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David Staton asks: Who are You?

Written by Staff on May 6, 2018 – 5:00 pm -

David Staton asks: Who are you?

David Staton asks: Who are you?

I have often said that if we as Christians could ever really grasp what happened on the cross, it would rock our world and change everything. Our impact on those around us and the results of our lives would be drastically different.

 

Have you ever wondered why the turning point for any championship sports team is the coaching staff? The leadership provided by the coach does not change the physical limitations of the team, but they do change the mental limitations.

 

A great coach makes his team realize who they are and who they can be. When a coach is successful in doing this, the results are amazing. The players become more than members of the team, or someone who just wears the uniform … they become champions. They win.

 

The apostle Paul compared our Christian life to a sport. We all play, but the goal is to keep your eyes on what’s ahead and finish well. We all finish, but some finish well.  

 

Billy Graham finished well. My dad finished well. If heaven is your only goal, then one could say that we all win, but I believe that when we receive Christ, and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in the deepest part of who we are, we get way more than just a ticket to heaven. I believe – because scripture teaches it – that we receive power.  

 

In fact, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in us. Do we really grasp what that means? I don’t think we do.  

 

Why do I think this? I don’t see much power, transformation, earth-quaking, mountain-moving, hell-shaking results from the majority that wear the team uniform. I don’t see much winning.  This frustrates me.

 

David Staton and family

David Staton and family

As a matter of fact, it frustrated me to the point that I wanted a coach. If the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of me, then I don’t want to cross the finish line worn out, defeated, clinging to my ticket to heaven. I want to finish strong. I want to win.

 

That means I had to expand my thinking outside of denominational barriers and absorb truth. I turned to scripture and prayer and God has sent coaches into my life that have convinced me that I can access that power. I can win.

 

2 Corinthians 5:21 reads, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

 

I have two beautiful daughters. Katherine is 10, and Grace is 15. Both have chosen to follow Christ and are saved, but for kids today, life is tough.

 

Peer pressure today is ending lives. Suicide, death from that first time trying drugs, and having sex even before your body is fully matured … that’s what kids today wake up with every morning.  

 

When my girls were saved, I explained to them exactly how God made them (spirit, soul, and body), and explained to them what happened when they surrendered their lives to Christ. I’m amazed that you rarely hear this taught in most churches, but it is foundational to understanding who we are.  

 

They memorized 2 Corinthians 5:21 and now every morning before they go to school, I ask them, “Do you know who you are?”  They reply out loud, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.”

 

The other night, Grace told me that since she has been declaring that out loud every morning, something has happened. She went on to tell me that when she is about to make a choice, no matter how big or small, something inside her lets her know which one is the right choice and which one is the wrong choice. She told me that making a wrong choice is now gut-wrenching.  

 

David Staton

David Staton

So what happened? Rather than letting her behavior determine who she is, she is letting her identity determine her behavior. She is beginning to realize exactly who dwells in her spirit, and who she is because of it. Declaring it every morning makes her more and more aware.  

 

There are only two times when we are not a threat to the enemy. There are only two times when we are not in the race – before we start (before we are a Christian) and after we cross the finish line (in Heaven).  

 

What happens in between those two times is when we are in the game.

 

Run the race, don’t just wear the uniform. Make a difference. Win. Finish well.

 

April 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

April 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

By David Staton

David Staton is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.

Can You Handle It: Who Are YOU? was published April 2018 in SGNScoops Magazine

READ The latest PDF Version Of SGNScoops Magazine here.

Download The latest PDF Version Of SGNScoops Magazine HERE

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Easter: The Greatest Event for Mankind by David Staton

Written by Staff on March 31, 2018 – 1:22 pm -

Celebrate the Risen Savior

Good Friday. Celebrate the Risen Savior with David Staton

Can You Handle It? by David Staton

Easter: The Greatest Event for Mankind

There are key events that happened in scripture that are staples for those who follow Christ. Christmas is a big one. Scripture says that Jesus was conceived supernaturally and born through a virgin girl. While most Christ followers believe this, it is still debated and argued by those who refuse to believe that Jesus was God in the flesh.

 

The many miracles that Jesus performed were witnessed by hundreds of people, many of which wrote about what they saw. Despite the strong historical evidence of these events, many dismiss, deny, or try to explain them away.

 

The deity of Christ has always been disputed and attempted to be disproven. Ask any politician or public figure who has ever made a false claim, and they will tell you that you are asking for a huge magnifying glass to be placed over your life by those who want to prove you wrong.

 

Before Jesus was ever born, it had been prophesied and Mary let it be known that her firstborn Son would be the long-awaited Messiah. With such a claim, you know that every day in the life of Jesus was scrutinized and examined by those who were just waiting to prove that Mary’s story was a lie.

    

Then after He predicted His own death, Jesus faced the cross. If you are the harshest skeptic, you could say that Jesus was not the first and certainly not the last religious leader to lay down their life for their cause. If you want to ignore the earth becoming dark in the middle of the day, the earthquake, the veil in the temple being torn from top to bottom, and dead people walking out of their tombs, then I guess you can debate the purpose and the epic battle that took place at Calvary.

 

Empty Tomb. Easter. David StatonYou can ignore, argue, debate, dismiss and deny all of these things, but there is one thing that forces each one of us to face the glorious reality of who Jesus is, and that is the empty tomb.

 

Because Jesus had said that He would rise from the dead, all eyes were on that tomb. The Romans sealed it and guarded it with their lives. On that Sunday morning, when the immovable stone was rolled away, and what seemed impossible became possible, it had to have set off the greatest search for a body that the world has ever known. Finding the body of Jesus would have done what they thought they had accomplished with the cross. It would have killed any thought that Jesus was the Son of God.

 

The body of Christ was in fact found, but not by those who were looking for a corpse. The body of Christ was found by over 500 people, but they found that body very much alive. That is why we celebrate Easter. That is what proves every word that Jesus ever said, explains every miracle He ever performed, and opens our eyes to the meaning of the cross. That empty tomb is what drives us to our knees and brings us to our feet when we hear the name above all names, Jesus.  

 

He is alive.

 

Photographs courtesy of David Staton.

David Staton

David Staton

By David Staton

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in April 2017

Download The PDF Version Of March 2018 SGNScoops Magazine HERE

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David Staton – Thankful for the Miracle and the Promise

Written by Staff on December 4, 2017 – 5:16 am -

David Staton

David Staton

This has been a year of gratitude for our family. I’ll be honest … it has been one of the toughest years of our lives. There have been days when I have felt totally forsaken. I cried out to God, asking Him to let me know that He was even there.

But every now and then, God just hits you in the face with the reality that His word is true and that He is faithful to every promise. With every miracle, there is a promise. We want the miracles. We pray and pray for the miracle, but if we aren’t careful, we will miss the promise.

When I was younger, I was singing with my family. We had been asked to sing in Greece. We sang and stayed at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece. We had military escorts everywhere we went. It was the first time we had ever heard of a car bomb or a roadside bombing.

David Staton and family

David Staton and family

We only had one day with no performances, so our military guide, who happened to be a Christian, asked if we would like to see some sights. He took us out in the middle of nowhere and told us that our first stop would be the ancient city of Philippi. There is much written to and about this city by the apostle Paul.

One of the most recognized accounts is in Acts 16, where Paul and Silas were thrown in prison. At midnight, they began singing praise to God when an earthquake shook the prison and freed all of the prisoners. When I looked in that innermost cell, I was shocked to see the shackles still hanging on the walls. I still get goose bumps when I think about it.

After the prisoners were set free from the earthquake, the jailer asked Paul and Silas how he could be saved. They answered him and said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – and your household.” How did Paul and Silas know that the jailer’s family would be saved? It’s simple really. They knew what many husbands and dads need to hear today, which is this … your family will follow you wherever you lead them. It may not always feel like they are following, but trust me … wherever you end up is where they will end up. Whether it is a rehab facility, skid row, or the cross, they will follow you there.

Through most of 2017 when I didn’t feel like God was anywhere to be found, my youngest daughter Katherine, age 10, prayed and asked the spirit to come into her heart as she chose to follow Christ. Last month, I had the privilege to help baptize her. Katherine was the last of my kids to choose to follow the Lord. It was the fulfillment of the promise in Acts 16, “… and your household.”

While I was praying for miracles, wondering where God was, He was faithfully fulfilling His promise in my life. If you focus on the miracles, you’ll miss the promise and faithfulness of God. Give thanks.
David Staton

As published by SGNScoops Magazine in November 2017

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David Staton: Are you bigger than God?

Written by Staff on June 27, 2017 – 12:44 pm -

David Staton

David Staton

For eight years, I ran a Christian music label on Music Row here in Nashville. My job included production, artist management, promotion, radio, publishing, A&R responsibilities, board meetings and spreadsheets. All of that was part of my job, but if you talked to the artists that I worked with, they would not list any of those things as the most valuable part of what I did for them.

 

When I worked with an artist one on one, I would explain to them that they needed to plug into something bigger than themselves. The initial fear is that you’ll become a small slice of a pie instead of being the entire pie, but actually, the opposite is true. That is why you see major brands fight to be the official brand of their product for the World Wide Olympics. It doesn’t make their brand any smaller, it gives them enormous credibility, and that makes them bigger in terms of public perception. Being part of something bigger than you gives you a much more credibility and purpose.

 

Post-election events have angered and saddened me. In any sporting event, contest, and life in general, some people win and some people lose. If that was not the case, we would live in a communist society, in which we would all lose. In any election that takes place in a free society, someone wins and someone loses.The folks who support the candidate that loses are always disappointed, but it never takes long before we realize that there is something bigger than that candidate, or even our ideas. That something allows us to unite as much as possible and move on.

 

David Staton and family

David Staton and family

That something is Patriotism, and the reality that we are all part of the greatest Nation in the world.

 

When you think of our history, what we went through, the struggles and the men and women who gave their life for our freedom, you realize that there is something much bigger than yourself, a political candidate, or even a political party.  Folks, that is patriotism! The symbol of all that I just mentioned is embodied in the Stars and Stripes, the American flag.  

 

When I see people protesting the election results or any issue they feel is important, because of the freedom provided by this great Nation, they have the right to do so. However, when part of the protest involves burning or destroying the flag, I see people who think that nothing is bigger than them. Their feelings at the moment outweigh the struggles, the battles, and the blood shed by our veterans, and the sacrifice of thousands of men and women that defend their right to be so misguided. The only thing their actions prove is that they are ignorant of anything and everything that is bigger than they are.

 

This selfish, small-minded, and immature attitude is not limited to social and political arenas. It has rooted itself in the church, and like any weed, it is growing. I believe some of our core beliefs nurture this type of this deceptive thought process and can only bring us to a point of major crisis individually and collectively in the church.

 

David Staton and family

David Staton and family

When I hear sermons that talk about the season of life that I’m walking through right now, I wonder if we realize what we are saying. When Peter stepped out of the boat, he was fine until he began noticing the season or the circumstances around him. When Peter focused on his surroundings rather than Jesus who made it possible for him to walk through those circumstances, he began to sink.

 

When I hear someone tell me all about the season they are walking through, I want to stop them and tell them, “Don’t tell me how high the waves are, or the wind speeds of the storm around you. Tell me if you can see the face of Jesus.”

 

Are you looking for it? If you seek Him you will find Him and when you turn your eyes upon Jesus, the things around you begin to fade, and you will walk through fire or on water. Focusing on our season and everything that revolves around us is a slippery slope that I believe leads to a selfish, what’s in this for me outlook, and will ultimately lead to a self-serving gospel.  

 

We have to realize that the Gospel is so much bigger than any one person, church, television evangelist, or movement that we can create. I am nothing on my own, but a lost and confused mess. However, the day I was adopted into the family of God, I immediately became a child of God, royalty, an adopted younger brother to Jesus Christ. I went from lost and confused, living in my own little self-centered world to having a divine purpose and identity.  

