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A La Carte (March 18)

thursday

Good morning! Grace and peace be with you today.

Today’s Kindle deals, like most other Thursdays, include a selection from Crossway.

(Yesterday on the blog: Children Who Bloom in an Instant)

6 Questions about the Fear of God

Michael Reeves: “I want you to rejoice in this strange paradox that the gospel both frees us from fear and gives us fear. It frees us from our crippling fears, giving us instead a most delightful, happy, and wonderful fear. And I want to clear up that often off-putting phrase ‘the fear of God,’ to show through the Bible that for Christians it really does not mean being afraid of God.”

Why Are You Breathing? It’s Not about You

“If things are going to end for us, as they did for my father, then it’s obvious that it’s not all about us. We are not the gravitational center of the universe. We’re in orbit around something else, around someone else. And I believe that this someone is God.”

Evolution Can’t Account for Our Inborn Longing for Happiness

Randy Alcorn points out that the universal human longing for happiness cannot be accounted for by evolution.

Is This Why Birds Sing?

“Singing birds are one of the joys of nature. Their bright ‘songs’ brighten our days. We marvel at how such ‘music’ can emerge from these small creatures. Scientists tell us birds sing to ‘mark’ their territories and to attract a mate for nesting. Or, in migrating, they may issue ‘contact calls,’ chirps to help them stay in touch with each other. These are ‘scientific mechanics’ which explain the function of birds singing. But, we wonder: Is there more? Are there other ‘reasons’ birds sing? Are there dimensions beyond the ‘scientific’?”

How Theological Labels Are Helpful and Unhelpful

David Qaoud: “Everybody has theological convictions. And when we want to express those convictions, we often do so by labeling ourselves. By ‘labeling’ I mean when you associate with a particular doctrine in self-referential terms. This is when you say, ‘I’m Reformed. I’m a credobaptist. I’m a complementarian.’ This is labeling yourself. Is it helpful? Yes and no.”

Grief Is An Exhausting Journey

Paul Tautges describes grief as an exhausting journey and offers three “stabilizing truths.” “In the valley, we have anchored our faith to three stabilizing truths drawn from three portions of Scripture. I hope these principles can be applied to your own journey through the valley of grief, whatever the circumstances, whether expected or unexpected.”

Photographer Spends 12 Years, 1250 Hours, Exposing Photo of Milky Way

What a long and beautiful labor! “Finnish astrophotographer J-P Metsavainio has released a Milky Way photo that took him nearly 12 years to create. The 1.7-gigapixel image has a cumulative exposure time of 1,250 hours.”

Flashback: Look! Look To Your Baptism!

…baptism is a means through which a church declares, “We believe this person professes the true gospel, so is a true Christian.” In baptism they welcome him or her into the visible church.

Marriage and family can easily become just a respectable form of selfishness. If we marry mainly to meet our own needs, then our marriages will be just that: good-looking masks for selfishness.

—Christopher Ash

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    This week the blog and this giveaway are sponsored by the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. Dear brother pastor, In a spirit of prayerful expectation, I want to invite you to the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. This new event is hosted by Clearly Reformed (a new ministry I help to lead) and Christ Covenant Church (where…

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    God’s Goodness in a Cruel World

    There is much to love and appreciate about our God, much for which we ought to give him praise and thanks. One of the attributes we may consider too seldom is his goodness, and as an aspect or component of his goodness, his kindness. And that is the subject of

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    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

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    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…