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Weekend A La Carte (June 13)

My gratitude goes to Reformation Heritage Books for sponsoring the blog this week. The Works of William Perkins is quite a set and presents a worthy challenge!

Today’s Kindle deals include a couple of good picks for younger folk along with some classics.

(Yesterday on the blog: The Gathering Storm)

A Compassionate, Counter-Cultural, Christian Response

Kevin Huang draws out some good “balancing principles” in this article. “In conversations about race, too often we treat disagreement as evil, and we attribute the worst motives to those who disagree with us on complex issues. This is the way the world responds to disagreement, but Christians should be different. What follows are some balancing principles to remember in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic murder, and the current nation-wide turmoil that has come as a result of it…”

Not Our Home

“As believers, we are called by God to train our minds and hearts to firmly latch onto the biblical teaching that we are passing through this world as pilgrims and strangers. We can never allow ourselves to become comfortable here. We are merely sojourners passing through this world on our way to glory.”

Routine Is Magic

I am a big fan of routine! “Routine and tradition are powerful pedagogical tools that throw light on another aspect of learning: the miracle of incrementalism. We haltingly begin a new craft and get dizzy when looking at what the experts do. It seems too far away. But the mountaintop metaphor, though simple, is not simplistic: step by step, you get there.”

The Monotony of the Wilderness: Are You Just Marking Time?

We aren’t the only ones who have had to grapple with the challenges of monotony. “Put yourself in their place. Each day is nearly the same. Wake up. Gather manna. Check to see if the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle to indicate whether you were to pack up or stay put. Build a cooking fire. Prepare the manna for your next meal. Eat. Clean up. Prepare manna for your next meal. Eat. Clean up. Take a goat to the priest as a sin offering once you are convicted of your anger toward your brother. Change clothes. Go to sleep. Wake up and repeat. One day kind of blends into the next. Forty years = 14,600 days = 350,400 hours. That seems like a lot of monotony.”

Redeeming Pastoral Ambition

Benjamin Vrbicek: “Forest fires rage each year in California and Arizona in the summer consuming everything in their path. Saplings as new as the spring and mature trees as old as the Declaration of Independence are scorched to ash. Too often, our desire for greatness is like that—an all-consuming fire.”

How to Find (And Fix) Your Theological Blindspots

It’s amazing how easy it is to see other people’s theological blindspots, and how difficult it is to spot your own.

When Our Own Understanding Fails

Madelyn Canada, one of my favorite young writers, tells about that point we often come to where our own understanding fails. “Sometimes, God gives us the answers we search the ends of the earth for. Sometimes, He doesn’t and instead He gives us a deeper knowledge of who He is that enables us to trust Him to carry those answers for us. The too great and too marvelous things are safe in His steadfast, unfailing, all-wise hands.”

Flashback: How Should Christians Fast?

“Fasting must be done prayerfully. … Fasting has an outward and an inward aspect. This is why our forefathers belabored the point that it is not fasting itself that brings us before the face of God, but the prayer that arises out of it.”

Don’t hold on so tight to whatever sin you think you can’t live without that you do not take hold of Jesus.

—Nancy Guthrie

  • 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…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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…