Artist: A New Beginning
Project Name: Our Journey Together
Producer: Debbie and Barry Shirk, Carl Smoker
Reviewed By: Scott Evans
Lititz, PA is where I first met Barry Shirk. I do not remember the specific day but it was likely for lunch and without doubt was the start of a lifelong friendship. That was a lot of years ago now and since that time I have moved to New York State and Barry has moved to New Hampshire. However, while we may not see each other as often as we once did or would like to, our friendship remains. Barry has spent most of his life in Southern Gospel Music and he and his wife, Debbie, are embarking on a new journey in music. They have appropriately called their new ministry, A New Beginning. It is a New Beginning for both Barry and Debbie and they have just released their debut project titled “Our Journey Together.”
The project begins with a song titled “Gentle Shepherd.” That is a popular Bill and Gloria Gaither song, however this is a song written by Ann Ballard. The song reminds us of the fact we find a very special love and refuge in the arms of our Shepherd. I grew up listening to a lot of different groups in Southern Gospel Music and the Hemphills were one of my favorites. One of their hit songs was “Master Of The Wind” and A New Beginning does a great job bringing that song back. “New Day Dawning” is an outstanding song that reminds the listener that we are heading towards Heaven and I sure do hope that you too are getting ready for that day!
One of the most well-known songs in Southern Gospel Music is “God On The Mountain.” This song is one of the great songs of encouragement ever written and I always enjoy hearing it again. Barry and Debbie do a nice job singing this classic song. Another Joel Hemphill song is next as A New Beginning sings “I Claim The Blood.” What a great message in this song about the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ! One thing I have learned in my more than forty years as a Christian is that I need Jesus more and more. The song “I Need You More Today” says it far better than I ever could and that is the next song on the project.
“The Potter Knows The Clay” is another wonderful song of encouragement. What a great thought that Jesus is the Potter and He knows just exactly how much we can withstand as He shapes us into His image. The tempo picks up with “When He Comes Walking On The Water” and this great song reminds the listener that Jesus will come walking on the water of your trials just when you need Him most! One of the dozen or so number one songs that the Crabb Family enjoyed over the years was a song titled “Trail Of Tears.” I had not heard this song in quite a few years and it was great to see A New Beginning record it! The project comes to an end with “Homecoming Day.” That song, written by Melissa Brady, is another reminder of our final destination as a Christian! What a day that will be!
A New Beginning is just that! It is a new and exciting beginning for Barry and Debbie Shirk. This is a great debut project from A New Beginning with solid vocal performances and a nice mix of songs. The project is one of encouragement and I am certain that there will be many people who will enjoy it for a long time to come. My favorite songs from the project are “New Day Dawning,” “I Claim The Blood” and “When He Comes Walking On The Water.” I am thrilled to see Barry Shirk back singing Gospel Music and I am excited to see the destination for Barry and Debbie as they begin A New Beginning! For more information on A New Beginning, visit their website at www.anewbeginning.online.
Listen to a sample of this project below