Off Campus – Destiny Log Entry 001

Destiny_Planet

The Traveler. The Golden Age. The Darkness. I listen in cynical awe as Destiny tries to drown me. The living room is dark. My headphones ring of Halo overtones of the past. Humanity is judged. The Traveler offers redemption.

Judgement

27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

Our bodies are frail. Dust. We are all destined to die. The writer of Hebrews talks about how following death comes judgement. One single decision. One choice. Keeps us from the forever darkness.

Awakening

I hear a voice that reminds me of the pissed-off elf-sized author from the film Elf! He identifies himself as Ghost. Apparently he has been searching for me for a long long time but never managed to check twitter or Facebook. Adjusting my headphones, Peter Dinklage breathes softly into my ear. My Titan rises after a century long dirt nap. Predators howl in the distance. Ghost tells me that we need to find shelter, fast. I don’t believe him. I can tell that Destiny is highly scripted. Nothing is going to happen to me. Silly Peter.

The tired mind is rarely rational. The combination of music, lighting, and level design are making me tense. Did you hear that? I grip the controller tightly and venture on through some random ruins. Bad guys die. A spaceship is found. Ghost and I travel to the last city the Traveler can protect. My eyes burn. I am tired and want to go to sleep. However, the feedback loop has taken hold. I press on.
Head on over to Theology Gaming to read more

Rewind Wednesday: Invite Christ Into Your Hobby

This morning, as I was reading through Bill Farrel’s The 10 Best Decisions a Man Can Make, I came across a passage that talked about inviting Christ into your hobbies. The beginning of Chapter 8 asked a question:

“What do you like to do to relax or have fun?”

The book followed up by asking you to:

“Brainstorm ways to invite Jesus to be part of this activity in your life.”

Bill gave a few personal examples of him inviting Christ into his hobbies: 1)as he is out in the garage tinkering around on his car, he prays and just generally communicates with God just as he would a friend; 2)as he is out exercising, Bill listens to worship music and sermons. Both examples show how easy it is to invite Christ into our down time activities.

Now my own personal ways of winding down do not include physical exercise nor picking up the odd tool and “tinkering”. I know that I need to be more active but I prefer reading a good book or enjoying a video game. I honestly cannot remember a time where I have ever invited God to take up the second controller (figuratively). I don’t think I have ever asked God for the amazing dexterity to accomplish a specific Mario jump either. No, I just mindlessly play and let the digital world envelope me as I would a movie. What does this mean?

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

As a Christian, everything I do is to be done to the glory of God. I need to be keeping God at the forefront of my mind. Even as I play a video game, I need to not be mindlessly consuming but actively engaging the media. This means filtering the game through what I know is truth in scripture; this also means asking God for the endurance to take on that last boss fight. Video games can easily be all about the glory of the player, I want that glory to instead be directed at my Creator.

Thinking Aloud: Growing Closer to Christ

Note: I could write an entire series on what it means to grow closer to Christ. I realize that I barely scratch the surface of this subject and wanted to recognize that. You are now free to read.

Last year, I read an article on a Christian video game site that extolled the virtues of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series. The article talked about how the game’s protagonist, Lee, was a Christ-like figure due to his sacrificial death at the end of the game. Spoiler. All I could think was that Lee was a murderer, Christ wasn’t.

As a Christian, I should be constantly growing closer to Christ. What does growing closer to Christ look like? Is it a combo of:

  • Giving up/walking away from things that are shrouded in helpless darkness? Perhaps coming to the realization that The Walking Dead, with its unimaginative curse-filled vocabulary, just isn’t for me?

OR

  • Embracing the darkness and trying to find Christ’s redemptive story/ God’s redemptive plan in everything? An effort of trying to find the good, the light, that exists within the darkness we often consume?

Phillippians 4:8 comes to mind:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I want to be willing to give anything up for Christ. Even if this means walking away from a gaming series that I really enjoyed, like The Walking Dead or even God of War. I want to be careful with the games that I endorse because my endorsement, as a Christian, is like saying Jesus approves of this. I do not want to lead anyone away from Christ. A difficult road to trot down.

Thinking Aloud: Why We Don’t Need Another Christian Video Game Site

9 years ago I noticed that the Christian worldview was sadly lacking in the mainstream video game press. I wanted to find a web site that discussed the theological impact of the games that I played. A web site written by actual gamers that attempted to go beyond discussing the surface elements of video games (violence, language, etc.). My questions all revolved around:

  • What thoughts, ideas, and experiences am I being exposed to by video game developers?
  • How do these worldviews differ from my own?
  • As a Christian, what should my response be?

I envisioned a web site that could compete with the big boys at the time, Gamespot and Gamespy. So I created JohnnyBGamer.com to go against the best. Quite quickly I learned that a large amount of time, talent, and money are needed to compete in any real way. In short, I couldn’t compete. Eventually I relaunched JBG as the personal blog it is today. I wasn’t defeated, just confronted with reality.

Almost a decade has gone by, and I now find myself questioning the need for a Christian video game web site. Why do we, as Christians, have to segregate ourselves from the world and form our own personal ghettos? Instead of having a Christian video game site, why can’t we have writers writing for major publications that are Christians?

The digital landscape has changed a lot since 2003. Sites such as GameChurch and The Cross and the Controller (which seems to have gone missing) now exist to plumb the depths of video games and the Christian worldview. I am in no way against such ministries, but I openly wonder at the audiences they reach. Would it not be better to influence the gaming culture from inside a major web site versus from outside in the ghetto?

What do you think?

Invite Christ Into Your Hobby

This morning, as I was reading through Bill Farrel’s The 10 Best Decisions a Man Can Make, I came across a passage that talked about inviting Christ into your hobbies. The beginning of Chapter 8 asked a question:

“What do you like to do to relax or have fun?”

The book followed up by asking you to:

“Brainstorm ways to invite Jesus to be part of this activity in your life.”

Bill gave a few personal examples of him inviting Christ into his hobbies: 1)as he is out in the garage tinkering around on his car, he prays and just generally communicates with God just as he would a friend; 2)as he is out exercising, Bill listens to worship music and sermons. Both examples show how easy it is to invite Christ into our down time activities.

Now my own personal ways of winding down do not include physical exercise nor picking up the odd tool and “tinkering”. I know that I need to be more active but I prefer reading a good book or enjoying a video game. I honestly cannot remember a time where I have ever invited God to take up the second controller (figuratively). I don’t think I have ever asked God for the amazing dexterity to accomplish a specific Mario jump either. No, I just mindlessly play and let the digital world envelope me as I would a movie. What does this mean?

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

As a Christian, everything I do is to be done to the glory of God. I need to be keeping God at the forefront of my mind. Even as I play a video game, I need to not be mindlessly consuming but actively engaging the media. This means filtering the game through what I know is truth in scripture; this also means asking God for the endurance to take on that last boss fight. Video games can easily be all about the glory of the player, I want that glory to instead be directed at my Creator.

Rewind Wednesday: Haggai

Imagine your nation being plundered/ destroyed and you are taken captive. All that you have ever known is now gone, quite literally. You soon find yourself immersed in a new culture. A culture that is foreign and very unlike what you are accustomed to. At this point you can chose to blend in with the new culture, adopt some of it’s customs; or you can chose remain an island, a remnant of your own culture.

Many years pass, the king of this foreign land allows you to return home. He gives you a green light to rebuild the temple that had been a central part of your life, your existence. Some around you chose to stay immersed in their new lives; others around you chose to return home. The table scraps, what is left of your nation/cities/ and towns, is the new reality that awaits you. The comforts of “home” have long disappeared.

Charged with the task of rebuilding the temple, you quickly become discouraged. Opposition from outlying neighbors and the overall futility of restoring the temple to its former glory is overwhelming. So you give up. You focus on yourself. Soon you have a roof over your head and crops planted. Everything you do though somehow doesn’t seem blessed. You are constantly in want. You are distracted by your own needs and ignoring what God has called you to do. This goes on for years.

After some time, the prophet Haggai speaks. He tells you that the reason your endeavors don’t succeed is due to the fact that you are ignoring God. In denying God by not building the temple, you are denying God worship and thus his blessings. You, and the remnant of people around you, quickly put two and two together. The reason for the failed crops and hail. God. He has been trying to get your attention. So you decide to obey. To do what God has called you to do. To complete his temple. God assures you that he is with you. You know that everything is going to be okay because God is sovereign.

As Christians, it is very easy to get distracted by the things around us. We often lose focus of what God is calling us to do and instead focus on ourselves. In doing so, we are not allowing God to fully bless us. I know that I want that blessing. Do you?

Compass

I rolled out of bed this morning and hit the floor. Time to stretch. As I groggily willed my body to move this way and that, I scrolled through my twitter feed. It was then that I noticed that there had been another shooting in Colorado.

Who is your compass?

The details of this mass theater shooting have been slowly trickling in all day. The shooter was an educated man, studying for a P.h.D. in neuroscience. The very image that simple fact conjures is not of someone hellbent on destruction but of someone with intelligence; someone who would know better.

No matter our title or station in life, we are all capable of carrying out terrible acts of violence against our fellow man. To think we are somehow above what suspect James Holmes did is to deny what we are, human.

As a Christian, I know that Christ calls me above the fray, to fight against this inner darkness. Christ is my compass.

I am not sure of what to make of today’s shooting other than to chalk it up to living in an imperfect world. Dr. Mohler wrote a post that discusses the need for answers in a time like this. I highly suggest checking it out.

GO: The Application

Yesterday, I wrote about how persecution led the early church to disperse, thereby fulfilling the Great Commission. How does this apply to us today?

Sometimes We Can Get Comfortable…

Admit it, the church pew that you sit in week-after-week is comfy. The routine of dropping your kids off in children’s church (free babysitting!), enjoying coffee and fellowship in Sunday school, and going through the motions in the main service is familiar. One might call the church routine rather cozy. You know what to expect; you know that nothing uncomfortable is going to happen. If you don’t want to shake hands with someone, you don’t have to. Sure, you may feel spiritually uncomfortable/convicted by the sermon, but church is overall a safe environment where you don’t have to step out of what you know.

Which Keeps Us From Meeting People Where They Live…

I would like to make a bold statement. The people who need Christ the most are not the ones who are going to show up at your local church. Instead, the people who need to hear the Good News are those in our work places and those we meet on the everyday streets of life.

Ever wondered why churches are built where they are? I have. Here in Longview, for instance, we build a good chunk of our churches away from the city’s dividing line, Highway 80. For those that do not live in East Texas, or Longview for that matter, Highway 80 represents a physical shift from the nicer to the older/rougher part of town. The highway itself is filled with strip clubs, homeless, and even prostitutes. All people that need Jesus. So why aren’t more churches built along 80? Ultimately, I think, it boils down to our modern church model. The people who would attend a church located on Highway 80 are not the type who would be able to contribute money on a regular basis for tithe (which keeps the church running). A church located along this line would have to be ran on donations or some other sort of creative model. Not sure how one would accomplish this but the need to meet people where they live is great. No matter what the cost.

But We Are Called To Step Out.

As we saw starting in Acts 5, if we do not step out and go, God will stir up the church and make us go.

What does all of this look like in practice?

  1. Taking on a God-perspective and seeing people as He sees them.
  2. Recognizing that there is a need to tell people about Christ outside of our churches, our comfort zones.
  3. Not only recognizing but also actively doing something about it (the going part). This can be as simple as engaging a co-worker in conversation; this can be has complicated as physically moving overseas to preach the Gospel.
  4. Regardless of location, all Christians are called to share about Christ.

I do not think that there is anything wrong with going to church or sharing life with other believers as the early Christians did in Acts. At some point though, we are supposed to branch out: locally, nationally, globally. Living with the perspective that God has, that there are needs all around us, is hard. I know personally I find it hard to step out of my own life situation. Too often I get bogged down in the day-to-day stuff. As a Christian, I am called to be active, to engage, and to go. For most of us, I don’t think this means suddenly selling all of our possessions and moving overseas. Obedience is the key here as we strive to daily live in obedience to Christ and share Him with those around us.

What do you think?

President Kennedy Visits Ireland

Over lunch, I happened to watch a PBS documentary on President Kennedy’s visit to Ireland, in 1963. Crowds gathered everywhere to see the President who had led America through the Cuban Missile Crisis some 9 months earlier. Beyond the crowds, the very faces of the people themselves are what captivated me. One would think that President Kennedy’s visit was the second coming of Christ. Joy-filled faces, reaching out to touch or to simply catch a glimpse of the American President filled the screen. For some reason, this awestruck scene reminded me of wave that swept now President Obama into the White House.

I think that we, as Americans, get excited about ideas. Be it flying among the clouds or carrying a Swiss Army Knife-like cell phone, we are always pushing the boundaries forward, testing what is and is not possible. I think that that is what carried President Obama into office. The very idea that an African American could become President of the United States was too big of a thought to pass up. So a majority of Americans voted him into office.

After nearly 4 years of leading the United States, President Obama’s time is running out. Though he is running for a second term, he now has a track record to back up his lofty speeches. The word “hope” no longer has the optimistic tone it once did. We have seen Obama polarize our country in ways he swore would never happen; we have seen how his words lead to little action.

President Obama is certainly no John F. Kennedy. However, JFK was not all he was cracked up to be either. I can’t wait to see what the November elections bring.

Wednesday Night Bible Study Recap: Haggai

Imagine your nation being plundered/ destroyed and you are taken captive. All that you have ever known is now gone, quite literally. You soon find yourself immersed in a new culture. A culture that is foreign and very unlike what you are accustomed to. At this point you can chose to blend in with the new culture, adopt some of it’s customs; or you can chose remain an island, a remnant of your own culture.

Many years pass, the king of this foreign land allows you to return home. He gives you a green light to rebuild the temple that had been a central part of your life, your existence. Some around you chose to stay immersed in their new lives; others around you chose to return home. The table scraps, what is left of your nation/cities/ and towns, is the new reality that awaits you. The comforts of “home” have long disappeared.

Charged with the task of rebuilding the temple, you quickly become discouraged. Opposition from outlying neighbors and the overall futility of restoring the temple to its former glory is overwhelming. So you give up. You focus on yourself. Soon you have a roof over your head and crops planted. Everything you do though somehow doesn’t seem blessed. You are constantly in want. You are distracted by your own needs and ignoring what God has called you to do. This goes on for years.

After some time, the prophet Haggai speaks. He tells you that the reason your endeavors don’t succeed is due to the fact that you are ignoring God. In denying God by not building the temple, you are denying God worship and thus his blessings. You, and the remnant of people around you, quickly put two and two together. The reason for the failed crops and hail. God. He has been trying to get your attention. So you decide to obey. To do what God has called you to do. To complete his temple. God assures you that he is with you. You know that everything is going to be okay because God is sovereign.

As Christians, it is very easy to get distracted by the things around us. We often lose focus of what God is calling us to do and instead focus on ourselves. In doing so, we are not allowing God to fully bless us. I know that I want that blessing. Do you?

Discontent

I saw this John Piper quote over at What’s Best Next and so I thought I’d share:

The Meaning of Your Discontent

Many of you should stay where you are in your present job, and simply ponder how you can fit your particular skills and relationships and resources more strategically into the global purposes of your heavenly Father.

But for others reading this book, it is going to be different. Many of you are simply not satisfied with what you are doing. As J. Campbell White said, the output of your lives is not satisfying your deepest spiritual ambitions.

We must be careful here. Every job has its discouragements and its seasons of darkness. We must not interpret such experiences automatically as a call to leave our post.

But if the discontent with your present situation is deep, recurrent, and lasting, and if that discontent grows in Bible-saturated soil, God may be calling you to a new work. If, in your discontent, you long to be holy, to walk pleasing to the Lord, and to magnify Christ with your one, brief life, then God may indeed be loosening your roots in order to transplant you to a place and a ministry where the deep spiritual ambitions of your soul can be satisfied.

It is true that God can be known and enjoyed in every legitimate vocation; but when he deploys you from one place to the next, he offers fresh and deeper drinking at the fountain of his fellowship. God seldom calls us to an easier life, but always calls us to know more of him and drink more deeply of his sustaining grace. . . .

Big issues are in the offing. May God help you. May God free you. May God give you a fresh, Christ-exalting vision for your life — whether you go to an unreached people or stay firmly and fruitfully at your present post. May your vision get its meaning from God’s great purpose to make the nations glad in him. May the cross of Christ be your only boast, and may you say, with sweet confidence, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. – Don’t Waste Your Life

In December of 2006, I graduated from college with no job lined up. After months and even years of praying over what I wanted to do with my life, I hadn’t a clue. In January of 2007, I married my Texas treasure, my wife Tabitha. Still, I hadn’t found a job. 9 months went by, still no job. I hunted and hunted, even took a position of a bank teller for a few weeks before landing my current position at an architectural firm.

Nearly 4 years later (hey, I’m stable!), I find myself in a position that has no hope of moving upwards…unless I become an architect. Through it all, I have continued to pray that God would show me what I need to do to move forward; through it all, I have remained thankful that I have a job that provides me a paycheck during the recession.

Rewind a second

Sometime into my college career, I decided to swap majors from English to History-Political Science. I had thought at the time that a history degree would make a great partnership with a pastoral degree. Upon graduation, I even applied to a seminary in Dallas. I received a reply soon after that told me to work on decreasing my school debt. Seemed fair enough.

As the years progressed, I have still felt called to seminary. However, the entire time I have also continued to have this argument in my head that says you don’t have to go to seminary in order to serve God. Heck, most pastors I knew from Southern California didn’t have a formal seminary education and they were amazing speakers. Seminary equals taking out more loans and becoming a further slave to the lender. That doesn’t make sense to me. God has quite clearly shown me that I need to work to pay off my debt AND that I can serve Him in the process.

Discontent

I have often wondered if God has kept me uneasy, kept me discontent in my workplace in order so that I don’t become comfortable. What I liked about the Piper quote, was that it calls on us to focus back on Christ. As a Christian, I should be primarily focused on how I can serve God. I have learned that God does not reveal things to us in huge chunks. Instead, God seems to show me just enough to keep moving forward. He is constantly teaching me how I have been uniquely gifted me to impact His world for His purpose. Seems like a life long process. I hope and pray that I do not become angry or bitter during this time of feeling unsettled. I know that God has a purpose, and I pray that I am willing and able to be a part of that bigger purpose.

Isolation

The Christian life is one that is often lived out in unintentional isolation. We go to church, mid-week Bible study, and hopefully connect with fellow Christians. From that, we create our own little Christian bubbles filled with like-minded individuals. Now I think that it is great to attend church, Bible study, and get to know other believers. However, I think that we are isolating ourselves from those that we have been called to reach out to, those outside the church.

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, – Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

Yesterday, I attended a meeting for a ministry that is seeking to teach a weekly Bible study at a local homeless shelter. The study would meet every week and would be taught by teams of two guys who would rotate with other teaching teams. The commitment is very low; the potential to share our lives with these guys is huge!

One of the requirements for being a part of this ministry is that you have to be willing to give your cell phone number to these guys. That way if one of them needs to talk or needs prayer, they can give you call. Now I have to admit that I was going along with the whole thing until giving out my cell phone number was mentioned. COMFORT ZONE ALERT! Which then made me ask myself a few questions:

  • What are my motives in wanting to do this homeless ministry?
  • Are they to further Christ’s kingdom or to maintain my false sense of cell phone number security?
  • Do I really want to live in communion/ open my life up to these guys, many of who are ex-cons?
  • Am I happy living in isolation and ignoring Christ’s Great Commission?
My wife and I read this morning, during our devotional time, about how Christ wants us to have open hands. Often though we clutch our hands together, holding onto something we don’t want to give up. We think that somehow we can do better holding onto whatever it is versus giving it to the Creator of the universe. I know that I need to see the bigger picture, to push past the comforts of isolation…I also know that I need Christ’s help to do so.

Worry

Once a month, I meet with a group of guys from my church to study the Bible. Our epic 3 hour meetings include time to eat, discuss everyday life, and dive into God’s word. This past week we met and dissected Matthew 5 & 6. What really stuck out to me was in verses 25-34:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)

With the world seemingly spinning out of control due to natural disasters and financial meltdowns, I find it hard not to worry. And yet in Matthew, Jesus tells us to focus on him, chill out, and have faith. These are words that are really hard to actually put into practice and yet, as a Christian, I am called to live them out. So how do I do this? 1 Peter 5:7 says:

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Taking all of my worries and fears to God, on a daily basis, through prayer is a great place to start. Also, by reading His word daily, I am able to remind myself of His promises.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

As I immerse myself in God’s promises, I encourage you to do the same. There really is no reason to worry.

Prayer

A good Sunday morning to you all!

Something I realized after writing last was that I have failed to pray over JBG as a ministry and have instead been relying on my own gifts and strengths. So, I want to take this Sunday and pray over JBG, it’s future, and discover what God’s will is for having a video game site that shares His light. If you’d join me today in prayer, I’d appreciate it!

