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September 08, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith, Presbyterian and Reformed Churches by James McGoldrick, Still Growing by Kirk Cameron, Why Won’t They Listen? by Ken Ham, and When Missions Shapes the Mission by David Horner.

Andy Stanley and Old Liberalism

David Prince tells how Andy Stanley’s recent comments and sermons show that he is teaching the old, familiar liberalism.

Three Ways of Looking at Pastoral Ministry

David Murray gives three different ways to understand the qualifications of those who would be pastors.

Why Paper Cuts Hurt So Much

Why do those little cuts hurt so bad? BBC explains.

What Happens to Those Who Never Hear the Gospel?

Matt Smethurst takes on this difficult question. “The man on the island. Perhaps you’ve encountered him in a friend’s argument against Christianity. Maybe you’ve even voiced the objection yourself. How could a good and loving God condemn to hell someone who’s never heard of him?”

5 Distinctives of Biblical Leadership

Even if you just read the headings on this one you’ll get a good overview of what makes biblical leadership different from any and every other kind.

This Day in 1636. 380 years ago today Massachusetts Puritans founded Harvard College, America’s first higher education institution, with the intent of training future ministers. *

What Does the Bible Say About Transgenderism?

Kevin DeYoung: “In short, the Bible teaches that God made us male or female, and no matter our own feelings or confusion, we should act in accordance with the biological reality of God’s good design. Transgenderism falls short of the glory of God and is not the way to walk in obedience to Christ.” He builds his case via three building blocks.

Beauty Out of Ashes

Paul Tautges shares some sweet, encouraging words from Jerry Bridges.

Flashback: The Curse of a Godly Wife

On further reflection, I should probably have put the word “curse” within quotation marks.

Today we’ll either fix our eyes adoringly on Jesus, selfishly on ourselves, or critically on others. Let’s choose wisely! —Scotty Smith

September 07, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include a selection of books highlighted by the Holman Old Testament and Holman New Testament Commentary series. There is also quite a good selection of other books. You can find it all here.

Westminster Books is offering a great deal on David Powlison’s new book Good & Angry (which I’ll be reviewing very soon).

10 Spurgeon Quotes for Wounded Christians

Charles Spurgeon had a massive ministry that reached millions. “But Spurgeon himself was very much mortal. The preacher was anything but bulletproof. In fact, for most of his life Spurgeon nursed deep wounds and struggled to cope with a myriad of emotional and physical maladies.” 

My One Suit and One Gospel

Erik Raymond: “I have one suit. And I’ve worn it for every event that required a suit over the last ten years. The other day as I was preparing for a wedding and picking out a shirt and tie, I began recounting some memories in the suit. There have been so many weddings with their tears of joy. And there have been funerals with their tears of grief.”

Old Donkeys Needed!

I appreciate this plea from a church planter who is pleading with older Christians to get involved in work like theirs. “How will a bunch of young couples from middle-class backgrounds engage elderly people from a scheme who have no church background? We’re going to struggle. How do you display a gospel that breaks down the dividing barriers of age, class, or race, when your group has no diversity in age, class, or race? We’re going to struggle.”

Treat Yourself to the Voice of God

This is so true: “One of the biggest scams Satan has running is the lie that reading the Bible is a chore.”

One of the Most Difficult Words to Translate

You might be surprised to learn one of the most difficult words to translate across different langauges.

This Day in 1949. 67 years ago today Ray Ortlund was born. Happy birthday, Ray!

Everything You Need To Know About Digital Photography

Aileen and I have actually been considering this course for the past few days. “If you’ve been itching to learn photography but aren’t sure where to start, former Stanford professor and Google teacher Marc Levoy has released his entire course, which includes video lectures, slides, and more online for free.”

The Whole Sentence Matters

Kim Shay discusses one of those verses we like to memorize on its own. Yet the verse has an important, overlooked context that really matters.

More Protein Than You Need

I’ve recently noticed that food packaging is now boasting about the amount of protein that food contains. Turns out you don’t actually need all that much protein and it’s mostly just savvy marketing.

Flashback: Teach Me How to Pray

I wrote this a number of years ago, shortly after I was ordained. I appealed to some older, wiser pastors to teach me to pray. Here is one wise response.

It is a reading age, a preaching age, a working age, but it is not a praying age.C.H. Spurgeon

September 06, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include The Lion and the Lamb by Andreas Kostenberger, It’s All in How You Tell It by Haddon Robinson, The Bible’s Answers to 100 of Life’s Biggest Questions by Norman Geisler, Living Forward by Michael Hyatt, and The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. If you were too busy not working to read blogs yesterday, you’ll want to check out yesterday’s Kindle deals since there were some good ones.

