Happy New Year! (2014 in Review)

Happy New Year!

Time flies.

As we looked back over 2014, we couldn’t help but chuckle and grin and scratch our heads. It is amazing what you can fit into a year! Here’s a few of our highlights.

January 11 –  First ever online Slugs & Bugs concert (eventually performing five online shows in 2014, including one for Tom and Deb (and now Joy!)Henderson)

January – April Designed and built the Shedquarters! (Finally, Slugs & Bugs has a home.)

May – Produced our video for “Old Testament Song” (with Matt Cosby)

June – Performed and led songwriting sessions at (the hugely successful) Inkwell Conference – hosted by StoryWarren.com

June – Harry Potter World!!

July – Slugs & Bugs returned to Canada!

July – Slugs & Bugs released our first DVD – with 18 songs and animated videos!

August – Officially released Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs 

September – Launched new website at http://www.slugsandbugs.com (and webstore, sweetly and admirably maintained by the S&B merch czarina, Amy Goodgame!)

September – Restore! We turned up the promotion and raised over $3200 in Sing the Bible sales for the amazing work going on at Restore International.

October – Led the worship for Together for Adoption conference in Greenville, SC

October – performed/spoke at Hutchmoot – the annual conference for RabbitRoom.com

November – Slugs & Bugs first ever concerts in beautiful Idaho

November – We had 23 family members over for Thankgiving. (Amy and I slept in the Shedquarters… cozy!)

December – Performed the Ryman in Nashville with Andrew Peterson’s Christmas masterwork -Behold the Lamb of God

And along the way…

Performed total 56 concerts for live audiences (dead audiences are not recommended)

Designed/printed new T-shirts, temporary tattoos, posters, and ornaments

New photos with Jeremy Cowart

New illustrations with Joe Sutphin

First ever Slugs & Bugs TV appearance

Wrote 14 new songs! (Including helping my friend Andrew Peterson work out the title track of his brilliant compilation CD After All These Years – don’t have it? go get it…).


Of course, even though I included Harry Potter World and Thanksgiving, the Goodgame family has a whole separate set of highlights that include things like… Harry Potter World and Thanksgiving.

From my family to yours, thanks for coming along for the ride.  Thanks to all of you who drive to concerts, follow the blog, chime in with encouragements on facebook and twitter, and buy CDs and other Slugs & Bugs products for gifts for loved ones.  If your family has been blessed by Slugs & Bugs, be assured that you guys bless my family as well.

We’ve got a HUGE year planned for 2015. My daughter is touring with me, we’re headed to the UK in May, and we’ve got some really exciting stuff just around the corner (right around my birthday…)  So stay tuned! We hope to see you out on the road, and out there in the Slugs & Bugs cyber-neighborhood!

HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Goodgame family… and the whole Slugs & Bugs team.


African Children’s Choir Movie? Yes!

Love “Sing the Bible”?  You’ve GOTTA check this out.

The very same Ugandan kids that sing on “Sing the Bible” are starring in an independent film called “Imba Means Sing.” It follows African Children’s Choir #39 for almost two years – even including some footage of them recording with Slugs & Bugs in Nashville!

Follow the link below to learn more, and consider helping this movie reach the finish line! It follows Moses and Angel and the rest of Choir #39 through their ACC experience.

Moses is the Scripture reader on “Freedom” (Track #1 on Sing the Bible). If you’ve ever wondered who that kid was, now’s your chance to see him. Click the link and check these amazing kids out!


Slugs & Bugs in Idaho!

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.

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









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.





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!

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

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)

Why Are We Donating To Restore Academy?

RIchard, Bob and KidsWe are donating 100% of our September profits from Sing the Bible to Restore Academy. Why are we doing that?

In the Fall of 2012, I traveled to Uganda with a small team headed up by my friend Bob Goff. Bob is the founder and “chief balloon blower” of Restore Academy – a K-through-12 school in Gulu, Uganda, one of the most war-torn areas of the country. While we were preparing for our trip, Bob’s book Love Does was quickly becoming a national phenomenon. By the time we hit Kampala, Love Does had become a New York Times best seller. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and be inspired to live a life of adventure, filled with love.

It was love that inspired Bob to start a school in a city with a huge population of children orphaned by the ravaging of the LRA in Northern Uganda. And it is love and grit that keeps these amazing kids going.  I spent only one day with the students there, and it was all I needed to see the strength and passion and kindness they carry with them wherever they go. (Read more about them here).

That’s why we are raising money with 100% of Sing the Bible sales in September. The world needs these young people. They have overcome so much.  Unfortunately, many graduates from Restore can not afford higher education. Even though it is cheap by Western standards, tuition costs for these future leaders can push University study out of reach. Now, with your help, more students will attend college and bring more hope to their country’s future.

I’m quite honored to partner with Restore Academy, and you will be too. Pick up a copy of Sing the Bible today, and let’s see how many kids we can get through their first year of college. Consider buying 5 or 10 and giving them to friends. All the songs are word-for-word Scripture, so you could give them out to church members, or your sunday school class! They also make GREAT Christmas gifts.

Finally, if you’re wondering if you’d like this music, check it out and decide for yourself. Here’s a page where you can listen. Even with 30 second clips, you can get the gist… (for full songs, click through past blog posts like this one). If you’ve heard the music and you love it – share in the comments below! What is special to you about this music? Help me encourage others to pick up a copy while they still count for the young people of Restore Academy.

Our Website: www.slugsandbugs.com

Restore Academy’s parent organization: www.restoreinternational.org

(btw: I took that picture, Bob is holding the enormous balloon, and his son Richard is holding the camera. The students are Restore Academy students)

Extraordinary Parenting Situations (happen every day)

A few years ago, I sat and ate with a preacher and his family after a Slugs & Bugs concert, utterly stunned by their working relationships. The 3 year old son repeatedly hit the mom, spilled his drink on her on purpose, threw his food and spit right in his mom’s face. Meanwhile, the preacher did absolutely nothing to deter or address the insane behavior. I was so incensed and flabbergasted by the whole thing that I ended up excusing myself early before I said something I would regret.

I stewed and prayed the whole drive back to the hotel, and I had a difficult time getting to sleep that night. For days, then weeks, then months, I intended to call or write this guy and have a talk. At first, I wanted to shame him for his utter neglect of his spouse. Later, I wanted to help him – warn him about the kind of kids he was raising, and appeal to his sense of gospel sanity as a father and a leader. Eventually, I let myself forget about it – either unconvinced it was my place to intervene, or too scared of the confrontation.

Then, this morning, I had a conversation with a friend about their 5 year old daughter. She was adopted at 2 years old, like my son Benjamin, and they share unusual attention-seeking behaviors. They both ask constantly ask questions they already know the answers to, and they both pretend to be dumb sometimes. But my friend’s daughter also hit, stomped on, and spit on her in bizarre circumstances. She may simply be working through the pain that she carries from having been orphaned, but still, as they say with a hashtag, #notgonnafly.

For years, they’ve been struggling (with admirable communication, maturity and self-discipline) with how to stop this unacceptable behavior, and nothing has worked, until a few months ago. Out of desperation, they applied a new strategy. They would totally ignore their daughter’s terrible behavior, unless it really injured somebody.

What!?! I can’t imagine the incredible restraint required for this parenting tack, but they did it. And it worked. After two months (two months!) of prayerful endurance in private and in public, the spitting, hitting and stomping all but dried up. Amazing.  There’s a whole ‘nother blog post in there somewhere.

But that got me thinking about that preacher and his family so many moons ago. I really don’t know what they were going through. If I had loved them instead of judging them, a follow-up phone call might have been much easier to make. We might have become great friends.


Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. – James 1:19-20