Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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Coram Deo Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

September marks the 20th anniversary of Coram Deo since beginning as a church newsletter in September 1998. A few things contributed to my wife Tammy and I starting Coram Deo. (See this article from R.C. Sproul about what Coram Deo means).
First, people in the church knew that we went to the movies each Friday night. They would often ask if a particular film was appropriate for their children, or themselves, to see as believers. Writing short reviews of the films was a way to get that information out.
Second, for years I used to do the weekly announcements at the beginning of our church’s worship service. A man who only got to church about half the time, expressed frustration to me that he missed important information that was announced but not available anywhere else. The newsletter gave us the vehicle for that information.
Third, we wanted to look at culture – books, movies, music, the issues of the day from a distinctly Christian worldview or perspective.
Our first issue in September 1998 was a combination of church specific information along with looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview, the latter of which we continue today with the blog. That first issue included a monthly article from our pastor entitled “Pastor’s Corner”, a church calendar that listed sermon titles, baby showers, local concerts, choir practice, member birthdays, etc. Originally just four printed pages, we later posted an electronic copy to the church website, and by the time we sunset the newsletter at the end of 2013, it had grown to thirty pages. In late 2013, we began offering both a blog and newsletter, and in 2014 we moved completely to the current non-church specific blog format.
We are still at the same PCA church and are blessed to have the same pastor after 20+ years.  But much has changed since our first issue. I returned to Covenant Seminary and graduated in 2014. I took early retirement in early 2018 after nearly 38 years at State Farm. But today we continue much of what was in that original issue 20 years ago. You can expect music, movie and book reviews. We’ll also have a focus on integrating faith and work, and I’ll share links to articles that I find interesting.
We hope you enjoy reading the blog as much as we enjoy putting it together for you. Please let us know how we can serve you better.

Blessings,
Bill and Tammy

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My 2016 Favorites

these-are-a-few-of-my-favorite-thingsAs I have for the past several years, I want to share with you some of my favorites from 2016 in a variety of categories. These are all items that were released or took place in 2016 except for books; I include my favorite books of the 62 that I’ve actually read during 2016.  My top 20 books include three each by Sinclair Ferguson and Tim Keller and two by Bryan Chapell.  Enjoy, and please let me know what you think of my list and share some of your favorites.

Never Lose Sight - Chris TomlinFavorite Music Album:  Never Lose Sight by Chris Tomlin. Here’s my review.

Here are the rest of my top 20 favorite albums, listed in order:

  1. Where the Light Shines Through – Switchfoot
  2. Church Clothes 3 – Lecrae
  3. Keep Me Singing – Van Morrison
  4. Spirit – Amos Lee
  5. All at Once – Phil Keaggy
  6. American Prodigal – Crowder
  7. The Waiting Room – Trip Lee
  8. These Christmas Lights – Matt Redman
  9. Fallen Angels – Bob Dylan
  10. Facing a Task Unfinished – Keith and Kristyn Getty
  11. Hard Love – NEEDTOBREATHE
  12. Wow to the Deadness (EP) – Steve Taylor and the Danielson Foil
  13. This Time Around (EP) – Tedashii
  14. Blue and Lonesome – Rolling Stones
  15. Hymns II – Michael W. Smith
  16. Worship and Believe – Steven Curtis Chapman
  17. I Still Can – Eric Clapton
  18. Stranger to Stranger – Paul Simon
  19. Acoustic Christmas – Neil Diamond

yes-and-amen-chris-tomlinFavorite Song:  Yes and Amen by Chris Tomlin

Here are the rest of my top 10 favorite songs, listed in order, along with one bonus song from Trip Lee:

  1. Running Out of Time – Amos Lee
  2. My Victory – Crowder
  3. Jumped Out the Whip – Tedashii
  4. Float – Switchfoot
  5. My Worth Is Not In Not In What I Own – Keith and Kristyn Getty with Fernando Ortega
  6. Testify – NEEDTOBREATHE
  7. Children Go Where I Send Thee – Neil Diamond with the Blind Boys of Alabama
  8. I’m Good – Tedashii
  9. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine – Eric Clapton

Bonus song: Clouds – Trip Lee

chris-tomlinFavorite Artist of the Year: Obviously Chris Tomlin is my top artist for the year. He has my top album – Never Lose Sight – and song “Yes and Amen” and his song “Good Good Father”, though released in October, 2015, still topped 2016’s Billboard’s Christian Digital Songs chart.

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My 2016 Favorites at Mid-Year

A Few of My Favorite ThingsAs we have the mid-year point, I want to share with you some of my favorites from 2016 in a variety of categories. Except for books, these are all items that were released or took place in 2016. For books, I include my favorite books that I’ve actually read during 2016.  Enjoy, and please let me know what you think by clicking on the ‘Comment’ link above.

MUSIC:  I enjoy music in a variety of genres. My favorites were:

Albums

Top Pick:  Church Clothes 3 – LecraeChurch Clothes 3

Other albums that I’ve enjoyed have been:

Wow to the Deadness (EP) – Steve Taylor and the Danielson Foil

Fallen Angels – Bob Dylan

Stranger to Stranger – Paul Simon

Hymns II – Michael W. Smith

Salvation’s Tide is Rising – Passion

Love Riot – Newsboys

Worship and Believe – Steven Curtis Chapman

This Time Around (EP) – Tedashjii

Facing a Task Unfinished – Keith and Kristyn Getty

I’m really looking forward to two July releases – Where the Light Shines Through by Switchfoot and Hard Love by NEEDTOBREATHE .

Songs

Top pick:  Jumped Out the Whip – Tedashii

Other songs I’ve enjoyed have been:

Float – Switchfoot

My Worth Is Not In Not In What I Own – Keith and Kristyn Getty with Fernando Ortega

Vaporized – Amos LeeJumped Out the Whip – Tedashii

That Old Black Magic – Bob Dylan

It Is What It Is – Lecrae

God and God Alone – Chris Tomlin

I Trust in Christ – Matt Redman

Wow to the Deadness – Steve Taylor and the Perfect Foil

Cool Papa Bell – Paul Simon

Down to the River to Pray – Michael W. Smith

I Don’t Know Why (Jesus Loves Me) – Michael W. Smith

White Bikini – Charlie Peacock

Happiness – NEEDTOBREATHE

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