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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Side-Quests and Preparation

Today I took a walk out to the beach...well, out to an overlook very close to the beach.  There is a trail system near my apartment that goes through wooded dunes.  As I was hiking in the woods I found a section with signs that said "Private Property".  I chose to skim off the trail and walk alongside the not so visible barrier for a while and eventually found a different section of trail. I then hiked for a while in area that I have been on and came to the overlook.

Life has a lot of times like this. Sometimes the journey doesn't take us where we want or expect to go.  That is the case for me.  Other times we get sidetracked and have different side quests.  Another place we see these quests is in video games, particularly in RPGs.  I remember when my neighbor and I would play Final Fantasy 7 during our middle school or high school days.  I don't ever remember all the sidequests but I remember a lot happening and the amazing length of the game.  I had not done a whole lot with RPGs so this was new and strange to me, but cool and fun as well.  Sometimes you would do a quest to get a better weapon or to level up.  Other times you just walk around looking for battles to learn about your new weapon or your new team-mate. 

Right now my family is in a side-quest situation.  After a fire in our house we are living in an apartment complex which is very new to us until our new house is built.  I call this a side-quest because it is a temporary thing for us. 

David, before becoming King, had some side-quests.  He was living in Philistine territory for a while because of King Saul's threats against him.  During this time he had to figure out how to survive and convince the Philistines to let him hide among them.  He did this by doing raids, but he never let Achish (king of the Philistines) know the truth of where he was raiding.  I doubt that this is where he ever wanted to be.  As much of a warrior as David was, I don't know if he enjoyed raiding towns and killing the inhabitants.    You can read about his time there in 1 Samuel 27-30.

But this time did a few things.  He prepared the area for Israel to expand its territory, something that happened under his leadership after he became King of Israel.  God often uses these side-quests to prepare us for stuff.  They might start with painful events such as our fire or they might be an adventure planned for in advance, such as a short term mission trip. 

So tell us, on the Facebook page or here on Blogspot, what side-quests have you been on and how were you trained and prepared for other things through them?


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Promises

Greetings.  Sorry I have not kept up with this during Lent as well as I said I would.  I definitely need to keep up with it  more!

That brings something to mind.  Broken promises.  I obviously did not do well on my promise to blog weekly during Lent. Normally I keep my commitments, but I do have dark spots where I have not done well at this.  Then there are the times when I do something for a little while and then stop or when I keep putting it off and eventually someone else does it.

I've been watching Chuck on Netflix for months now and I recently watched an episode from season four where Sarah has to seek help from her dad.  He comes into her life with a lot of failure.  As a professional conman, he had frequently chosen not to be there for her while she was growing up and did go to jail.  During the episode she and Chuck had been conned by a woman pretending to be a wedding coordinator.  The woman had taken all their wedding funds and run off with them.  Then, she goes to seek advice from the only conman she knew well, her father.  Later on in the episode he comes to LA to help her and chuck out with a mission General Beckman had told them to ignore.  They never got their money back, but at the end they get a nice surprise.  Before leaving, Sarah's dad leaves them thousands of dollars to use to pay for the wedding.

The bible takes this issue very seriously.  Jesus said we should never take an oath.  That we should simply say "Yes" or "No."  This encouragement is repeated by his brother in the Book of James.

I'll try to do better at blogging regularly.  What will you do?