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Rob Patz asks “What Does Freedom Cost?”

Written by Staff on July 20, 2019 – 11:41 am -

Rob Patz asks: Are you free?Freedom subject of Publisher’s Point for July by Rob Patz

John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Jesus came to bring us freedom.

I think we hear more about freedom during the month of July because of the Fourth of July, and I believe it also makes us think more about freedom. There are many in our world who want us to be free from everything. Unfortunately, there is a cost for freedom.

Clearly, the cost of freedom in our country includes those men and women who sacrificed their lives in service for our country, no matter what the war or conflict, or even during peacetime; those that chose to protect us and our freedom and lost their lives, are one cost of our freedom.

I truly believe as Christians we live in freedom, but this freedom has a cost, too.

To live free from sin means we have to sacrifice things that in the world we would see as appealing. I’m sure each and every one of us have struggled daily with things of this world that have appealed to us, but we realized that the bondage that comes with the sin takes away our freedom. It takes away the simple joy that we can have and the freedom that we can experience in our lives if we submit to what God has for us.

Now, is it going to be easy, or is it going to always be fine? No, but if we want to live in the dimension of freedom that I think every one of us craves as Christians, it means we have to live within the boundaries the Bible sets up for us. There’s always a roadmap, there’s always decisions to make, and there’s no such thing as freedom without a cost.

Rob Patz of Coastal Media

Rob Patz of Coastal Media

Let me encourage you today. You may be in a place in your life where you’ve chosen things that have now put you in a state of bondage. You’ve chosen things that now control you instead of you controlling them. I encourage you today to return to Christ. He is willing to break those chains and give you the opportunity to live free. Freedom has a cost. I think the cost is worth it.

Hey everybody, I want you to join me for Creekside 2019, on Oct. 27 – 31, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. This year, it’s not just one event but two, as we add Christian Country at the Creek, Oct. 30 and 31. If you need a hotel room, this year we are excited to have two options for our attendees. Please give me a call at 360 933 0741 or email events@sgnscoops.com.

I

Creekside 2019 presented by Coastal Media

Creekside 2019 presented by Coastal Media

truly believe this year is going to be a year of freedom at Creekside, and I want you to come and experience that in person. We are excited to have added Bill Bailey and Josh Franks as preachers on Monday and Tuesday. Come experience what God has for you during a great week in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in July 2019

You can find out more about Kristina on Facebook HERE.

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Kristina Cornell: No Other Name — Healing

Written by Staff on July 18, 2019 – 7:30 am -

Kristina Cornell. No other name. Healing

Kristina Cornell

NO OTHER NAME — Healing

What is the difference?  If you had a favorite item and you could take it and have it repaired, OR, if someone could revitalize, remake the item, using the same structure, what would you choose? 

I have a pair of black leather boots. They are my favorite. They fit me perfectly, they are flattering with everything, and they are 10 years old. I wear them so much that the soles wear to nothing. They are leather so they get a little scratched here and there.

Early on, I would try and fix them myself. However, I decided to take them to a shoemaker. He removes the heel and sole, he conditions the leather, then polishes it. He replaces the sole with a new one.  I have had this process done twice. They look brand new every time he restores them. He actually calls it that. He does not call it a boot-repair, he calls it boot-restoration because he takes them apart and remakes them. 

No Other Name Like Jesus: The Tenth Leper

There is no other name that brings healing, but the name of Jesus. Isaiah prophesied of the Savior, Jehovah. He wrote: Isaiah 53:5 “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging, we are healed.”  Isaiah was shown by the Father that the Messiah would come to save the world. Last month was the first part of this series, and it was No Other Name – Salvation. This month we are doing No Other Name – Healing.  Jesus came to cleanse us from our sin and save us from an eternal removal from Himself, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. He also came to save us from hurts and pains, from brokenness and sicknesses, from diseases and depressions.  

In the Gospels, the recollection of Jesus life on earth, we have Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Luke was a physician and offers a different perspective on a lot of what was recorded. This is one of my FAVORITE stories in the Bible, and we find it in Luke 17:11-19.  Verses 11-14 set up the situation:

“11 As He went on His way to Jerusalem, it occurred that Jesus was passing along the border between Samaria and Galilee.

12 And as He was going into one village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance.

13 And they raised up their voices and called, Jesus, Master, take pity and have mercy on us!

14 And when He saw them, He said to them, “Go at once and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cured and made clean.

Oh my goodness, when we get to verse 15, it starts to get good.

15 Then one of them, upon seeing that he was cured, turned back, recognizing and thanking and praising God with a loud voice;

16 And he fell prostrate at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him over and over. And he was a Samaritan.

