Friday, May 27, 2011
You can still plan on this weekend's podcast going up sometime later today, but I will be out of town all next week and there will be no podcast next weekend.
Even though I'll miss the chance to continue building steam on the Spirit Blade 3 script, I'm looking forward to a week of guilt-free relaxation and hanging out with family. (The guys always schedule a "game night" involving multiple TVs and game consoles in one room. It's awesome!)
In the meantime, stop by the Spirit Blade Forums if you haven't been there in awhile! Some great conversation you've been missing, and I'll continue to pop in when I can this week!
I hope your summer is off to a great start! Catcha later!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I started working on the script for Spirit Blade 3 at the end of last week and have been making good progress this week. But it hasn't been easy!
This is my first time writing the third part of a trilogy, and it has challenges that writing the first two didn't. In Spirit Blade, the sky was the limit. I could take the story wherever I wanted! In Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual I had to advance some story elements from Spirit Blade, but I still had a lot of freedom to enter new territory.
In Spirit Blade 3, I'm still moving the story into cool new places that I hope will take things over the top and insanely epic, but I've also got all of the remaining plot threads from Spirit Blade and Dark Ritual to treat and resolve.
Right now, I'm creating separate outlines for each plot thread, such as: Saolos/Sanctafi, Legion, "Falcore's Legacy" and Raan/AIA/Ebony. Once I have the arcs figured out for each plot thread, I'm dropping them into the main story outline to see how they all can best fit.
At the end of the day I have to make sure all threads are covered well, AND that their arrangement in the story still results in good story pacing! So this scripting process easily involves more logistics work than I've ever had to do. Very challenging, but also very exciting as I see things start to work and come together!
Happy Geek Pride Day! My dad just notified me about this holiday this morning. The Wikipedia entry for it gives some details on the history:
Geek Pride Day is an initiative to promote geek culture, celebrated on 25 May. The date was chosen as to commemorate the release of the first Star Wars film on 25 May 1977, but shares the same day as three other similar fan 'holidays' - Towel Day, for fans of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy by Douglas Adams, one possible date of Star Wars Day, and the Glorious 25 May, for fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld.
The initiative originated in Spain in 2006 as "Orgullo Friki" and spread around the world via the internet.
So get your geek on as never before! Hmm. I wonder if a parade is being organized...
Monday, May 23, 2011
Despite the fact that the majority of Jews rejected Christ in Paul’s day, he was emphatic that God had not co0mpletely rejected them. The fact that Paul himself was a Jew was proof that God had not rejected the Jews.(v.1)
The Jews are still the people group that God chose in advance (the Greek meaning here of the word “foreknew”) for a special purpose. And God doesn’t go back on his promises or change his mind. Even when the prophet Elijah spoke against Israel to God for all they had done against God and his prophets, God revealed he had made sure that some of the Jews remained faithful to him. (v.2-4)
In Paul’s time (and we can observe this today as well), God preserved a portion of the Jews for salvation. This choice was motivated by God’s grace, his undeserved favor. So even though this smaller group of Jews remained faithful to God, it was not because they were Jews or because of their innate goodness or achievements in morality. If human goodness factors into God’s “grace-motivated” choice, then it’s a choice not truly motivated by grace. (v.5-6) Put simply: grace + even a little bit of works = not grace.
Although Israel was looking to be right with God(righteousness), they were trusting their efforts instead of God to make that happen, and so they never achieved what they were aiming for. Instead, those that God chose to obtain righteousness were the ones to receive it, while the others among the Jews became hard and insensitive toward God.
God allows and even brings about this kind of “hardness” to achieve his purposes. (v.8-10) For more on the subject, be sure to go back and look at our examination of Romans 9:19-21.
But even given the “hardness” of the Jews against God, they have not stumbled so badly that they have completely fallen. The Jews are not a lost cause. And even their stumbling has resulted in non-Jews seeing the truth and being rescued from their sin, which in turn serves to make Israel jealous, eventually drawing the Jews back to God when they see what they have been needlessly missing. (v.11)
Next- The Hope For Jews And The Humility We Should Have
Coffee House Question- If we can even partially “earn” our good standing with God, what might that say about God, about us, or about Jesus?
