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31 Days of Purity
Hoping and praying that this will bless many of us guys. Here’s Day 2.

The Absolute Best Mac Apps for Pastors
Next stop the App store.

The Death of the Bachelor’s Degree
Be sure to check out the comparison with the Associate’s degree at the foot of the infographic.

12 Things TEDx Speakers do That Preachers Don’t
Some of these don’t cross over but many do. I’ve always wanted to see a Christian conference arranged along the lines of the TED talks.

Loneliness and our Social Brain
Some fascinating research from a fascinating book.

Is Tim Keller Weak on Wrath?
A remarkable piece of research from Tony Reinke.

Why Did Harvard and the YMCA Stray From Their Christian Roots?
If you can put up with the Christian Post’s diabolical website, this is worth reading.

Children’s Bible Reading Plan

Here’s this week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first year of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf. And this is the second year in Word and pdf.

The first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Here’s an explanation of the plan.

And here are the daily Bible Studies gathered into individual Bible books with Genesis and Matthew now complete (explanatory note).

Old Testament

New Testament

The Happiness of the Christian Family

We have but one weapon left in our battle against gay marriage.

The happy Christian family.

We’ve lost the media, we’ve lost the polls, we’ve lost the courts, we’ve lost the major parties,  we’ve lost most politicians, we’ve lost the universities and colleges, we’ve lost the military, we’ve lost the workplace, and we’ve even lost many churches.

But we’ve not lost our families.

And the happy Christian family is potentially our greatest asset.

If there’s one thing that people are persuaded by, it’s happiness.

Our society has no idea how this terrible experiment with marriage and the family is going to play out in the coming years. No one can know the long-term consequences, especially for children. No supporter of gay marriage can predict the eventual impact of this massive cultural and societal revolution. It’s a fearful leap into the unknown that will result in unfathomable damage to innumerable multitudes of children (and adults). Our social services, our schools, our healthcare providers, and our criminal justice system are going to be picking up the tab for decades to come.

Incalculable Cost
If we thought the price tag of the 1960′s heterosexual revolution was high, get your biggest calculator out because the physical, emotional, societal, and psychological cost of this is going to be stratospheric and catastrophic.

And here’s where our opportunity lies.

Starting now, let all Christian parents double and triple their efforts to build Christian marriages and Christian families on the Word of God. Let’s demonstrate the superiority of God’s way. Lets prayerfully dedicate ourselves to loving one another as never before. Let’s call our children to be missionaries and witness for the power of Christian parenting. In private and in public let’s show how God’s way is the happiest and the healthiest way. If we’ve been bad examples and bad commercials for Christian marriage and parenting, let’s repent, seek God’s grace, and re-commit to God and to one another. Let’s show the world how happy our marriages are, and how happy the Christian family is – even through life’s ups and downs.

Two Models
Make no mistake, there are going to be two “models” of the family fighting it out in the coming years: the Christian model and the “everything else” model – homosexual, polygamous, polyamorous (don’t ask), and who knows what else.

Yes, we can and must protest and critique all these perversions of God’s order, but above all we’ve got to live out God’s order in as compelling and beautiful and persuasive a way as possible.

It’s going to take time. And there will be suffering along the way. Some of us are going to lose our jobs, our money, and even our liberty. But that’s just going to provide an even greater stage and shine an even brighter spotlight on Christian families to show the power of the Gospel in the family order that God has wisely designed and provided for humanity.

Anecdotes and Statistics
Initially all we’ll have are impressions and anecdotes, as people see, observe, and draw their own inevitable conclusions when they compare how the two models are working out. But eventually we will have statistics on our side as well, as sociologists begin to compile the facts and figures from our schools, our hospitals, our mental health institutions, our businesses, our social services, and so on. Eventually the case will be a slam dunk and there will be a frantic search for the rewind button.

Obviously this is all predicated on the assumption that God will continue to spare us, and not deal with us as He dealt with Sodom, while this awful experiment is played out. Abraham’s prayer gives me great hope in that regard (Genesis 18:22-33).

In the meantime, let’s make the happiness of our families our greatest aim in life and make it clear to all the world not just what we are AGAINST, but also what we are FOR, and to do so in a way that will persuade more effectively than any amount of blog posts.

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Scargoyle Attacks the Family
Read on Saturday night to prepare for Sunday morning.

The “Well maybe…” of Redemptive History
A captivating piece by Jason Helopoulos that offers a unique summary of the Old Testament.

Professors, We Need You
Well, I would link to that wouldn’t I! But seriously, Patrick Schreiner has a good summery here of Nicholas Kristof’s NYT OP-Ed about the need for professors to start communicating better with the general public. I especially liked Tim Iglesias’s comment at the end about writing everything for three audiences. I’d like to propose a new rule for Christian publishing that every author who writes a book over 400 pages, must also write a cut down version of say 100 pages maximum.

7 Helpful and Overlooked Books on Preaching
I don’t know all of these but Carrick’s book changed my entire ministry.

Pastors and Mental Health
Very thankful to Thom Rainer for raising this and for offering pastors not just words but practical help.

No Roads? There’s A Drone for That
Andreas Raptopoulos, founder and CEO of Matternet, wants to use unmanned aerial drones to deliver supplies to areas without adequate road networks. By taking to the skies, he wants to “leap frog” past older modes of transportation towards the future.

Two Tattoos

Yesterday we had the privilege of having Pastor Al Martin preaching at our weekly chapel in Puritan Reformed Seminary.

Just before a classic Al Martin sermon on 2 Timothy 2:15, he disclosed how throughout his ministry he had labored to keep his pre-sermon prayer fresh and lively by keeping two verses “tattooed” on his mind:

He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5).

A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven (John 3:27).

I just got my first (and last) tat.

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Reading Reimagined
Have a look at this new way of reading and try the experiment at the top of the page. It sounds totally ridiculous, but you’ll be amazed when you try it.

It Matters Whom You Marry
A blog post that went viral and became a book.

Does This Look Like Jim Crow Discrimination to You?
Denny Burk exposes the lies in the media narrative about Christians who refuse to take part in gay marriages.

Overcoming Anger
Matthew Henry helped Joe Thorn tackle anger. Sounds like a book a lot of men would benefit from.

Crisis Survival For Parents
When Kara Dedert writes about dealing with life’s crises, I listen: “Do you have crisis in your life? Ones that leave you unable to catch your breath? Maybe your challenges are coming in waves and you wonder if you can keep your head above the water. Here are some reminders while you are treading in deep water.”

Amputation is Not An Option
Kim Shay reflects on a time when leaving the church looked like an attractive option: “When we are born again, we are born again into something: the Body of Christ. Amputation is not an option. If we isolate ourselves, it is as if we are amputating an arm or a leg. Limbs die when they are cut off from the body. When we cut ourselves off from the Body, we will not grow. Not only will we not be ministered to, we will not minister to others.”

I also appreciated much of what Jackie Hill said on the same subject in How To Heal When the Church Hurts You.