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Jessica Horton: “How Great Thou Art”

Written by Staff on May 16, 2019 – 10:34 am -

Jessica Horton

Jessica Horton

How Great Thou Art: “Thy power throughout the universe displayed” (written by Stuart K. Hine, published 1949).

Melissa walked into the doctor’s office, clutching her purse tightly. Inside her bag were the typical clues of motherhood – a few toys, wipes, and a baggie of goldfish crackers. She considered eating a few, just to give her hands something to do, but then she changed her mind – suddenly afraid that she might be feeding her fear instead. After all, she’d been through this before. The odds were not in her favor. As the doctor turned the handle to the room, her ears began to ring and her heart began to race.

“Mrs. Nichols,” he said, “your tests are back and there is no cancer.”

God is all-powerful – omnipotent. He is the creator of the earth and has always existed.

As a kid, I used to lie awake at night, straining to know the unknowable truth of His ever-present nature. He just is.

Throughout the Bible, we’ve seen our all-powerful God do many great acts that we struggle to understand. One such incident that I often think about is the flood. He destroyed the earth to make it new because there was no good to be found, and it was in desperate need of a reset. Sound familiar?

But afterward, He did a strange thing. He sent a sign to let them know He would never destroy the earth again. Why did He do that? He certainly did not have to! The world is His to create and destroy as He sees fit, and we are in no position to criticize Him. But by sending this sign, I believe He showed that His great love and care are just as powerful as His wrath.

rainbowIn this world, where our sins run rampant and nations are considered godless, it seems logical that God would destroy it in order to start again with a faithful few. After all, He’s done it before. The odds are not in our favor.

I believe God sent this sign because just like in Melissa’s story, we would continue living in fear and dread until He gave us assurance. There is no way that we could live the purposeful, joyful, free life God has created for us while we war against dread. Anyone who battles with anxiety can attest to this truth. I can’t pretend to know why God does all the things He does, but I do know this – He is all-powerful and all-knowing, and this same God loves us more than we could ever imagine.

God, It is astounding to me that I can call you by name and speak to You. It is even more amazing that You hear me when I call. Thank You for holding us in Your hand and caring for us in ways we cannot even comprehend. Amen.

Scriptures: Genesis 6:9-9:17 Job 26:7-14 Psalm 147:4-5 Hebrews 1:3 Isaiah 55:8-9

Jessica HortonBy Jessica Horton

Find out more about Jessica HERE on Facebook or HERE online.

Jessica Horton is a singer/songwriter from Columbus, MS. She was raised in classic country and gospel, and the soul and sound of these classics often find their way into her music. Her songs feature the acoustic guitar, dobro, mandolin, and other roots instruments. On stage, Jessica brings a live aspect to her show by playing guitar and including singable old-time hymns and gospel songs. Offstage, Jessica spends a lot of time with her husband, David and her church family. She serves as a worship leader and youth director at Shaeffer’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Columbus, MS… (for more click here.)


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Kristina Cornell: Sometimes the Shadows Are Cold

Written by Staff on May 14, 2019 – 8:30 am -

Kristina Cornell

Kristina Cornell

Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”

This is one of the most well-known verses in the Bible. But what does that mean? What is the “valley of the shadow of death?” We hear this verse a lot at funerals and to comfort Christians in really difficult times of loss, but what is the most accurate translation of the original Hebrew text?

The Hebrew word for “shadow of death” is sal-ma-wet, which means “darkness” or “darkest shadows.” As we are reading in the context of the Hebrew, as it was written, we would say “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, which is the darkest valley, I will fear no evil.” The verse goes on to read, “for YOU are with me.”

I am going to pause. Although, this entire Psalms 23 passage is POWER PACKED with amazing promises for believers, I want to visit five words that MOVED me in a different way as I was studying for this devotional. “FOR YOU ARE WITH ME.”

