Interview with Prof. Grant Horner, pt. 1

Grant Horner is Associate Professor of English at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California. A husband and the father of three, Horner is best known to the world for developing a Bible reading plan that is spreading like wildfire. What is the plan? Read 10 chapters of the Bible per day from 10 different sections of Scripture. Professor Horner was gracious enough to sit down and answer 25 questions about his Bible reading system and himself.

Pastor Brett:. I see you studied at both UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke. I didn’t know they would allow that. So, Tar Heels or Blue Devils?

Prof. Horner: I never paid attention to college sports. I taught at University of Alabama for 6 months before I realized that all the noise coming from the big round building on campus was crazed fans screaming ROLL TIDE. When I lived in North Carolina, I was doing PhD work at both UNC and Duke, the great archrivals. I figured out pretty quickly that it would be fun to put bumper stickers for BOTH schools on my car, as I went back and forth between the two campuses and parked. Yep — it was very humorous. Rednecks pulled up next to me at stoplights and called out “boy, you got yersef some kind problem or somthin’???” You could sometimes hear a gun cocking. Lucky I wasn’t shot.

Pastor Brett: You have a book that was recently released. Tell us a little bit about that venture.

Continue reading Interview with Prof. Grant Horner, pt. 1

Coming Off My Mini-Sabbatical

I am in the process of concluding a mini-sabbatical (3 1/2 weeks) and am grateful for the time I’ve had away to rest and refresh myself spiritually. More congregations need to demand that their pastors take these types of breaks to protect themselves against the pitfalls of ministry. And yes, there are many pitfalls.

The North American Mission Board recently published some alarming statistics gathered by my old friend Darrin Patrick:

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Faithful Witness: Don’t Give Up, God is at Work!

Faithful Gospel preaching in this era of spiritual apathy requires faith and patience. Two stories from the past will encourage the faithful witness.

First, a story from the ministry of John Flavel (1628-1691). Robert Murray M’Cheyne reports of how a 15 year old American immigrant named Luke Short heard Flavel preach a message on 1 Corinthians 16.22: “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema. Maranatha!” Short was not a Christian at the time, nor was he for the next 85 years. But at the age of 100, he reflected on the memory of that sermon and was converted! Of course, Flavel was already in glory with the Savior at that point.

The second story is not of a pastor but a layman who loved Jesus and proclaimed him faithfully through personal witnessing on a street in Sydney, Australia:

The Pressure on Pastors to Produce

I just finished reading a book by Kent and Barbara Hughes titled Liberating Ministry From the Success Syndrome. An excellent book, it should probably be read by most pastors, as well as elders, deacons, and other church leaders. It will help them understand one of the leading causes of ministry burnout and ministerial depression: the pressure to produce results.

Here is a sample:

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Learning Through Affliction

A few Sundays ago at Harvest, I delivered a message titled, “How Can I Really Change?” one of the points was if you really want to change in your life, if you really want to experience growth, you need to accept God’s change agents in your life, including difficult trials. Here is a good quote from Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) on this reality:

I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my seventy-five years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been through affliction and not through happiness.”