Christianity When Held at Gun-Point

christian, artwork, optimism, optimism for the future, pessimism, pessimisticNote: I received the following write-up from someone in regards to a discussion on how we might work more effectively in sharing the Light of Christ to a broken world. It’s a very heartfelt letter on what our response should be in the face of difficult or tragic circumstances, which I now share with their permission. I hope you find it a blessing as much as I do!

I was wanting to write a few thoughts regarding a difficult incident I experienced one night a number of years ago. It was then that I was robbed at gunpoint with my young son nearby. After being held captive by this individual for several minutes, I was able to grab my boy and run across a four lane highway to safety – all while wondering if we’d be chased down as we ran. Thankfully, during the encounter, I was clear-headed enough to understand that the wisest course of action for this particular incident (out of concern for my son) would be to offer no resistance to the attacker.

During the time I had a gun in my back, I really did think about the possibility of being shot in the next few moments, and what this would be like for my son to witness. I prayed to the Lord, knowing that it – as all things in life are – was ultimately in His hands. Since then, I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy whenever I recall those feelings or the face of the attacker. But it did gradually get better, which I owe to the many prayers of my friends and family, and to the watch-care of our Father.

A couple of verses I have found encouraging are Proverbs 18:10 (which was sent to me by a friend) and reads, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” I also found Genesis 3:4 to be of interest, and how the serpent said to Eve that if she ate of the fruit, she would know good and evil. As I look at the devastation and chaos of sin all around us – “knowing” evil has indeed wrought an unimaginably horrific toll upon this world. Sometimes it seems like it can be pretty easy to become calloused or dismissive of evil when there is so much in the news and in the newspaper. But then, like what happened when we were robbed, it became very personal for us. Thinking of the person who threatened me and my son – while I hope for justice, and safety for others who might encounter this dangerous individual and his cohorts – I also pray that he will come to know the Lord some day. Because let’s be honest. Reforming bad behavior starts with the heart. And the only way to truly change the heart is through Christ.

Hope for the future, hopeful, peace on earth, goodwill toward men, christian, christianity, Christian ReconstructionismFurthermore, as that evening clearly demonstrated to me, there are no shades of gray – despite what a world apart from Christ might say. There’s right, and there’s wrong. As such, that night a couple years ago has served to powerfully reinforce that as a Christian, this life is no game. There are eternal stakes here. I’m as guilty as anyone about sometimes not taking on the responsibilities I should as a Christian – looking at a world gone mad on the television or in the papers – and shaking my head wondering why the Lord doesn’t intervene. But then, He already has. He’s intervened in my life, and in the lives of millions of others, through the power of His Spirit. Hope? Change? Purpose? Our world doesn’t know the true meaning. But as Christians, WE DO! May we all endeavor to work for Him in ALL spheres of life, and be ever more effective in sharing His Truth a world so desperately in need of the brighter tomorrow that only He can bring!

Don’t forget to follow this blog or share with a friend! Also be sure to check out Axiom’s Artwork tab (where a lot of awesome christian cartoons, illustrations and resources are available), as well as the Artist Page (where you can find interviews with great Christian artists)! And don’t forget to check out our books and resources tab, as we’ve got some really great ebooks, pdf resources and outreach materials available for you to use for FREE! Until next time, have a great day!

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Game Design: “Journey” and Christian Art

Journey, Game design, christian art, christianity, creativityIt’s been several years since the hit game “Journey” came out on the Playstation 3 game console. However, as I recently played it through the Playstation Now Subscription Service (via PS4) for the first time the other night, I was so impressed by the experience that I thought it worth devoting a little time to talk about this brilliant piece of interactive art – and how it might relate to Christian creativity!

Putting it simply, I think Journey is a perfect example of the kind of game Christians will want to look at if they’re interested in creating art (in the form of books, game design, music, etc) that help communicate our message to the world. Journey, which was released in March of 2012 by Thatgamecompany, beautifully conveys a moving story of a character as they walk, glide or fly through a series of stunning environments. And while it certainly isn’t a Christian game, it’s the kind of experience that is accessible to all – which is what many Christians working in the arts should be mindful of working towards. Children to adults will find this a compelling world to experience, as the players control a figure that works to achieve an objective without committing acts of violence. Journey also breaks down language barriers, as there is no spoken dialogue. Instead, characters are encouraged to help each other and “communicate” through the use of musical tones – which could be inspiring to those seeking to share the message of Christ with those who may not speak the same language.

The game also encourages thought and discussion about the journey of life, and what happens when we reach the end. For example, throughout the game there appears to be tombstones scattered about the landscape, which may suggest people who were killed in war – or died unexpectedly before reaching their goal. The in-game world also seemed as if it could be allegorical for our own world: beautiful and dangerous, but not in an ideal state. And then there are aspects of story which convey triumph and failure, and possibly even death near the end…and beyond!

Without a doubt, this award winning game is a unique experience (which some, like Game Informer, have even lauded as “Spiritual”) that is expertly told through music, story, eye-catching design, and finely tuned game mechanics. Since experiencing this story, I’ve found myself often thinking about Christian endeavors to communicate our message of Hope and Truth to the world. Some have been successful, and some – despite big budgets and countless hours of work – have not been overly successful at all. Sure, there’s certainly a time and place for communicating different messages regarding the Truth of Christ – and sometimes Christians may be required to give a more direct or “preachy” message. But whenever we are creating books, movies, games or other art, perhaps there’s something to be learned from the more temporary success and impact that works like Journey have had on millions throughout our world as well!

God has created an amazing world, and a stunning universe full of wonder. As an unrivaled artist, creator and designer, there is nothing our Creator has done second-rate! As such, I think that we too should be inspired to do our best for God and His Kingdom, and ultimately seek to surpass whatever secular humanity can offer!

Also see: Christ Centered Games Journey Review

Free E-book: The Story of Paul!

pauladThe Bible Story of Paul: Created in 2010, this free e-book utilizes 30 pages of colorful illustrations in order to convey the exciting life of Paul – a life dramatically changed by the Hope and Truth of Christ! Appropriate for kids, youth and adults, this book is sure to encourage and prompt discussion about what it means to be a christian. Don’t miss it! Click here to read! Also available on our Books & Resources Page! (PDF file, 2.8 MB)