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Monday, July 29, 2013

I have not really introduced myself well yet, so here's a go at it.  My name is Eric Anderson and I am 31 years old.  I enjoy board games such as Twilight Imperium, Settlers of Catan, Munchkin Quest, etc. and collectible miniature games such as Monsterpocalypse, Heroscape and Star Wars Miniatures.  My favorite 3 science fiction franchises are (in no particular order) Star Wars, Doctor Who and Stargate.  I have a bachelors degree in Biblical Studies and Christian Education from the Fort Wayne Campus of Taylor University. 

My life adventures have taken me to China, the Middle East, and much of Europe as well as a few parts of the eastern US.  (Yes, I really do need to get out west more!) 

My reading so far this summer has included: Unnamed by Christ Travis,Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders as well as Avengers Vs X-Men, part of Avengers Plus X-Men, and both volumes of JLA:Age of Wonders.

As a teenager I loved Joshua 1:9: "Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you, wherever you go."  This verse was very helpful to me in the times of feeling alone.

I do not understand why God does things the way He does or where our free will ends and His Decisions begin, but I trust Him.  I find that He walks with me through difficulty and although He doesn't always give me what I want, He always provides what I need and he answers my prayers, even if it means saying "no" or "not yet". 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Xavier and Solitude

So in Episode 1 of Nerd Chapel on YouTube, I taught on Psalm 4 and mentioned that solitude is a major facet of Xavier.  You can watch the video here.  I mentioned the end of X-Men:First Class and how Magneto's anger had pulled him away from Xavier and the effect it had on mutant kind.

Now think about how Professor X handled things.  When Moira tried to shoot Magneto, because he was threatening both the American and Soviet fleets, Magneto blocked the bullets.  In  that moment he was filled with anger toward mankind for the way they treated mutants, especially after both fleets had fired on the beach they were on.  One of the bullets that Magneto deflected in his anger hit Xavier.  Thus he would end up in a wheel chair for his whole life.

Now Xavier could have taken control of everyone around and coordinated their abilities to attack Magneto and maybe overpowered him.  Then he could have kept all of the group together.  Instead, he let Magneto leave with those who wanted to follow him.  Now, maybe some of the others were angry also, but they were not letting that fuel them.  They didn't want to hurt mankind, but to protect people of all kinds and use their powers for good.

Xavier was at peace, even after being shot.  He wasn't allowing himself to be driven by anger.  When the fleets fired on the mutants, Professor X wanted Magneto to deflect the attack, but not to harm the navies.  He didn't want mankind to have more reason to fear mutants.  He didn't respond to any attack with anger.  Xavier does care about self defense, but he hates harming others.

The second section of the book "Reaching Out" by Henri J. M. Nouwen talks about moving from hostility to hospitality.  He discusses a rich view of hospitality as allowing "gifts" to be shared between host and guest (in this context stranger) as equals.  You see we have this idea in our modern culture that people are out to get us.  Now that is sometimes the case, but most often they are not.  We end up building problems that would not be there originally and we miss out on joys.  Think about it.  If Abraham had not welcomed the 3 strangers (Genesis 18), would he have been blessed by God (who was one of the 3 strangers) with the joys of his son Isaac?  If the two men on the road to Emmaus had not welcomed a stranger to walk with them, they might not have experienced his explanations of recent events and the realization that he was their Risen Savior, Jesus (Luke 24).  Then, if we can get amazing gifts from strangers by being hospitable, how much more can we get from our close friends and family?

What does Jesus teach us?  Love your enemies.  Pray for those who persecute you.  Jesus wants reconciliation, not war.  Do you need to take some steps to deal with anger better?  Anger is not always bad.  There is even a form of anger we often call righteous indignation that is good.  But we are warned in Psalm 4, "In your anger do not sin." You can start by asking Jesus for help and confessing the ways you've sinned in anger.  Maybe you need to find someone to talk to about your anger.