Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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


  • More Precious Than Praise and Possessions. Praise and possessions — those are two dominant idols of our age. The desire for self-glory and the desire for material wealth. So, what is the Christian’s relationship to the praise of the world and to the possessions of the world? John Piper explained in a helpful sermon on Mark 8: 31-38 at the 2019 Gospel Coalition National Conference in Indianapolis. Listen to the sermon on this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast.
  • Broken to Comfort the Broken: How Quadriplegia Prepared Me to Carry Others. Joni Eareckson Tada writes “Whether you’ve struggled through a broken ankle, home, or neck, you may not sit on the sidelines, resting on the comfort God once imparted when you were at your lowest. You have received God’s consolations, and as such, more is expected of you. Your next go-round with affliction will be God’s tap on your shoulder to find those who are hurting more than you, so that you can enable them to deal with their Help make them brave.”
  • Before Your Suffering Comes: Five Rocks to Put Beneath Your Feet. In this lengthy article, John Piper writes “My aim has been to encourage you in your calling to help people suffer with faith in Christ, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of God. My main point has been that there are at least five foundation stones that we can put under the feet of our people before the wave of suffering breaks over their heads.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

    • More interesting article links
    • Cartoon of the Week
    • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Mincaye Is Now with Jesus. Randy Alcorn writes “On April 28, Mincaye, the former warrior who in 1956 speared to death Nate Saint and Ed McCully, two of the five missionary martyrs in Ecuador, passed from this life to the next.A member of the once fierce Huaorani tribeMincaye had come to Christ, and was a transformed man, a delightful brother who was a joy to be with.”
  • More Than an Idle Threat: Real Assaults on Religious Liberty Emerge in the Pandemic. Albert Mohler writes “Government should never be in the position to derail any religious ministry and deem it nonessential. That is, on its face, completely unconstitutional.”
  • Is It a Sin to Fear COVID-19? John MacArthur recently sat down with Phil Johnson to discuss what God’s Word says about the strange times we are living in.
  • Tim Keller: Hope in Times of Fear. In this special livestream, part of Gospel in Life’s Questioning Christianity series, Tim Keller talks about how the Christian belief in Jesus’s resurrection can serve—and has served—as a resource of hope for people in times of crisis, and the various ways belief in the resurrection functions in someone’s life when they face crises and death.
  • Trusting God in Difficult Times. Enjoy this meditation from Tim Keller in his series “Trusting God in Difficult Times.” This new series is meant to encourage you to trust God more deeply and to meditate on his word and what it promises, to give you strength and hope in difficult times. After the meditation, Tim is joined by Kathy Keller for a short Q&A.
  • The Call to Mastery: Tim Keller. On this episode of The Call to Mastery podcast, Jordan Raynor sits down with Tim Keller to talk about how the church should respond to COVID-19, which of his books he hoped would reach a wider audience, and how creatives like Lecrae and C.S. Lewis have made art that points to God’s “Master Narrative” for the world.
  • When You’re “Losing It” At Home During Quarantine. Scott Sauls writes “Family life can test the limits of our patience. On any typical stay-at-home day, spouses can feel like they’ve seen enough of each other, and younger kids especially like to test the waters and push our buttons. Add a pandemic that keeps families home all day every day, and button-pushing gets taken to a whole new level.

  • What is the Prayer of Faith? Sinclair Ferguson writes “This, then, is the prayer of faith: to ask God to accomplish what He has promised in His Word. That promise is the only ground for our confidence in asking. Such confidence is not “worked up” from within our emotional life; rather, it is given and supported by what God has said in Scripture.
  • What is a Benediction? Many worship services conclude with the pastor announcing the blessing of God upon the congregation as they part from the corporate gathering. In this brief video clip from his teaching series Blessing and Praise: Benedictions &Doxologies in Scripture, B. Charles Jr. shares examples of these benedictions from Scripture. Just a reminder, all Ligonier teaching series are free to stream through at least June 30.
  • What Makes It Possible for the Christian to Rejoice in the Midst of Pain and Anxiety?  R.C. Sproul writes “We are not stoics who are called to keep a stiff upper lip out of some nebulous concept of fate; rather, we are those who are to rejoice because Christ has overcome the world. It is that truth and that certainty that gives relief to all of our anxieties.”
  • Which of the Bible’s Teachings Do You Find Most Difficult to Accept? Sometimes the truth is difficult to accept because it opposes our natural inclinations or cultural preferences. From one of Ligonier’s live events, R.C.Sproul and Derek Thomas discuss two doctrines that people in the 21st century sometimes struggle to embrace.
  • What Principles of Interpretation Can Help Me Read the Bible? The Bible shows us how to read its pages by interpreting numerous passages for us. From one of the Ask Ligonier events, Burk Parsons recommends some tools that can help us interpret God’s Word as God intended.
  • Can Sound Theology Become an Idol in My Life? If our theology causes us to be puffed up with pride, something is seriously lacking in our knowledge of God. From one of Ligonier’s live events, R.C.Sproul and Derek Thomas warn of humanity’s sinful tendency to turn everything—even doctrine—into an idol.
  • Does Prayer Change God’s Mind?  R.C. Sproul writes “All that God does is for His glory first and for our benefit second. We pray because God commands us to pray, because it glorifies Him, and because it benefits us.”
  • How Could Jesus Not Know the Day or Hour of His Return? In this six-minute video, Albert Mohler and Bryan Chapell discuss how and why Jesus could not know the day and hour of his return.
  • Is the Calvinist-Arminian Debate Really Important? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Is this whole debate time-bound? And even within time, I find myself more and more asking, What is the real-life fallout? Is the practical and spiritual value of Calvinism for this life significantly better? If so, how?”

  • No Other Gospel: Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Recently, I enjoyed listening to Derek Thomas’ new teaching series No Other Gospel: Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. You can stream the entire series free from Ligonier through at least June 30.
  • Faith Driven Athlete. Check out the new website “Faith Driven Athlete”, “where faith and sports collide in authentic stories told by athletes, coaches and sports fans.”
  • New Digital Version of the Reformation Study Bible. The new edition features (badly needed) streamlined navigation between passages and notes, high-quality maps embedded directly in the text, and pop-up windows that bring study notes and references right to you.

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • Not only do all the circumstances of my life not take God by surprise, but he actually employees them for my blessing. Sinclair Ferguson
  • Everything in this world is changing. Society is changing. Culture is changing. Values are changing. But the word of God never changes. Truth endures. Steven Lawson
  • This is the amazing part of grace, that it is given to us when we are spiritually dead. R.C. Sproul
  • Jesus will always exceed our expectations. He will be more than what we can ask for or even imagine every time. Tim Keller
  • In all that we do, the pursuit and promotion of the glory of God must be our all-consuming passion. Steven Lawson
  • God intends the Christian life to be a life of joy—not drudgery. The idea that holiness is associated with a dour disposition is a caricature of the worst sort. In fact, just the opposite is true. Only those who walk in holiness experience true joy. Jerry Bridges
  • We possess neither the ability, free will, power, nor the righteousness to repair ourselves and escape the wrath of God. It must all be God’s work, Christ’s work, or there is no salvation. Michael Horton
  • The intensity of our irritation reveals the depth of our idolatry. Scotty Smith
  • Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God. William Carey

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.

3 thoughts on “THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoon, & Quotes

  1. I think it was also William Carey who when asked about the secret of his success, replied “I can plod”! Thanks for the post 🙂

    • Hi Robert. I like this one as well – “I’m not afraid of failure; I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”

  2. That’s a good one too!

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