Bev McCann

MGM

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

SGNScoops editor asks: Are you striving for excellence?

Written by Staff on June 25, 2017 – 3:21 pm -

Collingsworth Family appear in SGNScoops June 2017. Lorraine Walker, Editor

Collingsworth Family appear in SGNScoops June 2017. Lorraine Walker, Editor

Editor’s Last Word for June 2017 by Lorraine Walker [expanded version]

Thanks to you all for checking out the June issue of SGNScoops Magazine. Three years ago this month, I began my full duties as editor, not comprehending the breadth and scope of what it means to work in this capacity. As I have made my way through the labyrinth of SGNScoops, I have come to realize even more the heart of this organization.

 

I have written for Rob Patz and the SGMRadio and SGNScoops web sites since 2004 and this magazine since 2009. However, it wasn’t until I gingerly took on the reigns of SGNScoops Magazine as editor in June 2014, that I really began to interact with all of the writers, contributors, behind-the-scenes and creative/design people that work together to make every issue the best that it can be.

 

Lorraine Walker, editor of SGNScoops Magazine

Lorraine Walker, editor of SGNScoops Magazine

We strive for excellence. Whether we always reach it is debatable, but we are always reaching for the next rung on the ladder. The reason we do that is because we believe we are really working for the King of Kings. Therefore, we must give our very best. We also trust that you – our readers – will enjoy and be edified by our efforts. In your every day work, do you strive for excellence simply because the Almighty God wants your very best?

God doesn’t expect perfection…He just wants you to strive to reach the mark. Just like my sign under my picture, “Love Everyone, Always,” doesn’t mean you always will just because God told you to love your neighbor as yourself. He just wants you to try. You don’t need to be a doormat, just as you wouldn’t expect to walk over others. Give yourself to God and then to others. In His strength, try to live as He lived and do your utmost for Him.

Our cover artist this month also works hard to give its very best. The Collingsworth Family is known for its excellence vocally and with its musicianship. Erin Stevens brings us a close look at what makes the family thrive. Craig Harris shows us how their family relationships reflect their faith in a good father. Respect, love and compassion as shown by our Heavenly Father will draw a family closer. We hope you enjoyed all of the features that emphasized the Father’s Day theme sprinkled throughout this issue.

 

I’m so glad that I still have my father and that we as a family will be able to gather and celebrate him on Father’s Day. I also have a close relationship with my Heavenly Father, and I know He is good. Is that something that you perhaps haven’t come to understand in your life? That the almighty God would give His dear child just so you could have a relationship with Him, proves how good He is. He wants to give you every good and perfect gift. I pray you would draw near to Him today.

 

June 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

June 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

Thank you to all of you that have written to share your gifts and talents given to you by our Father. If you have an interest in becoming a part of SGNScoops, drop me a line at lorraine@sgnscoops.com.

From the Editor’s Last Word, SGNScoops Magazine for June 2017.

Read SGNScoops online HERE.

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Weekend Word from SGN Scoops- Belonging

Written by scoopsnews on June 24, 2017 – 6:01 am -

Weekend word

Weekend Word

If you could see as Jesus sees, would you change the way you view yourself?

Jesus always welcomes those who no one else takes in. He invites the ones that no one else invites.

Scripture says, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him you called you out of the darkness and into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Praise God , We are a chosen people! We are precious and valuable to HIM.

Have a great day and share this message with someone that is not feeling like they belong.

 

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Rob Patz: Fast Trains and Life Regrets

Written by Staff on June 22, 2017 – 7:36 pm -

Courtesy of https://www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk/

Rob Patz: Fast Trains and Life Regrets. Photo courtesy of https://www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk/

2017 June SGNScoops Rob Patz: Publisher’s Point

Welcome to the June edition of SGNScoops Magazine. Can you believe that we are almost halfway through the year of 2017? It’s hard for me to imagine how fast this year has flown by. When we’re younger, we think time moves so much slower than it really does, and when we get older, we realize how fast time really is moving.

