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Posted - 01 Dec 2006 :  13:29:08 Show Profile Reply with Quote

Jesus Joshua 24:15 Newsletter - December 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

Well, December is upon us! I trust that all of you had a blessed Thanksgiving. I think that if you really thought about it, you probably did. But that time is past, and even though we arestill in the Holiday season, we now set our sights on Christmas. As I have considered that part of the season, I have tried to sort through some different thoughts about Christmas.

Naturally, there will be countless sermons from countless pulpits, railing against the over-commercialization of Christmas. Maybe those impassioned speakers have a legitimate point, maybe not. Then there will be those who express a disdain for the dilution of Christian themes with the "secular" symbols of Christmas, i.e., Santa Clause, Christmas trees, Maybe they have a point, maybe not. Somehow, it gets really hard to hear the truth over the din sometimes.

While I am hesitant to pummel my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ over their passionate, and many times even legitimate, diatribes, I do think there is another point to consider.Dare I say that I think that it has become fashionable in Christian circles to criticize the whole Christmas atmosphere, particularly with regard to how it is celebrated in the U.S.?

No, Santa Claus has nothing to do with the real story of Christmas. Neither do decorated trees. Yes, it is true that retailers of all stripes morph the traditional Christmas songs into paens of commerce. Believe me, you haven't lived until you've heard a local auto dealership reinterpret Charles Dickens for a thirty second spot on the radio. Perhaps we parents are more concerned with trinkets and toys for our children, than giving them valuable life lessons.

Those facts aside, can I share a more optimistic view? While it is true that Christmas trees and Old St.Nick have no Biblical equation with the birth of Jesus, I find it more than just a little satisfying to see some correlation with some Scriptural principles, even if they are somewhat on the fringe. For example, why in the world would the myth of a jolly old fat man in a red suit, who travels the world, only to give gifts to all, without thought of recompense, bring so much joy to our hearts? Is it because of the presents under the tree, or is it the thought of lives changed by the spirit of giving to someone, just because? Is Santa Clause really just some secular image created for commerce? Or is this mythical figure a personification of the Biblical principle of selfless giving?

What about the Christmas tree? Is it still really some pagan symbol, or is it now a symbol of family coming together for a festive occasion? I have several fond memories of the family coming together, simply to trim the Christmas tree, every year. Most were when I was a child. As an adult, I personally dislike dealing with the tree, but it is important for my wife to involve the children in this tradition.What the Christmas tree once meant in ancient history holds no meaning or value. Is it not what the tree represents today more important?

I feel that now I must remind my fellow brethren that the cross of our Lord used to mean something quite different, before it became the universal symbol of our faith. Where it was a symbol of execution and death, it is now a symbol that represents life. Where once the very term "Christian" used to be an epithet, a pejorative term of disdain, ridicule, and mockery, we of the faith proudly bear that title. Should we of the faith renounce such a title, because it bears the history of questionable and tainted beginnings?

What about commerce? Perhaps we, in our affluence, have allowed ourselves to given to the commercialization of Christmas. Perhaps we spend way too much money. Yet I wonder, if I were a business owner, and my livelihood depended upon patrons spending their money at my establishment, would I not consider that a blessing? What if it meant the feeding of my family, and the welfare of my employees, for you to do business at my store? Should we condemn the "farmer" because he desires a good, bountiful "harvest"?

I only ask these things because I am wondering who the real "Scrooges" are in these times. While I am absolutely certain that Christmas is all about Jesus Christ, and His birth (and I teach my children such), I have seen some in the world act more in the spirit of the season, while many Christians sit back and utter, "Humbug!" Not necessarily in the stinginess of finance, like ole Ebeneezer, but certainly in the lack of love.

Just imagine what would happen in our world if Christians went into a restaurant, during the Christmas season, and instead of complaining about the service, tipped the server a little extra, just because? What if we Christians bought presents, even expensive ones, and gave them to others not a part of your immediate family?

What if we Christians obeyed the traffic rules a little more diligently while we were out doing our Christmas shopping? Will any of that lead someone to Jesus? Probably not, at least in the short term.

But it seems to me that if we were to set a better precedent in the common, everyday, "secular" parts of our lives, our faith would take on a real potent authority. Ghandi was once asked what he thought of Christianity. He replied that while he liked their Christ, he didn't think much of their Christians. Ghandi went on to say that Christianity would never take hold of India until the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapter 5) became the creed of the Christian.

I truly wonder; are we so engrossed, as Christians, in the fashion of preaching against the symbols of Christmas, that we haven't embraced what Christmas is really about? Has the spirit of Christmas become our creed, or fashionable passion our crusade?


News and Events

  • As many of you now already know, the latest release from Jesus Joshua 24:15, "3 The Hard Way" is now available. It was released in November. You may purchase the CD at the Jesus Joshua 24:15 website.There's 11 new tracks of pure Jesus Joshua 24:15 energy waiting to be unleashed at a stereo near you!

  • There will be an interview with Jesus Joshua 24:15 on Saturday, December 9, 2006, conducted by Christian Rock and Fellowship. This will be a live interview.

  • The band is currently filling it's performance calendar for 2007. There is a show February 17th, 2007, at "The Warehouse" in Clinton, Tenn. at 8pm. Also scheduled to appear are "Brim" and "Eden's Way." It's going to ba a LOUD evening!

  • December brings us a birthday to Drummer Bobby Shepherd. Happy Birthday, Bob!

  • Don't forget, of course, December 25 is Christmas Day. Unto us, in the city of David, a Savior is born!


Guitar Points from Will

This month, I would like to continue with the concept of intervals once again. This time we shall look at Major Third intervals. A Major 3rd (or M3, or just 3) consists of a distance of 2 whole steps, or 4 frets (Remember, the distance between each fret is a half-step, so 4 half-steps= 2 whole steps).

|-M3-||-M3-|-M3-|-M3-|-M3-|-M3-|-M3-||-M3-||-M3-||-M3-||-M3-| | E G# F A F#A# G B AbC A C# Bb D B D# C E DbF D F# | 1E|-0-4--1-5--2-6--3-7--4-8--5-9--6-10--7-11--8-12--9-13--10-14---| 2B|---------------------------------------------------------------| 3G|---------------------------------------------------------------| 4D|---------------------------------------------------------------| 5A|---------------------------------------------------------------| 6E|---------------------------------------------------------------|

Notice the 4 fret span? Now, like we exampled in last month's column, Major 3rds can not only lay out on the same string, but on two or more strings. Here are some examples;

|---M3---|---M3---|---M3---|---M3---|---M3---|---M3---|---M3---| | E G# E G# E G# E G# E G# E G# E G# | 1E|--------|--------|-0---4--|-----4--|--------|--------|--------| 2B|--------|--------|--------|-5------|-----9--|--------|--------| 3G|--------|--------|--------|--------|-9------|-----13-|--------| 4D|--------|--------|--------|--------|--------|-14-----|-18-----| 5A|--------|-----11-|--------|--------|--------|--------|-----19-| 6E|-12--16-|-12-----|--------|--------|--------|--------|--------|

Also, as in last month, you don't have to play these notes in consecutive order, but at the same time. This concept is part of chord structure. By playing these notes together, you form a M3rd power chord. While not a true chord, by definition, playing simpler intervals such as these help keep the music uncluttered, while retaining the original harmony. We shall look at this concept in the future, but for right now let's examine these intervals played together;

||--M3--| |--M3--| |--M3--| |--M3--| |--M3--||--M3--||--M3--| 1E|--------|--------|--------|----4---|--------|-------|-------| 2B|--------|--------|--------|----5---|---9----|-------|-------| 3G|--------|--------|---1----|--------|---9----|---13--|-------| 4D|--------|---6----|---2----|--------|--------|---14--|---18--| 5A|---11---|---7----|--------|--------|--------|-------|---19--| 6E|---12---|--------|--------|--------|--------|-------|-------| | G# G# G# G# G# G# G# | | E E E E E E E |

Now we can start looking at some chord concepts, utilizing the past few columns for reference. "Chords" are essentially stacks of intervals. For this month we will look at triads. A "triad" is (of course) three notes. But if we were to look at it from a different perspective, a triad could be viewed as two different "interval stacks". Let's look at the most basic chords for guitar, the "E Major" (or just "E") and the "E minor" (or "Em").

A Major chord consists of three notes; the Root (R), the Major 3rd (3), and the Perfect 5th (5). A minor chord is similar; the Root (R), the minor third (b3), and the Perfect 5th (5). (5th intervals will be discussed in the future.)

In the key of E, these chords are "spelled" like this:

|----P5---| |-M3-|-b3-| Major = R 3 5 E = E G# B |----P5---| |-b3-|-M3-| Minor = R 3 5 Em = E G B

Now, earlier I said that these could be viewed as a stack of TWO intervals. In the case of the "E Major" chord, we have "E" to "G#" (R-3), which we've studied as a "Major Third Interval". Now, if we take the "G#" to "B" (3-5) we have a "Minor Third Interval". You might be scratching your head now, thinking, "But the "B" note is the 5th of "E"! How could that be a "minor third"? Easy. We are not counting the distance from the "E" note here. We are counting it from the "G#". "G#" to "B" is a minor third interval.

Remember that a "Minor Third Interval" is 3 half-steps, or 3 frets apart. If you go from the "G#" on your first string, fourth fret, up 3 frets, you will land on a "B".

Let's look at some examples on the fretboard;

Ex. 3a; *Note that it doesn't matter in what order these intervals fall. They will still be considered an Emajor (or Eminor). *Also note that the "slash" chords are only just referring to which note of the chord is in the bass, or lowest position. E E E E/G# E E/B E/G# 1E|--------|-------|-------|---4---|---7---|-------|-------| 2B|--------|-------|---0---|---5---|---9---|---9---|-------| 3G|--------|---4---|---1---|---4---|---9---|---9---|---9---| 4D|---9----|---6---|---2---|-------|-------|---9---|---9---| 5A|---11---|---7---|-------|-------|-------|-------|---11--| 6E|---12---|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------| | B B B G# B G# E | | G# G# G# E G# E B | | E E E B E B G# | Em Em Em Em/G Em Em/B Em/G 1E|--------|-------|-------|---3---|---7---|-------|-------| 2B|--------|-------|---0---|---5---|---8---|---8---|-------| 3G|--------|---4---|---0---|---4---|---9---|---9---|---9---| 4D|---9----|---5---|---2---|-------|-------|---9---|---9---| 5A|---10---|---7---|-------|-------|-------|-------|---10--| 6E|---12---|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------| | B B B G B G E | | G G G E G E B | | E E E B E B G |

As you can see, now we're are starting to develop some fretboard shapes that your eyes, fingers, and especially, ears can begin to easily identify. As we progress through our interval studies, we shall begin to remember shapes and patterns on your fretboard. But more importantly, makes sure that your ears develop as well. Music is a hearing art. All that matters is does it sound good!




Here are some other areas where you can find "Jesus Joshua 24:15";

Go on and check 'em out!

An Audience With Jesus Joshua 24:15

Here is our monthly reader question. This question actually was posted in the Jesus Joshua 24:15 forums, but I thought that they were great questions. Here it is, in four parts:

What is the significance of the band name?

Why the metal genre?

What do you hope to accomplish -at concerts -with fans?

Where do you want to play (dream gig)?

...and as a band geek - what equipment do you use and why?


Man, Wes, you're a curious bass player, aren't you? lol!

Well, here goes some of my answers...

The bands name is actually an answer to a question: Joshua 24:15 asks us to "Choose this day whom you shall serve..." and our answer is a resounding, "Jesus!"

As to why the Metal genre, well, quite frankly, it is who we are, musically.The music that has always stirred me, entertained me, and inspired me has always been rock and metal. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with any other style of music, to me the power rests in metal. It is not a spiritual power, so don't misread my last statement. But for me, and my fellow band mates, that is where our hearts lie.

What we hope to accomplish with fans, whether at concerts, or through the products, or even through just simple conversation, is present Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. But We're not interested in having "church", so much as we are trying to convey Him through the power and integrity of our performance and material. For those who are already saved, and know Him personally, we wish to lift and encourage, as well as be an alternative to the products of the world. In that sense, we have to operate at a very professional level.If you are going to be an alternative to what the world has, then you better present a superior product. If you are going to spend you hard earned dollars on some music, it had better be worth it.

For those who do not know Jesus, we desire to show them that we mean business, and that we have drawn a line in the sand, and saying, "Here's Jesus. He loves you, He died for you, He isn't your problem. Satan is." We choose to be straight shooters with people. There's no dancing around any subjects. There's no diluting of the message. What you hear in the music, and read in the lyrics, is completely real and forthright. If people are going to reject us, that is fine, as long as they reject us for the truth. If people are going to accept us, it will be because we aren't playing games with the Gospel.

On a somewhat more pragmatic term, we want to just be easy-going, simple guys. We want to show people that we're just like them, and not on some elevated plane. We're not rock stars, we're preachers... er, rather loud one's! lol!

My dream gig? You know, I've never really thought of that, but I would probably have to say Jay Leno, or my hometown "Riddle Stadium." To me, every gig is a dream gig.

My equipment is rather simple, actually. I use a Schecter "Diamond" series Omen-6, with no tremolo bar. Any trem work is done with my Ibanez RG550, with a Floyd Rose locking system (the best trem ever).My amplification is a Marshall JCM800 100W head powering a Marshall 4x12, Celestion speaker straight bottom cabinet, a 5150 slant top cab w/Sheffield speakers. I am also a fan of the multi-amp set up favored by SRV, Eric Johnson, and others, so I supplement my top end with a Peavey Stereo Chorus 120W combo. I route my signal to both amps with a Line6 PODpro, and condition the signal with a BBE Sonic Maximizer/Noise Reduction (the Marshall is a noisy beast, but the tone is worth it). Even though I have the Pod, I still like to use stomp boxes. I run my guitar into a Boss Stereo Chorus, and run channel A through my Boss flanger, and even an Ibanez Phaser, on occasion. Channel A then routes to an ABY Switcher. Channel B, from the Chorus pedal, routes to my Cry-Baby Wah pedal, and then to my ABY Switcher. Then I route the signal to the PODpro.

The reason is simple: I use my Wah as a filter for leads, most of the time, similar to Michael Schenker, Slash, and Joe Satriani. I like to be able to switch between two channels, yet still keep the chorused sound consistent. I only use the flange in small touches, same with the phaser. I will occasionally use the flange for lead work, a la Van Halen, but only when I'm feeling particularly frisky.

I prefer to have the PODpro because, and this has happened before, if my main amp goes down I can just rout the signal to a P.A. channel, and finish the show, and my sound won't suffer too much. It is not an ideal situation, but I can't afford to get too comfortable, since live performance requires flexibility.

Having said that, my Marshall is very dependable. The only real problem I have had with it is blown fuses. I always keep a supply of fuses for it, but it doesn't happen too often. The only other problem that I have is re-tubing, but that is a normal part of tube amp maintenance, and I have never blown a tube in!

Oh, and just for the record: I use Dean Markley Blue Steels, gauged .010-.046. Why? They last. I did the entire last CD on Two sets of strings. I am considering going up a gauge, just 'cuz I'm into! But again, the tone is worth it.

Whew...Man, I talk way too much!!


A Final Thought

Final Thoughts for December

I'll keep it brief. Have a very Merry Christmas. Remember that it is a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We look forward to the New Year, as Jesus Joshua 24:15 will be hitting the road periodically, in 2007. We'll be looking out for you when we come to your town. It is our prayer that you will be bold for Jesus Christ, as you mingle in a world that wants no part of Him.Yet, like we all do, they desperately need Him.

Edited by - AXEMAN2415 on 03 Dec 2006 09:05:44

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