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A La Carte (December 29)

Today’s Kindle deals include a list of three classics by Francis Schaeffer. They are nice and short which is ideal if you’re participating in a reading challenge this year. Yet they also pack a punch.

Borrowed Convictions

This is a helpful reflection from Jeremy Walker. “A list of gurus is not the same as a developed set of theological convictions. Neither is it the same as having a spiritual home with true shepherds caring for your soul.”

The Great American Word Mapper

This is brilliant. You can plug in words and see where in the US those words are used. Be sure to click the “foods” button (and probably avoid the swear button).

Pro-Lifers Look Forward to 2017

Whatever else 2017 has brought, it’s brought a new sense of optimism to the American pro-life movement. WORLD explains.

One Reason To Dedicate Yourself to Bible Reading in 2017

Here’s just one more good reason to commit yourself to reading your Bible in 2017.

Suffering is a Doorway, Not a Dead End

In that moment of suffering, “one of the most helpful things is to remember what is on the other side of that door. Suffering for Christ is not a dead end (though it might feel like it!). Rather, it is always a doorway to greater joy and life. Here are three ways that is so.”

Did Ellis Island Officials Change the Names of Immigrants?

Smithsonian takes on the persistent myth that officials at Ellis Island changed the names of immigrants.

This Day in 1876. 140 years ago today hymnwriter Philip P. Bliss and his family died when a bridge collapsed under the train they were riding. Bliss composed ‘Man of Sorrows—What a Name!’ and the music for ‘It is Well.’ *

We Need To Talk About Church Scheduling

Here’s a challenging article about church scheduling and how a church can unintentionally harm its people by demanding or expecting too much of them.

Of Golf Balls and Badminton Birdies

This is a good little analogy that is particularly appropriate to pastoral ministry.

How To Protect Your Children From Abuse

I dislike the clickbait headline for this one, but it’s still worth reading as a pediatrician tells parents how to protect against sexual abuse.

Flashback: How Should Christians Use Guns?

John Piper sparked a firestorm in a response to Jerry Falwell Jr. on Christians and guns. Then a whole lot of other people added to the conversation.

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A single day in hell will be worse than a whole life spent in carrying the cross.

—J.C. Ryle

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • 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…