Morley seeks to solve the 24 problems men face

Society will tell you that the number of Christians in the world is declining. Author Patrick Morley disagrees, but he identifies an increase of a different kind – the number of what he calls “Cultural Christians.”

I just finished reading the 25th anniversary edition of Morley’s “Man in the Mirror.” It’s a faith-based book that has sold more than 3 million copies since its first release in 1989. And it’s a riveting read that takes the uncommon approach of challenging men to live for a different set of values in a materialistic world.

“The Man in the Mirror” by Patrick Morley

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My 3 Favorite Web Comics

 

cyanide & happiness

I’ve always loved comic books and the larger graphic novels, but recently, I simply haven’t had the time to sit down, read, and follow the plot lines. Instead, I’ve discovered some great web comics. The great thing about these is I can pop online, read a few frames, and leave it be until next time. A great deal of web comics (such as the Cyanide & Happiness comic featured above) don’t have a linear plot and are a simply one page of comic relief. For today, I’d like to take you though my three favorites I have come across.

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Bone: An Odyssey in Hilarity

 

Welcome to the world of Bone. It’s a beautiful, magical world filled with creatures of all kind, including these odd, little creatures known as bones. This story follows three of them: Fone, Phoney, and Smiley Bone.

Fone Bone

Meet Fone Bone. He’s definitely the leader of the three, and he always does his best to take care of his two cousins. With a good heart and a strong will, albeit coupled with innocence and gullibility, Fone makes a great protagonist.

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New in Gaming: For Honor

On February 9th, Ubisoft released the beta version of For Honor, an action fighting game made for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows. The full version was released February 14th, and is a third-person, melee game. Upon starting the game, players select one of three medieval era-based factions to join: the knights, vikings, or samurai. While this doesn’t directly affect gameplay or restrict character choice, it is one of the main components of the multiplayer system.

Currently, there are twelve playable characters, four per faction, and each has their own unique fighting style. The four characters within each faction belong to one of four classes: the Vanguards, the Assassins, the Heavies, or the Hybrids. Assassins are quick and work well in duels, while the Heavies use much slower, but stronger, attacks. The Vanguard lies somewhere between the two, as they are the most well-balanced class. Hybrids, on the other hand, contain elements of the other three classes. These characters have some of the most unique and complex play styles in the game.

The storyline of For Honor takes the player through each of the factions, giving them a chance to use each of the characters. The story also contains numerous unlocks and chances to gain steel, the main in-game currency, and Scavenger Crates, which are used to obtain new gear. While the story is enjoyable, the main emphasis here is on multiplayer. There are five different game modes, each with the option of Player vs Player or Player vs AI. Most modes are played in rounds, best of five. Duel is simply a 1-on-1 fight. Brawl is 2v2, with each player starting in a duel scenario. From here, there are three modes for 4v4: Dominion, Elimination, and Skirmish. These 4v4 modes are the only ones that incorporate the gear equipped and the character’s four abilities. Each ability is unlocked as you gain renown points for completing objectives. Elimination is a 4v4 adaptation of the Brawl mode and the last mode using rounds. Skirmish and Dominion use a point-based system. In Skirmish, points are acquired by killing enemies, and the players can respawn when defeated. Dominion, as the central game-mode, contains elements of skirmish but also uses a king-of-the-hill playstyle. There are three areas on the map that can be controlled to gain points, in addition to those gained from slaying enemy players.

The biggest draw in For Honor is the combat system. Dubbed the “Art of Battle”, it completely alters the melee-battle experience. When entering combat, a held button put the character in guard mode. While in this, a three-sided shield appears on the screen. This shows the direction the player is currently guarding (up, left, or right). Directional markers also appear when the opponent is attacking, again, in their selected direction. On top of this, there is a light attack, as well as a heavy, a guard break ability, a feint-dodge, dodge-roll, as well as character-specific combos and abilities.

All in all, For Honor is an enjoyable experience. The battle system puts a completely new spin on melee combat, and it remains versatile via character choice. Each character plays different from the next, so playing, and eventually mastering, different characters keeps the game fresh and full of possibilities.

Avid Book Worms Have Travel Agents Known as Book Clubs

Travel trip map
Travel Trip Map Direction Exploration Planning Concept

I’ve been an avid reader most of my life earning myself book worm status.  It wasn’t until about 3 or 4 years ago, I discovered my first book club at the Independence Library.  I found out what book the club was reading for the month, read the book, and went to the meeting.  I discovered the follow up joy of reading a good book is to meet up with others of your kind and discuss the monthly treat among yourselves  learning new and different ways to look at the same thing. Continue reading “Avid Book Worms Have Travel Agents Known as Book Clubs”

The Dark Tower series: spaghetti-western meets Lord of the Rings

The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

The word ‘gunslinger’ used to mean something. It brought hope to the people and fear to criminals. These gunslingers were trained from a young age to become peacekeepers, one way or another. They were emissaries from the capital city, Gilead, to maintain balance in In-World and Mid-World, but that was long ago. Something is wrong in the world. In all worlds. An evil has infected the dark tower, the heart of the universe, which lies at the nexus of all space and time. It has been a long journey for the gunslinger, and it is a seemingly endless one. Even so, the gunslinger will go on.

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

This first line immediately sets the tone for King’s incredible series. Even he calls it his magnum opus, and for good reason. The 7 book series was written over the course of 22 years, and it was given an 8th installment (placed between the 4th and 5th books) in 2012. This series also contains bits and pieces from many of his other works, as well as a few books by other well-known authors.

The Dark Tower series was an experience I have not had with Stephen King’s books before. It doesn’t contain much by way of horror, as many of his other famous works do, but, instead, King’s gift for suspense takes a different approach, still keeping the reader just as immersed and glued to the page as ever.

What’s better than a good movie? Real life, answers Joshua Ferris.

When you really think about it, a good movie is just about that — good. Sure, we may convince ourselves it’s cool, visual and suspenseful. But just how compelling can it truly be if we know the hero is just an actor and the storyline is simply contrived?

And that’s ultimately what makes the book “And Then We Came To The End” by Joshua Ferris so engrossing. A feature film? Meh. Juicy gossip from your co-workers? Bring it on. After all, in these days of endless corporate cubicles, it seems too many people are relying on office hearsay to feed their addiction to drama.

Ferris’ story is based on his own experience in a Chicago marketing agency. It identifies an intriguing modern phenomenon – the idea that so many Americans are caught up in the tribulations, rumors and innuendo within their workplace. As Ferris alludes to, it’s a major shift that has affected the attitudes and productivity of millions of Americans who have been huddled together in unnaturally close quarters for the sake of corporate America.

I encourage you to check out this book. It will make you view your workplace differently – and it might just save you a little money at the movies.