VISION for I Belong to Jesus

I am really excited about I Belong to Jesus. Of course I really hope people enjoy listening to this album and it gets them singing and tappin' their toes. But I really have a vision for what these songs (and more to come!) can do for families, if the Lord would be pleased to do it.

We live in a post-Christian and post-modern culture where Judeo-Christian ethics are simply residual in our consciousness. They're there, but we don't know why they're there. We simply grew up with them. It is in this atmosphere that my generation finds themselves bringing little children into the world. A world where technology changes faster than you can brush your teeth and morality is just one step behind that. Parenting has never been harder. Not only that, but because our parents knew very little about how to teach us about God we know even less! It is this issue that I hope to address with I Belong to Jesus.

This album has a two dimensional reality. The first is what you'd expect from any album - enjoyment! But the second is where these songs come to life in a profound way. All of these songs were composed to be sung a capella to children. In spite of the cool and lively arrangements on the CD every song is actually quite intimate and when sung a capella are actually quite calming and soothing. They take on life when you're lying next to your child, singing these songs to them, inches away from their faces. They interrupt you - "mommy, what's 'to conquer' mean?" You reply, "well, it means that we have to overcome what is wrong, we have to choose to not do it because God says it's wrong and will hurt us if we do it. It means we have victory over it, we win over like, our bad attitudes, or when we want to disobey." You keep singing and they interrupt you again. Another interlude of spiritual formation occurs- I'm not making this up! This is how these have worked in my family! And I hope you can experience those moments with your kids too! So...

My prayer is that these songs will be learned and sung by parents all over. There are profound messages in these hymns. I pray that these rich truths will penetrate into the hearts of children, will take root, and begin to bear fruit over the years, ministering God's grace to them long after they've outgrown child hood. These hymns are so rich with the messages of God's grace, truth, love and His requirements for them. I pray that long after childhood has past and their taste in music has grown out of child-like terms, that in times of confusion, indecision, doubt, or trial, the words which their mommy or daddy sung to them over and over will come up, and comfort them, give them hope, reassure them, actually minister to them when all else is silent or confusing.

Childhood is rich with opportunity. A child's heart is the most fertile soil the Word of God could fall on. We must use these short years wisely. Really these songs will be ideally used for children between the ages of 0-6. Think about this: by age 6 a third of our parenting is DONE. That freaks me out!!!!! Pretty much, after that it's just working out whatever is inside. So what's inside!!!!????? What we build into them is sooooo important! These songs are also ideal for those ages because that's the season of life when you're still putting them to bed or lying down with them, or holding them for hours when they're sick. And it's when they have the most unstinting adoration of us!. They're ears are tuned in to what we have to say. Let's say stuff that will be deep, abiding, biblically sound, and rich with the messages of God's love.

But this is for parents as well! I hope that these songs will be a spring board for conversations between parents and their children. That the songs will serve as a tool for parents who might not otherwise know how to communicate spiritual truths and realities to their children. These songs will actually give you a language to use with your children; it will become a point of language you both can use. This is HUGE! I know few parents who are equipped to communicate the knowledge and the reality of their Christian Faith to their children in any meaningful way (which is why so many rely on the church to educate their offspring.) But it is OUR job as parents to teach our children diligently when we sit down in our house and when we walk by the way and when we lie down and when we rise up (Deut 6:6-7). The Church can only supplement what we do.

This CD will hopefully serve as a tool, similar to that of the Shorter Catechism and other things parents can use to instill the faith in their children. I pray that the Lord will be pleased to use these songs for the purposes I've described so that a new generation will rise up that has from their infancy known the amazing things of God and the TRUTH which is so rich and complex and yet wonderfully simple! Hymns somehow manage to convey the complex doctrines of our faith in such an amazingly accessible form. We are fools to pass them up!