Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Happy New Year!


Are you thinking about spending your hard earned dollar to go to the movies?  Check out these movie reviews first:

The Secret Life of Walter MittyThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty, rated PG

American Hustle, rated RAmerican Hustle

New Tim Keller Book Reviews ~
• Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering
• The Two Advocates (The Encounters with Jesus Series)
• The Obedient Master (The Encounters with Jesus Series)

This and That:
• Season 4 of Downton Abbey premieres on Sunday, January 5 on PBS:
• Blogger Tim Challies recently posted his top 10 articles for 2013. Read what they were here:
• Desirae Ball plays basketball on the St. Louis University Women’s basketball team and Jake Barnett on the Men’s team. They are engaged to be married. Both are Christians, active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, go to church together and do Bible study together. Read this article about them:

~ 2013 Favorites~

Here are my favorites in a number of different categories. Note: the criteria for books is that they had to be reviewed in Coram Deo or Coram Deo the Blog during 2013, even though they may have been released prior to 2013.

Top Pick: Andy Stanley Leadership podcast
• The Briefing with Albert Mohler
• Timothy Keller podcast
• And many more.

Television Program
Top Pick: Duck Dynasty
• Blacklist
• Castle
• Downton Abbey

Top Picks (tie)
• Gospel Transformation Bible
• Walking with God through Pain and Suffering – Timothy Keller
Honorable Mention:
• One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World – Tullian Tchividjian
• Name Above All Names – Alistair Begg and Sinclair Ferguson
• Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship – John MacArthur
• David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants – Malcolm Gladwell
• Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live – David Platt.
• Center Church: Doing Balanced Gospel Centered Ministry in Your City – Timothy Keller
• Little Black Sheep: A Memoir – Ashley Cleveland
• Judges for You – Tim Keller
• Matthew: St. Andrews Expositional Commentary Series – R.C. Sproul
• C. S. Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet – Alister McGrath
• Sensing Jesus: Life and Ministry as a Human Being – Zack Ewsine
• Killing Jesus: A History – Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
• Crazy Busy: A Mercifully Short Book About a (Really) Big Problem – Kevin DeYoung
• Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism – R.C. Sproul
• 7 Men: And Their Secret of Greatness – Eric Metaxas
• To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain – Matt Chandler with Jared C. Wilson.
• Matthew: The Gospel of Identity – Michael Card
• The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word – R. C. Sproul.
• The Encounters with Jesus (10 e-books) – Tim Keller
• Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors: Reading an Old Story in a New Way – Voddie Baucham Jr.

Top Pick: Church Clothes 2 – Lecrae
Honorable mention:
• Inland – Jars of Clay
• Burning Lights – Chris Tomlin
• Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song – Amos Lee
• Your Grace Finds Me – Matt Redman
• New – Paul McCartney
• Sing Like Never Before: The Essential Collection – Matt Redman
• Deep Roots – Steven Curtis Chapman
• The Glorious Unfolding – Steven Curtis Chapman
• Restart –Newsboys
• Let the Future Begin – Passion
• All This for a King: The Essential Collection – the David Crowder Band
• Live at the Artist’s Den – Amos Lee
• Precious Memories Volume II – Alan Jackson
• The Struggle – Tenth Avenue North
• Heroes for Sale – Andy Mineo
• Matthew: The Penultimate Question – Michael Card
• Wrote a Song for Everyone – John Fogerty
• Live at the Gospel Coalition – Keith and Kristyn Getty

Top Song
Top Pick: Jesus, Only Jesus – Matt Redman
• Believe – Lecrae
• Hairy Christmas – The Robertsons featuring Luke Bryan
• Ragin’ Cajun Reckneck Christmas – The Robertsons
• Awake My Soul – Chris Tomlin with Lecrae
• Reckless Forgiver – Jars of Clay
• Lift High the Name of Jesus – Keith and Kristyn Getty
• Go Find Out What This Means – Michael Card with Ashley Cleveland
• Chill in the Air – Amos Lee
• Mystic Highway – John Fogerty
• Your Grace Finds Me – Matt Redman
• Fall Asleep – Jars of Clay
• Ordinary Love – U2

Top Pick: Paul McCartney in Indianapolis
• Miracle Tour, featuring Third Day, Josh Wilson and Colton Dixon at the UC Cellular Coliseum

Top Pick: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Honorable Mention:
• Fruitvale Station
• Captain Phillips
• The Book Thief
• Saving Mr. Banks
• Philomena
• Thor: The Dark World
• The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
• Gravity
• Despicable Me 2
• All is Lost
• Frozen
• Now You See Me
• Les Miserables
• Prisoners
• Zero Dark Thirty
• Quartet
• 42
• Life of Pi
• The Company You Keep
• The Great Gatsby
• Mud
• Star Trek: Into Darkness
• Iron Man 3
• Undefeated
• The Butler
Top Pick: Promised Land
Dishonorable mention:
• A Madea Christmas
• Man of Steel
• Jobs

Best Actor:
• Christian Bale

Best Actress:
• Jennifer Lawrence

Sports Event
Top Pick: St. Louis Cardinals playing in the World Series for the 4th time in 10 years – priceless!

A New Year’s Benediction from Charles Spurgeon (“Spurgy”) ~

I wish, my brothers and sisters, that during this year you may live nearer to Christ than you have ever done before. Depend upon it, it is when we think much of Christ that we think little of ourselves, little of our troubles, and little of the doubts and fears that surround us.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. If you can’t get to the movies, read “The Book Thief”. It’s an excellent reminder especially to young people not living in those days, what can happen to your world if we don’t pay attention. Have a blessed new year in 2014. Jane

  2. I couldn’t agree more!

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