Friday, July 31, 2009

No Greater Love

"If I were sitting on the end of a pier on a summer day, enjoying the sunshine and the air, and someone came along and jumped into the water and got drowned 'to prove his love for me,' I should find it quite unintelligible. I might be much in need of love, but an act in no rational relation to any of my necessities could not prove it. But if I had fallen over the pier and were drowning and someone sprang into the water and at the cost of making my peril -- or what, but for him, would be my fate -- his own saved me from death, then I should say, 'Greater love hath no man than this.' I should say it intelligibly, because there would be an intelligible relation between the sacrifice which love made and the necessity from which it redeemed. . . . The key to the whole of New Testament teaching [is], . . . as we look to the cross, He bore our sins, He died our death. It is so that His love constrains us."

James Denney, The Death of Christ, pages 177-178.

The Audacity Of Hops

Saying "police" and "Obama" calls to mind the President's foolish and ignorant condemnation of a police incident, and subsequent attempts to smooth things over. The President hosted a little sipping of the suds at the White House — but it was merely a photo opportunity, as far as is known. The best thing about it is what it's being called: "White House Hoppy Hour,""Mug It Out," "The Audacity of Hops," "Coalition of the Swilling" and "Red, Light and Blue" (after three of the beers participants chose: Red Stripe, Bud Light and Blue Moon), and of course "Yes, Three Cans."

Tom Petty - Runnin' Down A Dream

Stimulus Not Working

The Folly of Idolatry



Cf. Isaiah 44:9-20:

All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why There Are No Perfect Pastors

John Newton (author of "Amazing Grace") tells us why there aren't any perfect pastors.

In my imagination, I sometimes fancy I could [create] a perfect minister. I take the eloquence of ______, the knowledge of ______, the zeal of ______, and the pastoral meekness, tenderness, and piety of ______. Then, putting them all together into one man, I say to myself, “This would be a perfect minister.”

Now there is One, who, if he chose to, could actually do this; but he never did it. He has seen fit to do otherwise, and to divide these gifts to every man severally as he will. (Richard Cecil, Memoirs of the Rev. John Newton, p. 107.)

Johnny Winter playing Red House in 1991

For those who love very fast amazing guitar playing. I have always enjoyed Johnny's playing.

How To Kill The Economy

Lewis: Omnipotent Moral Busybodies Worse than Robber Barons

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

—C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock, p. 292.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Only Absolute Allowed

In passing, we should note this curious mark of our own age: the only absolute allowed is the absolute insistence that there is no absolute.

Francis Schaeffer

Only Two Kinds Of People

Don't matter how much money you got, there's only two kinds of people: there's saved people and there's lost people.

Bob Dylan

You Can't Diminish God's Glory

A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.

C. S. Lewis

Little Walter / Key to the Highway

Recorded November 1958 at Chess Records Otis Spann- piano Muddy Waters, Luther Tucker- guitars Willie Dixon- bass. Little Walter was a great harmonica player who lived a tragic life. Otis Spann is my favorite blues piano player. His widow Lucille Spann was our lead singer when I played in the Sam Lay Blues Band.

They Don't Call Her Crazy Nancy For Nothing

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Government-sponsored coercion

China: A study shows UN continues to underwrite China’s one-child policy | Alisa Harris

Associated Press

A mute woman must
 undergo sterilization before the government allows her to marry. A young woman hides her second child, buying a baby's corpse from an abortion clinic to convince family-planning officials her baby died. Christian villagers hide pregnant women and children from officials seeking to levy fines for transgressing China's population-control policies.

These are the stories the Population Research Institute discovered when it conducted a study of China's population policies in March and May. Its just-released study concludes that even in counties where a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) presence is supposed to preclude coercive policies, the abuse continues. PRI president Steve Mosher said: "We are funding a program of forced abortion and forced sterilization in China through the UNFPA."

UNFPA says it spent $6.8 million in China last year and that China has demonstrated "significant progress" in achieving UNFPA goals. President Bush banned U.S. funding of UNFPA and banned funding for groups that promote abortion overseas (known as the Mexico City policy). President Obama has revoked those decisions, and so far Congress is backing him up.

House and Senate committees have approved at least $50 million for UNFPA. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., failed in his efforts to pass a committee amendment reinstating the Mexico City policy, while the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment backing its reversal. Both the House and the Senate generously funded family-planning programs, with the Senate Appropriations Committee allocating $628.5 million and the House increasing funding by 40 percent from 2008.

But pro-life members of Congress feel they have a chance to curtail abortion-related spending once the House and Senate confer to decide on a final budget draft. Smith told the House it was a "serious problem" to fund pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International: "They are American surrogates in foreign countries. They speak for us. They certainly don't speak and act for millions of pro-life Americans."

