Shane and Denise Jeter

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Creekside Gospel Music Convention

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

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

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

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

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

By Amy Oxenrider

 


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Weekend Word: Being Steadfast

Written by Staff on January 19, 2019 – 7:22 pm -

Weekend Word

 

 

 

 

A Reality Check on being Steadfast

I received an email letter yesterday and it was unlike anything I had received before. I didn’t know the sender personally, I only knew them through my association with Southern Gospel. However, that letter made all the difference in my day. It was a positive reality  heck that I needed.

Why did it make a difference? Because it showed me that I was doing things I didn’t realize I was doing, and others had noticed. In a good way! The words of gratefulness and encouragement were more than just something you would send to a business associate. The writer had let God use their pen to show me that I was developing characteristics that God wants me to have in my life.

Steadfast? Me?

In my Bible reading yesterday, Psalm 57:7, the writer said that his heart was steadfast. That made me stop and think. I know what’s going on in my heart and my head most of the time (though maybe not always) and I didn’t think the word steadfast really applied to me.

However when I got the email, I realized that the writer was saying the same thing that the psalmist was saying. Sometimes you have to hear it from someone else to realize how others see you, and how you need to see yourself.

How do you see yourself? Do you see all the good things? Or do you see only the negative things? If you are like me, the negative stuff is a lot bigger and more noticeable than the positive.

Take some time to read the word of God and to find out what God is telling you through His word. And if you can’t see yourself as He sees you, be humble enough to accept the good things that others say about you.

Lorraine Walker, editor of SGNScoops Magazine

Lorraine Walker, editor of SGNScoops Magazine

So how do you learn to be steadfast?

You just are steadfast… or you aren’t.

Decide today that you are going to develop habits that will make you more like Christ.

Read God’s word, pray, talk to your friends about your faith, and listen to what they say about theirs. Learn from each other and learn from your pastor. Listen to music that uplifts Jesus.

Most of all, take time to be in the presence of the Lord. He has placed some amazing gifts, talents, and characteristics within you. You just need to see them and develop them.

Keep aiming to strengthen your faith. If you listen to the Word and listen to the Lord, you will hear Him saying to you exactly what the human writer said to me: “You ROCK!”

By Lorraine Walker. First published by SGMRadio in 2016.

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Younger Perspective on Hutch Jordan of the Jordan Family Band

Written by Staff on January 19, 2019 – 9:53 am -

Younger Perspective on Hutch Jordan of the Jordan Family Band

Younger Perspective on Hutch Jordan of the Jordan Family Band

Musicians make the world go ‘round…or at least they provide a catchy tune as it turns. Whether you are a musician or you have friends that are, you will know right off the bat that musical folk are just plain quirky, and definitely a breed all their own. Making music is a language unto itself, and today’s guest speaks it quite fluently. A newer addition to the Southern gospel world, Hutch Jordan of the Jordan Family Band joins us today for a little pickin’ and grinnin’.


Hutch Jordan of the Jordan Family Band

Hutch Jordan of the Jordan Family Band

Erin Stevens: How old were you when you chose your first instrument? What was it and can you tell us a little about those early days?
Hutch Jordan: I was eight. My poppa bought me my first drum set for Christmas. I went through a plethora of sets through the years, but I’ll always keep that set, as it is the sole thing that began my passion for music. I’m pretty sure the people in the neighborhood I was living in at the time got tired of hearing me bang on them every day after school.

Stevens: If you had to pick only one instrument to play the rest of your life, what would it be?
Jordan: Definitely guitar. That’s such a hard choice, though. I love playing everything else just as much.

Stevens: What does a normal practice session look like for JFB?
Jordan: Most people might assume chaos, but in all reality, when mom, dad, and Alex get together with me playing acoustic, everything flows so naturally.

Hutch Jordan of the Jordan Family BandStevens: When did you get into studio session work?
Jordan: I came into the overdub world about two or so years ago. But it was early this year when producers started hiring me for tracking day at different studios.

Stevens: Which do you enjoy more, playing on stage or in the studio?
Jordan: I enjoy both, but for different reasons. I love the energy of the stage, and I love the creativity in the studio.

Hutch Jordan of the Jordan Family BandStevens: If you could hand pick your favorite musicians to play with on an album, who would make up your dream team?
Jordan: I think I’ve already done so. I’ve worked with so many great players including Mark Hill, Gordon Mote, Rob Hajacos, Jeremy Medkiff, Garth Justice, Stone Carter, Scott Sanders, Wanda Vick, Andy Leftwich, and many, many more.

November 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

November 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

Stevens: Is there talk of a Hutch Jordan solo CD in the future?
Jordan: I’ve given that a lot of thought. I will definitely do an instrumental record sometime in the future.

 

Stevens: Could you see yourself teaching private lessons someday down the road?
Jordan: Actually, yes. I would love to start Skype lessons, or something to that effect. I think it would go well.

Stevens: Knowing your talents come from God alone, how do you give glory to him through your musical abilities?
Jordan: I try my best to take what he has given me to wherever he wants me to go. I know I couldn’t ever give him enough praise for what he is allowing me to do, so, I’ll just accept it, and let him guide me.

Closing thoughts from Erin Stevens…
Sometimes it’s hard for us to just ‘accept it.’ We fight it, kick against the grain, and try to do our own thing. But really, the Lord gave each of us unique abilities, specifically designed to fit our very unique callings. Maybe you have been running from what or where he is calling you to. May Hutch and I urge you to simply ‘accept it?’ Do that crazy thing Christ is nudging you towards, take that job, return that phone call, take that leap of faith. Accept the calling, accept the Master’s plan, and just do it.

And that’s my take on it.

Until next month, Scoops fans.

Connect with Erin via Social Media:
• Blog: erinfluence.wordpress.com
• Instagram: @erincolleenstevens & @photosforkeeps_byerin
• Twitter: @photosforkeeps

 

By Erin Stevens

First published by SGNScoops Magazine on November 2018

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Dreams come true: a look at Ivan Parker

Written by Staff on January 17, 2019 – 7:47 pm -

Ivan Parker

Dreams Come True: a look at the ministry of Ivan Parker

Ivan Parker has had a long, storied career in the Southern gospel music field having sung with several popular groups. He has also been a staple of the Gaither Homecoming videos. Parker currently travels and ministers as a soloist, and is experiencing great success. From an early age, Parker always knew he wanted to sing. He has been blessed to be able to do what he loves and spread the Word of God through song.

 

Gospel music has been a major part of Parker’s life since the beginning. Parker, while at his father’s church, gave his heart to the Lord at nine years old and from that point, knew he wanted to sing.

 

“I started singing weekends with my brothers when I was 13 years old,” says Parker.. “My dad was a pastor so I grew up in church. Being from a large family of seven kids, we all learned to sing early in life. My first full time position came in 1982 with the Singing Americans. Then I started with Gold City in 1983 and traveled with them for 10 years. I immediately started my solo career in January 1994, and also started with the Gaithers doing a few tour dates in February of that year, which continued for years on video and concert dates.”

 

Parker’s unique and powerful lead voice is easily recognizable. His great sound and style was influenced by several of the great pioneers of the Gospel music field.

 

Parker states, “Through the years of loving Southern gospel music, there are many influences. I have always loved the crooning vocals and personality of Jake Hess, the smooth lead singing of Duane Allen with the Oak Ridge Boys.” He is now a part of that long line of incredible vocalists.

 

Gold City recorded some of its most popular hits during Parker’s tenure, including: “In My Robe Of White,” “I Think I’ll Read It Again,” “John Saw,” and “Midnight Cry.” The latter song became Parker’s signature.

 

November 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

November 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

Following his departure from Gold City, Parker embarked on a solo career in 1994. He has been nominated for, and received, several national gospel music awards. Parker’s music has resonated with audiences all over the world and captures beautifully the message of Christ. His latest mainline release “Dancing In The Rain” features his latest radio single which conveys a timely message.

 

Parker explains, “The latest radio single is called ‘Take Me To The Cross,’ written by Rodney Griffin. I had been looking for a song that was a mix of patriotic with a Christian message. Without Rodney and I talking, he emailed me this song and I knew God intended this song for me. It was the perfect blend of the two messages that I was wanting. I absolutely love this song!”

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Amy Oxenrider: What is your purpose?

Written by Staff on January 17, 2019 – 6:35 am -

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

 

Sweet Water: What is your purpose?

