Songs from I Samuel: Hannah Prayed

Books-songs

Each week, we will go through the books of the Bible, looking at a song that illustrates a passage from each book.

I Samuel starts with the story of how the prophet Samuel was born. His mother was barren. One year, she prayed that if God granted her a son, she would dedicate him to His service. God answered this prayer, and her son Samuel would go on to lead the nation. Jeff & Sheri Easter’s song “Hannah Prayed” tells this story:

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Friday News Roundup #214

Worth Knowing

Worth Reading

In this week’s featured Letter to the Editor, reader JSR reflects on the importance of digital availability of projects:

Everybody in SG needs to get their music on iTunes. If nothing else, the ability to hear short clips is a good way to introduce your music. I don’t think the market for SG will ever go away, but a failure to have the abiliity for people like me (who don’t go to concerts and don’t buy a lot of complete albums) to have easy access to your music will jepordize the viability going forward. There are some SG artists that I’ve never bought any of their music in a store, but I have grabbed a song here and there off iTunes, or similar venue, after hearing it on Pandora or YouTube or on a SG blog. It needs to be that Daniel is soon forced to put a link to iTunes or the Google Play Store or Amazon for a digital download for every CD that hits the market.

 

Worth Watching

This has made the rounds, but in case you haven’t watched it yet, it’s worth watching: Kim and Connie Hopper missed a flight, so Chris Allman, Doug Anderson, and Tim Lovelace filled in on “What a Lovely Name.”

Worth Discussing

Were there any significant Southern Gospel news stories this week that we haven’t mentioned yet?

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Singing News Fan Awards to return to NQC

Singing News and the National Quartet Convention announced yesterday afternoon that the Singing News Fan Awards will return to the NQC mainstage this year.

Rick Francis, Singing News’ Operations Manager, explained that the details had been in progress for several weeks, adding, “It just makes sense for the Singing News Fan Awards to take place during the week of NQC, during a time when the entire Southern Gospel music community —fans, artists, and industry—is together in one place. We are very pleased about this agreement.”

NQC Executive Vice President Clarke Beasley added, “The Singing News Fan Awards and the NQC were inseparable institutions for decades, and we are delighted that the Fan Awards will once again call the NQC home.”

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What is news?

What is news?

While this site also features commentary, interviews, and an occasional review, well over half of the 3,505 stories we have posted are news. So it’s rather important to understand what is and isn’t news.

A couple of elements make something “news.” News is recent, relevant to the genre, and, usually, unexpected. 

This element of the unexpected is the most misunderstood element of newsworthiness. There’s a classic saying in newspaper circles: “Dog bites man isn’t news. Man bites dog is.” Applying this to our genre:

  • If the Booth Brothers going out for their usual weekend of concerts, and their members are Michael Booth, Ronnie Booth, and Jim Brady, it’s not news. It’s expected. But if one of the members were different, it would be news.
  • If David Phelps gets approximately thirty-two standing ovations at the next Gaither Vocal Band concert, it’s not news. It’s expected. If he’s ill and cannot sing that night, it would be news.
  • If Tribute Quartet’s bus makes it through the weekend safely, it’s not news. It’s expected. If it burns to the ground, that would be news.

Yet the other day, it struck me that the single most newsworthy thing that ever happens in this genre is something that might strike us as the most expected and least newsworthy.

You see, Southern Gospel is an evangelistic genre of music. Every weekend, several hundred national groups and several thousand local groups are performing concerts and presenting the Gospel. Every weekend, hundreds or thousands of people are coming to saving faith in Christ. From the vantage point of eternity, it’s not that big of a deal if Adam Crabb or David Ragan goes from sharing the Gospel in one group to sharing the Gospel in another group. But sinners coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ is a very big deal.

That, after all, is the most unexpected thing that ever happens in this world. Because Adam and Eve sinned, and because we are their descendants, we are born sinners. That’s normal. The unusual is when God steps into eternity as one of us, lives a sinless life, atones for our sins, and makes a peace with God that we could never make on our own.

The normal is that we are a fast track to Hell. That’s how every human story begins.. The unusual is when God steps into our story and re-writes the ending.

That’s why the good news is the most important news of all.

One closing thought: Stories of temporal significance have their place. Let’s just keep them in perspective.

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