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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in trust (12)


Journey: Walking with the Lord in Song (Mixed Media)

This week we have a song by Nora about journeying through life with the Lord. She shares here about the inspiration for the song and some of the reasons that music is important in her life, and we have a link to her song. -Editor.

While working as a music therapist in a hospice setting, my patients would often ask me why I wanted them to sing with me. They would self-deprecate with a variety of judgments and perceptions about their singing abilities. In reply, I would tell them the truth; that I've tried singing alone and with others, and that nothing brings me more joy than to share music making. As I wrote the song “Journey,” (linked below) I explored the concept of walking through life with the Lord, not on my own, and not letting Him do all the singing.

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Good Relationships

Social anxiety can be a difficult barrier in knowing how to build good relationships. This was a problem for Helen for much of her life. But after much reflection and work to understand God's desire for people to live and interact with other people to eternity she has found peace and confidence. -Editor.

Then the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered its territory from the hands of the Philistines. Also there was peace between Israel and the Amorites. 1 Samuel 7:14

In my mind, the recovery by the Israelites of territory that the Philistines had taken represents the Lord restoring to the spiritual mind much of the natural mind that had turned away from it, all the way toward the outermost parts which have to do with our knowledge of how to live. The land the Israelites held was more interior, while the land of the Philistines was further west all the way to the ocean. The Writings say a sea represents knowledges (Secrets of Heaven 2761:2).

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The Vulnerability to be Strong

What role does vulnerability play in our relationship with God? Is it a weakness or a strength? This week Tania compares vulnerability and victimization, and writes about how they connect to our relationship with our Creator. -Editor.

It seems like life pretty consistently asks us to be strong. Stand on your own. Make a something of yourself. Follow your dreams. Do the right thing. Stick to your goals. Live your principles. A lot is expected. And while these more external expectations of strength can seem hard to meet, even more is asked of us. The Lord asks us to be strong: we have to take action in order to allow Him to work in our lives. So with all this strength required, what role does vulnerability play? Lately I have been thinking about vulnerability as both its own kind of strength, and a tool to find strength in a world that defines strength as something else.

Perhaps one of the reasons vulnerability is overlooked is because we sometimes confound being a victim and being vulnerable. Both involve an acknowledgement of weakness, even helplessness. But one says: the world is against me and I can’t do this, while the other says: this is hard for me and I’m going trust you enough to let you see that I’m hurting. I have written before about the incapacitating power of the victim mindset; it’s no good. But vulnerability is something else, something with a power of its own. What is this power, and what is its relationship to strength? How can it help in our relationship with the Lord and with others?

It is first necessary to clearly distinguish victimhood and vulnerability. Perhaps the crucial difference between them is in accepting responsibility for our part in the situation.

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The Power Of Positive Thinking

God has equipped us with many tools to give us a happy life. This week Mary describes the difference it makes in everyday life when we use our mental tools to choose trust, to work to understand, and to choose to see the peace and beauty in each moment. -Editor

Have you ever noticed that doing the same action can be changed drastically by your own attitude and expectations? For example, let’s say you have to drive 50 miles to get somewhere today. If you are on your way to a job interview, you probably left early, gave yourself lots of extra time, planned your route and spent the drive rehearsing what you will say. If you are on your way to see a loved one that you haven’t seen in a long time, you might be singing happily to yourself, noticing the sunshine or bluebirds and wishing you could just get there faster. But if you are running late to get to a meeting that you are dreading because you don’t feel prepared and you don’t like the people who will be there, you might be feeling very differently. It might seem like everyone is cutting you off in traffic, it is taking a very long time to get there, the sun is glaring in your eyes and you just spilled your coffee on your new outfit.

The Lord has been showing me that often the most important thing I have a part in is my reaction to what is happening. He might still ask me to do something for which I feel terribly unprepared. He might show me some frightening giants that I need to conquer in my spiritual life. I might feel like I’ve been captured and taken away into captivity at times. And I do still have to take responsibility to do the next right thing each day. But what if I had choices that could make all of it better? What if it could actually work out more smoothly and with less suffering because of something that I have been given the power to do?

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Meditate | In and Out of Control

Meditate is a monthly column in which insights gained from meditating on the Word are shared. We welcome your insights, too, in the form of comments or even your own article. Contact us if you'd like to write a submission for this column. -Editor

Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”

Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof.  Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick. (Luke 7:1-10)

I have been working on trusting the Lord in my life and contemplating the place of control. What strikes me in the story of the centurion’s servant is how the centurion trusts in the Lord’s power because he has experience being in power himself. And it is this faith that the Lord praises for its greatness.

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If a Tree Falls, Pray. 

When faced with events beyond her control, Jennica evokes prayer. She exchanges panic, protectionism and dread for an open ended conversation with God. That's not a bad trade. - Editor

It is cold—probably the coldest Bryn Athyn winter I can remember. Bryn Athyn winters usually hover around 35-45 degrees in the daytime so that whatever freeze happened overnight is a slushy, muddy mess by mid-morning. If it ever snows in Bryn Athyn we are lucky if it stays cold enough for us to play in it for one day. Once in a while we get a two or three day cold spell where it dips below freezing. This year (2010/11) December hit and we suddenly had below freezing temperatures round the clock with only a few short jumps above the freezing point. If we had a pond it would surely be ready for skating by now.

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