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A La Carte (May 14)

Today’s Kindle deals include the usual collection of weekly discounts from Crossway.

Facing Our Fear of Failure

“We never forget our spectacular failures; but more often than not, the fear, regret, and embarrassment evaporate, leaving behind the residue of a humorous story. After we have healed, what remains is the callous of proven resilience. At least, that’s how we should work through our failures in light of God’s sovereignty and goodness.”

The Best Weapon Is an Open Door

I’m being challenged by Rosaria Butterfield’s recent writing on hospitality: “If you believe that these are dangerous times, then you are right. The worldview du jour is called ‘intersectionality’ — the belief that who you truly are is measured by how many victim-statuses you can claim, with human dignity only accruing through the intolerance of disagreement of any kind. This has landed Christians squarely in a post-Christian world, where the highest achievement of personhood is this: the autonomous, independent individual finding meaning in nothing but himself. Thoughtful Christians know that the steady erasure of Christian tradition in the day-to-day fabric of life will mean, sooner or later, that Christians will find ourselves living like the early church in hostile Rome.”

Here’s Why Heads-Up Displays Are Bad

Just because we can do something technologically, doesn’t mean we should.

Three Fixes for MLB’s No-hitter Epidemic

“With strikeouts at record highs and the likes of Jeremy Hellickson sniffing perfectos, baseball’s balance of power has officially shifted too far toward pitchers. What to do? Move the mound. Or … consider the rhombus.” No, just leave the game alone. It will correct itself over time.

The Hope of Forgiveness

This is a helpful article for those who struggle is assurance of salvation.

Benefits and Negatives of a Long-Term Pastorate

Here are some helpful reflections from a pastor who served for 45 years in one church.

ISIS, Just Warfare, and the 30 Percent Rule

“Earlier this week Iraq announced that a three-month-long U.S.-Iraqi intelligence operation led to the capture of five senior leaders of Islamic State (aka ISIS). The news is the first major announcement about ISIS since the Iraqi government declared in December that the country’s security forces had driven the terrorists from all of the territory they once held. While remnants of ISIS remain, their threat is significantly diminished, as is their potential for a resurgence. Just a few years ago, ISIS controlled nearly a third of Iraqi territory. What caused the rapid rollback? The answer may be found in a simple math formula.” How fascinating.

Flashback: When Your Testimony Just Isn’t That Good

Salvation is no more genuine to those who can clearly remember and recount the circumstances that led to their conversion. And I would go so far as to say that the “boring” testimonies of childhood conversions are the most blessed of all. After all, aren’t these exactly the testimonies we wish for our children?

Pride loves to climb up, not as Zaccheus to see Christ, but to be seen.

—William Gurnall

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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.

  • Like an iPhone

    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…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

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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.