Nerds of Pray is the podcast where Nerd Pastor Nathan Webb of Checkpoint Church sits down with some of the leading people in the realm of Nerd/Pop Culture Ministry. He asks them questions about their specific venture into the ministry, as well as what first led them to the intersection of faith and fandom.
In this episode, Nathan sits down with Mike Perna, the founder of InnRoads Ministries and host of Bard & Bible, a podcast devotional from a mythical tavern.
Support Mike Perna:
Nerds of Pray is made possible by the support of Checkpoint Church, the church for nerds, geeks, and gamers online. This episode was hosted, produced, recorded, edited, and mastered by Nathan Webb. It was captured via Cleanfeed and edited in DaVinci Resolve.
Intro/Outro Music is Royalty Free: "The Little Broth" by Rolemusic
Key Art/Logo was created by: Nathan Webb
Character Art/Avatar by: mondayvibes
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Our next episode will be dropping three weeks from today and will feature Heather Moore of Accidental Tomatoes. Look forward to that and thanks again so much for giving us a listen!
If you have any recommendations or you would like to be considered as a future guest on the podcast, submit your name and biography to email@example.com.
The Checkpoint Church Podcast Hub is the hub for all of our podcasts, sermons, and special projects. To learn more, go to checkpointchurch.com or send any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RAW UNEDITED TRANSCRIPT FROM SCRIBIE:
0:00:00.0 S1: That everyone's seen a Marvel movie by now. Sure, I don't want to be that meme guy, I want people to actually appreciate what's happening, to engage the material for the sake of engaging the material, and you appreciate the stories that are being told within the material rather than just finding the Jesus in it. 0:00:23.0 S2: I'll come to the nerds and pray, we are bridging the gap between faith and fandom by introducing you to the leading folks on the front lines of nerd ministry. These are the people I have met as I plan a church for nurses gamers, I found them. So you don't have... Folks, welcome, I am nerd, pastor Nate, and this is a check point church podcast that is dropping every three weeks, each episode of the podcast will feature someone at the intersection of faith and fandom, will then sit down with them and learn more about their story. How do they first discover that God is in pop culture, and where do they see things going from here? Folks, our guest for today is a real treat. We are gonna be hearing from Mike Purna of INROADS ministries. I'm at Mike through of the nerd and have found that He knows pretty much everybody that I keep meeting, he is the most ubiquitous character, just like Derek white, just... Everybody keeps coming up, knows, everyone knows the history has been in it for the longest, Mike went to school to be a preacher, and according to his website, while he has served in churches, before it became clear over time that God had a different idea for his ministry something outside of traditional church walls, so these days, Mike leads gaming event speaks to retreats and conferences and generally acts as a proponent for the power of the gaming table. 0:01:33.5 S2: He says He is blessed with a loving wife who puts up with him as he pursues the life of sharing God with gamers. INROADS ministries is constantly exploring new options and developing on an individual and organizational level, they say that their ministry currently functions in the following capacities articles, podcasts, blogs, the tavern, Facebook Community Outreach, con presence, charity events, and so, so much more in this podcast, we're gonna get into the importance of theology of play and the important work of nerd ministry with that, let's get into the show. Here is our latest never Mike Purna from INROADS ministries. Welcome, Mike, we are so glad that you are here. You're on INROADS ministries on behalf of them and on the awesome stuff that you all do, you are everywhere you are ubiquitous in the nerd sphere. But nevertheless, I want to give you a moment to introduce yourself or any out there who might not know your name yet, maybe they just have dug very far... That's the reason I haven't found it yet, but who are you? And then where are you currently, both physically and on social media, where are you out there? 0:02:33.8 S1: Well, I'm currently is fun, my family and I moved out here to Western Pennsylvania right before everything went unlocked down a great... It's been an interesting experience there on the internet, I am found at INROADS ministries dot com, that's inroads with two ends, because if you've ever played a roleplaying game in your existence, whether that's video games or pen and paper, you know that eventually you have to go to the end, you find the mysterious stranger sitting next to the fire, and you get a quest from them. Way back in the day, we decided, Let's lean heavily into this trope because the Tavern is a place... Not only is it a place where that happens in games, but just really kind of leaning into an illustration that Chuck wind all put out there that said in a lot of ways, and a lot of the practical daytoday ways the local church should function a lot like the local bar and that there's people who are excited to see you there, you are known there, you have a place to sit at your place that... And people are excited that you're there, you talk about your life, you share your existence, you share your struggles, you share the happy times, so in a lot of ways, 10/28/21 Page 2 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod in that aspect, it shares a lot with the local taverns or were like... 0:03:48.9 S1: So yeah, on a couple of levels. Let's lean into this. That's why it's INROADS ministries dot com. 0:03:54.8 S2: Gotcha, And who are you specifically within this context. 0:03:57.8 S1: Me, I am the president of INROADS ministries for our detriment for a lot of people I am in roads, but that is... I wanna be very clear, every time I talk about this stuff, I am not INROADS, I'm part of a board, and there are a lot of great guys, I just happen to be the loud, crazy one, so that was my people as to shape the ministry with me we have a lot of great people, both officially on our board and behind the scenes doing other stuff that really make it happen, but yeah, I am the president of the ministry. 0:04:29.4 S2: Something that I've learned as I've done a couple of these now is that everybody kinda answers that they're a melting pot here, but... Yes, for the best as we can. If you had to get it all down to the true essence of Mike, what flavor of nerd would you describe yourself as? What is your true big passion? 0:04:48.3 S1: If you wanna name one thing, 'cause you're right, I am an omni nerd, I have my feet in everything, if you wanted to nail it to one thing specifically, I am a gamer. There's no doubt about it. I don't play video games as much as I used to because I'm over 40 and have toddler, so my ability to sit down for any long stretch of time and play a video game is near nonexistent, but I always... Board games have been a part of my life since very early on, they have been a passion of mine probably for... Gosh, how long has it been now? Probably about 20 years, I've been playing roleplaying games since I was 16, I've had a lot of really good memories with that, if you want me to nail one, it's gotta be that... 0:05:37.8 S2: Gotta be gaming. So let's go back to some of the origin story there then, where... Where did it all first began back there with that first game that you held in your hand, or that first Consul or whatever it was, where did this nerve journey gets started for you... 0:05:49.6 S1: Oh, you wanna go way back... See, to some degree, games have always been a part of my existence because I grew up before a lot of the electronic stuff happened, I actually have memories of when my dad went out to a trade show in Chicago and came back with one of the first Nintendo Entertainment systems, you can get... Wow. In the country, 'cause they weren't popular yet, they were just coming in, so I remember that. So I lived in an age before you had put the kids in front of the game, you just like in... So I would play things like spoons and monopoly and perch, and all the stuff that parents would play with their kids, I have yet to play an actual game of mousetrap, but I used to put it together and let it run like crazy. If you wanna talk about how I got to the nerd level of gaming, it'd be a little bit older, but not much, because while other parents were continuing to get things like card games and many different versions of monopoly for their kids, my dad went out and got things like her quest, dark world, battle masters, battle masters being bored, so big, we couldn't fit it. 10/28/21 Page 3 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod 0:07:05.2 S1: Her dining room table, we had to put it on a ping pong table is because it was the only table big enough to hold this, Matt. And my brother and I would march our armies against each other on battle masters, so I have been playing nerd stuff for a long... Long time, and it's always been a part of my life. I would say that what really brought it to the level it is now, the start of that, 