Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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this.n.that-small                CURRENT EVENTS:

  • There is No Pro-Life Case for Planned Parenthood. Ross Douthat of The New York Times writes “Tell the allegedly “pro-life” institution you support to set down the forceps, put away the vacuum, and then we’ll talk about what kind of family planning programs deserve funding. But don’t bring your worldview’s bloody hands to me and demand my dollars to pay for soap enough to maybe wash a few flecks off.”
  • Planned Parenthood: 4 Ways to Respond. Tim Challies writes ‘In the face of such overwhelming evil, it can be difficult to know what we, as individuals, can actually do. Few of us have any significant power or ability. We do not have access to the ear of the President or the front page of the Times. But we can still act.’
  • The Fifth Undercover Video of Planned Parenthood. Denny Burk writes “It is hard to imagine that these undercover videos could get any worse, but they do. Each one is worse than the one before, and this fifth video is no exception.”
  • Alabama Becomes Third State to Defund Planned Parenthood in Wake of Controversial Videos. Alabama’s Republican Governor Robert Bentley made his state the third one to cut state funds from Planned Parenthood, as the fallout continues from the recent release of five controversial videos describing the harvesting and marketing of aborted babies’ organs for financial reward.
  • Planned Parenthood statistics:
    • Adoption Referrals – 2,197
    • Prenatal Services – 19,506
    • Abortions – 327,166
    • Abortion as a % of pregnancy services – 93.8%
As seen in World Magazine

As seen in World Magazine

  • Episcopalians Vote to Allow Gay Marriage in Churches. Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples, solidifying the church’s embrace of gay rights that began more than a decade ago with the pioneering election of the first openly gay bishop.
  • How the Boy Scouts Changed Their Stance on Gay Leaders. Jena McGregor writes “In May 2014, in his first speech as president of the Boy Scouts of America, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said he wouldn’t push the issue of gay leaders in the Scouts. And yet, just 12 months later, Gates made a speech in which he said exactly the opposite: The Boy Scouts of America faced a threat to its very being if it did not reconsider its national ban on gay leaders, he told attendees at the same meeting in May of this year.”
  • Target to Move Away from Gender-Based Signs. Target announced that it will start phasing out gender-based signage in some departments. The shift comes in response to customer feedback that distinguishing between products for girls and boys is unnecessary and maybe even harmful. Seriously?
  • Reflections on Mark Driscoll and the Mars Hill Implosion. Here’s a transcript of a conversation between John Piper and Norm Funk, lead pastor of Westside Church in Vancouver, British Columbia, on the recent controversy surrounding Mark Driscoll. Discussing a difficult and discouraging situation, this video helps us see how God has been at work and what we can learn.
  • R-Rated Comedies, ‘Vacation’ Among Them, Continue to Struggle. The New York Times writes that “Raunchy comedy (movies) is having a rough run at the box office.”

CHRISTIAN LIVING AND CHURCH LIFE:

  • Retired Wells Fargo Executive to Help Ex-Convicts. Danny Ludeman, CEO of St. Louis-based Wells Fargo Advisors for fifteen years is attending Covenant Seminary and assisting Project Cope in St. Louis.
  • Social Media and Digital Discernment. In this first part of a multi-part article written five years ago, John MacArthur looks at five areas of caution regarding social networking.
  • Sex: The Frontrunner for President. Marshall Segal writes “True joy and pleasure for us and for our world, then, rests in unseating sex by God’s grace from God’s place, and reseating it in its good and rightful place under God, the one true Treasure and Lord of our lives.”
  • A Prayer for Short-Fused Days. Scotty Smith’s daily prayer have an uncanny ability to hit me right where I am. Here’s another one that nailed me last week.
  • What is the Secret of Joy in Suffering? Marshall Segal shares this video, the third of a six-part series on the theme of joy in the book of Philippians. John Piper walks us through a short study of how to understand joy, pursue it for ourselves, and then apply it in all of life. The other videos in the series are also included.
  • Satan Eats Faith for Breakfast. In this five-minute video, John Piper talks about the epic daily warfare for your faith. Satan wants to devour you, but the risen Jesus promises to pray for you.
  • Hating Evil. John MacArthur writes “We can’t deny that the path to personal holiness requires disciplined effort and is often difficult. But along the way God provides us with all the spiritual strength and scriptural resources we’ll ever need to walk the path successfully. Our responsibility to strive for personal holiness, along with our obligation to give God the preeminence, is simply a step toward building a life without compromise.”
  • What Does Sola Scriptura Mean? John MacArthur writes “Sola Scriptura simply means that all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture.”
  • When Is a Church Not a Church? R.C. Sproul writes that “There are at least two ways in which a religious group fails to meet the standards of being a church.”

Favorite Quotes of the Week

ABOUT GOD AND HIS GREAT LOVE:

  • What makes worship amazing is the object of our worship. Francis Chan
  • If grace is obligated it is no longer grace. The very essence of grace is that it is undeserved. R.C. Sproul
  • In His tender mercies, God has an incredible capacity to love the unlovely. R.C. Sproul
  • To be convinced in our hearts that we have forgiveness of sins and peace with God by grace alone is the hardest thing. Martin Luther
  • Religion: ‘My identity is built on being a good person.’ Gospel: ‘My identity is not built on my record or my performance but on Christ’s.’ Tim Keller
  • The sinner can no more raise himself from the deadness of sin than Lazarus, who had been dead four days, until Jesus came. George Whitefield
  • Hell is full of people who think they deserve heaven. Heaven is full of people who know they deserve hell. Trevin Wax
  • Faith and hope…are the wings by which our souls, rising above the world, are lifted up to God. John Calvin

CHRISTIAN LIVING ~ SANCTIFICATION:

  • Our only hope of progress in gradual sanctification is that we already have a right standing with God by faith alone. John Piper
  • Hang on to this with your life: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Albert Mohler
  • Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Francis Chan
  • The more seriously we understand the radical nature of sin, the more it exercises a restraint upon us. R.C. Sproul
  • Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Christianity is not a “to-do” list, but a “‘tis done!” list. Michael Horton
  • Be obedient even when you do not know where obedience may lead you. Sinclair Ferguson
  • A sign of spiritual maturity: You’ve become more flexible, not less, on matters of taste, opinion, style, and preference. Scott Sauls
  • Love is not just a sentiment. Love is a great controlling passion and it always expresses itself in terms of obedience. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • It is one thing for sin to live in us; it is another for us to live in sin. John Murray
  • Our bad things turn out for good. Our good things can never be lost. And the best things are yet to come. Jonathan Edwards
  • The judgment of God against this nation will not be turned by a more conservative President, but by the repentance of its people. Paul Washer
  • My grand point in preaching is to break the hard heart, and to heal the broken one. John Newton

JUST FOR FUN:

  • Deep frying a Twinkie makes it healthy, right? Jim Gaffigan
  • Just finished biking to Toby Mac’s new CD! Tis Gospelicious Jesus-Freak-ish Funk-a-delic Thump-a-sonic Heart-a-donic. SO good! Scotty Smith
Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence. I’m married to my best friend. I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 100 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people determine their callings, develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. My favorite book is the Bible, and some other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul and Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

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