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My first memory of singing was in church, the little country church where at least four generations of my Daddy’s family has been laid to rest. There in the midst of the creaking, wooden, individual theater-style seats and in my basement Sunday School classroom, we sang songs of faith that still comfort my heart.

Before we began homeschooling in Illinois, our daughter Bethany met a friend in kindergarten; and she and her mother began coming to church. I remember standing beside her mother and realizing what powerful teaching she was receiving through the words of the hymns we were singing. Not only was she learning from the words, she was seeing and hearing what the people in that room believed about Jesus.

We had a wonderful — and packed — third weekend of September. Not only was the play going on, but all our children and grandchildren gathered for a Notgrass History party with our employees on Saturday afternoon and for a family reunion on Sunday afternoon. Sunday morning was a special thrill for me as every member of our family sat together on one pew — all except Ray, that is; he was leading singing.

On Sunday evening, Mary Evelyn and her family sat down with us for supper in our dining room. There Mary Evelyn who directed the play, her husband Nate who built the sets, Ray who happily fulfilled Mary Evelyn’s every request to print this and proofread that, and I discussed what special memories each of us had about the play. Nate said that he really enjoyed seeing the teenagers who played the staff of the Orphan House singing together.

The Orphan House staff sings "I Believe God Answers Prayer."
George Muller and his Orphan House staff sing “I Believe God Answers Prayer.”

Nate said he wondered how many people will be singing together in heaven because those teenagers sang together on that stage.

One of the many wonderful reasons to worship with the body of Christ is what your children will learn through the words of the hymns and the powerful message they will receive: that many other people besides their mama and daddy believe what their mama and daddy are teaching them.

Let the word of Christ
richly dwell within you,
with all wisdom teaching
and admonishing one another
with psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness
in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16


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