'cause when you're a kid, you play all sorts of stuff, but then you get out of it and you explore different things, so there was a good stretch where I wasn't really into board games. I definitely wasn't into roleplaying games, but oddly enough, it was in seminary that board games really came in again in gangbusters because we were there, a bunch of guys in their early 20s in a dorm, and every summer they would have the PhD students who had only the PhDs, they were grown men with families and everything, they'd roll in for a couple of weeks, take their class and go, and so there was one guy who would show up and he's like, I'm going to be in a dorm with a bunch of 20yearolds how am I going to survive? And so he would bring a game with him, so the first one he brought was a little card game called Ivanhoe, I don't have even now, it's one of my... 0:08:29.9 S1: What they call a Grail game, because that game has a special place, it's literally the game that introduced me to the fact that games are not... Like the role and move. Time wastes. Let's just call it what it is that I played when I was a kid. And so we played that. This is so interesting, this is... I love what's happening here. I even know it was basically a card game where you're playing his nights in a tournament, and it's a trick taking a set, basically you have to pick the highest value number of certain suits. It was a jatra sword fighter. I think there was something else too. But then there was also like it wasn't just simply that either there was things like if you played this card, you could unhorse the night and he'd become just a footman again, and so your horse would then overtake him and stuff like that. There were all sorts of crazy stuff, and then he went away and we all got really sad 'cause we didn't have games anymore... Right, so then he came back the next year. And we're like, Did you bring something? And he said, Yes, I have a game called Settlers of Catan all. 0:09:39.3 S1: There you go, and like everyone, ever of a certain age, sellers of Catan is what got me into games, we literally pulled him aside and said, So you keep bringing these strange wonderful talismans of awesome into our building, how do we obtain these things for ourselves? And he introduced us to the wonderful thing about online game stores wouldn't, and then literally it was just a bunch of guys, we all picked one... We had things like Catan and princes of Florence, people were just going through that site and just picking one and each one of us would get one, we played Catan so much that I literally had somebody replace my copy because we wore it out. Wow. We literally could not play our copy anymore. 0:10:31.5 S2: So it's really interesting to me, you've touched on... I think all of us that are gamers out there probably have that milestone moment where we were at the perfect place, at the perfect time with the perfect people that we got into gaming, but it's interesting that yours was seminary, it's interesting to a... It was a Christian area, some might have been in youth group at church or stuff like that, but others of us totally outside of the church might never had that experience, so... Do you think it was then that you might have really understood that there was a correlation between faith in fandom, had you not realized it yet, or did you already kinda know that there was heroin happening here that's spiritual... 0:11:08.6 S1: I kind of knew. I would say that it wasn't fully formed, I kinda knew mostly because I 10/28/21 Page 4 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod have always been... From the very moment I came to faith, there's always been teachers who took me aside and said, faith isn't just what you're doing church, faith isn't just what you do in youth group or in certain context. God is everywhere, your relationship with him should be a part of your existence regardless of where you are, and so I always kinda had this understanding like, God, if He's everywhere, he should be here too, and so it was always kind of just the underpinning there, I would definitely say, I can't point to a moment, there wasn't like a revelation and said, Oh, this is important, it was more just like the slow burn of, okay, God's here. Okay, look at this thing that's happening. Look at what God's doing with this. Whether I was in for the ride or not, God was doing crazy awesome things through these moments, and then I kind of caught on and said, Hey, can I... Can I be a part of this to God? And he said, Yes. Yeah. 0:12:22.7 S2: So let's talk more about that. What did that look like? That permission and deciding to actually do this thing and commit to this... Was it INROADS? Was is something else? What did it look like day? 0:12:33.7 S1: It started off with the podcast, which sadly is currently under... It's not gone. We have not potato, not going gentle into that dark night, our flagship podcast because of the fact that there's covid and all this stuff and trying to organize people and trying to have something to talk about, because our format before were just like, These are the games we're playing and neither of us are really able to play many games right now, so it's kind of on covid hits, but it was called game store profits, and oddly enough, started when I went on my buddy's podcast, they were talking about books, and my friend knew that I was really into steampunk fiction. And so he was like, We're gonna talk about that. Come on and talk books... Well, the other host, we started talking about games and stuff, and he goes, You know, we could really do a podcast about games and God and I go, Man, I don't have the time for this. I have so much going on. And this was even before I got married, before I had my kid. But I already had enough going on, and oddly enough, I went to an event called steampunk World's Fair, which it was an amazing event they've seen stopped doing it, which is sad, but it's just this whole big convention of people with musicians and artists and coplayers and just doing STEAMpunky things. 0:14:01.2 S1: And that year, it happened that it was one of those times when... I forget which one can... Sadly, there's been many... It was one of those times when somebody got on a microphone and said, this is the weekend that Jesus is coming back, and he did it on a loud enough microphone that even people who had never been to church in their life knew that this dude was saying Jesus was coming back. And so everybody at the convention was cracking jokes about... That this is the weekend that Jesus is coming back. Don't do that. Jesus will see you. You don't wanna be doing this. I have been around people who make those jokes for so long that it kind of ran off my back... Like water off a ducks back. Sure. Not everybody was like that. And so a friend of a friend came up to me and she was really hurt, like crying, and she's just like, Hey, you know, I know you do ministry stuff, can we pray? And I'm like, Yeah, and we walked out to the parking lot is. 'cause it was the only place that was quiet, and she talked to me about the fact that she goes... 0:15:11.7 S1: He goes, I never feel like I have a home. I can't be all of me, because when I come to events like this, the fact that I'm a Christian makes me feel weird because all these people are like, All these people are cracking these jokes and... It's not okay. But then when I'm at church and I talk about this nerdy stuff, well, they look at me weird too, so I can't be all of me there either, and I 10/28/21 Page 5 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod realized that she wasn't the only person who felt that way, that in fact, I had felt that way before too, but I never put words to it. Literally that night after I went home, I messaged This guy, Luke, and I said, We're doing this podcast. I'm finding the time we're doing this podcast 'cause there needs to be space where people can realize that they're not the only one who likes both these things that want to desperately follow Jesus, want to know who he is and draw closer to Him. And also like this nerdy stuff, these are not separate things. And so we started off with the podcast, and we did that for a while, and we got... 0:16:24.4 S1: The podcasting world is weird. Sure, it was just the two of us. We went in saying, We're gonna do this just to have fun, and if people listen, they listen, and before we knew what we were getting messages from game designers in Germany saying, I listen to you on the way to work. And it's made me want to go back to church. I'm like, Wait. So after doing that for a while, we both sat down and go, I think we're supposed to do something with this, this is supposed to be more than just his podcast, Luke eventually decided that it wasn't for him anymore, but we picked up some other guys and really started leaning into doing this as a ministry, we still do content and still a big portion of what we do, but there's a lot of people who make content... We make content mostly because the phrase that I've kind of adapted and is kind of filtered through the rest of the guys, is that if you look out into the world of ministry, there will always be somebody who's doing a better job at reaching people than you are, but no one will reach the people you reach better than you do... 