Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Making the Movie: The Making of Movie: The Movie

B.B. King - I've Got A Good Mind To Give Up Living

Sipping The Coming Joy

In John 2 Jesus, having declared that his hour 'has not yet come' (v. 4), turns water into wine at a wedding uniting a bride and a bridegroom; a celebration, a feast.

In John 3 Jesus calls himself the bridegroom (3:29).

Conclusion: John 2 is an anticipation of the real wedding, the true celebration, the ultimate feast. That's why Jesus told his mom, 'My time has not yet come.' His own wedding was yet to come. (see further D. A. Carson, p. 179 of this book)

As Edmund Clowney once put it, reflecting on Jesus' presence at the Cana wedding:
Jesus sat amid all the joy sipping the coming sorrow, so that you and I today can sit amid all this world's sorrow, sipping the coming joy.
Dane Ortlund

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Etta James - Thats Allright

The picture is Beyonce, playing Etta James in the recent movie Cadillac Records. Beyonce sings this song in the movie but Etta sings it here much better.

Etta James - Baby, What You Want Me To Do

This is a great version of a great song, Etta can really bring it.

Bright Lights Big City - JIMMY REED

Bonnie Raitt with Crosby, Stills and Nash - Love Has No Pride

25th ANNIVERSARY ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME CONCERT Bonnie Raitt w. Crosby, Stills and Nash - Love Has No Pride - Madison Square Garden - 2009/10/29 & 30

Obamanopoly The Never Ending Free Lunch

A Christian is a Person Who Cannot be Conquered

In A.D. 404 John Chrysostom, the early church father, was brought in before the Roman emperor. The emperor threatened him with banishment if he remained a Christian.

Chrysostom responded, ‘You cannot banish me, for this world is my Father’s house.’
‘But I will kill you,’ said the emperor.
‘No, you cannot, for my life is hid with Christ in God,’ said Chrysostom.

‘I will take away your treasures.’
‘No, you cannot, for my treasure is in heaven and my heart is there.’

‘But I will drive you away from your friends and you will have no one left.’
‘No, you cannot, for I have a friend in heaven from whom you cannot separate me. I defy you, for there is nothing you can do to harm me.’

(And this anecdote always reminds me of my favorite line from Richard Sibbes’s The Bruised Reed: “A Christian is an impregnable person. He is a person that never can be conquered.”)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

ZZ Top Live at Crossroads Eric Clapton Guitar Festival 2010

Waitin' for the Bus and Jesus Just Left Chicago

Darth Vader Humor - With Princess Leia

B.B. King The Thrill Is Gone Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010 DVD

What Does It Mean To Be Biblically Balanced?

I increasingly hear people talking about the need to be “Biblically balanced” and I think I’m starting to understand what they mean.
As I talk to people who speak about the need for our theology and preaching to be “balanced”, they mean that we need to spend the same amount of time talking about everything the Bible talks about.
So, for example, since the Bible talks about what God in Christ has done and also what we ought to do in light of what Christ has done, to be balanced we need to give both themes equal airtime. Since the Bible talks about Jesus and it talks about us, to be balanced we need to spend the same amount of time talking about both. The list could go on: since the Bible talks about x and y, to be balanced we need to talk about x and y the same amount.
But, this is NOT the balance of the Bible. While the Bible talks about a lot of things it does not give all of its themes equal airtime.
The overwhelmingly dominate message of the Bible is that God loves (and in Jesus) justifies sinners. There are tons of ways the Bible says this: the whore is made a bride, the dead are raised, the unrighteous are declared righteous, slaves are made sons, the blind see, the sick are healed, the unclean are made pure, the guilty are forgiven, sinners are saved, and so on. Obviously, no Christian denies that the Bible says more than this. But the work of Christ on behalf of sinners is clearly the emphasis of Scripture from beginning to end. What we do in light of what Jesus has done is important. But it’s not more important than (or even equally important as) what Jesus has done for us.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…(1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Martin Luther said, “Remove Christ from the Scriptures and there is nothing left.” The emphasis of the Bible, in other words, is on the work of the Redeemer, not on the work of the redeemed. As important as how we live is, the spotlight of Scripture is on Christ, not the Christian. “The Bible is not fundamentally about us. It’s fundamentally about Jesus.” (Tim Keller)
My point is simply this: to be “Biblically balanced” is NOT to allot equal airtime to every Biblical theme. To be Biblically balanced is to let our theology and preaching be proportioned by the Bible’s radically disproportionate focus on God’s saving love for sinners seen and accomplished in the crucified and risen Christ.
Tullian Tchividjian

Friday, February 24, 2012

Albert King - As The Years Go Passing By (live in Montreux with Rory Gallagher)

Buddy Guy - First Time I Met The Blues

Retards We All Know One

Just as if I’d . . .

In Genesis’ tales of Abraham and Sarah, we see the ways that Sarah exerts control. “Go into my servant Hagar,” she tells Abraham. The rest is manipulative history. We also learn that “she was afraid” (Gen. 18:15).

Then, in 1 Peter 3:5-6, Peter commends Sarah’s submission and fearlessness.
Say what now?

Welcome to the covenant of grace. In here Abraham the sinful jerk has his faith credited to him as righteousness, and you can too. God out of his measureless love in the unsearchable riches of the grace of Jesus makes us controlling cowards totally justified.

