Desiring god


2020.04.13 05:44 DesiringGod

We exist to help people everywhere understand and embrace the truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

2014.10.26 19:51 ovidius007 Christian Hedonism

A sub for all things related to Christian Hedonism, as taught by John Piper and Desiring God.

2008.01.25 16:47 Christianity

/Christianity is a subreddit to discuss Christianity and aspects of Christian life. All are welcome to participate.

2023.06.01 21:22 KamchatkasRevenge Out of Cruel Space Side Story: Of Dog, Volpir, and Man - Ch 221

Sir David
Far across the Capital city from the impromptu Sarkin wedding feast Sir David and Ariane were walking around the Imperial district, hand in hand, lazily enjoying the light breeze and the warm sun as they played tourist.
Sir David couldn't help but glance over at Ariane constantly, both to enjoy her, and to listen to her next piece of interesting information.
One place he had some mutual hobbies with Ariane was in history, and Ariane had devoured human history and mythology by the truck load once she'd gotten access to the Tear's internal comm net. Her reading speed and retention rate was truly something you had to see to believe.
She'd also proved she was quite crafty in the arts and crafts sense. After she'd found out about the minotaur of Greek myth, she'd set herself to work designing some new outfits that mixes ancient Greek and traditional Agela fashion, then partnered with Mama-san the Pavorus tailor aboard the Tear to produce them.
The result in this particular case was a stunning white dress that was just sheer enough in some places to be more than a little distracting, while not being at all lewd or erotic. Or anything but conservative by galactic standards.
Sure, with a slit in the skirt to her upper mid thigh, and some actual cleavage, she was showing off more skin than an Apuk girl might on average, but anything more than a micro bikini could be considered 'conservative' by galactic standards. Paired with her usual concealed shifter belt which showed off her waist and the sheer intensity of her curves in a delightfully subtle way, she'd then left her bountiful golden hair curly and put it up with a pair of pins.
The total effect between the colors of her body, her rich caramel skin, the blue of her eyes, her shining golden hair, and the various whites and creams of her not quite toga made her look the part of an actual goddess of Greek myth. Ari was an absolute gem of a woman, and was just as beautiful in sweat pants as she was all done up... but Sir David certainly appreciated the results when Ariane took the time to get all gussied up.
It was only due to David's sheer force of will and decades of self discipline that he wasn't all over her like a teenage boy on his prom date to use an American idiom. The temptation alone was... intense. The desire was strong.
Sir David wanted to hold back. For his own sake. For Ariane's sake. He wanted to build a bond in more than mutual physical desire... and he had to remember what being... touched... was like. How to touch. How to accomplish the physical parts of being a lover.
He could hear Mary scolding him for ignoring her when she'd told him to seek out someone else to help keep his life fulfilled and happy... letting what were once well developed skills in how to be a partner, how to be a lover, how to be a friend in a context outside the military, atrophy deeply. Then again, could Mary have known just how badly her death was going to hurt him? She'd have likely scolded him for that too, but still. He just couldn't give the old girl up... and with Ariane around to stand next to the ghostly love of his life, and not in place of... well. Maybe Mary would forgive him for waiting just a little bit longer to find the right woman.
That more women could quite easily follow was... something that was becoming somewhat intriguing to David. There was, after all, near limitless potential in the galaxy.
Perhaps he was talking to Jerry too much about such things in the Ward Room after the female officers had mostly left for the evening, but the man made a persuasive, if somewhat self-serving argument in the name of plural marriage in the galaxy. Sir David himself didn't have a religious or moral objection to such things, and considering he already had more or less agreed with his... girlfriend for lack of a better term. Fiancée perhaps. That she would be his second wife per galactic terms, to respect the mother of his first children made the question of a third or fourth wife seem... much easier than simply considering a second. If the right woman showed up... why not?
"Oh! David! Look!"
Before David can be completely shaken from his thoughts he's been dragged through an ornate gate set into a stone wall into a garden. David's eyes wander the place and automatically map out the details. They're just passed through a stone wall onto a platform resting on what appeared to mostly be a natural hill, with a small set of steps leading down to the actual ground level and the stone path that ran through the grass.
The garden itself is quite large, and beautifully crafted with paths, not just of stone but within the plants themselves winding naturally through the stunning blooms and leading towards what appeared to be an altar at one end of the garden and a large set of stairs at the other.
The stairs lead up to a balcony, over which loomed a fortified building some distance behind it. David recognized it as an old fort, in a style endemic to older Apuk architecture that David had seen a few times with Ariane so far this morning while touring the Imperial district.
David makes his second sweep of the area, now looking for even more fine details this time around. Looking up a bit higher finds ten statues lining the area, each paying homage to a larger statue of a woman in armor behind the altar.
She was posed with a warblade that was nearly as long as she was tall, and she appeared to have been very tall in life, regardless of how the sculptor had scaled her up. Still, the detail in the sculpture was remarkable. The warrior woman's smile warmed the garden that was clearly a memorial like she was standing there with them that moment, no matter how long it had been since her death.
Ariane sighs with pleasure at both the exquisite sculptures around them, but also the skillful display of horticulture, taking a brief moment to sniff a vibrant blue bloom before pulling up her guide book.
"Let's see... Yes, this is the Memorial Garden of the First Battle Princess. Hmm. Some warning in the Apuk language I can't read, where's the... ah! Here we are!"
Ariane grins at her success at finding what she was looking for and starts to read the contents of the page to David.
"Princess Mira'Tok Crownborn was the title that she ended her life under many thousands of Centris standard years ago at the dawn of pre-space flight modern Apuk history. Mira'Tok was the first to receive a crown directly from the hand of the woman who would become the first Empress of Serbow, and is the predecessor of every battle princess to ever wear a crown."
The Agela woman's eyes glimmer as she continues to read, clearly excited by both the history and the craftsmanship around them.
"The statues displayed around her are her ten companions, her battle sisters... and there's a twelfth statue behind her, of the Sorcerer Dus'Kvun, her husband. Not to deemphasize him, but rather their display rotates with the Princess being displayed forward by day, and her husband by night when bioluminescent plants from the dark forest naturally light the garden up! Seems the statues automatically rotate into their different positions after sunset and at dawn. The guide suggests this was a commentary on the two halves of martial supremacy on Serbow... and a more traditional depiction of both male and female."
David arches an eyebrow and leans over to read over Ariane's shoulder a bit. "Really, she was the first? Interesting... How old is the statue then? It's incredible. Almost like she's about to start laughing and tell us a story about her adventures."
Ariane nods. "She was famous for doing just that. This garden is a few thousand years old, commissioned early in the current Imperial family's reign. Mira'Tok was named a... it's hard to pronounce it, so I'll just translate, a sword saint. So like the kensei from Japan on Earth that we discussed the other day. So Mira'Tok is a religious figure as well as a historical and martial figure. So this memorial garden was dedicated as an official war shrine of the Apuk Imperial military. What's the mean though?"
Ariane flicks through a few more screens, focused entirely on learning something new about the place they'd found themselves in.
"Here we go! As an Imperial War Shrine, the garden of the mausoleum plays host to a variety of ceremonies annually including the Empress praying for the Imperial military, officers being commissioned or promoted, and senior enlisted swearing fresh oaths of enlistment. To be offered or granted permission to swear your oaths in the garden is a significant honor and marks out either a highly distinguished, or extremely loyal individual with many years or service... or the type of fresh face who's on the fast track to bigger and better things. It's not automatic even for battle princesses who take up Imperial military service."
Ariane pushes her communicator towards David, pointing to a specific paragraph. "Ooh, look! Apparently it's not uncommon for the Empress to turn up unannounced and receive the oaths of those permitted to make their oaths in Mira'Tok's mausoleum personally."
Sir David raises an eyebrow at that. "Dear God, I don't think her majesty ever surprised anyone to take their oaths of service personally... though she did knight me and award me my Victoria cross personally, as was the standard of the age. To take an oath of service personally like that from her warriors. That's truly special for those Imperial officers and enlisted who are privileged to offer their oaths like that I'm sure. To make oaths of loyalty and service personally to your liege. Ye gods and little fishes, it's right out of a fairy tale!"
"I know! Isn't it great?" Ariane clearly suppresses a squeal, doing her best to remain respectfully calm in this sacred space.
Suddenly however, a concerning thought struck Sir David.
"Say, Ari, are there any issues with us being here as outsiders? This is, as you say, sacred ground."
Ariane puts her nose back in her communicator and reads through a few pages quickly.
"Well it says this shrine isn't considered super popular to visit because it's small and somewhat out of the way, though many warriors make pilgrimage here to entreat Mira'Tok's blessing and invoke her courage, so this part of the war shrine is proudly open to the public. Though offworld visitors are of course asked to be respectful to the gardens and the spirits of the Princess, her husband and her shield sisters. In fact... as a warrior yourself you should be able to access the inner shrine if you'd like. There's apparently some rare artifacts related to Mira'Tok, and there's usually a few Wardens, retired senior members of the Apuk Imperial forces, around who are always happy to chat with a fellow warrior. While they nominally guard the shrine, apparently they also give regular discussions and talks about the history of this place, the Imperial military, and Mira'Tok. It's by appointment only, but they also only need like thirty minutes notice."
David nods, looking around again and admiring some more of the sheer effort that had gone into this beautiful little slice of serenity in the capital.
"Sounds like we should register for one of their talks if they wouldn't mind an audience of two. Heh, registering for a tour from wardens of a tower in the capital city of an Empire. It's so familiar it's almost a touch nostalgic."
David gestures upwards at the tower that was clearly the inner shrine.
"It's just like the Tower of London back home in some ways, right down to the wardens. The Yeoman Warders of the Tower back on Earth are all retired senior enlisted military personnel. Next you'll tell me they keep a local species of black bird here. Still, this other part of the shrine, the inner shrine, I can gain access to it? But you made it sound like you couldn't? Why's that?"
David gazes over at the now blushing Ariane.
"No such luck on the black birds. As to the inner shrine... It. Ah. Access to the inner shrine is limited to warriors and their... well. It says husbands but considering you're the warrior I'm sure they'd make exception for your spouse but we aren't married and I-"
Sir David leans over, cups Ariane's cheek and chastely kisses her on the lips, a mark of affection Ariane eagerly returns with a loving sigh.
"Maybe I'm not so worried about that any more. Forgive an old man his foibles my dear... besides. I'd say you're at least my fiancée, and I. Well I don't want to presume, but I'd be. It."
David feels his tongue tangle a bit as he remembers he hadn't expressed a lot of his feelings on this subject to Ariane yet.
"I... Ari. I'd be a fool not to marry you. I think I might have done you a great disservice in not being more clear about that. I ah. Yes. It's. You're to be my wife. If you'll have me of course... Bollocks that came out wrong."
Ari looks back at David, her long lashes fluttering as she gives him a coy smile.
"You're impossible sometimes you know that?"
"I'm unfortunately aware."
"I love that about you. I suspect Mary did too. Yes David. I'm going to be your wife. You're going to be my husband. There's no need to ask, it's set in the stars and has been from the moment we first made eye contact when you came to rescue me. Because for all your desire to take it slow, I've utterly failed to honor your desires and I fall more and more in love with you with every passing minute of every passing day. How can I not? I'm a girl who loves fairy tales after all, and here at last is my gallant knight to carry me away. I do prefer the human style role swap honestly. Much more fun to be carried off on horseback by you instead of carrying you off. Makes me feel all delicate."
The first kiss was nice. The second kiss was like nothing else David had ever experienced in his life apart from kisses with Mary, and in that second kiss he wasn't worried about having to remember how to be a lover to someone anymore.
Ari's lips warmed him from the tips of his ears down to his toes, making him melt just slightly as they embrace among the flowers, which seem to bloom all the more brightly in the face of such a passionate act of mutual affection, turning up to the couple ever so slightly as if they were the sun itself.
Then the spell is broken by a sharp wolf whistle and a leering cackle from nearby.
"Hey sister, care to share some sugar?"
Three well dressed Apuk, with what David recognized as gang markings peeking over their collars or out of their sleeves saunter through the gate, slowly spreading out.
"Told you girls I smelled a man. Cute too... So what's the slice sister, you the first wife?"
"S-Second. I'm his second wife." Ariane stutters for a second but quickly gets more confident in her tone, her powerful body tensing.
One of the toughs, a woman with poorly maintained reddish purple locks, looks at the senior tough, a woman with vibrant green hair that's clearly much better taken care of.
"...Why are you asking? We just want to have a little fun right? Make this trip up to the Imperial district worth it?"
"Yep, and all the better if sister here is willing to share. Might even make some easy credits girlie."
Ariane tenses a bit more, as her cheeks color with what David recognizes as anger. Then he notices Ariane's hand subtly going towards the controls for her shifter belt.
"Did you seriously just ask me to whore my husband out to you dirtbags?"
"Hey now, dirt bag's a mean way to put it!" The gang leader's tone takes on an oily, play acting hurt tone as the three women begin to spread out a bit more. "Might just hurt my feelings, and you know girls, when my feelings are hurt there's just about only one thing that'll really quench the fire it starts in me."
"...Bout a liter of this bitch's blood boss?" Says the redhead again, leering at Ariane as she speaks.
The gang leader's smile gets extra toothy, making her look like she was part Cannidor for a moment.
"Yep, and a couple rounds with old boy over there while she bleeds out on the stone. Hey. Call some more of the girls over, I think this might end up being a grand old time."
First Last
submitted by KamchatkasRevenge to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:18 AnkitaK_writes07 The nihilistic needle

She stretched her hands toward the dressing tray to grab the next tool. As her mind lay focused on the to-be-sutured wound, her hands struggled to make the right pick. After finally nudging the scalpel aside, she delicately wielded the needle and thread.
Her hands, as steady as need be, danced with surgical grace.
The skin around the wound pulled taut, making her clench her teeth. It wasn't the fear of failing to close the wound that palpitated her otherwise composed heart.
She didn't need to worry about that. She hadn't failed in saving a single life on the operating table.
And apart from excelling in her field, she possessed a gift so true only the ones handpicked by nature would get: her eyes.
Having Visual acuity of 20/7, perceiving the full spectrum of colours, and devoid of any refractive errors, they were the rarest set anyone ever had.
And despite having pearls for eyes, she'd honed her skills to a level where she could suture a wound with those eyes damned close.
But as all the geniuses end up biting the kryptonite of insanity, she did too.
It began innocently enough, as her desire to attain perfection slowly morphed into a hunger for ascendency.
If she had something 'perfect' in her, then others might too. Because someone up there failed to put it all in one.
But what if she succeeded, she'd thought.
The deeper she delved into darker parts of her own psyche, the more sinister she became. Her curiosity surpassed morality.
Each life she took appeared as an unfortunate mishap, neatly concealed within the vast sea of casualties all around the world. And no one had the brains to see the pattern.
Someone in Albania, with a perfectly healthy heart murdered and stolen off the same.
Someone, In Mexico, with unblemished skin, died of cardiac arrest, her body being flayed to the last inch.
And just like that, going part by part, she collected all the gifted anatomical fits in her makeshift lab. to sew them up to create, from scratch, a biological container, or what she'd call a perfect 'human body'. Whether there was a final act coming up in this macabre theater was a question her mind never raised.
Albeit, her actions were a testament to a God complex she never knew she had.
But no matter what amount of resources she used up, she could never find a more perfect set of eyes than the one she wore.
She couldn't turn back now.
She was almost there.
She just had to do what a being called God once did.
Gouging her own eyeballs out with the scalpel, she just had to suture the sockets back.
She picked the needle and thread.
The skin around her sockets pulled taut.
Her teeth clenched.
And there, the wound seamlessly closed.
And now...sewing those eyes with the tapestry of flesh and bones she'd created, she could do that with her eyes damned close.
submitted by AnkitaK_writes07 to shortscarystories [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:57 Nox_Coxen Help me with a name

Warning, long post. I think to help me with the name you should understand the characters very well so I will have to shortly tell the most important parts about these characters. So I have these 2 characters I really like and their names are mostly taken in games or social media which is pretty sad. Though at the same time they don't really have a name which makes it good, because I can name them, but that's a different struggle. so here are the characters:

Noximilien/Nox: This character I admired since childhood. Noximilien Coxen from show called "Wakfu". Noximilien is a Xelor (race of humans that are good at mechanisms and have time magic{mostly very weak time magic, but not our boy Nox here}). SPOILERS AHEAD. He was a normal guy making clocks in his house and living off of that, but everything changed when he found a cube containing "wakfu" (energy by which literally everything is made of). Name of the box was Eliacube, made by the oldest and strongest race, the cube was a mechanism meant to help the original owners in war, but in Nox's hand it was just a cube with massive amount of energy and storage of that energy. The cube drove Nox crazy, it made him concentrate only on the box itself and that way he lost his family. But after realising that the box had so much potential in it he started gathering energy in it to run back in time and change everything, and so, save his family. He didn't age because he used a bit of the energy all the time from the box and had amazing powers such as stopping time in whole world for a period of time, stopping specific creatures, rewinding time and speeding himself up so much that it seemed like he teleports from place to place. I won't tell more about him, because that's not the point here and I told the important part, but you can find out more about him by watching the show, it's on netflix I believe. (He's not the main character btw). So I want a name for this character, I've been using nickname "Nox" since childhood, but didn't want it to be connected with that character, but rather wanted it to be similar. I want a name for him that will be connected with time, energy, godly amounts of power or just something epic. Latin names sound good, but I couldn't make a choice.

PumpkinHead: PumpkinHead is a character I had even before Nox and It's my own character, not from any show, not taken or stolen or even a shared idea. I simply liked the idea of a character with a pumpkin on his head and used to create him since I was 3. The character is really important to me, as I'm even writing a book about him just for the fun of it. As for it's characteristics, It's a soul, evil soul. It was one of the few creatures that were created by gods and devils. Like when there were Adam and eve, as well as the snake, there was a soul of PumpkinHead. He didn't have a body neither he could get one because he was trapped by God as the existence of his soul was a mere accident, he was created from a massive amount of energy that fused when the first war of gods and devils happened ( before the creation of humanity). He wasn't created evil, rather became one in life. After just merely existing for centuries as a soul trapped in literal nowhere he was still growing the energy, by consuming it from gods and devils itself everytime they clashed, or had any fight/battle for humans. ( something like: he gains energy when there's a fight between good and evil in each and every living soul). After a long time he broke out and started chasing for a body to live in, bored from existence he was trying to find the best physical corpse for himself. Sadly he couldn't do it, because as soon as he ran away both gods and devils had to chase after him which would lead in a great battle (if he found a body to use), but because he couldn't they had to trap him again, though this time the place between time and space was not working. He broke the 4th wall, the cage he was trapped in for eternity was not able to contain him anymore, so the only thing left to do, was to destroy him. But as you guessed by now you can't destroy a soul, because it doesn't exist and exists at the same time, it can't do anything and nothing can be done to it unless it has a physical body. So the gods tried to find a body in which they'd put him in and destroy to get rid of it. They chose... you guessed, a pumpkin. Why? because it's a fruit, it can't do anything, can't be used unless it's given the ability to do so and PumpkinHead doesn't know how to because he never lived yet. Placing him in a pumpkin first time resulted in an unexpected outcome. It exploded. The desire for him to live was so big that a fruit, not living thing couldn't hold him. Magic comes in handy and they enchant the pumpkin to hold the power and again trap him in it. This time it worked, but how unfortunate, the fact that the pumpkin was enchanted to hold him in, also gave him understanding of magic and that way, with immense amount of energy in him, he used to turn into magic and enhance himself to be safe. Took a lot of power from him, but he lived! Since then, because he lost so much energy and used it on defending himself, he couldn't change a body, he was stuck in this form of a pumpkin unable to change, but he realised he could use it as an artifact. Artifact to control other living creatures. Anything that would come in contact with it would lose a soul ( by his choice ) and be replaced with something else. Another unfortunate moment was that there was no body to steal. At least, for a picky soul like his that wanted only the best life. At some point he gave up on it and just chose to go with whatever came first and it came out to be a hungry PIG. PumpkinHead first time feeling, breathing, living, was excited and amazed by the greatness of life. He wanted to feel more, he wanted to see more, taste more, smell more, and just find out everything in the world. So on his journey he changed many bodies, from a pig to cat, from a cat to dog, from a dog and so on until humans evolved into much more intelligent creatures and he stopped on them. Knowing so much about the world after living for centuries, he was petrified when he found out it was just the beginning of his journey. [The post will be too long so I will round off from here] he changed many bodies ( he had a pumpkin on head first but he could just be in a human body as a replacement for its owner. At first he had the pumpkin, but then he stopped using it as it was creepy for people ) and as he did so he learned much more about everything and most importantly, human nature. The one and most important reason he became evil. The amount of evil he found even in the brightest souls was so unamusing that he hated them, he hated humans for ruining themselves. He thought they were the most complicated, the chosen creatures. They could reach any point they would like, but the only thing stopping them from it was themselves. He hated them for being so unaware of their power and magnificence, but respected them and loved them as they were the only reason he could ever reach his goal. As for personality he chose a witty, wise and Ironic persona. Gentleman of a style and delicate as of whole. Sometimes acting like a child, wanting to do the weirdest and silliest things, but knowing when to be serious and always understanding the situation. Evil, but good, silly but intelligent, Ironic but a respectful gentleman, powerful but non-aggressive.
I thought that a name "Laplace", like "Laplaces devil" would fit this character because Laplaces devil is a theory of a creature that exists everywhere, all the time, lived everything and knows everything. Knows every single atom in the universe, where they are and where they have been at what time. That's just because it's similar to a goal of my character. But other ideas are interesting. Thank you for reading till the end and If you have any questions please comment.
submitted by Nox_Coxen to namenerds [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:47 Rook4242 An Alternative Theory of Base Design: The Strongline Approach (ST:E)

