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A La Carte

July 01, 2011

Happy Canada Day! It’s July 1 which makes it Canada up here in the great white north—a day we celebrate the great nation God has given us. It’s always a good day.

Who Is Coming to America? - An interesting infographic.

Erasing Hell - Monergism Books is offering great pricing on Francis Chan’s new book Erasing Hell (which is, of course, a response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins). They also have a very deep discount on R.C. Sproul’s When Worlds Collide ($3.75) and Carl Trueman’s new Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

Good Bible Translators - Andy Naselli shares an excerpt that shows just some of the difficulties that come in trying to translate God’s Word.

Search Committees - Mark Dever asks what’s wrong with pastoral search committees. He also answers the question, of course.

Cruciform Press - I’m encouraged by what this pastor says about Cruciform Press: “Thus far, I’ve received Cruciform, But God and Smooth Stones. I’ve managed to read each book in less than a day (usually two sittings), but each has required significantly longer to consider and think about. I don’t know what your book budget is, but I’m almost certain you can justify $6.49 to broaden your theological scope and widen it’s depth. I honestly don’t think you can afford not to.”

Like Whatever, You Know - You’ll enjoy this, I think. (HT)

Do not give fair names to foul sins. Call them what you will, they will smell no sweeter.C.H. Spurgeon

June 30, 2011

The Pain of Loneliness - This is an article I wrote for Boundless; they published it yesterday. “Could you go just one day without checking e-mail? And without logging in to Facebook? And without using a cell phone? And without turning on your television? Could you go 24 hours without using any media at all? This was a question put forward by the International Center for Media and Public Affairs and a challenge accepted by 1,000 university students worldwide.”

Family Worship - This sentence alone makes this article worth a read: “There is a reason kids loved to be around Jesus, and it wasn’t because he was lecturing at length about the Torah or the Five Points of Calvinism.”

My Dad’s 5 Vows - Ray Ortlund: “On 19 June 2003 my dad wrote down these five vows that he made before the Lord…”

Yard Sale - For 24 hours on June 30th only, Shepherd Press is offering a list of 6 titles for $1.99 each. This sale will begin at 12:00am Eastern on June 30th and will conclude at 11:59pm. There will be a limit of 10 copies of each discounted item per order.

Email Charter - We all need something like this. (HT)

Trellis & Vine - There will be a series of Trellis & Vine conferences this Fall. “If you had to draw a diagram that represented the ministry in your church,what would it look like? What if our mental image was not of an organisation or a structure but of the people God had brought together in our church? And what if the key question we asked was: Who is getting alongside each person to invest in their livesand help them grow towards maturity in Christ? This is a different vision of church—not as an organisation, but as a community of disciple-making disciples.” Sounds intriguing.

Don’t Waste Your Life - This message doesn’t ever really get old, does it?

If the God of the Bible is the one true and living God, the keeping of his precepts is the only true morality. —R.B. Kuiper

June 29, 2011

Where Are the Presses? - A little insider’s perspective from a major publisher: “When people visit InterVarsity Press, they often ask where the printing presses are. I show them our copiers—the closest thing we’ve got. Our books are printed all over the country and sometimes around the world—all on printing presses owned by others. Even the biggest publishers do not own printing presses. Why?”

Small is the Kingdom Big - Ed Stetzer: “Too many church leaders are like the teenage girl who thinks the beautiful actress she sees every day on TV is normal. It is a skewed view of reality. Actually, what’s normal (and very valuable) is small churches living on mission in their contexts, being about the business of the kingdom of God.”

Pastor Paul Martin - My friend Julian, who recently left Grace Fellowship Church to begin a church plant (and whose position at the church I have assumed) has penned a loving tribute to Paul Martin, the guy I get to work with every day. It’s worth the read.

Brave - The trailer for the next Pixar movie.

Yali Jubilee - I enjoyed this video, showing a jubilee held to mark the 50th anniversary of the gospel coming to the Yali people.

