Monday, October 31, 2011

Wife Of Oil Worker

Bonnie Raitt with Junior Wells - "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy"

Muddy Waters -- Mississippi Delta Blues

A Little Chewy

Not from Heaven but from Hell

There is nothing that belongs to Christian experience that is more liable to a corrupt mixture than zeal; though it be an excellent virtue, a heavenly flame, when it is pure: but as it is exercised in those who are so little sanctified, and so little humbled, as we are in the present state, 'tis very apt to be mixed with human passion, yea, with corrupt hateful affections, pride and uncharitable bitterness, and other things that are not from heaven but from hell. (Jonathan Edwards, Thoughts Concerning the Revival, in Yale ed. of Works of Jonathan Edwards, 4:460)

In a 1743 letter to Thomas Prince in Boston, Edwards put it this way: the degree of grace is by no means to be judged of by . . . the degree of zeal. (ibid., 556) 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

How To Identify A Meth Lab

Muddy Waters - You Can't Loose What Your Never Had

Luther Defines the Gospel

In his 'Preface to the New Testament,' Luther writes:

This gospel of God or New Testament is
a good story and report,
sounded forth into all the world by the apostles,
telling of a true David
who strove with sin, death, and the devil,
and overcame them,
and thereby rescued all those who were
captive in sin,
afflicted with death,
and overpowered by the devil.

Without any merit of their own he
made them righteous,
gave them life,
and saved them,
so that they were given peace and brought back to God.

For this they sing,
and thank and praise God,
and are glad forever,
if only they believe firmly and remain steadfast in faith.
--Luther's Works 35:358

What To Tell The Devil

So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: "I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where he is there I shall be also!"
--- Martin Luther

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Popa Chubby & Jimmy Thackery "Red House"

They Don't Have A Clue

The Potent Gale of Grace

A good and powerful expression of the I in TULIP, which I believe is biblical and beautiful. Spurgeon is preaching a message entitled 'A Revival Sermon' in January 1860:
The Lord, when he means to save sinners, does not stop to ask them whether they mean to be saved, but like a mighty rushing wind the divine influence sweeps away every obstacle; the unwilling heart bends before the potent gale of grace, and sinners that would not yield are made to yield by God.

I know this, that if the Lord willed it, there is no man so desperately wicked here this morning that he would not be made now to seek for mercy, however infidel he might be; however rooted in his prejudices against the gospel, Jehovah hath to will it, and it is done. Into thy dark heart, O thou who hast never seen the light, would the light stream; if he did but say, 'Let there be light,' there would be light.

Thou mayest bend thy fist and lift up thy mouth against Jehovah; but he is thy master yet.
--quoted in Iain Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon (Banner of Truth, 1966), 91
Dane Ortlund

Friday, October 28, 2011

Little Walter - It Ain't Right

Art With Salt - The Joker

Star Wars Robot Chicken 3 - Do You Speak Spanish? CI-3P0

Voice (Curtis Allen) - If We Get This Wrong

Voice aka Curtis Allen off of his album The Process of the Pardon

How About Occupy Sea World?

God's Love: The Key Ingredient to God's Attributes

So much as we see of the love of God, so much shall we delight in him, and no more.

Every other discovery of God, without this, will but make the soul fly from him; but if the heart be once much taken up with this the eminency of the Father’s love, it cannot choose but be overpowered, conquered, and endeared unto him. This, if anything, will work upon us to make our abode with him. If the love of a father will not make a child delight in him, what will?

Put, then, this to the venture: exercise your thoughts upon this very thing, the eternal, free, and fruitful love of the Father, and see if your hearts be not wrought upon to delight in him. I dare boldly say: believers will find it as thriving a course as ever they pitched on in their lives. Sit down a little at the fountain, and you will quickly have a further discovery of the sweetness of the streams. You who have run from him, will not be able, after a while, to keep at a distance for a moment.
--John Owen, Communion with the Triune God (ed. K. Kapic and J. Taylor; Crossway, 2007), 128
Dane Ortlund

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crossroads Guitar 2010 - Vince Gill - One More Last Chance

Crossroads Guitar 2010 - Vince Gill with Keb Mo, James Burton, Earl Klugh & Albert Lee One More Last Chance

Uncomfortable Grace

"So, if you are God's child, resist the temptation to doubt his goodness in the middle of your stress. It's time to stop thinking that our difficulty is a sign of his unfaithfulness and inattention. If you are God's child and you still recognize the battle of sin within, then those difficulties are sure signs of rescuing redemptive love. God isn't withholding his grace from you. No, you're experiencing uncomfortable grace, grace that's willing to break bones in order for your heart to be true. This grace is unwilling to give up. This grace will not turn its back. This grace will not accept the status quo. This grace will not compromise or grow cynical. God hasn't forgotten you. He loves you with real love, and he's giving you real grace. And he'll continue to do so until you're finally free of your propensity to wander away. Now that's real love."

-Paul Tripp, Whiter than Snow
All Of Grace

Johnny Winter Feat. Sonny Landreth - T-Bone Shuffle (2011)

Jazz Guitar 'Blue Room' LONNIE JOHNSON and EDDIE LANG (1929) Blues Guitar Legend

The Real 99%

How the New Testament Describes Salvation

Here are the more important ones, noting which sphere of life from which they are drawn.
Justification – the lawcourt metaphor (Rom 5:1; Titus 3:7)

Sanctification – the cultus metaphor (1 Cor 1:2; 1 Thess 4:3)

Adoption – the familial metaphor (Rom 8:15; 1 John 3:1–2)

Reconciliation – the relational metaphor (Rom 5:1–11; 2 Cor 5:18–20)

Washing – the physical cleansing metaphor (1 Cor 6:11; Titus 3:7)

Redemption – the slave market metaphor (Eph 1:7; Rev 14:3–4)

Purchase – the financial transaction metaphor (1 Cor 6:20; 2 Pet 2:1)

Wedding – the marriage metaphor (Eph 5:31-32; Rev 21:2)

Liberation – the imprisonment metaphor (Gal 5:1; Rev 1:5)

New Birth – the physical generation metaphor (John 3:3–7; 1 Pet 1:3, 23)

Illumination – the light metaphor (John 12:35–36; 2 Cor 4:4–6)

New Creation – the redemptive-historical metaphor (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15)

Resurrection – the bodily metaphor (Eph 2:6; Col 3:1)

Union with Christ – the organic or spatial metaphor (Rom 6:1–14; 2 Tim 1:9)
Inexhaustible richness. Luther was right--
If a person is without warmth about matters pertaining to God and salvation, as the common man does, then the devil merely laughs. But if your words are aglow in your heart, you will put the devil to flight. (LW 22:357)
Dane Ortlund

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wes Montgomery - Born to Be Blue

Mortgage Relief - A Little To Little And To Late

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

In this interview with Leadership magazine, Tullian Tchividjian describes some of the ugliness and pain that resulted from attempting to merge his church plant with Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in 2009:
There were people in the choir who, when I would stand up to preach, would get up and walk out. People would sit in the front row and just stare me down as I preached.
It was extremely uncomfortable. People would grab me in the hallway between services and say, “You’re ruining this church, and I’m going to do everything I can to stop you.”
I would come out to my car and it would be keyed. . . .
They put petitions on car windows during the worship service.
They started an anonymous blog, which was very painful . . . fueling rumors and lies. The blog almost ruined my wife’s life.
Anonymous letters were sent out to the entire congregation with accusations and character assassinations.
It was absolutely terrible.
He then recounts a family vacation that summer when he poured out his frustration to God. But then things began to change as he read God’s word:

But then I started thinking, why does this bother me so much? Yes, I have people writing nasty things about me, lying about me, spreading rumors about my team. They’re after power. And they’re not getting it, and these are the tactics they’re using. But why does that bother me so much? I remember saying to God in that moment, “Just give me my old life back.” And he said, “It’s not your old life you want back. It’s your old idols you want back. And I love you too much to give them to you.”
I opened up my Bible. In the reading plan I was following, it so happened that the day’s passages included the first chapter of Colossians. As I read those verses, my eyes were opened. My true situation came into focus. I’d never realized how dependent I’d become on human approval and acceptance until so much of it was taken away in the roiling controversy at Coral Ridge. In every church I’d been a part of, I was widely accepted and approved and appreciated. I’d always felt loved in church. Now, for the first time, I found myself in the uncomfortable position of being deeply disliked and distrusted, and by more than a few people. Now I realized just how much I’d been relying on something other than the approval and acceptance and love that were already mine in Jesus. I was realizing in a fresh way the now-power of the gospel—that the gospel doesn’t simply rescue us from the past and rescue us for the future; it also rescues us in the present from being enslaved to things like fear, insecurity, anger, self-reliance, bitterness, entitlement, and insignificance. Through my pain, I was being convinced all over again that the power of the gospel is just as necessary and relevant after you become a Christian as it is before. When that biblical reality gripped my heart, I was free like I had never felt before in my life. It gives you the backbone to walk into a room full of church leaders and say “this is what we’re going to do and this is why we’re going to do it, even if it gets me thrown into the street.” There is a fresh I-don’t-care-ness that accompanies belief in the gospel. Whether you like me or not doesn’t matter, because my worth and my dignity and my identity are anchored in God’s approval. Christ won all of the approval and acceptance I need.
Justin Taylor

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Darth Vader recording for TomTom GPS - behind the scenes

Kenny Barron - Minor Blues

Kenny Baron - delores street SF - 1973

This is one of my all time favorite albums. I bought it on vinyl when it came out in 1973.

Justification and Regeneration

Seems to me there are roughly four camps when it comes to the currently hot question of how to put together the gospel with our ongoing growth.

Maybe we can put all four in terms of their unification of the objective/legal/pardoning/external side of salvation (which for simplicity's sake we'll call justification [J]) with the subjective/mystical/empowering/internal side (which for simplicity we'll call regeneration [R]).
1. Unbelievers (neither J nor R). No focus on either justification or regeneration. Full-blown functional Pelagianism and Socinianism without knowing it.

2. The Christian Buzz Lightyears (R, not J). A focus on regeneration to the neglect of justification. Overly optimistic. Anthropologically naive. Historically known as 'Neonomian.' Forgets that even the regenerate continue, in many ways, to be hard-wired to self-generate, even a little bit, God's approval. Focuses on the ongoing need for the work of the Spirit to the neglect of the ongoing need for the work of the Son. I think the German Pietists Franke and Spener were probably here. Probably Wesley too.

3. The Christian Eeyores (J, not R). A focus on justification to the neglect of regeneration. Overly pessimistic. Pneumatologically naive. Historically known as 'Antinomian.' Forgets that the regenerate are new creatures with new impulses and new desires who are able to do new things out of new motivations that truly are, for all our fallenness, pleasing to God (as a son pleases his father, not an employee his boss). Focuses on the ongoing need for the work of the Son to the neglect of the ongoing need for the work of the Spirit. I think Berkouwer is here, as I have argued before. Perhaps Luther too, though in my reading of him he talks way more about obeying the Ten Commandments than those who quote him generally do.

4. The New Testament (J + R). Soberly optimistic, injected with realism. Rejoices in both justification and regeneration (which come together nicely when we make union with Christ the soteriological umbrella, as the NT demands). Grace is both pardon (Rom 3:24) and power (1 Cor 15:10). We are, our whole lives long, simul justus et peccator; yet we also are able to actually act differently. A deep appreciation of the depths of sin, even in the regenerate, wedded with a deep appreciation of the Life ignited in the new birth. Believers are given a new power, new impulses, new taste buds; holiness now appears strangely beautiful instead of repulsive; yet one of the main ways that hunger for holiness is fueled is by sustained, repeated reflection on the gospel of grace, the need for which we never outgrow. I see Calvin getting this just right. And Owen. Schlatter too. And in my reading of Whitefield's sermons, he got both of these together in a wonderfully combustible way.
The point is that we should emphasize neither the objective to the neglect of the subjective nor the subjective to the neglect of the objective. Of course, the four camps above are not neatly divisible. And we all naturally operate on the assumption that we ourselves are right in the middle.

But honest and humble self-examination would be a salutary check for many of us. Are we emphasizing the full picture of salvation with the rhythm of the New Testament? Or are we emphasizing what appeals to us the most, resisting equal appreciation of all the Bible says about salvation?
Dane Ortlund

How To Insult Like Shakespeare

blazing center

Monday, October 24, 2011

KENNY BARRON - Maiden Voyage.wmv

Kenny Barron's unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies and infectious rhythms is what inspired the Los Angeles Times to name him "one of the top jazz pianists in the world" and Jazz Weekly to call him "The most lyrical piano player of our time."

