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A La Carte

November 30, 2011

Songs for the Supper - Free music. Need me to say more than that? Cardiphonia: “Songs for the Supper is the 3rd in a collaboration of songs dedicated to serving under-emphasized themes in our worship music. … Some of these songs are quiet meditations, others look to the great rejoicing of the Lamb’s Feast. All of them reflect the incredible diversity of postures and approaches to our Lord’s table. “

Joel Osteen and Reality TV - Oh boy. “More than 10 million people watch Joel Osteen’s television broadcast each week, and soon viewers will be able to see how the pastor of America’s largest church lives outside of Lakewood. A new reality show will follow the Osteens’ ministry as they serve and inspire people across the U.S., Lakewood confirmed.”

Utopia Is Creepy - Nicholas Carr: “I’ve noticed the arrival recently of a new genre of futuristic YouTube videos. They’re created by tech companies for marketing or brand-burnishing purposes. With the flawless production values that only a cash-engorged balance sheet can buy you, they portray a not-too-distant future populated by exceedingly well-groomed people who spend their hyperproductive days going from one screen to the next. (As seems always to be the case with utopias, the atmosphere is very post-sexual.)”

In Your Arms - This is pretty cool. “22 months, 1,357 hours, 30 people, 2 ladders, 1 still camera, 288,000 jelly beans.” All that for one music video.

The Great Tech War of 2012 - So true: “There was a time, not long ago, when you could sum up each company quite neatly: Apple made consumer electronics, Google ran a search engine, Amazon was a web store, and Facebook was a social network. How quaint that assessment seems today.”

The essence of sin is arrogance; the essence of salvation is submission. —Alan Redpath

November 29, 2011

Critical Appreciation - When I grow up, I want to be able to write like Carl Trueman. “The death of John Stott has led to a veritable flood of accolades and uncritical adulation over the last few months. A recent example was the memorial service for him at Wheaton College which raised a number of questions in my mind. One was the issue of what Stott himself would have thought of it.”

Child or Fetus? - This was very interesting to read. A father speaks about the language used to describe his unborn child when he was healthy and then when he was thought to be ill.

Alcohol vs Narcotics - David does a nice job of answering one of the comments that arose yesterday after I wrote about alcohol: What’s the difference between alcohol and narcotics?

Living in the Next Story - It has been a while since I linked to a review of The Next Story. This one was really encouraging!

McDonald’s - A while back I posted a link to that map of every McDonald’s restaurant in the US of A. This site has a video showing a person trying to find the spot (the exact spot!) that is farthest from any McDonald’s in the whole country.

Out of Darkness - Z linked to a powerful article from the New York Times. “Two years ago, when Giulia and I were 27 and in our third year of marriage, she suffered a psychotic break. She had no history of mental illness preceding the abrupt arrival of delusions and paranoia. It was a bewildering decline that snowballed from typical work stress to mild depression to sleeplessness to voices speaking to her in the night…”

Nearer My God to Thee - Another video, similar to the one I posted yesterday.

It is not your hold of Christ that saves, but his hold of you!C.H. Spurgeon

November 28, 2011

Now that Thanksgiving and Black Friday are behind us, we’ve got Cyber Monday. I’ll have a post in a few minutes rounding up some of the deals. The places to begin, though, are Amazon, Crossway, and Westminster Books. Details to follow. In the meantime, here are things I came across this weekend.

Loving People at School - Jean Williams offers up a great list of ways to love the people at your local public school.

Stoning, Imprisonment, Marry Your Rapist - Absolutely horrifying: “Lawyers in Afghanistan recently came to the conclusion that the best way to strike a plea bargain for a rape victim is to grant her the option to marry the man who raped her.  This option, they assure, will reduce her criminal incarceration from 12 years to three years at the Badambagh Prison located outside of Kabul.”

The Devil’s Playbook - Ray Ortlund says that the Bible reveals to us Satan’s playbook, and he gives the 4 plays.

Ramabai - Paul Levy: “In the endless pursuit of sermon illustrations for tomorrow I came across the inspiring story of Pandita Ramabai, Rowland Ward writes about her here.”

A Lesson in Lyrics - You’ll have to be wary of bad language (it is, after all, an article about rap music), but this article is rather interesting. It tracks disillusionment in President Obama through the lyrics of rap music.

Michael Meets Mozart - This is pretty neat.

Doubt thee, my Lord? I could doubt all except thee; and doubt myself most of all. —C.H. Spurgeon

November 26, 2011

No End to Eurogedden - I found this article rather interesting, and particularly the distinction made between the 2 sides of the Euro divide. “In effect, there is already two currencies: the ‘Lutheran Euro,’ characterized by Germany, the Netherlands and Finland. The label has nothing to do with religion but with countries that are based on Protestant work ethic, discipline and thrift. Then there is the ‘Latin Euro,’ characterized by France, Italy, Spain and Portugal where style is often more important than substance and hard work can be a curiosity.” Could you also divide that by Protestant and Catholic?

A Grumpy Old Lady - Mary Kassian shares a lesson she learned from a grumpy old lady.

How Reading Has Changed - This article looks at the ways reading has evolved in 2011 (or online reading, at least). I think one of the more fascinating and hopeful developments is the growth of social reading.

Sleep vs Internet - “The internet reaches into so many areas of our lives that one in four people now spend longer online than they do asleep, a survey has revealed.”

A Muslim Challenges Ravi - Ravi answers a challenging question.

That every person should grow up and do evil can be no coincidence. It calls for an explanation. —John Gerstner

November 25, 2011

It is going to be an abbreviated A La Carte this morning as I’ve got to update my Black Friday article before all of those sales get away from me. There are lots of good deals waiting for us today.

One Brings a Song - Christa Wells offers up a free song for a Thanksgiving treat.

Most Tweeted Moments - Here are some of the most-tweeted moments in the history of Twitter. It’s amazing to think that some news moments explode with literally thousands of tweets per second.

Is There Anyone There? - A short video.

Training the Kids - David Murray on training children to use Facebook for God’s glory (Here’s a tip: Don’t break the rules and let them have an account before they turn 13. That’s getting them off to a bad start).

Salvation in sin is not possible; it is always salvation from sin. —C.H. Spurgeon

November 24, 2011

ChristianAudio - ChristianAudio is having their twice-yearly sale where they put pretty much everything on sale at $7.49. You can check my list of Black Friday deals to see which ones will be even cheaper tomorrow.

I Think Before I Tweet - This is a phenomenon I’ve noticed as well: Once you begin to tweet, you start to think like a tweet. Or something like that. “As I go about the day, I find myself thinking of things that I could tweet about. When I see a strange person in line at a store, I think about something clever I could say. When a company offers me poor service, I think about how I could slam them and get something back from it. When I read about major world events, I think up little jokes to make light of them.”

Wives Speak Out - Kathleen Nielson has an interesting article at The Gospel Coalition. She finds “voices from women in Christian marriages aiming by God’s grace for that gospel model of loving headship and respectful submission taught in the Scriptures and acted out by Christ himself. I asked this group of ten women one question: How has your husband encouraged you to grow and use your gifts for the kingdom?”

The Most Amazing Window - This is kind of cool. “The most amazing window ever created by humankind is not on this planet, but floating in space, the most spectacular part of the International Space Station. It’s the ISS Cupola. This animation shows how it was installed.”

Tebow Responds - Love him or hate him, you’ve got to respect the guy for standing firm in the faith.

Brinicle - The BBC has a really interesting video about a “brinicle.”

Our thanks should be as fervent for mercies received as for petitions sought. —Charles Simmons

November 23, 2011

I apologize for the extensive downtime yesterday. It turns out that one user somewhere in the world was working overtime at trying to bring my site down. Eventually the site administrators figured it out and blocked him. It seems now that all is well. Hopefully it will remain that way.

Bibles on Sale - Westminster Books has all of their ESV Bibles on sale over the holiday weekend. There are lots of great prices to take advantage of!

New Translations - Speaking of the Bible, Andy Naselli has information about a couple of new translations (probably not ones you’d want to use as your primary Bible).

Innocent Couples - A funny video. I probably would have walked out.

Megachurch Bubble - “Most megachurches — which earn that label around the 2,000-attendance level — are led by baby boomer pastors who soon will hit retirement age and without suitable replacements in the pipeline. And some fear the big-box worship centers with lots of individual programs no longer appeal to younger generations.”

Legalizing Group Marriage - You know this battle is coming up very soon. “Three different strands are coming together to legalize group marriage:  the far left, the far right, and the new reproductive technology.” 

Strachan and Her.menuetics - Denny Burk gives the background to an interesting exchange about biblical femininity (and other associated topics).

You don’t need to work to make Christianity controversial. Just read sentences from the Bible. —John Piper

November 22, 2011

Parenting and the Image of God - Mark Lauterbach on parenting: “They are image bear­ers.  They are crea­tures, made by God and for God.  They are given glory and honor by God.  They have inher­ent value, of greater worth than ani­mals.  How we treat the image of God is how we treat God.  The dig­nity of humans is built into the Law and the Prophets and the Gospel.  And we must see our chil­dren as image bearers.”

Preaching Texts You Don’t Understand - If you preach verse-by-verse, sooner or later you will come across a text that you just don’t understand. Carl Trueman is really helpful here.

Leading Family Devos - I guess the title pretty much says it all: “How My Wife Helped Me Man-up & Lead Family Devo’s.”

Dispatches from the Front - These DVDs, a must have for a church library, are on sale for $40 for all 4 volumes. Totally worth it. 

National Geographic Photo Contest - Here are some of the highlights from National Geographic’s 2011 photo contest.

Blogging Scholarship - Mark Lamprecht is a Christian blogger who is trying to win a blogging scholarship. In 2 seconds you can place a vote for him. So you probably should.

It’s Just the Truth - The audio is way better than the video here. Nobody “brings it” quite like Paul Washer.

No sin makes less noise, but none so surely damns the soul, as unbelief. —J.C. Ryle