Christian, When Persecution Comes: Embrace It

The Christian faith is counterintuitive in any number of ways, but perhaps none so much as in its perspective on suffering and, particularly, its perspective on suffering persecution. We may see this most clearly in the actions of the apostles who, after being imprisoned and beaten, “left the presence of the council rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (Acts 5:41). Of course they must not have been surprised to suffer persecution because, as I’ve …

A La Carte (October 7)

May the Lord be with you and bless you today. Four Ways to Preach Like Jesus Alistair Begg: “If today’s preachers and teachers of God’s Word would strive to preach like Jesus, what kind of lessons might we learn from the Master?” Two Dangers Facing Christians Under Cultural Pressure Doug Eaton describes two dangers facing Christians when we are under cultural pressure. “The first is to give in to the pressure to conform, and the second is to stand defiant …

Christmas Devotionals for Groups, Individuals, and Families

Christmas will be here before long and with it the opportunity to focus deliberately on the birth of Jesus Christ. I know that many individuals and families will be looking for some kind of special reading to carry them through the holiday season and for that reason I thought I’d provide a roundup of recommended advent devotionals. For the most part these devotionals offer 24 or 25 readings, though some offer a few more than that. Take a look and …

A La Carte (October 6)

Grace and peace to you today. Today’s Kindle deals include a nice little collection of books. (Yesterday on the blog: So You Think You’re Facing Persecution, Do You?) ‘Jesus Has Left the Building’: Scotland’s Secular Slide—and Signs of Hope “If you could stumble across Scotland on social media, she would be the girl you remember from youth group—the one who went to all the Bible studies, the one you expected to head to the mission field. You’d have to blink …

So You Think You’re Facing Persecution, Do You?

Jesus tells us to expect persecution. This is something I attempted to prove in an article a couple of days ago when I showed that at both the beginning and the ending of his ministry he warned that there would be a cost to following him. Yet Jesus knows that not everything that may look like persecution is actually persecution. And so he tells us that, when we come to times of suffering, we need to evaluate it to see …

A La Carte (October 5)

Westminster Books is offering deals on the bestselling books from the recent CCEF National Conference. That includes books by David Powlison, Dane Ortlund, Paul Tripp, and yours truly, among others. I want to continue to acknowledge those who have reviewed Seasons of Sorrow: Doug Eaton, Brianna Lambert, and Pierce Taylor Hibbs have all posted reviews to their sites, for which I’m so thankful. Today’s Kindle deals include the IVP Pocket Reference series. Beware the New Seeker Sensitivity Trevin Wax: “There’s …

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A La Carte (October 4)

Blessings to you today! There are a few new Kindle deals this morning. (Yesterday on the blog: Christian, Do You Expect to Face Persecution?) Should Women Preach in Our Churches? Kevin DeYoung: “This is not an article about the case for complementarianism instead of egalitarianism. That matters, of course, but this piece is for self-identified complementarians wondering if their theology can allow, or should allow, for women preaching. Here is the question I want to address: Is there biblical justification, given basic complementarian …

We Can Trust God’s Providence

Today’s post is sponsored by P&R Publishing and written by Carolyn Whiting. Get your copy of Stephen Charnock’s Divine Providence: A Classic Work for Modern Readers here. In a letter to his sister, Oswald Chambers wrote, “I believe that Jesus Christ our Lord has all power in heaven and on earth; do you? I find most people believe that He has all power in heaven but are not so sure about the earth.” Does this describe you? Creation and providence …

Christian, Do You Expect to Face Persecution?

There’s an old story that tells of a missionary—a missionary who became convinced the Lord had called him to go to a foreign land. Obviously, he first needed some training, and as part of that, he collected books about the country and he studied them very closely. He began to learn its language and to speak it; to learn its customs and to adopt them as his own; to learn about its dress and to wear those clothes; to learn …

A La Carte (October 3)

If you’re a Logos user, be sure to check out the free and nearly-free book of the month. At the very least you’ll get an excellent commentary for free! Today’s Kindle deals include a long list of titles from Crossway and Zondervan. (Yesterday on the blog: 7 Beautiful Things) A Principle for Conversational Prayer Greg Koukl: “Let me start with a frank admission: Prayer is difficult for me. Some things come easily, but prayer is not one of them. Of …

7 Beautiful Things

As another week drew to a close, I found myself pondering beauty and wanting to reflect on some of the beautiful things I had encountered in the previous 7 days. Here are the ones that came to mind. 1. Fall Colors. Autumn in Ontario is almost breathtakingly beautiful during those few weeks when the leaves still remain on the trees and are turning from green to vibrant reds and yellows. Yesterday I made a long drive from the city to …

Weekend A La Carte (October 1)

Blessings to you as you work, serve, and/or worship this weekend. (Yesterday on the blog: Getting Masculinity Right) Be Obedient Even When You Don’t Understand the Command “Between our own sinfulness, our lack of knowledge about God and his world, and the influence of the culture, we’re all susceptible to thinking we’re a better judge of what is good than God is.” And this means that we need to obey God, even when we don’t fully understand. Since Scripture is …

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Getting Masculinity Right

Earlier this year I was in Sydney, Australia over a weekend. I wanted to go to church of course, so visited TGC’s site to scour its handy church directory. I found that within walking distance was a little Anglican church that worshipped in a nearby college of the arts. I arrived to find that the church was welcoming a guest speaker that day—one who was formerly a priest and bishop in the Anglican Church but was now director of a …

A La Carte (September 30)

I wanted to remind you again that if you’ve read and enjoyed Seasons of Sorrow, a review or even just a star-rating at Amazon would be very helpful. Thanks for considering it. There are lots of great kids’ books on sale at Westminster Books, plus a free book with any purchase. There are a few interesting new Kindle deals to look at today. (Yesterday on the blog: New and Notable Christian Books for September) The Pronouns Preach “When reading the Bible, parts …

New and Notable Christian Books for September

This time of year is usually a very good one for book releases as publishers attempt to make sure their top titles are available for the holiday shopping season. Here are some of my picks for New and Notable books from September (including a handful from August since I didn’t provide a roundup last month). In each case I’ve provided the publisher’s description of the book. Church History by Simonetta Carr. “Church History is a fascinating guide that shows young …

A La Carte (September 29)

Grace and peace to you. (Yesterday on the blog: Our Understanding of Earth and Our Assumptions of Heaven) Okay, So it’s a Secular Age, But Jesus is Still Working “Jesus is still working. Yes we call it a secular age, and it truly is, but perhaps it feels like there’s the stirrings of God doing something again in the midst of all of this turmoil and angst. It’s an anxious age, and men’s’ and women’s’ hearts may well fail them as …

Christ’s Words for Our Leadership Crisis

This week the blog is sponsored by Desiring God and the post is written by David Mathis. Some doomsdayers might say the church has a leadership crisis. Perhaps a previous generation gave its presidents (and pastors) too much benefit of the doubt. But is that still our temptation today? Our criticisms of recognized leaders, cynicism toward them, conflicts with them, and controversies about them fill our feeds, queues, and real-life conversations. Are we becoming a society of discontents trying to take it …

Our Understanding of Earth and Our Assumptions of Heaven

I think we are all guilty at times of importing our understanding of earth into our assumptions of heaven. We are all guilty of importing our understanding of how things work here to how they will work there. We look at the world we know and extrapolate to the one we don’t. I sometimes fear, though, that our thoughts of heaven are actually marred by our experiences of earth. I have often heard people speak of those who are in …

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Do More Better

I wrote this short, fast-paced, practical guide to productivity to share what I have learned about getting things done in today’s digital world. It will help you learn to structure your life to do the most good to the glory of God. Read More