 

As many of you know, I usually avoid talking about Father’s Day during the month of June in the Publisher’s Point. If you don’t believe me, go back and read past years of SGNScoops. Now that I look back on it, it was not necessary, but each of us mourn the loss of someone in a different way. I’m coming to grips with that, so this month I want to tell you a story about my dad.

 

My father loved trains, and in fact, my grandfather worked for the Canadian National Railroad as an arbitrator, so trains are in our family. I can remember my father buying me my first train, which progressed to a larger train, and a larger train, and then a larger train. My father would lay on the floor with me, and we would play with these trains. To be honest, I think he was having as much fun or maybe more than I was.

 

Rob Patz and his dad, Rev. Don Patz

Rob Patz and his dad, Rev. Don Patz

I remember at about eight years old, my dad and I were laying on the floor playing with the larger model train that he had gotten me. Now, I know my dad … he would never miss an opportunity for a life lesson. I think that was the pastor in him. As we were laying there on the floor, he said, “Our lives are a lot like a train. We are on a track to a destination. Unfortunately, some engineers push their train, and those trains derail. They are much like people who push life outside of the speed limit, go too fast for the tracks and miss their station. Then, there are people who stay within the recommended speed. They move along the tracks safely and get to their destination.”

 

I remember him looking at me and saying, “Rob, that is much like people and our relationship with God. If we try to speed things up and move past what God wants, we are going to derail our life. If we listen to God, who is the ultimate engineer – and stay within the parameters that He has laid out for our lives – not only are we going to get to our location but we are going to get there safely.”

 

Being a boy of eight years old, at first that story didn’t sink in. In fact, it was many years later before the story really hit home with me. If I remember correctly, my first words after he made this great analogy were, “Hey Dad, can you set up my race car set now, because I can switch lanes, and we don’t have to go around on the same track.” I’m sure my father was wondering if I had listened at all. I wish more than anything he could read this and know that I listened and understood.

 

So many of us today want to rush to the destination. We want to get to the place that in our mind we think is the most important, sometimes cutting corners on our own convictions, much like the engineer who knows better but still gives the train too much fuel and accelerates past the recommended traveling speed. He knows he’s pushing it to the limit and probably hoping he doesn’t derail. Unfortunately in life, if we cut corners or go past the recommended traveling speed, we more than likely are going to suffer derailment in our lives.

 

Rob Patz

Rob Patz

I’m thankful that I serve a God who watches over us even after we’ve derailed. Much like me as as a child, when my train would derail because I would push it to the limit of speed, God is willing to reach His hand down and put our lives back on the track. He doesn’t think twice about it if we ask Him and if we seek to move in the right direction.

 

So many of us rush through life. I think that’s my biggest regret. I haven’t taken the time to enjoy moments. If I could go back to that moment at eight years old, I would. If I could tell my father I loved him one more time, I would for all the money in this world. So if your dad is still with you, tell him you love him and tell him you appreciate what he has done for you.

 

I hope each and every one of you have an amazing month of June, and please join me for Vernon Alabama’s Gospel Music Weekend, Sept. 8-9 in Vernon, Ala.

 

I also encourage you to be with us Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 for Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. It’s going to be an awesome four days of Gospel Music and renewal for your soul.

 

June 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

June 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

And that’s this month’s Publisher’s Point.

Read the Publisher’s Point and more in the 2017 June issue of the SGNScoops Magazine:

Read SGNScoops online HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE
Download The PDF Version Of  SGNScoops Magazine HERE
Thanks for reading SGNScoops Magazine. Be sure to tell your friends all about us!
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Faith and Fitness for the Courageous Man by Laurette Willis

Written by Staff on June 12, 2017 – 5:40 pm -

Laurette Willis

Laurette Willis

“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6).

Do you remember the movie Courageous from a few years ago? Our family really enjoyed it. There is lots of action, a compelling story, humor, top-notch acting, and the movie is built on a solid foundation (the Word of God and the Father’s great love for us.) The movie’s subtitle is “Honor begins at home.”

As the promotions for this movie stated, “Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. When tragedy strikes home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Protecting the streets is second nature. Raising their children in a God-honoring way? That’s courageous.”

How does the Courageous Man Combine Faith, Family and Fitness?

When we come home from a hard day at work, the last thing many of us want to do is think about anything more physical than elbow-bending (as in fork-to-mouth, repeat, 40 reps.)

In the movie Courageous, police officer Adam Mitchell (played by director and co-writer Alex Kendrick, father of six) and his teenage son Dylan start building a new relationship with one another, and fitness becomes an important part of it. All Dylan seems to want to do is “…play video games and run a 5K,” says Adam.

Parents realize that in order to build (or rebuild) a relationship with their child, it takes becoming interested in what interests them. Adam decides to lay aside his personal comfort zone for the greater good of blessing his son. He and Dylan begin running together, and their relationship deepens as Dylan sees his Dad’s love in action, not just in words.

Love is spelled T-I-M-E.

Why compartmentalize faith (Sunday only), family (around the dinner table…when we’re not watching TV) and fitness (does watching football on TV count?)

The courageous man (and woman) puts God first–so why not ask the Lord how to make fitness a part of your family time together? No matter what the age of your children, you can begin making fun physical activity a part of “what we do as a family.”

Here are just a few ideas to get your wheels turning – and your bodies moving!

Laurette Willis. Praise Moves. Twister* The family that walks together, talks together. Take a leisurely stroll 30 minutes after dinner. Make it a new family tradition. Enjoy each other’s company and walk at a gentle pace for 15-20 minutes to help digest your food. This will also keep you from snacking after dinner. Take a portion of scripture and talk about it. How can you apply it to your lives?

* Go to the gym or church fitness center with your son or daughter. Work out with light weights (not on the machines). Show your kids how it’s done.

* Indoor fitness games. Remember Twister? You can still play that as a family! Add an element of scripture memorization by writing verses on cards. Call out all or part of a verse with each move. See how many verses you can remember (if you don’t wind up collapsing into a giggling pile before too long!).

* Train for a charity race — a walk, run, or bike race! Train as a family team, or with one of your children. Use the time to encourage your child.

In the movie Courageous, Adam says, “I think the Lord is requiring me to call out the man in my son.”  That’s something dads get to do for their children; emulating our heavenly Father by “calling out” and encouraging the best in their sons, daughters and wife.

Take the lead, Dad. Be Courageous. Be a Fit Witness for Christ in spirit, soul and body. Your family will follow–and will HONOR you for it.

Laurette Willis. Praise Moves

Laurette Willis – Praise Moves

Laurette Willis is a Certified Health Coach, published author, and Founder of PraiseMoves Fitness Ministry. You may contact Laurette Willis at the email address above, 918-458-1800 or www.PraiseMoves.com. Join Laurette Willis at www.Facebook.com/LauretteWillisPage ©2016

By Laurette Willis

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in May 2016. For the latest SGNScoops Magazine click here.

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Happy birthday! Jordan LeFevre featured in Younger Perspective by Erin Stevens

Written by Staff on June 10, 2017 – 2:31 pm -

Jordan LeFevre

Jordan LeFevre

A word from the writer…

 

When you’re raised in and around good Gospel music all your life, at some point, it seeps into your soul and you can’t quite get enough! That is the case with Jordan LeFevre of The LeFevre Quartet. I’m going to have Jordan tell you, in his own words, how this great music has impacted him along the way. Pull up a chair and take a listen, friends!

 

Erin Stevens: Even though you’ve been a key member of the group from the start, let’s go back farther. When did you first discover your love for music as a child?

Jordan LeFevre: Well, I guess you could say I fell in love with Gospel music at a very young age. There are numerous pictures of me at the age of around three or four, standing in a suit with a microphone my dad had given me, singing along to old Gold City and Brian Free & Assurance cassettes. So honestly, it has always been a deep passion of mine, and there really isn’t a time when I’m not listening to music!

