Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Long way From Home" The Vaughan Brothers

Stevie Ray Vaughn and brother Jimmie Vaughn

Lowell Fulson - Reconsider Baby

Lowell Fulson (March 31, 1921 -- March 7, 1999)[1] was a big-voiced blues guitarist and songwriter, in the West Coast blues tradition. Fulson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Root Of All Sin

Temptation is a false promise–a promise that doesn’t deliver. When we give into temptation, we are believing a lie. In the moment that we’re being tempted to do something, say something, or believe something, there is a deeper temptation happening under the surface. This may come as a surprise to you, but temptation has more to do with belief than it does behavior. Every temptation to sin (going all the way back to the Garden of Eden) is, at it’s root, a temptation to disbelieve the gospel.
When we are being tempted, we are being enticed to purchase something we think we need in order to escape the judgement of emptiness. On the surface, the bait might be lust, anger, greed, self-pity, defensiveness, entitlement, revenge, having to win, and so on. But the only reason we take the bait is because we think it will satisfy our deeper hunger for meaning, freedom, validation, respect, empowerment, affection, a sense of identity, worth, and so on.
So, here’s the connection between sinning (the fruit of the problem) and unbelief (the root of the problem): our failure to lay aside the sin that so easily entangles is the direct result of our refusal to believe in the rich provisional resources that are already ours in Christ–we’re not believing that, by virtue of our Spirit-wrought union with Christ, everything we need and long for, we already possess. John Calvin rightly said that, “Christians are in perpetual conflict with their own unbelief.”
This is why when Jesus was asked in John 6:28, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?” he answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him who he sent.” Jesus was making the indisputable point that unbelief is the force that gives birth to all of our bad behavior and every moral failure. It is the root. While the disciples located godliness in something they must do, Jesus pointed them back to himself–the One who came to do for them what they could never do for themselves. “Believe in me.”
In the preface to Martin Luther’s commentary on Romans, he writes:
…only unbelief is called sin by Christ, as he says in John 16, “The Spirit will punish the world because of sin, because it does not believe in me.” Furthermore, before good or bad works happen–which are the good or bad fruits of the heart–there has to be present in the heart either faith or unbelief–the root, sap and chief power of all sin. That is why, in the Scriptures, unbelief is called the head of the serpent which the offspring of the woman (that is, Christ) must crush, as was promised to Adam in Genesis 3.
 Believing that “it is finished”, that everything we need in Christ is already ours and therefore we need nothing more, is the hardest thing (so much harder than modifying our behavior) because we are all seasoned “do-it-yourselfers.” Self-salvation engineers (that’s all of us) find it much easier to make a moral “to-do” and “not-to-do” list and try to live by it, then they do trusting, believing, and resting wholly in the work and provision of Another.  “To be convinced in our hearts”, said Luther, “that we have forgiveness of sins and peace with God by grace alone is the hardest thing” because “the sin underneath all sins is the lie that we cannot trust the love and grace of Jesus and that we must take matters into our own hands.”
Failing to believe the gospel leads to slavery because now finding peace, joy, meaning, and satisfaction is up to me. I’m on my own. This is why we give into temptation–we’re desperately looking under every rock and behind every tree searching for something to make ourselves happy, something to save us, something to set us free.
The gospel declares that I don’t need to save myself, defend myself, legitimize myself, justify myself, free myself, or in any other way, ensure that the ultimate verdict on my life is pass and not fail. The gospel frees me from the obsessive pressure to avoid the judgement of joylessness, the enslaving demand to find happiness. Walker Percy has described humanity as waiting for news. Christianity announces that the news has come: I’m not on my own. It’s not on me. We all know that “further, better, and more aggressive living” on our part isn’t producing life for us, and so the gospel comes as good news to those who have crashed and burned. What I need and long for most has come from outside of me–from “above the sun”–in the person of Jesus.
Real freedom in “the hour of temptation” happens only when the resources of the gospel smash any sense of need to secure for myself anything beyond what Christ has already secured for me.
Like the father of the boy with the unclean spirit in Mark 9, let us cry out daily, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Tullian Tchividjian

Barney Frank the Liberal that helped destroy America

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Global Warming Bubble is Popping

Hoo, boy, as Mad Magazine used to say.
 Remember that old Market Crash of 2008? It started very slowly when some investors got suspicious about empty mortgages (wonder why?) wrapped in layers and layers of tin foil, then told some others about their doubts, and more and more and then BANG! Markets panicked, John McCain lost, Obama won on sheer unmitigated gall and nothing more.
In math-physics this is called a "phase change, "and it doesn't just happen with water molecules locking together to make ice crystals and acres of Lake Michigan all going Crack! when the water temps drop below zero C. It also applies to avalanches, demand-and-supply markets (including political ones), and scientific "consensus" based on dubious evidence.
 The 5,000 internal emails among "scientists" in the UK -- Climategate 2.0 -- are proving to be the tipping point. This story is now moving at warp speed.
In the UK the Prime Minister's office has just run up the white flag of surrender.
The BBC Organ of Propaganda is now a target of the British press, who seem to remember what news coverage is for. See here.
Excellent blow-by-blow coverage is being provided by Climate Depot.
The UK Daily Mail has actually been doing real journalism -- a disappearing commodity in Crony Socialism.
Here are today's MailOnline headlines:
If you like your facts raw, here's Anthony Watt's site, "Wattsupwiththat?"
You are watching history in the making.

They Call Me Guitar Hurricane - Stevie Ray Vaughan

The Second Coming and the End of All Things

I grew up in dispensational premillennialism, which means that I grew up with the teaching of a rapture, seven year tribulation, the return of Christ followed by 1,000 year millennium, then the final end. I moved away from that position to a type of amillennialism for numerous reasons, but one reason was that I thought the premillennial position diminished the significance of the Second Coming. Sam Storms captures this issue in a precise way over at his Enjoying God Ministries Blog. He explains:
One of the primary reasons I am not a Premillennialist (neither Historic nor Dispensational) is because of what I read in the NT concerning the Second Coming of Christ.
To be a Premillennialist of any sort, you must believe that physical death and the curse on the natural creation will continue to exist beyond the time of Christ’s return. You must believe that the New Heavens and New Earth will not be introduced until 1,000 years subsequent to the return of Christ. You must believe that unbelieving men and women will still have the opportunity to come to saving faith in Christ for at least 1,000 years subsequent to his return. To be a Premillennialist, you must believe that unbelievers will not be finally resurrected until at least 1,000 years subsequent to Christ’s return and that unbelievers will not be finally judged and cast into eternal punishment until at least 1,000 years subsequent to Christ’s return.
But my reading of what happens at the Second Coming of Christ indicates that then, and not 1,000 years later, physical death is swallowed up in the victory of Christ, never again to exert its power; the natural creation is delivered fully and finally from its bondage to sin; the New Heavens and New Earth are inaugurated; all opportunity for salvation of the lost comes to an end; and both the final resurrection and final judgment of all mankind occur.
I think that middle paragraph is precisely the concern with the premillenial position.
 James Grant

Stevie Ray Vaughan & W.C. Clark Instrumental Jam

Avoid This Justin Bieber Christmas Slop

Consider, for instance, Under the Mistletoe (Island), the latest album by Justin Bieber. Even leaving aside the fact that it's a paternity suit and not a festive sprig currently hanging over the 17-year-old singer's head, the music is about as likely to inspire holiday cheer as a gallon of eggnog past its expiration date.
In fact, it's so aurally gimmick-laden and self-consciously trendy, from the mood-ruining cameo raps (Usher on "The Christmas Song," Busta Rhymes on "Little Drummer Boy") to Bieber's own preciously breathy, Auto-Tuned vocals, that in some ways it already sounds dated.
 Arsenio Orteza 

Shoping with Aunt Pelosi is a Drag

Monday, November 28, 2011

C.S. Lewis on Kicking, Screaming, and Conversion

From Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, ht JZ:
You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words “compelle intrare,” compel them to come in, have been so abused be wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.

