Anchor Lines has a New Home!

Anchor Lines has a new website!

Take me

It’s seemed for a while that these two projects – One Legged Kiwi, a parody webcomic, and Anchor Lines, a faith inspiring webcomic about Jesus and Christianity – aren’t the most natural of bedfellows. It makes a lot more sense to have a separate site for each; that way people with questiona about God don’t try and find the answers in the exploits of a sarcastic bird. One Legged Kiwi will remain my primary portfolio site, and I’ll try and update the comic from time to time as well as using it to showcase my creative work. I will be focussing more on keeping Anchor Lines updated week by week, as I feel called to invest more of my time there.

The rest of my time – that which isn’t spoken for by kids and other commitments – will for the next few months be going into a separate project sort of related to Anchor Lines. More on that later this week! In the meantime, there’s a sale on in the store – grab a bargain before all of Britain’s hot weather is used for the year! You know, by June.

John 1:14-18

That’s all for John’s gospel for now. I love the poetic way this brief introductory handles some very important and complex themes about God, Jesus, his mission and the incredible things he has accomplished for us. That we could be children of God! I make things out of lego and when they go wrong I pull them apart and start over. God makes us and when we go wrong he pursues us – because at the core of our identity is that God is our Father, and he will not let his children go without a fight.

And then that God – who the Bible elsewhere describes as dwelling in unapproachable light – chooses to make himself known in the historically concrete person of Jesus. To permanently stamp the universe with the truth that he loves us enough to die in our place.

This is just the introduction. Read John’s gospel – it’s really not that long – but it has profound implications for your life, your self worth, your struggles and suffering, your hopes and dreams. All find their rightful place within God’s greater story, and the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.


On a side note – big news coming in the next couple of weeks. Check back in for some exciting updates!

John 1: 9-13

John 1 continues. It’s a profound chapter and a beautiful introduction to his gospel, setting the tone for his account of his saviour. This short passage speaks volumes of the character of God. When he comes looking to share his love with people he’s not after perfection, a clean record, a nice house or anything we might expect. He simply wants people to receive him. No preconceptions, no assumptions – who are willing to give him the time of day, and give him a chance to bless them.

Why not give him a chance? Why not take a moment to open up John’s gospel and read a few chapters. And as you read, try to read with the eyes of a child – to listen to what the writer is saying without filtering it through what you think Jesus is like, or what you think Christianity is about. It might surprise you.

John 1: 6-8

So, to be clear: John the Baptist is a different guy to the John who wrote this particular book. That John is the son of Zebedee, the ‘beloved disciple’, who also most likely wrote 1, 2 and 3 John (shorter letters which appear near the end of the New Testament) and received the vision that spans the book of Revelation. So, kind of a big deal.

But John the Baptist is also kind of a big deal. All four gospels mention him, which is a bit of a clue – and he gets to baptise Jesus – so what is so special about this guy?

A bit of background. Elijah was an old testament prophet, who was active during the time of the divided kingdom in Israel, around 9th century BC. He’s one of the few people in the Bible not to die – when his time comes, he gets taken up to Heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11). Malachi – an Old Testament prophet somewhere around 5th century BC – prophesied that God would

“send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction. (Malachi 4:5-6)

There’s then a long wait. Christian Bibles place Malachi at the end of the Old Testament, so we go straight from this prophecy (which concludes the Old Testament) into the New Testament, the time where Jesus’ life, death and resurrection would bring about the fulfilment of these prophetic promises. Elijah does appear at the transfiguration (see i.e. Matthew 17) – but Jesus makes it clear in that the prophecy in Malachi was actually talking about John the Baptist – one who is not a literal reappearance of Elijah, but who carries a similar prophetic ministry to him.

“why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.” (Matthew 17:10-13)

Earlier on in Matthew, Jesus had already been speaking incredibly highly of this same man:

A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:9-15)

So we have Malachi (like many of the prophets) prophesying that there is a day of judgement coming – but that before that day comes, God would send another prophet to spare them, by restoring the broken relationship between the great Father and his people. The Jewish people wait for hundreds of years for the re-appearance of Elijah, and as the New Testament begins, Jesus wants them to understand that this prophet has finally come. And what does this long awaited prophet do? How is it exactly that God uses him to restore the hearts of parents to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents, and save them from total destruction? He points people to Jesus.

John 1:1-5


You can pick and choose all the things you think God should be like, and everything you think God ought or ought not to do – but the problem is that ultimately you are creating a god in your own image. Your own subjective view of what is best, while the person next to you creates a totally opposite god, justified by their own contrasting opinions. Any one human viewpoint – one small corner of one small planet in all of creation, confined to one short span in the whole breadth of history – is always going to be too limited, too blinkered, too biased to approach the full truth.

Our only hope for a final, reliable, objective answer, is if God himself chooses to reveal his nature to us, and the good news is that he has. He has revealed himself to us through the Bible – the book which trumps all other ancient texts for how accurately it has been preserved – and he has revealed himself through Jesus, God himself taking on human form and coming into the world.

He is the God who made us, and rather than abandoning his creation when it went wrong, dug in for the long haul to save us. The God who holds infinite power, yet thinks it worth his time to care for the broken hearted. The God who cannot tolerate sin, yet would rather pay the penalty for it himself on the cross than judge us for our rebellion. You could not make this God up – but thank God that he is so much better than the sum of our own imagining.

