A La Carte (July 26)

Good morning. May grace and peace be with you today and in the week ahead.

Become a Patron

Even the Sparrow

“Birds don’t build nests in dangerous places. They take time to find places that are hidden and secure from harm. As they gather the tiny twigs, bits of grass, and pine needles for their nests, they are preparing a place where they will lay their eggs, where they will sit patiently for their defenseless young to emerge. Those little ones won’t be able to leave the nest for a while so these mama birds find places where they know their fragile eggs and soon to be needy babies will be safe and undisturbed.” There’s a spiritual lesson here.

Prayer and the Ministry of the Word

H.B. Charles Jr reflects on the twin ministries of prayer and Word. “Bible exposition does not grow on trees. God does not speak to preachers and supernaturally give them the exegesis of the text. Clear, faithful, and consistent preaching and teaching is usually 90 percent perspiration and 10 percent inspiration. You do all you can do and then God does what you cannot do.”

Even to Your Old Age

William Farley reflects on the joy and challenges of grandparenting. “What does the Bible say about grandparenting? Very little. Although past generations matter significantly to the biblical authors, the Bible does not give grandparents specific attention. The word grandparent does not even appear in the English Bible. Nevertheless, we know this role is essential to God, our extended families, and our local churches.”

Joy and Idol-Smashing

Glenna Marshall writes about the connection between joy, idol-smashing, and marriage.

It’s Deeper Than It Looks

“The Dawn Treader carries us through the troubled waters of our hearts, navigating the often turbulent seas of our destructive desires, and leads us under full sail toward the yearning of our souls for a better home. The Dawn Treaderbrings us to sweet reunions and bitter partings, all the while offering hope beyond the tears. This book has been a gift to me, and remains ever more so as I revisit its salty pages.”

Nigeria’s Grief

Simonetta Carr: “On Sunday, May 30th, cries of terror filled the scattered homes that make up the rural community of Nwori Nduobashi, Nigeria. It was around 3 in the morning, and people were still asleep when an armed band broke into their homes, flashing light in their eyes to confuse them while they swung their machetes. In the meantime, some attackers stood by the door and windows, killing those who tried to escape. Some had guns.”

Battling Anger, Frustration, and Impatience

This is a good strategy when becoming aware of a sin. “Lately I’ve wondered if there’s a way to head that flare-up off at the pass. ‘Good sense makes one slow to anger’ (Proverbs 19:11). So I sat down one afternoon and sought some good sense ‘to be renewed in the spirit of [my] mind’ (Ephesians 4:23).”

Flashback: Four Sources of Discord in Your Church

God calls us to avoid foolish controversies. It’s not that we need to shy away from engaging in all controversy but that we must not become enamored with foolish ones.

We are free to confess weakness because Jesus is our strength. —Paul David Tripp