Saturday, January 28, 2012


R left a comment/question on my Thoughts About Homosexuality post, and I thought it should be answered in a separate post because it brought up a point that I wanted to make clear.

That paper was addressed to Believers. I would never go out to an unbeliever and tell them homosexuality is a sin and you better do right… I would rather tell them the gospel. I agree that we cannot expect non-Christians to live by Christian standards, in any area.

I put this out there because so many of the mainline denominations are compromising on this issue, within the church. And that hurts me. To tell Christians that God is ok with homosexuality is just wrong. Just like the rampant pornography, adultery, and divorce in our churches is wrong. To say that God forgives is totally right, to provide an atmosphere where Believers can come together and support and pray for each other in their sins and temptations is right. But that is not what the "church" as a whole is saying. They are saying it is not a sin. The church is being corrupted in this area, and I could not keep silent about that.

You won’t find me going out there and campaigning in public. But within the body of Believers I have to take a stand on this. I see too many young people from solid Christian backgrounds buying into the civil rights aspect of this without understanding the moral undercurrent, and they are being deceived. This is a very slippery slope into an area of sin that is so hard to get free of.

I am not sure I totally answered your questions and concerns. But I believe the church has to figure out how to not compromise morally, yet accept and love sinners. How that works out in the political arena I don't know.


Thoughts on Homosexuality Bibliography

The Bible and Homosexual Practice, Texts and Hermeneutics, Robert Gagnon, 2001
Homosexuality and the Bible, Dr. Albert Mohler
The Gay Gospel?, Joe Dallas
Unpublished paper written by a "Pro-gay Christian"
Teresa's (a woman who describes herself as "saved out of the homosexual lifestyle")testimony to me
The Holy Bible

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thoughts on Homosexuality

OK, I have a few things to state going into this. I know it is going to cause controversy, and I regret that. This is an emotionally charged subject and I hate wading into it. I wrote this a while back after much research. I wanted to present my position clearly, concisely and intelligently for a single purpose. But with politics heating up and this becoming a huge issue, I feel the need to put it out there in general. You are welcome to disagree, but please treat my opinion with respect. If you choose to disagree for whatever reason, realize that is your choice and leave me to mine. I want to make you think, you must choose what to believe. And what you believe will not change the way I treat you.

I am intelligent, persistent, dedicated… and rebellious toward authority. Always have been. I understand the attitude that rejects establishment and tradition in favor of intellectual contemporary thought; the attitude that discards the old in favor of the new; that looks down on previous generations as past their prime, as uninformed, as not having as much knowledge as the current generation, as having no right to tell me what I can and cannot do. I understand changing the words so I look enlightened rather than just simply rebellious. I am 47 years old – that means I have been reading the Bible for 33 years, since I became a Believer at the age of 14. In those 33 years God has shown me my rebellion and my sin. He has shown me that I cannot trust current political thought; I cannot trust books or people; and more importantly, He has shown me that I cannot trust my own heart. It will deceive me. The only absolutely trustworthy thing on this earth is the Bible, God’s written Word to man. Every experience, every feeling, every thought, every word, every book must be looked at through the lens of God’s Word.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure, who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

Because of this, I will not spend time talking about the way society has looked at homosexuality throughout history. Society does not define God’s morals. I will not talk about Psychology or Science for the same reason. Not only do those things not define what pleases God, but those things change constantly. God’s law does not depend on those things at all. No, my argument must come from Scripture itself.

So the question becomes – Is the Bible truly the inspired Word of God? Is it as true today as the day it was first put on paper? Is it complete? Inerrancy is the word here… and I believe it. I am not prepared to debate this issue and will not try, but it is a question that must be settled in your own mind before anything else can be looked at. Do you believe the Word of God is true? Do you believe it is all true? If not, how do you determine what is true and what is not? How can you trust any of it?

Next comes interpretation of specific scripture, and that is where I will begin.

If you spend a lot of time absorbing the Bible as a whole, from Genesis to Revelation, you get an overall big picture and a better feel for it than if you only dissect it in bits and pieces. My impression of the whole is that God created man male and female for a specific reason. At the very beginning He created the roles as well as the bodies of male and female, and He instituted marriage and family relationships. Paul says in the NT that marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church – it means so much more than a long term commitment between two people. It points to redemption, to sacrifice, to the Cross, and to God’s people as a whole – to Christ and the church. Then Paul says this is a mystery, we can’t really understand it.

But what is obvious and understandable is that at the beginning, when things were still perfect in Eden, marriage was between a male and a female. They perfectly complemented each other in every way – emotionally, spiritually, temperamentally, and physically. The problems came when sin entered the garden and was passed down to the children of Adam and Eve. That sin has brought all manner of consequences to each of us. We all have certain sinful areas that we struggle with our whole lives. Sin is genetic, and it is not unreasonable to think that specific sinful tendencies can be genetic from birth.

Levitical law – Leviticus 18 and 20 are dealing with sexual sins, and homosexual sin is listed as abomination and detestable, as a reason that the nations before Israel were being driven out. Homosexuality is listed as an immoral behavior; this is a totally different context from the dietary laws. You would not have been stoned for disobeying dietary laws, ceremonial uncleaness could be fixed with sacrifices. But God said to kill people for these sexual sins, implying an inherent evil, not just a forgetfulness or ignorance. Levitical law also does not give an option for consenting homosexuality, and if the law applied only to anal penetration, then it would seem to mean you could fondle anyone or anything you wish, which is clearly not true. If you go to the NT, you will see where the dietary laws and the ceremonial laws and the sacrificial laws are all specifically done away with, but never will you find the moral law done away with. We are told to obey the moral law out of love for Christ and to please God. The dictates of the moral law did not change from law to Christ, only the underlying motivation changed – from primarily duty to primarily love.

Sodom – I agree that the destruction of Sodom is about more than homosexuality. But it is illogical and unreasonable to think it is about hospitality. I have to say that while the translation of the word “know” into “sex” could possibly mean something different, the most common usage of the word was sex. If you read the account plainly, all the men from the city are surrounding the house, and obviously they are violent. It has always bothered me that Lot was so quick to offer his daughters, but I think that is a character flaw of Lot, not a statement of what was right; in any case, he had no sons to offer. Jude plainly asserts that part of Sodom’s sin was sexual immorality and perversion, not just rape, but homosexuality as well. How could the men of Sodom know that the strangers were angels? To make “strange flesh” mean anything but homosexuality requires some very creative translating rather than the straightforward obvious meaning.

Jesus – No, Jesus never mentions homosexuality. But He also never mentions bestiality, and many other things that we would take for granted. He does say He did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. He does say He came to forgive sin, but we are not supposed to continue living in it. He does talk about love, but never does He say care and love legitimize sex. No one thinks that because pedophiles can express care and love for children that their sexual relations with children are legitimate. In many ways the man who abused me showed me love that my parents never showed, love that I craved, and he was never violent; but it was horribly wrong. Christ also expanded the sin of adultery to the much deeper level of lust. And finally there is the fact that all of Scripture is the Word of God, not only the recorded words of Christ.

Paul – Paul is clearly talking about homosexuality at the end of Romans 1. He does start out talking about idolatry, which did indeed often include orgies and prostitutes of both sexes. But a plain reading of the text shows Paul making a logical progression of thoughts. It is not just idolatry that is wrong. Notice that God gave them over to the sinful desires of their hearts… homosexuality was something innately part of them, but that didn’t make it any less of a sin.

As far as “arsenokoite” in I Cor. 6 and I Tim. 1, it is a direct Greek translation of the Hebrew for male/sex/bed. “Arsen” is man with an emphasis on male. Again, the plain translation and reading is homosexuality. What it came to mean later could easily be the same way we now use “whore” for a morally loose woman or “bastard” for a man we are mad at. Paul appears to have coined a number of Greek words in his writings, combining parts of words to say exactly what he wanted to say or emphasize.

Paul makes it abundantly plain in all of his writings that God judges all sin, and God forgives all sin. But sin is still sin.

Characters – There is no way to make David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, or Daniel and Ashpenaz homosexual, other than to read it into the story. The words used between these characters are often used in the context of vassal to king, brother to brother, or mother to daughter. Sex is never alluded to at all.

Homosexuality is referred to 5 times in scripture. Did the Bible translators we rely on really get it wrong five different times, in two different testaments, addressed to highly different cultures – Hebrew , the nations in the Promised Land before the Israelites got there (including the nations at the time of Abraham), Roman and Greek? Obviously this is not a cultural thing. Pro-gay apologists don’t seem to have a problem with other scriptures condemning other sins. To accept these arguments you have to want them to be true – you have to make the Bible agree with you.

The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Tim. 4:3-4

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light, and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20

The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin. What makes homosexuality a “worse” sin than anything else? Can homosexuals be Christians? That is complicated. Sexual sin really is so much more destructive than some other sins because it involves someone else in your sin, and it is so hard to get out of the slavery of sexual sins because they affect your mind and emotions so deeply. But in God’s eyes every sin is sin, and He forgives it all. So yes, of course homosexuals can be Christians, just like alcoholics and drug addicts and gluttons and thieves and liars and gossips… you get the picture. But I think when Believers honestly desire to please God, they will turn away from homosexuality, just like they turn away from any other sin. I do believe the church has been woefully inadequate in helping people do that with love and patience and acceptance.

“When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact, will not make us happy.” C.S. Lewis

The reason homosexuality is such a hot topic politically is because they are pushing their agenda to be recognized as morally ok, while the conservative side realizes that cultural support for sinful behavior will significantly increase the practice of that behavior. Gay marriage cheapens marriage. Homosexuals themselves say that monogamy does not work for gay relationships. (“The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop”, Genre magazine; “Virtually Normal”). People who have come out of the Gay Church movement admit that the norm even among Christian gays is not monogamy. Long term gay relationships are very rare, even among women, who don’t tend to be as promiscuous as men. So why are homosexuals lobbying for gay marriage, when such a small minority of them can stay together for any length of time?

“The purpose of gay victim imagery is to make straights feel very uncomfortable – gays should be portrayed as victims of prejudice. Straights must be shown graphic pictures of brutalized gays, dramatizations of job and housing insecurities, loss of child custody, public humiliations, etc.” Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ‘90s

I have to say that I resent being called a homophobe. I am not afraid of homosexuals. I am not antagonistic to them. I do not hate them. I find their situations grievous because they are so deceived and so trapped in their own sin. I think violence perpetrated on someone because they are gay or for any other reason is reprehensible. Disagreeing with someone should not be the basis of an attack… on a homosexual for their beliefs, or on my disagreement with those beliefs. So yes, we should absolutely prosecute perpetrators of violence and persecution of gays, but do not ask me to support their lifestyles. Do not ask me to stand silently by while they attempt to legally and morally make their lifestyles acceptable and enticing, when Scripture clearly says otherwise.

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and devil are at the moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested.” Martin Luther

©Rebecca A Givens, 12-10-11

Monday, January 16, 2012

Northside Bible Church Testimony

I have shared my testimony publicly before, but never in print on the web. It feels like maybe now is the time to do that. This is basically what I said yesterday. It isn't exact, but it is the notes I wrote out ahead of time as I prepared.

When Stan asked me to do this I wondered how to condense 47 years into 15 minutes. I decided not to try. So then I prayed about what to say and God clearly said, Romans 8. 10 ½ years ago in Romania, Stan pointed me to Romans 8, and I have returned to it time and time again since. Romans 8 tells the story of my life. This morning I will draw your attention to a very familiar verse at the end of the chapter, but go home and read the whole thing. Then read chapters 6-8. Then read the whole book! Anyway, let me tell you what God’s done in my life.

My parents were good people, not Believers, but good people. They loved me, they cared about me; but when I was a kid I was abused by my step-grandfather, for about 6 years. Nobody knew. I came out of that period of my life a very confused teenager. I didn’t understand the damage that had been done to my heart. What I did know was that I didn’t want to think about it. So I stuffed all those memories and emotions into a box deep inside me, shoved a lid on it, and tried to pretend it wasn’t there.

Later that same year I came to know Christ. I was 14 years old, and after all this time I am still amazed that God loves me. I became a Believer, a new creation, saved from sin and hell; but God didn’t take away that box of memories from inside me. He didn’t change my past, He didn’t heal the wound to my heart. I kept that locked away inside and still didn’t realize I even had a wound. I was very afraid of what was in that box.

Fast forward about 23 yrs. A lot of things happened in that time. I rebelled and did some stupid things that I am now ashamed of. But God had hung on to me and loved me and taught me to trust Him. This was 10 years ago, and I was in Romania on a mission trip. You go on a mission trip and you think, this is great, God is going to use me to minister to somebody else! God had other plans for this trip. God decided it was time to begin healing that wound in my heart from my childhood. And He didn’t do it gently or tenderly. I think He didn’t need to give me a choice in the matter, because my choice was clearly always going to be hiding it inside. It’s like when your kid is sick and you go to the doctor and they need a shot. They are not going to choose the shot, but you know it’s what they need to get well. God had to force me to deal with my past, and He did it by exploding the box of memories and emotions that I had stuffed down inside me. One of our team members was sharing his testimony, and suddenly I was coming apart inside. Memories and emotions poured over me, and pieces of me went everywhere. I spent that entire night arguing with God, telling Him that I would not look at the past, could not look at the past, please don’t make me look at the past. I felt His presence there in the tent, and He seemed to be silently asking me a question. Becky, do you trust me? Do you trust me with the past? At about dawn I finally said ok. If this is what we have to do, ok. But You are going to have to do it, because I don’t know what to do. That was the beginning of a very difficult year; a year where God began to heal my heart.

Stan pointed me to the book of Psalms and to Romans 8. As I lost control of my mind and thoughts and emotions, I began to cling to scripture. It was the only thing that I knew was absolutely true. My mind was full of lies, but this was full of truth. I clung to scripture because my sanity depended on it. I wrote scripture passages on index cards and carried stacks of them in my pocket so I could read them during the day. God began to flush out that old wound with His Word and His Promises. It took a long time – in fact it is still happening today. I know I will have a painful scar until I get to heaven. But the year after Romania was the intense beginning of God’s healing for me.

About 3 months into that year I was walking and praying. I had gotten into the habit of praying and reading scripture aloud; I highly recommend it. At that point I didn’t worry much about people thinking I was crazy for walking around talking to myself, because I was pretty sure that I was crazy. Anyway, I was walking and talking to God. I don’t remember what I was talking about, the words weren’t planned or thought out. But as I walked I heard these words come out of my mouth, “God, I just realized that every day for the past 3 months You have spoken to me in a very real way. Every single day I have felt Your Presence. That’s cool! In all my years as a Believer I it’s not been that way for that long. If it took abuse to put me here, well, that’s ok too.” I literally stopped in my tracks and slapped my hand over my mouth. What had I just said to God? “Wait God, let me think about that for a minute.” I stood there and thought about where I was, and finally said, “I’ll stick with that God. It is worth anything to be in this place of dependence and trust in You, even something as terrible as child abuse.”

My friends, that is Romans 8:28. Do you see it? And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Sexual abuse is a terrible thing. Child molesters and baby-rapers are looked down on even in prisons. But through this terrible situation in my past, God drew me close to Him and brought me to a dependence and trust that could not have been possible otherwise. And that is to my infinite good. My past made me what I am today, and I would not trade my relationship with God for a perfect childhood. I know that in all things God is working for my good, and I trust Him.

Let me close in prayer. God, thank you for the opportunity to share what You have done in my life. I needed the reminder. Glorify Yourself in me. And if someone here is hurting because of my story, I pray that they would trust You and run to You. Thank You, thank You. Amen.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

31 Days of Praying for Your Wife

Hey Peeps, I need some help and feedback with this one. I have been praying for my husband using Revive Our Hearts 31 Days of Praying for Your Husband list for several months, and I got to thinking about how I would like for him to pray for me... so I started on a list, using the Praying for Your Husband list as a starting point. What's below is a first draft, and I would appreciate some input on it. I am sure I have left out things, and I am sure some of this should be changed. Please give me some input on this!

1. Pray that your wife will grow spiritually and consider her accountability before the Lord. Pray that she will guard her heart by developing spiritual disciplines – Bible reading and study, prayer, meditation, scripture memorization, etc. (2 Peter. 3:18; Prov. 4:23)
2. Pray that your wife’s relationship with God and His Word will bear fruit in her life. Pray that she will be a woman of wisdom and understanding, fearing the Lord. (Prov. 3:7, 9:10; Ps. 112:1)
3. Pray that your wife will be humble and quick to agree with God about her sin. Pray that her heart will be tender toward the voice of the Lord. (Ps. 51:2-4; Micah 6:8)
4. Pray that your wife will learn to submit to the Lord and to you without fear. Pray that she will learn to trust God and you.
5. Pray that your wife will guard her heart. Pray that her affections, heart and energy would be directed toward your family and your home.
6. Pray that your wife will love righteousness and hate wickedness, especially the evils of the culture. Pray that she will recognize and avoid wickedness in her own life, and if necessary, take a strong stand against evil. (Prov. 27:12; John 17:15; 1 Cor. 10:12-13)
7. Pray that your wife would seek God first, and look to Him to meet her needs rather than to her husband or children or friends.
8. Pray that God would give your wife creativity in making your house a home that is warm, inviting, and comfortable.
9. Pray that money will not become a source of discord in your family. Pray that your wife will be content with your provision for your family, not longing for what the world tells her she needs.
10. Pray that your wife will seek to understand and be what God wants her to be as a woman, a wife and a mother.
11. Pray that your wife will have a humble, teachable spirit and a servant’s heart before the Lord. Pray that she will listen to God and desire to do His will.
12. Pray that your sexual intimacy together will unite your hearts; that it will be fresh, positive, and a reflection of selfless love.
13. Pray that your wife will have a soft, inviting, tender heart; a willing embrace; an encouraging word; and a forgiving spirit.
14. Pray that your wife will tame her tongue; that she will speak words that build up you and your family and reflect a heart of love.
15. Pray that your wife will choose her friends wisely. Pray that she will develop godly relationships with other women, particularly older women.
16. Pray that your wife will choose healthy, God-honoring activities. Pray that she will not live in bondage to any questionable habits or hobbies, television or books, but that she will experience freedom in holiness as she yields to the Spirit’s control. (1 Cor. 6:12, 10:31; 2 Tim. 2:4)
17. Pray that your wife will be able to joyfully submit to your leadership. That she will encourage you and wait for you to lead and initiate. Pray that she will faithfully pray for you.
18. Pray that your wife will have an eternal perspective – living in light of eternity. Pray that she will reject materialism and temporal values and put God first in her life. (Matt. 6:33; Deut. 6:5; Eph. 5:16; Ps. 90:12)
19. Pray that your wife will seek a true friendship with you, and that you will be her best friend.
20. Pray that your wife will find joy and peace in her role as wife and mother.
21. Pray that your wife will learn how to relax in the Lord and, in her greatest times of stress, find joy and peace in her relationship with God. Pray that she will submit her schedule to the Lord.
22. Pray that your wife will practice forgiveness in your relationship and with others. Pray that she will recognize any roots of bitterness, and yield any resentment and unforgiving attitudes to the Lord. (Eph. 4:32; Heb. 12:15)
23. Pray that your wife will be a good mother. Pray that God will give her the ability, wisdom and strength to mother each child in their particular phase of life (infant, toddler, teen, adult, etc).
24. Pray that your wife will have a balanced life – that she will balance work and play. Pray that she will fear God, but also gain favor with people in every setting she is involved with.
25. Pray that your wife would be wise in managing her time, activities and service.
26. Pray that your wife will discover and live her God-given purpose. Pray that she will offer all her dreams to the Lord, and pursue only those goals that will bring God glory and count for eternity. (Jer. 29:11; 1 Cor. 10:31)
27. Pray that your wife will understand the importance of taking care of her body – the temple of the Holy Spirit – for the glory of God. Pray that she will have opportunities to practice self-control by making wise food choices, and get sufficient exercise to stay healthy. Pray that she will have physical strength each day and be able to rest each night. (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:19-20, 9:27)
28. Pray that your wife will be a woman of prayer. Pray that she will seek and pursue God in purposeful quiet times. (I Thess. 5:17; Luke 22:46; James 5:16)
30. Pray that your wife will serve God and others with pure motives. Pray that she will obey the Lord from her heart, and glorify Him in everything. (1 Cor. 10:13; John 7:17-18; Col. 3:23-24)
31. Pray that your wife will recognize the lies of the Enemy in her life. Pray that her attitudes and actions will be guided by the truth as she brings her thoughts into captivity to the Word of God. (John 8:44; 2 Cor. 10:4-5)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Romans 8:31-39

What shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies, who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

OK, first we have to ask the question, in response to what? Context – it is so important to read scripture as a whole as well as in little pieces. In Romans 8 Paul has talked about sin and sin nature, and the control of the Holy Spirit who lives in Believers. Paul has talked about our suffering, creation’s suffering, and the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us as well as our future hope of glorification and how God works it all out for our good. He has talked about our calling and our purpose (which came long before we did) – to be conformed to the image of Christ. He talked about our justification and our glorification. Then comes today’s passage.

Now, what is our response to all this? All too often my response to suffering is fear or depression or anger. But Paul says something different. He has reminded us of God’s love for us and the purpose for our suffering, and this should provoke a different response. Here are the facts:
· God is for us
· He gave His own Son
· He chose and justified us
· He will surely give us everything we need

We do have someone against us, someone who condemns us – Satan. But Christ died for us, and more importantly was raised and is sitting at God’s right hand interceding for us. So, both Christ and the Holy Spirit are talking to God about me and on my behalf. I like to imagine the conversations. I am sure there is plenty of, “Becky has messed up again, she needs to learn something.” But also I know there is, “God, Becky is struggling, she needs peace” and, “God, let’s surprise Becky today with a blessing.”

Here’s the cool thing. Death could not separate us from Christ’s love – He went through that for us. Sin separated us from God, Christ’s death and resurrection brings us back to Him forever. So if Death can no longer separate us, how can anything in this life separate us? Trouble and hardship I know well, we all do. Persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and sword may come; Believers in the time this was written did know those things. But none of this can separate me from Christ’s love. Notice that the list includes suffering brought by people as well as by natural disasters.

Then Paul quotes from the Psalms, and for some reason I always hear a whining voice when I read it. “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered sheep to be slaughtered.” In Paul’s response I always hear an emphatic “NO!!” shouting out from the page. God loves us and He will conquer anything that comes against us! Then Paul lists extremes in broad categories that cover anything that could possibly happen to us.

I love this entire passage; it gives me such hope when I am down. God, thank You for Your Son and salvation, for the indwelling Holy Spirit, for their love and intercession for me. Thank You for Your Word and the promises You have given me. Thank You for continuing the work of making me like Christ. Even though it is often painful, I know that You are in control and will work everything for my good. Thank you for the hope of glorification. No matter what happens on this earth, I look forward to my future in Heaven with You!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!


Here I sit in Texas on New Year’s Day. I spent New Year’s Eve depressed, watching television and wondering about the purpose of it all. Do people really live for this? Why? The ads just sank me deeper and deeper into a pit. Being here always takes me back to a different world, a world that I left on purpose and don’t want to return to. This is not my home. But it is a part of my past and has helped shape who I am today. Being in Texas always stirs complicated emotions and memories.

This morning I forced myself into God’s Word… the end of Romans 8 is where I was scheduled to meditate. Wow, how appropriate for a time of depression! What a cure! And what a way to start out a New Year, with a reminder of God’s power, of His purpose, of His love and His sacrifice, and His plan for both now and the future.

Yes, being in Texas stirs complicated emotions and memories, it depresses me, I don’t look forward to it and am more than ready to leave no matter how short my stay; but God uses these times to teach me SO much. And this trip was no exception.

I don’t know what the New Year will bring. I am pretty happy the old one is gone and am personally hoping for something better in 2012. But no matter what, I pray that I will remember the message of Romans 8. Life is hard, but God has a plan and He is in control.