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January is Gone

At the end of 2011 I chose 3 words for 2012. They were: Focus, Discipline, and Document. Instead of making traditional resolutions, I thought I would let these 3 words guide me throughout this year. January is gone, and I think I did okay as far as my three words go.
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You Have to Start Somewhere

As part of “discipline,” one of my three words for 2012, I dusted off the treadmill today and hesitantly jumped on it for about 20 minutes for the first time in about 6 months.

I was a little embarrassed by the fact that I could only do about 1.2 miles in 20 minutes. When Nike+ automatically shared my synced run, I cringed at the fact that I could only post a 20 minute run on the treadmill.

But then I realized that we all have to start somewhere.

No matter what you’re trying to do, whether it’s save money, lose weight, get healthy, learn another language, read the Bible, or any other goal you might have, you have to start somewhere.

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An Enormous Debt

In Luke 7 we read about a woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume, washed them with her tears, and wiped them off with her hair. When he sees this, the host of the party begins to think to himself about the sinfulness of the woman.

Jesus, explaining to His host what is happening, tells the story of two men who owe debts to another man. One of them owes a debt of 500 pence, and the other owes a debt of simply 50 pence. Since neither of them had anything to pay with, the man to whom the debt was owed simply forgave their debts.

Jesus asks Simon which one will love him the most, and Simon correctly responds that the one who owed the most and was forgiven the most would love the most.

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The Volcanoes Declare the Glory of God

Today was a clear day, and one of the few in which we can see the volcanoes from our side of Mexico City. So I climbed the pedestrian bridge right in front of the Seminary and took this picture with the Pro HDR app on my phone.

It seems to go with the verses that I’ve been reading lately. Psalm 8:1-4

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

What has reminded you of God’s glory lately?

Prayer and the Missionary Task

This quarter I’m teaching “Contemporary Youth Missions” at the Seminary, and I’m using part of John Piper’s book “Let the Nations be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions” (affiliate link) as some of the required reading. As I looked through the book again today, I was again impacted by the following section:

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My 3 Words for 2012

Chris Brogan suggests that it’s easier to think of three words you want to describe your year instead of making “resolutions.” I like the idea because it helps me focus more on general things I want to focus on instead of specific single goals.

I liked it enough to spend some time thinking about my three words, and I think the following words will help me in 2012.

Discipline. Focus. Document.

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The Incomprehensible Incarnation

On Christmas Eve our kids were being so bad that I wrote on Facebook:

“I hope Santa isn’t watching because my kids should be on the naughty list.”

Santa Claus is an interesting character. He rewards your good behavior and gives you coal (or worse) for bad behavior. He has little elves who help check up on children to see if they should be on the nice list or on the naughty list. Santa is a fun little story, and a great tool for parents to get their kids to behave during November and December, but it’s nothing like the story of Jesus.

The Jesus Christmas story puts us all on the naughty list. The beauty of this story is that, despite the fact that we are ALL on the naughty list, the gift of Jesus was for every single one of us. Nobody would make the “nice list” if it depended on our own merit. We are all naughty. We don’t deserve anything from God, which is why the incarnation is so incomprehensible.

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