Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Coram Deo ~ Living Life Before the Face of God 7.30.2014

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Book Reviews:

Movie Review:  And So it Goes with Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton

Music Review: Terms of My Surrender by John Hiatt

INTEGRATING FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday




          • The Decatur Celebration will be held this weekend, August 1-3. Contemporary Christian singer Jamie Grace will be in concert on Sunday at 5:45pm and 8:30pm at the Christian Stage: out the video for Steven Curtis Chapman’s excellent new song “The Glorious Unfolding” here:
          • Switchfoot performed their new single “When We Come Alive” from their #1 album Fading West on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson on July 22. You can watch their performance here:
          • TobyMac will bring his Worship, Stories and Songs tour to Braden Auditorium on the Illinois State University campus on December 11! The tour will feature Matt Maher and Ryan Stevenson. The “Worship, Stories & Songs Tour” will be a totally different TobyMac show, a time where it’s not about the lights, smoke or big stage. Instead, it will be more intimate and personal, a “storyteller’s night” where Toby will share where the songs came from. Tickets go on sale August 4. For more information, go to as well as Mac
          • Lecrae’s new album Anomaly is available for pre-order on iTunes. It will be released September 9. With the pre-order, you will get immediate downloads of “Nuthin” and “Fear”. Guests on the album include Andy Mineo, Kari Jobe and King & Country. The pre-order checks in at #2 on the Hip-Hop/Rap charts and #10 on the overall Top Albums charts, with the two downloads coming in at #12 and #13 on the Hip-Hop/Rap chart.
          • Speaking of Lecrae, he will be bringing his Anomaly tour to the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on Sunday, October 26. Special guests will be Andy Mineo and DJ Promote.


          • Christianaudio is offering a $5 Fiction Sale on a number of their fiction titles. The sale goes through July 31. Check it out here.
          • Reformation Heritage Books will be publishing a KJV (King James Version) Study Bible with Joel Beeke as General Editor this fall. To find out more, go this site:









5 loveThe 5 Love Languages Book Club Week Six  

Tammy and I completed week five 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 fourth love language Acts of Service. Here are a few passages we highlighted:

  • By acts of service, I mean doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. You seek to please her by serving her, to express your love for her by doing things for her.
  • Such actions as cooking a meal, setting a table, washing dishes, vacuuming, cleaning a commode, changing the baby’s diaper, dusting the bookcase, keeping the car in operating condition, paying the bills, trimming the shrubs, walking the dog, changing the cat’s litter box, and dealing with landlords and insurance companies are all acts of service. They require thought, planning, time, effort, and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love.
  • When you were dating Mark, what convinced you that he really loved you? What made him different from other guys you had dated?” “It was the way he helped me with everything,” she said. He was the most wonderful person I had ever met, but after we got married that changed. He didn’t help me at all.”
  • In fact, love is always freely given. Love cannot be demanded. We can request things of each other, but we must never demand anything. Requests give direction to love, but demands stop the flow of love.”
  • Mark, I want you to list three or four things that if Mary chose to do them would make you feel loved when you walk into the house in the afternoon. If making the bed is important to you, then put it down. Mary, I want you to make a list of three or four things that you would really like to have Mark’s help in doing, things that, if he chose to do them, would help you know that he loved you.” (I’m big on lists; they force us to think concretely.)
  • Requests give direction to love, but demands stop the flow of love.
  • “I can do those things. In the past, I have felt overwhelmed because no matter what I did, it was never enough.”
  • You may be wondering, if Mark and Mary had the same primary love language, why were they having so much difficulty? The answer lies in the fact that they were speaking different dialects. They were doing things for each other but not the most important things.
  • When they were forced to think concretely, they easily identified their specific dialects.
  • When they started speaking the right dialects, their love tanks began to fill.
  • I would like to make three other observations. First, they illustrate clearly that what we do for each other before marriage is no indication of what we will do after marriage. Before marriage, we are carried along by the force of the in-love obsession. After marriage, we revert to being the people we were before we “fell in love.” Our actions are influenced by the model of our parents, our own personality, our perceptions of love, our emotions, needs, and desires. Only one thing is certain about our behavior: It will not be the same behavior we exhibited when we were caught up in being “in love.” That leads me to the second truth illustrated by Mark and Mary. Love is a choice and cannot be coerced. Mark and Mary were criticizing each other’s behavior and getting nowhere. Once they decided to make requests of each other rather than demands, their marriage began to turn around. Criticism and demands tend to drive wedges. With enough criticism, you may get acquiescence from your spouse. He may do what you want, but probably it will not be an expression of love. You can give guidance to love by making requests: “I wish you would wash the car, change the baby’s diaper, mow the grass,” but you cannot create the will to love. Each of us must decide daily to love or not to love our spouses. If we choose to love, then expressing it in the way in which our spouse requests will make our love most effective emotionally.
  • What we do for each other before marriage is no indication of what we will do after marriage.
  • There is a third truth, which only the mature lover will be able to hear. My spouse’s criticisms about my behavior provide me with the clearest clue to her primary love language. People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need. Their criticism is an ineffective way of pleading for love. If we understand that, it may help us process their criticism in a more productive manner.
  • People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need.
  • A doormat is an inanimate object. You can wipe your feet on it, step on it, kick it around, or whatever you like. It has no will of its own. It can be your servant but not your lover.
  • When we treat our spouses as objects, we preclude the possibility of love. Manipulation by guilt (“If you were a good spouse, you would do this for me”) is not the language of love. Coercion by fear (“You will do this or you will be sorry”) is alien to love. No person should ever be a doormat.
  • Allowing oneself to be used or manipulated by another is not an act of love. It is, in fact, an act of treason. You are allowing him or her to develop inhumane habits.
  • Love says, “I love you too much to let you treat me this way. It is not good for you or me.”
  • Learning the love language of acts of service will require some of us to reexamine our stereotypes of the roles of husbands and wives. These are changing, but models from our past can linger.
  • Love says, “I love you too much to let you treat me this way. It is not good for you or me.”
  • A willingness to examine and change stereotypes is necessary in order to express love more effectively.
  • Remember, there are no rewards for maintaining stereotypes, but there are tremendous benefits to meeting the emotional needs of your spouse.

Each chapter ends with a helpful discussion question.

Next week we will cover the final love language, Physical Touch. Won’t you join us?

J.I. Packer on Meditation

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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