Saturday, March 31, 2012

Got My Mojo Working part 1- Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters - vocals guitar, Otis Spann - piano, Mike Bloomfield - guitar, Paul Butterfield - harmonica, Donald Duck Dunn - bass, Sam Lay - drums

Simon and Garfunkel The Boxer (Original)

Beach Boys - Good Vibrations

It’s cruel to pray for people to come back to life

22 words

The Bible is Not a Magic Book

Some who go by the name of ‘Evangelical’ view the Bible in such scrappy atomistic bits that they can find moralising lessons here and there, but cannot see how the Bible gives us the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But the Bible is not a magic book, as in: ‘A verse a day keeps the devil away’. It is a book that points us to Jesus, and this Jesus saves and transforms. This Jesus by his death and resurrection constitutes the good news that men and women may be reconciled to the living God.
Here in this book there is instruction on what God has done in Christ Jesus; here there is the message of Christ dying for sinners, of whom I am chief; here there is the promise of the Holy Spirit given in down payment of the ultimate inheritance; here there is transformation. These Scriptures make you ‘wise for salvation’.
- D. A. Carson

Joe Wong - On Letterman 4-17-09 This Is Funny

Friday, March 30, 2012

Perspective on The Mega Millions Jackpot

Eric Clapton - Motherless Child

'Motherless Chile Blues' BARBECUE BOB, Blues Legend

Tampa Red - It Hurts Me Too

We Have a Free Will to Go to Hell, but None to Go to Heaven

The doctrines of our election, and free justification in Christ Jesus are daily more and more pressed upon my heart. They fill my soul with a holy fire and afford me great confidence in God my Saviour.

I hope we shall catch fire from each other, and that there will be a holy emulation amongst us, who shall most debase man and exalt the Lord Jesus. Nothing but the doctrines of the Reformation can do this. All others leave free will in man and make him, in part at least, a Saviour to himself. . . .

I know Christ is all in all. Man is nothing: he hath a free will to go to hell, but none to go to heaven, till God worketh in him to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Oh the excellency of the doctrine of election and of the saints' final perseverance!

I am persuaded, till a man comes to believe and feel these important truths, he cannot come out of himself, but when convinced of these, and assured of their application to his own heart, he then walks by faith indeed! Love, not fear, constrains him to obedience.
--quoted in Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield: The Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the 18th Century Revival (2 vols; Banner of Truth, 1970, 1980), 1:407

Dane Ortlund

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Otis Spann - Good Morning Mr. Blues

All Along The Watchtower - Gov't Mule w/ Dave Matthews & Branford Marsalis

Otis Rush: I`Cant Quit You Baby

Most dangerous playground in the world?

22 words

Law and Gospel: Part 2

If we are going to understand the Bible rightly, we have to be able to distinguish properly between God’s two words: law and gospel. All of God’s Word in the Bible comes to us in two forms of speech: God’s word of demand (law) and God’s word of deliverance (gospel). The law tells us what to do and the gospel tells us what God has done. As I mentioned in my previous post, both God’s law and God’s gospel are good and necessary, but both do very different things. Serious life confusion happens when we fail to understand their distinct “job descriptions.” We’ll wrongly depend on the law to do what only the gospel can do, and vice versa.
For example, Kim and I have three children: Gabe (17), Nate (15), and Genna (10). In order to function as a community of five in our home, rules need to be established–laws need to be put in place. Our kids know that they can’t steal from each other. They have to share the computer. Since harmonious relationships depend on trust, they can’t lie. Because we have two cars and three drivers, Gabe can’t simply announce that he’s taking one of the cars. He has to ask ahead of time. And so on and so forth. Rules are necessary. But telling them what they can and cannot do over and over can’t change their heart and make them want to comply.
When one of our kids (typically Genna) throws a temper tantrum, thereby breaking one of the rules, we can send her to her room and take away some of her privileges. And while this may produce sorrow at the revelation of her sin, it does not have the power to remove her sin. In other words, the law can crush her but it cannot cure her–it can kill her but it cannot make her alive. If Kim and I don’t follow-up the law with the gospel, Genna would be left without hope–defeated but not delivered. The law illuminates sin but is powerless to eliminate sin. That’s not part of its job description. It points to righteousness but can’t produce it. It shows us what godliness is, but it cannot make us godly. As Martin Luther said, “Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the Law. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God.”
While there are a host of great resources available to help you better understand the important distinction between the law and the gospel, I found the most helpful resource to be John Pless’ easy-to-read Handling the Word of Truth: Law and Gospel in the Church Today. In the first chapter he summarizes C.F.W. Walther’s six ways in which the law and the gospel are different. I will highlight the first three today and the second three later this week.
First, the Law differs from the Gospel by the manner in which it is revealed. The Law is inscribed in the human heart, and though it is dulled by sin, the conscience bears witness to its truth (Romans 2:14-15). “The Ten Commandments were published only for the purpose of bringing out in bold outline the dulled script of the original Law written in men’s hearts” (Walther, 8). That is why the moral teachings of non-Christian religions are essentially the same as those found in the Bible. Yet it is different with the Gospel. The Gospel can never be known from the conscience. It is not a word from within the heart; it comes from outside. It comes from Christ alone. “All religions contain portions of the Law. Some of the heathen, by their knowledge of the Law, have advanced so far that they have even perceived the necessity of an inner cleansing of the soul, a purification of the thoughts and desires. But of the Gospel, not a particle is found anywhere except in the Christian religion” (Walther, 8). The fact that humanity is alienated from God, in need of cleansing and reconciliation, is a theme common to many belief systems. It is only Christianity that teaches that God himself justifies the ungodly.
Second, the Law is distinct from the Gospel in regard to content. The Law can only make demands. It tells us what we must do, but it is impotent to redeem us from its demands (Galatians 3:12-14). The Law speaks to our works, always showing that even the best of them are tainted with the fingerprints of our sin and insufficient for salvation. The Gospel contains no demand, only the gift of God’s grace and truth in Christ. It has nothing to say about works of human achievement and everything to say about the mercy of God for sinners.  “The Law tells us what we are to do. No such instruction is contained in the Gospel. On the contrary, the Gospel reveals to us only what God is doing. The Law is speaking concerning our works; the Gospel, concerning the great works of God” (Walther, 9).
Third, the Law and the Gospel differ in the promises that each make.  The Law offers great good to those who keep its demands.  Think what life would be like in a world where the Ten Commandments were perfectly kept. Imagine a universe where God was feared, loved, and trusted above all things and the neighbor was loved so selflessly that there would be no murder, adultery, theft, lying, or coveting. Indeed such a world would be paradise. This is what the Law promises. There is only one stipulation: that we obey its commands perfectly. “Do the Law and you will live”, says Holy Scripture (Leviticus 18:5; Luke 10:25-28). The Gospel, by contrast, makes a promise without demand or condition. It is a word from God that does not cajole or manipulate, but simply gives and bestows what it says, namely, the forgiveness of sins. Luther defined the Gospel as “a preaching of the incarnate Son of God, given to us without any merit on our part for salvation and peace. It is a word of salvation, a word of grace, a word of comfort, a word of joy, a voice of the bridegroom and the bride, a good word, a word of peace.” This is the word that the church is to proclaim throughout the world (Mark 16:15-16). It is the message that salvation is not achieved but received by grace through faith alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9).  The Gospel is a word that promises blessing to those who are cursed, righteousness to the unrighteous, and life to the dead.
Tullian Tchividjian

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ray Wylie Hubbard - Three Days Straight

Long Road Home - Freer

Freer is Jeremy Freer (vocals, keys, guitar) Jeffery Freer (bass, guitar) Mike Latcha (guitar, bass) Nick Adams (drums) Jason Freer (drums on 3,4,9,10) Mark Freer (lead solo on 11). This CD was recorded in 2007 The cover picture is of my dad James Freer when he was a young boy.

Spiritual Pride - The Main Door The Devil Comes Into the Hearts Of Those Who Believe