0:17:32.8 S2: Yeah, yeah, that's good. 0:17:35.6 S1: That's kind of where we are. Content lines. We're super niche. If we wanted to get popular, we can blow it out and cover more areas, people ask us all the time, Do you cover video games? We're like, No, there's plenty of people who do that. Already, we don't wanna be just another voice in the wind, we're gonna stick with board games and role playing games, the way I described it, and actually in one of the episodes of my devotional podcast, it was like, I don't mind being the other guy, I don't like there are times when I wish that I had the resources to not be just the other guy, but I really don't, because this is where God has had us and God has done some really cool stuff. I have a growing file of stories that people have sent me about how the ways that our ministry has touched them and... You can't take that away. It's a beautiful thing, and I'm super glad that we get to do it, I'm glad that we get to bring people to tables, and we're a weird duck because people will talk about being ecumenical organizations, sweet Lord, where about as ecumenical as you can get. 0:18:42.6 S1: I've often said that if you... I can't say we have a representative of every denomination because there's a thousand of them, right, but if you sat down to write down denominations like the ones that come to your mind, I'm pretty sure we've got at least somebody who reference... Who is part of that community? That also doesn't include the people who hang out with us who have no faith whatsoever, or who have other faiths who are just part of our community because they played with us and we told them, Hey, we're a cool place to be on the internet... Yeah, we talk about Jesus, but we're just cool people, and you're totally welcome to come in and hang with us and they do... It's been a fun road 0:19:26.0 S2: And in road and interested Road. So thinking along this journey, so when did all this very first began... What year was it? On 10/28/21 Page 6 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod 0:19:35.2 S1: The books, it was 2015 or a year before that. When we started planning it, 2014. 0:19:40.6 S2: So over seven years, feasibly, what are some major milestones, some forks in the road, some things that you might have seen, things that either really shaped who you are today... Just the right people at the right time. Kinda like we talked about with the seminary stuff, and you think of anything that really stands up about those moments along the way. 0:20:01.7 S1: I can say some things, but a lot of them are more quiet, just between the people who sent the stories to me, so it's not like, I'm not sure that somebody's story out in the street, if you're looking for ones that I can share things that really made us who we are, some of it has just been the fun aspect of it, it's just... There are game designers who know who we are, there are publishers who look for us, there are people who are designing Christian games who know to talk to us because we can both provide them with play testers, first of all, but also with some insight into the industry what works, what doesn't. That so fun. I like doing that, I like... But only enough. I think one thing that kind of, at least to where we are now, who knows where we'll be in the future, you make plans, but then plans change. High covid. 0:20:58.3 S2: I think a lot of it had to do with something that I ended up doing on a whim, it was just something silly that I wanted to do at a convention, and it had such an impact on literally everyone who participated in it, that I did it again, and I will continue to do it, and it's actually kind of... It's of become part of our brand now. 0:21:17.3 S1: I decided to make a very long story short, or parts are a thing for us. 0:21:23.6 S2: And partly as Buster a thing for me. The first roleplaying game we played as a ministry was in Path Finder. I had never played pathfinder before, I heard of it, but I never played it. So I'm like, Okay, I wanna play a Bard because Bars get to do a little bit of everything, and if I wanna try a system, why not try with somebody who does a little bit of everything, and I wanna be adored because I've loved doors ever since I read the hobbits. 0:21:53.3 S1: So I wanted to be a dwarf, so I looked up a character guide, and they said, This is great for a human bar, this is an Alfano Bard dwarf part. Don't do it. The stats mean nothing to a Bard. There's literally no reason to do a darbar. Why bother? I said, That person is frankly boring and uncreated, let's find another guide and see what they have the same, same thing, all the other races, these are the great ways to be a Bard in this rain worth... Don't do it that. Don't mean the thing is, there's no reason to do this. Is not for a while, it became personal, and it actually ended up being that that character's story was affected by the fact that no one thought that dwarfs could be bares, that there was no value in them, that whole character came around the idea of no one should ever think that just because of who you are, you are less valuable than somebody else, became a huge part of what we end up doing, the phrases, don't let anybody call you suboptimal. 0:23:02.9 S2: 'cause that's a phrase that a guy saw a lot in those player... Guys, this is a suboptimal choice. Yeah, and I'm like, Don't let anybody call you. Some optimal 10/28/21 Page 7 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod 0:23:11.5 S1: Pack unplugged was the first year I did the first full trip we did to back unplugged. I decided I was going to dress up like my warfare, and I was just going to walk around the game Hall and the dealer Hall with a sign that said, darbar, looking for stories for the archive, tell us your story. And get a button. And I had made up all these little buttons and they had a brief version of the darbar story on it, and said that You don't let anyone call you suboptimal, your story is worth telling. The greater story is better off because your story is a part of it, at first, it was just gonna be a silly thing I did on a Saturday, just 'cause it was... Something fun to do. I had a buddy of mine who it was fun 'cause that year I had introduced him to a game conventions at all, he'd never been to one, and so he was already in wideeyed and he basically just came along with me, and I called him my swag Sherpa, 'cause his job was to give out stickers and buttons and stuff, but what what we discovered was, was that some people were just... 0:24:23.0 S1: Some people are just like me. They're big hands and they just wanted to talk about whatever... 'cause I literally said, I'll take any story. Including what you had for breakfast. I don't care, I just want a story, but there are always people who kinda just shied back and so I don't really have a story, and I never made anyone to... If somebody really, honestly was like, I really don't wanna do this, I never made somebody... 'cause that nobody wants that. That's just awkward, that ruins the whole moment, but I would kind of feel the room as it were and kinda be like, Come on, come on. There's one story that I often tell about the experience that's kind of the epitome of what we saw all day, we went down the line, I was a whole group of friends, and there's five of them, and each one of them told me a story until the last person... And she pulled the line, she said she's... I don't really have a story. And I said, Of course, I had the terrible... It's not even Scottish, it's bad door. And he's like, Oh, come on, I'm not gonna give you friends a bunch of stuff and not give you... 0:25:33.0 S1: That's not good. We don't need that to happen. I give us a story. Anything intent at all? Just the first thing that comes to your head, sepals for a second, and she goes. So I was trying out for Olympic show jumping and I didn't... The horse they gave me wasn't that great, and so when I did my first... He ended up getting stuck. And I was shocked, and I'm like, You were training for the Olympics. You were good enough to get to the trials for the Olympics in show jumping. That's a story. Naito, do you not think trying out for the Olympics is a story worth telling. And that's the thing though. A lot of us don't think that it's just our life, it's just what we do in a way. I realized what probably happened, she got stuck, she didn't go to the Olympics, the story in her mind was not a victory, and so since it wasn't a victory, it wasn't worth telling, that's kind of how it's become our thing, we are all about the story business, because every one of us is a storyteller, it's literally one of the designs I just made for stickers that we give out now, and this is... 0:26:56.6 S1: We are storytellers, all of us are... No. 0:27:00.4 S2: Depending on... You can be happy with the story you're telling or not, but you're still telling it. 0:27:06.0 S1: It's kind of taken over things for a good bit when it comes to what the games that we play with people, we often say that You can make friends out of strangers. By playing together because you're creating common history, you can cut through a lot of the fluff and nonsense of getting to know somebody, because we don't have to do small talk, we can just talk about the fact 10/28/21 Page 8 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod that that one time you pulled that perfect card at the perfect moment to win us the game, and so that's about sharing the stories together, roleplaying games, it's literally just communal storytelling, that's what it is, everything in our existence is telling stories and we just need a space to tell them together. 