Monday, January 28, 2013

I Have Overcome the World

Luther, in a sermon on John 16:33:

It is as though Christ wanted to say: "My dear friend, write the word 'I' with a very large capital letter, in order that you may see it well and take it into your heart. . . . It does not matter that you are small and weak; I am all the larger and stronger. . . ."

Christ declares: I have already overcome the world. Thus the great and the small, the rich and the poor, will join hands and be a match for the great monster behemoth. If he tries to swallow and devour you as if you were a little gnat, I will become a big camel in his throat and tear My way through his belly until he bursts and has to return you in one piece, whether he wants to or not. I am the One who says this to you.

But you must turn your eyes from yourselves and be sure to consider who I am, in order that you may be able to say: "Listen, death, devil, pope, emperor, and world, you are really putting on airs. You are showing your long, sharp teeth and are opening your jaws wide. Compared with you I am a poor little worm. This is true. But what do you think about Him who says: 'I am the One' and 'I have overcome the world'--says this to me and tells me to rely confidently on it?"
--Martin Luther, Luther's Works, Vol. 24: Sermons on the Gospel of St. John Chapter 14-16, p. 415-17

Dane Ortlund

STEPPIN' OUT - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton

The Beginning Of The Atomic Age Of War

DEREK TRUCKS BAND Joyful Noise 2006 live!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pride Often Creeps In

In June 1741 Jonathan Edwards wrote a letter to a recent convert, Deborah Hatheway. She had written Edwards seeking wisdom for how to live the Christian life. Edwards responded with 19 pieces of counsel. The letter became something of a classic—within 150 years, over 300,000 copies had been printed. The eighth piece of counsel is:

Remember that pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, the greatest disturber of the soul’s peace and sweet communion with Christ; it was the first sin that ever was, and lies lowest in the foundation of Satan’s whole building, and is the most difficultly rooted out, and is the most hidden, secret and deceitful of all lusts, and often creeps in, insensibly, into the midst of religion and sometimes under the disguise of humility. 
--Works of Jonathan Edwards, Yale edition, 16:93
Dane Ortlund

Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood - Double Trouble live.

HIDEAWAY (1966) by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers- featuring Eric Clapton

D Minor Blues - Derek Trucks Band 2-14-00

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Eric Clapton - I'm tore down [Live in Hyde Park 1996]

