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Posted - 02 Apr 2009 :  01:39:08 Show Profile Reply with Quote

Jesus Joshua 24:15 Newsletter April 2009

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

The Crew:
Mark Bussell: Webmaster, Computer Tech, Photography, Roadie
Tammy Woody: Video Production, Wardrobe
George Sparks: Roadie

Editor's Lead

The Forgery

Hi and welcome to the April installment of the Jesus Joshua 24:15 Newsletter. After some needed time away, I am now ready to unleash some thoughts that might be disturbing and, dare I say, controversial for some, while the rest may find affirmation in what I write.

I ran across a quote just recently that I thought was very profound, and I have decided to quote it here because I think there is wisdom found in it (if I understood it correctly). The quote is by a gentleman by the name of George Smiley (who, at the time of this writing, I am totally ignorant of). Smiley said:

"The more one has paid for a forgery, the more one defends it in the face of all the evidence to the contrary."

Hence the title of this month's Ed Lead. At first, one may not completely understand what Mr. Smiley means by this. Yet, in light of recent world events, both political and social, I am inclined to think Smiley was speaking about ideologies and worldviews. However, I think there's a deep spiritual truth that can be gleaned from this statement, if one takes the time to apply it to such matters. I shall try to explain.

In my communications with people over the years, I have come across many mindsets and philosophies. I am certain that you, gentle reader, have as well. yet, despite all of the various philosophical and ideological positions people take (on a variety of issues and topics), I am always amazed at how many people are emotionally and intellectually "invested" in those positions that are obviously wrong or contradictory. These people usually demand evidence from one who stands in opposition to them, yet when that very evidence is provided, they simply brush it away in dismissal - even if that evidence (or counter-argument) is irrefutable.

Nobody likes to be wrong (and I ought to know... I hate it), and it is both embarrassing and unsettling to be proven that your position does not bear up under scrutiny. Yet, I have seen two reactions to being proven wrong on something:
  1. A person proven wrong realizes the error and now is transformed by that piece of evidence or that solid argument that completes their knowledge. That person is now convinced and feels liberated out of their previous ignorance.
  2. A person proven wrong reacts as though their very life is being assaulted by this enlightening information, and reacts defensively - mainly because the evidence presented does not square with their personal agenda, comfort zones, or desires. It is not the truth that they seek... only that which suits their needs at the time, especially if the evidence challenges what that persona has always believed.

It is to the second type of reaction that I think brings pertinence to George Smiley's words. When a person invests so much of their emotional and intellectual resources into believing a lie, even the revelation of that deception is not enough to move a person out of that position.

I think of the movie, "The Wizard of Oz," where Dorothy rolls the curtain back on the great and terrifying image of the Wizard, only to expose a frail and weak looking old man pulling all of the levers. Once the truth is exposed, the terror of the "Wizard" is eliminated. But, some in the Land of Oz are so invested in the false image of the "Great Wizard," even his exposure is not enough to quell the myth.

How does this have any spiritual application, you might ask? We live in a culture of forgeries. Things that ought to be valued are not because we have invested so heavily in the forgeries. And when those forgeries are exposed as such, truth makes no difference, only what we feel means anything. Only the thing that we've always believed in matters. Only what fits into our box matters. If the truth doesn't fit, we cast it easily aside.

When Jesus came along, He made some startling revelations about God, about Himself, and about how we are to live. Much of that revelation did not fit in with the personal agendas and images of the people of the day. Even His own disciples, who got to witness firsthand the great unexplainable miracles Jesus performed, were still blinded by their own personal agendas and ideologies. Even the disciples, who walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and worked with Jesus, expected Jesus to drive out the Roman oppressor and put Israel back on the political map.

But, that was never Jesus' intent or mission. And, though Jesus came right out and told His disciples that He was to be tortured and be put to death; Peter, thinking he knew more about Jesus' mission than the Lord did, called Jesus out. Matthew 16:21-24 is the classic exchange:
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"

Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

Note what Jesus says to Peter: "you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." That's a hard truth that Peter (and the rest of the culture) had to recognize. Peter was sincere in his passion and intent, but Peter invested in the a forged image of reality.

Peter heard the words of Life from Jesus, Peter saw the miraculous signs and wonders, and Peter genuinely loved Jesus. But, Peter had paid more into the forgery of his agendas and defended it, even by attempting to rebuke Jesus.

Today, many of us have invested in forgeries, and the depth of our defense of them reflects the immensity of our investment in them. I see this politically, I see this spiritually, and I see this morally. Just look at the arguments over abortion, and the heat and irrationality that is generated in the defense of this heinous practice. There is so much emotional investment in this forgery that even calm, rational, and irrefutable truth is dismissed as simply "conservative rhetoric" or "religious intolerance." Never mind the child in the womb. Never mind the emotional damage of those who have chosen that path. Never mind the searing of the national conscience. All that matters is "choice."

And even that word is used in a forged way. Where actually the word choice means "a selection between different options," it has now come to mean only "one option." It is an attempt to forge a different meaning while appearing as the authentic meaning. That is, of course, the essential purpose of a "forgery": to imitate or counterfeit an original document or idea in order to deceive.

I'm not exactly sure how to wrap this idea up. Actually, I'm not totally sure I have presented my thoughts clearly on this. But, I think we are living in a time where people have believed (and are believing) in forgeries (be they spiritual, political, or ideological) and even the best, most irrefutable evidence can't persuade them to change their minds, because they have spent all of their emotional and intellectual "capital" on these forgeries, and they would feel profoundly embarrassed that they have wasted their resources on worthless junk. Knowing this may not help solve the problem, but it might help identify it.

Top Ten List

This month's Top Ten list is Will's top ten favorite books. Now, before I begin, I am leaving the Bible out of this list, because, well, naturally it is my favorite because I am a Christian. However, I don't necessarily read the Bible for entertainment. These aren't necessarily my favorites in order of importance, they're just ten books that I happen to like at this moment:
  1. "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis
  2. "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis
  3. "Deliver Us From Evil" by Ravi Zacharias
  4. "The Real Face of Atheism" by Ravi Zacharias
  5. "Kingdoms In Conflict" by Charles Colson
  6. "Telling The Truth" by Lynne V. Cheney
  7. "God, Man, & Salvation" by W.T. Purkiser
  8. "The Way Things Ought To Be" by Rush Limbaugh
  9. "See, I Told You So" by Rush Limbaugh
  10. "My Utmost For His Highest" Oswald Chambers

Guitar Points from Will

Building Chords

One of the most frequent problems that guitar players run into is how to learn a large chord vocabulary. It has always seemed miraculous how many of my guitar heroes came up with the most interesting chord voicings for different musical scenarios. It always appeared that they had some supernatural gift for pulling chords out of thin air.

Well, I had the privilege of discovering how to do just that when I read a series of articles by the late Jazz great, Howard Roberts, in Guitar Player magazine. Roberts spoke about how to manipulate voicings.

In reality, one does not need to memorize a dictionary's worth of chords (though that isn't necessarily a bad thing). Instead, it is much easier to master the individual voices that create the shapes on the fretboard.

To do this, one must have a fundamental understanding of where those individual voices are located. First, we must understand how the Major (and minor) scales assemble on the fretboard. Basically (and for the purpose of our study), the scales have a 6th string Root, a 5th string Root, and a 4th string Root. Now, you can build scales off of any string. But, we're going to limit ourselves to the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings.

Let's look at a Major scale with it's root on the 6th string. Let's use G Major:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 E|-------------------------|| B|-------------------------|| G|-------------------------|| D|----------------2--4--5--|| A|-------2--3--5-----------|| E|-3--5--------------------||

Now, let's create some basic chords based on this pattern:
G5 G Major E|----------------------------|| B|----------------------------|| G|--------------4-----------4-|| D|-5--------5---5--------5----|| A|-5-----5------5-----5-------|| E|-3--3---------3--3----------||

First, let's look at the G5 power chord. It is spelled G[1]-D[5]-G[1].

Let's manipulate the 5th (D) to do what we want. Let's lower the 5th down a half-step (Db or C#):
G5 Gdim5 (or Gadd#4) E|---------|| B|---------|| G|---------|| D|-5---5---|| A|-5---4---|| E|-3---3---||

Now, let's manipulate the same voice down another half-step, to "C":
G5 Gsus4 (or C5/G) E|--------|| B|--------|| G|--------|| D|-5---5--|| A|-5---3--|| E|-3---3--||

Now, let's go down another half-step:
G5 G Major(no 5) E|--------|| B|--------|| G|--------|| D|-5---5--|| A|-5---2--|| E|-3---3--||

