Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

This & That and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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This and That




  • Read the Bible to Your Anxiety. John Piper writes “I created three labs teaching through Matthew 6:24–34 on anxiety. My objectives were both to understand how Jesus helps us overcome anxiety, but also to draw out six lessons for how to read the Bible for ourselves.”
  • Freedom from Self-Absorption. In this short video, John Piper invites us into seeing the world a certain way. He calls us to wake up to the wonder, and be freed from the slumber of self-absorption. Learning Contentment. Sinclair Ferguson writes “Christian contentment, therefore, is the direct fruit of having no higher ambition than to belong to the Lord and to be totally at His disposal in the place He appoints, at the time He chooses, with the provision He is pleased to make.”
  • How Do I Know I’m a Christian? Kevin DeYoung writes “Whenever counseling Christians looking for assurance of salvation, I take them to 1 John. This brief epistle is full of help for determining whether we are in the faith or not. In particular, there are three signs in 1 John given to us so we can answer the question “Do I have confidence or condemnation?”
  • God Is Bigger Than My Cancer: Learning Joy in the Darkness. J. Todd Billings writes about his incurable cancer.
  • Can Christians Lose Their Salvation? Randy Alcorn shares an interview of Sam Storms with Justin Taylor on the issue of eternal security or perseverance of the saints.
  • Are People In Heaven Aware Of What Happens Today On Earth? Randy Alcorn writes that one of the common questions about Heaven he’s heard over the years is, “Do people in Heaven know what’s presently happening on earth?”
  • To the Sons and Daughters of Divorce. Paul Maxwell pieces together some themes from Scripture to explain how God understands and relates to children of divorce, in ten points.
  • Don’t Let Pride Steal Your Joy. Jon Bloom writes “Yes, through humility Jesus is inviting us into a heaven of joy and wonder. And it’s a heaven that begins now. To travel this humble road to joy only requires taking the next step, the one right in front of us today. It’s that step that our pride doesn’t want us to take.”
  • Four Ways to Fight the Fear of Missing Out. Jon Bloom writes “Jesus goes right to the heart of The Thing’s deception: It promises us life in some kind of possession, which has no life to give. The Thing is our belief that we can get life from an idol.”
  • When God Interrupts Your Plans. Christina Fox writes “How about you? Is your life filled with interruptions? Do you see God’s hand at work in them?”
  • Don’t Confuse Spirituality with Righteousness. R.C. Sproul writes “Spirituality and piety are not ends in themselves. In fact they are worthless unless they are means to a higher goal. The goal must go beyond spirituality to righteousness.”
  • Does R.C. Sproul Believe in Miracles? R.C. Sproul writes “Now God’s still alive, He’s still working; He’s still answering prayers in an amazing way. I’ve seen marvelous answers to prayers, I’ve seen people healed of so called terminal illnesses, I just have never seen anybody raised out of the cemetery, or an arm that is severed grow back, or a preacher walk on the water, or water turned into wine.”
  • What Does Jude 7 Mean by “Other Flesh”? Kevin DeYoung writes “In short, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole region was not just a one-time attempted gang rape of angelic beings, but, according to Jude a lifestyle of sensuality and sexual immorality, at least one aspect of which was exemplified in men pursuing the flesh of other men instead of the flesh of women.”
  • It’s Not Too Late: Hope for the Fight Against Porn. David Mathis writes “Here, at God’s right hand, sits our final hope. Not in our accountability, or our resolves, and definitely not in our willpower. Not in our record in the past, nor our ability in the present, nor our potential in the future. Our great hope lies not in ourselves, but outside of us, in Christ, who has overcome, and in whom we too will overcome.”
  • Satisfaction at the Cost of Obedience. Tim Challies writes “We can gain some important insights into temptation from two poignant illustrations in the book of James.”
  • 23 Guidelines to Protect Your Purity in Dating. Randy Alcorn writes “First of all, remember that if you plant purity today, you will reap a rich harvest, free from shame and guilt. And, by the grace of God, you’ll look back on your life not with regret, but with joyful gratitude. Sexual purity is ALWAYS in your best interest. Be smart, not stupid, and you’ll enjoy the best God has for you!”
  • “The Shack Up”?  Is that the sequel to “The Shack”? Not quite. I’m talking about the idea of cohabitation before marriage. I’m talking about “moving in” with your boyfriend/girlfriend before you actually get married. I’m talking about the “try before you buy” idea.” Here is Part 2.
  • To-Do Lists. Alan Dowd writes “As your kids complete another year in school — especially if they are transitioning from high school to college or from college into the real world, perhaps the following to-do list will help them navigate what lies ahead.”  
  •  How to Find a Mentor. Russell Moore writes about how to find someone to mentor or disciple you.
  • 13 Needs that Christianity Meets. David Murray writes “For most people, though, the answer is closer to “because it met my needs.” But what needs does Christianity meet?”
  • A Prayer for Relishing the Gift of Friendship. Here’s a wonderful prayer from our friend Scotty Smith.



