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Good friends are hard to find. We agree with this right? Based on the scarcity and the value of our own good friends.

Even more rare are the good friends who consistently speak truth to you. You know what I’m talking about, one of those guys (or ladies) who will sip their coffee in between very encouraging and thoughtful reminders of the goodness of God to his people. Good, gospel friends have a knack for precision with the Bible.

I think Joe Thorn has made a lot of friends. In his book Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself  Thorn not only writes these things to us the readers but he invites us into the conversation he is having with himself. He models faithful application of the gospel.

The book is small (7″ x 5″ 144 pages) and the chapters are short (a page and a half or so) but the content is rich and immensely helpful. I have always enjoyed Joe’s blog and his ability to be brief without lacking substance. This book is the same way, Thorn is able to pack a lot into little container. Think of it like a daily Doppio of gospel.

Thorn writes,

“The idea of preaching the gospel to ourselves is getting more press these days, but the actual work of preaching to ourselves seems to be slow in the coming. We hear the basic concept and think, ‘Of course, I need to do that.’ But where do we start? What does it mean? [And] how doe we actually do it?”

This is what the author intends to do. The book is divided up into three main sections; “The Gospel & God,” showing what the gospel teaches us about God, “The Gospel & Others,” showing the implications of the gospel on our relationships, and “The Gospel & You,” teaching what the gospel changes and reorders about the believer.  I was very impressed that Joe could take such a big swing in such small bites, again, the genius of the concept and the writing of the book.

If you are looking for resources on how to preach the gospel to yourself and to think deeply about its implications then this book will help you. It is ideal for e-readers and not a bad deal at Amazon (see links below). I give it 5/5 Stars.

Note to Self is available at Westminster | Amazon | Kindle.

*Note: if you make purchases at Amazon, consider entering their site through this blog. It’s kind of like a tip that costs you nothing. (I get a small amount of $ for such Amazon purchases) Thanks!

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One thought on “Book Review- Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself”

  1. Sebastian Clouth says:


    I am the Books editor at Before It’s News ( Our site is a rapidly growing people-powered news platform currently serving over 3 million visits a month. We like to call ourselves the “YouTube of news.”

    I would like to personally invite you to republish your reviews on our site. Our visitors would love to read your content. It’s a great opportunity to spread the word about your work and reach new readers.

    We will be featuring and promoting books excerpts and reviews on our homepage, on Twitter, Facebook, in our newsletter and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to get fantastic exposure.

    We don’t censor or edit work.

    Best regards,
    Sebastian Clouth

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Erik Raymond

Erik Raymond is senior pastor of Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Ne. He and his wife Christie have six children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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