In December we discovered a feral cat had taken up residency with our pet cat in our garage. I never knew there are whole websites devoted to this problem, but now I know why. After running wildly about the rafters as I poked at him with a broom he ran up the stairs, scratched furiously on the door to my workshop like a demon without success, and then started back down. The vision of Pinky the Cat has never left me, so I'm far more protective of my inner thighs than that man was. Thus I stood on the side of the stairs with a broom to try to "escort" him on down and out the open door. As he came flying down, a meowing, scratching, horrid-looking ball of matted fur, I swung several times at him with the broom but - voila! - he disappeared. We could not find him anywhere that night.
In the next days we realized he was still in the garage, now upstairs using one of our stored mattresses for his bed and disappearing every time we tried to locate him. Without going into further details which could be incriminating, let's just say one day he ended up in the insulated rafters of my garage ceiling where I could not get to him and I ended up with three things broken - a rake, a chair, and my spirit. However, after weeks of no signs of him, we hope he's gone for good. But the Lord's warning about sweeping out a demon only to have seven return still haunts me.
When thinking or teaching about Biblical examples of preaching, let's not forget the Old Testament. After all, one of its books is named "Preacher." Of course we don't call it that, but rather _Ecclesiastes_. _Ecclesiastes _comes from the Hebrew _qoheleth_, which means an "an assembler, teacher, or preacher" of the covenant community. This word was translated "Ecclesiastes" in the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, and a form of this word is where we get our English word that describes the church. With a name like that, then, _Ecclesiastes _should be a good study in effective preaching, which it is. Drive the hearer to despair in finding hope in anything under the sun for his security, for that is mere chasing after the wind. Then, when he is most desperate, call him to fear God and keep His commandments.
Speaking of Ecclesiastes, there truly is nothing new under the sun. Found out via Google trying to get to my old blog that there were already plenty of blogs and even a book with its title _Under the Sycamore Tree. _I honestly never knew! So not only am I glad to be blogging with these other guys, but it may help me avoid a copyright lawsuit.
Sorry, I know its probably my southern roots, but I still think they have the title of the president's speech all wrong. Should it not be called "The Union of the State" address?
There once was a guy named Olivetti,
An Italian, O, he loved spaghetti!
So he said, “Stick closer than a brother,
Like two noodles to each other!”
Then got hungry and ate strozzapreti.
My son's junior high basketball team won in double overtime last night. Both at the end of the game and the first overtime, we were ahead by three when the other team hit a last second "miracle" three-pointer way outside the arc to tie the game. As the game wore on, I loved watching the young boys on the court learning to be like men under the pressure, and the old men on the sidelines acting like boys with the excitement.
Finished reading yesterday I John yet again with some Greek students. Struck with how that reading went along with one from our family worship reading in Amos. I John ends, "Little children, guard yourselves from idols." Amos, after calling the people of Israel "the fat cows of Bashan" (Amos 4:1), calls them out for their false worship in the Jeroboam-constructed temple in Bethel (Amos 4:4). What were in the temples of Jeroboam? Fat cows (I Kings 12:28-29). Little children, guard yourselves from idols or you will become like them (see Psalm 115:3-8).