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

The Volcano-Stomping Robot vs. The Robot-Melting Volcano!

The Volcano-Stomping Robot vs. The Robot-Melting Volcano!

This is just my experience and a part of my journey. It may not be anything like yours, but you might relate some to this or maybe understand someone you know just a little better. This is the first of three Laser Eyes Jesus comic strips in a series, and they are mostly about moving from having a religious knowing of Jesus to having a relationship knowing of Jesus. Robots are not always robots, and volcanoes are not always volcanoes!

So what do you think about this “Ultimate Showdown”? Who will win? Will Nate’s robot stomp down Lydia’s volcano before Lydia’s volcano melts down Nate’s robot? Who gets the ribbon for “Best and Most Right”?

Some people try to kill God or say that there is no God to kill. Some choose science over religion.

Some people warp God’s image into something that He is not. Some choose religion over science.

I have been at both extremes. Theist and atheist. A killer of God and a warper of God’s image. A religious fanatic and a science fanatic. A creationist and an evolutionist. Unstable in all of my ways? You bet!

What is at the root of it all, at least in my own heart?

To a child, almost anything is possible. God created a wonderful universe. Children want to learn about that creation (like volcanoes), and they want to find out what they themselves can create (like robots).

Science was my friend! Bible story heroes were my friends too! I didn’t have to choose one or the other. In my mind they coexisted just fine, and I liked it that way.

It wasn’t until I got older that things changed.

I learned that I wasn’t much of a Bible story hero. I wanted to try unheroic things. I wanted to do things that I knew Jesus would have never done. Ever.

So at first, I tried killing God, ignoring Him really. I tried to make God homeless. “Get out of my life!” Then I tried to make God unemployed. “You’re not needed in my life! Go and be God for somebody else!” Finally I made God unrecognizable at least as far as anyone looking for the image of God in me was concerned. “I don’t want to look anything like you! I don’t want to be anything like you!” This is what “How To Kill God In Three Easy Steps!” was about.

I had stomped all over the God I had known as a child and was left with a warped image of a god who seemed a lot like me, one that would let me do those unJesus things.

But it’s not so easy to just kill God like that because God does not let go of His own.

So then the Me-Burning Volcano took over, and was it ever a rigid, legalistic, all-consuming lava eruption! I was ready to burn up every evil in my life and every evil in anyone else’s life too! I had my Bible, God’s Holy Word, and “It’s clobberin’ time!” Except that only fed my desire to do more of those unJesus things.

But it was all fake and I knew it. It really didn’t matter which way I went…God-Stomping Robot or Me-Melting Volcano…I would eventually be frustrated and switch over to the other side, back and forth, back and forth.

Either way, I was doing unJesus things.

Next up…Laser Eyes Jesus #045 “Are Things More Alike Than We Realize?”

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

The Ultimate Showdown!

The Ultimate Showdown!

This is probably going to be one of those posts which may not make anyone happy because I’m not going to choose sides. It is beginning to feel like “The Ultimate Showdown” of my lifetime. (And I’m not talking about a school Science Fair with models of robots and volcanoes!)

In the United States, we kind of enjoy being polarized whether we admit it or not. We like knowing who’s on our side and who’s not. On top of that, as Christians, somehow we have taken the idea that “If the world is against you, then you must be on God’s side because the world is always against God” to the extreme.

At times I think some of us actually want to be persecuted and criticized just so we can feel like we are on God’s side, and if we are on God’s side, then we must be right. There are some who actually thrive on being “the dogmatic underdogs.”

So I’m not taking sides. I am going to stubbornly insist that my love of God and my love of science can coexist. Both are too vast and great for my mind to comprehend anyway, yet my mind can delight in them both.

I’m also going to stubbornly insist that my love for all that God has created (like volcanoes) and all that mankind has created (like robots) can coexist as well.

There seem to be two extremes. Either people totally believe science textbooks and throw away God’s Word, or they rigidly believe God’s Word and throw away science.

The ancient scrolls that became our Bible were never intended to be a physics textbook, but I do believe that they were written in an inspired way to convey truth in words that would best speak to readers and hearers at that time.

Here is the simplest reason why I believe God exists. It all has to do with the power of words.

(First Reader Alert: I am not a “God-said-it-that-settles-it” kind of guy when it comes to some things in the Bible. I’m not going to give up science in order to read the Bible in a fundamentalist way. I believe my love of science and my love of God’s Word can coexist.)

Genesis One is all about creation and God repeatedly saying “Let there be…” Everything He said just simply was. To me, this is letting me know that all we see (and don’t see) was created by God’s own words. Sort of unscientific, right?

But what about words? Words are sound waves…which are…vibrations. (Remember that word.)

For the topic of creation, a Physics textbook might be all about The Big Bang and maybe even String Theory. Sort of unreligious, right?

But what about The Big Bang? It was an expansion of space accompanied by…sound waves…which are…vibrations. (There’s that word again.)

And what about the strings of String Theory, the particles that make up everything? Strings are…(You guessed it!)…vibrations.

To me, it certainly seems like both my “unscientific” Bible and my “unreligious” Physics textbook are sort of saying the same thing but just with different words. So maybe I really can have both science and God!?!

More about those robots and volcanoes when Laser Eyes Jesus returns!

(Second Reader Alert: Laser Eyes Jesus is NOT the same as Real Life Jesus. He just happens to have been born at the same time as Real Life Jesus and with a remarkable pair of laser beam eyes. Although he does make a lot of mistakes, he does care deeply about the children who visit him. By the way, those laser eye blasts are basically harmless. Seriously. No children, not even comic strip children, are ever actually harmed in the making of the comic strip.)

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