Blessings to you on this fine day.
Today’s Kindle deals include a couple of interesting titles.
“For many, choosing a word for the year replaces a list of resolutions. That one word gives them focus for the year. Christians who do this usually pray about it leading up to the new year and feel this word has been given to them or impressed on them by God. They often plan activities, reading, or Bible study around their word.” That may be a perfectly fine idea, but don’t think it’s a necessary one!
This article (sermon? conference talk?) is about reverse-engineering the lives of those who finished well to try to determine what made them successful.
Is it possible that when it comes to identifying and protecting against abuse, the church is lagging behind the world?
The Scriptures are reliable in every way and that puts us under the responsibility to read them well and carefully.
“If we are not driven by awe of God in our life, then our desire to share his greatness with others will diminish. As one author stated: ‘Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak.’ As we regularly feast upon the glory of God, as we behold his beauty each day of our lives, then inevitably we will want others to do the same. As we encounter the most beautiful, powerful, merciful being in all of existence, we’ll want others to likewise taste and see that he is good.”
Here is some counsel—much of it in the realm of advice more than biblical mandates—on getting married.
People of complex faith are prone to see apathy in those of simple faith, and people of simple faith are prone to see obsessiveness in those of complex faith. Both can grow weary and suspicious of the other.
One of the greatest and most undervalued privileges of being brought up in a Christian home is that you will have been prayed for every day of your life. —Christopher Ash
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By Tim Challies — 10 months ago
Good morning. Grace and peace to you.
There’s a nice little list of Kindle deals for the collectors.
(Yesterday on the blog: The Best Friendship in the World)
The Countries Where It’s Most Dangerous to Be a Christian in 2022
Joe Carter looks at a recent report about the countries where it’s most dangerous to be a Christian.
Ten Words for a Broken Society (#9: No False Witness)
Bruce Ashford continues his interesting series on the Ten Commandments. “Whereas the third commandment forbids us from telling a lie about God or attacking his name, the ninth commandment prohibits us from bearing false witness against our neighbor, i.e., from attacking our neighbor’s name: ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor’ (Ex 20: 16). And while this speaks specifically to courtroom situations, its implications are much broader.”
3 Things God Will Never Do with Your Sin
“Consider for a moment how we ‘deal’ with others. We keep fresh in our minds their injustices toward us. We nurture the memory of their faults and failings. We never let them forget what they did and we often make sure others are mindful of it as well. We seek every opportunity, often secretly and surreptitiously, to make them pay for their transgressions. We hold it in our hearts and over their heads and persuade ourselves that it’s only fair that they be treated this way.”
Marks of Manhood
Nick Batzig: “At a time when there is more confusion in the culture about gender and role relations, it would help us to take a step back and consider what Scripture sets forth as the model of manhood, namely, the Lord Jesus.”
When the Nest May Never Be Empty
Parents typically look forward to the day the nest will be empty. But for some, that’s just not reality. “When independence is the end goal for following Jesus, or for parenting, our faith is, unrecognizable from what God himself describes.”
A Proverb on Having Your Cake
I find idioms fascinating, perhaps especially when they originate from a different culture.
Flashback: Aging Brings Life-Shaping Decisions
In every way, we must be disciplined in our pursuit of God, we must build habits of holiness. We must not succumb to the ease of complacency.
They are fools that fear to lose their wealth by giving, but fear not to lose themselves by keeping it. —John Trapp
By Tim Challies — 1 year ago
This week’s Free Stuff Friday is sponsored by RHB Publications.
Everyone who enters the prize draw will get a free eBook of A Habitual Sight of Him: The Christ-Centered Piety of Thomas Goodwin from the RHB Profiles in Reformed Spirituality series.
In addition, three of you who enter will receive a copy of the new hardback set of The Works of Thomas Goodwin – a $480 value! – PLUS the other new titles listed alongside it below.
[Because of problems with the printing supply chain, prize-winning books are not guaranteed to arrive by Christmas]
New Titles from RHB
The Works of Thomas Goodwin
A 12-volume set with an introduction and reading plan by Dr. Joel Beeke
Thomas Goodwin’s works display a pastoral and scholarly zeal that represents the best in Puritanism – combining the vigor of Perkins and Sibbes with the mature thought of Owen.
ISBN 9781601788481 12 volumes 6,600 pages Hardcover $480.00
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Spurgeon, one of Christianity’s greatest preachers, spoke to thousands, trained pastors, started orphanages, and upheld basic Bible teachings. Simonetta uses colorful illustrations and interesting facts to tell a compelling story.
ISBN 9781601788832 64 pages hardcover $18.00
Nugget and the Refiner
Kerry Tittle, Illustrated by Jim McMurry
An illustrated story for children aged 7-12. Nugget is a hunk of ore wrenched from the ground and refined into a beautiful chalice. He learns that painful things can work for our good.
ISBN 978-1-60178-902-0 40 pages Hardcover $18.00
The Glory of the Redeemer in His Person and Work
Winslow’s warm engagement of biblical truth delivers a devotional Christology that excites the soul—tracing Jesus’s glory from eternity past, through the Old and New Testaments, to His return.
ISBN 978-1-60178-884-9 432 pages p/b $20.00 (Soli Deo Gloria)
The Spiritual Marriage Between Christ and His Church and Every One of the Faithful
Girolamo Zanchi (translated by Patrick O’Brien)
This new translation of the classic draws readers into the rich doctrine of union with Christ, showing how our earthly marriages fulfill their truest purpose when we give attention to the spiritual marriage between Christ and His church.
ISBN 978-1-60178-904-4 152 pages Hardcover $25.00 (Soli Deo Gloria)
God to Us: Covenant Theology in Scripture
Stephen G. Myers
God’s unchanging purpose is securing a people for Himself. God to Us explains the work of this eternal covenant in detail—deepening our knowledge of God and enriching our relationship.
ISBN 978-1-60178-873-3 376 pages Hardcover $30.00
The Poor Man’s Morning and Evening Portions
Written specifically for every Christian as a daily meditation for your soul, Hawker’s 730 devotions will let the Word of God come close to your conscience to your eternal gain.
ISBN 978-1-892777-05-8 944 pages Hardcover $40.00
Again, there are three sets to win. And all you need to do to enter the draw is to drop your name and email address in the form below.
Giveaway Rules: You may enter one time. When you enter, you opt-in to receive marketing emails from RHB. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes on Thursday 18th November 2021 at midnight.
By Tim Challies — 4 months ago
It is surprisingly difficult to find a list of Christian books that have been released in any given month—especially if you want that list to be filtered by books released through particular publishers. That’s one of the reasons why I close each month by coming up with my list of New and Notable books. I comb through what I’ve received in the past month (and scour all the publishers’ websites) to come up with a list of titles that are interesting to me—and may just be interesting to you. Here are my picks for July. In each case I’ve included the publisher’s description.
Grace at Work: Redeeming the Grind and the Glory of Your Job by Bryan Chapell. “For many people, their job is merely ‘the daily grind’ needed to provide for family or pay the bills. Yet our work is a vital means for fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives and displaying his grace to those around us. In this book, author and pastor Bryan Chapell shares this biblical perspective of vocation, explaining how God gives purpose to our work by making it an instrument of his grace to our own hearts, as well as a way of bringing his goodness and glory into our world. Chapell explains how we can worship God by our work, rising above drudgery, duty, or self-interest with the understanding that our jobs are unique callings for displaying God’s character and care. Our work is worship when we see the glory beyond the grind, the mission in the mundane, and the grace at work.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)
Give Me Understanding That I May Live: Situating Our Suffering within God’s Redemptive Plan by Mark Talbot. “Since creation’s fall, suffering has been part of earthly life. At times, it can feel overwhelming, even for believers who trust in the Lord. The Suffering and the Christian Life series provides help and hope from Scripture for those who are suffering. In volume 2 of this series, Mark Talbot explores Scripture’s account of the origin, spread, and eventual end of suffering, giving Christians the perspective they need to get through life’s difficult times. He encourages readers to see themselves within the Bible’s storyline (creation, rebellion, redemption, and consummation), finding the courage to endure and taking comfort that God is at work for their good.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)
God’s Secret Listener by John Butterworth. “Berti Dosti faced a terrible but intriguing dilemma. He was an Albanian army captain and his job as a radio specialist was to listen into the world’s airwaves … As he idly twiddled the radio dials, he heard a voice saying: ‘If you want to find out more about God we will meet again tomorrow.’ 1980s Albania. The world’s most isolated country and ‘the first atheistic state’. Captain Dosti knows that by secretly listening to a Christian radio station he could put his life and the life of his whole family at risk. And yet, he cannot resist. This is the story of Berti’s journey from Captain Dosti to Pastor Dosti. It’s the story of the explosive growth of the early Albanian church after nearly half a decade of repressive atheism. And it’s the story of the of the untiring efforts of Trans World Radio to broadcast the Christian message across closed borders to Albanians, who for most of their life had been told there was no God.” (Buy it at Amazon)
