Fractalling

Greetings,

My siblings and I like to coin words. We have made some dandies too, like swavery (smooth+waves, like the motion of leaves in a light wind on a balmy day), and essence (see my article on that). One of our favorites, though, is fractalling (or fractallating as one of our friends called it). It is a principle that we first saw applied to writing a novel, but then we recognized in it a fundamental and universal principle (of course), and so we changed the name and adapted it to practically everything. (When can us Lausers ever leave anything the way we found it? We always have to make it better. πŸ™‚ )

Fractalling is based off of a mathematical phenomenon known as a fractal (go figure). You can read an amazing article about them from this article here by Jason Lisle from Answers in Genesis. Basically a fractal is a pattern created by an endlessly repeating equation. They are found all over nature, and are programmed directly into mathematics by God at the creation of existence (at Day 1!). They are impossible to evolve at all, and yet show beauty and design that are infinite. Hmmm…..

Anyways, we took the noun ‘fractal’ and used it as a verb to describe the process of taking a simple idea and systematically expanding and complexifying it using simple, repeated actions until it is not only bigger and deeper, but also more organized and more detailed. This is something that you can apply to anything that you are developing, be it a program, an article, a world, a story, a scene, an essence, a website, whatever. Of course, the system will change, but the principle remains. So what you need to do is take that principle, apply it to whatever you are doing, and then systematically expand and complexify that application using simple, repeated steps until it is a big, deep, detailed, and organized method for fractalling things!

I will give an example now, since I have found that our ideas generally take a lot of explaining for you poor non-Lausers to grasp. πŸ˜‰ I will do an easy one here for you to watch, one that illustrates the principle well. I will make an island.

Alright, first I need to think abstractly of what kind of island it is. Think very abstractly, very nebulously, if you please. Now I sit down with some paper and draw a very very simple shape that fits roughly with my nebulous idea. A square.

Now, I take that square and make it fit a little more with my idea (which is not a shape by the way) by warping and shifting it a bit. I try to keep all my straight lines, but I lengthen and shorten them to make them less like the sides of a square, and more like the sides of an island. This is very rough.

Now, I bend a few of those lines artistically (or not very artistically as the case may be). It is getting more complex, which is good. I leave a side or so untouched with this step to leave it a bit lopsided (because islands are anything but regular).

Now I swaver (I had to get that word in) a few of them. I add a few promontories here and there. By now I have pretty much forgotten the original idea, and I simply take each step and add a bit more detail to it until it is not that step any more.

Now I stretch a few places and rough up a few more places.

Again. Add some littler islands too, or else our big one will be lonely.

Now I have a nice little island, or at least the outline of one. Now what I would do is add mountains in the same way, then run rivers off the mountains, then send forests chasing after the rivers, then have fields and hills around the forests, then put in a few crags and beaches, and then put in a few roads and cities. But I won’t belabor my post with all that, and just leave that for you to experiment with. (By the way, it turns out a lot better on paper.)

fractal

I hope that you enjoyed this little bit of educational comic relief from my ordinary theological passion. Not that it is bad to have your best and highest joy be in God, or for you to exhort your fellow men to wake up and see the world as God’s, of course. In my mind, fractalling an island is an expression of a beautiful and amazing gift that God has given to man alone (as opposed to animals): creativity. It is also a time to reflect on how He created our world in majesty and glory, and how He programmed such beautiful and intricate designs into boring, hum-drum math of all things.

With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser

Do Ye Now Nexte Thynge

Greetings,

Today I am posting what I am calling a ‘Saturday Serendipity.” That means that I am posting something that I found somewhere that was very useful and encouraging to me, and that I am going to share with you so that you will also have the opportunity of profiting from it. I hope to do these often, but I can’t make any promises. I will just Do The Nexte Thynge and post this one, and then go write some of the articles on my list.

This has been on our wall for years. It has reminded me over and over again what God desires of us each day and each minute.

From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the doors the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration: β€œDOE THE NEXTE THYNGE.”

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Thrust them with Jesus, doe the nexte thynge.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe β€˜neath His wing,
Leave all results, doe the nexte thynge

Looking for Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, be thy demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as He beckons thee, doe the nexte thynge.

–Anonymous

I hope that this poem will inspire you, and will exhort you to go and do the next thing that God has for you, instead of spending your time and life moseying around aimlessly (as I all too often do).
With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

The Good Samaritan

Greetings,

This command is given after Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan as a response to a lawyer’s question. Here is the question:

Luke 10:25-29 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

There is a lot in this interchange that calls up a lot of interesting discussions. I could go a dozen different ways with just this alone, but I will try not to for your sakes. πŸ™‚ But I need to call your attention to a couple very important things.

First, Jesus points the lawyer to the law, quite ironically. Jesus was not saying that we need to work to get to salvation. Many people get confused about this passage because of this, but it really is quite simple, and the only reason that people don’t get it is because they are ashamed to face the law: just like the lawyer was. Jesus was telling the lawyer, in essence, what God’s standard for heaven was: perfection. The lawyer, the Bible says, was ‘willing to justify himself.’ This means that he had stuck his foot in his mouth and he was trying to dig his way out of the pit he dug (I like mixed metaphors). He is trying to figure out how to get out of the law, because he knows that he cannot meet the standard. Jesus then makes it harder for him by explaining exactly what the law means, and it turns out to be far worse than what the lawyer was expecting or hoping.

Luke 10:30-37 And Jesus answering said, A certain [man] went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded [him,] and departed, leaving [him] half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked [on him,] and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion [on him,]
34 And went to [him,] and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave [them] to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

I spent a couple hours or so tearing this passage apart, piecing it back together again, and studying it in context, and I came up with a lot more than can be concisely articulated in this blog post. But here are some things that I learned.

