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A La Carte (December 29)

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Just a reminder that this week I am featuring A La Carte only. The usual slate of original articles will return next week as the holiday season wraps up.

There are some new Kindle deals today for the avid collectors.

(Yesterday on the blog: How I’ll Be Reading the Bible in 2024)

Let Us Resolve This . . . A Few Thoughts About Personal Resolutions

This is quite a long article about new year’s resolutions and other kinds of resolutions. “As Christians, such a miserable ratio of success to failure should cause us to examine the whole concept of the new year’s resolution from a biblical perspective.”

Plan to Grow

Jacob thinks back to his growth as a Christian and concludes, “I’ve learned that if I don’t plan to grow, I’ll be less like Jesus than I could be.”

Free eBook: How to Build an Effective Missions Program

When discussing the specifics of church missions programs, it is critical to begin by understanding the motivation behind missions. Properly understanding “God’s Mission” will result in a more deeply rooted mission program and, ultimately, a more effective gospel witness. So, today, The Master’s Academy International (TMAI) is offering How to Build an Effective Missions Program as a free ebook. Download your copy today at tmai.org/challies to develop a strategy for an effective missions program in your church. (Sponsored Link)

Pope Francis, LGBTQ, and Semi-Pelagianism

Rob Golding explains why Protestants can struggle to understand how the Pope can bless same-sex marriages while also standing “firm” on the traditional doctrine of marriage.

Are You Actually Responsible for How Your Year Turned Out?

“If we are honest with ourselves, many of the things that happened in the past year we didn’t plan or expect. We probably were unwell at some stage. We might have lost a job or had an unexpected job offer. Any number of things might have happened that we could never have known in advance.”

What Were Mary and Joseph Doing After Jesus Was Born?

Mitch offers a short explanation of what Mary and Joseph did after Jesus was born.

Good News Times Four

This is a helpful little summary of the four gospels—what makes them similar and what makes them distinct. “One story told from four viewpoints into four first century situations they might be, but we wouldn’t be without any one of the four twenty centuries later.”

Flashback: A Supreme Yearning To Be a Blessing

As I’ve considered the year that is almost upon us, I have been helped by this prayer from John MacArthur’s At the Throne of Grace. I think you’ll enjoy it too.

To desire revival…and at the same time to neglect prayer and devotion is to wish one way and walk another.

—A.W. Tozer

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…

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    Weekend A La Carte (February 17)

    A La Carte: Think you’re immune to adultery? / One of the most hopeful reminders about sanctification / What do we do with dreams and visions? / Have you ever asked your church elders to visit and pray for you? / The neurodivergent believer / Preaching advice for busy pastors / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Open the Bible)

    This week’s Free Stuff Friday is sponsored by Open the Bible. They encourage you to enter to win a series of books from Open the Bible and Pastor Colin Smith! Included in the giveaway are: For All Who Grieve by Pastor Colin Smith. Written with compassion and understanding, yet honestly facing the difficult questions that…

  • Moral Vision

    From Washington & Jefferson to Trump & Biden

    The United States has produced more than its fair share of fascinating figures. Over the course of its storied history, it has produced a host of figures who have shaped the nation, the continent, and the world. Many of these have been its presidents and politicians, though others have been its inventors, its business leaders,…