Degrees

One thing that bothers me is my journey towards getting a college degree. It seems like no college is right for me or I have no idea what to do.

I thought I wanted to go into ministry so I went to school and found out one thing and that was that not all schools are the best schools for ministry. Not only is that issue prevalent but then you have the issue of what type of ministry.

One thing is for sure and that is people put ministry and christianity into a box where it starts to become stereotypical. You can easily spot out the christians, know their motives and what not.  Same for those who are in ministry. It is like people already want to put you on the pulpit when you may not necessarily be put on to the pulpit.

First of all before I go any further with any of this let me just say this, christianity is not just about the church. It is a lifestyle. You talk to God and let him lead you through out life. We have gotten so wrapped up into this church life and it is not even necessary.  There will not be a church anymore and there will not be regular pastors and preachers anymore. Christianity was about learning a how to think differently and act by the spirit and not by the flesh. There is much more to it but we just dilute it in something totally different that is now perverted into statuses, getting more people into church, money, power and even politics. Yes there are church politics. There will not be a need for denominations anymore. It will be all about sharing your beliefs and acting in the fashion that is christ like.

So back to what I was saying as far as ministry is concerned there is more to it that is outside of the box. We are all messengers but we tend to send messages differently and that are unique. We tend to forget that God is a god over all mediums so God can use whatever he wants to in order to get a point across.

The topic at hand is college degrees. Now the whole thing with college degrees is that I do not know what my calling really is to yet. I struggle with it and I hope whenever I have a definite answer to whatever that is I will take it, run with it and finish the race victoriously.  But do I really need a college degree to get started? I need a foundation and need to know where I am going so having some sort of background in order to get my feet on solid ground is a must therefore taking classes or  spending hours on research and reading the bible is time spent well. Now getting the degree I do not know about. It all depends on the person. But degree or not if we are going to go about ministry we will need knowledge and understanding of the bible that goes deeper than mediocre teachings. We would also have to back ourselves up with facts and verses with the understanding of the chapter (something I feel like I struggle with but I will get to that point eventually).

Ministry or not everyone must have their feet on solid ground or a good foundation and if you don’t then you must get out of the box of fear to find it.

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.

Corinthians 3:11-13

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Anxiety

I’m so anxious to write something amazing. I’m so anxious to get out of school. I’m so anxious to hit that spot in life where I can just take off running. I’m so anxious to finally live the life I had always dreamed. This anxiety overwhelms me to the point of doing something crazy. I run myself crazy and try to numb the pain by focusing all my energy into something meaningless. I try and escape from my anxiety but I can not. I lose myself and probably some of my brain cells trying to lose myself in a fantasy world in order to lie and wait for my life to begin.

I’m sick of everything. I lock myself in the room. I wait anxiously for inspiration to comes and when it does I lose energy.  I drown myself into something else. I distract myself.  I listen to the other voices of people giving me suggestions when it is like they don’t know the whole story. i want to pour my heart and soul into something. I always thought writing was that outlet.  I like but I dislike it.   Why couldn’t it have been drawing because I’ve always wanted to draw my own anime? It naturally became an interest to me and I focused on it long and hard. Why couldn’t it be business? I went to school for it yet I failed but many business women were impressed by me. Many failures and many business ideas yet no turn out.

I am burned out from school and not knowing who I am or what I should do. I try and avoid people because I am a chameleon and lose myself within the process yet you need them for the process that you must have to find out what to do.  I’m so sick of heartbreak, hurt, numbness and pain. I am sick of failure with school and poor choices.

I want to thrive, I want to thrive, I want to thrive so much that I am losing my mind.

I seek after God to know the truth. I seek God to learn about me. I feel so delusional.  When I feel God’s comfort I feel the most sane. When I am in silence I feel the most peace.  When I am in prayer I feel the best and when I am working with in the spirit my soul can be at rest. If only I surrender.

Purpose and Suicide

I struggled with finding my purpose and suicide so much. I went to Bible college and decided to just live for God and not worry about it again until the anxiety came back to haunt me.

