My, my! It has been an eventful last few months! I’ve been absent from my blog for the longest time and I think it’s high time I get back to writing. What I’ve been up to will have to wait until my next official blogpost, however, as I feel that my spiritual and social life over the past few months would be better expressed in an official “formal” blogpost. The main objective of this “update” is primarily to get the creative juices flowing after their near eight-month long congestion. With that, I’ll proudly take you through a few posts that have been either published or cancelled since my last update and tease at the next blogpost.
In late Summer 2020, I noticed one night that I’d been making more than just a few unwise financial decisions. The first few purchases were quite necessary in my opinion but they soon started to become less reasonably justifiable. I was bothered one night soon thereafter by the ongoing California fires of Summer 2020 and was confronted with the possibility that I would not be keeping a lot of what I’d been purchasing had I needed to make a hasty escape to Colorado or somewhere like that. If I remember correctly, this post was written in less than twenty-four hours which I suppose would be an excellent that it was a post that my Heavenly Father granted me the inspiration to write it.
Near the end of 2020, I noticed that the little traffic that my website possessed was declining. My left brain pressured me into pushing out one more post before the year was out to retain what was left of the small audience I had in Spring/Summer 2020. Blindly Obedient was not written because I had the inspiration I had when I wrote What Am I Taking? but, rather, because I so desperately wanted to be consistent by publishing one post per month and I was already past due by about fifty days. This post had been in production for about two weeks and the final edit occurred only a few hours after it was published simply because I wanted to share something before the end of the year.
Finally, we have the post I’d really been wanting to publish since the last update I shared. I mentioned in the Summer 2020 Update that I wanted to post a blog vaguely featuring Square Enix’s Avengers video game title. After a long string of psychological setbacks, I finally realized I’d been listening to The Wrong Counselor near the end of November. I actually started writing this post in Lynchburg, Virginia while at a wedding for one of the most amazing friends I’ve ever had but I originally intended for this post to end a very different way.
See, I start by bringing up my desire to store up savings in the hopes that I might vanish as a firm declaration that I am not who “other” people expect me to be. I then run through three of the Commander’s favorite agents to send in to my office to throw me off my participation with Joshua in his schematics on how to best conduct oneself. The last of these agents being Deputy Reese with his attractive assistant Suzi1 proposing that everyone thinks a certain way about me because they’re aware of what I’ve been through. I originally intended to finish the post by announcing my desire to vanish because I don’t have to stick around a town that judges a man by what happened to him more than a decade ago!
Now, let me explain why I why I didn’t do that. A few people I knew were convinced that eschatological concepts were being introduced at the time and that God was going to rapture His church soon after these concepts were introduced and [ahem] mandated. I currently have opposing views to these “concepts” being what they are theorized to represent but I adopted these beliefs long enough to think, “why waste money in pursuit of a life I never had if I’m never going to live [on this earth] long enough to see that life come to fruition anyway?” Primarily due to my doubts that I would follow through if I publicly declared I wanted to move, I decided it would be easier to just stick out life here in Tahoe until things end without much effort on my part.
. . . but it’d never be that easy. It never is.
A Divine Council
During the early-2020 nationwide quarantine, I had a few short bursts of inspiration through a particularly lazy time in my life. One of them inspired me to pick up a 2½-hour course from Dr. Michael S. Heiser on “The Believer’s Identity, Calling and Destiny.” Faithlife’s free book of the month will usually have a few sales that can be added before checkout and I think this course was one of them. I’ve no idea how I would’ve noticed the course otherwise. So I bought the course and was alienated by his study of a “divine family” created before humans referred to in the Bible as “sons of God” (Job 38:4-7; Ps 82:1, 6).
When he turned to the subject of humanity being given to “wicked and corrupt” gods following the Tower of Babel narrative, I considered recording my thoughts on this discovery and even suggest my own hypothesis as to who those other gods were! I hypothesized Greek and Egyptian mythical gods once serving on this divine council before being sent to govern other nations according to Heiser’s theory. I hinted at this post in my Summer 2020 Update in the final section where I shared the picture of Roxas sitting in the Round Room where Organization XIII holds their meetings.
