Seminary Sundays

What do I do on a Sunday? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

It’s odd that in Tennessee, Sunday was the one day of the week I couldn’t sleep in. My work days were always from 2-11. Now, Sunday is one of the later days seeing as my alarm doesn’t go off until 7:30. It’s also the one morning that I don’t have breakfast at home seeing as I can get something at the church.

Right now, I’m still fitting in. I’m quiet in the Sunday School group because I’m not as well known, but I’m very pleased with how informed it looks like many of the fellow students are there. It’s worth pointing out that at my church, there are also a number of students there that are my classmates.

I chose this church also because I was told it was very disability friendly and so far, I have seen that to be the case. I am talking with the pastor in the hopes of becoming a pastor intern which could help cover my seminary education seeing as I can get a scholarship that way. My pastor also does have a Ph.D. which is important to me. His is in missiology.

After church, I pretty much have the day to myself. Sometimes, I might stop and do something like grocery shopping briefly. I have enough to make it by and I don’t starve, but I am also spendthrift. I always have been, but now all the more. Unfortunately, the Wal-Mart next to the seminary doesn’t have a clearance section.

Also, I can often catch up on schoolwork. Greek work for my classes is usually due on Sunday nights and that for me is the opportune time to do it. Other than that, much of my day is often spent the same way, except I do have more down time than I do other days. My church is now only about 10 miles away and a good portion of the time to and fro is on the interstate.

I’m also working on getting to know my new church family more and more which is hard for me. Around here, I still have students come and address me by name and I cannot remember who they are. Fortunately, none of them seem to be offended by any of this. I have also found acceptance with people understanding that I am different. If I am in the classroom with a laptop in front of me always, it’s not because I’m not paying attention. It’s because my mind will wander off if I am not doing something and I will lose focus entirely. Every time I have tested this, it has happened.

Also, I do want to stress that some people could be tempted to skip church and chapel in seminary. Don’t. You need that time of fellowship and worship. There will always be time to go and do your assignments later. I have already built into my life a regimen of reading the Bible regularly and doing prayer regularly so I have been safe from the temptation to cut those out. Others have it harder and I urge them to keep going.

Next time, we could start wrapping this up.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

42

What’s it like being the meaning of life, the universe, and everything? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today is my special day as today, I have turned 42, which we all know is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Something I was thinking about last night was Chesterton’s idea that each of us is a great, “Might-not-have-been.” The odds of my being here as I am and your being here are infinitesimal, but yet here you are and here I am. Each of you being here is someone who is extremely unlikely.

Oddly though, had I never been at the same time, I would not have been missed. Now yes, I do realize parents miss children that they miscarry, but there is still something different as you have no idea for sure how the child would have turned out. No one around us knows how they would have either. This world could have had several people in it that never got the chance to be through whatever means.

I can’t help but think about abortion at this. Our world could be vastly different today had we not killed millions of people before they got to live outside the womb. Now I realize some could say we could have had another Hitler, but we could also have had someone who cured cancer. We don’t know.

The evolutionary paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould once said if you rewound the clock and started it up again, reality would not come out the same way. Unless you’re a strong determinist in theism, the same is true for us. Even with a God overseeing everything, many of us still believe in free-will and how matters could have been much more different.

I cannot speculate on the unknown like this. It could be interesting at times, but I would prefer to speculate on the known. I am here. That means that everything I have been through, I have survived, be it major back surgery, depression and panic attacks, and a super-painful divorce. I have gone through it all and I’m still kicking. Right now, I’m doing that so much that I’m at seminary living out my dream.

It was also a gift to see how matters went for me today. I don’t publicize my birthday on campus and I wondered if anyone would know. I opened my door and my first thought was that there was a spill of some sort and a stream of water falling out my door, but it wasn’t a stream of water. It was gold streamers. There was a gift card and a set of mini-cupcakes and my door area was thoroughly decorated. The names on a card were my RA and her husband.

All around campus, many people have been wishing me a happy birthday. It’s been something incredible to me. It tells me more and more that I do belong here. I am surrounded by people who actually notice me and care about me. I’m not saying no one else has, but I have only been here a little over a month and already I have found a place that I can fit in. It’s an academic environment, one that I thrive in.

Tonight, when I rest, I hope I will do so a year wiser and a year more mature. Well, the more mature part might be hard. Anyway, I also hope I go to bed thankful, thankful that through it all, I was allowed to be and realize that my life is a gift.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Seminary Saturdays

What’s it like in seminary on Saturdays? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Saturdays are odd when I think about them. In the past, one looked forward to Saturday because there was first off, no school, and second, you could get up and watch a slew of Saturday morning cartoons. Saturday was one of the most anticipated days of the week.

In Seminary, it’s really kind of awkward for me. On Saturdays, I have no pressing responsibilities, which for me can get boring actually. Sometimes, I will take that time to write a paper for class or I will do some Greek homework or something of that sort. Study is still something difficult for me to do, but I try.

Of course, I do try to relax some on that day with gaming and TV, but I will also sometimes try to clean up my apartment on that day. I do have someone I have hired to help by especially cleaning the bathroom for me. It’s not because I’m lazy, but because it’s also hard for me to clean the tub where I take my showers due to the steel rod in my spine.

I go out walking in the evenings if I can and one benefit of that is Saturday is one day of the week where I don’t have to dress up and so I can go out wearing something more casual like a t-shirt if I want to. Normally, it’s walking in the evening when I play Pokemon Go and use my daily incense both and get to meet some fellow students as I am walking. We do have a pool here on campus and I have thought about using it some on Saturday, but I’m really not one much for water.

If I needed to do anything in the way of a lot of driving, I do it on this day also, although I hate driving in New Orleans. Tomorrow, I will be going to the aquarium with an Aspergers group that I found online. I will be up at around 8 AM for that, but it will be worth it for one day. That is another benefit of Saturday. I can get to sleep in if I want to.

I have also been instrumental already in getting a gaming group started here on campus and for all I know, we could meet sometime on Saturdays. That’s another important aspect of seminary life if I haven’t mentioned it so far. It’s getting to meet your fellow students in social events that really are not specifically ministry focused. It’s just students getting together and doing something fun.

I do try to make sure I don’t spend all of the day doing something just purely fun, but to get some work in. I do have a number of books on my Kindle that I am making sure that I read some of in every day. Some I wait specifically for the evening to do the reading in and some I start in the morning and have a chapter at least done before I get to bed.

That’s another day in seminary life. Hopefully, come Monday I can cover Sundays.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

A Day Of Class At Seminary

How does it go when I have classes? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, at least this semester, I have classes at the seminary. My alarm goes off at 6:45. Sometimes I’m awake a little bit before then. I pray, get up and make my bed, get breakfast on, and then do my Bible reading. Normally, I usually watch some videos on YouTube and then when it comes to brushing and shaving turn on some music on there.

My first class is Greek 1. It’s the basics and I’m working on finding something like a game of sorts on my computer I can use to facilitate my studies in the language. My second class is Systematic Theology 1. In this one, my research project for the semester is J. Gresham Machen and his work on the virgin birth, which I do affirm.

After these two classes, we have chapel on these days. Students are highly encouraged to attend and thus far, I always have. We have a worship band and then a different speaker each day comes up and speaks. This normally lasts for about 45 minutes altogether.

After that, I now have a couple of free hours. Right now, I’m spending them in the student center writing this blog. Last Tuesday, I spent them going into town to open up a bank account. Today, I will probably go to the Wal-Mart next door and pick up some groceries so I can have the evening to myself.

My last class is Spiritual Formation and Discipleship. This is one about building up your own spiritual life and evangelizing others. There is a special project where we are all to choose a group that we want to reach with the gospel. I was going to do Aspies, but I have already done that before, so I figured I’d do gamers this time.

The rest of the evening is mine and it doesn’t differ much from a work day, except I tend to have more time. I think Shiro prefers these days because I get home a little bit earlier and normally, I have more time since I have done the blog normally during the day, such as right now.

As for classwork, that’s going to be on my days off, aside from reading. Normally, I am always doing some reading. I have my Kindle with me as I said in a previous post and I’m going through multiple books. I know some people are totally against something like a Kindle, but for me in seminary, it’s essential. I can have multiple books, get them instantly, and transfer documents to my Kindle so I can read them as well.

Classes are overall enjoyable though. They do require a lot of work and a lot of interaction. Most of the work is not done in the classroom itself, but is done outside the class. I have also got to know my professors as well which I think is helpful for the seminary path.

If you’re interested in seminary, I hope you’ve come to see more and more what it is like. The time outside of class can be exhausting sometimes as I wonder if I will get done with all the reading, but at least it lights that spark in me more and more for learning and enrichment. It becomes more clear every day that I am where I belong.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

In Defense of Adult Gamers

What about adults playing video games? Let’s plunge into the video games and find out.

Yesterday, I was watching a Matt Walsh video about a video game. I was curious since it was about Scooby-Doo and something happening with Velma. Anyway, Velma is a character in a game called Multiversus and 34 players filed a complaint about Velma calling a police car.

For the part about the politics, I thoroughly agree. However, I did notice when he said that the problem was really adults playing a video game about Scooby-Doo. At the end, he did make another short statement about adult gamers. I thought about some things I could say on Facebook, but my thoughts got so long I figured a blog post was better.

At the start, Walsh says he has been hard on the adult gaming community in the past. He does say it’s not a community just because you share an interest, but I disagree on that point at the start. Friendships often do start with common interests. Just today on campus I managed to start a Facebook group at our seminary for gaming. It can include board, card, video, tabletop, mobile, or collectible card games.

Walsh also does say in moderation it’s fine. He thinks a Scooby-Doo game is ridiculous, but in moderation, it’s fine. It’s worth pointing out for those who don’t know that Multiversus contains Scooby-Doo characters, but it is not a Scooby-Doo game. It contains other characters from the WB universe.

On moderation, I agree, and I think that applies to everything. As a conservative Christian, that even includes ministry work. If you are so involved in ministry that you neglect your family, for instance, you need to take a step back. People have to work to provide, but if you are married to your job more than your spouse, you have a problem. Even Ecclesiastes says too much study will make you tired and Aquinas argued that we need to play to refresh ourselves.

Walsh says the rejoinder he gets from gamers is “You watch football don’t you?” He does say it’s a little bit different, but doesn’t explain how it is. Now on my end, I could say watching 22 grown men go and tear each other up over a pointy-shaped object called a ball seems ridiculous to me. That’s also fine. We don’t have to have the same interests.

Yet some differences I want to point out on my end is that watching a sport is really a very passive activity. When you’re playing a game, you have to be engaged and you have to use your mind. Of course, you can be thinking in a football game, but there is nothing in the game that depends on your thinking. An Einstein and an idiot can both watch the game and think all they want about it and it won’t change the game a bit.

Also, many sporting events have some real-life consequences. I know a number of people who are intense pain later in life because they played football early on. The most danger you could be in from gaming would likely be some Carpal-Tunnel Syndrome. Also, I know that in many cases, when a team wins a major sporting event, like the Super Bowl, there’s a lot of rioting that happens in the town. Now I could be mistaken in this, but I have yet to hear of a town that was destroyed because someone or a team won the Pokemon World Championships or some other Esport event.

I would also agree that if you enjoy sports though, enjoy it in moderation. However, with sports, I notice that you can have a third of a nightly news broadcast dedicated to sports and news programs on the radio for hours dedicated to sports. I honestly wonder what can be said. That’s my ignorance speaking there. For games, we have an immense library of them we can talk about.

Walsh explains more that he doesn’t like the term community because it makes it a lifestyle that your world revolves around. I don’t know anyone who refers to the gaming community who thinks such a thing. I’m sure for the overwhelming majority of us that if we knew someone whose life did revolve around video games, we’d tell them to get help.

He also says our lives should not revolve around entertainment. Properly understood, I can agree, but I’m hesitant since one of my main emphases in understanding my Christian faith has been the joy of God and enjoying the world He has made. There are too many who have guilted Christians just because they enjoy something.

There is also something else about gaming. Gaming can be very intellectually engaging, especially in RPGs, since a story is told. You can base a philosophy course easily on video games. Right now for a class, I’m working on a paper on the themes of redemption and resurrection in Final Fantasy IV. As a kid playing this game just for fun, I never would have noticed this, but as an adult, I see it all over the game.

Gaming is also not an expensive hobby for the most part. The most expensive is probably buying a new console when it comes out. For us, you can buy several games at a cheap price and enjoy them thoroughly for hours. If you have hard copies, you can trade with friends.

For me also, as an Aspie, this allows me to connect with people. My mind works well with games and my former DivorceCare leader told my folks even that my gaming has an impact on my going to seminary. I have been playing games about fighting the battle of good vs evil all my life and I want to go out and have adventures where I am actually taking on evil. Peter Kreeft has said apologetics is the closest you come to saving the world.

In the evenings here, if the weather is nice, I go out walking and I have Pokemon Go at the same time. I get to see some of my fellow students and greet them and they greet me. It has been a joy to be on campus barely even a month and already students know me.

Also, many of our interests today come from things that resonated in our childhood. When the new Batman movie came out, who did I see it with? My nearly 70 year-old Dad. These movies aren’t just being made for kids. Adults love the superhero movies. For my Dad and I, it’s a connection as he grew up with these heroes and I can explain the new ones that I grew up watching in cartoons. I suspect if I get to have a kid someday, I will introduce him to the games I played as a kid.

In closing, I really keep thinking of something my therapist once told me. “An idol is always what someone else is doing.” I also think about how C.S. Lewis said that as an adult, he read fairy tales in the open. When he became an adult, he put away childish things, including the fear of being childish. I highly encourage people to lead multi-faceted lives and honor Christ with all they do, and that includes your hobbies and gaming. All that I do, I do seriously. When it’s time to study, I do, and when it’s time to play, I play seriously as well.

Overall, I agree with Walsh and much of what he says. None of this is meant to be antagonistic. It’s just explaining what myself and my fellow gamers do and how we enjoy our lives. I hope many of them would agree with what I said, at least about games as they might not agree on politics.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

A Work Day At Seminary

How is a work day at seminary? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Not every day at Seminary is in a classroom studying. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I work here. Right now, I work at the post office. That could change seeing as the pay isn’t that great. I’m mainly there because it’s a job that my memory can work at and so I get to meet more of the students.

My alarm is set to go off at 6:45. Sometimes, I wake up on my own a little bit before then. I normally pray before I even get out of bed and if Shiro jumps up on the bed with me, I’ll snuggle with him some. When I get up, I make the bed because I’m convinced if I don’t, somehow my Mom will know and call me immediately to nag me about not making up the bed. I also take any vitamins then.

I get my breakfast ready and while it’s in the toaster oven, I do my Scripture reading and prayer. I stress that because it’s important in Seminary to still keep up a devotional life. While having breakfast, I will usually play a game on my phone while watching YouTube videos, normally about politics or video games. I also fix a lunch and a couple of snacks and get my book bag.

The good thing also about the post office is that it can be quiet so I get in time for reading and things like that. My boss my very first day turned on YouTube and started playing clips of musicals, which was an education for me as well. I had no idea until then that The Little Shop of Horrors had been turned into a musical.

It’s also great to meet my fellow students and when I get someone from Systematic Theology, I definitely let them know that I affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm. I have been very pleased with how many students have come to know me and recognize me. It really gives a sense that I do belong at this place and this is a place where I am accepted just as I am.

My workday is from 8-5. Normally, I’ve got a lot of reading in at the end of the day. I’m reading multiple books on my Kindle right now. I’m reading a mystery, a sci-fi book, the critical Qur’an, a novel about a lady divorcing her husband, two books for class, the church fathers, and Athanasius’s book on the incarnation. Yes. I keep up with all of those. In regular books, I’m reading Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart for class and I still go through my Greek book for class.

When I get home, it’s time to relax. This is the time I do my blog and then play some games, normally at this time, Final Fantasy XIV. I have my echo there with me as well so I will turn on YouTube and watch some videos also. If I can’t find anything I want to watch, I can listen to a book on Audible.

Around 7, if the weather is good, I normally go out to walk around campus and get in some Pokemon Go using my daily incense in the game. It’s fascinating to me that when I go out, the sun is still up to some extent and when I get back, it’s usually dark. That’s when I then get in a shower and then go and do some more gaming while I call my folks on the echo. I might watch some TV after that and then around 10, I start getting set for bed.

I realize this might not be the most exciting piece ever written, but I want you to know what life is like in Seminary if you choose to go. Tomorrow, if nothing else comes up, I plan to write about what a day is like when I have classes and yes, when I have chapel as well as all students are to attend chapel. I hope if you’re interested you’ll come for that.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

Book Plunge: Our Socially Awkward Marriage

What do I think of Tom and Linda Peters’s book published by Brookside Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I saw this book in an email I got last night for discount books on Kindle. Seeing as it was about marriage and about Aspergers, I bought it immediately. Being on the spectrum myself, I was curious how much I could relate to.

The book is a quick read and a humorous read. Every section could be read at in the most, five minutes. You could go through and just read one section a day, but seeing as I’m writing a review of it, you know I didn’t do that.

A number of entries in here are pretty amusing. One that really sticks with me is with Linda getting frustrated with their teenage son leaving behind dirty dishes and as she prepares to go out somewhere says “Can you show him how the dishwasher works?” When she comes back, Tom and the son are watching TV and the dirty dishes are still there.

She wants to know why Tom didn’t do what she asked and he says he did. He took the boy over and explained all about how the dishwasher works. Linda is indeed a patient and understanding wife. She knew she couldn’t be mad. Tom wasn’t trying to be a jerk or find a loophole. He just heard her say “Explain how it works. As far as he was concerned, he did what he was told.

Stories like this are humorous and I remember growing up with a lot of literalness in my hearing what people said, though I have come to better understand people. Still, I sometimes do something like this just for fun. When I moved into my seminary apartment, a kind husband and wife helped me do so. The next day they had arranged to have a loveseat delivered and when it came, the wife said “Send me a picture of your apartment!”

I knew darn well what she meant, but well, the picture I sent her is a picture of my apartment, but not what she had in mind.

However, in the book in the midst of a lot of the silliness, there is some understanding. For example, sometimes tensions can rise up when one of them is hungry and the solution is to just get a snack and then come back and discuss the problem. Tom is a low-key guy with his emotions, but sometimes they do get out of hand and he needs to vent. He also hates being in a large crowd of people.

Yet there is also the lesson of learning to love someone quirks and all. After all, even if you are not on the spectrum as I am, you have your quirks. There are things you do that don’t make sense, and they might not even make sense to you. Autism can bring its own share of quirks too, but those of us on the spectrum want to be loved just like anyone else does.

If I would change anything here, I would like to see more on what their marriage is like overall. What is it like on a date night? How did Tom behave on the first date? What was it like for Linda to learn about her husband? These are questions I wanted to know about. Maybe they’ll be covered in a future book.

But for now, this is a good quick read if you’re interested in this area and I hope you will get a few good laughs out of it and some lessons about acceptance of one another too.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Choosing A Seminary

How do you know where to go? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If you decide you want to go and get an education, how do you know where to go? I’ll use my own life as an example.

For the first time, I didn’t want to go far from home. Johnson University/Bible College was nearby, so that’s where I went to. I didn’t understand at that point about Bible Colleges or seminaries having denominations. Ultimately, I got my degree, even though I was of a different denomination.

While there, I found out about apologetics through a mutual friend who told me about Southern Evangelical Seminary. I knew then I wanted to go there. I eventually did, but when the incident with my then father-in-law happened, that put a stop to that.

When I moved back to Tennessee after my divorce, I attended DivorceCare which was connected with a Southern Baptist Church. The pastor told me if I went to a Southern Baptist Seminary, I’d get around 50% off of my tuition. I asked him to send me a list and I saw New Orleans on there and knew that’s where I wanted to go as I knew some of the people here and their apologetics focus.

So let’s consider some ideas you need to consider.

First, does it matter to you if the school is accredited or not? If you’re wanting an education and the way you will be treated doesn’t matter that much, you can go this route. However, there can be difficulties with that route as it could be harder to get a job or to get recognition in the field.

You will also want to consider the distance. How far are you willing to go? Do you want to go close to home? Do you want to stay in your country? Would you be willing to go overseas?

What about cost? Do you have enough to cover it? This doesn’t mean initially, but can you get a job or find other support? Will your home church help you out? Could you set up a Patreon as I have done to earn some income for this?

What kind of degree do you want? Have you looked at the programs that they offer? Is what you want included in there? Does the school have a good reputation with this program?

You can also consider the denomination. Do you want to stay within your own tradition or do you want to step outside of that? Of course, in a case like mine, this could hinge upon the finances of it all.

Is the local area one you want to move to? If you are married with children, your children could have to go to school around here. If so, are you fine with that? Where I am, I know I have to be prepared in case a hurricane should come up.

All of these are questions to ask yourself. I recommend talking with wiser people who know better than you. If you can talk to someone who has a doctorate in the field or related to the field you’re in, that’s even better.

Seminary is a big decision. Make the right one.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

To The Aspie Who Became A Deist

What do you say to someone who thinks God has dealt them a bad hand? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was going to write more about going to seminary, but a friend messaged this to me this morning and I think it is more important. I tried to find the original, but I could not. Here is a screenshot of what was shared.

To the person who said this, I get where you’re coming from to an extent. I get that there are difficulties with being on the spectrum. I get it when people talk around me and I wonder how they notice the social cues that I am missing or if they are being sarcastic or mean what they say. I get wondering what it is that people really think about you.

You see, I do realize there are aspects that are difficult in my life too being on the spectrum. I have a refrigerator that doesn’t have a lot in it and it’s not mainly because of economic reasons, but because my diet is limited on the spectrum. I only eat foods I can eat with my hands and for me, the thought of a social get-together involving eating can be a nightmare many times.

I get the obsessiveness. I understand what it’s like to be so enthused about a topic and have people around you not really care. I also understand how hard it is when people put down your interests.

I also get what it’s like to not focus so well. I understand that in a classroom I have to have a laptop on or my mind drifts away and I don’t hear anything that is said. I understand having to have my phone with me during a talk or else the same thing happens and I zone out entirely.

I understand the fear of approaching people, especially for myself, the fairer sex. I understand sometimes that loneliness can be a real thing. You want deeply to be understood and accepted and you don’t know who around you is genuine and who isn’t.

I’m not saying these are all your experiences. I don’t know. We’re all different on the spectrum, but I hope somewhere you can relate to what I have said.

However, I want you to know so much that I value the gifts that I have been given, and a great start in my life is parents and a sister who love me and have always encouraged me to succeed. My family built in me a drive to succeed. As a gamer also, I developed a longing to take part in the battle of good versus evil. I developed a drive to win.

My folks were told early on that I would never graduate high school even. I would never go to college. I would never drive a car. I would never get married. So many things. This is what the experts in the field were saying.

My mother tells me when I went to middle school, there was concern because there were steps to go from one floor to the next and I really don’t like staircases. They took me to the school when it was empty so I could learn. My mother tells me I said, “Mom. I have to do this.” I did it.

I did graduate from the public school system. I have been told I was the first person in Knox County on the spectrum to do this. I did go on to college. Later on, I moved out to an apartment about 20 minutes away from my parents. I wanted to go to seminary in the next state over and they needed to know I could do it. By the way, I was indeed driving in all of this as I had a job regularly.

I moved away and into an apartment with my best friend and lived with him for awhile. While with him though, I met a girl and got married. Readers of my blog know that after ten years, that ended in divorce, but I have praise from many others on being a thoroughly devoted husband.

And now where am I at? Remember, I’m the autistic kid who would never do anything? I’m about 600 miles away from my parents. I live in New Orleans attending New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and I am working on my Master’s. I live in an apartment where it’s me and my cat.

Do I have struggles? Yep. There’s the financial struggles which is why I’m seeking better income and also why I am sharing my Patreon more in the hopes of getting more support. There’s the struggle with being a good housekeeper. I suck at cleaning. I just never find the time for that kind of thing. There’s also learning to relate to people.

Fortunately around here, I do meet many people who within a month’s time already know me by name and seem genuinely happy to see me. I have no reason to think it’s fake. I definitely still want a lady in my life, but overall, I’m doing good.

However, most important, I owe this all to Christ. Without my Christian faith, I would not have made it where I am today. You can say you think God has dealt you a bad hand, but it could just be God knows you’re a really good player and you could play that hand for good more than anyone else could.

In light of all the difficulties, I love the positives more. I love being able to think on levels most people don’t. I love being able to recall numerous quotes and facts about my field of apologetics. I love being able to do complex math in my head and get to amaze people with my trick where I tell them what day of the week they were born on when I hear their birthday. I love getting to play games with people and be really good at it.

I don’t understand being happier when God doesn’t care about you. I am thoroughly angry about the people who told you God would help you when it was time, as if you had a cancer treatment or something and was just sitting in Heaven saying, “No. I want to make you suffer more.” Of course, God does bring about suffering in our lives sometimes, but it’s never for the sake of suffering. It’s so we can be even stronger because of it.

I understand not wanting to sing his praises every Sunday. That kind of thing is a struggle for me as most praise songs I hear seem shallow. For me, praise is done in the study of my academics and in enjoying the life that God gave me. It is expressing gratitude for my friends and my family and yes, my little kitty.

My Aspergers is not a death sentence. If anything, I have reached the point where I hope in eternity when I stand before God, I will still in some way be an Aspie. I consider it overall a gift. I understand not everyone does and I’m not telling them to see it that way.

I am telling you though that if Christianity is true, every ounce of suffering that you go through in life can be redeemed. Nothing is wasted. I’m not going to say anything to you about God having a plan for your life. I don’t treat such claims seriously. The plan God has for your life is ultimately easy. God’s plan is to conform you to the likeness of Christ.

I urge you to reconsider what you have decided on. Instead, look at the evidence for something like the resurrection of Jesus. See if Christianity is true. Knowing my faith is true is a great blessing to me and I enjoy being a part of God’s story. I enjoy the adventure of living everyday in the world He created.

And not only that, but all the struggles that I have, there are other people that can help me. I found someone I can hire, for example, to come over regularly and give my apartment a deep clean. That helps. I have friends here who can help me in other areas, including my relationships with women, and I’m working on starting up gaming groups right here on campus. I am also already winning the favor of my professors and others. Overall, life is good.

Again, I don’t know you, but if you do read this and want to reach out, I’m open to talk. I always hope the church can do more for people on the spectrum. Your story is one that I hope will stay in my mind as I work to make the church more disability friendly as well.

Please do reconsider. You are loved by God regardless of how you feel or what hand you think you have been dealt. There is hope.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Good Reasons for Seminary

What are some good reasons for going to seminary? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I had said no more till next week when WordPress ate my blog I wrote a few hours ago, but I couldn’t resist so here I am writing again. Today, I’m going to be listing some good reasons for going to seminary. If you’re wondering if you’re a candidate, find out.

I have said I don’t think a subjective experience is required. If anything, I get more suspicious of someone who claims such an experience. I have seen of too many pastors that are “called to preach” and they’re really just awful preachers.

Consider what it’s like when you hear someone who thinks they’re a gifted singer. Unfortunately, their biggest critics will be the neighborhood cats who go crazy hearing them sing. They may have a great desire to sing and really think they have a gift, but everyone around them can tell that they don’t.

So let’s get some better criteria.

The first one is simply desire. You want to go. That’s not a bad thing. Paul says in 1 Tim. 3 that if anyone desires to be an overseer, he desires a good thing. Then he lists some criteria. None are a subjective call.

If you want to go to seminary, that’s one of the first reasons. You have a deep desire to serve God in a ministry capacity. However, the bad singer can want to sing so more than that is needed.

Next is ability. Do you have what it takes to make it in seminary? This will depend on the field that you want to go into. If your friends tell you regularly you have wisdom in listening to their problems and a good ear and a good heart, then you might want to consider counseling. If you are good at evangelism, then you should consider going to seminary.

You might want to try if you want to preach to go to your pastor and ask if you can do a Sunday night sometime. See how you do and get some pointers at it. See what people say about your ministry. Listen in any case always to the ones who are older and wiser than you are.

The last is opportunity. A lot of this will be dealt with hopefully in tomorrow’s podcast about how to choose a seminary. For this, you have to ask if you have the resources to make it or if you’re willing to do the work necessary to get the resources to do what you need to go. Very few people will go to seminary with enough money on hand to cover the whole of the experience. However, they can go with enough to get started and find a job to get the rest while they’re there.

The next part will be trying to decide what seminary you want to go to. That’s a different situation altogether. If you meet these criteria and are really thinking of going, then be here to hear what comes next.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)