VG Devotional March, 2008
by Alfred Benjamin
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(It's available in full at www.vgdevotional.blogspot.com)
1) 100% Ministry
As Christian we are all aware of the five fold ministry; the Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Prophets and Ö
We all think that those who are called to do any of that are called into the ministry and everybody else is just not part of the Christian ministry.
Well the truth is, when you become a Christian you are called into full time ministry. It is called the ministry of reconciliation; reconciling man back to God. That means you are supposed to tell people about Jesus. It is not optional for a Christian. It is your ministry, your responsibility. It is something God holds you accountable for.
The way you tell people about Jesus is different from others. An Evangelist may tell people about Jesus by preaching on TV but an artist can tell people about Jesus like Da Vinci did by drawing pictures that represent Jesus or Christian values, lack partial or total nudity. A game designer can tell people about Jesus by making good Christian games.
As a matter of fact a guy who works at a construction firm as a tractor driver has a better chance at winning more souls than a Pastor of the Church because people learn mostly by example a co Ė worker you work with everyday can be seen everyday and how he handles upís and downís unlike a Pastor you may only see on the pulpit. Apart from that, those who go to church are normally already Christians but those you met at work can be anything so anyone you influence at work has a 90% chance of not being a Christian.
2) Fun Factor ( in games shouldnít be ignored )
One of the most important factors to consider before making a video game is the fun factor. How fun is your game?
A lot of folks in the industry get side tracked by a lot of other things like the gameís graphics, promotions, etc and they forget the main thing that makes it a game in the first place; the fun factor.
So the question is how do you know if your game is fun? Well the number one answer is to be true to yourself. If you were bored and you wanted to have fun would you pick up a game pad to play the kind of game you are currently making.
Another option is listen to the opinions of game testers. The down side of game tester is that they are expressing their own views and not the views of the public. Only the public can express the views of the public. Every other thing that tries to express the views of the public is only guessing.
3) Outside the box (breaking the rules of what sells and what doesnít)
In every generation there are always preferences that the entertainment of the day is built around. In this present generation the preferences include; sex, nudity, gang related violence, profanity and a bunch of other stuff thatís void of virtue.
If these virtue less preferences of this generation are not available in an entertainment product it looks like it is destined to have low sales and investors wonít even look in that direction.
The interesting thing is that Christianity and Christian values seem of be the direct opposite of this generationís preferences, so a lot of Christians keep them out of their entertainment products or decrease itís presence in the products. What they donít realise is that by doing that they are casting away their God given purpose. God has given every Christian the same purpose of winning and building souls, and your talents could determine how you do it.
Nothing should make you forfeit your purpose. Besides thinking and acting out of the box and not following the status quo of what sells and what doesnít would get you the land of innovation and success that those who think outside the box live in.
4) Hanging On
In the video game industry there are certain things you do especially are an Indie ( Independent ) developer that would not seem to get enough awareness or respect. At a point you may even feel as if all the things around you are telling you that you are wasting your time and should get a real job.
I have a special message to tell you. You may have heard it before but itís time for you to take it seriously. ďHold onĒ.
As a matter of fact tell me start off by telling you to truthfully ask yourself a question; Do you love what you are doing? If you love making video games from the bottom of your heart. That love would first of all keep you rooted on track. No matter how responsible leaving making video games looks, you would not find peace of mind leaving because of the love that burns in your heart. That love that draws you towards video games just wouldnít let you go.
5) Soaked ( full of the charged anointing )
There is nothing like being full; being full of joy, full of peace, full of wisdom, having a bank account thatís full. Even having a full glass of orange juice with the glass all wet like it was soaked in water because of the soaked content.
Itís also wonderful 4 a person to be full of and soaked in the anointing. When a man is soaked with the anointing he is unstoppable; nothing in the world can stop him. He cannot be disadvantaged. Even when things begin to look bad all he has to do is stand up and change the situation by speaking; making declarations of faith. Speaking forth words full of power; speaking Godís word into that situation to change it into something positive.
To get soaked you have to speak in other tongues to stir up that anointing to bubble up and overflow pouring out on you. Spend time praying in the spirit ( speaking in tongues ).
6) Preach it
In todayís world, preaching the Gospel is not looked at something thatís cool. As a matter of facts to some people itís something that only fanatics or crazy people do.
