Finding the Best Christian Education in the Modern Age

A Christian education that builds off the fundamentals of Christ's teachings, but also provides a firm grasp on a diversity of subjects, can be difficult to find. Some schools have excellent letters, arts, and humanities programs, but due to lack of funding might suffer in other ways. We all want our kids to get a very well-rounded education, but finding a private school that can keep up with demands can be tough. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when searching for the best school for your children.

Curriculum and Course Selection

One of the most important aspects of a good Christian Education is the ability to interweave theological teachings with art, history, mathematics, and science. It's important to review the kinds of courses being offered at the school and even visit the school to see how these are taught. Some schools separate the religious aspect of teaching completely from the subject matter itself.

For example, some schools lead classes by opening with a prayer, then teaching the content with little to reference to Christ's teachings. Some interconnect the two in surprising and interesting ways, encouraging kids to critically think for themselves. Others still go as far as to change content to fit a religious context more appropriately. Depending on the worldview and beliefs of your family, you'll want to examine these teaching methods in-person and evaluate their efficacy for your goals. Some courses, like sex education, biology, and certain historical subjects might need special consideration according to your particular denomination and beliefs.

Intramural or Extra-Curricular Activities

A good sign that a school is offering your child a multifaceted Christian education is their involvement and inclusion of activities like sports, specialty classes, and field trips. You'll want to evaluate whether they offer the kinds of opportunities that you want your children to have. Some smaller schools have a limited budget to work with, so they cannot afford entering leagues for sports like basketball and football. For the same financial concerns, some schools might not even offer classes like art and drawing, or have a computer lab that is equipped with modern machines.

On this same note, you'll be able to gauge a school's progress and development by their ability to create laboratories for science classes or go on field trips. These kinds of hands-on, real-world examples are essential to building the synaptic connections that children make at an early age. They also offer a range of potential for kids to explore their interests and passions.

The Importance of Accreditation

A final note of importance when finding the right kind of Christian education is whether the school is accredited with the American Association of Christian Schools. This certification ensures they have made the effort to maximize the quality of their curriculum and facilities. Moreover, it ensures that their philosophy is on-par with the AACS's worldview, which can be explored in detail on their website.

This kind of accreditation ensures that college credits for AP classes are properly accepted and any public or private university will accept your children's diploma. Conversely, if you'd rather go with a school that chooses a different accreditation process, it's important to discuss with the faculty why they made that decision, and whether it is in accordance with your beliefs.

When considering christian education, New Jersey residents visit The Wilberforce School. Learn more at

Four Reasons Why Christian Schools Are The Good Option For Education

Deciding the type of education your child receives is a very important, and very stressful decision for many parents. The number of options can be overwhelming. Public, charter, private, and boarding are some of the most well known. Christian schools offer a number of advantages over those in the public sector, and even other private institutions. Here are four of the reasons they are a solid choice compared to their competitors.

Smaller Classes

Every parent who sends their child to be educated wants them to reach their highest potential. Sometimes this requires extra attention from teachers. It follows then that the smaller the number of pupils per class, the greater the opportunity for students to obtain help, and succeed. Christian schools, along with other private institutions, almost always have smaller classroom sizes, generally by about 30%.

College Attendance

Graduating college is one of the clearest pathways to success in our society, and a solid education is essential to obtaining a degree. On average, those who are educated in the public system gain a bachelor's degree just over 31% of the time. Independent private institute attendees graduate from a four-year university about 57% of the time. Those who attend Christian schools obtain their college diploma at a whopping rate of 62%. So not only do these religious institutes trump the public system, but they also best the independent sector as well.

Cost of Attendance

While many people understand that private institutions can offer more than their public counterparts, the cost of tuition is prohibitive. However, religious institutions are actually about 60% cheaper than non-religious programs. On average, these educational systems cost roughly $9,100 per year, compared to $22,400 for their non-religious counterparts. While this is by no means a negligible amount when weighed against the benefits the education can provide, it is a much easier amount to accept and to pay.

Moral and Religious Instruction

We have discussed the monetary, educational, and career benefits that Christian schools can provide their attendees. However, the most important strength they offer is the religious instruction and subsequent morals that they impart to their students. They do not just teach their pupils geometry, history, and chemistry. They teach them the difference between right and wrong, how to care for others, and how to leave a good, moral life. As a result, these programs do not just create good students, but good human beings as well.

In conclusion, the choice of how to educate a child is a hard one. There are many options available to parents. Studies show that independent institutions offer better instruction compared to public ones. Among all of these programs, Christian schools offer the greatest benefits. They are cheaper than their non-sectarian counterparts, by a factor of more than half. They offer smaller class sizes than the public programs. Their students are the most likely to graduate from college. Finally, they offer students an education beyond academics, which creates well-rounded people with strong moral and spiritual convictions.

When looking for Christian schools in NJ, residents consider The Wilberforce School. To learn more, visit

Reliable And Valid Christian Living

Reliability is the extent to which an experiment, test, or any measuring procedure yields the same result on repeated trials.

Validity refers to the degree to which a study accurately reflects or assesses the specific concept that the researcher is attempting to measure. While reliability is concerned with the accuracy of the actual measuring instrument or procedure, validity is concerned with the study's success at measuring what the researchers set out to measure.

Using a scientific approach, can we say that the Bible is true via reliability and validity? The world of secular research and science usually holds to this regimen. They MUST demonstrate reliability and validity of results in order to confirm its reported results.

Let's begin with Reliability? Question: Is the Bible reliable to the extent that it produces the same results regardless of the text used to support or make a point? Let me explain this as the world would use and accept the results per this part of the measure.

I recently went in for a hearing test. I do have severe hearing issues, deaf in my left ear and limited hearing in my right ear. The test results from this test were the same minus a few exceptions with a test I had two years earlier by another audiologist. This would suggest that the testing method is reliable; it yields the same results on repeated trials. But this is also contingent upon all other variables being constant in that means the testing circumstances are controlled in similar manners. But it also means that the client (me in this scenario) is also unchanged.

The Bible has similar conditions and pre-conditions. Can over time the scriptures be reliable? Let's consider the simplest yet most important verses in Scripture, that which concerns salvation. This is also where the word faith comes into the equation. As early in the New Testament as one can go (The Book of Mark) salvation comes only through faith, belief in Jesus, and a committed heart. Belief is not simply accepting the facts as presented, but acting upon them. Faith that a well-tuned piano can produce some of the most beautiful music is more than looking at a piano and making such a statement. It requires the good works of application by a true pianist. If my brother who was a concert pianist played the keyboard and another applied pianist did the same thing, we would prove two things; the piano was reliable and a true pianist was valid. For me to sit at the ivory keys, we would still have reliability per the piano, but no longer valid beauty in the sound results.

This is true of the Christian faith. True believers demonstrate time after time that Christ makes a difference in his or her life. This is reliability. We get similar changes in lives. To prove the validity of this measure, one would need to see if this same "improvement" occurred in all measured subjects. These measures would be Galatians 5:22 " the fruit (evidence) of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, fruitfulness, gentleness, self-control i.e. indwelling of the Holy Spirit. There must be consistency between those measured with only occasional blips. When it is the blips that are more often revealed in this example research, the measure is somehow wrong.

When a by-mouth-only so stated Christian tries to sit at the ivory keyboard of Christianity, s/he would soon prove to be a fraud or invalid as a true believer in and follower of Christ; thus reliability of inconsistent living AND little to but no validity. Put the two side by side and our Christianity study or measure would demonstrate different results meaning something is invalid.

Want a check list for yourself? Okay here is one. If you don't' want to personally know about validity and reliability in Christian living, stop reading here. Remember that true results must have both measures.

1. Do you thirst for bible knowledge or are the simple "stories of the Bible" good and deep enough for you?

2. Do you pray on a continual basis for more things than a blessing on the food you are about to eat, and then only if in private and NOT in a public place? Do you forgive others as you want the Lord to forgive you your sins?

3. Do you want to share what God has done for you or are you still wondering IF God has done anything for you?

4. Do you seek to be with other believers in fellowship and WORSHIP or is Sunday attendance good or close enough?

5. When was the last time you picked up, opened and STUDIED the bible other than to possibly carry it to church?-

6. Is a Bible devotional to you the same thing as bible study?

7. Are you more worried about the ball game next weekend than the salvation of your neighbor, friends and/or family?

8. Do you pray for the healing of others so that you yourself may be healed?

9. Is a little gray sin, a little deceit, or little lie not a sin in your opinion?

10. What does the word HOLY mean to you? Just a special word or do you grasp its true depth?

These are enough measures to test one's Christian reliability and validity.

It is always this author's intention to provide a few moments of Bible insight. These "aha moments" might very well drive one to look it up for him or herself. Then my mission is accomplished.

Christian Music: A Better Market

Over the past few years, music sales have seen a slight decrease. This is due to obvious factors of music's availability through markets such as Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more. Through these declining sales statistics, two groups of consumers have (Christian/Gospel and Metal) remained more true to their genre than others when it comes to dispersing cash.

