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A La Carte

July 13, 2012

Amazon’s Same-Day Service - Amazon has a new tactic in battling retail stories: “Now that it has agreed to collect sales taxes, [Amazon] can legally set up warehouses right inside some of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation. Why would it want to do that? Because Amazon’s new goal is to get stuff to you immediately—as soon as a few hours after you hit Buy.”

Cutting Christ to Pieces - Writing for Christianity Today, Michael Horton shows that “struggling with homosexuality is a paradox, but embracing homosexuality is a contradiction.” He responds specifically to “the controversy provoked by a recent interview in the Atlantic with Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus International.”

Mercy Ministry in the Church - The new edition of the 9Marks Journal is out. It focuses on mercy ministry in the local church.

The Reformation in Lego - Not the whole Reformation—just Luther before the Diet of Worms.

Daughters - Timothy Dalrymple writes about sex-selective abortions while celebrating his love for his daughter.

My Husband’s Helper - Martha Krienke has a helpful look at how she seeks to interpret the role of “helper” in her marriage.

It is a good rule never to look into the face of man in the morning till you have looked into the face of God. —C.H. Spurgeon

July 12, 2012

When Christianity Became Cool - Gene Veith: “The 1970s was a time of hippies, free love, psychedelic drugs, and cultural revolution.  But it was also a time of major religious revival, with the ‘Jesus Movement’ gaining headway in that very counter-culture.  How could that be?  Baylor professor Philip Jenkins credits the Byrds, who popularized a recovery of American roots music, much of which is explicitly Christian.”

An Amazing Find - “As the Toledo Blade reports, when Karl Kissner and his cousins were clearing out his grandfather’s home in Defiance, Ohio, on Feb. 29 they came across a box of very rare and very valuable baseball cards.” Three million dollars’ worth…

Open Your Doors - Open Your Doors is a fantastic album by Jenny & Tyler. It’s on sale on iTunes for just $3.99. Be sure to give a listen to “See the Conqueror.”

Expository Thoughts - Banner of Truth has quite a deal going on J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels. The set of 7 volumes is marked down to just $65. If you’re a pastor, you can get it for just $25.

A New Way to Multitask - This is some clever silliness from Google.

Labelling and Identity Crisis - My main takeaway from this article was the societal obsession with labelling ourselves down to the smallest part of our identity. “The sexual identity label has become a method of reducing individuals to a micro narrative of sexual orientation. In man’s created need to transcend himself, this self-referencing label creates a personal crisis of identity and purpose.”

The Rock Solid Bible - I kind of wish this wasn’t an advertisement. Still, it’s quite well done… 

Seducers are more dangerous enemies to the church than persecutors. —Matthew Henry

July 11, 2012

Seeking to Reveal the Unseen - I enjoyed this interview with Randy Alcorn. He talks about his average day, his philosophy of writing, and so on. He’s another one of these guys who manages to be productive long after most of us have become comatose.

Beeke Blog - Joel Beeke has hit the blogosophere at JoelBeeke.org.

Government Laser Scanners - What used to be the realm of science fiction is increasingly becoming real. “Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you.”

R.C. Sproul on Miracles - “I get this question all the time, ‘R.C., do you believe that miracles happen today?’ If you want me to give the simple answer, the answer is no.” But there’s more to the story than that, of course.

Jobs Versus Net Jobs - “One of the reasons for the popularity of political rhetoric is that everybody can be right, in terms of their own rhetoric, no matter how much the rhetoric of one side contradicts that of the other side.” Thomas Sowell looks at common political parlance surrounding jobs and net jobs.

The Daily Gospel - Rapper Timothy Brindle has a new album coming out in a couple of weeks. You can download one of the singles, “The Daily Gospel,” for free. 

How to Write a Country Song - You’ll enjoy this.

It is the mark of a hyprocrite to be a Christian everywhere except at home. —Robert Murray M’Cheyne

July 10, 2012

The Absent Minded Husband - I’m posting this one at the top in the hope that my wife will read it and develop a whole new sympathy for…wait, what was I talking about again?

Making Sense of Inconsitency - Tim Keller has penned an article “considering the larger issue of inconsistency regarding things mentioned in the Old Testament no longer practiced by the New Testament people of God. Most Christians don’t know what to say when confronted about this issue. Here’s a short course on the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament.”

The Smithsonian and the Creation Museum - This is kind of funny. “Secularists openly and frequently mock the Creation Museum. With name calling and all sorts of false accusations, they attempt (futilely) to discredit this high-quality professional facility. Well, here is something ironic! The Smithsonian (unknowingly, I’m sure) has used a photograph of one of the dinosaurs inside our Creation Museum on a major promotional brochure for its popular IMAX shows…”

Youth Group Project - Here’s an amazing project for a youth group. “I was driving down Main Street and saw a tent pitched outside of a residence that was next to the downtown business district. A bunch of teenagers were milling about. There was a podium, and it looked like someone was reading from it. A sign said, ‘I ate them.com.’”

