A La Carte (January 31)

Good morning from ice-cold Canada. I have lived through a lot of Canadian winters, but I don’t ever remember one quite like this, with temperatures nearing -30 Celsius and just stubbornly staying there. But we’re staying warm, mostly by staying home!

Become a Patron

It is, again, a pretty sparse day for Kindle deals but we may turn a corner tomorrow as we head into a new month.

(Yesterday on the blog: The Key To Making the Most Out of Congregational Singing)

Conversations with Someone Not Ready to Change

Anyone who has done counselling (whether formal or informal) will have run into this: How do you help someone who just doesn’t seem ready to change?

You Don’t Have to Have a Well-Formed Opinion on Everything

Don’t let people push you into revealing your ignorance! “If you’re not familiar with the day’s controversy, you may feel awkward for a moment. You don’t know what they’re talking about, and if you admit your ignorance, your friend may raise an eyebrow, see you as totally out of the loop and even think you’re a little crazy for not paying closer attention. Never fear! If you’re not up to speed on the news, they will fill you in so you can get as worked up about the issue as they are.”

Important Things, the Chief Thing, the Only Thing

It’s crucial we don’t confuse important things for the chief thing and act like it is the only thing. “One reason people fall out over such matters is because they end up prioritise one thing – maybe even a good thing – at the expense of all else. It is not uncommon for gospel-centred churches to insist that the gospel is the most important thing. That statement is true enough. The problem is that the statement then gets interpreted in all sorts of problematic ways.”

To the Woman Who Longs for a Mentor 

I appreciate this word of warning and comfort. “People will always disappoint you, when you expect them to perform god-like tasks. Even the most godly woman, who has walked with God for years will not be able to sit in a seat that is only meant for God in your life.”

Are You “Full of Sap?”

Chris Cagle is thinking about a life of fruitfulness (and writing largely for those who are a little more advanced in life). “Fruitfulness is a powerful biblical concept. It shows up in lots of places in the Bible in different ways: reproductive fruitfulness, evangelistic fruitfulness, discipling and mentoring fruitfulness, teaching and preaching fruitfulness, and the fruits of the spirit (sanctification).”

Andrew Murray’s Vital Frontier Ministry

I always appreciate Vance Christie’s biographical articles.

4 Facts Every American Should Know About Third-Trimester Abortions

Joe Carter: “Many people are rightly appalled by the callous disregard for the life of a soon-to-be born infant. But we should not be shocked. Allowing women to have an abortion for mental-health reasons anytime in the third trimester (28 weeks until birth) is already the law of the land in the United States.”

Flashback: When Freedom Is Captivity

Sin enslaves, but God delivers. We find our freedom not apart from him and the boundaries he gives us, but with him and within those boundaries he has graciously given to us. Here is true fulfillment and true freedom.

God will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything he knows. —Tim Keller