Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Best BUT in Scripture


1 Corinthians 15:12-28

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.”[a] But when He says “all things are put under Him,it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Who Am I That God Would Love Me?

Genesis 1:16

Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 

Back in 1996 I remember seeing a television interview with Carl Sagan. This was one of the last interviews that Sagan gave because it was well known that he had terminal cancer and he died later that year. At the end of the interview the invitation was given for Sagan to speak some final words. He said that space is so vast and that we all only live on an insignificant dirt clod in space. Nice last thought.

In contrast to that, the Bible states that out of all the things in space that God created, the Earth was created first (Genesis 1:1). And in verse 16 of Genesis 1, God makes a kind of side note, "He made the stars also", as if it was no big deal. And for our infinite God, it wasn't.

It's amazing for us to think that out of all the incomprehensible vastness of space, that this little spec of dirt would be special. But it is, because this is where God created human beings made in His Image. And this is where God sent His Son on a rescue mission to die on a cross and rise from the dead so that sinful humans that rejected God could be restored to Him again. 


I often think out of all the billions and billions of people that have walked this planet, why would God care about me? I am nothing. I am not good. I have sinned against God. I have done nothing great and worthy of His notice. And yet God loves me and sent His Son to this planet to die for me. Wow! That's amazing Love. How can it be? That Thou my God shouldst die for me?

Here are videos to my favorite hymn and one of my favorite songs. Both have the a similar message. Who am I & And Can it Be. Enjoy.



Friday, March 29, 2013

Thoughts on Good Friday and "Coexist"

Today is Good Friday, a holiday for Christians to commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. Good Friday is a very sad day for me because I remember that the Creator of the universe suffered an eternity of God's wrath on my behalf to pay for my sin. But that fact makes it a great day too. Because Jesus suffered eternal wrath that should've been mine, and I received HIs free gift of salvation, I have been made right before God and enjoy Him both here on Earth and will forever in Heaven after this life is over. Christ did that for ME and I am so very grateful for His grace and mercy.

As I reflect on this wonderful gift today, I'd like to contrast it with a popular graphic in our society. This graphic design is made up of various religious symbols that form the word "coexist", with the final letter "T" being a cross. The message in this graphic seems like a really good idea, after all, who can argue against world peace, right? But this peace that the world desires and the peace that Christ offers are two different things. With a cross in this graphic, one might think that it's message would be inclusive and tolerant of Jesus and the Truth of God's Word, but that is far from reality. Consider the following:


The Bible is often quoted for these types of love verses.


Ephesians 4:32 

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 


Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
 

These verses are true, but there's more to the love of Christ. It isn't a warm and fuzzy love that's nice and just looks past the flaws and differences of others as many would like to make it out to be. The love of Christ came at a great cost.  And the love of Christ changes lives.

 John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.


Isaiah 53:5
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.


 Mark 10:45
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.


Also the God of the Bible demands that we worship HIM and Him alone.
 

Exodus 34:14
For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Jesus didn't come to this earth to suffer and die such a horrible death (
Isaiah 52:14) to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and rise again (Matthew 28:6 ) only to be one option among many gods and religions.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Jesus also didn't tell us to just coexist. He commanded those that follow Him to change the world.


Matthew 28: 18-20
 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Mark 16:15
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
 

To preach the Gospel, which is good news, Christians have to also communicate the bad new to those around them.

Romans 3:23 

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
 

Yes, many Christians have communicated the "you're a sinner" message in a manner that is not very Christ-like and the world understandably is repelled at such actions. But even when presented in the most tactful and loving way, the message that "you're a sinner" is increasingly being called hate speech. It's not nice and tolerant to tell people that they are sinners in need of a Savior.

But the bad news has good news connected to it.


Romans 6:23
 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


That free gift must be shared to a lost world that want Christians to leave them alone and just "coexist". Praise the Lord somebody obeyed Christ's command to share the Gospel with me, and then God saved me. And now I want to tell others. That's not just coexisting.

Romans 10:14-15
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Alien-looking Life on Earth?

Every so often I come across news articles featuring discoveries of strange animals such as the Lamprey,  Vampire Squid, or these odd-looking insects. I love learning about especially different animals, but there is usually a certain word used to describe them that bothers me. That word is "alien."

As far as I know, the only known physical life forms in the entire universe are found on this little blue marble in space called Earth. So why is it then that when uncommonly seen and sometimes very unusual-looking life on earth is discovered or pulled up from great depths of the sea, they are often referred to as, "alien-like" or alien-looking"? Have you ever stopped to think about that? What is "alien-like" or alien-looking" when there are no actual aliens to compare these creatures to? The most horrid, nightmarish example of a deep sea fish and the cutest, most cuddly golden labrador retriever puppy have at least one very important thing in common. They both live on earth. Therefore, no matter how normal or weird-looking the life we find here on earth, it is all earth-life and looks as earth-lifelike as any other earth-life that has ever been found or observed. Life on our planet is the only life we know about.

