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A La Carte

October 17, 2016

It’s a huge day for Kindle deals today. Zondervan has a sale on all kinds of their best commentaries, Crossway has a list of Piper books on sale, and Matthis Media also has a whole list. Find the deals here.

Nine Attributes of a Real Man

“We need a better definition of masculinity, and who better to define what masculinity is than the Creator himself. When God created life, he reached down to touch and mold man from the earth. With care and intimacy, he created man in a distinctive way. Ultimately, we learn that God is embedding his own image into man.”

An Illustration of Repentance

This is an effective illustration to better understand repentance.

Free Games Designed To Make Money

I’m sure you’ve seen those “freemium” games. This video explains how they make money (and, indeed, how they are designed to make money).

You Are the Manure of the Earth

Anthony Bradley provides an interesting explanation of Jesus’ words “You are the salt of the earth.”

The World’s Toughest School Exam

“Chinese children must endure years of stress and impossible expectations preparing for their final school exam. The students who do best can look forward to glittering careers and even good marriage prospects. But for the less successful, the system is brutal.”

This Day in 1895. 121 years ago today Peter Cameron Scott, missionary to the Congo and Kenya and founder of Africa Inland Mission, arrived in Mombasa, Kenya with his team. *

Planet Earth II

Last week I shared the trailer for Planet Earth II. Since then they’ve released a second, longer trailer. The footage is absolutely incredible.

Do Visitors Feel Welcome?

Here are some good, practical tips on making sure visitors to your church feel welcome there.

Flashback: I’m Not Busy!

There is a cost to busyness, but there is a more subtle cost to being perceived as busy.

If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician.D.A. Carson

October 15, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Christianity and Eastern Religions and Islam and Christianity by Rose Publishing as well as 10 Questions And Answers On Atheism and Agnosticism by Norman Geisler.

If you’re in the mood for some serious learning, Credo Courses is offering 50% off any of their courses with coupon code “challies.”

Happy Daddy, Happy Home

“The father is the fountain of the family’s joy. Where Daddy is winsomely happy — and happy enough to make the sacrifices necessary for the good of others — a happy family will follow in his wake.”

Getting Gut-Level Honest with God

Catherine Parks: “I’ve been trying something new lately, and it’s revolutionizing my life. I’m being honest with God.”

Y’all, You’uns, Yinz, Youse

This is an interesting look at regional dialects and English’s attempts to recover some distinction between the second person singular and plural.

More Persuasive Presentations

Here’s a checklist for preparing more persuasive presentations.

The Joy of Being a Christian

Do you know and do you feel the joy of being a Christian?

Curta Calculator

Here’s the long and fascinating story behind the Curta calculator.

This Day in 1949. 67 years ago today, Joni Eareckson Tada was born. Happy birthday, Joni! 

Serious Laughter

WORLD features Adam Ford, whom you’ll know as the mind behind Adam4d and the Babylon Bee.

Do Not Add to the Offense of the Gospel

R.C. Sproul offers a good warning. “Even though we are gracious, kind, patient, friendly, and sensitive to people’s dignity, we cannot remove altogether what the New Testament calls the offense of the gospel…”

Flashback: A Great Reward

One of my lifelong struggles has been finding freedom in the most basic part of the Christian life…

Bible Colleges’ Best Kept Secret

My thanks goes to Midwestern College for sponsoring the blog this week with “Bible Colleges’ Best Kept Secret.”

If the Lord wants to surprise his people, he has only at once to give an answer to their prayers.C.H. Spurgeon

October 14, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include just a few titles: George Whitefield: The Evangelist by John Pollock, Preaching the Old Testament by Scott Gibson, and The Gospel and Acts Commentary by Various.

Westminster Books has deals on some apologetic works as well as Tim Keller’s newest book.

The Preacher Who Raised 14 People from the Dead

Atlast Obscura has the fascinating story of Smith Wigglesworth, one of the early Pentecostals. His story sounds very familiar to anyone who has turned on TBN in recent times.

