Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wes Montgomery - A Day In The Life

A Day in the Life" has been covered and referenced numerous times by other artists. Jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery covered the song and used it as the title track to his instrumental album "A Day in the Life" (arranged and conducted by Don Sebesky

Florida School Bans Christmas… And Christmas Colors

It begins… A Florida school not only banned Christmas but banned everything associated with Christmas including Christmas colors…
Because someone might be offended.

FOX Nation reported:
A school in Florida has not only banned Christmas – but everything associated with the Christian holiday.
Teachers at Heathrow Elementary School have been ordered to banish images of Santa Claus from classrooms – along with traditional Christmas colors like red and green.
“You can’t use red and green,” one outraged parent told WESH. “It’s ridiculous.”
The parent, who serves as a volunteer room mother, said she was recently given a list of guidelines that listed the holiday restrictions.
She said the basic theme of the letter was, “We don’t want to offend anyone who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus or the Christian beliefs.”
 Really? Santa Claus and Christianity go together? How can these morons claim to be educated?

The Band & Paul Butterfield - Mystery Train

Atheism and Evil

“For Charles Darwin and all who make evolution and natural selection central to their view of life, realism constantly tends to collapse into pessimism, whatever their individual protestations of joy and hope in life. And the reason is simple. Not only is natural selection utterly blind to evil and suffering, but it favors the “selfish gene” and the survivalistic ethic of “might makes right” that is the evil heart of oppression and abuse of power. No account of twentieth-century evil can ignore its close kinship to the dark side of Nietzsche’s will to power.” — Os Guinness, “Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil” pg. 130
Backwoods Presbyterian


God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  Romans 5:5
“The Comforter gives a sweet and plentiful evidence and persuasion of the love of God to us, such as the soul is taken, delighted, satiated withal.  This is his work, and he doth it effectually.  To give a poor sinful soul a comfortable persuasion, affecting it throughout, in all its faculties and affections, that God in Jesus Christ loves him, delights in him, is well pleased with him, hath thoughts of tenderness and kindness towards him; to give, I say, a soul an overflowing sense hereof, is an inexpressible mercy.”
John Owen, Works (Edinburgh, 1979), II:240.
Ray Ortlund

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wide Receiver Blames God For Droped Pass

It’s not unusual for players to give credit to God after a win. The reverse doesn’t seem to happen, though…until now.

First, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson did this…

…then he tweeted this:

The Chronicles Of Narnia : Voyage of the Dawn Treader - Coming 12/10

Ballad of a Thin Man - James Solberg - Tangled Up In Blues, The Songs of Bob Dylan

Getting Tough With North Korea?

Near to God and near to us

Would you have your Savior to be one who is near to God, so that his mediation might be prevalent with him? And can you desire him to be nearer to God than Christ is, who is his only-begotten Son, of the same essence with the Father? And would you not only have him near to God, but also near to you, that you may have free access to him? And would you have him nearer to you than to be in the same nature, united to you by a spiritual union, so close as to be fitly represented by the union of the wife to the husband, of the branch to the vine, of the member to the head; yea, so as to be one spirit? For so he will be united to you, if you accept him.… What is there wanting or what would you add if you could, to make him more fit to be your Savior?
— Jonathan Edwards, quoted by John Ensor in
The Great Work of the Gospel
(Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2006), 89

First Importance

As if They Had Created Themselves

What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could 'be like gods'--could set up on their own as if they had created themselves--be their own masters--invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God.

And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history--money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery--the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
--C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, book 2, chapter 3
Dane ortlund

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kenny Burrell - Chitlins Con Carne

Who Wants To Watch The Witch?

Why I Am Not an Arminian

That's the title of a 2004 IVP book by Robert Peterson and Mike Williams. (They preferred the positive title Why I Am a Calvinist but the publisher wanted to retain balance with the simultaneously written Why I Am Not a Calvinist by Jerry Walls and Joe Dongell.

Peterson and Williams hit a home run and I find it to be one of the clearest and most persuasive defenses of Reformed soteriology available. But what is most striking about this book is its tone. From the start, Peterson and Williams refuse to castigate their Arminian interlocutors, repeating time and again that they all share in a common faith and are brothers in the Lord. Having sat in classes with both of of these men I can attest that what they write is how they live.

Here are a few excerpts from the introductory chapter. I commend the whole book.
By and large, Calvinists feel duty bound to attack Arminianism at every opportunity. And far too often the debate between Calvinists and Arminians has failed to glorify God, promote understanding or honor one another as fellow members of the body of Christ. It is our aim, however, to treat our Arminian brothers and sisters in Christ as we would want to be treated. . . .

The Arminian Christian believes that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh to save sinners and that the saving work of Christ comes to the sinner by way of the grace of God received through faith. Whatever issues relevant to salvation we disagree upon, let us agree on this: the Calvinist and the Arminian are brothers in Christ. Both belong to the household of faith. The issue of debate is not between belief and unbelief but rather which of two Christian perspectives better represents the biblical portrayal of the divine-human relationship in salvation and the contributions of both God and man in human history.

Christians may disagree with each other, and disagree profoundly over issues close to the center of the faith, yet affirm one another as fellow believers. For some on both sides, we are sure that this might seem to subtract from the seriousness of the divide between Calvinism and Arminianism. We do not seek to disvalue the issues of contention. They are real and important. . . . But neither do we want to overestimate the debate. In the division between Christianity and Islam, the Arminian is our brother. . . .

With all of the foregoing in mind, we will seek to write under a number of self-imposed strictures that we hope will help us in addressing the issues of the contention without adding to the strife of the debate. Far too often, polemical works are not actually targeted at the other side of the debate. That is to say, they are not aimed at engaging the other side in discussion, or at seeking to persuade the other of the plausibility or truth of the author's own position. Many of the discussions we have read--from both sides of the debate--seem to be written to those who already agree with the author. The point often seems to be one of arming one's own troops, giving them ammunition for future firefights.

We will not follow this strategy. We write as Calvinists to Arminians, as persons who hold the Word of God precious and worthy of our most careful reflection to other believers who share that same commitment of the heart. (from pp. 10-14)

The point here, I say for neither the first nor the last time on this blog, is not to be a Calvinist and also to be really, really nice. That's not enough. It's not merely a both/and. It's an if/then.

