Monday, July 28, 2008

Missions Brainstorming

MIPC has a kick-ass missions department, and I've been brainstorming on a logo for them. Their biggest project is probably partnering with schools in poorer nations and providing tuition for students k-grad school.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


This week I was driving to work when I suddenly realized I was behind the largest pickup truck on earth. Now, I know what you're thinking. Redneck, monster truck, lift kit. But no, that wasn't it at all. I finally had to pull into the lane next to it to try and figure it out. I don't think it was actually this truck, but it looked roughly like it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

What I do All Day

I've heard (second-hand) a complaint recently that I don't ever actually blog about Zera here. Which is true. And probably not likely to change very soon. However, I would like to keep posting screenshots of the sort of stuff I do at MIPC.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bible Stories, Illustrated

So, here's a little more illustration work. These are for a certain children's home, who has a church youthgroup coming in a few weeks, and the chaplain wanted to put them to work painting the Easter backdrops (some serious foreplanning). Rather than stage a play, this home uses costumes to stage the children in the scenes and photographs them as artifacts of their presence there.

They'll just use my line art to project onto their backdrops, and then I included these colored versions as a color guide. The Last Supper is my favorite, because it puts Jesus and 2 disciples at the head of a real table, so the kids can sit around it.

I also had fun trying to keep Jesus poly-racial.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How (Not) to Speak of God, 8 of 23

"We are becoming Christian, becoming Church, and being saved... we need to be evangelized as much, if not more, than those around us." p. 6

-Peter Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Denial vs CS Lewis

My brother-in-law, who subscribes to no particular religion that I'm aware of, recently read CS Lewis' Mere Christianity, out of kind curiosity to my particular obsession with both the religion and the author. He seems to have enjoyed it more or less, once past the "boring" beginning, and found CS Lewis highly "quotable," but also referred to him as (I believe), a "barbaric mysogynist." Doing my best to not be defensive, I had him flesh the claim out a little bit, which lead me to the book's chapter on "Christian Marriage." Which (although in all sincerity has some wonderful observations about love and divorce) is both barbaric, and mysogynistic. It includes such helpful observations as:

"If there must be a head [of a marriage], why the man? Well, firstly is there any very serious wish that it should be the woman? ... even a woman who wants to be the head of her own house does not usually admire the same state of things when she find it going on next door. She is more likely to say 'Poor Mr X! Why he allows that appalling woman to boss him about the way she does is more than I can imagine.'... There must be something unnatural about the rule of wives over husbands, because the wives themselves are half ashamed of it and despise the husbands whom they rule."

I hadn't read Mere Christianity in years, and when I had, I had dismissed this chapter (so thoroughly that I had forgotten it) the same way I did this time, by chalking it up to CS Lewis' place in time and culture. Furthermore, CS Lewis had never actually been married when he wrote this chapter, so I figured that he must have become more enlightened later in life.

Last week I spotted a daily "devotional" book of CS Lewis excerpts on my friend Paul's bookshelf and asked if he was devoutly reading it or if I could borrow it. He said yes, and I began reading it yesterday, on the July 7th entry. Being impatient and wanting to read more Lewis, but also being principled and not wanting to ruin future readings, I started to read previous entries. Which lead me to this entry, from The Weight of Glory (A book which I have not read):

"I do not believe that God created an egalitarian world. I believe the authority of parent over child, husband over wife, learned over simple to have been as much a part of the original plan as the authority of man over beast. I believe that if we had not fallen,... patriarchal monarchy would be the sole lawful government."

He goes on to clarify that he's all in favor of egalitarian laws and democracy in this fallen world, but that they are temporary solutions to sin's problems. But, nevertheless, we are left with a world which, if sin hadn't entered, men would have been left free to rule over both beasts and women (Or, more importantly - why couldn't some editor, having to narrow Lewis' massive cannon down to 365 one-page excerpts, have found something more helpful to put into a devotional?).

Again, my denial rushes in. This was a decade before Joy Gresham (Originally a speach, "Membership" - Read to the Society of St. Alban and St. Sergius, Oxford, February 10, 1945). Surely my hero must have learned more of women and power in that decade. Surely he is simply parroting dark mantras of his time and place.

Why are we so quick to gloss over our heros' faults? Even as I write this I cannot believe that Lewis went to his grave thinking this way, or, even if he did, I cannot believe he would think this way if he lived today. It feels so incompatible with my experience of his heart (I think of his fiercely strong, ruling women in Till We Have Faces, a book published the same year he married Gresham).

Am I protecting and justifying a mysogynist? Can I appreciate parts of his heart and work and refute others well? Why do we long for childlike relationships to "perfect" heroes? Why is it so hard to let them be human, full of beauty and depravity.

And having said all of that, can anyone rehabilitate Lewis for me? Any papers (or books!) looking at the arch of gender in his writings over the course of his life?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Old Lady in a Semi

Today I was driving to work, and I passed a Semi being driven by a woman. An old woman. An old woman with curly white hair. She appeared to be in her 70's. Petite with oversized sunglasses. She may have been in a mu-mu or pajamas as well.

Sophie's World

"The German poet Goethe once said that 'he who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.' I don't want you to end up in such a sad state. I will do what I can to acquaint you with your historical roots.

It is the only way to become a human being.

It is the only way to become more than a naked ape.

It is the only way to avoid floating in a vacuum."

-Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder

Monday, July 7, 2008


Courtesy of Jen Grabarczyk:

"Train us, Lord, to fling ourselves upon the impossible, for behind the impossible is your grace and your presence; we cannot fall into emptiness. The future is an enigma, our road is covered by mist, but we want to go on giving ourselves, because you continue hoping amid the night and weeping tears though a thousand human eyes."

- Luis Espinal, Jesuit priest murdered in Bolivia, 1980.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

How (Not) to Speak of God, 7 of 23

"[This approach] emphasizes the priority of love: not as something which stands opposed to knowledge or God, or even as simply more important than knowledge of God, but, more radically still, as knowledge of God." p. 3

-Peter Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Black Madonna

"Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here."

"You have to find a mother inside yourself. We all do. Even if we already have a mother, we still have to find this part of ourselves inside."

-The Secret Life of Bees

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
A fascinating exploration of the divine feminine and maternal deprivation. 14 year old Lilly's painful ache for a mother and the Daughters of Mary and their deep commitment to a feminine face of God glow brightly amidst the gender and racial prejudice of 1960's South Carolina.

View all my reviews.