Like the old saying goes.. Opinions are like noses.. everybody's got one. And I've got plenty. Opinons, not noses.
IMO1: The Green Bay Packers are the greatest football team EVER. They have 13 world championships, and 4 Super Bowl titles.
The rest of you are entitled your OPINIONS but just know if you disagree, let's be clear.. I am right, and you are wrong. IMO :)
IMO2: The Bible says an evil generation looks for a sign. This has never been more true than today where 'society' is conflicted over hanging a bathroom sign. Girls, Boys, and.. those who are more gender fluid?
IMO3: Shortcuts seldom work. Back before GPS my wife and our 3 kids were in Colorado using a 'paper map' and took a shortcut to Royal Gorge that was not fit for mountain goats and certainly not our family minivan. After backtracking to civilization we arrived to our destination about 2 hours later than if we had not took our 'short cut'.
Even something as simple as taking an alternate route or switching to the lane that is moving faster is certain to backfire
IMO.. stay on the path marked right.
IMO4: Never reduce your Christian Faith to a list of DOs and TO DON'Ts.
The 10 Commandments is not an arbitrary list sent down by upper management (aka God), but instead simple instructions for a functioning society. And to think how groups like the ACLU are opposed to the 10 Commandments.
Without rules we have anarchy. Rules without the love of God we have religion, but rules honored in loving service and reverence to our creator could fix this broken world.
IMO5: It matters what you believe.
- No matter how sincere you are if you believe 1+1 equals anything but 2, you are WRONG.
- If you desire to summit the highest mountain in the world but you are in Colorado, you will never climb the 29,029′ of Mt. Everest in Nepal.
- While I do respect the worship any god, IMO there is only one God and he is the God of our Bibles.
IMO6: Jesus Christ is the good news for a hurting world. Jesus is the son of God who lived died and rose again for our sins. He completes the salvation story for mankind.
So WE MUST share this good news of hope for our broken world. Jesus IS NOT about religion, or arbitrary rules to follow. He is about truth and purpose found
While I do have plenty of other opinions on topics ranging from politics to food... I think I better stop for today.
May God bless and use you all in ways that are beyond your dreams and with opinions that are your sincere attempts to love and worship our God.
In 1971 John Lennon wrote the classic song "Imagine" encouraging us to imagine a world at peace without barriers of borders or divisions of religion and nationality, and consider the possibility of living a life unattached to material possessions.
Imagine shares a great message for this world choosing anarchy over order, insults over compliments, greed over generosity, crass over clever, profane over profound, hatred over love, war over peace, DEATH over LIFE, and where WRONG is the new RIGHT. I love this, but would happy just imaging a drive without rush hour traffic.
I do see one glaring problem with using the Imagine recipe for lasting peace and harmony. While I agree 'religion' is often a problem, the pure direction of Jesus to love the ONE true God and care for others is the only lasting answer for our tumultuous world. Oh, and so it goes without saying I love the promise of Heaven.
In 2001 Bart Millard of the Christian Rock band MercyMe wrote the song "I can only Imagine" which was inspired by the death of Millard's father and considers what it would be like in Heaven and to be standing before God.
I can only imagine hit me in a special way lately as my mom passed away this last December. So,
I do imagine what it must be like for mom to no longer be encumbered by her worn out 88 year old body.. and I smile.
I imagine what it must be like on the other plane of 'eternal existence'.
I imagine that Family Reuinion some day with family and friends. AND recently I have a growing excitement to being with Jesus, and to having the blinders of this world's limitations lifted.
So let me now share the side by side lyrics of Imagine and I Can Only Imagine. My purpose is not to declare one 'Imagining' better than the other, but both leave plenty to ponder. AND of course I also am sharing several cartoons imagining Heaven... and one toasty toon in the land WAY down under.
For those of you who kept reading this blog until the end, I pray you enjoyed and blessed by doing a little Imagining.
Jeff (Imagining a new cartoon right now) Larson
Unfortunately .. I am a moody fella and being moody my wife tells me is not one of my endearing qualities. I have low moments where my introspection GOES ROGUE leaving my self worth a bit tattered.
Just a couple weeks ago I was in one of those funks, but am happy to report I am 'prayerfully' doing much better. Then a fragment of a scripture came to mind which led me to a Google search locating.. Psalms 8:3-5.
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 Who is man that You are mindful of him, ... 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
Mindful of me? You see this is my struggle. I believe in God, as from the micro level cellular miracles of our bodies to the infinite world of the Cosmos it all screams to me.. THERE MUST BE A CREATOR.
But for me it is more work to realize this amazing creator cares about me. Who is Jeff that God is mindful of him.
So at least for the day, the clouds have parted and I see God as my Heavenly Father, mindful of me. The great creator of all loves me, and I like that.
This song is the full circle relationship with God as He intends. No matter if I am lost in introspection or feeling invincible I will need of compassion, kindness, and love of the God of our Bibles. He is that loving Father, He is Jesus our Savior, and He is the Holy Spirit who brightens up any DARK and/or hopeless situation. Our God is mighty to Save.
May God bless each of you (and me) where the realization of a Savior who moves mountains, and is mindful of each and every one of us.
Jeff (child of God) Larson
I do enjoy this world of oxymoron-ic images. Beautiful contradictions of near epic proportions are found everywhere. A perfect example is the recent GIECO commercial featuring a Sumo Figure Skater.. where this big, shirtless bruiser drifts across a frozen rink in his traditional diaper-like garb. The judges and audience look upon him with quiet awe. "A sumo wrester figure skating? Surprising.
What's not surprising? How much money you could save by switching to GEICO."
Well inspired by this GIECO sales pitch leads The Back Pew to share a head banging Heavy Metal Yodeler. "Heavy Metal Yodeling?
Surprising. What's not surprising? How long ETERNITY is." So live this life with eternity in mind.
What's not surprising? God created this world and hung it in an endless universe all with order and purpose from the farthest star to the intricacies and wonder that make up each one of us (body, mind, and spirit).
We are created in the image of God!
Ok, 'maybe' not surprising.. it is truly AMAZING. is the creator of all things is also our personal and loving Heavenly Father not a lesser deity indifferent to our circumstances.
Shall I go on? Let's attend a 'Virtual Church' in our PJs, usher at a lady bikers church,.. or resort to VOO-DOO dolls to remove that pastor that just won't go on his own.
All of these also are both Strange and Surprising.
What's not surprising? Jesus Christ died on the cross, and rose from the grave for our sins because this is the demonstration and completion of God's perfect love.
In conclusion while you may find my Back Pew attempts at blending faith and humor.. Surprising. In fact the writing of this blog is not your normal collection of thoughts for Christian humor and may be even described as peculiar.. BUT
I pray what you find NOT surprising is the Gospel Truth of our God whose perfect Love & Grace is real and personal for each of us. Don't be surprised, be AMAZED.
Jeffrey (Surprised) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson