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A La Carte

April 02, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: Rid of My Disgrace by Justin & Lindsey Holcomb ($1.99); Women’s Ministry in the Local Church by Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt ($3.99); The Scriptures Testify About Me edited by D.A. Carson ($2.99); 12 Challenges Churches Face by Mark Dever ($1.99); Counseling the Hard Cases by Stuart Scott & Heath Lambert ($7.99). New from GLH Publishing is Jeremiah Burrough’s A Treatise on Earthly-Mindedness ($0.99).

Looking for a Mentor? - Yes! “We hope that a mentor will share their life with us, speak truth, lead us to pray and worship, share with us a greater knowledge of Scripture and offer insight into living a godly life. I believe that a great book can do some of these things. Your shelves can be overflowing with mentors.”

Sympathy for the Devil - Now this is a flat-out fascinating review of Noah.

The Truth of the Cross - Ligonier Ministries is giving away the audiobook of R.C. Sproul’s The Truth of the Cross. You know what to do…

Aiding and Abetting Apathy - Erik Raymond wants you to think through your response when someone tells you this: “I need to get back in the Word.” or “My prayer life has been kinda dry lately.”

Your Dad Is Messed Up - Here’s a dad writing a letter to his unborn son…

Platt Wasn’t Enough - I enjoyed this one: “I pastor a fantastic church. My congregants are passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ, robust biblical preaching, and family-inclusive discipleship. But there’s also something a bit unique about my church.  Before I became their lead pastor in August of 2013, their previous preacher was Dr. David Platt!”

The Oldest Tricks in the Book on Motherhood - This cracked me up—especially #1 and #20.

People fall in private, long before they fall in public. —J.C. Ryle


April 01, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: United by Trillia Newbell ($2.99); Women’s Ministry in the Local Church by Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt ($3.99); Counseling the Hard Cases by Stuart Scott & Heath Lambert ($7.99); Too Good to Be True by Michael Horton ($4.99); Adoniram Judson by Jason Duesing ($0.99); The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones ($3.99); Anxious for Nothing by John MacArthur ($0.99); Alone with God by John MacArthur ($0.99). Because it’s a new month, Amazon has a whole new list of general market books at $3.99 or less.

Ministering to the Sexually Broken - This month’s interview in Tabletalk magazine is with John Freeman of Harvest USA and deals with ministering to the sexually broken.

How Autism Can Land You a Job - WSJ reports that some employers increasingly are viewing autism as an asset and not a deficiency in the workplace.

Cruciform’s Easter Sale - Cruciform Press has two short, inspiring books that can help you meditate on the glorious salvation secured by our resurrected Savior. Use them for pre-Easter reading or to give to others for outreach. You may also be interested in Redeeming Church Conflict by Tara Barthel & Dan Edling which is just $6.98 at Amazon.

The Love Life of John Knox - “It isn’t often that someone in the rough and tumble of ministry in Reformation Scotland would even think of finding a  wife. But our Presbyterian founder, John Knox himself, found in God’s providence, two wives who were willing to take his life as their own.”

Cutting to the Heart of Self-Injury - I find cutting and other forms of self-injury one of the most perplexing practices. This article deals with it well.

Sleep Your Way to Success - As a chronic insomniac, this one hurts a bit. But David’s right: “it’s not just sleep your way to success, but sleep your way to health, strength, and happiness.”

He whose head is in heaven need not fear to put his feet into the grave. —Matthew Henry


March 31, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: The Book on Leadership by John MacArthur ($2.99); Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper ($5.99); The End of Reason by Ravi Zacharias ($4.99).

Yes, You Are Under Surveillance - This is worth pondering: “At first, the information age promised to empower individuals with access to previously hidden information. We could comparison shop across the world for the best price, for the best bit of knowledge, for people who shared our views. But now the balance of power is shifting…”

The Midrashiest Midrash - Denny Burk provides a spoiler-free review of Noah. Ken Ham provided a review for TIME.

Arranging a Deck of Cards - How many ways can you arrange a deck of cards? Probably a few more than you’d expect.

Things Unseen - Here’s a moving article about the loss of a little one.

How Do You Prepare for Sunday? - It’s a good question to ask. “How do you prepare to gather with your church family? Is your preparation limited to the frenetic collecting of your children, snacks, and diapers? Do you spend your time trying to convince yourself that going is better than sleeping in? Or maybe you don’t even think to prepare, because it’s just another routine that you’ve developed?”

What About Life Insurance? - Randy Alcorn thinks through life insurance from a biblical perpsective. 

God is not wanting you to make sacrifices. He wants you to be a sacrifice. —Derek Thomas 

Derek Thomas

March 29, 2014

Is Church Membership Really Required? - “With such benefits, you’d think church membership would be held in infinitely high esteem. But for many reasons, Christians seem to think less of it than ever before. If you’re one who looks upon church membership lightly, then I invite you to reconsider.”

National Geographic Traveler Contest - National Geographic has begun their annual Traveler Photo Contest. Some of the early entries are nothing short of spectacular.