Billy Preston - Uptight (Everything's Alright)

Adoption: Pitied, Protected, Provided For

Westminster Confession of Faith 12.1:
All those that are justified, God vouchsafes,
in and for His only Son Jesus Christ,
to make partakers of the grace of adoption,
by which they are taken into the number,
and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God,
have His name put upon them,
receive the spirit of adoption,
have access to the throne of grace with boldness,
are enabled to cry, Abba, Father,
are pitied, protected, provided for,
and chastened by Him as by a Father:
yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption;
and inherit the promises, as heirs of everlasting salvation.

Joe Biden's Campfire Lies

Hey Joe not even the Democrats will vote for this bill.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Billy Preston - Blackbird (Beatles Cover)

This wonderful, and unrecognized Beatles cover, was the b-side of Billy's #1 hit "Will It Go 'Round In Circles".

Al Green - I Wanna Hold Your Hand (Beatles Cover)

Scared To Death

Good News or Good Advice?

Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones on 1 Corinthians 15. He clarified how the Gospel is based on historical events in how the religion got itsstart. He said there was a big difference between advice and news. The Gospel, he would say, is good news, but not good advice. Here’s what he said about that: “Advice is counsel about something that hasn’t happened yet, but you can do something about it. News is a report about something that has
happened which you can’t do anything about because it has been done for you and all you can do is to
respond to it.”
So he says think this out: here’s a king, and he goes into a battle against an invading army to defend his
land. If the king defeats the invading army, he sends back to the capital city messengers, envoys, very
happy envoys. He sends back good newsers. And what they come back with is a report. They come
back and they say: The invading army has been defeated and it’s been all done. Therefore respond with joy and now go about your lives in this peace which has been achieved for you. But if he doesn’t defeat the invading army, and the invading army breaks through, the king sends back military advisers and says . . . “Marksmen
over here and the horseman over there, and we will have to fight for our lives.” Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones
says that every other religion sends military advisers to people. Every other religion says that if you want
to achieve salvation, you will have to fight for your life. Every other religion is sending advice saying “here
are the rites, here are the rituals, here’s the transformation of the consciousness and here are the laws
and the regulations. Marksmen over here and horsemen over there and we are going to fight for our
lives.” We send heralds; we send messengers and not military advisers. Isn’t that clarifying? It’s just
incredibly clarifying. And it’s not like there’s nothing to do about it, my goodness. Both the messenger
and the military adviser get an enormous response. One is a response of joy and the other one is a
response of fear. All other religions give advice and they drive everything you do with fear . . . as you
know, when you hear the gospel, when you hear the message that it’s all been done for you, it’s a
historical event that has happened, your salvation is accomplished for you, what do you want to do?          
You want to please the one that did this for you.

Defiant Grace

"Like a bad back that needs to return repeatedly to the chiropractor for straightening out, our understanding of Jesus needs to be straightened out over and over again as our poor spiritual posture throws our perception of him out of line--domesticating him and conforming him to our image, rather than transforming us into his."

-Dane Ortlund, Defiant Grace

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Carolyn Wonderland - "Judgement Day Blues"

How to Spell 'Grace'

Spurgeon, in a sermon during his later years--
I have known some that, at first conversion, have not been very clear in the gospel, who have been made evangelical by their discoveries of their own need of mercy. They could not spell the word 'grace.' They began with a G, but they very soon went on with an F, till it spelt very like 'freewill' before they had done with it.

But after they have learned their weakness, after they have fallen into serious fault, and God has restored them, or after they have passed through deep depression of mind, they have sung a new song. In the school of repentance they have learned to spell. They began to write the word 'free,' but they went on from free, not to 'will' but to 'grace.' And there it stood in capitals, 'FREE GRACE'. . . . They became clearer in their divinity, and truer in their faith than ever they were before.
--quoted in Iaian Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon (Banner of Truth 1966), 69-70
Dane Ortlund

End Of Lifestyles

Friday, October 21, 2011

Al Green - Get Back ( Beatles Cover)

Why We Find Pride in Others So Annoying

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, chapter 8:
There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves.
I have heard people admit that they are bad-tempered, or that they cannot keep their heads about girls or drink, or even that they are cowards.
I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian accuse himself of this vice.
And at the same time I have very seldom met anyone, who was not a Christian, who showed the slightest mercy to it in others.
There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves.
And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.
The vice I am talking of is Pride. . . .
. . . In fact, if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, “How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronise me, or show off?”
The point is that each person’s pride is in competition with every one else’s pride.
It is because I wanted to be the big noise at the party that I am so annoyed at someone else being the big noise.
Justin Taylor

Junior Wells & Buddy Guy - Shotgun Blues

How Darth Vader Likes His Toast

We Are Always Looking To Something Else Other Than God and His Grace For What We Need

“We habitually and instinctively look to other things besides God and his grace as our justification, hope, significance, and security. We believe the gospel at one level, but at deeper levels we do not. Human approval, professional success, power and influence, family and clan identity- all of these things serve as our heart’s ‘functional trust’ rather than what Christ has done, and as a result we continue to be driven to a great degree by fear, anger, and a lack of self-control. You cannot change such things through mere willpower, through learning Biblical principles and trying to carry them out. We can only change permanently as we take the gospel more deeply into our understanding and into our hearts. We must feed on the gospel, as it were, digesting it and making it part of ourselves. That is how we grow.”
Tim Keller, The Prodigal God, p. 115

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Muddy Waters (Live 1958) - I Feel Like Going Home

Muddy Waters, Otis Spann (Live At Manchester England 1958) - I Feel Like Going Home

Elmore James - Blues Before Sunrise

Al Green - Call Me (Come Back Home)

Down With Capitalism - Been There Done That

Why Does God Ordain that there Be Evil?

It is evident from what has been said that it is not because he delights in evil as evil. Rather he "wills that evil come to pass . . . that good may come of it." What good? And how does the existence of evil serve this good end? Here is Jonathan Edwards' stunning answer:
It is a proper and excellent thing for infinite glory to shine forth; and for the same reason, it is proper that the shining forth of God's glory should be complete; that is, that all parts of his glory should shine forth, that every beauty should be proportionably effulgent, that the beholder may have a proper notion of God. It is not proper that one glory should be exceedingly manifested, and another not at all. . . .
Thus it is necessary, that God's awful majesty, his authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness, should be manifested. But this could not be, unless sin and punishment had been decreed; so that the shining forth of God's glory would be very imperfect, both because these parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the others do, and also the glory of his goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all.
If it were not right that God should decree and permit and punish sin, there could be no manifestation of God's holiness in hatred of sin, or in showing any preference, in his providence, of godliness before it. There would be no manifestation of God's grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from. How much happiness soever he bestowed, his goodness would not be so much prized and admired. . . .
So evil is necessary, in order to the highest happiness of the creature, and the completeness of that communication of God, for which he made the world; because the creature's happiness consists in the knowledge of God, and the sense of his love. And if the knowledge of him be imperfect, the happiness of the creature must be proportionably imperfect.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Al Green - Jesus is Waiting Live on Soul Train

Al Green Takes Soul Train to Church! This is one of my all time favorite songs.

Al Green - I'm so Lonesome I could cry

This is a great cover of Hank Williams song, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry.

Holloween Fallout

How to Be Radically Insecure

A fascinating statement from Lovelace illuminating both my own soul and why playing hoops with unbelievers is often more enjoyable than with believers.
Much that we have interpreted as a defect of sanctification in church people is really an outgrowth of their loss of bearing with respect to justification.

Christians who are no longer sure that God loves and accepts them in Jesus, apart from their present spiritual achievements, are subconsciously radically insecure persons--much less secure than non-Christians, because they have too much light to rest easily under the constant bulletins they receive from their Christian environment about the holiness of God and the righteousness they are supposed to have.
--Richard Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal (InterVarsity, 1979), 211-12
Dane Ortlund

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Marx Brothers - Duck Soup - Rufus T Fireflys introduction

Tom Jones- Ain't no grave - From Praise And Blame

Norah Jones - Don't Know Why (Glastonbury)

