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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

March 05, 2009
Letter to a Grieving Friend
James MacDonald shares a letter he sent to a woman who was grieving for her mother. “Your mother is having a day that is very different than yours. As you put on your black dress this morning remember that your mom is dressed in white (Rev. 19:14). As you shed tears of sorrow and separation remember that your mother is shedding tears of joy. As you think and reflect and ask the questions we all struggle with remember that all your mom’s questions are gone (1Cor. 13:12)…”
Worship Series on Sojourn
“Next Wednesday here on sojournmusic.com we will debut an eight-part weekly video series on Christian worship, congregational singing, trends in music ministry and more. The episodes average ten minutes each…”
What’s the Ideal Number of Friends?
“If a wide circle of friends is taken as a popularity indicator, does that mean the more you have the more successful and happy you are? Or can you have too many? What is the best number?”
If Galatians was Published in Christianity Today
The Sacred Sandwich imagines what would happen if Paul’s letter was to be written and published today.
Deal of the Day: Jeremiah Burroughs
RHB is offer a 50% discount on this collection of books by Jeremiah Burroughs. I’ve read a couple of these titles and really enjoyed them!
March 04, 2009
What Masculine Provision Looks Like
“This from a sobering story on the downturn from the NYT called ‘Forced from Executive Pay to Hourly Wage’ by Michael Luo that follows a former six-figure executive in his daily work.”
Pastor Resources Offer
Reformation Trust is offering John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology free for pastors (though a $5 S&H charge will apply).
US Savings Over Time
This is a very interesting interactive chart that shows savings rates for Americans over time. Note a) how savings rates have plummeted over the last few decades (as consumerism and credit have become widespread, I suppose) and b) how it has bounced up in the past few months.
Love, Sex & Mammon
Russell Moore’s editorial for Touchstone look at “Hard Times, Hard Truths & the Economics of the Christian Family.” ” A time of economic crisis is, therefore, a time for the Church to reconsider—and re-imagine—her priorities. The first step is to recognize that one of the roots of the family crisis all around us—in the pews we sit in or preach to every week—is the wallet in our own back pocket.”
R.A. Torrey on Tobacco
This is interesting in the context of what I wrote on tobacco a couple of weeks ago. Can a Christian use tobacco? “There are laymen and ministers who purpose to be out and out for God and to make their lives count to the uttermost for Him who do use tobacco, but their lives do not count for God as they would if they did not use tobacco, because…”
March 03, 2009
Ten Questions to Benefit from a Conference
Don Whitney gives a list of ten questions you should ask yourself after a conference or special event. “Having invested hours or days of my life in this way, I want to know that it’s been time well spent. To better ensure good stewardship of the opportunity, I have developed these ten questions.”
How to Exasperate your Children
This sounds like a profitable sermon from Irish Calvinist (and it fits well with Proverbs 15 which I just happened to read this morning).
Hospitality Tips
Lydia Brownback: “My friend Susie Cassel is the personification of hospitality. She opens her home to friend and stranger alike, and she is always prepared for drop-by guests. One-on-one or large groups—Susie hostesses all with grace and love.” Susie offers four hospitality habits.
Great Damage: The Gift of Discernment
James MacDonald: “I have been a pastor for more than 25 years and I have heard some pretty harsh things; but the deepest wounding by far has been at the hands of people using the gift of discernment in the flesh. Most often, these are the folks that separate friends, divide churches and destroy families.”
Calvin for the 21st Century
This conference at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary has an excellent lineup of speakers. Registration opened just yesterday.
ESV Online for Free
“Crossway, publisher of the #1 bestselling ESV Study Bible, announced today that it will make the highly acclaimed ESV Online Study Bible available free online to anyone, anywhere, for a limited time beginning today, March 2, 2009.”
I Hope President Obama Is Right on the Economy
I think this is a good corrective from John Mark Reynolds. “It is bad politics, bad form, bad character, and bad patriotism to want the President’s economic policies to fail. Don’t get me wrong. I believe the Congressional and Presidential plan will fail and is already making the situation worse. I just wish it weren’t so.”
March 02, 2009
Free Audio Book
This month’s free audio book from Christian Audio is Don Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. It is yours for the taking…
Hudson River Plane Landing
Here’s an interesting little animation showing the path of US Airways 1549 as it took off, ran into a flock of birds, and made that incredible landing in the Hudson.
Another Five Reasons to Study Theology
Here’s a follow-up to a list I linked to last week.
I Am Who I Am
Bible Backgrounds is a series of weekly blog posts leading up to the fall 2009 release of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament. This week’s post deals with I Am Who I Am.
Eh?
This is a chart explaining just how often that little word is used.
Deal of the Day: MacArthur Study Bible
Monergism Books has all MacArthur Study Bibles at 50% off. This is a one-day sale and is limited to one per customer.
February 27, 2009
Support or Censure for Embracing Motherhood
WNBA star Candace Parker recently announced her pregnancy. The news was greeted with a great deal of anger and disappointment. This article explains why this is.
Honk If You’re Paying My Mortgage
Here’s a bumper sticker worth owning!
A Model of Biblical Proportions
A retired farmer has spent more than 30 years building an enormous scale model of Herod’s temple - and it is still not finished. The picture gallery is amazing.
Meet Ligon Duncan
C.J. Mahaney continues his interview series by talking to Ligon Duncan.
Great Deals on Great Books
This pastor is selling off a large part of his library on eBay. There are some great deals on books and commentaries.
Five Reasons You Need to Study Theology
“There are many reasons why Christian’s need to study theology. In no particular order here are five reasons you need to study theology, and hopefully some of these you won’t have considered before.”
Jay Adams on Turning 80
Did you know Jay Adams has a blog? This article, reflecting on turning 80, is worth the read. He offers this advice: “Prepare for old age. True, you may never make it; there are former students of mine who have died already. If you don’t have some activity that you can engage in for the Lord, you will probably end up a sour and regretful old person.”
Deal of the Day: What is Reformed Theology?
A gift of any amount to Renewing Your Mind (think R.C. Sproul and Ligonier Ministries) will get you a copy of the DVD “What is Reformed Theology?”
February 26, 2009
The Pornification of a Culture
Dr. Mohler: “The scourge of pornography is now so pervasive that it begins to define the culture at large. America is fast transforming itself from a society that allows and markets pornography into a culture that is pornographic. Boundary after boundary is being transgressed.”
The Future
This little cartoon captures something about our culture.
“Rabbi” Duncan
On the anniversary of “Rabbi” Duncan’s death, Fred Sanders offers a few of his best aphorisms. Example: “I have a great liking for many of Wesley’s Hymns; but when I read some of them, I ask, ‘What’s become of your Free-will now, friend?’”
Octomom Does Not Represent Big Families
Candance, writing at Boundless,org, says of the mother of octuplets “her headline-grabbing stunt seems to be turning a critical eye on large families who get that way (large) the old-fashioned way (one or two babies at a time).”
Deal of the Day: A Sketch of the Christian’s Catechism
Reformation Heritage Books is offering a great discount on this book. “Ames’s method in this book is not an analysis of the Catechism itself. Rather, he chooses a particular text of Scripture that supports the main thoughts for a given Lord’s Day. While the exposition is directly from the Bible, Ames’s doctrinal conclusions interact with the corresponding Questions and Answers of the Heidelberg Catechism. ”
February 25, 2009
An Approach to Family Devotions
Z gives a roundup of Mark Driscoll’s approach to family devotions. I’m always interested in seeing how other people manage this time of family worship.
Every Student an A Student
Owen Strachan has a couple of interesting articles on the phenomenon of grade inflation and the kind of mindset that goes with it.
The Kind of Men God Used
From Ray Ortlund: “Horatius Bonar, writing the preface to John Gillies’ Accounts of Revival, proposes that men useful to the Holy Spirit for revival have been marked in these nine ways…”
Dead Sea Scrolls in Toronto
My fellow Torontonians may be interested in knowing that a selection of the Dead Sea Scrolls are coming to the Royal Ontario Museum beginning in June of this year. “They include portions of the books of Genesis, Deuteronomy and Psalms. In addition, there will be a fragment of the Ten Commandments on display for a limited time.”
Begg on the Beatles
“Discover the extent of Alistair Begg’s Beatles knowledge, as well as the nature of his true accent.”
February 24, 2009
When Missing Your Free Throws is a Good Thing
Ray Fowler shares a feel-good sports story.
Win a Calfskin ESV Study Bible
A Boomer in the Pew wants to give you a calfskin ESV Study Bible. Take a look to see how you can win it.
Reading Leviticus
Julian Freeman: “If you’re on my Bible reading plan (there are at least two of you that I know of :)) or any other similar plan, there’s a good chance you’re finding yourself smack-dab in the middle of Leviticus right now. That’s not an easy place to be.” He gives three helpful tips for enjoying Leviticus.
Families and Technology Seminar
Matt McAlvey (of Parkside Church) and I are teaming up to lead a seminar on families and technology at Five Points Community Church in Auburn Hills, MI. I’ll be leading sessions for the adults while Matt leads sessions for teens. If you’re in the area, think about attending!
Social Websites Harm Children’s Brains
This is a good warning (though you’ll find scientists who say the opposite as well). “Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.”
February 23, 2009
An Illuminating Housing Chart
“Here’s the big problem with almost all the current rhetoric about the housing crisis: It presumes that the goal should be to get house prices rising again. The problem with that idea is that, even after a 25% decline, house prices are still way too high.”
Flight 1549 Interview
“You heard the miraculous news of the US airplane going down in NYC. Did you know there was a CMDA student on board? Listen to how God worked in and through this catastrophe in this first person account.”
What Does coram Deo mean?
If you read Tabletalk you’ve undoubtedly heard this phrase many times. In a brief article R.C. Sproul explains what it means.
Everyone Loves Google…
…until it gets too big. “ ‘You almost feel sorry for Google,’ said Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of Search Engine Land. ‘They’re doing a good job and people are turning to them. But when they pass 70 percent share, people are going to be uncomfortable about Google becoming a monopoly.’”
February 20, 2009
The Divine Egotist?
Dr. Mohler provides a bibilical answer to this common series of questions: “Is the God of the Bible the supreme egotist? That question arises when human beings contemplate the meaning of the truth that God does everything for the sake of his own glory. Is God then a megalomaniac?”
My Dad the Christian
Joe Thorn writes a great little article about his father’s conversion. “So, my dad is a Christian. I’ve prayed for hs salvation for 19 years and am now focused on helping him to grow in grace. I just hope I can keep up with him!”
The Obamateur Hour
This article by Mark Steyn is worth reading just for the zingers. “President Obama chose to nominate Tim “Indispensable” Geithner and Tom “Home, James!” Daschle, men whose enthusiasm for the size of the federal budget is in inverse proportion to their urge to contribute to it.” “The hideous drooling blob of toxic pustules dignified as “stimulus” is something the incoming Obama had months to prepare for…”
D.A.C.@ B.B.C.
This sounds like a great opportunity for anyone in the Minneapolis area. D.A. Carson will be at Bethlehem Baptist Church teaching “a fourteen-part series aimed at providing an overview for the Bible and the gospel message. There will be times for Q & A. Christians and non-Christians alike are invited to come and hear D. A. Carson teach through the entire Bible message in two weekends.”
Anger: The Image of Satan
An article at Boundless. “When I grow angry I find myself losing belief. I lose faith in God’s goodness amid my circumstances. I lose belief in his promises, that ‘he works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose’ (Rom 8:28).”

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