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T O P I C    R E V I E W
AXEMAN2415Posted - 06 Apr 2008 : 13:26:31
Editor's Note: I apologize for the late release of this Newsletter. There have been some extra-ordinary circumstances that have delayed this edition. Please accept my humble apologies, but life happens fast.

Jesus Joshua 24:15 Newsletter - April 2008

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
Juli Rauser: Booking
George Sparks: Roadie

Editor's Lead

False Freedom

Welcome to the April 2008 edition of the Jesus Joshua 24:15 Newsletter. This month, I would like to revisit a story I told a couple of months back. If you recall, I referenced the movie "300", a story about 300 Spartan warriors that stood up against the massive armies of the Persian king Xerxes. The Spartan warriors stood their ground at a place known as the "Hot Gates", an area that restricted the movement of the Persian armies, thus giving the Spartans a tactical advantage, and evening the odds.

King Xerxes sent wave after wave of his warriors into the Hot Gates, only to have them cut down easily by the Spartans, because the Persians were boxed in, and could not surround the less numerical Spartans. Even the massive War Elephants that Xerxes sent in could not be of any practical use, and they were pushed over the cliffs into the sea. And the Spartans managed to fight several battles without taking hardly any casualties. Naturally this infuriated the Persian king.

Now, King Xerxes is portrayed as a giant of a man, with an ego to match. He fancies himself a god. As the movie progresses, we see the kind of lifestyle that Xerxes lives; hedonism, idolatry, debauchery, and every kind of sensual desire. Of course, while I am certain much of the depiction is "Hollywood-ed up", I am also certain that this depiction is not too far from accurate. We see a man who is used to having his own way, all the time, no matter who has to suffer in the process.

There are several scenes in the movie that I found of particular interest, one of which is a meeting between King Xerxes and the Spartan king Leonidas. Xerxes' armies have been losing every clash that they have had against the Spartans.

Persian bodies litter the battlefield, and King Xerxes has tried to berate his generals, even to the point of executing a few. So, finally, King Xerxes sets up a meeting with King Leonidas on the battlefield. Just the two of them having a private conversation.

The Persian king towers over the leader of the Spartans. But, that is the only advantage that Xerxes seems to have over Leonidas. King Xerxes begins by telling Leonidas that the Spartans are eventually doomed, and cannot win. Of course, the Spartans have been mopping the floor with the Persians thus far, so Leonidas is not impressed. Nor is he frightened. Because the Spartans have been so successful in their stand against the Persians, the Persian king has suffered several blows to his ego, as well as his army.

Eventually, Xerxes presents his offer (this is by no means verbatim): "Why should such a brave army perish? You wish to save your precious Sparta? Fine. I will spare Sparta. I will give you all of Greece! I will make you king over all Greece. You will answer to no one, except me. I will make you my personal warlord. Your every desire will be fulfilled,if you will but fall to your knees and worship me."

Doesn't that line sound familiar? Now, let me remind you, although King Xerxes had superior resources and numbers, his armies were being soundly trounced. And if the Spartans manage to stand their ground successfully, it would send a message to other places that the Persians can be defeated. And King Xerxes would no longer be considered a "god". Xerxes could not afford to have that kind of press get out.

Anyway, back to the line, "Your every desire will be fulfilled, if you will but fall to your knees and worship me." That is almost exactly what Satan said to Jesus, while Jesus was in the desert. Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit, for the expressed purpose to be tempted by the Devil. Jesus has been fasting for some 40 days, so He is physically weak. And along comes the Devil, with all of his "resources", and he attacks Jesus with the weapons of temptation.

Of course, Jesus weathers each attack, by speaking the Word of God. Each time, the Devil is defeated. That had to be a huge blow to Satan's ego.

So, one of the last attacks the Devil uses (at least, it is the last one the Gospel of Matthew lists) is an appeal to power. Matthew 4:8 reads, "Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 'All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship me.'"

It is interesting that Satan declares that he can give the world to Jesus, as if Satan has the authority to do so. Well, according to Luke chapter 4, he can do just that. In Luke's version of the story (4:6), the Devil says to Jesus, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to."

Now, Jesus' response to Satan is very interesting. Jesus says, "Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only." Jesus has just been presented with the opportunity of ultimate worldly power, and he turned it down. Why? For two reasons: #1) Jesus already had unprecedented power, not only over the world, but over the very universe, and #2) the kind of power that Satan offered did not come without a price. It was a "false freedom". In Jesus' response to the Devil, He declares that He would not submit to Satan, no matter how enticing the offer.

