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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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46 Responses to 705

  1. Tokah says:

    Wow… amen indeed!

  2. beckyG says:

    Amen – not all of us can be raging St. Francis’ types – we need the quiet Benedictines too …

  3. Wulf says:

    Nice. Thank you. I’ll be remembering this one next time I’m getting obsessed with making a ‘career’.

  4. miriworm says:

    The meek shal inherit the earth. But is that because nobody else will want it? :?)

  5. theseoldshades says:

    Amen Amen Amen!
    An attitude I’ve experienced in certain Christian circles is that people studying medicine are in some way ‘better’ because they’re *really* going to be serving God now and when they graduate! This is somewhat wearing after a while for is lowly humanities students!

  6. Caroline Too says:

    Strange, I was thinking about this during Morning Prayer only this

    I thought ahead to the work I’ve got to do, wished that I was more
    practically useful ..

    wondered some more about an article that I’m writing..”is it
    really so important that my thoughts get out into the public
    domain?” …

    then thought about my friends up at Nether Springs and the future
    of the Northumbria Community and the work of making God’s love
    apparent to a suicidal world rather than ‘just’ teaching

    then I returned to the liturgy:

    “This day be within and without me,
    lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
    Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
    in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
    This day be within and without me,
    lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.”

    and I headed up to my study to work.

  7. Has anyone tried using those evil self service checkout machines in Tesco? Brings a whole new appreciation of the people that work on supermarket checkouts. They are saints…!

  8. Rockingrev says:

    It reminds me of the little lad who wrote to mother theresa asking for advice on how he could make a difference. She responded with four little words, “Find your own Calcutta.” Looking ahead to this Sunday’s lectionary passage from Luke, we can all make a difference right where we are by living a life of repentence and forgiveness, no matter what we do or who we are.

  9. Graham says:

    I like this……it brings us to the everyday ordinary and stops us wishing we were a ‘famous Christian’.

    On another tack…..when we pray in church why do we pray for church workers, then people in caring professions (drs and nurses first, social workers only if they are very good) and never/rarely check out operators, estate agents, business people.

    Thanks- I’m going to link this…

  10. dennis says:

    @ (10) brunettekoala, you are SO right those crazy machines make me run for the miserablist of checkout people.

  11. beatthedrum says:

    This is great, when I was first saved I always thought of myself as a 2nd class christian coz i had not been to third world country and helped provide water medicine etc.

    Then a close friend pointed out Mat25 to me and said yes but you give water to those you meet and care for those you come across here, your doing the same as them.

    Why is foreign mission to 3rd world countries better then mission to your local tesco / spar / aldi etc. Its not its just different. They both need to happen.

    In fact it is more likely that God will call us to the ‘tesco’ mission than the african one.


  12. HisGal says:

    Like it heaps, Jon, so #1,2,3,4,5,6,8: DITTO!! :-)

    @ #9: WOW! Really like this ‘liturgic prayer'(?)..how beautiful and powerful!! Thank you for jotting it down, Caroline Too!

  13. Hayles says:

    #11 ‘Find your own Calcutta.’

    Going to write that on my wall, thanks.

  14. subo says:

    yep, something very special about this one. and since it’s challenging working in a ‘workplace’ where you have to contend with the humiliation and demands of the managment/customers, lets also support and encourage each other.

    one of the most embarassing talks I went to, was given by a man securely employed by the church, and maybe just a day over 20, talking about ‘serving God first’, he asked us how much we put into our workplace? and how much fatigue we expereiced as a result of ‘not putting God first’.

  15. Sophie says:

    I found it REALLY hard working at a supermarket, as you say subo, due to being treated like an idiot by management and customers – not fun. (By the by, I’d recommend working for Boots, and avoid M&S like the plague.)

    Every so often I think about trying to get work in a developing country – doing health education probably. At the moment I’m in Yorkshire (quite warm today but not tropical), doing lab based basic biological research into a parasitic disease. The health education might be more fun, and would have a more obvious and direct effect. But someone has to do lab work, and at the moment that’s me!

