Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

NEW AND UPCOMING BOOKS

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Here are several new or upcoming books, in a variety of genres, that I’m looking forward to (descriptions are courtesy of Amazon):

Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure, and Overcoming the Odds by Nick Foles

To be published June 26.

“When the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback went down with a torn ACL in week 14 of the 2017 NFL season, many fans—and commentators—assumed the Eagles’ season was over.
Instead, Nick Foles came off the bench and, against all odds, led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory in history.
How did Nick get it done—winning MVP honors, silencing the critics, and shocking the world? How did the man who was on the verge of retiring just two seasons earlier stay optimistic and rally the team to an astounding win? How did he stay ready despite numerous trades and discouraging injuries, able to step up in the moment and perform at the top of his game?
Believe It offers a behind-the-scenes look at Nick’s unlikely path to the Super Bowl, the obstacles that threatened to hold him back, his rediscovery of his love for the game, and the faith that grounded him through it all. Learn from the way Nick handled the trials and tribulations that made him into the man he is today—and discover a path to your own success.”

The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life (20th Anniversary Edition) by Os Guinness

To be published July 3.

Why am I here? What is God’s call in my life? How do I fit God’s call with my own individuality? How should God’s calling affect my career, my plans for the future, and my concepts of success?

First published in 1997 by distinguished author and speaker Os Guiness, The Call remains a treasured source of wisdom for those who ask these questions. According to Guinness, “No idea short of God’s call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose and fulfillment.”

In this newly updated and expanded anniversary edition, Guinness explores the truth that God has a specific calling for each one of us and guides a new generation of readers through the journey of hearing and heeding that call.”

Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was, and Who God Has Always Been by Jackie Hill Perry

To be published September 3.

“In Gay Girl, Good God, author Jackie Hill Perry shares her own story, offering practical tools that helped her in the process of finding wholeness. Jackie grew up fatherless and experienced gender confusion. She embraced masculinity and homosexuality with every fiber of her being. She knew that Christians had a lot to say about all of the above. But was she supposed to change herself? How was she supposed to stop loving women, when homosexuality felt more natural to her than heterosexuality ever could?
At age nineteen, Jackie came face-to-face with what it meant to be made new. And not in a church, or through contact with Christians. God broke in and turned her heart toward Him right in her own bedroom in light of His gospel.
Read in order to understand. Read in order to hope. Or read in order, like Jackie, to be made new.”

Letters to the Church by Francis Chan

To be published September 8.

“In his most powerful book yet, Pastor Francis Chan digs deep into biblical truths, reflections on his own failures and dreams, and stories of ordinary people God is using to change the world.
As Chan says, “We’ve strayed so far from what God calls Church. We all know it. We know that what we’re experiencing is radically different from the Church in Scripture. For decades, church leaders like myself have lost sight of the inherent mystery of the Church. We have trained people sitting in the pews to become addicted to lesser things. It’s time for that to change.”
When Jesus returns, will He find us caring for His Bride—even more than for our own lives? Letters to the Church reminds us of how powerful, how glorious the Church once was … and calls us to once again be the Church God intended us to be.”

The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God’s Mercy by Tim Keller

To be published October 2.

“Most people, even those who are nonreligious, are familiar with the book of Jonah: a rebellious prophet defies God and is swallowed by a whale. Less familiar to most people is the second half of this Biblical story–what happens after Jonah is released from the belly of the fish. Yet it is in this second half of the story that one of the most powerful and important lessons of the Bible is hidden.
The famous story shows how, if we would understand the mercy of God, it will always take us in directions we would rather not go, toward people we would rather not care about, and ultimately into the deepest counsels of God. In a time of growing division, The Prodigal Prophet shows us God’s love among people, and how Christians must listen to God’s call even when it takes them to uncomfortable places.”

The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created by Jane Leavy

To be published October 16.

“He lived in the present tense—in the camera’s lens. There was no frame he couldn’t or wouldn’t fill. He swung the heaviest bat, earned the most money, and incurred the biggest fines. Like all the new-fangled gadgets then flooding the marketplace—radios, automatic clothes washers, Brownie cameras, microphones and loudspeakers—Babe Ruth “made impossible events happen.” Aided by his crucial partnership with Christy Walsh—business manager, spin doctor, damage control wizard, and surrogate father, all stuffed into one tightly buttoned double-breasted suit—Ruth drafted the blueprint for modern athletic stardom.
His was a life of journeys and itineraries—from uncouth to couth, spartan to spendthrift, abandoned to abandon; from Baltimore to Boston to New York, and back to Boston at the end of his career for a finale with the only team that would have him. There were road trips and hunting trips; grand tours of foreign capitals and post-season promotional tours, not to mention those 714 trips around the bases.
After hitting his 60th home run in September 1927—a total that would not be exceeded until 1961, when Roger Maris did it with the aid of the extended modern season—he embarked on the mother of all barnstorming tours, a three-week victory lap across America, accompanied by Yankee teammate Lou Gehrig. Walsh called the tour a “Symphony of Swat.” The Omaha World Herald called it “the biggest show since Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, and seven other associated circuses offered their entire performance under one tent.” In The Big Fella, acclaimed biographer Jane Leavy recreates that 21-day circus and in so doing captures the romp and the pathos that defined Ruth’s life and times.
Drawing from more than 250 interviews, a trove of previously untapped documents, and Ruth family records, Leavy breaks through the mythology that has obscured the legend and delivers the man.”

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

To be published October 16.

“Simon Sinek’s Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last have helped millions of readers see the hidden rules that govern our behavior. Now The Infinite Game challenges us to rethink our perspective with a deceptively simple question: How do you stay ahead in a game with no end?
Games like basketball and chess are finite, with firm rules and clear endpoints. But business, for example, is infinite — there’s ultimately no such thing as “winning” because there’s always a new set of challenges. Those who thrive in the long run are those who play by infinite rules. They do things that enable them to out-maneuver, out-innovate, and outlast their competitors.
Trying to play an infinite game with a finite mindset can be catastrophic. During the Vietnam War, for instance, America won nearly every battle and killed many more enemy troops. But the Americans lost the war because the North Vietnamese were willing to endure any hardship, for as long as it took to force the Americans to give up.
Through a wide range of examples, Sinek explores how infinite players in any field can exhaust their competitors, stay ahead for the long run, and create strong organizations, built to weather nearly any storm. Great leaders instinctively play the infinite game; now the rest of us can understand how they do it.
The finite thinker focuses on…
*  A company’s quarterly earnings
*  Winning a presidential election
*  Winning an Olympic medal
*  Squeezing the last dollar from a negotiation
*  Raising an obedient child
*  Closing a sale
*  What and How
The infinite thinker focuses on…
*  A company’s reputation
*  Leading the nation
*  Becoming as good as you can possibly be at your sport
*  Making your partner want to do business with you again
*  Raising an inquisitive child
*  Building a customer relationship
*  Why

Looking down the road into 2019, here are a few books I’m interested in:

  • January 22: Irresistible Faith: Becoming the Kind of Christian the World Can’t Resist by Scott Sauls
  • February 5: Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace by John Maxwell
  • March 26: The Apostles’ Creed: Discovering Authentic Christianity in an Age of Counterfeits by Albert Mohler.
  • April 2: Nine Lies about Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodal
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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 38 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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