  • What’s So Funny About Jim Gaffigan’s Christianity? Michelle Boorstein writes “Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan – who have long co-written his comedy – have pre-released one of the shows through the end of May, an episode centered on the idea that it’s risky for a pop culture figure to come out as religious. The plot takes off after Gaffigan is accidentally photographed carrying a massive Bible and then panics about what the public will think.”

“The new Jim Gaffigan Show is hilarious. At one point I laughed guffawed, snorted and hiccupped in rapid succession.” Matt Maher

Beyond the Ark

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Favorite Quotes of the Week 5.24.2015  Favorite Quotes

If you need something in addition to God to make you happy, that is your true King. Tim Keller

  • God is pleased to use ordinary people and ordinary conversations to do most of the heavy lifting in his kingdom. Ed Welch
  • The whole basis for our relationship with God is rooted and grounded in grace, in that which is not earned. R.C. Sproul
  • Don’t tell me that you have a Reformed Church in the tradition of Calvin until you have the preaching of the Word every day of the week, devote Wednesday’s to prayer and have the church gather together for prayer.  Sinclair Ferguson
  • There is nothing more foreign, more alien, to our nature than holiness. R.C. Sproul
  • When the voice of Christ speaks through the Word, then you will arise, and leave all, and follow Him. Robert Murray McCheyne
  • God did not send a concept, an idea, or a virtue. He sent his Son. Follow the God of love, not love as your god. Kevin DeYoung
  • When I forget the gospel I become dependent on the smiles and evaluation of others. Tim Keller
  • The Christian life is to live all of your life in the presence of God. R.C. Sproul
  • God doesn’t love us because we’re good; God loves us because He’s good. Tullian Tchividjian
  • In Christ, we are already more beautiful than broken, free than captive, grace-full than sinful, new than old, and whole than wounded. Scotty Smith
  • Depend on it, my hearer, you never will go to heaven unless you are prepared to worship Jesus Christ as God. —C.H. Spurgeon
  • There is nothing more foolish or self-defeating than for a Christian to say that he is not interested in doctrines. Martyn Lloyd Jones
  • Things are not as they should be. Because He’s not finished yet. They will be. Rest assured. R.C. Sproul Jr.
  • We must be global Christians, with a global mission, because our God is a global God. John Stott
  • Your duty is to believe and to preach what the Bible says, not what you want it to say. R.C. Sproul
  • We can change because an infinite God is personally involved in the details of our lives. Paul Miller
  • God does everything for His glory, not because He is an egomaniac but because He’s doing it for our joy. John Piper
  • One of the signs that you are walking in the light is that you are honest about having walked in the darkness. Kevin DeYoung
  • Ministry to the poor is a crucial sign that we believe the gospel. Tim Keller
  • Suffering reveals to us the two things that ultimately matter: that we are weak but He is strong. Tullian Tchividjian
  • The pathway to lasting honor is to honor Christ. Alistair Begg
  • Do not rest, believer, until you have full assurance of your interest in Jesus. Charles Spurgeon
  • “Being a good steward” and “placing your hope in” is not the same thing. Matt Chandler
  • I don’t have to worry about meeting His expectations. God will ensure my success in accordance with His plan, not mine. Francis Chan
  • To make the story first about us or about me and my salvation is to reduce the story. It robs Jesus of the glory of being the central actor. Michael Horton
  • A cross without offense to the world is a cross without power in the world. Steven Lawson
  • The gospel frees us to follow our Lord willingly out of love rather than reluctantly out of fear. John MacArthur
  • We can accomplish more in one month of dependence on the Spirit than we can in 100 years of dependence on ourselves. David Platt
  • Just so we’re clear the words “free will” are not actually in the Bible. Predestination, on the other hand… R.C. Sproul Jr.
  • You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.  Martin Luther

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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