Thursday, October 2, 2008

School Daze and Battling the Devil

Well, here we are in October already! It doesn't seem possible that we are this far along in the year already. And I heard today that Walmart is putting up their Christmas decorations already! A little early don't ya think?? Whatever happened until at least waiting til just before Thanksgiving for that stuff? I love Christmas. Its my favorite time of year, but this is getting to be too much. Too much commercialism.

School started a week ago yesterday. I tell ya, in some ways its kicking my tail. In other ways, I am holding up and keeping up well. I like all of my professors and they like me, I think. I have had 2 assignments, tons of math homework and 1 quiz already between the 3 classes. Also have started on a group project for my cultural diversity class. Some of the work is tedious, but none of it overly difficult. My shrink has increased my ADD medicine by 10mg to see if that will help me focus better when reading etc., so I don't feel like my head's going to explode if I read 120 pages in one day.

The cultural diversity class will be the one that is going to give me trouble. 20 years ago in college, we had no such thing and it certainly wasn't required. The reading is VERY dry and there will be some things that will come up that I am sure I will not agree with because of my Christian faith. I am not sure about the purpose of such classes, except its "PC" (politically correct) to make everyone like everyone else. Well, guess what? We aren't going to like everyone else. We were all made as different, unique individuals by God in His image. While I am sure that He would prefer that we all get along, because of our human tendencies, we are not going to. Just a fact.

Anyways, school is going well. The only exception is this virus that has spread through the campus like wildfire this week. I am not kidding. Everyone has it; professors and students alike. We all sit in class with our noses running, sneezing, stuffed up, hoarse, coughing a lung up and just generally feeling miserable. My math class this morning was certainly feeling the full effects of it, right down to the professors stuffed up nose and hoarse voice herself. Hopefully it will pass quickly as it is kicking my butt. Because of my fibromyalgia, when I get a virus like this, I hurt much worse than the average person, which I hate. This week I have felt like my muscles have been ripped apart on the inside. Ugh.

The devil has certainly been in a battle with me lately. First it started with our great power outage of 2 weeks ago. My power was out for 4 days and I lost everything in the fridge and freezer. Some people were out much longer, I am aware, and I felt badly for them. So, while all of that had our world upside down; I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything situated for school. I went full blast into school and haven't really stopped. This past Tuesday morning, we woke up to find that we had no water. Isn't that just lovely? I don't think this city can do a dang thing right. And they should for the taxes we pay (outrageous!). They have been working out on the main drag and broke the water main late Monday night. Smart. Real smart. But, I digress...

So, I have all of this going on. My power out just days before school, adjusting to school, catching this virus, no water for a full day and a bunch of little things. I really feel like the devil is doing is very best to get me down so that I will give up and quit, cause he knows that this is where God wants me to be right now. Several times a day, I have been saying to myself or out loud, "In the Name of Jesus our Lord and Father, get away from me and leave me alone you stupid devil". People say to do that when you feel like the ole devil is just meddling, meddling, meddling, so I do. I have also started reading "I Talk Back to the Devil" by the great A.W. Tozer (as if I don't have enough to read!). It is an excellent book and I think will help me with these pesky daily battles that I seem to come up against whenever I am in God's will.

My workouts have been a little weird lately. I walk a tremendous amount at school, up and down stairs, carrying a backpack some days, a roller bag others. I do still lift weights etc., but its hard after walking all of campus all day to come home and do 2 more miles just for exercise. I think it would probably help me if I can just get in the groove. Got to get in a groove.

I will tell ya that working out all summer and lifting weights made a huge difference when it comes to carrying that backpack or even handling the rolling bag. I think if I hadn't been working out all summer and weight lifting that my body would have just collapsed completely. After the first day last week, I thought I was going to die I hurt so badly. But, after small group, I came home and took an extra warm shower, put on my pjs, took meds, and went to bed. Next morning, I didn't exactly hop out of bed, and I was certainly sore and stiff, but I made it up and moving.

That's one thing I have been so thankful for. The Lord has certainly blessed me with being able to sleep well since school started, and He has equally helped me each morning to get up when the alarm goes off and helps get me moving. I feel Him right there with me each step of the way, every day at school. Even through the people I have met in class or sitting in the hallways.

My church just finished a sermon series about how to "Fireproof" your marriage to coincide with the release of this Christian movie last week. I have not seen the movie yet, but the sermon series was really good, I thought. I especially liked the first and last sermons in the three sermon series, although it was hard to sit through me and not bawl like a baby. This weekend, we are going to start in on a in depth study of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. I am looking forward to that as well. It sounds like its going to be very good.

I am very thankful for New Life and for the friends I am making there. They have been such a great support to me over these past months. Just really surrounded me and enveloped me in their love and Christ's love, and some of them I haven't even met! They just send me a postcard saying they prayed for me that day, or they are rejoicing with me in something that God is doing in my life at that time, just anything and everything.

They do a tremendous job of connecting with the body of the church even though it is so large (all together about 1500 people, give or take a few hundred each week.). So. I appreciate that they make such a great effort at that. The services lately have just been awesome for me, from our time of worship and praise to the sermon, it has just been a great time for me to remember to turn everything over to God and give it all to Him. Let Him worry about the details of this or that, let Him have totally control in my life. It has just been a tremendous experience for me, really, since last May. I am so thankful to be there and have met the people I have met; in addition to learning more about God and drawing closer to Him on a truly daily basis, allowing the Holy Spirit to work the way it needs to in my life.

So, although the devil is trying his best to make me trip up or give up, I am not going to let him. With the power and help of our Lord Jesus Christ, this is one battle that devil isn't going to win.

I wanted to share a song with you that we sung at church this past weekend. I had heard it before and sang it before, but this time, it really got me and I could hardly get through it without the tears running down my face. It's all about 'Surrender'. Are you willing to surrender everything in your life to God and the Holy Spirit? Everything? Maybe it will give you something to think about the rest of this week after you listen to the song.

"Surrender" By Lincoln Brewster

Maybe today is your day to truly surrender all to Him. All of it. All of the hurts, pains, fears, happiness, joy, confidence, your spouse, your children, grandchildren, everything. It's a hard thing to let go of it all because we as humans want to hold onto it all and "fix" or take care of it all ourselves and we can't. No matter how many times we may try, we can't. Only in Him do we find that true peace, that true settlement, that true reason for why we are here on earth. All we have to do is surrender; surrender it all. God will do amazing things once you let go.

May the Lord Bless you and keep you. May you learn the true love and grace that is found by only being in His presence on daily basis, all day. I am going to leave you with a Psalm that these days is mostly heard at funerals or the place of someone who is in serious illness. However, I think that the Lord meant for it to be so much more for us than a prayer; we should see it has stating facts and praising His name. Read it out loud and listen to the words as you read it, let it speak to you like it never has before.

Psalm 23 (NASB)

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul; (Praise His name that He does this!)
He guides me in the path of righteousness
For His name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me; (PTL!)
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


God Bless Ya'll till we meet again.