Friday, March 28, 2014

Does God really help those who help themselves? Some lessons from Psalm 107

There is a popular saying that "God helps those who help themselves". The mere popularity of this saying is evident in the fact that this proverb has its own Wikipedia page ("God helps those" 2014). However, this saying is not in the Biblical text. The question is, does God really help those who help themselves? My recent Bible study on Psalm 107 may be able to shed some light on this matter.

Psalm 107, in general, is a passage that describes the redeemed of the LORD. When I apply principles of literary or narrative analysis to the text, some interesting ideas emerge. While I shall not go into in-depth coverage here, I sum it all up to say that all the redeemed of the LORD encounter some event of misfortune, danger, affliction or crisis.

In fact, when I analyse the text, I see five groups of redeemed people:
  1. Redeemed migrants/immigrants who get lost in deserted places where they cannot access food or water (verses 2-4).
  2. Redeemed people who are prisoners either literally in chains or mentally as in depressed because they failed to listen to or rebelled against God's counsel or words (verses 10-16)
  3. Redeemed people who are sick or afflicted because of their iniquities or sinful ways (verse 17-18)
  4. Redeemed people who are business travelers (rich guys), who go to sea to conduct business and God decides to humble them by making their journey a scary one (verse 23-30)
  5. Finally, there is a category of redeemed humble, hungry and poor folk, who become oppressed by princes or rulers or governments (verses 36-42).  

From these, I can see four main sources for troubling situations such as disasters. Human beings face troubling situations and circumstances because:

  1. God created it. As in the vast earth with uninhabitable spaces through which the immigrants or migrants have to travel or in terms of the storm at sea that God used to scare business travelers and seamen .
  2. God permits it. As in the case of the oppression by the princes of poor people, so that he can make the princes look bad and rescue the poor people
  3. Our fault a). We do not listen to or rebel against God's counsel and word, as in the case of those redeemed who become prisoners.
  4. Our fault b). We have sinful ways and iniquities that bring about diseases and problems upon us. In this regard, we may unintentionally or willfully do things that cause "hell" in our lives because we can't help sinning.
The good news though, is that despite all these sources for our troubles, when we are at our wits' end and have given up on our own ability to come out of the trouble, then God steps in. This he does so that he can get all the glory as the hero that saves us from our troubles. In the end all, God helps those who are in need, but only after they have exhausted all their efforts and call out to him for help.


God helps those who help themselves. (2014, January 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 29, 2014, from

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Order My steps O' Lord (Original song post)

I continue to upload the songs that the Lord gives to me. This time I have musical accompaniment from However, I need a microphone for clearer vocals. Plus my baby's voice was in the background.


Order my steps O Lord,
and let me walk,
In the way that pleased you
Order my steps O Lord,
and lemme walk
In the way that's best to you

Keep me from temptation
Less I walk astray
Keep me in salvation,
let me walk in the blessed way

As I walk thru the earth i see
Things that appeal to me
Put in me enmity
Against my carnality

Here is the link to the vocal and instrumental.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Idea for a Bible theme virtual world game

I have been continuing my online storytelling course and have moved to the module about storytelling in computer games. On a previous occasion on this very blog, I've blogged about the need to create a quality Bible-narrative game. Well, I've given some more thought to the merits of a well designed Bible themed game and have some ideas that I want to share.

First, before I walk you through my Bible-narrative themed game, I want to make it clear that a well-designed Bible game can prompt players to dig deeper into the Bible. I've spoken to gamers who have told me that when they've gotten really into a game, they become interested in researching the backstory behind the game. From my conversations with avid or serious gamers, I believe that a well narrated Bible video game can prompt users to want to know more about the Bible and the world(s) of the Bible.

That said, I now invite you to imagine with me a new Bible game: a Biblically based virtual world, lets say based in heaven (or the new earth).

So the setting of the game is in heaven or the new world that God has created where there is no evil. Where Satan has been forever banished. In this setting, the player can do certain actions that they cannot do in our real world such as fly, walk through solid objects and even walk on water. In addition, you can walk around and converse with other characters, some computer generated while others are online players like yourself. The computer generated characters will tell you their testimony of how they came to be saved and also ask about yours. (Obviously, some characters will be angels and will not have such testimonies)

In this world, you amass points by attempting to accomplish three goals:

  1. Find and converse with historical Bible that are hidden throughout the world
  2. Collect Bible mentioned artifacts or items such as (the 12 stones in the ephod of the high priest of Israel) scattered throughout the world
  3. Answer Bible quiz questions correctly to unlock a new level in the game/world
End of imagination. Back to reality. So that is it for now, until I have something more compelling to say. But I am willing to consult and collaborate with anyone interested in creating such a Bible game universe. So just putting this out there.

God bless you.