Weekend A La Carte (February 9)

Today’s Kindle deals include a few books that are worth considering.

Become a Patron

(Yesterday on the blog: Travel Tips from a Journey Round the World)

Valentine’s Day and Christian Dads

Chap Bettis: “There is something about knowing florists, card-makers, and restaurants make a killing off this self-declared holiday that drives me a little crazy. Each year I stare it in the face and waver. But my kind wife gives me a little push. And I am glad she does. Each Valentine’s Day, my single adult daughters receive a significant gift from us. Why?”

Infanticide Becomes Justifiable

Be sure to read this one right to the end. “How is it that infanticide has become justifiable when it was unthinkable in the years following World War II (German doctors were hanged at Nuremberg for killing disabled babies)?”

Why Your Short Term Mission Trip Probably Isn’t Alleviating Poverty

Mez has been known to overstate his case a little, but there’s still lots of truth in what he says. “Let’s not think too deeply about the fact that the Western evangelical money machine basically runs the most sophisticated and expensive 4D-real-life-experience/babysitting service in the world and then passes it off as legitimate short term missions and poverty alleviation. Agencies will spend millions on flashy and emotive videos in an effort to persuade people to give their lives to the cause of world missions. I know.”

Expelled from China

World magazine reports: “Miller’s story is becoming increasingly common in China as the central government cracks down on foreign missionaries in the country. Beijing has made a targeted effort to rid the country of all foreign influences, especially Korean and Western missionaries who work with house churches. The government has even kicked out entire mission agencies—and missionaries who remain in the country recognize their time is limited.”

Why Are Some Pastors So Dogmatic About Secondary Issues? (Video)

“Too many pastors, under the guise of ‘discernment’ and ‘guarding the sheep,’ show a lack of graciousness and patience to those with whom they disagree.” Eric Bancroft comments.

The Wall Street Church With the $6 Billion Portfolio

Wow. “The church has always been land-rich. And it has long had its own real estate arm, which controls ground leases and office space rentals in the buildings it owns. But now it finds itself with a newly diversified portfolio worth $6 billion, according to the current rector, the Rev. Dr. William Lupfer.”

The Importance of What We Do in Secret

“There is a manner of ministry that is more about self-service than self-sacrifice, self-indulgence than self-discipline, and self-promotion than self-denial. There is also giving that is designed for recognition—plaques on walls intended to be read by generations to come, or press releases informing the world of ‘generous donations’; prayers in pristine Cranmerlike language of the sixteenth century suggesting depths of personal piety; fasting that is shown via open-necked T-shirts revealing a ribbed torso.”

Flashback: 5 Things You Can Give to God Every Day

Productivity is effectively stewarding your gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others and the glory of God. This is productivity at its highest and best. This is what God calls you to every day.

The heart can only go as high in worship as it can go deep in theology. —John MacArthur