Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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It’s Monday….. again?

This and That
• You gotta watch the new Kmart commercial – I dare you not to laugh. How we love juvenile humor!

• CROSS is a new student Missions Conference that will be held at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, December 27-30. Featured speakers include John Piper, Matt Chandler, D.A. Carson, Albert Mohler, Kevin DeYoung, David Platt, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Thabiti Anyabwile and others. You can find out more about this conference at

• Moody’s 2014 Founder’s Week will be held February 3-7. The theme will be “Be Holy”. More information will be posted at the conference site – in the near future.

• Michael Card recently announced that he had completed his manuscript for his commentary on the Gospel of John, the final volume in the Biblical Imagination Series. Michael will bring the Biblical Imagination Conference on the Gospel of Matthew to Christ Church in April –

Do you love Uncle Si? Do you have no clue who he is? Read the review of his new book, “Si-cology 1: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty’s Favorite Uncle” in Book Reviews
Other fresh book reviews:
• “Little Black Sheep: a memoir” by Ashley Cleveland
• “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” by Tullian Tchividjian
• “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper
• and “The Wedding Party (ENCOUNTERS WITH JESUS SERIES)” by Timothy Keller.

Under ‘Leadership Book Reviews’ you can find reviews of:
• “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business” by Patrick Lencioni
• “The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams that Win Consistently” by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker
• “Mistakes Leaders Make” by Dave Kraft
• “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni
• “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (and their employees)” by Patrick Lencioni
• and “Outliers – The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell

Be sure to follow along under ‘Leadership Book Club’ as we continue to work through John Maxwell’s classic book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

We also have a review of the movie, “The Family”, with Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer music reviews of the Newsboys “Live in Concert: God’s Not Dead” and their new album “Restart”. You’ll also love “Live at the Gospel Coalition” by Keith and Kristyn Getty.

For upcoming concert and conference information as well as great articles and titillating tidbits go to:

Click to access September-2013-Coram-Deo.pdf

You’ll also find the following reviews not available on the blog:
Book Reviews:
p. 19 ~ Art Moser reviews “Introverts in the Church: Finding our Place in an Extroverted Culture” by Adam S. McHugh
p. 26 ~ Rethinking Retirement by John Piper
p. 26 ~ The One Year Daily Uncommon Challenge by Tony Dungy

Movie and DVD Reviews:
p. 28 ~ Jobs
P. 31 ~ Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story

Music Reviews:
p. 32 ~ Inland by Jars of Clay
p. 35 ~ Sleep Sound in Jesus by Michael Card

This week’s Food for Thought from Charles Spurgeon (Spurgy) on The Christian Life ~
My brethren, let me say, be like Christ at all times. Imitate Him in “public”. Most of us live in some sort of public capacity — many of us are called to work before our fellow-men every day. We are watched; our words are caught; our lives are examined — taken to pieces. The eagle-eyed, argus-eyed world observes everything we do, and sharp critics are upon us. Let us live the life of Christ in public. Let us take care that we exhibit our Master, and not ourselves — so that we can say, “It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me.”

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Teri in her new job at the Pregnancy Center is in the news!

Pregnancy Center offers supplies, support
By Larry Eskridge
September 12. 2013 1:02PM

Teri JPG
From left, Candy Fountain and Teri Williams look over the new sonogram room at the Spoon River Pregnancy Center in Canton, one of the many free services offered by the center.

“Real empowerment comes through finding the resources and strength to make informed decisions.”

This statement is at the heart of the Spoon River Pregnancy Resource Center, located in Suite 1, 1055 W. Locust St., Canton (the former Mid-Century building).

And, as new director Teri Williams emphasized, all the services are free.

The center offers pregnancy tests, diapers, baby clothing, food and formula and baby supplies at no charge. And, as of this past Monday, the center also offers free sonograms once during the first trimester, with the center working on a referral list of doctors after that.

Candy Fountain, who, according to Williams, is responsible for getting the service running, said the center had to get qualified volunteers for the program, including two Registered Nurses. There are also two technicians, one of who is coming in on her day off from Graham Hospital, and a nurse manager. In addition, Dr. Jason Lowe is donating his services to act as medical director.

Fountain said she also had to work with OSHA doing medical and safety inspections. So far, OSHA has made three visits to the center, all of which were successful Fountain said.

The sonogram itself was donated by the Women’s Pregnancy Center in Peoria about two and a half years ago, while the table was donated by Methodist Medical.
The Peoria center also helps provide the Canton facility with what Williams called “a vast array of knowledge.”

Williams herself worked at the Peoria center for 13 years as an abstinence educator. She started at the Canton center on Sept. 1.

But the Spoon River Pregnancy Resource Center, which is a member of Care Net, a national organization for pregnancy centers, offers more than free sonograms. Along with the supplies, the center provides a number of educational opportunities, including prenatal and parenting classes. These classes have also been approved by the state as meeting the requirements for court-ordered education needed for parents involved in custody situations. Williams noted many men are taking advantage of these classes to meet those requirements.

The center’s educational opportunities are not limited to regular clients. Williams has already been approached by Canton High School to provide instruction on healthy dating. The center also offers a monthly “Girls Nite In” session for young women in junior high to college, dealing with issues such as drugs, body image, relationships and anxiety.

Williams pointed out the center receives no government funding whatsoever. All money is provided by donations from individuals and churches, and two fundraisers are planned this year.

The center, which is open three days a week, has about 10 clients a week, but Williams said she would like to see more taking advantage of what the center has to offer.

“We have so much good product here I would love to give away,” Williams said. “It’s hard to see it sit there when I know someone can use it.”

But the center offers more than just material support and education.

“We walk alongside of these girls dealing with an unplanned situation,” Williams said. “We offer emotional support.”

The Spoon River Pregnancy Resource Center is open from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays and from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. For an appointment, call 647-4102. Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, check out the website at

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Blog entry stardate 9/5/13 ~ Teri Williams

Yes, I do have a new PART TIME JOB (at the Spoon River Pregnancy Resource Center in Canton). And, yes, I did RETIRE last August. I definitely knew The Lord had said that part of my race was done. I knew I didn’t want to work that hard anymore, but not work at all? There was no place in my brain to even process that as “life”.

So—retirement one year later. What did I learn about myself? What did I learn from God? Suffice it to say—-I hope quite a bit.

Initially, I was thankful to let my throat, my feet and my mind rest. Not thinking about teens having sex was leaving room in my brain for other far more pleasant topics! The problem was I truly lost my identity. I had no idea who I was and where I belonged anymore. “What do you do?” Nothing. I am retired. My sense of loss was overwhelming. My self esteem went in the toilet. So many of my friends were still working. They had a place to “be” every day. I was just struggling not to turn on the t.v. at 9 and watch The View! Not that there is anything wrong with that! I was just scared I wouldn’t get up—–for the rest of the day! As I wrestled and wandered through the weeks, my main motivation was to fill my days with activities that would have value. Mondays were the worst! I had a whole nother week to try and fill with…. what? I didn’t know. Staying super busy was very much how I had done life ALL of my life. Now my energy and focus was put into FINDING ways to stay busy. Then my husband went on a business trip to Malaysia! Who goes there? I had no idea how to fill 10-12 days and nights with no job and no kids. Lord, would I really be alright or would I finally land in a deep dark black hole? I honestly was not sure. I am not a good enough writer to convey how deep my sense of loss was at not having a job or how much I missed the daily social interaction with people I dearly loved. How much I feared being alone and seemingly having no skills that anyone wanted to tap into. But I knew it was where The Lord wanted me to be. But, Lord, I still have the desire to teach, just not so often! Do I not get to teach anymore? Have I reached the part of my life that says—I use to be an…..ugh, I could not deal with that as a reality. Please don’t get the idea that I spent each day crying, depressed, lonely and unable to have fun. I did have fun! But….part of this process daily involved trying to calm my frantic desire to find value and just enjoy the moment. I actually did so many things that I love. But it took me soooooo loooonnnnggg to appreciate having the time to actually do them. It took months for me to be ok staying home all day—truly not leaving the house and enjoying that. The turning point seemed to come early this summer. In June I read a book by Tim Keller entitled, The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness. Life changing.