Haughtily held Calvinism is inherently self-contradictory and betrays Arminian functional belief beneath a veneer of Calvinist doctrinal belief. If we are confessing Calvinists and yet are impatient, splintering, divisive, condescending, or emotionally elitist, etc, then we're not really Calvinists. It doesn't matter what we say we believe. We don't really believe it's all--all--of grace.

To lack grace in our living is to deny grace in our theology.
Dane Ortlund

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stevie Ray Vaughan - "Chitlins Con Carne"

The Short Honeymoon

7 Ways to Kill the Thanksgiving Impulse in Your Life

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

-- Philippians 4:5-7
This is an excellent recipe for what it itself describes: a Spiritual settling of the heart, thankfulness, closeness to God. But let's suppose you didn't want those things, you didn't want to be thankful in all circumstances (as God commands through Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5). How would you design your system in order to crush any impulse of thanksgiving in your heart?

1. Freak out about everything.
Let your unreasonableness be known to everyone. Be unreasonable about everything. Turn everything into drama, everything into a crisis.

2. Practice practical atheism.
The Lord is at hand, which is certainly something to be thankful for. Our God isn't just transcendent, but immanent. He wants to be known. You could therefore intellectually acknowledge God is there, but act like he's not. Assume he has no interest in you or your life. If you pretend like God’s not there, you don’t have to thank him for anything.

3. Coddle worry.
Be anxious about everything. Really protect your worry from the good news.

4. Give God the silent treatment.
The best way not to give thanks is not to talk at all. That way you’ll never give thanks accidentally.

5. Don’t expect anything from God.
Don’t trust him for anything. Normally we do this so we don’t have to feel disappointed, but another reason to do it is so he won’t give you anything to be thankful for. If you pray for something, he just might say yes, and then you’d be obligated to thank him.

6. Relentlessly try to figure everything out.
The peace of God is beyond our understanding. He is bigger than our capacity to grasp him. The closer we get to God, the bigger he gets. An immense vision creates immense reaction. So if you want to crush that reaction before it has a chance to start, ask as many "why" questions as you can, and don’t settle for the answers Job or Habakkuk or David did. Best to think you’re better than them and deserve an explanation from God. If you really want to kill thanksgiving, act like God owes you. Leave no room for the possibility you might not know or understand something. And one of the best ways to crush thankfulness is to take credit for everything you can.

7. Focus on anything other than the gospel of Jesus.
God owes us nothing but has given us every good thing in Christ. If you’re not interested in thanksgiving, by all means, pay no attention to that. Concentrate on your problems. Don’t concentrate on Jesus, or you might accidentally end up thankful in all circumstances.
Jared Wilson

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chitlin Con Carne - Junior Wells

Junior Wells on harmonica, Buddy Guy on guitar - drawings by Robert Crumb.

Junior Wells - Cryin' Shame

Junior Wells performing Cryin' Shame, with Buddy Guy, guitar, and David Myers, bass, from the movie Chicago Blues, in 1970.

Religion (salvation by works) vs. Gospel (salvation by grace)

One of the most helpful ways of distinguishing between religion and the gospel is through this series of statements by Tim Keller.  You can find these words in his message “On Being the Church in the Culture” from the 2006 Reform & Resurgence Conference.

Religion (salvation by works) vs. Gospel (salvation by grace)


“I obey-therefore I’m accepted”
“I’m accepted–therefore I obey”


Motivation is based on fear and insecurity.
Motivation based on grateful joy.


I obey God in order to get things from God.
I obey God to get God–to delight and resemble him.

[Difficult Circumstances]

When circumstances in my life go wrong, I am angry at God or myself, since I believe, like Job’s friends, that anyone who is good deserves a comfortable life.
When circumstances in my life go wrong I struggle, but I know all my punishment fell on Jesus and that while he may allow this for my training, he will exercise his Fatherly love within my trial.


When I am criticized I am furious or devastated because it is critical that I think of myself as a ‘good person.’  Threats to my self-image must be destroyed at all costs.
When I am criticized I struggle, but it is not critical for me to because it is critical that I think of myself as a think of myself as a ‘good person.’ My identity is not built on my record or my performance but on God’s love for me in Christ.  I can take criticism. That’s how I became a Christian.


My prayer consists largely of petition and it only heats up when I am in a time of need. My main purpose in prayer is control of environment.
My prayer life consists of generous stretches of praise and adoration.  My main purpose is fellowship with him.

[Self Perception]

My self-view swings between two poles. If and when I am living up to my standards, I feel confident, but then I am prone to be proud and unsympathetic to failing people.  If and when I am not living up to standards, I feel humble but not confident—I feel like a failure.
My self-view is not based on an view of my self as a moral achiever. In Christ I am simul iustus et peccator–simultaneously sinful and lost yet accepted in Christ. I am so bad he had to die for me and I am so loved he was glad to die for me. This leads me to deeper and deeper humility and confidence at the same time. Neither swaggering nor sniveling.


My identity and self-worth are based mainly on how hard I work, or how moral I am—and so I must look down on those I perceive as lazy or immoral.  I disdain and feel superior to ‘the Other.’
My identity and self-worth is centered on the one who died for his enemies, who was excluded from the city for me. I am saved by sheer grace. So I can’t look down on those who believe or practice something different from me. Only by grace I am what I am. I’ve no inner need to win arguments.


Since I look to my own pedigree or performance for my spiritual acceptability, my heart manufactures idols.  It may be my talents, my moral record, my personal discipline, my social status, etc.  I absolutely have to have them so they serve as my main hope, meaning, happiness, security, and significance, whatever I may say I believe about God.
I have many good things in my life–family, work, spiritual disciplines, etc. But none of these good things are ultimate things to me. None of them are things I absolutely have to have them, so there is a limit to how much anxiety, bitterness and despondency they can inflict on me when they are threatened and lost.

Under Statement

George Carlin on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited
about aging that you think in fractions. "How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!"

You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on
five! That's the key. You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You  jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. "How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16!

And then the greatest day of your life . . . you become 21. Even the
words sound like a ceremony . . . YOU BECOME 21. . . YEAS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk. He TURNED, we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40.

Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 . . . and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a
day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime.

And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I was JUST 92." Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!"

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:17-18)

Mark Steyn on Thanksgiving

Three hundred and 14 years ago, the Pilgrims thanked God because there was a place for them in this land, and it was indeed grand. The land is grander today, and that, too, is remarkable: France has lurched from Second Empires to Fifth Republics struggling to devise a lasting constitutional settlement for the same smallish chunk of real estate, but the principles that united a baker's dozen of East Coast colonies were resilient enough to expand across a continent and halfway around the globe to Hawaii.

Americans should, as always, be thankful this Thanksgiving, but they should also understand just how rare in human history their blessings are.

Mark Steyn:

Johnny Cash - Thanksgiving Prayer

One Turkey That Needs To Die

The Pursuit of Personal Holiness

Kevin DeYoung has a good post here, expressing some concern about a relative lack of urgency in pursuing personal holiness among the younger generation.
You can read the whole post, but here is an excerpt where he explores the various reasons this might be the case:
  1. It was too common in the past to equate holiness with abstaining from a few taboo practices like drinking, smoking, and dancing. In a previous generation godliness meant you didn’t do these things. Younger generations have little patience for these sorts of rules. They either don’t agree with the rules or they figure they’ve got those bases covered so there’s not much else to worry about.
  2. Related to the first reason is the fear that a passion for holiness makes you some kind of weird holdover from a bygone era. As soon as you talk about swearing or movies or music or modesty or  sexual purity or self-control or just plain godliness people get nervous that others will call them legalistic, or worse, a fundamentalist.
  3. We live in a culture of cool, and to be cool means you differentiate yourself from others. That has often meant pushing the boundaries with language, with entertainment, with alcohol, and with fashion. Of course, holiness is much more than these things, but in an effort to be hip many Christians have figured holiness has nothing to do with these things. They’ve willingly embraced Christian freedom, but they’ve not earnestly pursued Christian virtue.
  4. Among more liberal Christians a radical pursuit of holiness if often suspect because any talk of right and wrong behaviors feels judgmental and intolerant. If we are to be “without spot or blemish” it necessitates we distinguish between what sort of attitudes, actions, and habits are pure and what sort are impure. This sort of sorting gets you in trouble with the pluralism police.
  5. Among conservative Christians there is sometimes the mistaken notion that if we are truly gospel-centered we won’t talk about rules or imperatives or exhort Christians to moral exertion. To be sure, there is a rash of moralistic teaching out there, but sometimes we go to the other extreme and act as if the Bible shouldn’t advise our morals at all. We are so eager not to confuse indicatives and imperatives (a point I’ve made many times) that if we’re not careful we’ll drop the imperatives altogether. We’ve been afraid of words like diligence, effort, and obedience. We’ve downplayed verses that call us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), or command us to cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit (2 Cor. 7:1), or warn against even a hint of immorality among the saints (Eph. 5:3).  
Justin Taylor

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving, the Condition of Enjoyment

When I think of Thanksgiving I think about food–and so does Paul. Note the correlations between giving thanks to the Creator and enjoying a delicious feast:
1 Timothy 4:1–5:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
Hans Conzelmann (TDNT):
1 Tm. 4:3f attacks the Gnostically based demand for asceticism in meats by pointing to the custom of grace at meals, which is here connected with faith in God as the Creator. No laws can be set up in terms of foods. The norm is the attitude towards God. In this sense thanksgiving is the condition of enjoyment.

Muddy Waters - Blow Wind Blow - With James Cotton - Live 1970

Telephone Answering Charges

Lewis: A Team of Two

C. S. Lewis has a fascinating essay called 'Modern Man and His Categories of Thought' in which he explains that we must change our evangelistic practices due to the changing presuppositions of modern people.

Written at the request of Bishop Stephen Neill in 1946, it could have been penned yesterday, and reads as if it were.

I may say more about it later, but here's the wonderful closing to the essay, in which Lewis reminds us that the need for God-sent awakening in evangelism transcends all cultural particularities and clever evangelistic strategies--
Before closing, I must add that the limitations of my own gifts has compelled me always to use a predominantly intellectual approach. But I have also been present when an appeal of a much more emotional and also more 'pneumatic' kind has worked wonders on a modern audience. Where God gives the gift, the 'foolishness of preaching' is still mighty.

But best of all is a team of two: one to deliver the preliminary intellectual barrage, and the other to follow up with a direct attack on the heart.
--C. S. Lewis, 'Modern Man and His Categories of Thought,' in Present Concerns (London: Fount, 1986), 66
Dane Ortlund

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Majesty Of God - Is your Faith Feeble and Worship Flabby?

Our word majesty comes from the Latin; it means greatness. When we ascribe majesty to someone, we are acknowledging greatness in that person....Now majesty is a word the bible uses to express the thought of the greatness of God..."The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty" (Ps 93:1-2). "They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty" (Ps 145:5). Peter recalling his vision of Christ's royal glory at the transfiguration, says, "We were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (2 Pet 1:16).

 The word majesty, when applied to God, is always a declaration of his greatness and an invitation to worship....The Christian's instincts of trust and worship are stimulated very powerfully by knowledge of the greatness of God.

But this is knowledge which Christians today largely lack; and that is one reason why our faith is so feeble and our worship so flabby. We are modern people and modern people, though they cherish great thoughts of themselves, have as a rule small thoughts of God. When the person in the Church let alone the person in the street uses the word God, the thought is rarely of divine majesty.

J.I. Packer, Knowing God, pg. 82-83

Muddy Waters & Johnny Winter Walking Thru The Park

Real Abuse - This Isn't A Pat Down It's A Shake Down

Did you know that for every dollar the Government takes in it spends $1.18? Raising taxes will never cut the deficit but it actually increases the debt. The Government will never pay off the debt by raising taxes  it will only spend more money. The only solution is more and larger tax cuts.

Spiritual Not Religious?

Is “spiritual” the right word to describe our friends and neighbors interested in God, prayer, and the mysterious? Jonathan Edwards thinks not:
Now it may be observed that the epithet “spiritual,” in these and other parallel texts of the New Testament, is not used to signify any relation of persons or things to the spirit or soul of man, as the spiritual part of man, in opposition to the body, which is the material part: qualities are not said to be spiritual, because they have their seat in the soul, and not in the body: for there are some properties that the Scripture calls carnal or fleshly, which have their seat as  much in the soul, as those properties that are called spiritual. Thus it is with pride and self-righteousness, and a man’s trusting to his own wisdom, which the Apostle calls fleshly (Col. 2:18).
Nor are things called spiritual, because they are conversant about those things that are immaterial, and not corporeal. For so was the wisdom of the wise men, and princes of this world, conversant about spirits, and immaterial beings; which yet the Apostle speaks of as natural men, totally ignorant of those things that are spiritual (I Cor. ch. 2). But it is with relation to the Holy Ghost, or Spirit of God, that persons or things are termed spiritual, in the New Testament. (Religious Affections, 198)
I think Edwards is spot-on here. Now, it’s not worth correcting the people we are trying to reach. But it’s really more accurate to stay an increasing number of Westerners are religious, not spiritual.
Kevin DeYoung

Monday, November 22, 2010

God's Ways Do Not Change

He continues to act towards sinful men and women in the way that he does in the bible story.
Still he shows his freedom and Lordship by discriminating between sinners, causing some to hear the gospel while others do not hear it, and moving some of those who hear it to repentance while leaving others in their unbelief, thus teaching his saints that he owes mercy to none and that it is entirely of his grace, not at all through their own effort, that they themselves have found life.

Still he blesses those on whom he sets his love in a way that humbles them, so that all the glory may be his alone.

Still he hates the sins of his people, and uses all kinds of inward and outward pains and griefs to wean their hearts from compromise and disobedience.

Still he seeks the fellowship of his people, and sends them both sorrows and joys in order to detach their love from other things and attach it to himself.

Still he teaches believers to value his promised gifts by making them wait for those gifts, and compelling them to pray persistently for them, before he bestows them.

So we read of God's dealing with his people in the scripture record, and so he deals with them still. His aims and principles of action remain consistent; he does not at any time act out of character. Our ways, we know, are pathetically in constant - but not God's.
J.I. Packer, Knowing God, pg. 79

Jimi Hendrix - Catfish Blues

Jimi's Blues CD has been re-released with a 30 minute DVD for only $11.98 on Amazon

You Can't Fix Stupid

Freed from our bondage to guilt and shame

“Because Christ lived perfectly, died sufficiently, and rose victoriously, you and I can come out of hiding. We are free to own up to, without fear, the darkest of our thoughts and motives, the ugliest of our words, our most selfish choices, and our most rebellious and unloving actions. We are freed from our bondage to guilt and shame. We are freed from hiding behind accusation, blame, recrimination, and rationalization.
Confession is powerful and effective. It turns guilt into forgiveness. It turns regret into hope. It turns slavery into freedom. It turns you from mourning over your harvest to planting new seeds of faith, repentance, and hope. You see, you are not trapped! Things are not hopeless! The Lord, the great Creator and Savior, is the God who never changes, but at the same time he is the God who promises and produces deep personal change. The changes he makes in us are so foundational that the Bible’s best words describing them are ‘new creation.’ God’s plan is to change us so fundamentally that it is as if we are no longer us; something brand new has been created!”
- Paul David Tripp, Lost in the Middle: Midlife and the Grace of God (Wapwallopen, Pa.: Shepherds Press, 2004), 124.
Of First Importance

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sam & Dave - Soul Man

Booker T & the M G 's - Green Onions (Original / HQ audio)

Great Song - this should get you off the couch.

There Are Some Things Money Can't Buy

Old Haunting Suspicion - That there is something else than God

Behold, they are all a delusion;
their works are nothing;
their metal images are empty wind. Isaiah 41:29
“I think one may be quite rid of the old haunting suspicion — which raises its head in every temptation — that there is something else than God, some other country into which he forbids us to trespass, some kind of delight which he ‘doesn’t appreciate’ or just chooses to forbid, but which would be real delight if only we were allowed to get it. The thing just isn’t there. Whatever we desire is either what God is trying to give us as quickly as he can, or else a false picture of what he is trying to give us, a false picture which would not attract us for a moment if we saw the real thing. . . . He knows what we want, even in our vilest acts. He is longing to give it to us. . . . The truth is that evil is not a real thing at all, like God. It is simply good spoiled. . . . You know what the biologists mean by a parasite — an animal that lives on another animal. Evil is a parasite. It is there only because good is there for it to spoil and confuse.”
~C. S. Lewis, in Walter Hooper, editor, They Stand Together (New York, 1979), page 465. Italics original.

“Forgive Me” or “Excuse Me”?

C.S. Lewis:
There is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing. Forgiveness says “Yes, you have done this thing, but I accept your apology; I will never hold it against you and everything between us two will be exactly as it was before.”But excusing says “I see that you couldn’t help it or didn’t mean it; you weren’t really to blame.” If one was not really to blame then there is nothing to forgive. In that sense forgiveness and excusing are almost opposites.
Of course, in dozens of cases, either between God and man, or between one man and another, there may be a mixture of the two. Part of what seemed at first to be the sins turns out to be really nobody’s fault and is excused; the bit that is left over is forgiven. If you had a perfect excuse, you would not need forgiveness; if the whole of your action needs forgiveness, then there was no excuse for it. But the trouble is that what we call “asking God’s forgiveness” very often really consists in asking God to accept our excuses.
What leads us into this mistake is the fact that there usually is some amount of excuse, some “extenuating circumstances.” We are so very anxious to point these out to God (and to ourselves) that we are apt to forget the really important thing; that is, the bit left over, the bit which the excuses don’t cover, the bit which is inexcusable but not, thank God, unforgivable. And if we forget this, we shall go away imagining that we have repented and been forgiven when all that has really happened is that we have satisfied ourselves with our own excuses. They may be very bad excuses; we are all too easily satisfied about ourselves.
There are two remedies for this danger. One is to remember that God knows all the real excuses very much better than we do. If there are real “extenuating circumstances” there is no fear that he will overlook them. Often he must know many excuses that we have never thought of, and therefore, humble souls will, after death, have the delightful surprise of discovering that on certain occasions they sinned much less than they had thought. All the real excusing he will do.
What we have got to take to him is the inexcusable bit, the sin. We are only wasting time by talking about all the parts which can (we think) be excused. When you go to a doctor you show him the bit of you that is wrong – say, a broken arm. It would be a mere waste of time to keep on explaining that your legs and eyes and throat are all right. You may be mistaken in thinking so, and anyway, if they are really all right, the doctor will know that.
The second remedy is really and truly to believe in the forgiveness of sins. A great deal of our anxiety to make excuses comes from not really believing in it, from thinking that God will not take us to himself again unless he is satisfied that some sort of case can be made out in our favor. But that would not be forgiveness at all.
Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness, and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who has done it. That, and only that, is forgiveness, and that we can always have from God if we ask for it.
- C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, 178-81
Kingdom People

Saturday, November 20, 2010

John the Revelator - John Mellencamp

Blues Brothers 2000 - John The Revelator

House Ethics Panel - What A Joke

Spiritual Not Religious?

