The Journey of a writer and artist who loves the Lord

Future Planning

Luke 14 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 

Matthew 6 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Read the rest of this entry »

Growing in Holiness

santEphesians 2:8-10(ESV)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

I posted the above on Facebook not long ago.  This morning, I wish to unpack it by just a bit.  Many of my friends struggle with holiness.  They lie awake with concern that God will not consider them worthy on the Day of Judgment.  I remind them of the basic Gospel message, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him will not parish but have ever lasting life.” (John 3.16)

Belief, or faith, on Jesus Christ, along with repentance from sin, is the sole requirement for salvation.  Romans 10.9 says “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  Once you do, you will be ‘born again.”  1 Peter 1.3 says “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation.

exorcisjpgSome of my friends share a concern that their life now does not show enough good fruit to enter heaven.  Yet, most understand to some extent that one cannot enter into heaven through good works.  For those who remain confused on this point, I remind them that no matter your good deeds, past or future; a cop will arrest you just as fast if you break a law.  You cannot undo your crimes, or pay for them, with previous good deeds or promised future ones.

Yet, I have good news for them.  In fact, that is why we use the word ‘gospel,’ which means ‘good news!’  God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to live a holy, perfect life among us.  He alone fulfilled the law in both word and spirit.  He led the only perfect life.  By all rights, He should have been the only man never to taste death, the penalty for sin.  Yet, he went, to the cross, and even to hell, in our place.

But, the best news of all is that He rose from the grave!  The cornerstone of the Christian faith, Jesus’ resurrection, not only demonstrates our Lord’s power over the great enemy, death, but shows us what we can expect in our future.  The believers, in Christ, will also join Him in heaven..  The author of 1 Corinthians wrote, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

hugSome may feel I have left the main subject on a side track, as I asserted that I would write about sanctification, not justification.  Yet, I feel that the above leads to just that!  Because, the first true step towards sanctification that a believer must take is to rest and place faith in the knowledge that their salvation is not earned by any personal effort or merit.  They must place their hope, their faith, and even their sanctification in the hands of Jesus.

Then, and only then, can true sanctification begin.  For, the moment that a man, through His own effort, attempts to please and honor God, he falls down a fatal slope, for he does so in the flesh.  And no man can please God with that approach.  (See Romans chapters 4-9).  When we are born again, we become sanctified.  He became sin for us so that we can become righteousness.  2 Cor 5.21 says “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Again, read Eph 2:8-10, from at the top of this blog entry.  This is one of my favorite passages. Many stop at verse 9, but I like including the following verse. It underscores and highlights that Christ molds us into holiness. We do not become ‘good’ in God’s eyes through our own efforts! By faith, we repent of sin, accept Christ.  Then, through His Spirit, we become born again… a new creature!

In John 3.5, Jesus says, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

thanksAfter we are born again, through the Spirit, we mature through that same Spirit.  We move to greater “good” works that truly please God. It is not faith plus works that saves you…but faith, and faith alone, which, in turn, not only justified, but sanctifies.  It leads to holy living.  Galatians 5 reads, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.”  Not the capitalization here. These fruit which God finds truly sweet come from the Spirit (of God).  Sanctification, true holy living, comes from a life submitted to His control, not through an internal effort to follow an outside code.

For this reason, Jesus says in Matthew 11.30, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” We can rest in Him, for He has done all of the heavy lifting!  And this is why we praise God…this is why I praise God.  He has given us the most precious gift of all!  And I will spend the rest of my days singing, writing, drawing, and giving for His Glory from a heart of thankfulness!  Will you join me?

Persecution from Within

darkheartThrough the centuries, Christians have experienced persecution.  Even today, in countries such as North Korea, Christians face serious threats for their faith, often leading to the ultimate sacrifice.  Unfortunately, this pressure has not only come from evil forces outside the faith, but from within, as well.  The Catholic church killed countless Protestants through the Dark Ages (And vice versa), usually for differences of dogma.   Many would question whether those involved were truly Christian, however, they represented what was known as the Christian church at the time.

While we rarely have that particular issue in the United States, the spirit that lead to such brutality still thrives today.  Disguised as denominationalism, brothers separate over doctrines and dogmas.  More concerning, some even draw hard lines of division or ostracize other brothers over such theologies.  I shared one such experience not long ago, and I am hardly alone.

BibleThe following verses warn us against such division.

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 1 Cor 1.10

What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Cor 1.12-13

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism 1 Eph 4.4-5

Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind – 1 Rom 14.1-5

The quote from Romans convicts my heart.  We should not judge the servants of God, yet we do so all of the time.  Because so many falsely claim to follow Christ, or claim ‘to be saved’, we rightly ask questions to find out the basis of their confession.  But when we dig deeper than that… and judge our brother on his understanding of things like the trinity, baptism, etc., we run risk of violating the above verses.

And when we create divisions, or kick a brother out over such things, we do not demonstrate the spirit of love that Christ asks of us.  Instead, we show that we have not progressed much further than those who used to kill over such matters.

hugAs I blogged earlier, Christianity is largely a subjective experience.  We each have to work out our relationship with God, and our understanding of various theologies, on our own.  We cannot force others to get on the exact page with our imperfect faith, nor should we try.  God could, of course, but in His infinite wisdom, He gives us the liberty to work out our faith with Him, rather than force these matters.

I do not suggest we throw out all theology, and refrain from attempting to teach and convince others.  I would demonstrate the height of hypocrisy in doing so with this very blog entry!  However, it is one thing to lovingly share a theology with a brother in an effort to convince him of a truth, and quite another to use divisions and ostracization as tools to enforce conformity among a group.  The last time I checked, Jesus instructed us to love one another.  In fact, He said that by love, and not exactly correct theology, will others know we are His disciples.  I’m glad, because last time I checked, no one can truly claim to completely understand the ways of God.

The following video by Shawn McCraney inspired this blog entry today.  I encourage you to watch or listen to it.

Random Game Ramblings III


Random Ramblings III

I felt my first “Month of” after #JRPGJuly was a resounding success.  I have a lot of games in my backlog, and sometimes, I get stuck just choosing what to play next.  I enjoyed my two selections for #ARPGAugust, Diablo III and Heroes of the Storm.  The lack of participation from others on Twitter or any social channel damped my spirits just a bit, as only one friend jumped in.  However, I mostly do this kind of thing for myself, and if others wish to join, great!  It also gave me a number of talking points for RPGBacktrack!

steamLooking forward at #SRPGSeptember, I have Code Name: S.T.E.A.M and Disgaea D2 on my docket.  I started CN:S some time ago, but only go to chapter three before setting it aside for something newer.  I enjoyed the game, but got distracted by something else.  Sometimes, waiting to play a game pays off.  One of the biggest critiques levied against the game had to do with the slow speed of the enemy’s turn during combat.  With a recent patch, the game now allows players to fast forward past those sequences, addressing that concern head on.

I have enjoyed the Disgaea series from day one.  The blend of humor and tactical combat appeals to me.  I own all four on console, and recently added them to my Vita library (Disgaea in the palm of your hand…mind blowing!)  Aside from their hilarious stories, the games offer you various game systems and mechanics to ‘use and abuse’ as you see fit to make your demon overlord the most powerful, ever!  Disgaea D2 sat in my backlog for quite a bit, but with Disgaea 5 around the corner, I cannot put it off!

disgaeaPlanning ahead, I have chosen a GOG PC game for #ORPGOctober.  I do not want to spoil the surprise of which game I chose, but I did pick something completely out of left field.  I have never even heard of this 90’s title until a couple of months ago, but with a full five star review from a few dozen gamers, I figured #ORPGOctober would be a great place to give it a shot.  Once I finish with Code Name: S.T.E.A.M, I will go back to one of my Vita dungeon crawlers to get an early start on #DRPGDecember.

However, I would love your help with #NRPGNovember.  For those who do not recall, the Month of RPG list says to play a newer rpg for that month.  However, not familiar with newer offerings, I do not yet know what to plan for that month.  What do YOU think I should play?  Offer your thoughts and suggestions on Twitter or hit me up at jcservant at cyberlightcomics dot com!

Until next time, may your adventure bring you great excitement!


Is this game still relevant? Yes. HELL, yes!

Is this game still relevant? Yes. HELL, yes!

A number of years ago, I bought Diablo III upon release.  I never jumped on the Diablo bandwagon with the first two games, and I wanted to experience the game and the hype for myself.  My wife, friends and I played for a few months, but eventually got bored.  We hit max level, and used excess gold to buy better gear off of the auction house.  To me, this turned the end game grind into one for gold alone, as better equipment drops rarely happened at that point.  On top of that, one could only run the story so many times before it just became too predictable.  Very little about the game actually felt randomized, or fresh. Read the rest of this entry »

Dragon Quest VI: Review

Two time the words, two times the fun?

Two time the words, two times the fun?

I apologize, but my gaming got sidetracked during the holidays.  My brother and I continue our RPGTrek with Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation.  This game concludes the Zenethian trilogy in epic fashion. While you don’t get married, or have kids, you do meet a lot of new friends and search for your true self.  And, in this game, you get adventure in not one, but two worlds!  Your next RPGTrek story is only a click away! Read the rest of this entry »

Heroes of the Storm Review

Review: Heroes of the Storm

Over the years, I have tried a number of MOBA games.  My first experience came from a Stardock game, DemiGod.  I found the combination of RPG and RTS elements fascinating, and played numerous games against the AI.  However, few of my friends shared my interest in the little known title.  Later, League of Legends released, which I reviewed for RPGamer.  I ultimately found the lack of map variety and poor value (of the retail product) dragged the experience down for me.  But, hey, the game went on to become the most popular games (if not THE most popular) with over 32 million players, so what do I know? Read the rest of this entry »


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