Friday, May 20, 2011
The second part of the Pilgrim's Progress Interactive Audio Commentary is available now on our Media Page!
In this section I talk about a "He-man" inspired scene, and why you should watch movies before listening to our audio dramas! Check it out!
I'm also thrilled to announce that I have officially begun writing Spirit Blade 3 today!
Although at this point it's mostly a more detailed version of outlining, I've also written a few snippets of dialogue here and there as I'm inspired.
And after a phone call yesterday I can also confirm that Sean Anthony Roberts will be returning as Brother Saolos! Boy do I have some interesting stuff planned for him!
The blank page is mocking me, so I'd better go cover it with words!
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I couldn't be much happier today. I've been under piles of stupid, monotonous work, I've had an ache in my back for two days and the video game I've been playing crashed beyond my ability to recover my save files. And yet...
Next week I will begin writing "Spirit Blade 3"!
I'm finally out from six months of non-stop "marketing"(shudder...) and can get back into the creative work that I love so much. I still have a few housekeeping items to get to this week, which is why I haven't started writing already. Of course, it's also possible that I'll be done "housekeeping" by the end of tomorrow and can start writing as early as Friday, but I'm not getting my hopes up.
At this point, I would really value your prayers. I believe that God has brought this endeavor as far as he has in response to prayer. My prayers, your prayers and the prayers of people I've never met and who may have not even heard of us. I'm also convinced that God often waits to move forward until his people are on the same page with him, which is what prayer is primarily about.
So if you could, please pray that God will energize and make productive any marketing work I've done that is in line with his agenda. In order to move forward from here, it will be important not only to build more connection with existing fans, but find new listeners to connect with our products and be a part of what we're doing.
The work of marketing and networking has been like throwing message bottles out to sea, with no idea who might respond or even read the message to begin with. But I've done all I can for now in my own strength, which amounts to nothing if God doesn't make it effective and propel it forward.
You can also pray that the way I choose to spend my time and direct this endeavor is in line with God's agenda. Outside of his plan, it's all a waste of time and useful to no one, so I want to be on the same page with him.
Stay tuned! Pretty soon I'll be able to start reporting progress for the script of Spirit Blade 3, and from there things will only get more exciting!
Thanks so much for your support! It means a lot more than you might think!
Monday, May 16, 2011
In the first part of this chapter, Paul describes how the Jews of his day (and as we can observe, most people today) reject God’s established way of being made right with him, instead trying to invent their own way with their own invented standards of “goodness”. But the fact remains that those who trust in Christ, instead of their own morality, will be made right with God.
But in order to trust in Christ, people need someone to tell them about Christ.(v.14) God has always made messengers of truth a part of trusting in him, as Paul refers to when quoting Isaiah 52:7.(v.15) In Isaiah 52, the prophet is announcing that God will rescue the Jews from the captivity they were experiencing in Assyria. But that chapter also foreshadows the ultimate freedom they would be offered through Christ, and begins describing the Messiah just a few verses later. (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) A very compelling passage, by the way!
So a person needs to be told about Christ in order to trust in him. Just because the Jews were the caretakers of God’s written word did not mean they were automatically rescued from the consequences of their sin. Like everyone else, they need to listen to God’s words and respond to them, which they have not always done, as Paul establishes by quoting Isaiah 53:1. (“Lord, who has believed our message?”) (v.16)
Faith that responds to God’s offer of rescue comes from hearing that offer, and that offer is made through the message of who Christ is and what he has done for us (the “word of Christ”). (v.17)
So what’s going on with the Jews of Paul’s day, and so many others today who live in a culture saturated with Christianity, yet they don’t respond to it? It’s not that they haven’t been exposed to the message. Paul quotes Psalm 19, which demonstrates how the presence and character of God is communicated through the natural world.(v.18) Like everyone else, they are without excuse for not pursuing God. (Romans 1:18-20) And even more so, since God’s written word was(and still is) commonly available! Additionally, by this time, Jesus and his apostles had been teaching among the Jewish communities for years. They were the first priority when it came to telling people about what Christ has done to rescue us.
Largely, Israel willingly rejected Christ, even though non-Jews trusted and believed in him all over. Paul implies that the Jews should have seen this coming, since God had previously promised to favor other people because of the Jews’ rejection of him, with the partial intent of provoking them to a jealousy that would cause them to return. Even while angry with people, God still extends a loving invitation of rescue and reconciliation. Paul quotes Deuteronomy 32:21, and Isaiah 65:1-2 to support this.(v. 19-21)
While many claim ignorance or lack of evidence as reasons for not pursuing knowledge of God, the truth is that it is much more an issue of the heart than of the mind. The truth is available for examination at a moment’s notice, but our tendency as humans is to hang on to our own way of living life with a death grip. Even so, God is constantly holding out his hand, ready to rescue anyone who is willing to BE rescued.
Next- The Jews Are Not A Lost Cause
Coffee House Question- If you are a Christian, though not since childhood, what were you afraid you might lose or have to give up by becoming a Christian? Did you lose or give anything up? What has it been like without it?
Friday, May 13, 2011
Based on an imported Japanese comic book, Priest takes place in a distopian future in which humans live in walled away cities built and run by “the church”(a Christian entity with a Catholic vibe) to be protected from the vampires out in the wilderness. The Priests are men and women trained and empowered supernaturally to hunt and kill vampires, although their order has been disbanded for years because the vampires were supposedly wiped out. But when word arrives to one Priest that his niece has been captured by vampires, he acts against direct orders from the church in order to rescue her, making himself a target of both vampires and Priests who remain loyal to the church.
The story is brought to life mainly by Paul Bettany, who plays the title role, Karl Urban, an ex-priest turned vampire, Cam Gigandet, the niece’s boyfriend, Hicks, who initiates the rescue mission, and Maggie Q, another priest who also serves as love interest to Bettany’s character.
Despite having some familiar faces with excellent track records in acting, none of the characters proved compelling to me. The Priests were too stoic and Hicks never seemed to be genuinely distraught over his girlfriend’s predicament. When Bettany’s character made the decision to go against the church, a real opportunity was missed to make that sacrifice mean something to him. As it was, he didn’t seem all that torn over it.
Likewise, none of the characters seem afraid of the vampires. Just determined to destroy them. And since the vampires were obviously CGI creations, a lack of obvious fear in the main cast only acted as a one-two punch against me ever being really concerned or on edge during the movie.
The vampires do have a cool look to them, however. Unlike traditional vampires, these look more like rabid aliens. Their skin is slimy and gray, their fangs are large and they have no eyes. A very cool take on the vampire concept.
The action is also pretty cool, with some over the top Matrix-inspired shots that are fun to watch, even if it feels like we’ve seen them done a little better before.
The visual design is a big part of the movie. A cross between “The Book Of Eli” and “Judge Dredd”. I wouldn’t mind spending more time in this world, and given the ending it seems that’s what producers are hoping will happen.
The movie offers some good opportunities for conversation about organized religion. A main slogan of the church in this movie is “to go against the church is to go against God”, to which Priest replies at one point “then I go against God.” Yet he still clearly holds onto his faith on some level. Later in the movie, Maggie Q’s character tries to comfort and encourage him by saying “our power doesn’t come from the church, it comes from God”.
Today it is very popular to be “spiritual” but be “against organized religion”. Even a number of Christians feel this way. When it comes to the connection between God and organized religion, we tend to fall into one of two extremes. 1. See the organized church as synonymous with God and develop a corrupted view of God as a result. 2. See the organized church as obsolete and resolve to maintain whatever “faith” we have independent of others. (Which also tends to result in a distorted view of God.)
