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Weekend Reading Deals

King Solomon: The Temptations of Money, Sex, and Power by Phil Ryken ($0.99)

How Then Should We Work?: Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work by Hugh Welchel ($3.49)

Spy for the Night Riders  by Dave & Netta Jackson ($2.99). And a lot more of the excellent Trailblazer series for kids if you click through and scroll down to “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought.”

Resolving Everyday Conflict by Ken Sande ($5.99)

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi ($3.99)

The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity by Andreas Kostenberger and Michael Kruger ($1.99)

Model of Christian Maturity, A: An Exposition of 2 Corinthians 10-13 by D. A. Carson ($2.99)

J.R.R. Tolkien (Christian Encounters Series) by Mark Horne ($0.99)

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday ($3.99)

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Danile Brown ($2.99)

Washington’s Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History) by David Fischer ($5.37)

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Goodwin ($4.99)

Best Blogs

10 Myths About Lust – All Truth Is God’s Truth

Creation Conversion: The Turning Point

Cultural Disintegration and the Revival of a Moral Imagination | Canon and Culture

Surprised by Suffering — Free eBook | Ligonier Ministries Blog

What is the most common ministry priority that a pastor neglects? | Practical ShepherdingPractical Shepherding

The Joy Will Come | Desiring God

The Incalculable Wonder of Being a Christian | Desiring God

Reading the Psalms with Four Questions and Four Different Colored Markers | TGC

3 Reasons We Shouldn’t Neglect Leadership Culture

Seven Warnings for Church Leaders Who Use Social Media

Why Pastors Who Take Walks Are More Creative

The Irony of an Arrogant Calvinist – R.C. Sproul Jr.

Time for a Spirit Check – Feeding on Christ

7 Ways to Ruin a Prayer Meeting | Challies Dot Com

Radically Ordinary by Burk Parsons | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org

The Secret to Having a Marriage that Never Goes Stale | Goins, Writer 

I’m Dan Ariely, Author and Professor, and This Is How I Work

Videos

Sometimes You Just Want To Say Thankyou
Tear-jerker.

An Amazing Doctor In An Ethiopian Hospital
What a woman!

Barefoot Skiing Behind Airplane
Beautifully filmed.

A Gang Of Seniors Prank Younger Drivers
‘Cos sometimes you just need a laugh.

One For Men Who Have Ever Tried to Put a Sheet on a Bed
This one had me in pain.

Welcome To New City Fellowship
Introductory video to a new OPC church plant in Grand Rapids.


A Special Word from SermonAudio.com

SermonAudio.com is a website through which you can find a multitude of high-quality, vetted sermons to enrich your spiritual growth and knowledge of the scriptures.

Recently, the leaders of SermonAudio.com presented a special message at the Reforming Families Conference in which they remind us that while the Internet is a phenomenal tool for our growth, it does not and cannot replace the assembly of believers in the local church.  I urge you to watch Bill’s message below, and if you need help finding a local church, SermonAudio.com can help with that, too.

A Special Word from SermonAudio Regarding Technology


Top 10 Books on Christians And Work

As I’m often asked for book recommendations on various subjects, I decided to put together an online list of my top ten books in various categories. Basically, if I was only allowed 10 books in my library on that subject, these are the ten I would choose. Previous posts include:

Today I’m listing my Top 10 Books on Christians and Work, looking at the subject of vocation, or our callings. If you know of other good books on this topic please leave your suggestion in the comments and I’ll add them under “Reader Suggestions.”

1. God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Veith.

It was really tough to choose first second, and third in this category. But Veith’s classic modern work on the Christian’s calling just shaded the top spot both for its rich content and inviting readability. This book will not only change the way you view your work but the way you view God as He works through your work.

2. The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs by Sebastien Traeger and Greg Gilbert.

#2 and 3 are really second equal. If you want to distinguish them, I’d say that The Gospel at Work is a simpler book whereas those who have already read a bit in this subject area would be more stimulated by Keller’s work. There are a couple of graphics in The Gospel at Work that have stuck with me and continue to influence my daily approach to work, especially the challenge to find the path through both extremes of being idle at work or making an idol of work. 

3. Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Timothy Keller.

An excellent foundation to a lifetime of work that makes me wish I was a teenager and starting over again. Like all of Keller’s work, it is deeply rooted in the Bible’s theology and yet also manages to apply that theology to the most contemporary of challenges and questions. Will help you to see your work primarily as worship.

4. What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman.

I’ve been an avid reader of Matt’s blog for years and I’ve learned a lot from him on various subjects. So I wasn’t surprised at his new book receiving so many positive reviews. Although the book touches on many subjects related to work, its primary focus is productivity – getting the right things done in the right way – which, Matt argues, is as much part of our good works as going on Mission to Africa. If you’ve already read general books on vocation (like #1-3), then you’ll want to pick up Matt’s book to further challenge your thinking and provide you with a ton of practical daily helps for your daily work.

5. Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood by Gene Veith and Mary Moerbe.

Books 1-4 do touch on how the doctrine of vocation plays out in our homes and family relationships. However Family Vocation (written by Gene Veith and his daughter Mary) looks much more closely at these arenas and argues that fatherhood, motherhood, etc., should also be viewed as vocations. The end result is a much more holistic view of vocation that also includes our family and home responsibilities.

6. The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life by Os Guinness.

As you would expect from Guinness, this is a demanding but rewarding read. Not as practical as most of the others, it addresses a number of big theological, philosophical, and existential questions. As the author himself recommends, it is to be read one chapter a day.

7. Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business by Wayne Grudem.

Quite a rare book from an evangelical that goes a long way to destroying the dualism that has afflicted too much evangelicalism especially in this area of business. In a short hundred pages, Grudem makes the convincing case that business activity can please and glorify God as morally good and useful. It will encourage many business people who are often left feeling guilty or at least second best because they are not preaching the Gospel or saving people from AIDS.

8. The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective by R. Paul Stevens.

Stevens goes to war on the clergy-laity distinction that sees ministry as the only spiritual work. Consistent with the reformation ideal of the priesthood of all believers, he argues for a much more unified view of life and worship and demonstrates how the church’s main work is to equip God’s people to serve Him in their homes, workplaces, and communities. With the study questions for each chapter, it would be a good book for small groups.

See also Stevens’ brief and quickly read biblical theology of work, Work Matters: Lessons from Scripture.

9. Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work by Tom Nelson.

Similar to The Other Six Days in aim but more popular in style and practical in content.

10. What Is Vocation? (Basics of the Faith) by Stephen Nichols.

A brief (32 page) booklet that would be a good starting point for someone wanting to view their work more biblically and meaningfully. Especially good for teenagers or those who aren’t keen readers.

Honorable Mentions

Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good by Amy Sherman.

The Man of Business by various older (i.e. dead) writers.

The Callings: The Gospel in the World by Paul Helm.

Reader Suggestions

Any other books you’d recommend that either deal with work in general or that focus on one aspect of it?

Heaven Is a Place on Earth by Michael Wittmer.

Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men by Bob Schultz.

Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work by Miroslav Wolf.

Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good by Steven Garber.

Business as Mission: The Power of Business in the Kingdom of God by Michael Baer.

Your Work Matters to God by Doug Sherman and William Hendricks.


Check out

Here’s a fascinating piece about Megyn Kelly’s success. The secret to her popularity? Old fashioned hard questioning of both sides. She reminds me of legendary BBC Newsnight interrogator Jeremy Paxman. See this video for his infamously excruciating cross-examination of Conservative Home Secretary Michael Howard where he asked the same question 12 times trying to get a straight answer. This incident dogged his career for many years after.

The Rise of Europe’s Religious Right is a lengthy and encouraging article about how the totalitarian push for abortion and more LGBT “rights” is backfiring as ordinary people rise up to defend the traditional family, the right to life, religious freedom and other basic moral standards. Although it is powered mainly by Roman Catholics, surely this is a sign of God’s common grace in not abandoning Europe to Sodom’s fate quite yet.

Jonathan Merrit accepts Mark Driscoll’s apology and says we should too. So does Scot Mcknight. But for maybe the second time in my life, I find myself agreeing with Rachel Held Evans whose comment you can read at the end of Scot’s blog. It’s primarily the direct victims who get to decide this and they need time and evidence of repentance.

