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Weekend A La Carte (March 4)

My gratitude goes to the excellent Spurgeon College for sponsoring the blog this week to tell you about their Accelerate program.

There are a few new Kindle deals again today.

(Yesterday on the blog: On Nick’s Twenty-Third Birthday and My Own)

Sufficient in Our Sorrows

Aubrynn makes such a good point here: “Healing is a gift, and it is something I will continue to pray for, but it is not an end in and of itself. True confidence is found not in my strength, my assurance, or my abilities, but only in the foundation of my confidence itself. Christ is my confidence.”

Is the Ark of the Covenant a Type of Mary?

This is a lengthy but interesting refutation of the Roman Catholic teaching that the Ark of the Covenant is a type of Mary.

7 Ways to Mishandle a Bible Story

“The Bible is full of stories. And we preachers are full of ways to mishandle them. God has richly blessed us with the stories in the Bible. Each one reveals God’s heart and character. Each story is designed to point our hearts to Him and to stir our faith in His word and character. So, how can we go wrong?” Here are seven ways.

Jesus Revolution and American evangelicalism

Bethel McGrew considers a character from the film Jesus Revolution. “As I read up on Lonnie, Chuck Smith’s mysterious hippie guest, I especially wondered how the film would handle his story. The dynamic evangelist was directly responsible for a wave of conversions, but he was also a deeply troubled soul whose moral failings cost him his ministry platform and ultimately his life. March 12 will mark 30 years since he died of AIDS at just 43.”

Whining vs. Biblical Complaint in Caregiving

Distinctions matter. “I believe there is a real difference between whining and biblically complaining. Whining is what we do when our preferences aren’t being met. Biblical complaint is when we acknowledge the disconnect between the pain of our lived-in reality, and what we know is true of God’s character and his plan for redeeming our world.”

External Morality

“I believe objective morality exists. I believe God is the only explanation for objective morality. But skeptics will run you in circles trying to prove that objective morality can exist apart from God…”

Flashback: 10 Lessons on Parenting Big(ger) Kids

Don’t be too easily dismayed by kids who happily display their badness; don’t be too easily impressed by kids who mostly display their goodness. In Jesus’s most famous parable, neither the older nor younger brother was outside the need or the reach of the Father’s love. Your best and worst child equally need Jesus.

Genuine thankfulness is an act of the heart’s affections, not an act of the lips’ muscles.

—John Piper

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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.

  • Like an iPhone

    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.