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A La Carte

February 05, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey ($0.99)—a great book that won’t get cheaper!; Becoming the Woman of His Dreams by Sharon Jaynes ($0.99); Islam and America by George Braswell ($1.99); The Homosexual Agenda by Alen Sears ($2.99). Remember that the whole Exalting Jesus commentary set is for sale at $2.99 each; these are reader-friendly commentaries suitable for anyone.

From Slum to Shining Sea

“Growing up in a solid, Christian, God-fearing home, at some indefinable point between child-like faith and adolescent angst, my two-dimensional version of God had become synonymous with rules, broken rules, and never-ending failure. So I left.”

Calvin’s 4 Rules of Prayer

Joel Beeke explains what Calvin believed about prayer. (Also, read his article My Indebtedness to the Puritans.)

Enjoy Your Prayer Life

In a similar vein, here’s Michael Reeves encouraging you to enjoy your prayer life. He says “I hope this article will be a refreshment and a tonic – maybe even a kick-start! – for our prayer lives.”

8 Ways to Order Your Marriage

Nick talks realistically about some of the ways you can order your marriage.

Dwelling Richly

You may want to bookmark this site where Christa is interviewing a series of women on their Bible study and devotional habits.

This Day in 1887. 129 years ago today at age 50, evangelist D.L. Moody organized the Chicago Evangelization Society. Two years later, the Society established the Bible Institute for Home and Foreign Missions. Moody died in 1899, and in 1900 the school was renamed Moody Bible Institute. *

Absurd Creature of the Week

Wired’s absurd creature of the week isn’t as much absurd as horrific.

A 13-Year-Old’s Fantasies Turn Deadly

It is wise for parents to occasionally read an article like this and be reminded of the importance of knowing what your children are doing online.

Spurgeon

Believer, when you are on your knees, remember you are going to a king. Let your petitions be large. —C.H. Spurgeon

February 04, 2016

True Reformation

You’ll enjoy Burk Parson’s short but powerful meditation on true reformation.

Counseling Wives of Addicts

The most recent episode of Mortification of Spin begins with a discussion of counseling women whose husbands are addicted to pornography, then goes on to discuss a host of other important areas. This is a very helpful discussion.

New Footage Shows Planned Parenthood Negotiating Organ Sales

That this happens is outrageous. That few people seem to care is even more outrageous.

Don’t Just Pray About It

“The same heart of faith that comes to God in prayer patiently waits and watches for God to answer his prayer.”

Church in Hard Places

Westminster Books has a couple of books on sale by Mez McConnell. Read the books, watch the video, and join them on a 20schemes vision trip. (I will be there in October!)

This Day in 1555. 461 years ago today, English Reformer John Rogers was burned at the stake at Smithfield, the first of many martyrs in the reign of Mary Tudor. *

They Know My Voice

We live in a noisy world and “the subtle danger of the unrelenting noise in our lives is that we may miss the voice of God.”

Evernote Resources

Here are some helpful resources for those who use Evernote.

Christian Bakers

Daniel and Amy McArthur of Ashers Bakery are at the center of a storm in Ireland after refusing to make a cake celebrating gay marriage. (You can read the story here.) Daniel’s statement to the media is a joy to listen to.

Keller

If your god never disagrees with you, you might just be worshiping an idealized version of yourself. —Tim Keller

February 03, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Sexual Fidelity by Mike Abendroth ($2.99); Burning Hearts by Josh Moody ($2.99); Uncensored by Brian Cosby ($1.99); Jesus On Every Page by David Murray ($1.99); The True Story of Noah’s Ark ($2.99).

Your 7 Job Responsibilities as a Church Member

Just imagine what a church can be when all the members are functioning like this.

5 Reasons You Should (Probably) Leave Your Attractional Church

Jared Wilson is a big believer in the local church, so he isn’t being flippant when he tells you to consider leaving your attractional church. Be sure to consider the article in light of the caveats he provides.

