Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • 7 Suggestions to Have the Best Christmas Ever. Ron Edmondson writes “Not all of these will apply to everyone, but my guess is if there are a couple here you need to work on – to better celebrate Christmas – you already knew it. As we begin the rush of the Christmas season, pause right now, take a few deep breaths, and let’s make this the best Christmas ever.”
  • Good News of Great Joy. This Advent, John Piper would like to read you a short devotional each day. Beginning this Friday, December 1, and leading up to Christmas Day, you can listen to John read his 25 daily meditations, called Good News of Great Joy. Then after Advent, we’d love to have you consider walking with us all year long. For many months now, John has been recording not just the Advent readings, but all 365 of our daily devotions called Solid Joys. Christmas will come and go, but God willing, these daily readings from John Piper will keep coming.

    Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • Don’t Expect a Spectacular Christian Life. Rusty McKie writes “Reading your Bible, praying for your world, sharing your faith, and prioritizing your local church all seem ordinary, but maybe that’s the point. These spiritual activities remind us that we need daily bread from Jesus, and that it takes faith to keep coming back to the source of grace.”
  • Depression and God’s Grace. In this episode of BreakPoint, Eric Metaxas states “If you’re dealing with depression, you might as well know there are no quick fixes, but there is always God’s grace.”
  • Would You Let a Stranger Live with You? Lisa Chan writes “as we have opened up our hearts and our home to others, what we have received far outweighs the sacrifice and surrender.”
  • Prayer as a Way of Life. Richard Doster interviews Paul Miller, author of A Praying Life.
  • Together for Good? My Burden for Our Racial Brokenness. John Piper expresses his hope for Christian racial harmony despite the setbacks and sorrows of this moment.
  • 7 Hard Truths About Retirement. Chris Cagle writes “The problem is that nobody wants to talk about the fact that your retirement could be different from what you plan and imagine. That’s because of the things that may materialize in retirement that can make it very challenging.” Better to Lose Your Life Than Waste It. Recently, John Piper challenged college students in Phoenix that it’s better to lose your life than waste it. Listen, watch, listen to or read this new 48-minute message.
  • Friends Help Their Friends Finish Well. Scotty Smith prays “Lord Jesus, I’m so grateful for the close friends you’ve woven into my heart and story. As an introvert, the journey of investing in long-term relationships requires time, tenacity, and an ongoing supply of your grace.”

  • The Faith of the Philadelphia Eagles. Meg Storm writes “At 10-1, the Philadelphia Eagles are having a great season, but it is how the players are conducting themselves off the field that has them gaining a whole new legion of fans. Led by star second-year quarterback Carson Wentz, the Eagles locker room has become the picture of faith and charity, despite all the divisiveness currently playing out in the NFL.”

    Courtesy of World Magazine

  • The One Genuine Cure for Legalism and Antinomianism. Sinclair Ferguson writes “Antinomianism then, like legalism, is not only a matter of having a wrong view of the law. It is a matter, ultimately, of a wrong view of grace, revealed in both law and gospel—and behind that, a wrong view of God Himself.”
  • Keller and Carson on Experiencing Revival Firsthand. Listen to Tim Keller and Don Carson discuss times when they have seen revival firsthand and what brought it about. They also consider how revivals spread and why they don’t last forever.
  • To Whom Did Jesus Pay Our Ransom? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “To whom did Jesus pay the ransom? Is he making a payment to Satan to free us from his captivity? Or is he giving his payment to God to free us from our penalty? Does the New Testament tell us? Whom did Jesus’s ransom pay?”
  • Does God Decree Events He Doesn’t Want to Happen? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “If God has two wills — a will of decree and a will of desire — does God ever decree something to happen that he does not desire to happen? If so, wouldn’t he have a divided mind? 
  • TULIP and The Doctrines of Grace. Steven Lawson writes “These truths present the triune God as the author of our salvation from beginning to end. Each member of the Godhead—Father, Son, and Spirit—has a part to play in redemption, and they work together as one God to rescue those perishing under divine wrath. In perfect unity, the three divine persons do the work that hellbound sinners, utterly unable to save themselves, cannot do.”


  • The Heroic Death of Chariots of Fire’s Eric Liddell. I can never hear too much on the story of Eric Liddell. Watch this seven-minute video from “Today I Found Out”.
  • On John Calvin. Kevin DeYoung delivered this message about God’s work in thelife of John Calvin at the Gospel Coalition’s 2017 National Conference which celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
  • William Chalmers Burns. When Robert Murray M’Cheyne left on a short-term mission to Palestine, he left his church in the care of a 24-year-old with little preaching and no pastoral experience. And revival broke out. Why? Read this article from Sinclair
  • Alistair Begg – “The Enduring Legacy of Charles Spurgeon”.In this episode of the BreakPoint podcast, Warren Cole Smith’s interview with renowned pastor and Bible teacher Alistair Begg about his work on the new Spurgeon Study Bible.



  • Breaking: VP Mike Pence Confesses Addiction to Marital Faithfulness. The Babylon Bee reports “Pence, who was heavily criticized by the media in March when he confessed to never having private lunches with women other than his wife, tearfully admitted to reporters his habit of marital fidelity began back in 1985, when he and Karen were married.”
  • Former Child Star Junior Asparagus Arrested On Drug ChargesThe Babylon Beereports “Once-popular child star Junior Asparagus, who rose to fame beginning with hit VeggieTales video Where’s God When I’m S-Scared? at just five years old, was arrested on charges of drug possession and resisting arrest early Friday morning after being pulled over for erratic driving, the Beverly Hills Police Department confirmed.”

  • When Jesus is all you have left, you realize Jesus is what you ultimately need. Tim Keller
  • I have never once feared the devil, but I tremble every time I enter the pulpit. John Knox
  • Preaching the gospel to ourselves addresses both the self-righteous Pharisee and the guilt-laden sinner that dwell in our hearts. Jerry Bridges
  • Prayer is an acknowledgment that our need of God’s help is not partial but total. Alistair Begg
  • Visit many good books, but live in the Bible. Charles Spurgeon
  • Christ went more willingly to the cross than we do to the throne of grace. Thomas Watson
  • My security as a Christian does not reside in the strength of my faith but in the indestructibility of my Savior. Sinclair Ferguson  
  • Men do not gain the favor of God by their free-will, but are chosen by his goodness alone before they were born. John Calvin
  • The more we fix our eyes on Christ, the more we see his holiness, the more we see our unholiness, the more we repent, the more we grow in holiness, the more we fix our eyes on Christ. Burk Parsons

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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