I Sing … Because

I sing.

I sing because.

I sing when I’m happy. I sing when I’m sad. I sing when I’m glad. I sing when I’m tinkering around the house, driving the car, walking, resting. I sing.


Songs and music have been inside me from the time I was in my mother’s womb. She grew up singing, playing piano, performing in churches, schools, local community centers, and ultimately taught me and my brothers everything she knew about music.

Singing with my family became tradition, then it became a business opportunity, and it’s always been some form of ministry to us individually, as a family, and as ministers of Song to those who cared to listen and follow along with our little family band.

The word sing (verb) comes from the old English word singan “to chant, sing, especially in joy or merriment; to celebrate, or tell in song”  (source:  Etymonline)

In Scripture, depending on which version of the Bible you may choose, the term “sing” appears more than 200 times, and most often in the Psalms, or songs, that were written by King David and his thousands of skilled singers and musicians.

The songs I learned from childhood are songs of the Church; specifically, the Bible Belt American church. Songs sung and written by Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals. Every now and then, I would attempt a classical tune learned in high school and college choir, but that was and is rare.  I grew up in the country, on farms, with flat top guitars, fiddles, upright clangy pianos, and foot-pump organs. Our music was that of 1940s-60s Grand Ole Opry, Heavenly Highway Hymns, and The Baptist Hymnal.

As I near age 60 this year, I am fascinated and blessed to try to recall and reminisce over the thousands of songs I have sung, heard, led with congregations, performed for audiences large and small.  Thousands!  Songs are integral to my very being.

So, I sing.

I sing because I have songs in me that need to be heard.
I sing because I have need of the melodies, harmonies, and lyrics.
I sing because my soul needs refreshing and healing.
I sing because my grand baby girl smiles and coos at the sound of my songs.
I sing because of my family heritage.
I sing because the Holy Spirit urges me to.
I sing because the Sun shines brighter when I sing.
I sing because the storms seem less horrifying when I sing.
I sing because I have a Song.
I sing because I have a Story.
I sing because I need to tell my Story.

I sing … because.

Sabbatical Sundays

Sundays … are now my favorite day of the week.

For more than 50 years, since childhood, Sunday has been mostly early out of bed, auto-start coffeemaker, get the family up and hustling, quick shower-n-shave, put on the suit, don’t spill coffee on the newly pressed shirt, don’t get a speeding ticket, don’t cuss slow drivers, don’t forget your music charts … and get to church on time!

Breathe. Confess sin. Unload gear. Have church!

Then, for the remainder of the day … rest. Well, nap.  Then, do it all again Sunday night.  Unless, like me, you saw the light and migrated over to the contemporary churches who realized that Sunday evening really was designed for some kind of sabbath.

Today, my typical Sunday is much different.  I still get up early, but not out of ‘alarm’, rather because my body just says, ‘get up’.  And, most often, it’s just time to go to the bathroom. Again.

As I enjoy my first few cups of freshly brewed coffee, I sit quietly. Usually, on my little back porch. And listen.  I listen to the wind, to the leaves rustling, to the birds singing, to the critters scuffling under the brush, to the rocker legs on my chair squeaking, and .. to the Spirit speaking.  I listen more. I hear the Spirit better.  I’m not rushed and hustled. I am still.  And, for moments at a time, all is well.

I announced to the last little church congregation where I served as worship leader, that I was taking a ‘sabbatical’. That was seven months ago.

‘ve never done this in my entire ministry life. I am still not certain what that concept even means to a protestant born Baptist like me.  We never stop. We never rest. We never quit. And, we sure don’t take ‘sabbatical’, whatever in the heck that means.

But, I am taking a sabbatical.  I am choosing to rest.  I am choosing to listen.  I am choosing to be led, rather than to lead.

I’ve never been provided a sabbatical in my entire life.  I was once assigned a time off the platform, by my pastor who loved me, because he saw the chaos and imbalance in my life and how that my un-wellness was affecting my family and all my teammates.  He was right.  And, it was time.  That sabbatical lasted about a year.  Maybe less, as I was invited back to occasional platform moments as the backup singer and keyboard player.  Within another year, I was back to the grind as the lead worship pastor.  That was 20 years ago.

I now know many pastor friends who are provided with sabbaticals, every two years or so, depending on their congregation’s determination of the ‘need’ and ‘purpose’ of the sabbatical period for their lead shepherd. The congregation and eldership actually place the Sabbatical into the job description, or contract, however the governance of said congregation might be structured.  This actually sounds like a Jesus principle.  And, it works.  And, my pastor friends are better off for it.

As the worship guy, musician, worship leader, whatever title you place on the “music director” — I have never been provided a Sabbatical.  I’m not bemoaning my churches, because it’s never been within their custom or tradition to provide such. And I willing signed up for the tasks for which I was hired. So, I’m grateful for the opportunities, but my Lord, sometimes the hours and the expectations were simply overwhelming.  And, I often saw the imbalance first, in the eyes and spiritual demeanor of the pastors and other staff members around.

So, I am choosing to take a sabbatical.  I am seven months in, and I’m not sure if I will ever return to a worship platform. And I’m ok with that, I think. Or, at least today, I’m ok with that.  Because, I am still. And I am quiet. And I am being led.

I attend virtual worship with several churches who I love, and who are loving me back.  And, who are fully aware of my personal sabbatical decision.  Occasionally, I pop in the back door of a congregational gathering, just to sit and soak. Just to be led. And to observe.

My faith is changing for the better and my theology is becoming enriched, as I engage with pastors and leaders who I have observed from a bit of a distance, but who are now becoming friends in the faith journey.  I am realizing that there is a wide variety of believers and Christ followers.

We love to camp out in the Red Letters of the gospels. We love to touch people not like us. We love to boast of Grace and Kingdom.  We mourn with those who mourn. We stand with those who are oppressed. We rescue those who are abandoned.  And we worship as those in desperate need of Grace and Peace and Love.

I am on sabbatical.  Or, maybe I am on a new path. Maybe this was in the Plan, all along.  #GRACE #PEACE #LOVE




Everybody’s got a Story …

One of my favorite worship songs written by Lenny Leblanc and Lindell Cooley is “Love Came Down”.  The opening lyrics say almost perfectly what I feel, most days …

Everybody’s got a story
Everybody’s got a song
Every one’s a little different
We all went wrong

Then the Savior came
And He took the blame
Changed everything

(c)2001 Lenny Leblanc, Lindell Cooley | Integrity’s Hosanna! Music

So, as a child of the 60s from small town Bible Belt Mississippi, born and raised a country boy and a missionary Baptist, my worldview and understanding of life included only a few necessary life lessons:

  1. God owns everything, and you do not.
  2. Mama talks to God daily.
  3. Don’t cross Mama

With that very simplistic view of Life, it was inevitable that I would become a Mama’s boy, a musician, and a lifetime lover of the Bible, of good food, and of family.  These simple elements of life continue to drive my heart and soul.

I began singing gospel music on church platforms at around 6 years of age with my brother Danny, one year younger than me.  We were like twins, though born a year and 10 days apart, like two peas in a pod.  In many ways, we still are.  We helped Mama start the family gospel band at around 7 and 8 years old, adding family friends to the mix, and by the time we hit high school, we were touring the entire Southeast, making records, and even scoring a top Ten song, written by Danny and recorded by another family band, The Lesters of Branson Missouri fame.

God blessed our little family band for about 10 years, and we had the time of our lives.  We met all the southern Gospel icons of our day, and even had the chance to sing alongside many of them in our little town civic center, on a few larger stages, and even in some county football field stadiums.  It was the 1970s, and the roots of Moral Majority America were sweeping the Bible Belt. We were caught up in it and were flag-waving, gun-totin’, Bible-thumpin’ believers … three piece suits, revival tents, and all. It was quite a show!

Fast forward 10 years, and it’s the 1980s. I graduated high school with a diploma from an online school in Chicago, since the family band was touring across Texas, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast.  Then I met a girl.  No, I met THE GIRL. MY GIRL!

We married in 1984, took church music and school teaching jobs, and were a real pair, setting out on our [my] life goals of marriage, ministry, and possibly, somehow, getting those college degrees. One day.  Meanwhile, there were souls to be won, and church pews to fill, and we were making our headway through ministry life, together.  Or, so I thought.

Another decade passed and we were now a house filled with elementary school kiddos, holding down three-to-four jobs between the two of us, and just trying to make ends meet.  The ‘dream’ of achieving those college degrees was fading fast.  Revivals were ‘breaking out’ across the Coast and spreading across the Bible belt, so there were meetings to be booked, concerts to promote, conferences to host, and new music to record. The big dream at that time was to possibly  land a Christian worship record deal, like all the ‘big-name’ artists were doing!  It’s the 1990s worship music wave after all, right?