From World Magazine

Otis Rush: I`Cant Quit You Baby

Something Reeks

Calvin on the Gospel

Tullian Tchividjian reprints a beautiful portion of John Calvin's preface to Pierre Robert Oliv├ętan’s French translation of the New Testament (1534). I reproduced it below (line breaks and italics mine)
Without the gospel everything is useless and vain; without the gospel we are not Christians; without the gospel all riches is poverty,
all wisdom folly before God;
strength is weakness,
and all the justice of man is under the condemnation of God.
But by the knowledge of the gospel we are made
children of God,
brothers of Jesus Christ,
fellow townsmen with the saints,
citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven,
heirs of God with Jesus Christ, by whom
the poor are made rich,
the weak strong,
the fools wise,
the sinner justified,
the desolate comforted,
the doubting sure,
and slaves free.
It is the power of God for the salvation of all those who believe.

It follows that every good thing we could think or desire is to be found in this same Jesus Christ alone.

For, he was
sold, to buy us back;
captive, to deliver us;
condemned, to absolve us;
he was
made a curse for our blessing,
[a] sin offering for our righteousness;
marred that we may be made fair;
he died for our life; so that by him
fury is made gentle,
wrath appeased,
darkness turned into light,
fear reassured,
despisal despised,
debt canceled,
labor lightened,
sadness made merry,
misfortune made fortunate,
difficulty easy,
disorder ordered,
division united,
ignominy ennobled,
rebellion subjected,
intimidation intimidated,
ambush uncovered,
assaults assailed,
force forced back,
combat combated,
war warred against,
vengeance avenged,
torment tormented,
damnation damned,
the abyss sunk into the abyss,
hell transfixed,
death dead,
mortality made immortal.
In short,
mercy has swallowed up all misery,
and goodness all misfortune.
For all these things which were to be the weapons of the devil in his battle against us, and the sting of death to pierce us, are turned for us into exercises which we can turn to our profit.

If we are able to boast with the apostle, saying, O hell, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? it is because by the Spirit of Christ promised to the elect, we live no longer, but Christ lives in us; and we are by the same Spirit seated among those who are in heaven, so that for us the world is no more, even while our conversation is in it; but we are content in all things, whether country, place, condition, clothing, meat, and all such things.

And we are
comforted in tribulation,
joyful in sorrow,
glorying under vituperation,
abounding in poverty,
warmed in our nakedness,
patient amongst evils,
living in death.
This is what we should in short seek in the whole of Scripture: truly to know Jesus Christ, and the infinite riches that are comprised in him and are offered to us by him from God the Father.

HT:Justin Taylor

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Disasterous Results of being Preoccupied With Your Own Rights

"If all men stood talking of their rights before they went up a mast or down a sewer or stoked a furnace or joined an army, we should all perish. . . . The man preoccupied with his own rights is not only a disastrous, but a very unlovely, object; indeed, one of the worst mischief's we do by treating a man unjustly is that we force him to be thus preoccupied."

C. S. Lewis, in The Quotable Lewis, page 520.

MUDDY WATERS, TROUBLE NO MORE

A New Hate Crime

Not Losing Heart

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16

This past Saturday I really started feeling bad. A high fever and aches and pains, I thought I was getting the flu. That night I woke up with the chills, back to high fever during the day then chills in the middle of the night. I went to the doctor a few hours ago the good news is that it wasn't the flu it was an infection possibly caused by a bug bite in my leg. The doctor gave a huge shot of antibiotics in my arse ( think Braveheart) should be back to my normal self in a day or so.
As I approach my 59th birthday this scripture about outwardly wasting away means so much more. Regardless we dont lose heart we dont give up or quit because we are being renewed day by day.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

James Cotton - Don't Start Me Talking

You Can Fool Some Of The People Some Of The Time

Antipsalm 23 vs. Psalm 23 - Part 1

David Powlison writes an Antipsalm 23:

I'm on my own.
No one looks out for me or protects me.
I experience a continual sense of need. Nothing's quite right.
I'm always restless. I'm easily frustrated and often disappointed.
It's a jungle — I feel overwhelmed. It's a desert — I'm thirsty.
My soul feels broken, twisted, and stuck. I can't fix myself.
I stumble down some dark paths.
Still, I insist: I want to do what I want, when I want, how I want.
But life's confusing. Why don't things ever really work out?
I'm haunted by emptiness and futility — shadows of death.
I fear the big hurt and final loss.
Death is waiting for me at the end of every road,
but I'd rather not think about that.
I spend my life protecting myself. Bad things can happen.
I find no lasting comfort.
I'm alone ... facing everything that could hurt me.
Are my friends really friends?
Other people use me for their own ends.
I can't really trust anyone. No one has my back.
No one is really for me — except me.
And I'm so much all about ME, sometimes it's sickening.
I belong to no one except myself.
My cup is never quite full enough. I'm left empty.
Disappointment follows me all the days of my life.
Will I just be obliterated into nothingness?
Will I be alone forever, homeless, free-falling into void?
Sartre said, "Hell is other people."
I have to add, "Hell is also myself."
It's a living death,
and then I die.

Powlison writes:
The antipsalm tells what life feels like and looks like whenever God vanishes from sight. As we hear about Garrett and the others, each story lives too much inside the antipsalm. The "I'm-all-alone-in-the-universe" experience maps onto each one of them. The antipsalm captures the driven-ness and pointlessness of life-purposes that are petty and self-defeating. It expresses the fears and silent despair that cannot find a voice because there's no one to really talk to.

. . . Something bad gets last say when whatever you live for is not God.

And when you're caught up in the antipsalm, it doesn't help when you're labeled a "disorder," a "syndrome" or a "case." The problem is much more serious: The disorder is "my life." The syndrome is "I'm on my own." The case is "Who am I and what am I living for?" when too clearly I am the center of my story.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Muddy Waters - Honey Bee

What alot of Minnesotan's should be doing

Humility In The Wrong Place

"What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction, where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert -- himself."

G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, chapter three, "The Suicide of Thought."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Late Show Top Ten - Top Ten Surprising Facts About Stewart Cink

Top Ten Surprising Facts About Stewart Cink

10. I forgot my clubs, so I had to putt with my shoe
9. Instead of "fore" I often yell "hit the deck losers"
8. I can fit seven golf balls in my mouth
7. Most people think I sell plumbing supplies
6. I called Tiger Woods last night, I laughed and I hung up
5. This morning I drove from JFK to midtown in a golf cart
4. I once got my tongue caught in a ball washer
3. My street name is 50-Cink
2. I've already spent my winnings on gum
1. Even I was rooting for Tom Watson

Bob Dylan - Rollin' And Tumblin'

Sarah Palin Quits

The Great Sin

"In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that - and therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison - you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you."

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, pg 124

God Chooses Not To Remember

"When Pompey was killed, Julius Caesar obtained possession of a large casket, which contained a vast amount of correspondence which had been carried on with Pompey. There is no doubt whatever that in that casket there were many letters from certain of Caesar's followers making overtures to Pompey, and had Caesar read those letters it is probable that he would have been so angry with many of his friends that he would have put them to death for playing him false. Fearing this, he magnanimously took the casket and destroyed it without reading a single line. What a splendid way of putting away and annihilating all their offenses against him! Why, he did not even know them, he could not be angry, for he did not know that they had offended. He consumed all their offenses and destroyed their iniquities, so that he could treat them all as if they were innocent and faithful.

The Lord Jesus Christ has made just such an end of your sins and mine. Does not the Lord know our sins, then? Yes, in a certain sense. And yet the Lord declares, 'Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.' In a certain sense, God cannot forget. But in another sense, he himself declares that he remembers not the sins of his people but has cast them behind his back. 'The iniquities of Israel,' says he, 'shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found.'

An accusing spirit might have said to Caesar, 'Do you not know that Caius and Florus were deeply involved with your enemy, Pompey?' 'No,' he replies, 'I know nothing against them.' 'But in that casket there is evidence.' 'Ah,' rejoins the hero, 'there remains no casket. I have utterly destroyed it.'"

C. H. Spurgeon, Treasury of the New Testament,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Are You A prig?

Are you a prig? "That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to Church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute." C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity, pg 103. A prig is any person who is excessively proper and smug in his moral behavior and attitudes. Its harder to get through to a self-righteous Church goer than a rank sinner.

The National Debt Road Trip

After watching this you should be asking wheres the outrage? Wheres the national press coverage? This is what happens when the press gets in the national debt car with the president and cries out "Go Faster" from the backseat.

Phil Keaggy AMAZING guitar solo!

Back To Egypt

Are You Finished With Yourself?

"Would you like to be rid of this spiritual depression? The first thing you have to do is to say farewell now once and forever to your past. Realize that it has been covered and blotted out in Christ. Never look back at your sins again. Say: 'It is finished, it is covered by the blood of Christ.' That is your first step. Take that and finish with yourself and all this talk about goodness, and look to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only then that true happiness and joy are possible for you."

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, page 35.

Chapter One Of The Great Story

"There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are -- as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands -- dead. The term is over; the holidays have begun. The dream is ended; this is the morning."

And as he spoke he no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. . . . And we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world . . . had only been the cover and title page; now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read, which goes on forever, in which every chapter is better than the one before."

C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle, pages 183-184.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eric Clapton - It Hurts Me Too - Live

Police Still Searching For Missing Productictive, Obedient Woman


Police Still Searching For Missing Productive, Obedient Woman

Do You Have The New Chuck Norris Bible? Its Available In The Walker Texas Ranger Edition

A Matter Of Wonder

"Times of revival are seasons in which many nominal and spiritually sleepy Christians, operating out of the semi-Pharisaism of religion, wake up to the wonder and ramifications of the gospel. Revivals are massive eruptions of new spiritual power in the church through a recovery of the gospel. In his sermon on Mark 9 Lloyd-Jones was calling the church to revival as its only hope. This is not a new program or something you can implement through a series of steps. It is a matter of wonder."

Tim Keller, in The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World, page 113.

"And awe came upon every soul." Acts 2:43

Monday, July 20, 2009

shai linne- The Gospel (w/ Rap-a-long lyrics)

Boot Hill - Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

Stimulus At Work

Do You Have An All-Weather Faith?

"The cross is practical, it is God moving in love to meet violent men and women, Himself facing violence and suffering for us. Your faith was born in violence. The Christian is not scared when nations are upset, when the whole world is shaking. Your faith was born on Calvary. It can stand anything. It is an all-weather faith.

Don't imagine you can only be a Christian when everything is smooth. Christians shine better when everything is just the opposite. Your faith was born in blood and sweat in the loneliness of Calvary. You can stand any test."

Bishop Festo Kivengere, When God Moves, pages 14-15.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mahalia Jackson - His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Looks are Deceiving

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare."

C.S. Lewis, The Weight Of Glory

Saturday, July 18, 2009

May I have a Talk with You -Stevie Ray Vaughan

Our Failure To Practice

"This year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practice ourselves the kind of behavior we expect from other people."

C.S. Lewis, The Case For Christianity

Truth Is Not A Discovery Its A Revelation

"'But wait a minute,' says somebody. 'Are you saying that the passage of the years makes no difference? Are you asking me to believe that I have got to go back nearly two thousand years, and that the truth is what these men taught then?' . . .

Yes, I am, and this is why. There can be no development in this truth, and there has not been, because this is not truth that man works out for himself, but is truth which God reveals. Not one of the apostles was a discoverer of truth. The mighty apostle Paul never discovered the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. . . . It is a revelation; it is something that is given by God, something that has been revealed by him supremely in the person of his only-begotten Son."

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Love So Amazing: Expositions of Colossians 1, pages 63-64.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stimulus 2 -The Lame Sequel That Will Make You Scream

Elmore James - The Sky is Crying

Former drug lord meets God after near-death beating

By Mags Storey | Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Michael Roberts.

BRAMPTON, ON—The extravagant wealth and power former gang member Michael "Bull" Roberts had as one of Canada's wealthiest drug lords reads likes a fantasy. But the road which led him there is the stuff of nightmares.

"I grew up in a very abusive home," says Roberts, who cuts an imposing six-foot, four-inch, 450 pound figure. "My father was a very strict man, very hard. I was bullied at school, and then at home I was physically and sexually abused."

Roberts ended up in foster care. After witnessing his foster father's murder, Roberts hit the streets. Within months he was a "full blown drug and alcohol addict" with a long list of trafficking and assault charges.

Read the rest

Do You Know For Certain?

Romans chapter 8 begins with the words “no condemnation” and ends with the words “no separation”. There is no separation because nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (8:39). Human love cannot guarantee that what is desired for the beloved will actually happen. Divine love is a function of omnipotence and has at its heart God’s purpose to bless which cannot be stopped.

The love Paul speaks about in Romans 8:35 & 39 is the love that saves. The New Testament doesn’t allow anyone to think that this divine love includes him unless he comes as a sinner to Jesus and confesses “My Lord and my God”. Once a person has given himself to Jesus he never has to feel any uncertainty in the relationship. It is the privilege of all Christians to know for certain that God loves them immutably and that nothing at any time can separate them or come between them and the final enjoyment of their salvation.

You better Pray Obama Care Is Not In Your Future

Thursday, July 16, 2009

‘God Awful’: Black Chamber of Commerce CEO Rips Sen. Boxer for ‘Condescending’ Racial Remarks

Black Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO Harry Alford accused Senator Boxer (D-CA) of playing race politics during an EPW Committee hearing on green jobs.

Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Sky Is Crying

Doggone It People Like Me!


Al Frankin is the joke. What a sad pathetic excuse for a Senator. But he fits in well with all the other sad pathetic Senator's.

Living With No Regrets

I walked in the sunshine with a scholar who had effectively forfeited his prospects of academic advancement by clashing with church dignitaries over the gospel of grace. “But it doesn’t matter,” he said at length, “for I’ve known God and they haven’t.”

. . . [Not] many of us ever naturally say that in the light of the knowledge of God which we have come to enjoy past disappointments and present heartbreaks, as the world counts heartbreaks, don’t matter. For the plain fact is that to most of us they do matter. We live with them as our “crosses” (so we call them). Constantly we find ourselves slipping into bitterness and apathy and gloom as we reflect on them, which we frequently do. The attitude we show to the world is a sort of dried-up stoicism, miles removed from the “joy unspeakable and full of glory” which Peter took for granted that his readers were displaying (1 Peter 1:8). “Poor souls,” our friends say of us, “how they’ve suffered” – and that is just what we feel about ourselves! But these private mock heroics have no place at all in the minds of those who really know God. They never brood on might-have-beens; they never think of the things they have missed, only of what they have gained. . . . When Paul says [in Philippians 3] he counts the things he lost “dung,” he means not merely that he does not think of them as having any value but also that he does not live with them constantly in his mind; what normal person spends his time nostalgically dreaming of manure?

J. I. Packer, Knowing God, pages 20-21.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Experience Your Free Will Like You Have Never Experienced It Before!

Bright Lights, Big City - Jimmy Reed

Alan Jacobs Reviews The Green Bible

Writing in First Things, Alan Jacobs offers an insightful review of The Green Bible:

Here's a taste:
The Green Bible presents us with a curious kind of natural theology: We start with things we know to be true from trusted sources—Al Gore, perhaps?—and then we turn to Scripture to measure it against those preexisting and reliable authorities. And what a relief to discover that God is green. Because we already know that it’s good to be green—what we didn’t know is whether God measures up to that standard.

Reading the Bible "from the perspective provided by" the green letters doesn't work that way. For Christians, Jesus Christ is not only the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is also, as St. Paul says, the end of the Law and its fulfillment: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him." Nothing of the kind can be said for the green-letter themes. Christ leads you to everything else; greenness does not. And the green lettering invites us to separate one theme from others, extracting it from the larger story of which it is a part.
Read the whole thing.

A snapshot from the past depicting the present reality of the United States

The following is about the fall of Rome but it could from the editorial page of today's newspaper.

"There are no doubt lessons here for the contemporary reader. The changing character of the native population, brought about through unremarked pressures on porous borders; the creation of an increasingly unwieldy and rigid bureaucracy, whose own survival becomes its overriding goal; the despising of the military and the avoidance of its service by established families, while offices present unprecedented opportunity for marginal men to whom its ranks had once been closed; the lip service paid to values ling dead; the pretense that we are still what we once were; the increasing concentrations of the populace into richer and poorer by way of a corrupt tax system, and the desperation that inevitably follows; the aggrandizement of executive power at the expense of the legislature; ineffectual legislation promulgated with great show; the moral vocation of the man at the top to maintain order at all costs, while growing blind to the cruel dilemmas of ordinary life - these are all themes with which our world is familiar, nor are they the God-given property of any party or political point of view, even though we often act as if they were. At least, the emperor could not heap his economic burdens on posterity by creating long-term public debt, for floating capital had not yet been conceptualized."

From "How The Irish Saved Civilization" by Thomas Cahill, pg. 29-30

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Is Your Happiness Out Of The Reach Of Your Enemies?

In June of 1850, Jonathan Edwards’ congregation in Northampton voted whether or not to retain him as their pastor. Only 23 of 230 voted in favor of Edwards—a mere 10 percent—and he was therefore terminated from the pastorate he held for 23 years. Leading up to his farewell sermon on July 1, 1750, Edwards’ demeanor was said to be remarkably calm, as noted at the time by Reverend David Hall in his diary:

I never saw the least symptoms of displeasure in his countenance the whole week, but he appeared like a man of God, whose happiness was out of the reach of his enemies, and whose treasure was not only a future but a present good, overbalancing all imaginable ills of life, even to the astonishment of many, who could not be at rest without his dismission.

“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7).

Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower Live! Isle Of Wight

Augustine: Despise Not the Work of Thy Hands

Augustine, as cited by Calvin (Institutes 3.17.14):
I do not say to the Lord,
Despise not the works of my hands;
I have sought the Lord with my hands, and have not been deceived.
But I commend not the works of my hands, for I fear that when thou examinest them thou wilt find more faults than merits.

This only I say, this asks this desire,
Despise not the works of thy hands.
See in me thy work, not mine.
If thou sees mine, thou condemnest;
if thou sees thine own, thou crownest.
Whatever good works I have are of thee.

Monday, July 13, 2009

This Aint A Dream Its a Nightmare

I couldn't watch much of the Senate hearings today, its so sad to see morons running the show. When Al Frankin started to speak I thought I was going to throw up, so to avoid that I turned the TV off. Its hard watching the Dems kiss their own arses.

BB King - How Blue Can You Get

What We Really Need

"What is needed is something that cannot be explained in human terms. What is needed is something that is so striking and so signal that it will arrest the attention of the whole world. That is revival.

Now we of ourselves can never do anything like that. We can do a great deal, and we should do all we can. We can preach the truth, we can defend it, we can indulge in our apologetics, we can organize our campaigns, we can try to present a great front to the world. But you know, it does not impress the world. It leaves the world where it was. The need is for something which will be so overwhelming, so divine, so unusual that it will arrest the attention of the world . . . .

'Authenticate thy word. Lord God, let it be known, let it be known beyond a doubt, that we are thy people. Shake us!' I do not ask him to shake the building, but I ask him to shake us. I ask him to do something that is so amazing, so astounding, so divine, that the whole world shall be compelled to look on and say, 'What is this?' as they said on the day of Pentecost."

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival, pages 183-185.

Thomas Sowell, The Housing Boom and Bust


If you want to know what happened with the housing boom and bust, my guess is that you'd be hard to find a better resource than Thomas Sowell's new book, The Housing Boom and Bust.

He was recently interviewed by Peter Robinson on "Uncommon Knowledge." It's a helpful intro to the book and to the issues:
  1. The economics of the housing boom
  2. The politics of the housing boom
  3. The origins and unique features of the housing bust
  4. The pitfalls of New Deal thinking
  5. The economic proposals of the Obama administration

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Is Abortion About to Become a Universal Health Benefit in America?

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, has an important article in the latest Weekly Standard on the Obama Administration and abortion.

The big point:

. . . [T]he bottom line for Barack Obama is clear. After making a few polite noises about finding "common ground" with pro-lifers, his administration has shown zero interest in doing so. Instead, the Obama agenda is to weave government-backed abortion into the fabric of American life and make it a far more integral part of domestic and foreign policy than ever before.
Specifically, she looks at the health reform bill coming down the pike:
Clearly, if Obama's preferred health reform becomes law, abortion will be defined as a "health benefit" automatically provided to every American family. The Hyde amendment, which for more than 30 years has banned federal funding for almost all abortions and has enjoyed overwhelming congressional support, will become all but irrelevant once abortion on demand is defined as a universal "health benefit."
She also discusses the President's endorsement of repealing the Dornan amendment, thus allowing Washington DC to spend government money on abortions (which hasn't happened since 1995).
Here's her conclusion:
Why is Obama pushing ahead with such a radical abortion agenda? Since there's no way to accuse him of doing it out of poll-driven opportunism, sincere conviction becomes the most plausible motive. Sometimes the simplest, most straightforward answer makes the most sense. A president who once said he wouldn't want his daughter punished with a baby if she made a mistake is deeply committed to making free and easy access to abortion an inescapable element of American culture.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Government Renovations

Sonny Boy Williamson - Your Funeral and my Trial

"I'm begging you baby, cut out the off the wall jive. Woman if you cant treat me no better, its going to be your funeral my trial."

The Question is not whether the Episcopal Church has jumped the shark

jumping the shark, n: the precise moment when things go bad - terribly irrevocably bad.

Episcopal Bishop calls individual salvation 'heresy,' 'idolatry'
ANAHEIM, CA - Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says it's "heresy" to believe that an individual can be saved through a sinner's prayer of repentance.
In her opening address to the church's General Conference in California, Jefferts Schori called that "the great Western heresy: that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God."

The presiding bishop said that view is "caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus."

According to Schori, it is heresy to believe that an individual's prayer can achieve a saving relationship with God. "That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy."

Bishops want marriage rituals for homosexuals

Meanwhile, six Episcopal bishops are pushing for greater recognition of same-sex marriages at a national gathering of church officials in California. Bishop Thomas Ely of Vermont says he and other bishops from states recognizing same-sex marriage will offer a resolution urging the church to adapt marriage rituals to include homosexual couples. Ely says the resolution will be introduced at the church's General Convention, which started Wednesday in Anaheim. The convention is held every three years.

Do You Recognize The Lamb Who Took Your Sins?

"God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We however, says Peter (2 Peter 3:13), are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God's glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins?"

Martin Luther, writing to Philip Melanchthon, 1 August 1521.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

J.B. Lenoir-Shemekia Copeland - God's Word.

Obligations

"Rube" Lacy, the bluesman - or Rev. Rubin Lacy, the preacher - once said of the blues, "Sometimes the best Christian in the world have the blues quicker than a sinner do. The average sinner ain't got nothin' to worry about. He do what he please, go where he please, use what he please. But a Christian is obligated to certain things and obligated not to do certain things. That sometimes cause the Christian to take the blues."

From "Getting The Blues" by Stephen J. Nichols, pg.145

Alison Krause - There Is A Reason

What Is Needed

"What is needed is something that cannot be explained in human terms. What is needed is something that is so striking and so signal that it will arrest the attention of the whole world. That is revival.

Now we of ourselves can never do anything like that. We can do a great deal, and we should do all we can. We can preach the truth, we can defend it, we can indulge in our apologetics, we can organize our campaigns, we can try to present a great front to the world. But you know, it does not impress the world. It leaves the world where it was. The need is for something which will be so overwhelming, so divine, so unusual that it will arrest the attention of the world . . . .

'Authenticate thy word. Lord God, let it be known, let it be known beyond a doubt, that we are thy people. Shake us!' I do not ask him to shake the building, but I ask him to shake us. I ask him to do something that is so amazing, so astounding, so divine, that the whole world shall be compelled to look on and say, 'What is this?' as they said on the day of Pentecost."

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival, pages 183-185.

credo ut intelligum

(Latin, “I believe to understand”)

This phrase was popularized by St. Anselm and describes the Christian’s endeavor to understand what he or she already believes. It is a good concise definition of what Christian theology truly is. This phase was originally based on Augustine of Hippo’s maxim crede ut intelligas, “believe so that you may understand.” Also related to this is Anselm’s fides quaerens intellectum “Faith seeking understanding.” All these phrases are used to aid in our understanding of faith’s relationship to reason.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

James Brown - There Was A Time (Letterman 1982)

Give it up for James Brown. His band is funky, what a groove they are laying down. If this don't make you move your dead. I meet James Brown in late 1969 or early 1970, I was in a band that opened for Brown at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo NY.

Are You A Slacker?

Revival is "A work of God by his Spirit through his word bringing the spiritually dead to living faith in Christ and renewing the inner life of Christians who have grown slack and sleepy."
J.I Packer

While its true that we need revival in America to bring spiritually dead people to a living faith in Jesus Christ, we really need a revival among the slack and sleepy Christians who fill Churches. A slacker is someone who avoids work or duty. To be slack is to be slow, idle, sluggish, to barely move, not busy or active, careless or negligent.

Are you a slacker? I am talking about the inner life being neglected or ignored. some Christians are so slack they can't even make it to a Church. They have thousands of excuses, "I cant' find a Church " either your not looking or your just plain lazy and you definitely don't take the bible seriously. I have been hurt at Church" who hasn't? Avoiding being part of a community of believers is not the path to healing. Many other slackers sit in Church services they don't worship, they don't read the bible, they don't serve, they really don't contribute anything. If your a slacker you need to be revived, you need to wake up concerning the state you're in. You need to learn about the grace of God and see afresh the wonder of the Savior and what he did for you on the cross. " An do this, knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed." Romans 13:11

Regina Spektor- Laughing With

The Devil's Advocate

Gospel: To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

Devil's advocate: A tax collector! Why, he was just one step below a child-molester in that society -- collected taxes for the Roman governor, and cheated people at that -- I'll bet he felt out of place in that holy and beautiful place.

Gospel: The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: "God, I thank you that I am not like all other men -- robbers, evil-doers, adulterers -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all my income."

DA: Man, what a record! A tither -- even tithed his bank interest! You mean he fasted twice every week? No wonder he was considered to be a holy man by all his neighbors. God must have been proud to hear him!

Gospel: But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

DA: Now, what kind of prayer is that? The man's not only a bounder -- he should have his head examined. What a debasing and negative self-image for a mature man to have! He needs a psychiatrist.

Gospel: I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

DA: Now, what's that supposed to mean? Come on, man, make sense!

Donald P. Hustad, Jubilate: Church Music in the Evangelical Tradition, pages 186-187.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Flies Infest White House

Etta James - I'd Rather Go Blind

Why Is Life Joyful?

Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God, volume 2, pages 500ff., proposes a helpful line of thought:

If God is in fact our Enemy with only destructive intentions toward us, why do we experience any good at all? It isn't surprising that life is painful. What's surprising is that life is joyful. What do our simple, daily joys mean? Is God pretending to be our Friend, is he setting us up for the ultimate nasty surprise? Or is God sending us signals every day that his heart is loving and kind, so kind that we can go back to him in repentance and find his arms open to us?

Where does a warm cup of coffee come from? Where does meaningful and profitable work come from? Where does an interesting crossword puzzle come from? Where does a kiss from my wife come from? Where does a phone call from a friend come from? Where do happy memories of my children come from? Where do the uplifting challenges of tomorrow come from?

The gospel in Romans 2:4 alerts me to the message embedded in my daily joys: "Do you not know that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?"

Salvation Is Of The Lord

"If anyone should ask me what I meant by a Calvinist, I should reply, 'He is one who says, "Salvation is of the Lord."' I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. 'He only is my rock and my salvation.' Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rock-truth, 'God is my rock and my salvation.' What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ -- the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else."
Charles Spurgeon

Monday, July 6, 2009

God Has Two Fires

God has two fires

"I have refined you in the furnace of affliction."
Isaiah 48:10

"Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal
fire prepared for the Devil and his demons! And they
will go away into eternal punishment!" Mt. 25:41, 46

God has two fires
one where He puts His gold,
one where He puts His dross.

The fire where He puts His gold, is
the fire of affliction—to purify them.

The fire where He puts His dross, is
the fire of damnation—to punish them.

By Thomas Watson, 1660

How Not To Help The Auto Industry

Willing Slaves Of The Welfare State

"If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. . . . In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They 'cash in.' It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. . . . Let us not be deceived by phrases about 'Man taking charge of his own destiny.' All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others. . . . The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be." (C. S. Lewis in “Is Progress Possible? Willing Slaves of the Welfare State”)

Lewis was right on when he warned us not to be deceived by talk of man taking charge of his own destiny. All that happens is that some men, the elitist's in Government, from the President to all members of the far left in this country will take charge of the destiny of others. All this talk about how the government is spending all this money taking over more and more of the economy because they care about the people of this country is a load of crap. If these elitist's were really concerned they would be subject to the same laws the rest of us are, they would give up their government pension for life and their special health care that the average citizen will never get. They pass laws that affect our lives but they exempt themselves while they take more power and diminish the freedoms for the rest of us.

Bob Dylan - Tombstone Blues - Unplugged

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Church Without The Spirit Is Dead

"Without the Holy Spirit, Christian discipleship would be inconceivable, even impossible. There can be no life without the life-giver, no understanding without the Spirit of truth, no fellowship without the unity of the Spirit, no Christ-likeness of character apart from his fruit, and no effective witness without his power. As a body without breath is a corpse, so the Church without the Spirit is dead."

John Stott in The Spirit, The Church & The World, pg.60

Saturday, July 4, 2009

EPA Scientist Told to Shut Up About Global Warming

And what was the EPA afraid would get out?

After reviewing the scientific literature that the EPA is relying on, Carlin said, he concluded that it was at least three years out of date and did not reflect the latest research. “My personal view is that there is not currently any reason to regulate (carbon dioxide),” he said. “There may be in the future. But global temperatures are roughly where they were in the mid-20th century. They’re not going up, and if anything they’re going down.”

