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Weekend A La Carte (September 12)

My friends at Faithlife asked me to let you know about an upcoming webinar for church leaders who are preparing for fall ministry in light of COVID.

My gratitude goes to ONE Audiobooks for sponsoring the blog this week with their offer of a free audiobook every month.

Today’s Kindle deals include mostly classics.

(Yesterday on the blog: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife)

How Perfectionism Makes You a Spiritual Quitter

You may find encouragement here: “It has taken me 43 years to begin to learn that there is a happy, spiritually-nourishing medium between praying for an hour a day and not praying at all. Between reading five chapters in my Bible and not reading a single word. Spiritual disciplines don’t have to be feast or famine, and they shouldn’t be.”

C. S. Lewis and His Stepsons

Douglas Gresham is the last living person who knew C.S. Lewis very well, and in this article reveals some interesting information about his brother (Lewis’s stepson) David.

Peeking Past the Blindfold

Kyle Borg writes about the sin of partiality which the Bible warns about enough times that we must all be prone to it! As he says, “Again and again God commands his people to be impartial. Why? Because our hearts are inclined to partiality.”

Subject To A Better Offer?

“You are not saved by your church attendance. You are not saved by going to Bible study every week. You are only saved by grace in Jesus. However, this doesn’t mean that commitment and reliability don’t matter at all. In fact, your involvement in the local church can be a great indicator of how you are going in your faith.”

What Is God Accomplishing in My Suffering?

John Piper answers a question about what God may be accomplishing in our suffering. “I’m going to talk about why Christians suffer and how they can rise above it. But the same truth applies whether or not the suffering is coming from inside, from a disease, from a broken clutch — you name it. Whatever is tending to tempt you to be angry at people and God, that is (under God’s sovereignty) an opportunity of testing to prove and refine your faith, just as much as if you’ve been hit in the face by a person who hated you because you were a Christian. So the point is, while the text deals explicitly (most of it) with persecution, the principle — under God’s loving sovereignty over our lives and how we handle that — is the same as when the suffering comes from another source.”

Fallen from Beauty

There are some interesting thoughts on beauty here. “We live in a time where, much like the fruit, beauty is objectified. If someone or something is seen as desirable (beautiful), the response is to consume it. We see this in social media, we see this in the epidemic of pornography, and we see this in the way dating and marriage are often pursued. The physical attractiveness of someone is observed away and apart from the reality of their spiritual being.”

Flashback: 3 Types of Fool

In his book Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion, Os Guinness portrays three types of fools in the Bible: The Fool Proper, The Fool Bearer, and The Fool Maker. I found it a fascinating discussion.

The real measure of our wealth is how much we would be worth if we lost all our money.

—John Jowett

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    Weekend A La Carte (June 22)

    A La Carte: Motherhood / An open letter to dads about gentle parenting / How do I navigate a painful breakup? / More wonderful than being beautiful / Three reasons to show up to the prayer meeting / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Moody Publishers)

    This giveaway is sponsored by Moody Publishers. Attention all Bible scholars, believers in the power of faith, and lovers of the Word! Learn about God’s divine mercy and compassion with our exclusive Bible Study Giveaway. Win the ultimate bible study library including Overflowing Mercies by author and Bible teacher Craig Allen Cooper. This giveaway also…

  • Leadership

    We Need Qualified Leadership

    A few days ago I happened upon the page of an especially mega-sized megachurch. The church is about to undergo a leadership transition from an older man to a younger one and a page on the site lays out the process through which this new pastor was chosen. I read with a morbid kind of…

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    A La Carte (June 21)

    A La Carte: Making tea and holding hands for the sake of the gospel / When Christian groups subvert religious liberty of Christians / How busy should I be? / 5 ways people worship themselves / A backwards birth into heaven / A new systematic theology / and more.

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    A La Carte (June 20)

    A La Carte: How to support the caregivers in your church / What we gain in following Jesus / The way we feel is not necessarily the way it is / The power and danger of habit / The man who introduced American Evangelicals to C.S. Lewis / and more.

  • Do Not Envy the Wicked

    Do You Envy the Wicked?

    It takes a long time for sinful instincts to become pure, for tendencies toward what is evil to be transformed into tendencies toward what is good, lovely, and pleasing to God. The man who quits drugs will still react when he catches a whiff and the woman who gave up alcoholism will still struggle when…