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Weekend A La Carte (September 26)

Today’s Kindle deals include some classics, some lesser-known works by C.S. Lewis, and a few others as well.

(Yesterday on the blog: Good Things Happen When My Wife Watches Cooking Shows)

Is It Selfish To Go To Church?

This article responds to what some people may be charging, especially in the UK. “Our choice to gather in a group is putting everybody else at risk. What if sports crowds or entertainment venues did the same? In this atmosphere, the perception of church going could be transformed from something that was curious, and quirky, but ultimately private, to something sinister, that threatens the safety of the British population.”

Why We Should be More Familiar with OT Sacrifices

Here’s a neat little reflection on paying careful attention to Leviticus and the OT sacrifices.

Managing Expectations

“Congregations can have unrealistic expectations of their pastor. But, and maybe even sometimes more often, pastors impose unbiblical expectations on themselves.” Here’s a word about some of those expectations.

He Prunes Us Because He Loves Us

Lauren Washer’s writes about a theme I also covered this week. “Wherever you find yourself, may you know this: God isn’t standing over you cutting away all those things in your life because he doesn’t care about you and he wants you to be miserable. He’s pruning you because he loves you.”

When Life Feels Crushing

And then Vaneetha Risner is not far off of that theme either. “Grief upon grief upon grief. Many of us understand grief that is piled on top of each other. Seasons where the difficulties we face go from bad to worse to impossible. Seasons where crushing seems the only apt word to describe what we’re going through. Seasons where life feels relentless.”

Confessions in Practice

Michael Reeves writes about the necessity of confessions. “We’ve never needed confessions more, even as we witness the extraordinary doctrinal retreat of the church in the face of an increasingly aggressive culture. Specifically, for God’s people to remain loyal to what God has said, they will need confessions that dare to take a stand.”

Holy Is Who You Are

“Sanctification, then, is both definitive and progressive; Christ becomes our holiness, and then we gradually grow to reflect his holiness. If that distinction feels like splitting theological hairs, consider three implications of definitive sanctification, beginning here…”

Flashback: The Joys and Challenges of the Church in India

While I was in India, I had the privilege of sitting down with a dear friend who pastors a key local church in northern India. I got to ask him questions about some of the joys and some of the challenges of ministry in that great land.

A godly man will not go as far as he may, lest he go further than he should.

—Thomas Watson

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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.

  • 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…