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A La Carte

December 31, 2014

It has been quite a year for Kindle deals, and it’s not quite done yet: Two paid: Couponing for the Rest of Us by Kasey Knight Trenum ($0.99); The Heart of the Matter by New Growth Press ($4.99). And one free: Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith.

10 Questions to Ask - Don Whitney gives you 10 questions you might want to ask yourself today. (On Brian G. Najapfour’s blog you may enjoy 3 reminders about the year ahead: Don’t worry about it, don’t boast about it, don’t waste it.)

What Is a Real Christian? - “In his book Religious Affection, Edwards answered his question by outlining twelve marks of genuine Christian faith. Inspired by this description, [Todd] Wilson aims to provide the contemporary church with a similar description of what it means to be ‘real’.”

Shallow and Narrow - Jeremy Walker responds to a lot of the “best book of the year” lists he’s seen recently.

Missing the Outrage of the Day - Slate rounded up all of this year’s outrages, and Mike Leake wants to talk about it.

Google Got It Wrong - The open workplace is pretty much destroying productivity. Let’s go back to having walls and doors!

The Prodigal Prince - If you’re up for some longform reading you may enjoy this profile of the Roberts family—Oral Roberts’ family, that is.

If you leave the fountain foul the streams cannot be pure. Renewal must begin with the heart. —C.H. Spurgeon

December 30, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: One Perfect Life ($4.74) and A Tale of Two Sons ($5.69) by John MacArthur; Counseling the Hard Cases by Stuart Scott & Heath Lambert ($2.99); Exalting Jesus in James by David Platt ($2.99); The Baptist Heritage by H. Leon McBeth ($0.99); Come Let Us Reason by William Lane Craig ($0.99). Also consider 2 biographies: Winston Churchill by William Manchester & Paul Reid ($2.99) (this is the third and final volume in that epic series); Johnny Cash by Robert Hilburn ($2.99). 

Is Evolution Biblically Acceptable? - I’m glad to see Rick Phillips taking on this huge question.

Officer Rafael Ramos - CNN: “Rafael Ramos was an unusual cop. He saw the streets of New York as his ministry. In fact, he was just hours away from becoming a lay chaplain and graduating from a community-crisis chaplaincy program before he and fellow New York police Officer Wenjian Liu were gunned down in their patrol car Saturday in Brooklyn.

A Bad Business Model - “Imagine if you could only fill up your car with one brand of gasoline. Once you bought the car, you were trapped — try any other brand, and your car wouldn’t even start. It sounds crazy, but this same business model is proliferating across industries from coffee machines to cleaning brushes.”

Disassembling a Rolex - I found this video strangely fascinating—stripping a $8,000 watch to its smallest component and then putting it back together.

Kara’s End - Those who have been following Kara Tippett’s blog will want to read this update.

Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!C.H. Spurgeon

December 29, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: The Insanity of God and The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken ($2.99 each); Preach by Mark Dever ($2.99); Manhood Restored by Eric Mason ($2.99); Moments Together for Couples by Barbara & Dennis Rainey ($1.99); I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer ($2.99); Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey ($2.99); The Peacemaking Pastor by Alfred Poirier ($1.99); The Home Team by Clint Archer ($3.99).

B&H has put their excellent New American Commentary Studies on sale for $4.99 each: Believer’s Baptism by Thomas Schreiner; Future Israel by Barry Horner; Enthroned on Our Praise by Timothy Pierce; Sermon on the Mount by Charles Quarles; Lukan Authorship of Hebrews by David Allen; God’s Indwelling Presence by James Hamilton; The Messianic Hope by Michael Rydelnik; The Ten Commandments by Mark Rooker; The Lord’s Supper by Thomas Schreiner; The End of the Law by Jason Meyer; That You May Know by Christopher Bass.

A Gift from Logos - Logos users will want to click and grab the coupon code which gets you $20 credit. You’ll need to use it by December 31.

Don’t Get Too Familiar with the Bible - Here’s a timely warning from Peter Krol: “Beware the deceptive wiles of familiarity — that sweet but double-edged virtue that makes you feel at home in the word of God.”

How Movies Embraced Hinduism - This article shows how many films are based on the tenets of Hinduism.

One Year With the Bible - YouVersion released an infographic showing what people read in 2014. I love that Romans 12:2 was the most popular verse!

Predictable Christmas Fare - Daniel Wallace destroys Newsweek’s ridiculous article on the Bible.

What Should We Be on Our Guard for as Our Children Grow Older? - R.C. Sproul Jr. raises some good points in this article.

Ten Practical Ways to Control Spending and Wisely Manage God’s Money - Here is wisdom from Randy Alcorn on being wise with money.

I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous. —Thomas Lye

December 27, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer ($2.99); Evangelism Handbook by Alvin Reid ($0.99); Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear ($2.99). Those who enjoy military books may want to click here and scroll down for a list of popular ones at $1.99 each.

We all know that it’s going on, but this article actually explains Why Airlines Want to Make You Suffer. The short answer: The worse the normal experience, the greater the likelihood you’ll pay for upgrades.

