Cold Water and Shells

Here is a little sketch out of my Moleskine.

The water has been a bit cold, but the kids are enjoying the shells. I am having a great time with my nephew and kids. The beach has been very, very good to us.
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Honoring Dad

Caption reads: "You know, Dad, it's hard to honor my father when he dresses like this."

What do you know! I found an Internet connection at our vacation get away.

My son is giving me that look. It's the look that says, "I am much more grown up than you, now."

I expect that from a teen. After all, I'm trying to stay young and a fifteen-year old is trying to act so grown up. All in all, he's a great kid and he honors me much more than I deserve. I really am trying to stay away from the red and green, polka-dot pants.

Going on Vacation

That's right. I'm getting ready for vacation. I may have a cartoon tomorrow. If I don't, I'll see you in April.

Temptation Island

Caption reads: Three days earlier, Gary asked God to eliminate from his life all temptation.

I need this island whenever I'm near a refrigerator or a bowl of chips and salsa. You can't eat just one. You can eat the whole bowl before you realize it. Lord, deliver me from temptation... right after I'm done with this ice cream.

Chores and Video Games

Caption reads: “That is some video game. Maybe we better do our chores now.”

I used to love video games until my son began beating me. Now, I feel like I need a walker and dentures whenever I try to play a game with him. Maybe that's what makes me so enthusiastic when I urge him to get of that video game and finish his chores. Sure, I’ll admit it. It’s sour grapes!

Excuse List

Caption reads: “I’ll get to my chores as soon as I finish my list of excuses why I shouldn’t to them.”

Oh, I have so many things to do this evening, but it sounds good just to sit back and let the evening roll along. At least I got the cartoon out for today. It was a rainy day and a Monday. Isn’t that the first and best excuse not to get something done this evening?

Spiritually Mature

Caption reads: “That’s the first time a girl has turned me down because I’m not spiritually mature.”

I hope I'm more spiritually mature than I was when I was dating. I was selfish, self-serving and vain. That's not to say I'm not now, but I pray I'm going in the right direction. I'm just glad my wife stood by me. I married above my spiritual maturity, that's for sure.

Lint for Lent

Lent was one of those words that confused me as a kid. How many words to we play around with that leave kids puzzled? Church is certainly a big place for that. Keep it simple. Is it right to say happy Lent? It may be hard to do that if the thing you gave up was chocolate.

Beware the Ides of March

Happy justifiably paranoid Roman leader day!

Laugh Lines

Caption reads: “Come on, Mrs. Podgummer! Laugh! It’ll be good for your wrinkles.”

Why is it the people who need to laugh the most are the ones who find it hardest to laugh? Prim and proper just doesn't seem all that fun to me.

Laughter is a good face lift. So laugh today!

A true friend

Caption reads: "Only a true friend would let you know you have a duck on your head."

A real friend is one who let's you know if you have food on your face instead of letting you proudly wear it all day. That's right, a friend will tell you when you are looking like a goober. They'll say, "Excuse me, emperor, but you are wearing no clothes."

We all need a friend like that. Considering how sloppy I can be, I'm glad I have friends like that. It saves on self-inflicted humiliation!

Gold ring in a pig's snout

Caption reads: "I don't get it. I thought the jewelry would get me tons of dates."

Proverbs 11:20 paints a picture. This is what it says:

A beautiful woman who has no sense is like a gold
ring in a pig's nose. Proverbs 11:20 (NIrV)

Someone can seem quite attractive until you get close and realize that is all they think about. It is far better to have a beauty from the inside out, isn't it? It seems like I'm stating the obvious but our celebrity culture sure doesn't get it.

This morning, the comic strip, "Non Sequitur" by Wiley had a good take on the similar subject of celebrity worship.

Burning Anger

Caption reads: "I can't stand your patience! It burns me up! Put up your dukes!"

Anger is a scary emotion because it has so much power and can get out of control before we know it. A patient man calms things down. Looks like the guy on the right is so determined to be angry that he is going to start his fight anyway. That's what happens when you burn with anger.

Kindness Works

Caption reads: "Why thank you for bringing me my newspaper. You are just in time for some fresh-baked cookies."

Does the boy have ulterior motives or is he just a kind soul who gets rewarded? Who knows. Motives aren't always easy to figure out. All I know is I've been rewarded more for kindness than selfishness in my lifetime.

It's one of those funny paradoxes. The more selfish we are, the more miserable we become. The more generous and kind we are, the more we get rewarded. Let's go do a kind deed today-whether we are rewarded or not. Of course, I can be bribed with cookies too.

Junkyard Dog

Caption reads: "A puppy! Can I keep you?"

When it comes to kids and pets, love is blind. You can have a mangy, mean animal that looks like it should have gone to that great pound in the sky and the kid thinks it is smarter than Lassie and more beautiful than anything at the Westminister Dog Show!

I'm just glad when it came to love, my wife was blind. It gave me a chance to win her heart before her eyes opened.

Motives and reasons

Caption reads: “I can’t decide whether to do the right thing for the wrong reason or the wrong thing for the right reason.”

Ever had a time when there just didn't seem to be any easy answer? There is nothing like getting in trouble for doing the right thing! Still, it is better to do the right thing and get in trouble than do the wrong thing and feel horrible even if you stayed out of the hot water.

Kitty Wisdom

Caption reads: “If you are wise, you will think before you do that.”

No animals have been harmed in the production of this cartoon. We have a cat. The kids have been tempted to do such a thing, but so far, so good. I hope this doesn't give them an idea.

Wisdom for Sale

Caption reads: "I'd like a million dollars worth of wisdom, please. Can you just bill me?"

I look at this cartoon in two ways. On one hand, wisdom is valuable. It is rare and expensive but worth the price. I've seen plenty of smart people without much wisdom.

On the other hand, if you bill someone for an outrageous sum, is it wise? We'll leave that up to the store clerk to find out.

Love and Respect

Caption reads: "Dear God, I love and respect you. I'll love and respect you even more if you get me through this test!"

Yes, I've had a few tests like that. It's amazing how our priorities change when we come upon a test, isn't it? Tests and promises seem to go hand in hand!

Illustration Friday: Hide

Caption reads: "Hi, Bob. Have you seen Frank? I need him to help in the nursery."

My wife is a children's director for our church. You would be right if you supposed I have heard similar words before. About ten years ago, I would be hiding like this guy. But now I realize it's great to be in children's ministry. I like to see the future. And I'm not scared when I see it. They have more potential than us grumpy, proper grown-ups!

Church Bulletins

Caption: “If you don’t get me the copy for the bulletin in ten minutes, Sunday morning church will be canceled.”

I love church bulletins. As a child, they kept me busy. They gave me something to doodle on as I listened to my grandfather's sermons. It was fun to read the words he had typed in the bulletin while I heard him preach. It was like stereo for the mind.

Bulletins are an important part of church communications. Hey, if you need some, go to Warner Press. My employer would be so glad!

Coloring Nitpicking

Caption: “It’s nice, but Jesus needs a brown beard, the sky should be sunny and you put polka dots on the boy’s shirt. I don’t like polka dots.”

When I was four or five, I was coloring a picture in Sunday school. A teacher's helper came over to see what I was coloring. He said, "That's a nice cow, but cows aren't purple."

I continued coloring while I announced, "Well, this cow is!"

He went to the next kid pretty quickly. I thought he was nuts because I heard about a purple cow on "Captain Kangaroo."

With that attitude, I must have been destined to be an artist. To all you parents and teachers who wonder what in the world the kid is thinking when he or she drew it, don't worry about it. Let them be creative.

Cartoons for Lent

I heard a kid the other day saying he was giving up bad language for Lent. First of all, it surprised me a kid was giving up bad language. Second, I didn't think giving up a bad habit was exactly in the spirit of the season. Oh well, what do I know?