Is “spiritual” the right word to describe our friends and neighbors interested in God, prayer, and the mysterious? Jonathan Edwards thinks not:
Now it may be observed that the epithet “spiritual,” in these and other parallel texts of the New Testament, is not used to signify any relation of persons or things to the spirit or soul of man, as the spiritual part of man, in opposition to the body, which is the material part: qualities are not said to be spiritual, because they have their seat in the soul, and not in the body: for there are some properties that the Scripture calls carnal or fleshly, which have their seat as  much in the soul, as those properties that are called spiritual. Thus it is with pride and self-righteousness, and a man’s trusting to his own wisdom, which the Apostle calls fleshly (Col. 2:18).
Nor are things called spiritual, because they are conversant about those things that are immaterial, and not corporeal. For so was the wisdom of the wise men, and princes of this world, conversant about spirits, and immaterial beings; which yet the Apostle speaks of as natural men, totally ignorant of those things that are spiritual (I Cor. ch. 2). But it is with relation to the Holy Ghost, or Spirit of God, that persons or things are termed spiritual, in the New Testament. (Religious Affections, 198)
I think Edwards is spot-on here. Now, it’s not worth correcting the people we are trying to reach. But it’s really more accurate to stay an increasing number of Westerners are religious, not spiritual.
Kevin DeYoung

Carson: People Don’t Learn What I Teach Them; They Learn What I’m Excited About

If I have learned anything in 35 or 40 years of teaching, it is that students don’t learn everything I teach them. What they learn is what I am excited about, the kinds of things I emphasize again and again and again and again. That had better be the gospel.
If the gospel—even when you are orthodox—becomes something which you primarily assume, but what you are excited about is what you are doing in some sort of social reconstruction, you will be teaching the people that you influence that the gospel really isn’t all that important. You won’t be saying that—you won’t even mean that—but that’s what you will be teaching. And then you are only half a generation away from losing the gospel.
Make sure that in your own practice and excitement, what you talk about, what you think about, what you pray over, what you exude confidence over, joy over, what you are enthusiastic about is Jesus, the gospel, the cross. And out of that framework, by all means, let the transformed life flow.
HT: C.J. Mahaney

Friday, November 19, 2010

God Does not Change - Part 3

God's Truth Does Not Change
People sometimes say things that they do not really mean, simply because they do not know their own mind; also, because their views change, they frequently find that they can no longer stand behind things that they said in the past. All of us sometimes have to take back our words, because they have ceased to express what we think; sometimes we have to eat our words because hard facts refute them.

The words of human beings are unstable things. But not so the words of God. they stand forever, as abidingly valid expressions of his mind and thought. No circumstances prompt him to recall them; no changes in his own thinking require him to amend them. Isaiah writes, "All flesh is grass...the grass withers...But the word of our God will stand forever" (Isa.40:6-8). Similarly, the psalmist says, "Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens...All your commands are true...You established them to last forever" (Psa.119:89, 151-52).

The word translated true in the last verse carries with it the idea of stability. When we read our  Bibles, therefore, we need to remember that God still stands behind all the promises, and demands, and statements of purpose, and words of warning, that are addressed to New Testament believers. These are not relics of a bygone age, but an eternally valid revelation of the mind of God toward his people in all generations, so long as this world lasts. As our Lord himself has told us, "The Scripture cannot be broken" (Jn 10:35). Nothing can annul God's eternal truth.

J.I.Packer, Knowing God, pg. 78-79
Buy it here for $12.24  Knowing God

All Along the Watchtower - Larry McCray

from The CD Tangled Up In Blues - The Songs Of Bob Dylan. Bob wrote the song Jimi Hendrix made it famous and also made the best version. this is an iteresting version I like the violins moving the song along.

Buy this Cd from Amazon for only $4.88 well worth it. Tangled Up In Blues: Songs Of Bob Dylan - This Ain't No Tribute

Send In The Clowns - The House Ethics Committe

On being as wise as serpents - Why and how Christians should engage popular culture

The following article by Ted Turnau appeared in the Evangelical Magazine September/October 2010.  I think that it is worth a read.  Ted Turnau is a professor at the Anglo-American College, Prague, and at the Centre for Media Studies at Charles University.

One of the issues that has perennially dogged the Christian church is the issue of how to relate to the culture that surrounds us, especially popular culture. Are we to separate from it, in order to preserve our purity? Or should we go along with the flow, so we can better relate to those in the culture. Both options have their strong points – maintaining purity is essential, as is relating to those who have no place for Christ in their lives. But both miss the mark, biblically speaking. The Bible supports neither a knee-jerk rejection of culture, nor an uncritical acceptance of it. We are to be both as  wise as serpents and as innocent as doves (Matt. 10:16), both engaged with our culture and distinctive from it. It could hardly be otherwise.

If the people we seek are immersed in the surrounding culture, in its worldview and worship, then obviously we must understand that culture if we are to speak to the concerns of their hearts. But just as obviously, we cannot simply uncritically imbibe the surrounding culture so that we blend in, chameleon-like. We cannot simply share their system of life and worship, for we would have nothing distinctive to offer. How do we maintain this balance? We must intentionally and critically engage the surrounding culture, especially culture that has the widest impact: popular culture.  Here are a few practical points on Christian engagement of popular culture.

Whatever else popular culture is, it is not trivial, because it is an expression of faith and worship.

Not too long ago, I watched Andrea Arnold’s gritty estate-drama Fish Tank (2009). The lead character, the young, frustrated Mia, lives for hip-hop dancing. Her life is infused with its rhythms, its lyrics of urban despair. In a sense, her dance training is a form of worship, her grasping at salvation. It is the same with all popular culture: they are all, ultimately, forms of worship. We need to see them as expressions of non-Christian faiths, non-Christian worldviews. Popular culture is, in this sense, like a mission field in your own home town.

