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A La Carte

June 24, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Worldly Saints by Mike Wittmer is one of my favorite recent books and a steal at $2.99; Marriage Is by Andrew Walker & Eric Teetsel ($2.99); Adoption by Russell Moore ($5.99); The End of the Law by Jason Meyer ($0.99); Relativism by Greg Koukl ($1.99); Renewing Your Mind by R.C. Sproul ($2.99).

The Invisible Sin of Gluttony - “Gluttony is not that peckish sensation of wanting seconds when you haven’t had enough food to satisfy your hunger; it’s the sin of unrestrained overconsumption. Gluttony is thus the kissing cousin of drunkenness.” (This headline from yesterday seems relevant.)

Would You Pay a Bribe? - I have spoken to several missionaries about this issue. “If you’re like most westerners, you’ve never really had to think about it. You’ve probably never been asked for one. The temptation has never been there. It’s a non-issue.”

GoThereFor - GoThereFor seems to have trouble explaining what it is. But it is actually a very good resource for churches and individual Christians. It is worth investigating, especially now that it has re-launched.

Walking with Jesus Through His Word - This new book comes high commended by some trusted theologians. It, and a few other titles, are on sale for the week.

Homeschooling Concerns - I highlight this one because it is written by R.C. Sproul Jr. who has been (and is) a leading advocate of homeschooling. “Where there are people, there are sins to be concerned about, and that includes we who homeschool. Here are five things I believe are a current danger.”

When Leaders Fall, All Are Punished - “First, a word to leaders. Faithfulness, holiness, and purity are priorities and necessities for all believers in Jesus Christ, but especially for you.”

God’s will is what we would choose if we knew what God knows. —Nancy Leigh DeMoss 



June 23, 2015

Here are some new Kindle deals: Radically Normal by Josh Kelley ($1.99); God’s Indwelling Presence by James Hamilton ($0.99); Believer’s Baptism by Thomas Schreiner ($0.99); The New Testament by David Allan Black ($2.99); The People of God by Trevor Joy ($2.99); A Christ-Centered Wedding by Catherine Parks ($2.99); The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses by Chris Bruno ($5.99); Exalting Jesus in Galatians by David Platt ($2.99); A Simplified Harmony of the Gospel by George Knight ($2.99).

Real Conversations with Dad - I completely identify with this: The majority of parenting is done in those sweet, mundane, meaningful little moments.

Pit Stops - You might find this dead boring, but I found it strangely fascinating. It is a series of pit stops from different kinds of car race.

Cigars, The Christian, and the Glory of God - Joe Thorn is starting a series on cigars. I can’t stand the things, but am interested in his take on them.

#PrayForCharleston - “Charleston, South Carolina will always be the place I call home. From my youth, I walked her ancient streets, climbed her shrines to days past, snuck into her private gardens, and enlisted into her Corp of Cadets.”

A Killer Drug Crisis - Weekends are the time I tend to read longform articles. I learned a lot by reading this one from Macleans.

Why Would God Choose Me? - John Piper explains how he explains election.

The Confederate Flag - If you are wondering what Christians are saying about the current controversy surrounding the Confederate flag in South Carolina, this article will get you caught up.

If the college you visit has a bookstore filled with t-shirts rather than books, find another college. —Al Mohler



June 22, 2015

This week’s Kindle deals from Crossway are all about the Bible: Understanding Scripture and Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible by Wayne Grudem, C. John Collins & Thomas Schreiner ($2.99 each); Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church by Michael Lawrence ($3.99); Welcome to the Story by Stephen Nichols ($2.99). Also consider The Saint’s Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter, which is new from GLH Publishing ($0.99).

Tullian Tchividjian Resigns - Here is very sad news from Florida: “Popular pastor and author Tullian Tchividjian has resigned as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church,” citing “ongoing marital issues” and “an inappropriate relationship.”

How Pixar Enchants Us - “Arguably no film studio in the world expends so much energy actively trying to fail. And succeeding at it.”

Reflections from an AME Prayer Vigil - Rich Phillips: “Last evening I was greatly blessed, together with many members of the congregation I serve, to participate in a prayer vigil for the nine victims of the racist attack on Emmanuel AME in Charleston.”

The Death Treatment - This long, difficult article from The New Yorker shows what seems to be the inevitable slide once euthanasia becomes legalized.

15 Prayers from the Bible - Here are 15 prayers drawn from specific passages of the Bible. It is good to pray God’s Word back to God!

Thinking in Public - I really enjoyed Al Mohler’s conversation with Grant Wacker as they discuss the life and legacy of Billy Graham. It may sound dry, but I assure you it is not.

We can all look at life and agree that there are some parts that have no purpose—like neckties or cats. —Matt Chandler



June 20, 2015

Kim Ransleben writes about When the Wages of Sin Is a Grandbaby. “Her weeping came ahead of her presence, causing my heart to pound. As a mom of three, it wasn’t the first time a crying child had entered our bedroom hours after we thought they’d gone to sleep…”

This is the first I have heard of Walter Milne, one of Scotland’s Protestant martyrs. Aaron Denlinger tells his story well.

You may enjoy this longform article called Aneurysm. It is a neurosurgeon simply writing about the work he does. (Note: It includes a bad word or two.)

David Murray draws some principles out of The Most Painful Interview He’s Ever Watched. Because sometimes it is just so hard to say, “I was wrong.”

Here is A Monumental Display of Mercy. “The late Christopher Hitchens formulated (and forever repeated) a superficially clever challenge to people of faith: ‘Find one good or noble thing,” he said, “which cannot be accomplished without religion.’ The astonishing rejoinder to Hitchens comes now from the family members of those who were gunned down Wednesday night in Charleston, South Carolina.”

Thanks to Reformed Presybterian Theological Seminary for sponsoring the blog this week with Sacrifices by Fire.

If community in your local church is not dependent on God’s supernatural Spirit for its lifeblood, it is not evidently supernatural. —Jamie Dunlop



June 19, 2015

Here is a handful of new deals for Kindle owners: Why Believe the Bible? by John MacArthur ($1.99); Pastors in the Classics by Leland Ryken ($1.99); A Woman Seeking God by Dorothy Patterson ($2.99); 

I’m Grateful That Lady Forced a Bible on Me - This is an enjoyable little anecdote.

12 Questions for a Six-Month Spiritual Checkup - There are some really good questions there.

Do the Next Thing - Here’s a sweet tribute to Elisabeth Elliot. “I got my best Bible teaching in those days from radio preaching and from Elisabeth Elliot. As a young wife and mother, I would try to listen every day.”

Questions to Ask Yourself About Eternal Security - “Because eternal life is integral to the gospel’s promise, eternal security is an integral blessing of the gospel, and to deny it is to embrace a truncated gospel.”

MacArthur Comments on Charleston - John MacArthur comments on the recent tragedy in Charleston and tells of his deep affection for the believers there.

There is a danger that grace can become a topic we discuss rather than a power we experience. —Heath Lambert



June 18, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals: Standing Strong by John MacArthur ($1.99); Addicted to Busyness by Brady Boyd ($2.99); Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Tim Lane & Paul Tripp (free).

Our Culture of Reading - If you are a reader you will enjoy Matthew Lee Anderson’s thoughts on our culture of reading and the end of dialogue.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Friendship - This is an interesting one from USA Today: “We tend to take friendship for granted, to make it secondary to other demands on our time.”

Everything a Child Should Know about God - Westminster Books has this one back in stock after it sold out last time. I wrote this blurb for it: “There are few resources that are better suited for young children … It presents the deepest truths in the simplest ways, and encourages both knowledge and trust. I highly recommend it.”

Get There Faster - This amazing resource shows you which flights are most likely to get you where you’re going with the fewest delays.

How To Do Family Worship - In this short video Donald Whitney provides simple instruction on family worship. (Speaking personally, we do not make singing a part of family worship.)

Binge-Eating, But Starving - “One of the worst ways God can afflict us is to so satisfy us in this life that we no longer need him, no longer even think of him. It’s the most extreme, most devastating malnutrition.”

Whatever you read, read the Bible first. Beware of bad books: there are plenty in this day. Take heed what you read. —J.C. Ryle



June 17, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper ($2.99); A History of Christianity by Joseph Early ($0.99); Entrusted with the Gospel by Andreas Kostenberger ($3.99); Preaching with Passion by James Draper ($0.99); Running Scared by Ed Welch ($2.51); An Introduction to Biblical Ethics by David Jones ($2.99); Make, Mature, Multiply by Brandon Smith ($0.99); Andrew Fuller by Paul Brewster ($2.99).

4 Ways to Reach a Child’s Heart - “Not just any fatherly involvement can reach the hearts of our children.” Rick Phillips describes the kind that can.

