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Weekend A La Carte (December 24)

I’ll keep looking for Kindle deals, but haven’t found anything yet.

If you’re looking for a movie to enjoy with the family tonight, Amazon has $0.99 movie rentals at the moment (about 50,000 to choose from). Browse the list here and use coupon code MOVIE99. It can be used just once per account.

Amazing Animals 2016

Here are some amazing animal photos from 2016. On a downright hilarious note, try this video called Planet Earth II: Screams.

Pastor, Am I a Christian?

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times has a fascinating written Q&A with Tim Keller.

An Odd Sort of Mercy

“Evangelical Christians have fallen too much into the habit of believing God exists to affirm our deepest desires, whether material or sexual. We have forgotten that sometimes God, for reasons of His own, calls us to nail our desires to that ugly, painful, bitter cross.”

Actresses, Amphetamines, and Old Hollywood’s Exploitation Scheme

It seems that Hollywood has always been a dark place. This article shows just how dark and brutal it was for actresses in the early days. “With strict contracts, morality clauses, and minimal child labor laws, studio bosses were able to push child stars at breakneck pace.” And they did.

The Deep Sea

A Russian fisherman has been sharing photos of creatures his nets have hauled up from the bottom of the ocean. You’ll think twice next time you dip your foot in an ocean.

Snakes in the Bed

And speaking of terrifying animals, here’s a missionary encounter with a snake. In a bed. I presume every missionary knows it will come to this sooner or later.

This Day in 1818. 198 years ago today Austrian church organist Franz Gruber composed a melody for the poem ‘Silent Night’ written earlier by pastor Joseph Mohr. *

Why Do Airlines Oversell Tickets?

In all my traveling, I’ve only missed out on a seat once due to overselling. But it sure is annoying when it happens. This video explains why airlines oversell seats and how they try to get the formula just right.

The Fullness of God Dwelled in a Womb

Jared Wilson: “Omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, utter eternalness and holiness dwelled in a tiny person. This makes Santa coming down a chimney seem a logistical cakewalk.”

Flashback: Why We Know So Little About Jesus’ Birth

When it comes to Jesus’ birth, God does not give us all the details we want, but he always gives us the details we need.

5 Surprising Advantages to Online Seminary Education

My gratitude goes to MBTS for sponsoring the blog this week. Sponsors keep the blog going!

Christians believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. Materialists believe in the virgin birth of the cosmos. Choose your miracle.

—Glen Scrivener

  • My Most Common Pastoral Counsel

    My Most Common Pastoral Counsel

    Among my responsibilities as an elder/pastor within a local church is meeting with people to offer counsel and guidance. I have never lost the wonder of being given so sobering a privilege—to listen to people as they share their deep sorrows or ask their big questions and to then attempt to bring the Word of…

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    A La Carte (July 15)

    A La Carte: The desires of your heart / Contentment isn’t only for hard times / On the hosting of mission teams / Be careful of your strengths / Yes, we’re almost there / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Every Road and Every Sea

    Sunday Devotional: Every Road and Every Sea

    The Bible has proven its value as weaponry in the battle against spiritual foes, as a laboratory researching cures for spiritual maladies, and as a rich source of treasure in the accumulating of wisdom. It has proven itself a guide to the pathways of life and a chart to navigate the stormy seas of trial…

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    Weekend A La Carte (July 13)

    A La Carte: Folly has a strategic plan to get you / The power of a health warning / Sex is not a solution to marital tension / What do you do when your suffering is your fault? / We can’t think or live Christianly / Good news for African girls / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (TMAI)

    This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by The Master’s Academy International (TMAI). They are giving away the 42-volume Essential MacArthur Library set. The Master’s Academy International (TMAI) is a worldwide network of pastoral training centers that equip indigenous church leaders to preach the word and shepherd their people. They have 19 Training Centers around…

  • The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    Quite a long time has passed since we witnessed the unexpected rise of a new kind of Calvinism. Few had anticipated that in the twenty-first century, so many millions of people spanning a host of nations and traditions would find themselves affirming such old and controversial doctrines. Yet many did so because they were wary…