Jonathan Edwards, Thoughts on the Revival (1742)
Spiritual pride is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christianity.  It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit, to darken the mind and mislead the judgment.  It is the main source of all the mischief the devil introduces, to clog and hinder a work of God.
Spiritual pride tends to speak of other persons’ sins with bitterness or with laughter and levity and an air of contempt.  But pure Christian humility tends either to be silent about these problems or to speak of them with grief and pity.  Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others, but a humble Christian is most guarded about himself.  He is as suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart.  The proud person is apt to find fault with other believers, that they are low in grace, and to be much in observing how cold and dead they are and to be quick to note their deficiencies.  But the humble Christian has so much to do at home and sees so much evil in his own heart and is so concerned about it that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts.  He is apt to esteem others better than himself.
Some who have pride mixed in with a heightened awareness of God’s glory and intense experiences of spiritual joy are apt to rebuke other Christians around them for being so cold and lifeless.  But the humble, in their joys, are also wounded with a sense of their own vileness.  When they have high visions of God’s glory, they also see their own sinfulness.  And though they speak to others earnestly, it is in confession of their own sins.  And if they exhort other Christians, they do so in a charitable manner.  Pure Christian humility disposes a person to take notice of everything that is good in others and to make the best of it and to diminish their failings.

The Duke Robillard Band - Mercy Mercy Mama

Kim Wilson - Gumbo Blues


Give It Up Newt!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

J. B. Lenoir with Freddy Below - The whale has swallowed me

J.B. Lenoir - Alabama Blues


Law And Gospel: Part 1

For centuries, Reformational Theologians have rightly noted that in the Bible God speaks two fundamentally different words: law and gospel. The law is God’s word of demand, the gospel is God’s word of deliverance. The law tells us what to do, the gospel tells us what God has done. So, when we speak of the distinction between law and gospel we are referring to different speech acts–or what linguist John Austin calls “illocutionary stances”–that run throughout the whole Bible. Everything in both the Old Testament and the New Testament is either in the form of an obligatory imperative or a declaratory indicative“Hence,” wrote Martin Luther, “whoever knows well this art of distinguishing between the law and the gospel, him place at the head and call him a doctor of Holy Scripture.”
This may seem like a distinction that would fascinate only the theologian or linguist. But, believe it or not, every ounce of confusion regarding justification, sanctification, the human condition, God’s grace, how God relates to us, the nature of the Christian life, and so on, is due to our failure to properly distinguish between the law and the gospel.
Ignorance of this distinction between Law and Gospel is one of the principal sources of the abuses which corrupted and still corrupt Christianity. (Theodore Beza)
Virtually the whole of the scriptures and the understanding of the whole of theology–the entire Christian life, even–depends upon the true understanding of the law and the gospel. (Martin Luther)
Obviously, both God’s law and God’s gospel come from God which means both are good. But, both do very different things. Serious life confusion happens when we fail to understand their distinct “job descriptions.” We’ll wrongly depend on the law to do what only the gospel can do, and vice versa. As Mike Horton says, “Where the law pronounces us all ‘guilty before God’ (Rom 3:19-20), the gospel announces ‘God’s gift of righteousness through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus’ (vv 21-31). The law is unyielding. It commands, but doesn’t give. The law says, “Do!”, but the gospel says, “Done!”
So, I’m going to be doing a series of posts that will spell out this distinction and hopefully explain why it’s so important. If we are ever going to experience the unconditional freedom that Jesus paid so dearly to secure for sinners like me, we must have a clear understanding of this crucial distinction.
To get things started I thought I would post this poetic and helpful hymn from Ralph Erskine where the job descriptions of both the law and the gospel are clearly spelled out and distinguished. Enjoy…
The law supposing I have all,
Does ever for perfection call;
The gospel suits my total want,
And all the law can seek does grant.
The law could promise life to me,
If my obedience perfect be;
But grace does promise life upon
My Lord’s obedience alone.
The law says, Do, and life you’ll win;
But grace says, Live, for all is done;
The former cannot ease my grief,
The latter yields me full relief.
The law will not abate a mite,
The gospel all the sum will quit;
There God in thret’nings is array’d
But here in promises display’d.
The law excludes not boasting vain,
But rather feeds it to my bane;
But gospel grace allows no boasts,
Save in the King, the Lord of Hosts.
Lo! in the law Jehovah dwells,
But Jesus is conceal’d;
Whereas the gospel’s nothing else

Tullian Tchividjian

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again - Live 1978

This live video features one of the final performances by Keith Moon and was filmed in 1978 at Shepperton. Listen to the bass player John Entwistle a great bass player. This is some of the music I grew up on.

Which Vocations Should Be Off Limits to Christians?

