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Faithlife

Peace Beyond Understanding

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Regardless of circumstances, God's peace is available and present for us

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we live in a crazy world: death, floods, politics, tweets, walls,
Teens Cling to Destructive Social Media
In her book American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, researcher Mary Jo Sales reports a conversation with a teenage girl at a mall in LA who told her, "Social media is destroying our lives." Sales told her, "So why don't you go off it?" Nancy replied. "Seems reasonable, doesn't it? If something is destroying you, let it go. Smash it. Get rid of it." The girl's response was instant: "Because then we would have no life."
In her book American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, researcher Mary Jo Sales reports a conversation with a teenage girl at a mall in LA who told her, "Social media is destroying our lives." Sales told her, "So why don't you go off it?" Nancy replied. "Seems reasonable, doesn't it? If something is destroying you, let it go. Smash it. Get rid of it." The girl's response was instant: "Because then we would have no life."
Trevin Wax comments: "If I were to cast that conversation in spiritual terms, I'd put it this way: My idol is destroying me, but if I smash my idol, then I disappear."
Internet Trains Us toward Superficial Thinking
Nicholas Carr, an expert on how technology is shaping our minds and lives, lamented how the Internet is, in his words, "chipping away at [his] capacity and contemplation." "My mind expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles." Then in an arresting image Carr writes, "Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski."
Nicholas Carr, an expert on how technology is shaping our minds and lives, lamented how the Internet is, in his words, "chipping away at [his] capacity and contemplation." "My mind expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles." Then in an arresting image Carr writes, "Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski."
This is what I’m NOT saying: technology is evil and we need to get rid of all of it. That’s not the point.
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Study Shows Cell Phone Separation Anxiety
Erin Blakemore, "Separate people from their phones and they perform less well," Smithsonian.com (1-12-15)
Researchers from the University of Missouri wanted to know how subjects behaved when parted from their iPhones, so they recruited 208 students for a survey on "media usage." The researchers used the survey to screen for iPhone users and eventually recruited a group of 41 respondents for an experiment in cell phone separation anxiety. During the study, participants were placed in a cubicle and asked to perform word search puzzles. Researchers monitored their anxiety levels, heart rate, and blood pressure while the subjects had their iPhones with them.
Then, the real experiment began. Researchers told participants that their iPhones were causing interference with the blood pressure cuff and asked them to move their phones. The phones were placed in a nearby cubicle close by. Next, the researchers called the subjects' phones while they were working on the puzzle. Immediately afterwards, they collected the same data.
The results changed dramatically. Not only did the participants' puzzle performance decline significantly while the phones were off-limits, but their anxiety levels, blood pressure and heart rates skyrocketed. One of the researchers concluded, "iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of selves such as that when separated, we experience a lessing of 'self' and a negative physiological state."
It’s not about the evils of tech: it’s about the human heart. The heart that says, “I got this. I should be able to understand this, all arguments, complexities. I understand.”
Is New Tech Making Us Antisocial? No, Just Revealing Our Hearts. It's a commonly quoted sentiment that the day of the smartphone has destroyed human interaction. Similar critiques were levied against the newspaper in its day. At the popular PARSE site, blogger and minister Chris Ridgeway reminds us that the true alienating feature that we encounter in using technologies is internal (the heart), not simply external (the device). Ridgeway says, "Socrates recounts Egyptian mythology saying that the new technology of "external marks" (writing!) will "create forgetfulness in the learner's souls" (Phaedrus), and ever since it's been natural for us to levy some strong charges against the new-fangled invention of the day. But technology is not operating rogue. Screens are not stealing us, our phones are not making it impossible to have a conversation, and e-mail is not taking us away from people. These are not statements that deny the effects of technology in human lives (there are effects, and larger than we think), but phones aren't the cause, and putting down phones won't erase the effects. Humans are the cause of technology." If we're feeling adverse effects from Facebook or Twitter, we may well need to evaluate our habits. But we also need to remember that the real problems won't just go away with the flip of a switch. We're wired that way, not our phones.
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Isaiah 26:1–5 NASB95
1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security. 2 “Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, The one that remains faithful. 3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. 4 “Trust in the Lord forever, For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. 5 “For He has brought low those who dwell on high, the unassailable city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He casts it to the dust.
: 1-5
Isreal is a divided kingdom: the 10 tribes in the north, and the 2 tribes in the south: Judah. Isaiah is ministering, prophesying after his meeting the LORD in the temple, and Judah is this tiny, tiny power in the world.
A ruler, full of himself
A nation divided
The Day of The Lord
The point… Justice will come… until then, keep your mind on the LORD, our deliverer
The Office
we have borrowed our culture’s anxiety
Actress Jennifer Lawrence on Her Anxiety
People, The Week (5-23-14); original source: Aaron Gell, "Jennifer Lawrence Just Can't Help It," Marie Claire
The actress Jennifer Lawrence, famous for her role in The Hunger Games films, has had a long battle with anxiety and insecurity. In a 2014 interview, she said:
[In middle school] there are all these peers judging you, and you're never good enough, never wearing the right outfit, saying the right thing. I want everyone to like me. Who doesn't? Then you grow up and become famous, and it's the same thing multiplied by a billion.
When she saw herself on a recent TV program being interviewed, she had a full-fledged panic attack. Ms. Lawrence said, "All of a sudden it was like being hit by a train—this realization of how many people are looking at me, how many opinions there are."
In her worst moments, she's certain her career will come crashing down. "People are going to get sick of me," she said. "I'm way too annoying. But if people want to start a backlash [against me], I'm the captain of the team. As much as you hate me, I'm ten steps ahead of you."
Philippians 4:2–7 NET
2 I appeal to Euodia and to Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I say also to you, true companion, help them. They have struggled together in the gospel ministry along with me and Clement and my other coworkers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! 5 Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! 6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
philippians 4:2
Contrast this with Flee, Be Silent, Pray: what were the words God spoke so His Son could hear?
about justice? about peace? what are you entitled to?
Romans 12:16–18 NET
16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Do not be conceited.17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people.18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people.
romans 12: 16
are you making every effort?
Philippians 4:1–4 NET
1 So then, my brothers and sisters, dear friends whom I long to see, my joy and crown, stand in the Lord in this way, my dear friends! 2 I appeal to Euodia and to Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I say also to you, true companion, help them. They have struggled together in the gospel ministry along with me and Clement and my other coworkers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!
Philippians 4:5–7 NET
5 Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! 6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:1–9 NET
1 So then, my brothers and sisters, dear friends whom I long to see, my joy and crown, stand in the Lord in this way, my dear friends! 2 I appeal to Euodia and to Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I say also to you, true companion, help them. They have struggled together in the gospel ministry along with me and Clement and my other coworkers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! 5 Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! 6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:5–9 NET
5 Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! 6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8–9 NET
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.
Who are you imitating?
For what are you thankful?
If you could do anything, minister to anyone, with no thought of time/money, who/what would it be?
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