May You Not Be Weird

I enjoyed these 30 prayers for Katelyn Beaty’s future husband.

Seeking Clarity in this Confusing Election Season

Kevin DeYoung offers some helpful points on the election.

What Happens To Our Bodies After We Die?

This video is morbid (in the literal sense of the term) but not graphic. It simply shows what happens to our bodies when we die. What happens to our souls is far better!

CCEF Livestream

CCEF’s national conference begins today (and continues tomorrow). It is being livestreamed in case you’d like to watch it.

6 Ways to Transform Your Reading of the Gospels

George Guthrie lists them.

This Day in 1993. 23 years ago today Albert Mohler was inaugurated as the 9th president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Billy Graham spoke at the ceremony. 


This is incredible HD footage of an Arizona Monsoon.

King Jesus or King Money?

The real joy in having money “is to think, how can I use this money for kingdom purposes? How can I use this to lay up treasure forever? The one increases his spending on himself and the other increases his giving for God. One serves King Money. One serves King Jesus.”

The Professor Wore a Hijab in Solidarity

The New York Times has a long, sympathetic look at the situation surrounding Larycia Hawkins who was, until recently, a professor at Wheaton College.

Flashback: It’s Not Just a Guy Thing

This is an article about the “second glance”—the lustful look that lingers.

Of all the doctrines of the Bible none is so offensive to human nature as the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.J.C. Ryle

October 13, 2016

It recently occurred to me that it has now been a year since I began writing on a full-time basis. And what a year it has been! I’m deeply thankful to you for continuing to read the site and for all the encouragement you’ve sent my way. A special shout-out goes to my Patreon supporters and to the many companies and ministries who have been sponsors. Here’s to many more years… 

I Was Pregnant, And Then I Wasn’t

This is a powerful article on miscarriage. 

In Praise of Heavy Providences

This one seems appropriate in light of the last article. “What the church needs and, therefore, what the world needs are Christians who identify as pilgrims, feel like sojourners, and exist as exiles. When people look at us, do they see a people gloriously uneasy in this world because we’re longing for another?”

12 Theses on a Christian Understanding of Economics

Al Mohler: “Regrettably, many American Christians know little about economics. Furthermore, many Christians assume that the Bible has nothing at all to say about economics. But a biblical worldview actually has a great deal to teach us on economic matters.”

The New Culture of Life

Slate has a long and interesting article about the (hopeful) future of the pro-life movement.

Heaven Is a Person

This is a good, simple reminder.

This Day in 1605. 411 years ago today French theologian Theodore Bezi, widely known as John Calvin’s successor, died. *

Balancing Work and Family Responsibilities

Here’s how Wilberforce failed and succeeded at striking a healthy balance of work and family responsibilities.

5 Productivity Tips You Haven’t Heard a Million Times Before

“When it comes to making each day more productive, you’re used to hearing the same tips over and over again. Resist the temptation to continuously check your email. Wake up earlier. Craft a powerful and compelling to-do list.” Here are a few unique ones.

The Mental Health Killer

“There is ONE symptom that almost every person with a mental health problem experiences–repetitive, negative thought patterns. Rumination.”

Flashback: 7 Things Your Church Needs From You

Just like the title says: 7 things your church needs from you. Yes, you!

The Bible characters never fell on their weak points but on their strong ones; unguarded strength is double weakness. —Oswald Chambers 

October 12, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include three from Christian Focus: A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Sin by Iain D. Campbell, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Suffering by Brian Cosby, and A Clearing of the Mists by Martin Haworth.

4 Reasons Spurgeon Died Poor

This article tells just how much money Spurgeon made while he was alive (a LOT!) and what he did with it all (also a lot!).

Why It’s Pivotal to Make Room for Reading

Jen Thorn: “The amazing thing about studying God’s word and reading theologically rich books is that it makes me long for more. The more I study God, the more I want to know him. So the more I read, the more I want to read.”