The Reformation doctrine of vocation teaches that even seemingly secular jobs and earthly relationships are spheres where God assigns Christians to live out their faith. But are there some lines of work that Christians should avoid?
The early church required new members to give up their occupations as gladiators or actors. Whether Christians should enter military service has been controversial at several points in church history. So has holding political or judicial offices. Recently, New York Times columnist David Brooks suggested that Christians should not become professional athletes. He observed that "the moral ethos of sport"---which centers on pride---"is in tension with the moral ethos of faith," which requires humility.
So what guidance can we find from the doctrine of vocation? There is more to that teaching than most people realize, so let's review some of its more salient points. (To study this in more depth, you can check out my book God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life and follow the Bible references and footnotes. Also see my new book Family Vocation: God's Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood for yet more facets of this critical teaching for how Christians can live out faith in the world and in their everyday relationships.)

God Never Calls Us to Sin

"Vocation" is simply the Latinate word for "calling." The doctrine of vocation means that God assigns us to a certain life---with its particular talents, tasks, responsibilities, and relationships---and then calls us to that assignment (1 Corinthians 7:17). God never calls us to sin. All callings, or vocations, from God are thus valid places to serve. So strictly speaking there are no unlawful vocations; the question should actually be whether or not a particular way of making a living is a vocation at all.
God himself works through human vocations in providential care as he governs the world. He provides daily bread through farmers and bakers. He protects us through lawful magistrates. He heals us by means of physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. He creates new life through mothers and fathers. So we can ask whether or not God extends blessings through a particular line of work.
The purpose of every vocation, in all of the different spheres in which our multiple vocations occur---the family, the workplace, the culture, and the church---is to love and serve our neighbors. Loving God and loving our neighbors sums up our purpose (Matthew 22:36-40). Having been reconciled to God through Christ, we are then sent by God into the world to love and serve him by loving and serving our neighbors. This happens in vocation. So we can ask of every kind of work we doing, "Am I loving and serving my neighbor, or am I exploiting and tempting him?"
Obviously, those who make their living by robbery are not loving their neighbors. Heroin dealers, hit men, con artists, and other criminals are hurting their neighbors and have no calling from God to do so.
But there are some legal professions that also involve harming their neighbors instead of loving and serving them. An abortionist kills his small neighbor in the womb. An internet pornographer is abusing the neighbors he is exploiting sexually and, moreover, causing the neighbors who are his customers to sin.
Read the rest here at The Gospel Coalition

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Eric Clapton & The Allman Brothers - Key To The Highway

There is a couple of minutes dely where they are setting up to introduce Clapton but the song is worth waiting for.

Key to the Highway - Big Bill Broonzy

Marcia Ball: Play with your Poodle

The Chuck Norris Bridge

Against all reason, “Chuck Norris” is the top contender for the name of a new pedestrian and cycling bridge connecting Slovakia to the neighboring country of Austria.
The Slovakian public has been granted the opportunity to vote for potential monikers for the bridge, which will span the Morava River from just north of the capital city, Bratislava, to the Austrian village of Schlosshof. The perhaps more logical but certainly less exciting runners-up include Maria Theresa, after an Austro-Hungarian empress, and Devinska, in honor of a nearby village, Reuters reports.
The final decision will be in the hands of a regional assembly. But according to a regional governor, Pavol Freso, lawmakers will adhere to the people’s wishes as indicated in the online ballot.
Chuck Norris is an American martial artist-turned-actor whose moves inspired the Internet phenomenon of Chuck Norris facts. He’s become a hyperbolic icon of infallibility, a reputation which seems to have traveled to Slovakia. Norris is also known for his starring role on the television series Walker, Texas Ranger, a crime drama that ran for eight seasons.
As of Thursday, Chuck Norris Bridge received 1,157 votes — 74 percent of the total. The runner-up, Maria Theresa Bridge, has been roundhouse kicked to second place, with a scant eight percent of the total votes. If come April the bridge is indeed dubbed Chuck Norris, the legend himself won’t even need it, because as they say, Jesus walks on water, but Chuck Norris steps over oceans.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Axelrod's Hypocrisy

Deborah Coleman - Don't Lie To Me

God Was at the Bottom of it All

One evening early in his ministry Spurgeon was wrestling through who was ultimately responsible for his conversion. He writes:
The thought struck me, How did you come to be a Christian? I sought the Lord. But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment—I should not have sought him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so?

Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that he was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, “I ascribe my change wholly to God.”
--Charles Spurgeon, as quoted in Dave Harvey, Am I Called? The Summons to Pastoral Ministry (Crossway, 2012), 38

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Juliets - Fashion

Downton Abbey Meets Late Night Television

Pinetop Perkins - Take it Easy,Baby

Ray Charles with BB King - Sinners Prayer

O God, Grant Grace to Learn and to Live

 Luther's prayer to learn and live out God's commands:

O my God and Lord, help me by the grace to learn and understand thy commandments more fully every day and to live by them in sincere confidence. Preserve my heart so that I shall never again become forgetful and ungrateful, that I may never seek after other gods or consolation on earth or in any creature, but cling truly and solely to thee, my only God. Amen, dear Lord God and Father. Amen.
—Martin Luther, Luther's Prayers (ed. Herbert F. Brokering; Augsberg: Minneapolis, 1994), p. 51.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

His Eye Is On The Sparrow - Lauryn Hill & Tanya Blount

How Quickly They Forget

Eric Clapton "Ain't Nobody's Business ( If I Do)" /"Driftin"

The Unstoppability Of Romans

I dare you to read Romans:
The Epistle to the Romans has sat around in the church since the first century like a bomb ticking away the death of religion; and every time it’s been picked up, the ear-splitting freedom in it has gone off with a roar.
The only sad thing is that the church as an institution has spent most of its time playing bomb squad and trying to defuse it. For your comfort, though, it can’t be done. Your freedom remains as close to your life as Jesus and as available to your understanding as the nearest copy. Like Augustine, therefore, tolle lege, take and read: tolle the one, lege the other–and then hold onto your hat. Compared to that explosion, the clap of doom sounds like a cap pistol.
Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace (pg. 287)

Tullian Tchividjian

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jeff Beck Group - Going Down

Have You Made Up Your Own God?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in a letter he wrote to his brother-in-law in 1936 said, “If it is I who determine where God is to be found, then I shall always find a God who corresponds to me in some way, who is obliging, who is connected with my own nature. But if God determines where He is to be found, then it will be in a place which is not immediately pleasing to my nature and with is not at all congenial to me”.
       The only way you can have a God who can tell you things you don’t want to hear is if you accept that the scripture is his word of truth. If your God always agrees with you than you have a God you have made up.

Calvin & Hobbes - Why Worry?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Etta James - Baby, What You Want Me To Do

"Baby, What You Want Me To Do" was written and first recorded by the legendary blues artist Jimmy Reed in 1959. The song has since become a popular blues piece for a number of artists including Elvis Presley and in 1964 for the great Etta James.

Shame Shame Shame by Jimmy Reed

C.S. Lewis On Money

Lyle Dorsett once told a story about C. S. Lewis in an interview about Lewis. Dr. Dorsett said:
There was one woman that wrote to Lewis and said, 'I can't take this money you are going to give me. I just, I just can't do that.' And he said, 'Don't be silly. You need it, I have it, take it, and thank God for it.' Her response was, 'Well, I will and thank you. No wonder God has blessed you with so much money.' Lewis' answer was, 'Be careful what you say there. Nowhere in my New Testament do I see that money is a blessing. Jesus tells us something quite different. He says it's almost impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. He talks about the deceit of riches.' And he said, 'I need to give this money away, or it will destroy me.'

Dane Ortlund

Monday, March 19, 2012

T-Bone Walker - Stormy Monday Blues (Live!)

Ry Cooder - Jesus On The Mainline

The Big Lebowski meets Sesame Street

22 words

Because of Brother Jesus: A Prayer from Martin Luther

Lord God, Heavenly Father,
I consider myself Your dear child
and You my beloved Father.
Not because I deserve it,
nor could ever merit it,
but because my dear Lord,
Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ
would be my Brother.
Of His own accord
He offers and makes this blessing known to me.
Since I may consider myself His brother,
as He regards me,
You will permit me
to become and remain a child of Yours forever.
- Martin Luther

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Eric Clapton - Love In Vain

Robert Johnson preaching blues (up jumped the devil)