Also from yesterday:

  • My book Do More Better is available heavily discounted for Kindle at Amazon or in print from Cruciform Press (use coupon code laborday-dmb at Cruciform Press to get the print version for just $3.99!).
  • Logos users: Be sure to check out these “6 at 60” deals from Zondervan. There are some great resources at 60% off. The NIVAC has some must-have volumes and both the Old Testament and New Testament dictionaries are great resources.
Praying Through the Scriptures: Genesis 1

Chad Van Dixhoorn models how to pray through a passage of Scripture and he begins right at the beginning.

Focusing on the Family

Here’s some interesting interaction with Voddie Baucham’s book Family-Driven Faith and the general philosophy it espouses. “To put it simply, I would suggest that the next generation does not need a family-driven faith. It needs a faith-driven family. We should never reverse the order.  Here are a few ways I believe that family ministry leaders are tempted to do so.”

10 Things You Should Know About Submission

Sam Storms follows up last week’s post which taught 10 things you should know about male headship.

Does Jeremiah 29:11 Apply to Us?

You probably know the answer, but the point here is to hear Greg Koukl’s reasoning behind his answer.

What Is the Longest Book of the Bible?

It’s all in how you measure it, of course. Justin Taylor tells the best measure and then which book is the longest.

This Day in 1651. 365 years ago today Obadiah Holmes was given 30 lashes in Boston Commons for preaching Baptist doctrine during which he joyfully exclaimed, “You have struck me with roses!” *

Christianity Falling Down

Michael Patton shows that the Christian faith is not a house of cards.

When Eating Is Sinful

Kelly Needham writes about being held captive by food. “I assumed I just had bad habits that needed to be reformed, but God made it clear that I was an idolater who needed forgiveness, a slave to sin who needed a Liberator.”

Faithful, steadfast love is the heart of marrage, for faithful, steadfast love is the heart of the universe. —Christopher Ash

September 05, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Do More Better by Tim Challies; Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung; Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney; God at Work by Gene Edward Veith; The Pillars of Christian Character by John MacArthur; and Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Get them right here. Also, today only there’s a list of some solid general market books on work, business, and productivity.

My book Do More Better is available heavily discounted for Kindle at Amazon or in print from Cruciform Press (use coupon code laborday-dmb at Cruciform Press to get the print version for just $3.99!).

Logos users: Be sure to check out these “6 at 60” deals from Zondervan. There are some great resources at 60% off. The NIVAC has some must-have volumes and both the Old Testament and New Testament dictionaries are great resources.

Spiritual Disciplines and the Sinkhole Syndrome

When Donald Whitney is writing about the spiritual disciplines it’s never a bad idea to read what he has to say.

Pastoral Visitation a “Sign of Sickness” and a “Step Towards Death”?

I’m glad to see David Murray countering an article that concerned me just as much as it concerned him. “I was stunned and shocked when I read Thom Rainer’s recent blog post Fifteen Reasons Why Your Pastor Should Not Visit Much. It wasn’t just what was written but who wrote it–Thom Rainer!”

The Teacher’s Pay Cut

This kind of statistic comes up routinely, but it’s never good news! “On average, teachers earn 78.6 percent of what other workers with the same educational level get paid.”

Be Bold Enough to Follow The Truth As Far as It Takes You

Jared Wilson says “The world needs Christians bold enough to follow the truth wherever it may take them.”

Kindness Changes Everything

For a long time now I’ve believed Christians need to put more focus on kindness. So I’m glad to read this. “Kindness is underrated. We equate it with being nice or pleasant, as though it’s mainly about smiling, getting along, and not ruffling feathers. It seems a rather mundane virtue. But the Bible presents a very different, and compelling, portrait of kindness.”

This Day in 2007. 9 years ago today Migsti Haile was martyred in Eritrea at age 33 after severe torture and refusing to sign a letter renouncing her faith. *

How Do I Pray?

In this short video Derek Thomas answers a simple question: How do I pray?

When the Saints Go Marching In

Nick Batzig: “In light of the news about the Roman Catholic canonization of two Popes and the canonization of Mother Teresa, it is vital for Christians to understand what the Scriptures teach about sainthood. There are certain topics that I am reticent to write about—sainthood is not one of them.”

How to Pack a Suit

Here’s how to pack a suit in a small suitcase.

