The Nug King, Dragon Age Inquisition, The Descent DLC

I knew I missed something in the new The Descent DLC playthrough I did for Lingering Trees, but, being busy doing other things, I waited a bit to go back and try and figure it out.  OK, so I did figure it out, and I found about the best part of the DLC.  The Nug King with his nug minions.

The King is accessed from a area that looks inaccessible on the fourth map (Forgotten Caverns) down in the deep.  But first, to get to that area on map 4, you have to walk to it from map 5 (Bastion of the Pure).  Travel to the farthest area on the left side . . . it looks like an undiscovered area, but it’s jut that it goes back “upstairs.”

Bastion of the Pure map
Bastion of the Pure map. Travel to the west to go back up to the Forgotten Caves map.

Once you’re back on map 4 (Forgotten Caverns), go left and then south toward the big chasm.  When you reach the chasm, look to your left, and along the wall there’s a rock that has some writing on it.  It says something like, “only those who believe can cross.”  I can’t read it now because the dialogue ceases to exist after you find your way across.  Anyway, from that rock, just start crossing into the chasm on faith, and . . . a green bridge forms in front of you.

Forgotten Caverns map
Forgotten Caverns map. Travel west, and then south, to the chasm that’s for believer’s only.

I won’t say more, but let you enjoy the Nug King for yourself if you haven’t yet.  But, for anyone interested, I have an episode about it up at YouTube.

Christian Poems XIV: Kenyon, Spires, and Donne

Sunset with road.
Sunset, toward west, but road may traveled east or west. Which way to go? Source: http://newartcolorz.com/images/2014/3/country-sunset-wallpaper-5351-5667-hd-wallpapers.jpg

Let Evening Come

by Jane Kenyon

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn.  Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass.  Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sand den.
Let the wind die down.  Let the shed
go black inside.  Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come as it will, and don’t
be afraid.  God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

In The Best American Poetry 1991.  Mark Strand, editor; David Lehman, series editor (Collier Books 1991, p 119).  From Kenyon’s 1990 book of the same title (Graywolf Press 1990).

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Good Friday.  Driving Westward.

by Elizabeth Spires

See John Donne’s poem, below, to which this poem gives a secular and/or “dark day of the soul” contrast (from note on the poem by Spires; see source, page 249).

 . . . being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:
Pleasure or businesse, so our Soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
— John Donne

The rain.  Rain that will not end.
The daily errands.  Daily bread.
No letting up.  No pause
as I steer blindly, circling
the great city.  City of tears and blood.
I woke this morning to the ringing phone.
To the last days of the twentieth century.
HelloHello.  But the line was dead.
The phone in my hand heavy.
My mind whirling.  Numb.  Taken
against my will closer to oblivion.
At the mall, a man in rags begging
for a coin.  My God, only a coin!
I turned my back.  Turned back.
But he was gone.  Daily, I turn my back.
The suffering of others more and more
like television.  Do I drive East?  West?
Do I suffer?  Shall anger be divine?
Uncorrected, I steer.  Swerve
on a slick patch.  Lose control.
The rain letting up now.  Clouds torn.
The setting sun a brilliant bloody globe.
As if a nailed hand had violently
raked the sky.  And then withdrawn.
Past anger or mercy.  Leaving me
more distanced.  Alone.  Driving
this endless road with all the others.
Night and night’s Eternity coming on.

In The Best American Poetry 1992. Charles Simic, editor; David Lehman, series editor (Collier Books 1992, p 178-179).  Originally published in The New Criterion.

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Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward

by John Donne

Let man’s soul be a sphere, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other spheres, by being grown
Subject to foreign motions, lose their own,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a year their natural form obey,
Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit
For their first mover, and are whirled by it.
Hence is’t, that I am carried towards the west
This day, when my soul’s form bends towards the east.
There I should see a sun, by rising, set,
And by that setting endless day beget:
But that Christ on this cross did rise and fall,
Sin had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I almost be glad I do not see
That spectacle, of too much weight for me.
Who sees God’s face, that is self-life, must die;
What a death were it then to see God die?
It made His own lieutenant, Nature, shrink;
It made His footstool crack, and the sun wink.
Could I behold those hands which span the poles,
And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes?

