The Preaching Notes Series

These are really interesting:

Mark Dever
Mike Bullmore
C.J. Mahaney
Ray Ortlund, Jr.
Tim Keller
Mark Driscoll

They are copies of the preaching notes from well known pastors. You have to look at Mark Driscoll’s… He preached for an hour. Here were Joshua Harris’ comments.

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When I originally asked Mark to participate by sharing his preaching notes he declined. So I asked him again. He sent the following email explaining his initial reluctance as well as his unique approach to notes. Mark writes,

Josh, I have hesitated to send you my preaching notes because…they’re usually aren’t any. When I do a topical sermon there are some. But, when I’m working through a text of the Bible I pretty much scratch a few words on a sticky tab and maybe in pencil put a few words in the margin and get up and go for an hour-ish. Most of the jokes, cross references, illustrations etc. are made up on the spot while preaching. In that way I’m pretty Spirit lead. I study a ton going in to fill up, and then get up and preach it out. This is a copy of my Bible from my latest sermon on the first half of Jesus High Priestly Prayer in John 17. I used about half the stuff on the sticky notes and preached for about an hour. I would not commend anyone to preach this way as it’s the pastoral equivalent to driving blindfolded—exciting but dangerous. So, for what it’s worth here it is.

I agree with Mark’s encouragement not to follow his example in this regard. And that’s not because I don’t believe in the leading of the Holy Spirit. But I think Mark is uniquely gifted and has an ability to absorb and recall great amounts of what he has studied. I for one, don’t have this same ability. I say this only because I don’t want any young preachers to get up to preach with two sticky notes either having not studied and prepared enough or, lacking Mark’s ability to remember what they studied, to fall on their face and then blame the Holy Spirit. Repeat after me, “I am not Mark Driscoll.”

Here’s a PDF of two pages of Mark’s Bible and the accompanying sticky notes. And here’s the audio recording of the sermon he preached from them.

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"How to Help Your Husband When He’s Criticized"

This is a great article. It made me think also of having the courage to say things your spouse may not want to hear but needs to.

Carolyn: Obviously, it certainly isn’t easy to have your husband criticized. But as wives, we must recognize our role as our husband’s helper and make sure we don’t take up an offense, which would not be helpful to our husbands. And that does not take place without a fight. This is the person you love the most in the whole world, and if someone is criticizing him, you can be easily offended and want to defend him. Yet, I must realize that taking an offense would be a disservice to my husband. So it’s important that we as wives guard our hearts, making sure we don’t take up an offense, seeking to serve our husbands as helpers.

Naulty, a True Confession

(ht: Maheny)
With all the news about Pettitte and Clemons it’s disappointing to see Pettitte, a professing Christian, to give this sort of apology.

If what I did was an error in judgment on my part, I apologize.

From the bottom of my heart, I know why I did this. I didn’t do it to try to get an edge on anyone, I didn’t do it to try to get stronger, faster or to throw harder. I did it because I was told that it might be able to help me. That’s for other people to decide. If people think I’m lying then they should call me a cheater. Do I think I’m a cheater? I don’t. God knows my heart.

God knowing anyone’s heart isn’t good news…
Compare this with the words of Dan Naulty, twins reliever in the 90’s:

“I stole people’s jobs,” said Naulty, who now lives in Colorado. “That’s the part for me that was so wrong. I have to explain to my boys that I took people’s jobs by cheating, and that penetrated my soul a number of years ago and still haunts me today.”

From the Star Tribune

Now the consequences mean more to Naulty, a former Twins pitcher who spent 1996-99 in the majors. The mental snapshot that pops up the most: the sight of Mike Trombley packing his bags in 1996 after being a late spring training cut.

Naulty cheated his way onto the team while the popular and hard-working Trombley was misty-eyed over barely missing the cut.

Humility: True Greatness

I just finished maybe the most important book I have read in a long time, Humility True Greatness, by C.J. Mahaney. It is 175 pages but you could read it in a couple (few?) hours. The deception of this sin is terrifying. Please, for those of you who know me well, I’m asking that you will hold me accountable and point out my pride. God’s glory is at stake in my life. Here’s a sample of some things you’ll find in the book from Sovereign Grace Ministries.

This Is The One To Whom I Will Look
How to Daily Weaken Pride and Cultivate Humility

C.J. Mahaney

But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:2

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. 1 Peter 5:6

1) Begin the day acknowledging your dependence upon God and your confidence in God.

Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”

D Martin Lloyd Jones

Set the tone for your day by immediately speaking truth to yourself rather than listening to lies from yourself.
Let the truth of person and substitutionary work of Jesus Christ for your sins be where you begin your thoughts, meditation and declarations each day.

2) At the outset of each day express specific gratefulness to God.

Thankfulness is a soil in which pride does not easily grow.”

John Stott

An ungrateful person is a proud person. Throughout the day be an alert and thankful observer of the post it notes provided by God reminding you of common and saving grace. Remember, whatever grace you receive from God is far more than you deserve and whatever pain and suffering you experience is far less than you deserve.

3) Practice the Spiritual Disciplines

When we fail to wait prayerfully for God’s guidance and strength, we are saying, with our actions if not our lips, that we do not need him.”

Charles Hummel

Practicing the spiritual disciplines is daily declaration and demonstration of my need for God and my dependence upon God.

4) Seize Your Daily Commute as an Opportunity to Mediate on Scripture.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers: but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.”

Psalm 1:1-2

5) Throughout Each Day Cast Your Cares Upon Him.

Humble yourselves…casting ALL your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:6-7

The humble are care free. Where there is worry, anxiety, anxiousness there is pride. Humility

The root of worry and anxiety is self-sufficiency. God gives grace to those who humble themselves and cast each and every care on him.

The effect of this act is the weakening of pride and the experience of peace and joy.

6) At the End of the Day Transfer the Glory to God

When we have done anything praiseworthy, we must hide ourselves under the veil of humility, and transfer the glory of all we have done to God.”

Thomas Watson

7) Before Falling Asleep Acknowledge the Purpose of Sleep

Prior to falling asleep each night seize this opportunity to acknowledge a purpose of sleep. The need for sleep is a daily reminder that we are creatures not the Creator, that we are not self-sufficient and that only God is self-sufficient. Only God neither slumbers nor sleeps.