Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Coram Deo: In the Presence of God 2.16.2015

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This and That

  • 23 Things That Love Is. Paul Tripp writes “…Here’s a gospel-centered reminder about how to love. But, you don’t have to be romantically in love to find this list practical. Every healthy relationship requires love and sacrifice, so if you’re a parent, child, sibling, neighbor, pastor, or co-worker, this list is for you.”
  • You Can Say No to Porn. Check out this 15 minute video from John Piper in which he (in his own words) makes the wild claim that there is almost no such thing as sexual addiction.
  • No Grey Area. Kevin DeYoung states that “Sex is a wonderful gift from God, but like all gifts it can be repackaged in ugly wrapping.”
  • Fifty Shades of Nay: Sin Is a Needle, Not a Toy. Marshall Segal of Desiring God in writing about the film version of Fifty Shades of Gray which opens this weekend “In a society that downplays the evil of evil, and even glamorizes it, we need to be regularly reminded of the danger of sin. Like a child that discovers a needle on the street and thinks it’s a toy, we can be dangerously naïve about what’s happening in our American entertainment.” He shares ten of God’s promises.
  • Rosaria Butterfield: The Cost of an Unlikely Conversion. From lesbian to pastor’s wife, from anti-Christian researcher to Christ-exalting author, Butterfield’s Saul-to-Paul transformation is no more costly (or likely) than yours or mine . . . but it may be more obvious.
  • How Can Churches Engage Believers and Unbelievers Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction? A lot of wisdom from Sam Allberry, Rosaria Butterfield, Jackie Hill-Perry, and Christopher Yuan.
  • From the Blackest Kid to Believer to the Highest Bench: The Life of Clarence Thomas. John Piper writes “This year Clarence Thomas enters his 25th year on the Supreme Court. In the 226-year history of the court, he is the second African-American Supreme Court Justice, after Thurgood Marshall who served from 1967 to 1991. Clarence Thomas’s life is unusual because he is a black political conservative, who lost his first marriage, conquered rage and alcohol, and survived a high-tech lynching, by holding on to the promises of the Bible.” A Counter Cultural Approach to Poverty Alleviation. Brian Fikkert writes “Space does not permit a complete articulation of all that is entailed in a Christian, counter cultural approach to poverty alleviation, but here are a few tips.”
  • Life, Ministry, and Books with Tim Keller—Part 1: Life. In the first of a three-part interview, Mark Dever interviews Tim Keller about his conversion, what led him to New York City, why the cultural gap between generations has grown exponentially in recent decades, and much more.
  • Ten Principles of Christian Giving. Ligon Duncan shares these helpful biblical principles.
  • Five Tips for Bible Memory. David Mathis writes “Here are five simple tips for doing a February refresh on Scripture memorization.”
  • A Prayer for Resting in God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense. Here’s another wonderful prayer from Scotty Smith.


Beyond the Ark by Doug Michael

Beyond the Ark by Doug Michael




Blog UpdatesI’m Currently ReadingSpurgeon's Sorrows - Zack Eswine

 Book Review ~ Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those Who Suffer from Depression by Zack Eswine


Favorite Quotes of the Week ~ 2.16.2015

  • Christians who see 50 Shades of Grey should be ashamed of themselves. Hard words, but that’s the point of Ephesians 5:3-12. Kevin DeYoung
  • It takes both spouses to say, “My self-centeredness is the main problem in my marriage” to have a great marriage. Tim Keller
  • If you will live like no one else, later you can live and give like no one else. Dave Ramsey
  • I don’t exist to build a genre. I exist to build the Kingdom. Lecrae
  • Prayer is never just an emergency flare or desperate anxious gamble. God’s attention is not based on our performance but parental love. Tim Keller
  • Lone believer in your family? “My father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.” Psalm 27:10 John Piper
  • A converted man will not wish to go to heaven alone, J. C. Ryle
  • Contentment may be the most powerful Financial Principle. You can give more, avoid debt, and live better. Dave Ramsey
  • Be Godlike then; and in all ways and by all means so live that all may say of you, ‘He has been with Jesus’. Charles Spurgeon
  • It’s not the elements of our worship that are awesome. It’s the object of our worship Who is awesome. Louie Giglio
  • The law of God cannot be fulfilled by external obedience. Martin Luther
  • In the school of discipleship, suffering for Christ is never an elective course, but a required core class. Steven Lawson
  • The gospel has supernatural versatility to address the particular hopes, fears, and idols of every culture and every person. Tim Keller
  • The church is the only organization in the world where you have to admit you’re a wretched sinner to become a member. Burk Parsons
  • In those moments when I’m obsessively counting my sins against me, it is good news to remember that God has counted my sins against Christ. Tullian Tchividjian
  • Jesus wept, but He never complained. Charles Spurgeon
  • The more I expose myself to the Word of God, the greater my faith will be. R.C. Sproul
  • Adults devise a plan and follow it. Children do what feels good. Maturity is the ability to delay pleasure. Dave Ramsey
  • Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. Winston Churchill
  • If we’re going to get what Jesus has for us in life, we need to master these two words, yes and no. Dave Kraft
  • Thinking about terrorism this morning and read Psalm 10. Wow. Michael Card
  • God’s Word, when rightly expounded, is medicinal for a whole host of spiritual diseases. Joel Beeke
  • Don’t follow those who can talk a big game about their amazing faith in Christ. Follow people who are actually following Christ. Kevin DeYoung
  • People who know they are not good make the best messengers of grace because they are desperately aware of their own need for it. Tullian Tchividjian
  • The commands of God are given, not to rob me of joy, but lead me into the fullness of joy. Matt Chandler
  • The great need is for us to be taught theologically, not just stirred emotionally. Alistair Begg
  • Paul sees all kinds of sins in himself and all kinds of accomplishments too, but he refuses to connect them with his identity. Tim Keller
  • The Spirit who clothed Christ in our flesh and in consummated glory now clothes us with Christ! Michael Horton
  • If you want to be relevant in any country or culture, preach the gospel. Burk Parsons
  • It is not your hold of Christ that saves you, it is Christ’s hold of you. Charles Spurgeon
  • There are ministers who never speak of repentance or self-denial. Naturally they are popular, but they are false prophets. J. I. Packer
  • Surely the greatest social injustice is that 2 billion people haven’t heard of God’s love in Christ. David Platt
  • When I do something stupid with money and lose it….I call that Stupid Tax. I have paid so much Stupid Tax that I am expert. Dave Ramsey
  • The more you listen, the smarter you are. Great questions are actually great answers. Brad Lomenick
  • Some of us are memory haunted. Horror left its stain. Broken brained we need mercy not scolding, a grace that won’t quit. Zack Eswine

integrating faith and work

  •  A Living Testimony. This devotion from the Lead Like Jesus folks states “Leading like Jesus begins within us, with a personal transformation of heart, head, hands, and habits. Our changed lives become a living testimony to the difference that knowing and living in relationship with Jesus makes. Without this, our leadership words and actions are hollow at the core, no matter how much we say about serving others or how often we say the name of Jesus. Let Him transform you, inside and out.
  • The Unlikely Leader. I appreciated this short devotional on Moses from the Lead Like Jesus folks
  • Be a Leader at Work. Dave Ramsey looks at leadership qualities that are easy to adopt into your current work style.
  • 5 Warning Signs You’re Leading With a Wounded Spirit. Randy Conley writesLeadership begins on the inside, and what’s on the inside eventually comes out. If your inner life is in order, healthy leadership practices will follow. If you’re leading with a wounded spirit that will be clear as well.”
  • How to Turn a Loss into a Win. John Maxwell shares content from his upcoming book Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn for Teens
  • Why You Should Do More Than Expected.  John Maxwell writes “Instead of just meeting expectations, you can make it your goal to exceed them. That’s where the joy is. And it’s where lasting impact can be found.”
  • If It Ain’t Broke, Break It! Dan Miller writes “While this phrase may violate your English grammar, it embraces what we know about today’s work environment. What can you find in your life today that ain’t broke, and how are you going to break it?”
  • Before You Click “Send” On Your Next Email. Dan King writes “So before you click send on your next email, re-read what you’re about to send. How does your choice of words speak life into the person on the other side of the conversation? How does your tone and attitude in the conversation work towards unity? Does the email foster community or difference?”
  • How to Deal with Honest Self-Deception. Dan Rockwell provides seven signs of self-deception and then some honest self-reflection.
  • Foundations of Emotional Intelligence. In this Tuesday Tip, Dr. Alan Zimmerman writes “When your Emotional Intelligence is high, your life, your relationships, and your career work so much better. The question is, how can you raise your Emotional Intelligence? It is totally possible and not all that difficult.”
  • More Faith@Work Summit Videos. Here are four more videos on technology and workplace ethics, discipleship, and evangelism.
  • Lost Jobs, Found Church. The march of technology is relentless, and it is always both creating and destroying jobs. It brings many blessings—spiritual and material—but also great costs. Greg Forster offers a few things the church can be for those whose jobs are eliminated or endangered by technological change.
  • Why Are You Feeling Stuck In Your Job? C. Patton writes “It is my belief that too many people struggle with their work for one simple reason…. Either they have forgotten their true “Why” or they have the wrong “Why”.”
  • 12 Keys for Successfully Starting something New. Brad Lomenick writes “Are you starting a new organization? A Church Planter? Entrepreneur? Involved in a small organization just getting started? Here are some tips for getting started.
  • Five Things to Stop Doing in 2015. J.B. Wood provides his own list of five things that he will stop doing in 2015.
  • What are your goals for 2015? They may be too small. Bill Peel writes “As you begin 2015, what are you dreaming about? Here are some verses that will encourage us to dream.
  • Be Happy at Work. Dave Ramsey writes “Being content with your job is one of the most important issues you can deal with in your career. No one wants to feel like they’re stuck in a job they hate. Here are 10 tips for making your workplace a happy place”.

Faith and Work Book Club – Won’t you read along with us?

The Conviction to Lead by Albert MohlerThe Conviction to Lead Book Club

The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters by Albert Mohler

We’re reading this excellent book from Albert Mohler, one of the best that I’ve read on leadership. It is broken down into 25 relatively short chapters. Won’t you read along with us? This week we look at Chapter 5: Leaders Understand Worldviews.

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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