An old man once said, “For a long period I puzzled myself about the difficulties of Scripture, until at last I came to the resolution that reading the Bible was like eating fish. When I find a difficulty I lay it aside, and call it a bone. Why should I choke on the bone when there is so much nutritious meat for me? Some day, perhaps, I may find that even the bone may afford me nourishment.” —Spurgeon
My targeted audiences for this blog are seekers of truth in general, and laypeople (who are believers) without any special background or training. I have been in the faith for about 10 years now as of this writing. There are a lot of translations and versions out there that can really confuse those that are just starting out. Since the Bible is God speaking to us, we want a translation that is as close to the original language as possible, and as literal as possible if possible, because we want to hear His voice, and not the voice of the translators. You might ask, “In that case, why not learn the original language?”
Nehemiah 8:1-3 NKJV
Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
Romans 10:17 NKJV
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Another way to fill the mind with the Bible is to listen. Sometimes reading is not possible, such as while driving, old age and eyes problem for example, and that’s where audio bible comes in. It also comes in handy when you’re down and discouraged, and don’t feel like opening the Bible. Or, you can use it to just read along! Sometimes I’m just tired to even open my mouth or read it mentally. Got seven chapters to read through? Easy: Open the audio bible to your chosen translation and just follow along on your Bible. Can’t sleep? Worried about something at night? Open the audio bible and let it comfort and encourage you as you drift into sleep.
There was no chapter and verse divisions in the Old Testament when the New Testament was written. See Who divided the Bible into chapters and verses? @GQM. Without these divisions, if we want to refer to John 3:16, we would have to say something along this line, “Remember what Jesus said to Nicodemus?” or “Jesus said to Nicodemus, ‘For God so loved the world…’”
And that’s how Jesus did it,
“even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (KJV)
“But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’” (NKJV)
Jesus couldn’t say Exodus 3:6 because chapter and verse divisions didn’t exist. Thanks to Stephen Langton, we can now easily point people back to the burning bush passage, or to that famous saying Jesus told Nicodemus! With these divisions it makes Bible studying, searching, and referencing a lot easier, even helps with Scripture memorization. However, there are a few problems…
“When we preach, it is to those who are mostly weary, tempted, and weak in faith. We teach them, but we aim to do more than that. We aim to see their hearts comforted by the truth we teach them. Therefore we prepare, pray over, and then declare the truth as it is found in Jesus in order to call our hearers to give themselves to Jesus with renewed hope. The preacher breaks the bread in such a way that the church feeds on Christ from every Scripture.” —Lewis Allen (The Preacher’s Catechism)
The OliveTree Bible is a free app you can download on your mobile device. You can purchase addons but for Bible reading plans (there are a whole lot to choose from), you don’t have to pay anything. Some will prefer to read on their device (while on the go), but I personally use it as a checklist and reminder!
Spirit of tooth decay? I seriously had a chuckle when I heard this from Derek Prince for the first time. But then one night I was pondering about it, and then a Scripture flashed through my mind and it all makes sense. Just like that. Holy Spirit moment? You decide. Before this, I would probably assume that you’re out of your mind had you told me that the “spirit of tooth decay” is causing tooth decay on people. The idea of a [spirit of tooth decay] is beyond ridiculous that I wouldn’t bother to ask for a Scripture reference.
10 years ago, it was hard to find a single column / paragraph Bible (not sure if it even existed back then). Now, there are plenty! But finding the one that matches your criteria can be a challenge and pricey.
When you’re first starting out, don’t be too dogmatic on things, but also don’t be quick to believe everything you read or hear. Keep an open mind, but guard it by praying and keeping your eyes fixated on the Gospel of His grace. Those starting out tend to have a lot of zeal and passion, and they see things in black and white, easy to be tossed to and fro.
There are people who will try to persuade you that the KJV is the best translation. Whether it is or it’s not, I’ll say this: It’s not the best translation for those just starting out and are coming to know Christ. I am speaking from experience here. An obsession with the KJV earlier on will stunt your spiritual growth and maturity, and make a legalist out of you.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4, NKJV)
I have just updated my about page. Will be shifting focus.
A while back I wrote about [Pen or Display Tablet?]. I never got to it because of the chaos that is happening in our world. However, there’s an artist I know who had never used a display tablet before. He put the Cintiq 13HD to the test and my theory is confirmed. It is a lot easier to draw or trace outline when you actually look at both your hand and the screen at the same time. It requires less undo, and you have more chance of having the line or stroke where it needs to be.
I don’t know when this lockdown will be over. When life will be back to normal. But in all this we have hope and know that He has risen. Death has been conquered, and because He lives we can face tomorrow and the life that is to come.
“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf of springtime.” — Martin Luther [1483-1546]
The picture of death and resurrection is all around us. For example, leaves dying and rising again. If the seed is to give life, first it must die. Every night we sleep (death) and morning we wake up (resurrection). The Sun comes down and it comes up. It is sure, and certain, that one day we all will stand before the Creator. Our body will die, either of old age, cancer and sickness, or our time is up, but our spirit will rise, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2)
Acts 17:30-31 (ESV) The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
Good references is one of the keys to good art, but images can take up a lot of disk spaces and eventually you’ll want to look for ways to reduce them. In my search, I came across two formats: WebP and BPG.
As of this writing, BPG is the best overall, but it’s not widely used / supported because of its issue with licensing. digiKam can’t view BPG file(s), and there’s no easy way to convert images to BPG format for those on Mac and Linux. WebP on the other hand has good support and digiKam is able to view it, but can’t convert to it. For batch conversion, XnConvert can get the job done.
While cleaning up my system I came across this old video by another modeler. There are many ways to introduce new flow and geometry into your mesh. Most likely, Triangles and nGons will be introduced when you use Knife, Loop Cut, and many other tools. However, if you start with a Cube and plan out your extrude(s) and spin edge carefully you can have a mesh that is all quads. This three operations: Extrude, Spin and Tweak seems to be sufficient in most cases. This type of mirror editing seems to work flawlessly in LightWave, but Blender? Nope. It doesn’t work perfectly and strange things do occur. As of this writing, Blender doesn’t do well with this Combo operation in a single-mirror editing mesh.
There are a lot to talk about down the road, but in the meantime, I want to showcase one of Xuan’s models. Visit the other post for some background.
Modeling what you see is what I called “Observational Modeling.” I call it such because I happen to do 2d and I see a correlation. Drawing what you see is “Observational Drawing.” From this, it’s not hard to see that there’s also Observational Sculpting. The key word is “observational.”
There are many ways to approach observational modeling. It’s mostly done in ZBrush sculpting (for characters/figures), and if in traditional software such as Blender, it’s done with the help of mirror and basic rig setup. But in Wings3D, it forces you to think creatively, and in this example, Xuan thought outside the box to accomplish this piece.
Don’t forget to check the APPS section. I’m always on a look out for free and open source apps to help get things done for visual artists. Obviously, apps such as Guitar and Piano won’t be listed since that isn’t something visual artists use regularly.
It’ll take a while before I really sit down to do any serious 3d studies or works because there are a lot to organize and sort through. Speaking of organizing and backing up, two great softwares have helped me greatly: XnConvert and HandBrake. Both of these apps allow you to batch convert (images and videos respectively). I have turned 73GB into 15GB!
When Xuan sent me these shots and said that it’s done in Wings3D, and that what I’m seeing is only 95% completed, I had a hard time believing it. If it was ZBrush or sculpting then I can understand, but 100% Wings3D? No bones, no mirror, no blueprint, and just that toy as a reference? I was speechless. My first thought was “3D scan” but I can reassure you that it’s none of that. Of course, anything is possible if you put your mind to it, but if you’re going to do observational modeling (modeling what you see) of this level and details when it comes to figure/character, then there got to be a trick. And yes, there is. Xuan will share that later on.
How do you think he did it? I’ll show more shots once I have access to the 3d file.
Free references for your 3d modeling practice/project. Click on the image to download. Initially, my plan was to host these files here on this site but I realized that it will eat up the bandwidth! So I decided to host it on gumroad.
There will be more of this kind of references in the future when I find the time for it. It will also be in better quality.