Grand Con

See Nerd Chapel at Grand Con 2015! Go to

Monday, September 28, 2015

GrandCon 2015

GrandCon 2015 was excellent.

Lots of people in the vendor hall Saturday.

Through the weekend I really enjoyed meeting people at the table in the vendor hall and had a lot of positive reactions. I met some guys who go to a church with a monthly gaming group in Lansing and also met a couple guys who are trying to figure out how to start a cell group or other nerd related thing at their church.

I think the best interactions happened over Sunday. First of all, the chapel service went really well. We had about 15 people which is much larger than last year. Tom Vasel of the Dice Tower did a good job preaching and the overall service went well. It was also nice to see a couple people join us who had not been able to the previous year despite attending the con.

After the service a teenager came up to me. He had been at our chapel service last year (had actually dragged his mom to it) and was extremely helpful. I had been really impressed, but I had not realized what God was doing that morning. Yesterday he told me:
"Thanks for doing this. Last year's chapel service is what spurred me to make my profession to faith."
Now, that is not something you hear every day!

A few hours later I was manning my table as I had been all weekend. A man came up to me and said this:
"I've seen you here each day and I have to admit I completely disagree with most of it; well all of it. But it takes guts to do what you are doing. I respect that. Keep doing what you are doing."
So, yes this was a great weekend. I ran a few games as well. 2 rounds of Pandemic where we lost right before getting the final cure and a round of Kings of Israel which was full so I didn't play but just "taught" which was easy since they had all played Pandemic before. They were quickly outdone by the game.

Over the weekend I also sold many copies of 42:Discovering Faith Through Fandom. People were very open to it. So, that was my weekend at GrandCon. A great time to be had for all. I still do not know the numbers for attendance but it seemed to me that they did at least as well as last year. Here are a few pics.

Artemis Bridge Simulator. I was the weapons officer.

The open gaming hall.

Steampunk siblings.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Events are a foot!

Greetings Warriors and Scholars.

Well, a lot is going on with Nerd Chapel. Next weekend we'll be hanging out at Grand Con in the vendor hall. We will once again have a chapel service but this time Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower will be preaching. Tom is a youth pastor who has also served overseas.

As you can see, we have a new logo. I hope that Nerd Chapel can be a safe "inn" for you in the middle of life's' quests. Yes, I have played Red Dragon Inn so I know the dangers that can happen at an in, but at least you will have friends to back you up.

Over the next two months along with Grand Con we have 2 game nights. I am trying to keep them to the 2nd Saturday of the month. So October 10 and Nov. 14 are our next two game nights. Feel free to come and hang out. I'll let you know if we are tying these in with any mercy/justice organizations as we have before with the Pandemic Party. Click on the dates above for the FB pages for these events.

Wednesday night I got to play Smash Up with a friend of mine. I had demoed it at Gen Con a couple years ago but this was my first time playing a full game. I loved it. I had Dinosaurs and Ninjas for my army and then for game two I used Bear Cavalry and Pirates. It was an interesting evening. The game is pretty simple when it comes to rules and well worth the money.

I hope you can join us for one or all of these events!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Lesson from X-Men 22

Greetings Warriors and Scholars!

Found at the X-Men Wiki

Recently, I have been looking into the Marvel Masterworks series. This series pulled together some great older comics from the 1960s and 70s. Each issue has around 10 monthly adventures in proper order. I have 3 of the issues in black covers. The Amazing Spiderman #8(out of 16), The Fantastic Four #6(out of 15), and most recently The X-Men #3(out of 8). I have a long way to go!

One of the interesting plots was in X-Men #22 from July 1966. We start by watching our favorite mutants in the Danger Room fighting a robot created by Professor Xavier to help them learn to overcome artificial enemies. They defeat it within the given 5 minutes using teamwork. Then Professor X sends them out for a vacation. Of course, things go wrong as a series of villians lure them to Central Park in NYC and deal with them one at a time...and winning. These villains were some b and c stock villains from old Marvel issues that were not very good on their own. Yet together they formed a far more powerful team. This was an interesting look at how Mutants need each other and how even with powers they couldn't handle all things alone.

Eventually, in the next issue, the X-Men win. But only after they have gotten back to teamwork and dealt with the foe behind the villainous team.

In America we tend to like individuality. We focus on it to a point where culture and individuals suffer because we don't really cooperate together. This is not how God tells us to operate. He gave Moses the help of Aaron and then Joshua to help him. He gave David his "mighty men", a group of 30 men who went on special missions for him and may have had a certain following of their own right. Jesus chose 12 disciples to follow Him closely and build up the Church. He also sent them and others out 2 by 2 instead of sending them out alone.

While discussing perseverance, Hebrews 11:24-25 tells us:

"and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another..."
Then, in Hebrews 11 we are reminded of a "cloud of witnesses" in the form of dozens of heroes from the Old Testament who have gone before us. In fact, the writer admits that he doesn't have time to tell us all the stories he wants to share with us.

Do you have a Christian community you are a part of? I am not merely talking about sitting in a seat hearing a sermon once a week, but a group you share life with that encourages you in faith. A group you can serve with, to, and be served by in your faith.

In other words, who do you have that is a fellow X-Man/X-Woman with you?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Attaining to be Spiderman

Greetings Scholars and Warriors.

Yesterday I read an article by about some recent comments by Andrew Garfield. He was discussing his 2 Spiderman films and how he felt about his role in them. When he was asked what he learned from being Spiderman, he said this:

"Well, nothing, because I was never Spider-Man. Because Spider-Man's a fictional character. He's not real. [laughs] You know what's funny, to give you the vulnerable answer, I thought I was going to be Spider-Man, you know?"
"I was the actor that I am. The person that I am. Struggling with trying to match up with something that I'd elevated so high in my mind. Elevated beyond what I could attain, what I could achieve. The great thing is, that's what Peter Parker was doing as well. Peter Parker created this symbol that he couldn't live up to. It was never enough. He never felt enough, and I never felt enough."
I feel like this happens to humans every day. We set a certain standard that we seek to live up to but just can't hit the mark. We have fictional ideas of what it means to be human. Fictional ideas of what it would mean to be ourselves. We create our own symbols that we can't live up to.

In reality, God's standards are not much easier. Did you know that in the entire Old Testament Daniel is the only person that never has a negative report? All those heroes we focus on such as David, Abraham, Noah, Joshua. They all made bad choices at one point or another. Noah was a drunkard. Abraham lied about his marriage out of fear. David had an affair. All those great heroes failed at some point or another to live up to greatness. Then when you get to the New Testament, you have Peter who often stuck his foot in his mouth and Paul who terrorized the Church before Christ intervened in his life.

Jesus was once asked if attaining the Gospel was impossible. Read the story in Matthew 19:16-30. Jesus had talked with a rich person. Jesus asked him about various laws and he was like "Yep, done that. Good there. Got that." But then He said this: "sell all you have and give to the poor, and follow Me." Then, this rich man went away sad. Jesus then commented: "It is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven. It is easier to put a camel through the eye of a needle." His disciples were shocked, "Then how can any of us achieve this?" Jesus response was simple: "With God, all things are possible". Jesus then goes on to describe a wonderful experience in eternity for all His followers.

We fail to live up to standards because we do it alone. Jesus called the weary to come to Him. To find rest and hope and help. We have this silly idea that we have to achieve our standards all alone. But we DON'T. Jesus would rather walk with you through it all. Ask Him for help. It might not come in the form you expect, but He will provide help. You just need to accept it. There is no shame in admitting that you need help.