I have faced some really tough things in this life. I remember looking at my pastor and telling him that I am not afraid to die, that if I did not wake up the following morning it would be ok with me. I proceeded by saying, “However, I am afraid to live; I do not know how to move through this.” Have you ever felt that way? Even though I am a child of God, a weapon for the Kingdom, a “right-fighter”, an alpha female-go getter, I am human. You are human.

When we consider David’s history, we can sort of understand why he realized his deep need for the Lord and why the Lord was truly his Savior.

David faced potential fatality while caring for his sheep. As just a boy, he fought away a lion and a bear to protect his flock. David was fearless in the face of Goliath. He had a warrior’s heart, prepared for battle even when it made no sense. With all odds stacked against him, he stood strong, faithful, and fearless.

David was tactical in his dealings with Saul. He used stealth and wisdom. He also brought great comfort to Saul as he skillfully played music and provided peace for his predecessor.

David was an anointed King. He was meant to be the King of Israel, the royal bloodline of Jesus. David was the “apple of God’s eye”. He found favor in the heart of the Father.

David lusted after a woman with whom he then had an affair, the woman became pregnant, and he had her husband killed. David was a man, in need of THE Savior.

Now, with that very brief history in mind, reading this passage, well it reads a little differently. He was not just a little shepherd boy writing a song. He was a fearless warrior, a revered leader, a skilled musician, and a sinner.

In all honesty and conviction, having a real human experience with God, David wrote: “Yea, though I walk through the darkest valley, the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for YOU are with me.”

I can imagine that David must have thought that sometimes the shadow, the darkest valley, is so cold. We cannot see the light of day; we cannot feel the warmth of the sun. Sometimes we cannot feel the light of our Father, the warmth of His arms. It is scary and unsure. Fear grips our hearts and we want to sit down and not move through to the other side. It is in that darkest valley, that shadow of what feels like death, that David reminded himself, “FOR YOU ARE WITH ME.” God did not need for David to tell Him where He was, David needed David to tell himself where God was.

But wait! What about Ps. 91:1 We believe that the scripture was an account by David but was actually Moses’ writing of the exodus. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”? David was recording this song of his hero; he was reminding himself of what the forefathers of his faith sang as they headed to the Promised Land. Actually, there are seven times in the book of Psalms that “shadow” is referenced as a hiding place of comfort and keeping.

Yet, even as I read these scriptures, I am transported to times that I, personally, was in that covert place with God, under His wings, because I was so wounded that I could not move. But guess what? Even that shadow felt cold. I am sure Moses felt the weight of the world, cold, lonely, scared, frustrated, angry when he returned from the mountain to find the Israelites building an idol, or as David must have felt when he was running for his life from Saul. That shadow of hiding and protection felt like I was so far removed from everyone and everything, it felt dark and cold, so lonely and isolated.

David KNEW God! David CONNECTED with God! David LOVED God! David CRIED OUT to God! David wrote this in his old age: Psalms 37:23-25 “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.”

For all of the trials and triumphs that David faced, these are the words that he wrote about his Father. It seems as though David figured out that the source of the shadow does not make the circumstance less dark, less cold, less isolated.

The source of the LIGHT that is creating the shadow is all that matters.

And just like David, we have to remind ourselves “FOR YOU ARE WITH ME”.

Kristina Cornell

When we recognize that the Light of the World is the author and finisher of our faith; He is the Alpha and Omega, the Great I Am; His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path; and He will NEVER leave us or forsake us, THAT is when the shadows do not matter.

The Light that is larger than the circumstance, is shining on us, and He holds our hands as we walk with Him.

By Kristina Cornell

“…I have been delivered so many times by the hand of God that any creativity that I have I only want to give back to Him. I really have nothing else to say, as I have learned that I have nothing of significance to offer of myself. I am just like everyone else, in need of a Savior. I write from my heart, I write devotionals, stories, songs, messages, even starting on a book, and all I have to offer is Jesus and what He has done in my life!” — Kristina Cornell. Visit her website at www.tellthemministries.net.

You can find out more about Kristina on Facebook HERE.

