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Issue 012

Pagan Moontide of Mars 23, Anno Domini 2020

Laetare 4: God Redeems the Forsaken

"The Lord put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God." Psalm  40

Christian LARP-Wizardry is Still a Blast

I always have trouble picking just one class.

No, I'm not talking about enrollment at college. And, no, I'm not talking about which team to side with in the coming Marxist revolutions.

I'm talking about when I play games like Dungeons and Dragons and I have to choose between being someone who carries a sword, someone who throws fire with his hands, or someone who can heal his friends. 

 I was the idiot trying to bend the rules and "multiclass". (I was the same way with Magic the Gathering, always trying to build an extra color deck when the format simply did not allow it.) You can't fault me for dreaming!

Dreaming is what I'm doing in my Uber-Forever Game of Real Life RPGing, or, maybe, LARP Christian Wizardry.

Whatever its made up name is today, it's sent me on something of an identity quest as I try to nail down just what kind of "build" I rolled out here in the real world. Am I a natural Inventor with Bardic aspirations? Or am I the Wizened Caster of ancient Words of power? What about my day job as Arch Cleric of a local temple to the Almighty Deity? 

Though not called to battle officially, as a second-amendment loving citizen of this great United States, I've also been looking upon my leather-bound Bible as a "Paladin's prayer-book." This, if nothing else, has granted me more than a few thankful moments with some old pages.

It is all entirely made up and meaningless, of course. At the same time, all of it is quite filled with meaning: intentional meaning: symbols and metaphors and messages filled with authentic Christian substance. 

It has it been a stunningly easy thing to do. I sit and reimagine the view from my patio as the view from post-apocalyptic Sanctuary Hills, myself not a sole survivor so much as an ambassador representing a rogue state, tasked on a Jason Bourne-esque mission to infiltrate the thought-culture on behalf of the King of the Universe himself.

Not a bad hook, eh?

And that's without adding any inspiration for coronavirus points! 

What has surprised me in this little daydreaming game is how hard it was for me to admit that my personal base class is Inventor, which really just means, "a rogue who can't fight". 

That's kind'a embarrassing. 

I had never really imagined myself as an inventor. (I am a perennial sniper or healer in most gaming scenarios.) My thoughts run several directions on this. I'm afraid it will be a bit muddled as we conclude.

It seems to me that, once upon a time, (as stories always must go,) great science and great philosophy were not done in ivory towers by magical superiors. Rather, discoveries and learning are the children of hobby garages where men of the earth who love their labor find that they love their curiosity even more.

Where is the time in the week for such men as these again?

It bothers me how much luster has been stripped away from my attempt to self-imagine myself as I am: a tinkering, sometimes absent-minded, bard with a knack for tale, and strategy, and perspective. Where does such a character fit in modernity’s cold, bottle-fed expectations?

For my part, all of this pondering unleashed a rebellious joy in me as I realized that my ramshackle table/standing-desk/storage tool/second-desk/thingy is, in fact, my bardic inventor's workbench, bardically invented by me for the sole purpose of further bardic inventing of bardically invented thingys.

This, if nothing else, made me smile on a Thursday afternoon. I hope it makes you smile whenever you read this too. And, perhaps, gird up your loins to join my quest to recapture the reality of the Christian imagination applied to pious living.

Now's as good a Monday as any.

Don't wallow in the muck.

Rev. Fisk

The Incontractable Extra-Crunchy Edition of 

Clickbait Paradise

If you've overloaded on pandemic news (and who hasn't?) feel free to jump to the end - the Quick Hits are awesome!

So, are you sitting down?

Pretty much everything is cancelled.

We know that many delivery services will be overwhelmed, risks of a cyber security attack may increase as Federal staff are sent home, travel bans are in place (praise God national borders are still a thing) and, of course: the Economy, stupid. 

Fiscal restraint may be difficult in times of Defcon-level craziness, and on this podcast, two libertarian-type economists share their thoughts and predictions: good, bad and ugly. 

Spanish police are encouraging social distancing by using drones.

