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A La Carte

August 06, 2009
It’s SO Over
It seems that many adolescents are abandoning social media sites. “From uncles wearing skinny jeans to mothers investing in ra-ra skirts and fathers nodding awkwardly along to the latest grime record, the older generation has long known that the surest way to kill a youth trend is to adopt it as its own. The cyberworld, it seems, is no exception.”
The Death of Handwriting
TIME mourns the death of handwriting in general and cursive in particular. “I am a member of Gen Y, the generation that shunned cursive. And now there is a group coming after me, a boom of tech-savvy children who don’t remember life before the Internet and who text-message nearly as much as they talk. They have even less need for good penmanship. We are witnessing the death of handwriting.”
Jesus Is a Friend of Mine
You remember that silly song “Jesus Is a Friend of Mine” that recently surfaced on YouTube. The album it was drawn from is now for sale (for the first time since the 70’s). CT has a review.
Clunker Cash is Anything but Smart
This article is interesting for its perspective on the “Cash for Clunkers” program. The basic point is this: “As Bastiat showed 150 years ago, you don’t create wealth by destruction.” In other words, by destroying older cars (which still have some value) you do not, in the end, create wealth. Meanwhile, this second article suggests that the actual cost per vehicle may be in the tens of thousands of dollars (since many of the cars being purchased with the rebate may well have been purchased anyway).
Sexting Craze on the Rise
Though this article is UK-focused, I’m sure it’s entirely applicable in North America. “A growing number of British teenagers are swapping sexually explicit images of themselves on mobile phones leaving them open to bullying and victimization by their peers, police and a children’s charity said on Tuesday.” This is of particular concern: “Girls were particularly vulnerable, the charity said, with evidence showing they were being bullied into taking and sharing intimate pictures by boyfriends.”
Deal of the Day: Reformation Heroes
Reformation Heritage Books has released a second edition of the book Reformation Heroes which now includes a study guide.
August 05, 2009
Alcorn’s Rescue Story
Randy Alcorn shares a story (complete with video) that happened exactly twenty years ago. “Well into the flight we were cruising over a beautiful waterfall at three thousand feet, when suddenly the engine lost power. Smoke billowed, oil splashed on the windshield. Seeing that there was no oil pressure, Barry had to shut off the engine, which looked like it was about to burn. Suddenly we were descending rapidly in a rough mountain pass where there was no place to land. It looked like we wouldn’t make it.”
Carson on Inerrancy
D.A. Carson explains what inerrancy is and whether or not it is an essential Christian belief.
Calvin on Discernment
Monergism shares some wise words from Calvin on discernment, showing that discernment is wholly lost until we are regenerated.
Kindle and the Future of Reading
The New Yorker writes about Amazon’s Kindle. This is a favorite line from the article: “Here’s what you buy when you buy a Kindle book. You buy the right to display a grouping of words in front of your eyes for your private use with the aid of an electronic display device approved by Amazon.”
August 04, 2009
Monergism Announces Redesign
Monergism has redesigned their site. This is phase 1 of what they hope will be a 2-stage overhaul. It looks good!
Bad Boys Turned Christian
Owen Strachan: “A recent NYT article chronicled an encouraging if unexpected development: a bunch of professional skateboarders and bike riders are boldly witnessing to their faith in Christ.”
A Hymn for Ordinary Christians
Bob Kauflin writes about “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” “The story behind Great is Thy Faithfulness should encourage every Christian who thinks of their life as ordinary. There’s no tragic story (think “It Is Well” by Horatio Spafford) associated with this hymn. It’s just the fruit of a faithful man with a simple faith in a faithful God.”
Rose, Laura and Little House
This article at the New Yorker tries to understand the working relationship of Rose Wilder Lane and Laura Ingalls Wilder as they sought to write the books that Laura has become known for.
The Case for Early Marriage
Dr. Mohler discusses an article in the latest edition of Christianity Today. “In ‘The Case for Early Marriage,’ sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas in Austin argues that far too many American evangelicals have attempted to deal with sex without understanding marriage. In particular, he asserts that the ‘prevailing discourse of abstinence culture in contemporary American evangelicalism’ has run aground.”
Too Critical? On the Contrary…
I enjoyed this article in The Globe and Mail about critical book reviews. “As Philip Marchand, one of this nation’s few critics willing to appear negative, once put it: ‘If I have erred as a critic, I have erred by being too appreciative. I don’t think there’s a single negative word about any author’s book that I would take back, but I seriously wonder about some of the praise I have dispensed.’”