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Amy Oxenrider asks, “Who’s Your Daddy?”

Written by Staff on May 9, 2019 – 10:47 am -

Sweet Water by Amy Oxenrider

Sweet Water by Amy Oxenrider

Sweet Water by Amy Oxenrider

Who’s Your Daddy – Part One

Christians often refer to the Almighty God as their Heavenly Father, Abba Father, or Daddy… but do we really know who he is? Amy Oxenrider takes us on a journey to delve into the “who” of the God of the universe…

Exodus 3:11-15
“But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, “What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?’
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites; ‘I Am has sent me to you.”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.”

Sitting back and looking over my life, I can see how God’s finger has led me from place to place to bring me to this point. I can also see how God was so many things to me; he was and is what I needed, and continue to need, at any particular time.

Throughout history, one can clearly see the hand of God, the physical presence of God, and the Spirit of God dwelling among us and taking care of those who trust and believe in him wholeheartedly. He is and continues to be “I Am;” all we need. Christians often need to be reminded of all God is each and every day. Let us begin at the beginning.

Jehovah-Bara means Lord creator. Do you realize that there was nothing at all desirable of the earth until God worked upon it? But, when God works, life takes place. Dead things become alive. Void things become filled. When God works, things change for the better.

Jehovah-Bara was at the beginning of creation and before we were created in our mother’s womb. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

rushing waterHe is our creator as well as the creator of the universe. When was the last time you chose to praise God for just who he is? Do you praise him only for what he can do for you? Do you praise him only when things go wrong? We should have praises on our lips throughout the day, each and every day for just who he is, and not for the sole purpose of what he can do for us.

This may seem very minute to some, but I find myself saying, “Thank you Lord for allowing me to see this mistake.” When I find myself typing an article or a psycho-educational evaluation, I often thank God for allowing me to see my mistakes. And this tends to happen several times throughout the day.

Sometimes I wonder, how often do I praise him, instead of praying and asking for something he can provide. Please do not misunderstand this statement. I believe God wants his children to come to him with our needs. However, I also believe he wants to be loved and hear prayers of thanksgiving.

The Hebrew word for Bara means to create out of nothing. God spoke the world, universe, and all our finite brains cannot understand into existence. All he had to do was speak, and it occurred. What power and authority our God has. Our lives were as an empty canvas until God took control. He then molded us and made us into what he has planned for our lives. He is patient with his creations and loves us all so much that his mercies are new each and every day.

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

I want to close part one with a little humor. Three scientists had a conversation with God and indicated mankind no longer needed him because we have reached a point in our intelligence that we can do all he can. These cocky, arrogant scientists told God they could prove it to him. God simply said, “Ok, I will take your challenge.” The scientists told God they were going to make a man out of dirt. As they knelt down and began forming the image of a man, God spoke up and said, “Gentleman, I believe you need to get your own dirt. All of this belongs to me.”

Something out of nothing, that is what he has done with my life. That is what he does with all true believer’s lives. He takes a void and empty place and fills it with love, peace, and compassion for others. He takes simple pieces of clay and makes them the most beautiful creations in his eyes. And remember, God doesn’t make junk!

Much love,
Amy Duncan Oxenrider

Amy Duncan Oxenrider, the daughter of Grant and Shelia Duncan, is married to Jason Oxenrider and they have three sons, Brady, Weston, and Rylan.  Amy works as a psychometrist for the Mississippi Department of Education. She also writes for Pure Gospel Magazine and is now a member of SGNScoops.  A former member of the Riders, Amy continues to minister through singing and speaking engagements.  She is excited to see what her future holds and longs to uplift the name of Jesus Christ wherever the doors may open.  Find Amy on Facebook HERE.

