“Without Him”

Two weeks ago, I made an unexpected trip back to my hometown because of a funeral. I had not been in north Alabama in two years, and it felt like a step back in time. From singing an old Mylon LeFevre tune at the funeral (“Without Him”), to attending choir practice at my aunt’s church, to listening to two of my aunts and my uncle rehearse their gospel Bluegrass music for a ‘singing,’ I felt like I was 8 years old again. A real treat was hearing two of my cousins sing with their dad on an old recording. When I was a kid, singing along with them taught me how to harmonize and to sing without vibrato, and put a love in my soul for Jesus deeper than words can convey. I can still remember my granddaddy leading the hymn singing in his little country church. I can still remember my momma swapping parts with her sisters. The simple shaped note hymns and gospel songs are a very real part of who I became. It’s all mixed together with the piano lessons and later the downtown church youth choir, then college music education, then seminary. But the passion was instilled early on. “Without Him, I could do nothing. Without Him, I’d surely fail, Without Him I would be drifting like a ship without a sail.”

This makes me realize how important Kids Choir is. Aside from the music, drama, and dance, we have the privilege of forming the spiritual foundation for our kids. I really can’t remember any sermons, but I can remember every word of the Baptist hymns I haven’t sung in 25 years. If I teach a child a song, they will remember it. But if I teach a child to worship and to live a life of worship, they will have the ability to be in the presence of Jesus in good times and in bad. They will have a love of Jesus deeper than words can convey. And it’s hard to rebel against a God that you love. As a teenager, I tried. But I wasn’t’ very successful. Because the truth was, ‘Without Him I could do nothing, without Him I’d surely fail, without Him I would be drifting like a ship without a sail.”

As I researched the history of this song, I realized its main claim to fame was the fact that Elvis recorded it. Even pop icons still acknowledged God back in the day. It’s a tough world out there now. Our kids have no viable role models. It’s up to us to be the driving force of what shapes them musically and more eternally, spiritually. It’s up to us to teach them that singing songs is nice, but worship is life-changing. It’s up to us to be a part of rescuing them from making wrong life choices. It’s up to us to help them to fall in love with Jesus. Because “without Him, how lost we would be.”


2 Responses to ““Without Him””

  1. 1 Pam Fitzsimons
    November 17, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    That song was also a favorite of mine, growing up. It will always be with me. Thank you so much for sharing your story!


  2. 2 Robin Whitson
    November 21, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    So much of what you say about worship and the music of our youth is true. The hymns that we hear and sing year after year become ingrained in our soul whether we are participatory or are dragged to church by our families. I believe that they are one way the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost – from my youth) becomes part of us.

    As I grow older, it amazes me how the hymns of our youth are integral to the foundation of our faith. They are part of us and a reminder of the love of our Savior. Many who have become disgusted with or estranged from the church still can be brought back through the power of worship music especially in times of crisis or celebration, ie. funerals, weddings.

    The power of music to reach our soul is amazing.

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