0:27:47.7 S2: Yeah, so there's this quote by Seth code and tribalism is something to be avoided obviously, but his idea of tribes is this quote that people like us do things like these, and that's how people relate to one another, they tell stories to another, and I feel like that's the vibe I've really gotten from your ministry and your call is that you are really gifted, your team is really gifted at letting people become a we... At letting people become storytellers together and inviting them that space, and one of the ways that I've seen that is whatever I first discovered INROADS was with LT. Can last a... I got to meet the door bar, so yeah, so 0:28:30.5 S1: We went that whole section, half a session as him, didn't I? 0:28:35.5 S2: Yes, so that was great, but that kind of collaborative effort of INROADS, telling the stories and allowing people to come in and coming into spaces like LTM, but then also being a space like that where I know... I think they've ended the podcast now, but I know that you were big proponents of saving the game, and I still am, those people are all awesome. It's sad when they said they were going to close down, I talked to a whole bunch of them and I said, I said, Look, I'm not happy that you're stopping, but I completely understand because it's a combination of just life, being life as a guy who again, just said that our flagship podcast has been on an extended hiatus because of this nonsense... I get it, but yeah, they are all wonderful people, and if you get a chance to go to a convention and see any of them do that because they're awesome. Yes, they're great and really interesting. I listen to their backlog and I've been through it and been through Minimax, and I know you were involved with them some, well, and with the item come that just came out, and so you're an awesome collaborator, you're really good at that, and INROADS is really good at that as well, I know you don't need to minimize the team because you are a part of this thing together, and that's something that seems so important, so as someone who is in this world who has done this, how do you inhabit that kind of healthy collaboration, how do you enter into spaces where you... 0:29:58.4 S2: Let people tell their stories. I think our temptation is often to kind of demand the presence ourselves and to be seeking out for ourselves, so how do you practice that as an active openness... 0:30:09.8 S1: Oddly enough, it is the short answer, the short, not fulfilling answer is humility, because anybody will say that, but it really is, it all comes down to that, you have to be willing to realize that we are all in this together that... Yeah, you might be talented. Yeah, you might have knowledge, but there are other people with talent and knowledge to 0:30:34.3 S2: Your platform has plenty of room for all of them. I love giving up my spot. I wish I could do it more. 0:30:43.6 S1: I've often said that the fact that when a lot of people think of INROADS, they think of me, it's to the detriment of the ministry. I don't ever want it to be a personalitydriven thing, 10/28/21 Page 9 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod again, it's mostly just because I just know myself and I am... If I let myself full out, I am a force to be reckoned with, I own a room. It is just who I am. God has so many people doing so many good things, and everybody who listens to us deserves to hear them, they deserve to hear from all these amazing people, not everybody has the ability to watch every YouTube video or listen to every podcast, so a lot of people just for the lack of time in their day will not get to hear from these people, and that's a travesty. And so yeah, I have no problem just being like, You are awesome, I'm telling you that you're awesome, and we're gonna celebrate that, you're awesome. Please, come on my thing. My devotional podcast is called The Barden Bible, and it's the weirdest Christian devotional you're ever going to hear. But one of the things that I established was, is that I want... 0:31:56.6 S1: I don't do it all the time, but every once in a while, I'll take a break, and I'll get three or four people that I know and trust to be in that space. And I've created what's called the Wandering bards kill, where I disappear. This podcast is my baby in the fiction of the framing device, it's my Tavern. I will gladly just walk away from it for a little bit and let somebody else be a part of it, and it's been really fun to see how other people do what I do, 'cause they don't do it the way I do. So not only is it for the audience, it's also for me too, because I become better by listening to them, I become better because I get to see what they're doing, and maybe I take some things and maybe I don't, and maybe I just celebrate and just enjoy it myself, I'm allowed to enjoy the things that other people are creating, even if they're treating them for me, a lot of it is also just trusting... God, I'm actually... In that podcast, I'm actually working through the patrons on my Patreon where I make fun of them a little bit for this. 0:33:17.4 S1: I don't make fun of my poke fun, because I said I wanna go story by story through a book of the Bible and do this podcast, what books should I do? And they're like, Genesis, I'm like, Why? It's coming to be on this for years. Guys, what are you talking about? But I'm very glad they did because it's been interesting to just see how it all comes together, bringing the story element, 'cause I'm doing it with a very storybased hermeneutic, I'm not doing verse by verse, not going into the Greek, unless I have to to understand the story, I'm literally just letting the story be the story, I'm treating characters like their characters rather than hunting for application, and I'm doing Genesis 13, and in a lot of ways, Genesis 13 is a transition chapter. You have Berman lot coming from where they were in Egypt to where they started. And then we're moving towards the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the second half of chapter 13 is talking about a lot went over there, Sotomayor had not been destroyed yet satomi terrible Dad, let's set up for the fact that now we're going to Solomon in a lot of ways. 0:34:29.2 S1: It's just transition. So I applied my story, her minority too, and I go, what everybody want here? The easy one is a lot, lot goes, Hey, look at that lovely awesome land that the text point out is kind of like Egypt is the Lucene that he saw in Egypt. I want that part, I want all of that part, you can have the rest of this dust in nonsense, I want that part. He's easy, he's the application that everybody stops that. I looked at Abraham, What does Abram want here? And I'm like, He could have pulled the card that said, God gave me this, this is mine, but he didn't... He could have pulled... My dude, you are my brother's son. I'm over you. He didn't... Well, he did was say, Go ahead. You pick first. And what I realized was, was that Abraham, after experiencing in that time in Egypt where God literally said, No, seriously, I'm worth following, when I promise you a thing, I make a thing happen. He's back here now in the place where God told him that was gonna happen. And he's just trusting God. He trusts God to give him what God wants to give him. 10/28/21 Page 10 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod 0:35:55.1 S1: And so whether a lot takes that or not, if God wants are to have it, Bradwell, eventually have it, he doesn't need to grab it, you just need to take it now, God is who he says he is, a God will give him what he told him he's gonna give him... There are times when it's funny because I've often said that I try to be consistent timeline because... Good podcasting. You have to be consistent. Right, but life is what life is, and so every once in while there has been stretches where a handful of weeks and even in the worst times, even months have gone by between episodes, and what I've discovered is, is that every time that's happened, it's basically God saying I want you to not do content, I want you to have a minute here with me, and it's proven true with Genesis 13. I sat down and I tried to do content with this and it didn't work, I wasn't happy with it, it's because I was focusing on other things besides this element of, God is just... With Abram, and he's shown a BR exactly who he is, and Abram trusts him. 0:37:04.1 S1: And so he doesn't need to fight for space, he knows that God will give him exactly what God means to give him, he apply that to Ministry, as I'm always a big fan of, stories are different than applications, stories have applications, but an application is not necessarily a story. 0:37:23.5 S2: Right? 