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Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture Paperback – March 31, 2017
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“The simple truth is this: I needed this book right now! There are truths in this volume—pastoral insights and healing counsels—that speak to me in very personal and tender ways. Occasionally, Murray’s point is so clear—far too clear—that it feels as though I have gotten a slap in the face. But always—always—the point has been to drive me to Christ and to drive me to the embrace of the gospel. This is medicine for the soul in the best possible sense, and I am grateful to the author for writing it. It really does feel as though he wrote it for me.”
—Derek W. H. Thomas, senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina; chancellor’s professor of systematic and pastoral theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; author, Acts (Reformed Expository Commentary)
“This is so timely. After you read it, you will sleep better, for starters. Then you will be taken to the meeting place of essential theology and the details of all things related to our stressed lives, where David offers wisdom on every page. The book is perfect for men’s groups.”
—Ed Welch, counselor; faculty member, The Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation; author, Shame Interrupted and Side by Side
“For far too long, whether consciously or subconsciously, we Christians have bought into the platonic lie that the spirit matters, but the body does not. As a result, we have neglected, and perhaps even abused, our bodies. It’s no wonder we struggle with food, sleep, and health—both physical and mental. In Reset, David Murray returns us to a biblical anthropology, providing us with a biblical and theological framework by which we may reorder our lives as whole persons—body and spirit—for God’s glory, our well-being, and the service of others.”
—Juan R. Sanchez, senior pastor, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas; author, 1 Peter for You
“From a vast reservoir of personal experience, authenticating social research, and timeless theological wisdom, David Murray shines illuminating light on the dark perils of pastoral burnout. He also offers practical guidance for how the easy yoke of apprenticeship with Jesus makes possible the grace-paced life that leads to personal and vocational wholeness. I highly recommend this needed approach.”
—Tom Nelson, author, Work Matters; Senior Pastor, Christ Community Church, Overland Park, Kansas; President, Made to Flourish
“Men, this wise book is like a personal coach for your daily life. The one who writes it understands what it is to be a man with a man’s cares and a man's dreams. He cares deeply about the masculine body and soul that God has given you. You were made with large purpose. David Murray wants to help you learn how to practically take stock of your life, recover your purpose, and live it!”
—Zack Eswine, Lead Pastor, Riverside Church, Webster Groves, Missouri; author, The Imperfect Pastor
“Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture, like its author, David Murray, is full of surprises. While statistics and sociologists jostle for space alongside Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a kilted haggis, everything is set within a robust biblical anthropology and a well-grounded pastoral psychology. The whole is laced with a fine touch of self-deprecating Scottish humor. Dr. Murray is Jeremiah-like in the rigor and love with which he seeks 'to pluck up and break down . . . to build and to plant.' But he is also Jesus-like in the way he employs the deconstructing and reconstructing grace of the gospel. Here is a book full of practical, spiritual wisdom and a must read.”
—Sinclair B. Ferguson, Professor of Systematic Theology, Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, Texas
“You hold in your hand what is quite possibly the most culturally relevant book for pastors I have ever read. Contained in this book is the answer to the epidemic among both pastors and hardworking Christian men who are physically, emotionally, and spiritually collapsing because of the lightning-fast pace our modern culture demands. Murray lays out a thoroughly biblical, immensely practical plan for any Christian man looking to take back his life from the enslavement of his schedule. Murray’s beautiful personal testimony of his own need to reset is worth the book alone. This book will be required reading for every pastor I know.”
—Brian Croft, Senior Pastor, Auburndale Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky; Founder, Practical Shepherding; Senior Fellow, Church Revitalization Center, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“In Reset, David Murray pries our fingers from the death grip we have on the idol of activity. Since I am a confessed workaholic, this book was right on time for me. I quickly implemented the strategies outlined in this book, and experienced immediate results in terms of relief, rest, and peace. Relentlessly honest, refreshingly concise, and eminently practical, this book may literally save your marriage, your ministry, and your health. I see myself revisiting Reset every time I need to be reminded of the grace of both work and rest.”
—Jemar Tisby, Cofounder and President, Reformed African American Network; Cohost, Pass the Mic
About the Author
David Murray (DMin, Reformation International Theological Seminary) is professor of Old Testament and practical theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and the pastor of Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church. He is also a counselor, a regular speaker at conferences, and the author of Jesus on Every Page.
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While there's nothing shockingly new here, this book is a fresh look at a topic that needs to be revisited often by most men (and women). With today's technology addiction, 24/7 work culture, and more, taking the time to methodically review and reset your priorities is a good thing. Dr. Murray gives a solid summary of the condition and some practical steps to work toward change. His writing style is engaging and easy and one can work through this book pretty quickly. There are a few sections where I thought "huh?" ... particularly the discussion of meds for some issues. While I'm not a total "no meds ever" kind of person, the treatment here was pretty lengthy given this is a fairly short book. (25% of the book is Index, notes, and scripture index.)
My favorite highlight (I had many):
On the need for solid sleep: "By sleeping, we are relinquishing control and reminding ourselves - at least for a few hours - that God actually doesn't need us."
Thanks to Crossway books for the opportunity to read the Kindle version in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to leave a review here on Amazon. I wanted to.
Chapter 1 - focuses on the symptoms of a life that needs to be reset.
Chapter 2 - focuses on how the person got to this point.
Chapters 3 - 10 - focuses on solutions for resetting your life.
The book is very readable and some of the topics addressed include:
1. How our sleep pattern reveals what we believe about God.
2. Good reasons to sleep longer.
3. The many benefits of exercise.
4. While many Christians want to know God better, few are willing to spend the time needed to do so.
5. 5 suggestions for restoring our sanity.
6. The benefits of reading for pleasure and having a Sabbath rest.
7. Learning to fail well will make you a better person.
8. The importance of a daily routine, prioritizing, and creating margin.
9. Less but better should be the aim in our life.
Many other topics and helpful suggestions are also mentioned. I enjoyed reading the title and the only real criticism I have is this: while the author devotes several pages (168-173) to developing friendships with other men, he also mentions on page 166 that he rarely goes to do something with friends. Seems to be contradictory messages here. Is it possible to really have good friendships with other men without spending time with them (of course, without compromising your relationship with the Lord and/or your family in the process)? Comment aside, "Reset" is a good title and recommended.