During my winter break I was on the brink of failing my Christian Education class. I thought I was going to be able to pull out of it and be successful but the when it got down to 2 days I could not pull myself out of this pit.  I accepted the failure and decided to take the class again.

I wanted to be able to finish the class on a good note because I am so anxious to leave school. I dislike school and I want to be able to have a break. I feel like I need the break after going to three school from highschool graduation till now (2013-2015). Many people say that it is normal for people to switch around schools and even though I know the stats are out there still I want to take a break.

In order to take a break I would need to have money. Not only do I need to have money but also shelter. My mother is now homeless and I definitely do not want to live with other family members and be controlled.  It is easy to become codependent but I am trying to break from the lifestyle, plus I actually like being on my own. I have to be on my own. None of my family is going to be there when I die and I am getting judged by God. Who will be my witness and who else would be there? No one but God and I.

Somedays I feel like hell would not be bad and I am okay with having my soul tormented until God ceases for evil to exist.  I  can not go into suicide yet it seems like everything is dark. I do not even know what to do. I feel lost and hurt because I am restless and anxious. I want to learn how to relax but I feel like I can not until I know that everything is okay.

God wants me to know that I do not have to know everything and be anxious for anxiety will lead into evil but it seems so hard to surrender but it is not till those times when we get towards this time where we are the weakest and can not do anything we rely on him.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

Psalm 37:8

Money issue

How are you going to make money?  You are going to be poor/homeless. This is what I get a lot of times from various people. By now many of you know that I want to go into ministry.  Ministry seems like something not worth spending your time and money on in this day and age. As far as being an almost 20 year old (I know I’m young (19)) who has had huge dreams about living this amazing life and having lots of money. One thing we all must know that it is not about the money. It never was. Yes money is a tool but we don’t need it. People live off the land or off things we don’t consider of value. We throw away food. Water we can get from many different places. Shelter is probably the only thing that would be hard to find but we can find shelter some how. We are humans. We have creativity. Even the most left brained person has creativity. We have to have this in order to survive and thrive. Anyway this dilema of me being in ministry and not having money does make me anxious and so I start to plan on ways to sell my ministry. Ministry is something that can’t be sold. We should just do the greater good and not respect anything in return.  Recently I watched a video (http://vimeo.com/45451559) on christian ministry pornography. It was something that opened up my eyes a little bit more. Jon Acuff says that “we can be so focused on the dream and not the journey” (this quote has been summarized I highly encourage you to watch this video).  This something else I have been hearing a lot but from different places like the yoga class that I am taking right now.

Again, I’ve had big dreams. Had. I start to plan and then when I plan out my dreams (like when I was in international business I had a plan to go to the peacecorps afterwards) I would always say what is next or this is boring because I don’t have anything else to do. I look at what age I would be and then say well my life is short.  Well since life is short and I am about to spend my 20s in bible college or seminary that means I must enjoy somethings in life today.

 

Enjoying today, this moment and practicing mindfulness has been a problem for me but I find that in the state of the present that is when we do more. We are more creative and we are elevated in power and spirituality. People use weed to get there or maybe other drugs that’ll slow you down. Some people will use other forms that will get them to that point of living in the present through something that comes instanteously.  We must go slower in order to have a better product or outcome. We must have an intimate experience or relationship with what we are doing. Everything is an art whether it is good or bad it is an art. What I mean by art is something that is crafted so well that it is also aesthetic. My version of art can go as far as an divine experience or an experience that seems divine( meaning it didn’t come from God).  We can live life as an art form and have those moments when living in the present by thanking God. You become more thankful. That bird that you find annoying in the morning can be the absolute most dreamlike song you have ever heard. The clouds in the sky, just looking at them and their majesticness can become a surreal experience.

 

One simple experience that I have learned from yoga is paying attention to your breath. It is something very fascinating. You can feel your body fill up with air as you inhale and then squeeze the air out. It is very relaxing when your body does it natural. The exhale is a release. Not only is it a release of all the air that’ll build up in your body but it is a release of toxins as well.