According to a study cited at an Apple hearing last year by the subcommittee chairman, Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, 30 of the largest American multinationals, with more than $160 billion in profits, “paid nothing in federal income taxes over a recent three-year period. Zero.” Read more in The Tax Dodge goes on. It’s slimy schemes like these that almost make you wish you were a Democrat.

And to cheer you up here are 33 Pictures Taken At Just The Right Moment.


“Hey wanna go to a movie?”

“Hey wanna go to a movie?”

With such and similar text messages do many Christian guys attempt to initiate relationships today.

It’s all so abrupt, so direct, so in-your-face, so quick, so cold, so inconsequential, so easy.

No preparation, no warm-up, no strategy, no “diplomacy,” no awkward conversations, no face-to-face contact. Just a stark and curt text that often produces a similar reply…then on to the next cell number.

Guys, whatever happened to wooing? That’s an old word for the slow, patient, skillful, tentative, breathtaking, exciting, agonizing, frustrating alluring of the young woman of your dreams? It seems to have become a lost art.

Wooing
You’ve probably no idea what I’m talking about do you? Read Song of Solomon or Hosea for an idea.

Wooing usually starts with a look, then a second look, followed by repeated looks and lingering looks. You then graduate to attention-seeking looks where you want her to actually see you looking at her. Yes, you might quickly look away the first time your eyes meet but soon you’ll want that look to lock even for just a few seconds, long enough to convey something more than “just friends” but something less than “creepy stalker.

Then come the attempts to “bump” into her unexpectedly, or to “accidentally” maneuver yourself beside her at church, or you just have to ask her a vital question about something of no importance whatosoever.

Ah, yes, the first dry-mouthed, flushed-face, knee-trembling, heart-palpitating conversation. And a second. And a third. Time standing still in these treasured moments and going backwards in between times.

Pleasant Pain
I remember it well and all too painfully. That lengthy period of anxiety and uncertainty as I carefully tried to cultivate friendship, then deeper friendship, then romantic friendship, and so on, all without spooking her into thinking that in my mind it’s a done deal and I’ve already got her chained to the sink with five kids hanging off her apron.

Sure, the inching a little forwards then a fraction backwards over many weeks caused a lot of sleepless nights (at least at my end). For months I just longed to know, “But what does she really think?” Have I blown it? Did I imagine it?

Daisies disappeared from every lawn for daily dissection “She loves me – she loves me not.”

Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic or just hopelessly outdated but I think the old way of wooing with all its attendant tension and anguish was a better way than the present weekly lottery that leaves so many cold and broken hearts in its trail.

Wooing dignifies women. It treats them with respect and honor. We don’t just spray careless and thoughtless texts around like gunshot, hoping to bag a bird here or there with a bit of luck. No, these are precious and sensitive human beings that we are to handle carefully and gently.

Wooing protects women. Wooing means that there’s a period of time where we can gradually test her response and our feelings without a commitment from either side – and therefore without raising then dashing expectations. Taking someone on a date as a first move raises the stakes and the temperature way too high, especially if only to plunge her into icy cold water the next day as you move on to the next target.

Wooing reduces experimentation. Some Christian guys are getting to marriage having dated multiple girls. They’ve got bursting pockets full of movie tickets and restaurant receipts from their various try-outs. So many of these shredded tickets and hearts could have been avoided with a more patient and tentative approach.

Wooing increases prayer. A text costs nothing – no money and no emotions. But wooing is so terrifying and potentially humiliating that you cannot but pray without ceasing – even if only to get some sleep in the meantime. You’re putting yourself, your ego and your reputation on the line. Instead of spraying the local female population with texts in the hope that one of them bites, you’re left utterly dependent on God inclining her eyes, ears and heart towards you.

Wooing teaches us about the Gospel. The whole Bible is a divine wooing of sinners like us. But it’s especially in Solomon’s Song and Hosea that the passionate wooing of God is front and center. God puts Himself on the line, He puts Himself up for rejection, as He pursues us with every fiber of His being, and ultimately with every agonized atom of His body at Calvary.

God doesn’t text the Gospel to us. He woos us with everything He’s got.