 

David Staton

David Staton

So think about the Gospel that you are hearing or preaching. Does it make God fit into someone’s little world to make it better, or does it plug them into the Kingdom of God, which gives life and purpose to everyone who receives it?  

By David Staton

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in January 2017. For the current issue of SGNScoops Magazine click here.

For Gospel music news click here.

For more inspirational and Gospel music articles click here.

 

About David Staton ( abridged from his website bio here )

[…]In 2004, David partnered with Mike LeFevre to form The LeFevre Quartet. During the seven years that he was the lead vocalist, the group had many hit songs like, “To Get To Jesus”, that Staton penned, “Let Me Tell You ‘Bout Jesus”, “Days of Elijah”, “I Bless Your Name”, “Didn’t It Rain” and many more. The group won many awards including, “Breakout Artist of the Year” and Singing News Fan based, “Horizon Award”. After leaving the LeFevre Quartet in 2011, Staton began working on a solo project and also began singing with Palmetto State Quartet. The group appeared on television and tour with Country Music Superstar, Wynonna Judd while Staton was there.

Through the years, nearly every major artist in gospel music has recorded David’s music. Artists like Gold City, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Kingsmen, Singing Americans, Dixie Melody Boys, Imperials, Dottie Peoples, Ball Brothers, LeFevre Quartet, Palmetto State Quartet, Priority, Trailblazers, The Greenes, Ivan Parker, Brian Free and many more have recorded music written by David Staton. From 2005 to 2013, Staton was the Executive Vice President for Song Garden Music Group in Nashville, TN. In recent years, the National Quartet Convention has asked David to be a part of an industry advisory panel to help artists who need assistance and training. Not only has David made a mark in gospel music as an artist and a writer, he is passing on his knowledge and experience on to new artists which will influence and shape the future of gospel music.

Find David Staton’s facebook page here and website here.

 

 

    


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“Thank You Dad” by David Staton

Written by scoopsnews on June 14, 2017 – 4:54 am -

The Story behind “Thank You Dad”

By David Staton

I have been blessed through the years to write songs for just about every well-known southern gospel artist in our field.  Not long ago, I was being interviewed and the interviewer asked me if I had a favorite song that I had written.  I didn’t even hesitate when I told him which one was my favorite.  I told him that it was a song that most folks have never heard.  Since then, I have added it to my live concerts because the reaction is always the same.  I was so fortunate to be raised by Godly parents.  I am one of five kids and we have always been very close.  We grew up singing together and had parents that not only poured the word of God into us, but showed us through their lives how God loves us unconditionally.

In 2004, I received a phone call from my mom that stopped me in my tracks.  She told me that my dad had been showing signs of being confused and disoriented and they were going to the hospital to have a brain scan done.  Well, we all began to pray and a few hours later, my mom called again.  She told me that the scan had shown a tumor.  They said it was operable, but my dad was 71 years old and at his age, the chances of it being a late stage of cancer was likely.  They scheduled surgery for a few days later.  I remember telling Mike LeFevre and the guys that I needed some time off.  I went to Ohio for dad’s surgery.  The day before the surgery, my mom told all of us kids that dad wanted to write each of us a letter telling us how proud he was of us and how much he loved us.  I suggested that rather than dad writing a letter to all of us, that we should write a letter to him telling him how much we love him and how thankful we are that God placed us in his care and allowed us to be raised by such Godly parents.  My dad made it through the surgery and we were told that the tumor was stage four (the most advanced) and more than likely, another tumor would come back and be very aggressive.  I watched my dad who had always been so strong, become incredibly weak as he fought so hard to beat the odds.  My dad lived almost one year to the day of his surgery and passed away on September 10, 2005.  During that last year, I went to visit my mom and dad as much as I possibly could.  I remember sitting in the living room where us kids were raised, next to my dad’s hospital bed and talking to him and my mom.  I would ask questions that most kids never ask their parents.  How did you meet?  Who introduced you?  What did you like to do before five kids came into your life and messed everything up?  At night, I would write down everything I had learned about my parents and began working on this song.  I guess the reason this song is so special to me is because from an emotional stand point, it is the life story of my dad.  From a writer’s perspective, the song is both chronologically and structurally sound.  There is a story about each one of the lines in the song, so I’m going to share the lyric first and then, I will tell you a little bit about each line that made me include it and why it’s so special.  I’d like to wish every dad a Happy Father’s Day and I hope you enjoy the stories that inspired this song.  To hear the song, go to www.davidstaton.com