With a few dear friends, we produced a few very semi-professional records, a live worship project, and then all hell broke loose. Marriages failed, churches divided, and the World Trade Towers fell. The world was going to hell in a hand-basket, and I felt as if I was “working for the Lord” harder and faster than I ever had in my life.  But, something was off. There was something just not right.  God was “moving” across the land and church houses were filling with massive numbers of people in this ‘modern worship’ revival movement.  What could be wrong?  How could life still be so confusing?

A new millennium arrived, the Y2K scare came and faded, the world did not actually end, and now the Information Age was changing everything. Phones were now made for our pockets, and no longer were attached to a wire.  The world was moving at warp speed towards whatever was “next”.

Hurricane Katrina, August 29, 2005. The big one. The 100-year storm.  And, yes, we were there. It was horrific, and terrible, and fascinating all together.  Like most folks along the Gulf Coast, we lost nearly every material possession that we held dear.  And, we learned that the most valuable ‘things’ in life were looking back at us in our mirrors everyday.  Stuff no longer really mattered.  People, and especially loved ones, were and are EVERYTHING.

I’ll hang out here a minute.  And I’ll hold off on the “next” chapter.  For now, let’s just say my Story is only now beginning to unfold.  My Story is Our story:  Me and Sheryl and our babies.  But our story began a long, long time ago, way before the two of us were even conceived.

That’s THE story.  And, I can’t wait to tell you what’s NEXT!

The SOUND of Music

“Every kid has a sound, and that sound needs to be heard” –  Kyla Duckworth, co-Founder – MusicalityStudio

2022 has brought me ‘back’ to my roots in so many ways. I entered into this year with an intentional personal mission – SIMPLIFY.  And, RETURN to the innocence of your childhood.

I was raised in a home filled with music. My Mom was a prodigy musician by age 10 and was playing church piano at her small country church for adult choirs and gospel music quartets.  By her teen years, she was performing with ‘all star’ musicians across her little hometown region, and even enjoyed some local TV time in her high school years.

As she married our Dad, the young preacher boy, and her kiddos came along — me FIRST — my brother Danny and I began singing alongside Mom, sitting beside her on the piano stool at home and church.  By the time we were 6 yrs old, Mom had us in recording studios, making vinyl records and touring across the Gulf Coast with our little namesake family band, The Rosetones.

Fast forward 50 years, now there are three boys — me, Danny, and Jeff (the smartest of the litter!) — and ALL of us have music woven into our DNA, all because of a little girl from Soso, Mississippi … Rosemary Holifield … Momma.

Back to 2022 …

This year, I partnered with Kyla and Dustin Duckworth at Musicality, and began teaching students with their small startup up business.  The mission is very simple:  every kid has a sound, and that sound needs to be heard.

We just completed our Spring semester at Musicality, with 150-plus students registered, after only two years of literally word-of-mouth and social media marketing in our small suburban cities across North Alabama.  It’s been phenomenal to watch this little dream of a music studio come to life and grow in popularity.  And, it’s changing ME.

I am remembering as I teach these young students, the JOY of playing, singing, and listening to the SOUNDS of music.  I am being transported back in my memories of my own childhood, sitting at the piano bench with Mom in our tiny little houses, in small country churches, and in local civic centers, where we cut our teeth as small town gospel singers and musicians.  It’s all coming back to me!

I love watching our students learn, practice, and perform the sounds of music that come out of their young and bright hearts and souls. I love hearing them sing and play their own unique styles and blends of worship songs, pop songs, country songs, techno-funk, and jazz.  I am fascinated and inspired all over again, and I am fully confident that the world will be a better place … because of the SOUNDS that are emerging from these kiddos.

These sounds come from hearts of LOVE, which have enjoyed life, death, pandemic, pain, suffering, and yes … a longing for our Creator who is the Giver of the SOUNDS that we make.

So, as sister #AmyGrant sings in her recently remixed familiar pop tune, let’s all go make our sounds and, “… put a little love in your heart … and the world will be a better place …”


Sermons Now Available

Hey Friends!

I know … it’s been a minute.  I would like to invite you to join me for Sunday Morning worship services with my good friends at GracePoint Mt Olive United Methodist Church, in north Jefferson County, Alabama.

GracePoint has offered me the opportunity to preach and teach a few Sundays this past year, for which I’m grateful.  Please enjoy worship with us and let us know if the messages and worship are a blessing to you.

NEW and EXCITING updates coming very soon at Robby Myrick Music and Robby Myrick Ministries.