Skip to content

Slugs & Bugs in Idaho!

November 19, 2014

We had three concerts in Idaho over the weekend, and it was one of my favorite weekends of the year. We landed in a rare Boise blizzard, and woke up to over a foot of snow. It was beautiful, but the best part of the weekend was having my daughter, Livi, with me. Not only did she rock the fiddle, hand motions and harmonies for every concert, but she also took pictures! (see below)

Eagle Christian Church hosted two wonderful concerts around Boise, and we finished up our tour at Watersprings Church in Idaho Falls. Everywhere Slugs & Bugs travels, we experience gracious hosts, and Idaho was no exception. The temperature dropped to a frigid 12 below zero, but the people were warm and welcoming. We made new friends at every stop, and may even head back to Idaho (and Utah next door) this summer when we hit the Northwest again.

IMG_5634

Leaving Nashville… we snapped this pic and texted it to Amy (mom) just before liftoff!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_5643

This was the view from our hotel room window in Boise. Amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had time in the morning and went to see Big Hero Six. Also Amazing! Seriously, go see it.

We had time in the morning and went to see Big Hero Six. Also Amazing! Seriously, go see it.

 

 

 

 

IMG_5646

At one of the sweet host churches we visited. There was no shortage of snow!

 

 

 

When Livi wasn't playing fiddle or leading hand motions, she snapped some pics, and this is one of one of the warm Idaho crowds.

When Livi wasn’t playing fiddle or leading hand motions, she snapped some pics, and this is one of one of the warm Idaho crowds.

 

 

 

On Sunday in Idaho Falls, it was 6 degrees outside, so of course we went on an adventure. This is the Snake River, frozen.

On Sunday in Idaho Falls, it was 6 degrees outside, so of course we went on an adventure. This is the Snake River, frozen.

 

 

 

Livi at the frozen Snake River!

Livi at the frozen Snake River!

 

 

 

These kids (and their leaders) set the bar HIGH for the future kids choirs. If you've got kids that like to sing, We'd love to do a Sing the Bible concert at your church in 2015!

These kids (and their leaders) set the bar HIGH for the future kids choirs. If you’ve got kids that like to sing, We’d love to do a Sing the Bible concert at your church in 2015!

 

 

 

Whew! Bye bye snowy Idaho, hello... Snowy Nashville?

Whew! Bye bye snowy Idaho, hello… Snowy Nashville?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

———-

In case you haven’t heard, Livi is joining the Slugs & Bugs Live tour full-time! From January through May, Livi will accompany me for all S&B concerts. So if you’d like to bring us in to your community, find out more by clicking HERE.

 

 

Order the new all-Scripture CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (and get free Slugs & Bugs coloring pages!) (click here)

 

Slugs & Bugs in Alaska Video!

November 7, 2014

I recently came across this homespun youtube video from last year’s Slugs & Bugs concert in Kodiak, Alaska, where bears truly have no cares. The Kodiak Baptist Mission hosted Amy and me for 3 days, and Kelly and Stephen Foreman were wonderful hosts. The Baptist Mission is doing such important work in that difficult part of the country, and we were honored to come and share the light and love of Jesus with their community.

Their video does a great job capturing the fun we had in Kodiak, Alaska!

———————–

Order the new all-Scripture CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (and get free Slugs & Bugs coloring pages!) (click here)

 

HUGE NEWS for the Spring Tour

November 6, 2014

STBcover
Slugs & Bugs is gearing up for a big Spring tour, and we’ve got a super cool announcement to make. 2015 marks the 6th year of touring Slugs & Bugs LIVE, and for the vast majority of those shows, I’ve traveled solo. Sometimes my family or a friend or one of my kids tags along, but for the 2015 Spring Tour, I’ll have someone with me for every concert, and her name is Livi Goodgame!

Yes!! By Livi’s request and after much prayer, we’re allowing our (almost) 14 year old daughter to take online courses for the rest of her 8th grade year so she can tour with me full-time. Livi is an extraordinarily poised and mature young person, and she will bring so much to the tour.

She is already an experienced harmony singer and she’s really getting good on the violin. She has her mother’s gift for detail, which will help so much behind-the-scenes. Of course, the coolest part for me is getting to hang out with my daughter so much. After missing so many weekends of her life so far, having my “Beautiful Girl” with me for a few months will be a dream come true for dear ol’ dad.

