancient source material – but because of the challenge and the hope it proffers.  Even on that dung heap played out in front of the audience there remains a breath to blow upon the coal of the heart.




[i]  MacLeish, Archibald J.B.  Houghton Mifflin Company,  Boston, MA 1956.

Biblical Limericks: Samson Reconsidered



Would Samson be thought a great leader,
if we saw through his saintly veneer?
We must face the harsh fact
that in his final act
he was the first suicide bomber.

Judges 16: 23 - 31

April Anomalies A-Z: Pythonic Spirit



And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain girl, having a pythonical spirit, met us, who brought to her masters much gain by divining. Acts 16: 16

She inhales the rising fumes, noxious as they are, and swoons, falling softly onto the couch prepared for her.  Her body convulses; violent spasms wrack her small frame and she is flung to the floor where she writhes like a gross parody of a snake.  Suddenly the contortions are over and she is still. 

She speaks:

The flight of birds, the whispering trees, another will come.
Anxious generals should not sneer at windmills. Let the owls be your shields.
Bagabi laca bachabe. Lamac cahi achababe.  Karrelyos.

To enter the multiplied thunders you must answer the hunger.
The gibbet is not yet yours.
Lamac lamec bachalyyas. Cabahagy sabalyos. Baryolas.

Recite the numbers of pi to the thousandth decibel.
The old man with the lantern and staff will bless the lovers.
Lagoz atha cabyolas.  Samahec et famyolas.  Harrahya.

And then she is silent.  For a moment you fear that she might be dead, but you notice the slight movement of her chest as she breathes.  Her controllers lift her gently to the couch and cover her with sheets before they speak: 

Now Good Sirs and Mesdames, we can interpret the oracles words for you, for a small fee…



This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tell Me How that Isn’t Incongruous



So the argument is that government needs a system of checks and balances to limit the power of the government and who has the ability to wield that power

but

that we don’t need background checks or other limitations on who can wield powerful firearms?

Tell me how that isn’t incongruous.  

Uninterpreted

This is music for uninterpreted dreams.  Unexplained.  Almost forgotten...

Biblical Limericks: Shibboleth



Jephthah told all the men of his team,
“Here’s how we’ll find men of Ephraim:
we will give them a test-
say the word Shibboleth;
if he can’t say it right, you kill him.”

Judges 12: 4 - 6

April Anomalies A-Z: Og



It isn’t discussed very often; preachers don't like to talk about it, for obvious reasons, but the flood, Noah’s Flood (though that is an altogether inaccurate title) wasn't entirely successful.  The plan was that the deluge would kill every living thing on the face of the earth – with the exception of Noah and his family.  But there was one other unexpected survivor:  King Og.

Gigantic King Og watched with bemused indifference as Noah and his boys built their “toy” boat and he laughed as they herded the various animals below deck.  But he stopped laughing when they pulled the doors shut.  And when the rain started to fall, King Og began growling and snarling.

He was tall, enormous really.  So when the waters began to rise, he wasn't immediately concerned. He was still standing in front of the ark starring up at the skies when the waters were ankle deep (which was waist deep for everyone else.) When the waters reached his knees (and the rest of humanity was either treading water or running for the hills) King Og began to pound on the sides of the ark. 

He watched as mothers struggled to hold their infant children above the rising waters.  He watched as desperate men attacked the ark with pikes and swords attempting to get on board.  Their blows were turned away by the pitch covered wood; their attack was futile and came too late.  They too were drowned by the flood waters.

The rain continued to fall; the waters continued to rise, and soon the rising waters lifted the ark.  As it began to float away, brave King Og grabbed the stern with his enormous hands and, hand over hand, he climbed aboard, squeezing the boat between his thighs to stay in place.  The vessel rocked with his added weight, but it was a stable craft, well designed to ride out the swelling waves. There, atop the ark, he rode through the angry fury of the storm.  He howled with the winds.  He shook his fist at the sky and he cursed the lightning.  The ark was rolled and tossed about on the waves, but Og kept his grip. 

Day after day he clung to Noah’s ark (though it was difficult to determine days and nights because of the impenetrable cover of storm clouds that covered the sky).   Once, after what must have been weeks, when King Og was very hungry, he punched a hole in the roof of the vessel and grabbed an ox.   He ate it raw and bloody and bellowing as he clung to the boat with his other hand.  When he reached in again for more, Noah and his family beat at his fingers with rods and clubs and he almost lost his balance. 

