James Meehan - The Grammy Awards, March Madness, and Answering Your Questions
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Vince Parker: Today, we are talking Grammys, Falcon and Winter Soldier, March Madness, and all the questions you guys have been asking. So let's go ahead and dive right in to the Culture Makers. I'm your host, Vince Parker, and with me, I have...
James Meehan: Wow.
Vince Parker: The most amazing...
James Meehan: Oh!
Vince Parker: Legendary, extraordinary, next level, top of the top, biblical scholar, worldly genius, super intelligent, and all things good lookin', Mr. James Meehan. How you doin' James?
James Meehan: Really good I don't know how to respond to that.
Vince Parker: Was that not good enough for you?
James Meehan: No, no. It was way too much!
Vince Parker: Too much? Aight, redo. Hey guys, I want to welcome to the show co-host, James Meehan. How was your weekend?
James Meehan: Oh, it was great.
Vince Parker: What'd you do? Was it fun? Was it exciting?
James Meehan: Yeah, I'm trying to think. We mostly just hung out with the little baby. My mom came in town and she picked us up dinner, which is...
Vince Parker: Was it good?
James Meehan: Oh, it was fantastic.
Vince Parker: Very nice, very nice. Well, so this weekend, here's the question. I told the people we're talking the Grammys, did you watch the Grammys?
— Nope. Didn't even know it happened...
— Wow. So I spent three hours and 42 minutes, from beginning to end...
— About all things music.
— Yes, come on!
— Music's biggest stage, biggest night. You didn't see any of it?
— Well, no, 'cause...
— You're like the Weeknd who boycotted the Grammys.
— Wait, the Weeknd did?
— The Weeknd boycotted the Grammys.
— Wait, why did he do that?
— Some people said he did 'cause he felt snubbed because his album that did amazing, everyone loved, got no nominations.
— No nominations?
— No nominations.
— And some people were saying that the way the Grammys award people, or even get nominated, needs to be completely redone. So the Grammys and that non-profit organization's actually working on making that happen.
— Well, that's actually kind of a cool. That's awesome.
— The thing I do want to say though, is that I appreciate you being willing to watch that for three hours and 42 minutes. That's what I love about you. You always take one for the team. You listen to all the inappropriate songs that I can't. You watch the really long shows that I won't.
— I like how you said I won't. That's good. Listen, overall, I enjoyed it. I don't know if I could recommend you out and watch it, it's already aired.
— Yeah, definitely not worth it now.
— There was some parts that I was watching like this.
— Oh? You talking about the performances throughout the night?
— Yeah, so the performances, they were good. But there was one, I will not mention the name of the song. I will not mention the artist. I do not want anybody to go look it up. I don't want anybody to talk about it. But I literally was watching like this. Right hand, fingers in ears, and you're probably saying, why didn't you turn it?
— Yeah, that's what I was about to ask...
— And I was like, at this point I felt pot committed. I got to just stay in this to the end. But sometimes as Christians we do stuff like that. Have you ever been in a movie and you're watching it and you're like, I'm halfway through, I should probably leave? Have you ever walked out of a movie because you were like this is inappropriate?
— So I don't think I've ever walked out of a movie that was inappropriate. What's funny is when you started asking the question, you paused right after have you ever been in a movie.
— And so I almost jumped in to say well, yes, I've been in a movie before... Or I've watched it. But no, I feel like my wife is really good at looking up on IMDB the different rating stuff for movies and so if it's got nudity, I won't go see it. I'll wait until it comes out so I can watch it on VidAngel, 'cause VidAngel lets you cut out the nudity. Come on somebody, that's how I'll watch it.
— Oh, I've heard that. But again, James, music, I know you love it. You didn't watch it, you got a newborn, spending time with your mom but overall, it was enjoyful. I watched it. Lots of great performances, lots of top artists, but next year, you're coming to my house. We're sitting side by side...
— Come on, Grammys watch party?
— Have some popcorn, eat some chicken, I don't know, and watch the Grammys.
— I'm here for it!
— That sound good
— Okay. Next up, March Madness. Are you excited?
— Do you do one of those brackets?
— You don't do a bracket?
— So here's the thing, I do jujitsu. So mixed martial arts, I trained in high school, wrestled for a little bit. So as a person who is a fan of combat sports, we would always consider the real March Madness being the NCAA National Tournament when it comes to wrestling. So there was always this little bit of a chip on our shoulder because basketball got all the attention and all these sweaty dudes are wrestling each other in singlets, people for some reason, don't like to watch that as much.
— Okay. Well, I'm going to fill out a bracket and just move on. Next up, James.
— Falcon and Winter Soldier.
— Now we're talking about something that I'm excited about.
— Yes, let's spend some time here because ...
— What do we want to talk about though? It's not even out yet.
— I think it's up to us to let people know it's coming out.
— Yeah, yeah, that's important. You need to know. Falcon and Winter Soldier this Friday.
— And that we will be talking about it the next episode. But no spoilers.
