Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • Worry and Anxiety. Here’s a wonderful sermon from Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Ephesians 6:10-13 that I enjoyed recently.
  • 5 Suggestions to Help You Worry Less. Ron Edmondson writes “One part of maturing as believers is to begin to eliminate worry from our life. Certainly, as we mature in our Christian life – we should, over the years, worry less.”
  • Christian Conflict. Josh Squires writes “I think Colossians 3:12 specifically helps us to get a bit of a roadmap for what it looks like for Christians to struggle alongside and with one another.”
  • 5 Things You Can Give to God Every Day. Tim Challies writes “What is productivity? Productivity is effectively stewarding your gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others and the glory of God. This is productivity at its highest and best. This is what God calls you to every day.”
  • Why I Sing Psalms. Rosaria Butterfield writes “My new brothers and sisters in this church modeled for me two life practices that have been my daily companions since the early hours of my Christian rebirth: reading the Bible in big chunks and singing the Psalms. God daily uses these simple practices to restore and remake me through His grace.”
  • A Prayer for Preparing to Love Well in 2016. Here’s a good prayer to start the new year off with from our friend Scotty Smith.
  • Ten Check Up Questions for the New Year. Kevin DeYoung writes “Several years ago, in our pastors group, we decided to be more precise in how we want to be held accountable. So we each set off to write a series of questions.” He shares his ten questions and a sentence or two of self-evaluation.
  • My 6 New Year’s Resolutions (that I didn’t want to write). Kevin Halloran writes “I didn’t follow my list of 15 reading resolutions from 2015 perfectly—and I’m sure this list will be imperfectly followed as well. My goal is not perfection, but rather to take strides forward and change habits and thought patterns.”

World Magazine Cartoon


  • Mark Driscoll to Start New Church in Phoenix Joel Connelly writes “Former Mars Hill Church senior pastor Mark Driscoll has filed incorporation papers in Phoenix for a new entity called The Trinity Church in Arizona, 14 months after he resigned his Seattle pulpit and just under a year after Mars Hill ceased to exist.”
  • Chick-fil-A Opens on Sunday ‘for the Best Reason Possible’. Chick-fil-A is known for its strict policy of always being closed on Sundays, but some north Texas locations opened their doors on Sunday, December 27 to provide free food for people whose homes were ravaged by tornadoes that killed several that weekend.
  • The Higher Power of Russell Wilson. See this profile of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson from Taffy Brodesser-Akner.
  • When Character was King. Kevin DeYoung writes “Is there one candidate Christians must vote for? Surely not. But are there Christian graces, or at least common grace virtues, that we should pray for and look for in our leaders? Absolutely.”
  • Planned Parenthood Performed 323,999 Abortions in 2014, Accepted $553.7 Million in Taxpayer Funds. Kate Scanlon writes ““Abortion” is listed in the report as one of the organization’s “Top Achievements” in 2014.”
  • Should Christians Be Encouraged to Arm Themselves? John Piper writes “As chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, I want to send a different message to our students, and to the readers of Desiring God, than Jerry Falwell, Jr., sent to the students of Liberty University in a campus chapel service on December 4.” He shares nine considerations.
  • The Christian Doctor who is the Subject of the Film Concussion.  Christianity Today interviews Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigeria-born pathologist who is portrayed by Will Smith in the new movie Concussion.
  • Thoughts on TV Series. Did you get a chance to see the Sherlock special on January 1? Just a reminder that the final season of Downton Abbey just started this past weekend. Also, check out Making a Murderer on Netflix. It’s a fascinating documentary about Steven Avery from Wisconsin, filmed over a ten-year period.

Trump cartoon


  • The christianaudio FREE Audiobook of the Month ~ with the dawn of a new year, many people make resolutions to get in shape or quit a bad habit. The best resolution of all is to develop the most healthy of habits…..daily listening to God’s Word. The very best audiobook christianaudio can ever give away is the Bible. The Common English Bible is not simply a revision or update of an existing translation. It is a bold new translation designed to meet the needs of Christians as they work to build a strong and meaningful relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
  • Sermon of the Day. Desiring God recently introduced a new app featuring 365 of John Piper’s most loved and listened to sermons. There’s a new sermon assigned for every day of the year.
  • Bible Reading Plans for 2016. Ligonier Ministries has compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from.
  • How I Started Praying the Bible. Don Whitney writes “A guest preacher was speaking at a series of meetings at our church. He was teaching on the prayers of the apostle Paul found in his New Testament letters, and encouraging us to pray these inspired prayers as our own. Then, at one point he held up his Bible said, “Folks, when you pray, use the prayer book.” In that moment I suddenly realized, “The entire Bible is a prayer book. We can pray not only the prayers of Paul in Ephesians, we can pray everything in the Book of Ephesians.”
  • Reading Through the Bible in 2016. Justin Taylor writes “In less than 10 minutes a day, you can read the whole Bible—Genesis to Revelation—in one year.” He shares several helpful resources about reading the Bible.
  • Advice for Another Year of Bible Reading. Bruce Ware writes “How should our daily Bible reading be done? Are there any guidelines for making the best used of our time and gaining the most from our reading of God’s word? Here, then, are five guidelines that have helped me much over many years of reading Scripture.”
  • 2016 Reading Challenge for Kids. Redeemed Reader took Tim Challies’ reading challenge and adapted it for children.

Best of 2015
best in show
I read a lot of end of year “Best” lists – blog posts, books, etc. Here are several 2015 “Best” lists that I particularly enjoyed:

Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Maggie Smith QuoteDoes it ever get cold on the moral high ground? Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith’s character in Downton Abbey)
  • Praying that 2016 will be a year of great blessings from God, and that believers will show the glory of God in unprecedented ways. Albert Mohler
  • Only warranted trust glorifies the one trusted. A leap in the dark honors no one. Enter 2016 seeing the glory of God in his word. John Piper
  • I’m gonna trust more in Jesus’ resolve to save me completely than in my resolve to do better in 2016. Scotty Smith
  • Let January open with joy in the Lord, and December close with gladness in Jesus. Charles Spurgeon
  • Here’s two tips: 1. Open the Bible and begin reading. 2. Do it again every day. Happy New Year! Steve Camp
  • If Jesus is who He says He is- everything in your life will and should change. Tim Keller
  • Is our religion a better advertisement for God’s rightness, or our own? Mark Dever
  • God knows you’re exhausted. But a feast awaits when you allow him to be part of your life. Paul Miller
  • Oh, may God grant us to see sin for what it really is. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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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