So the next time you see a headline proclaiming some odd creature to be "alien-like", just smile and say to yourself, "you mean earth-lifelike".

Just something to think about.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to Google a Photo Using a Photo!

Most people know how to "Google a word", but most people don't know that it's possible to "Google an image" as well, and this search option can be very handy. When my daughter found that the Smithsonian was using a Creation Museum dinosaur photo to advertise their theaters, I needed to do a little detective work to find a possible source or sources that the Smithsonian may have used to obtain that dinosaur photo. Here is how I searched for that exact photo:

 For this example I typed "Creation Museum dinosaur" into the Google search window in my web browser. This brought me to a list of web sites that use the words "creation", "museum" and "dinosaur".


Next I click on the word "images" located in the bar at the top of the page. This takes me to Google Images.

Once in Google Images, I see a page full of photos that were found by using the words "creation", "museum" and "dinosaur", but as you can see, none of them are even close to the dinosaur photo I am looking for. 

I need the Google image search box. To open the image search box, click on the camera icon in the Google word search box.


The box will open up. Then I drag and drop the image file
(or I can locate the file on my computer using the search option) I am searching for into the search box. Wait for it ... and PRESTO! Google actually uses my dino photo to find other copies of it on the internet. I love this search tool!

Now it's your turn. Give it a try!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Little Blog Survey

Of the past twenty-five blog entries,  only two have asked you for information, and now I'm adding a third opportunity this month for you to share information with me. I created a web survey to find out what you think of think of my blog and to give me input on what else you'd like to see in it. There are only ten questions so give it a try.  Also, this is my first blog survey so please be kind! Thanks. Find the survey here.




Monday, March 25, 2013

Honoring My Pastor ... With a Caricature?

Me, Marina (she put the book together) Brad & Vicki
I love political and editorial cartoons. Out of all the varieties of cartooning, this powerful form of cartoon communication has to be my favorite. One of the tools often used in these cartoons is caricature, and sadly because of the negative nature of political and editorial cartoons that poke at political and popular figures in society, caricature is often seen as negative and insulting. When I do caricatures, I try to do the opposite ... most of the time!

My Pastor, Brad Bigney, just celebrated his 50th birthday and earlier this month I was made aware of a very secret birthday photo album project that was being put together for him. Being that this was his 50th birthday, I figured a caricature (lovingly and encouragingly done of course) might fit the project.  I really do appreciate Brad for his ministry that has blessed me and my family many, many times more than we could ever begin to thank him for and felt strongly that I should add at least a little token of appreciation to a page in this book. So my wife and I put our heads together and listed out all the things about Pastor Brad that we could think of, and then I asked a few other people including Brad's wife Vicki. With all this input, I went to work and the caricature you see below is the end result. Thankfully, Brad's family said, "That sure is Brad!"

The book with the caricature was presented to Brad this past Sunday, March 24 and he was completely taken by surprise! The whole congregation sang happy birthday and then loudly applauded their dear shepherd. What a fun time it was to see this short but very moving burst of appreciation for this wonderful godly man. He is truly a trophy of Grace!

Here are a few links to help you get to know Brad and explain a few things in the caricature too:

NANC - Brad Bigney video clips

Brad's new book, Gospel Treason: Betraying the Gospel With Hidden Idols
Video about the book Gospel Treason

 Messages by Brad Bigney
IBCD.org
Sermons from Grace Fellowship Church

Brad Bigney DVD "Counterfit Counseling"



Sunday, March 24, 2013

An After Eden Cartoon in Memory of a Friend

In early July last year my family and I were driving back from Washington DC when a call came to some friends who were with us that a coworker of ours at the Creation Museum, Dave Sheppard had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Just to be diagnosed with cancer is bad enough, but pancreatic cancer is a whole other level of bad. 

To make a very long eight month story short, Dave went home to be with the Lord after a battle of surgeries, treatments, many prayers and tears. The last time I saw Dave, he was sitting in the board room of the Answers in Genesis offices in a meeting. Just two or three weeks later we were saying goodbye to him at his funeral. Such a sad loss of a man that was a truly a servant. You can read more about Dave in this tribute shared on Ken Ham's blog. Tribute to a Sheppard.

Included in this tribute is a cartoon that I produced two days after Dave died. A cartoon? Yes, a cartoon, that doesn't mock, make fun, jest or joke, but was made to honor the memory of our dear friend David Sheppard and it also honors his Savior, Jesus Christ. I was very honored as well when Pam, Dave's widow, said she liked the cartoons and asked me for some copies to display at the funeral. Many of Dave's friends and family were so pleased by the cartoon as well and went out of their way to let me know. I appreciate their kind words so very much. Thank you all.

