My wife and I live in Roseville Mn which is a suburb of the city of St. Paul Mn, and we like it here. Peaceful neighborhood, easy access to highways, shopping, dining, and.. is unofficially the bunny capital of the world. Bunnies are everywhere.
These friends of Bugs (bunny) crisscross our yard constantly. We don't have a garden so they are harmless and cute.. I guess... but what goes on in their little minds as they scamper from here to there and back again. All this is done of course as they travel their literal bunny trails. Then I wonder.. are there 'bad bunnies'.. you know, with tattoos hanging out the street corner smoking cigs and.. sorry, I guess my mind just went on its own bunny trail.
Ok, now it is time to state the obvious.. I am NOT a bunny. but I have traveled my share of bunny trails like the above bunny gang meander. I would even say I even have the 'gift' of veering off topic railroading a conversation deftly interjecting my thoughts that have wandered away from the original subject. How I got there and I how I get back?.. I don't know, maybe I will ask a BUNNY. If no bunny can be found to help me I will segue back by saying "but I digress"
Of course for the most part the literal bunny trails in my yard and the nonsensical bunny trails in my head are harmless. They may be puzzling, possibly frustrating, but seriously no harm no foul. But what about the more serious bunny trails we take? In a world that needs Jesus we are busy with bunny trails... even Pokemon Go trails.. really?
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Js 1:27
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Mt 22:37-40 .
There you have it.. all that is important shared economically in just 5 scripture verses, BUT.. what about climbing the corporate ladder, keeping up with the Jones's, and HEY.. Netlix is not gonna watch itself. Maybe you have traveled down the traditional wine, women, and song path, or have become lost on bunny trail of self-doubt spinning in place lacking direction or purpose. All of the above can be definite bunny trails that have nothing to do with Js 1:27 and/or Mt 22:37-40.
I have recently returned to using My Utmost for His Highest devotional by Oswald Chambers. His daily readings are amazing bits of truth that return focus to what is important. My prayer is daily to live a life that loves God in words and deeds. Then Js 1:27 and Mt 22:36-40 are will become my passion, and the rest of life will be bunny trails by comparison.
May God bless your life's journey with focus and purpose, and may He provide hope and direction for those of you off on a bunny trail.
ROCKET SCIENCE = marketing and social media
The Back Pew, where Clean Humor and God's Truth is the product...and ... 'Marketing & SEO stuff' is Rocket Science. Let me explain,
While God has uniquely wired to create Back Pew cartoons & blogs. the marketing side of The Back Pew is for me.. rocket science. I DON'T GET IT! I simply lack the marketing skills (except to buy groceries at a market) to properly promote the Back Pew as a ministry.
So I am looking for someone to improve the look, function, and direction (the ROCKET SCIENCE stuff) of The Back Pew.
Currently The Back Pew consists of....
So if you are a ROCKET SCIENTIST (know a thing or two about Marketing and/or SEO) or know someone who has flown a rocket or two.. :) then leave a comment to this blog or EMAIL ME. I pray this is an opportunity the right person to share in this ministry of Clean Humor and God's Truth.
Jeff (Rocket Man 'NOT') Larson
My Parting Deep Thought.. If a cartoon is posted on the web and if know one sees it.. was it FUNNY? <pause> upon further review that deep thought was a tad shallow. :)
As a self-described little black rain cloud of sorts.. I too often find myself lamenting circumstances, and choices on my life's journey. From this I was 'inspired' to write the 'Larson Lamentations'. The following is an excerpt from chapter 1.
The Larson Lamentations
1:1 Everything is stupid, everyone is dumb, please leave me alone, and.. my back hurts.
1:2 I'm bored, there is nothing on TV, and in November we will be voting for a new president between tweedle dee and tweedle dumb. Please pass the bucket.
1:3 It's 9 a.m. I have been awake for three hours and I just wanna go back to bed
1:4 (intentional pause)
1:5 Did I mention my back hurts? WELL IT DOES.. it hurts a-lot!
My LL Motto: Serve no WHINE before it's time.