And it was submission that Satan was after. Just like the Persian king in the story "300". King Xerxes needed to get the Spartans out of the way. If he couldn't subordinate the Spartan's freedom on the battlefield, then he would subordinate the Spartan's freedom by offering them a sense of false freedom.

There are many people today who live in the false freedom that Satan presents. You may think you're free, but you are really submitted to the Devil. The Devil has the authority to give you the world. All you need to do is submit to the Devil. And it doesn't have to be as a "Satan Worshiper," either. All you have to do is not submit to God.

The Devil does not care if you believe in him. The Devil only cares if you believe in Christ. Jesus said that if He sets us free, we would be free indeed. The Devil cannot have people living free of his (Satan's) influence and authority. That is why he offers what appears as freedom, but only on the surface. And, like the vast Persian armies, Satan comes at you with his seemingly vast resources. But, when you take a stand for freedom, and you place yourself within the "Hot Gates" of God's love, then you can withstand the assaults of the Devil. Of course, then Satan will change his tactics, and approach you with his offers of "freedom", but not without the price of submission.

Question for the band

Q:How important is the "entertainment factor" to your show?

Will: The answer to this question sort of dovetails with last month's answer. Although we're not "Rock Stars", and we don't try to be, we realize that "entertainment" is part of the package. Personally, I feel cheated when I pay money to see a band, and I do not get a show. If I wanted to "have church" I would go to church.

Now, please notice that I am making a huge distinction between "Ministry" and "Having Church." I believe that lost people need to hear the Gospel, and I believe that Jesus Joshua 24:15 (or any Christian band) should follow through with that as a priority. However, I also believe that if you stink as a band, then
nobody is going to come see you, or at the very least stay for the whole show.

I have a personal issue with bands that try to break down and "have church" during a show. Believe me, you aren't any less of a Christian by having a good time and putting on a quality show for the fans. It is not a compromise of faith to entertain folks. I do believe that there are things we as Christians should avoid doing (okay, a simulated sacrifice of a virgin to a pagan god, that's probably not a wise performance move). However, spending more time talking, rather than actually playing your material, does not make for a good show.

The audience (both Christian and non-Christian alike) want to go see a band that rocks. They want to see a band that loves the music. They want to see a band that loves their fans. None of that means that we lack ministry. Besides, I am not certain that "ministry" is the right word anyway.

Recently I heard a speaker by the name of Reggie McNeil who spoke about "ministry". He said there was a difference between "ministry" and "missi-ology" (or "missions oriented"). Many churches send missionaries to far off lands. And when they do, they educate the missionaries on the culture of the people that they are sent to. When a missionary gets to a place where they lack the ability or knowledge to get fresh water, what does the missionary do? Plan a revival service? Have an altar call? Speak about how God provides? No! They get in a dig a well! The missionary gets his/her hands dirty and digs a freakin' well!

Statistics have shown that one of the largest mission fields in the world is the United States. We have some of the largest amount of un-churched population. And we have churches on every street corner! Apparently, something is seriously wrong.

And I think that it is how the Church has chosen to be an agent of change in this world. We would rather hold a church service than get our hands dirty and dig wells.

I realize that this answer may seem a little off focus, but it isn't. Everything about the band Jesus Joshua 24:15 is about Jesus! From the very name of the band, to the content of our music, to the activities in our personal lives, and to our presentations on stage. If somebody hasn't figured out that we're about Jesus Christ, then nothing we could say would convince them! We're not at all ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, and we do make that very clear. However, if the people are not entertained when they come, they will not come back.

Guitar Points from Will

Voice Leading, part II

This month, let's look at a deeper application of "voice-leading". Often, as beginning guitarists, we are taught the "block-chord" approach, meaning that we are taught several different chord shapes mainly for the ease of fingering and memorizing. That is fine... for beginners. We should always have some sort of foundation to build on. However, most of us stop at that point, and never see that there is a far bigger world to harmony than that.

Let's begin with a very simple chord change, one that would be commonly taught to beginners; a simple A major to D major to E major change:

A D E E|-0----2----0--|| B|-2----3----0--|| G|-2----2----1--|| D|-2----0----2--|| A|-0---------2--|| E|-x---------0--||

That's pretty simple, right? And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But that's not all there is to it. Let's examine the exact same change, but let's use some techniques to smooth out the voice-leading. Now, a reminder: the term "voice-leading" is a smooth transition of the single "voices" of a chord (the single notes that make up a chord) to the "voices" of another chord. The shorter route that a voice can take to another is always better. Also, certain jumps in intervals help lead the voices better.

Let's look at our "A-D-E" change once more, but with better voice-leading:

A D/A E7/G# A E|----------------------------------|| B|-2(C#)---3(D)----3(D)-----2(C#)---|| G|-2(A)----2(A)----4(B)-----2(A)----|| D|-2(E)----4(F#)---2(E)-----2(E)----|| A|-0(A)----0(A)----x--------0(A)----|| E|-----------------4(G#)------------||

Okay, let's analyze this progression. A Major= [A, C#, E]; D Major= [D, F#, A], and E7 (an E Major triad with a b7)= [E, G#, B, D]. Now, let's see where the common tones are.

A Major and D Major share the tones "A". SO, we can essentially keep the "A" note while switching chords. The "C#" of the A Major chord leads the ear up a half-step to the "D" of the D Major chord. The "E" note of the A Major chord moves up a whole-step to the "F#" note of the D Major chord. Each tone movement corresponds to the A Major scale. To review, let's look at the A Major scale:


Notice the short movements of tones, no more than a whole step or a half-step? Sometimes changing just one note of a chord creates a totally different chord! Knowing all of the structure of a chord will allow you to manipulate the voices.

And, it does not matter the order that the voices of the chord fall. If you noticed in the above examples, the A Major has it's root in the bass (the lowest note), but in the D Major that follows, the root of that chord is in the highest part of the chord. Now, let's examine this further.

Let's "replay" the last example, but let's take out all of the middle voices, and just focus on the highest and lowest voices (You can play these finger style to get these voices);

A D/A E7/G# A (Asus4) (G#dim7) E|------------------------------------|| B|--2(C#)---3(D)-----3(D)------2(C#)--|| G|------------------------------------|| D|------------------------------------|| A|--0(A)----0(A)---------------0(A)---|| E|-------------------4(G#)------------||

Now, before we move on, you have probably noticed the chords in parentheses. I put those there to show you that other chords can be implied by the notes left out, so to speak. The D Major chord can function as an Asus4 if the F# is left out. An Asus4 is spelled "A(1)-D(4)-E(5)". And the E7/G# can also function as a G#dim7 chord, if the E note is left off. A G#dim7 chord is spelled "G#(1)-B(b3)-D(b5)-F(bb7)" (A "bb7" is the same thing as a "6", but to help ease of reading and nomenclature, the "bb7" is used). This knowledge helps if you want to try and make the harmonies more interesting.

Anyway, by using just two simple voices for each chord, you can see how even complex chord changes can be altered in sound by just one note. The first change (A to D/A) just raises one note in pitch, and only a half-step. The second change (D/A to E7/G#) lowers a note a half-step in pitch. This is also known as "counterpoint", where one line is independent of another line, and yet form a singular harmony. And in "counterpoint", this is also known as "contrary motion", where one line is ascending in pitch (C# to D), and one line is descending in pitch (A to G#).

Classical composers use voice-leading to allow for smooth transitions between chords, and to allow the melody to stand out. However, many other styles (particularly Jazz) likes to use smooth voice-leading techniques, especially when accompanying other instruments and singers.

Rock players use voice-leading, but since rock and metal players tend to use power chords (two note voicings) and because of the amount of gain and distortion, the voice-leading techniques aren't often subtle or smooth. However, may two-guitar bands are well known for using the technique, particularly when parts need to be less "clashing". AC/DC is a band that uses real good voice-leading to smooth out the parts between the two guitars.


(Guitar 1) E5 D5 A5 E|-------------------------|| B|----------3--------------|| G|----------2--------2-----|| D|-2--------0--------2-----|| A|-2-----------------0-----|| E|-0-----------------------||

(Guitar 2) E5 D A/C# E|-------------------------|| B|-------------------------|| G|-------------------------|| D|-2(E)-----4(F#)----2(E)--|| A|-2(B)-----5(D)-----4(C#)-|| E|-0(E)--------------------||

If you will notice, Guitar 1 plays simple power 5th chords. That's great and fine, real powerful. But Guitar 2 plays a slight variation on the same set of chords, that fills out the harmony without getting in the way of Guitar 1. And the voicings of Guitar 2 lead your ear to hear a descending line (actually, two descending lines) as the chords change. This is a good example of hard rock voice-leading.

As a side note, voice-leading can be performed by other instruments. In the Rock format, especially if there's only one guitar, the bass guitar can imply a smooth voice-leading. Or, the bass can lay down a single pedal tone (like just hanging on an "A" note) while the guitar moves the voices around the "A". A good example of this approach is in the music of Van Halen. Often, the bass will chug on a single note, and the guitar will dance around that note with several voicings that are only related to that one note.

Let's say that your bassist was chugging on an "E" pedal tone (Say a simple "1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &" eighth note chug), the guitar could play the chords "C-D-G-A-E". Now, that may or may not sound particularly good by themselves, but the constant "E" pedaling links those separate chords together. And, you may find that playing the entire chord is not necessary, just portions of them.

Next month, voice-leading with arpeggiation.

Lead Techniques from Will


To me, the key to speed and accuracy is the picking hand. It is important to have both hands synchronized, but the picking hand (generally, the right hand) actually produces the notes. The picking hand sets the dynamics, and the picking hand determines the tempo (even if it doesn't actually sound the note).

There are several methods for developing the picking hand. Many of them are developed after the personal preferences of the players we want to emulate. I will tell you that some do not always produce the desired results, as they are formed with that artists personal idiosyncrasies and habits in mind. However, there are some techniques for building a strong picking hand that are fairly common among almost all players. I will give you my personal practice regimen, but feel free to adjust to your own goals and style.

One good way to build solid picking chops is the famous "Alternate Picking" (Down-Up-Down-Up), even when crossing strings.

Alternate Picking v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ E|-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4-|| B|---------------------------------1-2-3-4---------|| G|-------------------------1-2-3-4-----------------|| D|-----------------1-2-3-4-------------------------|| A|---------1-2-3-4---------------------------------|| E|-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------||

The advantage to this approach is that your pick strokes remain constant, even when crossing over to another string. It becomes easier to navigate difficult passages when your pick hand is maintaining a constant motion throughout the passage.

However, the disadvantage (In my opinion) is that many times, lines are rarely constant, like the above example. Music isn't a set of chromatic lines moving from the 6th string to the 1st and back down. There are situations where a player must cross over 2 or more strings, go from chords to single note lines, and also play hammers and pulls (where the lines may only be picked for a single note out of several).

Another situation involves the economy of motion, where crossing strings actually requires more effort to pick down-up than, say, down-down. Often a single motion serves the purpose much better. In the previous example, the pick strokes come out even (down-up-down-up or v ^ v ^) as you switch strings. But, as in the next case, the pick strokes will not come out evenly as you switch strings. So, even though we can use alternate picking, I find that using "economy picking" (also called "sweep picking") works much better.

Ex. 2

Economy Picking (or Sweep Picking) |-D-| |-D-| |-D-| |-D-| |-D-| v ^ v v ^ v v ^ v v ^ v v ^ v v ^ v E|-------------------------------1-2-3--|| B|-------------------------1-2-3--------|| G|-------------------1-2-3--------------|| D|-------------1-2-3--------------------|| A|-------1-2-3--------------------------|| E|-1-2-3--------------------------------||

The motion of the pick in Example 2 is "Down-up-down-down". Now, let's look at the same exercise, but with strict alternate picking:

Alternate Picking v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ E|-------------------------------1-2-3--|| B|-------------------------1-2-3--------|| G|-------------------1-2-3--------------|| D|-------------1-2-3--------------------|| A|-------1-2-3--------------------------|| E|-1-2-3--------------------------------||

As you can probably see there are both advantages and disadvantages to relying on either technique, particularly when there's odd groupings of notes such as 3's, 5's, and 7's. Or when the note groupings are even, but the string crosses fall in odd places.

The advantage of strict alternate picking is that you never change your pick stroke, no matter where the string crosses are, and no matter how the notes are grouped. That is good for keeping things more instinctive, since you only have to do two motions, down and up.

The disadvantage of strict alternate picking, in my opinion, is that when you cross strings (moving from one string to another) your hand actually has to travel a small increment further to complete the stroke. That little bit of "drag" tends to slow you down, and it also helps create inaccurate landing on the target string. I shall attempt to illustrate.

Let's look at the previous example once more, and this time let's look at where the string crosses are:

D D D D v ^ v v ^ v v ^ v (Sweep) |-Cross-| |-Cross-| D U D U v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v (Alternate) E|--------------------------------------------|| B|--------------------------------------------|| G|--------------------------------------------|| D|-------------------------------1----2----3--|| A|----------------1----2----3-----------------|| E|-1----2----3--------------------------------||

Notice that in alternate picking the pick goes "down-up", just like when you ascend on the single string. But the distance covered is now somewhat greater in the string cross, because now you have to actually jump the string before you come back up for the upstroke. That's a little extra fretboard real estate to cover with the same amount of velocity and effort.

But if you observe the sweep picking method, you use a "down-up-down-down" motion, where the pick actually follows through with it's downward motion to cross to the next string.

Now, there is a disadvantage to sweeping. Sweeping, to me, works better in odd groupings, but in even note groupings, it tends to reverse your pick strokes, so that if you play a repetitive lick that starts with a down stroke, you might end up starting that lick with an upstroke the next time you sequence around. Let's look at an example:

Ex.4 Repetitive Lick

Dn Up v ^ v v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v E|----------12-15-17-15-12-------|---------12-15-17--|| B|-12-14-15----------------15-14-|12-14-15-----------|| G|-------------------------------|-------------------|| D|-------------------------------|-------------------|| A|-------------------------------|-------------------|| E|-------------------------------|-------------------||

Notice that when the sequence is repeated, you are now re-starting your lick with an upstroke. Your pick stroke got reversed!

Now, let's do the same lick with strict alternate picking;

Dn Dn v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ E|----------12-15-17-15-12-------|---------12-15-17--|| B|-12-14-15----------------15-14-|12-14-15-----------|| G|-------------------------------|-------------------|| D|-------------------------------|-------------------|| A|-------------------------------|-------------------|| E|-------------------------------|-------------------||

In this example, the pick strokes come out even, and you start your lick with the same stroke every time. You do still have the string-cross issue to deal with (going from the second string to the first, and back), but sometimes you have to decide for yourself which works smoother and more efficient.

One final exercise before we wrap this up. This is a simple alternate picked exercise to help develop comfort with crossing strings:

Ex. 5
^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ v ^ E|----------||-------------||-----------------|| B|----------||-------------||---------5-------|| G|-----5-7--||-----5-7-5---||-----5-7---7-5---|| D|-5-7------||-5-7-------7-||-5-7-----------7-|| A|----------||-------------||-----------------|| E|----------||-------------||-----------------||

Repeat each lick 5 or so times. Set you metronome (or any other steady pulse) to a slow tempo. DO NOT move the metronome up a notch until you can play these licks smoothly in the first tempo. The idea is to develop a smooth picking technique, both in crossing strings and on the same string. I have indicated starting each lick with both a down stroke and an upstroke. Learning to start licks with either stroke can help solve a potential problem later on, especially if you accidentally start a lick in the wrong place. This will help you become more adept at keeping your picking even, no matter the circumstances.

News and Events

  • Last month, we announced that Jesus Joshua 24:15 will be sharing the stage with Wisdom's Call and Eden's Way, for WC's CD Release Party, at the SORG Opera House. That show has been CANCELED. I say again, the SORG show has been canceled, due to circumstances beyond the control of the bands. Hopefully, they will be able to reschedule that show for another time. We will keep you posted.

  • Jesus Joshua 24:15 is scheduled to play in Fayetteville, NC, at "Souls", on May 9. 2008. No details on show times. TBA.

  • At press time, Jesus Joshua 24:15 will be playing at least one set (possibly more) for "Bike Week" in Myrtle Beach, SC, the second weekend of May 2008. Actual date and time TBA. This will be a great opportunity to minister the Gospel to everyone within earshot of the band!

  • Jesus Joshua will be sharing the Soul Joy Records stage at Cornerstone '08, with Wisdom's Call, Eden's Way, Lord Chain, and F.O.G, and several others TBA. This will be July 5, 2008, in Bushnell Illinois. Show times are subject to change without notice.

  • Last month, we reported that Jim Bishop's father was extremely ill, but had improved. Now, we must report that Jim, himself, has fallen ill. No details on the illness or the severity. Only that there is a need for prayer on his behalf.

  • Also, continue to pray for our friend and Soul Joy Label executive, David Kelsey, as he recovers from surgery and treatments for cancer.

  • If you have any questions for the band, or any single member of the band, send an email to Axeman2415 via the JJ24:15 website. Any questions are welcome, but the band reserves the right not to answer any of deeply personal or vulgar nature.

  • Check out Jesus Joshua 24:15's Myspace site:

  • You can also check out Will's Myspace:

  • Happy Birthday to Will's wife, Juli. April 1 (No foolin'!)

A Final Thought

Recently, I read a book entitled "A Legacy Of Faith", written by my good friend, Richard Hathaway ( In it, he has divided his thesis into four sections, what I have termed "The Four Lies". The first section, or "Lie", is entitled, "Blessing means Having". And while Rick and I have had our disagreements with some areas of his thoughts on that, I have to say that I agree with his overarching point. It is a myth to believe that blessing is equal to possessing things.

It is a particularly distorted view to believe that God's blessings are found in what you have. Yes, it is true that God does bless in the material. But, it is also true that many who reject God, mock Him, or ignore Him have what many of us would term "blessings" in greater quantities than God's own children. Many times, it seems that only the heathen are blessed, and the Children of God get the scraps. In may parts of the world, that is the rule, not the exception.

Some of you may recall the story of Job, a man that even God Himself called "righteous." Such a man of God was Job, that God boasted to the heavenly hosts about Job. But along comes the accusation of Job by none other than the prince of darkness, Satan (no, not Ozzy Osbourne.. sheesh!). Satan points his finger at God and says, "Yeah, right, God! Job only praises You because you give him stuff! But take away his possessions, and Job will curse You to your face!"

So, God allows Satan to rip Job's earthly possessions away from him. But God limited the devil in his authority. Satan runs amok over Job's possessions, destroying Job's wealth, and killing his family.

Yet, Job refused to do anything but praise God, and he refused to "sin by charging God with wrongdoing." (Job 1:2 NIV).

Job said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the Name of the LORD be praised." (Job 1:21NIV).

Now, of course, being proved wrong, Satan tries to argue further, "Sure Job will praise you! I mean, a man will give all he has to save his own life!But if you were to strike his flesh with pain and disease, Job would curse You to your face."

So, God allowed Satan to strike Job's flesh with horrid disease and pain. And yet, even then, Job would not curse God (even though his very own wife told him to do so), and Job replied, "Shall we accept only good from God, and not trouble?"(Job 2:10NIV)

Then along comes Job's three friends, compassionate men of God. But, even in their desire to comfort Job, they subscribed to the myth that "Blessing means Having."

Job's friends constantly argued from the viewpoint that Job must have done something wrong to incur God's wrath. Their whole point revolved around the loss of Job's possessions, his family, and his health. Not one of them heard what God was speaking about Job in the heavenlies. And isn't what God speaks about us what matters? Is that not the source of true blessing?

There are many people in this world who have nothing, as far as possessions are concerned. Loss of property, loss of loved ones, and loss of personal health are constant companions in life for many in our world. And yet, there are some of those who still know that God has blessed them. Is that because God can say to Satan and the world, "Look at My servant! See how he/she still maintain their integrity?" What an awesome thing to have the Creator of the Universe speak well of you!

There's nobody in the world who likes comfort more than me. I have no desire to suffer pain or loss. If it is my personal choice, I would want to die sleeping in a chair, at a ripe old age, having lived a pleasant life. And I will continue to make choices that help that along.

But, a comfortable life does not necessarily mean a "blessed" life. Comfort and blessing can go hand in hand, but they do not mean the same thing. Because comfort and compromise can also go hand in hand.I think the question we need to ask ourselves is, "Am I blessed or am I just comfortable?" Because Both the righteous and the unrighteous can be comfortable.

But the blessed are spoken well of by God.
2   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
AXEMAN2415Posted - 07 Apr 2008 : 15:27:04
And who could ever add to that?
GrimePosted - 06 Apr 2008 : 14:32:03
I have been through so much turmoil and strife. I have very little to my name. I have lived a life of hardship, and been blessed by it.

Yes, some of the things I have faced were the result of my choices or even the consequences of my sin, but I have been blessed beyond what I deserve.

I have the strength to fight for what I believe, even to kill if called to. I have become self-sufficient through years of providing for others needs above my own. I have learned that life and faith truly are simple to understand by being broken and humbled.

God promises to use all things for our good. And this is one way He chooses to bless us.

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