On Friday, February 8, 2013 the After Eden cartoon mentioned above was due. I knew I wanted to memorialize Dave with it, but the struggle was HOW to do that? The death of a person you and many around you knew is a very sensitive thing. An idea had come to my mind, but this one wasn't the kind of idea that hits and I know exactly where I'm going before I draw even one line. It was a general sense of direction that could be refined into many different cartoon possibilities. And to make this task even more difficult, time was running out, so I started drawing. The first drawing was a rough sketch that showed Dave talking with a young boy at the Creation Museum. With that much to go on I jumped into the final art. The important element was Dave's likeness. After all, if the man in the cartoon didn't look like Dave, the cartoon wouldn't work. It would be nice to say that the likeness came on the first try, but it didn't. I looked at many photos and drew many versions of his face before the right one came out of the pencil. Time was still ticking away. What was this cartoon going to be? Will this general idea really work out or am I going to have to ditch it and go with a repeat After Eden cartoon? By the way, this has happened before. Coming up with good ideas is hard work! 

Somewhere in my desperation, this cartoon turned into a lengthy prayer to God with me pleading for concrete and specific details while the clock kept ticking away. At 4:55PM the art was finally finished, but the captions I had were at best, incomplete ideas. The cartoon was due at 5:00! "Lord, PLEASE HELP ME!" And then one more caption came with about 2-3 minutes left. Even as I typed the words into the cartoon I hoped this was it, that these words would put a bit if a twist on the sad loss and inject a smile of hope. The eternal hope that all Christians have when Christian brothers and sisters die.  The hope that these losses are temporary because of the shed blood, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Dave had put his faith and trust in Christ to be his Savior and that is the reason we know we will see Dave again. We grieve and miss our friend, but we'll spend an eternity with him after missing him for a few years here on earth. Praise the Lord!

In memory of Dave Sheppard and to celebrate the hope we have to see him again, I've posted this song video by my friends, Legacy Five. As you listen, follow along with the lyrics below and think about how great it will be to say "hello" after this sad "goodbye".




Hello After Goodbye

Words and lyrics by JIm Brady

We dress in black.
We say, “Goodbye.”
How our hearts break, and oh how we cry.
Yet though we grieve, we still have hope
Cause for all hearts of faith we trust and know:


There is a “Hello” after “Goodbye.”
A blessed reunion promised in time:
We will be with them for longer than we were without, no doubt.
No more tears in our eyes in that beautiful wonderful “Hello” after “Goodbye.”


Next time we see them we’ll never more know the sorrow and pain of letting go.
We’re with them forever, life without end, in that most blessed sweet moment when:


There is a “Hello” after “Goodbye.”
A blessed reunion promised in time:
We will be with them for longer than we were without, no doubt.
No more tears in our eyes in that beautiful wonderful “Hello” after “Goodbye.”


We will see them again, be with them again,
laugh and talk like before, sing and worship forevermore.


There is a “Hello” after “Goodbye.”
A blessed reunion promised in time:
We will be with them for longer than we were without, no doubt.
No more tears in our eyes in that beautiful wonderful “Hello” after “Goodbye.”

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Are You Sick of Me Yet?

This year's month of March blogging has been a challenge. For one it's been a VERY busy month. For two, it's tough to come up with quick-to-produce blog postings that aren't somehow about me or what I do. Today is 23 March 2013, and out of the past twenty-two postings, only four have not been about me or what I do (and that number is debatable). So to really tip the scales to the "about me" side, here is a list of places you can find me or something I've done online. Why am I posting this info? I figure that someday I'll run into a person that I haven't seen since childhood and they'll ask me, "what have you done with you life?"
To save time, I'll get their email address and send them this list. haha



 Social Media

Facebook
 Who would have ever thought I'd have a fan page? Well, my parents ...

Twitter
Some people tweet multiple times a day or even an hour. I'm not quite ready to report to the world every time my nose itches. I tweet when the moment is right. And that moment is ...

Pinterest
 I have tons of cartoons and images that I'm going to pin ... and then I'll probably have lots more people that will want to pin me ... literally.

LinkedIn
 I never knew resumes could be so fun!

Behance
Another online portfolio type site. Go ahead and take a look. I dare ya!

Misc Web Sites

DanLtoons.com
Needs a face-lift. Not me, the web site.

CafePress
Someday I'll add some designs that people will want to buy. Someday ...

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Bookfinder

Family Christian Bookstores
It's interesting that out off all the book web sites, the Christian one has far less of my stuff than the others

Sweden's Wikipedia Page
Why do I have a Wiki page in Sweden? Why not?

Answers in Genesis Web Site

Cartoons

After Eden

CreationWise

Let There Be Truth

Articles

Cartoons in Ministry?

Can a Thief Go To Heaven?

Avatar Movie Review

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Mything the Boat

Speaker bio

About After Eden

Video

Testimony - Part 1

Testimony - Part2

Article From Another Creation Ministry Web Site

Dan Lietha Interview

 An "Anti-Fan" Page

Dan Lietha is an American Loon


Are you sick of me yet?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Three AiG speakers In One After Eden Cartoon

After Eden cartoon number 320 titled, "Out of Bullets", has a record THREE Answers in Genesis speakers in it. Can you name them? 

This cartoon is also based on something that happens to us all the time. If you look around on the internet, you'll see the bottom panel is very true to life, however, if you'd rather not see a LOT of foul language, just take my word for it.

This After Eden illustrates the ad hominem fallacy. 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it like this:

ad hominem

1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
2 : marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made


For a better understanding of this common logical fallacy, my good friend Dr. Jason Lisle wrote an excellent article. I highly recommend it. Find it here.

These types of attacks aren't fun to endure and they happen very often, but that's just part of being in this type of ministry and shining the Truth of Christ in a dark world.

 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.

John 15:21

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Favorite 3D Photos of the Past Year

Stereo photography became a hobby of mine about 25 years ago. However, it's not something I've practiced consistently over that time span. With film cameras, 3D or stereo photography was expensive, so I didn't do a lot of it to avoid spending too much money. As a result, I put this fun hobby on ice for a good decade or so. Last year I decided to get back into it and with the modern tools that are available now such as digital cameras, computers, Photoshop and the internet, it's easier and more fun than ever.

Here is a collection of the best 3D images I've produced over the last year. Most of them are photos taken at the Creation Museum. And a few of them involve artwork. I hope you enjoy them.

 To view these photo pairs in 3D, you have to do this:

Step 1 - Cross your eyes until you see 4 images instead of 2.
Step 2 - Then relax your view so the images move together and you see only 3 images.
Step 3 - When you see 3 images stop changing your focus - see the center image is 3D.

















Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Dinosaur Face of the Creation Museum

No, I'm not referring to Ken Ham! Haha! Ken likes to make fossil jokes about "older" people so I couldn't resist. A few years ago, I created an After Eden cartoon based on these jokes. The dinosaur that is face of the Creation Museum is the one that the Smithsonian mistakenly used on an advertising card last summer. My daughter Hannah was the one that made the discovery! See the story here. And the Milwaukee Zoo also has used it. See here. I wouldn't be shocked at all to see more stories like this popping up in the future. It's a great looking dinosaur!

While thinking about the experience of finding this particular Creation Museum dinosaur in Washington DC last summer (I as with Hannah during the discovery), I recently took a walk around the AiG offices and the Creation Museum and found this dinosaur all over the place! And the photos below don't include the many uses of this dinosaur in Creation Museum magazine ads and many other places. Out of all the dinosaurs that are part of this ministry, this dinosaur is truly iconic to the Creation Museum!

A wall decoration in the AiG offices

Used in a billboard campaign

Creation Museum book cover
A sign advertising the Creation Museum book
In souvenir photos

Creation Museum brochures
On another popular Creation Museum book
And in the book too!
A Christmas tree ornament!
On yet another Creation Museum book and a DVD!
And inside this book too


How many times can you find it here?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Like After Eden "Likes" on Facebook

Writing and drawing a web-cartoon like After Eden has some interesting dynamics to it. The main one being the immediate feedback that I receive from my viewers. It's great to see how a particular cartoon is being received within hours or even minutes of it being posted to the web. However, back in the early days of After Eden, there wasn't so much feedback because the internet was still growing, developing and becoming what it is today. Most feedback came through email and you know the effort it takes to write one of those! These days you just click "like" on Facebook and maybe even comment on it too. And then you might share it with your FB friends. All these things take very little effort, but they mean a lot to me. In fact, here are the top ten After Eden cartoons posted to the Answers in Genesis Facebook page from January 1, 2012 to March 19, 2013. Enjoy! Thanks for all your likes ... and even the dislikes (comments) too. Every little bit helps.

These are listed number 10 to 1 according to Facebook likes:

10. 1505 Likes, 87 Comments, 1572 Shares




















9. 1528 Likes, 125 Comments,  1253 Shares




















8. 1546 Likes,  158 Comments,  794 Shares




















7. 1584 Likes,  92 Comments,  925 Shares





















6. 2280 Likes,  64 Comments,  1776 Shares





















5. 2328 Likes,  52 Comments,  2478 Shares





















4. 2585 Likes,  201 Comments,  2538 Shares





















3. 2808 Likes,  536 Comments,  2533 Shares





















2. 3061 Likes209 Comments3634 Shares





















1. 3763 Likes,  155 Comments,  9559 Shares (This is NOT a typo)