One morning after reading this, the thought came clear as a bell. Am I going to continue to make plans for my day or am I going to let The Lord plan my day and be willing to wait? What things does He want me to be involved in??? The reality was and still is—-as Tim Keller puts it—-the verdict is already in! I do have value. I don’t have to prove to ANYONE ANYTHING because I am loved and forgiven just because I am HIS. Teri, STOP struggling for purpose and significance in activity and rest in ME. As this became clearer to me that I had done this ALL of my life, and now today, since August 2012, HE was offering me REST. He WANTED me to rest. He wanted me to relax, find refreshment, reflection, respite and renewal in Him. HE wanted me to rest. It was God-given time off. How could it have taken me so long to realize that? I had actually been offered the job at Spoon River last October. I realize now that had I taken that job, it would have been for many WRONG reasons—most of them about me. A place to “be” and a new identity. I had abilities that others found valuable. Now, I can honestly say, I have come to enjoy more and more of my days without plans to stay constantly busy. I even stay home all day on occasion! I am looking forward to working part-time at Spoon River. The Lord has given me vision for moving the ministry forward–using many of the things I learned throughout my career in Peoria. Am I concerned about failing at this job? Not really — it honestly isn’t about me. This is the Lord’s work in His place for His glory. It isn’t about me. I cannot tell you the freedom I have found in that realization. The Lord is at work and I get to join Him. What a thrill. Until next time…..

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There is alot going on with our bloggers this week. Teri has recently accepted a new part-time position as Director of the Spoon River Pregnancy Resource Center in Canton ( She travels to Denver this week for the Care Net National Pregnancy Center Conference.

Tammy will complete eighteen years as treasurer of our church this week, all of it as a volunteer. She has a number of volunteer opportunities that have opened up for her, including jokingly referring to herself as a “Life Coach”, but plans to be patient and wait upon the Lord for what He has next for her.

Bill has started his next class, his next to last, at Covenant Seminary. It looks to be a great class, called Spiritual and Ministry Formation taught by Dr. Phil Douglas. Spencer and Molly from our home church are taking the class on campus, while Bill takes it via distance learning. It will include reading books by some of Bill’s favorite authors including Sinclair Ferguson and Jerry Bridges, along with a book that is coming along at the perfect time – The Call by Os Guinness.

• Check out the recently published September issue of Coram Deo at It includes lots of new book, movie and music reviews that aren’t posted on the blog, as well as other great articles for your reading pleasure.

• KNOWING VS FEELING IN WORSHIP – Alistair Begg is both funny and profound here in this 4 minute video.

A Letter from Fred
A music studio in Peoria recently launched a singer-songwriter contest and asked local musicians to upload their original songs to YouTube. The studio got one song that did not quite meet the requirements, but it was a song that told a story too good to ignore.
Fred Stobaugh had been married to Lorraine for 73 years before she passed away last year. Now 96 years old, Fred penned a tribute to his wife and titled it, “Oh Sweet Lorraine.” He wrote the lyrics, but was no musician, so simply forwarded the song to the studio in the hope that they might do something with it.
The studio responded by making a professional recording of the song. They released a video that immediately went viral and has already surpassed a million views on YouTube. In the video Fred tells about meeting his wife when she was a car hop at the local A&W, about their 2 years of dating and their 73 years of marriage. “She gave me 75 years of her life.” And then the video transitions to the song. Go ahead and watch it (Skip to 5:53 if you’d like to hear only the song.)

• Check out this story about a little boy’s dreams fulfilled –

• Georgia Tech welcome speech stuns freshmen, goes viral

• Download this month’s free audiobook of the month from Christian Audio – David Wilkerson’s classic “The Cross and the Switchblade” at:

• Church Clothes was the first mixtape by Christian hip hop artist Lecrae. It was released for free in May 2012, and hosted by DJ Don Cannon. Lecrae is currently working on Church Clothes, Volume II, with as many as 25 songs written for the project.

Tim Keller shows how God calls each of us to express meaning and purpose through our work and careers in the book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work. You can find a review under Leadership Book Reviews.

And finally, are you looking for a good movie to rent? Read the reviews of “The Sapphires” and “The Place Behind the Pines” under Movie and DVD Reviews.