Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Odious Inner Radio - C.S. Lewis

In 1958 a woman named Mary Willis Shelburne (the "lady" in Letters to an American Lady) was burdened with a sense of moral guilt. She wrote Lewis, who replied--

Dear Mary Willis,

(1) Remember what St John said 'If our heart condemn us, God is stronger than our heart.' The feeling of being, or not being, forgiven & loved, is not what matters. One must come down to brass tacks. If there is a particular sin on your conscience, repent & confess it. If there isn't, tell the despondent devil not to be silly. You can't help hearing his voice (the odious inner radio) but you must treat it merely like a buzzing in your ear or any other irrational nuisance.

(2) Remember the story in the Imitation, how the Christ on the crucifix suddenly spoke to the monk who was so anxious about his salvation and said 'If you knew that all was well, what wd. you, today, do, or stop doing?' When you have found the answer, do it or stop doing it. You see, one must always get back to the practical and definite. What the devil loves is that vague cloud of unspecified guilt feeling or unspecified virtue by which he lures us into despair or presumption. 'Details, please' is the answer.
--The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. 3: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy (Cambridge University Press, 2007), 962
Dane Ortlund

Johnny Winter - Highway 61 Revisited

Johnny Winter - Prodigal Son

Hurtin' So Bad - Johnny Winter

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

God's Majesty Crushes Pride

Isaiah is intentionally giving us this cosmic picture in order to crush our pride, in order to heal us. In Isaiah 2:10-11 we are told “Go into the rocks hide in the ground from dread of the Lord and the splendor of His majesty! The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low, the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” The majesty of God will crush our pride so how in the world is this good news? Because I believe that every person really knows deep down whether you are a Christian or not that it really is a lie that we’re in control of our own lives. It's an illusion.
We need the majesty of God to remind us that in the presence of God we're like grasshoppers and that his very breath can blow us away.

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Crossfire

Stevie Ray Vaughan A.A. meeting speech - Part 1

I remember reading in a biography when Stevie went into recovery and accepted Jesus Christ, this is a blessing to hear him talk about the grace of God. Listen to Part 2 Stevie Ray Vaughn Listen to part 3 Listen to part 4

Simple Counseling Technique - Bob Newhart - Stop It

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Watt Ever ... Phil Keaggy - Premium Jams

"I Shall See God" - John Patitucci, Phil Keaggy & Nick Manson

Tedeschi Trucks Band- Midnight in Harlem [Live]

The Prison of Free-Lunch-Think Versus The Gospel

Gerhard Forde, Justification by Faith: A Matter of Death and Life, pg. 24
The gospel of justification by faith is such a shocker, such an explosion, because it is an absolutely unconditional promise. It is not an “if-then” kind of statement, but “because-therefore” pronouncement: because Jesus died and rose, your sins are forgiven and you are righteous in the sight of God! It bursts in upon our little world all shut up and barricaded behind our accustomed conditional thinking as some strange comet from goodness-knows-where, something we can’t really seem to wrap our minds around, the logic of which appears closed to us. How can it be entirely unconditional? Isn’t it terribly dangerous? How can anyone say flat out, “You are righteous for Jesus’ sake? Is there not some price to be paid, some-thing (however minuscule) to be done? After all, there can’t be such thing as a free lunch, can there?”
You see, we really are sealed up in the prison of our conditional thinking. It is terribly difficult for us to get out, and even if someone batters down the door and shatters the bars, chances are we will stay in the prison anyway! We seem always to want to hold out for something somehow, that little bit of something, and we do it with a passion and an anxiety that betrays its true source–the Old Adam that just does not want to lose control.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Rollin and Tumblin [Live]

The fifth track of the new album "Everybody's Talkin'

A Strange Word From A Strange God

“Through this Word of reconciliation – the gospel – God becomes a stranger in a third sense: not only because he is our creator and judge, but because he is our Redeemer. This is a strange Word from a strange God because it contradicts our moral reasoning, which is captive to a theology of glory. [If] limited to “the moral law within”, the gospel can only be dismissed as foolish superstition. Contrary to our distorted intuitions, the gospel does not encourage our conquest of heaven through intellectual, mystical and moral striving. It announces that even while we were enemies, God reconciled us. While we were dead in sins, he made us alive in Christ. We are saved by God’s good works, not our own. Because we are sinners, God’s speech is disruptive and disorienting. It is not we who overcome estrangement, but God who heals the breach by communicating the gospel of his Son… While a theology of glory presumes to scale the walls of God’s heavenly chamber, a theology of the Cross will always recognize that although we cannot reach God, he can reach us and has done so.”
Michael Horton, The Christian Life, page 51, 53.

