something daft that needs no thinking about. :-)


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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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59 Responses to 800

  1. James says:

    Sometimes I think the stick is more of an incentive to get something done then any potential carrot.

    I think when it comes to stuff like college work I feel under more pressure from peoples expectations and not wanting to disappoint then the reward of doing right at times. Which is something that I am addressing.

  2. jonbirch says:

    aah, james. the expectations of others. you can’t control other people… you can only be who you are and do what you can do… the rest, well that’s their problem. ;-)
    all the best with your work. hope you’re getting some enjoyment from it. what are you studying?

  3. jonbirch says:

    glad you like, caroline… made me giggle. :-)

  4. Pat says:

    I dunno – my dog would as soon chase an apple as a stick – but then he is a spaniel :-D

  5. jonbirch says:

    i had a spaniel called daniel. a little black cocker. he was lovely… he’d chase anything too. probably wouldn’t bring back though. :-)

  6. Needs no thinking about?
    Jon this is possibly one of the deepest running challenges for individuals and organised religions. It asks us what our basic motivations are, why we are who we are and why we do what we do? To quote a 7th century Muslim Prophetess… “not for fear of hell, nor longing for heaven but for love”

  7. jonbirch says:

    yes, themethatisme, i stand corrected. :-) when i did the cartoon i was just laughing at the idea of a dog preferring a stick… as per usual it has unintended readings and plenty of metaphor. i just don’t seem to be able to stop myself. :lol:

  8. dubb says:

    just be yourself!

  9. dadube says:

    like this one a lot….

  10. Will says:

    Jon #6 wich i could get that into my head. Not giving a monkey’s about what other people thought would make a huge difference in my life

  11. jonbirch says:

    thanks dadube. :-)

    indeed, dubb… wise words and a good track! :-)

    will… yup. i used to lose loads of sleep over what others thought of me and how i performed. now i just lose a bit of sleep, sometimes none at all. suffering panic attacks has caused me to change i think… i can do what i can do, y’know? it’s not what you do that makes me love you, it’s who you are… end of. ;-)

  12. danielg says:

    If you had asked the donkey, you would have gotten a different answer.

    Also, you enjoy my previous post on this subject: Stick or Carrot in Gospel Preaching?

  13. subo says:

    great to see your free spirited little dog

  14. Allatsea says:

    Hey Jon
    I’m finally just beginning to get there in terms of not worrying what people think of me and the way they presume I live my life – being well-acquainted with panic attacks and personal distress certainly helps put things into perspective – bless you mate ;)

  15. Allatsea says:

    “not for fear of hell, nor longing for heaven but for love”

    I love this. It’s where I’d like to be more.

    The beauty of creation tells me that God is good and loves us deeply and when I get chance to enjoy it, I feel myself responding with genuine love for God and others. Worship comes so easy.

    Then I pick up the bible and I’m back to a Sadist God and the fear of hell. My filters are a bit dodgy perhaps.

    I think that’s why I like the celtic tradition that sees creation as God’s big book and the bible as God’s little book, both pointing to and revealing the heart of Christ, our Saviour.

  16. Hazel says:

    @ 8 Made me laugh. I don’t know how to do those smiley face thingys. Can you send me an email at burnside@fsmail.net so I can send you my idea for a cartoon please? Don’t want to type it here and then have people criticise it! Thanks!

  17. kelseyUD says:

    “the cake is a lie”

  18. Tiggy says:

    Ha, bondage dog. Is that Grommet?

    My eight year old nephew likes having his bottom smacked – but then so do a lot of adults I guess.

    The carrot is meaner than the stick really. You hang it on a stick over a donkey’s nose and he follows it and follows it but it always eludes him. I’m not sure how you steer with it.

  19. subo says:

    dogs seem to have an awesome capacity to love humans, look at this pup’s ‘unconditional’ exuberance at the grumpiest adult I’ve seem anywhere!

  20. subo says:

    this cartoon reminds me of how confusing life feels if you’ve had to cope with living in a hostile environment, and indeed, perhaps the ‘carrot and stick’, ‘good and bad’, ‘black and white’, can be found in the thinking behind scapegoating and abuse

    I often find myself returning to Diane Stelling’s excellent web site
    it’s just that ‘church’ does tread on all my past bruises without understanding how painful
    they are, and Diane passionately talks about wanting the church to train itself
    to understand the feelings of people who’ve been through a childhood like mine

    “Our religious institutions should be places of sanctuary, safe havens where people suffering from the effects of abuse in their lives, whether they are victims or perpetrators, can step forward and receive help so that they can heal. Therefore, we all need to become educated about abuse in order to make the necessary changes in our religious institutions to bring hope to both victims and abusers and to remove the fear and stigma associated with this issue.” Diane Stelling

    if this is something you share my interest in, try:-

    The Mindset of an Abuse Victim

    A Review of The Purpose Driven Life
    From an Abuse Survivor’s Perspective

    found at:-


  21. Allatsea says:


    that website was the perfect find for me today – thank you so much – i hadn’t heard of it

    i don’t know your story but i bet we have much in common

    someone should write “A review of the bible from an abuse survivors perspective” aswell

    i just ordered the book “soul repair” – looking forward to getting it

  22. Pat says:

    Subo – if I approved of book burning (which, obviously, I don’t ;-) ) that particular RW book would be one of the ones I would happily consign to the flames, it makes me so :mad:

  23. RockingRev says:

    And yet Pat and Subo, I have a number of my congregation who read through that book and have found it very helpful, which just goes to show that different strokes are needed for different folks.

  24. Tiggy says:

    Which book?

    Each time I went to that link my ISP stopped working.

    I read that the fifth commandment was, ‘Humour thy father and mother’

  25. Pat says:

    Maybe so RockingRev – and I too know those who reckon it a good book, if not the best think since sliced bread (although a cynical part of me always thinks ‘emperor’ and ‘new clothes’ with these mega-hyped books and their associated merchandise :-? )

    But nevertheless I found it to be a book which promotes a functional view of people and presents God as one who treats people as objects rather than subjects – and those are both perspectives I would wish to reject very strongly, since I believe them to be perverse.

    So it’s not a book that I will be rushing to recomend to anyone I’m afraid.

  26. subo says:

    cheers Allatsea & Pat

  27. Tiggy says:

    Hi Subo, I need to talk to you. I’ll leave my email on the Sanctuary site if you wouldn’t mind emailing me with yours.

    Cheers, Tiggy.

    PS. What flippin’ book? Somebody tell me! What does RW stand for?

  28. Allatsea says:

    I read the review of the book.
    I’m with her.
    I think the book could be very damaging to some people and to their relationship with God.
    I also know loads of people who love it. Being around most of those people for too long generally makes me feel like I’m lost already anyway.

  29. James says:

    I’m doing Multimedia Design. Sorry it took a while to post again been out all day.

  30. subo says:

    nice one James

  31. Kim says:

    Tiggy, the book is by Rick Warren (RW) and called The Purpose Driven Life. It emanated from a large American church and became popular over here a few years ago. I studied it with my small group and in the end we used to watch the videos accompanying it with the sound turned off, as otherwise there was so much shouting at the screen – not veru edifying :lol:

    I’m sure he was a very sincere guy but I think its one of those things which only makes a shred of sense in an American context, and I agree with Pat that it was rooted in ‘doing’ and not in ‘being’.

    And also, those damn shirts…?

  32. Kim says:

    Re the cartoon, surely we do something out of love for Jesus, who first loved us. And he doesn’t ever have that grouchy look on his face when he looks at us

  33. Tiggy says:

    Ew, I like to be purposeful, sometimes, but to be purpose-DRIVEN sounds horrendous, unless it’s in someone else’s car.

    I just hope you wag your tail, Kim!

  34. Kim says:

    ah I’m probably much too control freaky to let someone else drive me purposefully in their car Tiggy! I’m sure if I had a tail it would be v waggy tho :lol:

  35. Tiggy says:

    Oh, I’d like a chauffeur.

    Hmm, I’m driven to proofread, write, talk and eat custard tarts. Oh and suck cherry flavour Chuppa Chups. And shop!

    That’s enough of a purpose for me. God is in the small things.

  36. Kim says:

    Tiggy you are hilarious! I will suggest intentionality demonstrated by the sucking of chuppa chups at my next theology class – currently we eat Freddo’s :lol:

  37. Tiggy says:

    My friend bought me £6 worth of them and I fully intend to eat the whole lot.

    I used to be much more driven on the spiritual quest, but I burned out very young (like 16 – it was making me ill)and now,

    ‘He maketh me to lie down’ – probably too much.
    ‘He prepareth a banquet’ – just a small low-carb one.
    ‘My cup runneth over’ – most evenings.

  38. subo says:

    yep, chuppa chups are sweet

  39. JF says:

    It fascinates me that people will choose to believe in God, given that he is the master who allowed us to be born sick, in order that we might worship him and beg him to make us well. Eternity in Hell, or eternal subjugation. I see only two sticks.

  40. Forrest says:

    It is amusing – “something daft that needs no thinking about.” – has garnered 41 comments.

  41. jonbirch says:

    forrest, you should know by now how often i am wrong. :lol:

    hazel @ 17… to make a laughy face, type a colon followed by lol followed by a colon, no spaces. :lol:

  42. subo says:


    just to see if i can make a laughing face

  43. subo says:

    :-), yep, it works

  44. Allatsea says:


  45. Allatsea says:

    So it does :lol:

  46. danielg says:

    >> TIG: Tiggy, the book is by Rick Warren (RW) and called The Purpose Driven Life. It emanated from a large American church and became popular over here a few years ago. I studied it with my small group and in the end we used to watch the videos accompanying it with the sound turned off, as otherwise there was so much shouting at the screen – not very edifying :lol: I’m sure he was a very sincere guy but I think its one of those things which only makes a shred of sense in an American context, and I agree with Pat that it was rooted in ‘doing’ and not in ‘being’.

    I’m kind of amazed that you hated it so much. I went through the 40 Days of Purpose, and enjoyed it. I admit, the “it’s not about you” introduction was off-putting, and the writing was a little dumbed down for the average reader, but I thought the actual content was an excellent overview of the progress to maturity of every believer.

    I also agree, the title is a fits well into the goal-oriented American approach to life, influenced significantly by such great books as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. And we probably do err on the side of ‘doing’ instead of ‘being.’

    But I note, along with the others who bemoan the sedate state of the European church, that they may have erred into ‘being’ withoug ‘doing,’ to which James might say “faith without works is dead.” We ought to focus FIRST on being which leads to doing, ignoring neither.

    But regarding the word “Driven,” I think this word is unfortunate in that it is not really biblical – as Gordon McDonald indicates in one of my favorite books, Ordering Your Private World, we are to be *called*, not driven – drawn, not pushed.

    For those unfamiliar with Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose-Driven Life has sold more copies than any non-fiction book EVER, the Bible excepted – depending on where you search, he’s sold over 30M copies, perhaps over 50M, and that’s in hardback alone, and does not count paperback, plus the associated materials, including a journal, a devotional, a leatherbound commemorative version, the 40 Days of Purpose workbook and program for churches, and his Sunday school materials for classes 101, 201, 301, and 401.

    But what I really liked was his memorable, biblical, and sequential approach to Christian maturity, which is at the core of the PDL:

    1. Worship – coming into a relationship w/ God
    2. Fellowship – coming into relationship with other believers
    3. Discipleship – following Christ, learning spiritual disciplines
    4. Ministry – finding our place in contributing to church life
    5. Mission – finding our mission in the world

    The last two follow his “SHAPE” acronym, which helps you discover your

    Spiritual Gifts – A set of special abilities that God has give to you to share his love and serve others.

    Heart – The special passions God has given you so that you can glorify him on earth.

    Abilities – The set of talents that God gave you when you were born, which he also wants you to use to make an impact for him.

    Personality – The special way God wired you to navigate life and fulfill your unique Kingdom Purpose.

    Experiences – Those parts of your past, both positive and painful, which God intends to use in great ways.

  47. Tiggy says:

    I’m more of a ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ type person. I hate self-help books – they’re always so individualistic. If Jesus had written one I’d suppose it would be called ‘How to get crucified.’

  48. danielg says:

    >> TIG: hate self-help books – they’re always so individualistic.

