Music Is A Heart Thang

From my earliest memories, music was, and is, an important part of my life. From listening to the radio to singing in church, music shaped my world.

It defines my mood. You can tell exactly what’s on my mind by listening to the music playing in my truck, on my computer, or inside my head. Music says it all. Music is a heart thang!

Every singer, if they are to connect with their audience, must get in touch with something inside them. They will have to own the song. Writers, on the other hand, are different. They live the song. You hear it in their voice. You see it in their eyes. You believe what they’re saying. You can agree, or disagree, but you will feel something.

There is nothing like listening to someone belt out a song of celebration, heartache, defiance, or determination with every ounce of their being.

I grew up listening to different genres of music and watching the artist perform. Each one taught me different things. As I read the stories behind the songs, I grew to admire the person.

One such woman was Dottie Rambo. To see her on stage, you would never know her heartaches in this life. But you definitely could hear them in her music!

Just a few facts about her life:

  • She was eight when she heard the lyrics of her first song.
  • Began singing on country radio when she was ten.
  • Gave her heart to Jesus when she was twelve.
  • Her father demanded she give up her faith or leave home. Dottie left home.
  • Her mom placed an address tag around her neck, in case she got lost, and kissed her good-bye.
  • She sang in churches, making little money.
  • She suffered excruciating pain from a ruptured disc in her back.

While on stage, she wasn’t sad. She refused to back down from her walk with God. She gave God the glory for all He did in her life. She sang of wanting to see Him. At the end of your life, her voice weak, she still sang of His goodness.

I think it is sad when we sing these songs without ever knowing the story behind the song. The story behind the song is why the song was written in the first place.


“Too Much to Gain to Lose”
“He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Need”
“Mama’s Teaching Angels How to Sing”
“Remind Me, Dear Lord”
“Shelter in the Arms of God”
“If That Isn’t Love”
“Build My Mansion Next Door To Jesus”
“Tears Will Never Stain”
“I Go to the Rock”
“We Shall Behold Him”
“I Will Glory in the Cross”

Artists who have recorded her songs include:

Elvis Presley
Vince Gill
Barbara Mandrell
Johnny Cash
Dottie West
Pat Boone
Sandi Patti
Bill Monroe
The Isaacs
The Oak Ridge Boys
Whitney Houston


He Lives!

Why seek ye the living among the dead? Luke 24:5 KJV

He Lives!

She tried her best to tell them, He no longer lay,
Crucified by soldiers, and in a borrowed grave
Silently, they listened to the words she had to say,
All the while, wondering, how could he live again.

He lives! He lives! I talked to Him today.
He lives! He lives, is all she could say.

They failed to find Him in the tomb, yet they could not perceive.
The story of His resurrection they would not believe.
Eleven sat in the room weeping for Him when
Suddenly, He appeared, their Savior and Friend.

He lives. He lives I talked to Him today.
He lives. He lives, is all they could say

But Thomas was a doubter and he would not believe
Until He saw the nail prints in both His hands and feet.
“I want to touch His nail-scarred hands and the wound in His side,
To know, He is Jesus Christ, the Lamb, Who gave His life.”

Then Jesus stood within the midst and said, “Come and see.
Reach forth thine hand, doubting not, touch me and believe.”
No longer plagued by fear and doubt, Thomas stood before
The risen King of Glory, Jesus Christ the Lord.

He lives! He lives! I talked to Him today.
He lives! He lives, is all he could say.

He lives! He lives! I talked to Him today.
He lives! He lives, is all I can say.

Words and Music ~ Linda Gail Johnson

© Copyright 1999 all rights reserved


Steal, Kill, and Destroy Part 2

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10 KJV).

The first time I heard Annie Johnson Flint’s story was during a Gaither Homecoming program. Gloria Gaither told the story of a courageous woman who supported herself through writing, even though she was stricken with debilitating arthritis that eventually left her an invalid.

In the end, when she couldn’t hold a pencil, she held a piece of chalk and wrote on a board suspended above her bed.

When you read Annie Johnson Flint’s poems, you do not hear “Woe is me” in her verses. What you hear, is a steady peace, an active joy, and a quiet trust. Annie learned faith as a child, as a woman she learned to trust.

The difference?

Faith believes God can, while trust rests in knowing He will. Many have learned faith, but struggle with trust. “I believe God can do it. I just don’t know if He will.”

And there’s the problem.

When my peace is disturbed, my joy dwindles. My focus turns inward. I no longer offer sacrifices of praise, but worship at the altar of self. My trust waivers. I question God. How long? Why? When? Will You?

Jesus never lied to His listeners. He promised troubles and tribulations. But the object is to overcome them, not be overtaken by them.

Annie knew that joy, like peace, is a fruit. It isn’t found in happy circumstances.

It’s found in Christ Jesus. It is proof of His Spirit working in our lives. It is us decreasing, Christ increasing.

Annie understood.

When the winds of adversity blew, rocking her to and fro, Annie, like a tree used it to her advantaged and sent her roots deeper into the softened soil. She raised her limbs heavenward and soaked in the Son. She drank the water of the Word and ate of the Bread of Life. She did not bend to self-pity but was strengthened by God’s Spirit. Her fruit remains with us today, a testimony to His faithfulness. And what a testimony it is!

What God Hath Promised~ Annie Johnson Flint~ Public Domain

God hath not promised skies always blue;

Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;

God hath not promised sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God promised strength for the day,

Rest for the labor, light for the way,

Grace for the trials, help from above,

Unfailing kindness, undying love. Read more here

You can read more about Annie Johnson Flint by searching her name or her poems and songs, What God Hath Promised and He Giveth More Grace.