Monday, March 18, 2013

Thinking With Your Heart (Classic)

This meditation on pizza & universalism was originally a supplement to a sermon series I taught on Heaven & Hell back in 2011...

They're just sitting there in the fridge, calling your name.. the last couple of pieces of pan pizza. It tasted so good a couple of hours ago.
If you're really honest with yourself, you're not that hungry. Actually, you're stuffed. But with all that tasty goodness waiting for you just a few feet away, it's easy to ignore the "No Vacancy" sign in your stomach.

And if you allow yourself a rare moment of gut-level honesty, you realize that someone else in the house (roommate, spouse, kids, rodents of unusual size, whatever) will eat it later if you don't eat it now - and you won't get any. You'll be cheated of the greasy cheesy pepperoni-covered yumminess.

So you make a decision to eat that ends up with your best friend being a couple of extra-strength Tums.

We've all done it at one time or another - made a decision based solely on our emotions rather than any kind of rational thought. Whether it was a couple of slices or choosing the wrong girl to date or blowing off studying for a test, we all can look back at moments in our lives and acknowledge that IF we were thinking, we were simply thinking with our hearts.
We live in a culture that enshrines our desires as the ultimate judge of morality & ethics - where our wants act as the rudder for our decisions. And it doesn't take much effort for us to fall in line, regardless of what we believe that the Bible teaches.

Now, you're probably expecting me to make some kind of personal application about turning to Christ or using our God-given wisdom rather than allowing our feelings to drag us around by our hair. That would be a really great article, by the way - but it's not where I'm headed today.

When this was originally written, I had just taught about a biblical response to universalism - the belief that every person will be saved, regardless of their relationship to Jesus Christ here on this earth. I have to admit that universalism is an attractive idea - it feels right. While it's almost impossible to argue convincingly from Scripture, it's not difficult to build a case based on the nature of God.

But those arguments break down in the light of the Bible & a full-bodied picture of Jesus - and yet it still feels like universalism is a good idea. I mean, who wants to see people separated from God? Who wants to try & talk about an eternity in hell?

Yet if those two pieces of pizza (or the ex-girlfriend) has taught us anything, it's that just because something feels right doesn't make it good or true. The winsomeness of a belief system - in other words, how much I like the sound of it - has nothing to do with the objective truth of that system.

So, as you think about & struggle with what happens after we die, I'm asking you to prayerfully engage the Bible and these ideas based not on your feelings but on a deep desire to know truth... even if it makes you shudder & cringe.

Kickstarter: Dungeon Roll

Up till now, I've avoided Kickstarter like the plague... while there's been some good games come out of the crowdfunding model (Flash Point: Fire Rescue, Eminent Domain), there's been some real stinkers as well (Carnival & Dragon Valley, to name two that I've played). 

But Dungeon Roll grabbed me, both with the basic mechanic (a push-your-luck dice game) and the theme (stripped-down dungeon crawl). It didn't hurt, of course, that the price was a mere $15. So, I backed it.

Now, one of the perks of backing was getting access to print & play files for the game... so Braeden & I mocked up a copy and have played it multiple times. Without getting into detail, let's just say that the game delivers exactly what the designer & publisher promise - a light & very enjoyable dice game with some interesting decisions. Couldn't be happier I'm on board.

If you'd like to jump in at a $5 discount (the actual MSRP will be $20) and get the Kickstarter stretch goal goodies, you've got about 38 hours. What are you waiting for?!

Kickstart Dungeon Roll

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Five & Dime 2012: This Time, It's Personal

Here's my own personal Five & Dime list (the games I've played 5+ and 10+ times in 2012). (Yes, it's very late. It's been a crazy start to 2013.)

 Games with an asterisk [*] were on my Five & Dime list last year, games with two asterisks [**] have been on my list for the past two years... and games with three asterisks [***] have been there for three years!

For the last couple of years, I've sorted games into "with kids" and "not with kids" - but now that the boys are playing "big people" games with me (that's Braeden & I playing Battlelore in the picture), that seems kind of redundant.

  • Summoner Wars 80 *
  • The City 32
  • Quarriors! 28
  • Ticket to Ride 18 *
  • Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age 16 ***
  • Friday 15
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game 14
  • The Rivals for Catan 13 *
  • 7 Wonders 12 *
  • Fast Food Franchise 12
  • Innovation 12
  • Risk Legacy 12 *
  • 1st & Goal 11
  • Flash Point: Fire Rescue 11
  • Abaddon 10
  • Memoir '44 10 **
  • Nefarious 9 
  • Animal Upon Anima 8
  • Web of Power/China 8 *
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse 8
  • The Settlers of Catan 8
  • BITS 7
  • Bounce It-In Game 7
  • Archaeology: The Card Game 6
  • Chaos in der Geisterbahn 6
  • Eminent Domain 6
  • Galaxy Trucker 6
  • Monopoly 6
  • Monster-Falle 6
  • Race for the Galaxy 6 **
  • Suburbia 6
  • Zooloretto Würfelspiel 6
  • The Ares Project 5
  • Ascension: Return of the Fallen 5
  • Battle Beyond Space 5
  • Express Monopoly Card Game 5
  • Forbidden Island 5
  • Heroscape 5 **
  • Monopoly: The Mega Edition 5
  • Small World 5 ***
  • Smash Up 5
  • Tumblin-Dice 5
  • Turbo-Team 5
  • Würfel Bohnanza 5 
  • Zauberschwert & Drachenei 5