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A La Carte (February 19)


Today’s Kindle deals include a solid biography of Martin Luther and several other good books.

What Was It Like to Pastor at 17?

HB Charles Jr.: “What was it like to pastor at seventeen? Ultimately, the short answer is God. For that matter, the long answer is God. God did it all! God saved me. God called me to preach. God gave me to my first church and my first church to me. And God provided everything and everyone I needed to stay the course through the dangers, toils, and snares of ministry. It was grace that brought me safe this far, and grace will lead me home!”

Pastoral Ministry is an Ensemble, Not a Solo

This is a helpful metaphor to better understand pastoral ministry. “Pastoral ministry is not the stage upon which we showcase our talents for a watching audience. When done right, pastoral ministry is an ensemble. Yes, we’ve been called upon to take the lead but we were never meant to perform by ourselves.”

Is Boasting on Social Media a Sin?

“Digitally mediated communication has led to digitally mindless communication. We don’t think before we speak online. We sit in front of a keyboard and deceive ourselves, suppressing the knowledge of God’s presence and assuming we are alone. But we are not alone on social media. God is there. And so is a potential audience of billions of people. As a result of this deception, our words online are full of boasting.”

Why Would You Want To?

“The more the world careens towards self-acceptance, self-love, self-compassion, self-care, all wrapped up with that dreaded bow of self-indulgence, the more the internet stops being curious and fun, the more twitter lives into its full malign nature. Are human people even that interesting when they are in the ghastly throws of self-compassion?”

Second Wife, Second Life

Lore Ferguson Wilbert reflects on being a second wife. “I never dreamed of being a second wife, or of marrying a man who had been divorced. At twenty, twenty-one, twenty-six, the child of a crumbling marriage and then a messy divorce, I imagined marrying a man unsullied by the thing I hated more than anything: divorce. Yet in this marriage, I have never thought of myself as the second of anything. I am fully his wife, his only wife today, his one wife.”

Manners Maketh Man

Where did manners come from and why did people begin caring? “During the Middle Ages, Europeans of every social class were more prone to unrestrained impulses. It was not uncommon to eat with one’s hands, belch at the dinner table, or relieve oneself in public. Renewed interest in ancient Greece and Rome during the Renaissance led to a new concern for how ‘civilized’ people ought to act, according to Thomas.”

Mark Dever’s Original Letter to a Church Plant on “The 9 Marks of a Healthy Church”

Justin Taylor dug up an interesting bit of relatively recent church history.

Flashback: One Great Question to Ask a Friend

Why don’t you consider asking the question next time you’re with a friend. If you were the devil, where would you attack yourself? The answer will show you exactly where you can help, strengthen, and pray for your friend.

A man may betray Jesus Christ by speaking too many words, and he may betray him through keeping his mouth shut.

—Oswald Chambers

  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?

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    A La Carte (February 28)

    A La Carte: Can Christians buy expensive things? / You are probably WEIRDER than you think / Our limits are a gift from God / Big dreams impress. Ordinary faithfulness delivers / The biggest problem in worship education / Children’s books / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 27)

    A La Carte: God doesn’t owe me kindness / Jordan Peterson’s “We Who Wrestle with God” tour / Does your church have an evangelist? / Putting Jesus first in a world of pleasures / Send help. My husband believes in me / and more.

  • 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.