— Right, of course no spoilers. This is actually perfect timing 'cause after my wife and I were watching through Wandavision, we decided to go back and watch through some of the old Marvel movies. And at this point, we've gotten to the point where our next movie in the list is actually Captain America Winter Soldier and so we're probably going to watch that before Friday.
— That's good. Any other TV shows out there that you've been watching that you recommend?
— I don't think so.
— Been doing a lot of reading lately?
— I actually have. So literally this week, I deleted Instagram and blocked YouTube on my phone so that I would stop scrolling and watching YouTube videos and read more books. And...
— Did you delete the YouTube app? Is that how you blocked it?
— No, I deleted the YouTube app a long time ago. I just went in and blocked the actual website so I can't get to it in Safari.
— So you can't scroll, okay.
— My problem was like with Instagram, nobody wants to go on instagram.com and view Instagram, it's terrible.
— No, no, no, no, no, no.
— But YouTube.com is almost just as good as the app. Not quite as good, but almost just as good. So I went ahead and blocked that so I could read more books because...
— Has that been productive and would you recommend that to people?
— Yeah, it's been super productive for me. My thing, when it comes to YouTube videos, is I will get lost just watching one video after another. And the only videos I like to watch are either video game videos or dudes workin' out. That's what I watch...
— Okay, okay, got you. We're tracking so far. So here's the thing, let me ask you this. Blocking the YouTube, deleting the app, that's about you creating great habits, right?
— Yeah, absolutely.
— So walk us through how someone can create a great habit, even though necessarily the thing they're consuming may not be bad. 'Cause watching video game videos doesn't sound bad to me.
— Yeah. I mean for me, it comes back to the idea of asking the question what is most important?
— And oftentimes, what I find myself doing is if I'm just sitting around and I feel bored for even an instant, that's when I'll immediately go to social media, YouTube, Instagram, whatever. And for me, if I find myself in that place, I would rather do something that's not just going to be entertaining in the moment but actually going to help me be a better person in the long run. And so for that I would just ask the question, what do you want most? Like what do you want most?
— That's good.
— We just went through this series on the weekend at our church called the Greater Reward, where our senior pastor Craig Rochelle walked through this idea that discipline is choosing what you want most over what you want now. Like I said, a lot of times in the moment the thing that I want is to watch that YouTube video about the top 10 hardest bosses in video games in the last five years, right?
— Okay, all right.
— I just watched that this last week.
— Top 10.
— It was fantastic but the thing is, at the end of that video I was like man, that was entertaining in the moment, but if I would have taken that same 15 minutes and put it towards learning more about who Jesus is and what he accomplished through his death on the cross, then I have a better understanding of the God that I serve and how I can share that with others.
— I like that. I can appreciate that.
— Yeah, I would just start super simple. Ask the question, what do you want most? And then what would it look like if you actually take steps to take what you want most and make it a priority today. And for more information, man, go check out the Greater Reward, life.church. You can find it on their YouTube channel, incredible content.
— Super awesome. Quick question. If your garbage disposal breaks and you need to fix it, do you unblock YouTube to go watch a video about it?
— Yeah, I definitely would because what's funny is my toilet got clogged this past week.
— Oh, okay.
— How'd that go?
— Well, terrible because apparently, there's a difference between a toilet plunger and a sink plunger.
— Yeah, two different things.
— Yeah, didn't know that... So I'm sittin' there for an hour trying to plunge this stupid toilet. And the thing is, I didn't clog it. It wasn't me! Wasn't even my wife. So it's like 10:30 at night, I'm trying to unclog this toilet...
— Someone clogged your toilet at 10:30 at night?
— No, they clogged it earlier in the day but my wife didn't tell me until right before we went to bed...
— Oh, okay. I was like you should have a rule, you can't come use my toilet after 10:30 at night.
— No, that wasn't the case. But I'm sitting here trying to unclog this toilet with my sink plunger and all I'm doing is splashing poop water all over the place. It was so frustrating.
— Poop water?
— So I finally, yeah.
— Poop water.
— Do you want me to define poop water?
— No, no! We're good! Keep goin'!
— I'm sorry...
— Keep going, dog!
— And so I finally look up a video, and now at this point it's like 11:30, and this dude's like hey man, number one rule, you gotta have the right plunger... So the next day, I went and bought a real plunger, that is used for toilets, and literally took me two plunges. Two plunges with a real plunger.
— Good job. All right, next up we have some questions from our viewers.
— Why did we even talk about that?
— Question one from Delise, I believe I said that correct, Delise.
— I don't know.
— Is it okay to listen to Justin Bieber now? He says we guys, seem to be us, seem to be motivating Christians to go check out Justin Bieber's new song. He says he can't believe this. James, you want to elaborate on that?
— Yeah. So last week's episode of Culture Makers, we were pretty hype about Bieber's new song Hold On.