In the Kingdom Hearts franchise, the antagonist party holds meetings in the room shown in the image above and this is the representation I subconsciously choose to replicate when I read verses like Job 1:6. I chose not to officially include writing about this theory just because I wanted to save material to be written in the next update. This never happened because my main focus throughout Autumn 2020 was finishing my Left Brain/Right Brain post. By the time that was finished, I learned that Heiser was pulling lessons from his book on Angels and quickly got bored once he downgraded his terminology from “other gods” to standard angels. Dualistically, I lost interest in writing after The Wrong Counselor similar to the writer’s block experienced after The End of Myself in early 2020.
A quick note on the post I did include in my Summer 2020 Update but never wrote: I really wanted to write this post eventually after The Wrong Counselor because I wanted to start an “About [topic]…” series on my blog but couldn’t think of enough material to write for me to want to post it on my blog. To quickly summarize, I saw a meme featuring an image from Rick and Morty (s4e3) that depicted fear of a rapidly-approaching death date as a sufficient reason to trust in Christ and I wanted to offer my two cents. In the end, I put off writing this post because I couldn’t fulfill my criteria for “standard” posts and the coming weeks would prove that even I can fall through the holes of my own faith.
[something about sympathy for the opposition]
Ignoring that ominous last sentence, I’d blame my lack of a writing ethic on my failure to read but I specifically recall reading Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future by Jun Eishima in early 2021. Final Fantasy XV had plans to release four DLC “episodes” that added to its canonical universe before the director, Hajime Tabata, signed on to other projects and the company accepted a loss and cancelled the scheduled DLC. They only finished Episode Ardyn because they were in the middle of making the add-on when Tabata said he wanted to branch away from AAA games. Episode Ardyn, Episode Aranea, Episode Lunafreya and Episode Noctis were then rewritten into a print format and translated into the book I started reading in April 2021.
A Savior Lost, the first story in this collection of four, follows the life of Ardyn and his ability to heal his civilization from the Starscourge. The scourge is a disease that can be contracted by anyone at anytime. Those stricken with the illness are morphed physically and lose their mind to madness, “causing the victim to lash out at anything nearby.” The infected, referred to as “Daemons” once heavily afflicted, are then separated from the community and eventually terminated. Ardyn sought to treat the condition by removing the scourge from the sufferer and accepting it as his own, returning the victim to their former selves.
However, this took time, leaving the many to be lost to the scourge as Ardyn saved the one and his brother, King Somnus, saw this as unfair to those that would be lost and their families. Somnus would choose to stay ahead of the scourge and rid the population of everyone touched by the malady. “It was cold, yes. But it was fair.” The healer would act in defiance of the king and proceed in his efforts to save the people, one by one. He was soon exiled to Angelgard and buried deep under ground where his anger could grow while he waited for a death that would never come due to the scourge’s regenerative abilities. It would be easy to think that I wanted to write about the similarities between Ardyn or those he chooses to save and the Christ or His “elect” but it’s more likely I wanted to write on a topic that arises after Ardyn is rescued from exile.
To be honest, I hardly remember the earlier half of this year as a heavy depression hit in early June that stole most of my spirit (the actual reason I’ve not written anything) but as I skim through Ardyn’s tale to jog my memory, I’m reminded of the antagonist’s perspective. When Ardyn encounters Ifrit the Infernian, a “god” according to the game’s lore, he initially assumes his desire to seek revenge “long withered.” Ifrit, with his godlike abilities, bestows upon Ardyn a vision in which Ardyn is shown he was “supposed” to be chosen as king rather than his brother, Somnus. Ardyn then accepts his anger and resentment as divine and seeks to exact revenge by bringing ruin to everything that Somnus had built: the kingdom of Insomnia. Ardyn thought that his quest for revenge was just only because a divine being put forth an effort to make him think that.2 With this new perspective, I’m very confident in my belief that I originally intended to write a blog suggesting that God’s sovereignty would deliver everyone, including Satan himself, to have differing opinions in order to fulfill God’s plan for eternity.
