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A La Carte (June 30)


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.


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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

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    Weekend A La Carte (July 13)

    A La Carte: Folly has a strategic plan to get you / The power of a health warning / Sex is not a solution to marital tension / What do you do when your suffering is your fault? / We can’t think or live Christianly / Good news for African girls / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (TMAI)

    This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by The Master’s Academy International (TMAI). They are giving away the 42-volume Essential MacArthur Library set. The Master’s Academy International (TMAI) is a worldwide network of pastoral training centers that equip indigenous church leaders to preach the word and shepherd their people. They have 19 Training Centers around…

  • The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    Quite a long time has passed since we witnessed the unexpected rise of a new kind of Calvinism. Few had anticipated that in the twenty-first century, so many millions of people spanning a host of nations and traditions would find themselves affirming such old and controversial doctrines. Yet many did so because they were wary…

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    A La Carte (July 12)

    A La Carte: John Piper on repetitive worship songs / Jen Wilkin says not to fear the marks in Revelation / Carl Trueman’s hope beyond politics in Europe / Bruce Ware on angels and free will / Samuel Davies’ tragic children / Book deals / and more.

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    A La Carte (July 11)

    A La Carte: The Disney princess whose heart isn’t worth following / Words of mercy and grace when we disagree / Ten reasons why the Bible is the greatest of great books / Why balance is bad for pastors / The earliest record of Jesus’s childhood / and more.

  • Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    When visiting a far-off church, I met a man who, with sadness, told me about his father’s final sermon. A lifelong pastor and preacher, his father had withdrawn from full-time ministry several years prior, but still preached from time to time. On this Sunday he took to the pulpit, read his text, and gave his…