No Graphic, Just Gratitude

With the problems that I’ve experienced lately with connecting to the internet for posting and reading, I think it’s time to take this as an opportunity to regroup and reevaluate. I’m grateful that this has lasted as long as it has with the limited technology that I have! 

I want make sure that everyone knows how grateful I am for their likes, follows, comments, support, and encouragement. Hopefully I will be back soon either here or somewhere else with better technology and fresher ideas.

With my main and best source of internet access being posting here at the library, I may still add a few graphic items here occasionally. I may also post occasionally to the blog that eventually led to this one, A Very Dangerous Bible Commentary. (Don’t worry. It’s only “dangerous” to me because it prompts me to change myself. It’s really my questions and thoughts for myself.)

In the meantime, I will leave you with the collect prayer from this past Sunday which seem particularly relevant right now.

Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thanks so much,

John

“Unexpected Immunity? Or Delayed Effect?”

Maybe our alarm at the last installment of “The Lloyd Servant Show” were premature? Does Laura have some unexpected immunity to the Hypnotic Glasses? Or is there some unusual delayed effect? Some type of slow brainwashing happening?!? Her reaction does seem to be unexpected!

Posts this week may be fewer than in past weeks. I am relying on cellular data to post, and keeping a good signal has been a challenge since last week. This is also preventing me from reading reading and commenting on what you have to share as well. There may be tower issues here? Or my technology may be just a little out-of-date? Anyway, just wanted you readers to know posting and reading are both challenges right now. Thanks.

“Leave…Me…Alone…”

I think there is a great deal of secrecy and shame for those who hurt themselves on the outside through cutting because of the pain that they feel on the inside. Years ago, people like this would possibly have been considered demon-possessed. (They would have been compared to the Gerasene demoniac who gashed himself with stones in Mark 5 and Luke 8.) There still might be groups that look at self-inflicted pain this way, but I think that only leads to more secrecy and shame.

Cutting and similar behaviors are really, I believe, a way of coping with an incredibly tremendous hurt on the inside. This young girl desperately wants the pain she is feeling inside to go away. She just want something that really works, and this cutting of herself works, even though it is also destroying her relationships and her life.

By myself, my faith-filled heart wants to say, “Jesus is the answer to all of your painful problems. He can make the pain that you feel inside go away.” But I can’t say that so easily when I am face-to-face with someone else’s pain. Sometimes a person can get mangled inside just as much as if they have been mangled on the outside in an automobile accident. Sometimes they might even prefer to have been in an automobile accident instead. Sometimes there are no easy answers and quick solutions. I know that Jesus can move and in an instant, people are changed forever. But what do you say when that doesn’t happen?

I think this is where the Body Of Christ comes in. So often we think of Jesus as being “up there” and maybe, if we say and do the right things, He will become engaged in our lives…maybe. But the reality is if we are baptized into Jesus, then we are living members of His Body, and He isn’t “up there.” He is right here, right now, in you and in me. Sometimes it’s up to you and me ministering through His power as His Body.

It’s not often easy getting involved in another person’s life, particularly when there are no quick two or three step solutions. Sometimes we can only say, “I’ll walk with you and stay with you until…” And we can do that as the Body Of Christ.

Here is the only part that I’m putting in bold. If you can relate to this and are struggling with this or know someone who is…seek counseling. There are resources available that can help you. I’m just drawing and writing from my limited perspective. But there are professionals that can help you. Seriously. Jesus is right there with you. He was beaten, bloodied, stripped, and crucified for all the world to see. He knows pain inside and outside. He will stay with you until all of the pain is gone, no matter how long it takes. Honestly.

“Metaphoric Is Not A Denomination (Even If It Sounds Like One)”

I’ve been thinking about this metaphor off and on for some time now. Maybe it fits, maybe it doesn’t. But if there’s any group that could definitely answer the question “What are you seeking?” well, it would have to be zombies. They sort of have a one-track mind. They just want “Brains!”

But discussing zombies could be a lot like walking through a theological minefield, even a metaphorical one! Not everyone likes zombies. (But there are some people that I’ve avoided just like they were zombies, and I shouldn’t have.)

I remember many years ago reading a warning about all kinds of science fiction and horror movies because they are all the devil’s counterfeit of God’s realities. Somehow talking about zombies and other imaginary topics was opening a door for the devil to come in and take over your life. Certain kinds of music have been said to do the same thing. I can’t really say whether or not those beliefs are valid or not, but I don’t want to offend anyone who holds to them or discount anyone’s personal experiences. (For me, I believe that the devil is real, but we need to realize that he has only as much power as God allows him to have. We are not to fear Him. The devil and God are not equals.)

Anyway, I may be exploring this a bit further in a few future comic strips, particularly from the standpoint of being spiritually dead. And if zombie aren’t for you, not even metaphorical ones, I understand.

“And When The Pudding Cups Run Out?”

There are three possible solutions to all of the world’s problems presented in this comic strip. Two of them depend on pudding cups. One does not. I guess that makes it fairly obvious which one I prefer! But what is the cost of that solution?

Any real change for the better will come through and because of a Real Life Messiah who people love more than they love themselves. I guess that’s rather direct, or more direct than usual. But what do you do when the pudding cups run out?

I believe that may be the thought behind messages from the Old Testament prophets like this about the Real Life Messiah:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6 (KJV)

I think about what if I had been one of the twelve disciples. Being in the presence of the Real Life Messiah, would I have loved Him more than I loved myself? I don’t think so. I would have fled for my own life when He was arrested. 

But that is only a hypothetical “What if…?” question that I’ve asked myself. Every day is really centered on one real life question: “Will I show that I love Real Life Jesus more than I love myself?”

It helps me to remember this small portion of scripture, just eight words.

…who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

How can I not do the same for Him? Yet I know it will require His strength in me.