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Matthew Henry: His Life and Influence
“Matthew Henry must surely be one of the best and most influential names in Christian history and at the same time one of the least known lives.   Now, at long last, we have been blessed with a good biographical account of this most famous of all Bible Commentators, thanks to the efforts of Allan Harman.” Read John Brand’s review here.

Classical School Reading List
Thanks Justin, you can take the rest of the year off.

Introducing Team Julia
Many of you will have been blessed by Pastor (now Dr.) Mike Pohlman’s stewardship of the Gospel Coalition website when it first started gaining traction. He’s now pastor of Immanuel Bible Church. What many don’t know is that through all these years, his dea wife, Julia, has been fighting stge 4 breast cancer. I’ve learned so much and God and His grace through Mike and Julia’s faith in this valley. And now they’re not just playing defense. They’re going on the attack! Learn how you can help.

From a mother with a heart of a teacher
“If you are a young mother, whatever means of education you emabark upon, public, private, or homeschool, ask yourself what your philsophy of education is.  If your kids aren’t old enough for school yet, start thinking.  Ask yourself what kind of person you want your child to be and ask if their education will accomplish that.”

Preaching to a mixed congregation
Peter Mead reminds us that we preach to two people, two genders, and multiple generations. To help us remember all the bases he suggests that we follow his friend’s example who “puts five representative names on cards and spreads them out on the table as he formulates his message.  Will this connect with him?  Will she feel engaged?  And them?”

How to backslide in nine easy steps
Most of us don’t need nine steps to do it.

Children’s Bible Reading Plan (79)

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, the first 12 months of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

And here’s the first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

And here’s an explanation of the plan.

6 Ways Social Media is Changing our Lives

Despite my pleasantly cathartic rant about Facebook yesterday, Social Media is a large part of our future. Although I doubt a $100bn company with a $1 product is going to be part of that future, it is certainly shaping and directing that future.

Over at the Harvard Business Review, in Putting Facebook in Perspective, Mark Bonchek argues that Social Media is changing our lives along six trajectories. I’ve summarized his post below but I’d highly recommend the whole article.

1. Media: From Audience to Community
“Audiences once passive, anonymous, and isolated are suddenly active, empowered, and connected. You aren’t giving a lecture anymore; you are hosting a dinner party. Your success is determined by how well you connect people together and keep the conversation going.”

2. Individuals: From Consumer to Co-Creator

In commerce, education, government, etc., we are shifting from consumers to co-creators.

3. Brands: From Push to Pull

“In a social age, people don’t like to be pushed. They don’t need brands to tell them what to buy, where to buy, or when to buy. Their social networks do this for them. It’s why the CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi recently declared that ‘Marketing is dead.’”

4. Organizations: From Hierarchies to Networks

“As employees become more empowered and connected, formal hierarchies are giving way to informal networks.”

5. Markets: From Products to Platforms
“Competition is becoming how well you create platforms from which you can (a) bring products to market, (b) grow an ecosystem of partners, and (c) pull key constituencies into orbit.”

6. Leadership: From Control to Empower

“The new leadership challenge is how to design networks, build platforms, and engage communities. It takes a higher level of authenticity, transparency, and purpose, combined with a commitment to excellence, responsiveness, and performance…In the social age, the nature of power shifts from how much you control to how well you empower”

Bonchek says: “As you read each one, ask yourself how well they apply to your organization or work. Your answers will tell you more about where you are in the social revolution than how many likes you have on Facebook or followers on Twitter.”

Read the whole article here.

Check out

Someone is wrong on the Internet
R C Sproul Jr: “There is someone wrong on the Internet. It’s probably you. Log off, hug your kids, kiss your wife, and go get some of His rest. The world will not only be there when you get back, it will have been made better.”

Love covers a multitude of sins
Tim Challies helps us to decide what to do when a Christian sins against us: Lovingly overlook that sin or lovingly address that sin?

Before we demand that apology
Challenging OT-prophet-style writing from Pastor Lance about the past and present racial sins of the church – of both colors.

10 Writing Tips from a Real Life Editor
“Blog posts containing tips are a dime a dozen, but every now and then you come across some real gold—tips offered by someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. ”

This might sting
“We have all had those requests for “a word with you” after the morning sermon.   A listener has listened and now they would like to speak, to voice their take on a particular section of the message. I can usually tell by the expression on their face if they want to correct something I have said.  A furrowed brow forms a fleshy umbrella over their concerned eyes.  Perhaps they hazard a light hand on my shoulder.”

Toddlers and Discretion
“I agree that we must protect the privacy of our teenagers.  But I don’t think we need to stop there.  Remember; things on the internet don’t go away.  Junior may not care today about the fact that we have just described in lurid detail the contents of his diaper at nap time.  But he might care later.”