Make a Joyful Noise
About the Guest
- Growing up, Dove award-winning singer-songwriter Ginny Owens never imagined that’s what she’d be. In fact, Ginny—blind since age 3—was not even considering music as a profession. Fortunately, God had other plans. https://www.familylife.com/podcast/series/transcending-mysteries/
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Don WhitneyDon Whitney has been Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY since 2005. Before that, he held a similar position (the first such position in the six Southern Baptist seminaries) at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO, for ten years. He is the founder and president of The Center for Biblical Spirituality. Don grew up in Osceola, Arkansas where he came to believe in Jes...more
Ginny OwensA three-time Dove Award winner, Ginny Owens became a household name when she was named Gospel Music Association’s New Artist of the Year in 2000. In a career that has spanned fifteen years, Ginny’s seven studio recordings have amassed nearly one million records in sales and spawned career-defining number ones like “If You Want Me To” and “Free.” Her songwriting prowess has earned her song cuts by artist peers like Rachael Lampa and Christian music leg...more
Jason HouserJason Houser is a songwriter, worship leader, and the founder of the Seeds Family Worship ministry. Looking back from here, he never would have imagined that leading worship at his church’s Vacation Bible School in 2002 would mark the beginning of the Seeds ministry. He has seen God’s faithfulness as he has written, recorded and produced over 150 scripture worship songs over the past 15 years. He has been able to work many gifted artists, wors...more
Kristyn GettyKeith and Kristyn Getty have been writing hymns for more than a decade, bridging the gap between traditional and contemporary, and creating what is described as singable theology. Their songs, many co-written with Stuart Townend, have pioneered a new generation of modern hymns.
Throughout the Bible, we are strongly encouraged to sing a song to the Lord. Don Whitney, Jason Houser, Kristyn Getty, and Ginny Owens explain the importance and the power of singing as worship.
Make a Joyful Noise
Michelle: Did you catch that?—it stuck. That’s what Don Whitney was sharing with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine. It’s good for us to sing/to be a part of that whole worship experience.
You’ve heard it said that, if a kid sees their mommy with her Bible in the morning, they know it is important. It’s going to be the same for daddy. If he’s singing a song and praising God, your kids are watching; and it’s important for us to put words to a melody, especially words of Scripture; because that sort of just bonds it in our mind and in our memory.
I’ve watched this happen with a little boy at church with a song that our friend, Jason Houser, has written. Jason is head of Seeds Family Worship, and they have helped FamilyLife® out with creating Scripture songs to go with our resources, Passport2Purity® and also Passport2Identity®. Here is Jason’s take on Hebrews 4:12—[singing The Word of God Is Living and Active].
Michelle: That’s an excerpt from Passport2Identity—Jason Houser’s song, The Word of God Is Living and Active, from Hebrews 4:12.
It was really neat for me last summer; I was helping out with Sunday school. Every Sunday morning, we would start off our time singing Scripture songs, using Seeds Family Worship. We’d always allow the kids to create their own hand motions; you know, we’d sit there and go: “Okay, what do we do for the sword?” “What do we do for living and active?” “How does this work?”
There was one little boy, just sitting like a bump on a log, almost looking a little bored. I didn’t think he was paying attention or that any of this was making any sense to him; but a few weeks later, the pastor was reading out of Hebrews 4. Guess who was singing, in the back of the church, when the pastor got to Hebrews 4:12? It was Lane. In fact, his mom has said, a couple of times, how he will walk around the house, singing the song and flashing his sword as he remembered how we sang the song and put the motions to it. It’s incredible how God works in our minds and used a melody to imprint His words on our hearts.
I want to get back to this family worship experience. I know what you’re probably thinking about family worship right about now. Your kids go a little bit crazy. You get two or three minutes in, and they want to run off; someone needs some water; someone else is running around like crazy; someone else hits their brother or sister. Then you’ve got this chaos that’s going around, and all you wanted to do was sit down and worship God.
