Tag Archives: destiny

Ghost Fragment: Bentley

I stumbled across this piece of fan fiction I wrote, an origin story of sorts for my character in Destiny (the video game). I think I had ideas to try & turn it into some kind of audio performance at one point. However at this point it has sat untouched & unread for over a year now, so I figured I would go ahead and post it as it is. Hope you enjoy:

Ghost fragment Bentley:

Guardian

The guardian Bentley

I had no memories when my ghost first revived me, just outside the Cosmodrome in old Russia. It was strange, a frightening and very confusing time. How was it possible that I was alive? At first, I didn’t even know my name, my name! How can you be a guardian if you do not even know your name?
I suppose, on the surface a name is simply a word, a label, yet to me, a guardian’s identity is written in his name, his legend, his legacy, will always be tied to his name.

My ghost suggested I take a name of my choosing, any name, one that I liked. Initially this seemed like a good idea, after all, this new life was a new beginning, why not take a new name. That is what all the guardians were told to do. You were not expected, maybe not supposed to have memories of your first life.

It was not long however, shortly after our first encounter with a hive wizard, that the dreams started. I thought them at first to be nightmares, side effects of these blood stained encounters, broken, scattered images, flashes. Initially at least, it made no sense, as these were not things I had seen, maybe it was just an active imagination, a newly reborn imagination.

It became apparent to me though that there was more to them than that. The images, visions, they became clearer, more cohesive. It was no longer just when I slept, it was any time I chose to channel it. These were, memories, like a voice from the past calling out through the dark of death, shattered fragments of a forgotten corpse, they key to finding out my name.

Every day, every step of my new journey seemed to unveil more of the past. I will not go into details of my journey to and through the Black Garden here, which has been well chronicled in the tower along with the legends of you, my fellow guardians. What I intend to give you is some advice, maybe a warning, something that is paramount you keep in mind if you are to stay in the light.
I was a scholar, a student, a fledgling warlock. I was not ready for combat, but after the moon, Mare Imbrium, after what Crota did …. my father, he was a great warlock, of the Praxic order, he was there, he … he perished there … so I … I had no choice, I had to enter the fray. There were 3 of us, back then it was always 3, you were assigned to each other, you became family or you perished in futility. My brother and sister, a Titan and a Hunter, we all fell together. It was an ambush, maybe a set up, it was like they knew … knew that we were coming.

It was a simple, normal mission, fly in, recon, grab an item for research and get back out. It was routine, at least that’s what they told us, they were both on their first mission, me, oh I had done this before, at least, well… twice. My mentor had great faith in me, she said I was special, that if I were patient I could be someone in the tower one day, like my father, maybe even greater than he was, the vanguard would guide me. After the initial wave, after my father, she was sent to the moon too, she perished with the rest, and we were sent out. Sent too soon.

We were not even 400 meters from our jump ship when they attacked, we were surrounded, they had no interest in anything other than death. No questions, no words, simply death, we took a couple of them with us, but the Fallen had us surrounded, it was over as quickly as it started. We had no ghosts then, death was final, eternal, well almost.

This is not a happy story, a pretty tale for cool evenings. The memories they haunted me, tortured me as they continued to return and became more vivid. Once we were able to, I had my ghost return to the place of our falling, he located them too. Once I was assigned extra ghosts, I knew exactly who I would instruct them to find. It’s the memories you see, they are not just nightmares, they help you remember, help you to impact this new wave of guardians, this wave that will conquer the darkness, we will restore the Traveler. My brother, the Titan, he has been fine, I assume because he does not really think, maybe that’s an Awoken trait, although I suspect it is more a Titan thing, not to think. My sister, even though an exo, she is sensitive, it is much more difficult for her, she has to move slowly, it, well, that is her story ….

What was I talking about anyway, the point to this monologue? Oh yes, a name, your name, my name. I am so much more now than I was previously, you could get drunk on the power if you were to lose control. That’s it, control, you must have control, without control you are no guardian. Power can consume you, fool you into believing you are some kind of god, something bigger than yourself, it is then that you become the most vulnerable to the darkness, it is then, that you will be consumed. You must bathe in the light, cleanse yourself, especially if you are to visit the memories, to learn the secrets of true guardian mastery. Maybe that’s where Toland went wrong, or maybe he was a man out of his time, I don’t know & I’m digressing again.