Upcoming Posts or Something, idk…
Notorious No. IX (Working Title)
See, I soon discovered that my “unbreakable” faith which I wore like a badge for anyone to try and take a swipe at was dependent on the belief that God controls eternity and that, because He does, everything happens for a reason. This presents a problem however if, by chance, I am dissuaded from this belief. “But Christopher! Who could possibly convince you otherwise? Trust in God’s sovereignty is essential in that misfortune may be justified. Surely, there can be no higher truth!” While considering my response to a few great objections put forth by an attractive woman I’d been discussing these topics with, I misjudged the degree at which I needed to turn my bicycle tire and ended up in the dirt which, contrary to my core beliefs, I did not think needed to happen.
To be sure, Alice3 was certainly an attractive woman but she wasn’t anyone that I should’ve sought anything beyond friendship with. She used to work in another department so we didn’t see each other or talk much but I caught her one day before starting and struck up a conversation since it’d been a while. This happened a few more times until she finally just gave me her number so we could schedule a time and place to catch up. We ultimately decided that it would be fun to meet at her place for dinner and a movie every so often. I considered the possibility that my romantic feelings may interfere with casual movie nights but I shrugged that off because I was confident those feelings, had they developed, would not be reflected and I value friendship far more than I do any romantic feelings.
As we spoke over dinner before putting on a movie, our conversations would occasionally dip into the Spiritual realm. I knew she wasn’t a Christian but evangelism isn’t really where I perform best so I only talk about my faith when I’m asked about it as a way of confirming genuine interest and abstaining from arrogance. We started talking about misfortune and I defended my belief as best I could but was unable to convince her of the Lord’s sovereignty. My faith was particularly fragile when I started to question this belief. When I fell on my bike and questioned why God would let such a minor inconvenience like that happen if it didn’t need to, the rest of my faith fell like a house of cards even so far as to question the very belief in a Creator who doesn’t control His creation.
…and when my belief in the God of Israel was put into question, someone or something needed to take His place as a reason to live and there weren’t a whole lot of “gods” to choose from. Might as well make it the woman who took out the last one. That is why Alice is romantic interest #9: Not because I wanted her to be but because she had to be in order for my life to have meaning.
Y’know, these updates are written as pages so as to not interrupt the stream of standard blogposts on my front page with these posts about blogs I’ve written and blogs I intend to write. A consequence of this, however, is that the update pages aren’t included in the reader section of WordPress. I have a few friends and family that are interested in reading things I share to Facebook or other messaging platforms and breaking the silence on my blog may garner a little more attention than usual. Still, I don’t write these updates in the hopes of getting views.
In fact, looking back on posts I’ve already written or even looking forward to posts I haven’t yet only serves to distract me from the present just because it’s more content to add to my blog. My entire blog, really, is more like a public journal than it is about individual topics that people would find genuinely interesting. I only bring this up because it shows that getting others to read what I write is not the reason I blog: I write for me because it’s something I like to do.
Although, sharing publicly to my blog is therapeutically beneficial in that I know I am not going to be the only one with the ability to read it. It would not be contrived to suspect that I would be less concerned with the words I use or paragraph structure if I didn’t have an audience but it’s mostly about accountability. Posting for others to see promotes humility and introspection because my readers may think differently so I have to walk through my own perspective to explain why I chose why I acted a certain way. Because of this, writing the post about No. IX may prove difficult depending on how transparent I want to be in my confessions.
Hypothetically, I could avoid mentioning Alice all together if I just abandon my ambition to write about the spiritual journey that transpired during my absence from blogging. There’s a lot I wanted to write but I suppose it’s not something everyone needs to know. Alice is never going to come up again anyway. She’s gone. …but maybe that’s why I should just write it. For the spiritual journey it was, huh? That’s what my blog’s really about anyway: what it’s like inside the mind of a struggling Christian. Still, I imagine it’ll be a while before I post again since there’s so much to write.
Until then… y’know.
1 A personification of my persistent depression and suicidal thoughts, respectively.
2 In an effort to find a screenshot featuring Ardyn to headline this post, I watched the game movie and was also reminded of Ardyn’s conversation with Bahamut at the end that more directly suggests this point of view.
3 I’ll be honest in mentioning that Alice is not her real name but I only use an alias because I wasn’t really attracted to her but to the hope of finding another god. A false god. A lie. Ali[c]e.