Do Christians Hate Gay People? - Denny Burk shares an unpublished excerpt from Salvo magazine’s recent interview with Robert George of Princeton University.

6 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told My Church - Byron Yawn reflects on an installation service. “If I could go back over a decade ago, here are six things I wish someone would have said to my congregation.”

7 Tips for a Happy Christian Marriage - Here are 7 marriage tips from a Christian couple who has been married for 67 years.

Questions & Answers from Ligonier - Here is a round-up of questions and answers from the speakers at the recent Ligonier Ministries National Conference.

Satan knows that if he can get us to laugh at things we believe we would never do, our defenses will fall. —Kent Hughes


March 28, 2014

A handful of new Kindle deals: The Justification of God by John Piper ($4.99); Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament by Walter Kaiser ($3.99); Reading for Preaching by Cornelius Plantiga ($3.99).

5 Hard Things to Pray for Your Husband - Jen Thorn provides five hard things a wife should be praying for her husband.

History Lives - The History Lives series is a collection of 5 church history books written for kids (pre-teen or early teens). We’ve used them at home and at church and have benefitted a great deal. For a week they are 50% off at Westminster Books. Get a set for your family and a set for your church library!

8 Causes of Spiritual Depression - Here are 8 possible causes of spiritual depression. “It is good for us to search our hearts in times like this. We must ask the Lord to give us wisdom in identifying the cause—even as we continue to seek Him. These are eight of the most common causes…”

Why Is This Issue So Different? - Kevin DeYoung offers a candid answer to a candid question: Could someone please give a short, simple explanation as to why the issue of homosexuality is not like Christians differing on baptism or the millennium? (On a related note, you may enjoy In Praise of Evangelical Identity by Andrew Walker.)

To the Girls Who Didn’t Say No - Here’s a helpful blog post for all the girls who didn’t say no.

Phelps, Dricoll, Gothard - I appreciate what R.C. Sproul Jr. does and doesn’t say about Phelps, Driscoll and Gothard.

Did Christ finish His work for us? Then there can be no doubt but He will also finish His work in us. —John Flavel


March 27, 2014

A handful of new Kindle deals: Get Outta My Face by Rick Horne ($1.99); Rose Guide to the Temple by Randall Price ($3.99, discounted from $29.99); Romans study guide by Jared Wilson ($5.38).

Salvation in a Dementia Ward - Read this one! “The next moments stunned me. Despite past experiences of being near and ministering to people high on drugs, involved in the occult, or living in mental asylums, never had I witnessed anything like this. Without hyperbole, I can only describe it as demonic.”

World Vision Reverses Their Decision - “Today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed its recent decision to change our employment conduct policy. The board acknowledged they made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.”

How to Memorize Books of the Bible - Here’s a little bit about the how and why of memorizing long passages of Scripture.

Have You Ever Had a Pastoral Visit? - Michael Horton asks, “Have you ever had a pastoral visit?  What about a visit from your elders?” This used to be considered a key component of a pastor’s calling.

Noah - Greg Thornbury was invited to watch the new movie Noah. “Our small group spent a considerable amount of time both before and after film hearing from Aronofsky himself and co-writer Ari Handel. Both were interested in listening to and responding to our theological and critical reactions. My immediate response was that this was a film with profound moral and theological imagination. My thoughts below are my conclusions after several weeks of reflection.”

Division Begins with Departure - Jared Wilson says, “Christians who affirm the normative, traditional, historical, orthodox view of the Bible’s teaching on various sins are always accused of being divisive when in sticking to their affirmations they must disassociate with those who don’t.”

If the cross is not foolishness to the lost world then we have misrepresented the cross. —Steven Lawson


March 26, 2014

I can see just a couple of interesting new Kindle deals today: Faith and Learning by David Dockery is usually $39.99 but is now just $0.99; Heretics by G.K. Chesteron is also $0.99.

Should Christians Keep Supporting World Vision? - I know many Christians are wondering whether they ought to continue supporting World Vision. Matthew Lee Anderson takes on the question and provides a thoughtful answer.

Can Natural Man Do Good? - Derek Thomas looks at this question: “Is it true that the natural man cannot do any good at all? Is this not something of an overstatement? The Westminster Confession of Faith, for example, reflects this point of view when it asserts: From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.”

Ten Things to Do During Suffering - Here’s one to bookmark: “We will all suffer, of that there is no doubt. It is strange, then, that we are often unprepared for it. With that in mind, a useful exercise is to summarize Scripture and identify what words of God can guide us when things are hard.”

In the New Calvinism a Reformation Worth Perpetuating? - I enjoyed reading this response to the New Calvinism infographic I shared a couple of weeks ago.

Emotions: What Does the Bible Teach? - Bob Kellemen is beginning a promising series on emotions.

Books for Those Struggling or Ministering - Westminster Books has a selection of titles on sale that are related to homosexuality. All 3 of their choices are excellent; Love Into Light (down at the bottom) would be an excellent choice as well.

Preaching on unity doesn’t unify a church. Preaching Jesus unifies a church. —Steve Dighton


March 25, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals for you: Putting Jesus in His Place by Robert Bowman & J. Ed Komoszewski ($1.99); Rich by Peter Dickson & David Gibson ($3.99); Totally Sufficient by Ed Hindson & Howard Eyrich ($3.99); Expository Preaching with Word Pictures by Jack Hughes ($3.99); The Shape of Faith to Come by Brad Waggoner ($2.99); A Better Way by Michael Horton ($3.99); 

World Vision and the Gospel - Here is Russell Moore’s reply to World Vision’s suprise annoucement “that they would now hire persons who are in same-sex marriages. The organization said, further, that this was no capitulation, just a recognition that some groups supporting World Vision have differing views on sex and marriage.”

Pray for Hobby Lobby - Today is the day the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two very important cases involving religious liberty and the freedom of conscience.” ERLC invites you to pray for Hobby Lobby today.

What I’m Looking For - Here’s a video of Jenny & Tyler doing their amazing rendition of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

How Pastors Can Care for their Children - This is a helpful article: “My young pastor wisely wanted to think about overcoming those challenges while his children were still young. So I offered him these reflections based on years of experience.”

Grammar’s Great Divide - Here’s a short video about grammar’s great divide: the Oxford comma.

If All Religions Are True - If all religions are true, then God is cruel. Here’s why…

At the end of the day, the biggest obstacle to evangelism is Christians who don’t share the gospel. —Albert Mohler


March 24, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals, some of which are for brand new books: The Storytelling God by Jared Wilson ($5.99); Exploring Grace Together by Jessica Thompson ($4.99); Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ by John Piper ($4.99); Now That I’m a Christian by C. Michael Patton ($5.99); Joy for the World by Greg Forster ($5.99); The World Is Not Ours to Save by Tyler Wigg-Stevenson ($2.99); Jesus the Evangelist by Richard Phillips ($5.68).

The Most Consequential Christian Liberty Case - Denny Burk: One of the most important religious liberty cases in a generation will come before the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties will be making their final appeal for an exemption from Obamacare’s coercive ‘contraceptive’ mandate.”

Noah - If you were planning to go and see the film Noah, well, this review gives you an idea of what you’ll see. Not much that’s even vaguely related to the true story, apparently.

Why Thieves Steal Soap - I enjoyed this little lesson on economics. It explains why in some areas they need to lock up the soap. “It’s well known that pharmacies need to protect their stores of cold medicine, which methamphetamine cooks like Jesse Pinkman can use to make product. But why soap? Is a $6 bottle of Dove body wash really worth the squeeze?”

Books at a Glance - I want to give another shout-out to Books at a Glance, a service that will provide synopses of important Christian books. If you’re a pastor or a Christian reader, you might as well try the free trial and see if you find it helpful.

Top Children’s Books of 2013 - Have you wondered what kids are reading these days? Here are the top kids’ books from 2013.

Flee Youthful Passions - “The ‘youthful passions’ in this context are not sexual.  Paul has in mind the passion for controversy, that feeling inside that relishes a fight and loves to be proved right and even prophetic.”

A man’s destiny on Judgment Day will depend not on whether he has known God’s will but on whether he has done it.A.M. Hunter


March 22, 2014

If you have a Kindle and are into Christian fiction, you may like to check out today’s Gold Box Deal at Amazon. They are offering the first novel in a whole list of series for $1.99. Also on Kindle you can get Alexander Strauch’s Men and Women: Equal Yet Different for $4.99.

Lost - Al Mohler says you should watch this video. He’s right.

Fred Phelps and the Anti-Gospel of Hate - Speaking of Al Mohler, he has written about the death of Fred Phelps. “The announcement was made on his church’s website. The wording was simple: ‘Fred W. Phelps Sr. has gone the way of all flesh.’ Thus brings to an end one of most bitters lives in modern history — and one of the most harmful to the Gospel.”

Set Adrift - WORLD magazine has a long profile on Douglas Phillips whose ministry exploded in the midst of scandal. The writer goes looking for lessons in the midst of it all.

God’s Not Dead - I was able to watch the new movie God’s Not Dead a few days before it came out and chose not to review it. I agree with just about all the points in this review, and especially this: “There are countless sub-plots, and each takes every available chance to unfortunately stereotype, almost to the point of offensiveness, every people group represented.”

New and Old Calvinism - Rick Phillips has begun a series on the New and Old Calvinism. He will suggest these four points: “Old Calvinism should avoid being overly critical but should rejoice in the New; Old Calvinism should not be threatened by or feel pressure to conform to the New; Old Calvinism should humbly listen to the New, benefiting from its insights and critiques; Old Calvinism should zealously seek to serve rather than to undermine the New.”

God Had a Plan - Rebecca writes about her plans for her day, and God’s plan for her day.

I never knew a man escape failures in either body or mind who worked seven days a week. —Robert Peel