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Noah: The Real Man Behind the Ark

Noah Disclaimer

When you think of “Noah” or “Noah’s Ark” you probably think of Steve Carell in the 2007 comedy film Evan Almighty, or animal rescue shelters, day cares, baby quilts with cute animals, and some old guy with a straggly white beard. Most people tend to forget who Noah really was, and why he was such an important person to be mentioned by name in historical accounts.

Because of the latest motion picture staring Russell Crowe set to premier in theaters on March 28, there likely are fans still confused about who Noah was, or wasn’t (See our articles on the movie’s controversy for more: here)! So it’s a great time to take a brief biblical history lesson to remember who this man really was, and what has made him such an iconic foreshadowing figure in the Christian Faith.

Here are 10 Things you should remember about Noah before you see the film:

Wait, Noah was how old?

1. If your first thought about “Noah” was that he was old, then you’re right! Noah was definitely old – in fact, he was 500 years old by the time his three sons were born! Somehow people lived a lot longer back then. After the flood, the book of Genesis actually states that he lived 350 more years! So, in total, he was 950 years old when he died.

What’s in a name?

2. Names had a lot of cultural significance and really defined a person’s character and identity. Noah, in Hebrew, is the word-picture of bringing “cheer” “relief” and “comfort”, which is associated with Noah’s agricultural occupation of planting vineyards. In Greek, it also has the idea of “causing one to rest”.

This definitely became true of Noah as the flood occurred, and tangible during the hard labor of tilling land for farming. At that time in history, the ground had been cursed, and it hadn’t rained in a long time! So people had to work harder than before to provide for their families. Noah was the first person to basically start the farming industry.

First things, First!

3. Noah was the first recorded birth after Adam died [Yes, the “Adam” from Adam and Eve] and was the grandson of Methuselah.

Noah had haters too!

4. Noah was known for his extreme faith. He believed God, and did exactly what He was instructed to do – even to the very minute detail, despite the ridicule and lack of support he had during the time he was building the ark. Because it had not rained in a while, the idea of a huge flood coming to the earth to destroy mankind was crazy!

Noah was a picture of Grace

5. Noah and his family were chosen to illustrate the Old Testament picture of God’s restoring grace after judging the earth, which would prelude to the New Testament, and what Jesus Christ illustrates about salvation. In fact, Jesus Christ is a direct descendent from Noah’s genealogy.

Noah and God were tight!

6. Noah was known as a man who walked with God in close friendship, and was the only righteous one among the earth. That was kind of a big deal! He was the first person to be called righteous in the Bible, so you can imagine the kinds of things that must have been going on in his day that would put “Sin City” to shame.

God was so fed up with the way mankind was continually growing worse in their blatant sin, that He actually wanted to destroy the whole entire earth and start completely over again. Instead, He decided to pick Noah and his family to be saved, and give the world a second chance through their family.

Noah and the Rainbow:

7. Against some modern day assumptions, the rainbow in this context has nothing to do with gay pride, or some kind of hidden message. God used it as a symbol to promise that He would never destroy the earth by a flood again.

Noah had struggles too.

8. Noah, though reverent, obedient, righteous, and just – was also human. The passage depicting his drunken state shows his human frailty, but is not meant to condone being drunk or setting a standard for whether Christians should drink alcohol or not.

The sinful nature of man was not something that could be completely drowned away in the flood. That is why this historical account was meant to be a shadow of a future account where sinful nature would ultimately be dealt with in the Gospel message.  This goes to show, that no matter how imperfect people are, God can still use them in an epic way!

Noah was a Prophet

9. Noah was not only instructed to build the ark, but also to preach about repentance so people could have the opportunity to be saved from the flood. He was one of the first prophets to convey a message from God to mankind, and was commanded to share the message during the entire time he was building the ark. Even though no one listened, they did have a fair chance of survival by hearing that same message for 120 years!

Noah didn’t Compromise

10. Noah was a known as a very strong man of moral fiber who set an example with his character, when it would have been easy to go along with what everyone else was doing. He was willing to stand out from the mainstream culture and take a big stand for what he believed was right. His remarkable trust and patience is still a great example for people to follow today in fulfilling their calling.

Ultimately, the story of Noah and the ark is a story of hope, second chance, and an encouragement to make life count in this world. We might not all be called to build arks, and be known as “that guy” that is made fun of all the time – but with a strong sense of knowing who we are, we can move past what others think, stay focused, and accomplish great things to lead other people to a saving grace. You just might be the under-dog and unsung hero of faith for your generation!

‘Untold News’ Highlights Israeli Innovation

Untold News Screenshot

NEW YORK, March 24, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — An organization dedicated to telling the world good news about Israeli innovation has been launched.

Untold News (www.untoldnews.org) was founded by Marcella Rosen, who was concerned about the negative images and publicity aimed at the state of Israel. She decided to do her bit to help, to highlight an astonishing story:

“While everyone has been focused on the country’s decades of military conflicts, Israel has quietly become the most energetic, ambitious, go-go incubator of entrepreneurialism and invention the planet has ever seen.”

Rosen’s book, Tiny Dynamo, is a quick read that is jammed with stories of such innovation, ranging from medical advances to agricultural breakthroughs. Rosen has been promoting it everywhere, and is pleased to see a Christian Zionist community clamoring for it.

“I have been so pleased to see the outpouring of interest in our work from the pro Israel Christian community,” Rosen says. We are ready to work with organizations and individuals who want to help promote a positive image of Israel. Our book and website help do that.”

Tiny Dynamo has already proved to be a real topic of conversation, and Rosen outlines the basic contents of the book:

“This book tells 21 stories about Israelis who are emblematic of their nation’s determination to make a positive difference, and the work through which they’re expressing that determination. I chose these stories because they represent a cross-section of what’s going on within Israel’s borders…but for every story I chose, there are dozens more that could have been included.”

Tiny Dynamo has been reviewed by WorldNetDaily, the Jerusalem Post, and others.

A feature of the Untold News website that surprises even Christian supporters of Israel focuses on medical treatment in Israel, provided to Arab patients, some of whom are actually terrorists. Then, of course, there are stories of Palestinian children given life-saving treatment by the best hospitals in Israel.

It all adds up to a win-win story literally for everyone. It is a story Marcella Rosen is eager to talk about, for the benefit of those the world over, and to shed a light on a tiny nation too often misjudged.

Tour Highlights Justice Issues, Healing for Minors Rescued from Sex Trade

Partners Init Logo

BRAMPTON, Ontario–(CANADIAN CHRISTIAN NEWS SERVICE)– Twice each year Partners International Canada brings its dynamic ministry leaders from around the world to share advances in their work overseas. These leaders possess outstanding vision and are on the leading edge of holistic international development. Fueled by incredible passion for showing the love of God in their unique contexts of ministry, they help to restore lives and transform communities.

“We’re excited to invite Canadians to meet these dynamic leaders personally and hear their motivating stories of faith, restoration and hope firsthand. We are so tremendously blessed to have such amazing partners,” said Brent Mitchell, President of Partners International Canada.

Our first visitor this spring is the Director of the Mahima Aftercare Home in Kolkata, India, Smita Singh.  Partners International Canada works with Smita to help rehabilitate and reintegrate minor girls who have been rescued from the sex trade. Some are as young as 8 years old. Smita uses a holistic approach to provide healing, rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. The home also focuses on preventing re-trafficking and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Smita will be travelling throughout Ontario until April 7th and is available to speak at your event or meet with you personally while on tour.

Also on the Spring Tour, we are pleased to present:

Carlos P., the area director for South America. Carlos is a clinical psychologist and a highly connected advocate for the marginalized and endangered Andres and Amazon peoples of South America.
Dates: March 27 – April 7, 2014

Dr. Ghassan, of the Free Evangelical Association of Lebanon, will speak of his amazing work sharing the narrative of God in the dangerous and complicated context of the Arab World, including Syrian relief efforts.
Dates: April 23-May 12 2014

Hope in Action Tour: http://partnersinternational.ca/hope-in-action-tour/

3, 2, 1…Your Titan is Ready to Launch – Titanfall: A CG Review

Titanfall is easily one of the most hyped games of the year. It’s not hard to see why when you consider that it’s one of the first new IP’s of the next-generation and it’s going head to head against the two heavy hitters of the FPS market: Call of Duty and Battlefield. The real question is, does it live up to the hype, or does it fall flat on it’s face?

