Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • How to Go Beyond the Business Suit as a Young Female Professional with Kailei Carr. On this episode of the Crush Your Career podcast, Dee Ann Turner sits down with Kailei Carr to discuss what it means to show up as your best self professionally.
  • Jim Talent Part 2: Exercising Our Democratic Authority. On this episode of the Working with Dan Doriani podcast, we hear the second segment of a two-part interview with former Senator Jim Talent. Senator Talent and Dr. Doriani talk more broadly about the American political system, the role of citizens in a democracy, and what Christians ought to expect from their elected representatives.
  • The 5 Lies of Corporate Culture with Ginger Hardage, Part 1. Creating and maintaining corporate culture can sometimes feel intangible or insignificant, but healthy organizational culture doesn’t just boost team morale, it can drive bottom-line results. On this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Stanley and Ginger Hardage discuss some misconceptions that stand in the way of healthy corporate cultures.
  • Called to Lead. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace is available in both a paperback and Kindle edition. Read a free sample (Introduction through Chapter 2).

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  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of The Five Temptations of a CEO, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
  • Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson

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Prior Preparation Prevents P*** Poor Performance


I believe the sentiment behind that helpful but crass phrase is true. As I wrote in my book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace, an incident took place early in my career at a Fortune 50 organization that taught me to make preparation one of my core values. Our staff was to meet with a few new mid-level managers to give them an overview of our department, with each supervisor covering information about their specific area of responsibility. As I recall, we pretty much all just “winged it”, and it showed. It embarrassed our leader, and he really let us have it afterwards (which we deserved). I learned from that incident to try my best never to “wing it” on anything that was important in the future.
A definition of preparation that I like is “The action or process of making ready or being made ready”. I want to “be ready” for what I have to do in order to best use the gifts that God has given me.
The Bible has much to say about preparation. Here are just a few verses to speak of being prepared in different contexts: Continue reading


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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

Leftover Feelings – John Hiatt with the Jerry Douglas Band
****

I’m been a fan of the now 68-year-old singer-songwriter John Hiatt’s music since his 1987 album Bring the Family. Leftover Feelings is his follow-up to 2018’s The Eclipse Sessions. The new album, one of my favorites of 2021, is a collaboration with the Jerry Douglas Band. It was produced by Douglas and recorded at the historic RCA Studio B in Nashville. Hiatt is joined by multi-instrumentalist Douglas (dobro, lap steel guitar, etc.), Daniel Kimbro on bass, Mike Seal on guitar, Christian Sedelmeyer on violin and Carmela Ramsey on vocals. They chose to record without drums to keep expressive Hiatt’s voice and lyrics in the spotlight. The album features a bluegrass and country rock sound and features a number of Hiatt’s story songs along with a few introspective songs.

Here are a few brief comments about each song:

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  • More of this review and a review of
    • Fogerty’s Factory (Expanded Edition) by John Fogerty
  • Song of the Week Lyrics ~ I Wanna Remember by NEEDTOBREATHE, featuring Carrie Underwood

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

What is the Gospel? (Crucial Questions) by R.C. Sproul. Reformation Trust Publishing. 109 pages. 2020. 
****

In this new book in R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions series (all of which are free in the Kindle edition), he looks at the important issue of the gospel. We often talk about the gospel, but if asked, would we be able to tell someone just what the gospel is? The gospel isn’t our personal testimony, for example.
Sproul indicates that there is perhaps no more important question for us to answer than what the gospel is, because the answer we give will help to determine our eternal destiny. The gospel tells us how we can be saved from our sin. It is therefore crucial that we search the Scriptures carefully in order to clearly articulate what God tells us about how we may be saved.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEW ~ More of this review…
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ Providence by John Piper I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading


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Retirement is a Time to Focus on Others

Recently, a friend that we hadn’t seen for a while asked my wife Tammy how I was staying busy in retirement. That’s not an unusual question. Some people are almost afraid of retiring because they think they will be bored. Others can’t wait to retire so that they can travel, play golf, spend time with their grandchildren, etc.
I’ve been retired just over three years now, and while we have done some travelling (the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns made that difficult for all of us for over a year), we’ve played very little golf. We both enjoy writing (the Coram Deo Blog and Tammy and I have each written a book), reading and spending time with our new dog Clara. I’ve continued to do some mentoring and participate in our ongoing breakfast book club. But we have found an unexpected benefit for this season of retirement. Retirement has given us time to focus on friends and family in a way that we simply couldn’t have if we were still working. Continue reading


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Tammy’s New Book ~ Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold

My wife just published a book about How to Study the Bible and trace the one big storyline of the bible from beginning to end. It is available on Amazon for $9.99 in a Kindle or Paperback version. She would recommend purchasing the Kindle version, because it includes so many links to great websites and resources. Here’s the Amazon description of the book:

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, but the result is something beautiful that you can use, display or give to others for warmth and comfort. Hopefully this book is an accessible resource – somewhere between Sunday school and a seminary level of education. I hope orderly systematic folks as well as free spirits can use this tool since we desire both form and function as well as beauty. Wouldn’t it be great if along our own Emmaus road we said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?” Luke 24:32

Our Main Book Divisions will be COMPREHENSION, INTERPRETATION, APPLICATION and then SHARING. We will work from the text to understand what the original author intended the original audience to know, and travel from there through the cross of Christ before we apply the text to ourselves.

So, from your Head (Comprehension) to your Heart (Interpretation) to your Hands (Application and Sharing) let’s start our journey. Let’s learn how to study the Bible together, and pray that our hearts and minds will be transformed by our glimpses at our Almighty God as He has revealed Himself to us in His Word. Hopefully this book can be used to help equip all of us to Study, Savor and Share the Scripture.

 


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THIS & THAT: A Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

  • 4 Ways Not to Be a Jerk Online. Matt Smethurst shares four ways to be a faithful Christian online.
  • Rest in God’s Faithfulness, Not Yours. Paul Tripp writes “He can be trusted even when you cannot. He will be faithful and good even when you’re not. He will do what is right and best even when you don’t. And he is faithful to forgive you when convicting grace reveals how unfaithful you have been.”
  • Your Neighbor is Not a Virus. Daniel Darling writes “So as we venture back into what we think will be normalcy, as we slowly pull back our masks, as we move a little closer to our friends, as we once again engage in the healthy habits of human life, let’s try to see others, not as potential risks to our physical and spiritual health, but as people crafted in the image of the Almighty.”
  • Every Other Hope Will Disappoint. Paul Tripp writes “From the smallest concerns to the grandest ones, our lives are shaped, directed, motivated, and frustrated by hope.”

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  • 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

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith Jr.
  • Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson

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Living with Purpose in the Time We Have Left


Recently, during our Friday morning breakfast Book Club, a few friends and I got to talking about how much time we have left to make a difference with our lives.  Our ages range from the late 50’s to mid 60’s. We wondered what the average life expectancy for a male was, and we were sobered to find out that in the U.S. it is 76.1 years.
Similarly, a woman in our small group who had recently retired wondered about what she should be doing with her time to live with purpose for God. For women, the life expectancy n the U.S. is 81.1 years. These are averages of course. None of us know how much more time we have, and we know that not one more minute is guaranteed to us.
Several years ago, when my wife Tammy was volunteering at a soup kitchen, a much older friend told her that it seems that time moves much more quickly the older we get. That certainly seems to be the case with me. One morning, I had a wonderful time at breakfast with my Dad. But when I ordered off of the “Senior Menu”, he was taken aback. His son ordering off of the “Senior Menu”? Where had the time gone? Continue reading


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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

Music Reviews

Departures – Jon Forman
****This is the first solo album for the multi-talented leader of Switchfoot, after releasing multiple EPs, the latest being 2015’s four EP collection The Wonderlands. The album features 12 new songs all of which were written or co-written by Foreman. He also produced or co-produced each song. The mostly acoustic songs feature excellent musicianship, and I particularly liked his use of strings.
Foreman has said that this is an album “born out of the turmoil and desperation of the last year, (and this year, too). It’s an album that’s born from the journey, not the destination.” This is an excellent album with themes such as doubt, fears, lessons learned, thanksgiving, love, loss, and those things that really matter. I’ve always enjoyed Foreman’s solo work, and feel that this is his strongest release to date.
Below are a few comments about each song:

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  • More of this review and a review of Evensong (Deluxe/An Evening at Hidden Trace Farm) by Keith and Kristyn Getty
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

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