Cheap Grace

“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” 
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

JESUS…Fire and Brimstone Preacher

JESUS…Fire and Brimstone Preacher

In the midst of preaching a very fiery and accusatory sermon to the Pharisees, Scribes and multitude, Jesus said this, “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  But I will show you whom you should fear:  Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell;  yes, I say to you, fear Him!”       Luke 12:4,5

     We don’t hear very much about hell in the church today, yet Jesus spoke of hell often — more than He spoke of heaven in the New Testament — 28 times.  And His “sermons” were more energetic and descriptive than those of any preacher on earth!  He knew exactly what hell was like…..He created hell…..for the devil and his angels.  He did not create it for human beings, but became a man, suffered, died was buried, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven, to save us from hell, and so He could enjoy being with if us forever!  His great Love for humans caused him to strenuously warn us of this place!  He wants us to join Him in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, rather than to be cast in the eternal fire.  

     Listen to the fire and fervor with which He warns us:

         “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.’  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—where ‘THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.’  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.  It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire—where ‘THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.  (Mark 9:43 – 48)’  These are words we do not hear these days in our churches….very seldom….yet only a fool would not do whatever was necessary to avoid spending FOREVER in this Lake of Fire, which does not consume, and even the worms feeding on flesh are not destroyed.  It is the absolute LOVE of JESUS, the Son of God, that He came to earth one Christmas day, to SAVE us from our sins, and from this hell, and to promise to take us to Him, for all eternity, to heaven instead.  He himself suffered, died, spent 3 days and nights in hell paying the price, then ROSE FROM the DEAD, so that we could be free to spend eternity with HIM, by repenting from our sins, and giving ourselves totally to Him!  There is no other way to get to heaven.  (see John 14:6)  and, in John 3:18, “He who believes in Him is not condemned;  but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Memorial Day Thoughts

Remembering all of those who have fallen, upon whom our freedoms rest.  

In particular, the many great musicians of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard who gave Inspiration to the soldiers, and to those at home.  I am honored to have served with this magnificent band, during which time we helped pay due reverance to the fallen in Arlington Cemetery and elsewhere.

Sp5 Chester Schmitz
The United States Army Band

Vaughan Williams Tuba Cto 1971 w BSO/Steinberg & me

Here is a performance which I have never shared. It’s 1971, with the Boston Symphony, William Steinberg conducting, recorded live in Symphony Hall, Boston. I am playing the Ralph Vaughan Williams “Concerto for Tuba”, on my goldbrass 6-valve Alexander F tuba. Hope you enjoy this ‘look-back’ from 47 years ago……

Making Music

Commit yourself to never, ever playing mf, and that should reduce doing so to about only 75% of the time.


If you want to inhale silently, take in a given amount of air more easily, and more quickly, engage the nasal passage (the nose) when inhaling. Doing this then makes it possible to set your emouchure, with playing pressure, before you breathe, top and bottom center on mouthpiece rim, so that you, after your breath, are immediately ready to make that sound…..accurately and precisely…..and musically. Air comes in at “corners” of the mouth and through the nose. It is not only very easy, but it also is the correct way to prepare and breathe in order to play any brass instrument.


For those of you, particularly tuba players, who drop your jaw and form your oral cavity so as to say, “hooooo,” or, “huuuuuu,” will find that when you inhale using your nose as well as your mouth, that it will be almost physically impossible to form those vowel sounds.  This is OK.  One should not drop the jaw to breathe, nor should they use those vowel concepts.  The correct concept is, “aaaaaaaaahhhh,” with a relaxed tongue and shoulders down.

Breathing Made Easy

When preparing to play an instrument, if you are inhaling only through the mouth, you can add approximately 1/4 more quantity of air, and breath much more quickly and quietly, by adding an “open nose” to the process.  Nose-breathing is also the way you breath — automatically — all day long… sustain your life.

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called

The Word of God.

And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

Revelation 19:11 – 16


Are YOU up in a tree?

JESUS stopped right under the tree in which Zacchaeus was, and all at once He looked up and saw Zacchaeus, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down.” I can just imagine Zacchaeus saying to himself, “I wonder who told Him my name? I was never before made known to Him.” But Christ knew all about Zacchaeus; and, sinner, Christ knows all about you; He knows your name, your dwelling-place. Do not think God does not know you. If you would try to hide yourself from Him, bear in mind you cannot do so. He knows where each one is; He knows all about our sins. He said to Zacchaeus, “Make haste and come down.” He might have added, “This is the last time I shall pass this way, Zacchaeus.” And thus also He speaks to sinners,—-“This may be the last time I shall pass this way.” Yes, this may be your last chance of eternity. He may be passing away from some soul now. Oh! sinner, make haste and come down and receive Him.”
The words of my fellow-Massachusettsian, D. L. Moody,  in 1875

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