Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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As I’ve done for a number of years now, I want to share with you my favorites from 2019 in a variety of categories. Except for books, these are all items that were released, or took place in 2019. For books, I include my favorite books of the 60 that I read during 2019, regardless of when the book was published.

Enjoy!  Please let me know what you think of my list, and also share some of your favorites.

Movies ~ Top Choice: Avengers: Endgame

Other films that I’ve enjoyed, in order are:

2.  Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
3.  Little Women
4.  Knives Out
5.  The Upside
6.  Yesterday
7.  Toy Story 4
8.  The Biggest Little Farm
9.  Ford v. Ferrari
10. Spider-Man: Far from Home

Other movies that I enjoyed this year, in no particular order, were:

  • American Gospel: Christ Alone
  • Amazing Grace
  • Apollo 11
  • Free Solo
  • They Shall Not Grow Old
  • Tolkien
  • Stan and Ollie
  • Dark Waters
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • Harriet
  • Richard Jewell
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon

Click on ‘Continue Reading’ to see my 2019 favorite albums, songs, books, blogs, podcasts, conferences, television shows, concerts and new resources.

Albums ~ Top Choice: His Mercy is More: The Hymns of Matt Boswell and Matt Papa by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa

Other albums I enjoyed, in order, were:

  1. Sing! Psalms: Ancient + Modern (Live at the 2018 Getty Music Worship Conference) Keith and Kristyn Getty
  2. Behold the Lamb of God – Andrew Peterson
  3. Sing! The Life of Christ: Quintology (Live at the 2019 Getty Music Worship Conference) EP
  4. Abbey Road (Super Deluxe) – Beatles
  5. Back Again – Mac Powell and the Family Reunion
  6. Three Cords & The Truth (Expanded/Deluxe Edition) – Van Morrison
  7. Sing! An Irish Christmas – Keith and Kristyn Getty and Friends
  8. Okie – Vince Gill
  9.  Christmas – Sandra McCracken

Other albums I enjoyed, in no particular order, were:

  • United – Newsboys
  • Untitled Hymn: A Collection of Hymns/Untitled Hymn: A Collection of Hymns Instrumental – Chris Rice
  • Never Fold – Tedashii
  • Native Tongue – Switchfoot
  • To the Kindness of God – Michael Card
  • Illumination – Phil Keaggy and Rex Paul
  • Hymns Live – Shane and Shane
  • The Search – NF
  • Hymns Vol. 2 – Shane and Shane

Songs ~ Top Choice: Sing We the Song of Emmanuel – Matt Boswell and Matt Papa

Other songs I’ve enjoyed, in order were:

  1. His Mercy is More – Matt Boswell and Matt Papa
  2. Elizabeth – Kristyn Getty and Ellie Holcomb
  3. Jesus, What a Wonderful Child – Sandra McCracken
  4. Is He Worthy? Andrew Peterson with the Sing! Conference Choir (live at the 2018 Sing! Conference)
  5. 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) – Matt Redman (live at the 2018 Sing! Conference)
  6. Three Cords and the Truth (alternative mix) – Van Morrison
  7. Whoo! – Mac Powell and the Family Reunion
  8. Let it Happen (live version) – Switchfoot
  9. There is a Fountain – Chris Rice

Other songs I enjoyed this year, in no particular order, were:

  • Mary’s Arms – Sandra McCracken
  • God Flex – Tedashii, featuring Trip Lee
  • Dive – Steven Curtis Chapman and Ricky Skaggs
  • Tucson Train – Bruce Springsteen
  • Christmas Day – Chris Tomlin

Artist of the Year

Andrew Peterson is my artist of the year for 2019 for his album Behold the Lamb of God, his book Adorning the Dark and his seminar at the 2019 Sing! Getty Worship Conference.
Honorable Mention: Matt Boswell and Matt Papa

Concerts ~ Top Choice: The Eagles “Hotel California” concert at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada

Other concerts I enjoyed, in order, were:

  • Paul McCartney “Freshen Up” Tour at the Taxslayer Center in Moline, Illinois
  • Jerry Seinfeld at the Coliseum at Caesar’s Palace Colosseum in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band “Roll Me Away: The Final Tour” at the Peoria Civic Center
  • Sebastian Maniscalco at the Peoria Civic Center
  • Switchfoot Fantastic Travelling Music Show at the Peoria Civic Center
  • Mac Powell and the Family Reunion at the Brown County Music Center in Nashville, Indiana

Television Shows ~ Top Choice: Doc Martin

Other shows that I enjoyed this year, in no particular order, were:

  • Shetland
  • Unforgotten
  • Line of Duty
  • The Resident
  • Poldark

Books ~ Top Choice: Work: It’s Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation by Dan Doriani

Other books that I’ve enjoyed, in order are:

  1. Maturity: Growing Up and Going On in the Christian Life – Sinclair Ferguson
  2. Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making – Andrew Peterson
  3. Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need – David Platt
  4. New Morning Mercies: A Gospel Devotional – Paul Tripp
  5. Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace – John Maxwell
  6. An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life – Jeff Haanen
  7. God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel: How Truth Overwhelms a Life Built on Lies – Costi Hinn
  8. Bet on Talent: How to Create a Remarkable Culture That Wins the Hearts of Customers – Dee Ann Turner
  9. For a Continuing Church: The Roots of the Presbyterian Church in America – Sean Lucas

Other books I enjoyed this year, in no particular order, were:

  • The New Man: Becoming a Man After God’s Heart – Dan Doriani
  • The Hand of God: Finding His Care in All Circumstances – Alistair Begg
  • Covert Cows and Chick-fil-A: How Faith, Cows, and Chicken Built an Iconic Brand – Steve Robinson
  • Why I Love the Apostle Paul: 30 Reasons – John Piper
  • The Color of Compromise – Jemar Tisby
  • Them – Ben Sass
  • A Company of Heroes: Portraits from the Gospel’s Global Advance by Tim Keesee
  • With All Due Respect – Nikki Haley
  • J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life – Paul Miller
  • The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus – Dan Darling


Best: Tim Challies’ Ala Carte. This is required reading for me each Monday through Saturday. Challies includes helpful Kindle deals, links to a good variety of helpful articles and a quote.  Check out Tim’s website here.


Best: The Briefing – Albert Mohler. Each weekend morning, Albert Mohler hosts a podcast providing worldview analysis about the leading news headlines and cultural conversations. This is required listening for me. Check out Dr. Mohler’s website here.


Top Choice: Sing! Getty Worship Music Conference

Honorable mention:
** Ligonier National Conference
** Gospel Coalition National Conference

New Resources

Top Choice: Romans 8 – Derek Thomas

Honorable mention:

Truth and Consequences – Albert Mohler

The Basics of Christianity – Sinclair Ferguson

These are my 2019 favorites in a variety of categories. How about you? What were some of your favorites?

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.

One thought on “MY 2019 FAVORITES

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