Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thank You, Dr. John Piper

I wrote this letter as a thank you to John Piper. Most probably know that he is on an 8 month sabbatical. He has had a huge impact on my life in many ways. As I look back on my life and I see key time of growth or steps of faith I have taken, it was usually connected somehow to a sermon, book or quote by John Piper. And, so I thought I would include an open letter of thanks to this simple, humble, joyous pastor. Thanks, Dr. Piper, for being faithful to the Word to preach and exhort us to love Jesus fully. (And as an added encouragement, might I encourage you to write a letter or email to your pastor today. You never know how much it might encourage them and it will complete your joy!)

Dear Dr. John Piper,
I have wanted to write a letter to you for quite awhile now. I am not exactly sure why I felt such a burden until I read something you wrote about praise that you learned from C.S. Lewis. You wrote, “We praise what we enjoy because the delight is incomplete until it is expressed in praise. If we were not allowed to speak of what we value and celebrate what we love and praise what we admire, our joy would not be full.“

Praise is completed and satisfied by praise. The result is joy. And, so I took the liberty to assume that thankfulness is only completed by saying thank you. In so many ways you have impacted my life, and I have never had a way to complete it and bring that joy of gratitude unto fruition, until now. So, please, allow me a few minutes of your time so I can complete it…

What to say thank you for:

Your message at OneDay where you challenged so many to not waste their life, to live only for Christ, and to live for eternity was a catalyst in so many ways to alter my life. I credit that message as the beginning of the end for me, and I am only in the middle right now, living in Zambia, ministering to poor pastors at a Bible School and desperately trying to learn what it means to boast only in the cross in a poor and difficult place to live.

I remember reading “Don’t Waste your life” while vacationing one year. I later spoke at a camp where the message and the title accurately reflected my heart for me and these youth, “Don’t Waste your Life.”

I remember listening to a message you gave to youth pastors on how you prepare yourself to preach. You shared an acronym with verses that humbled you and gave you perspective on you and God. It was a beautiful picture of how to prepare to die in the pulpit.

I remember listening to your talk on the Supremacy of God and how you said, “Don’t just read your bibles and then go do what you really want to do. Swim in the Bible.”

I spoke at a marriage conference here in Zambia. I titled my message, “How being satisfied in your spouse glorifies God.” Your insights into how satisfaction in God keeps us from sin was revolutionary to me in how it applies to everything, including marriage.

I am continually challenged by your exhortation to pastors to write so that you can discern and cement what they are learning. I also love the challenge to write poetry because it slows us down and allows us to really absorb, reflect and glory in the beauty of God and those who we are writing for.

I have been encouraged by your urgency for missions, especially the statement “Go, send or disobey.”

I have been so encouraged by your courageous teaching on the Spirit. You have helped me understand what I long to believe, that the Holy Spirit is more than I have understood.

Thank you, brother John for passionately proclaiming the glories of Jesus with all your life. I just watched a few months ago the “Boasting only in the Cross” DVD with my Zambian pastors in my class. It was beautiful to watch their response.. Thank you for giving credibility, purpose and priority to preaching. I hope to give my life to further the messages you have boldly proclaimed.

My joy is now complete.
Steve Allen

1 comment:

The Youth Pastor's Fam said...

Thank you...Steve Allen. For pouring out your life for so many. You inspire me.

Mark