Like many of you, I was stunned by Piper's announcement 8 months ago that he was going on a sabbatical for the rest of the year. In a very discreet way, he confessed that he needed to work through spiritual concerns in his life, marriage, and ministry. This announcement came on the heels of a conference in LA that I helped to organize where Piper preached to a group of urban pastors. His sermon "What is the Bottom of Your Joy?" was the most spiritually nourishing meal that I had all year. It stirred my soul. I blogged about it here. I was also thoroughly impacted by the godly force of his character in our private time driving from the airport. He was in every sense the man of God that I thought he would be.
Then I heard the announcement. Stunned is the word I used earlier, but I should add fearful as well. I was fearful not only for Piper and Bethlehem Baptist Chuch, but I was fearful for my own soul. His announcement turned my eyes not to him, but to my own life and failings. I wondered deeply if I needed to step back for a while and earnestly seek God's help to purge my soul of my besetting sins. I felt compelled to respond to his announcement since I had just hosted him to speak and had just introduced him for the first time to pastors in LA working in our minority communities. As I started to gather my thoughts, I came across a post by Voddie Baucham. In it, he said everything that I had in my heart to say. He graciously allowed me to post his piece as a guest blogger on my site. It is rich. You can read it here. In his post, Voddie encouraged us to pray for Piper during his sabbatical, and I did. And today I was deeply relieved to learn that he is returning back to his preaching shepherding ministry as an enriched man. I won't steal his thunder. I'll let you read about Piper's time away in his own words. I hope it blesses you the way it blessed me.
John Piper’s Report on His Leave of Absence: "John Piper’s Report on His Leave of Absence from the Desiring God blog."
Praise the LORD brother!
I too was very encouraged by JP's sabbatical, Voddie's blog on it, and the end result(s).
I am eternally grateful to the Lord for faithful men who go immediately before me...and bid me to come and follow them as they follow Christ (that includes you.
Post a Comment