Not all popular culture is equally meaningful.

Even though popular culture is not trivial (it represents an alternate form of worship and belief), some pieces of popular culture are more worthy of attention than others. Much popular culture can be ephemeral, like bubbles in a can of soda. But there are other pieces that have real depth, real staying power. If you find keeping up with popular culture too much, find a few artists working in popular culture who have the ability to really tap into the spirit of the age. Thom Yorke of the band Radiohead is one such, as is the television writer/producer Joss Whedon (creator of various sci-fi/fantasy series), or David Simon (creator of The Wire). Pay attention to the musicians, writers, and directors who make a difference. These are the ones who produce works of depth and meaning. They could be called ‘cultural leaders’. They lay paths that the rest of the culture follows.

Not every piece of popular culture is appropriate for engagement.

If we are to be wise as serpents and remain innocent as doves, we need to be careful not to put ourselves (or our children) in the path of temptation. Hard and fast rules are not typically helpful here. Rather, we need to know the idols of the heart that we ourselves are attracted to, where we are weak, territory that ought to remain off-limits for us. We also need to think through issues such as age-appropriateness, which will be different for different children. It is important to engage popular culture, but we must do so without compromising our walk with the Lord.

Popular culture works by creating imaginative landscapes for us to inhabit.

Popular culture works not by blurting out a message, but through appealing to the imagination. A television show does not simply convey a message, such as ‘Life is meaningless, so have all the fun you can while you can’. Rather, it tells a story in which someone discovers the ‘truth’ of that message; it tells it in a style that underlines that message, and it invites us along for the journey. Popular culture works indirectly, suggestively, not like a slogan at a political rally, but like a poem or a song. It draws you in and gets under your skin. Therefore, you must be intentional in your approach to popular culture so that you understand its effects on the imagination (including the imaginations of your friends and neighbours).

When thinking about a piece of popular culture, it pays to know the tricks of the trade.

Engaging popular culture means exploring the imaginative world, exploring the details of the stories it tells, the styles that it exhibits or fashions for us. That means you should try to understand how popular cultural producers do what they do. If you are considering a movie, think about things such as lighting, camera angle, shot selection, music, and so forth. If you are thinking about a song, pay attention to chords, rhythm, genre, instrumentation, as well as the lyrics. By paying attention to these details, you become more familiar with the imaginative landscape that the popular work invites you to inhabit.

Every piece of popular culture is a complicated mixture of grace and idolatry.

There is no piece of popular culture so banal or twisted that it does not contain some glimpse of God’s grace. And there is no piece of popular culture so pure and profound that it does not contain an invitation to idolatry. Popular culture appeals to non-Christians for a reason, namely, they sense some of God’s beauty, power and goodness in it. This is what theologians call ‘common grace’ – fragments of grace that God spreads to everyone – even those who will never come to believe. As Paul says in Acts, these gifts of God are ‘testimony’ to God’s being and character (see Acts 14:17). Popular culture contains such ‘fragments of grace’ woven into the very fabric of the popular cultural song, movie, television show, book, etc. But in non-Christian popular culture, these fragments of grace are bent to serve false gods. In fact, the idols presented in popular culture become persuasive for non-Christians (and sometimes Christians) precisely because of the attractiveness of those glimpses of God’s grace.

For example, James Cameron’s summer blockbuster Avatar (2009) won accolades for its stunning visual effects, and rightly so. The digital artistry created a beautiful and fascinating alien world filled with realistic and delightful creatures. It served to remind us of the real and delightful creatures God has made. In this way, the film served as a reflection of God’s creative artistry, and ultimately, the beauty and power of God Himself. But the film bends that fragment of grace into the service of pagan nature worship (the nature deity ‘Eywa’). Likewise, all meaningful and attractive popular culture succeeds by drawing its audience in with such reflections of God’s beauty, while putting those grace fragments into service to another god.

Think carefully about how to undermine the idol, and how the gospel applies to the piece of popular culture you’re sharing with friends.

 Popular culture often uses ‘grace fragments’ to steer the imagination towards an idol. Think of ways that the idol shows itself to be inadequate and false, and how the Christian worldview and the riches of the gospel offer a better alternative.

Look for occasions where you can experience popular culture together with friends and family (both Christian and non-Christian).

My wife and I host movie discussion nights for my students every fortnight. You may not want to do something so formal, but you should seek out opportunities to experience popular culture together with people you care about. Listen to the music your children listen to. Go see a movie with friends. Invite friends over for dinner and a few episodes of your favourite television series on DVD. Open up your homes and your lives to be shared with family, friends and neighbours.

If we carefully consider the popular culture that surrounds us, we can develop biblical wisdom that neither dismisses it nor blindly accepts it. Such a wisdom that is ‘in the world, but not of the world’ can be very attractive to non-Christians who need Christ, but cannot see what difference He can make. By engaging popular culture, we can speak of Christ in a language familiar to them. And that can make all the difference.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

God Does not Change - Part 2

God's character does not change. Strain, or shock or a lobotomy can alter the character of a per son, but nothing can alter the character of God. In the course of a human life, tastes and outlook and temper may change radically; a kind equable person may turn bitter and crotchety; a person of good will may grow cynical and callous. But nothing of this sort happens to the Creator. He never becomes less truthful, or merciful, or just, or good than he used to be. The character of God is today, and always will be, exactly what it was in Bible times.

God's revealed name is, of course, more than a label; it is a revelation of what he is in relation to us. In Exodus 3, we read how God announced his name to Moses as "I AM WHO I AM" (v.14) a phrase of which "Yahweh" (Jehovah, "the Lord") is in effect a shortened form (v.15). This name is not a description of God, but simply a declaration of his self-existence and his eternal change-lessness; a reminder to mankind that he has life in himself, and that what he is now, he is eternally.

J.I. Packer, Knowing God, pg77-78.

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry - Taj Mahal

From The Songs of Bob Dylan All Blues'd Up!

Tangled Up In Blues: Songs Of Bob Dylan - This Ain't No Tribute

Nancy Pelosi's OZ

Lecrae - For the rapper, a new life, a new message

Lecrae Moore moved around a lot as a child. He was constantly the new kid in school. It’s often a struggle to fit in when you always have to make new friends but Lecrae had a gift. He could rap.
Street battles were no problem. Breaking into some freestyle for his classmates was a piece of cake. But walking a straight line was difficult.
Moore had a tough childhood. He grew up without a father. His male role models were rap artists like Tupac.
“My world view at that point in time was what I saw on television,” he said recently on a visit to CNN Center. “I just [rapped] about what I esteemed to be, what I wanted to be like. Most of that was gangsterism, false sense of masculinity, money, women.”
But Moore’s world view changed when he went to college at North Texas.  He met some Christians who helped pull the underlying faith out of him. It seemed to have always been there but he grew up straddling the line between God and the enemy, he said.
Christian hip-hop star Lecrae talks about how his life turned after he was almost arrested for drug possession
Before he went to college Moore said he was the drug dealer with a good-luck charm, a Bible his devout grandmother gave him. He knew he could turn to it if he got in trouble.
Trouble came one night when he was about to be arrested for drug possession. He sat in the back of the squad car, handcuffed, distraught and lost, preparing to go to jail, when the officer asked him about the Bible in Lecrae’s car.
The officer wondered, what is that doing on your backseat?
“I told him I know I need to live it,” Moore said. According to Moore, the officer said if Moore would agree to do that, he would let him go.
The turnaround wasn’t a complete 180, and it took more people to convince Moore to dig into the Christian life, including those Christians on his college campus. Afterward, some of them would hang around and would rap about Jesus. The street battler in him came out, and a Christian hip-hop artist was born.
I asked him: Is he a rapper who preaches or a preacher who raps?
An easy smile came across his face and his introspective eyes pondered for a second.
“I think every rapper is a preacher, it’s what’s the sermon that they are giving,” he said. “Every rapper is preaching something. They are either preaching that you can find satisfaction in a million dollars or 50 women, or that you are not a real man unless you are a killer."
“I just look at myself as another individual who has a different message and a world view that I think is the most beneficial, the most helpful, and I’ll be honest, it’s the right one. Maybe not mine specifically but I think a Biblical world view is the right world view.”
Moore’s latest CD is “Rehab,” which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Christian albums chart and the Gospel albums list, sold more than 26,000 copies its first week. It also hit No. 5 on the rap albums chart.
It is a product of Reach Records, which he co-owns in Atlanta, Georgia. The label has four other Christian rappers, some of whom Lecrae thinks will be even more influential than he has been.
Moore also founded ReachLife Ministries, which seeks to "bridge the gap between biblical truth and the urban context," he said.
Rehab is a statement, a message to all that while there is much wrong in this world, there is a way to reshape your life, he said. We all need a sense of purpose, but we're all a bit messed up.
“We are fractured; this is a fractured world, but there is rehabilitation available through Jesus,” he said. “He came to save. He came to restore.”
Moore is currently back out on the road on the "Unashamed" tour.
belief blog

The Troubling View of Joel Osteen

Joel Osteen appeared on The View on Tuesday morning to promote his new book, The Christmas Spirit. It was during the interview that he spoke more about his relativism than the gospel.  When asked about homosexuality, he responded with a very non-offensive answer in an attempt to please The View and those who watch the program.  Joel Osteen may be called a pastor, a Christian, and a man of God by some people, but if he truly believes what he said in his interview on Nov. 16th, 2010, he believes a different gospel than the one found in the pages of Holy Scripture.  Although his position on homosexuality may be offensive to the evangelical church, we should be more worried about his relativism that fuels his position on homosexuality!
At one point during the interview, Barbara Walters referred back to a previous appearance of Osteen on their program.  She wanted to dig deeper into Osteen’s position regarding homosexuality.  According to Walters, Osteen had stated in his previous appearance that homosexuality was not “God’s best for people.”  She wanted more clarification, so she said, “Recently a pastor of an evangelical church in Georgia named Jim Swilley came out and said that he was gay.  He is married, he has children, but he is gay. What’s your feelings about that?“  Osteen responded by saying, “Well, first off Barbara, I should finish that sentence.  I should make it clear.  I don’t think it’s God’s best for your life.  I don’t NOT think it’s God’s best making us.  As far as that pastor is concerned, I don’t know that individual situation.  I think that, I believe the Scriptures teach us that a pastor in leadership like that is not going to stay in a Christian church like ours.“  That led Barbara Walters to ask a very specific follow-up question.  She asked, “Should he get out of the Christian church if he is gay?“  Osteen responded by saying, “You know, I think that’s totally up to him.”
Later in the interview, it was pointed out that Joel Osteen gave the prayer for the newly elected lesbian Mayor of Houston.  When given opportunities to refute the theory that homosexuals are created by God as homosexuals and that God somehow desires that they live that lifestyle – Osteen spent his time agreeing with them rather than refuting their false theories.  Whoopi, Joy, Barbara, and the other co-hosts seem to embrace a type of moralistic relativism.  They seem to believe that all people have a built-in ability to approach God on their own terms, on their own path, and receive the love of God.  Rather than being a true prophet of God – Osteen spent his time agreeing with false doctrines that will send millions of people to Hell.
Whoopi Goldberg actually brought up the core answer to the entire conversation when she asked Osteen a question near the end of the program.  She asked, “Don’t you believe that God in His infinite wisdom created us all as individuals and gave us enough intelligence to go to Him for those answers that we sometimes look to people on earth for?“  Although she continued by making other troubling statements, this question is really the heart of the issue.  The Bible teaches us that man doesn’t have this ability to approach God on his own terms.  Romans 3 provides us clear evidence that fallen man is a rebel by nature and does not seek after God!  In fact, it’s really clear that sinful man is unable to go to God unless God draws that individual to Himself (John 6:44).  Therefore, due to the radical depravity of the human heart – man chooses alternative lifestyles that contradict God’s intention for humanity.  These lifestyles include homosexuality, divorce, and child molestation.  Just because a person rapes a child doesn’t mean that God created them that way and that His intentions are for adults to have such relationships with children.  Clearly – that is a violation of God’s plan.  It’s clearly a sin against God.  Likewise, homosexuality does the same thing.  Joel Osteen should have quoted Scripture and defended the faith once delivered to the saints.
At the end of the day, we must view Osteen as something other than a pastor.  A Christian pastor is one who believes that the gospel is a narrow path – not a wide relative path that each person defines on their own terms.  A pastor must be able to defend the faith against those who are spreading false doctrines (Titus 1:9).  Clearly, Osteen was not able to do that when surrounded by women who pervert the gospel of Christ.  Osteen may be an author and a speaker, but he isn’t a Christian pastor.  People should avoid Joel Osteen’s teachings, books, and his church due to his relativism that denies the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  True pastors are unable to make everyone happy.  True prophets say, “Thus saith the LORD.”  Osteen will say whatever makes people feel good – no matter if it leads them down a broad relative pathway to eternal destruction (Matthew 7:13).  Rather than submitting to their view – Osteen should have pointed to the the view of God found in Holy Scripture.
Proverbs 14:12There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death (ESV).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the stealth $600 billion tax increase

