Episode | March 25, 2024

Transcript for Jennifer and Marty Goetz’s the Walk Podcast

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Marty Goetz: And we met in California.

Jennifer Goetz: We did. We’ve

Marty Goetz: been doing music ministry together since we married in 1984.

Jennifer Goetz: And we’re not well known.

Marty Goetz: Well, to describe us, I would say, I always like to say I’m a Jewish gospel singer.

Joshua Swanson: Welcome to another episode of The Walk, a podcast focused on devotionals and conversations with the artists of the church.

Today, we are honored to have Jennifer and Marty Goetz with us, sharing a devotional centered on Psalm 23. Since 1984, this dynamic duo has been sharing their musical gifts and faithfully following Yeshua. They embody the legacy described in Psalm 145, which proclaims, one generation shall command your works to another and shall declare your mighty acts.

They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds and will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud your righteousness. Jennifer and Marty exemplify a life of ministry, and I’m confident they will inspire and uplift everyone listening today.

Before we dive in, I wanted to quickly thank our partners, First Planning Center. It’s a set of software tools to help you organize, coordinate, and communicate with your church teams. They’ve launched Planning Center University on their YouTube channel. We’ll link to it in our show notes. It’s the place to go to ensure you’re taking full advantage of this powerful tool.

And for those of you who don’t know what Planning Center is, visit [email protected] and you’ll walk away a lot more organized and prepared to serve your church. I also want to give a nod to the Worship Leader Institute for partnering with us. In April, they launched another set of coaching groups led by a community of leaders who are currently involved in ministry in their local churches and have over 15 years of experience to draw from.

Participants gather twice a month and are coached on developing skills like team building, shepherding a congregation, and creating a transformative worship experience. So head to worshipleaderinstitute. com and join a bi monthly coaching group. Okay, here we go with Jennifer and Marty Goetz.

Marty Goetz: Hi, my name is Marty Goetz, and I was thrilled when Joshua Swanson asked me to be on The Walk.

Because I have a walk that goes a long time. I was born in 1952. You do the math. But I want to talk about that walk with the Lord and to kind of talk it out, I wanted to bring in my wife, Jennifer. Can you say hi, Jenny?

Jennifer Goetz: Hello.

Marty Goetz: You know what I was thinking, Jenny, that the people listening to this are worship leaders and people who, you know, Sing and people who play and people who are in the ministry.

And I was thinking about what could I possibly share with any of them? But here’s the thing we’ve been around a long time. When did we start doing this?

Jennifer Goetz: My goodness. We’ve, uh, been singing in churches and doing concerts. Since about

Marty Goetz: 1982, that’s right. Yeah. And we met in California.

Jennifer Goetz: We did. We’ve

Marty Goetz: been doing music ministry together since we married in 1984.

Jennifer Goetz: And we’re not well known.

Marty Goetz: Well, to describe us, I would say, I always like to say I’m a Jewish gospel singer and you have been to me, everything. Basically. I wouldn’t have. Yeah. Right. I wouldn’t have a ministry if it weren’t for you.

Jennifer Goetz: This is, this is, this is true and it’s not true because in fact, God really gave you a gift.

Marty Goetz: Praise the Lord.

Jennifer Goetz: And all I was, was someone who responded to phone calls and I was nice.

Marty Goetz: And that kind of brings us to what I thought we could talk about today.

Jennifer Goetz: Yeah.

Marty Goetz: Because as a songwriter and, uh, did I mention we’re both Jewish? Yeah, I think you did. Okay, well, that’s important because the person we’re going to talk about is a Jewish songwriter, too.

His name’s David. And when I came to the Lord in 1978 in Los Angeles, California, I was out there to be a big star. I wanted to be like Barry Manilow and Randy Newman, Billy Joel. That’s why I went to California. Why did you go to California, by the way?

Jennifer Goetz: I went to California because I had a boyfriend.

Marty Goetz: Ah,

Jennifer Goetz: always.

And we decided to move to California, because he was in a band called the Alpha Band. And, uh

Marty Goetz: But you had been with this boyfriend where?

Jennifer Goetz: Well, I traveled with Bob Dylan on the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975, in 76, and in 78 I went to Europe and went on a European tour. And each tour was six weeks long, so it was quite long.

Wonderful. And Joni Mitchell was on the tour and a lot of people from those, from that era, Roger McGuinn from the birds. But it

Marty Goetz: didn’t bring you happiness, did it?

Jennifer Goetz: No, no.

Marty Goetz: And You had to come to the Lord to find that happiness.

Jennifer Goetz: Yes, I did. Are you interviewing me? Kind of, but

Marty Goetz: that’s okay. I wanted to talk about this because I, you and I came to the Lord about the same time.

And when we say the Lord, we mean Jesus. Yes. For a Jewish person, that’s a big deal.

Jennifer Goetz: Yeah.

Marty Goetz: But we knew we were both Jewish kids, but, uh, you know, when we met Jesus, it was like, whoa, everything kind of made sense. True,

Jennifer Goetz: true. Yeah. I always thought that the story of the Passover was in a little pamphlet that we pulled out on Passover.

I didn’t know it was in the Bible until I read the Bible.

Marty Goetz: Right. And when you read the Bible, you’re reading literally your family story.

Jennifer Goetz: Yes. That’s the beautiful

Marty Goetz: thing.

Jennifer Goetz: Yeah.

Marty Goetz: And the funny thing was, as Jews, we didn’t know that until you know Jesus and you, you have your eyes opened. to the Lord, who the Lord truly is.

It says in the scriptures, when, when we turn to the Lord, the, the curtain is pulled away and we see him and, and we behold him, we hold, behold his glory and it changes us. And so when I look at the scriptures, I have begun to probably in my older age than in my younger, I’ve always been a songwriter. So I put music to scripture, but now lately, because of the long years that you and I have walked with the Lord, when I read something like Psalm 23, I know I’m reading about David, who was a king of my people in ancient times.

Jennifer Goetz: Yes.

Marty Goetz: So his story, Is our story, right? Yes. So, I’m learning to read the scripture that way. And, uh, I know on this podcast, we usually play a song. A song is usually played, and I think they’re going to play for us Psalm 23. Which is interesting to me because it actually is called the Shepherd of Israel or Shepherd of Israel And it’s a new song for me and you were there when I

Jennifer Goetz: write this song.

I

Marty Goetz: wrote the song Well, yes, I wrote the song. Yes, interestingly enough when I first became a believer When I sat down to write I didn’t know what to write As a Jewish guy who’s just come to Jesus, I’m 25 years old, I don’t know anything about anything. So I open the Bible, and the first thing I do is see the Lord as my shepherd, Psalm 23.

And I put music to it. And, you know, it, it, I really, really, really liked it. And, uh, The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. And I had heard this at funerals. You know, we’d heard this at Jewish funerals all the time. It’s the only thing I knew. So I put music to it. And it actually was so good that Debbie Boone, Debbie Boone is the daughter of Pat Boone.

She had a big hit called You Light Up My Life. And when I was first a believer, I became her piano player, traveled with her for many, many years, played You Light Up My Life hundreds of times. But when I wrote Psalm 23, she was doing an album called With My Song, and she did my song, The Lord Is My Shepherd.

But the funny thing is, At that time, what I did was I put music to So if I were to title what we’re talking about, I would call it Same Psalm, New Psalm.

Jennifer Goetz: It’s the same old psalm, but with a different feeling since you’ve been gone.

Marty Goetz: That’s funny. I don’t know who’s going to get that reference, but that’s good.

Jennifer Goetz: But with a different feeling since you’ve been gone. Yeah, that’s dating myself. Ha

Marty Goetz: ha ha! But I wrote that psalm, wrote that song when I was very young in the faith and I am so much older now. You know what I’ve seen? That when you’re a new believer, you know the Bible is true and you can even put music to it and sing it.

I made an entire career of putting music to the psalms. But the interesting thing is as you grow older in the Lord and you walk with him and you walk with him and you follow behind him like a sheep following a shepherd, well, you look back and you see truly his goodness and his mercy has followed you every day

Joshua Swanson: More from Jenny and Marty in a minute.

Marty Goetz: That’s the end of the psalm.

Jennifer Goetz: Yeah.

Marty Goetz: But, you can look at this psalm, and I think we can look at it and see our life in it. The Lord is our shepherd, he has led us. I shall not want, we have never wanted for anything from the day we began following him, correct?

Jennifer Goetz: Yes.

Marty Goetz: He makes us lie down in green pastures. You know, we keep the Shabbat.

We set aside a day every, every, every week to just abide in the Lord. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. And in these years that we’ve been walking with him in so many ways. He’s restored my soul, leads me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake. You know what? You went through some, some, some experiences that were life threatening.

Just tell them a little bit about them.

Jennifer Goetz: Well, I had cancer. I had anal cancer about 2016. And, um, we were at church and our pastor was preaching on Psalm 23. And he said, He quoted yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death and he was saying it says walk It doesn’t say run and you’re in the shadow of the valley of death But you you can’t run

Marty Goetz: the valley of the shadow of the

Jennifer Goetz: valley of the shadow of death But you you’re saying he’s saying to walk don’t run walk

Marty Goetz: because he’s leading you Everything inside

Jennifer Goetz: of you wants to run.

Marty Goetz: Yes.

Jennifer Goetz: Yeah

Marty Goetz: Absolutely, and then your rod and your staff They comfort me. I want to tell you, hun, that years in ministry, I think people need to know that just because you’re in the music ministry doesn’t mean you understand things any better than anyone else. And I would sing this Psalm, meaning it with all my might, With all my heart, but you know what, there were times when I was traveling, especially when we moved to Nashville from California.

Jennifer Goetz: Yeah, and I

Marty Goetz: was on my own all the time

Jennifer Goetz: traveling

Marty Goetz: in and out of town. You know, I got to a point where I kind of got tired of hearing my own voice. And I was singing the same songs over and over again. And I started to wonder, is this it? Is this, is this? Did I come to the Lord to just do the same thing over and over and over again?

And, and, you know, I, I got discouraged and you know, my heart got kind of a little bit hard and I let things into my mind and my heart that really, truly, I think we’re not from the Lord, but we’re from the evil one himself. And I struggled with things like that all, all through the years. And I got to the point.

Where I didn’t really feel the Lord had worked a great work in me. But you know, something in the, what happened was COVID came and the entire ministry that I had traveling, going from place to place, what happened to it? It all ended.

Jennifer Goetz: It did all end.

Marty Goetz: And then, what happened then?

Jennifer Goetz: Well, then we opened up our computers and one night you said, Why don’t we do something for the people that are home?

Marty Goetz: Yeah.

Jennifer Goetz: And, and Misha, our daughter, who’s 32, she was, I guess, 30 at the time, or even younger. It’s been four years. Um, we just, uh, we, I think we live streamed on, uh, on Facebook Live and on Instagram and, and then we figured out how to buy a couple of cameras and streaming and, you know, streaming tools and now we’re on YouTube and Facebook and Instagram.

And we

Marty Goetz: call it House of Worship. House

Jennifer Goetz: of Worship.

Marty Goetz: And this is what people need to know, that you can be a worship leader, you can be even good at it, you can be skilled, you can make your living worshiping. in congregations and in, uh, wherever it is that you’re called to do it. But sometimes your heart might not be in it.

You’re just doing it because that’s what you do. But when we started House of Worship, when the world stopped completely and everything shut down, all we could do was kind of just worship. And what it did for me, Is it was like building an altar in my home and when we started that, you know, I think you would say this, our relationship got better.

Everything got better in our life. And I learned what this psalm is saying. His rod. And his staff, they comfort me because through these days, since COVID and since that time when God restored the worship in my heart, in my own home. You know what also happened? Do you remember when Isaiah had the vision of the Lord high and lifted up and he came close to the Lord and the closer he got, the more he said, I’m undone.

I’m a man of unclean lips. Well, what happened is when I began to worship in my own home, my whole being became a house of worship. It restored my soul, but the closer I drew to the Lord, the more I could see. The darkness and the shadows of where I had been before when I was simply singing the Psalm as an act of making a living and traveling and all that.

It was all good. But now as I was drawing closer to him, I could see my own heart and the darkness in it. Andrew, you remember one night what happened to me?

Jennifer Goetz: Yeah. This

Marty Goetz: was after we had started House of Worship at Everything. What did you hear?

Jennifer Goetz: You were in bed and you started just crying out saying, God save me,

Marty Goetz: Lord said, Jesus saved me.

Jesus saved me. Yeah, I did. You know, because I was saved. I was a believer. I was in ministry, a really, a ministry that lasted for almost 40 years. But my heart had, had grown far away somehow. But this psalm, Psalm 23 tells me that the Lord is my shepherd. And in the midst of all this, he prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

Because I saw that a lot of what had happened to me in my heart was the work of the enemy. You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over. We have been feasting, really, haven’t we? On the presence of the Lord. The Lord and the people that watch us, we become like a little community. We pray for each other.

And it’s interesting to me that when I first sang this Psalm, Jenny, I believed every word of it. I believed it was true, but this is David’s Psalm. He wrote this not as a pretty poem. That’s the problem with these Psalms sometimes. They’re so beautiful. We make them into poems, and we say them at funerals.

But this was his real experience with the real shepherd. And who is the shepherd of Israel? Yeshua. And I can say this, through it all, through my own wanderings, through my own failures, through my own dark alleys, through your wanderings. Diseases through your fight against this, this invasion, this infirmity.

The Lord has been our shepherd all the days of our life. So I would want to say to anyone listening, no matter what you are going through, whether it’s in your own heart or within your health, or it’s in your life in any way, shape, or form. If you are a believer in Yeshua, in Jesus, He is the good shepherd.

And you will know his voice and you will follow him. And even if you don’t know you’re being led, when you go through confusion and darkness and troubles, you are, because I am here to attest to it. And my wife is a witness as well. That surely goodness and mercy. shall follow us all the days of our life.

And we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. And I have found Jenny that when I follow him, I’ve said to him, and it’s in the song shepherd of Israel. When I follow you, I look back and see only goodness and mercy. are following me. So I still sing that same Psalm, but now because of what we have been through and the Lord has led us through, it’s a new song, a brand new song, same Psalm, new song.

We’re going to be singing that song. Until we see him face to face, when we say Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai, and we see Yeshua. Isn’t that going to be a great day?

Jennifer Goetz: It sure is.

Marty Goetz: Lord, you are our shepherd. Thank you for leading us home. Amen. Shalom. Shalom.

Joshua Swanson: Thank you to Jennifer and Marty Goetz for spending time with us and sharing a fantastic devotional in the form of a conversation.

We got a twofer this week. We’ll play out this episode with Shepherd of Israel, which is the new single that’s actually not even out yet, so you heard it here first. The song stands out to me as a love song, really, from God to us, through Psalm 23. Find out more about when this song will be released on Marty’s website, which we’ll link to in our show notes.

If you haven’t done so already, it would mean a lot to us if you would subscribe to our podcast and leave us a review. Alright, until next time, I want to thank the team at Life Audio for their partnership. If you go to lifeaudio. com, you’ll find a collection of faith centered podcasts about health and wellness, parenting, current cultural events, Bible teachings, and more.

So check ’em [email protected]. I’m Joshua Swanson, and here’s Shepherd of Israel.