What does this have to do with money? Living has no value. People who are homeless live, people who are in Africa live. Living is something that can be done with having a relationship and appreciating that certain person (not just romantic relationships) prescence. Taking the time out to acknowledge who you are helping or caring for (which was something else mentioned in the video).   It does not take multi millions of dollars to live and it does not take some daredevil ab-sailing or stuff like that.

Another Video that you probably watched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86x-u-tz0MA

Something that was on My mind

One of the biggest issues with my college career is finding out what I wanted to do or thought that I wanted to do for a good portion of my life. This want had to also fit within the wants of others and societal boundary lines such as job markets. To tell the truth I didn’t really care about such things. I wanted to become a photographer or filmmaker. I wanted to go to an art institute. The place of my dreams was Savannah College of Art and Design. It was 40,000 dollars and in Georgia. Mom said no. I thought it was also cool that they had different locations in different countries. Again no. I had a plan all made up to start my own photography business. This was all in sophomore year. I had plans written out. I wanted to own my own photography business and travel the world. But nooo. So what is next. Senior year. I was busy dealing with the fact that I was bipolar and suicidal. I didn’t have any plans for the future. When I got to a point where I was mostly just getting through each day then I was to “think seriously about college”. I got asked all the wonderful questions like where are you going and etc. I had the same answer: I don’t know. At SIUe I was trying to “find myself” in the business world. It seemed like a good compromise since I’ve taken courses in business. Then I decided that the choice I had made was not going to sustain me. I didn’t know that it was something I wanted to do or not. I did research on it and I was kind of interested in it. I didn’t want that type of lifestyle. Before I could even dapple into Anthropology I was put out.

 

Then I went to community college for Marketing. I only did this because I wanted to go into the peace corps. One day I started trying to figure some stuff out to start filling out my application and then found out that I was basically wasting my time. Whatever I was going to do next had to be something meaningful. I couldn’t be stuck mentally in survival mode.

 

I feel as if going to bible college is the thing that separates me from surviving to actually living the life of my dreams. Helping people, traveling and being able to learn more about christianity. I also believe as a pastor I will also be learning many things about the world around us and not just christianity such as about different cultures.  Now that I have made the decision to go away to bible college many people are telling me to get myself together. I can not continue to live a life that does not feel meaningful to me. I know that I will continue to get told about having a career and such. Yes I want to stop bouncing around from place to place and yes I want to go to bible college. I wish people would understand that. Any money I had left was going towards me going down to Atlanta. I need to go. Yes I can be doing other things. Yes I could find out some way to go aboard and back pack but there is a reason I am not backpacking. Yes I could go to a different university and study either foreign language or anthropology but there is a reason I am not studying those subjects. Do I have any other plans or may I return to college? For the most part No. I am not going to spend more money. This is it. I feel as if the freedom can help me go above and beyond. The freedom will release my fears and help me be creative to make a path for myself. A woman I had met recently told me that I had all the tools I needed to succeed. Is college important? Yes. Do credentials matter? Yes. But God made this wonderful thing called the mind and we can do so many things with it. We can make a way out of no way. We can make something out of trash. Fear is the only thing stopping us.

 

Seminary School=Scary Place

I am afraid. This is the most terrifying thing in my life that I am dealing with…..it’s called answering the calling. I know that fear is the root of sin (I wrote about it). I know that it causes separation.

 

Why am I afraid?

I never liked school. At the beginning of my college career I had to go to a summer program (I will talk about what all happened in another post but not right now) and a lot of stuff happened that affected me in the next semester. During my fall semester at the first college I had many issues such as depression and laziness. I went to all my classes, I did go to a few parties( but I didn’t drink or have drugs), I paid attention and I still failed. If I really look at it it all started from my last years in highschool (another post for another time). But anyway I am scared because of failure. I went to college and I was a business major. I was very passionate about business. I took classes on how to start your own business and went to meetings with business women. I didn’t want to work for anyone and I could never imagine myself living the regular life stuck in a office and then going home. That just wasn’t for me. Seminary school on the other hand is waaay more difficult than just regular college. Seminary school is a serious place. No music and lots of analyzation. Many people would say that it is a good fit for me because of how serious I am and analytical I can be at times. But the past prevails (and as I think of finals) I think of me being burned out and not wanting to do this. I have worried my mom till she wanted to start throwing stuff at me and said if you don’t want to do this then don’t but then it is like I do want seminary school. I want to go after this life style that I want. I can not imagine myself doing anything else and I love it. I have freedom with it and can make it work for me…plus travel opportunities and I get the best of both worlds. It is my dream life. But then I start thinking about people who are doctors and engineers…people who are heros to others or making lots of money. It really gets to me because I would feel like i’m not smart (and I am very smart…) or I am just not doing anything really because this whole thing about being a preacher is so surreal for me. I’m not even in the seminary school(yet).  

 

For me being in college and going to school for business was a comfort zone that I was forced out of. With a degree in (I was in the international business program) international business I could travel the world and have money. Now it is like I have no plan what-so-ever. The only things I know is that I want to have my own church for a while( I have it all written out from a long time ago) and the fact that the world sabbatical was just the coolest word ever (I learned about this when I was 16 working as a receptionist for a non profit).

 

Another fear is the fear of being on my own again. My best friend/ devil’s advocate(in a loving way) has brought up another fear while I was writing this. I want to be alone and away from my family. I have always wanted this and it is not because of how dysfunctional they can be. I wanted to see what the world has to offer and see different parts of America. I have been in the midwest most of my life and it is now time to just break free. My fear is of my depression and being bipolar. I’m getting so sick of that being a reason why I can’t do anything or go anywhere because people think I will be suicidal or I need medication. It pisses me off. 1. I am never EVER going to take medication again because that stuff makes me sick and drowsy.

Lately I have been thinking that I need to shut it all off. Go read the Berserk Manga finally. Get my mind off of the exciting yet very scary life change. If I continue to listen to such things I may not even go and this is something I have no real choice in.  Therefore I shall go and relax.

Pre required….why?

As I stumble through college I always have this terrible thing that I have to do…this is called prerequisite classes. These classes are usually things like speech 101 and english 101. I believe that these classes should be taught in high school and not be in college. Yes I understand that there are professors that teach english and it would be weird putting them in a high school setting were they wouldn’t get paid as much. To me if they have higher education then yes we should pay them more but it really shouldn’t matter the setting. College is suppose to be a time where you are learning more about the things you want to learn. Yes I want the struggle of research and drinking coffee at 3 in the morning. Yes I want to go to class and learn. But the thing is the fact that you don’t do any of that until the next year and a good couple of thousand is gone. If you want America to be educated then WE MUST HAVE CHANGE.  For the people who can spend there money on anything I envy you. There are many better ways to spend money such as investing, starting a business or actually experiencing life to figure out what you want to do. It really bothers me (I like the saying irks my nerves) that school has to be this way. I remember getting into an argument once with a professor telling them why I am not interested in college. I told them that this was not a good investment of my money. She said college isn’t an investment. WAKE UP CALL…. it is. It may not be monetary but it is still an investment of time and effort. I don’t want to waste my time being taught by someone just because they have a ph.D and really don’t like their job because they are now learning that the pay sucks and they are stuck in debt. NO.  We should learn any fundamentals in high school. It really is a waste of time. Maybe it is because people fear challenging the young minds of high schoolers with higher education material. Maybe it is the fear that high schoolers aren’t mature enough. If high schoolers aren’t mature enough then why put so much pressure on them for a short amount of time during that second half of the school year. MAYBE we as society should rethink this whole process. If you can not teach those classes in highschool then please either just eliminate the class completely or maybe we should find people who are willing and able to take the job.