SHIELDing a Broken World

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“The world is full of lies, evil, pain, and death; you can’t hide from it, you can only face it.  The question is, when you face it, how do you respond; who do you become? – Phil Coulson, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Hyrule and Theology

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Recently, as part of Jon Acuff’s “30 Days of Hustle”, I finished reading The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy.  The volume is exactly what it sounds like: a book that delves into philosophical ideas present within the gaming mythology of The Legend of Zelda games and/or looks at philosophical ideas through the lens of the The Legend of Zelda franchise. As I read though pages that dealt with logic, time, space, metaphysics, art, and other ideas, one particular essay grabbed my attention more than the others:  “How can there be evil in Hyrule?”

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A Crusader, An Avenger, and The Savior

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Who is Batman?  This is  the immortal question that many of the rouges put away in Arkham Asylum wish to answer, but few have.  The Riddler answered it in Batman Forever, the Joker in Batman Beyond, Hugo Strange in Batman The Animated Series and Arkham City, Hush/Tommy Elliot in the comics, and Ra’s Al Guhl in Batman The Animated Series and  the Nolan trilogy.  Is the masked vigilante the mask, or is the billionaire, playboy, philanthropist the mask?

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Your Talking Wallet

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In the remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the title character is given a wallet by a world famous photographer that he has worked alongside for years.  Inside the wallet is an inscription of the motto of LIFE magazine, Walter’s employer:  “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” While Walter has worked at LIFE magazine for 16 years, and been confronted with the motto daily upon walking into work, he never internalized it, never lived it.  Something all the more highlighted when another character tells him “listen to your wallet”…

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Micahel Hyatt’s Platform

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Do you dream of doing something?  Do you have an idea you’re trying to make a reality or a message you’re trying to convey?  If that describes you, Platform by Michael Hyatt is a book you need to read.  While Platform won’t help you create the product or message from start to finish, something the author makes clear at the start, it does give solid advice on how to promote and/or advance that message or product, to grow the audience for it.

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Do Dreamers Dream of Being Present?

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Since returning to DC after the holidays, I’ve spent a total of 4-5 hours in a darkened theater – on two separate occasions – watching the same film.  While this generally isn’t a surprise, what is is it wasn’t a science fiction film, a superhero film, or The Hobbit:  Desolation of Smaug.  In truth it was something most would consider – at least on the surface – all-together different: a Ben Stiller directed remake of the classic film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

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Words that Linger…

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During a recent church service I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in some time.  The topic of our conversation quickly turned from my assessment of Thor:  The Dark World to the larger ranging idea of truth communicated through myth.  This is where things got interesting.

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Sports and Storytelling

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Growing up in the suburbs outside of Detroit, Michigan, I was never a big sports fan.  Yes, I watched hockey because my brother played in a youth league and Detroit is “Hockeytown” but I wasn’t rabid about any Motown team, even if I have fond memories of watching the Stanley Cup play-offs with DC friends in recent years (and one particularly epic road-trip that involved following the Red Wings for a week).  When it’s difficult to participate in those activities you find other things to do.  Therefore, it is just as surprising to me as it would be to anyone else that I would compare something to my limited understanding of sports and practices within them.  Nevertheless…

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The Death of New Year’s Resolutions…

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It is January, the start of a new year.  Time to make that New Year’s Resolution, right?  Time to resolve to “get fit”,”save money”, or some other vague pie-in-the-sky idea, right?  Wrong.  I was never really big on making New Year’s Resolutions, and I’ll probably never make another one ever again (even Cookie Monster hates ’em).  It isn’t so much that a majority of people fail, but that I found something better.

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Ministry from Misery, in a Hospital…

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In thirty-plus years of hospitals, procedures, surgeries, plaster and fiberglass casts, needles, tubes, and life-long scars, I’ve met and been worked on by many doctors and surgeons.  A majority of them I’ve not really gotten along with or cared for, as they’ve seemed to see me as only a patient and not the human being – or child – I was for many of these experiences that have influenced who I have become.  In the midst of all these doctors and experiences, I can honestly count on one hand the number I have grown to respect: just three.

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