A La Carte (January 9)

Today’s Kindle deals include all kinds of good choices, so be sure to give them a look.

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(Yesterday on the blog: I discussed key Themes (or Challenges) for Reformed Christians in 2018)

Low-Income Communities Are Struggling to Support Churches

This is an interesting article to see in The Atlantic. “It needs money to serve people, but in many cases, it gets that money from the community it serves. So ministers are incentivized to plant and grow their churches in areas where people can afford to give money away. Churches, especially new churches with young leadership and young congregants, seem to be a feature of stable and upwardly mobile communities. The disadvantaged communities that are most in need of the services churches exist in part to provide cannot afford to start and sustain those churches—and thus they are not getting them.”

The New Normal for Church Security

“We recently experienced a new tipping point for church security. A tipping point is the critical juncture in evolving developments that leads to a new and, often, irreversible state. We call that new state ‘the new normal.’ In church security we have witnessed two major tipping points. Though child sex abuse in churches was not new, it reached a new level of awareness and response when Pope John Paul II called an emergency meeting with the U. S. cardinals in 2002. We knew then the issue was serious and pervasive. We reached a second major tipping point in November 2017 with the church shootings at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Among the 26 people killed were nine members of one family. Church leaders and members across the nation began to realize that if it can happen in Sutherland Springs, it can happen anywhere.”

A Burst of Deep Sea Fireworks (Video) 

“The frilled tentacles of the Halitrephes maasi jelly came into view at 1225m in the Revillagigedo Archipelago off Baja California, Mexico.” What an incredible creature!

Why Did New York’s JFK Struggle to Cope With Its Flight Backlog?

“The New York area is no stranger to snow storms. It doesn’t typically take much of the fluffy white stuff to derail airport operations throughout the Northeast, but airports normally handle snow well and service recovery is generally pretty uneventful. So as this week’s bomb cyclone wrapped up and airlines began to resume service to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK), what happened was unprecedented in modern airport operations.”

Hope & Restoration After Sexual Abuse (Podcasts)

“These audio segments were taken from the live presentation of the Hope & Restoration After Sexual Abuse’ seminar presented at The Summit Church May 23 and 25, 2013.” Perhaps they will prove helpful to you or to someone you love.

Why Do We Need to Sleep?

I am fascinated by how much we still don’t know about the human body, like why it needs to sleep.

Church 2.0

“Brian McLaren’s book about the need for an ecclesiology to fit post-modern times, The Church On the Other Side was written twenty years ago this year. 1998. It may as well have been 1788. For the kaleidoscopic ‘postmodern’ world he says we were headed for, one towards which the church should position itself with a much more open hand towards a more inquiring culture, seems light years from the grey hyper modern zealotry of the post-Christian secular frame of our current experience. McLaren did not see 2018 coming at all. McLaren’s central thesis begins his introduction: ‘If you have a new world, you need a new church.  You have a new world.'”

Flashback: Big Sins Little Sins

The man or woman who battled pornography for six months and saw it defeated, finds that the battle over their own mind, heart, and desires, is only getting started. This is a fight that might rage for years, decades, a lifetime.

To say that we are sorry for our sins is mere hypocrisy, unless we show that we are really sorry for them, by giving them up. —J. C. Ryle