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Full Swing into School

I finally have a little bit of time to write an update about life. Classes started back early last week, so I am nearing the end of the second week now. At this point I think I'll like my classes on a whole, though it is maybe still hard to tell. The only class I don't especially like is the Introduction to Architectural Technology (ie drafting). I'm working on thinking of reasons to like it, but convincing myself that learning about drawing construction plans is fun doesn't come easily.  I keep telling myself that I could draw plans for my own home (that is our final project - to draw plans for a house) to inspire me to take an interest in it. I'll let ya know if it works.

On the other hand, I think I will really like my two design classes. Both of them are extremely art intensive, but that is really good because they overlap a lot and I can tell it is/will help me to practice and master the techniques. Already we've done a lot of perspective drawing and learning about values, lines, etc etc. I like my professors in these classes...they both seem like they are good teachers. I'm not as worried about whether or not it is possible for me to learn drawing/painting/etc. Both of them regularly insist that everyone can learn it well. And I very much hope to!

Then there is the Professional Research & Reporting class. The material is obviously somewhat dry, but the professor definitely isn't!!  So far she has spent about a total of thirty minutes talking about writing and five hours talking about "life lessons." Actually, she is very interesting and has some insightful things to say (as well as some misguided psychology, unfortunately). That class seems like it will be fairly easily. If only there weren't so many redneck guys in it (its at North Campus)!  

I have been really busy with these classes, work, Mission 28, and similar things. Buying the art supplies has occupied many hours sense I am trying to find good deals and conquer the several page long supply lists.  It seems like the busy-ness and less sleep has maybe taken a toll on my body, because I got a cold three weeks ago and kept a bad cough for a while. Yesterday I finally noticed significant improvement and thought I was getting all better, but this morning I woke up to a headache, sore throat, runny nose and all those other lovely cold symptoms. Oh well! Hopefully it won't last long...

So, that's most of what has been happening. There has been other stuff, too () but I won't get into all of that!

Back to School!

Tomorrow morning classes start back up!!! To be honest, I have mixed feelings about it. One one hand I am looking forward to it - especially to the design courses (yay!). But at the same time I am a little uncertain how everything will come together and a bit nervous about my drawing abilities. I think I will be relieved once I get a feel for what those classes will be like. It isn't the same as the general ed classes I've taken because with those I know if I study enough I do well. With the hands on classes I might do bad no matter how hard I try (which seems to be the case in most hands-on things I try, lol! ). I'm also wondering how scheduling will work out. I've enjoyed being productive around the home this summer and being able to help out...I especially liked being able to get the experience of taking care of the household while Mom was recovering. God will work everything out though, I know. And I am very hopeful that the design/architecture will be a lot of fun. I know I enjoy that stuff a lot, so as long as the teachers are nice....
Well, enough of a ramble for me. I do hope to still be able to update this and write entries now and then, but I'm sure it won't be as often. Although, I do have a nice lunchbreak on Tuesedays/Thursdays that I'll probably spend in the library if I don't have much homework.

Faith, Prayer, & the ImPossible

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote the following entry....
I just finished up having a wonderful time in the Word, prayer, and meditation. God was so faithful to speak to me and encourage me!!!!
First I read the evening of August 8th in Spurgeon's Morning and Evening. The Scripture was "Everything is possible for him who believes." (Mk 9:23) That got my attention right away. Something in me spoke to take encouragement in that...even when things look bleak, everything is possible through God. I looked up the chapter in my Bible and read the story. It was about the boy who had been possessed by a demon sense childhood but the disciples could not cast it out of him. When his father asked Jesus to help him "if you can," Jesus responded "If you can? Everything is possible for him who believes!" Then the father immediately responded, "I believe! Help me overcome my unbelief!" Jesus healed the boy, but later the disciples asked him why they couldn't. Jesus told them, "This kind can come out only by prayer." (In other words, the disciples had to rely upon God through prayer to overcome.) This passage spoke to me for a number of reasons. I was convicted that I was lacking faith and full of doubts, but God wants to strengthen me that no matter how things appear he can turn it out around (if he is willing) because nothing is impossible!!! But at the same time, it takes prayer. And prayer in faith. Only through prayer is it possible for us.

At the same time God brought to my mind (more like it felt like it suddenly crashed upon was so strongly spoken) the last message from youth camp which was on prayer. I remembered how full of faith and encouraged I was after the teaching, and when we prayed then. I was about to burst I was so confident in God's power through prayer and our need to pray fervently. More could I lose faith so quickly? I pulled out my notes from the teaching. Fortunately I had tons of scripture references. I looked them all up and meditated on them. It was so powerful!!!!!! Again and again God reminded me of his power...the same power that raised Christ from the dead and set him on the throne in heaven is the power that is for me (Eph 1:19-20). This power is the power that can bring about "immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine." This is the power that is for me because God is for me in this, not against me! So, there were all these verses on God's power, and on how our prayer apprehends this power. I was so encouraged to pray and have confidence in God's power. Faith, finally! Away doubt, disbelief, and faithlessness!

It was very clear to me that it was God showing me the passage in Morning and Evening and then bringing to mind that message and directing me to the different Scriptures. I am overwhelmed when he is so gracious and merciful (and forgiving!) to show me these things and speak to me!

Daily Gifts from God

The other night I found this quote by Samuel Longfellow in a book I read, Daily Strength for Daily Needs. I really liked it and and wanted to share it with ya'll...
Into all our lives, in many simple, familiar, homely ways, God infuses this element of joy from the surprises of life, which unexpectedly drops this added sweetness into His childrens cup and makes it to run over. The success we were not counting on, the blessing we were not trying after, the strain of music in the midst of drudgery, the beautiful morning picture or sunset glory throw in as we pass to or from our daily business, the unsought word of encouragement or expression of sympathy, the sentence that meant for us more than the writer or speaker thought: these and a hundred others that everyone's experience can supply are instances of what I mean. You may call it accident or chance, for it often is. You may call it human goodness, for it often is. But always, always call it Gods love, for that is always in it. These are the overflowing riches of His grace; these are His free gifts.
Isn't that wonderful?! I loved it! So true of how God shows his love to us in "simple" ways that are blessings and bring such a joy when we take a moment to consider them.
Try to make a point to be aware of those gifts, so that you don't take them for granted or forget that they are loving expressions of the grace of God.

Context for Comfort

Instead of my lousy words, read this for today's entry.

Good & Faithful Creator

Yesterday afternoon my parents told me I could go to the night session at our Youth Camp if I wanted. I was going to stay home with mom, but sense they suggested it I decided to go. I am glad I did!! From the beginning, worship seemed planned for me. We sang songs like "Who Is Like Our God," "A Debtor to Mercy Alone," and "Your Mercy & Kindness." I love all those songs, but Verse 2 from "A Debtor to Mercy Alone," particularly struck me,

The work which your goodness began
The arm of your strength will complete
Your promise is yes and amen
And never was forfeited yet
The future or things that are now
No power below or above
Can make you your purpose forego
Or sever my soul from your love

Several people began coming up and sharing words pertaining to calling out to God, how he can deliver out of any situation, and quoting passages like "Ask, seek, and knock and the door will be open to you." I eagerly listened and was convicted of how I have lapsed in crying out to the Lord. Part of it is not reminding myself of my dependence on the Lord for everything, and part of it is not wanting to keep praying the same thing over and over. However, now I really did want to cry out to the Lord and acknowledge that all my hope was in him.

Just then Mickey paused worship and said that it was evident that God was speaking a clear theme to us, and he asked that if there people here who had strong desires or requests upon their hearts to come up to the front. I did. Then he asked for close friends to come and pray for those who came forward and for us to share our requests with them. Christine, Bethany T., and Anne came up to pray with me...I didn't really even have to voice what was on my heart...they knew. So then prayer began. It was so incredible to have my three closest, dearest girlfriends around me and praying regarding that which is so near to my heart. I felt God's presence and was blessed by simply having those three around me praying. I really beleive God heard and will answer our prayers! Then we went back to worshiping...this time the whole room was jumping up and down with joy.

After worship Steve Teter gave a message about trusting God. It went hand in hand with everything else, and was a great reminding about why we can trust God. Using Psalm 100, his three reasons were (1) because God is creator, (2) because God is good, and (3) because God is faithful. Once again, I was blessed and amazed at God's goodness.

It was so kind of God to providentially guide me to the meeting. I would have missed so much if I wasn't there. When I went to bed last night my heart was happier than it has been in a long time. God is good!