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A La Carte

November 11, 2011

Misadventures in Babymaking - I found this episode of the Freakonomics podcast particularly interesting. It discusses the surprising beginnings of China’s ultra-destructive one-baby policy.

Protect Our Children - Thom Rainer: “Those who have read my articles or heard me speak probably know at least two things about me: I’m an avid college football fan, and I am devoted to my family. I have always respected the football tradition of Penn State. But the university’s sexual abuse scandal has saddened and angered me, because it is everyone’s job to protect our children.”

Child Abuse - There is lots of sound parenting wisdom in this blog post from the 9Marks blog.

Remembrance Day - Here is an interesting video posted just on time for Remembrance Day (which is November 11 in Canada, the UK and other countries).

McDonald’s - Here is a map of every McDonald’s in the US. No wonder there are weight problems down there!

A Boy and His Dog - My 5-year old girl is pretty much like this with our new puppy. 

Man Enough to Love a Real Woman - This article was posted a couple of months ago but it just crossed my desk (so to speak) today. It’s a great article on dating.

7 Billion - This infographic video does a great job of showing how our population has gotten to 7 billion (and where it’s going next).

A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God. —Robert Murray M’Cheyne

November 10, 2011

Too Healthy? - Some reflections on lessons learned from MLJ: “It’s important to learn from the past and to recognize that most problems have a way of coming full circle. This seems to be the case when it comes to the health of the church and of individual believers.”

Amazon’s Lending Library - Trouble is afoot when it comes to Amazon’s lending library. There are so many issues like this that remain to be worked out in the digital world!

Forest? What Forest? - Here’s the kind of parenting moment I think we can all identify with.

Suicide and Heaven - Ed Welch: “Here is the principle: theological questions are often personal questions in disguise; they are about the burdens on a person’s heart. Please do not respond with theological propositions or ethical guidelines. Instead, use these questions as the time to know and shepherd the person.”

iPad Wallpapers - Some swag for your iPad.

Who Wrote the Gospels? - Here’s a way of defending the authorship of the gospels.

The law of God is like a mirror; it can reveal flaws, but not remove them. —John Blanchard

November 09, 2011

Into the Light - “A few years ago, a friend of mine was keeping a very serious temptation in the dark. His friends and his pastor often asked questions about things that didn’t line up, but instead of seeing those questions as evidence of God’s mercy at work in his life, my friend continued to hide. He denied any wrongdoing and skirted the pointed questions about his past.”

Gettin’ Biblical - This blog is an interesting compilation of Bible-based art. Or, as the proprieter says, “Separating the Biblical design wheat from the Biblical design chaff.”

A Feminine Face - This writer for the Washington Post is surprised to find that many of today’s most ardent opponents of abortion are women—smart, articlulate and educated women, even.

Church History - Keith Mathison is beginning a new “recommended reading” series, this one dealing with church history.

Shining Shoes - It’s an art, don’t you know.

Second Chance - I don’t know anything about the organization, but this is an interesting little video.

God’s chief gift to those who seek him is himself. —E.B. Pusey

November 08, 2011

Unemployment - The Guardian has an interesting (and revealing) article about the true picture of U.S. unemployment. “US unemployment data is set to show the jobless rate steady at 9.1% – but a broader analysis puts the true rate at 16.5%.”

The Passion of Gaga - “Lady Gaga is not just a stage name; it’s an alter ego, a tool the 25-year-old uses as she masters the art of fame. While she claims music is her first passion and eccentric style her vehicle for expression, consistency in playing the part enables her to continuously shock the world.”

Turning Inward - “Tithing to mainline churches has reached its lowest level in at least 41 years. Of the smaller amount churches are receiving, a smaller proportion of church funds is serving the needy outside the congregation. These are two of the findings from an analysis of mainline churches’ tithing and giving patterns from 1968 to 2009 by Empty Tomb, Inc.”

Commuting Cost - Here’s an infographic that attempts to tabulate the true cost of commuting. The numbers may be a bit of a stretch, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

No man is worse for knowing the worst of himself. —Henry G. Bohn

November 07, 2011

Supply-Chain Secrets - I found this article just fascinating. It deals with Apple’s ability to completely control the supply chain and, with it, to gain huge advantages as a company.

For/Against Calvinism - Monergism Books is offering a great discount on the For and Against Calvinism 2-pack (one book by Roger Olsen, one by Michael Horton).

Begin in the Heart - “Jesus began the discussion regarding behavioral sins like porn not with the behavior, but with the heart … He placed the source or the genesis of our sin problems in the heart rather than the lip. … A man’s struggle with pornography does not begin in his culture, but in his heart. Paul appealed to us to make sure we ‘renew the spirit of our minds’ before we put on a new behavior (Ephesians. 4:22-24).”

Ice Machine - Some people just have a gift for noticing life’s little annoyances and mysteries. This guy explains why ice machines work the way they do.

Signs of Maturity - Clint Archer offers up 5 signs of growing spiritual maturity. “Let me start by saying that it’s not wrong for a new believer to be immature any more than it’s wrong for a child to be childish. Puerility is only annoying in an adult. When a four year old dons a cape and wears his underwear over his pants, claiming x-ray vision, it’s cute. When his dad does that, it’s concerning (or certifiable). When you’ve been a believer for many years though, lack of these indicators should be concerning.”

The Media and Bullying - An important article about the media and bullying.

A Swarm of Starlings - I love this kind of video.

If Christ’s soul had experienced no punishment he would have been only a Redeemer for the body. —John Calvin

November 05, 2011

The Lost Art of Meeting a Spouse - “When it comes to finding your soul mate, lots has changed in the last several years. With the rise of online dating, over 30 million people are now looking for love online. In fact, online dating sites have now passed up every other way married couples meet, save one: being introduced by a mutual friend.”

Thick and Thin - The Big Picture shares a photo essay about the world’s population, showing those areas where the population is thickest and thinnest.

Street Preaching - “Artur Pawlowski, who preaches to Calgary’s homeless, says the city’s unwillingness to ticket or prosecute Occupy Calgary protesters openly violating bylaws he himself has been charged for many times is proof that the city has a bias against Christians.”

Wi-Fi in Hotels - You’ve probably noticed this, as I have. “Largely because of the broad use of iPads and other mobile tablets, which are heavy users of video streaming, the guest room Wi-Fi networks that most hotels thought they had brought up to standard just a few years ago are now often groaning under user demands.”

The Church and Sexual Confusion - Some valuable words on sexual confusion.

He Has Sent Redemption - A great little video.

There is no menial work. Jesus came not as a philosopher, not as a general. He came as a carpenter. —Tim Keller

November 04, 2011

I am on my way to Sacramento, California this morning (with a ridiculous wake-up time of 3:55 in order to make it to the airport for 5:00 in order to make it to my flight at 7:00 in order to make my Chicago connection at 10:00 in order to get to Sacramento by 12:30 in order to speak at 2:30. But before all of that, I gathered a few links that jumped out at me yesterday:

Liquidators - “After the nuclear reactor explosion 25 years ago today that rained down radioactive material over Ukraine, Belarus, and western Russia, a corps of plant employees, firefighters, soldiers, miners, construction workers, and volunteers were called in to clean up the mess.” National Geographic has a photo gallery.

The Kingdom Gain of Congregationalism - “Congregationalism is administratively inefficient. It provokes quarrelling and divisiveness. It caters to the most immature members of a church. It cultivates individualism. It undermines pastors. And it just might add to global hunger, strife in the Middle East, and the commercialization of Christmas.”

The Old Is in the New Fulfilled - Dane Ortlund: “Seems to me that while it need not be the main point of every NT book, nevertheless every NT book in some way fulfills the hope of the OT, though each from its own perspective. One former prof of mine used to say that the NT is a 27-volume commentary on the OT. Truth to that.”

Desktop Wallpaper - The Resurgence has posted a nice desktop wallpaper as part of their growing collection.

In light of the fact that we must all die, the exact timing, surely, is of relatively little consequence. —D.A. Carson

November 03, 2011

Idealized Domesticity - I really enjoyed this article, largely because of the way it cuts to the heart of a matter. “In trying to help women feel better about doing laundry instead of office work, though, these authors have set up an unbiblical alternate ideal. Their musings about sacramentalism, euphoric experiences during mundane chores, or the holiness of changing diapers sound more like descriptions of a Roman Catholic nun running an orphanage, than a Protestant wife biblically parenting.”

Rescuing Ambition - Dave Harvey’s book Rescuing Ambition is on sale in the Kindle store for just $2.99. It’s totally worth that price.

Angry Birds - What a strange phenomenon: the game Angry Birds has just passed a half billion downloads. “Angry Birds Fans around the world have so far played a total of 200,000 years of Angry Birds, with 300 million minutes of playing time daily. Moreover, more than 266 billion levels of Angry Birds have been played, with 400 billion birds launched into action, and over 44 billion Stars collected in the process.” What a weird world we live in.

Harper + Nelson - I appreciated this bookstore owner’s thoughts on HarperCollins’ acquisition of Thomas Nelson. He draws out some of the implications.

Child Sacrifice - This is sick and shocking. “The ritual, which some believe brings wealth and good health, was almost unheard of in the country until about three years ago, but it has re-emerged, seemingly alongside a boom in the country’s economy. The mutilated bodies of children have been discovered at roadsides, the victims of an apparently growing belief in the power of human sacrifice.”

Getting Grace - Though this article from WORLD is targetted at home schoolers, any parent will benefit from reading it. “They noted that some parents think a move to the country and a lifestyle based on Little House on the Prairie ‘will transform our children’s hearts.’ The problem: ‘It doesn’t.’”

The man who does not set himself under the law of God sets himself above it. —John Blanchard