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A La Carte

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


August 27, 2014

I’ve found just a couple of new Kindle deals today: In My Father’s House by Mary Kassian ($2.99) and Am I Called? by Dave Harvey ($0.99).

Banner of Truth Ebooks - Better late than never, right? Banner of Truth has just released their first ebooks and they include The Valley of Vision. While we’re talking books, check out the weekly deals from Westminster Books; many of them are geared to students.

5 Phone Charging Myths, Debunked - I think I’ve heard all of these myths at one time or another.

Never Resist the Urge to Pray - Summer must be over because Erik Raymond has returned from his blogging vacation. This is good news, because he was posting some great articles back in May and June.

9 Questions to Help You Steward All of Life for God’s Glory - “If the law of God can be summarized in a positive command, then we consider how to ‘run to’ God rather than merely how to ‘run from’ sin. Life is not primarily about what we avoid, but what we pursue.”

The One Thing My Mother Would Not Let Me Become - As a Canadian, I have been watching the reaction to the situation in Ferguson with some interest and very little comprehension. I found Thabiti Anyabwile’s most recent article very eye-opening. (On the same theme, here’s a perspective from an African-American who was formerly a police officer.)

7 Smartphone Photography Tips & Tricks - If you’ve got a smartphone in your pocket or purse (and you probably do), you may appreciate these tips and tricks.

A gracious wife satisfies a good husband, and silences a bad one. —George Swinnock


August 26, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals: It Is Not Death to Die by Jim Cromarty ($4.99); Killing Fields, Living Fields by Don Cormack ($3.99); The Yankee Officer and the Southern Belle by Nell Chinchen ($2.99); The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper ($1.99).

Losing Your Voice - Here are four ways that pastors lose their pulpits.

Tangled Up in Blue - Sammy Rhodes writes about depression and the Christian life. 

Satan Does Not Hold the Keys of Death - R.C. Sproul explains in his inimitable way: “We have different vocations with respect to the jobs and tasks God gives us in this life. But we all share in the vocation of death.”

Breaking Up to the Glory of God - Deepak Reju offers counsel on how to break up well.

The Danger of Measurable Outcomes - Os Guinness provides a timely warning.

No flattery can heal a bad conscience, so no slander can hurt a good one. —Thomas Watson


August 25, 2014

Zondervan and Thomas Nelson’s great list of $0.99 deals seem to still be in effect: Death by Living by N.D. Wilson; Strange Fire by John MacArthur; Jesus on Every Page by David Murray; The Dude’s Guide to Manhood by Darrin Patrick; Couples of the Bible by Robert & Bobbie Wolgemuth; Risky Gospel by Owen Strachan; Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke; Yawning at Tigers by Drew Dyck. Here are a few deals from Crossway: His Loving Law, Our Lasting Legacy by Jani Ortlund ($0.99); Marriage and Family by Andreas Kostenberger ($0.99); A Family Guide to Narnia by Christin Ditchfield ($1.99); Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham ($1.99); finally, consider Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur ($3.99).

Brave and Afraid and Heading Down the Longest Road - This longform article at The Boston Globe gives a glimpse of life and family affected by mental illness.

Gospel in Life - Gospel in Life is a new site that brings together resources from Tim Keller.

God’s Great Dance Floor - This is an interesting look at modern worship music and the influence of electronic dance music. 

Dealing with Digital Cruelty - There’s a bit of psychobabble in this one, but the heart of the article is interesting. The author tries to figure out why people are so mean when they go online and what we can do when people are cruel to us.

Cultivating Your Marriage - Randy Alcorn: “Lust thrives on secrecy. There is nothing that defuses lust as effectively as exposure. Honest communication between husband and wife makes them allies, not adversaries.”

On Platforms, Self-Promotion, and Pleasure Complete - This is a good one from Timmy Brister.

Holiness in what we call small matters, is the surest test of real holiness. —Andrew Bonar


August 23, 2014

Zondervan and Thomas Nelson are having a great $0.99 sale: Death by Living by N.D. Wilson; Strange Fire by John MacArthur; Jesus on Every Page by David Murray; The Dude’s Guide to Manhood by Darrin Patrick; Couples of the Bible by Robert & Bobbie Wolgemuth; Risky Gospel by Owen Strachan; Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke; Yawning at Tigers by Drew Dyck.

This blogger has a powerful letter he wrote to a judge as the judge prepared to sentence his son’s kidnapper.

An awful lot has been written about the situation in Ferguson; Justin Taylor’s article is one of the most helpful, at least in my assessment.

The Bridegroom’s Incredible Vow is a good piece on marriage from Jared Wilson.

Last year I went to Scotland and, in one of my dispatches, mentioned a young lady who is laboring in the schemes. It was a joy to read that there is now a church plant being started in that very community.

Vance Christie has put together a challenge for you: Who’s Who in Church History?

If you’ve thought about attending the Doxology and Theology conference, you can use the coupon code CHALLIES to take the cost down to $149.

Disciplined faith is a faith that is likely to survive and lead to faith in others. —Alister McGrath