Flashback: Let Jesus Feel the Shame

The sin is no longer my own, which means the guilt is no longer my own, which means the shame is no longer my own. The guilt and the shame of that sin now belong to Christ. If anyone ought to be feeling shame for that sin, it is not me but Christ!

A person with an increasingly grateful heart is one with a decreasingly complaining mouth. —Burk Parsons

September 03, 2016

I have just 3 new Kindle deals to tell you about: Perspectives on the Extent of the Atonement edited by Andy Naselli, The Wages of Spin by Carl Trueman, and Those Who Must Give an Account by John Hammett. Of course there are plenty of others listed there as well.

You Can’t Claim a Promise

Barnabas Piper: “To claim something is to take ownership, to say ‘it’s mine.’ When we lay claim to property we gain certain rights and privileges. Litigants are awarded claims or denied them, claims of monetary value. Promises don’t work like that.”

Ten Words of Advice for Seminarians

Kevin DeYoung offers some counsel for seminarians.

Don’t Buy Extended Warranties

In almost every case they are unnecessary or redundant. In many cases they are a total rip-off.

Friday Quiz

I enjoy The Book Book Company’s little Bible quizzes. This one is all about the number 2.

9 Things You Should Know About Mother Teresa

On Sunday, at a Roman Catholic canonization service in Vatican City, Pope Francis will declare Mother Teresa a saint. Joe Carter offers 9 interesting facts about her.

This Day in 1958. 58 years ago today Nancy Leigh DeMoss was born. Happy birthday, Nancy! 

Waiting to Die

Michael Patton has been battling an awful illness. “At 43-years-old, I don’t need to be sitting at death’s door, finally defeated by this foreign ailment that came out of left-field. I am walking around with my head down, hands in my pocket, kicking the dust of self-pity. At least I could die with some more dignity. So God, this is who you really are. So God, this is why I went through hell all these years. So God, there is not much purpose to it all.”

Find Your Most Productive Hours

This could be a neat way for creative types to help narrow in on their most productive hours.

Flashback: Inconvenienced by Inconvenience

Let me offer a few reasons that you ought to be willing, eager even, for people to invite themselves into your home.

The Unexpected Sequel: “Trellis & Vine II

My thanks goes to Matthias Media for sponsoring the blog this week with new of their unexpected sequel: “Trellis & Vine II

Humility is not an add-on for the super-spiritual; it is for all believers to practice in our daily lives. —Jerry Bridges

September 02, 2016

I’ve dug up just 3 new Kindle deals today: Tulip by Duane Edward Spencer, Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges, and Pleasing God by R.C. Sproul. You can always find new deals at the Kindle Deals for Christians page.

I sorted through the monthly Logos deals and found a few noteworthy ones: The excellent Focus on the Bible Commentaries are $110 off; You can save 28% on the David Platt sermon archive; The Oxford History of the Christian Church series is $140 off; you can save 27% on Theologians on the Christian Life volumes.

Can Capitalist Pigs be Pious Christians?

I quite agree: “The world of business has a bad name because most people—including those running businesses—don’t know why they exist.”

Church Libraries as an Antidote to “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind”

This is a really neat article and interview about church libraries. 

Crab + Anemone

This is so interesting. This crab changes shells…then carefully moves the anemones that have been clinging to it.

The Sin of Talking Too Much

Paul Tautges outlines some of the dangers that can come from talking too much.

When the President Comes to Town

A photojournalist tells what happens when he receives White House press credentials and is invited to cover a presidential visit.

This Day in 1973. 43 years ago today J.R.R. Tolkien, writer of the famed Lord of the Rings Trilogy, died at the age of 82. *

Pastoral Prayer as Worship

I appreciate what Josh here says about the pastoral prayer—a crucial element of a worship service!

Guam Explained

Guam is one of those interesting nations that doesn’t fit any clear category. This short video explains it.

Flashback: God, You’ve Got the Wrong Guy

I’m not able to lead this family, I’m not able to make decisions on behalf of this church, I’m not able to speak truth into this situation, I’m not able to stand up there and speak. I am quite certain that you have found yourself battling similar fears.

Not all “God-sized” visions are from God. Many are from a god-sized ego, and have no claims on God’s provision.J.R. Vassar 

September 01, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: We Cannot Be Silent by Al Mohler, True Friendship by Vaughan Roberts, Building Blocks in Earth Science by Gary Parker, Transforming Homosexuality by Denny Burk & Heath Lambert, and Beginning at Moses by Michael Barrett. You may also be interested in looking through their monthly general market deals for $3.99 or less.

Logos users will want to pick up this month’s free book: Thabiti Anyabwile’s What Is a Healthy Church Member? You can get a second book in the 9Marks series for $1.99 and enter a draw to win the whole thing.

Christian Audio is giving away a book I’m not familiar with: The Boy Born Dead.

Why Chairs Are Cheap and EpiPens Are Expensive

Joe Carter: “Why are EpiPens so expensive? Because Mylar has a government controlled monopoly that prevents anyone else from making similar products. And yet, ironically, many economically uninformed people are blaming the rapid price increase on the free market.”

Sex Negative

Carl Trueman has some brilliant lines in this article. “Sex is no longer the consummation of an exclusive bond. Now it is just a form of recreation. A bit like golf, but usually cheaper and generally without the plaid pants.”

The Simple Solution to Traffic

Basically it’s your fault and my fault and to fix it we need to turn over the keys…

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

R.C. Sproul explains what we pray for when we say, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

Atheism Is Not Endearing

Atheism just can’t escape its natural consequences. “Atheism is the undisputed ruler of the internet, but it reigns alongside the most twisted forms of pornography and human degradation imaginable. There is a reason that Reddit and 4Chan are bastions of sophomore skepticism on one wing, and factories of sexual nihilism and abuse in the other.”

The Invisible Mother

This is a powerful article on mothers whose children are stillborn. “I am a mother with no living children. As a result, I am often forced to defend my motherhood, especially when others — whether through unthinking neglect or through an unwillingness to identify with me — strip it from me for having empty arms.”

This Day in 1803. 214 years ago today the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge was established. This was the first tract society in North America. *

God Has a Name, and He’s Given It To Jesus

Here’s something to chew on: “Jesus Christ now bears the name Yahweh. And rather than detract from God’s glory, confessing Jesus as Yahweh magnifies it.” 

The Mammoth Pirates

Here’s a fascinating story and photo essay about a whole new kind of gold rush in Russia’s Arctic north.

Flashback: Writing Tips

Here are writing tips that focus on the tools and context of writing.


The wheels of justice may seem to turn slowly, but they turn surely. —Randy Alcorn

August 31, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson; The Christian’s Work of Daily Dying by John Owen (New from GLH Publishing); Preaching to a Shifting Culture by Scott Gibson; and The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel.

Westminster Books has the excellent NICOT commentary series on sale. These are some of the best commentaries available on many books of the Old Testament, including Genesis (volume 1 and volume 2), Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Proverbs (volume 1 and volume 2), Isaiah (volume 1 and volume 2), and I’d better stop there. Consult my Best Commentaries series for more.

J. Alec Motyer: A Personal Remembrance

This is one of the best things I’ve read all week.

10 Public Speaking Tips from Charles Spurgeon

“What was Spurgeon’s secret? How did the ‘Prince of Preachers’ master the art of public speaking? Here are ten tips from Spurgeon’s lecture ‘On the Voice.’”

Judging Parents for an Unreal Risk

This one from NPR is quite interesting. “In the United States today, leaving children unsupervised is grounds for moral outrage and can lead to criminal charges. What’s changed?” Not the actual risks!

Your Marriage is Either Growing or It Isn’t

Melissa says “I think after seventeen years I have finally begun to learn that no marriage will grow deep and strong unless we are both firmly planted in God’s word, letting the words of life sustain us as individuals and as a couple.”

Praying in Public Without Performing

John Piper’s recent funeral prayer (prayed at a funeral for a family of 5) has been listened to 700,000 times. Here he discusses praying in public without performing.

Being ThereBeing There. New today is “Being There” by Dave Furman. “Dave Furman offers insight into the support, encouragement, and wisdom that people need when helping others. He draws on his own life experiences, examples from the Bible, and wisdom from Christians throughout history to address the heart and ministry of those who are called to serve others.” Learn more or buy it at Amazon.

Pray for Nabeel Qureshi

Apologist Nabeel Qureshi is asking for prayer after learning that he has advanced cancer.

The Deadliest Garden in the World

“Locked behind black steel doors in Northumberland, England, the Poison Garden at Alnwick Castle grows around 100 infamous killers.” And they are all plants… 

Flashback: A Living Example at Columbine High

This little scene takes place in the immediate aftermath of the shootings at Columbine High, just hours after they erupted. The last survivors have been brought to their parents and a few families remain, grappling with the reality that their children will never return… 


Failure to see our sin as primarily against God is, I believe, the reason we experience so little heartfelt grief over it. —Jerry Bridges