Covered in his seamless righteousness, Jesus’ perfect obedience becomes ours.
Justified: “just as if I’d” never sinned, right? But also just as if I’d always obeyed.
Jared Wilson

Jonathan Winters Doing Improv on the Dean Martin Variety Show

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jeff Beck - Somewhere Over the Rainbow

UDO MUSIC FESTIVAL 2006 Live at Fuji Speedway 2006.7.22

Jimi Hendrix - Rock Me Baby (Live) HQ

Parting Of The Red Sea 2012

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

24 Hour Armour

Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10 to “be strong,” but he tells us to be strong in the Lord’s might, not ours, which is why before we get to praying and making supplication, we are to put on the Armour of God. Notice that this Armour consists entirely of things God does or provides for us. We don’t put on the helmet of self-affirmation. We don’t put on the shoes of motivation. We don’t put on the belt of intestinal fortitude. No, we put on what God has done for us in Christ, which is to say, we put on Christ.
When the enemy attacks my heart, I don’t want my self-righteousness standing guard, but the breastplate of actual righteousness, Christ’s righteousness. When the enemy whispers his accusations into my ear with his forked tongue, I don’t want Stuart Smalley-esque daily affirmations sitting there; those would protect me about as much as cotton-ball earmuffs. But the helmet of salvation is another story. If my mind is ready with the great salvation of the gospel encasing it like a force-field of grace, I am really prepared.
Which is why we must wear this Armour constantly. We should never take it off. We should wear it to bed as pajamas. We should make sure we’ve got it on first thing in the morning by turning to the gospel as immediately as possible. This is wartime. Don’t take the Armour off. You don’t try putting on your seat belt when you see the Mack truck bearing down on you at 60 mph; you put it on before you pull out of the garage. Likewise, don’t wait for the enemy to show himself before you start suiting up.

You don’t know when the attacks will come; best to sleep with your boots on and your sword by your hand.

Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door

The Best Sign EVER In NYC Times Square! “Don’t Believe The Liberal Media!”

This is proof that miracles can happen.

High Gas Prices IS The Democrats Plan For Energy

Bob Dylan - Things Have Changed

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Nanny State Strikes Again

Gary Moore - Further On Up The Road - Montreux 1999

Gary Moore - The Stumble - Montreux 1995

Freddie King - The Stumble

Look! The Story Of Charles Spurgeon’s Conversion

His story of his conversion sounds like gospel wakefulness to me:

I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair until now had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm, one Sunday morning, while I was going to a certain place of worship. When I could go no further, I turned down a side street, and came to a little Primitive Methodist chapel. In that chapel there may have been a dozen or fifteen people. . . . The minister did not come that morning; he was snowed up, I suppose. At last, a very thin-looking man, a shoemaker, or tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. . . . He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say. The text was “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth [Isaiah 45:22].” He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter. There was, I thought, a glimpse of hope for me in that text. The preacher began thus: “My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. It says, ‘Look.’ Now lookin’ don’t take a deal of pain. It ain’t liftin’ your foot or your finger; it is just, ‘Look.’ Well, a man needn’t go to college to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man needn’t be worth a thousand a year to be able to look. Anyone can look; even a child can look.
“But then the text says, ‘Look unto Me’. . . . Many of ye are lookin’ to yourselves, but it’s no use lookin’ there. Ye will never find any comfort in yourselves. Some look to God the father. No, look to him by-and-by. Jesus Christ says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Some of ye say, ‘We must wait for the Spirit’s workin’.’ You have no business with that just now. Look to Christ. The text says, ‘Look unto Me.’”
Then the good man followed up his text in this way: “Look unto Me; I am sweatin’ and great drops of blood. Look unto Me; I am hangin’ on the cross. Look unto Me; I am dead and buried. Look unto Me; I rise again. Look unto Me; I ascend to heaven. Look unto Me; I am sittin’ at the Father’s right hand. O poor sinner, look unto Me! Look unto Me!”
When he had gone to about that length, and managed to spin out ten minutes or so he was at the end of his tether. Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I dare say, with so few present he knew me to be a stranger. Just fixing his eyes on me, as if he knew all my heart he said, “Young man, you look very miserable.” Well, I did, but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made from the pulpit on my personal appearance before. However, it was a good blow, struck right home. He continued, “and you always will be miserable—miserable in life, and miserable in death—if you don’t obey my text; but if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.”
Then lifting up his hands, he shouted, as only a primitive Methodists could do, “Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothing to do but to look and live.” I saw at once the way of salvation. I know not what else he said—I did not take much notice of it—I was so possessed with that one thought. Like as when the brazen serpent was lifted up, the people only looked and were healed, so it was with me. I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard that word, “Look!” What a charming word it seemed to me! Oh! I looked until I could have almost looked my eyes away.
There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them, of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to him. . . . And now I can say—

E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And Shall be till I die.
– from Spurgeon’s Autobiography
Jared Wilson

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A New Argument for the Existence of God

You can read online James N. Anderson and Greg Welty’s paper, “The Lord of Non-Contradiction: An Argument for God from Logic,” Philosophia Christi 13:2 (2011): 321-338.
Here’s a summary:
In this paper we offer a new argument for the existence of God. We contend that the laws of logic are metaphysically dependent on the existence of God, understood as a necessarily existent, personal, spiritual being; thus anyone who grants that there are laws of logic should also accept that there is a God. We argue that if our most natural intuitions about them are correct, and if they’re to play the role in our intellectual activities that we take them to play, then the laws of logic are best construed as necessarily existent thoughts — more specifically, as divine thoughts about divine thoughts. We conclude by highlighting some implications for both theistic arguments and antitheistic arguments.
Next year Crossway will release a book from Vern Poythress that will include a similar line of argument; it’s entitled Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western Thought.
Justin Taylor

Do Nothing Harry Reid

Sonny Boy Williamson II - The Sky Is Crying

Bob Dylan - Cold Irons Bound

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blame High Gas Prices On The Government