Eric Clapton Old Love Live in Hyde Park

Eric Clapton - I Shot the Sheriff

Charles Schulz on New Year’s Resolutions

5 Things You Didn’t Know about “Jane Roe”

Today is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the controversial Supreme Court ruling that progressives want to enshrine and conservatives want to overturn. Few rulings have been more consequential. According to Planned Parenthood’s Guttmacher Institute, 22% of all pregnancies now end in abortion, with 3 in 10 women terminating their pregnancy by the age of 45. There have been approximately 57 million legally induced abortions in the U.S. since 1973—nearly the current population of California and Texas combined.
Yet a recent Pew study found that 4 in 10 “Millennials” don’t even know that Roe v. Wade has to do with abortion. And even fewer today know the true story of the woman who started it all, the pseudonymous plaintiff “Jane Roe.” Here are five things you may not know about her, culled from interviews and profiles along with her sworn congressional testimony and memoirs.
(1) The name “Jane Roe” was created over beer and pizza.
In 1969 Norma was 21 years old, divorced, and pregnant for the third time. (The first two children were placed for adoption.) After seeking an abortion but finding out it was illegal, and then driving to an illegal clinic only to find it closed, adoption attorney Henry McCluskey referred her to two young lawyers in Dallas, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee. Weddington (who had traveled to Mexico a couple of years earlier to have an abortion) was seeking a class-action lawsuit against the state of Texas in order to legalize abortion. It was an unlikely party at the corner booth of Columbo’s pizza parlor in Dallas: two recent law-school grads in business suits sitting across the table from a rough and uneducated homeless women. The lawyers needed a representative for all women seeking abortions—one who was young, poor, and white. They just didn’t want her to cross state lines to get a legal abortion, or the case would be considered moot and dismissed. Without money and five months pregnant, Norma was the ideal candidate. After downing several pitchers of beer, they agreed on using the pseudonym “Jane Roe.” (“Wade” referred to Henry B. Wade, the attorney general of Dallas.)
(2) Jane Roe didn’t know the meaning of “abortion.” 
Weddington and Coffee told Norma that abortion just dealt with a piece of tissue, and that it was like passing a period rather than the termination of a distinct, living, and whole human organism. Abortion was a taboo topic in 1970, and Norma had dropped out of school at the age of 14. She knew that John Wayne movies talked about “aborting the mission,” so she thought it meant to “go back”—as in, going back to not being pregnant. She honestly believed “abortion” meant a child was prevented from coming into existence.
(3) Jane Roe never appeared in court.
Her lawyers drafted a one-page legal affidavit, which she signed but did not read. (Even today, she has not read it.) This was only the second time she would meet with her lawyers—and it turned out to be the last. She would not be called to testify and attended none of the trial. She found out about the Supreme Court ruling from the newspaper on January 23, 1973, just like the rest of the nation. Few on that day understood the implications of Justice Blackmun’s instruction that Roe v. Wade was to be read in conjunction with its companion case Doe v. Bolton, which effectively made abortion legal at any stage of pregnancy for any reason. As a result, the United States (with Canada) became the only Western country offering no legal protection for the unborn at any stage of the pregnancy.
(4) Jane Roe never had an abortion.
Norma had already given birth and placed the baby for adoption before the three-judge Texas panel ruled against her in May of 1970, long before the Supreme Court decision in January of 1973. She was in a committed lesbian relationship and would not become pregnant again. Abortion continued to be a part of her life, however. She went on to work in abortion clinics, holding the hands of women and offering reassurance as they terminated their pregnancies, and making appearances on the Roe anniversaries.
(5) Jane Roe became pro-life.
In 1995, while working at the clinic, Norma became haunted by the sight and sound of empty playgrounds in her neighborhood. Once teeming with kids, they now seemed deserted. And she began to see it was the result of what she once called “my law.” But the decisive change happened when she meant Emily Mackey, a seven-year-old girl whose parents were protesting at the clinic where “Miss Norma” worked. Emily, who had almost been aborted herself, befriended Norma, showing genuine interest and love, giving her hugs and inviting her to church. Through the influence this young girl’s combination of truth and grace, along with those who shared the gospel of Jesus with her, Norma not only became convinced of the pro-life position but also converted to Christianity.
* * *
Norma McCorvey now says that “Jane Roe has been laid to rest.” Both sides in America’s most contentious debate have claimed her at one point, and both have had reason to be disappointed. But for evangelicals—the demographic most committed to overturning Roe—the case for protecting the smallest and most defenseless members of the human race does not rest with the testimony of a single individual. It does not even rest on biblical revelation; moral philosophers have pointed out that the differences between a fetus in utero and an infant outside the womb—size, location, degree of dependency, and level of development—are morally irrelevant when determining a person’s right to life.
On this fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, evangelicals would do well to remember that we must not only labor to protect the unborn, but to continue reaching out with assistance and love and the good news of grace to the Norma McCorveys of the world—broken women who feel they have no other place to turn.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Muddy Waters- Why Are People Like That

Muddy Waters "Born with Nothing"

Late Night Jokes from Conan

  • A health advocacy group has criticized The Cheesecake Factory for offering meals that contain over 3,000 calories. Today the CEO of The Cheesecake Factory said, "What part of factory of cheese and cake don't you understand?"
  • That's like going to Fat Burger and complaining.
  • Notre Dame player Manti Te’o is being accused of fraud and deception over his imaginary girlfriend. Some say this hoax could harm Manti's ranking in the NFL draft. On the other hand, it could open up an entire new branch of fantasy football.
  • Sources are saying that Tiger Woods wants to marry his ex-wife and might be willing to go for a no-cheating clause. This special clause would be known as a wedding vow.
  • Conan

KENNY BARRON - Dolores Street

It Is All Useless

My dear friend, we must make this perfectly clear. When you come into the Christian church and listen to this gospel as it is in truth, you must realize that everything you are in the world is of no value. It does not matter who you are, what your natural ability is, what your degrees and diplomas, your academic attainments, what knowledge you may have garnered. It is all useless to you. When you come into the realm of the church, the Pharisee is as helpless as the publican. The greatest sage is as helpless as the newborn babe. . . .

Thank God that his way of salvation is so utterly and entirely different from ours. . . . What does the gospel demand of us? Simply that we know that we are paupers, simply that we repent and admit and confess that we have nothing at all, that we are blind and lost and damned and hopeless and helpless.
--Martyn Lloyd-Jones, 'The Great Watershed,' in Setting Our Affections on Glory: Nine Sermons on the Gospel and the Church (Crossway, 2013), 41, 43

Dane Ortlund

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Not Acting In Line With The Gospel

When Paul confronts Peter’s racism in Galatians 2 he uses a radical principle and applies it to racism. The radical principle is found in verse 14, “When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel”. This is the charge and the principle.                The Greek word used is Orthopodeo, it means to walk in a straight path, used metaphorically here in Galatians 2:14 signifying a course of conduct by which one leaves a straight track for others to follow. Podeo is where we get our podiatrist it means to walk. The word walk is a significant metaphor in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. 
                                                                                           To walk refers to the course of your whole life. 1 John 1:7 “If we walk in the light” in other words let the whole course of your life be controlled by the light. Walk refers then to the whole course of your life. The NIV translates it “not acting” which is a little weak. The word walk includes everything, your thoughts, feelings motivations and behavior. Ones walk is the whole course or direction of your life. Ortho means straight, you go to the orthodontist if your teeth are crooked. If you take a field sobriety test you have to walk a straight line, they want to see if you can stay on the line.     
                                                                                              Paul is saying that the gospel is a line you have to walk on. The gospel is a truth it is a set of truths that say, you’re a sinner, you’re weak, and you try to control your life through self-salvation strategies. Only through Jesus Christ the entire law of God has been fulfilled so that when you believe in Jesus you are completely accepted and forgiven.

Junior Wells -- All Night Long (Rock Me Baby)

Otis Spann - I need some air

Otis Spann (With Fleetwood Mac) - Temperature Is Rising

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Way Out Of Unbearable Pain

I’ve been a Christian for 51 years. I’ve been a pastor for 38 years. I guess that makes me “old” and somewhat experienced. In any case, I’ve seen more than I care to remember of human pain and predicaments. I’ve counseled rebellious teens and lonely senior citizens. I’ve spent hours with bitter wives and their passive husbands. I’ve cried with victims of sexual abuse and rejoiced with those set free from bondage. Their problems may be different. Some are men, others are women. Some are old, others young. But the one thing they share in common is the deeply felt need of the human soul to know and  feel that God loves and enjoys them.

. . . Pain becomes bearable and tomorrow no longer terrifies when your soul is touched with the reality of God’s delight in you.
Sam Storms

Otis Spann - Half Ain't Been Told


'Cool Drink Of Water Blues' TOMMY JOHNSON (1928)

Newsfluenza Outbreak

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Cleric Behind 'Les Mis'

Author Victor Hugo was anticlerical, yet his tale's hero is set on course by a Catholic bishop.      By DORIS DONNELLY

