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A La Carte

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



June 12, 2015

Amazon’s The Big Deal Kindle sale returns as it does every few months. There are lots of general market deals to be had along with a few notable Christian ones: The Underestimated Gospel by Together for the Gospel ($0.99), Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick ($2.99), Anxious For Nothing by John MacArthur ($0.99), and Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas ($2.99) along with some of the deals I shared yesterday.

The Child Preachers of Brazil - The New York Times has a long article on Brazil’s child preachers: “The youngest evangelists in the country’s Pentecostal churches try to balance the demands of their youth with those of their faith.”

The Secret Key - You’ve heard it all before: “Typically, as the story goes, the author/preacher struggled for years in living for Christ. He or she was an earnest, devoted follower of Jesus, but never seemed to make much progress in Christlikeness.” But then he/she found the secret key

No Compromise Radio - I was recently a guest on Mike Abendroth’s No Compromise Radio. You can listen to our conversation here if you’re interested.

12 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Airports - I spend a fair bit of time in airports, so I’m glad to know these things (even if most of them are pretty obvious).

Dinosaur Infographic - The Good Book Company has created an infographic to show how dinosaurs might fit into different understandings of the world’s origins.

Aftershock - The National Post has a sad update from Nepal in the wake of that devastating earthquake.

The Main Point - Here’s one take on tersely stating the main point of each of the Bible’s 66 books.

Where others see but the dawn coming over the hill, I see the soul of God shouting for joy. —William Blake



June 11, 2015

Here are some new Kindle deals: The Last Christian on Earth by Os Guinness ($1.99); Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel ($2.99); No Compromise by Melody Green ($2.99); Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias ($2.99).

The Oldest Trick in the Books - Here is one for the baseball fans.

Saint Samson - David takes a look at Samson and tries to rehabilitate his reputation a little bit.

Remarkable for Being Unremarkable - This is a good reminder: “Nobody ever reports on the pastors who labor in obscurity, quietly fulfilling their ministries. They will never be known by the world, but they are known by God.”

Personal Prayer - And here’s another good reminder: The reminder of how we are to pray.

Six Days in North Korea - “For the few foreign journalists who have had repeated access to the North, the views from the window become vital, offering counterpoints to the cascade of officially arranged scenes.”

McKinney and Me - Jasmine Holmes offers what I found to be a valuable reflection on the recent situation in McKinney.

Sin is bad in the eye, worse in the tongue, worse still in the heart, but worst of all in the life. —Thomas Brooks