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A La Carte

July 07, 2015

Grace To You Bible App - The Grace To You Bible app launches today. The app is free and includes the ESV Bible and lots of MacArthur resources. If you like you can purchase the MacArthur Study Bible notes as an extra.

Climbing a Tree - It’s just a mother raccoon teaching its baby to climb a tree.

Praying Backwards - Praying Backwards, one of my favorite books on prayer, is on sale in the Kindle edition ($1.99).

Christian Bakers Face $135K Fine - You’re probably already read about this story, but Joe Carter will get you caught up with the relevant information.

The Prayer Meeting Revival - Vance Christie tells the story of an amazing revival. Why would we doubt that God can do this again?

Pastors Who Don’t Delegate - Delegation is a difficult skill to learn, but a crucial one for leaders.

The World’s Deadliest Animals - As usual, we tend to fear all the wrong things.

It is not the perfection of one’s life but the direction of a life that provides evidence of regeneration. —John MacArthur



July 06, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Note to Self and Experiencing the Trinity by Joe Thorn ($3.99 each)—both are excellent and good additions to any library; Joni: An Unforgettable Story by Joni Eareckson Tada ($1.99); An Introduction to Wisdom and Poetry of the Old Testament by Donald Berry ($0.99); Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas ($1.99).

R.C. Sproul on the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling - R.C. Sproul has recorded some thoughts on the recent ruling on same-sex marriage.

Japan’s Suicide Rate - Here’s an interesting line from a sad article: “Japan has no history of Christianity…so here suicide is not a sin. In fact, some look at it as a way of taking responsibility.”

The Original Bohemian - Andrew Wilson writes about Jan Hus who was martyred 600 years ago today.

When to Baptize Believing Children - I found this quite a helpful distinction: “I think we Baptists should move away from the language of a ‘credible’ profession of faith when it comes to our children and teens, and instead speak in terms of a ‘mature’ profession of faith before baptizing.”

When the World Doesn’t Recognize Who You Are - Melissa draws an important and applicable lesson after spending some time at Disney World.

What If He’s Not Healthy? - This is one mom’s reflections on pregnancy and all that really matters.

Right is right though all condemn, and wrong is wrong though all approve. —Charles Spurgeon



July 04, 2015

Thomas Kidd writes of The Final Break Between God and Country. “As proud as we may be of the American tradition, our nationalistic mixing of faith and state can make it difficult for us to see when the nation has gone wrong. It can also make it hard for us to know what to do when the nation has patently wandered from the truth.”

This site digs up the old question: How Did President Zachary Taylor Actually Die? It is a question that has perplexed people for some time now. But it seems there’s probably no mystery or conspiracy there.

The GTY Bible App is coming soon. Very soon. And it looks excellent.

Mike Wittmer is struck by our cultural leaders’ lack of sympathy for a religious perspective. And he draws an important lesson from it.

R.C. Sproul Jr. reflects on an interview he and I recently recorded together. (It will be out in the fall) He says that each of us is a Student in a School of Fools.

David Prince says Don’t Manuscript Your Sermons, and he says it in response to an article from 9Marks that advocates manuscripting. Between the two articles you’ll get the two sides of that discussion.

Winston Smith, a Christian counselor with CCEF, watched Inside Out and really enjoyed it. Here’s his review and analysis.

Thanks to NavPress for sponsoring the blog this week with Stealing from God.

There are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done. —Hudson Taylor 



July 03, 2015

There haven’t been a lot of notable Kindle deals this week, but you may want to take a look at Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas which is just $1.99—it’s a solid biography of the always-fascinating William Wilberforce.

The Afternoon Slump - You can’t avoid that afternoon slump, so you may as well learn to work around it.

Distinguishing the Spirit from the Serpent - Sinclair Ferguson: “How do we distinguish the promptings of the Spirit of grace in His guiding and governing of our lives from the delusions of the spirit of the world and of our own sinful heart?”

Three Scenes - How will you and your church contribute to the ministry of adoption? This article may help get started.

How Dangerous Is Turbulence? - How dangerous is the turbulence your plane experiences? Not very, it turns out, as long as you wear your seatbelt.