17 Then Jesus asked, Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the nine?

18 Was there no one found to return and to recognize and give thanks and praise to God except this alien?”

Every single time that I reach verse 17, I get butterflies in my stomach. I cannot imagine being one of the other nine. Jesus was disappointed. I could not imagine disappointing Jesus!  Of course, I also am so emotional and such a words driven person, I thank Jesus when I find an extra piece of gum in my purse. I cannot imagine being cleansed of leprosy and just going on my merry way without saying thank you. 

We really do not have a lot of information on those nine lepers that continued on their way. but we do know that number 10 was a Samaritan. Jesus called him an alien. There was nothing special about him. As a matter of fact, he had a mark against him for being a Samaritan, as they were not a good match with Jewish people. They had a long history of animosity toward each other.

This man was not high society; he was a have-not. He had no etiquette or training; he was a Samaritan and Jewish people called them dogs. Jesus was not affected by his title. Jesus was not affected by his status and by his disease. Jesus was affected by his heart. Jesus proved the greatest love that day. He loved others above all, and He selflessly cleansed these unclean people.

But the tenth leper…

Verse 19 says it all to me: “And He said to him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith (your trust and confidence that spring from your belief in God) has restored you to health.”  All of the lepers were cleansed, BUT the tenth leper was restored.  He was not fixed; he was made new.  

On, the blood of Jesus, that washes white as snow. He poured out His blood for us, for our salvation and for our healing. By His stripes, we are healed. We can claim victory in our lives today because of who He is.

The tenth leper’s faith in healing is not what made him whole. The tenth leper’s faith in Jesus is what made him whole.  

No Other Name — Healing

You do not have to hold on to things in your life.  Let go and let God have His way. When He cleanses you, praise Him; when He delivers you, praise Him; when He heals you, praise Him…

Restoration will come into your life when you trust in Jesus. Trust that He has the best plan for you. If He does not take the sickness away, He will use it for your good and His glory. If you are afflicted at the hand of another, it is not God’s fault, it is their free will.  But God can take anything and “work it together for good, when we love Him and are called according to His purpose.”

Will we face difficult challenges in our lives? Absolutely. Can Jesus still cleanse us from our uncleanliness?  Absolutely.

Just…Please…Don’t miss the next step…

Praise Him even when everyone else leaves, even if you feel like you’re a lesser-than and unworthy. Praise Him when everyone else wants to go tell others what happened instead of giving thanks. Praise Him even when you think He may not listen because you feel that you don’t deserve His grace or mercy.

Kristina Cornell. No other name. Healing

Kristina Cornell

Jesus hears us. He recognizes us. He restores us.

There is no other Name for healing, but the name of Jesus.

By Kristina Cornell.

Kristina Cornell is a regular contributor to SGNScoops website.

“…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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NAE Launches Campaign to ‘Bless Your Pastor’

Written by Staff on July 17, 2019 – 10:01 am -

NAE Launches Campaign to 'Bless Your Pastor'
NAE Launches Campaign to 'Bless Your Pastor'
NAE Launches Campaign to 'Bless Your Pastor'NEWS PROVIDED BY
National Association of Evangelicals
July 17, 2019

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2019 /Christian Newswire/ — The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) today launched a new national campaign to help congregations “show and share God’s love” for their pastors in creative and practical ways. The Bless Your Pastor (BlessYourPastor.org) campaign is part of a larger initiative to address financial challenges faced by pastors and is funded by a $1 million, 3-year grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

The Bless Your Pastor campaign will encourage and equip churches to consider creative ways to bless their pastors and to take up a special appreciation offering for their pastors. Some churches may decide to extend this campaign to church staff members, in addition to their pastors.

Brian Kluth, national director of NAE Financial Health and spokesperson for Bless Your Pastor, said, “Having been a pastor myself, with three children and a wife who needed major medical treatments, I understand the financial struggles many pastors and their families face – and the tremendous difference it makes when a congregation shows their pastor they are there for them, all the way, sharing God’s love and blessings in practical ways.”

“Bless Your Pastor is about people in the church sharing their time, talents and treasures to creatively bless their pastors and church staff members,” Kluth said. “Some examples can be babysitting, doing car repairs, offering low or no cost medical and dental care, sharing a vacation home, and providing gift cards to the pastor and family.”

Churches that sign up for the Bless Your Pastor campaign at BlessYourPastor.orgwill receive a robust toolkit that will make it easy to launch and spark excitement for the campaign in their churches. The toolkit includes a list of “50 Creative Ways to Show God’s Love to Your Pastor;” a short training video for church boards and leadership teams; a timetable for organizing this behind-the-scenes effort; template letters and emails; social media graphics; and more.

According to national research from the NAE, LifeWay and InTrust, most pastors and their families operate with limited financial resources to meet their current and long-term needs:

 

  • 90 percent of pastors feel financial pressure.
  • 50 percent make less than $50,000 per year while serving their churches 50-60, or more, hours per week.
  • Nearly 60 percent of pastors do not receive retirement or healthcare benefits from their churches.
  • 3 out of 10 pastors have student loan debt averaging $36,000.
The NAE will send an Amazon gift card to the senior pastors of the first 1,000 congregations that take up a special offering for their pastors (and staff, if applicable) and complete the online form at BlessYourPastor.org.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly, Sr., and sons, J.K., Jr., and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes.

