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A La Carte (November 2)

Today’s Kindle deals include quite a few good books.

Also, check this week’s deals from Westminster Books for a good price on a solid new biography.

Free G3

I’d love to see you at next year’s G3 Conference in Atlanta. Maybe some free tickets (buy one get one free, that is) will help.

How To Have a Pastoral Conversation

Richard Sweatman writes: “Most growth group leaders know how helpful it is to meet up one-to-one with their group members. This can be a regular time of Bible reading and prayer; sometimes it’s just a low-key catch up. At other times, however, group leaders realize they need to speak with someone about a particular concern or problem. Let’s call this a ‘pastoral conversation’. It can be a pretty big deal, so I want to give some guidance for how growth group leaders could go about having a pastoral conversation.”

How 16th-Century European Mapmakers Described the World’s Oceans

According to medieval mapmakers, the world was made up of three continents ringed by narrow bodies of water. When the voyages of Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, and Ferdinand Magellan uncovered continents previously unknown to Europeans, this posed a major problem for those cartographers. But these explorers did not just stumble upon uncharted land—they also became aware of expansive stretches of ocean around the world.”

A Radical College’s Public Meltdown

Here’s the crazy story of “how a season of racial protests turned Evergreen State College’s self-examination into a national spectacle.” Warning: there is some coarse language in here.

Must Every Christian Be a Member of a Local Church? (Video)

In this video Brian Davis argues that it is completely foreign to the Bible for a Christian not to want to be a part of a local church.

Five Steps For Getting Unstuck With Difficult Bible Passages

“There are times when we just don’t know what to do with certain passages or topics in the Bible. What’s the best way to proceed when you feel like you don’t know where to go? In his really helpful little book ‘The Story of Scripture’, Professor Rob Plummer gives several recommendations for dealing with difficult passages in the Bible.”

Immaculate Innings Are a Rare and Wonderful Baseball Treat

One for the baseball fans. “The immaculate inning is pretty simple: three batters each retired on three strikes and three strikes only. It’s also rarer than a no-hitter, and for long stretches of baseball history, we barely saw them. But the immaculate inning’s made something of a comeback recently.”

Flashback: The Most Terrifying Thing God Can Do

I see the horror of sin pictured in the decaying face of the addict. Her drug is both alluring and punishing. It promises joy and delivers bondage. Meth is its own punishment. It takes captive. It rots. It destroys. And in that way it is a particularly vivid illustration of every other sin.

The cross is the ultimate evidence that there is no length the love of God will refuse to go in effecting reconciliation.

—Kent Hughes

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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.