Letting our Lifesong Sing

September 8, 2009 | 25 comments

I saw an early harvest on a South Dakota field this weekend.

It was a bumper crop. Hands waved like tassled corn under the harvest moon. Hearts overflowed like bushel baskets, as we gleaned a field and harvested hope and plucked bits of Heaven to replant in our hearts.

We were the gatherers in a grassy field. We were 100,000 strong singing: “Glory! Glory! Alleluia, He reigns!”

“Let the fields be jubilant,
and everything in them.”
— Psalm 96:12


For three days straight, we gathered as a family — with The Family — to praise God in song at LifeLight, a Christian musical festival in Sioux Falls, S.D. We swayed our babies, and moshed with our teenagers. We bowed our heads low, and raised our hands high.

Jubilant fields. Abundant harvest.

But this morning, the party was over.

Scott hooked the camper to the pickup to drive home. And I walked across that empty Field of Praise with my two little girls to find our van in the parking lot. The harvest moon had been replaced by mid-morning sun.

The gatherers were gone. The field had been gleaned. And all that was left was an empty stage and a few overturned garbage cans.

But we are still singing His song. Jesus is the soundtrack of our lives — not just our Sundays or our weekends.

He is why we sing.


How do we keep His song in our hearts? How do we multiply this Harvest of Praise? Here are some ideas. Please share your own ideas in the comment box.

Tune In: Fill a house all day long with praise music on the radio. We have our music on through the day in the kitchen and living room.

Pint-Sized Playlist: Invest in a few good CDs, like WeeSing or Great Worship Songs for Kids. My girls play their CDs on their own CD player. Or I burn their favorites from my iTunes library.

“I Spy”: Many of today’s contemporary musicians get their best music straight from Scripture. Listen to the lyrics, and go on a treasure hunt to find the verses — a sort of musical “I Spy.” … Chris Tomlin sings this in his song How Great is Our God: “He wraps Himself in light, and darkness tries to hide.” Can you identify the Scripture?

Hymns: I sit at the piano and plunk out old hymns, letting old, familiar words fall fresh on these ears. Consider finding an old hymn to serve as a beacon for your week or for your year. Right now, I’m singing “Be Thou My Vision,” for I want to see things through Soul-Eyes. Do you have a Life Hymn?

Sing for an Audience of One: He’s not looking for virtuosos, but for the heart in the song. So let the praises ring.

Listen Carefully: You might find that you’re singing a duet with the God of all creation.

“He will rejoice over you with singing.” — Zephaniah 3:17

by | September 8, 2009 | 25 comments


  1. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    I love that scripture in Zephaniah. Just really speaks to my heart.

    Wonderful post today!

  2. Steve

    This is a good challenge for us all. Some of the contemporary is hard for me to understand. I remember when I was a young man, my dad would try to listen to my rock music and say, what are they singing about? Before the Lord saved me, I played music in night clubs for years, and we understood that it did not matter what the song was, it was all about the beat. The more bottom end we had, the more it thumped their chest, the more they liked it, and the more they'd danced. I catch myself being more like my dad every day, and it could be that I'm just getting old, and that maybe why I don't understand most of the contemporary music. I do listen to some of it, and enjoy it, and know what their singing about. To me, the worst thing that has happened to Christian music today is, they now have a top 20 count down for all types of Christian music. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not condemning contemporary music, cause I believe it is to reach, and will reach, old and young alike.

  3. gabi dickinson

    I love this! I'm looking for ideas for music to take for my kids in Uganda so if you have any ideas for CD's please share them 🙂

  4. Rick Mullen

    Awesome !
    Energy, excitement, Faith and bonding vibrate in your descriptions. So great to hear about the "new" crop growing behind us; as we cross this field of life.
    God Bless, Rick

  5. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought

    I play VBS music throughout the year. I think we need to have banners like we did after 9/11, saying the same thing, but meaning something entirely different. "We Won't Forget!" Praise Jesus!
    ~ Wendy

  6. Runner Mom

    How wonderful! Love these thoughts, sweet friend! Hmm… a life song? I have several that simply speak to me! Amazing Grace by Chris T. touches my soul to the depths.


  7. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Steve, I appreciate your honest thoughts. Worship music — no matter the style — can be misused if we put our focus on the music, rather than on the Object of our worship.

    Gabi — I would highly recommend some of the Group Publishing VBS CDs that Wendy talks about. Also, you can find some simple preschool Bible songs available online at really good prices. Check used CD stores, too.

  8. Lyla Lindquist

    I stood at the back into the early morning watching that same field drain away to the empty you and the girls saw … amazing how quickly the party picked up and left. I can only imagine (from the hoots, woots and howls coming out of cars and vans as they drove away) that the party didn't dissipate but just split off to places all over neighboring towns and states.

    I know it's still going on at our house this morning with CDs ripping, iTunes synching, TFK fists pumping as guys head to school …

    Again, great to meet you there.

  9. Laura

    Music just feeds my soul.

    There is nothing like it to get a good praise on!

  10. Angie

    I would have loved to be there. Wow!

    We sang Blessed Assurance at church yesterday…this is my story, this is my song…praising my Savior all the day long!

  11. Anne L.B.

    Ooh! Ooh! I know an answer! I know! Pick me!

    We sing on Facebook too, since you didn't kidnap me yet!

    I SO wish I could have experienced that taste of Heaven! *sigh*

    Love you!

  12. Angie Vik

    This is our girl's first year without LifeLight. Glad you had a great time and were blessed.

  13. Jennifer

    I love this post! Thank you for sharing the early harvest with us. What a beautiful image!! I would add… just sing, sing your heart out. Don't worry if you are off tune, don't worry if you don't know every word… it's all beautiful to Him!

  14. Melinda

    What a glorious experience! How thankful I am that music is so accessible now…and the praise goes on!

  15. Monica Sharman

    How very cool! I like to discover unfamiliar hymns. I also like to go to sovereigngracestore.com where the lead sheets (PDF format) of all their songs are downloadable for free!
    And I LOVE the "I Spy" idea. I'm on it!

  16. Billy Coffey

    Love the idea of Jesus being the soundtrack to our lives. I can't play an instrument and you don't want to hear me singing, but I love music.

    Great post, sister Jennifer.

  17. Chris Godfredsen

    That was wonderful. Makes me wonder, "Where does she gets these blogs?"

    A wonderful harvest, indeed. One spent in worship, conversation and prayer with the framily. I love framily, by the way!

    We play music all day long, too, in our home and in my office. Some of the greatest times for me are to listen to our two youngest belt out our favorite songs. "Sing, sing, sing," our four year old Anna says. Turn it up, dad! Love it!

    I relish these times of worship and reading your posts!

  18. Chris Godfredsen

    That was wonderful. Makes me wonder, "Where does she gets these blogs?"

    A wonderful harvest, indeed. One spent in worship, conversation and prayer with the framily. I love framily, by the way!

    We play music all day long, too, in our home and in my office. Some of the greatest times for me are to listen to our two youngest belt out our favorite songs. "Sing, sing, sing," our four year old Anna says. Turn it up, dad! Love it!

    I relish these times of worship and reading your posts!

  19. Jennifer

    The kiddie soundtracks are putting Scripture to music, too. The Hermie and Wormie line has several "Scripture Memory" CDs out.

    I love what you're doing with your girls! Music is such a great memory tool. I still can only list all 10 commandments if I sing the song I learned in elementary school! "Number one, we've just begun, God should be first in your life…."

  20. Robin

    Wow what a great post!

    I lead a devotional today at the seniors home, and I sang! I actually lead the worship–I decided the song was not from me but from heaven. I usually do not sing! Thanks for the post. I guess I am getting bold in Christ.

  21. Deidra

    I've always loved the hymns. Even when I was little girl. Since then, I've fallen in love with it all: Hezekiah Walker, Nichole Nordeman, Switchfoot, Brooklyn Tab, Selah, Chris Tomlin, Steven Curtis Chapman, Handel, Bach, Beethoven (never country, though…not yet). But the hymns are bedrock for me. Whenever I reach for a song to sing, it's a hymn that rises first from my heart…

  22. Deidra

    I forgot David Crowder! How did I forget him?

  23. elaine @ peace for the journey

    I sing while I'm out running. I recently purchased Travis Cottrell's newest CD and immediately uploaded it to my IPOD. Last night's run was first listen. I cannot even begin to articulate the joy and freedom I felt while running beneath the clouded, darkening sky while lifting my voice and hands in praise as I went.

    I am moved by your pictures; they speak a witness all their own. Thank you taking them and for posting them here.


  24. Steph

    Very cool Jennifer, Lifelight was awesome and your post gives great ideas to carry on the tune in our lives!

  25. Arianne

    Love, love, love music! My neighbor was praising with you at LifeLight!


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