Being a Pastor Isn’t Fair

Mike Leake wants to tell you one way in which being a pastor isn’t fair at all…

Don’t Panic

This could be true: “With all due respect to baseball, panicking is America’s favorite public pasttime.”

Bad Homiletical Models of Expository Preaching

Derek Thomas has an article preachers would do well to read. Here’s just one quote: “Speaking generally is always dangerous, but it is probably true to say that few young preachers can sustain a lengthy (and slow) series of expositions on a particular book of the Bible.”

This Day in 1469. 547 years ago today, Johannes Gutenberg died. He was famous for developing movable type, which became a powerful tool in the spread of the Protestant Reformation. *

Meet the Puritans

This new site may be one to subscribe to.

Prioritizing Communication and Romance

This is short and sweet.

How To Pronounce ‘Newfoundland’

Sooner or later you’ll be thankful that you know how to pronounce it properly.

Dever

There are no closed countries. Only places where it’s more difficult to preach your second sermon. —Mark Dever

February 02, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Walking As He Walked by Joel Beeke ($0.99); Night of Weeping and Morning of Joy by Horatius Bonar ($2.99); Faithful to the End by Terry Wilder ($2.99). The whole Exalting Jesus commentary set is for sale at $2.99 each; these are reader-friendly commentaries suitable to anyone.

The 2016 Reading Challenge is well underway and it has been fun to see people doing their own roundups. Here are a few: Nate Claiborne, Eric Dodson, Julie Thompson. There are way more at Goodreads.

Facing a Task Unfinished

This is a great idea: “Getty Music is inviting thousands of churches around the globe to sing the new hymn Facing a Task Unfinished together on Sunday, February 21st, 2016! We will provide you with the sheet music and demonstration, all you need to do is register!”

The Popularity of Donald Trump

This is a fantastic article about why Donald Trump is seeing such success and popularity. (If time is short, breeze down to the conclusion where the author nicely summarizes it all.)

Why Christian Women Need to Talk about Sex

Christianity Today: “Amid all this cultural baggage, being able to open up about sex with close female friends can be wonderfully freeing, encouraging, and healthy. Women can assure their friends that they are not the only ones. They can validate each other’s feelings and offer advice. These conversations about sex are valuable for us personally, our marriages, our friendships, and our communities.”

Understanding Toronto

Darryl explains Toronto, a unique and amazing city that is in need of more churches. “I want you care about Toronto. The reason? There’s a great need. It’s one of the largest cities in North America, and it’s one of the least churched.”

This Day in 1738. 278 years ago today, a “young George Whitefield departs for Georgia, intending to become a permanent missionary to the American colony.” *

John MacArthur’s Top 5 Books On a Deserted Island

Here’s John MacArthur answering everyone’s favorite question.

Confessions of a Former Date-Night Legalist

I’m not eager to stir up this controversy again, but I did enjoy Courtney Reissig’s article on date nights. (And remember, all I said was that you don’t need a date night.)

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord

Justin Taylor asks whether C.S. Lewis’ infamous Liar, Lunatic, or Lord argument is sound or unsound.

Moody

The nearer men are to being sinless, the less they talk about it. —D.L. Moody

February 01, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl by N.D. Wilson ($2.99); Finishing Our Course with Joy ($2.99) and Rediscovering Holiness ($2.51) by J.I. Packer; Finishing Well to the Glory of God by John Dunlop ($2.99); Has Christianity Failed You? by Ravi Zacharias ($3.99); Yawning at Tigers by Drew Dyck ($2.99); The Call by Os Guinness ($3.99); No Compromise by Melody Green ($2.99); God’s Crime Scene by J. Warner Wallace ($3.99). Also check out Amazon’s general market monthly deals.

Logo users can check out the free book of the month (which is actually a journal) while those who are into audiobooks can download I Don’t Have the Faith to Be an Atheist for free from Christian Audio.

