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Guitar Weenie

740 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2007 :  23:51:27 Show Profile Reply with Quote

Jesus Joshua 24:15 Newsletter - April 2007

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
George Sparks: Roadie

Editor's Lead

Welcome to the April edition of the Jesus Joshua 24:15 Newsletter. As usual, I would like to take this time to consider some thoughts that have been stirring in me. Of particular note is a recent event that has, yet again, got my mind to spinning and pondering. I will get to the thrust of my thoughts momentarily, but I would first like to tell you a story.

In my early childhood, my father kept a 100 gallon fish tank full of tropical fish. I remember that every 2 to 3 weeks, my dad would meticulously remove all of the fish, drain the dirty water, clean the filters, and clean the tank. Then of course, dad would refill the tank with aquarium gravel, and put in fresh water.

On one occasion, I was helping my father clean the aquarium. I asked my dad why did he have to clean the aquarium so much. My Dad replied to me that the fish cannot survive in dirty water. "They're basically swimming in their own feces. Eventually, they will die." Lesson learned.

Shifting gears, about 2 or 3 weeks ago, I learned on a news report that two 6th grade students in an Indianapolis, Indiana elementary school completed the sex act during class while the teacher was present in the room. Now, allow me to give you some perspective: These were 6th graders... 11 or 12 years old!

Now, as you're in a state of shock - as I think you probably ought to be - allow me to add insult to injury. The school doesn't seem to think that there's an issue. As of this writing, that may have changed, but I wonder why the outrage has to take so long.

Various talking heads (on TV) have tried to assign blame, and many of the finger pointers are right, in some ways. One says, "Where are the parents of these children?" Good question. Now, to be fair, the children were in school, out of sight of the parents. There were many things that I did (although I knew better) that I did outside of my parents sight. Perhaps it is a little unfair to place all of the blame on them.

However, I cannot help but wonder if a permissive or pervasive home environment contributed to this sexualized attitude. I do not know and no one has indicated anything, but I am thinking out loud.

A slight rabbit trail here: I once worked with a guy who told me that he had no problem with his son (then a 7th grader) if his son "got some" from some girl, even an adult woman. "It would make him a man," he snorted. I cannot help but wonder if our two young "lovers" had parents with such attitudes.

I might also add that when I was young, I had friends whose parents would allow them to watch any kind of program on cable TV, even if it had nudity and overt sexual tones. My parents would never allow such a thing, and to this day they do not have cable TV. I am not knocking cable, but I knew how my friends operated out in the world. They certainly looked an awful lot like the programs they were watching.

Other critics cite the lack of proper authority and structure at the school. Given the state of education in the United States, I think this criticism is justifiable. I mean come on, having sex, while the teacher is in the room? Now I might be dumb, but I ain't plumb dumb. Okay, maybe the teacher legitimately got distracted and the classroom was set up with cubicles. But really, doesn't the teacher get up from their chair and check things out?

Then we have the talking heads on various talk shows, who go on and say, "Hey, this is normal! Who are we to say know to young people discovering their sexuality (I'm a father and a loving parent! I say...!)? What's the big deal?"

What's the big deal? These same talking heads call any outrage as "close minded" or "paranoia."

Now to cycle my opening story with this issue. After hearing of this situation I was on my way to work the next day early in the AM. I had a news talk radio show on, and although the subject matter escapes me, the guest said these words: "You cannot expect healthy fish to flourish in a polluted stream."

I immediately shut the radio off, just so I could remember that sentence. I thought, "Brilliant!" And I tried to sift through my thoughts for this very newsletter. It was then that I remembered what my dad said to me all those years ago. And with that, I must throw out a question: Are we swimming in our own feces? Is the world culture (not just the U.S.) so polluted that we cannot even see what is poisoning us?

Before anyone answers those questions too quickly in their minds I must follow up with some clarification. I am under some assumption that most of the readers of this newsletter are Christians. Given that knowledge, most of you will probably agree with some of my conclusions.

But that would only be preaching to the choir, wouldn't it? Perhaps we need to reevaluate some of our positions on things - even within the context of our faith. I am not going to attempt to list "remedies" for how such attitudes, such as our two 6th graders, may be avoided for I do think some things should be obvious. And I shall not assign blame to things which outside of certain obvious conditions may or may not be accurate.

To put it simply: We have become a culture that has no boundaries. It is not just permissiveness, but a culture that literally swims in its own philosophical "feces". And before we Christians cross our arms and shake our heads in condescending affirmation, we may very well be playing in our own "toilets" as well.

Now, I am not a legalistic Pharisee, by any stretch of the imagination. I wear my hair long and I play loud music. I certainly do not qualify for the "Gospel Music Awards" look. Personally I despise a suit and tie, and will not wear them (except to weddings and funerals). I certainly attend a non-traditional church setting. But while I do believe in freedom in Christ, I also believe that what we sow in the flesh we shall reap in the flesh.

John Calvin once wrote: "It is bad to live under a prince who permits nothing, but much worse to live under one who permits everything."

My wife happens to work as a Guest Services Coordinator at a Christian campground. I am continually amazed at how many "Christians" who come to the campgrounds (from various denominational backgrounds) who refuse to honor their contractual obligations, who insist on destroying property that is not theirs, who demand services that were never agreed to in the contracts,who cannot be punctual, and who make condescending and rude remarks about the staff and/or the facilities. These are not just kids perpetrating this stuff, it is adults. And these are supposed to be "Christians" who do this. Where do you think the kids learn this stuff from?

Many adults think that none of this is any big deal. They may even feel that it has no long term affect or harm on those that see them act this way. But are we not polluting the waters with our "feces", and expecting our young ones to thrive in that unhealthy environment? Then why are we that surprised when it eventually comes to pass that two 6th graders are having sex in the middle of a school room?

Is my thesis too much of a stretch? I have gone from illustrating a bad steward at a Christian campground to declaring that the result is sex between minors? No, that is not my point.

My point? I believe that we have lost our capacity for shame. Nothing is wrong anymore. Let's not be too hasty fellow believers, in pointing fingers at the world. For we may very well be guilty of the same crime, only under a different guise. Are we believers afraid to say, "No" anymore to our children? Are we believers afraid to honor our word, even if it doesn't benefit us? Are we believers willing to set boundaries for our children, as well as for ourselves, even if that makes us unpopular?

When I was growing up, my parents made me say "Yes, Ma'am, " "No, Ma'am" "Yes, Sir," and "No, Sir." It was a sign of respect that even today I still do. I didn't really understand then, but my folks were establishing something in me. My understanding was not required. Much like the fish who didn't understand why my father was emptying their home of their water, and chasing them down to put them in smaller containers. Their understanding wasn't required, the fresh water was.

Folks, we cannot expect healthy fish to thrive and blossom in polluted water. Think about it.

News and Events

  • A happy birthday goes out to Will's wife, Juli, on April 1st. Also, a happy birthday to Mark Bussell, jr. (March 31).

  • Here are the currently scheduled dates for Jesus Joshua 24:15 performances:

    • 06-23 Indie Fest 07 - TN

    • 06-28 & 29 Corner Stone Fest - ILL

    • 07-14 The Light CBAM - OH

    • 08-04 School of the Rock - OH

    • 08-25 Grape Vine Fest - NC

    • 09-15 Seven Thirty Club - MD

    • 10-20 Metal Godz Fest - FL

  • The schedule (at current press time) for the Cornerstone Jesus Joshua show is: Jesus Joshua 24:15 plays on the Sanctuary stage at Midnight Thursday the 28th and again the 29th at 4pm Friday....Schedule is subject to change.

  • Check out Will's MySpace ( )

Guitar Points from Will

Last month, we looked at power chords that used the intervals of 3rds, 4ths, and 5ths. This month, I would like to illustrate a special intervalic step, the infamous "b5", or "Diminished 5th". More specifically, how this interval can produce some really cool results, when used!

The "b5" is the interval that splits the octave exactly in half. If you remember our previous discussions about steps (Half-steps = 1 fret distance, Whole-steps= 2 frets), then you can see that to split the octave in half, you have to move 6 half-steps. Let's look at an example in the key of "E" Major:

Major Scale formula: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 E Major Scale : E F# G# A B C# D# E

Let's look at the whole octave, by way of the Chromatic scale;

: 1 b2 2 b3 3 4 b5 5 #5 6 b7 7 1 : E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E |-------b5------|-----b5--------|

This is interesting because the distance from the Root ("E") to the "b5" ("Bb"), AND the "b5" (Bb) up to the Root ("E") is the same distance apart. That means that no matter where these two tones combine, in any order, will still sound the same. In other words, if "E" and "Bb" both combine, or "Bb" and "E" both combine, they form the
intervals "Eb5" or "Bbb5" (or A#b5, same thing).

Now what makes this interval "infamous" is that it was once described as the "Diabola in Musica" (or "The Devil in Music"). Because of it's dissonant tendency, this interval was (and sometimes, still is) considered evil. Personally, I think that is nonsense, but at one time, you could find yourself severely punished for placing that interval within your melodies.

Now, enough talk. Let's see some illustrations.

Here are 3 examples of the "Eb5" intervals.
Ex. 3
Eb5 Eb5 Eb5 1E|---------|----------|--------------| 2B|---------|----------|--------------| 3G|-3(Bb=b5)|----------|--------------| 4D|-2(E =1)-|--8(Bb=b5)|--------------| 5A|---------|--7(E=1)--|--13(Bb=b5)---| 6E|---------|----------|--12(E=1)-----|

How can we use this more practically? Let's check this one out;


E5 Eb5 E5 Eb5 E5 Eb5 E5 1E|---------|--------------|----------| 2B|---------|--------------|----------| 3G|-4-----3-|--------------|----------| 4D|-2-----2-|--9---8---9---|-2-----2--| 5A|---------|--7---7---7---|-1-----2--| 6E|---0-0---|----0---0---0-|-0-0-0-0--|

These examples are not rhythmically accurate, but you can take the shapes and put them to your own use. I like to use palm muting on the low "E" string for added punch and effect. Basically, to use a "b5", just lower the 5th interval a half step.


E5Eb5 F#5F#b5 C5 Cb5 1E|------------------------| 2B|------------------------| 3G|-----------------5--5---| 4D|-2--2----4--4----5--4---| 5A|-2--1----4--3----3--3---| 6E|-0--0----2--2-----------|

Those are just 3 examples of many. Now, these chords do not always sound good within a key, so use your ears to decide which combinations work best. Believe me, the ones that do not wok will definitely sound like they don't. Use sparingly.

A Final Thought

There's a word that I think we Christians ought to be familiar with, but in a more expansive way: Servanthood. When you read that word, immediately an image of someone bent in prostration, in dirty clothes, and a frightened look on their faces comes to mind.

As Christians, I think many of us misunderstand this word. "Servanthood" means that everybody else should serve us. Like in our churches: We think the pastor is supposed to serve us, as if he is our personal bond servant.

Folks, the Pastor IS a servant, and he does serve his congregation, but only by way of the fact that he is serving Christ Himself. Servanthood is a choice to humble yourself in an act of worship to God. Servanthood submits to the heavenly vision, not the carnal vision. Servanthood does not require our understanding, it requires our obedience.

If you think of Abram, in Genesis 12, when God said to him, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you." Verse 4 says, "So Abram left. No arguments, discussions, opinions, or politicking. God showed him a vision, and Abram just packed up and left. Can you imagine what his family said? Can you imagine what his associates ans fellow countrymen said? Maybe even in his own mind, he wondered. But the Word of God says Abram just left, to head out into an unknown. It wasn't very practical. It wasn't very comfortable. It wasn't very lucrative. But Abram did it.

That, dear friends, is servanthood. I am sure that Abram didn't understand the heavenly calling. I am sure he thought that there were much more efficient ways to do things. But Abram put aside his flesh and obeyed. And as we know after a time, God blessed him abundantly.

Folks, when we get plugged into a church or some kind of ministry, God calls us to serve. There will always be those in authority over us. They may even make decisions that we don't agree with or understand. But our understanding is not required - our obedience is. I am not speaking of a blind obedience, but a heart to catch a heavenly vision that is way above our own understandings and visions. Catching those kinds of visions will always place us in servanthood situations. We can serve, or we can be stubborn and miss the vision. Because, trust me, the heavenly vision is so much bigger than you think it is.

Captain Blasto
Cappuccino Junkie

212 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2007 :  05:21:21 Show Profile Visit Captain Blasto's Homepage Send Captain Blasto an AOL message Send Captain Blasto a Yahoo! Message Reply with Quote

Maybe sometimes preaching to the choir isn’t such a bad thing. Personal responsibility in the church is a good first step. It definitely beats trying to reason with a fool or a collective society of them. But this message does need to be voiced both to the church and society. With the help of The Holy Spirit maybe a few fools can be transfigured into wise folks. Take that from an early stage work in progress. (I ain’t in the choir)

oh... and by the way...

“But are we not polluting the waters with our "feces", and expecting our young ones to thrive in that unhealthy environment? Then why are we that surprised when it eventually comes to pass that two 6th graders are having sex in the middle of a school room?”
Unfortunately, I’m not surprised… but I am planning on vacuuming the pool…

President of the
Juan Valdez fanclub

Kirk Out
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Junior Member

322 Posts

Posted - 01 Apr 2007 :  04:04:51 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I agree with you Will , although I would place 98% of the blame on the parents .If it were either of my children , I'd accept 100% of the blame . Even if the teacher had caught & stopped them , they just would've gone somewhere else .
As a parent I see it as wholly my responsibility { with my wife } , to make sure our children understand the value our God places in them . Placing themselves in situations outside of His plan for them , like sex outside of marriage , devalues them . So while it may seem immediately gratifying , it's not eternally satisfying .

Two things I've shared with my son , are ,1.before you remove , or jump a fence , first ask why it was put there . 2.Appetite is no reason for consumption .

However, I cannot help but wonder if a permissive or pervasive home environment contributed to this sexualized attitude.

I believe , as parents , this , is our responsibility .

Are we swimming in our own feces? Is the world culture (not just the U.S.) so polluted that we cannot even see what is poisoning us?

I'd go so far as to say we've gotten used to the smell .
Continuing with your aquatic theme lol , you know when you cook a crab , if you put it in tepid water & slowly bring the tempurature up , it doesn't know what's happening until it's too late . Isn't it the same with the worldly culture , & now church culture as well ? Slowly but surely we've allowed things to creep in , things that diminish the value God has placed on them . We've swapped the genuine article for a counterfeit . We need to get out of the pot & extinguish the flame before it's too late , not just for ourselves , but our children .

but some of you need to be awakened and slapped silly - William D Rauser
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New Member

97 Posts

Posted - 01 Apr 2007 :  09:36:34 Show Profile Reply with Quote
its interesting to see how people dont seem to get responsibility. It seems anymore that people shift the blame somewhere else. If its the medias fault why teenagers are drinking doing drugs and having sex where are the kids parents? Parents need to take responsibility to what their children are doing by 1. not allowing stuff into their home 2. teaching their children the value of morals and responsibility.

A few weeks ago my stepson did something he wasnt suppose to do so I put him to work. What should have taken him an hour- hour and a half tops took him 4 hours. So I told him he had 20 minutes to get done otherwise he would be grounded. I told him he can get the job done right or be grounded for a week. He chose to be grounded by not completing his job. So he writes me this letter in hopes that it would make me feel guilty and apologize to him for my mistake. My response to his letter was "nice letter I especially liked how you shifted the blame off yourself and onto something that is totally irrelevant to this situation. Great job shows you how mature you really are" then procceded to tell him about responsibiltiy which I think he got.

We havent had any problems since then.

And when all is said and done I can go home :D
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Guitar Weenie

740 Posts

Posted - 02 Apr 2007 :  11:42:00 Show Profile Reply with Quote
While I am in total agreement with all of you in your consecutive assessments of my Newsletter thesis, I think I may not have been totally clear. Yes, I agree, where are the parents? Yes, as a father, and priest of my home, I must take action to instill virtue in the pshyche of my children. I must example Godly principles, values, and images to my children. But all of that being said, that misses the point, to strike the periphery (even a very important one).

There is a saying in the East: If you want to know the condition of the water, don't ask the fish. Fish have no concept of a world without water.If you could ask them how the water feels, and they could answer, they would not be able to tell you, because to them, being in water is all they've ever known.

This is where I have attempted to take the subject matter. While I absolutely agree that parental responsibility is paramount, how can we rely on that when the very pillars of our culture and society are being tempered with a damaging heat? Like the example of the father I illustrated in the newsletter; His son ought to be an adult right now. I am sure that my former acquaintance's son is now instilling a much more worldly view of morality and what is virtuous into his children, precisely because he wasn't taught any better.

But, what about those who have been taught better, and still choose to rebel or stray? And even we teach them better, is it possible that we, ourselves, are teaching Godly principles, filtered through our present culture, or instructing in truth, whether culturally acceptable or not?

The problem, in a nutshell, is that sometimes we teach a "no boundaries" philosophy, even in veiled terms. I think part of the problem is, we have little understanding of the lake we swim in. And I think that many Christians have lost sight of real understanding, and as a result, have allowed an aggressive, yet transparent, corruption to filter into our lifestyles.

We Christians have two extremes. On the one hand, I would never promote a legalistic religious attitude that so angered Jesus against the Pharisees. That is a judgemental and hypocritical attitude. But at the same time, I cannot promote an "anything goes" mentality, either.

To the point, how can our family structures bear up in the face of such pervasive corruptions, when the very pillars and institutions of our society are removing the very vestiges and images that retain the concepts of God?

I have heard that a person should get screened for colo-rectal cancer, because this type of cancer has no symptoms, until it is too late to treat. So pre-screening is vital to treat this killer before it developes. If left unattended, the cancer will spread, and metastisize into other areas that cannot be treated at all. By that time, trying to issue blame is kind of pointless.

The truth is, our culture has been increasingly secularized, pluralized, and privatized to the point that we have allowed the marginalization of God, to the point where He is more invisible now than He ever was.

I am not speaking of whether or not we like a certain kind of music or television shows. I am talking about other attitudes that we Christians carry with us, that do not even appear like worldly attitudes, yet under severe scrutiny, show their true colors. For example, how can we Christians speak about God's blessings, when we feel we that because somebody makes more money than us, we ought to be angry with our employer? Or, how can we Christians complain about the corruption within our governments, yet we refuse to use our privileges as citizens to vote our consciences (I realize that some of our readers are not Americans, and may not have voting rights, but still...), only because we feel "it doesn't make a difference"?

Or how about simply honoring your word? If you are supposed to show up to your job, your church, or any other obligation that you make, on time, and you don't, what kind of example does that set? Failure to honor your word is part of the "feces" in the swimming pool. It teaches our children, however passivley, that God's principles do not apply in the real world. Have you ever thought of that, Christians?

I am speaking generally, folks, and not necessarily to those who have responded to my articles. If anything, I am speaking to myself.

"C'mon Dave, Gimme a break!"

Edited by - AXEMAN2415 on 02 Apr 2007 11:44:06
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Captain Blasto
Cappuccino Junkie

212 Posts

Posted - 02 Apr 2007 :  16:32:56 Show Profile Visit Captain Blasto's Homepage Send Captain Blasto an AOL message Send Captain Blasto a Yahoo! Message Reply with Quote
No way Man !!! It's everybody else's fault!!!

...Just Kidding !!!

President of the
Juan Valdez fanclub

Kirk Out
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Guitar Weenie

740 Posts

Posted - 02 Apr 2007 :  19:28:11 Show Profile Reply with Quote
No way Man !!! It's everybody else's fault!!!

Yes, it's true, and I must confess...It's Blasto's fault...


"C'mon Dave, Gimme a break!"
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