Keep a Song in Your Heart:
Musical Notes for Daily Devotions
Sing a Joyful Song!
Jackie Freeman’s spiritual journey began with Music , which triggered Memories, which inspired devotions, or Messages—and those Messages produced Movements, or actions. This journey lies at the heart of Keep a Song in Your Heart: Musical Notes for Daily Devotions, Part I.
Music flowed through Jackie’s life even before she was born, thanks to the gifted musician she called Momma. Joy Price was well named. Joy filled her life—and Jackie’s—as the mother and daughter shared a love of old-fashioned gospel songs. In Jackie’s earliest memories, her mother is always sitting at her upright piano, playing selections from the old Free Will Baptist Hymn Book and the stacks of sheet music piled nearby. A tiny little girl sits beside her, swinging her legs and singing along, mesmerized by the magic of the music.
Those gospel songs teach Scripture, God’s deep and abiding love for God’s people, and a reverence for the awe-inspiring power and beauty of Christian music. That piano bench never could contain all Joy’s music. Nor can it possibly contain all the memories Jackie cherishes of her mother. So, to honor her mother and share the wisdom flowing through that gospel music, Jackie has written the first in a series of daily devotionals.
Each of the thirty-one days of Keep a Song in Your Heart focuses on one gospel song and the special message it imparts, which Jackie weaves into her own special memories, moments, and insights. Spotify links were carefully chosen. They feature the work of America’s greatest gospel singers performing thirty-one of America’s greatest gospel songs.
For a century, gospel music has soothed sorrows, proclaimed joys, preserved stories, and inspired new pathways, always reminding listeners that God is the source of our lives and our salvation. This tradition blends sacred hymns with spirituals, jubilee quartet songs, and African-American devotional music, spiced by rhythmic jazz, blues, and harmonics.
Keep a Song in Your Heart is a legacy project inviting you to join the Price/Freeman family to explore the wisdom inherent in some of America’s best-loved musical masterpieces. Momma’s old upright piano sets the stage to find Joy and joy in your personal walk with the Lord.
Day 1 introduces Jackie and the gospel song I Know Who Holds Tomorrow:
Five years ago, I never would have imagined I would be a widow, an orphan, and an empty nester. A lot has happened to me during these years. What about you? Are you where you thought you’d be? Or do you sometimes think you are living someone else’s life—certainly not the one you planned for yourself?
No matter how close I felt to Jesus, I have wept the cries of King David: “How long?” “Why?” “Where are You, God?” “Why didn’t my life turn out as I hoped and expected?” “Why did my husband and parents have to die and leave me here, alone?”
I now understand the working power of crying out to God, especially when I don’t understand my circumstances. When I want to run away from God, I cry out to Him instead. Why? Because He hears and He cares so deeply “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you” (I Peter 5:7, NLT).
I gradually realized that my God shares my pain, my lonely nights, and my fears. He hears my prayers, and He cares—deeply.
Amid my losses and pain, God has opened new doors for me: a writing career I never expected, more time to spend with my grandchildren, new friendships, travels around the world. I’m claiming the verse from James 1:17 (NIV): “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.”…
Day 26 studies the wisdom inherent in the gospel song What a Day That Will Be! When our earthly days seem sad and dreary, this song—and Jackie’s message—show the “Sonshine” in our lives:
Have you ever had a day when you wanted to throw the alarm clock against the wall and crawl back into bed? I have! And I’ve also wished or worried entire days away, with nothing to show for them except crumpled tissues and chocolate wrappers.
Sometimes a good cry helps the situation. But some days I wrestle with anxiety and exhaustion instead of turning to God and His Word for peace and strength. I recently re-read the story of the Old Testament prophet Daniel and his friends. When they found themselves facing calamities, they relied upon the only one who could help—God. They bypassed their own wisdom and advice from others and went straight to the source of all answers. As a result, “Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion” (Dan. 2:14, NLT).
How often do we wring our hands, wandering from friends to professed media experts for solutions, when we need to follow the example of Daniel and his friends, who fell on their knees in prayer whenever they faced crises—and there were many. When God provided solutions, Daniel immediately responded, “I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength” (Dan. 2:23, NLT). Too often I try my way first, and only when that fails do I turn to the Almighty. Can you relate?
Seemingly endless days of questions and unease will disappear when we see Jesus. What A Day That Will Be! Never again will we cry. Never again will we experience sickness or loss or pain. We will see His face, and we will rejoice!...
After each message, Keep a Song in Your Heart offers readers a few lines to reflect on how the Message speaks to you, what Memories it triggers, what you learn from the Music , and what Movements, or actions, you can take based on the Message.
You are personally invited on a spiritual journey with a new friend!