5 Years of Slugs & Bugs LIVE!

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Amazingly, next month marks the 5 year anniversary of the official launch of Slugs & Bugs Family Music. It began on a warm April Saturday, when an awesome crowd of MOPS moms gathered with their kiddos at Grace Community Chapel in St. Peter’s Missouri.

Some families were familiar with the music, but it was brand new to most, and as I performed with videos and background tracks for the first time, I was a nervous wreck. Certain I was bombing, I bumbled lyrics, stumbled through stories and fumbled at my laptop keys.  Thankfully, I have never been more surprised after a concert.

The moms loved it. Their kids loved it. Everyone was so full of complements and thankfulness. I honestly couldn’t believe it until a new thought dawned. These moms were thankful because the rookie Slugs & Bugs concert, with all it’s flaws, succeeded in its essentials. Everybody had fun. The music was engaging for children and adults. And everybody got to hear the Good News in a way that was meaningful to them.

As I dwelt on that experience, it affirmed my calling and strengthened my resolve. Whether on a recording or LIVE in concert, Slugs & Bugs music would be hilarious and silly, while also artistically excellent and peppered with deep and sustaining gospel truth. Four CDs  and almost 300 concerts later, Slugs & Bugs remains committed to that ethos – serving whole families, not just their shortest members.

As we approach our official 5 year anniversary, I’ve become a bit nostalgic. I know how our kids have grown, and I wonder how your family has grown and changed.  Has Slugs & Bugs made a difference in the life of your family?  Has Slugs & Bugs blessed your family in small ways or even in big ways?  Knowing that stuff blesses us like crazy, and we’re trying to keep track of what really works about Slugs & Bugs for families, so please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear what makes Slugs & Bugs important to your family.

As we inch closer to April and our 5 year anniversary, stay tuned. We’ve got some fun stuff up our sleeves, including big dreams for the next 5 years. And don’t forget to leave a comment below – If Slugs & Bugs is important to you, we’d love to know why!

A Post for Humans

During the busy tour season, the Slugs & Bugs schedule never stops. I travel out and play concerts on the weekend, fly home midday on Monday and jump into booking and blogging and posting and writing and practicing and homework help and ukelele lessons and business strategy and the rest of everything but rest until I leave again on Friday.

We see it coming… we squeeze in meaningful family time by eating dinner together Monday through Thursday, but there’s still basketball practice and fiddle group and spelling tests and all the things you know all about because you’ve got them too. Every family has their own version of the chaos these days.

This morning, I got up and made the coffee at 6, and brought a cup to Amy. She’s been reading the Bible since January, as in, she started in Genesis, and she’s now halfway through Deuteronomy. Turns out, when you’re reading the Pentateuch, a little coffee goes a long way.

I fed on the wisdom of My Utmost for His Highest for about 15 minutes and was going to pray, but we started talking and suddenly it was time to wake up the First Grader. Breakfast, music lessons, car pool, unpack from the weekend and all of a sudden it is 11 am and I’m typing out this blog post. It doesn’t really have a point, except to say, if wearing all these different hats is hard for you, you are not alone.

One of my sons was being a big twerp this morning, and I flicked him in the head like a big fat bully. This is not how I roll, but I am tired and human and I immediately made things worse. Reacting in anger to your kids is the ultimate humilifier. I humbled myself and thankfully received that quick forgiveness that is so typical of children.

I’ve read the life-hacking books. I’ve led small groups and taught bible studies on living by the Spirit, and I’ve written handfuls of songs about the sweet peace of life in Christ. He is real and true and his love has transformed me – and continues to do so. But I’m still human. If you are a human reading this today, I hope you will receive the grace to be forgiven for your failures. It is a precious gift, the most expensive kind. It cost Jesus everything, but he offers it freely to you today, because he loves you so very much.

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Randall Goodgame is the founder of Slugs & Bugs Family Music. Listen or Purchase the newest CD, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs here at slugsandbugs.com

You Are the Christ (Mark 8:27-29, 31-35)

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“You Are the Christ” was really fun to write. Eight verses is a lot for one song, but by drawing from a few different translations (including the NIV and The Message), eventually the words fell over the chord changes with enough symmetry to build a song around. And it certainly helped that Sally did such a great job conveying the third verse.

As families listen to Sing the Bible together, this song seems to generate more questions than any other. I told my children this verse is about life and death. And it’s about Jesus’s rescue mission, which Peter clearly misunderstood.

