A Kentucky Pastor’s Guide to Trash-Talk During March Madness

march madness
PHOTO CREDIT: USA TODAY Sports Images

There’s a reason why they call it March Madness, and it goes beyond things like the Mercer Bears, Dayton’s Cinderella run, overtime, buzzer-beaters, and vacation-days spent binge-watching nineteen year-olds you wish you could be.

The Madness goes beyond that because every year, during March, I actually watch people go mad. The AMA should look into this. In fact, anyone who knows me knows I speak from personal experience: March Madness makes you mad. (Don’t patronize me!!! My depression after John Wall and company lost to West Virginia in 2010 was real… and sad. At least I lost like five pounds.)

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The Most Dangerous Idol of the Next Generation

millennials
PHOTO CREDIT

I’m a Millennial, born sometime between 1980 and Y2K (the day when all the computers and the universe imploded), and my generation has a lot going for them.

Some call us the “Hopeful Generation” because few generations to ever walk the planet were more mission-minded and cause-oriented. I have friends who use vacation-time to serve in third-world countries, who won’t buy coffee from anywhere but direct-trade vendors, who run fundraiser 5Ks every weekend. I even have friends who’ve shaved their heads and cut their beautiful beards because they saw on Facebook a friend of a friend raising money for another friend with cancer (and that’s a big deal, because nothing gives you instant authority in life like a great beard or stache).

Some call us the “Relational Generation” because there’s never been one more connected. Sure, some people (including me) hate on the false-intimacy that social-media provides. Sure, some people need to be given read-only accounts to Twitter and Facebook based on the sheer number of selfies and “look-at-me” posts they publish hourly. But that doesn’t change the fact I communicate with loved ones across the country daily on my iPhone through e-mail, text, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Skype, and Facetime (sometimes I even use my phone to make calls too!).

Some call us the “Educated Generation,” as already our rate of receiving undergraduate degrees has surpassed all other generations. My generation thinks college degrees are sweet and a prerequisite to life-advancement. So even if we spend our college days doing everything but college work, we still think it’s important. That’s why we’re there on the 6-year plan.

Are you swooning yet? Because you had yearbooks. We have Facebook! You had K-Mart. We have Target (boom!). You had hula-hoops. We have X-Box. You had mass-media. We have personal media, a social platform where we can talk about how awesome we are (on our blog). And let’s not let the one word that shuts the whole “best generation” conversation down go unmentioned… Netflix. Need I say more? …Pandora! Oops, that slipped out.

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God Has Been Speaking to Me: Twitter, #Psalms, and the blog I almost didn’t write

psalms1 PHOTO CREDIT

I almost didn’t write this blog for one reason… It’s different.

It’s different than what I normally write. It’s different in style, different in content. And when I write different, I find that people tend to like it less, which means they share it less, which means the blog reaches less, and (honest moment of self-reflection and inevitable depravity) deep down inside I want people to read what I write.

Even though I shouldn’t desire it as much as I do, I subconsciously slip into the trap of measuring success the way the world does – Numbers! Hits! Clicks! Mentions! Likes! Followers! Viral!

In the past, I’ve actually trashed topics I’ve sensed God wanted me to write because I knew they were just different enough not to take off. And that’s wrong. So I just decided this time that can’t be the case. I decided to blog this anyways, despite how I predict people will respond (or how people won’t respond), because I believe God has really been speaking to me.

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The Pinterest Virus (and other related social media illnesses)

Pinterest

A couple weeks ago I fervently, comically, and quite sarcastically warned all the mothers with young kids at our church to “STAY OFF PINTEREST!!!” (Church attendance has since dropped 13%, but whatever!) And that’s because, on Pinterest, you will find these terrifying mothers who, I’m sure of it, manipulate some sort of evil dark magic to invent impossible creations for their children and families.

I mean just look at her! She has a full-time job with four kids and two on the way, yet she knitted her children new hats made out of unused coffee filters and paper clips. And then she pinned a recipe for the organic, calorie-free, tomato bisque she served last night for dinner. And then she even posted a sample page of her self-authored, hand-made, scratch-and-sniff, children’s novel she’s getting published. Her kids REALLY REALLY love her. And for that matter, so would your kids… way way more than they love you!

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