Hospitality and Generosity in Martin Luther's Home

When Martin Luther (the 42-year-old former monk) married Katharina von Bora (the 26-year-old former nun), perhaps it was appropriate that they moved into the dilapidated Black Cloister, which had once housed forty monks, including Luther—who had lived there for fourteen years.
On the night of the Luther’s public wedding ceremony and celebration, Andreas Karlstadt—a frequent adversary of Luther’s—showed up at their door. He had fled the Peasants’ War and was seeking shelter. Martin invited him to hide at the Black Cloister—and Karlstadt stayed for eight more weeks!
The house was filled with the sound of children. The Luthers had six children in their first nine years of marriage—three sons, and three three daughters (one of whom died at a few months of age, another at the age of 13). And then a few years into their marriage, the Luthers took into their home the six children of Luther’s sister. They also raised Katherine’s nephew. Martin often told them stories, taught them songs and games, played melodies on his lute, and instructed them in the faith.
University students often ate and boarded there, and Luther’s letters make reference to a steady stream of guests either coming or going.
There was a waiting list for those who wanted to room and board with the Luthers—no doubt because of the stimulating theological education and conversation, but also because for many years the Luther didn’t charge anyone for room and board.
As Martin lectured and wrote and debated and preached and traveled, Katie drove the wagon, took care of the field, bought cattle and put them out to pasture, brewed beer, prepared food for the graduation banquets, rented horses, sold linen, served as Martin’s publishing agent, and often nursed him back to health during his frequent illnesses.
Luther was very generous to the poor, and refused to charge for lecturing or to accept honoraria for his writing. The dynamic soon proved unsustainable, and the Luthers struggled with debt. But God always provided. Luther once wrote:
God put fingers on our hand for the money to slide through them so He can give us more. Whatever a person gives away, God will reimburse.
Another time Luther said:
Riches are among the most trivial things on earth and the smallest gift God gives to a person.
Luther compared their poverty to the riches he had found in marriage:
My Katie is in all things so obliging and pleasing to me that I would not exchange my poverty for the riches of Croesus [sixth century B.C. king famed for his riches].
Once, when Luther thought he was dying, he wrote:
My dear son and my dear Kate. I have nothing [in worldly goods] to bequest to you, but I have a rich God. Him I leave to you. He will nourish you well.
This word proved prophetic. Luther died in 1546 at the age of 62. Katie would live seven more difficult years without many earthly goods, dying in 1552 at the age of 53. But among her final recorded words was that the desire of her heart was to “cling to Christ like a burr to a dress.”
Prosperity and money are not inherently bad, but they must be informed by the gospel. The Luthers could have made different choices, but at the end of their day, their lives are a testimony to the vision Martin so eloquently wrote about:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
Justin Taylor

Bob Dylan - Shelter from the Storm

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (Taj Mahal) Dylan Cover

Everything Is Broken (R. L. Burnside) Dylan Cover

Aaron Neville--Don't Let The Devil Ride

Timeless gospel song done in Aaron's unique style. From one of his most heart-felt albums of his career I KNOW I'VE BEEN CHANGED. Living legend Allen Touissaint on piano.

Billy Joe Shaver---If You Don't Love Jesus-Go To Hell

If You Don't Love Jesus, Go To Hell song. Lively and provocative song by country singer, "poet laureate" Billy Joe SHAVER, he's also known as the heart of texas.. "original honky- tonk hero" Check out Paco Shipps amazing harmonica solo in this song.

50 State Movie Map

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cream - Born Under A Bad Sign (Royal Albert Hall 2005)

Jimi Hendrix - Born Under a Bad Sign - Instrumental

Obama's Fantasy Budget

Why Jesus Came

Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.

It is a very surprising thing, a thing to be marveled at most of all by those who enjoy it. I know that it is to me, even to this day, the greatest wonder that I ever heard of that God should ever justify me. I feel myself to be a lump of unworthiness, a mass of corruption, and a heap of sin apart from his almighty love. I know and am fully assured that I am justified by faith which is in Christ Jesus, and I am treated as if I had been perfectly just. . . .

Who can help being astonished at this? Gratitude for such favor stands dressed in robes of wonder.
--Charles Spurgeon, All of Grace (rev. ed.; Moody, 2010), 27; italics original
Dane Ortlund

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Eric Clapton - I Got The Same Old Blues - Prince's Trust Rock Gala 2010

Star Wars Travel Poster - Kessel Run Tours

John Fahey - Requiem For Mississippi John Hurt

The best John Fahey performance of "Requiem for Mississippi John Hurt", based on an old spiritual, "Jesus is a Dying-Bed Maker" most notable performed by Charley Patton.

Mississippi John Hurt - Blessed Be the Name

Mitt Can't Get No Love

Is God the Author of Sin? Jonathan Edwards’ Answer

Edwards answers, “If by ‘the author of sin,’ be meant the sinner, the agent, or the actor of sin, or the doer of a wicked thing . . . it would be a reproach and blasphemy, to suppose God to be the author of sin. In this sense, I utterly deny God to be the author of sin.”
But, he argues, willing that sin exist in the world is not the same as sinning. God does not commit sin in willing that there be sin. God has established a world in which sin will indeed necessarily come to pass by God’s permission, but not by his “positive agency.”
God is, Edwards says, “the permitter . . . of sin; and at the same time, a disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted . . . will most certainly and infallibly follow.”
He uses the analogy of the way the sun brings about light and warmth by its essential nature, but brings about dark and cold by dropping below the horizon. “If the sun were the proper cause of cold and darkness,” he says, “it would be the fountain of these things, as it is the fountain of light and heat: and then something might be argued from the nature of cold and darkness, to a likeness of nature in the sun.” In other words, “sin is not the fruit of any positive agency or influence of the most High, but on the contrary, arises from the withholding of his action and energy, and under certain circumstances, necessarily follows on the want of his influence.”
Thus in one sense God wills that what he hates come to pass, as well as what he loves. Edwards says,
God may hate a thing as it is in itself, and considered simply as evil, and yet . . . it may be his will it should come to pass, considering all consequences. . . . God doesn’t will sin as sin or for the sake of anything evil; though it be his pleasure so to order things, that he permitting, sin will come to pass; for the sake of the great good that by his disposal shall be the consequence. His willing to order things so that evil should come to pass, for the sake of the contrary good, is no argument that he doesn’t hate evil, as evil: and if so, then it is no reason why he may not reasonably forbid evil as evil, and punish it as such.
This is a fundamental truth that helps explain some perplexing things in the Bible, namely, that God often expresses his will to be one way, and then acts to bring about another state of affairs.
God opposes hatred toward his people, yet ordained that his people be hated in Egypt (Genesis 12:3; Psalm 105:25—”He turned their hearts to hate his people”).
He hardens Pharaoh’s heart, but commands him to let his people go (Exodus 4:21; 5:1; 8:1).
He makes plain that it is sin for David to take a military census of his people, but he ordains that he do it (2 Samuel 24:1; 24:10).
He opposes adultery, but ordains that Absalom should lie with his father’s wives (Exodus 20:14; 2 Samuel 12:11).
He forbids rebellion and insubordination against the king, but ordained that Jeroboam and the ten tribes should rebel against Rehoboam (Romans 13:1; 1 Samuel 15:23; 1 Kings 12:15-16).
He opposes murder, but ordains the murder of his Son (Exodus 20:13; Acts 4:28).
He desires all men to be saved, but effectually calls only some (1 Timothy 2:4; 1 Corinthians 1:26-30; 2 Timothy 2:26).
What this means is that we must learn that God wills things in two different senses. The Bible demands this by the way it speaks of God’s will in different ways. Edwards uses the terms “will of decree” and “will of command.” Edwards explains:
[God's] will of decree [or sovereign will] is not his will in the same sense as his will of command [or moral will] is. Therefore it is not difficult at all to suppose that the one may be otherwise than the other: his will in both senses is his inclination. But when we say he wills virtue, or loves virtue or the happiness of his creature; thereby is intended that virtue or the creature’s happiness, absolutely and simply considered, is agreeable to the inclination of his nature. His will of decree is his inclination to a thing not as to that thing absolutely and simply, but with reference to the universality of things. So God, though he hates a things as it is simply, may incline to it with reference to the universality of things.
Justin Taylor

