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October 18, 2013

The Death of DeathGLH Publishing continues to release excellent Kindle books; the newest is John Owen’s The Death Of Death In The Death Of Christ and for a limited time it is just $0.99. Also on Kindle is The Dragon’s Tooth by N.D. Wilson, an excellent novel for your young teen or tween ($2.99).

Look & Live (Worship or Die) - “Worship is a looking.  It is the gaze of the soul towards greatness….towards some savior.  It is the pulsating, throbbing ache of the soul to see & celebrate glory.  The ‘wow’ of the heart.  And we are always being captivated by something.  We must be.  The throne of the heart must be filled.”

Pulpits, Pimps and Progress - There’s been a lot of focus in media on the prosperity gospel lately. Here is a lament from a young, Black, Christian male seminary graduate concerned about church perspectives.

Is Public Schooling an Option? - A couple of weeks ago I linked to Al Mohler’s article about public schooling. Jemar Tisby has a thoughtful, insider response.

Recovering a Vision - Make some time to watch this short documentary about Al Mohler.

Serial Trespasser - “Bradley Garrett, a photographer and researcher with a background in anthropology and archeology, has spent the past five years of his life exploring hidden and forgotten parts of cities all over the world.” It makes for an interesting photo gallery.

God’s Pleasure In Me - “I love the truth that salvation is by God’s grace alone, purchased by Christ alone, and gained through faith alone. That message is the unshakable, life-giving foundation of my life. But recently I’ve heard statements about God’s grace that puzzle me.  Statements like, You can’t do anything to make God more pleased with you…”

In contending with certain sins there remains no mode of victory but by flight. C.H. Spurgeon

October 17, 2013

Kindle users may want to look at a couple of deals: One Race, One Blood by Charles Ware and Ken Ham ($4.99); The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer ($3.91). Meanwhile, Logos users will want to grab this free download: Brothers, We Are Not Professionals.

Quick Tips on Spiritual Growth - Erik Raymond offers some “quick tips on spiritual growth.” But don’t be fooled—there’s nothing quick and easy in the Christian life!

Twenty Years and Counting - Be sure to read this amazing account of Al Mohler’s time at Southern Seminary. Few people know or remember the kind of hostility he faced when he first began there. He also talks about the systematic theology he hopes to write in the future.

Packer’s Systematic Theology - Michael writes about J.I. Packer’s long-awaited Systematic Theology. He and Packer are looking for prayer that Packer will be able to complete it.

Broken Vows - Aaron Armstrong reviews a recent Cruciform Press title, Broken Vows: Divorce and the Goodness of God. And while on the subject of divorce, TIME has a few points about why second marriages are often more difficult than first marriages.

The Russia Left Behind - “On the jarring, 12-hour drive from St. Petersburg to Moscow, another Russia comes into view, one where people struggle with problems that belong to past centuries.” It makes a very interesting article.

The church is a school for sinners, not a museum for saints. —Anthony Thiselton

October 16, 2013

Help for Women Under Stress - This book by Randy and Nanci Alcorn is free on Kindle, today only. “Randy and Nanci offer you both the hope and the help you are looking for. They not only help you understand what stress is and how it operates, but give plenty of useful tips and strategies for bringing peace to the chaos of your daily life.” Also, I know it’s an odd title but the book is better than the title: When Will My Life Not Suck? by Ramon Presson is $2.51.

I Hate Porn - There are a lot of people who hate porn, but who still look at it every day. I’m hoping they read this and learn to really hate it.

Vulnerable to Attack - Chuck Lawless: “Based on years of my studying spiritual warfare, here are eight ways I’ve seen leaders allow themselves to be vulnerable to the enemy’s arrows…” Speaking of pastors, here are 10 productivity experiments pastors may like to try.

Killing Jesus - Stand to Reason reviews Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus.

The Teeth of Our Exertions - Here’s some investigation into a great Spurgeon quote: “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”

Regular Bedtime Helps Behavior - “Overall, children who went to bed at a consistent time had fewer behavior problems than those whose bedtimes varied.” The funny thing is, I think it’s largely true for adults as well.

When we reach the outer limit of what Scripture says, it is time to stop arguing and start worshipping. —J.I. Packer

October 15, 2013

Here are some new Kindle deals that may interest you: Putting Amazing Back Into Grace by Michael Horton ($3.99); The Justification of God by John Piper ($3.99); Liberating Black Theology by Anthony Bradley ($2.99); Keep Your Head Up edited by Anthony Bradley ($2.99); Glory Road edited by Anthony Carter ($2.99); The Faithful Preacher by Thabiti Anyabwile ($2.99); The Baker (Non-)Illustrated Bible Commentary ($1.99).

