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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

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

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