Is Your Church Functionally Liberal? It’s not always as simple as we make it. “The liberal churches I’ve known are not openly hostile to the Bible. They like the Bible. They want their preacher to use the Bible.”

This is a fascinating article about the way Tom Brady prepares himself and keeps himself going. Paul must have been thinking of guys like this when he used all those athletic metaphors in his epistles.

Here is another powerful article from Lore Ferguson. Her theme: You Ask Not Because You Have Received Not.

Don’t miss this article from Gavin Ortlund: What Kind of a Thing Is the Bible?

If you’re up for some more longform reading, here’s a good one: What Happened When Marissa Mayer Tried To Be Steve Jobs? Hint: It didn’t go well.

Thanks to Reformed Presbyterian Theology Seminary for sponsoring the blog this week with the article So What Are You Waiting For?

The question shouldn’t be, “Is it okay for me to have some nice stuff?” The real question is, “If I don’t have nice stuff, will my spirit be okay with that? —Dave Ramsey

December 26, 2014

We know how to do the holidays up here in Canada. After Christmas, we double down and award ourselves a second public holiday called Boxing Day. So I’m going to take it a bit easy today. Here’s A La Carte and I’ll be back shortly with Free Stuff Fridays.

Publishers know a lot of people got Amazon gift cards yesterday, and here’s how they’ll help you spend them: The Message of James [an excellent little commentary] by Alex Motyer ($2.99); Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney ($2.99); The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer ($0.99); The Sending Church by Pat Hood ($0.99); Transformational Church by Stetzer & Rainer ($2.99); Mere Apologetics by Alister McGrath ($2.99); One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian ($3.74); The Concise A to Z Guide to Finding it the Bible ($0.99); The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts ($3.99); The Love of Wisdom by James Spiegel ($0.99. 

B&H has put most of their excellent New American Commentary Studies on sale for $4.99 each. I suppose the couple that haven’t fallen in price yet will soo enough: Believer’s Baptism by Thomas Schreiner; Future Israel by Barry Horner; Enthroned on Our Praise by Timothy Pierce; Sermon on the Mount by Charles Quarles; Lukan Authorship of Hebrews by David Allen; God’s Indwelling Presence by James Hamilton; The Messianic Hope by Michael Rydelnik; The Ten Commandments by Mark Rooker; The Lord’s Supper by Thomas Schreiner; The End of the Law by Jason Meyer; That You May Know by Christopher Bass.

Three great history books are on sale as well at just $2.99 each: Johnstown Flood (David McCullough), No Ordinary Time (Doris Kearns Goodwin), and The Wise Men (Walter Isaacson).

Jack Miller has a helpful little illustration of how Jesus came to save us: He Entered the Water.

One of the reasons I love being Canadian is its sheer diversity. The world is coming to Canada! Last year Canada welcomed 260,000 new citizens.

You may have read Newsweek’s awful article on the Bible. Michael Kruger absolutely destroys Newsweek’s nonsense in this fiery response. I am looking forward to part 2.

This is probably the weirdest sentence I’ve ever written: Be sure to listen to this phenomenal recording of “Oh Holy Night” by Puddles the Clown.

WORLD magazine has a review of Unbroken and they, too, lament the incompleteness of the story. If you haven’t done so yet, read the book.

David Platt wants to talk through Our Obligation to the Unreached.

December 24, 2014

I suspect we will see lots of good Kindle deals after Christmas. For now, here are a few to consider: When Will My Life Not Suck? by Ramon Presson (bad title, good book) ($2.51); The Great Books Reader by John Mark Reynolds ($2.99); A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas ($3.82); Prayer, Praise, & Promise by Warren Wiersbe ($1.99).

Did Someone Else Write Shakespeare’s Works? - Ken Jennings says Shakespeare did it all himself.

How to Change Your Mind - Here’s one Bible reading plan to consider in the new year.

Beautiful Libraries - Some libraries are just amazingly beautiful.

Pride - Bradford Littlejohn wraps up an excellent series on 7 deadly sins in a digital age with a look at the granddaddy of all sins.

Discipling Relationships - Here is how one person selects and schedules his discipling relationships. And while we’re on the subject, this is What Disciple-Making Is Not.

How an Airplane Is Made - This YouTube video gives you a glimpse inside Airbus’ plants.

The parent who tries to train without setting a good example is building with one hand, and pulling down with the other. —J.C. Ryle

December 23, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals for your consideration: Preaching by Calvin Miller ($1.99); You’ll also find Justo Gonzalez’s two-part history of Christianity marked down: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation ($3.99) and The Reformation to the Present ($3.99). It is known as being a particularly good set.

14 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2014 - Bob Kellemen rounds up 14 books that will be of special interest to counselors.

Craftsman - It is a joy to watch just about any craftsman at his trade. This is a fascinating video of a jeweler doing what he does.

Unbroken - Christianity Today has a review of Unbroken which opens in a couple of days. This reviewer didn’t love it. Smithsonian has a copy of the original Air Force report of the crash.

