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A La Carte

May 28, 2011

My son had a baseball game last night, the first of at least 3 he is to play this weekend as part of a tournament. He was on second base and ended up on the wrong side of a triple play. I guess he’s a true baseball fan because on the way off the field he high-fived the guy on the other team who turned the play. I was proud of him. When your son inherits your lack of athletic ability, being a good teammate is your highest hope for him!

That Others May Live - “The United States military has entire units devoted exclusively to saving lost soldiers downed in hostile territory. The USAF pararescue forces have one stated mission: rescue. As a believer and a missionary, I am inspired by their motto…”

Maple Syrup Reactors Safe - “Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper addressed growing public concerns about the safety of his country’s maple syrup reactors Thursday, reassuring citizens that the sucrose fission facilities posed little risk of failure and there was absolutely no reason to be concerned.”

Live Simulcast Event - This looks like an interesting event; it is being simulcast around the world so you may be able to find a local location to take it in.

Being a Healthy Pastor - There are some good words here for pastors. 

What Song? - This is strangely fascinating. If you ever see me listening to something on my iPhone, it’s probably Max McLean. (HT:Z)

The Himalayas are the raised letters upon which we blind children put our fingers to spell out the name of God.J.H. Barrows

May 27, 2011

John Piper Interviews Rick Warren - Here is the long-awaited interview. You can read Piper’s purpose and rationale and then listen to the interview. “My aim in this interview is to bring out and clarify what Rick Warren believes about these biblical doctrines. In doing this my hope is that the thousands of pastors and lay people who look to Rick for inspiration and wisdom will see the profound place that doctrine has in his mind and heart.”

15 Killer Offices - Here are some amazing offices from various technology companies. They are amazingly creative but also surprisingly similar to one another.

Across the Great Divide - A free song for you to download.

$5 Friday - Ligonier has some good deals in their $5 Friday. Also, you can use the coupon code SPRING10 and get 10% off an order at their site. But only for another couple of days.

Six-Block Scar - “Following the devastating tornado which ripped though Joplin at the weekend, these satellite images show the extent of the damage. Before and after aerial photos show the shocking extent of the damage caused by the twister in the Missouri city - this image shows a six-block path of destruction.”

Alzheimer’s and the Gospel - From Carolyn McCulley: “A few weeks ago, I met Karyn Heath at a conference. As she spoke to me about her job caring for people with Alzheimer’s, I immediately asked her to write a guest post for my blog. This is necessary reading for all those who fear the future and those who are dealing with this disease right now.”

It is impossible for science to correct the Word of God, but it is possible for science to correct the word of the theologian. —R.C. Sproul

May 26, 2011

Some day people will laugh at our culture. After all, Forbes has just (rightly) declared that Lady Gaga is currently the most influential celebrity in the world. Lady Gaga. That name alone should exclude her from any kind of influence. PluggedIn has a good review of her new album, Born This Way. “Past all the glitz and glamour and Madonna-esque efforts to shock, Gaga hints at a deep void in her own soul that she struggles to fill. ‘I’m a soldier to my own emptiness,’ she sings on ‘Marry the Night.’ And even though she’s playing the role of a teenage girl when she sings ‘I want lots of friends that invite me to their parties’ on ‘Hair,’ you get the sense that she’s talking about her own life too.”

Here are some other links worth checking out:

Men in Cars - “One thing I have noticed at the food pantry where I volunteer is that nine times out of ten a woman comes in to receive food, her male significant other waits in the car. I know this because he and I make awkward eye contact when I help the ladies carry groceries to the car.”

Professor Horner’s Plan - A while back I did up a blog post about Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System. Some have found that there is just too much reading at 10 chapters per day. This blogger has created a spreadsheet that will help you do the plan at your own pace.

In the House of Prayer - “Arnold Dallimore, in his enjoyable biography of Charles Spurgeon, recounts the following about the Prince of Preachers’ prayer life: ‘He talked with God in reverence but with freedom and familiarity.’ Freedom and familiarity: watchwords of true prayer. These two words prove an example of what balanced prayer should look like for the Christian. Unfortunately such balance is often toppled leaving Christians to slide from one or the other of the two extremes.”

Questions to Ask Your Wife - Men, here is a list of questions you would do well to ask your wife.

Christless Christianity - Gene Veith says “Pastor Douthwaite at our church gave one of the best comments on the Harold Camping fiasco.” And he’s right; the pastor got to the very crux of the matter (at least in the brief excerpt Veith includes).

Victims of Data Overload - “For the first time in my life, I was dropping the ball. Missing emails. Notes from friends on Facebook. DM’s on Twitter. And I’m no slouch. I start early, am on the web all day, and answer my last email just before I turn out the lights to go to bed. So, what was I doing wrong? And, was I alone? Now, I know the answers—and they’re stunning.”

I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. —Martin Luther

May 25, 2011

Speaking with Contempt  - Tim Keller has some wise words on leadership and contempt. “It is natural, when under criticism, to shield your heart from pain by belittling the critics in your mind. ‘You stupid idiots.’ Even if you don’t speak outwardly to people like Moses did, you do so inwardly.  That will lead to self-absorption, self-pity, maybe even delusions of grandeur, but the great sin is that the growth of inner disdain leads to pride and a loss of humble reliance on God’s grace.”

The Institutes for $0.99 - Amazon has the Kindle version of Calvin’s Institutes for just $0.99. I think you’ll find that The Institutes deliver at least $0.99 worth of value.

The Next Story - Aaron Armstrong has written a review of The Next Story.

The End of the Book - An article to read and enjoy if you read and enjoy books. “Like swords, books have symbolic power. Like fireplaces, they induce a sense of comfort and warmth. And, perhaps, similar to sails, they make a useful backup for when the lights go out.”

So What About Masturbation? - This is a useful take on what is always an important topic (and one people are genuinely seeking answers for). “When thinking about a biblical view of masturbation, we first need to acknowledge that there is no Bible verse that says masturbation is a sin. However, there are several biblical principles that can guide us in assessing a biblical view of masturbation.”

Gambling - Phil Johnson writes about gambling and deals with some of the red herrings that often derail good discussion on the topic.

Wrestling with an Angel - Greg Lucas speaks about what’s right with his disabled son. (Click here to find out more about Greg’s book)

Satan, like a fisher, baits his hook according to the appetite of the fish. —Thomas Adams

May 24, 2011

I am up early today and doing a bit of work on the site. Largely I am attempting to implement a new commenting system—something I’d like to try out for a couple of weeks. The comments aren’t going to look quite as pretty, but I’m hoping that the new functionality will more than compensate.

Tornadoes Strike Again - What a year it has been. The Big Picture shows the devastation in Joplin. Some of these photos, like #11, are nearly unbelievable.

The Second Coming - This Sunday Ailistair Begg preached about Christ’s second coming. I haven’t been able to listen yet, but I’ve heard good reports.

Shepherding Women - Brian Croft offers some godly wisdom on the topic of a pastor shepherding women. “Wise, thoughtful, discerning, and balanced parameters needs to be the heart of every pastor’s approach.  So then, here are a few suggestions I have found helpful over the years in avoiding these extremes as I personally try to care for women in the church, yet being very wise and aware of the biblical call to be above reproach…”

India’s Unwanted Girls - “India’s 2011 census shows a serious decline in the number of girls under the age of seven - activists fear eight million female foetuses may have been aborted in the past decade. The BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi explores what has led to this crisis.”

Prescribing Jesus - “A Christian doctor in England has been threatened with an official warning from his professional body for discussing Jesus with a patient, The (London) Sunday Times reported.Richard Scott, a doctor for 28 years, is under investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC) and faces disciplinary action after he suggested to a 24-year-old man that he might find solace in Christianity.”

Reimagining the Big Mac - Senseless but kind of fun.

Red Flag - Your morning laugh (or giggle, anyway).

Be obedient even when you do not know where obedience may lead you. —Sinclair Ferguson

May 23, 2011

All the news this weekend was about no news at all. Here are a few of the many, many links that came my way about Harold Camping. Timothy Dalrymple has a letter to Camping and his followers that is worth reading. Be sure to read his addition at the end. The Atlantic follows up with some of his most ardent followers to see how they’ve reacted. Meanwhile, Seth Godin draws a marketing lesson and Denny Burk tells us not to sit in the seat of scoffers.

