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Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Kevin Pauls asks: Vulnerability – what happens when the lights go out?

Written by Staff on November 8, 2017 – 7:29 pm -

Kevin Pauls

Kevin Pauls

It has been far too long since I wrote anything. I have taken some time to realign myself. Spiritually, emotionally, physically – I am not the same person I was back in 2014, 2015 or even the start of 2017. Something changed. Something finally moved me to change. Real change. Real Change?

Yes…I can actually say real change. I don’t need to get into the entire reason, and all the specific aspects of change, but there has been a deep change in my spirit and my emotions, and this has helped to transform my physical (person).

I often would say to my bride, “The outside is more closely related to the inner spiritual well being than we think,” “The outside is often a reflection of the inner person.” I knew (or least I thought) there was a direct correlation between our physical well being and our inner spiritual and emotional well being.

Kevin Pauls on set at 100 Huntley Street

Now, obviously, there are circumstances that would make this theory seem impossible; however, no matter what your physical limitations are, I still believe this applies. It is not based on appearance, or physical prowess or ability. It is based on how we feel and see ourselves.

Now, let me get personal for a moment. Applying this theory to your own life will look very different than it does in my life. I just hope you resonate with the idea and perhaps it can lead you in a direction that can cause change, if that is what you are after.

For me, I have felt over the last 10 to 15 years that I was working on about 80% of my ability while feeling like I was working at 120% of my capacity. I allowed procrastination to start taking over. I avoided things that were uncomfortable. I avoided the unpleasant, which allowed my immediate circumstances to fool me into a belief that everything was going to be alright. I watched people around me hide.

I learned what it was to avoid conflict and thus carried all the burdens by myself. I did not want to burden my wife, (or) burden anyone else. Interestingly, when looking back, I realized that was not out of a motive to keep others from worrying, it was a very selfish motive; I did not want anyone to know how stupid I was being.

I lived with a knot in my stomach most days. I slept poorly. I was anxious. I was very rarely present in conversations or personal interactions. I missed a lot of great moments because my mind was elsewhere. I used all my creative energy figuring out ways to fix my problems rather than applying that creativity to my craft. I was slowly killing the joy in my life. I would get angry quickly. It affected how I talked to my wife and my kids; it was like a cancer in my spirit.

Late in 2015, when Wendy and I were in the middle of the “year from hell”, something hit me; it was called “rock bottom.” I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore. I could not pretend I could fix this anymore; I was done.

It has been a long process, but the essence of the lesson was this: The more vulnerable I became, the happier I became. The more all my wounds and scars and screw-ups were brought to the light, the less I had to hide. In fact, I hid no longer. I owned my patheticness, my mistakes, my woundedness…the more broken I became, the more restored I felt.

I have never felt the hand of God more than I did when I allowed myself to be completely broken.

Kevin Pauls

Kevin and his wife Wendy Pauls

My relationship with my wife grew; it got better and better and better. We became a team. I felt as though I didn’t have to carry the burden alone…the light at the end of the tunnel has reappeared.

So, let me get back to the correlation between the outside me and the inside me. in January of this year, since I started at Crossroads and was on Huntley Street, things started to change…not because I was on TV but the effect of my vulnerability started to take over. My spirit started to feel different. My emotions were starting to heal.

My outside started to not feel aligned with my inside. I lost some weight, I radically changed my hair. I felt that my mind was clear for the first time in a long while. My attitude was different. I was present…change just started to manifest itself.

I wanted something different. I wanted to change. I had allowed myself to hide for so long…feeling like I was a loser, like I had not lived up to the potential I was told I had. Feeling less-than sucks.

It shows itself in many ways. Mine showed up spiritually, emotionally and physically. When the lights on the stage went out, I did not like myself very much. It took a lot for me to learn that. It cost me far more than I would have wanted it to.

However, now that I am on the other side, the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter. There is hope, there is a joy.

I am present. I love my family better. I am ready to live the second half of my life much better.

So, the lights are out and I am lying in my bed. And for the first time in a long time, I am okay with that!

By Kevin Pauls

Kevin Pauls is an on-air contributor and music producer at 100 Huntley Street, a daily Christian television program.  He is also a Canadian Christian vocalist.

Taken from “The Real Kevin Pauls” https://kevinpauls.blogspot.ca/2017/11/vulnerability-what-happens-when-lights.html (November 7, 2017)

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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.

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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.

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David Staton: Can You Handle It?

Written by Staff on January 12, 2017 – 10:19 pm -

David Staton and family

David Staton and family

The Power of Being Thankful

I read an article recently about a mother who stopped to get her kids some ice cream cones. She watched her kids take the ice cream and as they took their tasty treat from the lady behind the counter, the mom noticed that not one of them offered a simple thank you. As soon as they walked out of the ice cream shop, the mother took every single ice cream cone and threw them in the trash.

The kids, obviously upset, asked why she would do such a thing. The mom explained the importance of being thankful. This may seem extreme, but that mother probably made a lasting impression on her kids about how important it is to be thankful.

We live in a self-serving, entitled, what’s in it for me society. It’s hard to find people who are truly thankful for anything. My wife and I try our best to instill thankfulness in our kids.  We do our best to make sure that “Thank You” is part of their regular vocabulary.

A great example of the power of thankfulness can be found in Luke 17: 11-19 when Jesus heals 10 people plagued with the most horrible disease of that day, leprosy. They all walked away, enjoying the healing, restoration and freedom they thought they would never see again, yet only one of them turns around to thank Jesus, who so graciously had just made them whole again.

David Staton and familyNot long ago, someone asked me a question that I think every Christian should answer. The question was, “If you could be any kind of Christian, what kind of person would you be?” I had never been asked that before, but after thinking about it, I answered.  I would want to be the kind of Christian, that should scripture continue to be written for future generations, my name would be mentioned.  

I would want my faith to be so strong, that demons tremble when I walk into a room, and I would allow God to use me in such a way that I would not just be a footnote, or lumped into a generalized context.

What kind of monumental thing would you have to do to be mentioned in scripture? This one leper was worth being mentioned simply because he was thankful! Wow! Let that sink in for a minute. A simple “Thank You” was enough to get you mentioned in scripture. There was enough power in a simple thank you, to have the Son of God point you out of a crowd.

Think about the people in your life that give you so much. Think about your kids who love you unconditionally, or your wife who supports you and pours so much into you and your kids. Think about the employer that believes in you enough to continually give you a salary to provide for your family. Think about your pastor who spiritually feeds and equips you spiritually.

Now do something that has so much power and go to each of them and thank them for what they mean to you  Then think of a God who created you and gave you everything and more than I just mentioned.

Thankfulness! It’s a powerful thing!  

By David Staton

First published in SGNScoops Magazine in the November 2016 issue.

David Staton and family

David Staton

David Staton is a monthly columnist in SGNScoops. Click here for his website.

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