Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself

Overview

We need good preaching—preaching that challenges us by God’s Word and brings the comfort that comes from God’s promises. Yet many of us rely solely on others to preach to us and are not benefitting from the kind of preaching that should be most consistent and personal—preaching to ourselves.

Note to Self is a practical introduction to this daily discipline. Pastor Joe Thorn delivers fifty brief, devotional chapters that model preaching the gospel to ourselves and its practical ...

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Note to Self (Foreword by Sam Storms): The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself

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Overview

We need good preaching—preaching that challenges us by God’s Word and brings the comfort that comes from God’s promises. Yet many of us rely solely on others to preach to us and are not benefitting from the kind of preaching that should be most consistent and personal—preaching to ourselves.

Note to Self is a practical introduction to this daily discipline. Pastor Joe Thorn delivers fifty brief, devotional chapters that model preaching the gospel to ourselves and its practical implications. Readers will be challenged by the book’s direct, personal exhortations to apply the law and the gospel to their own lives. Part of the Re:Lit series.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

“I know of no other book that deals with the issue of preaching to yourself directly, and I can’t imagine another book will come along to fill this void better than Note to Self. Pastor Joe Thorn offers a richly pastoral, theological, and practical guide for thinking through the Christian life. After reading Note to Self, you will not only have Joe’s notes on how to preach to yourself on issues related to God, others, and yourself, but also you will have a model for practicing the discipline on your own.”
Ed Stetzer, President, LifeWay Research; author, Subversive Kingdom

Note to Self is a gospel-guided smart bomb scoring a direct hit on our strongholds of emptiness. But the explosion it detonates is life giving. It clears the way for Christ to enter in with powers of salvation where we really need help.”
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee

“I am thoroughly engrossed with Joe Thorn’s personal meditations on preaching the gospel to oneself. He combines a clear biblical knowledge with an excellent grasp of doctrine from a historical Reformed perspective and is able to press home a rich application of each aspect of truth to the development of personal holiness. These applications are not trite, but arise from knowledge of the church’s best soul doctors. My wife and I have been reading this each evening and have profited greatly. Each chapter can be managed in less than five minutes but provides an evening’s worth of rich reflection.”
Tom J. Nettles, Professor of Historical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, By His Grace and for His Glory

“Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said that most of your unhappiness is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself. Joe Thorn brings this truth to bear on a new generation in Note to Self. It’s filled with pastoral concern and practical advice packaged as brief notes. I’ve been looking for a book like this my entire Christian life, and it’s every bit as good as I hoped it would be. I’m buying a copy for everyone in my church.”
Steve McCoy, Pastor, Doxa Fellowship; blogger, Reformissionary

“Joe Thorn’s gift to our spiritual well-being is a contemporary, practical example of what the Puritan pastor Richard Baxter called ‘discursive meditation.’ At once both convicting and exhilarating, Note to Self is a great resource for cultivating the godly habit of preaching to oneself.”
C. Ben Mitchell, Graves Chair of Moral Philosophy, Union University

“Joe Thorn has not only given us a good piece of writing, he’s given us a great idea! Note to Self is a series of brief notes in which Joe preaches the gospel to himself on a wide range of topics. The notes offer memorable insights on our view of God, others, and self. Everyone should write ‘notes to self.’ Read this book and learn firsthand how to write the gospel into every nook and cranny of your life!”
Jonathan K. Dodson, Lead Pastor, Austin City Life, Austin, Texas; founding leader, The GCM Collective; author, Gospel-Centered Discipleship

“I talk to myself. Joe Thorn wants me to talk to myself more. And I need that. Regardless of one’s theological view of Law and gospel, these biblical repasts are a good chew.”
Jim Elliff, Christian Communicators Worldwide

“Joe Thorn is my favorite kind of pastor—a theologian and a shepherd. Even better, he is a serious follower of Jesus Christ. Listen to him ‘talk to himself’ and you will discover that he is doing more listening than talking. Read Note to Self and it will help you to hear God’s Word and discern the gracious moving of his Spirit in your own life.”
John Koessler, Professor and Chair of Pastoral Studies Department, Moody Bible Institute

“Joe Thorn has written a series of devotions that are concise and clear but also profound and penetrating. This is just the sort of resource that frazzled and frayed people (like this pastor!) need to read to come back to center and be refreshed by the wonder of the gospel and the beauty and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Chris Brauns, Pastor, The Red Brick Church, Stillman Valley, Illinois; author, Unpacking Forgiveness, Bound Together, and When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search

Note to Self teaches you a skill that will permanently change your life: the skill of preaching to yourself. This is a forgotten habit in our day, and Joe Thorn winsomely models how to resurrect this lost art. Note to Self models what I want to see more of in my life and in the lives of the people I pastor. Practice what this book preaches and your life will be different.”
Justin Buzzard, Lead Pastor, Garden City Church, Silicon Valley; author, Date Your Wife and The Big Story

“It’s not enough to simply call people to the gospel. We must help them make the connections between the gospel and their everyday living. Joe Thorn’s Note to Self is gospel proclamation and application at its best. I will put this in the hands of my people."
Daniel Montgomery, Pastor, Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky; co-author, Faithmapping

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433522062
  • Publisher: Crossway Books
  • Publication date: 4/7/2011
  • Series: Re:Lit Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 709,460
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Thorn (MDiv, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the founding and lead pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, Illinois. He is an active blogger at JoeThorn.net, a contributor to The Story ESV Bible and The Mission of God Study Bible, and the author of Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself and Experiencing the Trinity: The Grace of God for the People of God. He and his wife, Jen, have four children.

Sam Storms has spent 38 years in ministry as a pastor, professor, and author. He was visiting associate professor of theology at Wheaton College from 2000-2004, and is currently Senior Pastor at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City. He has authored 20 books and founded Enjoying God Ministries. He’s a graduate of The University of Oklahoma (BA), Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM), and The University of Texas (PhD). He and his wife Ann have been married for 40 years and are the parents of two grown daughters and four grandchildren. On a more personal level, Sam loves baseball, books, movies, and anything to do with the Oklahoma Sooners.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    I highly recommend this book!

    This book is a very thought provoking book. Each of its short chapters is crammed with nuggets of biblical thinking and how to apply it practically in one's life. There is enough depth in each chapter that I would read & re-read it over and over again. I recommend it to anyone wanting to apply the gospel to every part of his/her life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2011

    Helps you get the log out your eye

    I read it in paper back, great addition to my NOOK

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    Good Personal Application of Scripture

    Preaching to oneself is about personal application of scripture. It is, according to the author, "the personal act of applying the law and the gospel to our own lives with the aim of experiencing the transforming grace of God leading to ongoing faith, repentance, and greater godliness." Thorn points out the importance of sitting under the preaching of one's local church and listening to others who teach, but in the end we must each take the word preached and continue to preach it to ourselves and apply it to our lives.

    Note to Self is a devotional-style book of 48 topical chapters that start with scripture then follow with an application in a "dear self" letter format. I liked the letter-to-self idea and it encourages me to continue journaling in this way as I study scripture and apply it to my life. The book is divided into three sections: The Gospel and God, The Gospel and Others, and The Gospel and You. Chapters within these sections touch on the topics of suffering, taking risks, know your idols, forgiveness, fear, giving thanks, seeking God, endurance, and listening to others, to name just a few.

    This book encourages the discipline of being a doer of the Word and not a hearer only, and I appreciated the attention given to how the law or commands of God and the gospel are equally important. As Thorn says, "The commands of God reveal his will to us and serve as a rule for godly living. This is in itself, grace. It means that God has not left us alone in ignorance concerning what is truly right or wrong."

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