A La Carte (January 8)

Today’s Kindle deals include a pretty good selection of books that cross a bunch of different categories.

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A Timeshare in Babylon

This matters. “Sexual sin is not a merely ‘personal sin’, a kind of foible of our personality, a misfiring of our biology, but it is a declaration of allegiance, it is the purchase of a timeshare in Babylon. As Christians, when we sin sexually, we are handing in our heavenly passport to the offices of a hostile embassy, we are taking up the traditions of a city which is not our home, we are reserving ourselves a villa in a territory from which we are called to come out and be separate.”

Beyond the Panicky Headlines

WORLD has an illuminating interview with George Friedman, chairman of Geopolitical Futures about what happened (and what might soon happen) in Iran.

The FAQs: United Methodists Propose a Plan to Split Their Denomination

And speaking of sexual sin, the United Methodists have made a proposal to split their denomination over it. Joe Carter has the FAQ. “Last Friday, a group of leaders within the United Methodist Church (UMC) unveiled a proposal that would allow the denomination to split into two or more new denominations, representing the conservative or “traditionalist” faction and the LGBT-affirming factions.”

Packages of Life (Video)

“The remarkable cone of a knobcone pine tree is both an impenetrable vault and a launch pad for flying seeds that can restore a devastated forest. Watch an incredible provision for life and evidence for intelligent design in this fascinating video.”

Facing Reality

Scott Watkins deals with the importance of facing reality. “I need help to see reality.  I need God and others around me to point out where I’ve engaged in self-deception or reality distortion. If left to myself, I am prone to imagine things differently than they really are.”

What Was God Doing before Creation?

“While we obviously cannot fully comprehend what God was doing ‘before’ creation, God did reveal some details about His pre-creation activity in Scripture. This helps us to understand His nature, as well as His relationship with and His plans for creation.”

A Good Funeral is a Blessing to the Soul

Isn’t a good funeral such a blessing to the soul? “I walked away from the funeral convicted, encouraged, and blessed. Sure, sadness pricked my heart, yet it was overwhelmed by the other emotions. When God ordains an end to the number of my days will I have lived a life that encourages and challenges others to love Jesus and love Jesus more daily? Will I be remembered as one who was never satisfied with the life he had and was always looking toward the next thing? Will I be remembered as a man of prayer?”

Flashback: Head Knowledge = Good. Heart Knowledge = Good. 

I believe we need to affirm the importance of believing what is true without disparaging the facts and knowledge necessary to even know what is true. Head knowledge is good; heart knowledge is good.

It is not the disappearance of our anxieties that makes us most fully human; it is that we call out to the Lord on good days and bad days. —Ed Welch