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A La Carte

April 28, 2011

I am strangely drawn to infographics. I’m not sure what it is about them, but I guess it probably has to do with the way a good infographic lays out interesting information in an attractive and effective way. I am generally drawn to words more than pictures, but make an exception for infographics. Let’s start with two of them…

Does Facebook Make You a Better Student? - There are lots of interesting things to ponder in this infographic that looks at Facebook and the student. Does Facebook make you a better student? Probably not.

Publishing in the Digital Era - Here’s another good one that displays some of the new realities about publishing in the digital era.

China Declares War on Christians - Dr. Mohler: “The news out of China grows worse as reports of the arrest, detention, harassment, and beatings of Christians come from across China.”

Vetting Memoirs - Here’s an interesting discussion on publishers vetting memoirs. This discussion comes in the wake of revelations that Greg Mortenson apparently fabricated many parts of his memoir Three Cups of Tea. I

Your Greatest Weakness - You know that old interview question, “What’s your greatest weakness?” Matt Perman talks about the way to understand and answer that. Because you’re not supposed to answer, “Sometimes I like to burn things” or “I just care too much.”

Conference for Pastors - This conference for pastors (in Minnetonka, MN) looks like it may be very beneficial to those who attend.

Hardly Discerned - Kevin DeYoung quotes Jonathan Edwards on humility. Give it a quick read and a long ponder.

Build your nest in no tree here … for the Lord of the forest has condemned the whole woods to be demolished. —Samuel Rutherford

April 27, 2011

Airport Security - “At the Bangkok airport they took my scissors. This was the second time they took my scissors in Bangkok. I should have learned my lesson. They were safety scissors, the kind you’d give to a child, about two-and-a-half inches long with rounded tips.” There’s a lesson in there about airport security.

Pride and Prejudice and Porn - Here’s a fantastic article that looks at today’s pornified, hook-up culture and then compares it to a different age.

Meet Brent - I enjoyed meeting Brent Kassian at The Gospel Coalition conference. Here’s an article about the guy.

Talents for a Season - This article from Boundless is worth the read. “I recently attended the baby shower of a young woman in our church who I don’t know very well. As part of the shower (which was for men and women), the host had guests affirm the soon-to-be (fourth-time) parents. Many of the people present lauded the young woman’s amazing cooking skills and hospitality.”

Never Going to Get to It - A useful tip for actually getting things done—those things that so easily fall off the mental to-do list.

Advocating for the Unborn - “For the past year or so, some friends and I have stood outside Lovejoy Surgicenter praying, holding signs, and seeking to offer alternatives to men and women who choose to abort their babies.  It’s a difficult place to go to and I never look forward to it. But once I’m there, it becomes a powerful time of intercession and opportunities.”

Race and Economics - This looks like a really interesting book and one that should upset many fallacies about race and economics. Thomas Sowell gives it a look.

Stuff We Don’t Need - “What recession? Despite the fact that most Americans are still struggling in the worst economy since the Great Depression, a ‘non-scientific study’ from the Wall Street Journal says that U.S. citizens now spend $1.2 trillion annually on nonessential goods. For context, that’s more than 11 percent of overall consumer spending.”

The Christian faith is not true because it works; it works because it is true. —Os Guinness

April 26, 2011

Quote Mania - Mark Lauterbach reflects on our love of quotes (and I admit that I’m at fault here). “Cit­ing favorite quo­ta­tions has become epi­demic among blog­gers and face­book­ers and tweet­ers.  Per­haps it is the media that deter­mines the size of the mes­sage, but I have some concerns.”

What Jesus Did for You? - Jay Younts asks a valuable question in this blog article: Do your children know what Jesus did for you?

Chernobyl 25 Year Later - “On April 26, 1986, reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power facility in what is now Ukraine exploded. The largest civil nuclear disaster in history led to mass evacuations, and long-term health, agricultural, and economic distress.” Boston.com has a photo essay.

Rabboni - Carolyn McCulley reflects on the faith of Mary Magdalene. “Mary Magdalene must have been a brave woman to not only have witnessed the pain of Jesus’ crucifixion, but also to have endured both an earthquake (as recorded in Matthew 28:2) and angelic visitation at His grave (as reported by all four gospels). She was also a bold woman, as she did not shrink back from her sovereignly-appointed assignment to be the first witness to the resurrection of her Lord and Savior — even in a culture that considered the testimony of women to be worthless.”

The Water and the Blood - Sojourn’s new album The Water and the Blood releases today. They’ve got all the details at the link.

Lock Your WiFi - Because you don’t want this to happen. “Lying on his family room floor with assault weapons trained on him, shouts of ‘pedophile!’ and ‘pornographer!’ stinging like his fresh cuts and bruises, the Buffalo homeowner didn’t need long to figure out the reason for the early morning wake-up call from a swarm of federal agents.”

Christ Alone - Mike Wittmer has released the first book to critique Love Wins. I received an advance copy a couple of weeks ago and didn’t have opportunity to do much more than skim it. But even a skim showed that it is a good first response.

Every time the gospel is preached it is as if God himself came in person solemnly to summon us. —John Calvin

April 25, 2011

On Friday we enjoyed a Good Friday service with 1,000 people from 5 Toronto-area churches. On Saturday I got my city-slicker family out into the countryside to visit some old, dear friends. While there my kids fired off rockets, drove ATVs and did some target practice with rifles (well, only my son did the latter). Then we drove back to the city to celebrate Easter. What a great weekend!

6 Things Christ Accomplished in His Death - Matt Perman outlines 6 things Christ accomplished in his death.

Bird’s Eye - This site offers a bit of visual eye candy in a post sharing photos of the earth taken from a bird’s eye view.

Bull About Bullying - I love Thomas Sowell’s writing. “When politicians want to do nothing and yet look like they are doing something, they appoint a blue-ribbon committee or go to the U.N. or assign some cabinet member to look into the problem and report back to the president — hoping that the issue will be forgotten by the time he reports back.”

PC vs Mac - Here’s an infographic outlining some of the differences between Mac and PC users.

Popular History - “Popular history books are big business. Which means that lots of people must be reading them… Which means they are definitely worth approaching with considerably more care and attention than many give them…” Here is a list of questions to ask of popular history books.

Perverse Sign of Recovery - Josh Harris mentions one of the more perverse and disappointing signs of economic recovery.

Death In His Grave - I’ve posted this once before, but it’s worth doing again around Easter.

Knowing God is your single greatest privilege as a Christian. —Sinclair Ferguson

April 22, 2011

Bell’s Inferno - John MacArthur completes his series on Rob Bell. “The sad reality is that if Rob Bell does not confess the truth in this life, one day he will realize how wrong his understanding of hell really is. His view of hell will be painfully altered forever when he receives the more severe punishment reserved for those who with a Bible in their hands mock God and trample the blood of Christ underfoot.”

A Great Debt - You may have heard this story before. Regardless, it’s worth pondering again.

Christianity Explored - Christianity Explored has launched a new web site geared toward evangelism.

VIP Treatment - I believe I linked to this a while ago, but I enjoyed reading it again yesterday. It’s little stories like this that attest to the true character of a man.

Written in Stone - “The stone tablet has stood on this forested hillside since before they were born, but the villagers have faithfully obeyed the stark warning carved on its weathered face: ‘Do not build your homes below this point!’ Residents say this injunction from their ancestors kept their tiny village of 11 households safely out of reach of the deadly tsunami last month that wiped out hundreds of miles of Japanese coast and rose to record heights near here. The waves stopped just 300 feet below the stone.”

The Pacific - A reader sent me this excellent gallery of World War 2 photos.

TGC and Me - Darryl Hart posts a kind of crusty but still interesting take on The Gospel Coalition and theological boundaries.

Amazing Grace - This is a powerful rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

How do we get water from a well? Do we woo it? Do we stand at the top of the well and cry, ‘Here, water, water, water?’R.C. Sproul

April 21, 2011

Jerusalem & Hollywood - Carl Trueman recently wrote an article critiquing giant Christian conferences. Thabiti Anyabwile returned fire and Trueman took the opportunity to respond. There is some interesting (and kind-hearted) discussion there.

The Church in China - Dr. Mohler has an article that offers a little glimpse into the persecuted church in China.

Hope in Death - A friend pointed me to this article which was written a few years ago. It’s beautiful and deeply moving.

Tax Dollars - Plug in a couple of numbers and you can see what happened to all of those tax dollars you just paid.

Kindle Library Lending - This is an interesting development. “Amazon today announced Kindle Library Lending, a new feature launching later this year that will allow Kindle customers to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 libraries in the United States. Kindle Library Lending will be available for all generations of Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps.”

The Hobbit - Peter Jackson takes you on a tour of the first sets for The Hobbit.

When you are in the right, you can afford to keep your temper; and when you are in the wrong you cannot afford to lose it.G.C. Lorimer

April 20, 2011

Two of my kids get to go on class trips today. My daughter is going to a concert by a French band; my son is going to the dump. And yet they are still both excited. I guess anything is better than another day in school…

At Home with the Pope - In case you’ve ever wondered what a “normal” day looks like for the pope, well, TIME will let you know.

The Hidden Exodus - While we’re on the subject of Catholicism, here’s an article from a Catholic news source on the exodus from Catholicism to Protestantism. “Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why. But the U.S. bishops have never devoted any time at their national meetings to discussing the exodus. Nor have they spent a dime trying to find out why it is happening.”

Dramatic Non-Fiction - “Writing non-fiction (or speaking, teaching or preaching) doesn’t mean you can’t build in drama. Including stories as illustrations is always good, but there’s more to it than just telling the tale. Here are a few options to keep your audience with you every word of the way.”

Natural Cut Fries - Wendys new natural cut fries aren’t entirely natural. “People are saying they want high integrity ingredients, things their grandmother would have used, that don’t look like they came out of a chemistry lab,” Calwell explained in an interview with BNET. “But they’re also saying I’ve got a family to feed and can only afford to spend about $4 on my lunch, and I’ve only got about a minute or two to eat it.”

One to One Bible Reading - This brand new book from Matthias Media is on sale at Westminster Books for the next few days. “Imagine if there was a way that people could grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ—a way that returned gospel growth to the everyday fabric of personal relationship, rather than relying on church-run programs. That guided people in a deeper, more meaningful way than an event, program or class could possibly do—guided on an individual basis by someone who cared for them personally.”

The Price of Everything - Carl Trueman does it again. This time he explains why the church needs pessimistic church historians.

Don’t Dress Your Girls Like Tramps - This is an interesting article from CNN. “Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see alright. … I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she’s not even in middle school yet.” The author nails it at the end.

Roasted Peanuts - I can’t remember who put me on to this blog, but it’s quite a good one. The author is going through old Peanuts comic strips.

The wrath of God is not ignoble. Rather, it is too noble, too just, too perfect—it is this that bothers us. —James Montgomery Boice

April 19, 2011

Social Media & Politics - According to this article “Obama set the ‘gold standard’ for use of social media, and now it’s an absolute must for candidates.” Indeed. It is tough to imagine how any political campaign could be successful today without a strong social media component.

Pastors & Social Media - Speaking of social media, Darryl Dash looks at advice being given to teachers and their use of social media. He then applies it to pastors.

The Hour of the Mad - A great site for any World War 2 buff.

TNS Blog Tour - Zondervan is putting together a blog tour for The Next Story. So if you a) have a blog and b) would like a copy of the book and c) would like to read and review the book, well, click the link at have at ‘er.

Matthew Smith - Matthew Smith has put his solo albums on sale for this week only. They are great albums! If you’ve got no money to spend, check out some free music from the Gospel Coalition hymn sing from last week.

Pillars of Grace - David Steele has a glowing review of Steve Lawson’s new book in the Long Line of Godly Men series. “Pillars of Grace is a theological tour de force.  It is essential reading for pastors who seek to integrate historical theology into the regular preaching menu.  It is essential reading for students who are investigating the roots, depth, and breadth of the doctrines of grace.”

Tempted and Tried - A good book trailer makes me want to read a good book. This one’s got snakes and mopeds. It’s hard to go wrong.

The Mountain - This is a stunningly beautiful video. Watch and enjoy!

God gets more out of your salvation than you ever will. —David Shepherd