According to, Christian and Metal sales showed the slightest decreases from 2008 to 2014. When putting statistics to the side, the real winner would have to be to Christian or Gospel genre. On that note, here are five reasons why.


Whenever you go to super stores such as Target or Walmart, there are only a few music categories. The most common categories are Popular (Pop) Music, Country music, Latin music, and then there's Christian music. Unlike metal music, Christian music still manages to maintain its own label in these multi-retail specialty stores. If you were to go to a music store, you would then find a Metal music label, but still find the Christian music label and a Gospel music label as well.


Yes, there is MTV, VH1, BET, and other music channels who offer a variety of music shows. However, when it comes to Christian and Gospel music, they each have more channels strictly dedicated to the genres themselves marketing their tunes throughout the day and night.


It does not cost as much for a church or spiritual venue to host a Christian concert when compared to other popular categories of music. Many venues will even pay the Christian or Gospel artists to come and perform and allow free admission for the public.


With the obvious lower decline in sales, it is evident that spiritual music fans like their music. They follow their favorite artists more consistently, and are willing to buy the music even if it is not the artist's best work. They do not have to worry about being turned away due to a parental advisory sticker, offensive album cover, or negative reputation affiliation.

Fans of Fans

Church music artists sing each other's songs proudly. It is not awkward to attend a Christian or Gospel concert and hear the featured artists perform another one of their favorite artist's popular songs. There is a lot of love within the two genres between its members, and they see themselves as family rather than competitors.

Three Myths About Modern Christian Academies Dispelled

It's tough to keep track of all the school types available to today's youth. Some are primary, like public schools, but that doesn't mean primary like preschool and kindergarten. It gets even more complex when you add a religious element to the mix. Luckily, there are a few ways to spot a quality Christian academy, and here are some things that you'll likely never see.

We've all heard of the tradition that keeps drifting schoolboys in line with a quick rap to the knuckles. In fact, this was a common practice in older Catholic schools in the past, but the times have changed. Not even the modern Catholic schools use such techniques, and certainly not a modern Christian academy.

Your child's discipline is usually handled on a tier-based system, wherein smaller punishments lead to more severe actions. Usually, parents have a say in what action should be taken beyond a certain point. You will want to discuss each aspect of this process with the headmaster or principal at your school. Occasionally, especially at younger ages, some orthodox schools encourage the notion that, "To spare the rod is to hate the child." This is an old passage from Proverbs that recounts the wisdom of harsher discipline as timeless. You will want to make sure the school's beliefs line up with your own on these matters.

Forced Religious Participation

While the actual religious activity will vary from school to school, you might be surprised to know that the typical Christian academy is open and accepting of all walks of faith. Keep in mind, however, that acts such as prayer, communal worship, and Theological discussion are still regular aspects of these students' school life.

This is not to say that your child must participate in the acts. Granted, there is an underlying assumption that most of the students will be Christian, as will their parents, but it is not a universal fact. You can think of the school like any other in the community-rich in diversity and possibility.

Accreditation And College Credits

This particular myth varies greatly from school to school, but the important part of the process is to establish the attitude that a particular Christian academy has towards accreditation. With recent changes to older laws like the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and others, there are more stringent challenges offered to certain schools. You will want to see whether your school is registered with the most popular choice of accreditation, The American Association of Christian Schools (AACS), or any others.

Finally, note that the entire process of accreditation can take some time. This means newer schools might seem like they are at a disadvantage. However, it is usually newer schools that offer the most cutting-edge and cultivated techniques, since they are fresh faces to an old system. As long as they are in the process of acquiring a certification, you usually have a safe bet that it will come through by the time your child applies for college. If not, don't fear, as most colleges have other testing methods available to ease the process.

To learn more about their options for Christian academy, NJ residents should visit

Christian Affirmations and Self Esteem

As human beings, we are at one point bound to feel less of who we are supposed to be. We let the negative remarks from those around us to determine how we view ourselves as individuals. The end result is emotionally poisonous. Deep within, it kills us without us knowing it. This is nothing else but low self-esteem. For you who feels less than perfect; you who is afraid to celebrate your self-worth and concentrate on your strengths rather than your weaknesses; Get uplifted with the following Christian affirmations for self esteem. God loves you as His child and there are countless Bible scriptures to prove this undeniable fact. Feel free to read them out loud.

Deuteronomy 7:6 - I am special. Why? I am chosen by the creator of heaven and earth above all the people upon the face of the earth. This therefore gives my life a sense of meaning and purpose.

Genesis 1:27-My physical appearance is similar to God's. I am glad because I know that God crafted my very image and made me perfect, just as He is.

Ephesians 1:4-I am confident because I know that I was chosen even before the world ever existed. I am chosen. I appreciate my existence on this earth.

1 Peter 2:9-I am a chosen generation. I no longer dwell in darkness as God has called me out of darkness and into His marvelous light. This therefore makes me a light to shine bright into all the earth.

Exodus 19:5-I am valuable in God's eyes. I am treasured by Him who owns the earth and everything in it.

Ephesians 2:10-I am The Creator's workmanship. Greatness is naturally present within my DNA structure. With Christ I know I am a winner and destined for victory!

Psalms 119:73- I have personally been crafted and designed by God's own hands! I am unique for no other person is created exactly as I am.

Psalms 139:14-I am not only made, but I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I rejoice because God knows me both inwardly and outwardly. He knows my name.

Jeremiah 31:3-God's love for me is everlasting. There is not one time in my life that God ceases to love me.

You are destined to achieve a lot with high self esteem. Lead a positive life. Love yourself, because God loves you. Get rid of anger, anxiety and depression by internalizing these Christian affirmations for self esteem that will enable you to concentrate on what God, and not man, thinks about you.

Ranches Lee Hall is a pastor. He's been online now for several years operating different blogs and online businesses and providing helpful information. He enjoy songwriting, reading the bible, playing the keyboard or piano he currently runs

Aspects That Make Christian Fiction Ideal for Reading

Christian fiction is a specific genre of novels that basically focuses on the vivid illustrations of the Bible and the implications of the Christianity. The plots and characters of such books generally revolve around the Christian themes. The positive storyline is one of the distinctive aspects that make these books highly popular among avid readers.

It is important to note that in the fast few centuries growing traditional Christian sub culture has aided the rise of a definite genre of Christian books. These books generally combine conservative spiritual divinity along with popular thriller or romance and thus, have gained wide acclamations in the sub-cultures. Now, let us have a quick look at the top aspects that make Christian fictions an ideal option for reading.

• The Books Inspire Positivity and Principled Actions

Keen readers agree on a common point that these fictions actually help in broadening the thinking of an individual. Reading them at regular intervals can actually aid in devoting the mind towards positivity, which eventually results in directed actions. Popular Christian fiction authors have said that going through the lines of such novels can actually help in arousing empathy and understand the real implications of bible on our lives.

• Understand What is Right and What is Wrong

These books uphold the two sides of life in an illustrative way through plots and characters. The storylines of such novels often direct the characters in the path of choices, where he or she has to select between what is right and what is wrong. With thorough illustrations of the plots and the back ground of the characters, these books depict the struggle between the evil and the good.

• Be Aware of The Spiritual Truth

As said earlier, these fictions are classical implications of the Bible, but in a different way. The biblical annotations in almost all the plots makes one aware of the spiritual truth, which eventually tends to bend the mind of an individual and take it towards peace. Reading these novels help the readers to think like the greatest thinkers of the world and this makes the novels ideal for spiritual awakening.

These are some of the notable aspects that make the Christian fictions ideal for readers who want to spend a great time learning the real implications of life and spirituality through stories. When it comes to choosing a specific series of such novels, the options are many. However, one can consider going for an entire series to derive the real enjoyment.

Rajib KR Saha is a renowned article writer and blogger who loves to write on several topics related to literature and novels. He/ she suggest the readers to read religious fiction books to understand the real implications of Bible.

The Christian Bridegroom Wedding Speech

This is the obvious-besides your bride; you are the center of attraction of a wedding. It's simple- because you are the groom. Just as the bride is nervous for her D-day, even the groom is so. It is just the groom just do not say this to everyone. The pressures of the D-day are on the groom equally. Arriving at the venue on time, remembering to pick the wedding ring from the jewelry shop and suit from the dry cleaner are some of the thing that makes for the bridegrooms nervous. Moreover, to top all that, there is the wedding jig, which has to be perfect, and the wedding speech. The groom gives the wedding speech on the wedding day after the rituals are over. This speech mostly happens when the family and friends sit for the luncheon.

Bridegroom spent anxious days thinking about the wedding speech. Writing an effective speech and delivering to the audience is a challenging for moist grooms. If the groom has good oratory skills, delivering speech at the wedding is a cakewalk. However, grooms who are by nature shy and reserved have to spend some time in thinking what to write and say for the wedding speech.

Few pointers will help you in making the wedding speech perfect. As the man of the day, you will require to thanks so important people, who were great help in making your wedding perfect. Primarily, thank the father of the bride for sharing the wedding organizing cost. If anyone else is involved in arranging for the finance, thank the person as well. Show your heartfelt thank you to these persons.

Next in your wedding speech, thank your parents. Flatter them by saying they are the ones who have made you the best of person. Thank them for all they have done to make you stand and helped your enjoy the best of life. All this will make your parents emotional and happy at the same time.

Also, do not forget to thank all the attendees of your wedding who made special day memorable. Thank them for sparing some time from the busy schedules and making it to the wedding.

In the end, thank the best man or men, if you have more than one. He is the one who have spent countless hours to arrange for the party hall, the caterer and doing the reservations for honeymoon. Raise a toast for your man and sincerely thank him for all the efforts ha has given in making the D-day.

In the wedding speech, do not forget to include your story of love. How you met your wife for the first time, what are the qualities that made you fall in love with her, things like that. Always praise her beauty and her personality. She will love this for sure. The bride's blush will surely tell that she likes what you are saying about her. Here again thank her parents for bringing such a wonderful person into your life.

The above-mentioned points are some of the important ones a bridegroom can include in his wedding speech. You can easily add more if you have some points.

Shipra Sinha writes on behalf of, which is among the fastest growing Matrimonial Websites of India. helps the users to search bridegroom from their respective community like Hindi Matrimony from their online matrimonial and match making services for a perfect marriage.

Should Christian Couples Be Kissing Before Marriage?

I am the only Christian I can think of that does not approve of premarital kissing, which bothers me to no end. In fact, when I tell other Christians that I believe it is wrong to kiss a person's significant other before marriage, they laugh as though I'm telling them they shouldn't eat pork. However, before you dismiss this discussion as stupid and unimportant, consider that there may actually be a problem with our current moral standards.

First of all, when I say "kissing", I do not mean a peck on the lips to say I love you, such as a kiss you would give your mother. I am speaking of the kissing couples engage in to gratify their physical desires. Some try to argue that kissing isn't quite sexual, it's just passionate physical intimacy, but those are the same thing.


1. Relating to the instincts, physiological processes, and activities connected with physical attraction or intimate physical contact between individuals.

Kissing is extremely sexual and that's why it would be wrong to make out with your Dad. If it wasn't sexual, then making out with your Dad wouldn't be incest or homosexual. However, if you would rather use the term "sensual", we can do that too.


1. The enjoyment, expression, or pursuit of physical, especially sexual, pleasure.

2. Of or arousing gratification of the senses and physical, especially sexual, pleasure.

3. The condition of being pleasing or fulfilling to the senses.

Both are deemed wrong by the Bible. Physical intimacy such as kissing is both sexual (activities connected with physical attraction or intimate physical contact) and sensual (gratification of the senses and physical, especially sexual, pleasure). Here are some of the numerous verses that forbid such acts outside of marriage:

2 Peter 2:18 - For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.

2 Peter 2:2 - And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.

Ephesians 4:19 - They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

Galatians 5:19 - Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,

2 Corinthians 12:21 - I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 - For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;

Romans 13:13-14 - Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

There are many more spread throughout the Bible.


"As long as kissing doesn't lead to sex or lust, it's okay. Everyone has their own line and should set their own boundaries."

Unfortunately, the problem with kissing, as just discussed, is not that it may lead to something else. We don't use kissing as a hello to all our friends and it's not some tribal ritual we do with our families to stay healthy. Kissing is wrong outside of marriage on its own, whether it leads to sex or not. The line doesn't move around based on the person. Making out, making out while laying down, making out while laying down in bathing suits, making out while laying down naked, and making out while laying down naked and exploring another other person's body are all wrong for every individual no matter how much self-control they may have.

"Don't you think it will be awkward if you haven't even kissed someone by the time you get married?"

Yes of course it will be awkward, but that's something a married couple can share and go through together without comparing to other experiences. Kissing and other sexual activities are very special and should be shared only within the bounds of marriage. I'm not expecting to be my future wife's first kiss, because that's not what people are generally taught to do, but I would hope that she comes to agree with this principle. Abstaining from these things till then also shows the commitment you have to your future spouse.

Apart from these biblical reasons, I also believe it's not a beneficial life choice in general. Some people, especially women, have said that they feel kissing is more intimate and memorable than sex. Adding a physical bond to a relationship you can't guarantee will last, is very dangerous and can be very damaging. Kissing your partner is almost like making a commitment to them which is then broken if the relationship does not work out.

In 1 Corinthians 6:18, God sets sexual sin apart from all other forms of wrong doing by telling us to, "Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body." However, not only is it wrong, but it can also cause emotional and relational problems. I don't look down on people who have engaged in such activities outside of marriage, but I do pray that they change how they think.

My Christian Leader's Top 40

AFTER I drafted these points below I asked myself, "Does the Church really need another 'leadership' article?" Whilst my answer was in the negative, I thought it was still worthwhile to hone and publish these points for clarity in my own thinking. Perhaps they're beneficial for your thinking, too?

First, my 'qualifications' as a leader from which this list is gleaned. Mainly experience in the secular workforce, professionally. But I did get my first 'diploma' in team leadership nearly twenty years ago. I've most often been required to provide leadership rather than be the assigned leader. And the style of my leadership has most often been as facilitator of groups or mentor to individuals. As an advisor, the power I've had to utilise has been personal and information, to achieve results through others because of influence, rather than through actual positional power.

Perhaps you'll read the following list and determine for yourself my 'qualifications' based on how you feel about what I've written.

So, here goes. Here is my Top 40 list of traits of good Christian leaders.


1. Reward innovation - a competent leader knows they need good minds. They reward thinking that innovates. There's no such thing as 'leave your brain at the gate' for a good Christian leader. Of course, roles boundaries help with context.

2. Punish nothing - why suppress love? In leadership, tough love can easily morph into abuse. The punitive motive does not seek for the best in the one who's led. Let a consequence be its own punishment. Punish no further. Permeate the relational dynamic with grace. At times a lesson needs to be learned, but no 'interest' ought to be added.

3. Embrace heart - passion is pivotal in the Kingdom of God. As a leader, I want to embrace people's passion, believing it's Holy Spirit inspired.

4. Talk holiness - akin to Deuteronomy 6:4-9, it's the leader's responsibility to talk up the Word and will of God, and the Lord's revelation at works in our lives.

5. Use process - I prefer the Ian Macdonald Systems Leadership process for team leadership and team membership, which I was introduced to in 1993. Such a process values the roles of all players in the team. Competent leaders appreciate the importance of fair, efficient and effective process, which is above all well communicated.

6. Teach enjoyment - passion comes from joy, and leaders understand that connection. Joy is intrinsically motivating and a leader typifying joy exudes what most want as a trait of their being.

7. Listen intently - the best leaders are humble enough to listen in a way that the one who talks with them feels they're the only ones present in that space at that time.

8. Nurture authenticity - it can be hard work being ourselves. Some need permission. Others just find it plain hard. Others, again, do it well; encourage them within the group. Authenticity will then be unlocked because people won't be afraid of being vulnerable because it's valued.

9. Exemplify encouragement - the competent leader is an encourager. They model what they value that everyone should do. These types of leaders don't believe encouragement is an exclusive gift given to some; encouragement is seen as a fruit of the Spirit in terms of kindness.

10. Value history - a good leader understands they stand on the shoulders of others before them. They understand nothing is foundationless, and they give credit where it's due.

11. Take responsibility - a good leader understands the value of taking the blame for things that go wrong. They know it's the system of leadership that needs fixing, not people. This creates a sense of safety and wellbeing in people.

12. Regularly debrief - many things and events are honoured and helped by simply taking stock. A good leader plays a capable counsellor when required. This pastoral concern shows people where their leader's heart is at.

13. Make time - time is space and space made means people feel valued, respected, and safe. This is a radical concept in our age. But its wisdom is eternal.

14. Communicate clearly - the good leader knows that communication is more than what is said; it's what's not said, as well as what's communicated intrapersonally through what work of reflection done - often days and weeks after a crucial conversation took place. Communication is not just a once-it-happened event. Meaning changes all the time.

15. Are conventionally radical - the competent leader makes what adds value, but looks radical, something of convention. Love is radical, yet love is not extremism; it's of such value what's radical becomes conventional. We might call it innovation.

16. Are carefully accountable - a good leader doesn't use accountability to club people over the head. They themselves exemplify a measured and proactive careful accountability, so when they exercise it, it's genuine, appreciated, and value-adding.

17. Embody advocacy - a good leader respects that what appears to be a small thing to others is a big thing to another person. They advocate gently though firmly for the individual with a lone voice.

18. Retain perspective - little things given outweighing power can render projects inefficient and ineffective. The leader leads by asking "How important is this?" with the implied answer, "Not very."

19. Manage crises - leaders of stature manage crises as cognitive challenges, not as emotional battles. Good leaders are realistic, but in a crisis they become situationally optimistic to lead others through the turmoil.

20. Clarify roles - a good leader gives everyone a distinct role; and, as much as possible, each role is equally pivotal in comparison with others' roles. People appreciate being of value to the purpose of the whole.

