Losing a Life

News came this morning about author, television star and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s suicide while in France filming his award winning CNN series “Parts Unknown.” As a Bourdain fan for many years, I was taken aback by this news. It’s hard when someone who seemingly has it all together and is living their passion is overcome by whatever emptiness, darkness or hurt they have hidden inside.

In this culture where the value of life is diminished on multiple fronts, it is little wonder that those hurting (and please understand that I am not minimizing the reality of those hurts) seek relief by escaping from the apparent source of their pain, namely life itself.  I do, however, want to challenge you today, especially if you’ve found yourself alone, hurting, overwhelmed and hopeless, to remember one thing. Life is precious. All life. It has the potential to be wonderful. Life isn’t perfect, to be sure, but so much of its beauty lies therein. Even when it isn’t going the way you want, even when it seems like hurt is all there is, there is hope. Most importantly, life is a gift from God, the first gift He ever gave us, and it can only ever reach its potential in form and function when it is placed in His loving hands. Christ gives hope, so hope in Him.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

I just want to encourage you today. You are not alone. You can get through this. Everybody hurts sometimes, but it you do not give up you’ll find that you are stronger and you’ll last longer than anything this world can throw at you (or take from you.)

 

If you are hurting, please find help. You really do matter, and there really is hope.
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

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MEGACON GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA

We’re celebrating MEGACON with a fun giveaway! Enter to win, and click to connect on our social media for extra chances to win! Now thru Sunday, May 27th!

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Come visit your Nerd of Godcast crew at Megacon Orlando in Artist Alley booth 308A!

MegaCon Orlando

meggIf you’re thinking about coming to Megacon in Orlando this May, in between hanging out with Jeff Golblum, Elijah Wood and Jim Lee, come visit us in Artists’ Alley! We’ll have T-shirts and stickers, con-exclusive merchandise, plus lots of giveaways and a chance to meet your Nerd of Godcast Crew! Find us in space 308A, we’ll be there all four days!

Plus,  Tony T. will be presenting the Religion in Anime panel (featuring Neon Genesis Evangelion) on Thursday, so swing by for that!

May 24-27, 2018, Orlando, FL

All for (Earth) One

Barry Allen has an exceptional amount of responsibility working with the Central City Police as their forensic scientist. Although he’s not a detective, his ability to use evidence from a crime scene to assist others is both very specific and incredibly necessary. It’s certainly not the most glamorous, but his expertise serves a purpose beyond just testing samples and viewing results. Without his explicit help, crimes in Central City would certainly take much longer to solve, if they’d be solved at all. Beyond that, Barry Allen serves the CCPD as The Flash, making criminal activity seem non-existent. Crimes committed by Meta Humans, on the other hand… now, that’s a different story altogether. He works as quickly as he can to contain those with powers who typically are beyond CCPD’s capacity and reach.

If you know The Flash, then you know he doesn’t act alone. While Barry was in a coma, Caitlin Snow, Cisco Ramon, and Harrison Wells worked tirelessly to strengthen him. Upon his waking up, this small yet knowledgeable team of scientists continue to aid Barry, cultivating his newly developed skills as The Flash. Cisco has an abundance of insight on tech. Caitlin maintains Barry’s health, keeping him in check. And Wells… well, he oversees it, but he generally is the sounding board. These three also encourage Barry to gain speed with every experience. Each member of the team is very specific and undoubtedly necessary for the success of The Flash as a whole. Their willingness to help Barry succeed as The Flash allows him to better aid the CCPD, moving their demonstration of support beyond assistance into the realm of the greater good: the safety of an entire city.

Each role is vastly unique, and no person can fulfill the role in case of an absence. Similarly, we each have been given a very unique role in the Body of Christ, and all roles are for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). If the gift given to one is prophecy, and the gift given to another is wisdom, neither can replace the other, but they must work together for the common good. In the same way, no gift given is less important than another. Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians “…the head cannot say to the feet ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts that are weaker are indispensable.” (1 Corinthians 12:21-22) Though we may not see it as such, each role is just as necessary! In fact, we are told to encourage and build one another up in love, and in doing so, we may live together in Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:11). No role is too small or insignificant that has not been considered by the Lord for His Kingdom’s glory, and that includes your role! Whatever that may be, be sure to surround yourself with others who encourage the cultivation of that skill and gift given to you by God. In doing that, you allow yourself to grow into the person God desires you to be, and you’re able best serve the Kingdom.

