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A La Carte

July 24, 2015

New deals today include I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer ($0.99); Revelation commentary by Paige Patterson ($2.99); and Suburbianity by Byron Yawn ($2.99).

5 Reasons to Keep the Kids In - This article largely describes my preference when it comes to children and worship services.

The Coming of the Age of Gibberish - Carl Trueman highlights the kind of ridiculous statement that is suddenly becoming so common.

Logic on Fire - You may have heard of the excellent documentary Logic on Fire which looks at the life and ministry of Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The DVD is being offered at quite a discount.

How Boa Constrictors Kill - So maybe boa constrictors aren’t actually killing their prey by suffocation.

The End of Christianity in the Middle East - The New York Times magazine shows how the last vestiges of Christianity are being stamped out in the Middle East.

The Great Work Taking Place in Our World - Rick Phillips reminds us of the great work that is taking place in our world.

Plan B - I was sorry to read this story, about Washington State forcing objecting pharmacists to dispense Plan B.

All the preaching in the world cannot make a man see the truth so long as his eyes are blinded. —C.H. Spurgeon



July 23, 2015

Today is a good day to stock up on R.C. Sproul books: God’s Love and The Work of Christ are $1.99 each, Pleasing God is $0.99, while How Then Shall We Worship? is free.

Heaven Is a Place for Sale - This article traces a bit of the pre-history of the heaven tourism genre.

Forward from Conversion - Ed Stetzer: “It’s a really bad idea to give birth to a baby and leave them on their own. We call that abandonment. People go to jail for that—and rightfully so. But I think sometimes we do that in church.”

Lighting at 2000 FPS - This is an amazing video that shows lighting at 2000 frames per second.

The Pastor’s Personal Holiness - Nothing is more essential to a pastor’s calling or the ministry he extends to others than his own personal holiness.

New York Times Bestseller - We all know it’s an honor to be a New York Times bestseller. This article explains what that actually means.

After Miscarriage - Jessalyn Hutto has written a helpful book on miscarriage. Over the next couple of weeks she will taking and answering questions through her blog.

The world: Your biggest problem is without. The solution is within. The Bible: Your biggest problem is within. The solution is without. —Matt Smethurst



July 22, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Preaching in the Holy Spirit by Albert Martin ($0.99); The Holy Spirit by Geoffrey Thomas ($2.99); The Holy Spirit and Reformed Spirituality by Joel Beeke & Derek Thomas ($2.99); 50 People Every Christian Should Know by Warren Wiersbe ($2.99); The Real Face of Atheism by Ravi Zacharias ($1.99); 

10 Numbers You Should Know About Planned Parenthood - Joe Carter gives you 10 important numbers related to Planned Parenthood. 

9Marks Collection - Westminster Books has marked down a large selection of 9Marks books. I recommend each and every one of them.

Pursuing Lyrical and Musical Flow - Jamie Brown is writing some very helpful articles for worship leaders and service planners. 

What’s Wrong with Designer Genes? - “We believe the church needs to become aware of this latest scientific development in genetic research, why it was attempted, the fallout and its consequences, and what specific ethical lines it crosses for us as Christians.”

The Missing Ingredient for Sexual Purity - If sexual purity is your struggle, Luke Gilkerson’s article may prove helpful.

The Power of Morning and Evening Routines - The Art of Manliness has a helpful video on the power of building routines into your life.

When we pray together, our needs become public. When he answers, his glory becomes public. —Jamie Dunlop



July 21, 2015

Here are a few Kindle deals: Mormonism Unmasked by R Phillip Roberts ($2.99); Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret ($4.61); Answers to Prayer by George Mueller ($4.10); James Robinson Graves by James Patterson ($2.99).

Textiquette for Teenagers - I guess we are all trying to figure out how best to lead our kids in this new world. Here are one dad’s thoughts on “textiquette.”

The Book of Numbers - Here, from The Bible Project, is a neat 6-minute overview of Numbers.

I am going to keep giving room for stories related to Planned Parenthood, mostly because this could be a real tipping-point in America’s relationship to an evil organization. Rosaria Butterfield says honestly, I Thought Planned Parenthood Protected Family Values. Also, Brit Hume has delivered a very powerful commentary on abortion.

Underwater Graveyard - For 70 years, World War II planes have been resting in peace at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Mashable has some some amazing photos.

The Sunday Worship Killer - “Donning the robes of the critic maims and kills many would-be worshipers in churches every single Sunday morning.”

