Freeing Christians From Americhristianity

I really appreciated this man’s perspective on how we should react to present day world events.

john pavlovitz

CF1_0460-X2Dear World,

I’m a Christian who feels something needs to be said about my faith tradition.

Despite the ways we who practice it might declare otherwise (especially in weeks like this), it is intended to beautiful and joy-filling and life-giving. It is made of compassion and mercy and forgiveness and sacrificial love—or at least it is supposed to be.

It is supposed to be the most brilliant of lights in the dark places we often spend our days.

It is supposed to drive us to the places of deepest despair and greatest need, and fully burdened to make our home there until the low are raised up and the hurting healed and the captives freed.

It is also supposed to make us fearless.

The most-repeated words from the mouth of God/Jesus throughout both the Old and New Testaments to the faithful, is to not fear. At the very center of our religion…

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Feelings Upon Having One’s Book in Hand

Something by JT Stilson:) Happens to be my Mom, and I am proud as can be!

The Long Home Series

Awesome.  Trepiditious. Thankful. Humble.

I worked strenuously to write The Long Home: Now and Then, so that when it was sent off to the publisher, I was anxious for any word from them. The process took a number of weeks which further increased my anxiety, and with it my blood pressure.  The doctor assured me I don’t need to worry on that last issue.  I have lost sleep, stretched my patience to the snapping point, and suffered traumatic composure disorder (tcd).  I just made that up.  It’s hard to put up a pleasant front when you are wondering where the book is at the publishers.  Which desk is it on today?  Who is working on it?  Questions, questions, questions.

So yes, when it arrived yesterday, I was in awe.  I handled it reverently.  It was beautiful.  I love the cover designed by Mark Kee.  Would the inside be as beautiful? …

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I need your help

There is a need in the community:)

Cristian Mihai

From time to time I contemplate the idea of abandoning my dream of becoming a full time writer. I get all kinds of ideas in my head. I’m just pretending to be a writer, and I’m not really good enough, and that I should simply give up.

A couple years ago, before I started this blog, one of my uncles asked me about my writing. Back then I was uploading stories on Wattpad, and I was having a lot of fun. So I told him that I had talked with a girl from Etiopia, who said that she really enjoyed my stories. So much that she cried.

And, well, he asked me about money. Was I earning enough?

In fact, I wasn’t making money at all. And I told him that, and I told him that when a stranger genuinely appreciates your art, that’s worth more than all the money in the world.

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Shared Pain

A stark reality – Shared pain is not going to make the person who first felt it, feel any less.  

Does that make sense?

I got a call from my eldest today, working in Arizona.  A coworker/friend was lost last night, and his friends/ workers had only found out as they clocked in. My tears ran for my child’s pain, as I cannot be there to administer hugs and personal contact.  I did the next best thing and contacted all our mutual close friends; told of loss suffered and the need for an out-pouring of love.  

We often feel helpless when faced with death, with the shock of loss.  It is hard enough when it hits us, but somehow worse when it strikes those around us.  I can feel sad for the death of a man, angry even that it involved alcohol, (stuff of nightmares for my child), and thankful that it was not me losing my child.  Tears flowed.  Tonight, I go to sleep with the pain of my child wrapped in my heart.

What the hell am I there for then?

“Please bite your tongue”..the ending words of a dressing down.  Grrr.

 I am in my late 40’s..I am self-confident, capable, and have worked for 2 1/2 years in a job where my job is to help people solve problems.  These problems may require giving directions to a website, or to our facility; they may be in person or by phone; they may require doing what is needed to connect the people to the ones that can help them best.  Key word – Help!

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How many college students in the US will get degrees?

College Enrollment on my mind today as I return to DeVry University, for my last 8 week session of Undergrad studies.  Ever a martyr for punishment, I am going straight into Keller Graduate School of Management in July (assuming I am accepted, of course).  Anyway, I started wondering about the statistics relating to enrollment in the United states and went to my favorite stats site, Statisticbrain.com, to see what I could find.  If you are not a fan of numbers, then this is a post you may want to skip.

Here is a table of overall numbers:

Number of U.S. Colleges and Universities Number Enrollment
Public 4-year institutions 629 6,837,605
Private 4-year institutions 1,845 4,161,815
Public 2-year institutions 1,070 6,184,229
Private 2-year institutions 596 303,826
Total 4,140 17,487,475
Undergraduate 14,473,884
Graduate 2,097,511
Professional 329,076
Degrees Awarded Annually: Number
Associate 696,660
Bachelor’s 1,439,264
Master’s 574,618
Doctorate 52,631
Professional 87,289
Enrollment Demographics:
Women 57.4%
Full-time 61.7%
Minority 30.9%
Foreign 3.3%

I fall into this group:

Private 4-year institutions 1,845 4,161,815
So, out of 10,599,420 ( 6,837,605 + 4,161,815) enrolled 4-year college students in 2013, only 1,439,264 obtain Bachelor’s Degrees, in a given year (Statisticbrain, 2014).

Here is a different view of Education Attainment in the US as of 2013.  I got this link from Wikipedia, but verified it at the Census.gov website (2013). https://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/cps/2013/tables.html

Educational attainment in the United States, Age 25 and Over (2013)[3]
Education Percentage
High school graduate 88.15%
Some college 58.33%
Associate’s and/or Bachelor’s degree 41.50%
Bachelor’s degree 31.66%
Master’s and/or Doctorate and/or professional degree 11.57%
Doctorate and/or professional degree 3.16%
Doctorate 1.68%

According to this, about 32% of the population, age 25 or older, have obtained their Bachelor’s degree. (They use 25 as the cut-off, as few younger than that have obtained a higher degree)(Wikipedia, 2013). Also, you can note that an additional 10% of this population have at least an Associate’s Degree. Either way, I can see that I am in a select group, more than I ever realized.

You may be wondering what made me want to collect this data.  A few days back, someone pointed out to me, by the fact that I was about to graduate and obtain my Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Business Administration and Management, I already was one of a select few that would do so this year, if at all or ever.  I had never thought about that way; never considered the privilege I was gaining along with the immense debt I have incurred these past 3 years.  I am much more motivated by helping people than I am by money, which makes this debt at least potentially justified.  I took every class I could in a custom plan to make myself better able to do a job that will include some aspect of service. I have an end game requiring more education, and so, I am thankful for those stray comments that help lift blinders off my self-perception and anything which blocks my clear view of my environment (the world in which I live and work). You could say it was an eye-opening moment.

I share my thoughts in an ongoing attempt at self-definition and an increasing ability to perceive both my self-worth and how it can help me help others.  Apologies for the bulky tables, I am still learning how to work with formatting outside of Word.

Census.gov. (2014). Social Demographics – Education. Retrieved from  https://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/cps/2013/tables.html

Statisticbrain. (2014). College enrollment statistics. Retrieved from http://www.statisticbrain.com/college-enrollment-statistics/