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A La Carte (June 30)

wednesday

Good morning. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

I just received copies of Kathleen Neilson’s new four-book series and am immediately a fan. They are on sale this week at Westminster Books.

A Brief History of How Friendships Like Yours Can Change the World

“Every Christian wants to make a difference. But few of us know how to turn that desire into action. We look around at all the needs and opportunities, and we think to ourselves, ‘So … what do I already have that can make actually a difference?’ There are countless ways to answer that question. But here’s one easy answer that’s usually overlooked: ‘Your friends!’ Let me explain.”

Why Does God Sometimes Not Answer Prayer?

Benjamin George writes that “many Christians today in India think of prayer as a type of magic, and that they have a ‘blank cheque’ with respect to prayer.” What’s true in India is true elsewhere! This article means to correct that misunderstanding.

IS YOUR WEBSITE SENDING THE RIGHT MESSAGE TO PEOPLE WHO VISIT?

Your website is most often the first impression people have of your church, ministry, or business. What are people seeing when they visit yours? Mere Agency knows how to build sites that make the right impression. They’ve done it for hundreds of organizations of all shapes and sizes and can do it for you. (Sponsored Link)

What is Mount Zion?

“Mount Zion is likely a term that you have heard before or read in Scripture, but may not have given much thought to what or where it is.” Lucas Hagen provides a small primer about a key biblical location.

Getting Beyond “Do You Believe in Jesus?”

“If you truly care about his or her soul, you will get beyond ‘do you believe in Jesus?’. It’s not enough to ask someone if they believe in Jesus. Sadly, a lot of the time even if they answer yes, they are still a hell-bound soul. Obviously, we can’t know people’s hearts, but we know what they say, and simply saying ‘I believe in Jesus’ is not enough.”

The Death of a Spouse

Edward Ruiz writes movingly about the death of a spouse. “I wanted to write a piece because I think it’s time to begin sharing this journey. Though I want to write about the death of a spouse as I continue to grieve, I know others reading this will or are facing their own grief, so I am writing as a way to preach the gospel to myself (and to others).”

The Underappreciated Blessing of Duty

I appreciated this article on the underappreciated blessing of duty. I’ve said it before: It’s a word I think we would do well to recover as Christians! “You and I live in a world that elevates personal desire above everything. And it is exhausting. The wisdom of the age says being true to yourself and following your dreams brings freedom. But how often the opposite is true!”

Flashback: A Soul Physician

When I see someone believing what is wrong or living in a way that dishonors God, I need to resist the temptation to offer the quick fix and instead to talk, to pray, to observe, and to trace that sin to its root.

Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.” How many blackberries do you need to find on a bush before you know it’s a blackberry bush? It’s not a hundred.

—Colin Smith

  • 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?…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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…

  • Moral Vision

    From Washington & Jefferson to Trump & Biden

    The United States has produced more than its fair share of fascinating figures. Over the course of its storied history, it has produced a host of figures who have shaped the nation, the continent, and the world. Many of these have been its presidents and politicians, though others have been its inventors, its business leaders,…