About National Association of Evangelicals (NAE)
The mission of the National Association of Evangelicals is to honor God by connecting and representing evangelical Christians. The NAE includes more than 45,000 churches from 40 denominations and serves a constituency of millions. Founded in 1942, the NAE is currently led by President Leith Anderson.


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Cheryl Smith: Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

Written by Staff on July 16, 2019 – 11:55 am -

Cheryl Smith: Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

Cheryl Smith: Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

A mother of four returns home from church to find her husband’s mangled car, just a block from home. As she enters her house, the phone is ringing. It is the hospital telling her to come quick, that her husband has been in an accident. She asks, ‘How bad is he,’ only to have the nurse on the other end of the line insufficiently cover the receiver while asking another nurse, “Shall I tell her?” At that moment, she knows he is gone. She struggles, wondering why he wouldn’t stop drinking, how she will tell her children their daddy is gone, and how they will ever make it through.

***

After the ending of a tumultuous relationship, a sweet, kind-hearted girlfriend takes him back just one more time. She gives him everything he asks for, including the money in her purse, only to have him return a few hours later to ruthlessly and repeatedly stab her face and body, leaving her lying in a pool of blood. She is found, arms folded, eyes turned heavenward, dead, on her apartment floor.

***

I stand beside my mother’s/her great-grandmother’s casket as the young girl in front of me pours out her heart. Addiction, abuse, and bad lifestyle choices have caused her to lose custody of her three children, and the only way she could attend the funeral was by obtaining a special pass from rehab. She tells me how she has made up her mind to change, and I tell her how proud of her I am. Just a few weeks later, she is released from rehab and everyone thinks she is finally turning her life around. Then someone makes an offer she can’t refuse, and she decides to go back for one more fix. Something goes terribly wrong, and her daddy finds her dead the next morning, lying on his bathroom floor.

***

This stuff isn’t made up. This is real life. Each of these is true and have touched my life and the lives of those I love in a deeply personal way. My mother was the young widow with four children; my niece, Victoria, was the kind-hearted girlfriend; and my great-niece, Ashley, was the young mom in rehab. I could go on and on. There are plenty of stories. You could probably share many of your own. The human condition is something we all have in common. Everybody hurts. We all cry. Things touch our lives, and we are left reeling, sometimes to never fully recover.

So, the question is, why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

Why does God look on while such things happen? How can a loving God allow such pain to be inflicted upon His creation? We hear of horrific happenings every evening on the nightly news, and we find ourselves asking the age-old, still-unanswered question again and again: Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

In spite of the frequency and number of times it has been asked, the question remains unanswered because to answer this question one would have to be able to see into, know, and fully understand the mind and reasoning of God. We know from Scripture that God is high above us, and His thoughts and ways are beyond what we have the capacity of comprehending.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8,9

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him?” I Corinthians 2:16

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” Job 38:1-4

From these verses, we conclude that we can never fully answer the question of why God allows bad things to happen to good people, but as we look at a broader view of Scripture, we can see that God’s original and never-faltering nature is and always has been purely and entirely good.

Our hearts cry, “Why, God?” when bad things happen because deep in each one of our spirits, we believe that God is good. We believe He is sovereign, that He is in complete control, and that He can prevent bad things from happening. So, why doesn’t He?

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“I Have Decided”– A Note From Jessica Horton

Written by Staff on July 9, 2019 – 3:33 pm -

Jessica HortonI Have Decided by Jessica Horton

“No turning back, no turning back”

When I was a child, I remember God being present in my life – even without a stable faith community. I was often lonely, so I would go and swing by myself. I remember loving to swing so much because when I looked up at the sky, I felt Him looking back at me.

 

I felt closest to Him during those times especially, and I sought out every opportunity to be near Him. He felt warm, and I knew He loved me.

 

As I grew older, I began to understand the importance of accepting His invitation to salvation, and when I was nine years old, I decided to follow Jesus.

 

There has been a lot of speculation about this song. Some theologians argue that to “decide” to follow Jesus doesn’t allow the believer to fully understand that Jesus has already done the work of salvation and the gift is given as God’s choice, not our own. I believe both thoughts are true.

 

God knows all things from the beginning of time to the end. He is the first to draw us to Himself – we don’t make the first move. He knows every step we will take and knows every variation of choices in our minds. He sent His Son to redeem the world, He accepted the price as full payment for our sins, and His gift is free.

