Monday, May 7, 2012

Getting the right "message" across

     I decided to take a break from writing my message for this coming Wednesday to blog a little about some observations I had whilst writing said message. Now I don't normally advertise when I have the opportunity to speak, mostly because I enjoy the look of sheer terror on the students' faces, but also because I don't want to seem like I'm showing off. I'm starting to think I shouldn't care too much about the latter because if God has given me the opportunity to speak, who am I to not make the most of such a blessing? But that's beside the point.
         While I was writing my message, I noticed a little bit about my style. I end up writing like it's a story. Now I'm kind of a novice, but I've heard as you progress, you end up coming up with your own style. So I'm perfectly comfortable with how I'm doing this for now. The idea of talking about Jesus and what he's done in a structured outline form, with bullet points and the whole shebang discomforts me. It's boring, and it's not as dramatic as Jesus is, so I'm happy that I have a way I like doing things. But as I wrote, I noticed that I go off scripture by memory, which is cool and scary at the same time. First, I'm pretty glad that I'm familiar with scripture enough to understand certain themes and aspects, but wary because putting together a message is serious business, and it really makes me appreciate how important it is to read scripture regularly and to be familiar with it. This is something I struggle with.
              I also find myself paging through my bible to stick verses where they belong because ,sadly, "take my word for it" just doesn't cut it. This isn't necessarily a problem all the time if I know what scripture I was referencing in my head while writing, but I wonder if I might accidentally take a verse out of context while trying to put some scriptural backing into my work. It is so easy to totally misrepresent or misunderstand a passage by trying to squeeze it in and make it work for a point I may be trying to make. That's not something I want to condone in any fashion. Context is key, and I never want to be guilty of negligently misrepresenting God's word. It is what it is. Unless you've taken the time to wrestle with the scripture, to plumb the depths of it's meaning, you better be wary about how you handle it. There's a reason some thought writing out scripture was so sacred, and sometimes potentially dangerous! I guess this makes me appreciate the importance of this practice I'm taking a part in every time I sit down to put pen to paper. It makes me realize it's more than just throwing together a bunch of pretty sounding words. I should never become so attached to how my words sound at the cost of misrepresenting the truth. Because that's what it's all about, really. It's all about sharing God's truth and how it moves you.

PS: For some reason Blogger is being stupid. The draft shows all my spaces and indentations, but the published version is just a huge block of text. I might have figured out how to fix it, but we'll see. My apologies. I do actually know how to write better than a middle-schooler...I think.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Nerd Project: DMR Pt. 1

After the success of my last elaborate Halloween costume, I thought I would go all-out even further. That means starting months in advance. After much discussion with my little cousin, we finally decided that it would be really sweet to tag team a Halo themed car for the Mega Blast. I always wanted to create a Halo suit and my cousin wanted his own as well. So of course I'd have to start early for a project this elaborate. I haven't made any armor yet, but I have been thinking about it, and the rest of the kit that we'll be toting around Halloween night... One of my favorite weapons in all the Halo games happens to be the DMR. If you're not hip on gun/military stuff, that stands for designated marksman('s) rifle.
With that in mind, I surveyed all of the stuff I had kicking around and decided I might get a start on it. I started with a stock looking Nerf Stampede and made a few shell modifications.
The one on the top is my cousin's and the one on the bottom is the one I cut into. After that, I started scrounging through my miscellaneous parts bin to find some things to add to the look. Cut them and the shell accordingly and this is what I came up with:
Haven't glued anything down yet, but that's a start. I don't plan to get it all right. I just want it to look similar. I care more about adding my own personal flair any way. And so it begins.