Dotted Eighth Delay Studies

Setting up the U2/Hillsong delay in a variety of situations.

The Sessionists

Esther Subra (vocals), Serena Chew (keys), Justin (guitars), Alphonsus (drums and percussion)

Thoughts on G.A.S.

Why you should save up for an expensive guitar.

Setting Up Disaster Area DPC-8EZ and DMC-8D MIDI Controllers

An easy-to-follow video tutorial to get those patches programmed!

An Overview of My YouTube Channel

Feel free to browse some of the playlists on my channel. Hopefully this leads to you liking and subscribing!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Wake, A Concert, A Dreamer

I conducted a wake service on Sunday evening and helped out at a funeral on the Hari Raya public holiday. It was such a humbling experience and I am truly honored to be granted the opportunity to minister to the bereaved and grieving.

But to be honest, there was much fear and trembling when I was given this responsibility. I had never conducted a wake before (and by that I mean leading the service in worship, preaching, and giving the instructions to pay respects), so of course, some measure of nervousness was to be expected.

Perhaps the moment of greatest anxiety came when I happened upon some Facebook updates of a worship concert that was taking place on Saturday night while I was preparing the sermon, and my friends were serving there. "They have it easy, I wish I was worshipping on the guitar."

God was quick to give His clear instruction, "I've given this to you to do. This is your ministry."

So I prayed continually for strength and courage, and boy, did the Holy Spirit supply in abundance. I felt the familiar sense of empowerment that was not of my own. And as the moments passed, I ended up enjoying the process of preparation. I loved crafting the sermon, digesting the wonderful words of Psalm 23 and listening to the Spirit. I was worshipping with the songs I had chosen for the time of worship. As much as I was to be a minister to people, I was being ministered to.

So the moment came when I had to conduct the service. I still felt nervous, but there was a strength and assurance that was unmistakably from God. Did I do a perfect job? Nope; I slipped up on a few words of my script, my personal ad-lib was far from eloquent, and as always, I sometimes let my mind race too fast for my words to catch up.

But there was a connection I had with God and with the "congregation" of people gathered at the wake. I can't describe it very well, but it felt like my actions and my words were a pair of spectacles to help people see God for who He is, our provider of comfort, strength and hope when it hurts the most. The emotional response as a result of understanding those words choked me to tears; I felt grieved at the loss, but I had a joy that our dear brother in the Lord is secure, and we shall be reunited when Christ comes again.

I may feel inadequate in many things and at many times. But I'm discovering and experiencing first-hand that it is precisely those moments that God chooses to empower me, so that I may not boast. Indeed, in my weakness is His strength complete.

Psalm 23:6
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
          all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Saturday, July 26, 2014

OAC? Not Quite.

I found a cafe in HK that used the same stock graphic as my band. That's coincidence for you!

It was a bittersweet moment at this cafe as I started thinking about my musicianship. What do I do with these dreams and ambitions of playing professional music? It's amazing that 15 years have passed and I'm still a hopeful dreamer that someday, somehow, God will permit me the opportunity to use my musical gifts in the marketplace.

Many are quick to jump to the conclusion that I seek fame and fortune. I don't. I really don't! And don't take my word only, look at my life and try to arrive to that conclusion.

"Well, OAC was marketed fiercely."

Of course it had to be! I was managing a brand. As it is with any enterprise, you have to push selling points and can't expect clientele to "magically appear". Since no one was going to do it, I stepped up to the plate. Would anyone else have done it differently? I don't think so.

My observation is that so as long as the band isn't identified as Christian (and by that I mean a band made up of Christians who are active in their faith and unafraid of sharing it), it can pursue any material end by any means and it will still be deemed socially acceptable. "Oh yeah, that's what they have to do to survive. It's a tough market."

But alas, if the band is "Christian", all of a sudden, the same things that help promote the band, the publicity and marketing materials, the campaigns for gigs, any kind of merchandising--the band is seeking "fame and fortune" that is "against their beliefs" and are hence "hypocritical". Where is the hypocrisy? What beliefs am I going against? Does the Christian faith espouse a belief (or a set of beliefs) that deny a band from engaging in contemporary marketing strategies? I'm open to discussion on this, but by and large, I am tasked by the cultural commission to be hardworking, to be resourceful, and to be a responsible head of my household. If that means having to make a living with music, I'd better find a way of doing it responsibly!

Why the double standards? Don't "Christian" musicians need to provide for their families as much as "non-Christians" do? Don't we "Christian" bands need to make a living too? I don't mean to sound like I'm ranting (ah, Christians cannot complain either), but it cheeses me off to no end that there is such a divergent view on Christians attempting to live by their art. We're people too, with real needs and real families to take care of.

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