— Because that music video, if you haven't seen it yet, is incredible. It's not inappropriate, no bad words, no nudity, none of those things that we tend to avoid. Just a super powerful, motivating message. And I think the question that he's asking probably comes from when you think about a guy like Justin Bieber, he's somebody who is a Christian, but there's some times where he might say or do some things that might seem questionable. And the thing that we try to do here on Culture Makers and here in our own relationship with Jesus is ask the question what can be celebrated? What's good? What's true? What's life giving? What's God honoring? And how can we celebrate those things? And the thing that I love about a guy like Justin Bieber is he's in the music industry, he's grown up in the spotlight, as a celebrity. And the reality is, the amount of temptations he faces are probably so much more than many of us could ever recognize or realize. The pressure that he's under to be the right person, to be who he says he is, is probably really hard for us to imagine and he is still choosing to do his best to follow Jesus and represent God to others. Now, does he get it right all the time? Absolutely not. None of us do. But I'm thankful that in his process of following Jesus and figuring out what it looks like to live out the Jesus way here in our day, I think he does give us a cool example of somebody who's doing the best they can, doesn't get it right every time, but is constantly moving forward and taking steps. And I think that can be celebrated and he also just has really great music.
— So at times you're saying there're going to be great songs of his that you can listen to and enjoy and we'll talk about that.
— And at times there will be songs that we may not necessarily say recommend but hey, people make mistakes and things that are inappropriate, just like you choose not to watch YouTube. That's okay, that's a great decision off of you, we'll talk about that.
— Yeah, I will watch it, I just try not to watch it on my phone 'cause that's when I'll just scroll for hours...
— Oh, okay, okay.
— Those of us who consider ourselves Christians, followers of Jesus, none of us get everything right.
— Right, correct.
— All of us mess up occasionally and oftentimes frequently. But the beautiful thing is that God's grace is so much bigger than the mistakes that we make and His grace is always available for us. And so the biggest question is not is that person a perfect example of a Christian? Because the answer is always going to be no. The more, I think, helpful question is is that person making progress in moving towards who God has called them to be? And if they are, let's celebrate that all day long.
— All day long. All right. Next question up, James, are you ready sir?
— This one is from blue butterfly.
— Come on, blue butterfly.
— Blue butterfly was wondering about how to not let people walk all over you or manipulate you, but to still love and serve others like Jesus?
— There's a lot there to unpack and unwrap.
— That's a good question.
— Blue butterfly brought it.
— Yeah. I think this goes back to the idea that for those of us who are followers of Jesus, Jesus talks about this idea of you should love the people who hurt you. You should pray for the people who persecute you. You should literally turn the other cheek. You should give them your cloak. You should take what they're asking you to carry but not just carry it one mile, but carry it two miles. Go above and beyond for the people who disrespect you. Now, here's what that does not mean. That does not mean that you just stand around and let people beat the snot out of you. Right?
— So if you were to punch my face right now, I can be like oh James, that was a mistake and you'd be like yeah, my bad and you punch my face again, I'm like hey, James, you're getting out of hand.
— And then I'll punch you again.
— I should probably either leave, right?
— I should probably not just keep sitting here letting you keep punching me in the face.
— And I think that's the thing, throughout Jesus' teachings, what he's challenging us to do is to not respond to violence with more violence. Not to respond to hate with more hate. Not to respond to disrespect with more disrespect. What he's asking us to do is to, instead, choose the better way. To choose to respond with love when people are being hateful towards us. Now, I think that what that can look like for us, that are followers of Christ, is being wise enough to know when to walk away. To create space and set boundaries. Like this beautiful illustration that Vince came up with. If I'm just repeatedly punching Vince in the face, the smartest thing he could do is sit at least far enough away that I can't reach his face. Right? That doesn't mean that you have to keep putting yourself in situations where you're going to be hurt by other people. One of the ways that I like to think about it, is the idea that when I'm around people who might not be the best influences on me, I want to make sure that there's enough space between us that they can't drag me down, but we're close enough that I can still be a positive influence on them. And to figure out what that distance looks like is a little bit difficult. It takes wisdom, it takes discernment. I think that's the beauty of doing life in a community with other people, is that there are times when I might not have all the answers on my own, but I can go to a person like Vince and say hey, here's the situation I'm dealing with, what advice do you have? And Vince is gonna be able to see it from a different perspective, that's going to hopefully, point me to a better solution that's more true, more good and more helpful for everybody involved. Because again, when Jesus said to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, to turn the other cheek, he wasn't saying just let people beat the snot out of you. What he was saying is hey, instead of responding to violence and disrespect with more violence and disrespect, instead choose to respond with love, grace, and forgiveness. Now, there are times where the best way that we can show love, grace and forgiveness is actually from a distance so that we're safe, and we're not putting that other person in a situation where they're more likely to keep hurting us because that's not good for us and it's also not good for them. And for some of you that are watching this video, maybe you're saying like man, I need some community like that. I need some good friends, I need some people that'll be there for me. The best thing that you can do is head over to Switch Online. We've got services that happen throughout the week and it's a great way for you to get connected with other teenagers from around the world, just like you, who are just doing the best you can to follow Jesus and live life well.
— That's awesome, James. Thank you so much. I've had fun today, I don't know about you.
— I had fun too...
— It's been a good time. Y'all know what to do. Like, subscribe, do all the YouTube things. Help out with the algorithms and we'll catch you next week.