Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Coram Deo ~ 8.27.2014

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Book Reviews

  • What Works: Common Sense for a Stronger America by Cal Thomas
  • Recovering Redemption: A Gospel-Saturated Perspective on How to Change by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer

 Music Review

  • 20 – Jars of Clay

 Movie Reviews

  • When the Game Stands Tall, rated PG
  • A Most Wanted Man, rated R
  • The Lunchbox, rated PG



  • Bucket List Update – due to the continuing fighting between Israel and Hamas, as well as the inability to obtain travel insurance to that area, I’ve had to drop out of the trip to Israel with Michael Card, scheduled for early January. While this is a disappointment, I hope to attend a future trip with Michael and his team.
  • I’m Currently Reading – Heaven is a Place on Earth by Michael E. Wittmer. I’ve always got a number of books going, and a big stack in my ‘on-deck circle’, so click on the link for more info.

IN THE NEWS:Gettys Tour Photo

  • WBNH welcomes Keith & Kristyn Getty and Friends and the Hymns for the Christian Life concert.  This will undoubtedly be the inspirational worship concert of the year in our area!   Keith and Kristyn appear at Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, on Friday evening, October 17, at 7:00 pm. The concert with the Gettys will feature their full stage band and full choir including members of the Grace Presbyterian Church! Tickets are on sale NOW!   They are $15 for general admission, $10 each for groups of 10 or more.  Children 15 years old and younger will be admitted free with a paid adult, but they will need a ticket.  Tickets are available at WBNH, Route 9 at Mayflower Drive just east of Pekin; at Hoerr’s Berean Bookstore in Peoria; and at Christ Church, located at 1301 N. Linden Street just south of Raab Road in Normal.  You can also order them on the WBNH website, We saw the Getty’s lead worship at Moody’s Founder’s Week a few years ago. I can’t wait for this concert!
  • Hall of Fame quarterback and believer Jim Kelly got good news on his cancer last week. Read about it here:
  • Downtown Disney was opened in 1975. The area is being changed over to Disney Springs, to be completed in 2016. Check out more about the transformation of the area here:,0,4916209.story
  • In our weekly Mark Driscoll update, he has stepped down for six weeks while an investigation into the charges against him takes place. Read more here.





  •  Upcoming concerts of interest are:
    • John Wilson at Northwoods Community Church in Peoria on August 30.
    • Switchfoot at Olivet Nazarene University on September 19.
    • Brandon Heath at the First United Methodist Church in Springfield on October 23.
  • Russell Moore writes “In recent days, singer/songwriter Vicky Beeching announced that she is a lesbian, and that she disagrees with the historic Christian sexual ethic. Prior to this, Beeching wrote many songs used as praise choruses in evangelical churches. Some are asking if they should continue to sing her songs in corporate worship.” Read the rest of his article “Should We Stop Singing Vicky Beeching Songs” here:
  • Lecrae has released a fourth song from his forthcoming Anomaly album, to be released September 9. It is “Say I Won’t” featuring Andy Mineo, and it’s another good one. Can’t wait for the full album!
  • Melanie Penn is the Creative and Events Director for City to City, Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s (Tim Keller’s church) church-planting ministry, and is also a singer-songwriter. Read more about her in this article titled “Singer in the City”.
  • The Dove Award nominations came out last week. I’m torn on “Artist of the Year”, in which three of my favorites were nominated – Lecrae, Switchfoot and NEEDTOBREATHE. Read about all of the nominees here:
  • In 1967, during the creation of the original Basement Tapes, Bob Dylan left a large number of long-lost handwritten lyrics unrecorded. Now for the first time Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), and Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons) have come together to create and record new music to these lyrics. The album of 20 completed songs, Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes was produced by T Bone Burnett and is slated for release November 11.


  •  Here’s some early chatter about the new movie Exodus: Gods and Kings, in which one of our best actors Christian Bale will star as Moses. I’m sure we will hear a lot more about this film before its release.


 “That’s cool but partner this just in
That you going live forever whether you want to or not
Some of us going end up holy some of us going end up hot.”
-“No Regrets” by Lecrae

The 5 Love Languages Book Club    5 love  

Last week, Tammy and I completed our summer book club of Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to a Love that Lasts. We covered chapters eleven, twelve and the rest of the book. Here are a few passages we highlighted:

Chapter 11 Love Makes the Difference

  • Love is not our only emotional need. Psychologists have observed that among our basic needs are the need for security, self-worth, and significance. Love, however, interfaces with all of those.
  • If I feel loved by my spouse, I can relax, knowing that my lover will do me no ill. I feel secure in her presence.
  • My sense of self-worth is fed by the fact that my spouse loves me. After all, if she loves me, I must be worth loving.
  • Feeling loved by a wife or husband enhances our sense of significance. We reason, if someone loves me, I must have significance. Without love, I may spend a lifetime in search of significance, self-worth, and security.
  • When I experience love, I am more secure in my self-worth and can now turn my efforts outward instead of being obsessed with my own needs. True love always liberates.
  • Love is not the answer to everything, but it creates a climate of security in which we can seek answers to those things that bother us. In the security of love, a couple can discuss differences without condemnation. Conflicts can be resolved. Two people who are different can learn to live together in harmony. We discover how to bring out the best in each other. Those are the rewards of love.
  • Can emotional love be reborn in a marriage? You bet. The key is to learn the primary love language of your spouse and choose to speak it.
  • What does your spouse do to make you feel more “significant”? How about what you do for them?

Chapter 12 – Loving the Unlovely

  • In what many have called Jesus’ greatest sermon, I read the following words, which I call love’s greatest challenge. I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. . . . Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” love those who love them.
  • Is it possible to love a spouse who has become your enemy? Is it possible to love one who has cursed you, mistreated you, and expressed feelings of contempt and hate for you? And if she could, would there be any payback? Would her husband ever change and begin to express love and care for her?
  • I was astounded by this further word from Jesus’ sermon: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
  • “As I understand that, Jesus is stating a principle, not a way to manipulate people. Generally speaking, if we are kind and loving toward people, they will tend to be kind and loving toward us. That does not mean that we can make a person kind by being kind to him. We are independent agents. Thus, we can spurn love and walk away from love or even spit into the face of love.”
  • That is why loving someone who is not loving you is extremely difficult. It goes against our natural tendencies. You will probably have to rely heavily upon your faith in God in order to do this. Perhaps it will help if you read again Jesus’ sermon on loving your enemies, loving those who hate you, loving those who use you. And then ask God to help you practice the teachings of Jesus.”
  • “Perhaps it would be helpful for us to distinguish between love as a feeling and love as an action,” I said. “If you claim to have feelings that you do not have, that is hypocritical and such false communication is not the way to build intimate relationships. But if you express an act of love that is designed for the other person’s benefit or pleasure, it is simply a choice. You are not claiming that the action grows out of a deep emotional bonding. You are simply choosing to do something for his benefit. I think that must be what Jesus meant.
  • Perhaps you need a miracle in your own marriage. Tell your spouse that you have been thinking about your marriage and have decided that you would like to do a better job of meeting his/her needs. Ask for suggestions on how you could improve. His suggestions will be a clue to his primary love language. If he makes no suggestions, guess his love language based on the things he has complained about over the years. Then, for six months, focus your attention on that love language. At the end of each month, ask your spouse for feedback on how you are doing and for further suggestions. Whenever your spouse indicates that he is seeing improvement, wait one week and then make a specific request. The request should be something you really want him to do for you. If he chooses to do it, you will know that he is responding to your needs. If he does not honor your request, continue to love him. Maybe next month he will respond positively. If your spouse starts speaking your love language by responding to your requests, your positive emotions toward him will return, and in time your marriage will be reborn. I cannot guarantee the results, but scores of people whom I have counseled have experienced the miracle of love.
  • Choosing to love and expressing it in the primary love language of their spouse has made a drastic difference in their marriage. When the emotional need for love is met, it creates a climate where the couple can deal with the rest of life in a much more productive manner.
  • With empty love tanks, couples tend to argue and withdraw, and some may tend to be violent verbally or physically in their arguments. But when the love tank is full, we create a climate of friendliness, a climate that seeks to understand, that is willing to allow differences and to negotiate problems. I am convinced that no single area of marriage affects the rest of marriage as much as meeting the emotional need for love.
  • The ability to love, especially when your spouse is not loving you, may seem impossible for some. Such love may require us to draw upon our spiritual resources.
  • For a free online discussion guide please visit:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What if I cannot discover my primary love language?
  2. What if I cannot discover my spouse’s love language?
  3. Does your love language change as you get older? I think that our primary love language tends to stay with us for a lifetime. It is like many other personality traits that develop early and remain consistent.
  4. Does the five love language concept work with children?
  5. Do children’s love languages change when they get to be teenagers?
  6. What if the primary love language of your spouse is difficult for you?
  7. Are some of the love languages found more among women and others with men?
  8. How did you discover the five love languages?
  9. Do the love languages work in other cultures?
  10. Why do you think The Five Love Languages has been so successful?
  11. What if I speak my spouse’s love language and they don’t respond?
  12. Can love be reborn after sexual infidelity?
  13. What do you do when a spouse refuses to speak your love language even when they know it?
  14. Can emotional love return when it has been gone for thirty years?
  15. I’m single. How does the love language concept apply to me?

The Five Love Languages Profile for Husbands and Wives. An interactive version of this Personal Profile is also available Visions of Vocationat

Next week we will start a new book Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good by Steven Garber. Garber was the speaker at my graduation ceremonies at Covenant Seminary in May. Won’t you join us?

“Every time I look in the mirror
I’m in a shadow of doubt
Maybe I’m as lost as the next guy
Just have to find, just have to find out.”
-From “Reckless Forgiver” by Jars of Clay


Integrating Faith and Work

 “Grouches of the world unite!
Stand up for your grouchly rights!
Don’t let the sunshine spoil the rain
Just stand up and complain.
Let this be the grouches’ cause: Point out everybody’s flaws!
Something is wrong with everything
Except the way I sing!”

– “The Grouch Anthem” by Oscar the Grouch

 What’s Best Next Series – Part 4What's Best Next

What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman

We continue with our overview of this new book on productivity from a Christian perspective. I’ve highlighted a number of passages and would like to share some of them from chapter 10.

I’d encourage you to read the book along with me, and to visit Matt’s website at and in particular The Toolkit:

The Gospel at Work Book Club – Session 2The Gospel at Work

In last summer’s “Calling, Vocation and Work” course, taught by Professors Williams and Matthews, I got my first interest in seeing how I could integrate my faith with my work. Recently, I started a book club at work with a few friends to read and discuss The Gospel at Work by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert. My hope is that this book club will be the beginning of a local “Faith and Work Movement”. Read the highlights from Chapter 3 “The Gospel in the Workplace”, which we discussed in our second session.

R.C. Sproul Ligonier Minisries

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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