Going Down Singing (New CT Column)

Many of you know my dad passed away last July -- my newest CT column is my first attempt to formally process a bit of my emotion around his passing.  As always, I'd love to hear how it connects with your own journey.

Peace to you,
Going down singing
Why we should remember that we will die.


Seven words of Salvation


Thanks for the article and sorry about your dad.

Your story about the "Jesus Prayer" reminds me very much of Luke 18:13 - which is in the middle of Jesus' parable about the Pharisee and the Publican. The prayer of the Publican was just this (NASB) "God, be merciful to me, the sinner."

Just seven words. But in those seven words must be the key to salvation, because in the very next verse, Jesus says, "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other"

It just seems cool to me that the very message of salvation can be boiled down to seven words, and we have this straight from the mouth of Jesus himself.

Take care,


Great Article!

thank you for sharing this Carolyn. it was good for me to be reminded how children can be so impacted at such a young age for Christ like your Dad. I sing "Building Up the Temple" with my 2 year old, its her favourite. I wonder if someday in her old age she'll sing that :)

I was so blessed by your singing and speaking at Qwanoes this past w/e. I love how with all your God given gifts and wisdom you remain real and humourous. You reminded me of how much I like to laugh! And I was free to do that because of your Biblical admonishments of keeping "eternity in our hearts". I'm sure your Dad is smiling like never before with His Lord!

Lorrie (themommyof7 :))

Thanks so much Lorrie! 

Thanks so much Lorrie!  I hope your leg muscles have recovered from the tower!!!
It was great to meet you,

Music is the stuff of life...especially with YOUR music!

I came across an old blog today where I wrote about how your music has blessed me. I tried to find a way to send it to you privately but when I couldn't find one, I realized this post about your father singing before he died was the perfect place to tell you about it. If you need to edit it out from others seeing it, that's fine with me. My purpose isn't to get readers...only to share it with you...although if you choose to copy and paste it from there, I'm sure your fans would agree with what I wrote. Here's that link:


My mother passed from this world three years ago and I was alone with her, at her side. It was a precious time as I sang her favorite hymns and read scriptures to her, hoping that even in her unconscious state, she would be able to hear and be blessed. When she breathed her last breath, I told her, "Oh, Mom! You're with Jesus!" I had such a peace knowing I would see her again. We were best friends and I still miss her so much! I often think of the song you wrote to your grandmother, Love You Out Loud. Thankfully, we had no "unfinished business" between us but there are so many new questions left unanswered and I miss her every day.

Thank you for sharing your stories in your music and in your blog. It makes your fans feel like we know you and we'd love to be your friend, giving back as good as we get. We know it isn't meant to be and you couldn't possibly sustain that many friendships but today, at least, I hope I've given back a little bit of the joy that you have given me over the years. I'm sending you a virtual hug and looking forward to hugging you for real one day in the presence of God!

Wow, Susan, thanks so much

Wow, Susan, thanks so much for both the blog post (really took me down memory lane with the "This Much I Understand" album) and for sharing teh story about your mom -- both were deeply inspiring and encouraging.  THANKS!


Saw the excellent, unparalleled production of "The Beams are Creaking" by Taproot Theatre (Seattle) yesterday. Talk about "going down singing" -- the last scene gave me chills. Aw heck, the whole show had me in chills and tears -- hot and cold all the way through. You're a fan of Bonhoeffer, right? Has Pacific Theatre done this one yet?

Your mention of "memento mori" reminds me of the Holbein painting "The Ambassadors." Two men of health, wealth, fame and learning -- and a distorted skull just smeared across the bottom like a scar. Fascinating the mind of the artist that would include it and the culture that produced him.

Thanks for sharing about your dad.

Hey Justine -- wasn't

Hey Justine -- wasn't familiar with "Beams" or "The Ambassadors" - thx for 2 great leads!

Have a blessed Easter

Condolences during the family's first Easter without your dad. :( He's got a seat at the heavenly banquet table and someday we will too.

Thx, Ryan ...:-)

Thx, Ryan ...:-)

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