Friday, August 2, 2013

Note to Self

Note to Self, Joe Thorn

This little book is a selection of ‘notes to yourself’ or ‘exhortations to remind yourself of’, or as the subtitle says ‘the discipline of preaching to yourself’.

Each ‘note to self’ is only 2 pages long so it can be thought through and digested in some detail. I have been reading one each day for the past 6 weeks. Some of them drive me to prayers of confession, others to praise of God and others were reminders of truths that I needed to hear again.

As his introduction says:
To preach to yourself is to challenge yourself, push yourself and point yourself to the truth. It is not so much uncovering new truth as much as it is reminding yourself of the truth you tend to forget.
To give you an idea of some of the topic areas, I have included some headings and a few quotes so you can get an idea:

The Gospel and God
  • Remember your sins
  • Jesus is big
  • Jesus is enough
  • God does not answer to you
  • Be humble in your theology: “it’s possible to be technically accurate in your theology and yet miss the mark of humility. Be passionate for God, fight for truth, contend for the faith, but be humble. Your knowledge is a cause to be humble, not a reason to boast in your insight or tradition” (p55)
The Gospel and others
  • Stop judging
  • Forgive
  • Welcome
  • Listen to others “You think of yourself as open and willing to heed God’s wisdom… What you fail to realise is that one of the primary ways in which God will answer your prayer for wisdom is by speaking to you through other people” (p83)
The Gospel and you
  • Kill your sin: “You seem to think that your sins will somehow die of old age. It’s as if you believe you can wait them out, and they will eventually grow weak and fail. But the truth is your sin ages like an oak tree. If you aren’t chopping it down, its roots are growing deeper and its branches are growing stronger.” (p103)
  • Stop complaining “You complain because you misunderstand (or just miss altogether) the grace you have received by not recognising it and receiving it with gratitude. Life, breath, and all of God’s provisions for your life are acts of his kindness and are truly wonderful, and they all seem to disappear when the smallest inconveniences of life appear.” (p109)
  • Know your idols
  • Be careful in your theology
  • Don’t be a fan boy (I did rather like this one considering it seems to be a regular current tendency)
I could have included something from every note, each was helpful.

This is a book worth having and reading through regularly to keep you sharp about your areas of potential growth or weakness. I have just gone back to the beginning and started again!

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