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Selena Day asks, “Who do you say Jesus is?”

Written by Staff on January 25, 2019 – 5:53 am -

Chuck and Selena Day

Chuck and Selena Day

Today I have been meditating on the story in Matt. 16 when Jesus asked his disciples, “What are the people saying about me? Who do they believe I am?”  

He then went on to ask them; “But you—who do you say that I am?”

I believe that these are two fundamental questions to remember during our lifelong journey in discovering our purpose and His plan for our lives.  

What are the people around you saying about Him and what is it that you say about Christ?  

Last night I had a conversation with my daughter about rebellion and her teenage years. I had taught my girls that rebellion is rebellion no matter what age you are, and not to buy into the lie that it is just normal for teens to rebel. Yes, they will question, and, yes they will not agree with us. Those years are the beginning of discovering your own voice, but in those times it is important to have conversations with us (their parents) and to remember that until they leave our home, our voice and our rules will trump theirs. It may not be fair, but life isn’t always fair. If life were fair, we wouldn’t have needed a savior.

This conversation started me looking back over my years as a believer and thinking about the ways that I have lived my truth. I have changed in my beliefs, but also (the conversation) reaffirmed how important it has been in my walk with Christ not to put my hope in my understanding, but to put my hope in my savior.  

In this ever-changing world, it is so essential to routinely ask ourselves, “Is what I believe about Christ wrapped up in my traditions and memories from my past victories, or is it in the current, daily relationship I have with him?”   

If you read the whole exchange from Matt. 16, you will see that only Peter was the one who spoke up boldly and said, “You are the anointed one, the Son of the living God!”

Jesus replied; “You are favored and privileged Simeon. For you didn’t discover this on your own, but my Father in heaven has supernaturally revealed it to you. I give you the name Peter, a stone. And this truth of who I am will be the bedrock foundation on which I will build my church — my legislative assembly..”  

We have just finished the Christmas season, and we celebrated Christ as the newborn baby coming into the world, but he isn’t a baby, nor is he a martyr in a grave, he is a living king.  

How you see him effects how you access him. If you look at your savior as a distant King in the sky handing out judgment for the wrongs you do and bestowing kindness on you when are right, you will have begging prayers pleading for him to help you. You will always see yourself as a lowly slave and bitterness will fester within you for those who may have more or who have achieved more than you.

But when you change your paradigm, you will discover that he is the kindest, most generous, most loving being in the universe, a king that has given you all the keys to the kingdom and longs for you to unlock them and access all that he has for you. Then your prayers will become powerful. You will discover you are not a victim in this life no matter what adversity comes to you, but you are more than a conqueror!  

Selena Day

January is a time for beginning again. We begin new diets, we begin new year fasts, we make resolutions…let me challenge you to ask yourselves these two questions as you start a new year and a new journey with God this year.  

What are those around me saying about him?

And who do I say he is?  

God created you to be His message, and His plans are for your good!

By Selena Day

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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Sweet Water: Do you know Him or just know about Him?

Written by Staff on January 22, 2019 – 2:34 pm -

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

Amy Oxenrider presents Sweet Water: Do you know Him or just know about Him?

Ninevah, a city in the ancient Assyrian Empire, was located in Iraq on the east bank of the Tigris River. The capital of this dominant empire, this city was one of the most prominent of its time. It is estimated that the population ranged between 100,000 to 120,000, not including those roaming in and out on a daily basis for trade/business. The Bible teaches that this city was guilty of bloodshed, full of lies, filled with plunder, and hoarded her spoil.

The infamous city was not always full of sin. Jonah, a profit of God, preached judgment would come upon them unless their hearts repented and they turned from their wicked ways. We find that the city heeded the words of Jonah and repented. However, sometime between the prophet Jonah and Nahum, the people of the city forgot about the God of Jonah and returned to such a sinful place it was compared to Sodom and Gomorrah, and its wickedness was brought before God. They no longer knew him, only knew about him.

Now let’s go back in time approximately sixty-two years. We find a group of three men by the names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, which are probably recognizable names to many. King Nebuchadnezzar had taken the people of Jerusalem to the heart of Babylon and forced them to deny the living God for a god made by the hands of men.