How I Found Freedom from Gender Confusion

“I think I always had the desire to cross-dress. Some of my very earliest memories are of a dress-up box that my brother and I played with. It was probably filled with pirate outfits and funny hats, but there were also a couple of old dresses. I only dimly remember wearing them, but I more clearly remember the disappointment of finding that they’d been removed one day—presumably by my concerned parents….” 

Driving From Duty to Delight

“Let’s cut right to it. Sometimes we don’t feel like reading our Bible, praying, going to church or other things that God tells us are good for us to do. It may not be any one thing, for any number of reasons we just don’t want to do it. So what do we do?”

This Day in 1518. 498 years ago today Martin Luther was summoned before Cardinal Thomas Cajetan to whom he refused to recant the 95 theses he had posted in Wittenberg. *

Why Definite Atonement Must Be True

Geoffrey Kirkland offers 9 reasons that it must be true.

Rose Reading Room

This video is neat. It shows the Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library being re-stocked and re-opened after repairs.

Why Does Friendship At Times Feel One-Sided?

I’ve spoken to a number of people over the years who are discouraged by friendships that seem weighted to one side. Christine Hoover writes about it.

Flashback: Positive Purity

Sexual purity has two components to it: the turning away and the turning toward, the stopping of one kind of behavior and the beginning of another.

The Bible exhorts us to weep with those who weep. It doesn’t tell us to judge whether they should be weeping.H.B. Charles Jr.

October 11, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Called Together by Jonathan Dodson & Brad Watson, Sent Together by Jonathan Dodson & Brad Watson, and The Religions Next Door by Marvin Olasky. New from GLH Publishing, and 50% off to start, is The Loveliness of Christ by Samuel Rutherford. 

A Transatlantic Elegy For An American Hillbilly

Mez McConnell has written a very interesting review of Hillbilly Elegy. He writes from a Scottish perspective and shares just how much the book has in common with his context.

The Patriarchy Movement: Five Areas of Grave Concern

I’m glad to see this article at Reformation21 expressing areas of concern over the patriarchy movement.

Planet Earth 2

This is exciting news: Planet Earth 2 is on the way. Watch the trailer at the link.

A Gospeled Church

“You cannot grow in holiness and holier-than-thou-ness at the same time. So a church that makes its main thing the gospel, and when faced with sin in its ranks doesn’t simply crack the whip of the law but says ‘remember the gospel,’ should gradually be seeing grace coming to bear.”

R.C. Sproul’s Warning Concerning Prayer

R.C. Sproul offers a warning about prayer: “The idea seems to be that we have the capacity to coerce God Almighty into doing for us whatever it is we want Him to do, but God is not a celestial bellhop who is on call every time we press the button, just waiting to serve us our every request.”

This Day in 1531. 485 years ago today Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli died in the Battle of Kappel. *

7 Tips on How to Survive Your Ordination Exam

Michael Kruger offers helpful counsel on surviving that ordination exam. Though he writes from a PCA perspective, the advice has wider application.

5 Ways Persecution in Iran Has Backfired

This was an encouraging article to read. “Scripture is clear that God often uses his people’s suffering to advance his kingdom. In his providence, the Islamic regime’s strategies to stamp out the Persian-speaking church in Iran have backfired—resulting in further church growth. Here are five examples.”

Flashback: Why I Am a Six-Day Creationist

These are my reasons why I haven’t budged from this position.

Most of us go through life worrying people will think too little of us. Paul worried people would think too much of him.D.A. Carson

October 10, 2016

First off, happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. We have much to be thankful for, don’t we? I trust that you will be able to enjoy the day with friends or family.

And now here are today’s Kindle deals. They include: ESV Men’s Devotional Bible, ESV Women’s Devotional Bible (both of which are excellent), Nothing but the Truth by John MacArthur, and In Light of Eternity by Randy Alcorn. There are a whole more as well, including solid books on prayer and on guidance. Get them all here.

How the Berenstain Bears Found Salvation

I’ve only ever found them moralistic, but still, here’s how the Berenstain bears found salvation, so to speak. “As a parent, I took it for granted that the moral framework of contemporary children’s books, when it made an appearance, would remain disengaged from any actual dogma. So, when had the Berenstain Bears found Christ? And why?”

