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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

  • Tear Down Build Up

    It’s Easier to Tear Down than Build Up

    In my travels, I encountered a man whose work is demolition. When buildings are old and decrepit, or even when they just need to be removed to make way for others, his job is to destroy them and haul them away. New or old, big or small, plain or fancy—it makes no difference to him.…

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    A La Carte (June 12)

    A La Carte: Does Bach’s music prove the existence of God? / Living from approval, not for approval / A surprising test of true faith / Do you have the support you need to grow? / Who was the “black Spurgeon?” / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 11)

    A La Carte: The blessing of constant curiosity / Church discipline in the digital age / Don’t be too easy to join / Body matters in Genesis / The local church is a sandbox / Seasons in a pastor’s life / and more.

  • Trusting Jesus in The Public Square 

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers. Parents have a biblical responsibility to protect their children not only from physical harm but also from spiritual harm. It is entirely appropriate and right for a parent to wrestle with whether they want to allow their child to continue to have a friendship with a…

  • that First Sports Bet

    Young Man, Don’t Even Make that First Sports Bet

    It’s impossible to avoid the advertising and impossible to miss the claims. Sports are great, they say, but do you know what makes them even better? Adding a little wager. Sports are exciting, they say, but even more exciting when you’ve got a bit of money riding on them. So why not enjoy them all…

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    A La Carte (June 10)

    A La Carte: Feminism’s patriarchs / Thank you, parents, for your Sunday faithfulness / Godly sorrow vs worldly sorrow / Being transformed from the inside out / What if everyone at your church was like you? / The gift and skill of praise in lament / Kindle deals / and more.