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A La Carte

March 29, 2012

Keeping Priorities in View - “Bible scholar Don Carson cautions us about parental hypocrisy by recalling the enduring impact of his parents’ prayerful example.” This is a beautiful article.

The Kokomo Krusade - I loved reading this short anecdote from the life of James Montgomery Boice. “Like a call from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, back when I was a young pastor years ago the secretary of  James Montgomery Boice, the famous pastor whom I had never met, called and asked if I would like for Dr. Boice to preach for us in Kokomo.  I could not believe it then, so perhaps you do not believe me now.  So here’s the story.”

Are Your Sermons Too Long? - Denny Burk shares some wisdom from Charles Spurgeon.

The View - “Recently a Texas judge upheld a law that requires a woman to be shown an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion. His decision was discussed on The View and Joyce Behar and Barbara Walters made the following stunning statements…”

Christian Book Awards - Christian Book Awards tend to be as unhinged from reality as every other awards, but they’re still interesting. ECPA has just released its list for 2012.

Unexpected Joy - Watch it!

Prayerfulness is Calvinism at its best. It is a simple, open, honest declaration in the presence of God of total helplessness. —Martin Holdt

March 28, 2012

John Piper’s Successor - “The Bethlehem elders are announcing to the congregation their candidate for Associate Pastor for Preaching and Vision and, God willing, John Piper’s eventual successor as the church’s senior pastor. Jason Meyer, 36-year-old Assistant Professor of New Testament for Bethlehem College and Seminary, is the elders’ recommendation for congregational consideration and vote at a special May 20 all-church meeting.”

Gratefulness for Your Spouse - Brian Croft: “ I have discovered a wonderful antidote when especially young married couples lose sight of the gratefulness all Christians should have in the joy of Christian marriage and instead try to nitpick their spouse with an ungrateful heart.”

If You Were a Missionary - “I had a great visit with a church member recently. In our discussion he hit on a point that I believe many Christians have a burden for. Essentially he was concerned with intentionally integrating Christ in all that he does, in particular his work environment.”

When Is it Right to Argue? - When is it right to argue with referees or officials? 

He who obeys sincerely endeavors to obey thoroughly. —Thomas Brooks

March 27, 2012

Britain’s Got Talent - I’m never sure if people are clapping for the performers or just because they know they’ve found the next big story, but this is still fun.

Mohler and Carter - Al Mohler: “Today’s Thinking in Public program features my interview with former President Jimmy Carter. The conversation was remarkable, and I was honored to have this interview with the 39th President of the United States. The focus of the interview was on the Bible, a book that has framed President Carter’s life from his earliest memories. Even now, he remains the world’s most famous Sunday School teacher.”

Geraldo and the Hoodies - Thomas Sowell comments on the Trayvon Martin case, saying “Practical advice, not race baiting, shows real concern for minority youth.” He urges caution and warns against jumping to conclusions because “playing with racial polarization is playing with fire.”

The End of the World - This infographic provides a pragmatic argument for not predicting the end of the world.

Psalm 119 - I really enjoyed this way of displaying Psalm 119; it’s very helpful to see it laid out that way.

Next 2012 - This year’s Next conference, the last Next, features a great list of speakers. If you’re in the right demographic, you may want to consider going.

The Christian ministry exists for the promotion of holiness. —Donald MacLeod

March 26, 2012

Boycott Starbucks - Some Christians are calling for a boycott against Starbucks. Russell Moore looks at the issue. “It’s not that I’m saying a boycott in and of itself is always evil or wrong. It’s just that, in this case (and in many like it) a boycott exposes us to all of our worst tendencies. Christians are tempted, again and again, to fight like the devil to please the Lord.”

The Other 167 Hours - What do pastors do with the other 167 hours of the week? “From counseling to corresponding, premarital sessions to divorce prevention, from house visits to hospital visits, from baptism to burials, the pastor is present in every facet of life from the cradle to the grave. What an honor. What a joy. And what a load to bear.”

Space Infographic - The BBC has an infographic that attempts to show just how giant our solar system is.

TBN in Trouble - A new insider lawsuit against TBN charges that the world’s largest Christian TV channel funds owners’ exorbitant lifestyle. As if that is any surprise.

Hippies Head for the Ark - Here’s a strange article about a strange group of people—New Agers who are convinced that the world is going to end at the end of 2012.

Tebow in Babylon - Quite an interesting article from the NY Times: “The Prophet Jonah was sent to Nineveh. St. Paul was sent to Athens, Macedonia, Rome. And now Tim Tebow has been sent to New York City.”

Grace is as large in renewing us as sin was in defacing. —Stephen Charnock

March 24, 2012

Trayvon Martin, Race, and the Gospel - John Piper: “Racial tensions continue to rise just as I prepare to go to New York next week to talk with Anthony Bradley and Tim Keller about race and the Christian. I watched a video on Wednesday of an African American pastor who said that recently he was denied service at a convenience store. The woman behind the counter said, ‘We don’t serve your kind.’ That’s 2012 not 1962.”

They Didn’t Just Copy - Jim Hamilton notes that the ancient scribes did not always just copy their texts; sometimes they also left notes in the margins. He lists a few.

Help the Sturms - This site is dedicated to helping a missionary family in Mexico that just endured a terrifying experience. “At 9:45pm Monday night, just after our kids had fallen asleep, a man came through our kitchen window with a gun and ordered me to open the front door of our house, letting enter 4 or 5 other masked men. We were told to lay down, what little we had on our persons was taken, and my hands were tied behind my back.”

Purim - This is kind of an interesting photo gallery, showing Jews, most of them Orthodox, as they celebrate Purim.

Designs Against a Pastor - Jared Wilson plays Wormwood and writes a letter about the subtle art of undermining a pastor.

Though Christians be not kept altogether from falling, yet they are kept from falling altogether. —William Secker

March 23, 2012

Wasted Depression - I found this reflection on depression to be very helpful. “Depression makes people run away. That is why it is so easily wasted and so cleverly hidden from great minds and friends who can become very stupid when reacting against what they perceive to be character flaws or sins.”

Waiting to Belong - Together for Adoption is coming to Canada’s west coast. If you are in the Vancouver area, or anywhere near it, be sure to check out the web site and consider attending the conference.

Tebowing in New York - This article looks at some potential cultural and religious implications of the Tebow trade. “What’s baffling (aside from the fact that the Jets already have a perfectly good, if somewhat uneven, quarterback in Mark Sanchez) is the cultural incongruity. This particular Evangelical Christian athlete brings with him a well-defined, media-ready theological platform to a city full of people who have shown themselves to be apathetic, if not patently hostile, to such platforms.”

What the NSA Knows - “The NSA has been particularly insistent that all cybersecurity efforts should go through it, and an amazing, detailed and positively frightening article from James Bamford at Wired Magazine, which is ostensibly about the NSA’s massive new spy center in Bluffdale, Utah, but is really a rather detailed (and well-sourced) account of just how much spying the NSA is doing on pretty much all communications.”

The God Who Sees Me - Randy Alcorn shares a powerful story that is worth reading, but do note that some of the medical photos are somewhat graphic (As in, I think I’m going to be skipping breakfast this morning).

Birth of a Book - This short video shows how a book is made through traditional methods. Which is to say that ebooks aren’t made this way!

It is easier to save us from our sins than from our righteousness. —C.H. Spurgeon

March 22, 2012

7 Motives in Our Work - Matt Perman asks what our primary motives ought to be as we consider work. He comes up with a list of seven good motives.

Child Labor - “Child labor has never been a particularly pretty part of society, but during the industrial revolution, the practice became even uglier than its earlier incarnations. Children were often put in dangerous industrial jobs and paid menial wages.” This site has the stories behind several vintage photos.

Iditarod Sled Race - I enjoyed this photo gallery of shots from the Iditarod Trail Sled Race.

Cranmer’s Complicated Death - “Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury (b. July 2, 1489; d. March 21, 1556), will never enjoy the luxury of having his failures overlooked. His greatest public failure is closely related to why we still remember his story.”

Kony 2012 - Here’s another helpful take on the Kony 2012 phenomenon.

There is a certain kind of maturity that can be attained only through the discipline of suffering. —D.A. Carson

March 21, 2012

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made - “The perfection of this little creature shocked each one of us in the operating theatre. In a mere 10 weeks, God weaved together a tiny person with fingers, toes, eyes, ears, mouth and nose. This little one looks peacefully asleep in the nourishing tissue of its mother’s womb. The sacred sorrow, however, is that the baby is dead. A severe mercy perhaps.”

Life Wins - Here’s an encouraging dispatch from a Mercy Ship that you’ll want to read.

How an Affair Begins - This is an important little article. “A friend of mine told me that now she understands how adultery begins. She went to a woman’s house to drop off a package as a favor to someone, but the woman was not home. The husband was, and they exchanged pleasantries for a few moments. “

DVD Deal - Westminster Books has Paul Tripp’s marriage DVD What Did You Expect? at 75% off (from $60 all the way down to $15). Now’s the time to stock up!

The Next Story - Mark Tubbs over at Discerning Reader just reviewed my book. 

October Baby - PluggedIn has a review of the new movie October Baby.

A Free-Falling Elevator - If I find myself in a free-falling elevator, is there any position that might increase my chance of survival? (Climbing on top of other people is not an acceptable answer.) The NY Times has the answer in case you ever need it.

True holiness flows from the soundness of a man’s doctrine. —Robert Richey