Friday, August 31, 2012

Jimmie Vaughan & Kim Wilson - High and Lonesome

Kim Wilson - Fflat Booggie - Amazing!

Carey Bell - Blues with a Feeling

American Folk Blues Festival 1983 feat. Carey Bell - She's Worse

Carey Bell - vocal/harmonica, Louisiana Red - guitar, Jimmy Rodgers - guitar, Lovie Lee - piano, Queen Sylvia Embry - bass, Charles"Honey Boy"Otis - drums recorded live in Germany 1983

Look Up!

Cultivate the habit of fixing your eye more simply on Jesus Christ, and try to know more of the fullness there is laid up in Him for every one of His believing people.
Do not be always poring down over the imperfections of your own heart, and dissecting your own besetting sins.
Look up.
Look more to your risen Head in heaven, and try to realize more than you do that the Lord Jesus not only died for you, but that He also rose again, and that He is ever living at God’s right hand as your Priest, your Advocate, and your Almighty Friend.
When the Apostle Peter “walked upon the waters to go to Jesus,” he got on very well as long as his eye was fixed upon his Almighty Master and Savior. But when he looked away to the winds and waves, and reasoned, and considered his own strength, and the weight of his body, he soon began to sink, and cried, “Lord, save me.” No wonder that our gracious Lord, while grasping his hand and delivering him from a watery grave, said, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Alas! many of us are very like Peter–we look away from Jesus, and then our hearts faint, and we feel sinking (Mat. 14:28-31).  (J.C. Ryle)
Justin Taylor

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Key to the Highway" - Derek and the Dominos with Duane Allman

Derek and the Dominos & Allman Brothers Band - Jam IV (Part 1/2)

Eric Clapton - "My Father's Eyes" [Live Video Version]

Faith Will Become Sight

From the Epilogue of Jonathan Dodson's, "Gospel-Centered Discipleship." This was too good not to post.

"One day the fight will be over. Faith will become sight. Our image will be perfectly aligned with Christ's image. Our affection for Christ will be so strong that it will be chief among ten thousand. All competitors for his attention will bow before him, and we will recover a childish, yet mature delight that will never cease to thrill our souls. Every act will be a natural act of obedience sparked by joy. The warnings will fade and the promises will be fulfilled. Threats will no longer be necessary and rewards will abound. The Spirit will have full sway in our gladdened hearts as we live forever in Spirit-led worship. We will no longer lean toward performance or license. The gospel will be central forever. Our conversions will be complete, our community characterized by love, and our mission colored in worship. We will no longer know our sin, fight our sin, or struggle to trust our Savior. Until then, may God grant us his sovereign grace to fight the good fight of faith, for our joy, and for his eternal glory."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven (Official Video)

"Tears in Heaven" is a ballad written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings about the pain Clapton felt following the death of his four-year-old son, Conor, who fell from a window of the 53rd-floor New York apartment of his mother's friend, on March 20, 1991. Clapton, who arrived at the apartment shortly after the accident, was visibly distraught for months afterwards.

Otis Clay - Piece Of My Heart

Alvin "Youngblood" Hart - Sway

Oh Come, Angel Band - Mumford and Sons at Dixon Theatre

Mumford and Sons with Abigail Washburn and Jerry Douglas perform at Historic Dixon Theatre, and close the night with an acoustic rendition of Johnny Cash's "Oh Come, Angel Band."

Don't Presume Your Relationship With God Based On Your Heritage

"Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, 
'we have Abraham as our Father,' for I tell you, 
God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham."
Matthew 3:9

In this passage, John the Baptist is speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees as they came to him to be baptized. John's message to the religious leaders was clear (like it was clear to the other people he preached to in Matthew 3:1-2). They needed to repent. In this case, it meant repenting from their presuming upon God. What exactly was their presumption ?
According to the passage, the Pharisees and Scribes assumed their position with God based on their religious heritage. They presumed that they were children of God because they were from the same bloodline as Abraham. They were good with God because of their tradition.
I love the gospel because it speaks to each of us in our self-inflated efforts to gain God's acceptance. It bids us to repent; to literally turn from trusting ourselves, to trusting in Christ. To those who think they are good with God because they are moral people, the message of repentance is that we could never be good enough to earn God's acceptance. In fact, the only one who did that was Jesus. Therefore, we must turn from our own moral record and trust Christ's moral record on our behalf. To those who try to be their own god, the message is repent. Turn from trusting yourself as god and turn to the one true and living God. To those who think they are good with God because they come from a rich religious tradition, God's message is repent. Your religious heritage cannot save you; only I can. So, stop trusting in yourself and turn to trust in me. Don't assume you are a true child of Abraham and thus a child of God because of your families religious tradition.
This makes me ask, in what ways do I presume upon God? In what ways do I think my self-efforts earn my acceptance with God. To me, I can imagine this passage saying something like, "Do not presume to yourself that you are a child of God just because you go to seminary, or because you are an active member at a church, or because you are in ministry."None of those are bad things. However, when we trust in these 'things' to give us acceptance before God, they are wrong. The gospel is that we are only accepted by God by grace through faith. It is Christ's finish work that gains our acceptance. There is nothing we could ever do to earn it. To attempt to do so, is to minimize Jesus Christ as our Savior. This is what this passage demands we repent of. Join me in doing so. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Larry Norman - 3 - Why Don't You Look Into Jesus - Only Visiting This Planet (1972)