Sheepdog herds men to the pub in a funny Guinness commercial

22 words

One-Way Love

We love the “if/then” proposition: “If” you do this, “then” I will do that; we are inveterate slaves (at worst) or grumpy employees (at best). We militate against the freedom of inheritance and the dependency of sonship. We love living as though “what goes around comes around” conditionality were true. That kind of conditionality makes us feel safe. It’s easy to comprehend. It’s appropriately formulaic. And best of all, it keeps us in control. We get to keep our ledgers and scorecards. The equation: “If I do this, then you are obligated to do that” makes perfect sense to our grace-shy hearts.
Unconditionality, on the other hand, is incomprehensible. We are deeply conditioned against unconditionality because we’ve been told in a thousand different ways that accomplishment always precedes acceptance, that achievement always precedes approval. When we hear, “Of course you don’t deserve it, but I’m giving it to you anyway,” we wonder, “What is this really about? What’s the catch?” Internal bells and alarms start to go off, and we begin saying “wait a minute…this sounds too good to be true.”
You see, everything in our world demands two-way love. Everything is conditional. If I achieve, we reason, only then will I receive everything I long for: love, approval, significance, respect, and so on. Be good. Bring home the bacon. Keep your act together….Then (and only then) will you have what you want. That’s how our world works. But grace isn’t from our world. It’s otherworldly. It’s unconditional. Grace is upside-down, to-do-list wrecking, scandalous and way-too free. It’s one-way love.
Like Job’s friends, we naturally conclude that good people deserve good stuff and bad people deserve bad stuff. What goes around comes around sums up the mechanism at work in the world we’re at home in. The idea that bad people get good stuff is so counter-intuitive as to be utterly implausible. It seems terribly unfair. It offends our sense of justice. Of course, when we talk of justice and good people earning God’s blessing, we’re forgetting that the Bible is a not a record of the blessed good, but rather the blessed bad. No, that’s not a typo. The Bible is the record of the blessed bad. But how can that be? It can be (and is) because a good Someone else earned blessing for the bad. We say that we believe in a God of grace and then live lives completely skeptical of that grace. We’ve forgotten the one-way love of Calvary.
Even those of us who have tasted the radical saving grace of God find it intuitively difficult not to put conditions on grace. Don’t take it too far! Keep it balanced! Tamp it down! we warn. But grace–one-way love–is by its own definition, unbalanced. Grace is a gift, not a wage. It’s a gift of love, and lavish love gifts never sit quite right with the bookkeeping, wage-earning, responsible citizen that resides in our own hearts.
Need proof? We need look no farther than Mary’s profligate anointing of the Savior in preparation for his death (John 12:3f) for a snapshot of our own hearts. She was both misunderstood and censured by those ever-so-responsible disciples in attendance. The giving of something costly to another simply because one loves, without expecting anything in return, is inequity in action. We recoil at it. What could ever be balanced about something as lopsided as one-way love? One-way love has no qualifiers, no conditions, no buts. It’s unconditional, unpredictable, and undomesticated. You can’t put brakes on it because it’s not yours to measure out or control.
Grace makes us nervous, it scares us to death because it strips us of our beloved “you owe me” religion. It snatches control out of our hands. It tears up the timecard we were counting on to be assured of that nice, big paycheck on Friday. It forces us to rely on the naked goodness of Another and that is simply terrifying. However much we may hate having to get up and go to the salt mines everyday, we distrust the thought of completely resting in the promised, unmanageable generosity of God even more.
By nature we’re all perpetually suspicious of promises that seem too good to be true. We’re wary of grace. We wonder about the ulterior motives of the excessively generous. What’s the catch? What’s in it for him? So we try to domesticate the message of one-way love–after all, who could trust in or believe something so radically unbelievable?
Contrary to what we conclude naturally, the gospel is not too good to be true. It is true! It’s the truest truth in the entire universe. No strings attached! No fine print to read. No buts. No conditions. No qualifications. No footnotes. And especially, no need for balance.
If you’re a Christian, you have been given the most extravagant gift ever: the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. That means that his perfect timecard has your name on it and every single penny that was owed him for a life of devoted labor in your salt mine has been deposited directly into your account. It also means that you’ve been completely forgiven for every single time you lazed out, came in late, left early, cut corners, dawdled on FaceBook, stole paperclips, despised the boss, backstabbed your co-worker, and generally acted like an apathetic, hateful slave. You’re completely, totally, unashamedly forgiven. You’ve been forgiven because Jesus took your record and applied it to himself, receiving in your place every lash of the wrath you had earned and transferring his record to you.
Won’t you suspend your incredulity and conditionality for just one moment and believe? Won’t you stop yourself from saying, “Yes, but…” for just one hour? Sure, it seems dangerous, but doesn’t that ride look like fun? Haven’t you grown tired of the taste of that gritty salt? How many times do you have to say, “the harder I work, the behind-er I get” before you give up and believe?
Who deserves this kind of lavish one-way love? No one. No one deserves it—that’s why God calls it grace: undeserved favor. But if you believe it, your pardon is already full and final. In Christ, you’re forgiven. You’re clean. Now. It is finished. And as scary as it may seem, wading into this ocean of grace will be the most freeing and blissful dive you’ll ever take.
Tullian Tchividjian

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ry Cooder - Feelin' Bad Blues

Albert Collins - Iceman - live at Mt. Fuji.

The Foundation-Graces

Jonathan Edwards, in the sermon 'Profitable Hearers of the Word':
Be most intent upon increasing the foundation-graces, such as the knowledge of God, the understanding of his Word, believing the truth of the gospel, a realizing sense of a future state of rewards and punishments. Labor to get your heart all enflamed with love to God and abased by humility and a sense of your own unworthiness. These are the foundation-graces, and as these are increased, all other graces will most certainly increase proportionably.

And all these things you must do with the utmost diligence and application of mind. The work of a Christian is compared to running, and wrestling, and fighting, and those exercises which require the greatest labor. (Works, Yale ed., 14:277)
The Christian life is earnest, strenuous effort. But it is effort flowing from 'the foundation-graces'--knowing God, understanding His Word, believing the gospel, knowing our unworthiness.

We wage warfare by knowing that the war is over. The main weapon is our peace.

Fight, fight with all your might, with the gospel.

As Paul told Timothy: '. . . wage the good warfare, having faith. . . .' (1 Tim 1:18-19)

Dane Ortlund

Friday, March 16, 2012

Just A Blues Jam - Mark Freer

We had just finished setting up a recording studio and were testing it out. This jam is the result. it is unmixed, has some mistakes, its raw, but we were just having fun.

Jesus Wasn't Crucified for Being Boring

It is the neglect of dogma that makes for dullness. The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man. . . . If this is dull, then what, in Heaven’s name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused Him of being a bore--on the contrary; they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certifying Him ‘meek and mild,’ and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.
--Dorothy Sayers, Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World: A Selection of Essays (1969), 13

Dane Ortlund

Melvin Taylor & The Slack Band - All Your Love (I Miss Loving).

Melvin Taylor - Blues Comin' Home Baby

THE JULIETS: Sweetheart

THE JULIETS: Sweetheart from SINGLE . BARREL . DETROIT on Vimeo.

A Guide To Raising Your Hand In Class

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eric Clapton - Running on Faith - Unplugged

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Cold Shot (Live Austin City Limits)

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less

So then, have we nothing to do to obtain righteousness? No, nothing at all! For this righteousness comes by doing nothing, hearing nothing, knowing nothing, but rather in knowing and believing this only–that Christ has gone to the right hand of the Father, not to become our judge, but to become for us our wisdom, our righteousness, our holiness, our salvation!
Now God sees no sin in us. For in this heavenly righteousness, sin has no place. So now we may certainly think, “Although I still sin, I don’t despair, because Christ lives–who is both my righteousness and my eternal life.” In that righteousness I have no sin, no fear, no guilty conscience, no fear of death. I am indeed a sinner in this life of mine and in my own righteousness, but I have another life, another righteousness above this life, which is in Christ, the Son of God, who knows no sin or death, but is eternal righteousness and eternal life. For if the truth of being justified by Christ alone (not by our works) is lost, then all Christian truths are lost…On this truth and only on this truth the Church is built and has its being.
Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians, Preface

The Real March Madness

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - Born in Chicago

MIKE BLOOMFIELD - One Way Out (live at the Fillmore East 1968)

George Costanza on Losing It

Packer on Justification

As understood by the Reformers and their followers, and by Paul as I read him, [justification] is theological, declaring a work of amazing grace; anthropological, demonstrating that we cannot save ourselves; Christological, resting on incarnation and atonement; pneumatological, rooted in Spirit-wrought faith-union with Jesus; ecclesiological, determining both the definition and the health of the church; eschatological, proclaiming God's truly final verdict on believers here and now; evangelistic, inviting troubled souls into everlasting peace; pastoral, making our identity as forgiven sinners basic to our fellowship; and liturgical, being decisive for interpreting the sacraments and shaping sacramental services.

No other biblical doctrine holds together so much that is precious and enlivening.
--J. I. Packer et al, Here We Stand: Justification by Faith Today (Hodder and Stoughton 1986), 5; quoted in Anthony Hoekema, Saved by Grace (Eerdmans 1994), 153

A Bored Game For Open Theists Everywhere!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eric Clapton - Someday After A While - rehearsal

God's Word Is The Soul's Only Foundation

“Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God--
Naught else is worth believing.

Though all my heart should feel condemned
For want of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart
Whose Word cannot be broken.

I'll trust in God's unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever,
For, though all things shall pass away,
Martin Luther

Defining Good

“The word "good" has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.”
G.K. Chesterton

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Pride And Joy

Monday, March 12, 2012

Heart Fixin Business - Albert King

The Ground Is Too Close - Freer

This song is from my son Jeremy's band FREER, the CD is Secret Chorus recorded in 2007. My youngest son Jeffery is playing bass and I have a guitar solo near the end of the song.

Noticing The Dirt Is A Sign Of God's Presence

C. S. Lewis, letter to Mary Neylan, January 20, 1942:
I know all about the despair of overcoming chronic temptations.

It is not serious provided self-offended petulance, annoyance at breaking records, impatience etc doesn't get the upper hand. No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes are airing in the cupboard.

The only fatal thing is to lose one's temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present to us: it is the very sign of His presence.
--The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume 2 (Cambridge University Press, 2004), 507; emphasis original

Saturday, March 10, 2012

One of George Costanza's all-time greatest monologues about hopelessness

To Love Is To Be Vulnerable

“There is no safe investment.  To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.  The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves (New York, 1960), page 169.

Eric Clapton - Same Old Blues

Friday, March 9, 2012

Levon Helm - "Blues So Bad" - 1977

Getting Better Or Worse Depends On Where Your Focus Is

"The hard work of Christian growth, therefore, is to think less of ourselves and our performance and more of  Jesus and his performance for us. Ironically, when we focus mostly on our need to get better, we actually get worse. We become neurotic and self absorbed. Preoccupation with our effort instead of with God's effort for us makes us increasingly self-centered and morbidly introspective

Again, think of it this way: sanctification is the daily hard work of going back to the reality of our justification. it's going back to the certainty of our objectivity secured pardon in Christ and hitting the refresh button a thousand times a day. Or, as Martin Luther so aptly put it in his Lectures on Romans, "To progress is always to begin again." Real spiritual progress, in other words, requires a daily going backwards."

Jesus + Nothing = Everything p. 95

Charlie Musselwhite "Leaving Your Town"

Charlie Musselwhite "Mean Old Frisco"

If The Candidates Were Star Wars Characters ...

They left out Emperor Obama

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Injured Stormtrooper-Star Wars parody

A 3-minute documentary about the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster

The now-iconic “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster was originally produced by the British government during WWII. Despite printing millions of copies, they never ended up using it. It was forgotten for 50 years and then rediscovered in a used bookstore…

Jeff Beck & Imelda May - How High the Moon

Darth Vader Humor - We Need To Stop By Cinnabon

Only One Could Fully Taste Death

In August 1939 C. S. Lewis wrote a fascinating letter to his friend Owen Barfield concerning the incarnation. At one point Lewis said:
In Gethsemane it is essential Freedom that is asked to be bound, unwearied control to throw up the sponge. Life itself to die.

Ordinary men have not been so much in love with life as is usually supposed: small as their share of it is they have found it too much to bear without reducing a large portion of it as nearly to non-life as they can: we love drugs, sleep, irresponsibility, amusement, are more than half in love with easeful death--if only we could be sure it wouldn't hurt!

Only He who really lived a human life (and I presume that only one did) can fully taste the horror of death.
--The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume 2 (Cambridge University Press, 2004), 268
Dane Ortlund

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Robert Lockwood Jr. - Kindhearted Woman Blues

God Is My Rock

Herman Bavinck in his book “The Doctrine of God” said, “The doctrine of God’s immutability is of the highest significance for religion. The contrast between being and becoming marries the difference between the creator and the creature. Every creature is continually becoming. It is changeable, constantly striving, seeks rest and satisfaction, and finds this rest in God, in him alone, for only he is pure being and no becoming. Hence in scripture God is often called the Rock. . .”