There was two things in common between all three of the men in Jesus’ parable. The first is that all three men came close to the robbed man, and the second is that they all saw him. The language leaves no room for doubt as to each man’s complete comprehension of the situation and the man’s need, as well as their equal ability to aid him. The difference that made a difference in their actions was that the Samaritan had compassion on him. The other two made it a point to get away from him.

The thing that struck me was a parallel between this passage, another in Luke 14, and a law in the Old Testament.

Luke 14:1-6 And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.
2 And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
4 And they held their peace. And he took [him,] and healed him, and let him go;
5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
6 And they could not answer him again to these things.

Exodus 23:4-5 If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.
5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.

The priest and the Levite knew full well the law, and what it demanded of them (despite its complete disconnection from the civil magistrate and any sort of man-enforced punishment). The man was one of their own people, not an enemy. It was not the sabbath (at least from my deductions it wasn’t), and yet they refused to help. They treated their animals with more care than a fellow human being, just like Jesus indignantly pointed out when he healed the man with the dropsy.

The Samaritan refused to be put off by the distance of creed between him and the robbed man. He yielded to the desire and love of God, and acted on it. He unselfishly sacrificed of himself for the benefit of the other man. He had a belief that is contrary to the vast majority of modern culture (go figure). He refused to let apathy grip his heart. He dedicated himself habitually to love, which is why he was able to instinctively respond correctly to the situation thrust upon him.

What about you? Do you spend your life crossing on the other side? Do you dedicate yourself to your own pursuits, or to God’s? You do not need to dedicate your life to missions to dedicate your life to God. God wants all of your life in all its variety and depth. Are you pulling back, or throwing everything in?

With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser

Romans 2:3-4

Romans 2:3-4 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Greetings,

This passage comes just on the tail of a long discourse, proving that all men are equally under the law, its condemnation, and its penalty. This context is crucial to understanding this passage.

Many many people are very confused about God and His nature. They either do not believe that He exists or is able to do anything of consequence, because β€œhow can a loving God allow all the sin and evil in the world?” Or they believe that He does not care about sin enough to judge anybody for it. Both stem from a misunderstanding of the nature of God’s goodness (and from a selfish desire to sin without consequences).

What we do not realize is that if God punished everybody as they deserved, or everybody as we would like other people to be punished, then we would also be punished. And everyone would spend eternity in hell. That is not what God made us for: He made us to love us and for us to love Him. We are always pointing fingers at everyone else, saying that he should not have gotten away with that. But we do not realize that we are equally guilty, and equally in need of punishment.

God waits, mercifully, for us to accept His proffered pardon, justly offered because of the sacrifice of His Son (I will not go into great detail of that part of the story for the sake of brevity, since I am assuming that my readers already understand it sufficiently to understand what I am saying here). He is patient, and exceedingly longsuffering with us, waiting and wanting us to turn to Him. He seeks for us to believe in Him and trust Him because He does not want to punish us. He is eternally and infinitely just and holy, and cannot pardon the guilty, but He is eternally and infinitely loving and gracious, seeking our release from bondage to sin and its punishments.

Knowing this, how can we say that someone else deserves more than what he got? He does, but so do you. He is being graciously served for his sake, just as you are. God is working in his life, just as He is working in yours. It is God’s goodness that leads us to Him, how can we drive others away from us because of it? Be patient and longsuffering just as He is towards you!

With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser

Making a Language

Greetings,

In the Holy Worlds forum, I was asked how I make languages. The following is my response.

Languages are hard to make to completion (although my lexicon manager will make that very different when I finish it), but you rarely need a ‘complete’ language. What I am going to do is give a short list of some things that make your language get off to a good start, and how to implement them. Please ask questions and start more threads about each piece as you do them! πŸ™‚

First, you need to figure out what your language sounds like. So you need to first pick the sounds that will be in it. Believe it or not, there are a lot of sounds that you can put into a language, and you only need to do a few of them. Greek does not have a /j/ sound! So make a list. Some research will really help you do this part well. I might post a list of sounds in another thread.

Then figure out how those sounds are allowed to be organized in your language. Base it on syllables, not words. What consonant clusters are allowed (‘/t/s/’ might be, but ‘/d/r/’ might not), and where (‘/t/s/’ might be permitted only at the start of syllables, and ‘/s/t/’ only at the ends)? What vowels are allowed where, and in what combinations? Some languages are mainly diphonic, meaning that they mainly do words in a cvcvcv order (ka-ta-ka-na). Others, like English, allow a wide variety of syllable structures.

Then figure out where your grammar is going to be structured. Is it going to be primarily in suffixes and prefixes (like Latin), with practically no reliance on sentence structure, or is it going to be primarily sentence structure, or a mixture? This is the hardest part for me, and can be skipped somewhat if you are not aiming at a complete language. Mainly you just need to figure out what kinds of things you need to prefixes and suffixes for.

Then you can, if you haven’t already, make your writing system. This is the funnest part, and I tend to actually start with this. You can do it in a huge variety of ways, and you can really have a lot of fun with it.

Now you really have all you need to use the language. If you need a word or a name in it, all you need to do is create a word that matches the structure of your language. That is it! Now, if you want to continue making it into a full fledged language (so that you can write poetry in it, for example), you have only just begun. You need to finish developing your grammar, and then you need to build your vocabulary. This last is the hardest part, and I have never actually finished a full vocabulary. Again, my lexicon manager will make it much easier (I hope), and we will all soon be able to make our own full fledged languages!

I hope that answers your first question. Unfortunately, I am sure that I have made more questions than ever. And maybe I have even made some people made at me because they have a different way of doing it. That is fine, I would be glad to hear of other ways! I like mine, but that is because it is the only one I know about. πŸ™‚

With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser aka Sir Emeth Mimetes