Although most economists are loathe to admit it, inflating the currency really serves as a form of stealth taxation. The entire goal of inflation is to allow the issuer of the currency to buy things with the full initial value of the money being inflated while simultaneously reducing the value of the money held by everyone else. In other words, inflation transfers the value represented by monetary tokens (bills, banking computer data, etc.) from the people who hold old tokens (the bills in your wallet) to the people printing the money (in America, the Fed).
Now, toss in this little bit of goodness:
The Fed usually [sic] manages the economy by adjusting short-term interest rates. With those rates already near zero, Fed officials had to dust off a strategy for boosting the economy that debuted during the darkest days of the financial crisis. The Fed plans to create money, essentially out of thin air, and then pump it into the economy by buying Treasury bonds on the open market. These purchases are to be finished by the end of June, the Fed said.
Stop laughing at the “manages the economy” bit and focus on the emphasized text. What is really going on here?
What is really going on is that the Fed is stealing $600 billion dollars of real value from your pocket and using that value to fund the US Federal government through Treasury bonds. The real transfer of real value goes: You–>Fed–>Government.
It’s a damn tax increase craftily carried out using the finance system.
Shannon Love

Phil Keaggy - John The Revelator (Extended Strat Mix)

From the EP 'Revelator' 1993

'God Don't Never Change' BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON (1929)

They Still Don't Get It

God Does not Change

God's life does not change. He is "from all eternity" (Psa. 93:2), "the eternal King" (Jer 10:10), "who alone is immortal" (1 Tim 6:16)....Created things have a beginning and an ending, but not so their Creator. The answer to the child's question "Who made God?" is simply that God did not need to be made, for he was always there. He exists forever, and he is always the same. He does not grow older. His life does not wax or wane. He does not gain new powers nor lose those that he once had. He does not mature or develop. He does not get stronger, or weaker, or wiser, as time goes by. "He cannot change for the better," wrote A.W. Pink, "for he is already perfect; and being perfect, he cannot change for the worse."

The first and fundamental difference between the Creator and his creatures is that they are mutable and their nature admits of change, whereas God is immutable and can never cease to be what he is.

J.I. Packer, Knowing God, pg.77

If something is mutable it means it's changeable, but if something is immutable it means that it is not subject to change. That's why its so dangerous to try and judge God based on your ever changing emotions. All of man's anger against God comes from the desire that God must be like us. Man struggles with God because God is perfect and no matter how hard man tries he is not.

How the Spirit changes us

“There were earnest longings that all God’s people might be clothed with humility and meekness, like the Lamb of God, and feel nothing in their hearts but love and compassion to all mankind; and great grief when anything to the contrary appeared in any of the children of God, as bitterness, fierceness of zeal, censoriousness, or reflecting uncharitably on others, or disputing with any appearance of heat of spirit.”
Jonathan Edwards, “Thoughts on the Revival,” in Works (Edinburgh, 1979), I:377, recording the experience of his wife under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Ray Ortlund

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jeff Beck - Brush with the Blues

British TV Later with Jools Holland late night UK TV show -99.
The other guitarist is Jennifer Batten

Another Failed Method That Destroys The ECONOMY

What God Is Up to When Life Is Hard

In Knowing God (p. 97, my emphases) J. I. Packer writes about how to understand the “unexpected and upsetting and discouraging things” that happen to us. What do they mean?
Simply that God in his wisdom means to make something of us which we have not attained yet, and he is dealing with us accordingly.
Then Packer ponders the possible purposes God might have in mind for you:
Perhaps he means to strengthen us in patience, good humor, compassion, humility, or meekness, by giving us some extra practice in exercising these graces under especially difficult conditions.
Perhaps he has new lessons in self-denial and self-distrust to teach us.
Perhaps he wishes to break us of complacency, or unreality, or undetected forms of pride and conceit.
Perhaps his purpose is simply to draw us closer to himself in conscious communion with him; for it is often the case, as all the saints know, that fellowship with the Father and the Son is most vivid and sweet, and Christian joy is greatest, when the cross is heaviest. . . .
Or perhaps God is preparing us for forms of service of which at present we have no inkling.
He goes on:
We may be frankly bewildered at things that happen to us, but God knows exactly what he is doing, and what he is after, in his handling of our affairs.
Always, and in everything, he is wise: we shall see that hereafter, even where we never saw it here. . . .
Meanwhile, we ought not to hesitate to trust his wisdom, even when he leaves us in the dark.
But how should we respond to baffling and trying situations when cannot now see God’s purpose in them?
First, by taking them as from God, and asking ourselves what reactions to them, and in them, the gospel of God requires of us;
second, by seeking God’s face specifically about them.
“If we do these two things,” Packer writes, “we shall never find ourselves wholly in the dark as to God’s purpose in our troubles.”
Justin Taylor

John Piper - You Need the Gospel Every Day

John Piper on the centrality (and necessity) of the gospel.This is only a couple of minutes so watch it a couple of times and let it sink in.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jimi Hendrix - Red House

When Jimi says,"Thats alright I still got my guitar" I know how that feels. Red House By Jimi Hedrix From the album Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix

Fire The Bum

Grace To The Humble

"God has surely promised His grace to the humbled, that is, to those who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realizes that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends, absolutely on the will, counsel, pleasure and works of Another - God alone. As long as he is persuaded that he can make even the smallest contribution to his salvation, he remains self-confident and does not utterly despair of himself, and so is not humbled before God."            (Martin Luther)