From the mind of Tek (You've been warned)

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
I often have these grandiose plans of sitting down and writing out a wall of text detailing all my thoughts, hopes, and plans for the CGA and Tribe of Judah, then promptly get called back to helping clean my home to get ready for a new baby in early November. Even now, I'm shirking my responsibilities for a few minutes to start this thread.

Rather than post one long "braindump," I've decided to post stream-of-consciousness blurbs as the opportunities arise (or I simply make them).

My most recent post to the Prayer Request/Praise Report forum will help catch you all up to speed on what's happening in my life these days, so I'll quote it here:

So aside from the usual aches and pains, my left knee started hurting--a lot--whenever I bend my leg. I've been spending more time stationary at work lately because leadership has asked that we post log comments in every ticket every 7 days--which probably wouldn't be such a monumental task had my ticket queue numbers spiked after one of our team members not been laid off earlier this year when we were already short-staffed.

It's especially important I'm in good health not only for work, but also because my wife and I are scrambling to get the house clean and ready to take home a new baby within the next month (God willing). We have to clear out my office, which essentially turned into a storage room after I moved my laptop to the dining room table, and move new furniture in. Our house is decent, but we have too much stuff for the amount of storage space in our home.

So please pray for my physical health, mental health, and spiritual health during this very, very busy season. I know it'll all be worth it in the end, but the in-between phase is grueling at times.

And rest assured that I think of you all often and wish I could spend more time participating in and leading both the CGA and Tribe of Judah. I miss everyone very much and I'm fervently hoping that life will settle down in December or maybe even sooner and afford me the chance to get back into the swing of things online.
The CGA and ToJ communities are often on my mind and I wish I could spend more time with you all. I feel awful that I've failed to post the last 2 Sundays in the Verse of the Day Forum and I've asked Abba San if he could try to find a fill-in until January. (Side note: If you're interested in posting VotD threads on Sundays, please contact Abba San.)

I keep thinking about how I want to share about my struggles with chronic pain (of which the knee pain referenced in the post quoted above is only the latest episode), doubts that I'm still of significant help to this community, fears that the CGA and ToJ communities will become "closed circles" where Christians escape interaction with people who believe differently unless we actively and purposely seek opportunities to live out the Gospel by demonstrating Christ's love to those outside our ranks as well as to each other. And then I usually have to start getting ready for bed or get back to work.

Speaking of which, it's time for me to get ready for bed, so I need to close out this first post here.

I know our lives are busy (believe me, I sympathize), so I'm not expecting most people to read these threads. I confess my purposes are mostly--though not entirely--selfish, in that I want to make every reasonable effort to communicate my desires for the communities I lead (albeit infrequently and often poorly) but also wrestle with guilt for not being around nearly as much as I once was.

I still passionately believe there's a place and purpose for this community and it grieves me to think that I may be its biggest roadblock. My time to type tonight is short, so I'll close out by encouraging each and every one of you to seriously examine your own hearts, ask yourselves what, if anything, you want to see the CGA (and, for Tribe of Judah members, ToJ) accomplish in the next year, and start praying fervently for opportunities to share your faith and the love Christ showed you in redemption to others.

There's a lot of people out there that hate Christian gamers and many more who hate Christians. The Bible makes it clear that's the norm and not the exception. But we aren't charged with choosing who we share the Gospel with or held responsible for how those who hear the message we preach through word or deed react. We're called to share the Truth--that man's relationship with God is broken by sin and only Jesus Christ can make it right--whenever and wherever (real or virtual) we go.

So, yes, some of this thread will be me in full-on Eeyore mode and I pray you'll be patient with me. I won't be double- and triple-checking my posts like I usually do before posting, so expect more grammatical and spelling errors. But there's a lot on my mind I want to share with you all and, like me, it's sometimes messy. :)
 

The Mighty Gerbil

Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin
Staff member
So, yes, some of this thread will be me in full-on Eeyore mode and I pray you'll be patient with me.
Time to pin the tail on the Tek, Woo Hoo!

I won't be double- and triple-checking my posts like I usually do before posting, so expect more grammatical and spelling errors. But there's a lot on my mind I want to share with you all and, like me, it's sometimes messy. :)
No worries I won't grammar Nazi you if you don't grammar Nazi me. I think I come out ahead on that deal considering my edjimacation vs your editorness.

I understand you are busy and such Tek it's ok. Although you should really find the time to send me the Toj donation link for the TF2 motd (and more so send it to our website guy and ask him to add it). It doesn't sound like that much work and I kinda consider a means for people to make donations important to Toj's existence XD.
 

ursen

Officer SOE/LoE/Where's "here"?
VotD? I would pick up Sunday, but I am already carrying two days. The best help I can be is be faithful with mine. The Bible says that to everything there is a time and season, your time right now is walking with God and with family, don't worry about lessening your time with CGA. Just keep us posted on how pregnancy and family is going. I wait to hear your next update, Eeyore or not, will pray for you and this ministry.
 

Patriot

Active Member
As a husband and a father, your first and most important ministry is to your family. Never forget that. If they start to suffer for your time on these forums (or in games) you would do well to consider your role here very carefully.
 

JGouldie

Member
Regarding the Verse of the Day - ever thought about moving that into a blog? Most blogs support the ability to write an article and schedule it to post in the future, so Sunday's VotD could be queued on Friday/Saturday, alleviating that weekend stress. Additionally, if an entire theme or series smacks you in the brain, you can queue those up as a week-long series. Or stay a week ahead, and continue to update the blog post as you meditate on the verse for the week before it even goes live. Blogs still support comments, and it would simplify the task of "catching up" if readers fall a day or two behind. Just a thought...

Regarding everything else: family first, as others have stated. 1 Tim 5:8 comes to mind. Don't you love when a thought comes into your head, and then you realize that it's not your thought, but the Holy Spirit? I confess I don't spend time in the Word as I should, so it always amazes me when God retrieves something deep from within the archives of my brain. I'm not amazed that He has the power to do that - I'm amazed that He takes the time to bother with me, even when I'm not faithful to commit time to Him.
 

Abba San

Legacy of Elijah [LoE] - Proud Grandfather
Don't worry about the Sunday VotD - take some well deserved time away. Even Jesus needed to slip away from the crowd and sometimes even the disciples to keep his sanity. I'm sure he'd say, "Go and do likewise."
 

Tek7@Work

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Thank you for the words of encouragement, everyone. :)

Gerbil: The old ToJ site is gone, but I don't think it would be difficult for someone to create a new page with a donation link or even some donation buttons. I'll send a PM to rhematom to ask him if he could make us one.

Now for an update: Work on the house to make room for the baby continues, but we're still behind schedule. The good news is that my dad drove up this last week to install shelving in our garage, which is a HUGE help as we don't have nearly as much storage in our house as we'd like.

Today is the beginning of the 38th week of pregnancy, which means the baby is now full-term and all time spent in the womb from here on is "bonus time." We're praying we get just one more week before baby makes her debut so we can finish clearing the office to convert it to a baby room.

Please continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby, a healthy mama, and the last little bit of time we need to finish making a place for the little bundle of joy.
 

The Mighty Gerbil

Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin
Staff member
Today is the beginning of the 38th week of pregnancy, which means the baby is now full-term and all time spent in the womb from here on is "bonus time."
BONUS TIME! Tell Ember we expect a new high score! :p

Please continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby, a healthy mama, and the last little bit of time we need to finish making a place for the little bundle of joy.
Prayers for the Princesses have been happen'in :) . How has the knee been for you Tekzor or is that Teksore XD? Inquiring Gerbils want to know.
 
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Lethalon

Redeemed Guild Leader
Hi Tek,

I'd love to see TOJ start gaining momentum again, was drawn to this community over 4 years ago, it was my first exposure to a Christian gaming guild and a realization that faith and gaming didn't have to be two separate worlds.

Couple of random thoughts.

One of our challenges, respectfully, is that our site is out of date, and by that I mean content and completeness (there's no submit button on the registration page and who is monitoring the recruitment email?). Have we considered moving to one of the game hosting sites, like Enjin http://www.enjin.com/ ? I think the ability to add to our roster is key to our community.
 

CowRocket

Well-Known Member
Hmm.... I like the dated look, maybe I'm just old. SOLA uses Enjin and I find it weird. Maybe that's me being old again.

I believe that gaming forums such as this one slow down sometimes because of the absence of a key game that binds most members together. Blame the industry for that atm.

I still check these forums 2-3 times a day :D:D
 
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Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Prayers for the Princesses have been happen'in :) .
And I thank you for those prayers. Some time soon I should write up a summary of the birth story because, well, it's a doozy. :)

How has the knee been for you Tekzor or is that Teksore XD? Inquiring Gerbils want to know.
I'm hangin' in there. I think I'd feel much better if I ever developed the discipline to stretch and exercise every day. I have pain medication for when I hurt enough to take it, but I avoid taking it whenever reasonable.

Hi Tek,

I'd love to see TOJ start gaining momentum again, was drawn to this community over 4 years ago, it was my first exposure to a Christian gaming guild and a realization that faith and gaming didn't have to be two separate worlds.

Couple of random thoughts.

One of our challenges, respectfully, is that our site is out of date, and by that I mean content and completeness (there's no submit button on the registration page and who is monitoring the recruitment email?). Have we considered moving to one of the game hosting sites, like Enjin http://www.enjin.com/ ? I think the ability to add to our roster is key to our community.
We have multiple Membership Administrators monitoring new applications. If guild leaders and officers would like a way to more conveniently view a list of new members, I could ask rhematom, our Web Developer (or is Architect the current term?), if he could whip something up.

The site itself is actually relatively recent, but I agree that we need more content. The cool thing about the ToJ site is that it has a built-in WYSIWYG editor so even folks without web programming knowledge can jump right in and add content.

If anyone is interested in contributing content to the ToJ site, please send me a PM!

EDIT: I hadn't heard about the issue with the registration page lacking a submit button. Could you please post the details in this thread?
 
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Lethalon

Redeemed Guild Leader
Agree that a way for officers and leaders to see who has registered would be nice.

The trick with a dated look is that impressions do matter, and it 'appears' that we are faded/fading in part because of the dated look.

There's also: http://www.guildlaunch.com/
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Greetings, all!

I am still alive! (No, no, don't start singing that song from Portal.)

Our younger daughter is now 4 months old. Our older daughter turned 4 years old last month. "The Little" was on the verge of sleeping through the night, but then regressed at 4 months and has woken up 3-4 times a night for the last several nights.

So my wife and I are exhausted.

I'm still working the same job, though the radius of the area I support has shrunk drastically in the last week. The new territories make more sense, but it's starting to dawn on me that I won't get that "windshield time" driving between sites to clear my head nearly as often. I still like my job and I'm sure I'll adjust. It's just hard because you get somewhat attached to your sites and your users with whom you've established relationships with over time.

My wife had been keeping our baby home from church during cold and flu season, but she returned to church yesterday with baby, much to the pleasure of all the women in the choir. :) Yeah, I knew my baby was super-cute, but I admit it's nice to hear it from other people. :D

I'll be continuing to participate in a men's discipleship group on Wednesday nights. Our local church has been shifting its vision to focus on discipleship as taught in Scripture and it's a very exciting trend for someone who grew up in "us four, no more, shut the door" sort of closed circle church culture as a teenager.

As for gaming, I'm still playing Puzzle & Dragons and still seeking to find some sort of balance. I've more or less made peace with mobile games being part of my life now since it's exceedingly rare for me to get large chunks of time to sit down and play a game uninterrupted. Tuesday nights are the one notable exception and I am trying to participating in ToJ's TF2sday event any time I have the opportunity.

I've also picked up Monster Strike and I play it co-op with my wife and older daughter. Yes, my 4 year old plays Monster Strike. No, there isn't any payment information tied to the account. And yes, we lock all the best monsters to make sure she doesn't sell them on accident. Monster Strike's co-op is actually pretty fun, quick to set up, and something all 3 of us can play together even if we only have a few minutes to spare (which is usually all the time we have to spare with a 4-month old in the house).

I'm still making my way through Bravely Default ever so slowly. Trying to keep my progress report spoiler-free, I'll just say that I only have one gem lit up so far (and two-headed dogs are not my friend).