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Joss Stone & Donna Summer - Try a Little Tenderness Live VH1 2005

Robert Johnson - I'm A Steady Rollin' Man

Optical Illusion or a herd of Zebras?

The Serengeti is awash in zebras

Stevie Ray Vaughan- Ain't Gone 'n' Give Up On Love

Why Do So Many Great Talents Die Young?

Here we go again. Another superstar, one graced with undeniable talent, has spiraled out of control and met a tragic end. Whitney Houston has died at the age of 48.
Do you notice a pattern? Whether it’s the bluesy voice of Elvis Presley (dead at 42), silky smooth alto of Karen Carpenter (dead at 32), tortured genius of Kurt Cobain or soulful voice of Amy Winehouse (both dead at 27), the pattern is the same. Amazing talent brings fame and fortune which then swallows up these artists in a whirlpool of sin, addiction, and death.
Just a Cautionary Tale?
Whenever we watch these stories unfold, we are inclined to view them all as cautionary tales. Fame and fortune do not bring happiness. They had the world and lost their souls. Don’t set your heart on money or you could end up the same way. 
There is indeed something to be learned from these tragedies and the horrible consequences of sin and idolatry displayed before our eyes. But considering how thousands line up for days to audition for American Idol, it seems clear that American society is not heeding the warnings. Despite the obvious unhappiness of so many celebrities, throngs of aspiring singers still clamor for the world’s accolades and for the chance to be gossiped about in sensationalist magazines.
So yes, the early death of so many talented individuals does expose the emptiness of riches and success. But there is another lesson to be learned here, and it has to do with common grace. You see, the Evil One is not content with keeping people from hearing of God’s saving grace; he also wants to steal from the world those unusual gifts of common grace.
Common Grace
Consider how people talk about Whitney Houston. They speak of her voice as being “a gift.” Her voice was a gift from God (she was born with the talent), and her voice was a gift to the world (she shared it with us).
Notice also how people use terms like “awe” and “wonder” when describing her vocal prowess. “I was in awe of her.” “Her voice was magnificent.” “She was one-of-a-kind.” These are the kinds of descriptions we attach to majestic landscapes we see in creation.
People found a certain level of joy in Houston’s talent, which is why thousands of people who never knew her personally are devastated at her demise. And once you trace back the path of joy, you wind up moving from the gift to the Giver. The language of awe points us back to a God who is truly awesome and majestic.
It’s easy to follow the path from being awed at Houston’s talent to being awed at the God who grants talent in the first place. Whenever we see people in this world whose gifts inspire wonder, we are seeing signposts that point us to the God who loves the world enough to shower us with gifts of common grace, even as His greatest expression of love is demonstrated through the blood-drenched cross of His Son.
Robbing the World of Common Grace
So why do so many of these gifted individuals perish tragically? Certainly the perils of idolatry – money, fame, power – play a role.
But there’s more. The Evil One not only hates it when people find joy in God. He also hates it when people find joy in God’s gifts. So if he can snuff out the brightest lights of common grace, he will try. And that’s one reason we see a pattern of sinful squandering, self-destructive behavior that leads to the silencing of golden voices.
Don’t get me wrong. The superstars are always complicit in their own demise. In fact, in Houston’s case, she confessed that her sinful struggle with drugs was caused by her own heart. In a candid interview in 2002, Diane Sawyer listed a number of drugs and asked Houston which one was “the biggest devil” for her. Houston’s response?
“That would be me. It’s my deciding. It’s my heart. It’s what I want and what I don’t want. Nobody makes me do anything I don’t want to do. It’s my decision. The biggest devil is me.”
It’s an honest confession, and one that reminds us how intertwined are the causes of temptation (Satan and self). Houston’s story also reminds us that – just like in the story of the prodigal son – sin leads to the squandering of the Father’s good gifts. The Evil One is not content merely to hold people in spiritual bondage and lead them to hell. He wants to diminish even the contributions they make to the common grace we benefit from in society.
The Takeaway
So remember, sin always affects more than the individual who commits the offense. And that’s true for you and me too. Whenever we sin, we are consciously or unconsciously affecting those around us.
A pastor who fails morally is stealing more than another man’s wife. He is also robbing those around him of the opportunity to benefit from the particular gifts God has given to him. Satan loves for people – Christian and non-Christian alike – to squander good gifts from above and deprive the world of the joy of common grace.
That’s why the bright lights of common grace go dark before their time. It’s also why Satan wants to render ineffective in the church the gifts of those who have tasted God’s saving grace. Beauty is anathema to the Evil One, because all goodness and beauty finds its source in God.
The good news, of course, is that for the Christian, “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” There’s no need for any Christian to serve as a cautionary tale. Nor do we need to be an example of Satan’s thievery of the gifts we contribute to Christ’s church. We hope in the One who has conquered sin and death and lavished His grace and gifts upon His children.
Trevin Wax

Lucas did not think about the ramifications..

A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan (1996) - Eric Clapton - Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love

Monday, February 13, 2012

Linsanity: Something To Believe In?

If you’re a sports fan, you’ve likely written off the NBA season because of its late start due to a collective bargaining dispute. Or maybe, like me, you’ve never been that interested in the NBA in the first place. Still, that hasn’t stopped me from hearing about the Knicks’ new point guard, Jeremy Lin. If you’re a fan of The Waterboy (guilty as charged), you’ll like this story. If you’re a fan of Tim Tebow, buckle up. A Harvard grad who received league honors from his sophomore season on, but toiled in relative obscurity in the Ivy League, Lin was initially signed by the Golden State Warriors. As a native of Palo Alto, he received heavy media attention and quickly became a fan favorite before even stepping on the court. Soon though, Lin found himself playing for the Warriors’ D-league (the NBA Developmental League is the equivalent to baseball’s minor leagues) affiliate, the Reno Bighorns. When the NBA lockout began in December, he became a casualty in the fight to free up more money to snag other, more skilled and seasoned, players. Lin seemed to earn a second chance when the Houston Rockets brought him on board, but within two weeks, he found himself team-less once again. Enter New York. The Knicks, who have been a laughing stock of the NBA this millennium, signed Lin on December 27. The Knicks haven’t won an NBA Championship since 1973, and since the departure of my fellow Hoya Patrick Ewing in 2000, have found themselves in a painful decline. Even during this Reader’s Digest version of the NBA season, the Knicks haven’t disappointed their critics: from January 12 to the month’s end, the Knicks’ record was 2-10, despite the recent acquisitions of hyped All-Star players Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Having scored zero points on only three shots with the Knicks to that point, in last Saturday’s match-up against the New Jersey Nets, Lin had a break-out performance, scoring 25 points in 36 minutes of play.

 In the next game, against the Utah Jazz, Lin put up 28. In Washington, DC, against the Wizards, he added another 23. The term “Linsanity” began making the rounds in the blogosphere, and Knicks were all of a sudden on a “Linning” streak. The Knicks had hope, unemployment was down, all was right in the Lin-iverse. Then came the Lakers. Basketball analysts cautioned that Friday’s game against the Lakers would put Lin and his Knicks to the test. Before the game itself, Kobe Bryant confessed he didn’t know much (or anything) about Lin. En route to the Knicks win, Lin scored a career-high 38 points. This streak amounted to the most points scored in a player’s first four starts since the NBA-ABA merger. More than Jordan. More than LeBron. More than anyone. Considering his journey and our “I-told-you-so” zeitgeist, Lin has every reason to tout his talents, fill Twitter feeds with his questions about which car or home to buy, and succumb to the pressures and temptations of professional sports. Instead, he says, “I am not saying I am better than anybody else, but I am going to try to live the way I have always lived and try not to change just because I am in the NBA.” So, he continues to post Bible verses on his Twitter feed. He sleeps on his brother’s couch. When asked about poor performance early in the game against the Wizards, Lin admitted, “I came out a little slow, came out a little flat…you’re right.” His humility, likely the result of tempering disappointments and quality mentoring, is refreshing. My favorite Lin quote came from an article about him in Christian Post. When asked about being cut from the Warriors, Lin responded, It was really tough for me at the time but I just tried to hold on to a lot of the stuff in the Bible that God gives to trust, have joy in the sufferings, and trust in his perfect plan. That’s what I tried my best to do and I’m thankful the way things turned out. Unsurprisingly, in the last couple of days, the Tebow comparisons have been piling up. According to, Lin aspires to become a pastor or work in the non-profit sector. Like Tebow, Lin experienced significant success as a college athlete but has struggled, until recently, as a professional. In their experiences with failure and doubt, both have developed a vision of the Gospel that submits to a crucified Christ. They know pain. They know defeat. And yet, when they win, little about their vision changes. The miracle of all this is that in victory, pride takes a backseat to humility. We want vengeance, and instead, they give thanks. For them, win or lose, it’s all ad maiorem Dei gloriam. Will the Tebow comparisons continue? Most definitely. Even Lin has admitted that he looks up to Tebow. At this moment, however, it’s Lin’s time and he deserves some time in the Lin-light. My shameless addition? You bet.

Eric Clapton - Mark Knopfler - Same old blues

Why God Almost Drove Me to Despair

John Newton:
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.
‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“‘Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.

Indelible Grace - I Asked The Lord

This hymn was written as a testament to a difficult time in John Newton's life. He and his friend William Cowper had embarked on a project that was to become the Olney Hymns Collection, but not long into the project, Cowper went insane. Newton wrote that it seemed as though God was going out of his way to make life difficult for him then realized that even through adversity, God continues to work.
Justin Taylor

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Juliets - Hey Stars

This is my oldest son's band. Jeremy wrote the song and plays piano.

The Only Thing Planned Parenthood Plans

Eric Clapton - While my guitar gently weeps (HQ)(Concert for George)

Bon Jovi, Glory, and Playing it Safe

Bon Jovi:
It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
The Apostle Paul:
Your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:3)

If the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Cor 5:2)

To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. (Rom 2:7)
Each of us rolled out of bed this morning in pursuit of one of these visions of reality or the other. Either this life is my shot at joy and glory, or the next is. No third option.

But it is easy to contrast Bon Jovi's expression of the world's pursuit of glory with the Bible's without recognizing what is so wonderfully right about it.

