Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year Reflections

Hey everyone! I know it's been forever since I wrote last. Blame the holidays and the less-than-speedy Internet connection. I really don't like my home computer, but at least I'm not wasting my time watching YouTube videos for the 10,000th time.

Thank you all for your prayers after the last post. They really helped. Like I said, the stumbles I was referring to were not all sexual. When God shines light on a just little sin, you end up noticing a lot more sin lying around, and this was my case. My overconfidence and my pride were much scarier, to me, than the lust I was dealing with, and through circumstances God showed me that I was focusing too much on lust and not enough on pride... And my failure to deal with pride was influencing my battle against lust. Funny how things kind of work that way, isn't it?

But enough about that for now. Christmas came and went, and to be honest I barely noticed. Time just flies by sometimes, and holidays always seem to be put on light-speed. I'm sad they are over, though. I'm at home for one more week and I have nothing to do... No chores, no friends to visit (they're already back at school), no more books to read, and no worthless PlayStation or high-speed Internet around to occupy my time. Hopefully I can spend some of this time working on my latest novel, but alas I do not feel particularly inspired at the moment. Oh well, I'm taking a Creative Writing class next semester. Maybe that will help.

I did bring in the New Year in a cool way, I think. I was at a Campus Crusade winter conference with a bunch of people from my school. It was a really interesting experience, and I was glad I went. The conference lasted for several days and there were a lot of cool speakers to listen to and seminars to attend. There were also various books to be bought, and I wish I had had enough money to by all of John Piper's stuff that was there.

(On a side note, Crusade seemed to endorse a lot of books by Reformed theologians. Most of the speakers were Reformed as well, and that gave me a chance to have a fun little "told you so" moment with all my friends who think my Calvinism is weird).

One of the best seminars I attended was one about homosexuality. To be honest, I was very apprehensive going in. I had expected to hear a lot of standard ex-gay ministry dogma and I wasn't exactly looking forward to that, but I wanted to be open minded, so I made sure to put a column in my notes called "Things I Liked" (right next to the one called "Things That Ticked Me Off").

You'll be pleased to know, however, that barely anything ticked me off. The speaker was a straight man that, in college, simply felt called to minister to homosexuals. That alone was impressive, because usually one gets the sense that the only people who care about ministering to gays are ex-gays themselves or James Dobson types that need ex-gays to help fuel their misguided public policy initiatives. Having someone who comes from a more "objective" background can really be helpful.

Although there were a few annoying references to developmental theory and the "gay identity" quagmire, the main point that the speaker tried to get across was how Christian students needed to understand the diversity that will exist in God's kingdom, and that diversity includes men and women who do not exactly fit into the heterosexual mold. He did not compromise on God's word, of course, for sexual purity is still very important. He did, however, drive home the point that the goal is not to make gay people straight, but to make sinners holy, and that celibacy is a completely valid and common outcome. Some people may say that "settling" for celibacy is bleak, but I think a little shot of realism is refreshing (not to mention essential to effective pastoral care). It's not easy, of course... But I've always found that fulfilling God's will is strangely filling.

I hope that I can continue to fulfill that will in the New Year. I look forward to getting back to school, seeing my friends, Hitch, and starting my new classes. I pray that all of you are blessed in 2008 as well. Adios!

P.S. This is my 100th post. Go me!

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