21. Trust results - a good leader knows that sound input equals valuable output which equals transformational outcomes. They know good results will come.

22. Are positively appreciative - a good leader uses appreciative enquiry (AI). They recognise more is gained in focusing on strength than weakness.

23. Are ever gentle - in an oft violent world, a good leader is a paragon of safety, assurance, and peace. With a good leader everyone is safe.

24. Endure failure - the competent leader doesn't make much of failure other than where the system failed. Good leaders accept and appreciate that human factors of failure are inevitable.

25. Celebrate humbly - success is a sign of synergy. A good leader uses success to remind the team of T.E.A.M. (Treat Each Actual Member).

26. Lift underdogs - in keeping with John 3:30, a good leader shows where love abounds: in lifting underdogs from the ground.

27. Are steadily faithful - a good leader is emotionally adult. They're emotionally reliable and stable, and are worthy of the trust that's placed in them.

28. Enable diversity - competent leaders appreciate difference, acknowledging sameness of thought and ideal as a limiting sign. Adversity is embraced in a diverse culture, and disagreement is fostered and wrestled with. A good leader encourages disagreement in order that it might be discussed maturely.

29. Relinquish control - a good leader is not a bad manager. They understand the corrosive nature of a leader's positional power. They'd much prefer to use personal power to endear themselves to others and information power to empower others.

30. Have loving resolve - a leader never gives up when that's easily the expectation. At the end of a good leader is the second-wind dependence on God, who inspires and innovates through them once more by his Spirit.

31. Enjoy moments - a good leader is alive spiritually, and they maximise awareness of the moment.

32. Are the blessed - the blessed of the Beatitudes. The biblical leader understands the power in the Kingdom reversal - that things that seem against us are for us when we continue via faith.

33. Shelve ambition - progress and achievement are about team and Kingdom, and ultimately God. The good leader doesn't get the cart before the horse. They achieve their personal goals through the noble works of working with and for others.

34. Are happy dying - the good leader is happy either dying to themselves, or in the actual practice of dying itself. They live within the tensions of the truth of Philippians 1:23-24.

35. Shun fame - too much notoriety is not good for anyone. The good leader withdraws from popularity as much as they can. And they recognise their own envy at others' success, and they resist that, too.

36. Love family - what sort of witness are we to the veracity of the Kingdom if our families are in a shambles? Yet, the good leader is happy to learn from their errors. But family is one area they're keen to do right - as much as possible. Family comes first, always.

37. Rest well - good leaders take care to get their rest and so not be a burden on others - so far as it depends on them - due to their weariness. But an exhausted leader also brings glory to God when they deal gracefully in their weakness.

38. Value compassion - having had their heart awakened, a good leader won't fail in the area of compassion. They sense they need time to replenish when their compassion is fatigued. They see compassion as the gauge of their godliness.

39. Are self-aware - a great skill of momentary reflection that good leaders personify. Their self-awareness causes them to repent, and often.

40. Desire God - no greater esteem has a leader got to give than their esteem of God who leads them ever by his Spirit. Worship of God is their number one love.

© 2016 S. J. Wickham.

Steve Wickham is a Baptist pastor who holds Degrees in Science, Divinity, and Counselling. Steve writes at: and

7 Important Steps of the Christian Wedding Ceremony

The Christian wedding ceremony is an important ceremony for those who celebrate this religion. The ceremony is filled with multiple steps that are an important for the religion and for the couple involved. Those who do not follow the Christian faith may be a little confused by the entire ceremony. If you are going to attend a Christian wedding, you will want to know what you should expect. These are seven of the most important steps of the wedding for this religion.

Important Family Members are Seated

The first part of the actual processional includes the important family members of those who are to be married. This includes the parents and grandparents of both the bride and groom. It may include aunts and uncles who have been an important part of the lives of the bride and groom as well.

The Processional

The processional is the most well known part of the Christian wedding. The processional introduces the wedding part and eventually introduces the bride and groom to the wedding ceremony.

The Prayer

Most Christian weddings will have a prayer directly following the processional. This prayer will change based on the wishes of the bride and groom, and the priest that is performing the ceremony. Those who are uncomfortable with prayer from other religions should know that the prayer will be said out loud to the entire group.

The Pledge and the Wedding Vows

The bride and groom will then pledge to the congregation that they are willfully going through the wedding ceremony. They will then exchange wedding vows. While some will choose to stick with the usual wedding vows, others will write their own vows. They may do this with the usual vows, or in place of the usual vows.

Ring Exchange

The couple will then go through the usual ring exchange of the wedding. Some couples will choose to say their own vows during this time instead of replacing the usual wedding vows.

Unity Candle

The Unity Candle is not always a part of the Christian wedding. Some couples will choose to light a candle together before their wedding ceremony has finished. This is a symbolic tradition that shows the unity of the couple as they start their journey together.

Prayer and Presentation

The priest will then say a final prayer to bless the new couple. The groom will then be told that he can kiss his bride. The couple is presented as a couple for the first time, and will then exit the church.

There are multiple steps to the Christian wedding ceremony. While some steps are staples in every ceremony, others may change depending on the wedding. There will be different rituals and traditions that some may use during their weddings. With that being said, these steps will give you a good idea as to what to expect when you attend this wedding.

Top Traits That Make Christian Fictions Ideal for Kids

There was a time when Christian fictions were widely criticized for being old-fashioned, poorly written, overtly preachy and boring. But with time, this specific genre of novel has gone through several interesting evolutions, where several new writers have come in and produced exceptional pieces of fictions.

Of late this particular segment of Christian novels, stress on simple illustration of the biblical annotations through a catchy story plot and intriguing characterization. Moreover, contemporary authors of such fictions focus on combining traditional biblical spirituality along with a popular theme involving romance or thriller. This is one important aspect that has made today's Christian fictions an ideal reading option for avid readers of all ages. It is interesting to note that while these novels work as a source of inspiration for people who want to de-stress and imbibe positivity in their life, it is equally helpful for kids, as well. Let us now have a look at the reasons why:-

• Encouraging Children Towards Positivity

Kids relate themselves with the characters of a story. In such circumstances, reading Christian fictions can help them to get inspiration from the characters. These novels often portray real life implications through anecdotes and as such it is easier for the kids to understand the complex aspects of life. Moreover, reading these novels at regular intervals can actually help children to develop a positive outlook towards life, which eventually proves beneficial for their moral character development.

• Kids Relate more to Stories than Straight Facts

It is important to note that the Bible teaches us the lessons of the life through stories that are intriguing to read and easier to understand. Similarly, the Christians fictions also portray the real implications of life through a story that involves a specific theme. Kids relate more to stories and not boring straight facts and thus, they find the fictions intriguing almost instantly.

• Helps Children to Stay in the Right Path

In this world full of hatred and complexities, novels written from a spiritual perspective can actually serve as a shelter for the kids. These books can actually encourage the children to stay at the right path when everything around seems to get engulfed by the dark clouds of hatred and terror. Bringing them closer to Christian novels can actually help in broadening their scope of thoughts and enhance their decision taking abilities.

Apart from this, reading these books at regular intervals can actually help them to indulge more in books, which enhances their reading skills and power to imagine.

Rajib KR Saha is a renowned article writer who loves to write on several topics related to fictions and novels. He suggest the readers to read the novels written by great Christian authors to know more about the real implications of Bible.

First Christian Religion of The Modern Era

The only truth about its origin that the Roman Catholic Church puts out there is that it is the first Christian religion of the modern era. But it was not the first overall. The religion of Krishna was around a long time before and many other 'Christs' were known before him. It purports that it was founded by Jesus Christ at Pentecost and is, therefore, the only true church but the facts behind its being are far different and not something the Vatican wants known.

History records that Emperor Constantine established the religion at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD and that he did so after murdering his way to sole rule. The last relative on his list of the slain was his eldest son, Crispus, who died because he had been elevated to the role of Caesar in order to help his father defeat Vicinius, the last barrier to achieving that status.

Not only his son but also the mother of Crispus, were put to death. Counted among the murdered were his sisters, nephews, nieces, and others. What is not generally known about Constantine is that he was Islamic. His ancestry is Assyria and the Amors who built Roma (reverse Amor).

The Vatican was founded as a parliament to control the unwieldy empire through the bishops and priests and, therefore, he used spirituality as his chief weapon. His edicts ordered anyone who refused to worship as he directed would be killed. Many were tortured or enslaved in salt mines, on ships, or as servants.

The Roman Empire of the time was akin to the Islamic State of Isis today. The difference is that much of the history has been erased and worked over to add credibility to its cause.

The evidence concerning the establishment of the first Christian religion of the modern era is set out in full on this site and is part of the promise to reveal all at the end of the day. Only one could be chosen to learn the facts and put them where everyone can read them. It is called the mountain of God and it is built now.

Online Dating for Christian Singles and Christian Dating Tips

Before you decide to get online and start completing a dating profile and also enjoyably browsing the members in your town, it is usually wise to take a moment to examine your readiness to enter into world of internet dating.

