Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Confession

Cartoon of  a boy on Santa Claus' lap. Boy says, “If I confess stuff, will I get more loot?”
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Everybody likes a good confession, that is, as long as someone else is doing the confessing.

I read where celebrities are having to rethink how they use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Some celebrities have gotten in trouble when they said something that created controversy. At the same time, people are subscribing and friending celebrities so they can get a little tidbit about their favorite star. People love to see it when a celebrity confesses something. It makes them human.

At the same time, we have our own secrets we just as soon never divulge. We fear retribution. We want to look good even when we know our heart has sin.

If we knew we could get more stuff like the boy in the cartoon, that could change our minds. That's why 1 John 1:9 is such a great verse. We DO get something if we confess our sins to God. He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. Now THAT'S something worth getting!

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Friday, November 27, 2009

Proverbs 3:13-15: Expensive Wisdom

Cartoon of  boy and man in a store. Boy says, “I’d like a million dollars worth of wisdom, please. Can you just bill me?"

This cartoon is based on Proverbs 3:13-15
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 3:13-15

It doesn't take long to realize how valuable wisdom really is. How many times could we avoid heartache and hassles if we just listened to wisdom?

When I was a boy, there was a neighbor kid who was giving me a hard time. He was taunting me about something so trivial I can't even remember what it was about. What I did remember was I told my dog to "sick 'em!"

I knew better. It would be unwise to try such a thing. But I blocked that from my mind. Instead, I thought my dog would never obey the command. After all, I didn't teach her to attack anyone.

Unfortunately, my dog picked up on my anger and the tone of my voice. She turned on the neighbor boy and began to attack. I had to grab my dog, pull her away and apologize for an embarrassing situation that could have become tragic.

Wisdom is very valuable. But it loses its value if I don't heed it. Today, I'm going to treat wisdom like the gold it is and do the right thing.

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Proverbs 1:7 Beginning of Wisdom

Cartoon of  two boys in school. One says, "We must be getting knowledge. It smells a lot like fear."
This cartoon is based on Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

I used to wonder what it meant to fear the Lord. When I thought of fear, I thought of scary movies. Usually, some evil force would terrorize the hero in those movies. It didn't make sense to fear God if he was good.

Now I see that the fear comes from knowing God is all powerful, all knowing and yes, He's all good. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. It is by his mercy I am on earth in the first place. 

It's too easy for me to forget that in a world where modern conveniences make me comfortable and science attempts to explain everything away. I may think I have an answer for everything and a way to take care of myself in any situation.
I need to remember God controls my life. By his will, he placed me at this time and place in the world. Just that fact is enough to make me fear Him and be thankful for what he's done for me.

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Monday, November 23, 2009

Proverbs 26:12-Wise in Our Eyes

Cartoon of  two boys. One wears a robe and mortar board. He says, "You wouldn't believe how much smarter I feel since I changed my wardrobe."
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Proverbs 26:12

There have been times in my life when I thought I had all the answers. When I was six, I was convinced I knew how to get to the moon. All I needed was a rocket. I began building one in our backyard. It looked a lot like a tree house. I tried to convince my dad to get me rocket fuel. When that didn't work, I tried to "borrow" the lawn mower gas. Luckily, it was too heavy for me to carry. Mom wasn't any help either. She refused to get me a space suit for Christmas. I abandoned my plans in the fall when it started getting cold and the leaves fell from my rocket.

Nobody could convince me that I should leave the space exploration to NASA. They made it look so easy, I was sure a six-year old like me could blast off to the moon too.

There have been other times when I've caught myself acting like I knew it all. Pride can convince me I have all the answers and anyone who has a different opinion must be a space cadet.

I put on my robe and mortar board and act like the scholar I'm convinced I am. It's during those times I need to get a grip and realize I don't have all the answers. I may be able to learn from someone. It's okay for someone to have a different opinion. Today, I will act like a student and learn a few things instead of fool myself into thinking I'm Mr. Know-it-all.

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Friday, November 20, 2009

Running From Mice

Cartoon of  two mice and a fleeing elephant. A mouse says, "I don't know about you, but I feel empowered."
The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:2 (NIV)

Have you ever noticed when you have something to hide, you get nervous? When I've done something wrong, everyone looks like a threat. It doesn't matter if the person knows what I did or even if it had anything to do with him. The guilt will cause me to act like a coward.

