#TrendingTuesday | #MarchMadness

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march madness

March is no longer mad.

But the second place team’s fans may still be.

But where did the term March Madness come from?

Would you believe it came from a poem and an essay?

No matter how you filled out your bracket this year, get filled in on how it all began.

You never know what you’re starting…This author sure didn’t:

http://www.basketball.org/march-madness-history/

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#TrendingTuesday | #AprilFools

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Happy April Fools Eve!

I remember one April Fool’s a friend came to me crying and told me her and her boyfriend broke up.

“Haha, April Fools, real funny,” my response.

“No, I’m serious.”

*Silence.*

Ever since then, April Fool’s Day has kind of made me a tad nervous.

I know you are all having a massive brainstorm today trying to come up with the best April Fool’s Day prank to pull tomorrow.

But do you even know why you’re pranking?

Why don’t you take a little break? Maybe the history of April Fools will inspire you a little…

And to all you pranksters out there, you better be ready to not only dish it out but receive it tomorrow.

And please, if you want to break up with your significant other, pick a different day.

#TrendingTuesday | St. Patrick’s Day

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Top O’ The Mornin’ To Ya!

And happy St. Patrick’s Day from this Irish Lassie! (Even though us Americans celebrate today more than the Irish).

My dad was born and raised in Ireland, and his family still lives there today. My family lived there for a season when I was a little lassie and we’ve been back to visit many times since. And my brother recently proposed there!

dad's home town

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(Views from my Dad’s home town).

I’ve seen every single shade of green there is, I’ve tasted the best fish and chips, I’ve smelt the fresh air and lots of sheep poop, I’ve felt the winding roads, I’ve heard the most beautiful accents, and part of my heart will always be in Ireland.

castle

(Yep, that’s me in front of the castle in my dad’s home town! #royalty)

So as I sit with scone bread in hand, a green shirt on (because ain’t nobody want to be pinched!), and Celtic music in my ear, here are some facts about this lovely day!

Thank you St. Patrick, for bringing Christianity to Ireland, to my dad, and to me!

I am off to make these:

rice crispies

While listening to my favorite Irish folk song:

But, I leave you with this Irish blessing …

#TrendingTuesday | #DaylightSavingsTime

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Did you remember to set your clock forward a few days ago?

I’m still trying to figure out how to change my watch. It’s always a struggle.

But with all the hype about Daylight Savings Time, I’ve never really understood why we do it. It’s one of those things I’ve just done because that’s the way it’s always been.

So today I decided to find out why we do it.

Here’s the best video I could find. And sorry, it wouldn’t let me embed it here, so click here to have TIME explain Daylight Savings Time. Then come on back!

I found it crazy that DST is a cause of higher numbers of heart attacks! Other videos I viewed reported that DTS also messes up sleeping cycles and accounts for more car accidents the Monday after. Crazy what one hour (or lack there of) can do!

As mentioned in the video, states are allowed to opt out. I discovered a Texas law maker is starting a petition to end Daylight Savings Time in Texas.

Personally, although DST can be kind of confusing, that would make me sad. Summer nights just wouldn’t be the same. I enjoy being able to snag a little more daylight for recreational activities and to linger a little longer outside.

What about you?

(photo cred)

#TrendingTuesday|#EncourageEveryoneIn4Words

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Our world spins on changing trends.

A trend: a general tendency or course of events, current style, the general direction of something. A season: a time characterized by a particular circumstance or feature. Trends and seasons sound synonymous to some extent, mirroring each others characteristics.

So as we go through the changing trends and seasons of life here on the blog, Tuesdays have been dubbed #TrendingTuesday, focusing on trends in society.

The internet and its byproducts, especially social media, have exploded the spread and effect of trends in our world. My mom tells me I should watch the news so I know what is going on in the world (because I’ll admit, I don’t have a wide knowledge of world news and as a Christian I do believe it is important to be relevant in our world. If we don’t know the issues, how can we take a stand on them?). But most of the time I follow Facebook, Google, and Twitter for news coverage.

So join me today, and for Tuesdays to come, as some of the trending hashtags take center stage.

76630-Encourage-One-Anither

(Photo cred: thebarnabascenter.org)

#EncourageEveryoneIn4Words

This hash tag has its roots on Twitter, a campaign which took off recently with the purpose of blowing up the Twitter world with encouragement. The internet (namely social media) constantly gets a bad rap for being a place of bullying, malice, competition, complaining, and negativity. And studies have shown that the façade social media puts on has caused deeper depression in our world. But, this hash tag gave the world a glimpse of the positive ways social media can be used.

Of course, the encouragement given by varying users was as different as snowflakes. The spectrum ranged from inspirational to simply for laughs.

“Help each other heal.”

“Never fear starting over.”

“This too shall pass.”

“It will be okay.”

“God’s love never fails.”

“Jesus died for you.”

“Be weird; be awesome.”

“Today is the day.”

“You’re not dead yet.”

“You’re not Justin Bieber.”

“Do it for pizza.”

“No more dress tweets.”

As I read through multiple tweets, I was overjoyed with all the encouragement! But at the same time, I realized there is a danger in encouragement.A lot of times we encourage each other with nice sayings that are not always true.

“Happiness is the key.” “You deserve something great.” “Listen to your heart.” These are a few examples of encouragement gone wrong. Happiness is not key, because happiness is based on our circumstances. We don’t deserve anything, we are blessed by grace to have anything. And our hearts are sinful and can lead us astray.

So as much as I am an advocate for encouragement, we must proceed with caution when we encourage others. We must make sure we are not just rattling off fluffy sayings, but that our tongues are seasoned with truth filled exhortation.

False encouragement is dangerous, even more destructive than no encouragement. Words intended for encouragement can be twisted, a masked lie. When the “encouragement” is taken to heart, when the lie is believed, it results in the building of a false mindset, hard to break. The false mindset becomes the functional reality, the thing walked in and lived out, no longer walking in truth but dangerous deception.

We become false prophets.

The most encouraging words are truthful, even when the truth is a hard truth that hurts, but in the end will heal. Encouragement can come in the form of Godly discouragement, seeing our need for and leading us to Jesus.

And where can we find the most encouraging words? In God’s Word, the Bible.

So world, I applaud you for encouraging one another! And I pray you continue to do so. Yet even more, I pray that as we seek to encourage others, we will lean on God’s help to discern how to do so truthfully. Lord, sift us, until only truth remains. Father, if  any of my words written here today do not line up with Your truth, please shield them from sinking into any hearts.

If I still tweeted, today my tweet would read:

Keep encouraging with truth. #EncourageEveryoneIn4Words

What about yours?