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Click here for more "Grab bag" entriesSome helpful articles from around the internet:

I am a recovering self-centered pragmatic pray-er — a believer who spent many of my first years in Christ thinking of God more as a sugar daddy than the sovereign Father. Prayer, for me, had more in common with programming a heavenly computer than surrendering to a loving Master. I worked harder at claiming God’s promises for my ease than being claimed by God’s purposes for His kingdom. Instead of being still and knowing that God is God, my prayer life was that of an antsy man, trying to help God be God.

Alas, this was a manifestation of the man-centered gospel that distorted my view of God and, therefore, enfeebled my practice of prayer. Thankfully, continued growth in grace has led me to a better understanding of the gospel, which, in turn, has radically reoriented my prayer life. It’s not cliché; it’s wondrously true: the gospel changes everything.

  • Ben Falconer recently preached a message entitled “Immanuel,” in which he also provided a list of Old Testament promises that Jesus is.
  • Have you ever had any debates about music that go along the lines of, “that’s bad music…”?  Me too.  Doug Wilson offers an insight into the debate and provides three legitimate condemnations of music (and what most of us would like to see on the list probably isn’t).  I would also add that it is appropriate to say about music that doesn’t appeal to you, “that music is appropriate and well done, but I don’t personally care for the style, though I am delighted that it ministers to your own soul and helps you walk with Christ.”
  • Resources from Kent and Carey Hughes to help young men with their spiritual disciplines.
  • John Perritt has some significant things to say about movie ratings.  I don’t agree with all his conclusions, but this is worth reading. (I do agree that we must think much more carefully about the things that we choose for entertainment.)
  • Tim Challis writes about the legacy of Charles Colson.