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Christian. (That means that I know that Jesus is Lord!) Programmer. Gamer. Weak 3D artist. Geek.

Monday, 30 April 2007

God's lavish grace!

Well, I did as I said I would.

I played a little bit of GTA3 - (though at the moment I'm kind of
bemused about the content of the game as a Christian.. more on that
another time though..) and went on to read a chapter of John Virgo's
'God's Lavish Grace'.

As a staff team at Christ Church Liverpool, we've been reading this
book over the last few weeks - and as is often the case - I've fallen
behind - and at the moment I'm far, far behind.

So, I thought "Well, if I read a chapter a night for the next week -
I'll catch up nicely!" - so that's what I'm aiming to do.


Personally, as a Christian man, I would openly confess to knowing
about God's grace.
There is nothing that I can do that will draw me away from God.
There is nothing that I can do that will make God draw away from me.
There is nothing that I can do that will make God draw closer to me
or me to Him.

I know all those facts. I know all the doctrinal theory of it.
I've read Romans 5 (please, if you don't know it - check it out - you
can read it over at www.biblegateway.com) - I know the deal.

It's only because of Jesus that I can approach God.

But bravo Mr. Virgo, I've never heard it put like this - and it's the
reason for my late night post:

"Now Christ is your righteousness. Just as when you were in Adam,
your endeavours to live the holy life did not take you out of Adam
and so left you as a sinner, so now you are in Christ and your sinful
actions do not take you out of Christ but leave you still righteous
in his sight. It is by virtue of your relationship with Jesus that
you are thoroughly accepted. Your own personal failings do not take
you out of him and therefore his righteousness still stands to your
The scandal of the gospel is that God is willing to justify the
ungodly. "But to one who does not work, but believes in Him who
justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as
righteousness" (Romans 4:5)"
- Chapter 3, Page 39, God's Lavish Grace, John Virgo

So in the same way that you can't stop being a sinful person without
Christ, you can't approach God without Jesus - the Christian person
cannot make God unapproachable through their action.

So, the person without Jesus - like the Jews in the Old Testament (I
was reading about them in Deuteronomy 29 at staff meeting this
morning) - is constantly trying to keep God's standards - the
covenant commandments - but then realises that because they can't
stop sinning, they just can't keep them!

There is no way that anyone can keep God's standard! No-one can
perfectly do what God asks them to!

God says that the righteous, the sinless, will enter the kingdom of
God. So who can enter then?!

Well, the answer is no-one... alone. No-one can enter the kingdom of
God alone. No-one can know God alone.

No-one... without Jesus.

By being in relationship with Jesus - the Christian person is like an
hour glass flicked over!

The Christian saved by Christ - cannot do anything to make God
unapproachable! Jesus does it all on my behalf! Jesus perfectly meets
The Lord's expectations - I can't add to his perfect attainment of
the that!
I can't somehow become more perfect in God's sight! You're
either perfect or your not - how could you be more perfect?!

So, obviously, I can't add to Christ's perfection, He has done it

But the best part, is that equally, I can't take away from Christ's
perfect interceding either..

Excellent.. :)


FFXI 5th birthday party!

Apparently at an upcoming Square-Enix party in September, FFXI will be celebrating it's 5th birthday! Check out the details here.

This weekend is the Square-Enix conference where apparently (I hear) that the future of XI will be announced.. I'm not going to bother holding my breath for a PS3 update to the graphics engine..

OH - and for anyone who is looking for what 3D graphics *should* look like this-gen? Check out Level-5's 'White Knight Story'. I've never seen anything this good in real-time. This is amazing.

On a more personal note, it's back to playing guitar and writing songs when I can at the moment - I feel that's an aspect that has been a little neglected lately.

If I can ever get close to a Wifi connection for long enough I'll upload my cover-video of Damien Rice's 'Cannonball' and perhaps a few others.. I have about 10 videos in the queue. Though I cut my head off a few - I was feeling a little self-conscious.

Anyway, I'm going to run - I'm going to play some GTA3 for a little bit and then go read 'God's Amazing Grace'. What a contrast!


Friday, 27 April 2007

Days off Rule :)

Today I had lunch with Harriet.
Watched a really, just shocking, episode of 'Neighbours'.
Updated and played a little bit of FFXI on my Macbook.
Rejoined the PlayStation Network Beta test groups.
Read lots about PlayStation 3..
Drooled a little bit..

That's it.

Days off do indeed rock.

Oh and the picture above is the latest of Endrich, taken in Valkurm Dunes.
Endrich is still WHM 18..


Tuesday, 24 April 2007

"..and that world was called.."

Sometimes it just worth starting over isn't it?

RagingAvatar.blogspot.com has started anew.
All the old content has been archived away to a secret location.

There's actually many reasons why I've done this - I'm not going into them all now though - but some of the gaming related reasons are because I've left Xbox Live (I sold my 360 to buy a fridge/freezer :s) and have again been drawn back to Vana'diel.

Final Fantasy XI remains my all-time favourite game. Still. Even after all these years there is no other game that can capture my attention the way that that game can.

Endrich is currently: WHM 18, BLM 6, WAR 6. He's coming along nicely.
The current plan is to go to Selbina, get the support job quest finished and then go to Windurst, switch to WAR, level to 20 and complete the Bastok mission 'The Emissary'. A lot to do.

Music for the moment? Well quite obviously I've been listening to the Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan soundtrack as well as Linkin Park's new single 'What I've Done' taken from their soon-to-be-released third record 'Minutes to Midnight'.
Damien Rice is still getting a lot of play time too.. though strangely I keep getting hankerings for The Fray..

Obviously the template for the blog is now wrong - but there'll be lots of updates, changes etc. coming soon.

Can't wait for the weekend - might even have some Goulash..

Keep watchin'.


Friday, 20 April 2007

Blue Dragon sucks?!?

There aren't many blogs that I actually bookmark to go and have a look at again and again.

But James Mielke (aka Milkman) of 1up.com has a great blog which chronicles his gaming habits and his love of music, art and videogames.

I love his blog - but I was quite horrified when I read his article about 'Blue Dragon'..

For those who don't know, 'Blue Dragon' is arguably Microsoft's last hope for Xbox 360 in Japan. It's an RPG directed by Sakaguchi, originally director of the 'Final Fantasy' series, has music scored by Nobuo Uematsu, original composer for the 'Final Fantasy' series and Akira Toriyama designed the characters and artwork. Toriyama is famous in the west for his work on the Dragonball/Dragonball Z/Dragonball GT series.

So, I guess the question has to be asked..

How is it that a game that has so many genre-defining geniuses working on it, can suck?!

Well apparently, Mielke and his famitsu-editing friend come to the conclusion that it's just downright boring and samey.

It appears that videogame design, an ever evolving art form has undone itself. Sometimes the magical old formulas of yesterday don't work so well, ten or twenty years down the line..

Whilst many people today still enjoy 'Pac Man' or (as I understand it a favourite of Andrew Evans':) '1942' - because we've seen twelve iterations of 'Final Fantasy' and have seen it's design and battle systems evolve considerably of the years - returning to (what Mielke describes as) a mish-mash of early 'Final Fantasy' meets 'Dragon Quest' is somewhat painful.

Hopefully, 'Blue Dragon's long delay to western shores is because it's getting quite the overhaul before seeing an American/European release?

I await the final European code before calling my judgement - but unfortunately it's not looking good.


Thank goodness for ol' faithful..
I rejoined 'Final Fantasy XI' again today.

Let the madness begin - I have some real world anxieties I need distraction from.
I have no broadband and can only play online via dial-up.

Final Fantasy XI. I love you.