What if God tunes the hearts of strangers AND sons with the same song? What if never-ceasing mercy is God’s song for salvation AND transformation? What if there are no dead ends in Jesus… and even our wandering is just another way home?
John Dink

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Learn how to Love [Live]

Third track from the new live album "Everybody's Talkin'

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Darling Be Home Soon [Live]

The seventh track from the new live album "Everybody's Talkin'

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cap’n, I Cannae Take This Much Longer!

How to Be Miserable

Jack Miller:

Human will-power always fails. It is a human attempt to do God's work with our own resources. But working out of self-dependence is guilt-inducing and exhausting. It impels the egoist to seek relief in pleasure and self-fulfillment, to use the good things of God as drugs to escape from reality. Self-fulfillment then takes over as the person's grand task in life leaving the person burdened with suppressed guilt and shame.

Unfortunately the person seeking self-fulfillment never finds happiness. Instead, his inner life shrivels and dries up. But let this person look away from self-interest, fight self-preoccupation, and set the affectional life on Christ and His cause. Christ is alive; He is the giant Son of God. He walks through the earth. Those who walk with Him know that Christ and the cause of the gospel really do introduce us to the deeply satisfying love of God. 
--Jack Miller, 'Recovering the Grand Cause,' a paper written in 1993 to set the vision for a missionary training center to be launched in London

Dane Ortlund

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Nobody's Free

The sixth track from the new live album "Everybody's Talkin'

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Glory Bound [Live]

The fourth track from the new live album "Everybody's Talkin'

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Everybody's Talkin'

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Otis Spann and Peter Green - Ain't Nobody's Business

Etta James - Baby What You Want Me To Do

Willful Media Bias

The Death Of Self

In a sermon entitled “The Death of Self”, Gerhard Forde shows how the work of Christ on our behalf finally kills any presumption that there’s something acceptable we can bring to God:
At the betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane when the crowd comes out against Jesus with swords and clubs, the disciples want to do something. They still want to do their bit for God. They want to take up the sword and risk their lives, perhaps, and fight. One of them grasps a sword and cuts off the ear of one of the assailants. But Jesus will have none of it: “Put up your sword,” he says, “for there is absolutely nothing you can do!” In Luke’s account, Jesus even stretches out his hand to undo what the disciple had done-he heals the wounded man. At that point, no doubt, everything within us cries out in protest along with the disciples. Is there nothing we can do? Could we not at least perhaps stage a protest march on God’s behalf? Could we not seek, perhaps, an interview with Pilate? Could we not try to influence the “power structures”? Something -however small? But the unrelenting answer comes back, “No, there is nothing you can do, absolutely nothing. If there were something to be done, my Father would send legions of angels to fight!” But there is nothing to be done. And when it finally came to that last and bitter moment, when these good “righteous” men finally realized that there was nothing they could do, they forsook him and fled.
Can you see it? Can you see that hidden in these very words, these very events, is that death itself which you fear so much coming to meet you? When they finally saw there was nothing they could do they forsook him and fled before this staggering truth. You, who presume to do business with God, can you see it? Can you see that this death of self is not, in the final analysis, something you can do? For the point is that God has once and for all reserved for himself the business of your salvation. There is nothing you can do now but, as the words of the old hymn have it, “climb Calvary’s mournful mountain” and stand with your helpless arms at your side and tremble before “that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice complete! It is finished; hear him cry; learn of Jesus Christ to die!”
In the cross, “God has stormed the last bastion of the self, the last presumption that you really were going to do something for him…He has died in your place! He has done it. He made it. It is all over, finished, between you and God! He died in your place that death which you must die; he has done it in such a way as to save you. He has borne the whole thing! The fact that there is nothing left for you to do is the death of self and the birth of the new creature” (Forde).
As everything, he became nothing so that you, as nothing, could have everything. You bring nothing to the table except the unrighteousness that makes Christ’s righteousness necessary. The perfect righteousness of Christ has been freely credited to your bankrupt account forever (what theologians call “imputation”). The gospel is good news for those who have finally been crushed under the weight of trying to make “righteousness” happen on their own.

Tullian Tchividjian

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Grace Leads Us To See The Truth About Ourselves

“Am I making progress? If I am really honest, it seems to me that the question is odd, even a little ridiculous. As I get older and death draws nearer, I don’t seem to be getting better. I get a little more impatient, a little more anxious about having perhaps missed what this life has to offer, a little slower, harder to move, a little more sedentary and set in my ways. Am I making progress? Well, maybe it seems as though I sin less, but that may only be because I’m getting tired! It’s just too hard to keep indulging the lusts of youth. Is that sanctification? I wouldn’t think so! One should not, I expect, mistake encroaching senility for sanctification! But can it be, perhaps, that it is precisely the unconditional gift of grace that helps me to see and admit all that? I hope so. The grace of God should lead us to see the truth about ourselves, and to gain a certain lucidity, a certain humor, a certain down-to-earthness” (Gerhard Forde).

What if spiritual progress is not about learning to sin less, but admitting our need for grace more? Is it possible that the only thing that can transform us into what we ought to be, is the invitation to come as we are?
1 John 2:12, 1 John 3:20, 1 John 4:18-19

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Superstition (Daytona, Beach '87)

God Will Provide Himself the Lamb

Anglo-Catholic Bible scholar Gabriel Hebert--

The command to offer up the son of the promise, with whom the whole future lies, seems the complete contradiction of the Purpose of God on which he has set his faith. Abraham in the story is called by God to make a supreme sacrifice, an act of complete and entire worship, trusting God in the dark, committing everything to him: 'not my will but thine be done'. While God did not in the end demand this sacrifice to be made, that which he did demand was the entire willingness to make the offering.

Such is the meaning of the story as the writer tells it; and because this and nothing less is the true and original meaning therefore we, in interpreting it, may and must look onward to the self-giving of our Lord, in which case no offering of a substitute was possible.

Hence we may and must find the final answer to Isaac's question 'Where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?', and Abraham's reply 'God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son' (Gen 22:7-8), in the words of John 1.29 'Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.'
Gabriel Hebert, The Old Testament from Within (Oxford University Press, 1962), 34

Dane Ortlund

Bob Dylan’s 71st birthday - To commemorate here’s a Peanuts strip from this day in 1971…

Its also my daughter Jessica 21st birthday

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Coffee Suprise

Luther’s Radical God. And Ours. Part 2

“Luther’s next step” should always always be before us. It’s not only how we receive Christ, but the way to daily bread. It calls all attention to the Cross, where the sinless Son of God was orphaned, so that you might receive an indestructible adoption. Christ, taking our condemnation, earned for us every commendation from God. You, the ungodly, were united to Him, the radiance of the glory of God. Jesus is glad to share this with you. Which means, the very same love Abba has for his only Son… is now aimed directly at you. God desires you. He is proud of you. He loves you. Not your Pastor. Not people that keep it together. Not the best version of yourself. You. And you are just as much a success in His eyes today as you will ever be.

God speaks this Word of scandalous, sanctifying grace in his Son alone. His Word is his bond and it seats you where every accusation against you is turned into a footstool for your feet. It speaks a love uninterrupted by law. But, you won’t experience freedom if you keep changing the subject every time He brings it up. You won’t be able to enjoy it as long as you care more about getting better than you do about Jesus. Why? Because it’s your present belovedness in Christ that is the basis for all godly living. It’s through the announcement of the “already” power of justification that we enter into the joys of the “not yet” kingdom. Listen to what he thinks of you: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” These words belong to you now. They can no more be taken from you than removed from Christ himself.

John Dink

Levon Helm, Johnny Cash, & Emmylou Harris- Jesse James, One More Shot

Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band -- Help Me (A Tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson)

Jimmy Reed - Baby, What You Want Me To Do

Anchorman: The Legend Continues: TRAILER 2 (2013) Ron Burgundy Lives

Monday, May 21, 2012

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Scuttle Buttin'

Recorded Live at Shiba Yubinchukin Stadium, Tokyo, Japan, Jan 24th, 1985

Eric Clapton - Performing Robert Johnson's Malted Milk.

