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Joined: 12 Jun 2015
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re: Helpful Advice.

   Althought this may seem to "go without saying," there are things that might bear repeating. In "real life," for example, an electric can-opener. I would always put a can under the magnet and expect that the magnet held the can and press the lever always hoping it would "magically open the can." Well, the can never magically opened. When I expressed my frustration, I was told, "Everyone knows how to use a can opener!" "Everyone knows how to use a can-opener!" I didn't. So all my life, no one in my family used the electric can-opener and we used one of the slip-shod manual ones (you know, the ones that get all dirty, gunky, and rusty). When the fancy crank kind, I was overjoyed! Finally, my best friend showed me how to actually use an electric can-opener. There is a tiny ledge that you put the edge of the can on. The magnet doesn't hold the can, it holds the lid! Everyone didn't know how to use a can-opener! For some reason, even Mama didn't use it. OK, that might sound silly, but I'm age 38, guys!


 So today, I want to remind my Fellowship Friends, my nickname for y'all being "Mirrors" (since we're Reflections of the [Holy] Light [of God, no less!]. A handy-dandy tool available is the website: www.lotro-wiki.com. I am not "paid to say this," but did register, which was free. There are other LOTRO gaming sites, but they don't seem quite "up-to-par." I can't say Lotro-Wiki is always updated (since it isn't in some regards), but they at least attempt to do their best.

 They often, but not always have maps with coordinates, that read something like: 33.6S/72.2W ("Fithrokh" in "Trouble in Tuckborough" Skirmish, when he's there). You can determine where the heck (pardon my French!), you are, because the Coordinates your mouse cursor is on will change. That can take a little getting used to, at least it did for me. It'd also help if Fithrokh showed up every ding-dang (again, pardon my French) time!! I play as a Hunter, so I'm hoping I can use this skill I have to search out animals. I can't remember what it's called at the moment, maybe "Passing of the Wild."

  Today I'll also try to use an Experience Booster Buff and see if those work in Skirmishes. I've not yet done an Instance, as it takes three players working together. In the swim-meet world there is a term for how I'd be: an anchorleg. That's a polite way of saying I'd drag everyone down and not be quite so helpful! And who'd wanna be that, eh? So I'm going to see if my Experience Booster buff helps me at all.

  The last skirmish I did (again, "Tuckborogh," still trying to get Fithrock and Big Fright), I did alone, never summoning my pal Innocent (Skirmish Soldier). He was at Coushatta at the time playing Roulette. He always puts it "all on red," and as they say, "Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose." He tends to lose. But the House wins most of the time, at least when Innocent plays. Since he's not so innocent, I might change his name! He's been with me through thick and thin, well, not really. He has a thing for adult beverages. He takes my Agates and Amethysts and seems to know where every pub is. I could've gotten an Inn reputation with his help, except I'd get too woozy running about the Shire. Why Innocent doesn't, I'll never know.

  When I played Captain of Men, my buddy was named Noah, after a second-cousin of mine. But Noah, my buddy, not my second-cousin, loved to run all over Eru Illuvatar's Creation getting me into the kind of trouble I'd have wished to avoid. Did I really need to get into battles with Monsters twice or three times my level?? I tried to teach Noah that discretion is the better part of valour. Since I'm an Elf, I can't play as a Captain of Man, despite the Peter Jackson films.

  If you're like me, I always wondered if the Last Alliance of Men and Elves meant "last" as in final, or "last" as in "the past, or the previous." Sorta like World War I was "The War to End All Wars," which wasn't the case in "real life." In Peter Jackson's films, Elves unexpectedly (and, to readers of the novels, irrationally) popped up at Helm's Deep/the Hornburg. That was yet another term I guess the Rohirrim and the Eorlingas used: a handful of names for different things that seemed to be the same thing. Where Rohirrim the bulk of the soldiers of Rohan and the Eorlingas the elite, or were they just different names for the same bunch? Since I've not even made it too far from the Bree-Lands, maybe it's explained better later on in the game. It would be interesting to see if you can fight from horseback.

  But back to the Last Alliance, I'll hopefully assume it meant "the previous." That is something that gives me a measure of hope. It seems to me that most Elves do sail to Valinor, but there are a few types of Elves. The banished Noldor, such as Galadriel, who was forgiven. In my mind, she wasn't forgiven for "being one of the secret bearers of the Three Elven Rings," but was actuall forgiven for passing the Test, for diminishing herself, remaining Galadriel.

  In the Gospel of St. John, we read: And [the people] came unto John [the Baptist], and said unto him, "Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him." John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.' He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath receiveth his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hat sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.  (Chapter 3, verses 26 - 36. Emphasis mine.)

 It goes without saying that Galadriel was by no means comparable to St. John the Baptist, but she was faced with the greatest temptation known in Middle-Earth: the alluring power of the One Ring to Rule Them All. Nothing was more beatiful in that world that the One Ring (which was plainly seen in both the books and the films). Galadriel humbled herself, and then she felt the forgiveness from Eru Illuvatar from the centuries (millennia?) of rejecting the command of the Valar. Tolkien was Christian, and in this way, he emphasized how important it was to receive the overwhelming forgiveness of God.

 I believe in redemption, and in from the Parable of the Prodigal Son, God is eager, God is anxious to forgive. Christ leaves the ninety-nine sheep to find that lost one in the brambles of sin and despair, unable to make his own way to the fold of the Good Shepherd. To those of us that have followed the Lord for a very long time, it might be somewhat difficult to believe that God extends the offer of redemption.

 But here is something to ponder, and I mean no disrespect to anyone, just something to ponder: If we say that we are Christian, then that means we are willing to follow our Lord Christ Jesus. He paid the ultimate price for everyone, believers and unbelievers. We need to be entirely willing to forgive. And if not, we do face breaking one of the Ten Commandments: We take the Name of the Lord in vain.

  This is a serious offense. Christ said that he did not erase the Law and the Prophets, but fulfill them. In his public ministry, Christ provided examples of outwardly following the Ten Commandments that the people did in following the "lettter of the Law," but showed that the Father anticipated that believers follow the "Spirit" of the Law.

  Centuries before the birth of Christ, Aristotle wrote Nichomachean Ethics, and one of the most known statements is thus: Some vices miss what is right because they are deficient, others because they are excessive, in feelings or in actions, while virtue finds and chooses the mean.

  He goes on to say: Let us say adultery, rightness and wrongness do not depend on committing it with the right woman at the right time and in the right manner, but the mere fact of committing such action at all is to do wrong.

  I'm not saying that everything (obviously) that Aristotle is correct, or that his words are greater (by any means) that that of Christ, but Christ also speaks at great length and in depth about the many phases of adultery itself. And I am not one to judge. Because Christ gave to St. Peter the Power of the Keys (Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 16, verses 16 - 19), God's Church (be it Roman Catholic or otherwise) has authority to dissolve a marriage on certain grounds. My sister, for example, is facing this very issue. Her husband has been rather non-supportive for quite a few years, but it is important to her as a Bible-believing Christian to follow Christ in all things. Both she and her husband have received and confessed that Jesus Christ is their personal Lord and Saviour, and been baptized by God's Church. To put it kindly, she felt that divorce was not an option for her. I was raised that the Devil gives his best (as a temptation) before Go gives His best. Relying on the promises of God, my sister followed Christ through the desert. And God provided as he did for the children of Israel. My brother-in-law asked to dissolve their marriage. Although it may seem like "semantics" (how things are worded), it was in actuality a test of the measure of faith that God gives (St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 12, verses 1 - 3).  

                                      God makes a way, when there seems to be no way.


Balasinde Nietzsche of Lorien
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