Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Ridge Run Road farm near Mount Joy, PA
This Lancaster County farm is on Ridge Run Road near Mount Joy.

"A New Song"

Message summary: Thank God for the gift of music, old and new!

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"Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!" (Psalm 96:1). “Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, His praise in the assembly of the saints” (Psalm 149:1). "And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9).

I (Stephen) have an admittedly peculiar habit that can annoy my family. I often hum when I'm eating at our table. Brooksyne claims it's because I'm most happy sitting down and eating a meal. (She might be right at that!)

As 2021 comes to an end I wonder how many new songs have been written this past year to praise the Lord and express faith? Do you suppose any new worship songs will be written in 2022?

When I was around the age of ten or twelve I started to enjoy popular music. It was also at this age that I began to "notice" girls. One song I especially recall was titled "Red Rubber Ball" which had this line, "The mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball". I thought that was such a cool phrase and still think of it when I see a rising sun.

I looked up to my older brother, Pat who is eight years older than me, and thought he had all the answers. "Do you think songwriters will ever run out of songs to write?" I asked him. He assured me they wouldn't. Turns out over 50 years later he was right! Thankfully and not surprisingly this is also true of worship music. In fact I am sure God's people will never run out of new songs with which to praise Him and express their faith, even through the eons of eternity!

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. I checked this morning and there are over 450,000 Christian songs in their database and consider how many songs are being sung that are not included in this database!

Of course many songs are written at the local level or in other languages 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. It's also interesting that only 24,000 public domain songs are in the CCLI database meaning the vast majority of CCLI songs are newer.

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). Very few of us sing songs written before 1600. 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! There's pressure on worship leaders in many churches to sing the newest songs, as Brooksyne can attest, since she led worship for many years in several churches.

God’s people in the Bible sang both old and new songs. The daily portions 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).

Hymn singingWe enjoy both new and old music. We are grateful for the sense of heritage of an old hymn like “The Old Rugged Cross”, for the deep conviction it brings to our hearts, and for the people we connect to the song because they sang it so often in our presence. We’re also thankful for the spiritual vigor that stirs our soul when singing a recently penned song like “Way Maker”. 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 parent or 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 in tune and you’re just as likely to hear me making a joyful noise to the classic hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy”, as well as a recent song 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, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man 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.

Joe CarrollA special memory: In Brooksyne's prayer she said, "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."

Joe Carroll, who is now with the Lord, was a long-term member of a church we served in an interim role in the Harrisburg, PA area about 15 years ago. Joe had a wonderful testimony.  He served in the navy during World War 2 and his ship was struck by a kamikaze plane killing many of his crewmates. The plane actually struck the ship precisely where Joe's bunk was located, but he was elsewhere on the ship at the time.

Following the war Joe married, fathered six children and worked in the Harrisburg area. His wife Jessie was a Christian and she raised their children to serve the Lord, but Joe did not serve the Lord nor did he attend church. Of course she and many others prayed for his salvation for many years. She recalls how he would help her get the kids dressed for church but he would not attend.  Maybe he was looking for some "quiet time" in the empty house.

In his late forties Joe had cancer of the larynx which resulted in having his larynx removed. He then began to use a voice box. It was during this time of extensive trial that Joe finally accepted the Lord as his personal Savior and began attending the church.

One of our most memorable blessings was hearing Joe sing. He did so with great effort, placing his hand on his throat in order to sing out. His voice has the characteristics of those who use a voice box, but that didn't stop him from singing out! We often stood just several rows ahead of him and I was so blessed to hear his voice joining in the song of the Redeemed! Brooksyne has told me that when she led out in worship and played the piano she hears Joe singing out.  It often brought tears to her eyes when she hears his earnest voice and she is inspired to play and sing out even more fervently.

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 many others in my extensive collection including Robert J. Morgan's two books: "Then Sings My Soul" Books 1 & 2. They're excellent devotionals with biographical info about the songwriters presented in chronological order of the song's publication date.

Stephen's note: We’ve visited many different kinds of churches with various music styles, the most unusual (for us) being the Sunday gathering at an Amish church service. 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 older music long out of copyright and interestingly they manage to have church without using PowerPoint! When the youth gather in their youth groups on Sunday evenings they sing many of the same hymns we sing in our churches.

Overhead projectorAnother memory: Music, at least all through our lifetime, but probably all through history has been a source of division. Mike, a local friend told us about a memory from a church he attended when they first used an overhead projector (for younger readers this was used before PowerPoint). Mike recalls how this didn't go over very well with some of the older members who refused to look up at the screen!

Years ago I wrote a satire article titled, "Overhead to PowerPoint proposal creates firestorm in local church".

Special Year-end Financial Note

We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.

Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies from which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.

To donate directly online click here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: STEPHEN & BROOKSYNE WEBER - 700001-237376 SERVING IN SPECIALIZED CHAPLAINCY

Make A Donation Please Note: If you desire you can donate directly through PayPal using this link. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber".  We keep this option available due to the familiarity, convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not need an official receipt. You can also set up for recurring donations. You also can use PayPal on this link. 

Thank you,

Stephen & Brooksyne

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Sing a New Song"  Video  The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"Red Rubber Ball"  Video  The Cyrkle  (Song illustrated in message, not a Christian song!) My brother and I grew up in the Midwest in the Kansas City area. About 30 years ago he moved to Easton, PA to pastor a church. Coincidentally, I looked up this group and they formed their group at Lafayette College in Easton!

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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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