Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Right To Become A Child Of God

In John 1:12, the apostle writes that 'to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.' On August 25, 1537, Martin Luther entered a pulpit in Denmark to fill in for a friend and preached on this text.

No man, no matter, who he may be, can ponder the magnificence sufficiently or express it adequately in words. We poor mortals, who are condemned and miserable sinners through our first birth from Adam, are singled out for such great honor and nobility that the eternal and almighty God is our Father and we are His children. Christ is our Brother, and we are His fellow heirs (Rom 8:17). And the dear angels, such as Michael and Gabriel, are not to be our masters but our brothers and servants. . . .
This is a grand and overpowering thought! Whoever really reflects on it--the children of the world will not, but Christians will, although not all of them either--will be so startled and frightened by the thought that he will be prompted to ask: 'My dear, can this really be possible and true?'
. . . [T]he world rates it a much higher honor and privilege to be the son and heir of a prince, a king, or a count than to be the possessor of God's spiritual goods, although by comparison all these are nothing but poor bags of worms and their glory sheer stench. Just compare all this with the ineffable dignity and nobility of which the evangelist speaks. . . . If we really believed with all our heart, firmly and unflinchingly, that the eternal God, Creator and Ruler of the world, is our Father, with whom we have an everlasting abode as children and heirs, not of this transitory wicked world but of all God's imperishable, heavenly, and inexpressible treasures, then we would, indeed, concern ourselves but little with all that the world prizes so highly; much less would we covet it and strive after it.

Indeed, we would regard the world's riches, treasures, glories, splendor, and might--compared with the dignity and honor due us as the children and heirs, not of a mortal emperor but of the eternal and almighty God--as trifling, paltry, vile, leprous, yes, as stinking filth and poison.

--Luther, preaching on John 1:12, in LW 22:87-89

Melvin Taylor - Texas Flood

Melvin Taylor - Born Under A Bad Sign

Melvin Taylor- Blue Jeans Blues

Monday, August 18, 2014

Completely Surprised and Amazed That God Saved Someone Like Me

Helmut Thielicke (1908-1986), German pastor and author:
[The gospel] comes into our life as an amazing surprise. That there should be someone like Jesus, that he should gain the Father's heart for us, that he should rescue us, from the frustration of our personal lives and snatch us away from this horrible vegetating on the edge of the void--all this is indeed a tremendous surprise.
--The Waiting Father: Sermons on the Parables of Jesus, 36

Are you surprised that the gospel came into your life? Have you ever been amazed that there is someone like Jesus? Jesus who rescued us from the frustration of our personal lives. Who rescued us from living on the edge of the void which we would surely have fallen into if not for Jesus. Are you really surprised that God saved someone like you? You should be! I know I am.

Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood - Cocaine - Madison Square Garden, NYC, 2006

Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton - Can't Find My Way Home - Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007

How Climate Change Poisoned Toledo's Water

Eric Clapton - Early in the Morning - Live TV Recording

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Christian Life Simplified

"14 Dear brothers, warn those who are lazy, comfort those who are frightened, take tender care of those who are weak, and be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to everyone else. 16 Always be joyful. 17 Always keep on praying. 18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:14-18 Living Bible

Warn or admonish those who are lazy or are out of line, or are disorderly, you know the loafers. So people who are disorderly need to be admonished, or rebuked or counseled to get to work and be productive. No comfort here.

Comfort or encourage those who are frightened or timid or fainthearted. This means to soothe, console, or reassure, or give support, confidence, or hope to someone who is showing a lack of courage or confidence.

Take tender care of those who are weak or help and give your support to the weak souls, You know people who are weak in their soul and need to be supported.

Be patient with them all. Whether they are lazy or disorderly, or timid or frightened or weak be patient.

No revenge is allowed! No evil for evil or wrong for wrong instead show kindness and good to others.

Always be joyful which means feeling, expressing, or causing great pleasure and happiness. Be happy in your faith and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually.

