Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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IN THE NEWS:

  • The Silencing of Christians in the Public Sector. John Bingham writes “Christianity is being subtly “silenced” within the public sector in the UK because of a civil service culture which treats speaking about faith as “not the done thing”, according to a former top Whitehall mandarin appointed as Church of England’s most senior lay official.”
  • Jim Elliot QuoteSlain in the Shadow of the Almighty. John Piper writes “On January 8, 1956 — sixty years ago last Friday – Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Peter Flemming, and Roger Youderian were speared to death on a sandbar called “Palm Beach” in the Curaray River of Ecuador. They were trying to reach the Huaorani Indians for the first time in history with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
  • Seven Reasons Not to Play the Lottery. John Piper writes “Americans now spend more than $70 billion dollars annually on lotteries. That’s more than the combined spending on books, video games, and movie and sporting-event tickets. Lotteries are legal in 43 states.”
  • The Story of Ted Cruz. This twelve minute video tells the story of Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz.
  • Wheaton College Recommends Terminating Tenured Professor over ‘Same God’ Comments. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes “Wheaton College has begun termination proceedings against Larycia Hawkins related to her public statements of solidarity with Muslims.”
  • Across the Race Divide. Kevin DeYoung writes about how he was helped (and moved) by the chapter “Across the Racial Divide” in David Kennedy’s book Don’t Shoot: One Man, A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America.  

CHRISTIAN LIVING:

  • A Safe Place for Sexual Sinners. Phillip Holmes continues his conversation with Rosaria Butterfield. He writes “Sexual sin is one of the greatest threats to thriving and vibrant Christian living. Many Christians, especially young singles, are discouraged and defeated in their fight to overcome sexual sin.”
  • The Remedy for a Dead or Malnourished Faith. Scott Sauls writes “Mary didn’t need to work to earn approval from Jesus, and neither do we. Mary knew this—as we can know this—because before Mary got busy for Jesus (and she did get busy for Jesus, by the way), she took the time to pay attention to, and to marinate her whole being in…doctrine.”
  • A Prayer for Those Days When There’s Too Much to Get Done. Here’s our prayer of the week from our friend Scotty Smith.
  • Can We Sing Too Much About the Cross? Bob Kauflin writes “the more I’ve studied Scripture, the more I’m convinced that as we worship God for his word, his works, and his worthiness, the blazing center of our praise will always be the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus.”
  • Free from Money, Rich Toward God. John Piper states “Jesus spoke more about money than he did about sex, heaven, and hell. Money is a big deal to Jesus. There must be something really dangerous about money.” This video is part five of a six-part series through John Piper’s What Jesus Demands from the World.
  • Don’t Live Strong, Live Wise. Jon Bloom writes “I recommend that you memorize Psalm 90 this year. It’s only 17 verses long and you can commit it to memory in a week or two and recite the whole psalm in less than 2 minutes.”
  • Some Thoughts on Ministering to the Sick and Dying. Kevin DeYoung writes “It is a privilege to be with the sick and dying, but it can also be scary, hard work.  As you minister to the sick and dying–and we all will have opportunity to do so–here are some things to keep in mind.”
Courtesy of World Magazine

                                           Courtesy of World Magazine

GREAT RESOURCES:

  • Welcome Home Haiti. My friend Steve Hari and his wife Shelley founded a ministry “Welcome Home Haiti” in 2010. Their mission is to glorify God and empower healthy families.  They glorify God through providing safe, secure, and sanitary homes for Christian families in Northern Haiti.  Check out their website for more information.
  • Where Is Heaven, and What Are Some Major Misconceptions About Heaven? Randy Alcorn writes “Over the years, I’ve found that it’s a common misconception even among Christians that the present Heaven, where Christians go when we die, is the same place we will live forever. In fact, when we die we go to be with Christ, which is wonderful, but we are incomplete, in a pre-resurrected state, anticipating Christ’s return to earth, and our resurrections.” Watch this seven-minute video with Randy and Watermark Community Church Pastor Todd Wagner when they discussed “Where is Heaven?”, as well as some common misconceptions about Heaven.
  • What Does “Simul Justus et Peccator” Mean? Watch R.C. Sproul in this short video as he shares the very heart of the gospel as he explains Martin Luther’s latin phrase, “Simul Justus et Peccator.”
  • What I’ve Learned in 20 Years of Ministry. Russell Moore shares 20 things he’s learned in 20 years of ministry.
  • Measuring the Wrong Things by Asking the Wrong Questions! Dave Kraft writes “Experience has taught me that there is a big difference between church health and church growth. Church health I believe will eventually lead to church growth, but church growth (strictly numbers) will not necessarily lead to church health.”
  • 16 Trends in American Churches in 2016. Thom Rainer shares trends 9-16. His previous article with trends 1-8 is linked in the article as well.
  • Best of 2015: Tabletalk Magazine.  Nathan W. Bingham shares some of the most popular Tabletalk magazine articles from 2015.
  • The Centerpiece of God’s Saving Purpose in the Universe. Steven Lawson writes “This, then, is the centerpiece of God’s saving purpose in the universe—the revelation and magnification of His own glory.”
Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

            Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Favorite Quotes of the Week

From the Movie "Bridge of Spies"

       From the Movie “Bridge of Spies”

  • Ultimately it’s only the man who feels quite hopeless about himself who really trusts God. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • The opposite of joy is not sadness. It’s hopelessness. Tim Keller
  • It’s one thing to weep over consequences, it’s another thing to weep before Christ. Kevin DeYoung
  • We have a generation of people who think they can stand before the judgment seat of God despite their sins. R.C. Sproul
  • I’m looking forward to the Day I’ll never think an unkind thought, speak a hurtful word, or make a selfish choice. Scotty Smith
  • Nothing gives the believer so much joy as fellowship with Christ. Charles Spurgeon
  • When God forgives, He forgives completely. Not in shades or degrees of forgiveness, but absolutely and fully. Alistair Begg
  • We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness. Francis Chan
  • Keep your happiness where it can’t be hurt: in Christ. Michael Reeves
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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 my favorite verse is Romans 3:23. Some other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

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