Empty and Powerless - A sweet article from Ray Ortlund. “Today would have been my dad’s eighty-ninth birthday. I am missing him today. I miss him every day. I miss him more than I can say.”

The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God. —D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

July 09, 2012

Proven Weapons - John Piper: “Having promises at hand that suit the temptation of the hour is one key to successful warfare against sin. But there are times when we don’t have a perfectly suited word from God in our minds. And there is no time to look through the Bible for a tailor-made promise. So we all need to have a small arsenal of general promises ready to use whenever fear or craving threaten to lead us astray.” Read it!

Secular Beatitudes - I haven’t listened to the sermon, but I did appreciate Josh Harris’ list of secular beatitudes.

Financial Strategy - Rick Thomas has a helpful look at creating a financial strategy for your family finances. As he says, this is not the way, but one way, of doing it. But everyone ought to have some deliberate plan for faithfully stewarding the money God gives us.

State Names - Here’s a brief look at how all 50 states got their names.

The Missional Mom - Mary Kassian does a good job of reviewing a book about being a missional mom. “I’m all for women living out their motherhood in light of the Great Commission, being intentional about ministry, and engaging in the lives of others in appropriate ways in the various seasons of life. Lee’s book challenges moms to be missional. I just wish it had affirmed that when a woman has young children, they are an important part of her mission—and that sometimes, the most missional thing a mom can do is to say “no” to outside opportunities and focus on being a mom.”

We must fall into the arms of Christ or into the flames of hell. —John Mason

July 07, 2012

God Is Merciful - This is a fantastic article from Jon Bloom. He explains why God is merciful not to tell us everything. “God is merciful not to tell us everything. He tells us enough to sustain us if we trust him. But often it does not feel like enough. We really think we would like to know more.”

CERN Probes Big Bang - William Lane Craig: “That atheists should get all excited about the theological implications of the experiments which will be conducted at CERN’s new Large Hadron Collider, which was successfully activated last Wednesday, reveals, I think, how desperate they are to wish away the evidence of current cosmology for the beginning and fine-tuning of the universe.”

Multitasking - Here’s a look at what goes on in your brain when you multitask.

Read On! - Here’s some encouragement to slow readers.

Your Child and Porn - Here are five critical steps if you learn that your child has been looking at pornography.

How a Face Forms - You’ve got to be careful with videos like this, or people will begin to think that this isn’t just a fetus but actually a human baby. Science is always on the side of those who are pro-life.

Death is like my car. It takes me where I want to go. —John Piper

July 06, 2012

Tabletalk in Canada - Here’s some good news for Canadians: Ligonier’s Tabletalk magazine is now available in Canada for the same price as in the U.S. You’ll now get 12 issues for just $23. You know what to do…

First Book Syndrome - Andy writes about a common issue with first-time authors: “The problem is that a book about everything is a book about nothing. Look at any nonfiction bestseller list. The books are on very specific topics—a biography of a famous person, a specific health plan, a plan to become wealthy, an analysis of current politics, and on it goes.”

The End of eBooks - This article says that the distinction between “the Internet” and “books” is arbitrary, and will disappear in 5 years. Start adjusting now. 

Josh Garrells - Josh Garrells has a new b-sides and remixes album that is free for the download.

Master Craftsmen - Writing for WORLD magazine, Randy Alcorn shows that “talented authors are showing that the stereotype of sugar-coated Christian fiction does not match reality.”

First They Came For… - This article discusses who is really being marginalized in society today.

How Pain Relievers Work - I’ve wondered in the past how pain relievers work. Now I know.

If the college you visit has a bookstore filled with t-shirts rather than books, find another college. —Al Mohler

July 05, 2012

4 Reasons Men Like Porn - “One of the tasks of a good friend or accountability partner to someone who is entrenched in pornography is to help them understand their own heart. Why do they run to porn again and again?” Here is a helpful look at reasons men may be drawn to pornography.

Norway in Pictures - Here’s a gallery of some beautiful pictures of Norway. It’s pure eye candy!

Hot Weather in Richmond - This is rather an unusual forecast.

Count Robert de La Rochefoucauld - Al Mohler says this is a must-read obituary and I’m inclined to agree. What a fascinating life!

1 Billion Hours - Netflix users watched a billion hours of streaming video last month. This means that the average user watched about 80 minutes per day. I guess I’m not pulling my weight!

From Shepherd to King - Here’s a nice little infographic that traces David’s path from shepherd to king.

Praying for Salvation - Michael Horton addresses Roger Olson on whether or not Christians should pray that God will save their loved ones. “Arminians shouldn’t pray for God to save their loved ones, because God could reply, ‘Look, I’ve done my part; now the ball is in your court.’ Yet, I note, Arminians are typically no less zealous in praying for the salvation of the lost than Calvinists. We’re at one on our knees.”

Christ is the cause of the greatest division, but he is also the medium of the greatest union. —C.H. Spurgeon