    What do you mean by ‘individualistic’? You mean focusing on self is selfish? Not community-focused enough?

    I do think that RW has it right by having us focus on God first, ourselves second (as good stewards), and others third.

    I have to say, I’m the opposite – I find fantasy epics tiring and too much work to enjoy. It’s why I really don’t care about Star Wars or the Tolkien movies (or C.S. Lewis fantasy). Who cares about fairies and wizards and entire mythical cultures, lands, and languages? Why not spend all of that intellect on something real, like real history?

    I also hate those Christian books filled with people’s personal stories – why make me read through some long narrative in order to get some simple principle? Just boil it down for me. I am not inspired by stories, I am bored with most of them.

    Of course, I think I am the exception – there is a reason why Jesus taught in parables, and stories are more relatable, memorable, and communicate on many more levels than simple didactic lists. Most people love stories.

    And actually, I do too, as long as you don’t make me work too hard – I mean, I love sci fi, esp. the kind that is allegorical, or a social commentary. That’s why Ender’s Game and Starship Troopers (the book) are so great. But turn it into an epic and I don’t care anymore. I mean, if you have to draw a map to figure out who is related to whom, what happened before what (prequels, ugh), and you have to know the extended mythical history of each race in order to understand the story, PLEASE, get a real life, don’t waste my time in hours of Dungeons and Dragons.

  49. jonbirch says:

    danielg… hahahaha! i quite like elves and fairies. :lol:

  50. Tiggy says:

    I don’t think Lewis’s stuff is like t hat. You tend to get your Lord of the Rings camp a nd your Narnia camp. For me those books affect my emotions and reach parts t hat facts wouldn’t. I can sometimes enjoy extended genealogies, but for me t hat’s a different kind of enjoyment. When I was a kid, my first interest was Greek a nd Roman mythology a nd I’d spend ages drawing up genealogies of the gods. Never really that into Tolkien though.

    There are different kinds of reality. I like to read history books, but they don’t usually tug at my heartstrings like a good novel – well not often.

    I meant individualistic in assuming we can do everything on our own. Even with God in the picture, I think a more community view is important, one of interdependence.

  51. danielg says:

    When I was a kid, the first books that absorbed me were E.B. White’s Stewart Little, Trumpet of the Swan, and Charlotte’s Web.

    In 5th grade I found Mark Twain’s humor and H.P. Lovecraft.

    In college, I devoured the Hugo and Nebula winners (sci fi).

  52. Tiggy says:

    The first story I ever read was a Norse myth in this really old book from the 1930s that my mum had. I preferred the Greek myths though. Funnily enough, I’m currently half way through a funny book called ‘Gods Behaving Badly’ – it kindof has some deep bits too though and the god Eros has become a Christian. I used to be in love with Apollo as a kid and then I decided he was too vain.

  53. Tiggy says:

    Hmm, I think it’s absolute rubbish. I never even heard of Zeus taking an apple. The serpent is a symbol of transformation in many cultures because of how it sheds it’s skin and therefore it has become a symbol of healing like in the doctor’s symbol, the caduceus, that was originally Hermes staff. To compare Hera and Zeus to Adam and Eve is ridiculous. Hera and Zeus were gods with powers, Adam and Eve were mortals. And this guy says you can’t understand Greek mythology without reference to Christianity – well which came first? The Greek stories were much more known and widespread than those of the tiny tribe of Israel.

  54. Pat says:

    Danielg – it wasn’t actually me who made the comment about doing and being. I disliked the RW book principally because it promotes a functional view of people, outlines an understanding of life which is hightly deterministic and presents a picture of a God who essentially treats people as objects rather than subjects – all things which, for various reasons, I reject as an account of God and his gospel of love and grace.

  55. Allatsea says:


    I love the lion, the witch and the wardrobe too. For a long time, Aslan was like balm on the spiritual and psychological wounds caused by warped family in a fundemental church (lethal combination).
    I love pretty much any stories. Real ones especially. About real people. But made-up ones are good too. :)

  56. scottg says:

    i’d choose the carrot every time.

    the beauty of a carrot is that if it’s a fresh one, and it’s not working as a “carrot”, then you can hit people with it in stick fashion.

    two for the price of one.

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