Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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I’ve been listening to this excellent 12-part Ligonier Ministries teaching series from Derek Thomas.  Ligonier describes the series as follows:

“Why does God permit suffering? It’s a question all of us have asked, and the book of Job points us toward the answer. Job’s questions are our questions, and we can identify with his frustration, disappointment, and confusion in the midst of trials. In this series, Dr. Derek W.H. Thomas walks us through the book of Job and considers what the Bible says about our darkest moments. He addresses the difficult question of the relationship between God’s sovereignty and the existence of evil, sin, and suffering. In the end, as Dr. Thomas shows, it’s in our trials that we learn to trust God and say with Job, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Watch the first message in the series “Job, Satan & God” and find out how to order the audio or video versions of the series.

CHRISTIAN LIVING:christian-living

  • Zero Fear of Bad News. Scotty Smith prays “Oh to have a steadfast heart beating in a circumstance-tested body; a fearless calm when surrounded by difficult people and threatening events; a Good News heart in a bad news world.”
  • For Those of Us Who Struggle to be Patient. Scotty Smith prays “Make me a more patient, gentle, kind, accepting man—for your glory and the blessing of a lot of people.”
  • Calvinists Should Be Calmest and Kindest. David Mathis writes “Few descriptors are more tragic for a Calvinist than angry and mean.”
  • The Lost Virtue of Self-Control. Tim Challies writes “As summer gives way to fall — as summer’s chaos gives way to fall’s schedule — this is the time to renew my commitment to a life of self-control, a life that is disciplined toward godliness. It is time to renew my commitment to their sheer goodness, and their plain value. There is no better time than right now.”
  • Spiritual Disciplines and the Sinkhole Syndrome. Donald Whitney writes “As the pressures of life increase and more deadlines loom, it becomes harder to maintain time for the devotional life. And herein is where the erosion begins.”
  • How Sinful is Man?C. Sproul writes “Human character is clearly tainted by sin, but the debate is about the extent of that taint.”
  • Why Don’t Christians Care That They Sin? Watch this five-minute video excerpt from a Questions and Answers session at the 2010 Ligonier National Conference in which Alistair Begg and R.C. Sproul answered the question, “Why don’t Christians care that they sin?”
  • How Can I Soften My Own Heart? In this episode of the podcast “Ask Pastor John”, John Piper addresses the question Many sins harden our hearts, so what activities will unharden, or soften, our hearts?”crazy-busy-all-the-time-is-crazy-png
  • 4 Ways to Win the Battle Against Busyness. J.D. Greear writes “Busyness isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s dangerous. There are few things as damaging—and potentially soul-destroying, as busyness.”
  • 5 Reasons Not to Waste Your Leisure Time. Jeff Robinson shares “five lines of biblical reasoning on a Christian’s involvement in leisure and hobbies.”
  • The Gift of Sleep: The Biblical Vision of Rest.  Zack Groff writes “In a society geared for productivity, sleep suffers.”
  • Humility Isn’t Always Nice. Jon Bloom writes “To be humble people requires much grace.”
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell” John Maxwell states that “when we really count our blessings we will be grateful because most of us have been blessed way more than we deserve.”
  • How to Face the Death of Someone You Love. Elizabeth Elliot shares six simple things that have helped her through the valley and that helped her later as well.
  • What Will You Do When the End Comes? John Piper writes “This is a plea that pastors, evangelists, teachers, parents, and friends warn those they love that, if they do not repent, they will be speechless, helpless, and hopeless when the end comes.”
  • Your First Breath in Heaven. Marshall Segal writes “Think about your first breath after death. That moment has everything to do with this one (and every moment between now and then) – that first newborn inhale in heaven. Why will that gasp of air be any better than your last breath before death?”


  • How Do I Pray? Watch this two-minute video from Derek Thomas.
  • How Do I Pray Without Ceasing? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper addresses this question from a listener “In your own words and application, what does it mean to ‘pray without ceasing’?”
  • The Elements of a Patient Prayer Life. Randy Alcorn shares a short passage from Tim Keller’s excellent book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God.



                              Courtesy of World Magazine




  Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week


  • Tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs. It’s about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you. Tim Keller
  • We can serve Satan and the interests of the world, or we can serve the living God and be servants of Christ. C. Sproul
  • What a great day for resting in Jesus’ love, not trying to impress anybody, overlooking as much as possible, repenting quickly and rejoicing. Scotty Smith
  • Our security doesn’t depend on our ability to stay saved, but on God’s ability to keep His promise. John MacArthur
  • Everything I do is either going to bring reward or regret. Francis Chan
  • The gospel is not one of many ways to God, but the only way to Him. Every other path leads further, yet further away from God. Steven Lawson
  • God calls us out of darkness and into his marvelous light and then calls us to go back into the darkness and shine. Burk Parsons
  • To be caught in secret sin is a horrible thing. Only one thing worse. Not to be caught. John Piper
  • My security as a Christian does not reside in the strength of my faith but in the indestructibility of my Savior. Sinclair Ferguson


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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