Musings from the Manhut

Where the ebb and flow of life creates a cascade of words down the paper's face

Tag: storytime

#storytime Elijah in the Prairie

Let me tell you a tale that happened a few years ago in The Levant, that is the fancy non-politically-charged name for the Holy Land.
Way back when some really grumpy people wandered around the countryside raising hate and discontent. They seemed to be good at it.

These folks did little more than crown government officials, proclaim woe on everything that walked and write some really depressing books.

They called these guys prophets and when the young folks collected their prophet collector cards everybody wanted the Elijah card.

This guy was amazing. He told the wicked king that it wasn’t going to rain in the land until he (Elijah) said it was would.

Elijah was living with this widow woman and her son died. Elijah raised the guy from the dead! This really boosted his stats, I tell you.

Probably Elijah’s greatest triumph came on Mt Carmel where he bested a whole cattlecar’s worth of priests of Baal. Their god didn’t show so Elijah won and all those priests were killed. Pretty gruesome stuff. The evil queen decided she had enough of the nonsense.

She sent word to Elijah that she wanted him as dead as her priests. Not good news, so our hero tucked tail and ran out into the prairie

Elijah was the star of the holy show in The Levant. His ego told him he was the only one working for God and he couldn’t take it.

He wanted to die. He prayed that God would just take him. But what did God do? God gave him food. Yep, God gave him a burrito–TWICE!

God didn’t rant and rave at him about being a self-centered boob. He fed him! And told him to go further out in the prairie.

Way out there in the country the well-fed Elijah got to see God. Not some fancy showy flashy God but a simple, quiet loving voiced God.

And God told Elijah that he wasn’t alone. That God had been working hard behind the scenes and had over 8000 people to do God’s work.

Sometimes we don’t need to carry the load alone, even though we may really want to do so. Elijah learned the lesson the hard way.

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Jacob’s Ladder- Today’s #storytime

Ok boys and girls let’s go ahead and do storytime today, even tho Uncle Jim should really be working. Let’s hope the boss stays gone.

Today’s tale begins in far off Mesopotamia. Don’t worry about how to say that. We call it Iraq today and that is much easier to say

Now there lived a cowboy over there that went by the name of Abe. Now God told Abe to gather up his belongings and get outta Dodge.

Abe picked up his stuff and left. He had a couple of sons out west and they had children too. Now today we are gonna talk about his grandson

Now by the time of Jake’s birth the family had kinda forgotten about God and the crazy old man who saw visions and heard God’s voice

As a matter of fact the family had forgotten some of the basic rules of etiquette and Jake swindled his older brother out of his heirlooms

Jake’s brother was a mite upset about being wrangled of his inheritance & their dad decided that what was need was for Jake to get a woman.

So Dad told Jake to pack up and aim for the old family place in Iraq and to do it quick before brother whupped up on him

Jake saddled his camel, made a hasty getaway and rode for the whole day and then made camp for the night… How was that for an intro?

In his haste our hero forgot to pack a pillow in his saddle and that first night he had to sleep with his head on a rock on his way to Iraq.

he had some really wild dreams that night about a ladder going up to heaven and angels going every which way like bees in a honeycomb.

Then in the middle of the dream God promised the Jake would get everything that God promised to goofy old Abe. Something wild happened then

Jake consecrated the rock he used as a pillow and called it the Gate to Heaven and named the land round about the “House of God.”

And the really wild part is that this greedy, swindler Jake only wanted food and clothing and he promised to give a tenth of his coin away!

When God touched Jake his greedy heart became generous. Now what do we make of that, boys and girls?

The Emperor has his clothes but he eats grass like a cow!

Way out in Mesopotamia a long time ago lived a King. We’re going to call him Chad, mostly because typing Nebuchadnezzar hurts my fingers.

Chad ascended the throne left to him by his dad who also had long name. It’s pretty safe to assume that Chad had a good life growing up.

Chad was no dummy by any stretch of the imagination. He married a princess of the rival Median empire thus securing the safety of his own.

Chad’s dad was a conqueror. Dad had added lots of territory to the realm but was never able to conquer the Levant or Egypt. Chad did it tho.

During the reign of Chad and dad Babylon was an empire that passed everyone in knowledge & power. In fact, no one beat them until Microsoft.

They were so smart that a few thousand years later their scientists discovered the new star over Jesus’ manger.

Even today our clocks still follow their design. This was one amazing empire. But I do digress just a little.

When Chad conquered tiny Judah he carried away with him several young officials who actually proved smarter and healthier than the Chaldeans.

Chad grew to respect these young men & hired them as counselors in his court. He also granted the conquered Jews all the respect he could.

Peace and prosperity reigned in Babylon. During this time of peace he built the Hanging Gardens, which were 1 of the 7 wonders of the world.

But Chad got a little big for his britches. He looked at all that was accomplished and he began to take credit for it all.

God got a little tired of Chad’s bragging and told Chad- Hey doofus, everything you have is because you obeyed me and respected my people.

And now because you are a dimwit I am going to take away your sanity tomorrow at noon. You will be the laughing stock of world diplomacy

Of course, the next day it happened. For seven years Chad looked like Howard Hughes on steroids. Long hair, fingernails, the works.

Chad twisted off so bad that he was eating grass like an ox. What a nut job! Then just as suddenly as it started, God stopped his insanity.

Chad, a pagan emperor, began praising God and told everyone he knew how cool the God of the Jews was. Chad had a powerful God encounter thru his trials. So what do we learn from Nebuchadnezzar? God is in control and even the bad stuff which happens are under God’s control.

Yep the Kingdom of God is full of CONMEN!

Take this feller Jacob. This guy would’ve made a great lawyer or conman. What a sleaze ball this guy was! He connived his way into big money.

He was a whining mama’s boy with no conscience who wrangled an inheritance that didn’t belong to him from his own old blind father.

In the process of chiseling money from the old man he screwed over his older brother who actually had right over the entire inheritance.

Fearing his brother’s understandable wrath he fled the land & went to the old country because he had family there he hadn’t stolen from yet

As he left we see a peek into his character. He prayed to God and said IF you exist then do so-and-so. Jacob was not raised in the faith.

He went on to chisel his father’s family in a far off land and then decided to return to the land of his inheritance. He was scared.

God met him on the way and Jacob, the coward, had the audacity to wrestle with none other GOD! God showed him and made him limp for life

Jacob went on to become a successful man and raised a huge family, a couple of which were good people. Jacob was an ancestor of the Messiah.

So Jacob is yet another of the tainted people in the Bible which God used in a big way. He was very far from perfect. He lied and stole

But God still used him. God can use anyone. It looks like he prefers to use the dirty rundown skanky people sometimes. God’s crazy like that.

Jonah- another misfit doing God’s work

Jonah was an outlaw preacher. Jews aren’t noted for missionary activity but he went to Nineveh. Of course, that was a bit of a fight.

I should note that Jonah was a racist who didn’t want to see Nineveh redeemed but God, and a whale, really jerked his chain.

God ended up using that twerp Jonah in a huge way. Nineveh had a huge religious explosion all because one dude surrendered.

You may not be much but look at Jonah. He was a whiny creep who ran from God’s call. Not too different than me. How about you?

Jonah what a guy! It’s an amazing story really.

Yet another religious leader caught in sexual sin

In Luke 7:36-50 we have more rejects that God uses. Most folks want to talk about the hooker washing Jesus’ feet. Most of the sermons that we’ve heard on this story dealt with Judas’ desire to fill his holy poor box.

But what about Simon the Pharisee?

Simon plays a critical part. His house hosted the party. He forgot to wash Jesus’ feet. His smart mouth got Jesus to teaching. Sardonically we note that he did not eject the hooker out of his house.

Do you think he was hiding something? A hooker one-upped a Pharisee!

Thankfully, John the Baptist was goofy

We read scripture all the time but do we ever stop to think about what we read. We develop some sanctified notions about things in scripture when reality shows a different twist.

Take John the Baptist as an example.

Scripture shows this guy living out in the wild, maybe in a cave or something. He ate locust and wild honey. He kept ranting and raving about the end of the age and performed the very un-Jewish rite of baptism. He angered the authorities of his day.

In a word, John was a nutcase.

Cool, God works by using oddballs

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