Bob Dylan - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (1965)

Canned Heat - On The Road Again [HQ]

Howlin' Wolf - Spoonful

Willie Dixon - I Can't Quit You Baby

The Cross is the Foundation of the Bible

“The cross is so extensive a field for meditation, that, though we traverse it ever so often, we need never resume the same track: and it is such a marvellous fountain of blessedness to the soul, that if we have ever drunk of its refreshing streams, we shall find none other so pleasant to our taste.”
—Charles Simeon, Horae Homileticae (1832), vol. 8, p. 323.
“The cross is the foundation of the Bible: If you have not yet found out that Christ crucified is the foundation of the whole volume, you have hitherto read your Bible to very little profit. Your religion is a heaven without a sun, an arch without a keystone, a compass without a needle, a clock without a spring or weights, a lamp without oil. It will not comfort you; it will not deliver your soul from hell.”
—J.C. Ryle, Old Paths (London, 1977), p. 248.
“There is no end to this glorious message of the cross , for there is always something new and fresh and entrancing and moving and uplifting that one has never seen before.
—D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Cross: God’s Way of Salvation (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1986), xiii.
“Oh that I could have the cross painted on my eyeballs, that I could not see anything except through the medium of my Savior’s passion! Oh, Jesus . . . let me wear the pledge forever where it is conspicuous before my soul’s eyes.”
—Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “The Lord’s Supper—Simple But Sublime!” (1866), Sermon #3151, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit.
All cited in James M. Gordon, Evangelical Spirituality (SPCK, 1991; Wipf & Stock, 2006).

Justin Taylor

Monday, August 27, 2012

Compared To What - by pianist Les McCann and saxophonist Eddie Harris

Cannonball Adderley Quintet "Mercy Mercy Mercy"

Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound Of Silence [HD]

What Did Augustine Mean by “Earthly City?”

A helpful primer from James K. A. Smith, who reminds us that Augustine’s “earthly city” begins with the Fall, not creation:
The phrase comes down to us from Augustine’s magisterial work of cultural criticism, The City of God (civitas Dei, completed around 427 A.D.). In this work, Augustine distinguishes the “City of God” from what he variously describes as “the city of this world,” the “earthly city,” and the City of Man. These two cities or societies or “peoples” are marked by the standards by which they live: the earthly city lives by the standard of the flesh, whereas the City of God lives by the Spirit (14.1-4). What ultimately distinguishes the two are their loves: “We see then that the two cities were created by two kinds of love: the earthly city was created by self-love reaching the point of contempt for God, the Heavenly City by the love of God carried as far as contempt of self” (14.28).
For Augustine, then, the earthly city begins with the Fall, not with creation. The earthly city is not coincident with creation; it originates with sin. This is why Augustine sets the City of God in opposition to the earthly city: they are defined and animated by fundamentally different loves. So the earthly city should not be confused with the merely “temporal” city or the material world. It is not identical to the territory of creation; rather, for Augustine, the earthly city is a systemic—and disordered—configuration of creaturely life. However, this does not mean that Augustine cedes material, cultural, creaturely life entirely to the evil one. The City of God is not just otherworldly: the City of God is that “society” of people—that civitas—who are called to embody a foretaste of the social and cultural life that God desires for this world.
Augustine doesn’t invoke the earthly city in order to motivate Christians to care about this-worldly cultural life. His theology of creation already does that. The analysis of the earthly city is instead cautionary, pressing Christians to recognize that cultural systems are often fundamentally dis-ordered, in need of both resistance and reordering by Christian labor in all streams of culture. And as we can see from his letters, Augustine involved himself in such work. There you’ll find the bishop invested in the concrete realities of politics and civic life.
Augustine doesn’t use the term “earthly city” to carve up reality into a “heavenly” second story and an “earthly” first floor. No, both the earthly city and the City of God are rival visions of heaven and earth. So the “earthly city” is more like Babylon than the Garden. But even this fundamental antithesis doesn’t give us permission to retreat into holy huddles or simply castigate the earthly city.
You can read the whole post here.