 

Jessica Horton

Jessica Horton

Yet, He created us with free will. He wants us to choose Him. If we had the choice between all the spoils of the Garden or a bite of the apple, He wants us to choose His amazing gift of abundance. He wants us to turn away from the things of this world and make a choice – “no turning back, no turning back.”

 

The history of this beautiful song is one of absolute terror. In the moments that these words were breathed, the author was commanded to renounce his faith. “I have decided…”

 

The songwriter watched as the village chief of his Indian community murdered his two children while he watched. “Though none go with me…”

 

And just before this man of God was executed himself, he sang the words, “The world behind me…”

 

It is my prayer that we as disciples of Jesus will have this same measure of extraordinary faith, backed by the mighty strength of assurance and firm commitment.

 

Yes, God has already completed the work of salvation. He has already paid the price. But he is calling you and me to choose Him every day and every moment, and receive this incredible gift for ourselves.

 

Have you decided?

 

God,

Thank you for Your incredible gift to us. We know that we are nothing without You. Please help us to see the things that are not from you so that we can turn away from them. Give us the strength to choose You every opportunity that we get. Amen.

 

Scriptures:

Joshua 24:15

John 3:16

John 6:44

Matthew 7:13-14

Revelation 3:20

 

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. 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.)

Christian Country at the CreekJessica Horton will be appearing at Christian Country at the Creek, Oct. 30 – 31, 2019, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. This is a sister event to the Creekside Gospel Music Convention.

For more information on the Christian Country at the Creek and the 2019 Creekside Gospel Music Convention, accommodations, VIP seating, and tickets, contact Rob Patz at 360-933-0741.

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Selena Day: Finding Life Within

Written by Staff on June 20, 2019 – 12:57 pm -

Selena and her husband Chuck DayI married Chuck when I was 22 years old and thus began my journey traveling. I have spent most of my adult life living out of a suitcase. We have raised two daughters from diapers to homeschooling and into young adulthood, while still maintaining a home and staying on the road three to four days out of the week. We had a bus when the girls were very young; they actually learned to walk on a tour bus.

Selena Day and Chuck Day

Selena Day and Chuck Day

I have been to 34 states, and I think 40 (give or take one or two) countries. I tell you all this only to make a point.

Over the past 10 years, the words, ‘Adventure, Explore, and Journey’ have all been percolating through our society. A study recently showed that millennials would rather use their money to travel than to purchase large investment items such as homes, land, stocks. They believe that experience will bring greater happiness to them than material things.

Selena Day and Chuck Day

The Day Family

This article is not meant to dispute this logic because I have had so many amazing experiences while traveling, but I also love coming home. My home, not my parent’s house, but mine. If I come back off the road and feel really tired and don’t want to unpack and wash my clothes for a day or two, I can. No one can tell me that I can’t, because it is my house. There have been weeks in our life that I never unpacked. I came in, took the dirty clothes, washed them and repacked them in our suitcases, and loaded back up. There were clothes strewn all over the house, and the house actually looked cleaner after we left than when we were there.

Selena DayI say all this because one thing I have discovered from all this traveling, is that happiness is not found in anything but that which resides within. I honestly believe that it is Christ within me that brings hope, happiness, and joy; absolutely anything we will ever need in this life. It is through him, in him and with him only that we can live and thrive in this life.  

I have learned that happiness is not found just beyond the horizon and happiness is not found in what you own or what you do. Happiness is living the life you were created to live, and our journey is about discovering what this life is meant to be.  

Selena Day and Chuck DayI am not trying to imply that travel is not suitable for your soul, because I absolutely believe this to be true; but I also think that living a fulfilling life is about so many different things. It is about the people you surround yourself with, it is about the purpose you have in your life.

Don’t judge someone because they choose the life they are living.

Scripture says that love covers a multitude of sins. And the simple definition for sin is; missing the mark. We get the word sin from the Greek word hamartia.  This word was used during the first century church times in Greek literature when telling a Greek tragedy. It was commonly understood to refer to an error or tragic flaw that lead to a chain of plot actions culminating in a reversal from bliss to disaster. It qualified as the failure or deficiency resulting from ignorance, a mistake of judgment, a flaw in character or wrongdoing.

I think this is important to understand when loving others and living our life. Realizing that, Peter believed significantly in the sacrificial love of Christ to change our lives so drastically from every negative influence that we obtain in life, from lousy parenting to the negative effect of friends or colleagues. When we love, we literally change the course of a person’s life for the better.

Selena Day and Chuck Day

Selena Day

Living a wholehearted, full, and happy life can only come with knowing who you are inside. It’s in finding absolute truth as your foundation for all that you do, whether it be in finding the adventure in life when traveling, or being the strong influence of stability by staying in one place, or in my case, doing a little of both.

For me, my truth comes from God. I believe that man cannot save himself. I have a redeemer and he not only saved me once for eternity, but he continually rescues me from adversity. Either by showing me that I am strong and smarter than I once believed, and I can work through my battle, or by miraculously delivering me.

