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Weekend A La Carte (July 4)

I wish all of my American friends (and family) a joyful and celebratory Independence Day today.

Today’s Kindle deals include the usual Saturday classics with a few newer titles as well.

(Yesterday on the blog: A Mid-Year Bible-Reading Checkup (Don’t Give Up!))

Proud to Be an American?

Bruce Ashford: “As we celebrate the Fourth of July, it is a good time to reflect on the proper perspective a Christian should have on his or her nation. In particular, now is the perfect time to reflect on the proper perspective an American Christian should have on the United States of America.”

Cheap Knockoffs

Here’s Janie Cheaney on non-Christian perspectives seeping into the church: “God does not bodily descend into the world without changing it forever. Those who fear our culture is returning to paganism are wrong: Our culture is developing an uneasy mix of pagan worldview saturated with perversions of Christian teaching.”

Five Lessons I Learned From a COVID-19 Spike at Our Church

I think we’d all do well to read this one and learn from this church’s experience with an outbreak. “I’m convinced that one of the reasons the virus hasn’t spread faster and farther is that we have been following procedures designed to isolate sick people and keep everyone else socially distanced. At the same time, we had gotten comfortable, and on a few occasions we were a little lax in those policies. We can trace almost all of the infections back to one of those times.”

The Fear of the Lord … For Today?

“The basic idea is that the Lord is with us and he is also over us. He is the great and Holy God and is to be feared. This is a good fear because whatever we fear controls us. When we fear the Lord, we are controlled by him and his words. In short, we do what he says.” Ed Welch is just the person we should want to read on this subject.

What Is Self-Discipline?

Steve Lawson writes about self-discipline: “Growth in personal holiness is largely determined by our progress in self-discipline. Without this foundational discipline, there can be no advancement in grace. Before other disciplines can be administered, whether in the home, business, or church, there first must be self-discipline.”

Pray for the Church

I expect you’ll benefit from reading (and/or praying) this prayer for the church.

The Circle Game

I’m not sure he needed to use a bad word in this article, but anyway, Alan Jacobs aptly describes the awful and annoying circle of social media.

Flashback: 5 Cautions for Your Spiritual Disciplines

Don’t read the Bible so you can Instagram your devotions or humblebrag about it on Twitter. Examine your heart to ensure you are using the spiritual disciplines for the noblest of purposes, which is to know and honor God.

Every believer is called to be one of God’s bellhops, always ready to pick up someone else’s baggage.

—Philip Ryken

  • 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…

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    A La Carte (July 12)

    A La Carte: John Piper on repetitive worship songs / Jen Wilkin says not to fear the marks in Revelation / Carl Trueman’s hope beyond politics in Europe / Bruce Ware on angels and free will / Samuel Davies’ tragic children / Book deals / and more.

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    A La Carte (July 11)

    A La Carte: The Disney princess whose heart isn’t worth following / Words of mercy and grace when we disagree / Ten reasons why the Bible is the greatest of great books / Why balance is bad for pastors / The earliest record of Jesus’s childhood / and more.

  • Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    When visiting a far-off church, I met a man who, with sadness, told me about his father’s final sermon. A lifelong pastor and preacher, his father had withdrawn from full-time ministry several years prior, but still preached from time to time. On this Sunday he took to the pulpit, read his text, and gave his…

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    A La Carte (July 10)

    A La Carte: How the GOP became pro-choice / Forgive, and be forgiven / 10 non-cringy faith-based movies / The practice of arranged marriages / Do I share the gospel now? / How to show Mormon missionaries that the Bible contradicts their gospel / and more.