Thursday, January 27, 2011

Keys to the Kingdom by Group 1 Crew Lyrics and Review: WOW 2010 Album

I just purchased WOW 2010, a collection of best Christian contemporary songs of that year. As I'm sifting through this album, I was impressed with the song "Keys to the Kingdom" by Group 1 Crew.

The song starts easy, starts a little prayer and a bit slow explaining the great controversy of sin, Adam, and the fall of man. Then it moves to the message of victory, of salvation, that heaven is not hard, it isn't about what you do, but what's already been done by Jesus Christ. You already have the keys to heaven, all you have to do is accept Christ's salvation (the 'second' Adam) to get to the kingdom. You don't have to go to a priest, no confessions needed, no prayers dropped in a bucket, no money to pay for your sins -- God addresses you directly.

I like these guys style: the gospel message is creatively laid out, and the music targets a specific genre.

Keep it going Group 1 Crew! Keep the music goin', keep the gospel alive.

They say we're all in the pursuit of happiness A life that's fabulous we fight for our beliefs like an activist The struggles here can be seen across the atlas And it started when Adam chose to give up his palace Now the earth waits for its rightful owner 2,000 years ago the 2nd Adam told us the kingdom is at hand, died for the sins of man just so he can where we rule over the land meet every demand while nature waits for kings to take a stand so we need to understand we can change our circumstances the kingdom is therefore we choose when to advance it

You got the keys inside this kingdom, lift up your head is only begun, keep holding on and you'll see the Son everybody sing it now [x2]

I heard You say that You would die for me gladly give Your life for me, cry for me, all so I
could call You when I'm so in need of promises you've spoken, my heart was always broken cause
You gave the keys to life but in my pride I had them stolen, You say that you redeem us and
bring us to a place where we can see the keys can never be stolen they just misplaced and so we
rise from the ashes, stand before the masses proclaim the victory is ours and so we never give
up, even though times get hard to understand, its never enough for us to sit back and hope he
has a plan we gotta stand up and face the cold with a boldness that is focused on the fact we
have the keys so just believe there's nothing closed

So many promises You gave, and we just turned and walked away but now I see the price you paid was enough for us to live victorious

About Group 1 Crew
So I thought these guys were new but apparently they've been around for a couple of years. Dove Awards performance:

  • 2008: Won "Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year" and nominated "New Artist of the Year"
  • 2009: Won "Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year"
  • 2010: Won "Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year"

  • Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    StarCraft II Game Review and How to Play

    Ever since Microsoft knocked out Age of Empires by shutting down Ensemble Studios, a lot of AOE players have been looking for an alternative real time strategy game. And I think the search can end!

    The other night I found a cheap copy of StarCraft II ($39 USD) at the local WalMart. It was a beat up box and I think they couldn't sell it, as the games typically cost $49 USD.

    I heard about Blizzard's StarCraft/Warcraft games was never interested in it. However, this new version looked interesting and I thought I'd give it a try.

    To my surprise, the game play experience felt like I was playing Age of Empires again, granted with less options and less races. But despite the fact it has less races, the campaign story was excellently written and the multiplayer experience was astoundingly fast! Due to Microsoft's lack of support in promoting the PC version of Age of Empires, the multiplayer experience has been suffering. But StarCraft II's multiplayer experience was instant. I was able to find players even with 4v4.

    Suggestion to Blizzard
    If I had to give this a rating of 1 to 10, I'd give it a 9.5. The only missing piece or feature I'd like to see is to find idle military. You can find idle workers but not idle military, which is a bit disappointing if you are used to that. Everything else is wonderful game play and creative programming.

    If you have someone that likes to play chess online or strategic video games (games that require you to think and use their brain power), then this game is definitely recommended.

    How to Guides for Multiplayer
    There's over 3 million people playing this game and it keeps going higher! But it's difficult to play online because other players have played this game even since the original release. No worries, there's a lot of beginner's guides online that will help you in your newbie bronze league stage.

    Check out the forums, how to's and strategies at You can find terran, zerg, and protoss advice from diamond league players and platinum players.

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Wikipedia is humanity's greatest work. Happy 10 year anniversary.

    Wikipedia is humanity's greatest work, and it also reflects mankind's personality: imperfect, always changing, always learning.

    It embodies humanity's efforts to collectively bring together all pieces of information across all fields and studies from various editors and contributors around the world.

    It has tremendously increased my understanding of everything. I have studied various topics from genetic mutations to satellite communications to astronomy with this encyclopedia.

    The idea of having an "open" and free encyclopedia that can be modified, edited, researched, and critiqued is a reflection of the maturity of our information age.

    Decades, if not hundreds of years from now it will be known as mankind's magnum opus, and dare I argue more than the space missions, or the discovery of nuclear fission. What greater power is there outside of the divine, than the collective knowledge, creativity, and ideas of mankind developed and stored into an easy to use, accessible repository. It is a force that drives and inspires innovative research.

    Happy birthday Wikipedia.

    May your mission hold steady.

    May you inspire my children to learn, to critique and to contribute.

    God bless.

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Listening to WAY-FM in Asia by upgrading 1st iPod Touch to iOS 3

    A few years back, my dad gave me an iPod Touch and it's one of those devices that never really got of any use. For one, I had a multitude of products that could play .mp3 songs, from my phones to my laptops. I really had no use for this tiny, sleek gadget. In fact, I gave it to my wife so she could play around with it.

    Then the other night, I wanted to listen to my favorite Christian radio station, WAY-FM, which broadcasts from my hometown in Florida. I wanted to listen to it in the Philippines.

    I knew the station had audio streaming online but I didn't want to turn on my PC. I also didn't want to use my cell phone. I simply wanted to hear it off the speakers like a "normal" radio station. Then it hit me, WAY-FM has an iPhone app!

    After some research, I was able to find out that my tiny little 16GB iPod Touch (now my wife's), a first generation 620mhz device that has 128MB DRAM, can be upgraded to iOS 3 for a mere $4.99 on the iTunes Store. There's ways to do it for free but it's a bit of a hassle having to download the file manually.

    I plunged on the five bucks installed iOS 3, and viola, I was able to install WAY-FM's streaming app for free. I plugged it in my wife's iPod home/speaker base and I was able to listen to the station as if I was in my home town.

    Excellent. :-)