How Whitefield Studied the Bible
Looking to Dallimore’s biography of Whitefield, Ray Ortlund shows how Whitefield studied Scripture.
August 03, 2009
J.C. Ryle Quotes
Here’s a new blog that aims “to expose Christians to the writings of J.C. Ryle by providing his Christ-centered quotes Monday-Friday to stir your mind toward the glory of God…” Be sure to subscribe to get your daily bit of Ryle.
The Divine Comedy
The Divine Comedy is this month’s free download at ChristianAudio.com. Get it while the getting’s good!
A Girl’s Guide to Marrying Well
Following the success of A Guy’s Guide to Marrying Well, Boundless Magazine is offering A Girl’s Guide to Marrying Well as a free download.
Verse Card Maker
Here’s a great little site that exists to help you make memory verse cards. “The Verse Card Maker is a simple and efficient way to create customized verse cards for scripture memory. The only thing required of the user is a list of references, and then the Verse Card Maker does the rest by fetching the text and returning a fully formatted PDF ready for front and back printing.”
8 Ways Twitter Can Benefit the Christian
Cal.vini.st offers 8 ways that Twitter can benefit the Christian. “Much has been said, and much more I’m confident will be said, as to the negative effects Twitter is having, and will have, upon our world. Not the least of which is the temptation to be narcissistic, or the ability to destroy the English language in 140 characters or less. However, my desire is to share some of the benefits that can accompany the use of Twitter. Some of these benefits may be unique to my experience, whereas others have been ‘tweeted’ to me.”
Piper Quotes
At “The Responsible Puppet” you’ll find a great list of “30 Witticisms from Pastor Piper.” A favorite: “I don’t want to live in this body for the rest of eternity. I can’t see. My wife thinks I can’t hear. I can hear, but my wife thinks I can’t. It’s the fan! It’s the fan!”
July 22, 2009
LAX Is Home
Here’s proof that just about any story that catches my eye can end up in A La Carte. I found this one rather fascinating for some reason. “Lancaster’s 2001 Tradewinds sits among 100 trailers and motor homes that form a colony of pilots, mechanics and other airline workers at LAX, the third-busiest airport in the nation. They are citizens of one of the most unusual communities in the United States.”
Questions for your Missions Budget
Kevin DeYoung gives some good questions to ask when it comes to setting a missions budget.
Best Christian Design
Best Christian Design is a web design gallery (one of hundreds out there) but with a unique twist. It focuses entirely on Christian web sites—churches, ministries, and so on.
Young Men: Learn Self Control
From CBMW’s blog: “Two sports events this weekend, one seen across the globe, the other far more mundane, provided me with an opportunity to teach my six-year-old son a crucial lesson in biblical manhood. ”
July 21, 2009
Same-Name Couple to Wed
“This October, Kelly Hildebrandt will vow to share her life with a man who already shares her name. This is no joke. Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt, 20, and Kelly Carl Hildebrandt, 24, expect just over 100 guests at a ceremony at the Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club in South Florida, where they will become husband and wife.”
Making Silence Together
Mark Dever on leaving times of silence in a church service. “I’m a sound addict. Even as I write about silence now, I’ve got Paganini blasting in my study! But yesterday morning in church during one of our silences, I became aware of how corporate a labor such public silence is.”
Turkish Penitents Compete in a Gameshow
“It sounds like the beginning of a joke: what do you get when you put a Muslim imam, a Greek Orthodox priest, a rabbi, a Buddhist monk and 10 atheists in the same room? Viewers of Turkish television will soon get the punchline when a new gameshow begins that offers a prize arguably greater than that offered by Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”
July 20, 2009
Can Kindle Take Your Books Away?
Can Amazon’s Kindle just take your books away? They sure can! James Grant has the story. “This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for—thought they owned.”
When the Boat Comes In
Four-and-a-half centuries of Scotland’s social and religious history was closed yesterday, but only a couple of dozen people turned up to publicly mourn the passing of strict Sabbath observance. Around 200 people, however, came to cheer the first-ever scheduled sailing of Caledonian MacBrayne’s ferry Isle of Lewis from Stornoway to Ullapool yesterday afternoon.
Why Winning Athletes Are Getting Bigger
I can’t say much about this person’s theory, but some of the facts in the story are interesting. “Specifically, while the average human has gained about 1.9 inches in height since 1900, Charles’ research showed that the fastest swimmers have grown 4.5 inches and the swiftest runners have grown 6.4 inches.”
Christian Conferences in Canada
Canadians will want to check out the Sola Scriptura site to see some of the conferences that are coming to Canada this year.
Deal of the Day: NASB Wide Margin Reference Bible Monergism Books is offering 40% off Cambridge NASB Wide-Margin Reference Bibles, Black Goatskin Leather, Black French Morocco Leather & Hardcover. Cambridge Wide-Margin Reference Bibles also available in ESV.
July 17, 2009
Former Drug Lord Finds the Lord
Here’s an interesting story from Christian Week. “The extravagant wealth and power former gang member Michael “Bull” Roberts had as one of Canada’s wealthiest drug lords reads likes a fantasy. But the road which led him there is the stuff of nightmares.”
Dug Down Deep
Josh Harris gives the title and topic of his forthcoming book.
Crocs on their Last Legs
The world’s ugliest shoes may soon be no more. “The company had expanded to meet demand, but financially pressed customers cut back. Last year the company lost $185.1 million, slashed roughly 2,000 jobs and scrambled to find money to pay down millions in debt. Now it’s stuck with a surplus of shoes, and its auditors have wondered if it can stay afloat. It has until the end of September to pay off its debt.”
Fabulous Fridays
CBD has a couple of noteworthy deals in their Fabulous Friday this week. Alistair Begg’s Pathway to Freedom is on sale for just $3.99, the collector’s edition of Fireproof is on for $14.99 and there is a book and CD gift set of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for just $4.99.
July 16, 2009
A Tech Bill of Rights
“Where is the line when it comes to appropriate cell phone behavior? Is it ok to talk in a crowded restaurant? An elevator? How about interrupting an actual, you know, face-to-face conversation to answer a call? Then there’s non-voice communications: Is it acceptable to walk while emailing, bumping into people on the sidewalk en route? Texting at the urinal: It’s potentially messy and definitely gross, but is it acceptable? Is it rude to keep reaching into your pocket whenever your BlackBerry buzzes?” There are some interesting stats here about how many of us feel others are being rude with their cell phone behavior but how few of us think we are being rude ourselves…
The Tribune on Christian Novels
The Chicago Tribune went to IRCS and has a story about Christian fiction. “The undisputed industry leader is so-called Amish fiction — typically, romances and family sagas set in contemporary Amish communities. They’re a surprise hit with evangelical women attracted by a simpler time, curiosity about cloistered communities and admiration for the strong, traditional faith of the Amish.”
Blessed Are the Green of Heart
Writing for First Things, Alan Jacobs has a review of The Green Bible.
God’s Will and Your Marriage
Over at the Ligonier Ministries blog we’re posting a series by R.C. Sproul on “God’s Will and Your Marriage.”
Deal of the Day: Assured by God
Reformation Heritage Books (on their brand new web site) are offering this book, edited by Burk Parsons, for just $10. Contributors include Joel R. Beeke, Jerry Bridges, John MacArthur, R. Albert Mohler Jr., and R. C. Sproul.
July 15, 2009
Why Bus Stops?
My buddy PMac, summer evangelist at our church, explains why he likes to find people and talk with them as they wait at bus stops (as opposed to going door-to-door through the neighborhood).
The Day Facebook Changed
Here is a change to look out for and one with very far-reaching effects. In just a short while Facebook will make profiles public by default (instead of making them available only to friends as they are now). Just imagine all of the information about you that will now be available to the world…
Is Masturbation Sin?
Relevant has discussed this issue over the past couple of weeks. I found this article particularly compelling as it came from a person who once took the opposite stance. “If I could go back to the 23-year-old that wrote those words, I would first punch his throat because a dude trying to justify his own sin is a dangerous dude and deserves a good throat punch. Then, I would encourage him to not share his thoughts publicly yet.” You’ve got to give him points for style, anyway.
Michael Jackson’s Real Legacy
I think this article does a good job of tapping into Michael Jackson’s real legacy. I won’t give it away, but suffice it to say that it’s got little to do with fame, fortune, dancing or music.
The Master of Ancient and Modern Myth
Albert Shepherd provides a review of J.R.R. Tolkien’s latest posthumous release, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun. “In these days when anyone can write a book and slap it together quickly to make some quick cash, “The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun” rises as an instant classic. The shallow-minded may soak up the soft drink that is the “Twilight” series or the “Inheritance Cycle”, but Tolkien’s writing, like a fine wine, refreshes those looking for deeper, more meaningful fare.”