You could sub-title this passage “How to Save Your Life,” by Jesus.  Jesus wants us to live a resurrected life, glorifying him with our joy and peace and love for others. We want that for ourselves as well, but we don’t want to experience death to get it. Jesus says that’s impossible. The strangling of my sin and self-centeredness feels like death, because it IS a kind of death. (Who among us hasn’t said, “This is killing me!”)

This may seem too dark and heavy for kids to grapple with, but I don’t think it is. They don’t want to share. They don’t want to obey. This verse gives them language for those feelings and a gospel context for them, because sometimes sharing or obeying feels like dying. Your son may be like mine and feel like he’s laying down his life by simply being nice to his brother. I tell him those feelings are legitimate. This is how our children “share in the fellowship of his sufferings” in their own way.

I hope this helps you talk with you kids about this song/verse. Don’t forget to ask them what they think first. My kids are some of my best teachers.

 Here’s a long clip of “You Are the Christ” from Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs.

Mark 8:27-29, 31-35

Jesus and his disciples went on

To the villages around Caesarea.

Along the way he asked them,

“Who do the people say I am?”

They said, “Some say John the Baptist;

Some say Elijah; others say a prophet.”

“What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered Jesus, “You are the Christ.”

 

Jesus told his disciples

“Don’t breathe a word of this to anyone.”

He then began explaining things to them

He said “The Son of Man must suffer many things,

be rejected by the elders, priests and the teachers,

He must be killed and after three days rise again.

Peter rebuked Jesus

 

Jesus turned to Peter. He said “Get behind me, Satan!”

“You do not have in mind the things of God,

But the things of men.”

Then he called the crowd to him

along with his disciples and said: “Whoever

wants to be my disciple must deny themselves

and take up their cross and follow me.

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it,

but whoever loses their life for me

and for the gospel will save it.”

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Looking for some awesome music to listen to with your family? Cool. We’ve got some. 

To purchase our word-for-word Scripture CD, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (to get discount coupon codes and FREE coloring pages!) (click here)

A Blast from the Past

Bluebird

Yesterday the good folks at The Rabbit Room featured a song from one of my old solo CDs. “Bluebird” was the title track of the Bluebird EP I recorded with my friends Winn Elliott and Michael Quinlan back in 2008.

I have fallen in love with making music for families, but I’m always honored whenever folks remember the music I made before this Great Slugs & Bugs Adventure. Thanks to Matt Conner for his long memory. Here’s the link to the post and the song. Let me know if you enjoy it!

http://www.rabbitroom.com/2015/02/song-of-the-week-bluebird/

With a quick Google search, I dug up this old picture from the Bluebird release concert at 12 & Porter. I love it because of how cool Andy Osenga looksRG and AO. If you’re curious, you can still get all the old RG CDs at the rabbitroom.com webstore. Either way, tomorrow we will return to our regularly scheduled, family centered programming with a post about Piggie and Gerald.  :-)

 

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Looking for some awesome music to listen to with your family? Cool. We’ve got some. 

To purchase our word-for-word Scripture CD, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (to get discount coupon codes and FREE coloring pages!) (click here)

Review Week! Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson

All this week, I’ll be postings short reviews (and doing GIVEAWAYS!!) of new book releases that I think the Slugs & Bugs Blog readers will enjoy. Today’s review… Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson.

Too many voices clamor for attention. Many are unworthy of it. It is a pleasure and an honor, then, to lift up a worthy voice like Sally Clarkson’s.

Frankly, it is easy to imagine Sally as one of those untouchable mother/wife heroines who simply has it all together. She is wise and accomplished with a happy marriage and 4 brilliant, healthy, happy, full grown kids who are already adding to the Clarkson legacy. Thankfully, Own Your Life dispels that notion as quickly as Sally does in person as a humble listener, quick to admit her own faults and failings.

The messages of Own Your Life are familiar. Live with intention. Trust God. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Develop new habits. But this is not a book you’ve read before. From a well as deep as Sally Clarkson’s, these messages come alive with grit and vigor and strength. I love her repeated admonition to “follow hard” after Jesus, and in her own life stories, readers will find real encouragement to do just that.

