Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoons & Quotes

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  • Teach Your Teen How to Read Their Bible. Jen Wilkin writes “Parents contact me frequently to ask what devotionals or young adult Bible studies I would recommend they do with their teens. As our kids enter the teen years, our responsibility as their parents is to help them develop good habits of interacting with the Bible. Finding an approach that is age-appropriate and manageable is key. My encouragement is to simply read the Bible with your teen in a way that models and trains Bible literacy—no special teen resource required.”
  • Get a Basic Overview of the Bible.C. Sproul writes “Once you understand the basic framework, you are much better equipped to read the Bible. Here is a pattern I recommend for people who have never read the Bible.”

PREACHING THE WORD

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  • More interesting article links
  • Great cartoons
  • The Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Does She Spark Joy? Sorting Through Marie Kondo. Rachel Gilson writes “Kondo’s background and Shinto-influenced worldview, however, cannot supply the correct destination for that healthy thanksgiving. She speaks her gratitude to the items themselves, as if they have ears to hear and hearts to receive that thanks. Truly they have no life in them. They did not give themselves. The gifts were not designed to receive these valid human responses. They were only ever meant to act as signposts to the Giver himself.”
  • Christian, Do You Love God’s Law? Sinclair Ferguson writes ““You’ve got to love the law” has a double meaning. You’ve got to love it—it is a command. But at the same time, “you’ve got to love it” because it is so good. Of course, it is. It is a gift from your heavenly Father. It is meant to keep you safe and well and give you security and help you to negotiate life.”
  • Does the Bible Say the Sabbath Changed from Saturday to Sunday? Why do Jewish people rest on the seventh day of the week and Christians on the first? From one of the Ask Ligonier events, Robert Godfrey examines the Sabbath in the New Testament.

  • Accepting “No” As God’s Will. R.C. Sproul writes “The prayer of faith is a prayer of trust. The very essence of faith is trust. We trust that God knows what is best.”
  • Saying “No” to the Glory of God. Trillia Newbell writes “Are you growing weary as you serve others? Here are a few things you can do to not only nourish and protect your relationship with the Lord but to receive refreshment as well.”
  • Don’t Adjust Your Conscious to Fit the Culture. R.C. Sproul writes “Here is the supreme irony and tragedy of sin: the more we repeat our sins, the greater the guilt we incur, but the less sensitive we become to the pangs of guilt in our consciences.”
  • How to Reset Your Joy in God. David Murray writes “You started last year with a tankful of gas — overflowing with energy, motivation, joy, and optimism. Twelve months on, you were empty, running on fumes, joyless, and dreading the new year. You wonder if you can even go another day, far less another year.”
  • Rejoice Always. H.B. Charles writes “It is the will of God for us to rejoice always. But obedience to this command is not accomplished by an act of the will. It is only accomplished by faith in Christ.”
  • 3 Methods to Keep You Praying. Trevin Wax writes “We know we need to pray. We know we’re called to it. We know that our lack of prayerfulness is a sign that we are unconscious of just how dependent we are upon God and that we are comfortable operating in our own strength. But still, how do we make it a regular practice?”
  • Satan Will Not Leave You Alone: Living in a World Filled with Devils. Burk Parsons writes “While all true believers know Satan exists, many have succumbed to the notion that spiritual warfare is not that big of a deal.”

MOVIES

  • American Gospel Blows a Hole in the Prosperity Gospel. Owen Strachen reviews the new documentary American Gospel: Christ Alone. He writes “American Gospel succeeds in its mission. It shows the spiritual and even eternal stakes of prosperity religion. It reveals the danger of allowing any endeavor, however virtuous on the surface, to seep into the preaching and application of the biblical gospel. The movie champions the true, saving gospel, and it unpacks this message with clarity and conviction.”  Read my review of the film here.
  • Puritan Documentary. Looking forward to a new documentary titled Puritan. Check out the trailer here.
  • Why Christian Movies Are So Terrible. Jared Wilson writes “Why does it seem like the only good “Christian movies” are the ones made by the world’s artists with Christian themes (The Passion of the ChristSilence, etc.)?”

Courtesy of World Magazine

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • One of the greatest threats to gospel faithfulness is when Christians buy into the myth of influence, wanting to impress the world and fear being thought fools for Christ. Burk Parsons
  • As long as someone is living for himself, he is sensitive, jealous, envious, and always reacting to what others do. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • When we practice hospitality, here’s what happens: we experience the refreshing joy of becoming conduits of God’s hospitality rather than being self-decaying cul-de-sacs. The joy of receiving God’s hospitality decays and dies if it doesn’t flourish in our own hospitality to others. John Piper
  • By definition, the big difference between mercy and justice is that mercy is never ever obligatory. R.C. Sproul
  • I spend half my time telling Christians to study doctrine and the other half telling them doctrine is not enough. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • To live by grace is to live solely by the merit of Jesus Christ. To live by grace is to base my entire relationship with God, including my acceptance and standing with Him, on my union with Christ. Jerry Bridges
  • If our sins be forgiven, our best things are yet to come. J.C. Ryle
  • I have reason to praise him for my trials, for, most probably, I would have been ruined without them. John Newton
  • God created a world of beauty in space and time; but he also made us to know him and to live in his presence; he thus set eternity and a desire for it in our hearts. Sinclair Ferguson

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 39 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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