Luther’s Radical God. And Ours. Part 1

“Luther’s view of the cross began to change when he realized that Christ’s cry or scream [My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?] was the result of bearing human sin. Christ himself had not committed sin; he voluntarily took upon himself the entire sin of the world. This was not done only in a conceptual or theoretical way. Christ really and truly took sin upon himself, as if he had committed them in the first place…
Luther’s next step was to take the “logic” of the cross and apply it to his own situation. If Christ has the world’s sin on himself, then Luther’s own sin is on Christ as well. If Luther’s sin is borne by Christ, then he (Luther) is free of sin. If he is free of sin, then he is righteous. The very thing that Luther tried to obtain by all his labors in the monastery was given to him freely in Christ. Luther termed this the “happy exchange,” whereby Christ, out of love, traded his righteousness and purity to sinners and received from them their guilt and shame. It is a terribly “unjust” exchange, since our sin kills Christ while his righteousness yields life and freedom for undeserving sinners. But it is all accomplished by God in Christ by a remarkable and radical act of love.”
Mark D. Tranvik, Martin Luther’s Road to Freedom, pages 14-16.

John Dink

Eric Clapton ~ Forty Four ( 1994 ) Blues Rehearsals, NYC.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

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

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood (Long version!)

The Offence Of Grace

For the point is that God has once and for all reserved for himself the business of your salvation. There is nothing you can do now but, as the words of the old hymn have it, ‘climb Calvary’s mournful mountain’ and stand with your helpless arms at your side and tremble before ‘that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice complete! It is finished; hear him cry; learn of Jesus Christ to die!’
At the cross, God has stormed the last bastion of the self, the last presumption that you really were going to do something for him…He has died in your place! He has done it. He made it. It is all over, finished, between you and God! He died in your place that death which you must die; he has done it in such a way as to save you. He has borne the whole thing! The fact that there is nothing left for you to do is the death of self and the birth of the new creature” (Gerhard Forde).

What if the gospel is not offensive because of what it demands, but because of what it supplies? Is it possible that grace is not offensive because of what it asks of us, but because it asks for nothing? This is why most Christians are offended at grace.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

McCoy Tyner Quartet - Moment's Notice (2002)

Fly me to the moon Kenny Burrel & Ray Brown Trio

Kenny Burrell "Midnight Blue"

The AVENGERS: Red in Your Ledger

“I’ve got red in my ledger; I’d like to wipe it out.”

We can’t call our musing about The Avengers narrative themes “fully assembled” without addressing the most obvious line stated by Natasha Romanoff, admitting that she’s done some bad things in her past and wants to “settle her accounts”. We’ve dealt primarily with Loki–how he’s right, how he’s wrong, and how we’re a lot like him– but Natasha has a standout moment in the film as well.
While most of us probably don’t have her super-spy past– using her skills for the highest bidder without regard for right or wrong–and our deeds might not be considered by most to be as heinous, her conundrum is a common thread in our existence: we know we’ve done wrong, and we have some vague hope that we can add weight to some kind of cosmic scale and tip it once more on the favorable side. Call it balance, call it karma, but as Loki points out: call it elusive:
“Can you? Can you wipe out that much red? Drakoff’s daughter? Sao Paulo? The hospital fire? Barton told me everything. Your ledger is DRIPPING– it’s gushing red– and you think saving a man no more virtuous than yourself will change anything? This is the basest sentimentality. This is a child at prayer. Pathetic… you pretend to be separate, to have your own code, something that makes up for the horrors. But they are a part of you, and they will NEVER go away.” – Loki
While it’s true that Natasha Romanoff gets to play a part in literally saving the world during the course of the Avengers film– or at least millions of lives in New York City– Loki raises a valid point. Does moving forward and doing good deeds heal all the pain for the people she’s hurt in the past? Does her valiant efforts for others comfort the families of the lives the “Black Widow” previously snuffed out? Does fighting to stop Loki bring those dead in her former wake, the intended victims and additional collateral damage, back to life?
Newsflash: people aren’t numbers in a ledger, and atonement isn’t simple math. Forgiveness isn’t just doing better next time, and although Natasha might be “paying it forward” now, how does that possibly pay anything backward? Loki doesn’t just mock her numbers and totals, he calls her whole worldview into question. Like a serpent in the garden, he spits out quite a few true statements… but then twists the ending, concluding that because she has NO way of truly addressing the “red”(atoning for her sins) and that they can “never” go away.
It’s the great answer we’ve all sought at one time or another, if we have any conscience left at all. We’ve all hurt others in some way– practically, physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually– and may be trapped in the same vicious circle as Natasha Romanoff, trying to reconcile our own life accounts, downplaying and justifying how we’re dealing with the red in our ledgers. Natasha sees her problem, and Loki rightly points out she’ll never settle her OWN accounts… but neither has an answer, and the film leaves it for contemplation
 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” - Romans 4:7-8
Red in the ledger would equal debt, and this is exactly why Jesus Christ taught his followers to pray to his Father God in heaven, the famous “Lord’s prayer” in which we ask him to “forgive our debt, as we forgive our debtors”. A life of grace walks in the reality that Jesus died to forgive the red in our ledgers, to cancel the debt of sin and offer freedom and reconciliation not by our own merit. We don’t balance cosmic scales. True heroes are those not desperately seeking their own reconciliation, but walking in confidence and mirroring that God-initiated love and forgiveness by forgiving our debtors, by emulating that offering (as God has redeemed and forgiven us). Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray… And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. - James 5:13-15
It’s great to see a heroic and even powerful character wrestling (as we do) with just how her accumulated sin might be dealt with and how redemption works out… to realize her shortcomings, suffer the doubts we all share at one time or another, squirm under that gut-wrenching guilt and shame that pervades even as she tries to conceal it, bury it, or take comfort in imminent victories to offset the gnawing reality at the back of her brain.
While the Black Widow is fiction, here’s hoping those presently struggling like her don’t spend the rest of their lives caught in that never-ending battle.

We’ve got red in our ledgers; the blood of Jesus can wipe it out.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Regina Spektor - "All The Rowboats" [Official Music Video]

Eric Clapton & Derek Trucks "Why does love got to be so sad" Live 2007

Brainstorming with Darth Vader

What Heaven and Hell are Like

Capon’s Parable of Gracious Infidelity: The Marriage to Merit-Demerit

So often we talk about how much we hunger for the burden to be taken from us; we beg mercy. We communicate a wanting for something other than the mode of exchange that so elementally buries us. And yet, and yet, most of the time, we don’t really want it. Our bondage, our birthwrought marriage, subsumes even our desires–that our fidelity to the Law (and its punishment!) fills the comprehensive whole, to the very inner-self. Freedom renders anxiety. When it comes down to it, we want the Preacher of Proving, we want the Very Right Reverend Reciprocity. This from Chapter One of Robert Farrar Capon’s Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace.
We are uneasy with the grace of a simply successful love affair not because it is unrealistically dull but because it is all too obviously dangerous. It threatens to blow apart the imagined framework by which we hold ourselves, however inconveniently, in one piece. As long as the law is upon us, we feel safe. Its b****ing, score-evening presence assures us that something out there has our number. Whether it approves or disapproves of us is almost a matter of indifference; the main thing is that, having our number, it absolves from the burden of learning our name. The law of retribution reigns supreme in our fantasies precisely to keep us off the main question of our lives: What would you do with freedom if you had it?
…Restore to us, Preacher, the comfort of merit and demerit. Prove for us that there is at least something we can do, that we are still, at whatever dim recess of our nature, the masters of our relationships. Tell us, Prophet, that in spite of all our nights of losing, there will be be one redeeming card of our very own to fill the inside straight we have so long and so earnestly tried to draw to. But do not preach us grace. It will not do to split the pot evenly at 4 A.M. and break out the Chivas Regal. We insist on being reckoned with. Give us something, anything; but spare us the indignity of this indiscriminate acceptance (6-7).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eric Clapton - Change the World

Oscar Peterson - Keeping The Groove Alive - A Documentary on Oscar Peterson

Late Night Jokes 2/15/12

The average college graduate now leaves school $27,000 in debt. But the good news is that now it means they are more than qualified to work as financial advisers at JPMorgan. (Leno)

President Obama went on "The View." He went on "The View" because they're the only group of women the president trusts his Secret Service agents to be around. (Conan)

The head of the banking giant JPMorgan has apologized for losing over $2 billion in a bad trade. This morning he said, "Hey, it could have been worse. We could have signed Albert Pujols." (Conan)

Television is cruel. You know how the cast of "CSI: Miami" found out they were being canceled? They were doing an autopsy on a guy and they found the pink slip in his stomach. (Letterman)

Officials in London plan to use high-pitched and painful sounds to disperse large crowds at the Olympics this summer. Or as the cast of "The View" put it, "Looks like we're going to the Olympics!" (Fallon)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others perform "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the 2004 Hall of Fame Inductions.

Jeff Healey - While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Late Night With David Letterman

The Jeff Healey Band on David Letterman - November, 1992!!

Grace Is Not God's Response To Anything In Us!

Grace is something that comes to us entirely from God. It comes to us in spite of ourselves. Grace is not God’s response to anything in us! This is the point of Ephesians 2:5 when he says “Even when we were dead in trespasses made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)”. A literal translation reads, “By grace you have been saved completely in past time with the present result that you are in a state of salvation which persists through present time.” The whole point of Paul’s teaching on salvation is that the only thing we deserved is punishment for our sins and hell. “Grace only has meaning when men are seen as fallen, unworthy or salvation and liable to eternal wrath”.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gov't Mule - Rocking Horse

The Derek Trucks Band - Sweet Inspiration - Already Free 2009 Album

The Scope of Redemption Is as Big as the Scope of Creation

Mike Williams, Professor of Systematic Theology at Covenant Seminary and author of the wonderful and needed book Far as the Curse Is Found:

Many of our students come to us having been carefully nurtured and discipled in the biblical story and have already begun to lay hold of the breadth of it. Many others, however, come only with the story of the larger culture or that of popular Christian culture or with stories that invite them to see the Christian faith as being about and relevant to only their private lives—a spiritual existence that is always to be distinguished from the life of the body, the material world, and the work-a-day world of human social existence. Students are often more than a bit surprised to hear an understanding of the gospel and the Christian life that embraces the entirety of their lives, indeed, the whole of God’s creation.

Putting the issue in the most explicit terms, the scope of God’s redemption in Christ is as big as the scope of God’s creative work. The God who sent his Son to die for me is the God who created all things in the first place, and His redemptive goal is nothing less than to push sin out of every inch and aspect of His creation. I have been redeemed in Christ for a purpose: to be a redemptive agent in the reclamation of “all things.” We should not miss what is at stake here. God is jealous for his works. He surrenders nothing to the forces of sin and death. If the Kingdom of God stands for the realization of God’s good will in the world (an affirmation and living out of the way things ought to be) then the loving grace of God lays claim to all things, destroying the Devil’s work and returning every bit of God’s world—every aspect, place, and thought—to its rightful Lord.
Dane Ortlund

Good Grief! The Press Is Insane

Jeff Beck - Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Jeff Healey - I´m Torn Down

Norman Jeffrey "Jeff" Healey (March 25, 1966 – March 2, 2008) was a blind Canadian jazz and blues-rock vocalist and guitarist who attained musical and personal popularity, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s.

Jeff Healey Band - "The Thrill Is Gone" - 10-09-03 - Toronto, Canada

Eric Clapton & Jeff Healey - Crossroads - Live 08 25 1990

The great Jeff Healey invited by clapton one day before The legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan died. For Jeff & Stevie

Unanswerable Who Questions

If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?
It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? . . .
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
(Romans 8:31-35, 11:33-36 ESV)

Justin Taylor

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" - Derek and the Dominos

From the Layla album. Eric Clapton - guitar/vocals Bobby Whitlock - organ Duane Allman - guitar Alby Galuten - piano Carl Radle - bass Jim Gordon - drums

"Key to the Highway" - Derek and the Dominos


WITH CARL PERKINS AND JOHNNY CASH. What a flash from the past.

Report: Lovitz Put Career in Jeopardy by Critiquing Obama

The Left routinely regales us of the horrors of the Blacklist, the time in history when speaking your mind politically could prevent you from working in the entertainment industry, or even spell jail time.

