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May 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on May 21, 2019 – 9:52 am -

May 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

May 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

We are happy to present the May edition of the SGNScoops Magazine. Filled with great features, front to back, we know you are going to enjoy it!

The Freemans are the cover story as Jennifer Campbell talks heart-to-heart with Chris and her family about the Lord, the group and their chart-topping music.
Be sure to read all about the faith of Sam Butler, Jessica Horton, Kristina Cornell, Jeff Tolbert of the Primitive Quartet, Sarah Reith of Southern Raised and so much more.
We have all of our radio charts, CD Reviews and event updates, plus the Publisher’s Point. Be sure to read all the way through to the Editor’s Last Word. Don’t miss the Contributors section, to read all about our fine writers, designers and creative artists that give of their time and talents to Lord and to SGNScoops.
If you have any comments  or concerns about the magazine, please let us know. We hope you have read about the love and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ within these pages. Please write to me if you have any questions about faith or if you would like to contribute your talents to SGNScoops. You can email me at lorraine@sgnscoops.com.
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New roads for the Old Paths

Written by Staff on May 20, 2019 – 8:36 am -

The Old Paths 2019

The Old Paths

The Old Paths began as a trio in 2003 with a great sound but when they transformed into a quartet sometime later, this sound led them to the top of the charts. “Battlestand” and “Love Them to Jesus” made the group popular until 2015, when the momentum of the group formed by Tim Rackley and Douglas Roark ground to a halt.

 

The Old Paths - Daniel

The Old Paths – Daniel

“Changes in life come at times when we least expect them,” explains Daniel Ashmore, bass singer with the Old Paths since 2011. “When we felt the Lord leading us to come off the road, we didn’t know where we would end up or how we would get there. I can remember feeling led to come off the road and wondering how my wife and I would make it. God had already done some amazing things through the ministry of the Old Paths and all of a sudden, he told us to go home.  The hardest part about coming off the road was trusting that God would provide and open the door for the next step in my life. It was also difficult to see how God could continue to use me without singing on a normal basis. It is easy to have faith when everything is going well, but even harder when that faith is put to the test.”

 

The group’s faith was certainly put to the test when Tim Rackley’s daughter, Brianna, underwent a kidney transplant in December, 2014. Just a few months later, the Old Path’s tenor, Jeremy Peace, left the group. In mid-2015, the group announced they would be retiring in December, 2015. Health issues and family obligations, as well as the knowledge that the Lord was asking them to hit the pause button, caused the members to decide to park the bus for awhile.

 

“My wife and I just trusted God with His leading and just as he has always done, he provided more than I could’ve imagined,” Ashmore states. “He opened up a door for me to have a job where spiritual growth and serving others is encouraged. This, in turn, led to opportunities to talk with people on a everyday basis. Spiritually, it helped me learn to trust God even more and once he did as he always does – provide – my faith in him grew stronger. Coming off the road also provided the rest and refreshment that I needed at that time in my life. During the time off the road, God grew me personally in ways I didn’t know I could grow. God gave me a deeper passion to reach the lost through witnessing. I don’t know that I would’ve grown the way I did had we kept singing when the Lord told us to come off the road. God used that time off the road to do a work in me that he could apply when we hit the road again.”

 

The Old Paths - Tim

The Old Paths – Tim

As for the Rackleys, things have come full circle for their daughter. “Brianna is now 21 years old and since her kidney transplant she is doing ‘super fantastic,’” says father Tim. “The Lord has really been real in her in all different ways. She is attending her first year of college and since back on the road I tell folks the best part is she has her first job.”

 

“I am so excited to be back doing what I loved to do and that is singing the Gospel of Christ,” Tim continues. “I also am glad that I get to see the friends we have met over the years before we stopped in December of 2015. The biggest thing that has changed since we stopped touring in 2015 is I got more sleep since I was home every week and with being on the road every week you don’t sleep as much.”

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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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Mother’s Day thoughts by Selena Day

Written by Staff on May 7, 2019 – 2:16 pm -

Selena Day and Family

Selena Day and her family, as she salutes motherhood and Mother’s Day

Selena Brantley Day celebrates motherhood and Mother’s Day

Being a mother has been the most enormous privilege I have had in my life. It has been a rewarding job but also a tough one; I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

I made a decision when my daughters were young that I would choose them over a career. I chose motherhood as my career. Motherhood comes in many forms. Some women work a full-time job and then come home and work another full-time job being a mother. I have always admired those women. Those are some tough cookies.

My generation had choices to make, and I decided to stay at home, but honestly, I wasn’t that “Suzie homemaker” mom. Looking back I see how many times I failed. When our girls were still in diapers, I always felt lacking. I was the mom that forgot to put wet wipes in the diaper bag or didn’t bring a toy for my baby to play with. I was that mom that when my baby was being loud, I didn’t leave the room. I know. I hate that mom now.

I just loved being with my girls and playing with them. They have always been a great joy in my life. No one on this earth can cause me the greatest happiness or the most significant pain than them. Any mother will understand that statement. Your children can be perfect, but when they hurt, you hurt.

Chuck Day and Selena Day

Chuck Day and Selena Day

I am so grateful for all the women that have touched my life and been a mother to me when I needed it. I pray that my girls will have those influences in their life as well. I am a flawed human, and I know that I cannot fill every need my girls will have, so I pray that God will send great women into my girls’ lives to share wisdom for them to use.

I had never felt the need to have a mother figure in my life because my own mom was present and there for me when I needed her. When describing my parents, I always say, “My sweet daddy, and my sassy mama.” Not meaning my mother isn’t sweet, but she is the type of woman that if you were to get caught in a catfight, you would want her by your side. She is the strongest woman I know.

When I stand on a stage to speak or when working with women, all the women who have poured themselves into my life come out of me. All the sage wisdom that has been grafted into my soul comes out.

Selena Day

Selena Day

Take a moment and think of all the women that have touched your life….forgive those who have hurt you, bless them and let them go. Cherish those who have nurtured you. Call them up on Mother’s Day and let them know what impact they have had on your life.

Women really are such incredible beings. In our fight to be heard let us not lose our ability to hear; in our struggle to show our strength, let us not forget our gentleness.

Today I celebrate all the women that have taught me through word and action that I can be anything I want to be, that I am more than enough, and that with Christ I CAN DO ALL THINGS!

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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Sam Butler comes full circle

Written by Staff on May 1, 2019 – 12:29 pm -

Sam Butler comes full circle

Sam Butler comes full circle

The year was 1957. The Soviet Union launched the first satellite into space called Sputnik 1. Gas was only .24 cents per gallon and the average monthly rent cost was $90. Americans crammed movie theaters to watch “The Bridge Over the River Kwai,” while “Perry Mason” and “Maverick” graced the small screen for the first time.

American children were gaga over Slinkys and Hula Hoops, while teens and young adults continued to Rock and Roll with an artist named “Little Richard.” And four-year-old Sam Butler, Junior, was traveling the country with his father, a minister, and guitarist for The Blind Boys of Mississippi.

“I remember sitting in the car and listening to the Boys rehearse,” says Butler. “At four years of age, I knew all the songs and would often sing along with them as they rehearsed for the next show.”

Archie Brownlee, lead singer of the Mississippi based group heard young Butler sing and suggested that he take the stage at their next event. The crowd loved the addition of the young man to the show and he became a regular fixture during their concert events.

Butler continued to sing with the group, who often traveled with The Blind Boys of Alabama. Butler’s family also had a traveling gospel group. Later, he would join the Blind Boys of Alabama as a full-time member.

When he turned nineteen, he had the opportunity to sing with Dorothy Norwood and The Norwood Singers. It was 1972 and Dorothy Norwood, a former member of the Caravans was the opening act for the Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder tour. “This is where I was introduced to ‘real sin,'” Butler said.

Thankfully, God spared Sam Butler from becoming involved with the sinful lifestyle he was witnessing. However, Butler experienced a daily battle, both when traveling with secular groups and Christian artists. He became disillusioned with the lifestyle choices of performers who sang praises to the Lord from the stage, but then lived an entirely different lifestyle in their private times. This dichotomy was a constant battle in his heart, as Sam tried to live a Christ-centered life which was taught to him by his father, while he witnessed the contradictory life of those around him.

Sam Butler comes full circle

Clarence Fountain and Sam Butler

In the year of 1983, Sam Butler found himself on a very different stage. He was a part of the critically-acclaimed Broadway play, “The Gospel at Colonus.”

