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A La Carte (August 16)

thursday

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What I’ve Learned About Leviticus After Studying it for Over a Decade

What a great series from 9Marks. “Every day, I found myself focused on thinking about ritual purity and impurity. Partway through the week, I realized that I was thinking about these things all day long and in every aspect of my life, and that’s when it hit me: God cares a lot about our purity and holiness. Not just from a ritual perspective, but also from a moral perspective. All day long and in every aspect of life, the Lord wants me to pursue purity in my heart, in my life, in my actions.”

Your Suffering Can Be the Pathway to Greater Godliness

I love this analogy. “Mountain climbers could save time and energy if they reached the summit in a helicopter, but their ultimate purpose is conquest, not efficiency. Sure, they want to reach a goal, but they desire to do it by testing and deepening their character, discipline, and resolve.”

The Holy Spirit’s Ministry

“Our conviction is that God purposefully gave some gifts (specifically the ability to work miracles, the gift of revelatory prophecy, and speaking in tongues) only for a limited period. We have solid biblical reasons for believing this.”

Why I Don’t Prefer the Phrase “Criteria of Canonicity”

“If a person asks how we know which books belong in the NT canon (and which do not), they will often hear that the answer lies with the ‘criteria of canonicity.’ All we have to do, we are told, is simply look for books that meet these ‘criteria’ and then we can know which books are in or out. What are these criteria? Typically things like apostolicity, orthodoxy, usage, age, etc.”

John Bisagno (1934-2018): From Dixieland Trumpeter to Baptist Pastor

I enjoyed this one. “In Bisagno’s 30 years as pastor [at First Baptist Houston], the church saw tremendous growth, including some 15,000 baptisms. Since his retirement in 2000, he has been an author and sought-after speaker. But before all that, Bisagno was a talented trumpeter and Dixieland jazz musician. Sixty years prior to his lectures at NOBTS, Bisagno was on tour with his Dixieland jazz band to, among other places, New Orleans’ own Roosevelt Hotel.”

What’s the Most Unlikely Thing That Could Happen to You? (Video)

There are lots of unlikely things that happen to human beings. But which are the most unlikely of all?

Have You Been With Jesus?

“I take pride in the fact that I do not go to the pulpit unprepared. I labor in study to be faithful to the God-intended meaning of the text. I struggle in sermon preparation to be clear in my presentation. I saturate my heart and mind with the biblical truth to preach with passion. But the truth is that you can be faithful, clear, and passionate in the pulpit, without ever giving the sense that you have been with Jesus.”

Flashback: Protecting Children From Abuse: An Interview

It happens. We wish it didn’t happen and perhaps even try to pretend it doesn’t happen. But the tragic and undeniable reality is that there is abuse within the church.

Prayer is the greatest power God has put into our hands for service—praying is harder than doing, at least I find it so, but the dynamic lies that way to advance the Kingdom.

—Mary Slessor

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Coram Deo Pastors Conference)

    This week the blog and this giveaway are sponsored by the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. Dear brother pastor, In a spirit of prayerful expectation, I want to invite you to the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. This new event is hosted by Clearly Reformed (a new ministry I help to lead) and Christ Covenant Church (where…

  • The Kindness of God

    God’s Goodness in a Cruel World

    There is much to love and appreciate about our God, much for which we ought to give him praise and thanks. One of the attributes we may consider too seldom is his goodness, and as an aspect or component of his goodness, his kindness. And that is the subject of

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    A La Carte (February 23)

    A La Carte: Order, preparation, and the Spirit’s leading / Desecration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral / Why did God stigmatize the disabled? / Who would I be if I was happy? / 7 parenting errors that can influence adult children to leave the faith / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    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.