Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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7 Ways in Which Good Leaders Are Generous


In the book The Leadership Style of Jesus: Making a Lasting Impact by Michael Youssef, one of the chapters looks at the generosity of a leader. Youssef writes, “Great leaders who follow the leadership style of Jesus are generous with their resources, their time, their wisdom, and their insight. They give as Jesus gave, expecting nothing in return.” One of the principles the author lists is:  Authentic leaders give generously.
This got me to thinking about ways in which good leaders are generous. There are any number of ways that we could think of, but here are seven that I would like to highlight: Continue reading


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25 Great Quotes about Work from “The Economics of Neighborly Love” by Tom Nelson

Tom Nelson is the lead senior pastor at Christ Community Church in Kansas City. His book Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work is one of my favorite books on integrating our faith and work. In his latest book The Economics of Neighborly Good, he asks When it comes to faith, work, and economic integration, how are you and your church doing? Are you thoughtfully addressing the Sunday-to-Monday gap?”

Here are 25 great quotes about work from the book:

  1. A primary way God designed us to love our neighbors is for us to do our work well, and from our work to have the capacity to be generous to neighbors in need.
  2. Doing our work well matters to God and to our neighbor. The best workers make for the best neighbors.
  3. Whether our work is paid or not paid, our work is to glorify God, honor others, and add value to their lives.
  4. We may retire from our paycheck, but we never retire from work. We never retire from the privilege and responsibility of neighborly love.
  5. Fruitfulness means adding value and bestowing honor to others in and through our work.
  6. To minimize our unique creativity is to diminish the God who designed us in his image. Each one of us has the capacity to be creative and to reflect God with our creative output. Continue reading


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Bad Leadership and What You Can Do About It


Over the past few weeks I’ve heard about some terrible examples of leadership. In one instance, a twenty-year employee of a major organization walked out because of their leader. Unfortunately, I don’t think that this all that unusual. In his book Leadership Gold, John Maxwell wrote that people quit people, not companies. Employees often leave companies not because they dislike the company or their job, but rather because they want to escape a particular person, usually their leader.
In another example, a first-line leader held a team meeting to announce changes in work schedules that they knew would not be popular with the team. In doing so, they came equipped with criticism of the team as justification for why the changes were being made. Fortunately, the second-line leader was present and continually softened the blow, indicating that the team was in fact doing good work and was valued, messages that were not made by the first-line leader. Continue reading


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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS


Vintage – Shane and Shane
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I was introduced to the duo Shane and Shane at the Getty’s Sing! worship conference in Nashville a few years ago, and have enjoyed their music ever since. This album of vintage worship songs, that you probably sang in your church in the 1990’s, was recorded live from home during the COVID-1 quarantine. It was produced and performed entirely by Shane Barnard and Shane Everett.
The duo gives these songs the treatment you would expect from them – acoustic (guitar, light percussion, keys), excellent harmonies, rather slow and extended versions.
I was introduced to a few of these songs on Michael W. Smith’s best-selling 2001 album Worship. There are also two Rich Mullins’ classics included.
Below are a few comments about each song on the album:

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More of this review and reviews of
    • Native Tongue (Reimagine/Remix) – Switchfoot
    • Heathen – GAWVI
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics – “Drown” by Lecrae, featuring John Legend

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12 Upcoming Books You May Be Interested In

There are a number of books set to be published over the next few months that I think you might be interested in. Here are 12 of them, and I’ve included their description from Amazon except where otherwise noted:

Three books in R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions series will be published August 12. All of the books in the Crucial Questions series are free in the Kindle edition.

How Can I Live by Faith?
“Becoming a Christian doesn’t come at the cost of your intellect. In fact, the Christian faith provides the most compelling, logical explanation for life in this world. In this booklet, Dr. R.C. Sproul demonstrates that Christianity is rational because it is based on the promises of God, who has proven His trustworthiness in His Word. These promises provide an unshakable foundation for our salvation, faithful living, and hope for the future.”

 What is the Gospel?
“Many people think that since God is good, He will accept us as long as we lead good lives. But this isn’t good news, because none of us is as good as God. If left to ourselves, we will receive what our lives actually deserve: His judgment. In this booklet, Dr. R.C. Sproul explains the gospel, God’s good news for sinful people like us. While we could never save ourselves from His just condemnation, God calls us to trust in His Son, Jesus Christ, who alone can redeem us through His righteous life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection.”

 What is Biblical Wisdom?
“Wisdom isn’t something only needed by the foolish and immature. All of us are called to grow in wisdom, for true wisdom has to do with pleasing the God who made us. In this booklet, Dr. R.C. Sproul introduces the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament. He shows that wisdom goes hand in hand with being godly, and he demonstrates the Bible’s practical guidelines for a well-lived life that honors the Lord.”


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My Book is on Sale for $.99 August 6-13!

The Kindle edition of my new book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace will be on sale for just $.99 for one week, beginning at 10:00 am CST August 6. The sale will end at 2:00 am CST on August 13.
In the book I share what I’ve learned about calling, vocation, work and leadership from my experience of leading in both the general marketplace and the church for more than 40 years.
Here are a few endorsements for the book:
“I rejoice to read sound words on how to integrate a Christian leader’s faith and work from such a faithful elder, who has immersed himself in the contemporary and historical writings of Reformed theologians and the essence of the Gospel. Bill Pence’s own integrated leadership in this area has spread by his mentoring of other leaders in the workplace and the “pews,” his Coram Deo blog, and his service in his local church. God has made Bill a rich resource to recover what was lost in the divide between faith and work.”
Dr. Robert Davis Smart, Senior Pastor of Christ Church (PCA), Normal, Illinois and author of many books including Waging War in an Age of Doubt Continue reading


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind by Ravi Zacharias. HarperCollins Publishing. 275 pages. 2019 
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This book of 52 readings from Ravi Zacharias, who went home to be with the Lord May 19, is a collection of his writings, most of which have never before been published in book form. They were selected for their perspective on the many ways God has provided us with evidence of His existence and how this “logic” gives life meaning, establishes the credibility of the Christian message, shows the weakness of modern intellectual movements, demonstrates the certainty of the claims of Jesus Christ, and validates biblical teaching and Christian apologetics. Each reading is preceded by a relevant quote from the Bible. Two other features to help the reader to reflect on important themes in the readings – “Reflection Questions”, and apply the lessons learned from the readings – “Personal Application”. The author recommends that, if possible, you spend a week with each “experience”, although you can also read like a standard “daily devotional” as I did.

Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review and reviews of
~ Growing in Holiness by R.C. Sproul
~ Growing Up (With) R.C. by R.C. Sproul Jr
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading


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So, You Want to Start a Blog


This blog started about seven years ago, but it’s genesis was actually as a church newsletter that we started way back in September, 1998. From an initial four-page issue, Coram Deo would grow to a thirty-page paper and online newsletter by 2013. The focus of the newsletter (and the blog) was to look at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview. As a church newsletter, we included book, music and movie reviews, along with articles from our pastors and information about church events. In 2013, we transitioned from a church newsletter to the current blog format.  During the past seven years, we’ve seen slow, steady growth.
Blogging itself is not difficult. However, consistently doing it with excellence will take discipline and perseverance. Here are 5 thoughts I have for you if you are interested in starting your own blog: Continue reading


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Dealing with the “What-If’s” and “If-Onlys” of Life


Recently I was reading Paul Tripp’s daily reading in his book New Morning Mercies and came upon this quote:
“The Bible tells you that real peace is found in resting in the wisdom of the One who holds all of your “what-ifs” and If-onlys” in His loving hands.”
This got me to thinking about our lives. We have many choices to make every day. Many of them are small – what to wear, where to eat lunch, what TV program to watch tonight, etc. – but some are quite significant. Think of the following significant choices you may have, or will, face:

  • Am I going to go to college, and if so, where?
  • Will I trust Jesus with my life and live as a follower?
  • Who am I going to date, or marry?
  • Where am I going to work, and live?
  • Am I going to have children?
  • How am I going to balance my career, family and church responsibilities?

A few months before I retired, a long-time friend said that he and one of my former leaders had been talking about me. Specifically, they were talking about why I had only progressed to the level of a manager in our organization. I could take that a couple of ways. First, that they believed I had the talent to have progressed further, and second, they were wondering why I hadn’t. I mentioned that I had made some decisions early in my career that may have impacted my career progress. For example, I chose not to relocate with the organization when that was the expected path for advancement in the department I was working in. Another key decision was to attend seminary, rather than pursue an MBA, industry or technical designations. A third decision was not to pursue a position a mentor had told me about because of the significant amount of travel it would require. Regardless, I told him that I had no regrets.  I was at peace with how my career had turned out. My wife and I always prayed about major career decisions (Do we move? Do I pursue this job, in that department? etc.). Looking back at my life I can see God’s guiding hand and sovereign control throughout my career. Continue reading