“The Power of Music” by Ben Tankard

Here is another teaching on the power of music. If you don’t know who Ben Tankard is, he is a pastor, a gospel/smooth jazz artist, and a reality TV show personality from the Bravo TV series “Thicker Than Water”. In this clip he is speaking at World Changers Church International in College Park, GA where Creflo Dollar is the pastor. Tankard’s teaching falls along the same lines of Monday’s post with Montell Jordan, however there is a part in here that I like where he groups the Music Ministry under the umbrella of Helps Ministry (equal to that of the ushers, etc). Check it out:

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the rights to this sermon. The video included in this blog is only intended to bring musical awareness to the reader.

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“The Power of Music” by Montell Jordan

Yes. This is the same “This Is How We Do It” Montell Jordan. If you did not know, he is now the worship pastor (aka “Minister of Music”) at Victory World Church in Norcross, GA. I encourage you (especially church choir members and musicians) to take a good hour out of your day to listen to this teaching on the power of music. Montell Jordan is more than qualified to teach on the power of music because he is armed with two major things:

1) The knowledge/wisdom of his past in the secular music industry.

2) The reality of his present and his future as a Minister of Music for God.

Trust me. You’ll get a lot out of this. Be blessed.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the rights to this sermon. The video included in this blog is only intended to bring musical awareness to the reader.

*Special thanks to my friend J. Pryor for sending this to me.

Happy Jazz Appreciation Month! [Part 3/4]

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that Fridays are the designated days for the “Time to L.E.A.R.N.” posts. Don’t worry, you will still learn a little something something, but this month (April) is special because it is Jazz Appreciation Month. Therefore, the next four weeks will be dedicated to Jazz artists… specifically Jazz pianists… WHO ARE BLIND. #thinkaboutthat

TODAY’S CLIP: Today’s clip is “Caravan” by jazz pianist Art Tatum (b. 10/13/1909 – d. 11/5/1956). Art Tatum, another virtuoso in Jazz Piano, is amazing. I’ll skip the commentary and just say prepare yourself for an improvisational blur that’s not only clear in execution but imaginative in it’s construct.

For more information on Art Tatum, please go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Tatum

Happy Jazz Appreciation Month!

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the rights to this song. The video included in this blog is only intended to bring musical awareness to the reader.

You Should Go And Play

My wife recently bought me a birthday gift (per my request) that has been helping me out a lot with some “outside the box” musical creativity. What’s the gift (you might ask)? Simple…

K’Nex

For those of you who remember K’Nex, you already know what they are, but for those who don’t, K’nex are “a construction toy system that uses color coded interlocking plastic rods, connectors, gears, wheels, and other components, which can be pieced together to form a wide variety of models, machines, and architectural structures.”

(thanks Wikipedia)

So what does this have to do with “outside the box” musical creativity? Well, when I was a kid I had this (along with Lego’s) and used to build all kinds of items based on stories happening in my head (and the stuff I had to build to make the stories come true). That could be anything from a Lego based Klingon Battle Cruiser to a K’Nex based octagon fortress (and YES I had those little green army guys to guard it). The bottom line is that those toys sparked my imagination so you can imagine that once I received my birthday gift, I was zoned out for a good amount of time building all kinds of stuff that’s been festering in my brain for the last 10-15 years or so.

Little did I know that would fuel the creativity that I use for the music that I play and even the music that I teach to my students. THEN I came across this quote by neurophysiologist and educator Carla Hannaford (author of “Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All In Your Head”):

“Play provides the emotional spark which activates our attention, problem solving, and behavior response systems so we gain the skills necessary for cooperation, co-creativity, altruism, and understanding.”

So while you are in the practice room (or the “woodshed” as my jazz brothers and sisters like to call it), be sure to set aside some time to go and play. You might find your practicing afterwards will have a fresh sound.

This post brought to you by the letter P (for “play”), the number 4 (because the word “play” has four letters in it), and my lovely wife (for buying me toys that I now have to make sure I clean up off the floor-LOL!). #143

And if you’re interested in Hannaford’s book, check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Moves-Learning-Your-Second/dp/0915556375/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398267191&sr=1-1&keywords=Smart+Moves%3A+Why+Learning+Is+Not+All+In+Your+Head%2C+Second+Edition

The Rest of the Story…

Taken from the Gospel of Mark 16:4-20 (MSG)

Then they looked up, saw that it had been rolled back—it was a huge stone—and walked right in. They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished. He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.” They got out as fast as they could, beside themselves, their heads swimming. Stunned, they said nothing to anyone.

[verses 6-8]

That’s the part of the story that we celebrated all day yesterday, but here is the rest of the story from the gospel of Mark.

[After rising from the dead, Jesus appeared early on Sunday morning to Mary Magdalene, whom he had delivered from seven demons. She went to his former companions, now weeping and carrying on, and told them. When they heard her report that she had seen him alive and well, they didn’t believe her.

Later he appeared, but in a different form, to two of them out walking in the countryside. They went back and told the rest, but they weren’t believed either.

Still later, as the Eleven were eating supper, he appeared and took them to task most severely for their stubborn unbelief, refusing to believe those who had seen him raised up. Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned.

“These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name, they will speak in new tongues, they will take snakes in their hands, they will drink poison and not be hurt, they will lay hands on the sick and make them well.”

Then the Master Jesus, after briefing them, was taken up to heaven, and he sat down beside God in the place of honor. And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.]

[verses 9-20]

Holy Week [Part 2/2] – Don’t Forget Jesus Christ

#1
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” -Matthew 21:9 (NIV)

#2
“Crucify him!” they shouted. -Mark 15:13 (NIV)

#3
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. -Luke 24:1-8 (NIV)

All four Gospels describe the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (some more detailed than others), but, to me, these three passages of scripture sum up Holy Week. The passage in Matthew describes Palm Sunday. The passage in Mark describes the decision that led to Good Friday. The passage in Luke describes Easter.

There is another underlying theme going on here. The fact that we, in our humanness, tend to forget so easily (which is quite a common underlying theme in the Bible). The passage in Matthew describes shouting crowds of happy people both in front and behind Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem. The passage in Mark describes another shout somewhere on the opposite end of “happy” not even a few days later saying “Crucify him!”

Is this the same crowd? Did they forget that quickly?

Even in Luke 24:5-8, we can see how the “two men” (aka “angels”) had to remind the women that “Jesus was not in the tomb, which is what he told you when he was walking with you” (paraphrased) leading to the 8th verse that says “Then they remembered His words”.

If you take anything away from today’s blog, please take this:

Don’t forget Jesus Christ. He certainly didn’t forget you.

+++++++(a little something extra)+++++++

Not exactly sure what Holy Week is? Here is a breakdown:

Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday – The entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem
Holy Monday
Holy Tuesday
Holy Wednesday
Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday
– The institution of Communion and the betrayal by Judas
Good Friday – the arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus Christ
Holy Saturday – the Sabbath on which Jesus Christ rested in the grave
EASTER SUNDAY – the resurrection of Jesus Christ

For more information on HOLY WEEK, please go to: http://www.kencollins.com/holydays/holy-05.htm

Holy Week [Part 1/2] – Evil Is A Skill

“My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.” -Jeremiah 4:22 (NIV)

Holy Week is one of the most important holidays on the Christian calendar. It not only reminds us of the sufferings of Jesus on the cross and all of the events leading up to that, but it confirms AND reaffirms our faith that Jesus died for our sins and rose again. In fact, if it weren’t for everything that happened during Holy Week, there would be no Christian calendar.

As I was researching today’s blog, I started in one place and ended up in quite another place. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will say that I ended up in the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was an Old Testament prophet and one of the many who prophesied about Jesus long before Jesus ever came on the scene. In my reading, I came across the scripture that you read above and it got me to thinking about how quickly the same people who bless and praise you one day want to curse and kill you the next. It’s been happening before and since the days of Jesus so the fact that it happens now to many of us (at home, at work, at church, in public, etc) is nothing new.

According to this scripture, evil is a skill and humans are pretty good at it, but could you imagine giving up YOUR life for the very people whose thoughts and passions pretty much shift with the wind? Could you imagine giving up YOUR life for people who don’t even know God, considered as senseless children with no understanding more skilled in evil than good? Could you imagine giving up YOUR life to save the very people who were trying to kill you?

Jesus didn’t have to imagine it. He did it.

+++++++(a little something extra)+++++++

Not exactly sure what Holy Week is? Here is a breakdown:

Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday – The entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem
Holy Monday
Holy Tuesday
Holy Wednesday
Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday
– The institution of Communion and the betrayal by Judas
Good Friday – the arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus Christ
Holy Saturday – the Sabbath on which Jesus Christ rested in the grave
EASTER SUNDAY – the resurrection of Jesus Christ

For more information on HOLY WEEK, please go to: http://www.kencollins.com/holydays/holy-05.htm