Sunday, September 13, 2009

That Doesn't Make It Right

WARNING: The following post could be offensive to some people. You've been warned.

Take a look at the three graphics below. All three are available as window decals from all kinds of sources on and off the internet. Two of them are obviously crude and sophomoric--regardless of your political views. Why anyone would place them on a vehicle as a "statement" is beyond me. But to the matter at hand, ALL THREE graphics have the following in common: THEY ALL VIOLATE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWS.

calvin_bush    calvin_obama

Bill Watterson, creator of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, never licensed the use of his characters for t-shirts, decals, etc. "He refused to merchandise his creations on the grounds that pasting Calvin and Hobbes images on commercially sold mugs, stickers, and T-shirts would devalue the characters and their personalities." (Source) What that means, folks, is that every one of these images sold or used for commercial purposes is a violation of the law...better put, IT'S STEALING. Plan and simple.

The fact that the center graphic depicts the Calvin character praying (and not urinating on something) doesn't make it right. It's still not authorized by its creator; the person selling the graphic has taken something that doesn't belong to them and used it for profit. And if you have one of these on your car, you're contributing to the theft.

Funny thing: Bill Watterson is an atheist according to most bio websites.

Friday, September 04, 2009


I pray--nowhere near as much as I should or could, but I do pray. I believe when I pray, God hears every word and is actively involved in answering my prayers. I believe prayer works. I don't believe I "get" everything I pray for. Sometimes God says "no" or "wait;" those are the tough answers.

I pray in the morning because it helps me start my day better. I tell God about the things that are on my mind (like He doesn't already know). I talk to Him about the things that worry me, even though I know the Bible says "don't worry;" I still do sometimes. I pray for my wife and kids every day, that they will have a good day a work and school...and that God would be gracious to bring them back to our home safely that night. Every time we sit down together for our evening meal, I thank God for giving our family one more day together.

I pray at night as I lay my head on my pillow. I thank God for one more day. Some people woke up this morning and by the end of the day, their life had been shattered by a tragedy. God, in His mercy, spared me/us from any harm today. I thank Him for that. I also pray for rest. Peace. For the troubles of the day to be swept away from my thinking and God's peace, assurance of His love for me, to fill my mind as I drift to sleep.

Many years ago, I got into the habit of breaking down my daily prayers--usually in the morning--into specific areas throughout the week. On Mondays, I pray for the people in the Adult Sunday School class I teach. I pray for them and the prayer requests they've made known in class the day before. I pray specifically for each request. I know God is already aware of those situations, but it serves once again to remind me how much I depend on God.

On Tuesday, I pray for and thank God for people that are and have been Godly influences in my life. I thank God for:

  • Monroe Palmer- pastor of the church I grew up in.
  • Jim Carty-first youth minister I had. We still visit from time to time.
  • Sunday School teachers growing up--Mrs. Burnley, Mrs. Spyres, Mrs. Wright, Roy McGee, Frank Johnson, Charlie Miller, Estelle Williams, Phil/Kathy Cook.
  • Former and current pastors.

Wednesdays, I pray about needs in our church, i.e. people having or recovering from surgery, fianances (especially during this economic downturn), families going through difficult situations. I pray for the safety of our men and women serving in the military, our country's leaders.

I pray for unsaved friends and co-workers on Thursdays. Some of them I've been praying for over 20 years. I remind myself that God works on a different time table than I do. I have seen some of them come to repentance and be saved; others appear to be as far from God as the day I put them on "the list." I'll keep praying.

Fridays, I pray specifically for my family-- each and every member; brothers, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, parents, mother and father-in-law, and of course my own immediate family. Each one gets mentioned by name. I pray for their safety, their faith, their health, etc.

Over the years I've come to understand that it's not about me getting what I ask for/pray about. It's more about me leaning on God and Him changing the way I think to the way HE thinks. Psalm 37:4 says - Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. I believe that verse teaches when we "delight" in God, depend on Him--He in turn changes us to have the right desires. His ways become our ways. For the record, God is still working on me. So...I pray.