Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • Body Aches, Heart Longings, and Growth in Compassion. Scotty Smith prays “An eternity of perfect health is looking better and better, Father. Our healing will be complete, and never again will we experience sickness and pain in any form. No more cancer or flu, joint replacements or even runny noses; no more addictions or heart disease; no more memory loss or even hiccups. Hallelujah, and hasten the Day!”
  • A Calvinist Evangelist? Keith Mathison writes “If I have heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “A Calvinist evangelist? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Calvinism undermines evangelism.”
  • What Value is the Old Testament to the Christian Life? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper answers the question “What are the best uses of the Old Testament for giving shape to our Christian lives today?”
  • When Our Heroes Don’t Live Up to Their Theology. Thomas Kidd writes “Even the Bible tells of no perfect heroes, at least among those who were merely human. David, Peter, and Paul are examples of godly people who committed terrible sins. So hopefully we can be honest about our historical heroes’ failings, and yet maintain appreciation for the good that God did through them, by his grace.”
  • R.C.Sproul’s Final Sermon: A Great Salvation. R.C. Sproul preached his final sermon on November 26, 2017. The title of the sermon was “A Great Salvation” from Hebrews 2: 1-4. He concluded that sermon with these words: “I pray with all my heart that God will awaken each one of us today to the sweetness, the loveliness, the glory of the gospel declared by Christ.” Listen to the sermon here.
  • A Catechism on the Heart. Sinclair Ferguson writes “Sometimes people ask authors, “Which of your books is your favorite?” The first time the question is asked, the response is likely to be “I am not sure; I have never really thought about it.” But forced to think about it, my own standard response has become, “I am not sure what my favorite book is; but my favorite title is A Heart for God.” I am rarely asked, “Why?” but (in case you ask) the title simply expresses what I want to be: a Christian with a heart for God.”
  • What Is It Like to Enjoy God?Watch this message that John Piper delivered at the recent Passion Conference in Atlanta.

  • R.C. Sproul’s Warning Concerning Prayer. R.C. Sproul writes “However, some carry this to an extreme and jump to the conclusion that prayer is something of a magic wand, that if we do prayer with the right sound, in the right manner, with the right phrases, and in the right posture, God is obligated to answer. The idea seems to be that we have the capacity to coerce God Almighty into doing for us whatever it is we want Him to do, but God is not a celestial bellhop who is on call every time we press the button, just waiting to serve us our every request.”
  • Will You Pray for Awakening? Download Your Free Prayer Guide. Nathan Bingham writes “To use the guide, find the prayer that corresponds to the current week. Each week of the month focuses on a different group to pray for, starting with you and your family and expanding to larger communities.”



  • The Rise of Reformed Charismatics. Brett McCracken writes “Acts 29, the Reformed church-planting network, has also begun to showcase its charismatic side, holding a conference in London around the theme “Reformed & Revived.” Matt Chandler, Acts 29 president and lead teaching pastor of the Dallas-area Village Church, has identified himself as Reformed charismatic. He believes the charismatic gifts are still active and should be pursued, a position somewhat uncommon among Southern Baptists.”
  • The Pro-Life Movement Needs More Wilberforces. Gracy Olmstead writes “If we’re going to compare the pro-life movement to the abolitionist cause, we’re going to need leaders like Wilberforce—leaders whose integrity extends beyond shallow posturing into every facet of their lives. We are going to need more than partisan politicians—we’re going to need tender culture warriors and humanitarians, winsome orators and artists. Because pro-lifers won’t be able to win votes unless and until they win over hearts and minds—until they, too, demonstrate themselves to be the conscience of the nation.”
  • Why We Should Escape Social Media (And Why We Don’t). Tony Reinke writes “Social media is not the problem; social media is the mask over our underlying fears. We all want new breaking-news alerts or viral tweets or a new text message, because it means, for at least one more moment, we have evaded eye contact with the Savior, evaded the seriousness of what it would mean to meet him, to hear him, and to be faced with the call of God that might disrupt our comfy lives.”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • The more you have a gospel identity the more you have the ability to admit what’s wrong with you. Tim Keller
  • Oh, may God grant us to see sin for what it really is. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Our prayers are included among God’s providential plan for the destiny of His world. C. Sproul
  • Jesus came to take away sin in three ways: to remove the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and, at last, the presence of sin. Charles Spurgeon
  • Our bad things turn out for good. Our good things can never be lost. And the best things are yet to come. Jonathan Edwards
  • Churches that depart from the Word will soon find that God has departed from them. Robert Godfrey 
  • We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. S. Lewis
  • People who have come to know the joy of God do not deny the darkness, but they choose not to live in it. Henri Nouwen
  • Failure is never final as long as there is the grace of God. Steven Lawson

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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