That One Time, When We Made Music

Once upon a time, before we had ever heard of New Brothers Fellowship, we were on another mission.

For about 15 years, the Holy Spirit gave Doug songs. There weren’t many, but they came regularly.  His fingers would start playing a melody, and the words would just come.*  This went on, until it didn’t. That was when Doug knew it was time to make the songs available to the Body of Christ. He knew they were meant to be shared.

Taking songs from scraps of paper to published works of art is a lengthy process. I was our sole extra-curricular occupation for about three years. The process began with his working through the music with a band of brothers the Lord had brought into his life—extremely talented musicians and men of God. In the end, a songbook was produced, demos were recorded, a website was designed, a publishing company was formed, the songs were registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, and listed with the Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI).  And, because Doug doesn’t do things half-way, he wanted not only sheet music, but chord sheets. overheads. and lyric sheets made, too—everything anyone could need to use the music—all available online.

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We had not anticipated doing everything ourselves, but as the process began we learned that submitting his work to a publishing company would mean surrendering his rights to the music. In order to be true to our mission: make the music available to anyone in the Body of Christ, free of charge, we realized we would have to become a publishing company.  There was no way around it.  And,  you cannot be your own publisher for some strange reason. So, guess who “owns” Doug’s music? Yes, that’s right! Yours truly. I am the President and sole owner of LAMP Songs.  I am even a card-carrying member of ASCAP.  Pretty funny, huh?

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You know, God always asks His people to do things they cannot do. That is is our testimony, and I bet it is yours, too. We always find ourselves disqualified for what God calls us to, but if we will just look to Him, and follow Him, He will lead us in accomplishing His will.  The Lord provided everything we needed to bring the songs to the public. His hand is very evident. I could write a small book on this season in our life—so much was happening to try to stop God’s will. Provision for the special equipment Doug needed was such that only God could have done it. The particular men who worked with him on these songs were all men of like faith and commitment to music that glorifies God. Those rehearsals were mighty times of worship! There was less emphasis on “getting it right,” and more focus on just letting the Spirit have His way.

So, I invite you to listen for yourself. Click on the logo above to go to the songbook page. You will see all the music there.  If you hear something you like, share it with others. If you would like to use a song in your church, please do! You will find everything you need is at your finger tips—overheads, lead sheets, the lyrics, the music—even the entire songbook can be downloaded, free of charge. If you have a CCLI membership and report using the songs, Doug might earn a few pennies. However, if you do not have a CCLI membership, you are still welcome to use everything for personal or congregational worship.

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Some of the demos you will find on the website are with members of the LAM Worship Band, but the songs that are just Doug were recorded in our bedroom. We were on a deadline at that point, so we just set-up a little studio. It worked pretty well!

I am very gratified by the work we did. I love these songs. They bless me, and I hope they bless you, too. When we hear from someone on the other side of the world, or get a report from CCLI showing a song was used in Africa, it kinda blows my mind. God gave the vision, and He fulfilled it. Glory to His name!

 

Note to Lisa: Thanks for inspiring this post.
*The lyrics to one song, “Your Love Reaches,” were written by my eldest sister. Doug had the melody for so long, but no lyrics. One Sunday evening he played it for her; minutes later there was a beautiful lyric floating along with the notes. That was pretty special to witness!

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