Justin Taylor

Saturday, August 25, 2012

George Whitefield on The Love of Jesus

It is condescending love, it is amazing, it is forgiving love, it is dying love, it is exalted and interceding love and it is glorified love.
I am talking of the love of Jesus Christ, who loved me before I loved him. He saw us polluted in blood, full of sores, a slave to sin, to death and hell, running to destruction, then he passed by me and said unto my soul, 'Live,' he snatched me as a brand plucked from the burning.
It was love that saved me, it was all of the free grace of God and that only.
--George Whitefield, 'Christ the Support of the Tempted,' a sermon preached in 1740 in England, from Lee Gatiss, ed., The Sermons of George Whitefield (2 vols; Crossway, 2012), 1:341

Dane Ortlund

Beck, Bogert & Appice - Superstition

Grand Funk Railroad - Some Kind of Wonderful

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones - Schratch and Sniff

Rory Gallagher: Amazing Grace, Walking Blues, Blue Moon of Kentucky

One of the last great concerts of Rory Gallagher in 1994. Here 3 truly outstanding acoustic songs, performed live at Montreux, accompanied by Harp player Mark Feltham and Béla Fleck on the Banjo

Rory Gallagher - Banker Blues

Friday, August 24, 2012

Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood - Forever Man (Live At Madison Square Garden)

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Crossfire

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

Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman (from Black & White Night)

Roy Orbison performs "Oh, Pretty Woman" as the finale of the Black & White Night Concert. Backed by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, James Burton, Glen D. Hardin, Tom Waits, kd lang, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, T Bone Burnett, Steven Soles, and Jennifer Warnes. Recorded September 30, 1987

On the Death of Self

I was thinking this week about how Christians tend to think about “dying to self”. Certainly there’s something to be said for the mortification of the flesh, fighting sin and all that. But what if Jesus’ call to lose your life in order to gain it was less of a call to selling all your possessions in an everything-must-go yard sale and more of a passive…dying. As in, the death is not something we achieve, but something we receive? Ladies and gentlemen, the unsurpassed, late-great Dr. Gerhard Forde (from his “Sermon on the Death of Self”):

 “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!”
Can you see it? Can you see that really the last, bitter death is there? That in that cross God has stormed the last bastion of the self, the last presumption that you really were going to do something for him? Can you see that the death of Jesus Christ is your death? He has died in your place! He has done it. He made it. He created a salvation in the midst of time and his enemies. He is God happening to you. 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 new birth of the new creature. He died to make a new crea­ture of you, and as he arose, to raise you up to trust God alone.
If you can see it, perhaps then you can see, or perhaps at least begin to see, what is the power of God’s grace and rejoice. For that is the other side of the coin once you have gotten out of your self-enclosed system. Then perhaps you can turn away from yourself, maybe really for the first time, and look upon your neighbors. Maybe for the first time you can begin to receive creation as a gift, a sheer gift from God’s hands. And who knows what might happen in the power of this grace? All possibilities are open. You might sell your car, or even give it away – for someone else. You might find even that you could swallow your pride and stage a protest march – for your neighbor – or begin to seek to in­fluence the power structures! For in the power of his cross the way is open! The way is open to begin, at least, perhaps in faltering ways, in countless little ways, to realize what it means to die to self. For that, in the final analysis, is his gift to you, the free gift of the new man, the new woman, the one who can live in faith and hope, for whom all possibili­ties are open!”


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sheer Grace

Sheer Grace
Even though we are now in faith . . . the heart is always ready to boast of itself before God and say: 'After all, I have preached so long and lived so well and done so much, surely he will take this into account.' We even want to haggle with God to make him regard our life. . . .

But it cannot be done. With men you may boast: I have done the best I could toward everyone, and if anything is lacking I will still try to make recompense. But when you come before God, leave all that boasting at home and remember to appeal from justice to grace. Let anybody try this and he will see and experience how exceedingly hard and bitter a thing it is for a man, who all his life has been mired in his work righteousness, to pull himself out of it and with all his heart rise up through faith in the one Mediator.

I myself have now been preaching and cultivating it through reading and writing for almost twenty years and still I feel the old clinging dirt of wanting to deal so with God that I may contribute something, so that he will have to give me his grace in exchange for my holiness. Still I cannot get it into my head that I should surrender myself completely to sheer grace; yet this is what I should and must do.
--Luther's Works 51:284

Robert Plant & Band of Joy - Twelve gates to the city / I bid you goodnight

Buddy Miller - Wide River To Cross - Backstage: Tennessee Shines

Susan Tedeschi "Don't think Twice" - Bob Dylan cover

Survival Tips For Men

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eric Clapton & The Powerhouse - Steppin' Out

Powerhouse was formed with full intention of being a short-lived studio project. In 1965 and 1966, American record producer Joe Boyd was in the process of opening a London office for Elektra Records and was looking for some British talent to feature on the first release from the label's local division, a sampler compilation album. Manfred Mann's singer Paul Jones suggested putting together an all-star band to mark the occasion. The band starred Eric Clapton (guitar), and featured Paul Jones (harmonica) and Jack Bruce (bass) from Manfred Mann, Steve Winwood aka "Steve Anglo" (vocals) and Pete York (drums) from the Spencer Davis Group, and Ben Palmer (piano) who had previously played with Clapton.

Juke - Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters & Little Walter

Super Blues Band - Little Red Rooster - Muddy Waters Howlin' Wolf Bo Diddley

How To Control Your Temper

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Muddy Waters - You're Gonna Miss Me (When I'm Dead and Gone)

Johnny Winter / Mean Mistreater

Little Walter - Key To The Highway

Not Just Luther: Augustine on the Distinction Between Law and Gospel

Some scholars of the Protestant Reformation fault Martin Luther’s psychological insecurities for his obsession with grace and Christian freedom. The implication being that Luther reinterpreted grace as a means of self-medication and that consequently, we should be skeptical of Luther and other Reformers who advocated the primacy of grace.
Yet, this is far from the case. The Reformers were not the first! Augustine of Hippo, who predates Luther by over 1,000 years, was hot on the same trail, which led, of course, straight back to the Apostle Paul and Jesus himself. Augustine was adamant that people are completely helpless apart from God. So just a little help, a few instructions (aka the “law”) to live morally and to be better people isn’t enough. We need something, someone far greater (aka “grace”) to do what we cannot do. Some see this kind of dependence as weakness, an affront to the American value of the “self-made person.” I think it’s freeing.
Here’s an excerpt from Augustine’s On the Grace of Christ:
Thus the law and grace are so different that the law is not only useless but actually an obstacle in many ways unless grace assists. This shows, moreover, the function of the law: it makes people guilty of transgression and forces them to take refuge in grace in order to be liberated and helped to overcome evil desires. It commands more than liberates; it diagnoses illness but does not cure. Indeed, far from healing the infirmity, the law actually makes it worse in order to move a person to seek the medicine of grace more anxiously and insistently, because “the letter kills but the spirit gives life” [2 Cor. 3:6].

Friday, August 17, 2012

Otis Spann and Muddy Waters - Nobody Knows My Trouble ( HD - LIVE - 1968 )

John mayall 70th birthday with Eric Clapton & The Bluesbreakers - I'm Tore Down

The Difference between a Theologian of the Cross and a Theologian of Glory

Carl Trueman on “the most glorious contribution of Martin Luther to theological discourse,” first revealed in Heidelberg during a meeting in 1518:
At the heart of this new theology was the notion that God reveals himself under his opposite; or, to express this another way, God achieves his intended purposes by doing the exact opposite of that which humans might expect.  The supreme example of this is the cross itself: God triumphs over sin and evil by allowing sin and evil to triumph (apparently) over him.  His real strength is demonstrated through apparent weakness.  This was the way a theologian of the cross thought about God.
The opposite to this was the theologian of glory.  In simple terms, the theologian of glory assumed that there was basic continuity between the way the world is and the way God is: if strength is demonstrated through raw power on earth, then God’s strength must be the same, only extended to infinity.  To such a theologian, the cross is simply foolishness, a piece of nonsense.
Trueman goes on to ask where the theologians of the cross are to be found today:
At this Reformation season, we should not reduce the insights of Luther simply to justification by grace through faith. In fact, this insight is itself inseparable from the notion of that of the theologians of the cross. Sad to say, it is often hard to discern where these theologians of the cross are to be found. Yes, many talk about the cross, but the cultural norms of many churches seem no different to the cultural norms of—well, the culture. They often indicate an attitude to power and influence that sees these things as directly related to size, market share, consumerist packaging, aesthetics, youth culture, media appearances, swagger and the all-round noise and pyrotechnics we associate with modern cinema rather than New Testament Christianity. These are surely more akin to what Luther would have regarded as symptomatic of the presence and influence of theologians of glory rather than the cross. An abstract theology of the cross can quite easily be packaged and marketed by a theologian of glory. And this is not to point the finger at `them’: in fact, if we are honest, most if not all of us feel the attraction of being theologians of glory. Not surprising, given that being a theologian of glory is the default position for fallen human nature.
The way to move from being a theologian of glory to a theologian of the cross is not an easy one, not simply a question of mastering techniques, reading books or learning a new vocabulary. It is repentance.
Justin Taylor

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Joe Biden Jokes

It was 109 degrees today in Los Angeles. It was so hot today; Joe Biden was putting his foot in his mouth just to cool it off.

President Obama visited a wind farm in Iowa. You know, just one wind farm with 50 turbines generates as much wind power as a single Joe Biden speech.

The White House just revealed that it brews its own beer, and President Obama drinks it when he goes out campaigning — and even more of it when Joe Biden goes out campaigning.

