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A La Carte

September 08, 2014

There is lots of Kindle goodness for you today: Finally Free by Heath Lambert (a great book on overcoming pornography) ($3.99); Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill ($3.99); Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman ($1.99); The Power of Words and the Wonder of God by John Piper ($1.99); Words for Reader and Writers by Larry Woiwode ($1.99); Meaning at the Movies by Grant Horner ($1.99); Art and the Christian Mind by Laurel Gasque ($1.99); Jesus, Justice, and Gender Roles by Kathy Keller ($1.99).

BBC Earth Titles - Today only Amazon has a lot of BBC’s Earth titles up to 79% off. They include Planet Earth, Life, Frozen Planet, etc.

Africa Needs a Whole Lot Less of Joel and a Whole Lot More of Rick - Here’s a response to Victoria Osteen that comes from the mission frontier.

The Simple Technology That Accidentally Ruined Baseball - Baseball fans will enjoy this one.

The Abomination of Desolation - The Gospel Coalition turns to Daniel Doriani to ask, “What is the abomination of desolation referred to in Matthew 24?”

What Kind of Procrastinator Are You? - Here’s a simple flowchart to figure out how and why you procrastinate.

InterVarsiety De-Recognized - This seems to be increasingly common: Universities refusing to recognize Christian campus organizations (or, in theory, other organizations that involve some kind of exclusivity).

May I Marry for Looks? - Clint Archer pens a letter geared toward young men.

“Busy” isn’t about the accumulated number of hours we work, its about the nervousness of our hearts. —Justin Risedorf


September 06, 2014

The weekend is here, and with it a new edition of Weekend A La Carte. And I’ll begin by expressing my gratitude to this week’s sponsor, Clarifying the Bible. My site is dependent upon sponsors to keep going, so be sure to check them out week-by-week.

Rick Reed went looking to Bonhoeffer to pick up some interesting tips on teaching and preaching. I like this one: “The best sign of a good pastor is that the congregation reads the Bible.”

Jared Wilson says He Must Increase; Our Churches Must Decrease. And I quite agree.

Daniel Doriana offers up some tips for dealing with a bad boss, because we have all had to at one time or another.

Here are 7 Signs You’re Spending Too Much Time Looking at Your Phone. Am I the only one who has permanent iPhone-shaped indents in all of my pants, right at the left-front pocket?

This is a fascinating video of pianist Glenn Gould in a state of almost possession, or is it absence?, as he plays piano.

I don’t know if it’s true, but I like the headline: Canada is now more American than America. It looks to the Burger King / Tim Horton’s deal as proof.

And let me leave you with a quote…

I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man. —Dwight L. Moody


September 05, 2014

It’s been a bit of a slow week for Kindle deals, but I tracked down a few new ones, at least: Into Africa by Martin Dugard ($2.99); The King James Version Debate by D.A. Carson ($2.99); A Tale of Two Sons by John MacArthur ($5.99); New from GLH Publishing is The Dangers of Prosperity by William Bates ($0.99). Also, today only Amazon has the 8.9” certified refurbished Kindle Fire on sale for $70 off.

The Battle for the Bible Continues - Jonathan Akin points to two recent examples of how the Battle for the Bible continues. You may also enjoy Denny Burk’s commentary on the article.

Christian Unity - David Murray is writing about Christian unity. There is far more to it than you may think!

Ancient Truths - I enjoyed this sweet post on motherhood.

He Will Hold Me Fast - Here’s some information about a song we’ve just begun singing at Grace Fellowship Church. It’s a good one.

Evangelism and Discipleship - 9Marks has an interesting article for you to read. “We asked several pastors to tell us a few practical ways they encourage evangelism and discipleship in the life of their particular local church. Answers are below.”

Am I Called? - Dave Harvey did an interview with me for his podcast; it’s just been uploaded if you’re interested in listening in.

We’re Doing It Again - Mike Wittmer: “Yesterday Matt Lauer interviewed Nancy Writebol in front of a banner that read SIM. It was so third century.” It’s true.

Life is not primarily about what we avoid, but what we pursue. —Brad Hambrick


September 04, 2014

Here are two Kindle deals from Amazon, and over 100 from Westminster books. Amazon first: The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper ($3.03); Why Jesus? by Ravi Zacharias ($2.99). And then check out…

Westminster Books Massive E-Book Sale - Westminster Books is having a massive Kindle e-book sale, with over 100 books from P&R on sale. They include John Frame’s new Systematic Theology (1220 pages for $1.99!), William Farley’s Gospel-Powered Parenting (a favorite), and the classic Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul Tripp. Find the complete list here.

