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Rob Patz: God has a plan even now

Written by Staff on August 20, 2019 – 12:57 pm -

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland. Road to Creekside

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

2019 August SGNScoops: Publishers Point by Rob Patz

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV) 

 

How many times have you read that scripture and wondered, “God, if you have a plan for me, why am I right here, right now?” If you read the context of this scripture, you’ll realize it was not written in a time of great prosperity or joy. In fact, the people of Israel were being oppressed right in that era.

 

I truly believe that this scripture is meant to encourage us. It is meant to tell us that even if you’re right now in a place that you don’t feel you’re prospering, I truly believe, it’s more of a promise that maybe not now, but maybe tomorrow, or over the next few days, weeks, or months, that God is making your paths straight. He is putting together everything that you need, even in times of struggle. 

 

I also believe the scripture is meant to remind us to live in peace, knowing that God has everything in his control. For me, it is difficult at times to let go of all of the problems of the day and realize that God is in control, that he has seen this day before I even got here. I struggle with that. There are times where I want to micromanage God. 

 

Have you ever been there? Have you ever wanted to help God along and tell him, “This is how we should do it”? As I get older, I realize, if I rest in the moment, even if the moment isn’t perfect, and allow God to unfold his blessing in front of me, I will be in a much better place, than trying to micromanage what God really has for me.

 

August 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

August 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

I love the last word in the scripture verse above: “future.” So many of us live much of our life by getting down in the present, that we don’t take time to really think about the future. We don’t even pray about things that are long-term future, instead of short term goals. I’m guilty of this. I will pray for the things of this week or this month, but I forget the long-term things that I need to bring to the Lord, that I need for him to be able to hear my plea. 

 

This week, I challenge you to start writing out your prayers; write out your weekly prayers, write out your monthly prayers, and write out a yearly prayer, something for which you want to set a goal. Then, we as a community of believers can look back on in August 2020, and say, “This is something that God and I talked about for this year and it has finally come to pass.” I know that right now your situation might not be what you wanted for today, but hold on because of what the above Scripture says. I truly believe that God has a plan for your future.

 

Creekside 2019 presented by Coastal Media

Creekside 2019 presented by Coastal Media

Hey, we are less than three months away from Creekside 2019. There are so many things that are going to be happening this year at Creekside as well as prior to the event. You are not going to want to miss this year. It is going to be a life-changing week and I want you to be there. Call me at 360-933-0741 for more information, or email me at rob@sgnscoops.com and we will get you all set up. Join us, Oct. 27 –  31, for Creekside 2019.

 

Until next month, this is the Publisher’s Point.

By Rob Patz

First published in the August 2109 edition of SGNScoops Magazine.

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Kristen Stanton: My Everything

Written by Staff on July 23, 2019 – 10:58 am -

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton: My Everything

Psalms 18:1-2 “I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my strength, in Whom I will trust; my Buckler, and the Horn of my Salvation, and my High Tower.”

Have you ever wondered why David, in writing this Psalm, used a laundry list of descriptors in his praise to God? And have you ever stopped to think about what each of them meant?

Information is important. As an attorney, knowing the facts is crucial. For example, in a custody case, people will parade through the office with their version of “he’s a good dad,” or, “she’s a good mom,” but the other information may not be relevant. What is important is what the child has to say – and how he refers to his father or mother. It speaks of the type of relationship he has with his parent.   

David is showing what type of relationship he had with his Heavenly Father. He understood who God is, but yet he also understood who God was in relation to him.

God was his Lord – He was the Master, the Ruler, the One in command.  When we submit to God as the Master, we recognize that not only is He in control but that He will always take care of us.  A servant submits his will to his master. When we understand that, we will then also know we can run to him for everything.

David then described God as his strength, his rock, his fortress.  David knew that he would have movable moments – those times when he couldn’t go on without God there to uphold him with His hand. And he knew there would be times he would need a place to fight from– his Fortress; those instances where he needed to feel secure – his Rock; and the only One who could defeat the giants he was facing– his Deliverer.  