The Bible says Nebuchadnezzar had a statue of gold created ninety feet high and nine feet wide. He then gathered all of his officials and instructed them to spread the word that all will gather and fall to their knees to worship when they hear the music played. If any refused the King’s command, he or she would be thrown into the blazing furnace.

The fiery furnace was most probably built on the side of a hill with an opening in the top and two on each side closer to the base. These side openings allowed one to see the inside of the furnace without getting too close to be harmed. However, on this particular day, the King had the fire heated seven times hotter than normal for the purpose of punishing rebellion.

When the music sounded, all the people that were assembled bowed down and worshipped as commanded, all but three. One must keep in mind that the people of Israel were those that had heard about the great exile from Egypt and the many battles and miracles God had provided for his chosen people. Even after God had told them on multiple occasions to be strong and courageous, they abandoned their commitment to God in the face of adversity.

The three Hebrew men took a stand for their God. They knew the God of the universe and were not ashamed to show their commitment. This infuriated the king. In a fit of rage, he demanded the furnace be heated seven times hotter than normal.

Nebuchadnezzar had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thrown into the blaze. When he looked into the furnace, he saw four men as opposed to the three that he ordered to die. He asked those sitting near, “Didn’t we throw three men into the fire? Why do I see four, and the forth resembles the son of a God?” For those familiar with this Biblical truth, we know that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked out of the fiery furnace without any harm and they didn’t even have a scent of smoke on their clothing.

The difference between Nahum, Jonah, and the three Hebrew boys, when compared to the people of Nineveh and Nebuchadnezzar, is they knew God instead of only knowing about him. Can you imagine what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thought of the rest of the Israelites when they all immediately bowed when the music sounded? These three young men were wise and respected and were appointed as officials in the Babylonian Empire. They were not only respected by their own nation, but by many of the enemy nation that took them into captivity. These men were not only wise in the eyes of humans but apparently knew that true wisdom comes from the fear of God.

As they saw all of the Israelites bow, I wonder if they were looking around in amazement and disgust at their countrymen’s betrayal of the God of their fathers. It appears so many of them had transitioned from a state of knowing him to a state of knowledge about him.

The personal relationship Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had with their Heavenly Father was so true and pure they took a stand. They told the king, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we served is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Although it seems they would be crushed by the governmental authorities, the one who holds all power and authority in Heaven and on earth was near and ready to save his faithful servants, the ones who know him and place all trust and confidence in his sovereignty.

How many of us have heard of Jesus Christ, know the miracles he performed, and know that he was raised from the dead? How many have heard that he has healed and saved people from sickness and tragedy?

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

How many KNOW Jesus and walk with him daily? How many depend on him for all things in their lives. How many pray to him daily and read his word to gain wisdom and fuel for our everyday walk? How many are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

So, the question to ask yourself is do you know about him, or do you personally KNOW him?

By Amy Oxenrider

 


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Weekend Word: Being Steadfast

Written by Staff on January 19, 2019 – 7:22 pm -

Weekend Word

 

 

 

 

A Reality Check on being Steadfast

I received an email letter yesterday and it was unlike anything I had received before. I didn’t know the sender personally, I only knew them through my association with Southern Gospel. However, that letter made all the difference in my day. It was a positive reality  heck that I needed.

Why did it make a difference? Because it showed me that I was doing things I didn’t realize I was doing, and others had noticed. In a good way! The words of gratefulness and encouragement were more than just something you would send to a business associate. The writer had let God use their pen to show me that I was developing characteristics that God wants me to have in my life.

Steadfast? Me?

In my Bible reading yesterday, Psalm 57:7, the writer said that his heart was steadfast. That made me stop and think. I know what’s going on in my heart and my head most of the time (though maybe not always) and I didn’t think the word steadfast really applied to me.

However when I got the email, I realized that the writer was saying the same thing that the psalmist was saying. Sometimes you have to hear it from someone else to realize how others see you, and how you need to see yourself.

How do you see yourself? Do you see all the good things? Or do you see only the negative things? If you are like me, the negative stuff is a lot bigger and more noticeable than the positive.

Take some time to read the word of God and to find out what God is telling you through His word. And if you can’t see yourself as He sees you, be humble enough to accept the good things that others say about you.

Lorraine Walker, editor of SGNScoops Magazine

Lorraine Walker, editor of SGNScoops Magazine

So how do you learn to be steadfast?