For longer gaming sessions, I try to hit up Mario Kart 8 where I've started the Mirror Mode GPs (and got gold on...whatever the one with Moo Moo Farm is--I <3 MOO MOO FARM). A while back, I unlocked World 12 in Super Mario 3D World, played some of the levels contained therein, promptly decided that I was satisfied with unlocking World 12, and moved on to other games. :) SM3W was a TON of fun and my older daughter really enjoyed watching me play. After any level where I collected a stamp, we would collaborate to create a Miiverse message, sometimes to hilarious results.

Aaand I think I've exhausted all the time I have for forum posts today. Now you're all caught up (more or less)!

Oh, and my wife and I still plan on coming back to GW2 some day! Really!
 

ursen

Officer SOE/LoE/Where's "here"?
Sounds like things are going tickety-boo overall. A Praise The Lord deal. The 4 month old will get back to normal soon enough, glad she is getting back to church, never too young to be in God's house.
 

Tek7@Work

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Sounds like things are going tickety-boo overall. A Praise The Lord deal. The 4 month old will get back to normal soon enough, glad she is getting back to church, never too young to be in God's house.
Sunday mornings are more hectic now, but it is wonderful having my wife back at church again (and I know she's very glad to be back as well). Our younger daughter didn't cry or even complain when we dropped her off at the nursery, so all is well on that front.

Nintendo has recently put out an in-house match-three Pokemon game...
Yep. I've played it...and it's not that great. It's like Nintendo is trying to follow rather than lead and it smacks of an experiment to slap free-to-play elements (in-app purchases, stamina/heart/lives on a timer, power-ups, paid currency like magic stones and in-game currency like coins, etc.) on top of a hastily assembled puzzle game with Pokemon art.

I wanted to like it. I really did. But PAD trumps it in nearly every way (art, gameplay, amount of content, depth, etc.) and that's before we consider that it's much more convenient for a father of two to play PAD or Monster Strke in short bursts (hold baby with one arm, take 30 seconds to select team and friend lead and start dungeon with other hand, take first turn, turn off phone, turn phone back on and resume when able later--this is a picture of my gaming life now).

I <3 my 3DS, but it's best suited to longer play sessions and games on the other end of the "pure gameplay" end of the spectrum (e.g. Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, and even Bravely Default, which is turn-based). I think Nintendo leadership caving to investor pressure is a bad sign for a company that, for better or worse, largely ignored outside voices and produced, in alternating order, works of genius and embarrassingly outdated online infrastructure. Sure, Nintendo fans don't get the benefits of an online service as mature as Playstation Network or Xbox Live, but we also didn't have to bother with any "DORITO-FLAVORED MOUNTAIN DEW COMING TO YOUR KINECT THAT'S WATCHING YOU SHOWER [This ad courtesy of the PRISM Program]" advertisement rubbish when you turn your console on, either.

With Pokemon Shuffle, it feels like that really sweet but socially awkward kid down the street who paints amazingly beautiful pictures but who just couldn't quite get the hang of algebra and was known to drift off into daydreams suddenly started using mild profanity in daily conversation to try to fit in with the older kids.

I didn't take issue with the Mario Kart 8 DLC because I felt like it was DLC done right (sanely priced and a generous amount of content that doesn't feel like it was stripped out of the original to make a quick buck while alienating a loyal fanbase *cough*Capcom*cough*).

But Pokemon Shuffle just makes me sad.

</rant>
 
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Kendrik

Moderator
Staff member
I love my 2DS. Also, glad for the Tek update. I just wanted to razz you about the game's release. Not been impressed myself. Mostly just waiting for PADZ/SMBE to hit our shores. haha
 

Tek7@Work

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
I love my 2DS. Also, glad for the Tek update. I just wanted to razz you about the game's release. Not been impressed myself. Mostly just waiting for PADZ/SMBE to hit our shores. haha
I'm still so hyped for PADZ and PAD SMB!

It releases a week before my birthday, so I think I know what I'm asking for from my wife this year. :D
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Bumping this thread to invite everyone who wants to chat with me to add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gummyzergling

If you think I might not recognize your real name, please send me a forums PM with your name as you have it listed on Facebook before you send a friend invite.

I'm going to try to be on Facebook more often and I already have the Facebook and Facebook Messenger iOS apps on my Apple toy (a.k.a. my iPhone 4S that I keep in airplane mode with the wi-fi turned on).
 
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