Friday, May 30, 2008

The Song currently stuck in my head. . .

Is called Made to Love by Toby Mac. Toby Mac likes to flirt this weird line between pop/rock and hip hop. Typically I do not care to much for his music, but this song has really stuck with me.

A piece of profound wisdom that deeply affected me once and that I have remembered is that "there is nothing you can do to make God love you less, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you more." It is so simple, so true, and so paradoxical that I welcome reminders of that, and that is what this song helps remind me of.

There is not an actual movie video of this song, but here is a well done fan faux-music video so that you can hear the song, the lyrics follow:

Verse 1
The dream is fading, now I'm staring at the door
I know its over cause my feet have hit the cold floor
Check my reflection, I ain't feelin what I see
It's no mystery
Whatever happened to a passion I could live for
What became of the flame that made me feel more
And when did I forget that...

I was made to love you
I was made to find you
I was made just for you
Made to adore you
I was made to love
And be loved by you
You were here before me
You were waiting on me
And you said you'd keep me
Never would you leave me
I was made to love
and be loved by you

Verse 2
The dream's alive with my eyes opened wide
Back in the ring you've got me swinging for the grand prize
I feel the hate is spittin vapors on my dreams
But I still believe
I'm reachin out, reachin up, reachin over
I feel a breeze cover me called Jehovah
And daddy I'm on my way
Cause I was made to love...


Anything I would give up for you
Everything, I'd give it all away
(Repeat 3x)

I was made to love you
I was made to adore you, made just for you

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Top 25 Games of all Time (9-1)

9. Timesplitters 3 (PS2)
As a series I am a fan of Timesplitters. The single player game contains levels from a variety of time periods, so every level feels unique. The game also has a lot of unique challenge levels like Monkey Curling. The multiplayer maps are good and the modes highly customizable. The bot support is excellent. However, the reason why I really liked this game is because of the map maker. For a while I made a new map once a week (on Friday nights), and I have to say I made some fairly good ones (City of Ra being my best).

8. Culdcept (PS2)
I have an unhealthy love of collectible customizable games. This was awoken in middle school by Magic the Gathering, fueled by Spellfire, and then finally took full root in the Star Wars card game. The one-two hit of Decipher losing the Star Wars license (and thus ending the game) and being a poor college student broke me of that, but it flared up again Senior year with Mech Warrior, and then a couple of years ago with Attacktix. Unfortuantly, I never learned from my mistakes because each time I found my self loving a game with no one to play with. Culdcept is therefor perfect for me because it is a collectible Card Game in the form of a video game. Culdcept does things that requires it to be a video game, and there are no booster packs to buy so it is a lot cheaper. Frustratingly cheap AI in both this version and the 360 version (which the developers have admitted are programmed cheap), hold this game back from being my favorite game of all time.

7. Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo 64)
Four Mario Karts have come out since this one, but it is still my favorite. Some of the tracks are inventive, but the reason why I like this game is the battle mode. My brother and I played this game A TON. I would guess that once we got it until I graduated high school there was not a week that went buy that we did not at least play it once. We always played battle mode one on one (or with three on the rare chance my sister played), and we had it down to an art. Screw boxing, Mario Kart is the REAL sweet science.

6. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64)
I have not played this game in over 10 years, so I don't know how well it holds up, but like other games on this list coming up I have a good memory of it because the game drew me into its world and story. Zelda games are games about a grand adventure, and that is exactly what playing this game felt like.

5. Call of Duty 4 (Xbox 360)
As this list no doubt confirms, I like shooting games. My favorite type of shooting games are ones that deliver a big, epic, and cinematic feel. Call of Duty 4 is the game that has managed to do that more than any other. This sounds like a marketing pitch, but to call this game an adrenaline fueled thrill ride would not be to far off the mark. It helps that the multiplayer has an addictive leveling up system and plays like a dream.

4. Super Mario All Stars (SNES)
They don't make compilations this awesome anymore. On one kart Mario, Mario 2, and Mario 3 could all be found. What made it better is that they all had updated graphics. A few years ago I played Mario 3 on the NES, and I was shocked the game did not look like how I remembered it because I had played the All-stars version so much.

3. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360)
Here is what I wrote about this game when I first played it, and it is still true close to 2 years later:
"In many ways, Oblivion might be the greatest game I have ever played. The thought that stuck with me most of the week, is the fact that no one has ever played the game quite like I have. The order in which I have done quests is completely different than everyone else, and that is cool. I also like the fact that there are probably landmarks on the maps that I have discovered that thousands of other people never have, much less been inside the dungeoun of said location.

I have also given some thought to how I want to play the game. I find it truly appealing that I am effectivly writing my own story in the game. I wish that the language of the main quest was not so pressing, because I sort of feel bad putting it off. My character is definatly some sort of crusader for good. I am traveling from town to town trying to advance up the ranks of both the mage guild and fighter guild. While in town, I look for as many ways as I can help people. This morning I put a few hours in at the Gold Coast in the city of Anvil. I helped the city guard with a gang of thieves, helped a woman keep her pet rats alive, and killed a rouge mage who was killing traveling merchants. As a result of purposely wanting to play a good guy, I will probably never end up doing the thieves guild quests or the brotherhood of shadow quests."

2. Mass Effect (Xbox 360)
I like Mass Effect for a lot of the same reasons I like Oblivion. In Oblivion the "story" was mostly mine to write in my head. My characters actions only had a narrative cohesion because I liked to think they did. However, in Mass Effect the story is much tighter, while still being open to me. Mass Effect is the tale of Commander Shepherd, and I was Shepherd. My actions, thoughts, and conversations actively effected the story and it was awesome. Mass Effect truly felt like playing a movie or living a book, it is the single best narrative experience I have ever had.

1. Star Wars Battlefront 2 (PS2)
I love shooting games and I love Star Wars. This game combines those two and takes the awesome battlefield capture system. On top of that, it fixed some of the annoyances of the original and added some excellent new modes (CTF, Galactic Conquest). I have put countless hours in this game, and because it is backwards compatible I will probably continue to do so. I can way that without a doubt this is my favorite game ever.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Top 25 Games of All Time

The Epic countdown continues:

17. Star Wars Battlefront (PS2)
Star Wars Battlefront warmed its way into my heart almost immediately. I played the demo for hours. This is the first game that I took off work to play, and the first day I played it I played Hoth as the Empire. I drove an AT-AT, shot down a snow speeder and then with my next shot blew up the shield generator. The coolest part is that the music synced perfectly with the movie at this point! If it were not for the sequel stealing so much of my attention and time, this game would be higher on the list.

16. Battlefront 2: Modern Combat (PS2)
Battlefront is the game that Star Wars Battlefront stole borrowed its gameplay from. In Battlefront the goal is to capture points on the map. The team can spawn from these points, and getting a majority causes the opponent to lose their reinforcements faster. I played Battlefront online very competitively, and it is probably the only game ever where I was truly one of the best. I very regularly was the high scorer on any given team.

15. Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)
This is one of the dozen or so games I got paid to review. At first I did not like the single player, but slowly I got drawn into it, and by the end really liked it. However, what really made this game for me was the Monkey Hunt mode (catch monkeys hidden on levels) and the online multiplayer. Online Metal Gear is very unique, and to date might be the only game where a player can lay down a Playboy, hide in a cardboard box, and then shoot someone who stops to stare at the magazine.

14. Rock Band (Xbox 360)
I have zero musical talent. Seriously, a big fat zero. However, this game makes me feel like a Rock Star, and playing it with Abigail is some of the most fun I have ever had playing a video game.

13. The Orange Box (Xbox 360)
This is arguably the best value ever. I started playing Half Life 2 with some skepticism, but found myself thoroughly enjoying it, and by the end of Episode 1 I was completely and totally hooked into the series. In addition to that Portal rocked my world, and taught me an important life lesson: "The cake is a lie"

12. Civilization III (PC)
I have only played this game to completion three times. All three times it dominated my life. This turn based strategy game is the perfect storm of elements to be the equivalent of cocaine to me. Seriously, the last time I played it I did not move for over eight hours. I got rid of the game after that.

11. Gears of War (Xbox 360
By number of days played, this is my most played game on the 360. I have currently played Gears of War on 185 unique days. This is mostly because I have a group of people I play with who are really into this game. I really like Gears of War because it has the perfect mix of tactical combat and in-your-face visceral fighting.