 

Erin: How many instruments do you play and what is your preferred instrument of choice?

Jordan: I can play two instruments: Drums and bass guitar. I am, for sure, more comfortable behind a drum kit. I got my first drum set at the age of four and taught myself to play. As I started getting older, I would practice nearly every day for hours. At that point, I’m sure my parents were regretting the drums! To this day, I love playing, and still have them set up in my studio at home; I also play drums in recording sessions.

 

Jordan LeFevre with the LeFevres

Jordan LeFevre with the LeFevres

Erin: What falls under “Jordan’s responsibilities” on the LeFevre bus?

Jordan: I think the better question would be, “What is NOT Jordan’s responsibility?!” Honestly, I have been working with the group for so many years now, I have learned a lot of things by default. At the age of 15, my dad started training me to drive the bus, and since then, I’ve become the designated driver. I also service the generator, fix anything I can, or if the bus has to go to the shop, I take care of that, too. I’m also in charge of running sound from the stage; that was actually my first job with the group when I was 13. 

 

Erin: How do you vocally prep for a concert?

Jordan:  Well for me, unfortunately, I can’t just open my mouth and it sounds great. I actually have an all day process/ritual I try to stick to. First thing when I wake up in the morning, I drink coffee, then follow with water. For lunch, I will only drink water, and stay away from anything that might gum me up, such as cheese, milk; etc. About an hour before we sing, I will drink two bottles of water, then go into the shower room in our bus, because of the acoustics, and do my vocal exercises. What a process, right?!

 

Jordan LeFevre and his wife, Ali

Jordan LeFevre and his wife, Ali

Erin: How did you and Ali meet?

Jordan: Actually, [it was] thanks to Gospel music. Her family were big fans of Gold City while Dad was there and he got to know Ali’s family. There are actually pictures of my dad holding Ali as a baby. Over the years, while Dad was off the road and spending time at home, they lost contact. Fast forward several years to when we started the group in 2005. One of our first trips was to Mississippi to do a concert with Ali’s family group and I saw her there for the first time. I was so stunned by how pretty she was, I didn’t speak; I was too nervous! Having always regretted not talking to her that night, four years ago I added her on Facebook, just to see what she was doing now. A couple of weeks went by and she happened to comment on something I posted. I finally got my chance to talk to her! Eight months later we were married and we just welcomed our first child, Jayce, on June 27th, 2016 into our family.

 

Erin: What’s a weird/wacky quirk not many people would guess about you?

Jordan: I am an admitted clean freak. I’m to a point where I am almost OCD [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder] about it. Everything has to have its exact place and I have to know where everything is. I am especially that way with my truck and the bus. I’d say I get that from my mother, for sure.

 

Erin: Are there any new, exciting things coming for the group this year you can share with the readers? 

Jordan: There are a lot of things I am excited about. We are currently working on two brand new CDs that we are pouring our hearts into. I really think people will love the songs we have picked out. I have church in my truck just listening to the demos while learning the material. Also, we just had Keith Plott join our group, filling the bass position. Many people know Keith, as he was with Brian Free for several years, but he has spent the last few years as a solo artist. He is a fan favorite and he’s looking forward to meeting so many of our friends.

 

Jordan LeFevre

Jordan LeFevre in concert

Erin: Neck ties or bow ties? Mexican or Italian food? Netflix or theatre goer? Pandora or Spotify? Disney or Universal?

Jordan: Neck ties for me! LOVE Mexican – sometimes I eat it several days in a row! Theatre for sure, love the atmosphere. Pandora. Universal.

 

Erin: What is a key scripture you consider as your life verse? Why does this hold such personal meaning to you?

Jordan: Joshua 24:15 “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” To me, it perfectly describes the ministry that we are called to do. In serving the Lord, not only are we called but our spouses have to be called just as much. For us to spend as much time away from home as we do, we have to have a support system. Without a strong and called spouse, I surely couldn’t live out my calling and my dream to sing Gospel music. 

