Games in the Background – Travian

I recently started playing a neat online game called Travian. It is not unlike a RTS resource-gathering game like Warcraft or Age of Empires; however, it is entirely done with web pages. Plus, when I say RTS (real-time strategy), I mean real time. Gathering resources takes hours, so building even simple structures can take days of real time. The neat thing about it is you can interact with other players, and it runs in a browser window. It is the perfect background amusement. You click a button or two every couple hours and go back to whatever you were doing. In the meantime, your peons labor away.

Give it a try, it is quite addicting—plus, it is free. Here’s a helpful hint, click on the big soldier to the right of your village and complete all the quests. You get tons of free stuff that way!

Ten Sayings from the Bible, Part III

Here are another ten. These come from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

  1. Head on a platter.
  2. Matthew 14:10-11
    10 So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.

  3. Holier than thou.
  4. Isaiah 65:5
    5 Who say, ‘Keep to yourself,
    Do not come near me,
    For I am holier than you!’
    These are smoke in My nostrils,
    A fire that burns all the day.

  5. How the mighty have fallen.
  6. 2 Samuel 2:19
    19 “The beauty of Israel is slain on your high places!
    How the mighty have fallen!

  7. It is better to give than to receive.
  8. Acts 20:35
    35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

  9. Lamb to the slaughter.
  10. Isaiah 53:7
    7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
    Yet He opened not His mouth;
    He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
    And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    So He opened not His mouth.

  11. Let come what may.
  12. Job 13:13
    13 “Hold your peace with me, and let me speak,
    Then let come on me what may!

  13. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
  14. John 8:7
    7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

  15. Letter of the law.
  16. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6
    5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

  17. Like a thief in the night.
  18. 1 Thessalonians 5:2
    2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

  19. Like mother, like daughter.
  20. Ezekiel 16:44
    44 “Indeed everyone who quotes proverbs will use this proverb against you: ‘Like mother, like daughter!’

Age of Worms Adventure Path – Game Session 95

Game summary for August 14, 2008; present characters included Eolas Windmaster (moon elf duskblade), Lyrin Sinbal (simian incantatrix/ring sage/warmage), Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric), Syvarius Strongbow (moon elf archer-ranger/peerless archer), and Taravin Truesilver (human divine crusader/gray guard/paladin of honor/pious templar).

After retrieving the sphere of annihilation, the team decided to make one more concerted effort to raise morale in the burning city of Mintarn. The Mercenaries warded themselves with spells and headed into the city. It did not take long to encounter a Kyuss archer, a vampire Kyuss monk, and a quad of Kyuss high-knights. Eolas, Lyrin, and Morak unleashed a barrage of flame strikes, sunbeams, and scorching rays. Meanwhile, Taravin engaged toe-to-toe and Syvarius set about with devastating effect with his bow. Soon, the team was victorious, and twelve more citizens were rescued.

The Mercenaries took the survivors to the safety of Kelemvor’s temple and set out again. This time, they encountered a mix of Kyuss archers and high-knights led by a lich archmage. The lich did its best to batter the party with magic, but their protections and evasiveness limited his effectiveness. The archers and high-knights began falling under blade, spell, and arrow, and soon the Mercenaries slaughtered the pack. Twenty citizens were saved, and a roar of rage erupted from the pinnacle of the spire, shaking the city.

Kyuss’ rebirth is at hand. The Wormgod will soon emerge at the apex of his spire, and the Mercenaries must be there to slay him. However, they must first traverse the heights of the spire, wiping out his minions on the way; otherwise, the same minions will stand with their god and prevent the team from winning the day. Can the Mercenaries press on and halt the Age of Worms?

Ten Sayings from the Bible, Part II

Here are ten more common sayings that come from the Bible. All quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise noted.

  1. Born yesterday.
  2. Job 8:9
    9 For we were born yesterday, and know nothing,
    Because our days on earth are a shadow.

  3. By the skin of my teeth.
  4. Job 19:20
    20 My bone clings to my skin and to my flesh,
    And I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.

  5. Crafty tongue.
  6. Job 15:5
    5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
    And you choose the tongue of the crafty.

  7. Crying into your drink.
  8. Psalm 102:9
    9 For I have eaten ashes like bread,
    And mingled my drink with weeping,

  9. Drop in the bucket.
  10. Isaiah 40:15
    15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,
    And are counted as the small dust on the scales;
    Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.

  11. Eat, drink, and be merry.
  12. Ecclesiastes 8:15
    15 So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.

  13. Empty or hollow words.
  14. Job 35:13
    13 Surely God will not listen to empty talk,
    Nor will the Almighty regard it.

  15. Fly in the ointment.
  16. Ecclesiastes 10:1
    1 Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment,
    And cause it to give off a foul odor;
    So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.

  17. Gave up the ghost.
  18. Acts 12:23 (KJV)
    23And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

  19. Go the extra mile.
  20. Matthew 5:41
    41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

Age of Worms Adventure Path – Game Session 94

Game summary for August 5, 2008; present characters included Lyrin Sinbal (simian incantatrix/ring sage/warmage), Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric), Ranulph Wathbater (human berserker/fighter/hellreaver/paladin of freedom/rogue), Saedd West (human fighter/pious templar/wormhunter), and Taravin Truesilver (human divine crusader/gray guard/paladin of honor/pious templar).

After a respite within the sound walls of Kelemvor’s temple, the Mercenaries moved back out into the streets of Mintarn to fight the minions of Kyuss. In short order, the group encountered a pack of Kyuss’ spawn. A Kyuss high-knight, Kyuss archer, lich archmage of Kyuss, and vampire Kyuss monk engaged the team in fierce combat. The vampire, all but floating across the ground, sprang through the front lines and beleaguered Lyrin immediately. The archer began a barrage upon Ranulph that he would maintain throughout most of the fight. The archmage quickly rendered himself invisible, and the high-knight moved to block any Mercenary advances. Fierce but short-lived chaos ensued, as Saedd drove the vampire back on her heels, Ranulph engaged the high-knight, Lyrin blasted with spells, and Morak’s prayers kept the party in strong condition. Soon, the four minions of the Wormgod were defeated. Another eighteen citizens of Mintarn were safely escorted to the Kelemvor temple.

The group returned to the hunt and found another pack of Kyuss minions: a vampire Kyuss monk, a lich archmage of Kyuss, a lich cardinal of Kyuss, a warlock lich of Kyuss, and a monstrous broodfiend! This battle went poorly for the Mercenaries, with the archmage getting in some early area of effect blasts that hit both Lyrin and Morak. The lich also slaughtered Saedd in a hail of arrow storm magic. Taravin bravely advanced upon the cardinal while the broodfiend dealt nearly lethal injuries upon Morak and Lyrin. Lyrin drove the warlock lich away with his deadly sun magic, but Morak found himself mortally injured. With two companions dead on the ground, the team fell back into a full retreat, using their skeleton keys.

After licking their wounds, the team decided they needed the sphere of annihilation sooner rather than later and recovered it via magic from the Tomb of Horrors. Now, armed with the sphere, the team must decide its next course of action against the wicked Kyuss.

Taking It With You

As I ponder this morning, I think about the saying, “you can’t take it with you when you go”. The more I think about that, the more I disagree. There are some things we can take with us. When we stand before the Lord, we’ll have packed two bags. One bag is filled with the bad things we’ve done in this life, the other with the good. That bag of good things is the only gift, sacrifice if you will, we have to present to our Savior in thanks and praise for what He offers us. What is in your bags? I know my “bad” bag currently outweighs the good. I think we should all work harder to pack more things in the good bag, not that we can “earn” Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9), but because it demonstrates the love and faith we have in Christ (James 2:20). By packing the “good” bag, we can avoid be ashamed before Him (1 John 2:28).

When standing before the Lord, we may have to answer these questions. I think about some of my answers and am not pleased. How about you?

  • How many times could you have come to church and chose not to? (Hebrews 10:23-25)
  • How many times have you taught someone about Christ? (Colossians 3:16)
  • How well have you instructed your children about God? (Ephesians 6:4)
  • How many people have you helped come to know Christ? (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • How many times would someone think of you and think of the work of Jesus? (Matthew 5:16)
  • How well have you studied and learned the Bible? (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Ten Sayings from the Bible, Part I

Many everyday sayings or adages of wisdom come directly from the Bible. Sometimes we know more Scripture than we thought! Here are some examples.

  1. A leopard cannot change his spots.
  2. Jeremiah 13:23
    23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?
    Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.

  3. A little bird told me.
  4. Ecclesiastes 10:20
    20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought;
    Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom;
    For a bird of the air may carry your voice,
    And a bird in flight may tell the matter.

  5. A little bit here, a little bit there.
  6. Isaiah 28:10
    10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
    Line upon line, line upon line,
    Here a little, there a little.”

  7. Apple of my eye.
  8. Deuteronomy 32:10
    10 “He found him in a desert land
    And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness;
    He encircled him, He instructed him,
    He kept him as the apple of His eye.

    and also in

    Psalm 17:8
    8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings

  9. As good as gold.
  10. Job 23:10
    10 But He knows the way that I take;
    When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

  11. As old as the hills.
  12. Job 15:7
    7 “Are you the first man who was born?
    Or were you made before the hills?

  13. At wit’s end.
  14. Psalm 107:27
    27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man,
    And are at their wits’ end.

  15. Bite the dust.
  16. Psalm 72:9
    9 Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him,
    And His enemies will lick the dust.

  17. Blessed are the peacemakers.
  18. Matthew 5:9
    9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    For they shall be called sons of God.

  19. Blind leading the blind.
  20. Matthew 15:14
    14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

Citrus Cooler

  • 4 oz real lemonade
  • 4 oz real limeade
  • 4 oz pink grapefruit juice

Chill all ingredients. Pour in cup and mix well.

Taco-Seasoned Chex Mix

  • 6 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • 2 cups Cheez-It crackers
  • 2 cups pretzel twists
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 package (1.25 oz) Old El Paso taco seasoning mix

In a large bowl, mix cereal, crackers, pretzels, and peanuts.

In small bowl or cup, mix vegetable oil, water, and taco seasoning and stir well. Slowly pour taco mixture into large bowl and stir into cereal mix. Stir until everything is well coated with taco mixture.

Pour into large baking dish (11 x 13 works well) and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, taking it out to stir well every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container.

Variations: You may use any combination of Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, Rice Chex, or Crispex to reach six total cups of cereal. Experiment for your favorite combination.