Delbert McClinton & Marcia Ball- Read Me My Rights

Eddie Boyd - Chicago Is Just That Way

Interesting Hand Art - Cheetah

Much can come from little if the little is truly consecrated to God

Hope for each of us, and a call to fresh total surrender to God:
Consider the mighty ways in which God used a dead stick of wood. 'God so used a stick of wood' can be a banner cry for each of us. Though we are limited and weak in talent, physical energy, and psychological strength, we are not less than a stick of wood. But as the rod of Moses had to become the rod of God, so that which is me must become the me of God. Then I can become useful in God's hands. The Scripture emphasizes that much can come from little if the little is truly consecrated to God. There are no little people and no big people in the true spiritual sense, but only consecrated and unconsecrated people.
--Francis Schaeffer, No Little People (Crossway, 2003), 25
Dane Ortlund

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan - Big River

"Big River" is a song written and originally recorded by Johnny Cash. Released as a single by Sun Records in 1958

Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan - I Walk The Line (1969) Sessions

You 've Got To Move - Daryl Mansfield, Glenn Kaiser, Larry Howard

Glenn Kaiser of The Resurrection Band and JPUSA, with Larry Howard and Daryl Mansfield.

What Vodemort Does When He Has The Chance To Kill Harry Potter

Stuffed Full with Thanksgiving

John Piper explains how gratitude crowds out nastiness and the smallness of your heart:

Gratitude is such a great and wonderful thing in Scripture that I feel constrained to end this chapter with a tribute. There are ways that gratitude helps brings about obedience to Christ. One way is that the spirit of gratitude is simply incompatible with some sinful attitudes. I think this is why Paul wrote, “There must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:4). Gratitude is a humble, happy response to the good will of someone who has done or tried to do you a favor. This humility and happiness cannot coexist in the heart with coarse, ugly, mean attitudes. Therefore the cultivation of a thankful heart leaves little room for such sins. (Future Grace, 48)
Kevin DeYoung

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Hideaway (1980)

Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Kings Head, Virginia 1980 (-Part 1) (RARE Bootleg)


The 10 Commandments of Liberalism

The Idol Factory - Why 1 John Ends with a Command

David Powlison:
The relevance of massive chunks of Scripture hangs on our understanding of idolatry. But let me focus the question through a particular verse in the New Testament which long troubled me. The last line of 1 John woos, then commands us: “Beloved children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).
In a 105-verse treatise on living in vital fellowship with Jesus, the Son of God, how on earth does that unexpected command merit being the final word?
Is it perhaps a scribal emendation?
Is it an awkward faux pas by a writer who typically weaves dense and orderly tapestries of meaning with simple, repetitive language?
Is it a culture-bound, practical application tacked onto the end of one of the most timeless and heaven-dwelling epistles?
Each of these alternatives misses the integrity and power of John’s final words.
Instead, John’s last line properly leaves us with that most basic question which God continually poses to each human heart.
Has something or someone besides Jesus the Christ taken title to your heart’s trust, preoccupation, loyalty, service, fear and delight?
It is a question bearing on the immediate motivation for one’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings. In the Bible’s conceptualization, the motivation question is the lordship question.
Who or what “rules” my behavior, the Lord or a substitute?
The undesirable answers to this question—answers which inform our understanding of the “idolatry” we are to avoid—are most graphically presented in 1 John 2:15-17, 3:7-10, 4:1-6, and 5:19. It is striking how these verses portray a confluence of the “sociological,” the “psychological,” and the “demonological” perspectives on idolatrous motivation.
The inwardness of motivation is captured by the inordinate and proud “desires of the flesh” (1 John 2:16), our inertial self-centeredness, the wants, hopes, fears, expectations, “needs” that crowd our hearts.
The externality of motivation is captured by “the world” (1 John 2:15-17,4:1-6), all that invites, models, reinforces, and conditions us into such inertia, teaching us lies.

The “demonological” dimension of motivation
is the Devil’s behavior-determining lordship (1 John 3:7-10,5:19), standing as a ruler over his kingdom of flesh and world.
In contrast, to “keep yourself from idols” is to live with a whole heart of faith in Jesus. It is to be controlled by all that lies behind the address “Beloved children” (see especially 1 John 3:1-3,4:7-5:12). The alternative to Jesus, the swarm of alternatives, whether approached through the lens of flesh, world, or the Evil One, is idolatry.
Justin Taylor

Friday, November 25, 2011

Jeff Beck with Sting - People Get Ready - Madison Square Garden 2009 e G

25th ANNIVERSARY ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME CONCERT Jeff Beck w. Sting - People Get Ready - Madison Square Garden, NYC - 2009/10/29&30

Here Comes the Sun - Phil Keaggy (HQ)

Beach Boys - Good Vibrations

Three Things I've Learned from C. S. Lewis

On this day in 1963 the world lost C.S. Lewis. (Aldous Huxley also died the same day, but both deaths were overshadowed by the assassination of President John Kennedy.) Every year on this date, I've run some variation of a tribute to the greatest Christian writer of the twentieth century, but this year a little something different. A list of what Lewis has taught me over the years:

1. Wonder. My first introduction to Lewis was not the Chronicles of Narnia, actually, but as a child, Out of the Silent Planet. It was completely weird and wonderful. When I got to Narnia shortly thereafter -- I was about 8 or so, probably -- I consumed each book one after another lustily, like a compendium of Turkish delight. Lewis' space capsules and English manses and wardrobes and attic spaces grabbed ahold of me, broadcasting where my neurons were tuned, man. I was the kid who saw a treasure map on the back of a box of Cap'n Crunch cereal and was convinced it led to buried valuables in my Brownsville, Texas neighborhood. Reading the Space Trilogy (well, the first two books when I was little, the third well into high school) and Narnia was like warp speed for my already truckin' along childlike wonderment.

2. Reason. Even Lewis's fiction is chock-full of logic. "Don't they teach that in schools any more?" the Professor says to the Pevensies when they don't believe Lucy's fantastic story. Lewis's faith was full of wonder but was, also, entirely reasonable, and in the 80's when the apologetic industry was dominated by Josh McDowell and burgeoning creation science (Lee Strobel hadn't hit the scene just yet), I was ingesting The Abolition of Man and Mere Christianity. And probably the most influential non-fiction work of his for me is his collection of essays named after "God in the Dock." The article "Myth Became Fact" is one of my all-time favorite short pieces, fiction or non, and offered a complementary weight to one of my favorite lines in Perelandra, which I quote probably way too much in all the stuff I write. (Ransom understood that myth is "gleams of celestial beauty and strength falling on a jungle of filth and imbecility.") Lewis helped me make sense of this polytheistic, pluralistic world. His classic trilemma in Mere Christianity just made sense. His own logic and reason is not airtight of course, but he approached Christianity not just as a worshiper but as a thinking worshiper, and he therefore becomes an invaluable asset for relentlessly scrutinizing young men and women who are sorting out their faith.

3. Artistry. Homeboy could flat-out write. And when he wrote, he exulted. In his own words:
As I write, I am not merely teaching. I am adoring. Please do not take the enchanted as merely the didactic.
When I was in the first grade, my class filled out these little booklets that chronicled our favorite subjects, foods, games, etc. and one of the questions was "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My six year old hand wrote Author in that blank, and through a series of adolescent aspirations and a call to vocational ministry I have never not wanted to be a writer of books. Lewis threw gasoline on that childish ambitious fire, and he showed me over and over again what words can do. His writing was show and tell for me, displaying in so many beautiful, confident ways how literary pursuit is worship.
by Jared Wilson

OWS Needs To Occupy Congress

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bob Dylan - Trying to Get to Heaven

