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A La Carte (January 2)

monday

Happy new year! May 2023 bring you many of God’s richest blessings.

My sincere gratitude goes to the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors for naming Seasons of Sorrow their counseling book of the year.

There’s quite a large bundle of Kindle deals to go through today.

(Yesterday on the blog: All Is Shadow Here Below!)

Pope Benedict XVI (1927–2022): His Life and Legacy

Leonardo De Chirico is perhaps the foremost Evangelical scholar of Roman Catholicism, so he’s just the man to reflect on the life, death, and legacy of Pope Benedict XVI.

Signs of Life

“Here’s an encouragement for your new year: yours and my inefficient, unremarkable, non-streamable existences are not problems to be fixed. The things that make us late, or bored, or stressed are often the signs of life. Even our pain and suffering are, in their way, reminders that the valley of the shadow of death is not the only thing that’s real. So are his rod and his staff.”

The Turning of the Calendar

Doug Eaton: “God’s mercies are new every morning, and they are also new every year. However, sometimes, we can expect too much from the turning of the calendar.”

Good News for 2023: It’s Not About You

Chris Hutchison offers up a couple of important lessons from the life of Elijah, one of which is for everyone and the other of which is geared toward parents.

God’s Faithfulness in the Past Assures Our Happy Future

Randy Alcorn: “The human race is homesick for Eden, which only two humans have ever known. We spend our lives chasing peaceful delight, following dead ends or cul-de-sacs in pursuit of home. We know intuitively that we’ve wandered. What we don’t know is how to return. Our lives are largely the story of the often wrong and occasionally right turns we take in our attempts to get home to Happiness with a capital H—God Himself.”

No Longer Slaves to Sin

“In all the CA State Prison chapels where I work, the current passage before us is the sixth chapter of Romans, in which are the words, “sin will have no dominion over you”. And there, among men who have a keen and intense familiarity with what it means to not be free, we’ve been exploring the fundamental release from bondage inherent in the nature of our salvation, release not only from transgression’s final penalty but from sin’s cruel dominion now.”

Flashback: The Best Way to Begin a New Year

There is no better way to begin a new year than with the knowledge of your freedom and the desire to live for the glory of the one who has extended such grace. Christian, you are free and clear.

God wants us to worship him because we become like what we worship. If we worship God in spirit and truth, we’ll become more spiritual and truthful.

—David Murray

  • My Most Common Pastoral Counsel

    My Most Common Pastoral Counsel

    Among my responsibilities as an elder/pastor within a local church is meeting with people to offer counsel and guidance. I have never lost the wonder of being given so sobering a privilege—to listen to people as they share their deep sorrows or ask their big questions and to then attempt to bring the Word of…

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    A La Carte (July 15)

    A La Carte: The desires of your heart / Contentment isn’t only for hard times / On the hosting of mission teams / Be careful of your strengths / Yes, we’re almost there / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Every Road and Every Sea

    Sunday Devotional: Every Road and Every Sea

    The Bible has proven its value as weaponry in the battle against spiritual foes, as a laboratory researching cures for spiritual maladies, and as a rich source of treasure in the accumulating of wisdom. It has proven itself a guide to the pathways of life and a chart to navigate the stormy seas of trial…

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    Weekend A La Carte (July 13)

    A La Carte: Folly has a strategic plan to get you / The power of a health warning / Sex is not a solution to marital tension / What do you do when your suffering is your fault? / We can’t think or live Christianly / Good news for African girls / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (TMAI)

    This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by The Master’s Academy International (TMAI). They are giving away the 42-volume Essential MacArthur Library set. The Master’s Academy International (TMAI) is a worldwide network of pastoral training centers that equip indigenous church leaders to preach the word and shepherd their people. They have 19 Training Centers around…

  • The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    Quite a long time has passed since we witnessed the unexpected rise of a new kind of Calvinism. Few had anticipated that in the twenty-first century, so many millions of people spanning a host of nations and traditions would find themselves affirming such old and controversial doctrines. Yet many did so because they were wary…