A La Carte (February 3)

Every day I comb through hundreds of Kindle book deals, most of which are utter junk, looking for the few that may be of interest. Today’s Kindle deals include just a few titles, but you may find them interesting.

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Leading Your Family in God’s Two Gardens

There is lots to ponder and apply in this article from J.D. Greear: “An inheritance is what you leave behind for future generations. So when a church thinks about what they are ‘leaving behind’ for their city, they shouldn’t be thinking of ministry plans or church buildings. They should be thinking about families.”

Of Pastors and Politics

Kevin DeYoung speaks as a pastor to other pastors about political knowledge, obsession, and wisdom.

Don’t Forget the Epic Story of World War II

Philip Jenkins has some important things to say about the Second World War as it is told in today’s classrooms and lecture halls. “While the main narrative of the war has faded into oblivion, major events like Okinawa are recalled only as they can be told from a perspective that appeals to liberal opinion, and even to pacifists.”

What Happens When You Stop Smoking? (Video)

The human body is amazingly resilient. Smoking is amazingly bad for you.

The Apology to the LGBT Community That Needs an Apology

This apology from Brian McLaren, Greg Boyd, Brian Zahnd, and Bruxy Cavey needs an apology of its own. Tim Barnett explains over at Stand to Reason. “I apologize for Christians who have given the impression that to love someone means you cannot also tell them what they are doing is wrong. If this were true, it would make God unloving.”

One Hour in a Restaurant Doesn’t Make a Good Marriage

Aileen and I just enjoyed a great “date night.” By which I mean, I spoke at an event, then they asked her to join me up front for the Q&A that followed. It was kind of like a date, I guess. Anyway, I think you’ll enjoy this from Melissa: “I can’t remember the last time I put on a pretty dress for a night out. We’re in the thick of life with three fun kids and a vibrant church, and there’s no time for date nights. Yet, almost eighteen years into this thing, our marriage has never been stronger. We have never been more spiritually in tune. And, we’ve never truly liked each other more.”

This Day in 1809. 208 years ago today German composer and devout Lutheran Felix Mendelssohn was born. His “Elijah” oratorio is considered second to Handel’s “Messiah.” Mendelssohn also rediscovered Bach whose music was forgotten for 80 years. *

The Speech

Jamie Brown discusses “the speech” every worship leader needs to hear again and again (and why today’s worship may necessitate it more than ever).

Canadian Study Touts Euthanasia’s Cost ‘Benefit’

This is inevitably what it will come to, right? The right to die soon becomes the duty to die. “Researchers claim country’s healthcare system could save millions if more sick people chose suicide.”

Christian, Your Pain Is Never Punishment

“I put my hand on her shoulder. After a long silence, she spoke. ‘I keep begging God to take out my heart, to keep it from breaking,’ she whispered. Her voice trembled. ‘But I don’t even know if he’s listening anymore. My family says this happened to her because I stopped going to church. They say God’s punishing me.'”

Flashback: Boys Need Their Moms

Thinking back, I wonder if people thought I was a bit of a mama’s boy. I grew up in a stable home and loved and respected both of my parents. I regularly spent time with each of them. But I was always closer to my mother.

Never do the flowers of grace grow more, than after a shower of repentant tears. —Thomas Watson