A La Carte (November 8)

Good morning from the Philippines! I am here to speak at the Live it Well conference–and to do a bit of research on church history, and because I heard that McDonald’s here serves spaghetti which is something I just need to try.

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Today’s Kindle deals include a few good books; you may especially want to consider the Family Worship Bible Guide.

(Yesterday on the blog: Gay Girl, Good God)

Apostasy and How it Happens

Sinclair Ferguson: “The solemn fact is that none of us can tell the difference between the beginning of backsliding and the beginning of apostasy. Both look the same. So what are the tell-tale signs of this sickness unto death? Are there early symptoms that might alert us to our spiritual danger?”

How to Pray About Your Life

God is such a good house-keeper that nothing is wasted in his economy: no prayer, no sacrifice, no gift, no godliness, no good work, no godly desire, no good example, no gospel ministry, no love, kindness, generosity, care, love, service, exhortation, rebuke, encouragement … God uses them all for his glory, and for his good purposes.” There are lots of good things to pray for in this article from TGC Australia.

Bruised Reeds and Smoldering Wicks are Not Useless to Jesus

Jesus loves bruised reeds and smoldering wicks. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. Bruised reeds can seem useless. Smoldering wicks can make a lot of smoke and give little light. Yet since when did God love us based on what we can offer him? ”

Lectio Continua for the Pulpit and Pew

Josh Buice: “If the church is unified in a lectio continua approach to Bible reading and Bible preaching—it will create a solid and healthy foundation that will mark the life of the church. Lectio continua is a Latin phrase that means, continuous reading. This phrase has been used to describe the continuous approach to systematic expository preaching—the popular method of the Reformers and towering giants of church history.”

Saying “God Called Me” Can Be Dangerous

Yes, let’s be honest about what we sometimes refer to as “calling.” “Let’s be honest with ourselves. Often, ‘God called me’ basically means, ‘I want to’ but with a spiritual veneer. So let’s think this through. Can God work through our desires? Absolutely. God gave us our emotions, our personalities, and the way we’re ‘wired,’ and he will use all of these to lead us and guide us.”

How God Changes Our “Why Me?” Questions in Suffering

Read whatever you can by David Powlison. “You did this showing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. As that deeper question sinks home, you become joyously sane. The universe is no longer supremely about you. Yet you are not irrelevant. God’s story makes you just the right size. Everything counts, but the scale changes to something that makes much more sense. You face hard things. But you have already received something better which can never be taken away. And that better something will continue to work out the whole journey long.”

Escaping Gravity (Video)

“Every star, black hole, human being, smartphone and atom are all constantly pulling on each other due to one force: gravity. So why don’t we feel pulled in billions of different directions? And is there anywhere in the universe where we’d be free of its pull? Rene Laufer details the inescapability of gravity.”

Flashback: Taking Up a Collection in a Cashless World

How do our churches make giving to the Lord an act of worship when, rather than being done corporately and manually, it is done electronically and automatically?

We break our promises to one another. We break our promises to God. But God never breaks His promises to us. —R.C. Sproul