The Biblical view is that the church (meaning the entire group of people in the world who are genuinely Christians) is vital for our growth, despite the fact that it is made up of flawed individuals, and that we should continue to meet together and be “organized” so that we can share our strengths and help each other grow.
Priest is a cool genre flick (that could have been much more memorable, involving and polished) that also provides some great opportunity to think about the role of “organized religion”.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and brief strong language.
Listen to this review this weekend at- spiritblade.net/podcast
Last night I just finished putting together the promo for the Spirit Blade Audio Book!
You can download the promo right now or just skip that step and go listen to the Spirit Blade Audio Book!
(But I had lots of nerdy fun creating the promo, so you still might enjoy downloading it or checking it out in the player below!)
Spirit Blade Audio Book Promo-
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
You probably haven't heard of this movie, but there are a few good reasons to check it out.
"Black Death" takes place in England in the 1300's during the Black Plague. Sean Bean plays a knight of the church who has taken up the cause of hunting down the supernatural evil that he believes is the source of the plague. He leads a group of mercenaries and a young monk who plans to secretly rendezvous with the woman he loves. They all reach the suspected source of the evil, a small remote village that has mysteriously remained untouched by the plague. From this point what unfolds is a complex examination of religious fanaticism that for once, in films of this period, is not limited to pointing fingers at the Christians.
The cast is composed of mostly unknowns, though all match the onscreen strength of Sean Bean extremely well. I was pulled in by each of the characters, rarely thinking of them as actors. The sets and costumes have a wonderfully rugged realism to them, supporting the gritty tone that film shoots for.
I would have liked a little more production value in the shooting of the film. One or two helicopter shots would have been nice during travel scenes and the film seemed a bit too "grounded". Shaky cam effects were used a little too often, but not so much that it ever became frustrating. Fight scenes were gripping in their brutality, but the choreography left something to be desired and the "shaky cam" once again proved a distraction more than an aid.
As is the case with many stories in our "post-modern" age, there are no black hats or white hats. The protagonists, even the most pure among them, fall victim to corruption. And the antagonists, though maybe not exactly what the protagonists fear, are still horrifying in their evil. The protagonists have a fear and prejudice aimed at those who are not Christians, claiming allegiance to God while behaving in morally questionable ways. Nothing new about this in the world of movies. However, the antagonists portray themselves as victims of the "big bad intolerant Christian church", claiming to take no pleasure in violence or the pain of others, yet they enact a preemptive strike against the protagonists, giving them the choice of torture and death(during which they smile sadistically) or renouncing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and being set free. (So much for tolerance, huh?)
The parallels to the modern spiritual atmosphere in America are uncanny. On the one hand, there are a number of Christians filled with prejudice and sometimes even hate toward non-Christians, living in contrast to God's commands for us to love others. At the same time, the popular creative community (comedians, musicians, writers, producers etc.) cries out for religious tolerance while they passive aggressively use their work to mock, condemn and show intolerance for those who express disagreement with them.
Although not a big budget operation, this film never looks "direct to video". It's a great movie with some dark and disturbing themes and complex situations that will likely lead to some very worthwhile conversation afterward.
Rated R for strong brutal violence, and some language.
Listen to this review this weekend at- spiritblade.net/podcast
Despite the fact that Paul saw the Jews of his day rejecting Christ, he wanted so badly for them to change their minds and trust in Christ for salvation.(v.1)
This is a good point to stop and remind ourselves about the words "salvation" and "saved". The Greek words for "salvation" and "saved" are context sensitive. The biblical concept of salvation does not simply mean "avoiding hell and going to heaven instead". Depending on context, salvation can refer to Justification (meeting all of God's moral standards, and thus avoiding punishment), Sanctification (being set apart for the purposes of God), Glorification (perfectly reflecting, in body and spirit, the character of God) or more than one of these.
Paul acknowledges the zeal the Jews had for God in his day. But it was zeal without "knowledge".(v.2) Specifically here, the Greek word used for knowledge means "knowledge that avoids error".