Yet there's little outrage when conservative entertainers share stories of losing gigs for not publicly declaring their allegiance to the Democratic party.
The latest tale involves comedian Jon Lovitz, the "Saturday Night Live" alum who publicly blasted President Barack Obama's policies. The move granted Lovitz a maelstrom of press - and a higher profile in an industry that often turns on exposure.
But BuzzFeed reports Lovitz's pals were worried about the fallout from his unexpurgated comments.
Lovitz’s friends had warned him to dial it back, worried that trashing a Democratic president could hurt his career. But Obama’s popularity had tanked so far down among the glitterati, he was unconcerned. “He is a f***ing asshole,” Lovitz told me, before heading onto the CNN set for his interview.
So, if Obama's poll numbers were higher Lovitz might find it hard to get a new gig? Can we expect any outrage about this? Likely not.
Big Hollywood

Friday, May 11, 2012

John Donne: Holy Sonnets - Iron Heart

Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?
Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste;
I run to death, and death meets me as fast,
And all my pleasures are like yesterday.
I dare not move my dim eyes any way,
Despair behind, and death before doth cast
Such terror, and my feeble flesh doth waste
By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh.
Only thou art above, and when towards thee
By thy leave I can look, I rise again;
But our old subtle foe so tempteth me
That not one hour myself I can sustain.
Thy grace may wing me to prevent his art,
And thou like adamant draw mine iron heart.


Johnny Cash - Big Iron

Oscar Peterson - Love Ballade

Oscar In Paris: Oscar Peterson Live At The Salle Pleyel One of my favorite Oscar Peterson songs. The first time I heard it was on Live at the Blue Note which is also one of my favorite albums. This song has always hit my heart in the right way its hard to describe but it resonates deep in my soul.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why We Need Signs

The Main Reason Christians Grow So Slowly

Archibald Alexander (1772-1851), founder of Princeton Seminary:

It seems desirable to ascertain, as precisely as we can, the reasons why Christians commonly are of so diminutive a stature and of such feeble strength in their religion.

When persons are truly converted they always are sincerely desirous to make rapid progress in piety; and there are not wanting exceeding great and gracious promises of aid to encourage them to go forward with alacrity. Why then is so little advancement made? Are there not some practical mistakes very commonly entertained, which are the cause of this slowness of growth?

I think there are, and will endeavour to specify some of them.

And first, there is a defect in our belief of the freeness of divine grace.

To exercise unshaken confidence in the doctrine of gratuitous pardon is one of the most difficult things in the world; and to preach this doctrine fully without verging towards antinomianism is no easy task, and is therefore seldom done. But Christians cannot but be lean and feeble when deprived of the proper nutriment. It is by faith, that the spiritual life is made to grow; and the doctrine of free grace, without any mixture of human merit, is the only true object of faith.

Christians are too much inclined to depend on themselves, and not to derive their life entirely from Christ. There is a spurious legal religion, which may flourish without the practical belief in the absolute freeness of divine grace, but it possesses none of the characteristics of the Christian's life. . . . Even when the true doctrine is acknowledged, in theory, often it is not practically felt and acted on. The new convert lives upon his frames, rather than on Christ; and the older Christian still is found struggling in his own strength . . . and then he sinks into a gloomy despondency. . . .
Here, I am persuaded, is the root of the evil; and until religious teachers inculcate clearly, fully, and practically, the grace of God as manifested in the gospel, we shall have no vigorous growth of piety among professing Christians. 
--Archibald Alexander, Thoughts on Religious Experience (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1844), 201-2
Dane Ortlund

Lucinda Williams - Side of the Road

Regina Spektor - Blue Lips

Eric Clapton - Got You On My Mind (Live Video Version)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Liars and Villains

It seems I must have liars and villains for opponents. I am not worthy in the sight of God that a godly and honorable person should discuss these matters with me in a Christian way. This is my greatest lament.
From Defense and Explanation of All the Articles, pg. 99 of Luther's Works, Vol. 32

Brian Wilson - Let It Shine

Diana Krall - Night Train

Composed by Oscar Washington & Jimmy Forrest (with lyrics by Lewis P. Simpkins), based on a composition by Duke Ellington. With Christian McBride, bass, and Karriem Riggins, drums. From a program in the series "Elvis Costello with ...", 2008, where Diana Krall was the guest, and Elton John stepped in as program leader instead of Elvis Costello. Diana Krall was a friend to Oscar Peterson for the last five years of his life (he died in december 2007).

Oscar Peterson- Bach's Blues

Vinnie Jones' hard and fast Hands-only CPR (funny short film)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Cross As Moral Striving? - Luther’s Down-To-Earth Approach To The Gospel.

