Monday, November 24, 2014

the roth of god

the roth of god, drawing by rob g

This is our beloved priest and resident alien, "the roth of god."

He loves Jesus and he loves people. Pretty biblical, uh?

With two faces, he can see parishioners on the right and on the left side of the church, differing points of view, and the entire length of the longest all-you-can-eat buffet in town.

He is not double-minded nor "blown and tossed by the wind" — there's only one brain inside that head, and both feet are planted firmly on the ground.

His hair is styled after Wolverine, his favourite movie character.

He has four arms because he is embracing of others and because they're useful for complex tasks like the Eucharist.

What looks like funky vestments is really his skin with racing stripes tattooed onto it.

While some aliens are toxic, the roth is antidotal.

He doesn't paint his toenails. Those are their natural colours.

He levitates tables and turns blood into wine!

You might wonder how someone ostensibly reasonable and sane like me comes up with such drawings, and I have to confess that not only am I not that reasonable and sane, but it was very easy.

I was at church a few months ago, and during the Eucharist squinted my eyes and looked up to the front, where the roth was waving his arms around. He looked kinda like an alien, and what more does one need than that?

And clearly, if you have read I Peter 2:11 in some translations, being strange and an alien is very biblical...

Friday, November 21, 2014


Richard Beck on the kingdom:
'The eccentric Kingdom doesn't claim territory over against the world. The eccentric Kingdom doesn't erect walls to create a gated community. Rather, the eccentric Kingdom, like salt and leaven, is embedded in the world.

The eccentric Kingdom is the embedded, pilgrim, landless, possessionless, homeless, sojourning, itinerant missionary community called and commissioned to live lives of radical service and availability to the world.'
Isn't that quote just delicious?! And I wonder, why is such fare so rarely found?

Read the whole post.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

[lest we forget...]

lest we forget there are no unwounded civilians either. sign by Steve Young. Photo and edit by rob g

Here in Canada, we remember our soldiers -- those who have gone before and have lost their lives; those who go now.War is a horrible thing, and I agree with Steve Young's sign that there are no unwounded soldiers.

But as the wars are "somewhere over there", as we are not in a war zone, it is easy to forget that there are civilian men, women and children being hurt and killed every day, and that just as there are no unwounded soldiers, there are no unwounded civilians.

Sign in front of the office of Steve Young, MLA for Edmonton Riverview.
Photo and edit by rob g. Photo taken on 2014-11-17.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

my picture of god

my picture of god now (= jesus), by rob g

At a recent prayer time at church, we did some drawing. First, we were asked to draw a picture of God as we understood him when we were young. I drew a bearded man up on a cloud, and me on the earth.

Then we were asked to draw a picture of God as we understand or perceive him now. The picture above is what I drew: a quick sketch of Jesus and friends. Why? Cuz one thing I'm sure of, is that Jesus embodies what God is like. So the way I understand and perceive God, is by looking at Jesus.

Friday, November 14, 2014

[peace is a human right]

Peace is a human right.

I don't know if I ever heard anyone say that before reading Koehler's article the other day.

time to abolish war | peace is a human right. Image by

Nor did I know that in 1999, the United Nations considered a culture of peace resolution. Imagine that!

Read Robert Koehler's article to find out what happened to the resolution .... (I'll give you a hint: it wasn't passed).

love your enemies...

love your enemies, cartoon by rob g

Here's a cartoon inspired by an evening spent with MT, Michael Hardin, Jim Robertson and others, discussing mimetic theory, non-violent atonement and other such things.

Does this fit with what you read and see of Jesus in the New Testament? If we are to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us, wouldn't our heavenly Father do the same, but a zillion times more completely?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

[ending the teaching of contempt against the church’s sexual minorities]

Dr. David P. Gushee. Photo by Rick Wood (cropped)

Dr. David P. Gushee, a leading evangelical ethicist, has just given an incredible talk at the Reformation Project's Regional Training Conference.

Entitled “Ending the Teaching of Contempt against the Church’s Sexual Minorities”, it is a must-read.

In the talk, he addresses the
unchristlike body of Christian tradition,
amounting to what can be fairly described as a teaching of contempt against one particular group, which was prevalent in the church for centuries until the mid 1900's, and then compares that to a similar teaching of contempt has been directed against another group in more recent years.

Read Dr. Gushee's talk. This is a must-read if you are a Christian serious about your faith.

My cartoon about Martin Luther
My cartoon about who is ostracized

Thursday, October 30, 2014

[video: we see no enemy]

"We See No Enemy presents five stories told against the backdrop of Israeli-occupied Palestine, creating an anthology of the West Bank. We See No Enemy chronicles the conflict from the perspective of those rarely heard. By weaving these narratives together, We See No Enemy seeks to turn up these inspiring voices to hear their passion and listen to their suffering."

Full video (1 hr 17 min long):

The five stories in the video are as follows, and can be viewed individually by clicking the title. (timing refers to location in full video)

Story 1: Paradise (timing 1-20)
Story of the Al Basma Center, which works with men and women with mental challenges. Half the staff and the clients are Muslim, the other half Christian.

Story 2: Conversion (24-38)
Story of a Palestinian Christian man, who changed his views on how to respond to violence..

Story 3: Hospitality (38 - 49)
The story of the hospitality of a Palestinian man toward others.

Story 4: Trespass (49-59)
The team returns to Palestine, and finds that someone has been into their house. Discussion of what Palestinians face in terms of searches, night raids, evictions, etc.

Story 5: Home (59 - 1:13)
The story of a family forcibly evacuated from their home by police officers, in order to give their house to settlers.

Monday, October 27, 2014

[loving enemies who won't bake cakes for you]

How would you love someone who discriminated against you because of your race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability or some other reason?

Here's a real life story:

In January 2013, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of a bakery called "Sweet Cakes by Melissa," refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. The reason they gave for this refusal was their religious beliefs.

The lesbian couple filed a complaint and the bakery was investigated by the Oregon department of labor, which found that there was "substantial evidence of unlawful discrimination." Side note: public accommodations laws in many American states (known as Fair Accommodation Laws in Canada) mean that a business (restaurant, hotel, store, etc.) may not discriminate as to whom they serve. While some folks are unhappy about this as they would like the right to discriminate against lgbt people, this is the same law that means a business cannot serve "whites only" or carry on any of the other discriminatory practices that used to be lawful.

In any case, the department may bring formal charges if the two parties can't come to a settlement.  Formal charges could accompany a fine of up to $150,000.

Now here's where it gets interesting.

Matt Stolhandske, an evangelical, gay rights activist, is trying to raise money to help them pay the fine. Yes, you read that right. He's gay, he's a follower of Jesus, and he's trying to help out the Kleins. Even though he disagrees with their refusal to bake the wedding cake, he wants to help them out. Here's why, in his own words (as quoted at
Matt Stohlandske. Source: Facebook
'Stolhandske, who is gay, told KATU his effort is inspired by the teachings of Christ.

“We would like to demonstrate the true character of Jesus Christ, which is to show love in the face of discrimination,” Stolhandske said.

He added: “Exactly at the time of our enemy’s most difficult moment, exactly at the time when we can destroy them, that’s when we must show love.”

Stolhandske qualified that statement, saying the Kleins are his enemy only when it comes to gay rights. Otherwise, he said, the Kleins are his brother and sister in Christ.

“We don’t want to see the destruction of the Klein family or their children,” Stolhandske said. “We don’t want to see the destruction of Christians. We don’t want to see people suffering. What we want to see is the destruction of a system which systematically discriminates against LGBT people.”'
Wow. It seems that for some people, following Jesus is more than just lip service and looking good on Sundays. It's the real deal.

What do you think?

Read more:

See also what would jesus bake? (previous post on this blog)

Thursday, October 09, 2014

[sometimes a man's just gotta wear a dress]

Watch the new music video for the song "The Light" by Hollysiz, and you'll know what I mean by the title....

Video link

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

[doing small things with extraordinary love, article by John Swinton]

In "Doing Small Things with Extraordinary Love: Congregational Care of People Experiencing Mental Health Problems", John Swinton begins with:
The mental health industry is a big and complex beast. Amid the high-tech, neurological, genetic and pharmaceutical landscape it is easy for religious communities to feel nervous and disempowered. "What could we possibly have to offer that might bring healing in the midst of such prohibitively high-tech approaches to mental health care?"

Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche, provides us with a rather unusual answer: "The church is not called to do extraordinary things; it is called to do ordinary things with extraordinary love." In response to the complexities of the experience of mental health problems, the church's vocation is not to become a community of psychiatrists. Rather, it is called to become a community of disciples who strive to embody and reveal God's extraordinary love.

Read the rest of this excellent article.

Subsection titles:
Understanding mental health problems
The problem of stigma
The ministry of small things: What would Jesus do?
Re-thinking hospitality: Moving from host to guest

Note: Swinton also has a book out called Dementia: Living in the Memories of God which looks excellent! However, my sister got a copy and says it's a "detailed, clinical book," which means that if you are looking for something to help you and your loved one, it might not be the ideal choice.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

[prodigal sons: voices from the inside]

image from
This is a blog written by people who are imprisoned, sharing their stories and experiences in prison, with themes of grace, redemption, etc.

Check out the Prodigal Sons blog.