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A La Carte

April 05, 2012

He Buried 200 Church Members - Erik Raymond: “There in his office I was struck with so many emotions. Here stood a man who has buried over two hundred of his parishoners. And here I stand, a young-buck having buried a grand total of zero of our members.”

RYM Minute - R.C. Sproul hasn’t joined Twitter, but he’s done the audio equivalent with these new Renewing Your Mind minutes—short podcasts that get straight to the point.

Praying Past Our Preferred Outcomes - You can read the whole article, or just even read the first paragraph and you’ll have something to think about. “It is one thing to be asked to pray for another person. … However, it is another thing to be told what to ask God for in the situation. I’ve noticed that often requests for prayer come with specific instructions on how to pray. I call it a ‘please pray for my predetermined positive outcome’ request.”

The Crucifixion - This is a helpful article from Stand to Reason. It clearly outlines what took place in Jesus’ last few hours.

Banning Laptops - Yesterday I spent some time with the teachers at my old high school and a lot of our conversation was around issues like this—technology in the classroom. Should it be encouraged and discouraged? Should students be able to use their laptops in class, but without Internet access? So many new questions…

Daily Life - I enjoyed this photo gallery. “Nearly 2,000 images moved across the wires last month under the category ‘daily life’.” This is a gallery of some of the most interesting from around the world.

Nearness to God brings likeness to God. The more you see God the more of God will be seen in you. —C.H. Spurgeon

April 04, 2012

The Importance of Letters - I know that I don’t write as many letters as I should (as in old-fashioned letters); this article from WORLD affirms what I already know! The author says that Christians—people of the written Word—should not lose the skill of writing letters.

How Eternity Shapes Our Mundane - “Parental amnesia is not just where you walk into a room and forget why you’re carrying the laundry basket with four dirty coffee mugs in it. That’s called normal. Parental amnesia is where we forget about two things: tomorrow and eternity.”

Consequentialism - I appreciate what Bob Glenn says in this article. He applies it specifically to Mark Driscoll but the application can certainly go far wider than that.

D&D @ T4G - If you’re heading to Together for the Gospel and are anxious for even more, you may want to check out this pre-conference event. There will be “a pre-conference dinner from Chuy’s Tex Mex, followed by a panel discussion on Christ-centered theology and ministry. Dialogue will feature Josh Harris, Carl Trueman, Matt Pinson, Jeff Bethke and J.D. Greear, hosted by Russell D. Moore.”

The Gospel of the Bible - A couple of years ago I spoke at a conference here in Toronto that has subsequently been turned into a book. IVP has just published my contribution online. (Other contributors to the book include Andy Crouch, Ron Sider, Shane Claiborne—rather an eclectic mix.)

Free Music - Page CXVI is giving away an album for Easter.

Dirt - A unique video for an interesting song.

I never preach a sermon without thinking that possibly the Lord may come before I preach another. —D.L. Moody

April 03, 2012

With the new month comes quite a few new Kindle deals. Rid of My Disgrace by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb and Jeremy Lin by Ted Kluck are both free. Tullian Tchividjian’s Jesus + Nothing = Everything is down to $4.99 as is Mike Wilkerson’s Redemption. Ken Ham’s The New Answers Book and Peter Hitchens’ The Rage Against God are down to $2.99.

Is Easter too Violent for Kids? - “Every year, around this time, parents and churches ponder how to communicate the Easter story to children, as something more than dyed eggs. The problem is, of course, that it’s impossible to talk about the resurrection of Jesus without talking about death. And, in the case of Jesus, it’s really hard to talk about death without talking about crucifixion.”

Pinterest - Pinterest is the latest social media phenomenon. I waited a long time before joining in, but can’t deny that I’m quite enjoying the experience. I’m collecting infographics, wallpapers, art and other things that may be of interest to Christians.

On Being a Black, Female, Christian - Trillia Newbell offers up some interesting reflections on what it means to be a black, Christian female in a predominantly white church.

Nature’s Best Photography - There are some outstanding photos here; the one you’ll see when you click is just stunning. Scroll down and you’ll find some more.

Themelios - If you’re feeling scholarly today, you may want to check out the latest edition of Themelios.

An Athlete and His Money - Ever wondered why it is that an athlete can make millions in his career and be bankrupt as soon as he stops playing? GQ explains. (The link is safe and clean but you don’t necessariliy want to go rooting around the GQ site.)

If the Holy Spirit guides us at all, he will do it according to the Scriptures, and never contrary to them. —George Muller

April 02, 2012

Women Are Not Fish - Mary Kassian looks at Gloria Steinem’s famous quip “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” and says “Today’s young woman is taught to value personal power and independence. She can WIN! She doesn’t need men. Indeed, in order to truly win, she must do so without them. Men are the bad guys. They’re the ones who stand in the way of a woman reaching her full potential.”

30 Things to Remember in Seminary - Burk Parsons: “Seminary is an academic graduate school, indeed, but, more fundamentally, it is a training institution for those who believe they have been called by God to give the entirety of their lives to fulfill the Great Commission—at whatever cost. It should be no surprise, then, that it’s in the seminary where our Enemy is seeking someone to devour, accuse, and deceive.”

Don’t Do Seminary Without the Church - On the subject of seminary, Denny Burk challenges the seminarian to remain firmly planted in a local church during his studies.

