Monday, January 24, 2011

Challenges facing young Christians

Congratulations on your decision to adopt the Christian
lifestyle. You are blessed to have taken the step to follow
Christ early in your life.

As a young person in Christ you are likely to have many
questions for which you need answers. You have a vision of
a bright future but there are some dark clouds in the back
of your mind that keep coming into the picture.

Here are five questions that every young Christian must
think about and helpful advice about how to deal with them.

1. Will I remain faithful?

Making the decision to become a Christian is the single
most important decision that you will make in your life. A
feature of human behaviour is that immense doubt and
reflection tend to confront us when we make major
decisions. This is what marketers recognize as "buyer's
remorse" and is linked to dissonance theory.

The joy and the excitement of having taken the bold step to
become a Christian are accompanied by nagging thoughts
about whether you made the right decision. You may recall
your "For eternity" response to the question as to how long
you will remain faithful. Yet, the glee with which your
answer was received suggests that another response is
possible. Your faithfulness till death is not guaranteed.

I want to share with you some proven strategies for helping
you in living faithfully as a Christian:

Accept the fact that your doubts and fears are not
surprising and is a regular occurrence. You are not alone
in this and many have overcome those negative thoughts.

Your concerns are genuine and should be heeded. They are
there to protect you from overconfidence and complacency.

Win the battle against the negative forces by seeking
security in the constant contact with well grounded, mature

Knowledge drives out fear. Be a faithful student of the
Bible and watch your confidence grow.

2. What about my friends and colleagues?

One issue that is sure to bother you is how to deal with
your non-Christian friends and colleagues. The degree of
difficulty that friends and colleagues present to your
Christian walk is dependent on the relationships you had
before you became a Christian.

Be assured about one thing. No matter what reactions you
get on the surface, all right thinking individuals respect
your decision to accept Jesus as Lord of your life. They
may not have the courage to follow your example and peer
pressure might cause them to jeer and tease. However, deep
inside they appreciate your commitment and hold you in high

It is important to realize that you will be keenly observed
and that you should be careful to lead a Christian
lifestyle. Be a witness to them by living in keeping with
Christian principles.

3. Can I still have fun?

Don't be surprised if you feel that a decision to become a
Christian is a choice to give up fun. Many have the image
of a Christian as a very serious-minded individual who has
decided to give up happiness.

Be assured that one fruit of the Spirit is JOY. Happy
moments and the pleasures of the world are fleeting. Joy
is enduring.

Here is some further advice:

3.1 Reflect on your own interests and hobbies. Things that
you enjoy doing.

3.2 Seek out Christians that share those interests and work
out how you will enjoy wholesome fun together.

3.3 Share with your Christian brethren the fun that can be
had in pursuing your interests.

3.4 Open your mind to new opportunities for enjoyment and

4. What if I mess up?

As a Christian you are concerned about your salvation. You
are also fully conscious that you are not perfect and that
you are not free from sin.

Many Christians are scared that they might lose their
salvation: 6 "No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No
one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him."

God abhors sin and Christians are required to avoid wilful
sinning. With that at the forefront of your mind you can
take comfort in this quote from 1 John 1: sentence 5 9 "If
we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will
forgive us our sins and purify us from all

It is your attitude to sin that really matters in your
Christian journey. True repentance is the answer for those
times when you occasionally slip. If you genuinely regret
the trespass and commit to doing your best to avoid the
error in the future you will be on good grounds.

Study of God's word and fellowship with supportive
Christians are great strategies for remaining faithful in
your Christian walk and moving on to claiming Eternal Life.

5. How can I really know what God wants me to do?

Christians of all ages have to grapple with the question of
God's Will for their lives on an ongoing basis. You will
also be seeking clarity as what is your life's purpose and
what role you are expected to play in God's service.

Today, God speaks to us through His word - the Bible. The
surest way to feel comfortable about the choices you make
is by diligent study of the Scriptures.

You can also benefit from the advice of wise and
spiritually mature Christians.

Take comfort in the fact that God rewards those who
diligently seek Him.

Finally, accept the encouragement of Romans 12:12 "Be
joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

TrevorESSmith is an author (Success in Marriage - Amazon)
and people skills and performance enhancement specialist
with the Success with People Academy
( He is a hands-on practitioner
in the areas of Inter-personal relations, Marketing, Sales,
HR and Management processes.He presents unique perspectives
on inter-personal relationships, leadership, team building,
customer service, technology and time mastery.

