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Guitar Weenie

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Posted - 02 Oct 2006 :  15:44:05 Show Profile

Jesus Joshua 24:15 Newsletter - October 2006

The Band:
Bobby Shepherd: Drums
Steve Pettit: Lead Vocals
Jay Woody: Bass
Will Rauser: Guitars

The Crew:
Mark Bussell: Webmaster, Computer Tech
Jim Bishop: Promotion, PR
Tammy Woody: Video Production, Wardrobe
Juli Rauser: Booking

Editor's Lead

Just in case no one has noticed, I am late with our monthly newsletter. It is amazing how fast October has come upon us! Too late I realized that there weren't 31 days in September! I have also been experiencing some technical difficulties with my PC, and I am having to make some adjustments that took more time than I wished.But all excuses aside (sigh!), I apologize for my tardiness.

Having said all of that, I must make an observation. It seemed as though the month of September just flew right on by. It was here, and then it was gone. As a matter of fact, since we began the Jesus Joshua Newsletter, each month has just disappeared into the past in a flash. But it isn't just the newsletter milestones that seem to slip by, the speed of life itself seems to be in overdrive.

As I get older (and no comments from any one in my little circle here), I have become increasingly aware of the pace of my life. My son is ten years old, and it seems like just yesterday he was born. My wife and I have been married 14 years, and yet it seems like just last week we were exchanging vows. I have been in Jesus Joshua for 11 years, and yet it seems like we just began. Where does the time slip to?

Although I realize that it is flawed human perception that causes us to feel this way, I am reminded of how our Lord Jesus spoke about the span of our lives, in comparison to the grand scheme of things. In Luke 12:25-28, Jesus speaks about what we worry about in this life. In verse 28, in particular, Jesus compares the splendor of the lilies to the splendor of King Solomon, saying that even Solomon wasn't as finely robed as these plants. Then our Lord adds an interesting twist. He says, of the lilies, "Which [are] here today, and tomorrow thrown into the fire..."

In other words, even those things which seem to be eternal, beautiful, wondrous, and important to life, are gone in an instant. They are here today, gone tomorrow. And nobody really seems to notice. Have you ever noticed the creatures that live in your yard, or on your land? There is a huge spider that spins it's web between some plants in my yard. There it sits, waiting for its prey to fly into its web. Where did this thing come from? And once it is gone for the season, where will it go? Every year, I see a spider in a new web. But I am sure that it isn't the same creature each time. I am fairly certain that a spider doesn't live for very long. And yet, they seem eternal. Without fail, a spider will spin a web between two plants. But I have never noticed a spider carcass, unless I kill one myself. Thus, it seems as though I am seeing the return of an old friend every year.It gives the impression that life is on a normal, predictable clip.

Yet we know full well that everything in life has an ending, and we humans are mortal. And that, even if we live a hundred years, what is that in comparison to eternity? Even if we live a hundred years, we certainly will not have the same quality of life that we had when we were twenty. Bones get brittle, skin gets wrinkled, hair gets gray, and memory becomes less dependable. Somehow time becomes less and less of a possession the longer you live. You certainly have less of it to "kill".

I am sorry if all of this sounds depressing. That, most assuredly, is not my goal with this. However, I think it is a sobering thought, one that should make us stop and consider what we spend our time on. What is really important to us? What is really worth spending our valuable time on? What is really worth spending the energy of worry on? The old saying, "Life is short," is very true. In light of Jesus' words in Luke, perhaps many of us (including myself) need to re-evaluate our priorities and processes in life. A lot of time is spent chasing things which ultimately have very little value. And before we know it, our life has passed us by.

I am not sure how to close this portion of the newsletter. On the one hand, it seems as though I have left all of us hanging, waiting for some mysterious and insightful answer to appear. On the other, it seems as though I desire for us to just ponder the reality of this, rather than look for some other kind of closure. I will be the first to admit that I do not have any answers. I am not even sure of the questions. But of this I am sure: God is eternal, He never changes, and He is always there, even in our old age....

To quote my dear friend Bob, "Truly this life is but a vapor!"

"Getting To Know The Band"

In this month's segment of "Getting To Know The Band", I would like to veer from the normal interview setting, and allow some personal opinion and/or experience shine. Of course, I think it appropriate to give first dibs to the man who put this whole thing together, one Mr.Bobby Shepherd. I had asked for his insights on leadership, and without fail, he delivered. Here is his thoughts:

I've been in various leadership positions for some fifteen years with a solid history of success in different areas. There are good leaders and bad leaders alike, as well as different styles and proved techniques. In the end it all comes down to what works for you. Some are able to motivate and move people with harsh words and threats of termination. While more and more common in todays society,this will not work in a volunteer situation such as a ministry or band. Here's my thoughts on good leadership:

1. Vision. Always look ahead and understand where potential problems may occur. Do not wait until these problems happen before you consider a solution. In fact you will do good to expect problems and always have a plan B in mind. This should be automatic if you ,as I said before, understand where potential problems may occur.

2. Focus. You must find ways to keep all members focused on the job at hand. Hitting a goal involves making different things happen at different times. A good leader is able to keep the groups attention fixed on any given detail at any time until goal is met.

3. Goals. Without a goal there is nothing to lead anybody to. "Because I said so" is not a good enough reason to make anybody want to follow. The goal is a common thread to all who are involved, and all must stand to gain something from meeting the goal. A good leader will also have the ability to reveal unseen benefits to individuals in the group. Being able to identify and use each members individual strengths to hit goal is also a strong leadership quality.

4. Integrity. Integrity is key if you expect anybody to follow you. Leaders are always being watched and are held to a higher standard as should be. They must be fair, honest and in some instances they must be the bad guy. Often misunderstood and sometimes resented,a good leader makes every decision with the goal in mind and doesn't change the goal with each changing situation. If you flip flop then your track record will reflect it and nobody will follow a person with a hit and miss record, and finally, don't ask anybody to do anything that you wouldn't do yourself. People are more likely to follow someone who's not afraid to get their hands dirty rather than one who just gives orders and watches.

Editor's note: We will be bringing Part 2 of "An Interview With Steve", in an later issue of the JJ24:15 Newsletter. Some scheduling and computer issues have postponed the second part of the interview.


Guitar Points from Will

Although the last couple of months I have been examining the issue of worm ups, that subject can get very boring to many readers. I cannot stress the importance of warm ups enough, for you can damage your hands if you do not at least do a little. However, warm ups are not musical, and that is what we all want to do, play music! So, I will leave the concept of warm ups for the time being. I will revisit the subject in a future column.

This time around, I would like to examine the building blocks of music: Scales. And I would like to examine these with regard to the fretboard. In order to understand your note choices (beside using your ears)is to understand how scales lay out on the fretboard. Scales, being the building blocks of music, have a structure. And that structure is based on what are called intervals. It is intervals that we will look at first.

Intervals are basically the distance between one note from another. Let's look at an example.

Gb Ab Bb Db Eb E F E F# E G E G# E A E A# E B E C E C# E D E D# E E 1E|-0-1--0-2--0-3--0-4--0-5--0-6--0-7--0-8--0-9--0-10--0-11--0-12-| 2B|---------------------------------------------------------------| 3G|---------------------------------------------------------------| 4D|---------------------------------------------------------------| 5A|---------------------------------------------------------------| 6E|---------------------------------------------------------------|

First of all, for right now, the notes are not so important. This is just an example. What I have done here is provide an illustration of a standard tuned guitar, and also showed the actual pitches that you pick, going up the fretboard in what are called half-steps. Hal-steps are a distance of one fret between each note. In other words, going from the open first string("0" on the high "E" string) to the first fret of the first string ("1" on the high "E" string) equals a half-step interval. On the above chart, that would be "E" to "F", or 0 fret to 1st fret.

So, anytime that you play a series of notes that go up or down in one note increments, you are playing in intervals of half-steps. The next logical conclusion would be if you decided to play a series of notes that go up or down in increments of two(2)frets, then you would be playing in intervals of a whole step. So, on the fretboard, you would be playing open "E" (0 on the first string) to the second fret F# (2 on the high "E" string).

Now, you might be asking yourself, "What does this have to do with scales?" or even, "What does this have to do with playing music?" Well, for one thing, understanding the intervalsallows you to understand the basic structure of music and reference them to other building blocks of music. Plus, you can communicate to other musicians certain concepts, rather than just to other guitarists. A horn player may not understand the concept of "frets" in relation to his instrument, but he can understand intervals. A half-step interval on the guitar is still a half-step interval on any other instrument, it is just not physically executed the same way. Understanding interval concepts gives you another tool in your understanding of your instrument, musically.

Now, let's see how intervals become scales. Scales are a series of intervals in a particular order. There are many different scales, and it is possible to "create" your own, by using your own set of intervals. But there's where you have to use your ears to taste. At any rate, There is a way to identify the intervals of a scale, by using a numerical system. For example, using the fret system of the guitar (and the illustration above for reference), we see that we go "E" on the open string up to the octave"E" on the 12th fret of the High "E" string. Each pitch goes up the fretboard in half-step increments, but each time we refer back to the "E" note, the interval distance changes. In total we end up with 12 different intervals, each one a half-step apart, consecutively, but different when relating to the original starting note. So that means that we either have 12 consecutive half-steps, which we call chromatic, or we have twelve different numerical names for each pitch when related to the "Root" note (or original starting pitch). We can illustrate this concept thus;

E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E R b2 M2 b3 M3 P4 b5 P5 #5 M6 b7 M7 Oct

Now, a couple of definitions are in order:
"R" = Root or "1"; the first note of a scale or key.

"b2"= a lowered 2nd, or "flat 2", or "minor 2nd"; a half-step above the root. Can also be called the "b9".

"M2"= Major second; a whole step above the root. Can also be called the "9th"

"b3"= a lowered 3rd, or "flat third"; it is 1 and a half steps above the root (3 half steps). Dictates whether a chord is minor. Can also be called the "#9"

"M3"= Major 3rd, or simply "3". It is 2 whole steps above the root (4 half steps).Dictates whether a chord is Major.

"P4"= Perfect 4th, or "4". This tone acts as a suspension in a chord, when the 3rd (major or minor) is not present. When the 3rd IS present, this tone acts as the 11th interval (not included for this discussion). It is 2 and a half steps above the root (5 half steps).

"b5"= Diminished 5th, or "flat 5". This interval divides the octave (all twelve intervals) into two equal halves. The distance from the root to the "b5" is 3 whole steps (6 half steps). Consequently, the distance from the "b5" to the other end of the octave is the same 3 whole steps. This interval can also (depending on how it is used) can be called the "#4" and "#11", but there are particular circumstances that create that situation.

"P5"= Perfect 5th, or simply "5". It is neither Major nor minor. It harmonizes perfectly with the root. Can also be called the "Parallel 5th". It is 3 and a half steps from the root (7 half steps). Correspondingly, the distance between the "P5" to the "Root" is a perfect 4th, going upward. Example; The "P5" of "E" is "B". Reverse it, the "P4" of "B" is "E". Powerchords are built using the "Root" (or "1") and the "P5" (or "5")

"#5"= Augmented 5th, or "sharp 5", or even "flat 6". It is 4 steps above the root (8 half steps). Most often used as a chord extension.

"M6"= Major 6th, or simply "6". Can also be referred to as the "13th". It is 4 and a half steps above the root (9 half steps).

"b7"= Dominant 7, or simply just "7" (as in C7, E7, et al). It is 5 whole steps above the root (10 half steps). The dominant 7th, when present in a chord, allows that chord to be altered, even with notes that do not normally belong to a certain key (as in E7#9, or E7#5, or E7b5, and so on).

"M7"= Major 7th. It is 5 and a half steps above the root (11 half steps). Leads ear to the root.

"Oct"= Octave. This is the exact parallel to the root. Most of the time it is simply called the "Root an octave higher". It is listed as "1". It is 6 whole steps above the root (12 half steps).

As we examine the chart, it appears to be a lot of information, and it is. But it is really not that difficult to take in, if you simply put your hands on the fretboard, and follow the notes, you will see how the intervals work themselves out. Just remember that a half step is one (1) fret distance, a whole step is two (2) fret distance, a whole and a half step is three (3) frets, and so on.

Study the charts carefully. Even if you do not completely understand the whole thing, putting in your mind will help your understanding eventually. As we progress over the coming months, we will look at how chords are produced from scales and intervals. This will help in your lead and rhythm playing ideas. Until next time, study hard.

News and Events

  • Well, as of September 24th, all of the guitar parts for our new CD, "3 The Hard Way" have been completed. As of this writing, there are some production and mixing issues that need to be resolved before mastering for release. The release of the new material should be this month! I am excited, and I think it is some of the best material we've done!

  • Will's son, David, is now currently playing his first year of tackle football, playing the position of safety. David had played for two years in flag football, so this is his first year in full padding and guard equipment. He is smaller than everybody on his team, but his heart for the game is as big as anything! Will is a very proud father.

  • There is a tentative show scheduled for November. Exact date and time TBA as clarification is confirmed.

  • There may be some upcoming changes in the Jesus Joshua 24:15 website in the next few weeks. If there is any problem accessing the site, please be patient, as we are trying to make things a little easier for everyone to access and navigate all things Jesus Joshua. Thanks in advance.

  • A big oops from the Editor: I regret that a special September announcement was overlooked. A belated congratulations to Bobby and his wife for celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary on September 25th!My apologies to you both!

  • On a final note: The Editor would like for anyone who would like, to send us some questions of your own, either directed to the band as a whole, or to an individual band member. I am looking to add a new feature to the Newsletter, and I would be interested in your queries. The questions can be about any subject, as long as they're not too personal. The subjects can be Theology, Music, Politics, or opinions on just about anything. We do, however, reserve the right to not answer a question we deem too personal or even purposely damaging. Questions can be posed on this website, or you can go to , click on a photo of a band member, and you can send your questions directly to the band member of your choice. We may not be able to answer every one, but I guarantee every question will get read.


A Final Thought

On September 14th, 2006, I was listening to John Gibson on FOX News Talk, and I heard a caller respond to the subject of Rosie O'Donnel's inflammatory statements about Christianity on the show "The View." Rosie stated the following, "Radical Christianity is more of a threat than radical Islam." The caller to Gibson's talk show said this, in response to Gibson's query for an example of such a situation, "Look at (Mormon polygamist) Warren Jeffs. Here was a guy who abused children and married off 13 year-old girls to 55 year-old men. He was a radical Christian." Gibson didn't directly respond to this, although he didn't agree with the caller's premise. And I found myself shouting at an unresponsive radio, "Jeffs is NOT a Christian!"

Thus the subject of this article. I bring up both of these seemingly separate situations for the purpose of tying them together. Rosie's purpose for making such an ignorant and partisan statement is twofold: First, she is gay, and she despises the fact that she cannot be legally married to her lesbian partner, and blames Christians for this policy. Second, she is a liberal partisan, and feels that everyone has a right to do anything under the sun, there is no right and wrong, except when liberals define such terms. O'Donnel despises the current administration, which is her right to do. But she hates it especially because,to her, it represents a judgment to her personal lifestyle choices. Thus, she assigns blame to Christians, because, historically, Christians have made stands against such practices, from our pulpits and personal lives. It is interesting that Christians have chosen to make such moral stands within the confines of the legal rights of the American citizen. Christians use the ballot box, the right to peaceful protest, and the right to free speech. Christians do not subvert the law of the land, even when that law tends to be interpreted against Christianity.It is interesting, as well, that I have never heard one single news report that stated that Miss O'Donnel was accosted, threatened, or put in jeopardy by any "radical" Christian, when she "came out" as gay. Christians have been minding their own business, going to church, worshiping God, spreading the Gospel, working hard for their families, studying God's word, and obeying the Word. There is no clarion call for Christians to kill, maim, and destroy those who think differently from them. There is certainly no call from the Scriptures, there is no call from our pulpits, and real Christians know better than to use sinful methods to defeat sinful methods. We do not murder (i.e. bomb abortion clinics) to prove that murder ( like abortion) is wrong. There are those individuals who do such things in the name of God, but God isn't anywhere nearby that person. But people like Miss O'Donnel will cite such nefarious characters as examples of "Radical Christianity" to justify her blame game.

This ties into Warren Jeffs. For those who are not aware, Jeffs was,until recently, one of America's Most Wanted. He has numerous charges against him, among them: Marrying underage girls to elder adults, committing pedophile behaviors against children (of both genders). To put it bluntly, Jeffs is a sick, twisted individual. He is a member of a peripheral, non-mainstream Mormon group of polygamists. He has a messiah complex, and his influence within the confines of his group is on par with Jim Jones and David Koresh. Because he is affiliated with a "quasi-christian" (I use the word "christian" only in the sense that Mormons have Jesus as part of their name, "The Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints".) organization, his behaviors are labeled "religiously motivated." For the record, Mormons ARE NOT Christian. Their teachings are nothing but a distortion of the truth of the Gospel, a counterfeit to Christianity.

But yet, because of the superficial affiliation with the Name of Jesus, such groups are lumped under the category of "Christian." And there are others, most notably, the "Jehovah's Witnesses." These groups, because of their Christian "camouflage", as I like to term it, are constantly lumped in, and confused with, real Bible believing, Christians. These groups are NOT outer fringes of Christian theological thought, but entirely different and opposing theological philosophies. They are as different from Christianity as Islam is from Judaism, Shintoism is from Buddhism, and Communism is from Capitalism.

I say all of that to say this: Rosie O'Donnel makes an inaccurate, ignorant, hateful, and malignant statement such as "Radical Christianity is more of a threat than Radical Islam," and she is challenged on it, those who support her view (and there are many) will trot out examples such as Warren Jeffs, Timothy McVeigh (the Oklahoma City bomber, who reportedly quoted Scripture to justify his heinous acts), and the Ku Klux Klan (who use Christian symbols, such as the cross, and quote Scripture, as well), such as our caller to John Gibson did. Now, none of these groups are genuine Christians. They do not follow the tenets of the Faith. They simply pick and choose those pieces that will satisfy and justify their heinous acts. And we Christians get the blame. Every time some sicko with a perverse thought and a Scripture verse does something heinous, it mars the rest of us, and we were minding our own business. And the world, just looking for someone to blame, tosses those individuals into the pot as examples of mainstream Christian thought.

I only bring this up to kind of center our understanding of where we Christians may very well be in history. I Peter 4:3-4 says this;

I Peter 4:3-43For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to doŚliving in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.

What I find particularly disturbing is that these counterfeit religious organizations have thoroughly blended into the cultural Christian landscape. It is bad enough that the world hates us, but I accept that as part of being a child of God. But what helps add fuel to the fire is those which are not at all a part of even fringe Christian doctrines, which the world cannot (or will not)tell the difference. Then these groups do things in the name of our Lord, and their nefarious practices harm the credibility of our faith.

The mis-perception is simple. Someone in the world doesn't like their lifestyles or opinions being challenged, so they play the victim, and look for someone to heap scorn upon. Then they use an example that has no real connection to the actual person or group in question, if only to help illustrate the image of their victim-hood all the more.

Folks, in my opinion, this is the spirit of the antichrist, which the Scripture tells us is already on the Earth. I am not speaking of the actual person of the antichrist, but the spirit of this foul individual. But,it is an attitude that will gladly accept the form and function of the actual Antichrist when he tries to come to power. I believe that is even how many of the Elect will be deceived in the last days.

Think about it.

"C'mon Dave, Gimme a break!"

Edited by - AXEMAN2415 on 02 Oct 2006 21:31:23

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