When I know I have done the right thing, I feel strong even when someone may oppose me. There is something empowering about doing the right thing, being kind to someone and showing God's love and mercy.
Today, let's work on doing God's work and become bold as lions.

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tested by Praise

Cartoon of three boys. One is acting cool. Another boy says, "He's been that way ever since the teacher praised him for his clean desk."
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
       but man is tested by the praise he receives. Proverbs 27:28 (NIV)
Some people like to puff up when they get some praise, don't they? You can complement someone on the way they look or something they just did, and the next thing you know, their head won't fit through a doorway.

I have the opposite problem. I have to be careful not to give off a false sense of humility. Someone can praise me, and I'll say, "Oh, it's nothing. In fact, it's pretty lousy. Why a kindergartner can do that! Think nothing of it!"
What am I doing? The guy just told me I did a great job and then I insult his judgment? A simple "thank you" would have been better.
I'm working on being humbly grateful for praise. I don't need my head to become the size of a hot air balloon, nor should I pop the balloon of the person giving me a complement. Somewhere in the middle is just fine, thank you.
I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Monday, November 16, 2009

Two are Better Than One

Cartoon of  two boys on a seesaw. One says, "Thanks for coming. You wouldn't believe how much a seesaw stinks with just one person."

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: Ecclesiastes 4:9
I watched with a mix of humor, pride and frustration when each of my kids were old enough to say, "No! I do it myself!"

We all want to be independent. I remember milestones in my life like my first day at school, first time I could tie my shoe and the first time I got to stay home without an adult. We all love to be self-sufficient.

But there are certain things that just aren't as fun alone. Dinner is much more fun when I am with my family. Decorating for Christmas is more fun when everyone joins in. And it's hard to love my neighbor if I keep to myself.

This week, I'm going to look for ways to help someone and to be bold enough to ask for help when I need it. How about you?

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Friday, November 13, 2009

Genesis 2:15-17: Crossing Boundaries

Cartoon of  a boy and girl. Boy has his foot out and is about to cross a line. The boy says, "Is THIS the line you told me not to cross?"

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:15-17

What is it about human nature that makes us want to cross the line? It goes way back to Adam and Eve, doesn't it? We know we should cross that line. We know it will probably bad for us. But there is something about the thrill of doing what we shouldn't.

Adam and Eve crossed the line and ate the fruit. We've been paying the price ever since. If you're ever in a situation where you feel tempted, keep your feet from the line. Don't even go there! Run for your lives!

It's still okay to eat an apple, though. I believe the forbidden fruit was grapefruit. I have no evidence, but it's not my favorite and I'm standing by that.

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Exodus 17: 8-13 Cooperation for the Home Team

Cartoon of Moses, Aaron and Hur in Exodus 17. One guy says, "Come on, Moses! We want the home team to win!"
As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. Exodus 17:11-12

Moses watched as Joshua and the Israelites fought the Amalekites. As long as Moses held his staff up, the Israelites were winning. But it didn't take until this became a burden for Moses.

Have you ever tried to hold something in the air for very long? It doesn't matter how light it is. After a while, your arms start to feel like boulders. All you can think about is lowering your arms. You start thinking for ways to finish the task. You say, "I'll do anything! Just let me drop my arms!"

Moses could not do his part on his own. It took Aaron and Hur to help Moses so the Israelites could win.

Who in your life is facing a battle today? Maybe someone needs you to help them do what God has called them to do. Be a support today.

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Proverbs 26:27-The Trap You Set

Cartoon of a boy in a trap and another boy. Trapped boy says, "OK! I admit the trap was meant for you. Now will you please let me out?"

If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him. Proverbs 26:27

I used to love to watch the Warner Brothers' "Roadrunner" cartoons with my dad and brother. Every time, Wile E. Coyote would set a trap for the roadrunner. And every time, the poor coyote would trap himself. It didn't matter if it was a sophisticated contraption fit for Einstein, the coyote would always taste defeat, but never taste that succulent, elusive bird.

I've found in life I have to be careful about traps. Many times, I'd like to get even when I feel wronged. But the trap I'd like to set for someone could end up snaring me. It's best I let God deal with the other critter!

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"says the Lord. Romans 12:19