 

Erin: How and at what point in life did you come to know Christ?

Jordan: I was very fortunate to be raised in a godly household. Some of my earliest memories are at church with my family. At a very young age I had, what I now call, an ‘experience,’ where I went through the motions but didn’t truly give my heart to God. Honestly, I did it just to say I had prayed a prayer and I went with that for several years. Almost two years ago, that all changed. We were booked to do a revival down in Louisiana and during part of this revival each member of the group was supposed to speak and share their testimony. I was dreading that part because deep down, I knew that I wasn’t saved. So as the nights went on I started feeling a deep conviction and finally the night came for me to speak. I knew I couldn’t share because I knew my heart wasn’t right. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I found the pastor literally five minutes before the service and I prayed and accepted Jesus as my Savior! It was like a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders. So that night I got up and shared how I had been singing about Jesus all my life, but that I came to know Him that very night, and through my testimony several people were saved that night, too.

 

Jordan LeFevre and the LeFevresErin: What is the legacy you want to leave behind for the next generation as you continue to carry on the family business?

Jordan: I want to leave behind a legacy that says, “It’s not about the size of the stage you perform on. It’s about the people you touch and that come to know Christ because of the ministry that He has blessed us with.”

 

Closing words from the writer…

 

It’s an audience of One. Plain and simple. No matter your occupation, all the glory should continually be pointing upward to our Heavenly Father. Thank you, Jordan, for reminding us of that today. If we aren’t living lives that glorify Him, then all else will be done in vain. Colossians 3:23 tells us: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” May our lives be a light that illuminates the way for someone else to find Christ.

 

And that’s my take on it.

 

Until next month, Scoops fans.

 

Erin Stevens

Erin Stevens

Photographs courtesy of Jordan LeFevre. Find his facebook page here and the group’s website here.

 

Connect with Erin:

Twitter – @photosforkeeps

Instagram – @photos_for_keeps

 

Who would YOU like to see Erin interview next?

By Erin Stevens

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in March 2017. For the latest SGNScoops Magazine, click here.

For more Gospel music news click here. 

For more inspirational articles click here.


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Batter Up! The Seattle Mariners’ Reliever: Rob Callistro

Written by Staff on June 3, 2017 – 11:16 am -

Rob Callistro - The Reliever

Rob Callistro – The Reliever

The crack of the bat, the smell of hot dogs and Cracker Jacks and the warmth of the sun belting down; the sights, sounds and allure of baseball drew Rob Callistro in at an early age and kept him intrigued for life.

 

Like many young boys, Callistro had the dream of becoming a major-league baseball player. But unlike many young players, he obtained his dream. In spite of reaching his goal, he didn’t feel satisfied or complete. There was a God-shaped hole in his heart.

 

Rob Callistro - The Reliever

Rob Callistro – The Reliever

Rob Callistro was born in 1969 in California. His love of baseball was evident early in life. At the age of five, Rob told his parents that he wanted to be professional baseball player, just like the guys he saw playing on television. “I was always playing with some type of ball. I must have broken a window in almost every house in our neighborhood,” Callistro says with a chuckle.

 

There were plenty of ups and downs in life, such as his parents’ divorce, and various injuries, but one thing remained constant: his love of the game. Throughout his childhood, Callistro played on various little league teams and practiced incessantly until he landed a place in the minor leagues.

 

Rob Callistro - The Reliever

Rob Callistro – The Reliever

“My first year in the minor leagues was a very difficult time. When I wasn’t on the baseball field, I found myself trying to be someone that I wasn’t. I tried so hard to fit in with other players that sometimes I would exaggerate and tell lies to try to make myself appear better than I was,” says Callistro. “I understood that players needed to focus on their baseball careers, but selfishness, pride and backbiting occurred when players only thought of themselves.”

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Are You Blooming? by Lorraine Walker, Editor, SGNScoops Magazine

Written by Staff on May 30, 2017 – 8:40 am -

Are You Blooming? by Lorraine Walker, Editor, SGNScoops Magazine

Dean Hopper in May 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

2017 May SGNScoops Editor’s Last Word By Lorraine Walker

It’s May and with this fifth edition of SGNScoops for 2017, I hope you will find a feature, an article, or even just a photograph, that is educational, entertaining or encouraging. We look for stories that will be intriguing to you and we believe we have included many this month.

A special thanks to Dean Hopper for sharing with Craig Harris the difficulties of his health scare recently. There has been so much written about this special family over the years and we hope you enjoyed this feature. Please remember to keep them all in your prayers.

We appreciate all of our writers and staff here at Scoops, and they have all performed beyond expectations this month. These ladies and gentlemen do what they do because they believe they are making a difference. I believe they are as well.

As I look out into our backyard and see all the flowers that are now in bloom, I see what a difference they make to a rather dull scene. Color and fragrance attract bees and birds, enlivening the yard and our street. I’m so glad everything is flourishing in the warmth and moisture of spring.

Are You Blooming? by Lorraine Walker, Editor, SGNScoops Magazine

Bloom where you are planted

It occurred to me that our team here at SGNScoops are also blooming where they are planted. Have you considered where you are in your work, your home life, your hobbies? Are you changing your landscape with the scent and beauty that is Jesus in your life?

Perhaps you are finding things so difficult right now that your spiritual life feels dry and barren. The Bible uses water as an image of the Holy Spirit and His power in our lives to bring life. Let Him wash over you today and quench your thirst, moisten your heart so that your relationship with the Lord will grow afresh. Then not only will you feel rebirth in all areas of your life, but others will catch the color and fragrance of Jesus and seeds will be planted in their hearts.
If you feel you have talents that are lying dormant in your life in the area of writing or other skills you think you might be able to utilize here at SGNScoops, please let me know. We are always looking for fresh ideas and volunteers to enrich our publication. Write me today with any comments, questions or suggestions at lorraine@sgnscoops.com.

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Are You Blooming? by Lorraine Walker, Editor, SGNScoops Magazine

May 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

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Rob Patz – “God, are You Listening?”

Written by Staff on May 19, 2017 – 2:19 pm -

Rob Patz

Rob Patz

Rob Patz – SGNScoops Publisher’s Point

Welcome to the May Publisher’s Point. Of course, May is for mothers, and I want to wish my mom a very happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for always being there for me, loving me and pushing me to do things that I may not have felt comfortable with, but you always believed in me and listened to me.

I often think about listening … you know, the famous saying, “Do you hear me now?” For so many of us, we struggle with listening. It is so much more fun to talk then it is to listen. Have you ever been a part of the conversation and realized that you may have not heard the entire story as you are making a comment and you see the face of the person you’re talking with and the bewilderment on it? I know it’s happened to me, so I’m sure as you’re reading this, you’re thinking of a time that someone didn’t listen to you.

I also have been struggling lately with wondering if God is listening to me. Of course, I know He is. I know He hears everything I say, and at times, I am amazed that the Creator of the universe has enough time to listen to what I have to say. Sometimes, I wonder though if He is really listening. Then, I have to realize that it isn’t the fact that He may not be listening, but that what I am saying may not exactly be what He is wanting for my life.

I’ve dealt with that a lot lately, understanding and questioning a lot of life events that happened. I have spent nights alone pacing the floor, frustrated, asking God, “why won’t you answer my prayer?” I’m quickly reminded that God doesn’t need to answer my prayers, because He’s God and I’m not. I’m also reminded that we don’t serve a God who will answer our prayers if it is something that will hurt us. God cannot do something that is against His will and what He desires for our life to be. God is perfect. He sees the greater picture.

Rob PatzI have to think of my early life in the Midwest. The terrain is very flat in most places, but there are times where there are small hills. If you’re out in farm country, you might be behind a tractor and have a desire to pass one of these tractors that are taking up valuable time by going slower than you think they should. I was always taught that you never passed a tractor on one of these hills, because you don’t know what’s on the other side.

It dawned on me the other day that God knows what’s on the other side of the hill. I see the tractor, which is the problem, and I want to pass that problem. I can’t see everything on the other side of that hill, and God is preparing me for what is just over the crest. This doesn’t mean that I understand, and there are times when I honk the horn to make the tractor move. I’m trying to learn that God has exactly the best thing in mind for me, so He is listening. He may not always answer the way I want, and sometimes, I may wonder exactly where He is.

Susan Ashton had a great song in the 1990s where she talked about God and how at times He felt next to her and other times she felt like she was at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I will tell you that over the last few months, I have seen new value in that song and in those lyrics.

So know today that God loves you. He hears your prayers. He might be protecting you from what’s on the other side of that ridge, something that at this moment you are not ready for. Even though you want to pass the tractor, you have to wait. Understand that sometimes God asks us to stand still.

My dad used to say that God answers in three ways. He answers “yes,” “no,” and “not right now.” Sometimes, that answer is just not right now. It’s hard to understand, but God has a greater plan for your life than anything you can imagine. If you truly believe that He is your savior, then you also have to truly believe that He wants what’s best for you. We don’t serve a God who is out to punish us. We serve a God who wants us to worship Him and be in a close relationship to Him.

Be A VIP For $25 Creekside 2017

Be A VIP For $25 Creekside 2017

I hope to see you this year at Creekside 2017, which will be held from Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. For more information, visit www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/ or www.facebook.com/Creeksidegospelmusicconvention.

By Rob Patz

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in May 2017.

Rob Patz is the publisher of SGNScoops and the CEO of Coastal Media.

For more on Rob Patz click here.

For the latest issue of SGNScoops click here.

For the latest Gospel music news click here.


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Hope To The Hill with Nathan Kistler

Written by Staff on May 14, 2017 – 9:46 am -

Hope To The Hill with Nathan Kistler

Hope To The Hill with Nathan Kistler

 

 

 

 

It is hard to believe that we are now a few months into this new year. We have a new President, Congress and a new Supreme Court Nominee. The fight to get Judge Gorsuch confirmed has been and will continue to be tough. Our allied ministry team decided that on the night of the nomination of Judge Gorsuch, we would kneel in front of the Supreme Court and pray, be the first to offer public prayer for the man who would take the place of Justice Scalia.

There was a two fold purpose in this exercise. One, that there would be a group in support of prayer and the things of God, as there were over 400 protesters with signs, screaming, and only eight of us. Two, a way for us to exercise our first amendment rights to pray in public, but also to flex the muscle of the freedom of religion that we hold so dear. Our rights must be exercised just like a muscle whilst in the gym. If you don’t use it, you lose it.  

 

As we made a few statements as to why we were there and I began to sing “The Lord’s Prayer,” the protesters began screaming louder trying to drown out my voice. By the grace of God, my voice grew louder somehow and as I reached the pinnacle of the song, the protesters grew almost completely quiet for but a moment. It was almost like the Lord shut the mouths of the lions as it were. I tell you that it had nothing to do with me, but God was doing something special.

Hope to the Hill with Nathan KistlerAfter I sang, we knelt and began to pray for our nation and the Judge. It was a moment I will never forget. As I was walking through the crowd to head back to my office to grab some things, I heard people call me names and someone spat on me. I teared up as I thought of the many souls who were lost, broken, angry and hurt. Angry, that we would pray in a public place, and lost without Jesus.

I had never experienced anything like this in my life. Walking through people who were so angry, I could feel their hatred towards me. I wanted to turn and say, “I love you,” but did not in fear of their reply. The truth is that I do love them though. In that moment as the eight of us were kneeling in prayer, I began to think like Elijah in 1 Kings as he said, “I am the only one, and they are many.” It can be easy to think that we may be the only people of God left at times, but God reminds us time and time again that there are many more of His people doing good work for His glory.  
    

