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A La Carte

December 02, 2015

Thanks to all who purchased Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity on day one. It was a really encouraging day! On a related note, yesterday I was a guest at the For Every Mom blog with an article on 5 Productivity Tips for Moms.

Today’s Kindle deals include Magnificent Obsession and The Dawkins Letters by David Robertson ($2.99 each); Why I am not an Atheist edited by David Randall - $12.79 ($2.99); 50 Women Every Christian Should Know by Michelle DeRusha ($1.99); Love Walked Among Us by Paul Miller ($4.72); In Defense of the Bible by Terry Wilder ($1.99); Behold the Lamb by Russ Ramsey (free); Trusting God by Jerry Bridges ($4.72).

The New American Commentary series is on sale again with each volume just $2.99. I have marked with an asterisk the volumes that are considered top-5 on that book of the Bible. New Testament: Matthew*, Mark, Luke*, John 1-11, John 12-21, ActsRomans1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians* Galatians*, Philippians/Colossians/Philemon, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy/Titus, James, 1&2 Peter/Jude*, 1&2&3 John, Revelation. Old Testament: Genesis 1-11Exodus, Leviticus*, Numbers*, DeuteronomyJoshua*, Judges/Ruth*, 1&2 Kings*, 1&2 ChroniclesEzra/Nehemiah/Esther*, Job, Proverbs/Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs, Isaiah 1-39, Jeremiah/Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea/Joel, Amos/Obadiah/Jonah, Micah-Zephaniah, ZechariahHaggai/Malachi.

Finally, today Doug & Melissa stuff is on sale at Amazon as it always is for a day before Christmas; this was always our favorite day when our kids were a bit younger.

Should You Preach from a Full Manuscript?

Michael Kruger, president of RTS Charlotte, provides a helpful answer. He distinguishes between writing a manuscript and then reading from it.

Nurturing Theologically Rich Women’s Initiatives

Aimee Byrd puts out the call for theologically rich women’s initiatives and also recommends some resources.

You Just Need to Obey

Steve Lawson: “Far from being optional, grace-fueled obedience is absolutely necessary for Christlikeness. Is there any need to pray about whether or not to obey God’s Word? You just need to obey.”

The Book of Deuteronomy

The Bible Project continues with their series of videos on each book of the Bible.

Calm a Crying Baby

I sure wish I had known about this back when we had babies! Maybe he’s got a similar technique for emotional teenagers.

This Day in 1837. 178 years ago today, Dr. Joseph Bell, British physician, was born. He was the prototype of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective Sherlock Holmes. *

The CEO Paying Everyone $70,000 Salaries Has Something to Hide

This is an interesting update on a man who was much in the news this year.

Creation Chronology in 1 Corinthians 11

I appreciate Jim Witteveen’s work in this article. “It has been argued that the Genesis account of creation was not meant to be a chronological account of God’s work of creating the universe.” He takes issue with this.

The Harmony of Fall

This video displays some of the beauty of the most beautiful season of the year.


Spiritual awakenings today are not televised, stadium-housed events. —Tim Keesee

December 01, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include When The Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper ($2.99); A Shelter in the Time of Storm by Paul Tripp ($2.99); Hope: The Best of Things by Joni Eareckson Tada (free); Look and Live by Matt Papa ($4.16); Finally Free by Heath Lambert ($3.99); Essential Works of Charles Spurgeon ($2.99); The Mormonizing of America by Stephen Mansfield ($1.30); What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson ($3.46); World Religions in a Nutshell by Ray Comfort ($3.12).

Logos has a free book for you: Ephesians by Stephen E. Fowl. (I am not familiar with the author, so cannot comment on the book.) They are also giving away a book a day for Advent. And did you know you can get the complete works of Shakespeare for free as well?

Free from ChristianAudio this month is Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler.

ESV Reader’s Bible

Westminster Books has a great deal on the cloth over board ESV Reader’s Bible. Today’s the last day to get it at just $10 (a 67% discount). The Reader’s Bible has no verse markings and is meant to allow you to read the Bible like any other book.

The First Review

David Steele has written the first review of my new book Do More Better which releases today. Darryl Dash also wrote an early review. (Buy the book)

6 Principles for Student Ministry

These are solid principles related to student and youth ministry.

Did Jesus Lie?

