Thursday, May 29, 2008

Older Posts

I'm behind on my blogging so I'm just going to post up two posts today and another tommorrow. This post is dated May 23rd

You know… this LDC is wonderful…

I mean, seriously, the only thing it need to do is A) get teleported to Dhaka B) have Jacob, Brian, Max, Caleb, and all the 4him people living with me!

Last night was the night of blessings… IE a night were we prayed for blessings! It was good, Jan (pronounced yan… not Jan… he’s a guy!) told me that during a prayer time he and his group prayed for me… they said that they felt that I’m going back to the States as a missionary to America, and that this would be my field (the 1st World, that is) and that I’m being prepared for that time (the armor of God and all that), which is encouraging. The past two years I’ve begun to really, really, realize what my place is in this world. And it’s a cool place… I’m going to go and build nations! I’m going to transform communities, (maybe nations?) I know that I’m not supposed to do with a mission organization… meaning I won’t be an official “missionary” BUT I will be doing missionary works… I’ll be doing practical works, getting to know people through relationships, and then telling them about God and the Bible. I’ll be ready to deal with the toughest non-believers, and hold my own in any debate and debunk most misconceptions about Christianity.

Also, Moheb prayed for prophesied over me that night. It was really good, once again, more of what I know I’m going to do/already am doing… a teacher… a man of great knowledge. I’ll admit it, I’m a knowledge addict. I go onto Wikipedia and just read crap, I’ve read through the history of England and the UK when I was bored one day! It may sound weird, but I’ve realized that I’m already a teacher. I look at my friends, like Julius, Max, and Jacob, and I know that I know more about Christ and the Bible than they do. Jacob may be about on par with me… but I think I think about God more often than he does. When they have questions, they do come to me! It’s a bit scary… since I’m only 16 and Max and Jacob are actually like a year old than me (Jacob was born in 1990, in December… Max is like 17/18) and yet I’m telling them about the Bible, what God is like, and all that! Scary, no? And yet, at the same time, its such a blessing! From an early age I’m learning about how to mentor and teach others about my beliefs and the importance of them. Darn… I wish I was in the LDC (or a similar course) myself… I’d eat it all up!

You know, I’ve come to decide my favorite part of the Bible is James chapter 2, where James talks about faith and good works… Do you believe in God and the resurrection of Christ? James asks, Good! Even Satan believes this! What’s his point? Faith is useless without works to back it up and this is why Works are so important. Faith, without works, is dead. All this knowledge I’m gaining, all of it, I’ll be using, at some point in my life. Even if its random crap like the history of the Imperium of Man and the Horus Heresy (Warhammer 40,000 stuff) I’ll use it, if only to bring up a discussion of God (the Horus Heresy = Milton’s paradise lost for the 20th Century… hmm… wonder how I can relate this to God?) . It’s really great. When Moheb prophesied over me he told me to gain knowledge, science, he said, and knowledge, it’s great that God knows what you love and wants you to use it, no?

And do you know what the best part of this is? I can’t wait to get started! I WANT to go out there and fight for God. It might not look like the wars I read about/tell about, but they it’s a war, and I intend to win this war for my General, Jesus Christ, and my king, God the Father, and with my aide, the Holy Ghost, and with my army, the brotherhood of believers.

And now my May 25th Post

And now… since I seem to have nothing better to talk about, and haven’t talked about it enough in this blog, I shall tell ye of the wonderful world of RPGs… Roleplaying Games.

Ah yes, RPG, the word springs to mind DnD (Dungeons and Dragons), computer games, swords, orcs, elves, and magic… and yet, this is not RPGs at all.

First off, I hate DnD. I have never played DnD, but I know how the rules work and I understand some of the settings enough to know one thing: DnD is evil!

What is so bad about DnD you ask? First off, it is not an RPG. Call it what you will, but the current edition and the soon to be released edition of DnD is more akin to a skirmish game with little pieces of plastic and metal, I already have one, one with much better background and needing less players (though, admittedly, more money). Secondly, its bland. Orcs, elves, dwarves and the like are all good, but they are in every single fantasy story… we need something new for a change, and DnD gives none of this. Finally, it’s a powergamer game. The game, due to the LARGE amount of rules (stupid amount, I really should say) is prone to imbalance and players who care more about stats than character design and background. They don’t care if half-orc wizard are all but unheard of if the class race combination fits their desired stat bonuses. Not that all DnD players are power gamers, but still, you get a lot of them and the game seems to sell to powergamers.