An Alternative Theory of Base Design: The Strongline Approach (ST:E)
An Alternative Theory of Base Design:
The Strongline Approach
Link to Google Drive Version:
TL; DR Summary:
All warfare is Based – Sun Tzu, emphasizing the importance of good base construction.
Current base-design thinking, and practice, is dominated by a focus on expansive bases with multiple layers of redundancy. While not disregarding redundancy altogether, I advocate for a different approach. I contend that a more compact base with a focus on a strong front line (a Strongline if you will) which can be easily manned and repaired with only a minor level of redundancy or layering is superior. In my opinion this approach better optimizes bases for Navigability, Force Concentration, Funneling, and Cost-Effectiveness at the expense of some Redundancy. Current base design seems to revolve around controlling as large a volume of the build-area as possible, pushing the base right up to the bug entry points. But this is not a necessary or efficient use of resources. The objective is to defend the ARC, not the surrounding area. Better to build a smaller cheaper base which better defends the ARC rather than a larger, more expensive, more difficult to navigate, and more unwieldly base which (poorly) controls a large area. This is the central concept of Strongline Design Theory. If you want additional detail but not the underlying theory, skip to the section labelled “Strongline Base Design.”
The Five Principles of Base Design
Figuring things out for yourself is the only freedom anyone really has – Jean Rasczack
In order to understand and compare the current theory of base design with my alternative theory, we must first describe the 5 Principles of a good base.
I. Navigability
Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter. -Churchill
Navigability is how easily and quickly troopers can traverse the base. Traversal includes: Combat Troopers moving from fighting position to fighting position to reinforce areas under heavy/special attack, Combat Troopers easily and securely exiting the base to hunt Grenadiers, and Repair Troopers easily and quickly checking and repairing base components.
Navigability is important because it allows Troopers to bring firepower and repairs where they are most needed and respond effectively to variations in distribution of threats across the line over time. Navigability is accomplished by having a more compact base with fewer interior fortifications blocking traversal. A low-navigability base will impede troopers from assisting each other or responding to changes in threats across the line and will function more as a series of smaller isolated bases than as a cohesive whole.
II. Redundancy
Redundancy is ambiguous because it seems like a waste if nothing unusual happens. Except that something unusual happens-usually. – Nassim Taleb
Redundancy is how well the base can tolerate a breach. It entails creating multiple layers of defense lines, compartmentalizing lines so that breaches do not grant the bugs access to a larger interior volume.
Redundancy is important because breaches are inevitable, and troopers must be able to contain and ideally patch a breach. Strong redundancy fighting positions enable this. Redundancy is accomplished by having more internal layers of fighting positions and by sealing/compartmentalizing areas of each line with further internal layers. A base with low redundancy will suffer catastrophically from small breaches as bugs are able to rapidly invade a large volume of the base.
III. Force Concentration
A major battle in a theater of operations is a collision between two centers of gravity; the more forces we can concentrate in our center of gravity, the more certain and massive the effect will be. – Von Clausewitz
Force Concentration is how well the troopers are to concentrate their firepower and repair capabilities along a narrow front. A narrow front with more troopers means firepower and repair capability can be used more efficiently and troopers can more easily support each other without having to travel a long distance. More troopers on a smaller area also minimizes the probability that a trooper will overlook/miss something (like a small bug slowly destroying the wall he is standing on) without his comrades noticing. This concept is somewhat more abstract than the previous concepts, so here illustrative example: an area of high force concentration would be a bunker which sticks out from a defense-line and enables a concentration of troopers within to engage bugs on 3 sides vs a long wall dotted with spread-out troopers.
Force concentration is important because concentrated troopers are able to support one another with equipment/deployable items and multiplies the value of these items. Force concentration can be accomplished by constructing fighting positions (ideally bunkers, but groups of walls/towers work as well) which enable troopers to cover a large area or chokepoint(s) while remaining near to one another. A base with poor opportunities for force concentration will make it difficult for troopers to assist each other and use equipment/deployables multiplicatively.
IV. Funneling
If you have an enemy, then learn and know your enemy -Denzel Washington
Funneling is how well the base directs bugs towards the intended defense/fighting positions. Funneling is closely related to and must be thought of in conjunction with Force Concentration. However, Funneling is more about understanding how the bugs will approach and react to the base.
Funneling is important because the bugs must be directed towards the fighting positions to…well…fight them. Additionally, a large, concentrated mass of bugs can be better engaged by AoE weapons. One can build the most navigable and concentrated fighting positions with superior redundancy, but that hardly matters If the bugs attack/concentrate elsewhere. Good Funneling can be achieved by understanding the Bug’s mind. The Bug strongly preferences the shortest and most direct routes to the ARC, by placing obstacles and fighting positions with this preference in mind one can direct defenders to these avenues, and good Funneling can be generated. A base with poor funneling will see the bugs spread over a large front or concentrate on an unexpected/less defensible section of front, typically leading to a breach.
V. Cost Effectiveness
Cost is more important than quality, but quality is the best way to reduce cost. -Genichi Taguchi
Finally, Cost Effectiveness is how well your base performs given the level of resources (“blue stuff”, “Baja blast”, “Smurf juice”, “blue raspberry flavoring”, “the good stuff”, etc.) has been gathered/invested. Cost effectiveness is more relevant in ARC mode than in the other mode but is still important in all cases.
Cost-Effectiveness is important because you can only gather so many resources/spend so much time before the bug attack begins or you must leave to do something else. Getting the most bang for your buck will help you to build your base quickly and finish out rounds to gain XP. Certainly, a bigger more expensive base is often ‘better’ than a smaller, cheaper one, but a smaller cheaper one may be good enough or even stronger in some areas and may be built much sooner so that the game can progress. A base with poor cost effectiveness may be unfinished by the time the bug attack begins or may simply take so long to finish that players become bored/stop having fun.
Trade Offs Between Principles
There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs. – Thomas Sowell
1. The Big One: Redundancy vs Everything Else
Redundancy is by far the most controversial and difficult principle to optimize for. This is because it is in opposition to every other principle. Additional interior walls and compartments make navigation more difficult, divide up defenders, make it harder to predict where bugs will engage, and increase costs dramatically. On the other hand, the occasional breach is inevitable, so some level of redundancy is required.
Be careful however, just because you have the resources does not mean you should add another interior or exterior wall, if adding that wall decreases navigability and concentration more than it improves your defensive redundancy. Layers can in fact be suboptimal, and my opinion on this has produced no small amount of onion-themed shrieking from mental midgets in VC. Weigh these factors carefully and keep this trade off in mind as you go, it is the easiest and most tempting balance to get wrong. As elaborated later, I advocate focusing more on building a solid line you can maintain/repair rather than a series of lines designed to fail.
2. Force Concentration vs Grenadiers
As it says in the Bible, God fights on the side of heaviest artillery – Robert Heinlein, author of science fiction classics you may have heard of.
Concentrating your force makes them more vulnerable to Grenadier artillery hits. Clustering your men or your defensive positions can make it easy for a single shell to severely weaken or even breach your defenses. However, for reasons elaborated under III. Force Concentration and IV. Funneling, the solution is not to spread your force along a broader front. Additionally, a broad front is no less vulnerable to grenadier fire as it is much harder to repair the damage or quickly respond to breaches in a large, broad front-style base. Instead, Grenadiers should be strongly prioritized and dealt with offensively. As soon as you or any other trooper are aware of Grenadier fire, repair the effected area and determine the direction of the Grenadier bug. An offensive team/squad should be dispatched immediately, and the remaining troopers rotated to cover whatever gaps may arise from sending a squad out of the base.
3. Force Concentration and Funneling vs Surface Area
Small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life -God, in his hit work The Bible (Mathew 7:14)
Critics of my approach have argued that maintaining a small front (a consequence of good Force Concentration and Funneling) weakens the base as the large mass of bugs are attacking a small surface area of wall/bunker and thus doing a lot of damage to a small number of props rather than a little damage to a large variety of props. They contend, not incorrectly, that this can increase the likelihood of a breach. I would argue, that while that is true, a smaller front is also far easiefaster to repair and has significant advantages in navigability, item-sharing, AoE weapon usage, and cost. For these reasons I argue that the trade off between Force Concentration/Funneling and the Surface Area (effectively HP pool) of the base, is strongly weighted towards minimizing Surface Area.
Important Addenda
I know it’s getting a bit long, I apologize, bear with me.
A. Bunker Usage
They say I get into too many bunkers. But it is no problem. I am the best bunker player. -Seve Ballestros
Bunkers are by far the best defensive structure. They have extremely high health pools, defend multiple angles, and bugs cannot enter them. Bunkers should be the anchors of any defensive line and represent the best options for Force Concentrations and targets for Funneling. I recommend placing them directly along but routes to the ARC sticking out from the walls if possible and covering as many angles as possible. It is desirable to pull bugs onto bunkers rather than walls as their superior health and defensibility make them easier to defend and repair. A good base will maximize the surface area of bunker available for bugs to attack and will place bunkers so that they attack the bunker before the trying to hit the far weaker walls.
For example, here is a very simplified scenario of suboptimal bunker usage:
In this layout, the bunker effectively defends one chokepoint, and has line of sight on the other if the wall should fall, but it does not physically block the bugs on the right if they should breach the small wall.
Consider instead, the following usage:
In this layout, the bunker does not directly block the chokepoint, but does lie along the most direct paths between the bugs and the ARC from both entrances. This will naturally funnel the bulk of the bugs onto the bunker, where they can be easily destroyed. The bunker does not need to actually block the chokepoint, most of the bugs will still hit it rather than the surrounding walls if it is along the most direct path to the ARC. Rather than pulling some of the bugs onto a weak wall, this layout concentrates the bugs onto the far tougher bunker. In both examples, there would likely be additional defenses and terrain complications, but I have simplified this scenario to illustrate bunker usage.
B. Scale
Above all, keep it simple – Auguste Escoffier, providing some advice I perhaps should have heeded before I set out to write this damn thing.
As the previous example implied, a smaller more compact base can be superior to a large base. I will not belabor the point as I have previously mentioned it several times, but a smaller base is more navigable, cheaper, and concentrates both defenders and bugs in favorable ways. Even if you have extra resources, do not neuter a good compact base with strong external sight lines and internal navigability by adding unnecessary outer or inner walls. Keep it as small as possible and no smaller.
C. Ammunition Box Placement
Don’t be a damned ammunition wagon. Be a Rifle! – Carl R. Rogers
Ammunition is stored in the bunkers. Period. Every second the troopers run around the base retrieving ammunition is time they are not fighting or repairing. Put the ammo where they do the shooting, which if you’ve done your job well, will be the bunkers. Standardize this, make it law, ensure that never again will anyone be unsure of where to look to find ammo.
D. Electric Wall placement
Controversy is only dreaded by the advocates of error – Benjamin Rush, foreshadowing that I am about to piss everybody off.
Stop putting electric walls around the ARC. It is far better to use your limited supply of extremely powerful stunwalls to strengthen your frontline than to stick them far in the rear as a last-ditch backup for failure. The Strongline approach is all about committing to a strong front line which can be relied on not to fold. Electric walls are simply too powerful and too expensive to be used only as backup. Electric walls can be easily shot through and thus it makes the most sense to place them in front of bunkers as your first line of defense. They function best delaying/holding bugs off bunkers to increase bunker survivability. Place them in front of bunkers, in chokepoints if possible. When a front gets quiet, send a repairman out to repair them. Bunkers with forward E-walls is an incredibly strong and effective combo and should not be overlooked.
Strongline Base Design
If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking - Patton.
To illustrate the practice of Strongline Base Design Theory, there is an attached example diagram. This example illustrates a simple but ideal base design. It is in a simplified environment without complex elevation changes, and with a centrally located ARC for clarity. Real implementation will necessarily deviate from this ideal configuration, but this provides a clear view into the fundamentals of Strongline design.
The ideal here is to hold a strong single frontline. Note that the interior of the base has open routes for troopers to navigate between positions, has only 1 very minor level of redundancy (the interior wall around the ARC), is compact to concentrate defenders in a few critical locations, funnels the bugs effectively onto those locations, and is extremely cost effective. This base would likely withstand attacks far stronger than its cost would suggest and could be built and manned quickly and easily. If you have extra resources, a second layer of exterior walls in some places to carefully reinforce vulnerable segments could be added, but I have kept the diagram simple to illustrate key principles.
Prevailing Base Design Theory: Aggressive Layering
I will also provide an example of the typical Aggressive Layering Type base design. This design is extremely expensive, usually pushes directly up to the entry points to try and control the entire area, then fills in layers of redundancy behind that. These layers are effective at containing breaches, but their difficult navigability, lack of force concentration, and ineffective funneling make it difficult to prevent, predict, or contain breaches. They are redeemed only by their immense redundancy, which unfortunately comes at a high resource cost. This arrangement is still superior to many of the bases where players randomly place walls, bunkers, and turrets, but it is far from optimal.
This layout, while suboptimal, would likely still survive, but would consume far more time and resources to construct.
1. Gates
Gates are generally bad. They break up your walls by not having a connecting raised walking area. They are often accidentally left open. They don’t speed up navigation as the time to open and close them is significant. And finally, they are redundant with walls and bunkers as both can be easily climbed. Gates are not needed, just build walls and bunkers unless you find yourself in the very specific situation of needing access up a ramp, in which case it is impossible to climb a wall/bunker. Gates have a small number of situational usages such as in tunnels where bunkers/walls are not easily climbable.
2. Build Order
Bunkers first, then ramp walls and walls, then auxiliary defenses. Fully plan out and lock in your 4 bunkers as soon as possible. Then build ramp walls and walls to seal off approaches completely. Finally, place turrets, towers, and electric walls as needed to complete your defense. Only then should you spend time or resources on costly redundant internal defenses.
3. Turret Placement
Turrets are best placed in the center of bunker roofs. If you’ve done your job, the bunkers will see the most action and thus benefit the most from turrets. There is some argument for putting turrets on the bug-facing edge of bunkers, as this enables them to shoot down into bugs directly abutting the bunker. However, they can be more easily damaged by the bugs in this edge-placement, and having one more thing to worry about repairing is not optimal. If the bunkers and base have been designed with good Funneling, there should be plenty of bugs approaching but not yet abutting the bunker for a center mounted turret to engage at any time. Troopers inside can and should handle any that reach the bunker itself.
4. Tower Placement
Generally, depends on the terrain and situation. If no obviously preferable locations occur to you, placing them on the leading edge of the bunker is usually excellent. While they will take damage from bugs, it is less severe if a tower becomes damaged/destroyed than if a turret were at risk, and the bunker edge-mounted towers provide excellent forward firing positions/sniper nests.
5. Kill Mazes
I have not tested this yet, but I have seen it proposed so it bears mentioning. Instead of blocking bugs’ access to the ARC, build a winding but open path. Basically, force them to play a tower defense game with you. I have not tested to see if the bug AI will follow a long but open path or if they will attempt to smash through to create a shorter path but kill mazes could be a very interesting solution.
6. Complex Structures
More complex structures like bastions, starforts, or U-shaped kill boxes are possible, but I have not thoroughly experimented with them. Maybe in a future even more insane document.
7. Disclaimer
All claims subject to changes from patches, updates, etc.
submitted by Rook4242 to starshiptroopers [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:22 dppthrowaway2077 45 [M4F] #Chicago - I’m delightful: depraved, deviant dom type for like minded submissive type