I know that I am loved. No matter what I do or what I say, I am loved by a greater force than I could ever begin to comprehend. And that love gives me the courage to pursue my dreams, to fail and to get up and try again. I am grateful that I have a Savior that loves me and has made way for me to live my best life.  

I pray that if you do not know him, you will stop right now and just talk to him. Just begin to ask questions in your own words and allow him to answer them. He will.

Life is worth living. But real life is in Jesus Christ. Scripture says to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  Zoe, Zao living means to live abundantly, vigorously, fully. So today I pray that if you are struggling wherever you may be; traveling on the road or sitting at home on the couch, you will know that there is a God that loves you and he has a plan for your life.  

Selena Day

Selena Day

Your best days are yet to come.  

By Selena Day

Selena Day is a regular writer for SGNScoops Magazine. She and her husband, Chuck Day, are tireless ministers of God. Chuck is a Christian Country artist.

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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Kristina Cornell: NO OTHER NAME — Salvation

Written by Staff on June 11, 2019 – 6:06 pm -

Kristina Cornell

Kristina Cornell

Have you ever been given a special name from someone who, when they use your correct name, it sounds odd?

My neices have a name for me, and when they say, “Aunt Kristina”, it feels less amorous. I have grown to LOVE the name they have given to me: “Aunt TT”. (I guess Kristina is hard to say when you are little.)

Then there is this one, when Bella says: “Mom, I love you.” Oh, my goodness, I live to hear those words. Being called “mom” is music to my heart. It is amazing how special one can feel, just by hearing a familiar voice call their name, even when it is not one’s proper name.

Isabella, my daughter, and I were talking about the Lord and how incredibly good He has been to us. She said, “Mom, the Holy Spirit is dealing with me about a topic and I think you should write a series on it.”

I am always intrigued by Bella hearing God’s voice in her heart.

She said, “I think you should call it ‘No Other Name,’ and it should remind people of all the things that God is. He is salvation, He is healing, He is our deliverer, He is our ever-present help in time of trouble…,” she continued.

Now, hearing my baby girl growing in grace is more than I can handle sometimes. I was so blessed by our conversation that I got chills. It was definitely the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit that was leading this child. I prayed about this series. I prayed over this series. Today, we will begin our series on ‘No Other Name.’

In the Book of Acts, Peter and John were before the council telling them that Jesus Christ, the man whom they crucified, was now whole and that Jesus was in fact “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.” Of course, that was a reference to the Psalms and the prophesy of Isaiah.

Then they proceeded with “And there is salvation in no one else;  for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be  saved.”

Can you even imagine how Peter and John must have felt? Verses five and six tell us that after being held overnight in jail, they were standing before rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, along with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and many others from
the high priest’s family. They were performing miracles in Jesus’ name and the leaders of Jerusalem were not happy. When questioned, they replied with the afore mentioned verses.

The scripture goes on to tell us that though the leadership knew these men were the real deal, they did not know what to do with Peter and John because the 5,000 plus people that were gathering believed in Jesus because of these miracles.

The leaders in Jerusalem decided that it would be best if Peter and John did not speak in or of the name of Jesus anymore. The men refused. The elders released the two men and they
returned to their people. The people began lifting their voices to God by repeating the Psalms of David.

Then they said it!

Such a powerful statement, which I believe brought on the next event.

With unabashed conviction, they said (verses 29 and 30) “And now, Lord, consider their threats, and enable Your servants to speak Your word with complete boldness, as You  stretch out Your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant
Jesus.”

Now in verse 31, it is about to get real. This is where we see their obedience and faith start to shake it up.

“After they had prayed, their meeting place was shaken, and they were all
filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

Oh, the name of Jesus!

It stirs the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of the living God is moved by praying in the name of Jesus.

John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Rom 10:9: “that if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’  and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Phil 2:10-11:”so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.…”

The name of Jesus touches the very heart of God. Just as we love to hear our names called by the people whom we love, so does God. He wants to hear us pray in the name of Jesus, to receive salvation through the name of Jesus, to walk in power because of the name of Jesus.

I pray that the beginning of this series, “No Other Name,” you will see that the name of Jesus first and foremost means salvation.

I pray that if you do not know Him as your Lord, your Savior, that you will pray a prayer of repentance, in Jesus’ name!

Kristina Cornell

His blood was spilled for our
atonement, and when we call out to Him, His blood covers every sin. Even if it is just a whisper, at the name of Jesus, salvation is yours!

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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David Staton says, “Thank You, Dad!”

Written by Staff on June 7, 2019 – 6:03 pm -

David Staton asks: Who are you?

