The great church seating controversy

cartoon of a big man talking to an intimidated, seated man. He says, "Welcome to First Church. Now get out of my seat!"

It has always fascinated me how good people can get caught up in petty things like saving their seat at church. In extreme cases, it can even lead to violence like this example.

At one of the churches I attended, there was a legend about an elderly lady that would hiss at people if they were in her seat. One Sunday, a friend’s family was about to sit nearby. The dear old sister looked up, then commented, “It’s okay if you sit there. It’s Brother So and So’s seat, but he passed away this week.”

It runs contradictory to what Jesus himself taught:

“But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.” Luke 14:10 NIV

So you can have my seat. But I can’t guarantee a dear old sister won’t hiss at you.

I created this cartoon for the September 2016 CHOGNews.

Why We Need More Unorthodox Children’s Ministry Teachers

Cartoon of a man talking about a teacher. He says, “Mrs. Jones is an unorthodox Sunday school teacher, but the kids love her sword swallowing act."Standardized tests have become the bane of school teachers for a good reason. It’s difficult being creative when you are hammering your students with facts and figures for the next critical test.

Thankfully, standardized tests haven’t come to children’s ministry. Now there is a need for scripture memorization and biblical literacy. However, we must balance the need for knowledge with the need for creative storytelling.  Children’s ministry workers need to remember when we tell a story creatively, it can bring the lesson to life.

We are all wired to tell and hear stories. After all, Jesus taught in parables as he also taught the scriptures.

As I look my old cartoon, I’m wondering what Bible story would involve sword swallowing. I’m not encouraging any student or teacher to take up sword swallowing. I’ll leave that up the professionals like Mrs. Jones. All the same, if you had the opportunity to use a sword swallower, which Bible story would you think could fit the bill?

How to solve the biggest problem with marriage

Man in knight armor says to receptionist, "If anyone needs me, I'll be counseling a couple."

I am not a certified marriage counselor, but I’ve been married for twenty-five years and am looking forward to the next twenty-five. We’ve had out ups and downs, but I am relieved to say my bride has stuck with me. What has been our secret? Mutual submission.

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

The biggest problem with all marriages is that it contains two selfish people. When I entered into marriage, I selfishly thought my bride would take care of all my needs. And she thought the same. We had to learn to work together, show humility and to think of the other person.

It isn’t easy, and our culture won’t help. It will tell you it is all about your needs and your desires. That is why the more selfish we get as a society, the more marriage has suffered.

If you are a Christian, I would encourage you to read Ephesians 5:21-33.  It contains some tough instructions for a husband and wife to follow.  But I have found that it works.

It never was just about our needs.

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Cartoon: Good Friday

Cartoon of boy reading to a girl.

Cartoon of boy reading to girl. The boy says, “Wait! That’s the Friday part. Wait until you hear the Sunday part!”

Continue reading “Cartoon: Good Friday”

Christmas Nativity Coloring Page

Thumbnail of Christmas nativity coloring page

Merry Christmas! I just love this time of year. The sounds, smells and sights of Christmas bring back memories of Christmases long, long ago. (Hmm. sounds like a Christmas tune.)

I’ve done another nativity scene in a different style. You can find it here.

Here is a Christmas nativity coloring page for you. It is free for personal and classroom use.