The Family Name

Over the past 25 years I have sought to research my family tree — the Myrick•Hamilton•Craft trees and the Holifield•Sumrall•Musgrove trees.

I can vividly and joyfully recall as a child, large family reunions with dozens of aunts and uncles and cousins and distant third and fourth cousins, and double first cousins, and … FOOD. Amazing southern fried in Granny’s iron skillet kinda delicacies! O what fun!

With recent family members passing on to heaven, all these memories have been rekindled. And I have enjoyed wonderful conversations with cousins and distant cousins and extended family members. We enjoy a wonderful family legacy and I am grateful.

And with every good conversation, I learn more about the family histories, the dynamics of our blended families, the good, the bad, the [ahem] “shushed” parts — and a few family facts and tidbits that I did not know — that seem to connect•the•dots, so to speak.

All families have secrets and often times, shameful or possibly embarrassing episodes within the family tree. Some of us have failed miserably and brought shame on our Family Name, whether unintentionally by haphazard circumstance, or even willfully to wreak havoc and reap our vengeful reward. How sad and tragic for all our families when this happens.

And then there’s that “cousin Eddie” of Christmas Vacation fame, showing up and showing out at all the most awkward moments in our lives. Heck, I’m sure I’ve been the “cousin Eddie” goober a few times myself!

In the Christmas story of Bible fame, there are two baby boys conceived into the wombs of small town girls … and their epic adventures would literally change the world.

In St Luke’s gospel, we read of Zechariah and Elizabeth discovering that she is pregnant with a child — by an angelic visitation to Zechariah while he is performing his priestly duties. Zech is of the Abijah priestly lineage and Liz is of the Aaron priestly lineage. They’re a couple, on the worship team, so to speak. They are good people, who ‘did all that God had commanded them to do’, and yet they had not been able to bear children. We don’t know if Zech could not produce, or if Liz could not ovulate. The bible story does not get that deep into the weeds — yet.

Now, Zech and Liz are ‘old’, or are getting older based on the story; but, not too old to enjoy intimacy, which could by all imaginations — still produce a child!

So, Zech get’s the angelic announcement at the church house, he’s bewildered, asks the “how and why” questions — and, his mouth is muted. He’s literally dumbfounded. He goes home, dazed and confused, motioning with his hands, and no one could figure out what had happened. Very soon, Liz realizes she’s pregnant and recluses herself to home, suspecting — who knows what!

She’s pregnant.  Zech is ‘old’. The whole town is gonna wonder — umm, how? And, who? And … what the heck?!

So, fast forward, the baby is born.  Elizabeth rejoices.  The whole village rejoices!  God has favored Zech and Liz with a baby in their old age!  But Zech is still ‘mute’ and cannot even speak, yet.  And on the 8th day, as was the tradition, the time for ceremonial circumcision arrived.

Circumcision.  What an awkward word. What a surreal procedure!  And yet, tradition and religious rite have made this ceremony “the sign” of those males who are deemed “good Jews”, or outsider non-Jews, pagans, Gentiles … anything but, the ‘chosen’ of God.  So, they comply with the tradition and with that, the Naming of the child.

So, during the ceremony comes the “naming of the child” segment of the session.  The people, the doctors, the gatherers expected something like “Zechariahson” or “Zechy”, or something after the namesake of his Dad.  But, Liz knew better, because of the angelic visitation, remember?!  And, now Zechariah knew too … because of the angelic visitation.

Liz motions to Zech, then Zech writes on a tablet:  “His name is John”.  And everyone is amazed!  What? How could he?  This is not right?!  You don’t name your child some random name that is not from the family lineage!  What about the legacy?  The dynasty?  The family reputation??

But Liz and Zech knew — his name is JOHN.  And then — ZECH SPEAKS!  Yep, Zechariah’s mouth is finally FREE to speak the praises that have been pent up in his heart for months now!  He knows something. He has “seen” the LORD.  He has experienced a visitation.  He is aware — something’s up. Something BIG.  And, it’s a God thing.  And, he and his son, JOHN, are going to get exclusive VIP seating.  And, it’s going to change their world!  Heck, it’s gonna change everyone’s world!

Scripture in Luke 1 goes on to say that the town folks were fearful (in awe and wonder) of what they had witnessed — this late in life birth, the ceremony, Zech’s “silence”, then, his sudden miraculous praise!

So, what’s in your family name?  What pent up secrets do you know?  What is that unspoken secret that no one will talk about?  What is that praise, or message, or proclamation that YOU need to speak?  What is the promise that YOU need to declare for your family?  Even, if it means breaking with tradition and expected religious ritual?

My family has an amazing and historical legacy and lineage of music, ministry, agricultural prowess, ingenuity, artistic creativity, and mostly — determination and survival.  We survive. Against all odds, we press on.

As I learn more about my Myrick*Hamilton*Craft family on my Dad’s side of the tree, and also about my Holifield*Sumrall*Musgrove family on Mom’s side of the tree — I discover the awe, and the wonder, and the miracle of God’s hand on our lives.  And, at the most unexpected moments.

When all the forces of this fallen world seemed against us — we somehow found the way to WRITE on our tablets and SPEAK or SING from our mouths, the Story of stories.  The promises of our God.  The hopes of our future.  The wishes for better days.

Christmas is here.  John is here. And, Jesus is on the way!  Joseph and Mary are about to experience the miraculous, just like Zech and Liz have experienced.

And on the 8th day after their baby is born, they will name Him “Jesus”, just as the angel had foretold.  And, we will sing, and praise, and worship His Name forever!

“… Come, thou long expected Jesus …”.  COME and SAVE us from ourselves, from sin, from evil and death.  Come, LORD Jesus, COME!

Blaire and Jess

THREE YEARS AGO …  we gathered outside Nashville at one of the most beautiful hillside farms I’ve ever seen and celebrated the marriage of our baby girl Blaire and her beautiful partner Jess.  Together, Blaire and Jess, and their incredible network of friends and beloveds, are making their mark on the world.  They LOVE and LIVE very boldly, very tenaciously, very emphatically, and very simply … for the Cause of LOVE.

I have observed the courage and integrity of these two beauties over the past several years as they have bonded, married, and launched into their dream-filled hope-inspired lives together.  Blaire jumped directly into her professional nursing career this year after graduating Nursing School at Belmont University.  Jess has worked tenaciously in food services with the most eclectic and amazing coffee shops and pubs around Nashville and is preparing for her next adventure with Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shangarry, Ireland.  WHAT??!!  How amazing is that!

To say that I’m a proud Dad does not even begin to express the joy that leaps in my heart as I watch these two brave women boldly blaze their own individual trails and all at the same time, they are setting an incredible standard together for the everlasting causes of love, mission, and mercy.

As religious and political debates in America increase, especially during election years, over economies, social agendas, and the reeling merry-go-round of religious beliefs … I am so proud of these two girls who grew up in fundamentalist American Christianity and are surviving, even thriving towards big dreams and plans for the greater Good of humanity.

I see GOD in our girls. I see LOVE in their marriage. I see JESUS in the works of their daily lives.  I feel the Holy Spirit when I’m around their friends, now … part of our FAMILY.

LOVE is love. GOD is good. GOOD will prevail.  Yes, Jesus loves US … not just because the Bible tells us so.   God is LOVE.  And love never fails.

Ya’ll … it’s ALL about LOVE



One day, Lamech said to his two wives, “A young man wounded me, and I killed him.

Anyone who tries to get even with me will be punished ten times more than anyone who tries to get even with Cain.”

Adam and his wife had another son.

They named him Seth, because they said, “God has given us a son to take the place of Abel, who was killed by his brother Cain.” – Genesis‬ ‭4‬:‭23‬-‭25‬ ‭CEV‬‬

Every family has their junk. Some families deal with it well and clean up their junk. And some families do not.

CAIN and “his wife” [who is not even dignified with a name in scripture] evidently did not deal with their junk.

And so eventually, as the years go by, their great great great grandson Lamech comes in from a hard days work, decompresses, grabs a cold one, and confesses to his wife that he killed a guy.

Like, “ … no biggie; he wounded me, so I killed him.”

» FFWD to 2023 A.D. »

Wounded [ticked off, impulsive] guys are still killing people. And, so are wounded women.

Whether we are physically taking lives with weapons of war and putting bodies to death; or, emotionally murdering souls with venomous words — we are still killing one another.

War is hell. Hell is wicked and evil. And hell is reserved for demons and their father the snake, the dragon, the venomous prince of rebellion, the weak narcissistic Angel of the darkness.

“The devil said, “I will give all this power and glory to you. It has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. Just worship me, and you can have it all.” – Luke‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬-‭7‬ ‭CEV‬‬

We are living in the age prophesied by scripture when wars and rumors of wars rule the media headlines. We can either perpetuate the war. Or we can choose the Better Way.

The Way of LOVE is the gospel of peace.

Christ stood down the prince of war and chose Peace. After all – He is Prince of Peace.

And kings decree laws of their kingdoms.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” – Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭2‬ ‭NRSV‬‬

King Jesus rules all creation. He redeemed all humanity. We no longer are left to our hopeless and helpless instinct to war with one another.

As He chose Peace, we can also choose peace. By the Spirit we are empowered to choose Peace and not war.


The key to making the choice?


LOVE. It’s all about Love.

Love chose peace over war. Love chose sacrifice over Self. Love chose the way of the cross over the way of revenge. Love chose to supernaturally light up the darkness.

Love chose Us. Love chose the Better Way. Love chose to Win.

Study war no more. Love wins.



New Podcast: The ROBBY Show


So, I’m an old ‘radio’ guy, somewhat. I became fascinated with radio in my childhood years as I watched Charles and Margaret Cooper spin our family’s small town gospel vinyl records at their hometown studio in Ocean Springs Mississippi.

Fast forward 30 years, I jumped on a studio mic in Gulfport Mississippi with Ron Meyers, who hired me part time to host a fun little radio show at the Mobile AL outlet for a Christian talk radio network.

Then, a few years later a couple buddies — Dustin Thomas and John Harry —  invited me to smack talk a few afternoons each week on a local small town community sports and events show as I promoted local church and city events.

Then, in 2020 … well, COVID-19.  And, we all discovered podcasts, webcasts, and blew up our social media accounts for a couple years!

I’m 20 years late to the Podcast party.  I’ve been listening to streaming radio shows turned Podcasts for more than two decades — and I am just now making the time to throw my little hat in the ring.  I’m a talker so I try to tell stories that are meaningful, personal, inspirational, and hopefully life-giving in some small way.

I’d love for you to JOIN me!  There are lofty plans for amazing interviews with interesting people and who knows … I might reach a couple dozen followers one day!  For now, I’m streaming on Spotify and Apple Podcasts — until I figure out how to “code my RSS” to all those other fancy platforms.  Ya’ll pray I don’t blow up my little Macbook in the process.

Give us a listen and let me know if any of my stories are is helpful.  Thanks for all the LOVE and support!

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.