Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Harry Ran from Sirens

Greetings Warriors and Scholars.

First off, a couple of announcements. Tomorrow is the deadline for the Cosplay Contest. Also, this Fall Nerd Chapel will begin a monthly game night at All Shores Wesleyan Church on the second Saturday evening of each month at All Shores Wesleyan Church. If you are in the area of Spring Lake, MI come and join us! Also, we will have a chapel service at Grand Con again this year and Tom Vassel from The Dice Tower will be preaching!

Found at

 Last night I watched a couple of episode of Star Trek Voyager with my Mom. One of these episodes focused on Harry Kim. Harry was a little crazy at first, firing on a ship that at first did not seem a threat. They later determined it had been powering up weapons so he was not altogether wrong. By this point he had started to feel sick, with his DNA actually changing. They went to a planet to try and get away from battle and to regroup. Here, they met a race of mostly women. These women tried to make Harry stay with them, using a lot of kissing and temptation in the process, even promising him 3 wives.

Soon he started to realize something was wrong. With 2 beautiful women offering themselves to them he tricked one into getting tied up and knocked out the other, only to find that another man they had lured to the planet was now dead. He finally joined back with his ship.

The Bible constantly warns us about deception and about sexual sin. We are even told in 1 Corinthians 6:18 to "flee from sexual immorality" and even told that sexual sin is against our own body. Admittedly, I have not always been amazing at keeping my thoughts clean. I have to battle every day and my best days are when I make sure I have things going on and have other things for my mind to focus on.

When I googled "deception and the Bible" I found a link with a list of many scriptures on the subject, including this:
"Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation." Psalm 24:3-5
 I find it interesting that the Psalmist here encourages us to receive righteousness. We don't have to earn it or find it on our own. God Himself will get in the dirt with us if we only trust Him.

We live in a time when we are told many things. We are told that fun will fulfill us. That family will fulfill us, that sex and money will fulfill us. The only thing that is MEANT to fulfill us is Jesus Christ. Don't feel like you have to give in to your desires or your fantasies. Remember how Joseph refused Potiphar's wife? You can read the full story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. Keep his example and Harry Kim's example in front of you. We do not need to follow the sirens of sin to find fulfillment.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My First Anime Con

Greetings Scholars and Warriors.

There is still some time left in the cosplay photo contest.

I taught Stone Age to Jake and Jonathon. We enjoyed talking and playing.
This weekend I went to S.S. Kaizoku Con in Muskegon, MI. Right close to my hometown. It was a two day con but I only attended Saturday. This was my first ever anime convention. I am not a big anime guy but I went because they had a table top gaming room for the first time in the short history of the con. A friend had asked me to come and hang out to help in the tabletop room and I thought it would be a good chance to have fun and make connections. It was just that.

I took several games with me. Along with playing games I talked to some of the cosplayers, but mostly briefly. I found that it was a great experience even though I am not an anime fan. The reason being that I got to hang out with people that enjoy similar things as I do and I got to teach games to people.

There is a lot of interconnections in our little world of nerdom. Most people do enjoy more than one aspect of it so even though I was there for games and others were there for anime, we still managed to get along well.

I had not expected girls to put on some music and start dancing for the crowds (don't worry it was pretty safe stuff). These were lolita girls and I think they were dancing to J-Pop. I don't know the difference between J-Pop and K-Pop as I have not really spent a lot of time listening to either form. What I garnered was that they had learned the movies from music videos (or maybe dance video games?).

As I was walking around I managed to invite some of the crowd to check out Nerd Chapel. This was mostly telling people about the cosplay contest but I also invited some of the guys I played games with. One guy said he was a Christian and was happy to see someone doing something like this. One girl had already seen the post about our cosplay contest and was pretty sure she has "liked" our FB page (this made me happy).

It was a good experience. I encourage you to not be afraid of checking out cons for other hobbies that fit in the Nerd realm. You will probably find some people who like something you also like and you might even be able to make some good connections. Hey, maybe you will even grow in your understanding of others.

Oh, and if you are a writer, feel free to use the title of this post for  a children's book.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sliding and Checking In

Greetings Scholars and Warriors.

Before we go on to our weekly thought, have you read about the COSPLAY CONTEST?

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Lately I have been watching Sliders on Netflix. It has been interesting seeing what quirky situations they get into each episode. Right now I am in the last season; the season when we only have one remaining member of the original team. This is quite annoying. I miss Wade, Collin, Professor and Quin.

I recently watched an episode where Maggie got herself kidnapped by an organization that controlled all transactions, retail and business. She is expected to just sign up for the deal. When the company finds details on her duplicate for that world and realizes she is not, it expects her to go through a re-education program to spend more money. Basically, it wants to get her further into debt.

This was not the only time that Sliders did an episode to discuss American consumerism and use satire to show the dangers we face. One season they actually did a Christmas episode on a world where thousands of people were being held as workers in debt beyond their heads, but that time it was a giant mall in the sky that did it.

