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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

May 18, 2011

This spring we’ve had rain, rain and more rain. And when the rain has ended, there’s been a little bit more rain. I am starting to get a glimpse of what it must be like to live in Vancouver or Seattle! But it’s not all bad—the world is almost impossibly green right now, something that can only come with this quantity of rainfall.

John MacArthur - This is exciting news. Iain Murray’s long-awaited next biography will be on John MacArthur. Banner of Truth will be releasing it on May 30. The full title is John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock. Click here to get information or to be notified when it’s ready to ship.

You Are My Pastor - I loved this article from Thom Rainer. I’m blessed to have pastors like that, and long to be a pastor like that.

An Interview - The most recent issue of Christianity Today had an interview with me. They’ve just posted that interview online if you’d like to give it a read.

What Not to Wear - Mary Kassian has a helpful article on the always-difficult subject of modesty. “In 1 Timothy 2:9, the Lord provides three guidelines that help Christian women figure out what and what not to wear: ‘She adorns herself with respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control.’ Let’s examine these three guidelines to help us ensure that our looks are in good order, properly arranged, and ready to display Christ. “

Profiting from Sin - The Atlantic lists the 10 states that profit most from sin.

Strong vs Weak - Here’s an excerpt from an article that discusses the terms “weak dollar” and “strong dollar” and why stronger isn’t always better than weaker. Living on the other side of the US border, I’m very well aware of the costs and benefits of a weak or a strong dollar!

The City Limits - This is a beautiful timelapse video.

There can be no victory where there is no combat. —Richard Sibbes

May 17, 2011

I know there are some of you who don’t care a lick for baseball. And for that reason I try not to mention my Blue Jays too often. But if you’re into baseball at all, you should check out this article on Jose Bautista and the season he’s having so far. Granting that there’s still a lot of baseball to play, the man is tearing the league apart. In fact, if he keeps it up (which he probably won’t), he might just have the best season of all-time.

10 Things Submission Is Not - This is a good article that deals with what is not true about biblical submission. Someone should write up a companion (“10 Things Leadership Is Not”); do that and make it good and I’ll give it a link as well!

Children! - Bill Mounce asks a question about a translation choice in John 21 where Jesus calls the disciples “children.” “There is no way that a grown man would yell out “children” to another group of grown men, and fishermen to boot…”

Inspiring Bookstores - One great loss as the world transitions to ebooks will be the bookstore. Here is a gallery of some particularly impressive ones.

But God… - Aaron Armstrong writes a glowing review of Cruciform Press’ latest book, But God. “Because “But God…” and all of the publisher’s titles are held to a strict word count, their authors are not afforded room to meander. They have to get to the point, which (I know from experience) can prove difficult. But in this book’s case, the result is a refreshingly concise, yet comprehensive biblical theology of grace that left this reader more in awe of the grace of God.”

Attention Spans - And while we’re on the subject of short books, WSJ has an article in praise of shortened attention spans. Because otherwise we are all prone to meander (as Aaron has just suggested!).

Suffering as a Gift of Grace - Drew wrestles with a tough verse here, and offers up some good thoughts on what it means that we suffer for Christ’s sake.

Texting Mom - I enjoyed this video.

A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. —John Calvin

May 16, 2011

The Essential Owen - Here’s a blog I’ve only just discovered. And it’s a good one. “John Owen was arguably the most brilliant theologian of the English language. While he was extraordinarily brilliant, his writings were not always extraordinarily accessible. It is the intention of this site and its author to glean from the good doctor, quotes and excerpts that show the Christ centered world view of this gifted Puritan divine.” In other words, it’s bite-sized portions of John Owen’s writings.

The Future of the Library - Be sure to check out Seth Godin’s thoughts on the future of the library. He’s got some interesting and important things to say about its future. And if libraries are your thing, you may also appreciate this article from Chris Brauns.

He Descended into Hell - Sandy Grant looks at that strange phrase from the Apostle’s Creed, “He descended into hell.”

Christianity & Liberalism - I’ll be reading Christianity & Liberalism along with hundreds of this site’s readers. If you’d like to get it cheap, check out Monergism Books. 1) Put any combination of books or eBooks worth over $3 in your shopping cart; 2) add Christianity and Liberalism (eBook) to your cart; 3) type the word machen at check out; 4) click apply and receive your free eBook. (A link will be sent to your email with download instructions).

The Century of Disasters - Slate has an article about the rash of disasters lately. Near the end of the column there are some useful practical thoughts on what it means and how we should (or shouldn’t) react.

Osama’s Porn Stash - Al Mohler draws some important lessons from the recently-revealed knowledge that Osama Bin Laden had a porn stash in his home.

You Need to Feed Yourself - Aaron Armstrong writes about that oft-repeated phrase, “You need to feed yourself.”

Gold can no more fill the spirit of a man, than grace his purse. A man may as well fill a bag with wisdom, as the soul with the world. —Robert Bolton

May 14, 2011

I woke up early this morning to take my daughter to breakfast at Denny’s—pretty much her all-time favorite daddy date. We walked outside and there, lying on the ground in the middle of the road, was a coupon for 20% off any order at Denny’s. We took it as a sign.

Publishers Win - Christian Retailing rounds up a few of the Love Wins responses that are already in the works.

Bulletin Bloopers - Thom Rainer collects bulletin bloopers and in this blog post he shares a few of his all-time favorites. Example: “The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.”

Bagels and Donuts - I feel like I can only get away with posting links to this kind of thing on a Saturday. I found this one rather amusing.

Gospel Seeds in Uganda - Matt Schmucker reports on an amazing experience he had in Uganda.

The Creation-Evolution Debate - C. Michael Patton has a brief but helpful round-up of the different views of the origins of the world.

Space Pictures - National Geographic has a gallery of some new and amazing pictures from space.

Grace finds us beggars but leaves us debtors. —Augustus Toplady

May 13, 2011

Real-World Church - White Horse Inn has a review of the book SimChurch and by looking at the book they say some useful things about the importance of separating the virtual from the real.

How to Leave Comments - I enjoyed this comic. Writing is so therapeutic. So is making a sandwich.

Amish Technology - This is a really good article if you can make it all the way through (it’s a longer one). The author takes the time to explain why the Amish draw the seemingly-strange lines they do when it comes to technology.

The Busers on Biem - I really enjoyed watching this video of a family that has set out to build a ministry in Papua New Guinea. This article offers some interesting background.

The 15 Best Things - Here are the 15 best things Warren Buffet has said about investing.

The Responsibility of Wealth - Craig Groeschel writes about generosity, wealth and why the two are necessarily related.

With Every Blow - Be sure to check out this powerful video which explores persecution in Romania during the time of Ceausescu. T-Wax rounds up some of the best quotes.

Persecution is no novelty … the offence of the cross will never cease till all flesh shall see the salvation of God. —William S. Plumer

May 12, 2011

If you haven’t yet, and if you’re interested in reading a classic book together, be sure to check out the poll I posted yesterday. There are 2 to choose from, voting will close very soon, and it’s neck-in-neck. Click here to vote.

Transforming Neighborhoods by Transforming Schools - I really appreciate a lot of what this article says about the role of Christians in the public schools. Hey, even if you don’t send your children to public school, how about volunteering at one to keep the gospel there?

Hospitality and Small Children - Abigail offers up some great thoughts on being hospitable despite having small children. A lot of people give up hospitality because of their little ones; Abigail tells you why you shouldn’t do that.

Best Winter Moves - It’s been a while since I posted a baseball-related link. So I don’t feel guilty about this one, which describes the best moves of the off-season. The Blue Jays did well for themselves.

African Weddings - This article from Conrad Mbewe offers an interesting glimpse into the peculiarities of another culture.

Spiritual Depression - Granted Ministries (think Paul Washer) has just released a nice new version of Martyn-Lloyd Jones’ classic Spiritual Depression. As a special bonus it includes a CD that contains the original sermons the book was based upon.

Rock of Ages - A free MP3 of a folky version of “Rock of Ages.” I like it.

Shallow Small Group - I’ve been to small groups like this one. (HT:Everyone)

Whoever brings an affliction, it is God who sends it. —Thomas Watson

May 11, 2011

I was doing a phone interview last night and had a rather awkward moment. I was in the basement and as I was answering a question, I spotted a hamster in the window well, trying to get into our house (or get out of the window well). I hadn’t expected that. When the interview wrapped up, I managed to track down its grateful and relieved owner (who lives 2 doors down). End of story.

More Friends Online - This seems rather significant. “There really is something in that lingering suspicion that most users of social networking sites have more friends in cyberspace than reality.The average person has in fact double the amount of online friends than physical ones.”

Underage Facebook Users - I am often asked in interviews how we should train our children to use social media responsibly. Here’s a good place to start: don’t cheat the system and get them a Facebook account before they are old enough to legitimately have one. And yet there are currently 7.5 million Facebook users who are underage (who have lied or whose parents have lied to get them an account).

Starbucks, Vocation and the Mundane - Here are some interesting thoughts from Matt Perman about vocation.

Unspoken Truths - As cancer ravages his body, Christopher Hitchens is finding his voice leaving him. You can’t help but pity the man; you can’t help but pray for him.

The ‘Education’ Mantra - “One of the sad and dangerous signs of our times is how many people are enthralled by words, without bothering to look at the realities behind those words.” Ain’t that the truth! Thomas Sowell writes about “education” and how it is one of those words.

Thriving at College - Speaking of education, my friend Alex Chediak wants you (or your kids or your grand kids) to thrive at college. And that just happens to be the title of his new book. Here is a very positive review of it.

The King’s English - Now this is pretty clever. This video ties into a unique blog effort. In honor of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version, this blogger “will blog on a phrase each day that has passed into common parlance: popular phrases like ‘labour of love’, ‘beast of burden’, ‘wits’ end’ and ‘scapegoat’; but also phrases that should be more popular, like ‘filthy lucre’ and ‘gird up thy loins’.” (see http://kingsenglish.info/)

We spend our years with sighing; it is a valley of tears; but death is the funeral of all our sorrows.  —Thomas Watson