A La Carte (January 21)

There are several Kindle deals from Crossway that merit your consideration today. Also, the whole Word Biblical Commentary series has been heavily discounted.

Become a Patron

(Yesterday on the blog: A Pastoral Prayer about Joy)

Be Patient with Your Slow Spiritual Growth

Being patient is not the same as being apathetic. “I recently talked with my mentor about how frustratingly slow my sanctification can be. Even when I know something is true in my head, it doesn’t always shape my heart or steer my hands.” Here are three truths and three action steps.

Worry is “Practical Atheism”

Philip De Courcy: “There is an important distinction we need to make between good worry and bad worry. There are matters that ought to concern us, things that deserve our immediate attention and action. Being carefree is not the same as being careless.”

How Reading Aloud Changed the World

Sadly, I find that my family is now a little past the reading aloud stage (at least in part because our kids are so often working in the evenings, etc). But I do sometimes still read aloud on my own. “Some leaders learn by writing, others by reading, still others by listening. Lincoln preferred reading aloud in the presence of others. ‘When I read aloud,’ Lincoln later explained, ‘two senses catch the idea: first I see what I read, second, I hear it, and therefore I remember it better.’”

Renewing Your Mind (Sponsored Link)

Renewing Your Mind broadcasts in-depth, accessible Bible teaching from R.C. Sproul, the Ligonier Teaching Fellows, and other trusted teachers every day. Today’s broadcast features a message from Dr. Sproul on the topic of Jesus’ ascension. Tomorrow, hear a special interview with John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul on the tragedy of abortion in the United States. To tune in, just visit RenewingYourMind.org, download the Ligonier app, or subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Karen Pence the School Teacher

David French writes about the kerfuffle surrounding Karen Pence and her decision to teach at a Christian school. (Also, I believe that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word “kerfuffle.”) “Karen Pence is a believing Christian woman. She took a part-time job at a private Christian school. And this, believe it or not, is a scandal. Don’t believe me? Her job has already merited not just one, but two critical Washington Post stories.”

When a 14-Year-Old Wants to Change Gender

This type of story is going to become more and more common, I fear. “Who gets to decide when a 14-year-old wants to change gender? The child, the hospital, the battling parents? A B.C. case raises difficult questions about parental rights and about how young is too young to make medical decisions. The result is a messy ethical and legal tangle.”

What is the Role of a Christian Writer?

This is a helpful reflection on the role of the Christian writer. “The Christian writer is not to write just to make others think. That is not enough. Making people think is easy—just challenge their ideas or shock them with controversy. That’s just noise, and Lord knows we don’t need more noise. No, the Christian writer is to fetch treasure to share with readers. Not life hacks. No leadership tips. Treasure.”

Turret Spiders Launch Sneak Attacks (Video)

Here’s another of the bizarre creatures the Lord created. “There are strange little towers on the forest floor. Neat, right? Nope. Inside hides a spider that’s cunning, patient and ruthless.”

Flashback: The Most Difficult Time to Lead

The most difficult time to lead is when you have forfeited the respect of those who are meant to follow you, when your confidence, and theirs, is shattered.

A real Christian is a person who can give his pet parrot to the town gossip. —Billy Graham