  16. Carole says:

    I love this one – it should be wheeled out any time people talk vocation. Caroline Too – I recognise those lines – isn’t it from the Northumbria Community Daily Office? I used to sit and do that in my little office in the secondary school. A job where I feel I did make a bit of a difference. Apart from the admin support that I was paid for, I made much welcome tea and coffee for my colleagus at break (not part of the job spec), had deep, meaningful conversations before the day’s work started with anyone who was up for it and provided a shoulder to cry on (literally) for a number of stressed out colleagues. And I never felt so valued in a job (on a personal level if not financially). Everyone was a winner.

    PS I, too, hate self-service checkouts – I rant at them much to the embarrassment of my daughter.

  17. Carole says:

    Ooh! maybe I should use these reply buttons when responding to other posts?

  18. Andy in Germany says:

    Hmm… This comes at an interesting time as I feel God wants me to get an apprenticeship as a bike mechanic, of all things. I keep having to tell myself it’s not crazy, so thanks for the encouragement

  19. dennis says:

    Oh a new button! reply? is it new or is it me.

  20. Carole says:

    It must be new – I can see it, too. Let me see if it works…

  21. Carole says:

    Oh, yes…it works!

  22. Caroline Too says:

    let’s see if we can get the indent all the way over to the right hand side!

    serious addition to this conversation. :roll:

  23. jonbirch says:

    it’s new… hmmmm… not sure i get it. :?:

  24. jonbirch says:

    a bit pointless it seems to me. :-/

  25. jonbirch says:

    i don’t like change. :-)

  26. Sophie says:

    funny! well now we can reply next to what someone said. I wonder if it will help or hinder – and what happens if someone says something so interesting that we end up with the indent all the way to the right, and keep going? Where will it go then??

  27. Sophie says:

    just noticed it hasn’t gone any further to the right. :(

  28. theseoldshades says:

    I miss the nice regimented alignment down the left handside- I wonder what this says about my character! :lol:

  29. Ros says:

    Absolutely. I hate how church sometimes gives the impression that being a missionary in Africa is a better way to serve God that an office in Enfield!

  30. jonbirch says:

    indeed, ros… it’s a load of old nonsense isn’t it. :-(

    me too, these old shades… i hate indents! :-)

  31. Forrest says:

    Hey Mate!
    Glad to see ya here :-)
    Who else would have an On18 locomotive as their avatar!

    Ya never can guess who will come in to that bicycle shop with both a flat tire and a flat spirit. Or with both their drive chain and their life “off the sprocket”.

  32. Forrest says:

    Hey! Reply to Andy in Germany ended up in post before :-(
    Okay, see how this “Reply” thing works now.
    “Reply” that looks like it’s sitting on top of your avatar and therefore is linked to you is actually at bottom of previous post.
    Ya know, they could have made that just a tad clearer. Maybe?

  33. Robb says:

    What if you miss something important said by someone because it comes in higher than you are reading. I bet you can fix it in the settings if you don’t like it!

  34. Robb says:

    “We fear change.”

    -Garth Elgar

  35. subo says:

    oh, Sophie, all jobs where the managment basically think they need to ‘see you working’ all the time are hard. I think people with a profession think they work hard, take their work home, and look at check out staff as idlers, and I think they have absolutly no idea

    i also hate watching the racism in this country, every time i’ve held down a job i’ve watched people taking it every day

  36. Carole says:

    So glad you cleared that one up, Forrest…I was beginning to think I’d seriously lost the plot!

    Not sure I like these reply buttons – they seem to spoil the flow and unity of the conversation. :(

  37. jonbirch says:

    i’m with carole… these reply buttons are rubbish. if anyone knows how to get rid of them could they let me know. :-?

  38. janetp says:

    Hi Jon. No idea about the Reply buttons, but I love the cartoon. Must remember it when I’m downing on myself for not being superwoman … :(

  39. Forrest says:

    Hmmm. . . Carole’s phrase “…seriously lost the plot”, seems like possible basis for a cartoon????

  40. Robin says:

    Tesco doesn’t seem a good venue for clothing the naked/visiting sick/coming to jail parts of Matthew 25:

    And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

  41. jonbirch says:

    interesting point robin… but aren’t we all caught up in this dilemma in the west? there aren’t many jobs available where something or someone isn’t exploited… most shops, banks, industries seem in some way exploitative. this seems to have been the case for centuries. it isn’t right, but it is difficult when trying to feed your family.

    btw. your choice of passage in response to beatthedrum was interesting given recent conversation on eternal punishment. found this…

    William Barclay , the layman’s theologian, in his book “New Testament Words” speaks of “Aionios: The Word of Eternity”. He considers aionios philosophically, rather than examining only the linguistic aspects of the word. He contends that it must be interpreted very carefully especially when speaking of punishment. Within the New Testament ‘aionios’ is used to describe the fire of punishment, punishment itself, judgment, and destruction.

    “It is in these passages that we need to be specially careful in our interpretation of the word. Simply to take it as meaning lasting forever is not enough. In all these passages we must remember the essential meaning of aionios. Aionios is the word of eternity as opposed to and contrasted with time.

    It is the word of deity as opposed to and contrasted with humanity. It is the word which can only really be applied to God. If we remember that, we are left with one tremendous truth – both blessing which the faithful shall inherit and THE PUNISHMENT WHICH THE UNFAITHFUL SHALL RECEIVE ARE SUCH AS BEFITS GOD TO GIVE AND INFLICT. BEYOND THAT WE CANNOT GO. Simply TO TAKE THE WORD AIONIOS, when it refers to blessings and punishment, TO MEAN LASTING FOREVER IS TO OVERSIMPLIFY, and INDEED TO MISUNDERSTAND THE WORD ALTOGETHER.

    It means that that which the faithful will receive and THAT WHICH THE UNFAITHFUL WILL SUFFER IS THAT WHICH IT BEFITS GOD’S NATURE AND CHARACTER TO BESTOW AND INFLICT – BEYOND THAT WE who are men CANNOT GO, except to remember that that nature and character are holy love.”

    Let’s also take a quick look at the Greek word for punishment. The Greek word for punishment is “kolasis”. George Ricker Berry in “A Greek English Lexicon and New Testament Synonyms” translates “kolasis” as CHASTISEMENT or punishment. Therefore, “these shall go away into eternal punishment”, could be translated as “these shall go away into CHASTISEMENT FOR THE AGES”. (Matthew 25:46)

    As well, the New Thayers Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament defines “kolasis” as “CORRECTION, punishment, penalty”. Therefore, it is a linguistically possible to translate “eternal punishment” as “CORRECTION FOR THE AGES.” This is significant because it suggests that “kolasis” is not only for the purpose of justice, but also for the purpose of correction. CORRECTION IS REMEDIAL. “Correction for the ages” would be for the remedy of sin and rebellion in the heart of the unbeliever, not unending torment for the purpose of justice. To dogmatically insist that the passage must be translated as “eternal punishment” is not linguistically required. There are also many universalism passages that suggest that eternal punishment would not be consistant with the whole of scripture.

    For this reason, let us exercise caution to interpret the “aionian” Punishment passages individually in the light of the immediate context, and the larger context of the Salvation message within scripture, rather than narrowly imposing the dogmatic concept of “Eternal” punishment as the one extreme definition to be used in all instances.

    “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2:15

  42. There was a song….you’re too busy fighting your irrelevant battles to see what’s going on in your own back yard….can’t remember who did it, what it was called; back in my punk days.

    I don’t think work in developing countries is irrelevant but it’s no more important than back yard work. Horrible as it sounds, I always thought going off to India for a month to ‘do your bit’ was a cop out when there’s so much to do here..sort of negating responsibility, a salve, a tick in the mission box.

    I read some pastor’s thoughts on mission, urging the faithful to head out into the developing countries, as trying to mission in the developed world was pointless; the ears were too deaf.

    It’s harder to be a Christian in Tescos than in Africa, all you have to offer is Christ…rather than a nice new well or a school.

    I love the self check-outs….must be peverse.

  43. suz says:

    i love it. :)

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