EasyPublish this article:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Christian Meditation is Like a Shower of the Mind

Each morning, usually before day-break, I tread to my
meditation spot, an overstuffed comfy green chair in the
corner of my bedroom. Some mornings it's cold and I just
want to hide under my covers, but regardless of the
conditions, eventually I make my way to my chair, light a
candle, wrap myself in a blanket, set my timer, and close
my eyes. For the next 30 minutes I become completely
absorbed by God's word and his presence.

For me, Christian meditation is like a daily shower of my
mind. It's where I can dissolve any fears, worries,
stresses, or the onset of negative or toxic emotions
lingering near by. During meditation, I cast all of my
cares upon the Lord and allow them to diminish in his
light, Spirit, and love. To forfeit my meditation practice
any one day means that my flesh has gotten the victory over
my spirit and now sits on the throne. It is said that how
we begin our day is how we often finish our day.

My meditation practice consists of slowly meditating on
passages of scripture or inspirational texts. I call this
Scripture Meditation. I meditate on the 23rd Psalms, The
Lord's Prayer, The Love Chapter, The Beatitudes and other
verses that I have memorized and God puts on my heart. I
begin each meditation session with the following prayer
that I slightly modified from Psalm 19 of Praying the
Psalms by Nan Merrill. It read it as:

"But who can discern their own weakness? Cleanse me, O
Lord, from all my hidden faults? Keep me from boldly acting
in error; let my fears and illusions not have dominion
over me! Then shall I become a beneficial presence, Freely
and fully surrendered to your Love. Let the words of my
mouth and the meditations of my heart find favor in your
Heart. O my Beloved, my strength and my joy!"

During meditation, I slowly graze over the scriptures in my
mind, and as I do I sink deeper and deeper into the peace,
calm, and presence of God. Each time my mind wanders off in
thought, fear, or anxiety, I turn my attention back to my
scripture passage, keeping my mind on the Lord. The Bible
says that "you will keep in perfect peace whose mind is
stayed on thee."

Jesus tells us in the Bible that we become what we think
about or meditate on. Through meditation, we hide God's
word in our heart and that planted word begins to take root
and grow a harvest of godly fruit. Each time we return our
wandering mind back to the scripture passage, it's the same
as plucking up the weeds that want to invade out mental

The benefits of meditation aren't generally realized during
the actual practice, though dwelling in God's presence is
definitely as added reward. The real benefits of Christian
Meditation are realized throughout our day when we find
that we are more loving, kind, patient, and compassionate
or when we squash thoughts of fear or worry that come to
steal our peace and joy. Just like we divert our attention
from them in meditation, we do the same as we go about our
daily tasks. Through meditation, we learn that we can
choose what we allow in our minds. We can choose what we
allow to rule over us. Meditation empowers us to "cast down
every thought and imagination that exalts itself against
the knowledge of God and to bring into captivity every
thought to the obedience of Christ.

Paul said that we are a slave to whatever we allow to rule
over us. Too many Christians are ruled by the whims of
their thoughts. Just like watching a television commercial
that tells us we want a Mrs. Smith's Cherry Pie and we run
out and buy one, our unregenerated mind rules most us of.
It says stay in bed and stay in bed. It says you're
depressed and we become depressed. It says sin and we sin.
It says don't forgive and we hold grudges. Christian
meditation gives us the opportunity to become slaves of
righteousness as we continue to hide God's in our heart and
crowd out the voices of illusion and deception. Through
Christ-centered meditation, we also experience a deeper
connection with God. As our meditation practice deepens we
gain a greater capacity to know God, hear his voice, and
experience him in a new and real way.

James 4:8 declares, "Come near to God and he will come near
to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your
hearts, you double-minded." Christian meditation allows us
to wash away the mental dirt and debris that we pick up
each day. It helps us to break the conditioning, patterns,
and falsehoods of the world and start each day clean,
purified, and centered in Christ.

