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Mercy Road Minute: Why are we here?

Written by Staff on March 22, 2019 – 5:25 am -

Roger Barkley, Jr., of Mercy Road. Author of Mercy Road Minute

Roger Barkley, Jr., of Mercy Road. Author of Mercy Road Minute

Why are we here? This is a question so many people have asked, I am sure. I have heard this question in science classes, churches, on the city streets, and the list goes on. But if you are sitting in your house of worship, or heading to that sacred place, or getting ready to go, or gearing up for the next service or meeting let me ask again…. Why?

Some do it for the vain glory of being seen in front of people (or even just seen in church) and getting that pat on the back. There are those that are there because it is just a habit, and nothing more than a routine instilled in them from childhood. Some come because they think if they spend an hour at a church once a week that they have “put their time in” for God and makes them okay for the week.

Some who are blinded by their misguided reasons will be sitting in church and complaining about how long the service runs, whining about too many scriptures being read, and will likely show more reverence during a movie in a theatre than in a sanctuary of God. So again, why are we here?

In a time such as now when liberties seem to be slipping away; when people are sick, and cancers and new sicknesses are showing up on every corner; when you or loved one’s friends still do not know the love that is Jesus Christ and will pass through this life into eternity without the knowledge of his saving grace…… should we not know for a certainty why we are here?

Joshua 24:15 wraps it up succinctly when Joshua said, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

If you know Christ personally, you are a minister, and your walk should show that you are his servant. When I say “know,” I mean a personal walk with him and continual growth in his light. Satan and his demons know Christ and the scriptures better than most Christians.

We should strive to be as Christ and not worry about what time it is, whether or not we will be missing our show on TV if the preacher does not shut up, or that we may miss our ballgame if the song leader sings two more verses. Maybe if that is our mindset going into the service, we are not really into the service anyway.

Maybe we should have done one of two things: Either prayed to prepare for the service before, or if that was our attitude toward the service, stayed home as to not dampen the spirit of the service, or distract those trying to worship and glean the portions of God’s Word being delivered.

I know why I am here. I will refer back to Joshua 24:15. Let me leave you with a different question. Why are YOU here?

By Roger Barkley, Jr.

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Leslie McKay: Wake Up Call

Written by Staff on March 15, 2019 – 1:05 pm -

Leslie and Dennis McKay of McKay Project and M.A.C. Records

Leslie and Dennis McKay of McKay Project and M.A.C. Records

I imagine most of us are familiar with the term “wake up call.” If you are staying at a hotel, you may request a wake-up call at a certain time and a member of the staff will call your room to ensure that you wake up. Another definition of a wake-up call is something that happens to get your attention or to prompt you to change course, realize or recognize that you need to do things differently, or take stock of your life, etc.

Recently, we were staying at a hotel in Birmingham, Ala. After a long, but fun day of shopping we settled in for the night. The next morning was going to be an early one because we were heading back to Mississippi to be in church. We needed a good night’s rest. However, around 1:30 a.m. we were horrifically jarred from our sleep by the fire alarm going off in our room and the repetition of a woman’s voice telling us that a fire had been detected in the building and we needed to evacuate immediately.

We jumped up and after taking a few minutes to gain our senses, we threw on some clothes, grabbed blankets and headed out the door and down four flights of stairs. I would venture to say that very few people use the stairs in a high rise hotel or even pay attention to where the stairs come out of the hotel. When we emerged, we were in a basement parking garage and near what looked like a loading dock. We could hear the sound of fire trucks approaching. The hotel alarm was still blaring and the woman’s voice was repeating the message over and over to evacuate. We made it to the street level and saw other people like us that had dressed quickly, hair in a “hot mess”, and walking toward the front of the hotel. We followed.

You can imagine what was going through our minds…is it real or is it a prank? If it is real, what did we leave behind? If it is a prank, then I hope they catch who did this because it is not funny.

As we approached the front of the hotel, there was a group of people dressed in formal wear sitting leisurely in the front lobby. We noticed them earlier in the day. They were there to celebrate a wedding. Obviously, from their calm appearance, it was apparent that this was a false alarm and there wasn’t a fire in the building. Wow!

We entered the lobby of the hotel expecting someone to take charge and provide directions, but that didn’t happen. We expected to see firemen enter the building, but that didn’t happen either. After a few minutes, the alarm stopped and people were just standing around looking at each other wondering what to do next. When nothing happened, we went to the front desk where the clerk seemed to be doing business as usual (giving directions to the pizza delivery guy that had just arrived) and asked about returning to our rooms. “Oh yeah, there is no fire… you may go back to your rooms,” was his response. You can imagine that tempers were high. As sleepy people grumbled about the interruption, we entered the elevators and went back to our rooms to attempt to get a few hours of sleep before starting the day.

You may be wondering, “Where is she going with all of this?” or “What does this have to do with anything?”  As I returned to bed and began to try and calm my mind to go to sleep. I felt like the Spirit downloaded some info on the inside of me about that whole experience.

Everyone at some point in their life will experience a wake-up call of some kind.

You fill in the blank:
My “wake up call” happened when _________.

It can take a variety of forms. In 2018, my husband was in a restaurant when a car came through the glass wall and hit him (miraculously, he is okay). That is an example of an extreme “wake up call”. The wake-up call could be unwanted medical news, money trouble, job loss or change, a relationship going south, or any number of things. Sometimes a wake-up call is out of our control while other times we bring circumstances upon ourselves. I want to share some thoughts that I had after our recent hotel experience which I think relate to real life when it comes to a wake up call.

McKay Project

Leslie

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE WAKE-UP CALL HAPPENS?

1. Go With It – Move.  We realize what is happening, we take inventory, make the necessary adjustments and we keep moving. That night in the hotel room, we assessed what was happening, got up, got dressed and got out of the building.

In Acts 9 in the Bible, Saul was faced with a wake-up call when he was blinded on the road to Damascus and heard the voice of Jesus. Previously, Saul was a major persecutor of Christians and was on his way to Damascus to kill more Christians when he encountered Jesus. At that moment, Saul was confronted with who he was and who Jesus was. He immediately became willing to do what Jesus instructed him to do. Saul continued on the road to Damascus but the purpose for his trip was dramatically altered and his life was forever changed. Saul became Paul (Acts 13). His wake-up call produced an adjustment in his life that took immediate affect and he kept moving on for Jesus instead of against Him.

2. Stay in Chaos and Confusion. The wake-up call happens and we stay in a state of chaos and confusion; constantly scrambling and trying to keep our head above water.

My daughter and I laugh at my husband. He is a very deep sleeper and when he was jarred awake by the fire alarm he had no idea what was going on. For a few minutes, he was standing up, sitting down, standing up, sitting down, and scrambling just to get awake enough to process what was happening in the hotel room.

In the Bible, Jonah is an example where his wake-up call found him in a state of chaos and confusion that he brought on himself (and others). God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach repentance to the people. Jonah didn’t want to go so he ran the opposite direction. He made his own plan and boarded a boat heading for Tarshish.

Jonah’s actions affected more than just himself.  While out to sea, a monstrous storm came up and the crew was terribly afraid because they thought they were going to die. They called out to their gods and even threw their cargo overboard to lighten the ship. In spite of all that chaos, Jonah went below deck and fell asleep. Either that was some serious denial or he really didn’t yet understand the gravity of his situation. Eventually, the members of the crew decided to cast lots to see who was responsible for the awful storm and it fell on Jonah. They woke him up (another wake-up call) and asked him how in the world he could sleep and who he was and what he had done. He told them he was a Hebrew who followed the Lord God of heaven who made the sea and dry land. Jonah told them he was running from God.  The storm got worse and they asked Jonah what to do. He told them to throw him overboard because it was his fault. The crew didn’t want to throw him over and tried to row in spite of the storm but it grew wilder. Reluctantly, they threw Jonah over and the sea became calm.  As if that wasn’t enough, Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. In the belly of that fish, Jonah answered his wake-up call and repented and agreed to do what God asked. He went to Nineveh and preached to the people.

Sometimes we bring the circumstances for our wake-up call upon ourselves by the choices we make and many times those choices affect other people. In the story of Jonah, the crew was affected by his choices. They probably sacrificed valuable items when they threw their cargo overboard in an effort to fix the situation. Even after the crew knew they needed to throw Jonah overboard, they put it off and tried in their own power to row back to land.

Isn’t that sometimes how it is? Our world may be in chaos and everyone around us can see what is going on and they are trying to help us, but we have yet to wake up. It wasn’t until Jonah was alone in the belly of the great fish that he surrendered and decided to obey God. The fish spit him out and this time when God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, he went.

The point is not to stay in a state of chaos and confusion but recognize that God only wants the best for us and surrender to Him.

I Corinthians 14:33 tells us that “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…”

Philippians 4:7 reminds us that “the peace of God, which surpasses every thought will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

3. Do Nothing.  Perhaps the wake-up call produces a fear in us that we can’t overcome and we just stop living. We are paralyzed and too afraid to do anything. We gather our resources around us and hunker down like we are waiting out a storm that never ends. Maybe we even convince ourselves it isn’t real and if we ignore it then maybe it will go away. Remember, the wake-up call should act as a catalyst in many cases to get us to move forward or do something different.

That night in the hotel lobby, no one was gripped by fear and it was obvious that most thought it wasn’t real. We figured that if we just ignored the fire alarm and warnings they would eventually stop. Even the hotel staff continued to conduct business as usual.

In Numbers 13 and 14 in the Bible, the Israelites had left Egypt and escaped from Pharaoh and reached the border of Canaan. God told Moses to send 12 spies into the land of Canaan to scout out the land. It was the land that God promised to give to the Israelites. However, when the spies returned they were so afraid of the giants living in the land that they convinced the people not to move forward. Caleb and Joshua were the only ones of the twelve that believed God’s promise that they could take the land. God was not happy with the people of Israel because of their lack of faith and their complaining. He declared that none of the people over 20 years old would enter the land that he promised with the exception of Joshua and Caleb and their descendants. They wandered another 40 years in the wilderness. Their fear and decision to do nothing resulted in the delay of receiving or moving into the land that God had promised them.

When the wake-up call happens in our lives, it can be scary but we can’t let fear grip us and rule our lives. Fear is a liar and God is not about fear.

II Timothy 1:7 reminds us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and a sound mind.”

Psalms 27:1 tells us, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom should I be afraid?”

Leslie McKay

Leslie McKay

I believe wake-up calls are part of life. Some are more intense than others, but we have a choice as to how we respond. I believe God has a purpose and a plan for each of us and wants the best for us. When those wake-up calls happen in life, I want to challenge you to ask yourself, “What can I learn?” Then…get up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward. Your best days are ahead of you!

By Leslie McKay

Leslie McKay is a writer for SGNScoops Magazine and is also a member of McKay Project with her husband, Dennis. Together they are McKay Project and own M.A.C. Records. Find out more about Leslie McKay here.

 

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Editor’s Last Word: You can do it in 2019!

Written by Staff on February 18, 2019 – 7:10 pm -

January 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

January 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

January 2019 SGNScoops Magazine: Editor’s Last Word

By Lorraine Walker

Happy New Year! As we head into the month of January, I hope that you had a lovely Christmas season and were able to reunite with family, friends and loved ones. For those that had an empty chair this year, our hearts grieve with you. For those that added an extra space, we rejoice. You never know what is ahead for the next 12 months, but one thing is for sure: God does.