Jon Bon Jovi is made in the image of God. There is a quest for glory in him that in his fallenness is diseased and thus self-directed, but the healing of that fallen impulse is not to cut off all pursuit of glory but to redirect it from Self to Christ.

Bon Jovi doesn't want to sludge his way through life. He wants to matter. As he should. Life is frighteningly short and he wants to seize the moment. Even, in his own twisted way, redeem the time. He eschews normalcy.

For you believers who want to play it safe--just make it through life offending as few people as possible, being liked, not stepping on toes, not bothering anyone and not being bothered--you have something to learn from Jon Bon Jovi.

Regeneration is a change from glory-in-self pursuit to glory-in-Christ pursuit, not a change from glory-in-self pursuit to no pursuit of glory at all.
Dane Ortlund

Norah Jones (with Wynton Marsalis) - You Don't Know Me

Wonderful song From the DVD "Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis play the music of Ray Charles, with special guest Norah Jones".

Jimmy Smith-Wes Montgomery - Baby it's cold outside

Jimmy Smith (B-3 organ); Wes Montgomery (guitar): Grady Tate (drums) - The Dynamic Duo (1966)

Do I Look Like An Idiot?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jim Elliot Was Killed (1956) and God turned it around for good

January 8th in 1956, five missionaries to the Auca indians in Ecuador were killed. Their deaths brought a sudden end to the project they called “Operation Auca,” but the tragedy became a defining moment in the history of evangelical missions. Hundreds of young people were inspired to take up missionary work, thousands were moved to deeper commitment to Christ, and millions of dollars in resources were mobilized. And the work with the Aucas went on, too.
In the headline, I name only Jim Elliot, the most famous of the group. While the other four men on the team (Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian) were all important to the work and have all received commemoration and attention (they all have Wikipedia pages, if that’s a good index of status in 2009), Elliot has somehow stood out from the group. Why? It may be that Elliot had that certain something as part of his personality, a charisma or magnetism or star power. But I think there’s another reason: Jim Elliot and his widow Elisabeth were unusually articulate. They had words on the tips of their tongues and were able to give a compelling account of why they were doing what they were doing.
Start with Jim Elliot’s most famous statement, written in his journal in 1949: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Jim Elliot no fool quote bgc archives It explained, in advance, how Elliot had thought through the relative value of the most important things in life. The sentence sprang from Bible study (Luke 16:9), was honed by personal meditation, and aimed at obedience. It’s one small example of how Elliot had words ready to explain his actions.
And that one saying is not all; his diaries are filled with passages which would do just as well to sum up his service:
One treasure, a single eye, and a sole master. (1948)
God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus. (1948)
Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame. But flame is often short-lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul? Short life? In me there dwells the spirit of the Great Short-Lived, whose zeal for God’s house consumed Him. ‘Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.’ (1948)
As your life is in His hands, so are the days of your life. But don’t let the sands of time get into the eye of your vision to reach those who sit in darkness. They simply must hear. (1948)
I must not think it strange if God takes in youth those whom I would have kept on earth till they were older. God is peopling Eternity, and I must not restrict Him to old men and women. (1950)
The will of God is always a bigger thing than we bargain for. (1952)
Jim Elliot knew what he was about, and knew how to explain it. That’s what sets him apart as a martyr: He testified so well. Remember that the greek word martyr originally meant “somebody who testifies.” What caused its meaning to change into “somebody who dies for a cause?” The word took on that new meaning when the early church, under persecution, brought forth a large number of people who were so good at standing for what they believed in that their message became clear to the whole ancient world: they testified themselves to death; they witnessed mortally; they underwent death by testimony, and their testimony was heard.
One last reason for Jim Elliot’s special prominence over the years since his death: Elisabeth Elliot, his widow, had the same gift of communication. In fact, she seems to have had vastly more of it than Jim did. The year of the team’s martyrdom, Elisabeth wrote Through Gates of Splendor, the massively influential account of the mission. It is an impassioned and exceptional book. A book written under such remarkable circumstances, by somebody personally involved in the events, would be worth reading even if it had little literary merit. You could justify it by saying that in the absence of a real author, it is still worth having the story told by somebody who is not quite up to the task. But Through Gates of Splendor is genuinely well written. In it, Elisabeth Elliot succeeds in speaking for the whole mission team and setting before the whole listening world the inner reasons for what they did. And two years later, Elliot brought out Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot, which is even better. Note that it covers his life and also his testament: what he did and what he said. In Shadow, Elisabeth quotes directly from Jim’s journals as much as possible, but her own voice is strong and clear throughout it.
In the Epilogue of Shadow of the Almighty, Elisabeth Elliot culls from Jim’s journals some of the quotations I printed above. She notes that after Jim’s death these sentences were all “fraught with new meaning,” and that “to them I can add nothing.” But of course she did add something. She added hundreds of pages that were necessary if the inner meaning of the team’s sacrifice was ever going to be spoken clearly and understood by many.

The Beach Boys - California Girls

American girls charted by the Beach Boys from "I Wish They All Could be California Girls"

BB King & Eric Clapton - The Thrill Is Gone

Private Concert at White House. Oct 23th, 1999.

Oscar Peterson - Night Train

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Luther On how we make Christ Good For Nothing

I’m two weeks into a new sermon series on Galatians that I’ve entitled Free at Last. And I dare say that there is no other commentary on Galatians that is better or more important than Martin Luther’s. Galatians, according to Luther, is the “Magna Carta of Christian Freedom.” It is, he said, “my Katharina von Bora”, referring to his beloved wife. Luther’s commentary is not just a groundbreaking commentary on Galatians, it is one of the most important books ever written on the Gospel.
One of my favorite sections is when he writes on how to answer the Accuser:
Paul does not say that works are objectionable, but to build one’s hopes for righteousness on works is disastrous, for that makes Christ good for nothing.  Let us bear this in mind when the devil accuses our conscience. When that dragon accuses us of having done no good at all, say to him, “You trouble me with the remembrance of my past sins; you remind me that I have done no good. But this does not bother me, because if I were to trust in my own good deeds, or despair because I have done no good deeds, Christ would profit me neither way. I am not going to make Him unprofitable to me. This I would do if I should presume to purchase for myself the favor of God by my good deeds or if I should despair of my salvation because of my sins.”
This reminds me of my favorite hymn line:
Well may the accuser roar, of sins that I have done; I know them all and thousands more, Jehovah knoweth none!

Booker T & The MG's - Green Onions

One of the greatest instrumentals of all time. Booker T. & the M.G.'s is an instrumental R&B band that was influential in shaping the sound of southern soul and Memphis soul. Original members of the group were Booker T. Jones (organ, piano), Steve Cropper (guitar), Lewie Steinberg (bass), and Al Jackson, Jr. (drums). In the 1960s, as members of the house band of Stax Records, they played on hundreds of recordings by artists such as Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Bill Withers, Sam & Dave, Carla and Rufus Thomas and Johnnie Taylor. They also released instrumental records under their own name, such as the 1962 hit single "Green Onions"

Eddie Floyd - Knock On Wood


If celebrities were ordinary Americans

The California Raisins - Ain't Too Proud to Beg

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Homeland Security Snow-Cone Machine - Fighting Terrorism In Michigan

Every time you think "homeland security" can't get more ridiculous, it gets more ridiculous.
There have been plenty of examples already showing that large amounts of your tax money supposedly earmarked for the "War on Terror" end up getting used for purposes that are, shall we say, less than mission-critical. Back in 2006, we learned that $25 million in homeland-security money had been handed out in just one grant program with no controls at all, which resulted in $77,000 going to local fire departments to fund "puppet and clown shows," and another $22,000 for an "educational robot." An Indiana county got in trouble for using its $300,000 Electronic Emergency Message Boards, intended to notify the public about things like evacuation routes, to advertise the volunteer fire department's charity fish fry. This is just the local stuff, not counting the umpteen billions spent on naked scanners that don't do any good.
Also, the war in Iraq.
Still, it is something special when a homeland-security grant is used to buy a snow-cone machine.

This'll refresh those terrorist bastards.
(Picture: Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon)
Actually, thirteen snow-cone machines, one for every county in Michigan Homeland Security Region 6. Region 6, as you almost certainly don't know, covers 13 counties in western Michigan including Clare, Isabella, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, and other areas also near the very top of al-Qaeda's hit list. According to the Greenville Daily News, the Board of Commissioners in Montcalm noted that they had been presented with a snow-cone machine, and while they probably appreciated this unexpected gift, they did inquire as to whether the $900 treat-maker was an appropriate use of homeland-security dollars. (Apparently, another county - anonymous for now - requested the machine, and somebody thought that was such a good idea that all 13 counties got one.)
The Daily News was able to confirm that the the snow-cone machines were funded by a grant from the Michigan Homeland Security Program, but nobody seems to have had a good answer for the "appropriate use" question, surprisingly enough. Two ways to go in that situation: (1) admit it was a mistake or a bad decision, and fix it; or (2) insist that yes, there is an entirely valid purpose for incorporating an Arctic Blast Sno-Cone machine into your anti-terrorism plan.
“It is used to attract people so they can be educated and prepared for homeland security,” [Sandeep] Dey said from his office in Muskegon. “More importantly, they (homeland security officials) felt in a medical emergency the machine was capable of making ice packs which could be used for medical purposes.”
You didn't really think anybody would pick Option One, did you?
Dey is the executive director of the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, which oddly is in charge of Homeland Security Region 6. He did not dream up these explanations just now, though, because they are the same ones contained in the state grant program's "Allowable Cost Justification" form that was filed back in May. According to the Daily News, that document (which sadly was not available online) says the machines would be used to "make ice to prevent heat-related illnesses during emergencies, treat injuries and provide snow cones as an outreach at promotional events."
The director did try to do a little damage control, apparently feeling a little heat-related stress himself at that point. "He said the ... request would not have been granted by itself, but was approved because it came with other homeland security equipment." I'm not sure what that means. Maybe with every dozen radiation detectors you buy, they throw in a free snow-cone machine? Dey also contended, evidently, that they are budget-conscious and making the hard choices, saying that "one county requested a popcorn machine, but that request was denied." Because that would just be ridiculous.
"I don't like the term 'snow-cone machine,' because it sounds horrible," said Montcalm County Emergency Services Director David Feldpausch about the term that appears right on the side of the machine. "When you look at it as an ice-shaving machine and its purpose, it makes a little more sense." With Option Two thus in full effect, Feldpausch had one more argument. According to the report, "Feldpausch [also] said the machine could be useful at the scene of a large fire."
To be fair, I don't think he meant to be taken literally there. Obviously you'd have to combine the full power of all 13 Arctic Blast Ice-Shaving Anti-Terror Machines to deal with a really large fire. The good news is that Region 6 is now equipped to handle that. And terrorism.

King Eider - Simply Beautiful - Yeah I Don't Think That Happened By Random Chance

The male King Eider (Somateria spectabilis) is a large and gorgeous seaduck from the Arctic coasts of northeast Europe, North America and Asia.

The Super Bowl halftime show reveals our inconsistent standards of decency

22 words

Time To laugh - What About Bob Clips

Al Green - Lets Stay Together

I never get tired of Al Green

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ferris Bueller commercial and the original — A scene-by-scene comparison

One of AkooTV's very talented (and sleep-deprived) editors had some fun with the new Ferris Bueller Honda ad playing during the Super Bowl. His reward? A day off of course.

While We Were Still Sinners

Edwards, preaching on Romans 5:8 to the Stockbridge Indians in February 1752, 260 years ago this month:
Christ loved us when there was no loveliness to draw his love. There was nothing attractive in us. All was repulsive. We had nothing amiable or any way desirable in us. All was abominable to his pure eyes.

But Christ has infinite loveliness to win and draw our love. He is the brightness of God's glory. He is the bright and morning star in the spiritual firmament.

