Question: Why do you play?


Working on a community post, so-to-speak, that will feature responses to the question:

Why do you play?

Care to join me? Start writing!

Submissions are due by end of the day Friday (2/9).


Time Well Spent: What I Loved About January


Taking a cue from The Nerd Theist, who asked in his blog post today:

What did you LOVE about January?

I loved spending some alone time, last weekend, with my wife. We sent the boy to grandma’s house and booked a hotel room/celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. Had a great time:

  • Watching The Greatest Showman
  • Playing King Domino (I won!) and Carcassone ( I lost…)
  • Trying to figure out which Fast and the Furious movie was on TV (seriously, these movies blend at some point, but Tabitha and I love watching them together)
  • Doing absolutely nothing but simply being together

Our time away reminded me of our need, as a couple, for time just for the two of us. Time where we can celebrate being a couple.

Started playing Final Fantasy VI on the SNES Classic with Wyatt this past month. I have loved finding a new game that both of us can enjoy together–the game supports two players, who knew!–. His hot take on Final Fantasy VI:

This is just like Pokémon!

Lesson Learned: If you want to eventually play classic Japanese role playing games with your kids, start them out on Pokémon. 

What did you LOVE about January?

From Across the Net: “Help, I’m Exhausted by Social Media”


Thankful for this piece by Stephen Altrogge:

“I get jealous. I want your calling. I want to do those fun, amazing, big, fast things. I want to do cool stuff for God. Quiet is boring. Mundane seems lame. I feel pathetic and purposeless.

Social media stretches me beyond my calling. It makes we want people and places and things that God has called you to, not me. I find these words of John Calvin to be helpful:

Each individual has his own living assigned to him by the Lord as a sort of sentry post so that he may not heedlessly wander about throughout life.

Your calling isn’t my calling, and if I try to take what’s yours, I’ll wander heedlessly through life. I’ll leave the places of good, fruitful, productive work God has staked out for me, and wander into wastelands instead.”

Read more here

Wouldn’t It Be Nice


There are small things that we take for granted once we are married. Not having to say goodbye is one of those small things.

Back when my wife and I were dating, every night, we’d have to say goodbye to one another. I remember saying farewell becoming a hard thing to do, especially once we were engaged. We’d talk about when we wouldn’t have to part anymore, when we could just be together all the time.

“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys played a lot during that season.

You know it’s gonna make it that much better
When we can say goodnight and stay together

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new
And after having spent the day together
Hold each other close the whole night through

Spent the weekend celebrating my wedding anniversary with my wife. I am thankful that we have had 11 years of waking up next to one another. Morning hellos have replaced evening goodbyes. I love that.

Happy Anniversary, baby. Love you.

My Top 10 Games List of All Time


I’ve been gaming since well before 1989 and yet I’ve never compiled a list of my top games, until now. In no particular order, you’ll find these games listed below.

Race the Sun is the Book of John of video games for me. Which is to say Race the Sun is the first game I pull out when I have someone over who is new to gaming. The simplicity of controls and the pure speed of it all wins people over every single time.

BioShock Infinite is not a perfect game. The game’s gunplay is an absolute mess. Turn the difficulty setting down though and you have a front row seat to a Disneyland gone awry. Infinite allowed me to overcome horror elements due to the world constantly being soaked in sunlight. The story told gave me a glimpse of a world of possibilities impacted by the choices we make.

“I loved The Final Station. The level design reminded me of the army bases I used to draw as a kid. Tunnels, secret bunkers, pathways into the darkness. Imagination allowed to run wild.”

One word comes to mind when thinking about Super Mario Odyssey, joy. I love this game! However, I’m not a fan of the collectathon gameplay that occurs after the credits roll.

Metroid Fusion was my first Metroid game. Helped me understand the Metroid mindset.

Super Mario Galaxy was the first game my wife and I ever beat together thanks to the great co-op feature. Animal Crossing: Wild World should probably share this spot too.

Mass Effect 2 hooked me hard. To this day, due to how much I played, my wife will still say, “I am KROGAN!”

Final Fantasy VII will always hold a special place in my heart as will Final Fantasy XV. Nothing like sharing games with family.

Ezio was the man. Loved playing through his life in Assassin’s Creed 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, not so much).

Nathan Drake (Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune) got me back into gaming at a time I was ready to quit playing. Will never forget rounding the corner in the jungle and seeing a submarine just sitting there.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Castles II: Siege & Conquest
  • Diablo II
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening
  • Fire Watch
  • God of War
  • Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon
  • Super Mario Land
  • Tales from the Borderlands
  • That Dragon, Cancer
  • The Journeyman Project
  • The Movies
  • World of Warcraft

Where I am with all things video games

Standard has been quiet for awhile now. One of those times where I feel like I have nothing to say and a lot to say at the same time. Instead of sitting down and writing though, I’ve taken the easy route and not written at all. That all changed after reading a GameChurch article by Andy Robertson titled, “Don’t Do Video Games in Church, Do Church in Video Games“.

Games aren’t worthwhile because they educate, inform, develop skills or solve problems. They are valuable because they are games.

Andy helped me realize just where I am with video games. I’m not sure if it is my age or what, but I no longer feel the need to seek validation for the hobby nor advocate for it becoming something more, specifically in the church-space. I don’t care if video games are viewed as art or if fellow Christians think the pastime is evil. I think it’s great that Andy is championing for a deeper discussion on gaming, but that is no longer me. I play what I like, when I like, and I don’t care what anyone else thinks.

I no longer identify as a gamer, at all. I am a husband, father, and friend who happens to think video games are pretty neat. At this point in my life, I might play a game a few hours a week. Gone are my multiple day/hours long gaming sessions where that is all I would do in the evening–and ignore my wife in the process–. I am not that guy anymore.

Who I am now is:

  • A dad who is concerned over how much Zelda: Breath of the Wild has taken ahold of my kid.
  • Someone who is trying to figure out what gaming looks like in my household with the Nintendo Switch. I go back and forth over how much I love the system and how much I hate it. The singleplayer games seem to dominate game time in our house. I miss the more co-op atmosphere but also realize that my son is growing up and wanting to play things by himself (and talk about those experiences).

Part of me feels old and part of me feels free when it comes to video games. The part of me that feels old is the part that feels like my parents. My wife and I trying to figure out how much is too much and how to curate/guide my son’s gameplay. The part of me that feels free is the part that no longer feels like I have something to prove. I enjoy playing games when I get the chance. No matter the difficulty setting I play on; no matter how long I end up playing per week. Video games are still cool but they do not hold the place that they once did in my life.

I needed to write that. Admit it out loud.

Feel Stuck Volunteering in the Church? Stop.


This post popped up in my Facebook feed this morning. Wrote this on January 1, 2016. Still applies today.

Sunday mornings you get dressed, eat breakfast, and then head out the door to church. Upon arriving, you check your children into their designated areas. Ah, free childcare!

Navigating halls filled with the smell of fresh brewed coffee, you make your way to your small group. Greet friends. Swap stories. Enjoy a quick Bible lesson before heading off to the main service.

Everyone wants to be served and no one wants to serve. This model of the Body of Christ is broken. Prone to burning out volunteers who become stuck in their volunteer roles, for years. No escape. No growth. All due to someone else not heeding the call, that slight Spirit tug, to be the hands and feet of Christ to the church.


Dejected and depressed, burned-out volunteers fuel our churches. Under the impression that if they do not serve, no one else will. This is a lie.

God calls every Christian to serve in various areas for a season. Seasons change, just look outside the window. The Bible talks about there being an occasion for everything (read Ecclesiastes 3).

I want to challenge those that feel stuck volunteering in the church to stop. Take a step back. Examine where you are on your faith journey, where God is calling you. The Body of Christ cannot function in selfishness. Give another brother or sister in Christ a chance to serve His people. Allow God to help them grow through service; Allow God to help you grow in freedom.