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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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29 Responses to 503

  1. Chris F says:

    No – he’s not the man I thought he was; just when I think I know him, he goes and does something unexpected and sometimes it’s the opposite of what I thought he said he would do.

    I however am exactly the bride he knew he was choosing, and continues to choose and will always choose, whatever else I feel.

    So I think we’ll stay together…

  2. flayed Hypatia says:

    …and I’m exactly the bride he thought I’d be, but he still keeps trying to change me. To be more like him!!

    Sheesh.

  3. dennis says:

    For better For worse eh!

  4. subo says:

    he’s got this awful habit of looking like he cares for all the wrong people, he can’t just walk past beggers without stopping and greeting them – i mean, honestly, have you ever known anyone like it! – and children? I ask you, he smiles at them, encouraging them, you’d think they mattered or something. then when you need him to make an effort with someone important – he’ll call them white washed tombs. I just can’t get him to understand you just can’t live like this.

  5. sophie says:

    It’s pretty stunning that God does continue to choose and rescue us always, no matter what. Amazing and wonderful. God chose and rescued me at a time when I was trying my hardest not to choose God. I had always heard that people only loved God because God had loved them first, and that time I started to understand them.

  6. sarah says:

    Nice (comments).

  7. becky says:

    Love the comments … this reminds me though of a dirty joke – Why was the princess disappointed on her wedding night? She thought all rulers were 12 inches.

  8. Forrest says:

    Ahh, but wait until He leads you to become the person you didn’t think you could ever be!

  9. tallandrew says:

    I like what you’re doing here Jon – just a question. The Bible says clearly that the Church is the bride of Christ. But I’ve always been uncomfortable with us thinking that we are, as individuals, brides of Christ. It is dificult imagery, especially for men. Does the church being the bride also mean that individual Christians can call ourselves brides? or just part of the Bride (as in the body of the church – 1 cor 12). Discuss.

    But yes – I like this cartoon!

  10. TyTe says:

    Brings a whole nother angle to the idea of adultery. Guilty as charged.

  11. Rich says:

    Yes indeed Tyte… Know exactly what you mean… And to think he’s been in this situation before..

    Jeremiah 3:7-8 (CEV)

    I knew that the kingdom of Israel had been unfaithful and committed many sins, yet I still hoped she might come back to me. But she didn’t, so I divorced her and sent her away. Her sister, the kingdom of Judah, saw what happened, but she wasn’t worried in the least, and I watched her become unfaithful like her sister.

  12. jonbirch says:

    tallandrew (9)… hi!… i wasn’t particularly thinking of the ‘bride of christ’ idea when i did this… i was thinking more of the personal relationship aspect of people’s experience. you are right, the bride is the church, not the individual. :-)

  13. Carole says:

    I thought I could change him…

  14. binopadre says:

    Somethings missing from the cartoon – dare I say it? – the multitude of brothers and sisters who make up the bride of Christ facing the consequences of the individuals selfish actions.

  15. Robb says:

    Do we ever have the right to complain about the man?

    Tallandrew, isn’t it the same as the difficulty of describing ourselves as ‘adopted sons’? Dr Ruth will probably be along in a moment to complain that someone is trying to take away her right to be an ‘adopted son’ and removing the meaning of the passage. However, she is comfortable describing herself in masculine terms and would rather be an ‘adopted son’ that receives all of the benefits of that statement in the context of first century Palestine rather than an adopted daughter who receives nowt.

    I suspect I may be head butted now. I usually am.

    This is another reason why men don’t go to church any more. You have to sing that you love a bloke. Just doesn’t work for many. Too uncomfortable.

  16. Linus says:

    yep. Job does it and “did not sin” Moses puts up any number of objections to God’s plan during the flammable/non-combustible foliage tete-a-tete, and God makes allowances for him. Abraham complains that the Almighty is not giving the sodomites a fair go, so God changes His plan (!?)

    There’s a difference between complaining and choosing to “curse God and die”, raising objections and asking God to “send someone else”, Questioning God and failing to trust him (“Hi Pharaoh, this is my… er.. sister, Sarai)

    Yeah, i’m far from the most masculine of guys, but i find myself agreeing with the immortal Baggins line “Jesus is not my girlfriend” far too often in corporate worship settings. Pledging allegiance to the King of the Kingdom is a much more helpful image for me.

  17. Timbo says:

    Linus #16. Yeah, and I’m not his girlfriend either – which I think can be almost as much (if not more) of a problem for a lot of guys. Any relational images at all are going to cause problems for some folk exposed to them. I think if we if we keep saying “this is one of the ways that Jesus is” and paint different pictures (like he did with the parables of the Kingdom) then there’s more chance of having a positive effect on people.

  18. Robb says:

    Linus, I’m not talking about disagreeing with God per se. What I was getting at was the Jesus person of the trinity. Do we disagree with Him? I guess I saw the human personification of God in the cartoon and took that literally [crucify me as a literalist :lol: ]

    Timbo – I think if we if we keep saying “this is one of the ways that Jesus is” and paint different pictures (like he did with the parables of the Kingdom) then there’s more chance of having a positive effect on people.

    I knew there was a reason why I respect you so much!! I bet Jesus hates being pigeon holed as much as we do!!

  19. jonbirch says:

    good point timbo. :-)

  20. subo says:

    “Pledging allegiance to the King of the Kingdom,” – Steve Smith talks about us as Kings and Queens in the Kingdom of God, as does C.S.Lewis in the Narnia stuff, sorry, can’t remember the book Steve quotes from.

  21. shelly says:

    On “Jesus is my boyfriend”-type songs…

    Meanwhile, thumbs up on the cartoon.

  22. subo says:

    “he wanted everything, I started feeling uncomfortable about my porn stash”

  23. Carole says:

    Thanks for pointing that out Shelley (21), I thought it was an interesting interview. On ASBO in the past we have had the debate on ‘up themselves’ worship leaders with their ‘anointed’ songs. I thought it was refreshing and quite humble of our Matt to say he was having a rethink on some of his own songs.

    I personally don’t find the image of lover unhelpful – the most intimate relationship I have had in my life is the one I have with my husband. So I feel this is a helpful model for my relationship with Jesus… though I must stress that the thought of ‘gettin’ jiggy with Jesus’ makes me feel a bit yeuch!

    I suggest blokes go for the chivalric lord and his vassals relationship. Just a suggestion!

  24. doctor ruth says:

    I understand why people aren’t comfortable with the boyfriend/girlfriend image, but many people will also feel uncomfortable with the king image too – especially in many countries where kings/queens were/are abusive with their power, or ineffective nominal heads of state with no real power at all. Some people find it a bit Imperialistic or just a bit old fashioned and out of touch with the modern western world. I don’t think many people have a real experience of being a ‘vassal’ anymore! I’m not saying that our relationship with God/Jesus is or should be the same as our human relationships, but as humans we have limited ways of understanding relationships!

    The good book uses lots of images but I find the most helpful one is the image of family – God as father, Jesus as brother – although am very aware that some will struggle with this too. Thank God for his many and varied ways of revealing himself to us!

    NB Robb (15): -headbutt-

  25. zefi says:

    tallandrew:

    Can you call your girl’s hand, your girl?

    Or can I shout to your feet, “Hey Andrew!”

    Hmm…

    Maybe I can!

  26. tallandrew says:

    Maybe you can, but is it helpful? I think to many people it is not. And as the concept of an ‘individual as the bride of Christ’ is not biblical, perhaps we should drop it to make it easier for newcomers to understand what we mean when we praise God.

    I think it is subtly different from the adopted sons metaphor (although I’m usually happy to use daughter’ as well). Only males could be adopted then, and ‘the individual as adopted son’ is a concept that is found in the Bible, so we can certainly talk of individuals in this manner – I know its been a very powerful metaphor for those who have actually been adopted in real life. Having said that, since both men and women can be adopted now, I’m happy to use sons or daughters.

    It’s all about language really – how do we describe our relationship with God in ways that are true and biblical and authentic to us and our experience?

  27. Robb says:

    Great link shelly.

    Tallandrew – I know its been a very powerful metaphor for those who have actually been adopted in real life.

    The problem with any human concept when applied to God is that for some it is a very bad idea. For someone with an abusive dad, ‘Father’ is a bad idea. For someone suffering from attachment disorders because of their adoption or had a really bad time with their adopted parents the image breaks down.

  28. Linus says:

    There’s two separate issues here i think:

    1. Men feeling that in order to “fit in” at church or even to relate to God, they have to become “feminine” or “wussy”. More generally, people feeling that a right response to God is to go all passive and doe-eyed and generally turn into a pile of mush (which i don’t think is what God wants for any of us in any context regardless of our gender)

    We (I) need proper discipleship to learn to be mature and fully alive people.

    2. “Helpful” and “Unhelpful” images of God. Actually i think its not the images that are the problem – its our experience that is helpful or unhelpful. The images of God as father, adopter, king, and yes lover are all legitimate (Tim is right, which is something i never like to have to admit). I confess i’m guilty of selfishly and lazily only trying to relate to God in ways that are easy for me or suit my agenda. I need to learn to relate to aspects of God’s character that, for whatever reason, don’t resonate so naturally, cos otherwise i’m missing out to an extent in my understanding of and relationship with God. Even if that might be a painful process for some people because of difficult experiences, its necessary cos thats how we become fully alive and that’s how we find healing in those emotional and psychological areas.

  29. janetp says:

    Linus (28): 2 “Helpful” and “Unhelpful” images of God. An interesting and valid point that has got me thinking.

    I’m doing a lot of wrestling at the moment with the whole ‘relationship with God’ thing, mainly because I’ve changed and the old ways of thinking about God are no longer sufficient. Hopefully, all the questionning and soul-searching will eventually lead to a fuller appreciation of the nature of God, but in the meantime, the more I look at it the more confused I get!

    Your words are encouraging. Thank you.

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