Fans of "Les Misérables" on film or stage may be surprised to know that not everyone in France was of good cheer when Victor Hugo published the book in 1862. The anticlerical set was especially offended by the pivotal role of the Bishop of Digne, who helped determine the course of the novel by resuscitating the soul of Jean Valjean.
As Hugo worked on the novel, his son Charles, then in his 20s, objected to the reverential treatment of the bishop. He argued to his father that the portrayal gave undeserved respect to a corrupt clergy, bestowing credibility on a Roman Catholic Church opposed to the democratic ideals that he and his father held. Charles instead proposed that the catalyst for Jean Valjean's transformation be a lawyer or doctor or anyone else from a secular profession.
The pushback didn't work. Not only did Hugo hold his ground, but he amplified the importance of Charles-François Bienvenue Myriel, affectionately known in the novel as Monseigneur Bienvenue (Bishop Welcome). The book's first hundred pages or so are a detailed chronicle of Myriel's exemplary life, showing that his intervention on behalf of Jean Valjean was part of a long track record and not a singular aberration. Apparently Hugo recognized no contradiction between his anticlericalism and the possibility—or certainty—that grace could be mediated by a just priest who was transparent to the divine and never betrayed thehuman.                                                                                                                                     
Thirty years earlier, Hugo had solidified his anticlerical credentials by crafting the repulsive, licentious Archdeacon Claude Frollo in "Notre Dame de Paris." It was time to try a new approach in "Les Misérables," so he rendered an ideal priest against whom clergy could measure their fidelity to tenderness and mercy. His expectation—as we know from the contemporaneous diary of his wife, Adele—was that corrupt priests would be shamed and indicted by comparison with a good one.
With Bienvenue, Hugo created a no-frills bishop who lived in a modest cottage, having surrendered his episcopal palace to the hospital next door. There were no locks on the doors; a simple push of the latch allowed entry.
The bishop subsisted on less than one-tenth of his state entitlements, with the remaining funds dispensed to provide for the release of fathers in debtors' prisons, meat for the soup of people in the hospital, and other unpopular charities. He had a sliding scale to officiate at marriages and preside at funerals. From the rich he exacted more, from the poor nothing at all.
Fearless, Bienvenue rode into territories overrun by bandits to visit his people. Without complaint, he assumed responsibilities that lazy curates chose not to. He agonized over the guillotine, and having accompanied a prisoner to his execution he was certain—as was Hugo himself—that anyone witnessing the death penalty would declare it a barbaric act unworthy of a civilized society.
The cleric in Hugo's novel was without the entourage nurtured by other bishops. There were no opportunistic seminarians eager to latch onto his coattails and ride into the corridors of power. It was clear to everyone that his star wasn't in ascendance. Bienvenue mused about seminaries that bred sycophants, where ambition was mistaken for vocation and upward mobility—from a modest biretta to a bishop's mitre to a pope's tiara—was the prized trajectory.
The greatest fear of young priest recruits, Hugo explains, was that merely associating with the virtuous Bienvenue could unwittingly cause one to convert to his lifestyle. It was widely known that virtue was contagious and no inoculation against it existed.
The trade-off for Bienvenue was that he was loved by his people. They had a bishop whose center of gravity was a compassionate God attuned to the sound of suffering, never repelled by deformities of body or soul, who occupied himself by dispensing balm and dressing wounds wherever he found them.
He found them in a town called Digne, a name conveniently derived from the Latin dignus, the root of the word we know in English as "dignity." Bishop Bienvenue conferred dignity with abandon on those whose dignity was robbed by others. He had an endless supply of his own to share and a lot of practice when Jean Valjean knocked on his door.
During the night he spent at the bishop's home, mere days after his release from serving 19 years as galley prisoner 24601, Jean Valjean stole six silver place settings, was apprehended, and returned the next morning under police guard to face the consequences of his crime. Unruffled, the bishop brushed off the police, added valuable silver candlesticks to the bundle, "bought" Jean Valjean's soul from evil and claimed it for God. He redirected the life of a man chained to hatred, mistrust and anger, and he enabled Jean Valjean to emerge as one of the noblest characters in literature.
Ms. Donnelly is professor of theology and director of the Cardinal Suenens Center at John Carroll University in Cleveland.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Warren Haynes - "I'd Rather Go Blind" - at the White House 2012

The Logic of Grace

The ending to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle,' set a few days after Christmas in late nineteenth-century London. Horner, who has just been proven guilty by Holmes, confesses, and then says--

'My sister thinks that I am going mad. Sometimes I think that I am myself. And now--and now I am myself a branded thief, without ever having touched the wealth for which I sold my character. God help me! God help me!' He burst into convulsive sobbing, with his face buried in his hands.

There was a long silence, broken only by his heavy breathing and by the measured tapping of Sherlock Holmes' finger-tips upon the edge of the table. Then Holmes rose and threw open the door.

'Get out!' said he.

'What, sir! Oh, Heaven bless you!'

'No more words. Get out!'

And no more words were needed. There was a rush, a clatter upon the stairs, the bang of a door, and the crisp rattle of running footfalls from the street.
'After all, Watson,' said Holmes, reaching up his hand for his clay pipe, 'I am not retained by the police to supply their deficiencies. If Horner were in danger it would be another thing; but this fellow will not appear against him, and the case must collapse. I suppose that I am commuting a felony. but it is just possible that I am saving a soul. This fellow will not go wrong again; he is too terribly frightened. Send him to jail now, and you make him a jail-bird for life. Besides, it is the season of forgiveness. Chance has put in our way a most singular and whimsical problem, and its solution is its own reward.'
HT: Jack Collins

Craig Finn - New Friend Jesus [Audio Stream]

Craig Finn - Honolulu Blues