Titanfall is an online-only, multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS), and is Respawn Entertainment’s first game. As it happens, Respawn was founded by Jason West and Vince Zampella, both of whom also co-founded Infinity Ward and are well known for their work on many Call of Duty titles. In addition, Respawn hired many former Call of Duty developers shortly after the mass exodus from Infinity Ward a few years ago. All of this experience with Call of Duty shows. Titanfall features Call of Duty’s fast-paced gameplay, a similar leveling system, and a “prestige” system to extend the life of the game. Even so, this isn’t “Call of Duty with mechs” as some have taken to calling it. While it may draw upon their former experiences with Call of Duty, the team at Respawn have crafted something wholly unique. Titanfall is different than every other shooter you’ve played. Why? Because of things like:

Story

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Despite being an online only title, Titanfall does have a campaign mode. The Campaign consists of nine multiplayer battles played on nine of the game’s fifteen maps (yes fifteen) with human players comprising both sides. I won’t go into details but the story arc itself is a rather forgettable tale of the civil war between the IMC and the Militia. The only good reason to play through it is because you’ll be wanting the unlocks. Fortunately, it only takes about four hours or so to burn through both sides of the campaign. The only memorable thing about the campaign mode is the way it’s setup. Like Brink a few years ago, Titanfall’s story is told primarily through a mission briefing and a short cutscene prior to each battle. It’s not much, but this could feasibly change the way that stories are told in FPS’s that are primarily focused on multiplayer. This might possibly be the end of the four hour mini campaign mode that Call of Duty and Battlefield have grown fond of, a mode that many people openly despise. So, while the story itself is lacking, the way it’s told may just turn some heads.

Movement

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Character movement is one of Titanfall’s great successes. Again, much like Brink, Titanfall’s Pilots are all adept free-runners. Players can run up vertical surfaces, wall-rull, and even double jump with the help of a handy dandy boost pack (not jetpack). Unlike Brink, Titanfall Pilots are incredibly fast and agile. Movement in Titanfall isn’t simply there because it needs to be, or because it’s expected, it’s a tactical skill. How you move around the map is just as key to the game as how you use your weapons. Moving around the map quickly and efficiently will not only require knowledge of the map, but will also require some quick fingers on the part of the player. Most of the map is easy to get around (movement is hardly a chore), but skilled players can reach certain areas much more quickly or even perch Pilots in some unlikely places.

Titans

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A cross between a mech and a robot, a Titan can be a very powerful tool in a player’s arsenal. Standing around two stories tall Titans generally don’t have too much trouble with Pilots in open areas. While not particularly nimble, Titans can easily squash or melee a Pilot, and their extra large weapons will make mincemeat of a Pilot pretty quickly. Running off of a countdown timer, Titans can be called into battle once every couple of minutes. Killing things or earning points as the game plays out will tike time off the timer. The better a player does the faster they get their next Titan.

Titans, like Pilots are able to be customized through a loadout. Players can choose which chasses they prefer (light, medium, or heavy) and which weapons and abilities to include in each loadout. Pilots and Titans each get their own separate loadout options, so Pilot loadouts can be mixed and matched with Titan loadouts easily.

Maps

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The locations of Titanfall are another of it’s great achievements. Putting together multiplayer maps that are balanced and fair to both teams is not easy, yet Respawn has met this challenge admirably. The game ships with 15 unique maps, nearly all of which feel very different from one another. Locations are varied, and many are a downright joy to be in. Respawn has covered their grounds here: corporate office buildings, lagoons, crashed space ships, military bases, and more all make an appearance. Some of the maps are tight, close quarters affairs that make life in a Titan somewhat challenging, while others are wide open outdoor spaces where Titan’s rule the map and Pilots scurry for cover. Best of all, while some of the maps are pretty big, none of them are huge. This means that it doesn’t typically take players long to find the action and it keeps the flow of the games running at a nice pace. Finally, player respawn locations are dynamic, so it’s uncommon to run into any spawn camping issues.

Gameplay

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Well, we’ve covered the Story, the Movement system, the Titans, and the Maps. Other games have broken the same ground with many of these things, Brink has a similar story setup and movement system, Hawken is basically Titan vs. Titan combat, and many respected and beloved shooters have solid maps design. However, when you put all of this together, you get something that you can’t really find elsewhere on the market. Playing as a Pilot isn’t as simple as combining Brink with Call of Duty. Playing as a Titan isn’t playing a slightly altered version of Hawken. It’s not Pilot gameplay, and then Titan gameplay separately. Both are interwoven into a single, unique tapestry.

While playing as a Pilot players need to keep an eye out for Titans. Faster than Pilots, Titans are large and plenty dangerous to the unsuspecting player, especially if there aren’t any enemy Titans for them to attack. Likewise, Titans need to keep an eye out for Pilots, especially in the more enclosed levels. In spite of their size and heavy armor, Titans have a weak spot. Players can “rodeo” a Titan (jump onto them), pull off an armor plate and start dealing large amounts of damage to the Titan in question, all while ignoring it’s shields. Titans can loadout with retalitory measures, but it’s an annoyance at best and disastrous at worst.

Matches support between three and six players per team, with a variety of different game types at the players’ disposal. Attrition is the “bread and butter” mode of Titanfall and sees two teams compete to see who can get the most “Attrition Points” first. Capture the Flag is the standard CTF fair with the Titanfall twist (free-running and Titans). Hardpoint is basically just Titanfall’s version of the classic Territories game type, players must capture and hold certain areas on the map to score points. Pilot Hunter is roughly a Team Death Match varient and only gives teams credit for Pilot kills. The final mode, Last Titan Standing, is an all out brawl between two teams of Titans. Only Titan kills count here. Each round, both teams face off and have at each other until only one team has working Titans. Teams must win 4 rounds to win a “game” of Last Titan Standing. Each one of the above game types comes with their own matchmaking lobby. However, there’s also a Variety Pack lobby if you prefer to swap between different game modes from match to match.

Finally, let’s talk about Burn Cards. Burn Cards are single use boosts that players earn through gameplay. Each player can carry a maximum of three Burn Cards into battle with them. Each Card is good for one life. These boosts can be simple things like “Earn extra EXP for any hits/kills on enemy Pilots (Titans/Grunts/etc.)”, or they can be pretty major boosts such as giving the player unlimited grenades for one life. The beauty of Burn Cards is that they can be extremely powerful tools when used at the right time, but the three card-per-match maximum means that no one player can “boost” their way through the whole match. Burn Cards can be activated either right before the match starts, or while players wait to respawn.

Concerns

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Every game has it’s issues, and Titanfall is no different. For starters, it’s online-only. This means that you can’t look at your loadouts, you can’t fiddle with your Burn Cards, and you can’t even play the “Training Sim” (tutorial) without being connected to the internet (a problem that’s only aggrivated by the network congestion that Respawn and EA are still working through).

Another major issue with the game is the matchmaking. First, there’s no balancing going on behind the scenes. Teams are frequently mismatched, occasionally to almost unbelievable levels. Second, going hand in hand with the mismatch issue, the game doesn’t keep teams evenly distributed. So, if there are nine players in the lobby, it wouldn’t be out of the question for there to be six players on one team and only three on the other. Other players will often join mid-match, but even playing a minute or two of 3 vs. 6 is enough to lose the game before it’s hardly started.

Content

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As far as objectionable content goes, Titanfall really isn’t different than most shooters. There is some strong language, it’s not frequent, but it’s there. There is also a lot of violence and gore. In-game characters are shot, blown-up, smashed, squished, thrown, and more. As the game is a “shooter” by definition, if you have issues with human characters being shot then you should avoid Titanfall. On the up side for Christians, there is no magic. Everything is based in technology. The game is rated M for Mature audiences (17 and older) and it’s definitely aimed at older teens and adults. If you are and older teen or adult and don’t have a problem with the Battlefield or Call of Duty series, I’d say you aren’t likely to take issue with Titanfall.

Conclusion

Titanfall is an excellent first offering from Respawn. The gameplay is outstanding, the mechanics are well thought out, and the maps are varied and detailed. Yes there are some issues with matchmaking and auto-balance, but those aren’t much more than a minor annoyance in a generally excellent title.

Source Article from http://christian-gaming.com/review/3-2-1-your-titan-is-ready-to-launch-titanfall-a-cg-review