Russell and Duenes

Looking ahead to 2010

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There was lots to rejoice over in 2009, but the inauguration of President Obama and the birth of my second son, Dylan, stand out to me as the most remarkable. I also turned forty, which I guess officially makes me “middle aged.” No turning back. God has been very good to me over these past 40 years, and I’m hopeful about things ahead. I always try to keep in mind Jesus’ words, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself,” and St. James’ exhortation to “not boast about tomorrow, for you do not even know what tomorrow will bring or whether you will be here.”

As 2010 begins, I’m grateful to be in a new home in Alameda, CA. I’ve already met a good bunch of our neighbors and even had the pleasure of Lou down the street inviting me into his Victorian-style home so I could admire the architecture and design. Wonderful!

My wife and I are looking forward to getting plugged in to a small group here in town. We’ve been at a small Presbyterian church in North Oakland  – Christ Church, Rockridge – for exactly a year, and we’re beginning to navigate our way around. I’ve especially enjoyed the liturgical service they have and the fact that we celebrate the Eucharistic Supper each Sunday.

I’m excited as well about possible developments in my Bible teaching at Redwood. I’ve proposed that we offer a Koine Greek Bible elective this coming school year. I would absolutely love to teach it and allow others to also enjoy the gift of reading God’s New Testament in the language in which He gave it. This semester I taught for the first time a unit to high school seniors entitled “The Challenge of Islam.” I learned some valuable things about Muslims as I prepared, and I hope that in 2010 I might actually befriend some Koran-believing Muslims and might be used of God for the gospel in their lives. I look forward to continuing to learn about this religion that holds the allegiance of some 1.3 billion people.

My wife and I hope to open our home to visitors often this year. God gives us places and spaces to inhabit so that we might invite others into His presence through the gift of hospitality. Jenni not only loves to cook, but excels at making beautiful and scrumptious food. It will be truly a great year if table fellowship becomes a regular part of our relational lives.

I was privileged to come on staff with The Center for Bioethics and Culture this last fall as an educational liaison. I pray that God will use me to help educate and motivate His people toward greater engagement with our world over the bioethical issues that will deeply affect us all.

As for me personally, I’m looking forward to the upcoming semester at school teaching New Testament Epistles to Juniors and Apologetics/ Ethics to Seniors. It is such a thrill and blessing to see young people coming into a greater understanding of God and His world and how He might have them walk with him by faith into the future. As far as my own faith goes, I would like to just “live” in the Pentateuch this year (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). I figured out that if I read about 4.3 chapters a day, I can get through the Pentateuch six times this year. I hope to do it. These first five books of the Bible are foundational to everything that follows, and my hope in dwelling there is to find my way into a greater knowledge of and love for the Sovereign God who reveals himself in the Scriptures. I also continue to meet with three other men as we read through and discuss Phillip Doddridge’s classic work: “The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul.” This is the book God used to convert William Wilberforce. May he use it to provoke similar sanctification in our own lives. I needed a small group of guys to meet with where we could really get into deep and heady stuff across a range of subjects, and I’m happy to see it come to fruition.

Finally, it is my prayer that God will use this blog to bless those who read it and who listen to our podcasts. It has been a lot of fun for me to blog over the last year, and my main hope is always that what I and my colleague do here will honor God and adorn the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Amen. So be it.



Written by Michael Duenes

January 1, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Posted in Duenes, Reflections

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