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A La Carte (December 18)

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Good morning. Grace and peace to you.

Today’s Kindle deals include a selection from Crossway.

If you missed it over the weekend, Westminster Books is wondering if you know of an aspiring pastor, missionary, counselor, or teacher. If you do, they’ve got a gift they’d like to send them.

(Yesterday on the blog: A Prayer to Our Father)

This Is a Gift You Can Give

Glenna has a beautiful piece about visiting a nursing home with her church to serve its residents.

On Domestication

This is an interesting take on the domestication of animals—and one I find myself agreeing with.

Fiscal Hilarity

Jim Elliff says that “giving is a sign of something. You give according to your own desire, not begrudgingly and mournfully as if you are parting with your vital organs. It is the expression of your love. God likes to keep it on this basis. Attitude is every bit as important as amount—no, much more so. You should want to give.”

Blessed Among All Women

“It would be all too easy for Protestants to overreact against the excessive devotion given to Mary by many and either ignore her completely or treat her like any other woman. That would be a great mistake, for she was, in Elizabeth’s words, ‘blessed among women’. We mustn’t elevate her to a position God never intended her for – which she herself would have been appalled by – but at the same time she has much to teach us.” She does, indeed.

Best Christian Folk & Worship of 2023 Music Review

Tim Briggs provided a roundup of his favorite Christian folk and worship of 2023—what he calls his Jesus-y, Folky, Singer-songwriter-y, Worship-y, High Quality Music Awards. (See also Brett McCracken’s list at TGC.)

Uncomfortable Christmases: Witnessing to Family at the Holidays

Randy Newman offers some counsel on witnessing to family during the holidays. “How might we evangelize our family on what appears to be a minefield? It may prove helpful to begin with some internal preparation before we brainstorm strategies for external interaction. In fact, framing the topic through beforeduring, and after scenarios might ease the burden of our endeavor.”

Flashback: Singing in the Dark

God reveals himself as the good Father who searches and knows the deepest recesses of my heart. His Son is the very Man of Sorrows who is intimately acquainted with grief and who can sympathize with me in my every weakness. 

True happiness does not lie in the obvious and natural choice but in the countercultural and Christian one.

—Alistair Begg

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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…

  • Moral Vision

    From Washington & Jefferson to Trump & Biden

    The United States has produced more than its fair share of fascinating figures. Over the course of its storied history, it has produced a host of figures who have shaped the nation, the continent, and the world. Many of these have been its presidents and politicians, though others have been its inventors, its business leaders,…

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    A La Carte (February 16)

    A La Carte: What does the Bible say about dealing with divisive people? / How local churches can bridge a widening gender divide / Never preach to one person / Five pictures of the church / Two ways, two ends / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 15)

    A La Carte: This is what courage looks like / An important ministry skill no one talks about / Why you can’t get to heaven through the Mormon faith / Questions a pastor doesn’t want to ask / Christian displays of affection / Help! I don’t enjoy the Old Testament / and more.

  • When Goodbye Is Forever

    When Goodbye Is Forever

    I didn’t know that I would be saying goodbye to my son for the last time. How could I have known? He was only 20 years old, still in the prime of life, still living in as safe a spot as any. There was no reason to assume, no reason to be concerned, no reason…