Scott Hodge

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I, The Transparent Medium…

Dec 19, 2007
12 Comments

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This morning I was looking for a book in my library when I ran across an old book that was a part of my dad’s library for many years.  The book is entitled, A Minister’s Obstacles and it was written by a man named Ralph G. Turnbull, M.A., B.D., M.Th.  The copyright of the book is dated MCMXLVI – which after having to think about this for a couple of minutes, I realized meant 1946.  I think. 

Anyway…  I started flipping through the first chapter entitled, "The Spectre of Professionalism", and before I knew it, I found myself journaling several quotes from the book for over an hour.  I thought I’d share a few of them. 

To be "in Christ" before being "in ministry" is foundational and indispensable.  How can we be blessed to others unless we ourselves are monuments of sovereign grace?

No man should enter the ministry who could keep out of it. (quoting Spurgeon.)

We are not paid to preach, we are paid an allowance to be free to preach.

We are not in the employ of the church, but the servants of God and "your servants for Christ’s sake."

We should be sure of the divine calling in the pressure of God’s service.

Are we in this service because it is our passion and life-blood, or are we hirelings?

If we are afraid of the faces of men or a slave to their opinions, we should take up some other profession.

Our souls have been imperiled because we have been professional and middlemen caught between man’s judgment and self-pity instead of being flaming messengers of the Evangel of Grace.

The chapter closes with this prayer:

"Live out Thy life within me, O Saviour, King of Kings;
Be thou Thyself the answer to all my questionings;
Live out Thy life within me,
In all things have Thy way,
I the transparent medium,
They glory to display."

Some good words written in 1946.  Straightforward, blunt and full of goodness.  I’m looking forward to chapter two of this old book…


12 Responses to “I, The Transparent Medium…”

  1. I think messed up submitting the last comment, but I love this post. We’re not employees as much as we’re servants with an allowance. Beautifully stated.

  2. Greg says:

    Thanks for sharing. Great quotes.

  3. Chad Payne says:

    Holy Smokes! Those are some amazing words of wisdom and exhortation. Thanks for sharing them.
    Even though we think we have those principles down, it is so renewing to have them restated from time to time. Especially when it is stated so poignantly.
    Hey, Merry Christmas, Scott!

  4. Chad Payne says:

    Hey, Scott, I just checked Amazon.com, and this book is available through several vendors. I just ordered a copy, and I thought some of your other readers might want one, as well.
    Blessings on ya!

  5. Chilly says:

    I’m gonna dig around in my library – my dad’s stuff is also a big part of my stuff. I bet I have that book too…
    ~ so grateful for a Christian dad who instilled in me a passion for reading.

  6. Jim Henry says:

    Powerful words… I inherited my Grandfather’s library sevral years ago and have been blown away at some of the “nuggets” I’ve run across. Thanks so much for sharing this Scott!

  7. It’s been a while. This was one of the 1st and most influential volumes I read as a full-time minister. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. John Lambert says:

    Powerful stuff! “No one should enter ministry who could keep out of it.” As Paul put it, “Woe is me if I don’t preach the Gospel”! We need to “run across” more of these oldies, but goodies in our life and ministries.

  9. D-PLUM says:

    Scott,
    This was some good stuff, man. Sometimes I think we’ve gotten so preoccupied with innovation and creating environments, etc… that we’ve neglected some of the great spiritual “masters” of the soul, whose writings would prove invaluable to both our ministries and personal lives… if only we’d give them a chance. I know I’m guilty big time of this…
    Thanks again, Scott… this was great. ;-)

  10. Kathy Cannon says:

    Powerful stuff, especially the Spurgeon quote. This is why as a younger generation of ministers, we have to invest time in listening to the generations before us-there’s no doubt that the scenery has changed, but the stories really are the same.

  11. Mike says:

    I love Spurgeon. He is the kind of preacher you hits your heart and mind.

  12. Tom Rawls says:

    Hey Scott firstly Merry Christmas and good things for 2008. Your copied quotes were great – especially about people’s faces – I wonder some times why they even both to come to church if they’re going to look THAT way!
    All the best you’re an inspiration – keep up the great work. Tom Rawls
    http://www.proclaimerschurch.com/beta/xmas.php

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