David Staton

The Story behind “Thank You Dad” By David Staton

I have been blessed through the years to write songs for just about every well-known southern gospel artist in our field. Not long ago, I was being interviewed and the interviewer asked me if I had a favorite song that I had written. I didn’t even hesitate when I told him which one was my favorite.  I told him that it was a song that most folks have never heard. Since then, I have added it to my live concerts because the reaction is always the same. I was so fortunate to be raised by Godly parents.  I am one of five kids and we have always been very close. We grew up singing together and had parents that not only poured the word of God into us but showed us through their lives how God loves us unconditionally.

In 2004, I received a phone call from my mom that stopped me in my tracks. She told me that my dad had been showing signs of being confused and disoriented and they were going to the hospital to have a brain scan done. Well, we all began to pray and a few hours later, my mom called again. She told me that the scan had shown a tumor. They said it was operable, but my dad was 71 years old and at his age, the chances of it being a late stage of cancer were likely.

They scheduled surgery for a few days later. I remember telling Mike LeFevre and the guys that I needed some time off. I went to Ohio for dad’s surgery. The day before the surgery, my mom told all of us kids that dad wanted to write each of us a letter telling us how proud he was of us and how much he loved us.

I suggested that rather than dad writing a letter to all of us, that we should write a letter to him telling him how much we love him and how thankful we are that God placed us in his care and allowed us to be raised by such Godly parents. My dad made it through the surgery and we were told that the tumor was stage four (the most advanced) and more than likely, another tumor would come back and be very aggressive.

I watched my dad who had always been so strong, become incredibly weak as he fought so hard to beat the odds. My dad lived for almost one year to the day of his surgery and passed away on September 10, 2005. During that last year, I went to visit my mom and dad as much as I possibly could.

I remember sitting in the living room where us kids were raised, next to my dad’s hospital bed and talking to him and my mom. I would ask questions that most kids never ask their parents. How did you meet? Who introduced you? What did you like to do before five kids came into your life and messed everything up?

At night, I would write down everything I had learned about my parents and began working on this song. I guess the reason this song is so special to me is that from an emotional standpoint, it is the life story of my dad. From a writer’s perspective, the song is both chronologically and structurally sound.

There is a story about each one of the lines in the song, so I’m going to share the lyric first and then, I will tell you a little bit about each line that made me include it and why it’s so special. I’d like to wish every dad a Happy Father’s Day and I hope you enjoy the stories that inspired this song. To hear the song, go to www.davidstaton.com.

THANK YOU, DAD

Verse 1:
He was born in 1932
Where the coal was black and the grass was blue
That Kentucky home’s still standing there today
The way they grew up was hard to believe
They were lucky to have shoes on their feet
The only thing they did harder than work was pray

Verse 2:
Then on a sunny day in fifty-five
He met the lady that changed his life
They vowed to share a life and his last name
Not much hope for a family
The doctor said kids just couldn’t be
But I’m one of five that sure would like to say

Chorus:
Thank you, Dad,
For giving us all more than we needed
For teaching us all to trust in Jesus
When others tried to make us fall, you taught us how to stand
Thank you, Dad,
For bustin’ our butts when we were bad
For holding us close when we were sad
And when we got older for being the best friend that we’ve ever had
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you, dad.

Bridge:
Now when it comes to wisdom, no one has any more than you
I just hope my kids look at me the way I look at you

Thank you, Dad,
For teaching us all how to live our lives
For showing us boys how to love our wives
There’s nothing we could say or do to ever pay you back
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you, Dad,

Here is the breakdown and story behind the lyric:

THANK YOU, DAD

Verse 1:
He was born in 1932
Where the coal was black and the grass was blue
That Kentucky home’s still standing there today
(My dad was born during the depression in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky.  The government declared that it was the poorest area of the country.  When we were young, my dad would tell us stories about how poor they were and the things they had to do to live.  They were so extreme that we always thought he was exaggerating, but when we got older, he took us to the old house where he and 8 siblings were raised and we saw for ourselves just how poor they were.)
The way they grew up was hard to believe
They were lucky to have shoes on their feet
(This line is especially personal.  Each one of the kids got two pair of shoes a year.  One pair was to work in the fields and the other was to wear to school and church.  When my dad was very young, he had a younger brother named Tracy Wallace Staton.  While he was still an infant, he became very ill and died.  My dad had outgrown his shoes and they were too poor to buy him another pair, so he had to wear a pair of his sister’s shoes to the funeral.  My dad did not cry very often, but every time he ever shared that story with anyone, he would cry.)
The only thing they did harder than work was pray
(My dad’s parents were Christians and raised all of their kids in church, so prayer was not just a casual thing they did before a meal, it was a means of survival.  I saw how far they had to carry buckets of water from the stream to their house just to take a bath and how far they had to walk to school every day in the blazing heat or in snow.  It is hard to imagine how they ever survived.)

Verse 2:
Then on a sunny day in fifty-five
He met the lady that changed his life
They vowed to share a life and his last name
(My dad and much of his family moved north to try to find work and escape their surroundings in order to eventually have a better life.  Shortly after moving to Hamilton, OH, one of my dad’s brothers and his wife introduced him to my mom.  After I finished the song, my mom said to me, “You know, it may have been 1956 when we met.”  I told her it was too late because 1955 was a rhyming line in the song and we had already recorded it.  They married in 1958.)
Not much hope for a family
The doctor said kids just couldn’t be
But I’m one of five that sure would like to say
(When my mom was a young girl, she had rheumatic fever, and the doctors told her that she would never be able to have kids.  Well God had other plans because they ended up having five kids.  I’m the middle child and I have two older brothers and a younger sister and brother.  My parents took us to gospel concerts and we grew up singing together.)

Chorus:
Thank you, Dad,
For giving us all more than we needed
(My dad never made a lot of money.  He worked so hard and there was a period of time that he was unemployed.  I can remember him doing work and different jobs and I couldn’t believe how hard he would work. Looking back, I’m amazed at how God provided for us and exceeded our basic needs.)
For teaching us all to trust in Jesus
(Mom and dad raised us in church and we were all saved at a very young age.  My dad was a Sunday school teacher in our church and he would study the Bible every night before he went to bed.  My mom told us that when my dad was first saved, he got a bible and he and my mom would stay up reading and studying until they would fall asleep.  They pursued knowledge and wisdom through the scriptures and then they poured it into us kids.)
When others tried to make us fall, you taught us how to stand
(I could tell you countless stories of how mom and dad taught us to stand up for ourselves and for each other when we were kids.  If we didn’t defend ourselves and each other when we were in school, we would be in trouble when we got home.)
Thank you, Dad,
For bustin’ our butts when we were bad
(This line is self-explanatory. We all knew that dad’s belt had another purpose than just holding his pants up.  We all still have signs of how those spankings affected us.  Respect for others, self-control, thankfulness, kindness and other crazy, unheard of things are still side effects from those spankings.)
For holding us close when we were sad
(Right alongside of the discipline was unconditional love.  When we were sad, hurting or discouraged, it was mom and dad who made us feel loved and who gave us the self-confidence to reach for our dreams.)
And when we got older for being the best friend that we’ve ever had
(I can’t tell you the times after we were grown that each one of us kids would call my dad for advice.  There isn’t a day goes by when we all wish we could pick up the phone or go see him.)
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you, Dad

Bridge:
Now when it comes to wisdom, no one has any more than you
I just hope my kids look at me the way I look at you
(With kids of my own, I can’t tell you how many times I stop and think about how my dad would have handled a certain situation.  I really try to follow his example of being a dad.  I sure hope my kids look back and think of me like I think of my dad.)

Thank you, Dad
For teaching us all how to live our lives
For showing us boys how to love our wives
(I’ve heard it said that the best thing a dad can do for their kids is to love their mom.  My dad really loved my mom and it showed in what he did for her and how he treated her.  That’s one of those behaviors that you don’t realize who is teaching you or how they’re teaching you until much later in life.)
There’s nothing we could say or do to ever pay you back
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you, Dad
(We always knew that mom and dad loved us.  They told us and more importantly, they showed us.  We told our mom and dad that we loved them over and over again, but after my dad went to be with the Lord, I thought of so many times I should have told him when I didn’t.  If you have a mom and dad that are still with you, go hug them and thank them for loving you.)

This was the last song we played at my dad’s funeral.  After moving to Hamilton, OH, my dad worked for one company and retired after 35 years.  At my dad’s visitation, over 1500 people filed through the funeral home to pay their last respects.  I heard a great preacher say once that you will know the people who you have really made a mark on because they will cry at your funeral.  Well that day, there were a lot of tears shed because so many would miss my dad.   But through the tears, there was also celebrating because we know where my dad is today!

By David Staton

Listen below to “Thank You Dad”

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Selena Day: It’s Fashion Week!

Written by Staff on June 4, 2019 – 8:17 am -

Chuck Day and Selena Day

Chuck Day and Selena Day

It is fashion week here in the south, and my social media feed has been awash with all the latest fashion trends coming out for the next season.

I love fashion, especially shoes! I must confess I have a bit of a shoe addiction which I am happy to NOT overcome.

I love art…I love clothes, shoes, and purses…I hate coffee…I am totally and passionately devoted to Jesus…I could eat chocolate with every meal…I drink hot tea like most people drink coffee and I love my family.

I am so grateful for my husband. I think he is the most charming and funniest man I have ever met. I am forever thankful that God has allowed me to live this crazy life that I have been given. Even though some days are harder to walk through than others, I believe that when I look through the filter of Christ in me the hope of glory, I can see a beautiful tapestry God has woven for my life.

