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Seminary Student needing help

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#1
Patrick6099

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I don't know where to begin, so I'm just going to jump in. I googled christian chat rooms 30 minutes ago just to see what is available.  I probably need to see a counselor, but I don't know if I'm ready to talk face to face yet. I am 48 years old, and earlier this year made the decision to abandon my previous career path and attend seminary.  Tuesday will be my last final exam for the first set of four classes, so I am now underway as a student.  I am seriously struggling in several areas and I don't have anywhere to turn currently.  Life has gotten to where I would really prefer to just go to heaven. I wouldn't take my own life, but I wish God would.  I'm struggling in my personal life, I'm struggling in my marriage, I'm struggling with what God intends to do with me during and after seminary, I'm struggling with finding a good church, I'm struggling with Christian doctrine, I'm struggling with whether or not I'm a Christian, I'm struggling with a tragedy that God allowed in my family this year, I'm struggling with my view of God, I'm struggling with the fact that at my age I have no one I can call a good friend, I'm struggling with the fact that my life has been a failure with very little to show for it other than damaged lives. I'm struggling with the fact that this world is screwed up and in need a  Savior badly, but I'm doing little about it.  

 

I'm sorry you are getting this raw.  This may not be the place to air my dirty laundry.  I surrendered my life to Christ in 1985 at the age of 20 when I heard a message on commitment by Jerry White of the Navigators.  Up to that time I had attended church regularly and thought I was right with God but realized that there were areas of my life that I wouldn't let God touch.  I knelt beside a hotel bed that night and told God he could have it all.  A few years later I was bound and determined to become a missionary. In 1990, i made a decision to postpone seminary so I could get married, and it took me 23 years to get back on that course.  

 

There is so much more to the story, and if I ever got into that stuff I would have to remain anonymous.  Anonymity is why I'm here in the first place.  Feel free to comment.  I've lived through a lot of difficulty, and those who have know that its those required trials of life are what God uses to make us who He wants us to be.  Without wanting to sound abrasive, if you are a young Christian who has known little in the way of trials (I'm not talking about a boyfriend/girlfriend breakup, as hard as that might have been for you), you may struggle to understand and relate, so there's no need to try to force out some wisdom.  

 

God bless you all.  



#2
chloe_fantastic

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 I'm struggling with whether or not I'm a Christian

Welcome Patrick. I'm glad you found us, and I'm sorry to read of all the things you're struggling with.

 

I quoted this portion specifically above because I'm sure you'll agree, this really is the most important thing. It really is as simple as Scripture presents it.

 

Romans 3:10-12, and 23
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” ... For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (NLT)

 

Agree?

 

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)

 

Agree?

 

Romans 5:8
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (NLT)

 

Agree?

 

Romans 10:9-10
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved ... (NLT)

 

And have you done this?

 

If all answers are yes, then you can be assured. You are saved, for look:

 

Romans 10:13

For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (NLT)

 

He said it, so you can believe it, brother.
 



#3
Patrick6099

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Hey Chloe, thanks for your response and kind words. The source of my struggle regarding my salvation is a study of the Calvinistic position on election.  That God picks and chooses who will be saved before we are born.  There are many highly respected church leaders today who will agree with the doctrine of election, along with many more highly intelligent people down through the centuries.  I admit to having a deep struggle with this issue.  


Edited by Patrick6099, 15 December 2013 - 05:37 AM.


#4
FresnoJoe

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Welcome~!

 

~

 

The Most Controversial Statement Of God

 

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

 

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

 

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:11-15

 

Or Is

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

 

It?

 

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3



#5
gracelovehope1

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Welcome to Worthy Patrick ,

I dunno how to begin answering this so many struggles you've been encountering in life .

I should say this struggles can be considered trials also in life as everyone in the world encounters them.

Becuz we are sinful beings who live in this fallen world ,we experience trouble in a regular basis .

Yes we do everything to attain comfort and peace by protecting ourselves from trouble but trouble 

arises .Marriage was designed was designed as a source of happiness and fulfillment yet in 1 Corinthians:7:28

says those who are married "shall have trouble in the flesh "there is going to be trouble even in the best of what God 

gives to us becuz of the sin principle that is active in the world .

Jesus Himself experienced trouble and warned His disciple to expect tribulation in the world (John 16:33,John 11:33,

12:27,and13:21) record Jesus troubled responses to the devastating effects of sin.

Paul said he was troubled on every side (2 Cor.4:8)so it is reasonable to expect trouble in our lives as well.

We experience it in our failures on our jobs at school from our friends,families,with our nation.

It comes in the form of criticism,illness,death of loved ones ,personality conflicts,illness.

Trouble,struggles trials is a way of life so don't think you are alone if you're experiencing it .