Bill Mounce gives a quick (but good) answer to the question of whether Jesus lied in John 7:8.

The Edges of Faith and the Center of the Zeitgeist

Several days ago, Kent Dobson, successor at Rob Bell’s famous Mars Hill Bible Church, stepped down as teaching pastor. Dustin Messer offers some interesting reflections on Dobson’s announcement and the reasons behind it.

Hymns of Grace

Hymns of Grace looks like a great resource. It’s a new hymn book from Grace Community Church and The Master’s Seminary that includes many of the new hymns we love (but which haven’t yet made it into most hymnals).

This Day in 1857. 158 years ago today, John Paton was licensed to preach the gospel. He spread the gospel both in Glasgow, Scotland and the New Hebrides islands (now the nation of Vanuatu). *

Wild Scotland

And speaking of Scotland, be sure to watch this video of some of its wild beauty.

Paris Slowly Coming to Terms With a New Vulnerability

This will probably remind you a little bit of New York City in the aftermath of 9/11. “Though tributes to the victims of the Nov. 13 attacks have begun to erode at sites like the Place de la République, many in France are still coming to terms with the fact that the terrorist strikes might not be the last.”


He who begins by seeking God within himself may end by confusing himself with God. —B.B. Warfield

November 30, 2015

Today is Cyber Monday which means there are a lot of online deals to be had. I’ve made up listings of the best deals I’ve tracked down. You can find them at Cyber Monday Kindle Deals for the Christian Reader and Cyber Monday 2015 Deals for Christians.

And here are some articles for you to read:

Swasey’s Last Sermon

“Garrett Swasey was the officer killed trying to rescue people at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs. Swasey was shot while saving people at a place he abhorred. He was an elder of a church that believed in the inerrancy of Scripture, and that abortion is evil.” The Cripplegate shares excerpts from his final sermon.

Porn is a Co-ed Sin

“ ‘We know this wasn’t you; women just don’t have this problem.’ Those words hit hard. More than anything, I wanted to be caught. Here I was, red-handed, with a red folder…”

Why Teens and College Students Need to Work While in School

“Too few college students hold a significant part-time job before graduation. As a result, they struggle with professionalism in the work place.”

The Lord’s Leading in the Cessationist’s Life

Clint Archer explains that even cessationists believe in God’s leading and guiding in life.

When Church Leaders Get Gossiped About

It happens too often, unfortunately.

This Day in 1984. 31 years ago today, R. C. Sproul’s influential book, The Holiness of God, first hit store shelves. *

The Most Important Word I Learned in Seminary

Jason Duesing tells about the most important word he learned in seminary.

How Do You Forgive a Murder?

TIME: “On the night of June 17, a gunman opened fire in a church basement in Charleston. Nine people died. Five survived. Survivors and families tell their stories of faith and forgiveness.”


Work is always healthier for us than idleness; it is always better to wear out shoes than sheets. —C.H. Spurgeon

November 28, 2015

There aren’t many new Kindle deals today besides Think Biblically by John MacArthur ($2.99) and On Being a Pastor by Alistair Begg ($3.38). If you did not already get a chance to, you may want to browse through yesterday’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2015 Deals for Christians and Black Friday Kindle Deals for the Christian Reader since many of the sales are still in effect. (Amazon still has some good deals through the rest of the weekend.)

Books for Christmas

Is there anything better to get for Christmas than books? Here are gift recommendations from Westminster Books.

When My Industry Died

This author writes about the death of the video store he worked in. It’s interesting to consider what we lose when we go from a store staffed with people and filled with DVDs and migrate to Netflix.

Five Questions about the Pastor’s Piety

The Gospel Reformation Network asked Scott Oliphint to respond to a series of questions on holiness in pastoral ministry and church leadership.

What Is a Budget?

“A budget is more than numbers scribbled on a yellow steno pad in response to a crisis with good intentions that will never be fulfilled.” OK, but what is it, then? Brad Hambrick explains.

Has Marcion Invaded our Churches?

Marcion rejected certain portions of the Old and New Testaments. And maybe we follow his lead in some ways.

Tomorrow in 1960. 55 years ago tomorrow, Ligon Duncan was born. You can wish Lig a happy birthday on Twitter—but remember to wait till tomorrow!

If Famous People Had Kim Jong-un’s Hair

Whether or not it’s true that Kim Jong-un has told people to imitate his hairstyle, it’s fun to see what various people would look like if they did so.

