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A La Carte (February 2)


Good morning! The Lord be with you and the Lord bless you today.

The highlight of today’s Kindle deals is probably G.K. Beale’s popular We Become What We Worship. Lewis’s Mere Christianity is in the mix as well.

Logos users will want to take a look at this month’s free and discounted books (commentaries!) of the month.

(Yesterday on the blog: One Of The Ugliest Sights In The World)

The Importance of What We Do in Secret

Derek Thomas: “There is a manner of ministry that is more about self-service than self-sacrifice, self-indulgence than self-discipline, and self-promotion than self-denial. There is also giving that is designed for recognition—plaques on walls intended to be read by generations to come, or press releases informing the world of ‘generous donations’; prayers in pristine Cranmerlike language of the sixteenth century suggesting depths of personal piety; fasting that is shown via open-necked T-shirts revealing a ribbed torso.”

The Word Of God Is Not Restricted

I enjoyed this newsletter from my friend Tony Payne and he was kind enough to unlock it for you.

Building and Destroying, Transforming and Terrifying – All with a Word

Here is Jared Wilson’s weekly dispatch at FTC. “It shouldn’t work. It makes no sense. It is not lofty wisdom and it is not a miraculous sign, as far as signs expected go. It’s really just a message, an announcement. When you break it down—you know, information-wise—it’s really simply an historical anecdote. But it’s really all we’ve got.”

Jesus Headed Toward Those at the Bottom of the Pile. Will Our Children Follow Him?

“She was six years old. She sat in the school hall, quietly eating out of her lunchbox. The class troublemaker sat at the next table. In his lunch box was only one item: a chocolate bar. She remembers having two thoughts in that moment. First, chocolate bars were not allowed in lunch boxes. Yet again, here he was being mischievous. Secondly, she knew that his was no proper lunch. Looking at her own sandwiches, she wondered about giving him some. She didn’t. Twenty years later, my colleague tells me that she still thinks about her failure to show love to the naughty boy.”


Here’s a reflection on searching for treasure. “Treasure. In my childhood, any mention of it fascinated me. Inspired imagination. Treasure buried. Hidden. The historical findings of archaeological digs revealed in layer after layer. The mystery, captivating. How various clues led to discovery. Of riches. And ancient civilizations.”

Should We Pursue Unity At All Costs?

The key word in this one is “all.” “Jesus said that when the world sees unity in the church, it will lead some to believe that Jesus is truly from God. Obviously, there is a lot at stake when it comes to believers being unified. Unity, therefore, is vitally important. But, is it ultimate?”

The Water of the Word

I enjoyed this reflection on the necessity of the water of the Word.

Flashback: Empty Minds, Empty Hearts, Empty Lives

…as we outsource our brains to digital media, we threaten our ability to make information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. We train ourselves, not to remember, but to forget. Empty minds will beget empty hearts and empty lives.

[The] high and holy Christ does not cringe at reaching out and touching dirty sinners and numbed sufferers. Such embrace is precisely what he loves to do. He cannot bear to hold back.

—Dane Ortlund

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    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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.