#6
enoob57

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Well I've been there! I would live in and out of the old nature and was quite confusing till I was
shown the fruits of the Spirit
Gal 5:22-26
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no
law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions
and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
NKJV

I had to repent for my Lord did not give His Life for me to live in the wrong part of me! Love, Steven

#7
Fez

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Do you understand that God loves you? What does that love mean to you?

#8
Adsy86

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Hey Chloe, thanks for your response and kind words. The source of my struggle regarding my salvation is a study of the Calvinistic position on election. That God picks and chooses who will be saved before we are born. There are many highly respected church leaders today who will agree with the doctrine of election, along with many more highly intelligent people down through the centuries. I admit to having a deep struggle with this issue.

The predestination thing is always something tricky. I always say that whoever wrote that sentence should had done it better cuz it's been interpreted in of one many good and bad ways

My personal view on it and study I've had in school, is that it wouldn't really make sense for God to create so many people and then say "ok I choose you to be saved, and you..nah you're not". It's more of that God has given the choice for everyone to be saved but he knows that not everyone will accept it, therefore he knows who will be saved and who doesn't, not because he made a screening process of who will be in heaven and who won't, but because he knows what's in people's hearts.

And if you think that God has set some people apart to be saved and some to not be, it wouldn't make much sense for God to send Jesus, or to command us to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth and make disciples, if there were already a selective group of people chosen to be saved, there is no point to it. The idea is to help everyone to be touched by God, but unfortunately not everyone's gonna respond.

Edited by Adsy86, 15 December 2013 - 08:15 AM.


#9
other one

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Patrick, I don't want to be a stumbling block, but in my 66 years it seems that when I was doing what God wanted me to do it went almost effortlessly in my life....   so from my perspective I would wonder if this is really what he meant for you to do.

 

might I also add that i have two close relatives that told me that seminary schools were destroying their faith.

 

If God really doesn't want you there you will just approach heavy or closed doors which ever way you turn.    If it's affecting your marriage it's not good....  if it's affecting your faith it's not good....  if it's pushed you do depression to just want to die, it's really not good.

 

 

Finish your tests and put your text books aside and take some time with God just in the Bible.......    figure out what's wrong   I don't believe God would ever have you do things that are destructive to your marriage.



#10
Boash

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Hello Patrick, I'm not in seminary nor do I plan too. But I can relate to alot of the other things you mentioned. Perhaps some of your struggles persist in all of the "I" in your statement. You said you got on your knees and told God he could have it all. Maybe it's time to let him take over and quit trying to carry the load on your own. Not trying to judge, just know alot of times when I reach your point of frustration in my own life it's turns out that it is me trying to hard, trusting in my own effort to make things the way I want them to be as opposed allowing God to be the decision maker.

#11
WillfromTexas

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They don't call it cemetary school for nothing.  Have you considered a more Jesus focused ministry education program such as Charas Bible College?  They have multiple locations and I believe even a correspondence course and can even fly in to graduate with your class.  Although I think you miss the whole experience not being surrounded by fellow believers.

 

You sound a lot like me and trust me brother aren't the only one suffering through their walk with Christ.  I've been a Christian for 20 years too, am 42, and have been through a lot of hell.  It's been frustrating because my hands are tied and will require a miracle for change.  Of course it led to many of the same questions you've asked.  Now I don't ask those questions but ask the Lord to see me through.

 

Over the years I had my ups and downs with God but as things have got worse I cling more to the Lord.  That is what faith is all about- not a feeling but believing what God has said in his Word.  Now I don't question my salvation anymore- I've decided that is a settled deal.  Now I know God loves me even when life would make it seem otherwise.

 

Stand on the promises of God and stay in prayer.  The Lord is with you even through the fire...

 

Adsy86 pretty much set you straight on pre-destination I hope.  We all- ALL have a choice to follow the Lord.  It's like a catch 22 almost- God knew who was going to choose salvation and knew that before we were ever born.

 

Lastly- your best day without the Lord isn't as good as your worst day with Him.  You know it is true and came to that truth long ago.



#12
Littlelambseativy

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Patrick, I don't want to be a stumbling block, but in my 66 years it seems that when I was doing what God wanted me to do it went almost effortlessly in my life....   so from my perspective I would wonder if this is really what he meant for you to do.

 

might I also add that i have two close relatives that told me that seminary schools were destroying their faith.

 

If God really doesn't want you there you will just approach heavy or closed doors which ever way you turn.    If it's affecting your marriage it's not good....  if it's affecting your faith it's not good....  if it's pushed you do depression to just want to die, it's really not good.

 

 

Finish your tests and put your text books aside and take some time with God just in the Bible.......    figure out what's wrong   I don't believe God would ever have you do things that are destructive to your marriage.

Those words could have been mine - maybe said differently. 

 You said "you" made a decision to enter seminary - if God did not call you, you are in the wrong place. 

Any theology school or class will test your faith and unless you are firm in your faith - that of the Bible you will be hurt confused and troubled and in the end doubt the Word itself. As I said unless God called you - you are in the wrong place.

With regard to election / predestination - God is all wise and all knowing and if He knew us before we were born did He not also know the choices we would make? Those choices to accept Jesus as Redeemer and Saviour are what predestines or elects us to be His own.

It seems as though you are struggling in all aspects of seminary/ missionary. If not called - leave for you will not be happy doing what "you" have chosen to do.



#13
Patrick6099

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Patrick, I don't want to be a stumbling block, but in my 66 years it seems that when I was doing what God wanted me to do it went almost effortlessly in my life....   so from my perspective I would wonder if this is really what he meant for you to do.

 

might I also add that i have two close relatives that told me that seminary schools were destroying their faith.

 

If God really doesn't want you there you will just approach heavy or closed doors which ever way you turn.    If it's affecting your marriage it's not good....  if it's affecting your faith it's not good....  if it's pushed you do depression to just want to die, it's really not good.

 

 

Finish your tests and put your text books aside and take some time with God just in the Bible.......    figure out what's wrong   I don't believe God would ever have you do things that are destructive to your marriage.

Those words could have been mine - maybe said differently. 

 You said "you" made a decision to enter seminary - if God did not call you, you are in the wrong place. 

Any theology school or class will test your faith and unless you are firm in your faith - that of the Bible you will be hurt confused and troubled and in the end doubt the Word itself. As I said unless God called you - you are in the wrong place.

With regard to election / predestination - God is all wise and all knowing and if He knew us before we were born did He not also know the choices we would make? Those choices to accept Jesus as Redeemer and Saviour are what predestines or elects us to be His own.

It seems as though you are struggling in all aspects of seminary/ missionary. If not called - leave for you will not be happy doing what "you" have chosen to do.

 

 

Guys, you are trying to read between the lines which is doing no good.  I would be typing for 30 hours if I filled in all the gaps. I don't know what I was thinking coming here, just desperate to try something.  Maybe I was looking for a wise friend or mentor.  Maybe my expectations were just a little too high.  

 

God Bless you and your families.  



#14
angels4u

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I don't know where to begin, so I'm just going to jump in. I googled christian chat rooms 30 minutes ago just to see what is available.  I probably need to see a counselor, but I don't know if I'm ready to talk face to face yet. I am 48 years old, and earlier this year made the decision to abandon my previous career path and attend seminary.  Tuesday will be my last final exam for the first set of four classes, so I am now underway as a student.  I am seriously struggling in several areas and I don't have anywhere to turn currently.  Life has gotten to where I would really prefer to just go to heaven. I wouldn't take my own life, but I wish God would.  I'm struggling in my personal life, I'm struggling in my marriage, I'm struggling with what God intends to do with me during and after seminary, I'm struggling with finding a good church, I'm struggling with Christian doctrine, I'm struggling with whether or not I'm a Christian, I'm struggling with a tragedy that God allowed in my family this year, I'm struggling with my view of God, I'm struggling with the fact that at my age I have no one I can call a good friend, I'm struggling with the fact that my life has been a failure with very little to show for it other than damaged lives. I'm struggling with the fact that this world is screwed up and in need a  Savior badly, but I'm doing little about it.  

 

I'm sorry you are getting this raw.  This may not be the place to air my dirty laundry.  I surrendered my life to Christ in 1985 at the age of 20 when I heard a message on commitment by Jerry White of the Navigators.  Up to that time I had attended church regularly and thought I was right with God but realized that there were areas of my life that I wouldn't let God touch.  I knelt beside a hotel bed that night and told God he could have it all.  A few years later I was bound and determined to become a missionary. In 1990, i made a decision to postpone seminary so I could get married, and it took me 23 years to get back on that course.  

 

There is so much more to the story, and if I ever got into that stuff I would have to remain anonymous.  Anonymity is why I'm here in the first place.  Feel free to comment.  I've lived through a lot of difficulty, and those who have know that its those required trials of life are what God uses to make us who He wants us to be.  Without wanting to sound abrasive, if you are a young Christian who has known little in the way of trials (I'm not talking about a boyfriend/girlfriend breakup, as hard as that might have been for you), you may struggle to understand and relate, so there's no need to try to force out some wisdom.  

 

God bless you all.  

Why not just read all of what you wrote  to the Lord and ask him for directions?

 

Isaiah 26:4

Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

 



#15
kwikphilly

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Blessings Patrick,

     Welcome to Worthy......I do not know what you were thinking coming here either but I do know that God knew what He was doing when He lead you here to be surrounded & embraced in the Love of Christ........we are all here together in one of His little flocks,all Brothers & Sisters united by our faith in the knowledge of our Lord & Savior,we encourage & extol one another,we laugh & cry together,we bless & are blessed through one another by God & we truly love one another........

   Perhaps we can do nothing more than "read between the lines"but there is not one of us that will not stand by you,pray for & with you & try to reason together with you the things that trouble you.Are these good reasons to give God praise & glory that He has brought you here?You are very troubled at this time,why don't we take one issue at a time & try to find solutions?Perhaps you are projecting too far ahead & trying to solve all your problems at once......we have all the time in the world for you,you can post here or PM anyone for one on one if you prefer(I welcome you to do so,I am at your disposal)I have been in the Lord for well over 3 decades & He has lifted me out of the depths of a wretched sinful life,spared  my life & freed me from sin condemnation....perhaps I am not the wise friend & mentor you seek & maybe your expectations are very high but not too high for God & I promise you that He is the wise friend & mentor that is able to do all things exceedingly ,abundantly & ABOVE ANYTHING you can ask or even think......so trust His Word,His promises for you........

     I am praying for you,Brother and God bless you                                              With love,in Christ-Kwik



#16
Willamina

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Welcome! I ask you not to give up on us. Remember Job? Read that book again. If you are called into the ministry, God has his own way of preparing us--the school of hard knocks. 2 Cor. 1 tells us that we will be able to help others with the same comfort God gives us during our times of trial. God keeps us on our knees and desperately clinging to Him during those times till we are so weak we let go. But we find that God is still holding on to us. He will never let go of you!. Head knowledge alone will never make you a pastor. But a heart of compassion and a desire to serve those dispised by the world will. I also am some 20+ years older than you. We may not have been in your exact circumstances, but we have been through trials that were taylor made to be the most difficult for us. So just surrender the whole mess to God. Present it to Him. Then take one step at a time, doing what God is showing you to do next.

The test is imminant and probably needs to be dealt with immediately.
But your relationship with your wife is next only to your relationship with God in importance. Your prayers will be hindered without having peace with her if it is at all possible. Even your desire to go to seminary and enter the ministry needed her support. And you are likely going through a lot of grief due to this. Grief is a very dark tunnel. You usually can't see that God is anywhere in it and you go through anger and depression. Sometimes you can't concentrate, let alone study. Many people think no one understands. Eventually people will find that life goes on even though it is changed. If you find some time, the best antedote that I know of is to try to find someone who is hurting worse than you and befriend them. Above all, stay true to God and perservere.

Some trials are there to humble us and rid us of any selfrighteousness or self effort. Some are the result of our own neglect or mistakes. Some are because, like Job, we were following God but Satan was trying to make us turn against God or to blame Him. Some are a combination. But all will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness. God is faithful to use it for our good if we let Him and ask Him to glorify Himself in it all. But beware of the accusations of the enemy. He is there to lie, kill and destroy, and he plays dirty. He hits when you are weakest and uses half truths, even misusing Scripture. So put on the full armor of God. Read Ephesians 6:10-20 again.

You are right, I am reading between the lines, and I hope I am not one of Job's 3 friends in the process. Eventually God will show you what He is doing but right now you need to trust that He still loves you and died for your sins. That is the bottom line. You may find that Christian counseling is available at your school. Otherwise, a visit to you primary care provider (MD) might help. After the death of the last of my family, mine gave me a mild antidepressant for about 3 weeks. It was enough to balance the stress hormones and help me to have a clearer outlook on life. Meanwhile, you will be in my prayers.

Willa

#17
more2life

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Welcome to the boards dear brother! So happy to have you here. I hope that you will find the help/guidence you are looking for here - I hope that the people will be of help. But most importantly, always go to God!

 

Be Blessed!



#18
WillfromTexas

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Well hope you come back...  I was interested in hearing your story.

 

You kind of bared your soul and we just wanted to help you know... 



#19
Mr.Patrick

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Hey Pat, have you ever heard of Ignatian spiritual retreat?  The goal of these types of retreats, is to organise your life, and to take  decisions after discerning the Will of the Father for you. And you don't do it alone, You need to talk with an  experienced spiritual director, who can discern with you. That means in other words, to find out what your deep desires are, what do you really want?  The retreat could be 3, 5, or 7 or 30 days. Or you can do it in your daily life. The prayers are  from the Bible, I suggest to you, as a good advice, to search more about these retreats, I don't know where you from, but my guess is from the states? I'm sure you will find more about these retreats if you ask about Jesuits or google. You don't have to be catholic to pray in these type of retreat. If you want more information please let me know. 

 

You are in my prayers,

 Patrick.  



#20
GoldenEagle

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Welcome Patrick. Know you are loved brother. Hang in there. Praying. :thumbsup:






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