A Tale of Two Mars Hills - Eric Geiger writes about the rise and waning of two Mars Hill Churches and their pastors.

A Gospeled Church - Jared Wilson at his best: “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.”

Redemption of a Modern-Day Psalmist - The Gospel Coalition is hosting “Sing Over Me,” a documentary about Dennis Jernigan and his struggles with same-sex attraction.

The Marriage Bed for the Exhausted Wife - Nikki Daniel speaks to a common and difficult issue within marriage.

There is no struggle for purity so intense that Jesus’ grace cannot win the battle. —Heath Lambert


September 03, 2014

The Pillar of the Truth - Steve Timmis: “The church, formed by the gospel, is for the gospel, and by her life and witness, she commends the gospel and is the primary apologetic for the gospel before the world.”

Jesus Is The Feast - Jamie Brown offers a corrective to those battling over different forms of worship.

TEF Conference - I believe in the work of the Elisha Foundation, which serves the families of those with some form of disability. If disability has touched your family or church, you may want to take a look at this upcoming conference.

Is It Sinful For Unmarried Couples to Make Out? - Andy Naselli dug up an interesting article meant to bring clarity where there is a lot of confusion.

Exegetical Landmines - Here is some wise counsel from a seasoned pastor. Pastors and their churches will benefit if the counsel is heeded.

The Osteen Predicament - Al Mohler has some great lines in his article about the Osteens.

5 Things Not To Do in Marriage - Here are 5 things not to do in your marriage.

As God by creation made two of one, so again by marriage He made one of two. —Thomas Adams


September 02, 2014

Let’s get straight to some Kindle deals. If you missed yesterday’s list, check it out here. New today: Free from Ligonier Ministries is Welcome to a Reformed Church by Daniel Hyde. New from Cruciform Press is The Company We Keep by Jonathan Holmes which we’ve marked at just $5.99. And Crossway is offering: Heaven on Earth by Stephen Nichols ($0.99); Finishing Well to the Glory of God by John Dunlop ($0.99); The Deity of Christ by Christopher Morgan & Robert Peterson ($1.99); Inerrancy and Worldview by Vern Poythress ($1.99). Finally, Amazon is having a huge sale today, with 1000 books for students (and the rest of us) marked way down.

Jesus Cares About Your Words - J.A. Medders stacks up the proof that your words matter a lot.

Toilet Roll Changing - I completely feel this dad’s pain. And I find it downright hilarious that he made an instructional video to show his kids how to replace the toilet paper roll. I’m going to have my kids watch it.

5 Questions - Boundless did a short interview with me in case you’re interested in reading it.

Good News for the Poor - This month’s issue of Tabletalk has an interview with one of my favorite people: Mez McConnell.

Your Brain on Coffee - Here’s a short video explaining just what happens in that sweet moment when you take a sip of coffee.

4 Things God Says to Singles - Here are four things God says to singles.

Responding to Victoria Osteen - Ligon Duncan responds to Victoria’s Osteen recent remarks about pursuing our own pleasure instead of God’s. Though her comments were ridiculous, Duncan treats them well and helps us see a far better alternative.

The God who has been sufficient until now can be trusted to the end. —C.H. Spurgeon


September 01, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul ($1.99); The Money Answer Book by Dave Ramsey ($2.99); The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper (free); Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce by John Piper ($0.99); Rediscovering the Church Fathers by Michael Haykin ($2.99); Jack: A Life of C.S. Lewis by George Sayer ($1.99); The Legacy of Sovereign Joy by John Piper ($1.99). You may also want to browse Amazon’s collection of $1.99 books for Labor Day and their monthly collection of books at $3.99 or less.

Free from ChristianAudio is How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schaeffer. Free from Logos is Living the Dream: Joseph for Today by Pete Wilcox.

Making a Case for Books - If you are a book lover, you’ll enjoy this video, a stop-motion film showing the building of a bookcase (by someone who has way better tools than you do).

Not Giving Up! - I appreciated reading Kimberly Wagner’s call for prayer in the midst of life’s battles. 

A Puritan Worship Service - Justin Taylor describes you might experience if you could attend a Puritan worship service.

