Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to error.

It's been a while since my last post. I get around on a few forums online and the a topic was brought up to me about choices regarding the content found in some games. I offered my opinion but I figured I would elaborate here.

Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. If the opinion of the Lord is something less in your life in comparison to your opinion or the opinions of others, your relationship may have a few problems. The Lord is just that, Lord, Ruler, King. If he truly rules your life, then His opinion is most relevant above all else. In making decisions regarding your hobby, it is important to understand that the Lord understand's what is best and His desires take precedence. His wisdom is deep and He sees from every angle. To ignore His council is to take the best possible outcome for your life and piss it away.

I've heard it said many times, "It's not what you say but how you say it." In life, it's not what you do but how you do it. I find many decisions regarding my faith come with the various roles I take on. Husband, father, son, believer, and of course, gamer. As a gamer, I often have to choose where to stand with regards to my faith and my hobby.

Take magic for example. The question has been brought up many times, "You play D&D, but isn't magic something evil?" In our world, yes. In Dungeons & Dragons, no. Magic in D&D is power that exists in a separate realm that people have the power to tap into. I consider it on the same plane with science. Wizards in D&D channel the power like I would flip a switch on a hairdryer. Magic in our world comes from bargains and pacts made with creatures and powers who stand against the Living God. Quite different in my opinion.

It wasn't always such. At one time, I burned my D&D books believing that they were evil. The truth is I was consumed with my zeal and did not have the experience or wisdom learned over time by the grace of God. D&D for me has become a hobby that I view on the same level as one would view a loaded gun. You can take that gun (the game) and use it for evil purposes (running games filled with truly evil content), or you can use it for good or even neutral purposes that have not baring on your faith and eternity. Just as a hunter uses a gun to kill a deer.

I remember I was reading a book. I will leave the title of the book and the name of the author out of it. This is where I stand with my convictions and you as the reader should develop your opinion independently of my mine. Yes, council is important. If you do not, however, own your decisions, then they mean nothing. With that said, I was reading a book. After the first part, the content became increasingly disturbing. Quite a contradiction from the beginning that I quite enjoyed. I felt the gentle hand of the Lord tugging on me. Regardless of how anyone else would have chosen, I decided that it was necessary to get rid of the book.

The truth is, even if I was wrong with the book or my choices when I was younger, my motivation was simple; I felt what I would consider the Lord's direction so I went with it. It's important that the still, small voice that calls to you inside of your soul is never ignored. Remember, faith is tangible, real, empowering. To go against that voice and ignore what the Lord is saying to you personally will cost you more in the long run than the comfort you cling to now. This is worse than sin, you will never know the blessing that come from obedience.

I speak from experience when I state that to obey the Lord is to reap fruit in this life you never thought possible. I am not wealthy but my life is cared for by the grace of God. Far more than I deserve. A part of his blessing and favor in my life comes from obedience to His voice.

If you feel the tug of the Holy Spirit, follow through. You won't regret it and you'll find life (even your hobbies) are overflowing with the blessing and favor of the Lord.

I hope this helps.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gaming, an escape.

I love gaming. I enjoy the hobby as much as any other basement dwelling nerd would. I love the roll of the dice, imagining the clash of weapons against armor, the feeling that, for a moment, I was in another world. Gaming is a wonderful and relaxing escape from the grind of the day to day. My drug of choice is Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. I love 3.5! Now I understand that there are entire threads dedicated to the flaming of the various editions, this isn’t one of them. What you like is what you like and that’s ok because it’s you liking it.

Any how, back on target. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”(1)

It’s important to understand the difference from finding an escape and rest. When I go through trials in life and things get difficult, I for one want to escape. I want to get as far away from my problems as quickly as possible. When I return, my problems are waiting. The anxiety and fear is staring me right in the face.

What Jesus meant by giving us rest was that He, through His divine power, will take from us the thing that is causing us to be weary or heavy laden. It’s not a magic pill, it may not be instantaneous. He, through the ability to bend the fabric of reality itself will cause a solution. The catalyst of this magnificent process is faith.

When we cast our burdens to Jesus(2), He takes them, He conquers them, and in doing so leaves us without our trials and thus bringing us to a place of rest. We can finally let our guard down because there is nothing that will try to harm you while consumed by His graces(3).

Faith is the evidence of things unseen(4). In the midst of your casting of burdens, it may seem as though it were going dreadfully slow, that the Lord is doing nothing. Consider yourself like a fish in a tank covered by a sheet. Nothing seems to be changing all around you, all you see is your tank covered but outside, the room is being durastically altered. What you see is not the reality. Jesus is the reality, hang on to His words and trust in the midst of it and you will not be let down(5).

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will set your paths straight.(6)

So remember, when life throws you a curveball, it’s easy to escape, but it’s better to trust in Him.

Thank you Jesus!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Necessity of the Hero

I am Currently reading The Founding (3) written by Dan Abnet, published by Black Library Press. The story is based in the vast universe of Warhammer 40k. Humanity is in an endless war against mutants, xenos, and the foul taint of Chaos.  The book follows Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt. Gaunt is a powerful leader, his charisma is notable as is his love for his men. 

I think the greatest characteristic he possesses is his willingness to put himself in danger for his men when others would consider them mere cannon fodder. In this world, the individual is nothing compared to the weight of the countless trillions that occupy the Empire of Man.

I think this is where I find myself drawn to the Commissar. Despite his right, he still lives selflessly by placing the welfare of the individual above his own. Instead of protecting his own hide, he prefers to lead the charge. Instead of living his life reviewing maps and relaying coordinates to his men via Vox communication, he’s in the thick of the dying.

I find the same sentiment reflected in my greatest hero:  Jesus, God in the form of man(1). His right would simply be as He desired it to be and it would be justifiable to Him as God. He could have simply destroyed all of mankind or allowed them to rip themselves apart. Instead, He takes on the form of man, makes Himself lower than a servant and offers Himself before His own creation as a sacrifice to atone the sins of man.

I believe that the qualities found in the Commissar are so fascinating to me simply because the desire for a selfless hero has been ingrained in me since the beginning of time. Within us all is a longing for what Adam experienced in the garden; intimacy with the Lord God. Sin entered the world through Adam and created an impossible division between man and God. The division created a conflict inside every person since Adam. Intimacy, however, is impossible with the Lord, since sin made man incapable of approaching Him. Enter Jesus. The Lord took on the form of man fully (1). He stepped off of His throne to lead the charge, to show us the way to God by becoming the Way to God (2).

The archetype of a Savior can be found in so many places woven into our popular media. Star Wars refers to Luke as the one who will bring balance to the force. The Matrix references Neo as the one who will deliver mankind from their slavery of the machines.  In Lord of the Rings, Aaragorn will restore the throne of Gondor and bring peace to his people. Like it or not, the call to Jesus resounds deeper than you realize. Even after 10 years of being embraced by His love, I still find myself mystified by that depth. This life, this journey, will forever be shrouded by the necessity of that Hero.

Thank you Jesus.