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A La Carte (March 25)

A La Carte Collection cover image

Good morning. Grace and peace to you.

Today’s Kindle deals include several titles by Nancy Guthrie (along with some others).

(Yesterday on the blog: God Graciously Condescends)

Murder of Crows? The Oddities of Collective Names

This is a thoroughly enjoyable reflection on the way we names collectives, whether of birds or people. “Given enough time, virtually every hobby develops its own bizarre vocabulary — wacky insider terms that sound absolutely alien to normal people. To say that someone ‘hit four sixes in an 18-ball 39’ sounds like a ludicrous math problem, unless you’re wise to the jargon of cricket. Instructing someone to ‘raise pressure foot and pivot’ could result in bodily injury, unless that someone is a quilter. It’s true that every generation has its lingo, but so does every worthwhile hobby.”

It’s You. Hi. You’re the Problem. It’s You.

Guilty as charged. “We are quick to think that the reason we experience conflict is because someone else is the problem. You fight with your boss because he’s a jerk. You fight with your wife because she’s unreasonable. You fight with your neighbor because she’s obnoxious.”

A Royal Lesson on the Rumor Mill from The Princess of Wales

This is a lesson we would do well to heed.

Pastoring is Tortoise Work: A Lesson for the Young and Aspiring

“Talking with a fellow pastor I know and trust, I recently asked a question. ‘What’s one quality you believe is indispensable for an effective pastor?’ After a moment’s thought, the answer came: patience.” That is well worth considering.

The Island of Lost Boys

Bethel McGrew writes about some of the lesser-known detransition stories. “When transgenderism was a budding fad, some people looked into their crystal balls and shrewdly predicted that a reckoning was coming. It wouldn’t be immediate, of course. It would take time for young people to realize they’d been screwed over. And it would take courage. Lots and lots of courage.”

What Must the Label “Evangelical” Do to Be Saved?

“Names and labels get … complicated when it comes to religious, social, and theological movements, especially when the name of the movement—as in the case of evangelicals—has a very important word embedded in it: evangel, the gospel.”

Flashback: Always Count the Cost

We must be willing to have others consider us fools or fanatics, to have our words twisted and even our purest actions misrepresented. We cannot expect or even hope that we will gain the favor of God and the favor of men.

Here is the history of the grass—sown, grown, blown, mown, gone; and the history of man is not much more.

—Charles Spurgeon

  • 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…

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    A La Carte (July 10)

    A La Carte: How the GOP became pro-choice / Forgive, and be forgiven / 10 non-cringy faith-based movies / The practice of arranged marriages / Do I share the gospel now? / How to show Mormon missionaries that the Bible contradicts their gospel / and more.