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Kristen Stanton: This Day

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

THE VALLEY BETWEEN

VICTORY IN THE VALLEY

THIS DAY 

Devotional by Kristen Stanton 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

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

Your deliverance in this valley is coming. This day.

By Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton is a dynamic singer, speaker, and writer. From discussions on Facebook, to live concerts on any stage, Kristen’s main focus is to share her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She says: “I was saved when I was four years old. I’ve been in church my whole life. I went to a Christian college. I don’t have the experiences of walking away from God and how He brought me back. But I do have the experience of how God continuously reveals Himself to me… of how He answers prayer. I want people to understand who God is so that they can be more of a reflection of Him. My goal is to help others see God in a way that meets every need in their life.”
Following a trio of No. 1 songs from her debut project, “Destiny by Design,” Kristen recently  released her second solo project, “Love As Jesus Loves” and is currently writing songs for her new album. Kristen is also an Attorney-at-Law, serving clients in Northwest Ohio.

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What Does Easter Mean to You?

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

What Does Easter Mean to You?

What Does Easter Mean to You

By Jennifer Campbell

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Jennifer Campbell

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

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

By Jennifer Campbell

Jennifer Campbell is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.

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Jessica Horton rejoices that “Morning Has Broken”

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

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

Devotional by Jessica Horton

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jessica Horton

Jessica Horton

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

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

By Jessica Horton.

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

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

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

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Who God Is by Kristina Cornell

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

Kristina Cornell

Kristina Cornell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Kristina Cornell

You can find out more about Kristina on Facebook HERE.

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

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Amy Oxenrider: ONE MIND

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

Altar Call. Just as I Am by Justin McLeod

Altar Call at the First Baptist Church, Hammond

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

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

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

Courtney Chapel. One mind

Picture by JEFF WILHeLM

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

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

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

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

The affiliation of our church membership meant absolutely nothing.

The connection to our Heavenly Father meant absolutely everything.

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

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

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

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

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

Much Love,
Amy D. Oxenrider

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

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

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Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019


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Beyond the Song: the Hyssongs sing “Choose Life”

Written by Staff on April 6, 2019 – 1:14 pm -

The Hyssongs

The Hyssongs

Jantina de Haan once again goes Beyond the Song to talk with Richard Hyssong about “Choose Life,” from the album, “Believe.” Richard sings with his parents, Dell and Susan, in the popular trio, the Hyssongs. “Choose Life” is their recent radio single and its words resonate deeply with the group.

“Choose Life has three verses that each speak to current events,” Hyssong explains. “The first verse deals with the hot topic of abortion. More recently it is being suggested that a mother can have a child, and after the baby is born the mother and doctor will discuss whether to keep the child or not. This is not a cultural or political issue, it is a biblical issue. The song strongly states, ‘Choose Life.'”

Richard continues, “The second verse deals with the subject of suicide. All of us probably have known people who have contemplated or have even take their own lives. Many are hopeless, yet we know the One who gives us hope. Again, we ‘Choose Life.'”

Rob Patz and Richard Hyssong of the Hyssongs

Rob Patz and Richard Hyssong of the Hyssongs

“The third verse is about accepting or rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. We again, ‘Choose Life’ and accept Christ,” concludes Richard.

This song is of extreme personal importance to the Hyssongs. Richard tells us why the song is such an extension of their lives.

“Our daughter was born over ten years ago. She was born with twenty-two tumors in and around her heart. She also had a massive amount of brain tumors a well. After she was born, the doctor said that she would most likely not survive, and if she did, she would never walk or talk. Many would have suggested that it would have been good to abort her, but we chose life! Today she is perfectly normal,” he exalts.

The group chose this song as their radio single because of its timely message.

We hope you enjoy this video of the Hyssongs singing, “Choose Life.” Thanks to Jantina de Haan for going Beyond the Song.

 

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Mercy Road Minute: Why are we here?

Written by Staff on March 22, 2019 – 5:25 am -

Roger Barkley, Jr., of Mercy Road. Author of Mercy Road Minute

Roger Barkley, Jr., of Mercy Road. Author of Mercy Road Minute

Why are we here? This is a question so many people have asked, I am sure. I have heard this question in science classes, churches, on the city streets, and the list goes on. But if you are sitting in your house of worship, or heading to that sacred place, or getting ready to go, or gearing up for the next service or meeting let me ask again…. Why?

