Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoon, & Quotes

  • Coronavirus and Christ. Here are some resources on the Coronavirus from John Piper and Desiring God.
  • 4 Principles to Remember When Talking to Your Children about Coronavirus. Brad Hambrick offers these helpful thoughts on how to talk to your children about the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Coronavirus is a Result of the Fall. Kevin DeYoung writes “The coronavirus is a natural evil, under God’s providential control to be sure, but whose existence is the result of original sin. The root of all human pain and suffering in the world is the rebellion of our first parents—a rebellion that Christ conquered on the cross and will one day wipe away, along with all its sad and sinister effects.”
  • God Doesn’t Want Us to Sacrifice the Old. Russell Moore writes “This pandemic will change us, change our economy, our culture, our priorities, our personal lives. That we cannot avoid. But let’s remember: One day we will tell our grandchildren how we lived, how we loved, during the Great Pandemic. Let’s respect human life in such a way that we will not be ashamed to tell them the truth.”
  • Peace in a Pandemic. Listen to this sermon from David Platt from Proverbs 12:25 and Matthew 6:25-34.

Things to Do While Forced to Stay at Home

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoon, & Quotes

  • Trip Lee on Faith and Healing. On this episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast, Trip Lee encourages Christians to be faithful in their efforts at evangelism and gospel proclamation, in a message that was delivered at the 2019 Gospel Coalition National Conference.
  • Kick the Bucket List. J.D. Greear writes “What legacy are you leaving? For what kingdom are you leveraging your resources? Do you live as if you believe eternity is real and imminent? Are you teaching your kids to do the same?”
  • Are We Living Out Romans 1: Blessing and Curse in a Post-Obergefell World. Rosaria Butterfield writes “In a post-Obergefell world, any debate over homosexuality is never a debate simply over homosexuality. The issue is the infallibility, inerrancy, and sufficiency of Scripture.”
  • Clinging to God in Grief. In this episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast, Danielle Anderson, Nancy Guthrie, and Vaneetha Risner share their experiences with grief, and the grace they’ve discovered along the way.

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Book ReviewsPraying the Bible by Donald Whitney. Crossway. 114 pages. 2015
****

In this short book, the author, a respected seminary professor, writes that Christians often don’t pray simply because they do not feel like it. And he states that the reason they don’t feel like praying is that when they do pray, they tend to say the same old things about the same old things. He tells us that the problem is not us, but our method of prayer. The method of most Christians in prayer is to say the same old things about the same old things. Prayers without variety eventually become words without meaning. He writes that it’s normal to pray about the same old things because our lives tend to consist of the same old things. His solution to this problem is that when we pray, we should pray through a passage of Scripture, particularly a Psalm. He states that God gave the Psalms to us so that we would give the Psalms back to God, and that no other book of the Bible was inspired for that expressed purpose.
He suggests that we pick a Psalm (he provides us a method for determining which psalm to choose each day when he discusses “Psalms of the Day”), and simply go through the passage line by line, talking to God about whatever comes to mind as we read the text. By following this method, we will never run out of anything to say, and, best of all, we will never again say the same old things about the same old things. What we will be doing is taking words that originated in the heart and mind of God and circulating them through our heart and mind back to God. The author tells us that by this means God’s words become the wings of our prayers. When we pray through a passage of Scripture, we won’t be praying empty, repetitive phrases. If we pray in this way, in the long run our prayers will be far more biblical than if we just make up our own prayers. Without the Scripture to shape our prayers, we are far more likely to pray in unbiblical ways than if we pray the thoughts that occur to us as we read the Scripture.

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review and reviews of:

  • For a Continuing Church: The Roots of the Presbyterian Church in America by Sean Michael Lucas
  • The Hand of God: Finding His Care in All Circumstances by Alistair Begg

BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
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BOOK REVIEW ~ Win Every Day: Proven Practices for Extraordinary Results by Mark Miller

Win Every Day: Proven Practices for Extraordinary Results by Mark Miller. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 143 pages. 2020
****

Win Every Day is Mark Miller’s fifth, and final, book in his High Performance Series. This book focuses on execution, the hallmark of all high performance organizations. As the book begins, Blake, the CEO, becomes aware of a nightmare for his organization. A very bad customer experience involving a previously loyal customer has gone viral. A video has been viewed by more than a million people in just twenty-four hours.
Blake goes to Ashley, the new head of Production for some answers. She tells him that the organization’s execution has been slipping for several years, but has seemed to level off. It’s obvious that changes need to be made. But first, she states that leadership has to determine if performance is “good enough”. After all, they have been successful against their current competition. But the organization will need to decide how great they want to be.
Blake is also the chairman of the local school board. In that role, he encounters a similar problem with the school’s football team. They have been good, but not great, winning about 60% of their games over the past several years. Is that good enough? It is ultimately decided that it is not, and they decide to hire a new coach. Continue reading


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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoon, & Quotes

  • How Do We Pray Without Ceasing? Ligon Duncan provides some tips for us on what praying without ceasing means.
  • Blessed are the Sad. Check out pastor and seminary professor Zack Eswine’s series on finding hope amid depression and anxiety.
  • The Importance of What We Do in Secret. Derek Thomas writes “According to Jesus, it is what we do in secret that matters most.”
  • Accepting “No” as God’s Will. R.C. Sproul writes “The prayer of faith is a prayer of trust. The very essence of faith is trust. We trust that God knows what is best.”
  • 9 Ways to Guard Your Personal Relationship with God. David Murray writes “Like all healthy and satisfying relationships, our relationship with God needs time and energy. But giving time and energy to our relationship with God actually increases free time and energy because it helps us get a better perspective on life and order our priorities better, it reduces the time we spend on image management, and it removes fear and anxiety.”
  • To Those Who Send ‘Good Thoughts’. Nancy Guthrie writes about how she responds when she reads that someone is sending her “good thoughts”.

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoon, & Quotes

  • Should Followers of Christ Use Recreational Marijuana? Kevin J. Vanhoozer writes “Good stewardship applies not only to work, but also to the way we relax. Using weed is not the way to redeem the recreational times.”
  • My Life is Endless Drudgery – How Do I Find Joy in Christ? In this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “It just feels like no matter how hard I try or how much I do, I’m barely getting it all done. I hate that I sometimes resent my kids and wife and this life. Now the middle-age years have arrived and I fear burnout, even of running away. Can you help me?”
  • Why Doesn’t God Always Heal? In this episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast, Albert Mohler and Bryan Chapell share their response to a common question they’ve heard throughout their decades in ministry about why God answers certain prayers for healing in this life, but not all.

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Quotes & a Cartoon

  • Manny in Full. Lynde Langdon writes about the wonderful turnaround in former baseball star Manny Ramirez’s life.
  • A Top Pastor’s Culture War Surrender. Rod Dreher writes “I think Greear’s heart is in the right place here, but he’s wrong, and a pastor of his authority being wrong is consequential.”
  • The Moral Universe of Timothy Keller. Here’s a lengthy article about pastor and theologian Tim Keller by Peter Wehner, recently published in the Atlantic.
  • 15 Good News Trends from the 2010s. Joe Carter writes “Over the past decade, God has provided a range of blessings that have changed a negative trend to a positive one, improving our lives and the lives of our global neighbors. As we reflect on the end of the 2010s, we should give thanks to God for these 15 “good news” trends.”

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