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Unit # 2 - Why This Course?

Thank you for your interest in learning more about Christ-Centered meditation and its many benefits. If you don’t know, I have been producing Christian Meditation and Affirmation CDs for almost 12 years now. I have received hundreds of testimonials from Christians who have benefited from the meditations I produced as well as many of the courses I offer.  My guided Christian meditations begin with a progressive relaxation followed by a biblical narrative and cover a variety of topics.

This course was developed with a different purpose in mind, to help believers renew their minds with the powerful practice of Christ-centered meditation. We’ve been hearing a lot about meditation in the past several years. You have probably heard the benefits touted on shows like Dr. Oz or even participated in the Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra meditation challenges. However, as a Christian, maybe you’ve been seeking  a similar  meditation course or program, but one created with you in mind, a born-again believer.

The lessons in the course will teach, as well as support you in creating a powerful meditation practice with the purpose of “bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”  You will learn a variety of meditation practices to help you discover which method works best for you. Once you find a method that you like, stick with it.  Let it become a ritual in your life. Find a time of day that you will devote to this important practice and it will literally change your life and relationship with God.

I call it a Christ-Centered meditation course because, unlike my guided Christian meditations, you will be engaging in meditation methods that require little or no materials and that focus mostly on techniques that will help you renew your mind, overcome negative thoughts, and rest in God’s presence.

As Christians in the twenty-first century, most of us don't prioritize spending time basking in the glory of God.

When we think of setting aside time to sit and focus all of our energy and our will on the Lord, we shake our heads and argue that no "normal" person has that kind of time or focus. Contemplation, we often think, is a privilege (and a talent) reserved for spiritual leaders who have been instilled solely with that purpose-- monks, pastors, or gurus. They have a God-given talent, and they don't have the same earthly obligations that we do.

In addition, so many of us neglect our personal relationship with God. We go to work and church, we pray over our evening meals with our families, and we try to exercise God's will in every decision we make as we walk the Christian path, but we never sit down and work on our personal, individual bond with Him. Instead of taking the time to drink in His Light and allow it to nourish our souls, we busy ourselves with our shallower, more tangible earthly pursuits, whether they be money, popularity or simply the love of our families.

All these things bring us joy. But though we mean well, these pursuits only continue to feed the chronic spiritual distraction which ails many Christians. And so, like flowers deprived of sunlight, our souls grow ill and wither in the absence of His Presence.

Many of us know that our souls are sick, but we don't know how to fix them. What are we supposed to do when we have to juggle our physical and spiritual lives? Why isn't church enough? We know that God wants an individual, personal relationship with each of His children, but what can we do to heal our own heart and soul? We may believe that we don't have the same training that spiritual leaders have been blessed with. We know that Christ's return draws near, and we feel the urgency of Our Savior's call to salvation, but we may not know how to answer it.

I believe the answer lies in contemplation,  meditation, and growing in greater intimacy with the Lord.

Joshua 1:8 tells us, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

You don't need to be a pastor to strengthen your own relationship with the Lord. Though many Christians believe meditation to be new-age, pagan or otherwise, or against Christ, this could not be further from the truth. In Christian meditation, believers devote their thoughts entirely to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is not witchcraft; it is not dangerous to your soul. It is the art of giving yourself completely to His Glory.

Even Jesus Christ himself was known to meditate. He made it a daily ritual to submerge himself in quiet solitude for hours so as to better drink in God’s presence. Setting aside time to spend sitting quietly alone, as you weave His Word into your heart, will heal you physically and emotionally, but more importantly, it will fortify your personal relationship with the Lord.

You don't need years of religious training to meditate. Like anything else, it's a skill that requires discipline and practice, but with a little effort, anyone can master the art of Christ-Centered meditation. If you're intimidated by the feat of clearing out all the clutter and focusing solely on the Love and Light of the Lord, pause and reflect on other skills you have mastered. Meditation is not like piano or mathematics. There is no “right way” to meditate, and as you practice, you will discover which methods bring you closer to Him and which fall flat.

Once you discover what works for you, it will become a routine ritual that will bring God's love and warmth into every aspect of your life.

Christ-Centered meditation is not an isolated cure-- it isn't just about spiritual purity or ingratiating yourself to God. Spiritual problems permeate every aspect of your life, from your relationship with your family to your ability to perform at work. As you learn how to meditate on God's Love, you will heal your heart, your soul, and even your physical body.

Though our body is primarily a vessel, it is still a piece of us. The body often reflects our spiritual health, and as the spirit grows ill, the physical form may become weak and experience pain. Stress of any kind is toxic to our bodies, and as we rush about in our hectic lifestyles, our body strains under the demand. Everything from headaches to frequent illness can be alleviated, if not eradicated, by setting time aside to meditate with God.

Meditation is, in the simplest terms, mindfulness. It is clearing away hurt, distraction, anger, envy and isolation to devote yourself wholly to something else—and in Christian meditation, that something else is the Glory of God. And when you remove yourself from all the negativity that runs rampant in our distracted society, a society which has become increasingly separate from Him, you give yourself permission to be truly, completely whole in the presence of God. As His Light mends your wounds and nourishes your soul, the aches and pains that plague your body may begin to ease.

Through meditating in His Presence, you will learn how to control your inner life. You will be able to identify the snakes lurking in the garden of your thoughts, so that you may cast them out. In casting out toxic thoughts from your mind, you create an environment that nurtures thoughts and feelings that better serve Him.

If you struggle with the mess of pain, stress and separation from God that plagues so many busy, distracted Christians, this Christian meditation course will be an answer to your prayers. By learning this simple skill, you will finally learn how to push away distractions so that you may heal your mind, body and soul as you bask in His presence. The Lord is asking for you to let Him back into your mind and your heart. Will you answer His call?

    Module # 1

    December 17, 2017

    Journaling Activity:

    Setting an Intention for this Course.

    Take a few moments to answer the following questions to get clear on why you are taking this course. You'll want to refer back to this entry at the end of the course to see if you met your objective.

    1. Why are you taking this course?
    2. What do you want to learn?
    3. How will your life be different once you are free from whatever may be ailing you?
    4. What is your personal intention for taking this course? This may be more specific that #1 and can be measured. State your intention in the positive. For example, "My intention is to reduce my anxiety by 50% so that I don't allow outside circumstances to steal my joy."

    Here is a template for your sentence: My intention is to ... state your intention (so that/because/in order to)...your specific outcome.