Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christ Alone Saves

Remember, sinner, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee–it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee–it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that is the instrument–it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not to thy hope, but to Christ, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Christ, the author and finisher of thy faith; and if thou doest that, ten thousand devils cannot throw thee down…There is one thing which we all of us too much becloud in our preaching, though I believe we do it very unintentionally–namely, the great truth that it is not prayer, it is not faith, it is not our doings, it is not our feelings upon which we must rest, but upon Christ, and on Christ alone. We are apt to think that we are not in a right state, that we do not feel enough, instead of remembering that our business is not with self, but Christ. Let me beseech thee, look only to Christ; never expect deliverance from self, from ministers, or from any means of any kind apart from Christ; keep thine eye simply on Him; let his death, His agonies, His groans, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look for Him; when thou liest down at night look for Him. (The Forgotten Spugeon, Iain Murray, 42.)

Johnny Cash - God's Gonna Cut You Down

Johnny Cash for a Sunday. This song has a prophetic edge, sooner or latter God's gonna cut you down. You can run on for a long time, ain't that the truth! Better to bend the knee now because it's inevitable later.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

How Well Do You Understand Christianity?

"If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God's child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life it means that he does not understand Christianity very much at all."
J.I. Packer, Knowing God Pg.201

I think we could conclude from this statement that there are very many Christians who don't understand Christianity very well at all. There are also many religious people, some who attend churches that don't understand Christianity at all.

Eric Clapton - Motherless Child

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving Up On Yourself

Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your own ambitions and favorite wishes every day and the death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life.

Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.

Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.

CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, pg.188.

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Crossway has put out a wonderful, small book for Advent called Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas . It contains 22 4-8 page readings from sermons and works of dead folks (like Martin Luther, J.C. Ryle, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, and more) and living folks (like Tim Keller, J.I. Packer, R.C. Sproul, Joni Eareckson Tada, John Piper, and others). Pick it up.

Here's an excerpt from Tim Keller's chapter, "The Gift of Christmas"...

When September 11th happened and New Yorkers started to suffer, you heard two voices. You heard the conventional moralistic voices saying, "When I see you suffer, it tells me about a judging God. You must not be living right, and so God is judging you." When they see suffering they see a judgmental God.

The secular voice said, "When I see people suffering, I see God is missing." When they see suffering they see an absent, indifferent God.

But when we see Jesus Christ dying on the cross through an act of violence and injustice, what kind of God do we see then? A condemning God? No, we see a God of love paying for sin. Do we see a missing God? Absolutely not! We see a God who is not remote but involved.

We sometimes wonder why God doesn't just end suffering. But we know that whatever the reason, it isn't one of indifference or remoteness. God so hates suffering and evil that he was willing to come into it and become enmeshed in it.


My wife and I saw the movie Australia tonight and really enjoyed it. Following is a review from Christianity Today:

Early in Baz Luhrmann's Australia, one of the main characters says of his country: "this land has a strange power." And indeed, if one surveys the landscape of films about Australia, many of them (The Last Wave, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Proposition) seem to express this sentiment: Australia is a nation of strange, captivating, haunting power. In his epic film about his native country, Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) affirms and exaggerates this Australian mythos, to spectacular effect. Indeed, his impressively rendered film has a "strange power" of its own.

This is a film of great ambition and artistic audacity. That the title is simply Australia tips us off to the intentions of Luhrmann: not necessarily to make the definitive film about the complicated country/continent, but to provide an over-the-top, grandiose, slightly-irreverent-but-ultimately-sincere explosion of cinema that hearkens back to the golden age of Hollywood epics.

To read the rest of the review click here

The Sky Is Crying - Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Paul Butterffield, B.B. King

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hey Dude Pass The Turkey

In a galaxy far far away.......

Calvinist vs Arminian

Happy Thanksgiving

I just got back from my moms house where my entire family gathered for thanksgiving. Wow what a great meal! This is a picture of my children. From left to right is Jeffery, Jason, Jessica and Jeremy.I do love my kids. We celebrated Jeffery's 22nd birthday, Jason is 28 Jessica is 17 a senior in high school and Jeremy is 32.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving - Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal in Funny Ad

Squanto And The Miracle Of Thanksgiving

Chuck Colson, writing a couple of years ago:
Most of us know the story of the first Thanksgiving—at least, we know the Pilgrim version. But how many of us know the Indian viewpoint?

No, I’m not talking about some revisionist, politically correct version of history. I’m talking about the amazing story of the way God used an Indian named Squanto as a special instrument of His providence.

Read the whole thing.
Here's the conclusion:
Squanto’s life story is remarkable, and we ought to make sure our children and grandchildren learn about it. Sadly, most books about Squanto omit references to his Christian faith. But I’m delighted to say that Eric Metaxas has written a wonderful children’s book called Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving. I highly recommend it. It will teach your kids about the “special instrument sent of God” who changed the course of American history.

Howlin' Wolf - How Many More Years

This is a great live take at a recording session for Chess Records. It starts with Wolf talking about the blues.


We believe that this most gracious and mighty God, after he had made all things left them not to be ruled after the will of chance or fortune, but himself doth so continually rule and govern them, according to the prescript rule of his holy will, that nothing can happen in this world without his decree or ordinance.
Confession Of Belgia.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Making Your Blues Go Away Part 3

TWO: Face Your Emotions (Psalm 102:3-11)

Notice the draining effects of depression. These words are so expressive that everyone can identify with them. (TEV is Todays English Version)
1. You have no hope—“My days vanish like smoke”; “Are consumed like smoke” (v.3) Your days are like being engulfed in smoke, you can't see anything clearly.
2. You feel physical pain—“My bones burn”; “My bones are burned like a hearth”; “My body is burning like fire” (TEV) (v.3) You experience aches and pains but your not physically sick.
3. You feel emotional pain—“My heart is blighted”; “My heart has been smitten”; “My heart is stricken”; I am beaten down like dry grass” (TEV) (v.4) Dry grass has no strength it doesn't bounce back it just lays down. Your emotions are rung out like a dish cloth you just don't have the strength to respond.
4. You lose your appetite—“I forget to eat my bread”; “I have lost my desire for food” (TEV) (v.4) You don't even think about eating it has no appeal to you.
5. Isolation and loneliness—“Like a desert owl”; “I am like a wild bird in the desert” (TEV) (v.6) You feel all alone even if your not. You dont feel connected with anybody the longer the depression the more withdrawn you get.
6. Sleeplessness—“I lie awake”; “I am like a lonely bird on a housetop” (TEV) (v.7) You experience a restlessness you toss and turn but cant fall into a deep sleep.
7. Mental attack and alienation—“My enemies taunt me”; “All day long my enemies insult me” (TEV) (v.8) Your mind wanders and you start to believe that every one is against you. You take everything said to you personally and lash out at others.
8. Sorrow—“I eat ashes like bread”; “Mingle my drink with tears”; “Ashes are my food” (TEV); “My tears are mixed with my drink” (TEV) (v.9) A sorrow comes over you and you may start to cry at any moment not even knowing why your crying.
9. Abandonment—“You have taken me up and thrown me aside”; “You picked me up and threw me away” (TEV) (v.10) You feel that everyone has abandoned you including God.
10. Meaninglessness—“I wither away like grass”; “My life is like the evening shadow” (TEV) (v.11) Nothing makes sense you get up every day and go through the motions but it doesnt mean anything.

Depression is not pleasant to deal with. It suffocates you even if its for a day. The first sign of health is when we are willing to admit our inner gloom. You have to face your emotions, admit them and talk to them, “Why are you downcast o’ my soul?” “Put your hope in God” (Psa.42:5). You have to speak to youself and remind yourself who God is and choose to trust him.

Reading The Bible Right

There are two ways to read the Bible. The one way to read the Bible is that it’s basically about you: what you have to do in order to be right with God, in which case you’ll never have a sure and certain hope, because you’ll always know you’re not quite living up. You’ll never be sure about that future. Or you can read it as all about Jesus. Every single thing is not about what you must do in order to make yourself right with God, but what he has done to make you absolutely right with God. And Jesus Christ is saying, “Unless you can read the Bible right, unless you can understand salvation by grace, you’ll never have a sure and certain hope. But once you understand it’s all about me, Jesus Christ, then you can know that you have peace. You can know that you have this future guaranteed, and you can face anything.”
Tim Keller

How Can God Be Just?

One of the more frequently heard objections to unconditional election is that it impugns God’s justice. God is unfair and unjust, says the Arminian, if he treats people differently or bestows on some a favor that he withholds from others.

But this is surely a strange way of defining justice. Justice is that principle in virtue of which a person is given his due. To withhold from a person what he deserves or what the law demands that he receive is to act unjustly. How, then, can it be unjust to withhold from a person what he does not deserve? If you are in my debt and I demand payment, I can hardly be said to have acted unjustly. Similarly, should you not pay me, as you are obligated by law, it is justice that demands that you suffer the consequences.

All humanity stands infinitely indebted to God, rightly condemned to suffer the penal consequences that our sin deserves. No man can rightfully claim to deserve mercy or divine clemency, for “there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Rom. 3:12b). The verdict of Holy Scripture is “guilty as charged,” with no grounds for a new trial or for appeal.

No legitimate indictment may be brought against the bench should “His Honor” immediately consign the whole of Adam’s race to eternal death. There is justifiable recourse for the defendants neither in the law nor in themselves. No technicality in the procedural development of the trial nor character witness on behalf of the accursed can be claimed. Unlike earthly judges who may be baffled by quick-witted lawyers or bribed by unscrupulous partisans, God weighs all the evidence and judges with absolute impartiality. The verdict is the same for all: Guilty! The punishment is the same for all: Eternal Death!

To read the rest of this article by Sam Storms Click Here

Ben Stein on Glenn Beck Talking About Ben's Movie Expelled

If you havnt seen Expelled you are missing out. The Movie is now out on DVD, so go rent it show it to your family, your friends, and anyone else you can drag in the house.

Howlin' Wolf - Smokestack Lighting (1964)

Monday, November 24, 2008


Making Your Blues Go Away Part 2

ONE: Spiritual People Get Depressed
"Hear my prayer O Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly." Psalm 102:1-2 NIV

No one is always on top. I don’t trust people who claim to never get down.One of the unrealities that invades our Christianity is that we minimize our humanity. We believe (or are taught) that once saved everything will be great. Nothing should ever disappoint or discourage a faith-filled Christian. What a load of crap! Many of the great people in the bible like Abraham, Moses and Paul walked through the dark times of the soul and spoke openly about their fears and discouragements. Some of the church’s great leaders men like Martin Luther and Charles Spurgeon and certain hymn writers, were men who loved God but who cried out from the pits of discouragement. These were mighty men of faith who refused to hide or camouflage their complaint. That’s what the Psalmist is doing here.

This Psalm was authored by the Holy Spirit—it’s a prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before the Lord. God wants us to know about this spiritual man’s “down time.” (See the introduction to the Psalm). Are you ever afflicted or overwhelmed?

Leaders are particularly prone to pretend that everything is all right when it is not. I’ve know many people who can’t admit what’s wrong in their life. They thought that to admit they had problems was a sign of weakness and I know a few that died as a result. “Faking it” becomes a way of life, if it hurts we hide it. This is encouraged by the church today, church leaders can’t mess up they have to be perfect and have perfect families, this is unreal. If something disappoints us we deny it. If something discourages us we tend to ignore it. This kind of unreality is a breeding ground for problems. Psalm 102 never indicates that the feelings of depression are sin. The psalmist is not ashamed to express his discouragement before God and men. One gets the impression that God welcomes the honest complaint. He listens to it.
Everybody gets depressed, everybody has down days or seasons no one is immune. It happens regardless of how spiritually mature someone is.

Are You Limiting Christ's Death?

This short quote by Charles Spurgeon really strikes at the heart of the objection to Particular Atonement. You have to think this through.

The Arminians say, 'Christ died for all men.' Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, 'No, certainly not.' We ask them the next question: Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They answer 'No.' They are obliged to admit this, if they are consistent. They say, 'No; Christ has died that any man may be saved if ?' and then follow certain conditions of salvation. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you. You say that Christ did not die so as infallibly to secure the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ's death; we say, 'No, my dear sir, it is you that do it.' We say Christ so died that he infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it.
Charles Spurgeon

Blues Before Sunrise - Eric Clapton

Here's your Monday morning blues.This song is from Clapton's CD From The Cradle. This is some fine slide guitar playing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Real Turkeys

It's 6pm Sunday night I'm getting ready to watch the Detroit Pistons play the Timberwolves. When the boys were young we would go see the Pistons at the Pontiac Silverdome where we could get tickets for $5.00 each. These were the years prior to the Bad Boys winning their two championship's. My favorite holiday is coming up this week Thanksgiving. The family gathers at my mom's house for a unbelievable meal. The only sad part of this is the Detroit Lions. They lost again today rushing out to a 17 to 0 lead in the 1st quarter only to be outscored 38 to 3 the rest of the way. Turkey day tradition has always been watching the Leos, but they are so bad and they play against the Titans who lost their 1st game today to the Bret Farve Jets- go Jets! I like Bret Farve so I think I'll root for the Jets the rest of the season. Sadly the turkeys people will be eating on Thursday wont be the only turkeys getting stuffed.

The Merit in One Drop of Christ's Blood

John Bunyan meditated on the marks of a person who is coming (has come) to Christ for salvation. I have taken the liberty to update the language where I thought it would help with readability.

Do these things characterize your life?

1. Are you burdened with your sin, recognizing it as an exceedingly bitter thing?
2. Do you run from your sin as you would a deadly serpent?
3. Do you recognize and flee from the insufficiency of your own righteousness in the sight of God.
4. Do you cry to the Lord Jesus to save you?
5. Do you see more worth and merit in one drop of Christ's blood to save you, than in all the sins of the world to condemn you?
6. Are you tender of sinning against Jesus?
7. Is Jesus' name, person, and undertakings more precious to you than the glory of the world?
8. Is faith in Christ precious to you (as a means to connect you to Christ)?
9. Do you savor Christ in his Word, and do you leave all the world for his sake?
10. Are you willing (with God's help) to run in harm's way for his name?
11. Are his saints precious to you?

Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, Works, p. 279. by John Bunyan

Friday, November 21, 2008

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter

"You can be joyous. You cannot be a jackass."

Mayor Nutter advising city residents on celebrations after the Philadelphia Phillies won the world series, their first in 28 years, on October 29.


