Davy Crockett

Standing in Confidence in God’s Will!

Davy CrockettOn a recent trip to El Paso and Phoenix, Pearl and I stopped in Ozona for the night. In the morning we took a stroll over to the Davy Crockett museum (which was closed for construction, unfortunately) and we posed for pictures with the statue which serves as a local landmark for the area. At the bottom of the statue is the inscription, “Be sure you are right then go ahead.” Crockett was famous for this phrase, but for me at this point in my life it served as an exclamation mark to a very important life lesson I have recently learned.

The Bible says, “Ask and you shall receive.” (Luke 11:9) I believe God does indeed give us what we ask for, but I think a lot of people take that verse out of context. It’s important to look at the full story that this verse belongs to:

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Luke 11:5 – 10

Think about it. What is the friend in this story asking for?

Consider an alternative scenario:

It’s 3 am. You are asleep at home with your family and your friend calls and says, “Dude, I’ve been up partying and playing Halo all night and I got some serious munchies. But I’m out of money. Can I come over right now to borrow money for some Jack in the Box tacos and a milk shake?”

What do you think your answer would be in this scenario? I think most people would be extremely annoyed with the friend. They say that a good friend is someone you can call on at any time for any reason, but that welcome is soon worn out when it is abused. Most people are likely to tell that “dude” no, and if he persists, they will hang up on him for sure.

Praying Selflessly

Look at the difference between the alternative scenario and the story that Jesus told. The friend in Jesus’ story was actually doing a selfless deed. He was trying to find food….not for himself….but for someone who had been traveling and was probably hungry. Remember, there weren’t convenience stores or twenty-four hour fast food chains. It’s quite possible that someone who traveled in those days traveled by foot and had little or nothing to eat all day. The friend in Jesus’ story was trying to fill a need in another person’s life.

In His story, Jesus is telling us how to pray. He says that when we pray selflessly, our prayers will be answered. He is not saying that every little thing we ask for, regardless of the reasons why, is going to be given to us. That promise was never made and never even insinuated.

I learned long ago that praying selfishly does not get your prayers answered. I remember going to bingo with my grandparents when I was in elementary school. I prayed to God that I would win, maybe even win the jackpot! But I didn’t win. God didn’t answer that prayer because I was praying for something very selfish. To me it wasn’t about the money. I didn’t really understand money very well at that age. I wanted the thrill of being the one lucky person in the whole building to be singled out and praised for hitting the jackpot. It would have been so glorious! Looking back now, I thank Him for not giving me what I prayed for. It was a lesson in humility.

Now fast forward thirty years to my father’s last fishing trip with me and my brother, Gerald. By that time I had learned about which prayers we can expect God to answer. My prayer on that day was that my father would catch the most fish and that he would have a wonderful time with us. That prayer was answered. It’s worth mentioning that I didn’t catch much at all and that didn’t bother me one bit. It’s a different kind of pleasure that comes to us when we see selfless prayers get answered. There is a deeper sense of satisfaction.

Standing in Confidence

When it comes to day to day confidence, the same principle applies. If what we are doing is based on our own selfishness, it is almost impossible to stand tall and in confidence. As Christians, we know that we cannot do anything good without God. When what we desire is selfish, when we put our own wants and needs above others, we step outside of His will for us. We turn our backs on the gifts He wants to give us. In that sense, we are spiritually all alone.

But when we know in our hearts that what we are doing is based on selflessness, when we put other people’s needs above our own, then we CAN stand confidently knowing that God’s strength is behind us. When we are selfless, God lifts us up and gives us strength. When we are selfless, God makes a way for us. He clears a path and blesses us with everything we need to make that selflessness work. When we live this way, God answers all of our prayers and we can walk forward in our lives with the confidence of knowing He is with us.

I was reminded of this life lesson when I read the inscription at the bottom of the Davy Crockett statue. Be sure you are right, in God’s eyes. Be sure that what you are doing is going to selflessly bless people, then DO IT! Do it in confidence knowing that God is behind you all the way.

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All-State Prep for Trumpet

All-State Prep for Trumpet by Eddie Lewis

All-State Prep for Trumpet by Eddie Lewis

The concept behind my All-State Prep book was to give the aspiring student everything he or she needed to work on during the months after solo contest and before the next year’s audition music is announced. These are typically the months when students practice the least, which is unfortunate because it is the only time today’s high school students have to work on their playing in a more general way. It is the only time of the year when what they practice isn’t dictated by the band’s agenda.

Staying true to the objective, the etudes in All-State Prep are short. The idea was to limit the length of the etudes while staying focused on the skill to be learned. In that way, the book is a success.

Although the main focus is on preparing students for the All-State music, I have been using it with all of my students who reach that level of playing. It is not a book about competition. It is a book about preparation. Eventually it will be replaced in my lessons by another project we are working on, but for now it seems to be working well. All-State prep has served as a model for several future projects.

All-State Prep is available at Tiger Music and also at Lulu.

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Conrad Johnson Orchestra

Orchestra Opens Rehearsal Night To Public Before Movie Debuts



TUESDAY AUGUST 16, 2011 * 7:30-10:00 PM
$10.00 Donation.

In pre-preparation of the soon to be released movie “Thunder Soul” presented by Jamie Foxx…. chronicling the life of Houston’s own “CONRAD (Prof) Johnson and KASHMERE HIGH SCHOOL 1968-1988 Students, the legendary “CONRAD JOHNSON ORCHESTRA” has opened their rehearsal night to the public to memorialize and pay tribute to Conrad O. Johnson and Barry Lee Hall.

Hosted by: Obidike Kamau – KPFT 90.1 FMRadio Personality and TSU Professor

PAY NOW… by calling 713-547-0126  Representatives are standing by.

For more information go to  www.silverhousetheatre.com

$10.00 Donation * Seating: First come *  Refreshments Available *

Please RSVP your attendance.

Silver House Theatre – 713-547-0126

This is an exciting event. I wish I could attend. I cannot, but I wanted to pass on the announcement so others would know about it.

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Tiger Music Spotlight

Lulu.com has upgraded their user store fronts to a much improved web page. We use Lulu.com as our primary printer and they are currently the only place where you can buy our products as e-Books. Click HERE to go to our spotlight on Lulu.com.

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Homeschooled Children are Odd

We picked this magazine up at our local Kroger store and Pearl read this article to me on the way home. Having homeschooled my son all the way through to eighth grade, I enjoyed hearing Keith’s fresh take on what has become a worn out topic; what she calls “the S word”, socialization. Click HERE to read the article.

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Banjo Band at CT Church

Thursday Night

August 11, 2011

7:00 p.m.

The “OK Fellowship” group at our church is sponsoring a performance of the Youth Banjo Band from Sagemont Church. I have never heard the band, but I have heard wonderful things about them. If you are interested in attending this concert, click HERE for directions and/or more information.

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Celebrations – 101 Original Duets

101 Original Duets for Trumpet by Eddie Lewis

Celebrations – 101 Original Duets for Trumpet by Eddie Lewis

If I am allowed to have a favorite, I would have to say that Celebrations is my favorite of all my books. Besides the fact that it’s fun, challenging and unique, as a complete work it has a significant meaning to me in my life.

I began writing duets again in the early part of this decade. At first I only wrote them for fun. Then I decided to make a project out of it. Then personal tragedy struck and the duets came to represent  second chances. In that sense, it’s not just another duet book. My heart and soul is contained within it’s pages.

That said, the book is laid out in a way that lends itself very well for use in private lessons. The individual duets are arranged in a progressive order spanning from easy whole-note duets and progressing to virtuosic duets that present a challenge to most professional players.

Here are a few comments people have made about Celebrations over the past several years:

David H. Bailey – The David Bailey Music Studio, New Hampshire
“I have used Celebrations in my private teaching since I first received the book, and have to say that the wide range of styles as well was the wide range of difficulty in the duets makes it a perfect addition to any teacher’s library. The students who have played the duets with me have enjoyed them, as have their parents who heard them through the closed door of my studio. It’s a great book at a great price and will provide a lot of great music-making.”

Chris Gekker – University of Maryland:
“Your duets have been a great addition to my teaching. I like to do some sight-reading at each students’ lesson, and in your book there is so much variety and range of styles. Some duets are very simple, which can be deceptively challenging, and others have intervallic and rhythmic demands that are quite ambitious. I also appreciate the “swing” duets, of which there are a number: gone are the days when any trumpeter can ignore being able to play well in this manner. Congratulations on such a fine book, and I’m grateful for your contribution to our quest of becoming better musicians and trumpeters.”

Dick Schaffer:
“Just received the books. What a wonderful, cheerful, joyous book Celebration is! I intend to “beat my students up” with it. It has something for everyone, from beginner to professional. It’s a playing encyclopedia, pure and simple.”

Lonnie Lalanne – Freelance Trumpeter – Houston:
“I’m on 74, 75 and 76 in your duet book. Man, I just want to thank you for this stuff. It’s really perfect for a pro player to cover those styles and I’m gong to tell you the truth – you’re kind of a jerk though – some of that stuff you do, man, that trickery – I really like it. Thanks Eddie.”

Celebrations was also reviewed in a recent issue of the ITG Journal (Page 99). The reviewer, Brian Winegardner, says:

“The musical quality and ingenuity found in these short compositions is unique, making the playing of these duets extremely enjoyable. Eddie Lewis has created an extraordinary collection of trumpet duets. The variety of styles and difficulty levels found in Celebrations make it a valuable and versatile duet book for all trumpet players, from a high school student to a professional.”

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