Descriptions of Jay Rinkel's Songs

Any reference to the first person (I, me, etc) are referring to Jay Rinkel since he wrote this page.

Missionary Jack

This song is one of the all-time favorites of many -- especially kids. This song tells the story of a missionary who goes to Africa. When he gets there the people decide that they don't like him and they want to get rid of him. God miraculously intervenes and the tribe becomes converted to Jesus!

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Wonderland

This song comes from Revelation 21:1 to 22:6. The song and scripture are about the place the Bible speaks of as New Jerusalem. The song musically restates what is in the scripture. It describes what the place looks like and what's inside the city. Also, the song says that you must go through Jesus Christ to see this place. This song is also a favorite of many including the author.

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Christians In The Underground

This joint effort between myself and my good friend Nathan Jackson describes a situation where Christians must worship God in the privacy of their homes due to persecution. The song describes the feelings, the concerns, and their need to trust God for their safety. This song was first inspired by a youth event where the adults set up an environment where Christian's had to meet in a dark store to discuss and worship God. Most of the youth probably were not greatly impressed by the setup. However, I was impressed and finally wrote a song about such a thing.

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Christ My Friend

This song remains to be the all-time favorite and most requested of adults. This song simply is the sharing and telling to others how great Jesus Christ is as a friend to us. He sticks with us. He walks with us. He wants to talk with us. He wants us to talk to him. He is there in time of need. But most importantly he is there always!

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Paper Toys

This song was originally a poem written to my friend Nathan Jackson. It was for his birthday when he was 11 years old. He still remains as one of my best friends. The song was later turned into a song when I learned how to play the guitar. The song talks about how a boy builds &quottoys" from pieces of paper. Just like this boys builds toys and he becomes the ultimate authority over what the toys do, God is our authority and he has control over what we do.

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God's Amazing Creation

The inspiration for this song came from a hike in the woods with some friends of mine, the Jacksons. After becoming astonished at the things God put together for us I wrote this song. This song is accompanied by a lap dulcimer. It is the first song I wrote using the dulcimer. It is a nice piece.

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Jaws

This song has absolutely no application to life whatsoever. It is simply silly. It was written when I was young and became a &quotpopular" song among the kids in my class. It has only been preserved because of its simplicity and historical value. The song came to being when a movie came out called Jaws. I never saw it. Never intend to see it. Yet, this song talks about a shark that &quotDangered Salt Lake City."

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Life

This song was written when I was in junior high school. The song has no meaning. It has been preserved because of its simplicity and historical value.

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The Miracle Man

This song is a simple introduction to the life (the gospel) of Jesus Christ. It covers his birth, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection. It summons people to trust the one who conquered death so we may also become alive. The song stresses the miracles and wonderful things Christ did. Also see Jesus, a related song both in message content and musical content.

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Wake Up World

This song talks about the rugged, sinful, and ungodly state our world is in today. Speaks strongly on certain issues. The message is that God doesn't like it and the only way to turn our world around is to turn back to God.

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The Gospel Train

This song is another song that the kids like. It is an upbeat tune on the dulcimer. The simple message : Come to Christ to go to heaven. One must trust Christ as his/her personal saviour.

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Can't Be Afraid To Fail

This song was inspired by a bad experience in college. I was failing a class. I did not understand the material and I was tempted to drop-out of the class. I discussed the situation with my dad. He told me that I should not be afraid to fail. He told me I should stick it out and do the best I could. Well, I failed the class but this song came out of it as a result. The song is about a race and a runner who doesn't do well in the beginning but works hard to win in the end. I sang this song in a concert that I did in January of 1996. I sang it as a dedication to my dad. After this one performance this song's popularity became larger than I thought it would. One lady asked me to sing it for a special awards ceremony for AWANA. At the AWANA ceremony the kids heard the song and one kid has asked me repeatedly for me to sing this song. The song has gained more attention than I thought it would.

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The American Dream

This song was inspired by a friend, John Cranston. One day we were discussing that people in America think they are Christians simply because they live in America. People think they are okay and they strive for monetary goals. They do great things on Earth only to miss out on the most important thing in life -- Jesus Christ.

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The Wacky World Of Gizmos

This song is silly. The song speaks of an imaginary world where the citizens are robots, birds fly with jet engines, and fish breathe with electronic devices. If you were to apply this to our world today -- we live in a world where technological advances are normal. We can do so much with electronics, etc. So, welcome to the wacky world of Gizmos. Also see The Wacky World Of Gizmos Symphony

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You Gotta Get Tough

This song came as a result of listening to a letter that Dr. Dobson read over the radio. He was giving a &quotState of Affairs" as he saw it in our country. He started talking about how gays wanted to be in the boy scouts and the boy scouts were fighting their legal rights to be able to reject gays from their bunch. The song asks all Christians to stand up for what is right and be a light to the dark world around us.

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A Lullaby For The Newborn

This song was originally written for my brother and his wife because of their first born son. It is a simple song which talks of the hope that the new child will one day know Christ and follow the footsteps of his parents. The song is not gender specific as far as the &quotLittle One" is concerned.

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Friends

This song has its roots further back than any other that is still sung by myself this day. This song was written back when I was about 8 years old. This song at first was the simple chorus and one verse. Since then, the song has been expanded to many verses. Only 6 verses are official to the song. The song is the result of me wanting and really longing for friendships.

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The New Kid On The Block

As a young kid I hated to move. My dad was in the Air Force and we moved frequently because of this. This song is a viewpoint of myself in the situation of having to move and not wanting to. The song ends on a good note though my real life experiences weren't always quite so good in the end.

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Highway Of Holiness

One day I was reviewing a tape done by the Childrens Bible Hour. It was a Keys For Kids tape. A story on the tape came from Isaiah. This song talks about people needing to walk on the highway of holiness.

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What Child Is This

Back in 1993 I offered to teach our church's 3rd through 6th grade church a lesson on the birth of Christ (this was near Christmas time). The idea was to teach the lesson and sing some songs that would go with it. During my study, I wrote this song. This song talks about the birth of Christ. The first verse talks about Mary and Joseph. The second verse talks about the shepherds who go to see the newborn. The last verse talks about the wisemen who go to see him. The original performance of the song used a mandolin (this was the first piece I ever wrote specifically for the mandolin). Now, I normally play this song with a guitar or use synthesized accompaniment. This is one of my favorites.

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The Wacky World Of Gizmos Symphony

This is the first synthesized instrumental that I have ever worked on. I describe this piece as a musical dramatization of the song The Wacky World Of Gizmos. The piece is a little over 18 minutes long. This is the first instrumental piece that I did. Sometime I will work on others based upon stories in the Bible. 

The Almighty Spiritual War

This song was intended to be used during a set of lessons on spiritual warfare for our 3rd through 6th grade kids. The lessons never got developed but the song did. The song comes from the famous passage in Ephesians chapter 6.

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Jesus

This song is a simple folk melody that describes the life of Christ. It starts with his early ministry at 12 years of age and goes through to his resurrection. This song is related to another song The Miracle Man both in message and musical form. I often think of these two songs together and I am capable of singing the two songs back-to-back. The title comes from a young friend of mine. He was 9 years old at the time. His name is Jeff Abbott. I sang this song for our 3rd through 6th grade kids one sunday morning. I didn't have a good title for it (the title I had I didn't like) so I told the kids they could recommend song titles. The next week, Jeff summoned me and told me he had a title for my new song. He told me &quotJesus." I was personally was searching for this deep, thought-provoking title. However, the more and more I thought about the title the more I realized just how appropriate it really was. What more could one say than the simple words of the one who died and paid it all for us to know him? Simple, yet complex. An extremely appropriate title.

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The Man In The Wilderness

This song is about John The Baptist. The song came as a result of studying the gospels. I wanted to read about the life of Christ in a way that was as close to chronological as possible. One of the first things I ran across was John the Baptist. So, I wrote a song about him and his message.

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The Nobleman's Story

The gospel of John talks about a man who came so Jesus could go home with him and heal his son. The man had great faith. Christ had never healed anyone before. The only miracle Christ had done up until this time was turn the water into wine at a wedding. This man could have only gone by what Christ had said and done. Christ probably had already said that he was the son of God. He probably said that he was (equal with) God. The man simply had to trust in what Christ had said about himself and act in faith.

I Am A New Creation

I know a boy named Tim Douthit. He grew up in a Christian home and for the longest time he himself had not accepted Christ as his own saviour. He said he had a problem with the resurrection of Jesus. On May 30th 1996, I went on a 3 week business trip to El Paso Texas. On the plane, I spent some time with God. I am fairly confident that I prayed for Tim that day. Later in my trip I remember asking God to save him. During my trip I was asking God to give me a song to write. I was inspirationless until that last night I was there. This song came to me. It was written from a new believer's perspective. I thought it was very odd that I wrote a song like that. When I got back home the next day, I had email and messages awaiting me. Some friends told me that Tim had gotten saved and asked Christ into his heart. This event took place the very day I left to go to El Paso. I then realized why God had given me the song. Also, a few weeks after Tim had gotten saved. Another friend of mine, Jeremy Tipton, had settled his eternal soul as well. This song is dedicated to these two friends.

The Greatest Clown

This song was written back when I was in college. It has no great meaning but it is a free verse type of song and I think the melody is kinda nice.

Oh Come To Me Lord Jesus

This song was written back when I was on a trip to El Paso, TX.  I didn't want to be in El Paso.  I was upset with a number of things.  I was desperately wanted to make up a song to God about how much I needed him at that moment.  I was driving a rental car back to the air port to pick up a co-worker who had come in.  As I was driving to the air port this song came to me.  I consider it to be a simple praise song and use it as a sing along during those "reflective" times of worship

Go And Tell The World

This song is a missions emphasis song.  I think I wrote it specifically for one of our "missions emphasis" months at church though I don't think I was ever able to play it for that.  This song uses the dulcimer and the chorus repeatedly uses the words "You Gotta Go Go Go Go Go".  I considered calling this song "You Gotta Go" but a wise friend recommended that I not use that title.

The Prodigal Son

Intrigued by Rich Mullins and his life, I decided to pick up a book called The Ragamuffin Gospel written by Brennan Manning.  Rich Mullins had bragged a lot about Brennan Manning and his book so I decided to get a copy for myself.  I read the book and many things touched my life in it.  One of things from scripture that Brennan talks about is the parable of the prodigal son.  After reading his take on it all, I started to weep.  I decided to write a song about that story (partly because I couldn't think of any existing ones for it).  This song uses the dulcimer for it is very ballad like.

The Beauty Of Holiness

This song started when I was in a class at church.  The class was about prayer.  (I thought it was oddly strange that we spent more time talking about prayer than actually doing it)  One night, we were directed to read a particular passage of scripture.  The phrase "Beauty Of Holiness" was used within the passage.  A man named Jim Justice turned to me and said something like, "You know Jay that would make a great topic for a song".  That thought stuck in my mind for quite a long time.  Over a year later, I believe, I was at a men's retreat (not quite sure why they are called that they are very tiring -- at least the ones we have) I finally buckled down and finished the music to this song, I had written the words not too long before.  When I finished writing the music, I was dissatisfied how it sounded.  I kind of put the song down after a while.  One day I was playing with a weird guitar tuning C# F# B E B E and soon realized that the chords for this song fit the tuning very well.  I had never written anything using an alternate tuning on the guitar before.  This was the first.  Two other songs with this same tuning are "Set Me Free" and "Prayer For Me".  This song is a slow moving worship song.

Set Me Free

After I started playing with an alternate tuning for "The Beauty Of Holiness", I was curious about other melodies and songs that I could write using that tuning.  This song was a very quick one to write.  As I recall in less than an hour or so, this thing came out.  I was, and still am, dealing with the fact that I feel like there are so many things that I mess up in life.  Some of that, I think, comes from my early experiences and "hurting memories" that I have.  This song is asking God to "set me free" from the past that keeps me from excelling.  This song uses the tuning C# F# B E B E.

Prayer For Me

This song took years for me to write.  I always had this idea about writing a song that talked about people praying for each other and the great things God did because of it.  Finally, as I was playing with the tuning C# F# B E B E on the guitar, this song also finally came forth.  There are three people that are referred to in the song.  The first one is a about a someone I used to know ever since he was a kid, that man is named Michael Cranston.  He has always been a special blessing to everyone.  He lives by faith, he trusts God, and he reflects Christ abundantly where ever he goes.  He was living in New York City for a while when this song was written.  The second person this song refers to is my mom.  She has a list of people she prays for everyday and I know that I am on that list.  The third person this song refers to is, currently (in 2000-2001), one of my young friends.  His name is Nathan Douthit.  I forgot how it got started but somehow he started getting prayer requests from me.  I didn't want to load him up too much so I only gave him 2 or 3 things at a time.  I know that he prays for me nearly everyday.  He and I have gotten to be pretty good friends and I appreciate him a lot.

Shibboleth And Icthus

This is uses the dulcimer and takes two concepts and melts them together into a message that basically says "Are you saved?  If not, you need to be.  If so, are you telling others about Christ"  That's what every person needs, to be saved and tell others about Christ.  The first concept used comes from Judges chapter 12 where Giliad and Ephraim were at war with each other.  One group could not say the word "Shibboleth" correctly and therefore used that word to find out if the person was on their side or not.  If not, the person would not be allowed to cross a bridge and be killed.  Those who don't know Jesus personally will not be permitted to be be with him in heaven after they die.  The second concept comes from the early church.  The early church used a fish symbol so that other believers would know where to meet.  It was a secret Christian sign among the dwelling of the Jews.


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