Something Spurgeon Said…

“At the same time, we should avoid everything like the ferocity of bigotry. There are religious people about, who, I have no doubt, were born of a woman, but they appear to have been suckled by a wolf. I have done them no dishonor by that comparison, for were not Romulus and Remus, the founders of the city of Rome, nourished in that fashion? Some warlike men of this order have had power to found dynasties of thought; but human kindness and brotherly love consort better with the Kingdom of Christ. We are not to be always going about the world searching out heresies, like terrier dogs sniffing for rats, and to be always so confident of our own infallibility that we erect ecclesiastical stakes at which to roast all who differ from us, not, ’tis true, with faggots of wood, but with those coals of juniper, which consist of strong prejudice and cruel suspicion.”

— C. H. Spurgeon, “Forward!

Review (and Giveaway) of ESV Scripture Old Testament Journal Set

When our pastor began to preach through the Gospel of Luke last year, we encouraged church members to purchase the Luke volume from the ESV Scripture New Testament Journal Set. I’ve heard from many who have enjoyed using it, not only for sermon notes but for personal study and journaling.

So, I was excited when Crossway announced the publication of the entire Old Testament journal set. I am especially grateful they sent me a full set to review—and a complete set to giveaway (see below). Continue reading “Review (and Giveaway) of ESV Scripture Old Testament Journal Set”

A Mini-Memoir of Pastoral Burnout

Today I have a piece up at Fathom Mag on my experience of pastoral burnout. Here’s the intro:

I knelt on the floor of my study all night, my forehead pressed into the carpet, my fists pressed against my temples. I pulled my hair and wept until I fell asleep, exhausted. Waking in a fetal position, I remembered where I was and what I faced and begged, “Lord, please . . . please . . . please . . . send someone else.”

I pressed my face into the floor and sobbed, no longer able to pray with words. Tears and snot and saliva soaked my beard and the carpet. Alone in the darkness, I didn’t care. 

A faint light shone through the blinds but the rising sun did not bring hope. I wiped my face and tasted blood. Weeping face down through the night, the capillaries in my nose had broken and bled into the cream carpet. Time was up. I had to shower. I had to dress. I had to go to church. I had to preach. 

In the early morning light, I knelt with rags and carpet cleaner and scrubbed the spot until it changed from crimson to white. The words of the prophet repeated in my head, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”

Although that was the last time I bled into the carpet, it was not the last time I met Sunday morning with a breakdown. I didn’t want to preach. I didn’t want to pastor. I didn’t want to live. 

Read the rest here.