Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • Praying for a Breakthrough. Jon Bloom writes “So if you’re praying for a breakthrough and not seeing it, and in fact experiencing more temptations to discouragement, frustration, weariness, doubt and cynicism than before, do not give up. Increasingly intense fighting always precedes strategic breakthroughs.”
  • Sex Belongs to Believers. John Piper writes “Sex is made for the glory of Christ — for the Christ-exalting glory of covenant-keeping faithfulness in marriage, and for the glory of Christ-exalting chastity in singleness. It is always good. Sex is always an occasion to show that the Giver of sex is better than sex.”
  • Guard Your Hearts at all Costs in the War with Porn. Brian Renshaw writes “How can you help yourself prevent the seduction of pornography in the age of the Internet? Below I mention four basic levels of protection. These are not exhaustive and you should still do your own research beyond this article.”
  • 5 Resources for Cultivating a Beautiful Culture of Marriage and Sexuality. Trevin Wax writes “Here are five resources for helping us go behind the gay marriage debate to the fundamental, beautiful truths about marriage and why they matter”.
  • What Does it Mean to Abide in Christ? Sinclair Ferguson writes “The exhortation to “abide” has been frequently misunderstood, as though it were a special, mystical, and indefinable experience.”
  • Never Humble Enough. Tim Challies writes “I believe that humility is the king of all virtues. But the sheer goodness of humility makes it especially tricky to pursue and my deep depravity makes it impossible to master.”
  • Two Types of Thinkers: Which are You? Michael Hyatt writes “Over the years, I have noticed that there are two kinds of thinking. One kind leads to success, joy, and fulfillment. The other leads to failure, fear, and discontent. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV)”.
  • A Prayer for Learning the Secret of Contentment. Here’s our prayer of the week from friend Scotty Smith



World Magazine Cartoon of the Week

World Magazine Cartoon of the Week

  • Carly Fiorina Q+A: ‘Whom Shall I Fear?’ In this interview with Christianity Today, Fiorina talks about her faith, abortion, and why women make good investment risks.
  • Broken But Grateful. The Story of an Artist’s Pain and God’s Providence. Read about Christian rap artist Aaron “Canon” McCain and watch his new music video for his song “Grateful”.
  • Disproportionately Gay: Alarming Trend in Youth Literature. Eric Metaxas writes “If you know the statistics on rates of homosexuality in the real world, you know that it’s somewhere around 3 percent, maybe less. Not so in the world of Young Adult fiction; there, it’s far more pervasive.”
  • ACBC Conference and the Protest. Denny Burk writes about the recent annual conference of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). The conference themes were transgender and homosexuality, and Burk gave one address on each topic. Rosaria Butterfield, Sam Allberry, Heath Lambert, Albert Mohler, Stuart Scott, Owen Strachan, and others also addressed the 2,000 people who gathered for the conference.
  • If Mets’ Daniel Murphy Is Saying Goodbye, He Wants to Make It Memorable. Tim Rohan’s profile of New York Mets star Daniel Murphy includes information about his faith.
  • Jay Leno Joins Jimmy Fallon for a Few Jokes. Did you see Jay assist Jimmy with the monologue on The Tonight Show recently?
  • Captive and the Christian Film Industry. Nathanael Smith writes “Christians are capable of making exceptional art, and they can do so without compromising on themes of faith. Let’s make something more honest, that everyone can watch and engage with”.
  • Chick Fil-A Bill Flick of the Pantagraph (my local paper) writes “Bloomington-Normal is famous … of course, for its love of dining out and being sure to frequent new restaurants, especially the chains. A few years ago, as official substantiation, B-N was even rated by Restaurant Business as the No. 1 city in America, per capita, for a restaurant to locate. But just how infatuated is B-N by the newness of eateries? A few Sundays ago, Mary Hospelhorn of Bloomington was lunching at the Red Robin at College and Veterans. That’s when she looked over at the neighboring Chick-Fil-A that had recently opened. There was, observed Mary, a line growing in the drive-through lane. Nothing unusual about that, especially at a popular restaurant. Except, there is also this: Chick-Fil-A isn’t open on Sundays. Customers anxiously waiting in line were in for an especially long wait. Like, until Monday. And the line, says Mary, just got longer. “You’d think,” says Mary, “people would have realized it when the line didn’t move at all.” Every once in a while, she reports, someone would finally park and go up to the door or peer into the windows and walk back to the car. Then Mary adds, “But it was funny watching. The wait staff at Red Robin got a kick out of watching it ALL day long …” Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy … and open maybe, too.
  • Why St. Louis Is the Ultimate Baseball Town. Matthew Futterman writes in the Wall Street Journal “Cardinal Nation may be the only major market where the baseball team trumps all other sports. Here, even the yoga instructors wear Cardinals jerseys. The players work in a love bubble.”
  • What About the Minority Experience in America Do Whites Often Miss? Trip Lee, Alex Medina, and Jemar Tisby talk about loving our whole Christian family.

minority experience



  • J.I. Packer on “Cultivating Awe in the Presence of God” Mark Jones shares this video with J.I. Packer, which looks at topics such as Cultivating Awe in the Presence of God, Christian Meditation and Knowing Christ.
  • J.I. Packer: In His Own Words. In honor of his life and legacy, Crossway is producing a short video documentary entitled, J. I. Packer: In His Own Words that will premiere on Tuesday, November 3, accessible free-of-charge at There you’ll also find other videos featuring Packer discussing timely topics related to the Christian life, including the nature of saving faith, the importance of the church, the centrality of sound doctrine, and the person of the Holy Spirit.
  • J. I. Packer on Why Annihilationism Is Wrong. Citing a 1997 article that Packer wrote in Reformation and Revival Journal, Gavin Ortlund writes “He then proceeds to offer responses to four common arguments for annihilationism. Packer’s counter-arguments are some of the more pithy and incisive points I’ve read regarding annihilationism, and are still relevant today.”
  • What Does God Think about Animals and Taking Care of Them? In this video interview with Dan Darling with ERLC (Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention), Randy Alcorn discusses what Scripture says about animals and our responsibility to care for them.
  • Male and Female He Created Them. Watch Tim and Kathy Keller, John Piper, Don Carson, and Kathleen Nielson from the Gospel Coalition 2014 Women’s Pre-Conference, discuss how they each came to a position of complementarianism, what complementarianism is not, and the enormous implications of moving away from the clear teachings of Scripture on gender roles.
Truth is Stranger than Fiction ~ As seen on the back of a van on Wall Street in New York City recently

Truth is Stranger than Fiction ~  As seen on the back of a van on Wall Street in New York City recently


Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week









Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Self-realization, self-fulfillment, and self-help are all contemporary twists on an old heresy, which Paul identified as works-righteousness. Michael Horton
  • God Himself supplies the necessary condition to come to Jesus, that’s why it is ‘sola gratia,’ by grace alone, that we are saved. R.C. Sproul
  • Heaven is a place where God will personally wipe away our tears. R.C. Sproul
  • We live in a culture where the truth claims of Christianity are not only rejected, they are ridiculed. R.C. Sproul
  • All Christians have opportunities to serve those who might never come to church or listen to a sermon. Tim Keller
  • If anything becomes more fundamental than God to your happiness, meaning of life, and identity then it is an idol. Tim Keller
  • Trust is accepting what God sends into your life whether you understand it or not. Tim Keller
  • God’s timing is rarely our timing. Kevin DeYoung
  • Inerrancy means the word of God always stands over us and we never stand over the word of God. Kevin DeYoung
  • If you may have everything by asking in His Name, & nothing without asking, I beg you to see how vital prayer is. Charles Spurgeon
  • You and your sins must separate, or you and your God cannot come together. Charles Spurgeon
  • We will never know how great God’s love is until we first see how great our sin is. Steven Lawson
  • I think all I really fear is to not know Jesus’ love and/or fail to trust in it. Scott Roley
  • Followers of Jesus who count the cost and are willing to take up their crosses after him must have broad shoulders. Os Guinness
  • There is a difference between a well-instructed congregation and a well-nourished one. Sinclair Ferguson
  • Holy Spirit, fill our hearts so full of the beauty of Jesus there won’t be space left for cataloging the failures of others. Scotty Smith
  • In many churches today, it is considered worse to judge evil than to do evil. Burk Parsons

Cards Cubs Cartoon

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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