Next Fall she’ll head back to the classroom for good, so if you’d like to book a father-daughter Slugs & Bugs LIVE concert, it’s only available for Spring 2015! (click here to learn about booking a concert!)

More on this coming soon, but for now, here’s a clip from a recent Slugs & Bugs Online Show with Livi (standing) and her good friend Skye Peterson (seated, and also a talented musician) singing “Romans 8″ from Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs.

———————–

Order the new all-Scripture CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (and get free Slugs & Bugs coloring pages!) (click here)

How To Talk With Your Kids About Pornography

November 3, 2014

First of all, nobody wants to have this conversation. I avoided it for months after I thought it needed to happen. However, I’ve now stumbled through a few awkward talks with my kids (my oldest are 13 and 11), and I’m really, really glad I did. If you’ve got kids, and you live near a computer, eventually you’ll need to address it with them yourself. It will be uncomfortable, but here are 5 things to remember as you move forward into these waters.

1. Make a Plan

Orchestrate some uninterrupted alone time, and you’re less likely to chicken out. I took one of my kids on a walk in the neighborhood – something we already do from time to time. Also, I left my phone on the kitchen counter at home.

2. Have a few other things to talk about. 

Don’t think about having to have a “porn talk” with your kids. You’re talking to them about life and how to navigate through the only life they have.  If you don’t already talk with your kids this way, maybe don’t start with this topic.

I wanted my kids to hear about this stuff from me – but in the context of bigger things. (why God matters, what life is about, friends experiencing divorce, what it means to love and be loved, etc.) Let the issue of pornography come up in a conversation about life and healthy relationships, and then you have a conversation to return to when you’re done with the really uncomfortable stuff.

3. Lower Your Expectations

If your kid is 9 or 10 (and if you’re lucky), they may have never even heard the word “pornography”  before. You won’t have to go into a lot of detail. This is the first of many conversations you’re going to have, so take a deep breath and be thankful the Clinton/Lewinski scandal is not all over the news.

4. Be Clear

My wife has helped me with this.  Sometimes, I’m so uncomfortable in a conversation like this I’ll leave things too gray. That doesn’t help anyone. Being clear helps me use less words, which takes less time and is easier to understand.

For example:

1. pornography is one of the most terrible things in the world.  It is a deep evil that (for most kids) is unlike anything you know about in the world so far. (You can embrace the silence that follows. You’ve got their attention. I let many seconds go by before I said anything else.)

2. It is pictures and video of things that are only meant to be very private. That is, people, with no clothes on, being very intimate with each other, in front of a camera. Do you know what intimate means? Do you know what sex is? (ask them to tell you – you may be surprised how little they understand) Pornography is people using sex in terrible ways. In my first conversation about this with my son, I left it at “people being intimate with no clothes” and “one day, you will see it. When you do, you’ll know.”

3. The reason it is so bad is because it is so powerful. God made sex to be an explosion of joy and wonder  -  to help keep husbands and wives deeply connected. But because of our sin, people have taken this beautiful source of power and twisted it into something evil. In this new form it is a explosion of horror and destruction, and it destroys from the inside out.

I used the example of Voldemort and the horcruxes from the Harry Potter stories. Voldemort took something beautiful and powerful – a soul – and twisted it and used it as a powerful, evil tool for himself.

4. I told my son, as dark as Voldemort is, that’s how dark this stuff is.  I said, “One day, you will see it. And when you do, run.” “It will be like a car wreck on the side of the road. It will be hard to pull your eyes away, but you’ve got to. The darkness of pornography is too powerful. So, when you see it, get away as fast as you can.”

5. DON’T Over-Share

I shared that pornography has helped ruin friend’s marriages, and how, without naming any names, people we know and love today are still suffering from the explosions of destruction that pornography caused in their lives as children. However, if you, personally, struggle consistently with the temptation to view pornography on the internet, do not share that with your elementary/middle school aged child. Do not burden them with that. It is too heavy.  If they ask, of course, be honest and tell them yes, you’ve seen it – you know the danger, and that’s why you’re warning them. Boys identify with their fathers, for better or for worse, and it’s going to be hard enough to avoid it without knowing that dad checks it out every now and then. (I know women also view pornography, and I’d guess similar discernment is needed for girls.)