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Kristen Stanton: This Day

Written by Staff on May 2, 2019 – 2:17 pm -

THE VALLEY BETWEEN

VICTORY IN THE VALLEY

THIS DAY 

Devotional by Kristen Stanton 

I Samuel 17:46  “This day will the LORD deliver you into my hand; and I will smite you, and take your head from you; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the Earth; that all the Earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”

Have you ever faced an obstacle that seemed insurmountable? Have you ever looked at the mountain in front of you and said, “Lord, I’m willing to climb it but I don’t see how I can!”  

Have you ever been so discouraged by what you are facing that you just resign yourself to the idea that you’ll never make it past where you are right now? Or maybe you know God can but you don’t know why God would. So you stay right where you are instead of venturing through the unknown valley ahead.

The reality is that each of those situations has one thing in common—lies straight from the pit of hell. Your mind is Satan’s battlefield, and he will try to win the war right there because he knows that if the battle moves beyond your mind he will surely lose.  

You have to be willing to fight the battle in order to have victory. And when you fight, you will also gain deliverance from the lies, the doubts, the fears – everything Satan uses to cause paralysis and destruction in your life.  Strongholds.

In I Samuel 17:45, we see David staring his enemy down in spite of what he was facing – a giant man, a sword, a spear, a shield — all of the normal proven weapons of warfare.  

And yet there David stood. No armor. Nor armor bearer. No sword, no spear, no shield. All of these things on the surface look like insurmountable obstacles—something impossible to overcome. But David did not get caught up in his circumstances. Instead, he declared in faith that he had victory.

David knew he had a weapon more powerful than anything this Philistine could use against him. He knew that Goliath wielding weapons of warfare was no match for the Lord of Hosts!

Likewise, it doesn’t matter what you are facing today. It doesn’t matter how big the enemy appears as he confronts you with fear, doubt, insecurity, discouragement. It doesn’t matter the obstacles. You have power over that today. Yes, today.

In I Samuel 17:46, David said, “This day will the Lord deliver you…” This day.  

David was not going to allow the enemy an opportunity to gain a stronghold. David declared in the face of his enemy that this day the Lord would deliver him into David’s hand.  

David had a choice. He was prepared for battle mentally. He knew that the battle belonged to the Lord. But he also had to fight. He had to walk into that valley and meet his enemy in order for him to be victorious.  

What is your greatest dream? What is holding you back from realizing that dream?

Speak the truth. God is for you. It doesn’t matter if your battle seems impossible because the truth is that battle belongs to the Lord.  

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

The battle begins in your mind. Declare victory over your enemy. Walk into that valley with the assurance that you have already won. Be ready.   

Your deliverance in this valley is coming. This day.

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.

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Facing your fears with Rob Patz

Written by Staff on April 25, 2019 – 2:42 pm -

Facing your fears with Rob Patz

Facing your fears with Rob Patz

2019 April SGNScoops Publisher’s Point By Rob Patz

Welcome to the April’s Publisher’s Point. I’m Rob Patz and this month I want to get very real and personal with you about the last few years of my life, and to be honest with you, probably even longer than that. I have not always been good at facing my fears. I will tell you that at times I’ve avoided my fears as much as possible and done as much as I could to steer clear of them.

Have you ever looked at the definition for fear?

“An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”

I will tell you this: Over that time I experienced an incredible amount of unpleasant emotions, mostly out of fear that I would fail, or that people would think I had failed, when in reality the failure was not facing the fear straight on.

Over the last few weeks, I have truly been seeking God over some decisions that I will be making over the next few months, one of which I will be announcing in May on our website. Be watching for that! My hesitation to do the things that I needed to do was based in fear.

Many of us who are in ministry or in business are at times crippled by fear, or we are crippled by the fact that we might fail. We’re crippled by the fact that our ministry might be looked at as different because we make a bold decision.

Recently in a quiet time with God, he told me it was time to face my fears because in those times I would grow and learn from what he was going to teach me. I will tell you this, I still have a fear that someone will look at what I do as crazy or that someone else will think that I am a failure, but that is not it at all nor what we should worry about. We should worry about doing what God has called us to do and not worry about what man might say. I know that’s easier said than done. But it’s something that I have been practicing over the last few weeks; learning to understand my own fear and then realizing I can move forward past it.

