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A La Carte

June 06, 2012

Snake-Handling Believers - This is a fascinating article from The Tennessean: “Since the early 1900s, a handful of true believers in East Tennessee and other parts of Appalachia have practiced the so-called signs of the gospel, found in a little-known passage in the King James Version of the Gospel of Mark.”

What Every Husband Needs to Know - Gloria Furman tells us what every husband needs to know about stay at home moms. (Here’s another article on a similar subject)

Was Solomon a Good King? - “The reign of King Solomon is traditionally viewed as the Golden Age of Israel’s history. A king known for his great wisdom, Solomon oversaw an era of peace and prosperity, expanded Israel’s boundaries in every direction, and ordered the construction of the Temple.” But there’s more to the story.

Rural Ministry - When so many church planting and church growth strategies insist upon the importance of the city, it’s important to affirm that rural ministry is not second rate.

Southern Baptists and Salvation - You may have heard of that recent document titled “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.” Al Mohler tells us what it is, why it matters, and why he can’t sign it.

Those that will not be governed by God’s scepter will certainly and justly be devoured by his sword. —Matthew Henry

June 05, 2012

Christianity, Unplugged - “In the twenty-first century, being alone and withdrawing mean much more than being the only person in the room. They mea n being unplugged. In our appreciation for the help that technology can bring, we have perhaps been unaware of its more subtle dangers.”

Teaching Preaching - Pastors and church leaders may want to take a look at this article from The Briefing. It describes how one man went about teaching his future leaders to preach.

C.H. Spurgeon Quotes - Charles Spurgeon may well be the most quotable preacher in the history of the church. This is a new site dedicated to sharing some of his best quotes. Most of them are around a paragraph in length.

Acorn Antenna - I love YouTube because it allows me to see things like this.

Maintaining Stability in China - Gene Veith excerpts the most important bits of an interesting article that discusses what it means to “maintain stability” in China.

Isaiah by the Day - Collin Hansen has an interesting interview with Alec Motyer who recently published Isaiah by the Day. Motyer talks about the book of Isaiah, how to understand it, and so on.

Satisfied In You - Brian Eichelberger’s adaption of Psalm 42 is really powerful.

The only certain proof of my election is that today I am following the Lord. —R.C. Lucas

June 04, 2012

Grace to You - The June issue of Tabletalk magazine has an interview with John MacArthur. I think the most interesting bit comes at the end where he discusses his friendship with R.C. Sproul.

That Dog Walking to Two Legs - In this article Carl Trueman writes about a research service meant to help pastors prepare their sermons. Even though I do not use such a service and don’t know anyone who does, I still found it a valuable read because of the way Trueman argues against it.

The Daniel Diet - Michael Horton writes about the Daniel Diet, the subject of a recent article in TIME and a diet that Rick Warren is endorsing (and using at Saddleback).

The Seduction of Pornography - This is a very helpful article from Dr. Mohler, primarily because of his discussion of the ways in which a husband “earns” the privilege of sex within marriage. “When I say that a husband must regularly ‘earn’ privileged access to the marital bed, I mean that a husband owes his wife the confidence, affection, and emotional support that would lead her to freely give herself to her husband in the act of sex.”

Tim Keller’s Top-Ten Evangelism Tips - “A while ago on our elder retreat we listened to a talk Tim Keller gave at Lausanne. As part of that talk he gave 10 tips to help our lay folk in their evangelism. They were so helpful I wanted to put them down somewhere, so here they are…”

Fred Luter - The L.A. Times profiles Fred Luter, the man who will soon be the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

A Marriage Sermon - Jim Hamilton raves about Denny Burk’s sermon on marriage. I listened to it this morning and found it well worth the listen. It serves as a great marriage refresher. Do yourself a favor and don’t read the poem on Jim’s site until you’ve heard it in the sermon.

No attribute of God is more dreadful to sinners than his holiness. —Matthew Henry

June 01, 2012

Able to Teach - Here is help from Thabiti Anyabwile on what the Apostle Paul meant when he said that an elder or pastor must be “able to teach.”

Economics for Everybody - This looks like a fascinating new teaching series from R.C. Sproul Jr. It should be available this summer. “Everybody talks about it. The news is full of it. But most Christians know very little about it. Economics: it’s everywhere, influencing everything, and so rarely understood.” I asked really nicely and they made the first episode free for you to watch.

Just Go Outside - I’m not sure what the organization is all about, but this commercial is pretty clever. It offers the cure for social media addiction.

20 Things - Here are twenty things that every counselor hears from the people he speaks with. Do you know how to answer these things?

How Fear Robs Me - This is a helpful reflection on all the fear of man can rob from you.

The Driving Force of Your Prayer Life - I enjoyed this article on the petition “Hallowed be your name.” “This is the highest request we could ever attain to make of God, for it is this which is His own most foundational and most ultimate commitment. He Himself has stated that He does all He does with a chief regard for the glory of His own name.”

The grace of God does not find men fit for salvation, but makes them so. —Augustine

May 31, 2012

Challies, Voskamp, and All Us Girls - There have been a lot of reactions to my review of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gift, ranging from the outrageous to the encouraging. I found this one from The Christian Pundit particularly helpful.

7 Evils of a Grumbling Spirit - BJ Stockman goes to Jeremiah Burroughs and The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment to find the seven evils of a grumbling spirit. (HT)

Dear Digital Son - A father writes a clever letter to his graduating son. “As you prepare to graduate, I hope you’ll remember there’s more to life than the Kardashians, 46-pound cats and texting in incomplete sentences.”

Fifty Shades of Grey - “Undoubtedly, the series portrays BDSM in the context of an engaging, passionate, tender, romantic relationship that culminates in the characters falling in love, and the conflicted girl assuaging the billionaire’s troubled soul. But it doesn’t matter to me how the author sweetens it up. The tasty red Kool-Aid doesn’t offset the bitter poison. Smut is still smut.”

Works and Words - This article explains why you can’t preach the gospel with deeds. “When it comes to the enduring question of word versus deed in the Christian’s calling, the issue is always one of balance. How are Christians to think about the relative roles of words (proclaiming the gospel) and deeds (loving action) in what Christ has called his people to be and do? We need to set our scales to a balance that matches Scripture.”

There are no non-religious activities; only religious and irreligious. —C.S. Lewis

May 30, 2012

Indelible Grace - “Indelible Grace is making a new CD this summer!  We are going into the studio this summer to make Indelible Grace VI, a new collection of old hymn texts set to new music.” They have a kickstarter campaign underway to fund the album

Planned Parenthood - “A hidden camera disclosed a PP worker counseling a patient about sex selective abortion. The patient claimed that she only wanted a boy and that she intended to kill the unborn child if an ultrasound indicated it was a girl. The worker showed the patient exactly how to get this done.” Denny Burk discusses the problem and response.

Going to Church - Christine Jensen writes down some of her top tips on going to church as a family.

Defending Polygamy - People have long said that once homsexual marriage has been accepted (thus unmooring it from its biblical foundation) polygamous marriage cannot be far behind. Here’s an article that suggests this very thing.

The Journal of Biblical Counseling - A new edition of The Journal of Biblical Counseling is available for (free) download or reading in your browser. It’s always worth a read.

If a man tells me that he is humble, I know him to be profoundly proud. —C.H. Spurgeon

May 29, 2012

Why We Lie - This is a thoroughly secular, but still interesting take on why it is that human beings lie. “We like to believe that a few bad apples spoil the virtuous bunch. But research shows that everyone cheats a little—right up to the point where they lose their sense of integrity.”

Colosse - It’s amazing how much you can accomplish with just a couple of minutes of music and animation.

What Mentors Should Model - “Dave Kraft writes about his early mentor Warren Myers, what he learned from this man who had a significant impact on his life, and the value of having strong Christian mentors.”

Am I Called to Preach? - This is a helpful framework to help answer that question.

Is the Bible Reliable? - Here is some helpful counsel on how to answer when someone says that the Bible is not reliable.

Porn and Marriage - Dr. Mohler is writing a two-part series on the seduction of pornography and the integrity of Christian marriage.

History is silent about revivals that did not begin with prayer. —J. Edwin Orr

May 28, 2012

I trust that my American readers will enjoy their Memorial Day today (and presumably most of them will enjoy the day by not spending a lot of time online). For the rest of us, here are some links worth checking out:

Six Ways of Minimizing Sin - “I found these six ways of minimizing sin to be very instructive regarding gospel-centered sanctification/mortification of sin. Take a moment and examine your fight against sin, the ways you are prone to minimize sin, and develop an intentional strategy to renounce them.”

Honoring a Sufi Saint - I looked at this photo gallery and realized that it shows why religious experience is not inherently trustworthy. Here are people having genuine religious experience, but in honor of a pagan.

Author vs Author Putdowns - “One man’s Shakespeare is another man’s trash fiction.” Here are some of the most scathing author vs author putdowns of all time. This makes an interesting study in envy…

The Best Funeral Sermon - Paul Levy says, “This sermon should be read by every preacher regardless of what you think of John Stott. Let me give you a quote and his concluding applications.”

In his natural state, every man born into the world is a rank idolater. —John Wesley