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Posted - 02 Jun 2007 :  01:22:02 Show Profile Reply with Quote

Jesus Joshua 24:15 Newsletter - June 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

Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus replied,"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it:'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"


Now, before I attempt to post my thoughts on this, perhaps the word needs to be defined. In the dictionary, narcissism is defined as self-love. And while that is an accurate definition, I think it is rather incomplete, in context and description. In a way, the dictionary definition has marginalized and diluted the actual meaning and impact of this word.

To me,narcissism can be defined as an ill-proportioned self-love. It is a self-love that eclipses love for others by the self. It is not a healthy and proportioned self-respect (which I believe everyone should have), but a bloated sense of self-importance, the "I'm king of the world" attitude (to borrow a movie phrase).

Perhaps I should explain why I am on this particular rant. I enjoy listening to certain talk radio personalities. One such personality that I enjoy listening to is Bill O'Reilly. I do not always agree with his views, but, for the most part, he is very insightful on key social issues, particularly issues that deal with the American Culture.

On a particular airing of O'Reilly's radio show, he addressed the issue of narcissism in our country. He illustrated the gradual, but consistent, disconnect between those who are aged 35 and over, and those who are under 35, and how those individuals disseminate information. O'Reilly noted a study from San Diego State University that revealed how much more isolated the younger generation is from the 35 and over crowd, and how the isolation has been fostered by technological advances. O'Reilly refers to this phenomenon as "uncoupling". It is his opinion that younger Americans are uncoupling from older Americans because of the machinery.

Allow me to say from the get-go, that I am not, in any way, blaming computers, iPods, cell phones, and other digital devices that technology provides, for any kind of illicit human behaviors. Obviously, if you are reading this, you are using a computer. And I am using one to provide this article. However, there is a legitimate concern that appears as a result of serving technology, rather than technology being subservient to us.

At any rate, the particulars of O'Reilly's points were the self-exile and isolation that our technology provides as an environment. Let's look at some examples;

There used to be a time when "dating" meant having to interact with those of the opposite sex, mostly by physically speaking to that person. A social interaction was required, so that not only physical attributes, but mental and ideological features were placed on the table, so to speak. In an internet world, "dating" has a whole different dynamic. Now, you can accept or reject a person with the click of a mouse. I am not saying that this is right or wrong, just quite a different dynamic.

In the physical realm, you either had to see, or present, the real person, warts and all. Of course, I realize that even then, the package often only revealed only surface features, not inward realities. But now in the digital realm, you can airbrush, you can touch-up, you can digitally edit, and you can create an image that has very little to do with the real thing.

Or let's examine cellphones. How many times have you been to the bank teller, and someone is trying to conduct their personal banking business, all while trying to hold a conversation with someone else on their cellphone? Or how about when people drive? Or how about the problem of students who are supposed to be studying and doing classwork in school, but instead cannot resist the urge to text someone, or flat out call someone on their phones?

Or let's examine video games; When I was growing up, we went outside to play, usually until dark (and after our homework was completed), interacting (sometimes fighting...) with other children your age. Now, sometimes I have to actually tell my children to shut off the machines, and go outside and play.I even have to edit myself at times from this blasted contraption because I enjoy the PC games, and going on the Internet, and emailing, and reading emails, and...well, you get the idea. And I am continually amazed at how much of my time I allow to be consumed with, well, a whole lot of nothing.

Now let me point out, I have absolutely no problems with the gadgets. I do not blame technological advancement, nor do I think that the computer, cellphones, iPods, and so on, are evil. I think that they are wonderful and useful tools, but I think they are lousy substitutes for people.

What does this all have to do with narcissism?

Well, first of all, there is a cultural shift away from human interaction. Machinery becomes your primary focus, and human beings become secondary. With the machine, you are not really learning any kind of skill set, other than the technical. The study that was conducted at San Diego State dealt with college students, and how they viewed themselves.

Broken down to it's simplest form, the study discovered that most college age people believed that everything centered around themselves. The college students tend to center everything in life around themselves and their own instant gratification, which is easily provided by the machines. It used to be that you had to work hard for gratification. Now you can get gratification at the click of a mouse.

During the foundation of the United States, the attitude was to look out for your neighbor. That attitude is what helped make the United States a great nation. You looked out for the welfare of your neighbors, your family, your country. The individual, though important, was not central to personal thinking. During the times of the patriots, men gathered together to help build their neighbor's home. When homes were destroyed by war or natural disaster, the neighborhood gathered together to help rebuild and replenish what was lost. If a child disrespected an adult, even if that adult was not their parent, there were consequences for that child, not only from the disrespected adult, but also from the parents as well. We even call those that fought during World War 2 "The Greatest Generation." Why? Because their values had to do with things larger than themselves.

This has broken down and is breaking down even further within the American landscape. And the question becomes, what is going to happen to the country when it is all about you (or me), and your neighbor can go take a flying leap? Well, you can see it: There's an attitude that there's nothing worth fighting for. There's nothing worth confronting, because it takes away from you and your pleasure.

How many narcissistic people do you know? How many of us only ask these 3 little questions: "What are you gonna give me? What are you gonna buy me? Where are you gonna take me?" That is 5-year-old behavior. Folks, there are an awful lot of adults who act just like 5-year-olds in attitude and behavior. I wonder exactly how this attitude affects the country?

An inflated sense of self only feeds into a narcissistic attitude. The San Diego State study found that those college students who were narcissistic became manipulative, at risk of infidelity, having romantic relationships that are short-lived, lack emotional warmth, are over-controlling, exhibit game-playing, dishonesty, cheating, and violent behavior, don't react to rejection well, and have an overly inflated opinion of themselves, and their self-esteem is unhealthy and ridiculous.

This study discovered that many sociologists made serious mistakes in telling people to build up their child's self-esteem as the single focus. But self-esteem that is built up without any honest achievement breeds a narcissistic person.

When you only interact with the machines, you do not develop any empathy for other human beings, essentially creating your own little world where the individual ego is king. There are no developments of Critical Thinking Skills and Personal Interaction Skills. When the machine will give you everything you would ever want, instantly, and you don't get the rejection from the machine (I am not referring to mechanical failure, I am referring to how easy it is to move to the next instantaneous morsel), you become the "star" of your own universe.

Child molesters, rapists, murderers have been shown to be very narcissistic. They have an over-inflated sense of self that says, "How dare you judge me! How dare you reject me! I will make you suffer! Because you have rejected me, I have the right to violate you, because rejecting me is a violation of my rights, and of course, I'm the king of the world..."

Narcissism is a "god complex". And I believe it is such a violation of the two commandments that Jesus refers to in Matthew. Narcissism violates tenet #1, because it places our total love for ourselves above our total love for God. We violate the command to avoid idolatry, by setting ourselves up as a deity. Secondly, narcissism, violates tenet #2 by losing our empathy and care for our neighbor.

The interesting thing is that we Christians are not immune from this attitude. We should be, but we are not. Many of the atrocities that have been committed in the name of Christ have been driven by the narcissistic behavior of people who are only Christians in "name" only. The Pharisees operated like this. Even though they weren't Christians, they considered themselves holy and sinless and perfect and worthy. Yet they stole, cheated, murdered, and burdened others, all the while displaying all of the trappings of "religion". It is no wonder that people rejected the Pharisees' teachings, at least in their hearts.

When you have a society the embraces narcissistic behaviors, rather than the Judeo-Christian ethic, you will have a cultural shift. We are seeing that occur right now. I would like to read a passage out of 2 Timothy, chapter 3, verses 1-5.
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God---having a from of godliness but denying its power.Have nothing to do with them."

Even though I italicized some of the words for relevance, to me, all of this passage describes a narcissistic culture. It is a perfect description of what is absolutely occurring in the U.S. culture, and the cultures abroad. Notice the Apostle Paul's first description? He writes, "People will be lovers of themselves." How prophetic.

News and Events

  • The first bit of news may come as a bit of a disappointment to some: Due to circumstances beyond our control, Jesus Joshua 24:15 will not be playing Cornerstone. We are very sorry that we could not fulfill our slot at the festival, but we all have livelihoods and families to take care of. We do not look at this as something to lament, however, as we believe that God knows what He is doing, and He directs our paths. So, do not be disappointed, and for those who are able to attend Cornerstone, enjoy it! Maybe next year.

  • The official announcement of our show in Fayetteville, NC is as follows: Jesus Joshua 24:15 will be headlining a free, all access show at Fayetteville Christian Church, located at 4308 Rosehill Road. The opening band will be "Behind The Stone", a contemporary praise band based at the church. The show begins at 7PM, with JJ24:15 hitting the stage at 8PM.

  • I would like to appreciate all of those who lifted up our webmaster, Mark, while he was ill last month. He is now free from all of the pain and discomfort of his affliction. I thank you, and Mark thanks you, for your prayers!

  • Congratulations are in order for Will and his wife, Juli, for celebrating 15 years of wedded bliss, on June 13! Happy Anniversary!

Guitar Points from Will

More Rhythm Guitar ideas.

To go along with last month, let's look at some more power chord and interval combinations to create some interesting rhythm guitar parts. Rock and Metal guitar players need to be able to play quick and accurate rhythms, yet not lose clarity, punch, or power. That is why simpler voicings of chords are used, especially since Metal and Rock players use tons of distortion and gain (and, of course, lots of volume!).

One technique that is useful is revoicing a chord, or interval. Revoicing simply means to change the order of all of the notes of a chord. We have looked at how power chords are voiced, either as a Root/5th type, or as a 5th/Root combination.

For example;
Ex. 1
E5 OR E5/B (R,5th,Oct) (5th,R,5th) E|-------------------------| B|-------------------------| G|--9----------------------| D|--9-------------9--------| A|--7-------------7--------| E|----------------7--------|

The first E5 has the Root ("E") as its lowest note. The second version is the revoiced version, with the 5th ("B") as the lowest note. In certain contexts, the E5/B sounds much nastier and heavier. Now let's look at how we can utilize this knowledge to form potent power rhythms, all without massive hand movements.

We are going to switch from the E5 to the B5 power chords, using two methods. The first is to switch from E5 to B5 by changing hand positions;

Ex. 2

E5 B5 E5 B5 E|----------|-----------| B|----------|-----------| G|--9----4--|-----------| D|--9----4--|--2----9---| A|--7----2--|--2----9---| E|----------|--0----7---|

There are several other ways to play this, but this will serve as enough example. Notice the huge shift in hand positions? Well, these will work just fine, and even may work better, if that is the sound you are after.

However, let us now look at an alternative method. We are going to switch from E5 to B5, only using one finger to make the chord change;


E5/B B5 E5/B B5 E|------------|------------| B|------------|------------| G|------------|--4----4----| D|--9-----9---|--2----4----| A|--7-----9---|--2----2----| E|--7-----7---|------------|

Notice how shifting one finger changes the entire chord. Now, let's look at how you might do a set of quick chord changes;


E5 B5 E5 B5 (p.m.) (p.m.) E|-------------------------| B|-------------------------| G|-------------------------| D|-2-------4--2--4---------| A|-2-------2--2--2---------| E|-0--0-0----------0-0-0-0-|

The p.m. simply means "Palm-Mute" the open low E strings. When you play the chords, you can either play them fully ringing out, or you can add a little palm muting for that extra metallic flavor.You can also play the changes by using a hammer/pull technique;

Ex. 5

E5 B5 E5 B5 (p.m.)|--h--p--|(p.m.) E|-------------------------| B|-------------------------| G|-------------------------| D|-2-------4--2--4---------| A|-2-------2--2--2---------| E|-0--0-0----------0-0-0-0-|

Let's try doing a similar move, but in a higher register;

Ex. 6

E5 B5 E5 B5 x x x x x x x x E|-------------------------| B|-------------------------| G|-------------------------| D|-9-----9-----9-----9-----| A|-7-----9-----7-----9-----| E|---0-0---0-0---0-0---0-0-|

Again, palm mute the low E, but this time the "x"'s represent the p.m.

At any rate, these are just a few examples of how to use interval combinations to create interesting rhythm combinations. I am exampling an "E5" to "B5" change, but you can create others. Try moving the same shapes down two frets. Or up two frets. Try other string sets. Until next month.

Lead Techniques from Will

Again, let us look at some more scale patterns. Last month, I introduced you to the Pentatonic scale.

I used the easiest, beginner "box" shape (it is called a "box" pattern because of how the scale pattern appears on the fretboard, in "boxes"), found in the Key of "E minor". Obviously, this particular pattern begins with an "E", found by starting on the Low E string. Here is a reminder from last month;

Ex. 1,
E Minor Pentatonic Scale E G A B D E G A B D E G E|---------------------0-3---| B|-----------------0-3-------| G|-------------0-2-----------| D|---------0-2---------------| A|-----0-2-------------------| E|-0-3-----------------------|

I put the actual notes above the TAB, so that you could visualize the notes as they ascend up the pattern.

Now, the Pentatonic scale is so called because the scale itself actually only contains 5 notes (in the key of "E minor" they are: E,G,A,B,D). The notes are doubled in the TAB because the notes continue to go up in pitch as you ascend the strings and the fretboard.

Now, we aren't going to play these scales up and down like I have illustrated in the TAB. We can practice them that way to learn them, and get them under your fingers. But real musical passages don't do that. Instead, you make music with them by inverting, starting at different points, and creating unusual patterns with them.Plus, you can use "bends", "slides", "hammers", "pulls", and "palm-muting", as well as other techniques. All of these terms will be defined and explained in due time.

Okay, so we've reviewed the pattern, what can we do with it? Well, let's try a few ideas.

Ex. 2

Em (Em7, Em9) v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ E|---------------------------| B|---------------------------| G|---------------------0-2---| D|---------0-2-----0-2-------| A|-----0-2-----0-2-----------| E|-0-3-----------------------| v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ E|---------------------0-3---| B|---------0-3-----0-3-------| G|-----0-2-----0-2-----------| D|-0-2-----------------------| A|---------------------------| E|---------------------------|

Ex. 3

Em (Em7, Em9) v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ E|-3-0-----0-----------------| B|-----3-0---3-0---3-0-------| G|---------------2-----2-0---| D|---------------------------| A|---------------------------| E|---------------------------| v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ E|---------------------------| B|-0-------------------------| G|---2-0---2-0-----0---------| D|-------2-----2-0---2-0-----| A|-----------------------2---| E|---------------------------|

Now, you might have noticed the "v,^" that I have placed above the TAB. Those are the picking strokes; "v" is a down stroke (pick direction toward the floor) and "^" is an up stroke (pick direction toward your face). This is called alternate picking, and it is a discipline that will serve you well in the future. Alternate picking trains your picking hand to coordinate both hands (Pick hand AND fret hand) to play notes accurately and quickly.

Try these patterns, or make your own out of the original pattern, playing them over different Em type chords (or even E7th type chords; i.e., an E7#9, wow!) and see the results. We will go deeper some more next time.

A Final Thought

As I revealed in the announcement section of the Newsletter, Jesus Joshua 24:15 will not be playing the Cornerstone Festival. When I originally got the word that we were going to play the Cstone, I was tremendously excited and honored. I know that is a huge accomplishment for a band to say that they're going to play Cornerstone. What a huge opportunity. I was personally excited to play with some new friends that I had met through Internet channels, on the Firestream.met, and through our association with Soul Joy Records. Plus, I was ready to finally meet face to face with some awesome people from Paltalk.

As life, and God's plan, would have it, our opportunity to play Cstone was altered. Initially, I was disappointed, I have to be honest. But my disappointment lasted about 1 minute, as I recognized God's hand in this. Since our steps are ordered of God, I decided not to live in disappointment, as I think God was testing us. I really do not know all of the in's and out's of God's reasons, I know that I trust what God has established for JJ24:15, and I have seen nothing but success in all we do because we have stayed faithful to the vision that God has for this band.

As a result, I have had perfect peace about this. My band mates and I all recognize what this is; it is God's hand directing our steps. Many folks pray and ask God for His will and direction, but you had better be prepared to accept it when He hands it out. To live in disappointment over it is almost crossing into rebellious murmuring and complaint. At least, that is my opinion.

In my final thoughts, I would simply like to express my understanding that if I say I am going to serve God, then I shouldn't be surprised that He directs me in areas that I may not want to go. Service has a tendency to be less than fun. It does not necessarily have to be, but it is often unpleasant. At least, it is unpleasant for those who don't have a heart for God's agendas, but only for their own agendas. If we in Jesus Joshua 24:15 say that we follow Christ, then that means taking up our cross, and following.

Having to pull out of Cstone is but a small, almost insignificant situation. Disappointments are always going to come in this life. But I would rather not succumb to selfishness and self-pity, and instead press on into what God has got in store for us. Cstone is pretty big, but I think going where God is leading is so much bigger.

"C'mon Dave, Gimme a break!"

Edited by - AXEMAN2415 on 02 Jun 2007 01:23:54

Junior Member

322 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2007 :  06:46:24 Show Profile Reply with Quote
You know Will , I think you guys are in good company .
I'm reminded of Ex 33 : 2 , God said He would send His angel with them , but in v 3 He says He won't go with them . Moses shows his heart , as do you guys , in v 15 , " Then he said to Him , ' If Your presece does not go with us , do not bring us up from here ' .
Good choice fella's .

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