“It’s Not About Being One Of The Best”

This post is a followup to yesterday’s post and tries to fill in a few gaps that may explain why some people become who they are.

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so…little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.”

I don’t know when we stop becoming little ones. There are times that I want to go back to being a little one, particularly on days when I feel I have absolutely no strength in myself.

I have a feeling that there are some things that we have to resolve when we are a little one, and if we don’t resolve them then, they will confound us until we do. One of those things is the love of Jesus.

Perhaps one of the strongest senses a child has is whether or not they are loved. It may be stronger than their sense of whether or not they are warm and nourished. Children gravitate to love. They want to figure out how to receive more of it. Sometimes it’s very difficult to figure out, particularly when using just outward appearances. Sometimes outward appearances appear to be what love is all about. Who always seems to have new stylish clothes? The popular new toy? Who always seems to get picked for special privileges at school and at church? Who is “The Best Boy” in my class? Who is “The Best Girl”?

God made you just the way you are.

God loves you just the way you are.

God picked out your family just for you.

But what if you don’t look like all of the other children? You have brown skin, but they don’t. You have a twisted limb, but they don’t. You wear the same thing to church every Sunday, but they always have something new. Your mom gives you cereal for dinner, but they have a hot meal. Your dad is in jail, but theirs is playing ball with them in the backyard. Maybe that’s part of what “They are weak, but He is strong” is really all about.

It’s not always easy when you’re not one of “The Favorites,” but then there is a different kind of difficulty for those who are one of “The Favorites.” Maybe that’s a different kind of weak too.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that sometimes we may have to help people figure out God’s love is not like the things we see that may accompany human love. It’s too easy to be lured away by those things as nice and as wholesome as they are. Then maybe they will realize they have been receiving God’s love all along.

“But He Ain’t The Boss Of Me”


This series of graphics focused on the BIG question “Who do you say Jesus is?” uses found images, usually old ones, that are then drawn and redrawn to hopefully convey a real person, but of today. This one is a mug shot for someone who was arrested on January 7, 1932 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Unlike some of the others, there are a clues that the source photograph was taken many years ago and I didn’t redraw or crop them out. People and heart attitudes haven’t changed all that much.

It’s important that this graphic is obviously a mugshot. It could be me because this man when apprehended boldly says what I have at times tried to hide away in my heart. Perhaps you as well? His eyes give him away, or so it seems to me.

I recently read this thought-provoking quotation.

The two things around which our Lord centered His most scathing teaching were money and marriage, because they are the two things that make men and women devils or saints. Covetousness is the root of all evil, whether it shows itself in money matters or in any way.

– Oswald Chambers “The Highest Good”

The arrested man may be somewhat “on the right track” but he has yet to get to the root of what has brought him to this point, covetousness.

I am wondering how it would be to set aside things like “This is what you are supposed to do with your money” and “This is what you are supposed to do with your sexuality” and instead judged for covetousness?

Covetousness is a thing of the heart, not the wallet or the body.

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. Matthew 15:19 (NASB)

“Because You Have To Have Goals!”

Just as a refresher, I began this as just a project to explore and better understand what I believe, and I think that will always be happening. It’s just how my brain works! But now there is a growing desire to be more concentrated and refined in what I share here, particularly for a wider global readership.

So some things may have to change, and other things may have to go! But I think this is good advice to anyone who is using WordPress. Know your goals and what you do well. Stay with those. Remember that you can’t be all things to all people.

A great deal of thought and editing went into these three goals. (I sort of wish I had done this at the very beginning!) Each one is paired with a particular graphic strip that best represents that goal even though these goals can apply to others that have been created.

You may notice that the examples are all of the “serious” kind even though the tag line is “Comic Strips (some funny, some serious).” That’s another area where some tightening up is needed because I don’t think the goals are quite as clear as what they could be on the “some funny” side. Also, I think I need to trust the graphics more to carry the message and rely less on the accompanying words. After all, this is called Nickel Boy GRAPHICS!

Goal 1: Present the Gospel in a way that is visually connected with our times.

Obvious Example: “Whatever The Gospel Is…”

Not So Obvious Example: “Laser Eyes Jesus” and “The Lloyd Servant Show”

Goal 2: Help to heal wounds even though we didn’t cause them.

Obvious Example “Voices From The Last Pew”

Not So Obvious Examples: “Flamethrower Mommy and Ghost Dad”

Goal 3: Share God’s transforming love in Christ Jesus.

Obvious Example: “The Gifts Of God”

Not So Obvious Example: Hmm…Can’t really say that “Laura’s Essential Life Lists” is doing this, at least not as well as it could. More thought needed here!

(It’s possible that the dinosaur on the sofa was a misstep in the plot. Actually Laura’s comic strip was never intended to have a plot, but transformation and plot go together!)

“Voices From The Last Pew” Update

This is a “trigger warning” concerning tomorrow’s post for “Voices From The Last Pew.”

It will be titled “Finding Your Voice” and will touch on domestic violence, verbal abuse, bullying behaviors, and manipulation (including the bending of God’s Word to suit one’s own desires to control). The character and situation sketched out is a composite of several different real life situations. One thing is the same with any type of abuse where someone has been shamed into remaining silent: “Finding Your Voice” is extremely important.

I know that some of you are dealing with or recovering from some form of abuse or violence like this, and so I just wanted to provide a “heads up” or “trigger warning” in case some readers may be concerned that this topic will bring up painful memories from the past.

Hopefully it will be a good post, one that the Holy Spirit can use to bring awareness, help, and healing. 

“How Shameful To Have No Shame!”


This is the kind of comic strip that prompts questions like, “Are you serious?!? It’s shameful to have no shame?!? Shame make you a better Christian?!? Do you believe this junk?!?” But really that’s sort of the purpose of this kind of comic strip. It says the exact opposite of what I believe…and in an extreme way…helps me examine myself. It’s sort of like asking myself, “If you think this is so ridiculously false, why are you acting like it’s true? Why are you hoarding away shameful secrets from God?”

Shame can cause a barrier that keeps a person from reaching out towards God even though shame never keeps God from reaching out towards a person. Shame finds a great deal of power in secrets. Shame haunts us with the question “What will other people say?”

Shame can come from wrong decisions we’ve made but it can also be imposed upon us through no decision of our own. (For example, the pregnancy in this comic strip might have come about because of teenage love, but it could have also been the result of rape. We don’t know. We only know what Margie, “Flamethrower Mommy,” assumes. Don’t you really just want to tell her to mind her own business?!?)

This is one of the things I most dislike about shame. It can make us feel like there is something for which we need to repent when actually we didn’t do anything wrong. Something wrong was done to us. But we still feel shame. We don’t know what to do or what to pray. 

I had a tough time choosing a Bible verse for today for that very reason. Sometimes we can feel a huge amount of guilt and shame when the truth is that we did nothing wrong.

Finally, my heart settled on this verse. It is a promise that doesn’t come to mind very often because it hinges on “if we ask any thing according to his will.” I’m not always sure of what His will for me is, but I know for a fact His will is for all of us to live our lives free from shame, so it’s a promise to hold fast in our hearts.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. 1 John 5:14-15 (KJV)

When we find our voice and speak to Our Heavenly Father about the shame that we are feeling, His Holy Spirit will direct our prayers. Finding your voice, talking to God, letting His Holy Spirit guide you is, I believe, the best way to deal with either type of shame, and it prevents hoarding away secrets!