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How should we respond to ISIS?

I know there are some who see ISIS and their murderous activities in Iraq as further evils of Islam. Keep in mind, though, that ISIS is not only driving away and killing Christians and Jews; they kill Sunni and Shiite muslims as well. While they may point to certain passages in the Quran as justification for their sinful and evil action, their actions are not representative of Islam. The Bible itself can be (and has been) used in just a decrepit way.

Don’t focus on the religion they use as a mask for their hate and depravity. Remember these are men, who were created in God’s image. They are sinful, depraved creatures whose hearts will not change by hating them or killing them. Hatred and murder is their language, is their practice, and they are far better at it than you are. That’s my guess, anyway.

They are killing Christians, our brothers and sisters. They are killing their own “fellow” Muslims, our neighbors. Affinity with those being killed is easy. Much harder is realizing and reacting in the Christ Commanded way to the people of ISIS, our enemies and our persecutors. Much harder is stepping away from the desire for the US military to enter Iraq and eradicate ISIS with several drone attacks or the massive ground offensives this country is quite capable of, and considering how we–followers of The Way, disciples of Jesus, a people called out from the ways of the sinful world to act just as our master and exemplar did–might consistently and genuinely live out the way of Jesus, here and now, under these circumstances.

How do we respond in genuine unity with our persecuted and martyred brothers and sisters? How can we act in such a way that does not involve laying down the cross? Must some of us lay down our lives for our friends?

We know that we Christians will rise again, will eternally dwell with Jesus our King, no matter how we die on this Earth. But, it’s still so difficult to consider sacrificing ourselves, being willing to die, for the sake of a friend, especially for the sake of an enemy. We still tend to value our own lives more than others. We still want to control our fate, our life and death, in spite of what Jesus has said. We still want to be the masters of wrath against perpetrators of evil, believing that’s our job on this Earth, in spite of what God has said. We, the people of God, in our passion for autonomous free will, have distanced ourselves from the one we claim to follow, and have forgotten how much we truly depend on Him for life, death, and resurrection.

So how do we, a community far removed from the active carnage ongoing, respond? How do we act so our brothers and sisters know they are not alone? How do we act so our neighbors (the Muslims enduring their own persecution) know we will not forget them or lump them in with their killers? How do I remember that being a graphic designer isn’t my calling, it’s just something I do; that my calling is to make disciples, to love my neighbors and enemies, to teach, to baptize, to feed, to visit, and to sacrifice?

How do I be a Christian in the face of ISIS? I can’t, because I cannot be a Christian by myself. The real question is how can we, the body of Christ, be the body of Christ, in unity with the persecuted and martyred in Iraq and around the globe, in the face of ISIS?

A nice free font: PROMESH

Here are some players to watch in this World Cup.

Lionel Messi

Mario Balotelli

Cristiano Ronaldo

Here’s another great free font that you may be able to utilize: PROMESH. This one’s created by Paul Reis, and you can « see more about it and download it here ».

Graphic Design Salaries in 2012?

This graphic is both funny and sad.

Back in 2012 I was working full time as a graphic designer at a local media company. Even though I created ads, worked on marketing campaigns, designed full pages, 8-page spreads, did online work, created billboard art, supported the marketing artists with their overflow, was good at it, and had over 5 years experience (so, looking at the middle pencil there), I didn’t take home even half of the lower line (shown there at $59,500).

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Was that a kiss? When Kimbrah and I got married.


Our first kiss as husband and wife was the stuff of legends. In our family at least, as legends go. You see, our kiss wasn’t your ordinary wedding kiss. It told a tale, and was a fitting marker on a timeline of wonderful adventures. And, as any good epic tale goes, we need to start somewhere in the middle.

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Tips for Non-Designers: Sketching and Sketching


For info about this series, check out Design Tips for Non-Designers. Hope you enjoy it.

The first, and what I consider the most important, tip I give to any and all designers and non-designers alike is to just keep sketching.

That annoying, waste of time activity that your teachers told you to stop doing every hour in class, doodling, is the most valuable, worthwhile tool for any designer. I cannot emphasize this enough: to design better you have to draw more.

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Design Tips for Non-Designers


I am going to have an ongoing series giving some design tips and techniques to folks who aren’t designers. Hereafter, I am assuming you are one of those who would consider yourself a non-designer. Whatever your situation or role, or reason for needing to design something, hopefully these can help you a little.

Maybe you’re creating a birthday party flyer. Or perhaps you’re putting charts together for an upcoming meeting. What about a yard sale sign? Or Facebook or Twitter banners? Whether it’s the slides or brochures at church, or whatever else you might be doing, some basic design fundamentals and tips could help you make something impressive and fun.

