HUGE NEWS for the Spring Tour

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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.

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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.

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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

The Long Awaited Slugs & Bugs DVD!

S&B DVD cover

Our animated videos have always been a huge part of the Slugs & Bugs Live concert experience. At every concert, someone always asks me where they can get them, and now I finally have a good answer! You can purchase all the animated videos from the first three CDs right here at the Rabbit Room.

There are 17 videos on this first DVD, including old favorites and some that have never appeared in concert. Here’s the track listing…

1. Stop
2. The Postman
3. Who’s Got The Ball
4. God Made Me
5. Bears
6. Chicken Wiggle
7. Tractor, Tractor
8. Tiger
9. Jesus Loves Me
10. Shepherd Dad
11. God Makes Messy Things Beautiful
12. I’m Adopted
13. Mexican Rhapsody
14. Where You Gonna Go
15. I Wanna Help
16. Dizzy
17. Ninja

These videos have consistently captured the simple joyfulness of Slugs & Bugs music. I’m so thankful for Scott Brignac and Nora Ashkar for the delightful productions that have brought Slugs & Bugs to the screen for thousands of families, and I’m thrilled to finally have a video for Ninja – by Matt Cosby.

There are 3 animated videos available on Youtube (Bears, God Made Me, Tractor-Tractor), and amazingly, Tractor-Tractor has over two million views. Here it is now for your green and orange enjoyment…

 

 

To purchase the Slugs & Bugs DVD, click here.

Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Poor Doreen

If you don’t already know, the Goodgames are huge Sally Lloyd-Jones fans.  Her (NYT best selling) Jesus Storybook Bible is our go-to for “home church” when someone is sick or if we just need a Sunday morning at home, and “Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing” is an invaluable help to me as a parent journeying through the gospel life with 3 kids.

So it was with great and giddy glee that I got to record Sally reading some Scripture for Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs.  On Monday I will continue my series to help parents think through Sing the Bible songs with their kids with “Rejoice”, (Philippians 4:4-8) powerfully delivered by Ms. Lloyd-Jones, but today I’m celebrating the release of her new children’s book Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale. 

I drove my son Jonah (age 11) with me to Logos – our neighborhood Christian bookstore – but they didn’t have it yet!  So we trudged on to Parnassus Books, a wonderful independent bookstore just down the street from Logos, and there was Poor Doreen, squished away and packed tight on an old shelf like an oyster in an ancient bed. Come to think of it, Doreen is sort of round and pearly, but I digress.

Jonah read it on the way home, and when he was finished, he snapped the book shut, held it out with two hands and said, “THAT was funny.” And I rejoiced.

This morning, I read Poor Doreen to my 6 year old son, Ben. And he loved it. Sally has that rare gift which couples vivid descriptions with efficient use of language. The whimsically wonderful watercolor illustrations drew Ben and I through the storyline with shifting perspectives and a flair for the dramatic, which the story provides ample opportunity for.

Which brings me to the story! Like my older son said, Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale is really funny. It’s got a little Mr. Magoo, and little Lemony Snicket, but it’s really just classic Sally, who knows how to get on the level with kids and be funny with them instead of at them. The fish in question, Doreen Randolph-Potts, embarks on a treacherous journey, completely oblivious to the perils around her. She stumbles from from doom to doom with child-like excitement, at one point reminding me of young Ellie the explorer from PIXAR’s classic film Up. Meanwhile, the voice of the narrator is gravely serious, as she recognizes the dangers but, of course, can not help poor Doreen.

In the end, things turn out all right. But it is really fun getting there, so go get yourself a copy for you and your kids! Click here to purchase it on Amazon.

Something for Parents to Remember Today

Had a long talk with my daughter last night. She’ll be 14 this year, and our most important conversations still happen over tuck-in time. Breakfast cereals, boy-crushes, friend-fights, you name it, we’ve probably covered it, but last night things got deep, quick. And it made me remember…

This is the same girl that would not stop screaming to take her bottle.  This is the same girl that refused to potty train, the same girl that would not share her My Little Pony, and that cried about getting in the shower, and then cried about getting out.

I am happy to report that none of these issues remain.

Soon your little bit will be big.  All the troubles of the current stage, all the stresses of this season, all the difficult decisions… soon all this will be memory. Soon, you will get a real person, fully formed, with deep questions and anxieties of her own.

And there is one thing you want her to remember. 

Slugs & Bugs ALL REQUEST – ONLINE concert!

What? Yes. You heard right.  You can now attend a Slugs & Bugs concert from the comfort of your own couch. On Saturday, (March 15th) the Goodgames will re-arrange the furniture, set up a microphone and this very laptop I’m typing on right now, and count down the seconds to 9:30 AM Central Time.

Stageit.com allows artists to host shows from any wifi signal, and my whole family loved performing with me for the last three.  All you have to do is purchase your ticket (this week’s concert is a “pay what you want” concert), and visit the concert webpage at showtime.

The extraordinary thing about this weeks show is – it’s my first ever ALL REQUEST concert! After you get your ticket you can type your requests in the box on the right side of the screen. Have a favorite S&B song you’ve never heard live? Type it in!  Unless it is physically impossible to perform, we’ll do our best to get to it during the 45-50 minutes.  And that reminds me – the concert promotion says they are 30 minutes long, but there’s always an encore before Stageit gently closes the door.

The last Stageit concert got rave reviews from everyone we heard from, and for the few who had problems with video clarity – I’ve learned how to change the settings so there should be no more video “sticking” during the performances. But do be sure you quit all other applications before viewing.

One last thing… on a personal note, these shows provide a way for me to “go to work” without having to get on a plane and fly away from my family for the weekend.  We’re hoping to reach 200 screens, so even if you can’t make this concert, please spread the word to your friends and neighbors that are Slugs & Bugs fans.  It really does help us, and I’m hoping to continue to build this “online concert” experience so that you’ll make your plans around it! Share! Share! Your friends will thank you!

See you Saturday, don’t forget to make your requests, and THANK YOU for spreading the word! Here’s the link to pass around…

https://www.stageit.com/randall_goodgame_slugs_bugs/first_ever_slugs_bugs_all_request_concert/34569

Shortened link for twitter…  https://t.co/xWSIW9GFym