40 Lives in 40 Days: Experiencing God’s Grace Through the Bible’s Most Compelling Characters by John MacArthur. “Have you ever wondered why God uses ordinary people to accomplish His work and to spread the good news? Join bestselling author and Bible teacher John MacArthur as he takes a closer look at the everyday lives of the men and women that God trusted to carry His message and lead His people. 40 Lives in 40 Days is a brand-new devotional compilation of MacArthur’s extensive studies of the Bible characters who show us that we don’t have to be perfect to do God’s work. From the twelve disciples to the Samaritan woman, MacArthur shares that Jesus chose average people–fishermen, tax collectors, doubters, political zealots–and gave them a remarkable mission. These encouraging stories, based in Scripture, help shed light on these real men and women who endured struggle, pain, and heartache, just like us. They were perfectly ordinary sinners–living proof of God’s kindness–who went on to serve an extraordinary purpose in spreading the gospel. By tracing the lives of these unlikely heroes, MacArthur shows us that the difficulties and temptations that they lived through are the same trials that modern believers face today.” (Buy it at Amazon)
Ours: Biblical Comfort for Men Grieving Miscarriage by Eric Schumacher. “This 31-day devotional gives biblical comfort and practical support to men processing miscarriage. The loss of a baby in the womb can leave the father reeling, as well as the mother. He may feel confused, helpless, lonely, deeply sad, or just numb. As readers draw alongside Jesus in the pages of Luke’s Gospel, they’ll find help to process their grief and to address questions they may be too afraid to ask. There’s also lots of practical help on how to care both for themselves and for their family in the aftermath of miscarriage. Eric Schumacher writes with sympathy and compassion as someone who has experienced the grief of multiple pregnancy losses making this book a great way to reach out to men who are suffering in this way. Includes foreword by Paul David Tripp and contributions from Nate and Lore Wilbert, Jenn Hesse, and Brian Croft. There is also space for journaling.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)
Sowable Word: Helping Ordinary People Learn to Lead Bible Studies by Peter Krol. “When the word of Christ falls on good soil, the results will astound. That’s why there’s a surprising glory in leading a group of ordinary people to simply open their Bibles, read what’s on the page, and discuss how God might use these words to change the world. Yet too many small group leaders hesitate to try such a method without professional guidance from a curriculum or study guide. This book will inspire and equip believers in Christ to lead fruitful and engaging small groups where God’s Word is read, discussed, and put to direct use to transform lives. This book will equip leaders to open the valve on this living water so thirsty souls can drink their fill. This book will serve lay leaders and Bible teachers who have any degree of experience. Some will gain confidence to lead their first Bible study that brings a neighbor to Christ. Others will learn to draw more deeply on the power of interaction, thereby overcoming their penchant for dominating conversations. All will discover the surprising glory and astounding fruit borne from leading a group of ordinary people to open their Bibles, read what’s on the page, and discuss how God might use these words to change the world.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)
Cultural Identity and the Purposes of God: A Biblical Theology of Ethnicity, Nationality, and Race by Steven M. Bryan. “Humanity’s diverse nationalities, ethnicities, and races were intended to be a blessing from God. However, due to sin and rebellion, these differences often result in alienation, hatred, and even violence, becoming one of the most urgent problems facing the world. Cultural divisions are unfortunately common in the church, too. How can Christians embrace God’s purposes for diversity and experience renewal and unity as his people? Steven Bryan presents a biblical framework for thinking about cultural identity and experiencing cultural diversity as a positive good that God intended. Writing from more than 20 years of experience in cross-cultural mission work in Ethiopia, Bryan examines historical and political aspects of nationality, ethnicity, and race.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)
On Worship: A Short Guide to Understanding, Participating In, and Leading Corporate Worship by HB Charles Jr. “What does it mean to worship–especially in spirit and truth? Christians hear the word ‘worship’ a lot. From singing hymns and choruses to receiving ‘calls to worship,’ on a Sunday morning, we’re certainly familiar with the term. But do we really have a grasp on what it means for the believer? For the Church as a whole? On Worship casts a vision for the biblical principles and practices of worship. Pastors and other church leaders will learn what the Bible teaches about worship and why it is so important to get this topic right. You’ll learn how to think practically through preparing and executing corporate worship services so that you can lead your congregation to worship wholeheartedly in spirit and truth. In this companion title to On Preaching and On Pastoring, H. B. Charles draws from over thirty years of planning and leading worship for local churches of varying denominations, traditions, and cultural backgrounds.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)