Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

2021 Mid-Year Favorites

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As I have for several years, I’m sharing some of my favorites in a variety of categories for the first half of 2021. As with 2020, this list will look a little different from previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as we have not been to any concerts or conferences, and we have seen very few films thus far this year.
Except for books, these are all items that were released in 2021. For books, I include my favorite books that I’ve read this year, regardless of when the book was originally published.
Enjoy, and please let me know what you think of my list, as well as what would be on your list.


Top Pick: The Courier

Music: Albums

Top Pick: Milk & Honey – Crowder

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

  • My Savior – Carrie Underwood
  • Leftover Feelings – John Hiatt and the Jerry Douglas Band
  • Departures – Jon Foreman
  • Clouds (The Mixtape) – NF
  • Sing! Global – Keith and Kristyn Getty and Friends
  • Freedom (EP) – Justin Bieber
  • Skin and Wind – Charlie Peacock
  • Latest Record Project, Vol. 1 – Van Morrison
  • Live From the Woods Vol. 2 – NEEDTOBREATHE
  • Evensong (Deluxe/An Evening at Hidden Trace Farm) – Keith and Kristyn Getty
  • January Flower – Mat Kearney

Music: Songs

Top Pick: Lovingkindness – Keith and Kristyn Getty, Matt Boswell, Matt Papa and Matt Redman

Other songs that I enjoyed, in no particular order, were:

  • Psalm 150 (Praise the Lord) – Keith and Kristyn Getty
  • Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight) – TobyMac
  • All the Lilacs in Ohio – John Hiatt and the Jerry Douglas Band
  • Freedom – Justin Bieber and BEAM
  • How Great Thou Art – Carrie Underwood
  • He Is – Crowder
  • Rebels – Slow Hand (Eric Clapton) and Van (Van Morrison)
  • Be Still My Soul/He Will Hold Me Fast – Keith and Kristyn Getty
  • Zoom In Zoom Out – Ringo Starr
  • Thank God for the Blues – Van Morrison


Top Pick: R.C. Sproul: A Life – Stephen Nichols

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

  • Hope in Times of Fear – Tim Keller
  • Crush Your Career – Dee Ann Turner
  • The Gospel According to Jesus – John MacArthur
  • The Characters of Easter – Daniel Darling
  • Journey to the Cross – Paul Tripp
  • Called to Create – Jordan Raynor
  • Knowing God and Ourselves – David Calhoun
  • Brave by Faith – Alistair Begg
  • Searching for Grace – Scotty Smith and Russ Masterson
  • Faithful Leaders – Rico Tice


Top Choice: Tim Challies’ Ala Carte

This is required reading for me each Monday through Saturday morning. Challies includes helpful Kindle deals, links to a wide variety of helpful articles and quote using SquareQuotes (that he encourages you to share). Check out Tim’s site and subscribe here.


Top Pick: Albert Mohler’s The Briefing

This is required listening for me each weekday morning. Mohler hosts a fast-moving podcast featuring worldview analysis about leading news headlines and cultural conversations. The podcast runs about 25 minutes and is usually posted by 5:00 am. Check out Dr. Mohler’s website and subscribe here.


Top Pick: Ligonier Ministries

Other apps that I enjoyed, in no particular order, were:

  • Albert Mohler
  • Desiring God
  • Ref Net

Television Shows:

Top Pick: Tucker Carlson Tonight

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

  • All Creatures Great and Small
  • Endeavour


As a result of COVID-19, we did not get to the Ligonier National Conference or the Gospel Coalition National Conference as planned. We were able to watch the main sessions from the Ligonier National Conference via live stream. You can watch those sessions here.
We are looking forward to attending the Getty Worship Conference Sing! Global 21 in Nashville September 13-15. You can register to attend the in-person event or the live stream here.


Again, as a result of COVID-19, we have not seen any concerts thus far in 2021. We are looking forward to the long delayed (rescheduled four times for various reasons) Toby Mac concert in Peoria on November 13. Here is a link to the event.

These are some of my 2021 favorites at mid-year 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.

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