Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Living Life Under the Gaze of God on 11.12.2014

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Courtesy of World Magazine

Courtesy of World Magazine



What the Election Reveals About Us, and Why We Vote as We Do by Albert Mohler. He writes: “The results of this midterm election will give intelligent Christians a great deal to think about. But when it comes to the larger issues at stake, the midterm election is simply one episode in a very long story, a story of political engagement that should lead Christians to continue to think ever more seriously about the issues that are really at stake.”

NFL Players Injured Doing State Farm’s “Discount Double Check” dance. Two National Football League players have suffered season-ending knee injuries in the past month thanks to a celebration dance associated with, ironically, a major insurance company. In similar instances, Chicago Bears tackle Lamarr Houston and Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch have each attempted to do particularly exuberant versions of State Farm’s “Discount Double Check” after logging quarterback sacks.

Chick Fil-A is making plans to open a restaurant in Bloomington, Illinois! Our sources tell us that the restaurant will be at the corner of Veterans Parkway and College Avenue in the area where the new Red Robin has already been announced. As Trip Lee says, that would be Shweet!

Pope Francis Wants To Know What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage. Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church, and Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, will meet Pope Francis and offer an “evangelical Protestant” perspective as part of a Vatican colloquium on marriage and family held November 17-19.

Risk Is Right, Says Ebola Survivor and Missionary Nancy Writebol. Nancy Writebol, would prefer to be known as just a Christian, wife, mother to two grown boys, and grandmother. But after an adventurous few months, she’s now known to the world as a brave missionary, Ebola survivor, and success story of medical evacuation.

Tom Magliozzi, half of the “Click and Clack” team of brothers who hosted NPR’s “Car Talk” radio show dies. I always enjoyed that radio show, not because I know much about cars, which I don’t, but because of the humor that the brothers brought to the show. NPR reported the death

Brittany Maynard’s Suicide. Brittany Maynard committed suicide as planned on November 1. Read Randy Alcorn’s article about her death.

Billy Graham: 96 and Still Preaching. It’s been nearly a decade since his last Crusade in 2005, but the evangelist continues to have an impact through his second annual “My Hope” evangelistic program, to be televised nationally on his birthday.

Yadier Molina Wins 7th Consecutive Gold Glove. Continuing to build a Hall of Fame worthy resume, St. Louis Cardinals catcher (and my favorite Cardinal) Yadier Molina won his 7th consecutive Gold Glove, only the third catcher in Major League Baseball history to do so. Congratulations Yadi!

Albert Pujols with Trip Lee. The Angels slugger attended Lee’s November 8 Winter Jam concert.

Albert Pujols with Trip Lee. The Angels slugger attended Lee’s November 8 Winter Jam concert.


Pornography: Why Internet Accountability Software Doesn’t Work. Leon Brown writes “Essentially what has occurred is that internet accountability software has produced an outward display of repentance (i.e., I can be on my best behavior because I have accountability software) but the heart has never been changed. The heart still desperately yearns for viewing that material and it will do what it takes to satiate its desires. Repentance, therefore, is needed, but it must take place both outwardly and inwardly. Internet accountability software can work, but those using it must be saturated in the love of Christ and repentant both outwardly and inwardly. This does not mean one’s struggles will cease permanently, but it does produce a greater possibility that you will never look at pornography again. Beloved, in Christ, it is possible to break the cycle.

3 Things to Consider Before That Next Big Sin. Tim Challies continues his series on John Owens’ book Overcoming Sin and Temptation with part ten in the series.

Five Truths about the Wrath of God. Joseph Schuemann of Desiring God writes “The doctrine of the wrath of God has fallen on hard times. In today’s world, any concept of God’s wrath upsets our modern sentiments. It’s too disconcerting, too intolerant.”

My Strange Bedfellow, Guilt. Lore Ferguson writes “For as long as I can remember I have wakened to guilt. It is a pulsating thought with root in no particular sin or crime, just a carried burden that I have done the world, and the Lord, an irreparable wrong. It is not a quiet guilt, but a raging one. It consumes me on some days and on the days when it doesn’t, it reminds me it is coming soon for me again. Guilt is my roadmap to repentance—even when I’m not sure what it is I’m repenting for.”

A Prayer for Dealing with My Plank-Filled Eye. Here is a wonderful prayer from Scotty Smith as he prays for the Lord as cardiologist and ophthalmologist to bring his grace and truth to bear in our hearts and eyes.


The Biggest Heresy in America. David Murray writes that “Pushing errors regarding the trinity and the church into second and third place is the denial of the Bible’s teaching about the doctrine of sin, especially in the related areas of human depravity and human inability.”

Declaration of Interdependence by Charlie Peacock. He shares about some of the incredible people in his life as a result of God’s Providence, which he describes as “God going ahead of a person or persons, preparing the way for future eventualities and interdependent connection of people and place.”

The Most Important Session of All. R.C. Sproul writes that churches that use the Presbyterian form of church government are led by elders, who collectively constitute what is called the session, but that the most important session of all is the session of Jesus Christ in heaven.

7 Wrong Reasons to Join a Church. Joining a church is a very important decision, and yet it’s a decision to which the larger part of church attenders have given little or no thought.


How Can You Tell if Someone Has Truly Repented of Grievous Sin? R.C. Sproul Jr. writes: “If the sinner ends up in heaven, you will know they had truly repented. If not, they likely had not.”

What is the Heartbeat of Reformed Theology? Jason Helopoulos indicates that he wouldn’t argue with someone who felt that the heartbeat of Reformed Theology was the Doctrines of Grace, union with Christ, or even the Solas of the Reformation, but states that “Reformed theology is a system of doctrine that seeks to rightly articulate the teaching of the Scriptures for the glory of God. It is His glory that is our heartbeat, propels us to action, and the reward that we seek after.”

The State of Theology: What’s Our Theological Temperature? Stephen Nichols writes:”What is our theological temperature? To answer this question, we recently partnered with Lifeway Research to conduct a poll of 43 questions relating to the doctrines of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, sin, salvation, the Bible, the church, and ethics.”

Why do People Like John Piper Put an Emphasis on Being Radical, Rather Than Ordinary? Matt Perman states that “I tend to gravitate more to the “radical” theme, because I think the Scriptures do.”

What’s Better Than Jesus Being Beside You? J.D. Greear writes about the Holy Spirit and the two extremes that Evangelicals usually fall into regarding the Holy Spirit – either being obsessed with Him, relating to him in strange, mystical ways, or neglecting his ministry altogether.


God is Merciful Not to Tell Us Everything. Jon Bloom of Desiring God writes “He tells us enough to sustain us if we trust him, but often that does not feel like enough. We really think we would like to know more.”

That is the Grace ~ Enjoy this three-minute sermon excerpt from Matt Chandler.

Beyond the Ark by Doug Michael

Beyond the Ark by Doug Michael


Purity is Possible. Tim Challies writes that “For a long time I have pointed to the lack of good books on sexual purity that are targeted at women. Thankfully, Christian publishers are beginning to address the issue, and to address it well.” He introduces us to the new book Purity is Possible: How to live free of the fantasy trap (Live Different) by Helen Thorne.

Lecrae’s Upcoming Book will explain why he has stormed the gates of the secular hip-hop community with his music.

Matt Chandler book on MarriageNew Matt Chandler book on Marriage. Matt Chandler’s new book The Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption will be released January 1. He will be discussing the book at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago on January 30.

The Calvinist on the Bestseller List. Rachel Marie Stone writes that Marilynne Robinson’s “rigorous intellect is wedded to a profound appreciation of the human soul; her creative vision takes shape in relation to her Christian faith.”

8 Reasons to Pursue Biblical Friendships. David Murray summarizes key points from The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship by Jonathan Holmes.

The 53 Best Books of 2014. Here’s the first “best” list for 2014 that I’ve seen. Tony Reinke looks at the top books of 2014. As much as I read, I’ve read only two of these, have one in progress and plan to read another.

Tim Keller's New Book on Prayer20 Quotes from Tim Keller’s new book on Prayer. Matt Smethurst lists 20 quotes that caught his attention as he read Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God.

Watch this Video for Tim Keller’s new book on Prayer.

Review of Tim Keller’s new book on Prayer. Andrew Davis reviews the much anticipated new book from Keller Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. This will be the next book Tammy and I read together.

Eric Metaxas Interview about His New Miracles Book. Metaxas, best-selling biographer of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and William Wilberforce was recently interviewed by Tim Stafford of Christianity Today about his new book Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life. Look for a review of that book here next week.


Toy Story 4 announced. Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the gang from the beloved Pixar/Disney Toy Story franchise will be back on the big screen for a fourth animated installment, slated to open in theaters June 16, 2017.

Was Moses schizophrenic and barbaric? So says Christian Bale, who will portray Moses in the upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Jim Gaffigan is known as the “Clean Comedian”. Did you see him recently on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon?

Watch Kevin Spacey and Jimmy Fallon play the Wheel of Impressions recently on The Tonight Show? They both do great impressions!

Family Circle - submitted by Karen DeKeersgieter

Family Circle – submitted by Karen DeKeersgieter


Movie Review: Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, rated PG

Music News and Reviews:
Ride Out – Bob Seger
Hallelujah for the Cross – Newsboys

Book Review: Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation to Successful Leadership by John C. Maxwell

INTEGRATING FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday


  • There is nothing more foreign, more alien, to our nature than holiness. -RC Sproul
  • When you pray: remember who you’re talking to, remember what really matters, and remember what you really need. -Kevin DeYoung
  • We’re not loved by God because of our faithfulness. We’re loved by God because of Jesus’ faithfulness for us. -Tullian Tchividjian



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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