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Why it’s Good

In the end, Good Friday is not about guilt and shame. It’s about hope and love.

I’ve spent far too much of my life dwelling on the fact that my imperfection caused Jesus so much suffering. Understanding the impact of our sins is crucial to understanding the magnitude of the cross, but I’ve spent too much time agonizing over my mistakes. Sin is real and its consequences are dire, but that’s not the central message of Good Friday. If it were, we wouldn’t call it “good.”

Jesus endured the suffering I earned for myself. I could feel guilty about that, but that’s not what He wants. He just wants me to be grateful and live out that gratitude.

I do an awful job of it sometimes. I’ve done, said, thought things in the past couple days that He paid for on the cross. But that’s the point of the cross: it gives us a chance to try and fail. Our debt to God is paid, so He can extend overwhelming grace to us. The cross is our second chance.

Our extra life, if you will.

That’s the message of the day. Jesus’ sufferings mean hope for us. And think about it: if His death accomplished so much, what about His resurrection?

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
-Romans 5:10

There’s hope for us. That’s why we celebrate Easter. And that’s why it’s called Good Friday.

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Blasting Bad Guys

I’m just now playing through Fallout 3, and I’m enjoying it a lot. I love post-apocalyptic fiction. It’s also been a while since I played through an RPG, so it’s a nice change of pace from my usual shooters.

When I play video games, I get pretty immersed; that’s doubly true with roleplaying games. I try to keep a healthy distance from my characters, but I find myself getting into them all the same. Most often, I play characters somewhat similarly to the way I think I would act in their situation.

For example, when I found myself in the first subway area in Fallout, I was reluctant to open fire on the first raider I saw. I had put a lot of points into the Speech skill so I could talk my way out of problems, and I hoped I could do so with the leather-clad gentlemen with the handgun. Yeah. Not so much.

In RPGs like this one, you gotta have stuff to kill for experience. Enemies. And you can often tell they’re enemies because they’re marked as such: in Fallout 3, their names appear in red.┬áIt makes things simple. If someone has an actual name and it appears in green, chat ’em up. If they have a generic title that appears in red? Apply shotgun. Reload. Repeat until dead.

Neatly-labeled enemies are great for video games.

If we treat real people like that, we have a problem. Read the rest of this entry

Fail Better

I tried recording a podcast this morning for my day job. I moved our Mac Mini to an empty office, plugged in our shiny new Blue Snowball, and fired up Garage Band. My subject matter expert did great: very articulate. Good info. It looked like we were on our way to a respectable episode one.

Here’s where we were recording. Anyone who has any experience with recording audio could tell you how it sounded when I hit play.

My first attempt at a recording setup in a spare office at my day job.

Small room. Flat walls. No good.

The echo gave the recording a little bit more of an epic fantasy feel than we intended. I’m gonna have to re-record the whole thing in a better environment. Preferably somewhere without close, flat walls.

Say it with me: FAIL.

That particular four-letter F-word has crept into my vocabulary over the last few years, thanks to the Internet. It’s the verbal equivalent of the game show buzzer. We see it stamped unceremoniously on pictures that make us feel better about themselves. Hey, it’s good for a laugh. I don’t even know how many hours I’ve spend on FAIL Blog.

My problem with calling FAIL on someone is that it has an air of finality.

Read the rest of this entry

FAIL.

Missed a post! Lapse in discipline. Devotion fail.

Stuff like this usually happens on a day off.

You’d think it would be easier to do Bible reading and journaling and such on a weekend, since there’s so much more time readily available. Ah, but that’s thinking logically.

Historically, days off have been days of extravagant laziness for me. I haven’t wanted to do anything important. I came to expect that after a while of getting away with it.

That has ceased to be practical, but my mind still goes there. I’m fighting it. If I don’t fight it, I’ll neglect basic household chores, Bible reading, and other daily necessities. It’s not pretty. Thankfully, I’m generally winning the fight.

Besides the day-off mentality, I also forget things when my routine gets thrown off. I took a vacation day yesterday so we could go see some family in Yuba City. Apparently, I’m easily distracted by cool people.

So, I forgot. Broke the writing streak. Messed up my Lenten observance.

Nothing to do but pick it right up again.

I’ll write a post tomorrow – partly because I want to catch up, partly because I have something I really wanna talk about.

FAIL isn’t the end.