Juxtaposition (A Comparison of Realities)

Dear Mr. Murray,

You long for the world’s greatest FTP MMORPG (Free to Play Massive Multiplayer Online Roll Playing Game) with the following features:

  • It must be compatible with both PC and Mac.
  • It must be a mix of machinery and magic, set in the future, yet with some old-school styles.
  • The graphics have to be insanely real and/or cool, making you feel worthy of such an awesome look.
    • It must run at the utmost of smoothness, making the game run at ease.
    • It must be 3D, and the kind where you click and your character goes/attacks, including WASD keyboard movement.
  • At the beginning of such a game, the character creation process has to be like a creative mind explosion containing, races, classes, customization galore, and stat combinations making your character very unique.
    • The race selection process must be a sense of teamwork spirit which will never end.
    • The classes must go farther than the simple warrior, mage, ranger, and mechanic.
  • Your username must be epic, short, simple, and above all else, not taken.
  • The tutorial must make you like the game and not get bored right away.
  • The weapon, armor, and upgrade variety must expand beyond anything else, including personal customization of armor and weapons.
  • The maps must go on and on, containing 1000’s upon 1000’s of different monsters and bosses.
  • There must be a strong sense of community, not big enough too make you feel like an ant, but not small enough to make you feel like a giant at level 30.
    • There must be a simple leveling up system, making the max level around 65 or so.
  • The PvP (player versus player) and PvE (player versus environment) must have many different parts to it.
    • When not in towns/outposts, one race is able to fight against the other.
    • There must be a part of the game when all races may come together to fight for a certain goal benefiting that race.
    • If you’re super awesome and OP (over powered), you get recognized in some way by rankings.
    • When playing against monsters, the environment must be interactive.
  • The battles must be fast paced and epic like none else.
  • May Americans play it and none else. Inter-communication is just the worst when it comes to MMO’s.
  • The stats and skills must be vast and upgradable in creative ways, making PvE and PvP an extremely strategic yet fulfilling process.
  • There must be an endless list of quests which get harder and more exciting as you play on and on.
  • A good guild system must be in place.
  • A good party system (forming groups with others in situations) must be in place.
  • Obviously, some places must be restricted until a certain level.
  • There must be a pet system.
  • There must be a cool travel system.
  • And may everything else not be said, but merely implied by the self view of perfection.

However, Mr. Murray, before you drool over your laptop, let us get things straight: even when you have found a game that has come close to such expectations, you still walked away unsatisfied. And when dissatisfaction had strangled countless hours out of you, you blamed your dissatisfaction on the fact that the game failed to meet your standards.

Now, on the other hand, here are the features of the alternative:

  • Compatibility? It is reality.
  • Awesome graphics? Well, you can’t see it.
    • But if you could, you would see that the dark forces are scarier than all human concoctions of scariness throughout history put together.
    • If you could, you would see the strength of the kind of armor and steel upon the finest of warriors carved throughout the fiercest of flames and forged in the darkest of storms.
    • If you could, you would see evil at its height, surrounding every area of all human existence.
    • But if you turned around, you would see the greatest Protagonist to ever walk the face of earth, heaven, and hell, holding out His hand for your servitude.
  • Customization? You lay your life upon the alter of sacrifice, and the Lord and lords and King of kings (creator of all creativity, therefore infinitely creative) will carve a masterpiece out of a rotting piece of wood.
  • PvP and PvE? There is none; only PvS (player versus sin).
    • The enemy of sin is infinitely more dangerous than an atomic bomb lit for all eternity.
    • It is everywhere, so warfare will never be in lacking.
  • Win-loss ratio? The only fight that has ever needed being fought was won by your King. To wield His victory in every battle is to secure a win that will go down upon the pages of eternity.
  • Guild-party system? You have the Church, a band of fellow soldiers that, if following heavenly orders, will be willing to aid you to the ends of the earth if able to.
  • Skill-stat system? It is called sanctification. The more you allow God to work in your life, the more faith that you will have. Faith is simply the coinage for purchasing the already purchased (by the cross) promises of God.
  • Level up system? It is called faith. The more of it that you have, the more impossibilities will be possible.
  • Quests? The Lord of hosts has an endless list of souls to save and battles to win by means of prayer and humility, bringing honor and glory to Himself which will never fade.
  • Battles? They are difficult like none else, yet the rewards that they reap can never rot or be forgotten in the heavenly realms.
  • Other players? All of humanity is involved and is consequentially at stake for how you go about it.
  • Fulfillment? To rely fully upon your God is to be fulfilled to the utmost. Show Him your faith, and He will show Himself faithful (which is not reliant upon your faith, for His name is Faithful and True, but His work in your life is reliant upon your faith).

Final clarification: the first one destroys you, and the second one not only saves you, but redeems you into the army of the Lord of hosts, fully committed to His glory and honor.

Free will is a gift, but any gift from God is always given with the intention of being given back to His will.

Count the cost.

Sincerely,

The Person of Grace

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The Eye of the Storm

Never before had a storm of such magnitude and strength raged across the vast coastline below the large, brick lighthouse. The lighthouse keeper held his peace as he continued his duty of feeding the fuel for the large light. As the fuel reached its brim, he walked up the spiral steps to gaze out the window at the top.