0:37:24.8 S1: And so the application that I didn't pull away from the story, it was just that I don't need to grab space, I don't need to grab attention, I don't need to grab platform. If God is who he says he is, and God has said that he wants us to be doing this... Who cares if I'm up front? If I'm supposed to be in this place, if I'm supposed to be leading this organization, it doesn't matter who's talking, God will do something there, and so I think that's what... It just comes down to... It's realizing that in the end of this, it's all God. It is all God and yeah, you can make smart moves, but it's still all God, so I can either follow Him and maybe have a smaller platform and maybe not as many people know who I am, but they know all these other people who I love, and I trust... And who are doing awesome things, or I can not. And yeah, I might have a blip where more people know who I am, or more money comes into INROADS, but that fades if it's not with God. 0:38:40.4 S2: A theology of collaboration and a narrative theology and all these wonderful things. So a theology that INROADS specifically names and espouses is a theology of plays, and I love that, I think that's such a fun one. There's a lot of different ways that we take that often will use it with kids ministry and things like that, but it's certainly not limited in... 0:39:02.1 S1: And to limit play to children is to limit play in a way that shouldn't... Absolutely, it's a false barrier 0:39:10.7 S2: To... I think it tale set up totally unfairly against ourselves because we all really love to play, it's the reason that we stay so interested in the acts of that, and it's the reason why we want to go back and refer to our child like sales... 'cause play is fun and play is interesting and draws us in and tell a good story, so tell us more about this theology of play and maybe where you decided that that was gonna be kind of a hallmark of the INROADS in going back to this origin days of seminary, they're playing amongst those people... Well. 10/28/21 Page 11 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod 0:39:42.7 S1: There's a handful of different things that can be brought up in that part of it is just... Well, I'll say that it kind of developed from this, but it's also... It's one of those things like... We codified it later. It was always there, but we codified that later, it's the idea that play brings us together. Nothing else does. Play has the ability to diminish any barrier that we put in the manufactured ones that we put between each other, if you start playing, and I've seen as conventions, especially because you don't know these people from Adam, the people that you're sitting at this table with, whether you're at a demo table, or you are putting up a flag that says, We're looking for players... You've never met these people before. I know for me, every time I've been at a table like that... Yeah, we're not like super good, best es after that game. I'll demo a game on day one with people, and I'll see those people the rest of the con, and every time I see them, I say hi, and if we're kind of passing in meandering and not purposely going somewhere, we'll say, What are you playing? How's it going? You're having a good... 0:41:01.3 S1: We'll have those chats because we have that moment and it's beautiful, and really at the end of the day, we just wanna play... I think that I've often said, I'm still waiting to see if I'm gonna end up making a design of this because I've often said it. Even if I just do it for myself, I might do it. My nemesis is the Protestant work ethic, because what that says is, if it's not productive, right? It's not valuable. And I don't see that in life, I don't see that in Scripture, because a lot of it is just... They're hanging out. If you really think about it, even the times I bust out into sermons, it's... Jesus and his boys are there. A lot of people find out Jesus and his boys are there. Jesus ends up saying a sermon, because while all these people showed up to her and say something, there's all sorts of stuff that happens in between, in between the moments that show up in the recording of scripture, there's all sorts of conversations that happen all sorts of... And I'm not gonna lie, it's gotta be play... They gotta have fun together. 0:42:25.6 S1: 'cause none of these people would have kept sticking around if they didn't at least kind of like each other, if you think that Matthew, the tax collector and Simon the zealot are cool buses... Just because they both think Jesus is a good teacher. Let me tell you about the way people interact with each other. 0:42:49.5 S2: Right. Akron, A, D and D table to know. That's not the case. 0:42:53.4 S1: Right? There's gotta be more to this existence and just the productive stuff, I think I don't break down there, I was like, I don't even think I have to say much more. The idea that you can't create a product, it doesn't mean it's not productive, when we play together, we find out stuff about ourselves about the people that we're playing with, I'm often seeing people... When I talk about playing games, we're like, I'm super competitive, it's hard for people to play games with me 'cause I get so competitive and I'm like, Why is that? And do you think that's okay? And is that may be something we need to work on? There's competition and then there's, I don't want to be with you. 'cause you're competitive. That a lot of people will say, Oh, that's just playing. I go, No, that's part of who that person is playing is just when they take down the shields they put up to hide that part of themselves, they are revealing themselves in play. A lot of the times, we end up thinking and being people that we don't show because we have become practiced at being somebody else for other people. 0:44:07.1 S1: Now, whether that's intentional or not, depends person to person, but I promise you, 10/28/21 Page 12 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod we've all done it, there's not a one of us, it doesn't have something that we don't make super public while we're not just sharing that stuff willynilly, it comes out and play... I've learned stuff about myself, I literally had my wife... There's a story that I've shared a couple of different places about when I was playing that character, the darbar in the ministry, and I was saying, I was just planning to my wife what was going on and how... There was one session, and we do play by post, so it wasn't really like a session, there was one combat we had were... My guy literally almost died, but he wouldn't stop fighting... The rest of the guys were saying, out of character, like, Dude, you need to back off. Otherwise, they're gonna get you. And I'm like, he wouldn't... He wouldn't... Because of the fact that he values these people so much, if there is life in him to help them, he will still use that life to protect them, even if it means he loses it. If he has life in him to run, he has life and him to fight, and if he fights, they might live. 0:45:23.3 S1: And I told her that, just talking about... Because this is the character, and this is a cool story moment, and my guy did survive and he had this cool moment where because it's played by post, you get to describe it, and I let my author... I put my author hat on and I have to explain how how this guy had spit the blood and he still had red teeth, and he starts laughing and he kicks the guy in the head and he... He's like, You're not getting my friends and I... To my wife and she started crying, and I was like, What's going on? And she said, You do that for me all the time, you know? She's like, That's not him. That's you. And I never thought about that. Nobody thinks about themselves like that because you know, we just don't... But she's just bawling because this game that I wasn't thinking about, I was just being this character, and in being his character, I embodied something that resonated with her, and then what I do for her all the time, there's a reason why we do this, why we get together and play. It's not, it is. 0:46:35.7 S1: Sometimes it is just to play... People don't put any value in play, and that's silly, because if you look at rates of stress and heart disease and depression, that a lot of it, not all, but I'm gonna say anecdotally, a lot of it is tied with the fact that we're driving each other and seen by how much we need to do and do and do and do, pretty much for me, for somebody else, or to impress somebody else, or to get something, because we see it in somebody else and we're just driving each other nuts and we just wanna play. 0:47:21.1 S2: There is this level of profound interaction that we have with the stories, with the characters, with each other, with ourselves. 