“Sorry, I don’t believe in revolution” — History vs Biology

Blue Condition (Clapton singing) - Cream

Tales of Brave Ulysses by Cream

Cream - World of Pain

How The Gospel Liberates Us

Silly Peter:

'Before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles, but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party' (Gal 2:12).

Fellowship broke.
Now how does Paul handle this? Certainly, he rebukes Peter—'I opposed him to his face' (2:11). 

Yet how does Paul do this? What is his diagnosis?

Paul identifies Peter’s error as gospel error. 'I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel' (2:14). What was Peter’s mistake? Gospel leakage.
But in what way was Peter's heart leaking out gospel? How specifically was he not believing the gospel?

The text tells us: 'fearing the circumcision party' (2:12). Fear. That was what drove Peter.

To sum up: Paul says Peter feared other men, causing him to not walk in step with the gospel, causing him to introduce all kinds of dysfunction into his relationships with other people.
I conclude: the gospel liberates us not only from fear of the judgment of God in the future but also from fear of the judgment of men in the present. By Galatians 2 Paul had already learned this (Gal 1:10). Peter had not.
In Christ we are already in. The craving to be judged positively, welcomed in, affirmed by another, brought inside—at bottom, the craving to be justified—has been met. Secured vertical in-ness empties the need for elusive horizontal in-ness. Justification by faith alone breathes health and calm and quiet into our relationships. Remember, it is on the immediate heels of this passage, right here in Galatians 2, that Paul pens the most famous words in all the Bible on justification by faith (Gal 2:16). 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Buried Alive In The Blues - Chicago Blues Reunion 2010 - Rehearsal & Chicago Blues Fest Performance

Cyndi Lauper - Just Your Fool (feat. Charlie Musselwhite) (Live)

More Important than Knowing God

J. I. Packer:
What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it—the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands [Isa. 49:16]. I am never out of his mind. All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.
This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort—the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates—in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.
Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 41-42, emphasis added.

Al Green - Here I Am (Come And Take Me)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why We Still Haven’t Found What We’re Looking For

C. S. Lewis:
If we are made for heaven, the desire for our proper place will be already in us, but not yet attached to the true object, and will even appear as the rival of that object. . . . If a transtemporal, transfinite good is our real destiny, then any other good on which our desire fixes must be in some degree fallacious, must bear at best only a symbolical relation to what will truly satisfy.
In speaking of this desire for our own far-off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both.
We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience.
We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name.
Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter. Wordsworth’s expedient was to identify it with certain moments in his own past. But all this is a cheat. If Wordsworth had gone back to those moments in the past, he would not have found the thing itself, but only the reminder of it; what he remembered would turn out to be itself a remembering. The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.
Do you think I am trying to weave a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them. And you and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness which has been laid upon us for nearly a hundred years. Almost our whole education has been directed to silencing this shy, persistent, inner voice; almost all our modem philosophies have been devised to convince us that the good of man is to be found on this earth. And yet it is a remarkable thing that such philosophies of Progress or Creative Evolution themselves bear reluctant witness to the truth that our real goal is elsewhere. When they want to convince you that earth is your home, notice how they set about it.
They begin by trying to persuade you that earth can be made into heaven, thus giving a sop to your sense of exile in earth as it is.
Next, they tell you that this fortunate event is still a good way off in the future, thus giving a sop to your knowledge that the fatherland is not here and now.
Finally, lest your longing for the transtemporal should awake and spoil the whole affair, they use any rhetoric that comes to hand to keep out of your mind the recollection that even if all the happiness they promised could come to man on earth, yet still each generation would lose it by death, including the last generation of all, and the whole story would be nothing, not even a story, for ever and ever. . . .
Do what they will, then, we remain conscious of a desire which no natural happiness will satisfy. But is there any reason to suppose that reality offers any satisfaction to it? “Nor does the being hungry prove that we have bread.” But I think it may be urged that this misses the point. A man’s physical hunger does not prove that that man will get any bread; he may die of starvation on a raft in the Atlantic. But surely a man’s hunger does prove that he comes of a race which repairs its body by eating and inhabits a world where eatable substances exist.
In the same way, though I do not believe (I wish I did) that my desire for Paradise proves that I shall enjoy it, I think it a pretty good indication that such a thing exists and that some men will. A man may love a woman and not win her; but it would be very odd if the phenomenon called “falling in love” occurred in a sexless world.
C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory” (1962)

Emmylou Harris & Mark Knopfler - This Is Us (Letterman)

Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing

U2 ~ Grace

Friday, August 10, 2012

Eric Clapton & B.B. King- Riding With The King

Les Miserables (2012) Official Trailer [HD]: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe

The Gift of Victor Hugo

French poet and novelist, Victor Hugo was born on this day, 1802. He is best known in English because of his novels, Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
We have little hope that his spiritual pilgrimage led him to Christ and heaven. But in the providence of God, and by the grace he scatters so liberally among his adversaries, Hugo was brilliant in his blindness. The imago dei and the remnants of his Christian roots break forth—to the praise of his Maker.
There are reasons Les Misérables is a classic. Put your eye to the pinpricks of light in these excerpts.
  • A cannonball travels two thousand miles an hour; light travels two hundred thousand miles a second. Such is the superiority of Jesus Christ over Napoleon.
  • Liberation is not deliverance. A convict may leave prison behind but not his sentence.
  • The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves—say rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
  • Old age has no hold on the geniuses of the ideal; for the Dantes and the Michelangelos, to grow older is to grow greater; for the Hannibals and the Bonapartes, is it to diminish?
  • He had nothing in his favor except that he was a drunkard.
  • We bow to the man who kneels. A faith is a necessity to man. Woe to him who believes in nothing. A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor. To meditate is to labor; to think is to act.
  • Laughter is sunshine; it chases winter from the human face.
  • They ridiculed the century, which did away with the need to understand it.
  • Skepticism, that dry rot of the intellect, had not left one entire idea in his mind.
  • Life, misfortunes, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battlefields that have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.
  • Despair is surrounded by fragile walls, which all open into vice or crime. 
  • Desiring God

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cream - Crossroads (Live At The Fillmore) Wheels of Fire

Allman Brothers, "The Sky Is Crying," 12/3/2011

The Allman Brothers Band performs Elmore James' "The Sky Is Crying" on 12/3/2011 at the Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA.

Gregg Allman - Come And Go Blues

The Road (to Canterbury) Goes on Forever: Gregg Allman the Unlikely Episcopalian

I just finished reading Gregg Allman’s really-pretty-good new memoir, My Cross to Bear, and the final chapter contains a revelation too unexpected not to share here. Which isn’t to say the first eighteen chapters aren’t full of remarkable twists and turns as well. There are more than enough anecdotes to support the Almost Famous-Allman Brothers connection, and let’s just say that Gregg’s legendary proclivity for female, er, attention does not go undocumented. Nor does his distaste for one Mr. Richard Betts. But as much as debauchery and dysfunction serve as touchstones, so do sorrow and tragedy–which you might expect from the man who wrote “Whipping Post.” His brother Duane’s death in 1971 is just one in an absurdly long line of tragedies that have shaped his life (beginning with his father’s murder when Gregg was 2). Then there are the addictions. You name it, he was hooked on it, the narcotic known as Cher being only one particularly well-known example. By Gregg’s count, he had been to rehab 18 times before he finally got sober in 1996, a history made all the more extraordinary when delivered in Gregg’s back-porch prose. So by the time he gets to the conversion part of the story, it’s not exactly a hard-sell. There’s simply no way this man would/could have survived to write this book without falling to his knees at some point. What’s surprising is not that he finds God, but where he finds Him:

 I do believe in God, because somebody had to plan all this–stuff like this just doesn’t happen. I didn’t always feel that way, though. For a long time, I didn’t really believe in God, but I didn’t really not believe in him either. It just wasn’t one of my favorite subjects… Thankfully, by the time everything started going on with my liver [in 2007-08], I’d been thinking differently about all that for a while. About fifteen years ago I started wearing a cross, because I finally got some sort of spirituality…
A big part of my getting straight with God had to do with sobering up. I’ve had a life that’s gone all different places and directions, and I’ve missed out on a certain amount of stuff because of the drugs and alcohol. As I got sober, because I was so sick of missing out, I finally reached out and prayed. Before then I’d been praying for a long time, but I never seemed to get any kind of answer. Later on, though, it became clear to me and kinda hit me at once. It was such a revelation, man.
Basically, what I did, in one big fell swoop, was surrender, and with that came all the rest. My life went into something like the spin cycle of a washing machine, and when I came out, I didn’t want any more cigarettes, and I damn sure didn’t want any more liquor. Now, if I’m having a problem, or a friend of mine is having a problem, or something is keeping me from sleeping, I’ll just lay there and not really pray so much as just meditate. I get real still and talk to the Man, and he’ll help you if you ask… God is there all the time, and so is my guardian angel, or whatever it is that keeps me from self-destructing or keeps me out of harm’s way…

