Ask Me Anything (Worship, Accountability, Slack, Elders Who Don’t Give, etc)

Ask Me Anything is an opportunity for you to submit questions that are related or unrelated to things I’ve written, and for me to take a shot at answer them. This week’s questions deal with worship services, whether family members should attend the same church, whether a husband and wife should be accountability partners, and quite a bit more. I have a quick question regarding something that grabbed my interest in your “Hack your Worship Service” article. You mentioned that …

A La Carte (March 24)

Sadly, there’s not much to tell you about Kindle deals today. However, anyone who loves commentaries will want to check out Westminster Books and their sale on the Preaching the Word series (which is ideal for preaching but also for personal study). When You’ve Got a Bramble for a King Jared Wilson draws a good lesson from an odd passage. The Fearful and Wonderful Art of Flirting Here are seven warnings about flirting in the digital age. “I’m guessing here, but whenever it …

8 Ways God Works Suffering for Our Good

It is a conviction meant to quiet our minds and encourage our hearts: In some way God has a hand in our suffering. Whatever circumstances we experience can no more arise without the hand of God than a saw can cut without the hand of the carpenter. Job in his suffering did not say, “The Lord gave and the devil took away,” but, “The Lord gave and the Lord took away.” Suffering never comes our way apart from the purpose …

A La Carte (March 23)

Today’s Kindle deals include just a couple of titles, but ones worth checking out. March Madness continues at Logos and that means lots more details. You can get books up to 45% off the list price. Princeton Seminary Reforms Its Views on Honoring Tim Keller And this is what it has come to: “The most popular Reformed preacher and author in America today is not eligible to receive Princeton Theological Seminary’s annual award in Reformed theology and public witness.” Why …

8 Ways God Turns Temptations to Blessings

God promises that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). This gives us assurance that God can and will turn anything to our good. No situation is too grave, no enemy too strong, no temptation too great. Yes, God overrules even temptations so they benefit us instead of harming us. Just as a tree which is blown by the wind is settled and rooted …

A La Carte (March 22)

Ligonier Ministries will send you a free copy of A Little Book on the Christian Life. It’s a great book at any price. But free? You know what to do… Today’s Kindle deals include a couple of books by Mike Reeves (hint: if he writes it, you read it) and one by John MacArthur. Westminster Books is having their annual sale on ESV pew Bibles. It’s time to stock up! News broke early yesterday on social media that Paul Washer had had …

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Book Reviews

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How To Understand and Apply the New Testament

Whenever I begin to read a new book, I immediately look to the opening pages for a clear statement of purpose. Why did the author write this work? What sets it apart from others? When it comes to Andy Naselli’s How to Understand and Apply the New Testament, he wastes no time. Here are his opening sentences: “I love God, and I love studying his Word and his world. I wrote this book to help you study the New Testament, …

A La Carte (March 21)

Today’s Kindle deals include three books that I see on sale only rarely, so they are all worth a quick look. Logos users will be glad to see the Expositor’s Bible Commentary 64% off for a limited time. Albert Mohler: Ask Anything Live Dr. Mohler has been recording some Ask Anything sessions live on YouTube. You can find the first one here and the second in the sidebar. He covers a wide range of issues. Church Hunters: Part 1 (Video) …

Why An 81-Hour MDiv?

This sponsored post was prepared by Jason G. Duesing on behalf of MBTS. In an effort to ensure the health of the types of trees that outlive most humans, often the best course of action an arborist has is counterintuitive. Instead of leaving a century old oak tree alone to weather the elements as it has for decades or attempt to survive encroaching modernity, the life of the tree is best prolonged after careful pruning or even replanting. Yet, such …

Why I Didn’t Sing When I Visited Your Church

It was a joy to finally visit your church a couple of Sundays ago, and to worship with the believers there. You know I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. Just as you promised, the pastor is an excellent communicator and a man who loves God’s Word. His sermon was deeply challenging and led to some great conversations with my children. Now, you asked me why it looked like I wasn’t singing. I know that was probably a …

A La Carte (March 20)

Today’s Kindle deals include two excellent books by Joe Thorn, several titles meant specifically for preachers, and more. There’s lots to choose from. 9 Things You Should Know About Neil Gorsuch and Supreme Court Confirmations Joe Carter rounds them up since “President Trump’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, is scheduled to start his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee today.” Pastoring Singles There’s a new edition of the 9Marks Journal available and it’s …

Letters to the Editor (Worship Services, The Shack, Suburban Sprawl)

I get letters! I lieu of providing a commenting system, I invite readers to send me letters to the editor. Here are some of the most interesting ones to come my way this week. Letters on Hack Your Worship Service  Planning a worship service is good. Yet I see little in the New Testament that sounds like worship times were carefully planned. The Lord can use careful planning. He can also use spontaneity. You’re motivating me to do better planning. …

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My Books

Do More Better Cover

Do More Better

I wrote this short, fast-paced, practical guide to productivity to share what I have learned about getting things done in today’s digital world. It will help you learn to structure your life to do the most good to the glory of God. Read More


Christian Men and their Godly Moms

Boys thrive under the love and leadership of an attentive father. Boys need their dads to model godliness and masculinity, to display patterns of love and respect within marriage, to teach skills necessary to grow into mature manhood. Much has been written to encourage fathers to embrace these responsibilities, to be the example their sons need. Well and good. But with all the attention given to a father and his son, I fear that too little has been given to …

Weekend A La Carte (March 18)

Today’s Kindle deals include only a couple of minor deals. We’ll look forward to better things on Monday. A Pastoral Letter to Myself (In the Case that I Fall) This is very sobering and would make for worthwhile reading for anyone who is involved in ministry. When Machines Go Rogue Here’s an interesting one on the uncharted technological waters we’re entering. “What’s happening inside our algorithms? What happens when those algorithms control our cars and planes? Pretty soon, we may have …

How I Use Slack to Communicate Effectively

The digital age has brought with it a proliferation, a full-out explosion, of communication tools. In fact, it’s not difficult to argue that the digital revolution has primarily been a communications revolution. Just consider how many of today’s innovations in both hardware and software are designed to help us communicate better and faster, to take our words or images and broadcast them to others. This is why we carry iPhones and tablets, laptops and smart watches; it is why we …

A La Carte (March 17)

Today’s Kindle deals include just a few new deals that may be of interest. You’ve got a couple of days left to take advantage of a good sale at Westminster Books. The Invisible Unmarried Mothers of Ireland Here’s the sad story of how unmarried mothers were treated in Ireland not too long ago. Family Link This looks like a neat new service for families (who use Android devices). “With the Family Link app from Google, you can stay in the …

We Have Not Even Heard That There Is a Holy Spirit

It’s a funny little story that could only have happened during the church’s earliest days. Paul has been on one of his missionary journeys and, while traveling through Asia Minor, stumbles upon a little group of believers. But there’s something unusual about them, something missing. Here’s how Luke describes it: And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did …

A La Carte (March 16)

I am heading off to the airport for an early flight, but will try to scrounge up some Kindle deals once I’m waiting around there. Stay tuned. [Update: I added a few.] When Should Christians Use Satire? John Piper discusses satire: “One of the difficulties with satire — and I will just say this about myself, in particular — is that it is so difficult to use without sounding arrogant. James Denney said it is very hard to show that Christ …

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