Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Tidings of a Dung Remover

I want you to use your imagination for a bit for me.  Picture a time and place where people want to maintain their own idea of success.  This society has a bunch of people who want to believe what they want about God, and worship him (or them/she/none) in whatever way they want.  What’s that?  You weren’t even using your imagination?

What I was describing is a society that existed four hundred years before the birth of Jesus.  Although the people of Israel at this time were experiencing a different sort of life than we are, there are remarkable similarities between their philosophies and ours.

Okay, now you can actually throw on your thinking caps and actually use your imaginations.  Imagine you are working for a living, but a foreign nation has control over the country you call home, and they take most of what you make with ridiculous taxes.  Your nation’s public attractions are gathering places for the disabled, congregating in high traffic areas to beg for money.

All around you there are sick people, with no chance of living a healthy comfortable life.  Those who are able to work are slaving away in unsafe work environments, with no opportunity to escape to a happier life.  The only “retirement fund” is the benevolence of one’s family.

Your nation’s increased poverty corresponds with its unchecked increase crime rate.   You’re not fortunate to belong to the wealthy elite.  All in all, live is dreary and hopeless.

Life is out of your control, and the only one that could change things is God Himself.  Yet, you don’t know what to believe about God because the priests that are supposed to representing God are corrupt and speak their own words and take God’s words out of context.  Your nation needs a saviour.

There is a small beacon of hope, however.  Prophesies declare a time when a king will arise to save your nation.  I can’t wait until that king comes, that powerful ruler that will set everything right, you think, there won’t be this widespread poverty, crime, and misery.

For some of you, it’s harder to imagine than others.  Still, in a nation where the most common prescribed medication is anti-depression, we all could relate to wanting to live in a utopia where we all could be happy for a change.

Being as this is Christmas, you probably had an idea where all this was going, but you were confused by the title.

The book of Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament.  It essentially is the last word of God before the arrival of Christ.

Bet you didn’t know this verse was in the bible:

Malachi 2:3 – “Because of you I will rebuke your descendants; I will smear on your faces the dung from festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it.

This is God talking.  He was using strong language regarding the priests.  They weren’t representing God like they should have been.  Now people were believing things about God were false, and this faulty image of who God is in their minds translated into the rest of the parts their lives.  People were living for themselves, marrying and divorcing without integrity or restraint.  A faulty sense of morality was formed.

To use more down to earth language to describe the situation, life is filled with a lot of things so far removed from right/beautiful that it could be described as “dung.”  There are so much things wrong with this world.  Life is so full of pain and suffering.

However, the king that the ancient Israelites were looking for to make everything right actually came.  No wonder angels appeared to announce the birth of Jesus, the king who would make everything right had come!

I want you to respond to this like it happened today.  Life sucks, but now we have an opportunity to leave all this dung behind!  Our Saviour has arrived!

For those of you who really like your life the way it is and have a positive outlook; for those of you who don’t see life as full of dung, hear me out.  There is a kingdom that we can be part of that is perfect.  Relationships won’t take work, they’ll always just be perfect.  You won’t have any stress.  Money or time will never be an issue.  Safety won’t be a concern.  Doesn’t your life seem drab in comparison to this?

This is why Christmas is a big deal.  It celebrates the birth of a man who is your key to entering this life.  We now have access to Heaven.

Now, I admit it, I just labelled this message “Tidings of a Dung Remover” to catch your attention so you would read this.  I didn’t want this to seem like just your stereotypical Christmas message.  The truth is that God wants to do more than just remove the dung and other nastiness of this world.  He wants to present us with a new one more beautiful than we can imagine.

The best Christmas gift has already been given:  God Himself.  All we need to do is receive Him.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Oxhorn Comic

I created the following comic to share on the Scotch & Smoke Rings.  As it's my very first full page comic, and one very time-consuming piece to make, I decided to share it here as well.  You'll probably only find it amusing if you're an Oxhorn fan.


Oxhorn was made famous by his YouTube videos featuring themes and characters from World of Warcraft.

Now he makes a weekly appearance at http://www.scotchandsmokerings.com/

Perhaps it's because I'm a geek, but I am a fan of all of his material, including to the fantasy novel he wrote.

Honestly though, I wouldn't have paid so much attention to this classy gentleman if he hadn't ended videos with "If any glory in this there be, it goes to Christ and not to me!"