Satan’s Lies and God’s Truth

Satan tells a lot of lies. He tells us that we are worthless and not good enough. He tells us that our mistakes define us. He tells us that no one could really love us. He tells us that we are forever filthy, forever stained by our selfishness, lust, jealousy, pride and hate. It is easy to believe Satan’s lies because they make sense to our human minds whereas God’s grace does not. We do mess up. We have all sinned. We can never attain perfection on our own no matter how hard we try. We will never be “good enough” on our own accord. We deserve hell. God’s grace however, is beyond human comprehension. To think that God would send His son to save us mere sinners. To think that Jesus would leave his place in heaven, his home, to come down to mankind knowing that he would be slandered, rejected, mocked, tortured, and killed. To think that God would want a relationship with each of us and call us His children. All of this is so beyond what we humans can comprehend. His love for us is greater than we can see or understand. His grace is not what we deserve and yet He gives it to us and calls us His own. Yes, we are all sinners. Yes, we have all fallen short. Yes, we have all been covered by our own evil deeds. Satan twists these facts however and tells us that our sins define us and that God could never accept us. Truth is, we are not defined by our mistakes and shortcomings. We are defined by what Christ did on that cross. No longer are we covered by our crimson stains. We are God’s and He is ours. We no longer live but rather Christ lives within each of us who are called His children. And someday soon, Satan’s lies will never again torment us. But for now, we must strive to listen to God’s voice and not Satan’s. We must draw closer to God and His Truth.

Circumstances

For so long I’ve been complaining about circumstances, especially circumstances related to living a life of faith.

I live in New England…which although it’s beautiful, it certainly isn’t the Bible belt. I’ve been here in Massachusetts my whole life. I go to a very secular college. There are very few people who even consider themselves Christians. At Bible Study, we’re lucky if we have 4 students come. I haven’t been feeling really comfortable at church for various reasons. In addition to all of this, I’m dealing with friend problems, anxiety, and other struggles of life.

No matter where we reside, growing closer to God is hard. Satan attacks us with all he has. Sometimes it feels impossible for me to grow closer to Him when the places I spend my time are so far from Him. But still, I am here and I’m obviously here for a reason. I need to stop blaming my circumstances. I’m living in a dark place but that doesn’t mean that God’s light is extinguished. God is still here. God is in every dark place where one of His children calls upon His name.

I’m here for a reason. I’m in this state, at that school, at that church for a reason. I don’t plan to be in this state or church for the rest of my life but I’m here now. I want to make the best of it. I want to learn what God wants me to learn. I want to grow closer to Him even in the darkness and be a light in this dark world. God’s got a plan. I don’t know it yet, but I know He has one for every moment of my life.

Being Thankful for the Blessings in Disguise

I believe in being thankful for the blessings masked as curses. I believe in searching for the blessings behind the difficult, stressful and mundane things in life. I am thankful for the warm shower I take at some way too early hour of a chilly morning. I might be exhausted and want to do nothing but sleep but I have the access to what some consider a luxury. I am thankful for the chaos that I recently survived (finals and the end of the semester). At least I have the opportunity to go to school and get an education. Now I have a much needed break and can enjoy the Christmas season. I am thankful for the chaos in my life that keeps me from being bored and makes the moments of fun even more enjoyable. In the midst of a hectic schedule, I am thankful for those short and rare meetings with friends that perhaps mean so much more than if I saw my friends all the time. I enjoy their company and their support. I am also thankful for my family. Perhaps that seems lame but it is true. Despite the stressful circumstances that my family has been going through, we always have each other’s backs.

Life is not always peaceful and enjoyable. There are thorns among the roses everyday. If those thorns did not exist, neither would the rose. Both the thorns and the roses are a part of the bush. Both the good and bad are a part of life. But I believe in being thankful for the good and the bad, for both come from God and are a part of His master plan. Sometimes the things we perceive as bad are actually simple blessings in disguise.

Happy New Year

2012 has been quite the year. I’m not spending New Year’s Eve as I had hoped, but I am thankful for the year that has been. In fact, I think 2012 has been one of my favorite years yet. Normally I get upset on New Year’s Eve for no real justifiable reason. Right now I’m doing ok…we’ll see how I am by midnight.

If everything had gone as planned, I’d be at a little music club in a small city 45 minutes from here with one of my best friends. Instead, I am at home, sick. I’ve been sick since the Sunday before Christmas. A week ago today I was thinking “At least I will get to have fun on New Year’s…” Yeah. As I reflect on the year however, I am thankful for what I have been able to experience all year round and that is what has helped me get through Christmas and now New Year’s Eve even though I am sick and under a new round of prescription drugs. I suppose that hearing about the highlights of my year isn’t overly interesting to anyone else but I felt inclined to post anyway.

2012 started out great. I spent the final hours of 2011 and the first few hours of 2012 at one of my best friend’s house. It was the first time I did anything other than sit in front of the TV or computer on New Year’s Eve. We had a blast chatting, watching Doctor Who, and hooking up the computer (YouTube) to the big screen. That was the first time I can remember really being really happy on New Year’s.

At some point in January, I received acceptance letters to colleges. That lifted a huge weight off my chest. If any high schoolers read this, I highly suggest getting those applications in before Christmas of your senior year.

The next big highlight came in March when my other best friend and I finally held a joint birthday party. We’d talked about one for years but it had never happened. We figured this was our last chance for quite some time because we were all going to different colleges. She’s two hours and five minutes older than me and is as close to a sister that I will probably ever have. We had catered Italian food, had a sleepover, and went to the movies. Only a few people could make it to the party but we had fun nonetheless. Less than a week later we went to concert in that same music club I mentioned before. We saw a Celtic rock band and it was quite amazing. We actually went and saw them again in July when they were at a Scottish festival nearby. (By the way, neither my friend nor I are Scottish…we just really liked their music…)

In May came all the senior activities at school including senior fun day (basically a school day that we drive to this activity place with lots of free food, games, activities, and a pool and hang out), and prom. I didn’t have a date to prom but I went with several of my friends. That oh so awkward moment in college when your new friends ask about your romantic relationships in high school…they were quite…non existent.

Anyways, in June came graduation and the all night party that the school sponsored afterwards. I got sick there too…but my unrelated twin (friend with the same b-day) made my night by volunteering for something at the party that she has sworn me to secrecy about. It wasn’t anything bad but it was a little embarrassing for her I think. She really is a great friend and I am so thankful to know her.

Over the summer I finally got my driver’s license…and I got it just 2 weeks before my permit expired. I needed the license so that I could drive to college. I also participated in an ensemble at the local music shop and had an absolute blast…even though 3 of the 5 band members were in middle school. XD

My first semester of college went fairly smoothly. And I most certainly thank God for that. I had so many concerns and worries when it came to college. I still don’t know 100% what major I want but I think I am rather comfortable with Communications. My mom has said she doesn’t see me as that major because of my shyness and awkwardness but I had a professor who told me it was a good fit. And I enjoyed my communications class more than many of my fellow comm. majors. XD I guess God works in mysterious ways. J

When I first got this illness, my first thought was “at least I got to go to the TSO concert.” For that I am extremely thankful. It was the first ‘big’ concert I went to and it was just….amazing. (BTW, for anyone who doesn’t know, TSO stands for Trans-Siberian Orchestra). My unrelated twin’s parents gave her tickets to the show in Connecticut. She invited me to go along. Her dad accompanied us and treated us to dinner as well. It was an unforgettable night. We had really good seats too. My ears were buzzing for hours afterwards but it was so worth it. I’m still raving about the concert…if you can’t tell. XD

So as you can see, I’ve had a great year. I am really sad to see 2012 go. I may be sick now but I am thankful for the year that has been. These are only some of the highlights. There are plenty of other moments that I won’t bore you to death about. If you made it this far in my post, you deserve a cookie. Or three.

I wish you and all those you love a happy and healthy 2013!

My First Week

Well, I have officially completed one week of college. It’s been quite an interesting experience. I wasn’t sure I was even going to write about it but I guess I decided to anyway. (Thanks, Sir Charles…aka Carlos… XD).

Since I am involved in music, I went to school about a half week early for rehearsals and fun activities. Resident students involved in band and/or chorus get the advantage of getting their dorms set up before the big rush. Us commuters, well we just get to hang out on campus a bunch before classes actually start. (I also got free food because of camp. The upperclassmen complain about the food but I must say it is pretty dang good. Then again, I just came from a high school with quite disgusting food…) I’ve been in various choruses almost my entire life and I didn’t want college to change that. It was a fun time. I got to meet lots of people. Best of all, the kids in chorus actually WANT to be there. In my high school, at least half of the chorus was made up of people who took the class because it was easy. They texted and talked but rarely, if ever, actually sang. In college chorus, people want to sing. It’s such an awesome change.

            After music camp, all the other freshmen moved in. The weekend was full of transition activities and meetings. Between that weekend and music camp, I was able to get fairly familiar with the campus. Therefore, I did NOT get lost on my first day. Or my second day. (That’s what happened in when I was a high school freshman). Most of my classes this semester are significantly shorter than my high school ones. And I don’t have the same schedule every single day. My classes this semester are:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday:  gym, Communications 101, Spanish, Calculus

Tuesday, Thursday: First Year Seminar, English comp.

Textbooks are outrageous. Everything in the campus store is. I was able to get one used textbook off Amazon for $40 less than the school store. The rest were either unavailable and/or were special editions packaged by the school. They obviously just want my money. I want a sweatshirt but I refuse to spend $50 just to have the privilege of wearing the name of a school that is already costing me a fortune. I’ll keep an eye out on clearance. I have my free freshman class shirt and a free university water bottle till then.

As I said before, I have met a fairly good amount of people. I wouldn’t say I have any real close friends yet. I hope to soon. Perhaps I’m too shy and awkward. I’d love to meet someone with similar values and interests as my own. So far, I haven’t had too much luck. Everyday is a new day though.

The weather this past week was absolutely GORGEOUS!! I spent much of my time off from classes just walking around or doing homework outside. Campus has this garden shaded by trees. There are marble benches and a little stream. It’s just gorgeous. It’s relatively quiet too. Most people tend to stay to the main paths on campus.

            I guess this basically concludes the summary of my first week of college. I have a fair amount of homework to complete this weekend so I should go work on it some more. I’ll write again soon when I have the time and/or the inspiration to do so. J