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A La Carte (October 26)

thursday

Good morning from Anchorage, Alaska. I made the long journey out here yesterday and today will be making my way far along the Aleutians for yet another stop in my Worship Round the World journey.

(Yesterday on the blog: How To Cheapen a Marriage)

Is God in Control of Everything?

Christians (and especially Reformed Christians) have long professed that God is in control of everything. Do we really mean everything? William Boekestein answers here.

Why It Doesn’t Matter What Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh Was

This is an encouraging reflection on Paul’s infamous “thorn.” “Paul saw two ways forward. The Lord could (1) remove the thorn, and Paul could get on with life and ministry; or (2) leave the thorn, and Paul would be forever crippled and slowed in life and ministry. The Lord responded with yet a third option: leave the thorn, but give Paul grace.”

After The Flood

“When the children went to school last Wednesday, it was raining. This is Ireland. We’re used to rain. Met Éireann gave an orange weather warning, but that almost always just means a bit of gusty wind or extra rain. I barely noticed. It wasn’t until the afternoon that I realised that this time it was not just a little bit extra—it was a month’s worth of rain, in 24 hours.” Seth explains how this affected his area and then uses it to show how Creation is groaning.

The Too-Many Ways the Lord Is Teaching Me to Number My Days

Benjamin Vrbicek: “I haven’t necessarily spent a lot of time asking God to teach me to number my days, and I wouldn’t say I’ve necessarily gained a heart of wisdom, even though I hope I’m wiser than I was a decade ago. But I can say this: in so many more ways than I would like, the Lord has been teaching me to number my days.”

Good Works and the Christian Life

Kim Riddlebarger explains the basics about good works and the Christian life—part of his ongoing “The Basics” series.

Cultural Contamination and Missionary Common Sense

“Want to know one of the deepest fears of contemporary missionaries? Being labeled a colonialist. Missions books and pre-field trainings are full of examples of how previous generations of missionaries got it wrong, exported their culture along with the gospel, and thereby hamstrung the growth or even existence of the indigenous church. The average well-educated Westerner will go to great lengths to avoid the shame of being labeled a racist or a –phobe of any sort. The average Western missionary will go just as far – perhaps even further – to make sure the dreaded colonialist label never sticks.”

Flashback: Which Man Was More Free?

Nothing can keep us from glorifying God and serving out the purpose he has assigned to us, whether in a palace or a prison. We are always free to love, free to serve, free to worship the God who has saved us and will someday receive us to his side.

Prayer is the surest remedy against the devil and besetting sins. That sin will never stand firm which is heartily prayed against.

—J.C. Ryle

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    Let’s Hear It For the Second Parents

    While today we tend to associate step-parents with divorce, in previous centuries they were almost exclusively associated with death and with either widow- or widowerhood. In an era in which lifespans were shorter and, therefore, a greater number of parents died while their children were still young, there was a distinct and honored role for…

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    The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    Just as Olympic athletes cannot realistically expect to win a gold medal unless they strictly discipline themselves toward victory, Christians cannot hope to prevail in the Christian life unless they take a serious, disciplined approach to it. Yet lurking in the background is always the temptation to hope that we can have the result of…

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    A La Carte: Learn to rest in God’s justice / 3 reasons why your small group is not a church / How can I be a godly father? / Gender in the void / Are images of Christ OK? / The getting of wisdom / and more.

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    Making Good Return

    I don’t think I am overstating the matter when I say that this has the potential to be one of the most important books you will read. It’s a book that may shape years of your life and transform the way you carry out one of the key roles God assigns to you…