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Wednesday, April 29, 2015
"Sing To The Lord A New Song"
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"Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, His praise in the assembly of the saints" (Psalm 149:1).
We've visited many different kinds of churches with various music styles, the most unusual being the Sunday gathering at our Amish friends' home. Their Sunday morning music is hundreds of years old, sung in German in a very, very slow syncopated tempo. A song might have 16 or more verses and take ten to fifteen minutes to sing it through. The plain people have no copyright issues due to their dated music and interestingly they manage to have church without using PowerPoint! But many of our "English" folk attend churches that use a lot of recently written music. A song just a few years old is considered by some to be "old"!
CCLI is a company that provides music copyright protection for churches and ministries. Many of you have seen the small copyright notice with a CCLI license on a PowerPoint slide. We used it in churches we served and our church presently uses it.
As of 2014 CCLI has over 300,000 Christian songs in their database and consider how many songs have been written since then! Of course many songs are written at the local level and never get registered in their database. We also wonder just how many songs have been written for the Lord through the ages that were used locally or just for a season that aren't included.
Copyright permission is needed for music for a specific period of time. After that date it is in the public domain and out of copyright. Anyone using it does not need special permission nor is there a fee. But in reality virtually all the songs we sing in most of our churches are relatively new, written in the last 10% of the church's history (since 1800). Of course now we think of "new" in terms of just years and even a song written in our lifetime may seem like an old song!
God's people in the Bible sang both old and new songs. The daily portion encourages singing a "new song". But the worship leaders under King Jehoshaphat, who lived many years after King David, repeated David's common musical refrain, "Give thanks to the LORD, for His love endures forever" (2 Chronicles 20:21). Brooksyne and I have often wondered what hymn the disciples sang at the conclusion of the Last Supper (Matthew 26:30).
We enjoy both new and old music. We are grateful for the sense of heritage of an old hymn like "The Old Rugged Cross" and for the deep conviction it brings to our hearts. We're also thankful for the spiritual vigor that stirs our soul when singing a recently penned song like "Ten Thousand Reasons". I encourage you to have an appreciation for both types, while acknowledging we all have our preferences in style.
The older songs, particularly classic hymns, remind us that our expression of faith is not merely a passing fad and we are part of a multi-generational movement. What a blessing it is when a particular hymn stirs one's memory of a godly grandparent singing it in church. Our parents have been gone for many years but when one of their favorite hymns are sung in church we're reminded once again of their Christian example. The more recent songs remind us that God is still actively at work in His plan of redemption today and gifting His people to write new songs.
I can't sing well but I can sure hum or whistle and you're just as likely to hear me making a joyful noise to the classic hymn, "Holy, Holy, Holy", as well as the contemporary song, "Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord", and I'm spiritually blessed by both of them. New songs for the Lord are being written all the time and will continue till our Lord returns. And then amazingly we'll be hearing some new music in heaven (Revelation 5:9). Thank God for the gift of music! As you gather with other believers sing, "Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, His praise in the assembly of the saints."
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, the Word directs us not to get drunk on wine, but to be filled instead with the Spirit, speaking to ourselves in songs, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts toward You. You use these songs to teach us about Your truths, remind us of Your promises, comfort us in our grief, and refresh us in our spirit. No voice that is weak, hoarse, off-tempo, or out of pitch is rejected by You when we offer what we have with glad and sincere hearts. Help us not to be intimidated by those who have musical giftings, for our "joyful noise" can be a glorious symphony of praise when blended with thankful hearts to You through our musical worship. Amen.
Note from Brooksyne: One of the most natural ways of learning truths from God's Word and their application to our everyday lives is by singing and memorizing the hymns. I also enjoy and learn a great deal from studying hymn backgrounds. There are quite a few books written that help us see everyday people who were inspired by God to write about what He was doing in their lives as they applied His truths to their Christian walk. Contemporary writers speak of what God is doing today while applying the style and language of our day. That's the beauty of music because it is the very expression of the heart. I've worn the binding off of a book, "Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions" (366 - allowing for Leap Year). Mr. Osbeck writes a devotional based upon the hymn background and ties it into that period of history. I've been enriched and challenged spiritually when I read from this book and the many others in my extensive collection.
We enjoy meeting a lot of people in the course of our chaplaincy and hearing their story. Niv is a young man we visit at one of our worksites. He works as a service technician at JK Mechanical, an HVAC company and takes a strong stand for Christ.
He is preparing for his wedding this May and was excited to share with me a video of his proposal that has quite an unusual twist.
His fiancé had mentioned early on of her interest in one day sky diving. Romantic that he is, Niv kept this thought to himself over the years and then surprised her on her recent birthday.
Off to school on his scooter.
Our cat Dottie will soon turn 14 and just enjoys drinking the "fresh" water from the fountain.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"I Will Celebrate" Video The Maranatha Singers "I will celebrate sing unto the Lord a new song." (This "new song" is now some 25 years old!)
"The Old Rugged Cross" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"Ten Thousand Reasons" Video Matt Redman
"Holy, Holy, Holy" Video Singers not identified
"Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord" Video Robin Mark
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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