Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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Great Theology in the Gospel of John Chapter 10


I had the wonderful opportunity to study John 10-12 for a teaching opportunity at my church. This experience reminded me again of the difference between simply reading the Bible and studying the Bible, especially studying the Bible for the purpose of teaching it. In our daily reading of the Bible, we can miss such rich theology. That is why I appreciate what is called expository preaching (verse by verse through a book of the Bible), which is what my pastor does. In expository preaching, you pick up the theology and doctrines that are there in the text that you could easily overlook if you were preaching or listening to topical sermons, such as “5 Keys to a Great Marriage”.
Some of the doctrines you will encounter just in John 10 are:

  • Perseverance/preservation of the saints (eternal security)
  • Substitutionary atonement
  • Authority of Scripture
  • Limited atonement
  • Deity of Christ
  • Election

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

  • Destined for the Beauty of Diversity. Irwyn Ince writes “The sad truth is that many churches have not only been content with division and stratification across racial, ethnic, and economic lines, but have been complicit in fostering that division.”
  • What Do We Owe a President? Denny Burk writes “All of this means that we must offer support whenever a President pursues policies that promote righteousness and that oppose evil. And we should oppose him whenever he fails at the same.”
  • 9 Things You Should Know About President-Elect Joe Biden. Joe Carter shares what you should know about the man who it appears will be the 46th president of the United States.

  • God Is Enough for You and the Emptiness You Feel. In this two-minute video, Nancy Guthrie talks about how so often we see emptiness in our lives as our biggest problem. But when God looks at the empty place, He sees it as His greatest opportunity. This is especially applicable to the difficult year many of us have experienced.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More interesting article links
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Called to Lead. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace is now available in both a paperback and Kindle edition. Read a free sample (Introduction through Chapter 2).
  • How Can I Best Manage My Remote Team? Russ Gehrlein responds to a question about how to best manage a remote team during the COVID-19 pandemic. He writes “Let me share a few of my own experiences, several biblical principles that may be applicable, and some practical wisdom as you attempt to navigate these rough waters.”
  • Are You a Servant Leader and Didn’t Know It? Ken Blanchard writes “To me, servant leadership is the only way to guarantee great relationships and great results.”
  • Working Genius Livestream Event. In this video, Patrick Lencioni introduces his new “Six Types of Working Genius” model, which will help you find energy and joy in your work and your life.
  • Fuel for Work. In this video, Mark Greene discuss the workplace leader’s challenging dilemma in Acts 27.
  • How Can I Show Neighborly Love at Work? In responding to this question, Mary Wiley writes “I’ve often heard colleagues say they want to know they are appreciated; they want an adequate amount of help and collaboration with a team; they want to be celebrated when they do good work.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human by John Mark Comer
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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A Prayer for the Holidays During COVID-19

Our Father in Heaven,

As we approach the holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, we are still living in a worldwide pandemic that none of us gave any thought to a year ago at this time. 2020 has been a year of suffering. Many of us continue to work from home, and some have sadly lost their jobs, or seen their businesses close during this time.   Some of us have been very ill and lost loved ones.  Some of our children are doing their school work at home. We have been feeling lonely, isolated and depressed as we spend most of our time at home to stay safe. We are thankful that we have homes to take shelter in.  Some of us have not gone back to church, instead watching our services online, as we try to protect ourselves and our family. We miss our church family. Father, we long to be around family and friends this holiday season, but fear getting the virus. I admit, that as the COVID cases rise in my area, I’m increasingly concerned to be around family and friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I will rest in the wisdom that You give me, and in Your providence and sovereignty.
We are encouraged that there has been positive news about vaccines which we pray will soon be available to people around the world. Much more, we rejoice as we look forward to celebrating the first coming of Jesus, and at the same time so look forward to His second coming.
So many of us see some family members only at this time of the year. Some of these gatherings have already been cancelled or changed from what they were in past years. Zoom family gatherings do not satisfy, but still we are thankful for that option. We long to embrace our loved ones, but know that we shouldn’t, as we look to protect not only ourselves, but our loved ones as well. Oh Father, how long will this suffering go on? How long?
Help us to not be downcast as others are, but to grow in our love for You and Your son Jesus as we approach and live through this holiday season, one that will be so different than any that we’ve ever lived through. Help us to rest in You as our refuge and fortress and trust Your steadfast character.
Help us to remember to be thankful for the many blessings that You have given us. You have given us the greatest gift of all – Jesus – who suffered greatly, taking the punishment for us, and giving us His righteousness. It is a gift. The greatest gift. We have done nothing – we can do nothing – to deserve it.
Father, we don’t know what 2021 will bring, but we are comforted that You do, and that You are in control of everything, and that is enough. We live in a sinful world, but Jesus is the vaccine.  He died in our place so that we might live.  We will ultimately be cured and never have fear of illness and death again.
In Jesus wonderful name we pray,
Amen


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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

Live from the Forum MMXVIII – Eagles
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This new live album – it is available in multiple formats, including Blu-Ray video, digital, vinyl and audio CD, and was shown as a concert film on ESPN over the July 4 weekend – was filmed/recorded September 12, 14 and 15, 2018 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. My wife Tammy and I had seen the Eagles on the same tour just a few weeks earlier, on July 26, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The album is the first release to feature the new Eagles, with Vince Gill and Deacon Frey, replacing founding member Glenn Frey, who died in 2016. Gill and Frey join Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt as they perform classic Eagles songs, as well as Henley, Gill and Walsh solo hits – 26 songs.
From the first harmonies of the opener “Seven Bridges Road”, you’ll realize that this band, though formed 49 years ago (Henley is the only surviving founding member) is still at the top of their game. Deacon sings a few of his father’s songs (“Take it Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”), while Gill takes the lead on “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Take it to the Limit”).
If you enjoy the music of the Eagles, you’ll love this new live recording.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • A review of Still, Vol. 1 by Michael W. Smith
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Good News: The Gospel of Jesus Christ by John MacArthur. Reformation Trust Publishing. 143 pages. 2018
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In this book about Jesus Christ and the Gospel, from one of our most respected pastors and authors, John MacArthur tells us that a right understanding of Jesus Christ is essential to understanding many other vital truths, particularly the gospel and salvation. He tells us that there is no good news apart from Christ, and how we answer the question “Who is Jesus?” has significant and ultimately permanent consequences. The right answer alone can lead to salvation.
The author addresses that there are even those who identify themselves as evangelicals that teach that there is more than one way to get to Heaven. He tells us that today the word evangelical is so ambiguous that it doesn’t really mean anything. A high percentage (between 45 and 65 percent of so-called evangelical Christians), are convinced that Jesus is not the only way to heaven. He writes that a “radically abridged and ambiguous view” of the gospel has captivated the church today. But there is no “back door” to heaven. If we don’t know the true God and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we will suffer the fury of God. Jesus made it clear to people that they needed to repent and believe.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review and a review of Are People Basically Good? (Crucial Questions Book 25) by R.C. Sproul
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading


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When Life Goes Off the Rails: Do the Next Thing


We all go through those times in life when it seems like our lives are out of control, like a train that has gone off the rails. During those times it seems it’s all we can do to get through the day and do the very basics (eat, shower, sleep). We don’t really understand what is going on. Our lives are in turmoil, but around us, life goes on. Even in the midst of our suffering, others are experiencing joy.
Back on July 23, delayed by three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my Dad had a needed mitral-clip heart procedure to fix a badly leaking mitral valve, at one of the top heart hospitals in the country. Although the valve team was not able to completely repair the leak, they installed two clips and estimated that they had improved the situation 40-50%. He left the hospital in good health on July 26, and we had high hopes for a better quality of life for him and more years to enjoy him. But for reasons we won’t know until heaven, he never experienced any benefits from the procedure, quickly declined and died on September 3.
Shortly after Dad’s funeral, we got the news that we were going to be blessed with a new puppy, a puppy we had been working with several breeders to get since the beginning of the year. Our feelings were mixed. We were happy to bring Clara, a beautiful Alaskan Malamute pup into our home, but we were grieving the sudden loss of Dad and run down physically and exhausted emotionally. It had been more than fifteen years since our last puppy, and we had forgotten how much work a new puppy was, and we struggled with the basics of taking care of her after we picked her up September 16. Continue reading


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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

  • Lessons from the Puritans in Grieving the Loss of a Child. Nancy Guthrie shares three truths that Puritan pastors impressed on those grieving the loss of a child.
  • Breathe in the Happiness of Heaven. Randy Alcorn writes “Experiencing daily happiness in Christ isn’t wishful thinking. It’s based on solid facts: God secured our eternal happiness through the cross and resurrection. He dwells within us, and He intercedes for us. Nothing separates us from His love.”

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  • More interesting article links – good questions, thinking theologically, recommended resources
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Patrick Lencioni Interview. On this edition of the H3 Leadership Podcast, Brad Lomenick interviews Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, The Advantage, and several other excellent books.
  • Called to Lead. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace is now available in both a paperback and Kindle edition. Read a free sample (Introduction through Chapter 2).
  • How Do the Seven Army Values Align With Christian Values? Russ Gehrlein writes “The military culture is different from other workplaces.  However, there are many similarities as well.  Let me describe the importance of organizational values, paint a picture of the ones that are ingrained in those who work for the U.S. Army, and show how they support biblical values.”
  • Why We Get Up in the Morning Shouldn’t Differ from Sunday to Monday. Charlie Peacock reviews Steve Garber’s book The Seamless Life: A Tapestry of Love and Learning, Worship and Work, one of my favorites of 2020. He writes “If following Christ as a coworker in the new, unfolding reality is our true vocation, then everything and everyone matter. Living a seamless life tells your family, neighbors, and coworkers what you value. For Garber, it answers the question—incrementally, over time—of “why we get up in the morning.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of The Heart of a Leader: Insights on the Art of Influence by Ken Blanchard
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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