Cheapening The Gospel

"We have tried to make the Gospel popular but it was never meant for entertainment. When we call in the world, the flesh and the devil to put Christianity over, we have cheapened it instead of communicating it"
Vance Havner

Got My Mojo Working - Muddy Waters At The Newport Jazz Festival 1960

Watch the whole thing and see Muddy dance towards the end. James Cotton is playing harmonica and Otis Spann is playing piano. When I played with The Sam Lay Blues Band ten years later,Lucille Spann Otis's widow was our lead singer. We played this song every night because Sam did his famous double shuffle. My favorite version of this song is on the album "Fathers And Sons" with Muddy Waters, Paul Butterfield, Sam Lay and Mike Bloomfield.

Hot Pockets! Jim Gaffigan

The Sovereignty Of God In Salvation

"O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out"

Romans 11:33

Friend; was there not a time when you walked in the counsel of the ungodly, stood in the way of sinners, sat in the seat of the scorners, and with them said, "We will not have this Man to reign over us" (Luke 19:14)? Was there not a time when you "would not come to Christ that you might have life" (John 5:40)? Yea, was there not a time when you mingled your voice with those who said unto God, "Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto Him?" (Job 21:14, 15)? With shamed face you have to acknowledge there was. But how is it that all is now changed? What was it that brought you from haughty self-sufficiency to a humble suppliant, from one that was at enmity with God to one that is at peace with Him, from lawlessness to subjection, from hate to love? And, as one ‘born of the Spirit,’ you will readily reply, "By the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). Then do you not see that it is due to no lack of power in God, nor to His refusal to coerce man, that other rebels are not saved too? If God was able to subdue your will and win your heart, and that without interfering with your moral responsibility, then is He not able to do the same for others? Assuredly He is. Then how inconsistent, how illogical, how foolish of you, in seeking to account for the present course of the wicked and their ultimate fate, to argue that God is unable to save them, that they will not let Him. Do you say, "But the time came when I was willing, willing to receive Christ as my Saviour"? True, but it was the Lord who made you willing (Ps. 110:3; Phil. 2:13) why then does He not make all sinners willing? Why, but for the fact that He is sovereign and does as He pleases! A.W. Pink

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Making Your Blues Go Away - Part 1

It is safe to conclude that the “blues” any kind of blues are common to man. Most of us feel “blue” some of the time, some of us feel “blue” most of the time. Our emotions sometime seem circumstantially determined. The cross currents that move in our personal air space determine our emotional forecast. One moment we’re sunny, the next partly cloudy. Our emotional weather map changes in a moment. Some people have blues fronts pass through on a regular basis while there are some who live in a continual blues funk. The rise and fall of our emotions remind us of our humanity. Whatever else we are (Christian, Leader, Father, Mother, Husband, Wife, Our Position) we have to remember that we are dust. Dust is blown about by even the slightest breeze. James calls our life “a vapor that appears for a little time”, a mist (James 4:14). God remembers we are dust, “For He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14).

Depression revolves around four core symptoms:
1. A gloomy mood— where you feel very sad or dejected, hopeless, melancholy or sullen, this has to do with our emotions.
2. Pessimism—this is where we are expecting the worst outcome in any circumstance; the practice of looking on the dark side of things. The root of this has to do with the lies you tell yourself, this can come from not knowing the truth or knowing it but not believing the truth.
3. Self criticism—is the act of finding fault, or disapproval, emphasizing your faults or short comings. The lies you tell yourself resulting in self condemnation.
4. Delay or confusion has to do with circumstances when things don't happen as soon as we think they will.

Depression encourages us to withdraw from things, activities and people. When the depression is severe enough it encourages us to withdraw from life itself, in extreme case's it can result in suicide. Depression is a shroud that covers the soul. To the depressed no one seems enticing; nothing seems exciting, even God seems to be distant. To the depressed God may be in the heavens but His presence is no longer felt. Worship feels like a mockery, praise feels like hypocrisy, relationships feel empty and nothing satisfies. Like a weather front, depression can be both minor and major. A minor depression is a partly cloudy or rainy day. A major depression is a cloudy or rainy, stormy weather that lasts and lasts (like winter in Michigan) where there is no sun for days.

Depression usually revolves around a sense of loss. We may feel insignificant which is a loss of worth. We may feel insecure which is a loss of confidence. We may feel blah which is a loss of satisfaction. We may feel anxious which is a loss of peace. Or we feel empty which is a loss of hope, you feel like you've lost something. Depression spreads through the human soul like a thick fog. The fog slips under the door of the soul and in moments it blankets the entire room. We are going to look at seven things in Psalm 102 that will help you overcome the blues from a biblical perspective.

Should The Goverment Stop Dumping Money Into A Giant Hole?

In The Know: Should The Government Stop Dumping Money Into A Giant Hole?

I'm With Stupid

Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues

This song is from Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home" album. This album also contains other great songs like Maggie's Farm, Mr. Tambourine Man, Gates Of Eden and It's All Over Now, Baby Blue.

Election: Its Defenses And Evidences by Charles Spurgeon

“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit.”- 1 Thessalonians 1: 4- 6.

At the very announcement of the text some will be ready to say, “Why preach upon so profound a doctrine as election?” I answer, because it is in God’s word, and whatever is in the Word of God is to be preached. But you will say, “But some truths ought to be kept back from the people, lest they would make improper use of it.” That is Roman Catholic doctrine, it was on that very theory that the priests kept the Bible from the people, they did not give it to them lest they should misuse it. “But aren’t some doctrines dangerous?” Not if they are true and correctly handled. Truth is never dangerous, it is error and silence that are filled with peril. “But don’t men abuse the doctrine of grace?” I grant you that they do; but if we destroyed everything that men misuse, we would have nothing left. Are there to be no ropes because some fools will hang themselves? Likewise, must all knives be discarded and denounced, because there are some who will use dangerous weapons for the destruction of their adversaries? Certainly not. Besides all this, remember that men do read the Scriptures and think about these doctrines, and therefore often make mistakes about them; who then will set them right if we, who preach the Word, hold our tongues about the matter?

To read the rest of the message click here

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Believers Influence In The World: Light - Part 7

So far we have looked at:
The Fact - You are the light
Light's Influence - The World
The Three Fold Application of light:
Lights Position - on a hill or lampstand
Light's Nature - its a guide, it exposes
Light's Purpose - to reveal God
The Decision - let your light shine and lastly:

The Motive of Shining: “To glorify your Father in heaven”

The psalmist wrote, “Not to us o’ Lord not to us but to Your name be glory” (Psalm 115:1). We can have no higher motive than this. We are do everything for God's glory. God alone deserves glory so in order to live as a light the result of your shining must give glory to God.

I must guard my life against anything that would oppose and cut off the shining. I must shine for my heavenly Father’s praise and glory. This is what it means to bear much fruit. Jesus said "The only way in which you can bring glory to my Father is to bear much fruit, and to show yourselves to be my disciples." (John 15:8 Barclay).

Heaven is a real literal place and God is a real person. The Greek literally reads “The Father of you, the one in the heavens”. This is the Father of all who are His true children. Following is a prayer you can use to help you apply this teaching:
“Heavenly Father, give me the grace I need that will enable me to occupy my place in this world as salt and light, during these days of corruption and darkness. Keep me faithful, guard my life against all that would cause the salt to lose its flavor and all that would hinder the light from shining — so that my life give's praise, honor and glory to you, whose I am, whom I love and whom I serve, In Jesus name, Amen!

There Is No Such Thing As Fortune And Chance

That this distinction may be the more manifest, we must consider that the Providence of God, as taught in Scripture, is opposed to fortune and fortuitous causes. By an erroneous opinion prevailing in all ages, an opinion almost universally prevailing in our own day, viz., that all things happen fortuitously, the true doctrine of Providence has not only been obscured, but almost buried. If one falls among robbers, or ravenous beasts; if a sudden gust of wind at sea causes shipwreck; if one is struck down by the fall of a house or a tree; if another, when wandering through desert paths, meets with deliverance; or, after being tossed by the waves, arrives in port, and makes some wondrous hair-breadth escape from death - all these occurrences, prosperous as well as adverse, carnal sense will attribute to fortune. But whose has learned from the mouth of Christ that all the hairs of his head are numbered, (Matt 10:30) will look farther for the cause, and hold that all events whatsoever are governed by the secret counsel of God. With regard to inanimate objects again we must hold that though each is possessed of its peculiar properties, yet all of them exert their force only in so far as directed by the immediate hand of God. Hence they are merely instruments, into which God constantly infuses what energy he sees meet, and turns and converts to any purpose at his pleasure.

John Calvin - God's Providence Institutes (1:16)

What The Little Bird Said To Luther

From Spurgeon's, "WAITING ONLY UPON GOD"

You know what Luther said the little bird said to him.
He sat upon the spray of the tree, and he sang-
"Mortal, cease from toil and sorrow;
God provideth for the morrow."

And it chirped and picked up its little grain, and sang again.
And yet it had no granary; it had not a handful of wheat
stored up anywhere; but it still kept on with its chirping-
"Mortal, cease from toil and sorrow;
God provideth for the morrow."

Obama's Heterodoxy

Steven Waldman:

The most detailed and fascinating explication of Barack Obama's faith came in a 2004 interview he gave Chicago Sun Times columnist Cathleen Falsani when he was running for U.S. Senate in Illinois. The column she wrote about the interview has been quoted and misquoted many times over, but she'd never before published the full transcript in a major publication.

Because of how controversial that interview became, Falsani has graciously allowed us to print the full conversation here.

Read the whole thing.

Some reactions (click their names to read more of their thoughts):

Joe Carter:

. . . from a political point of view, whether the President is a Christian, Jew, Muslim, whatever, should make no difference. But I believe it is useful to have an idea of what theological commitments we might have in common. And after reading this interview, I would say that Obama and I share very few beliefs. . . . In fact, nowhere in the interview did I ever get the impression that Obama subscribes to even the most basic beliefs that are typically associated with being a Christian.
Rod Dreher:
Unless Obama was being incredibly and uncharacteristically inarticulate, this is heterodox. You cannot be a Christian in any meaningful sense and deny the divinity of Jesus Christ. You just can't. . . . People think you can make this stuff up as you go along, and that nobody has the right to define authoritatively what any of it means. It's the Church of Christianity without Christ. It's Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, so let's call it what it is -- but not what it is not, which is Christianity.
Daniel Larison:
Ultimately, the inquiry into Obama’s faith does not tell us much that we didn’t already know, which is that he is a liberal Protestant with an accordingly poor grounding in theological orthodoxy. I have to wonder how much power this critique has unless it is made as part of a general argument for theological conservatism in public life. Would cultural conservatives be open to this kind of critique when it is one of theirs being criticized, or would they repeat the arguments marshalled in defense of Romney?
Ross Douthat:
Given the muddled way in which most Americans approach religion, and the pervasiveness of heterodoxy, I suppose I'm basically with Alan Jacobs: I think that figuring out exactly what sort of things Obama believes about God and Christ and everything else, and how those beliefs may affect his Presidency, is ultimately a more profitable pursuit than arguing about whether he should be allowed to call himself a Christian. Or put another way: I expect my Presidents to be heretics, but I think it matters a great deal what kind of heretics they are.
posted by JT at Tuesday, November 18, 2008 7 comments links to this post

Third Degree - Eric Clapton

This song was written by Eddie Boyd and Willie Dixon. I did get to hang out with Willie Dixon for about a week in New York City. Clapton recorded it on his From The Cradle CD. This song is about being falsely accused and having alot of trouble. Job said: "Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward" Job 5:7.

Losing My Mind

Its very early Wednesday morning 12:45am. I just got done formatting an external hard drive for the family computer. I am not good with this stuff. I don't do plumbing electrical painting fixing landscaping working with tools, you name it I'm not good at it. Our family computer got some kind of bug or virus so a friend of mine wiped the hard drive clean but was able to save all the music and photos. I ordered the hard drive from to save money it is recertified. But it was in the wrong format. What do I know for formats! I was running a program windows one live care and trying to back up the hard drive. My computer told me the format was fat32 and that was not good for windows I needed to change it NTFS, what do I know for NTFS? I was following the instructions that I had to write out because the printer is not working yet because I cant find the disk that came with it. I follow the instructions and get to a question What is the volume of the drive? I dont know. I tried it twice and got nowhere. So I went to my computer on windows and clicked on the new drive to try to get information. The info was in a pdf format but the computer didnt have adobe on it. So I went to adobe to download the software but because I was using firefox there were other directions I had to follow, are you kidding me? It takes forever to download adobe because of my slow good for nothing at&t dsl. I watch some Letterman finish the install of adobe. Now I am reading and trying to follow instructions. They tell me to go to some support site and read how to format the drive. Again I had to write down a page of instructions because the printer doesnt work. I work through the instructions and reformat the drive, yea! Then I go back into windows one care to back up the hard drive. This only took 1 & 1/2 hours, I finished about 12:30am. Hey I didnt even tell you about the leaking faucet in the bathroom that didnt have a shut off valve for the hot water, and i'm trying to figure out the pipes in the basement, I think i'm losing my mind.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Believers Influence In The World: Light - Part 6

The Decision: “Let your light shine”

The light we have been lighted with is real — it does shine and will keep on shining if we don’t cover it. Literally “You must let your light shine”. Every Christian is a light (lamp). There are four things necessary in order for a lamp (Christian) to give light.
1. First the lamp must be lighted and only God can light you. The light does not originate within us because salvation is by grace alone. God saves us and places the light of His life inside us when we are born again.
2. Secondly it must be set to shine for a useful purpose, it cannot be hidden. In the same way God sets every member in the body as it pleases Him so that every member has a purpose. Every member is called and gifted and is to use their gifts for God' glory, we are "created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10).
3. Third the lamp must be fed with the proper oil which is the Holy Spirit. The oil of self won’t work. Every Christian must recognize the need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
4. The wick must be trimmed in order for the flame to burn its brightest. This includes cutting off anything that would hinder the brightness of the flame. In order for believers to bear fruit they must be pruned.
The world needs to see our light. “The people which sat in darkness saw a great light” (Matt.4:16).

Perseverance Of The Saints

The doctrine of the perseverance of the saints does not maintain that all those who profess the Christian faith are certain of heaven. It is saints - those who are set apart by the Spirit - who persevere to the end. It is believers - those who are given true, living faith in Christ - who are secure and safe in Him. Many who profess to believe fall away, but they do not fall from grace for they were never in grace. True believers do fall into temptations, and they do commit grievous sins, but these sins do not cause them to lose their salvation or separate them from Christ. The Westminster Confession of Faith gives the following statement on this doctrine:
"They whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace: but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved."

Boettner is certainly correct in asserting that this doctrine does not stand alone but is a necessary part of the Calvinistic system of theology. The doctrines of Election and Efficacious Grace logically imply the certain salvation of those who receive these blessings. If God has chosen men absolutely and unconditionally to eternal life, and if His Spirit effectively applies to them the benefits of redemption, the inescapable conclusion is that these persons shall be saved. The following verses show that God's people are given eternal life the moment they believe. they are kept by God's power through faith and nothing can separate them from His love. They have been sealed with the Holy Spirit who has been given as the guarantee of their salvation, and they are thus assured of an eternal inheritance.
David Steele & Curtis C Thomas from The Five Points of Calvinism (pg. 56)

The Beach Boys - God Only Knows

Being born in 1950 in Detroit I was exposed to a lot of good music. I listened to Motown but I also became a Beach Boys fan. This song is from their album Pet Sounds. I have always loved this song.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Believers Influence In The World: Light - Part 5

The Three Fold Application Of Light
We looked at light's position and light's nature today we look at:

Light’s purpose
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven” (v.16).

The purpose of being light is to shine before men, the objects of shining. The only purpose of lighting a lamp is in order to give light to all in the house. We are to shine in the world of men, human beings just like us who need the redemption Jesus provided. We cannot force them to believe but we want them to see something in us.

Light gives direction, like a airport beacon guide planes, light does not shine for itself but for others. The light is not to spotlight self but to show others the way. Our goal is that people will see God, that they will see our heavenly father, and glorify Him.

Men should see your good works. In the Greek there are two words for good: 1) “agathos” — which defines a thing as good in quality. 2) “Kalos” — used here and means that something is not only good but beautiful and attractive. There is to be something attractive about the good works we do. I believe its not just the attractiveness of the works but the spiritual attractiveness of the person doing the works.

Light can also be used to warn, like a lighthouse warns ships of the danger of hidden rocks and helps them avoid shipwreck, believers are to warn unbelievers about the danger of sin. The light can't stop people from doing things that are harmful to them but it can expose the lies and darkness behind what there doing. We are not to shine in a controlling and condemning way but we are to expose the hidden works of darkness.

There is nothing so useless in God’s universe as a formal Christian who has the name but not the life. Some people know just enough about Christianity to spoil everything else but not enough to be of any positive value. People like this don’t think of themselves as worldly or heathen but never really enter into the life of the church. To their amazement, they will eventually find themselves shut outside the door. History proves this out. There are places where there were once strong churches and they are there no more. Jesus warned of this in Revelations 2 & 3. A hidden light is a useless light. If we hide our light because we’re afraid of offending others or because we’re indifferent and lacking in love or for any other reason, we are being unfaithful to the Lord.

Trusting In God's Word

For feelings come and feelings go
And feelings are deceiving
My warrent is the Word of God
Naught else is worth believing

Through all of my heart should feel condemned
For want of some sweet token
There is one greater than my heart
Whose word cannot be broken

I'll trust in God's unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever
For through all things shall pass away
His Word shall stand forever

Martin Luther

George Harrison - If Not For You

George sang this Bob Dylan song at a tribute concert for Dylan in 1992 in Madison Square Garden.This is a great song from Dylan's 1970 album "New Morning". Phil Keaggy covered this song on his Acoustic Cafe CD.

Imputation: The Sinners Only Hope

J. I. Packer calls justification by faith the “storm center of the Reformation.”[1] Justification was at the heart of the gospel of God’s grace that the Reformers rediscovered and began to proclaim. Those 16th century Protestants recognized the importance of this teaching and saw what was at stake in having it firmly established in the church’s confession. Luther’s oft-quoted dictum declares justification to be that article by which the church stands or falls. If you are wrong on this doctrine, it does not matter how much you may have right. Luther went on to call it “the master and prince, the lord, the ruler, and the judge over all kinds of doctrines; it preserves and governs all church doctrine and raises up our conscience before God. Without this article the world is utter death and darkness.”[2] His fellow reformer, John Calvin, in his reply to Sadoleto, said, “Wherever the knowledge of it [justification] is taken away, the glory of Christ is extinguished, religion abolished, the Church destroyed, and the hope of salvation utterly overthrown.”[3] Three hundred years later Charles Spurgeon went so far as to say: “Any church which puts in the place of justification by faith in Christ another method of salvation is a harlot church.”[4] If for no other reason than out of respect for those fathers in the faith who have gone before us, we ought to think very clearly about and care very deeply for the Protestant doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
By Thomas K. Ascol, To read the whole article CLICK HERE

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Futility Of Being A Detroit Lions Fan

"Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher.
"Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless." Ecclesiastes 1:1
These are the words of a Lions fan. The teacher went on to say, "generations come and generations go" how did he know about the Detroit Lions? "What has been will be again, what has been done will be again." Its like this every Sunday, what has been done, bad play, bad coaching, bad ownership, will be again. The next Sunday it happens all over again, "there is nothing new" absolutely true! "It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time". What hope can young fans have? I started attending lions games in the 50's when they were still winning championships but they have only won 1 playoff game in over 50 years. All I can say is thank God for the Red Wings and the Pistons!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I am going over my message for tomorrow morning. I'm teaching from Psalm 63 on man's need for transcendence. The dictionary says transcendence means beyond the limits of possible experience. In theology it means God exists apart from the material universe and is uniquely other than everything in creation. The founding fathers said that we are endowed by our creator with certain "inalienable rights." But how can "inalienable rights" be established? Why have the most brilliant philosophical attempts to do so always failed? The answer is simply, "The sense of the world must lie outside the world". There is a thirst in man's heart for transcendence. Only by believing in a God who is other than everything in creation, and is far above and greater than all creation, who made all creation and rules over it, can you experience transcendence.

"So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life" Psalm 63:2-3.

Five Long Years - Eric Clapton

This is great guitar playing. If you love great guitar solos you will love this. This song was recorded by Clapton on his CD From The Cradle.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Believers Influence In The World: Light - Part 4

The Three Fold Application of Light

Light’s position — The light is placed on top of a hill or on a lampstand for all to see. The primary duty of the light was to be seen. The world has to know who we are, what we are, and where we are. A city on a hill can’t be hid. If we are really Christians, we cannot stay hidden because there is no such thing as secret discipleship. Your Christianity should be visible to all. It must be seen in the factory, in the office, in school, in the kitchen, at restaurants, in our language, in our behavior, in our relationships.

You don’t light a candle and put it under a bushel, because this renders it useless. Uselessness invites disaster. Let me ask you, "are you deliberately concealing your light?" The light of many Christians is visible only in the church. Jesus didn’t say “you are the light of the church”, He said, “you are the light of the world”. Don’t hide your light under a bushel, the bushel can be fear, compromise, unconcern, or rebellion. The devil will always push you to hide your light under a bushel.

