God's Comic

God's Comic

Insincere greetings

posted by Brad Stine

I got
an e-card today from someone who I barely know that said how much I mean to
them (and everyone else they sent this to in a mass e-card “I care about you
blowout”)

You
know around the Christmas season, nothing warms my heart and says, “I’m lazy
and insincere” like an e-card.

Before
there was the convenience of faking “I’m thinking of you” by the use of the electronic,
impersonal, and insincere e-card there was the Hallmark card. Hallmark cards
usually came from people you actually knew who more than likely actually DO
care for you.

What
we have forgotten in society was the Hallmark card was the beginning of ‘I’m
too busy to write my own words but maybe this will make up for it” lazy man’s
way to connect during special holiday/birthday times.

You
see my friends there was a time around Christmas, birthdays, Thanksgiving et al
when people actually took the time and intellectual/emotionally driven effort,
to get out a quill and a bottle of handmade ink and contemplate a personal
greeting that was then sent to the loved one or friend.

It
often included not only a personal reflection but also maybe a line from a poem
or a Bible verse. Sometimes rose pedals were sprinkled in the envelope if it
was a love letter, or even a ribbon or a lock of hair.

People
were much more articulate of course because they didn’t have the option of the
internet providing a “humorous” clip from someone getting stuck on the toilet,
or a “funny” cartoon of Osama Bin Laden you pass along to prove you were
thinking of them.

So
this Christmas season you may want to contemplate writing a personal note to
your loved ones that actually come from your hand and your heart. Not only will
it be received as special from the receiver but it will also weed out for who
you wouldn’t spend the time and energy actually crafting an personal note.

Maybe
they never really deserved a card all along. Of course if you don’t want to
appear rude, you can always send an e-card.

Let’s get real

posted by Brad Stine

At
the risk of sounding like a heretic, when I talk to people in church I like to
use words that one might actually use in conversation on a regular basis outside of church with actual humans.

 

Is
it too much to ask when I enter a church building I won’t be bombarded by terms
and idioms that are buzz words to let you know you are speaking to a highly
evolved Christian entity, meanwhile a non-believer joining you believes he just
entered a foreign country.

 

I
asked a church member when I saw him the other day how he was doing. Pretty
common inquiry don’t ya think? Normally answered in the real world with deep
philosophical responses like …” OK” or ” Pretty good” or even if they’re particularly
charitable ” fine…and you”?

 

But
this guy didn’t say any of those things; instead he had a response only found
in the rarefied language of the land of Churchianity. He said he was “blessed”.

 

He
said blessed but took umbrage when I started worshipping him. One of the
definitions for blessed is  “worthy
of adoration, reverence or worship “. You would think if he admitted he was
adorable he wouldn’t mind being adored.

Apparently
his “blessed” was of the other definition meaning ” divinely or supremely
favored”, this I found problematic because the dude is bald.

 

I
always figured if God found me specifically favored he would allow me to keep
my hair thus making it easier for mere mortals not to laugh when they looked at
me, as well as confirming my “blessed-ness“.

 

 By the way, I have no problem responding
positively about where you are in your life based on the very Christian idea
that we are to be content in all things. But the Bible also say’s we can’t lie
and I’m sorry oh great man of faith but sometimes…life sucks!

 

If
you believe it is more Christian not to admit that, do yourself a favor and
don’t read Psalms. It is filled with an obviously unspiritual, despised by God,
David saying things like ” Well my enemies are eating well, are happy, and
trying to kill me.”

 

I
on the other hand as a committed follower of yours am trapped in a cave eating
roots. Thanks Lord…just what I prayed for! Let me guess, next I get to start
going bald? Yippee, look everyone….I’M BLESSED!

Just
be happy you don’t live in the first church. Lying meant not only will people
find out…God is going to KILL you.

Boy
if that doesn’t force you to be a little more committed to your faith I don’t
know what will and some think tithing is asking too much.

 

Listen
maybe you are blessed, but ALL THE TIME? Just once I would like to hear a
little more transparency amongst the tribe. Something like ” Yeah I’m ok except
for the hemorrhoids acting up” or  “I’m
good but my wife is driving me crazy!”

 

To
me the power of my faith comes not from ignoring the pain of life but realizing
that that goes with the deal and
enduring the difficulty with hope is a greater witness then disguising the
issue outright.

A
forthright Christian is balanced and more importantly….human.

 

 Anyways..I hope that blesses youJ

 

Don’t try this at home!

posted by Brad Stine

Every good
show on T.V. warns the viewers that the amazing, unpredictable, exciting and
dangerous thing they are about to do should never be attempted by the rest of
us. These are trained professionals. There is though one major flaw in their
reasoning. The reason why these guys got good at what they’ re demo-ing, is
only BECAUSE THEY TRIED IT AT HOME!