When the rains finally stopped and the waters began to recede, King Og, exhausted from the ordeal, slipped from atop the ark and floated on the waters himself.  It wasn't long, however, before he felt the bump of solid land beneath him.  He’d come to rest on a small island, what was once a mountain peak.  He could see in the distance that Noah’s floating zoo had also been grounded on one of the island peaks.  Noah, observing the giant through his spyglass  watched King Og climbing carefully down the mountain side, but never saw him again after that.

Many years later – hundreds of years later – when he was very old and very tired, when he'd reached the point in life when he spent most of his days asleep in his famous giant iron framed bed, King Og made one last valiant march to battle.  He rode out with his generals and his assembled armies to meet the Israelites as they invaded his land, but that was a flood he would not survive.




This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tell Us Plainly…



Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe.
 John 10: 22 - 25

Tell us plainly, they begged him.  Tell us plainly and we’ll believe you.

Except that they wouldn’t have believed him.  Not at all.  Once people have their minds made up about an issue no matter what you say or do to convince them can actually convince them.

As evidence of this principle one has only to observe the continued belief that President Barack Obama is a Muslim terrorist.  No matter how many times he has said that he is a Christian, no matter how many times he’s heard to talk about his faith in Jesus of Nazareth, no matter how many times he prays or attends a Christian church…there are still far too many who refer to him as “the muslim moronic terrorist in the WH”  (that quote is lifted from a comment published today on a friend’s FB page.)

Tell us plainly…

Yeah, right.


Biblical Haiku: John 10: 22- 24



Through cold winter rains
he’s beneath the portico;
our souls in suspense. 

April Anomalies A-Z: Nephilim



There was murder in this house.

Now there’s blood on the walls
and blood on the floors
blood stains the carpet,
and is spattered on the windows and doors.

There was murder in this house,
the house of the fallen.

The axe, the hammer, the knife
the saw, the rope, the cudgel

When the sons of God
(dark stars from dark skies)
took for themselves the comely daughters of men
as wife and concubines

Their ill-begotten offspring
are the giants of violence and lawlessness
remembered in myth and in legend
They are the corruption of man,
abnormal progeny, super-human prodigies

The axe, the hammer, the knife
the saw, the rope, the cudgel

There was murder in this house.

  


This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Soda

 photo buffalochickensoda_zpsefaa81a6.jpgMy son and I like to try new and exotic and (some would say) weird foods.  We have eaten pigs feet, chicken feet in oyster sauce, various varieties of squid, snails, grub worms, etc...

Last night we tried something really new:  Buffalo Chicken Soda.

It wasn't the absolute worst thing either of us had ever tried - but neither of us wanted to finish drinking it.  We used the Strawberry-Rhubarb soda to wash out our mouths.

April Anomalies A-Z: Mammon



No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.  Matthew 6:24

A Collect:

Oh Mammon, thou who has always sought for immeasurably more, give us, your starving children, a portion of the treasure that we have wrested from the breast of the earth that we might buy bread for our children, lest they die; through the Golden Calf who is your son and who came out of the fire for thee, and by your Spirit of Desire, she’s the dollars and she’s the protection, one God forever and ever. Amen.


This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Powerpoint Slides for Everyone -2013 - Week 17

Each week I make a new background image for Powerpoint (or similar presentation program).  I make them for use at my little church, but you are free to download them and to use them in your own projects at home, work, school, or church.  Use them however you like. I only ask that you share them freely and that you tell others that you found them here.

For those who may be interested in such things, this pic began as a close up of an old radio tuning dial.  


Week 17 photo Week17_zps11afdc6c.jpg

Biblical Limericks: Not too many words rhyme with Jonah…



There once was a prophet named Jonah
who thought that from God he could run-ah;
he was caught by a fish
when death was his one wish
and forced to bring hope to Nineveh.

Biblical Haiku- John 21: 1 – 4



A night on the lake
and the nets remain empty;
at dawn comes the Lord.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Blessing for 2nd Sunday after Easter



May the Lord God,
who raised Jesus Christ from the dead,
meet with you in unexpected places,
when you have exhausted your strength
have become discouraged.

