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Reflections

Forthright about Fortnite

Are you a gamer? I know and love many gamers, but I am not one. I don’t play, watch videos about play, or appreciate verbal replay. And I admit to a special weariness toward Fortnite, which is why it’s so ironic that God recently used a reference to the game to minister directly and emphatically to my heart. If you missed that story, you can read it here: God Used Fortnite. In that post, I promised to provide more background to explain why I felt loved by His gesture, so here I am to be forthright about Fortnite. My main gripes are simple.

It is a long game with no pause button.

Everybody in my house, except me, plays Fortnite. Oftentimes, they all collaborate, on different devices, as a team together. (Ok, in full disclosure, I have a daughter who doesn’t play, but she didn’t live in my house at the height of my family’s Fortnite craze.) This game can take a long time and there is no pause button. So, what happens when dinner is ready? I have the choice to eat a lonely hot meal or to wait for my loved ones to join me for a cool and crusty one when they can finally break away.

It is a game where sounds are clues.

Because Fortnite requires an awareness of one’s surroundings, a player needs to be able to hear what is happening. Noises like phones, timers, and my voice can be distracting, so my gamers wear noise-cancelling headsets. These allow them to hear every little cyber sound, but no real-world racket. I have perfected the skill of touching someone to get their attention; but even then, I can only expect half an ear uncovered. (Admittedly, there are some perks to this one. If done right, a wispy brush across the back of their necks, when they had no idea I was approaching, can make them convulse in some very entertaining ways!)

It is a game of high emotion.

The headsets worn by the gamers in my family have microphones attached so they can dialog as they play together. When emotions run high, and they need to be heard above the cacophony in their ears, I am treated to a hoopin’ and hollerin’ like nobody’s business, and sometimes from all corners of our home at once! I have actually contemplated getting my own noise cancelling headphones or building myself a separate wing of the house. I jest. Or do I?

It is an addicting game.

We went on vacation soon after my family started playing Fortnite. We rented a nice house near the beach and we had more activities to enjoy than we had time to embrace them. But not a day went by when I didn’t hear someone lament that they weren’t home playing Fortnite. Seriously? Hmmm… they might just get their wish next time!

I joke a bit. A tiny bit. I haven’t exaggerated much. But truthfully, the gaming in my household is not as extensive as it was six months ago and certainly not as intense as a year ago. I like the direction this trend is going because it is a lonesome thing to be the only non-gamer in a Fortnite Family. It is hard not to be bitter about the time and money being spent to play. It is a bummer to be the odd woman out and to feel like the sole resonator of reason.

That is why, when God used a Fortnite reference as a means by which to minister something special to my heart, it felt like salve on a wound. I felt seen in my loneliness and challenged in my frustration and, in a way, made whole on the sore subject of Fortnite.

I’ve been asked why, if my family all plays, don’t I learn to like it too? My answer is always that if I also played, nobody would cook or clean or keep everybody alive. I don’t know if that is entirely true, but it has certainly felt that way at times. Also, I don’t relish the idea of wasting hours on end. I recognize that we all have our vices, and it’s easy to call out the ones that aren’t ours. That could explain why it is natural for me to be jaded and sarcastic and forthright about Fortnite.

Can you relate to my Fortnite experience at all? Is there a hobby you have which tends to be enjoyed at the expense of time with your loved ones? What makes you feel left out in a crowd? Has God been ministering to your heart about any of these things?

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Conversations Devotions

Guided Through the Tempest

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –

Psalm 107:2a

Redeem: to free from what distresses or harms, such as
a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom 
b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental 
c: to release from blame or debt: clear
d: to free from the consequences of sin

MerriamWebster.com

“Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.”

Psalm 107:23-32

What sort of storms has God guided you through? Maybe you have:

  • ridden the roller coaster of life with an addict
  • experienced prolonged frustration
  • been in the throes of panic
  • felt dizzied by constant change
  • been at the mercy of someone who couldn’t make up their mind
  • got a glimpse of eternity and didn’t like where you were headed
  • felt unable catch a break
  • had a mental breakdown
  • considered or attempted suicide

From what kind of tempest have you been redeemed?

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…”

Psalm 107:2

Please consider sharing how God has set you free from what once held you. There is no encouragement for someone in a dark place that is quite like the hope offered by someone who was once there but has been successfully redeemed! We’ve all been saved from something and most of us from many things. Let’s celebrate the wins between us; God has been so faithful!

This is the last post in the “Tell Your Story” series! If you’d like to revisit the others, here are the links:
Tell Your Story
Provision in the Wastelands
Broken Chains
Delivered from Afflictions

Categories
Conversations Devotions

Delivered from Afflictions

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –

Psalm 107:2a

Redeem: to free from what distresses or harms, such as
a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom 
b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental 
c: to release from blame or debt: clear
d: to free from the consequences of sin

MerriamWebster.com

“Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.  He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.  Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!  And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!”

Psalm 107:17-22

Has God delivered you from distress? Maybe you have:

  • had an eating disorder
  • suffered a serious illness
  • struggled with mental health challenges
  • experienced symptoms that were never diagnosed
  • felt starved for love or acceptance
  • experienced trauma
  • suffered through paralyzing fear
  • dealt with debilitating grief
  • been unable to forgive yourself for something

From what kinds of afflictions have you been redeemed?

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…”

Psalm 107:2

Tell your story in the comments below!

Categories
Conversations Devotions

Broken Chains

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –

Psalm 107:2a

Redeem: to free from what distresses or harms, such as
a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom 
b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental 
c: to release from blame or debt: clear
d: to free from the consequences of sin

MerriamWebster.com

“Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.  Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.”

Psalm 107:10-16

What darkness has held you? From what has God freed you? Maybe you have:

  • suffered addiction
  • been unable to forgive
  • felt trapped by sadness
  • endured abuse
  • been paralyzed by fear
  • gone to prison
  • been stuck in a toxic relationship
  • lost your will to live
  • felt pulled under by hopelessness
  • fallen deep into debt
  • been enslaved by guilt or shame

From what kinds of chains have you been redeemed?

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…”

Psalm 107:2

Tell your story in the comments below!

Categories
Conversations Devotions

Provision in the Wastelands

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –

Psalm 107:2a

Redeem: to free from what distresses or harms, such as
a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom 
b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental 
c: to release from blame or debt: clear
d: to free from the consequences of sin

MerriamWebster.com

“Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.  Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

Psalm 107:4-9

In what ways have you been unsettled and experienced God’s provision? Maybe you have:

  • gone through infertility
  • experienced isolation
  • been in between jobs
  • felt lonely or outcast
  • been homeless
  • gone hungry
  • had trouble finding a church
  • lacked direction in ministry
  • needed reliable transportation
  • felt far from the Lord

From what kinds of wastelands have you been redeemed?

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…”

Psalm 107:2

Tell your story in the comments below!

Categories
Conversations Devotions

Tell Your Story

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –

Psalm 107:2a

Redeem: to free from what distresses or harms, such as
a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom 
b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental 
c: to release from blame or debt: clear
d: to free from the consequences of sin

MerriamWebster.com

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

God is so gracious and compassionate, and He comforts us in our distress. He then allows us the blessing of being the comfort to someone else who is suffering. In this way, we get the gifts of both receiving and giving!

For the next several Fridays, I am going to give you, my Back Porch friends, the platform to share your stories.

I will provide prompts from God’s Word in weekly posts and ask you to tell your experiences of difficulty and delivery in the comments. Your testimony might provide the exact encouragement another reader needs to get through the troubles they have right now. I hope you will take the opportunity and tell your story!

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…”

Psalm 107:2

I’ll see you all back here on Friday!