Things about Being in your 30s

* Nieces and nephews are a thing. Even if you don’t have kids and don’t study Piaget, you learn about child development and age-appropriate gifts.

* owning a house or a condo is a thing… and your friends exchange tips about how to fix a toilet.

* Your parents retire and get old and talk about dying and you have to come to grips with what that means for you.

* more and more people in your friend group are divorced and you have to deal with what you think about divorce.

* your metabolism slows down and you have to figure out how to eat less and exercise more just to maintain your figure. Your friends start running half marathons and triathlons

* you start to realize that 24 year olds are different from you in a lot of ways

* you go to bed earlier and you don’t mind

* you are more comfortable in your own skin and do more of what you want to do versus what “people are doing”

* you start to realize you have a lot of experience that other people don’t necessarily have, and this leads to you talk like a grandpa and give people advice starting sentences with, “when I WAS YOUR AGE….”



UPDATE March 2016


It has been two years since I stopped leading young adult ministries. Several people I know from church approached me for advice on starting a “Single Widowed or Divorced” (SWORD) ministry … and so I created the following discussion guide:

2016 0328 Thought Lives of 20 and 30 somethings

The “Thought Lives” matrix is intended to provoke discussion about the differences between 20-somethings and 30-somethings in the church. It is based on my 15 or so years doing ministry at WEAG young adults. It is also based on watching my own life situation change (as well as the life situation of my friends) as I progressed through my 30s (For a longer treatment of “my story” go to this link à


The central idea of this handout is that “30-somethings have different needs than 20-somethings, and that designing a ministry for single people in the 35 to 50 age range MUST BE DIFFERENT than your average college career ministry.”  


How to read the matrix:

The first column has various categories (Social and Free Time, Marriage and Dating, Health, Church, Parents, Home, Jobs and Money) that I think are good ways to understand some of the main concerns of young adults in their 30s and 40s.

The next two columns (20s, 30s) describe how I believe people in two different age decades approach each category in different ways.  I purposely did not add a 40s column because I do not have experience in this age range.

Example: So for Social and free time category, I claim that while 20-somethings are generally very hungry for social time with others and making new friends, 30-somethings have less free time and more stable friend groups, and so they are more likely to cultivate existing relationships.


The discussion questions would be: (1) do you agree that 20-something singles are different from 30-something singles? (2) what do you think are the main differences between 20-somethings and 30 somethings (3) How would a ministry for people aged 35+ be different than your average college-career (age 20-35) ministry?




Bible stuff

The whole NIV –>


Revised Common Lectionary –>


textweek –>


Duke University chapel  (RCL-based weekly worship with complete youtube video of service and downloadable bulletin) –>



WEPC Sermons


WEAG Sermons

Other GWTW links and fax


* Chapter 1 – page 25 -Scarlett hangs w/ Tarleton twins and learns of Ashley’s engagement. RUMORS OF WAR!

* Chapter 2 – p42 – Gerald buys Dilcey (Pork’s wife) and Prissy. Ashley is weird. Ashley loves Scarlett. Character introductions incl: Mammy and Slatterys

* Chapter 3 – p58 – bios od Ellen (Holy) and Gerald (Irish)… family origins. Scarlett vs. Southern Women.

* Chapter 4 – p78 – News about Fort Sumter?! Jonas Wilkerson (fired!) + Emmie Slattery. Dinner Prayer. Scarlett and religion (She loves Ellen and Ashley more than God?)

* Chapter 5 – p90 – warm April. pregaming food before BBQ (lady like). Carriage banter with Tarleton Women and Gerald.

* Chapter 6 – 107 – BBQ smells. Meet all the neighbor families. RHETT (bio). Meditations on men and women. Ashley and other men talk war and Northerners. Ashley and Scarlett talk. Rhett and Scarlett talk. Lincoln and WAR! Charles hits on scarlett.

* Chapter 7 – 139 to 146 – Scarlett, wife and widow in 2 weeks. preggers with Wade Hampton. Widow rules.


* Chapter 8 (page 149) — May 1862. ATL history! Ms. Pittypat + Peter … Other characters 156-157 + Industrialization of the South + Blockade … Charles and Melanie Wilkes … nursing the sick in the south

* Chapter 9 (page 167) — prepping for bazaar… other sacrifices for The Cause = sacred .. Rhett p184 = blockade runner + dances with Scarlett

* Chapter 10 (page 199) — ppl mad at Rhett. Tarletons et al back on from leave from war at 12 Oaks / Tara . Gerald comes and Rhett drinks him under the table.

* Chapter 11 (page 210) — Asheley’s letters. esp doubts about the Cause.

* Chapter 12 (page 217) — Autumn 1862. War drags on… culture changes (informality) … more visits by Rhett

* Chapter 13 (page 234) — Dr. Meade writes about Rhett in letter to the editor (war speculators). Scarlett + Rhett flirt and exchange and gifts and kisses.

* Chapter 14 (page 248) — Christmas 1862. Spring 1863. Then LOSSES (dead)

* Chapter 15 (page 259) — Army driven back to VA (winter 1963 – 1864)…. Ashley comes home for a visit + Scarlett gets a kiss.

* Chapter 16 (page 271-279) — Tennessee held by Union … Chickamauga + Longstreet … Grant + Sheridan + Sherman … + Scarlett considers divorce…. Ashley is POW at Rock Long Island.


* Chapter 17 (page 283) – MAY 1864. Sherman advances Dalton to Kennesaw… People freak out May to Mid-June. Rhett asks for a kiss. (Go to Halifax!)

* Chapter 18 (page 303) – Sent ATL men to kennesaw… they come back injured as Decateur is taken… but they were changes… as veterans… then evac of ATL

* Chapter 19 (page 317) Siege of ATL … Scarlett and Melanie stay back… July 1864 ATL surrounded … then the yanks swing to Jonesboro (p303) … Fear of Yankee rape. Rhett reads her mind and then proposes she become his *mistress*

* Chapter 20 (page 331) – Aug 31, 1864 … troops relocate to Jonesboro.. fear and ruminations as Ellen & sisters at Tara have typhoid… Melly starts having labor pains.

* Chapter 21 (page 339) – sending for Dr. Meade / send Prissy –> Meade is at the Atlanta train station dealing with mass of casualties.

* Chapter 22 (page 353) – Scarlett and Prissy deliver Melly’s baby (badly) … Prissy is sent to have Rhett get them an escape from ATL.

* Chapter 23 (page 359) – ATL burns and Rhett saves Mellie / Scarlett / Prissy and Rhett = Satan by romancing Scarlett and loving her.

* Chapter 24 (page 376) – They wake up in a random field and find a cow and wonder about Tara. Old Man Gerald greets them and says 12 Oaks burned and Mother dead… Toting the weary load… Scarlett’s end of youth.

* Chapter 25 (page 402) – Hangover… Scarlett is now a hardcore mean person … the fall of manners… Ellen = Old South

* Chapter 26 (page 415) – Gerald = Useless … Scarlett murders invader – Scarlett heals and talks to neighbors to learn about current events and discusses with Grandma Fontain and talks about next spring.

* Chapter 27 (page 435) — mid-November 1864… Hiding livestock from Yankee pillagers (p440)… pillagers burn the cotton AGAIN (kitchen fire)

* Chapter 28 (page 446) – Pork steals food for the OHara family. Scarlett has The Dream. Frank Kennedy brings news and help. (ATL *burned*) … Frank proposes to Suellen.

* Chapter 29 (page 460) – April 1865. the Waw is over. Local boys return. Everyone is poor. No men, No babies, and no slaves.

* Chapter 30 (page 472-486) – Johnny comes marching home… including Ashley + Will Benteen (Crackers)

Other Historical Context from Part 2. 




Chapter 8 (Page 149)
Chapter 12 (Page 217)
Chapter 14 (Page 248)

– Stonewall Jackson in the valley.
– 7 Days battle RVA.
– Semmes + Confederate Navy
– Lee + Jackson

– Victories in TN (Shiloh April 1862 Chickamauga + Vicksburg)(Gen Morgan & Gen Hood)
– 2nd Battle of Bull Run – Aug 1862
– death toll + blockade (homespun)

– Battle of F-burd = victory!
– Chancellorsburg Spring 1863 (Jackson Dead // Grant at Vicksburg)
– Vicksburg July 4, 1863
– Lee taking it to PA (Gettysburg)

Other Historical Context from Part 3. 

p 283 =
* May 1864 — Sherman in Mountains above Dalton, GA
* Western and Atlantic Railroad
* Gen Joe Johnston (old Joe)
* canons from Rome
* iron from Etowah and Alatoona
* TN fighting for 3 years
* Resaca … Calhoun, Adairsville, Casswell, Cartersville, New Hope Church, Big Shanty
* Kennesaw Mtn (near MArietta) + Pine Mountain + Lost Mountain = 22 miles from ATL
* Home Guard / Joe Brown’s Pets
* John Bell Hood (Sherman cuts Decateur)
* Peachtree creek / Decateur
* Ezra Church / Utoy Creek

p336 =
* Rough n Ready
* Wilson’s raiders
* Hood went north after ATL fell.

Being That Guy

Sometimes I *am* that guy on facebook

Take the excruciaiting social event known as #MikeBrown / #Ferguson

Everyone has an opinion, but most people don’t have time to read all the facts….,_Missouri_(2014)

So they say things incendiary things on facebook and then I become “that guy” who tries to correct them without coming off like a total a-hole.


My friend writes (on facebook):  “Support. Children should not have to miss school so a just and fair investigation into a killing can take place. A killing that if due process was being followed would not have occurred. Due process should just happen. Period. No more excuses. We need to work harder to protect all community members’ basic rights, their lives. If peaceful people are protesting in the street despite the threat of physical harm, it is because those basic rights have been violated repeatedly and the camel’s back has been broken. It’s not one incident, it’s a broken system that does not represent the community it serves in their neighborhood and in our country. Yes, unfair and unjust things happen to white people too, but they happen more often to people of color and they get justice less often. So, to be clear, I stand for mothers who want the best for their children and who’s children deserve it. 6 bullets. And those are just the ones that connected. I’m outraged. I can not tell you what I would do if someone put 6 bullets in my baby, especially someone who is supposed to protect her. It’s shameful and hateful. LINK TO “Here’s How You Can Help Kids In Ferguson Who Don’t Have Food Now That School’s Closed
I reply: people shouldn’t loot their own neighborhood.

Someone else says: In regards to the looting comment, manifesting the outrage these individuals feel, is inevitable. There is no pardon for looting of course, however letting out anger on materialistic things rather that human lives, as the cops are doing, seems much more condemnable. Needless to say, mentioning looting to take away attention to the matter at hand, is dissapointing.
Here is a link to what the media is not covering in terms of the situation of looters. 

I reply:  In addition to burning down a QuikTrip gas station, the most militant protesters have thrown rocks, glass, and Molotov cocktails at police. In the name of “justice” the mob defies the legal processes and takes the law into their own hands… where have you heard THAT before? Several police (aka human lives) were injured in the line of duty. no wonder the police are wearing riot gear They clear the streets at night to protect the peaceful citizens (and peaceful protesters) of Ferguson. Not trying to be “that guy” on facebook, but I bristle a little when people imply that it is police officers’ fault that little susie can’t go to school tomorrow. If there hadn’t been looting and burning of 16 stores on Sunday Aug 10, and if the violent protestors (most of them are not violent, but I am saying, if the VIOLENT ONES) hadn’t terrorized their neighborhood and the law enforcement, then school wouldn’t be cancelled. It takes two to create a war zone in the middle of Ferguson. I do hope for justice in Mike Brown’s case, but I don’t blame the entire police department for the melee in the streets. Peace.

Gone With The Wind (Vocab)

a passel of fools

vinaigrette (for smelling salts)

didoes (words?)




tobacco quids

weare cre^pe

smilax  (plant)

bower (architecture)

a festoon


bazaar (etymology)

lace flounces

chignons (wardrobe)

louisiana zoave

acme of ______ (i.e., the best)

lese majesty


twaddle twiddle

tableaux vivants

escutcheon (family legend?)

chunk the fowls

hassock (chair)

a spiller (candle?)


flowery sprangles

ecru lace


black bombazine



a hoyden (not above a few kisses)

spavins and heaves

old plugs (horses)

clod hoppers




shimmy (clothing)

flounces (clothing)

organdie dress





to skylark (verb)

pommel (horse?)



basque (clothing)



whist! (card game)


diastole and systole (blood pressure?)

Gerald O’Hara is short and Irish

brogans = shoes?

divan = furniture


a Lucullan banquet


shinplasters ($$$)

viands (food)



insouciance (attitude)




a shambling trot

fence pale

pennows and battle flags


hants = ghosts (haunts?)

tip-tilted eyes

scuppernorg (arbor)

bung hole


eiderdown quilt*


the pommel (saddle)*

a footlog bridge

vermifuge (for worms)

termagant (wench?)

shoats (piglets?)

fuss budget

on tenterhooks

ramrod rolls

bridle paths

paddock (horse fence?)


rich as Croesus

warp and woof

scrub (= crappy horse) [no I don’t want no scrubs]

gadding (gadfly?)

histed (the taxes)

gewgaws = thingamajigs

greenbacks (etymology vs US dollars)

Go:tterda:mmerung – dusk of the Gods (classical reference)


one or tuther (one or another)

scudding (clouds)

hods (of bricks)

la grippe (disease euphemism)

hist (up your skirt)

dishabille (messiness)


women “squired” by men

pellegra (disease)




old saw (proverb)


dido / didoes *

tootle! (toodle-loo?)

a ‘dandy’

privot hedge




distrait (distraught?)

cellaret (mini-cellar?)

blanc mange

slop jar

a crying jag

minie balls (ammo)

penury = poverty

gamboling (fun-loving?)

sotto voce


excrable (= bad) taste

ingrates! (ungrateful? ill bred?)

cocklebur (= burr)

mastiff (= horse)


to cuquete (coquettery/?)

portieres (in the hallway)

runagate ( a gang of people who run at gates?)




piddling (little)


chemise (clothing?)

me’ssaliance* (a bad alliance?)

scruff / scruffy (neck hair?)

toilet (as a place to fix your makeup)

broomsedge (plant)



a crop (to make a horse go faster)


reticule (baggage?)

bypath (byway?)

brocade draperies