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Posted October 9, 2009
"How To Stay Christian In High School" by Steve Gerali is a simple to read, straight forward, with many nuggets of biblical wisdom. It is written with great clarity, and with a modern twist to familiar biblical stories that opens up fresh, new understanding that can certainly connect with young people in our generation. With a mere 127 pages and a total of six chapters, it can be read even in one or two sittings.
Very readable. Challenging. And although this book is meant for high school Christians, I find that this book is equally challenging to Christians from all walks of life.
Chapter 1 starts off with knowing our identity in Christ. Before we can fully understand who we are, we need to know whose we are - to whom we belong to.
Chapter 2 focuses on Mary - the importance of building a firm foundation in Jesus Christ. To stay Christian in college days, we need to have a strong foundation. The storms hit both houses with the same intensity both houses build on two different foundations. The outcome depends on our foundations.
From I have learned in Chapter 2, to be a Christian, means
1/ to expect the unexpected
2/ to be willing to be inconvenienced
3/ to risk facing rejections from family and friends aroumd
4/ to be willing to die to self, self-interest, plans, etc.
Chapter 3 is about Daniel
Daniel 1 describes how Nebuchadnezzar, after becoming king of Babylon, swept into Palestine and surrounded Jerusalem and took many of Jerusalem's wisest men and most beautiful women to Babylon as captives. Daniel was among this group.
In Babylon, Daniel stayed far from his parents, in the sophisticaded Babylon of that time.
No parents to control.
Yet Daniel did not compromise.
New found freedom.
Yet Daniel did not abuse the freedom.
Bad influence usually creep in subtly.
"Even the smallest compromises are dangerous.
They lead to more and more compromise - and we may end up with a big problem."
As the author has pointed out, no one in his right mind would one day, when he wakes up, says to himself that he is going to destroy his life, or determined to get addicted to alcohol, etc.
God gave wisdom to Daniel what to say to the guards (verses 11-15).
The author suggests that we should take a look (or make a list) of some of the little things in our own life these days.
Chapter 4 is about Joseph when he was facing temptations as described in Genesis 39:6-10
Joseph had a right perspective about things (verse 9). Joseph said Potiphar has given all these things...but the sin would be against God. Joseph had a God-honoring perspective.
The key to overcoming temptation is in verse 12 (Gen 39:12): FLEE!!
Without explanation, Joseph bolted out of there.
He did not worry about whether he hurt her feelings.
He did not stay to enjoy some of it, and then draw the line when it starts to go too far.
He does not rationalize things.
Chapter 5 is about James and John, where as Chapter 6 is about Timothy but I particularly like the three earlier chapters.
I also like the Replacement Principle that the author describes. It works like this: If you want something out of your life, don't work hard to remove it. Instead, pour in something else that pushes it out. Replace something bad with something godly. To stay Christian in high school, replace rotten stuff in your life with good stuff.
Chew Keng Sheng (cordsofhislove.blogspot.com)
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