Wednesday, April 27, 2016

In Your Anger...

Greetings Warriors and Scholars,

How goes the waiting for Captain America:Civil War? I am quite excited for this film, although I am also excited for a next weeks Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well (because of some blue characters making an appearance).

Last night's episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. was all about Hive and the brainwashed Inhuman group he is building. Also, it was about trying to find a way to rescue Daisy. They found that the parasite creates an addiction for being in its presence on a bio-chemical level. When Fitz came into contact with Daisy, it was not a reunion he could enjoy. She used her quake power to hold him against a wall, choking him. All the time she was saying she didn't want to hurt him.

I'm sure you have never done this. I mean, why would you? Why would any of us? But we do act like this. We cover our angry actions and our sin with our so called good intentions. Just today I feel like I could have handled some things differently as I was subbing at a high school. It happens to all of us.

Monday a class I was subbing in watched part of a documentary on stress. They had watched half of it earlier and we were just finishing it.In the study of stress one man has been using Baboons. One of the groups he watched went through a big change years ago. Baboons tend to be very angry and nasty creatures. The males that lead the pack tend to be violently aggressive toward other males and females. In this group, a bunch of the aggressive males found a dump of bad meat, tainted with Tuberculosis. It killed them all, leaving the group with gentle males. As time progressed and other males came to join the group, they would try to stay aggressive and mean. But within six months they learned that this group doesn't act that way. You change or you leave. The guy doing the study made this interesting evaluation: if baboons can change a whole culture like that, we have no excuse as humans.

Scripture warns us about our behavior in so many ways. One proverb takes a lesson from ants. James uses many natural observations as analogies. A different proverb warns us about sinning in our anger. James warns us about how our words can be dangerous weapons. Think about how all this can get bad as you are watching Civil War. I have a feeling "it is all connected" as Marvel keeps saying.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Experience at Midwest Media Expo.

Greetings Scholars and Warriors!

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the Midwest Media Expo in Dearborn, MI. This was held a hotel that was recently renamed the Royal Edward Village. This put us close to a mall, which was nice as it meant restaurants were easily available, although I had a rather frustrated stomach so it wasn't much of a food weekend for me.


Overall, it was a good con. They had both a table top gaming room and a video game room and the gaming kept going pretty well. The video game room had a mix of arcade set ups (mostly dance and music related) and consoles which mostly had Smash Brothers playing. I did not see any shooters at all. The table-top room had 3 different groups providing opportunities, including the games library that is found at both Gen Con and Grand Con. There was a secondary table top area upstairs with a couple of miniature game demos and some RPGs.

Yes, that dinosaur is a cosplay, not a prop. He had fun with this.

Cosplay was a significant part of this con. It was fairly varied and a lot of fun. Lots of Rey and Kylo Ren. It even went outside where I found a Jurassic Park jeep driving around with a dinosaur in it.

There was a dealers hall in an L shape so I didn't get a good pic of it, but I did get one of half the dealer hall. The artist alley was in another room and fairly nice. Both had a lot of anime related items but there was also some leather work and comics related items. The on thing missing was prose books. They also had a "main events" room, a room with some community groups like other cons and cosplay groups, and 8 panel rooms.

Nerd Chapel was there in an official capacity. We held a Sunday morning service with 5 people in attendance. I shared a message about coming to Christ from a place of penitence and experiencing the "Word of God made flesh" in this. Indiana Jones was part of this message. Our request for a booth had been turned down but I think it was still a successful weekend.

I got to spend some time talking and praying with Jon from Portal Games. He is a fellow Christian who loves games and is on the worship team at his church. Right now they are kickstarting "Zephyr: Winds of Change". Go check it out!   

Games I played: Sheriff of Nottingham, Fortune and Glory, Dominion and Commissioned. I did not cosplay this con.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

More than a Blog

Greetings Warriors and Scholars

Well, Nerd Chapel is continuing our event line up. Next weekend (15-17) I'll be at Midwest Media Expo (M2X). It looks like Nerd Chapel won't be able to have a booth there but I'm still hoping to get an acceptance letter about that. We will be holding a worship service there Sunday morning in panel room 7 at 9:30. The message is looking at the real life versions of the challenges faced by Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade. In Sept. we will be doing a service at Grand Con at 9:00 in the seminar room. It is listed under the "other" category of events. Tonight is our monthly game night at All Shores Wesleyan Church and we also have a game night set for May and June on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

Last Saturday we held our "Gaming for China" event that helped raise money for my trip to China this summer. we had around 13 of us in attendance. A guy named Cory won the grand prize of the 10th Ann. Edition of Ticket to Ride. The prize was donated to us by Out of the Box Games and Puzzles. I've been to all 3 of their locations and met them at GrandCon. They are a great company that is Christian owned and it is always a pleasure to hang out with them.

For those who are not familiar with Nerd Chapel events, here is what we do:

For our monthly game nights I'm trying to keep them fairly diverse. Tonight I'm making a point of not bringing games we played at the March event. I am also bringing a mix of light games and heavy games. We have a prayer time at 6:00 and gaming at 6:30. I always bring some snacks and we tend to just hang out and be a fairly easy-going group.

The worship services at cons always include a few songs with some being traditional and some not so traditional. I am not a musician and I hope a volunteer who is MI based can join in and help with that. I normally do the message myself and have an analogy from somewhere in nerdom to help us look at scripture and Jesus. We often have communion using portable cups that come with both a wafer and grape juice.

I also recommend looking for the Christian Gamers Guild when you go to a con. They do services at many cons including Gen Con, Origins and some others. I think the Geekpreacher normally does a prayer time or service of some sort at Garycon each year. Fans for Christ does a service at Dragon Con and I know that last year Geeky Guys for God did one at SDCC. If you just want some good ideas for doing a regular game night for a church you can get some great ideas from Innroads Ministries or you can also ask me for further thoughts.

Please check out the Nerd Chapel FB page and search for us on You Tube.