Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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

  • 3 Reality Checks for Your Marriage. Paul Tripp shares essential wisdom perspectives that Scripture gives us that enable us to have realistic expectations for our marriage.

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  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • 10 Signs Pastors Do Not Respect or Properly Value Their Elders. I’m hoping that these signs from Brian Dodd are not typical of your church leadership team.
  • What Are You Afraid Of? Howard Graham writes “Fearlessness starts with hope in something far greater than ourselves. It starts with an awestruck respect for God.”
  • Where Should I Move After Graduation? Meryl Herr responds to the question “I am finishing up my degree and am looking for job and internship opportunities in different cities. What should I consider when choosing a place to live? Best job opportunity? Closest to family? A place with solid churches? Good friends?”

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  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Faithful Leaders: and the Things That Matter Most by Rico Tice
  • Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson

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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

All That You Can’t Leave Behind – U2 (20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition)
****

I have a long, and complicated, relationship with U2. From the Christian content on War the brilliance of The Joshua Tree and through Achtung Baby, U2 was my favorite band. I saw them in concert for the first time on their Zoo TV tour – a concert that I really looked forward to – and was completely turned off. I skipped their Zooropa and Pop albums, and was pretty much done with them. In October 2000, they released All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Pete, a team member of mine, ran over and bought the album over lunch. I didn’t plan to purchase it, but he let me borrow it that night. The U2 I loved was back.
I saw two shows on their tour supporting the album – one before the 9/11 tragedy and one after, two very different shows. The album would go on to win seven Grammy Awards, including record of the year and best rock album.
U2 has released four studio albums in the past 20 years, all good but not great. This was their last great album. Some of their political views (pro-abortion, for example), of the past few years has again soured me on the band. Like I said, my relationship with the band is complicated.
Twenty years to the day of its original release, the band released a 20th Anniversary Edition of the album in multiple formats. The “Super Deluxe” audio edition includes 51 songs, including the unreleased “The Ground Beneath Her Feet”, a previously released (on video) Boston concert, B-sides, outtakes and remixes. The original album has been remastered and sounds great. I’m generally not a fan of remixes, and four dances remixes of “Elevation” seems excessive. Still, I would recommend this for fans off U2’s music.

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  • Song of the Week Lyrics

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges. 343 pages. NavPress. 1991
****

I’ve read most of the books written by Jerry Bridges, who went home to be with the Lord in 2016. I first read this book in a class at Covenant Seminary about eight years ago, and I recently read and discussed it again with a friend.
Bridges writes that the Bible teaches we are not only saved by grace, but we also live by grace every day of our lives. He tells us that it is this important aspect of grace that seems to be so little understood or practiced by Christians. A key point is that many of us tend to base our personal relationship with God on our performance instead of on His grace. That is, if we have performed well (had our “quiet time”, etc.), then we expect God to bless us. If we haven’t done so well, our expectations are reduced accordingly. In this sense, we live by works rather than by grace. Bridges tells us that though we are saved by grace, we are often live by our own performance. The realization that our daily relationship with God is based on the infinite merit of Christ instead of on our own performance is a very freeing and joyous experience.

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

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • 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

  • How Do I Think Wisely About Relocating My Family? Russ Gehrlein responds to the question “Moving closer to his work seems like it would honor his employer and set us up for the future. But we hate to give up the community we have. How can we think about this with biblical wisdom?”
  • Why You Shouldn’t Do What Makes You Happy with Jordan Raynor.    On this this episode of the Crush Your Career podcast, Dee Ann Turner is joined by serial entrepreneur, speaker, podcast host, and best-selling author Jordan Raynor, to discuss how to find the “why” in your work and the purpose in your job.
  • 5 Ways to Love Colleagues Remotely. Whitney K. Pipkin responds to the question “How can I share the love of Christ with people I never see?”

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  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Change Your World: How Anyone, Anywhere Can Make A Difference by John Maxwell and Rob Hoskins
  • Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson

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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS


Freedom (EP) – Justin Bieber
*** ½

Justin Bieber released this surprise six-song EP on Easter, just two weeks after he had released his latest album, the chart-topping Justice. The project, which includes several collaborations, features lyrics clearly affirming Bieber’s faith and trust in Jesus as his savior. My only criticism, and it’s a minor one, is that the energy falls off a bit with the final three songs, after opening with three upbeat songs.
Here are a few brief comments about each song:

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  • More of this review and a review of Live from the Woods, Vol. 2 by NEEDTOBREATHE
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS


Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter by Tim Keller. Viking. 272 pages. 2021
****

Tim Keller tells us that he began this book on the resurrection and then the COVID-19 pandemic struck and he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Writing in such dark times helped him see in the resurrection new depths of comfort and power.
In this book, Keller looks at what Christ as the resurrected one gives to us for life now. He focuses on the resurrection as a key to understanding the whole Bible and to facing all the challenges of life—suffering, personal change, injustice, moral clarity, and the uncertainty of the future. I read with particular interest his five case studies of people who met Jesus after his resurrection and his discussion of unrest and dissatisfaction regarding all social relationships (between economic classes, the races and nationalities, and the sexes). He tells us that in the death and resurrection of Jesus, Christians have the resources for a transformation of social relationships that can be a powerful sign to the watching world.
A key theme throughout the book is what he refers to as “The Great Reversal”, an idea which he writes is at the heart of the gospel. Keller tells us that the cross and resurrection is the Great Reversal. Christ saves us through weakness by giving up power and succumbing to a seeming defeat. But he triumphs—not despite the weakness and loss of power but because of it and through it. His basic thesis of the book is that the resurrection, the Great Reversal, brings us both the power and the pattern for living life now connected to God’s future new creation. The way up is down, that the way to strength is through weakness, and that God has a plan and walks with us in the midst of our suffering, fragility, and helplessness.

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

  • How Does Chronic Pain Glorify God? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “My mother, a believer, struggles with debilitating — very debilitating — nerve pain and can get no medical relief from anything doctors have tried. She suffers endlessly. How does such unalleviated suffering glorify God when it seems that God refuses to answer any of our prayers for mercy?”
  • What Makes Women the “Weaker Vessel”? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper answers the question “What does Peter mean in 1 Peter 3:7 when he writes that husbands should live with their wives in an understanding way, ‘as the weaker vessel’? Specifically, what is the weaker vessel? Is she physically weaker, emotionally weaker, spiritually weaker, or something altogether different?
  • Does God Love the Wicked the Same Way He Loves the Elect? Does God love everyone in the same way—both His redeemed people and His enemies? From one of the Ligonier live events, C.Sproul helps us understand what it means that “God so loved the world” (John 3:16).

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday


Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Work as Blessing, Work as Curse. Scott Cormode writes “The important distinction is not between Christian work and secular labor. The important question is this. Are you doing what God has called you to do? And is that labor an extension of the giftedness God has planted within you?”
  • Gently Glowing Bushes: When Your Calling Isn’t Obvious. Bill Haley shares seven key questions to ask when we’re seeking God’s will for out next step and general direction.
  • How to Fix Your Work Life Balance. Paul Tripp writes “Your work is your calling, but it is not your life. Work gives you dignity, but it is not your hope. You are created to work with diligence, but work is not the ultimate reward.”
  • Integrating Your Faith With a Job Search. Russ Gehrlein, author of Immanuel Labor—God’s Presence in Our Profession, recently was a guest on the radio program, Community Bridge, a Family Radio Network program and podcast. Below is a partial transcript of that conversation, which you can listen to in its entirety here.

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  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Goodby Amy L. Sherman
  • Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson

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