Baby Oil and Sun In

Gwen Smith Blog, Prayer, Trials, Worship, Worship 16 Comments

Back when jelly bracelets, Aqua Net hairspray, blue eyeshadow and parachute pants were a thing, I wrestled with frustration every time radio disc jockeys talked over the beginning or ending of a song.


Because before the days of digital, I used to record songs on audio cassettes with my handy-dandy cassette recorder so I could listen at leisure.

Truth be told, we technically did have the option to buy a 45 and spin the song, but I had very little money. So instead, I’d hover my pointer finger over the red-circled record button and wait for a popular song to come on the radio.

When the music began, I’d press the magic button, then dance giddy knowing I’d soon be able to listen to that song anytime I wanted! I can only imagine the number of Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Whitney Houston, Richard Marks, Steven Curtis Chapman and Bryan Adams songs I pirated unknowingly. (Lord, forgive me!)

I made mixtape after mixtape.

Listened to them on a towel in my back yard while lathering myself with baby oil and spraying Sun In on my hair.

Listened to them in the bedroom I shared with my two sisters.

Even listened in the car.

Today young people don’t understand the magical relationship between cassette tapes and a pencil. And in a day when we can access any song, lyric, artist or album instantaneously, many just don’t appreciate the value of a good mixtape! Am I right?

David pulled together an old school mixtape in Psalm 108. The verses are actually pulled from two of his previous psalms. The first five verses of Psalm 108 are from Psalm 57:7-11, and the rest are from Psalm 60:5-12.

Today it’d be called a Scripture mash up.

This explains why we see two distinctly different themes in this chapter… worship and war.

The cool thing? Victory is found in both.

My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.

Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.

Give us aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.
13 With God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.

(Psalm 108:1-5, 6, 12-13)

Just like each well-recorded song was a victory on my mixtapes in the 80’s, Psalm 108 showcases personal and public moments of praise and prayer where David celebrated the victory of God’s power and persistent presence.

If that doesn’t make you wanna dance with somebody who loves you – I don’t know what will!


Dear Lord,
My heart is steadfast, determined to celebrate victory in and with You today! Your love is great, and Your faithfulness knows no end. In times of wonder, worry and war, You are worthy of praise and honor, and I am victorious in Your strength and salvation.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.



Read Psalm 108. Consider where you are with this message today and spend some time in responsive prayer.

Now for the fun, give me scoop on who or what songs used to be on your mixtapes! Hit me with a direct message on INSTAGRAM or post it on the wall of my blog! 🙂

Can’t wait to hear your responses!

Love and blessings,



Take this FREE 5-Day Psalm Challenge! It will guide you on a compelling, personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word.

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Comments 16

  1. Hi Gwen,
    Your message brought back so many memories. I always kept a BIC pen (the one shaped like a hexagon) or a #2 pencil in with all my mixed tapes.
    I use to tape the Top 5 at 10 on one of our local radio stations. Also, my brother and I made mixed tapes from the tapes we purchased and had our party jams.
    I had so many artists that I loved including U2, Alphaville, Journey, Rush, the Cure, The Smiths, Clash, Howard Jones, and Genesis among others.

  2. LOL, I remember all of these songs. And had a good laugh with my two teenagers as I read your post to them and reminisced doing the same! Just listened to Bon Jovi with my 16 year old daughter. It’s on her oldies play list! Wow time flies doesn’t it!
    Thank you Gwen for always making me smile and brightening my day!
    God bless you!

  3. Newsflash: I did the same thing in the 70s though I used tanning lotion instead of baby oil…and a transistor radio…Happiest Girl in the whole USA, Daniel, Brandy, The Night Chicago Died, Don’t Mess around with JIM, Taxi. It made me happy. To this day I remember those lyrics….IN the 80s I was copying my LPs onto cassettes so i could play them in my car…Happy memories…then I was introduced to contemporary Christian music and started wearing out Amy Grant and Twila Paris tapes…to begin with…

  4. REO Speedwagon’s “In My Dreams” was one I remember recording. Also Tiffany’s “Could’ve Been”. And let’s not forget the Bangles “Eternal Flame”. Oh, I can almost smell the fragrance of Love’s Baby Soft as I write. There wasn’t a ton of contemporary Christian music back in the 80’s and not many Christian radio stations in my area so I wasn’t very familiar with it til the 90’s. I just knew The Bill Gaither Trio and a few songs by Amy Grant and Sandi Patti thanks to my folks and my minister’s family.

  5. Yes, I did the same thing. I would record songs off the radio. Lionel Richie was probably my favorite ling song artists. I did love Whitney Houston as well. Chicago was a great group, especially when Peter Cetera was in it. Gospel music was still my favorite though. My mom also introduced me to 50s music and Elvis. I loved the 50’s era! I am a music lover if all kinds( except rap and hard rock). I am definitely an 80’s teenager.

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  6. Besides the ones you mentioned (all favorites). I would have to add Bon Jovi (90s not 80s). I also have to confess I could record Amy Grant, Michael W Smith or any other Christian artists because we didn’t have a Christian radio station where I grew up. I had to save up for the cassette tape.

  7. Good memories!

    Jessie Dixon’s “Destined to Win”

    Sandy Patti, Grace Thrillers, Candi Staton, Shirley Ceasar.

    Thank you for bringing big smiles on this journey down Memory Lane.

    Love and blessings

  8. I can SO RELATE to this post…with the exception of the Sun In (I’m a brunette)…clearly must be a western PA thing!! A good mix tape is a labor of love…I’m sure I still have some in a old shoe box somewhere…not quite sure how I would play them though! I always found the year end countdowns with Casey Kasem a great source for music….I would set up a poor 80’s girl’s recording studio in my bedroom…just me, my radio, my prized cassette recorder and my notebook of ‘playlists’. thanks for this trip down memory lane….and for making Scripture come alive to us in unique and meaningful ways!

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  9. I LOVE THIS!!!! I MADE MIX TAPES TOOOOO – Oh Gwen what a great inspiration you are – and what a great memory for me – baby oil and sun in all the wayyyy!!! Love you!! Catie

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  10. The memory of a tape recorder and my own mix of music brought a big old smile to my face this morning!
    Cyndi Lauper singing “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” was playing at top volume! God bless you for sharing this post and bringing me back in time to my childhood & the simple pleasures.

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