God knew what he was doing when he gave the Wisecarvers their talent and the desire to use their gifts for him. What a great example of the many family groups that have begun to really shine in the last few years. If you haven’t had a chance to hear them, you need to seek them out and listen to their music. We were thrilled that Dixie Phillips had time to chat with this family and to share their story in SGNScoops. Congratulations to the Wisecarvers for being our first cover story for 2019!

You will find the thread of family throughout this magazine, as I’m sure you have noted by now. Westward Road, Endless Highway, the Rochesters, and even Charlie Griffin’s feature – an abbreviated version of the history of Southern gospel music – emphasizes the role that family harmony plays in all genres, but especially in gospel music. For many of us are not blood relatives as such, but we are family because we believe in the saving power of the blood of Jesus Christ. One of our lessons, while we are here, is to learn to love each other. I pray that this year, I will find ways to show love, caring, and appreciation for fellow believers. Will you join me?

Lorraine Walker

Lorraine Walker, editor of SGNScoops

As we turn the page to a new month, new year, new calendar, many people make goals and lists of how they will grow or improve in the upcoming weeks. I’d rather pray that the Lord will help me draw closer to him. But I also have to admit that I have a sinking feeling when people mention resolutions. When I look at some of the years gone by, I know that those resolutions have also gone by the wayside. Some have been shelved and others have just stalled. Do you ever feel that way?

May I encourage you, as I am trying to encourage myself now, to find your hope, peace, and joy in the Lord? He tells us that if we believe that he is our source of strength, then he will be what we need to hit that resume button on goals or plans to use everything he has given to us to be able to mature into the person that can serve him with excellence. Whether that means you become healthier in body, mind or spirit, or whether you expand your knowledge of the Lord and his word, or whatever he has given you to do this year – you can do it. The Lord will enable you to do what he has asked you to do. Find out what that is. Let’s grow together in 2019.

For more Gospel Music news Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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Jason Crabb: Praying for a Revival of Love

Written by Staff on February 17, 2019 – 1:06 pm -

Jason Crabb: Praying for a Revival of Love

Jason Crabb: Praying for a Revival of Love

Jason Crabb and his wife, Shellye, were married 20 years ago. After two decades, they have grown a family, observed twenty Christmas Eves, developed a thriving career in Christian music, and celebrated many awards, including Grammy, Dove, and Diamond.

 

Jason, along with his brothers and sisters, still makes limited appearances as the Crabb Family, 22 years following their first appearance, and get together as a family as often as possible.

 

December 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

December 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

This artist knows that the best things in life are the things that last. Things like faith, love and family. And gatherings during one of the most holiest times of the Christian calendar.

 

“We really like to get together with family,” says Jason about his Christmas traditions. “It’s just family time. The perfect Christmas for me, would be to go back home to Kentucky and spend it with my family. To go to one of those little bitty Christmas plays that the kids do, in one of those little country churches that I grew up in. Watch Mary drop the baby Jesus doll in the manger scene. Those things you just never forget. You know, the main thing for me is Jesus and family during that time.”

 

Jason Crabb: Praying for a Revival of LoveThe Crabb family has been blessed with the ability to share their love for Jesus musically, and now Jason has started flexing his songwriting muscles on his latest award-winning release, “Unexpected.” Not every song on this recording is one he has written, however.

 

“The best song always wins, doesn’t matter if you wrote it or whoever else,” Jason states. “But how can we get up and say ‘this is me,’ if we didn’t have any part of the creation? I didn’t think I had it in me to create it.

 

“So I’ve gotten wise,” Jason grins. “I’ve got people around me to help me, you know, get with writers, to get with people that are a great help to put all the pieces together of what I want to say, to glue it all together, make a great piece of artwork. Instead of one holding the brush, there’s three, and then the band comes along and there’s numerous people.

