A La Carte (February 18)

I spent a chunk of yesterday’s Family Day holiday catching up with some of the longform articles I had bookmarked but not yet gotten around to reading. You’ll see a few of them appear in A La Carte over the next few days.

Become a Patron

There’s a variety of books listed in today’s Kindle deals.

(Yesterday on the blog: Lessons Learned Through Grief)

Head Down And Into the Wind

“Hope in Christ changes our goal from deliverance of circumstances to simply being faithful in them. Because that is the real work isn’t it? Learning how to be faithful when things don’t get better.” Indeed!

Why Witchcraft Is on the Rise

Do you know what stood out to me about this article on the rise of witchcraft? It’s how witchcraft rather closely resembles the prosperity gospel. Both are trying to “game the system” to bring about selfish desires.

Jesus Prayed for Your Sanctification

The Lord Jesus Christ in his incarnation sanctified himself (lived in perfect holiness) in order to sanctify his people in the truth. On the night of Jesus’s betrayal, before he prayed for himself, he prayed for his own. (Sponsored Link)

Losing a Friend

If you’ve ever tried to befriend someone in a particularly difficult circumstance (like an addict or a hoarder), you may be able to identify with Sophia Lee’s struggles. “I cried. The whole incident deeply upset me, not just because I lost someone I called a friend, but because I couldn’t help feeling guilt—guilt that perhaps I wasn’t a good Christian, a good friend, that I wasn’t empathetic or compassionate enough to his situation.”

A Deserted Shanghai

There are lots of ways of learning about the impact of the coronavirus on China, but perhaps one of the most effective is to see it. This photo essay shows a deserted Shanghai—a city whose streets are usually packed with people. (On a similar note, this is an interesting read: An American on Quarantined Cruise Ship Describes Moment His Wife Was Diagnosed With Coronavirus.)

How To Improve Your Preaching

Kevin DeYoung has some top-notch tips to improve your preaching. “I keep listening to other preaching (although less than when I was a younger preacher), and I keep on reading (and re-reading) books on preaching. I don’t hold myself up as a homiletical model. I resonate with Lloyd-Jones’ comment that he wouldn’t walk across the street to hear himself preach. But since the dear saints at Christ Covenant do walk across the street to hear me preach, I want to preach as winsomely and faithfully as I can.”

How Ultra-Processed Food Took Over Your Shopping Basket

“It’s cheap, attractive and convenient, and we eat it every day – it’s difficult not to. But is ultra-processed food making us ill and driving the global obesity crisis?” I guess it could be. Either way, I find this breakdown of different foods quite helpful.

Marriage Was Never Supposed to Fill the Empty Spaces

Lauren Washer shares some of her struggles in this article. “Yes, he’s helpful, trustworthy, and loves me enough to be honest, rebuke me, and walk me through my struggles. His wisdom is invaluable and I’m a better person having been married to him for the past thirteen years. But he’s not God. And try as I might to make my marriage relationship fill my soul, it never will. Neither will anything else.”

Flashback: The Character of the Christian: Gentle

We are to be gentle so we can serve as a display of the one who deals so gently with us.

God is true. His Word of Promise is sure. In all His relations with His people God is faithful. He may be safely relied upon. —A.W. Pink