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A La Carte (10/15)

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Yesterday was the closest I’ve come to not being allowed into the US of A. The trouble I have is that the rules keep changing, and when I attempt to find out what the new rules are, I am regarded with suspicion as if I’m trying to game the system. So I try to come prepared, but every now and again they throw me for a loop. Probably just for their own amusement. This time I had to give up fingerprints and a photograph, but eventually they let me in, even if my fingerprints are now on file in some nefarious database somewhere in the headquarters of the FBI or CIA or TSA or IRS or who knows where. I feel a little less welcome every time I come to America.

A Transgender Golfer – “A former male SWAT team member filed a lawsuit in California against the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) after the now transgender woman was denied in her efforts to join the women’s golf tour, her lawyer said Wednesday.” I have to say, I’ve got more sympathy with the golfer than the LPGA in this case. If our society is crazy enough to say, “If you say you’re a woman, we’ll treat you as a woman,” what right do we then have to say that you can’t compete as a woman, even if you’ve got the body of a man? We can’t have it both ways! Let him (her?) compete until society figures out why this is all insanity.

The Story of the T-Shirts – Here’s an interesting story from CNN. It tells why the Chilean miners were all rescued wearing t-shirts saying ‘Gracias Senor’ – ‘Thank you Lord.’

Is the Sabbath Still Required for Christians? – I mentioned last Sunday that I have an underdeveloped theology of the Sabbath. JT has Tom Schreiner’s take on the Sabbath requirements in the New Testament. I think I hold to his view. But I need to do more thinking about it.

Mustard Seeds and Willow Trees – I enjoyed this post from Erik Raymond. “I sometimes have something of a Willow tree perspective on ministry. As a church planting pastor I have plans. I have goals. I have ways to measure these things and get us where we need to go. These expectations are also fueled by other ‘successful’ ministries that seem to make rapid, evident, growth in numbers and influence almost seem normative.”

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    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

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    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

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    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…