Archive for February, 2020

This year I am making an effort to get to know more people in the community. Well I found a writer’s group in the area, and I decided to go. It was really good. We did a project where we let works of art inspire poetry. I ended up doing two. The first was based on Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell and the second is based on an interesting painting by Georgia O’Keeffe. Since I try never to post other people’s art on this page, I have linked each title to a picture of the painting the poem is based on. I’m not a poet, but I had a good time and more importantly I got to meet another creative community in my area and I hope to make some friends.

Save The Neck

Rockwell’s piece I like the most
Thanksgiving Thursday on Saturday’s Post.
Fifty pound turkey on a tray,
Grandpa stands lovingly in the way.
Peeking through is little sis,
making sure that nothing’s missed.
Brother Sam with sheepish grin,
Uncle Bob has tales to spin.
The poet sits in humor dark,
trying not to add, “Save the neck for me, Clark.”
Sisters whisper cross the table,
Faceless man, I hope he’s stable.
Uncle Tom’s a happy man,
there’s cranberry sauce shaped like the can.
Aunt Bethany with smiling face
won’t fill her plate til she says grace.
Norman lay those brushes down,
it’s time to pass the taters round.

Negative Space

Floral forms reveal a path.
The Valley of the Shadow.
Petals become mountains,
Casting shadows deep.
The Valley of the Shadow.
Forked paths lead to mystery,
obscured by shadows deep.
The deep, deep valley of the shadow
Destiny determined by the path we choose.
from above the choice is clear.
I might find myself in a negative place
the valley of the shadow,
but I’m only passing through.

If you’ve been here for any length of time, you know I love to build models. Cars mainly but I’ve been known to build just about anything. My latest project is kind of special. I know it looks simple, and truth be known, it was an easy build, but that’s now why I picked it up. I’ve often told you about my Nana. If I had to pick the one person who really kind of launched me creatively, it was her. She was one of those really cool people who just had a flair. Well when I was a kid, she and my Pappy would take my brother and I to the auction. My brother had the patience to sit in the auctions with my Pappy who was always looking for things he could sell at the flea market. I on the other hand couldn’t sit that long, so I went with Nana. She would always take me to the stands that surrounded the auction. I was about six or seven years old at the time and like many little boys I was really into dinosaurs. One day she took me into this toy store and I saw a shelf full of model dinosaurs. This was something I hadn’t experienced before, a dinosaur I had to put together. She let me pick one out. A Triceratops manufactured by a company called PYRO. I probably glued it together in a few minutes and no doubt I made a huge mess, but it also set me on the course, not just of building models but of another form of creative expression.

Well some time ago, I read that the Lindberg company had purchased the original PYRO molds and in fact this kit was pretty much the exact kit I built when I was six or seven. 50 years later, I built it again, just for sentimentality’s sake. I put a lot more detail into this one, but mainly it was like building a memory. I guess the reason I share this is to remind us all that we never know what will kindle the creative spark in someone else, so we need to make the most of every opportunity, and one more thing. There will come a time for most of us, when the people we love will be a fond memory. If you still have them, give them your time. Don’t put it off tomorrow. And of course, one day we will also be a fond memory, so make the most of today and of every opportunity to show love and maybe even plant a few seeds.

This week’s message is called Messy Ministry, part I. It’s on the theme of outreach and evangelism using the example of the calling of Matthew.

In the Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis shares letter written from a demon named Screwtape to his nephew and underling Wormwood, telling him how to corrupt the soul he is tasked with corrupting known as the patient. Given the state of politics in our world, I found this portion “enlightening.” The topic is whether Wormwood should try to make his “patient” a patriot or a pacifist. “Screwtape” writes:

“Whichever he adopts, your main task will be the same. Let him begin by treating the patriotism or pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely part of the ’cause,’ in which Christianity is valued chiefly because of the excellent arguments it can produce in favor of the British war effort or of pacifism. The attitude which you want to guard against is that in which temporal affairs are treated primarily as material for obedience. Once you have made the world an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours—and the more religious (on those terms) the more securely ours. I could show you a pretty cage full down here.

Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape”

Lewis as usual nails it. Keep in mind the character Screwtape is a demon wanting to help his underling Wormwood to destroy his patient. It’s fictional, but I have seen the tactic work splendidly by Satan’s standard. This is story telling at it’s finest, and it is used to call attention to a technique virtually as old history itself. Christians need to follow Christ over and above everything else.

Our Bible Study Group at the church is studying the book of Esther. In connection with that study, I am preaching a series of messages called Esther: For Such a Time as This. This week’s message is an exploration of chapter 4.

As many of you know, I have a Facebook page/group called The Daily Creative. I’ve been wrestling with it a little as I try to figure out how much content is too much, versus not enough, but one thing I have determined to do is post a daily art challenge each month. Well yesterday I heard that Chinese New Year was on January 25 and that this year is the year of the Rat. Well if you know my artistic history, you’ll know I’ve drawn a lot of rats, from fan art of Ed Roth’s Rat Fink to my own characters Rikki Rat and the Vermin, I love to cartoon rats. I decided that February’s Challenge will be called Rat-ruary. So if you’re feeling a little “rat-ical” come on in and join in the fun. Be sure to join the Facebook group so you can share your creations. It’s just a challenge to trigger your creativity.