Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Reason I Sing

Music is vital to our health and well-being. It affects our mood, thinking, energy, and ambiance, and so much more. My son is deaf in one ear and wears a hearing aid (or rather is SUPPOSE to) on his other. When he was three years old I volunteered daily in his school-class that was specifically designed for deaf and hard of hearing children. Madison heard the most clearly out of all the children. Most of the fifteen to twenty children in the class were entirely deaf. But they ALL loved music time! They would sway and dance and pound things, they even used their voices. It showed me that music was powerful even when it wasn't heard.

Another experience I've always loved being a part of is singing with patients dealing with amnesia or dementia. I've seen them be nearly out of control, or sedated and inconsolable, I've seen them be mean and nasty in their confused state, and be heartbreaking because they couldn't remember their own children and spouse. Then in the midst of that a song from their past start being sung (in my situations, it's usually a hymn) and that person whose brain can't seem to call up the most important memories, will smile, sing or hum along, I've even seen them clap and dance. It's as if a song is a rescue helicopter, throwing down a ladder to them in their fog-filled house, and when that song is played they get a chance to be lifted up out of the fog. They breathe a bit of peace in that song. 

We all have "those songs" that happened to be playing when we were with a special someone, and even a hint of that tune take us back like a whirlwind to that person, that place. Sometimes it's lovely. Sometimes it's disconcerting. But it happens because music is eternal and is not bound by time. 

When my babies were born I wanted to instill my Christian teachings in them as solidly as possible before the rest of the world got their handprints on them. I wanted to do my part in impressing the teachings from scripture that there is one God, that His name is Jesus, that there has been a very clear plan of salvation given to us in scripture. The law of Moses gave parents the perfect formula for instilling truths into children; talk of them when you lie down, and rise up, and walk along the way, etc.

Instead of singing traditional lullabies to my babies, I started writing lullabies for them; 
"I will live my life separated. I will live free from sin. I am not my own, I've been bought with a price. I will live my life separated."
"There is one God. There is one Lord. His name is Jesus, Emmanuel. Everlasting Father. Our Lord and Savior. His name is Jesus, Emanuel."
I could go on; lullabies about baptism in Jesus' name, about being filled with the Holy Ghost, about repentance. They were all written in lovely moments of communion between me, my babies, & our Savior. 

Then I started writing them playtime tunes too, songs of doctrinal facts. I wanted them to know these things without the "drill" of a classroom setting. I knew that through song learning these things would feel as natural as breathing. When my dad saw the impact the songs had on his grandchildren, he financed the recordings of Plain Path for Kids, & I saw the learning of Apostolic doctrine go from my rocking chair to thousands of homes.

When the opportunity to record the Bible Quiz songs came up I was THRILLED. The United Pentecostal Church International has an amazing "game" that involves memorizing large portions of scripture. My kids were starting to play in the tournaments and the verse songs were vital. Each verse is it's own song. Someone else was doing them at the time. These original writers of the Bible Quiz songs were doing a great job, & my kids loved their work. We mentioned to Gary Powers, the man who oversees the distribution of the Bible Quiz materials, that we were interested in assisting if the original creators wanted. I knew my desire to record them was of The Lord, so it was hard to sit & wait my turn. I don't know the details of everybody's story, but the message that came to me was that the original producers were called into foreign missions, they couldn't continue, and the project passed to us.

After my work with Plain Path for Kids, I felt so "right" investing in children's minds again via song. I write other music as well. I have enough material for a solo album and a choir album. I hope God makes a way for me to do that. But what will make me able to close my eyes peacefully and cross over into eternity will not be the song I sang before Presidents, or the crowds of thousands I've sang before in concerts. It won't be where I've spoken, or even the solo recordings I've made. It will be the Bible music I've made for kids. Children never forget songs. Plus parents (poor, longsuffering parents) get the Word via song in them as well! I've been allowed to take the powerful Word of God & weave it into melody. It's the same method Moses used to ensure the Israelites knew the law. It's a win-win!

I've performed the song, "His Eye Is On The Sparrow," many times. And I've had moments when I felt hypocritical for singing, "I sing because I'm happy." I don't always sing because I'm happy. But I sing because it makes God happy. I sing because it helps people see their path to God. I sing because it can be felt by the deaf and heard by the blind. 

I sing because the song is strong.

Plain Path for Kids can be purchased through iTunes, the Pentecostal Publishing House, CD Baby. 
All Bible Quiz songs can be purchased from