Love these verses in Luke 12:22-26:
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

So let me challenge you as we come to the mid part of 2019, that whether you’re in business or in ministry: Face your fears. Set your face towards your fears, and learn how to overcome them, because he that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.

SGNScoops Magazine April 2019

SGNScoops Magazine April 2019

When we realize that fear does not come from God, we can begin to conquer many of the things that look like stumbling blocks in front of us.

Hey, I want you to be with us at Creekside 2019 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Oct. 27 – 31.  Please contact me about your hotel room, and come and enjoy over 50 great artists and five great days of gospel music!

This is the April Publisher’s Point.

By Rob Patz.

First published in SGNScoops Magazine April 2019.

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What Does Easter Mean to You?

Written by Staff on April 19, 2019 – 5:22 pm -

What Does Easter Mean to You?

What Does Easter Mean to You

By Jennifer Campbell

This Sunday, millions of people will celebrate a holiday known as Easter. There are nearly as many Easter traditions around the world as there are candy-filled plastic eggs. But with all of the popularity surrounding this annual celebration, I have but one question to ask. What does Easter mean to you?

Many people enjoy participating in egg extravaganzas, ranging from simple Easter egg hunts to elaborate egg drops. Others savor the opportunity to shop for a new spring outfit, hoping to receive a lot of compliments on Easter Sunday. Of course, there are also individuals whose take on Easter is strictly ruled by their taste buds, considering the colorful hard-boiled eggs, baskets filled with chocolate, and special dinner menus at many restaurants. Unfortunately, some people even look forward to Easter because it is one of the two times a year they actually attend church services.

From greeting cards to holiday decorations, Easter has sadly become an overly commercialized holiday much like Christmas. Although the fanfare may seem innocent, it often overshadows the true reason for the holiday. This weekend is a time to reflect on the gift God gave to all mankind. He gave His only Son. Instead of looking at the Easter bunny, our focus should be on Jesus Christ.

Ultimately, the name Easter has pagan roots, coming from the name Ishtar. Some traditions, such as the Easter egg, symbolize fertility, paying homage to this ancient goddess of fertility. Personally, I like to refer to this special day as Resurrection Sunday instead of Easter. Why? Because I do not honor a pagan goddess, I serve the one true living God. He is the only One who has the power to create, to heal, or to save.

Resurrection Sunday is a day to worship God and thank Him for the gift of salvation. John 3:16 (NIV) says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God gave His Son to die for us because He loved us. The love God has for us is greater than any love on the face of the earth. God’s Word says we have all sinned and fall short of God’s glorious standard (Rom. 3:23). Yet, God gave His only Son to die for the forgiveness of our sins, knowing that many would still reject this most wondrous act of love.

On Good Friday, we remember the sacrifice Jesus made on Calvary. Our Lord was beaten until He was almost unrecognizable. He was spit upon and mocked. A crown of thorns was pressed into His skull. Nails were driven into His hands and His feet. A spear was thrust into His side. As He hung on the cross, He cried out, “’My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matt. 27:46). He could have called thousands of angels, but He stayed on the cross so you and I could receive redemption.

 

You may be wondering why Jesus obeyed His Father, enduring such agony on the cross. Jesus did not give His life to gain fame and fortune. He was not striving to garner notoriety among the people of His day. He gave His life because of love (I John 3:16). His sacrifice was rare. Christ died for people who didn’t even love Him in return. Romans 5:8 (NIV) says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” As the Bible mentions, some people might be willing to give their life for a good man, but most people would not be willing to sacrifice their life for an evil person. Yet that is exactly what God did for us.

Of course, the story doesn’t end there. As Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross, He was placed in a borrowed tomb. Three days later, Jesus rose up from the grave. He conquered death forevermore. Right this moment, He is sitting at the right hand of His Father, in Heaven, interceding on our behalf. Romans 8:34 (NIV) says, “Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Jesus loves us so much that He acts as a mediator on our behalf, pleading for us that we should not perish, but accept the gift of eternal life.

