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A La Carte

January 27, 2012

Post-Prayer Whispers - David Murray lists some of the little whispers you can hear after you pray. “Anyone else get that? It’s so discouraging, isn’t it. I mean, why pray if all you get at the end of it is an even heavier feeling of guilt and failure? Prayer should be a delight not a dread.”

Black and White - Thabiti Anyabwile asks an interesting question: where does blackness and whiteness come from?

Too Good to Be True - Do you remember the story of the flight attendant who survived a 33,000 foot fall (I remember reading about her years and years ago in The Guinness Book of World Records)? Apparently what actually happened that day is now being called into question. 

Judge Judy’s Legal Authority - File this in the “I’ve always wondered” category: Mental Floss answers, “Judge Judy reportedly makes $45 million a year. What kind of legal power comes with it?”

The State of the Union/Pulpit - “All the news attention yesterday and throughout today has been on the President’s State of the Union address. This happens every year in January and it serves to be a good reminder of the President’s accountability to the other branches of government. This occasion provides more than a civics lesson. It also helps the church think about preaching.”

The iPad’s Human Cost - This article from the NY Times is long, interesting and tragic. “The workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems.”

God is more willing to give revival than we are to receive it. —Erlo Stegan

January 26, 2012

9Marks Books on Sale - Westminster Books has all of the 9Marks books on sale. This is a great time to stock up on some really good books, including a brand new one from Thabiti Anyabwile.

Teens and Porn - Courtesy of Covenant Eyes, here’s an infographic with 10 stats you need to know when it comes to teens and pornography. For example, only 3% of teenaged boys and 17% of girls have not seen Internet porn. In a somewhat similar vein, here’s an infographic about the Millennial generation.

An Announcement about Mahaney - Dave Harvey: “In July 2011, Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) installed an interim Board of Directors. Our primary task was to determine C.J. Mahaney’s fitness to serve SGM as President in light of accusations made against him by a former SGM leader. … After examining the reports of these three review panels, we find nothing in them that would disqualify C.J. from his role as President, nor do they in any way call into question his fitness for gospel ministry. Therefore the Board has decided unanimously to return C.J. to the office of President, effective immediately.”

The Worst Sin? - I appreciate the tone of this article. The author asks, “Is homosexuality the worst sin of all?”

Postpone College? - Forbes asks if all those high-schoolers out there waiting for acceptance letters should first consider taking time to do something else. “To that end, I propose a theoretical pre-college regimen called ‘grownup training.’ Specifically: six months spent working in a factory, six in a restaurant, six on a farm and six in the military or performing another public service such as building houses, teaching algebra or changing bedpans.”

Sleight-of-Hand - This guy is phenomenal.

He who tells little lies, will soon think nothing of great ones, for the principle is the same. —C.H. Spurgeon

January 25, 2012

Nagging in Marriage - From the WSJ: “It’s more common than adultery and potentially as toxic, so why is it so hard to stop nagging?” I’m always fascinated by articles like this that diagnose and attempt to cure sin but without reference to anything spiritual.

Tainted Saint - “The death of journalist and polemicist Christopher Hitchens last month gave those familiar with his work a chance to revisit one of his more controversial subjects: the Albanian nun Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known to the world as Mother Teresa.” This article explains how her path to sainthood has run into the Roman Catholic sex scandals.

Hymn to God the Father - Denny Burk shares a musical adaptation of a favorite poem by John Donne.

James MacDonald and TGC - James MacDonald explains why he has resigned from The Gospel Coalition.

60 Hours Per Minute - YouTube has just released this amazing statistic: Every second its users upload one hour of video. 60 hours per minute. That is just astounding.

United Bases of America - Here’s an infographic that displays American military presence across the world.

8 Profitable Ways to Read the Bible - Here is some old but timeless wisdom from J.C. Ryle on reading the Bible.

And finally, a quote that could almost (almost!) be from the book of Proverbs:

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. —Winston Churchill

January 24, 2012

 

The Jobs Aren’t Coming Back - Here’s an interesting account of a conversation between Barack Obama and Steve Jobs. Jobs says that the manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back to the US and says why this has to be the case.

Marrying a Man with Porn Struggles - Russell Moore offers up a great response to this question: Should I marry a man who struggles with pornography?

Group Bible Study - This is a helpful article on effective group Bible study. “It’s six o’clock Wednesday evening. Your church’s mid-week Bible study starts in one hour but you don’t feel like going. The trouble is, you can’t think of a fresh excuse and you don’t dare to say what you, (and several others) would like to say: ‘Is this really what a Bible Study is supposed to be like?’”

Interview with Groothuis - City of God blog has an interview with Douglas Groothuis who has recently published his magnum opus, a textbook on Christian Apologetics.

Family Worship Month - I’m not one who tends to participate in things like family worship month or family worship Sunday. Neither am I one to sign declarations. But I did want to draw attention to this site, this effort, and this declaration.

Mordecai - This is a great little video. The band is playing away when a bird shows up for the concert.

The nearer men are to being sinless, the less they talk about it. —D.L. Moody

January 23, 2012

 

Your Child and Porn - “Let’s say a dad came to see you for advice about his teenage son. He tells you his son has been sneaking out of bed late at night looking at porn on the computer. He’s put filters in place but his son seems to be able to get around them. How might you start advising this father?”

Abortion eBook - Desiring God has released a short, free ebook from John Piper called Exposing the Dark Work of Abortion. Also, here’s an article giving eight ways to live as pro-life Christians under a pro-choice President.

Alcorn and Guinness - Randy Alcorn has just wrapped up a three-part interview with Os Guinness. You can start here if you’d like to read it through. Guinness talks about living for the Audience of One, and the relationship between calling, markets, and morality.

Jesus Isn’t Safe - I like this! Matt Papa, who writes some great and weighty music, is going after Christian radio. “Mainstream christian radio is altogether banal and shallow in both a musical sense and a spiritual sense.  The songs are man-centered and the DJ’s and radio programmers are man-pleasers…..they play the songs that will attract the most listeners to their station, period.  Christian radio is like Joel Osteen in musical form….safe, happy, and untruthful.  It is the TBN of music…a large-scale, embarrassing presentation of Christianity to the world.” (here’s part two)

Not ignorance, but the ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge. —Alfred Whitehead

January 20, 2012

The Stalking of the President - Smithsonian has an interesting account of the stalking and assassination of President Garfield (and, perhaps worst of all, the medical treatments he received).

Apple’s Education Tools - Apple just unveiled a whole new set of education tools. It looks like interactive learning through tablets and digital textbooks are on the way in.

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God - Here’s a video worth watching.

Items Tech Will Kill - Here’s a video that shows the items that technology will replace in the years to come. Many of them won’t be missed; a few will.

Gospel in an Abortion Culture - “As the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision approaches, most Christians recognize, and rightly so, the loss of millions of unborn human lives. What we often forget is the second casualty of an abortion culture: the consciences of countless men and women.”

It’s a Girl - These are the three deadliest words in the world.

Self-examination is not the same as self-pity, which can be addictive as alcohol, and just as deadly. —Nigel McCullough

January 19, 2012

Mrs. Blackburn - After writing about preaching ordinary sermons, I received a link to this article which carries on the theme quite nicely. It is a tribute to a very ordinary Sunday school teacher who left an indelible mark.

The Chicken of the Sea - Dr. Mohler has written a wonderful article about the sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia and the actions of its cowardly captain. Mohler compares this captain to the captain of another vessel that sank years ago. While we are on the subject, The Big Picture has a photo gallery of the ship and the efforts to rescue its passengers.

Mercy Teams - I really appreciated Ali’s perspective on the value of short-term missions teams. “And you know what? It wouldn’t matter if these guys and girls never even talk to a single Togolese person while they’re here. They’ve blessed and encouraged and strengthened those of us who will be here for the long haul. We’ll go into this Field Service energized by their energy, more ready than ever to pour out our lives for the people here in West Africa.”

Of Straw Men and Shameful Speech - I think this is a conversation the church needs to have and I am looking forward to seeing how it progresses. “Here are the main arguments I continue to hear played over and over for why the church ought to regularly engage in sexually explicit dialogue with Christian married couples…”

Making Necessary Distinctions - Michael Horton has put together an important article on discernment and the necessity of making theological distinctions.

The Day the Internet Went Dark - It was interesting to see the SOPA protests in action yesterday. This page gives you some information about what happened and who participated.

God writes with a pen that never blots, speaks with a tongue that never slips, acts with a hand that never fails. —C.H. Spurgeon

January 18, 2012

The Big Day - Michael Horton writes about the Superbowl and churches that have a Superbowl party: “Typically, in the reports I scanned, pastors were justifying their decision by appealing to the mission opportunity. Somehow, having the building full with people who want to be there for a game, but not for God’s saving service to sinners, is ‘missional.’”

Full Circle - I was recently a guest on “Full Circle,” a show that airs on CTS (Canada’s Christian TV channel). You can see it here, if you’re interested. I think I show up around 6 or 7 minutes in.

How to Be a Miserable Comforter - Paul Tautges goes to Job to find some “wisdom” on how to be a miserable comforter or counsellor.

Four Stages of New Tech - This is an interesting and easy-to-read article about how technology gets introduced and eventually accepted in society.

Explore - The Good Book Company has released a new app called “Explore” (available for iOS or Android). It contains daily Bible readings with questions to help you engage with the Bible.

Raising Readers - Reedemed Reader has an interview with Alan Jacobs who recently wrote the excellent little book The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. They ask him about children, distraction, homeschooling, and more.

Blood Test at 5 Weeks - This is another medical innovation that will inevitably be used for evil: “A non-invasive method of detecting a fetus’s sex as early as five weeks into pregnancy has been developed.” Speaking of which, also check out this pro-life conversation from Sam Crabtree.

Stories of Change - Here are stories of change set to the song “May Your Power Rest On Me.”

Only in obedience can we discover the great joy of the will of God. —Sinclair Ferguson