Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Disagreements, The Doctor, and Falling Skies

So I just watched a episode 9 of the current season of Falling Skies. There were several sets of characters who were in significant disagreement about various things. The two older brothers were arguing. Tom Mason and Anne Glass had a significant argument at one point (after Tom made a crazy decision for the group). Pope and Sara (played by Mira Sorvino) were at odds. Pope found her looking for a pain pill and jumped to the worst possible assumptions.

Most of these pairs had arguments this episode that did not go well. But for Tom and Anne it was different. Tom realized his strong suit and Anne's. His is hope but her's is faith. They both agreed that they needed to cling to one another, despite their disagreements. They came to a deeper understanding of each other in the middle of their argument.

So far the others have not, but I have yet to watch episode 10.

"Deep Breath", the new episode of Doctor Who also showcased disagreements and how to handle them. Clara was having a very difficult time adjusting to the Doctor's regeneration. She felt like she lost someone and wasn't sure who it was she was now with. She also found herself in a heated discussion with Vastra about this whole change. This discussion was fairly fruitful in that both participants came to a closer understanding of each other.

So how do we handle disagreements? They will happen throughout life. That is a sure thing. It is unavoidable.

James 1:19 has some good points about this:

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,..."

Yes, that's right. Now, I will grant you that Tom Mason did not exactly slow down to listen to Anne in their conversation...but she did listen to him, after she had voiced her frustration. It ended very well for them. I am really enjoying watching this relationship unfold. They are learning to recognize each others' strengths and appreciate them, even in disagreements.

Whoever said that nerds are slow to speak has not watched us react to casting announcements. We get really upset and really vocal about the choices we do not like. Yet the reality is that quick anger and quick speaking will not help us build healthy relationships.

James does not say we should never be angry or that we should never speak boldly. He tells us to find out all the information before we do this. Clara was simply asked to give this new generation of the Doctor a good chance. Not to like everything about him.

The important thing is not in winning arguments, but in building healthy relationships. In learning to trust and cooperate together. That is what James is pointing to.

Who do you need to be listening to?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gen Con 2014

Hey guys.

Just one of several huge gaming halls at Gen Con.

Gen Con was amazing. TI spent two hours a day hanging out at the Christian booth, with Fans for Christ, Christian Gamers Guild, and Innroads Ministries. We met a lot of people. Some were pastors/youth pastors who were surprised to find something like our organizations. Some were gamers who were unsure or frustrated with the church. On Sunday we joined together for a worship service in the Crowne Plaza...some 200, I think, in attendance. Derek White (the Geek Preacher) gave a great message on how the Church is Bigger on the Inside (you must be a whovian if you have a huge smile on your face right now). I am sure that the video of the sermon will get on You Tube at some point so I'll share it to the Facebook page when it does.

The Worship Service at Gen Con.

So many gamers were glad to find Christians who don't think them evil for playing D&D. We had a great response from both the convention and the gamers. I remember some buying shirts who just wanted to support us (even a couple who don't attend church regularly).

I pose with a couple other Star Wars fans in the Family Fun Pavilion near the CGG/FFC booth.
The most significant conversation I had was with a guy I'll call Moe. Moe came by and we started talking. I shared that we were gamers, nerds and geeks who were also Christians. We realized that the church doesn't understand gamers and that gamers have had some hard times with Churches. He was hesitant about things but glad to see someone trying to deal with this issue. He admitted that the churches lack of respect and relations with gamers was one of the reasons he doesn't attend church. Moe was hesitant to share much...but I could see wheels turning in his head.

Jesus came for those who are "sick" or those who have been hurt and are weary and caught in sin. Please pray for those who interacted with us this weekend. Some have relatives/friends who are really sick. Some have been hurt by experiences with churches.

If you are experiencing the Nerd Chapel now after find out about us at Gen Con, welcome! I am really glad to have you on board. Nerd Chapel is happy to join with these organizations in working to build bridges between the Church and the Nerd/Geek/Gamer community. There is a lot of work to do but God has given us His presence. As Romans 8 says, "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

M.A.S.K. and the Body of Christ

Hey guys. Welcome to the Nerd Chapel.

Do you remember M.A.S.K.? It was a great cartoon and line of action toys I loved growing up. They actually had a base in a Volcano! You have Matt Tracker, a man with an organization (M.A.S.K.) bent on helping people and fighting a criminal organization called V.E.N.O.M. The cartoon featured a kid with a robot that could turn into a scooter for him to ride. Each member of the M.A.S.K. team was connected with a particular vehicle that would change for battle. For instance there was a Semi that acted as a mobile HQ and also could launch large missiles. There also was a race car that could turn into a jet plane and two little cars. They also had "masks" which were really helmets that had different abilities/powers. Yes this show is ripe for a movie! If so, I hope they base it on the original and not the "re-imagined" comics from 2011 (Admittedly I have not read those comics but I just like the original idea a lot more than what I know of them).

I had this one!

Every episode featured a situation of someone needing help, always because V.E.N.O.M. was up to no good. For each mission, Matt Tracker would gather intelligence on the situation with his huge super computer and then have the computer build the correct team for the operation. Each member had a different area of knowledge needed and a different vehicle that had gadgets. They also all came from different backgrounds and jobs. One was in a rock n roll band, one owned a pet shop, etc.

The Body of Christ is very similar to M.A.S.K. 
  • We are called to "do good" and help those who need it.
    • "He has shown you, O mortal what is goood. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
    • Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
  •  We have the Holy Spirit that gives us all different abilities and knowledge for situations. 
    •   "There are different kinds of gifts but, but the same Spirit distributes them. Different kinds of service, but the same Lord." 1 Corinthians 12:4
  • We all come from different backgrounds.
    • "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body. So it is with Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:12
What are some ways you use your gifts? I often serve on the tech team for my church and sometimes I help at other events, such as the food truck where we provide food for needy families. If you don't know what your gifts are, ask your friends and family and talk with a pastor at your church about how you can help out.