Grateful for Expiencing Grace

Timothy George has a great section in his book Amazing Grace: God’s Pursuit, Our Response where he speaks of the varied ways we experience grace. May his reflections lead your heart to gratitude and worship as you celebrate Thanksgiving today!
Grace is not an impersonal force or a divine quality to be studied only in the abstract. There is no hell on earth so deep but that God’s grace can go deeper still. Thus, the New Testament states that Jesus “is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him” (Heb. 7:25). We experience grace on many different levels in our lives:
  • We experience grace as pardon. God’s forgiveness and justification remove our guilty standing before him—our real guilt, not just our guilty feelings. The psalmist claims that God’s pardoning grace removes our guilt of sin “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12).
  • We experience grace as acceptance. In Christ we who were distant from God, covered with shame, have been embraced, welcomed, and accepted—not because we are acceptable, but solely because we are loved.
  • We experience grace as joy. This delivers us from the frantic quest to be “happy” through stuffing our lives with fleeting pleasures and “joyrides” that only leave us sadder, more depressed. Real joy comes from knowing God and serving him.
  • We experience grace as peace. God’s shalom answers the anxieties and insecurities that threaten us from every side. The standard New Testament greeting is “grace and peace.” Grace and peace are twins; they belong together, related as cause and effect.
  • We experience grace as power. Most people do not so much lack the knowledge to live as they should as they do the ability to carry out what they already know is right. God’s grace acts as an antidote to our impotence. It transforms, energizes, enables.
  • We experience grace as hope. This is hope not in the loose sense of a vague general wish that may not come true, as in “hopefully it won’t rain tomorrow.” In Titus 2:11–13, Paul connects the grace of God with the “blessed hope” of Jesus’ return in glory, a great motivation for confident Christian living.
  • We experience grace as love. God’s grace and love are so close that, at times, we cannot distinguish them. The Bible says that “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18), and God’s gracious love counters the nagging fears and doubts all of us have.
  • We experience grace as gratitude. The most basic response we can make to grace remains a life of thank-yous to God. As Lewis Smedes points out, true gratitude involves “a sense of wonder and sometimes elation at the lavish generosity of God.”
  • Crossway

Paul McCartney-Gratitude

Good Question On Thanksgiving

Map Of Thanksgiving Dinner

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oscar Peterson - Sandy's blues, transcription

Oscar Peterson's blues performed live in trio (1968). I love listening to Oscar turn this up and enjoy

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

In light of the gospel, let me especially demolish the myth that legalism is a blunder that's associated only with our initial salvation—with our positional justification in God's eyes. Most believers realize we could never earn such salvation; we've come to accept that no one can work his way into God's kingdom… .
But when it comes to our sanctification, suddenly we become legalists. In the matter of maturing in Christlikeness—and in continuing to please God and find favor with God and acceptance with God—we suppose it's all about what we have to accomplish ourselves and all the rules and standards and values we need to adhere to. We seem to inherently assume that our performance is what will finally determine whether our relationship with God is good or bad: so much good behavior from us generates so much affection from God, or so much bad behavior from us generates so much anger from God.
We get the Christian life all backwards. It subtly becomes all about us and what we do (which leads to slavery) instead of being all about Jesus and what he's done (which leads to freedom). We may not articulate all this theologically, but it sure comes out in the way we live.
By their behavior, legalists essentially are saying this: "I live the Christian life by the rules—rules that I establish for myself as well as those I expect others to abide by." They develop specific requirements of behavior beyond what the Bible teaches, and they make observance of those requirements the means by which they judge the acceptability of others in the church.
We've all become pretty adept at establishing these rules and standards that we find personally achievable. Legalism therefore provides us with a way to avoid acknowledging our deficiencies and our inabilities. That's enough right there to make it attractive to us. But it's also appealing to us in how it puffs us up, giving us the illusion … that we can do it—we can generate our own meaning, our own purpose, our own security, and all our other inmost needs. It's what Michael Horton pinpoints as "the default setting of the human heart: the religion of self-salvation."
It's all so attractive because it's all about us. Legalism feeds our natural pride. While abiding by our self-established standards and rules, we think pretty highly of ourselves …. And what's especially fine about being in charge of our situation (though we wouldn't admit it) is that it's a way to avoid Jesus.
Tullian Tchividjian

Darth Loser - Looking For Love In Alderaan Places

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cream - Outside Woman Blues (Royal Albert Hall 2005)

In May of 2005 Cream returned to London's Royal Albert Hall-to the same stage where they had completed what was thought to be their final performance in 1968. It was one of the most eagerly anticipated, hard-to-get tickets in rock history. With the exception of a brief reunion set at their 1993 induction into the Rock and roll Hall of Fame, Cream had not played together in nearly four decades.

