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A La Carte (June 10)

thursday

Good morning. May the Lord bless and keep you today.

This week Westminster Books has discounted books by the incomparable David Powlison, including one that has only just been published.

In today’s Kindle deals you’ll find a selection of books from Crossway.

(Yesterday on the blog: Could You Use Some Joy Today?)

Rich and Miserable — How Can It Be?

“Possessing power and luxury only becomes problematic when possessing power and luxury begins to possess us. Success in the world’s eyes—wealth, fame, power, beauty, love and romance, comfort, popularity, health, and so on—can be something to celebrate and enjoy with thanksgiving. But this is true only long as we don’t turn this kind of success into our lifeline, our source for significance, our basis for meaning, our true north.”

How to Tell the Difference Between Presbyterian Denominations

Joe Carter has a brief primer on the main Presbyterian denominations in the US (and Canada, I suppose, since some of them span the border).

Neurons, Decoded (Video)

What are neurons? This brief video explains.

If Necessary, You Have Been Grieved

“No trials enter your life that God does not ordain. Many people do not like the word ‘ordained’ when it comes to adversity or pain. They prefer to say that God allows them. I am okay with that language, but remember this. If he allows it, he chooses to allow it, and in choosing what will happen, he is ordaining. However, here is the good news. God never afflicts us without cause. He is always doing a good work.”

Holy Power for Imperfect Preachers

Ray Ortlund: “The gospel ministry is not a gig, not a performance, not a platform. It takes us to the cross of Christ, the rejected Savior. You should expect to get crucified. But your scars will make you a more powerful preacher.”

Does Putting Ourselves First Come Naturally?

“Self comes far too naturally in my life according to God’s Word. Nurturing it with the water of world’s teaching sprouts some crazy weeds with roots confused and distorted. I find the balance threatened and shift inside of me when I listen more to expert’s opinions than to God’s Word.”

The Second Commandment and the Church

There are some interesting insights here about the second commandment. “If you’re able to discern from that maxim a hard and fast policy on multimedia usage, you’re a better exegete than I. As we cast about the New Testament for other indicators of best practices in worship, we find a pattern emerging; acceptable worship is marked by clear, controlling purposes, but relatively few prescriptions. Christians have historically celebrated God’s wisdom in this—that He marks out distinctive worship practices for his people, while simultaneously uniting true Christians over all times and places whose particular forms of worship look wildly divergent.”

Flashback: Blessed Are the Weak!

…weakness draws the eye of God, the heart of God, the strength of God. Therefore, with confident expectation do we receive our illnesses, submit in our sorrows, bow to God in our suffering.

A man’s faith must fight first, and have a conquest, and then assurance is the crown, the triumph of faith.

—Thomas Goodwin

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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?…