I believe what the scriptures say, “We fearfully and wonderfully made.” God created us for a purpose. Our job is to discover who we are in Him so that our destiny can come forth in vibrant reflections of His nature, allowing our most authentic self to be seen.

Last summer while Chuck was singing at a venue in Louisiana, I saw a plaque on the wall in the back of the theater with the quote: “Art is something you do for yourself. A craft is something you do for everyone else.”

This resonated with me, and I wrote it down in my journal to ponder on.

chuck and Selena Day

Chuck Day

Over 30 years ago at the age of 22, I married into a family full of talent. Everyone could sing and play an instrument. I was the oddball, and during that season God took me on a journey of self-discovery to uncover the artist heart within myself.

I have always been an observer of people. Chuck will fuss at me when we travel because he says that I stare too much at people. I guess I do, but I love watching people interact. I love watching how people in different cultures express their unique creativity. In Texas, Wrangler jeans and cowboy hats are the fashion, while in Thailand, people wear specific colors during the week to honor the King.

I am amazed at the artistry in the temples of Asia. The precision of the arrangement for the flowers and the sculpting of the fruit that is daily made to pay homage to their golden and marble gods.

I listen in awe as beautiful African ladies stand up to begin singing their praise songs to our God. The vocal ability of these women would put most of the entertainers on our radio to shame. In South and Central America, the embroidery the women sew into the everyday clothing would rival anything found walking the runways and fashion houses around the world. There are so many talented people all across this world that we live in.

We are in the ministry, but we are also in the entertainment arena. We have decided to use the arts for our Savior and to share the talent and abilities he has given us with those around us. We have chosen to use our craft to bring the kingdom of God to the places He opens for us.

When you decide to make your art into a craft, it is like Peter stepping out of the boat. Fear can paralyze you, but you must focus on the one who calls you. Who is beckoning you out of the familiar boat into the unknown open seas?

As I have discovered, your craft becomes more than just an artistic expression, it is about becoming vulnerable and inviting humanity to be a part of your process.

Selena Day and Queen LivingPeople say that artists are temperamental with much vanity; heck, I have even made the statement that artists can be narcissistic. And without any wisdom, this could be the condition of an artist soul. Most people do not daily open themselves up to allow the masses to critically dissect the divine within them. So, without looking at wisdom to guide them, it is easy to become self-absorbed with your reflection.

Proverbs says “Trust in the Lord completely and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make.”

You may not think you are talented, but I believe that everyone has creativity and talent within them. You just have to choose to practice what you are being called to and be willing to step out of the boat of security to do the impossible.

Remember that Peter did not walk on water, because we know that it is scientifically impossible to walk on liquid. Peter stepped out and walked on the very word of God. He did the unthinkable because his focus was not on his ability to perform, his focus was on the person he had a relationship with: The Water-Walker, the Multiplier of Provision, the Man who talked to the storms. Peter took the focus off of himself and his ability to do something that only one other person could do and placed it in command of the Savior.

What is God calling you to do? Is it time for you to take your first step out of the boat?

Let me encourage you today to look upward at the one who is the Master artisan of all and let him guide you into the realm of the impossible. He trusts you with all that he has placed inside of you.

By Selena Day

Selena Day is a regular writer for SGNScoops Magazine. She and her husband, Chuck Day, are tireless ministers of God. Chuck is a Christian Country artist.

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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Israel on Fire

Written by Staff on May 30, 2019 – 8:05 pm -

Israel on Fire (Photo by Marcus Kauffman on Unsplash)

(Photo by Marcus Kauffman on Unsplash)Thursday, May 30, 2019, Charisma News reported (from Standing With Isreal):

Fires devastate Israel as over 3500 evacuate

By Jonathan Feldstein

Israel needs your prayers—and help. Almost overnight, wildfires broke out, scorching acres and burning dozens of houses, including entirely destroying a whole community. Over 3500 people have been evacuated as Israel braces for more. So far.

Israel is considering declaring a national emergency due to fear of the spreading of existing and igniting of new fires. Temperatures are expected to reach a sweltering 110 F in areas between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The Dead Sea and Jordan Valley are expected to see even higher temperatures, as much as 118 F at the lowest place on earth.

Parallel to this, on Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry to reach out to nearby countries for “immediate” help to put out the hundreds of fires that were ravaging the country. In response, the Foreign Ministry said Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia were sending help, but the aircraft and their teams would only be able to depart for Israel on Friday, leaving Israel still vulnerable as the temperatures climb and the potential for more fires is expected to continue.

For the rest of the story, click here

Jonathan Feldstein was born and educated in the U.S. and immigrated to Israel in 2004. He is married and the father of six. He is president of RunforZion.com. Throughout his life and career, he has been blessed by the calling to fellowship with Christian supporters of Israel and shares experiences of living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel. He writes a regular column for Standing With Israel at charismanews.comand other prominent web sites. He can be reached at firstpersonisrael@gmail.com.


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