1. The final word on the New Year from 2011 Mockingbird Conference speaker Mark Galli over at Christianity Today, in his column “Blessed Are the Poor in Virtue”:

At the risk of derailing someone’s hard fought New Year’s vows, let me suggest that some of us stop trying to become good Christians, or whatever noble thing we’re striving to be.

The more I strive to be a “good Christian”—more prayerful, patient, giving, sacrificial, whatever—the more I find myself anxious, irritated, guilty, resentful, and self-righteous. When I simply accept that I’m a sinner, really, I find that I pray more, am…

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