A La Carte (September 7)

May the God of love and peace be with you today.

Become a Patron

If you didn’t check in over the weekend, be sure to take a look at the most recent Kindle deals.

It’s back-to-school day (at least in this part of the world). Speaking of which, Logos is having a back-to-school sale that has some good deals. (Also be sure to look at their Zondervan sale.)

What Are Friends For?

“We have lost the gift and glory of friendship. This is due to a number of factors. We’ve traded talking for texting. We’ve abandoned fellowship for Facebook. Social media has, in reality, become anything but. The season of COVID-19 has pushed many people further away from each other, and we’ve lost our grip on the gracious blessing of friends. Men, in particular it seems, have lost the gift of friendship.”

Crazy Grace

Jared Wilson has some encouragement for pastors. “Pastor, every Sunday, over and over again, without fail, stubborn and convicted, you take to that pulpit and pin all your hopes on the gospel in your preached text. You aren’t trusting your rhetoric, your well-turned phrases, your homespun stories, your hokey jokes. You aren’t trusting your emotional appeals, your special pleadings, your creative context, your fog and lasers or your eighteen verses of ‘Just As I Am.’ You leave all the good news out on the field, praying the seed will find purchase in softer soil than the week before.”

The House of Mourning

Lisa LaGeorge reflects on death. “‘Death is a robber,’ my pastor said this morning. It is indeed. In the last week, more friends have been stolen. A wife was left behind, a daughter, parents, a son. And we again mourn the brokenness of the world.”

We Can’t Store Blessings for Later

“A friend once told me she wished she could get fat on the blessings God was giving her so they would carry her through the lean times. Although this picture of fullness is lovely—and it’s a delight to rejoice with our friends in seasons of blessing—the metaphor made me pause. In my experience, yesterday’s blessings can’t sustain the weak and weary soul in seasons of sharp grief and unrelenting pain. And, thankfully, God doesn’t expect them to.”

Rethinking Attractional Youth Ministry

“Reformed and gospel-centered youth workers often talk against ‘attractional ministry,’ but I’m not always sure we actually know what we’re talking about. For many, attractional ministry is simply ministry. It’s just what you were trained to do because it’s what you’ve experienced.” There are some valuable insights here.

Untainted Eyes

Chris Thomas laments his inability to look at the world through untainted eyes. “Grown up eyes fail to see the things that matter most. Not because they are completely unable to, but because they have been scarred and clouded by years of unbridled skepticism. We have forgotten how to embrace with wonder the glorious truths of God. We have relegated much of the divine to the realm of fantasy.”

Flashback: Let the Wife See She Respects Her Husband

Let me assure you that your husband feels the weight of this leadership, that he feels inadequate to the task, that he regrets his mistakes, and that he craves your participation and affirmation. Encourage him to take on his leadership role and encourage him as he fulfills it.

As soon as a repentant person appears in the doorway of God’s throne room, the golden scepter of His royal forgiveness is stretched out for him to touch. —F.B. Meyer