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A La Carte (December 24)

monday

Since this is Christmas week, I’ll be doing “light blogging.” There will still be something new every day, but instead of A La Carte plus an article, it will be A La Carte or an article.

Today’s Kindle deals include some titles from Crossway.

(Yesterday on the blog: Letters to the Editor (Joshua Harris and John Allen Chau))

Worry Over Kids’ Excessive Smartphone Use is More Justified Than Ever Before

I guess this isn’t a huge surprise. “Parents who fear their kids are spending too much time in front of screens now have more reason for concern. New research funded by the National Institutes of Health found brain changes among kids using screens more than seven hours a day and lower cognitive skills among those using screens more than two hours a day.”

The Miracle in Memphis

Here’s an explanation of how FedEx gets you your packages on time for Christmas.

The One Who Pays the Piper Picks the Tune

“I recently spent some time with a friend who has been involved in church planting activities. His denomination financially supported his ministry. However, he recently declined such financial support because he believed some of the methodological expectations required unhealthy theological and missiological compromises. ‘The one who pays the piper picks the tune,’ he said. This brother was not cynical or belligerent. He loves his denomination and continues to remain active within that tradition. He was simply making a point: Expectations come with financial contributions. But to what extent should those expectations come?”

How Nigeria’s Fear of Child ‘Witchcraft’ Ruins Young Lives

Here’s a very sad read. “From a distance, the children look like scarecrows as they slowly scour the waist-high piles of rubbish for plastic bottles. Their ragged clothing hangs loosely from their emaciated frames, their gaunt shrink-wrapped faces are deadened by the drugs they took at dawn. It is hard to believe that these children are ‘witches’. And yet this is exactly why several hundred skolombo – or street children – are now living at the Lemna dumpsite on the outskirts of Calabar in southeastern Nigeria.”

His Heart Is Broad as Heaven: Why God Delights to Forgive

“All Christians believe that God forgives sins. But how many of us feel, deep down in our bones, that God delights to forgive?” You’ll enjoy this reflection on the nature of God.

He Has Come – A Poem

You may appreciate Andrew Roycroft’s new poem “He Has Come.” I think it’s excellent!

Fortnite Isn’t a Game, It’s a Place

You’ve probably heard of the Fortnite phenomenon. This is a helpful explanation of what makes it so compelling to some of its core users. “I’ve played a lot of Fortnite this year, and I was struggling to understand why I liked the game so much. It’s fun to play, but usually I get bored of multiplayer because I’m being constantly killed, can’t keep up with the hardcore players or it just gets stale. Fortnite is different, because it’s not even about the game at all: it’s a place we’re all going together.”

Flashback: Why We Know So Little About Jesus’ Birth

When it comes to the birth of Jesus, we get all the details we need to understand one thing with the utmost clarity: Jesus comes as the least.

If you please God, it does not matter whom you displease. And if you displease Him, it does not matter whom you please.

—Steve Lawson

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