The Power In Rejoicing

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! … Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:4, 6).

Paul isn’t playing around here—when he says to rejoice, it’s not a suggestion or a good idea. He says REJOICE with the force of a commandment!

Even the Greek word for rejoice isn’t a mild “yea!” It carries with is the idea of big joy! It’s the kind of rejoicing that is…

  • exceedingly great!
  • overflowing!
  • bubbling up!
  • never ending!
  • continuously gushing!

Why would Paul make this kind of rejoicing a command? Because God is serious about pointing us to the only path that will guard our hearts and minds. When we are rejoicing, praying, and thanksgiving, then the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

Do you realize how much of our worrying is pointless? My friend Scott pointed out the following research:

  • 40% of the things we worry about will never even happen
  • 30% of the things we worry about happened in the past and cannot be changed
  • 12% of our worries are regarding health issues we don’t even have
  • 10% of our worries are about our friends and loved ones which are based on rumors

That means … only 8% of the things we worry about have any basis in reality!

Think about that—9 out of 10 things that consume our minds with worry aren’t even worth our time!

That’s why Paul commands rejoicing as a means to freedom and peace.

  • What should we worry about? Nothing! 
  • What should we pray about? Everything!
  • What should rejoice about? All things!  

This is the one and only path to transcendent peace! 

This is part two in our series The Antidote For Anxiety. Be sure to check out the video below, and also check out the first part of this series—Honk! Honk! Honk!

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Marching Off The Map (book review)

In my mind, Tim Elmore stands head-and-shoulders above the rest in giving the most meaningful insights into the minds of today’s youth. Parents, coaches, teachers, and youth pastors will do themselves and the students with whom they work a huge service by using Dr. Elmore’s newest book—Marching Off The Map—as their guiding light in working with this young generation.

Never before have so many youth been exposed to so much information at such young ages. As a result, today’s students are both more prepared and less prepared to take on the future than any generation before them. Does this sound contradictory to you?

Consider the case of Alexander the Great. He conquered territory so quickly that he literally marched off the map; that is to say, there were no known maps for the new territory in to which he took his armies. Alexander’s mapmakers were pressed into duty to draw the maps as they were discovering new lands. They were both more and less prepared to move forward, just like today’s generation of students.

Those who work with today’s students can probably relate! Parents and teachers are attempting to write new maps as they go. They are being called upon to be both timeless and timely; to bring timeless principles into a territory where they’ve never been before in a timely way.

“This book is about moving into unknown territory as caring adults, and leading the way for the younger generations behind us. It’s all about inspiring students to learn in this brand new world. Whether you are an educator, a parent, a coach, an employer, a youth worker or just someone who cares about kids, this book was created to help you chart the course into the future.” —Tim Elmore 

Along the way Dr. Elmore will introduce you to some of today’s youth, help you see the world through their eyes, and give you invaluable insight into how best to educate, train, and equip them to be the leaders of the next generations. All of Dr. Elmore’s books are well-documented with research, statistics, graphics, and suggestions which are guaranteed to open your eyes and your mind.

If you truly care about seeing the next generation of youth be as prepared to face the future as possible, Marching Off The Map has to be a must-read! 

I am a Poet Gardener Publishing book reviewer.

Links & Quotes

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FAM101-How-RFRA-Works-Infographic-R5“Based on the vitriol directed towards Indiana, one would never know that 19 states and the federal government already have a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) virtually identical to the one passed by the Hoosier state. One governor, Malloy of Connecticut, blasted Governor Pence even though Connecticut’s RFRA potentially goes further than Indiana’s in offering protections to people of faith. Companies such as Apple speak of boycotting Indiana while simultaneously opening stores in China and Saudi Arabia, places of real enslavement and discrimination. While most of the rhetoric is designed to intimidate other states from following Indiana’s lead, it is disturbing to see how many Americans places greater importance on sexual freedom and economic prosperity than they do on freedom of conscience.” ―Michigan Family Forum

Here’s a great infographic explaining how the RFRA really works.

The Barna Group has some research showing what Americans believe about Jesus.

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Here are 5 signs that someone may have been (or is being) abused.

Interesting: research is showing that you might be healthier not getting a blood transfusion.

Seth Godin says, “Being really good is merely the first step. In order to earn word of mouth, you need to make it safe, fun and worthwhile to overcome the social hurdles to spread the word.” Read more in his post The Selfish Truth About Word Of Mouth.