However, I do roleplay, and the journey to this is an interesting one, its actually part of my geekiness history. You see, WAY BACK in 2004 this game called Dawn of War, a PC RTS game, came out. It rocked. It won several awards and it showed me this new Sci-fi land called Warhammer 40,000 (40k). 40k is a cool place, filled with space orks, space elves, space dwarves, space communists, daemons and lots of nasties. It has really cool background and I loved it. So, this world, 40k, was mainly built for a table top game called warhammer 40,000 where you controlled armies of small plastic and metal men who shot and chopped each other to death. I thought it sounded interesting. I thought about it for a LONG time, and finally said, “I’ll go for it.” I now have put well over $300 dollars into Warhammer 40,000, in rule books, paints, dice, minis, and various other stuff.

But, the company that sells Warhammer 40,000 (Games Workshop PLC) is smart, they don’t just sell warhammer 40,000, they also sell book set in warhammer 40,000 vast setting. This publishing house, the Black Library (named after a space elf (eldar) library that houses much knowledge on daemons) also had a small wing called Black Industries. Black Industries I had heard off a while back, and had even scanned their sight, but wasn’t really interested because all they sold at the time was a boring (to me) game called Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. However, I then began to hear rumors of a Warhammer 40,000 RPG… and this piqued my interest. I visited the Black Industries forums, and, since they were there, I walked over to the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) boards every once and a while… then began to stay there are almost completely. It was a good community, good, smart, nice people, who, for the most part (a few trolls and idiots got banned from time-to-time). So… I gave in, I decided to buy some Warhammer Fantasy Role play books. After much thinking, and reading, and deciding how much money I was going to spend, I bought, via Amazon, the core rulebook, Sigmar’s Heirs, a guide to the Empire, the land of humanity and the main setting of WFRP, and the Tome of Corruption, which contains information on the biggest and most popular enemy of the players in Warhammer, Chaos.

But my story does not end there! I got the book (thank god for FedEx) and started playing with my friends (my sister, my brother, my friends Jacob and Julius) and enjoyed our games a lot, and yet, I still awaited Dark Heresy, the upcoming 40k RPG. Finally, Dark Heresy was released. It took a lot of looking and searching, but I got a copy off of Barnes and Nobles’ website and it arrived at my doorstep… how happy I was! The book is a beautiful work of art, and I don’t think I’ll ever regret buying it. I still think that WFRP has better story line options, and I like the setting, for roleplaying (40k has better background in general, but the Warhammer Fantasy world is really cool too) the Dark Heresy book is BEAUTIFUL! The only drawback is that it does have a limited scope as far as a campaign setting goes… the world is rather big and the PCs will probably be hoping from planet to planet, or spending a long time on planet. However, the artwork is amazing, the background it contains is cool, and do like the game from the perspective of a Player, not a Game Master (which is what I do for my group).

But! The tale does not stop there! I now own three RPGs and play/have played many more via a really cool form of roleplaying called Play by Post. First I shall tell you of my 3rd RPG, Fireborn.

You see, Games Workshop is not the most finically stable companies in the world… they have been having some problems for a few years now, and have had to raise prices and cut less profitable parts of their business in various forms and methods. One of these, sadly, was Black Industries. However, not all hope was lost, we WFRP fans and those who had just recently purchased Dark Heresy were willing and able to continue without official support. Still, this really depressed me, the people at Black Industries were great guys, especially the web master of Black Industries and the rest of the Black Library, Dave Allen. Sadly, many of the fans were extremely bitter and probably said things that they shouldn’t have. I don’t blame Games Workshop, but it is annoying the way the company acted (dropping WFRP and Dark Heresy, despite its many awards and great speed of selling) just like that… with no more comments. And yet, through all the darkness, the light of hope emerged. Both these games were bought by a Board Game and RPG company called Fantasy Flight Games, and we of the Black Industries board were quite happy. We have not yet seen the work of Fantasy Flight Games, but hope that they will be good works.

