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 – 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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