THANK YOU DAD

Verse 1:
He was born in 1932
Where the coal was black and the grass was blue
That Kentucky home’s still standing there today
The way they grew up was hard to believe
They were lucky to have shoes on their feet
The only thing they did harder than work was pray

Verse 2:
Then on a sunny day in fifty five
He met the lady that changed his life
They vowed to share a life and his last name
Not much hope for a family
The doctor said kids just couldn’t be
But I’m one of five that sure would like to say

Chorus:
Thank you dad
For giving us all more than we needed
For teaching us all to trust in Jesus
When others tried to make us fall, you taught us how to stand
Thank you dad
For bustin’ our butts when we were bad
For holding us close when we were sad
And when we got older for being the best friend that we’ve ever had
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you dad

Bridge:
Now when it comes to wisdom, no one has any more than you
I just hope my kids look at me the way I look at you

Thank you dad
For teaching us all how to live our lives
For showing us boys how to love our wives
There’s nothing we could say or do to ever pay you back
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you dad

Here is the breakdown and story behind the lyric:

THANK YOU DAD

Verse 1:
He was born in 1932
Where the coal was black and the grass was blue
That Kentucky home’s still standing there today
(My dad was born during the depression in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky.  The government declared that it was the poorest area of the country.  When we were young, my dad would tell us stories about how poor they were and things they had to do to live.  They were so extreme that we always thought he was exaggerating, but when we got older, he took us to the old house where he and 8 siblings were raised and we saw for ourselves just how poor they were.)
The way they grew up was hard to believe
They were lucky to have shoes on their feet
(This line is especially personal.  Each one of the kids got two pair of shoes a year.  One pair was to work in the fields and the other was to wear to school and church.  When my dad was very young, he had a younger brother named Tracy Wallace Staton.  While he was still an infant, he became very ill and died.  My dad had outgrown his shoes and they were too poor to buy him another pair, so he had to wear a pair of his sister’s shoes to the funeral.  My dad did not cry very often, but every time he ever shared that story with anyone, he would cry.)
The only thing they did harder than work was pray
(My dad’s parents were Christians and raised all of their kids in church, so prayer was not just a casual thing they did before a meal, it was a means of survival.  I saw how far they had to carry buckets of water from the stream to their house just to take a bath and how far they had to walk to school every day in the blazing heat or in snow.  It is hard to imagine how they ever survived.)

Verse 2:
Then on a sunny day in fifty five
He met the lady that changed his life
They vowed to share a life and his last name
(My dad and much of his family moved north to try to find work and escape their surroundings in order to eventually have a better life.  Shortly after moving to Hamilton, OH, one of my dad’s brothers and his wife introduced him to my mom.  After I finished the song, my mom said to me, “You know, it may have been 1956 when we met.”  I told her it was too late because 1955 was a rhyming line in the song and we had already recorded it.  They married in 1958.)
Not much hope for a family
The doctor said kids just couldn’t be
But I’m one of five that sure would like to say
(When my mom was a young girl, she had rheumatic fever, and the doctors told her that she would never be able to have kids.  Well God had other plans because they ended up having five kids.  I’m the middle child and I have two older brothers and a younger sister and brother.  My parents took us to gospel concerts and we grew up singing together.)

