Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


Leave a comment

BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

A Company of Heroes: Portraits from the Gospel’s Global Advance by Tim Keesee. Crossway. 284 pages. 2019
****

The author is the founder and executive director of Frontline Missions International. I’ve enjoyed and appreciated his excellent ten-part video series Dispatches from the Front. Much of this book has the feel of those videos as he travels around the world to visit believers. These believers are heroes to him, and they should be to us as well. They trusted him to tell their stories despite the risks they face as they live on mission in hard places. He has shared jungle paths, desert roads, and city streets on five continents with these believers. They are heroes for the ways in which they magnify the grace and power of the risen Christ. They are foot soldiers in the long campaign as Christ builds his church across the centuries and among all peoples. The author writes that every time he goes to another corner of the world and sees the church growing and the gospel changing lives, his view of God gets bigger.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review and a review of Enjoy Your Prayer Life by Michael Reeves
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading


Leave a comment

A Prayer for the Election

Our Father in Heaven,

We pray for the upcoming national election on November 3. Our country – which includes our families, churches and friends – is so divided on the issues of the day (COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, racial issues, abortion, the Supreme Court, mail-in ballots, etc.). Our country is hurting from a pandemic that has taken so many lives along with all these other issues, and the hurting is demonstrated by those who have taken to the streets in both peaceful and violent protests. Many of us have never seen such division and hatred in our country. It seems that there is no longer any tolerance of opposing views, or “middle ground”. We pray that despite having differing views and disagreements on political candidates and other issues, we can come together in peace, not hatred. Continue reading


Leave a comment

THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More interesting article links about The Reformation, Christian Living, Good Questions and Thinking Theologically
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

Continue reading


1 Comment

FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Called to Lead. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace is now available in both a paperback and Kindle edition. Read a free sample (Introduction through Chapter 2).
  • God Covers Our Sin with Paint That Matches. My friend Russ Gehrlein writes “Our attempts will always fail. There are no works we can do to add to what he has already done on the cross to pay for our sins. His covering is perfect since he is the Master Painter.”
  • Jesus & Love: The Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time. Phyllis Hendry Halverson writes “A tremendous benefit happens in the lives of people who lead like Jesus: freedom. Jesus is the only one who offers a model of leadership that’s built on freedom and complete security in Him and His power at work within us.”
  • A Prayer for Our Ordinary Days. Laura Talton writes “We live in a time and a culture constantly celebrating the extraordinary, and yet, the reality is that daily life–that is, what makes up our time and culture–is ordinary. It’s instant oatmeal and work commutes. We are ordinary people living in ordinary places. But to God, we are also so much more.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of The Uniform of Leadership: Lessons on True Success from My ESPN Life by Jason Romano
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

Continue reading


Leave a comment

What is Moral Authority, And Why Is It Important for Leaders to Have It?


I recently read John Maxwell’s excellent book Leadershift: 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace. One of my favorite chapters in the book was titled “Positional Authority to Moral Authority: The Influence Shift”.  What exactly is moral authority and why is it important for leaders, and others, to have it?
Maxwell writes that moral authority is:
“The recognition of a person’s leadership influence based on who they are more than the position they hold. It is attained by authentic living that has built trust and is sustained by successful leadership endeavors. It is earned by a lifetime of consistency. Leaders can strive to earn moral authority by the way they live, but only others can grant them moral authority.” Continue reading


Leave a comment

My Review of UNHINGED

Unhinged, rated R
*

Unhinged is an intense, but disappointing B-grade thriller, that doesn’t allow its Oscar winning lead actor to do much more than grunt. The film, directed by Derrick Borte, with the script written by Carl Ellsworth, also includes a significant amount of violence and adult language.
The film begins with a bloated Russell Crowe, Oscar winner for Best Actor in Gladiator and also nominated for A Beautiful Mind and The Insider), portraying “The Man”, sitting in his pickup truck in the rain outside of a home with a “For Sale” sign in the front yard. He is sweating and gulping down prescription meds like they were candy, something he does throughout the film. We see him take off his wedding ring. We assume that his ex-wife, and possibly others, are inside the house. Eventually, he gets out of the car, kills all inside and sets the house on fire.
The next morning, we see Rachel, a hairdresser played by Caren Pistorius, being awakened by a phone call from her best friend and attorney Andy, played by Emmy nominee Jimmi Simpson (Westworld), who is helping her through a divorce. She is the mother of a young son, Kyle, played by Gabriel Bateman (Child’s Play). Rachel’s brother Fred, played by Austin P. McKenzie, and his girlfriend Mary, played by Juliene Joyner, also are temporarily living in her home. By oversleeping, Rachel misses an appointment with an important client, who then fires her. She also makes Kyle late for school – we assume not for the first time – which will earn him a detention. Continue reading


Leave a comment

BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS


Uncommon Ground: Living Faithfully in a World of Difference, edited by Tim Keller and John Inazu. Thomas Nelson. 237 pages. 2020
***

Books in which a different author writes each chapter can be tricky. You might connect with one author and not another, and that’s just how I found this book. I found myself fully engaged with some chapters, while others were frankly a chore to get through.
I was attracted to the book by the fact that one of the editors, who also wrote a chapter, was Tim Keller, one of my favorite authors, and Lecrae, one of my favorite musical artists, also wrote one of the chapters. Among the contributors, I was also familiar with Sara Groves through her music, and Trillia Newbell through her writing and Tish Harrison Warren, through a book of hers my wife had recently read. The subject of the book caught my attention as we live in a very divided culture, including among those who identify as Christians.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review and reviews of
~     The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created by Jane Leavy
~     Ben Hogan: An American Life by James Dodson
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading


6 Comments

Paying Tribute to My Heroes

Recently, I was listening to one of R.C. Sproul’s older teaching series Heroes of the Christian Faith. A few weeks later, I read Jeff Robinson’s excellent article “How to have Ministry Heroes without Plagiarizing Them”. That got me to thinking about the heroes in my life.
Growing up, my heroes tended to be sports figures. In baseball it was Mickey Mantle, in football it was O.J. Simpson and in basketball it was Wilt Chamberlain. Although these men achieved great things on the field or court, looking back at them now, their character left much to be desired (though Mantle did come to saving faith very late in his life). In high school my hero was Doug Collins, who played basketball at my hometown Illinois State University and would become an Olympic hero and the number one draft choice in the 1973 National Basketball Association draft.
One of the definitions of “hero” from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “a person admired for achievements and noble qualities”. Robinson in his article states that “Scripture certainly gives warrant to have heroes, to study and emulate men and women of the faith whose lives are so marked by humble, courageous Christ-honoring character and grace-enabled skill in living the Christian life.”
Before looking at my heroes, I want to set some ground rules around people that I am not going to include. First, Jesus would be my top hero (of course). I’m also not going to include my parents, siblings, or my wife Tammy, though they would certainly make the list as well. Given those qualifications, here are people that I consider to be heroes in my life, some of which I know well, and some I don’t: Continue reading