Trump’s Moral Character and the Election

I haven’t said or shared much of anything on the election (I’m Canadian, after all. Plus, it’s not like the blogosphere has been silent on the subject). However, I did think it worthwhile to share that Wayne Grudem has withdrawn his endorsement of Donald Trump.

The World’s Worst Flavor

What’s the worst flavor in the world? “The world’s worst flavor was developed in a lab by accident. You’ve probably never tasted Bitrex, but it’s all over your home.”

Scotch Tape and Popsicle Sticks

Here’s an article about ministries that are (apparently) held together by scotch tape and popsicle sticks.

Understanding the Gospel of Nat Turner

I was interested in reading this article from Smithsonian. “Turner’s views on private revelation were not unlike those of his contemporaries Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, and William Miller, the father of the Adventist movement. Turner’s views were clearly unacceptable to the whites who controlled Southampton’s interracial churches.”

This Day in 2003. 13 years ago today Desiring God held its very first National Conference on the life and legacy of Jonathan Edwards. 

God Is Not the Author of Uncertainty

John MacArthur has at it.

N. T. Wright Reconsiders the Meaning of Jesus’s Death

Michael Horton reviews N.T. Wright’s latest work. “I agree with a lot in this book. I agree with the basic gist of Wright’s critique and with much of his own proposal. That response might surprise some, including the author, with whom I’ve enjoyed spirited and edifying discussions of the manuscript. My differences lie at the point of certain details. That said, they are significant.”

Flashback: Busy, Lazy, and the Space In Between

We have a word for doing too little: lazy. We have a word for doing too much: busy. But we don’t have a word for whatever comes in between. Not a good one, anyway.

A sheep in the midst of wolves is safe compared with a Christian in the midst of ungodly men.C.H. Spurgeon

October 08, 2016

It is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, with the official holiday coming up on Monday. We have escaped the city with some friends and are nicely settled here in the quiet beauty of Eastern Ontario. We are thankful and anticipating a quiet, restful weekend.

Today’s Kindle deals include just a few—a good end to what has been a bit of a slow week!: Confronted by Grace by John Webster, Where Only God Could Lead by Cary Schmidt, The Cross in the Experience of Our Lord by R.A. Finlayson, Old Wives Tales by Clare Heath-Whyte, and War in the Wasteland by Douglas Bond.

Good Manners and Good Sales

Chick-fil-A massively outsells its competitors even though “all Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays, due to a national corporate policy—whereas most of their competitors are open seven days a week.”

InterVarsity Responds to Pro-LGBT Outcry

WORLD: “InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA, an evangelical ministry serving more than 41,000 U.S. college students, is taking flak for reaffirming its biblical stance on human sexuality and requiring its employees do likewise.”

The Dogs’ Nose

Apparently dogs may just tell time with their noses. Who knew?

They Are More Than Their Rehab Potential

“I am a pediatric occupational therapist, and I play for the glory of God.” This is a sweet article.

Ten Tips from Ten Years

Stephen McAlpine shares ten tips from ten years of involvement in the missional church planting scene.

This Day in 1971. 45 years ago today Russell Moore was born. Happy birthday, Russell!

A Church Weekend Away - Don’t Forget the Beer

Here’s a unique situation that arises in a unique ministry context. And I post this older article because apparently the man in question died yesterday.

The Holiness of God & Chosen by God

“You can stream all of the messages in Dr. R.C. Sproul’s classic series’ Chosen by God and The Holiness of God for free. You can also stream these series for free on YouTube.” If you’ve never seen these, get thee to YouTube!

Flashback: Songs We Sing (That You Probably Don’t)

Here are a few songs we sing at Grace Fellowship Church that you may not be familiar with.

3 Ways To Be Ready for the Best Evangelistic Opportunity this Year

My thanks goes to The Good Book Company for sponsoring the blog this week with “3 Ways To Be Ready for the Best Evangelistic Opportunity this Year.”

To become slow to anger is to become like God. —David Powlison