Gospel. Culture. Technology. Music.

Author: David Westerfield Page 1 of 116


Aphex Twin – Blue Calx

Perfect wintery cold ambient …

Who Shall Ascend the Hill of the Lord?

Only those with a pure, clean heart, will ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in righteousness with Him, which on our own is none of us. Psalm 24 makes clear that the only one’s to ascend the hill of the Lord are those possessing a purity beyond reach because of our depravity and having cut ourselves off from the life of the Trinity. What a sad thought.

But this is precisely why the rest of the Psalm the ancient gates and doors open for the revealing of the Holy One of God, the Son of God, Jesus, as the one who will and now has ascended the hill of the Lord.

Some of the Most Concerning Things Now and in the Near Future

I’ve compiled a list of articles below with topics I’ve been reading (lately, in the past, or in the not so distant past) that get at some of the most concerning trends I see occurring. The Republican and Democrat divide going to extremes is of course front and center for many of us because of the major news sources, but I’m even more concerned about underlying, structural, societal issues with discourse, governance and the elites running the show. And I’m not talking about “shadowy” elites playing the puppet strings. I’m talking about those in power and leadership positions openly doing so. It also seems to be we are quickly pivoting toward a culture of screaming down our opponents, taking them down in virtual flash mob, pitchfork-like attacks or flounder-gigging if you will to social exclusion either from career or status. This is the bitter, logical end of relativistic, post-modernism (also called post-postmodernism): sheer power wielded by those possessing the power to get what they want based on their version of truth. The only question is, whose truth will reign? And it turns out it’s a power wielded primarily by the small number of elites versus the people who will get what they want.

True Repentance – A Prayer

A prayer based on themes from this article at the Gospel Coalition.

Father for all the ways we fall short of Your glory, we pray for forgiveness and know that You are always ready and willing to accept us when we turn. But we pray even further Lord for our hearts that we would be a people who are truly repentant and ready to turn from our sin. And we pray not just that we would merely turn from it, but that we would embrace Christ in the place of it because apart from You we can do nothing and will merely fall back into our sin.

A New Creation

Thoughts from this morning’s Daily Office readings:

“For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.” | Psalm 26:3

“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” | Psalm 36:9

“Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever.” | Psalm 28:9

The gospel in its essence, in what it calls for, is not doing something for God like busying ourselves with religious works to add to our resume (an impossible supposition). But of first importance, the gospel, the good news of the kingdom, is first calling us simply to come with the empty hands of faith to rest in His covenantal faithfulness toward us (“I walk in your faithfulness”), not our own, because if we’ re honest, we’re not faithful. Thankfully He was in our place. It’s not about “discovering the light within yourself” as your source of energy and life, but rather the reverse: all that is within is darkness because of our sin blinding us from the truth: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:19). Therefore only, “In your light do we see light.” In the Person and work of Christ, revealing the Father to us by His perfect words and deeds, life, death and resurrection for us, He raised us from death and darkness in order to be resurrected to new life and light forever.

But it is a new life that starts now by that same internal work of God’s grace that first regenerated us and is continuing to do so, to produce fruit unto eternal life. The new creation life breaking into the old.

His Kingdom Above All Others – A Prayer

Your kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, one that has already been inaugurated by Your entrance into the world and Your ascension into heaven after suffering death, throwing the old order into disarray as Your Kingdom is shown to be that which will reign forever and ever, unlike all kingdoms before it and those that exist today. As believers whose eyes are set on His eternal reign, we see You not as a theoretical king or merely a future King but a present King, whose eternal political agenda confronts and upends all of our agendas at different levels. You humble all rulers, you humble all peoples and in the end You will appear in blazing glory to consummate Your reign with Your people, bring judgment, and establish the final order in the new heavens and new earth, where you are the great, forever and final political authority in the heavens and the earth. At present He rules in heaven, in the end He will rule visibly. Lord may we not lose sight of that. 

J.I. Packer’s Introduction to Witsius and De Oeconomia

INTRODUCTION: ON COVENANT THEOLOGY

J. I. Packer


I

The name of Herman Wits (Witsius, 1636-1708) has been unjustly forgotten. He was a masterful Dutch Reformed theologian, learned, wise, mighty in the Scriptures, practical and “experimental” (to use the Puritan label for that which furthers heart-religion). On paper he was calm, judicious, systematic, clear and free from personal oddities and animosities. He was a man whose work stands comparison for substance and thrust with that of his younger British contemporary John Owen, and this writer, for one, knows no praise higher than that! To Witsius it was given, in the treatise here reprinted, to integrate and adjudicate explorations of covenant theology carried out by a long line of theological giants stretching back over more than century and a half to the earliest days of the Reformation. On this major matter Witsius’s work has landmark status as summing up a whole era, which is why it is appropriate to reprint it today. However, in modern Christendom covenant theology has been unjustly forgotten, just as Witsius himself has, and it will not therefore be amiss to spend a little time reintroducing it, in order to prepare readers’ minds for what is to come.


The Eye of the Lord is Upon Us – A Prayer

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.  – Psalm 33:18-19

Father we rejoice in the fact that you have your eye on us, those who rest in your faithfulness and love toward us. Despite our ongoing sinful condition, we thank you that you will not leave us to our sin but will move heaven and earth to be near us and demonstrated that so clearly and effectively through blood of your son. Deliver us from our sin, deliver us from those things of the world that keep us from deeper fellowship with you. During the present state of the world would you sustain and keep our hearts alive and on fire with love for you even as we find ourselves in a famine of sorts. Draw near to us even as we draw near to you.

Chrome Remote Desktop Running on Ubuntu 18.04

These are the settings I had to change in the config file to get Chrome Remote Desktop working on my Ubuntu 18.04 server. Thanks to this site: https://superuser.com/questions/778028/configuring-chrome-remote-desktop-with-ubuntu-gnome-14-04

  1. Make a backup and then edit /opt/google/chrome-remote-desktop/chrome-remote-desktop
  2. Add screen size(s if multiples) to DEFAULT_SIZES to look like this:
    DEFAULT_SIZES = “1920×1080,3840×2160”
  3. Changed display number to 0:
    FIRST_X_DISPLAY_NUMBER = 0
  4. Comment out this section:
    #while os.path.exists(X_LOCK_FILE_TEMPLATE % display):
    #display += 1

  5. In this section, comment out self._launch_x_server(x_args) and self._launch_x_session() (shown below) and then add this:

    display = self.get_unused_display_number()
    self.child_env[“DISPLAY”] = “:%d” % display

    so that it looks like this:

    def launch_session(self, x_args):
    self._init_child_env()
    self._setup_pulseaudio()
    self._setup_gnubby()
    #self._launch_x_server(x_args)
    #self._launch_x_session()
    display = self.get_unused_display_number()
    self.child_env[“DISPLAY”] = “:%d” % display

  6. Save and exit, then stop and start the Chrome Remote Desktop service from the command line:
    sudo service chrome-remote-desktop stop
    sudo service chrome-remote-desktop start

I Cried To You and You Rescued Me – A Prayer

“O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.” | Psalm 30:2

Father we are those whom You have drawn up from the grave, whom you’ve healed, restored, forgiven, made Your very children. You have achieved the absolute impossible task of actually regenerating our hearts, softening them by Your Spirit, making them aware of the indwelling sin that keeps us from You and turning them from that sin to the greatness and glory and power and majesty of who You are, melting them by the very sight of You. Would we not become indifferent and complacent to the wonder and miracle it is that we have been made your own, adopted into Your family, transferred from the domain of darkness and brought into the kingdom of your marvelous light. Our identity lies in You, not in our possessions, not in our status, not in our comfort or where we live or what we do or who our friends are. We are yours and You are ours through faith Lord. Would you help us together as a church to believe what is already true about us: justified by faith, counted with the same righteousness that You posses, as a gift. Would you help us Lord in our temptation to despair during this strange time that You are sovereignly over, that we would press into this time with You while at home alone, with our kids, with our spouses to dig up the treasure of Scripture, to meditate upon Your presence with us and let Your grace soak into us like a dry sponge in water. Though Lord in many ways we do mourn the things we’ve lost and it is right to do so in so many aspects, Lord I ask that we wouldn’t stay there but that we would continue to use this time as an opportunity to seek the joy that surpasses understanding and comprehension to the world around us. Would we be a people marked by joy, by thanksgiving as we’ll hear about today from Psalm 30. Father, work in us a gratitude for all that we’ve been given by You both now and for all eternity and would we not wrongly crave the things we don’t have. We ask for contentment, a contentment that can only come from You. May we rest in you like a resting infant in her mother’s arms. Would You grant that to us as a gift to lighten the burdens we carry day in and day out, knowing that You love to give good gifts to Your children?

And now Lord we pray this prayer from the Book of Common Prayer for this Fourth Sunday of Pentecost:

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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