Some do it for the vain glory of being seen in front of people (or even just seen in church) and getting that pat on the back. There are those that are there because it is just a habit, and nothing more than a routine instilled in them from childhood. Some come because they think if they spend an hour at a church once a week that they have “put their time in” for God and makes them okay for the week.

Some who are blinded by their misguided reasons will be sitting in church and complaining about how long the service runs, whining about too many scriptures being read, and will likely show more reverence during a movie in a theatre than in a sanctuary of God. So again, why are we here?

In a time such as now when liberties seem to be slipping away; when people are sick, and cancers and new sicknesses are showing up on every corner; when you or loved one’s friends still do not know the love that is Jesus Christ and will pass through this life into eternity without the knowledge of his saving grace…… should we not know for a certainty why we are here?

Joshua 24:15 wraps it up succinctly when Joshua said, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

If you know Christ personally, you are a minister, and your walk should show that you are his servant. When I say “know,” I mean a personal walk with him and continual growth in his light. Satan and his demons know Christ and the scriptures better than most Christians.

We should strive to be as Christ and not worry about what time it is, whether or not we will be missing our show on TV if the preacher does not shut up, or that we may miss our ballgame if the song leader sings two more verses. Maybe if that is our mindset going into the service, we are not really into the service anyway.

Maybe we should have done one of two things: Either prayed to prepare for the service before, or if that was our attitude toward the service, stayed home as to not dampen the spirit of the service, or distract those trying to worship and glean the portions of God’s Word being delivered.

I know why I am here. I will refer back to Joshua 24:15. Let me leave you with a different question. Why are YOU here?

By Roger Barkley, Jr.

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Editor’s Last Word: You can do it in 2019!

Written by Staff on February 18, 2019 – 7:10 pm -

January 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

January 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

January 2019 SGNScoops Magazine: Editor’s Last Word

By Lorraine Walker

Happy New Year! As we head into the month of January, I hope that you had a lovely Christmas season and were able to reunite with family, friends and loved ones. For those that had an empty chair this year, our hearts grieve with you. For those that added an extra space, we rejoice. You never know what is ahead for the next 12 months, but one thing is for sure: God does.

God knew what he was doing when he gave the Wisecarvers their talent and the desire to use their gifts for him. What a great example of the many family groups that have begun to really shine in the last few years. If you haven’t had a chance to hear them, you need to seek them out and listen to their music. We were thrilled that Dixie Phillips had time to chat with this family and to share their story in SGNScoops. Congratulations to the Wisecarvers for being our first cover story for 2019!

You will find the thread of family throughout this magazine, as I’m sure you have noted by now. Westward Road, Endless Highway, the Rochesters, and even Charlie Griffin’s feature – an abbreviated version of the history of Southern gospel music – emphasizes the role that family harmony plays in all genres, but especially in gospel music. For many of us are not blood relatives as such, but we are family because we believe in the saving power of the blood of Jesus Christ. One of our lessons, while we are here, is to learn to love each other. I pray that this year, I will find ways to show love, caring, and appreciation for fellow believers. Will you join me?

Lorraine Walker

Lorraine Walker, editor of SGNScoops

As we turn the page to a new month, new year, new calendar, many people make goals and lists of how they will grow or improve in the upcoming weeks. I’d rather pray that the Lord will help me draw closer to him. But I also have to admit that I have a sinking feeling when people mention resolutions. When I look at some of the years gone by, I know that those resolutions have also gone by the wayside. Some have been shelved and others have just stalled. Do you ever feel that way?

May I encourage you, as I am trying to encourage myself now, to find your hope, peace, and joy in the Lord? He tells us that if we believe that he is our source of strength, then he will be what we need to hit that resume button on goals or plans to use everything he has given to us to be able to mature into the person that can serve him with excellence. Whether that means you become healthier in body, mind or spirit, or whether you expand your knowledge of the Lord and his word, or whatever he has given you to do this year – you can do it. The Lord will enable you to do what he has asked you to do. Find out what that is. Let’s grow together in 2019.