All of Grace - Monergism Books is giving away the complete text of Charles Spurgeon’s All of Grace in ebook (mobi and epub) formats.

Early Marriage - It is good to read articles like this in the wider culture. “University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus has a few odd things to say about marriage: Do not wait so long; all your ducks do not have to be in a row before marrying.”

Boy Meets Girl - Speaking of marriage, this article from WORLD writes about new realities in dating and courtship. “Christians are not like the world when it comes to dating and courtship. But ­in-depth interviews reveal a lot of confusion and anxiety among God’s young men and women when it comes to forming relationships and finding a spouse”

Call It What God Calls It - A good word from an ordinary pastor.

The Last Hundred Grown-Ups - Occasionally The Onion nails it. This time they’re saying that America is down to its last 104 grown-ups. “The endangered demographic, which is projected to die out completely by 2060, is reportedly distinguished from other groups by numerous unique traits, including foresight, rationality, understanding of how to obtain and pay for a mortgage, personal responsibility, and the ability to enter a store without immediately purchasing whatever items they see and desire.”

The Royal Wedding - Barry Waugh offers a fascinating play-by-play of the royal wedding, explaining each part of it from a historical context.

Shift Happens - Don’t shoot the messenger for the title. Behind it is an interesting article about Netflix and its new dominance of Internet bandwidth. The Internet is quickly swinging from a word-based to a visual medium.

Christianity is not about how to escape from the difficulties of life, but about how to face them. —Brian Edwards.

May 20, 2011

Starting the Day Off Right - Nancy Leigh DeMoss writes about personal devotions. “As Father’s Day approaches, I’m reflecting on the legacy I have received from my father—some of the principles he taught and modeled that have shaped my life.”

10 Things Leadership Is Not - Earlier this week I linked to an article about things submission is not. Here is a good follow-up which lists what leadership is not.

Hell - Francis Chan just released this video in which he talks about a book he is working on that deals with the issue of hell.

Islands in the Stream - Here is a gallery of some extraordinary homemade dams holding back the Mississippi as desperate residents try to save their homes.

More Kindle Books - It’s significant when the biggest bookstore announces that they are now selling more ebooks than printed books. “Since April 1, for every 100 print books sold on Amazon, 105 Kindle eBooks have been sold…”

Jogging While Mowing - “What would you say about a pastor who jogged while he mowed his lawn? He was so committed to ministry that he wanted to spend as little time as possible on non-ministry tasks. I know such a pastor. He’s an example of a pastor who works very hard in ministry. At first glance, it looks like he’s redeeming the time. Is he an example for all of us?”

I never saw a useful Christian who was not a student of the Bible.D.L. Moody

May 19, 2011

Live Q&A - Here is one to add to today’s calendar. Ligonier is hosting a live Q&A today with Sinclair Ferguson, R.C. Sproul Jr., Robert Godfrey and Steve Lawson. Check in at 2 PM EST to ask your question.

Can Romance Novels Hurt Your Heart? - This is a really good article from Russell Moore. Looking at some new research, he draws parallels between pornography and romance novels.

9 Marks of a Healthy Parachurch - 9 Marks has a lengthy look at the marks of a healthy parachurch ministry.

Visit to Togo - It’s always interesting to read about what Conrad Mbewe is up to. He typically has to end his stories by exclaiming, “Only in Africa!”

Off With His Head - This article at the Chronicle takes a look at the situation involving the head of the IMF. This stood out to me: “On a deep level, we experience the humiliation of the man as a satisfying comeuppance for a super-alpha male who gets to stay regularly in $3,000-a-night hotels, fly first class wherever he goes, and live in a multi-million dollar mansion in Washington, D.C.”

Gentleness - Is gentleness a forgotten virtue? This article reminds us of some of what the Bible says about the virtue of gentleness.

Teaching Children to Pray - Burk Parsons has a two-part article on teaching your children to pray. “God created us as dependent creatures. We were made to fall on our knees and pray. Men either worship self through the world, the flesh, and the Devil, or by God’s grace, they worship him. God fashioned our hearts with an overwhelming sense and insatiable desire to commune with him.”

It is far less important to die the martyr’s death than to live the martyr’s life. —Robert E. Speer