David Brooks noted that pandemic panic stifles compassion and causes a "moral disease" of selfishness. Yeah, that'd be our sin nature. Scammers are scammin', so warn people who might be fooled. 

There are a number of maps online that are documenting the spread of COVID-19, but it's akin to watching a slow-mo car crash.

On the other hand...

Viral comfort and joy

 While blame is being leveled at all sorts of agencies and experts, there are, as always, moments of inspiration and acts of kindness to be found. 

Techie folks are bringing their A-game with disinfecting robots, microchips to preemptively diagnose flu and more 3D printing awesomeness.

An Irish duo has developed a diagnosis kit with super fast results  and the first human vaccine trial has begun.

Social media is proving it has a raison d'etre, as a tool for mobilizing communities and facilitating virtual happy hour.  Animal tourists are visiting quiet Venetian canals and for those who came in late, the world had all the good feels from quarantined Italians.

May you live in interesting times

Or so goes the curse, supposed to have come from ancient China. Although it is more likely the product of time and hearsay, the malediction could certainly apply to our current moment. However, Mad Christians armed with the Good News, gravitas and charity, are battle-ready. (Hot tip: Without a fairy, you're not even a real man!)

In a gamified, Rev. Fisk-reality, we have everything we need in our inventory to complete the quest ahead. To help you equip, Pastor Dan Torkelson wrote a thoughtful piece for The Federalist and also spoke on Issues Etc

Dr. Luther has been doing his rounds in cyber space and one of his elder scrolls is a help in times of plague. (For a TL:DR check out this article.)  Some have noted that C.S Lewis' insights, about living under an atomic threat, are timely: just swap out "atomic bomb" for "COVID-19". 

"If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb, when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things."

Let's remember the elderly, the vulnerable, those who live alone, the ones who are trusting and those that find it hard to trust.  We have the best charms and incantations, all that is required for this dungeon raid, setting prisoners free from the black ArchDragon of Fear, as the promise says:

"Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion which cannot be moved, but abides forever." (Ps 125:1)

*Team MadMondays apologizes for mixing gaming metaphors..

Tune in to RevFisk's emergency pandemic broadcasts for encouragement and laughs.

Stuff to do while on Corona-cation

Or take Rev. Fisk's advice and play a board game with your kids.

Dispatches from the Mad Px Bunker

Jonathan Fisk Jonathan Fisk
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Haven’t laughed this hard since Hitler blew a gasket over Brett Farve winning the “Big GameTM” (you can google that…

10 See RevFisk's other Tweets

Promo of Friends

Rev Fisk's recommendation for those whose services are postponed or cancelled. Speak to your elders. They love to help!

Only Illuminati Need Apply
Your Reaction Highlights

I have compiled a fairly long (23.5 hours at the moment) Spotify playlist of Christian music. Some of it may be a bit too TULIPy for you... but if you use Spotify, here's this for whatever it's worth.

If you can get over the fact that it's the NLT, there's a group Streetlights that just reads the scripture over a pretty well done chill hip hop background. They have an app too.

Grace and Peace,
-John the Sacramentarian

P.S. Congratulations on kissing Email goodbye.

Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

  1. Pokestops are moving indoors to prevent spread of COVID-19
  2. Terrorists are avoiding coronavirus. Really?
  3. Ooh look! Shiny objects
  4. Quaffed chickens give Bella and Gigi a run for their money
  5. The odd groceries that get no panic-buying love
  6. New details for the true believers: PS5 and X Box series X
  7. Geek Deep: Sony's Tempest Engine for 3D audio
  8. Do you know about Netflix party?
Sweetness You May Have Missed...
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Next Week in the Exile:
God Cleanses His Dwellings
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We are all waiting for the next Dust release.

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Let us pray: Jesus Christ, greatest prophet who is to come, who looks with mercy upon those of charitable estate, redeem the bereavement of our lives, that we might turn from evil and see good days, for you are the final Master and Lord of all men, in the glory of the Father and the Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Laetare 4:
God Redeems the Forsaken