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Weekend A La Carte (March 26)

May the Lord grant you his richest blessings as you serve and worship him this weekend.

Today’s Kindle deals include a number of good options.

(Yesterday on the blog: Strange New World)

Does Predestination Mean God Is the Author of Sin?

Michael Horton begins his answer to the question by drawing an important distinction. “This question is a struggle for so many. It’s important to keep in mind that there is a distinction—a very important distinction—between God’s active decree and his permissive decree.”

Decision Time

Acknowledging all the turmoil in recent days and months, Matthew Hosier–very wisely, I believe–counsels pastors and church members to stay put until at least the summer. “There are times when it is right to move congregation, to change occupation, to adjust our theology – but I’m not sure now is that time. Hold fast. Love and serve Jesus by loving and serving the church. Plant and heal and build. It’s that time.”

Is It ‘Christian’ for Europe to Welcome Refugees from Ukraine but Not Syria?

As refugees stream out of Ukraine, it has been interesting to compare their reception with that of Syrian refugees. This article from Christianity Today covers that issue very well. “Since the invasion, about 4 million of Ukraine’s population of 43 million have become refugees. Another 6.5 million are internally displaced. Yet 11 years since its civil war, most of Syria’s 6.8 million refugees—out of a population of 20 million—still live in limbo. Europe largely shut its doors, certainly in comparison to its warm welcome of those fleeing Russian aggression.”

Let the Global Church Give You Perspective

I really appreciate Trevin Wax’s counsel here. “One of the best ways to maintain sound doctrine and gain perspective on some of our society’s most heated debates is to stay in close contact with Christians in other parts of the world. Cultural quirks and theological distinctions will help you discern what’s essential and where Christians can ‘agree to disagree.’”

Your Job is to Make Words Clear

Pastors, as you prepare to preach this weekend, make sure you remember: Your job is to make words clear. “Preaching goes way beyond clarification of the meaning of a string of words. But preaching won’t go anywhere good if it bypasses this critical element of the task.”

God Sees The Whole Picture

This article from Sylvia Schroeder reminds us that God, and God alone, sees the whole picture.

Flashback: Get to Know Yourself

To know myself, I need to look outside of myself. My best assessment of self does not come from within but from without. It does not originate with me but with God.

Down then into the dust; there you are in the fittest place and posture for delightful converse with God.

—John Howe

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…

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    Weekend A La Carte (February 17)

    A La Carte: Think you’re immune to adultery? / One of the most hopeful reminders about sanctification / What do we do with dreams and visions? / Have you ever asked your church elders to visit and pray for you? / The neurodivergent believer / Preaching advice for busy pastors / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Open the Bible)

    This week’s Free Stuff Friday is sponsored by Open the Bible. They encourage you to enter to win a series of books from Open the Bible and Pastor Colin Smith! Included in the giveaway are: For All Who Grieve by Pastor Colin Smith. Written with compassion and understanding, yet honestly facing the difficult questions that…