Jennifer Campbell

One day very soon, Jesus Christ will return to this earth. But when He comes back to earth, He is not coming back to be rejected and spit upon. Instead, He will return as King of kings and Lord of lords, to take His children home to be with Him for all eternity.

Have you made preparations for Christ’s return? If you confess your sins and put your trust in Jesus Christ, then you can receive the priceless gift of salvation that only comes from knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Jesus said, “‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6 NLT). When it is all said and done, a relationship with Christ is the only thing that can provide true redemption and lasting hope. For hope is not found in a bunny, an egg, or even a church service. Eternal hope is only found through Jesus Christ.

By Jennifer Campbell

Jennifer Campbell is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.

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Jessica Horton rejoices that “Morning Has Broken”

Written by Staff on April 18, 2019 – 5:41 am -

sun rise sunset Morning Has Broken: “Praise with elation, praise every morning” 

Devotional by Jessica Horton

A few years ago, I lived on the west side of the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii. Kona is all about the sunset. Rental properties, hotels, restaurants, and bars line the shores with the promise of the most gorgeous view.

Sunsets in Hawaii really are like nowhere else. But my favorite view was watching the sun rise from behind Hualalai, one of the breathtaking volcanoes that slopes down to the beach town of Kailua-Kona. There was a special place in my neighborhood where I would stop on my way to work, just so I could watch the sun crest over the peaks, shooting rays
of sunlight in every direction.

It was in these moments of awe and wonder that I began to truly understand that if we ever stopped praising the Lord, the rocks and trees would cry out to give Him glory. As the sun rose each day in Kona, the birds began to sing, the sounds of traffic came into focus, and the whole island awakened to begin a fresh, new day.

I have always loved mornings. My mother always said that they are fresh starts with new possibilities and second chances – “It’s a new day, baby girl. Start fresh.”

Psalm 30:5 tells us that “weeping may come for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Praise God that we do not live in endless night.

Praise Him for the beautiful morning – the sun that rises just in time! Let us renew our spirits with Him each day, and may we never lose the awe and wonder for the things God has done and continues to do. Amen.

 

Jessica Horton

Jessica Horton

Almighty God,
Thank You for Your beautiful creation. I am in awe of your glorious work. Help me to walk each day with You. Thank You for the beautiful gift of a new morning. Renew my spirit and draw me nearer. Amen.

Scriptures:
Psalm 90:14
Psalm 130:6
Psalm 143:8
Job 38:12
Lamentations 3:22-23

By Jessica Horton.

Find out more about Jessica HERE on Facebook or HERE online.

Jessica Horton is a singer/songwriter from Columbus, MS. She was raised in classic country and gospel, and the soul and sound of these classics often find their way into her music. Her songs feature the acoustic guitar, dobro, mandolin, and other roots instruments. On stage, Jessica brings a live aspect to her show by playing guitar and including singable old-time hymns and gospel songs. Off- stage, Jessica spends a lot of time with her husband, David and her church family. She serves as worship leader and youth director at Shaeffer’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Columbus, MS… (for more click here.)

(bio from https://jessicahortonmusic.com/bio March 1, 3:55pm)

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Who God Is by Kristina Cornell

Written by Staff on April 16, 2019 – 8:04 am -

Kristina Cornell

Kristina Cornell

Sometimes, I forget just who God is. Yes, He is my friend, and I am thankful that He beckons us to “pray without ceasing.” He said that it is actually His will that we pray without ceasing. I take full liberty with that right as His child; I talk to Him throughout the day. I am in constant communication with Him. I have become so comfortable talking with God that sometimes I have to remind myself just who He is.

I remember that Jesus spoke these words in Matthew 6:9, “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” Jesus was reminding His disciples, including us, to not forget who God is.