I think our society was in a bit of a haze about the debt issue but it does seem to be getting better. Budgeting classes and shows are certainly available (almost to available). As nerds, we face this issue regularly. We recently coined the word "Shelfie" to describe photos of board game shelves. We also have shelves filled with blue rays and comics and lots of other stuff. I have many times had to pull myself away from spending to much. And, yes, you are correct. Sometimes I did spend to much money on games or movies or snacks.

So what can we do to deal with this issue?

1. Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount (which may have been a collection of messages he would reuse but at least one time were shared on a mountain) that we should not worry about physical things. I don't think His point was to spend, spend, spend. I think His point was that God will meet our needs.

2. I do agree with setting budgets or goals. I am often best when I have a goal, normally a mission trip, to look toward. I tend to be more aware of over-spending in such cases.

3. I think we need to learn to enjoy what we do have. I know I am guilty of dreaming about this game or that game I want to get. I even did that today. Sometimes we need to recognize that God has given us a lot already.

4. One other principal of Jesus: if you have extra, share. Generosity is key to life with Jesus. This may come in the form of buying your friend a gift, but I think Jesus was more concerned with serious needs than fun stuff.

My church has been doing this great check in thing lately. You check in on Facebook on Sunday morning for service and for each check in money is donated or something is given for a particular cause. Lately the cause is building schools in developing areas. This is a way of giving without spending money. Generosity is based in certain heart yearnings, not in handing stuff to someone. Handing out money/stuff is just a way to motivate your heart.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Cosplay Photo Contest

Greetings Scholars and Warriors.

Today I get to announce a Cosplay Contest! Yes, there is a prize.

No, the winner will not be determined by fighting over a lightsaber.

This is a cosplay photo contest. So here is the deal. Send a message to the Nerd Chapel Facebook Page with your cosplay photo. Friends must enter separately with different photos. The deadline for this is Thursday, August 27 at midnight.

Here are a few details to consider:

I will combine the pictures into a photo album on the Nerd Chapel FB page that will be up for 1 week. At the end of that week, at a time announced at the posting of the album, the picture with the most likes will win. That person will get a new copy of "42:Discovering Faith through Fandom" shipped to them.

The only "likes" counted will be the ones in the album on the actual page. Likes that only hit the shared copies but not the actual album copy will not be counted. Swimsuits inspired by characters will not be counted except where it is shown that the character has dressed that way.

Please photo shop your name into the upper left hand corner of your photo. Yes, fanpage name is fully acceptable as long as you send the message from that page. This is both to make communication with the winner quicker and it will give the cosplayer proper recognition. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Gen Con 2015

Greetings Scholars and Warriors.

Gen Con 2015 was an amazing experience, as always. Over 61,000 people packed out downtown Indianapolis for the best 4 days of gaming. I played some games, did some cosplaying, and spent time at 2 booths. At the Christian Gamers Guild booth, a lot of people came and said "Woah, we hadn't heard about this before!" We had a great time letting gamers know that not all Christians are against their hobbies. At one point someone came to the booth shocked as she never expected "to find these two things together".

Aaron came back the day after buying 42 excited for the journey.
I spent some time at Nathan Marchand's book table, which is where one important conversation took place, but it wasn't even me in the conversation. This was one of those times when I had to take a back step as Nathan talked with a guy who is developing a world for his writing to take place in. He had not had any of the other authors listen to him the way Nathan was and I simply watched the book table while he and Nathan talked. This guy had been through depression and was having a hard time and Nathan's listening and discussion for what I think was at least 45 minutes very helpful to him.

I also helped with the Sunday morning worship service. I was involved with Communion by setting up, giving some instructions and praying over it in the service. The Geek Preacher discussed fighting battles and how the best way to fight the dragon is to put down our weapons and not let it control our interactions with people.

42:Discovering Faith through Fandom flew off the tables. The CGG ran out of copies of it on the second day and at the end of the con we only had 1 copy left! 1 person who had talked with me about the book felt like responses from both Christians and Gamers/Nerds might respond harshly to this idea. He came back later feeling like he had offended me and but I was able to say that I was not offended at all.

Unfortunately I did not get to demo very many games. I did play Cinque Terre and Lost Cities the Board Game for the first time. Cinque Terre was fun and very similar to Ticket to Ride. I would play it again. Would I buy it again? I don't really know. I guess it would depend on if someone I game with regularly would also play it but they might feel it is to similar to Ticket to Ride. I also got to demo Sentinel Tactics which I thought was quite interesting. I like pre-built miniatures games and that is how the game play is designed so I might invest in that someday. Lost Cities was interesting and I would consider getting it as it easy to learn with reasonable game play. It does not have a lot of player interaction, though.

Just part of the board/miniatures gaming hall!
Many cosplays were out and about, especially on Saturday.

Nathan Marchand and I got to meet Summer Glau!