Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS


Letters to a Future Champion: My Time with Mr. Pulver by Dottie Pepper. Mission Point. 195 pages. 2021
****

Letters to a Future Champion is really a unique book. It is written by Dottie Pepper, a 17-time winner on the LPGA Tour, two-time major champion, and current lead CBS golf reporter. The book tells the story of her being mentored by George Pulver Sr., a golfer, course designer and advocate for the game throughout the Northeast. The book demonstrates the powerful impact a mentor can have on the skills/job and life of the mentee.

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review and a review of Get Up, Baby! My Seven Decades with the St. Louis Cardinals by Mike Shannon with Rick Hummel
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ Providence by John Piper
I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS


A Sheep Remembers by David B. Calhoun. Banner of Truth. 200 pages. 2021
****

Ligon Duncan writes a warm Preface for this wonderful devotionally written book by one of my favorite professors at Covenant Seminary, where he taught for 30 years. I had two church history classes with him early in my time at Covenant, and he was also the speaker at our church years ago for a men’s breakfast. Duncan writes that the Lord called Dr. Calhoun home just as this book had been safely delivered to the publisher.
Calhoun, who describes himself as a preacher and teacher, tells us that the twenty-third Psalm is probably the best known of all the chapters of the Bible and among the most memorable words ever written in any language. In this book he tries to explain the words of Psalm 23 as David meant them, but also in the fuller light of the New Testament, a light that the psalmist partially saw. Psalm 23 is about the Lord Jesus Christ.

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review…
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ Providence by John Piper
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$.99 Kindle SALE ~ Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold

Put your feet up, get under a warm quilt and learn How to Study the Bible and trace the one big storyline of the bible from beginning to end.  My wife’s book  is available on Amazon for $.99 in the Kindle version, which includes many links to great websites and resources. It’s on sale from 6 a.m. January 9 to midnight January 15.  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 Continue reading


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Book Reviews

Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God by Tim Challies. Zondervan. 215 pages. 2022
****

On November 3, 2020, Nick Challies, 20-year-old son of Tim and Aileen, collapsed while playing a game in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was going to Boyce College and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was going to be a pastor, and was engaged to be married. Sadly, he could not be revived.
Flying to Louisville from Canada, Tim began to write through his seasons of sorrow. In this book, he traces his journey through four seasons, beginning in the fall and advancing through winter, spring, and summer. The book of short reflections by a father who lost his only son, ends exactly one year after it began, on the first anniversary of the death of Nick.

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review and a review of Up and Down: Victories and Struggles in the Course of Life by Bubba Watson with Don Yaeger
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ Providence by John Piper
I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading


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10 Devotional Reading Resources for 2023

There are a number of excellent devotional resources to complement your daily Bible reading. Here are several, in no particular order, that I have used, or will use in 2023 in the case of Alistair Begg’s latest devotional book: Continue reading


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Coach K: The Rise and Reign of Mike Krzyzewski by Ian O’Connor. Mariner Books. 384 pages. 2022  
****

This book by Ian O’Connor (I had previously read his book The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter), looks at the life and career of former Duke Men’s basketball coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski from his growing up in Chicago through the announcement of his retirement before his 42nd and final season (2021-22). Although Krzyzewski did not agree to be interviewed for the project, he also did not discourage those closest to him from speaking with the author for this well researched book. Overall, I felt that the book was a balanced look at Krzyzewski, who I have always appreciated for his success while running a clean program.
Krzyzewski was born on February 13, 1947 on the north side of Chicago. He enrolled at Archbishop Weber, an all-boys high school. Known as “Mickey”, he made the Weber varsity basketball team as a sophomore despite showing up for the first practice with a cast on a wrist that he broke playing touch football. He would twice be the leading scorer in Chicago’s Catholic League, before going to West Point to play for Bob Knight. The long and complicated relationship between Knight and Krzyzewski is a major theme in the book.

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ 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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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Lessons from the Upper Room: The Heart of the Savior by Sinclair Ferguson. Ligonier Ministries. 237 pages. 2021
****

In this book, respected theologian Sinclair Ferguson, in his distinctive warm writing style, takes us through chapters 13 through 17 of John’s gospel, John’s description of events in the upper room on the evening before Jesus’ crucifixion. In five chapters, 155 verses, and less than four thousand words we are given what the Puritan writer Thomas Goodwin called “a window into Christ’s heart.” Ferguson tells us that in some ways, chapters 13–17 are a gospel within the gospel; in fact, they reflect the shape of the whole.
I had previously benefitted from Ferguson’s twelve message teaching series Lessons from the Upper Room that was released by Ligonier Ministries in 2014. This book contains significantly more content than the original teaching series, though Ferguson tells us that the book is by no means a complete exposition of John 13–17.
Ferguson invites us to climb the stairs leading to an upper room on a house in Jerusalem. Here we can eavesdrop on what transpired during the late afternoon and evening of the day before the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. He tells us that thirteen men have come together for a Passover meal. One will leave early on a mission of betrayal. The remaining twelve will later make their way to the garden of Gethsemane. From there they will be scattered. One will be taken by force on a nightmare journey. By this time tomorrow, Friday, the lifeless body of Jesus of Nazareth will be carried to a garden tomb.  But this is not the end, just the end of the beginning. For early on Sunday morning, He will rise again from the dead. He now lives forever as a Prince and Savior.

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review…
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ Providence by John Piper
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11 New and Upcoming Books You May Be Interested In

I love to read books in a variety of genres – leadership, professional growth, biography, sports, theology, Christian living, etc. Here are 11 new and upcoming books that you might be interested in:

The 6 Types of Working Genius: A Better Way to Understand Your Gifts, Your Frustrations, and Your Team by Patrick Lencioni  

Here is the Amazon description:

New York Times best-selling author Patrick Lencioni unveils a truly groundbreaking new model that will change the way we think about work and teams forever.
The 6 Types of Working Genius is the fastest way to help people identify the type of work that brings them joy and energy and avoid work that leads to frustration and burnout.
Beyond the personal discovery and instant relief that Working Genius provides, the model also gives teams a remarkably simple and practical framework for tapping into one another’s natural gifts, which increases productivity and reduces unnecessary judgment.
In classic Lencioni fashion, Pat brings his model to life in a page-turning fable that is as relatable as it is compelling. He tells the story of Bull Brooks, an entrepreneur, husband, and father who sets out to solve his own frustration at work and stumbles into a new way of thinking that changes the way he sees his work, his team, and even his marriage.

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More New and Upcoming Books in Various Genres Continue reading


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS


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”.

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ 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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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

R.C. Sproul: Defender of the Reformed Faith by Nate Pickowicz. H&E Publishing. 140 pages. 2022 
****

In this warmly written and concise biography of R.C. Sproul, pastor and author Nate Pickowicz shares an appreciation that many of us have for the life and ministry of R.C. Sproul, who went home to be with the Lord in December, 2017. He writes that Sproul’s five decades of ministry loosely reflected the five solas of the Reformation.
The author focuses primarily on Sproul’s public ministry, quoting liberally from Sproul’s books and on his defense of the faith. Each chapter begins with a quote from Sproul.
The author’s fast-moving biography tells us that Sproul knew at 13 years of age that he would marry Vesta Voorhis. They would marry in 1960. He writes of Sproul’s father’s multiple strokes and death, telling us that it would be his father’s suffering that would drive him into the arms of the Suffering Savior, writing about his conversion in his dormitory room in 1957.

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review…
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ Providence by John Piper
I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading