Jazz Flute, $1 Guitar Straps, and Chinese Taco Bells…

What is wrong with this picture? At first glance the un-musician (new word!) might say nothing, but for those of you who do shred the ole’ axe, let me explain. First off, the big jumbo bodied guitar is a 12-string. But it only has 6 strings on it-which makes for an unnecessarily wide neck and a stupid looking headstock with all those extra pegs. Second, the guitar in the middle is yellow. I mean come on! Who plays a yellow guitar? I got served about 10 years ago when I bought it on ebay. I was duped by the color description of “ivory.” And don’t be deceived into thinking it is a real Les Paul. Its only an Epiphone. I don’t even know what all the knobs do, and I’ve had it for ten years.

Check out the yellow border around the picture. Looks kinda dumb, right? That’s exactly what I look like when I play it—-superrad (another new word!). Thirdly, look at the strap on the bass. It’s thinner than most of your carry-on luggage straps. This is because I only paid $1 for it. On Ebay.  From Hong Kong. Including shipping and handling. Flames of a deal, as the Aussies say. Now tell me something, how does a chinese man afford to send a duffel-bag strap halfway around the world, when I paid him less than the average cost of a Taco Bell burrito?

That’s easy! They obviously don’t have Taco Bell in China!

Also notice how nice my equipment is. I am the proud owner of a 6-foot monster cable that is in mint condition. I can stand six whole feet away from my beautiful, 30-watt Marshall amp! My jumbo-bodied guitar is larger than the amp, but who needs a big amp anyways? Its not like I ever play up front or anything like that, right? Technically I can get more than 6 feet away if I use a second chord and maybe plug into my Digitech RP100. That thing is great! Featured as Digitech’s bottom of the line effects processor, it only takes about 2 seconds for the effect to switch to another when you step on the peddle! The black box next to the RP100 is my tuner, which also is in mint condition.

As you can see, I got some real nice stuff. But that’s not the point.  The point is how I use the stuff. Who cares what you got, as long as you rock it like its hot?

A study done at the University of Munster in Germany showed that music lessons for children actually helps to enlarge their brains. An area of the brain that’s used to analyze pitch was enlarged 25% in musicians. The younger the musicians were when they started playing, the bigger that area of the brain appeared to be.

While I believe the study, I don’t think it quite worked on me. First off, my mom failed to start us on piano lessons until 3rd grade (come on mom, what was wrong with you!?!). Second, my neurosurgeon never mentioned anything of the sort when he was poking around up there. My wife specifically asked him to check because she doesn’t believe the study either. She has good reason to not believe it based on the fact that she has to live with me.

On a more serious note, I don’t think God really cares whether you play the radio or the jazz flute, he just wants you to use the talents He’s given you for Him. I know people that took music lessons for years, and never picked it up. And I know other people, like my friend Ron, who picked up jazz flute without taking any lessons at all!

When it does come to music, however, God tells us specifically what he expects and desires from our worship:

“Sing the Lord a new song. Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with tambourine and harp.” —->Psalms 149:1,3

“Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister in his House. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord…” <—-Psalms 134:1-2

Simply put, God wants us to get into worshiping Him. Psalms doesn’t say anything about frowning while we silently mouth the words and wish that the person leading would put down that stupid electric guitar and pick up his or her jazz flute. God most definitely wants us to “Be still, and know that He is God,” but not all the time. “There is a time and place for everything under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 3:1


*editor’s note: In 2008, there were three taco bells in China.


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