New Episode for Friends & Sweethearts!

Check out our latest video episode! It’s the Valentine’s season, and this week we’re talking about love… not just romantic love (although you might find some of that this week in the most awkward dating game ever!) We’re talking “Galentines and Palentines,” the friendships that God gives us, plus Scott Higa stops by to talk Thor the Dark World in our I See You MCU.

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Vs. Injustice

Superhero movies are my favorite. I have been obsessed with the Spider-Man movies (especially the Tobey Maguire ones… not sorry) since I was a little girl. Superhero movies are just great, and I love to see the good guy overcome the challenges presented by their villains. Whether it’s the Green Goblin or Doctor Octopus, there is always someone who is hurting those who cannot defend themselves. What’s a city to do without the ability to  properly defend itself? The answer, in this case, would be to call upon someone who can, and that someone is their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

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No matter the crisis or the villain, the story doesn’t begin there. We see from the start that Peter Parker had been wronged by a broken society; the brokenness resulted in the death of his beloved Uncle Ben. Peter probably could have just continued his life, but his loss and hurt compelled him to action. He inevitably began to take matters into his own hands, using his great power and great responsibility to become the Spider-Man. He became a hero for the every man, defending those who would have otherwise been defenseless. He desired to restore justice to the place which he loved, despite having been wronged by their failure to protect his loved ones.

Justice is something we all desire, knowingly or not. Like Peter Parker, we have all been affected by injustices in one way or another. It should compel us to action in the same way (minus the suit and web shooters.) Because we know injustices and oppression hurt, the Lord reminds us to extend our hand to others (Deut. 10:18-19, Exodus 23:9). Our desire, like the prophet Isaiah, should be to “free those who are wrongly imprisoned” (58:6, NLT). God’s throne is built on righteousness and justice, and our defense is in Him (Psalm 89:14,18). For the believer, justice began on the Cross of Jesus Christ. It would be in injustice to keep that to ourselves. So, by God’s grace, we must extend that opportunity of true justice to the defenseless.

 

alexsimonAlexandria is a worship coordinator for Driven Youth Ministries, and small group leader for Shift Preteens and The One Young Adults. She has a passion for Marvel Movies and graphic novels, as well as Lord of the Rings or anything fantasy. Find her on Twitter at @faitdetoiles

Marvel-ous!

Check out the first photos of Brie Larson as Captain Marvel! Reports are saying the costume’s color palate is supposedly inspired by the original Mar-Vell Kree costume. No doubt Carol Danvers will end up in her better know red, gold and blue before it’s all over. What do you think?

An Unexpected Journey

So, you know the scene in The Hobbit when thirteen unexpected guests show up, knocking on the perfectly round, green door to Bilbo Baggins’ hobbit hole? Bilbo opens the door for each group, the final group including Thorin Oakenshield and Gandalf the Grey. These unexpected guests welcome themselves into Bilbo’s perfectly-kept home, disrupting what started out as a normal day; everything had been turned to chaos! In the midst of Bilbo’s obvious bewilderment at this disruption to his routing, Gandalf invites him on a grand adventure, and explains that his acceptance of the invitation will land him an important role for the duration of the journey.

To Bilbo Baggins, however, the very idea of that is absolutely preposterous. How could he leave Bag End and everything he found comfort in? Gandalf tries to persuade him, offering Bilbo another chance to join. With perhaps a hint of excitement as he joined in on the conversation with Thorin and Gandalf, Bilbo nevertheless goes to bed without accepting the invitation. Waking up late the next morning Bilbo finds himself alone again in his home. Having a sudden quickening of heart, he uncharacteristically grabs his things and runs out the door! What an unusual change of pace from his typical day… and when he is questioned as he is running, he simply yells back “I’m going on an adventure!”

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How would you respond to that situation? Would you stand on firm ground and say no? Or, would you say yes with anticipation of what is to come? God calls each of us into a story He’s writing. Sometimes, our fears of leaving comfort hold us back from whatever adventure God has for us. We can try to plan out our steps, but the Lord ultimately directs our paths (Proverbs 16:1,9). I truly believe that whatever God has called us to is going to be messy, difficult, and downright out of our comfort zone. Leaving the predictability and comfort of Hobbiton and the Shire was the hardest thing Bilbo Baggins had ever been called upon to do, although by journey’s end he would find challenges even greater. But there was so much to gain from all those experiences. It’s even truer for us, then, who follow God’s call! While we’ll face trials, we know that the Lord is fighting for us (Exodus 14:14). There is a full, abundant, overflowing life just on the other side of the invitation…. Where would you find yourself in that?

alexsimonAlexandria is a worship coordinator for Driven Youth Ministries, and small group leader for Shift Preteens and The One Young Adults. She has a passion for Marvel Movies and graphic novels, as well as The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and anything fantasy. Find her on Twitter at @faitdetoiles

The Language Gap

Spoilers for “Arrival” (2016)

“Artists use lies to tell the truth.” .

I remember hearing that in my first of many viewings of V for Vendetta and being intrigued by it. As a good Christian boy, and now minister, I was taught that lying was a sin and something to be avoided but could lies really tell the truth? As time has gone by I have connected this line with my love of fiction. I have come to love stories that are simple on the surface but have a bigger meaning for those who have ears to listen.

A recent story that stood out to me was when I watched “Arrival” (2016) starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner for 1 Geek 4:11’s “Must See” Movie of the Week. Part way through the movie, we get to a scene where Adams and Renner’s characters introduce the audience to something called the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis which is basically that the way that someone understands language, especially the language they speak, influences how they perceive the world. While there is some scientific stretching going on in the movie there is some great truth to the sentiment.

As a Christian geek I have often feel that there was a “language gap” when it comes to interacting with other Christians; the stories that pointed me to a deeper understanding of Christ and life were all… well geeky. It takes a certain type of person to learn something about Jesus’ parables through a story of a crazy guy trying to blow up Parliament, or about how our worldview as Christians is influenced by our language as geeks. Whenever I look back I Jesus in the Bible at Jesus’ ministry I see an artist, one who would speak directly but who would also use fiction, to connect His listeners to the Kingdom of God and to me there is so much beauty in that truth.

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Cameron is a youth minister and co-founder of 1 Geek 4:11 Podcast. He enjoys PS4, board games, Magic the Gathering, and his hobbies include pretty much anything geeky he can get his hands on (and Frisbee). You can find him on Twitter: @humarwhitill

 

Nintendo Drops Cool Cardboard Add-ons

Last night, Nintendo showed one of the most innovative, fun, creative, and cost-effective toys ever made for video games. The Nintendo Labo is a series of Do-It-Yourself cardboard creations that can be used with the Nintendo Switch for a whole new experience, and is set to release April 20, 2018. Some of these cool, interactive “Toy-Cons” include a 13 key piano

A fishing rod

A motorbike

A house

And whatever this thing is

The starting Variety Kit includes “two Toy-Con RC cars, a Toy-Con fishing rod, a Toy-Con house, a Toy-Con motorbike, and a Toy-Con piano.” And will be priced at about $70.

The Robot Kit is an entirely different beast. It includes parts that you can use to “build an interactive robot suit with a visor, backpack, and straps for your hands and feet,which you can then wear to assume control of a giant in-game robot.”

The Robot Kit is set to be a little more expensive than the Variety Kit, at $80.

Each Kit comes with game cartridges for the Nintendo Switch.

Is this the future of Nintendo? Is this the future of gaming? Inexpensive-to-manufacture add-ons. Will you buy these Toy-Con Kits when they come out? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below and on all of our social media.

Christ Culture//Nerd Culture