“Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer’s queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear.”
R. Combe Miller
Happy August…blah blah blah. The weather is good….blah blah blah. Alright, now that we’ve got the pleasantries out of the way it’s time to dig in to this month’s newsletter.
The past few weeks, we have been learning about the book of James in church and it is quickly becoming my (new) favorite book of the Bible. James is so jam packed full of practical information on living in a way that is pleasing to God and the cherry on top is that it’s also a super encouraging book for anyone undergoing trials in their life. “Consider it pure joy my brother, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” James 1:2; “Every good and perfect gift is from above…” James 1:17; “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19; “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.” James 2:1; I could go on all day. It seems every week after my church service I come away with some nugget of truth and inspiration that I didn’t have before.
I find it truly fascinating the way the Lord uses others to teach us. He can take an area where you are struggling and “coincidently” put it in the church sermon for the week. I have noticed that happening to me a lot in our James study and it seems it’s always on the same topic: the tongue. I am sad to say I have heard of some tongue problems within our guild, while that’s not surprising because we all are humans and we all are sinners, it saddens me to see that within friends. The Bible warns us about the effect our tongue can have in many different verses. “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Proverbs 10:19. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is useful for building other up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29. “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” James 1:26. “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” James 3:5. Three different weeks during this series the topic of the tongue has come up because it’s so prevalent within human nature. “…it is probably the biggest ‘tongue related’ problem we face. Think you know what it is? Gossip. Everyone struggles at one point or another with it—some more than others. The problem with gossip is, despite its insidiousness, that few are willing to stay away from it. It’s like the pet sin that Christians are willing to adopt.” –Pastor Phil Christensen, COTF. I have been so convicted during these talks because it’s so easy to fall into the category of “oh, it’s just a little gossip, it’s not that bad.” But friends, it’s a big deal. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31. James 2:10 says “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” I have really got to watch what comes out of my mouth!
Right in the middle of this sermon series and right in the middle of my conviction, a dear friend, you know her as Sparro, reached out to me with a conviction of her own and I want to share her words with you. (She gave permission to share her words and name with you.)
“Wow! Salt is supporting three raiding groups! This is amazing, and has taken a lot of effort through so many people to organize, research and invest into. Thank you so much to each of you, I know there are so many of us who wholeheartedly appreciate it. I am able to raid with the Tuesday/Thursday group, and I am happy to be able to have this time to play with guildies! The best thing about having this opportunity is the fellowship. It took some time for us to find that synergy amongst ourselves. When we started we were like any other group, going in wiping, then wiping, then wiping. After some time the newness of the fight wears off and the wanting to just get that first kill takes over; then you start to look where, why, is this not happening? Is it because this person, that person, I mean why do they do that?!?! It starts to plague in the mind. One night, we stood in front of the Vale Guardian and we discussed everything with each other. Did we get the kill that night? No. I look back though, and that is the night we embraced each other and came into fellowship. We won that night. Sometimes before our raid we decide on what would be a win for us. Get to this phase, see the boss do this mechanic, or just create a consistency in the beginning mechanics. Some nights we don’t make it to the win, some nights we surpass the win, but every night I come away happy for the time spent with each person because of the night God won us.
Raiding can ruin a game though, and can tear a guild apart. It isn’t because of the wins (maybe elitist guilds it is for that…) but it is because of the gossip. It is because of the hurtful things we say, or the seeding gossip in another’s ear: when we have reached the moment of the newness gone and finding someone to blame. I am not immune to gossip, I have wanted to blame someone else for my downfalls. I needed a wakeup call from God to stop letting my mouth become a resting ground for seeding evil. Unfortunately, this trial is not my own.
Did you know when Jesus went and gathered His disciples He didn’t go and gather the best of the best. He got a tax collector, fishermen, and a zealot. He created a fellowship, investing into them to become men who would continue spreading the Gospel after His Ascension. When they went out, they were not met with win after win, but it was the fellowship with Jesus and their brothers that sustained them.
Are you doing everything you can to lift up the raid member beside you? Do you really want to make someone feel low to excuse yourself? Can you stop for one moment and see that gossiping is not making anything better? The newness of the raid has probably worn off and you are itching for the boss to go down, but so are the other 9 in your group. One of the most powerful things you can do is to tell someone encouraging words. People want to be loved. Love them. Take the time, it is worth it.
Next time you find yourself raiding, let God win.”
All this to say, friends, we love you. We are so blessed to have so many amazing friends who stick with us in the midst of human nature. Thank you Sparro for your love of Christ, your love of His word and your desire to see the guild love and support each other in Him. Please be encouraged my friends because while this world and everyone in it are sinful, Christ has overcome the world.
