A La Carte (November 13)

Good morning. Grace and peace to you today.

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Today’s Kindle deals include a selection meant specifically for teens and/or their parents. There are several other interesting titles as well.

(Yesterday on the blog: The Beauty of Gender Difference)

Her Present Absence

Karen reflects on the nature of sorrow. “There is no sin in the sorrow we feel in our loved one’s present absence, and there is no wrongdoing or shame in acknowledging its reality. It’s simply a testimony of our enduring love for them, and our certainty that we will soon see them again.”

‘Journey to Bethlehem’ and Christmas Cringe

“Faith-based movies have been enjoying something of a renaissance lately—gaining ground not only in commercial viability but also in artistic credibility. To be sure, the bar has been low. Most of these movies are still not great; they’re just better than what we’ve come to expect. Sadly, the faith-based genre’s latest holiday movie sets the genre back—considerably.”

Aayan Hirsi Ali says she’s now a Christian (but only if that’s okay with the rest of us)

Aayan Hirsi Ali, who famously abandoned Islam in favor of atheism, recently explained how she became a Christian. Stephen McAlpine isn’t pleased with the skepticism of many believers.

The Super Generation (Video)

The John 10:10 Project celebrates one of nature’s wonders. “Every year, millions of Monarch butterflies travel up to 2500 miles to reach a dozen small patches of forest in central Mexico. There, they spend the winter safe from the freezing temperatures in Canada and the midwestern United States. These fragile insects have no idea where they are headed on their migration. Yet, with ingenious navigational systems stored within their eyes, brains and antennae, they locate the same forests and trees that provided sanctuary to their ancestors for generations.”

Church Planting Is Rarely Rapid

Matthew Spandler-Davison has traveled more than just about anyone I know and says, “I have come to believe there are two great threats to gospel work in the world’s poor and unengaged communities today: the prosperity gospel and the encouragement toward rapid multiplication.”

Realistic Expectations From a Life of Ministry

Mathew Santhosh Thomas: “Earlier, I wanted to serve God and ‘do ministry.’ But later God changed the way we thought. Ministry is not about us doing great things for God. It is understanding what God is doing in his world. We simply align our lives with what he is doing, to abide in him and walk with him.”

Flashback: The Happiest Christians and the Happiest Missionaries

Who are the happiest Christians? Who are the happiest missionaries? And what is it that makes them so happy?

Not only is all your affliction momentary, not only is all your affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there. But all of it is totally meaningful…Therefore, therefore, do not lose heart. —John Piper