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Weekend A La Carte (June 20)

My gratitude goes to SolaSites for sponsoring the blog this week! If your church or ministry needs a new website, they would love to speak to you.

Today’s Kindle deals include some classics and at least one other book.

There are two days remaining in a summer sale from Westminster Books. There are lots of solid deals to be had.

(Yesterday on the blog: A Mid-June Family Update)

Which Characters in Job Can We Trust?

I enjoyed John Piper’s reflections here on which characters we can trust in the book of Job.

The Cure for a Lack of Fruit in Our Christian Lives

Derek Thomas goes deep and gets practical in this one. “Assuming, then, that there is no doubt as to the ability and willingness of Christ to save those who believe, how may I be assured that I have this belief? The answer of the New Testament at this point is clear: there is an ‘obedience of faith’ (Rom. 1:5; 16:26). True faith manifests itself in outward, tangible ways. In other words, the New Testament draws a connection between faithfulness and the enjoyment of assurance. True believers demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, and this fruit is observable and measurable.”

Bostock Is as Bad as You Think

Andrew Walker explains why the recent Supreme Court ruling is just as bad as you think. “As much as I want to share in Gorsuch and Bennett’s patient optimism for a better way forward, I believe the aforementioned assumptions are flawed. Monday’s decision, barring a comprehensive statutory compromise, will be judged by historians as a significant inflection point in the never-ceasing culture wars.”

A Published Homage to My Unpublished Dad

Some of the best writing is undoubtedly writing that is unpublished. “Sons often believe their dad is the strongest guy in the world, let alone on the block. I am twenty-eight-years-old, and I still think that’s true. So, when I say that my dad is an excellent writer, I know that I am biased, but it’s true. He really is. If he wanted to publish his articles, he would be a well-known pastor of a well-known church. I don’t think I’m exaggerating.”

4 Reasons Pastors Ought to Be Gentle

There is too much harshness, and far too little gentleness, in the world, in the pews, and in the pulpits. “In this short article, I’d like to ask pastors to consider cultivating gentleness in their leadership. Let me give you four reasons why, and then propose a road to get there.”

Become Who You Already Are

“When people come to new life in Christ, our first instinct is to teach them to do. To read the Bible, attend church, become part of a small group, give, and so on. And of course, all these things are important. But there is a prior step. If we are to negotiate living for Christ in all the muck of life, if we are to cope with the ups and downs of our emotions, and the whims of circumstance, and the sheer pressure of our human brokenness, then the first step is to make sure that we know who we are as children of God, as those who have been united to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Brothers Together in Christ

Ray Ortlund reflects on “intensely felt, openly demonstrated love between manly men of God.”

Flashback: God Does Not Owe Us a Happy Ending

There is joy in the Bible, but there is grief too. God saw fit to capture many stories that end without a word of explanation. And these, too, matter to him. These, too, are important and are full of meaning and significance.

If God sent his own Son to walk through the valley of condemnation, rejection, and hell, you can trust him as you walk through your own valleys on your way to heaven.

—Dane Ortlund

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    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

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    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

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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.