Bad PR dies hard. Somehow, the word got out that Christianity is about moral reform and our inner 2nd-grade, grumpy-pants teacher has been looking over our shoulders  since. Despite the insistence of St. Paul, Luther, Calvin and a host of other Reformers, faithful laymen and preachers that we’re free in Christ, we’ve had a 2,000 year battle on our hands since. There are plenty of bumper sticker falsehoods floating around and we’ve seen them all. You know, “Do your best, and God does the rest. “Just follow your heart”. Or America’s favorite (non) verse “God helps those who help themselves.” The sentiment is always the same, that our problem can somehow be remedied by some spiritual life coaching and hard work. But the human problem isn’t solved by barking at people to get to work climbing the spirituality ladder. We don’t need to take spiritual vitamins, we need a death and resurrection! Here’s another Forde-ian surgical strike for your enjoyment from pg 49 of Where God Meets Man: Luther’s Down-To-Earth Approach To The Gospel.

 Pelagius was a moral reformer and like all moral reformers he didn’t want a theology that allowed people to relax. So he said that man must use his God-given strength to climb the ladder. Sin is not original, it is only a bad habit that humans have gotten into. It is passed on by imitation not by heredity. What we must do is bend every effort to better ourselves and reverse the course of immorality and corruption the world has taken. To arms against evil!
 That was Pelagius’ call. But the church from the beginning has resisted this call-at least in the precise form in which Pelagius put it. Why? Because, as St.Augustine-with St. Paul- said, it makes the cross of no effect. It is a call to man’s pride and pride is the deadliest of sins-especially when it thinks itself to be busy with religious affairs. It is a call which completely disregards the fact that it was man’s moral pride and religious fervor that killed God’s Son. It sets men climbing the heavenly ladder indeed, but it has no grace. It only grinds real humanity in the dust. In other words, it does not take the Grace of God as revealed in the cross at it’s word. There is no room left for mercy and love. The cross is only an example of moral striving. It is a complete misreading both of divine action and the human condition.


Ringo Starr - Don't Go Where The Road Don't Go

George Harrison - Cloud 9

Jeff Lynne - Lift Me Up - Remastered

Lift Me Up is the second single released from Jeff Lynne's Armchair Theatre album.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Eric Clapton - "Goin' Down Slow" [Live Video Version-One More Car]

Do You Deserve The Foul Ball? A Flow Chart

Eric Clapton - Blue Eyes Blue (Video)

What to Look for and Expect in the Gospels, According to Martin Luther

An excerpt from this short but powerful treatise from 1521:
“Be sure, moreover, that you do not make Christ into a Moses, as if Christ did nothing more than teach and provide examples as the other saints do, as if the gospel were simply a textbook of teachings or laws. Therefore you should grasp Christ, his words, works, and sufferings, in a twofold manner. First as an example that is presented to you, which you should follow and imitate. As St. Peter says in I Peter 4 [2:21], ‘Christ suffered for us, thereby leaving us an example.’ Thus when you see how he prays, fasts, helps people, and shows them love, so also you should do, both for yourself and for your neighbor. However this is the smallest part of the gospel, on the basis of which it cannot yet even be called gospel. For on this level Christ is of no more help to you than some other saint. His life remains his own and does not as yet contribute anything to you.
In short this mode [of understanding Christ] does not make Christians but only hypocrites. You must grasp Christ at a much higher level. Even though this higher level has for a long time been the very best, the preaching of it has been something rare. The chief article and foundation of the gospel is that before you take Christ as an example, you accept and recognize him as gift, as a present that God has given you and that is your own. This means that when you see or hear of Christ doing or suffering something, you do not doubt that Christ himself, with his deeds and suffering, belongs to you. On this you may depend as surely as if you had done it yourself; indeed as if you were Christ himself. See, this is what it means to have a proper grasp of the gospel, that is, of the overwhelming goodness of God, which which neither prophet, nor apostle, nor angel was ever able fully to express, and which no heart could adequately fathom or marvel at. This is the great fire of the love of God for us, whereby the heart and conscience become happy, secure, and content. This is what preaching the Christian faith means. This is why such preaching is called gospel, which in German means a joyful, good, and comforting ‘message’; and this is why the apostles are called the ‘twelve messengers.’”