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A La Carte (September 16)


Good morning. May the Lord bless and keep you today.

There is an eclectic little group of Kindle deals to browse through today.

(Yesterday on the blog: The Ministry of Being a Little Bit Further Along)

My Darkest Night; Hopefully Not Yours

Jim Elliff: “At 3:30 a.m., I awoke to a black room, so dark that my eyes could not see even one inch away, much less to the other side. The simple room in a Romanian home in Brasov had one of those metal external shades that are lowered over the window, capable of completely deleting light. I was in the darkest place I had been in perhaps for years. And, since it was night and I was alone in the house, I thought.” This got him thinking about the “outer darkness.”

How Will the People in Heaven View Hell?

On a somewhat similar topic, here’s Amy Hall on heaven and hell. “I fairly regularly get asked this question in various forms: How will the people in Heaven view Hell? How can they enjoy the glories of God while others are suffering? My answer has two parts—a direct answer and a crucial context for that answer.”

The Universe on a Human Scale (Video)

Our minds simply can’t comprehend the size of the universe, but videos like this one do a good job of trying to help.

Patriotism: Love and Loyalty Without Idolatry

I appreciate Isaac Makashinyi’s thoughts on patriotism (in this case, from a Zambian perspective). “A nation cannot be unified around the mere basis of the mutual satisfaction of utilitarian needs. Instead, it must be bound by an active dedication to the maintenance of the body politic. To call this dedication ‘love’ is proper.”

Hope That Anchors Our Waiting Hearts

Randy Alcorn shares an excellent article from Courtney Doctor. “I recently heard a pastor say, ‘The waiting may be hard, but it never leads to disappointment.’ The truth of that statement rests entirely on what we think we are waiting for. In other words, the question isn’t simply what am I waiting for, but what am I hoping in? I’m learning that waiting and hope are intimately tied together.”

Sin Is Far Worse Than We Think It Is

“When Christians think about sin, often it is in the context of our sins being forgiven. We know that we are sinners and that we do all kinds of things that disobey God, some of them unknowingly and some of them intentionally. But we have been forgiven for our sins, right?”

The “Leading” of the Spirit?

Nick Batzig: “Deep down, we’re all intrigued by the mystical. Many find it to be more ‘spiritual’ if they experience something working powerfully and inexplicably upon them. This, no doubt, is partially the reason why charismatic views of the Holy Spirit prevailed throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. There is everything right about wanting to experience more of the power and working of the Holy Spirit, provided we rightly understand the biblical teaching about the power and work of the Spirit.”

Flashback: What Not To Say at the Beginning of a Worship Service

What are the best, the most beneficial, things a pastor or leader can say as he opens the service? What will best serve the people who have gathered?

The highest aim of womanhood is not motherhood; the highest aim of womanhood is being conformed to the image of Christ.

—Gloria Furman

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    A La Carte (June 20)

    A La Carte: How to support the caregivers in your church / What we gain in following Jesus / The way we feel is not necessarily the way it is / The power and danger of habit / The man who introduced American Evangelicals to C.S. Lewis / and more.

  • Do Not Envy the Wicked

    Do You Envy the Wicked?

    It takes a long time for sinful instincts to become pure, for tendencies toward what is evil to be transformed into tendencies toward what is good, lovely, and pleasing to God. The man who quits drugs will still react when he catches a whiff and the woman who gave up alcoholism will still struggle when…

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    A La Carte (June 19)

    A La Carte: The golden rule for hard conversations / Seven reasons you shouldn’t ignore beauty / The early church on entertainment / The uselessness of prayer / A thousand wheels of providence / Impossible, hard, and easy / and more.

  • Our Salvation Through Christ

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers and this post is adapted from The Kindness of God by Nate Pickowicz (© 2024). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission. Just like the Old Testament, the New Testament teaches that this wonderful salvation is extended to us as a kindness. Paul opens his letter…

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    A La Carte (June 18)

    A La Carte: The pursuit of (which) happiness? / Don’t hastily choose elders / The evangelistic nature of awe / What you read builds who you are / Till he was strong / A father’s threads of living faith / Logos deals / and more.

  • Lets Hear It For the Second Parents

    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…