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February 28, 2012

Little Miss Red Shoes - A heart-wrenching article from the field. “Little Miss Red Shoes goes to school with her friends. She’s in second grade. She lives with her mother and an aunt. Her father left the family years ago, though she thinks she saw him sometime in the last year. Her mom is HIV positive on treatment, sells little bits of beans and corn for a living, and often turns to the local church for assistance.”

Theology Refresh - Theology Refresh is a helpful new series from Desiring God. You can watch or listen in as pastors and theologians address a particular issue with each episode. Remarkably, they even manage to keep it short!

How to Listen to a Sermon - Reformation21 has an interesting article from Philip Ryken who offers wisdom on how to listen to a sermon.

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - This is really powerful.

The Gift of Discouragement - “Some people in the church seem to have the spiritual gift of discouragement.  It’s all that guy can do – discourage others. Truthfully, we are all ‘that guy’ far too often.” Here’s how to turn it around!

Rise O Buried Lord - This album from Redeemer Church of Knoxville is on sale until Easter. You can also listen to it here if you want to give it a try.

Making a Wrong Decision - Does God have a plan b for my life if I make a wrong decision?

The Christian’s task is to make the Lord Jesus visible, intelligible and desirable. —Len Jones

February 27, 2012

The Santorum Predicament - I enjoyed Dr. Mohler’s take on The Santorum Predicament. “Rick Santorum is still a long shot for the Republican nomination, but his candidacy and its coverage in the mainstream media tell us a great deal about the fate of conservative candidates and conservative convictions in the public square.”

Bethlehem Succession Plan - It’s interesting to read about Bethlehem Baptist Church’s succession plan for John Piper. It is an unusual process to have to go through—to seek to replace a preacher like John Piper (who intends to step down from his preaching role in the summer of 2014).

Praying During Sermon Prep - Here’s one for the pastor: a guide on how to pray during sermon preparation. It can also help the non-preacher know how to pray for the guy preparing the sermon!

And While Preparing to Lead Worship - Inspired by the previous article, Matt Boswell has come up with a list of 8 ways to pray while preparing to serve as a worship leader.

Evaluating Movies - There is no one way to evaluate movies that will always filter the good from the bad, so I’m always interested in hearing how others go about it. Here is Randy Alcorn’s take.

Our old man is crucified, but he is long at dying. —C.H. Spurgeon

February 25, 2012

To Praise Bands - James Smith recently penned an interesting and controversial letter to praise bands. I don’t agree with all he said, but I do appreciate the way he has stimulated my thoughts on the matter. It’s a conversation worth having.

The Land of My Heritage - Luma Simms has an article on her family’s heritage in Iraq, a nation they fled in the ‘70’s.

Landscapes - This is an amazing photo gallery of landscapes. I don’t think you need to connect on Google+ in order to view it.

I Asked the Lord - This is a lesser-known hymn from Newton, but a very powerful one. 

Slum Dwellers - “One billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that will likely double by 2030. The characteristics of slum life vary greatly between geographic regions, but they are generally inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings can be simple shacks or permanent and well-maintained structures but lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services.” The Big Picture has a photo gallery.

Born that Way? - Stand to Reason offers a way to engage with people who say “I was just born this way.”

4 Preaching Tips - “I have never met a preacher who did not want to increase the effectiveness of his sermon. The question is where to start? We often, and rightly so, head over towards the practical application of the Word itself. We spend more time praying, reading, studying, writing, and thinking. These are good and right. I encourage all of this. But the focus of this post is a little different.”

A God who could pardon without justice might one of these days condemn without reason. —C.H. Spurgeon

February 24, 2012

7 Marks of Humility - God’s leadership principles are the complete opposite of man’s. Paul Tautges goes to Philippians and shows that in God’s economy the way up is down.

The Best Chess Player in the World - Here’s an interesting profile of the world’s best chess player. The money quote: “I enjoy it when I see my opponent suffering.” Don’t we all?

A Lentendud - This is the time of year that those of us who don’t mark Lent feel really superior about ourselves (or the opposite, depending on your context). Douglas Wilson writes about Lent, those who celebrate it, and what they need to be aware of.

$3.5 Million in the Attic - “When Michael Rorrer found 345 comic books neatly stacked in a basement closet as he cleaned out his great-aunt’s Virginia home after her death, he thought they were cool but didn’t think much about their value.” But that wouldn’t make the news, so there must be more to the story…

Dating Tebow - I love stories like this one.

Tax Dollars - It’s always a bit depressing to know where all your tax dollars go. This infographic displays it nicely. And speaking of infographics, here’s one that looks at e-reading and e-readers.

Take a saint, and put him into any condition, and he knows how to rejoice in the Lord. —Walter Cradock

February 23, 2012

Visual Theology - If you are interested in purchasing some of those Visual Theology infographics/posters, you can get 20% off your order by using the code JUMP20.

Google Glasses - What is this world coming to? “People who constantly reach into a pocket to check a smartphone for bits of information will soon have another option: a pair of Google-made glasses that will be able to stream information to the wearer’s eyeballs in real time.” This is even worse: connected cars.

Books on Prayer - Andrew Case’s books on prayer are all available for free in ebook formats. There are three: one for husbands, one for wives, and one for children. Each one focuses on praying Scripture while interceding for the one(s) you love.

The Apostles - The current issue of National Geographic has a major story about the Apostles. Unfortunately (and, I suppose, not surprisingly) it’s a bit of a mess of mysticism, speculation and poor theology. “They were unlikely leaders. As the Bible tells it, most knew more about mending nets than winning converts when Jesus said he would make them ‘fishers of men.’ Yet 2,000 years later, all over the world, the Apostles are still drawing people in.”

Real Books - Kevin DeYoung hopes that real books will never die. But they probably will anyway. Still, I pretty much agree with most of what he writes.

Conversation with Bezos - Amazon’s publishing model: “All along the way he’s stayed with his strategy of losing money to achieve that domination. His latest effort in this regard is well-known in publishing and was nicely summarized in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek piece. Bezos is going head to head with publishers—offering huge advances to authors and promising astronomical royalty rates that no publisher can maintain.”

Grace for Today - “I’m also learning that God gives grace for today. Period. I will meet troubles today and God will give me grace for those troubles. He does not give me grace today for troubles that will come tomorrow. God doesn’t give me grace for imaginary troubles, he gives me grace for real troubles.”

Philosophy and religion may reform, but only the Bible can transform. —Brian Edwards

February 22, 2012

Challenger Disaster - All these years later, some amateur video of the Challenger disaster has just turned up. “Captured in an era that precedes mobile phones, when few people owned camcorders, it’s one of few video recordings of the disaster by a member of the public.”

Never Retreat - This is a neat article from Kathleen Nielson. “Looking through a musty box of family memorabilia, I recently came upon a brittle, browned letter dated September 24, 1918, sent to his parents by my grandfather, James Oliver Buswell Jr. Grandpa B’s years as president of Wheaton College and later as professor of theology at Covenant College and Seminary were well known to me, but I hadn’t heard a lot about his experience in World War I.”

Hunting Bambi - Mark Coppenger on the Obama administration: “Where once they intervened to protect children from strange religion, they now dismiss the scruples of all believers who find the prevention or elimination of children objectionable. The government used to be aggressively pro-child; now they’re intrusively anti-child.”

Beyond the Sex Questions - Trevin Wax tells us to go beyond the sex questions. “I want to offer a pastoral look at the underlying issues that prompt these questions and encourage pastors to go for the heart, not merely the surface, when approached with questions of this kind.”

Really Close Up - Just ignore the fact that this is on the Mother Nature Network and enjoy these photographs of every day things really close up.

Epic Skies - Another amazing time lapse video. Sooner or later I’ve got to stop posting these things…

Christianity is summed up in the two facts: Christ for us and Christ in us. —Augustus Strong

February 21, 2012

The Pilgrim’s Progress - Christian Audio is offering an exclusive offer to the readers of this site. If you’d like to get the audiobook of The Pilgrim’s Progress, you can have it for just $4.98. Just click the link and enter the code Challiesrtc. Why don’t you grab it and then listen to it with me

Seinfeld’s Secret - Here’s an interesting success sorry based on following Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret. “The concept is simple: spend some amount of time doing a desired activity every day and, when you do, cross off that day on a calendar. This creates a chain of Xs showing your progress. If you don’t do your specified task on one day, you don’t get an X and that chain is broken. It seems almost too simple to work, but it’s allowed me to accomplish so much more than I ever thought possible.”

Scripture Memory Resources - This blog has a helpful roundup of resources for helping you memorize Scripture.

Sex-Changes for Kids - I don’t even know what to say. “A small but growing number of teens and even younger children who think they were born the wrong sex are getting support from parents and from doctors who give them sex-changing treatments, according to reports in the medical journal Pediatrics.”

Top 25 J.C. Ryle Quotes - “We are quickly approaching 500,000 views here on the J.C. Ryle Quotes site. So, from the over 800 quotes which have been placed on this site every Monday-Friday since August 1st, 2009, I thought I would provide the TOP 25 J.C. Ryle Quotes for your reading pleasure.”

The Cult of Prime - “There are two types of people in the world: those with Amazon Prime and those without. How you think about consumption, commerce and your personal time is radically different depending on if you’ve join the cult — yet. “

Time Tables of an Affair - Brad Hambrick has a really helpful article that looks at two different time tables for an affair.

The way you lose the gospel is not by denying it, but by assuming it.D.A. Carson

February 20, 2012

A Prayer for Cuba - Carolyn McCulley: “Few Americans have traveled to modern Cuba. But I had the privilege of visiting there in August 2011, right before some of the travel restrictions for Americans were lifted. Because we did not travel with a tour group, we had a credible view of real Cuban life.”

Meet Jonathan Edwards - If you are new to the works of Jonathan Edwards or are just interested in learning more about him, you may enjoy this video.

Christians and Gambling - Dr. Mohler provides a Christian view on gambling. “The Bible is clear on this issue. The entire enterprise of gambling is opposed to the moral worldview revealed in God’s Word. The basic impulse behind gambling is greed—a basic sin that is the father of many other evils.”

Enigmatic Faith of Washington and Lincoln - An article at The Gospel Coalition looks at the enigmas that were the faith of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

Nomophobia - “Nomophobia — the fear of being without your cellphone — is on the rise, according to a new report sponsored by SecurEnvoy, a company that specializes in digital passwords. Using the online polling service OnePull, SecurEnvoy found that 66% of the 1,000 people surveyed in the United Kingdom say they fear losing or being without their phone.”

Jeremy Lin - Everyone’s talking about this guy and ESPN has an infographic about him.

Infertility - Here is a helpful article that offers 5 things infertile couples want others to know.

Spirituality can be a cheap substitute for righteousness.R.C. Sproul