Hate, like love, picks up every shred of evidence to justify itself. —Os Guinness

June 28, 2011

Yesterday the fire department showed up at my kids’ school during their almost-year-end fun day. They said something about a fire drill and lined all of the kids up. Then they turned the hoses on them. My kids seemed to regard it as the best thing that’s happened to them in a long time.

What Not to Share - I just came across this blog which features a mother-daughter team writing about life as pastors’ wives. This article about what not to share between a pastor and his wife is definitely worth the read.

Fallout Shelter - The Atlantic gives a tour of a 60’s era fallout shelter.

Leisure Reading Racial Gap - This column by Mark Bauerlein is perhaps a bit random, but it’s interesting nonetheless. he talks about the racial reading gap.

Contentment - Amy does it again, this time discussing contentment.

Multi-Site Goes Interstate - From CT: “Pastor Mark Driscoll’s megachurch recently announced plans to expand into Portland, Oregon, and Orange County, California, using multi-site campuses that feature live bands and a sermon piped in from the main campus in Seattle.”

In the Footsteps of Hitler - Conrad Mbewe recently traveled to Germany and was rather shaken by his experience. It’s worth reading about it as he reflects on the nature of evil.

Surviving the Age of Distraction - “Read a book with your laptop thrumming. It can feel like trying to read in the middle of a party where everyone is shouting…” This article on distraction is a good read.

No sin is small. It is against an infinite God and may have consequences immeasurable. No grain of sand is small in the mechanism of a watch. —Jeremy Taylor

June 27, 2011

Evil for Evil - This is a good and important article about prison rape. “[M]ost of the perpetrators were not other prisoners but staff members—corrections officials whose job it is to keep inmates safe. On average, each victim was abused between three and five times over the course of the year. The vast majority were too fearful of reprisals to seek help or file a formal complaint (emphasis mine).”

Ghosts of WW2 - This person has taken modern photographs and blended them with photographs from World War 2 with very interesting results.

Your Social Media Profile - This seems kind of scary, doesn’t it? “The FTC has given thumbs up to a company, Social Intelligence Corp., selling a new kind of employee background check to employers. This one scours the internet for your posts and pictures to social media sites and creates a file of all the dumb stuff you ever uploaded online.” This makes it harder than ever to escape past misdeeds.

You’re Worse Than You Think - Bob Glenn offers a word to pastors: “One of the occupational hazards of pastoral ministry is that you are often the subject of people’s destructive criticism, gossip, slander, misrepresentation, foolish inferences, ignorant speculations, and the like. And any pastor who’s being honest with himself - even a hard-nosed guy like me - will admit that the hurtful things people say are just that - hurtful. They hurt.”

The Tragic, Ironic Consequences - “Abortion has become the primary means of eliminat­ing unwanted females across the globe. More girls than boys are now being killed by abortion. To kill an unborn female is to kill a young woman. There can be no equal rights for all women until there are equal rights for unborn women.”

Surprising His Sister - You’ll probably cry when you see this. My question is, why? What is it in us that turns on the waterworks when we see something like it?

As creatures, we have no right or reason to expect that at every point we shall be able to comprehend the wisdom of our Creator. J.I. Packer

June 25, 2011

Author Interviews - Michael Hyatt has written a good post full of tips for authors who are being interviewed. “If you are a published author—or plan to be one—you will inevitably be asked to appear on a radio, television, or Internet show to talk about your book. It’s critical that you learn to do this well. Assuming you have written a good book, nothing drives sales of it more than publicity.”

Signs Your Sermon Isn’t Going Well - Mike Wittmer offers up a top-13 list of signs that your sermon isn’t going too well.

Dear Photograph - This is an interesting project—to take a picture of a picture from the past in the present. It’s hard to explain, so you may just need to check it out.

What Kind of Theologian Are You? - Because all Christians answer questions like, “Who is God?” and “Who is Jesus?”, we’re all theologians to some degree. So what kind of theologian are you?

