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News That Illustrates for Sunday, March 31st - April 7th

The Mentor of March Madness, the Best Movies Never Made, Obsessing about Flight 370

March Madness Coach Produces Another Protégé
Rick Pitino, the wildly successful basketball coach for Louisville, has a knack for mentoring new coach-leaders. According to The New York Times, "Ten of Pitino's former assistants are active Division I head coaches, and half of them have led their teams to this year's tournament … In all, more than 20 of Pitino's former assistants and players have gone on to run their own college or pro teams. It is an amazing achievement." But in an interesting twist, in the first round of March Madness, Pitino's team played a team coached by his former assistant coach, Steve Masiello, the head coach for Manhattan College. Masiello said, "[Coach Pitino] could pick pretty much anyone and make them successful, if they listen to him. He's that gifted." As a matter of fact, Pitino is so good at developing new leaders that he complained to the NCAA tournament committee for pitting his Louisville team against Masiello's Manhattan College team in the first round. Pitino was a little worried about an upset, but on Thursday, March 20th, the 4th seeded Louisville Cardinals barely squeaked by 13th seeded Manhattan by a score of 71-64.

PREACHING ANGLES: Coaching; Leaders; Leadership; Mentors; Mentoring; Parenting

The 10 Greatest Movies Never Made
There is something sad and powerful in the possibilities of a story that is never told. A recent article on the BBC highlighted the "10 Greatest Movies that Were Never Made." The list, filled with brilliant directors and powerful possible plotlines, include Napoleon by Stanley Kubrick, Kaleidoscope, a boundary-pushing Alfred Hitchcock shock film that only had an hour of test footage shot, and Heart of Darkness from Orson Welles. Powerful stories, that in capable hands would have likely become classics. Perhaps it makes you wonder—what is the unmade movie of your life? What is the untold story that you must live into being? What would it take to put it into production?

PREACHING ANGLES: Dreams; Goals; Plans; Potential; Vision

Obsessing about Malaysian Flight 370
An interesting article in The Week wonders why so many people around the globe have spent so much time and energy obsessing about the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370. The article reads: "Maybe the flight landed on a remote air strip. Perhaps it evaded detection by 'shadowing' another plane. Maybe aliens were involved? Don't rule out terrorism. Maybe the pilots committed suicide? Or maybe the passengers and crew were just the tragic victims of a fire." Maybe this story taps into our primal fears that we really aren't in control of our world. Matt K. Lewis writes, "It's hard to believe that in 2014 we cannot find a missing airplane. This goes against everything we've been led to believe about our shrinking world, about Big Brother's ability to track us every second of the day (they may invade our privacy, but at least they keep us safe!), and about a culture that believes we are all, to some degree or another, protected. 'We almost sort of have this idea that every square foot of the planet is under some level of observation,' observed Chuck Klosterman … before noting that something like a measly 6 percent of the ocean floor has been explored. Despite all of our technological advances … The light of modernity shines only so far. The rest is a dark unknown." It's a wild, wild world and we aren't in control.

PREACHING ANGLES: Control; God, sovereignty of; Sovereignty

Teen Sneaks Past Security at World Trade Center
The Port Authority has spent millions of dollars on security measures to keep people off the skyscraper that has replaced the Twin Towers that were destroyed on 9-11. Joseph Dunn, the Port Authority's chief security officer, said in a statement that the agency takes security breaches "extremely seriously." But that didn't stop a teenage boy from sneaking into One World Trade Center, which is still under construction in New York City and is the nation's tallest building. Sixteen-year-old Justin Casquejo was carrying his camera when he crawled through a small hole in the construction fence encircling the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan shortly after 4 a.m. on Sunday morning. He then clambered up scaffolding to enter the building, took an elevator to the 88th floor and climbed stairs to the tower's antenna, which rises 1,776 feet above the ground. A spokesman for the Port Authority, the public agency that owns the building, declined to directly address reports that the guard assigned to protect the skyscraper's upper floors was asleep at the time. "I'm going to characterize it as 'inattentive,'" he said, adding that the guard had since been fired.

PREACHING ANGLES: Apathy; Attention; Distractions;

In the Beginning Something Really Amazing Happened
In what's being hailed as a stunning scientific discovery, researchers say they've found solid evidence for the Big Bang. The research shows that the universe grew so quickly, it left ripples in patterns of light, visible in the very far reaches of the universe. Here's how The Washington Post described the discovery: "In the beginning, the universe got very big very fast, transforming itself in a fraction of an instant from something almost infinitesimally small to something imponderably vast, a cosmos so huge that no one will ever be able to see it all. This is the premise of an idea called cosmic inflation—a powerful twist on the big-bang theory—and Monday it received a major boost from an experiment at the South Pole called BICEP2. A team of astronomers … announced that it had detected ripples from gravitational waves created in a violent inflationary event at the dawn of time." USA Today's coverage reported, "[The universe] underwent a fast and incomprehensibly massive growth spurt in its earliest infancy." Rod Dreher writes, "There was nothing, and then, in an instant, there was something. It's almost like somebody created the cosmos out of nothing." And James Emery White adds, "In other words, as we might say, it was a start of biblical proportions. Miraculous, even. I mean, who or what can go beyond the speed of light and spread out the entire universe instantly from a single explosion? Sounds kind of like an 'in the beginning, God created' thing to me."

PREACHING ANGLES: Creation; Faith; God, creator; God, power of

Comic on Internet Medical Searches Shows Importance of Good Diagnosis
In the age of the internet, most of us diagnose our minor illnesses and injuries with a trip to Google rather than a trip to the doctor. But as this hilarious comic from "The Joy of Tech" observes, a quick web search can make even the healthiest person a hypochondriac. A skinned knee turns to "gangrene, complicated by necrophagous bacteria." That pimple becomes "cornu cutaneum horn growing on keratin mound," and before long, you're convinced that you're dying. It's funny, but it also points to the power of good diagnosis—not understanding the cause of what you're suffering from is really a problem. For many of us, what's needed is clarity not just on what we're experiencing in our lives, but why. And if you want to know that, don't go to Google. Go to the great Physician, the cure of souls.

PREACHING ANGLES: Christ, great physician; Spiritual Formation; Spiritual Health

Danger Isn't Always Labeled: Potentially Lethal "E-Cigarettes"
In a world where safety signs and "poison" labels seem to be everywhere, every so often we need a reminder that something doesn't need to be labeled lethal to be lethal. One case in point is the liquid nicotine behind the booming e-cigarette trend. The chemical compositions come in a rainbow of flavors—from chocolate espresso to bubble gum—and though rumored to be "safer" than smoking tobacco, they are far from safe. They are as yet unregulated, even though the flavored liquid nicotine is capable of critically sickening or even killing people if taken in too large a dose. While FDA regulation (and those little warning labels) will surely come at some point, the little colored bottles are a reminder that many things in the world—physical and spiritual—are deadly even though many are unaware of it.

PREACHING ANGLES: Danger; Spiritual Compromise; Sin

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