Pray without ceasing or always keep on praying. Don't know what to do? Pray, ask God for help always.

No matter what happens, always be thankful. Thank God in everything no matter what the circumstances may be, and give thanks. Quit complaining and be thankful.

For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. This is God's will for every person who belongs to Jesus Christ.

There it is in simple and easy to understand words. This is God's will for you. Don't argue with it dismiss it as to simple or say "but you don't understand my problems." Remember the Apostle Paul wrote this inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is the Word of God. My advice is to print this out meditate on it read it daily and allow it to sink into your heart and mind.

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

Eric Clapton - Everyday I Have the Blues - Live TV Recording

Most Transparent Administration Ever!!

Eric Clapton - Someday After a While - Live TV Recording

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"Burnt Out Town" - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers from Hypnotic Eye

This song sounds like it was written about Detroit under Kwame

How The Gospel Is Lost

“When the offense of the Cross ceases, when the rage of the enemies of the Cross abates, when everything is quiet, it is a sign that the devil is the door-keeper of the Church and that the pure doctrine of God's Word has been lost.”
― Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Paul said, "If I still preach circumcision why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed." Paul is saying if I was still preaching the law why would people persecute me? There is no offense in the law or rules or standards of conduct. When the church stops preaching the cross stops preaching the gospel the devil moves into the church and the word of God is lost.

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

Susan Tedeschi - Lord Protect My Child! - Great Dylan Cover

Susan Tedeschi - Sweet Forgiveness

Monday, August 11, 2014

Our Fatal Love Affair With The Law

Grace cannot prevail until law is dead, until moralizing is out of the game . . . until our fatal love affair with the law is over--until, finally and for good, our lifelong certainty that someone is keeping score has run out of steam and collapsed. As long as we leave, in our dramatizations of grace, one single hope of a moral reckoning, one possible recourse to salvation by bookkeeping, our freedom-dreading hearts will clutch it to themselves.
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 yet be one redeeming card of our very own. . . . 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.
Lord, let your servants depart in the peace of their responsibility. If it is not too much to ask, send us to bed with some few shreds of self-respect to congratulate ourselves upon. But if that is too hard, leave us at least the consolation of our self-loathing. Only do not force us free. What have we ever done but try as best we could? How have we so hurt you, even by failing, that you should now turn on us and say that none of it makes any difference, not even our sacred guilt? We have played this game of yours, and it has cost us.
Where do you get off suggesting a drink at a time like this?

--Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace (Eerdmans 1997), 7; italics original

Charlie Musselwhite - Sanctuary

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite Perform 'You Found Another Lover (I Lost Another Friend)'

I Shall Be Released - Bob Dylan - Vancouver 1998

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Nothing To Boast About

Spurgeon, writing reflectively on Ephesians 2:8-9--
What does faith exclude? Well, I am sure it excludes boasting. 'He that believeth is not condemned' (John 3:18). Oh, if it said, 'He that works is not condemned,' then you and I might boast in unlimited quantity. . . .
No, Lord, if I am not condemned, it is Your free grace, for I have deserved to be condemned a thousand times since I sat down to write this. When I am on my knees and I am not condemned, I am sure it must be sovereign grace, for even when I am praying, I deserve to be condemned. Even when we are repenting, we are sinning, and adding to our sins while we are repenting of them. . . .
Our best performances are so stained with sin that it is hard to know whether they are good works or bad works. . . . Ah, then, we cannot boast! Be gone, pride! Be gone! Quit boasting, Christian. Live humbly before your God, and never let a word of self-congratulation escape your lips.

--Charles Spurgeon, Faith (Whitaker House 1995), 88

I have nothing to boast about except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.

Cream - Rollin' And Tumblin' (Royal Albert Hall 2005)

Cream - Sitting On Top Of The World (Farewell Concert - Extended Edition)

So Much For Global Warming

Eric Clapton - Walkin blues Unplugged