There is wrestling to be done with the Bible – some aspects of God are simply not revealed to us, while others take careful study to try and discern – but do yourself a favour and take the time to wrestle with it. Don’t piece together a view of God out of good feelings and best intentions. That kind of god won’t be enough, it won’t do him justice, and it won’t lead to fullness of life.

The quote in the image is from a recent talk by Daniel Goodman, who heads up the leadership team at City Church in Cambridge – go and drop in on a Sunday!

What’s So Important About The Cross?

It’s kind of a big deal.

Easter weekend is just behind us – if you’re not a Christian but have spent some time around the church, you might be curious as to why the cross comes up so much. It might seem odd that we celebrate God sending his son to die so much, sing about it when we meet together, and talk about it so often. The answer is partly in what follows – that three days later he rose from the dead – and this isn’t some unthinking belief in a religious legend, but an event supported by many of the facts we have available. Jesus most definitely lived – and if he rose from the dead, that alone should give us pause for thought.

But that isn’t all there is to the cross. The New Testament is full of passages about why Jesus died in this way, and all that he accomplished in submitting to such a humiliating demise. This one is a bit less visual than many of my posts – but please take some time to read through some of these passages. Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection are the fulcrum on which the whole narrative of the Bible turns.

New the Earth and New the Heavens – Part 4

Here’s the conclusion to this little series. If you’re following Jesus, you have a hope in Heaven – something to cling to when life looks bleak and things look like they’re going downhill. Following Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have a foretaste of what it will be like – God’s kingdom is here right now, but not yet in its fullness. God is changing lives, healing the sick, raising the dead right now, but it’s only a glimpse of what the full deal is going to look like, on the day when Jesus finally puts a permanent end to sin and death.

If you’re not sure about the God I’m describing, if your experience of Christianity is guilt trips and dull services rather than life and hope and the knowledge that you are loved beyond hope by the creator of the universe – please give him another chance. Open a bible, chat to a Christian friend, pray and ask that God would show you some measure of his love for you, that he is real and really worth pursuing. If you’ve been convinced by scientific argument that God is an unnecessary myth, take another look at the God who not only loves physics, biology, chemistry and those deep wells of truth, but wrote their laws himself and set their rules in motion. All scientific theories on the origins of our universe require faith. And none so adequately explains what came before creation as the will and power of the divine.

This is the God who wants to rescue you from judgment, certainly – but far more than that, he simply loves and wants you with him. Time is running out on the best and most exciting deal you will ever be offered.  If you’ve still got a pulse, and Jesus hasn’t yet returned – take some time to consider again what it means if the son of God truly died for you.

New the Earth and New the Heavens – Part 3

Part 3! Today has been crazy, so I’m just now remembering to put the strip up, which was ready about two weeks ahead of time.

This verse is pulling mostly from the start of Revelation 21 – and it’s largely to say one thing: Heaven is only truly heaven because God is there. In Exodus, after Israel’s repeated failure to follow God faithfully, God offers to send them on into the promised land – all that they had dreamed of after hundreds of years in slavery – save for one caveat: he wasn’t going with them.

Would it be enough for you to have eternal life, health, provision, friends and family around you? It seems to me like eternal life on those terms might be great to start with – but 2 or 3 hundred years in it would be getting pretty boring. What God wanted to show the Israelites – what he wants to show us through these verses – is that what makes heaven so heavenly, is the presence of God. Only when eternity is spent in the company of this God could it ever be, not just bearable, but ever-increasingly wonderful. Always new depths to his love to discover, always new reaches to his mercy, always new heights to his joy. For the Christian, heaven isn’t angel wings, clouds and harps – it’s eternity spent in a new creation filled with the presence of God.

New the Earth and New the Heavens – Part 2

Part 2 of the poem I started last week. I like how the colours turned out with this one! Again, this series draws on some of the imagery in the last few chapters of Revelation, a time at the close of world history when God promises to make all things new and to live amongst his people. As a Christian, I live in faith that death is not the end – that there is something more wonderful than this life in the life to come, and that God is working all things together towards this final conclusion.

Knowing what God has in store, it might be tempting to rush through this life, not to worry about all the pain and suffering and trouble in the world because we’re headed somewhere better – but that’s not God’s desire for us. His commission to us is to live lives that honour him – to make the most of our time here, and to share with others the hope that he’s given us. If you’re reading this and you aren’t a follower of Jesus, I hope that it gives you pause to think about the gospel. Here is a God who created us, knowing full well the pain and grief we would cause him. Who, rather than abandoning his project, set his mind to rescue us from ourselves, at the highest price imaginable – his own son would pay the price for our sins. Can you begin to grasp the overwhelming love God has for us, that he would go to such unthinkable lengths to bring us back to him – all with the goal of one day making a home where we could live with him, and he could live with us. I can’t begin to imagine why he would think us so worthwhile – but I suspect it says rather more about his love and character than it does about us. Why not speak to him, ask him to reveal to you something of the love he has for you? Why not read one of the gospels and see it spelled out in the accounts of Jesus’ life.