Could I behold that endless height which is
Zenith to us, and our antipodes,
Humbled below us? Or that blood which is
The seat of all our souls, if not of His,
Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn
By God, for His apparel, ragg’d and torn?
If on these things I durst not look, durst I
Upon His miserable mother cast mine eye,
Who was God’s partner here, and furnished thus
Half of that sacrifice which ransomed us?
Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,
They are present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and Thou look’st towards me,
0 Saviour, as Thou hang’st upon the tree.
I turn my back to Thee but to receive
Corrections, till Thy mercies bid Thee leave.
0 think me worth Thine anger; punish me;
Burn off my rusts and my deformity’,
Restore Thine image so much, by Thy grace,
That Thou may’st know me, and I’ll turn my face.

This version is from an online pdf source, http://smccd.edu/accounts/bruni/englishassets/rel_sci/jdonne_goodfriday_chambers.pdf

Michal the Maligned; King David’s First Wife

English: Michal lets David escape from the win...
English: Michal lets David escape from the window. A painting by Gustave Doré, 1865. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not a feminist, but it doesn’t take a feminist to see the mysogeny in some Judeo-Christian circles when King David is so glorified while persons like Michal, David’s first wife, are vilified.  If Michal can be so maligned, then any woman can.  David treated Michal (and his other wives) like his property in more ways than one, and many “believing” men still see David’s actions in a righteous light.

King David, Israel’s most revered king [1], who was chosen by God for that role and for his part in God’s redeeming plan, was a poet and a bit of a prophet, but he did things that God did not approve of and which are utterly un-Christlike/un-Christianlike [2] (read about Judah and others that God used and you’ll see that He didn’t forcefully make them “saints”).  As always, we should recognize and praise the good, but we need to also recognize the bad and not repeat it.  We are also called to recognize and help the oppressed.

Background

What got “me going” on this subject at this time was a biography of David.   In the introduction the author claimed that the only thing David did wrong was have Uriah the Hittite murdered because he wanted the man’s wife (Bathsheba).  Though the author didn’t provide the reference for his claim, it comes from 1 Kings 15:5:  For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.  Since there are other things written in the Old Testament that David did that displeased God, this statement can be taken as a generalized commendation, just as other kings received generalized condemnations; and “in the case of Uriah the Hittite” David committed many deep sins, not just one.  (Note, however, that this particular verse seems to have been added to scripture later since it is not in the oldest versions of the Greek Old Testament).

Continue reading Michal the Maligned; King David’s First Wife

Dragon Age’s Newest DLC, The Descent: First Impressions, Screen Shots

 Descent DLC, Dragon Age
A view in the Deep Roads of The Descent DLC, Dragon Age Inquisition.

I purchased and have played the new Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC, The Descent, as soon as I could since we wanted to put it up at my husband’s and son’s YouTube Channel.   I’ll do a formal review of it sometime soon, but for now, suffice it to say that this new add-on seems VERY short for the $14.99 price tag.

I was fairly dumbfounded when, at the new “expeditions” table, opening areas for 8 power points only opened bridges to small loot areas.   The new dwarven dungeon is neat, but not as spectacular as anything in Skyrim.  In fact, the blue-light speckled ceiling in one area looked like a copy of Skyrim’s Blackreach and other falmer dungeons).  I’m not quite done yet, so I’ll see if I’m correct in assuming The Descent is very short.  So far, however, the only reason why it has as many episodes in our playlist as it has is because of my mistakes!

