Statutes And Riches

14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
Psalm 119:14 (NIV)

I am going to write on my usual topic, which is a taboo among religious people – the connection between obey God and enjoying great riches. Those who are infested with theology can never accept the connection between the two despite the overwhelming evidence in the Bible. The above verse is one of them.

In this article, I shall study and expound on this verse. If you read the verse, you will realize that the writer did not sound like he was forced to obey God. The verse does not say:

“I must follow your statues because I don’t want you to send me to hell.”

Or

“I must follow your statues because I don’t want you to do perverted things to me like giving me thorns in the flesh to show me your sufficient flesh.”

Throughout the Bible, we can see godly people obeying God because they want to and not because they were threatened to. As I have mentioned before, God is not a terrorist. Unlike the theologian, God is not despicable to the state where he intentionally did perverted things to people for any reason.

God is good and good means good. There is no alternative meaning to the term “good”. The definition of “good” in the Bible is exactly the same as in the dictionary. Once you are convinced of this truth, you will never be cheated by the lies of theology.

In the above verse, the writer was not only willing to obey God, he did it with a rejoicing heart. He rejoiced in obeying God as much as one rejoices in great riches. If a religious church is to preach on this verse, I am very sure that the preacher will come out with something really stupid like, “God commands us to rejoice in obeying his statutes. It is a sin to obey God without rejoicing and God does not delight in sin.”

In other words, you are forced to rejoice. If you don’t, God may show you some of his “sufficient grace”. If you think no one can be that stupid, pay a visit to a religious church. The truth will be out.

Enough of those heretics. Let us get back to the verse. The second part of the verse says, “as one rejoices in great riches.” It is a comparison. There are 2 meanings here:

1. We should rejoice in obeying God like we rejoice in great riches.

2. We should not be ashamed in rejoicing in great riches.

I have started with the first meaning and I want to continue with it. Many will ask on how to rejoice in obeying God? The answer lies in our understanding of the purpose of his instructions.

We need to understand that the God in the Bible is not a pervert. He will never do any perverted things to us like killing our loved ones, making us poor, sick and caused us to fail in anything. His highest priority is always for our good. God’s highest priority is for us to prosper in all things and be in health as our souls prosper. Whatever good things you desire, those are also God’s desires for you.

Once you understand this truth, you will never run away from God no matter what happens. Even if you have sinned, God is for you against your sins. God will never be against you for your sins. God is always on your side.

This means that whatever laws, instructions or commandments he wants you must lead to your good as well. So, you really want to have the best in life like a lot of money, good health, long life, happy family and success in everything, obey God. If you want to have the opposite, just do the opposite of what God tells you to do.

Once you are convinced of this truth, you will automatically rejoice in obeying God. This is the first meaning of the verse.

The second meaning tells us that it is godly to rejoice in having great riches. You should not allow the theologians to make you ashamed of having great riches. God gives you those riches because he loves you and he wants you to be happy with it. Start rejoicing with thanksgiving for your great riches.

If you don’t have any, rejoice anyway and believe you receive them. You will get what you desire in accordance to you faith. If you think you lack faith, spend time reading the Bible and other godly sources like this blog. Stay away from the lies of theology.

In conclusion, the Bible has stated very clearly that God is really good. Our role is to believe likewise.

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Age Of Empire 3: My Strategies Part 1

It was a long weekend. National Day was on yesterday and I took leave on Saturday. I was supposed to spend time with my son. However, a significant portion of my waking time was spent in playing Age Of Empire 3. The only comfort is, my 5-year-old son also likes to play. Of course, at his age, his only interest is to build things. He kept asking me to give him a villager to build what he wants.

In order not to waste my great talent in playing this game, I am going to explain my strategy to you. Let me begin with my preference.

Technology Stage.
This game was designed for the player to advance in their technology status. As for me I am not interested. So, I always opt for the highest stage. My interest is in fighting, not moving up the technological ladder.

Nation.
It is a game of war among nations. Players can choose to represent any of the selected nations. My favorite is the Ottoman. There are 3 reasons for this:

1. It has lower cost for farms. When I played as British, needed 800 units of wood to build a farm. As an Ottoman, I only need 400. I can build up my food production base at half the cost.

2. The villagers are free and they are produced at regular interval. This means I can channel all my food supply into building up my army.

3. It is the only nation that comes with a really big cannon. I love the way it blasts off my enemies.

Difficulty Level.
I choose Hard. I cannot win at the Expert Level.

Terrain.
This game allows land and sea battle. I don’t like the sea part because the ratio between a man to a ship very unrealistic. Therefore, I avoid any terrain with naval warfare.

I started off with the Great Plains. Now, I love Yukon because my enemies there launched extensive attacks on me. So, I basically amass my army and cannons to wait for them. Once they come, I just blast them.

Resource strategy.
There are 3 types of resources needed by the players. They are food, wood and coins. These resources are available throughout any terrain. Food can be gathered at shrubs and by hunting animals. Wood can be gained by chopping the trees. Coins can be mined from silver mines.

My strategy is to centralize my resource gathering process. The reason is simple. By focusing my economic activities within a small area, I can defend them easily. In contrast, if I am to spread out my people to gather resources, I am subjecting them to the risk of being killed by my enemy.

This is how I am doing it.

For food, I build farms instead of hunting. Each farm can accommodate up to 10 farmers. So, I have 10 people working on a small plot of land, which I can defend easily. As long as they are alive, my food supply continues.

For coins, I prefer to build plantations. Plantations are the equivalent of farms for coins. Like farms, it can accommodate up to 10 people working for coins. It shares the same benefit but for expensive than farm.

Unfortunately, there is no centralized location for wood. I have to send my wood cutters out to the forest to cut the trees.

There is also the market. The market allows the player to convert one form of resource to another. This is a real help to me especially when I am under attack. When I am in a battle mode, I will train soldiers fast. I will need a lot of food. If I run out of it, I will click on the market to use my coins to buy food. If I am also low on coins but I have lots of wood, I can sell the wood for coins and use them to buy food.

How I begin the game.

The game starts with a few villagers, some resources and an explorer. The villagers will automatically collect the resources. I will send the explorer to walk around the perimeter of the map. The map is circular. My purpose is to locate the enemy’s base, which is always at the other end of the map.

On the home front, once the villagers have completed their collection, there will be enough wood for a farm. So, I build a farm, mine silver and chop trees. As the villagers come at regular intervals, I just put them to work. When I have enough wood, I build my first barracks and followed by the market.

When the explorer finds the enemy base, I will move him out in the direction of my base. He will be stationed some distance away from the enemy base. I will explain the reason later.

When I have sufficient food and coins, I will create my first team of militias.

Every town centre comes with the choice of militia. It can only be clicked once. They are the cheapest and fastest to train. The downside is they are very weak. They can be easily killed. However, they are useful in the beginning of the game.

I send them to join the explorer. There had been many cases where my explorer met his counterpart from the enemy. They will then start to shoot each other. They also have the same fire-power. Having the militia will tilt the balance on my favor.

Then, when it is time to select resources from the home city, I opt for a batch of Janissaries. The Janissary is the foot soldier for the Ottoman.

When I played the British, the cheapest soldiers are the pikeman. They may be cheap but effective against the enemy’s calvary. So, I had the pikeman blocking the calvaries which the redcoats will fire on them.

Unfortunately, the Ottoman does not have pikeman. On the good side, the Janissaries are capable of fighting in close and far distances. At close quarters, they will take out their sabers to slash the enemies. When they are far away, they can shoot with their muskets.

I will send my first batch of Janissaries to join my explorer and militias outside the enemy’s base. Why do I do that? I am laying an ambush the enemy’s fortress cart.

Let me explain something about the fortress. Every player has access to one fortress which they have to request from their home city. A fortress has 2 functions. First, it has defensive cannons. It can shoot any enemy’s soldier that comes near. Second, it can train any type of soldiers.

I like my fortress to be near my home base where it can protect my town center, farms and plantations. My enemies like theirs close to mine. When that happens, I will amass my army near my fortress to defend against their attacks.

Here is the problem. The enemy tried to shoot my soldiers and retreated. When my troops chased them, they got too near to the enemy’s fortress. Then they got blasted out of existence. I have to manually remove them before that happens.

This is why I want to get rid of my enemy’s fortress before it was build. This is the reason why I lay an ambush right in front of their doorstep. I want to wait for the fortress cart to pass through to destroy it. When the fortress first arrived from its home city, it is in a cart mode. The player will select the desired location for the fortress and send the cart there to build it.

A fortress may be very powerful but when it is in the cart mode, it is extremely vulnerable. All I need is to shoot it once and it is history. This is my mission for my ambush team. The additional Janissaries are to fight off any enemy soldiers that get into the way.

After I have destroyed the enemy’s fortress cart, I will withdraw my ambush team back to my base to prepare my defenses for the coming assault.

That will be in Part 2.

Doing The Word

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:22-25 (NIV)

Today’s topic is on doing God’s Word. As I have stated many times in this blog, God did not give us the Bible to worship or create theology out of it. The Bible itself is a living Word of God and its function is to serve us as our tool for our prosperity. In short, God made his Word for us. He did not make us for his Word.

To emphasize the point, God did not send his Son to die for the sins of the Bible. Jesus died for us, not the Bible. The Bible is our servant for our use. Our role as Christians is to use it. We use the Bible by doing what it says. This is what James 1:22 is all about.

Verse 23 tells us what happens when we read the Bible and not putting what we have read into use. We will be like a man looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away immediately forgetting what he looks like. So, reading the Bible without putting it to use is as good as not reading it. It is a waste of time.

Time is precious. Don’t waste it. If you have no intention to put the Bible to use, don’t read it. If you want to read the Bible, make sure you put it into use.

Verse 24 tells us the benefits of putting the Bible into use. We will have access to God’s perfect law. Through this law, we can have perfect freedom and be blessed in what we do. I find this to be a great incentive to read the Bible.

I want freedom and blessing. Please note that the Bible never said the blessing of God as everything minus health and wealth. The blessing of God will give us everything we desire. What do you want that makes you happy? God’s blessing will give them to you even if these items are politically incorrect like a lot of money. God is not restricted by political correctness.

In conclusion, use the Bible. The Bible is designed to function as a servant or a tool for our use. Our role is to use it. Read the Bible and put what you have read into practical use. Soon, you will find yourself prospering in all things and be in good health as your soul prospers. This is the Bible in action.