When your sorrow has lasted for a night
(and then some)
may he bring joy in the morning.


May he invite you to join in fellowship with him,
to eat with him, and to commune with him,
as friends, and beloved disciples.

May you love him as you are loved by him.
May you be strengthened to serve him
and to feed his sheep.

May  his resurrection
bring you life, eternal life,
which is his Father’s will.
Amen.



Based on Psalm 30 & John 21

April Anomalies A-Z: Leviathan



Look! Look now!
See the Leviathan that I have made!

Look at my Leviathan!
It is a mercy that he has not been made a plague for mankind.

From the waters of the west,
comes the first of the Lord’s Sea Monsters
springing from the deep, Leviathan coiled,
Leviathan the twisted and twisting,
brother to Behemoth of the land and Ziz of the air.

Who could strip him of his skin, even to make a sukkah of his skin
Who could penetrate the cavern of his maw
and who could return from those slashing teeth.

The smoke of his nostrils
the flame of his mouth
this is his terror;
he is terror, for who could resist him?

Thrusting spears and slashing swords
have no effect against Leviathan.
Look at him and tremble.

And yet, he will be spread open,
his flesh given out to feed the people.
Him that fed upon the righteous
will, one day, feed the righteous.


This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Lord’s Breakfast


It is often noted that the meal of bread and fish that the resurrected Jesus shared with his disciples on the shore of the sea of Tiberias (John 21) is a sort of eucharistic meal - but it's rarely celebrated that way in churches.  So I've taken it upon myself to draft an Order of Worship for "The Lord's Breakfast."  I have used this book as a guide/template.

What do you think?  



THE OFFERTORY
All Standing
Minister: Beloved in Christ, the Gospel of John tells us that the resurrected Jesus appeared to his disciples by the Sea of Tiberius, and was made known to them in the sharing of bread and fish.  Come then to the joyful feast of the Lord.  Let us prepare his table with the offerings of our life and labor.

During the Offertory, a Hymn or Psalm may be sung.  Representatives of the congregation will receive and bring to the table the gifts of bread and fish, and other offerings of the people.

Minister: O LORD, yours is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory and the majesty:
People: For all that is in heaven and in earth is yours.
Minister: Yours is the Kingdom, O Lord,
People: And you are exalted as Shepherd over all.

THE THANKSGIVING
All Standing
Minister:  The Lord be with you.
People:  And also with you.
Minister:  Lift up your hearts.
People:  We lift them up.
Minister: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is truly right to do so.
Minister:  We give you thanks, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, always and everywhere through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, by whom you made the world and all things living and beautiful.

Minister: Holy Father, most glorious and gracious God, we give you thanks that our Savior Jesus  Christ, after he suffered and died and was raised up again, gave us this memorial of this work. For on that morning he welcomed his disciples and friends to join him on the seashore for a meal of fish and bread, reminding them that he is the Bread of Life for he said: “The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world,” and, “He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Minister and People:
His death, O God, we proclaim.
His resurrection we declare.
The life he gives we receive.
Glory be to you, O Lord.

THE BREAKING OF BREAD
After period of silence, the Ministers shall break the bread and fish in preparation, during which time the following may be said or sung:

Minister: The fish that we share, is it not a sharing in the Kingdom of God?
People:  Because there are many fish but there is one Kingdom.
Minister: The bread which we break, is it not a sharing in the Body of Christ?
People: Because there is but one bread, and we who are many are one body.

THE MEAL
Before the Minister and people receive the elements, the following may be said or sung:

Minister: Alleluia.  Christ our Redeemer is risen for us.
People: Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.
Minister: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
People:  Hosanna in the highest.
Minister:  The gifts of God for the people of God.

Then shall be said, either to the whole congregation or to each individual participant, by the Minister who gives the fish:

                The Fish that Jesus shared with his friends.

And by the Minister who gives the bread:

                The Bread of Heaven, given that we might have life.

During the mealtime, silence may be kept, or Hymns, Psalms and Anthems may be sung.

AN ACT OF LOVE
All standing

Minister:  Lord, let us know and love you and may we feed your lambs.
People:  Lord, let us know and love you and may we feed your lambs.
Minister and People:  Lord, let us know and love you and may we feed your lambs.