As it says in the bit you clicked on: I’m delightful. Read further for a small sample of the many ways in which I am wonderful, and find out how you, yes YOU, can take advantage to the amazing limited time offer. Also, we're social distancing, so I suppose this is a good time for torrid correspondence.
Offer includes:
Wit: I’m funny. Sometimes dry and biting, as when hanging out over drinks and I’m making acerbic sotto-voce comments about the dipshits at the other end of the bar, declaiming upon how Democrats are just as bad as Republicans and anyway Hillary is super corrupt. Sometimes absurdly silly, as when we are in bed, and especially in those awful moments during kink when pushing our emotional boundaries has inadvertently shattered the shared intimacy whereby situations that might otherwise be horrifying turn unbearably hot and sexy and intimate; (because you are firmly bound, suspended from a hook in this door-frame, with a ball gag distending your mouth and a large man is selecting amongst his toys for what to hit you with, now that you’ve been worked over with the crop that he’s still using to caress your clit. For example). Talking about the kink is supposed to be further down, but I’m proud of my ability to notice those moments and pull the gag and start improvising a progressively more absurd re-telling of the constitutional convention as a poorly organized swingers convention, using the contents of my pockets to represent the various founding fathers and their outhouse assignations with Jefferson.
Frightening intellect: I’m really, really bright. I read, constantly and voraciously and indiscriminately, at least as far as subject. I pay attention to news and politics and policy and everything else and I’m always glad to spend time with someone else who is as interested in the world as I am. I adore — really, deeply adore— doing kink with terrifically intelligent women; having the kind conversations where I feel like I must be a genius just because I can kind of keep up with you. Kinky sex is by nature pretty intimate, at least when it is something two people are doing together as opposed to some dude who figures kinky girls are easy and thinks being a dom means not caring if she comes and yelling bitch a lot. But I am not that guy. I fucking hate that guy. I spent years being miserable and basically at war with my sexuality because I thought being male and dom meant I had to be that guy and oh my God I think I’d rather just remove the entire apparatus using a rusty spoon from my Swiss Army knife rather than be like that walking indictment of humanity. So I need to like the person I’m performing misogyny at. She needs to be someone I can talk to before and after and not feel like I’m robbing an intellectual cradle. My capacity to be the most amazing dom you’ve ever invited to cross you boundaries — which I can totally be — is tied directly to how much I respect you as an equal making a choice and my assessment of your respect for me in the same way.
Sexy: There is no one true standard of hotness, and I don’t hold myself forth as the platonic ideal of the male form (for one thing? The Greeks were super into tiny penis. I’m serious. Had to do with their ideals of balance, apparently). I’m a big guy, 5’11, white, with a broad-shouldered sort of frame that leads people to think I’m taller than I am. I have a bit of a gut, but not so much that you’d call me fat, walking down the street; I suspect that the gut is something I notice but mostly no one else does. I get more compliments on my ass than I know what to do with.
I’m fit and active, I have nice eyes, a good smile and a better laugh. I’m currently clean shaven, although I’ve been known to grow a beard from time to time. (It is a small, neat Van Dyke sort of thing - I couldn’t grow a hipster lumberjack beard if I wanted to. Something else the Greeks would have had opinions on). Brown eyes, brown hair, and bespectacled. Nerd, but sexy nerd. And admit it: when a dude is tying you up and saying demeaning, degrading, frantically arousing things to you, wouldn’t you rather, when drops the crop and your world collapses to the feeling of his fingers (HOW many fingers? God, can you even tell any more, you are so wet...) moving inside your pussy and his thumb on your clit, when you suddenly feel his free hand up under your hair, right along the scalp, in that good, firm grab that makes you feel small and helpless and sexy and dirty and nasty and so, so good (and HEY! Did I tell you you could do that? If I wanted you to fuck your filthy hole on my fingers I’d have told you to, wouldn’t I? So stop, or I’ll have to take them away) ... in that moment, I have to believe you’d rather have the person whispering sweet, dirty nothings in your ear be one who can use words like “wanton” and “harlot” as well as “skank” and “hoe” or strangely popular “bitch”. Who can capture your imagination even more thoroughly than he’s bound your hands and ankles. I don’t know. I’m not even just a little bit submissive, and even if I was I’d still be a dude. But I have to believe -and user feedback surveys seem to support - that it is better when the violence of action is matched by wickedness of mind and quickness of wit.
Liberal: I’m not imposing a political litmus test. But because I only screw people I like and who I at least believe like me, and because the politics of the moment are centered around such a toxic person leading an even more toxic movement it matters: If you are on board with the current conservative movement in America, just... no. Because while I might get past the stupid policy, maybe. I mean probably not, but I can forgive well-meaning and ignorant, at least in principle. But I could never accept the cruelty.
Feminist: As much as I enjoy deploying the tropes and language of misogyny in bed with a likeminded partner, my enjoyment of that for that performative misogyny hinges on you being in on the joke (if you’ll allow). It isn’t just about “being good”; virtue has nothing to do with it, at least in this context. It is because as a dominant I get off, in large part, on your desire: controlling it, restraining it, heightening it, sustaining it and ultimately satisfying it (or not, as circumstances dictate). If we don’t start from a place where we both see ourselves as peers, I can never be really sure that desire is authentic or authentically mine. And I am egotistical enough, or maybe just have enough self-respect, to demand that I be certain that your desire is for me, specifically, at least in the time we are in “bed”. (although the bed is only the actually relevant piece of furniture at most half the time. Really, beds are actually terribly designed for good sex. Post coital cuddle and bullshit sessions, while we discussed what worked, what really worked, and what needs work? That is a fine use for the bed. For fucking and fucking related program activities? At best a poor second to a good couch or any of a wide variety of chairs.
Stoned-sex: I love the way it affects my physiology, keeping me aroused and in the moment for hours and hours and the way it drops my refractory period down to only a few minutes or a half an hour before I’m in the mood again. And I love the way it slows down my otherwise sometimes too quickly racing mind, so that I can slide effortlessly into the dominant analog of subspace; that mental space where calling a pretty girl who I like and respect and admire a lazy no good whore, where yanking her up by her hair, slapping her face and telling her to get her greedy little mouth all the way down my cock or I’ll show her what rough really means... Weed helps me be in that space without quite so much second guessing or worry that I’m going to hurt you. It lets me trust my instincts and you and your ability to safeword out, and that is good for both of us.
Kinky: Obviously. And obviously, this is shot through with examples. But: I like power and control. I like, more than anything getting to know you and your mind and being able to figure out how to wrap you around my fingers so thoroughly that I hardly have to lift them to have you dancing my tune. I can be rough, and cruel, and I love causing pain, even to the point of tears and balancing that against urgency and a desire to please and an orgasm that I can hold just out of reach until the moment I don’t and just as your are falling off from that peak ratcheting the sexual energy back up so that even though you just came call over my hands or cock or mouth you’d do anything-Anything-ANYTHING for one more caress, one more thrust, one more slide of my tongue (inside: that specific, delightful acid tang of the inside of a cunt that you only taste when you push your tongue deep inside - it never lasts on a finger, for some reason - then out and up and you can feel her tremble, strong and subtle and if it were a song this bit would be almost subsonic and then under the clit and around and there she goes, she’s starting to beg again and now I kinda have a crush on her because she is learning me back, harlot instead of whore, and an under-undercurrent of mirth beneath it all: the power is real and the desire is real but we also both know it is a joke, a shared secret: we can do this and still be friends and isn’t that fucking awesome?).
I have a few specific fetishes: I like to decide what you wear, when we are together: I love being able to look at you and know, not just that you’ve made yourself into an expression of my ideal of high femme sexuality, but that as you did so, with every little bit, anticipation was building. That I’ve been teasing you, maybe for hours, without doing a thing or saying a thing. (And of course, it plays back into desire and its close cousin, consent. If every stitch you are -and every stitch you are.- wearing was chosen with an eye to my desires, that is an implicit declaration of enthusiastic consent). I have a bit of a twist for deviance. Sitting next to a woman who I know has got nothing on under her panties but the butt plug I told her to wear is hot; hotter still if I handed it too her at the bar and she returns from the bathroom and hands me her panties. Hotter still if I hand it too her and she doesn’t go to the bathroom, but just looks around and then slides it up her ass with a smirk and a “Thank you SiDaddy”. I like being called Daddy, sometimes. There is something inherently provocative when the kind of woman -scary smart, self-confident, and self-aware - that I am drawn to lets a breathy, anxious “Daddy” slip her lips. There is something inherently filthy about hearing that word, with all its baggage, demeaning, infantilizing implications fall from the lips of someone who is alive to those implications and is calling to me in that way not despite them, but on account of them. (It isn’t my revolution if I can’t dance to it. And it isn’t my feminism if we can’t repurpose our cultural baggage in order to have a spectacular sex life in a magnificent relationship).
I have more than a bit of the daddy in me. A bit physically — I’m solid like that. And still more in attitude. As much as I demand of a partner, I cherish knowing I can be a very particular kind of safe place to stand for her. I enjoy, even need, to be protective and caring, supportive and nurturing. Not only in that quiet place after we have hit the climax (or between the first, easy release and starting the next assent — which is very much part of why I like being able to combine weed with my kink. As much as I love giving reign to some of the darker parts of my personality during the rush of kink, I also exulting that aftermath; when your head is on my chest and my arm wraps around you, and my hands explore your body without any urgency or any hesitation. I love that feeling of being a place of safety and feeling you relax into my size and my strength. It is the only feeling that I have that I identify as definitely masculine (in and for myself: I’m not trying to claim that experience as uniquely belonging to those issued a penis and number of testicles at birth).
It extends beyond sex; really, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Vital, and you sure as shit are going to sink if you miss it in the dark. But it runs all through my relationships. Arguable without the sexually charged overtones, it is just a over complicated way of saying “I like being a good boyfriend”. But where would we be without our sexually charged overtones? And it cuts both ways: if you are pulling from that part of me without returning the counterpoint of submission I need (or I feel I’m constantly reminding you that I need it and your compliance thus feels grudging) we are going to crash and burn. If you fail to make certain it is clear to me that you are as happy to give me what I need as I am eager to give you what you need, I’m going to feel really ill-used.
Having said all that, I’m not remotely a good fit for anyone who defines themselves as a little. A Daddy/daughter dynamic without the explicit embrace of childishness has an intense pull because it combines taboo violation with a power exchange dynamic that comports well with my personality — being both protective and demanding, authority and comfort works well for me. But I find that the idea of trying to be sexual with someone locked in to portraying a prepubescent very uncomfortable and suspect that I would still feel that way with someone who’s “little” age was more mature. That is a squick, rather than a value judgment. With me, that sort of age play (or even worse pet play) works strongly against the kind of intimacy that I value in kink. Role play can be a blast, and I love it, but I need it to clearly be play, something that can be stepped into and out of without stepping completely out of the kink dynamic. I bring the entirety of myself to everything I do, and I have enough self-regard to demand the same from my partner. If I like you enough to take you to bed, that necessarily means that I value your mind enough to lust after it — no matter how lovely you may be in repose, if you can’t or won’t turn me on with your intellect you will lose my interest so quickly as to acquire a visible redshift as you exit my life. Accordingly, when I reach for your mind, be it too discuss housing policy or my difficulty with a binding, to check on your well being or learn how your dissertation is progressing, (and I’ve done all of these during a scene) I deserve to be able to find it, and you, there reaching back.
If you’ve gotten this far and if you are at all the target audience: (cis-female, like weed and kink together, comfortable in yourself and your kinks, think you’re sexy) send me a PM. Don’t think yourself out of it or wait and see or anything. For fucks sake don't read the following Just put together a couple of paragraphs of message and fire it off. I don’t know what will happen, but I know for sure you won’t regret having done so. After all, like I said right up top: I’m delightful. I bet you are too.
I used to try and assert that I don’t have a type. That isn’t true, though: I have several even beyond the implicit, willful intellectual type suggested above. And the list keeps growing: I’m forever delighted by the variety of women who've made my hindbrain start barking and trying to do tricks, at one time or another. Granting that, my abiding lust objects resemble 40’s pin ups far more than 00’s porn stars, at least insofar as body type goes; tattoos and piercings can be wonderfully sexy. Likewise, though a wonderful rack can be a wonder to behold a girl in an A-cup who has that warm flare of hip and legs that go all the way down can lead to me walking into traffic. Finally, my experience of myself is sufficient for me to say confidently that race isn’t a factor in my libido, either for or against.
I live in Chicago, love my city, and for all I value the intellectual aspect of all this, I want ultimately to meet one (or more, I suppose;) women with whom I can spend time with both doing sexy things and the kind of things that make us both so terribly sexy. If that means an intense but memorable two days while you are visiting your great aunt Wilma, that is worth doing. If that means ongoing encounters frequent enough to keep us both sated, great. And if those are intermixed with enough non-sexual shared activities that the phrase “friends-with-benefits” is a fact and not just a more polite way of saying fuckbuddies? Even more great. Super, even. And if that last develops into a passion that carries us through the next three or four decades, both of us slightly bemused that we got along so well during the benighted days before first we fell upon one another, carried away on a passion so intense it is visible from orbit? Well. Wouldn’t that be delightful.
submitted by dppthrowaway2077 to AgeGapPersonals [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:12 zbunjenatockakom I (31F) am childfree but I want to learn to better support my friend (40F) as she goes through IVF

Hello to everyone on this sub!
I'm childfree and always have been. I knew I had no desire for children, pregnancy or babies or any of that ever since I was a small kid myself. I was repeatedly told I'd change my mind but heyho, I haven't and will not. That said, I have a really close friend who has struggled with infertility and miscarriage for many years now, as well as a few failed IVF attempts. Because of her age and a few other factors involved in her specific case, the chances of her conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy/birth/baby at the end of it are slim to say the least. I can't even begin to imagine how she feels or what she's been going through, 1) because try as I might, I cannot comprehend why someone would want a child, I know that sounds very harsh but it's the only way I can say it and 2) because while I can't comprehend wanting a child, I can comprehend not being able to get what I want more than anything else in the world, all while watching everyone else around me get it easily, get it (often) without wanting it, and do all of that for free.
She has spent God only knows how much money on treatments and IVF, and all she has to show for it is heartbreak and depression. I am beginning to seriously worry for her. How can I best help her? I'm a doctor and have never wanted kids, and she is a woman who is absolutely a mother without a child and wants nothing more than to give up her job and stay at home with her (hopefully) future kid(s). We have totally different wants in life and I'll admit I'm not sure how best to navigate helping her without absent-mindedly putting my foot in it or upsetting her.
Any advice from you people going through IVF and potentially feeling the same/similar as her?
submitted by zbunjenatockakom to IVF [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:09 moonshadow1789 For those isolating

I found this comforting. Finally got myself a copy of the Red Book by Carl Jung.
submitted by moonshadow1789 to Psychosis [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:06 Sensitive_Slide_7423 "The Talk"

We had "the talk." No, not that talk. The talk that is a follow up to this:
I did not know when to expect her response or what it would be. But I came to work this morning and tried to concentrate. Thank god I have an established business and can afford to screw around for a day or two because I have not been able to focus on anything work related the past few days.
Moving forward I will refer to her as Princess because she has a very unusual name and both start with "P." Seriously, I don't know how I say her name with a straight face but I'll deal with it...and she is cute.
So Princess breezes in this morning at 9AM right after my receptionist came in. I wonder if that was purposely so we wouldn't be alone together. She had breakfast biscuits. I don't usually eat much more than a banana in the morning, but I enjoyed breakfast with her. She walked in and asked if it's a good time to talk. I said yes and she closed my office door and sat down. To not make this sound like a bad soap opera, I will just quote some of what she said as well as I remember it.
After thanking me for lunch and dinner yesterday and telling me that she had a great time..."I've been thinking about what you said last night. When I first came over here, honestly it was just to say hello and try to drum up some business because it's been slow." We laughed about that. "And when you came by and brought me some freebies, I didn't really think much of it, but I do remember thinking that I liked how you talked to me and how you dress and how you carry yourself." I could feel my cheeks turning red because such compliments are not normal for me and probably not for a lot of men, especially single men.
"I don't know what made me do it, I think I was just being friendly when I started popping in to say hi and your sister is always a sweetheart. In fact, your sister is the one that encouraged me to come by and bring my lunch, but the first time I did that, she was off and you were here and then I really started enjoying having lunch with you."
I didn't know that part about my sister inviting her over and I have no doubt that she did it on purpose knowing she would be off the next day. Evil sister. lol
Anyway, after all that, I could feel the hammer about to be dropped. She was stumbling a bit and having a hard time getting her words out.
"I thought long and hard about what you said last night. Then I thought long and hard about what I feel. I didn't sleep much last night. I know you're older than me, you're my parents' age, but I like you. I really like you. A lot."
To be honest friends, I was expecting her to cool things down with me and the emotional roller coaster had my stomach doing flip flops. I don't think I heard her the first time.
"I don't know why but everything about you, all the things I've gotten to know about you, how this all started so accidental, it just feels right. And I'm not a dumb kid. I've had some relationships. But they never felt right. This feels right. I know it won't be easy to make a relationship work. A lot of people will have a hard time with it. But..." and this is where my heart stopped folks, she looked me right in the eye and said: "I think I'm in love with you." And that's when I literally felt nauseous. Like a damn school boy.
I really needed to move my body and breathe, so I told her it feels weird for us to be talking like this across my desk, and I came around to lean on my desk in front of the seat she was in.
I told her that if I said I'm in love with her, too, it would be a lie and I would be saying it just because she said it. But I did tell her I feel very strongly about her and that if I can convince myself that a relationship wouldn't destroy her life or hurt her in some way (due to the age gap), I could probably fall in love with her, too. I told her that confronting my feelings about her has made me giddy as a school boy because for the first time in a long time I have hope that the kind of love I once knew and desire is a possibility.
I asked her to lunch, but she couldn't today due to her class schedule. We will have lunch tomorrow and are planning to do something together this weekend, which we've never done. We sat there for a few minutes just looking at each other when she stood.
I told her I really enjoyed our hug last night and she stepped in between my legs and we embraced, this time more tightly. Then she whispered in my ear, "how do you feel about a kiss?" To which I made a joke about hopefully I remember how to do it. Guess what, friends? I remember how to do it. I had to remind her about her class or else we probably would not have let go of each other.
None of this would have happened without the encouragement, hope and guidance I've received from you friends in this sub. We're going to need all the help we can get because I don't think we'll get it from many people in our circles.
submitted by Sensitive_Slide_7423 to AgeGap [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 19:51 cuzimori The Community Tier List Review and Event CG Archive for Leo, Yingel, and Anatoli are Now Live!

Hello Reddit!
This is — for a change of pace — Cuzi from Team BethelFrankel, here to tell you that the ratings for Leo, Yingel, and Anatoli are now live on the Community Tier List! I’m sorry this took as long as it did. Fourmana was busy, the website was getting updated, and I was playing Honkai Star Rail. No excuses, just a sorry. As always, a “should you pull” section, followed by some big updates in preparation for the upcoming anniversary.