The Poor and the Lottery - “The Mega Millions jackpot makes this the week to talk about lottery economics, so here’s a whopper: Households earning less than $13,000 a year spend a shocking 9% of their money on lottery tickets, Henry Blodget relays from a PBS report. Are they clueless? Are they desperate? Are they economical? Maybe, probably, and possibly.”

Quadruplets - Here’s a Monday morning laugh (or giggle, at least). ImprovEverywhere conscripts eight sets of identical quadruplets and uses them to create a surreal experience for anyone who happened to be walking through the park.

[Supposed] Myths about Revelation - The book of Revelation has been in the news lately since it is the subject of a book that has been on the bestseller lists. Here CNN shares 4 things about Revelation that the author of this book identifies as myths. It’s a classic case of a scholar speaking boldly and confidently (and wrongly!) and taking people along in her error. Like when she says that the author of Revelation was not a Christian.

The best measure of a spiritual life is not its escstasies but its obedience. —Oswald Chambers

March 31, 2012

A Suicidal Craze - John Piper discusses the folly of the lottery. He said it well in a tweet: “Can you picture Jesus playing the lottery?” In this article he says, “There are at least seven reasons you should not gamble with your money in this way — and should tell your congressmen not to support it.”

Amazon’s New Robots - This is amazing! “Amazon announced recently that they bought a company named Kiva for $775 million. In cash. Kiva makes robots for fulfillment warehouses, of which Amazon has many. When I heard this news, I was all, robots are cool, but $775 million? But this short video on how the Kiva robots work made me a believer…”

What a Writer Owes a Reader? - “As readers, do we have a right to act as if a writer owes us something? I think we do, but not in the way that we most often make the claim. As readers we are not owed something we like or with which we agree. But writers do owe us something,a whole combination of somethings, in fact.”

The Life We Long For - James Hamilton writes about Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road, a very, very powerful book.

If you live in Souther Ontario, you may be interested in two conferences coming our way: Simeon Trust will be in Mississauga from May 2-4 while Gospel Coalition will be here from May 29-31.

A home with no head is a disaster, one with two is a monstrosity. —John Blanchard

March 30, 2012

Rescued - I didn’t cry while reading this article. I just had something in my eye. Honest. “When I was just a little girl, like a wee little thing, I had a different mom and dad. And they were kind to me, but they had hurts and they had addictions and they didn’t know how to take care of themselves, much less a wee girl and her little brother.”

Goodnight Moon - A strange and unexpected article, this. “For all the years that I had been reading Goodnight Moon to some child or another, I had been picturing its author as a plump, maternal presence, someone like the quiet old lady in the rocking chair whispering, ‘Hush’.” The truth is quite surprising.

Greater Than Our Hearts - In honor of the birthday of Charles Wesley, Matthew Smith is offering a Wesley track as a free download. Get it today because tomorrow will be too late!

United Families Dividing Churches - I find this article a kind and helpful introduction to and critique of the Family Integrated Church movement. 

A Currency Without Currency - Canada is getting rid of the penny. Do you see how progressive and cool we are?

Pilgrim’s Progress for Kids - Over at Redeemed Reader you can now download A Children’s Guide to The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Keeping Up to Date with Greek - I forgot almost all my Greek years ago, but I have it on good authority that many others try to keep it up. This article deals with the subject.

Begin early to teach, for children begin early to sin. —C.H. Spurgeon

March 29, 2012

Keeping Priorities in View - “Bible scholar Don Carson cautions us about parental hypocrisy by recalling the enduring impact of his parents’ prayerful example.” This is a beautiful article.

The Kokomo Krusade - I loved reading this short anecdote from the life of James Montgomery Boice. “Like a call from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, back when I was a young pastor years ago the secretary of  James Montgomery Boice, the famous pastor whom I had never met, called and asked if I would like for Dr. Boice to preach for us in Kokomo.  I could not believe it then, so perhaps you do not believe me now.  So here’s the story.”

Are Your Sermons Too Long? - Denny Burk shares some wisdom from Charles Spurgeon.

The View - “Recently a Texas judge upheld a law that requires a woman to be shown an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion. His decision was discussed on The View and Joyce Behar and Barbara Walters made the following stunning statements…”

Christian Book Awards - Christian Book Awards tend to be as unhinged from reality as every other awards, but they’re still interesting. ECPA has just released its list for 2012.

Unexpected Joy - Watch it!

Prayerfulness is Calvinism at its best. It is a simple, open, honest declaration in the presence of God of total helplessness. —Martin Holdt

March 28, 2012

John Piper’s Successor - “The Bethlehem elders are announcing to the congregation their candidate for Associate Pastor for Preaching and Vision and, God willing, John Piper’s eventual successor as the church’s senior pastor. Jason Meyer, 36-year-old Assistant Professor of New Testament for Bethlehem College and Seminary, is the elders’ recommendation for congregational consideration and vote at a special May 20 all-church meeting.”

Gratefulness for Your Spouse - Brian Croft: “ I have discovered a wonderful antidote when especially young married couples lose sight of the gratefulness all Christians should have in the joy of Christian marriage and instead try to nitpick their spouse with an ungrateful heart.”

If You Were a Missionary - “I had a great visit with a church member recently. In our discussion he hit on a point that I believe many Christians have a burden for. Essentially he was concerned with intentionally integrating Christ in all that he does, in particular his work environment.”

For the CityFor the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel by Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter is on sale in Kindle format for $2.99.

When Is it Right to Argue? - When is it right to argue with referees or officials? 

He who obeys sincerely endeavors to obey thoroughly. —Thomas Brooks