Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Humazoo Makes A Comeback

Okay, what’s A Humazoo? See the disk shaped device in the picture to the right? That’s a Humazoo. It’s a smaller round version of the better known kazoo. While holding it in your hand you hum into the open side which vibrates a piece of cellophane underneath the white area and makes music..

The reason I have this somewhat unknown novelty instrument pictured here is because this past Wednesday night I used it again for the first time in over 35 years.

I discovered the Humazoo back when I was 11 years old. I was at church summer camp. The gift shop had humazoos for sale. My cousin and I each bought one. Later in the week during an afternoon hike to an area playground area we used our small round disks to pace the groups’ walk by humming the song “Colonel Bogey’s March” (better known at the theme from the movie “Bridge over the River Kwai”) into our instruments.

If you aren’t familiar with that song you can hear it and see it played on an old phonograph on You Tube by copying and pasting the following web address into your web browser.

All the kids liked our playing and the marched to our tune. It was one of the first moments in my life I can remember what it felt like to be both a leader and popular among my peers.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago when I was preparing to be one of the music leaders for my church’s Wednesday night children’s ministry called AWANA.I knew what songs I wanted the children to sing but I had no music for them. I looked for a way to draw them into thinking singing with no music was fun. I had used kazoos in children’s ministry before but wasn’t all that crazy about them. Then I remembered the Humazoo.

It had been more than 35 years since I’d used one but I was convinced that it would be the hook that would get the children interested. A few years ago I had found a place to buy Humazoos on the internet. Back then I had gotten one for me and sent one to my cousin in Pennsylvania. When I went looking again, found them, and ordered some to use during AWANA.

This past Wednesday night was my night to lead the singing in the opening session of AWANA. While leading a song called “The Hot Dog Song” (it’s a song about Jesus set to the tune of the old Oscar Meyer hot dog jingle)I had two children come up front. I gave them each a Humazoo to use then I let them keep them. It was a way to introduce the instrument to the group. I will use them again when I lead the singing portion of AWANA once a month for the rest of the school year.

I’ve written all that to tell you this. If you are looking for new or different but effective way to present the gospel and minister to people draw on your own life experiences. Think about what has sparked your interest in hobbies, events, people, or places and use it some way in your ministry. God is the designer of the tapestry of our lives. He has already provided us a lot of the things we need to glorify Him for the rest of eternity. Talents, experiences, interests, assets God has blessed us all with these things. His word promises that we’ll receive many more; but only if we give them back to Him through service to His glory. The first way we can do this is using our blessings to spread the gospel.

After you read this post pray and ask God to show you something in your life that can be used for His glory. You may have never considered what He shows you to be a means of spreading the Gospel but it can be.

I never thought a small children’s toy instrument could be used to help children sing praise to Jesus but now it has. To me a Humazoo was not much more than a tangible part of a fond memory. It brought back a remembrance of leading a group of 11 year old boys to a playground. Now with God’s help it may be a part of leading a child to Jesus. Seeing that happen is always a blessing.

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