I want to offer a word of explanation about X and O, the characters who dominate the cartoons on this webpage. My wife and I were visiting with our oldest son and his family in Jacksonville, Florida. One night I dreamed I saw an X and O standing together. I heard X complain, "My joint hurts." O responded, wryly, "I never have that problem." Next morning I told the family about it. They laughed, and may have thought I was losing my mind.

The next night I saw X and O again in a dream. Near them stood C who looked like an O with a missing section. I heard O call out, "Pull yourself together." When I related that dream they laughed again, but somewhat quizzically. Without warning or invitation these two letters invaded my consciousness day and night for several days. I began to scribble down their snippets of conversation. Within two weeks I had well over 100 entries in my little notebook.

The little rascals had assumed personalities. X was given to barbed comments; O was gentler but capable of zingers now and then. I sensed that they were friends who enjoyed teasing each other but hung together against any threats from outsiders. They lived quietly in my mind and study for some time.

I decided to feature them in a book of devotions. In that way I could impress them into the service of Jesus Christ, whose service has been the passion of my life since I was sixteen years old. So, for whatever it's worth, here they are. I hope readers find it both relaxing and challenging, both comical and serious - in a word, lifelike.

Brother Bill

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