Friday, January 26, 2007

YOUR artwork on the web?


Just thought you might want to know that I stuck pictures by you in my student art gallery. If you want to see them, here is the address:

If you're ever the least bit interested in what my art classes are doing now, check out

If you look in the January archive you will find a post on Jackson Pollack- scroll down enough and there is a really cool online game where you can make your own "drip-painting."

This last summer, I started drawing political cartoons for the Charter Oak-Ute NEWSpaper and not just writing humor columns. I know its terrible when I just send out these mass emails that are basically spam, but I really just have this COMPULSION to get as many people as I can to look at my cartoons as I can!!! So here is that address too:

If you have anybodies email addresses who are/were in Drawing or Painting or ever IM them, feel free to pass these websites along.

If you're a former student, cheerleader or yearbook staffer from long ago or far away, send me a note and I promise to actually write you back instead of just sending dumb spam.

Happy February,


"The gospel is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." ~Garrison Keillor

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sojourners' Verse and Voice - 01.19.2007

The only purpose of the gospel is to reconcile people to God and to each other. A gospel that doesn't reconcile is not a Christian gospel at all. But in America, it seems as if we don't believe that. We don't really believe that the proof of our discipleship is that we love one another (see John 13:35). No, we think the proof is in numbers ... Even if our "converts" continue to hate each other, even if they will not worship with their brothers and sisters in Christ, we point to their "conversion" as evidence of the gospel's success. We have substituted a gospel of church growth for a gospel of reconciliation.

- John Perkins
from "With Justice for All"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

is taking the first step
when you don't see
the whole staircase."

~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Billy Graham and Oprah

Billy Graham and Oprah

Last year I watched Billy Graham being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on television. Oprah told him that in her childhood home, she use to watch him preach on a little black and white TV while sitting on a linoleum floor.

She went on to the tell viewers that in his lifetime Billy has preached to twenty-million people around the world, not to mention the countless numbers who have heard him whenever his crusades are broadcast. When she asked if he got nervous before facing a crowd, Billy replied humbly, "No, I don't get nervous before crowds, but I did today before I was going to meet with you."

Oprah's show is broadcast to twenty-million people every day. She is comfortable with famous stars and celebrities but seemed in awe of Dr. Billy Graham.

When the interview ended, she told the audience, "You don't often see this on my show, but we're going to pray." Then she asked Billy to close in prayer. The camera panned the studio audience as they bowed their heads and closed their eyes just like in one of his crusades.

Oprah sang the first line from the song that is his hallmark "Just as I am, without a plea," misreading the line and singing off key, but her voice was full of emotion and almost cracked.

When Billy stood up after the show, instead of hugging her guest, Oprah's usual custom, she went over and just nestled against him. Billy wrapped his arm around her and pulled her under his shoulder. She stood in his fatherly embrace with a look of sheer contentment.

I once read the book "Nestle, Don't Wrestle" by Corrie Ten Boom. The power of nestling was evident on the TV screen that day. Billy Graham was not the least bit condemning, distant, nor hesitant to embrace a public personality who may not fit the evangelistic mold. His grace and courage are sometimes stunning.

In an interview with Hugh Downs, on the 20/20 program, the subject turned to homosexuality. Hugh looked directly at Billy and said, "If you had a homosexual child, would you love him?" Billy didn't miss a beat. He replied with sincerity and gentleness, "Why, I would love that one even more."

The title of Billy's autobiography, "Just As I Am," says it all. His life goes before him speaking as eloquently as that charming southern drawl for which he is known.

If, when I am eighty years old, my autobiography were to be titled "Just As I Am," I wonder how I would live now? Do I have the courage to be me? I'll never be a Billy Graham, the elegant man who draws people to the Lord through a simple one-point message, but I hope to be a person who is real and compassionate and who might draw people to nestle within God's embrace.

Do you make it a point to speak to a visitor or person who shows up alone at church, buy a hamburger for a homeless man, call your mother on Sunday afternoons, pick daisies with a little girl, or take a fatherless boy to a baseball game?

Did anyone ever tell you how beautiful you look when you're looking for what's beautiful in someone else?

Billy complimented Oprah when asked what he was most thankful for; he said, "Salvation given to us in Jesus Christ" then added, "and the way you have made people all over this country aware of the power of being grateful."

When asked his secret of love, being married fifty-four years to the same person, he said, "Ruth and I are happily incompatible."

How unexpected. We would all live more comfortably with everybody around us if we would find the strength in being grateful and happily incompatible.

Let's take the things that set us apart, that make us different, that cause us to disagree, and make them an occasion to compliment each other and be thankful for each other.

Let us be big enough to be smaller than our neighbor, spouse, friends, and strangers.



TOPIC: Shoes of the gospel of peace

MAIN SCRIPTURE: "Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere." (Ephesians 6:13-18, NLT)

OTHER SCRIPTURES: Matthew 7:24-27; Romans 5:1-5; Romans 10:14-17; Ephesians 2:14; 2 Timothy 2:22; James 1:22-25; 1 Peter 3:8-12

I hear your thoughts when you sit in class at school and ask yourself, "What does this have to do with the real world?" Facts trapped in your head that don't affect your everyday life do you little good.

The same is true of my Word and me. Rather than allow your knowledge of me to stay in your head, let it penetrate your heart and flow throughout your body. Your faith in me does you no good unless it affects your everyday life.

My heart breaks when I see you facing battles against Satan that knock you off your feet. You need the firm footing that comes from putting your faith into practice.

In the same way you put on a pair of shoes, put on the peace that comes from the good news so that you will be prepared for any situation. My good news becomes peace to you when you know deep inside that it's true. And you know it's true when it has become real in your life.

What does this mean for you? It means allowing me to become real in you. Let me live in you. Let me live through you. I am your peace. I am the good news. I am the real world.

Talk about my love, but love the people I place in your life, too--even those you may view as unlovable. Believe in my power but also believe that I have the power to change your seemingly unchangeable situation. Be thankful for the patience I show you but also show patience to people who get on your nerves.

When you experience the peace that comes from knowing that the good news is true, you not only prepare yourself to withstand any attack, but you also put

Your Peace, Jesus

SUMMARY CHALLENGE: Put your faith into practice so that when you face an overwhelming spiritual battle, you're standing on the solid ground that comes from knowing deep inside that the good news is true.

"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.


"The gospel is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." ~Garrison Keillor

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

NPR : Prayer: Once a Last Resort, Now a Habit

NPR : Prayer: Once a Last Resort, Now a Habit
Storyteller Kevin Kling has often used prayer to try to get himself out of the dumb trouble he finds himself in. But after a life-changing motorcycle accident in 2001, Kling's prayers have changed.

Mark Twain on Patriotism & Faith

"A man can be a Christian or a patriot, but he can't legally be a Christian and a patriot--except in the usual way: one of the two with the mouth, the other with the heart.

The spirit of Christianity proclaims the brotherhood of the race and the meaning of that strong word has not been left to guesswork, but made tremendously definite- the Christian must forgive his brother man all crimes he can imagine and commit, and all insults he can conceive and utter- forgive these injuries how many times?--seventy times seven--another way of saying there shall be no limit to this forgiveness. That is the spirit and the law of Christianity.

Well--Patriotism has its laws. And it also is a perfectly definite one, there are not vaguenesses about it. It commands that the brother over the border shall be sharply watched and brought to book every time he does us a hurt or offends us with an insult. Word it as softly as you please, the spirit of patriotism is the spirit of the dog and wolf. The moment there is a misunderstanding about a boundary line or a hamper of fish or some other squalid matter, see patriotism rise, and hear him split the universe with is war-whoop. The spirit of patriotism being in its nature jealous and selfish, is just in man's line, it comes natural to him- he can live up to all its requirements to the letter; but the spirit of Christianity is not in its entirety possible to him.

The prayers concealed in what I have been saying is, not that patriotism should cease and not that the talk about universal brotherhood should cease, but that the incongruous firm be dissolved and each limb of it be required to transact business by itself, for the future."

- Mark Twain's Notebook

Monday, January 08, 2007



Come with me to a third grade classroom..... There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a
sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he
knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never
speak to him again as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer,

"Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat." He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered. As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap.
The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!"
Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else - Susie. She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You've done enough, you klutz!" Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting
for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, you did that on purpose, didn't you?" Susie whispers
back, "I wet my pants once too." May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good.

Remember.....Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

Each and everyone one of us are going through tough times right now, but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that only He can. Keep the faith.

This prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards. Let's continue to pray for one another.

The prayer:

Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and those that I care deeply for, who are reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace. Where there is need, I ask you to fulfill their needs. Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings. Amen.