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A La Carte (February 14)

thursday

Today’s Kindle deals include some excellent resources on the local church. You’ll also find my little book Run to Win and a few from Reformation Heritage Books.

(Yesterday on the blog: Biographies for People Who Have Never Read a Biography)

James MacDonald Fired from Harvest

“In the midst of efforts to reconcile with longtime critics, Harvest Bible Chapel fired its founder and senior pastor James MacDonald for ‘engaging in conduct … contrary and harmful to the best interests of the church.’” I appreciate Barnabas Piper’s warning: “It’s easy to discuss and share this kind of news. But what will be less-noticed is the crumbling of a church home and community of faith for hundreds and thousands of people. This is a tragedy, not just a juicy news story.”

Intersectionality (Video)

Yesterday David French delivered a series of lectures about intersectionality at Southern Seminary. You can find the first one above.

Matisha’s Throne of Grace

I really enjoyed this one! “When Matisha moved into the retirement apartment next to my Mum last year, things got ugly. Very ugly. Very quickly. Matisha took an instant dislike to Mum. Only my Mum. All the other residents she was fine with. Chatted with them. Spent time with them But there was something about Mum that she took an instant dislike to. From day one. No matter what Mum tried to do for her. And boy, did Mum try.”

You are the Traffic

“At traffic lights, where many have despaired of ever getting to work, our local public transport company erected a sign with the simple words, ‘You are not stuck in traffic, you are the traffic’. Amid frayed tempers, blared horns, steamed windows, and tired people, a simple statement penetrated so much of the frustration felt by so many – we are not just experiencing the problem, but we are part of its existence.” There are lessons to be learned.

Praying for Empty Churches in Europe to Be Filled

“The proliferation of empty churches in Europe shows no signs of abating. Over the past twenty years, more than five hundred Catholic churches have closed in Germany—of those a third were demolished and the others sold for development. But it’s not just Catholics feeling the pain of secularization; it’s Protestants too.”

Don’t Put Your Hope in Date Night

I enjoyed the contrast between this article and the next one. “Sometimes date night—complete with the babysitter and nice dinner—just feels impossible, and our unbroken evening routine leaves us wondering: Must two tired parents go on regular date nights away from the pressures of home life to maintain the joy and intimacy of marriage? Is that the Christian ideal?”

Maybe Go Ahead And Put Some Hope In Date Night

“One of the things we say is that they should pick an evening (which can change, of course) and call it ‘Date Night.’ Make that evening sacrosanct. Let absolutely nothing interfere with it. Cling onto it with their whole selves. Do not let any excuses or tiredness or anger shift them off from enacting it, especially with liturgy, Every Single Week.”

Flashback: What City Was Once “The Jerusalem of the East?”

Only a century ago and before Korea was divided into two, Pyongyang was considered “the Jerusalem of the East,” a model of success for missions and the center of a growing Christianity in Korea.

Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you.

—Elisabeth Elliot

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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…