“OUR FATHER”, is such a beautiful way to begin a prayer. He is Abba. He is ours. He calls us “sons and daughters.” What perspective. The loving arms of a father, the Father, waiting to hold us while we speak to Him; longing to wipe away our tears and offer solutions to our worries. Our Father, wanting nothing more than for us to be honest with Him about the mistakes we have made; to ask Him to help us. Our Father, being patient as we explain our opinions and gently guiding us back on track. “Our Father”, what a beautiful way to start a prayer.

“Hallowed (holy, sacred, consecrated, sanctified, blessed, blest, revered) be Thy name.” When we forget who God is, it is often because we have not praised Him enough. When we praise Him, when we worship Him, it is clearly in honor to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is the King, seated on His throne. He is the holy one, the Holy Presence who dwelled within the ark of the covenant and appeared to the New Testament followers in the upper room.

Romans 14:11 reads: For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.”

We will recognize Him as the Lord of all at some point. But, why would we wait? He inhabits the praises of His people. When we want God to show up, we praise Him for all He has already done. We worship Him for who He is. Holy be your name, God.

Jesus goes on in Matthew 6:10 to say: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

I was reading in Daniel 2:44 that “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.”

He is establishing His kingdom in our hearts right now. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the vessels used for His kingdom. “It will itself endure forever.” He has “built His kingdom… and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Our holy, righteous, just, loving, omniscient, omnipresent, blameless, sinless, perfect Father, seated on His throne in heaven, is giving us permission to ask Him to let His kingdom come, to take rulership of our lives.

“Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Oh, my precious friends, this one gets people caught up in themselves. We find ourselves hesitating to pray these words. We ask ourselves “What if His will is different than what we want… then what do we do?” “What if He will not bless my relationship or give the job to me that I want? What if I cannot go on vacation this year, what if He asks me to give my money to missions instead?” All the while forgetting that “His ways are perfect” and that “the footsteps of a righteous man are ordered by God.”

We lack the understanding that “every good and perfect gift comes from above.” (yes, the same above where the Holy Father sits on His throne). Why do we do that? Why do we take the plan out of the only hands that are perfect? Why do we insert ourselves into His position as Lord? We act as though we have not fully surrendered.

Surely, when one surrenders in any other forum, there cannot be a retake of the original stance. Consider a sporting event, if a team were to concede to another, due to unquestionable defeat, if that team then said, “never mind” after the game was already called. Or in battle, after the relinquishment of control, while headed into the new agreement, the ‘surrendered’ stated: “I cannot do this anymore!”

Surrender means surrender. We have to surrender it all, we must “offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is our true and proper worship” Paul writes in Romans 12:1.

Truly, the most safe and secure prayer that we could ever pray: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

As we go about our daily lives, let us not forget who God is.

By Kristina Cornell

You can find out more about Kristina on Facebook HERE.

For more Gospel Music news, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE

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Amy Oxenrider: ONE MIND

Written by Staff on April 10, 2019 – 4:12 pm -

Altar Call. Just as I Am by Justin McLeod

Altar Call at the First Baptist Church, Hammond

Technology is often a blessing or curse. When it’s working correctly, everything is great. However, when it’s not working as we expect, we often become extremely frustrated.

Computers and smartphone allow us to communicate in multiple ways. For instance, some prefer Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Used for business, pleasure, or leisure, these apps have definitely made their mark on society.

One that is becoming more popular each day is Snapchat. I have to admit, I love playing with the filters. Yes, this 42 year old woman enjoys laughing at herself. But one thing I have learned, these apps and devices can be used to help as much as harm. One must be very careful and use wisdom, especially when children are involved.

Courtney Chapel. One mind

Picture by JEFF WILHeLM

Thank goodness God provides what we need, even the things we never thing about, such as wisdom. Utilizing the potential of a technological device to spread joy or happiness is something I have learned can be rewarding.

I am part of a group created on Snapchat for my coworkers. We have used this app for fun, to spread needed information, as well as requesting prayer.