Children of the Moon - This is fascinating: “Albinos make up between 5 and 10 percent of the roughly 80,000 indigenous Gunas who live on the mainland of the Guna Yala region and its islands.” 

Will You Forgive Me? - I’m far better at saying, “I’m sorry” than asking, “Will you forgive me?” For that reason this article challenged me.

When Does Adulthood Begin? - More and more people are linking adulthood not with age but with economics.

How Exciting Should Our Services Be? - Bob Kauflin is the go-to guy for questions like this. “The alternative to making our meetings more ‘exciting’ isn’t trying to bore people. But Sunday mornings aren’t New Year’s Eve celebrations. They aren’t rock concerts.”

A Self-Pity Refresher - “Self-pity: a self-absorbed, feeling sorry for oneself fueled by a high view of self, a low view of God, and an attitude of entitlement.”

A great company of saints witnesses to the fact that we can indeed flourish without romance, marriage, or children. —Wesley Hill


June 16, 2015

I’ve got just two Kindle deals for you today: God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions by J.I. Packer ($1.99) and Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down by Tony Merida ($4.99).

Elizabeth Elliot - One of the most influential Christian women of the 20th century, Elisabeth Elliot, has died. (You may also enjoy John Piper’s reflections.)

The Most Reviled Communication Experience Ever - That’s the thing about email: “We’ve let it seep into every nook and cranny of our lives, and we resent its presence. But we also crave it.” (Note: Language warning)

Grinstead - If you enjoy alternate takes on favorite hymns you might appreciate this album by Grinstead.

The Real Reasons - “Most people when asked about their Bible reading say: I have been really busy. This may be the truth; people are very busy. However, it is not the reason. I think we can distinguish between realities and reasons.”

The Witch of Endor - TGC continues their series looking at tricky parts of the Bible with an examination of the strange story of the witch of Endor.

Private Prayer - “The applause of other people is a poor substitute with the intimacy of a relationship with the Father who cares, and who promises to reward.”

The purpose of the home is to be a place of refuge, grace, and productivity—not a platform for me to prove what a great homemaker I am. —Courtney Reissig



June 15, 2015

Here are some new Kindle deals: When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper ($4.99); Unpacking Forgiveness by Chris Brauns ($3.99); Pursuing Peace by Robert Jones ($3.99); You Can Change by Tim Chester ($3.99); The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams by Heath Lambert ($3.99); I Stand at the Door and Knock by Corrie Ten Boom ($0.99); The Creation Answer Book by Hank Hanegraaf ($1.99).

Don’t Return To Your Vomit - It is such a vivid and disgusting metaphor, but one worth considering.

If My Mom Were Me, I Wouldn’t Exist - “My mother absolutely did not want a child yet, did not want a life-sentence of possibly having to raise a handicapped child, did not want to see her goals and dreams and career derailed…”

The Gospel for Roman Catholics - For the Church is building a good library of articles, and that includes this one.

Why Bloggers Are Calling it Quits - CT has an interesting perspective on why a lot of bloggers have called it quits. 

Sports on Sundays - I appreciate what Mark Jones says about the dangers of allowing your kids to play sports on Sundays. “Giving up worship for sports is not an option for Christians.”

Other People’s Flaws - “From thinking highly of myself, it’s only a short jump to thinking and speaking lowly of others.”

You need to stop talking to yourself in categories of condemnation and begin talking to God in categories of confession. —Heath Lambert



June 13, 2015

The only new Kindle deal I found today is a newly-published work from GLH Publishing: The Acceptable Sacrifice by John Bunyan which they’ve marked at $0.99.

Here is an account of Another Ordinary Pastor. And isn’t this exactly the kind of man a pastor should aspire to be? The second-to-last paragraph is beautiful.

It’s true: Calvinism Is Not New to Baptists. In fact, Calvinists once dominated Baptist church life in America.

Christlike versus Like Christ is an important distinction. “Preach so as to present Christ. Offer the person of Christ rather than a programme for self-improvement.”

Statistics Canada has released an interesting collection of data they call Father’s Day…By the Numbers.

There are some helpful takeaways in this long essay on Manhood (which, by the way, is not written from a Christian perspective).

Jamaal Williams offers counsel on Serving Your Spouse During Their Dark Seasons, which is to say, during times of depression.

Thanks to Ligonier Ministries for sponsoring the blog this week with $400+ of Bonus Discipleship Resources from Ligonier Ministries.

Sickness has frequently been of more use to the saints of God than health has. —C.H. Spurgeon