Let God win.
• • •
July was another awesome month for us in Salt! I was pretty excited to announce to you that we hit the max guild level, which was 64, but then they release the new Living Story and with it came two more upgrades which means we are still one level away! Gosh darn them! We now have four upgrades to go and are in need of a couple big tickets items. The biggest things we need for the next four upgrades include Ley-Line infused tools, Memories of Battle (from WvW) and The Gift of Music. As far as the Ley-Line Infused tools, we need that for two tiers of upgrades; first of the two upgrades only needs about 68 more. While that may seem like a lot, considering our roster size, if everyone donates even just one to the guild hall we could have it done by the weekend (and excess for the next tier)! If you can please consider donating one we’d so appreciate it; you can craft up to 1 a day (unless you have an excess of charged quartz crystals) or they can be purchased for 4 gold in the trading post. It’s a lot I know, but think about it and see if you can help us out. Memories of battle are obtained through WvW reward tracks and we need 415 more of those. The Gift of Music might be a tough one to get seeing as it is a Legendary Material. I think the best way to go about getting this is to collect the materials in the guild bank then once we have all of them I can craft the item for us. For that we need 250 Orichalcum Ingots, 250 Bolts of Gossamer and 100 Opal Orbs; if you have any of these items that you can part with, put them in the guild bank for me. Aside from these things we also need Steel Chisels and Steel Craftsman’s Hammers; 25 of each. These can only be made by a scribe at 150 or higher and are account bound so can’t be bought. If you are a scribe that can make these we’d be hugely grateful and if you’re not but you have Steel Ingots, Cured Coarse Leather Squares or Seasoned wood planks you can put those in the guild bank and our scribe can use them to make those items. I believe that is it on the guild upgrades; let’s get ‘er done! Thanks in advance to everyone who can help and a major thank you to everyone who has donated anything to the guild already. One more level to max!!
Now that our guild hall is just about done I’d also like to give you all the opportunity to help an ally guild. You may all remember AoG, we helped them claim their guild hall, we frequently see chat from them and occasionally they attend our weekly guild missions! Avenger Thor and Lt. Fog have a quaint little guild and have been progressing their guild hall surprisingly well for their size. Way to go guys! If you would be interested in helping and supporting them they are in need of lots of Empty Kegs and Vials of Linseed oil. This is not required in any way, just an opportunity to serve others. Any donations can be deposited into the guild bank then I can transfer them to their Guild treasurer.
As august gets underway we often see our participation increase. Summer is winding down and schedules begin to normalize. I hope to see many of you in game soon! Two of our event leaders have chosen to step down as officers and pursue God’s plan for them in other areas of their life. They are still in game and we are sad they stepped down but we are excited to see them following God’s call. If you see Exilim or Godfrey in game, be sure to say hi and thank them for all they did for us. We wish you the best, don’t be strangers!
The living story is pretty awesome so far but I won’t say much else for those who haven’t done it yet. Spoilers!
Well that’s all from me for now. God bless you all this month.
(Vasshti, Guild leader)
“To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11
• New Saltines •
kimmer; Grace; Kypp, Upright; VideoRock; Bacardi Babe; Cobrakon; MrFisticuffs, Meletyon.
Be sure to give a warm Salty welcome if you see these new Saltines in-game!
• August Verse of the Month •
“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whim you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement!
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Supposed a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is no accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish man, do you not want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his father was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
• August Song of the Month •
Lion and The Lamb
• August Recipe of the Month •
Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
– ¾ cup flour
– ¾ tsp baking powder
– ½ tsp garlic powder
– ¾ cup milk
– 1 egg, lightly beaten
– 4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
– 2 oz mini turkey pepperoni, (about ½ cup)
– 4 oz low-fat sausage, cooked and crumbled
– ½ cup pizza sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, sausage and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20-25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.
Found and deliciously tested by Vasshti from the blog Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms.
These are an absolute hit at parties! If my brother-in-law is there you better make sure to grab one before he eats them all!
• August Tip of the Month •
A Salty Cookbook
Back in the day when we were first talking about making this website we were in a time in the guild where people were always talking about food! Conversations often led to things people were eating and people were making. Recipe swapping was a thing of normalcy in the guild and thus we decided to create and forum page called “A Salty Cookbook”. A place where Saltines could share their favorites and try recipes from others. Since then we have gotten a grand total of 2 entries. This would be a very fun thing for us to do, so if you like to cook (or just like to eat) check out our Salty Cookbook and submit your favorite recipes so we can try them out!
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matt. 5:13-16