Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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Talking to GOATs: The Moments You Remember and the Stories You Never Heard by Jim Gray. William Morrow. 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Jim Gray as he looks back on his four decades of sports reporting. The “Foreword” is written by his good friend, Tom Brady, one of the GOATS (Greatest Of All Time) that he writes about in this entertaining book.
Gray begins by writing about interviewing boxer Mike Tyson after he bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear. Among the others that he writes about are Muhammed Ali, Bill Walton, of whom he writes that there is no better friend, Jerry West, John Madden and Hank Aaron. He writes at length about an interview with Pete Rose which he was forced to apologize for. He writes that what Rose did was damaging to Gray, and the ramifications of that moment have reverberated ever since.
He writes about Bud Selig and the steroids era in major league baseball, Tiger Woods, Don Shula, Michael Phelps, Floyd Mayweather, the “Dream Team”, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest and the “Malice at the Palace”, Mike Ditka, and LeBron James and “The Decision”.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review…
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ Providence by John Piper

Although most of the GOATS he writes about are athletes, not all are. He writes of George W. Bush exuding courage and strength as he threw out the first pitch at a game at Yankee Stadium after the September 11, 2001 tragedy. He writes about interviewing Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Nelson Mandela, the latter of whom he writes stands in a class all his own. He writes of playing backgammon with Lucille Ball and having trouble expressing his appreciation to Carol Burnett when meeting her.
My favorite chapter of the book was about his family, specifically his father. Having lost my father just two years ago, I was touched with the two-plus decade tradition that Gray had with his father at the Masters golf tournament, which brought he and his father closer in ways they could never have imagined.
I highly recommend this book (which does include some adult language sprinkled throughout), to all sports fans.

  • Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold. My wife Tammy has published a book about HOW to study the Bible. The book is available on Amazon in both a Kindle and paperback edition. She writes “Maybe you’ve read the Bible but want to dig deeper and know God and know yourself better. Throughout the book I use the analogy of making a quilt to show how the Bible is telling one big story about what God is doing in the world through Christ. Quilting takes much patience and precision, just like studying the Bible, but the end result is well worth it.”
  • The Pilgrim’s Progress: A Reader’s Guide to a Christian Classic. Derek Thomas writes “Many, like C.H. Spurgeon, may boast of having read Pilgrim’s Progress many times, but what might a first-time reader expect?”

BOOK CLUB – Won’t you read along with us?

Providence by John Piper

The providence of God is his purposeful sovereignty by which he will be completely successful in the achievement of his ultimate goal for the universe. God’s providence carries his plans into action, guides all things toward his ultimate goal, and leads to the final consummation.
John Piper draws on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry to lead readers on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence—from Genesis to Revelation—to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history.
Exploring the goal, nature, and extent of God’s purposes for the world, Piper offers an invitation to know the God who holds all things in his hands yet remains intimately involved in the lives of his people.
You can download the PDF of the book free from Desiring God.
Watch this six-minute video as John Piper talks about the book, and this interview with Dr. Joe Rigney of Bethlehem College & Seminary.
This week we look at Chapter 32: Though He Causes Grief, He Will Have Compassion. Here are a few quotes from the chapter:

  • The Bible teaches that God absolutely is not evil, and never does evil. And the Bible teaches that God sees to it that evils happen
  • God’s providence governs good and evil, whether they are thought of as events of prosperity and disaster or as human decisions of moral good and moral evil.
  • God holds sway in what happens in this world, both good and evil. And he does so without becoming evil.
  • Thousands of saints have witnessed that the Lord not only remains our portion in the worst of times, but becomes most real during the worst of times.

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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