 One of [my ex-wife] Stacey’s strongest influences on me was to get me thinking about God. All Stacey’s people have a certain amount of faith, more than I ever had around me. She got me going to church, even though that got a little bit hinky, because people were asking me for autographs. The preacher was dynamite, and they had a full band, with horns, a killer bass player, and a choir–I loved that part of it. I hadn’t been to church in a while, because I didn’t believe in the dog-and-pony show–who can outdo who in the collection plate, that stuff bothered me. The church was so crowded, and it became such a thing, a happening, and although I met a lot of nice people, it was too much.
At one point I was going to convert to Catholicism, but they had so many rules. I have to say that the Catholic Church is very much about who has the nicest suit, the valet parking–too much about the money. I don’t think you have to dress up or show God a bunch of gold for him to forgive you your sins, love you, and guide you. Then I went to an Episcopal church in Daytona, and it just felt right. The Episcopal Church isn’t about gimme, gimme, gimme. The Episcopalians are like enlightened Catholics. They have the faith, but they’re a little more open-minded.
Now I sit here in my house in Savannah, look out over the water at the oaks, and know that I have a reason to live. After all I’ve been through, I can’t help but feel I’ve been redeemed, over and over. (pg 366-368)
While one would certainly be curious to visit one of these Catholic churches he slags off, still, TEC needs all the soul it can get. And co-religionists simply don’t come any cooler. I just hope Gregg doesn’t, you know, get those come and go blues.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Really Bad Dog

Joe Bonamassa & Walter Trout - Clouds on the Horizon

Walter Trout - Dust my broom

Joe Bonamassa "Driving Towards The Daylight" Official Music Video

Battling Bitterness by Grace

Robert Jones, biblical counseling professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, in his new and wise book Pursuing Peace, from a chapter entitled "Battling Bitterness by Grace":

There is nothing uglier than bitterness—that inner anger lodged deep in the heart, sometimes known only to the bitter person (and his all-seeing God). Bitterness is settled anger, the kind that not merely reacts to someone’s offense, but forms a more general and global animosity against the offender himself. Anger responds to an incident: “I’m angry about what you did.” Bitterness goes deeper to form an attitude—a settled stance or posture—against the perpetrator: “I’m bitter at you, because you are an evil person.” The incident becomes almost secondary.

With most hurts we encounter in our imperfect world, especially small ones, we learn to overlook the offense and forgive the offender. But occasionally we experience a major hurt—an offense that cuts deeply or turns our world upside down—that lingers in our minds and tempts us to become bitter. We might store that hurt in our heart, nurture it, and let it grow to the point where we look with hostility at the offender.
What hope do [we] have to escape the sorrow, slavery, and soul impoverishment that resentment brings? 
The answer is found in Jesus. Jesus understands. He is with us. He comes to us in our mistreatment and remains with us to help. He understands mistreatment as one who was sinned against severely. He has been there. The Scriptures tell us that he came to save his own people, but they did not receive him (John 1:11; Isa. 53:3).

Jesus was sinned against severely: mocked, taunted, punched, spit upon, abandoned, and crucified. This is the Jesus—the mistreated one—who is with us and who is able to help us handle our resentment and overcome our bitterness.

How? The answer is the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
In Ephesians 4:31, the apostle Paul calls us to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” The antidote to bitterness? “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:32). This verse is the apostle’s strategy to battle the bitterness he warns against in the previous verse. He calls us to have our minds consciously controlled by God’s forgiveness through Jesus’s death on the cross. Grasping the mighty work of our incarnate, crucified, and risen Lord moves us to forgive others. 
--Robert Jones, Pursuing Peace: A Christian Guide to Handling our Conflicts (Crossway 2012), 138-39
Dane Ortlund

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Will Ferrell Is All Busted Up Over Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattinson - CONAN on TBS

Will Ferrell broke down on ‘Conan’ Thursday night. The star of the upcoming film ‘The Campaign’ was preoccupied with another set of movie stars, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Ferrell was unable to stay his tears as he described the pain he felt for the pain that Pattinson and Stewart must feel as their fairytale romance has been rocked by Stewart’s admitted affair with the director of her previous film. Despite Conan O’Brien’s repeated attempts to calm the usually unflappable funnyman, Ferrell could not be consoled, proof that Stewart’s affair has hurt not only those involved, but those who who loved their unmatchable love, too.

Joe Bonamassa - Further on up the Road (Featuring Eric Clapton) - Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Joe Bonamassa - Blues Deluxe (2007)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Honest MTV Logo