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Kristen Stanton: VICTORY IN THE VALLEY

Written by Staff on February 12, 2019 – 8:24 am -

THE VALLEY BETWEEN

VICTORY IN THE VALLEY

I Samuel 17:26: “And David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel?  For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

In this passage, between I Samuel 17:4 and I Samuel 17:26 when David spoke these words, the Philistine giant, Goliath, had appeared each day for forty days, bestowing a challenge upon Israel to fight him.

In verse 24 we finally see just how Israel responded – “And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.”

Have you ever wondered just how long this stand-off would have lasted had David not appeared on the scene?  

Have you stopped to ask yourself why there was a stand-off in the first place?

The Philistines faced off against them, equally able to move from their mountaintop to advance towards Israel.

However, they didn’t pursue –they intimidated. Goliath appeared every day to remind them that they would have to face off against him.

Satan doesn’t want to fight you; he wants to scare you!   

If he fights you, he loses because he knows God has gone before you and fights your battles. If he scares you, he wins because he knows you have forgotten in whom to place your trust!

Victory begins with a change in your perception. Your mind is Satan’s battlefield. Remember, if he scares you, he wins.   

Stop looking at the weight you are carrying as a burden that is keeping you from moving forward. Instead, start thinking about it as an opportunity to grow stronger as you press on.

Stop looking at the valley as a place you don’t want to be. Instead, start thinking about it as a place of growth, a place of life, a place of rest.

Don’t forget the beauty of the valley in your hurry to get through it.  

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

The reality is that the mountaintop is great for looking back at where you’ve come from and to look ahead to where you are going.

David had victory the moment he said, “who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”   

He did not run in fear but spoke in faith. His mind was prepared, and his perception was that nobody would defeat God!

Goliath was satisfied in scaring Israel because it prevented them from moving forward.   

Satan is satisfied in appearing every day in your life to scare you because that fear prevents you from moving forward in your life to the place God has for you.

Learn from Israel—they cowered in the face of fear and for forty straight days accomplished nothing for God.    

Learn from David–his perception of Goliath was that God would handle him.

Which are you emulating in your own life?  Like David, you too, can find victory in the valley.

By Kristen Stanton

For more Gospel Music news Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine PDF Here
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Southern Gospel Weekend 2019 to be featured on Andrew Brunet and Friends

Southern Gospel Weekend 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Listen To Today’s Gospel Music Here


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Rob Patz says Thank You in latest SGNScoops

Written by Staff on February 7, 2019 – 9:33 am -

January 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

January 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

2019 January SGNScoops Publisher’s Point

By Rob Patz

Happy New Year! Starting a new season is a great time to reflect on the terrific friends I have who have walked with me for years, those I have met along the way in the last 12 months, and the new ones I look forward to getting to know in 2019.

Many of you I have met through SGNScoops Magazine, Creekside Gospel Music Convention, Christian Country Expo, Southern Gospel Weekend, or Coastal Media. Though we may have begun as work associates, you have become my friends and many of you have become my prayer partners.

Thank you all for your support and prayers over the last year. Through the good times and the bad, you have been there for me, upholding me with your prayers, words of comfort and texts of support.

I know that 2019 is going to be even better as we follow in the Lord’s steps together. Thank you for your friendship.

God bless you in this brand new year.

 

I want to invite you to come join us at Southern

Rob Patz

Rob Patz

Gospel Weekend in Oxford, Alabama, on March 21 – 23, 2019. We will enjoy three great days of gospel music in Alabama. We want you to be there and enjoy worship and fellowship with us!

Also, make plans to be a part of Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019, Oct. 27 – 31, for five incredible nights and four great days of gospel music in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. We are going to have a terrific time and we want you to be there. Email me for details about either of these events, or how the Lord is changing your life, at rob@sgnscoops.com.

This is the Publisher’s Point for January 2019.
By Rob Patz

For more Gospel Music news Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine PDF Here
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook Here
Southern Gospel Weekend 2019 to be featured on Andrew Brunet and Friends

Southern Gospel Weekend 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Listen To Today’s Gospel Music Here

 


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Kristen Stanton: The Valley Between

Written by Staff on January 31, 2019 – 10:26 am -

THE VALLEY BETWEENI Samuel  17:3 “And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.”

In I Samuel 17 we see a significant battle. There was a physical battlefield, but there was also a spiritual battle.  

The Philistines were gathered together on one mountain and Israel was on another. They were not occupying the same space–there was an entire valley between them. In order for war to engage, either the Philistines had to want to enter the area where Israel was, or Israel had to want to enter the area where the Philistines were and to obliterate them so that they would no longer face that fear.  

We must understand that we are in a spiritual battle every single day. If we are living for Christ, we are constantly being pursued by the enemy. We can stand on our mountain in the refuge that God provides, but sometimes we need to march into battle and destroy the enemy—face that fear and run it from our lives.  

Either way, it requires us to pass through the valley in order to get to the next mountain. And when we pass through the valley, we become vulnerable either to our enemy or to God.  

Where are you today? Are you refusing to move off the mountain because you fear the valley? Are you tired of the battle you are facing in the valley and just want to quit fighting?   

God knows exactly where you are and has already declared you victorious.    

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

Take that step of faith and face down your fear.

God’s plans are greater than your fear and greater than where you are now.

God is in the valley between.

By Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton is a dynamic singer, speaker, and writer. From discussions on Facebook, to live concerts on any stage, Kristen’s main focus is to share her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She says: “I was saved when I was four years old. I’ve been in church my whole life. I went to a Christian college. I don’t have the experiences of walking away from God and how He brought me back. But I do have the experience of how God continuously reveals Himself to me… of how He answers prayer. I want people to understand who God is so that they can be more of a reflection of Him. My goal is to help others see God in a way that meets every need in their life.”
Following a trio of No. 1 songs from her debut project, “Destiny by Design,” Kristen recently  released her second solo project, “Love As Jesus Loves” and is currently writing songs for her new album. Kristen is also an Attorney-at-Law, serving clients in Northwest Ohio.

For more Gospel Music news Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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Listen To Today’s Gospel Music Here

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2019 Diamond Award Nominations Now Open

Written by Staff on January 28, 2019 – 4:04 am -

Diamond AwardsPigeon Forge, Tenn. (January 28, 2019) – Coastal Medial Group and SGNScoops Magazine are pleased to announce that the 2019 Diamond Award Nominations are now open on the SGNScoops website. Everyone is invited to the website to enter the Nominations area and list their top ten favorite picks for each Diamond Award category. Vote HERE.

Creekside event t-shirts available now

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

SGNScoops, host of the Diamond Awards, is presenting the 2019 Diamond Awards on October 29, 2019 during the 8th Annual Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Many vocal performances and surprise guests will be included in the gala evening. Fans are encouraged to make their plans to attend today.

The Diamond Awards are completely voter-driven, starting with nominations, from which the Top Ten lists are calculated, allowing voters to select their three favorites in each category. That will bring us to the Top Five lists, allowing voters to select their three choices to bring us the winner of the 2019 Diamond Award in each category. Vote HERE

4:30 doors open 5:00 Scott Roberts and 5 o’clock band Welcome Prayer 5:20 MARK 209 kickoff (Graceland) Introduce Emcee 5:25 Dodrill Family 5:37 Day Three 5:49 Gloryland Qt 6:01 Debbie Bennett 6:13 Epps Family 6:25 Gospel Truth Trio 6:37 Tonja Rose 6:49 The Riders 7:01 (Featured Group) Sacred Harmony 7:21 Chordsmen Qt 7:33 The Griffins 7:45 (Featured Group) The Coffmans 8:05 Offering 8:10 Honoring Arthur Rice 8:40 The Pine Ridge Boys 9:00 Ezekiel’s Call 9:12 Red Back Sing Closeout....

Creekside 2018: Dr. Jerry Goff and SGNScoops Honor Arthur Rice

Don’t forget to order your Creekside VIP pass today! There are a limited number of bracelets available, so please contact Rob today at 360.933.0741. This VIP bracelet will grant the wearer preferred seating at each concert including the 2019 Diamond Awards, special gifts and passes to backstage events, all for only $25. If you are interested in purchasing your $25 VIP ticket call Rob at 360 933 0741.

Find out more about the 2019 Diamond awards by visiting the Creekside Gospel Music Convention Facebook page HERE.

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For more Gospel Music news Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine PDF Here
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Listen To Today’s Gospel Music Here

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Selena Day asks, “Who do you say Jesus is?”

Written by Staff on January 25, 2019 – 5:53 am -

Chuck and Selena Day

Chuck and Selena Day

Today I have been meditating on the story in Matt. 16 when Jesus asked his disciples, “What are the people saying about me? Who do they believe I am?”  

He then went on to ask them; “But you—who do you say that I am?”

I believe that these are two fundamental questions to remember during our lifelong journey in discovering our purpose and His plan for our lives.  

What are the people around you saying about Him and what is it that you say about Christ?  

Last night I had a conversation with my daughter about rebellion and her teenage years. I had taught my girls that rebellion is rebellion no matter what age you are, and not to buy into the lie that it is just normal for teens to rebel. Yes, they will question, and, yes they will not agree with us. Those years are the beginning of discovering your own voice, but in those times it is important to have conversations with us (their parents) and to remember that until they leave our home, our voice and our rules will trump theirs. It may not be fair, but life isn’t always fair. If life were fair, we wouldn’t have needed a savior.

This conversation started me looking back over my years as a believer and thinking about the ways that I have lived my truth. I have changed in my beliefs, but also (the conversation) reaffirmed how important it has been in my walk with Christ not to put my hope in my understanding, but to put my hope in my savior.  

In this ever-changing world, it is so essential to routinely ask ourselves, “Is what I believe about Christ wrapped up in my traditions and memories from my past victories, or is it in the current, daily relationship I have with him?”   

If you read the whole exchange from Matt. 16, you will see that only Peter was the one who spoke up boldly and said, “You are the anointed one, the Son of the living God!”

Jesus replied; “You are favored and privileged Simeon. For you didn’t discover this on your own, but my Father in heaven has supernaturally revealed it to you. I give you the name Peter, a stone. And this truth of who I am will be the bedrock foundation on which I will build my church — my legislative assembly..”  

We have just finished the Christmas season, and we celebrated Christ as the newborn baby coming into the world, but he isn’t a baby, nor is he a martyr in a grave, he is a living king.  

How you see him effects how you access him. If you look at your savior as a distant King in the sky handing out judgment for the wrongs you do and bestowing kindness on you when are right, you will have begging prayers pleading for him to help you. You will always see yourself as a lowly slave and bitterness will fester within you for those who may have more or who have achieved more than you.

But when you change your paradigm, you will discover that he is the kindest, most generous, most loving being in the universe, a king that has given you all the keys to the kingdom and longs for you to unlock them and access all that he has for you. Then your prayers will become powerful. You will discover you are not a victim in this life no matter what adversity comes to you, but you are more than a conqueror!  

Selena Day

January is a time for beginning again. We begin new diets, we begin new year fasts, we make resolutions…let me challenge you to ask yourselves these two questions as you start a new year and a new journey with God this year.  

What are those around me saying about him?

And who do I say he is?  

God created you to be His message, and His plans are for your good!

By Selena Day

Selena Day is a motivational speaker and is available to speak at your conference or event.  You may contact her at selenaday@me.com http://www.queenliving.org http://facebook.com/queenismsbyselenaday. Photographs courtesy of Selena Day.

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Sweet Water: Do you know Him or just know about Him?

Written by Staff on January 22, 2019 – 2:34 pm -

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

Amy Oxenrider presents Sweet Water: Do you know Him or just know about Him?

Ninevah, a city in the ancient Assyrian Empire, was located in Iraq on the east bank of the Tigris River. The capital of this dominant empire, this city was one of the most prominent of its time. It is estimated that the population ranged between 100,000 to 120,000, not including those roaming in and out on a daily basis for trade/business. The Bible teaches that this city was guilty of bloodshed, full of lies, filled with plunder, and hoarded her spoil.

The infamous city was not always full of sin. Jonah, a profit of God, preached judgment would come upon them unless their hearts repented and they turned from their wicked ways. We find that the city heeded the words of Jonah and repented. However, sometime between the prophet Jonah and Nahum, the people of the city forgot about the God of Jonah and returned to such a sinful place it was compared to Sodom and Gomorrah, and its wickedness was brought before God. They no longer knew him, only knew about him.

Now let’s go back in time approximately sixty-two years. We find a group of three men by the names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, which are probably recognizable names to many. King Nebuchadnezzar had taken the people of Jerusalem to the heart of Babylon and forced them to deny the living God for a god made by the hands of men.

The Bible says Nebuchadnezzar had a statue of gold created ninety feet high and nine feet wide. He then gathered all of his officials and instructed them to spread the word that all will gather and fall to their knees to worship when they hear the music played. If any refused the King’s command, he or she would be thrown into the blazing furnace.

The fiery furnace was most probably built on the side of a hill with an opening in the top and two on each side closer to the base. These side openings allowed one to see the inside of the furnace without getting too close to be harmed. However, on this particular day, the King had the fire heated seven times hotter than normal for the purpose of punishing rebellion.

When the music sounded, all the people that were assembled bowed down and worshipped as commanded, all but three. One must keep in mind that the people of Israel were those that had heard about the great exile from Egypt and the many battles and miracles God had provided for his chosen people. Even after God had told them on multiple occasions to be strong and courageous, they abandoned their commitment to God in the face of adversity.

The three Hebrew men took a stand for their God. They knew the God of the universe and were not ashamed to show their commitment. This infuriated the king. In a fit of rage, he demanded the furnace be heated seven times hotter than normal.

Nebuchadnezzar had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thrown into the blaze. When he looked into the furnace, he saw four men as opposed to the three that he ordered to die. He asked those sitting near, “Didn’t we throw three men into the fire? Why do I see four, and the forth resembles the son of a God?” For those familiar with this Biblical truth, we know that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked out of the fiery furnace without any harm and they didn’t even have a scent of smoke on their clothing.

The difference between Nahum, Jonah, and the three Hebrew boys, when compared to the people of Nineveh and Nebuchadnezzar, is they knew God instead of only knowing about him. Can you imagine what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thought of the rest of the Israelites when they all immediately bowed when the music sounded? These three young men were wise and respected and were appointed as officials in the Babylonian Empire. They were not only respected by their own nation, but by many of the enemy nation that took them into captivity. These men were not only wise in the eyes of humans but apparently knew that true wisdom comes from the fear of God.

As they saw all of the Israelites bow, I wonder if they were looking around in amazement and disgust at their countrymen’s betrayal of the God of their fathers. It appears so many of them had transitioned from a state of knowing him to a state of knowledge about him.

The personal relationship Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had with their Heavenly Father was so true and pure they took a stand. They told the king, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we served is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Although it seems they would be crushed by the governmental authorities, the one who holds all power and authority in Heaven and on earth was near and ready to save his faithful servants, the ones who know him and place all trust and confidence in his sovereignty.

How many of us have heard of Jesus Christ, know the miracles he performed, and know that he was raised from the dead? How many have heard that he has healed and saved people from sickness and tragedy?

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

How many KNOW Jesus and walk with him daily? How many depend on him for all things in their lives. How many pray to him daily and read his word to gain wisdom and fuel for our everyday walk? How many are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

So, the question to ask yourself is do you know about him, or do you personally KNOW him?

By Amy Oxenrider

 


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