You must discover your name guardian, whether it be from the past or your name today, if you are to become legend, you must have a name to tie to your legacy. It was after I saw the demise of the hive god Crota, that I remembered by name, finally, painfully. There were six of us, five of the greatest guardians you will ever see and me, somehow, me. No longer the murdered scholar, no longer the fledgling kinder-guardian, for I too have become legend. I have mastered death, it will not conquer me again, yet I am no god, here me, I know who I am, I am Bentley & the enemies of the light will beg me for mercy

Recording: The Calm Before The Storm (a Destiny song)

In my recent post on gaming, I posted video with a song I had written at the end. As is my custom, it’s time to tell you about what I did when writing & recording it.

The song, The Calm Before The Storm, is inspired by the video game Destiny. It was written as an entry to a competition for a Destiny podcast that I listen to called Guardian Radio. They have a weekly competition (bounty) for different prizes & when writing a song was one I figured I could have a go at that.

Entering the competition set 2 challenging parameters that I have never had to work with before. First I had just under a week to get it done, I listened to the podcast on the Tuesday & the song was to be submitted by the end of the following Sunday, which also happened to be Mothers Day in the US. Secondly it had to be less than 3 minutes long, including any verbal introduction that you wanted to give it. Challenge accepted!

I wrote the song fairly quickly on the first day, mostly while at work (shh don’t tell anyone), themed around the story of Destiny & also the Guardian grimoire card. The podcast has a feature on their show where they do dramatic readings of the grimoire cards so I thought they would appreciate the nod. I don’t actually recall where the title line came from, obviously it is a well known phrase & is something I had been meaning to be creative with for a good while. Within the context of the song / game, it was a reference to the well known grind in Destiny. Yes you may have finished everything in the game, however don’t get carried away celebrating, because it is always time to go & do it again (and again). It is also a reference to my amazingly inconsistent PvP performances where I can just as easily go 6-16 as I can 16-6, much to my frustration.

With the game being a sci-fi adventure, I felt that the only way to go would be with a prog-rock style of presentation, I mean, what says sci-fi more than prog rock? I had hoped to get a more Dream Theater like vibe going on, but a combo of a lack of time & never having tried to do something prog(ish) before kept it away from that direction.

Fortunately when I was writing I got the idea for the basic melody for the singing so that made the process easier. I put together the chord progression on my acoustic on the Wednesday & then sat on it / rehearsed it for a couple of days. Then it was on to recording. This would be the first time I used my new upgrade to Cubase 7.5, the full version following my experiences with Cubase essentials 5 previously. As with almost all of my music software purchases, I got it on a great discount then didn’t use it for a while. The same went for the Halion Symphonic Orchestra that I bought on a deep discount whim a while back.

One of the things I have struggled with previously when recording is getting the timing right to be able to get a drum track down using EZdrummer. Far and away my favorite addition to the new Cubase is the chord track. This can be used creatively if you want, but for me it was so great to put the chords in place & get them in time right with the song, to allow me to easily see what drum loops would fit. The time saved & frustration levels removed for this little home recording artist was amazing & has me inspired to get back to recording regularly, instead of just wishing I knew how to do it better.

You can use the chord track to then trigger virtual instruments, this allows for a non piano playing person like me to set basic midi tracks much easier & quicker than before. No more googling a chord shape & playing / recording each piece separately. I used the chord track to control 4 separate channels of the Orchestra VST. A violin set, violas, cello & a brass ensemble, the idea being to give the track a movie soundtrack feel through an orchestral backdrop. To add a little variation & used an arpeggiator on the violins & violas, it is barely noticeable in the mix but it does add some nice depth.

Next up were the drums, which I was determined not to fight with & ruin the whole thing. I used a mixed kit of Ayotte & Ludwig pieces from the Rock Solid EZX & as quickly as possible found some fitting, generic rock midid loops to use. If I’d written this closer to the time of recording I would be able to better remember if I had to manipulate the loops much to fit what I was doing, but I honesty don’t remember.

With the drums in place & the orchestra leading the way I took to the acoustic guitar & recorded 2 tracks, one strumming the chords & one playing fingerstyle. To get as big a sound as I could, as quickly as possible, each recording (one take each) was done using 3 channels. I had a direct feed from the guitar’s electronics into the DI and then my 2 mics, one a large diaphragm condenser & one a dynamic, set up a different positions on the guitar to get a nice full sound with as many audio dynamics as possible. These would then be separated out in the mix with panning & balanced to give the best sound.

With this being a time crunch Sunday I went ahead & recorded the vocals next instead of the bass. We had family coming over that I would need to visit with & also I wanted to get anything that required the use of a microphone out of the way before the house got noisy.

Usually when recording vocals I record at least 4 takes & comp the best of them together. There was no time for that this time so a “good enough” take was recorded on 1 track. I tackled each section separately, cutting in with the recording. That way I could get my focus before the verse or chorus to try make sure I at least got a usable track. The same process for the harmony track was also used.

I resisted the temptation to apply any auto correction to the vocals, even though they started a little shaky. I added minimal processing to the vocals, mostly due to the time crunch. Using only the Nasty VCS (channel strip), a vintage compressor from cubase & a little reverb from Room Works.

With the vocals down I didn’t have long before our guests started to arrive. The rest of the recoding would be done in hurried breaks between visiting with family (I know, I’m bad). As always I ran the bass direct to my USB interface and used the Amplitube Ampeg plugin with my favorite preset, Comp Rock. One day I may actually work on bass playing, but for now I basically follow the chord progression and drums fill out the sound.

Finally it was on to the electric guitar parts, always my favorite part of the process, yet the most stressful sometimes as it is the only part I expect myself to be able to do really well with. I recorded 2 tracks of chorus laden clean sound with the Stratocaster, one strumming & one picking the notes. Then to actually give the track the rock feel that I wanted I ran a distorted track with the strat, before switching to the Les Paul tuned to drop D to try & give it some chug. The lead track was a one take hurried affair, but I think it actually fit quite well.

Running out of time before the deadline & also not wanting to neglect my wife & family on Mother’s Day 🙂 The editing process was done quickly & simply. I could have easily spent another week eq’ing, rerecording & editing. There are a couple of vocal parts I really wish I’d touched up, also the EQ on the toms is not quite right to me. However, considering half the challenge for the song was the time frame, I was really please & quite proud of it. Early in the process I realized I was going to have to save often, apparently having reached the limits of what my old laptop could handle, I was getting the blue screen of death every 20 minutes or so. It just about survived the recording session, but it was clear that I needed an upgrade if I am to actually continue with my occasional hobby.

If you were wondering if I had somehow won the contest, err no. Dustin Griffith won with a quite brilliant entry made about the podcast itself, certainly a worthy winner, the song is so good they really had no choice 🙂

Anyway, that’s about it. If you want to listen to the song again the video is here.

 

Rediscovered Joy – Video Gaming & Destiny

Of all my interests / hobbies, video games probably consume the most of my free time, yet oddly enough, it’s not a subject I write about very often. Mostly that is because there is a dearth of gaming writers out there, but also because until recently I’d been slowly losing the desire to game. It had got to the point to where I was seriously on the fence about not getting a PS4 & was basically considering retiring my lifelong hobby.

I did decide to get a PS4, primarily because I enjoy gaming with my friends online, but also partly because the chance of getting a next generation console on launch day for the first time ever was just too much for my inner geek to resist. When the PS4 launched it was a significant step up from the PS3 as a gaming machine, but rather lackluster as a home entertainment system, something the PS3 excelled at, for example you could not (& still cannot) pair the PS3 remote control with it to make playing movies easier. The youtube app only recently made its way over too, little things, but initially, it was clear the PS4 was for gaming first & the rest would come. This is not a bad thing, just my observation.

Unfortunately, the first year of the PS4 gaming was a little hit & miss. The new games all looked very impressive, but other than continuing my lifelong love affair with FIFA, non of the games I played managed to capture my attention long term. I’ve still not fully finished any of the launch titles I got. I was starting to wonder if I had wasted my money, made the wrong decision about committing to this new generation of consoles, to the point of considering selling the PS4 & moving on with a gaming free life.

That is until June of last year. When I had the opportunity to play the Destiny alpha public test. I had seen the E3 launch campaign for Destiny the previous year, loved what I saw and had been keeping a distant eye for it’s release day. I don’t recall what I signed up for to get into the alpha but I was very glad I did. Following the alpha I pre-ordered the game, not something I usually do, but I was already hooked & pre-ordering got you into the public Beta which I consumed just as eagerly as the alpha.

