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A La Carte (December 26)


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.


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

  • Unite in Prayer with Persecuted Believers

    This week the blog is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. “Can I have a Bible?” The guard studied Qasem. “If you paint the walls of every cell in this prison, I’ll get you a Bible.” “Where is the paint?” And so Qasem, enduring what would ultimately be a three-year sentence for running house churches throughout…

  • Tell Me

    Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

    If you have spent any time at all on YouTube, you have probably seen videos of people hearing for the first time or people seeing color for the first time—videos of people who, through the miracles of modern science, have senses restored that had either been missing altogether or that had become dull through illness…

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    A La Carte (February 26)

    A La Carte: How not to apply the Bible / 30 people in the New Testament confirmed / Taylor Swift and Christianity / But I did everything right / 10 reasons the Old Testament matters to Christians / Kindle deals / and more.

  • We All Have To Do With God

    We All Have To Do With God

    Every one of us must deal with God. Every one of us must, at some time, face God. Every one of us must be prepared to give an account to God. For, as Scripture says, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto…

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    Weekend A La Carte (February 24)

    A La Carte: Wherever he leads, he’ll go / Britain’s loneliest sheep / Helping your teen with porn / How do the Arminian and Calvinist views of election differ? / Exposing the good in digital distractions / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Coram Deo Pastors Conference)

    This week the blog and this giveaway are sponsored by the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. Dear brother pastor, In a spirit of prayerful expectation, I want to invite you to the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. This new event is hosted by Clearly Reformed (a new ministry I help to lead) and Christ Covenant Church (where…