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A La Carte (April 30)

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Good morning. Grace and peace to you.

Today’s Kindle deals include a couple of new titles and a reminder that this is the last day for all the titles that were discounted through April (which I bumped back to the top of the list).

(Yesterday on the blog: The Great Man and the Local Church)

Warblers and the Question of Gratuitous Beauty

This is a wonderful reflection on the gratuitous (or surplus) beauty in the world. “A feather, all by itself, should be enough to convince you of intelligent design. But arrange four thousand of them together around the small frame of a songbird, and any sane heart must surrender to this discovery: the design isn’t just intelligent. It’s beautiful.”

Are Parents to Blame for Prodigals?

This is a question that is usually asked with a lot of pain: Are parents to blame for prodigals? John Piper answers it compassionately and biblically.

Majoring in Motherhood

Majoring in Motherhood, a new book for moms of little ones, is just in time for Mother’s Day. Emily Schuch, a Christian mom of six, has given us a delightful, guilt-free, fun read that also runs deep. Charming, witty, and deeply encouraging, the eight brief chapters of Majoring in Motherhood offer honest, humorous observations on the everyday lives of moms, then seamlessly transition into sharing solid theological truth. Complete with Reflection Questions following each chapter, Emily’s book will strengthen a mother’s faith and refresh her soul in Christ. (Sponsored)

The Freebie Round-Up

Nitoy Gonzales has put together another of his “freebie round-ups.”

Scripts for Healthy Masculinity

“The present ‘crisis of masculinity’ has its origins in ongoing confusion about what a man is. It also involves the contemporary angst of men, especially young men,with a sense of lack of purpose or vision they have for their lives. What does it mean for a young man to ‘make something’ of himself? Is there a reliable and general script men can follow that will guide them towards maturation and meaning?”

5 Traits of Great Spiritual Leaders

Daniel thinks about some of the great spiritual leaders he has known and considers some of the traits they have in common.

Why Daily Bread Is Better

“I know God provides, hears my prayers, is powerful to act, gives wisdom and strength, and loves me. I know he gives me the ‘bread’ I need. I trust his baking skills. His loaves are good. But I don’t like daily bread because I’m impatient. I want all my long-term needs supplied now. I want a year’s supply. Or at the very least, a week’s worth.”

Flashback: Why We Cringe at “Submit”

Why do I feel that little bit of rebellion or shame when I hear the word “submit?” I think it’s proof that we as Christians are constantly battling worldliness.

The opposite of joy is not sadness. It’s hopelessness.

—Tim Keller

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    Weekend A La Carte (May 18)

    A La Carte: What it takes to survive ministry / The power of prayer / The dog’s game / Why do Christians do bad things? / Does it matter whether seminary education is in-person or online? / Greet one another with a … what? / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Zondervan Reflective)

    This week the giveaway is sponsored by  Zondervan Reflective. When writers write, they are getting in touch with the image of God in them. This is true in some way of all artistry, but writers especially create worlds, characters, histories, and transformation–all ex nihilo (“out of nothing”). In The Storied Life, veteran author Jared C. Wilson…

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    A La Carte (May 17)

    A La Carte: Deep mercy for our dark insanity / The Rock / God will give us more than we can handle / When cynicism sets in / The judgment of getting exactly what we want / The life of Paul Kasonga / and more.

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    A La Carte (May 16)

    A La Carte: When intrusive thoughts come / How a horse saved orthodoxy / The brevity of life / Bad therapy / Acts of kindness aren’t random / Does John’s Last Supper chronology differ from the other gospels? / and more.

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    A La Carte (May 15)

    A La Carte: My pastor made me wait to enter ministry and I’m grateful / How could a good God… / How should a wife respond to her husband’s bad authority? / Sing your heart out, Christian / Does Jesus’ view of grace offend you? / Preaching the Psalms as a book / and more.

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    A La Carte (May 14)

    A La Carte: When God takes his time / Biblical priorities / God is doing something / Broken pieces / Loosening my grip / Since God’s call is effectual, how can someone be a false convert? / and more.