I’ll pass along some advice, links to excellent freebies (not all freebies are excellent; there’s a reason they are free), and even some helpful tutorials. Nothing crazy or complicated. But there is no reason what you create shouldn’t look great.

I know–as someone who does print and digital design work as my main source of income, and have been “coloring for a living” for years–that there are a lot of people who either think they cannot afford a “professional” designer to help them out, or who don’t see the need to pay for a designer. While there certainly are cases where one does not need to hire a graphic designer to take care of the design and artistic work–those cases are the main focus for this series–through these tips and information I think we will all see exactly when and where experience and skill come into play.

Hopefully, while being able to do some more beautiful and effective work yourself, you will also see just why there is a need for graphic designers, and why there are certain costs for their services. I want to dispel some of the myths you might believe, and help you understand it all a little better so you can make well informed decisions.

Please keep in touch and let me know if these are helpful. Also, if you ever make something using a technique or tip you learned, I would love to see it. If you want some extra advice, shoot me a message or post a comment. I’m always glad to help out.

It’s not about Derek Webb

If you think this post is about Derek Webb then you’ve missed it.

I sit here, typing away, and listening to Derek Webb’s Ctrl album. It’s now been a few days since I saw the message from Webb that he and his wonderful singing, song-writing wife, Sandra McCracken, would be getting a divorce after 13 years of marriage. They have had two kids during that time.

Both Webb and McCracken are amazing artists. And I’m sure they will continue to be. They just won’t be amazing artists together, going around the country and doing little concerts in people’s homes like they’ve done.

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Racism should not shock us

Juventus Against Racism

I’m somewhat befuddled by the reaction to NBA team owner Sterling’s racism. Today he was given a lifetime ban and fined $2.5 million. While I think that’s a good move by the NBA, I also think it’s a meager band-aid, and many folks will be under the delusion that racism is being stamped out.

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Three named martyrs in Apocalypse i-ii

Exile of John on Patmos, Topper

There are three different and different kinds of martyrs named in the first two chapters of John’s Apocalypse. There’s Jesus in i.5, John the author in i.9, and Antipas in ii.13.

Jesus was called “the faithful martyr,” and was considered the prototypical martyr, the exemplar for his followers. He bore witness to the Truth and The Way, and called for his disciples to take up their cross and follow him.

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I am wondering if there are any fellow brothers and sisters in Christ–who embrace the teachings of our Lord, who called us to bear witness to the truth, to go into all the world making disciples and baptizing them in the name of our Holy God, who Created all men and women in His glorious image, and told us to love our enemies and persecutors–who will continue to support Sarah Palin and what she says.

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Conference on the Adulterous Woman passage in John


Fascinating. On Saturday (4/26/2014), at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, there was a Pericope Adulterae conference. I missed it but am glad there was some live blogging and summaries put together. The blogging of Jacob Cerone was helpful.

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I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living  creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.
– Apocalypse v.6 –

Why was John on Patmos?


That John, the same Apostle who wrote the Gospel and three letters, was the same John exiled on Patmos and wrote Revelations was something I always knew and was always taught. At least as far back as I can remember learning or reading about such things. Over time, as I grew and read and studied further, what I knew changed. The first heresy I repented of was calling the little book Revelations; it’s either Revelation or the dark and ominous (and preferred) title, Apocalypse. I pray we can all repent of the silly s. Moving along, I also came to understand the three Johns didn’t necessarily have to be the same person. Doesn’t mean they are definitively not; just that tradition has historically decided who we believe authored those texts. Tradition can be just as wrong as it can be right.

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Yet agrarianism, trained as it is in the real work of farming, is certainly attached to the need to work. But this work is always tempered by the understanding that it cannot be finished or complete in itself–that the work is tied up with a whole gathering of beings and that the work is not that of a prison camp where it is forced, but is rather like a barn raising where labor is focused on accomplishing one task because it is part of a greater whole.

– Ragan Sutterfield, Cultivating Reality

He holds the keys of death


Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, and the one who lives! I was dead, but look, now I am alive – forever and ever – and I hold the keys of death and of Hades! (Rev. i.17b-18)

Before this, John spent considerable time lofting up the authority of Jesus with magnificent titles, contrasting him with and placing him as a superior authority above that of the Roman Emperor. And while the Emperors died and remained dead, despite their claims of deity, Jesus died and is alive, forever and ever.

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The blood of God’s people


Now when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been violently killed because of the word of God and because of the testimony they had given. They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” Each of them was given a long white robe and they were told to rest for a little longer, until the full number was reached of both their fellow servants and their brothers who were going to be killed just as they had been. (Rev. vi.9-11)

From the sixth century commentary by Oecumenius,

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