Some people would never think to miss their morning shower
or bath. I know people that spend at least 30 minutes in
the shower or until the water turns cold. Then they spend
another two hours doing their make up and hair. They
wouldn't dare leave the house until their outsides our
fully together. But how much more important is it that we
clean our insides from worldly contaminates. To miss this
time in silence reverence to God means carrying around
these mental and emotional weights for another 24 hours or
until I decide to meditate again. I'd much rather wash them
away, just like the water takes the dirt from my bodies and
carries it down the drain. Starting my morning in
meditation frees me from any encumbrances lingering in my
unconscious mind. Through Christian meditation, my mind is
swept clean and polished with the light of God's word.

2 Corinthians 7:1 says, "Let us cleanse ourselves from
every defilement that contaminates either flesh or spirit."
Through meditation, we become the observer of our thoughts
and which gives us the power to eliminate those ideas that
are contrary to our faith. Mastery of the mind is the only
road to true freedom, for it is in the mind and thoughts
that all things are created, "for as a man thinks in his
heart, so is he," and "a good man out of the good treasure
in his heart creates that which is good."

Jesus said, "Come to me all who are weary and of a heavy
heart and I will give you rest. Spending time with God in
meditation, whether scripture, guided, or mantra, is that
place of rest for me, for it is where I lay my burdens at
the cross and then cloth myself with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Each time I enter meditation I am covering myself in his
Word, Presence, and Love. I am dwelling under the shadow of
the Almighty. Each time I leave my green comfy chair, I
leave cleansed, renewed, and restored and prepared to begin
my day.

To learn more about Scripture Meditation, see Free
Scripture Meditation Online Course at
or get a copy of the Scripture Meditation
Tutorial CD that contains a 75-minutes of detailed
instructions and Scripture Meditation recording at

EasyPublish this article:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Let Go

Copyright (c) 2011 Scott F Paradis

Jesus implores, "Oh weak in faith, stop worrying. Your
heavenly Father knows what you need." God's plan works. How
has your plan been going so far?

Align yourself with God's plan. The challenge is to not
automatically fall victim to the wiles of this world and
the deceit of ego. Listen for the still small voice within.
By rejecting ego you open yourself to the Holy Spirit, to
the divine plan. Let go of the weights that hold you back
and journey once more, free.

Listen, plan, act, but do not attach yourself to outcomes.
Let go of the outcome. Detach yourself from the details.
Anxiety over outcomes is the realm of ego. Ego, always
seeking to control, shackles you to events past. If the
circumstances you encounter involve the acquisition of
power, beware the influence of ego. Ego's main tools are
arrogance and fear. Let go — don't intend to dominate
others nor succumb to fear.

On this spinning globe, inhabited by some six and a half
billion souls, realize in truth there is only you. The
masses are here to help you achieve your purpose, your
destiny. Everyone is here for you - not to make your
journey comfortable or easy or simple but to add dimension
to your quest. Your task is to discover your inner
strength, your true genius, your special character and
transcendent and enduring nature. You are spirit on an
earthly journey finding your way home.

While society could be running smoothly like water blending
together in a stream, often instead people act like rocks
banging and grinding and scraping along. When you encounter
friction realize your vision is not yet clear, your
thinking not yet pure. Friction is a measure of resistance
- don't be party to it. Learn to act like water, be the
fluid of life and accept that though you encounter rocks,
these are not obstacles to confront but rather rough edges
to polish.

Let go of any anchor. An anchor only draws you to new
depths. Let go of the illusion of fixing yourself in time
and space; this world is in constant motion; clinging leads
to regret. Like grasping an object in a jar, by your grip
you trap yourself. Only by releasing hold will you gain
freedom. Choose freedom over bondage, release your grip - a
new adventure will unfold.

Release blame, fear, and guilt - let go. What you cling to
holds you back. The truth surrounds you. You are immersed
in light - open your eyes. As if submerged in water; you
breathe God, feel God, experience God, yet still ego seeks
to convince you that God does not exist. Ego falsely
directs you to choose a lonely, pain-filled path.

Lift the veil of the illusion to reveal that you are home,
now, in the arms of God, enfolded in love. Accept this

Let go of fabricated faults, perceived injustices and
self-imposed obstacles. You are not meant to lay up an
earthly treasure, nor worry about the cares of this life.
Let go of ego. Rather seek first the way of truth, the path
of freedom, and all riches will be yours besides.

Scott F. Paradis, author of "Promise and Potential: A Life
of Wisdom, Courage, Strength and Will"

EasyPublish this article: