The blog of Sterling Franklin (DJ Sterf), servant of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Oregon Trail, Monopoly, and DDR

Here's the Christmas greeting video I made since my camcorder is broken:



The Oregon Trail


So Facebook had a new application: The Oregon Trail. My friend Paul invited me to join, and so I did. I played it for about 15 minutes, and I reached a fort. We only had 4 oxen, and we had tons of money from me playing math games and totally dominating. We also had tons of food since I totally dominated at shooting a buffalo, though that was after hitting a bush and pond a few times (it's random on Facebook).

I then bought some supplies from the store. We had 4 oxen, and there was a message that stated, 'The more oxen, the faster you will go.' So I bought 46 oxen, which brought us up to 50.

Wow, did we go fast. In one day, we went about 9,500 miles past the finish (we were traveling at a pace of 11,000+ miles a day). How the heck were we going over 450 miles per hour? That's just dumb, but also hot!

I think I bugged the game out, though. We traveled over 100,000 miles after about 9 days, so I gave up on that.

Monopoly

My friend Ken and I have really gotten into playing Monopoly lately, both online and in person. We had some massive team games going on over at my house this last week, and I really have a knack at winning and making investment decisions. However, it usually turns out that I either win hard or lose hard. I typically take extreme risks in the game, and they -usually- turn out to my benefit. However, this is not always the case.

On the computer version (we have the ghetto $2 version of Monopoly, ca. 2000), most computer AIs are pretty cruel, especially with trading. However, there is this one dog who absolutely plays idiotically. I landed on Oriental Avenue one game, and he offered me $738 instantly (without having any light blue properties of its own). I also offered the dog a property for $500, and it countered by offering me $653 for it. I was like...okay, so you're giving me $153 for no reason, sweet! I'd then offer to buy it back for $50, and the dog offered a price of $36 for it. Wow, so I keep the property AND get a net gain of $617? Sweet! There has to be something buggy with that AI, but it's absolutely hilarious.

Ken and I also bid $106,000 for Oriental Avenue in one game, and we instantly lost since we couldn't pay it.

DDR

Maybe a barometer as for where the Lord wants me is where the DDR machines open up. There were several good machines while I was in NC, even through college. When I left for Trinity, all the good machines left. Now, even the fun 4th Solo machine is gone from the area. However, the good machines all were coming to Chicago! However, one left recently from Chicago that I liked playing on, and the quality of machines is going down. There is one that I play (essentially Drew's machine) that rocks out (it's a modified ITG2). However, the pads on that are going downhill, too.

So since the good dancing game machines seem to follow me, maybe I should look at where the machines are starting to flourish.

Haha wouldn't that be a horrible thing -- giving an account for following DDR machines.

God would ask, "Why did you go to ________? I was telling you directly to go to ________!"

I'd be like, "Um, well all the good DDR machines were going to the place I went! I thought that was the sign."

LOL IDEA OVER.

It's obvious that the priority in life is FOLLOW GOD AND HIS LEADING!!!

I do think that it's amusing that the DDR machines seem to follow me where I go, though. Maybe that's a blessing that I've taken for granted quite a bit, as it's a cheap hobby that has opened the door for me to reach millions who have needed to be reached! It's still highly-demanding exercise & fun, and it's a means to outreach as I keep up my skill.

Obviously, the direct plan is to go wherever the Lord leads, regardless of whether the place has a DDR machine or not. However, don't stop me from laughing when a really good DDR machine comes to the area for no reason!

So follow God in all you do, but along with the trials and tests, expect Him to give you random and abundant blessings along the way! Always be thankful.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Birthday Celebration

Merry Christmas! (Click on the images to enlarge them)

I hope our celebration of Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection will continue every day this next year.

1 Timothy 2:5-6
5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Isaiah 9:6-7
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

John 14:5-6
5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Eve˛

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

I'm chilling here in NC, though not literally since it's mid-60s. Chicago never has weather like this! Planting a church in Wilmington or Richmond would be a warm decision, though whether it's the right decision or not is unclear right now.

I just finished writing a sermon on Psalm 23 & John 10:10-18 on the LORD being our shepherd, and even so, Jesus being our Good Shepherd who lays His life down for His sheep. The reason He came to earth was very much in line with His death for us (see also Matthew 1:21).

A few weeks ago, I went through the Sermon on the Mount to see how much was instructional vs. observational. Here are some things I took from the Sermon on the Mount, not comprehensive by any means, but definitely somewhat exhaustive:


Direct Instructions from the Sermon on the Mount:

- Rejoice when you are persecuted for righteousness' sake (Matthew 5:12)
- Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven (Matthew 5:16)
- Make relationships right before God before giving a gift to God (Matthew 5:24).
- Come to peace quickly in situations of disagreement, especially with your adversary (Matthew 5:25)
- Get rid of offenses of the flesh and body (Matthew 5:29-30)
- Do not swear oaths (Matthew 5:34)
- Let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no' (Matthew 5:37)
- Do not return evil for evil, but rather do much good (Matthew 5:39-42)
- Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44)
- Bless those who curse you (Matthew 5:44)
- Do good to those who hate you (Matthew 5:44)
- Pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5:44)
- Be complete in your love/perfect (Matthew 5:48)
- Do not do your alms like the Pharisees, but rather do them in a spirit of humility (Matthew 6:1-4)
- Pray authentically and in humility (Matthew 6:5-6)
- Do not pray using vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7-8)
- Pray according to the model in the 'Lord's Prayer' (Matthew 6:9-13)
- Fast in humility, not in hypocrisy (Matthew 6:16-18)
- Lay up treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21)
- Trust God to provide for life matters (Matthew 6:25-32)
- Seek God's Kingdom first and He will provide for your needs (Matthew 6:33)
- Do not worry about the future/tomorrow (Matthew 6:34)
- Do not condemn or judge hypocritically (Matthew 7:1-5)
- Do not cast your pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6)
- Ask in prayer persistently (Matthew 7:7-8)
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12)
- Enter in the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14)
- Beware of false prophets (Matthew 7:15-20)

Implicit Applications from the Sermon on the Mount:

- Be poor in spirit -- you will be heaven-bound (Matthew 5:3)
- Mourn -- you will be comforted (Matthew 5:4)
- Be meek -- you will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5)
- Hunger and thirst after righteousness -- you will be filled (Matthew 5:6)
- Be merciful -- you will obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7)
- Be pure in heart -- you will see God (Matthew 5:8)
- Be peacemakers -- you will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9)
- Endure persecution -- you will inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:10)
- Be persecuted only for righteousness' sake (Matthew 5:10)
- Be sure that slander against you is actually false (Matthew 5:11)
- Follow Jesus and you will be persecuted and reviled (Matthew 5:11)
- Be glad in persecution since the faithful of the past were also persecuted (Matthew 5:12, cf. Hebrews 11)
- Christians need to be and are the salt of the earth -- useful and not good for nothing (Matthew 5:13)
- Christians need to be and are the light of the world, shining forth God's light (Matthew 5:14)
- The light of Jesus should be evident to all through the Christian's life (Matthew 5:14)
- Jesus came to fulfill the Law -- not to destroy it (Matthew 5:17)
- The Law of the Lord will be fulfilled completely before the end comes (Matthew 5:18)
- Keep the Lord's commandments and teach obedience concerning them to others (Matthew 5:19)
- Do not be self-righteous as the Pharisees (Matthew 5:20)
- Do not be angry at your brother without cause (Matthew 5:22)
- Anger harbored is murder in the heart (Matthew 5:22)
- Be wise in disputes (Matthew 5:25-26)
- Do not lust after a woman in your heart (Matthew 5:28)
- Lust harbored is adultery in the heart (Matthew 5:28)
- Get rid of sin and sinful vices at all costs (Matthew 5:29-30)
- Fornication is the only reason in a marriage in which divorce is a valid possibility (Matthew 5:32)
- Keep heart matters intentionally focused between you and God, not you and others who see you (Matthew 6:1-8)
- The volume of words does not determine the direction of God's ear (Matthew 6:7)
- The Lord knows all of our needs even before we speak them (Matthew 6:8)
- Our Father is in Heaven (Matthew 6:9)
- Our Father is Holy/Hallowed (Matthew 6:9)
- The Lord's will is done in Heaven (Matthew 6:10)
- We should desire God's will to be done on earth (Matthew 6:10)
- The Lord provides for our material needs (Matthew 6:11)
- We should request forgiveness (Matthew 6:12)
- We should forgive others (Matthew 6:12)
- We should ask the Lord for deliverance from temptation and evil (Matthew 6:13)
- The Lord is King: mighty and glorious and eternal (Matthew 6:13)
- The Lord forgives us openly once we forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15)
- Be full of light (Matthew 6:22)
- Be pure (Matthew 6:22-23)
- Serve God, not money/mammon (Matthew 6:24)
- You cannot serve God and money/mammon (Matthew 6:24)
- The Lord cares for even the most minute parts of His Creation (Matthew 6:26, 28, 30)
- Do not seek what the world seeks -- trust in God (Matthew 6:32)
- Persistent and Faithful Prayer works (Matthew 7:7-8)
- God gives the best gifts -- they are always good (Matthew 7:9-11)
- The broad way leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13)
- The narrow way leads to life (Matthew 7:14)
- False prophets are as ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15)
- Test prophets' fruit in ministry (Matthew 7:16-18)
- False prophets will be punished (Matthew 7:19)
- Not all who claim to be Christians actually are in God's sight (Matthew 7:21)
- Do God's Will (Matthew 7:21)
- Don't just be a hearer, but also a doer of the Word (Matthew 7:24-25, cf. James 1:22)
- Don't be foolish and neglect the Word (Matthew 7:26-27)

Post-Sermon Response of the People

- Jesus had REAL authority (Matthew 7:29)
- Jesus was not common in his teaching, as the scribes (Matthew 7:29)
- Thus, people were astonished (Matthew 7:28)

God bless you, and Merry Christmas Eve˛!

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