0:47:32.0 S1: That only comes out and we start playing... We embody this game and we forget to put our barriers up, and we just be in that moment... For good or for ill. 0:47:45.7 S2: Yeah, the word that keeps coming up for me is this kind of very much gamer word, game design word, but it is Immersion, and that we're literally given a character who doesn't have those bounties, so were able to set up those boundaries 'cause we're playing this character whether it's either on a screen or whether it's in a table top, were given the opportunity to play around within an alternative world that just doesn't exist, and so I think... Yeah, that's absolutely some powerful stuff, the words that are coming up, immersion and discovery, a theology of creativity. And there's great thoughts behind this, and I think that the temptation behind the word play is it does seem so casual, it does seem so almost sabbatical that we treat it as a Sabbath and we do it on the seventh day. Without giving yourself the grace to say, No, this is the work of discovery should be done on 10/28/21 Page 13 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod our working days as well, there is value in this moment... Yes, yes, putting it off and treating it like something other to be done during the minimal lack of areas. Guess what? 0:48:51.8 S1: I don't know about you, but from my experience and the experience of many other people I've talked to... What do we do with Sabbath? We keep putting it off and... Absolutely, because when we don't value it, it becomes the first thing that's easy to stop it, because there's other things that need to be accomplished, we always prioritize those other things, and we don't prioritize play... There's lots of things that is wrong. But really, especially now, when we're in this place where even people who were gregarious and out with people have experienced a lot of isolation, we need that. We need that space, we need to be together, we need to be doing things, we need to relieve the tension of all the stuff that we've had to go through, whether we acknowledge that that tension is there or not, we need to just get over ourselves for a minute and games let us do that. 0:50:05.5 S2: Yes, yeah, I totally agree. I think we're on the same wavelength there. And it is such a troublesome thing to try and figure out, and so I think that's an awesome thing that INROADS is kind of proudly laying their flag there and making that kind of a hill to die on, but this is a theology of play, and this is important. It is theological work. It is something that is being done. And so I think that's great. Kind of shifting gears, as we kind of bring this conversation to a close, I wanna know, you've been in this for a little while, you've been in it for seven or eight years here, you've been in at least the gaming world for longer than that, what do you think the future looks like, where are we going? Five, 10, 20 years. And the way that I have been asking people is, if you could dream the future, if you could say, what the future is gonna look like for this intersection of faith and pop culture, or faith in fandom or convention culture are gaining... What do you dream the future to look like for this intersection? So 0:51:03.6 S1: It's not what I think is gonna happen, but what I want to see happen. 0:51:06.8 S2: It can be a little about... Hopefully, you want to see what's happening. But if not, what would you do to change it, I guess? Well. 0:51:12.8 S1: If there's one thing that I've been sitting on, lot, and I've seen people do this well, and I've seen people do this poorly, what I don't want is just the church to glam on to fandom stuff and just make it a thing. And they're not connecting with it at all, but they know that other people connect with it, so they just use the buzzwords and they maybe have one person in a costume or they do like the nostalgia thing... See this, remember this, right? You love this... What I'd love to see happen is just the idea of not manufacturing Jesus moments, because I think that's where we screw it up when we're so desperate to make the connection between these two things that we don't let those two things be each other, and just see where they overlap, but we're trying to forge this connection of... They're the same C, because I've had way too many conversations with pastors about how maybe you don't wanna talk about Jedi as the best example for the Christian life is the Jedi about balance and about not some things that we care about, you talk about absolutes, but only Sifton absolutes, that's literally a line from... 0:52:55.5 S1: It's literally a lens in the movie, so when you're espousing absolute truth and you wanna do Star Wars, maybe don't do the thing that makes you out to be a shift, but that's the thing that happens. We just appropriate. And when we appropriate, we get everything wrong, we get the 10/28/21 Page 14 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod message wrong for the sake of getting butts in seats to hear about, Oh, they cited my cool thing, I really want there to be just a continued appreciation for these stories, to allow them to just be those stories, and then be like, but yes, this story is telling this thing that is also something that God has been telling us, to not force the connection, but appreciate the connections that exist, the overlaps in these two things, that doesn't play well on a tshirt necessarily, but it's better for storytelling, it's better for really understanding these things because it demands that you appreciate the thing you're citing, that you're not just sliding it to... There's a meme that has happened with Steve raceme, I can't remember what show it was from, I never saw the actual show, but the whole it is he's supposed to blend in with these kids, so I see Jimmy with a hat backwards in a hoodie and a skateboard and he says, Hello, fellow teens. 0:54:24.5 S1: And my concern is, is that we end up being that guy trying to pursue fandom, especially as some of these fans become less fandom and more overall pop culture, the fact that everyone's seen a Marvel movie by now... Sure, I don't want to be that meme guy, I want people to actually appreciate what's happening, to engage the material for the sake of engaging the material, and to appreciate the stories that are being told within the material rather than just finding the Jesus in it. 0:55:02.4 S2: Yeah, I think that's really a... And I think that's what we're dealing with, even outside of the Christian sphere, I think that's what game companies are dealing with, and table top game companies, all these people are trying to figure out how do we... It's reaching more people than ever, how do we keep our foundation rooted in the game and not end in the market and not in the capitalist thing behind it, and I imagine there are some Marvel writers out there that are probably like, my story, my story... There probably is an element of that in all of it. 0:55:31.1 S1: There is a very practical element of it, they gotta make money, right? If you wanna keep making more movies, you gotta keep making more money to pay your actors to pay you the film to pay all the props, to pay all the staff. You gotta make the money. So there is somebody whose job is to say This is how we make the money, a lot of times that ends up wrecking the story, because there are challenging things that storytellers want to do, but the person who makes the money, he says, We can't do that. It'll cost this money. So it is a challenge, it is a struggle because you need to find... I don't wanna downplay the value of the guy who finds the money, right, 'cause if you wanna keep going, you gotta have somebody who finds money, I don't wanna just be like That guy is evil, that can be done me in a bad way, but the simple act is not bad. You have to find the balance of how do we engage with as many people as we can, make it as broad and approachable to as many people as we can, while still being able to push it edges and tell hard stories and have rough moments that challenge us and make us grow. 0:56:46.6 S1: It is an incredibly hard balance. There are games that I love, but I won't say they've been failures, but they haven't been as successful as a lot of these other games, I'll tell you, I'll tell you a handful of things that I can guarantee you will get you at least nominal success. Have miniatures really nice miniatures, that'll get your board game scene right now, dungeon crawls are pretty, pretty epic, you can pretty dwell with that. I can list off a bunch of different things that are gonna get you attention... Themes that you can do and all that. One of the most powerful experiences I have seen in a board game recently is a game that a lot of people haven't heard of, and a lot of people in the gaming world won't play... It's called holding on the tragic life of Billy here. 10/28/21 Page 15 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod 0:57:41.4 S2: The whole theme of the game is that Billy was on an airplane and had a heart attack, Billy is dying, your... All the players are the hospice nurses taking care of Billy until he's gone. There is no way for Billy not to die. Billy will die at the end of the game, the question is, do you take care of him long enough that he can share his story with you before he goes... 0:58:16.1 S1: Nobody wants to play that game. I have tried so many times to play that game, it's sitting on my shelf, no one wants to play that game, but it's one of those experiences that is just... It's powerful. If you let it be, there are all sorts of different stories, and even silly games can have stories can have moments, but there's all sorts of stuff you don't expect either, like I moved into an area that until recently was just riddled with gun violence, have... Again, called caching guns where the entire mechanic of the game is pointing foam pistols at other players heads, I don't know when I'm going to get to play that game again, right. Because I can't guarantee that there isn't somebody at that table who has had that experience, there are stories everywhere, and I just want to make sure that we engage those stories without just trying to manufacture The Jesus moment. Yeah, 'cause if you manufacture The Jesus moment, you wanna talk about stuff, you'll see on my site, the one thing that has firmly established what we call The no preaching roles, we won't preach to you about Jesus unless you know it's coming. 0:59:41.7 S1: It doesn't mean we don't talk about God, it doesn't mean we don't talk about Jesus or the gospel. It means that unless it's a natural outpouring of our conversation, we don't manufacture it, and a lot of that has to do with a framework that I established, oddly enough, from two points on a conversation I had with a dear friend of mine who still isn't the person of faith. And I don't know if he ever will be, but I'm gonna keep talking to him about it. And the other one is from a movie that was based off of a play... The conversation I had one time was shortly after I got saved, I was going and not so... We just telling everybody about Jesus, I need to tell people about Jesus because I just discovered him, and oh my goodness. And at one point, I talked to my friend, I said, Look, you hear this a lot. 'cause we hang out a lot. If I ever get annoying, just tell me to stop. And he looked at me and he said, I would actually be angry if you didn't... I would be angry if you didn't tell me these things because that would mean that one of two things are true, either you don't actually believe what you're talking about, or you don't care enough about me to tell me about it. 1:00:51.0 S2: That had a big impact on me because it should be about just caring about people, not just Jesus, hope boards, it should be something that happens from the expression of just our care for each other. 1:01:05.5 S1: And the other thing is from a movie called The Big gun, and it's an amazing weird little movie about two salesman and a guy from research and development that's gone to this trade show and their... Their whole job is to find one guy and sell him on their product, which happens to be industrial lubricant, and I won't go into the whole plot line, but things don't go the way they want to, because the guy from R and D is the guy who gets in touch with this person that they're supposed to talk to... And of talking about what they're there for, he ends up talking about Jesus. And this old tired salesman, played by Danny DeVito, looks at him and said, You... Talking about Jesus is no different than Larry talking about industrial lubricants. The moment you take a conversation, you grab hold of a conversation and you twist it, it's no longer a conversation, it's a marketing pitch, and you're no longer a human being, you're a marketing rapid. And I realize that, I 10/28/21 Page 16 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod know for me, I spent a lot of years manufacturing Jesus, and we turned the Gospel into a timeshare sales pitch, come and play these games, come do this, come talk to this baseball legend, come to whatever. 1:02:41.3 S1: Oh, and by the way, there's also going to be a 25minute discussion about Jesus. 1:02:46.0 S2: Right. 1:02:46.9 S1: We don't put that on the poster, but it's there. And I realized that that's what we were doing. We were manufacturing Jesus moments. I felt wrong after a while, because I want this to be more than a sales pitch. If I sell you on Jesus, all you're gonna do is eventually find another product that does what you want better, if I show you how you can enter into the story that Jesus is telling, if you can meet him and see him, touch him and experience life with him, that's different. And so that's what I wanna see happen. I want this to be an expression of... God is everywhere, whether I put him there or not. And one of the hardest things for me to hear is when people who aren't gaming here... What we do and say, I'm so glad you're bringing Jesus into that dark place, and I'm like, Jesus has been here. Long before we showed up. 1:03:59.2 S2: There are designers, there are players, there are storytellers, there are all these people, all of them don't leave their Jesus at the door. Long before we as that long before any of us established formal ministries to gaming to the gaming world, God was already here. God was already working. The number of people that... People always say the satanic panic and how people wanna say that D and D is evil, I'm like, Do you have any idea how many people in the creation of dunes and dragons are people of faith? 'cause it's a lot. 1:04:40.4 S1: It's a lot... We're not diving into the darkness, we are stepping in with Jesus and saying, What are you doing here? We wanna be a part of it. And that's what I wanna see happen with fandom in general. I don't wanna manufacture Jesus in fandom to grab the kids talking about their fun thing, I want them to see that God is everywhere by me pointing him out, not by holding up a cardboard cut out and see here's Jesus. 1:05:20.1 S2: Right, yeah, I think that's a great point and a good way to bring us back to what you were very first talking about with INROADS is that it's a stance of humility, it's a stance of openness and saying that you're not to be all in all, and that we as these nordinITERS are not to be all in all, we're not doing work that hasn't already been being done, like you said, Jesus already in this place, God's already in this place. And so staying humble, staying open, trusting God, I've like that's been a running theme, and that's awesome. It's something that I think we all need more of, No matter where our sphere of influence to use big buzzwords, no matter where your fear of influences, you have to realize that it's God, you're just along for the ride. And we should all be thankful that He allows us to be part of it rather than say how... It's our thing. And so I think that's a good note to end on. Of a challenge. A challenge for the future, as a challenge for the next 10 to 20 years of whatever this looks like, and faith and pop culture to remain humble and to remain in the space and to make sure we're not manufacturing, but rather trusting in the process that God has laid before us. 1:06:29.6 S2: Well, as we usually do, when we wrap this show up, I want to know, so what are you 10/28/21 Page 17 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod currently doing so that people can maybe get some recommendations if they haven't heard of them, the three questions are What you watching... It can be a television show, movie, whatever... What are you playing? It could be a board game, it could be a video game. Any game. And then what are you reading? And another caveat that can also be an audio book, because we've had people have accounts, and it certainly does it, it does. 1:06:55.0 S1: It's still the same text, it's just somebody else is reading it in your ear... Right. Reading is the easiest. Reading is Norse mythology by Neil gammon. 1:07:05.3 S2: Awesome. I have always been a fan of Norse mythology, just the stories that are there, because it's not like any other mythology that I've read, like these stories are weird, and in the best of ways, I think that Neil Gaiman does an amazing job so far, I'm still working through it, but he does a really good job of taking these elaborate stories that are tossed across multiple and makes them into something that's really easily readable, accessible, and I'm super... Super enjoying that experience. I'm just a huge fan of game period. Sure. 1:07:46.4 S1: What I'm playing lately is probably the best thing I would say would be that I have been... There's a website called board game arena. And if you don't know what board game arena is in these times, things are opening up again, but until everything gets full open, you need to know about bargain, it's just a free browserbased platform where you can play all manner of board games. There's a lot on there, some are behind a paywall, but that paywall is literally 25 bucks for a year now, and only one person needs to have the premium account, the person starting the game needs to have the premium account, so there's that. 1:08:28.8 S2: Lately, the two games that I've been playing the most, and that is the crew and beyond the Sun, two incredibly different games. 1:08:39.8 S1: The crew is interesting 'cause it's a tricktaking game, which have ever played to hearts or Spain or anything like that, you know how to play a tricktaking game, but it's a cooperative tricktaking game. You are trying to accomplish missions, and each mission is different, but a lot of them are, this person has to get this card first, and then this person gets this card, and so on and so forth, so you have to plan how to make your plays so that that specific person has that specific card, but here's the thing, you can't just say, Oh, I've got this card. Everybody make sure you're not playing. That you can't talk like that. The only thing you can communicate is you can put one card out per round or her permission and say, I have this card, and you can either say it's the highest card I have of that color, it's the lowest card I have of that color, or it's the only card I have of that color, and you don't do that once, permission, and you're trying to orchestrate getting everybody the thing they need in the order that they need it. 1:09:54.3 S1: That game is fun, but also can be incredibly frustrating because of the fact that you can't communicate, you're like, oh, you just... We're losing this around. The other one is called Beyond the sun, and the theme of it is that you are literally designing the technologies to send humanity into space, and it's a giant tech tree, if you're familiar with video games, you know what a texture is, most games will be like the tech tree is part of the game. Beyond the sun asks, What if we just make the tech tree the game? And it's really interesting, I don't know if I'd say it's my favorite game, I think I would like it more if I was around the table with people, but it's still an interesting 10/28/21 Page 18 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod puzzle, it's been really... And I'm playing it with guys who love it, so I've never won, I get crushed. 'cause the one guy, it's like, This is my favorite game. I'm like, Oh, I'm done for it. But it's still interesting to see what plays get made, how they do it. It's still a lot of fun. I enjoy it. And what was what I'm wanting you watching... 1:11:14.8 S1: Yeah, let's just say it, I have a toddler, and which means that most of my TV watching his toddler based... Sure. Most of that is frustrating. However, there is one shining light among the throng, and that is blue. 1:11:33.9 S2: And I've heard good things, I have heard good things about Blue. 1:11:37.2 S1: Blue is an Australian cartoon. As far as I know, you can only get it through Disney. I have it on Disney plus, but it's annoyingly. Disney plus is the last, if I'm the TV show, that it's a Disney now, then it goes to Disney plus. But they just released season two on Disney plus, it's a story about this family of dogs, but it's one of those things like, everybody is a dog, but it's all personified, so like the mom and dad are chilly and Bandit and Bandit is an archaeologist and chilly. I can't remember what Yale's job is, and they have two girls, they blew and bingo. And it is just the most adorable show ever, it's just fun to watch the kids be silly, a lot of it is just keep watching little kids play, it's pretty much what it is, but at the same point, they bust out like so like... I literally tiered up, in more episodes I was watching with my son this morning before we recorded, I tiered up 'cause there's one where Chili's there with her dad and her dad... She goes in saying that grandad has to rest because he just had heartworm, 'cause remember... 1:12:50.8 S1: They're all dogs. Sure. And the whole thing is the granddad doesn't want a rest, so granddad is running around with the girls, but at one point, they're hiding and chilli says, grandad needs to take care of himself for me, 'cause I still need him, and I'm like... I'm literally like, as I'm sitting here next to my threeyearold going, having just traveled to like six plus hours to go see my dad in New Jersey who just had a stroke not that long ago, I am bawling. And so it really is, it's this great show that is... The humor is really interesting and fun and silly, but it... Not in an annoying way, but it's just... In a silly way, I aspire to be the kind of dad that banded healer is in the show. It's really, really good. It's way better than any kids show has a right to be. 1:13:47.4 S2: Yeah, I've heard really good. They've been all over tiktok. I feel like they've been in it. 1:13:53.2 S1: I haven't seen it, but I wouldn't doubt it, yeah. 1:13:55.8 S2: It seems like a real heart rancher. I'm kind of in the same vein, I just finished watching a new Anime on Netflix called Eden. 1:14:03.3 S1: I saw an ad for that that made it look really interesting. 1:14:05.7 S2: It's pretty short, it's only four episodes, I finished the fourth episode this morning and might have through it, just heartwrenching when they get... It's the dad rock. I'm also a dad of a toddler, and so anytime it's a dad, there's something about that Dad energy that just like I love my 10/28/21 Page 19 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod dad, I love myself as a dad, I love my daughter, there's this weird tension that happens and just... It hits you and it really is... Get you right in the heart. I am playing a game called rise aturn, which is a fire emblem knock off on the way, and it's pretty okay, it's nothing to write home about, but it's a game and I like arts, and so I think it... 1:14:45.1 S1: Sometimes you just need that game... 1:14:46.6 S2: Exactly, it's one that the writing is kind of rough, I don't now if it's a translation issue, but the game play is very much RTS, just like fire me, very fun. And then reading, I'm almost done with ask Mr. WADA, which is the book on Nintendo's situated, just talking about his experience with how... And I'm to the part now where Miyamoto is like Yamamoto is reflecting on his relationship with a WADA and so that's super provided and super interesting reading through those, so... Yeah, there's definitely a lot out there, and I always appreciate this time because I get to learn about new stuff and I'm very interested in those games, I am on board game arena, but I haven't really explored it to its fullest, so I'll have to check some of them out on there, or 1:15:31.8 S1: My personal favorite, if you're looking for... My favorite game on board game Marina, I haven't looked recently, but I would say is probably a BIS. Which is the... The theme is gonna sound really weird, like the Lord of the ocean has died, and you're basically doing the political scheming to get people on your side to name you the next Lord of the best. It's basically a card game, but it's a really interesting and... Absolutely. Gorgeous card game. 1:16:01.9 S2: It's really fun. Very interesting, cool stuff. Well, I appreciate the recommendations and I appreciate your time. The final thing, just another shoutout, just remind people... Where are you on social media? In INROADS. 1:16:14.2 S1: Its INROADS, ministry's dot com. Remember these, Niro ministry dot com will have everything on it. Basically, if you go on to social media, if you type in INROADS, if we're there, that's what we are, if you don't get it, 'cause we're not on that one... We try to keep things pretty simple. I'm most active on Twitter and Instagram as far as social media. I'd love to get more stuff out there on videos, and there are people who want me to do a tiktok is... Maybe at some point I'll do that, but they don't have that yet. But yeah, INROADS ministries dot com is... We're gonna find most of this stuff, you can also find us, you can find it on that website, but you can also go... If you're on Facebook, Facebook dot com groups, game store profits. Again, the link is on our website, but that's called, we recently just renamed it, 'cause we were sick and tired of everybody trying to join our group thinking that they're actually the local bar. So it used to just be the tavern, it is now the wandering bar Tavern. And yeah, that's where we basically just hang out on the internet, it's my favorite group of nerds on the internet. 1:17:22.9 S2: So... Awesome. Well, super cool stuff. Thanks again, Mike, for your time and for joining us. We really appreciate you being here on the podcast. 1:17:30.2 S1: Absolutely, it was a blast. Alright. 1:17:31.8 S2: And that is a wrap on the latest episode of nerds to pray, folks, I really hope that you 10/28/21 Page 20 of 22 MikePernaNOPpod enjoyed the podcast, this show is distributed free of charge and worldwide, but we would love your support and help by giving us a five star of you and sharing the episode around to your friends, so that we can reach as many nerds, eats and gamers as possible, be sure to go and follow our special guest, Mike Payne, using all the links in the show notes, give him some kind encouraging words for the great stuff that INROADS is doing... If you enjoyed this discussion, I wanna talk more about it. Hey, feel free to join the Check Point Church discord, we have a channel, we're talking about this exact kind of stuff, so they get into that, not to mention that this episode did actually premiere live or a Twitch channel, so be sure to follow twists. Lets Check Point Church to catch the next episode and discuss it live as it happens with the viewers. Our next episode will drop three leaks from today, and we'll feature a talk on accessibility with Heather Moore from taxidermist, look forward to that, and thanks again for giving us. 1:18:19.8 S2: Listen, if you have any recommendations or maybe you'd like to be considered as a Future guest on this podcast, Submit your name and biography to Check Point Church at gmail dot com, nerds, appraise, recorded, edited, produced industry to by Nathan lean Check Point Church. The Check Point Church podcast is the hub, all of our podcasts, sermons and special projects to learn more, go to Check Point Hersh dot com. Or some questions to Check Point Church at email dot com. Remember, we believe three things to be true about every single one of you listening, regardless of where you might be with God, we firmly believe that number one, God loves you. Number two, we love you, and number three, you matter. That is all for this one, I have been heard, pastorate, and this has been The nerds of pray. 1:18:54.1 S1: Special thanks again to our special guests, Mike Purna. 1:18:56.2 S2: Until next time, folkso.