This mentality in the society has made a lot of believers to keep their faith on a low key. Even Christians avoid talking about God for fear of being rejected by the public. Most Preachers have even fine tuned their message that canít even tell where they are preachers of motivational speakers.
This sad sorry can also be told in the entertainment industry. A lot of people say that Hollywood doesnít have anything good, holy or Christian but what they donít realise is the large number of Christian who live and work there but have been so watered down that you canít tell the difference between them and the people of the world. Some may not be involved in most of the sinful stuff that goes in within the industry but most compromise regularly and ask God for forgiveness behind closed doors.
Of course this also applies to the gaming industry.
My message to Christians in the gaming industry is to ďPreach itĒ. Preach the unaltered and unconcentrated word of God. Be bold donít beat around the bush go straight to the point and get them saved.
7) The Art of Teleportation ( Transportation by the word )
The book of Acts is such a wonderful book of the Bible. It has detailed accounts of miracles that took place in the early Church. One of those Miracles where done by Philip. Actually it was more of done by the Holy Ghost since the person it happened to wasnít really expecting it to happen; I guess.
The bible tells us that after Philip baptised the Ethiopian Eunuch he suddenly disappeared and found himself in another part of the continent where the Holy Spirit wanted him to preach the Gospel.
Philip actually teleported by the Spirit, a little bit similar to the way Noob Sibot does in the Mortal Kombat video game although he wasnít going to kill anyone.
The Holy Spirit can till take you to places you ought to be like he did with Philip. Actually, I donít want to talk about a physical teleportation, I want to talk about teleporting from one level of success to another.
The Spirit of God can make you skip some stairs on the ladder of success and get you miles ahead in little or no time. The bible talks about how God blessed Jacob when he was with his Uncle Laban and his flock multipled. That means that they didnít not flow the natural system of growth but they just automatically increased. God speed up the process. With look Jacob a few weeks to accomplish what others accomplish in years.
8) The Relay Race
The Christian life is like running in a relay race. The day you begin your Christian walk is the day you start running that race. Others have come before U some have made their mark and cleared the way for U. Making your announcing the good news easier. Some have but U ahead so U donít have to start running from the original starting line. Any where God puts U in the race to start from is your personal starting point. A good example is a Pastor who starts a Church from nothing and dies with it having a thousand members. Now his son or who every takes up the responsibility doesnít have to start from where his Dad started with Zero members but he starts from where his Dad stopped with a thousand members.
As Christians we should remember the work of those who came before us and set us ahead of were we may have started from. We need to respect them, tell the word about them, celebrate them, make video games about them ( which would be for once a positive and inspiring story to be told in an entertainment medium ).
The Gospel that we preach with such freedom today got to us stained with the blood of Martyrs and Christians of old. Some that would never be known or recognized until we see each other in the sweet by and by.
Also run your race well. Do what U have to do.
Philippians 3: 14
9) Live life to the full ( ENjOY UrselF )
1 Timothy 6: 17
I once watched a movie where the key character was told that she had a number of days to live because of a disease.
She ended up travelling to another country and doing the things she always wanted to do.
It took that kind of bad news for her to be sincere with herself and live life to the fullest.
The lesson here is that, we should ask ourselves if we are spending every moment of our lives well. If we are giving a second chance in life to do anything we want, will we do what weíve always done because itís the best thing to do? Or we do something else because what weíve always done is what we donít want?
Think about it and remember U are in control of Ur life and all that U do. U canít do anything because U donít have a choice. There is always a choice in the world of the wise because a wise man knows if there is no choice he can CREATE a choice.
10) You were born rich
ďFor we know the grace of our lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be richĒ
2 Corinthians 8: 9
The lives of most people is structured in a way that they do all they can to get money. Some live their life following the slogan ďGet rich or die tryingĒ. Their mentality is as one running after money.
Well, if U are a Christian U do not run after money. You already have money. The bible tells us that Jesus not only paid the price for our sin therefore making if impossible for us to have sin, but he also paid a price to ensure we can never be broke or poor. A Christian cannot be broke the same way a Christian cannot be a sinner.
A Prince may not have money in his pocket all the time but he is still rich. Itís the same way with you; ďYou are a ROYAL priesthoodĒ the bible declares. Being rich is who you are, itís has nothing to do with your bank account. Besides itís who U are that controls the size of your bank account.