Patient Parenting

Sometimes parenting is really, really hard. We’ve been experiencing some of those times lately, so this article was a joy to read.

You Can Trust God with Your Kids

Speaking of parenting, here is encouragement that you can trust God with your kids.

Ten Biblical Truths on the Obedience of Children

Sticking with the theme of parenting, read John Piper’s ten biblical truths on the obedience of children.

When Will It End?

And then one more—a mother’s reflection on just how quickly it all goes by.

How ‘Church Relevance’ Is Boring

It’s so true—all of this relevance stuff gets so boring.

Helping One Another Forsake Sin and Follow Jesus

Randy Alcorn tells how and when to help others forsake sin in order to follow Jesus.

New from Crossway: Crossway just released numerous books at the end of January, and they look excellent. I specifically recommend you check out these: The Miracles of Jesus by Vern Poythress, The Whole Christ by Sinclair Ferguson, Family Worship by Donald Whitney, Christ or Chaos by Dan Dewitt, and Church in Hard Places by Mez McConnell and Mike McKinley.

The Secret to a Happy Life

R.C. Sproul: “The world is marked by warfare. There’s global war and national conflict; there’s warfare in the church; there’s warfare in the community; there’s warfare in the home—there’s conflict all around us.” What’s the key to happiness in a world like this?

How R.C. Sproul’s Words Changed My Life

Speaking of R.C. Sproul, I enjoyed this. “I asked a question about pride and success. Sure, I could have struck a nerve with double predestination or eschatology or whatever. But I can find those answers on my own. I wanted to ask a question that only Sproul could answer, so I asked this…”

Carson

If you want to see what judgment looks like, go to the cross. If you want to see what love looks like, go to the cross. —D.A. Carson

January 30, 2016

This weekend’s Kindle deals include The Religions Next Door by Marvin Olasky ($0.99); Beginning at Moses by Michael Barrett ($0.99); Prayers of an Excellent Wife by Andrew Case ($0.99); Preaching with Passion by James Draper ($0.99); The Little Handbook to Perfecting the Art of Christian Writing by Don Aycock ($0.99).

Don’t Theologize or Spiritualize Ministry Mediocrity

This is an important challenge to churches that love good preaching. “Why is it that so many churches that profess a commitment to the primacy of expository preaching, settle for mediocrity in so many other facets of the church’s ministry?”

The Most Dangerous Place On Earth

And speaking of preaching, read this one by Steve Lawson. “Satan has no greater strongholds than houses of worship where the truth is suppressed. Nowhere is he more deeply entrenched in the lives of people than among those who are religious but who have no supernatural light of holiness and truth.”

The Deep Space of Digital Reading

This is a good article to read if you are concerned about what digital reading is doing to us. “The history of reading suggests that what we’re presently experiencing is probably not the end times of human thought. It’s more like an interregnum, or the crouch before a leap.”

75 Hobby Ideas for Men

Yes, 75 of them. I approve of reading being at the top.

Why the iPad Is Going Extinct

Here’s why the iPad and other tablets are slowly going extinct. I don’t see them disappearing anytime soon, but they do seem to be in decline. I don’t want to go back to preaching off of paper!

The Blessing of Visiting the Sick

Nick Batzig tells of the unexpected blessing of visiting the sick.

Tomorrow in 1892. 124 years ago tomorrow, extraordinary Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon died. *

Hearse

I enjoyed this short video on the word “hearse.” It fascinates me to learn how words transform in meaning over time.

Family Worship 101

Westminster Books is offering a deal on Donald Whitney’s book on family worship. It’s a good one to buy in bulk and distribute in your church.

iPhones, Androids, and Your Church

My gratitude goes to Finalweb for sponsoring the blog this week with an article titled “iPhones, Androids, and Your Church.”

Sanders

We are saved by the gospel of God to worship the God of the gospel. —Fred Sanders

January 29, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include just a couple: Reading God’s Story by George Guthrie ($1.99) and The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel ($1.99), in case you’ve never read it.

A Matter of Inches

You will eventually breathe a sigh of relief. “My wife and I got into the car and drove across town to the hospital, fearing the worst and yet trying to hope for the best. We offered short, pathetic prayers as we went.”

Uncool Coins

There’s probably a sermon illustration in this story about a man who destroyed a coin worth $250,000.

D.A. Carson on the Ground of Our Assurance

This short video will encourage you.

Family Worship 101

You may be interested in this free 5-day course with Donald Whitney. It would probably help to pick up a copy of his book Family Worship (which has just been released in a new edition).

Tor and the Trinity

Here’s another take on the whole mess at Wheaton. I appreciate this one because it highlights some of the absurdity of it all. “Hawkins essentially declined to elaborate, saying ‘I don’t want to be subjected to a theological inquisition.’ Instead she held a press conference where—and somethings you can’t make up—she was flanked by Jesse Jackson as well as a handful of liberal, female, clergy.”

IdolsNew from P&RToday P&R Publishers is releasing updates to two excellent books: Anthony Carter’s Black and Reformed: Seeing God’s Sovereignty in the African-American Christian Experience (print, Kindle) and Elyse Fitzpatrick’s Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone (print, Kindle).

Focus on the Bible Commentaries

While we’re talking books, Logos has the Focus on the Bible commentaries discounted. The Old Testament volumes (and especially the ones by Dale Ralph Davis) are highly recommended by the commentators on the commentaries.

Kill Your (Celebrity Culture) Worship

Mike Cosper: “Celebrity culture turns pastors and worship leaders into icons. Celebrity culture turns worship gatherings into rock concerts. Celebrity culture confuses flash and hype for substance.”

How Donald Trump Uses Language

Love him or hate him, this is an interesting look at how Donald Trump uses language. (HT)

Bridges

Reading gives us breadth, but study gives us depth. —Jerry Bridges

January 28, 2016

To this point, we have had a good week with Kindle deals. There’s nothing new today, but I expect there will be some tomorrow. What a blessing that we can build a library $1.99 at a time. We are spoiled!

Our Prayer Instincts Are Backwards

“Approaching the Queenstown airport in mid-winter—with mountain ranges on both sides and a huge lake straight ahead—we were caught in a giant wind tunnel. The plane was shuddering and sporadically dropping 50 feet at a time. The cabin filled with shrieking and praying. Many people were crying out to a God in whom they did not believe. Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there certainly aren’t many on buffeted flights.”

Plastic Bags Are Amazing

Just think about it: Plastic bags are actually an amazing feat of engineering. “Just look at the numbers: Plastic grocery bags cost pennies to make and hold more than a thousand times their weight. They’re light. They’re waterproof.” They’re amazing.

Good Governance over Good Theology

I would imagine you’ll either love or hate this article: “Goodness and faithfulness are important, but no substitute for competence. Believers and nonbelievers alike should choose the best candidate, not the best Christian, for president.”

I Can’t Be Good Much Longer

This article was a joy to read.

This Day in 1907. 109 years ago today, John Paton died. Paton was a missionary to the New Hebrides and had endured much heartache, including both persecution and the death of his wife and his son on the mission field. *

The Wreck of Amtrak 188

What caused the worst American rail disaster in decades? This article explains.

What If You Only Drank Soda?

It turns out your mom was right all along. And I feel very virtuous for drinking only club soda. 

An Update on Pastor Saeed

Here’s a sad and disturbing update on pastor Saeed written by his wife Naghmeh.

High-Resolution Daily Quote Graphics

Do you enjoy these daily A La Carte graphics? If so, you can now download them in high-resolution. They are free to share or display however you see fit (except for selling them). Click here to get started.

And finally, here is today’s quote graphic:

Medders

A profession of faith without progress in the faith in a dead faith. —J.A. Medders