THE DISMISSAL
All standing

Minister: Go out into the world in peace.  Be strong and of good courage. Follow the Lord.  Love and serve him by caring for his people wherever you may find them.

People: Amen.

April Anomalies A-Z: Kokabiel



The stars, I think, have moved into their proper positions, but it is so hard to tell anymore. Once I could read the skies unclouded. I could follow the movements of the stars with ease, plot their courses through the houses of the zodiac and anticipate their alignments with wandering planets.  I could read the signs. Once I could interpret and I could understand.

I remember watching the Magician as he made his way through the Water Carrier, his meandering past Sadal Melek and Al Bali - the “Lucky Star of the King” and “The Swallower.” I described these rare celestial maneuvers to my brothers and they watched with me until the Ancient One, Saturn, chased the Magician out of Aquarius. I taught the host of heaven what these motions meant, taught them to read the signs as I did.

I was a scholar then, and not a charlatan.  Astrological wisdom requires a knowledge of languages – for the study of ancient texts – as well as considerable mathematical skill. I could, without the aid of telescope or other delicate instruments,  observe the motion of the stars and calculate the vectors of the planets. But I’m regarded as a joke now, and my art, my science, is trivialized in commercial publications for the uneducated looking for their horoscopes and their fortunes.

Once I could do these things, but it is difficult for me now. I cannot see the stars clearly from this side of heaven, from beneath the clouds. I have fallen low. I see them, but not clearly. I can plot their motions, but my calculations are not as accurate any more. I believe that the stars have come into the necessary alignment but I cannot be sure. I will wait until morning.  Perhaps with the rising of the Morning Star there may yet be some hope.

This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above. Kokabiel is described in the apocryphal book of Enoch as one of the leaders of the fallen angles, and as the one who taught astrology to the other angels.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April Anomalies A-Z: Jackal



I have become a brother of jackals, a companion of owls.  Job 30: 29

He yelped up the moon using the ancient calls known only by his tribe.  This was his privilege and his duty – though why the regular calling up of the moon should have been entrusted by the First Father to such a tribe of tricksters and malcontents as the Jackals was never understood by the other tribes.  Why had the duty not been entrusted to ones such as the Owls?  Or to the Elephants, who were both solemn and sage?  Or even to the Lions who were kings and princes over most everything else in the First Father’s creation? 

But the First Father, in his wisdom, had given that sacred duty to the Jackals.  And he gave to them, and them alone, the magic calls necessary to bring up the moon.  And, for the most part, they had not failed the First Father; they had kept the sacred trust.

His name was Tann, though sometimes he was called ‘Ochim because he was one of the doleful creatures.  But few would dare use that name in his presence.  

When he’d howled the moon up over the horizon and sent her safely on her journey across the sky, Tann set out himself, to prowl and to hunt.  His strong legs carried him quickly over the sand and rocks.  The calloused pads of his feet kept his motion silent, stealthy.   He could read the scents in the cool nighttime breeze.  One of the Ibex had come past hours before. A few Hares were nearby but not worth the effort to chase.  Not when there was… yes… he sniffed again… blood.  Something wounded. Something already dying. Tann barked once in excitement before letting it trail off into a muted whine. He did not want to draw others to his kill.  He ran now, following the odor of blood.

For the most part Tann and his fellow tribe members had kept their sacred trust and had called up the moon for her nightly course across the sky with the necessary regularity and precision.  But the Jackals are tricksters and devious too, so there had been a number of occasions when they’d used the incantations and songs given to them by the First Father in order to manipulate the moon as she travelled.  On a few occasions they had sent her off course, giving her a song filled with bad directions.  The Jackals would do this in order prolong the night and to give themselves more time at the hunt.  But they knew that the other tribes would complain to the First Father if they were caught misusing the secret moon songs, so they did this infrequently and only when they were convinced they would not be noticed.

But as Tann cut his way across the rocky plain he wasn’t thinking about the moon or her nightly trek across the sky.  It would be hours before he would think of her again.  As he ran he had only one thought: meat.    He would soon be eating meat, meat and blood. The carrion was close.  And fresh.

It was an Antelope, a young one that had fallen off a rocky ledge and snapped its neck.   Tann snapped his jaws the few of the Vulture tribe that were already encroaching on his dinner.  They squawked angrily at him, but flapped away, fearful of his teeth.  He pushed his snout into the carcass and began tearing out hunks of flesh. 

Later, after he’d eaten his fill, Tann loped back towards his cave, satisfied and filled.  He would sing another song for the moon to guide her towards morning.


This is part of April Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above.  . 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Haven’t the Nerve



God help me, I haven’t the nerve
for self-mutilation.
Though my eye and
my right hand offend
I keep them close
and do not cast them aside.

Origen emasculated himself
for the sake of the kingdom
but I haven’t the balls.


(2008)

Tonemaster

Tonemaster photo Tonemaster_zps82a1eff9.jpg

Jesus Rarely Answers Questions…



I’ve been reading through the Gospel of Mark with some of my church members, and one of the things that we’ve noticed is that Jesus rarely answers questions.

And no…answering a question with a question does not count.  

And if Jesus does give an answer that isn’t just another question, it’s often a non-sequitur into something else.  By my count, Jesus only answers about 27% of the questions put to him – and some of those answers are not really very clear.


Questioner
Question
Jesus’ Answer

Man possessed by evil spirit
What do you want with us…Have you come to destroy us?
Be quiet!
1:24
Teachers of the law
Why does this fellow talk like that…who can forgive sins but God alone?
Why are you thinking these things?  Which is easier: to say ‘your sins are forgiven’ or to say ‘get up, take your mat and walk’?
2: 7- 11
Pharisees [to the disciples]
Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?
It’s not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick.
2: 16 -17
Some people
How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?
How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?
Then something about sewing patches, and putting wine into old wine skins…
2: 18 – 22
Pharisees
Why are they [the disciples] doing what is unlawful [picking grain on Sabbath]?
Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
2: 24 – 26
Disciples
Don’t you care if we drown?
[To the storm] Be quiet!
4:38 – 39
Garasene man with demons
What do you want with me, Jesus?
What is your name?
5:7 – 9
People of Nazareth
Where did this man get these things?  What’s this wisdom that’s been given to him?
Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.
6: 2 – 4
Disciples
Are we to go and spend that much [8 months wages] on bread and give it to them to eat?
How many loaves do you have?  Go and see.
6:37 – 38
Pharisees
Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders…?
Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites….
7:5 – 6
Disciples
Where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?
How many loaves do you have?
8: 4 – 5
Pharisees
Came and began to question Jesus… they asked him for a sign from heaven
Why does this generation ask for a sign?
8: 11 – 12
Disciples
Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?
To be sure, Elijah does come first…why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected?
9: 11 – 12
Disciples
Why couldn’t we drive it [spirit] out?
This kind can come out only by prayer.
9:28 – 29
Pharisees
Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?
What did Moses command you?
10:2 – 3
Disciples
Asked Jesus about this again…
Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her…
10: 10 – 11
Young Man
Good teacher, what must I do to be saved?
Why do you call me good?  You know the commandments…
10: 17 – 19
Disciples
Who then can be saved?
With man this is impossible, but all things are possible with God.
10: 26 – 27
Chief Priests, teachers of the law, and the elders
By whose authority are you doing these things?  And who gave you the authority to do this?
John’s baptism – was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me.
11: 28 – 30
Sadducees
At the resurrection whose wife will she be…?
Are you not in error because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God?
12: 24 – 25
One of the teachers of the law
Of all the commandments, which is the most important?
The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
12: 28 – 29
Disciples
Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?
Long answer – lots of strange signs..
Short answer – No one knows about that day  or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
13: 4 – 35
Disciples
Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?
Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you.  Follow him.  Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘the Teacher asks: where is my guest room….?’
14:12 – 16
Disciples
Surely not I?
It is one of the Twelve…one who dips bread into the bowl with me.
14: 19 – 20
High Priest
Are you not going to answer?  What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?
Jesus remained silent and gave no answer
14: 60 – 61
High Priest
Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?
I am.
14: 61 – 62
Pilate
Are you the king of the Jews?
Yes. It is as you say.
15:2
Pilate
Aren’t you going to answer?  See how many things they are accusing you of?
Jesus still made no reply.
15: 4 - 5

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