God was David’s buckler. I’ve loved that descriptor since I first understood what it actually meant. A buckler was a small shield worn on the forearm into battle. Think about that image. Going into battle, the buckler would always be in front of the warrior. It would be the first line of defense. A buckler would never be tucked away behind a warrior or hanging to the side as if it served no purpose. It was there to defend.

If God is our Buckler, we can rest assured that He will always go before us. And if He always goes before us, we know that He will be our first line of defense against the enemy’s attack.

David also recognized God as the horn of his salvation and his High Tower. In other words, God was the author of his salvation. And as a warrior, David also knew the importance of a high tower– that vantage point where you could see the paths into and out of battle, the location of the enemy, and where all of the pitfalls on the journey would be.  

God sees it all. He created us. He called us by name. He knows exactly where we are. Yet in those two verses, David recognized choices that he had that we all also have.  We still need to choose to love Him. And we need to choose to trust Him.

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

In the end, David used a lot of words to say one thing: “God, you’re my everything.” Is He yours?

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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Kristina Cornell: No Other Name — Healing

Written by Staff on July 18, 2019 – 7:30 am -

Kristina Cornell. No other name. Healing

Kristina Cornell

NO OTHER NAME — Healing

What is the difference?  If you had a favorite item and you could take it and have it repaired, OR, if someone could revitalize, remake the item, using the same structure, what would you choose? 

I have a pair of black leather boots. They are my favorite. They fit me perfectly, they are flattering with everything, and they are 10 years old. I wear them so much that the soles wear to nothing. They are leather so they get a little scratched here and there.

Early on, I would try and fix them myself. However, I decided to take them to a shoemaker. He removes the heel and sole, he conditions the leather, then polishes it. He replaces the sole with a new one.  I have had this process done twice. They look brand new every time he restores them. He actually calls it that. He does not call it a boot-repair, he calls it boot-restoration because he takes them apart and remakes them. 

No Other Name Like Jesus: The Tenth Leper

There is no other name that brings healing, but the name of Jesus. Isaiah prophesied of the Savior, Jehovah. He wrote: Isaiah 53:5 “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging, we are healed.”  Isaiah was shown by the Father that the Messiah would come to save the world. Last month was the first part of this series, and it was No Other Name – Salvation. This month we are doing No Other Name – Healing.  Jesus came to cleanse us from our sin and save us from an eternal removal from Himself, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. He also came to save us from hurts and pains, from brokenness and sicknesses, from diseases and depressions.  

In the Gospels, the recollection of Jesus life on earth, we have Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Luke was a physician and offers a different perspective on a lot of what was recorded. This is one of my FAVORITE stories in the Bible, and we find it in Luke 17:11-19.  Verses 11-14 set up the situation:

“11 As He went on His way to Jerusalem, it occurred that Jesus was passing along the border between Samaria and Galilee.

12 And as He was going into one village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance.

13 And they raised up their voices and called, Jesus, Master, take pity and have mercy on us!

14 And when He saw them, He said to them, “Go at once and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cured and made clean.

Oh my goodness, when we get to verse 15, it starts to get good.

15 Then one of them, upon seeing that he was cured, turned back, recognizing and thanking and praising God with a loud voice;

16 And he fell prostrate at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him over and over. And he was a Samaritan.

17 Then Jesus asked, Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the nine?

18 Was there no one found to return and to recognize and give thanks and praise to God except this alien?”

Every single time that I reach verse 17, I get butterflies in my stomach. I cannot imagine being one of the other nine. Jesus was disappointed. I could not imagine disappointing Jesus!  Of course, I also am so emotional and such a words driven person, I thank Jesus when I find an extra piece of gum in my purse. I cannot imagine being cleansed of leprosy and just going on my merry way without saying thank you. 

We really do not have a lot of information on those nine lepers that continued on their way. but we do know that number 10 was a Samaritan. Jesus called him an alien. There was nothing special about him. As a matter of fact, he had a mark against him for being a Samaritan, as they were not a good match with Jewish people. They had a long history of animosity toward each other.

This man was not high society; he was a have-not. He had no etiquette or training; he was a Samaritan and Jewish people called them dogs. Jesus was not affected by his title. Jesus was not affected by his status and by his disease. Jesus was affected by his heart. Jesus proved the greatest love that day. He loved others above all, and He selflessly cleansed these unclean people.

But the tenth leper…

Verse 19 says it all to me: “And He said to him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith (your trust and confidence that spring from your belief in God) has restored you to health.”  All of the lepers were cleansed, BUT the tenth leper was restored.  He was not fixed; he was made new.  

On, the blood of Jesus, that washes white as snow. He poured out His blood for us, for our salvation and for our healing. By His stripes, we are healed. We can claim victory in our lives today because of who He is.

The tenth leper’s faith in healing is not what made him whole. The tenth leper’s faith in Jesus is what made him whole.  

No Other Name — Healing

You do not have to hold on to things in your life.  Let go and let God have His way. When He cleanses you, praise Him; when He delivers you, praise Him; when He heals you, praise Him…

Restoration will come into your life when you trust in Jesus. Trust that He has the best plan for you. If He does not take the sickness away, He will use it for your good and His glory. If you are afflicted at the hand of another, it is not God’s fault, it is their free will.  But God can take anything and “work it together for good, when we love Him and are called according to His purpose.”

Will we face difficult challenges in our lives? Absolutely. Can Jesus still cleanse us from our uncleanliness?  Absolutely.

Just…Please…Don’t miss the next step…

Praise Him even when everyone else leaves, even if you feel like you’re a lesser-than and unworthy. Praise Him when everyone else wants to go tell others what happened instead of giving thanks. Praise Him even when you think He may not listen because you feel that you don’t deserve His grace or mercy.

Kristina Cornell. No other name. Healing

Kristina Cornell

Jesus hears us. He recognizes us. He restores us.

There is no other Name for healing, but the name of Jesus.

By Kristina Cornell.

Kristina Cornell is a regular contributor to SGNScoops website.

“…I have been delivered so many times by the hand of God that any creativity that I have I only want to give back to Him. I really have nothing else to say, as I have learned that I have nothing of significance to offer of myself. I am just like everyone else, in need of a Savior. I write from my heart, I write devotionals, stories, songs, messages, even starting on a book, and all I have to offer is Jesus and what He has done in my life!” — Kristina Cornell. Visit her website at www.tellthemministries.net.

You can find out more about Kristina on Facebook HERE.

Download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE
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Listen To The Best In Today’s Gospel Music HERE

 

 


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Kristina Cornell: NO OTHER NAME — Salvation

Written by Staff on June 11, 2019 – 6:06 pm -

Kristina Cornell

Kristina Cornell

Have you ever been given a special name from someone who, when they use your correct name, it sounds odd?

My neices have a name for me, and when they say, “Aunt Kristina”, it feels less amorous. I have grown to LOVE the name they have given to me: “Aunt TT”. (I guess Kristina is hard to say when you are little.)

Then there is this one, when Bella says: “Mom, I love you.” Oh, my goodness, I live to hear those words. Being called “mom” is music to my heart. It is amazing how special one can feel, just by hearing a familiar voice call their name, even when it is not one’s proper name.

Isabella, my daughter, and I were talking about the Lord and how incredibly good He has been to us. She said, “Mom, the Holy Spirit is dealing with me about a topic and I think you should write a series on it.”

I am always intrigued by Bella hearing God’s voice in her heart.

She said, “I think you should call it ‘No Other Name,’ and it should remind people of all the things that God is. He is salvation, He is healing, He is our deliverer, He is our ever-present help in time of trouble…,” she continued.

Now, hearing my baby girl growing in grace is more than I can handle sometimes. I was so blessed by our conversation that I got chills. It was definitely the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit that was leading this child. I prayed about this series. I prayed over this series. Today, we will begin our series on ‘No Other Name.’

In the Book of Acts, Peter and John were before the council telling them that Jesus Christ, the man whom they crucified, was now whole and that Jesus was in fact “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.” Of course, that was a reference to the Psalms and the prophesy of Isaiah.

Then they proceeded with “And there is salvation in no one else;  for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be  saved.”

Can you even imagine how Peter and John must have felt? Verses five and six tell us that after being held overnight in jail, they were standing before rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, along with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and many others from
the high priest’s family. They were performing miracles in Jesus’ name and the leaders of Jerusalem were not happy. When questioned, they replied with the afore mentioned verses.

The scripture goes on to tell us that though the leadership knew these men were the real deal, they did not know what to do with Peter and John because the 5,000 plus people that were gathering believed in Jesus because of these miracles.

The leaders in Jerusalem decided that it would be best if Peter and John did not speak in or of the name of Jesus anymore. The men refused. The elders released the two men and they
returned to their people. The people began lifting their voices to God by repeating the Psalms of David.

Then they said it!

Such a powerful statement, which I believe brought on the next event.

With unabashed conviction, they said (verses 29 and 30) “And now, Lord, consider their threats, and enable Your servants to speak Your word with complete boldness, as You  stretch out Your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant
Jesus.”

Now in verse 31, it is about to get real. This is where we see their obedience and faith start to shake it up.

“After they had prayed, their meeting place was shaken, and they were all
filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

Oh, the name of Jesus!

It stirs the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of the living God is moved by praying in the name of Jesus.

John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Rom 10:9: “that if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’  and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Phil 2:10-11:”so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.…”

The name of Jesus touches the very heart of God. Just as we love to hear our names called by the people whom we love, so does God. He wants to hear us pray in the name of Jesus, to receive salvation through the name of Jesus, to walk in power because of the name of Jesus.

I pray that the beginning of this series, “No Other Name,” you will see that the name of Jesus first and foremost means salvation.

I pray that if you do not know Him as your Lord, your Savior, that you will pray a prayer of repentance, in Jesus’ name!

Kristina Cornell

His blood was spilled for our
atonement, and when we call out to Him, His blood covers every sin. Even if it is just a whisper, at the name of Jesus, salvation is yours!

By Kristina Cornell

“…I have been delivered so many times by the hand of God that any creativity that I have I only want to give back to Him. I really have nothing else to say, as I have learned that I have nothing of significance to offer of myself. I am just like everyone else, in need of a Savior. I write from my heart, I write devotionals, stories, songs, messages, even starting on a book, and all I have to offer is Jesus and what He has done in my life!” — Kristina Cornell. Visit her website at www.tellthemministries.net.

You can find out more about Kristina on Facebook HERE.

Download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE
Listen To The Best In Today’s Gospel Music HERE

 


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Kristina Cornell: Sometimes the Shadows Are Cold

Written by Staff on May 14, 2019 – 8:30 am -

Kristina Cornell

Kristina Cornell

Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”

This is one of the most well-known verses in the Bible. But what does that mean? What is the “valley of the shadow of death?” We hear this verse a lot at funerals and to comfort Christians in really difficult times of loss, but what is the most accurate translation of the original Hebrew text?

The Hebrew word for “shadow of death” is sal-ma-wet, which means “darkness” or “darkest shadows.” As we are reading in the context of the Hebrew, as it was written, we would say “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, which is the darkest valley, I will fear no evil.” The verse goes on to read, “for YOU are with me.”

I am going to pause. Although, this entire Psalms 23 passage is POWER PACKED with amazing promises for believers, I want to visit five words that MOVED me in a different way as I was studying for this devotional. “FOR YOU ARE WITH ME.”

I have faced some really tough things in this life. I remember looking at my pastor and telling him that I am not afraid to die, that if I did not wake up the following morning it would be ok with me. I proceeded by saying, “However, I am afraid to live; I do not know how to move through this.” Have you ever felt that way? Even though I am a child of God, a weapon for the Kingdom, a “right-fighter”, an alpha female-go getter, I am human. You are human.

When we consider David’s history, we can sort of understand why he realized his deep need for the Lord and why the Lord was truly his Savior.

David faced potential fatality while caring for his sheep. As just a boy, he fought away a lion and a bear to protect his flock. David was fearless in the face of Goliath. He had a warrior’s heart, prepared for battle even when it made no sense. With all odds stacked against him, he stood strong, faithful, and fearless.

David was tactical in his dealings with Saul. He used stealth and wisdom. He also brought great comfort to Saul as he skillfully played music and provided peace for his predecessor.

David was an anointed King. He was meant to be the King of Israel, the royal bloodline of Jesus. David was the “apple of God’s eye”. He found favor in the heart of the Father.

David lusted after a woman with whom he then had an affair, the woman became pregnant, and he had her husband killed. David was a man, in need of THE Savior.

Now, with that very brief history in mind, reading this passage, well it reads a little differently. He was not just a little shepherd boy writing a song. He was a fearless warrior, a revered leader, a skilled musician, and a sinner.

In all honesty and conviction, having a real human experience with God, David wrote: “Yea, though I walk through the darkest valley, the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for YOU are with me.”

I can imagine that David must have thought that sometimes the shadow, the darkest valley, is so cold. We cannot see the light of day; we cannot feel the warmth of the sun. Sometimes we cannot feel the light of our Father, the warmth of His arms. It is scary and unsure. Fear grips our hearts and we want to sit down and not move through to the other side. It is in that darkest valley, that shadow of what feels like death, that David reminded himself, “FOR YOU ARE WITH ME.” God did not need for David to tell Him where He was, David needed David to tell himself where God was.

But wait! What about Ps. 91:1 We believe that the scripture was an account by David but was actually Moses’ writing of the exodus. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”? David was recording this song of his hero; he was reminding himself of what the forefathers of his faith sang as they headed to the Promised Land. Actually, there are seven times in the book of Psalms that “shadow” is referenced as a hiding place of comfort and keeping.

Yet, even as I read these scriptures, I am transported to times that I, personally, was in that covert place with God, under His wings, because I was so wounded that I could not move. But guess what? Even that shadow felt cold. I am sure Moses felt the weight of the world, cold, lonely, scared, frustrated, angry when he returned from the mountain to find the Israelites building an idol, or as David must have felt when he was running for his life from Saul. That shadow of hiding and protection felt like I was so far removed from everyone and everything, it felt dark and cold, so lonely and isolated.

David KNEW God! David CONNECTED with God! David LOVED God! David CRIED OUT to God! David wrote this in his old age: Psalms 37:23-25 “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.”

For all of the trials and triumphs that David faced, these are the words that he wrote about his Father. It seems as though David figured out that the source of the shadow does not make the circumstance less dark, less cold, less isolated.

The source of the LIGHT that is creating the shadow is all that matters.

And just like David, we have to remind ourselves “FOR YOU ARE WITH ME”.

Kristina Cornell

When we recognize that the Light of the World is the author and finisher of our faith; He is the Alpha and Omega, the Great I Am; His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path; and He will NEVER leave us or forsake us, THAT is when the shadows do not matter.

The Light that is larger than the circumstance, is shining on us, and He holds our hands as we walk with Him.

By Kristina Cornell

“…I have been delivered so many times by the hand of God that any creativity that I have I only want to give back to Him. I really have nothing else to say, as I have learned that I have nothing of significance to offer of myself. I am just like everyone else, in need of a Savior. I write from my heart, I write devotionals, stories, songs, messages, even starting on a book, and all I have to offer is Jesus and what He has done in my life!” — Kristina Cornell. Visit her website at www.tellthemministries.net.

