Facebook Trending Is Ridiculous — Seriously

So, here is the Facebook Trending list on my News Feed as I hopped on the interwebs this morning:

Facebook Trending

 

Is it just me or is the Facebook Trending list merely yet another noisy and vapid assault on our senses in a crazy busy culture:

  • video gaming enablement,
  • Instagram’s newest celebrity,
  • a fast food social media survey,
  • an amalgam of bands on a late-night variety show,
  • a cable network announcement,
  • a 20-year-old TV show is to be re-distributed,
  • and a date on an actor’s schedule 4 months from now.

I searched in Desktop Help to see how Facebook Trending works:

Trending shows you a list of topics and hashtags that have recently spiked in popularity on Facebook. This list is personalized based on a number of factors, including Pages you’ve liked, your location and what’s trending across Facebook.

Apparently the only factor being used in the algorithm at the time of my screenshot above was the “recently spiked in popularity on Facebook” because the other factors quite simply don’t apply.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the idea of quietness, contemplation, and stillness in one’s life. My faith roots take me back to a lesson I learned in childhood, from the book of Isaiah in the Bible, found in chapter 30, verse 15:

For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

I want less of Instagram, cable network announcements, social media surveys, and caring about where Neil Patrick Harris will be in the Winter of 2015 (not that I’ve ever cared about his location, TBH).

I want more of this “quietness and confidence”… don’t you?

Another quotation I’ve held onto (at times, dearly) in my life is found in Psalm 23, often quoted at funerals and hospital bedsides (is there a message there):

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.

I want restoration in my soul… don’t you?

Slow down.

Rest.

Be quiet.

As I said, I’ve done more of this lately. It has hinged on knowing that “the Lord is my shepherd,” and because of this, indeed, I do not want.

I’ve been beside those still waters, and it is a daily endeavour to get back there.

I’ve had my soul restored again and again.

The latest stage of this finally not letting my Facebook Trending list bother me so much anymore.

[END RANT.]

The will of God isn’t a special direction here or a bit of secret knowledge there. God doesn’t put us in a maze, turn out the lights, and tell us, “Get out and good luck.” In one sense, we trust in the will of God as His sovereign plan for our future. In another sense, we obey the will of God as His good word for our lives. In no sense should we be scrambling around trying to turn to the right page in our personal choose-your-own-adventure novel.

Kevin DeYoung
Just Do Something (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014)

Working Toward Effective Time Management

A recent post by Eric Geiger directed attention to a video by Jim Baker, former Executive Pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church just outside of Nashville. In this video he shares some helpful thoughts on how pastors, or really any leaders, can manage their time well and be effective organizational leaders. Lack of effective time management is a chronic problem for pastors and parishioners alike.

The questions is: what are you going to do about it?

Crazy Busy book

Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013)

Recently I’ve come to this realization:

To disable us the Enemy doesn’t need to all-out destroy us, he just needs to distract us.”

We are living in an entirely distracted, disjointed, and attention-deficient society. One of the key resources that has helped me in this area personally and ministerially is this short (128 pages) book by Pastor Kevin DeYoung called Crazy Busy.

It doesn’t delve deeply into mechanics and methodologies.