Thalia Trinity Presbyterian Church 300 Remnant Worship Vol. 1

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Protecting Our Hearts in Relationships by Joseph Perry

We have all seen the movie. The "good" guys, let's say a man and a woman, working for two different government agencies, enter a room simultaneously. Their field training kicks in, and two guns are drawn, each person looking down the barrel of their "adversary." But they're not adversaries. In fact, they're on the same team, but badges have yet to be displayed, because both have been undercover. One finally confesses, "I'm C.I.A." The other, "F.B.I." The problem is that both are hesitant: "What if they are lying?" they think to themselves. "Lower your weapon." "No. You lower your weapon." How is trust going to be established when two people have their guns drawn on each other? "Trust no one", they were always taught. Each one is asking the same question in their mind: "Can I trust this person?" There's only one thing that can happen in a standoff like this: Somebody has to lower their weapon first. This requires an act of vulnerability, of defenselessness, that most people are not ready for. But somebody's got to go first, or we're going to have two dead people lying on the floor when Homicide shows up.

In every relationship there will at some point be pain. Sometimes it will be a little, and sometimes more than you think you can bear. We have our own set of standard responses to pain in general. Our chief goal is normally to not experience any kind of pain, but to feel safe without even the threat of it. But when we get wounded we try to protect our heart. Our heart is the thing that got hurt, so we want to make that pain stop, not let it get any worse, and try to never let anything like that ever happen again. There are several ways we try to shield ourselves from further pain, but those mentioned below are some of the most common.


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Living on Purpose by Karla Perry

People are not subject to the world around them. They are free to make choices that order the steps of their lives. In some nations, people believe that nature affords them no recourse, but to be at its mercy. The belief that nature is more powerful than human beings prevents people from devising creative ideas to curtail the forces of nature. In the West, we harness the power of nature for our use, but in many parts of the East the powers of nature harness the people.

How Genesis makes the difference

It is actually the biblical view that God placed man on the earth to have dominion over the earth that makes the difference between the East and the West. However, if the ramifications of this doctrine are not taught, the benefits to life become lost. Animals are at the mercy of their environment. They are subject to dominion. In contrast, people can change their environment by their choices. No permission is needed to think differently. There may be opposition to practicing a new way of thinking, but progress seldom occurs without opposition. Those willing to move forward despite opposition often become those who lead the way for the more timid.

Ordering our steps

This idea extends beyond man's dominion over nature, but man's ability to order his own steps. Instead of life happening to us, we happen to life. Sure some things come our way that we cannot foresee or control and land squarely on our lap. But such things are few and far between in the big picture. We cannot live in such a way that everything becomes our responsibility or our baggage to maintain. Many things will vie to be our problems, but only a handful ought to become our own. If a person is making a series of bad choices, the problems will pile up, and these problems will be that person's responsibility to clean up. But many of us have problems clinging to us that are not our own. Some other helpless soul dumped their load upon our shoulders, and we thought it loving to carry it for them. Many times we feel we had no choice but to receive the load. We need to evaluate our choices and see what truly belongs to us, what truly is an act of love, and what is not our burden to bear.


My Remnant