The Jews (as most people do today) remained ignorant (most often by choice) of God's standards of morality as well as his way for people to meet those standards. Instead, they decided on their own what they needed to do to be "good enough" for God, making themselves the ultimate moral authority rather than submitting to God and his standards.(v.3)
The story is the same today. Most people come up with their own ideas of what it means to "live a good life". They are subject to no standard except the one they set for themselves. They may base their moral code on existing ideas that others have adopted, but at the end of the day, the elements they choose to include in their moral standards are up to them and them alone, submitting to no one and nothing else. When we do this, we take the place of God, rebelling against his authority and choosing to try and assert our own instead.
God has established the single way we can meet his standards. Specifically, Christ is the "end" (or we might say the culmination) of all of God's laws for righteousness. For everyone who trusts in him, Christ fulfills all of God's standards of perfection on their behalf.(v.4) His life was lived in perfect accordance with God's will. But rather than accept the reward he was due, he passed it on to us, instead taking the punishment we earn for ourselves. This is what the earthly life and death of Jesus were all about.
Paul quotes a repeated principle taught by Moses. (Leviticus 18:5 is one example) Moses rightly taught that whoever obeys the laws of God will "live" by them.(v.5) The Hebrew and Greek words quoted and used here for "live" refer to living in the broad sense. Not just having a pulse, but prospering and living to the fullest extent, even living forever! Some types of life could be experienced by obeying God's laws, but the full extent of life that lasts forever can't be achieved through the law except hypothetically. (Romans 2:13) Only Jesus was able to obey the law perfectly and earn eternal life.
By contrast, the view of righteousness(meeting God's standards) that is attainable through faith is an entirely different perspective. Paul continues to quote Moses, who said in Deuteronomy 30:12-13 that the words of God are not high up in the sky, needing to be brought down to us, or deep in the ocean, needing to be pulled out from the depths for us to have access to them. Paul adapts Moses' words and inserts Christ in place of God's word. (An appropriate fit, based on John Chapter 1) The Gospel (meaning the "good news" about who Christ is and what he has done for us) is not some complex idea or hidden mystery. No one needs to "summon Jesus" in order for him to save us. (v.6-7)
As it was for the ancient Israelites under Moses(Deut. 30:14), God's words are right here, available to us at a moment's notice. (v.8) The offer of rescue from eternal self-destruction doesn't entail a series of mantras or rituals. If we verbally acknowledge that Jesus is God (as the Greek word for "Lord" here was used in Greek translations of the Old Testament) and truly believe that God raised him from death, we will be rescued by God from both a meaningless existence in this life and eternal misery and regret in the next. (v.9)
Paul breaks this truth down further. When someone chooses to believe in their heart (which here in the Greek refers to the mind and entire inner being, not just the emotions) that Jesus really did pay for their sins and rise from death (as only God could do), they immediately become "justified" by God. They immediately, through Christ, meet every perfect moral standard set out by God, and have no need to fear judgment or eternal punishment. When a person verbally acknowledges that Jesus is Yahweh (God's personal name, given to Moses and signified by an all caps "LORD" in the Old Testament), he is "saved" in the more general sense of being sanctified, set apart more and more, for the purposes of God. In fact, these simple spoken words themselves are "sanctified" and can be used by God in the lives of whoever hears them! (v.10)
Paul emphasizes here (using Old Testament quotes to establish God's consistency in this) that this promise, this simple way of being rescued, is not just for the Jews or the religious elite. It's an offer to everyone. Yahweh is God over everyone, no matter their cultural background. He is God. The choice to acknowledge that is left to us. But the reward for doing so is more than we can possibly fathom. (v.11-13)
Next- Is Ignorance Of God Willful Or Accidental?
Coffee House Question- Why do you think it might be important to God that those who spend eternity with him meet and perfectly maintain perfect moral standards(righteousness)? Why do you suppose God can't just "lighten up" and let everyone spend eternity with him?
Monday, May 9, 2011
There's a new way to get involved and reap rewards with Spirit Blade Productions! As a Blade Runner!
From time to time in our Newsletter, I'll feature a "Blade Runner Mission" that anyone can participate in. A task will be presented (usually something to help promote Spirit Blade Productions) along with a deadline and the reward. Complete the task and e-mail us the proof, and you get the reward!
Freebies, advance content, special events and more! Subscribe to our newsletter, and when the call goes out, accept your mission and join the ranks of the Blade Runners!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
I’m a huge comic book fan, though I mostly stick to DC characters. Thor is one of the most well-known Marvel Comics characters, and also one of the most powerful. So I was curious from the beginning how they planned to bring him to the big screen.
My exposure to Thor has been intermittent, with the exception of Marvel’s “Ultimate” line of comics, in which I followed Thor along with The Avengers. Unlike other superheroes, who only take inspiration from the gods of ancient myth, Thor is an actual adaptation of Norse mythology into the comic book world. Although never before has that adaptation been cooler or more approachable visually and conceptually.
The premise is that a human-like alien race called The Asgardians live on a distant planet where they wage war with other humanoid races, empowered by amazing technology that by our standards appears to be magic. The Asgardians age very slowly and gave ancient earthlings the impression (intentionally or not) that they were gods.
Now, the arrogant Thor, son of king Odin, has been cast out of Asgard to earth for his reckless actions that threaten Asgard with war. Allegiances become divided among the elite friends and royal family members of the throne, and the conflict plays out, not in court politics, but massive epic fantasy brawls, both on earth and other worlds.
This movie has lots of goodies and subtle nods that comic fans will appreciate, but it’s also very approachable as a fantasy movie for general audiences. Although the costumes make people look a bit like plastic action figures, the action and effects are great and they are held together by a solid story about family, humility and reconciliation.
The cast did a good, though not fantastic job engaging me. Chris Hemsworth is a great Thor, though he lacked that extra bit of charisma that would have sold his arrogance more strongly. Natalie Portman is a fine leading lady, with brief moments of charm that almost lift her character out of “token love interest” status. Anthony Hopkins comes across surprisingly strong as Odin, despite his advancing years.
A major part of the story involves Thor losing his powers for about 40 minutes of the movie. Personally, I hate superhero stories that take away the hero's powers for a significant length of time. I read comics and watch superhero flicks so that I can see those amazing powers in action! But every superhero on screen has a common weakness: Budget. And I can only assume that played a major role in crafting this plot from day one.
Having said that, this story is carried well by its “non-super” elements, even during those 40 minutes of impotence. (And not everyone loses their powers, so there's still great action and visual effects to be had throughout the movie.) The rift between father and son and the rivalry between brothers serves well as the motivating conflict, and I genuinely cared about whether or not Thor and Odin would be able to repair their relationship.
Along with these great themes, there are a few other tidbits that might be worth talking about. The suggestion that God or “gods” might be aliens with advanced technology has been around for awhile. This movie doesn't seem interested in making that claim universal to all religions, but the concept still present and may trigger some pondering. Odin also keeps a dark truth from one of his sons out of a desire to “protect him”. But burying the truth does more harm than good in the end. (A wise principle to remember.)
Still, anything worth pondering or discussing from this movie will likely need to be pulled out with some effort. The central conflict (humility/reconciliation) is a good one, but isn't expressed with any complexity that requires deeper though after the credits roll.
This is a great genre flick with heart that will likely excite comics fans in big ways and treat general audiences to a creative and cool fantasy adventure!
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence.
Listen to this review this weekend at- spiritblade.net/podcast
Friday, May 6, 2011
Paul just established that humans don't have the capacity to understand or the right to demand God's reasons for bringing about blessing or pain. But Paul still offers a glimpse of what is behind the curtain based on his knowledge of God.
Although verse 22 starts out in the form of a hypothetical question, the ideas Paul presents are all present and supported elsewhere in scripture.
When we cry out in frustration for justice against those who have wronged us, or the evils in the world in general, we should remember that justice will come. God is more than willing to demonstrate his wrath against evil, make every wrong right, and in the process make his existence obvious. But for now he patiently puts up with even those who are destined, by their own choice, for eternal anguish. (v.22)
He does this so that his character will be demonstrated to those who will spend eternity with him (his "vessels of mercy") and enjoy who he is (his "glory"). (v.23) Even evil plays a role in showcasing the incredible character of God. In fact, one could argue that there are beautiful, amazing facets of God's character that believers will enjoy for eternity that would never have been knowable if evil was not allowed to exist temporarily.
In verse 23, Christians are called "vessels of mercy" because instead of carrying the inevitable punishment of God on their shoulders, they have been given God's mercy. Christians deserve the wrath of God as much as everyone else. But a true Christian acknowledges this and trusts in the sacrifice of Christ, considering it valuable enough to pay for their entire record of sins.
These are the people God has chosen to have mercy on instead of punishing them. And although this "rescue plan" from God was offered to the Jewish people first, it is also available to everyone else (Gentiles). (v.24)
It was popular among Jews in Paul's day to assume that that God's blessings were only for the Jewish people. But Paul shows that even in the Tanakh (Old Testament) it was taught that non-Jews would be "grafted in" to God's plans for blessing humanity, even into his "family"! (v.25-26)
In fact, scripture indicates that only a small percentage of the Jewish people will be rescued from judgment by God.(v.27-29)
So now non-Jews, who were not raised to pursue obedience to God, are attaining the status of "righteous" through their faith in Jesus Christ. This means that they meet the standards of perfection that God demands. Ironically, many Jews fail to meet God's standards of perfection, even though they are making sometimes obsessive efforts to obey his laws. (v.30-31)
The reason is that they believe they have it within themselves to meet God's standards. This belief either assumes they are better people than they are or assumes that God is less than perfect. In reality, we need to be humble about the reality of our situation and recognize that only God can rescue us from it. We need to trust in him to save us.
Paul said that when the Jews failed to do this, they were stumbling over the stumbling stone. That stumbling stone is Jesus. (Acts 4:11) He divides the world into two groups. One group can't bring themselves to believe in him. In the end, his life on earth will serve as a record of God's offer of rescue to those who refuse to believe in him. Christ is an obstacle to pride. But the other group of people will recognize him as the cornerstone, the foundation of the life they build. And in the end they won't be disappointed by trusting in him. (v.32-33)
Next- How To Meet The Perfect Standards Of God
Coffee House Question- What would some of the pros and cons be for God to come and judge every wrong on the planet instantly as they took place?
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
It's here at last! The Spirit Blade Audio Book is available to listen to for FREE right now at spiritblade.net/audiobook!
Enjoy this unique, alternate version of the Spirit Blade story, read by me (ever wonder what my "Vincent voice" would sound like?) and enhanced with music and sound effects from the Spirit Blade Audio Drama Trilogy!
Hours of free audio entertainment that you can listen to online or download in mp3 format. Help spread the word and tell your sci-fi loving friends that there's a great free way to experience the world of Spirit Blade!
What are you waiting for? Go check it out!
Monday, May 2, 2011
I hate dealing with i-tunes. It's a bit of a necessary evil now and then, as it is this week. In order to submit the Spirit Blade Audiobook to one of the sites I hope to place it on, I have to encode the files using i-tunes software. No other software will do, unfortunately.
I get it. I-tunes is the monster of all digital audio providers. They are the overlords of MP3s. But every time I download it to my computer, it seems to want to take over. The installation takes forever and my computer seems to start up and run just a little bit slower when I have it installed. So I'm itchin' to get this encoding process over with so I can delete i-tunes and once again be free of Apple domination.
Not sure what the rest of the week will look like. My schedule has been very unpredictable lately. But I'm off to a good start in getting the audiobook launched and I hope to have an official announcement for you soon!
And for those wondering, you can plan on seeing "In Search Of Truth" here this coming Wednesday.