Carlin’s report listed a number of recent developments he said the EPA did not consider, including that global temperatures have declined for 11 years; that new research predicts Atlantic hurricanes will be unaffected; that there’s “little evidence” that Greenland is shedding ice at expected levels; and that solar radiation has the largest single effect on the earth’s temperature.

Yeah, I guess that would have been inconvenient, especially as the President was pushing through his Cap-and-Trade energy fiasco to reduce greenhouse gas emmissions this week.

Read the whole article here


Eric Clapton - Badge [Live in Hyde Park 1996]

Emergent Flow Chart - Click To Enlarge

Luther and Packer on Repentance

"When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said "Repent", He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance" (Martin Luther, thesis #1 of 95)

"Repentance means turning from as much as you know of your sin to give as much as you know of yourself to as much as you know of your God, and as our knowledge grows at these three points so our practice of repentance has to be enlarged" (Keep in Step with the Spirit [Revell: 1984], 104)

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Inconceivable!

To make their worship services more interesting, Hilldale Presbyterian Church added a big screen to display hymn lyrics, Powerpoint presentations, and the occasional showing of The Princess Bride when the sermon is too boring.

Blowing Smoke

Eric Clapton Plays - Love In Vain by Robert Johnson

Caught In The Same Swamp

"Who then can pride himself over against someone else and claim to be better than he? Especially in view of the fact that he is always capable of doing exactly the same as the other does and, indeed, that he does secretly in his heart before God what the other does openly before men. And so we must never despise anyone who sins but must generously bear with him as a companion in a common misery. We must help one another just as two people caught in the same swamp assist each other. Thus we must 'bear one another's burdens and fulfill the law of Christ' (Galatians 6:2). But if we despise the other, we shall both perish in the same swamp."

Martin Luther, Lectures on Romans, page 115.

Church Membership

"We have in our day started by getting the whole picture upside down. Starting with the doctrine that every individual is 'of infinite value,' we then picture God as a kind of employment committee whose business it is to find suitable careers for souls, square holes for square pegs. In fact, however, the value of the individual does not lie in him. He is capable of receiving value. He receives it by union with Christ. There is no question of finding for the individual a place in the living temple which will do justice to his inherent value and give scope to his natural idiosyncrasy. The place was there first. The individual was created for it. He will not be himself until he is there."

C. S. Lewis, "Membership," in The Weight of Glory, page 174.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

How To Sink Health Care

It Is Of Grace

It is of grace that any are saved, and in the distribution of that grace, He does what He will with His own: a right which most are ready enough to claim in their own concerns, though they are so unwilling to allow it to the Lord of all. Many perplexing and acrimonious disputes have been started upon this subject; but the redeemed of the Lord are called, not to dispute, but to admire and rejoice; to love, adore, and obey. To know that He loved us, and gave Himself for us, is the constraining argument and motive to love Him, and surrender ourselves to Him; to consider ourselves as no longer our own, but to devote ourselves with every faculty, power, and talent to His service and glory. He deserves our all, for He parted with all for us. He made Himself poor, He endured shame, torture, death, and the curse for us, that we through Him might inherit everlasting life. Ah ! the hardness of my heart, that I am no more affected, astonished, overpowered with this thought.

John Newton


'I Shall Not Be Moved' CHARLEY PATTON, 1929 Delta Blues Guitar Legend

C.S. Lewis's Willingness to Be Enchanted and Openness to Delight

Alan Jacobs, The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis (HarperCollins, 2005), xxi:
. . . Lewis's mind was above all characterized by a willingness to be enchanted and . . . it was this openness to enchantment that held together the various strands of his life--his delight in laughter, his willingness to accept a world made by a good and loving God, and (in some ways above all) his willingness to submit to the charms of a wonderful story. . . . What is "secretly present in what he said about anything" is an openness to delight, to the sense that there's more to the world than meets the jaundiced eye, to the possibility that anything could happen to someone who is ready to meet that anything. For someone with eyes to see and the courage to explore, even an old wardrobe full of musty coats could be the doorway into another world.

HT:Justin Taylor

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Are You Full Of Patonizing Nonsense When It Comes To Jesus

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing people often say about Him (Jesus) : 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who is merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was and is the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity pg. 52

'You're Gonna Need Somebody When You Die' CHARLEY PATTON, 1929 Delta Blues Guitar Legend

You're gonna need somebody when its time to die. The question is do you have somebody?

Is Government The Soultion To All Problems? Some People Think So

The Eyes Of The Reborn

"Suddenly to be caught up in the wonder of God's love flooding the universe, made aware of the stupendous creativity which animates all life, of our participation in it, every color brighter, every meaning clearer, every shape more shapely, every note more musical, every word written and spoken more explicit. . . . The animals too, flying, prowling, burrowing, all their diverse cries and grunts and bellowings, and the majestic hilltops, the gaunt rocks giving their blessed shade, the rivers faithfully making their way to the sea, all irradiated with this same glory for the eyes of the reborn."

Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom, pages 54-55.