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A La Carte

July 04, 2011

Happy Independence Day to all of my American friends. Is that the correct July 4 greeting? Of course the greeting may seem a little bit disingenuous coming from the country that currently has a prince and princess touring it…

An Historian Reading Bonhoeffer - Michael Haykin on Metaxas’ biography of Bonhoeffer: “A big book, it looks like an authentic historical read. Of course, Metaxas gets the basic facts right, but is it good history? In portraying Bonhoeffer as a North American evangelical, has he read Bonhoeffer rightly? The scholarly answer is no.”

Texting Teens - An infographic that shares information about teens and their texting habits.

Logos’ Catholic Resources - I was sorry to read this from Logos: “Logos already offers significant resources of interest to Catholics and to those interested in understanding Catholicism, but there will be many more coming soon, including Catholic-oriented packages. These packages will bring together the full functionality of Logos 4 with Catholic Bibles, magisterial documents, as well as exegetical and theological works.”

HardlyWorkin.in - Some people are too ingenious for their own good. This little program converts your Facebook feed into what looks like an Excel spreadsheet so it does not arouse the suspicions of the boss.

Do Leaders Need to Be Holy? - Here’s some encouragement (and potentially rebuke) for leaders. “My answer to this question is that personal holiness is the most important issue to leadership success. I realize that this is a fairly bold statement, so let me take a moment to back it up.”

Cutest Kids - A couple of the world’s cutest kids. They’ll help make your Monday morning just a bit better.

If my heart is right with God, every human being is my neighbor. —Oswald Chambers

July 02, 2011

I enjoyed a fantastic Canada Day yesterday. I spent most of the day in the office laboring in the ministry (which in this case largely involved building new office furniture and setting up a new network) and then spent the evening with friends, even taking in a fireworks show—something we haven’t done for a long time. Good times.

Where Those $ Are Going - In honor of Canada, Mint.com shows how Canadian households are spending their money. Surprises: .5% on gambling and almost 20% on transportation.

Spiritual Depression - This video trailer for a new edition of Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Spiritual Depression is worth watching even if just to hear the Doctor doing what he did so well.

The Anthropogenic Planet - I don’t know what anthropogenic means, but it makes an interesting infographic at any rate. This one shows transportation routes all over the planet.

Refocusing on the Family - CT has a lengthy feature on Focus on the Family. “Like many evangelical organizations that were built in the past 50 years, Focus on the Family is attempting to thrive—and survive—past its founder.”

An Unfinished Progress - This is an interesting article from Bryan Loritts as he reflects on moving from a predominantly black church to a predominately white church and now to one that is multi-ethnic. (HT:JT)

The World’s Luckiest Squirrel - Yes, you read that right. Hopefully he survives with that bit of his tail missing…

The fullness of the earth can never satisfy the soul. —William Bridge

July 01, 2011

Happy Canada Day! It’s July 1 which makes it Canada up here in the great white north—a day we celebrate the great nation God has given us. It’s always a good day.

Who Is Coming to America? - An interesting infographic.

Erasing Hell - Monergism Books is offering great pricing on Francis Chan’s new book Erasing Hell (which is, of course, a response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins). They also have a very deep discount on R.C. Sproul’s When Worlds Collide ($3.75) and Carl Trueman’s new Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

Good Bible Translators - Andy Naselli shares an excerpt that shows just some of the difficulties that come in trying to translate God’s Word.

Search Committees - Mark Dever asks what’s wrong with pastoral search committees. He also answers the question, of course.

Cruciform Press - I’m encouraged by what this pastor says about Cruciform Press: “Thus far, I’ve received Cruciform, But God and Smooth Stones. I’ve managed to read each book in less than a day (usually two sittings), but each has required significantly longer to consider and think about. I don’t know what your book budget is, but I’m almost certain you can justify $6.49 to broaden your theological scope and widen it’s depth. I honestly don’t think you can afford not to.”

Like Whatever, You Know - You’ll enjoy this, I think. (HT)

Do not give fair names to foul sins. Call them what you will, they will smell no sweeter.C.H. Spurgeon

June 30, 2011

The Pain of Loneliness - This is an article I wrote for Boundless; they published it yesterday. “Could you go just one day without checking e-mail? And without logging in to Facebook? And without using a cell phone? And without turning on your television? Could you go 24 hours without using any media at all? This was a question put forward by the International Center for Media and Public Affairs and a challenge accepted by 1,000 university students worldwide.”

Family Worship - This sentence alone makes this article worth a read: “There is a reason kids loved to be around Jesus, and it wasn’t because he was lecturing at length about the Torah or the Five Points of Calvinism.”

My Dad’s 5 Vows - Ray Ortlund: “On 19 June 2003 my dad wrote down these five vows that he made before the Lord…”

Yard Sale - For 24 hours on June 30th only, Shepherd Press is offering a list of 6 titles for $1.99 each. This sale will begin at 12:00am Eastern on June 30th and will conclude at 11:59pm. There will be a limit of 10 copies of each discounted item per order.

Email Charter - We all need something like this. (HT)

Trellis & Vine - There will be a series of Trellis & Vine conferences this Fall. “If you had to draw a diagram that represented the ministry in your church,what would it look like? What if our mental image was not of an organisation or a structure but of the people God had brought together in our church? And what if the key question we asked was: Who is getting alongside each person to invest in their livesand help them grow towards maturity in Christ? This is a different vision of church—not as an organisation, but as a community of disciple-making disciples.” Sounds intriguing.

Don’t Waste Your Life - This message doesn’t ever really get old, does it?

If the God of the Bible is the one true and living God, the keeping of his precepts is the only true morality. —R.B. Kuiper

June 29, 2011

Where Are the Presses? - A little insider’s perspective from a major publisher: “When people visit InterVarsity Press, they often ask where the printing presses are. I show them our copiers—the closest thing we’ve got. Our books are printed all over the country and sometimes around the world—all on printing presses owned by others. Even the biggest publishers do not own printing presses. Why?”

Small is the Kingdom Big - Ed Stetzer: “Too many church leaders are like the teenage girl who thinks the beautiful actress she sees every day on TV is normal. It is a skewed view of reality. Actually, what’s normal (and very valuable) is small churches living on mission in their contexts, being about the business of the kingdom of God.”

Pastor Paul Martin - My friend Julian, who recently left Grace Fellowship Church to begin a church plant (and whose position at the church I have assumed) has penned a loving tribute to Paul Martin, the guy I get to work with every day. It’s worth the read.

Brave - The trailer for the next Pixar movie.

Yali Jubilee - I enjoyed this video, showing a jubilee held to mark the 50th anniversary of the gospel coming to the Yali people.

Hate, like love, picks up every shred of evidence to justify itself. —Os Guinness

June 28, 2011

Yesterday the fire department showed up at my kids’ school during their almost-year-end fun day. They said something about a fire drill and lined all of the kids up. Then they turned the hoses on them. My kids seemed to regard it as the best thing that’s happened to them in a long time.

What Not to Share - I just came across this blog which features a mother-daughter team writing about life as pastors’ wives. This article about what not to share between a pastor and his wife is definitely worth the read.

Fallout Shelter - The Atlantic gives a tour of a 60’s era fallout shelter.

Leisure Reading Racial Gap - This column by Mark Bauerlein is perhaps a bit random, but it’s interesting nonetheless. he talks about the racial reading gap.

Contentment - Amy does it again, this time discussing contentment.

Multi-Site Goes Interstate - From CT: “Pastor Mark Driscoll’s megachurch recently announced plans to expand into Portland, Oregon, and Orange County, California, using multi-site campuses that feature live bands and a sermon piped in from the main campus in Seattle.”

In the Footsteps of Hitler - Conrad Mbewe recently traveled to Germany and was rather shaken by his experience. It’s worth reading about it as he reflects on the nature of evil.

Surviving the Age of Distraction - “Read a book with your laptop thrumming. It can feel like trying to read in the middle of a party where everyone is shouting…” This article on distraction is a good read.

No sin is small. It is against an infinite God and may have consequences immeasurable. No grain of sand is small in the mechanism of a watch. —Jeremy Taylor

June 27, 2011

Evil for Evil - This is a good and important article about prison rape. “[M]ost of the perpetrators were not other prisoners but staff members—corrections officials whose job it is to keep inmates safe. On average, each victim was abused between three and five times over the course of the year. The vast majority were too fearful of reprisals to seek help or file a formal complaint (emphasis mine).”

Ghosts of WW2 - This person has taken modern photographs and blended them with photographs from World War 2 with very interesting results.

Your Social Media Profile - This seems kind of scary, doesn’t it? “The FTC has given thumbs up to a company, Social Intelligence Corp., selling a new kind of employee background check to employers. This one scours the internet for your posts and pictures to social media sites and creates a file of all the dumb stuff you ever uploaded online.” This makes it harder than ever to escape past misdeeds.

You’re Worse Than You Think - Bob Glenn offers a word to pastors: “One of the occupational hazards of pastoral ministry is that you are often the subject of people’s destructive criticism, gossip, slander, misrepresentation, foolish inferences, ignorant speculations, and the like. And any pastor who’s being honest with himself - even a hard-nosed guy like me - will admit that the hurtful things people say are just that - hurtful. They hurt.”

The Tragic, Ironic Consequences - “Abortion has become the primary means of eliminat­ing unwanted females across the globe. More girls than boys are now being killed by abortion. To kill an unborn female is to kill a young woman. There can be no equal rights for all women until there are equal rights for unborn women.”

Surprising His Sister - You’ll probably cry when you see this. My question is, why? What is it in us that turns on the waterworks when we see something like it?

As creatures, we have no right or reason to expect that at every point we shall be able to comprehend the wisdom of our Creator. J.I. Packer

June 25, 2011

Author Interviews - Michael Hyatt has written a good post full of tips for authors who are being interviewed. “If you are a published author—or plan to be one—you will inevitably be asked to appear on a radio, television, or Internet show to talk about your book. It’s critical that you learn to do this well. Assuming you have written a good book, nothing drives sales of it more than publicity.”

Signs Your Sermon Isn’t Going Well - Mike Wittmer offers up a top-13 list of signs that your sermon isn’t going too well.

Dear Photograph - This is an interesting project—to take a picture of a picture from the past in the present. It’s hard to explain, so you may just need to check it out.

What Kind of Theologian Are You? - Because all Christians answer questions like, “Who is God?” and “Who is Jesus?”, we’re all theologians to some degree. So what kind of theologian are you?

Should I Change My Password? - This is a handy little utility. You enter an email address you tend to use to create accounts and it will tell you if you should change your password.

What To Do With the Children? - “Summer offers a unique opportunity to do ministry together as a family. A whole lot of free time offers a whole lot of opportunities to reach out to others and minister side by side. If your kids can get a taste of the value of serving like Jesus did, they’ll be learning an important lesson.”

5 Years of Pastoring - Tim Raymond: “On April 9, 2011, I celebrated five years as Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Muncie, Indiana.  As I reflect back on these past years there are five main lessons that come to mind…”

How Much to Tip - Here’s an infographic that tells you how much to tip depending on what country you are in.

Passion does not compensate for ignorance. —Samuel Chadwick