By Amy Oxenrider

We all have a purpose for this life.

Stress, anxiety, depression, doubt – you fill in the blank – often causes us to lose focus and allow fear to enter our mind to make us feel worthless.  

The good news is Christ has already overcome all of these feelings.

Are they real feelings? Of course these feelings are real to you. Are we allowed to feel these things? The answer is yes.

But the key is we are not allowed to stay in the place these feelings take us. The darkness and hopelessness is not of God. He is light. He is love. He is peace.  

Philippians 1:3-6 says:”I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Your purpose in this life is to complete the good work that Christ has begun in you.  

What is your work? Have you become discouraged in your work for the Kingdom of God? Do you feel you can’t do anymore without completely breaking?  

Look at the aforementioned scripture. This says He, speaking of Jesus, will, not maybe or perhaps, but he will complete this work in you.

Rest

Sometimes we need to rest. God is more aware of this than we are ourselves. He created our body and created it in a way that rest is a necessity.

Take some time for yourself and spend it with God. Do not allow guilt to sneak in and attempt to steal your joy and peace.

It is God’s will for us to take time to rest. When we rest, our body rejuvenates and heals itself. Imagine how beneficial it will be for our body, spiritually and physically, if we take time to rest in God.  

The year 2018 has come and gone.  How are you going to react to your physical and spiritual needs in 2019?  Are you going to continue in your purpose and allow God to bring it to completion?  

One thing we all have to remember is that God’s character enters each and every person he has created.  

Remember, we are created in his image. That includes you. He is more than willing to work in you to completion.  

When you allow God to work in you, then he works through you. Others are able to see his hands and feet go before them through your words and actions.  When you feel down and worthless, remember that Jesus lives in you and therefore he goes with you each step of your way.

You must have as much respect for yourself and your part in building God’s kingdom as our creator has for you. He loves you beyond all measure. Don’t ever think he will leave you. He will be with you until you have fully completed his purpose for you while living in this world.

I want to leave you with this scripture that I feel is perfect to meditate on especially while starting a new year.

Philippians 1:9-11: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise to God.”

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

By  Amy D. Oxenrider 

Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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Lorraine Walker: Becoming mindfully aware of your world this Christmas and New Year

Written by Staff on December 25, 2018 – 2:36 pm -

Lorraine Walker: Becoming mindfully aware of your world this Christmas and New Year

Lorraine Walker: Becoming mindfully aware of your world this Christmas and New Year

Editor’s Last Word for December 2018 SGNScoops Magazine – by Lorraine Walker

Merry Christmas! I love this season and the way people seem happier and more open to talking about spiritual things. Yes, I’m that person who wears the shirts and sweaters and socks with all things Christmas on them. People have said that I even have reindeer antlers on my car…but that, of course, is just a rumor.

Our cover artist, Jason Crabb, also loves Christmas, and I hope you enjoyed his feature this month. I had such a good time talking with him recently when he sang at my church. We are both equally intense people and I so enjoyed digging into his thoughts on various subjects. What a terrific communicator, both on and off stage.

Lorraine Walker: Becoming mindfully aware of your world this Christmas and New Year

Jason Crabb was interviewed by Lorraine Walker for December 2018 issue of SGNScoops Magazine

We featured other artists of course that I have also enjoyed, like Les Beasley, who recently passed. We were unable to feature a tribute to Ernie Phillips as it was too close to press time, but I know of his contribution to gospel music and that he has many family, friends and fans that mourned his passing. I became a Kingsmen fan after Ernie’s tenure, mainly because of knowing Parker Jonathan, who joined when Garry Sheppard was the group’s tenor. Ernie, however, was an incredible talent and will be greatly missed.

I was also thinking of the passing of seasons when I read Rob’s Publisher’s Point. I hope you have read it and gleaned the knowledge that this season of your life is God’s way of preparing you for the next. I want to add to that with another piece that I am trying to learn and develop in my own life.

One of the buzzwords lately seems to be “mindfulness.” I know that can be used and misused in so many ways, and also taken to the extreme. I think some uses are not spiritually healthy for Christians. However, the literal meaning is great for all of us.

