1. Daniel Fast begins today. For me this means no meats, no sweets, no coffee, and no Kornheiser and Wilbon.

2. We'll be reading through John together through the end of January in conjunction with the fast. 21 chapters. 21 days left in January. 1 chapter a day. I'll be posting daily thoughts on the chapters as we go. Click here for some brief thoughts on John 1. 

3. Prayer emphasis today is humility and repentance. More to follow on that later today on the blog.

4. Corporate worship is so good for the soul. There is just a unique beauty and strength to the simplicity of gathering with other believers to sing to Jesus, read and preach about Jesus, and remember what Jesus has done for us.

5. I know it is a very difficult topic, but thinking deeply about and coming to terms with the providence and sovereignty of God in all things and its implications for my life has been the most transformative biblical truth I have encountered.

6. Along those lines I am very grateful for the preaching and teaching ministry of John Piper. He’s had a tremendous influence on my life from afar. Recently he preached a message at Matt Chandler’s church in Texas to encourage the church through Matt’s battle with brain cancer. The message is entitled Subjected in Hope. You can listen to it here. It is well worth 55 minutes of your time.

7. Speaking of Chandler, keep praying for him. He’s undergoing several weeks of very intensive chemo and radiation. He’s such a gifted dude. What a gift his preaching has been to thousands. Here’s a quick clip from a message he preached at the Desiring God conference. Click here to watch it. "Jesus wants the rose!" Beautiful. (By the way, Reynold, Hawk and I were at this conference sitting in the front row like middle schoolers at a Miley Cyrus concert).

8. I love preaching to the Tribe. I can sense how our collective eagerness for the Scriptures has grown these past few years. What a joy to do life with people who’s spirits are leaning forward to hear and think about and wrestle with what the Scriptures say.

9. I’m very grateful for the great ministry of Sound Choices Pregnany Clinic. The ladies that came yesterday from Sound Choices were very encouraged by your response. Quite a few folks stopped by their table to get info and volunteer. Reynold really made a great point about responding right now and not waiting until we forget. A few of our men offered to help with security one night a month. Very, very grateful for such a responsive Tribe that responds to needs.

10. During this Colossians series I'm going to try and memorize the book of Colossians. This week: Colossians 1:1-8. Join me if you're up to it. And, I need some hazing and threat of public ridicule if I don't do this. I've always worked better that way. Takes me back to one of the most productive years of my life...plebe year at West Point. So, I welcome your insults if I wimp out or get lazy. It'll help motivate me. Seriously.  

11. Last thought—this is why we do what we do. Someone wrote this on the back of a connection card recently. Thank you, Jesus.

“I wasn’t raised in the church and I was invited here in August and I kept coming back. This church taught me what it means to be a Christian and it is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Grace & Peace,