Friday, February 29, 2008

A Top 5

This morning I finished up and sent out the Youth Group newsletter (I am glad that the leap year gave me an extra day!). Anyway, in the newsletter I mentioned that a specific Bible verse was in my "top five", which led me to thinking what are my top five Bible verses, and so that is what follows. This list is not comprensive, and it is limited to just single verses (or else the entirety of Romans, John, 1 John, Revelation, and Proverbs would probably be here-heh, I guess I also just informally included my top five books of the Bible). Since it is a list it in descending ranked order:

5: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

I think Abigail would say that because of the do not conform part, this is the verse I try to base my my life on ;)

4: In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

I am not sure why I like this verse. I think, perhaps I like it because it is a good reminder about why, as a follower of Jesus, I should live a little differently.

3:Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21

This is a verse that I have really taken to heart. I naturally ask questions and wonder endlessly about life, the universe, and everything. In short, I test everything, and in prayer try to hold on to the good.

2: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Best definition of faith ever.

1: My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 1 John 2:1

I have a feeling that for 1 John 2:1 does not register as a favorite scripture for most people. However, it is hands down mine. The reason for this is because I at one time did not understand Jesus. I didn't understand why Jesus had to exist, why their had to be a resurrection, and in general what the big deal was. It was this verse that made everything click for me, and I still find the image presented in the epistle to be truly powerful.

So those are my favorites, what are yours?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Video Game Full Month

You would think that in a month where I did not have an Xbox (which is now back) I would not end up getting a lot of games, but instead the exact opposite happened. In fact I do not think I have ever acquired 10 games in one month (well actually nine for me and one for Abigail).
So at the beginning of the month I had a $10 online gift card to Wal-mart (which Wal-mart gave to me!) so I used money from January set to go away (because the budget is law) to make up the difference and get a $20 DS game called Orcs and Elves. It is an old school dungeon crawler, and it is ok. However it is limited and I do not think that it will very much replayability.

Then my Xbox died, and in response to that (and to take advantage of a gamestop trade in deal) I took in the game that "killed" my Xbox and a few others I was done with used the credit to get Advance Wars: Days of Ruin for the DS. Advance Wars is one of the best strategy games that exist because it is incredibly simple to learn but it is also very deep in tactics. After that Culdcept Saga came out. Culdcept is seriously the game I wanted more than any other,and I have had it pre-ordered and paid for since it was possible. Now that I have an Xbox I can actually play it, and it was worth the wait. So I am already up to three games in the month and it is the 6th. When the Xbox broke I rented Geometry Wars Galaxies for the Wii (which I "borrowed" from the church), and it turns out that I love Geometry Wars Galaxies. This game is a 2D shooter that is very abstract and just uses shapes (hence the name Geometry Wars), it is very addictive and a good game to zone out to. Of course I then discover that Geometry Wars Galaxies has a DS version that is 100% identical to the Wii version. At this point I am a little mopey that the Xbox is broken and that I have not been able to play Culdcept, I am going to fail at a contest to win $100, and I have not been able to play online with my friends. All of those factors add up to me thinking I should buy a new game, and Geometry Wars Galaxies is it. On the 15th, I went to CompUSA, which was in the final days of its closing sale. All video games were 40% off, and they had one I wanted. Seriously, how could I pass up 40% off? So I got Thrillville: Off the Rails. Thrillville is theme park simulator mixed with a mini-game collection. I have only played a few of the mini-games thus far, but I think it will be fun. Also for my birthday I got two games. From Abigail I got a DS game, which is a collection of old arcade games. Then from my parents, Abigail, and Abigail's parents I got Rock Band (more on that later). So that right there put me at seven games, which is a lot and I really did not have plans to do that. Then Abigail ends up buying a game called Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Professor Layton is an adventure game that is filled with logic puzzles and riddles. It is totally Abigail's game, even though it is a little frustrating because the game is designed to make people feel a bit stupid. During the time my Xbox was broke a Xbox Live Arcade game called Commanders came out. This is an arcade game that I have been waiting for as it is basically Advance Wars for the Xbox. The difference is that Commanders has online play, I had points I was saving for this game so once my Xbox was back online I got it. That get me to nine. The tenth game, is technically one I already got this month! The arcade collection DS game has a game on it called Time Pilot. This is a simple shooter made in 1982, but I got obsessive over it,going for a higher and higher score. Unfortunately, I had no way to know how good my score was and when you are competing against only yourself half the fun is gone. Time Pilot also exist as an Xbox Live Aracade game, and on the Xbox it has a high score board that everyone who has the game is ranked on, so I got it as well so I can go for high scores (also the Xbox controller is a lot easier to use than the DS). So I did not really plan to get all of these games. It is ok though, because after Rainbow Six Vegas 2 in March it will be a good while before I get any more games.

So Rock Band is a must purchase for anyone who has a 360, and for anyone who likes fun. It is so much fun to play with other people. Seriously, on Tuesday night Abigail and I played for three hours! I think before that the single longest that Abigail has ever played a game is maybe an hour (in back to back to back Catan matches). Also at the lock-in I got to play with four people for a couple of hours, and that is a lot of fun.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Yep, that is pretty much how it feels

My Xbox is suppose to be arriving via Fed-ex today or tomorrow. I personally hope today, because it has to be signed for and I won't be around tomorrow. . .

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Truly humbling

So along with downloading the previously mentioned New Soul, I got several other songs recently with an itunes gift card (thanks Kristen!) So overall I picked up the following music:
1. Give me one Reason by Tracy Chapman
2. Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine
3. Pride and Joy by Stevie Ray Vaughan
4. Team Fortress 2 theme
5. Why Does it Always Rain on Me by Travis
6. Fly by Sugar Ray
7. Meet Virgina by Train
8. La Grange by ZZ Top
9. You Alone by David Crowder Band
10. Blessed Assurance by Third Day
10. When You Were Young by the Killers
11. Woman by Wolfmother

Now the fact that someone can purchase an insanely crazy variety of music in a few minutes, is not what is humbling. What is humbling is the final song I bought:
I Surrender All. The version I downloaded is by a band I like called Cademon's Call . I know this is an old school hymn, but the lyrics are truly amazing:

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.


I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessèd Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.


All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.


All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.


All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

Those words are truly powerful, and what is so humbling is the realization that, at least for me, most of the time when I sing this song I am lying. All is a lot. I mean a whole lot. It does not get much bigger than all. The beauty for me, is that this song is not a declaration but a prayer. More to the point, when I sing this song, it is a petition, it is a statement not of what is real but of what I want to be, and what I am unable to achieve on my own.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My favorite song of the moment. . .

And I must stress the of the moment part. This is not one of those favorite songs that seeps into your very being, like this one. This is one of the favorite songs that infectiously gets stuck in your head, and you don't mind it. However, it will eventually be replaced, and when I think of my "most favorite songs ever", it won't be there.
Anyway the song is called New Soul by Yael Naim.

I am not sure why I like this song it is a bit different that some of the music that I like. I even looked up the lyrics and by and large they are devoid of substance. I think the reason why I like the song is that it really conveys a sense of optimistic innocence. It is the type of song that would go brilliantly with just about any video of an infant doing the cute things that infants do. If you are actually watching/listening to that video (the embedded one, not one of the five I linked), then the song no doubt sounds familiar. Probably because you have actually heard it here.

I don't really want a new computer, but I do have to admit that commercial does make me want one of those. Seriously, it fits in an envelope, who wouldn't want one?

Monday, February 04, 2008

It's a tragedy

Well actually it is not a tragedy. In fact, it really speaks to how wonderful my life is right now that the closest thing I can get to a tragedy is that my Xbox is dead. As you may or may not be aware the Xbox 360 has a reputation of hardware failure. Usually this hardware failure is the dreaded three red rings of death and is associated with overheating. I only suffered one red ring, and had the graphics emulator (or encoder, or something basically what transfers the data from the console to the screen) go out. I am currently awaiting a "coffin" from UPS so I can send it in to get fixed.

Now the tragic part is that it takes about a month to get the console back, and one of my most anticipated games (ever?), Culdcept Saga, comes out this week. So I won't be playing the Xbox for a month which means I am stuck with the DS and free PC games (if anyone knows any good free PC games, especially shooters send them my way!). Like I said, a tragedy (but not really!)