Jeff Beck - Little Wing (HD) - Isle of Wight Festival 12th June 2011


Jeff Beck - Mama Said - Letterman Show 3-27-1999

C. S. Lewis on the Three Parts of Morality

C. S. Lewis describes two ways in which “the human machine” goes wrong:
One is when human individuals drift apart from one another, or else collide with one another and do one another damage, by cheating or bullying.
The other is when things go wrong inside the individual—when the different parts of him (his different faculties, and desires, and so on) either drift apart or interfere with one another.
He asks us to think of humanity as “a fleet of ships sailing in formation” and what makes it successful:
The voyage will be a success only, in the first place, if the ships do not collide and get in one another’s way; and, secondly, if each ship is seaworthy and has her engines in good order.
As a matter of fact, you cannot have either of these two things without the other.
If the ships keep on having collisions, they will not remain seaworthy very long.
On the other hand, if their steering gears are out of order, they will not be able to avoid collisions.
He then offers an alternative metaphor: “humanity as a band playing a tune.” “To get a good result,” he says, “you need two things”:
Each player’s individual instrument must be in tune and also each must come in at the right moment so as to combine with all the others.
These two elements are fairly obvious, but we often forget to identify the most important piece of information:
We have not asked where the fleet is trying to get to, or what piece of music the band is trying to play.
The instruments might be all in tune and might all come in at the right moment, but even so the performance would not be a success if they had been engaged to provide dance music and actually played nothing but Dead Marches.
And however well the fleet sailed, its voyage would be a failure it it were meant to reach New York and actually arrived at Calcutta.
Applying this to morality, Lewis says that ethics is concerned with three things:
Firstly, with fair play and harmony between individuals.
Secondly, with what might be called tidying up or harmonizing the things inside each individual.
Thirdly, with the general purpose of human life as a whole: what man was made for: what course the whole fleet ought to be on: what tune the conductor of the band wants it to play.
—C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book 3, Chapter 1 (emphasis added).
Justin Taylor

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Rory Gallagher - I Could've Had Religion - Germany 1971/72

Rory Gallagher - Pistol Slapper Blues_Too Much Alcohol - 2/14/77 RTE Studios, Dublin

Eric Clapton - I'm Tore Down - Live TV Recording

How Are You Hiding From God?

There are two ways we can miss the mark of righteousness before God, two ways the relationship can be destroyed. One is more or less obvious: outright sinfulness, unrighteousness, lawlessness, self-indulgence, what the Bible would call “worldliness”,,. In other words, we can just say to God, “No thanks, I don’t want it, I’ll take my own chances.” The other is much less obvious and more subtle, one that morally earnest people have much more trouble with: turning our back on the free gift and saying in effect, “I do agree with what you demand, but I don’t want charity. That’s too demeaning. So I prefer to do it myself. What you are offering is too cheap. I prefer the law to grace, thank-you very much. That seems safer to me.”                                                                                                                                                                       What this means, of course, is that secretly we find doing it ourselves more flattering to our self-esteem–the current circumlocution for pride. The law, that is, even the law of God–”the most salutary doctrine of life”– is used as a defense against the gift. Thus, the more we “succeed”, the worse off we actually are. The relationship to the giver of the free gift is broken…the Almighty God desires simply to be known as the giver of the gift of absolute grace. To this we say “no”. Then the relationship is destroyed just as surely as it was by our immorality. To borrow the language of addiction, it is the addiction that destroys the relationship…One can be addicted either to what is base or to what is high, either to lawlessness or lawfulness. Theologically there is not any difference since both break the relationship to God, the giver. The law is not a remedy for sin. It does not cure sin. St. Paul says it was given to make sin apparent, indeed to increase it. It doesn’t do that necessarily by increasing immorality, although that can happen when rebellion or the power of suggestion leads us to do just what the law is against. But what the theologian of the cross sees clearly from the start is that, even more perversely, the law multiplies sin precisely through our morality, our misuse of the law and our “success” at it. It becomes a defense against the gift. That is the very essence of sin: refusing the gift and thereby setting what we do in the place of what God has done.                                                                                                                                                     There is something in us that is always suspicious of or rebels against the gift. The defense that it is too cheap, easy, or morally dangerous is already the protest of the Old Adam and Eve who fear–rightly!–that their house is under radical attack. Since they are entrenched behind the very law of God as their last and most pious defense, the attack must indeed be radical. It is a battle to the death.
Gerhard Forde, On Being a Theologian of the Cross, pg. 26-28

Eric Clapton - Cocaine

Friday, August 3, 2012

Jeff Beck Drown in my own tears

Jeff Beck - "Red White & Blues" at The White House

Jeff Beck & bassist Rhonda Smith (formerly of Prince) and Veronica Bellino (drums) Booker T Jones (Musical Director/"Green Onions") lay down a blues groove on "Brush with the Blues" at The White House Feb 21, 2012.


One there is above all others
Well deserves the name of Friend
His is love beyond a brother’s
Costly, free, and knows no end
They who once His kindness prove
Find it everlasting love
Which of all our friends, to save us
Could or would have shed their blood
But our Jesus died to have us
Reconciled in Him to God
This was boundless love indeed
Jesus is a Friend in need
When He lived on earth abasèd
Friend of sinners was His name
Now above all glory raisèd
He rejoices in the same
Still He calls them brethren, friends
And to all their wants attends
Could we bear from one another
What He daily bears from us
Yet this glorious Friend and Brother
Loves us though we treat Him thus
Though for good we render ill
He accounts us brethren still
Oh for grace our hearts to soften
Teach us, Lord, at length to love
We, alas, forget too often
What a Friend we have above
But when home our souls are brought
We will love Thee as we ought
John Newton, 1725-1807