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A La Carte (August 19)


If you’ve got an interest in hymns or the wider subject of worship, you may be interested in this week’s deal(s) from Westminster Books.

Today’s Kindle deals include Joel Beeke’s helpful little book on the cure for backsliding.

The Evil Eye

Interesting: “Many cultures’ folk religions believe in the evil eye. In our area of Central Asia, some, particularly the elderly and rural, believe that certain persons secretly have the power to curse others by looking at them and envying them. This is said to be the evil eye, or the dirty eye as our local language puts it. In order to protect one’s self from this danger, certain eye amulets can be hung on persons, gifts, or in rooms.”

On Sermon Preparation

Here is a list of quick tips from H.B. Charles Jr. in which he lays out his method for preparing a sermon. “But how do you get from text to sermon? What steps should a preacher take to preacher a sound, clear, and helpful sermon? The following steps represent my regular process of sermon preparation. It is not the only way to do it. But you may find it beneficial to compare another preacher’s process of sermon preparation.”

Rachael Denhollander on Protecting the Vulnerable

How can parents and pastors protect the vulnerable from abuse? Rachael Denhollander explores this question in the latest episode of the Ministry Network Podcast (available in video and audio formats). Listen to Rachael discuss how to help children find their identity in Christ, how to formulate good protective policies, and how to message issues of abuse from a God-centered perspective. In previous episodes, you’ll hear Paul Washer discuss convictional ministry (audio, video), Rosaria Butterfield talk about hospitality (audio, video), and more. Subscribe to be notified of new episodes featuring Russell Moore, Tony Reinke, Jared Wilson, Sinclair Ferguson, and others. (Want to learn more about Ministry Network? Visit our site.) (Sponsored Link)

The Difference Between Tolkien & Lewis

Keith Mathison captures one of the key differences between Tolkien and Lewis. “Obviously, Lewis and Tolkien were writing for different audiences, but it struck me when reading The Magician’s Nephew, that Lewis opted to fly the characters to their destination and back. Many sarcastic readers of Tolkien have suggested over the years that Tolkien could have saved his characters in Lord of the Rings a lot of time and trouble by having them ride on eagles to Mount Doom. But for Tolkien, where’s the fun in that? The time and the trouble, is the whole point of the story.”

Has our Boldness in Approaching God turned into Brazenness?

“In appropriating the confidence that Jesus paid for, has our fear of God diminished into mere casualness? Has our confidence morphed into spiritual cockiness? Do we barge into His throne room like we’re checking off our to-do lists, like we’re pandering to God or doing Him a favour? Has our boldness in approaching God devolved into brazenness? Have we become entitled about our place in the throne room?”


There are lots of interesting components to this longform interview about a pair of YouTube personalities and their decision to “unadopt” a child. But perhaps it’s most interesting as a kind of commentary on a performative life—on living a life that is meant to be seen by others.

Contending Discourse

“Jude is urging us to vigorously defend the teaching of the gospel from spiritual forces seeking to derail the church. In Jude, we see three primary tactics in contending for the faith…”

A New Face for Canadian Social Conservatism

As a Canadian I was encouraged by Christianity Today’s look at what may be the rise of true social conservatism through Leslyn Lewis.

Flashback: There Is No Better Life

How do we glorify God? I want to list 4 simple ways that you can glorify God today and every day.

If you are going to be a tool in the hands of the Father, you need not only to submit to his work, but also to commit to his character.

—Paul David Tripp

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    A La Carte (June 20)

    A La Carte: How to support the caregivers in your church / What we gain in following Jesus / The way we feel is not necessarily the way it is / The power and danger of habit / The man who introduced American Evangelicals to C.S. Lewis / and more.

  • Do Not Envy the Wicked

    Do You Envy the Wicked?

    It takes a long time for sinful instincts to become pure, for tendencies toward what is evil to be transformed into tendencies toward what is good, lovely, and pleasing to God. The man who quits drugs will still react when he catches a whiff and the woman who gave up alcoholism will still struggle when…

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    A La Carte (June 19)

    A La Carte: The golden rule for hard conversations / Seven reasons you shouldn’t ignore beauty / The early church on entertainment / The uselessness of prayer / A thousand wheels of providence / Impossible, hard, and easy / and more.

  • Our Salvation Through Christ

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers and this post is adapted from The Kindness of God by Nate Pickowicz (© 2024). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission. Just like the Old Testament, the New Testament teaches that this wonderful salvation is extended to us as a kindness. Paul opens his letter…

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    A La Carte (June 18)

    A La Carte: The pursuit of (which) happiness? / Don’t hastily choose elders / The evangelistic nature of awe / What you read builds who you are / Till he was strong / A father’s threads of living faith / Logos deals / and more.

  • Lets Hear It For the Second Parents

    Let’s Hear It For the Second Parents

    While today we tend to associate step-parents with divorce, in previous centuries they were almost exclusively associated with death and with either widow- or widowerhood. In an era in which lifespans were shorter and, therefore, a greater number of parents died while their children were still young, there was a distinct and honored role for…