 

If you never
try it at home you never get good enough to demonstrate your skill in front of
others. Those same “others” that you warn “don’t try this at home”. How come
only the people having fun by trying it at home get to try it at home; only so
they get the privilege of telling us not
too?

 

I recognize
that some things we are warned not to try at home are stupid things that get
the guy hurt and we laugh at them for being so stupid, but don’t we as
Americans have the right to do stupid stuff? The truth is we are allowed to do stupid stuff it’s just
what stupid stuff does the culture
or laws allow?

 

We cant jump
off the roof of our local community swimming pool on a skateboard holding an
umbrella BUT we can go to a nightclub, get drunk, make a pass at someone we
don’t know, assess our own ability to get behind the wheel of a car and then
drive home. We are allowed to try that at “home”, somehow we are relying on
your personal responsibility to guide you

 

We’ve all
run red lights. It’s only the people that run red lights, hit some innocent
other car, injure them, that we as a community scream and wrench our hands,
“Off with their heads!” One of the best lines I ever heard from a pastor was
from the late Ed Cole. Author of the book ” Maximized Manhood” who said, ” We
tend to judge others by what they do, but we judge ourselves by our
intentions”.

 

The truth of
the matter is most of the stuff we aren’t encouraged to try at home is done by
men. Adolescent men specifically, but men in general. Usually it amounts to
something dangerous that will hurt or, at least, could. To women it is idiocy,
to men; it is a right of passage.

 

Men grow up
hearing their mom constantly utilize the mom-invented phrase, “you’re going to
get hurt”. The truth is men don’t care. The fact we are interested in this
challenge is that the possibility is very real we are going to get hurt. That’s
the intrigue. Men like to challenge pain. Men are inspired by the possibility
that they are going to pay for this endeavor.

 

When it comes
to pain talk you will always have women interject how they have babies so only they know pain. The reason women have
babies isn’t because they are more noble, it’s because GOD SAID SO! By the way,
the pain came as punishment for failure to follow Gods instructions.

 

 

Men would
have babies if that were the only alternative. Men are the ones who have always
fought in war to make the world a safe place for women to have babies. Men are
the one getting killed and captured and tortured for their commitment to their
cause.

 

Anyone want
to argue the pain involved in POW torture is less than giving birth? Not to
mention they were often left in these horrific conditions for days, weeks, and
years. At least at the end of labor you get the miraculous result of another
human. Men’s labor pain, (based on Genesis) is never ending and produces the
results of having to do it again tomorrow. (I always look for ways to lift up
my gender whenever possible, Lord knows the culture doesn’t.)

 

Our result
is giving birth to dreams, nations, culture, ideas, discoveries, and hope. So I
for one demand we go back to the old days where we were encouraged to try it at
home. Hey the worse that could happen is you cause the toilet to explode and
end up covered in excrement. The best that could happen is some other guy had
the for-sight to film your experiment and you become a you-tube legend.

Say it or go hungry!

posted by Brad Stine

Last night was Halloween. For those of you unfamiliar with
the holiday it’s a beautiful time of year where small children are encouraged
to pretend to be someone else and come to the homes of strangers and ask for
candy.

Ironically the other 364 days of the year we spend telling
children NOT to take candy from strangers, especially ones that have a corpse
or bloody appendages on their front porch.

Hey it’s never too early to prepare kids for the phenomenon
of mixed messages and confusion to all things adult as we usher them into their
puberty. It was a bitter sweet night for the wife and I as for the first time
in 14 years we had neither our son or 10 yr old daughter to walk the blocks
with as they collected enough goodies to keep dentists in business for years to
come.

(On a side note they say the Celts invented Halloween and
after a little research I found out the “Celt” is an ancient Gallic word
meaning ” cavity creators”.)

Our kids were with friends this time and so we sat on the
porch and waited for the kids to come up and seek to reap their reward. As much
as the missus and I don’t have in a lot in common generally in this one thing
we were united; No one got even one
tootsie roll without uttering the magic phrase, “Trick or Treat”.

Many kids would come up to us not saying a word and simply
open their bags as though we were obligated to give them their desires. It’s
like the holiday version of teaching kids that entitlements are part of being
American.

It’s bad enough that the holiday implied that if you don’t
give us candy there will be hell to pay, but now these narcissists believe even
following through with the ritual of saying 3 words is too much to ask.

As they stood there we would ask “what do you have to say”
and normally the response was …”uhhh, please?..no thank you?…even a couple
“happy Halloween!”

It took them a few moments to get it and normally I would
start it with a ” tri..tri…trick…?” like I was trying to coax something legible
from someone who had suffered a brain trauma and was only now realizing they
weren’t Scandinavian.

Eventually they would say “Trick or treat” and we would feel
like we had actually contributed something beautiful to society by keeping not
only tradition alive, but also common courtesy. My next assignment is to try to
get their parents to use their turn signals. A much more difficult task and one
where perhaps a rotting corpse or a dancing skeleton may actually come in
handy!

 

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