Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

Leave a comment



Poverty, Inc.Poverty, Inc.

I recently watched this thought-provoking documentary. The title of it could well have been (if it had not already been used), “When Helping Hurts”.  It looks at what is called the “poverty industry”. Yes, when there is a natural disaster, aid (food, clothing, etc.) is needed. However, what has happened in African, Haiti and other places is that the aid continues after the immediate need. And rather than the local citizens then beginning to provide for themselves, growing local businesses, etc., the aid comes in from people like us, with good intentions, but ultimately hurts the people we are trying to help. On top of that, many in the “poverty industry” are getting rich.

Watch this film, which is available through Amazon and iTunes. You may come away feeling differently about providing aid (I know I did), and the organizations doing so.

To find out more about the film go to the official site.



  • Always a Woman. Aimee Byrd writes “What is your expectation for the women in your church, according to our mission? It should be no different than Christ’s expectation for all of us.”
  • The Worst Gospel Misunderstandings. Collin Hansen writes “For years conservative church leaders have warned against doctrinal decline. But what happens when it’s not just our doctrines that change but the very conditions of our unbelief that shift with time?” Watch this video as Tim Keller, Michael Horton and Alan Hirsch discuss this topic.
  • A Reformed “Spotlight”: Fighting Spiritual Abuse in the Reformed Church. David Murray writes “So, yes, for me the dam has burst. And it’s not just the past week. I’ve had increasing numbers of emails from victims of spiritual abuse over the past years. It’s now time to speak out. It’s time for the Reformed church to take responsibility and clean house.”
  • What to Do When a Pastor Falls. Russell Moore writes “This week another high-profile pastor was removed from ministry for immorality, this time a friend of mine.”
Courtesy of World Magazine

                                       Courtesy of World Magazine


  • Darrin Patrick Fired. Darrin Patrick, vice president of the Acts 29 church planting network and founding pastor of The Journey megachurch in St. Louis, has been fired for violating his duties as a pastor after serving there fourteen years.
  • Ben Zobrist’s Journey from Tiny Eureka to Major League Baseball. Bruce Miles writes “Ben Zobrist’s story is one of a small-town boy made good. In his case, it’s really good.”
  • Stephen Curry Leads Warriors to NBA Record. Stephen Curry led the Golden State Warriors to a record 73rd win, breaking the record the Chicago Bulls set in 1996. Enjoy this video of Curry joining Lecrae onstage in Oakland in August, 2015 for a version of Lecrae’s “I’m Turnt”.

Steph CurryStephen Curry


Note:  The Babylon Bee is Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.

  • NewSpring Church Offers 90-Day Refund on Salvation. The Babylon Bee reports that “Continuing its recent theme of provocative statements, NewSpring Church announced Tuesday that they will refund the salvation of anyone not completely satisfied after 90 days of confessing themselves a Christian and getting saved.”
  • Joyce Meyer Pulls Fire Alarm Distracting Audience from 1 Timothy 2. The Babylon Bee reports “Pressed to explain the incident, Joyce Meyer Ministries issued a statement, which read, in part, “This organization disavows all knowledge of any so-called ‘first letter to Timothy.’ After decades of studying the Bible, Joyce Meyer confirms that the Apostle Paul wrote a second letter to Timothy, and no others.”
  • Brothers Convince Little Sister of Zombie Apocalypse. Denny Burk shared this video, which I think is hilarious and my wife thinks was a bit mean. What say you?  Watch them all talk about it on Ellen.
Doug Michael's Cartoon of the Week

                                       Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week


Lecrae in Peoria – April 17

The Greater Peoria Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) sponsored Lecrae for a concert April 17 at the Renaissance Coliseum in Peoria on the Bradley University campus.  Lecrae is in the midst of his Higher Learning Tour of college campuses, leading up to the release of his highly anticipated autobiography Unashamed on May 3.    

I was introduced to Lecrae and rap by Christian artists in general about five years ago by John Piper and Tim Challies. I found Tim’s The Middle-Aged White Guys Guide to Christian Rap to be very valuable.

This was the third time I’ve seen Lecrae in concert. Swope opened the night with a spirited set. Though I wasn’t very familiar with his music, he did his best to warm up the embarrassingly small, but energetic crowd.  DJ Promote was up next. I had seen him open up for Lecrae and Andy Mineo last year on the Anomaly Tour in St. Louis. He mixed up some good sounds for the mostly young crowd to dance to, including “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silentó.

unashamed lecraeFinally, after an intermission, Lecrae was ready to come out a few ticks before 9:00 pm. His high-energy show started out with a number of songs from his 2014 chart-topping album Anomaly, before going back in time for some of his classic songs. What I really liked about Lecrae on this night was the amount of time he talked to the students. Leading into his song “Background”, he told them that we are not the stars of our movie, we are supporting players. Just like the moon reflects the light of the sun, we reflect the light of Christ.

Here is a short interview Lecrae did with the Peoria Journal Star leading up to the concert.


    • For every look at self, take ten looks at Christ. Robert Murray M’Cheyne
    • At some point, we all face the valley of the shadow of death. We either give up and distance ourselves or learn to walk w/ the Shepherd. Paul Miller
    • Jesus remembers us without our sin, so we can remember Him when we sin. Ron Edmonson
    • God does not love you to the degree that you are like Jesus, but to the degree that you are in Jesus, which is totally. Scotty Smith
    • Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter. Charles Spurgeon
    • When God writes our names in the “Lamb’s Book of Life,” He doesn’t do it with an eraser handy. He does it for eternity. R.C. Sproul
    • Be killing sin or it will be killing you. John Owen
    • Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God. Martin Luther
    • Who you say Jesus is will determine everything about how you follow Him. David Platt

Alistair Quote2

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.

Leave a Reply