You can find out more about Kristina on Facebook HERE.

Download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE
Listen To The Best In Today’s Gospel Music HERE

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Amy Oxenrider asks, “Who’s Your Daddy?”

Written by Staff on May 9, 2019 – 10:47 am -

Sweet Water by Amy Oxenrider

Sweet Water by Amy Oxenrider

Sweet Water by Amy Oxenrider

Who’s Your Daddy – Part One

Christians often refer to the Almighty God as their Heavenly Father, Abba Father, or Daddy… but do we really know who he is? Amy Oxenrider takes us on a journey to delve into the “who” of the God of the universe…

Exodus 3:11-15
“But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, “What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?’
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites; ‘I Am has sent me to you.”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.”

Sitting back and looking over my life, I can see how God’s finger has led me from place to place to bring me to this point. I can also see how God was so many things to me; he was and is what I needed, and continue to need, at any particular time.

Throughout history, one can clearly see the hand of God, the physical presence of God, and the Spirit of God dwelling among us and taking care of those who trust and believe in him wholeheartedly. He is and continues to be “I Am;” all we need. Christians often need to be reminded of all God is each and every day. Let us begin at the beginning.

Jehovah-Bara means Lord creator. Do you realize that there was nothing at all desirable of the earth until God worked upon it? But, when God works, life takes place. Dead things become alive. Void things become filled. When God works, things change for the better.

Jehovah-Bara was at the beginning of creation and before we were created in our mother’s womb. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

rushing waterHe is our creator as well as the creator of the universe. When was the last time you chose to praise God for just who he is? Do you praise him only for what he can do for you? Do you praise him only when things go wrong? We should have praises on our lips throughout the day, each and every day for just who he is, and not for the sole purpose of what he can do for us.

This may seem very minute to some, but I find myself saying, “Thank you Lord for allowing me to see this mistake.” When I find myself typing an article or a psycho-educational evaluation, I often thank God for allowing me to see my mistakes. And this tends to happen several times throughout the day.

Sometimes I wonder, how often do I praise him, instead of praying and asking for something he can provide. Please do not misunderstand this statement. I believe God wants his children to come to him with our needs. However, I also believe he wants to be loved and hear prayers of thanksgiving.

The Hebrew word for Bara means to create out of nothing. God spoke the world, universe, and all our finite brains cannot understand into existence. All he had to do was speak, and it occurred. What power and authority our God has. Our lives were as an empty canvas until God took control. He then molded us and made us into what he has planned for our lives. He is patient with his creations and loves us all so much that his mercies are new each and every day.

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

I want to close part one with a little humor. Three scientists had a conversation with God and indicated mankind no longer needed him because we have reached a point in our intelligence that we can do all he can. These cocky, arrogant scientists told God they could prove it to him. God simply said, “Ok, I will take your challenge.” The scientists told God they were going to make a man out of dirt. As they knelt down and began forming the image of a man, God spoke up and said, “Gentleman, I believe you need to get your own dirt. All of this belongs to me.”

Something out of nothing, that is what he has done with my life. That is what he does with all true believer’s lives. He takes a void and empty place and fills it with love, peace, and compassion for others. He takes simple pieces of clay and makes them the most beautiful creations in his eyes. And remember, God doesn’t make junk!

Much love,
Amy Duncan Oxenrider

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

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Mother’s Day thoughts by Selena Day

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

Selena Day and Family

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

Selena Brantley Day celebrates motherhood and Mother’s Day

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

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

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

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

Chuck Day and Selena Day

Chuck Day and Selena Day

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

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

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

Selena Day

Selena Day

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

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

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

By Selena Day

Selena Day is a regular writer for SGNScoops Magazine. She and her husband, Chuck Day, are tireless ministers of God. Chuck is a Christian Country artist.

Selena Day is a motivational speaker and is available to speak at your conference or event.  You may contact her at selenaday@me.com http://www.queenliving.org  http://facebook.com/queenismsbyselenaday. Photographs courtesy of Selena Day.

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Selena Day: Are you battle weary and worn out

Written by Staff on April 23, 2019 – 10:38 am -

Chuck and Selena Day

Chuck and Selena Day

Have you ever just been tired and overwhelmed with life? When it felt as if one wave of adversity after another had been washing into your life making you just want to give up and let the waves take you under?

Around you the saints that had been through far worse than you seem to be standing firm with joy in their hearts while you’re wondering if you’re going to make it through.

As I write this, I have a loved one battling for their life in intensive care, and I find my prayers feeling inadequate and pale.

We are in Florida this week and found ourselves blessed to have a day off to enjoy the beach.  This morning I woke up and decided to take a long walk on the beach needing to have a heart to heart conversation with God.  I had music playing on my phone and the song “Way-maker” came on my list.

The words of this song were what I needed to hear.  God is our Way-maker, He’s our Miracle worker, our Promise keeper, our light in the darkness.

As I fumbled around this morning with my faith, I needed His light to come and shine into my heart once again guiding me to who He is and to whom I belong.

Life can be so shaky and uncertain, but our God is faithful and kind. It is not our job to fix those around us, but it is our job to pray and to trust that God has every situation in His hand and He will work ALL things out for our good.

While walking on the beach, I came back to our hotel and noticed a mural that was painted on the seawall beside the steps going up to the hotel. It was worn and faded from all the wind and salt water blown across it over the years. As I get older, I  have learned to appreciate the beauty that comes from a few dings and dents, and scratches and scrapes. It had some stains where water had run down the side from a drainage pipe. The stairs were cracked, and the wood had turned a deep brown.  The paint was chipping in some places.

Selena Day: What do you fear?

Selena Day

But instead of seeing disrepair I saw a story about this hotel being there for a long time. Daytona Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the world this sea wall had over time protected the inhabitants from the harsh surf during turbulent times.  How many people have walked up and down those stairs without paying attention to how to how well the stairs were made and how they made the beachgoers life more comfortable to get from point A to point B?

I felt a little like that run down, faded wall. There were much prettier, newer structures all along the beach, but that wall was well maintained, and you could tell it had a history. My battles may have dimmed my luster, but the patina left behind; God has turned into a beautiful work of art. I have learned to turn towards him and allow his light to shine through my heart and soul like the fragmented pieces of a stained glass window.

I write this believing for victory for my loved one that they will fully recover and will be supernaturally healed, but to be honest, I am battle weary and worn out. Though  I have learned my strength isn’t in me fighting the fight, my power is in trusting God.

Ex. 14:13-14 (MSG) “Moses spoke to the people: ‘Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again. God will fight the battle for you.  And you? You keep your mouths shut!'”

All our battles were fought and won over two thousand years ago on Calvary. My battle cry is my shout of praise and joy as I enter into resting in Him. He has me and my circumstances in his hand. I know in whom I belong and it makes me that more dangerous to the enemies in my life. Because I tend to not step into the fray anymore with my own agenda. I stand up with God’s plan declaring: “Papa God not my will; but your will be done.”

I know that I know that God has me and I have learned that he is a tender Savior that loves me and knows how to pursue me in my life and in my battles. I am grateful.

So no matter what tomorrow holds, I know that he will be there too, in celebration for the victory or to wipes my tears in sorrow.  And, through it all, my life will be a message to the goodness and faithfulness of a loving savior.

Battle weary and worn out isn’t a place of defeat, but a celestial moment where the divine inhabits humanity and miracles begin to manifest.

By Selena Day

Selena Day is a regular writer for SGNScoops Magazine. She and her husband, Chuck Day, are tireless ministers of God. Chuck is a Christian Country artist.

Selena Day is a motivational speaker and is available to speak at your conference or event.  You may contact her at selenaday@me.com http://www.queenliving.org  http://facebook.com/queenismsbyselenaday. Photographs courtesy of Selena Day.

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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.

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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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