Two More For The Museum Of Abandoned Science Fair Projects!

Two More For The Museum Of Abandoned Science Fair Projects!

This is the third of three Laser Eyes Jesus comic strips in a series, and they are mostly about moving from having a religious knowing of Jesus towards having a relationship knowing of Jesus. (There are also two epilogue to the series that are on the digital drawing board!)

Sometimes it feels as if I’ve drawn and written myself into a corner. Like now. Seriously. I start with a graphic, then I start thinking about the words that should go with them. Then I have a question and a general idea to go with that question, and from there I’m just sort of stumbling blindly to find an answer.

Like with the Science Fair in this series. I started with sort of a “theist vs. atheist” direction which developed into a “kill God vs. warp God’s image” direction which developed into a “God-made vs. man-made” direction which has led me to where I am now…at a “Volcano-Stomping Robot vs. Robot-Melting Volcano” DEAD END!

It’s a dead end because everyone gets blasted by Laser Eyes Jesus. Nobody wins the Science Fair Ribbon. Larry the Robot and Brenda the Volcano are banished to The Museum Of Abandoned Science Fair Projects. All seems to have come to a complete stop. Journeys sometimes feel that way.

But is this really a dead end? Do our journeys in life really even have dead ends? Could there be a door at every dead end, just below eye level?

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (John 10:9 KJV)

Maybe it’s a door that requires us to stoop over a little to be able to find and to pass through? Maybe to look down in humbleness. So what do you think?

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (James 4:10 KJV)

Laser Eyes Jesus blasts both Lydia and Nate for not starting with a question, and not starting with a question about his favorite pudding cups! But he sidesteps having to choose sides. Perhaps he knows that neither of them had good motivations behind their choices? Maybe he didn’t know how to move beyond the dead end either?

If you’ve ever been involved with a real life school science fair project, you know that it’s supposed to be about a question. Everything starts with a question. Then you go from there. Oh, and the question can’t be found in a science book or encyclopedia. It’s a personal kind of question.

Real Life Jesus loves questions. He always has, and I think He probably always will. In John’s Gospel, the first thing He says is actually a question: “What are you seeking?”

And Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?”… (John 1:38 NASB)

I like that question because it really is so primary to everything else in life. Depending on what you are seeking, you may or may not go in a particular direction. Until you are seeking what only Jesus can give you, maybe His direction isn’t the one for you.

The answer that these followers gave has always been interesting to me. It is unexpected. They didn’t say they were seeking anything you’d expect like truth or wisdom or holiness or fame or power or financial gain.

…They said to Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?” (John 1:38 NASB)

They just wanted to know where He was staying so they could spend more time with Him. I think that is probably the most honest and open answer they could have given. Perhaps the most humble as well.

More and more I’m seeing how this question, this answer, and this humble attitude guide me as a believer and Christ-follower.

I’m seeking Real Life Jesus. To do that, I need to be with Him. I need to know that I’m staying where He is staying. He and I are both on this journey together.

For others to know what I’m seeking, they need to see that Jesus is staying and abiding with me.

No more dead ends.

When you read and consider personally the questions that Jesus asks in the Gospel records, I believe you will discover Real Life Jesus and also Real Life You.

Next up… Laser Eyes Jesus #047 “First Epilogue: Whatever Happened To Larry and Brenda?”

Thanks for reading!

John

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Please consider helping me to keep this website going, even if it’s just by keeping me caffeinated! My current goal is to have better graphic tools and more storage space!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Some of the other content creators that I support and recommend:

“Christians In Motion” which can be found at https://www.patreon.com/christiansinmotion/ and https://christiansinmotion.org

Some of the other content creators that I recommend and whose work I look forward to seeing published:

“Live4Him” by J. David Peever which can be found at https://live4him.ca

“Writer’s Envy” by Will Pennington which can be found at https://writersenvy.me

Some of the other content creators who I appreciate for their sense of humor:

“Trefology” by GTR which can be found at https://trefology.com (His sense of humor may be different from mine, but I often find myself thinking, “I wish I had thought of that!”)

Some of the other content creators who I appreciate for their creativity and way of handling words and ideas that cause me to think and see in new and different ways:

“Gospel Isosceles” by Amaya Engleking which can be found at https://gospelisosceles.wordpress.com (Her writing and selection of images to accompany her writing are absolutely worth visiting and following.)

“Speaking The Truth In Love” by Steve Rebus which can be found at https://steverebus.com (His testimony page is especially worth reading. He is a blind photographer, singer, writer of songs and poems.)

Some of the other content creators who I appreciate for their grace and wisdom:

“Strengthened By Grace” by Martha https://strengthenedbygrace.net (Her writing style has a very “one friend to another” style that I appreciate.)

“My Heart Is For Israel” by Donald Norris https://h4i.us (His posts always offer a different way of reading and understanding God’s Word. He has helped me better understand the New Testament through Old Testament eyes.)

Are We All More Alike Than We Realize?

Are We All More Alike Than We Realize?