10. Soul Calibur III (PS2)
At one point in my life (like middle school) fighting games were my favorite. Sadly I am not very good at them. Soul Calibur III is excellent because it has depth, but it is also fun to button mash (I fall somewhere in the middle). I also loved the single player mode, called tales of the souls or something like that. I ended up playing through it three times.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Top 25 Games of All Time (Intro and 25-18)

Seminary is done for the school year, and this is a slow youth group time. This means that I have had some extra time on my hands, and I decided to waste spend it by doing something that I had wanted to do for a while when I had extra time. Specifically that is rate every single game that I have played enough to feel like I could rate. I am sure there are probably a few holes, and I only went as far back as the Super Nintendo (though some of the PC games go further back than that). The entire list can be found here. It turns out I have played a lot of games in the past 14 or so years.

This ranked list also lets me find out what I consider my favorite games ever, so that is what my next few entries will be about as I count down my top 25 games of all time.

25. Quake III: Arena and Unreal Tournament (Tie) (PC)
It is appropriate that these two are tied because I played them in tandem. In my second semester of my Sophomore year of college, Abigail went to England for a semester and I found myself with some extra time. My room mate at the time, Stephen, introduced me to Quake III and Unreal Tournament and I fragged away my blues. I probably played Quake III more because of mods, but I think I prefer Unreal Tournament

24. Call of Duty 2 (Xbox 360)
Given how many WWII games there are (and given that I have probably played the majority of them) it is surprising that this is the only one to make the top of my list. COD2 is probably the best of the WWII shooters, because it provided an epic, cinematic game without feeling like it was narrowly restricted. Plus, the multiplayer is awesome,and well suited to sniper duels.

23. Shadow Hearts Covenant (PS2)
I think that when it comes to turn based RPGs, I think I like the thought of them more than I like actually playing them. However, I totally got into this game. The story is a little on the silly side, and the characters are over the top, but the combat system which relied on strategy and reflexive skill was oh so awesome.

22. New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
As we will get to later, Mario 3 is my favorite Mario game, and this DS game is more or less the direct sequel to that one, and that makes it fun enough to be get in the top 25.

21. Dynasty Tactics 2 (PS2)
This is really the kind of game that I think only I find fun. It is essentially a board game with elements that require a video game to do. As the player you move different solider piece around, and attack the enemy soldier pieces. Different soldiers have different commanders who have different special abilities. The key to this game is to set up ridiculous combos where one attacks forces the opponent into another one of your soldiers to start a huge combo.

20. Age of Empires: Age of Kings (DS)
This is a turn based strategy game. Technically speaking both Advance Wars are better games, but this is the game I return to the DS more than any other. Sometimes I just want to sit down and take over the world one turn at a time

19. Halo (Xbox)
I think by this point I have played through Halo's single player almost five times (once on my own in college, once in co-op in college, once on the PC, once in Corydon, and once on the 360). It is fun. However, the real reason why it is on this list is because it is the single best shooter I have ever played with four player split screen.

18. Gladius (PS2)
This is the first game I ever obsessed over. I beat the game in 50+ hours . . .in less than two weeks. This is a turn based strategy game where the player controls a school of Gladiators. The combat system required reflexive action which really made it addictive.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I preached this past Sunday.

And thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can listen to it! Unfortuantly, the tape of the service didn't get recorded, so I just read what I said and recorded it myself.

Click here to get your own player.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yep, I get paid for this

I do enjoy my job!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Let's Spend Money (only not for real)

Yesterday we got notification that the economic stimulus check is on its way. Personally, I think the whole thing is stupid, especially since this is the second time this administration has tried this, and it didn't work the first time. Oh well, they didn't ask me anyway. So we are getting $1,200, and we won't spend it because Dave says not to. However, I like to pretend I will instead actually do my "patriotic duty" and buy crap I don't need but really want. So what follows are the top five things I would like to have, but probably won't ever spend money on.

5. Gamecube
The Nintendo Gamecube is dead and mostly buried. However, it also on closeout at Target right now. For $60 I can get an brand new Gamecube, and honestly I think it is worth it just to play the Nintendo exclusives I missed out on such as Zelda: Twlight Princess, Zelda: Windwaker, Mario Kart Double Dash, Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime, Rouge Squadron, Baten Kaitos, and Eternal Requiem.

4. Specialized Controller
My favorite type of video games are shooters, followed by strategy games. However, I also like fighters and classic arcade games, even though I am not the greatest at them. Unfortunately, the Xbox 360 controller is not the best to play these games, it just isn't precise enough. However, for $100 this controller is specifically made for those games:

3. Doom: The Board Game
Growing up one of my favorite games was Hero Quest. I would love to play another Dungeon Crawl board game. The excellent Zombies is similar but lacks the objective based gameplay. I think that the Doom the board game would be a good fit for me.
I learned from Hero Quest though, that while I love the game no one ever wanted to play with me. It would probably be the same with this, which is why it is perfect on a list of stuff that I want but will probably never get.

2. Comic Books
Of all the things on this list, this is probably the one I would be most likely to actually do. I read comic books for a number of years. I eventually gave up on them, becase I realized they are a bit of a money pit and the cost (when I quit reading X-men it was $1.75 an issue, I think it is now $2.99) was a bit high for the pay off. However, access to the Marvel library in a digital format for only $60 a year sounds like an instant win to me.

1. Skee Ball
I think all couples have "their things", and Skee Ball is one of Abigail and I's things. Every once in a while we got a date to Chuck E. Cheese to eat Pizza and play skee ball against each other. True story. To buy the actual commercial machine, like the one shown is between $4,000-$5,000. However scaled down home versions of Skee Ball can be bought for $400-$600. Buying a home skee ball machine would totally stimulate the economy right?

Monday, May 12, 2008

The past five years

This weekend marked the fifth year since I graduated from college. Since our number system is based on 10, I am programmed to think that five is some how more of a milestone than four or six. Thus, I am blown a way that it is five years.
So one of the only things I really regret from these past five years is not keeping up with friends. This is especially true the past couple of years. Heck, we have not even sent out Christmas cards the past couple of years. This summer I am very excited that I will get to see several people who I wish I had stayed in better contact with at two weddings. I always feel awkward seeing people who I have not seen for a while. They will often ask a question like "what is new with you?" and I don't know what to say. I truly want to be honest with this person, but do I let them know everything that has transpired since we last met? Do I tell them only the most recent stuff, even though they have no context? Usually I will just say "not much" and they will do the same. It is sad.

I don't want to do that with some of my dearest friends who I have not seen in a while, so this is for you. Here is a brief capsule of everything I have done in the past five years:

So the big thing after graduating was I got married on May 24th, 2003. Of course, if you are reading this you probably know that because you were there. The next two months after that were probably two of the most stressful months of my life. First on the way back from our honeymoon our car broke down. The transmission was dying and we were in the middle of Tennessee. Thankfully, we found incredibly nice mechanics who took pity on us. They found a used transmission from a junkyard and installed it. We had to pay cash, but to put I am fairly certain now that they basically just charged us at cost. I now know that for putting a new transmission in we payed very little. We got back to Evansville where we lived for that summer, and only a couple of days later I had to take Abigail to the emergency room, because it turned out she had a kidney stone. Now the bad part about this is we were in transition, which means we did not have health insurance. For me the rest of that summer was spent making pizzas and applying for teaching jobs. However, the teaching jobs were not happening and I was getting really stressed about it as July came to an end. I was praying about it a lot, and while praying I felt prompted to go look at Corydon's paper for a youth ministry position. There was not one, so I thought it was just wishful thinking from me. A week or so later I felt the same prompting, checked again and there was one. I had an interview the day after we moved.

Unfortunately the church job paid very little so I had to do something else. At this point I still wanted to teach, so subbing made the most sense. By the end of the first semester I had learned that I HATED subbing. It is all of the crap of teaching minus all of the good stuff. The other part I hated about it was the way the teachers treated me. Teachers basically assume substitutes are idiots, and several of them treat them as such. As someone who just spent the past four years working to get a teacher's license it really, really upset me to be looked down on like that.

However, at the church things were going well. I did not have much support, but that was ok I really loved what I was doing and I was good at it. In late December/ early January the church imploded. Old Capitol had two poles in the congregation. An old guard who wanted things the way they had always been, and a new guard who really wanted to pull towards more contemporary services and community outreach. These two sides had been living in tension, and when the Staff-Parish Relations committee requested a pastor change that tension was like a powder keg. Most of the new people had been single handily attracted by the associate pastor, and the old guard essentially forced him to resign, and close to a fourth of the church left with him. Like I said, I got very little support and I was mostly cut off from a lot of this. I wanted to do what was best for the youth, and in church politics maneuvering I allowed myself to get used as a pawn. This made me enemies that I didn't know I had.

The next summer was also rough. I had a lot of job interviews for teaching positions and they were all bust. The evening before schools started I fought with God. I mean seriously fought. We lived next to a public park, and that night I walked over there and shouted loudly at God. I think I even said a few cuss words. I was upset, I had spent the past year pursuing what I wanted to do only to have every single door slammed shut. Finally after letting it all out, I asked God what he wanted of me, and God answered. I can only describe this instant as an "Aldergate experience" (sorry non-Methodist if you don't know the reference). My heart was strangely warmed and I had a blessed assurance. In that moment God communicated to me beyond all doubt that I was not suppose to be a school teacher, but I was suppose to be His teacher. I could work with teenagers but it would be in ministry. This is what I was suppose to do, but in order to do it I had to sacrifice my personal dreams and ambitions. This was my call into ministry.

The next school year was good but rough. I saw a need in the community, and I started having the church be open on Friday night for teenagers to just hang out. I got this approved through the right channels, but it pissed some people off. Once, when some (supervised) teens were playing football in the parking lot they had the cops called on them for suspected vandalism (I later found out who called the police, and it was someone from the church who knew what the teens were doing there in the first place). After that there was something of a sex scandal from a retreat I did with another church. Apparently something happened between two and three am one of the nights. Allegedly, to teens had sex then. Of course they both denied it. Something happened then that much I know, but I don't and will never know what. Anyway, I handled it right (the pastor said so), but one of the people in the church who didn't like me was a grandparent of one of the involved youth, and for all intents and purposes started a witch hunt. There is no reason to go into everything that transpired the next couple of months, but basically it got to where I had a choice. I had several supporters in the church, and I could rally them up and at the next administrative board meeting throw down and bring dissent to a church that was already wounded, or I could quit on good terms. I chose to quit on good terms.

It was just a couple of weeks after that when Abigail and I went on a planned trip to Scotland. It was an awesome (and much needed) vacation. It is easily one of the highlights of the past five years. If you look through the archives of this blog (May/June/July of 2005) you should find a picture by picture description of that trip if you are interested.

The day after we got back I had an interview at Epworth. It was really amazing how that interview came to be. After quitting at Old Capitol I applied at a Presbyterian church in Cordyon. I had a good interview. The pastor at Old Capitol had talked with the pastor at the Presbyterian church, and told me my chances were good. So the presbyterian church called my references. One of my references was friends with the pastor at Epworth. Somehow this led to the me getting called out of the blue by Epworth. I came back for a second interview at Epworth and they hired me. In hindsight, it is really a headtrip to think about. Epworth is where God wanted me, but I never would have gotten there on my own. Leaving Old Capitol was painful and scary, but it is amazing to think how God was part of it all, working it out so that I would be where I needed to be.

The first year at Epworth went really well. I got along really well with the church and connected well with the youth. The job was part time but I did not do a whole lot outside of ministry though. Honestly I needed a break. In Corydon between subbing, ministry, and working as part of an after school program I was regularly doing 60+ hour weeks. I think when I came to Epworth, I was right on the tipping point of going through some sort of burn out, so I really needed the time off. That spring I fulfilled one of my life goals and I got published twice actually. A website paid me for several reviews and Group magazine published a game I created. Since then the website has since restructured and no longer uses freelancers, and Group has not published anymore of the things I have sent them.

That summer I took the youth group on a mission trip to the Cayman Islands. The trip went well, and for me it was sort of a trial by fire, because leadership skills were required and it all fell on me. I succeeded, but only because my awesome wife was by my side, keeping me organize, and basically enabling me to be the leader everyone expected me to be. I could not do it without her. Actually, anything I have accomplished in the past five years could not have been possible without the loving support of Abigail.

In the Fall I started seminary. I had forgotten how much I liked being a student. I also forgot how long it can take to write a good paper. One of the biggest life lessons I learned that first year of seminary is making friends with people older than myself. Until this point all of my good friends in life were people who about my age. However, with a couple of exceptions most of my good seminary friends are a decade or more older than me. At the same time as starting seminary I got involved with the Allied Oddballs, an Xbox 360 gaming group for adults. Through that, I have made some really good friends with people who are not only older than me but who I have never met in person.

That gets us closer to present date. The past couple of years have just been incredible. I am rocking a 3.73 GPA in seminary. Youth ministry is going really, really well. I have been able to have some great experiences like going to Camp heifer in Arkansas and rebuilding houses in Biloxi. This past summer Abigail and I went to Washington state and that was fun. I am in the middle of the process to be ordained as a deacon in the United Methodist Church. The latest project I have started is a podcast for the church. It is young (only two episodes thus far) but I am excited about it.

So that is, in a very brief nutshell, what I have been up to for the past five years. If you made it this far, thank you. So what have you been up to?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tell me how I am wrong

I have a 12-15 page paper due this week about a constructive theology on the Holy Spirit. So I have an outline of sorts that all I have to do is unpack and put some meat on and my paper will be done. I know at least one person with a MDiV reads this, and most of the few people who read this are smarter than me, so I want your help. Please take a look over my outline and let me know if it works. You don't have to agree with what I am planning on arguing, but I want to make sure that my positions are sustainable and arguable. I also want to make sure that my major arguments support my thesis, and there are not anything I am missing, so let me know what you think:

Theological Assumptions:
1. God is Triune in nature, and that the Holy Spirit is fully part of God
2. Scripture is divinely inspired by God and can be treated as authoritative.
3. The world is broken and fallen. Because of that all people become corrupted by sin, totally depraved, and cut off from God.
The Holy Spirit is highly relational, and only by being in relationship with the Holy Spirit can people truly know God and be used to bring about God’s purposes in the world.
1. In typical Weslyan fashion, scripture is my primary source but the authority contained in scripture can only be properly understood by relying on experience, tradition, and reason. I personally, put more reliance of experience over tradition and reason. The tradition that I will primarily rely on are the writings of John Wesley.
2. Since the thesis deals with relationship, and since I have a high emphasis on experience the approach I plan on using is systemic instead of systematic. Systematic theology values order where as systemic theology values relationship. Instead of focusing on the order of how theological concepts connect, I will focus on how the ideas relate.
3. In regards to pronoun usage, I plan on using both the masculine and feminine. Since my thesis states the Spirit is relational, using the pronoun it or no pronoun does not adequately communicate the radically relational nature of the Spirit. The Spirit can be understood in both masculine and feminine terms, so both pronouns are appropriate.
Major Arguments (need help in ordering these):
1. The Holy Spirit seeks relationship with all individuals. Before an individual is justified, that is saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit seeks relationship through exterior means. This is previenent race, the love of God made available to an individual before the individual accepts that love. When an individual becomes justified they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit seeks relationship internally.
2. The nature of an individual’s relationship with the Holy Spirit is best understood as sanctification. Sanctification is the process through which one becomes holy. I agree with John Wesley when he wrote that the Holy Spirit is “the immediate cause of all holiness in us.”
3. An outward sign of sanctification is maturation of the fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Because humans are depraved creatures in a fallen world, the attributes listed as the fruits of the Spirit can only be truly obtained by the enabling of the Holy Spirit.
4. Only through having a relationship with the Holy Spirit can an individual partner with God to bring about God’s realm on earth. I agree with Clark Pinnock: “Each believer should focus on the power of God at work in his or her life and expect God to make him or her an instrument of the kingdom.” This partnership is marked by spiritual gifts. The numerous Spiritual Gifts mentioned in scripture and flow only from the Holy Spirit. The actual practice of the gifts only happens because of an empowering of the Spirit.
5. The Holy Spirit communicates with believers through a variety of means. The Spirit communicates with the individual to guide, enable, empower, comfort, and convict.