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A La Carte (June 19)


I wasn’t able to track down any compelling Kindle deals today. We’ll try again tomorrow.

(Yesterday on the blog: Not Worrying ≠ Not Caring)

8 Habits of the Excellent Bible Teacher

Here’s one for the Bible teachers. “I’ve learned that becoming excellent at anything starts with carefully cultivating particular daily habits. Excellence is more about the seemingly small things we do every day than it is about the big things we accomplish in a moment. Here are eight habits that excellent teachers practice every single day.”

Clarity Not Charity

There’s wisdom here. “If I wrote a song that was hotly debated as to its meaning, then that song should not be sung corporately. This doesn’t mean I’m a heretic; it just means my song isn’t clear. Here is an instance where we choose clarity over charity. If we chose to be charitable to me and my word selection we don’t help the body of Christ. In fact, we harm it. The only edifying words are clear words.”

Is the Atonement “Cosmic Child Abuse”?

Gene Veith responds to a common charge. “God substituted Himself for us. God suffered for us. God sacrificed Himself for us, leaving us the command to sacrifice ourselves for our neighbors in our crosses and vocations. We experience this redemption as forgiveness. But, from God’s side, this is something far more than what we do in telling someone “no worries” when we forgive a slight. God gives us satisfaction for our sins. He gives us remission of our sins.”

Some Concerns about Jesus Calling, and Thoughts on the Sufficiency of Scripture

In his inimitable way, Randy Alcorn reviews Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling,” pointing out the most significant concerns with it (and its various sequels).

Aging in Hope

This is a long article that offers much to ponder. “Throughout our lives we think other people grow older until we gradually realize that we ourselves have aged. Some say that aging can be compared with the fall season when the fruits ripen and the leaves fall; others claim that the moment of aging has arrived when the sum total of memories has become greater than our expectations. Aging, says the American gerontologist Howel, ‘is not a simple slope which everyone slides down at the same speed. It is a flight of irregular stairs down which some journey more quickly than others.’”

Simplicity for the Sake of the Gospel

“We tend to be physically present, but relationally absent. Our overstuffed schedules keep us moving at a pace that prohibits more than a reflexive wave or nod of the head. We long for more, but the buffet of options vying for our time makes it tough to connect. And so, when someone is just there—when someone holds still and makes time to linger—we’re moved. We’re drawn in. We want more.” That’s a challenge, perhaps especially for parents.

If Same-Sex Attraction is Sinful, Then What?

Denny Burk writes, “Recently, there has been much debate about sexuality and human identity. A great deal of it has been related to the upcoming ‘Revoice’ conference in St. Louis. That controversy is ongoing. As I have mentioned previously, evangelicals have not come to a consensus whether same-sex attraction is sinful and whether it is the proper basis for constructing an ‘identity.’”

Flashback: Redeem Your Time

If life is too busy for you to read God’s Word, to spend time in prayer, and to attend the local church, it is far too busy. If you are too unmotivated to commit to such basic disciplines, you are in spiritual peril.

Christ is the dead man who by his death put death to death forever!

—Juan Stam

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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…