Happy New Year!

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We’re now in a new decade, and I thought it would be a good idea to keep writing on my blog in 2020. With a new year comes resolutions and plans for the coming twelve months, but also the helpful and informative habit of looking back on past accomplishments, challenges, and growth. With that in mind, I hope to do a few posts over the next while to review some of the most influential books, favorite music, and exciting events of 2019.

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Sibling Kindness

After breakfast this morning, my oldest son noticed that his younger sister wasn’t feeling well. She recently had the stomach flu, so she was resting on the couch and sipping ginger ale until she felt better. Anyways, my son came to me and asked whether he could go to our greeting card stash and pick out a special card for his sister. I showed him a creative alternative, and soon he was writing his own “get well” card at the kitchen table.

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I’ve recently been challenged to evaluate my thoughts for negative thinking and instead replace those thoughts with gratefulness and a positive perspective. This is especially important because our thoughts drive the attitudes we have, the actions we take, and the words we say. Jesus taught that the things that are in our hearts (souls) are like treasure hoards, and whatever is most abundant in our hears will come out in our words:

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I’ve been pondering the idea of “Christian Essentialism” lately, and one topic that’s come to the forefront of my attention is self-discipline. In order to effectively put your energy towards one goal, you need the willpower and discipline to stay focused even when things get boring and mundane. I’ve realized that this is an area where I’ve grown very lazy, and I’ve just recently begun to see the effects in a number of areas of my life.

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Over the past two months, I’ve successfully completed a challenge I set out to try: posting on my blog every day. I didn’t set an end date for this, but just kept at it every day. Once I had a visible streak, I felt like I couldn’t stop. In fact, I still have a continuous streak… I don’t have to stop.

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This week was the first time I started to feel the change in the seasons. We had a much cooler day earlier in the week, combined with bright sunshine, that gave a distinct feeling of the start of a new school year. I took a shorter walk over lunch that day, and while taking in the exquisite elements of the weather, wrote down a whole flood of memories that this kind of season change brings:

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This morning, my oldest son drew a picture in his notebook about the church in China that showed worshippers praying in a church, with government soldiers looking in the windows, presumably preparing to disrupt the service.

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This evening after returning home from work, I saw a fly in the bathroom. Not just any fly. It was huge. The thing had to be at least three-quarters of an inch long. My wife thought it might be a bee initially, but no… it was a fly. I tried (in vain) to take some decent pictures and even a video with my phone, and eventually got out the flyswatter.

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Over the last week, my wife and I chose to turn off the alarm clock and wake up when our bodies naturally woke up in the morning. Partly this was due to a more relaxed schedule for me at work, and also because we had some inconsistent evenings with later bedtimes. This unplanned “experiment” started out innocently at first, when we genuinely forget to turn on the alarm clock on Sunday night, but deliberately choose to keep it off for the rest of the week… because, why not?

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Matthew Johnson

I’m a Christian, a husband to an amazing wife, a father of five children. Technology and reading are some of my current hobbies, and I love roasting good coffee.


Software Developer


Denver, CO