A Nice Message

A Nice Message about Joshua, the Divine Ointment: The Beginning

Attributed to A. Marcus

Chapter 1

Isaiah the prophet prophesized — “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me”, and “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” So John the Baptist showed up from the boonies, preaching at people to change their ways, get baptized, and get their sins forgiven.

Everybody in Judea and everybody in Jerusalem went to see him, and they all got baptized down in the Jordan river, and confessed everything they ever did wrong.

John the Baptist wore camel hair clothes and a leather belt and ate bugs and wild honey. He preached that someone even more hardcore than him was coming: “I’m not worthy to even carry his stuff. I’ve been baptizing you with water, but he’s going to baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

So Joshua came down from Nazareth, in Galilee, to get baptized. When he came up out of the water, he saw the sky split open, and the Spirit come down to him like a dove, and a voice from the sky said, “You are my son, who I love. I’m proud of you.”

Right away the Spirit sent him into the desert. He stayed out there for forty days, being tempted by the Accuser. Angels came and took care of him, out there with the wild animals.

When John the Baptist got put in jail, Joshua went back to Galilee and preached about God’s good news. “It’s time,” he said. “God’s Kingdom is coming. Make a change, and trust the good news.”

Down by the lake of Galilee, Joshua met Simon and his brother Andrew net-fishing in the lake — they were commercial fishers. Joshua said, “Come follow me, and I’ll make you fishers of men.” Right away they dropped their nets and followed him.

A little further down he saw Zebedee’s James and his brother John in their boat fixing their gear. Right away he called them, and they left their old man Zebedee and the deckhands in the boat and followed him.

So they went to Capernaum, and right away on Saturday Joshua went to Synagogue to preach. People were amazed, because he talked like he knew what he was talking about, not like some quibbling egghead. Right away someone in the Synagogue who had a nasty spirit started yelling, “Why are you here, Joshua from Nazareth? Are you here to destroy us? I know who you are, you’re God’s Holy One.”

“Shut up,” said Joshua, “and get out of him.” The spirit shook the guy, made him yell, and left him.

Everybody was amazed. People said, “Wow, this is powerful new stuff! He orders evil spirits around and they obey him!” Right away news about Joshua spread all over Galilee.

Right after the Synagogue got out they went with James and John to Simon and Andrew’s house. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, but they told her about Joshua right away. And when Joshua came and held her hand, she got better and got up and cooked them dinner.

That night after dark people showed up with all kinds of sick and demonized people. The whole town showed up. Joshua healed a bunch of people with a lot of diseases. He cast out a bunch of demons, and he didn’t let them speak, because they knew him.

Early the next morning, Joshua left the house and found a lonely spot to pray. Simon and the others went to look for him, and when they found him they said that everyone was looking for him. Joshua said, “Let’s go to the villages and preach to them. That’s why I’m here.” So he went around Galilee preaching in Synagogues and casting out demons.

A man with Hanson’s disease came to Joshua on his knees and said, “If you wanted, you could make me not disgusting anymore.” Joshua felt like he’d been punched in the gut. He hugged the guy and said, “I want to. Be healed.” Right away the disease went away and the guy was whole again. Joshua sent him away and ordered him not to talk about what had happened, but to go to a priest and make the sacrifices that the Prophet Moses commanded, to witness to them. But he went out and told everyone what had happened instead. After that, Joshua couldn’t get around in public, so he stayed out in the boonies. But people still came to him from all around.

Destructive Testing

Sulako links to a video of a destructive test of a 777 wing. They load the wing to over 150% of its design limits before it fails. The end of the wing flexed over 25 feet. So you can feel a little safer when you see those wingtips flexing in turbulence.

Nostalgia Ain’t What it Used to Be

Lileks injects a wry dose of realism into the Christmas zeitgeist:

Went shopping. I suppose this is where I should drop the pre-fab whine about parking, crowds, commercialism, and the grating nature of pre-fab holiday music. Oh for the old days, when a man could walk down the snow-choked alleys on Christmas Eve, taking care not to make eye contact with his betters, pushing aside the ragged beggars with their oozing carbuncles and the haggard gin-blasted pox-ridden doxies who chew your unholstered parts for a farthing. Oh for the honest Christmases, when you’d buy a goose and take it home and spend your week’s salary getting the stove hot enough to cook the thing. Remember the year little Tim pitched in his crutch so we could have enough heat to crisp the duck? Merry times, merry times. Now let us sing a carol and thank our stars we do not have to drive self-propelled machines – complete with auto-heat and magical devices that pluck music and voices from the very either – to great broad sheds filled with goods unimaginable. It seems like a wonderland, children, but every Eden has its snake; there are other people there, and they oft do not comport themselves as we would wish. And the songs from unseen minstrels, while short and endlessly variable, are often contrary to our aesthetic preferences. No, be happy we are here together in our perfect Victorian times. Now throw another volume of Dickens on the fire; it grows cold, and Father cannot lose but two more toes.


Looks like comments are broken for the time being. Stay tuned…

Update: things seem to be working, somewhat. If you happen to read this, could you try commenting, just for fun, please? Thanks.