Let me explain that. You may have a large bank account but may not have developed your skills and talents and is therefore unproductive. If something happen to your account like someone rips you off in a business deal, you would never have a large bank account again. But if you are Intelligent and skill-full no matter what happens to your bank account you can always rebuild.
Being Intelligent and skill-full is who you are and itís what determines the size of your bank account.
ďIf ye be willing an obedience, ye shall eat the good of the landÖĒ
Isaiah 1: 19
Obedience is a very important virtue but what really matters is knowing who to obey. Remember there are two sides to obeying; obeying God or obeying Satan.
Of course, Satan only wants to ruin your life so if you donít have a mind control device over your head and you have some sense, you would know you should obey God.
So the question is, How do I hear what God is saying to obey him in the first place? And if I hear a voice, How do I know if itís Godís voice?
Well, you have to realize that God speaks to us thru his word. The Bible contains Godís principle message to you. You can also receive a personal word from God by studying the bible with your heart involved in what you are doing. Which would give the Holy Spirit and opportunity to minister specially to you while you read. Making you see things others didnít see while reading or relating what you are reading with decisions you have to make and answers you are searching for.
If everyone knew this truth, their would be a lot less mistake made in the world today.
ďWhatever a man sows that also shall he also reapĒ
One of the most important spiritual laws is ďthe law of sowing and reapingĒ. You cannot prove the law in a science lab but everyone knows that it is true. Even non Ė believers call it ďthe law of KarmaĒ and act like they stole it from somewhere else.
Well, what U do today is the mother of your tomorrow. In other words, if you are always making video games and learning more about making video games, it is clear that in the future you would be a world renowned video game maker.
In the same way, if you are an aspiring video game designer and you spend most of your time trying to be the greatest playboy in your city or neighbourhood; in the future you would be the fellow that death could pay a visit anytime after youíve contacted an S.T.D or come face to face with the fellow whose wife you slept with.
How we view our relationship with God is very important. Do we view God as a task master ( which he is not ), a friend ( which is up to you ), a boss or whatever. Well we can all view God as more than one thing as far as they are all correct but one way to view your relationship with God is as a partner.
When I say partner, think of it as a combination of business partner and marriage partner.
(A ) Business partner as in you are both involved in the business of winning souls. You both plan and scheme; draw out a blueprint of how you want to win souls each year with his guidance. Just as a business man would draw out a blueprint of how much money he wants to make in the coming year with the guidance of financial advisors.
Let soul wining be as serious to you as a King preparing to go to war.
(B) Then marriage partner as in you donít take decisions without God involved.
All your plans are you and God plans just as a man makes plans for his future with provision for his wife. No married man in his right mind would make decisions like is his wife doesnít exist; example relocating to another country permanently without any problems with his wife or even saying Goodbye.
You also have to spend time with God talking to him like every married couple should.
14) Laughter ( Laughter is Medicine )
The bible tells us that Laughter is medicine. That means that laughter has a curative power. It can revitalize us.
I guess that means the opposite of Laughter lacks curative power and instead of revitalizing us; it deteriorates us. The opposite of Laughter is Anger.
Anger can kill. Itís actually a slow killer that starts by eating away at the heart and soul of the one who harbours it. Then it spreads and Ö bad things happen especially to itís victim.
Itís important that we spend time laughing. It doesnít matter if someone said something funny or not. Laugh or at least smile. Have an atmosphere of joy around you. Be excited about making people laugh and let that excitement lead you to make video games that make people laugh or happy. Donít make video games that would leave gamers sad. Even if you feel itís necessary to explore some dark issues in the story line, make sure it is not all dark. Let someone who plays your video game have a reason to smile and forget their troubles. Better yet, let their troubles be wiped away.
15) Be slow to speak
One thing that Iíve found to be one of the most important aspect of my character is being a quite person.
As a matter of fact the bible tells us in the book of proverbs that a person he is quite would seem wiser than he really is.
When we want to say something thatís on our mind, it best we first of all think about the result of what we are going to say and is there a better way of saying what we want to say. Even if U want to say something good to someone, ask yourself if it could be interpreted as flirting, a random comment or something else.
Of course U have to think quickly but U must always way the odds and the situation.
If U are asked your opinion on a matter, always hear both sides of the story and make sure Ur decision can be supported by at least a bible verse, to the best of your ability.
16) Upgrade ( keep upgrading Ur mind & persona )
We all upgrade stuff around us; our clothes, our video game consoles, our electronic devices, etc. But we donít pay attention to upgrading the most important thing that needs to be upgraded almost every minute.
Iím talking about our minds and persona. We shouldnít forget to upgrade them by receiving the right type of information either by reading, listening ( to an educational audio book ), watching ( educational programs ), attending seminars, etc.
If U donít see the need to even do any of these things, U R very funny. If U cannot find anything educational that would be of really good help to U, U must be very funny.
Now, Iím not saying that U should run after every kind of education. For instance, Iím a VG Designer, I canít run off to medical seminars designed for brain surgeons and tell myself that Iím upgrading myself. But if I attend a Video Game convention and listen attentively, I have indeed upgraded myself.
Itís also important that U know I writing this with does who have finished school in mind. A college degree is not a pass to stop learning.
17) Live in the Spirit
In life there are two worlds; the spirit world and the physical world.
The physical world contains all the things that we can touch and fell; matter. Things that we can relate with. But the spirit world consists of things we cannot see; angels, spirits, demons and stuff.
Well these are already things we know about the spirit world but what we donít know is that even as we are alive today in our physical bodies, we also have spirits. Therefore there is no denying the existence of spirits.
Our spirits have needs too just as the body has needs. Our spirits need to feed on Godís word. It needs the word of God to sustain it. Without the word of God, our spirits are like dehydrated slaves a few steps away from death.
18) Control life ( from the realm of the Spirit )
Life can be controlled from the realm of the Spirit. You see the spirit world controls the physical world. Besides God is a spirit and he rules from the realm of the spirit.
Things like praying in tongues or English is a spiritual thing, and such spiritual things are what is going to give us the advantage to control life.
When we pray; things change. Others may be trying to make things work out for them for the physical realm. They may need a job and they end up running around town with their resume in there hands but we sit down at home and pray, when we get up and show up into any office of our choice they beg us to become their staff. Thatís because we control things from the realm of the Spirit. We are not like others. We understand that the Spirit world controls the Physical world, so we take advantage of that knowledge.
Jesus once said, ďwhatsoever you desire, when you pray believe that you have received them and you shall have themĒ.
What Jesus was saying was that first of all we have to desire a thing before we pray for it then believe and then received.
Your desire comes first. How many times have we prayed for something with desire. Remember desire comes from the heart so no matter how much you want something as far as your prayer is not coming from your heart itís not likely to be answered.
You could just mumur a prayer from your head on something you want it had no emotion. You really donít care about the pray from the bottom of your heart. You are just praying for that sake of praying. That kind of prayer is not likely to be answered.
Remember, if your own prayer canít touch your heart, what makes you think it would touch Godís heart.
20) A Dreamer ( is all it takes 2 make a +ve and major change )
A lot of great men thru history and inventors thru time have all been called dreamers.
They spoke about doing things that seemed impossible at the time. They spoke about doing things that nobody else had done. They were normally laughed at and teased. Some were tagged insane until the dream became a reality.
In this life that we live in, all it takes to make a positive and major change is a dream.
The question is, ďDo you have a dream?Ē.
If you have a dream; how big is it?, Does God approve of it?, Are you man enough to stick with it when the road to fulfilment gets rougher with persistence?
Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly. Remember, the fellow who is not a dreamer is a nobody.
21) You are different
ďIf any man be in Christ he is a new creation. Old things have passed away and behold all things have become newĒ
- 2 Corinthians 5: 17
The bible tells us that we are new creations, different creations from what came out of our motherís womb. We are Godís children; divine beings. We are not born of flesh but of the Spirit.
Itís called the new birth. Even though we may still look the way we looked before we received Christ and may not feel like anything has changed. The truth is everything has changed. We have now be transported into the Kingdom of life.
The bible calls us citizens of heaven. It doesnít say potential citizens of heaven or future citizen of heaven, it says we are already citizens of heaven.
We live a different kind of life, we are not ordinary.
If you are a Christian, note that you are different.
22) Keep Ur focus on the master
This world is full of distractions. There are a lot of things that might want you to take your eyes of Jesus. Many reasons may pop up for you to leave Christianity but no matter how badly you might want to backside and walk away from Christianity, you have to be strong.
23) Watch your tongue
The tongue is one of the smallest parts of the body but it is also one of the most important.
The bible tells us that our tongue is like a little rudder ( a steering wheel of a large ship ) that controls the direction of our lives. The bible also tells us that live and death is in the power of the tongue.
That means that what ever you say would affect you negatively or positively. If you use your mouth to say things like ďThis sun is so hot, itís killing meĒ or ďIím so exhausted from work today I feel like I would dieĒ.
Those kind of words is setting you up for failure and death. Be careful of the words that come out of your life. Donít take words lightly. Remember that this world and everything in it was created by words, words that came out of the mouth of God.
24) Your Circle of Friends (Should help U move forward or change it )
Itís important to watch the kind of friends you keep. A popular saying goes, ďshow me your friend and I would show you who you areĒ. That saying has remained thru and have been in existence for generations. It has been tested thru time and has proofed itself consistently.
You friends would ultimately influence you and are actually the most likely influence you would ever have.
I remember when I was in high school and I didnít get high grades. Someone told me to start hanging out with the smart kids. After I did, I noticed I started improving academically. I started doing what they did ( reading ), thinking like them and acting like them. Friends are a large influence on a person.
If you hang out with the wrong friends you would end up in the wrong place like them.
In life as far as your relationship with people go; there are two kinds of people: those who add to your life and those who are a minus to your life.
Personally, I stay away from anyone who doesnít add anything to my life. I donít care if they think they are neither adding or subtracting. I just wouldnít hang out with them.
I can only hang out with those who would make me a better person, take me higher or increase my bank account.
Remember, sometimes success is propelled by who you know and not what you know.
25) Strong Eyes ( Keep seeing faith inspite of staggering opposition )
There are times in life were all that is around us is inconsistent with what Godís word says to us. At times like that we should keep our eyes focused on Godís word and ignore how things around us look like.
Remember Peter walking on water to Jesus. When he took his eyes of Jesus and looked around him and saw the things around him that basically suggested that it is impossible for him to do what he is already doing, then he started sinking.
Let your eyes be strongly fixed on Godís word so even in times of opposition, you would stand.
26) A Wild Man ( John the Baptist, take it by force
Jesus said that ďever since the days of John the Baptist, the Kingdom of God suffereth violence and the violence take it by force.Ē
Jesus was trying to let us know that if we want something we should have the attitude of a warrior. We should go for what we want like an athletic would go for the winning trophy.
27) Seeing the Future
ďHowbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to comeĒ
- John 16: 13
When the Holy Spirit comes into your life, you are led by him ( if you let him ). Since he knows the future and he talks to you; In order to guide you he would end up telling you the future.
He would tell you where you would end up if you make whatever decision you want to make. He would tell you the right decision to make and tell you where that decision would take you.
Knowing the future like that is sure going to put you ahead in life.
28) Delighted in the Light
ďDelight thyself also in the lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heartĒ
- Psalm 37: 4
Itís important for us to be delighted about God. That means we sincerely love to be in his presence and spend time with him in fellowship or prayer.
We should be excited about going to church and it shouldnít be something we look at as a form of sacrificial service to God. It should be something we look forward to and enjoy every moment of.
29) The Worthy Game Designer
ďStudy to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truthĒ
- 2 Timothy 2: 15
To be a good and worthy video game designer, you have to study.
Study the word of God and everything about your vocation. Get the right information into your system.
Listen to video game designer oriented podcasts, read VG designer type magazines. Donít let things that have to do with your vocation that could be helpful to you pass you by. Get them and study them.
Itís not a crime to try to know everything about your vocation. If anything, it would make you a lot better at your vocation.
30) Pray 4 Ur Leaders
ďI exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For Kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honestyĒ
- 1 Timothy 2: 1-2
Itís important we pray 4 our leaders. It doesnít matter if he/sheís a Christian or not, the person we voted 4 or not, etc.
The leaders of our nation make decisions that affect our future daily. Decisions like going to war, decisions that affects the economy of the nation or the environment.
I know that itís possible to live above the situations around you but the situations around you could still affect you by affecting those around you.
Itís important you pray 4 your leaders and leaders of other nations b/4 the continue making decisions that would wipe out God and Christianity from the society like they are doing in the United States.
31) Love or Hate
ďIf anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seenĒ
- 1 John 4: 20
The bible instructs us to love everybody. As a matter of fact, we are told that if we do not love our neighbour, we cannot love God.
That means if we claim we love God and are going to heaven surely we would love those around us. It doesnít matter if they are not deserving of our love or not, we should love them all the same.
This is something we should all think about and do some soul searching on.
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