He is more excellent than the angels of heaven. He is among them for amiable and divine beauty, as the sun is among the stars. In beholding his beauty, the angels do day and night entertain and feast their souls and in celebrating of it do they continually employ their praises. Nor yet have the songs of angels ever declared all the excellency of Jesus Christ, for it is beyond their songs and beyond the thoughts of those bright intelligencies to reach it. That blessed society above has been continually employed in this work of meditating on and describing the beauty and amiableness of the Son of God, but they have never yet nor ever will comprehend it fully or declare it.
--Jonathan Edwards, 'The Dying Love of Christ,' in The Blessing of God: Previously Unpublished Sermons of Jonathan Edwards (ed. M. McMullen; B&H, 2003), 292
Dane Ortlund

The Band - "The Weight" on The Late Show 1-3-95

The Black Crowes - Feelin' Alright Live @ The Pageant (Joe Cocker Cover)

Eric Metaxas at the National Prayer Breakfast

Eric Metaxas, author of a biography of Wilberfoce and the #1 NYT bestseller, Bonhoeffer, recently addressed the National Prayer Breakfast, with his trademark humor sharing his testimony and lessons learned from Bonhoeffer. As Denny Burk notes, “He had some serious and prophetic words about the humanity of the unborn. He even spoke about having a biblical view of sexuality. All of this with the President sitting just a few feet away. This was a courageous talk delivered with winsomeness and joy.”

Saturday, February 4, 2012

How I Arrived At My Super Bowl Pick

Being a Lions fan has meant having other teams to root for when it comes playoff time. The Lions made the playoffs but were out in the first round. So who to pick for the Super bowl?  Let me share a little of my logic for picking other teams. As a general rule I hate all Boston teams. Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox and Patriots. I do like Tom Brady because he played for Michigan. As a general rule I hate all New York teams, Yankees, Rangers, Knicks (although I once rooted for them when they had Willis Reed to win the title) and the Giants. So even though I hate both teams other factors have to apply. I don't like coach Belichick, but coach Coughlin is OK. I could go on but you get the idea. For this game it has come down to a simple truth, NFC over AFC. The Lions are a NFC team so my loyalty for this game rests with the NFC Giants. My pick is Giants 27 Pats 24. Thank God its not the 49's VS Ravens. That would take a much longer explanation.

Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Chris Thomas King - When You Got A Good Friend (2001)

Levon Helm - "Blues So Bad"


Christ is Grace

Bryan Chapell, commenting on the phrase 'the grace of God has appeared' in Titus 2:11:
Grace is not some abstract doctrine or theological construct. Grace comes as Christ does. Grace is as personal as he is. In fact, Christ is grace. The unmerited favor of God is what Jesus is about, but it is also who he is. We should thus see grace as a personal action by a personal God who saved us from our helpless condition out of pure love.
--R. Kent Hughes and Bryan Chapell, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus: Guard the Good Deposit (Crossway 2000), 339

Friday, February 3, 2012

Larry McCray - Miss You - Songs of Eric Clapton - This Ain't No Tribute

Dion - Tank Full Of Blues

From Dion's new CD - Tank Full Of Blues

Bob Margolin, Pinetop Pekins - Kind Hearted Woman Blues (2001)

Calvin and Hobbes - Is There A God?

Nick Saban and the Doctrine of Imputation

At a wedding shower for my wife and me, the hosts played a game where they asked us both the same questions about one another to test how well we knew each other going into marriage. With my wife out of the room, they asked me who my favorite superhero was. I quickly responded, “Nick Saban.” As the game went, my wife was brought into the room and asked the same questions about me. When asked who she thought my favorite superhero was, she immediately replied, “That’s easy. Nick Saban.”

It’s true: I’m pretty much obsessed with Nick Saban. On January 3, 2007, lying prostrate before the television, I came to tears when ESPN announced that Saban would accept the position as head coach of my beloved Alabama Crimson Tide. Thirty-three wins, two SEC West Titles, one SEC Title, and a BCS National Title later, my epic man-crush has done nothing but grow. I beam when I hear the man’s name.

Anyone with an objective, discerning mind reasonably may ask why I, a youth minister, adore a man that CNN rated the ninth most hated man in sports in 2009. Let’s be honest, outside of his success in football, Nick Saban is best known for his tendencies to humiliate journalists, never smile, and berate players and officials. Many people- especially journalists- would describe Saban as a jerk.

With that being said, I literally would beam with joy if Coach Saban called me tomorrow to come to his house to shovel dog mess and scrub his bathrooms with a toothbrush. My obsession knows no end.

The easy explanation to why I adore Nick Saban is the Christian doctrine of imputation. Really? Let me explain. On a recent trip to Texas, I had a swagger in my step that certainly would not have existed in the dismal Shula era, pre-Saban. Each day, I wore the most flagrantly obnoxious Alabama gear I could find. I was in the territory of our latest victim, the Texas Longhorns, whom Alabama toppled to secure their most recent national title. And when people in Texas asked where we were from, I couldn’t help myself, I had to say, “Alabama, home of the national champions.”

Even though, I am a slow, middle-class, unathletic, weak, average youth minister, I am a freakin’ national champion in my warped reality, when I don my worn, mesh Alabama hat. I have contributed absolutely nothing to attain this status. Nick Saban, his staff, and some unbelievably athletic and committed young men worked endless hours and performed in an exceptional manner to win fourteen straight games, including the BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena. Through the efforts of these men, I have been given the status as national champion (in my mind), in spite of the fact that I added nothing to their cause.

This, my friends, is the nature of the doctrine of imputation, one of the most critical concepts in Christianity: the accomplishment of one person is credited to another.
Christ lived a perfect life and died on the cross, not just to forgive our sins, but to give us new identities. In spite of the fact that we make no contribution whatsoever.

I have one more month to enjoy my inherited status as the national champion until college football kicks off in early September. Thanks be to God, my status as a son of God will last through the Fall and into eternity.