Calling to Ministry - The question of whether you are called to ministry should really become “Has God called me to be a leader in the church?” or “Does God want my specific ministry to be helping other people to minister?”

Mark it down—your progress in holiness will never exceed your relationship with the holy Word of God. —Nancy Leigh DeMoss



July 02, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include: Reckless Abandon and Hard Fighting Soldier by David Sitton ($0.99 each); Raised? by Jonathan Dodson & Brad Watson ($1.99); The Little Handbook to Perfecting the Art of Christian Writing by Don Aycock ($0.99); Walking with Lincoln by Thomas Freiling ($1.99).

Everhard Jabach and His Family - I think you will enjoy watching this 5-minute film on the repair and restoration of Charles Le Brun’s painting Everhard Jabach and His Family.

Apple Music - Apple is offering 3 months of free access to their new streaming service which competes directly with Spotify and its alternatives. If you sign up, you may want to follow these steps to make sure you won’t be charged at the end of your trial.

Four Appeals to Christians - Gavin Ortlund offers 4 appeals to Christians who are embracing gay marriage. Here’s a great line: “Panic and pessimism are out of order for a worldview anchored in belief in an omnipotent God, irresistible grace, and an eternal heaven.”

Baptism and a Theology of Children - There has been a bit of interesting blog-based discussion of baptism over the past few days. Jonathan Leeman has a round-up and reply.

You’re Not a Leader If… - This one hurts a little bit: “You are not a good leader if you never tell people you are sorry.”

Sin corrupts even our good deeds. We injure our shoulder trying to pat ourselves on the back. —D.A. Carson



July 01, 2015

Happy Canada Day! I know that each of you is celebrating in your own way. To celebrate the day (and the start of a new month), here are a few freebies and deals. Free from Logos is a pair of books, including one by Tom Schreiner. You’ll need to visit the main page of Logos.com and click the link to Free Book of the Month. Meanwhile, this month’s free book from Christian Audio is Ian & Larissa Murphy’s Eight Twenty Eight. It’s a good one, and it’s there for the taking! Finally, and as always, Amazon begins the new month with a selection of Kindle deals that cover most genres.

Earth View - Earth View is a collection of especially interesting shots from Google Earth. (If you are a Chrome user, grab the extension.) I love it!

Face Death Defiantly - There is a lot to be said for this: “Within the bounds of the gospel, defiance against death can be holy, cleansing, and constructive.”

Apologetics Resources - Westminster Books has some good apologetics resources on sale this week.

Colors - I enjoyed this short celebration of color. Of course I probably would have enjoyed it even more if not for the fact that I’m red/green color-blind.

The New F-Word - This article discusses how swearing and profanity inevitably change over time. (Note: Obviously there are offensive words in the article since, well, it’s about offensive words.)

You Will Be Perescuted with Words - Tom Schreiner: “It isn’t right to say that Christians in the United States are free from persecution. We should be more precise: we are free from physical persecution.”

It takes more than clicking like for a good cause to change the world. —Michael Oh



June 30, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: A Housewife’s Adventure with God by Jessie McFarlane ($2.99); Running Scared by Ed Welch ($2.99); The Radical Disciple by John Stott ($2.99).

Where You Start Determines Where You End - “This is an exciting, important time to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Our lost culture needs us now more than ever. We don’t have to be spectacular to stand out.”

On Twenty Years of Marriage - This is just a great bit of writing about the joy and beauty of marriage. (HT)

An Interview with Mark Dever - Tabletalk magazine has an interview with Mark Dever. He always has interesting things to say.

Celebrating Distinction - “Creator and creation. Male and female. Distinctions are important. In this excerpt from the teaching series Only Two Religions, Dr. Peter Jones explains why these biblical distinctions are under attack.”

5 Questions I Wish My Accountability Partner Had Asked - There is level-headed counsel in this article. And it’s not really about accountability partners at all.

Getting Ready to Forgive - I quite agree: “Rather than presenting forgiveness as a law, what we need to do is to shepherd the wounded Christian to the point where they could say truthfully that their hearts are watching the road.”

If you can trust God to save you for eternity, you can trust him to lead you for a lifetime. —David Platt



June 29, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Defending Your Faith by R.C. Sproul ($4.99); Apologetics for the Twenty-first Century by Louis Markos ($4.99); Can You Believe It’s True? by John Feinberg ($4.99); Covenantal Apologetics by Scott Oliphant ($4.99); That’s Just Your Interpretation by Paul Copan ($3.99); The Hidden Life of Prayer by David McIntyre ($3.99); Churches, Revolutions, and Empires by Ian Shaw ($4.99).

15,790 Slave Ships - This interactive animation shows the course of 15,790 slave ships from the Old World to the New. “This interactive … gives you a sense of the scale of the trans-Atlantic slave trade across time, as well as the flow of transport and eventual destinations.”

Teach Your Child to Have Devotions - “On a human level, we can take this step of obedience: when your child is old enough to read, give him a Bible and train him to use it.” He includes a helpful worksheet.

Justice Kennedy’s Arguments for Polygamy and Polyamory - This is thought-provoking. And probably inevitable.

Advice from Chesterton - From the same site, read this excellent advice from G.K. Chesterton.

Give Us This Day Our Daily News - “The decision of what goes on the front page and what leads the evening newscast is a worldview decision. Understand this when you consume news reporting…”

Deal With Your Anger - Here are 3 compelling reasons to deal with your anger.

The gospel shows us that Jesus chooses those who are failures to display his glory. —Dave Harvey



June 27, 2015

There are a few interesting Kindle deals today. Check out Puritan Portraits by J.I. Packer ($3.99). Amazon has a collection of American history books on sale at great prices, and I’m sure you can find some good summer reading there. (Check out Manhunt, for example. Also, Amity Shlae’s life of Coolidge is considered the best biography of that figure and I quite enjoyed reading it.)

By now you know how the Supreme Court ruled yesterday. Al Mohler has a special edition of The Briefing to talk it through. John Piper shared a lamentation. The Ethics & Religious Liberties Commission released Here We Stand, a statement of dissent signed by a whole series of Christian leaders. CBMW released an official response. And that is just scratching the surface.

Mike Riccardi has a primer for those wanting the lay of the land when it comes to various Theories of the Atonement. If the subject confuses you, this is a helpful overview.

The Banner of Truth is hosting quite a good giveaway if you’re interested in good literature.

Preachers would do well to keep these Rules for Sermon Writing close at hand and to consider them both before and during sermon preparation.

How Often Should We Celebrate The Lord’s Supper? It is a question every church has to consider and this article models thinking it through well.

I find it a delight to watch any artisan at his craft. There’s even something beautiful about watching a pair of bespoke shoes come together.

If you’re a nervous flyer you might be comforted by this article which describes all those weird noises you hear on an airplane.

Thanks to AccessTruth for sponsoring the blog this week!

Correct division should be preferred over corrupt unity. —Mark Dever



June 26, 2015

Here are some new Kindle deals that may interest you: Perspectives on Family Ministry ($0.99); The New Testament by Lea & Black ($2.99); Theologians of the Baptist Tradition by George & Dockery ($2.99); Word Pictures in the New Testament by A.T. Robertson ($0.99); New Testament Exegesis by Gordon Fee ($3.99).

Who Owns the Dead? - I’d say this article is about as off-beat as you’re likely to see me link to. But it’s an interesting one about the strange business of dying and our culture’s efforts to avoid death’s reality.

Marriage, Infidelity, and Ministry - Heath Lambert has a wisely pastoral article about marriage, infidelity, and ministry. (At least I think it’s Heath Lambert. The article doesn’t actually specify.)

Climb ‘El Capitan’ - Google Street View has gone up—way up! 

An Irish Christmas - You’ll want to take a look at the Getty’s dates for their upcoming Christmas tour. We saw them last year and enjoyed every minute of the concert. (Note: Shows prior to November 23 are part of the Hymns for the Christian Life tour.)

The Civil War Then and Now - “150 years after the last shots were fired, Guardian photographer David Levene travelled across the US photographing the sites scarred by the American civil war.” The before and after pictures make it all so real.

A Profile of Russell Moore - The Washington Post tells how a Southern Baptist leader became surprising voice on Confederate flag. I think we all see Moore as doing exactly what God created him to do.

Are you a champion of Christ on Twitter, but not in your neighborhood? —Michael Oh