Howlin' Wolf - Moanin' At Midnight - Chess 1479 78 rpm

They Are All Chickens

A Closer Look at the Gates of Hell

I hope I don’t ruin one of your favorite verses.
Ok, I kind of hope I do. But only so it can be one of your favorite verses in a better way.
In Matthew 16 Jesus takes his disciples to the district of Caesarea Philippi to ask them a question, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They stumble around a bit giving the latest Facebook updates from the crowd. Then Peter pipes up. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” What a guy, Cephas. Jesus commends his outspoken disciple, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (v. 18). Since the Reformation there has been a lot of discussion about “this rock” and what it means for the authority of the Pope (not much it turns out). There has been little controversy, however, about the phrase “the gates of hell.”
I’ve heard several sermons on “the gates of hell” and have seen the phrase referenced in Christian books numerous times. The second half of Matthew 16:18 has to be one of the top ten favorite Bible promises. I can hear the voices right now: “Think about the picture here. Jesus says the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. Now tell me, how do gates prevail? When have you ever seen gates on the march? They don’t attack. They fortify. They are there to hold their ground. That’s all. Hell is not on the offensive, brothers and sisters. The church is. The church is marching into all the hells in this world, ready to reclaim every square inch for Christ. And when we storm the gates of hell, Christ promises we cannot fail. We will prevail! It’s time to put the devil on the run. It’s time to save souls and destroy strongholds. It’s time to reclaim this world for Christ. Listen up church, the gates of hell shall not prevail against us!”
Or something like that.
Of course, who can fault the zeal to save souls, make a difference in the world, or fight the good fight? The only problem is that the whole thing is built on faulty exegesis. One of the cardinal rules of biblical interpretation is to let the Bible interpret the Bible. So when we come to a phrase like “the gates of hell” we need to stop ourselves from imagining what we think this means, and do the hard work of finding out what it actually does mean.
The phrase pulai hadou (gates of hell) is a Jewish expression meaning “realm of the dead.” The same two words appear in the Septuagint version of Job 38:17–”Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness [puloroi de hadou]?”). They appear again in Isaiah 38:10–”I said in the middle of my days I must depart; I am consigned to the gates of Sheol [pulais hadou] for the rest of my years”. In both passages, pulai hadou is a euphemism for death. Notice the parallelism in both passages. The first half of each verse clarifies that the second half of the verse is not about hell but about death. The gates of hell represent the passageway from this life to the grave.
Consequently, Jesus’ promise to Peter is not about storming Satan’s lair and conquering demonic powers. In fact, the repeated injunction in Ephesians 6 is “to stand.” Christ defeated the devil (John 16:11). Our responsibility is to hold fast and resist. Carman’s fantastic music videos notwithstanding, we are not demonslayers. The promise in Matthew 16 is not about venturing out on some Dungeons and Dragons spiritual crusade, but about Christ’s guarantee that the church will not be vanquished by death.
If you think about it, this makes much more sense of the imagery. Defensive gates can be used in an offensive way because Jesus is simply talking about death. Death stalks each one of us, but those who confess Jesus as the Christ know that death is not the end. We have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57). Jesus isn’t asking us to conquer anything, except perhaps our fear of the grave.
So preach and believe in Matthew 16:18 with all your might. But don’t misunderstand the promise. Jesus assures us of something even better than triumphalism here and now. He promises eternal life. With intense opposition and persecution, the early church was under attack from the gates of hell. But just as Jesus conquered the grave, so the gates of hell-death itself-will not prevail against those who belong to Christ. Or as Jesus himself puts it, “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet he shall live (John 11:25).
That makes Matthew 16:18 a pretty cool promise after all.
Kevin DeYoung

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cream - Sunshine Of Your Love

Cream - Outside Woman Blues

Crazy Nancy Pelosi Ethical?

What is the biggest threat to Christianity?

This might come as a surprise to some, but the biggest threat to Christianity exists inside the church, not outside the church. According to the Bible, the biggest threat to Christianity is legalism.
Since the fall of man in Genesis 3, the human race has been naturally prone toward works-righteousness, self-salvation projects. Having determined way back then that we could do it better on our own, we’ve been trying ever since.
There’s a common misunderstanding in today’s church, which says there are two equal dangers Christians must avoid. On one side of the road is a ditch called “legalism”; on the other is a ditch called “license” or “lawlessness.” Legalism, they say, happens when you focus too much on law, on rules. Lawlessness, they say, happens when you focus too much on grace. Therefore, in order to maintain spiritual equilibrium, you have to balance law and grace. If you start getting too much law, you need to balance it with grace. If you start getting too much grace, you need to balance it with law. This dichotomy exposes our failure to understand gospel grace as it really is; it betrays our blindness to all the radical depth and beauty of grace.
It’s much more theologically accurate to say that there is one primary enemy of the gospel—legalism—but it comes in two forms. Some people avoid the gospel and try to “save” themselves by keeping the rules, doing what they’re told, maintaining the standards, and so on (I call this “front-door legalism”). Other people avoid the gospel and try to “save” themselves by breaking the rules, doing whatever they want, developing their own autonomous standards, and so on (“back-door legalism”). In other words, there are two “laws” we can choose to live by apart from Christ: the law which says, “I can find freedom and fullness of life if I keep the rules,” and the law which says, “I can find freedom and fullness of life if I break the rules.” Either way, you’re trying to “save” yourself, which means both are legalistic because both are self-salvation projects. So what some call “license” is just another form of legalism.
This distinction is super important because the biggest lie about grace that Satan wants the church to buy is the idea that it’s dangerous and therefore needs to be kept it in check. The perceived fear is this: if we think too much and talk too much about grace and the radical freedom it brings, we’ll go off the deep end with it. We’ll abuse it. By believing that lie, we not only prove we don’t understand grace, but we violate gospel advancement in our lives and in the church by perpetuating our own slavery. The truth is, disobedience happens not when we think too much of grace, but when we think too little of it.
As a pastor, one of my responsibilities is to disciple people into a deeper understanding of obedience—teaching them to say no to the things God hates and yes to the things God loves. All too often I’ve wrongly concluded that the only way to keep licentious people in line is to give them more rules—to lay down the law. The fact is, however, the only way licentious people start to obey is when they get a taste of God’s radical, unconditional acceptance of sinners. What licentious people need is a greater understanding of grace, not a governor on grace. Grace alone melts hearts and changes us from the inside out. Progress in obedience happens only when our hearts realize that God’s love for us does not depend on our progress in obedience.
A “yes, grace—but” disposition is the kind of fearful posture that keeps legalism swirling around in our hearts and in the church.
Tullian Tchividjian

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Occupy Mordor

Stevie Ray Vaughan - The House is Rockin' On The Tonight Show

Christ was Forsaken For Our Acceptance

"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land
until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour
Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 
'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?' that is, 
'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'
Matthew 27:45-46

At the cross, for the first (and only) time in eternity, the Son experienced abandonment. Jesus called out to his Father, but got no answer. Jesus looked to his Father, but only saw his turned back. Jesus cried out to him, but received no comfort. Only absolute abandonment. The Son was forsaken. 

This is the grave, yet beautiful truth of Christ's substitution. Jesus experienced the pain of having the Father turn his back on him, so that we wouldn't have to.  Because Jesus turned to God and only saw the back of the Father, when we turn to the Father, all we experience is open arms. Whereas Jesus reached for the comfort of His father but received none, when we reach for the Father, we receive comfort. Though we were the ones who deserve absolute abandonment, Jesus' love is so great that he came to earth to experience the forsakenness we deserve, so that we would be united to Him. The Father turned his head away from Jesus so that he would never have to turn his head away from us. Jesus saw the Father's back; closed off and forsaken. We see the Father's face; open, and ready to embrace sinners who  turn to Him.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bob Dylan - In My Time of Dyin

Well, in my time of dying don't want nobody to mourn All I want for you to do is take my body home Well, well, well, so I can die easy Well, well, well Well, well, well, so I can die easy Jesus gonna make up, Jesus gonna make up Jesus gonna make up my dying bed.

Fred McDowell - Shake Em On Down

Oscar Peterson - Autumn Leaves

Count It As True

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” —Romans 6:11 ESV

We are to count as true not something that we want to be true, but something that is actually true of us. “So you also must consider (count) yourselves (because of your union with Christ) dead to sin”. This is not something I want to be true but something that is true. This has already been done for me by another; I am to count this as a fact. The fact is that because I am united to Christ, and from the moment I became united to him, I am already dead to sin, to the law and to death itself.

Groucho Marx posing as Head Psychiatrist In A Day At The Races

I never get tired of the Marx Brother's movies

The Problem With The Post Office

The end of the Law is the beginning of freedom.

The end of the Law (Rom 10.4), understood by Luther as Christ kicking the Law out of the conscience and rejecting its role as the regulator of the divine-human relationship, is thus the end of the “ifs” that interpose themselves between God and his creatures. In place of the “ifs” Christ has uttered a final cry: “It is finished.” These three words are the unconditional guarantee of the three words God speaks to sinners in the Gospel: “I love you.” In this unconditional context the justified person is freed from the inhuman quest to secure a standing before God and freed for the human task of serving one’s neighbor. In Luther’s memorable words: “A Christian is a perfectly free Lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all” (Freedom of a Christian 1520) 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Remember You - Bob Dylan & Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in Australia 1986

Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville & Gregg Allman -Tell It Like It Is.mpg

No Sympathy For NBA Idiot Players & Owners

Gerhard Forde on the Creative Love of God and the Great Reversal

Aristotle sets forth commonsense human wisdom about good works. What he says certainly seems meet, right and salutory. We learn to play the piano only by practicing, we learn a skill only by doing. This is the wisdom by which the world runs. It is what lawmakers try to inculcate. But not here… The cross has reversed everything. The foolishness of God in the cross is wiser than the wisdom of the world. The righteousness that avails before God is a being claimed by the crucified and resurrected Christ. It is not like accomplishing something but like dying and coming to life. It is not like earning something but more like falling in love. It is not the attainment of a long-sought goal, the arrival at the end of a process, but the beginning of something absolutely new, something never before heard of or entertained…
Christ leaves nothing for the Old Adam and Eve to do. The old can only be killed by the law, not given artificial respiration by recourse to it… To the theologian of the cross the language of grace and faith must be pushed absolutely to this length — until it kills the old and raises the new. Nothing at all will ever be gained from backing down. We will only fall back into law where the demand continues endlessly and nothing is ever finally done. So we can only let the language of grace sound forth. Grace says, “believe it” and everything – EVERYTHING! – is already done. It is the creative Word of God. If that doesn’t work then nothing will…
All else has been shorn away, put to death. What remains is simply the creative love of God… It is love, the love of God that creates out of nothing, calls into being that which is from that which is not. This love of God that creates its object is contrasted absolutely with the love of humans. Human love is awakened by attraction to what pleases it. It must search to find its object and, one might add, will likely toss it aside when it tires of it…
God is not, as in the theology of glory, one who waits to approve those who have improved themselves, made themselves acceptable, or merited approval, but one who bestows good on the bad and needy. The great reversal is complete…
Here at last the existential situation of the fallen creatures, the sinfulness and need for salvation, is equated with the very question of being itself. We get further insight into what it means to look on all things through suffering and the cross. Whereas the theologian of glory tries to see through the needy, the poor, the lowly, and the “nonexistent,” the theologian of the cross knows that the love of God creates precisely out of nothing. Therefore the sinner must be reduced to nothing in order to be saved… [This] is the hope of the resurrection. God brings life out of death. He calls into being that which is from that which is not. In order that there be a resurrection, the sinner must die. All presumption must be ended. The truth must be seen. Only the “friends of the cross” who have been reduced to nothing are properly prepared to receive the justifying grace poured out by the creative love of God. All other roads are closed.
  On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation, 1518, pgs 105-115: