Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

A Drummer Boy Christmas – for King & Country
***

Australian duo for King & Country, comprised of brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, follow their best-selling 2018 album Burn the Ships with their first full-length Christmas album, based around their popular version of “Little Drummer Boy”. The album is comprised mostly of well-known Christmas carols, opening and closing with verses from “In The Bleak Midwinter”. There are two new songs included – “Heavenly Hosts”, and “The Carol of Joseph (I Believe In You)”. Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE guests on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and country singer Gabby Barrett guests on “Go Tell It On The Mountain”.
The duo brings their signature high energy sound to these songs. In addition, the album includes two monologues, which fit in well with the album. A Drummer Boy Christmas was produced by Tedd Tjornhom and for King & Country, and co-produced by Benjamin Backus, with Matt Hales handling executive production.
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  • More of this review and a review of Miracle of Love: Christmas Songs of Worship (EP) byChris Tomlin
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

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My Review of FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS

Fisherman’s Friends, rated PG-13
***

This delightful 2019 film, available on Netflix, is based on the true story of a group of English fishermen who love to sing together. Scotty Smith mentioned the film in a recent sermon, and my wife and I decided to watch it later that evening – and we were glad that we did.
The film is set in Port Isaac, Cornwall (which is changed to Portwenn in the popular television series Doc Martin, which is filmed there). We visited Port Isaac in July 2019 on a family vacation and really enjoyed the scenery captured so well in this film by cinematographer Simon Tindall. The film was directed by Chris Foggin, and was written by Piers Ashworth, Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft.
The film begins with four music industry executives from London throwing a stag weekend for a colleague in Port Isaac. While there, the men see a group of ten men singing sea shanty songs, which they find humorous. As a gag, the boss Troy (Noel Clarke) tells Danny (Daniel Mays) a snobby music manager, to sign the men to a recording contract. Then, the others leave in their car for London laughing, leaving Port Isaac, and the unsuspecting Danny behind. Continue reading


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Joy in the Sorrow: How a Thriving Church (And Its Pastor) Learned to Suffer Well by Matt Chandler and Friends. The Good Book Company, 240 pages. 2019
****

David Roark, Communications and Resources Director at The Village Church, is the General Editor of this unique book. He writes that the hope of the book is to tell you that even though we will all suffer; we can find hope and purpose in that suffering. The book includes chapters from pastors and ministers and members, and former pastors and ministers and members, of The Village, a church located in Texas, where Matt Chandler is one the lead pastors.
Each chapter of the book represents someone’s story—and what God has shown that individual in and through their suffering—that has been a part of the church’s bigger story. Some of the chapters are written by people I was familiar with (Matt Chandler, his wife Lauren Chandler, hip-hop artist Tedashii and his wife Danielle, and writer Lore Ferguson Wilbert), and some were written by people from the church that I was not familiar with.

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


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

  • Destined for the Beauty of Diversity. Irwyn Ince writes “The sad truth is that many churches have not only been content with division and stratification across racial, ethnic, and economic lines, but have been complicit in fostering that division.”
  • What Do We Owe a President? Denny Burk writes “All of this means that we must offer support whenever a President pursues policies that promote righteousness and that oppose evil. And we should oppose him whenever he fails at the same.”
  • 9 Things You Should Know About President-Elect Joe Biden. Joe Carter shares what you should know about the man who it appears will be the 46th president of the United States.

  • God Is Enough for You and the Emptiness You Feel. In this two-minute video, Nancy Guthrie talks about how so often we see emptiness in our lives as our biggest problem. But when God looks at the empty place, He sees it as His greatest opportunity. This is especially applicable to the difficult year many of us have experienced.

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  • 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

  • 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).
  • How Can I Best Manage My Remote Team? Russ Gehrlein responds to a question about how to best manage a remote team during the COVID-19 pandemic. He writes “Let me share a few of my own experiences, several biblical principles that may be applicable, and some practical wisdom as you attempt to navigate these rough waters.”
  • Are You a Servant Leader and Didn’t Know It? Ken Blanchard writes “To me, servant leadership is the only way to guarantee great relationships and great results.”
  • Working Genius Livestream Event. In this video, Patrick Lencioni introduces his new “Six Types of Working Genius” model, which will help you find energy and joy in your work and your life.
  • Fuel for Work. In this video, Mark Greene discuss the workplace leader’s challenging dilemma in Acts 27.
  • How Can I Show Neighborly Love at Work? In responding to this question, Mary Wiley writes “I’ve often heard colleagues say they want to know they are appreciated; they want an adequate amount of help and collaboration with a team; they want to be celebrated when they do good work.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human by John Mark Comer
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

Live from the Forum MMXVIII – Eagles
****

This new live album – it is available in multiple formats, including Blu-Ray video, digital, vinyl and audio CD, and was shown as a concert film on ESPN over the July 4 weekend – was filmed/recorded September 12, 14 and 15, 2018 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. My wife Tammy and I had seen the Eagles on the same tour just a few weeks earlier, on July 26, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The album is the first release to feature the new Eagles, with Vince Gill and Deacon Frey, replacing founding member Glenn Frey, who died in 2016. Gill and Frey join Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt as they perform classic Eagles songs, as well as Henley, Gill and Walsh solo hits – 26 songs.
From the first harmonies of the opener “Seven Bridges Road”, you’ll realize that this band, though formed 49 years ago (Henley is the only surviving founding member) is still at the top of their game. Deacon sings a few of his father’s songs (“Take it Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”), while Gill takes the lead on “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Take it to the Limit”).
If you enjoy the music of the Eagles, you’ll love this new live recording.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • A review of Still, Vol. 1 by Michael W. Smith
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Good News: The Gospel of Jesus Christ by John MacArthur. Reformation Trust Publishing. 143 pages. 2018
****

In this book about Jesus Christ and the Gospel, from one of our most respected pastors and authors, John MacArthur tells us that a right understanding of Jesus Christ is essential to understanding many other vital truths, particularly the gospel and salvation. He tells us that there is no good news apart from Christ, and how we answer the question “Who is Jesus?” has significant and ultimately permanent consequences. The right answer alone can lead to salvation.
The author addresses that there are even those who identify themselves as evangelicals that teach that there is more than one way to get to Heaven. He tells us that today the word evangelical is so ambiguous that it doesn’t really mean anything. A high percentage (between 45 and 65 percent of so-called evangelical Christians), are convinced that Jesus is not the only way to heaven. He writes that a “radically abridged and ambiguous view” of the gospel has captivated the church today. But there is no “back door” to heaven. If we don’t know the true God and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we will suffer the fury of God. Jesus made it clear to people that they needed to repent and believe.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review and a review of Are People Basically Good? (Crucial Questions Book 25) by R.C. Sproul
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading


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

  • Lessons from the Puritans in Grieving the Loss of a Child. Nancy Guthrie shares three truths that Puritan pastors impressed on those grieving the loss of a child.
  • Breathe in the Happiness of Heaven. Randy Alcorn writes “Experiencing daily happiness in Christ isn’t wishful thinking. It’s based on solid facts: God secured our eternal happiness through the cross and resurrection. He dwells within us, and He intercedes for us. Nothing separates us from His love.”

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  • More interesting article links – good questions, thinking theologically, recommended resources
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Patrick Lencioni Interview. On this edition of the H3 Leadership Podcast, Brad Lomenick interviews Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, The Advantage, and several other excellent books.
  • 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).
  • How Do the Seven Army Values Align With Christian Values? Russ Gehrlein writes “The military culture is different from other workplaces.  However, there are many similarities as well.  Let me describe the importance of organizational values, paint a picture of the ones that are ingrained in those who work for the U.S. Army, and show how they support biblical values.”
  • Why We Get Up in the Morning Shouldn’t Differ from Sunday to Monday. Charlie Peacock reviews Steve Garber’s book The Seamless Life: A Tapestry of Love and Learning, Worship and Work, one of my favorites of 2020. He writes “If following Christ as a coworker in the new, unfolding reality is our true vocation, then everything and everyone matter. Living a seamless life tells your family, neighbors, and coworkers what you value. For Garber, it answers the question—incrementally, over time—of “why we get up in the morning.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of The Heart of a Leader: Insights on the Art of Influence by Ken Blanchard
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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