The Journey of a writer and artist who loves the Lord

Brothers Removed by Time

Salutations.

As I continue to plug away at college studies, increased job workload and the constant stream of house chores and errands, I find that my time for creative work eroded away to nothingness.  However, I do continue to find ways to consume entertainment.  Whether I sneak in an hours of game before bed, or I listen to an audio book on the way to work, I find new ways to take my mind off the monotony of the day to day grind.

Image result for mere christianityI mention in my October summary post that I had listened to C.S. Lewis’ book, The Screwtape Letters.  Since then, I have listened to another of his books, Mere Christianity.  I also listened to The Question of God: C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life by Armond Nicholi, which did a great job summarizing many of the contrasting viewpoints of these two great minds.

I cannot recommend these books enough.  The more I listen to C.S. Lewis, the more I’m convinced that we are two brothers, separated by time.  I find his approach to theology, using clear thought, logic and reason, absolutely refreshing in a world so based on emotional reasoning.  Make no mistake, C.S. Lewis’ passion dictates his direction, at times, but he always seeks to get to his conclusions through logic.  I honestly wished I started reading his work earlier.  If he were alive today, I would love to spend time just talking things out with him.

I believe many of my friends would enjoy the last book mentioned above, The Question of God.  The author does a great job of providing two contrasting viewpoints of C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud.  For those who do not know, C.S. Lewis started life raised in a religious home, but declared that he believed in no God rather young in life.  Years later, after much thought and reflection, Lewis decided to follow Jesus and became a Christian.  S. Freud, on the other hand, refused to believe in a benign creator his entire life.  The resulting ways that these men thought on important topics provides some very fascinating perspectives on topics that most of try to avoid or ignore.  Yet, we would do well to take the necessary time to find the truth on such matters as they can have such a profound impact on ourselves, and those around us, as seen in this book.

How about you?  Have you read any books lately that make you feel so connected to the author, that you feel you are siblings removed by time?  Have you read any of these books?  Share your thoughts below!  I would love to hear from you.

 

We Are Not Home Yet

“Where is the hope? I meet millions who feel despair by all of the decay around us. Where is the hope? The hope that each of us have, is not in who governs us, or what laws are passed, or what great things we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people. And that’s where our hope is in this country. And that’s where our hope is in this life.” – Chuck Colson

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A (nother) Crazy Month

tetrisAs we close in on Halloween, I take a look at the remaining eight days and realize that I hardly have time to breathe.  My full calendar looks like a losing game of Tetris.  I really need more God in my day.  No, seriously.  Check out the video below.  If you feel you do not have enough time in your day, it’s a great pick me up.

As I mentioned on earlier blog entries, the increased responsibilities of my job have also made it nigh impossible to do anything extra, such as solid writing, podcasting or videos.  I hope to return to that sooner, rather than later.

With that said, I do manage to sneak a wee amount of time in for reading and gaming (though, not much).  Normally, I abhor flying.  However, recently I have looked forward to my time in the air as a way to disconnect a wee bit and dive into a bit of Vita play or listen to an audio book (or both!).

I actually read (the Kindle version of) Two Necromancers, a Bureaucrat, and an Elf .  The short length lends itself well to reading through in a single flight.  Unlike many stories today, it features light hearted content, comedy and adventure, without a lot of sexual content.  I found the characters interestingly delightful.  And, according to my wife, they get even better in the future installments.  I hope to write something like this one day.

exheroes

I listened to the audio version of Ex-Heroes.  While significantly longer than the prior book, I knocked it out as I traveled, did chores,  and even while working.  Have I mentioned that I love audio books?  This title features the struggles of a ragtag band of superheros fighting to protect one of the last known groups of humanity against the hordes of zombies that have taken over most of America.  The idea seems a bit cliche (I believe most of us are ‘zombied’ out), but Peter Clines does an excellent job setting the stage and making me care about what happens to the cast.  Luckily for me, he wrote more books in the series, and I look forward to getting through them.

I also listened to The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.  I have heard numerous pastors reference the writings of this author, and after listening to this story, I can see why.  This allegorical tales of an elder demon writing to his younger ‘tempter’ nephew not only entertains, but teaches or reminds us of numerous traps set up by the enemy to ensnare followers of the faith.

I found one point particularly interestingly, simply because I have long railed against traditions and the status quo.  In one of the chapters, the elder demon mentions that current day wedding/marriage ceremonies and whatnot are an invention of man.  In the Bible, the picture painted is that God’s design for marriage initiates when an unmarried man and woman come together as one (if one of them is already married to someone else, that would be adultery), not when they get married ‘in a church.’  I have long suspected this myself, but rarely speak of it, as our culture just takes that step so much for granted.  To hear one of the most well known Christian authors challenge traditions, where they do not line up with God’s Word, really encourages me.

dragon-quest-buildersOn the gaming side, I put a few hours into the recently released Dragon Quest Builders.  As a casual fan of Minecraft, I have found the gameplay in DQB to actually improve on the Minecraft formula.  Not only does it provide direction in the form of quests (I found the original Minecraft to be a bit too ‘open ended’ for my tastes), but I love some of the improvements, such as the ability to clear whole swaths of blocks at once with a charged hammer attack.  I also love the improved visuals and Dragon Quest soundtrack.  The third person camera angle and clunky combat system keep this title from perfection, but do not majorly detract from the fun of creativity and building.  This little delight makes flights go by quick!

When I finally do get some time at home, I continue to play Starcraft II, Diablo II and World of Warcraft: Legion.  I do not get enough time to get very far in any of them (my highest level character in WoW is 104), but if you enjoy these titles, look me up!  My handle is JCServant#1617.  I would love to adventure with you.

Oh…I almost forgot!  Onto the song I promised!  When you feel too busy, you don’t need more time… you need more life in your day!  WoooOOOo!!!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I continue to work nearly non-stop for my job.  While that leaves little time or energy for leisure, I find ways to stay entertained.  While not always possible, I find I can listen to audio books while typing in invoices, spreadsheets and the such.  Recently, I picked up “Fahrenheit 451,” a sci fi fiction novel that I read decades ago in High School.  While I enjoyed this back in the day, reading it again as a mature follower of Christ provided a new perspective on Ray Bradbury’s tale of the confused fireman.

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JCServant Update

My apologies for not chatting on here (or most social media).  Work has been taking everything from me, and then some.  I’ve had to cancel just about all of my regularly scheduled social life stuff, as I’ve been working late nights, and six plus days/week.

legiWith that said, sometimes I do have an hour or so before bed.  I’ve been playing World of Warcraft’s newest expansion, Legion.  As you have undoubtedly heard through reviews, they’ve really tightened up a lot of things here, and put the emphasis back on story and working with other players.  And, as they always do, they implement some of the best ideas from other games and people.  So far, I’m having fun.  Of course, I don’t have a lot of time, so while most of my friends have hit the max level of 110, I’m still below 100.  Go figure.

Outside of that, I have not had hardly free time to do anything fun, creative, or even make headwind into my college work.  Also, I have not really had a chance to study much theology.

Piper

John Piper – One of the most well known Christian Evangelical Pastors

Recently, I find myself thinking about John Piper’s sermon series that hit hard against the idea of retirement.  He preached that we should not really work hard towards retirement.  If you work with the thought of living your golden years fishing, golfing, and enjoying life, then you seek the wrong thing in life.  You should live to glorify God.  Therefore, you should not really think about wanting to enjoy life.  We should work to glorify God, not work to enjoy an earthly, fleshly retirement.

I understand that line of thinking.  Really, I do.  However, I do not believe that just because someone works hard for retirement, that it means they put earthly possessions and pleasures above God.

Work, especially in a career, takes a lot of time and energy that many people do not have as they age and deal with illnesses.  Others, like myself, dream of having the time and availability to not only enjoy some of the earthly blessings God has given us, but, more importantly, spend time studying His Word, doing more work that glorifies Him, and sharing myself more with those who need help, in Jesus name.

It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of his message.  He preaches convincingly, and stabs directly at the center of American consumerism which dominates our culture.  However, by painting with broad strokes, we may end up missing the true point of living the Christian life.  Whether work consumes our days, or we enjoy God’s blessing of a peaceful retirement, we should seek to glorify God in everything we do.

baddie.jpgUntil we are called to His side, feel free to add me as a friend on battlenet, where I’m JCServant#1617 .  Help me take down this big, bad, ugly guy who is *clearly* evil!

For the HORDE!!!

-JCS

 

Logical Ramblings

Unfortunately, my paying job continues to plague me with additional responsibilities sucking up massive swaths of my time.  This, of course, makes it hard to get a lot of creative, personal accomplishments knocked out…like blogging!  Nevertheless, I wanted to take a few moments today to share a few questions and thoughts dancing around in my noggin.   Read the rest of this entry »

Recently, a relative accused me of being overbearing.  I know…hard to believe, right?  Ok, even I admit that I can go a bit overboard at times.  I know I have crossed that invisible line of politeness on more than one occasion.  Read the rest of this entry »