Thanks to Books at a Glance

Thanks to Books at a Glance for sponsoring the blog this week with “A Valuable, Time-Saving Resource for Busy People.”


Repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin. —Rosaria Butterfield

November 27, 2015

There are many (many!) great deals to be had today on books, Bibles, music, and other material. Check out Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2015 Deals for Christians to give them a look, or, for Kindle deals only, Black Friday Kindle Deals for the Christian Reader.

Dr. Everett Piper: A Man Among Boys

Rod Dreher highlights Dr. Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. “Many of us have wondered when a university president was going to stand up and push back against the student bullies, instead of grovel and coddle them.” He did just that.

I Was Walking on Blood

Two Parisian doctors tell of their experience in the aftermath of the terrorism in that city.

The Secret of Spiritual Joy

Cruciform Press has just released a new book by Bill Farley titled The Secret of Spiritual Joy. It’s about the power of gratitude to replace our self-pity and grumbling with deep inner joy, and today through Monday it’s available for 25pct off with coupon code secret25.

Jesus Fell Asleep

Here’s a comforting bit of writing from Wendy Alsup. 

Why Controversy Is Sometimes Necessary

Al Mohler: “Is it ever right for Christians and churches to engage in controversy? Of course, the answer is yes—there are times when believers are divided over serious and consequential questions, and controversy is an inevitable result.”

This Day in 1095. 920 years ago today, Pope Urban II called for a crusade against Islamic oppressors. *

How Gross Is Your Mattress?

I don’t mean to ruin your sleep, but, well, there it is. “Even if you curl up to sleep solo, you’re not alone…”

Self-Destructing Tabs

Here’s a way of limiting the amount of time you waste online.


God did not love the world because the world is lovely. God loved the world because God is love. —Shai Linne

November 26, 2015

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, America! While you enjoy your holiday I will be keeping my ear to the ground for Black Friday deals (since, you know, we Canadians took care of our Thanksgiving six weeks ago). Check in tomorrow and I’ll let you know what I found. In the meantime, here are some links and Kindle deals that may interest you.

Today’s Kindle deals: Tough Topics 2 by Sam Storms ($3.99); Heaven, How I Got Here by Colin Smith ($2.99); Spurgeon’s Sorrows by Zack Eswine ($2.99); The Cambridge Seven by John Pollock ($2.99); Hudson Taylor: An Adventure Begins by Catherine MacKenzie ($2.99); We Believe by Matthew Sims ($0.99).

Pornography: A Perpetual Pastoral Problem

I was recently a guest on Mortification of Spin to talk with Aimee, Carl, and Todd about the problem of pornography.

5 Reminders for Christian Parents

“Parenting is just hard. It’s tiring. It’s busy. It’s laborious. It’s unending. It’s continuous. It’s demanding. But with all these realities, we as parents must remember that parenting is supremely rewarding!”

Justice Without Facts Is No Justice at All

“Justice without facts is no justice at all. When the institution of justice fails to report the facts, we should suspect injustice would happen.”

The Fruits of the Spirit

“When we look at a tree and see bad fruit, we conclude it is a bad tree. When we look at the same tree and it has good fruit, new fruit, we conclude the tree has changed. There’s not just new fruit but a new tree. This is what God does for His people in regeneration. He doesn’t just change the fruit; He changes the tree.”

This Day in 1789. 226 years ago today, “President George Washington proclaimed this date (a Thursday) to be the first national Thanksgiving Day holiday.” Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. readers! *

Does Debt Have To Be Part of the College Experience?

Aaron Armstrong speaks with Alex Chediak about college debt. Alex tells about his new book which explores the issue.

The Serial Swatter

The New York Times covers a strange and scary new kind of crime. “Internet trolls have learned to exploit our over-militarized police. It’s a crime that’s hard to stop — and hard to prosecute.” (Note: there’s a bit of bad language.)


To abandon prayer is to embrace atheism. —Alec Motyer

November 25, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include John G Paton: South Sea Island Rescue ($2.99); everPresent by Jeremy Writebol ($0.99); Called Together by Jonathan Dodson ($0.99); Make, Mature, Multiply by Brandon Smith ($0.99); Sent Together by Brad Watson ($0.99); Gospel Advance by Alvin Reid ($0.99); A Primer on the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit by Winfield Bevins ($0.99); Gospel Amnesia by Luma Simms ($0.99); Sound Words by Jeremy Carr ($0.99); A Beginners Guide to Family Worship by Winfield Bevins ($0.99); The Stories We Live by Sean Post ($0.99); Proclaiming Jesus by Tony Merida ($0.99); Prayer Life by Winfield Bevins ($0.99).

Westminster Books

Westminster Books has just added IVP ebooks and they’ve got a great selection of them on sale for just $1.99. This deal lasts for only a couple of days, so don’t dawdle. The no-brainers include: Basic Christianity by John Stott, Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves, God’s Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts, and Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer. There are many others besides.

Credo Magazine

There is a new issue of Credo magazine free to read and download. This issue looks at John Owen, the prince of Puritans.

Doctrine Matters

Kevin DeYoung says it well: “Christianity is much more than getting your doctrine right. But it is not less. You can have right doctrine and not be a Christian. You can know all sorts of true things about Jesus and not be saved.” 

What Is Thanksgiving Day?

Stephen Nichols: “We might think that times of adversity and challenge would spawn ingratitude, while times of prosperity would spawn gratitude. Sadly, the reverse is true.”

Thanksgiving Flight Patterns

There are some neat graphics here that show where Americans are flying for Thanksgiving. Since 1% of the country flies somewhere this week, there’s lots of information to work with.

Laquan McDonald and the Christian Response

“When the police arrived, Laquan refused to put down the knife or to turn himself in. This was an illegal action in which jail time was certainly the deserved outcome; but not death.” This article suggests ways Christians can respond to another tragic death.

This Day in 1742. 273 years ago today, the Scottish Society for the Propagating of Christian Knowledge approved David Brainerd as a missionary to the New England Indians. *

Finland Timelapse

Here’s another country I need to add to my list of places to visit. You know what to do: Full-screen and HD.


We are not sent into the pulpit to show our wit and eloquence, but to set the consciences of men on fire. —Solomon Stoddard

November 24, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler ($1.99); Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper ($2.84); Why Believe the Bible? by John MacArthur ($1.99); Baptist Foundations edited by Mark Dever ($0.99); Beat God to the Punch ($2.99) and Manhood Restored by Eric Mason ($0.99); The People of God by Trevor Joy ($2.99); Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper ($2.99); Nothing Is Impossible with God by Rose Marie Miller ($0.99); And He Dwelt Among Us by A.W. Tozer ($1.99).

The Evangelical Theological Society after Obergefell

I am no scholar, so rarely pay much attention to the proceedings of the Evangelical Theological Society, but this year seems to have been particularly important. Denny Burk reports.

Does God “Want” All to Be Saved?

Michael Kruger takes on the always-controversial question. “But, our answer to these questions depends on what we mean when we say that God “wants” something. And when we talk about what God wants we inevitably must talk about the “will” of God. And this is a subject that requires some careful nuance.”

Arrests in the Amanda Blackburn Case

You may have heard of the tragic, awful death of Amanda Blackburn, the pastor’s wife who was raped and murdered in her home. Two men have now been arrested in connection with the murder. Her husband has continued to shine the light of Christ even in this dark time.

Immigration and the Moral Status of Borders

Here’s an interesting take on immigration and refugees. “Do we think borders are good or bad, a necessary evil or a moral necessity? My contention is that those who argue for open borders undervalue a sense of place and the integrity of nations like Britain and Australia as political communities; but those who argue for closed borders overvalue the likes of Britain and Australia as political communities.”

This Day in 1572. 443 years ago today, John Knox, the most notable of the Reformers of Scotland, died in Edinburgh. *

Enduring the Winter

Norway offers help in enduring the long winter.

9Marks Mailbag

I continue to enjoy the 9Marks Mailbag. Even if you don’t agree with all the answers they provide, they’re sure to get you thinking. This week’s headline: “Must Preachers Be Seminary-Trained?; Baby Dedications; Elders Disagreeing Over Calvinism.”

Why Him, Why Me?

For a longer read, try this story from ESPN. “Two tragic collisions on the football field, separated by 26 years, have brought together a high school linebacker and a former college running back in search of the answer to a life-altering question.”


Everybody thinks sanctification looks like strength. Really what it looks like is weakness. —Ed Welch