I picked up the full game on launch day, I’m not here to write a review per say here, there are more than enough of them out there to satisfy any level of curiosity. What I am going to try and do is put into words what the game has meant to me. The first thing I guess I should say, is that the joy of gaming has been completely restored for me through this game. It may not be the best game ever, but you would be hard pressed for me to find a game that I would say I have ever liked better or enjoyed more. For many different reasons, this game just has my number, the joy of gaming may be borderline addiction once again lol.

11 months after the game launched I still play pretty much daily, I have made a number of new friends through the game, made several questionable decisions about how much sleep I can get away with on a work day, laughed, almost cried and just generally really enjoyed my nights gaming again.

Destiny is a funny game in a way in that it can be very repetitive yet never gets old, for me it is in a way similar to sports games. Yes FIFA is pretty much the same thing over and over, yet there is enough variance in each game, enough of an enjoyable challenge that I will play season after season. Destiny has somehow captured that same magic with its fun and at times intense gameplay. It can be a relaxing evening doing bounties or an adrenaline pumping stress session in the crucible, I can get whatever I want from the game on any given day.

Sadly the gaming clan I was a part of, dmg gaming, did not adopt the game very well, this led to me making the tough decision to call it quits after 6 years with then and sign up with a new crew, which fortunately has a number of fellow ex dmg’ers in it. It was a strange & tough decision to “leave” people who had become real life friends, but in order to get the most out of the game it was what needed to happen & it is a decision I do not regret in the slightest. Taking the step to do that has actually emboldened me to meet people from many different clans & I have discovered that i just really enjoy meeting new people in the gaming world.

The social aspect of the game is quite amazing, I have met a TON of new people & almost all of them have been great company. My new friends in the BYOB clan have been a blast to hang out with, the guys from Dads of Destiny are always there for company or to help if you just ask. The Safe Gamers group is a really cool place where people can hang out & be sure of a positive gaming experience. I’ve even had the privilege of playing a few games with some of the best players in the world from the Invigorate clan, their skill level is off the carts, yet they are totally humble, glad to help a guy like me out & just all around good company either in game or in their streams.

Streams, yes, that’s another thing I have discovered this last year. From twitch to mlg tv, there are folks all over the world at all hours of the day live streaming their gameplay & interacting with their viewers. A year ago I would have told you that was ridiculous & I would have no interest in such a thing, how things change lol. The right streamer, with a game you love can be great entertainment & in some cases very educational. I’ve watched quite a lot of John & Burdi from the Invigorate clan the last couple of months & just watching them has vastly improved my skill level as a gamer. Seeing how things work and opening your eyes to what is possible is a game changer.

The community playing Destiny is by far the best part of the game, it is the best part of any video game I have ever heard of. Want to know more about the lore? Go over to reddit or one of the many Destiny sites and fellow gamers have gathered the intel in easy to read formats, some chronological etc. You could spend days theorizing with other fans if you wanted. Even better, you could head to http://www.astrumterra.com/audiogrimoire.html and enjoy some incredible dramatized reading of the cards, or tune in to the Guardian Radio podcast every week.

One of the great complaints with Destiny is the failure to convey the incredible story particularly well in game. While I agree it could have been done better, I personally do not feel that the way the game is set up would be really conducive to extended story telling cut scenes. The game and its universe does have an incredible story though, this lore can be found through reading the grimoire cards on Bungie’s website (and other sources – see above). Again, this has been a major complaint from many (having to do it outside of the game), however to me, what could be considered a design flaw was actually a work of accidental genius as it has brought the community much closer together as they try to figure everything out.

There are very limited matchmaking systems in the game, again a frustration for some, yet form this has come an incredible array of LFG (looking for group) systems. Clans work together, alliances have been formed & so many real life friendships. My virtual circle is ever increasing, sure occasionally you meet someone you never want to hear from again (easy to accomplish), but you might also meet some really cool people.

Not just in game, but outside of the game the community regularly comes together to help a worth cause. There have been efforts to support fundraisers for Cystic Fibrosis, Operation Supply Drop, St Judes Hospice, the Nepal earthquake and even to do something nice for a kid that was bullied. There have been many more, these are just the ones that I have been involved with in some small way.

There are times when I wonder if I have allowed this game to become too prominent in my life. 2-3 hours every night I spend playing Destiny. However, they are the hours after my family has already retired for the day & if I am being honest, the only other thing I would do with that time is watch tv. Yes I could read a book, or go for a run or do things that people say you should do, instead I do something that i love, that I am passionate about again thanks to Destiny. Those hours are always some of the most enjoyable of every day, time that I spend time in good company doing something I enjoy.

I should I suppose put this in perspective.  I am still enjoying my family time, leading worship at the homeless shelter, making new music, looking forward to another season coaching my kids soccer team, I even write a blog post occasionally 😉 Sometimes i give myself a hard time for playing the game a lot, but I am just fighting the old fight of judging myself for allowing me to be myself if that makes sense. For the first time in my life, I am just embracing this, not ashamed, not trying to hide my love of a video game, I am just having fun playing a game in my spare time with a bunch of different people that i really enjoy, if thats not a good thing, then I have no idea what is. If you follow me on Twitter & don’t care about the game, sorry about that 😉

When I was pondering on whether or not to get a PS4, I wrote the below on my hopes for the next generation of games. Thanks to a company called Bungie & their incredibly talented team, thanks to the amazing community of people that I am  proud to be a part of, I can whole heartedly tell you that all my dreams for this generation of gaming have come true, and I have truly rediscovered the joy of gaming.

Maybe the next generation of games will have some fresh ideas, better co-op, more original themes that involve more than just killing wave after wave of bud guys. Don’t get me wrong, there is enough little boy in me to still enjoy playing war, but it just seems like there should be more to a game than that, especially with the technology available. Maybe the next gen of games will have online modes where the technical flaws in the game don’t make my lack of ability even more frustrating than it already is. “

If you’re on Playstation & want to team up with a semi-responsible grown man who just loves to play Destiny, my PSN ID is LUFCTX 🙂

Want to see some of the game? Here is a video I made, with a song I wrote & recorded, more on that soon…

 

Destiny – Alpha

And now for something completely different; This last weekend I was fortunate enough to take part in the PS4 public alpha testing for the forthcoming sci-fi FPS game Destiny. This was a pretty bold / confident step by the producers, usually Alpha tests are private, only occasionally are the later Beta tests made public. This is easily the game I have been anticipating the release of the most since I got my PS4 last fall. Although being part of the limited access alpha testing does not exactly make me special, it just means I read an email and clicked to register, hey bonus for reading 🙂

Now, my anticipation for this game is honestly based on not that much. A couple of game play videos and a few articles. I haven’t done any more research than that for 2 reasons, #1, I’m a grown man with responsibilities and a life etc, researching future games is just not high up my list of priorities, I mean, it would take away from my game time. The 2nd reason is that most of the games that I look forward to usually disappoint, not sure why, it just seems to go that way. There are exceptions like Red Dead, or Gran Turismo, but the annual stream of Call of Duty etc has become more a season of dread for what they are going to screw up next rather than anticipation.

So the game Destiny, while eagerly anticipated, is anticipated by me with at least some hesitation, at least that was before this last weekend. After a lengthy download, I first ventured into the game late on Thursday night, a little unsure as to what I was doing, but figuring things out fairly easily (as it should be). The first thing that struck me was that the controls / the feel of the movement felt just right. Not quite as loose as a COD game, but not in any way clunky or cumbersome. The second thing that struck me was the amazing graphics, it is one thing to see it on trailers, but it is not until it is live on the tv in front of you that you can really appreciate what a beautiful looking game they have crafted. The environment is perfectly dirty and gritty, but that is immaculately balanced by stunning lighting effects including a northern lights display in the evening.

The Alpha offered a small sampling from each of the game modes that will be in the finished product; the campaign, explore mode (endlessly generating missions), strike (grandiose co-op missions with crazy firefights), the multiplayer and the social hub where you upgrade your equipment. I began in the campaign section, looking around, figuring out the controls, shooting “the fallen” (bad guys) and generally having some simple exploratory alpha fun. I was not long in to this when something rather unusual happened, one of my PSN friends walked by in the game, in real time, doing his own thing. I called out his name to make sure he was really there & he was, we spent the rest of the evening (and a good chunk of the weekend gaming hours) playing the game together. I found this invite-less social drop in feature to be extremely cool. I’m not sure if there is a way to play non-sociably, other than signing out of the PSN, then again, this is only an alpha release. There did appear to be something of a proximity effect for mic communication when plying this way, so the rest of the weekend we formed a PSN party which worked flawlessly.

The game itself is extremely enjoyable, the freedom to roam and explore is just as you would want it, the skirmishes you get in moving around are enjoyable and can be challenging when the scale up. I only tried MP aspect once, but it worked well if not exactly groundbreaking the game mode available was a domination / capture and hold type affair. One of the funs things is that your created character(s) are available will everything you have equipped them with in all modes, so the time you spend in co-op will help you in MP with more than just practice. The RPG elements of the game were much less intrusive than I had initially feared and will, for me, lead to a good challenge and longevity as you try to build your character(s). I have gone from being hopefully expectant for this game, to being frustrated that I have to wait until September. If it is this good now, what will it be like then? I can see me losing many hours to Destiny in the last quarter of 2014 and beyond. Sometimes a game just feels right, it has that unquantifiable je ne sais quoi, well Destiny has that, more so than any game I’ve played in a long time, that more than anything else is what has me most excited about this game.

 

Do not allow your past to determine your future

A strange thing happened the other day, it came to my attention that people actually read what I write, I know, I’m slow on the uptake. With that realization the thought that I might need to think through what I write more, instead of just finding some words in my head & throwing them out there, came to me. That does not necessarily mean I will be changing much with what I write about, just maybe remembering to add more context where required and certainly pausing before pressing a little more.

My blog writings tend to be all over the place, which reflects my personality quite well. One moment I will be wrapped in deep spirituality, the next moment I’m wrapped in some form of struggle or internal battle. I don’t have it all together in real life & I like to think my blog is transparent enough to reflect that, while at the same time pointing towards the good that I enjoy in life.

I think my normal is not to be hyper-focused on any one thing, I have a bunch of things I really like and I do them a little each. Occasionally I’ll get really into something for a while, but generally that does not last. This got me thinking about this is also reflected in my spiritual life, how it tends to look like waves, high moments followed by lulls. I would love to stay on the highs the whole time but I don’t know if that is possible, I wonder if the lows are necessary for me to recover from whatever was gained in the high. Maybe the lulls are a test to see how committed I am. Or maybe, that’s just the way I am and while I am a much different person today than I was 10 or 15 years ago, some things seem to be hard wired. Regardless, it is my desire to be more consistent in my spiritual life, unfortunately it seems that is only possible with discipline, not my favorite thing.

Sometimes rather than worrying about how I am not perfect in my spiritual life, I need to take the time to remember how far the Lord has brought me, where He brought me from and hold onto His promises for my future. Over the last few weeks I have heard some amazing lessons at my church, a friend who is an active fire fighter with MS shared some of his testimony and how the fire service has helped him in his walk. The values of (humble) pride, honor (for God, your family & others) & integrity (respect for yourself, respect for others & responsibility for your actions) have helped him in his life & they apply directly to our walks with Christ.

I then heard the amazing story of coach Larry Clay, who had one of the most horrendous childhoods I have ever heard of, and was on his way to a troubling adult life before God intervened. He is now a member of the US Martial Arts Hall of Fame, a successful businessman, coach, speaker and then some. His willingness to share every detail of his life, to see this giant of a man (6’7” ish approx. 300 lbs of man mountain) be so open, vulnerable and humble, all to give glory to God and allow God to use his story to help others, was immensely inspiring. If he is ever speaking near you I cannot encourage you to go listen enough, it will blow your mind.

These messages in addition to the sermons at my church since I got back from vacation were really encouraging. It was when I noticed that they were encouraging, and not the kick in the rear / wake up call that they would have been in the past, that I really started to try and take stock and appreciate just how far God has brought me. Sometimes I get over anxious for what He might want me to do in the future, or how I might not be measuring up to what I am supposed to be. I need to just enjoy the ride, enjoy being His and enjoy living life in a place of healing and freedom from my past and be ready & willing to use my history to help others who are not yet where I am.

That is the thing, one of the most important messages that I have received from God & one of the most important messages I can give to you is: Do not allow your past to determine your future. You need to deal with your past (or more correctly put, allow Him to deal with it), learn from it & use it. Christian counseling is a great place to start with this, followed by open honest community with a small, safe and authentic group.

God did not create you to suffer, He did not create you to live your life in pain. We are all born into a broken and fallen world. No matter what has happened in your past, no matter what you have done, or what was done to you, God loves you & He wants to redeem you, heal you & set you free.

Psalm 27:10

New English Translation (NET)

10 Even if my father and mother abandoned me,
the Lord would take me in.

Psalm 121:7

New English Translation (NET)

The Lord will protect you from all harm;
he will protect your life.

Ephesians 2:10

New English Translation (NET)

10 For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.

 

The problem is not that you sin, or that you have pain. The problem is when you allow the enemy to become your accuser and prevent you from reaching your destiny. Your destiny is to be loved, your destiny is to be a part of Gods family. If you here that you are not worthy, if you think you are unlovable, if you feel are not good enough, that is not God, that is the devil, the father of lies. Choose to believe what Jesus says about you, not the enemy. Your past does not define you – God has a future for you.

Too often we think that, well, maybe when I get it together, maybe when I fix things. That is not how Jesus works, He came to save and restore. Your sin problem will not go away until you are connected to Jesus, He will take it away, you cannot do it by yourself, so stop trying.

How does Jesus operate in the life of someone who is trapped in their past, who has given up on the future? While you are still sinning Jesus still comes and moves on your behalf. He does for you what you cannot do for yourself. You don’t need to do better, you need Jesus. Look at the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector, a sinner, a person who collected taxes from his people to give to the Romans who had taken over their land. This was not a popular chap and what happened? Did Jesus reject him?

Luke 19:1-10

New International Version (NIV)

19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

He knew he needed Jesus, he knew he had to get to Jesus. Just as so many of us have. It doesn’t happen by waiting, you have to seek Him, you have to wade into the river. Did you ever notice how in Joshua 3 God did not part the waters and say, ok go across? The Israelites instructions were to wade into the swollen river Jordan & only then would the waters be parted. That in itself is such a key lesson in the Christian life.

Joshua 3

New English Translation (NET)

Bright and early the next morning Joshua and the Israelites left Shittim and came to the Jordan. They camped there before crossing the river. After three days the leaders went through the camp and commanded the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, you must leave here and walk behind it. But stay about three thousand feet behind it. Keep your distance so you can see which way you should go, for you have not traveled this way before.”

Joshua told the people, “Ritually consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will perform miraculous deeds among you.”Joshua told the priests, “Pick up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they picked up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people.

The Lord told Joshua, “This very day I will begin to honor you before all Israel so they will know that I am with you just as I was with Moses. Instruct the priests carrying the ark of the covenant, ‘When you reach the bank of the Jordan River, wade into the water.’”

Joshua told the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God!” 10 Joshua continued, “This is how you will know the living God is among you and that he will truly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites. 11 Look! The ark of the covenant of the Ruler of the whole earth is ready to enter the Jordan ahead of you. 12 Now select for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one per tribe. 13 When the feet of the priests carrying the ark of the Lord, the Ruler of the whole earth, touch the water of the Jordan, the water coming downstream toward you will stop flowing and pile up.”

14 So when the people left their tents to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them.15 When the ones carrying the ark reached the Jordan and the feet of the priests carrying the ark touched the surface of the water—(the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest time)— 16 the water coming downstream toward them stopped flowing. It piled up far upstream at Adam (the city near Zarethan); there was no water at all flowing to the sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea). The people crossed the river opposite Jericho. 17 The priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan. All Israel crossed over on dry ground until the entire nation was on the other side.

Jesus is still healing, he is still saving & he is still redeeming & changing lives. I am living proof of it. The gospels are not just what Jesus did; they are what Jesus is still doing! Jesus calls you to live in your destiny, not your past.

You have a choice; you can either stop where you are, or start moving towards what you were created to be. You have more power than you think. You have the power to choose, the only power the devil has over you is the power you choose to give him. Do not negate the power of the cross by living in your pain. You can’t do it alone. The answer to your past, the answer to your present and the answer to your future is Jesus Christ.

May He bless you with a life of love, peace & healing.

In Christ

Chris