Mindfulness to me is living in the moment; not dwelling in the past or future, not thinking about what we should do or should have done. If we are being mindful or

Jason Crabb was interviewed by Lorraine Walker for December 2018 issue of SGNScoops Magazine

Jason Crabb was interviewed by Lorraine Walker for December 2018 issue of SGNScoops Magazine

paying attention to each day, each moment, of each season we are in, both spiritually and physically,  maybe we would be more relaxed as well as appreciating each other more.

Perhaps paying attention to each moment and more attention to those around us will make this season even more special. Maybe we will even notice others more, share more smiles, hold our loved ones closer, and be more aware of the special gift of Jesus this Christmas. God bless you this holy season!

Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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SGNScoops Magazine Editor Lorraine Walker

SGNScoops Magazine Editor Lorraine Walker


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Merry Christmas from Rob Patz: Is this season of your life preparing you for the next?

Written by Staff on December 24, 2018 – 2:23 pm -

Rob Patz: Is this season of your life preparing you for the next?

Merry Christmas from Rob Patz: Is this season of your life preparing you for the next?

Publisher’s Point for December 2018 by Rob Patz

Greetings everyone and I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas! We are in the month of December here at SGNScoops Magazine and wow, where has the year gone? It has gone by way too fast.

I can’t believe we’re already talking about Christmas and New Year. Of course, as you get older, it goes by faster; or perhaps there is so much more going on in your life that it just seems that way. I don’t know, I haven’t figured that part out yet, but I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas from all of us at SGNScoops magazine. We’re excited about another year of growth and about the events that have taken place throughout 2018.

Speaking of seasons, we are in winter now and of course, the holidays, but life is a lot like that. We as Christians move through many different seasons in our life. So often we don’t look at our experiences; we are always either looking back or looking forward. I want to challenge you today that whatever season you’re in, wherever you’re at right now in your life, that you take the time to enjoy that season.

If you are like a lot of people, when they go through a season that maybe you don’t like –  like perhaps a winter season in your faith – that you have to believe that the future, and your spring, is just around the corner. Try to believe that whatever God is doing in your life, whatever is challenging you right now, that God will move you into the next phase of the next season. We’re not here for forever. You may feel like this season has gone on far too long but you also need to realize that God is just getting ready for the next thing.

Think about this: The shepherds out in the field that saw the star and then saw the angel who said that the Savior was born in a manger.

December 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

December 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

Now, think about their life. They were sheep-herders, they lived that life, they were out in the field; they probably didn’t think anything about the next season of their life, or about what was ahead for them.

They didn’t realize at that moment that up to this point – I mean think about how cool this was – their life as shepherds led to this point.

They didn’t realize that they were going to go and see the King, that they were going to see the Savior, the King of the Jews.

It is incredible how their lives were prepared. It was like they were in a training for this day. They weren’t at the point of fulfilling what they were going to do but they were in a training moment.

Then a star comes, the angel appears, they are told that the Savior was born and that they have to see the King! Their lives change at that moment. You can read the whole story about what happens to the shepherds but their lives change at that moment forever. If they hadn’t been prepared as shepherds prior to this point, they wouldn’t have there that night, or been able to go to the stable.

I want you challenge you today to think about your life. Right now, this season. It may be a winter season in your spiritual life, or in your physical life, but I want to challenge you today that this moment is preparing you for what the future holds for you. Like the shepherds, I want you to be prepared for the next season, which could come at any moment. I want you to be ready.

A new year is coming for you, a new season is coming. After all, we already are thinking about spring, we’re getting ready for it, preparing for it. I know I am. It’s cold right now and I’m excited about what’s to come. I’m excited about that next season.

Creekside Diaries v4: Eagle's Wings, C.T. Townsend and the Browders

Rob Patz, owner and director of Creekside Gospel Music Convention

We need to be excited, prepared, seeking and doing what God has for each of us in this season of life. One moment completely changed the lives and focus of the shepherds. It can happen just that quickly for you.

Hey, I want to invite you to come and be a part of Southern Gospel Weekend in Oxford, Alabama, on March 21 – 23, 2019. Three great days of gospel music in Alabama. We want you to be there.

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

Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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Through the Lens of Craig Harris – Gold City at Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Written by Staff on December 24, 2018 – 11:09 am -

Gold City in Kentucky. Photo by Craig Harris.

Gold City in Kentucky. Photo by Craig Harris.

Gold City in Kentucky. Photo by Craig Harris. Gold City was in concert on Nov. 11 at Three Springs Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Gold City in Kentucky. Photo by Craig Harris. More about Gold City

(From About page on Gold City Quartet website)…Gold City is among those elite groups who continues to reach new audiences and consistently amass new fans Gold City in Kentucky. Photo by Craig Harris. who fall in love with their distinct sound as soon as they hear it. Now into their 34th year…Daniel Riley, baritone, has assumed the management role and leads the group onward into the future. He provides a smooth baritone vocal that blends perfectly with the other voices in the group but also has the versatility to step out for a solo with power and soul. Chris West is singing bass and lead vocalist Scott Brand follows a long list of dynamic lead vocalists and takes a back seat to no one…Tenor (Thomas Nalley) puts Photo by Craig Harristhe top on the sound with his high clear tenor voice…Dillan West is the Sound Engineer…read more on Facebook here.

 

 

Craig Harris is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.

Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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Gold City in Kentucky. Photo by Craig Harris.

Photo by Craig Harris


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Rising star Erica Cookston talks to SGNScoops

Written by Staff on December 23, 2018 – 3:17 pm -

Erica Cookston

Erica Cookston

SGNScoops recently talked with Erica Cookston, a rising star who beautifully sings Southern and Country Gospel. She delivers songs with a clear, high emotional soprano that touches the heart. This young lady hails from Hollywood, Alabama. She was recognized at Gospel Fest through the 2018 Crimson Music Award for Social Media Artist of the Year. Erica is an accomplished instrumentalist and vocalist, traveling and singing gospel music while in her first year of college.

Scoops:  Why do you sing gospel music? 

Erica Cookston: I sing Southern Gospel and Country Gospel music because it is what I grew up listening to. I was raised watching the Gaither Homecomings, listening to the Gaither Gospel Hour, and watching groups such as the Crabb Family on TV. I have always loved this kind of music. I do like other types as well, such as the Contemporary, and Praise and Worship, but my heart lies in the kind that I am doing. I do love other kinds of music as well, but I want to be able to reach others through gospel music like the ‘gospel greats’ that paved the way for little people like me to share ministry. I come from a very faith-based family, and we just love the Lord. Many people in my family, such as my dad, have been preachers.

Erica Cookston at Gospel Fest

Erica Cookston at Gospel Fest

Scoops: Tell us how you came to do compilations with Guy Penrod and Gerald Crabb? Who else would be on your bucket list to sing with? Do you always want to be a soloist?

EC: I was working with Alisa Asbury at Sweet Southern Entertainment and had met Gerald Crabb. They decided to do this project, and I was just lucky to have been able to be a part of it. It is a crazy thing to be on a project with someone that you have always looked up to! The Guy Penrod compilation came about the same way, although I have never had the opportunity to meet him. I think that my number one person on the bucket list to sing with is Karen Peck. She performed at GospelFest 2018, where I had the opportunity to be in the choir on stage with her to sing alongside her. She has been the biggest inspiration in my life, and I listen to her music more often Erica Cookstonthan not. She has a lot to do with why I want to go the direction I am going. I love being a soloist, but I would love to have a group at some point as well. I think it would be a lot of fun.

Scoops: What are you studying at college?  And why did you decide to step out now as an artist…why not wait until you are done college? 

EC: I am a business major. I currently work in an office, B&B Reporting, as a pre-employment background researcher. I love the atmosphere of an office, and I think it is a good idea just to have a business degree at my disposal. I work 40 hours a week and am also currently taking 16 credit hours at school (so, 5 classes and a lab). I am usually gone every weekend singing. It is very difficult because of the busy schedule and little free time, but I absolutely love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have been singing since I was four years old, and I started doing more things as I first hit the teenage years, with all of the traveling. I am doing it now, more so, because I do believe that the Lord has called me to do so. I don’t think that anyone is too young to try to step out to share their passion. Many people my age are told by our society that it isn’t okay to do so, but I hope that maybe I can set an example to prove that this isn’t the case. I never expected to be where I am today, and it is all very surreal to me. I do know that it was all a God thing, though. He gets all of the credit, and I just am his vessel to go wherever I am called.

Erica CookstonScoops:  Why do you have a passion for non-profits (charities)? 

EC: Right now I am not working with any organization in particular – I am doing everything independently. I have always had a heart to help others, so I think it is just another one of my passions. I try to be available for anything. I do head up a charity each year in my local area, Scottsboro, where I host a benefit concert to raise money for food distribution. I use these funds to purchase canned food items and meat certificates which go to those in need in Jackson County, providing them with a Christmas meal that they might not originally have. All of the food is purchased locally. I love to volunteer to help out for different causes as well and always stayed pretty busy doing these types of events in high school. I think it is important to show that there is still good in this world, and that sometimes people want to help without expecting anything in return.

Erica CookstonScoops: What has the Lord been speaking to you about specifically in recent days?

EC: Recently, the Lord has just been telling me to be patient and trust in him, and that everything is happening for a reason; things will fall into place. Also, that I don’t need to be scared to step out of my comfort zone because he is with me.

Thanks so much to Erica Cookston for answering our questions! In our eyes, you are already a star as you share God’s love in what you say, and it is evidenced by your actions in helping others. All the best in your future.

You can find out more about Erica by going to her Facebook page, Instagram,  and Twitter.

Listen to Erica on Reverb Nation HERE.

 

Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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

 

 


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Christmas: A time of family, love, giving thanks

Written by Staff on December 21, 2018 – 2:31 pm -

Charlie Griffin is thankful this Christmas

Charlie Griffin is thankful this Christmas

Several artists have explained what they are thankful for as the year comes to an end:

Charlie Griffin:
This holiday season will be different this year… the first Thanksgiving and Christmas without Mom. Kinda feel lost without those phone calls during this time of year. Yet I have so much to be thankful for on this journey. Thankful for the blessings of life, the opportunities to work daily and share the Good News in word and song. Thankful I have a loving family and friends who make my life richer. Even when things don’t go as planned, God has me in the palm of his hand. Thankful for the simple things. Clothes, shoes, food, vehicles to drive and so much more. Definitely BLESSED! I am THANKFUL indeed.

Pine Ridge Boys are thankful this ChristmasPine Ridge Boys:
Thankful that God has allowed us to keep singing and following those that paved the way for us. For sending the right men at the right time to continue the ministry that others laid out for us. We have been truly blessed and very thankful.

Chip McCaa-Baritone:
I’m thankful for our many friends and for my wonderful family, and the opportunity we have in this great country to openly serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have been so privileged over this past year to witness His awesome greatness and I’m so thankful He has allowed us to do so!

Steven Craps- lead:
I’m thankful for my faith, my family, and my freedom!

Pine Ridge boys are thankful this ChristmasMike Maggard-Tenor:
I am thankful for Jesus dying on the cross for my sins and for my personal relationship with him. I am thankful for my family and what they mean to me to allow me to travel and sing every weekend. I am thankful for living in the greatest country on earth. I am also thankful for the Pine Ridge Boys for allowing me the opportunity to minister with them every week.

Larry Stewart-Bass:
I am thankful for the many blessings that God has given me. Thankful for a wonderful wife and children and grandchildren. Thankful that God had mercy on me and gave me a second chance to do what I love most, to sing gospel music and minister to those in need. Thankful that He died on the cross and paid the price so that I didn’t have too.

The Sheltons are thankful this ChristmasThe Sheltons:
We are all so thankful for his outpouring of favor on our ministry. Singing since 1960 we have always tried to honor the heritage and path shown to us by our parents and family. It is our joy to share the good news every chance we get.

Sandra Shelton Martin:
Thankful for God’s blessing and His forgiveness. When I need him most, he is always with me. My every need he supplies.

Frankie Shelton:
Thankful for Gods continued outpouring of his unconditional Love. Blessed beyond measure that God loves me and allows me to sing with my family the songs that give hope, joy, and peace.

George Shelton, Jr:
Thankful his mercy and his healing touch every time I need him. Through all my The Sheltons are thankful this ChristmasThe Sheltons are thankful this Christmascircumstances, God has shown favor. He has blessed me to sing with the best of the best. And to continue singing with my family, words can’t describe the blessings I experience.

 

Compiled by Charlie Griffin

Charlie Griffin is a regular contributor to the SGNScoops Magazine.

Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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Listen To Today’s Gospel Music Here

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