Music Monday My letter to Eric Clapton

________I have read over 40 autobiographies by ROCKERS and it seems to me that almost every one of those books can be reduced to 4 points. Once fame hit me then I became hooked on drugs. Next I became an alcoholic (or may have been hooked on both at same time). Thirdly, I chased the skirts and thought happiness would be found through more sex with more women. Finally, in my old age I have found being faithful to my wife and getting over addictions has led to happiness like I never knew before. (Almost every autobiography I have read from rockers has these points in it although Steven Tyler is still chasing the skirts!!).

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Image result for eric clapton jimmy page

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For 16 years Larry Speaks owned his store (Southern Fruit & Grocery Sheridan, AR 72150) and he gave free cassette tapes of the message WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers to any customer who would like them.

See outside

Map of Southern Fruit & Grocery
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Francis Schaeffer pictured below

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The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon’, oil on canvas painting by Edward Poynter, 1890

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Adrian Rogers pictured below

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The Passion of the Christ: The Crucifixion.

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_____   April 7, 2017

Eric Clapton

Dear Eric,

I read a story about you and I wanted to ask you if it is true. Francis Schaeffer talked about the views of the Beatles  and other 1960’s Rock Groups including CREAM.  His son Frank wrote recently about the impact of SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND:

“Sgt. Pepper’s” became my personal sound track of liberation back then…Genie, my wife of 44 years… grew up in the Bay Area and as a teen had the distinction of seeing the Beatles three times (!) live and the Rolling Stones four times (!) live.

Meanwhile, I was growing up in Switzerland in a mission(L’Abri Fellowship), and my “almost famous” rock-n-roll high point came when I got a job helping with theLed Zeppelin’slight show at the Montreux Jazz/rock festival.I met Jimmy Page and noticed he was reading one of my dad’s first books, ESCAPE FROM REASON. (No kidding.)

This was back in the days when Dad was a sort of hippie guru for Jesus catering to Beats, hippies and dropouts hitching across Europe.Eric Claptonhad given Page the book as it turned out. I was trying to be “cool” that day on the light show crew… and I wasn’t too pleased to find my brief escape into the rock world from the world of my Dad’s evangelical mission was no escape from my God-world at all. He’d been giving lectures on Bob Dylan, and drug guru Timothy Leary had been a guest at L’Abri. And now I got to briefly “hang out with the band” and Dad got there first, or at least one of his books did! Sheesh! It’s hard to be cool!

…Anyway… Just before coming to my parent’s mission in 1969 – Genie was visiting a friend and knew nothing about the place — she was hanging out with the Santana drummer in California. My then teen bride-to-be Genie might as well have gone to another planet when she stumbled into Dad and Mom’s ministry. The only Billy Graham she’d ever heard of was the Fillmore West manager!

I wonder if my wife-to-be was in the Fillmore West rock palace when Dad and I were there one night in 1968 listening to the Jefferson Airplane together and some hippie handed Dad a joint? Dad passed it on down the row, not taking any himself but totally un-shocked and loving Grace Slick as much as I did… if only Jerry Falwell could have seen us then…

This was back in the days when Dad was a sort of hippie guru for Jesus catering to Beats, hippies and dropouts hitching across Europe. Eric Clapton had given Page the book as it turned out. (Don’t write me, neither “got saved,” and I have no idea how this story ends!)

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I discovered that on this morning of April 7, 2017  my good friend Larry Speaks has died and gone to heaven. Let me tell you a little about him. After Larry put is faith in Christ alone for his salvation over 20 years ago he got started on  a hobby of listening and  discussing some of the great sermons that he heard. One of those sermons was WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers. In fact, he asked me to run off some cassette tapes of that message  so he could give it to people who used to come into his store SOUTHERN FRUIT & GROCERY. After he sold the store he continued to give out this message and over the years I switched to putting it on CD’s for him to give out. Even the last years of his life he would go to McCain Mall and walk through the mall and give out the CD’s. He was thrilled that so many people were glad to get them, and he was disappointed when occasionally someone would decline to accept his gift.

I have determined today to write you a few letters concerning the meaning of it all and the writings of Solomon and today’s letter is on a subject that I am currently thinking a lot about. I know that you have had to deal with the issue of death through the years too.

In the last years of his life King Solomon took time to look back and then he wrote the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES. Solomon did believe in God but in this book he  took a look at life “UNDER THE SUN.” Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘UNDER THE SUN.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

Francis Schaeffer comments on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of death:

Ecclesiastes 9:11

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Chance rules. If a man starts out only from himself and works outward it must eventually if he is consistent seem so that only chance rules and naturally in such a setting you can not expect him to have anything else but finally a hate of life.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-18a

17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. 18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun…

That first great cry “So I hated life.” Naturally if you hate life you long for death and you find him saying this in Ecclesiastes 4:2-3:

And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

He lays down an order. It is best never have to been. It is better to be dead, and worse to be alive. But like all men and one could think of the face of Vincent Van Gogh in his final paintings as he came to hate life and you watch something die in his self portraits, the dilemma is double because as one is consistent and one sees life as a game of chance, one must come in a way to hate life. Yet at the same time men never get beyond the fear to die. Solomon didn’t either. So you find him in saying this.

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

The Hebrew is stronger than this and it says “it happens EVEN TO ME,” Solomon on the throne, Solomon the universal man. EVEN TO ME, even to Solomon.

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.[n] 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

What he is saying is as far as the eyes are concerned everything grinds to a stop at death.

Ecclesiastes 4:16

16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

That is true. There is no place better to feel this than here in Switzerland. You can walk over these hills and men have walked over these hills for at least 4000 years and when do you know when you have passed their graves or who cares? It doesn’t have to be 4000 years ago. Visit a cemetery and look at the tombstones from 40 years ago. Just feel it. IS THIS ALL THERE IS? You can almost see Solomon shrugging his shoulders.

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By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture.  I am hoping that your good friend Woody Allen will also come to that same conclusion that Solomon came to concerning the meaning of life and man’s proper place in the universe in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil

NOW BACK TO MY FRIEND LARRY SPEAKS. If Larry was here now he would urge you to listen to the message WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers. Therefore, I wanted to give you a little part of that message. Under the point THE PROPHETIC WITNESS OF THE SCRIPTURES Adrian Rogers talks about Psalm 22:

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The Amazing Prophecy of the Cross

Psalm 22 is an incredible chapter. Perhaps more than any other chapter in the Bible, you cannot read it and come away not loving the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Turn to Psalm 22. Just below the name of a psalm, often the name of the one who wrote it is given. Who is the human author of Psalm 22?

Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, almost half (73) of the Bible’s 150 psalms were written by King David.

One thousand years before Jesus Christ, David prophetically foretold His crucifixion.

Since crucifixion was a Roman, not Jewish, form of execution, how is that possible?  Crucifixion was completely unknown to the Jewish culture. It would be another 800 years before crucifixion came into the Jewish world. But here we find by divine inspiration a portrait of the cross.

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Expect another letter or email on Larry and Solomon coming soon. Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

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