Monday, 14 August 2017

That Hideous Strength

Picked up a copy of That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis in a charity shop.

That hideous cover

I first read his Cosmic Trilogy when I was a teenager, and have read the first two (Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra) many times since. But I thought That Hideous Strength was weird. Will be interesting to see what I think this time round.

I remember very little, though I have read some stuff about it since.

This is what I think I remember:

  • Happened on earth, in an English college, not another planet (less interesting, didn't fit with series).
  • Ransom, the main character from the first books, who was a realistic, ordinary man, became this unrealistic, almost symbolic, character with a golden beard (not an improvement).
  • Merlin came alive again and put everything right. There was some stuff about King Arthur coming back to rule England and how that was a good thing (silly and out of place)
  • Although the two main characters were married to each other, it was wrong for them to have sex because they weren't Christians yet (this seemed completely nonsensical - I assume I had misunderstood, because if not I agree with my teenage opinion.)
  • I thought of the books as an 'adult Narnia', and therefore expected to series to finish with the end of the world. Was rather disappointed that the very mild apocalyptic events near the end simply resulted in a return to the status quo.
  • These included a tower of Babel-like incident when all the evil conspirators, who thought they were so wise, lost the power of speech and began to make animal noises. That bit was good).
  • Evil scientists. Was there a head in a jar?
  • One of the good guys was tortured by being put in a room with a pattern of dots on the ceiling, and a pattern of dots on the table which almost, but not quite matched (I really appreciated this - I would say it is my main memory of the book.)

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

If Stargate SG1 were missionaries


OK, that's a bit of a stretch, since none of them are Christians. But in an alternate universe... Actually, there are a lot of similarities - travelling to other places, rescuing people and telling them the 'gods' they worship are not real. So we know how their characters react in those kinds of situations.

The following is based on what I know of them in most of the first seven seasons.

Daniel would immediately start adding their new language to his twenty-four(?) others, and would work on Bible translation.

I can see him also being involved in apologetics. He would be a peacemaker like Mary Slessor - though possibly not knitting while he did so :-)

He would have no problem with the 'all things to all men' thing. He would fit into the new culture in no time, trying their food, adopting their dress and customs. He'd end up marrying a local girl (hopefully on purpose this time!)

He would be fascinated by their culture and beliefs, and not assume 'different' always meant 'wrong'. He would see the best in everyone, even if they were attacking him. I can see him getting on well with Elisabeth Elliot.

However, a certain naivete and lack of discernment could lead to him accepting cultural practices without understanding them, and could even lead to syncretism.

Jack would not have this problem - he would find it hard to see that any way but our way of doing things could be OK. Especially if it involved bringing up children in a way he disapproved of. He'd have no problem stealing children from temples, like Amy Carmichael.

He would be a more in your face proclamation kind of guy. No subtlety or tact - he would call a spade a spade.

Jack on his soapbox while Daniel looks on in exasperation (Red Sky 5:5)
He would be well able to cope in a technologically simpler society and could turn his hand to any practical work, like fishing, or making nails.

He would lead the kids' work, and they would all love him.

Sam solves problems with science, so she'd get involved in well digging or radio broadcasting or whatever was needed. If they used motorbikes at all, she'd keep them running. Her big problem would be not taking time off. 

Although she's a capable lecturer, I can't really see her preaching. Maybe she'd be involved in training.

She would be particularly concerned with oppressed people. Maybe she'd work with young women? She would find it hard to fit into a culture where women were not treated as equals.

She would see the potential in people and be willing to give them a second chance.

Sam & Jack might get married, as there would be no military regulations preventing it - but I'm really not sure how that would work out.

Teal'c already had to adapt to a completely different culture when he came to earth. Therefore he'd probably cope well in this new one. He also would have the advantage of coming from a non-western, pagan culture.

I'm not sure what his main work would be. He could hardly spread the gospel by pointing a weapon and saying "Renounce Apophis [or whoever] as a false god and join us ... and I will spare you." :-) Though in dangerous situations he could be very useful just by looking scary.

If persecution or martyrdom was on the agenda, he'd face it without flinching.

I don't know if he'd remarry, but if he did, he would find the 'leaving wife & children for the sake of the gospel' thing too easy.

Oh - and wouldn't it be cool if he could somehow replace his forehead tattoo with a cross?

Jonas - I'm imagining he joined them again - could use his quick learning skills to help both Sam and Daniel. Perhaps his own focus would be theology - I can see him being particularly interested by prophecy.

Like Daniel, he would be fascinated by the new culture. His friendliness would be helpful, though could lead their opponents to thinking he could be easily manipulated. They would be wrong - no matter how many beautiful women they tried throwing at him.

As his current job is an ambassador, his new role as an ambassador for Christ would be very apt.

So, there you are. I don't know if you're interested, but at least getting this on paper has got it out of my head :-) Because I have nothing else to do with my time... though I have been writing this for quite a while, now, in bits.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Church service worksheets

Did these ages ago for my own church - finally made them available for everyone!

6 different general worksheets
PLUS 4 communion worksheets
Print as many as you want
Black & white photocopiable versions included

(I've altered this one now, to say "Who read the Bible to us? Draw them."
So can be used even if kids aren't in for the sermon, or if their church uses other terminology like 'preacher')

Friday, 4 August 2017


Cleaning the church during a Holiday Club: the dust is so much more colourful and sparkly than usual :-)

Friday, 14 July 2017

What if God was one of us?

God came to earth. He lived here for between 30 & 40 years. He spent most of that time working as a tradesman.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Judean to Babylonian

Started work on Daniel chapter 1.

This was fun!

The Judean clothes are based on the seige of Lachish reliefs that are in the British Museum.

In that the younger boys wear simpler clothes, and the older boys are dressed like adults. I've gone for the adult version, but omitted the turbans as a) I think it makes them look younger and more vulnerable and b) they're difficult to draw!

I have no idea how their tunic/kilt thing is constructed. That's the good thing about simple pics like this - just draw it as they drew it; no need to understand.

Also, although they're all barefoot in this picture, I've drawn the leggings and boots from this other relief which looks to me like Judeans too.

Here's a Babylonian picture (not a great one - there are better ones). I'm pretty certain what they're wearing is essentially an ankle length Scottish style kilt.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

New Heavens and Earth

Last day of SS.

Learned about Jesus' return and the New Heavens & Earth.

When Jesus comes back to Earth, he will get rid of all the bad stuff and make everything new.

Had a gold box and a black binbag, and put things in them depending whether they will be in "Jesus' new world" or not (idea from here):
  • Photo of tombstones (no more death)
  • Box of tissues (no more crying)
  • Calpol (no more pain)
  • Card that said 'sin'
  • Gold bracelet (city made of gold!)
  • Blue voile scarf (river so clean you can drink it)
  • Lamp (won't need them; God will give light)
  • Apple (fruit trees with fruit that can make you live forever)
  • Picture of people (Jesus' friends, from every country: those who have had their sins washed away and love & follow him)
  • Picture of Jesus as king - his friends will see him, be with him forever, and work for him.
It turned out really well, and was nice and simple - important as the preschool kids were joining us.

Then we enjoyed a 'wedding party (aka the Marriage Supper of the Lamb). Hopefully the real catering will be a bit more substantial :-)

Glad no-one asked whose wedding the party would be for - that might have been a bit hard to explain!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Free light show


(It's the light through the trees shining through the skylights)

Odd thing

There was something strange under one of the seats at church. A large moth?

No, just a pterodactyl.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Reclining at the table

My willing models are helping me out for my next illustrations. Reclining at the table first-century style. (I don't have enough, so will have to copy two)

Wednesday, 31 May 2017


We need to speak definitively where scripture speaks definitively and not speak definitively where scripture does not.
~Russell Moore

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Why did Jesus die?

And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.

So often we focus on the future hope (which is true). But it's supposed to change everything now.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Goliath's church

Apparently a new little boy at our church calls it 'Goliath's church' to distinguish it from his old church :-D

A life size mural of Goliath in my church
Our Goliath mural

Friday, 5 May 2017


What I've been working on.

Took rather more time than I'd budgetted, and there's so much more that I could do, but I needed to stop and call them finished.

I don't usually do shading, but I felt that with dark scenes inside tents, sunrises etc, it would really help. Probably bit off a bit more than I could chew, but I do feel it's heading in the direction I was aiming at, though it didn't quite get there!

Click to see big

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Monday, 24 April 2017

Emmaus craft

We did the road to Emmaus on Sunday, and I wanted to focus on the bit which says:
"Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself."
Only I didn't word it quite like that :-)

Here's our craft.

I stole/adapted the tagline from The Bible Project - simplified for wee ones.
I got the popout idea from Pinterest.

They could draw any Bible stories they liked inside, or copy out memory verses.

Shameless sticker plug: buy them here. I was pleased that one of the kids said, "I love those stickers" - because he didn't know I drew them!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017


It's very annoying, that the same Hebrew word can be used for 'boy' or 'servant'. (Same with 'girl'). Annoying, because when drawing a picture it's helpful to know roughly how old someone is. At least are they an adult or a child.

I suppose it's the same as in American slavery, where a slave would be called 'boy' no matter his age. Or, indeed, a stable lad, who can be a 'lad' till the day he retires.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Work in progress

Trying out some ideas for an illustration. I don't usually do shading on thumbnails, but it really does help. I should do that more.

Comic exhibition

Went to see this exhibition yesterday. Wasn't very familiar with his work, but I'd seen a TV program about him which particularly interested me as he's a fellow Glaswegian.

Not sure if it was inspiring or demoralising :-) I think inspiring.

Fascinating how small he draws. His inks looked like even a mapping pen would be too thick! So much detail. Particularly interesting since on the TV program he was pencilling on a Cintiq*, and zooming right in.

It showed all sorts of things from scripts with rough doodles and ideas through pencils to final inks and colours - and also some beautiful watercolour - again, tiny.

*giant drawing tablet

Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Lamb of God was raised

Here's the song :

Friday, 14 April 2017

Calvary was meant for me

Here's the song :

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

I wish Google were human

If I said to a human, "Wordpress is adding blank lines between paragraphs," they would know that I was not looking for information on how to add blank lines between paragraphs, but saying that Wordpress itself was adding them.

Nor was I saying that Wordpress was removing blank lines I had added, but saying that Wordpress was adding blank lines when I didn't want it to.

Also, if they listened carefully, they would also realise that I was not interested in paragraph spacing, but actual blank lines which it is adding.

Currently I have two blank lines between each paragraph, which looks really silly. I delete them, and they gradually appear again - and add more.

Grrrrrrrr >:-(

Edit: Just after writing this, I found the solution:  


Edit 2: Very glad I found this. It has added 15 lines between each paragraph! 


Apparently another name for a hash symbol is 'octothorpe'.

I think we should all start calling it that.

Monday, 27 March 2017


I use a 9 year old Wacom Bamboo for all pencilling & colouring (I ink on paper). Does the job!

It cost me £45 in 2008 - that's £5 a year, and still going strong. (I did have to replace the pen twice - about £11 I think?)

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Creation of Adam & Eve

I've been working on this for over a month now (interspersed with other things), and it's finally done! I enjoyed this. Needed lots of thought. 

One of the reasons I particularly wanted to do this story just now is to give children confidence that marriage and gender are not just subjective human inventions but part of God's good creation.

Anyway, here are the pictures:
God breathes life into the man
Adam working in the garden
You may eat from any tree except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil
Naming the animals
Adam in a deep sleep
Adam meets Eve
For this reason a man shall leave his father & mother and be united with his wife and the two will become one

Because I redesigned my Adam & Eve characters, I also had to adapt the Fall PowerPoint, so they matched - and took the opportunity to add three pictures:

Eve takes the fruit
Hiding from God
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.