What's a GEM?
GEMs are guided experiential meditations that lead you first into relaxation, then into a story with you interacting with Jesus. The interactions with Jesus are the experiential part.
A little too far out for you? Keep reading.
Think about when you were a child and read through your kid's Bible. Remember all the pictures? Those pictures were there to help the story come alive...so you could see what was happening. Can you imagine a children's storybook with no pictures? Blah!
Remember reading a beloved book as an adult and then being super excited to see the movie based on that book? Most of us like to see things come alive from words.
The word of God is living, right? See Hebrews 4:12.
GEMs help you see Jesus, just like children's Bibles do.
How Can GEM's Help Me?
Often times people have a hard time connecting to God. Our minds are focused on to-do lists, problems, errands that need to be done, etc. It can be difficult to settle down to not only be intentional with our prayers, but also to take the time to listen to what God says back to us.
These GEM's are a simple tool that accomplishes many things. They can help you with:
Calming Your Mind
GEM's (or other meditations) give your brain a much-needed break. When you watch TV you are zoning out, but what are you putting in your brain? I am all for good TV and movies, but not all of it is uplifting and helpful.
Think of it this way....When you are done exercising, your body needs a rest, right? Imagine breathing in exhaust fumes, drinking a soda, and eating twinkies instead of fresh air, water, and healthy food.
Your body is resting, but you are filling it with junk and toxins. Your brain is the same. It needs rest, but to be filled with good stuff (see Philippians 4:7-9).
In my GEMs, I intentionally lead you into relaxation. This is because many people do not know how to relax. Relaxing this way purposely allows your brain to be calm enough to focus on your time with Jesus.
Connecting to God
When we pray we often are one-sided. We give God our list of wants and requests. But many times we do not wait for God to respond. Waiting for God's reply is called "listening prayer." It is when we listen for God to answer us.
Did you know that God not only hears us but that He talks to us?
If this is not something you are familiar with, I am not surprised. Many churches gloss over this or do not even teach this is possible. God speaks to all his children, not just prophetic ones. Although some people do have an easier time than others. For most of us, it takes practice to discern God's voice.
God speaks through scripture, songs, other people, movies, books, and even into our thoughts!
How do you know it is Him? That takes practice. A great resource to help you learn this skill is 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice by Communion with God Ministries.
Renewing Your Mind
The Bible directs us to renew our minds. See Romans 12:2.
But what does this mean?
Renewing in the Greek is anakainósis. This means a change of heart and life, completing a process, fresh and new, and God's power changing us.
How do we do this? There are three tools I can think of. These are not exhaustive but are common in my practice.
1. One tool to renew your mind is meditating on scripture. Thinking about it, pondering it, and memorizing it. I usually suggest to my clients that they personalize scripture. This can make it much more meaningful.
2. Another tool is to receive counseling that heals such as inner healing counseling. This type of counseling deals with emotional wounds--typically from childhood. It also works with lie-based thinking. When Jesus heals these wounds and gives you His truth, it changes your brain and your heart.
A great tool that helps with understanding the science of how your brain gets rewired is a book by Caroline Leaf called Switch on Your Brain. It is pretty interesting. She has tools in her book that also teach you how to renew your mind, but I am partial to God doing it for me :-)
I hope you enjoy these GEMs. If they are not your thing, that is okay! There are some other great Christian meditations out there. Find the ones you like and rest.
Cheering you on!