Saturday Sampler: November 24 — November 30

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Where do hymns come from? We all know the story of John Newton and Amazing Grace, but other hymns also have stories. Elizabeth Prata of The End Time narrates one Story Behind the Song: When the Roll is Called Up Yonder as an encouragement to us.

Don’t miss Ryan Higginbottom’s Keep the Whole Book in Mind in Knowable Word. I’ve been reading Romans with a greater awareness of its overall context, and I’m learning quite a lot. Higginbottom’s advice might revitalize your Bible reading too.

Each year during the holidays, Leslie A takes a break from writing about ways we can grow in Christ. During the weeks leading up to Christmas she devotes Growing 4 Life to five installments of an original short story. The Christmas Ornaments (Part 1) kicks off this year’s story, and I’m already eager for Part 2! If you’ve never read Leslie’s fiction, treat yourself this year.

J.T. Wynn, writing for Stand to Reason, asks Why Are Pro-Choicers Bothered by Images of Aborted Clumps of Cells? Although the answer is implicit in the title, I believe reading Wynn’s insights will strengthen your convictions on  behalf of unborn children.

HT to Erin Benziger for showing me R.C. Sproul’s essay on John Calvin’s Legacy on the Crossway blog. Having once believed the false caricatures of Calvin, I appreciate Sproul’s accurate representation of “The Theologian,” and I strongly encourage you to read about this man who did so much to restore Biblical thought to the Church. Calvin’s teaching is sorely needed in today’s evangelical church!

Meditating on the Lord’s Prayer, Jason Vaughn of Parking Space 23 reminds us that Go and Reconcile is a command, not a suggestion.With all the anger both in churches and online, we desperately need to obey the Lord by forgiving each other.

Yes, I know I’ve already featured one post by Leslie A, but Will You Join Me? demands attention. Not only does Leslie unveil her 2020 Bible Reading Challenge  (which I may or may not do, depending on how I decide to structure my teaching on Colossians), but it celebrates the Bible’s power. Whether we participate in her  challenge or use our own  reading plans, her article clarifies the necessity of immersing ourselves in God’s Word. Please, if you can read only one item from this week’s Sampler, pick this one!

I’ve read Amy Medina’s carefully documented criticisms of Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes before in her blog, everyone needs a little Grace in their lives. Amy and her husband serve as missionaries in Tanzania, giving her  a perspective on this charitable enterprise that most Americans don’t have. OCC Shoeboxes: Answering the Arguments highlights some of the main problems with this particular outreach of Samaritans Purse.

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