Light’s nature — A light is a guide, it makes the way clear.
Light always dispels darkness, “Then God said, let there be light and there was light and God saw the light that is was good and God divided the light from the darkness” (Gen.1:4-5). But darkness can never, never dispel light. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John1:5). Light exposes, it reveals the way things really are. “This is the condemnation that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil” (John3:19). Only light can explain the darkness, the darkness can never explain the light. Light is pure and life giving while darkness represents oppression and death.

We have a responsibility to let the light of love, healing and freedom penetrate the darkness. Christians must make the way clear to others by sending out a clear strong beam of light.
Sometimes a light can be used as a warning light that tells of danger ahead. Sometimes it’s our responsibility to warn others of the danger's ahead.

Phil Keaggy - Here Comes The Sun

I recently bought a CD by Phil called "Acoustic Cafe". Phil covers This song by George Harrison, a couple of John Lennon songs, a couple of Bob Dylan songs, God only Knows by Brian Wilson and more. This is a really enjoyable CD that I reccomend.

D.A. Carson On Assurance

For non-reformed theologies..."at the end of the day, the security of the believer finally rests with the believer. For those in the opposite camp [Reformed], the security of the believer finally rests with God -- and that, I suggest, rightly taught, draws the believer back to God himself, to trust in God, to a renewed faith that is of a piece with trusting him in the first place."
D.A. Carson

Spurgeon On Assurance

If our religion be of our own getting or making, it will perish; and the sooner it goes, the better; but if our religion is a matter of God's giving, we know that He shall never take back what He gives, and that, if He has commenced to work in us by His grace, He will never leave it unfinished.
C.H. Spurgeon

The Five-Word Antidote To Grumbling

BY Tony Payne

This story has been passed onto me second- or third- or possibly fifth-hand. Who knows how accurate the details are, or whether the words were spoken exactly in this way? But from my knowledge of the man in question, it is entirely believable. In fact, if it isn't true, it's the kind of story that would almost be necessary to invent.

An eminent and well-known English preacher was approached by a congregation member who complained about some aspect of church life. It may have been that he didn't feel welcomed, or that he was finding it hard to make friends and fit in; it could have been that he was finding the service dissatisfying or the preaching too long; it could have been that the music was not to his taste or that his family was not being catered for to his satisfaction. The details of the complaint have been lost in the telling and re-telling of the story.

The preacher listened to the complaint, paused, and then replied with five words that cut straight to the heart of not only the man's problem, but the problem with all grumbling and complaining in church. He simply said, “It's not about you, stupid!” and walked off.

It was a stunningly rude response—the kind that this preacher seemed uniquely capable of getting away with in his very English way. But doesn't it exactly express what is wrong with grumbling and complaining in church?

It really is the height of idiocy to think that church is about me and my needs and my family and my satisfaction. It completely overturns the teaching of the Bible—that church is about God and Christ and loving other people. In fact, if we wanted to summarize Paul's rebuke to the dysfunctional Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 11-14, a pretty reasonable slogan would be “It's not about you, stupid!”.

So the next time you're feeling grumpy about church, and are complaining that this or that aspect leaves you cold, remind yourself of the five-word answer to grumbling. And if you're really game, when someone starts grumbling to you about how they don't like the music or how they're sick of the preacher's jokes, just give them a slightly incredulous look, shake your head, and say, “It's not about you, stupid!”.

From The Sola Panel

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Believers Influence In The World: Light - Part 3

Light’s Influence: “The World”

The whole world is in darkness and wickedness. “We know we’re God’s children and the whole world is in the power of the evil one” (1John5:19 Beck). It's a dark world in spite of the fact it claims to be “enlightened”. Intellectual darkness pervades our educational systems, the entertainment industry, the wealthy intellectual elite because God is not in their thinking. “Because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God. Nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise they became fools” (Rom.1:21-22).

The “light” man thinks he has, is darkness. “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, they whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, they whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt.6:22-23). Darkness and decay go together. Because there is political darkness -“we will not have this man rule over us”- the government is in decay. Because of spiritual darkness there are many cults and false religions, even churches are decaying. Because of moral darkness, the quality of human life has decayed.

The world is in darkness and no one but Christians can give any real knowledge or insight, the Apostle Paul said,"Do everything without grumbling and without arguing, and then no one will be able to question your morals or your sincerity, and you will be faultless children of God, although you live in an age in which life is twisted and perverted. Even in an age like that you must shine like stars in the world" Philippians 2:14-16 Barclay's. This bold statement upsets intellectuals and the religious. We cannot retreat from a dark world and go into spiritual isolation. Light’s influence is three fold:
1. It shines in the world and is seen by all.
2. It shines in the city on a hill and is seen by the surrounding area.
3. It shines like a lamp on a lampstand and is seen by the family. Your influence must start at home to be effective in the city and then the world.

Eric Clapton - I'm Tore Down

This song was written by Freddy King a great blues guitar player who inspired many guitar player's to play the blues. Clapton recorded the song for his CD "From The Cradle". For more Freddy King get the CD "Hide Away The Best Of Freddy King" on Rhino Records.

Spugeon On Christ Alone

Remember, sinner, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee–it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee–it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that is the instrument–it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not to thy hope, but to Christ, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Christ, the author and finisher of thy faith; and if thou doest that, ten thousand devils cannot throw thee down…There is one thing which we all of us too much becloud in our preaching, though I believe we do it very unintentionally–namely, the great truth that it is not prayer, it is not faith, it is not our doings, it is not our feelings upon which we must rest, but upon Christ, and on Christ alone. We are apt to think that we are not in a right state, that we do not feel enough, instead of remembering that our business is not with self, but Christ. Let me beseech thee, look only to Christ; never expect delieverance from self, from ministers, or from any means of any kind apart from Christ; keep thine eye simply on Him; let his death, His agonies, His groans, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look for Him; when thou liest down at night look for Him. (The Forgotten Spugeon, Iain Murray, 42.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Believers Influence In The World: Light - Part 2

The Fact: “You are”, literally “You only are the light”

God is light. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all”. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness we lie and do not practice the truth” (1John1:5-6).
Jesus is the light of the world, and the giver of light. “I am the light of the world, He said. To follow me is to walk not in the dark but to be in possession of the light of life” (John8:12 Barclay).

At salvation, darkness becomes light, we were transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and placed into the kingdom of light. A Christian is now a light in a dark world. “For at one time you were darkness itself but now in union with the Lord you are light itself. You must live like children of light” (Ephesians 5:8 Williams). Jesus is like the sun and the moon is a picture of the church. The moon shines but not by its own light, it reflects the light of the sun.

The question you have to answer is, "Are you reflecting Christ like a full moon or a quarter moon?". “God who first ordered the light to shine in the darkness has flooded our hearts with His light. We can now enlighten men only because we can give them knowledge of the glory of God as we have seen it in the face of Jesus Christ” (2Cor.4:6). God sheds His light on the world through those who have received His light through Jesus Christ. If you are a Christian you are the light of the world. This is not something you become it's something you are! Are you letting your light shine?

Sinner's Prayer - Eric Clapton

Legalism Defined

Legalism: Any attempt to rely on self-effort to either attain or maintain our justification before God "After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" Gal.3:3. A Definition of Legalism: 1. Using the Mosaic covenant as though it is the covenant between you and God. 2. Attempting to be justified by one's own works. 3. Attempting to be sanctified by one's own works. 4. Suggesting that our worth or worthlessness, our self-esteem and self-satisfaction or lack thereof, rest on our own works. 5. Any attempt to please God judicially, or any supposition that our sin as believers has resulted in his judicial displeasure. [Any post-salvation attempt to maintain our judicial standing before God through good works, covenant faithfulness, merit etc..] 6. Teaching that we conform ourselves to our judicial standing in Christ (righteous and perfect) by our own works. 7. Attempting to attain godliness by a systematic change of behavior. 8. Obedience that does not spring from a renewed heart (a.) As of an unbeliever who has no renewed heart (b.) As of a believer who has a renewed heart but whose righteous behavior does not spring therefrom. 9. Any supposition that externally righteous acts have any value on their own, even as conduct that prepares the way for either (a.) A renewed heart (preparationism as regards justification), (b.) The softening or further renewing of an already renewed heart (preparationism as regards sanctification. Note Romans 12:2-Transformation occurs through the renewing of the mind), or (c.) Any other work of the Spirit. 10. Suggesting that faith is irrelevant in the accomplishment of some (or all) good works. 11. Trying to be justified by works that are created and inspired by the Holy Spirit. 12. Attempting to gain assurance of salvation solely or primarily on the basis of the sign of outward works. Bill Baldwin

Luther On The Absurdity Of Destroying The Object That Is Abused

"Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object that is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we prohibit and abolish women? The sun, moon, and stars have been worshiped. Shall we pluck them out of the sky?"
Martin Luther

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Believers Influence In The World: Light - Part 1

These teachings on salt and light deal with the believer’s influence in the world in which he lives.
"You are the world's light - it is impossible to hide a town built on the top of a hill. Men do not light a lamp and put it under a bucket. They put it on a lamp-stand and it gives light for everybody in the house". (Matthew 5:14 Phillips)

Salt acts secretly. It’s effect not being noticed immediately while light is something that is seen right away and makes immediate changes. Salt is more of the indirect influence of the Gospel while light is the direct influence. You must live as salt to be effective as light. Life comes before lip. Many who talk the Gospel are not doing it when it comes to their lives. Jesus always emphasized what a man is before what he does. Salt is character but light is conduct. Conduct without character is hypocrisy, and character without conduct is disobedience.

Salt counteracts corruption in the earth, while Light shines truth into a darkened world of ignorance and lies. The purpose of Salt is to stop the rotting of the world, while Light's purpose is to reveal the falseness of the world. Darkness breeds confusion because nothing looks right in the dark. You can see shapes but not sizes and appearances. Everything is distorted. “He who walks in darkness does not know where he is going” (John 12:35).


Probably Not the Best Marketing Campaign

Spotted on a post by Phil Johnson.

Cream Reunion - Crossroads - Eric Clapton

This song was written by Robert Johnson. "Legend has it that the crossroads that Johnson spoke of may be found outside of Clarksdale, where both Highway 61 and Highway 49...cross paths. Tourists can have their picture taken under the oversized guitar suspended at the spot. Johnson's own "crossroads" likely had no such place in mind. The song evokes a much more remote location, more back roads than major highway. ...Johnson is at a crossroads to be sure. But he appeals to God, "Asked the Lord above have mercy: save poor Bob if you please", his plea to God is met with deadly silence. This leave Johnson by the end of the song, lamenting, "I believe I'm sinking down".
From the book "Getting The Blues" by Stephen J. Nichols

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Believers Influence In The World - Salt - Part 5

The Jews had a maxim, “The world cannot survive without salt”. Salt preserved food from rotting. Jesus call to be “salt” is a challenge for His disciples to be a preserving influence in a decaying world. Wherever we are and whatever we do Jesus is calling us to have a preserving influence. Our presence regardless of our many failures is to have a healing, preserving influence on our society and the world. We are to bring flavor to life, we are to make the world thirsty for Him. We are to have a salty conversation — “Walk in wisdom toward (our conduct) those who are outside, redeeming the time (buying up every opportunity). Let your speech always be with grace seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” — “Always talk pleasantly, season your talk with salt so you will know how you should answer everyone” (Col.4:5-6 Beck).

Jesus always spoke with grace on His lips. “And all wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth” (Luke 4:22). In the same way our speech is to “impart grace to the hearers” (Eph.4:29). Don’t dump the contents of the whole salt shaker. Our walk and our talk must be in harmony with each other, you are the salt of the world.

Jimmy Smith - Eight Counts For Rita

Election - Anthony Hoekema

Union with Christ begins with God's pretemporal decision to save his people in and through Jesus Christ. This union, further, is based on the redemptive work for his people which Christ did in history. Finally, this union is actually established with God's people after they have been born, continues throughout their lives, and has as its goal their eternal glorification in the life to come. We go on, then, to see union with Christ as having its roots in divine election, its basis in the redemptive work of Christ, and its actual establishment with God's people in time.
- Anthony Hoekema

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Believers Influence In The World - Salt - Part 4

Living as Salt

“For everyone will be seasoned with fire and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.” (Mark 9:49-50)

According to Jewish law, every sacrifice must be salted with salt before it was offered to God on the altar (Lev.2:13). It was the addition of the salt that made the sacrifice acceptable to God. The sacrificial salt was called the salt of the covenant (Numbers 18:19).
This means that before a Christian life becomes acceptable to God, it must be treated with fire just as every sacrifice is treated with salt. Every follower of Christ is to be a willing sacrifice.
This is for two reasons:
First fire purifies— The life acceptable to God is one that has been cleansed and purified by obedience and discipline. Second fire destroys— The life acceptable to God has gone through tests, trials, persecution of life and come through to victory. “Dear friends, don’t be surprised that you’re being tested by a fiery trial as though something strange were happening to you” (1Pet.4:12 Beck).
The life that is purified by obedience and discipline and has faced the danger of persecution, and because of its loyalty is the sacrifice acceptable to God. Bonhoeffer put it this way:
“Suffering then, is the badge of true discipleship. The disciple is not above his master. This is why Luther reckoned suffering among the marks of the true church. Discipleship means allegiance to the suffering of Christ and it is not at all surprising that Christians should be called upon to suffer. In fact it is a joy and a token of His grace” (The Cost of Discipleship, pp.100-101).
Everyone must be salted somehow, either with the fire of hell or the fire of the Holy Spirit.

“Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? (V.50).

The world needs the flavor and purity of the Christians life. If Christians lose the thrill of God’s life, and don’t desire purity where else will the world get its flavor? If we take for granted this miracle of God’s grace it will lead to spiritual decay.
Beware of salt-less salt — the profession that is not real. “Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another”. It’s useless to try and exert influence for good with others, unless by the grace of God you have been transformed into a true disciple of Christ. Keep the seasoning, preserving, purifying fire stirring in you. Be purified from self and you will have peace with others. Only a life cleansed of self and filled with Jesus can live in real fellowship and peace with others.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Large Treasure Of Divine Knowledge

You all have by you a large treasure of divine knowledge, in that you have the Bible in your hands; therefore be not contented in possessing but little of this treasure. God hath spoken much to you in the Scripture; labor to understand as much of what he saith as you can. God hath made you all reasonable creatures; therefore let not the noble faculty of reason or understanding lie neglected. Content not yourselves with...divine accidentally gain in conversation; but let it be very much your business to search for it, and that with the same diligence and labor with which men are wont to dig in mines of silver and gold.
Jonathan Edwards

Friday, November 7, 2008

Frank Caliendo On The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

This is really funny. Take a break and laugh!

Was Jesus a Calvinist?

On several occasions in John's Gospel divine election is described in terms of God the Father giving certain persons to God the Son (6:37, 39; 10:29; 17:1-2,6,9,24). In each of these cases the giving of men to Christ precedes and is the cause of their receiving eternal life. Those who are given to the Son include not only the present company of disciples who believe in Jesus but also the elect of future ages who will come to faith through the gospel. Jesus looks upon them as already his (John 17:20-21; see also John 10:16; Acts 18:10), even though they have not yet believed in his name. They are his because they were given to him by the Father in eternity past.

What is of special importance to us is what Jesus says about how those whom the Father has given to him come to him and whether or not those who come can ever lose their salvation. It will prove helpful to look at this in terms of three impossibilities.

To read the rest of this artice by Sam Storms click here

A Gift Of Grace

If anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). If anyone affirms that we can form any right opinion or make any right choice which relates to the salvation of eternal life, or that we can be saved by assent to the preaching of the gospel through our natural powers without the effectual work of the Holy Spirit, who makes all whom He calls gladly and willingly assent to and believe in the truth, he is led astray from the plain teaching of Scripture by exalting the natural ability of man, and does not understand the voice of God who says in the Gospel, "For apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5), and the word of the Apostle, "Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God" (2 Cor. 3:5).
Adapted from The Council of Orange (529 AD)

Santa Claus Endorses Cigaretes

Is nothing Sacred? Is Santa encouraging the elves to smoke?

The Miracle Of Marlboro

Yes we are this easily deceived!

Johnny Winter - Ain't That Just Like A Woman

This song is from Johnny's album "The Winter Of 88". The guitar solo on this song is amazing. This song was written by B.B. King.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Believers Influence In The World - Salt - Part 3

"You are the salt of the earth" Salt’s Influence is simply “The Earth”.

Our commission is to the whole world, the scriptures tell us the disciples went everywhere preaching the word. We have been given the same commission, our influence is to affect the whole earth! We are in the world physically but we are not of the world spiritually. The world is a spiritual graveyard and Christians are the only people who are really alive. Salt makes people thirsty so our life should create a thirst in people to have what we have. Jesus attracted all kinds of people and so should we.

The Danger

“But if the salt loses its flavor” - this means to become tasteless, to make something flat and tasteless, used of salt that has lost its strength and flavor. A good example is of a Christian who has lost their zeal for God, and whose life is no longer influencing the world. Lot was a person like that, he choose the well watered plains of Sodom and he pitched his tent toward Sodom and eventually ended up moving into Sodom. The world doesn’t understand that it is the presence of God’s people that prevents total collapse and final judgment. Lot’s presence in Sodom made it impossible for God to judge the city, his absence condemned the city. Before God will judge this present world He will call His own out of it.

If salt loses its flavor, how can it receive flavor again? How can it be made salty again? The same is true with Christians. "It is no longer good for anything", Luke 14:35 says "It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill”, Godspeed's translation says, “It is fit neither for the ground nor the manure heap”. It would destroy the effectiveness of fertilization, so the only thing left is to toss it out and walk on it. The principle is that uselessness invites disaster. If a Christian is not fulfilling his purpose as salt he’s on his way to trouble. “It is then good for nothing” but to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

Salt may still look like salt after it loses its effectiveness, the same is true with the church today. “Having a form of godliness but denying it’s power” — “Keeping up the forms of religion but not giving expression to its power, avoid such people”(2Tim.3:5 Williams). There are alot of buildings that look like Churches but are just an empty shell. Just as salt having lost its saltiness cannot be restored so also is it with those who have been trained in the knowledge of the truth but refuse to obey God. God will not be able to use them, they become disqualified and as a result are set on a shelf. “I do not want to preach to others and then to find that I myself have failed to stand the test” (1Cor.9:24-27 Barclay). This scripture has often been used as evidence that Christians can lose their salvation. The scripture teaches that what God starts in a persons life he also finishes (Phil. 1:6) but that doesn't minimize the seriousness of the warning.

Election - God Choses His Own by J I Packer

For [God] says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. ROMANS 9:15-16

The verb elect means “to select, or choose out.” The biblical doctrine of election is that before Creation God selected out of the human race, foreseen as fallen, those whom he would redeem, bring to faith, justify, and glorify in and through Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:28-39; Eph. 1:3-14; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:9-10). This divine choice is an expression of free and sovereign grace, for it is unconstrained and unconditional, not merited by anything in those who are its subjects. God owes sinners no mercy of any kind, only condemnation; so it is a wonder, and matter for endless praise, that he should choose to save any of us; and doubly so when his choice involved the giving of his own Son to suffer as sin-bearer for the elect (Rom. 8:32).

The doctrine of election, like every truth about God, involves mystery and sometimes stirs controversy. But in Scripture it is a pastoral doctrine, brought in to help Christians see how great is the grace that saves them, and to move them to humility, confidence, joy, praise, faithfulness, and holiness in response. It is the family secret of the children of God. We do not know who else he has chosen among those who do not yet believe, nor why it was his good pleasure to choose us in particular. What we do know is, first, that had we not been chosen for life we would not be believers now (for only the elect are brought to faith), and, second, that as elect believers we may rely on God to finish in us the good work that he started (1 Cor. 1:8-9; Phil. 1:6; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:18). Knowledge of one’s election thus brings comfort and joy.

Peter tells us we should be “eager to make [our] calling and election sure” (2 Pet. 1:10)—that is, certain to us. Election is known by its fruits. Paul knew the election of the Thessalonians from their faith, hope, and love, the inward and outward transformation of their lives that the gospel had brought about (1 Thess. 1:3-6). The more that the qualities to which Peter has been exhorting his readers appear in our lives (goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love: 2 Pet. 1:5-7), the surer of our own election we are entitled to be.

The elect are, from one standpoint, the Father’s gift to the Son (John 6:39; 10:29; 17:2, 24). Jesus testifies that he came into this world specifically to save them (John 6:37-40; 10:14-16, 26-29; 15:16; 17:6-26; Eph. 5:25-27), and any account of his mission must emphasize this.

Reprobation is the name given to God’s eternal decision regarding those sinners whom he has not chosen for life. His decision is in essence a decision not to change them, as the elect are destined to be changed, but to leave them to sin as in their hearts they already want to do, and finally to judge them as they deserve for what they have done. When in particular instances God gives them over to their sins (i.e., removes restraints on their doing the disobedient things they desire), this is itself the beginning of judgment. It is called “hardening” (Rom. 9:18; 11:25; cf. Ps. 81:12; Rom. 1:24, 26, 28), and it inevitably leads to greater guilt.

Reprobation is a biblical reality (Rom. 9:14-24; 1 Pet. 2:8), but not one that bears directly on Christian behavior. The reprobates are faceless so far as Christians are concerned, and it is not for us to try to identify them. Rather, we should live in light of the certainty that anyone may be saved if he or she will but repent and put faith in Christ.

We should view all persons that we meet as possibly being numbered among the elect.

From: Concise Theology: A Guide To Historic Christian Beliefs