145 mph winds hammered against the brick walls. The sound was that of a never-ending train, roaring across amplified steel tracks. This had been continuing for about ten hours when suddenly.. there was a total silence. The lighthouse keeper proceeded to take a step outside. There was no wind, not even a slight breeze. The lighthouse was in the eye of the storm. As the lighthouse keeper gazed at the surrounding walls of torrential winds, he pulled out a small, worn Book and read,

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof rawr and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Amen. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early. The heathens raged, the kingdoms were moved. He uttered His voice; the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. Amen. Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth. He makes wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge.”

A tear fell from the eye of the lighthouse keeper as he closed Psalm 46 and gazed at the torrential winds, once again, drawing near. With a deep breath, he stepped back into his lighthouse with one thought: “There is such peace within the center of such a storm, for within these walls I am safe. I only pray for those lost sailors in such a storm, that they might see the light and be saved.”

Love at First Sight, or Lack Thereof

It was a dark, cold, and stormy night, and faint whimpers could be heard from a little girl’s bedroom. As she clung to her sheets, she could hear the creaking of her father’s footsteps coming to her aid. As the door slowly opened, hallway light illuminated the dark room, and two watery eyes turned to peer into the light. “Everything okay?” asked her father. “Daddy, my night light went out, and I couldn’t see anything. It was so dark, and something could have gotten me!” Her father smiled as he walked to the corner of her room and turned on the side light. “You know, that reminds me of a story. Want to hear it?” The little girl shifted a little under her blankets, repositioning herself upwards, and slowly replied, “Yes please.” A smile sprawled across her father’s face. “Okay then! It goes like this..”

“Once upon a time, there was a little girl who couldn’t see a thing! Ever since she was born, she was blind. Her parents were very poor and struggled to get by, but nonetheless, they managed. However, because they were very poor, they couldn’t afford to move closer to a school for the blind, so she was left with no choice but to attend the local school. At home, her parents could help her, but when she was at school, she was on her own. Teachers would be very frustrated with her, because the only way that she could learn was by listening, and she was only able to do homework and tests orally. Consequently, she had very few friends, and no one really enjoyed playing with her, because how do you play with a girl who can’t see? ‘Well, you can trip her,’ so the kids thought.

“Truly, no one stood up for her, until a young man transferred. It was only the third grade, but none the less, he was a man. On his first day of being at that school, when someone tried to shove her over, he nudged her to the side and was knocked to the ground in her place. Even though she was unable fully express her thanks or repay him, this act of chivalry would set a pattern for many years to come. All throughout their schooling years, he would guide her from class to class. He was not violent, but he was very protective. If anyone ever did anything to her, he would always be at her side to receive the laughs as well. Once they graduated high school, they both attended the same college. While at college, she was no longer made fun of, but she did need much help with studying and homework.

“He helped her the whole way! All the way until the end. They both graduated side by side. It was then that he made a big decision. Due to technology advances, he sold all that he had so that she could have eye transplants. The thought of being able to see was foreign to her because she could never afford such a thing. So she went to the doctor and a successful surgery was performed. In order for a full recovery, she was not able to see for a full week due to a blind fold over her eyes. But before she could take her blindfold off, this young man led her out to an open field with a picturesque panorama.

“Little did she know, when her blindfold was taken off, her first sight was that of a young man on one knee holding out a beautiful ring. Tears filled her new-born eyes as she gazed upon the only person who had been with her the whole way. Through his tears, he choked out the words, ‘Vienna Daw, my darling, will you marry me?'” A long pause took place as the little girl’s father began to tear up. The little girl, on the edge of her, bed blurted out, “What did she say?! What did she say?!” Her father smiled as he slowly said, “She said… yes.” His daughter, filled with excitement, leaped up in joy. Then she paused to think, “Vienna…”

It was then that her mother peered her head through the door and asked, “Is everything all right?” “Yes, my darling, everything is just fine.” he replied with a smile, “Okay. What are you two up to?” Their daughter instantly shot out, “Daddy was telling me a story!” Her mother laughed and said, “Oh! A story. I love those.” As she walked out, she said this with a twinkle in her eyes, revealing the faint scars beneath her eye brows.

Simplicity

No matter how many books I read..
No matter how many hymns I sing..
No matter how many spiritual songs I hear..
No matter how many friends pat me on the back..
No matter how many accusations harass my thoughts..
No matter how many times I try to figure out life..
It all comes down to this:

Jesus Christ.

Simplicity: He died in my place with the final words, “It is finished!”

All I need do is believe.

Hope

Hope: a ray.
A light that’s at the end.
A gleam of joy that says, “Hello.”
A sign of something’s send.

Hope: a shout.
A sound of victory.
A song of joy, that calls, “Horrah!”
A banner meant for me.

Hope: a crook?
It hangs up high in doom.
How can life be switched with death.
Then buried in a tomb.

Hope: a Truth.
A Knight of every star.
Even when all hope is lost.
It rises near and far.