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A La Carte (December 21)

friday

Here’s a quick word about next week. Because it’s that infamously quiet and lazy week between Christmas and New Years, I’ll be sticking with light blogging–pretty much just A La Carte. The Daily Podcast will also go dormant. Normal operations will resume the following week.

There isn’t much worth mentioning today by way of Kindle deals.

(Yesterday on the blog: Sin Is Immaturity)

The Lord Gave Us A Casket For Christmas

Here’s a sad but powerful story. “The Lord truly does write spectacular stories, and He delights in using unexpected means. His stories involve real tragedy and loss; their plots hang on true mercy and redemption. And so it goes that as God strikes down, so He builds up. God took away one of the greatest gifts He had given us, and did so right before Christmas. And for the first time in my life, I actually understand, and so I will sing, wrap gifts, and wait with a resurrected anticipation.”

What the Bible Says to the Jaded, Discouraged, and Worn Out

You’ll be encouraged by this. “Christmas season is the season of joy, but it is also a time when the cumulative weight of all that has happened in the course of the year catches up with you. Moving into the last month of the year often causes a sense of being worn out, discouraged, or stretched thin. Someone described it to me as a ‘collective weariness.’ What is the answer to collective weariness? Where would we look in the Bible for help when we feel jaded, discouraged, and generally worn out?”

A Bittersweet Christmas Gift

I enjoyed this one as well. “The sweet, but poignant moment clicking their picture brought into focus how quickly it all passes: the young girl, beside the elderly woman who no longer remembers me, but who, not too long ago, was a vibrant young girl herself.”

Why 50 Million Chinese Homes are Empty (Video)

“China’s housing bubble has left 50 million homes empty and put its government between a rock and a hard place.”

How IVF Is Changing Our View of Human Beings

“This view of human beings as commodities we can pick and choose—commodities with an instrumental value that varies according to our preferences (rather than awe-inspiring gifts with unchanging intrinsic value) won’t remain confined to embryonic human beings. Instrumental views of one kind of human being have a way of bleeding over into our views of others.” This is an area Christians need to think about very deeply.

Is a Plurality of Elders Necessary in the Local Church?

“The main reason for organizing the leadership of the local church with a plurality of elders is not based on the benefits since this is not a pragmatic decision. The reason a plurality of elders is necessary is because of the fact that it’s clearly modeled in Scripture as the God-ordained pattern of leadership for a local church.”

If I Could Choose 3 New Year’s Resolutions for You

Here are some resolutions worth considering. “I have a few resolutions that I would make for you if I could. Perhaps you are already mastering all of what I am about to suggest. More often than not, however, I think too many Christians are struggling in each area I will mention. There is certainly more I could have mentioned, but I think if every Christian focused on these three areas in the coming year, we might see some drastic changes taking place in our churches.”

Flashback: 6 Practical Ways to Honor Your Parents

Young children honor their parents through their obedience, but what about adults? How do we honor our parents in ways that are fitting?

Who we love above all else is who we worship, and who we worship controls us.

—Ed Welch

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