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Kristen Stanton: VICTORY IN THE VALLEY

Written by Staff on February 12, 2019 – 8:24 am -

THE VALLEY BETWEEN

VICTORY IN THE VALLEY

I Samuel 17:26: “And David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel?  For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

In this passage, between I Samuel 17:4 and I Samuel 17:26 when David spoke these words, the Philistine giant, Goliath, had appeared each day for forty days, bestowing a challenge upon Israel to fight him.

In verse 24 we finally see just how Israel responded – “And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.”

Have you ever wondered just how long this stand-off would have lasted had David not appeared on the scene?  

Have you stopped to ask yourself why there was a stand-off in the first place?

The Philistines faced off against them, equally able to move from their mountaintop to advance towards Israel.

However, they didn’t pursue –they intimidated. Goliath appeared every day to remind them that they would have to face off against him.

Satan doesn’t want to fight you; he wants to scare you!   

If he fights you, he loses because he knows God has gone before you and fights your battles. If he scares you, he wins because he knows you have forgotten in whom to place your trust!

Victory begins with a change in your perception. Your mind is Satan’s battlefield. Remember, if he scares you, he wins.   

Stop looking at the weight you are carrying as a burden that is keeping you from moving forward. Instead, start thinking about it as an opportunity to grow stronger as you press on.

Stop looking at the valley as a place you don’t want to be. Instead, start thinking about it as a place of growth, a place of life, a place of rest.

Don’t forget the beauty of the valley in your hurry to get through it.  

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

The reality is that the mountaintop is great for looking back at where you’ve come from and to look ahead to where you are going.

David had victory the moment he said, “who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”   

He did not run in fear but spoke in faith. His mind was prepared, and his perception was that nobody would defeat God!

Goliath was satisfied in scaring Israel because it prevented them from moving forward.   

Satan is satisfied in appearing every day in your life to scare you because that fear prevents you from moving forward in your life to the place God has for you.

Learn from Israel—they cowered in the face of fear and for forty straight days accomplished nothing for God.    

Learn from David–his perception of Goliath was that God would handle him.

Which are you emulating in your own life?  Like David, you too, can find victory in the valley.

By Kristen Stanton

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Kristen Stanton: The Valley Between

Written by Staff on January 31, 2019 – 10:26 am -

THE VALLEY BETWEENI Samuel  17:3 “And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.”

In I Samuel 17 we see a significant battle. There was a physical battlefield, but there was also a spiritual battle.  

The Philistines were gathered together on one mountain and Israel was on another. They were not occupying the same space–there was an entire valley between them. In order for war to engage, either the Philistines had to want to enter the area where Israel was, or Israel had to want to enter the area where the Philistines were and to obliterate them so that they would no longer face that fear.  

We must understand that we are in a spiritual battle every single day. If we are living for Christ, we are constantly being pursued by the enemy. We can stand on our mountain in the refuge that God provides, but sometimes we need to march into battle and destroy the enemy—face that fear and run it from our lives.  

Either way, it requires us to pass through the valley in order to get to the next mountain. And when we pass through the valley, we become vulnerable either to our enemy or to God.  

Where are you today? Are you refusing to move off the mountain because you fear the valley? Are you tired of the battle you are facing in the valley and just want to quit fighting?   

God knows exactly where you are and has already declared you victorious.    

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

Take that step of faith and face down your fear.

God’s plans are greater than your fear and greater than where you are now.

God is in the valley between.

By Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton is a dynamic singer, speaker, and writer. From discussions on Facebook, to live concerts on any stage, Kristen’s main focus is to share her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She says: “I was saved when I was four years old. I’ve been in church my whole life. I went to a Christian college. I don’t have the experiences of walking away from God and how He brought me back. But I do have the experience of how God continuously reveals Himself to me… of how He answers prayer. I want people to understand who God is so that they can be more of a reflection of Him. My goal is to help others see God in a way that meets every need in their life.”
Following a trio of No. 1 songs from her debut project, “Destiny by Design,” Kristen recently  released her second solo project, “Love As Jesus Loves” and is currently writing songs for her new album. Kristen is also an Attorney-at-Law, serving clients in Northwest Ohio.

For more Gospel Music news Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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