It's not unusual for anyone to jump right into a relationship they aren't genuinely ready for, neither is it strange for anyone to connect with a person who just isn't currently able to provide all that a relationship usually requires. In both cases, both of those people get hurt once the romantic relationship faces difficulties. Relationships are not intended to be the way to obtain our love as well as good health, instead a benefit to our own growth. As a result, it is very important to ascertain if you're in a condition fertile for that offering and also receiving of affection before getting into a romantic relationship.

A healthy relationship requires solid foundation and acknowledgement that you're a complete being, perfect within yourself, and self love is really necessary for loving others. If you're good enough to share in the offering and also receiving of love, then you're most likely ready to have a relationship. Otherwise you must invest some time as well as energy on deliberately shaping your own personality and frame of mind to become whole with your love sourced from inside instead of from the outside world and others within it.

Well, as an expert in Christian Dating and Relationships, Here are some first Date ideas when you have met a good Christian of your Dreams.

First date suggestions:

It does not matter what ages they're, Christian couples seem to be inventive, and often affordable. They want to spend time speaking but not truly feel pressure to continuously need to say some factor, either. Whilst the conventional "dinner together with a movie" offers a predictable choice to get a lot of couples, other first date suggestions provide a distinctive technique to invest time with each other.

Attending church together is really a low cost choice to get a Christian first date. If you are a every good Christian, you'll appreciate focusing on spiritual values with one another. In case you visit exactly the same church presently, this really is in handy. You are in a position to talk about the sermon or class teaching later over lunch or coffee. On the occasion you don't fellowship in the exact same church, you can take turns seeing what your date's church is like.

Visiting a museum gives you a common theme to discuss around the date. Science museums, art museums, medical museums, history museums and even children's museums can spark conversation topics that you simply may not have otherwise explored. Some museums might even offer totally free or decreased admission prices.

Written for a Christian Dating Service @ Creating the best online Dating experience with a very good Success rate!

Divorce in the Context of Christian Marriage

Marriage is one of the best things that can happen to a man or woman. This is why in almost every culture; the celebration of the marital vow is cherished, honoured and filled with joy.

God designed marriage to give mankind magnificent joy and fulfillment. After He created Adam, He said, "I will make him a helper comparable to him" (Gen 2:18).

But how many marriages truly stand the test of time? Why do people who vow to live together for ever suddenly wake up and break that commitment? The truth is, as long as people live outside the plan of God for marriage, they would continually have marital difficulties serious enough to contemplate divorce. But is this what God wants?

Though divorce was mentioned in the Bible, it was never God's desire or intention for man. God's original intent was that marriage would last a life time. This is why His word expressly states in Matthew 19:6 that, "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh; therefore what God has joined together let no man separate."

God emphatically said He hates divorce - "For the Lord God of Israel says that he hates divorce." (Malachi 2:16)

Among all other problems and vices, divorce is one of the most impacting negative influences on a family, society and even within the Church yet it is growing at an alarming rate. Why is this so? If God hates divorce, and He planned marriage as a life-time union for man, how come we seem to like and indulge in it?

Please note that though Moses initiated laws of divorce in the Old Testament due to certain circumstances, it did not mean God changed his mind, but rather it was because of the sinful hearts of man. He still hates divorce. Jesus said, "Moses permitted divorce as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness, but it was not what God had originally intended" (Matt 19:8, NLT).

The Circumstances Allowing Divorce Include:

1. Adultery:

"And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9, NKJV)

Infidelity is a ground for divorce. But it argued that this negates the place of forgiveness. Infidelity is a sin, yet the bible urges us to forgive the wrongs of others so ours may be forgiven by God. It did not say infidelity is an exception to this rule. But this not reduce the negative impact infidelity brings to a marriage. Besides, forgiveness is not easy to achieve when the hurt is deep and requires grace.

2. Abandonment:

This happens when ones spouse, especially who does not believe in Christian values, deliberately abandons the marriage and abscond or abdicates his/her responsibilities.

"And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace" (1 Corinthians 7:13-15).

Why Marriages End in Divorce:

Outside these grounds mentioned above, many people still find many reasons to break their marriages, essentially because divorce (which means putting away) is usually a result of little putting away or put offs, which could be caused by resentment and feelings of dissatisfaction with one's spouse.

"If my husband/wife would be this or that, I would be happy!" "If my husband/wife could only stop arguing when he/she is wrong, we would be happy!"

Indeed there are so many ifs that trouble peoples' minds that ultimately culminate in separation and divorce for things to be better. But is this usually the case? Perhaps the greatest reason why Christian marriages fail is because couples fail to govern their homes according to Christian principles!

If people have biblical convictions God's perfect will for marriage, it would become easier to reject divorce. This is where Christian leaders must strive hard to steer couples away from the thought or prospect of divorce, and encourage them to stay together and work things out by God's grace. But how many of these leaders' have sound marriages or biblical foundations to champion this goal?

Divorce For Other Reasons:

Simply put, divorce for reasons other than those named above here is going against God's plan, which is a sin. But God is a God of grace and forgiveness. Repent and ask for His forgiveness and He will.
  • But what if my husband is violent and repeatedly abuses me physically? Should I continue to live with a wife-beater who has beaten me to the extent of losing two separate pregnancies?
  • Must I stay with a wife who brazenly attacks me with charm and fetish substances?
  • My husband is a choir master but his wickedness to me and the children is unbearable; should I continue with him?
  • My husband is an elder in church but he refuses to take care of the family financial. Should I die here?
  • My wife is highly paid and is richer than I; but she does not want to drop a single kobo to support the home. Should I continue with her, knowing she is wicked and evil?
The list of reasons why people want to divorce is endless. So what must you do if you fall into anyone of these categories?

In my candid opinion, when a Christian is not sure on this or any subject, he or she should choose to take the high-ground of principle over preference. Your choice should not supersede the word of God. This is a wise and safe approach.

When we insist on following the word of truth backed by sincere prayers, it will help us to come to agreement with the principle of strict and literal interpretation of the bible that marriage is God ordained "unto death do them part" (which applies to both believers and un-believers).

If you are not divorced yet but considering it, do everything you can to prevent divorce. Don't give up on the power of prayer. Don't give up on God too soon.

Remember too that the divorce rate for second marriages is 70% high! And for third marriages, it is even higher. This simply means divorce makes your chances of happiness get worse not better. If you want to quit your marriage and move to another presumably better one, you might just be courting more trouble for yourself.

This is also true, because the key to succeeding in marriage, which Marriage Alive preaches, is not finding the right person. It is you becoming the right person. Think about this!

Ben Efe is an author, motivator and publisher. He is passionate about helping people become the best they can in marriage and life. He is the president of Stay Alive Int'l, an organization committed to promoting right living. His blog and books offers tips that would empower you to fulfill your potentials.

Christian Affirmation for Women

A woman was created after God created Adam and can therefore be considered as an important creature because God saw that Adam could not live without her. In Genesis, God made man fall into a deep sleep and removed one of his limbs and gave it to Eve. A woman may happen to be a wife, mother, a daughter, a sister and therefore comes in handy in most parts of our lives.

Christians affirm women to be mothers and therefore, the world would not be full of human beings were it not the ability of women to conceive. Eve, the first mother, gave birth to the first children Cain and Abel. This in a big way can build self esteem in all women and thus they should adore motherhood. Women are known to show much love to their children unconditionally in which case the love is reciprocated. In the Bible, women were to be protected whenever there was war. Therefore, Christians emphasize that women are the two wheels of the universe, without which the society, our civilization, in fact the whole world would cease to exist.

Women are loving persons. They are womanly in presence, caring in attitude and loving in personality. When Jesus was thirsty, a woman offered him water to drink at a well. Women are known to cook for their husbands and children and therefore have to be concerned about the source of food. This is supported by the fact that they are hardworking and used to cultivate farms to gather wheat and other foods to feed their families. In the current times, women are still hardworking and are furthering their studies to get serious careers which were previously done by men. They have a slogan that what a man can do, a woman can do better.

Women are beautiful and they give uplifting feelings. In the Bible, when Job underwent temptations and persevered, he was rewarded with the most beautiful daughters which clearly shows that women are made of the best quality and one gets to be happy and proud being associated with a beautiful woman.

Christian affirmation for women is that women are holy and do things that make God happy. They stay away from sin, serve God in truth and from the early times, women devote themselves to God. In the Bible, women used to serve God in temples and upto this day, they still serve as nuns, sisters and even some have started doing missionary works of preaching and spreading the gospel. Therefore, all their actions, thoughts, words should be divinely guided. This is because everything happens for the good of them.

Ranches Lee Hall is a pastor. He's been online now for several years operating different blogs and online businesses and providing helpful information. He enjoy songwriting, reading the bible, playing the keyboard or piano he currently runs

How to Become a Successful Christian Comedian

First I will start by telling you that I have and am living the life of a Christian Comedian so I will tell you what I have done and am having to do to become successful at what I do. The world of Christian Comedy is becoming more and more flooded with people who want to try to tell funny jokes to a clean Christian audience. Truth be told this isn't an easy task because not many people know about the business Christian comedy.