Chorus:
Thank you dad
For giving us all more than we needed
(My dad never made a lot of money.  He worked so hard and there was a period of time that he was unemployed.  I can remember him doing work and different jobs and I couldn’t believe how hard he would work. Looking back, I’m amazed at how God provided for us and exceeded our basic needs.)
For teaching us all to trust in Jesus
(Mom and dad raised us in church and we were all saved at a very young age.  My dad was a Sunday school teacher in our church and he would study the Bible every night before he went to bed.  My mom told us that when my dad was first saved, he got a bible and he and my mom would stay up reading and studying until they would fall asleep.  They pursued knowledge and wisdom through the scriptures and then they poured it into us kids.)
When others tried to make us fall, you taught us how to stand
(I could tell you countless stories of how mom and dad taught us to stand up for ourselves and for each other when we were kids.  If we didn’t defend ourselves and each other when we were in school, we would be in trouble when we got home.)
Thank you dad
For bustin’ our butts when we were bad
(This line is self-explanatory. We all knew that dad’s belt had another purpose than just holding his pants up.  We all still have signs of how those spankings affected us.  Respect for others, self-control, thankfulness, kindness and other crazy, unheard of things are still side effects from those spankings.)
For holding us close when we were sad
(Right alongside of the discipline was unconditional love.  When we were sad, hurting or discouraged, it was mom and dad who made us feel loved and who gave us the self-confidence to reach for our dreams.)
And when we got older for being the best friend that we’ve ever had
(I can’t tell you the times after we were grown that each one of us kids would call my dad for advice.  There isn’t a day goes by when we all wish we could pick up the phone or go see him.)
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you dad

Bridge:
Now when it comes to wisdom, no one has any more than you
I just hope my kids look at me the way I look at you
(With kids of my own, I can’t tell you how many times I stop and think about how my dad would have handled a certain situation.  I really try to follow his example of being a dad.  I sure hope my kids look back and think of me like I think of my dad.)

Thank you dad
For teaching us all how to live our lives
For showing us boys how to love our wives
(I’ve heard it said that the best thing a dad can do for their kids is to love their mom.  My dad really loved my mom and it showed in what he did for her and how he treated her.  That’s one of those behaviors that you don’t realize who is teaching you or how they’re teaching you until much later in life.)
There’s nothing we could say or do to ever pay you back
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you dad
(We always knew that mom and dad loved us.  They told us and more importantly, they showed us.  We told our mom and dad that we loved them over and over again, but after my dad went to be with the Lord, I thought of so many times I should have told him when I didn’t.  If you have a mom and dad that are still with you, go hug them and thank them for loving you.)

This was the last song we played at my dad’s funeral.  After moving to Hamilton, OH, my dad worked for one company and retired after 35 years.  At my dad’s visitation, over 1500 people filed through the funeral home to pay their last respects.  I heard a great preacher say once that you will know the people who you have really made a mark on because they will cry at your funeral.  Well that day, there were a lot of tears shed because so many would miss my dad.   But through the tears, there was also celebrating because we know where my dad is today!
 

Listen below to “Thank You Dad”


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David Staton: One day a year is not enough for Mom

Written by Staff on May 13, 2017 – 8:06 am -

David Staton and his mom

David Staton and his mom, Geneva Staton

David Staton, monthly columnist for SGNScoops, writes this about his mom:

My mom, Geneva Staton, still lives in the house that my dad built in Hamilton, OH, and at eighty years old, she still pours herself into the lives of her children and grandchildren.  The doctors told my mom that she would never be able to have kids, but I’m one of five that call her mom.  I was fortunate enough for God to place me in a home full of love.  I had parents that loved each other, loved us kids, and loved God more than anything.  As a kid, at the center of all of that love was my mom.  She had 5 kids (I’m in the middle), and we all grew up singing together.  We learned to sing harmony at a young age.  I remember my mom getting in the floor and singing a harmony part in my ear loud enough that I would not be distracted by the other parts going on around me.  She could sing, but I never remember hearing her sing in public.  However, I do remember her and my dad driving us kids all over when we did.  She was always and still is an amazing cook!  Her dishes are legendary in southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky!  She always made sure that we had dinner together as a family, and she still loves to have all of her family together for meals.  When I was really young, her and my dad would always take us five kids to Levi Jackson State Park in London, KY with a pop up camper.  I still wonder how they did that.  I remember my mom along with the ladies from the families in our church that would go with us, getting up at 5:00AM to make breakfast, cleaning up until lunch time, cleaning that up until supper, and then preparing for snacks around the campfire.  For mom, it was anything but a vacation.  After years of doing this, I remember my mom telling my dad, that if this was all we could do for a vacation, she’d rather stay home.  I sure did not blame her.  That same year, there was a for sale sign that went on the camper and that was when we started going to the beach.  Thank you mom! When I think of all that my mom has done for her family and for the Kingdom of God, one day a year is not enough to honor her.  

Happy Mother’s Day Mom,

From your favorite son,

David Staton and family

David Staton

David (In case you forgot)

About David Staton:

Through the years, nearly every major artist in gospel music has recorded David’s music.  Artists like Gold City, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Kingsmen, Singing Americans, Dixie Melody Boys, Imperials, Dottie Peoples, Ball Brothers, LeFevre Quartet, Palmetto State Quartet, Priority, Trailblazers, The Greenes, Ivan Parker, Brian Free and many more have recorded music written by David Staton.  From 2005 to 2013, Staton was the Executive Vice President for Song Garden Music Group in Nashville, TN.  In recent years, the National Quartet Convention has asked David to be a part of an industry advisory panel to help artists who need assistance and training.  Not only has David made a mark in gospel music as an artist and a writer, he is passing on his knowledge and experience on to new artists which will influence and shape the future of gospel music.

More about David here.

Thanks to David Staton for his eloquent tribute to her mom today. Would you like to tell us about your mother? Email me today at lorraine@sgnscoops.com

For the latest SGNScoops Magazine,  click here.

For Gospel music news, 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.

For Gospel music news click here.

 


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David Staton: Can You Handle It?

Written by Staff on April 9, 2015 – 2:50 pm -

David Staton

David Staton

Southern Gospel Music: Artistry vs. Variety Show

When I was originally asked to write a monthly article, the good folks at SGN Scoops wanted me to write about issues that I think artists and industry leaders need to address. This is a biggie that I’ve wanted to address for a while. My roots are in this music, but through the years, I’ve been fortunate and blessed to step outside of Gospel music and work with some of the biggest names in secular music. I’ve been very blessed to have so many artists from so many genres record music I have written. I’ve been produced by Michael Jackson’s producer, worked with some of the best in Country music, and been able to produce singers that influenced me as young artist.

I’m not telling you all of this to brag about my accomplishments. I want you to know that what I am going to talk about in this article is something that my experience qualifies me to talk about. What I am about to say is not just my opinion; it is truth.

For years, Southern Gospel music has fought for its place as a genre in the world of music. I’ve seen the frustration within the industry as Southern Gospel was snubbed by major awards shows such as the Grammys and even the Dove Awards. I have talked to artists in Southern Gospel, who for the first time in their career are struggling to get quality dates and sell enough product to warrant a record company’s involvement. I’ve seen the artists try to evaluate the problem and the focus or blame always seems to be on anyone and everyone except themselves. The churches only want praise and worship music, the record company didn’t get their song high enough on the charts, and the fans don’t seem to care if the music is good or not. I’m going to focus on what the groups, singers and industry leaders need to take a hard look at. I believe the content of this article is a critical part of the Southern Gospel music survival kit. I really hope you can handle the truth!

If you’ve ever been to Branson, MO, or Pigeon Forge, TN, you will see a city full of theaters that offer variety shows of all kinds. Billboards line the main highways and they all have one thing in common. They are all covered with people that you’ve never heard of. In fact, any one of those singers may be seated next to you at a restaurant, and you would not know who they are. The only thing that might make you recognize them would be if they have their shiny, over the top stage costume on that no ordinary person would ever wear.

I worked in Branson for a year, and it was enough to make me realize that if I stayed there, I would lose any identity I had as an artist because the only kind of entertainment that Branson seemed to offer were variety shows. In a variety show, you have your comedian, your slapstick humor that seems to work with any crowd, and music that they know will work because most of it has been a hit for an artist, past or present.

