I fought the thoughts of not being able to breathe and allowing myself to have a panic attack. I have never been very religious, but it got to a point where counting didn’t help and the moment that destroyed my health replayed over and over. It was the few seconds prior to blacking out, to when I looked up at my rearview mirror and saw a truck coming right for me because he fell asleep. These thirty minutes of darkness symbolized the endless emotional and physical pain I had endured and my return to the darkness, which I cannot explain. So I prayed, hoping that even though I couldn’t remember all the verses, it would end the spinning and the torture. These moments of fear were more than claustrophobia; it was also a concoction of sadness. Sadness, that uncovered my weak and fragile human being self to the world because I had still not healed. As these thoughts deepened, the bed of the MRI machine began to move outward and I knew it was over. I hadn’t realized that my body was trembling until they took the thick white sheet off me. It revealed my shaking legs covered in Goosebumps and so, I pulled my fuzzy green socks up and with their help got off the bed. I wondered if that’s what it was like to live through a traumatic event or was it me being dramatic? Either way, I shut the door leaving the loud and terrible noises behind me. As I walked out, I could never see myself laying in that room again, unable to escape the endless
As a church we have misappropriated the level of judgement dispensed. We understand that all have sinned and that true discipleship requires accountability and discipline, however, the indubitable level must be delivered in a humble and nonjudgemental manner. We must realize the greatest impact for change is empathy, compassion and action. The only way to ensure the action is effective, one must first hear what the people feel as though their issues are. Next we must remove ourselves from a hypocritical place of judgement so that we can full understand and
You felt your knee raise itself unconsciously as it climbed onto the window sill, you leaned outward. It was like breathing in clarity, like everything became so clear to you: you were on the third floor of some rotten hotel about to kill yourself. You needed to make this count. You felt you stomach rage uncertainly, beckoning the question on whether or not you wanted this. You inwardly told your body sorry for wasting it. You hoped your body could be still put up for organ harvesting for those who needed it. You were sorry to the organs who wouldn't get that
Within the book You Lost Me by David Kinnaman, the author discusses why young Christians are leaving the church and rethinking faith. He gives us an overview of the trends within the mosaic generation. Through this overview, we as student ministers can better understand the generation in which we are ministering to. With this understanding, we can reach these students and bring them back to their home, that is the Church. In this report, I will discuss the book by chapter and finish with my reflection.
I could hear my breathing as if it was a voluntary action. As I saw my mom car come screeching into the driveway, she rushed out, I ran up to her as I tearfully asked, "Is he okay?" With hesitancy and a sorrow- filled voice she said, "He's dead," I screamed over and over again, "No, no, not my brother! Anyone but him!" and I broke down crying, I felt as if I was paralyzed, I felt like I was suffocating; as if a giant hand was clamped around my heart, I wanted to run, I wanted to scream, I wanted for it to not be
In The Next Christians, Gabe Lyons presents how the next generation of Christians turns the tide by bringing the truth of the Gospel to bear on our changing, secular society. While many Christians are worrying about the growing disregard for Christians and deviation from our faith, Gabe holds an optimistic attitude and believes now we are restorers, and Christianity’s best day are yet to come
After a car accident three years ago, God used the recovery period to hone my old skills and birth new. Over the course of the process, He repositioned me for a different journey. The new path led to a transition from a secular K-12 setting to Christian higher education; yet, still within the context of supporting a diverse student population. My purpose became preparing and teaching ministerial leadership in a
I received the news, that my mother had no chance to live and one doctor, placed his hand on my shoulder and sighed loudly with discomfort. He said,” she is not a candidate for any treatment.” I stormed into the ICU room, and held my mother’s hand; she glared at me, unconsciously. I couldn't help but hold back my emotions, so I could be strong for our family. As my eyes were helplessly filling up with tears, I couldn't help but to look around at the doctors and nurses working diligently, and doing the best they could for my mother. At the moment, I remembered the sacrifices that were made to help my mother and how saving lives was my calling from God. Thankfully, my mother survives but only at a twenty percent ejection
I’d never thought enough had happened in the sixteen and half years I had been alive for much of anything to pass in front of my eyes during a near death experience. I was wrong. You know those nights when you lie awake in bed and replay interactions long forgotten by everyone but you? You wonder what people thought, what you could have done differently. This experience felt much the same. In your head is all of your missteps and slip-ups, the advice you should have taken but were too stubborn to listen to, the people you’ve let down. It all sprawls out in front of you like a sunset stretching across the horizon as you drive over a big hill.
Recently I sat down with my pastor to discuss my future in ministry. I had some very heavy things weighing on my heart. After laying them out, I stated that “I often feel like I don’t have the needed self-confidence to do this ministry thing” and that “I think that I’m going to need a very supportive pastor in order to survive my first pastorate.” It was there that he stopped me cold and made if very clear that I could not and should not enter into ministry with that mindset. I could not expect my self-confidence to come from other people. I had to seek that from God. In the moments to come, through some very introspective conversation, I realized that I had been approaching the entire idea of ministry from the wrong direction. Without realizing it I had made it a “strong on the outside” thing. I had completely avoided the true spiritual formation that needed to be occurring on the inside.
Even heard of the movie Chariots of Fire? I personally have never seen the full movie until I had to watch it for class. The movie Chariots of Fire is about two determined young male runners that train for the 1924 Olympics in Paris. One man is a devoted Christian that runs for God, and refuses to run on the Sabbath day. The other man is Jewish and just runs to win. The movie talks about the 1920’s culture, different religions, and the Olympics.
Now while I think Osler was correct back in 1984 with his approach to creating a strong runner. I also find parallelism in ministry with the statement of having, “combined effect of natural ability, years of training and overall stamina conditioning.” I fact I would even go as far as to state that today were here to celebrate my brothers combined effect of natural ability, years of training and overall stamina conditioning. But the difference in what we celebrate today is that this man has a different power source. One that fueled by the Spirit of God. There is a difference! You see God is calling us to run the race and instead of working out at Planet Fitness he seeks to grow your mind in wisdom from His Holy Word. We can run the race but not under our own
With the rise of agriculture and static city based states, came the resources necessary to utilize animals as something other than a food source. But that in no way meant such resources were inexpensive. It took many people with many specializations to complete a device such a chariot, to raise and train a horse to pull one, and to specially train an occupant of such a vehicle to use it. This meant that the Chariot was a weapon of war available only to those with the power to leverage such resources from the populace, the ruling noble class. Added to this was the fearsome aspect they brought with them. A chariot was as much a symbol of its culture's might, and the sovereignty of the nobility riding them as they were a weapon. To ground soldiers
When I was 10 years old Rev. Holland Vaughn looked into my eyes and said, “Michael, you are going to be a pastor one day.” I found his prophetic pronouncement humorous. One, because I had no intention of ever becoming a pastor, and two because even at that age I was already running with neighborhood gangs and engaged in very unchristian activities. As the acolyte, week after week I carried my candle lighter and sat beside him on the altar. I watched the people laugh, cry, fall asleep, and occasionally shout an enthusiastic “amen!” From the “preacher’s bench” behind the pulpit. I observed this master plie his trade, using tradition, experience, and reason, to bring the Bible to life. Subconsciously I was reasoning through my own theology,
In examining my experience during the recent Cohort Intensives held at Payne Theological Seminary (PTS) in Wilberforce, Ohio; I was quite intrigued with how all of the scholars and guest speakers reinforced many of the initiatives I have already implemented in the context of my own ministry. Likewise, my time spent in class with my Cohort mentors Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie and Rev. Dr. Kenneth S. Robinson was both scholastically and spiritually invaluable. During the week-long Intensive class sessions with my mentors, I learned a number of new things about myself that I was not previously willing to address. In short, I had a moment of self-actualization that required some personal omissions on my part regarding my faith and yes some internalized oppression as labeled by author Gayraud S. Wilmore. Opening up in class and admitting a few of my own short-comings was nothing short of liberating. Suddenly, I felt as though I had an epiphany; that has given birth to a renewed zeal, mind, and spirit. For the first time in years I am certain that I am now moving closer to the apex of excellence where God intended me to be.