And so, Fantasy Flight Games, I looked through their RPG section, and only two of their games really caught my eye, Fireborn and Grim. I soon found grim not to my liking (not enough death and gore, and to much adventure… IMO) but Fireborn, Fireborn sounded cool.

To be brief, the year is 2004, the place London, the plot mechanism, Magic is back. The Players are scions, dragons reawakened in human form after thousands of years of hibernation. I thought it sounded good, so I did some research, and it all said that it was a good game. So I bought it, the Game Masters book, the Players Book, and a small booklet that contained an intro adventure for the game… all on amazon for like $40 dollars… pretty good, if I do say so myself. And so I got these three amazing books, and possibly the best RPG I have ever seen (though I’ve only played using… 4 rulesets… so that’s not a lot).

London is done amazingly well… its London, only darker and more messed up with a ton of weird cults and secret organizations dealing with magic in their own messed up way. Also, because the PCs are dragons, I easily see them quickly gaining power, and different groups using it in different ways. For instance, you could be the poor, but really smart, guys who go around busting up cults, or you could be the super rich guys who jet around the world acquiring money power, and magical items for your personal use. Or you could be a mix of both, or something completely different.

The combat system is amazing, and well… I just really like the feel the game has to it.

Okay, this thing is already HUGE… probably my biggest post yet, so I’ll stop with it for now. I’ll cover PBP RPing later.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Well… for history for the past two weeks I’ve been reading a book titled The Godless Constitution. It’s a good book, has a lot of interesting points, I believe the thesis statement (the Constitution of the US, is, for better or for worse, a paper that makes no mention of God and leaves God out of the state), however, this disturbs me… I’ll tell you why really soon.

First off, one of the guys that really influenced the Founding Fathers of the US is a guy called John Locke (yes, LOST fans, I think I know where they got the name from, lol) anyways… he had some good ideas, but I think he went to far in his theories and didn’t take a moment to think what the full extent of those theories would have led to. Basically he wanted a Godless State, because he had seen what a Godfull (umm… what is the opposite of Godless? :D) State had done to Europe… the dozens of DREADFUL wars of religion (a really nice and bloody one was the Dutch war for Independence…) and so he came to the conclusion that religion + the state = bad. Now… I think I understand him, and I agree with him on one level, but at another level I disagree with him. Here’s why:

I think that Locke has a lot of good ideas. I also understand how he came to his radical ideas seeing what the state of Europe was at the time. BUT I disagree with his statements. I believe that when the government is made completely godless, as Locke seems to want it, then the nation itself will become godless. I’m not sure if Locke wanted this, or didn’t think this would happen (I’m sure for a person living in his time the idea of no religion was impossible to comprehend). And so… we have a problem. To this day the best morals come from holy texts and their religions. All of the religions I have experience (Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam) at some point or another encourage morals. Yes, many of them are, to me, immoral (like Islamic laws dealing with women) but they are there, at some point or another. And so, when we create a secular state, it is necessary to have laws, a state without laws is pointless! And yet, if we do, indeed, create a truly “godless” state then where do our laws come from? Even if we base them off of what the Enlightenment people of the age called “natural law” we are still using Deism, a religion! I find that when we remove God and religion from the state, for better or worse, then we remove any and all reason to obey the state and its law other than the fact that the state is bigger, stronger and smarter than you. In short, you have created the greatest monster one can imagine, a demon of supreme power who forces you to do his bidding, not because he is right, but because he has become your God.

I think this is what has/is happened/ing in the West. We have replaced the religion of Christianity with others, Islam is becoming popular (one of the fastest growing religions in the world!) and then we have Atheism and Science, which contain either no morals (Atheism gives me no morals other than the ones that I myself choose… hmm… not good? Same with Science, really) and Islam, well, I’ve already explained my view of Islam. When we remove God from the government we are admitting that God has no place in the public sector, and thus whatever rules or morals God has given us are pointless and irrelevant! THIS IS A LIE OF SATAN!

Yep… that’s what I say… at the base of Locke’s theory, we end up with the worst type of state imaginable… Communism! (yes… I believe Communism is evil… hard not to considering what Mao, Lenin, and Stalin did!).

However, this gives us a problem… how do we combine religion with politics, which, as I’ve said, don’t mix… wars of religion anyone? Jihad? The Crusades? With a nation that has a good set of morals…

Oh well… I’ll think about… if you can, email me (masterofweirdness at gmail dot com) or post a comment here! If I don’t know you… make sure you tell me it was this blog post that you read! I'll write more on Locke later...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I’m sore, I’m very, very sore.

Why am I sore, you ask? Well… I’m sore because well… I climbed a mountain, then ran down said mountain. Forget the name… Goatfel or Gurtfel or Goatfell something like that… it was a mountain on the island of Arran. It was fun, I went with a lot of the guys who are doing the LDC with my parents… we were all guys, it was fun.

However, the worst part was when we realized that we were going to miss our ferry (which would get us home just in time for dinner)… we still had about 4 miles to go and we needed to umm… run… the entire way. Yes, I ran/jogged about 4 miles in two hours (or something like that) this is why my stomach down aches in pain.

Still… it was fun, we enjoyed ourselves a lot. And well… I need to do things like that every once and a while.

And so… that was what I did on Sunday… Saturday I just played video games, wrote up a character sheet for a Dark Heresy game I’m getting into and well… not much else. Monday was good… I’m finishing up school and will be 90% done by Friday… which rocks. We have base worship on Monday, and a special French team came… pianist/vocalist and violinist… totally awesome. I LOVE the sound that a violin makes, and the vocalist was really good… the piano was decent, I think the violin overpowered it a bit… they really needed a drummer or something to get the beat set up more… that or a rhythm guitar. But anyways, it was still good.

And so… my life is good… I’m enjoying the schedule here and counting the days until I leave for Belgium, which is one step closer to DHAKA!!!

I’ll write more later… until then!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Just got out of Base Worship this morning… great experience. We sang a few songs and then we got together and we prayed for each other. At first it was really confusing (no plan… well… we had a plan… but it was bad one) but by the third round of prayers everyone knew the drill.

So… what happened? Well… we’ve been in the LDC three weeks now, so I basically know the faces of everyone here at the Base in Scotland, maybe not names, but I have faces down. So three people prayed for me: Nancy, Rita, and Sarah (I find it funny that they were all women… is God trying to hint at something here??? :p) so… three prayers, three prophecies. Very nice.

First Nancy prayed for me (along with my Dad) and that was great… I missed a decent bit of the prayer, but I knew the second she began to speak I it was the Holy Spirit… mostly she was just confirming some of the things that God has given to me in the ways of spiritual gifts. Then Rita prayed for me… apparently (and I agree with it, and look forward to it) I am to be a builder of nations (ya! I get to be in charge! :D)… powerful prayer… finally, Sarah prayed over me… I got a rock! (with gold letters on it) it was a prayer of encouragement, God promising me that well… I’m more important than sparrows and flowers. It was also great… I’ve been wondering what’s going to happen at 4him with Jay and Jackie leaving, and us sorta not having a “real” Youth Pastor… Pastor Asa is there, and he really loves sharing, but he is so busy… Deborah is there, but she is, well… Jay was better (no offense to Deborah… but its true…). Hopefully, some of the older guys will step up and help me with the issues I’ll have in my life, or better yet, we’ll get a replacement for Jay. Now… it may sound a bit arrogant for me to say this… but I’m going to need someone pretty smart… because well… I know a lot… I’ve realized that my past year with Jay, I know a LOT about the bible… it’s an amazing thing to think about, but I’ve read nearly every book in the Bible (something most of my friends haven’t done) and I probably know more than any of them (besides maybe Jacob… but even then, it’s pretty close). Not to say that I don’t want a mentor, or new Spiritual Father (or whatever you call it…) but I need someone like Jay who’s been anointed to teach people, or Mark or Evans, who I know really well and I know wants to help me learn about God.

To a degree, it’d be great if it was just us 4himers doing this… me Mark, Evans, Julius, Jacob, Austin, Matt, Max… that could be very interesting. But we do need someone to oversee us… Saion is there but Jay was better. Jay was just… well… wise… he’s 56 and been around the block a few times.

Anyways… those are my thoughts on what happened….

As for the rest of life… its good… I’m enjoying stuff here in Scotland… I’m playing Medieval Total War II… I’ve won two campaigns in the game, a short and a long one, and attempted many others. My English Campaign ended with me ruling: Great Britain, Scandinavia, France, Spain, Germany, some of Eastern Europe, Jerusalem, and a bit of Northern Italy. I would have, eventually, taken Italy, but darn… those Italians are TOUGH! LOTS of Soldiers…

My Danish Campaign was great… ended with me destroying the Germans and Poland, and ruling a nice chunk of Eastern Europe and well… Germany.

My other Campaigns… not so hot. Turkey was doomed to failure. Easy in the beginning, but then crusaders attack you and the Mongols and Timurids (Timur the lame… or Tamerlane) and well… I’m pretty sure it would have gone to really bad really fast.

My Scottish Campaign was horrid… I ran out of money lost, badly. My Venetian campaign was equally bad… I want to try it again, but the campaign just didn’t work very well. Maybe I should try another Italian state… like Milan… or maybe Sicily. Spain and France are also tempting… heck… I like the sound of Poland and Hungary, or Russia… TOO MANY CHOICES!

Well… that’s all for now… I’m going to take a shower and then get started on school.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

1st may update...

I can’t wait for summer.

Well, correction, I CAN wait for summer, I do so for most of the year, but still, you get the picture.

Anyways… you know, I’ve just realized how much I LOVE roleplaying. I mean, I don’t care if I get labeled a geek, but it is darn fun. Right now I’m involved in 3 active, two on hold/cancelled and 1 just about to begin Roleplays… all of them rock.

Surviving Earth… amazing game. I love the banter that all the PCs have, and well, the way we’ve evolved as characters. Apparently, Josh Foreman (my PC) is a wacko-jouralist who is going to chop everyone to bits with his katana and such… (fun?). As for the others, they are cool too, we are in a fight for our lives in Mymirdia’s Fury, which is sorta funny, because we’re basically all getting mugged in a dark alley way… and I’ve very afraid that my PC will get killed or critically wounded… you know what I mean? If you don’t, let’s put it this way, I have no fortune points (to-hit rerolls) and half wounds, no way to dodge or parry attacks and well… just a normal hand-weapon. Luckily, we have a pair of dwarves (melee masters!) and a mage (who just pwned someone with a magic missile!) so we should win. Whether or not I survive is another story…

My Dark Heresy games… you know, I love Warhammer 40,000, and Dark Heresy did the setting justice very nicely. So my character, Skak “Stubber” is now a member of the inquisition and will be attempting to free his master from his imprisonment on a prison world (where the prisoners have turned the tables on the guards). My companions? One messed-up psyker(wizard/telepath), a pair of guardsmen (or some sort of combat guys), maybe an assassin, one arbitrator (policeman) and me! Hive Ganger and master of pistols! (or at least, that’s the plan… I need to work on getting lots more pistols and the like).

And then, fireborn. AMAZING SYSTEM!!!!ONE!!!11! You understand? I don’t care if I’ve hardly used it… it just IS THAT GOOD. I mean… if the matrix ever met fantasy, this would be it… (so yes… we have the coolness of Neo pwning Agent Smith and the like, but instead of Neo, it’s a supernatural warrior in human form, and instead of Agent Smith it’s a demon of evilness)I mean… what isn’t cool about a character who can breathe fire and packs a pair of H&K USP pistols? Or better yet… MP5s?

As to the rest of my life… its good. Dean Sherman (read: famous speaker) just visited and spoke on what he always does, spiritual warfare… it was good, 2nd time I’ve heard him, and he speaks on some really good stuff… confirming that my entire philosophy about life is right (:D)

What else? I’m playing Company of Heroes… hunting panthers down near some random French town (St Lo)… it’s a good game, very fun.

Hmm… I’ve nearly finished a lot of school, just about 3 more weeks of Math and English… I’ll be doing Latin into the summer and I might do some History, but well… other than that… I’m free!

Write more later… I’m going to have a walk with my dad and then eat dinner… see some of you readers soon! (others… much later, :p)