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A La Carte (December 26)

monday

I trust you enjoyed—as we did—a restful, worshipful, enjoyable Christmas Day. Because this is the week when few people visit blogs, I’ll be posting only A La Carte between now and Saturday. A more normal schedule will resume on January 2.

Today’s Kindle deals include a nice little selection of books from Crossway.

(Yesterday on the blog: Today of All Days, Be of Good Cheer)

Persecution and Kingdom Expansion

We know that persecution tends to go along with kingdom expansion, but this article wants us to consider that “perhaps we miss just how inevitable persecution is in missionary contexts.”

Samuel James: “We humans in the modern West are micro-beings living in a macro-society. Every square inch of our news and political culture, our entertainment, and even religion is preoccupied with “big” problems that allegedly demand even bigger solutions. Nothing is more common than to hear people talk about the real issue facing the whole nation, or the problem with the church or Christianity at large. We increasingly attribute our daily angst to systemic troubles and our ordinary frustrations to major dysfunctions with our lives. This is why there is a seeming willingness among many to blow up their lives regularly…”

When Praying Hurts: How to Go to God in Suffering

Vaneetha Rendall Risner: “My desire to pray when I’m suffering can swing wildly in a single day — and sometimes within the hour. Through the severe trials in my life — losing a child, having a debilitating disease, losing my marriage — prayer has been both arduous and exhilarating. Exhausting work and energizing delight.”

God’s Purpose Isn’t Ruined by Unbelief: Don’t Be Discouraged

“The evangelism/missions cause can never be thwarted by the unbelief of the masses who will ‘keep on hearing but will not understand,’ any more than Jesus’ own earthly evangelism was hindered by it. It has always been part of the plan that people will not understand. If a missionary hacks his way through jungle and finds no reception in some villages, it isn’t defeat.”

Does it mean I am not saved yet if I continuously doubt whether I am saved? (Video)

Derek Thomas and Burk Parsons consider questions of doubt, repentance, and assurance.

Remember

Glenna Marshall remembers some difficult times, then says “I don’t want to forget the ways He carried me. Remembering tightens my grip on trust. He’ll carry me through the next season of suffering.”

Flashback: When I Get to the End of the Way

Some of my favorite poems are those that pick up on one particularly important line and then repeat it throughout, thus consistently building upon a theme. This is the case with an old poem titled “When I Get to the End of the Way.”

We should count ourselves happy the day we discover a new fault in our life or character—not happy because the fault is there, but because we have discovered it that we may rid ourselves of it.

—J.R. Miller

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    A La Carte: How to support the caregivers in your church / What we gain in following Jesus / The way we feel is not necessarily the way it is / The power and danger of habit / The man who introduced American Evangelicals to C.S. Lewis / and more.

  • Do Not Envy the Wicked

    Do You Envy the Wicked?

    It takes a long time for sinful instincts to become pure, for tendencies toward what is evil to be transformed into tendencies toward what is good, lovely, and pleasing to God. The man who quits drugs will still react when he catches a whiff and the woman who gave up alcoholism will still struggle when…

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    A La Carte (June 19)

    A La Carte: The golden rule for hard conversations / Seven reasons you shouldn’t ignore beauty / The early church on entertainment / The uselessness of prayer / A thousand wheels of providence / Impossible, hard, and easy / and more.

  • Our Salvation Through Christ

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers and this post is adapted from The Kindness of God by Nate Pickowicz (© 2024). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission. Just like the Old Testament, the New Testament teaches that this wonderful salvation is extended to us as a kindness. Paul opens his letter…

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    A La Carte (June 18)

    A La Carte: The pursuit of (which) happiness? / Don’t hastily choose elders / The evangelistic nature of awe / What you read builds who you are / Till he was strong / A father’s threads of living faith / Logos deals / and more.

  • Lets Hear It For the Second Parents

    Let’s Hear It For the Second Parents

    While today we tend to associate step-parents with divorce, in previous centuries they were almost exclusively associated with death and with either widow- or widowerhood. In an era in which lifespans were shorter and, therefore, a greater number of parents died while their children were still young, there was a distinct and honored role for…