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Weekend A La Carte (December 21)

Today’s Kindle deals include several books, among them John Stott’s excellent “commentary-devotionals” on Romans.

(Yesterday on the blog: 7 New and Notable Books for December)

2019: A Christian Music Review

Every year Jeremy Howard writes up a list of the best Christian music of the past 12 months. Every year I link to it (even though I disagree with a fair bit of it).

Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy

The NY Times did some investigative reporting, and what they found is startling.

Does the Bible Forbid My Nativity Set?

John Piper answers the question. While I appreciate many of his points about images of God in worship and in cathedrals, I’d have appreciated a little more on the issues as they pertain to baby Jesus. Still, here’s his view on nativity sets.

Don’t Ban The First Temptation of Christ, Just Don’t Watch It

Here’s the case for not calling for bans of offensive material, but instead reacting privately according to conscience.

I Will Pray, But Have You Actually Shared the Gospel With Them?

Don’t miss the evangelistic opportunities that may come over the holiday season! “Christmas is an incredible time of the year. People give more, they grieve more, they sing more, they eat more and spend more time with family. And I have found that Christians in particular become more evangelistic. I know this because I get more prayer requests and get asked for advice more around the holidays.”

Chairchallenge Highlights Male/Female Divide

In its own way, a silly viral challenge is showing that men and women are different.

Plants and Pillars, Sun and Moon, Sons and Daughters, One Glory and Another

This is wonderful stuff from Abigail Dodds. “To raise humble, confident, steely-spined, God-fearing, Christ-adoring, Word-loving daughters is impossible—except that it’s absolutely not. It’s exactly the sort of thing God is known for and we should anticipate from him by faith.”

Flashback: 6 Practical Ways to Honor Your Parents

God calls every child of every age to show honor to our parents, to refuse to dishonor our parents. He calls us to honor them as the outflow of honoring him…In what ways is God calling you to show honor to your parents?

Prayer crowns God with the honor and glory due to His name, and God crowns prayer with assurance and comfort. The most praying souls are the most assured souls.

—Thomas Brooks

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…

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    Weekend A La Carte (February 17)

    A La Carte: Think you’re immune to adultery? / One of the most hopeful reminders about sanctification / What do we do with dreams and visions? / Have you ever asked your church elders to visit and pray for you? / The neurodivergent believer / Preaching advice for busy pastors / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Open the Bible)

    This week’s Free Stuff Friday is sponsored by Open the Bible. They encourage you to enter to win a series of books from Open the Bible and Pastor Colin Smith! Included in the giveaway are: For All Who Grieve by Pastor Colin Smith. Written with compassion and understanding, yet honestly facing the difficult questions that…