Psalm 119:9

Psalm 119:9 - How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Scripture Monday - 1 John 2:3

"And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments."

Lots of the time, people like to stress the grace of God in salvation to such an extent that they obscure the
imperative that we must obey His commands. It truly boggles the mind. Jesus is our Savior, but He is also our
Lord. And what good is it, calling Him Lord, if we disregard His laws? It is preposterous! Just read all of 1 John,
read James. Read the Gospels, for cryin' out loud!  You can't get around it. God does not deliver us from the
judgment our sins deserve, only to give us the "freedom" to pursue those same sins. I mean, see here:

"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know
that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
we too might walk in newness of life." - Romans 6:1-4

We clearly see throughout the bible that there is an expectation that christians will obey the law of God! Once
again, read the Psalms, the Proverbs... It's all over the place. One specific thing I would draw your attention to
is this: Jesus never said that all we have to do is "ask Him into our heart", and then we'd be good to go. He said,
"Follow Me". He also said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". And what does one repent of but sin?
 At the same time, I must have at least one disclaimer here, to avoid a misunderstanding. All this is not to say
that if you sin, you are not really a christian. Christians sin. That is reality. What this does mean is that a true
christian, i.e., a person that has repented of his sin and depends entirely on Christ for his hope and salvation,
also has a desire for, and a growing inclination towards, righteousness. This person knows that there is nothing
good in his old nature, and that he must obey the One who is his only source of life, for He says, "Follow Me"! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

For Guitarist's Eyes Only!

One fellow whose music I have come to love is Jeff Beck, and I have been somewhat inspired by him, especially
since he plays completely sans plectrum, like me. If you can ignore the lack of sleeves, and that strange thing
around his neck, he really makes some beautiful music. These performances are from a live concert in London,
which I have the recording from.

This is just a classic:

Blues with a twist:
(The actual title is "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues")

Amazing use of harmonics and vibrato bar:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Scripture Tuesday - Ephesians 2:13

"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."

Under the old covenant, the Israelite people were God's people; His chosen race that was shown the way of
salvation. Us gentiles were pretty much left on our own! Yet through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross,
we "who once were far off have been brought near". I believe that this is spoken of in Isaiah 43:18-21:

'"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise."'

Jackals and ostriches are mentioned throughout the bible in relation to despair and cruelty, yet here they
honor God! Were there was once death and corruption, there shall be life. And His people shall declare
His praise. Let us never forget that we were once far off, far from the promise of life, far from God. Christ's
blood was the only sufficient sacrifice that could atone for our sins and make us upright in God's eyes. By His grace have we been grafted in, made one people in Christ. Again I say, let us never forget what mercy He has
shown by offering us this salvation; we who were by our nature alien to the things of God, and who were
rightfully condemned to Hell. This is our God, the One whom we serve!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hip Hip Hooray

Just a quick post to say that I am now a "Limited Learner's Permit"-driver-person! Yes, we went to the local
DMV office at two o'clock, waited until four fifteen (sheesh!), and I finally got to take the test. It was actually
quite easy, and was completed within fifteen minutes. And now I get to zoom around the countryside (with a
licensed adult, between 5 and 9), so take this as a warning, all ye who travel in the Asheville area!

(Expositional post shall be deposited into the numeric data mass that is the internet on the morrow.)

Zoom zoom.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Try-Again Tuesday - Romans 13:14 (And Song)

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires."

I have always loved the phrase, "make no provision for the flesh". It brings to my mind the idea of gaining the
higher ground in a battle, keeping your enemy at a disadvantage. Another example would be mice. If you
don't want an infestation, you don't keep your food out uncovered, and you keep your house clean. If you fail
to do those kinds of things in your spiritual life, the "mice" will move in and start claiming more and more
space, and you will lose ground fast. That is the way the devil works. He gets you to start making tiny
compromises, things that seem of little consequence, but it always escalates. One thing leads to another, and
before you know it, you've done things that you would have never imagined doing before.
  I have deliberately focused on the latter part of this verse in order to now say that we cannot accomplish this
unless we first "put on the Lord Jesus Christ". We must trust in Christ for our strength, for we are weak, and our
flesh is bent toward sin. We must go to Christ in prayer, confessing our sins and embracing Him as savior. We
must meditate on His word with fear and trembling, and we must keep this in the forefront of our minds every

"Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know
how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles
who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter,
because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.
For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards
not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you." - 1 Thess. 4:1-8

FYI, starting next week, I will be moving my weekly expository post to Monday. Why, you ask? Sundays are
usually pretty demanding anyway, but especially so when we record, and I think I'll be able to post more
promptly if I wait 'till Monday. I know, it doesn't make an aliteration, but it rhymes with Sunday, so there
ya go.

Here is our latest song:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Scripture Sunday On Wednesday - Proverbs 4:23

Yes, I got home pretty late last night, so here it is today...

"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." - Proverbs 4:23

The heart referred to here is, of course, not the organ that pumps blood; it is the center of our being, from
which comes our will and our emotions. The point here is that what we put in there matters.
  "From it (the heart/mind) flow the springs of life" - this statement echoes something that Jesus said in
Matthew 15:18-20, no?

"But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

  All through the gospels, we can see that where the religious leaders of the day emphasized the external,
Jesus taught that sin begins in the heart/mind. Even under the old covenant, we can plainly see that God's
ultimate concern was the heart/mind of His children: see Deut. 6:5, 1Sm. 16:7, 1 Chron. 28:9, Ps. 7:10; 51:17;
Ps. 66:18, Is. 26:3, Jer. 31:33. In the new testament, there are many references to the heart/mind: see Mt. 5:8,
Rom. 2:29; 8:7, Phil. 4:7, Col. 3:2, Heb. 4:12; 8:10; 10:22.
  As pertains to the fight against sin, we must guard our heart/mind, and "take every thought captive to obey
Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). Otherwise, we will continue to fail. Make no mistake: what is on the inside will reveal itself.
Of course, this statement, while intended as a warning, should give us encouragement, because we know that
if we guard our heart/mind according to God's word, it will not be half as hard to obey Him on the outside.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hold On! (New Song)

No, I don't have my weekly exposition yet, but here is a new video to hold you over 'til tomorrow...