Welcome Dear Readers to Gregory’s Summer Bible School. This summer Gregory will be learning all about Gideon.
Let’s listen in and see what Gregory has learned about Gideon so far:
One day, shortly after the Israelites got back from the excitement of battling Canaanites and cutting off the big toes and thumbs of seventy kings, they were experiencing a lull so, not knowing what else to do with themselves, they decided to do what they always did when they were bored — sin against the Lord.
So naturally the Lord had no choice but to have the mean, nasty, overweight Midianites rule over the Israelites for seven years (This was way before the Lord thought of timeouts).
The Midianites were bigger and stronger than the Israelites, who were more on the bookish side and who – aside from their large collection of big toes and thumbs, were not really all that aggressive.
So the Israelites spent a lot of time hiding from the Midianites in caves by day and tip toeing around by night planting their crops and tending to their cattle so as not to wake up the Midianites who were light sleepers.
But invariably some poor Israelite would sneeze too loudly and the Midianites would wake up, and come down from the hills on their camels.
The bible says there were so many Midianites that they and their camels couldn’t be counted, but most scholars believe this is simply because they wouldn’t hold still long enough.
Anyway, the Midianites would wreak havoc on the Israelites by trampling their crops, tipping their cows, messing up their hairdos and giving them all robe wedgies.
The Israelites cried out to the Lord, and the Lord, who was wondering when they were going to cry out, sent them a prophet who came to them with a message from the Lord.
The first part of the Lord’s message recapped what the Lord’s big accomplishments had been thus far which, of course, included bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, and freeing them from slavery. But the Lord never mentioned the parting of the Red Sea as He wasn’t that big on bragging, but was always secretly hoping someone else would bring that part up.
Then the Messenger of the Lord and Gideon had a conversation that might have sounded something like this but probably didn’t:
Messenger of the Lord: Say, Gideon, would you mind if I sat down under this tree in Ophrah that belonged to your dad, Joash, from Abiezer’s family?
Gideon: Sure, but how did you know all that?
MOTL: I read the tree plaque. What are you doing?
Gideon: I’m threshing wheat in this wine-press so as to confuse the Midianites.
MOTL: To confuse them how?
Gideon: Well, this way The Midianites will think I’m making wine when I’m really making flour.
MOTL: Won’t they just think you are making wine and want to steal that instead?
Gideon: What are you? An attorney?
MOTL: The Lord is with you, brave man.
Gideon: Well, no offense but I’m a little peeved.
MOTL: Peeved? Peeved howeth?
Gideon: All these horrible things are happening to us. The stealing of the crops, the cow tipping, the robe wedgies, having to make flour in a wine-press. What happened to all the Lord’s miracles everybody is always telling me about?
MOTL: How would you feel if I told you that you will be rescuing Israel with the strength you have?
Gideon: Yeah right. Have you seen my muscles lately? I can’t even tell you how sore I’m going to be tomorrow when I get done wine-pressing all this wheat. And you think I’m weak, you should see the rest of my family, we once got beat up by a batch of kittens.
MOTL: Doesn’t matter. You will defeat the Midianites as if they were only one man.
Gideon: Okay if you say so. Listen, I’m going to go fix you a snack. Can you wait here till I get back?
MOTL: Who moi? Absotively!
Thank you, Dear Readers, for coming by Summer Bible School with Gregory! Please check back next week for more of our lesson.
Welcome Dear Readers! I am so excited! As you may know, from time to time this blog takes it upon itself to attempt to cheer up American Literature’s most Gloomy Gus, Edgar Allan Poe. And in that light, I feel this blog is making a little progress. Check out Edgar Allan Poe’s new magazine!
WE can only hope, Dear Readers, that this his new positive attitude has staying power!
Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories. Today Gregory learned about how it came about that Eve served Adam the fruit from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Let’s listen in as Gregory tells us how it all happened.
One day shortly after God created Adam and Eve and left them to their own devices in the Garden of Eden, Eve said to Adam:
“What’s the matter, honey? Is all the yard work getting you down again?”
“Well, the garden is a beautiful place and I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I would have been just as happy with a paradise that didn’t have such a big yard. All this tilling is aggravating my old rib-cage injury something awful. Can you get me an ice pack?”
“Are you trying to make me feel guilty again?”
“No honey. I’m just stating a fact. Part of me wishes God would have creatd the Condo of Eden instead of the Garden of Eden, that’s all.”
“Well, how about I cook you up your favorite dinner? That will cheer you up.”
“Goat Noodle Casserole?”
“That’s your favorite dinner? I thought it was goatloaf?”
“Listen honey, no offense but your goatloaf is a little dry. ”
“God liked it.”
“Did He tell you that?”
“No, I could just tell by the way his face lit up like a thousands suns when he ate it.”
“No offense, honey, but that’s pretty much His resting face.”
“Why are you being such a brat?”
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be. Tell you what. Why don’t you bake me a nice pie for dessert.”
“Okay! How about my famous Fig Leaf Pie?”
“Well, honey . . . uh . . . frankly, your Fig Leaf Pie is only famous because it’s so dry.”
“Did God tell you that?”
“Well! That makes me not want to invite God over for dinner anymore.”
“Don’t be mad honey. You know what? I heard that a fruit called the apple makes a pretty good pie.”
“Who told you that?”
“I don’t remember exactly. I think it was one of those creeping things that creepeth upon the earth.”
“And it could talk?”
“Okay, well you stay here and rest your side, Adam, and I’ll go out and have a talk with this creeping thing and see if it will show me where the apple tree is.”
“Uh . . Okay but seems to me it wasn’t called an apple tree though.”
“Oh really? What was it called?”
“The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
“That’s unnecessarily long. I’m just going to call it the apple tree. If you need me I’ll be out picking apples . . .”
“Okay honey. Have fun! Oh and before you go would you mind grabbing me an ice pack on your way out?”
“. . . and a Bud Light?”
And that concludes Gregory’s bible stories for this week, Dear Readers. Please check back next week for the further adventures of all the people in the bible.
Until next time . . . I love you
Eve’s Killer Apple Pie
8 apples from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
When I was a little girl, I was a swimming fool even though the pool in our little town left a lot to be desired. First of all, it wasn’t heated or filtered so they had to drain it every week and refill it with water they piped in from the South Pole. Not being a filtered pool, you’d think we would have all gotten a horrible disease like typhoid fever, leprosy or at the very least, Polio, but the water was either too cold to sustain microbial life or nobody could ever stay in long enough to catch anything.
The Magic of Turning Nine
Until I was in the fourth grade, all my summer mornings were spent begging and pleading with my mother to take me to the swimming pool. But when I turned nine, she decided I was old enough to go to the city pool on my own. So every morning I’d get up and kill time by playing hide and seek with the neighborhood kids until the magical hour of 1:00 o’clock when the city pool opened. My mother would fix me a tuna sandwich and make me wait half an hour before I could head out to the pool lest I get a cramp and drown. For some reason known only to 1950-ites, the most dangerous thing a person could do in the fifties would be to down a tuna sandwich and then dive directly into a body of water. You would get a cramp and you would drown. Period. End of story.
The Art of Towel Rolling
The towel you brought to the swimming pool said a lot about how well your parents had their acts together. The parents who had their acts totally together bought their children their own beach towels every summer with a cute picture of a whale or a beach umbrella emblazoned across its front. Other parents who didn’t have their acts quite as together didn’t mind if their child brought whatever towel happened to be hanging on the towel rack that day. And then there were the parents who didn’t have their acts together at all. These were the parents who were big believers in sun-dried kids.
My parents fell into the middle category. I would take some dingy towel off the towel rack everyday and fold it in half length-wise and roll my swimming suit up in it. Then I would put on my thongs (which is the fifties speak for flip-flops) and I’d head out across town to the city pool to join the small group of children who were also addicted to the swimming pool as much as I was.
Looking back on it now, there were about five of us who came every single day without fail. Most of them were sun-dried kids and for a while I forsook my towel to fit in. (I’d tell you their names but I’m not sure they had any.) Anyway, we would simply find a dry spot on the cement and lay there until we got hot enough to brave the frigid waters of Antarctica for another ten minutes of splish-splashing hypothermia.
Jackknifes, Cannonballs and Cutaways
Most of my activity at the pool was waiting in line to go off the diving board. My ‘go to’ dive was a jackknife. My friend, Susan Weber, was a whiz at a dive called the cutaway. While us girls worked on our dives, the boys were perfecting their cannonballs — a dive that never made any sense to me because why make a big splash if you can’t see it? But I do remember the boys who were a little on the hefty side being much better at the cannonball than their skinnier counterparts.
After Swimming Hunger
I have never been hungrier than I was in the fifties. Being a kid lends itself to a lot of hunger. The hunger you feel from only eating one bite of breakfast before school and counting the seconds until lunch. The hunger you feel after waiting for lunch to find that you are too finicky to eat hamburger gravy and sandy butter sandwiches. And then there’s the hunger you feel after school from being too picky to eat a decent breakfast and lunch.
Seven Bowls of Cheerios
But the hunger I felt after swimming all afternoon in the city pool beats them all. It’s the kind of hunger that only seven bowls of Cheerios swimming in a soup of sugary milk can satisfy. Sitting at the kitchen table, eating Cheerios with the late afternoon sun pouring through the window and knowing that after you finish your last bowl, the Three Stooges will be on. Does life get any better than that?