In any case, I try and do a thumbnail for each episode and therefore have lots of screen shots.  Here are some views from The Descent, and images that reflect Dragon Age: Inquisition, and all it’s add-ons, generally.  They of course represent spoilers.  (Feel free to use any you like, but only if you are willing to link them to this page.)   Click on the images to see the full-size views (much better!).

Descent Darkspawn
Darkspawn in the Deep Roads; The Descent, Dragon Age Inquisition DLC

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The Descent Ep 2 Thumbnail, Darkspawn
Another type of Darkspawn or related demon. The Descent, Dragon Age.

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Female Dwarf statue - right? The Descent, Dragon Age
Female Dwarf statue – right? The Descent, Dragon Age

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Dragon Age humor, "barreled treasure" in The Descent
Dragon Age humor, “barreled treasure” in The Descent

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Fighting Darkspawn in The Descent, Dragon Age Inquisition
Check out those demons! Fighting Darkspawn in The Descent, Dragon Age Inquisition

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Looks like hell. Dragon Age, The Descent.
Looks like hell. “Reclaiming the Thaig” in Dragon Age, The Descent.

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Battling an Emissary Alpha in The Descent, Dragon Age
Battling an Emissary Alpha in The Descent, Dragon Age Inquisition.

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Valta at Ancient Lift, The Descent, Dragon Age
Valta at the Ancient Lift, The Descent, Dragon Age Inquisition.

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Renn at the Ancient Lift, The Descent, Dragon Age
Renn at the Ancient Lift, The Descent, Dragon Age Inquisition.

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In the Forgotten Caverns, The Descent, Dragon Age
In the Forgotten Caverns, The Descent, Dragon Age Inquisition. It’s pretty dark, and are those blue glowing eyes?

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Crazy guardian dwarf with lyrium gun, The Descent, Dragon Age
Crazy guardian dwarf with lyrium gun, The Descent, Dragon Age Inquisition. You can only see these in a VERY DARK video (this image was filtered).

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The Descent, bridge exploding
Bridge exploding. An expedition will replace it.

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Lyrium veins in The Descent
Lyrium veins in The Descent.

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The Barrier, rigged, The Descent.
The Barrier, rigged, The Descent.

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Exploding lyrium, The Descent, Dragon Age.
Exploding lyrium, The Descent, Dragon Age.

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Mysterious Bed, The Descent, Dragon Age
Mysterious Bed, The Descent, Dragon Age.

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Battling an Emissary, The Descent
Battling an Emissary that was behind a Gate of Segrummar.

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Wellspring view, The Descent, Dragon Age
Wellspring view, The Descent, Dragon Age.

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The Lyrium heart in Wellspring, The Descent
The Lyrium heart in Wellspring.

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The Guardian, The Descent, Dragon Age
The heart transforms into The Guardian, but the Titan itself seems to not wish the team harm (or any more harm).

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Nug King, The Descent, Dragon Age
Nug King, The Descent, Dragon Age. Love the crown!

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Battle in The Descent, Dragon Age Inquisition
Battle in The Descent, Dragon Age Inquisition. I don’t know what that purple attack is!

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Using thevVeil against Demon, The Descent, Dragon Age
Using the Veil against a Demon (or Darkspawn), The Descent, Dragon Age Inquisition.

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Dragon Age Inquisition, bow abilities
Sometimes battle is like a dance. Dragon Age Inquisition, bow abilities; The Descent.

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View from Heidrun's Monument, The Descent
View from Heidrun’s Monument, showing ancient Dwarven homes.

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View from Ailsa's Camp, The Descent, Dragon Age
View from Ailsa’s Camp, with Sera.

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Sera gone invisible, The Descent, Drgaon Age
Just for fun. Sera gone invisible at Ailsa’s camp.

