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A La Carte (December 19)

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Today’s Kindle deals include all kinds of good reading material.

At Westminster Books you’ll find that they’ve created some bundles designed to help you read more and better.

(Yesterday on the blog: Shepherding At Home)

The Stark Difference Between John MacArthur and Bishop Robert Barron

Both men recently sat for a conversation with Ben Shapiro. “John MacArthur had a simple, clear goal throughout the interview: to present the Gospel faithfully. You could see throughout the interview that he had great compassion for Ben Shapiro, and desperately wanted Ben to hear the truth. I’m a firm believer that all roads lead to the Gospel, and John MacArthur proved that over and over again as he seemed to return to the Gospel in so many questions Ben would ask him. Barron on the other hand encouraged Shapiro in his quest to salvation through his works. “

The Black Box of IVF

This is something for couples to consider if they want to try IVF. “I suspect that, for many people, IVF is a black box. Sure, it can help couples with infertility. Sure, it can help you have a child of your own. But what’s happening in the process? A lot of people don’t know. Given the brave new world we live in, we can’t presume that medical technologies are consistent with Christian ethics. We must do our due diligence and investigate medical treatments, services, and medicines to ensure we’re not endangering precious lives that we’re called to protect.”

Don’t Reap to the Edge of Your Field

“God did not want His people reaping to the edge. He wanted them to have some margin at the end of their rows. Now, before we disregard this verse as something inapplicable to us, consider why the Lord would make this command. It wasn’t just about preserving His own people. He didn’t tell them to create this kind of margin because doing so is personally healthy and psychologically balanced. He gave the command for the sake of other people who might wander into those fields.”

Far as the Curse Is Found

Here’s a little Christmas reflection. “Our songs at Christmas serve to remind us that this season isn’t merely about looking back at that holy night when Christ was born. Rather, our celebration of his first coming is meant to nurture in us a greater longing for his second coming. In fact, we miss the point of that holy night if it does not awaken in us anticipation for the glorious eternal day to come.”

The Torturous Psychology of 10-Minute Tasks

Why is it that you’ll take 10 days to finally get to a 10-minute task?

Flourish in How God Has (and Has Not) Gifted You

“I work in missions and global theological education. One of the hardest conversations we conduct is with men who have been in ministry 20 or 30 years and want to teach with us, but don’t demonstrate the gift of teaching. We often affirm them in other ways, but for whatever reason, no one in the church has ever addressed this lack. Of course, they are hurt (who wouldn’t be?). But why hasn’t anyone told them this before, and why do they desire to do something they’re not good at?”

Two-Dimensional Preparation for a Three-Dimensional World

Daniel Wallace has a lengthy article here on why he believes so strongly that seminary cannot be replaced by online learning.

Flashback: A Church with Great Music

I am convinced that the best measure of a church’s music is not what takes place on the stage, but what takes place in the pews. It is not so much the sounds and sights of a band leading, but the sounds and sights of a congregation worshipping.

Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain.

—John Piper

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