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

The Four are Fantastic Again!!!!

After 2 years on hiatus, Marvel has announced the return of the Fantastic Four in a brand new series coming this August, written by Dan Slott with art by Sara Pichelli. The series comes after several teases over the past few monthes, including an appearance by the children of Sue and Reed Richards, Franklin and Valeria, in last year’s Marvel Legacy

as well as the comic book Marvel 2-in-1 featuring The Human Torch, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm, The Ever-Loving Blue Eyed Thing.

Many credited the original demise of the Four to the new film that was coming out, the critically panned Fant4stic, saying that Marvel was trying to lower the competition to their own cinematic universe. Others blamed it on lowering interest and book sales.

Either way, we here at the Nerd of Godcast are glad to see Marvel’s first family come back to life for a whole new generation. What do you think about this comeback? Do you think this can have implications beyond the Marvel comic book universe? Let us know in the comments below and on social media.

Trust Me… I Got This

(Warning: if you haven’t seen Star Wars Episode VIII- The Last Jedi, this definitely contains spoilers… and if you haven’t seen Star Wars Episode VIII-The Last Jedi, what are you even doing? Go do that!)

Poe Dameron has a really bad habit of just doing his own thing… like when Leia specifically tells him to pull back after they completed their counterattack, he defies her orders, destroying a First Order Fleet. He’s passionate to a fault, and this move costs the Resistance more than they should have allowed. He genuinely thinks he’s doing what is best for the advancement of the Resistance. In his efforts to help, though, things don’t quite pan out the way he had hoped. This risky move grants him a demotion, a decision with which he clearly disagrees. While their fearless and trustworthy leader General Leia lay asleep indefinitely, Vice Admiral Holdo (Ellie Satler from Jurassic Park with a fabulous purple coiffure) has every intention of protecting both their cause and those aboard their ship by waiting it out. Poe voices his disapproval of her plan, and remedies the obvious predicament by taking things into his own hands, feeling more assured of survival.

True to his nature, Poe rigs up a plan to stop the seemingly inevitable defeat of the Resistance involving Finn and newfound ally, Rose. They’re directed to a casino, locked up, and they make friends with a shady hacker who assures them he can help their cause… for a price. After he follows through on his end of the deal, the hacker proves he has no allegiance in this fight between the First Order and the Resistance. This entire mess would have been avoided entirely had Poe trusted the leadership placed over the Resistance. Vice Admiral Holdo proves her absolute commitment to the Resistance by ensuring everyone’s safe departure from the ship, sacrificing her own safety. In the end, everything happened as it needed to happen, but there was significant collateral damage in the wake from Poe’s decision. The redemption of the situation was revealed in the safety of the Resistance ship passengers, and a newly ignited passion for their cause altogether.

With a results-oriented mindset, it can be easy to get lost in the “what if’s” of life. Like Poe, who didn’t trust his new leadership, we can often feel like we’re left to fend for ourselves when we don’t see the whole picture. While that’s certainly never the case, we almost feel more secure in making our own decisions, because it seems as though it could be safer. I am guilty of this many times over, but Jesus reminds me time and time again that I will never understand how things work the way they do (Isaiah 55:8-9). There are plans for our lives that we may not yet see… or maybe we know what we’re called to, but we don’t quite see the steps being taken in a way that makes sense to us. But we’re not asked to understand, we’re asked to “trust in the LORD with all our hearts, and lean not on our understanding” (Proverbs 3:5-6). In our decision to trust, God will make clear to us the steps we’re supposed to take, then He’ll direct the rest. Even when there is a time that we lack trust and attempt to take control, God is willing and able to work all things to His Kingdom’s glory (Romans 8:28). There is an element of trust in this walk with Jesus that is absolutely essential, and it’s so much sweeter to trust in the One who knows all things than to hope we can make it on our own.

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

 

Christ Culture//Nerd Culture