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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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23 Responses to 818

  1. Forrest says:

    And yet the Grace of God is there with them also.

    Can vouch for that from personal experience of all three.

  2. jonbirch says:

    what a cool comment. thanks forrest.

  3. bubbybird says:

    Well, the only part of this that I haven’t experienced is the jail part for myself. Have always known in my heart that God was there with me providing…….but the HUMAN part of me had doubts and fears. Sometimes I just felt I needed the human contact to get through it all. God is a very gracious God who is always there and even when He can’t physically be here with us He does send us others to carry on His work…..sometimes they come in the form of a friend and sometimes it is an Angel who watches over us and protects us.

  4. linus says:

    More self portraits, Jon?

    I know they look a helluva lot like me from where i’m standing. Grace is the most beautiful thing. Amen. Lord God please help me to learn to recieve grace, and to give it.

  5. subo says:

    when I was sick, in prison and …. you visited me

  6. subo says:

    one of my heroine’s wrote a beautiful book called “Addiction, this being Human”, she helps one to realise that we are all somewhere on the spectrum of shame and addiction

    (Addiction – This Being Human: A New Perspective – Paperback (3 Oct 2006) by Ronnie, Aaronson)

  7. johnnyonthespot says:


    Being a counselor working in Penitentiaries for much of my professional life, I can vouch for that.

    I see people who can be neighbor. People whose only mistake was a crime of desperation. People who are not that different form you or I. People in a situation that anyone, at a low point in your life, can learn about first hand.

    Funny enough, it is these same kinds of people that make me willing to get up in the morning, to do my job.

    There but for the grace of God go I. Indeed.

  8. subo says:

    just a quick question johnnyonthespot, might it be fair to say ‘People who’s only crime, was that they got found out’?

    also, I recently read a article that stated how destructive it is to ‘dismiss another’s experience’. and since the British work force seems to be made up of people who specialise in put downs and colleague humiliation missions, that’s a lot of people dismissing others experience

  9. subo says:

    Hi Asbo Folks, I’m doing a shameless plug for the Sanctuary Blog Advent Special, as I’d love to see more of your thoughts and insights over on their page


    it’s a good place to talk about what it’s like to be human

    and anyway, you are all very welcome to chip in with the Advent conversations

  10. ian3008 says:

    Sometimes its really tempting to think that I’m somehow stronger of have better circumstances or more enlightened than those who are addicted or homeless…

    Yet the only reason my life holds together is God’s grace through Christ.

    Good news, this is.

  11. Andy says:

    Youch. Just got pulled up by this one. Thanks.

  12. subo says:

    yep, I think we are all one step away from homelessness (thought my home was going down with the rain over the wk end), we are human and capable of murder, and we like to deny our self destructive and addicted behaviours – “thank you Lord, I’m not like them over there”

  13. Forrest says:

    I said, “thank you Lord, I’m not like them over there”.

    And then I overheard them saying that about me.

  14. subo says:

    that made me chuckle, Forrest

  15. johnnyonthespot says:


    I am certain that there are quite a few people in the Pen who think that’s true.

    Sometimes you can help them understand there was more to their bad choice than simply lacking the skill to out run the police.

    Sometimes you can’t. Some people are determined to bash their head against the wall until it cracks or they do. (Hint: the wall wins most of the time).

    But you try. You try.

  16. miriworm says:

    #13 were you thinking of this?

    Luke 18:9 To some who were sure of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed to himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
    14″I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  17. subo says:

    cheers for the quote miriworm, that bit about “He would not even look up to heaven”, is a real encouragment – I tick myself off for hanging my head!

  18. subo says:

    “Some people are determined to bash their head against the wall until it cracks or they do.” – yep, loads of us, in the church, in the nick, or just at home and work

    I guess I don’t think guilt is the motivator we wish it was, I think people are more likely to change if they find hope, finding someone believe’s in them, someone thinks there loveable

    sadly I find it easy to despair of people, especially when they blame me for their need to be aggressive towards me, and say ‘I gave them no choice’!

  19. Forrest says:

    Hi miriworm;
    Re#17 “#13 were you thinking of this?”
    Probably subconsciously instead of consciously.

    Conscious thought was that ain’t none of us perfect.
    And that life has a funny way of dumping one off his pedestal to land solidly on his padded posterior.

    Don’t ask me how I know that ;-)

  20. Forrest says:

    And after one has landed solidly upon his padded posterior,

    Jesus is there to offer a hand up.

  21. I’m amazed at how we bourgeois lot tame the concept of grace, so that the only people we think it really applies to are people with modest designer failures. It’s a bit like the bank that will only loan you money if you’ve already got enough not to need it. The whole point of grace is that it saves naughty people. Really naughty people. Who realy need it. Just like us.

  22. jonbirch says:

    agreed, bishop alan. in fact you’ve inspired a cartoon… thanks!

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