At first glance of the word Christian Comedy a lot of people assume they are going to hear about bible scriptures and churchy jokes the whole time but I beg to differ. As a Christian comedian I have experienced a few things that weren't quite so funny like not getting all the work I did when I was a secular comedian. Many venues didn't want to book me because they thought I was going to come in and preach a sermon but I had to prepare a show and put it on DVD so I could let them see the show I was going to do.

So you have to ensure you know what crowd you are trying to appeal to. My goal was never to appeal to a crowd who wanted to hear a bunch of ignorant material about sex, drugs and violence because there was so much more to talk about. I will now proceed to inform you on the steps to starting a successful career in the business of Christian Comedy.

Step 1) Know your target audience

-In the business of comedy you have to have a target audience in which you want to appeal to. This is important because in writing comedy material you have to know what people like to hear and what they will be able to remember most about you. A lot of comedians write for years and years before they finally come up with that perfect set that people will remember then by.

Step 2) Consistency

-One of the most important things to do is to remain consistent. When pursuing any dream it takes consistency to make things happen. If you only do one show a year it will be hard to perfect your craft so you must stay on stage and you must continue to write joke/material. You also have to realize the more people see you the more they will remember your face and your material so stay consistent.

Step 3) Networking

-Networking is very important in the comedy business because it's not about how many jokes you can write, tell or how many minutes you can perform. It's about who you know and who knows you! Many comedians use each other for work which is a good thing because no one person knows everybody. You have to stay around like minded comedians who believe in keeping a network of club managers, church group leaders and promoters in their contact list.

Step 4) Stay around positive people and develop Thick Skin

-You must stay around positive people in order to become successful at anything especially comedy because people will kill your dream before you even get started. Many people wish they could be brave enough to stand on a stage and tell jokes but because they can't they will try to tear you down and expect for you to be like them. If you stay around the right people they will encourage you and even help you out by giving you a story line or maybe even a joke or two to use on stage. Don't let critics comments phase you at all.

Step 5) Have products to sell

Lastly, you must have products to sell to your audience. These items should consist of but not limited to CD, DVD's, T Shirts, Hats and anything else that won't cost you a bunch of money up front. Your goal shouldn't be making a huge profit but it should be to keep your face in the eyes of your audience. Many comedians have learned this way of doing business and it works for many of them. Come up with unique concepts of marketing and advertising and you will be the comedian that stays booked.

If you follow these few steps that I have listed you will be well on your way to becoming a successful Christian Comedian.

Demoine Kinney

A Brief Order of Marriage in Christian Faith

Christians believe that the commitment of love and marriage must be taken in a rather religious setting. Christian matrimony involves the mutual acceptance of the couple in the church amongst friends and family. The wedding celebration is elaborate and follows a general set of protocols.

Explained here is a brief order of marriage practised during a Christian wedding.

The Prelude

The music maybe rendered live or in recorded form. It is a practice that it is used on the set of the wedding celebrations. In some events candles are lit throughout the venue during the prelude.

Procession - Arriving at the venue

The procession indicates the arrival of the couple and important guests at the venue. The minister who is presiding over the wedding enters first. The groom arrives with his best men to the altar from a side door followed by the bridesmaids and ushers. The bride is then escorted down the aisle by her father to the altar where the groom is already waiting. The flower girls and the ring bearer follow the bride.

Greetings and Introduction

When the members of the event have settled in their respective seats, the minister welcomes the guests and states the purpose of the gathering. He briefly introduces the bride and the groom and goes on to talk about the sanctity of marriage and the importance of the vows. He offers a short prayer to God and gives the sermon.

The Pledge

The Pledge is typically a way of assuring that the couple, their parents, their children if any from previous marriages are in support of this union. The minister seeks the consent of every guest in the hall and they reply in chorus saying "We do".

Exchanging the vows

This event in the Christian matrimony is of utmost importance where the bride and the groom face each other and promise to love and support one another in front of God and the other witnesses present in the hall. While there is a standard set of vows, most couples choose to read out their own.

Exchanging of rings

The promise of the couple to stay with each other through all phases of life is symbolized by the exchanging of rings. The ring is believed to be an outward expression of their eternal commitment to their partner.

Announcement of marriage
The minister now declares that the bride and the groom are a lawfully wedded couple and the wedding venue fills in with happiness. The bride and the groom share their first kiss as the man and wife thus marking the official start of their life together.

The Unity Candle

The couple now seeks the blessings of God by lighting the central candle together. They chant their prayers and seek the holy blessing for a lifetime of happiness and togetherness.

The Holy Communion

Some couples prefer having the Holy Communion as their first act together after marriage. It refers to the act of giving thanks to God and worshiping him as one whole body.

Postlude Prayers

The minister offers the closing prayers to God on behalf of the couple and their families.

The Recessional

The couple, their family and other guests leave the wedding hall in an orderly fashion. The ushers at the wedding help guests exit one row after the other.

Christians believe that marriage is the highest domain of honor and love. A few changes in the order of the marriage may differ from one wedding to another, however the sanctity and the charm of a traditional Christian wedding remains untouched.

Jawad is a web enthusiast and a writer. Jawad has afforded his articles and write-ups autonomously and through various online forums.

Get more Information: Christian Matrimony

Overcoming the Challenges Christian Youths Face Today

The Christian youth are facing a lot of challenges. In a world which is increasingly becoming skeptical about anything related to God. A young Christian, for example, is unable to reconcile the ideas of evolution taught in school and the creation story they learned in church. There is also the pressure to conform to fit in a group. Preteen, teenage, and early adulthood years is the period when we strongly crave affirmation from our peers. The problem for the Christian youth is that conforming means abandoning Christian values in part or wholly. A sense of being untrue to our values may later bring regret or shame, which is detrimental to emotional well being. At this critical time, therefore, it is important for Christian youth to look for guidance to avoid problems later.

Christians are daily confronted by issues that pressure us to conform. When this happens, our initial reaction is to avoid the problem, but later, though, we start asking ourselves questions. For example, if all our peers are having intimate relationships, why not me? Why not smoke? Why should I go to church when everybody else seems to be having fun somewhere else?-and so many other questions. Asking these questions is the initial step in overcoming challenges. The second step, which is the most important, is looking for the right answers from a Christian perspective.

As true Christians, we are not called to conform, but to a renewal in Christ Jesus. That is what St. Paul told Christians in Rome in Romans 6: 3-4. The act of baptism is a sign of new life all Christians, including Christian youths, are called to. The bible says clearly that we should strive to be right with God, as opposed to pleasing our friends or striving for their affirmation.

As a youth who is under pressure do conform to sinful practices, the meaning of baptism should not be lost to them. But in a very fast world, it's easy to compromise. The solution lies in commitment to faith. One way of growing in faith and reinforce defense against harmful peer pressure is becoming a member of a bible study group. The bible itself contains answers to the problems that youths face. Studying the bible in a group is a useful way not only on learning the word as written, but also offers a forum where Christians can openly discuss the challenges they face daily, how they overcome them, or how one can overcome in reference to bible teachings.

Often, Christian youths think that the challenges they face are unique to them. The truth, however, is that all of us, including the older Christians, faced the same problems during their youth. Talking to them therefore, is a great way of learning how to overcome the challenges. Lastly, it is very important to keep the right company. Writing to Corinthians, St Paul said that "good company destroys good morals." While it is good to have non-Christian friends, hanging out with them all the time may cause more harm than good.

Samantha Gold is a writer with Gifts of Love and Devotion, an online store with a large selection of Unique Christian Gifts for every occasion including baptism, first communion, wedding, and memorials. Visit Gifts of Love and Devotion for gifts for Confirmation.

If I Was Not A Christian

What is hindering so many people from seeking the Kingdom of God is the physical church. If I was not a Christian, I doubt that I would ever consider being part of an organization that stressed a belief I see evidenced by their actions. But if I was striving to understand this great Faith, how would I go about finding my way? If I was not a Christian, how would I begin my quest for the invisible in a visible world? If I was not a Christian, in which of the many label displaying buildings could I find the Faith that so many claim? If I was not a Christian, what Bible would I explore when there are so many different types? If I was not a Christian, which of the contradictory teachings should I listen to? If I was not a Christian, how would I respond to the weekly "dues" that are required for experiencing a religious gathering? If I was not a Christian, would I have to adapt to rules and regulations to be part of these "separatists"? If I was not a Christian, would I really want to be like my church- going neighbor whose life is not any different than mine?

The visible church seems to be exhibiting a conflicting message. Christians talk about the love of God, but so many of our actions fail to exhibit the reality of our claim. The Church must step up and be the Biblical evidence of God's love, or step down as the physical evidence of God's Kingdom.