Super Meat Fail!

Dear Team Meat,

I know I probably shouldn’t let stuff like this bug me…but it does. I have been wanting to play your game, Super Meat Boy, for awhile now. So, I went to check out your blog when I came across this post:

So Christmas is coming up. My family doesn’t celebrate the Jesus version of Christmas, we celebrate the awesome give toys and stuff to people…which I think is better. Must have been hard on Jesus to have a birthday so close to Christmas…probably why he acted out and got in trouble with those Romans. Poor guy, he just wanted attention…

I know the post is old, but I am still bothered by it. Such flippancy/sarcasm towards Christ and my faith…I find it sick. If Jesus Christ was just out to get attention, being the Son of God and all, I’m sure he could have found a better way to do so. No, instead of attention, He came to die for both you and me. A selfless act versus some sort of modern day attention whoring.

I’m not sure where I am going with this, but I am sick of people (like you) thinking that it is cool to bash on Christ and Christianity just for the heck of it. From my own experience, these same people preach tolerance. Living a double standard? I think so.

If you have been hurt by Christians, I am sorry (we can talk about it). If you want to celebrate a Christ-less Christmas, then go for it. In the end, all I want is respect for what I believe and for the God I serve. I’m not looking to win a medal here…just looking for a little respect. Team Meat, you have failed in this department, and I will not be purchasing your game unless some sort of apology is given. Being a bit of a pessimist, I doubt that will ever happen. From this day forth, I will be staying away from the virtual meat you serve.

Sincerely,

Bryan

Whore

Recently, I started reading through the book of Jeremiah. Today I was reading through chapter 3 and was struck by a theme that has been carried over from chapter 2, that of the nation of Israel acting like a whore.

20-22“A long time ago you broke out of the harness.
You shook off all restraints.
You said, ‘I will not serve!’
and off you went,
Visiting every sex-and-religion shrine on the way,
like a common whore.
You were a select vine when I planted you
from completely reliable stock.
And look how you’ve turned out—
a tangle of rancid growth, a poor excuse for a vine.

(Jeremiah 2:20-22a, The Message)

Notice that Israel was whoring themselves out to both physical and spiritual things (“Visiting every sex-and-religion shrine on the way”). This has got me thinking, what things am I prostituting myself to daily? Is it something physical like a hobby? Is it a thought or an idea that is not Biblical (thus not of God)?

Perhaps this is a shock to you, especially if you came to this site looking for video game related material. Trust me, the content is here. One of the other purposes of this site is to stir conversation. So let’s stir the pot!

  • Are you, someone who has been made clean by acceptance in Christ’s death on the cross, whoring yourself out to physical things and thoughts that are not of God? If so, there is no time like the present to make things right.
  • Are you someone who does not know Christ but still feels like you are whoring yourself out to something? Perhaps its time to evaluate what your intaking on a daily basis.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be known as a whore to that which is evil and not of God.

Bryan

*Please note that the word “whore” is used due to the overarching marriage analogy found in the passages.

Surf Report – 12/21/09

Welcome to the Monday edition of the Surf Report. Proudly sponsored by no one!

.: God :

Christmas, oh how I remember the consumer-driven holiday of my youth. Every year I would come up with the perfect Christmas list. This list would be scientifically engineered upon the foundation of known–I don’t know how–Christmas spending limits of my family. For example, I knew that my Aunt spent roughly a $100 on me each year. In order to maximize my gift receiving, I would specifically structure my list so that I would get everything on it. And received I did. Everything.

I didn’t realize the impact of my greedy childhood until I became an adult. Christmas was no longer just about presents–although presents are great!–. Christmas, as a Christian, is about the celebration of Christ’s birth. This tiny detail is shadowed by presents, the Christmas tree, and all the lights that illuminate the cold December nights. For me, as a Christ follower, I realize that I need to look beyond all the distractions of the holidays and focus on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

1-5About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

6-7While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel. (The Message, Luke 2:1-7)

.: Life :

A spark of imagination + a $300 investment = “Panic Attack!”

.: Gaming :

Super Mario Bros. Wii has occupied much of my gaming time as of late. Although I have to admit, I am not very good at Mario games…you? :)