Singing the Bible with Monsters

Franky and the Count (and the Monstermobile)
Franky and the Count (and the Monstermobile)

On Sing the Bible Volume 1, friendly monsters (and kids, and friendly bees) joined me in singing Deuteronomy 6:5.

On Sing the Bible Volume 2, Dracula and Frankenstein dropped by the studio again and joined me for our Ten Commandments song.

(On Sing the Bible Volume 3, they are likely taking a break from the studio, though I’m sure they’ll be back eventually.)

Over the years, I’ve been asked about those choices a few times, usually by someone who thought it seemed strange – maybe even wrong – to include something as silly or as scary as “monsters” on a CD about the Bible.

And I totally get it. It is kind of strange.

Then, a few weeks ago, I received a very thoughtful email that prompted me to gather my thoughts for a reply. Since I’ve just (today!) released the video for our Ten Commandments song, I thought today would be a good day to share that reply here.

About the monsters, I’m glad you asked this very fair question. On a practical theological level, I handle it like Veggie Tales handles Bob and Larry, avoiding the issue of salvation for them because they are not real, of course.

As I’m sure you know, mild scariness is one of the ways we introduce the concept of danger to kids – through games like peek-a-boo and “I’m gonna get you!” chase games. Ironically, it’s (of course) also one of the ways we have fun. 

For me, reared as I was on Sesame Street (Cookie Monster, The Count, and Grover’s “The Monster at the End of this Book” come to mind) – it is easy for me to use monsters for mildly scary / humorous purposes. 

That said, there are deeper message at work. First, do not fear… maybe the Bible’s most frequent admonition. Also, things are not always as they seem. What may at first seem monstrous may prove otherwise, so be slow to judge. 

Third, I’m thinking of the great passage from Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton about bogeys and dragons… his point was that fairy tales show that there is something stronger than darkness. In all of the way S&B uses monsters, it is with a similar spirit – that the context of the Gospel overwhelms fear. 

Finally, I go back to examples like Sesame Street’s Grover and Bugs Bunny’s abominable snowman. By incorporating “monsters” into fun settings, we bring them onto our level, which allows not only freedom from fear but the beginning of empathy for the “other.” (These are friendly monsters!) And after all, no one I encounter daily is completely evil. most everyone I meet is a mixed bag (like me)!

I wouldn’t say monsters belong in songs about the Bible, though I might say they are already there. With another nod to G.K. Chesterton, “I” am what is wrong with the world. If there are monsters, then they are inside me, and inside you. Thank God in Heaven for the terrible and merciful and ultimate victory on the cross. His victory sets us free to live lives of love and self-forgetfulness. Because of Christ, we are monsters no more.

 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20


Help Slugs & Bugs Kickstart more Sing the Bible songs right now! http://bit.ly/STBVol3

New S&B Christmas Song (Isaiah 9:6)

unto-us-peanutsHere’s another new Christmas Scripture song with music inspired by Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts Christmas music. I usually use the ESV, but for this song I reached back into the King James version so I could sing the words, “unto us.” I also borrowed a word from the NLT which says, “rest upon his shoulder.”

One of the most challenging things about writing in 5/4 time is keeping the melody naturally singable. Hopefully you can sing along at home without much trouble.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall rest upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Be on the lookout for the third “Sing the Bible” CD from Slugs & Bugs in 2017!


And BRAND NEW from Slugs & Bugs: The Slugs & Bugs APP!  Play Scripture memory games, watch Slugs & Bugs videos and so much more. Click Here to find it!

Shaping the Culture of Your Home

RadnorPic
The Goodgame family at Radnor Lake in Nashville, TN.

As a parent, every day you make decisions that shape your family culture. You decide how to respond to behavior, you choose groceries, you drive to team practice or ballet or piano lessons, you make decisions about movies and TV shows and internet usage… about school and friends and church and family vacations… and you decide what music plays in the car.

 

Following the release of the two Slugs & Bugs Sing the Bible CDs (15% off SALE this week), we’ve received countless emails from families who listen to Sing the Bible together in the home and the car, and over time these emails have revealed a common theme. Again and again, we hear how these Scripture songs are helping to powerfully shape the culture and personality of homes around the world, as the joy and truth and hope of the gospel settles into the hearts and minds of the entire family.

Recently, at a concert in Virginia, I met Celeste Ainsworth, mother of three, and her husband John. Over dinner, she so powerfully articulated the impact of Sing the Bible on her family, that I asked her to record her story. You can see it for yourself in the video below.

I am so grateful for Celeste and her family, and for all of the families that share their stories about how Slugs & Bugs is impacting them and their children. These stories help me press on, and fill me with gratitude and joy.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Right now (through Wednesday, Sept. 9) we’re having a 15% off SALE on the Sing the Bible Bundle (in celebration of our second consecutive Dove Award Nomination (Children’s Album of the Year)).

You can buy them for your family right now: (click here)


Randall Goodgame is a husband and father of 3, and the founder of Slugs & Bugs Family Music.

HUGE SALE + Songs from the Sickbed

We’ve got 3 GREAT reasons to have a HUGE sale on Sing the Bible Volume 2!

  1. We had to cancel some concerts last weekend because of my ankle injury.
  2. We hope this music reaches tons of families that have never heard Slugs & Bugs before
  3. Friday is Slugs & Bugs 6th Birthday!

From now through this Friday, April 22, buy one Sing the Bible Volume 2, get another one (for a friend!) for only $6! That’s 57% off!! CLICK HERE to visit the webstore now!

Earlier this week my sweet wife and daughter recorded a few “songs from the sickbed” with me to help spread the word.

The song “In All Things” draws from three different bible verses, and it seemed like the right song for the day.

Visit the Slugs & Bugs webstore today!

Release Day Review!

I am so honored to share this stellar review from Jonathan Rodgers at The Rabbit Room. Jonathan captures so much about Sing the Bible Volume 2 in fewer words than I could have imagined possible.

Right in the middle of Slugs & Bugs Sing the Bible, Volume 2 is a song that doesn’t even pretend to be for children. This one is for the parents:

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?

SBStB2Cover_FinalRandall 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…

Read the full review here.

Above Yourselves – Sing the Bible Volume 2

ValueOthers

 

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
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For more Slugs & Bugs news and music, visit www.slugsandbugs.com
To sign up for our newsletter, (The Slugs & Bugs Bacon) visit www.slugsandbugs.com/the-bacon/ 
To purchase Sing the Bible Volume 1, visit our webstore!

Ten Commandments Song – Slugs & Bugs

DoNotCovet

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!

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For more Slugs & Bugs news and music, visit www.slugsandbugs.com
To sign up for our newsletter, (The Slugs & Bugs Bacon) visit www.slugsandbugs.com/the-bacon/ 
To purchase Sing the Bible Volume 1, visit our webstore!