If I was a part of the Christian community, I would do everything I could to reach out to the seeking and wayward. If I was a Christian, I would make sure my actions evidenced my belief. If I was a Christian, I would do whatever it took to make it easier for a non-believer to find the way into the fellowship of the faith. If I was a Christian, I would be a living example of the invisible Truths. If I was a Christian, I would be more interested in stressing the message instead of the label. If I was a Christian, I would supply a Bible that best complimented the original texts. If I was a Christian, I would steer the non-believer away from controversial messages and center on the simple truth of God's Word. If I was a Christian, I would make sure that financial giving was based on one's love of God and not a "pay as you go" requirement. If I was a Christian, I would make sure the Faith was not presented as rules and requirements, but as experiencing the benefits of God's love. If I was a Christian, my life would speak as loud as my words.

To reach the non-Believer, the Church must step out from its walled fortress and display its light to a darkened world. It is not inviting someone to our framed buildings, but introducing them to our God who loves them. It is not a time to share the tenets of faith that we are so dedicated to defend, but to share what God has done in our lives through Jesus Christ. Doctrines are important, but they must never precede the simple truth of the CROSS.

Believers must learn to present the pure Word, free from interpretive meanings and "discovered" hidden truths. Let us learn as the Apostle Paul did, "... not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." (I Corinthians 2:2) So many people have been turned away from the Truth by Christians who do not live the Truth they proclaim. If we are the salt of the earth, are we making people thirsty for the Truth? If we are the light of the world, are we lighting the path to our Heavenly Father? (Matthew 6:13-16) Let us ask ourselves if we are the reason people are not coming to know Jesus Christ. If we are guilty, it is time to do something about it!

What Everyone Gets Wrong About the Christian Life

The term Christian is used very loosely in this day and age. For some reason, there is a strong willingness for people to call themselves Christians on Sunday, but ignore the implications of that Monday through Saturday. There are far too many people merely drifting through life this way. Their apathetic attitude and comfortable living style protects them from challenge and risk. The notion of hard work might scare them, especially if it threatens their comfort.

As residents of the greatest country in the history of earth, we have grown accustomed to an extremely high standard of living. Within seconds, I can order a $300 piece of equipment that will arrive at my doorstep in two days. Within 1 mile of where I am currently sitting, I can stuff my face with a premium meal at nearly any price point, and I have a job that provides a constant stream of income for me to make all these things happen.

This isn't a unique place I find myself in, but it is a dangerous one.

I want to flip the attitude of this lifestyle upside down. If this is common, I want to be uncommon. I refuse to submit to a lukewarm lifestyle that rejects Christ 6 days a week. Christians should Throw Down the Gauntlet in their faith and dive headfirst into the life Christ has planned for us. This means shedding the comforts of the American life and living a life of risk and challenge for Jesus.

1 Timothy 4:7 states, "Discipline yourselves for the purpose of godliness." (paraphrased). This is an instruction, not a suggestion. Paul states that Christians are given the responsibility to be godly, and that it requires discipline. Many people are wishy-washy when it comes to their faith, ignoring God's principles if it interferes with their personal goals. Discipline is a difficult thing, requiring daily workouts and strength training to develop. If a bodybuilder only worked 1 day a week, he would fall behind quickly. The same is true of the modern Christian. The muscles of faith need constant, daily attention, and this world has no shortage of challenges to offer for exercise.

This day and age, we need leaders in the Christian community: people who will step out in faith to defend the word of God, and then live out the example Christ gave us. It's tempting to fall in line and do as everyone else is doing, but God looks for a different response on our lives. Leading is more than being in charge: it is more about the way you influence others. A laborer in the trench of a construction operation is just as capable of being a leader as the CEO of Lifeway - it just depends on your influence. Influence is good or bad, and that is up to you to decide. Live by the principles Christ has given us, and it is impossible NOT to influence others. Jesus shows us how to be a light, and this world is extremely dark.

Being a light in an otherwise dark world will threaten the comfortable. Standing for what you believe, especially when it is counter-culture will invite conflict. Conflict is actually a good thing, as it opens the opportunity to glorify God, depending on our reaction to the conflict. You can choose to react negatively, and sin in your response to it. Or, you could exercise your muscles of endurance and act godly throughout the circumstances. Whatever it is, the opportunity is there.

So the choice is yours, Modern Christian. Do you choose to conform to the world and give in to your every desire, or do you choose Christ and Throw Down the Gauntlet in faith? Choose one or the other, but at least make a choice and stick to it.

If you're interested in an all-you-can-eat buffet of inspiration, navigate to for more information on living as a Modern Christian.

Is The Christian Church More In The World Or Is The World More In The Church?

We Christians are generally not afraid to tell the world how it should live but are often afraid to tell the church how it should live. Putting it another way; as Christians (salt and light) we are called to "love the Lord our God with all our soul and heart and mind and to love our neighbors (the world) as ourselves".

We are called to love the world, not condemn it for according to the Bible, the world is already condemned.

Many people in the world, even non-Christians can quote John 3:16 which says "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

Do we know the next verse though"

John 3:17 says "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

Many Christians, with full 'justification' and 'standing on the WORD', condemn the practices of others when we are actually called to "go into the world and make disciples of them, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" and teaching them about Christ, and His salvation. [My paraphrasing of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20]

Does this mean we are not to be 'angry' at the sin that in the world - sins of hatred and greed and immorality and murder and the like? Of course we are but, the Lord said we are to be "in the world but not of the world"

It was finally revealed to me while studying the Bible on this issue, that I have had it all wrong - I had it the wrong way around.

I stand very firm on many social issues and it upsets me see the 'world' often making a mockery of Christian moral values. And many times they are correct, there is no perfect Christian person or Church or church leader.

What I had been wrong about was that I was angry at the people perpetrating certain acts and lifestyles instead of speaking God's salvation plan to them and showing them by MY life actions, that God's way is better than the world's way.

I was even angrier with the churches that condone some of these 'politically correct' actions and attitudes under the guise of Christian love and acceptance.

That is where the Light of Truth was shone the brightest into my spirit.

Yet, I realize I make little attempt to call other Christians to account for bringing the world's value system inside their churches.

Fellow Christians should be bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to the 'lost' world and not condemning it and we should be confronting our churches because they are 'found' yet they condemn themselves by bringing the bad news of the world to into their walls.

From the Sermon on the Mount, Christ said that we are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

He also said that we are the light of the world - like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all.

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."

The only way that the Christian church will affect the 'world' in a positive way is by showing Christ to it and standing firm on Biblical truths, not allowing the 'world's' secular, relative truths to pervade its walls.

Is there indeed more of the world in the church rather than more of the church in the world?

We thank you so much for reading this article. If you found it interesting and want to know more, please visit our website at: We also invite you to keep up to date with us on our Facebook Page at: Three Cord Ministries on Facebook.

Evil Eye in Christianity

The concept of the evil eye in religion is so widespread that all religious groups recognize it as something to guard against. However, these beliefs naturally vary. The evil eye in Christianity is believed to be such a danger; one that requires guarding against. It is considered to be an actual manifestation of the battle that goes on in the spiritual world. It is one of the weapons used by Satan and his forces against God and God's forces as well as the people.

Christianity believes in the existence of Satan and demons, though they are not believed to be actually manifests in physical form. The evil eye in Christianity is considered to be one of the tools that the negative forces use in order to bring harm to Christian believers.

The evil eye in Christianity is considered to be a danger not just towards the believers but also coming from them. Christianity warns its believers to protect themselves from getting affected by envy in case they themselves might be the source. Christianity warns believers not to use the eye for evil or negative purposes such as harboring negative thoughts about other people.

The Christianity's belief in the evil eye is found on some passages in the Holy Word. According to the Bible, Jesus referred to the eye as the lamp of the body. The Bible goes on to say that if a person's "eye is generous, your whole body will be full of light." However, if one's eye is evil, one's entire body will be filled with darkness. Later on in the same passage, the Bible says that "if the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"

There are also several other references to the concept in Christianity principles and beliefs. According to the Holy Word, Jesus makes a reference to the belief in the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. This is found in Matthew 20:15. According to the parable, the owner of the land used the term "evil eye" when he asked the workers about their complaints or grumblings because of the land owner's generosity.

In another passage from Mark, Jesus also enumerates several evil things during a dispute with the Pharisees. The evil eye was mentioned as one of these evil things. According to the passage, the the negative effect caused by the eye comes from a person's heart and overcomes the person entirely. Several other mentions of the evil eye were found in the Bible, showing just how much influence the lucky eye belief in Christianity has over the religion.

Today the belief is mostly seen as independent of the religion of Christianity itself but more of a superstition. Even though some superstitions are frowned upon by religion as a concept, the belief in the eye is so strong that it has found a place of its own in the life of many Christians. The Christian belief relies solely on protection from God and focuses more on encouraging people to prevent having any negative thoughts. Several people, however, also rely on protective charms to shield them against the effects of the evil eye. These charms are often called evil eye jewelry but are also sometimes termed as lucky eye jewelry and charms. Evil eye jewelry such as bracelets, necklaces, and keychains are widely available. They also make great gifts. For anyone who believes and acknowledges in the power of the eye, these charms are definitely considered as must-haves.

Angie Uras is the sales and marketing manager of JEYLA (, the evil eye jewelry store. Angie has been working with production,marketing, and sales of evil eye jewelry for over 10 years. She currently resides in Chicago,IL but is involved in evil eye sales and marketing all over the world with close contacts in Turkey as well as a wholesaler for evil eye shops in Australia, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Russia, Greece and throughout the US.

What is the Evil Eye?

The Evil Eye has been around since the beginning of time. It simply means sending someone a thought that seems intrusive or invasive or has the power to hurt him or her. The bad fortune that results is considered to have been caused by envy. The evil eye is not necessarily considered to be intentional or associated with witchcraft or sorcery. Oddly enough, this thought form could actually be complimentary in nature. The origins of the Evil Eye are Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean. The concept was introduced into the Americas, South Pacific Islands, Asia, Africa and Australia by European explorers.

Sending someone the evil eye comes from the concept that we all have a Third Eye, located in the center of our forehead. Blinding, fogging or obscuring the third eye is often the intent of the energy's sender. Most of us have experienced the weird power of the phenomenon. All it takes is a gaze that seems to be unfriendly, indifferent or blank and seems to a couple of seconds too long. We think about it for a few minutes afterwards or perhaps an image of the person staring at us preoccupies our thoughts occasionally for the rest of the day. Perhaps that is why the British and Scottish term for the "evil eye" is "overlooking." It implies that a gaze has remained too long upon the coveted object, person or animal.

The evil eye is also known as the envious or invidious eye. In Italian it is called the malocchio and in Spanish the malojo (loosely translated as the bad eye) The evil eye is known as ayin horeh in Hebrew; ayin harsha in Arabic, droch shuil in Scotland, mauvais oeil in France, bösen Blick in Germany, and was known as oculus malus among the classical Romans.

The original belief is that any person can harm your children, livestock, fruit trees or any other evidence of prosperity just by looking at the spoils of all your good will and hard work with envy. Ironically, the curse of the evil eye is thought to be provoked by inappropriate displays of spiritual pride or excessive beauty. There is a theory that very famous people and celebrities suffer more personal misfortune than others simply because they are subjected to more "overlooking" and envy than others.

This superstition might have some grounding in evolutionary psychology as usually one animal is thought to dominate or be aggressive to another simply by staring at it for too long. Psychologically speaking, staring or glaring at someone is officially considered an intrusion into your affairs. Apparently, there is a fine line between casting a glance to casting a spell. In these post Celestine Prophecy times, this kind of stare could be compared to a kind of etheric laser beam or amoebic arm that rips open your aura. Others would describe the infliction of the evil eye as the projection of an image (such as the image of the person you have offended or hurt) so that you see only that to the exclusion of all other sight. In other words, you see that person wherever you go or feel that your life's events are always colored by your dealing with that person. Another symptom is the inability to proceed with ordinary, daily events without feeling somehow compelled to make things right with the person you have often unknowingly offended with your grandiosity.

It is common folklore that the evil eye has a dehydrating effect on its victim. It is thought to cause vomiting, diarrhea, the drying up of the milk of nursing mothers and livestock, problems with the blood, eyesight lack of rain, the drying up of wells, the withering of fruit and impotence in men. Clumsiness, stomachaches, dry coughs, diarrhea, itching, hair loss, dry skin are all thought to be physical symptoms of an evil eye attack e. On the astral level it is thought to cause the drying up of prana, chi, life force and the easy flow of prosperity in life. Part of this image might derive from the idea also, of muddy, murky or poisoned vision that is somehow attached to the victim's third eye.

Almost everywhere that the evil eye belief exists, it is said to be caused accidentally by envy or praise. Thus the phrase "Pride Goeth Before a Fall" In certain Mediterranean and eastern cultures, one is careful not to praise a child too much, lest it invite the subconscious balancing effect of the evil eye. A classic situation would be the barren woman who praises the newborn baby of a new child. Such praise would be considered inappropriate and thought to bring the evil child. One of the remedies for this would be for the mother to spit, to symbolically "rehydrate" the situation. Also, she may speak ill of the child OT counteract the effects of the praise, which might have malefic effects on the child later.

The belief that individuals have the power to cast the evil eye on purpose is more idiosyncratic to Sicily and Southern Italy, although the belief has certainly spread elsewhere - to the Southern United States and the Latin Americas. Such people are known as jettatore (projectors). They are not necessarily considered evil or envious, just born with an unfortunate embarrassing talent that causes others to avoid them. In ancient cultures, if you were thought to be the possessor of an evil eye, you were often negated by the rest of society and went unrecognized on the street without meeting anyone's eyes.

Perhaps one of the most familiar preventative measures against the evil eye is the hand gesture. The Mano Cornufo or "Horned Hand" involves extending the first and index fingers from a fist. The Mano Fico or "Fig hand" involves placing the thumb in between first and second fingers.
Historically there have been many cures for the evil eye:

In Italy, the evil eye is diagnosed by dripping olive oil into a vessel filled with water. If the oil conglomerates into the shape of an eye than the victim is considered officially cursed. Prayers are recited until the droplets of oil no longer create an eye shape.

In Eastern Europe charcoal, coal or burnt match heads are dropped into a pan of water/. If the items float then the person is considered to be the victim of a curse.

In the Ukraine, a form of ceromancy or candle reading is used to diagnose the curse. Melted wax is dripped from a candle into a pan of water. If the wax spits, splatters, or sticks to the side of the bowl then the "patient" is considered to be under the influence of the malefic eye. Usually the patient is cleansed with Holy Water. He or she is pronounced cured when the dripped wax sinks the bottom of the bowl in a round ball.

In Greece Mexico and other places, the official cure is to invite the culprit responsible for the evil eye to spit in a vessel of the holy water that is consumed by the victim.

In Mexico, rolling a raw egg over the body of the victim is the antidote. Afterwards, it is cracked open and if the metaphysician or healer divines the shape of an eye in the yolks then the person is considered to be cursed. Several eggs may be repeatedly rolled over the person's body until an egg without an eye if found. Sometimes the egg is placed underneath the person's bed overnight and cracked open in the morning.

In China the remedy for the evil eye is the Pa Kua mirror, a six-sided mirror that is hung on the front door or placed in the front window to reverse bad energy back to the sender. Some of these mirrors are convex to reflect back the bad "poison darts" or "arrows" of multiple ill wishers and some are concave to reflect energy in a definite direction back at, for instance, a nosy neighbor, whose gaze may have lingered on your garden of tulips for too long. In Feng Shui, mirrors are often used as a cure all to reflect negative energy back at all kinds of things - people, bad architecture, traffic, neighbors, physical obstructions such as trees or rocks or anything else that might considered to be a conductor of Har Shui (negative vibrations).

In India the mirroring back of the evil eye takes the form of small mirrors that are sewn, braided or crocheted into clothing. This mirroring back of bad energy is also familiar to practitioners of Wicca and Lukumi or Santeria. In India, the human eye is also considered to be a mirror of the soul. Indian women wear kohl or heavy black makeup to emphasize their eyes not only to shield themselves from evil eye but also to prevent themselves from accidentally inflicting it on others. In India cords strung with blue beads are placed on newborn babies. When the cord breaks and the beads are lost the child is considered to have a strong enough aura to protect him or herself from the evil eye. Red cords worn upon the wrist or neck are thought to have a powerful effect against ocular malevolence. A silver charm called Eye of Buddha which references the Gautama Buddha is also worn against astral attack.

In Italy, gold, silver or gems carved or cast into the shape of the Mano Fica or Mano Cornufa are used to repel the evil. The most coveted ones are made of red coral, but many versions exist today made of gemstones and plastic. They are worn by men to protect against the withering of the genitals thought to be caused by the bad eye. Also Italian in origin is the Corno or horn or devil's horn amulet that is thought to protect against the same dysfunction. The women's version is made from a twig of red coral.

In Arab cultures, superstitious types wear an eye in the form of a stone cast in the center of a hand shaped bone or metal charm A common Egyptian charm is the Buckle of Isis which represents the menstrual pad of the Goddess Isis who was the Mother of all living things. Stuffing a little prayer or spell inside a locket that is hung around the neck is the common European custom for protecting oneself against deadly gazes.

A light worker such as myself might advise you to protect yourself in the following contemporary ways:

Always maintain the belief that nobody has the power to hurt you with a look. This in itself is a very powerful thought form.

Before you go out, imagine that your third eye is actually covered by something that looks like a small pocket mirror. If you are a psychic or a healer then simply close your third eye and don't open it unless you want to look.

If you are feeling haunted or upset as the result of a "look", press your thumb hard into the center of your forehead and imagine your third eye quickly flipping. Flick the energy away with your thumb and snap your fingers.

Always remember that what you resist often persists. The phrase "Oh, so what!" is one of the most powerful chemicals in the universe that you can use to dissolve negative energy.

Samantha Steven's articles have been published in many high-standing newspapers and she has published several books. If you wish to buy Samantha's books about metaphysics click here You can meet Samantha Stevens at where she works as a professional psychic.

Popular Posts