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A La Carte

November 21, 2011

Capitalism’s Spoiled Children - “The Occupy movement does not represent ‘the 99%,’ as its defenders like to claim. They are not a cadre speaking up for the vast proportion of the population against the tyranny or greed of an imagined ‘1%.’ Judging from the speakers I have seen and heard, either on news broadcasts or the multiple sites offering live-broadcast or YouTube coverage, the people in the various Occupy camps represent a petty sub-sample of the hard left…”

Deals - There haven’t been a lot of really good Kindle deals this month (though I’m hoping for more as Black Friday approaches). But here are a couple worth pointing out: Managing God’s Money by Randy Alcorn, which I found tremendously helpful. And Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey. Also, I know nothing about The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun, but it’s free this month at ChristianAudio. Oh, and Amazon has begun their Black Friday sales with at least one big deal per day (today it’s a camera) and a lot of smaller deals to go along with it. It’s worth checking in if you’ve begun your Christmas shopping.

Loving Lewis, Hating Bell - I appreciate Michael Patton asking and answering this question: Why do we love C.S. Lewis but hate Rob Bell?

Internet Busybodies - Timmy Brister: “It seems that in recent years, several groups of people have sought to use the Internet and in particular blogs to ‘expose’ or ‘hold accountable’ Christian leaders.  And so often, we are prone to believe what other people say about a brother or sister in Christ, especially if it is critical or some sort of expose.” He looks to the pre-Internet age to find wisdom.

Married to a Non-Christian - Ed Welch offers wisdom for Christians married to non-Christians.

Flights Overhead - This is a geeky but downright amazing Wolfram Alpha trick.

Resume vs Reality - I know you can identify with this:

Resume vs Reality

The resurrection and the judgment will demonstrate before all worlds who won and who lost. We can wait. —A.W. Tozer

November 19, 2011

Hipsterification - “On the streets of Franklin and Nashville and almost every town throughout America now, hipsters scuttle by on scooters, zip around in Zipcars or Smart cars, roll by on fixed-gear bikes or walk about in snazzy high-top sneakers and longboard shorts. They snap Instagram photos of each other — in black skinny jeans and T-shirts with funky epigrams…”

$5 DVD Sale - Desiring God is having a $5 DVD sale. So I guess it’s a good time to stock up for Christmas. 

The Internet Kills Productivity - “The Internet is the world’s greatest productivity tool, but also the world’s greatest time suck. Even email, which has put all executives on communication hyper mode since the BlackBerry, wastes a lot of time…” This article gives 3 simple tips that will help.

Identical Snowflakes - Here is a fascinating scientific explanation as to why no 2 snowflakes are the same. “Now, it’s not a law of nature that no two snowflakes could be truly identical. So, on a very technical level, it’s possible for two snowflakes to be identical. And it’s entirely possible that two snowflakes have been visibly indistinguishable. But probability dictates that this is incredibly unlikely. “

Inferno - This book review is so well written it just makes me want to read the book. Or at least buy it and leave it sitting on my bookshelf.

24 Hours in Photos - This is amazing (and you’ll need to click and look at the photos): “This installation by Erik Kessels is on show as part of an exhibition at Foam in Amsterdam that looks at the future of photography. It features print-outs of all the images uploaded to Flickr in a 24-hour period…”

Brave - The trailer for Pixar’s next film.

Praying without faith is like shooting without a bullet; it makes a noise but does no execution. —Francis Burkitt

November 18, 2011

Forgiveness - Russell Moore writes about what forgiveness is and isn’t. “The most difficult math problem in the universe, it turns out, is 70 x 7. Perhaps the hardest thing to do in the Christian life is to forgive someone who has hurt you, often badly. But Jesus says the alternative to forgiving one’s enemies is hell.”

Wallpaper - National Geographic has an amazing collection of wallpapers suitable for computers and mobile devices. 

The iPod Generation - This isn’t good. “Are the iPod Generation Ruining Their Hearing For Good? Pardon? What you say? Apparently the ear-bud touting masses are ruining their hearing, one Justin Bieber song at a time. Because one in five Americans over the age of 12 have hearing loss in at least one ear.”

Fathoming Amazon - This infographic shows just what an immense and immensely powerful company Amazon has become. Did you know, for example, that Amazon’s warehouses have more square footage than 700 Madison Square Gardens?

The Face of Modern Slavery - This is just horrifying and very hard to take. But what do we actually do about it? What can we do? “When I write about human trafficking as a modern form of slavery, people sometimes tune out as their eyes glaze over. So, Glazed Eyes, meet Srey Pov.”

Mohler and Wallis - Al Mohler and Jim Wallis recently debated social justice. You can watch it here.

Nothing lies beyond the power of man if it is within the will of God. —James Crowther

November 17, 2011

Internet Busy-Body - The Resurgence looks at a new kind of busy-body. “Busy-body. That term is power-packed with negative associations. The “town gossip” picture in my head is not the busy-at-home lady, but instead is the woman who knows facts about other’s lives and is stocked with random trivia. Instead of working in her home and for her family, the busy-body is more concerned with the actions, thoughts, and juicy tidbits about others.”

Lost in Translation - Western product names that get lost in translation to Chinese.

A Moral Monster - Michael Horton: “Among the caricatures of Calvinism is the widespread claim that it renders God the author of evil, suffering, sin, and even the fall of humanity itself. In his recent book Against Calvinism, Roger Olson carefully distinguishes the official teaching of Calvinism from where he thinks it logically leads. However, there are over three dozen statements in his book about Calvinism leading by good and necessary logic to a deity who is a ‘moral monster,’ indistinguishable from the devil.”

Without a License - I’ve heard a lot of people wonder how Steve Jobs got away with years of driving without a license plate. This article provides an explanation.

Books on Sale - Westminster Books has a couple of new books deeply discounted. 

Jeopardy - It’s been a long time since I watched Jeopardy, but rumor has it this is the first time anyone’s ever gone all-in on back-to-back daily doubles. Fun.

The heart is heated by meditation and cold truth is melted into passionate action. —Donald Whitney

November 16, 2011

7 Misconceptions about Submission - Mary Kassian addresses some of the common misconceptions that arise in the context of submission and biblical womanhood.

Cowper’s Letters - “Reading about his descriptions of his depression produced an effect in me which is difficult to describe. I don’t really have a category for what Cowper endured. I found myself looking for a hidden happy ending, a ray of sunshine amidst the darkness and gloom, or at least some kind of lesson to be learned from it all – some theological brackets which could wrap around his experience and interpret it. Nothing like that emerged.”

Navigating the Holidays - “Hello, my name is Erin, and my parents are divorced. Sometimes, I feel like I’m a member of a club that I can’t get out of, even if I fail to pay my dues. It’s the Adult Child of Divorce Club, and there are times when being a member is no picnic.”

Why Abuse Goes Unreported - It’s a question a lot of people are asking in the light of recent scandal. Why does abuse so often go unreported? “But while child abuse experts say that catching perpetrators in the act is rare, child abuse goes unreported and uninterrupted more often than not. And given the unexpected nature of seeing a man sexually abusing a child, even well-meaning eyewitnesses might freeze up.”

Being Offended For Someone Else - This is a modern-day phenomenon I’ve noticed as well. “I’ve noticed the phenomenon of someone getting personally offended on behalf of someone else, who, in fact, has not been personally offended.  A complaint has been filed against Catholic University for being insensitive to Muslims–basically by being a Catholic university–even though no Muslims have complained.”

Easter is to our faith what water is to the ocean, what stone is to the mountain, what blood is to the body. —Raymond Linquist

November 15, 2011

iPhone at the Dinner Table - A common problem: “A story ran in the Washington Post about diners dating their iPhone’s. The article explores solo diners who turn digital devices into companions while eating. Several chefs interviewed in the story expressed disdain with the practice, and some, including four-star chef Cathal Armstrong, admitted to indulging their devices while dining themselves — but only between courses, of course.”

Kindle Fire Review - WIRED has a not-entirely-positive review of the new Kindle Fire. “These lucky few will bask in early adopter bliss. They will issue themselves hearty high-fives for having the foresight to purchase the year’s hottest gadget, sight unseen. And then they will marvel at a device that really does bring something fresh and clever to the tablet space — namely, an insanely low price.” Others, like PC Mag, love it.

Elephant and Man’s Best Friend - Don’t we all enjoy stories like this one?

Screwtape - Max McLean continues to perform Screwtape all around the US of A. From all I’ve heard, it’s well worth taking in a performance if it comes to a city near you.

The Cosby Show - Kevin DeYoung reminded me of this great clip from the Cosby Show.

The miracles were to the gospel as seals are to a writing. —William Gurnall

November 14, 2011

I was sitting at church yesterday, enjoying one of the rows that offers a little bit more legroom. I found myself thinking that we could probably charge people a few dollars to sit in those rows. Apparently i’ve spent too much of my life on airplanes lately…

The Best and Worst of Humanity - Darryl Dash finished reading the new biography of Steve Jobs and has some interesting reflections. “In a strange way, Steve Jobs makes me grateful for the dignity of humanity and the image of God. And he also reminds me of bad we truly are, and how good the gospel sounds to brilliant, broken people like Jobs, and like you and me.”

To Inherit - Here’s a fantastic Veteran’s Day tribute to a father. “The old video tape from the aircraft carrier is formed of various bits of things.  First jet propaganda: Hornets catapulted off the flight deck and Hornets catching the wire.  Thundering engines; uniformed men waving and signalling to one another.  Men in flight suits and flight boots looking important.”

Remembering a Soldier’s Soldier - “Every American should know his name and his story. And, thanks to a great book by Stephen Ambrose — Band of Brothers — and an equally great HBO television series, many do. What millions of Americans don’t know is that Richard ‘Dick’ Winters died on January 2 at the age of 92.” (HT)

Facebook Facts 2011 - Your infographic du jour.

The English Language - Why GHOTI should be pronounced FISH.

Earth - A timelapse video of earth.

How soon marriage counselling sessions would end if husbands and wives were competing in thoughtful self-denial. —Walter Chantry

November 12, 2011

Who Is Worth It? - Reflections from the mission field. “A boy who proceeded to not cooperate with the program of living.  An all night struggle.  The parents said they could not afford the treatment (surfactant), about $200, which replaces the lung lining that is not yet developed in this stage.  So we tried him on our bubble CPAP, oxygen and pressure to open lungs and help breathing.  But he did not do well, and his xray showed significant respiratory distress syndrome, so after 2 hours I decided we should just give the surfactant anyway and dip into our Needy Children’s Fund to cover it.”

A Father’s Journey - This talk is well worth listening to. A father reflects on the long journey of having a daughter (now 40) with Down’s Syndrome.

The Gathering - You can listen to the new Sovereign Grace album (a live recording) free at Bandcamp. Or buy it for $5.

One Life - Christianity Explored has a nice new iPhone app.

Christian Comedy - The Chicago Tribute covers Christian comedy.

Not for the Stout of Heart - I think Phil Johnson draws out some legitimte concerns in this blog post about James MacDonald. The tone of MacDonald’s writing has definitely changed.

By obeying Christ’s commands you will gain more than you can give. —Thomas Brooks