Tag Archive: charlie brown



A slightly more subtle one, which i have found myself guilty of, is composing an answer or response while the person is speaking [to give once they are finished] instead of giving them your full attention.

While this is not [to me] as bad as responding before someone has finished, this also shows a less than complete interest in what the person you are talking to is saying to you. It also suggests that you know what they are going to say rather than giving them the opportunity to surprise you or misdirect or story twist or anything like that.

It’s lazy. And it’s less than fully loving. And if you want to be a better friend and this is something you do, then you should stop.

I have found it really is about focus and being intentional. i find i tend to slip into this more when i am tired and so often it’s just a case of knowing when to dive into a deep conversation or when it might be better to postpone it til another time when you can be more focused.

So not a game changer i don’t think. Just something that if you do it you need to work on. But how about you? Have you ever found yourself doing this? Have you suspected someone else of doing it to you? How strongly do you feel about this?

[For the one about that friend that always speaks only about themselves, click here]

Lucy and Charlie Brown

I am a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes!

…or i used to be before the creator Bill Watterson gave it all up and went into hiding… or something like that.

Like all really great cartoonists before him, such as Gary Larsen from ‘The Far Side’, Scott Adams of ‘Dilbert’ fame and ‘Pearls before Swine’ creator Stephan Pastis and off course such classic cartoonists such as Charles M Schulz who created Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the ‘Peanuts’ gang and others, Bill managed to have a complete grasp of funny while at the same time interjecting it with a serious view or commentary of life. All the greats were able to combine the two. Take you from a moment of complete laughter to ‘Wait one minute’ – Boom! Right between the eyes.

It was no huge surprise then when i stumbled across this brilliant cartoon strip that was done as a homage to Watterson using a quote taken from a graduation speech Watterson gave at his alma mater, Kenyon College, in 1990, which began with the words: ‘Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your souls is a rare achievement’

The reason the words jumped out at me is that recently our friend, Mark Scandrette, released a new book called ‘Free: Spending your Time and Money on what Matters Most’ and we are having a book launch party on the 19th September in the Lake Merritt area [which if you’re close enough to attend, you should totally come to]

This homage cartoon finishes with the line ‘To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy… but it’s still allowed… and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.’

As a follower of Jesus, the line of ‘inventing your own life’s meaning’ takes on a bit of a different context, as my pursuit in life is to follow Jesus and see His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven [a place where Love God, Love people and look after the least of these does not sound like the worst life’s meaning to have] but the line, ‘Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul’ completely resonates as I see far too many people who call themselves ‘christian’ yet are clearly not living the free and abundance-filled life that Jesus clearly calls us towards.

Take a look at the rest of the homage cartoon and read the post below to see just how Bill Watterson was able to achieve that. The one useless fact I know about him is that no Calvin and Hobbes merchandise is ever legal as he intentionally held the rights to those so that he could maintain control and care of his characters. This post takes you into a little bit deeper of the why.

Would you say that your life reflects your values and satisfies your soul right now? And if not, what are you prepared to do about it..?





this last weekend i got to go away with my three best men – Regan Didloff, Rob Lloyd and Duncan Houston – to this great secluded cottage in Betty’s Bay and i picked up this book called ‘The Gospel according to Peanuts’ by Robert L Short [where old people may know that ‘Peanuts’ refers to the life and adventures of Charlie Brown and Snoopy and friends]

in it, he quoted this verse from psalm 137 ‘How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?’ [verse 4] and added ‘is a question the church, always finding itself in, but not of, the world, urgently needs to reconsider today.’


it was a statement that resonated within me.

i thought it meant something and then i went and checked out the context of the rest of the psalm [always helpful, this context thing] and now i think it might mean something else [sometimes confusing, this context thing]

just as a statement i think i thought it was saying something about being relevant in terms of language and song in the land that you find yourself in [with the acknowledgement that it is not your home land – you are a stranger and an alien in a world that is not your own] which to me speaks of Christ followers avoiding ‘christianese’ – speaking in the ‘in language’ of the church meeting when you are not in the church meeting – which causes a lot of misunderstanding and confusion and possibly the feeling of being judged… so be relevant and articulate and understood by the people in whose land you are in.

the psalm, though, seems to possibly be saying something else:

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars
we hung our harps,
for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
How can we sing the songs of the Lord
while in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.

and the meaning of it appears to be more a call to not get so attached to the foreign land that we have been exiled to [as was the case with Israel] that we forget where we are from and what we are meant to be about. as in the psalmist jumping up and down a little, trying to catch everyone’s attention before shouting: “Hey! Remember your identity! And remember your nationality. [We are children of God. We are part of His kingdom!]”

i think either one is valid.

i believe both to be important points.

 ‘How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?’ ‘is a question the church, always finding itself in, but not of, the world, urgently needs to reconsider today.’

i love this short clip of Charlie Brown being educated on the true meaning of Christmas…

on Christmas day, tbV and i went to visit a church called Epic that our friends Cody and Lyndsey go to and really had a great time – they meet in a cinema and we were greeted with good coffee and donuts, so pretty much everything i look for in a church [harr!] and then we found the one thing we had been missing in a bunch of churches we have visited since being in Philly which was a great message…

using clips from Elf [which we watched later that nite with some kids from the block cos we were so inspired, what a fun movie] and Charlie Brown Christmas [Linus the evangelist, who knew] Kent preached a simple yet powerful message on the need for us to learn from and be inspired by and emulate a lot of what kids, and specifically his kids, live.

from Psalm 118.24 “this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” he spoke about the unbridled passion and abandon that kids often have about life and used the example of a child opening a present [the real way] by just ripping it apart and trying to get to the gift [whereas the adult is being all mature and old and worrying about saving the paper and the ribbon and so on]

then in the Message, Matthew 6.34 reads “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

the focus is on ‘what God is doing right now’ – often we have ideas of how and where God works and often He throws that on its head by working in different places and differently to how we might expect and part of our job is to take time to be still and observe and listen and watch to see where God is at work right now and where He is wanting us to get involved – it may not look like what we would expect, but by doing what we expect He would say, we may well be missing what He is actually calling us to – are we really being led by God. i would never have imagined that tbV and i would be living and working in the Simple Way, even after being so inspired by the book years ago, but we took time to wait on God and hear and none of us have a doubt now that this is where we are meant to be living and ministering…

lastly he mentioned the story in Acts 16. 22-26 which starts with Paul [and Silas] being stripped and beaten with rods and goes directly to him praying and singing hymns to God – how do we respond to adversity? one of the things children love to do is sing – with reckless abandon, any time any place. why don’t we sing any more?

and why do we sing songs to God in church? is it because He has forgotten how good He is? No! It is because we need to be reminded regularly how awesomely good our God is.

Grow up and become like a child. Your life [and living as opposed to existing] might depend on it.

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