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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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16 Responses to 951

  1. Max Cross says:

    Yep that’s the opening slide for my next sermon sorted then. This so encapsulates my feelings anytime I speak. God teaches me more then I do others.

  2. Tiggy says:

    @Jon You forgot the ‘a’ in front of charlatan, but you can still fit it in the box because you can take out the ‘a’ before liar and deceitful if necessary.

    I think it would be great if we all stood up and confessed some fault we know we have. I mean it wouldn’t have to necessarily be that serious. I can imagine there’d be quite a lot of laughter as people said things that were well known to their friends. I think if I stood up and said, ‘I’m not always as sensitive as I could be’, then everyone would start laughing, includig myself. Then we could all stand up and say something that we are good at. I suppose it could be done on a voluntary basis with a few each week. I think it would be very interesting and open up lots of fruitful discussions. Are other people appalled at this idea? Am I a masochist? LOL

  3. jonbirch says:

    thanks tiggy… again. sorted now. :-)
    i’m a big believer in honesty about ourselves giving permission for others to be honest about themselves. be vulnerable yourself and others are able to be vulnerable. it’s a risk, but a worthwhile one i believe.

  4. Pat says:

    Jon, if there was a ‘like’ button, your comment @ 3 would have a big ‘thumbs up’ from me :-)

  5. preach it brother!

    the most soul destroying story of my career as a youth worker is when someone I was supporting told his leaders he was struggling with life, within weeks he was asked to leave …. struggling!! he was only struggling with the same shit as us, it was no different absolutely no different, these are the reasons I struggle with the ‘church’ it almost alienates me.

  6. jonbirch says:

    the ‘shade of blue’ compliments the blue in becky’s book sleeve don’t you think, dennis? :-)

    you know what pat and dennis? it’s just that sometimes i really can’t hide my struggles. they affect whether i can get out or see people and other noticeable things… so i’ve taken to being open about my fears. maybe others can hide their struggles easily. maybe, those who are seen as leaders are often those who’ve developed the most effective strategies for hiding their struggles.
    i know so many people who think they’re alright, but you never get to know them no matter how well they know you.
    i think failure to recognise your struggles and be honest about them, both privately and openly, is the real concern. church, at its worst can cultivate a practise of hiding. many hide their struggles by sorting out the problems of others… yet with a bit more mutuality/give and take, the receiver of the help would feel far more valued and worthwhile and the giver more free to be themselves. + you’d go a long way to putting to death the culture of ‘healer and wounded’, which is an untrue polarisation.
    dennis’s story of his youthworker friend makes me feel sick. but we all know it happens a lot.

  7. jonbirch says:

    max @ 1… hopefully your honesty will cultivate honesty in others. i hope as a leader you feel like your in a team and not a lone figure.

  8. mark Will says:


  9. subo says:

    thanks for this blog Jon, life can give you the illusion we are so alone, and the only one lost in an alian culture.

  10. Love it! Can I please go to their church?

    As someone who occasionally helps to lead worship, I sometimes feel that I should start a lesson with “Do as I say, not as I do!”

  11. AnneDroid says:

    Jon your comment at #7 resonates with the reflections of a friend of mine. Whilst serving a life sentence in prison for murder, he became a Christian and now, out of jail, does a bit of speaking in churches. (He’s also an awesome singer/songwriter btw). He says that the two places in the world where masks are most commonly put on are prison and church, and probably more the latter.

  12. AnneDroid says:

    Incidentally wouldn’t it be wonderful if the spirit of truth were to descend upon Peter Popoff and some of those other awful tv-evangelist-prosperity-theology-fraudster-money-grubbing-charlatans?

  13. jonbirch says:

    hey annedroid… don’t know peter popoff (hilarious name btw), but i think i know the type and that was the kind of thing i had in mind when doing the cartoon. on your first point @ 12… i wouldn’t be surprised if people in church and in prison wore masks for the very same reason, ie. the fear of being found out. very interesting. is that a fear we all have to some degree, i wonder?

    max cross @ 1. it strikes me that you are the antithesis of the kind of person this cartoon is aimed at. i find your comment both humble and humbling. thank you.

  14. Mike says:

    Wow, that looks like me. Thank GOD for his mercy.

  15. TomC says:

    I have a feeling that if one DOESN’T feel this way when preaching one probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a pulpit!

    I know, for me, when I was a youth minister there was rarely a day at work that I didn’t feel in some way to be a fraud. It amazes me that there can be such a thing as an arrogant preacher. i found it to be a deeply humbling experience. That God would allow me the monumental audacity to presume to speak to these young people on His behalf and not only allow me to live but to actually bless what I was doing and allow it to be fruitful still fills me with awe.

    it’s been over 2 years since I last preached, but the memory of how I felt,is as fresh today as ever. naked, raw before God, exposed utterly by the harsh light of his truth, Judged and found wanting BUT through HIS GRACE allowed to open the word and lead others into his presence, help others on their journey when mine was so badly lacking.

    I have seen chains broken and lives changed by Divine encounters and I have had a hand in that happening. I suppose one could be proud about that but personally I know that I was never close to being worthy. To say otherwise or to claim any credit would make a a far worse kind of charlatan than I felt myself to be.

    I just rambled this long post and then realised that Mike (post 15) said it perfectly in just 10 words!

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