Monthly Archives: April 2007

Neal Morse – Sola Scriptura

To be honest I had not heard of Neal Morse until I stumbled upon his song “The TempleSola Scriptura of the Living God” while searching for some Dream Theater songs. “Temple..” is on his CD entitled “?”. Yes, that is the name of his CD and it is one of the best pieces of work I’ve heard and at times the most unusual. I have since looked back into his career and downloaded several other previous projects, including Morse’s stint with Spock’s Beard (funny band name). The type of music Neal plays is hard to put into a category. The closest I could come to is progressive rock. The progressive rock genre demands real musicianship which seems to be lacking in 90% of music anymore. But where the others fall short, this musician excels.

Neal Morse is a musical genius. His mix of jazz fusion and metal is a staple of his genius. He tends to use very talented guest musicians on his projects. Some of the talented folks who have contributed their wares are such names as Steve Hackett (Genesis), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), and Michael Portnoy (Dream Theater) and this latest effort is no exception. Paul Gilbert of Racer X, and Mr. Big fame is the guest guitarist on this release, and he swings a mean axe. Michael Portnoy once again pounds his skins on SS and Neal’s regular sidekick on bass Randy George wallops some heavy bass on all tracks. The combination of these skillful musicians makes for a truly amazing CD from top to bottom.

The biggest bonus to this CD is the lyrical content. The CD title alone should give you some kind of indication of what the listener is in for. Sola Scriptura is the Latin term meaning “by scripture alone”. For a more concise meaning please check out this Wikipedia link. The first song on “SS” is called “The Door” an it’s subtitles “Introduction, In The Name Of God, All I ask For, Mercy For Sale, Keep Silent, Upon The Door” will get you even closer to what you are in store for. Hint: Upon the Door could contain the word Wittenberg on it. But you should see for yourself. This is just a foretaste of the whole package. I would definitely recommend this CD for anyone who loves music, appreciates musicianship, and loves the historical content surrounding the Protestant Reformation.

For a preview of the music or purchase it, and read some other reviews, go to the Amazon link to check it out. Rock on!


Toby Mac – Boomin’

Hey y’all it’s BD 4 JC. I heard this tune the other day and it rocked my face off. I had to share. So I found this live performance of it on This guy goes way back with dcTalk. He’s the only guy I know who can combine R&B, hip hop and rock and make it all gell. Enjoy! Rock On!!


Posted by on April 22, 2007 in Music Video, Praise, Toby Mac


Guitar project (Part 1)

I have been chomping at the bit all winter to get started on my guitar project. I have sanding guitarbeen waiting for the weather to warm up so I can get outside and do some sanding. I have been playing guitar off and since I was a teenager and I have always wanted to create an electric guitar myself.

Over a year ago I found some information about how to paint your own guitar using spray cans. I did some research and found some glowing reviews on this method of guitar building. The method I found can be found at this web site. I purchased their electronic books and I received a ton of information including instructions with pictures, video, guitar graphics templates, and so many more resources.

Armed with these resources I proceeded to get online and find an electric guitar body, neck and hardware (electronics and such). Ebay here I come. I selected a Stratocaster type body made of Adler wood which is a decent type of wood for sustain which is important for some of the music I like to play. I found a nice looking Yamaha Stratocaster type neck where the fret board looked barely worked in. I purchased two Mighty Mite single coil pickups and a Seymour Duncan Screamin’ Demon humbucking bridge pickup. It will scream! I got all chrome hardware that will go nicely with the color I intend to paint my guitar.

The color and pattern is going to be orange and white checkerboard just like the end zones of my favorite college football team. Over the winter I put the body and neck together and installed all of the electronics and hardware to see how it would all sound together. I can honestly say it really sounded great. The Seymour Duncan humbucker screamed through some Van Halen, and when I selected the neck pickups the blues had some really great tone.

So this past Saturday I pulled the guitar out of my basement and removed all of the hardware, took apart the body and neck and began sanding off the original paint from the guitar body. I will be reporting several of the stages of the project on my blog. Hopefully it won’t bore my regular readers. Yeah all two of you. Above is the first picture. I can’t wait to rock. 


Posted by on April 18, 2007 in guitar building, Personal


Biblical motherhood and the news

I am borrowing a bit from Dr. Mohler’s radio program from this past TuesdaCaptured Britsy. I do this because it is so pertinent to a study I attended in this week’s IBS class. IBS stands for Institute for Biblical Studies. (The link will give you info from our church web site)

This past week we discussed the biblical roles of men and women. You may have heard some of the details surrounding the kidnapping ordeal of the 15 British troops captured by the Iranian military and their subsequent release. Some of those details involve the exploitation of the lone female soldier. During his usual denunciation of Western policy in the Middle East, Iranian president Ahmadinejad, made this observation.

“You will know that among the detainees there is one lady who is a mother of a child. Why is it that the most difficult work like patrolling at sea should be given to a woman?” “Why is there no respect for motherhood? Why does the West not value its women?”

This telling observation in the whole scene stood out for me, especially in light of the recent study of women’s roles. It does cause me to ponder the question. Is it really biblical for a woman, especially a mother and wife, be in the military?

In our IBS class we discussed three main attributes of a biblical woman. Those three attributes are:

  • Women are Helpers
  • Women are Nurturers
  • Women are Submissive

I’d just like to focus a bit on the second attribute, women are nurturers. I think that providing some scripture would help at this point. If you read 1 Timothy 5 you will understand that the apostle Paul is providing Timothy with guidance toward dealing with women’s roles in the church and in the home. Several verses in this chapter deal with the women’s role of nurturing. Titus 2:3-5 also depicts women in this nurturing role. Paul writes in verse 5 that women should be “working at home” (ESV).