On Being Extra-Scrooge-y - “When our friends are bearing weights of longing unfulfilled and broken promises. When thousands of children die daily from things like diarrhea. When our brothers and sisters have no home for the holidays, or families are torn apart from years of pain? How do we celebrate in the midst of all these things?”

Winter Solstice - I am a couple of days late with this one, but better late than never, I guess.

Material Goods and the True Meaning - You may enjoy this article on balancing material goods with the true meaning of Christmas.

Religious excellence will not earn you a place at God’s table. Your own efforts will never merit you a seat of honor. —Michael Horton

December 22, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Bloodlines by John Piper ($0.99); What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson ($0.99); The Poverty of Nations by Wayne Grudem & Barry Asmus ($2.99); To the Ends of the Earth by Michael Haykin ($0.99); Reaching the Lost by Bobby Jamieson ($0.99); Gifted Hands by Ben Carson ($2.99); Joni and Ken by Joni & Ken Tada ($2.99); HarperCollins Atlas of the Bible ($3.99); New from GLH Publishing is God’s Light on Dark Clouds by Thomas Cuyler ($0.99).

The Unbreakable Laura Hillenbrand - The New York Times has a brilliant profile of author Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit and Unbroken.

7 Myths About a Pastor’s Workweek - Thom Rainer dispels a few myths.

Peter Jackson Must Be Stopped - I agree. And what bothers me most of all is that it will be a long time (I think) before we will have someone do The Hobbit properly. He has totally wasted a beautiful opportunity.

Top Ten Theology Stories of 2014 - Collin Hansen rounds up his top ten theology stories of 2014.

Are You Sitting Too Much? - Probably. What can you do about it? Not much.

A Dangerous Passion for Growth - It’s an interesting perspective: “The most dangerous people in our Christian community are the leaders and evangelists who not only long to see growth but who also have the closest sympathy with the needs and concerns of the sinners we are seeking to reach.”

It is better to preach five words of God’s Word than five million words of man’s wisdom. —C.H. Spurgeon

December 20, 2014

There are some good Kindle deals today, including: Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In by Louis Zamperini ($3.99); Desperate by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson ($2.99); Boring by Michael Kelley ($0.99); Connected by Erin Davis ($2.99); The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel ($2.99); The Lion and the Lamb by Andreas Kostenberger ($2.99).

Also, Amazon has their cheapest Kindle down to $59 and that includes free two-day shipping to get it there before Christmas. The Kindle Paperwhite has the same offer.

The 9Marks blog has some good Advice for a New Elder.

Thanks to Logos for sponsoring the blog this week with their article 3 Easy Ways to Get Logos 6 (and Special Gifts!). Sponsors help cover the costs associated with hosting and maintaining this site.

This probably won’t be a shock, but family-friendly TV isn’t so family-friendly.

Capitol Hill Baptist Church just released some sweet congregational singing they recorded while honoring Mark and Connie Dever for 20 years of service there.

Looking at the mess that is Sony right now, this editorial says it well: The Media Fiddles While Sony Burns.

For the next two weeks there will be no quote graphics. They will return in January. So enjoy this last one until 2015!

Had any other condition been better for you than the one you are in, Divine Love would have put you there. —C.H. Spurgeon


December 19, 2014

Friday is here, and it brings a brand new edition of Free Stuff Fridays. This week’s sponsor is Shepherd Press and they are giving away some great new products. There will be 5 winners this week, and each of the winners will receive the following items:

  • ShepherdingShepherding a Child’s Heart. You have probably heard of Tedd Tripp’s book before, but there is now a DVD to go along with it. The DVD is a seminar recorded before a live audience. This package includes the The Shepherding a Child’s Heart DVD, along with a copy of the book, the Parent’s Handbook, and the Leader’s Guide. It is recorded in English and subtitled in both English and Spanish. “In this newly-recorded edition, Tedd Tripp presents his Shepherding a Child’s Heart seminar in twelve sessions. Tedd has refined this material over two decades, resulting in a presentation that is practical and accessible. He draws on his wealth of experience as a parent, school administrator, and pastor as he guides viewers through the principles of biblical parenting.” (Learn more)
  • HarveyWhen Sinners Say “I Do.” And that’s not all. You will also receive a package based around Dave Harvey’s excellent book When Sinners Say “I Do.” This package will include the teaching DVD, a copy of the book, and the Study Guide. “In this eight-session video series, Dave engages his audience with humor and honesty as he speaks about sin and the power of the gospel to overcome it. He opens the delightful truth of God’s word and encourages the reader to see more clearly the glorious picture of what God does when sinners say ‘I do.’” (Learn more)

For anyone who is interested, the following products will be discounted 30% using the coupon code CHALLIES (valid through 11:59pm EST, Monday 12/22).

Enter to Win

All you need to do to enter the draw is to drop your name and email address in the form below. (If you receive this by email, you will need to visit challies.com to enter.)

Giveaway Rules: You may enter one time. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon.