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Christian Living

Harmony Made Simple

The surprising hack for good will between God and man.

My grandfather was a huge fan of Southern Gospel music. As a kid I tagged along with him to “singings” as he called them. These were officially known as Quartet Conventions (as I later learned), where one group after another took the stage to sing in four part harmony.

There were old standards like, “Just a Little Talk With Jesus,” and “On the Jericho Road.” But also uncommon tunes that some in attendance had never heard. Many of the groups stuck around, after their sets, to take requests from the audience.

One quartet in particular, the Journeymen, never missed a beat. No matter what the crowd requested, they sang it in perfect harmony. Once I asked the *bass singer, a bearded giant of a man, “How do you do that—sing the right notes all the time?”

He got down on my level, and looking me in the eye he said:

“If it’s in the chord, it’s from the Lord!”

He explained: “Son, the crowd doesn’t know how the harmony goes. So I find some good bass notes and sing them like I mean it.”


I can easily hear a new Christian asking a more mature believer the same thing, “How do you do that— live a reverent life before God all the time?

Answer: You stay in harmony (the chord). Make the main thing the MAIN THING.

Seek first the kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33) Offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. (Romans 12:1) Here’s a harmonic triad: act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) Love others as Christ loves you. (John 15:12)

And the list goes on…

Me playing a C Major 7th chord on the piano.

The point is, we don’t have to be perfect in our walk with God. Just stay in the chord (on the right path) and He will see you through.(Psalm 119:105)

Perhaps this musical motif is a good picture for abiding in Christ. When Jesus said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you” (John 15:4) it reminds me of, “If it’s in the chord, it’s from the Lord.”

Stay on the main streets with God (like branches from the Vine), and the side streets will take care of themselves.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2a

Please help me find some more good “bass” notes. What scriptural “nuggets” would you share with a new Christian?


  • My encounter with the bass singer is historical fiction (plausible, but contrived to fit the story). I came up with the saying, “If it’s in the chord…” many years later, based on my memories of attending quartet conventions with my grandfather.

“Kingdom Heirs Southern Gospel Quartet” byOld Shoe Woman is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

25 replies on “Harmony Made Simple”

I love country gospel because it’s so easy to harmonize With most of the groups I listen to. I am a big fan of the Gaither vocal band, the Martin’s and many others many of their songs have touched my heart and life at times when it seem like I was never going to make it.

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Weird. When I came back to respond, I see a whole image with a play button for the video.

(BTW, you are quite a bit older. My birthday is 12-30-69, practically the 70s. 😉 We both seem SO much younger.)

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For some reason it took away the link when I published your comment, Crystal. But I remember both Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant, how they sang together back in their younger days. Coincidently, we are roughly the same age, Crystal. I was born in 1968.

Thank you for reading and replying. Blessings!

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Scriptural nugget? That’s tough. I like what you have to say about not being perfect (which is impossible) and Psalm 119:105. Speaking of harmonies, this scripture reminds me of Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith singing it.

In case that was before your time:

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I absolutely love this post. My family were in the Salvation Army so music ran through my blood. Finding harmonies became as natural as breathing. I love the way you relate this to our journey with the Lord. The verse you quote from Matthew has been like a life verse for me. As we seek God first, we find the wisdom we need to live by, and the answers to the problems we grapple with, come to us (eventually). Thanks for another encouraging and thought-provoking post. Blessings on your weekend, David!

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Thanks, Gary. I could hear the old bass singer too, but I always want to be honest about stretching my stories a bit to fit a metaphor. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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Yes indeed, Barb! Sometimes keeping it simple (faith, hope and love) is the hardest thing to do. But the gospel really isn’t too complicated. “Whosoever will may come.” Thank you for reading and commenting.

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“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18) NIV

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (I don’t know if this verse fits in with the idea of giving it to a new Christian, but I like it because it’s something all Christians should be doing.)

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I love the Cathedrals as well! My favorite era for them is when Glen sang lead and George sang bass. I believe the others were Roger and Danny. Thanks for sharing e scripture verses. Romans 12 is a good one! Blessings.

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Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
— Romans 12:1-2
Above is my scripture “bass” note for new believers, after all our walk with God is one of dodging the “duff notes” played by the world to try and break our harmony with Him.
Great post David. I love Southern Gospel Quartets…especially The Cathedrals. God bless you brother.

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