In 1989, Butler reconnected with his old pal, Steve Jordan of the Rolling Stones. Jordan had seen Butler in “The Gospel at Colonus” and decided to make contact. Jordan made his way to the backstage of the theater where he waited for Butler to get off of the stage.

“He wanted me to perform on Keith Richards’ new album,” Butler remembers.

In fact, Butler has been featured on many albums, both Christian and secular. In addition to performing on Keith Richards’ 1989 solo album “Talk Is Cheap,” Butler has performed with and contributed to projects with Steely Dan’s Donald Fagan and gospel legend Clarence Fountain.

Though Sam had been singing about the Lord and living relatively close to Him his whole life, he felt as if he had never really made a deep commitment.

“God was drawing me and I couldn’t sleep at night,” said Butler. “I slowly moved toward God.”

Twelve years ago, Butler truly turned his heart and life over to the God he had been singing about his whole life. He started attending church in his hometown of St. Paul, Minn. The pastor of the church and Butler had gone to school together in Vero Beach, Florida, as children.

In fact, as a child, Butler’s pastor had attended the church where Sam Butler’s father was a pastor. Now forty years later, rolls somewhat reversed, Butler attended his church and these two men grew closer to God.

Sam Butler comes full circle

Sam Butler

Butler’s faith grew, along with a tugging on his heart to take a new step in his walk with Christ. About a year ago, Butler took the leap of faith and became a pastor. He now pastors his own church in Minneapolis, Minn. The congregation is small, but they are pro-active in helping their community by feeding the homeless and other service projects.

Another project that is near and dear to Pastor Sam’s heart is his documentary, “The Book of Clarence.”

This film reveals the hard-core, honest truth behind the life of the legendary Clarence Fountain. The purpose of the film is to tell this truth.

“People who sing gospel are simply people who need the Lord,” said Butler. “We (as gospel singers) need to start living what we are singing. You can only fool people for a while.”

Bulter hopes that “The Book of Clarence” will help others who preach and sing the gospel, to really live it.

Butler continues to devote much of his time in music ministry. His new release, “Down To The River,” can be found on Revival Music Company.

Sam Butler comes full circle

Sam Butler comes full circle

“Down to the River,” is a beautiful southern gospel song written by James Tullio, and performed by Sam Butler and Clarence Fountain. Sam’s first single of this project is a song that he wrote titled, “Do What The Lord Says Do.” Jimmy Swaggart loved the song so much, that he’s included it a song in his congregational lineup.

Though Butler is busy juggling his duties as pastor of a church, his music career and promoting his film, he still has time for family. Butler has been married to Dr. Valerie Butler, a Doctor of Education, for thirty-two years. Together they have six children.

Butler continues to travel and sing. He’d love to share the good news of Jesus with your church congregation. Interested in having Pastor Sam Butler minister at your event or to your congregation? Contact Jesse Wood, 757-239-9061, connect@revivalmusiccompany.com. For bookings, contact Terry Scott, 757-613-0597, drummertwin2@gmail.com. Find out more at www.revivalmusiccompany.com/sambutler.

By Stephanie Kelley, writer, and creative designer for SGNScoops Magazine.

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Gospel Music is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

Written by Staff on April 30, 2019 – 10:14 am -

Gloryway Quartet is doing their part to leave a legacy of gospel music in the Great Lakes

Gloryway Quartet is doing their part to leave a legacy of gospel music in the Great Lakes

Southern gospel music may be more widely known in the south, but the southern states don’t exactly have a corner on that part of the music market. Gospel music is alive and well in the Great Lakes regions of Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan.

Steeped in tradition and yet carving out an identity of their own, gospel music groups from the area are striving to carry on the legacy of those who have gone before them, all the while competing with the contemporary Christian music that overwhelms much of the area.

Michael Bailey is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

Michael Bailey

Michael Bailey, a soloist from Taylor, Mich., became enamored with gospel music as a young boy after hearing some iconic groups such as the Imperials and the Cathedrals. Although shy as a child, Bailey decided to heed God’s call on his life to share the message through gospel music, and has overcome that fear of being in front of people.

Walter Williams is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

Walter Williams

Walter Williams, from the West Michigan area of Battle Creek, also fell in love with the music at a young age as a musician. At the age of six, he started learning the accordion and then moved on to the piano, the saxophone, as well as other instruments.

For Williams, however, life hasn’t been all roses. He states, “My life took a sharp detour down the prodigal road. I’m glad that I found out that Jesus saves; even in the darkest of places. I’m grateful to be able to share my testimony how God never ever gives up on us.

“For me, Southern gospel music seems to really get at the root of this Christian journey and brings you to the cross. I am happy and humbled by the opportunity to share God’s message that brings us from guilt to grace.”

Bobby Jones Family is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

Bobby Jones Family

Some of the artists in the Great Lakes region have a family legacy in gospel music. Betty and Bobby Jones met in their youth group at church, and after suffering from two stress-related strokes and becoming unable to speak or move her right arm, Betty realized that the only thing that mattered was what she was able to accomplish for the Lord. She made a promise to God that if he would let her live and restore her voice, she would follow his call. The Bobby Jones Family hasn’t looked back.

The Morse Family is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

The Morse Family

The Morse family from Ohio travels and sings with seven of their nine children. What they anticipated being a one-time concert has turned into a traveling ministry for the family. Heidi Morse commented, “When God has a plan, he works and we simply follow. What a true honor to share Jesus as a family; to train our children to serve Christ with all their heart. There is nothing like it.”  

The Foresters are Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

The Foresters

Where the Morse family seemingly stumbled into a family ministry, Mark and Andrea Forester from Michigan began their ministry the day after they returned from their honeymoon in June of 2000. They now sing with their two boys, Trevor and Tyler, and are expecting to be in 21 states in 2019. In 2018 concerts alone, 252 people professed Jesus Christ as their Savior.

The Great Lakes region Southern gospel artists do not limit themselves to just the northern region, however. Many of these artists have appeared in several states, singing at not just churches, but also at prisons, fairs, and senior living facilities.  

4One is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

4One is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

Jim Quales, owner of 4One Quartet from Reed City, Mich., states that in 2018 they did over 240 dates, of which 85 were in a senior living facility. “We feel strongly about making sure we sing to these dear people. We are thrilled to spread the gospel in many different outlets, and find that we try to draw the people in with may styles and songs to share Jesus in a real way,” Quales commented.  

Southern gospel music may have some competition in the north, but it is definitely alive and well. You can catch some of these artists, including Diamond Award winner Gloryway Quartet from Ohio, at Creekside Gospel Music Convention October 27 – 31, 2019, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., sharing their passion for the music.  

Southern gospel music artists in the north are honoring their call. They are embracing the unique vision God has given them. These artists are leaving their legacy in the Great Lakes region.

By Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.

 

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Les Butler and Friends: Danny Roberts of the Grascals

Written by Staff on April 29, 2019 – 6:07 pm -

Les Butler and Friends: Danny Roberts of the Grascals

Les Butler and Friends: Danny Roberts of the Grascals

I first met Danny Roberts when he started the Bluegrass Gospel band, The New Tradition.  I loved them. They were, as their name suggests, both new sounding, as well as traditional sounding. And wow, could that mandolin player tear up a mandolin.

Over the years, I interviewed them and featured them many times on my nationally syndicated radio show, Front Porch Fellowship. When they stopped traveling, I was bummed out. But that closed door lead to another open door.  

Danny and Andrea Roberts started going to my church, Middle Tennessee Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn. For several years we got to play side by side in the church band. Those were great days. Now, he’s on the road full time with the multi-award winning, Grascals.  

Let’s learn a little more about my friend, Danny Roberts.

Les Butler: What is your earliest musical memory? 
Danny Roberts: The earliest memories of playing music are with my Uncle Jim. He was one of the few relatives I had that played guitar and he was always open to sitting down with me and helping me learn new things. He always played guitar at his home church, so I had that influence from the start.

 

Danny Roberts

Danny Roberts

LB:What’s the first instrument you tried to play? 
DR: Piano. When I was 12 years old, I broke my hip and had to homeschool that year and my mom was taking piano lessons. After a few days of playing, I decided I really liked playing an instrument but thought it should be guitar. Several years earlier my dad had bought a guitar and brought it home, but no one ever did anything with it, so I got it out and learned to play “Jingle Bells,” (my favorite guitar instrumental that I had heard on a Buck Owens’ Christmas record.)

 

LB: What instruments do you play? 
DR: Guitar, mandolin and fiddle.

 

LB: Who are your top three mandolin mentors? 
DR: Sam Bush, David Grisman and Bill Monroe.

 

LB: What’s your band history, first band to current band? 
DR: First band would be the New Tradition, then Ronnie Reno and the Reno Tradition and now the Grascals.

 

Les Butler and Friends: Danny Roberts of the Grascals

Danny Roberts and the Grascals

LB: What is your favorite song to play and why? 
DR: This changes for me fairly often. Right now, my favorite song to play is “I’ve Been Redeemed,” from the Grascals current CD, “Before Breakfast.” I love the message in the song. It’s in three-quarter time which is something the Grascals don’t do a lot of, but I really like it, plus I get to kick it off with the mandolin.

 

LB: Do you write lyrics?  If so, what’s the favorite song you’ve written?
DR: I do enjoy writing songs with lyrics and my favorite would probably be “Crucified by Me.” I wrote it and recorded it several years ago. Recently it’s been revived by a great young band called ClayBank and it’s receiving a lot of airplay. The song is about a having a dream where I was committing a crime, but I wasn’t paying for the crime – an innocent man was. That innocent man was Jesus.

 

LB: How do you give birth to your original instrumentals?  Do you have a favorite you’ve written? 
DR: The instrumentals I write usually come from a mood I’m in or from inspiration that I get from listening to other artists. If I must pick a favorite, I think it would be “Derrington Drive,” off of my “Nighthawk” CD. The song was inspired by the tuning Bill Monroe did on his tune, “Get up John,” and named in honor of Charlie Derrington – one of my best friends and mandolin building mentors. I’ve written several and many of them are special to me including “AndiWayne,” and “Old Paths,” from my “Mandolin Orchard” CD, and “Danielle’s Waltz,” from the “Nighthawk” recording.

 

LB: What’s your biggest musical moment?
DR: I’ve been very blessed to have many, awesome musical moments and I’m so grateful for each of them. However, I think the one moment that may stand out just a little more than the rest was playing the Grand Ole Opry with Dolly Parton and having Porter Waggoner join us to sing a couple of their old duets. It just so happens that this was the last time that Porter and Dolly sang together because Porter passed away not too long after, so it’s an extremely precious memory for me. Also, having the legendary Jordanaires join the Grascals on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry to perform our Dove Award nominated song “Did You Forget God Today” was also an amazing musical moment.

 

LB: Tell us about your wife and daughter, both of whom are very musical.
DR: I met my wife, Andrea, at a bluegrass festival where she was playing guitar and singing in her group Petticoat Junction (I was at the festival playing with New Tradition.) A few months after we first met, my band sold her band a utility trailer for hauling music equipment and, as they say, the rest is history. Andrea stopped traveling on the road after our daughter Jaelee was born and later started the Andrea Roberts Agency – a booking agency that books several top bluegrass bands including the Grascals.
Jaelee really didn’t have much of a choice but to be in music being that’s all that has ever gone on in our home since she was born. She started playing fiddle when she was four and now plays guitar, mandolin, piano, banjo and some bass. Jaelee has literally grown up singing in church which has been such a blessing and we’re so thankful that she has that foundation…THE Foundation. She is a very talented singer and her first single, a gospel song called “All My Tears,” will be released early in 2019.

 

LB: When you’re not picking and singing, what are you doing?
DR: I have an instrument repair shop in my home and I repair stringed instruments. I also give music lessons to folks all ages and skill levels wanting to learn mandolin and guitar.

 

Grascals

Grascals

LB: Give us a brief testimony…

DR: When I was 12 years old I broke my hip and spent the next year on crutches and pretty much in the house. During that time my life was forever changed…that’s when I started playing guitar and when I got saved. I had just turned 13 years old when I was attending a revival at my home church in Leitchfield, Kent., and the preacher preached on hell and preached it hot. I decided that was something I wanted no part of and accepted Christ as my Savior that night. There are a lot of decisions I’ve made in my life that I might change if I had the opportunity, but making the decision to accept God’s gift of salvation is the single greatest decision of my life.

By Les Butler

Les Butler and Friends is published monthly by SGNScoops Magazine

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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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