Orange Hair: Misadventures in Going Natural from Dark Brown (Part IV)

Hello once again.  I wish I could say that I was more scientific about this . . . but I’ll try my best.  What is unscientific about some of what I share below is that I expected to post sooner and didn’t take notes, so I’ve forgotten some details.  It’s been some time, the reason being that I just really damaged my hair with what I did after my last post.  The first photo is from my previous post, followed by photos from what came next; you can see the difference in the shine and then the lack thereof!  I had bleached my hair, then dyed it Frosty Ash 12A/1210 as I had planned.  I believe I put toner in it too, after it was too yellowish–but then it was too grey with the remaining orange tones.  Talk about puky!

I remember being quite upset with the result, as my hair was super dry and frizzy, besides looking really puky.  It looked worse than the photos, and I even went and bought some different hair dye at Target, thinking I’d dye it again soon to even the colors out.  But . . . I waited.  I didn’t really want to dye my hair again, only to make it a yellowish-brown color, and have to resort to bleach again later.

Orange hair after Nordic Blonde dye
Early June 2015.  See Part III in my series for details.

 

Frosty Ash with Toner
My hair after bleaching again, dying it Frosty Ash, and using T14 toner. It may not look too puky in the photo (the photo’s color tone is too warm), but it was. It’s obviously very, very dry. Mid-late June, 2015
Frosty Ash with Toner; not frosty
My hair after bleaching again, dying it Frosty Ash, and using T14 toner. It may not look too puky in the photo, but it was. Mid-late June, 2015.

While I waited I used some products that I can share about.  I bought some Manic Panic Virgin Snow, which is a natural “semi-permanent white toner.”  I didn’t follow the directions, purposefully, since the stuff is expensive and I didn’t think it was necessary for what I wanted to do.  I didn’t think it would eliminate the orange even if I used a whole tub of it full strength, anyway.  What I did was put about a tablespoon of it together with about a tablespoon of basic white conditioner.  I mixed it up well, massaged it all into my hair, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  It indeed made my hair lighter (the orange too)–even my son noticed.  So I was happy about that.

I also had purchased, for the sake of comparing brands, L’Oreal EverPure Blonde Brass Banisher Shampoo, along with L’Oreal EverSleek Reparative Smoothing Conditioner.  I guess these are OK, but I think the cheaper Jhirmack Silver Plus shampoo works just as well.  The conditioner didn’t seem worth the extra price, either.  Because the Dessange California Blonde CC (Brass Color Correcting Creme) had gotten such rave reviews, I’ve used that as well.  It seems to work pretty well, but I’d rather go with doing the Manic Panic with conditioner treatment once every two weeks along with using the Jhirmack and a good conditioner inbetween.  I’ve been using Aveeno leave-in treatment, which is getting low, so I purchased ion youth restore solutions leave-in conditioner to try next.

Back to my hair color issues.  I’m glad I waited.  As my roots grew out, I was really surprised, as was everyone else, at how much dark hair I still had.  When my hair was dyed nearly black, the white hair really stood out – or course – and the light hair I have now makes the blackish hair stand out.  So, while getting my hair a grey-white was a good plan, it seems now that that would be too light.  But how does one get a darkish grey color, one that’s sort-of inbetween white and black?  I wanted that, but I don’t think I can attain it, not perfectly, anyway.

Black and white roots
This is a lousy photo, but you can at least get an idea of how the black and white roots look with my yellowish hair. July 22, 2015.

So, I decided to go darker than the Frosty Ash (which is basically white), using one of Wella’s blue based colors, instead of one that is violet- or violet-blue-based (as Nordic Blonde is).  Wella has an educational booklet online that includes hair color images, but the color samples at Sally’s for the Wella colors look different than the graphic images.  Based on the information from the book and checking the in-store color samples, I decided to go with Light Ash Blonde 8A/740.5, with one capful of cooling additive (and using level 10 developer only, due to the condition of my hair).   Better to err on the light side rather than the dark.

Bleached hair with roots
How may hair looks now, just before my next dye job! The photo seems pretty accurate. You can see that my ends still have orange in them.  They are a light blonde orange, kind-of pretty if all the hair was that color.  July 22, 2015.
Wella Color Charm Ash colors
My hair was quite light when I dyed it, but it doesn’t look like the picture in Wella’s educational booklet. It does, however, look more like the hair sample at Sally’s for that hair color.

Ok, so I did as I said I would:  used Wella Color Charm Light Ash Blonde 8A/740.5, with one capful of cooling additive, using a level 10 developer.  The results are “meh.”  My hair is quite dry and damaged, so that’s part of it.  But, I am disappointed at how dark it is.  I really don’t understand the hair color companies calling that color “light,” especially with “blonde.”  In fairness, the hair sample at Sally’s was pretty dark (much darker than the color as printed in Wella’s educational booklet), and I did want something a bit darker to accommodate my darker roots, but I thought it might come out lighter with the 10 developer.  That color has a blue base, and I added that small amount of cooling additive (violet base, I believe).  The cooling additive I think made a difference, and perhaps was too much?  I don’t know.  I DO want a greyer look to the hair color.

Light Ash Blonde over bleached hair
Light Ash Blonde over my bleached hair. There are some lighter spots that are roots I didn’t get well – I wasn’t trying hard to cover them since I want them to grow out!

There is another similar color called “Medium Smokey Ash Blonde” that looks greyish in their booklet.  I wonder if I used that (with no additive) with the 10 developer, and for a shorter period of time, if it would be more like what I’m striving for.  My experimenting should stop, for my hair’s health sake, but it’s not without its fun side!  If I do change it again with the hope that it’ll match my roots better, I’ll make an update.

What I’ve learned is that it’s notoriously hard to lighten hair that is dyed dark, and try to go back to your natural grey after coloring a long time.  The best thing probably is to spend a lot at a good hair dresser.  To avoid the horror stories I’ve read, just make sure about the person doing the hair makeover for you.  In the meantime, you might find this article helpful:  Do’s and Don’ts of DIY Hair Coloring.  I didn’t know of this article when I started all this, but I wish I did.  Thanks for reading!

Other Parts in this Series

Orange Hair: Misadventures in Going Natural from Dark Brown (I) Orange Hair: Misadventures in Going Natural from Dark Brown (II) Orange Hair: Misadventures in Going Natural from Dark Brown (III)

Jesus’ Harsh Sayings (I): Dogs of Israel?! (Matthew 15:21-27)

atheist-group-undo-jesus-says-kill-him-againI don’t know about you, but I’m tired of Jesus’ harsh sayings being explained away, especially in light of the Christian church falling into disrepute.  We should not be trying to placate everyone, and this is obvious by Jesus’ (and Paul’s) own words (verses are from the New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated):

  • Jesus was hated, so His true followers will be hated.  “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. . .  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. . . “ (John 15:18-20).
  • People will be offended by him, and therefore us.  And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me (Matthew 11:6, New King James Version; Luke 7:23).
  • What Paul said about our smell. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.  And who is equal to such a task? (2 Corinthians 2:16).

Christians are not to attack back when we’re personally offended, but we are to convey God’s word and will.  This is simply going to be offensive to some and we shouldn’t be made to feel guilty over it.   Many “Christians” just seem to roll with the cultural flow, but Jesus’ example was . . . what?  He ended up dying on the cross for the truth.

One example of Jesus’ harsh words that I’ve always found difficult is from Matthew 15:21-27 (see also Mark 7:24-30).  Can you imagine Jesus ignoring you, then calling you a dog and making you feel like you have to beg like a dog?  Here is the passage:

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!  My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”  

Jesus did not answer a word.  So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted.”  And her daughter was healed at that moment.

I’ve heard sermons admonishing us to think of the “dogs” here as “puppies,”  and in Mark’s version of the conversation the woman indeed uses the term “little dogs.”  But, if we wanted to think of the word as “puppy,” there’s the issue of what puppies grow up into: dogs.  Whether a puppy or a dog, the creature is something less than its owner.  In the passage, Jesus is saying that the gentile is asking something of God that only the privileged should have, the implication being that not all humans are equal in God’s eyes.

Matthew 15:21-27
From st-takla.org.

But brushing aside the offense, the desperate mother cleverly and humbly responds.  We don’t know if Jesus’ expression and inflection betrayed a different intent than His literal words, which were said in the presence of Israelites.  In any case, I think the passage’s primary meaning can be understood in the light of Jesus’ other examples of people other than the house of Israel having true faith (and large doses of humility).  Many in Israel thought that, in God’s eyes, outsiders were less than they were, and here Jesus seems to be confirming that belief.  In another harsh passage, Jesus says not to throw your pearls to swine (Matthew 7:6).  Ouch. These passages seem to fly in the face of God’s love and concern for everyone, that Christ died for all, and that all are equal in His sight.

But there are common misconceptions based on these ideas which indeed are found in scripture.  Misunderstandings seem to come from thinking that certain verses refer to universal salvation.  God’s saving grace may be universal, but it requires individual acceptance (it’s a gift that one accepts, or leaves unopened), and God knows that not everyone is going to accept it.  He also knows (and has passed this knowledge on to us) that He has active enemies, not just people who don’t really want to accept Him.  We don’t know who all these enemies are, but God does.

Therefore, neither “human” or “person” are synonyms for “child of God.”  People can become children of God through faith, and individual Israelites were not necessarily God’s children.  Once Israel rejected Jesus as Christ, all who did (and do) accept Him as such were (and are) adopted into God’s family.  The Canaanite mother seems to be an example of this forthcoming church age.

While many Israelites did take Jesus’ messages to heart and come to faith, the nation as a whole did not.  What were the problems?  Following man-made traditions like many in Israel were doing was actually leading people away from God, and as alluded to above, many also had the attitude that being born an Israelite (a child of Abraham) automatically saved you (see John chapter 8, for example).

Again and again, Jesus dispelled these notions.  In Matthew 15 here,  a gentile Canaanite woman has saving faith.  She believed that what Jesus was doing was real (of God) and sought Him out, while the religious leaders amongst God’s “own people” did not.  Other examples are the centurion who knew that Jesus could heal even from a distance (Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10); the (parable of the) good Samaritan who helped a man left to die when Israelite holy men would not (Luke 10:30-37); the Samaritan woman who became His witness to other Samaritans (John 4:1-30); and, the thankful Samaritan leper who was healed along with nine other Israelite lepers, who did not glorify God like the Samaritan did (Luke 17:11-19).

Jesus also brought up other related examples from the past, like Jonah the Israelite not wanting to give God’s warning to the Ninevites, God having the prophet Elijah stay with a non-Israelite lady during a severe, long term drought, and God healing a Syrian–but not any Israelites–of leprosy during Elisha’s time (Luke 4:24-27).  Of course, He also reminded the Israelites here and there about God’s prophets they had killed in times past. These examples, of course, angered many.  Those unwilling to accept His messages sought His life, just as they sought the past prophets’ lives he reminded them of.

We can see, perhaps shockingly, that the Canaanite woman was not really offended; apparently, she understood something that was more important than the apparent offense.  Her faith led to the healing of her daughter and a compliment from the Son of God.   In another example that many of His own disciples found offensive, Jesus taught that He was the bread of life, and that His blood was for salvation.  He said that a person needed to eat his flesh and blood.  Of course, he was speaking in spiritual terms of the coming Last Supper and future sacrament of communion.  He wasn’t all-of-a-sudden advocating cannibalism.   But many disciples failed to trust His words, were offended, and left Him (John 6:47- 71).  But those who believed in Him stayed even though they didn’t fully understand His words at the time.  Faith is trust, and blessed are those not offended by Christ.

Who Will Enter God’s Kingdom?

bad trees don't produce good fruit
Bad fruit — it can look good on the outside while it’s rotting on the inside. With God’s help in discernment, we should be able to recognize bad fruit. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit” (Jesus, in Matthew 7:18).

I was reading Matthew today and came across the below group of verses.  It made me think about my own salvation and if I’m on the right track.  I have these times where I wonder if God expects more of me, if I’m letting Him down, and if He’s really paying attention to me anymore.  I think all believers go through times with thoughts like that.  I do believe I’m saved, as Paul wrote: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16).   But I also think Paul wrote his passages about persevering  for a reason, that people can indeed fall away from the faith (become apostate).  One example from Hebrews (12:1-3):

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The following passages from the end of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, consisting of three paragraphs and concepts, is a good reminder to consider:  where we’re at in our faith; if our faith is matched by our actions; and, if our righteous-looking actions are hiding unrighteous motives.  It is that last bit that is the scariest.  Those persons who do NOT enter God’s Kingdom, even though they seemed like they were powerfully working for God, seem to be surprised.  Perhaps it is yet just another deception they are trying to pull off, or, they are so deluded they can’t even tell the difference.

Continue reading Who Will Enter God’s Kingdom?

Site Update: “About Me” Page and Others edited, moved

An earlier me during an archaeological survey.
An earlier me during an archaeological survey.

I’ve changed pages and updated With Christian Eyes in the past, but there’ve been more changes lately and I also wish to better connect with my followers.  I edited and updated my biographical information in  the About the Author page (formerly “About Me”), and moved a bit of what was in the “Let Me Write for You” page to there and deleted the rest.   I added two table of contents pages for ease of finding articles; there are two instead of one in order to keep the number of links on each page down.

In case you didn’t know, there is a second blog run by my husband here,  Lingering Trees, although I’m going to see about how to transfer it to him to make it separate (for his ease and distinct online presence).  He is trying to promote his and my son’s YouTube account so as to eventually make some money off of it.  This is not to get rich, by any means, but only to make extra money since he is ill so much.  Eventually, unless God chooses to heal him, he’s not going to be able to work a regular job.  It’s too bad Christians don’t support other Christians in this way as much as the worldly folk do–if you don’t know about people making a living off of YouTube, just know that some do extremely well.  We’re not expecting to live off of YouTube income (!), but are working at it with the hope of earning money to go toward living expenses and gifts.

I’ve appreciated the likes and follows so much!  Thanks for the time you’ve spent here.  As we prepare to end homeschooling and move across the country, we’ll still be here!  After that’s all done, we’ll see how God guides us, but I may be able to write more.  I should have more time and ability to focus–maybe I’ll even work on a book or two.  The Lord hold you and smile at you.

Contemplating.  Author photo.
Contemplating. Author photo.

 

Prof. Wm Lane Craig on Obergfell v. Hodges

family-iconPhilosophy professor William Lane Craig maintains a web site, Reasonable Faith, where he has apologetics articles and answers people’s questions.  He answered someone’s question about the recent gay marriage supreme court ruling, and I’ve reproduced much of it here.  See Craig’s site for the full response.


I’m going to use your question, R.C., [as] an excuse for addressing the Supreme Court’s tragic and misguided decision to re-define marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.

We need to understand clearly that that is exactly what the Supreme Court has done. By ruling that same-sex unions can count as marriage the Court has implicitly redefined what marriage is. Marriage is no longer taken to be essentially heterosexual, as traditionally conceived, but has been implicitly redefined so that men can be married to men and women to women.

The Court’s majority opinion, written by Anthony Kennedy, shows a clear consciousness of what the Court is doing. Referring to the traditional view, Kennedy writes, “Marriage, in their view, is by its nature a gender-differentiated union of man and woman. This view long has been held—and continues to be held—in good faith by reasonable and sincere people here and throughout the world” (my emphasis). It is this view which Court’s majority declares is now obsolete.

Continue reading Prof. Wm Lane Craig on Obergfell v. Hodges

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