Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

7.8.2014 Coram Deo ~ Living Life Before the Face of God

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  • Good friend Jim Lauher (who I have known since high school, but have gotten to know much better recently) has joined our friends Ed and Diane Quijano in the band Wagon Load A Trouble. They played their first gig together at the Farmer’s Market in downtown Bloomington on July 5. Check out where the band will be playing next at the band’s Facebook site.   Love that western swing!



  • Fernando Ortega’s previous label will be releasing a Greatest Hits album on August 5th. The album will include 15 songs from the Hymns of Worship, Storm, This Bright Hour, The Breaking of the Dawn and Home albums. This would be a great way to introduce someone to Fernando’s wonderful music.
  • LecraeLecrae’s new song “Nuthin” “is a clarion call to the rap industry and its consumer about the empty nature of the genre.” The song was released last week and is from his upcoming album Anomaly, which will be released in August. Listen to it here:
  • The Peter Furler Band and Petra will both be appearing on the Lincoln Stage at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday, August 17. Petra will appear from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm and the Peter Furler Band from 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Here is the complete schedule for the Lincoln Stage:
  • Christianity Today profiles 33 under 33 years of age. Rapper Trip Lee is first on their list. Read more here.



Killing Patton by Bill O'ReillyBOOKS:


The 5 Love Languages Book Club Week Two

Tammy and I completed week two of our summer book club of Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to a Love that Lasts last week. We covered the first love language, Words of Affirmation. Here are a few passages we highlighted:5 love

  • One way to express love emotionally is to use words that build up.
  • Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love.
  • The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love. It is a fact, however, that when we receive affirming words we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate and do something our spouse desires.
  • Giving verbal compliments is only one way to express words of affirmation to your spouse. Another dialect is encouraging words.
  • The latent potential within your spouse in his or her areas of insecurity may await your encouraging words.
  • Life’s deepest meaning is not found in accomplishments but in relationships.
  • Perhaps your spouse has untapped potential in one or more areas of life. That potential may be awaiting your encouraging words.
  • Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse’s perspective. We must first learn what is important to our spouse. Only then can we give encouragement.
  • Of course, encouraging words may be difficult for you to speak. It may not be your primary love language. It may take great effort for you to learn this second language. That will be especially true if you have a pattern of critical and condemning words, but I can assure you that it will be worth the effort.
  • Love is kind. If then we are to communicate love verbally, we must use kind words.
  • Sometimes our words say one thing, but our tone of voice says another.
  • Our spouse will usually interpret our message based on our tone of voice, not the words we use.
  • Forgiveness is the way of love. I am amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with yesterday. They insist on bringing into today the failures of yesterday and in so doing, they pollute a potentially wonderful day.
  • The best thing we can do with the failures of the past is to let them be history.
  • Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy, not to hold the offense up against the offender. Forgiveness is an expression of love.
  • Love makes requests, not demands. When I demand things from my spouse, I become a parent and she the child.
  • When you make a request of your spouse, you are affirming his or her worth and abilities. You are in essence indicating that she has something or can do something that is meaningful and worthwhile to you. When, however, you make demands, you have become not a lover but a tyrant. Your spouse will feel not affirmed but belittled.
  • To know that my spouse loves me enough to respond to one of my requests communicates emotionally that she cares about me, respects me, admires me, and wants to do something to please me. We cannot get emotional love by way of demand. My spouse may in fact comply with my demands, but it is not an expression of love. It is an act of fear or guilt or some other emotion, but not love.
  • Thus, a request creates the possibility for an expression of love, whereas a demand suffocates that possibility.
  • Words of affirmation is one of the five basic love languages. Within that language, however, there are many dialects.
  • Psychologist William James said that possibly the deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated.
  • Words of affirmation will meet that need in many individuals.
  • The love language of one person is not necessarily the love language of another.

Each chapter ends with a helpful discussion question.

Next week we will cover the second love language, Quality Time. Won’t you join us?

Integrating Faith and Work:


Integrating Faith and Work Book Review:Kingdom Calling by Amy L. Sherman

  • Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good by Amy L. Sherman, Reggie McNeal, Steven Garber

Theology Book Review:God and the Gay Christian - A Response to Matthew Vines

  • God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines. Edited by R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Duck Dynasty Book Reviews:The Duck Commander Family by Willie & Korie Robertson

  • The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty by Willie and Korie Robertson
  • Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach

Movie Reviews:

This week we look at two vastly different films:  Ernest & Celestine  and  Snowpiercer

Ernest & CelestineSnowpiercer

Mid-Year Best List

We are just over half way through 2014. Below are my tops in the music, books and movies categories thus far:

There have already been a number of excellent releases this year. However, in my mind, three have risen to the top. They are:

  • Neon Steeple – Crowder
  • Rivers in the Wasteland – NEEDTOBREATHE
  • Fading West – Switchfoot

Everyone’s a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology by R.C. Sproul

Edge of Tomorrow

What do you have as your favorites in these categories?







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.

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