This Is Why We Are Here - I loved reading this short dispatch from the mission field.

Glazed and Confused - Here’s why a lot of Canadians are not thrilled about Burger King attempt to purchase Tim Horton’s.

The Boy with Half a Brain - This is a fascinating longform article that introduces you to a boy who has only half a brain.

Labor Daze - Here are four things you weren’t told during your job orientation. But they are all true, and all fundamental to understanding vocation.

The sins of the wicked anger God—but the sins of professing Christians grieve him. —Thomas Watson


August 30, 2014

I am grateful to Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary for sponsoring the blog this week. This blog is dependent upon sponsorships, so please do take the time to visit the sponsors.

In this little video, Tim Keller talks about how Jesus is the True & Better ___________. You can fill in the blank a hundred different ways!

Keith Mathison discusses his wife and her life with cancer. “I share all of this because until we went through it, I had no idea how much a cancer diagnosis takes over your life. In the past, any time I had read in our church bulletin of a cancer diagnosis, I prayed for the person and the family of course, but I didn’t really have any idea what they were going through. I have a better idea now.” Read Life with Cancer: One Year Later

Timmy Brister says that our thinking about charities and ministries may focus on the wrong metrics.

Here are Top 10 Christian Songs That Also Work as Parodies of Christian Songs. If you’ve been into Christian music over the long-haul, you’ll chuckle at some of these.

Speaking of music, Thom Rainer believes that a lot of churches are moving away from having services distinguished by musical styles—contemporary, traditional, and so on. Here is an explanation.

Brad Hambrick has an online Depression-Anxiety Evaluation that may be helpful to many.

The early church didn’t say, “Look what the world is coming to!” They said, “Look what has come into the world!” —Carl Henry


August 29, 2014

Here are some good Kindle deals: Desperate by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson ($0.99); Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke ($0.99); The Real Face of Atheism by Ravi Zacharias ($2.99); Letters To a Young Calvinist by James K.A. Smith ($2.99).

4 Ways To Live Out Your Role As Helper - Jen Thorn: “One of the reasons many wives struggle in their marriages is because they refuse to embrace the role God has given them as helper to their husband.”

David Platt as IMB President - I mentioned yesterday that David Platt has been elected President of the International Mission Board. In this article Hershael York addresses some concerns. I was especially interested in these words: “I’ve been in ministry all of my adult life. I’ve known Adrian Rogers, W. A. Criswell, Stephen Olford, John Stott, and many truly great men of God. I say this carefully and reverently: I have never met anyone on whom the anointing of God rests as powerfully and comfortably as David Platt.”

Bill Cosby and Victoria Osteen - Bill Cosby responds to Victoria Osteen.

Shopé - My good friend Sope, who goes by the name Shopé, just released a new EP. If you’re into Christian rap, you may enjoy it.

Only Two Religions - Ligonier has released a new teaching series by Peter Jones doing what he does best: Explaining how there are really only two religions in the world. You can watch the first part for free.

Destruction and Diversion - There are a few great lines in this article. “Satan is not so concerned with moral living as much as moral living apart from Jesus. Satan is not concerned with emptying churches of people as much as he is emptying the pulpit of the cross of Christ.”

A child of God cannot fall away while he is held fast in the two arms of God, his love, and his faithfulness. —Thomas Watson


August 28, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Shame Interrupted by Ed Welch (free); The Heresy of Orthodoxy by Andreas Kostenberger ($1.99); New from GLH Publishing is According to Promise by Charles Spurgeon ($0.99).

Why Does God Let Me Stay So Weak? - Mark Altrogge has a great answer.

David Platt Is IMB President - I’m not Southern Baptist so don’t fully understand the importance of David Platt being announced as president of the International Mission Board. But judging by the level of excitement among my Southern Baptist friends, it’s big news. See commentary by: J.D. Greear and Russell Moore.

5 Components of Effective Delegation - Matt Perman offers a look at an underappreciated skill: delegation.

Better Places to Send Your “Ice Bucket Challenge” Money - Gene Veith: “ The main beneficiary of the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ is the ALS Association.  The problem with that group, though, is that they use a stem cell line from an aborted child.  There are, however, other ALS research organizations that honor the sanctity of life.”

Creating a Culture of Evangelism - Here are some tips on creating a culture of evangelism within a church.

Doubt is not always a sign that a man is wrong; it may be a sign that he is thinking. —Oswald Chambers