Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect – Wait, what?

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” It’s all too easy to wonder for a brief moment how that could be, and then go about your day, forgetful of the awkward sense of impossibility you felt, until the next time you read or hear that verse. But it’s always there, haunting the back of your mind: God demands perfection! That’s not me! What sacrifice is left for me?

When you read Jesus’s words, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” (Matthew 5:48) it’s all too easy to wonder for a brief moment how that could be, and then go about your day, forgetful of the awkward sense of impossibility you felt, until the next time you read or hear that verse. But it’s always there, haunting the back of your mind: God demands perfection! That’s not me! What sacrifice is left for me?

There’s good news, of course, in the context, in the original language, and in the realization that, as James MacDonald likes to put it, God has made no provision for you to live the Christian life in your own strength, intelligence, or ability – it’s better than that!

Continue reading “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect – Wait, what?”

The End is Near: Seeing the Kingdom that is near, here, within, and coming.

The Kingdom of Heaven is more than meets the eye: The Kingdom of Heaven has come near you, it is here, it is within you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is coming.

I was struck by an idea presented in a recent church service: The Kingdom of Heaven is more than meets the eye: The Kingdom of Heaven has come near you, it is here, it is within you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is coming. We tend to think the Kingdom of Heaven as something in the future that we’re all waiting for, and that’s partly true, but it also carries other profound dimensions.

The phrases Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God refer to the same thing. Jesus used both phrases one right after the other in Matthew 19:23-24, explaining to His disciples how difficult it was for people to enter the Kingdom of God/Heaven.

The End is Near

When Jesus sent out the disciples ahead of Him to the places He would soon visit, he told them, “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10:8-9)

Jesus had been teaching His disciples about the kingdom of Heaven and now the disciples were preparing the people to hear about it, as well.

You and I are those people and God has sent out his disciples to reach us. Will we welcome his servants? Or, will we reject them and have it said against us,

Say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.Luke 10:10-11

Continue reading “The End is Near: Seeing the Kingdom that is near, here, within, and coming.”

Those who mourn are blessed: Reading scripture backwards.

A few weeks ago our pastor taught on the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:3-12, and he highlighted something I hadn’t really considered: The verses from 3 to 12 are not simply separate sayings, like little nuggets of wisdom. Instead, they form a whole and each verse builds on the one before. They reveal a pattern for the life of a Christ-follower.

A few weeks ago our pastor taught on the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:3-12, and he highlighted something I hadn’t really considered: The verses from 3 to 12 are not simply separate sayings, like little nuggets of wisdom. They’re not like some parts you might find in Proverbs, superficially a list of individual, wise sayings. Instead, they form a whole and each verse builds on the one before. Have a quick read through with that in mind and we’ll pick up after,

Jesus began to teach them,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:3-12

The first thing that struck me was that these people were “blessed.” Blessed?! Blessed… Maybe they were blessed because each ‘bad thing’ was followed up by a comforting thing, like “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted,” but that’s a little morbid, isn’t?

Continue reading “Those who mourn are blessed: Reading scripture backwards.”

Gerber Down Syndrome ‘Spokesbaby of the Year’ May Help Start Changing Attitudes

Gerber’sspokesbaby of the year‘ is a child with Down Syndrome. Along with the exposure for a widespread public eye, as Gerber will be using the baby on social media and in advertising, it also puts under the spotlight parents who decided to keep their child rather than perform an abortion.

Anna Maria Tremonti, of CBC Radio’s The Current, recently aired a segment after the Gerber baby announcement concerning attitudes and abortion around babies with Down Syndrome. You can listen to the podcast and read the article over at The Current’s site..

We may still have a long way to go to encouraging mothers and parents that all lives are sacred and providing the support that all care-givers really need for their Down Syndrome babies, but this goes a long way in the public eye.

Credits:

 

Lion of Judah: New verses with chords

I really enjoy this song so I added two verses which I’ve inserted as Verse 2 and 3. You can find the chords at Ultimate-Guitar.com [Note: Linked original version, not mine, as it’s not approved yet. Will fix link when approved. Link now works.]. Here’s a plain-text version for now.

Here’s the song, including new verses…

Continue reading “Lion of Judah: New verses with chords”

The Firelight In Your Eyes

In the dark I can see,
reflected, weaving and waving,
in this blessed early morning moment,
the firelight in your eyes.

Your lips, full, pained, hurt,
whisper out an injured stream,
while I memorize your eyes,
and the mirrored flame of your soul.

And I am struck dumb,
feeble words wretch forth,
anguished to see you lifted and built up,
to fan the heart and the flicker still there.

Who am I,
that I should be the one here,
so lacking, failing even in this,
to blow these embers back to life.

But God–this is not of me–
but God–in spite of me–
He can take you in the hollow of His hands,
and blow your embers back to Life.

When we part ways,
the morning darkness hides us,
when I hold you again, once and again,
heat rushes into me, melting the cold of many moonless ages.

In the darkness, parting, again I look deep in your eyes,
and the warmth of your embrace rushes out from me,
but my prayer has ascended to Him Eternal, that I see you again,
and the firelight in your eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

Secrets of Automobilista

Secrets of Automobilista

Welcome to Secrets of Automobilista where I will be recording my experience, tips, tricks, resources and other helpful information as I get into Automobilista.

Secrets of X is a series of blog posts I started with Secrets of iRacing and which has grown to include Secrets of GTR2, Secrets of Automobilista, and Secrets of rFactor 2. The “secrets” part is a little dramatic but there are quite a few tips and tricks I think new users will find very valuable and interesting.

Update 2017-10-15: Added Getting Started > Essential Content > Mike’s Essentials (SimRacing604).

Update 2017-10-12: Initial publication.

What is Automobilista?

From the game’s website,

AUTOMOBILISTA puts you in the driving seat of an advanced racing simulator to deliver a uniquely diverse motorsports experience!

AUTOMOBILISTA is extensively complemented with one of the most diverse selections or racing vehicles to be found in a racing game: only in AUTOMOBILISTA will you be able to jump from a rental kart to a 800-HP open-wheel race car; from drifting a Rallycross Evo X to jumping ramps in a Supertruck; from mastering the driving basics in a Formula Vee to managing a full 24h race in an endurance prototype; back and forth through time with historical and modern content including a sample from several decades of open-wheel racing…

And here’s a visual taste of the game,

Getting Started

In Secrets of X, I try to focus on the non-obvious or unintuitive so I won’t be covering basics like getting the game, installing it, tweaking graphics or force feedback. You’re probably beyond that yourself so I’ll focus on the hidden and obscure things.

Continue reading “Secrets of Automobilista”

Secrets of rFactor 2

Secrets of rFactor 2

Welcome to Secrets of rFactor 2 where I will be recording my experience, tips, tricks, resources and other helpful information as I get into rFactor 2.

Secrets of X is a series of blog posts I started with Secrets of iRacing and which has grown to include Secrets of GTR2, Secrets of Automobilista, and Secrets of rFactor 2. The “secrets” part is a little dramatic but there are quite a few tips and tricks I think new users will find very valuable and interesting.

Update 2018-07-26: Tip: For in-cockpit FOV adjustments try the Multiview Adjustment tool by pressing CTRL-= while in-car in the pits. Thanks to this post on isrtv.com for highlighting it.

Update 2017-10-12: Initial publication.

What is rFactor 2?

From the Wikipedia article,

rFactor 2 is a computer racing simulator developed by the American independent software firm Image Space Incorporated, released for Windows in 2013. Like its predecessor, rFactor, it is designed to be modified and is used by professional racing teams for driver training and race car development. Much of its source code is derived from rFactor Pro which is also used by professional racers and most of the Formula One teams and NASCAR manufacturers.

And here’s a visual taste of the game,

Getting Started

In Secrets of X, I try to focus on the non-obvious or unintuitive so I won’t be covering basics like getting the game, installing it, tweaking graphics or force feedback. You’re probably beyond that yourself so I’ll focus on the hidden and obscure things.

Continue reading “Secrets of rFactor 2”

Bisection Search Like A (Human) Boss

Bisection search, or binary search for us developers, is a technique for finding the best value within a given range of values. This post describes tips for when you need to bisection search manually by hand (by “feel”), as opposed to when it can be automated by, say, a computer algorithm.

Bisection search, or binary search for us developers, is a technique for finding the best value within a given range of values.  Technically speaking, Wikipedia says the “bisection method in mathematics is a root-finding method that repeatedly bisects an interval and then selects a subinterval in which a root must lie for further processing.” This post describes tips for when you need to bisection search manually by hand (by “feel”), as opposed to when it can be automated by, say, a computer algorithm.

For example, say you’re very thirsty and need water fast so you pour yourself a glass of water: Pour too fast and it spills but too slow and it takes too long. You want to pour fast enough to quench your thirst as soon as possible but not so fast that it spills. The speed of pouring is your range of values (eg. slow to fast) and the consequences of the speed of pouring (how long it takes and if it spills) are your criteria to decide the best value. You try pouring the glass slowly and it’s too slow: Pour faster. You try pouring the glass faster and it spills: Pour slower but faster than the first time. You try pouring the glass “just right”: It’s fast enough and doesn’t spill. You’ve found the best pouring speed by bisection search!

Update 2017-10-26: Added sections: Bisection Hacks, and Case Study: Tuning Force Feedback Parameters in GTR2 – FIA GT Racing Game.

Continue reading “Bisection Search Like A (Human) Boss”

How much FFB can you feel in GTR2? 1/1000th of a percent.

[This is a repost of a thread I started on RaceDepartment.com and just wanted to have on my blog, as well.]

Update 2018-01-25: I’m a fan of Simracing Youtuber Jimmy Broadbent and he recently noticed my RaceDepartment post How much FFB can you feel in GTR2? 1/1000 of a percent (also a blog post of mine) and posted a video about his direct drive experience on GTR2 using the force feedback settings I recommended in that post: GTR 2 – How Does It Feel With A Direct Drive Wheel? Check it out, he seems to like it! I’m really happy to help some people get more enjoyment out of this oldie-but-goodie game.

I thought the GTR2 fans would find these results on the precision of GTR2 FFB interesting. For the record, I run a SimXperience Accuforce direct drive wheel. Precision probably wouldn’t be as noticeable on belt/gear wheels.

I’ve been tuning force feedback and recording details on my blog and, in any game where I need to tune value ranges, I find myself doing bi-section searches and testing the result to find what suits me best for a particular FFB parameter.

Here’s my latest testing on this parameter in the UserData PLR file:

FFB steer force grip weight=”0.71696″ // Range 0.0 to 1.0, recommended: 0.4 to 0.9. How much weight is given to tire grip when calculating steering force.

Note 0.71696 is basically 71.696% given the 0.0-1.0 range. GTR2’s PLR files apparently have a precision of up to 5 decimal places or 1/1000th precision thought of as a percentage.

How did I end up at a super specific value like that? Well, here’s the bi-section search it took me to arrive at that value:

FFB steer force grip weight=”0.78000″, 0.785, 0.7875, 0.6875, 0.7875, 0.6875, 0.7375, 0.7125, 0.725, 0.71875, 0.715625, 0.7171875 (better), 0.71640625, 0.716796875, 0.7169921875, 0.71689453125, 0.716943359375, (0.7169189453125+ vs 0.7169677734375++), 0.71695556640625 (*, **, ***)

Yes, at every step I could tell the difference (note the “better” notation, and the “+” and “++” notations). I was choosing what gave me a better feeling of grip level while cornering.

Those last two values were (when rounded) really 71.697% and 71.696%: A 1/1000th precision difference that you could feel in the wheel.

Some might be skeptical, I understand, just be aware this is really only perceptible when you’re going hard like say for fastest lap in a qualifying session. Precision of ffb matters at that point.

Personally, I find it really fascinating to push an old game like GTR2 from 2006 this far and find out it can deliver that kind of fidelity on a modern direct drive wheel.

*Yes, to update those values I have to exit GTR2, edit the PLR, and start GTR2 back up again. A real pain but worth it when you start to feel the car as it was meant to be felt.

**My “bi-section searching” deviates from a strict bi-section search in that sometimes I experiment and try values that aren’t strictly a bi-section the previous two values. I find this can help when I’m frustrated with the feel and need to find my bearings with a bigger jump which I then narrow down again with a regular bi-section search.

***If you’re interested, I’ve attached my PLR so you can see all my modified FFB values. The car was HQ F575 GTC and the track was HQ Brno. I run 60hz vsync.

Credits