As you can see, we have moved the voices on just one string, and we have created a few different chords. If we were to play this in order, it would look like this:
G5 Gdim5 Gsus4 G Major(no 5) (C5/G) E|----------------------|| B|----------------------|| G|----------------------|| D|-5-----5-----5-----5--|| A|-5-----4-----3-----2--|| E|-3-----3-----3-----3--||

We can also move the 5th voicing up a half-step:
G5 Gadd#5 (GAug) E|---------|| B|---------|| G|---------|| D|-5----5--|| A|-5----6--|| E|-3----3--||

Now, let's just take this idea, and move the Root to different Keys:
Key String Fret Voices Voices Voices voices C 6 8 1,5 1,b5 1,#5 1,4 G 6 3 1,b5 1,#5 1,4 1,5 D 6 10 1,#5 1,4 1,5 1,b5 A 6 5 1,4 1,5 1,b5 1,#5 E 6 12 1,5 1,b5 1,#5 1,4 B 6 7 1,b5 1,#5 1,4 1,5 F#(Gb) 6 2 1,#5 1,4 1,5 1,b5 C#(Db) 6 9 1,4 1,5 1,b5 1,#5 Ab 6 4 1,5 1,b5 1,#5 1,4 Eb 6 11 1,b5 1,#5 1,4 1,5 Bb 6 6 1,#5 1,4 1,5 1,b5 F 6 1 1,4 1,5 1,b5 1,#5

Now, those voices are just suggestions. But, if you walk through each root (on the 6th string) and you try each combination, you will find that it becomes much easier to manipulate the voice as you go through them. You can either go across the list (start on "C" and do each voice, then go to "G" and then do those voices) or you can go down the list and do the first voice of each Key, and repeat each key with a different voice.

Go slow. Speed is not necessary. The idea is to get your mind wrapped around manipulating the voices. Next time, we will look at manipulating the next voice.

Lead Techniques from Will

Bending Notes, Part II

In my last installment, I wrote about bending notes. I would like to tackle that again. Some really cool licks can come from bending, and they do not take a whole lot of technique to accomplish. One lick that is really cool sounding is what is called the "Unison Bend". Basically, you bend to a note on one string, while holding the same pitch on another string. The bent note is slightly out of pitch to the fretted note, thus giving the sound of two slightly out-of-sync notes (which they are!).

Let's see how this type of lick is played:
Bend 3rd string only; play simultaneously E|-------------------------|| B|-5(5)--5(5)--5(5)--5(5)--|| G|-7(9)--7(9)--7(9)--7(9)--|| D|-------------------------|| A|-------------------------|| E|-------------------------||

In essence, the 7th fret bend ("D" to "E") on the third string sounds in unison to the 5th fret "E" on the second string. If you add a little vibrato to the bent note, it kind of "warbles" giving the lick a little more raw, Rock-n-Roll feel.

Another example of a Unison bend is a combination on the 1st and 2nd strings:
E|-12(12)--12(12)--12(12)--12(12)--|| B|-15(17)--15(17)--15(17)--15(17)--|| G|---------------------------------|| D|---------------------------------|| A|---------------------------------|| E|---------------------------------||

This is also a "D" to "E" bend, only the bend is on the 2nd string 15th fret.

We can actually play a scale using unison bends:

   C     D     E     F      G      A       B       C

Practice these unison bends and try to get the bent pitches to match
the fretted notes. In your efforts to make the bends sound right, your fret-hand strength will grow.

News and Events

  • A Happy Birthday to Juli Rauser! Happy Birthday to my sweetheart of almost 17 years!
  • Also, a mighty Happy Birthday to our own 'Wizard of Oz", Anon, Jr. Hey man, you're gettin' up there...
  • Much thanks for all of the prayers for the safe return of our valiant vocalist, Steve Petit, after traveling to China. And the Petit family have a new edition to their flock; a precious little girl by the name of Amanda. Congratulations!
  • An official date has not been set, but it looks as though Jesus Joshua 24:15 will be playing a set, one weekend in May, for Bike Week. Information will be forthcoming as details are worked out.
  • We would continue to ask that you remember those friends of the band that have fallen ill. David Kelsey of Soul Joy Records, Mike Kindred (a friend of the band), and James Matney (A friend of Will's) need prayers for healing.
  • For those who are interested, you can check out the band's music at so come on by and visit us!

A Final Thought

Just to wish all who visit Jesus Joshua 24:15 to be blessed and know that Jesus loves you. Remember, God isn't your problem, Satan is.

Edited by - AXEMAN2415 on 02 Apr 2009 01:52:02

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