“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4–7
There are some days when I hear this Scripture passage and I’m ready to jump right in with the classic Sunday School children’s song: “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!” (Clap! Clap!)
Maybe you’ve seen some version of this saying: Courage is not the absence of fear, but being afraid and doing it anyway. My quick internet search shows that Google doesn’t quite know who to attribute the quote to. As of this writing, top contenders are Nelson Mandela, Mark Twain, FDR, or John Wayne. It’s a great little nugget of wisdom nevertheless, and I’m sure there are plenty of accompanying inspirational images suitable for posting on the social network of your choice.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).
Maybe you hear this as a new Law at first, these words that Jesus speaks to His disciples about not being anxious. I do, sometimes. Because my first inclination is to say, “But, Jesus … ” and to start listing all the things I have to be worried about, to try and justify my anxious thoughts, and to show off just how much trouble today has already been. How can He possibly doubt that I need to get a jump-start on dealing with tomorrow?
The internet has always had its dark side: email money transfer and gift card scams, identity theft, catfishing, fake job offers, stalkers, social media bullying, and more. During this time of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, when people are out of work, bored, and increasingly desperate for human connection, those abuses seem to increase.
Search “social media vitriol” and Google gives a return of about 2,240,000 results. You’ve probably muted at least one person or conversation on Facebook or Twitter, maybe even going so far as to “unfriend” someone if the content of their posts was just too much to handle in a given season of life—too much politics, too much Pinterest, too much profanity, too many false prophets. The anger and instant backlash that social media seems to create and thrive off of can be exhausting and soul crushing. And it’s a valid reason why many people simply choose to avoid social media altogether, or at least severely limit the amount of time they spend on social networks.
It’s a common question among the wives of pastors: Should you be Facebook friends with congregation members? How much of your social media presence should you share with them, if any? Is it safe to include them in your social networks, or will those connections harm your in-person relationships—or worse, the relationship between congregation members and their pastor or even the church?
Maybe you’ve asked this question, too, whether you’re a pastor’s wife, a professional church worker, or a faithful layperson desiring to offer all you have to the glory of God.
It’s back-to-school season! Along with buying new school clothes and restocking crayons, glue sticks, and pencil boxes, many families are learning new school routines. Others are diving right back into a hectic weekday schedule, after a brief summer respite.
My son brought home a craft project from his kindergarten class the other day—the outline of a heart filled in with torn scraps of construction paper, titled, “I love you to pieces.” It is an adorable piece of art, and it is in serious contention for inclusion in The File I’m compiling with specially chosen items saved from his early schooling, home crafts, Sunday School memories, and the like.