[VIDEO] J. Warner Wallace and Bobby Conway discuss when you should stop looking at other religions…

 

Links & Quotes

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“Long-term studies have measured the substantial impact of marriage on financial stability, as well as relationship longevity and health outcomes.” Read more in 5 Facts About Cohabitation You May Not Know.

“Since the beginning of the war on poverty, marriage has declined sharply. In 1964, 7 percent of U.S. children were born outside marriage. Today, the number is 41 percent. Society is dividing into two castes. In the top half, children are raised by married couples with college education; in the bottom half, children are raised by single mothers with a high-school degree or less. When compared to children in intact married homes, children raised by single parents are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems; be physically abused; smoke, drink, and use drugs; be aggressive; engage in violent, delinquent, and criminal behavior; have poor school performance; be expelled from school; and drop out of high school.” Read more in How The Welfare State Penalizes Parents Who Marry.

Parents, check this out: A Letter To My Children About Fifty Shades Of Grey.

“Do you desire God and His way and His promises more than anything, and do you believe that He can and will honor your faith and obedience by being unashamed to call Himself your God, and to use all His wisdom and power and love to turn the path of obedience into the path of life and joy? That is the crisis you face now: Do you desire Him? Will you trust Him? The Word of God to you is: God is worthy and God is able.” —John Piper

“But this is the badge of a true child of God: that a man endures to the end.” —Charles Spurgeon

Kids with Down Syndrome aren’t likely to be singers, as the strain on vocal chords and fine motor skills to move their mouth isn’t usually possible. But Madison defies the odds. And the song she picked to memorize and sing is perfect. Click this link to read more behind-the-scenes information, and then watch this―

Links & Quotes

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“Do not forget the close bond between the inner room and the outside world. The attitude of the inner prayer room must remain with us all day. The object of secret prayer is to unite us to God that we may know His abiding presence with us.” ―Andrew Murray

“There are two ways by which man might have been for ever blessed. The one was by works: ‘This do and thou shalt live; be obedient and receive the reward.’ The other plan was: ‘Receive grace and blessedness as the free gift of God; stand as a guilty sinner having no merit, and as a rebellious sinner deserving the very reverse of goodness, but stand there and receive all thy good things, simply, wholly, and alone of the free love and sovereign mercy of God.’ Now, the Lord has not chosen the system of works.” —Charles Spurgeon

It is appalling to me that people still try to defend abortion. This post talks about the pain that babies experience during the abortion procedure.

Interesting: 11 trends in American marriages and families.

[VIDEO] A very intriguing interview on Meet The Press with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1965―

Links & Quotes

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Some very good reading from today…

The Heritage Foundation has an amazing interactive site to guide you through the United States Constitution.

“No man is worthy to succeed until he is willing to fail. No man is morally worthy of success in religious activities until he is willing that the honor of succeeding should go to another if God so wills.” —A.W. Tozer

Prayer is not a privilege for the pious, nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and His child. When we invite God into our world, He brings a host of gifts: joy, patience, resilience.” —Max Lucado

An infographic and some really interesting (and funny) statistics on how and why Americans pray.

John Piper reminds us of 5 ways our joy in God depends on the Bible.

Tim Elmore shared a great photo for parents:

Parenting success

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & viewing from today…

As the fellowship I grew up in celebrates its 100th anniversary, I love reading quotes like this: “Worldwide, 95% of Assemblies of God adherents lived outside the United States in 2013. In the U.S., over 41% of Assemblies of God adherents were non-white. In the U.S., the white constituency has decreased by 34,922 over the past ten years, while the number of non-white constituency has increased by 433,217.

An excellent post for unmarried people, and the friends who care about them: 4 Lies Single People Need To Stop Believing.

[VIDEO] Millions of dollars in “humanitarian aid” for the Palestinian people has been hijacked by Hamas to build tunnels into Israel for their terrorist schemes.

“God’s sovereignty means that His design for us cannot be frustrated. Nothing, absolutely nothing, befalls those who love God and are called according to His purpose, except what is for our deepest and highest good (Romans 8:28; Psalm 84:11).” —John Piper

“Since God does in fact address man in His Word, He obviously regards him as addressable in spite of the fact that man as a sinner closes his ears and heart to Him.” —Karl Barth

Your gift makes you a servant, not a master.” Read more in: Use Your Knowledge To Serve Others.

“In a time when everything in the world seems to be vanity, God is depending on us to proclaim that He is the great Reality, and that only He can give meaning to all other realities.” —A.W. Tozer

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