Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

Posts tagged ‘family’

Write a Family Praise Psalm

Praise  sing praises speak of His wondersHave you ever considered that your family could write your own praise Psalm? This would be a great thing for your family to do at Thanksgiving or at any time of year. After all, a psalm is simply a heartfelt prayer song to the Lord. Psalms are always honest. The Psalmists speak of times of difficulty in some songs, but they always come back to the fact that God is Supreme over all and that He is good and is worthy of our trust and our worship and praise. Psalms can be very personal, but at the same time they are universal in that the heart cries of the Psalmists of old still resonate with people today.

Living a life of trust and walking by faith are not always easy, so one thing that the Psalmists did was to declare their intention to honor their covenant relationship with God by choosing to be guided by God’s word or to praise the Lord every day. In addition, the Psalmists often spoke of who God is as far as His character. In the Psalms, we read of God’s holiness, righteousness, goodness, kindness, long suffering, His mercies, His everlasting love, His power and might, and His glory. The Psalmists were guided by their knowledge of who God is and their relationship with Him. In Psalms that were written in times of trial, the Psalmists call out to God because of the fact that they know He is good and loving and merciful. In good times. the Psalmists exalt the Lord because of His kindness and long suffering that has been revealed through both trials and blessings.

Psalm 100 scripture memory photo

We all have life stories and faith journeys, just like the Psalmists. Every individual story is unique, and every family has their own journey as well. In order to focus on the element of praise in your family’s Psalm, it is helpful to look at two of the most well known praise Psalms in the Bible. Both are very short (only 5 – 6 verses), and they are a good model for your family’s prayer of praise. So, here are two scripture memory photos for Psalm 100 and Psalm 150. These can be printed in whatever size works best for you and used for your family times of devotion. Perhaps your family can memorize the five verses of Psalm 100 one month and the six verses of Psalm 150 the next. Or, spend some time reading and talking about these two Psalms during a couple of your family worship times. Look at the times that are mentioned when the Psalmist praised the Lord. Look at the attributes and actions of God that the Psalmist praised. Look at the commitments to the Lord that the Psalmist mentions in the verses. What actions or attitudes have the Psalmists chosen for themselves in order to demonstrate their praise to God? How can your family demonstrate your praise and thanksgiving? At what times of day and in what places can your family express their praise? Read through the two brief praise Psalms above and below this paragraph, and then think about what your family’s praise Psalm would say.

Psalm 150 memory help photo


Make your family’s praise Psalm as unique and personal as you desire. You can frame a copy for each child’s room or for your family room if desired. Just make sure that it reflects your family’s desire to praise and thank the Lord for who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing in your lives. Your praise Psalm should state your family’s intention to be faithful to God in praise as He has been faithful to you in everything. Most importantly, your praise Psalm should be true to scripture. Have fun working together with your family to figure out what your praise Psalm should say. Below, you will find a set of suggestions for writing your praise Psalm that would be easily understood by most children. This can be printed and used to guide that process of writing if you feel that it would be helpful.

Print this guideline to help your family write a Praise Psalm, or write the suggestions on sentence strips and give each family member one suggestion to work on as their contribution to your family’s Praise Psalm.

How to write a Praise Psalm 2


Praise   Lets just praise the Lord“Praise the Lord! Praise Him wherever you are.

Praise God when you get up in the morning to get ready for the day.

Praise Him when you go to school or when you run to play.

Praise God when you are with your brothers and when you are alone.

Praise God at church; Praise God at home.

Think of God and praise him all day long.

Praise Him with a thank you song.

Praise God when it is time for slumber;

Count your blessings…what a number!

Praise the Lord! Praise Him everywhere you go,

Praise Him for all of the love that you know.

For our God is so good.

His promises are true.

His love lasts forever. His mercies are new.

Praise Him with your family.

Praise Him with your friends.

His love lasts forever. His grace never ends.

Praise the Lord!”


(Your Praise Psalm doesn’t have to be poetic. Ours just came out that way. Just make sure that your Praise Psalm reflects your family’s personal opportunities to praise the Lord, some reasons to praise Him, and your intention to do just that.)

Blessings to you and your family as you walk with the Lord day by day and choose to praise and worship the Lord together!


This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd


Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make! The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation. Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.


The End of an Era (almost)

“We tried child-proofing, but….”

I considered several different titles for this post…

“Adventures in Child-Proofing”  was one possibility.

“To Insanity…and Beyond”  had a certain ring.

Another option involved the simplicity of sticking to the facts, with

“We Survived Three Junior Houdinis!”

(I want the t-hirt!)

Sticky boo bear Camden

All of the possibilities listed above have the “hanging on by your toenails” chaotic edge that captures a bit of the reality of our life at the Boyd house for the last few years.  But, alas, none of those catchy titles had the other element that all parents recognize as one childhood phase is ending and another begins:  an odd combination of giddy relief and totally dramatic nostalgia.  The symptoms are common.  As you regain your sanity after realizing that the pre-school years have truly passed, you may find yourself looking at photos of sticky little boo bears sitting in a high chair and wishing you could go through half a tub of wet wipes cleaning up a squirmy little cutie pie’s face and hands just one more time.  You watch a video of the holidays and realize how joyful it is to see wonder and delight through the eyes of a precious little one.  Or, you see something that your child would have just loved as a pre-schooler… and realize that you don’t have anyone to share those kinds of things with any more.   The feeling of treasuring all of the short-lived sweetness of the baby and toddler years lingers long after the outgrown clothes and toys have found a new home.  Ah, sweet memories!

Let’s not forget the flip side of forgetful nostalgia, though.  I don’t have to view many sticky boo bear photos before remembering all of the milestones that moving forward represents.  There are no more diapers, no more potty chairs, no more sippy cups, and no more baby gates.  Ah, yes.  It’s all coming back to me now in a flood of the aforementioned giddy relief.

No more diapers means:  no more changing diapers, no more buying diapers, no more waiting for the stall with the nasty changing table to become vacant, and no more wet spots in your lap.

No more potty chairs means:  no more cleaning potty chairs, no more 50 yard dash through a crowded restaurant to a potty that your suddenly persnickety toddler refuses to use, and no more wet spots on your couch (even worse than on a lap).

No more baby gates means: no more parent wipe-outs after the “I think I’ll just step over it this time” syndrome claims one more victim.

And, finally, no more sippy cups means:  no more frantic treasure hunts for the elusive favorite cup that fell out of the stroller somewhere on the ten block walk from your car to the arts festival (and then finding the missing cup two weeks later under the seat of the car after searching for the source of noxious fumes in your vehicle).

Are you giddy yet?

Our four pre-schoolers enjoy a moment of stillness during the sippy cup phase.  Believe me, it was only a moment.

Braden is the oldest of our four who were all in the pre-school phase at once. Here’s just what he looked like back then. Isn’t he a cutie?

If you are still overtaken with parental nostalgia, allow me to refresh your memory with a tale of aging parents totally outnumbered by four adorable and clever pre-schoolers plus two older boys.  Travis and I were experienced parents before we had pre-schoolers times four.  We had a daughter who was married, a son in junior high, and another son in elementary school.   We’d dealt with all the issues of child-rearing previously, but the years between our oldest three meant that we were dealing with the baby or pre-school stage one child at a time.  At least, that was so until the four youngest Boyd boys came along.  Braden, the oldest of the four, was three years old (almost four) when his twin brothers, Austin and Camden, were born.  In the middle of the pre-school pack was Logan, who was born about half-way between Braden and the twins.  So, by the time that twins Camden and Austin were fully ambulatory at age one, Logan was two and a half and Braden was four (almost five).  At that stage, we were child-proofing like crazy.  We had all of the usual outlet plugs and cabinet latches, but we quickly discovered that we needed to go much further.   Though Braden was past the age of getting into everything, he was fascinated by the toys belonging to older brother Zachary (then age 6) and by oldest brother Jared’s Star Wars lego structures.  If Jared forgot to lock the door to his room, Braden discovered it and was inside in a heart beat, destroying the complicated Lego builds.   The force was with him.  In the room that Braden and Zach shared, Braden left most things alone.  However, he loved to dump out the baskets and bins of sorted toys (like hot wheels, super hero figures, monster trucks, construction vehicles, and duplo blocks) that were stored in the closet.  To prevent all of the small toys from being out at once, we did place locks on the closet doors.  Even with the force, Braden could not defeat us.  We were undaunted.  It was a hassle getting into the closet when we needed something, though.

Precious little snoozers Camden, Logan, and Austin needed a red flashing warning light on their foreheads that said, “Recharging” !

Co-conspirators Austin and Camden

The three youngest pre-schoolers shared a bedroom out of necessity, so at first we had two cribs and a toddler bed in the room.  Later on, we had three toddler beds.  Yes, we used all of the conventional child-proofing stuff with these three, but we were forced to go far beyond the norm time and time again.  Our three sweet-faced toddlers might have looked totally innocent, but these little guys were amazingly resourceful.  What one didn’t think of, another one would.  Then, they would work together to accomplish their dastardly plan.  Logan was our fearless climber.   There was no such thing as “out of reach” where he was concerned.  Have you ever seen a pre-schooler totally dismantle a lamp, leaving the shade totally torn apart down to the framework and the base of the lamp dismantled (miraculously, without breaking the light bulb)?   Logan did.  We gave up on having a lamp on top of their chest of drawers.  As with Braden, we had to use locks on the closet for Austin, Camden, and Logan’s room.  They would even pull clothing off of hangers and drag out all of the linens stored inside if we accidentally left the closet door open.  In addition, Travis had to drill holes in every drawer front and install key locks on their chest of drawers.  Otherwise, they would pull the drawers out and use them as a ladder to climb to the top of the chest.  They would also pull out all of the folded clothing and have a good ol’ time throwing it everywhere in their room.  If Mom was in the utility room trying to start a load of laundry, it was amazing how much destruction they could create in just a few minutes.   Twins Austin and Camden also had their own twin language.  This is not uncommon for twins, and it was quite fascinating.  We never figured out what they were saying, but they understood each other perfectly.  I think they were conspiring to pull off their next daring feat of destruction.

Logan, our most skillful escape artist and climber, enjoys a moment of pure toddler joy.

One thing that our three little Houdinis did was to repeatedly figure out ways to escape their room.  They had plenty of play space and toys, and their room was right next to the kitchen, so we often had them playing in their room with the baby gate to keep them confined to one area and safe.  After a while, they figured out how to climb the gate.   We got a taller gate.  It worked for a few days.  It was like watching a military obstacle course in basic training.  They were over the top in no time.  In response, Travis built a smooth, half door to take the place of the gate.  It was rather tall. with nothing that could be used as a foot-hold.  That worked for a long time, but Logan eventually learned to scale the sheer cliff face of the half door.   What would appear to a little fellow as a rather imposing structure, significantly taller than their full height even on tiptoe, was no match for our little escape artists.

With three toddler beds and three pre-schoolers all in one room, the only time their room looked like this was when Mom picked up while they were all at pre-school.

Then, there was one thing these three did that I have never heard any other pre-school Mom mention.  They would not leave their beds intact, no matter what we did.  That drove me crazy.  Every single day, the three of them took off their sheets and mattress pads.   Camden and Austin started doing this when they were still in their cribs.  Logan thought they had a great idea, so he was soon dismantling his bed as well.  Then, they started taking the mattresses off.  We finally wound up purchasing a bunch of luggage straps and strapping the mattresses to the bed frames, with the latch for the strap down below the slats inside the enclosed frame.  One luggage strap was not enough.  Each bed had to have one strap in the middle and one at each end.   Have you ever heard of such a thing?  I’m telling you, when those three little boys worked together, they were very strong.  We tried everything to get them to stop doing this.  We tried praising them when their beds stayed together for any length of time.  We did time outs, we removed some of their toys and their favorite blankies, and even tried a little diapered bottom swat to discourage our miniature slumber demolition crew.  Then, they figured out that if they all pushed, they could move furniture!  Unbelievable!   We literally had to fasten furniture to the wall with anchors and “L” brackets and whatever else worked.  This kind of determined and systematic dismantling of their beds and their room continued for almost 3 years!  Even when they could go anywhere in the house, they still were a wrecking crew in their own room.   We finally abandoned using sheets for a while.  It was pointless to keep trying since the sheets never stayed on.  They all slept on their plastic covered mattresses in their toddler beds for a few weeks.   Finally, one day, they asked for sheets.  We put them on, and they have never gone back to the daily bedding battles.  Whew!   Finally!

Room decor genius or toddler graffiti?

Sometimes I wondered if they older brothers were supplying contraband.  No matter how we tried to make sure that all coloring was done at the kitchen table or on their high chair trays, a marker or crayon would sometimes wind up in the little guys’ room.  You may have seen what one toddler can do with a writing implement.  Multiply that times three, and we’re talking graffiti on an epic scale.  Walls were not the only target.  They also ‘decorated’ furniture, the windowsill, and the window itself.  Thank goodness for Mr. Clean magic erasers!

It was such a blessing to have a handyman husband during those childproofing battleground years.  Travis was constantly having to come up with new strategies to keep them safe, reconstruct things they broke, and maintain some remnant of sanity for the rest of the family.   They actually pulled the door knobs off of their closet doors four times, stripping out the screw holes each time.  To replace them, Travis would turn the knob a new direction so that the screws would be in a different place.  The knobs are on the doors now only because Travis found a super strength filler that allowed him to re-use the stripped out holes.  One day not long after we moved to our new home in Georgia, I looked up to see Camden (who had been sitting on the couch watching a pre-school program just moments before) climbing over the stair rail and catapulting himself onto a table below.  It was one of those hide-a-tables (with a plywood top and three spindly legs) that you cover with a floor-length tablecloth.  The table was no match for Camden.  As soon as his little bottom and the force of his toddler exuberance hit the table top, the whole thing collapsed, with Camden on top of the heap.  That incident may have been life-saving.  It scared Camden (and his brothers) so much that no one has ever climbed over the stair rail again.  To fix the table after this incident, Travis built a rectangular box with a shelf, adding a base for stability; and it became the new support for the table top, with the bonus of some hidden storage.  Who else do you know who has an industrial strength hide-a-table?   What a man!

A couple of weeks ago, a significant rite of passage occured.  The final piece of toddler furniture in the Boyd house has now been donated to Good Will.  We had been talking about purchasing a bunk bed for the room shared by Austin, Camden and Logan so that they could finally all have a ‘big boy’ bed.  When I found a great deal on a used bunk bed with the sturdiest metal frame I’ve sever seen, we bought it.  Austin and Camden now share the imposing structure, and Logan has his own twin bed.   The last remaining toddler bed is finally gone.  I must admit that I did feel a little wave of nostalgia when we were removing the toddler bed from the room.  After all, this toddler bed frame is the one that Travis made after the boys tore up Logan’s two previous toddler beds.  The white, metal framed toddler bed that had served us well for Jared, Zachary, and Braden bit the dust when the welds connecting the bed platform to the headboard began to fail.  We tried to get it re-welded, but none of the local welders we tried wanted to mess with it.  So, we purchased a new toddler bed with a metal frame and molded plastic legs, headboard, and footboard.  They destroyed the molded plastic parts of that bed within less than a year.  Our final toddler bed was a super sturdy wooden one that Travis made, with rounded corners for safety and total overkill on the strength of the frame and the bed platform.   It lasted for as long as it was needed, and we closed the door on nostalgia when it was carried out to the pick-up for transportation to Good Will.

Travis and all six of our boys pose after a visit to the Georgia Auarium in late December, 2011.

Through the years, Travis and I have shared so much joy with our bunch, even during all of the craziness of the pre-school years and constant child-proofing.  Each of our six boys is incredibly awesome.  We are so proud of them and so blessed to be their parents!  If we had been blessed with more than our six sons and one daughter, we would have loved them all and found a way to make it through.  Our little guys were not the only ones who knew how to be resourceful.  We are just thankful to have survived and to see our boys well on their way to growing up strong and living a life that honors God.  We still have locks on the closet doors in Austin, Camden, and Logan’s room, but we don’t have to worry about them climbing on  the chest of drawers anymore.  Logan has special needs; and he still can be destructive, but we are working on that.  He and his twin brothers all keep their sheets on now, and they are growing up.  So, goodbye to baby gates, strollers, sippy cups, high chairs, potty chairs, diapers, child-proofing devices of every description, and pull-ups.  All of the baby and toddler gear served us as well as possible, but we don’t need it anymore.  We’ve loved our little guys through every stage and laughed at all of their antics; but now the three littlest Boydinis are moving on, and so are we!


This post was written by C. Boyd


Do you have any unusual child-proofing tales to tell?  We’d love to hear about your experience, so feel free to comment.


Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.


Six Boys and a SuperMom

All six of our boys with Dad, celebrating Logan’s ‘Buzz Lightyear’ birthday.

Six boys?  Yes, we do have six boys.  Life at our house is lively, noisy, and messy.  It’s also a lot of fun!  Our boys range in age from six to eighteen.  Our oldest, Jared, just graduated from High School in May.  Our 12 year old, Zachary, is entering Middle School in August.  Our 9 year old, Braden, will be in third grade this year.  His younger twin brothers, Austin and Camden, will be in first grade at the same Elementary School.  Then, there’s our Logan.  Logan is eight years old and in a third grade Moderate Autism class at another Elementary School.  All of our boys are unique, and each one is infinitely precious to us and to God.  They came to us by birth and by adoption, and love for each of them was born in our hearts long ago.

Our five younger boys sit with Dad on a bench at the Railroad Museum. They are (left to right) Camden, Braden, Dad (Travis), Zachary, Logan, and Austin.

Travis and I are older parents.  We are both in our mid-fifties, and it is a challenge for us to keep up with our crew.  They make us laugh and smile and cry and wonder.  Sometimes, they make us crazy!  They challenge us to keep becoming the best parents that we can be for them.  In spite of our status as “experienced” parents, it takes all that we are to be anywhere close to what they need us to be.  The needs can be overwhelming.  We take life one moment at a time.  We enjoy holding sticky little hands.  We love hugs from boys of all sizes.  We treasure special moments.  🙂  We don’t buy expensive things for most rooms in our house (whats the point?).  We have the benefit of years to know that seasons of life fly by.  We seek to savor and to survive.

Our six boys hiked to a waterfall with Dad and relatives in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in July, 2011. Braden is in front in the black shirt. Our soon to be Middle Schooler, Zach, is behind him in the red shirt. First grade twins Camden and Austin are beside each other in the red caps. Logan is wearing a yellow shirt, and big brother Jared is in blue.

It’s impossible not to notice our family when we are out in public.  We get lots of comments.  Many references are made to the fact that we could have our own sports team.  Some people ask, “No girls?”  or “All boys?’.   Some people ask if we are their grandparents, and one even told us that we should “stop trying for a girl.”  Actually, we do have a daughter.  She’s 31 and married and lives in Texas.  The one question that people ask (right in front of the boys) that really bothers me is, “Are they all yours?”.   The answer we give (with a big smile) is “Yes!”.   We feel that it is inappropriate to ask about how God chose to make us a family in public and in front of the children, especially when some of our boys are so young.  We never want to be unkind in our response; but our first priority is our children and their emotional well-being, as well as their readiness for any type of discussion.  The curious people who ask about the gift of our children have no way of knowing whether each of the children has a full understanding of concepts such as birth parents or adoption.   They are not thinking about the children at that moment.  They are only seeking an answer to their question, and that is the only answer we feel the need to give.  “Yes!”  is the answer.   Yes, they are all ours!  Definitely, unequivocably, undeniably, and joyfully OURS!

Dad and Grad
Our high school grad, Jared, poses with Dad after the ceremony.

I’m sure that those who know us best see that we are trying with all that we are to be the best parents that we can be for our boys.  They also have to see that we fall short of perfection by miles and miles.  Sometimes, people who have not been around us as much but do know our family view us as Super Parents.  We’re not.  We are all too human and flawed.  We are just parents who have a lot of boys and are doing our best, with God’s help, to help them become who God made them to be.  Sometimes, people ask me how I keep up (with them, with laundry, with everything).  There’s a simple answer to that question.  I don’t.  I find myself always behind on something.  If I work on a time-consuming project like switching clothing sizes for a new season for all of the boys, I get behind on laundry.  When I am catching up laundry and mending and picking up, I get behind on other things.  We survive.  We do the best we can.  Travis is wonderful at pitching in on whatever needs to be done, and we are in this together.  We are definitely not super parents.  We are just normal parents of a grown daughter and six wonderful boys who have an awesome God.

Travis stands in the lobby of our church’s Worship Center with our daughter, Meredith, and 3 oldest boys, Jared, Zachary and Braden, Christmas 2010.

Today is a special day.  Travis has devoted several hours this week to listening to the “Preparing for Adolescence” CD series with our Zach before he begins Middle School.  They are on an outing today, listening to CDs on the way to their destinations.  They will go to Six Flags over Georgia and then spend the night in a nearby hotel.  This one-on-one time will allow them to finish the appropriate CDs and talk.  The other 5 boys and I are at home.  I have promised them a special treat for while Dad and Zach are gone.  Tonight, we are having Super Heroes Night at the Boyd house.  The boys will dress up in costumes and have all kinds of super fun.  We will probably watch a movie together, too.  They are so excited and can’t wait for our super night.

Camden asked me what super hero I was going to be.   I thought for a moment and then replied with a flourish, “SuperMom!”  (singing my own fanfare)   “Daht dah dah DAAAH!”

“What will you put on for a costume?”,  Camden asked.

I told him that all I had to do was get dressed to be Super Mom.

“So, you’re just wearing your reg’lar clothes?” he questioned.

Yes, Camden.  I’m just wearing my reg’lar clothes (since I’m really just a reg’lar Mom).

   Perhaps, just for tonight, I’ll don a beach towel cape, strap on a bungee cord belt, make myself a crown of duplo blocks, and carry a plunger.

You know, …

Stronger than the odor from a bathroom used exclusively by boys… 

   Faster than an entire package of cookies can disappear at the Boyd house….

   Able to leap tall piles of laundry in a single bound….




Superman Braden, Fireman Austin, Jedi Zachary, Lightning Mcqueen’s Crew Chief Logan, and Towmater’s Mechanic Camden


This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd


The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.
Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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