Hi again! Serv here. It's time for me to go back to college, and with that will come a lot of heavy-duty classes and homework that will make playing on the server regularly just about impossible. It's sure been fun to see everybody again, and I'll be sure to stop by from time to time, although you probably won't see me around much for long stretches of time. At least, I HOPE not, because if you do you'll know that my studies are not going well!
What a pleasure it's been to have fun with everyone in this crazy time of transition, and I couldn't be happier about the timing of it! I got to see the new server, and I love the Christ-centeredness and the friendliness of the community! I hope we enjoy a long and happy relationship with Agape Creation Network.
I'd like to share something about a passage from the Bible that's been on my mind for awhile now, Ecclesiastes 2:4-11 (yep, the Old Testament! XD):
I increased my possessions:
I built houses for myself;
I planted vineyards for myself.
I designed royal gardens and parks for myself,
and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. . . .
I also amassed silver and gold for myself,
as well as valuable treasures taken from kingdoms and provinces. . . .
So I was far wealthier than all my predecessors in Jerusalem,
yet I maintained my objectivity:
I did not restrain myself from getting whatever I wanted;
I did not deny myself anything that would bring me pleasure.
So all my accomplishments gave me joy;
this was my reward for all my effort.
Yet when I reflected on everything I had accomplished
and on all the effort that I had expended to accomplish it,
I concluded: "All these achievements and possessions are ultimately profitless—
like chasing the wind!
There is nothing gained from them on earth."
I know this sounds really heavy and serious, especially considering that Minecraft is just a game, but if I could pass along anything in the way of advice, like Woiv has done, this is what I'd love to tell you. Minecraft can be exciting and interesting, and it's a great way to find new friends and have fun with them!
But, it won't satisfy you.
It won't fill up your heart, and it won't matter in the end how many builds you made or how many enchanted books and resources you've gathered.
Minecraft gives you a unique and wonderful opportunity: the chance to see what it's like to spend your life building your own kingdom and storing up riches for yourself before you actually try in real life, like the Teacher of Ecclesiastes did. He was wealthy and powerful, a magnificent ruler, and when he got to the end, he found that nothing had satisfied him at all. Praise God, Minecraft let me experience just a little bit of that before I started living just like the Teacher!
I'm sure you've heard this a thousand times before, but even though Minecraft is a lot of fun when you use it right, it's so easy to get sucked in. I'm almost 21 years old, and the draw is just as strong as when I was in middle school. BUT, don't get me wrong: God is not a killjoy, He's the Author of real joy!
There's a phrase I've heard a couple times that says that we all have a God-shaped-hole in our hearts, and anything else we try to fit into it will fall through, leaving us just as empty as before.
BUT, if our joy is in Jesus Christ
--the Son of God who created us, loved us while we were still God-hating sinners, became human, lived a perfect life, let himself be killed on a cross, conquered sin and death by rising again from the dead, rose to reign at the right hand of the Father and lives in those who believe in Him for salvation by the Holy Spirit (that was one holy mouthful, wasn't it?)--we will be satisfied!
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6)
When your life is built on Jesus Christ, and when He is your foundation, your joy, your source of meaning and purpose and happiness and everything you need to live, Minecraft and everything else becomes another way to bring Him glory! In laying Minecraft aside to follow Jesus, Minecraft itself becomes more complete than it ever could have been otherwise!
Jesus is not the means to an end. He IS the end; He's the beginning, middle AND end! He IS the joy, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!
Don't be a Christian gamer first. First, be someone who loves, cherishes, adores and breathes the awesomeness and supremacy of JESUS CHRIST, the Maker of the universe, the Savior of sinners, the Satisfaction that your soul longs for!
Be filled, filled with joy and truth as only the One who loves you can fill you.
Then, and only then, play the game. And have fun!
God bless, and keep on serving the King!