Fruitfulness and Usefulness

Sunflower fields trampled, pumpkin patches trod under, apple orchards pillaged and wrecked. It has become a phenomenon of the Instagram era that fields ripe for harvest are also fields perfect for selfies. When the flowers are at their brightest, the pumpkins at their biggest, the apples at their reddest, word gets out, and crowds descend. One nearby farm had to close after an estimated 7,000 cars attempted to park in the streets around it. “By noon, the hordes were coming …

A La Carte (June 16)

Good morning. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today. Westminster Books is doing a little spring cleaning and that has led to some pretty good sales. Sometimes I Think I Hear Singing This is a wonderful bit of writing. “I wake in the night to the moon rising, hushed, over the lake. I sense it there, in the soft lapping of water, in the cattails whispering in the breeze. I drive to an ordinary errand, on …

A La Carte (June 15)

May the God of love and peace be with you today. There’s an eclectic little list of Kindle deals today. (Yesterday on the blog: This Broken, Beautiful World) Should We Quote the Bible to Non-Christians? George Sinclair asks the question in a Canadian context, but it extends far beyond our borders. “It is rarely talked about, but many Christians today would say that you should not quote the Bible to a non-Christian. They might say that people who quote the Bible …

Free Copy of the Gospel of John Bible Study from Core Christianity

This special Free Stuff Monday is more than a contest. Core Christianity is giving away a free copy of their Gospel of John Bible study while supplies last. The Gospel of John is often recommended as the best place to start for a new believer, and yet its rich truths can’t be exhausted, even by someone who’s been walking with Jesus for decades. Exploring key biblical themes such as salvation, sanctification, and especially the deity, teachings, death, and resurrection of …

This Broken, Beautiful World

For some it was a day of great rejoicing. For some it was a day of deep distress. Though Solomon’s temple had long since been destroyed by the order of King Nebuchadnezzar, the people had now returned from exile and had commenced work on a new temple, a new home for their God. Once the builders had finished laying the foundation, the priests and musicians called for a celebration, a time to praise God for the work begun. Then, as …

A La Carte (June 14)

Good morning. May grace and peace be with you today. Today’s Kindle deals include what I guess we could consider some odds and ends. On Masks, Vaccines, and Church Unity I consider this one very, very important. “When the pandemic first began, many elders likely sensed that the unity of their churches was about to be tested. This past year has borne that suspicion out, as nearly every pastor has felt himself pulled in all directions by people that he …

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"If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled." (R.C. Sproul) ...

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"Prayer, desperate prayer, seems so simple, but it’s a step rarely taken by those in family conflict." (Erwin Lutzer) ...

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"I always wanted to be a hero--to sacrifice my life in a big way one time--and yet, God has required my sacrifice to be thousands of days, over many years, with one more kiss, one more story, one more meal." (Sally Clarkson) ...

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"The evangelical church needs to stop preaching the false gospel of cultural identification. Don’t spend all your time trying to figure out how to be just like the next generation. Be yourself. Tell them about Jesus." (Kevin DeYoung) ...

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A Brief, Daily, Trinitarian Prayer

I have, in the past, shared the prayer John Stott would use to begin his day. A number of years ago I excerpted just a small part of it and began to pray that on a regular or even daily basis. I thought I’d share it here in case you would find it valuable as well. It speaks to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and asks that each would bless in his own special way. Why not make use of …

Weekend A La Carte (June 12)

May God bless and keep you as you worship him this weekend. Today’s Kindle deals include some classics, including one I haven’t listed before (Great Gain). (Yesterday on the blog: Gun Lap) The Lord Does Not Despise the Day of Small Things This one is geared toward pastors of small churches, and perhaps especially rural churches. Think Small for Big Improvements in Preaching Speaking of small, “‘small’ isn’t a particularly attractive word in most instances. Who wants a small bank …

Gun Lap

Would it be strange to say that my favorite part of Robert Wolgemuth’s Gun Lap is the dedication? I think you’ll understand if you allow me to explain. Several months ago Robert sent me a note to say he was writing a book about a man’s “gun lap,” the final lap of a man’s race through life. It is a book meant to guide those already running their final lap and to equip those who are approaching it. Having just …

A La Carte (June 11)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today. Just a reminder that over at my site SquareQuotes you can find a huge collection of the quote graphics I share every day. Today’s Kindle deals include just a couple of titles. What the Plummeting Fertility Rate Means for Churches The current trajectories when it comes to fertility rates will inevitably bring some large changes to churches in the future. Philip Jenkins explains. “That change has epochal implications for …

A La Carte (June 10)

Good morning. May the Lord bless and keep you today. This week Westminster Books has discounted books by the incomparable David Powlison, including one that has only just been published. In today’s Kindle deals you’ll find a selection of books from Crossway. (Yesterday on the blog: Could You Use Some Joy Today?) Rich and Miserable — How Can It Be? “Possessing power and luxury only becomes problematic when possessing power and luxury begins to possess us. Success in the world’s eyes—wealth, …

Could You Use Some Joy Today?

I abominate commercials for the lottery. Though there are thousands of variations of such ads, they all play off a common theme: Money brings joy. One recent ad showed people practicing the happy dance they would do when they found out they had won millions of dollars. Another had people describing the things they would buy for themselves when they finally came into great wealth. In one way or another, all these commercials express the same idea: more money equals …

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Book Reviews

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A La Carte (June 9)

Good morning. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today. There is a nice little collection of Kindle deals to take a look at. Are Tattoos Worse Than Adultery? It may be surprising to know that in some cultures, tattoos are considered worse than adultery. What we do with that information has important implications for Christian unity. He Will Come “In the politics; the rage; the turmoil around and within us. In the fear; the conflict; the …

A La Carte (June 8)

May the God of love and peace be with you today. Today’s Kindle deals include some devotionals and some books for parents. (Yesterday on the blog: Accomplishments as High as Heaven, Character as Low as Hell) Matters Too Important for Social Media So much of today’s discord comes down to this: “Some matters are so weighty or so important that they are hindered by being batted around on social media.” It’s worth considering this… The Existence of Love Means God …

The Bridegroom Who Pursues You

This week the blog is sponsored by Core Christianity and this post is written Pastor Adriel Sanchez,  host of Core Radio, a daily live radio program aimed at answering tough questions about the Christian life. Core Christianity exists to help people understand the core truths of the Christian faith through their daily radio program, web articles, and free resources. When I was in college, there was a local frozen yogurt place called the Yogurt Mill that was located just a …

Accomplishments as High as Heaven, Character as Low as Hell

In recent months the evangelical world has been rocked by a number of scandals, by news of yet more leaders who used their churches or ministries to indulge themselves to the harm of others. These are yet more cases of men who will no doubt stand before God some day and plead all their accomplishments—“Didn’t I preach the gospel for you? Didn’t I encourage many people in their faith? Didn’t I lead many people to the Lord?” Yet despite such …

A La Carte (June 7)

Good morning. Grace and peace be with you today. There’s a handful of Kindle deals to look at. Let Passing Controversies Pass “Practically, one question to ask ourselves as pastors — about our preaching schedule, about our meeting agendas, about our conversations — is, Who sets the agenda? Is it the world? Is it what’s trending on Twitter? Is it the never-ending flow of daily news that keeps us from giving our limited attention to what’s most important and enduringly relevant? …

Look Upon Me With Eyes of Mercy

I always enjoy finding new prayer resources and, for that reason, was glad to receive a copy of Donald McKim’s new Everyday Prayer with the Puritans. It features prayers from the Puritans accompanied by devotions from McKim. Here is a prayer from Lewis Bayly that stood out to me. Perhaps it can help and guide you as you pray… O most gracious God and loving Father, who art about my bed and knowest my down-lying and my uprising, and art near …

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My Books

Do More Better Cover

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