Does Water Ever Expire? - Why does your bottle of water taste bad the day after you open it?

What will really save the lost world? Let me tell you: none of our complaints against it. —Jared Wilson



July 20, 2015

Here are a few Kindle deals: The brand new John Newton on the Christian Life by Tony Reinke is $5.99, as is Jonathan Aitken’s excellent biography aptly titled John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace. On a different note, consider Rosaria Butterfield’s The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert which is just $0.99 for the new expanded edition. (Also, I noticed Downton Abbey is on sale on Blu Ray today.)

Police or Pastor? - After an incident of domestic violence, who should a woman call first, her pastor or the police?

Edge of Stability - This photographer has captured some incredible footage of storms and other bad weather.

An Ugly Mirror for America - I’m glad to see CNN dedicating some space to the ugly situation with Planned Parenthood. “The detail is up for lawyers to debate. What matters about this video is what it appears to reveal about the reality behind America’s sanitized image of abortion; the reality of what an abortion is and how it morally compromises us all.”

You Can Do it, Baby! - “Our culture is rich with esteem-boosting platitudes for young dreamers, but the assurances are dishonest and dangerous.”

Ink - I enjoyed watching this short celebration of ink. Yes, ink—plain old ink on paper.

Praying the Bible - You can sign up to join Don Whitney on a 5-day journey to learn a simple, practical, and biblical approach to prayer that will turn duty into delight.

Too Busy for God’s Word? - Bambi Moore has some encouraging and challenging words for all of us, but perhaps moms in particular.

The only person who dares wake up a king at 3:00 AM for a glass of water is a child. We have that kind of access. —Tim Keller



July 18, 2015

Here are a couple of Kindle deals for you: The Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins ($1.99); All that Jesus Asks by Stan Guthrie ($1.99); The Christian Husband by Bob Lepine ($1.99).

Eylenad is a beautiful film that displays the beauty of Iceland. You know the drill: HD and full-screen.

Tomorrow you will be gathering with God’s people to worship him together. Are you prepared?

I do not often link to The Onion (fake news) but in this case I will make an exception for this great headlne: “Child’s Description Of Heaven During Near-Death Experience Specifically Mentions Book Deal.”

Sometimes we think our prayer requests are too trivial—why would I bother God with something like that? Do it anyway. God is glad to hear your prayers.

Steven Kryger provides his rationale for removing extremely effective pop-up ads from his site. I like the way his mind is tracking here.

Aaron Denlinger continues his look at some Scottish martyrs with a brief biography of Helen Stirk who, in 1544, was charged with meeting to read and study an English Bible.

It’s true: God will give you more than you can handle. But not more than he can handle.

Thanks to Avant Ministries for sponsoring the blog this week with The Spiritual Impact of ISIS.

We must not allow anything in our churches to compete with the high visibility of the gospel. —Ray Ortlund



July 17, 2015

Here are a few Kindle deals that may be worth a peek: The Religions Next Door by Marvin Olasky ($0.99); The Illustrated Life of Paul by Charles Quarles ($0.99); Raising Responsible Teens in a Digital World by Brian Housman ($0.99); A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Enhanced edition) ($0.99); Key Words of the Christian Life by Warren Wiersbe ($0.99). (If you are especially interested in knowing or praying the Psalms, take a look at Westminster’s deal on the ESV Psalter.)

Long-Term Fruitfulness or Short-Term Flashiness - Jamie Brown has something for you to consider if you are involved in leading music at your church.

The Pacific Crest Trail in Three Minutes - It’s not the best video you’ll ever see, but it’s still a stunning look at what you’ll encounter if you hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Grotesque Business of Planned Parenthood - “It’s hard to have an honest debate about abortion in this country, when the issue is so often shrouded in evasion and deception. That’s why we all owe a debt to Deborah Nucatola. She is willing to tell it the way it is.”

So Cute, So Creepy - Here’s some amazing photographs by a guy who loves to take pictures of caterpillars. Yes, caterpillars. And the photos are stunning.

Focus on Flow - Email really is amazing disruptive to your creative work. This article calls you to focus on flow rather than email.

Online Bible Resources - Nathan Busenitz provides a list of free, bookmark-worthy resources that will help with Bible study or sermon preparation.

The Day After a Bad Night - Here’s what to do the day after you’ve had a sleepless night.

Jesus had every reason to be proud yet he was humble, and we have every reason to be humble yet we’re proud. —Burk Parsons 



July 16, 2015

Planned Parenthood, Abortion, and the Conscience of a Nation - You will benefit from reading Dr. Mohler’s analysis of the breaking news surrounding Planned Parenthood. His conclusion: “A nation that will allow this, will allow anything.”

Thank You, Mark Oppenheimer - Like Andrew Walker, I tend to believe that the sexual radicals are overplaying their hand.

The Sanctified Introvert - Here’s a brief, wise word that applies to introverts (and extroverts, I suppose).

Why Is Evolution so Widely Believed? - We have all wondered this one, I think: If there are so many good scientific arguments against evolution, why is it so widely believed?

7 Gospel-Centered Principles for Protecting Your Marriage - There is lots of wisdom in this article.

How I Started Praying the Bible - Here’s a good follow-up to yesterday’s review of Don Whitney’s new book Praying the Bible (my review).

This Is Not Natural - You eat a lot of chemicals. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

How great an injustice it is to know about eternal suffering and do nothing.  —Michael Oh



July 15, 2015

Today is Prime Day at Amazon. They have a Black Friday level of deals, including deals on several of their Kindle tablets and e-readers. You will also find a handful of new Kindle deals: The Rage Against God by Peter Hitchens ($1.99); Toxic Charity and Theirs Is the Kingdom by Robert Lupton ($1.99 each).

Meeting Elisabeth Elliot - I am quite sure you will enjoy reading this little story of Elisabeth Elliot extending kindness.

How Should Christians Comment Online? - “Reading people’s comments online is an interesting and sometimes troubling study in human nature.” Which is one of the reasons I am increasingly turning them off.

Planned Parenthood and the Atrocity of Corpse-Selling - Russell Moore writes of an undercover operation which proved Planned Parenthood’s top doctor is selling the body parts of aborted children. The most important part of this complementary article is in the last couple of paragraphs. Finally, John Piper invites you to join him in fasting and praying about this at lunch today.

Praying the Bible - Westminster Books is offering a solid deal on Donald Whitney’s new book which I am just about to review. 

You May Be Getting More Sleep Than You Think - This is heartening to those of us who struggle in this way.

What Is a Calorie? - What are these calorie things we obsess about?

Creations Groans Are Not Meaningless - Tim Keller writes truly that “Sooner or later, every believer wonders if being a Christian is worth it.”

Prayer should be done regularly, persistently, resolutely, and tenaciously at least daily, whether we feel like it or not. —Tim Keller



July 14, 2015

Zondervan is having a “Dive Into the Bible eBook Sale” that includes some useful titles. Grasping God’s Word by J. Scott Duvall & J. Daniel Hays is $9.99, down from the usual $32.99. Other titles include Journey Into God’s Word by J. Scott Duvall & J. Daniel Hays ($3.99); How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth and How to Read the Bible Book by Book by Gordon Fee ($3.99 each); NIV Proclamation Bible ($2.99). Also consider Alone with God and Saved Without a Doubt by John MacArthur ($0.99); What Is Reformed Theology? by R.C. Sproul ($2.99).

7 Areas of Unbiblical Conscience Binding - This article is an especially good one on an especially important area. “To be sure, we should all be zealous to teach and exemplify every principle of holiness taught in Scripture; but more often than not, individuals who are most zealous for holiness fall into the trap of teaching their personal applications of a biblical–or a supposedly biblical–principle of holiness rather than simply teaching the principle.”

The Blessing of Catechizing Our Children - I wouldn’t want what I wrote yesterday (about how we do simple family devotions) to convince people there is no value in catechizing their children.

Facebook’s News Feed - “The end goal for the world’s largest social network isn’t just to guess what you’ll click on when you’re bored. The company wants to show you the things you care about most in your life, both online and off.”

Fake News - Last week was (another) embarrassing week for Christians sharing fake news. Ed Stetzer gives some advice to consider before you hit that “share” button.

The Christian Passport - “Heaven’s passport is not given because we are religious, moral, wealthy, educated, Protestant, or any other qualification. This passport is given by the grace of God bringing us to birth through the gospel.”

The Art of Discontentment - We need to be both content and discontent. “The world is discontent with less and says, ‘You will find contentment with more.’ God says, ‘Learn to be content with less, and learn to be discontent with more.’”

Be assured, there is nothing new in theology except that which is false. —C.H. Spurgeon