Should You Pull…

Leo - S-/S+ - Leo’s ceiling is nuts. In terms of raw damage, his damage potential is one of — if not the — highest in Forest. This is an impressive feat, considering that Forest is an element with beasts such as Jeriah, Paloma and Areia. His main issue is a large portion of this damage is gated behind requiring both Refinements and team support. This makes him a weird unit to rate; his R0 baseline performance undercuts Forest’s contested S-tier, with his damage scaling up to SS-tier levels the more e-tiles you feed him. The Goldie teams that could let him reach this potential, however, have hotly contested team slots. Jeriah, Naroxel, and Paloma all provide utility alongside their damage that makes them much more indispensable, leaving Leo and Gabriel to duke it out for the last slot in meta e-tile teams. Still, the fact he’s a top contender for that slot at all as a raw damage dealer speaks to his potential. He also fits decently well on other e-tile teams, such as those featuring Minos, Hiiro and Siobhan.
With Leo, you’ll usually want to use his second Active once per Burst turn before dumping all his stacks into it on the final Burst turn. The gimmicks on his first Active are largely flavor text: the second and third effects are difficult to use outside longer stages, while the first effect is only useful in mobbing. All this said, there are a lot of minor optimizations you can do with him. Firstly, his second active is only useful if you can ensure around at least 3-4 Normals including diagonals; saving the stacks to benefit from his Equipment’s Chain Combo buffs may be worthwhile if this is not the case. Second, the CD reduction on his first Active from getting 19 stacks only applies on cast; if you have enough enhanced tiles, saving his first Active to cast during his AT can let you gain maximum value from it. This room for minmaxing offers Leo some appreciated flexibility, cementing him as an excellent option on teams that can feed his appetite for e-tiles.
TL;DR: Pull if you want him and can offer the appropriate support, otherwise probably skip. Meta e-tile Forest has stiff competition for slots, but he’s as good an option as any to round it out after you have the core setup. Outside of e-tile teams, he’s usable but not great.
Yingel - A-/S at BT3 - Yingel is another addition to the “weird converters” we’ve been seeing over the past few patches, but this time placing heavy emphasis on 1x1 content. We did the math on her damage output and her damage leaves much to be desired, even for a sniper. Yingel’s kit is based around using special high-power Normals to stack a powerful defense ignoring buff. This sounds great in theory, but Yingel’s inability to normal attack in between her special Normals severely neuters her; it more or less means her Normal attack damage is the same as most other units, and makes her defense ignore stacking is too slow for it to ever realize its full potential.
Her conversion is similarly restrictive. 5 select tiles on a 2 CD is actually pretty incredible; the issue is her cross-shaped conversion pattern makes it incredibly janky to properly use and get contact tiles with outside of 1x1 content. Her conversion can be cloned by Axelia, but the high cloning cost and Axelia's other cloning synergies with units like Irridon limit its value.
Ultimately, Yingel is a combination of almost all the most powerful effects in all of Alchemy Stars nerfed in every way. This has its place — she’s a pretty good captain for 1x1 content, and better than most of Thunder’s bog-standard snipers even at BT0. You just won’t feel good using her over Luke, Reinhardt or R3 Wrath.
TL;DR: Probably Avoid. While Yingel certainly isn’t bad at BT3, there are significantly better options to go for at this level of investment. With the 2nd Anniversary being the next event, you don’t want to regret pulling on someone that may potentially collect dust on your account.
Anatoli - A - Anatoli is the welfare character for this patch and more or less a Forest Brock, offering niche but potentially valuable Aggro support and decent personal damage for mobbing. His active can also be used as a janky TP and gap closer if only selecting one target, which is… interesting, at the very least, and occasionally useful. However, his EQ is noticeably worse and the element he’s in has much less synergies for him. Forest also is home to some of the best mobbers in the game in Lenore, Migard, and Barton:DB, who are also just overall better units whose value doesn’t nosedive outside their niche. For a welfare, though, Anatoli is admirably effective at what he does — he’s a good investment if you don’t have one of Forest’s myriad mobbers, and will still see use in secondary or tertiary teams in content like Pandora’s even once you do.
Finally, his art and animations are top-tier — he’ll be a staple for those invested in the aesthetics metagame.
TL;DR: Build if you want. He’s very niche, but excellent at it — whether that’s important to you depends on your own account.

Tier List Updates

We’ve made some pretty big changes to the tier list, but none of them should be much of a surprise — it’s more or less just following through on things we had announced in the last update. The most important of these is we have new ratings now! The (N) rating has been added to units whose value dramatically improves in niche situations, while the (T) rating denotes units whose potential is locked behind requiring specific team setups.
Some background on this — the team is forever mentally scarred by Goldie, and I could honestly end the explanation here, refuse to elaborate, and leave. While that is partly a joke, Goldie is the unit that prompted us to think about how we tier things. Goldie is honestly pretty terrible outside dedicated e-tile teams that need very specific units, but said e-tile teams offer some of the best damage in the game. This unit design is a consequence of how the game has evolved — since the game has covered its bases for generalist units like Sinsa and Azure, characters’ roles have become much more specific. The tier list, formulated in the days of yore, couldn’t really account for that. We’re hoping these new ratings fix that.
This isn’t a perfect solution; the most glaring problem is how much it increases clutter in a tier list which already suffered from it. This forces us to be rather conservative about how we give these ratings, and we’ve tried to limit it as much as possible to units where the improvement is fairly drastic or units who are the linchpin of entire strategies. That said, if you feel we’ve missed someone we’re happy to get feedback about it! We’re far from perfect, and constructive criticism is how we can improve.
Finally, we’ve gotten rid of class ratings and nothing of value was really lost. They did more harm than good, and we’ve replaced them with extremely brief descriptions of what the unit actually does. So all that said… let’s delve into the units that got changed!
Goldie - SS(T) (is S-) – Behold, the woman behind the slaughter. Dedicated e-tile teams are incredible, and we’re letting Goldie eat the SS rating for almost all the units that dramatically improve due to it given the setup revolves around her.
Lilica - SS(T) (is S+) – Similar to Goldie, Lilica is taking the SS tiering for all shield synergies because they’re ultimately centered around her. Lilica shield teams offer some of the highest damage in Fire and are surprisingly strong in Water too.
Minos - SS(T) (is S) — Minos already had a note marking him as SS in specific teams, so we’re just adjusting that to fit into the new system. Unlike a lot of other e-tile units he doesn’t depend on Goldie to get the number of e-tiles he needs to shine, so we’re marking him separately.
Tessa - S+(T) (is S-) – Tessa’s interaction with low-CD units is pretty potent. The most notable of these is Axelia + MBT Roy and to a lesser extent Leyn, who push her damage above a good chunk of Thunder’s long list of detonators.
Lucoa - S(T) (is A) — Lucoa’s buff is one of a kind and instrumental in making a lot of Active-based teams work.
May - A(T) (is C+) — May is pretty important for certain Giles nuke setups and serves as the only other good defensive option on Lenore+Jeno setups. That said, neither setup entirely revolves around her which limits her overall tiering.
Axelia - S+(T) (is S) — Axelia’s ability to copy summons gives a lot of notable synergies even outside the aforementioned MBT Roy and Tessa. Of particular note is Reinhardt and Irridon, and her presence on whale Thunder teams is a testament of how much she improves its playability.
Brock - S(N) (is A-) — Brock is absolutely incredible in mobbing; his ability to aggro mob can trivialize waves and his Attack buff in these stages is very potent. The cherry on top is his importance on Giles nuke setups.
Nails - S(N) (is A-) — Nails’ Bleed application is only really contested by Pasolo, and he’s almost required on certain Elysium floors while also being strong on DoT weak enemies outside of that.
Chandra - A-(N) (is C+) — Chandra is amazing for Nightium farming, and the long-term value this provides is actually quite notable.
Giles - SS(N) (is S+) — Updated calcs show that Giles’ damage on shorter fights actually outdoes most of Fire’s S-tier even on 2x2; his ability to trivialize some stages by nuking them combined with his almost unrivaled 1x1 performance puts him at SS in the right situations.
Odi - S+(N) (is S-) — Odi has unrivaled Poison application, allowing her to clear some stages that even meta teams can struggle on.
Noah BT2 - S-(N) (is A-) — Noah’s Lilica synergies paired with the importance of her shield against certain specific damage checks gives her some valuable use cases, even if she usually is outdone by Philyshy.
Raphael - A(N) at BT0 (is B-), S+(N) at BT3 (is S-) — Raphael’s oddball mix of resets, conversion, damage and healing lets her function in a way no other unit really can, and makes certain endgame content like BoredomShatterblast significantly easier.
Erica - A(N) (is B) — Erica is the only decent reset option in Thunder, so your hands are often tied on certain stages. Still, her Detonator chain and team buff means she’s not deadweight.
Vivian MBT - A+(N) (is B-) — MBT Vivian’s raw conversion value makes her pretty powerful on the right stages. There is nothing quite like letting her paint boards yellow.
Keating - B+(N) (is C+) — Brock and Anatoli have shown that aggro is actually extremely valuable when the situation calls for it. However, Keating is hampered by their brutal cooldown combined with a lack of pre-emptive.
Zhong Xu - S(N) (is A+) — Zhong Xu was extremely disappointing for a unit that was meant to be Fire’s long-awaited select tile converter. That said, his push-pull synergies do make him worth using on some stages, especially alongside Charon and Brock.
Jane - A(N) (is C) — Jane’s ranking is almost entirely based on her ability to reliably auto-farm the penultimate Nightium stage with a specific setup. Outside of this, she’s still pretty bad.
MBT Tina - SS(N) — MBT Tina can be incredible — 4 pseudo-select tiles on 2CD alongside a very janky TP is nothing to scoff at. The issue is all this is contingent on being able to predict enemy movements and plan ahead with her tile placement; this isn’t easy nor reliable, but MBT Tina can even outdo Bethlehem in situations where it’s feasible.

Some Other Tier Shifts

Philishy - S (was S-) – Philyshy was initially downshifted during an era of content involving very high DPR checks. Abyss and Pandora’s Box did a lot to change this, and both game modes seem tailored to reward Philyshy’s absurd healing output and additional utility through her global teleport. She’s more than worth the $1 you may pay for her; while you still aren’t going to use her in most content that has a DPS check, her value is nigh-unparalleled outside of it.
MBT Frostfire - S- (was A+) – Like Philyshy, the higher importance of mobbing makes Frostfire much more valuable — especially given her mobbing capabilities in Fire are only really rivaled by R3 Regina. She’s still extremely reliant on her MBT and is entirely eclipsed by Giles in bossing, but the gap between her and her Old Seal brethren is now far closer than it used to be.
Leona - S- (was A) – Leona is probably the unit that was the most underrated in the tier list for quite some time: her 1x1 and 2x2 numbers are competitive on both fronts with other S tier units. She’s still too reliant on Burn and good conversion to truly be S-tier, but a well-supported Leona can carry you a surprisingly long way.
Barbara A- – Despite her overall numbers being better with the buff and the refinements, Barbara is still a unit that really doesn’t have much in terms of what she brings to the table. You could even argue her equipment buff being element-locked now makes her arguably worse! While that isn’t exactly true, it does go to show how decidedly underwhelming her improvements have been.
Vice R3 - S- (Was A) — R3 Vice’s performance is actually pretty incredible — her 1x1 performance outdoes most of Water’s other snipers, and her mobbing is potent. Her main issue is the competition she faces in both cases. Vice: KS is your go-to option in 1x1 content, and base Vice can’t be used alongside her; meanwhile, Water mobbing is a tightly contested spot between Azure, Fia, Mu Yuebai, Fleur, and Connolly. Still, she is pretty good on her own merits, especially considering she’s completely free.
Vic — While his overall ranking hasn’t changed, Vic’s description has been touched up. As it turns out, he’s one of if not the best option for the 5th slot in Water against purely 1x1 content. His performance tanks with summons, he’s a miserable captain, and his 2x2 performance is laughable — but it was pertinent to mention he does have a pretty well-defined use case for those who like him enough to invest in him. In a way it’s fairly in-character for him: even though he’s good at what he does, he’ll probably spend most of his time in your roster on the bench.

New and Future Content

I'd talked a bit about how tier lists are a pretty inherently flawed format earlier. We're doing our best to circumvent this — for all its failings, it is both straightforward and intuitive. Still, especially as we get closer to Anniversary, the team has found that it might help to branch out in the content we make to help both new and returning players. Recently, you probably saw Eclogia's beginner and advanced guides. If you haven't, you probably should! They're really well written and you can find them in the reddit post here.
We also have a lot more in the works. Trakan is working on an Ultimate Checklist — a super handy tool featuring an Aurorian Tracker, team building customization and even some Cloud Garden tools. Meanwhile, Ivory is working on a polished Lilica guide — a handy walkthrough to help explain one of Alchemy Stars' most unique and nuanced units. This is just the start, too — hopefully there's a lot more to come in the future.

Event CG Archive

Mechhydra here!
I apologize for not showing up for the last event–I got busy, and as a consequence didn't update the Archive for a while. Regardless, both of the past two events are now live for viewing. Stay tuned for the 2nd anniversary, where I'll be making my own standalone archive post for the first time in a long while!
Event Album Doc
Drive Folder

Community News

Sometimes I wonder if Fourmana has a secret vendetta against me. Maybe I wronged him in another life to have been stuck with writing this monster of an update. Perhaps my sins have caught up to me, and the gods commanded him to make me write this post in their displeasure. We’ll never know.
Jokes aside, it’s been an amazing time working with the team to push this update out, and I’m glad Four doesn’t have to deal with it when he already has a lot on his plate — he’s already put overtime into this project. As always, our rankings are tentative and we both appreciate and rely on feedback, especially considering this is my first time making a write-up of this length for Alchemy Stars. The tier list is written for the community, and it’s helpful to hear what you want from it!
And with that, I shall lay my metaphorical pen down to rest. Until next time.
Best regards,
Team BethelFrankel
submitted by cuzimori to AlchemyStarsEN [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 19:42 Righteous_Allogenes *Man can receive nothing except it be given him from Heaven.*

There is the territory you are in, and those adjacent. Such it is.
Suppose you would like to cross the street. No tracks for trolly, no passing cars, so you go and you do that.
But there is no fallen tree to prevent your way. No path need clearing. No bridge to build nor ground to steady.
Perhaps that may be the case, were it not for all the things that you carry.
But there are some things you must carry. There are steps that should be taken.
And so too, there is a chance that an unbearable force might come upon and strike you, and your journey would be over.
Upon you might come the mountain, that the path may tread you underfoot. Then you will be of the mountain, and lift it up.
And so it is that I come saying to you, that indeed I am that Mountain. And yet it is my desire to do the Will of He who sends me. Therefore let it be done to me even so:
This is the Word of the Lord to Zarathustra: Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says Yehovah Sabbaoth. Who are you, O great Mountain? Before Zoroaster you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forth the Cornerstone, decreed in a loud voice, ‘By the Grace of God!’
Then by this it is my desire that I should lose everything, being made as like a plain before the coming generation; before my seed, and the seed of my seed. So it has always been, so be it, so it shall be. Non mea voluntate sed voluntate Patris.
And know that whatever you have read accordingly to this I have written, whether it be from the Book of Zachariah or elsewhere; as another has understood it, or as I have understood it: it is the same as you have understood it.
submitted by Righteous_Allogenes to Christianity [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 19:39 Bard_of_Light [Spoilers Extended] LBJ: Mirror on the Wall: King Robert vs. Queen Cersei
Video: Mirror - Shrek
This is part of a series exploring the hidden motives and actions of the main players during Robert's Rebellion, named LBJ in reference to the influence of Lyndon B. Johnson and the Vietnam War on GRRM's views and writings on war. LBJ also indicates considerations over whether Lyanna + Bobby B = Jon Snow. Previous installments include:
In the last part, we combed through evidence that Lyanna fought disguised as Rhaegar at the Trident. We'll now examine why Cersei's torture of the Blue Bard indicates that Rhaegar was tortured by Robert, for the crime of crowning his beloved Lyanna with winter roses in front of half the realm.
"It saddens me to see Your Grace so careworn. I say, run off and play and leave the King's Hand to hear these tiresome petitions. We could dress as serving girls and spend the day amongst the smallfolk, to hear what they are saying of the fall of Dragonstone. I know the inn where the Blue Bard plays when he is not singing attendance on the little queen, and a certain cellar where a conjurer turns lead into gold, water into wine, and girls into boys. Perhaps he would work his spells on the two of us. Would it amuse Your Grace to be a man one night?"
- A Feast for Crows Cersei VIII

Mirror on the Wall: King Robert vs. Queen Cersei

Robert is practiced at shutting his eyes to things he’d rather not see, like when he can’t admit he’s too fat for his armor (like Cersei assumes washerwomen shrunk her gowns) or when he pretends wine made him hurt his queen (which Cersei reenacts on Taena, but is frustrated when that Myrish slut enjoys it). Robert fills his court with corrupt lickspittles and admits on his deathbed that he was a bad king when previously he expected Ned to say otherwise. Likewise, Cersei assumes she’s a political mastermind, basically Tywin with teats. In answer to Robert grooming Barra's barely pubescent mother, Cersei grooms and psychologically scars young Lancel (and Tyrek too for all we know). Robert incestuously cheats with his Estermont cousin early in his reign, so Cersei rekindles incest with her brother Jaime. Cersei has bastards killed who could threaten her own children's claims, and Robert tries to have Dany and her unborn child killed to protect the throne from dragonspawn. Robert pretends to care about his baseborn children, and people doubt Cersei loves anyone as more than an extension of herself (although Varys disagrees). Robert does seem to realize he doesn’t love his heirs, which raises the question of whether or not he knew they were bastards.
To her credit, Cersei did not look away. “He saw us. You love your children, do you not?”
Robert had asked him the very same question, the morning of the melee. He gave her the same answer. “With all my heart.”
“No less do I love mine.”
- A Game of Thrones Eddard XII
King Robert and Queen Cersei are an exercise in avoiding hypocritical analysis; any fault decried in one is reflected in the other in a role-appropriate way. Both lie to themselves and others, drink in excess, have cruel tempers, are physically and sexually abusive, and are terrible parents and rulers. Martin has clearly written Robert and Cersei to mirror one another, and if we saw Robert’s inner monologue, surely it would reveal that he’s just as arrogant and delusional as his wife.
It’s often claimed Robert was unaware of the illegitimacy of his heirs, as he would have gone berserk had he known. If one believes Robert would have executed Cersei for cuckolding him, then it must also be true that Rhaegar incurred Robert’s hatred when he crowned Lyanna with sexually suggestive winter roses in front of half the realm. In fact, we know he did:
As for Robert Baratheon himself, some say he laughed at the prince’s gesture, claiming that Rhaegar had done no more than pay Lyanna her due…but those who knew him better say the young lord brooded on the insult, and that his heart hardened toward the Prince of Dragonstone from that day forth.
- The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring The World of Ice and Fire
Given his family history of Targaryen betrayal, when the Laughing Storm rebelled against the Iron Throne over a broken betrothal, as well as his possessiveness of Lyanna, Robert would seek vengeance over Rhaegar's actions at Harrenhal. So when Robert talks about Rhaegar raping Lyanna, it’s easy to imagine that he’s reinforcing a lie to himself. Similar to how he projects Lyanna onto Cersei on their wedding night, Robert is capable of projecting his own actions onto Rhaegar. Robert is the person who actually had sex with Lyanna… but only once.
The king touched her cheek, his fingers brushing across the rough stone as gently as if it were living flesh. “I vowed to kill Rhaegar for what he did to her.”
“You did,” Ned reminded him.
“Only once,” Robert said bitterly.
- A Game of Thrones Eddard I
This subtext is mirrored by Jon Connington's implied love for Rhaegar. Connington laments that Rhaegar ass-ended his tower only once, then indicates that all the girls cried when Rhaegar played his harp, implying that Lyanna crying over Rhaegar's music was nothing special.
Yet when they parted, Jon Connington did not go to the sept. Instead his steps led him up to the roof of the east tower, the tallest at Griffin's Roost. As he climbed he remembered past ascents—a hundred with his lord father, who liked to stand and look out over woods and crags and sea and know that all he saw belonged to House Connington, and one (only one!) with Rhaegar Targaryen. Prince Rhaegar was returning from Dorne, and he and his escort had lingered here a fortnight. He was so young then, and I was younger. Boys, the both of us. At the welcoming feast, the prince had taken up his silver-stringed harp and played for them. A song of love and doom, Jon Connington recalled, and every woman in the hall was weeping when he put down the harp. Not the men, of course. Particularly not his own father, whose only love was land. Lord Armond Connington spent the entire evening trying to win the prince to his side in his dispute with Lord Morrigen.
- A Dance with Dragons The Griffon Reborn
Robert's false accusation of rape mirrors Lord Mathis Rowan's daughter's lie which landed Dareon, a singer and harpist, on the Wall; if Arya had this information, maybe she wouldn't have murdered him for desertion.
It made her angry to see Dareon sitting there so brazen, making eyes at Lanna as his fingers danced across the harp strings.
He is a man of the Night's Watch, she thought, as he sang about some stupid lady throwing herself off some stupid tower because her stupid prince was dead. The lady should go kill the ones who killed her prince. And the singer should be on the Wall.
- A Feast for Crows Cat of the Canals
So when one considers that our favorite evil queen had an innocent singer imprisoned and tortured on trumped up charges, it then should not come as a shock that the fan-favorite warrior king would do something similar.

The Blue Bard Mirror

Cersei has the Blue Bard arrested and tortured in the dungeons, framing him for seducing Margaery. Afraid of Maggy the Frog's prophecies and thus jealous of Margaery, Cersei imprisons the young queen's favorite musician, accusing him of bedding her. She enlists Qyburn to torture a false confession from the Blue Bard and lies to herself about its veracity. The main beats of Cersei's motives and actions here 'rhyme' with what actually happened to Rhaegar: jealous over the prophecy-minded, musical prince's use of pale blue roses at Harrenhal, which according to Bael the Bard's song indicates a desire to bed and father a child on a Stark maiden, Robert imprisoned and tortured Rhaegar, also having Lyanna imprisoned in the tower of joy with Dorne's help, raped her, and lied about Rhaegar's guilt.
What follows is an examination of the Blue Bard torture scene from A Feast for Crows, Cersei IX.
Like Bael the Bard, the Blue Bard is linked to pale blue roses, signaling that his story is relevant to mysteries surrounding Lyanna.
“Not kind,” said Cersei, “merely truthful. Taena tells me that you are called the Blue Bard.”
“I am, Your Grace.” The singer’s boots were supple blue calfskin, his breeches fine blue wool. The tunic he wore was pale blue silk slashed with shiny blue satin. He had even gone so far as to dye his hair blue, in the Tyroshi fashion. Long and curly, it fell to his shoulders and smelled as if it had been washed in rosewater. From blue roses, no doubt. At least his teeth are white. They were good teeth, not the least bit crooked.
“You have no other name?”
His eyes are like Robert's eyes, beckoning readers to 'see':
A hint of pink suffused his cheeks. “As a boy, I was called Wat. A fine name for a plowboy, less fitting for a singer.”
The Blue Bard’s eyes were the same color as Robert’s. For that alone, she hated him. “It is easy to see why you are Lady Margaery’s favorite.”
“Her Grace is kind. She says I give her pleasure.”
“Oh, I’m certain of it. Might I see your lute?”
“If it please Your Grace.” Beneath the courtesy, there was a faint hint of unease, but he handed her the lute all the same. One does not refuse the queen’s request.
Cersei plucked a string and smiled at the sound. “Sweet and sad as love. Tell me, Wat . . . the first time you took Margaery to bed, was that before she wed my son, or after?”
For a moment he did not seem to understand. When he did, his eyes grew large. “Your Grace has been misinformed. I swear to you, I never—”
For a moment Robert did not seem to understand what Ned was saying. Defiance was not a dish he tasted often. Slowly his face changed as comprehension came. His eyes narrowed and a flush crept up his neck past the velvet collar. He pointed an angry finger at Ned. "You are the King's Hand, Lord Stark. You will do as I command you, or I'll find me a Hand who will."
- A Game of Thrones Eddard VIII
Not only do these passages share certain words and syntax, but they also reinforce both Cersei and Robert's rash, retaliatory natures. Both expect to be obeyed.
Cersei's violence towards the singer even evokes Robert smashing the rubies off Rhaegar's armor at the Trident.
“Liar!” Cersei smashed the lute across the singer’s face so hard the painted wood exploded into shards and splinters. “Lord Orton, summon my guards and take this creature to the dungeons.”
Orton Merryweather’s face was damp with fear. “This . . . oh, infamy . . . he dared seduce the queen?”
“I fear it was the other way around, but he is a traitor all the same. Let him sing for Lord Qyburn.”
The Blue Bard went white. “No.” Blood dripped from his lip where the lute had torn it. “I never . . .” When Merryweather seized him by the arm, he screamed, “Mother have mercy, no.”
“I am not your mother,” Cersei told him.
Cersei retorts that she's not the Blue Bard's mother, before having Wat tortured out of jealousy of her step-daughter Margaery, who she thinks is the younger queen from Maggy's prophecy. This is clearly meant to reflect the story of Snow White, in which her vain and wicked step-mother is told by a magic mirror that the princess is more beautiful, leading her to send a huntsman to kill her. He takes Snow White into the deep of the wood but lets her flee, presenting a boar's heart to the evil queen instead. Similarly, Robert is a huntsman who is killed by a boar, with the aid of strongwine supplied by Cersei.
Dorcas put a silver looking glass into her hand. Very good, the queen thought, smiling at her reflection.
- A Feast for Crows Cersei V
I've previously argued that the queen of love and beauty's laurel at Harrenhal was actually formed from white roses and mistaken as pale blue like frost in shadow. "The Blue Bard went white" is just one of many pieces of text that foreshadows this reveal. Azor Ahai forges Lightbringer, so it makes sense that solutions to major mysteries would involve light phenomena.
Even in the black cells, all they got from him were denials, prayers, and pleas for mercy. Before long, blood was streaming down his chin from all his broken teeth, and he wet his dark blue breeches three times over, yet still the man persisted in his lies. “Is it possible we have the wrong singer?” Cersei asked.
“All things are possible, Your Grace. Have no fear. The man will confess before the night is done.” Down here in the dungeons, Qyburn wore roughspun wool and a blacksmith’s leather apron. To the Blue Bard he said, “I am sorry if the guards were rough with you. Their courtesies are sadly lacking.” His voice was kind, solicitous. “All we want from you is the truth.”
“I’ve told you the truth,” the singer sobbed. Iron shackles held him hard against the cold stone wall.
“We know better.” Qyburn had a razor in his hand, its edge gleaming faintly in the torchlight. He cut away the Blue Bard’s clothing, until the man was naked but for his high blue boots. The hair between his legs was brown, Cersei was amused to see. “Tell us how you pleasured the little queen,” she commanded.
There was a faint blue shimmer to the thing, a ghost-light that played around its edges, and somehow Will knew it was sharper than any razor.
- A Game of Thrones Prologue
Qyburn slices off the Blue Bard's nipple and the wet red eye weeps blood... Margaery may favor his music, but it's obvious they did not have a sexual relationship. Lyanna also was moved to tears by Rhaegar's music, but that doesn't mean she desired him. This series is called A Song of Ice & Fire, so it's appropriate to hide major clues to its most important mysteries in a singer's tale.
“I never . . . I sang, was all, I sang and played. Her ladies will tell you. They were always with us. Her cousins.”
“How many of them did you have carnal knowledge of?”
“None of them. I’m just a singer. Please.”
Qyburn said, “Your Grace, mayhaps this poor man only played for Margaery whilst she entertained other lovers.”
Lord Qyburn ran a hand up the Blue Bard’s chest. “Does she take your nipples in her mouth during your love play?” He took one between his thumb and forefinger, and twisted. “Some men enjoy that. Their nipples are as sensitive as a woman’s.” The razor flashed, the singer shrieked. On his chest a wet red eye wept blood. Cersei felt ill. Part of her wanted to close her eyes, to turn away, to make it stop. But she was the queen and this was treason. Lord Tywin would not have turned away.
The dragon prince sang a song so sad it made the wolf maid sniffle, but when her pup brother teased her for crying she poured wine over his head.
- A Storm of Swords Bran II
Like Cersei mentally distorts reality to believe Margaery seduced the Blue Bard, it's easy to imagine Robert convincing himself that Lyanna tempted Rhaegar, to try to make sense of the insult at Harrenhal:
In the end the Blue Bard told them his whole life, back to his first name day. His father had been a chandler and Wat was raised to that trade, but as a boy he found he had more skill at making lutes than barrels. When he was twelve he ran off to join a troupe of musicians he had heard performing at a fair. He had wandered half the Reach before coming to King’s Landing in hopes of finding favor at court.
“Favor?” Qyburn chuckled. “Is that what women call it now? I fear you found too much of it, my friend . . . and from the wrong queen. The true one stands before you.”
Yes. Cersei Robert blamed Margaery Tyrell Lyanna for this. If not for her, Wat Rhaegar might have lived a long and fruitful life, singing his little songs and bedding pig girls princesses and crofter’s lord’s daughters. Her scheming forced this on me. She has soiled me with her treachery.
Cersei urges the Blue Bard to recant certain accusations, reinforcing the fact that people of means have privileges, a theme of King Robert's reign:
"Not true, Your Grace," protested a wispy young man who must have been Caswell. "What is mine is yours."
"Whenever someone said that to my brother Robert, he took them at their word," Renly said.
"Do you have daughters?"
"Yes, Your Grace. Two."
"Then thank the gods that I am not Robert. My sweet queen is all the woman I desire." Renly held out his hand to help Margaery to her feet. "We'll talk again when you've had a chance to refresh yourself, Lady Catelyn."
- A Clash of Kings Catelyn II
By dawn the singer’s high blue boots were full of blood, and he had told them how Margaery would fondle herself as she watched her cousins pleasuring him with their mouths. At other times he would sing for her whilst she sated her lusts with other lovers. “Who were they?” the queen demanded, and the wretched Wat named Ser Tallad the Tall, Lambert Turnberry, Jalabhar Xho, the Redwyne twins, Osney Kettleblack, Hugh Clifton, and the Knight of Flowers.
That displeased her. She dare not besmirch the name of the hero of Dragonstone. Besides, no one who knew Ser Loras would ever believe it. The Redwynes could not be a part of it either. Without the Arbor and its fleet, the realm could never hope to rid itself of this Euron Crow’s Eye and his accursed ironmen. “All you are doing is spitting up the names of men you saw about her chambers. We want the truth!”
“The truth.” Wat looked at her with the one blue eye that Qyburn had left him. Blood bubbled through the holes where his front teeth had been. “I might have . . . misremembered.”
“Horas and Hobber had no part of this, did they?”
“No,” he admitted. “Not them.”
“As for Ser Loras, I am certain Margaery took pains to hide what she was doing from her brother.”
“She did. I remember now. Once I had to hide under the bed when Ser Loras came to see her. He must never know, she said.”
The previous line draws attention to a gaping hole in the Rhaegar red herring: Rhaegar believed his children by Elia were heads of the dragon, his son Aegon the prince that was promised, and yet he allegedly left three Kingsguard with Lyanna while leaving none to protect his other children. He also failed to explain their disappearance, when doing so would have gone a long way towards keeping his and Lyanna's families alive.
I am not lying. Ser Amory dragged Princess Rhaenys out from under her father’s bed and stabbed her to death. He had some men-at-arms with him, but I do not know their names.” He leaned forward. “It was Ser Gregor Clegane who smashed Prince Aegon’s head against a wall and raped your sister Elia with his blood and brains still on his hands.
- A Storm of Swords Tyrion IX
Wat is kept in the black cells and given milk of the poppy for his pain. He is told by Cersei that he can take the black if he lies sufficiently, so he continues to lie when the Faith gets ahold of and also tortures him. Ned was likewise kept in the black cells, feverish from his broken leg but denied milk of the poppy, then was given a similar deal, the black in exchange for lying and dishonoring himself, before being beheaded on the steps of the Sept of Baelor.
“I prefer this song to the other.” Leave the great lords out of it, that was for the best. The others, though . . . Ser Tallad had been a hedge knight, Jalabhar Xho was an exile and a beggar, Clifton was the only one of the little queen’s guardsman. And Osney is the plum that makes the pudding. “I know you feel better for having told the truth. You will want to remember that when Margaery comes to trial. If you were to start lying again . . .”
“I won’t. I’ll tell it true. And after . . .”
“. . . you will be allowed to take the black. You have my word on that.” Cersei turned to Qyburn. “See that his wounds are cleaned and dressed, and give him milk of the poppy for the pain.”
“Your Grace is good.” Qyburn dropped the bloody razor into a pail of vinegar. “Margaery may wonder where her bard has gone.”
“Singers come and go, they are infamous for it.”
The climb up the dark stone steps from the black cells left Cersei feeling breathless. I must rest. Getting to the truth was wearisome work, and she dreaded what must follow. I must be strong. What I must do I do for Tommen and the realm. It was a pity that Maggy the Frog was dead. Piss on your prophecy, old woman. The little queen may be younger than I, but she has never been more beautiful, and soon she will be dead.
It rained all through that night, and come morning Ned, Lem, and Watty the Miller awoke with chills. Watty could not keep his breakfast down, and young Ned was feverish and shivering by turns, with skin clammy to the touch.
- A Storm of Swords Arya VIII
Of interest, the only time our author's name appears in the canon is applied to Lord Confessor George Graceford, a notorious torturer during the reign of Aegon III who had a knack for extracting false confessions. Because of this, and in light of mirrored text during Qyburn's torture of the Blue Bard, surely this scene is of utmost importance in unravelling hidden truths.
Like Cersei with the Blue Bard, Robert may have wanted to witness the torture of Rhaegar. Previously, we saw indications that Rhaegar and/or his companions were held in Ghaston Grey, the Alcatraz-style island prison in the Sea of Dorne. Yet it's also possible Rhaegar was held for a time on the mainland, perhaps at Summerhall or even Storm's End, where Robert lingered while trying to consolidate his military power:
The king's voice was thick with anger. "My brother had a gift for inspiring loyalty. Even in his foes. At Summerhall he won three battles in a single day, and brought Lords Grandison and Cafferen back to Storm's End as prisoners. He hung their banners in the hall as trophies. Cafferen's white fawns were spotted with blood and Grandison's sleeping lion was torn near in two. Yet they would sit beneath those banners of a night, drinking and feasting with Robert. He even took them hunting. 'These men meant to deliver you to Aerys to be burned,' I told him after I saw them throwing axes in the yard. 'You should not be putting axes in their hands.' Robert only laughed. I would have thrown Grandison and Cafferen into a dungeon, but he turned them into friends. Lord Cafferen died at Ashford Castle, cut down by Randyll Tarly whilst fighting for Robert. Lord Grandison was wounded on the Trident and died of it a year after. My brother made them love him, but it would seem that I inspire only betrayal. Even in mine own blood and kin. Brother, grandfather, cousins, good uncle . . ."
- A Storm of Swords Davos IV
In testament to how easy it is to be duped into supporting conflicts based on lies, just as Robert and his allies garnered support for the rebellion based on malicious propaganda, consider this fact about the film The Rock, set at Alcatraz:
A scene from the film was the basis for incorrect and false descriptions of the Iraqi chemical weapons program. Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service was led to believe Saddam Hussein was continuing to produce weapons of mass destruction by a false agent who based his reports on the movie the false claims of weapons of mass destruction were the justification for UK’s entering the war.)
Video: The Rock - Ranger Bob
Going forward, we'll continue the examination of evidence that Robert Baratheon truly earned his moniker the Demon of the Trident, showing that he went along with a deceptive plot to overthrow the Targaryen dynasty, and even raped Lyanna after his loss at Ashford. We will then conclude by examining Ned's inner turmoil, indicting his best friend and king. To preview where this series is headed, in its full audio/visual glory with greater detail, look here.
submitted by Bard_of_Light to asoiaf [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 19:32 kaliopro Do we need animals? Did God place a desire for their companionship in us?

I will satiate the society and say okay, animals aren't more important than humans. And no, people should not treat their pets as kids (I'd even say that's abusive towards animals).
However, I do think cultures and individuals that have deeper understanding with animals seem to have a better grasp of reality and to be more...well, peaceful people. By that I mean they seem to have something peaceful in them.
I am not the type of person to say "One generation is better than the others!" but I would say: "They each have their qualities." I think the earliest cultures had this quality: respect for animals and nature. It seems to me people who build healthy relationships with animals will build healthy relationships with other people and themselves as well.
Then, there's a sense of gratitude or ungratitude towards God. We humans are natural builders - however, almost every single human settlement today is completely urbanized and ask you to try and see this from a Christian perspective: God made the nature a lot of modern people handwave and ignore. Isn't that basically saying we are better builders than God? Isn't that unthankfulness for the creatures and landscape He has created?
I think we humans need relationships with animals as well because of everything above - I think God has placed that inside of us. What do you think?
submitted by kaliopro to TrueChristian [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 19:31 kaliopro Do we need animals? Did God place a desire for their companionship in us?

I will satiate the society and say okay, animals aren't more important than humans. And no, people should not treat their pets as kids (I'd even say that's abusive towards animals).
However, I do think cultures and individuals that have deeper understanding with animals seem to have a better grasp of reality and to be more...well, peaceful people. By that I mean they seem to have something peaceful in them.
I am not the type of person to say "One generation is better than the others!" but I would say: "They each have their qualities." I think the earliest cultures had this quality: respect for animals and nature. It seems to me people who build healthy relationships with animals will build healthy relationships with other people and themselves as well.
Then, there's a sense of gratitude or ungratitude towards God. We humans are natural builders - however, almost every single human settlement today is completely urbanized and ask you to try and see this from a Christian perspective: God made the nature a lot of modern people handwave and ignore. Isn't that basically saying we are better builders than God? Isn't that unthankfulness for the creatures and landscape He has created?
I think we humans need relationships with animals as well because of everything above - I think God has placed that inside of us. What do you think?
submitted by kaliopro to Christianity [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 19:29 Gingerhippie1971 Sandoval The Predator...

Watching the unedited reunion on Peacock...Part 1. Same song second verse. Sandoval is a straight up groomer, manipulator, predator. I was watching the old seasons when Sandoval and Kristen were breaking up. Sandoval had Ariana convinced that Kristen was crazy and yes Kristen has issues. But that does not give Sandoval the right to exploit Kristen for it. Sandoval is a quieter sneakier narcissist. Kristen was just more outwardly unhinged.
So fast forward to Sandoval and Sandoval is again telling Raquel God knows what about their relationship. I remember when Kristen confronted Ariana at work about Sandoval cheating with her. Ariana says to Kristen well Tom told me ya'll were breaking up. Kristen asks Tom infront of Ariana did you tell her we're breaking up. And of course in prime Sandoval form he says I'm sorry I don't remember that. Totally throws Ariana under the bus! And Ariana ends up in a relationship with him for nine years. So the master of puppets here is Sandoval. Not saying Raquel is innocent or a victim, but I have realized through watching the reunions so far, especially part two with Raquel. It is quite obvious to me, thar Raquel was "love" bombed by Sandoval the narcissist. I have been in this same position when I was in my late twenties. Raquel told Andy Sandoval made her feel seen and heard. And that she had never felt that way before. So Sandoval builds Raquel up. Makes her feel special, loved cared about, desired. The good ol narcissistic love bombing. None of it means anything to the narc but everything to the narc victim. I saw him doing this with Ariana too. It is overwhelming when you realize how diabolical these people can be. And the pity me I wasn't getting what I needed victim bullshit comes out of the narcs mouth! So disgusting!
I read Raquel has stated that she is neurodivergent. I don't know if this is true or not. But watching Raquel on the show, it was very obvious to me that Raquel seemed very different socially, verbally just different in most ways. Especially compared to the rest of the cast. Raquel didn't have the quick wit and the verbal come backs. I kept thinking how utterly oblivious Raquel was to James's behavior. It was just hard to watch. That being said. Imo Raquel the pagent queen had no business being on this type of show. Girl got in way over her head. I felt like Raquel was dimly starting to see that she was being lied to by Sandoval. I could tell Sandoval was telling Raquel that he and Ariana were not sleeping together or that Ariana wouldn't care. Because they had an open relationship. I mean Ariana came out as bi. And proceeded to have relations with Lala in the backseat of the car while Sandoval was driving. Sandoval and Ariana have both said they were having lack of intimacy. So what does it say when your significant other is having relations with other people infront of you but you don't want to be involved? This is a case of just part ways before it gets so bad.
It seemed to me during the second part of the reunion with Raquel that she was seeing Sandoval differently. When Scheana was saying Sandoval and Ariana were a lot more intimate during his and Raquel's affair. And Sandoval and Ariana were doing better during that time. I could see that Raquel was not happy to hear that. Raquel wanted to believe what Sandoval had been telling her. We're not intimate we're not getting along we're breaking up. That was utter bullshit obviously! I think Raquel is still choosing to buy Sandoval's bullshit. And he is still stringing her along. I mean who was the blonde he was with here in Austin? I hope if Raquel is truly neurodivergent or mentally compromised that maybe her family can do an intervention for her. What do ya'll think?
submitted by Gingerhippie1971 to Vanderpumpaholics [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 19:04 asnowballinhell Tonight's Show (06/01): Best UFO Cases Consciousness Movement

Tonight's Show (06/01): Best UFO Cases Consciousness Movement submitted by asnowballinhell to coasttocoast [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 19:03 Zyphyrius I (22M) am having a difficult time with my girlfriend (21F).

We have been dating for about 6 months (LDR) after dating a guy who basically had no interest in treating her like she should be treated. We texted for the first time and I told her about how she should step away from talking to people that do not want her to find God or glorify him in life. We have a lot of similarities, interests in common and after a week of talking, led to her being comfortable enough to call me on the phone for weeks straight, with her even updating me on if she was leaving the house, or if she had to go to work, which is a shock to me since I have struggled in my love life and never understood what it feels like to be genuinely in a relationship.
She had told me something along the lines of "you have no idea how much this means to me" and that she was thankful for someone like me in her life at that specific time in which she needed it I guess? I told her to focus on herself, focus on what she wants and what she needs to accomplish and don't seek to please people, which should go for everyone. A month in or so she decided she was going to breakup with her ex-boyfriend (LDR) which was rude to her, vulgar language towards her (calling her names basically) and etc. She told me what she should do and how to go about the entire situation. I told her she should take direction for herself again, and that it is good she wants to grow in her faith and more.
We started dating after she broke up with her ex, and it was honestly amazing. She is an amazing woman, serves within her family church, she serves at home, helps with her family, basically what any guy would want that has his head screwed on tight. I even complimented her on having a verse amongst her bio in which I told her I was attracted not just by her qualities and other worldly traits, but that she could share her faith openly which made me love her even more and share my experiences with her, which made us feel like we're more than boyfriend / girlfriend.
She'd buy me things, food if i was hungry while I worked long overnight hours since I have been job searching and most don't go well, always issues financially, and she has been there for me regardless of my highs and lows, and told me she will love me regardless if I succeed or fail. We'd play games together, movies, the usual couple thing, share our faith experiences and the word of God, and it was a good thing I felt like.
So the issue at hand is that from time to time within the 6 months of dating, we've been tempted a few times as far as masturbation. Obviously this is a sin, and goes against what God has intended for in his creation of sex (correct me if I'm wrong) and that we should enjoy this with our spouse / husband. I personally have an issue determining if it is lust or love. I still want to quit altogether with her and find a way to refrain so we don't jeopardize anything between us and plant unwanted seeds that could destroy us in the future. I've never been educated so much on the sex part when I was a kid other than wear protection if I was tempted to do it. I've steered towards masturbation as I grew up watching my father get with countless women, and my parents divorced. I didn't want that, I wanted something my grandparents have, they've been married for 42+ years and I type from their house as we speak. I haven't talked to my grandfather on how he managed to keep my grandmother around or how God played into that.
My girlfriend also has had a past of dealing with being horny and has recently been fighting it off strongly due to us being together, same issue with me. I feel guilty rejecting her when she wishes to do it with me, but also guilty after doing it. She also feels the same way since we are really craving into the physical touch since it is a desired love language, cuddling, hugging, etc. She texted me and told me that she couldn't do it anymore and kept going into a cycle which she wanted to break free from and not tempt me, and in which she declared that she was disappointed too and also ashamed that she showed someone she isn't married to her body. (which we both have.)
In short, she wants to leave everything and go back to the "old her" in which she knew God so well they had full on conversations, and nothing was in the way of her love for God. She grew up with it instilled inside of her with nothing else emphasized. Me on the other hand, my family are Christians too, but lately I have been feeling that my type of Christian upbringing and how i was taught is nowhere near what she experiences. I feel like i should give up entirely and let her go, despite in these past years I've grown so much with God and actually take time to read the bible, and learn the word myself instead of sitting listening to parents and going with the flow with what others do in my family.
My uncle went out of his way to even call me a man of God, but I feel so beneath my girlfriend when I start to question myself what I have learned. Everything is so hard, and it's making me restless and lose sleep. I imagine if I give it to God I can get rest, and not worry about my girlfriend or anything in general. I basically get so much compliments of being a man of God from my family yet I don't have the things I desire or progress others have. Am I envying others by saying I want my relationship to turn into a marriage like the ones I see so much shoved into my face each day I walk out? It's even more frustrating that I am walking with God, yet it's getting ready to crumble and this will be the biggest heartbreak I've experienced. My girlfriend said she wants nothing but salvation for me, and I said the same for her, but why must I be apart from her as we are in this world? Am I not good enough for her? Why couldn't I have found God's word sooner and not take my parents word for it? Why did no one explain deeply about the troubles of love to me?
TL/DR: Me and girlfriend struggling with lust or love, my upbringing wasn't as smooth as hers in terms of being Christian and walking with God, I feel as her Christianity status trumps mine. She wants to "leave" everything to focus on God only, but stay with me and contact me still to check on me and that she still loves me. She said she wishes that God sends me a woman that supports what I want to do (she supports me and what I want to do which is GOD duh), a woman that sees how special I am (she saw that), and that doesn't take me for granted (she doesn't take me for granted).
(I'm not confident or feel like the man of God that others see me as, so please let me know how I should take this situation in. I love this woman dearly and she does as well, I feel tight in the chest just thinking about leaving her after how much I've grown with God and found her while I was doing so.)
submitted by Zyphyrius to ChristianDating [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 18:42 throwmeawaywardbitch Game Over..Once you know your truth.

I just want to make something clear here to help some people out. I see that there are a lot of questions recently about :
"How to escape this prison planet" "Do we escape through the cheese hole grid " "Turn away from the white light and then go to source"
I aim to impart some gnosis or deep intuition i have learnt within myself and which currently forms my truth with you.
First lets go to the begginning.
You were once a new born child on Earth. You entered into this realm as a "Pure" spirit you could say, in that you have no awareness of the physical material world...yet. Right now you operate in the 5 senses. As a child you are just pure awareness, experiencing this physical world. What do children usually do? They play, they draw, they roleplay, they sing and dance, they live in the moment , they enjoy foods and drink and read and are honest with their emotions given the right environment of course. The message to take away about children is that they are the closest thing to pure awareness or a divine embodiment of creation in those first few years of life.
The first few years of a childs life is incredibly powerful given the right conditions.
As this infinite awareness of a child spends more time in this inverted world, it begins to be fed is given a name, a nationality, a duty to attend school, duties to obey and not stand out of line, a duty to go to church or a mosque , a duty to do well in school to get a job to get money to then allow the best financial position to start its own family to.....create another child to follow in its footsteps..
You see, there is a very clever deliberate programming on this inverted satanic world.
They know children are embodiments of divinity. That is why they love children for very nefarious reasons as Im sure you may be aware of. The Loosh of a child is worth about 50 adult lives.
Unfortunately this is a system of great, great deception.
The vast majority of children lose this divine spark of God within them, as they make it through each milestone of life in this demonic world.
Eventually , you have the perfect creation.
An adult who not only has no recollection of itself prior to incarnating here, but also an adult that has lost complete connection to the spark of God within itself, thereby completely cut off from God/Divinity. Therefore, this creates a being that is completely acting and living in the flesh or of this world. The Gnostics called this a Hylic or a common phrase NPC here. Thats not to say they cannot realise the truth within them. I believe all can reach it, it is just way more work for them and the odds are just against them as theyve built a mental prison in their mind.
Somehow you have ended up here. On this website full of thousands of mini forums. You have ended up in a very niche one. One that aims to explore the questions that we are not supposed to ask. By being here, I'd say that you are very well on your way to reaching divinity within and therefore close to realising the ultimate truth
Well that leads me to the next part.
What is Truth?
Something in your life has lead you here. Eventually this world will fail someone so greatly, whether emotionally or physically or financially , to a point where looking out for answers no longer serves a purpose. How can it? Who can tell YOU the truth? Go and try for yourself. All roads lead to Rome. Eventually you realise , there is noone or no book, or no religion, or no Guru, or no New Age Freaky retreat that will impart enough of a spark to make you say " I GET IT!!!"
No, but what will?
Through my own realisations, I've come to realise that the "Truth" is a lot more evident than we are thought to believe.
I cannot tell you the truth, I can only show you what direction I am going. This must be realised within yourself.
What I can share, is that I believe the Key is actually YOU. Your imagination is the KEY. What do I mean? Remember the Inner childs connection to pure creative energies. Remember that your body has aged but your connection to pure creation never went, it was just dormant within you , layered and layred with festering , murky , stagnant pools of gunk , that you have accumulated living in this inverted world.
Go Back, rewind time in your mind. Go back to that child.
The Key is the crystalline imagination.
Close your eyes. Imagine where you want to be , what to experience, want to do , RIGHT NOW in your mind. Where or What do you want to do once your body has returned to Earth? Whats your hearts desire?
I'll tell you mine..
I imagine I am free. Sovereign. That I am living in the eternal cosmic universe outside of this time matrix. I imagine being in The Shire ( For any of you LOTR fans), in my Hobbit hole, with the smell of pipeweed, the smell of brilliant baked pumpkin pies and cinnamon, the sounds of creaky oak furniture as I walk on by, the sight of other free folk beings living in the eternal now. The feeling that " ALL IS WELL" There is nowhere I am going. There are NO lessons I need to learn. There is NO karma that I need to resolve by doing xyz. No there is just peace. To do what I please.. And once Im done there, I might go on some adventures and create or join other worlds or universes of my choice.
ANd I hold this image, so strong everday. I meditate on these images. I hold this very close to my heart. I create the intention to go within a portal in my heartspace where all this exists once my body has returned to earth..And all is well.
You see with this...there is no mind clutter, there are no beings I need to answer to ..there is just ME, an infinite creator being that will be there once again!
To me this is MY truth. This practice , in my experience has changed everything. Its Game over for this world now. Its all one bad dream, these entities, parasites or whatever, doesnt want you to harness this crystalline imaginative power..this is becauase this is the greatest power we create and be concious of it.
Concious creation = Alchemical transmutation Both go hand in hand.
There is NO source There is No rope There is no Cheese holes to fly through There is only YOU. YOU are it. Whatever belief you you adopt outside of self will possibly be used to keep you tethered here to Earth. The key is to just take a big breath, drop it all. Go back to being born again Except this time you are a conscious Child What would you do? Its already there . Be creative Its the “way out” which is the “way in”
It really is that easy...its why they make this world so incredibily layered and confusing..
submitted by throwmeawaywardbitch to EscapingPrisonPlanet [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 18:24 MrMixMaster20 Looking for an accountability partner

A little bit about me, I'm Alex and I'm 21. I've been struggling with sexual immortality for years and I've been trying to truly stop for about 2 but it's been off and on. I can't do this alone and I have looked for someone irl to talk to but I don't have any friends. I did get put in contact with a group that is about this very thing but it's been 2 weeks now and still no response. This is an urgent issue for me and I'm sure it is for some of you too. I refuse to fall deep into this again. I feel like I've devalued my own soul because I've lived for my flesh for so long...but I'm starting to make changes and trying to not live for my sinful desires. Message me if you are looking for the same thing I would appreciate it. God bless everyone who took the time to read this.
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2023.06.01 18:19 Altruistic-West4895 Islam explained simply

Al-Salamu ‘alaykum, I’ll try to define Islam as simply as I understand it.
It is the religion where we affirm that Allah (the One God) is distinct from and greater than everything besides Him both in belief and action. So with every choice we’re given we should choose Him as He deserves. And the straight path is composed of steps like these, where Allah is considered foremost and we move for His pleasure.
And this world is where we’re tested on that exactly, to see if we affirm لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ, that there is no deity but God. If we do, we gain eternal paradise, if we don’t we gain the eternal punishment. And we even affirmed those words before we were born. The reason I wanted to re-iterate what already seems obvious to most Muslims is to remind us that Allah is completely distinct from everything else, and has no associates. That includes the messengers, scholars, parents, society, ourselves, our friends, our enemies, our wealth, and our desires. Some might choose to love their messenger beyond limits, and grant him attributes of Allah; or scholars when choosing their saying over what’s clearly understood of the Quran; or choosing to work on their livelihood over time Allah commands to be spent in His remembrance as in Jummah. Allah Ta’ala is free to test as He wills, and does so for each of these and more, so make sure your basis for your religion are Him and the Quran (His word) alone. And that everything else comes after. And if you rely on and trust in Him, He is sufficient for us as He says He is. And we can seek forgiveness when we fail in this and turn back to Him, and He is the Most-Merciful, Oft-Forgiving. And may Allah Ta’ala grant us all ease and much guidance to do what’s right. And may He cause us to fear and remember Him so we’re always motivated and ready to fulfill our purpose. Hope this helps as a reminder, inshaAllah.
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2023.06.01 17:49 AdNumerous279 God herself (F4M)

Hello! I’m a female writer that’s been writing for about 8 years now! And I’ve just created a plot and looking for like minded individuals to have fun with and play it all. The plot is as followed
“Why does no one believe me!!” Zeal is god. The god who created this dimension/ universe. The god people would assume is Jesus Christ although she is much less popular than her spin off counter part. No she is the true god of this known universe and everyone she encounters or explains it to refuses to believe her. She has all knowing power and knowledge infinite divine wisdom and in all actuality she’s much more like you and I then once thought. She’s clumsy, bi polar, chaotic and forgettable. I guess that’s why we were made in her image. The main goal of her visit back to “earth” is to find someone to take over her work. Like an apprentice
I’m down for world building at the change up the plot around to fit some of your needs and desires but hmu !!
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2023.06.01 17:41 Stunning_Cap_4614 AP Rock Magazine 09/01/2001 - Radiohead Interview

AP Rock Magazine 09/01/2001 - Radiohead Interview
I ordered like 30 different rock magazines from the 80s and 90s. This one comes after Amnesiac. In an interview, Jonny and Thom talk about not wanting to sound like Nirvana.
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2023.06.01 17:23 Fatpostman39 Atheist/Agnostic parents - kid is curious about religion

As the title states, I am an atheist/agnostic (yes I know they are different to some people) as is my wife. We have our own belief system but it doesn’t center around organized religion. We don’t pray at the table, we don’t go to church, and we don’t really talk about God or Jesus at all.
One of our kids, has started asking questions about religion, and I want to know a healthy way to allow him to learn, but keep him from getting brainwashed. I think if I “deprive” my kids of religion, it can backfire because sometimes kids rebel against their parents, so if we prohibit him from going to church, I think that prohibition will create a desire/curiosity that will cause us to lose him to the dark side.
Have any of you dealt with this before? I think religion can be useful for some people and just because it doesn’t work for me and my wife, how do you know your kids don’t want it/need it.
Don’t be afraid of giving unfiltered advice, I am not going to base my decision off of the responses here… I just want to know if anyone has dealt with this before and what to expect.
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