Friday, December 20, 2013

Our Need Of Christ Never Ceases

Read this more than once. This has really blessed me I hope it blesses you.                                      "We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only “when we believe.” It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in Christian behavior may be.
It is always on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest.
There is never anything that we are or have or do that can take His place, or that can take a place along with Him. We are always unworthy, and all that we have or do of good is always of pure grace.
Though blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ, we are still in ourselves just “miserable sinners”: “miserable sinners” saved by grace to be sure, but “miserable sinners” still, deserving in ourselves nothing but everlasting wrath. That is the attitude which the Reformers took, and that is the attitude which the Protestant world has learned from the Reformers to take, toward the relation of believers to Christ.
There is emphasized in this attitude the believer’s continued sinfulness in fact and in act; and his continued sense of his sinfulness. And this carries with it recognition of the necessity of unbroken penitence throughout life. The Christian is conceived fundamentally in other words as a penitent sinner. But that is not all that is to be said: it is not even the main thing that must be said.
It is therefore gravely inadequate to describe the spirit of “miserable sinner Christianity” as “the spirit of continuous but not unhopeful penitence.” It is not merely that it is too negative a description, and that we must at least say, “the spirit of continuous though hopeful penitence.” It is wholly uncomprehending description, and misplaces the emphasis altogether.
The spirit of this Christianity is a spirit of penitent indeed, but overmastering exultation.
The attitude of the “miserable sinner” is not only not one of despair; it is not even one of depression; and not even one of hesitation or doubt; hope is too weak a word to apply to it. It is an attitude of exultant joy. Only this joy has its ground not in ourselves but in our Savior.
We are sinners and we know ourselves to be sinners, lost and helpless in ourselves.
But we are saved sinners; and it is our salvation which gives the tone to our life, a tone of joy which swells in exact proportion to the sense we have of our ill-desert; for it is he to whom much is forgiven who loves much, and who, loving, rejoices much."                                                                            B.B. Warfield (1851–1921), from his essay, “’Miserable-Sinner Christianity’ in the Hands of the Rationalists,”

Robert Randolph & the Family Band - Jesus Is Just Alright

Going Down -- Pino Daniele, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Randolph & The Family Band Live

Muddy Waters - Mannish Boy (Hard Again)

Eric Clapton - 8 - Blues Intro - Crossraods - Live January 1990

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Grace Is The Only Foundation

Our holiness, or sanctification, is as much a gift of God as our justification. Once we have been united to Christ and stand upon his imputed righteousness and holiness, we have, as John Calvin once observed, a foundation upon which we can build a life of piety and holiness toward God (Institutes III.xi.1). Our ongoing conformity to Christ, our growth in holiness, is driven by God’s grace— it is the basis upon which we “die to ourselves” and live more and more unto Christ on a daily basis. In a word, the Bible tells us that the grace of God transforms us and conforms us to the holy image of Christ. Through God’s grace we are enabled, as Paul writes, to “put off the old man,” which belonged to our former manner of life, and “put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph.4:22-24). If we do not recognize that salvation is by God’s grace through faith (Eph.2:1-10), then we will never have a proper foundation from which to grow in our holiness.
by J.V. Fesko

Grace is the only foundation from which we can grow in our holiness as Christians.

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

Oscar Peterson - Let It snow!Let It snow!Let It snow!

Oscar Peterson plays O Christmas Tree

Diana Krall - Let it snow

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Christmas Thought From Bono

A Christmas Thought: This reflection on Christmas occurred after Bono had just returned home, to Dublin, from a long tour with U2. On Christmas Eve Bono went to the famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Jonathan Swift was dean. Apparently he was given a really poor seat, one obstructed by a pillar, making it even more difficult for him to keep his eyes open…but it was there that Christmas story struck him like never before. He writes:
“The idea that God, if there is a force of Logic and Love in the universe, that it would seek to explain itself is amazing enough. That it would seek to explain itself and describe itself by becoming a child born in straw poverty, in shit and straw…a child… I just thought: “Wow!” Just the poetry … Unknowable love, unknowable power, describes itself as the most vulnerable. There it was. I was sitting there, and it’s not that it hadn’t struck me before, but tears came streaming down my face, and I saw the genius of this, utter genius of picking a particular point in time and deciding to turn on this.”
Isn’t it compelling? The logic and love of a personal God revealing himself, accounting for our personality, our propensity to love. And oh, the mercy of God, born in shit and straw, to rescue us from ourselves, our godless gift-giving, and our arrogant disregard for God and for others so that we might know and enjoy him and his new creation forever. And that he, the infinite God, would do it in Christ, in time, in space, in confounding condescension to pivot the course of the entire creation project from despair, destruction, and dereliction to a hopeful, whole, and happy future.
Will you ponder the poetry of Christmas this year, the genius of the incarnation? What obstructions are in your path to dwelling on the vulnerable, inexhaustible power and love of God in Christ? Renounce them and rivet your attention on the Christ.
Excerpt taken from Bono: in conversation (New York: Riverhead Books, 2005), 124-5.

