Following Your Own Path

John Michael Talbot
John Michael Talbot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For most of my childhood, television was off-limits. I was an avid tv watcher up until about 7 years old. Then, my mom found the Lord, and evidently, He only wanted her and her new husband to watch tv, so the set was moved into her and R’s room, and was forever off-limits to the rest of the kids. Back then, it was like coming off of excellent cocaine or something, but I’m thankful for it now.I spent hours upon hours with my nose buried in books, or building a fantasy world outside.

Unfortunately, the same rule applied to music and the use of radios throughout the house. Before their divorce, my dad was an avid country music fan, and my mother adored Elvis Presley. Chances are, if you came to our house, you would find the radio blaring before you’d find the television set on. So, the music rule was just excruciating to me.

I didn’t argue with my mom much…You payed a heavy price for speaking up, but the music problem warranted the reprisals, so on more than one occasion I would work up enough nerve to ask her to have my radio back. She wasn’t a woman to explain much, and would always tell me no, and if I asked why, she would tell me the devil was the author of all music.

Now, having been banned from all technological recreation, I knew that Bible of mine way better than a lot of pastors these days do, and I marched my 8 year-old butt into my mom’s room one day, and laid out all the psalms that talked about music, including the fact that the word “Psalms” basically meant songs. She was very impressed, and I was from then on allowed to listen to …Bill Gaither and Dallas Holmes. Don’t get me wrong. Lovely music. Just not the kind I was hoping for.

As I got older, and because R didn’t follow Mom‘s rules either, I was introduced to the BeeGee’s (my stepfather’s favorite group) and a little bit of country music in the car. But one day, I happened to find a Contemporary Christian station — (contemporary for the late 70’s early 80’s anyways), and I heard Bob Bennett’s  Mountain Cathedrals. I listened with interest as Petra strutted their stuff, and Michael Card‘s Dragonslayer filled up my imagination and my soul. Ah Hah! These were Christians, and their music didn’t put me to sleep!

I began collecting their records and tapes, listening to them clandestinely at night in my room. John Michael Talbot, Amy Grant, Steve & Annie Chapman, Dino, Michael Card…until Mom caught me. And set up an appointment with our pastor because, according to Mom, these songwriters and singers weren’t real Christians.

Off we went for the appointment, me already grieving the extensive collection of music that I had sitting safely in my shoebox on my lap, and my Mom feeling secure that she was saving my soul from hell.

The pastor, a really wonderful man named Scott, listened with interest. Then, slowly, he got up and opened a cabinet behind his desk. Turned out, we had the exact same taste in music!! He assured Mom that these men were singing about Christ, and that I wasn’t being lead down the road to hell by listening to them. He even told Mom that as long as I was discriminating, there were rock-and-roll and country singers that I could listen to. In the end, he informed her that I had my own conscience, and she had to allow me to exercise it. Cool guy.

From that time on, I could proudly display my Christian, and non-Christian music collection. And I learned also that we have to let other people follow their consciences, not decide for someone else what they should or should not be doing.

— Bird

PS: My ringtone on my phone is “Don’t Panic” by Coldplay…Thanks, Scott!!.

27 responses to “Following Your Own Path”

  1. Loved this. It’s amazing the rules we make up for ourselves only to find that we’re missing out on something God intended for us to enjoy.


  2. Good for the pastor! I was blessed to grow up in a home where music was encouraged, especially since dad was the music director at church. We were introduced to lots of hymns and different types of Christian and secular music, but Mom always read the lyrics before she approved it. For me, developing my like and dislikes in the music area was a matter of heart…what spoke to my heart. It was that love of music that made me go for a degree in music/vocal performance in college. I still love many different types of music, but what speaks most to my heart and what I tend to listen to now is the music my mom loved most…the good ol’ Southern Gospel…like the Gaithers and Dallas Holmes…lol.


    • lol..They do have beautiful music..just for a pre-teen and then a teenager, they weren’t my style…sorry! But still, it was a really good lesson that I, in turn, taught my own kids. I nixed quite a few bands when they were kids due to lyrics, but I didn’t nix everything. I think you should say yes when you can! Thank you for this awesome comment!!


      • I agree, we need to let them develope their own tastes, but be willing to introduce them to the whole spectrum of music with guidelines. God will eventually lead their hearts grounded in Him to some form of worship and praise music. For me, it is about what the lyrics say that draws me to my musical likes. You did a good thing with your children by letting them see what music has to offer them.


  3. I’m so glad you got to keep your music! yay! I love music and before knowing Jesus, listened to all the hard rock that I could. Not so good for me. After accepting Jesus, I stopped listening to my music. A friend from work told me about a Christian radio station and gave me a Rich Mullins tape and I was so blessed again!Thanks Bird, for keeping us humming and singing along here!


    • Thank you!! I recently love Todd Agnew’s Amazing Grace, and Mercy Me’s I Can Only Imagine. But I listen to some secular music too. Beautiful music just appeals to me. I did, however, stay away from John Lennon’s Imagine and such…If the lyrics offend me, I don’t listen to it. Period. Thanks for commenting!


  4. Enjoyed reading the names of some of those classic CCM artists. The first album my older sister bought for me was Mylon LeFevre’s “Brand New Start.” I think when you’re raised in a somewhat strict home (no movies, no cards, etc.), you appreciate and are more open to more types of that media as you get older. And you’re better able to integrate those strict standards with new joys!

    Good post!


    • Excellent point! Also, I watched MASH for years after they completed the series…There was no such thing as a re-run..It was awesome!! I agree with you about appreciating it more. I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right. John Michael Talbot’s You Are My Hiding Place will ALWAYS be my very favorite song! Thank you for checking out my site, and for your really great comment!!


    • Thanks, Stephen. I am always happy to find another John Michael Talbot fan. The man created my all-time favorite worship music ever. You can not tell me God didn’t bless this man with a true gift!!


    • I love all kinds of music. Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink Floyd, and even some Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks (who lives here around the Tulsa area)…Music is a wonderful thing. Be careful, but don’t just write it all off!!


  5. Love that guy!! 🙂 Cool story. And music is awesome. I love practically all kinds. That pic of John Michael Talbot blows me away though!! He got old! So…what does that make me, then?? 🙂


    • My first boyfriend ever, Scott, is in a bad that opened for him…He just told me about it today!! How awesome is that??

      And it makes you a woman with discriminating taste…like me!


      • Ha ha…so true! And it took me a few minutes to try to figure out what you were saying there…”in a bad?…in a bad?…OH a BAND!!” LOL Have to tease a little bit. And it is very awesome! What kind of band is it?


        • lol…It’s 1am here…Well, that’s my excuse for right now, anyways!! And no ambien tonight…or I would have blamed my mistake on that.. 🙂 I’m not sure. I am going to write a story about how I sent him this flower bandana and he wore it on stage and sent me pix of it. He used to be in a rock band, but I’m not real sure now. He’s a Christian, too, so my guess would be a Christian Rock band. I should ask him, right? How rude of me!


          • LOL!! 🙂 Yeah, it’s the same time here as it is in Texas. I’m in Northeast Florida. Everyone thinks because its Florida that it’s Eastern time, but this part isn’t. I’ve had people argue with me about that before…like I don’t know what time it is where I live or something!! What’s up with that? LOL I have got to go to bed. Watching my granddaughter tomorrow and I’m gonna be a real fuddy duddy and no fun at all. G’nite!! 🙂


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