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My sheet music and other free resources are available here. Just follow this link, and enter your Merry Mystic password when requested.

These things are under a Creative Commons license that allows you to download them and copy them freely—for any non-commercial use.

Enjoy!

I have books, CDs, and a video series for sale from my store page. (I wish I could just give everything away, but one must eat!)

I’m especially excited about my new book, now available: Wolf at the Door.

About

 Adam Brooks Webber
Adam Brooks Webber
When I was a boy, I couldn’t wait to grow up so that I could A) move away from small-town Illinois and B) stop going to church. Consequently, I am now a pastor in a small town in Illinois.

Merry, Mystical Missives

Here you’ll find everything I’ve sent out to the mailing list for The Merry Mystic.

We Built a Clubhouse, Snug and Tight

Merry meet again, Merry Mystics!

My songwriting challenge continues this week. The subject this time is universal solidarity: a teaching that Jesus rarely spoke about, but often demonstrated. The hymn I’ve written has a sort of childish melody, because it’s about our childish impulse to exclude people from our clubhouse.

As always, sheet music for “We Built a Clubhouse, Snug and Tight” is available in our Free Stuff area.

 

By |November 27, 2022|Categories: music, The Merry Mystic|1 Comment

We Are Called to Solve the Puzzle

Hello, Merry Mystics! My songwriting challenge continues with week three of my sermon series on the practical teachings of Jesus. This week’s message was about Jesus’ teachings on nonviolence, with several relevant scripture readings (Luke 13:31-34, Matthew 5:39-41, Luke 6:27-28, and Luke 22:47-53).The hymn I wrote to go with it is ”We Are Called to Solve the Problem.” I thought my congregation deserved a break from having to learn new melodies, so I used a well-known hymn tune (BEECHER) for this one.

I have been training in a martial art (Karatedo Doshinkan) for more than thirty years; I have a title degree (Renshi) and a sixth degree black belt. People sometimes ask me how it is possible to practice karatedo while also trying to follow the way of one who spoke of loving enemies and humbly turning the other cheek. I explain that it isn’t a problem for me, because the Doshinkan Karatedo tradition is not generally aggressive or showy. In fact, I find that these two parts of my life fit together quite well.

Each attack is like a puzzle to be solved: how can I resolve this situation with minimum force? How can I defend myself, and defend those who can’t defend themselves, while not doing unnecessary harm? To make it even trickier: how can I do all this, while helping the attacker on a path to health and wholeness? I don’t claim to be very good at such puzzles. But it seems to me that my training helps me learn to solve them—in a way that is entirely consistent with the teachings of Jesus, and of course with the teachings of many other religious traditions.

In the video performance of this song, my friend Ron McCutchan leads a congregation in singing; Charlie Gebeck is the accompanist. As always, the sheet music is available in our Free Stuff area.

Lyrics:

We are called to solve the puzzle of each twisted human will.
We are called to heal attackers, not just hit back harder still.
We are called to find solutions to each fallen human state.
We are called to break the cycle of returning hate for hate. 

Every threat, a different answer, every lock, a different key.
Every evil act a challenge: how to set that person free.
Boldly speak the truth to power; meekly hear while others speak;
dauntlessly insist on justice; humbly turn the other cheek. 

Jesus taught an unexpected way to counter each attack:
outmaneuver each aggressor, giving no aggression back.
Even forced to walk a mile, simply walk that mile again.
Even though the fox is coming, simply be the mother hen. 

There is one who solves each puzzle, who can heal each fractured soul,
One who knows our incompleteness, knows the piece to fill each hole.
Knows the peace that makes us whole and, wholly holy, shows the way.
Called to learn that way, now let us to our Puzzle-Master pray.

By |November 20, 2022|Categories: music, The Merry Mystic|0 Comments

Don’t Let It Go to Your Heart

Mellow greetings, Merry Mystics! My songwriting challenge continues with week two of my sermon series on the practical teachings of Jesus. This week’s message was about Jesus’ teachings on money, with several relevant scripture readings (Luke 19:1-10, Mark 10:17-25, John 12:3-5,7-8, and Matthew 6:24).The song I wrote to go with it is called “Don’t Let It Go to Your Heart”.

Depending on your definition of a hymn, maybe this isn’t one; it’s more like a ballad, albeit Christian and biblical. But we sang it together in church, and the congregation seemed to enjoy it.

In the video performance of this song, my wife Kelly Autrey-Webber leads a congregation in singing; Charlie Gebeck is the accompanist. As always, the sheet music is available in our Free Stuff area.

By |November 14, 2022|Categories: music, The Merry Mystic|0 Comments

Let Worries Go

Hello, Merry Mystics!

I’ve started a sermon series in my church: between now and Christmas, I’m preaching exclusively about the practical teachings of Jesus. The first one, just in time for the worrisome election here in the USA, is about not worrying.

I wrote a new hymn to go with my sermon. Here’s the text:

Let Worries Go

Let worries go, my anxious heart!
Let peace remain and fear depart.
Within the present moment dwell,
Where God is near and all is well.

Release the futile, foolish fears
That blind the eyes and stop the ears.
The future-focused mind will miss
God’s present voice and present bliss. 

When joys abound and blessings flow,
In gratitude to God I’ll go.
When troubles come and times are tough,
I’ll go with God and that’s enough.

Oh, Jesus taught us not to care
What we would eat or drink or wear,
In each adventure to depend
On God to be our faithful friend.

To worry is to spoil and waste
A treasure that can’t be replaced,
A thing of high and holy worth:
A precious hour of life on earth.

In hymnody this form is called long meter: four-line stanzas of eight syllables each. In my hymnal, there are at least forty melodies that would fit, including, of course, the Old Hundredth (“Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”). But I thought the subject needed a more fun and unusual tune, so I used an old Scottish border ballad, “The Wraggle Taggle Gypsy.” In the video performance of this hymn, my friend Ron McCutchan leads a congregation in singing; Charlie Gebeck is the accompanist. As always, the sheet music is available in our Free Stuff area.

By |November 7, 2022|Categories: music, The Merry Mystic|4 Comments

God Send You Liberation

Hello, my merry and mystical friends! Here’s a new song with a very old melody: “God Send You Liberation”. As always, sheet music is available in our Free Stuff area.

These are the lyrics:

God Send You Liberation

Awake, awake ye drowsy souls, and hear what I shall say.
Remember how your freedom felt before it fled away?
Unbound, unburdened, unafraid, before you were in chains?
So God send you liberation, never fear, never fear.
So God send you liberation, never fear.

Imprisoned now, ye drowsy souls, perceive your shrunken state.
Forgetting your eternal life, returning hate for hate,
Tied up in wealth, in fear of death, and many bonds beside.
So God send you liberation, never fear, never fear.
So God send you liberation, never fear.

Have you forgot, ye drowsy souls, your high and holy birth?
You are the great Creator’s child who made the heaven and earth,
And Jesus is your brother dear, who frees the sin-sick soul.
So God send you liberation, never fear, never fear.
So God send you liberation, never fear.

Fear not, fear not, ye drowsy souls, this bondage shall not stand.
No snare on earth has yet withstood God’s liberating hand.
Cast off your chains, shake off your drowsiness, and set all captives free.
So God send you liberation, never fear, never fear.
So God send you liberation, never fear.

By |October 26, 2022|Categories: music, The Merry Mystic|4 Comments

what if you were humble

Mellow greetings, Merry Mystics! I decided not to preach a sermon in my church this week, and sang this little song instead. There is, of course, something shaky going on when I, Renshi the Reverend Doctor Adam Brooks Webber, proudly present a new song, written by me, about … humility. But I guess we’re all on the same shaky ground, every time we open our mouths. So if you will indulge me, here it is.

By |August 14, 2022|Categories: music, The Merry Mystic|4 Comments

These are the (mostly video) messages sent out to The Merry Mystic mailing list.

Sermons and Such

Every week, I preach in the Open Prairie United Church of Christ in Princeton, Illinois. I’m not sending most of these out to The Merry Mystic mailing list; but on the outside chance you’d like to see a sermon, here they are.

Presence and Guidance

The nativity legends of the Bible are full of the presence and guidance of God. (This sermon featured some clips from old movies; the video only has transcriptions.)

By |January 8, 2023|Categories: sermons|0 Comments
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