Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

My 2016 Favorites at Mid-Year

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A Few of My Favorite ThingsAs we have the mid-year point, I want to share with you some of my favorites from 2016 in a variety of categories. Except for books, these are all items that were released or took place in 2016. For books, I include my favorite books that I’ve actually read during 2016.  Enjoy, and please let me know what you think by clicking on the ‘Comment’ link above.

MUSIC:  I enjoy music in a variety of genres. My favorites were:


Top Pick:  Church Clothes 3 – LecraeChurch Clothes 3

Other albums that I’ve enjoyed have been:

Wow to the Deadness (EP) – Steve Taylor and the Danielson Foil

Fallen Angels – Bob Dylan

Stranger to Stranger – Paul Simon

Hymns II – Michael W. Smith

Salvation’s Tide is Rising – Passion

Love Riot – Newsboys

Worship and Believe – Steven Curtis Chapman

This Time Around (EP) – Tedashjii

Facing a Task Unfinished – Keith and Kristyn Getty

I’m really looking forward to two July releases – Where the Light Shines Through by Switchfoot and Hard Love by NEEDTOBREATHE .


Top pick:  Jumped Out the Whip – Tedashii

Other songs I’ve enjoyed have been:

Float – Switchfoot

My Worth Is Not In Not In What I Own – Keith and Kristyn Getty with Fernando Ortega

Vaporized – Amos LeeJumped Out the Whip – Tedashii

That Old Black Magic – Bob Dylan

It Is What It Is – Lecrae

God and God Alone – Chris Tomlin

I Trust in Christ – Matt Redman

Wow to the Deadness – Steve Taylor and the Perfect Foil

Cool Papa Bell – Paul Simon

Down to the River to Pray – Michael W. Smith

I Don’t Know Why (Jesus Loves Me) – Michael W. Smith

White Bikini – Charlie Peacock



Top pick: Lecrae in Peoria

We’ve only seen one concert this year thus far, but I am looking forward to seeing Paul McCartney at the Summerfest music festival in Milwaukee in early July.

BOOKS:  In this category, while some of the books will have been released in 2016, I list those books I have actually read in 2016. My favorites are:

Top pick:   The Whole Christ – Sinclair FergusonThe Whole Christ

Others books that I’ve enjoyed have been:

Unashamed – Lecrae

Living Forward – Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy

The Legends Club – John Feinstein

Core Christianity – Michael Horton

Simply My Window – Pam Hodel

Ichthus: Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Saviour – Sinclair Ferguson and Derek Thomas

The Gospel According to Daniel – Bryan Chapell

J.I. Packer: An Evangelical Life by Leland Ryken

Prayer by Tim Keller

Dispatches from the Front by Tim Keesee

Intentional Living by John Maxwell

Christians Get Depressed Too – David Murray

Surprised by Suffering – R.C. Sproul

The Blessing of Humility – Jerry Bridges

Parables – John MacArthur

The Cardinals Way – Howard Megdal

The Ideal Team Player – Patrick Lencioni

Paul McCartney: The Life – Philip Norman

A Camaraderie of Confidence – John Piper

Living in the Light – John Piper

See what I’m reading now.

MOVIES:  We usually see at least one movie a week. Here are the best – and the worst – of what we’ve seen this far.

Top Pick:  The BFGThe BFG

Others I have enjoyed are:


Captain America: Civil War

The Jungle Book

10 Cloverfield Lane



45 Years


Eye in the Sky

Finding Dory

Unfortunately, there have been a number of poor movies we’ve seen as well. Here is the list of my worst movies thus far:

Hail, Caesar!

Batman v. Superman

Mother’s Day

Elvis & Nixon

A Hologram for the King

Kung Fu Panda


Top Pick: Downton Abbey

Other programs that I’ve enjoyed are:



The Night Manager (miniseries)

albert mohlerPODCASTS:

Top Pick: Albert Mohler’s The Briefing.

Each weekday morning, Albert Mohler hosts a podcast providing worldview analysis about the leading news headlines and cultural conversations.  This is required listening for me. Check out Dr. Mohler’s website.

BLOG:Tim Challies

Top Pick:  Tim Challies’ Ala Carte.

This is required reading for me each Monday through Saturday. Challies includes helpful Kindle deals, links to a good variety of helpful articles and a quote.  Check out Tim’s website.


The Babylon Bee, “Your Trusted Source for Christian News Satire” has been a welcome addition. Check out their website.

These are my favorites in a variety of categories at mid-year. What about you? Please share your favorites by clicking on the Comment link.


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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