This book was written for women, but Sally’s stories and insight were valuable to me throughout, as were the frequent Scripture references. However, I think chapter 7 was my favorite. “Allowing God’s Spirit to Breathe In You” – is a wonderful reminder of the intimate freshness of the Holy Spirit’s presence. A few excerpts:

Living in the Spirit is an active choice of your will. He will not force himself on you. Even as you choose to stop at a red light because you know it is the right thing to do, you can stop giving into your flesh, your striving, jealousy, pettiness – with the help of God’s Spirit. 

We are all works in progress. Rather than trying to be perfect in our own strength, God calls us to rest in Him. To learn from Him. To practice loving through Him. To talk to Him.

It reminded me of the earthy, tangible way Billy Graham’s classic book The Holy Spirit explained the easy accessibility of the Spirit of God.

Last year, on a Slugs & Bugs tour through Colorado, Sally and her husband Clay were my kind hosts for a weekend. It was such a pleasure getting to spend time with them and two of their grown children. Reading Own Your Life gives me a deeper look into their family story, and serves as a rich blueprint for a life well lived.

OwnYourLife

Lucky for you, I’ve got two copies to give away! You can’t have mine – it’s earmarked and my wife has already claimed it. But you could win one of these two copies if you leave a comment below telling us your favorite breakfast food. To encourage you, I’ll tell you mine is either fried eggs on toast or a bowl of Corn Chex sprinkled with fresh blackberries.

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To purchase our Scripture CD, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs, (click here)

Looking for awesome music to listen to as a family? Cool. We’ve got lots. 

Subscribe to our mailing list (to get discount coupon codes and FREE coloring pages)! (click here)

Love One Another: Valentine Jam!

Last month, my daughter and I drove to Franklin, TN to play a concert for a homeschool group called Shanan. We had the best time, and in our post-show conversations we hatched the idea for this video.

Then last week, all the kids arrived decked out in their Valentine’s Day best, and well… you’ll see what fun we had.

In the spirit of the original Valentine’s Day message, here’s the Slugs & Bugs melody for John 13:34-15.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

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To purchase this song on our Scripture CD, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs, (click here)

Looking for awesome music to listen to as a family? Cool. We’ve got lots. 

Subscribe to our mailing list (to get discount coupon codes and FREE coloring pages)! (click here)

Review Week! The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

All this week, I’ll be postings short reviews (and doing GIVEAWAYS!!) of new book releases that I think the Slugs & Bugs Blog readers will enjoy. Today’s review… The Green Ember!

My heart leaps! It LEAPS I tell you! Last week The Green Ember was the #1 Children’s Fantasy novel on amazon.com. That means the world is beginning to  learn about Heather and Picket Longtreader.

I am excited because author S.D. Smith (proprietor of storywarren.com) is my friend, but even if he were my arch nemesis, I would have been swept into this finely written tale of peril and beauty, treachery and hope. The brief prologue ends with a mysterious, captivating call that echoes throughout the rest of the story.

“My place beside you, my blood for yours! Till the Green Ember rises or the end of the world!”

What ho! I read that line and cheered. And blessedly, the action pitched and careened from there with a deft storyteller’s touch. With rich character development and brisk, thoughtful dialogue, The Green Ember fully lives up to the implicit claims within that stirring start.

In case you’re still on the fence about this fantastic debut novel, here’s what my son Jonah had to say (Jonah is 11, he read  the LOTR trilogy for the first time when he was 9. He was recently spotted on the playground halfway through Tolkein’s Silmarillion, and for two years, his favorite book has been Watership Down).

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“If you’ve ever liked a book, I think you’ll like The Green Ember

– Jonah Goodgame (for Jonah’s spontaneous video review, click here)

It brings me great pleasure to recommend The Green Ember to readers of every age, everywhere. Even for the illiterate, S.D. has provided through the audiobook version, delightfully voiced by Joel Clarkson (available at thegreenember.com). And if you visit their website today, you’ll see The Green Ember is FREE today in the kindle store. FREE!!

Of course, eventually you’ll want the real book. The Green Ember belongs on a shelf in your home. So leave a comment below naming a favorite family activity, and you’ll be entered to win  your own copy of The Green Ember. 

(for example, if you like hiking with your family, just leave a comment that says: hiking.) Winners revealed next week!

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Looking for some awesome music to listen to with your family? Cool. We’ve got some. 

To purchase our word-for-word Scripture CD, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (to get discount coupon codes and FREE coloring pages!) (click here)