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A La Carte (April 19)


Good morning! The Lord be with you today.

Pastors and other church leaders may be interested in an event from Faithlife where they would like to tell you about their new Faithlife Equip product.

Today’s Kindle deals include commentaries by Stott and Fee.

(Yesterday on the blog: A Prayer About Brokenness)

A Royal Funeral with a Message for Everyone

Murray Campbell offers some reflections on this weekend’s royal funeral. “We are divided by death and united in death: Duke, accountant, teacher and boilermaker alike. Behind the awe inspiring grandeur of this yet simple royal funeral, probably overlooked by many and yet very present, a word of hope was offered. It is a wonderful hope and it is offered to those mourning in St George’s Chapel and to the 100s millions like Susan and I who were watching from our homes.”

Why Crucifixion?

You may have wondered this. “Why crucifixion? We know how vile it was. We hear how revolting, dehumanizing, and despicable crucifixion was—so why did Jesus die this way? Would Jesus dying at the hands of a mugger been enough? Why couldn’t Jesus have died of old age with friends and family praying at the foot of his bed, rather than some friends abandoning him as he’s stripped naked and nailed to a cross in front of his family and a few remaining friends?”

Skip the Movie, Read the Book

I am often asked for an opinion on The Chosen. I have not watched it for reasons Chris Hutchison delineates in this article. “If it takes a TV show to make us feel like we’ve really connected with Jesus, what does that say about how, and how often, we’ve been reading the Bible? Is God’s word, read in the power of the Holy Spirit, really enough for us?”

Surviving the Crackdown in Xinjiang

This is a very long but very interesting (and alarming) account of the crackdown in Xinjiang through the eyes of one woman.

Stop Catastrophising

There’s lots to consider here. “We need to prepare to live life in the margins. Jesus doesn’t call us to have access to the halls and levers of power. He calls his church to serve when opposed, to pray when persecuted, to keep on sharing the good news of the kingdom come even when arrested, put on trial, imprisoned and persecuted. What would it look like to prepare to live like that?”

Brokenness & Usefulness

Andrew Kerr has quite a long reflection on the connection between brokenness and usefulness.

5 Questions about Deacons

Here is a brief Q&A from Matt Smethurst about the task and calling of deacons.

Flashback: What Gave Him Such Confidence?

What gave Peter such confidence? What compelled him to run toward instead of run away? I can think of only one thing: He knew Jesus.

We can approach the throne of grace with confidence; can your children approach you with confidence, knowing they will be loved no matter what?

—Sarah Mae

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Help The Persecuted)

    This weeks giveaway is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. Help The Persecuted rescues, restores, and rebuilds the lives of persecuted believers in the Islamic World through spiritual support and tangible help. Every week, they send out an email with specific, real-time prayer requests of persecuted believers to their global Prayer Network. You can join the…

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    February is typically a solid month for book releases, and this February was no exception. As the month drew to its close, I sorted through the many (many!) books that came my way this month and arrived at this list of new and notables. In each case, I’ve provided the editorial description to give you…

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    A La Carte: Is it ever right to lie? / When the “perfect” fit isn’t / An open letter to Christians who doubt / When a baby is a disease / The long view of preaching / and more.

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    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?

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    A La Carte: Can Christians buy expensive things? / You are probably WEIRDER than you think / Our limits are a gift from God / Big dreams impress. Ordinary faithfulness delivers / The biggest problem in worship education / Children’s books / and more.