A variety show, while entertaining at times, is NOT a musical genre. It’s a show that is filled with humor, themes and music that has been proven to work in front of most any crowd. Because of the guaranteed reaction of the proven material, the talent level becomes less important and there is absolutely no room for any kind of individual artistry.

Branson and Pigeon Forge are not popular towns for songwriters, because none of those theaters will take a chance performing a new song that hasn’t been proven to work over and over again. Artistry and creativity is not a necessity for a variety show. Variety shows are most popular with older crowds because most seniors don’t listen to the radio, and they don’t really care who they are listening to as long as they hear and see a show that makes them laugh and enjoy themselves. This is the demographic of Branson, MO and Pigeon Forge, TN. While you may hear some great singing in these destinations, you will rarely see an original artist.

Let me give you a real life example of what I’m talking about. This is something I experienced first-hand. I was singing with a group called Priority. They had been the host gospel quartet at the popular Silver Dollar City theme park for two years. They had developed a show that worked, but they understood that they had buried any and all creativity as an artist to do what they were doing. They did it because it was safe. Each singer was paid directly from the park and there was no risk. We did a show that the people loved. In fact, during the one year I was there, we performed in front of a million people.

Record companies and management firms in Nashville work hard to get their acts in front of a million people, but exposure means nothing if that audience only sees what they can see anywhere. We did all the things that would get an immediate crowd response, whether it was an old hymn, or a joke that they’d heard a million times and still laughed at. We played it safe. To those million people, we were just one of a hundred groups in Branson that did, “Just A Little Talk with Jesus,” and “Amazing Grace.” The individual singer or the group as a whole was a nameless, faceless entity, known as a variety show. Priority was made up of really talented guys, and they knew they wanted out of the variety show business, and that is one reason they hired me. They wanted a sound and songs that would bring them back as an artist.

During our time at the park, I wrote a song called, “Every Knee Shall Bow.” We decided to stage it in our sets. It went over like a lead balloon. Was it because the song wasn’t any good? I don’t think so, because later, that song would be nominated for a Grammy Award by a popular artist. The simple truth was that in a variety show setting, there is no room for artistry or originality.

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This Week on Good News Music Radio with Woody Wright

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on March 13, 2015 – 9:29 am -

Good News Music Radio With Woody Wright

Good News Music Radio With Woody Wright

This week’s program on “Good News Music Radio with Woody Wright” features Part 2 of our interview with Larry Ford and music from Jeff & Sheri Easter, Joseph Habedank, David Staton, Karen Peck & New River, Willie Wynn, Guy Penrod, Gordon Mote, The Hoppers, and MORE!

Tune-in to one of the stations listed on our site or listen online for an hour of great gospel music, inspiring ministry and fun with Woody Wright and D. Scott Kramer at:

http://GoodNewsMusicRadio.com/

Find Good News Music Radio On Facebook Here


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March 2015 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on March 8, 2015 – 10:43 pm -

March 2015 SGNScoops Magazine

March 2015 SGNScoops Magazine

We are thrilled to present the March edition of SGNScoops magazine! Our cover showcases one of the best of today’s Bluegrass artists, Balsam Range. The feature by Marcie Gray tells us all about these talented men and their music, as well as the story behind their latest hit single, “Stacking Up The Rocks.”

SGN Scoops also pays tribute to the late great Mosie Lister, and features Brandon Stone of the Gospel Harmony Boys, the ladies of Sweetwater Revival, Redheads in Southern Gospel, Reagan Griffin, Page Trio, the Wills Family Reunion and DJ Richie Rose, as well as so much more!
We invite you to soak in the wisdom of all of our monthly columnists and hear their adventures! Lou Wills Hildreth, David Staton, Kelly Nelon Clark, Jeff Steele, Sherry Anne, Dusty Wells and Laurette Willis will encourage and enlighten you.
Thanks to all of our SGNScoops artists and writers. We appreciate you so much! Thanks as well to all of you who read our magazine faithfully every month. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to write to me at lorraine@sgnscoops.com.
Please read, download and share with your friends today!
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