Ok, this is just the first 5 verses, but my 'little black rain cloud' persona is evident. What do you think? Yes far from scriptural but while this is an embellishment of a bad attitude, there are threads of truth in how we (or should I say ME) often feel. This 'broken' world and our circumstances (deserved and undeserved) can leave us tired, discouraged, depressed, and feeling hopeless.
Then to the rescue this morning my wife and I read 'Jesus Calling' devotional from Susan Young. Here are few excerpts.
... Accept each day exactly as it comes to you. By that I mean not only the circumstances of your day but also the condition of your body. .... Some days the demands on you are greater than your strength. You have two choices on such days.. give up, or rely on Jesus. If you choose to give up.. I will not reject you. You can turn to me at any point and I will help you out of your mire of discouragement. ... I will infuse My strength into you moment by moment, giving you all that you need for this day. Trust me by relying on My empowering Presence.
Psalms 42:5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Seriously I do struggle with the 'little black rain cloud' persona. I currently am struggling, but today I choose not give up. I choose to pray for God's strength for all that I need. I choose to praise Him today for the blessings and pitfalls of this life. Today I choose Him to be the providence for all I need, to work hard, choose well, and seek to honor God in all that I do.
note: It goes without saying.. The process of choosing God and praising Him will not be included in the Larson Lamentations.
May God bless, encourage, and provide for each of you today in a way that is inside and outside of your circumstances and in ways that are .. BEYOND YOUR DREAMS.
Jeff (not currently lamenting) Larson
Recently I watched a TV docudrama on the history of the American West. It was a time when Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, and Jesse James with guns a blazing shared the headlines of lawman versus Lawbreaker.
This brought my mind back to over 50 years ago in the (MID)western frontier of Cable Wi (pop 280maybe) where I served as an 8 year old lawman working with my deputee and 6 year old friend David Larson. It was a time of lawlessness where big talk and big guns (cap & pop) were a way of life.
Bad blood had been brewing since Sunday School the previous Sunday when Dastardly Dick Ludzack and BadNews Bryan Anderson refused to sing Jesus loves me (truth is neither could sing a tune to save their lives) and this type of brash defiance of our Lord would not be tolerated. So just a few days later September 14, 1965 (right after school) we traveled to the Ludzack Farm on the east side of town to bring these brazen lawbreakers to justice. If justice came at the end of a rope or my smokin' guns.. So be it.
This day would soon after be known as The Shootout at Ludzack Farm. (kinda like the Shootout at the OK Corral for kids)
When we arrived at the Ludzack Farm we learned Dastardly and BadNews were camped out on the North side of the family barn, so we quickly set up just on the Southeast corner as news traveled they were heading south along the east side of this same barn. We were ready, but knew they would not surrender without a fight. Both sides had enough Guns & Ammo to make the NRA blush.
Tension was in the air as Dastardly & BadNews turned the southeast corner and were met with guns a blazin'. BLAM, BLAM, PEW, PEW, POP, BANG. This gunfight was was over before it started.
As the smoke from our cap guns lifted it was clear by their (imaginary/implied) bullet riddled bodies both dastardly & badnews had their come up ins. There would be no trial, there would be no chance for them boys to redeem themselves and sing like choir boys next Sunday morning cuz.. THEY WUZ DEAD.
Except.. out of the silence BadNews Bryan (always hated him) shout "Uh-uh" you missed me, and you are both DEAD cuz I shot you both in the HEAD."
It was such a grand lie. Such a big fib that 50 years later I am surprised Bryan thinks he has a chance at Heaven. This just ruined my day. I came to this town to bring law and order, and I am thwarted by a 7 year old and those weak words.. Uh-uh! I was so mad I went home and told my mom.
Thinking back to those lawless times in the fall of 1965 I am haunted by my failure to bring to justice that no good lyin' snake Bad News Bryan Anderson. Of course the story is not over as Bryan was the best man in my wedding in 1984 and we meet almost weekly for lunch.
You know what they say, keep you friends close, and your ENEMIES closer. Better sleep with one eye open BadNews.
Jeff (dreaming of exercising my second ammendment rights in 1965) Larson
note: I forgot to include a spiritual lesson today, I will be sure and double down next time.
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson