– Happy 2016!
– Been a while since I did a mind-dump, but I figured I’d get one in on this first week of the new year.
– I still feel like January 1, 2015 just happened.
– I guess time flies.
– I’m not making any resolutions this year, but I am anticipating a great year.
– Christmas was amazing this year for our family.
– We stayed home — no traveling — and had a lot of fun together as a family.
– Everyone’s Christmas presents were thoughtful and fun.
– Here’s a gift from Molly that brought me to tears.

– I’ve been thinking about why it was so moving to me.
– I think it’s because it represents the life that we’ve formed together in Arizona.
– We love and miss Colorado and Ohio, but our home is Arizona.
– This is where God has called us and this is where we’re building a family.
– To embrace that together feels beautiful.
– It’s been nice to not preach the last few weeks, though I’m ready to get back at it.
– The time out of the pulpit made room for tremendous messages by Joe Leavell and Tyler Johnson, and also gave me some time to work on some other important things.
– I had a good retreat day, taking stock of 2015 and looking ahead to 2016.
– Also did some work for seminary — slowly catching up.
– And I finished writing a leader’s guide for our next series on the book of Judges.
– I’m really pumped about this new series.
– I think it will be eye-opening in a bunch of ways.
– I’m also going to try something new for this series by creating a special follow-up email list called Judges: Digging Deeper.
– Each week I’ll send some exclusive bonus content that didn’t make its way into the sermon.
– Over 100 people have already opted-in.
– You can too by going here.
– I’ll send you an e-book Introduction to the Book of Judges right away and then more stuff each week of the series.
– All the most important stuff will be in the sermons (I hope), but some extra thought and resources never hurt anybody.
– I’m writing this from Vancouver, BC where I’m with a few other Redemption pastors visiting the leaders at St. Peter’s Fireside.
– It’s a church plant we’re supporting, so we came to spend some time with them and encourage each other.
– We connected through the Redeemer City to City partnership, and it’s been a great trip so far.
– Here’s a video about the church:

– I think we’re encouraging them, but I know they’re encouraging us.
– It’s helpful to be in a context that is so thoroughly post-Christian.
– Alastair (the church planter) said that less than 5% of people here even consider going to church on Christmas Eve.
– Pretty different than Phoenix.
– But as American culture becomes less influenced by Christendom, it’s helpful to learn about how people are faithfully planting the gospel and doing church.
– We’re meeting up with their team for dinner, so I’ve got to run.
– Whatever you’re doing…do it in the strength God supplies.
– Peace.

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