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.


She’s a little old fashioned
That sweet mother of mine

My Mama quotes this old gospel hymn often when reminiscing about her Mom, who we affectionately called Granny.  Now, Mama Rose carries on the legacy of “Granny” to our children, and her first great-grandchild, Rosemary Jane Myrick.

The Holifield women of Soso, Mississippi (Jones County) are undeniably among the legendary warrior princess women of our modern times.  Rosemary Holifield grew up on a little plot of farmland that her daddy, momma, and siblings worked until they were grown enough to move out on their own, or married.  She married Lonnie (our dad) at 16 yrs of age, and began her whirlwind life of marriage, ministry, and music that would fill the pages of our family Story.  The story continues to this day.  She is now married to Bob Garst and lives just up the road from us.  We cherish every moment we get to spend with her and she continually gives, serves, and leads our family in ways that offer Hope and Peace, no matter what this crazy life throws our way.  To this day, her favorite hobbies include cooking for her family — some of the most amazing dishes you’ll ever taste — and singing classic gospel hymns and songs that we grew up with during our family gospel band years as the “Rosetones”.  What a legacy!

Sarah Jolene Roles Dinwiddie grew up near the coal-mining hills of West Virginia, in a little place called Bill Holler.  I’ve been there once to visit the Roles Family Reunion and yes, it’s as Appalachian as you might imagine.  Oh the stories!   “Jo” married Gene and they raised their girls in Richmond and Williamsburg Virginia.  When the family relocated to Pascagoula MS, their baby girl caught my eye in church one Sunday.  And, the rest, as they say, is history.  Jo Dinwiddie was the ultimate homemaker, wife, mom, and “Nana” to her grandchildren.  She loved being a wife and Mom, kept up with all the neighborhood scoop, knew everybody’s family tree it seemed, and was beloved by hundreds of children who grew up in Nursery and Childrens Ministry at Arlington Baptist Church in Pascagoula.  Her life and love influenced generations of families.  She was and is our beloved “Sweet Nana”.

Sheryl and I enjoy laughing and crying when we recall the fun memories with Jo and Gene.  They were the heart and soul of our lives for more than 35 years of our marriage and left indelible marks on us and our children.  They are awaiting us in Heaven, and what a Glad Reunion Day THAT will be!

By God’s Grace, we continue to enjoy meals, family gatherings, and occasional community outings and special events with Granny Rose. We gush with joy as Granny gets “sugar” from behind baby Rosemary Jane’s soft pink little ears.

Looking back in time, I am amazed by the heroism and fortitude of these mighty women in our family.  Rose and Jo grew up during America’s “golden age” of rock and roll music, sock hops, classic films, and … during America’s most turbulent modern history of civil rights activism, riots, and racial divisions of the 1960s and 70s in the Bible Belt South.

Our moms knew how to stretch a dollar to the last penny. They could heal any wound with a quick home remedy and a smooch on the boo-boo.  They could listen to our childhood fantasies, teenage rants, and coming-of-age questions into the wee hours of the night.

They loved their husbands well, despite the ever-changing roles that women were expected to fulfill in the home, in the church, at the school house, in the community … and, they seemed to never complain nor grow weary.  But, we knew then, and we know now, they were exhausted. But, would never let their weariness defeat their mission — to LOVE their families and to defend their honor.

They loved and cared for their children and their grandchildren, modeling a Christlikeness that caused all of us to want to be more loving, kind, and generous … especially to those who we knew were less fortunate or faced extreme challenges.  They prayed for us, and over us in the night.

They cooked our favorite meals. They bailed us out of last-minute homework assignments and science projects when we frantically called upon them for help.  They repaired our broken toys.  They made sure that our clothes were clean and fresh every day.  They washed behind our ears, and all the other “behinds”.

And most of all … they LIVED for LOVE.  Our moms are our HEROES.  We will never, ever forget the price they have paid for our wellness, for our joy, and for the Legacy of Goodness that we now enjoy.  And, by God’s grace … we will carry their legacy through our children and grandchildren too.


New Year

So, I have not posted here for a minute.  It’s been quite a year!

2022 brought us new jobs, new friends, new connections, and a new GRAND BABY!

This Christmas was quite different.  Our little family traveled back-n-forth from Birmingham (AL) to Nashville (TN) to celebrate our first-born baby girl’s graduation from Belmont University College of Health Sciences and Nursing. Yay, Blaire!

And then, to our somewhat surprise, our first grand-baby girl made her early appearance just two days later.  What a Merry Christmas gift!!  Welcome to earth, Rosemary Jane!  And, thank you Vanderbilt Hospital and NICU staff for your amazing emergency care for our newborn baby girl.  Ya’ll are rockstars!

The last two weeks have felt like a blur. And yet, with every new day, there has been a sense of calm and peace. Almost, relief. It’s like, we have been anticipating these two major events for the past year, and they have finally come, and we are exhausted, overjoyed, and relieved, all at the same time.

Graduation from college for Blaire has been a lifelong goal.

Our baby girl was born with a strong will and determination to get-it-done. I have never known her to back down from a challenge. Her childhood was filled with lots of love, beautiful memories with family and friends, and the unrelenting support of her parents and grandparents to accomplish anything she set her mind to achieve. And, she has endured her fair share of trauma, challenges, and setbacks.  Yet, she determined in her mind that she would GET THAT NURSING DEGREE.

She gets that strong determination from her Mom and maternal grandfather “Papa Gene”.  And, her incredible musical talents from her Dad and paternal grandmother “Granny Rose”.  She is a winner, in every possible way.  We love you, Blairest!

Marriage and family have been lifelong dreams and goals for me and Sheryl.  We have accomplished 38 years together as husband and wife. We are so grateful for the love, the joys, even the tragedies we have endured; all of which have made us stronger individuals, and even stronger in our marriage.  But, not without hard work and dedication.  Marriage and family are among the most difficult tasks any person will ever face.  It’s the most challenging feat in life, in my humble opinion.

For us … 2022 also ushered in a new grandchild!  And, for my Mom, her first great-grandchild!!

Our second born, Christian, married his college sweetheart Breanna. Through a myriad of jobs, continuing education, and several relocations over the past seven years together, they are now home near us in Birmingham, and celebrating the birth of their firstborn, a precious little girl named Rosemary Jane.  We are all giddy and mushy over her!

Cameron, our third born and second son, is moving onward towards his dreams and goals as a digital media producer.  He has worked diligently in retail sales, merchandising, and inventory management, and continues to hone his skills in computer programming, digital media concepts, and all things technical.  He is a genius with smart devices and is our resident “geek squad guy”, when his old-man Dad can’t remember which button to push on my iPhone. Yes, it happens.

Cameron loves people, is a relentless Advocate for others, and his knowledge of the Marvel Universe is fascinating.  We love our amazing Cam-Cam!

So, 2022 is almost a wrap!  Our prayer for 2023 is simple:  Love God and Love People.  I hope your life this coming year is filled with much Joy, Peace, and Love. Let’s all do our part and make this world a better place.


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