One day we received a notification that we had a message on Snapchat. It was a coworker that was asking all of us to stop for a brief moment and pray for her mother. Apparently, there was an unexpected illness that struck and things were not looking good for my friend’s mother.

When Nancy, my coworker, asked us to stop and pray, she did not say I need all of my Baptist sisters and brothers to pray. She simply said I need my brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for my mother.

The affiliation of our church membership meant absolutely nothing.

The connection to our Heavenly Father meant absolutely everything.

1 Corinthians 1:10 states the following: “I appeal to you brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

This scripture teaches us that denominations do not mean anything to Christ. Are they wrong? No. We all choose to worship differently. Our worship and praise should come from our heart, and our actions should be directed by the Holy Spirit, not church guidelines.

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

When Nancy reached out to her sisters for prayer, she had Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, and Catholics praying to the same God for her mother’s healing. We were in one mind and one accord. We knew there is one name above all others, the name of Jesus.

When we as the body of Christ come together as one church, one people, and one mind, we can accomplish more than we can imagine for the Kingdom of God.

Much Love,
Amy D. Oxenrider

Amy Duncan Oxenrider, the daughter of Grant and Shelia Duncan, is married to Jason Oxenrider and they have three sons, Brady, Weston, and Rylan.  Amy works as a psychometrist for the Mississippi Department of Education. She also writes for Pure Gospel Magazine and is now a member of SGNScoops.  A former member of the Riders, Amy continues to minister through singing and speaking engagements.  She is excited to see what her future holds and longs to uplift the name of Jesus Christ wherever the doors may open.  

For more Gospel Music news, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE

Download The PDF Of SGNScoops Magazine HERE
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Listen To The Best In Today’s Gospel Music HERE

 

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019


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Meet the Writer: Michael Jason Frost discusses “Choose Life” by the Hyssongs

Written by Staff on April 10, 2019 – 2:16 pm -

Hyssongs

The Hyssongs

Have you had an experience where you had to convince someone to “Choose Life”? Have you personally faced this choice? The Hyssongs’ new song came from a very personal place for writer Michael Jason Frost.

Here are the lyrics, followed by a video interview with Richard Hyssong, as Michael gives his testimony behind the song…

Michael Jason Frost

Michael Jason Frost

Choose Life
(Michael Jason Frost / Morning Frost Music / BMI)

1)
There’s a woman crying softly, a heavy heart and worried mind
As she wonders how she’ll care for this precious unborn child
Somebody said to her you have a choice, in this day and time
But in spite of her uncertainties, the choice becomes clear in her mind

(Chorus)
She chooses life, full and abundant, a precious gift from Heaven above
Life, in spite of all of its trials, is God’s manifestation of marvelous love
When it seems there’s no other choice you can find,
Remember God created us to prosper and thrive,
The choice becomes clear every time,
Choose life

2)
There’s a man crying softly, a heavy heart and a worried mind
As he ponders a decision to give up, and end it all this time
Somebody said to him you have a choice, find the strength inside
In spite of all his uncertainties, the choice becomes clear in his mind

(Chorus)
He chooses life, full and abundant, a precious gift from Heaven above
Life, in spite of its trials, is God’s manifestation of marvelous love
When it seems there’s no other choice you can find,
Remember God created us to prosper and thrive,
The choice becomes clear every time,
Choose life

3)
There’s a world crying softly, with heavy hearts and worried minds
We’ve forgotten there’s abundant life, through Jesus Christ
We all have a choice before we leave this world behind
Jesus is life, so now is the time to decide

(Chorus)
Choose life, full and abundant, a precious gift from Heaven above
Life, in spite of all of its trials, is God’s manifestation of his marvelous love
When it seems there’s no other choice you can find,
Remember God created us to prosper and thrive,
The choice is clear this time,
Choose life

We hope you enjoy this song as sung by the Hyssongs.

For more Gospel Music news, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE

Download The PDF Of SGNScoops Magazine HERE
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE
Listen To The Best In Today’s Gospel Music HERE

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