Well, Jason Houser shared a similar experience about family worship with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine not too long ago. Here he is.
[Previous FamilyLife Today Broadcast]
Jason: I sat down with my kids on the floor of my boys’ bedroom. They’ve got bunkbeds; we’re sitting on the carpet and start doing this devotion time. It was so stressful. They were so out of control; they were so wound up that night. I just thought, “Man, this was a complete failure.” Then I just leave, totally stressed; you know? We tried that over the next couple of weeks; it was just really hard.
I believe—and I want to encourage families—those are real spiritual battles that are going on at that time. I was really discouraged about that; but I pressed on, and by the grace of God, just to go, “We’re going to do this.” Brandon—my middle man, who is a lot like his dad—a lot of energy, and it’s got to be channeled in the right direction. Do you know what I’m saying? [Laughter]
Dennis: We get the picture.
Jason: Yes! So he/after I shared a devotion time, he really just came—I wish I could remember exactly what it was, but it was a gospel truth that—for his age/I believe he was about five years old at the time—he really grasped what I had been teaching for the past two weeks. I’m like, “You got that?! You got that?!” It was amazing. [Laughter]
I want to encourage families to press through those challenges, because there will be spiritual battles. And you’ve got to make it fun. I mean, one thing—I mean, all the research that I’ve done, I’ve heard people say, “With the age of the child,”—of course, you are going to have different ages that you are dealing with—“maybe, five minutes/start with five to ten minutes.” But the age of the oldest child—let that be your maximum time—do you know what I mean?
Dennis: That’s good.
Jason: Because—or maybe, it’s the youngest child—but they’re/really, to start with five or ten minutes; I mean, that is a great—if you can do less time more consistently, I think you’re going to see greater fruit from that. I just encourage parents, “Don’t beat yourself up when it doesn’t go great. Get back up; pray. The Lord will give you the strength just to keep going.”
Bob’s got some good dance moves—
Dennis: He does.
Jason: —what we did in our chapel this morning. There are some hand motions that were made up at a church camp, where I wrote this song in Maryland this summer; some teenage counselors made up some sweet hand motions for this song. I taught him [Bob] this morning. I actually had both Thomas and Bob come up and do the hand motions.
Dennis: I can picture that.
Jason: Yes; here we go! [Singing More Than Conquerors]
Thank you, FamilyLife. We love you. Good night! Woo! [Laughter]
Dennis: That music and Bob’s moves need to be rated GP.
Bob: GP for?
Dennis: God’s Plan. [Laughter]
Michelle: Jason Houser with More Than Conquerors. I wasn’t there in the staff meeting that day, but I can imagine Bob has some pretty good dance moves. Although, I bet you that Lane has a better sword move than Bob.
Music has a wonderful, harmonious, and calming effect on us. Have you ever been grumpy and started to sing; and then, well, you forgot why you were crabby in the first place? It’s the power of a song; of course, it’s the power of God. We’re going to talk more about the power of song and singing when we come back from our break. I’ll be back in two minutes. Stay tuned.
[Radio Station Break]
Michelle: Welcome back to FamilyLife This Week. I’m Michelle Hill. We’re talking today about the importance of singing—and particularly the importance of singing with our kids—not just in church but during family worship. Have you ever thought about singing in the car, or before dinner, or maybe when you are out on a walk? But parents, we probably need to put a little bit of a boundary around this. If you’re walking in the mall, with your 14-year-old, don’t break out in song or anything; because most likely, they will never go shopping with you again.
You know, there is something that happens when we sing together—and it’s more than just praising God—there is unity that builds, and we are encouraged. No matter how hard our day was, we remember that we belong to something bigger.
You know, I heard a story from Ginny Owens. She is a popular Christian recording artist, and she was talking about the power of song—actually, writing a song with a dear friend of hers, Ronell. Here is Ginny remembering that experience.
[Previous FamilyLife Today Broadcast]
Ginny: I met Ronell when she was 20 years old. She had been a patient at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis for, I think, about four years when we met. She had been battling some pretty tremendous cancer that was just taking over her body. She had had chemotherapy and all different kinds of treatments, and then she had had a short period of remission; but by the time I met her, the cancer was back, and she had lost most of one of her legs. She was on all kinds of intensive pain meds.
Ronell’s dream, really, was to, of course, be healed, and for there to be a miracle of healing in her life, and then to travel around the world and share her writing/share her music with people, and tell people about Jesus, and tell them what He had done for her. She also knew that the reality was she might find that her next moment was in the arms of Jesus; and she’d always tell me, “Either way, I win.”
I always thought, “When you’re 20 years old, or when you are any age, what does it look like to surrender your life to the point, where you can say, ‘Either way, I win: whether my next breath is my last or whether I’m travelling the world, singing about Jesus, I win’?” That was always just/that just always broke me.
But that very first day when we met, she and I sat down to write a song together. I brought a chorus of the song I had for about ten years. I had been trying to write the verses with different people, and we just couldn’t get it done. I played the chorus for Ronell, because it’s always good to have somewhere to start. She immediately just said, “Oh, yes; let’s definitely write verses to this.” I think Ronell knew so much about what it looked like to surrender/to say, “Amen,” to God in every circumstance of her journey.
We sat down and wrote the verses that went with the chorus in about 20 minutes and recorded it; got to sing it several times, over the course of the next few months, at different concerts of mine. She did a concert that I got to open for her; we sang it. Then I had to sing it by myself at her memorial service. She had inspired so many lives, and there were so many people there to celebrate. It was then that I concluded that each of us is a story that is a part of God’s bigger story. The question that we get to ask every day, when we get up and look in the mirror is: “How does my story read? What do other people see when they read my story?”
So, for me, Ronell really taught me that; because people read hope, and they read the good news of Jesus in her story. They read overcoming—not only in the sense of being able to spend eternity with Jesus—but also overcoming in the sense of getting up every day, when you don’t feel well, and going about your life and pursuing it, and pursuing other people in love.
Bob: Let’s hear the whole song; can we?
Ginny: Sure. [Singing Say Amen]
Michelle: That is Ginny Owens singing a powerful song and recounting a powerful story with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine. For that entire interview, you can go and listen to that on our website, FamilyLifeThisWeek.com; that’s FamilyLifeThisWeek.com.
Earlier this spring at church—and I go to a church that still sings out of a hymnal—after the sermon and before communion, we usually sing a song. It was springtime, not at Christmas; and we sang Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus. You know that song; right? “Come, Thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free, from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in Thee.” Well, communion took on a richer meaning for me that Sunday; and that hymn, by the way, was written by Charles Wesley, a man who wrote over 6,000 hymns. He believed in the power of song to bring us to our knees, to bring us to fellowship, to bring us to our Savior. It’s good for us to make a joyful noise, not just on Sunday, but every day.
Coming up next week, we’re going to talk with Ron Deal; and we’re going to hear from Dru Joyce about parents being role models for their kids. As always, it’s going to be a great show when Ron Deal joins me; so I hope you can join us for that.
Thanks for listening! I want to thank the cofounder of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, along with our station partners around the country; and a big thank you to our engineer today, Mr. Music, himself, Keith Lynch. Thanks to our musical producers Phil Krause and Marques Holt. Justin Adams is our mastering engineer, who makes sure that our music mixes just right. Megan Martin is, not only our production coordinator, but can play some mean keys on that keyboard.
Our program is a production of FamilyLife Today, and our mission is to effectively develop godly families who change the world one home at a time.
I’m Michelle Hill, inviting you to join us again next time for another edition of FamilyLife This Week.
©Song: Say Amen
Artist: Ginny Owens
Album: Say Amen…Hymns and Songs of Faith (p) 2009, Chick Power
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