sudofox's journal

Austin Burk's journal, where I share little snippets of my writing, code, and dreams.

Exploring soundfonts and MIDI + relisten to Todd Eckhardt's 2014 sermon on love


I've been digging into soundfonts because of a friend who's making a Pokémon Minecraft map. I previously offered to help make a resource pack but also had the idea that it'd be super cool to render her MIDI using a real Pokémon soundfont! So, over the past day or two I've thrown myself into researching how programs like VGMTrans export the soundfonts in SF2 and DLS formats, and how sound banks work in the SDAT format (proprietary format for music and sound effects used in Nintendo DS games and stored in the ROM's FS - aka NitroFS).

After a lot of hacking and soul-searching, I've made a fair bit of progress in creating a composite soundfont across the four different banks used by BGM in Pokémon Diamond. The next task is going to be a difficult one, but I need to edit the soundfont to label all of the instruments so that it's easy for my friend to find the ones she wants to use. Finally, after all this is said and done, we'll be able to create a really cool experience on her Minecraft map.

Sermon notes: a recap of Todd Eckhardt's July 22nd, 2014 sermon on love at ERC

Preacher: Todd Eckhardt

We are drawn to things that are "better".

Paul has the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to tell us that there's a more excellent way to live: the beauty of the all the body together. He's trying to bring the body of Christ together.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1‭-‬2 ESV

Consider: Perhaps our faith is stronger when we love more

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:3 ESV

Paul continues to tell us what love is.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Corinthians 13:4‭-‬8 ESV

(Anecdote: In heaven there'll be plenty of need of choir leaders, though none for preachers.)

When perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:11‭-‬12 ESV

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV

THAT is an excellent way to live.

But what's not in here about love?

Paul isn't referring to emotions here. It doesn't include any of that.

Paul isn't referring to emotions or romance when he speaks of love.

Why do we expect a loveless world to make decisions based upon the love of God?

Indeed, the idea of love in our world is so self-centered that we miss the idea of perfect love.

(Wesley: had a concept of 'perfect love')

God died to restore a broken relationship with those who He loved.

It's interesting that when we think of love, we only think about what we're getting.... when true love is all about what we're _giving_.

* * *

Pleasure is not the same as love
(Plenty of times we're not pleased with people we love)

(C.S. Lewis: said that when true love really happens, it draws us to make promises to each other)

We willingly enter into covenants because of love, the promise of purity before your mate, and many more, things we didn't even think of.

* * *

The Bible is a love story about a God who is willingly entering into a covenant for the ones He loves: because it's love, it's driven by the promises that He's made!

God isn't stiff-arming us here. Nobody's getting to heaven kicking and screaming.

God will not force us to reciprocate His love. In fact, when it's forced, it ceases to be love.

A major component of love is... choice. And so, God made his creation with the ability to reject it. And... we DID. And we DO. And yet God still loves on and on.

A major component of love is jealousy. Not envy. If you suspect unfaithfulness, it hurts.

God is a jealous God: we are not made to be shared with other gods. "This one is mine, hands off!"

When we commit to loving God, we replace that self-love that we have! And what a love it is: it's patient, perseveres.

Love holds on.


Pleasure in love is not consistent, it comes and goes..

(Lewis: "Promising to feel good about somebody is like promising to never get a headache.")

What we can control, however, is the will of the heart: "Good days or bad days, I'm in this."

In our worst days and the days we're at our worst, love never fails. Love holds on, and the reason we hold on is only because of love!

Jesus expressed his love over Jerusalem even as he knew what lay ahead for him ("as a mother hen gathers her chicks")

Love never asks us to compromise who we are or what we believe. It never puts us in positions of awkwardness.

If anyone ever asks you to compromise in the name of love, it has NOTHING to do with love.

The love of Jesus Christ is so pure and so holy that Paul says that love is the greatest of all of these!

Love is not self-seeking: for proof, simply look at the Cross.

* * *

Let's not focus of the horizontal love, but the vertical. Where is our love for God? Is this book just a killjoy book shoved in my face? Is it just too hard to understand? Is it tedious....or is it a love story, about a God making a covenant with His people whom He loves?

All in all...

What a great sermon. There's another one that I've been searching for, also from ERC, about love -- one that I remember up until today and would really love to re-listen to: about what love is and how it manifests. Hopefully I can find it sometime again.