I have been in the country of England during the month of February singing, speaking and spending time with close family friends. God has done great things and for that I am grateful. It has been eye opening to speak to those in the UK about our differences of opinion on politics and life in general.

I was able to spend some wonderful time in Oxford with some dear ministry friends at one of the colleges at Oxford University. As is my normal tradition, I spent hours walking around the city of Oxford taking in the history and architecture. I always walk past a small hole in the road on Carfax Street which has such meaning to me.

This year, I decided to stop at a coffee shop, grab a tea and watch as people walked past this spot in the road to see if they noticed it. I spent almost an hour there and only two small groups of people stopped to even consider what this place was. I heard a man mention to his wife in wonder, “What is this hole with a cross made in the bricks?” I spoke up from behind them and said, “This is the place where the Oxford Three were burned at the stake for their faith.”  A look of horror fell upon their faces as I shared the story of Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer.  

Latimer and Ridley were burned at the stake in October of 1555, and Cranmer in March of 1556, for not recanting their faith in Jesus. That hallowed ground, where so many thousands of people walk across daily without even knowing its history, was the very ground where the seeds of the Gospel were watered with the blood of saints.  

We owe a great debt to those men. It was because of their sacrifice that the Gospel was spread to a new land through the Pilgrims. America began because of men and ladies who gave their lives for the sake of the Gospel. May we never forget that.  
    

I am renewed in my desire to see all men saved and that the time is short. As I head back to Washington DC, I am refocused for the work that must be done and difficulty which lies ahead. I pray that you will join us in the coming days not only in prayer, but in support for the work that must be done. We are but few laborers, and the harvest is plenty. God is so good to us and I am truly humbled to play but a small part in His plan.  

Your friend in Washington, Nathan Kistler.

You can contact Nathan directly at 202-770-7300 or nathankistler@gmail.com. Learn more online here and here. Photographs courtesy of Nathan Kistler.

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in March 2017.

For the latest issue of SGNScoops Magazine click here. 

For more Gospel music news click here.


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My Mom is my best Friend: Vonda Easley

Written by Staff on May 10, 2017 – 9:00 am -

Vonda Easley and her mom, Margaret Turner

Vonda Easley and her mom, Margaret Turner

One day out of the year, we have this beautiful opportunity to give back to the people who have given us so much: our moms.

So on this day, I’d like to say a few things about my mom, Margaret  Ann Turner.

Vonda Easley and her mom, Margaret TurnerLife has been difficult and there have been times when I’ve felt like giving up, when things were not going my way. Each time, my mother was there to remind me of my worth.

She encouraged me to keep reaching for the unreachable and never settle for anything less than I deserved. No matter how bizarre my dreams were,  I’m thankful my mom never stopped believing in me.

Perhaps it was easier for me to take my frustrations out on my mom when I was growing up because she loved me unconditionally. During my teenage years,  there were times when I was a selfish brat; still, she loved me anyway and I am forever grateful. My parents sacrificed so much in order to give me a better life than they had when they were kids. Like the old Loretta Lynn song says, “We were poor but we had love.”

My mother taught me to sing at an early age. Later, she taught us how to sing harmony. Music is all we knew. I am so thankful for that.

Vonda Easley and her mom, Margaret TurnerSo on this Mother’s Day, I want to say: “I love you, Momma. You are the best friend I’ve ever had.”

By Vonda Easley, Owner of Hope’s Journey and Hey Y’all Media; VP of Sales and Marketing  SGN Scoops Magazine

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Vonda Easley with Hope's Journey

Hope’s Journey

Today we hear from Vonda Easley, an integral part of SGNScoops,  as she explains what is unique about her mom.

To send in your tribute, write to lorraine@sgnscoops.com

For more on Vonda Easley, click here.

For the latest SGNScoops Magazine,  click here.

For Gospel music news, click here.


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