Santa Is Coming To Town - Dave Brubeck Quartet - A Jazz Christmas

Aaron Neville - Please Come Home For Christmas

Christmas Time Blues - Roy Milton - Blue Yule Christmas Blues And R&B Classics (1991)

Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton - Dear Mr. Fantasy (HQ)(Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Holly Cole - Christmas Blues

Joy To The World - Steve Morse

Gary Moore - The Sky Is Crying

The Sky Is Crying- Stevie Ray Vaughan [High Quality No vid]

Sorrowful Yet Always Rejoicing: An Important Theme in Lord of the Rings

Tim Keller:
This is a very important theme in Tolkien. The elves are often described as both old and young, both joyful and sad.
A more explicit expression of it is the description of Gandalf in Book 3-
. . . in the wizard’s face he saw at first only lines of care and sorrow; though as he looked more intently he perceived that under all there was a great joy: a fountain of mirth enough to set a kingdom laughing, were it to gush forth.
And I agree—it is very helpful in describing the demeanor of Christians, who will feel the fallenness of the world most keenly because they know what God created the world to be, and who know that nothing within history will ever bring about any fundamental repair of things, and yet Christians also have an unquenchable, infallible assurance that in the end, everything will be joy and glory. So how else can we act, but “sad, but not unhappy,” “afflicted, but not crushed”—weeping, but rejoicing.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How Congress Comes Up With A New budget

Grace is not a "Thing"

It is legitimate to speak of “receiving grace,” and sometimes (although I am somewhat cautious about the possibility of misusing language) we speak of the preaching of the Word, prayer, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper as “means of grace.” That is fine, so long as we remember that there isn’t a thing, a substance, or a “quasi-substance” called “grace.” All there is is the person of the Lord Jesus — “Christ clothed in the gospel,” as Calvin loved to put it. Grace is the grace of Jesus. If I can highlight the thought here: there is no “thing” that Jesus takes from Himself and then, as it were, hands over to me. There is only Jesus Himself.
Grasping that thought can make a significant difference to a Christian’s life. So while some people might think this is just splitting hairs about different ways of saying the same thing, it can make a vital difference. It is not a thing that was crucified to give us a thing called grace. It was the person of the Lord Jesus that was crucified in order that He might give Himself to us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. - Sinclair Ferguson

"For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17)

Canned Heat - Future Blues - 13 - Christmas Blues

B.B. King - Merry Christmas Baby

Ronnie Earl Blues on a Sunday

Very nice slow blues jam

Ronnie Earl - Amazing Grace

Luther Allison - I'm Back

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eric Clapton - Cryin Christmas Tears -12-17-98

Diana Krall - White Christmas

Otis Redding - Merry Christmas Baby (Atco Records 1967)

Whatever Happened to Male Friendship?

Brandon McGinley: What these four young men represent is a challenge to the common portrayal of male friendship in our popular culture. It is difficult to find, especially on television, an example of male friendship (outside of the military or law enforcement) that is neither transactional nor idiotic. For cheap beer, it’s the wingman trope. In sitcoms, it’s stupid men doing stupid things in stupid attempts at liberation from wives or girlfriends. Male friendships, we’re taught, are about finding or fleeing women; they are not valuable in themselves. In the Tullamore Dew spot, the bride, though beautiful, is an afterthought. The ad has already achieved its effect before she arrives on the scene. The implicit promise that is so appealing is not that this whiskey will bring you a beautiful wife, but that it will bring you worthy friends to see you off on that marital journey. And most men desire this friendship—this tender, warm, (dare we say it?) loving friendship—but that desire receives no affirmation in our culture. Men’s desires are circumscribed within a perverse Venn diagram, with one circle labeled “sex,” the other “mammon.” Such friendship seems as foreign as the virgin Irish countryside, unattainable in the normal course of life in the 21st century. And so, lacking the vocabulary even to describe this desire, we call the ad “poignant” and “melancholy.” But our melancholy does not derive from identification with the bittersweetness of the passage of time or a friend’s life transition. Rather, it is the melancholy of knowing, or at least suspecting, that we will never experience that bittersweetness quite as intensely, quite as tenderly, ourselves.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Charlie Musselwhite - Finger Lickin' good

More and More, Less and Less - Delbert And Glen

We Are Not Justified By Sanctification

We Are Not Justified By Sanctification
"One is unlikely to assert that we are justified by sanctification, but, whether done intentionally or not, that is what happens when we allow the teaching of Christian living, ethical imperatives, and exhortations to holiness to be separated from and to take the place of the clear statement of the gospel. We can preach our hearts out on texts about what we ought to be, what makes a mature church, or what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives, but if we do not constantly, in every sermon, show the link between the Spirit's work in us to Christ's work for us, we will distort the message and send people away with a natural theology of salvation by works. Preaching from the epistles demands of the preacher that the message of the document be taken as a whole even if only a selection of texts, or just one verse, is to be expounded. Every sermon should be understandable on its own as a proclamation of Christ. It is no good to say that we dealt with the justification element three weeks ago and now we are following Paul into the imperatives and injunctions for Christian living. Paul wasn't anticipating a three-week gap between his exposition of the gospel and his defining of the implications of the gospel in our lives. Nor was he anticipating that some people would not be present for the reading of the whole epistle and would hear part of its message out of context."
Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching The Whole Bible As Christian Scripture, p. 237

Every time I share about grace someone adds something about works to balance grace out. It can't be done, so think about what Goldsworthy is saying. Grace is so foreign to our hearts and minds we just can't accept it, it can't be right, we desperately want to do something that will put us in God's good graces, to make us feel better, to bring us peace because of what we have done instead of entering into rest because of what Jesus has done.

Otis Redding - White Christmas

The Drifters - Little Drummer Boy