Should I Change My Password? - This is a handy little utility. You enter an email address you tend to use to create accounts and it will tell you if you should change your password.

What To Do With the Children? - “Summer offers a unique opportunity to do ministry together as a family. A whole lot of free time offers a whole lot of opportunities to reach out to others and minister side by side. If your kids can get a taste of the value of serving like Jesus did, they’ll be learning an important lesson.”

5 Years of Pastoring - Tim Raymond: “On April 9, 2011, I celebrated five years as Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Muncie, Indiana.  As I reflect back on these past years there are five main lessons that come to mind…”

How Much to Tip - Here’s an infographic that tells you how much to tip depending on what country you are in.

Passion does not compensate for ignorance. —Samuel Chadwick

June 24, 2011

Tell Me What to Write - A little while ago I added a component to my site that allows you to a) suggest topics for me to write about and b) vote other people’s suggestions up or down. So far this has proven a really interesting thing and it’s given me some good direction for future writing. Feel free to chime in!

N SKY C - Here is the average color of the New York sky, updated every 5 minutes. Weird but kind of cool.

Here Comes the Sun - Speaking of the sky (how’s that for a forced segue) here’s a photo essay that “offers some glimpses of the power, beauty, and transforming presence of the sun, taken since the beginning of June.”

Unblocking Writer’s Block - Here are some ways of unblocking writer’s block.

Unexpected Jobless Claims - Joe Carter pretty much sticks it to the media with this article. “There are two things the media never expects: (1) The Spanish Inquisition and (2) increases in jobless claims. In 19 of the past 24 months, the media has considered it ‘unexpected’ when jobless claims increase.”

Leaders Who Last - Here’s something for Toronto-area leaders to consider.

Sleep On It - It’s rarely a bad idea to sleep on it. Apparently it also makes a lot of sense scientifically.

10 Brands That Will Disappear - “24/7 Wall St. has created a new list of brands that will disappear, which includes Sears, Sony Pictures, American Apparel, Nokia, Saab, A&W All-American Foods Restaurants, Soap Opera Digest, Sony Ericsson, MySpace, and Kellog’s Corn Pops.” (HT)

Do not work so hard for Christ that you have no strength to pray, for prayer requires strength. —Hudson Taylor

June 23, 2011

Yesterday I was reading through the warranty manual for my van (not just for fun) and enjoyed reading about the hidden data recorders within the car: “Data may be stored if a crash event occurs. For example, vehicle speed, brake application, steering angle, air bag readiness, air bag performance, and seat belt use by the driver or passenger may be recorded. These types of systems are sometimes called Event Data Recorders.” It goes on to explain that these may be provided to law enforcement or insurance companies. Fun.

The New Catch - Playing video games is the twenty-first century version of playing catch. “The Nintendo generation wants to bond with their children on their old digital stomping grounds. ‘On the menu of things to do with your kid, it’s not the best choice,’ says MIT Professor and Alone Together author Sherry Turkle.”

Abandoned Six Flags - This is pretty cool. “Like little kids, we all experience a happy rush, a delighted thrill, when going to play at an amusement park. Yet when an amusement park is abandoned and an eerie silence settles over the rusty and crusty decay, the setting seems to twist the atmosphere of enthusiastic excitement into a suffocating blanket of dread.”

Remembering These Moments - The dad in me just loved this article. Is it possible that a part of the joy of heaven will be remembering and reliving treasured moments like these?

He Spanks His Kids - Denny Burk writes about spanking in the aftermath of that judge who was convicted of a felony for spanking her child.

Determined - This dog is determined to get the man to throw a stick. It isn’t going to work. Speaking of dogs, there’s got to be a sermon illustration for this one—a sheepdog who is terrified of sheep.

Muslim-Christian Dialogue - Over the past few years Thabiti Anyabwile has been able to particpate in a series of Muslim-Christian dialogues. You can learn more about them and watch video at the link. This may prove an important evangelistic site!

What have we time and strength for, but to lay out both for God? What is a candle made for, but to burn? —Richard Baxter