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A La Carte (May 3)

tuesday

It’s a double birthday here today, so happy sweet 16 to Michaela and happy something a bit beyond 16 to Aileen!

Today’s Kindle deals include a John Piper classic.

(Yesterday on the blog: Like a Ruined Castle)

How to Fall in Ministry (and What to Do When You Do)

Jared Wilson writes about ministry leaders being exposed in their sin. “Each time it happens, we get less adept at incredulity, less inclined to outrage and distress. We’re not happy about it, of course, but we are, sadly, getting used to it. Then the backward troubleshooting begins, the diagnosing of sicknesses long after the deaths. Ministry post-mortems tell us so much, but it would be great if we could see the falls coming. But can’t we?”

Twitter Anger and the Righteousness of God

“If we are not angry about something today, then it seems we must lack virtue. How could the cultural dialogue surrounding gender, sexuality, abortion, racism, and countless other issues not lead to anger? You would almost have to be dead inside or extremely apathetic not to be triggered by these things.”

3 reasons Christians slander one another

And in a similar vein, here’s Aaron Armstrong. “I have a confession: I am, on occasion, a doom-scroller. I can easily get sucked into reading nonsense Christians say about one another on Twitter. And I can get riled up really quickly, especially when I see people committing a sin specifically condemned in Scripture: ‘Do not speak against one another, brothers and sisters’ (James 4:11a).”

Thinning the Peaches

“It hurts to rip healthy, growing peaches off a tree, but if I don’t then I won’t have much edible fruit later in the summer. If the nutrients gathered by the roots are spread too thin across too much fruit, then each peach will end up small and will lack the necessary amount of sugar for that delicious, sweet taste. Not only that, but the sheer weight of so many peaches would break many of the branches.” As is so often the case, there’s something we can learn from nature.

What to Ask a Passage Before You Preach It

“Good questions force us to identify treasures we often miss. Those treasures come in all forms. We see God’s holiness, our sinfulness, as well as God’s sovereignty and grace. We also discover his promises, our identity in him, and more. Therefore, when observing a text, here are five questions that have helped me. Over time, you’ll develop your own.”

Apologetics: Final Examination for Christian Apologetics

I quite enjoyed reading the questions Timothy Paul Jones asks of students in the final exam of his Christian Apologetics class. They are based on memes, Metallica, Star Wars, and so on.

Flashback: If Only I Had Been Saved By Merit!

One of the hardest tasks for every Christian is to deeply believe and forever remember that we’ve been saved by grace. This is a lifelong challenge because our natural tendency is always to veer back to merit, to assume that we’ve been saved by something we are, something we’ve got, or something we’ve accomplished.

Death is half disarmed when the pleasures and interests of the flesh are first denied.

—Richard Baxter

  • 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,…