God is Faithful - It is good to be reminded again and again that God is faithful. Because otherwise we somehow begin to doubt it.

Punishment and Discipline - “God does not punish His children—He disciplines them. There is an enormous difference between punishment and discipline…”

Removing My Children from the Internet - A father explains why he chose to remove all traces of his children from the Internet.

Surreal Landscapes - There are some amazing and bizarre landscapes in this gallery.

My 9-Year Old Boss - “I got hired at a Bangladesh sweatshop. Meet my 9-year-old boss. Meem, 9, works 12-hour shifts at a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She dreams of becoming a sewing operator, buying more hair clips and helping her family.”

The Ultimate Secret - Here is the ultimate secret (which, of course, is really no secret at all) to effective communication: Hard work.

I was but a pen in God’s hands, and what praise is due to a pen? —Richard Baxter

October 14, 2013

Strange Fire - It has just been announced that since the Strange Fire conference sold out so quickly, it will be live-streamed to anyone who wants to watch it. It runs from this Wednesday to Friday. Would you be interested in having me live-blog it and making this a place we can discuss it? I find myself torn.

Breaking Good - R.C. Sproul Jr.: “With its final episode airing recently we heard an awful lot lately about Breaking Bad, a program that told the fictional story of a high school teacher and family man who becomes a vicious killer and cooker of meth. Like watching a car wreck we all have a morbid interest, to mix a metaphor, in moral crash landings.”

Reformation Art - Reformation Art is having a sale for the next few days; you can get 50% off anything in their catalog.

Imperfect Pastors - I quite enjoyed this article at True Woman on the bravery of imperfect pastors (which, as it happens, was penned by my mother).

Friend of Sinners, No Friend of Sin - “People reviled Jesus. They called him a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Have you ever been called names like this? Have I? Do we fear contamination from the world more than we have confidence in Christ’s power to cleanse?”

John Shelby Spong - Here’s a sad article on Spong and his lack of regrets as he looks back on life. “ ‘The older I get the more deeply I believe but the fewer beliefs I have,’” he said, citing an adage once relayed to him by an older bishop. ‘And I think that’s probably where I am. I have a sort of mystical awareness (of God) that’s indescribable, but I can’t avoid it. When I’m asked to define God I’m almost wordless.’”

Microsoft Mission Impossible - I still enjoy reading articles from the world of technology and this one does a good job of describing the challenge to the next CEO of Microsoft.

Intro to Drums - This is a fun and fascinating little video about drums. Yes, drums.

Keep praying, but be thankful that God’s answers are wiser than your prayers! —William Culbertson

October 12, 2013

Appreciating Our Differences - There is value in reading this article about appreciating differences in marriage; there may be a bit more value in actually filling out the assessment and talking it over.

A Slow Death to the Soul - I think the best part of Mez McConnell’s article on mercy ministry comes near the end when he says, “It is staggering but true that many churches just haven’t thought about what they are going to do with somebody who comes to faith through their mercy ministry. What is the discipleship strategy? Who will care for them? Who will hold them accountable? How will we move them forward in their walk with Jesus? How will we prepare them for whatever ‘work of service’ God has called them to?”

Gladwell’s Return to Faith - Here’s a short and interesting interview with bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell who describes a return to faith. (He grew up in a Mennonite home not far from where I live.)

Real Men Journal, Too - Writing for CBMW, Ivan Mesa offers seven reasons men should consider keeping a journal.

Harvest 2013 - It’s Thanksgiving weekend up here in Canada, so this harvest photo gallery seems appropriate.

Judgement, Salvation & the Living and the Dead - You may enjoy this sermon jam featuring Dick Lucas.

The Grace of Repenting to Your Kids - Do not be afraid of repenting to and in front of your children; they will respect you more, not less.

God’s heart, not mine, is the measure of his giving; not my capacity to receive, but his capacity to give. —C.H. Spurgeon

October 11, 2013

It has been a bit of a slow week for Kindle deals, but here is at least one to consider: Through the Eyes of C.H. Spurgeon by Stephen McCaskell ($2.99). You may want to go back and check out Tuesday’s deals. While we are on the subject of books, Canon Press is having a brief fall sale.

Mourn Over Your Sins - “Spiritual mourning is laden with blessing and we are to go after it and get as much of it in our lives as we possibly can. The more you know of this mourning, the more joy you will experience in your life. How does one receive the comfort that comes from spiritual mourning?” This brief article explains.

20 Tips for Personal Devotions - Yesterday David gave us 18 obstacles to personal devotions in a digital age; today he gives us 20 tips on doing it well. I especially agree with #5.

Cross-Culture Evangelism - John Folmar pastors a growing church in Dubai and offers several tips on how to do cross-culture evangelism.

Effective Personal Evangelism - Jeremy Walker is beginning a series that looks promising. He will be looking at effective personal evangelism.

Far Better Than I Could - If you have followed any of Thabiti Anyabwile’s thoughts on how to gain back the discussion on homosexuality, you will want to read his latest thoughts on the matter. In a similar vein, you may want to read this report of Rosaria Butterfield at USF.

There can be no peace between you and Christ while there is peace between you and sin. —C.H. Spurgeon

October 10, 2013

The Ayres Family Buried Eight Children - “Recently, we walked through the oldest cemetery in New Albany, Indiana, where the founders and many of our town’s first settlers are buried. We happened upon the family plot of a father, mother, and their eight children. These parents buried all of their sons and daughters before their oldest was even 20 years old. Contemplate this family’s story of hope-filled suffering.”

Feeling Shame Is Not Repentance - “Shame has its place, but feeling shame over sin is not the same thing as repentance from sin. Shame can come from wounded pride as much as it can come from our love for God. And when we allow the shame of one sin to lead us into more sin, the tempter can focus on small sins and still yield big results.”

The Best Way to Improve Your Preaching - Mike Leake has a good word on the best way to improve your preaching.

A Year of Biblical Womanhood - The forthcoming Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has a review of Rachel Held Evans’ book A Year of Biblical Womanhood. You can read the review now at CBMW.

Obstacles to Personal Devotions - David Murray lists eighteen obstacles to personal devotions in the digital age.

Ministry for Stay-at-Home Moms - At Practical Shepherding, Brian Croft tells how stay-at-home moms can have an especially effective ministry in a certain area of church life.

Touching His human nature, Jesus is no longer present with us. Touching his Divine nature, He is never absent from us. —R.C. Sproul

October 09, 2013

Do I Have to Know the Date? - “Pastor John, I was greatly troubled in a service recently when the preacher said that unless each person could identify the specific day that they prayed ‘the sinner’s prayer’ they were not converted. … I feel sure I am converted but this preacher has unsettled me enormously. What are your thoughts on this?”

Brothers, We Are Not Professionals - John Piper’s Brothers, We Are Not Professionals is $2.99 on Kindle.

Fighting the Good Fight - Rosaria Butterfield is fighting the good fight. Denny Burk brings you up to date.

This Is My Son - Greg Lucas shares a moving poem.

From the DMZ - David Platt and Francis Chan were standing at the DMZ between North and South Korea and “recorded this short, candid video reflecting on the realities of a closed country with little or no access to the gospel.”

Broken Lives of Fukushima - The Big Picture has a gallery of haunting images from the area around the Fukushima reactor.

If It Be Your Will - No one says it quite like R.C. Sproul.

Love is not maximum emotion. Love is maximum commitment. —Sinclair Ferguson

October 08, 2013

There are always some good Kindle deals on Tuesdays. Here they are: The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge ($0.99); The Kingdom of God by Morgan and Peterson ($0.99); Work Matters by Tom Nelson ($0.99); Joy by Lydia Brownback ($0.99); A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson ($3.99); The Gospel-Driven Life by Michael Horton ($3.99).

The Reformation and the Press - “This article is the first of two that will consider the importance of Johann Gutenberg’s movable type printing technology for the Protestant Reformation and how the new technology was employed effectively by Martin Luther in Germany.”

Your Pastor Needs You - Since I have become a pastor, articles like this take on a little more urgency.

Ministry Effectiveness and Retention Rates - Timothy Paul Jones looks at a much-quoted statistic. “But let’s suppose for just a moment that your ministry actually does have an abysmal attrition rate. What if your church really is losing nine out of ten attendees when they graduate from high school? Would that provide a sufficient motive to realign your congregation around an entirely new ministry model?”

Evangelism in the Workplace - Ashok Nachnani, writing for 9Marks, offers some helpful counsel on evangelism in the workplace.

Keep. On. Praying. - Here’s a reminder we need again and again. “So pray always and do not lose heart. You may have prayed for a loved one’s salvation for years and years and see no change yet. Don’t give up. Don’t stop praying.”

Praise and Criticism - J.D. Greear has some good thoughts on giving helpful praise and criticism: “Like most people, I like being praised. And I don’t enjoy receiving criticism. But not every example of praise or criticism is created equal.”

Don’t believe everything you think. You cannot be trusted to tell yourself the truth. Stay in The Word. —Jerry Bridges