Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Beyond the Song: Wisecarvers sing “Go Down Again”

Written by Staff on June 13, 2020 – 6:40 am -

Beyond the Song. Wisecarvers. Go Down Again.Beyond the Song: the Wisecarvers sing “Go Down Again” 

By Jantina Baksteen

I got in contact with Dustin Wisecarver of the Wisecarvers, a Southern gospel family group that consists of: Vince and Tammy, Chase and Kasie, and Dustin and Kaila. They tell us about their group and explain the background of “Go Down Again.”

Jantina Baksteen: Please introduce your group to our readers. 

Dustin Wisecarver:  Mom and Dad got us started with a dream and a calling. So we’ll start with them! Mom, Tammy, she can have you blessed, crying, and reaching for tissues before you know it. She has a powerful testimony of healing from cancer that has encouraged countless folks in their own battles with it. Dad, Vince, has a country style voice and some of the smoothest rhythm guitar you’ll ever hear. There’s nothing much he can’t do. Above what you see on stage, he keeps the bus running and taught Chase and I to sing and play. Which leads to Chase my brother. He’s our versatile powerhouse lead vocalist. He can go from power notes in ballads to the sweetest sincere moments that grab your heart. Chase has the gift to write songs that are so completely different than the norm. He sees things when he reads the word of God others miss and often you’ll find that in his writing. Songs he’s written such as “Turn Back Time,” which is really the that first song that got us noticed in the Southern gospel world, will make even a saint cry and want to make sure their walk with the Lord is where it ought to be! His wife’s name is Kasie and she is our prayer and faith warrior. Though she’s not on the platform she’s there with a kind word or can be found praying with folks at the altar. They have a little boy named Jake who, for about the past year, has started coming up and singing a little bit with us here and there. He’s taking my “choo-choo” song, as he calls it, and playing his little harmonica and singing it. He turned four in February and is stealing the show. Then there’s my wife Kaila. She’s truly special and ever so anointed. She definitely holds me together and I couldn’t do what I do without her. She’s got the voice of an angel and looks like one too. She’s very versatile in both the styles she can sing and write. She goes from peaceful worship moments to the big powerful songs that’ll have you shoutin’. We have an awesome one year old named Whalen, who has totally changed our world. He’s got a little smile and just like we prayed before he was born, he brings joy everywhere we go. Finally, I like to say, ‘I’m just here.’ I play a little harmonica. I write and sing a little bit. I just consider it a privilege to be surrounded by such an amazing family with such talent. I’m not worthy to be in their midst nor to work for the Lord, but I’m awful glad He called me, and He called me to where I am and who I am with.

Beyond the Song. Wisecarvers. Go Down Again.JB: When did you start to sing as a family group?

DW: We always sang in our home church, and would put on concerts at our family reunions. Chase and I grew up with aunts and uncles as our biggest fan base. They always flattered us and made us feel like we were big time. They would even tip! But then somewhere along the way, we felt God tugging at our hearts for more than just music. He said He had a job for us to do with our gifts, and in 2005, The Wisecarvers was officially born.

JB: I met you at first in 2016, at NQC, where you won the showcase and debuted on main stage that same evening. Tell us about that experience.

DW: Wow, the shock of actually having our name called in itself was unbelievable! I remember huge smiles at each other on that stage, as if our eyes said, “Wow! Can you believe where we are standing?”

Up until that point we had only been on one sided stages. NQC has this four sided stage and I remember us jokingly on the side asking each other, “Where do we go?” Then we were like, “No seriously, which side?”

One of my favorite things was coming off the stage, there were fans who knew us from our travels who were standing at their seats waving, giving us thumbs up, saying things like “Way to go!” We are awful thankful they keep inviting us back year after year!

JB: Did that experience give a boost to your ministry?

DW: It certainly did! It introduced us to many new friends. New doors were opened and dates added to the following year’s schedule. There were also D.J.s who either hadn’t heard us live, or hadn’t even heard us at all, until that point. We are very thankful for that experience.

JB: I know you have a testimony in the song, “It Was Jesus,” on the  “Armor” album. Please share about that.

DW: This is Momma’s testimony. Twelve years ago she was diagnosed with Stage Four cancer and given only six to twelve months to live. God intervened and as the song states there was no chemo, no surgery, just  a whole lot of prayer and faith. God healed her and she is still alive and well, serving the Lord today, 100% cancer free. The song is also about things that can not be explained other than to say, “It Was Jesus!” Sometimes we get to those points in life where He is our only way out. We encourage those who might be in the most hopeless situations that there is still hope in Him.

Beyond the Song. Wisecarvers. Go Down Again..JB: You have a CD out called “Sillouette.”  When I checked the information on this album, I saw that your group penned all, or almost all, of the songs. Where do you get the inspiration to write?

DW: Sometimes inspiration comes from where we’ve been and what we’re going through ourselves in those moments. Those songs go back to what God is doing in our lives or trying to teach us personally. It’s always surprising when you put those songs out, how many other people happen to relate so closely to your message. Then, that inspires more songs because you realize that people need to hear what God has done for us, letting them know He can do the same for them. There are songs that are also birthed straight out of a scripture from the word of God. Then there are those you just start writing that seem to come out of nowhere, but it’s the Holy Spirit giving you something the people need to hear. In all those scenarios, the short answer would be, “God!”

JB: You launched a song to radio that’s called, “Go Down Again.” Can you share the message of that song?

DW: If God said it, it will happen! It doesn’t matter what circumstances or people say, God’s promises are true and will come to pass because God cannot lie. Naaman was told to go dip in Jordan seven times. The song asks the question of whether Naaman might have gotten discouraged on times one through six with no partial healings or signs, just the promise. The song shifts to our personal lives with things we pray about. Sometimes we don’t have signs. Sometimes there’s no evidence that our prayers will be answered. All we have are the promises in God’s word and that’s enough! The song defines faith and is intended to encourage people to not waiver in theirs!

JB: Kaila wrote this amazing song. How did that came about?

DW: A lot of times songs have an amazing story about how they developed or the journey to the final lyrics, but with “Go Down Again,” Kaila said it kind of just happened. The Lord gave her the words, the melody, it all came together from very personal experiences but not without some hesitation. At one time, she wasn’t even sure if anyone would like the song or understand what she was trying to say. But once we got in the studio and started to record, we knew it was something special. The enemy was just fighting to keep the message from being heard.

Beyond the Song. Wisecarvers. Go Down Again.JB: What is it to travel on the bus with the entire family and with the two little boys, Jake and Whalen?

DW: Oh, those two are the life of the party! They keep us laughing and smiling the whole time. It’s been fun to watch them begin their lives this way. Jake’s a smart little guy. He knows that bus inside and out. He is always eager to help and wants to work hard for Jesus. Whalen is just taking it all in. He’s just getting to where he can move around and getting harder to keep up with. The best part, we get to all do something we love to do together as a family.

JB: What is ahead for you in 2020?

DW: Well, we are writing new songs for a new project. Nothing is scheduled yet, but we have a few that are coming along nicely. We are also on pace to have our busiest year to date. God is definitely opening up new doors!

JB: Where can we find you on the web?

DW: You can visit our website, www.thewisecarvers.com, and also find us on all major social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

JB: What is your desire for your ministry?

DW: I want to be more effective. I want a double portion. Above all, I want to see Christ high and lifted up!

We hope you will enjoy hearing the Wisecarvers sing “Go Down Again:”

 

Thanks to Dustin Wisecarver for sharing your family ministry with SGNScoops. God’s blessings and guidance for your ministry in the days and months ahead.

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine online HERE.
Listen To Today’s Gospel Music HERE

 


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Lorraine Walker: Praise in a Cave

Written by Staff on May 29, 2020 – 12:28 pm -

CaveRight now, I feel like I am in a cave. You know what I mean, for you have been there too. Maybe you are in your own cave right now. You came here initially of your own volition because it was the only avenue of escape. So many dangers have oppressed you that there wasn’t any other choice.

 

What are those oppressive forces? Perhaps they are outward: Finances, employment, or relationships. Or maybe it is your own body, mind, or emotions, as you deal with pain, loss of control, or fear. All of these mount up against you like an army, and you run to your cave.

 

This isn’t a cave of safety or peace. It is a human den that wraps around you, like addiction, denial, or depression. Still, you know those outer forces remain and they are advancing toward your hideout. Your place of imagined safety becomes a jail without escape.

 

We all experience this at some point, even spiritual leaders. King David from the Bible talks about this very thing. He was backed into a literal cave by some evil people. Yet he is able to write poetic lyrics to a song in the darkness.

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed…” Psalm 57: 1 (NIV).

David knew where to allow his spirit to find real safety: under the “wings” of God, totally enveloped in His presence.

 

After entering God’s presence, through prayer, he then cries out to the only one, ultimately, who can provide vindication. David says he is “in the midst of lions,” (v.4), yet despite this predicament, he praises God. 

 

We know through scripture that the Lord protected David and brought him out of this situation. But this song doesn’t tell us that. All we see here is that, in the middle of a life and death situation, David continues to trust in God and to praise him. 

David writes: “My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.

Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.” Psalm 57:7-8 (NIV).

Not only does David continue to aver his trust in the Almighty, he sings his praise in the dark of night. He doesn’t wait until he is safe and sound, he doesn’t even wait to see if he is still alive at daybreak. He praises God right in the middle of that cave, singing about God’s love, faithfulness, and glory

 

How are you doing, right now, in your cave? Are you praising now or waiting to see if God comes through for you before opening your mouth? 

 

I have been convicted by the actions of this man who crouched in a small, dark, wet, smelly place, and praised God. The Bible also tells of Paul and Silas, singing to the Lord in jail before their chains fell off. Another reminder of the power of praise and the faithfulness of the Almighty.

 

Do I wait to see if God will bring me through this time before I go to him for comfort, safety, or vindication? He has done it before and he will do it again. I know this, but I need to be reminded, so he leads me to his word to relearn the lesson.

 

My Lord will lead you and I out of our stifling caves, and into a spacious place, if we look to him for guidance. 

 

For I know that, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,” Psalm 23:6 (NIV). Not only is his goodness and love following me, it is running after me, surrounding me and filling me.

I know his love will bring me out of that cave, back to green pastures. I hope to meet you there.

By Lorraine Walker

lorraine@sgnscoops.com

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
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You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
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Listen To Today’s Gospel Music HERE

 

 

 

 


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Kristen Stanton: Destiny by Design

Written by Staff on May 12, 2020 – 2:10 pm -

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

One Sunday in September after I finished law school, I knelt at the altar and told God I would go anywhere he asked and do anything he wanted me to do. In my mind, that meant I was giving God permission to open the door for me to practice law hours away from home. Instead, he called me to sing.

 

I began questioning God – not doubting God but simply questioning why. Why did he call me to sing after I finished law school? Why did he give me songs and yet not show me what to do? I didn’t know the first thing about gospel music, and I didn’t know anyone who knew anything about gospel music. So I was left with the burning question we all have at times in our lives: Why?

I also remember reading the story about Joseph in Genesis; it wasn’t new to me. I had grown up hearing the story and teaching the story. I knew that God had orchestrated everything in Joseph’s life to bring him to the point where he would be able to save a nation of people during the famine. Even when things didn’t make sense, God was still there, and he was still in control.

The Bible is replete with examples of how God changed circumstances for his own purposes. And since God has not changed, I know that he is still doing that today. So I sat down and wrote a song called “Destiny by Design.”

Genesis 50:19 says, “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?” 

At this point, Jacob had just died,  and Joseph’s brothers were once again worried that their past bad acts would be mirrored by Joseph’s revenge. But Joseph knew that God was in his circumstances. 

Joseph knew that God turned into good the evil of his brothers’ plan.  Joseph knew that where he was was exactly where God wanted him to be.

Long before I knelt at that altar to pray that Sunday after I completed law school, God knew he was going to call me to sing. God knew I would say yes. God knew I would tell this story at every concert because people need to hear that God has a plan for them. God had a plan even when I knew nothing about it.  

Where are you today? Are you worried because you have lost your job? Are you worried because of a health situation? Does something consume your thoughts each day?

Kristen StantonEven in the middle of your worst times, God is still walking with you hand in hand. He has still gone before you. He will still uphold you with his right hand. God had a plan before you entered your valley and he is already leading you out. God has a plan for you.  

Don’t fear. You are not lost. You are not forgotten. You are in the place of God. 

As I wrote in the chorus of “Destiny by Design:”

 What you are going through is part of God’s plan for you. God’s never wasting time. It’s all destiny – destiny by design.

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.

 

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
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Listen To Today’s Gospel Music HERE

 

 

 


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Selena Day: The Storm

Written by Staff on May 9, 2020 – 9:35 am -

Storm. Selena DayThe Storm by Selena Day

James 3: 4 & 5 

 4, And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5, So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

 

I

Selena Day

Selena Day

have been hearing a lot about storms, ships, or boats during this season of uncertainty. This post recently came across my social media feed:

“We are not in the same boat…..It is being said that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat.”

A very insightful quote from an anonymous source got me to pay more attention to the narrative flowing in the world right now. We have gone from the fear of sickness to the worry of economic catastrophe. Our political leaders are making decisions, whether good or bad, and because we have a platform on social media, we feel the need to voice our opinion concerning those decisions. 

I want to caution us to remember James’ advice concerning our tongues. We are in this storm together, but are you commanding your ship with the help of your creator? Where have you placed the authority of your ship? You should be the one in command of your vessel, hopefully leaning into the wisdom and revelation of Jesus Christ and what it means to have a personal relationship with God.

Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Another translation reads this way; “What you say can preserve life or destroy it, so you must accept the consequences of your words.” 

What we say collectively during this season is so powerful, because, for the first time in history, we have the ability to speak as one. The world is so connected, not just by observation through television, but by communication via our many social media platforms. We can see and hear what a friend halfway around the world is encountering due to the corona pandemic. 

Strong’s gives this definition for the word tongue: i. e. the language used by a particular people in distinction from that of other nations. 

Let us remember what kingdom we belong to, a heavenly realm where our language and speech come from a place of victory. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are ambassadors of God’s Kingdom, and as such, we need to speak with the tongue of that kingdom.  That kingdom is rich in everything we will ever need. Healing, provision, strength of character, peace, joy, and so much more.  

I believe our words and our thoughts are so powerful. What we think in our mind usually comes out of our mouths. So, let us place our thoughts on what is above, that which is eternal, and not what is temporal.

In this storm we are experiencing, may we find comfort and solace in our unified experiences of each ship’s navigation through the storm. Let us learn from one another and uplift each other. Let us not use this time to destroy with words, but to encourage and uplift those around us. Let us press into our heavenly identity and speak the language of God.

We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them, so do not let fear be your driving force. Let love be the strength from which you operate. Love from our heavenly Father and love from him towards those around us. 

Let victory be our battle-cry! This pandemic will not be the end of us, but let it be the launching pad that will bring revival to our lands.  Let it be the launching pad that will usher in creative and new ventures in our world.  

Chuck and Selena Day

Chuck and Selena Day

Here in Atlanta, where I am from, we have a top-rated popsicle company. This company was birthed by two guys who were laid-off during the 2008 economic crash. When that happened, they could have very quickly given up hope, and to be honest, may have had that moment. Still, they decided to get creative and started mixing flavors you would not usually think of, like Pineapple, Jalapeno flavor popsicle, and Maple, Bacon flavor popsicle, to name a few. This company is very successful and has even splintered off into other endeavors in our community.  

Let this be a testimony for you, that whatever comes your way, victory is your end-game. God’s DNA lies within us as humans, and if you believe that God cannot fail and that no darkness lies within him, then you must believe that you are designed for success. Failure is a learning experience, not an ultimate end.  

Do not let your rudder drive yourself or others away from the creator, but use your words to bring healing, hope, and peace to a time in which the world is searching for answers. Let us all remember that Jesus Christ is the answer. He is the author and perfector of our faith.

By Selena Day

www.journey4women.com

www.queenliving.org

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.

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine online HERE.
Listen To Today’s Gospel Music HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Rob Patz: God is in Control

Written by Staff on April 28, 2020 – 12:23 pm -

Rob Patz: God is in Control

Rob Patz

2020 April SGNScoops Publisher’s Point by Rob Patz

Welcome to the April edition of the Publisher’s Point. I know many of you spent the last two to three weeks in quarantine.

Unfortunately, due to my schedule, I wasn’t able to do that immediately, but within a week I was able to enter quarantine. During this time, I’ve been reminded so much of the song, “Be still and know that I am God.”

For a lot of us, our job includes daily interaction with people. For me that includes conventions, conferences, and musical events, and over the last two weeks we had to cancel Southern Gospel Weekend, an event that I’m a part of in Oxford, Alabama. Now the good news: We have rescheduled and will be having it September 3 – 5, 2020.

As I watch the news and hear about the economy and everything else that’s going on, I’m reminded that God is in control. I will tell you, in my own spirit, I have felt very worried over the last few weeks, but knowing that God is in control has helped me so very much.

While I was staying in a hotel in Oxford, one morning as I was getting up and praying, God told me that everything that has been taken, will be restored – pressed down, shaken together, and running over. God is not a God of lack. God is not a God who can be surprised. He knew that this was going to happen. He knew that we were going to face this not only as a country, but as an industry.

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

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland

Let me encourage you if you’re reading this, to pray for the artists, their ministries, the promoters and the fans.

I believe that this year is going to be an incredible year for gospel music. I say that because I think during this time, more and more people are going to be searching for answers that the world cannot give them. We have the most incredible music in the world, and we have music that will bring them hope, joy, and strength, things that we need as we look ahead and not behind. May we realize that God is in control. 

Please, over the next few months, attend concerts, buy CDs, and sow into the ministries that are out there. I ask also that you will join me in Ann Arbor, Michigan, June 4 – 6, 2020, for the first Gospel Music Weekend. It is going to be a special event. We’re excited about the opportunities that God has laid in front of us for this event and we believe that lives will be changed, hearts will be touched, and a fire reignited in a country that needs it. Pray with me from now until that date, that people that are seeking and hurting will find their way to the Wyndham Convention Center.

I’m praying for each and every one of you this month. I believe that God has great things for our readers and for our artists ahead. I also ask that you will pray for me and for our staff.

Creekside 2020Before I go for this month, I want to ask you to join us in October for our biggest event of the year: Creekside Gospel Music Convention, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, October 25 –  29, 2020. Please email events@sgnscoops.com for more information.

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

By Rob Patz

April 2020 SGN Scoops Magazine

April 2020 SGN Scoops Magazine

As published in April 2020 Publishers Point

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine online HERE.
Listen To Today’s Gospel Music HERE

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Easter Is Not Another Ordinary Day

Written by Staff on April 12, 2020 – 1:47 pm -

Jennifer Campbell. Easter Is Not Another Ordinary DayEaster Is Not Another Ordinary Day by Jennifer Campbell

 

Not too long ago, we were living ordinary lives, enjoying ordinary days, and doing ordinary things. Then, our lives literally started to change overnight when entire nations began ordering stay-at-home lockdowns. Today, over 180 countries have recorded COVID-19 cases. More than 1.8 million people have been infected, and tragically, over one hundred thousand people have lost their lives to this highly infectious respiratory disease. The coronavirus pandemic literally changed the world, and it all started on what seemed to be another ordinary day.

Jennifer Campbell. Easter Is Not Another Ordinary DayJust over two thousand years ago, men and women, boys and girls, awoke to another seemingly ordinary day. They got out of bed, dressed, combed their hair, ate breakfast, and started their daily routine. Only nothing about this particular day was business as usual. The night before, Jesus and His disciples sat down for their last meal together before Jesus would be crucified. Early the next morning, “all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed” (Matt. 27:2 NIV). A short time later, Jesus was lashed and beaten beyond recognition. Simon from Cyrene carried Jesus’ cross to the hill known as Golgotha (Matt. 27:32-33). Jesus was hung on this cross with nails piercing His hands and His feet.

Matthew 21:45-46 says, “From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’)” As Jesus took His final breath, a violent earthquake came upon the land, the temple curtain was torn in two, and many tombs were opened and people were raised from the dead (Matt. 27:51-53). Even the centurion and some of the soldiers who previously mocked Jesus, saw what happened and exclaimed, “‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” (Matt. 27:54 NIV). Jesus Christ did not stay on the cross, for He rose to life on the third day (Matt. 28:6 NIV). From the moment Jesus arose, the world would never be the same again.

Jennifer Campbell. Easter Is Not Another Ordinary DayThis year, Easter will be observed a little differently, which will hopefully give everyone additional time to reflect on what Christ did for us. As I look forward to worshiping the Lord on Resurrection Sunday, in the comfort of my own home, I am reminded of a dream I had a couple of months ago. I dreamed that I was going through some papers and found two Easter Sunday bulletins from two distinct years past. In the dream, I commented to my dad that it would be unusual for there to be no Easter Sunday services anywhere in the world. At the time, this dream seemed very unrealistic, so I thought little more about it. Two weeks ago, I was sorting through some papers, found two different Easter Sunday bulletins, and reminded my dad of the dream I had two months ago. I feel that God was preparing my heart for this unpredictable turn of events.

Although special religious services can encourage believers and even attract non-believers who come to church on religious holidays, I feel that the Spirit of God may be speaking to the churches through this pandemic. The entertainment and sporting venues have widely been shut down. Even churches are primarily closed, with the exception of online services. Perhaps God is using this “pause” to allow us time to listen to His leading. A.W. Tozer said, “Sometimes I think the church would be better off if we would call a moratorium on activity for about six weeks and just wait on God to see what He is wanting to do for us.” During these less-than-ordinary days, let us make it a point to listen to God’s voice. He has a master plan for each of our lives, if we are willing to listen to His sovereign guidance.

For many pastors and congregants, the absence of an Easter service seems like a major roadblock on the religious calendar. Yet, the church is not a building; it is a body of believers. Jesus did not tell us to build a sanctuary; He commissioned us to “‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation’” (Mark 16:15 NIV). Even now, as the majority of regions are under shelter-in-place orders, we can still proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the Internet or through telephone calls, letters, and other forms of communication. Yet, the glorious message of salvation is too wonderful for us to only share on Resurrection Sunday. I once knew someone who only wanted to sing the song, “He Lives,” as an annual tradition on Easter Sunday. Jesus Christ did not give His life so we could be saved, celebrate the risen Savior one day a year, and then wait patiently for His return. He gave His life so we could worship Him forevermore, and so we could share the wondrous love of Jesus Christ, 365 days per year.

Jesus’ resurrection is something we should praise God for every single day of the year. God knew we needed a Savior, since we have all sinned (Rom. 3:23). He loved us so much that He gave His only Son to shed His blood and to die on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins (John 3:16). Jesus gave His life because of love (1 John 3:16). There is no other name by which we can receive salvation. The manmade holiday known as Easter cannot save anyone. Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost. When we confess our sins and put our faith in Him as our Lord and Savior, then we will become a new creation in Christ Jesus. Let us remember to thank Him for His mercy and grace every single day, always keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2).

Jennifer Campbell: Hope in times of Misgivings and DoubtJesus is the One we should be listening to above all others. Do not let the sounds of the world surpass the sound of the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart. During this pandemic, be careful not to be drawn in by the news headlines, the inconveniences of getting groceries, or the concerns you have for your family and friends. Instead, take time to read God’s Word. Take time to pray. Take time to listen to His voice. Focus on the risen Savior. May we all tune our hearts to Him, as we worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24)! For there will come another seemingly ordinary day when Christ will return to this earth, and that is the moment that will truly change the world for all eternity.

By Jennifer Campbell

More about Jennifer:

Jennifer knows that God has a dream for her life. Whether she is on stage singing solo, singing with her dad as a duet, speaking at churches and other locations around the globe, or teaching English Language Arts at Suwannee Middle School, she knows God will always guide her footsteps in everything she does. She is grateful for the talents God has given her and she strives to use them for His glory every single day. God has blessed her with the ability to play the piano and drums. She has served as a Group Leader for Women of Faith as well.

Jennifer is a prolific writer, penning songs, writing an inspirational blog, and serving as a Feature Writer for SGN Scoops Digital Magazine, the first all digital Southern Gospel music magazine. She has written for SGN Scoops for over 20 years, including features on The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Bill Gaither, Janet Paschal, Goodman Revival, Karen Peck and New River, The Whisnants, Canton Junction, The Hoppers, and many others. She was also honored to be able to write special tributes to Lari Goss and LaBreeska Hemphill.

Jennifer recently published her first book, an inspirational autobiography titled, When You’re in the Sunset, There’s Sunshine Awaiting You, which she hopes will inspire others through its message of hope. You can read a complimentary chapter by clicking this link, and you can also purchase a copy on Amazon. Already working on her second book, it is her prayer that God will give her the opportunity to publish many more books in His timing.

In addition, she has a food and travel blog at www.jennifersjourneys.net, where she featured William Jack Degel of Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse and the Food Network show Restaurant Stakeout. Jennifer would love to have her own food and travel show one day.

(Excerpt from Jennifer Campbell’s biography: http://www.jennifercampbell.net/biography.htm )

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
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David Staton: Easter is the Greatest Event. Ever

Written by Staff on April 7, 2020 – 11:31 am -

Celebrate the Risen Savior

Good Friday. Celebrate the Risen Savior on Easter with David Staton

Can You Handle It by David Staton

Easter is the Greatest Event. Ever.

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

Have a glorious Easter/Resurrection Sunday!

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in April 2017

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
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Jennifer Campbell: Hope in times of Misgivings and Doubt

Written by Staff on April 6, 2020 – 2:21 pm -

Jennifer Campbell: Hope in times of Misgivings and Doubt

Jennifer Campbell

The coronavirus pandemic has become the central focus of the world. Millions of people are quarantined, businesses are closed, and many hospitals are overwhelmed. Healthcare workers, delivery drivers, supermarket employees, and many others are forced to work long hours. Ordinary life has taken a momentary detour as we seek to make sense of these uncertain times.


Many people are looking for answers concerning how they and their family can stay safe. Others are wondering when life will return to normal. Some individuals question why God would allow this crisis to affect millions of people.

As the entertainment, sports, and recreational venues gradually close their doors, I sense in my spirit that God is calling us to set our eyes on Him. Whether we realize it or not, there are many things in life that capture our attention, distracting us from worshiping the Lord. From job-related tasks to family responsibilities, along with recreational activities and other items on our to-do lists, it would likely surprise each one of us to know how little time we spend focused on our Heavenly Father.

Even now, God has used this widespread disruption to clear many of our schedules, yet we may still find ourselves mindlessly scrolling through social media timelines or binge-watching our favorite television shows. The news reports can even encompass our very being, causing us to miss His still, small voice. When we put anything, even our families, in a position above God, we disappoint Him. On the contrary, when we look to Him for guidance, He is always standing by to help us.

The Lord said, “‘When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’” (2 Chron. 7:13-14 NIV). Although we may never know why God allowed coronavirus to impact the world, we can know with full assurance that He will help us through this calamity if we pray and worship Him.

Regrettably, many people in the world today never call on the name of the Lord. Some Christians and non-Christians alike are more concerned with materialistic things than they are spiritual matters. Rather than being humble, they flaunt their wealth, their careers, their families, and any other prideful thing they consider important. Additionally, countless people in the world today engage in immoral behavior. From sexual immorality to murdering newborn babies, this world is on a downward spiral as they continually convey their absolute hatred and disobedience toward God.

Until we change our ways, we will not see a change. This not only applies to the literal act of social distancing, but also to the spiritual act of surrendering to God. We must all take the first step, which is to repent and to humble ourselves before the Lord. God’s Word says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10 NIV). He wants to help us and to encourage us, if we will yield our lives to Him.

Without question, we must all turn our eyes to the Lord. He will forgive our sins and heal our nations, if we humble ourselves, pray to Him, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways (2. Chron. 7:14). I pray we can all let go of our worldly ways, and focus on the One who created us. God deserves all of the glory. Let us seek His face as we put our trust in Jesus Christ alone. He is the only One who can truly heal our land.

Jennifer Campbell: Hope in times of Misgivings and DoubtAuthor’s Note: I am continually praying for everyone affected by this pandemic. It would be my honor to pray for you as well. If you have a prayer request, please email me at jennifer@jennifercampbell.net. May the Lord strengthen you and be your comfort during these difficult times.

By Jennifer Campbell

More about Jennifer:

Jennifer knows that God has a dream for her life. Whether she is on stage singing solo, singing with her dad as a duet, speaking at churches and other locations around the globe, or teaching English Language Arts at Suwannee Middle School, she knows God will always guide her footsteps in everything she does. She is grateful for the talents God has given her and she strives to use them for His glory every single day. God has blessed her with the ability to play the piano and drums. She has served as a Group Leader for Women of Faith as well.

Jennifer is a prolific writer, penning songs, writing an inspirational blog, and serving as a Feature Writer for SGN Scoops Digital Magazine, the first all digital Southern Gospel music magazine. She has written for SGN Scoops for over 20 years, including features on The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Bill Gaither, Janet Paschal, Goodman Revival, Karen Peck and New River, The Whisnants, Canton Junction, The Hoppers, and many others. She was also honored to be able to write special tributes to Lari Goss and LaBreeska Hemphill.

Jennifer recently published her first book, an inspirational autobiography titled, When You’re in the Sunset, There’s Sunshine Awaiting You, which she hopes will inspire others through its message of hope. You can read a complimentary chapter by clicking this link, and you can also purchase a copy on Amazon. Already working on her second book, it is her prayer that God will give her the opportunity to publish many more books in His timing.

In addition, she has a food and travel blog at www.jennifersjourneys.net, where she featured William Jack Degel of Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse and the Food Network show Restaurant Stakeout. Jennifer would love to have her own food and travel show one day.

(Excerpt from Jennifer Campbell’s biography: http://www.jennifercampbell.net/biography.htm )

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine online HERE.
Listen To Today’s Gospel Music HERE

 


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Selena Day: Faith in Uncertainty

Written by Staff on April 6, 2020 – 9:01 am -

Selena Day

Selena Day

I sit on my back porch, listening to the birds, chatting and going about their daily lives. I can hear my neighbors working in their yards, taking advantage of this beautiful day. On the surface, nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. I can hear cars driving by and lawnmowers running. If you didn’t know that we were suffering from a pandemic at this moment, you couldn’t tell that the world was confined to their homes.  

I almost feel like a bear that has been in hibernation. The last time we were out and things felt somewhat normal, it was cold, and today I step outside, and the warmth of spring is enveloping me, giving me hope as I sit and converse with my savior about what my future holds.  

I am reminded of the scripture in Philippians 4, one of my favs, vs. 8 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (NLT)

I learned many years ago while going through a challenging time to put this scripture into action. 

I have been accused of not being practical in certain circumstances and that there is a fine line between faith and foolishness. When I married my husband over 30+ years ago, I was a new Christian and was utterly and totally committed to living my life for Jesus. I had no idea what it meant to be in the ministry. I had no idea what it meant to be musical, but because of my covenant relationship with Chuck, we began a journey of living by faith.

Selena Day: What do you fear?It has been a crazy roller-coaster of a ride, but it has taken us places that I never dreamed I would go. I have served and met people that were so different than me, and I have learned that God’s love is more significant than the four walls of my church. 

So many memories flood my mind, even writing this, too many to share. But, I have learned how critical listening to God is, when the world is so full of loud voices telling a particular narrative. Your safety resides in Him and not in this world. Your provision comes from Him and not in your job. Your joy lies in Him and not in your circumstances. 

Honestly, so far, through this crazy time in our history, I have had more peace than I have known in a long time. I’m not saying that I haven’t gotten stir crazy or felt depressed. I told a friend just the other day that I had felt as if I had been in training for this for a long time.  

I believe that verse 6 in Philippians 4 gives us a great key. “Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life.” (TPT)

Tell him every detail of your life! If you are afraid, tell him; if you hate someone, tell him; if you are angry with him for letting you down, tell him. And then allow yourself to listen. It may not be immediate, but He will give you answers or strategies to make it through.  

God cares about you and your life. He designed each one of us in a specific unique way, and we are designed to operate in that unique way. When we follow him and learn to become the person he has created us to be, we will see great victories and miracles in our lives. 

I can only share the stories of my journey to help others understand this, but I would challenge you to sit alone with God and think about your own journey. Where has He shown up? When has he broke through the dark clouds of your storms and shined His light of love?

Let me give you some practical tips on how to do this. First, find a quiet place, and still your mind. Secondly, see God smiling at you. Whatever your image of God, that image is smiling at you. Then just sit as he smiles and know that He loves you so much. Now just listen….

During this time of uncertainty, remember to fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  There have been so many of them. People coming together like never before. Prayers being lifted for not only our county but our world. Revival is breaking out! 

Seeing these things happen, I am reminded of the prayers we as the church prayed many years ago. We are seeing them unfold right before our eyes.  

Chuck and Selena Day

Chuck and Selena Day

Your focus can be on the sickness, and the fear that comes with it or your focus can be on our great big God and how He is moving during these crazy chaotic days.

By Selena Day

www.journey4women.com

www.queenliving.org

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.

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine online HERE.
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Kristen Stanton: Do Not Fear

Written by Staff on March 30, 2020 – 1:23 pm -

Kristen Stanton: Do Not Fear

Kristen Stanton

In these uncertain times, there is a refuge. In these uncertain times, there is truth. In these uncertain times, there is power.

A couple of weeks ago, I got up in the morning to go to work. It was unusually warm for March, but it was exciting because I knew it meant spring weather was coming. Flowers were getting ready to bloom. I could see the barest hint of green unfolding in the woods surrounding my house. Awakening after the darkness of winter, it was a promise of a better day.

And then the news came. COVID-19 was spreading throughout our country. Our state closed schools, restaurants, and then all nonessential business. It seemed like in the blink of an eye things were completely different. The lightheartedness I felt that morning was gone. Yes, I was dealing with fear. If I’m being honest, it was causing anxiety like I hadn’t had for years. I knew God was in control. I knew that this didn’t take him by surprise. And yet, like many others, fear of the unknown loomed ahead.

I started reading Psalm 91 everyday, recollecting the many times in the past God has protected me. I would remind myself that God is my refuge and my fortress. He is my shield and my buckler. He would cover me with his feathers the way a mama bird would protect her babies. But why are Christians still dying?

And then I read verse 5: “You shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day;” Wait, God, did you just command me to not be afraid of things I can’t see coming? God knew that we would be surprised in life by things we cannot see. God knew that terror would strike our hearts. He simply said don’t be afraid. Trust me.

We are afraid because we fear the unknown. But the unknown to us is not unknown to God. Psalm 91:4 says, “His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” Those are weapons of warfare. Not just the shield and the buckler which remind us that he always goes before us into battle, but his truth. His truth. His truth.

Here is the truth: Your mind is Satan’s battlefield. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Satan terrorizes using fear. God loves us and protects us. Sometimes God lowers the hedge. But God will never leave us or forsake us. Never. If we focus on God and not the news, if we focus on God and not on the way we feel, if we focus on God and not on what our friends think, we will begin to feel peace. We will begin to feel safe, hidden in the shadow of the Almighty – tucked beneath his wings.

The only one who knows the beginning from the end is our Creator. The truth is that he has created me for a purpose. He has created you for a purpose. God led Israel out of captivity. God kept David from being killed by Saul. God shut the mouths of the lions against Daniel. Nobody walks through life free from trials. And nobody walks through life free of fear. The difference is remembering what is truth.

The next time you are feeling afraid, open up the Bible, and let it envelop you like a mama bird envelops her young. Find the peace and security that only God can provide. God is your buckler. God is your refuge. God is your truth. And in that knowledge, there is great power.

Maybe those spring plants aren’t just here to remind us that winter is over, but maybe they are also here to remind us that no matter how bleak things may seem, God has promised us better days just ahead.

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

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.

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine online HERE.
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