Check out

A succinct case for traditional marriage
Summary of a superb 12 page article Marriage: What it is, Why it Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining it. 

Interview with Dr. Ben Carson
The aftermath of Dr. Carson’s Prayer Breakfast speech.

10 Time Management Rules You are Breaking
I’m OK, I only break eight of them.

Go to the ant, O sluggard
If you’re too lazy to go outside and turn over a stone, here’s a video to make it a bit easier.

Chronic pain and the Christian life
Phil Monroe helps us to minister to 9-17% of the population that struggles with chronic pain.

Singer Sheila Walsh Discusses her Battle with Depression
You need a strong heart to hear this story. But it’s so worth the pain (HT: @joeljmiller).

Do’s and Don’ts of Sermon Introductions

Video 1: Three reasons why we should work hard on our sermon introductions (link for email and RSS subscribers)

  1. Ordinary human experience
  2.  Sinful human experience
  3. Hearer’s Expectations

Video 2: Ten “Don’ts” of Sermon Introductions (link for email and RSS subscribers)

  1. Don’t be too long
  2. Don’t be too showy
  3. Don’t be too ambitious
  4. Don’t be too personal
  5. Don’t be too loud
  6. Don’t be too predictable
  7. Don’t steal the sermon’s thunder
  8. Don’t be apologetic
  9. Don’t flatter
  10. Don’t be offensive

Previous videos in the How Sermons Work series here.

Check out

How to thrive as in intern
Great advice here from Jemar Tisby.

10 Things pastors wish they knew before they became pastors
Interesting that all 10 are in the area of practical theology.

The Competition for Coolness Never Stops
The impact of Facebook and Twitter on teenagers.

Following the leader
R.C. Sproul Jr.: “We don’t become good followers by following a good follower. We become good followers by following the Good Leader.”

Preaching While Sitting
Moving story of illness and personal weakness from Steven Smith, author of the excellent book Dying to Preach.

A conversation with Rick Warren about Religious Liberty
I think we can all agree with Pastor Warren on this issue.

Children’s Daily Bible Reading Plan

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.

Jason Henry, a missionary in Mongolia, has very kindly collated and produced the second year of morning and evening readings in Word and pdf.

And here’s 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. Further explanation of that here.

Old Testament

New Testament

May God bless you and your children as you study the Word of life

Excuses, Excuses

If “he who wins souls is wise” (Prov. 11:30), why are we so good at thinking up excuses for not evangelizing?

  • The Calvinism Excuse: ”If God’s going to convert the heathen, he doesn’t need us to do it.”
  • The Pragmatism Excuse: ”It hasn’t worked in the past so why should it work this time.”
  • The Ecclesiology Excuse: ”Our church is such a mess, there’s no point in asking people to come.”
  • The Revivalism Excuse: ”We must wait for the Holy Spirit to bless.”
  • The Pluralism Excuse: ”Surely not everyone without Christ is without hope.”
  • The Pietism Excuse: ”I’ll pray. Evangelism is for the activists.”
  • The Humility Excuse: ”Who am I to tell others what they should or shouldn’t do or believe.”

But if we dig down deep enough, behind the logic of these excuses, we’ll find a horrible emotion is at the root of all these evangelism-choking weeds: FEAR.

  • Fear of ridicule
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of lost friendships
  • Fear of exposure
  • Fear of difficult questions

How do get rid of this fear? Well we must recognize it, confess it, and seek forgiveness. That covers the past.

But what about the future? We need another emotion. LOVE.

Perfect love casts out fear (1 Jn. 4:18). Love for Jesus and love for the lost is the only excuse-killing power that can get down to the roots of our excuses and grow deep soul-winning passion.

Check out

The beauty and usefulness of old age (Part 2)
You may want to bookmark this for a few years down the line.

Parenting and our constant need of grace
As Joel says, one sure way to find out how un-Christlike you are is to try parenting. And here’s An encouraging word to parents who have a child that suffers with a developmental or psychiatric disorder.

Books and business
Jeremy Walker has compiled a list of resources for Christians in business.

How can Christians maintain a faithful witness in Canada?
If you imagine that persecution only happens in poor and deprived areas of the world, you’re about to get a rude awakening. It’s just been legalized in Canada and it’s about to cross the border.

What should we do when we visit the sick?
Kevin DeYoung channels John Calvin.

Essential resources on preaching from Ecclesiastes