Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I need a new computer and I hate Internet Explorer.

I was just fishing up posting something new when all of sudden Internet Explorer encountered a problem and shut down. Aghhhhhhhhhhhh! I'm so mad.

To insure that this never happens again (it wasn't the first time) I am going to start creating posts in a different program and then just paste them here. That would help.

On top of that, my computer slows down tremendously when my Anti-Virus protection is on. It's also getting pretty full. My drives aren't that big to begin with and each time there's an update or whatever, it eats up more precious space.

Can anyone relate?

When I have the patience and time to come back, I'll try again. It was a post about compassion. Don't you think I should be in a patient and understanding mood when I write about that?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm Fosco Gamgee-Took from Bywater

Some of you may know my love for roleplaying games. I've loved them since I picked up my first Dungeons & Dragons boxed set when I was either 10 or 11. I loved the 20-sided dice and the character building. I loved imagining hunting down dragons and slaying them for their treasure. I loved all the rules and pictures . I don't think those things will ever leave me.

When I was a teenager, my love for Christ was tested against my love for those things. God was trying to get my attention and develop me for ministry. He wanted me to learn the Bible and think about giving and sacrifice. He wanted me to know there could never be anything as important as Him.

But, I was spending lots of cash on Dungeons & Dragons, Conan The Barbarian, and the Star Frontiers roleplaying games. Lots of cash and time. I suppose kids today have the same issues, except with video games. At least mine were books that taught me something [grin].

So, one night the Holy Spirit convicted my heart and told me to leave church and go home and get my games. I brought them all back to the altar and ripped them up. It was an incredibly emotional and rewarding sacrifice. From that day forward and throughout my high school years, I grew rapidly in my understanding of the Scriptures and my devotion to Christ.

My interest and love for those kinds of games didn't change, but my love for God increased. Eventually the Lord allowed me to purchase a roleplaying game again, for entertainment and casual reading.

Today, I love playing The Star Wars Roleplaying Game with my students and we are about to begin a new journey through Middle-earth using The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game. Not only do we have great fun, it is also a nice way to bond and talk about our own "character" qualities. I'll post about some of those things another time!

Which finally brings me to the title of my post.

I went over to the house of one of my students to create a character for our upcoming adventure. While he was deciding to play a Sindar Elf Warrior and choosing his special abilities, his sister was on the Internet looking up hobbit names here. It's a cool little site where you can type your name in and it uses a simple algorithm to find a hobbit name for you. Mine happens to be Fosco Gamgee-Took. My elven name is Lenwë Telrúnya.

Try typing in your name and see what you get! I've already tried several of your names and got some pretty funny stuff. Whatever you get, come back here and post it. A million points to the person who finds the most unusual name (unusual is a relative term here).

Also, tell me about an emotional experience you've had with God - that was life changing.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Picture Zoom Game II

OBJECT OF THE GAME: Be the first blogger to correctly guess what picture this piece is from.

RULES: You may only guess twice/day. One clue will be given per day, starting with the second day. The winner will be declared to be the most brilliant (or resourceful) among you. Everyone will bow at your feet in awe of your intelligence. If no one has guessed the correct answer by December 8, 2006, then I, JimmyBob, having stumped you all, will be declared the winner and therefore the most brilliant. Good luck.

Congratulations to Dorsey!!! He is the winner again!!! The Master.

The Superman Symbol

The Picture Zoom Game

OBJECT OF THE GAME: Be the first blogger to correctly guess what picture this piece is from.

RULES: You may only guess twice. The winner will be declared to be the most brilliant among you. Everyone will be very impressed and see you in a new light.

And the Winner is...Dorsey!!!

"The 3 Wise Men"

"Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.'" - Matthew 2:1, 2

I am amazed at how determined these Gentiles were in finding Christ to worship him. From eastern lands (probably Arabia) these astrologers or "Magicians" follow a star that seemed to hover over Jerusalem. Somehow, they make a connection that the unusual star signified the birth of someone extraordinary born in the land of Judea.

Many men of eastern religions worshipped the stars. But here the star that could have been misused is put to the right use, to lead men to Christ.

I remember my first spiritual search sitting on top of a snow bank outside my house at Loring Air Force Base, Maine. It was early evening and the stars were bright and scattered across the sky. I looked up into the heavens and prayed this prayer...

"Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, wish I may, wish I might, wish upon this star tonight."

After whispering those words I thought about the possibility of God and why people were here. I suddenly felt small in the universe, but I knew there must be more to life than just existence.

It was shortly afterward that Christians began coming into our life. First, an evangelism encounter on the street, then an invitation to a friend's church, finally my sister starting daycare at Caribou Assembly of God.

I could go on with the story and give you the details of my conversion, but I'll save that for another time. But, I did want to recognize that it was through the stars that God first began getting through to me. I'm glad I took the time to look up and wonder.

What about you? How were you lead to Christ?

Or maybe you're not there yet and you need a star to show the way. Look up and wonder.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Attitude of Certainty

Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post with some great ideas on blogging. You are all fantastic!

The other evening I was surfing the net and I wanted to check on the status of a movie that was being produced by Ralph Winter called Thr3e. It is based on a book by one of my favorite authors - Ted Dekker.

So, I went to TedDekker.com and one of the first things that came up was a link to his blog. I was interested because of the title of his most recent post "Jesus is a girl."

The post was about a character in his book House named Susan, who is a type of Christ. More specifically, his post was in response to how some Christians were offended that he would use a girl for the illustration.

But, what really got my attention were his introductory remarks. They seemed to hit a bell with some things the Lord has been teaching me lately.

Are there things you're not sure about? I mean spiritual things. Do you ever question how you've come to believe certain things?

I have always been the kind of person (even before I was saved) that thought I should have everything figured out. I'm not the kind of guy who is comfortable with uncertainty. In all honesty, I think the danger in that is I can easily make up answers for things I have no idea about. My brain just kicks into "common sense" mode and I make educated guesses. But, that does not mean I'm always right.

So, why do I need to have every answer nailed?

Here's what Ted Dekker wrote:

"It’s increasingly amazing to me that so many people who call themselves “Christians”, so often betray their conformity to a religion rather than to a faith, and remain mostly blind to the fact that the Rabbi named Jesus himself railed against those so faithful to a religion rather than to a faith in his day. The Pharisees lived squarely in the BOX of legalism yet many today are trapped in that same grave Jesus referred to. As humans we have a tendency to want an explanation for everything, one that our own frail reasoning can comfortably grasp, and we support that tendency by demonizing anything that is not clear. The teachers that Jesus scolded had everything down to the clipping of their fingernails in perfect order.

But our ability to understand God is not meant to be so succinct -- after all, we are human and he is God and who in their right mind can understand the mind of God? His ways are beyond us, as the word emphatically states. He pursues us with love more than with reason."

Click here for the full post.

God has been teaching me over the course of this past year to be comfortable with not having an answer for everything - even about Him. It's an attitude adjustment really. The attitude of certainty will keep you from entering into authentic relationships. And it really does make you look ignorant rather than the "confident, persuasive, and authoritative" person you're ego is driving you to be.

I still am learning and I always want to be. I feel good about this even though I know it will be hard to retrain my thinking enough to translate it to action. But, that's another thing about blogging that I can give thanks for. Doing this helps quite a bit.