Saturday, September 29, 2012

Unbound - WIP

Decided to resume working in 3D, so I've been working on this scene for a few days now, and am ready to release it as a work in progress (which I hope to finish). I'm using Blender 2.63 official, so anyone should be able to open the .blend. Render took about 5 mins on my box at 1000 samples.

You can get the .blend here. I should post an update to this soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Purpose-Driven Life resumes tomorrow

Sorry about the lack of updates on this. Had some health issues, but I'll be back on the ball tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Purpose-Driven Life, Day 2

By rights, I should be asleep. Or I would like to sleep, but I woke up and realized I hadn't read my chapter from The Purpose-Driven Life. It was a bit inconvenient, but I've covered it (somewhat). Plus, I'd rather not abandon this project. On day 2 as well. I need more backbone. Faugh!

Today's chapter is You Are Not an Accident. Rick goes into a bit of detail about why every single person is a strategically planned creation, going as far as saying: there may be illegitimate parents, but there are no illegitimate children — at least from God's perspective.

Rick seems to make a point that I am inclined to disagree with, though. He seems to imply that everything that happens to you is a part of God's plan for you. I have a slightly different view: God never gets caught with His pants down, so to speak. Not everything that happens is a part of God's plan, but He can use it for His own plan. And I make this point because Rick says God is love. His very nature is love.

There are a lot of things that happen in this world that are incompatible with a view of perfect love. It makes sense to remember we live in a fallen world with a sadistic ruler, not in God's perfect plan. I don't think God would have me a slave to pornography, for instance. He could, however, use such a back story to help free other people who have the same problem. Same thing goes for character flaws. God doesn't want me selfish, but can use that to get things done.

I still struggle with God's love in a practical sense. I still think I would have liked it if my cheese wasn't moved and things hadn't changed. I still would like a drop-in replacement for my best friend (and I'd like the replacement last week!). But today, I choose to think God still hasn't been bested, that the Master Weaver can use the dull, painful, and broken threads that seem to be my life, and spin something beautiful from them.

I'm grateful, not for the pain or loneliness, but that God isn't stumped. He isn't looking at my life and wondering what to do. God isn't calling 911 over my situation right now. I'd like the pain to go and everything to be changed. I don't understand it all, but ever so slowly, I'm learning to trust His hand, not to remove the pain, but to be there despite it. And to bring complete healing.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Purpose-Driven Life, Day 1

Almost a year ago, my brother got me a copy of The Purpose-Driven Life, by Rick Warren — whether for my birthday or for christmas, I cannot recall now. I initially started reading it, but like a lot of things, I lost interest and moved on to more "interesting" things.

In the last month, I've found myself asking some major questions, then suppressing the questions to keep the familiar. My life seemed not to make any sense any longer, some issues facing my family, and finally, my best friend and I broke up. Perhaps someone saw a tweet about casual sex and alcohol. I'd been running on empty for a long time, and that last last blow hit me square. I still haven't recovered, even though I've learned to put on a brave face.

Today, I picked up my copy of The Purpose-Driven Life and began to read. Really (attempt to) read, and not do the high-speed skimming I've become so used to. From today, over the next couple of days, I will be chronicling my experience reading that book — not necessarily for anyone's sake except mine, but maybe someone might be blessed by my climbing out of what is for me, a very dark hole.

Today's chapter is It All Starts With God. Rick talks about the fact that we're created by God, created for Him, and expected to live His purpose. The first words Rick writes in chapter 1 are: It's not about you. I got thinking about this, especially in the context of everything that had been happening, and I asked, "What about me? Who's going to take care of me? If everything is about God, then do I get anything out of this gig?". I realize this will probably rub someone the wrong way, but fact is, I'm still hurting. I don't care that I had a revelation or an inkling that I was going to lose my best friend, it still hurts.

I'm sorry. Or at least that's what old, suppressed me would say. But I'm not. I don't think God's sorry for ending what was a major bright spot in my mostly dark (at least in my, arguably extremely negative, opinion) life, and I'm not going to pretend that I don't have trouble believing some things I've heard and seemed to have received since.

Rick says we don't get to choose our purpose. God has His own plan, and didn't hold a meeting to get our input, feedback or consensus before making it. We can either speculate about our purpose, or get a revelation of it (did I mention already that I'm having trouble making sense of my life as a whole?). And I got thinking about it, and asking, "what about me? Does God realize I'm hurting here? And if, like I believe, He took away something precious, and it's His plan, do I get any benefits?" And I was made to recall this: For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live] (Ephesians 2:10, The Amplified Bible).

For some reason, I remembered a song that was popular sometime during my school days: The Potter's Hand by Darlene Zschech and Hillsongs, and began singing it. My troubles haven't ceased. I still miss my best friend and I know I hope we get back together again, even if I say I've moved on. But I'm going to choose to believe God, that He took because He had better to give, to both of us. God help me, because like Rick quotes:

Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.
– Matthew 16:25, The Message