 

In closing, congratulations on being a pro-active parent. Even though I believe these are good guidelines, don’t worry about getting everything right. It’s much better to have a clumsy talk than no talk at all. And some of these these awkward conversations will become signposts in the road for our children’s lives. Never stop praying, before, during, and after these conversations. Take pauses. Let stuff sink in and leave room for them to think and ask questions.

If your child has already been exposed to or influenced by pornography, don’t worry.  You are reading this because you are claiming your role as chief influencer of your child. Every researcher knows that parents have the greatest and most effective voice in the life of a child. Even if the child pretends not to listen, they hear. And if they are hearing love, that’s the most powerful voice of all.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5

 

- – - p.s. – - – I almost chickened out myself, today. I finished this post a few days ago, and still wasn’t sure whether I should post about such a troubling topic on the Slugs & Bugs Blog. But we parents need each other. I learn so much from other parents all the time, and I hope these thoughts help someone else.

————————

Order the new all-Scripture CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (and get free Slugs & Bugs coloring pages) (click here)

 

The Green Ember! FINAL DAY!!!!

November 2, 2014

If you haven’t already heard about The Green Ember… eek! You’re almost out of time! Order it today. Their hugely successful Kickstarter campaign is ALMOST OVER!

It has been such a joy to witness the surge of support behind The Green Ember. The author, S.D. Smith is a dear friend of mine, and I’m so excited for the rest of the world to learn what I already know. That is, Sam has a voice for children and families that the world needs to hear!

He helms the family resource blog http://www.StoryWarren.com which should be a weekly, if not daily stop for every parent.

But back to The Green Ember. Rabbits with swords! The Green Ember is a classic tale in the spirit of Redwall or Watership Down, with instantly gripping scenes and rich, memorable characters.  My own son, 11 year old Jonah Goodgame, swiped The Green Ember off my desk when I was only 2 chapters in, and here’s his completely spontaneous assessment.

 

As you can see… he absolutely loved it. He kept gushing about it on the camera, but I don’t want to give anything away. And I’m so proud that he loved the cover! The Green Ember was illustrated by Zach Franzen – the brilliant illustrator behind all of the Sing the Bible CD artwork!  So quick! Click Here to order your copy of The Green Ember today, and join the throng of supporters who know you can never have enough great stories.

———————–

Order the new all-Scripture CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (and get free Slugs & Bugs coloring pages!) (click here)

Halloween Reconciliation Scripture Song

October 31, 2014

halloween pic

Nothing brings people together like a song. Unless it’s a terrible song, or a divisive song. Angry songs don’t bring people together so much, either. The point is, Halloween should unite us, not divide us. And songs can help.

Where else can Harry Potter and Voldemort embrace as old friends? Where else can Batman hang out with The Joker, or skeletons consort with excavators (pictured)?

Slugs & Bugs has a song that mirrors the virtue of Halloween as a cultural touchstone for reconciliation.  It is widely known that children, monsters and bees are sworn adversaries. But not tonight!

And certainly not in this Scripture song…

———————–

Order the new all-Scripture CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (and get free Slugs & Bugs coloring pages!) (click here)

The Bitterness of Daily Faith

October 27, 2014

BitterBillyDaily faith is sometimes bitter. Jesus asks us to die every day. You died a little yesterday when you apologized to your co-worker or your spouse or your child. Today you’ll have to die again when you are mocked or passed over or trampled on, and Jesus calls you to respond with love and understanding. Tomorrow, we die again when our prayer is answered, “No.”

Following Christ is often sweet, but it’s always a killer. And the death is bitter. And yet it’s a good gift.

Every daily “death” I endure serves to pry my eyes off myself, and fit me more for loving others well. My friend Brandon Heath sings “gimmie your eyes” in one of my favorite songs of his. But that eye exchange is going to require massive surgery. It will require a long and painful recovery. There’s no other way for me to become like Christ, who endured the shame and pain of the cross for the joy set before him.

And so, I will always need reminding,

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

and…

John 16:33  - “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

——————

Order the new all-Scripture CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (and get free Slugs & Bugs coloring pages!) (click here)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 83 other followers

%d bloggers like this: