Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

2021 Favorites

1 Comment

As I have for several years, I’m sharing some of my personal favorites in a variety of categories for the year of 2021. As with 2020, this list will look a little different from previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as we have been to only one concert and one conference, and we saw very few films 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: No Time to Die. Read my review here.

The remainder of my top 5 films were:

  1. American Underdog
  2. S. Lewis: The Reluctant Convert
  3. West Side Story
  4. In the Heights

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More favorite Music, Books, Blogs, Podcasts, Apps, Television, Conferences and Concerts.

Music: Albums

Top Pick: Almost Home: The Hymns of Matt Boswell and Matt Papa. Read my review here.

The remainder of my top 10 albums were:

  1. Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Vol. 1 – Shane and Shane
  2. Milk & Honey – Crowder
  3. Confessio: Irish American Roots – Keith & Kristyn Getty
  4. Let it Be Super Deluxe – The Beatles
  5. Into the Mystery – NEEDTOBREATHE
  6. Canyon – Ellie Holcomb
  7. New Creation – Mac Powell
  8. My Savior – Carrie Underwood
  9. Leftover Feelings – John Hiatt and the Jerry Douglas Band

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

  • Departures – Jon Foreman
  • Clouds (The Mixtape) – NF
  • January Flower Deluxe Edition – Mat Kearney
  • Sing! Global Deluxe – Keith and Kristyn Getty and Friends
  • Freedom (EP) – Justin Bieber
  • Skin and Wind – Charlie Peacock
  • Live From the Woods Vol. 2 – NEEDTOBREATHE
  • Stomping Ground – Dion
  • Never Land II – Andy Mineo

Music: Songs

Top Pick: Psalm 150 (Praise the Lord) – Matt Boswell and Matt Papa. Listen to the song here.

The remainder of my top 10 songs were:

  1. Pass the Promise – Keith & Kristyn Getty and Sandra McCracken
  2. Brightest and Best – Keith & Kristyn Getty and Ricky Skaggs
  3. Almost Home – Matt Boswell and Matt Papa
  4. Psalm 90 (Satisfy Us With Your Love) – Shane and Shane
  5. Be Still My Soul/He Will Hold Me Fast – Keith & Kristyn Getty
  6. I Don’t Want to Miss It – Ellie Holcomb
  7. He Is – Crowder
  8. Brand New Day – Ellie Holcomb
  9. Psalm 42 (Loudest Praise) – Shane and Shane

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

  • Carry Me – NEEDTOBREATHE featuring Jon Foreman
  • River of Life – Mac Powell
  • Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight) – TobyMac
  • Mississippi Phone Booth – John Hiatt and the Jerry Douglas Band
  • How Great Thou Art – Carrie Underwood
  • Zoom In Zoom Out – Ringo Starr
  • Thank God for the Blues – Van Morrison


Top Pick: R.C. Sproul: A Life – Stephen Nichols. Read my review here.

The remainder of my top 10 books were:

  1. The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present – Paul McCartney
  2. Fault Lines – Voddie Baucham
  3. The God of the Garden – Andrew Peterson
  4. Knowing God and Ourselves – David Calhoun
  5. In the Lord I Take Refuge – Dane Ortlund
  6. Work and Worship – byMatthew Kaemingk and Cory B Willson
  7. Work That Makes a Difference – Daniel Doriani
  8. Hope in Times of Fear – Tim Keller
  9. The Dawn of Redeeming Grace – Sinclair Ferguson

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

  • Crush Your Career – Dee Ann Turner
  • The Gospel According to Jesus – John MacArthur
  • Journey to the Cross – Paul Tripp
  • Called to Create – Jordan Raynor
  • Brave by Faith – Alistair Begg
  • Searching for Grace – Scotty Smith and Russ Masterson
  • Redeeming Your Time – Jordan Raynor
  • When Prayer is a Struggle – Kevin Halloran
  • The Characters of Easter – Daniel Darling
  • Deeper – Dane Ortlund
  • The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness
  • Make Work Matter – Michaela O’Donnell


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 5:00am. Check out Dr. Mohler’s website and subscribe here.

Special Mention:

  • The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill – Mike Cosper. This should be required listening for all leaders, not only church leaders. You can listen to the podcast here.


Top Pick: Ligonier Ministries


Top Pick: The Beatles Get Back. Here’s my review.

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

  • Tucker Carlson Tonight
  • Ted Lasso
  • Yellowstone
  • Shetland
  • McCartney 3,2,1
  • Manhunt
  • All Creatures Great and Small
  • Endeavour


Top Pick: Sing! Getty Music Worship Conference in Nashville

As a result of COVID-19, we again 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.


Top Pick: TobyMac and Cochran and Co. in Peoria

These are a few of my 2021 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 “2021 Favorites

  1. I could watch all the reruns of All Creature…waiting for future Sunday nights. 2022 blessings to you and TAMMY, Pat

Leave a Reply