This one attribute is the one attribute that provides an answer to my question above. If a mother or wife is serving in the military can they also fill their womanly role as a nurturer?  Now I know some folks may say that they can if the husband is also in the military. But I would have to disagree because being married in the military is no guarantee that you will be stationed or serving together. If the couple have a child, who would provide the appropriate nurturing for the child? The military demands a lot from those serving and a mother would not have the necessary time to fill this biblical role. I believe the bible teaches throughout that it is the responsibility of the mother to provide the training and the passing on of the gift of Christ.

Please understand I am not saying that I agree with the way the Iranian president Ahmadinejad used this situation to point out the so called flaws in Western culture. Like I said before this was unashamedly an exploitation ploy for the world media. But the words he used did strike a nerve within the body of Christ.

Kudos and citations go to Dr. Albert Mohler for covering this in his radio show and blog seen here

Also kudos to Todd Swift one of our elders at OBC who lead our IBS class and provided the scripture for me to use.


Posted by on April 14, 2007 in Family, news, Women


Trusting in future grace

I am currently involved in a bible study surrounding a book written by John Piper. The Future Gracebook is titled Future Grace. We’ve been doing the study for about 4 weeks now and it is great. The first thing Piper educates us on is this thing called future grace. Piper contrasts future grace with gratitude. He challenges us to find anywhere in the bible where believers were motivated to obedience out of gratitude. He contends that this good deed behavior out of gratitude is called debtor’s ethic. It says that since you have done something good for me I am indebted to do something good for you. This is contrary to what God intended. God intended for true gratitude to be a spontaneous expression of pleasure in the gift and the good will of another. There is a good quote in the very first chapter that kind of describes it with clarity for me.

With true gratitude there is such a delight in the worth of God’s past grace, that we are driven on to experience more and more of it in the future. But this is not done by payments of debt in any ordinary sense. Rather, it is done by transforming gratitude into faith as it turns from contemplating the pleasures of past grace and starts contemplating the promises of the future.

This future grace is grace provided by God in the next day, in the next hour, in the next minute. We have confidence from past grace to trust God for His future grace. It is an awesome thing to behold and trust in.

In our study we recently discussed chapter six. It contains one of the most convicting things I’ve ever encountered. Faith in future grace versus pride. The chapter discusses three competitors to God for the human heart. Wisdom, might and riches. We think these can be obtained by our own self reliance. It is radically humbling to confess that the source of all our joy resides outside of ourselves. Pride is such an obstacle to future grace it opposes the hope and trust in the promises of God because we trust in ourselves, or others, or material things. But when we trust in God and His future grace we put away this human pride and walk in the second, the minute, the hour, and the day of God’s future grace. 

As we continue in this study I will post some more information about it and review it as a whole. More to come. 


John Calvin on worldly wisdom

John CalvinNow it’s time for a quote from:

John Calvin:

 Man with all his shrewdness is as stupid about understanding by himself the mysteries of God, as an ass is incapable of understanding musical harmony. – Calvin on 1Co 1:20.


Posted by on April 6, 2007 in Calvinism, quotes


Opening day and remembering “The Slide”

I’m taking this opportunity to blog about something a little on the lighter side. Today The Slideis opening day for the 2007 Major League Baseball season. I am a baseball fan from way back. Growing up in Ohio I was a big fan of “the Big Red Machine”. If you aren’t a baseball fan then I’ll tell you that this was the name given to the Cincinnati Reds during the 1970’s. They won four national league pennants and and two World Series. They produced many great players such as Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, Ken Griffey, and Tony Perez. The Reds were my dad’s favorite and they were my favorite team for quite a few years.

After I moved south to Tennessee I started to follow the Atlanta Braves. The Braves were always playing on television, airing on the Turner Broadcasting Network which is owned by Ted Turner who also owned the Braves. I remember going to many of the Atlanta Braves games. Traveling the two hours to Atlanta from Chattanooga, Tennessee. My friends and I would have our choice of seats during the 1980’s when the Braves were losing more than they were winning. I did get to see Dale Murphy play which was a great thrill. Then came the 1990’s and the unlikely 1991 season for the Braves. They went from worst the previous season to first by winning the national league pennant. They lost to the Minnesota Twins in the World Series in seven games in one of the best World Series in several years.

The next year the Braves dominated their division with dominating pitching with future stars like Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Steve Avery and reliever Mike Stanton. They won the pennant against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game that will be forever remembered with one of the most exciting finishes. In the bottom of the ninth inning the Braves were behind 2-1 with two runners on bases, David Justice was on third and Sid Bream on second. The Braves brought in Francisco Cabrera to pinch hit. Cabrera lined a single to left easily scoring Justice and then came Bream with less than mediocre speed rounding third and heading for home. Barry Bonds, playing left field for the Pirates, fielded the ball and threw it home. The ball and Bream got to home plate at the same time but Sid Bream’s foot slid under the would be tag scoring the winning run. Home plate became a mound of Braves players as the Braves announcer proclaimed, Braves win!! Braves win!! Braves win!! It was an exciting game to watch and one especially thrilling for Braves fans such as I.

For many baseball fans the season of 1994 really turned fans sour toward the game as it did for me. I have never been much of a baseball since then as my interest in baseball waned more and more as the years have gone by. I have become more of a fan of college baseball so I still love the sport but a lot more at the college level. With the controversy of pro players using steroids and earning huge mega millions baseball fans have been left behind. Hopefully someone can turn the game around. It is a great game.


Posted by on April 2, 2007 in Baseball