Study Leave

I’ve never had this before, as an official part of my “benefits” as a minister.  While previous supervisors have been fine with me attending conferences and encouraged me to read regularly this was my first day taking “study leave.”
Having this specific time helps me to be more deliberate in what I read and gives opportunity for dedicated thought verses reading different things here and there.  So I headed to the Crown Bakery, which has been in business for 50+ years, and staked out a table in the sun for some sustained reading.  Here are some of the highlights:

Calvin’s Institutes, is not only thoughtful and pastoral but also eloquent and witty:
“that faith may find in Christ a solid ground of salvation, and so rest in him, we must set out with this principle, that the office which he received from the Father consists of three parts. For he was appointed both Prophet, King, and Priest; though little were gained by holding the names unaccompanied by a knowledge of the end and use. These too are spoken of in the Papacy, but frigidly, and with no great benefit the full meaning comprehended under each title not being understood.”

“But as I study brevity, I will be satisfied with a single passage, one, however, in which, as in a bright mirror, we may behold a complete image of our nature.”      (Italics mine, quoted from 2.15.1, 2.3.2)

A dissertation on “The Prayer Driven Church Plant”  by David A. Slagle

“The planter must choose to devote energy to the daily task list or choose that which is better. To sacrifice prayer in favor of activity, however, is to sacrifice unity (John 17:11), boldness (Acts 4:31), a harvest (Matt. 9:38), growth (Eph. 1:17), open doors (Col. 4:3), wisdom (Jas. 1:5), courage (2 Thess. 2:16), and peace (Phil. 4:6-7).”

“The trial alone did not have the power to humble the planter, but the trial in concert with prayer created an environment for God to transform his servants. These trials seemed to be a greater motivator than beliefs. While almost all of the pastors confessed an ardent belief in the importance of prayer both before and after the planting process, the trial of church planting was the necessary catalyst for change in their prayer practices.”

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