I had the privilege this week of singing with the Senior Citizens Choir at one of the local nursing homes. There sure was some good singing going on with that group.
I was one of the youngest members of the choir, but they didn't exploit my youthfulness by making me stand alone and sing "Jesus Loves Me" or "Deep and Wide" to delight the crowd. They just let me sing along, and it was great.
I have always enjoyed singing, ever since I was a child. My family loved to sing, and many days we would go for rides up and down country roads singing together.
The Dezotell Family Choir.
We would sing songs such as "You Are My Sunshine" and "Down in the Valley" and "Home on the Range." Growing up on the plains of North Dakota "Home on the Range" was standard fare for us.
I remember the day I was all set to sing my first solo at a Sunday School program at United Lutheran Church. I was just a little thing, and I was both excited and nervous as the teacher led me to the front of the stage to do my singing part in the show.
I stared into the faces of all those people out there in that big fellowship hall in the basement of the church and I began to tremble. The words wouldn't come out, no matter how much the teacher coached me.
I froze, and then I thought I was going to faint. But instead, I threw up. My mother rushed to lead me off stage while someone went to clean up my contribution to the program there on the floor.
My solo singing career was not off to a good start.
Growing up, I sang in the children's choir and the youth choir at church. When I got to high school, I sang for a while with the choir there too. And when I went to Bible College in Colorado, I sang with a choir that traveled raising support for the school. My attempts at solo parts went a little better as I got older and the faces in the audience seemed less frightening. I even sang with a fellow ministerial student in a duo that would open our services.
I still like to sing today, and I love to listen to good singing.
One of the highlights of my time working in the newsroom at the Times-Gazette was being able to hear the melodious harmonies of the glorious paginators, Mary and Carol, as they sang along with the music on the radio.
Their singing helped me to be productive as I typed away at my computer, putting finishing touches on my feature stories or Community Calendar entries or captions for a photo.
I still remember fondly their rendition of "Sixteen Chickens and a Tambourine." Pure delight!
Psalm 100:1-2 says, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing."
I know that the Heavenly Father loves to hear us sing. He wants us to make a joyful noise, and to come into His presence singing.
One of my favorite parts of our worship services at church is listening to the congregation lifting their voices together in praise to the Lord. I love to hear the children and adults singing together, and I know that God is pleased with our adoration and exaltations.
When our children were little, Lynn and I loved to have our children sing their songs for us. Every parent does.
Nowadays, I get to hear my granddaughter, Charli, sing to me. And she does a marvelous job. Her singing is pure delight, too!
The other day, I was riding in the car with my son, Michael, and he was singing along with his playlist that he had attached to his car radio. The music was loud and so was his singing, but I was enjoying listening to my son sing. He was making such a joyful noise. He had come before my presence and he was singing. And I was blessed!
I love to sing, and I love good singing!
Go ahead and sing a song today. Sing one for me, too!
Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.