This is the second of three Laser Eyes Jesus comic strips in a series, and they are mostly about moving from having a religious knowing of Jesus towards having a relationship knowing of Jesus.

So what do you think? If you had to choose the best reason for winning a Science Fair ribbon, whose would you select?

Even though Nate and Lydia give different reasons why their Science Fair project should win, their underlying motivation is the same. They are both trying to deal with fear.

Nate’s reason behind his Volcano-Stomping Robot is that he is tired of waiting for God to do something about what he sees as the biggest problem in his life. He is afraid of what will happen if God doesn’t act. He wants God to just DO something to change what is troubling him. If God won’t act, then he will. Even though what he wants (freedom from oppression) is good and desirable, his plan involves going even so far as to removing God from his mind and his heart. Nate’s plan to handle fear is to take control himself, even if he kills God to get what he wants.

Lydia’s reason behind her Robot-Melting Volcano is also fear, but she is afraid of what will happen if God does act because then she will lose control. She has discovered that there is manipulative power in just saying that God will do something to the people and situations that she doesn’t like, so she uses God’s inaction to her advantage. She is “God’s Biggest Fan” and so God will do whatever she wants Him to do, especially to the people that she doesn’t like. Lydia’s plan to handle fear is to take control over God, even if she warps the image of God in her mind and heart. She believes that taking power over God will get what she wants for herself.

What if all of our problems and conflicts are really are just about fear?

That’s not so different from what we read in the Bible about the Garden of Eden, is it? Whether you believe it is an absolutely true account or a myth about two people who never existed, one of the many underlying themes in the story of Adam and Eve is fear.

To me, Eve was afraid that God was withholding something good and that maybe God couldn’t be trusted, and so she ate the forbidden fruit. To me, Adam was afraid that he would lose Eve, and so he followed her and ate the forbidden fruit.

I can see so many different kinds of fear in my life. Maybe you too? Fear of missing out. Fear of God not knowing best. Fear of God withholding. Fear of not getting what I want. These have motivated me to do many unJesus things and to warp the image of God to justify doing those unJesus things.

Fear has kept me from knowing Real Life Jesus. And yet knowing Real Life Jesus is the only way to conquer fear.

Next up… Laser Eyes Jesus #046 “Two More For The Museum Of Abandoned Science Fair Projects!”

Thanks for reading!

John

Nickel Boy Graphics Banner

Please consider helping me to keep this website going, even if it’s just by keeping me caffeinated! My current goal is to have better graphic tools and more storage space!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Some of the other content creators that I support and recommend:

“Christians In Motion” which can be found at https://www.patreon.com/christiansinmotion/ and https://christiansinmotion.org

Some of the other content creators that I recommend and whose work I look forward to seeing published:

“Live4Him” by J. David Peever which can be found at https://live4him.ca

“Writer’s Envy” by Will Pennington which can be found at https://writersenvy.me

Just Another Fun Little Stroll Down Memory Lane!

Just Another Fun Little Stroll Down Memory Lane!

This is just a quick snapshot summary of probably my favorite comic, “Laser Eyes Jesus” which was referenced in the previous post (bottom right corner).

“Laser Eyes Jesus” was the first comic strip I created. Originally he was intended to be all about legalistic punishment and the wrath of God, but he has actually evolved over time, much as I have through these posts.

The main character is Laser Eyes Jesus who was born around the same time as Real Life Jesus when everyone was looking for the promised Messiah. Real Life Jesus has so far been only mentioned as “that other guy on the next hill over there,” but His presence is felt in how gradually more grace flows into the life of Laser Eyes Jesus. (Eventually I plan for them to meet.)

From time to time the comic strip does “bend time” by including some modern items like pudding cups and Godzilla movies even though the setting is Roman-occupied Israel.

There is more to this character than what you would imagine. He is what I call “an unexpected hero.” To some people, the laser blasts might seem extreme, but he is just doing the best that he can to keep the comic strip’s children out of trouble, and those zaps really are harmless.

There are times when his inadequacies show, like when he believes that Godzilla is real, not a movie creation, and this is particularly disturbing to him. At times like that, it’s not that he is afraid the children will laugh at him and abandon him. Instead he worries about what will happen to them if he isn’t watching out for them.

There are five children who spend time with him every day. Lydia likes being right. Nate likes to be mischievous, and he really doesn’t care if he is right or not. Sarah is somewhat withdrawn, but when she does speak, she always has something valuable to say. Timmy is often bullied and never speaks. The Kid With No Name only says, “We love you, Laser Eyes Jesus.”

This comic strip has most often been about trying to show who Real Life Jesus IS by showing who He IS NOT, however there are times when Laser Eyes Jesus has it right! In that respect he reflects all of us as we find our way through life.

Thanks for reading!

John

Nickel Boy Graphics Banner

Please consider helping me to keep this website going, even if it’s just by keeping me caffeinated! My current goal is to have better graphic tools and more storage space!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Some of the other content creators that I support and recommend:

“Christians In Motion” which can be found at https://www.patreon.com/christiansinmotion/ and https://christiansinmotion.org

Some of the other content creators that I recommend and whose work I look forward to seeing published:

“Live4Him” by J. David Peever which can be found at https://live4him.ca

“Writer’s Envy” by Will Pennington which can be found at https://writersenvy.me

Just Another Little Stroll Down Memory Lane!

Just Another Little Stroll Down Memory Lane!

This is just a quick snapshot summary of another one of my favorite comics, “Laura’s Essential Life Lists” which was referenced in the previous post (bottom right corner).

The main character is Laura Wilson who either already has a list about anything you could imagine or can create one for you. She is perkiness personified!

She has always claimed to be a devout Christian, however the titles for many of her lists don’t always reflect that. Her husband, Rob, does his best to keep her from getting too carried away.

Laura is a representation of many of the worst qualities I find in myself from time to time. Many of her lists are ones that I’ve made in the past…not necessarily on paper, but definitely in my mind and heart such as “People We Don’t Like, Don’t Want In Our Church, and Don’t Want To Spend Eternity With.” Yes, at one time, that was a favorite list I made in my heart, and I was really good at rationalizing reasons for adding more names to that list!

There are still a lot of very un-Christlike thoughts and attitudes still grumbling and rumbling around inside me. Getting them out in the open and looking at them for what they really are (even if in comic strip form) has helped me to see where I still need to grow in knowing Jesus.

Although Laura often represents the worst attitudes and behaviors for which Christians are often criticized, from time to time, she also shows some of the best Christlike characteristics.

This comic strip has most often been about encouraging readers to examine their minds and hearts for any areas that are not aligned with Real Life Jesus.

Thanks for reading!

John

Nickel Boy Graphics Banner

Please consider helping me to keep this website going, even if it’s just by keeping me caffeinated! My current goal is to have better graphic tools and more storage space!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Some of the other content creators that I support and recommend:

“Christians In Motion” which can be found at https://www.patreon.com/christiansinmotion/ and https://christiansinmotion.org

Some of the other content creators that I recommend and whose work I look forward to seeing published:

“Live4Him” by J. David Peever which can be found at https://live4him.ca

“Writer’s Envy” by Will Pennington which can be found at https://writersenvy.me

The Power of Words!

The Power Of Words!

Recently I watched the film “1984” based on George Orwell’s famous novel. I was familiar with “Big Brother is watching you,” however I had never read the book.

The main character, Winston Smith, works in the misnamed Ministry of Truth in a dystopian world where workers removed words, altered photographs, changed history, and even deleted all records of individuals, thus making them “unpersons.” The Ministry of Truth is not at all about truth, but no one would want to say that out of fear.

Some words had been removed from everyone’s vocabulary and replaced by other words from a government-approved vocabulary called “newspeak.” No one ever wanted to be accused of what was called a thoughtcrime. It wasn’t just saying certain words and expressing certain ideas that would jeopardize your life, thinking them (or just being accused of thinking them) could get you killed.

To me, this story showed what life would be like if God was removed first from our words, then from our minds, and finally from our hearts since whoever controls our words could also “kill God.”

For me, removing God is the same as removing all hope. The world in “1984” is a world with no hope, a world where whatever you do, there is only pain and eventual death.

Words are powerful. They are perhaps our greatest tool. They can create, and they can destroy. Words can be used to build faith in God, but they can also be used to kill God, at least in our minds and hearts.

So today’s graphic points to the irony of how the same things God used to create all we see (and don’t see) can also be used to kill God…words. (More about that in a future post with perhaps a different perspective than what you might expect!)

Here in the United States, we may overlook places in the world where words about Jesus Christ can be limited or even forbidden, but those places exist. It is as if no one says anything about Jesus, then He doesn’t exist. He is an “unperson” and an “ungod.”

Here in the United Stated, the words “Jesus” and “Christ” have become almost swear words, limiting their power, respect, and reverence. It doesn’t offend me when people do this. I don’t see it as an attack on my faith. (Maybe I should? But then there is Premise One: God can take care of God.) Instead of being angered, I am saddened to think when someone uses the words “Jesus” and “Christ” in this way they are perhaps distancing themselves just a little more from knowing Real Life Jesus and slowly “killing God” as a presence in their life.

And yet even then…

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3 (KJV)

As long as the heavens are above me declaring the glory of God, those words will prevail, and I have hope.

Thanks for reading!

John

Nickel Boy Graphics Banner

Please consider helping me to keep this website going, even if it’s just by keeping me caffeinated! My current goal is to have better graphic tools and more storage space!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Some of the other content creators that I support and recommend:

“Christians In Motion” which can be found at https://www.patreon.com/christiansinmotion/ and https://christiansinmotion.org

Some of the other content creators that I recommend and whose work I look forward to seeing published:

“Live4Him” by J. David Peever which can be found at https://live4him.ca

“Writer’s Envy” by Will Pennington which can be found at https://writersenvy.me