September 2006


“Surrender don’t come natural to me
I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I’ve beat my head against so many walls
Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees”

(from the song “Hold Me Jesus” by Rich Mullins)

Click “more” to see a list of all of the interesting web sites I found this week. I keep track of my favorite sites using del.icio.us, a free web site where you can access your favorite links from any computer and share them with friends. You can also see all of my favorite links (not just the ones from this week).

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Joy and I went on a retreat with our Sunday school class last night. We were basically just enjoying fellowship with one another and also trying to see what direction we should take in the coming year. It was a neat time to get to spend with some people that are very special to Joy and I. In addition to our planning, praying, worship, and discussion, we also managed to squeeze in a game of Settlers of Catan late Friday night. We started about 11 PM and finished up shortly after 2 AM. So that makes two weekends in a row with late night Settlers on Friday evening. I think we need to figure out a way to start our games a little earlier so we don’t go so late. :-) Anyway, we played Seafarers and Cities and Knights together, with a discovery board layout for Seafarers. I ended up getting very lucky with a long string of land (instead of water) on my discovery route, and I think that let me fly under the radar as I built up the longest road and a number of settlements along my discovery path. I eventually won the game in a tight finish. Mark, who won last week, was very close to me, and it basically came down to who could secure the longest road as it went back and forth between various people. I actually had to use the merchant on one of my hexes to get the final point to win. If we had gone around the board one more time, I think there is a good chance that Mark would have pulled it off instead of me. So it really was very close.

“I’m trying to work things out
I’m trying to comprehend
Am I the chance result
Of some great accident

I hear a rhythm call me
The echo of a grand design
I spend each night in the backyard
Staring up at the stars in the sky”

(from the song “Maybe There’s A Loving God” by Sara Groves)

Click “more” to see a list of all of the interesting web sites I found this week. I keep track of my favorite sites using del.icio.us, a free web site where you can access your favorite links from any computer and share them with friends. You can also see all of my favorite links (not just the ones from this week).

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Our Sunday school class had a Settlers of Catan game night last night. It turns out that a lot of people in our class play Settlers, so we thought it would be fun to get together and go all out. There were also some people there who weren’t as crazy about Settlers as the rest of us, so they played a few other games while the rest of us participated in four separate Settlers tables (one table of 6 players using Seafarers, and three tables of the standard 4 player game). In that first portion of the evening when the four separate games were going, I managed to win my table (barely) using an ore-wheat strategy. I got boxed in about half way through the game and I was completely unable to expand (not good planning on my part). I ended up winning with three cities, the largest army, and two victory point cards in a very close game.

After all the simultaneous games ended, most people left, but seven of us stayed for a final game together. We played with both Seafarers and Cities and Knights (my first time with Cities and Knights) in a 6 player game. Joy actually sat the final game out because Settlers really isn’t her favorite (she spent the first part of the night on Scrabble and Scattergories). Anyway, I did not win the final game, which went to Mark in a well-earned victory after a long drawn out end game where he got kind of stuck because no one would trade with him and the robber perpetually resided on his hexes. But he eventually pulled it off at 2 AM and set us all free to go home and sleep!

FYI – In the final game, I vastly underestimated the importance of commodities, which I will need to pay much more attention to next time in my initial placements and early expansions.

“Nobody tells you when you get born here
How much you’ll come to love it
And how you’ll never belong here
So I call you my country
And I’ll be lonely for my home
And I wish that I could take you there with me”

(from the song “Land Of My Sojourn” by Rich Mullins)

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