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A La Carte

A La Carte Your Daily Roundup of News Links and Helpful Resources
December 07, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include three Crossway titles by or about Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Walking with God Day by Day and The Christ-Centered Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones by the man himself, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones: His Life and Relevance for the 21st Century by Christopher Catherwood. Also consider Jesus and the Feminists by Margaret Kostenberger ($2.99); J.R.R. Tolkien by Mark Horne ($1.99); Tactics by Greg Koukl ($3.99); Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower ($3.99); Grief Undone by Elizabeth Groves ($1.99); Anxious for Nothing by John MacArthur ($0.99); Caught Off Guard by William Smith ($0.99). Also Amazon is offering a good discount on Certified Refurbished Kindle Fires today.

What True Love Does

I really appreciated this article. “Sometimes it’s easiest to serve those far from us. Sometimes we can be so concerned about another’s problem while neglecting the problems God has put right under our noses.” Guilty as charged!


A grieving grandfather writes beautifully and powerfully about the too-brief life and too-soon death of his grandson. “Without reaching out a hand, Grayson touched us, and warmed us, and reminded us of the beauty and fragility of life; showing us God’s great gift. Without a smile, he brought joy. Without a cry, he brought tears.”

Google Performing Arts

Google Performing Arts allows you to experience the performing arts in an immersive way.

Two New Christian Books on Productivity

I enjoyed this dual review of Matt Perman’s What’s Best Next along with my Do More Better. Several people have asked me about the difference between the books, and this review explains it well.

This Day in 1941. 74 years ago today, Japanese soldiers attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It forever changed Japan, America, and the world. *

Grandparent Gift-Giving

Jen Wilkin addresses the parents who are concerned about OGS this Christmas (with “OGS” standing for Over-indulgent Grandparent Syndrome).

Church at the Cross Reading Plan

If you’re looking for a new Bible-reading plan for 2016, you may want to look at this one. I respect any plan that builds in catch-up days.

Ten Church Planting Proverbs

Darryl shares ten helpful little church planting proverbs.

Finally, please welcome Julie-Ann as the new designer of the daily quote graphics! She begins this week with this one:


Everyone wants to save the world but no one wants to do the dishes. —Michael Horton

December 05, 2015

There’s an eclectic collection of Kindle deals today: Brokenness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss ($2.34); Christian Leadership Essentials by David Dockery ($2.99); The Radical Cross by A.W. Tozer ($2.60); The Mark of the Christian by Francis Schaeffer ($1.51); The Promises of God by R.C. Sproul ($0.99); The Expected One by Scott James ($2.99).

Women in Combat

You know we’re living at a time of seismic change when allowing women full access to military combat seems like a minor change. Denny Burk offers his comments. (See this also.)

On ‘Thoughts and Prayers’

Andy Crouch writes about the inevitability and goodness of “thoughts and prayers” following a tragedy.

Is Your Church Racist?

Ray Ortlund asks some good diagnostic questions about racism in the local church.

When Some Turn to Church, Others Go to CrossFit

When religion fades, people inevitably find something to replace it.

The Most Essential Life Skill

I think David may be right when he suggests the most essential life skill: Teachability. “No matter how much talent and gifting we have, if we are, or become, unteachable, we will never reach anywhere near our full potential in our careers, our callings, or our relationships.”

Weekend Java Awards

No one does a better weekly “A La Carte” feature than Nick. (Note: This week he includes a mini-review of Do More Better which I really appreciate.)

This Day in 521. 1,494 years ago today, Columba was born. He became an Irish monk, educator, bishop, and missionary in Scotland and Northern England, founding a monastery on the isle of Iona. *

The 40-Year-Old Seminarian

Josh Harris has penned a small article on why he decided to become a 40-year-old seminarian. 

How To Make Christmas the Best of Times

Thanks to The Good Book Company for sponsoring the blog this week with “How To Make Christmas the Best of Times.”


The devil visits idle men with his temptations. God visits industrious men with his favors. —Matthew Henry

December 04, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include What Is the Mission of the Church? by Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert ($4.09); Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars by Stephen Miller ($2.86); The Heart of Christmas by Hank Hanegraaff ($0.99); Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by Bruce Ware ($4.41); Church with Jesus as the Hero by David Prince ($3.99).

Amazon always does a board game day in the lead-up to Christmas, and that day is today! They’ve got Ticket to Ride (great for the whole family), Dominion (a fun card game), Forbidden Island, Lost Cities (learn it in 5 minutes), Kingdom Builder (I learned it this summer), and a whole lot more.

Christmas Means That God IS Fixing This

Despite the headlines, God is fixing this, and Christmas proves it.

Ignore the Pundits and Keep Praying

And, in a similar vein, ignore the pundits and keep praying. Of course, we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised that people look down on us for praying.

5 Questions with a Time Magazine Person of the Year

Boundless has a quick interview with Dr. Kent Bradley and his wife Amber.

Four Bodies in Elmhurst

This is such a sad story. It gets sadder still as you read about some of the difficulties faced by those with disabled children.

Another Evil on Another Street in America

Lore writes about another evil on another street in America.

This Day in 1929. Happy Birthday to Jerry Bridges, who turns 86 years old today!

C.S. Lewis’ Greatest Fiction

What did you think of when you read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and heard of Turkish delight? I bet you thought it was something delicious unlike the reality of Turkish delight.


God would never permit any evil if he could not bring good out of evil. —Thomas Watson

December 03, 2015

Thanks again to all who bought my new book. It has been a joy to hear from so many of you. I’m hoping and praying it proves useful to you. And now, here are today’s A La Carte links:

Should We Only Forgive Those Who Repent?

David Prince answers a common question. “I have heard it taught that if a person does not seek forgiveness (repent) that we are not required to forgive, do you agree with this? Can a person refuse to forgive and not harbor sinful bitterness? Does the picture of salvation requiring repentance before forgiveness apply or is it different and not applicable?”

A Complementarian Manifesto Against Domestic Abuse

I’m thankful that Jason Meyer wrote this important article.

The Refugee Dilemma

Here’s a sad look into some of the difficulties faced by certain refugees.

Beyond the Guilt of Not Evangelizing

That’s a familiar guilt, isn’t it?

5 Things Millennials Need To Learn About Productivity

Yesterday I was a guest at Boundless blog and wrote about the importance of emphasizing productivity in all of life.

This Day in 1557. 458 years ago today, Protestants in Scotland (including John Knox) sign their First Covenant at Edinburgh, uniting Presbyterians under the name “Congregation of the Lord.” *

At Singapore Airlines, No Detail Is Too Small

This is quite an amazing bit of art here. An artist uses paper to recreate an airliner in incredible detail.


You don’t have to bring the fire, bring the thunder, bring the whatever. Just bring the gospel. It will do the thundering. —Jared Wilson

December 02, 2015

Thanks to all who purchased Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity on day one. It was a really encouraging day! On a related note, yesterday I was a guest at the For Every Mom blog with an article on 5 Productivity Tips for Moms.

Today’s Kindle deals include Magnificent Obsession and The Dawkins Letters by David Robertson ($2.99 each); Why I am not an Atheist edited by David Randall - $12.79 ($2.99); 50 Women Every Christian Should Know by Michelle DeRusha ($1.99); Love Walked Among Us by Paul Miller ($4.72); In Defense of the Bible by Terry Wilder ($1.99); Behold the Lamb by Russ Ramsey (free); Trusting God by Jerry Bridges ($4.72).

The New American Commentary series is on sale again with each volume just $2.99. I have marked with an asterisk the volumes that are considered top-5 on that book of the Bible. New Testament: Matthew*, Mark, Luke*, John 1-11, John 12-21, ActsRomans1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians* Galatians*, Philippians/Colossians/Philemon, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy/Titus, James, 1&2 Peter/Jude*, 1&2&3 John, Revelation. Old Testament: Genesis 1-11Exodus, Leviticus*, Numbers*, DeuteronomyJoshua*, Judges/Ruth*, 1&2 Kings*, 1&2 ChroniclesEzra/Nehemiah/Esther*, Job, Proverbs/Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs, Isaiah 1-39, Jeremiah/Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea/Joel, Amos/Obadiah/Jonah, Micah-Zephaniah, ZechariahHaggai/Malachi.

Finally, today Doug & Melissa stuff is on sale at Amazon as it always is for a day before Christmas; this was always our favorite day when our kids were a bit younger.

Should You Preach from a Full Manuscript?

Michael Kruger, president of RTS Charlotte, provides a helpful answer. He distinguishes between writing a manuscript and then reading from it.

Nurturing Theologically Rich Women’s Initiatives

Aimee Byrd puts out the call for theologically rich women’s initiatives and also recommends some resources.

You Just Need to Obey

Steve Lawson: “Far from being optional, grace-fueled obedience is absolutely necessary for Christlikeness. Is there any need to pray about whether or not to obey God’s Word? You just need to obey.”

The Book of Deuteronomy

The Bible Project continues with their series of videos on each book of the Bible.

Calm a Crying Baby

I sure wish I had known about this back when we had babies! Maybe he’s got a similar technique for emotional teenagers.

This Day in 1837. 178 years ago today, Dr. Joseph Bell, British physician, was born. He was the prototype of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective Sherlock Holmes. *

The CEO Paying Everyone $70,000 Salaries Has Something to Hide

This is an interesting update on a man who was much in the news this year.

Creation Chronology in 1 Corinthians 11

I appreciate Jim Witteveen’s work in this article. “It has been argued that the Genesis account of creation was not meant to be a chronological account of God’s work of creating the universe.” He takes issue with this.

The Harmony of Fall

This video displays some of the beauty of the most beautiful season of the year.


Spiritual awakenings today are not televised, stadium-housed events. —Tim Keesee

December 01, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include When The Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper ($2.99); A Shelter in the Time of Storm by Paul Tripp ($2.99); Hope: The Best of Things by Joni Eareckson Tada (free); Look and Live by Matt Papa ($4.16); Finally Free by Heath Lambert ($3.99); Essential Works of Charles Spurgeon ($2.99); The Mormonizing of America by Stephen Mansfield ($1.30); What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson ($3.46); World Religions in a Nutshell by Ray Comfort ($3.12).

Logos has a free book for you: Ephesians by Stephen E. Fowl. (I am not familiar with the author, so cannot comment on the book.) They are also giving away a book a day for Advent. And did you know you can get the complete works of Shakespeare for free as well?

Free from ChristianAudio this month is Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler.

ESV Reader’s Bible

Westminster Books has a great deal on the cloth over board ESV Reader’s Bible. Today’s the last day to get it at just $10 (a 67% discount). The Reader’s Bible has no verse markings and is meant to allow you to read the Bible like any other book.

The First Review

David Steele has written the first review of my new book Do More Better which releases today. Darryl Dash also wrote an early review. (Buy the book)

6 Principles for Student Ministry

These are solid principles related to student and youth ministry.

Did Jesus Lie?

Bill Mounce gives a quick (but good) answer to the question of whether Jesus lied in John 7:8.

The Edges of Faith and the Center of the Zeitgeist

Several days ago, Kent Dobson, successor at Rob Bell’s famous Mars Hill Bible Church, stepped down as teaching pastor. Dustin Messer offers some interesting reflections on Dobson’s announcement and the reasons behind it.

Hymns of Grace

Hymns of Grace looks like a great resource. It’s a new hymn book from Grace Community Church and The Master’s Seminary that includes many of the new hymns we love (but which haven’t yet made it into most hymnals).

This Day in 1857. 158 years ago today, John Paton was licensed to preach the gospel. He spread the gospel both in Glasgow, Scotland and the New Hebrides islands (now the nation of Vanuatu). *

Wild Scotland

And speaking of Scotland, be sure to watch this video of some of its wild beauty.

Paris Slowly Coming to Terms With a New Vulnerability

This will probably remind you a little bit of New York City in the aftermath of 9/11. “Though tributes to the victims of the Nov. 13 attacks have begun to erode at sites like the Place de la République, many in France are still coming to terms with the fact that the terrorist strikes might not be the last.”


He who begins by seeking God within himself may end by confusing himself with God. —B.B. Warfield

November 30, 2015

Today is Cyber Monday which means there are a lot of online deals to be had. I’ve made up listings of the best deals I’ve tracked down. You can find them at Cyber Monday Kindle Deals for the Christian Reader and Cyber Monday 2015 Deals for Christians.

And here are some articles for you to read:

Swasey’s Last Sermon

“Garrett Swasey was the officer killed trying to rescue people at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs. Swasey was shot while saving people at a place he abhorred. He was an elder of a church that believed in the inerrancy of Scripture, and that abortion is evil.” The Cripplegate shares excerpts from his final sermon.

Porn is a Co-ed Sin

“ ‘We know this wasn’t you; women just don’t have this problem.’ Those words hit hard. More than anything, I wanted to be caught. Here I was, red-handed, with a red folder…”

Why Teens and College Students Need to Work While in School

“Too few college students hold a significant part-time job before graduation. As a result, they struggle with professionalism in the work place.”

The Lord’s Leading in the Cessationist’s Life

Clint Archer explains that even cessationists believe in God’s leading and guiding in life.

When Church Leaders Get Gossiped About

It happens too often, unfortunately.

This Day in 1984. 31 years ago today, R. C. Sproul’s influential book, The Holiness of God, first hit store shelves. *

The Most Important Word I Learned in Seminary

Jason Duesing tells about the most important word he learned in seminary.

How Do You Forgive a Murder?

TIME: “On the night of June 17, a gunman opened fire in a church basement in Charleston. Nine people died. Five survived. Survivors and families tell their stories of faith and forgiveness.”


Work is always healthier for us than idleness; it is always better to wear out shoes than sheets. —C.H. Spurgeon

November 28, 2015

There aren’t many new Kindle deals today besides Think Biblically by John MacArthur ($2.99) and On Being a Pastor by Alistair Begg ($3.38). If you did not already get a chance to, you may want to browse through yesterday’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2015 Deals for Christians and Black Friday Kindle Deals for the Christian Reader since many of the sales are still in effect. (Amazon still has some good deals through the rest of the weekend.)

Books for Christmas

Is there anything better to get for Christmas than books? Here are gift recommendations from Westminster Books.

When My Industry Died

This author writes about the death of the video store he worked in. It’s interesting to consider what we lose when we go from a store staffed with people and filled with DVDs and migrate to Netflix.

Five Questions about the Pastor’s Piety

The Gospel Reformation Network asked Scott Oliphint to respond to a series of questions on holiness in pastoral ministry and church leadership.

What Is a Budget?

“A budget is more than numbers scribbled on a yellow steno pad in response to a crisis with good intentions that will never be fulfilled.” OK, but what is it, then? Brad Hambrick explains.

Has Marcion Invaded our Churches?

Marcion rejected certain portions of the Old and New Testaments. And maybe we follow his lead in some ways.

Tomorrow in 1960. 55 years ago tomorrow, Ligon Duncan was born. You can wish Lig a happy birthday on Twitter—but remember to wait till tomorrow!

If Famous People Had Kim Jong-un’s Hair

Whether or not it’s true that Kim Jong-un has told people to imitate his hairstyle, it’s fun to see what various people would look like if they did so.

Thanks to Books at a Glance

Thanks to Books at a Glance for sponsoring the blog this week with “A Valuable, Time-Saving Resource for Busy People.”


Repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin. —Rosaria Butterfield