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Weekend A La Carte (August 3)

This is my Kindle-free week. Things should be back to normal by Monday.

4 Reasons to Stop Grumbling

“The Bible shows that grumbling has been a problem for humans for a very long time—and that it’s not acceptable for Christians. Here are four biblical reasons why we should stick a lid on our complaints.” We probably all need a bit of help with this.

Why I Wish We Hadn’t Lived Together Before Marriage

These are just a few of the many very good reasons not to cohabit before marriage. “There was a lot I didn’t know at 19 (there’s a lot I still don’t know). While I wish we started our relationship differently, I’m thankful for what God has taught us through it. Eventually we did get married. But if I could sit down with a similar, bright-eyed 19-year-old girl, here are the reasons I’d tell her why I wish my husband and I hadn’t moved in together before tying the knot.”

Do Your Sermons Make Your Congregation Think You’re Angry?

It is important to call your congregation to obedience to God, but also important to commend God’s grace in their lives. “While our responsibility as preachers is to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness, to equip the saints for good works, I’m not convinced that every sermon needs to start out with such stern exhortation. Perhaps we could be more gentle as we begin our sermons and praise our listeners before we correct them.”

The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet

It’s important to know who has the most influence over society. TIME rounds up their picks for those who have the most influence online.

Inside China’s “Thought Transformation” Camps (Video)

Here’s just some of what goes on inside China’s camps.

The Faithfulness of Christ in the Little Things

Sinclair Ferguson: “It is a principle in Christ’s kingdom that ‘one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much’ (Luke 16:10). But in that kingdom, the Lord Jesus also practiced what He preached. His whole life illustrated ‘little-things faithfulness.’ The theme merits book-length treatment, and this brief essay is intended simply to encourage us all to notice some of the little things we may have tended to overlook in the life of the Savior.”

Katy – A Scottish Single Mother’s Story (Video)

Learn about Katy and what the Lord has done in her life.

Flashback: The Lingering Stench of Sin

We ought to labor to find the best possible solutions, to bring the deepest and truest healing. But we simply can’t expect there will be perfect solutions to messy problems. Not on this side of heaven, at least. The stink of sin always lingers.

The pastor is called to feed the sheep, even if the sheep do not want to be fed. He is certainly not to become an entertainer of goats. Let goats entertain goats, and let them do it out in goatland. You will certainly not turn goats into sheep by pandering to their goatishness.

—William Still

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    Weekend A La Carte (June 22)

    A La Carte: Motherhood / An open letter to dads about gentle parenting / How do I navigate a painful breakup? / More wonderful than being beautiful / Three reasons to show up to the prayer meeting / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Moody Publishers)

    This giveaway is sponsored by Moody Publishers. Attention all Bible scholars, believers in the power of faith, and lovers of the Word! Learn about God’s divine mercy and compassion with our exclusive Bible Study Giveaway. Win the ultimate bible study library including Overflowing Mercies by author and Bible teacher Craig Allen Cooper. This giveaway also…

  • Leadership

    We Need Qualified Leadership

    A few days ago I happened upon the page of an especially mega-sized megachurch. The church is about to undergo a leadership transition from an older man to a younger one and a page on the site lays out the process through which this new pastor was chosen. I read with a morbid kind of…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 21)

    A La Carte: Making tea and holding hands for the sake of the gospel / When Christian groups subvert religious liberty of Christians / How busy should I be? / 5 ways people worship themselves / A backwards birth into heaven / A new systematic theology / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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…