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Posts Tagged ‘Art’

Dancing to death

Nobody told her to draw this. Kids can be really creepy sometimes.

De ta maison disposeras
Comme de ton bien transitoire,
Car là ou mort reposeras,
Seront les chariotz de ta gloire.

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John_Calvin_Titian

I don’t think that a Christian is necessarily required to come down one way or another on Calvinism vs. Arminianism (or Lutheranism or whatever the Catholics and Eastern Orthodox think about it), but the fact is, I’ve been wrestling with issues of predestination, free will and the nature of God pretty fiercely for months now, and I keep coming to the same conclusions.

It doesn’t help that I have been reading Augustine’s Confessions this year, either. Next up: the Institutes!

No offense to my Arminian friends, but I just don’t think that the Arminian position is tenable at all. It eats itself.

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Dwight Yoakam – A Heart Like Mine
Dixie Chicks – A Home
Allison Moorer – A Soft Place To Fall
Elvis Presley – All Shook Up
Pistol Annies – Beige
Mazzy Star – Blue Light
John Hiatt – Blue Telescope
Billy Bragg and Wilco – California Stars
Elvis Presley – Can’t Help Falling In Love
Neil Diamond – Cherry, Cherry
Waylon Jennings – Cloudy Days
R.E.M. – Country Feedback
Dustin Lynch – Cowboys and Angels
Miranda Lambert – Dead Flowers
Emmylou Harris – Didn’t Leave Nobody But The Baby
Cracker – Dixie Babylon
Alison Krauss – Down To The River To Pray
Jamey Johnson – Dreaming My Dreams With You
John Hiatt – Dust Down A Country Road
Kenny Chesney – El Cerrito Place
R.E.M. – Endgame
John Hiatt – Ethylene
Steve Earle – Fearless Heart
Sara Evans – Four-Thirty
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird
Lucinda Williams – Fruits Of My Labor
Zac Brown Band – Goodbye In Her Eyes
Ryan Bingham – Hallelujah
Pistol Annies – Housewife’s Prayer
Dixie Chicks – I Believe In Love
John Hiatt – I Can’t Wait
Dwight Yoakam – I Sang Dixie
Hank Williams – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
Johnny Cash – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
The Band Perry – If I Die Young
Roy Orbison – In Dreams
Mazzy Star – Into Dust
Ryan Bingham – Junky Star
Mazzy Star – Lay Myself Down
Eric Church – Like Jesus Does
Miranda Lambert – Look At Miss Ohio
Hank Williams – Lost Highway
Gram Parsons – Love Hurts
Elvis Presley – Love Me Tender
R.E.M. – Man On The Moon
R.E.M. – Me In Honey
Waylon Jennings – Memories Of You And I
Grant Lee Buffalo – Mighty Joe Moon
Merle Haggard – My Favorite Memory
Neil Young – My My, Hey Hey
R.E.M. – New Orleans Instrumental No.1
R.E.M. – Nightswimming
Townes Van Zandt – No Place To Fall
Roy Orbison – Oh, Pretty Woman
Miranda Lambert – Oklahoma Sky
Hal Ketchum – Past The Point Of Rescue
Neko Case – Porchlight
Waylon Jennings – Pretend I Never Happened
Sam Phillips – Reflecting Light
The B-52′s – Revolution Earth
The Decemberists – Rise To Me
Uncle Tupelo – Slate
Hal Ketchum – Small Town Saturday Night
Waylon Jennings – So Good Woman
Kenny Chesney – Somewhere With You
R.E.M. – Star Me Kitten
Jessi Colter – Storms Never Last
Deana Carter – Strawberry Wine
Cowboy Junkies – Sweet Jane
R.E.M. – Sweetness Follows
John Hiatt – The River Knows Your Name
Ryan Bingham – The Weary Kind
Dwight Yoakam – Things Change
Waylon Jennings – This Time
Dixie Chicks – Truth No. 2
Neko Case – Twist the Knife
Miranda Lambert – Virginia Bluebell
The Band Perry – Walk Me Down the Middle
John Hiatt – Walk On
Patsy Cline – Walkin’ After Midnight
Ryan Adams – When The Stars Go Blue
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell – When You Get To Asheville
Sara Evans – Why Should I Care
Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman
Chris Isaak – Wicked Game
Johnny Cash – Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone)
R.E.M. – You Are The Everything
Roy Orbison – You Got It

I’ve been perfecting it for going on two years now; it makes me think of all the places my heart hurts for.

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Jacob Reproaching Laban

My mind was totally blown a few weeks ago when I read the story of Jacob, Rachel and Leah in the amazing Jesus Storybook Bible.

Growing up Mormon, I’m used to thinking of this story as Jacob and Rachel’s love story, about how if you are patient God will give you the blessings He promised (i.e., Rachel), and about how through Jacob and Rachel, Joseph was born, who saved his family through famine and whose descendants became the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, with such an enormous role to play in the latter days.

But in the Jesus Storybook Bible, it’s the story of Leah, “The Girl No One Wanted”:

‘No one loves me,’ Leah said. ‘I’m too ugly.’

But God didn’t think she was ugly. And when he saw that Leah was not loved and that no one wanted her, God chose her–to love her specially, to give her a very important job. One day, God was going to rescue the whole world–through Leah’s family.

Now when Leah knew that God loved her, in her heart, suddenly it didn’t matter anymore whether her husband loved her the best, or if she was the prettiest. Someone had chosen her, someone did love her–with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

So when Leah had a baby boy she called him Judah, which means, ‘This time I will praise the Lord!’ And that’s just what she did.

And you’ll never guess what job God gave Leah. You see, when God looked at Leah, he saw a princess. And sure enough, that’s exactly what she became. One of Leah’s children’s children’s children would be a prince–the Prince of Heaven–God’s Son.

This Prince would love God’s people. They wouldn’t need to be beautiful for him to love them. He would love them with all of his heat. And they would be beautiful because he loved them.

Like Leah.

How did I miss that? How did that fail to register all these years? God’s covenant with Abraham isn’t about “restoring the gospel in the latter days.” God’s covenant with Abraham is about Jesus Christ redeeming a fallen world. And the royal lineage, the lineage of David and finally the lineage of the Messiah, the promised lineage that would not only one day reconcile Israel to its God but would reconcile the entire world to its Creator, that lineage was the lineage of Judah. Leah’s son. God fulfilled his promises to Abraham and to the world through Leah.

“Your descendants will be AWESOME” may seem like a booby prize to modern Americans, but that’s because we have a relatively unique set of cultural assumptions about value, self-actualization and individuality. Keep in mind that this promise, this “consolation prize” that God gave to Leah was functionally the same as God’s original convenant with Abraham. To be the father of many nations, to be the father (or mother) of the lineage that would include the King of Israel–and one day the King of all Creation–was everything.

Like I said, my mind was blown.

(The Jesus Storybook Bible is really good and my kids actually fight over who gets to read it; I recommend it most highly.)

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mustard seed

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

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Bloemaert - Wheat and Tares

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

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Brueghel - Sower

Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

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And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith,

By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

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jesus heals a deaf mute

Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

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