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A La Carte (August 19)

wednesday

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?”

Un-Adopted

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 (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…

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    Weekend A La Carte (February 17)

    A La Carte: Think you’re immune to adultery? / One of the most hopeful reminders about sanctification / What do we do with dreams and visions? / Have you ever asked your church elders to visit and pray for you? / The neurodivergent believer / Preaching advice for busy pastors / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Open the Bible)

    This week’s Free Stuff Friday is sponsored by Open the Bible. They encourage you to enter to win a series of books from Open the Bible and Pastor Colin Smith! Included in the giveaway are: For All Who Grieve by Pastor Colin Smith. Written with compassion and understanding, yet honestly facing the difficult questions that…