• David Winkler

What a challenge this past year has been for those of us involved in church music ministry! For most of us, our larger choral and instrumental groups have been shut down. But a silver lining to this dark cloud is that it has given the opportunity to develop smaller ensembles. These types of groups can rehearse and perform in a more physically distanced environment, and also have the advantage of being more mobile when used in ministry outreach situations.

Our website features four categories of music for instrumental ensembles:

"Celtic Hymns" — arrangements for a group consisting of strings, woodwinds, and light rhythm section Brass ensembles and jazz combo Woodwind, string, and percussion ensembles Mixed ensemble formats

Also, I've done a number of instrumental accompaniments to choral anthems, scored for smaller ensemble groupings. Here's a list which includes those titles.

Finally, we just released a new arrangement for orchestra, based on the great hymn, "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty." This is the fifth title in our "Modern Worship Orchestra Series."

  • David Winkler

Last month, despite my efforts to be very careful, I contracted the dreaded Coronavirus. At first I thought I just had a bad cold, but a few days later, I tested positive, and ended up spending four days in the hospital. Thankfully, I was spared from some of the really bad effects of the virus. My wife, Cathi, also got COVID, though her case was not as severe. We thank God for His mercy, and for the many friends who prayed for us.

James Chapter 1 tells us to "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." I have to admit, when I was lying alone in a hospital room, looking at the ceiling and struggling just to take a breath, that was not my first thought. My prayer was more, "Lord, here I am. If you want me to live and continue to serve You, I know you can carry me through this." The scripture that kept coming to my mind was "Trust in the Lord with all your heart." God uses affliction of various types to burn away the pride, presumption, ingratitude, lack of care towards others, and general self-centeredness that is so prominent in our hearts. Therefore, we can say with the Psalmist that "it is good for me that I was afflicted" (Psalm 119:71). We have to be broken of our self-will and our self-righteousness in order to be made more like Christ. This I believe is an important part of discipleship and the Spirit's work in our hearts. But praise God that He also restores us and gives us His peace and the assurance of His love for us (see Romans 5:1-5).

I am learning patience as my road to recovery hasn't been as fast as I'd like. I am learning sympathy towards others as I realize that all over the world, millions of people are suffering way, way more than I have, either from COVID, or from some other difficulty. I am learning surrender as I say, "Lord, here I am - do with me as You will."

How has God been working in your life lately? What has He been teaching you?

NEW ORCHESTRA PIECE! Check out my new arrangement of “We Have Heard the Joyful Sound (Jesus Saves).” It’s a fun, jazzy version of a great old hymn. It's scored for full orchestra, but could be performed with just two flutes, two trumpets, and rhythm.

  • David Winkler

I love the Bible. As a work of ancient history and literature, the Bible is a fascinating book.  To read the thoughts of people who lived centuries ago and to learn how they lived is to me quite interesting.

But of course, the Bible is more than just literature. As the apostle Paul declared, “All scripture is inspired by God" — literally, “God-breathed”.  And as Peter said to Jesus when many of His followers were falling away, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)  That’s why I’m excited to announce a new little booklet titled, Jesus Said …

Jesus Said … is a collection of some of the most well-known sayings of our Lord. It has been a dream of mine for a long time to create this project. The 36-page booklet is about the size of a credit card. The quotations from Jesus are arranged in a progressive fashion that has an evangelistic focus, ending with the Sinner’s Prayer. Each verse is preceded by a short descriptive heading such as “Jesus promises eternal life” or “The Lord’s Prayer.” The text is taken from the New Heart English Bible, a public domain translation which reads very much like the New King James Version.

Jesus Said … is published by EnGedi Publishing LLC, a small firm here in Austin owned by my brother-in-law, Andy Spencer. The booklets are useful for sharing the gospel and also for scripture memorization and meditation.

If you would like a free copy, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to David Winkler, 290 Manchester Lane, Austin, Texas 78737, and I will be glad to send you one. To purchase additional copies, please email me and I will give you details.  Also, if you’d like an eBook version to download to your cell phone or other digital device, contact me and I will send that to you.

It’s my prayer that Jesus Said … will be greatly used by the Lord to spread the good news of Jesus Christ!