New Protest

Two Ways of Doing Life: Psalm 23 versus Antipsalm 23

David Powlison:
From Jesus’ point of view, there are two fundamentally different ways of doing life.
One way, you’re connected to a God who’s involved in your life. Psalm 23 is all about this: “The LORD is my shepherd . . .  and his goodness and mercy surely follow me all the days of my life.”
The other way, you’re pretty much on your own and disconnected. Let’s call this the antipsalm 23: “I’m on my own . . . and disappointment follows me all the days of my life.”
We’ll look first at the antipsalm way of doing life.
Antipsalm 23
I’m on my own.
No one looks out for me or protects me.
I experience a continual sense of need. Nothing’s quite right.
I’m always restless. I’m easily frustrated and often disappointed.
It’s a jungle—I feel overwhelmed. It’s a desert—I’m thirsty.
My soul feels broken, twisted, and stuck. I can’t fix myself.
I stumble down some dark paths.
Still, I insist: I want to do what I want, when I want, how I want.
But life’s confusing. Why don’t things ever really work out?
I’m haunted by emptiness and futility—shadows of death.
I fear the big hurt and final loss.
Death is waiting for me at the end of every road,
but I’d rather not think about that.
I spend my life protecting myself. Bad things can happen.
I find no lasting comfort.
I’m alone . . . facing everything that could hurt me.
Are my friends really friends?
Other people use me for their own ends.
I can’t really trust anyone. No one has my back.
No one is really for me—except me.
And I’m so much all about ME, sometimes it’s sickening.
I belong to no one except myself.
My cup is never quite full enough. I’m left empty.
Disappointment follows me all the days of my life.
Will I just be obliterated into nothingness?
Will I be alone forever, homeless, free-falling into void?
Sartre said, “Hell is other people.”
I have to add, “Hell is also myself.”
It’s a living death,
and then I die.
The antipsalm tells what life feels like and looks like whenever God vanishes from sight.  . . . The antipsalm captures the drivenness and pointlessness of life-purposes that are petty and self-defeating. It expresses the fears and silent despair that cannot find a voice because there’s no one to really talk to. . . .  Something bad gets last say, when whatever you live for is not God.
And when you’re caught up in the antipsalm, it doesn’t help when you’re labeled a “disorder,” a “syndrome,” or a “case.” The problem is much more serious. The disorder is “my life.” The syndrome is “I’m on my own.” The case is “Who am I and what am I living for?,” when too clearly I am the center of my story.
But the antipsalm doesn’t need to tell the final story. It only becomes your reality when you construct your reality from a lie. In reality, someone else is the center of the story. Nobody can make Jesus go away. The I AM was, is and will be, whether or not people acknowledge.
When you awaken, when you see who Jesus actually is, everything changes. You see the person whose care and ability you can trust. You experience his care. You see the person whose glory you are meant to worship. You love him who loves you. The real Psalm 23 captures what life feels like and looks like when Jesus Christ puts his hand on your shoulder.
Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Can you taste the difference?
You might want to read both antipsalm and psalm again, slowly. Maybe even read out loud. The Psalm is sweet, not bitter. It’s full, not empty. You aren’t trying to grab the wind with your bare hands. Someone else takes you in his hands. You are not alone.
Jesus Christ actually plays two roles in this most tender psalm.
First, he walked this himself. He is a man who looked to the Lord. He said these very words, and means what he says. He entered our predicament. He walked the valley of the shadow of death. He faced every evil. He felt the threat of the antipsalm, of our soul’s need to be restored. He looked to his Father’s care when he was cast down—for us—into the darkest shadow of death. And God’s goodness and mercy followed him and carried him. Life won.
Second, Jesus is also this Lord to whom we look. He is the living shepherd to whom we call. He restores your soul. He leads you in paths of righteousness. Why? Because of who he is: “for his name’s sake.” You, too, can walk Psalm 23. You can say these words and mean what you say. God’s goodness and mercy is true, and all he promises will come true. The King is at home in his universe. Jesus puts it this way, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). He delights to walk with you.
Justin Taylor

Monday, October 17, 2011

Eric Clapton - Steve Winwood - Voodoo Chile (Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010)

Whatever one sows, that will he also reap (Gal 6:7)

Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.
--C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 92

Top Ten Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying The Japanese Toilet Bike

Late Show Top 10

10. A toilet and a bike in one — where do I sign? 
9. Can I save money by buying a used toilet bike? 
8. Do they make a recumbent toilet bike? 
7. Can I save 15 percent on toilet bike insurance by switching to Geico? 
6. Would it be safer to buy a toilet car? 
5. Does my city have a toilet bike lane? 
4. Will my friends think I'm showing off? 
3. No number 3 — writer buying a toilet bike 
2. Why can't America build a decent toilet bike? 
1. Where did my life go wrong?

Presumption Produces Self-Deception

“For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:3)
Last week in this post I made the point that regardless of how well I think I’m doing in the sanctification project or how much progress I think I’ve made since I first became a Christian, like Paul in Romans 7, when God’s perfect law becomes the standard and not “how much I’ve improved over the years”, I realize that I’m a lot worse than I fancy myself to be. Whatever I think my greatest vice is, God’s law shows me that my situation is much graver: if I think it’s anger, the law shows me that it’s actually murder; if I think it’s lust, the law shows me that it’s actually adultery; if I think it’s impatience, the law shows me that it’s actually idolatry (read Matthew 5:17-48).
We’ll always maintain a posture of suspicion regarding the radicality and hilarity of unconditional grace as long as we think we’re basically OK. Our presumption of “okayness” leads to a self-deception that robs us of the joy of our salvation and the undomesticated freedom that Christ paid so dearly to secure for sinners like me.
Martin Luther shows how probing the problem of presumption is and reveals that our so-called progress may not be as impressive as we think it is:
Presumption follows when a man sets himself to fulfill the Law with works and diligently sees to it that he does what the letter of the Law asks him to do. He serves God, does not swear, honors father and mother, does not kill, does not commit adultery, and the like. Meanwhile, however, he does not observe his heart, does not note the reason why he is leading such a good life. He does not see that he is merely covering the old hypocrite in his heart with such a beautiful life. For, if he looked at himself aright–at his own heart–he would discover that he is doing all these things with dislike and out of compulsion; that he fears hell or seeks heaven, if not also for more insignificant matters: honor, goods, health; and that he is motivated by the fear of shame or harm or diseases. In short, he would have to confess that he would rather lead a different life if the consequence of such a life did not deter him; for he would not do it merely for the sake of the Law. But because he does not see this bad reason, he lives on in security, looks only at the works, not into the heart, and so assumes that he is keeping the Law of God well. (Luther’s Works, St. Louis edition, 11:81 ff)
The Heidelberg Catechism also puts things in perspective:
Question 62: But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part, of our righteousness before God?
Answer: Because, the righteousness which can be approved of before the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect, and in all respects conformable to the divine law; and also, that our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin.
“At the cross”, says Gerhard Forde, “God stormed the last bastion of the self, the last presumption that you were going to do something for him.” Genuine freedom awaits all who stop trusting in their own work and start trusting in Christ’s work.
Tullian Tchividjian

Doin' You Go Rounin' Roun to Re Ro

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I'M A STEADY ROLLIN' MAN (1937) by Robert Johnson

Anywhere the wind blows-The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

Steve Jobs Didn't Like Heaven

The Terrible Fix We Are In

The trouble is that one part of you is on His side and agrees with His disapproval of human greed and trickery and exploitation. You may want Him to make an exception in your own case, to let you off this one time; but you know at bottom that unless the power behind the world really and unalterably detests that sort of behaviour, then He cannot be good.

On the other hand, we know that if there does exist an absolute goodness it must hate most of what we do.

That is the terrible fix we are in.

If the universe is not governed by an absolute goodness, then all our efforts are in the long run hopeless. But if it is, then we are making ourselves enemies to that goodness every day, and are not in the least likely to do any better tomorrow, and so our case is hopeless again. We cannot do without it, and we cannot do with it. God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies. Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger–according to the way you react to it.

And we have reacted the wrong way.
--C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Part 1, chapter 5
Dane Ortlund

From Greed To Anarchy

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Backwater Blues - The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Yer blues

Laughter and Faith

Should we not see that lines of laughter about the eyes are just as much marks of faith as are the lines of care and seriousness?

Is it only earnestness that is baptized? Is laughter pagan?

We have already allowed too much that is good to be lost to the church and cast many pearls before swine. A church is in a bad way when it banishes laughter from the sanctuary and leaves it to the cabaret, the nightclub, and the toastmasters.
--Helmut Thielicke, Encounter with Spurgeon (Fortress, 1963), 26

Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.” --Psalm 126:2

Dane Ortlund

Call 999

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Favorite Guitar and Bass

Here I am playing my Gibson  ES335 Stereo B.B. King Guitar 1973 vintage. This is my favorite guitar of all time. On my left is Brian Shea playing my Fender Telecaster Bass, 1968 vintage. I loved that bass.

Alvin Youngblood Hart - Things 'Bout Coming My Way

I’m Not So Bad!

Martin Luther shows how probing the problem of presumption is and reveals that our so-called progress may not be as impressive as we think it is:
Presumption follows when a man sets himself to fulfill the Law with works and diligently sees to it that he does what the letter of the Law asks him to do. He serves God, does not swear, honors father and mother, does not kill, does not commit adultery, and the like. Meanwhile, however, he does not observe his heart, does not note the reason why he is leading such a good life. He does not see that he is merely covering the old hypocrite in his heart with such a beautiful life. For, if he looked at himself aright–at his own heart–he would discover that he is doing all these things with dislike and out of compulsion; that he fears hell or seeks heaven, if not also for more insignificant matters: honor, goods, health; and that he is motivated by the fear of shame or harm or diseases. In short, he would have to confess that he would rather lead a different life if the consequence of such a life did not deter him; for he would not do it merely for the sake of the Law. But because he does not see this bad reason, he lives on in security, looks only at the works, not into the heart, and so assumes that he is keeping the Law of God well. (Luther’s Works, St. Louis edition, 11:81 ff)

Alvin YoungBlood Hart - Hellhound on my Trail

Alvin Youngblood Hart - Million Miles (1999)

From the Tangled Up In Blues: Songs Of Bob Dylan (1999). This is a great CD.

He Has Mercy on Those Who are Wretched

"Therefore, God accepts only the forsaken, cures only the sick, gives sight only to the blind, restores life to only the dead, sanctifies only the sinners, gives wisdom only to the unwise fools. In short, He has mercy only on those who are wretched, and gives grace only to those who are not in grace. Therefore no proud saint, no wise or just person, can become God's material, and God's purpose cannot be fulfilled in him. He remains in his own work and makes a fictitious, pretended, false, and painted saint of himself, that is, a hypocrite."-Martin Luther, "The Seven Penitential Psalms."

Glimpses Of Grace

Jobs Bill Shot Down

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Inconceivable! the Princess Bride 24 Years Later

Click the image to enlarge it.

Emmylou Harris - If I Needed You live

From 1982. A Towns Van Zant song. That's Barry Tashian singing the duet vocals.

Why A Duck? The Marx Brothers in Cocoanuts

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Honey Bee

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, performing live on August 25th, 1984 at the Loreley Open Air Festival, and broadcast on German show Rockpalast. and quality is near perfect.

The Ineradicable Sense

Robert Cunningham, professor of church history at Edinburgh 150 years ago, on the doctrines of grace--
There is not a converted and believing man on earth, in whose conscience there does not exist at least the germ, or embryo, of a testimony in favour of the substance of the Calvinistic doctrine of election.

This testimony may be misunderstood, or perverted, or suppressed; but it exists in the ineradicable sense which every converted man has, that if God had not chosen him, he never would have chosen God, and that if God, by His Spirit, had not exerted a decisive and determining influence in the matter, he never would have turned from darkness to light, and been led to embrace Christ as his Saviour.

This is really the sum and substance of Calvinism. It is just the intelligent and hearty ascription of the entire, undivided glory of their salvation, by all who are saved, to the sovereign purpose, the infinite merit, and the almighty agency of God--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
--Robert Cunningham, The Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation (T&T Clark, 1862), 209
Dane Ortlund

Where The Real Protests Should Be

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Only The Result Of Grace

We are Christians entirely and only as a result of God’s grace. Grace is unmerited, undeserved favor. It is God’s kindness and graciousness toward humanity without regards to the worth or merit of those who receive it, and without their deserving it. Are you still trying to deserve grace?

Grace is something that comes to us entirely from God. It comes to us in spite of ourselves. Grace is not God’s response to anything in us! This is the point of Ephesians 2:5 when Paul says “Even when we were dead in trespasses made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)”. We were dead, that was our condition before grace came to us, a dead person cannot believe anything. This is why Paul says In Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved,"  A literal translation of that reads, “By grace you have been saved completely in past time with the present result that you are in a state of salvation which persists through present time.”

Grace has no meaning unless people understand they are fallen sinners and that there is nothing in them that earns, merits or deserves salvation, and not only that, what we do deserve is hell. Most people don’t believe that about themselves.