One of the songs speaks directly to parents, specifically about parenting with Scripture.
Listen to a clip of the song “Hear, O Israel!”
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. – Deuteronomy 6:6-9
I’ve known this verse for a long time. And for years, Amy and I talked about ordering pretty Scripture-verse wall decorations. YEARS, people. But it never happened. Finally, one rare Saturday afternoon when I was not traveling, we got out the markers and construction paper and did it ourselves. Everyone picked a favorite verse from the Sing the Bible CDs, and within an hour, we had 5 bible verses stuck to the walls of our house with that blue sticky stuff that sticks on the corners.
We did not get hung up on perfection or neatness. If it’s hard to read, it’s a conversation starter, right?
One line from that Deuteronomy Scripture passage has always jumped out. “Wear them on your foreheads as reminders” always reminds me of Jim McMahon – the quarterback of the 1985 Superbowl Champion Chicago Bears. He used to write messages on his headbands. I’m not planning on adding headbands to my wardrobe, but I do take those words as further admonition to keep God’s Word at the forefront of my mind.
Listening to Scripture music is one way to do that. Another way to get the kids involved is through a simple Saturday afternoon family activity like this one. Afterwards you can all go out for ice cream – or maybe a blueberry milkshake.
It was a happy occasion. Aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and siblings – all excited to see each other, walking through the airport together. All walking, except me, seated comfortably in a Southwest Airlines wheelchair, my wife selflessly pushing from behind.
We paused at a restroom entrance. I noticed a white wire hanging from one of my teenager’s ears, and spoke up.
Me: “Hey – you’ve got to put that away”
Teenager: “What? Why?”
Me: “You can’t listen to music while you are walking and talking with your cousins.”
Teenager: “But I’ve only got one ear in!”
Me: “That doesn’t matter. it separates you from the rest of the group.”
Teenager: “You are killing my vibe.”
I can’t remember what I said; maybe a question asking if the vibe was more valuable than the cousins, but grudgingly, the earbuds came out.
One of the hardest things about parenting is, half the time we are making up the rules as we go. However, making your personal “vibe” a priority seems counter to the the whole point of our new life in Christ.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
Sure, “one earbud in” is not the worst thing in the world. And if I didn’t have a great relationship with my kid, I might not choose that battle. But I want my kids to learn that habitual self-focus is the devil’s snare. I know because it still trips me up all the time. And I know because I am most joyful when I forget about myself and focus on the needs of others. Of course, self-care is important. I can’t care for others effectively if I neglect personal hygiene, don’t get enough sleep, don’t get good rest, or never relax and have fun.
However, even in the midst of those things, the mind of Christ in me must be aware of people around me. It is the nature of Christ to sacrifice himself, and now that is our nature as well, as much as we claim to be his disciples, and submit to his loving authority.
…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Truthfully, the very hardest part isn’t parenting this stuff. It’s remembering it for myself. But when I do remember – I am free. Joy, kindness, and peace all come easier. Patience and compassion are within reach. Who wouldn’t want that for their kids?
Here’s what people are saying about Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs, Volume 2:
Andrew Beem (Dad in Texas- facebook post) – Just want to say thanks. Not a whole lot is more beautiful than my seven year old singing scripture, and your CDs help make that happen
Allyssa Ramsey (North Carolina mom – facebook post)
just wanted to tell you that I love Sing the Bible 2 so much that I hardly know how to say it. My kids ask for it every time we get in the van, and they often don’t want to get out because they’re not done listening. They’re asking questions like “what does humility mean?” and “Is that the REAL Frankenstein?” Everything about this record is so, so right. We love it. LOVE it. Love it. Thank you so much.
Jamie Showmaker (mom in North Carolina – facebook post) Thanks for equipping our family with music that feeds the soul and stirs our affections for Christ.
Maggie Smith (mom of 3 in memphis – facebook) Listening to your sing the bible album was like going to church! Encouraging and convicting. Creative and funny. I am so thankful for your music.
Mom named Sara in Michigan (Instagram post): I was working on a project today and overheard my six and eight-year-olds hunting verses in the Bible and comparing them to the lyrics of Sing the Bible Volume 2. What a wonderful inspiration your music is to their curious souls!
We really love the fact that while your songs are full of wholesome & hilarious fun, the focus is not on being silly but on meditating God’s word and being changed by it. – Ellen White, mom in London, England
Your music has created opportunities that never existed before, for my husband and I to discuss things with our kids, that always seemed too lofty, to difficult.
Heidi Herrick – mom in California
To listen to the music from Sing the Bible Volume 2 – click here.
Yes, we will have a huge sale on Volume 2 this week, and yes the new Slugs & Bugs app / Scripture memory family game is coming out soon. But this is a post to catch up all the well-wishers and anyone else that is just curious about my ankle injury.
For the last 20 years, I have played basketball semi-regularly.
When I was 15, I splintered my tibia and shattered my ankle in a gruesome freak basketball injury, but for 27 years, I’ve taken great care to avoid re-injury.
Then, two Thursdays ago, I was playing at Crieve Hall Baptist Church. There’s a semi-regular 8:30 am game, initiated by my friend Danny Bryant. My old buddy Andy Gullahorn was there doing his best Steph Curry imitation. And a new friend showed up named Daniel Moore.
My new friend and I teamed up against Danny and Gully, and I love telling you that Daniel and I won the first game, because Danny Bryant hates to lose.
Game two: Danny and Gully jumped out to a 7-0 lead, then Daniel hit a mid-range jumper for 2, and I hit a 3 from the left corner. It’s 7-5. After that, things get blurry.
The next thing I remember, I went up for a rebound, and my right foot came down with a loud pop. I yelled and grabbed my leg. “It’s a problem.” I said, with great agitation.
My friends went into emergency mode. Daniel found ice, Gully brought me home and then water and advil, and I texted Amy.
A few hours later, I laid down on the same table where they set Jonah’s broken arm (swing set) and Livi’s broken wrist (trampoline). They took X-rays, (no broken bones, yea!) and gave me crutches, a boot and 2 prescriptions, and sent me home with a grade three ligament sprain and the pronouncement that I could not fly to Canada, New York, and North Carolina the next week.
Booooooooo. And, so sorry, friends in those states. We’ve already begun rescheduling.
Already, there have been highlights, including a surprise visit from the Peterson family bearing gifts ranging from the funny (toe separators) to the yummy (Toblerone!), a Sunday morning “home church” listening to an awesome Tim Keller sermon as a family, and the spontaneous conversations and snuggle time I’ve gotten with all 3 kids as they’ve wandered in and out of our bedroom (my temporary hospital room).
Also a major highlight, witnessing my wife, Amy, care for her injured hubby while also managing the household by herself for the last 11 days. And she bought me reading glasses. She’s earned a closet full of foot rubs and a date as soon as my blue-splotchy leg will allow it.
Thanks for praying for a quick recovery! I’m eager to get back to full strength – though that may take a while.
And now the pictures. Be warned. They are colorful.
Hear, O Israel—
The Lord your God, the Lord is One.
These commandments that I give to you today
Are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home
And when you walk along the road.
When you lie down.
When you get up.
And when you ride around in your minivan, it could have said. And when you’re fixing lunch, and when you’re tempted to plop the kids down in front of the TV just to get them out of your hair for a little while, is that too much to ask?
Randall Goodgame’s Sing the Bible records don’t just offer up that kind of Scripture-saturation as an ideal to strive for; they create the conditions under which it becomes a reality, even a norm. Since I got my copy of Sing the Bible, Volume 2, my car has become a rolling Scripture sauna, where my kids and I breathe the shared air of word-for-word Bible verses…
As parents, we endure brutal, blatant selfishness from our children. We are all selfish, of course. But children have no problem with it. They are shamelessly selfish and it’s our job to point out the problem without putting them to shame.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility, value others above yourselves. – Philippians 2:3
I love this passage from Scripture because my kids all want the biggest cookie or the biggest piece of cake. They all want to press the elevator button and they all want to go first. This verse leaves no room for argument. Don’t be that way.
In fact, Philippians 2:3 hits the message so squarely on the nose, that it seemed appropriate to communicate the truth in humor – to insure a spirit of grace alongside conviction.
That’s the great Nickie Conley singing “shoob it up” on the intro – Nickie is one of Nashville’s great treasures, both as a vocalist and as a person. She also sang alto on Volume 2’s gospel choir.
I also got a gang of buddies to “politely shout” different lines during the chorus. That was so fun. I can’t wait for you all to hear it!
Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs Volume 2 will officially release on March 18th at www.slugsandbugs.com
The Ten Commandments Song is the only song on Sing the Bible Volume 2 without a word-for-word Scripture verse. Because of the theme of the record (A Musical Handbook for the Christian Home), I needed to have a Ten Commandments song, but the actual verses of the Ten Commandments are huge and too unwieldy to make into a lyrical composition. So, I summarized!
The other difficulty with a Ten Commandments song is finding the way to point to Christ. I imagined parents listening along to the music, and wanted them to feel encouraged rather than condemned. That’s why the chorus says “no one can keep them all.” It’s also a good reminder for me when my parenting tightens up.
Also, I decided to include words like adultery and covet instead of the versions I see on the walls of Sunday School rooms across the U.S.
Author Madeline L’Engle said…
“The writer whose words are going to be read by children has a heavy responsibility. And yet, despite the undeniable fact that the children’s minds are tender, they are also far more tough than many people realize, and they have an openness and an ability to grapple with difficult concepts which many adults have lost.”
And I agree. Children in rougher-speaking homes learn swear words before they go to preschool. I’m glad to introduce these serious words from Scripture, and I think children can handle them.
This track is full of surprises, and I can’t wait for you parents (and non-parents!) to hear them all. March 18th! Here we come!