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A La Carte (July 5)


Good morning. May grace and peace be with you today.

So you know, this is going to be a week of light blogging in which you’ll find only A La Carte articles. Things will return to normal next week.

I don’t expect to update the Kindle deals page unless I happen to see something really exciting by the by.

5 Ways to Benefit from the Lord’s Supper

Colin Smith: “The Lord’s Supper is a wonderful gift from God and is a seal of God’s promises to all who have come to Christ in repentance and faith. The more you grasp the meaning and significance of the Lord’s Supper, the more you will benefit from it. Here are five ways you can enter more fully into the Lord’s Supper.”

Youth Ministry and the Means of Grace

This article discusses the importance of not neglecting the ordinary means of grace in youth ministry. “Suffice to say, there is a vast difference between what young people want and what young people need. That tension is often what lies at the heart of youth ministry.”

Let the Kids Say It’s Boring

“It’s like when your mum tries the old, ‘tidying your room can be fun!’ line. The statement feels more like something we tell ourselves as some sort of coping mechanism. When the kids say it out loud, they’re only voicing what we know in our heart of hearts to be true. We insist that church isn’t boring because, naturally, we don’t want our kids to hate church. But, let’s be honest, more often than not when they say it, and we insist it isn’t, we know the kids aren’t wrong. Certainly not all the time.”

The Difference Between Harsh and Foul Language

Blake draws a distinction between harsh language (which Jesus used from time to time) and foul language (which he most certainly did not).

Jonah and the Justice of the Cross

Jared Wilson: “Imagine for a moment if God treated us the way we often wish he’d treat others. Imagine if God treated us the way wetreat others. We’d be in real trouble, wouldn’t we?”

How Exercise Serves the Christian Life

David Mathis explains how exercise serves the Christian life. “Contrary to any assumption that life in Christ is lived mainly in living rooms and coffee shops, you don’t get the impression early Christians were sitting around all the time. Although we welcome the charges to meditate, study, and be still in God’s presence, we also encounter the teachings of Jesus, Peter, James, and Paul, one after another, who send us moving into gospel-informed, faith-fueled lives of meaningful activity.”

Will Christians Receive Rewards in Heaven? (Video)

Derek Thomas answers the question.

Flashback: How I Prepare a Sermon

I pray a lot during sermon preparation. Some of these are extended prayers and some of these are very quick prayers as I wrestle with a particular word, verse, or idea.

Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea, until he has something to forgive.

—C.S. Lewis

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…

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    Weekend A La Carte (February 17)

    A La Carte: Think you’re immune to adultery? / One of the most hopeful reminders about sanctification / What do we do with dreams and visions? / Have you ever asked your church elders to visit and pray for you? / The neurodivergent believer / Preaching advice for busy pastors / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Open the Bible)

    This week’s Free Stuff Friday is sponsored by Open the Bible. They encourage you to enter to win a series of books from Open the Bible and Pastor Colin Smith! Included in the giveaway are: For All Who Grieve by Pastor Colin Smith. Written with compassion and understanding, yet honestly facing the difficult questions that…