You just are steadfast… or you aren’t.

Decide today that you are going to develop habits that will make you more like Christ.

Read God’s word, pray, talk to your friends about your faith, and listen to what they say about theirs. Learn from each other and learn from your pastor. Listen to music that uplifts Jesus.

Most of all, take time to be in the presence of the Lord. He has placed some amazing gifts, talents, and characteristics within you. You just need to see them and develop them.

Keep aiming to strengthen your faith. If you listen to the Word and listen to the Lord, you will hear Him saying to you exactly what the human writer said to me: “You ROCK!”

By Lorraine Walker. First published by SGMRadio in 2016.

Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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Wade Phillips: What does God want from me?

Written by Staff on January 10, 2019 – 8:11 am -

Wade Phillips, Christian Country artist and author, "What does God want from me"

Wade Phillips, Christian Country artist and author, “What does God want from me”

This question has been asked by millions of people all over the world. I have asked it many times in my own life. The answer, while not very complicated, is not an easy one either.

To nail down specifics of a calling, you must first get the foundation of your relationship with God set.

Wade PhillipsMicah 6:8 (NLT) says, “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

He lets us know three things we are required to do. The first of these is to do what is right.

At first glance you might think this is easy; however, you’d be wrong. Many people associate doing what’s right with obeying laws, holding down a job, providing for your family, and attending church on Sunday morning. While this is absolutely good, it is not all we’re talking about when we say “doing right.” What about when you see someone in need and just pass on by, or hear someone talking about being sad and down and you do nothing to lift them up?

Wade PhillipsJames 4:17 says, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” So you see? There’s a whole lot more to “doing right.”

Then there’s “loving mercy.” Now, we all love mercy to be given to us, because it means we don’t get what we deserve; however, just like doing right, “loving mercy” is much more than just receiving it in our own life.

To truly love mercy, you must be willing to give it out as well. If you truly love something you need to share it with others so they can fall in love with it as well. If you love music, you’ll want others to hear the music you’re making. If you love carpentry, you’ll want others to see the work of your hands. And if you truly love mercy, you’ll want to share that with the world. That means not jumping to judgment, not ridiculing someone for making a mistake, not always tearing down others, and so on.

We must be willing to give out mercy the same way Jesus gave it to us. I, for one, am glad that Jesus doesn’t hold me accountable for all the stuff I’ve done in my life.

And finally there is “walking humbly with your God.” Humility requires you to put someone else’s needs in front of your own. When we talk about living humbly in front of God, it means we must place what He wants in front of what we want. And again, there’s much more than meets the eye here.

Since walking humbly with God requires you to put Him before yourself, you must also place other people’s needs ahead of your own.

When the Church began, they had this figured out. Acts 2:25 says, “They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.” Boy, talk about placing other’s needs ahead of your own! They sold everything so they could provide for those who had nothing.

Now I’m not suggesting you go sell all your possessions and give them away; only God could convict you to do something like that. What I’m saying is, stop for a second and ask yourself what you have done for someone else lately. Have you sacrificed a little time? Have you given to a worthy ministry? Have you loved someone who is hard to love?

So back to the question I posed at the beginning…  “What does God want from me?” The answer is, to do right, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him.

As far as a specific task or calling in your life, start by doing the basics and let God reveal the specifics as you faithfully serve Him. If you seek Him, you will find Him. And, somewhere along the way, God will reveal His plan for your life.

Wade Phillips and family

Wade Phillips and family

God bless you and I hope you all have a great week in the Lord.

By Wade Phillips, special to SGNScoops Magazine

About Wade Phillips:

I was born in Conroe, Texas and raised in Madisonville Texas. My life truly began on October 9, 2001, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I’m married to the love of my life, Tonya Phillips, and we have a wonderful son, Nicholas, daughter-in-law, Courtney, and grand baby Anna Grace. Jesus is my passion and that passion comes out in the songs God allows me to write and sing and in His Word that He allows me to preach. I am the most joyful when I’m singing praises to the King and preaching His Word to the people. All glory goes to God for everything in my life. It is my hope that as you listen to the songs I sing and as you hear the messages God gives me you will be touched by His spirit.

The most important thing I’d like you to know about me is that I love Jesus with all my heart, soul and mind. “I once was lost, but now I’m found,” fits me to the core. In my young adult years, I chased the dream of being a country music singer. I had the opportunity to open for many of the greats in country music; Gene Watson, Toby Keith, Wade Hayes, Perfect Stranger, Bellamy Brothers, and Tim Rushlow from Little Texas, just to name a few. I thought that obtaining fame and recognition would fill the desires of my heart and give me everything I needed to be successful in this life. I quickly found out that fame and fortune wouldn’t even come close to obtaining those things.

It was only after I found Christ that I realized what true fulfillment was. In that moment, my life changed completely.

I am now chasing Jesus in everything I do. I had the honor of serving at Madisonville Christian Fellowship from 2003 until September 2017; 5 Years as the Youth Pastor, and the rest as the Senior Pastor. God blessed me and the church during that time and now He has called me into a new and exciting ministry.

I am looking forward to seeing what God does through this ministry. Please take a second to pray for Me and Tonya as we go out into the world to share Jesus.

In His Service,
Wade Phillips

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Convoy of Hope at work in devastated Florida after Hurricane Michael

Written by Staff on October 16, 2018 – 11:54 am -

Convoy of Hope is in Florida helping those affected by Hurricane Michael

Convoy of Hope is in Florida helping those affected by Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael brought much devastation to the panhandle of Florida, especially to the northwest coastal towns like Mexico Beach and Panama City. We have readership in that area, and so many of you from across the country and in other countries have asked how to send aid quickly, directly and securely. We believe the Convoy of Hope, already in the area now, is a great resource for aid to those affected by the hurricane.

On their website, Convoy of Hope states: “As a faith-based, nonprofit organization, Convoy of Hope has helped more than 100 million people throughout the world by sharing food, water, emergency supplies, agricultural know-how and opportunities that empower people to live independent lives free from poverty, disease and hunger.” They have shown up-to-date relief efforts on their site, and their latest statement gives a current view of aid to the needy.

Convoy of Hope at work in Marianna, Fla. Photo from Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope at work in Marianna, Fla. Photo from Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope at work in Marianna, Fla. Photo from Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope at work in Marianna, Fla. Photo from Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope at work in Marianna, Fla. Photo from Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope at work in Marianna, Fla. Photo from Convoy of Hope

OCTOBER 16, 2018 | 12:25 P.M. SPRINGFIELD, MO.  Convoy of Hope is responding in full force to help communities affected by Hurricane Michael. Since the storm made landfall, we’ve distributed more than 300,000 pounds of product to 15,000 individuals from our central distribution hub in Marianna, Florida.

Using drive-thru distribution, Convoy staff and volunteers are serving families and individuals with water, food, ice, hygiene kits, and other disaster relief supplies. Mobile distribution has also begun, and we’ve delivered supplies in 18 surrounding communities.

We are currently moving our distribution hub in Marianna from Walmart to Rivertown Community Church. The move allows Convoy to set up a more permanent location and will provide us with 15,000 square feet of warehouse space for product.

The pictures posted of Marianna, Florida, were sent from Angela Marie Parker who grew up there and who still has family in the area, many who are needing immediate aid. Parker is like many of our readers, feeling helpless because she is too far away to assist those that are in need.

“The Gibbs Family is generously helping out my niece. She has 2 babies and one on the way. So they are helping get her babies supplies,” says Parker. “I feel out of sorts not being there helping them all. My hometown will never be the same.”

 

Marianna, Fla. courtesy of Angela Marie Parker

Marianna, Fla. courtesy of Angela Marie Parker

Marianna, Fla. courtesy of Angela Marie Parker

Marianna, Fla. courtesy of Angela Marie Parker

Marianna, Fla. courtesy of Angela Marie Parker

Marianna, Fla. courtesy of Angela Marie Parker

Marianna, Fla. courtesy of Angela Marie Parker

Marianna, Fla. courtesy of Angela Marie Parker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parker has also added to her personal Facebook page about other companies assisting the devasted, including Tyson Foods, who posted today about their activities:

CALLAWAY, Fla. (WMBB) – A food giant (Tyson Foods) is doing its part to help disaster relief efforts in Florida. The company is going to be serving meals to the Callaway community recovering from Hurricane Michael. This is all part of Tyson’s “Meals That Matter” disaster relief program. The company will be serving food and water starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Callaway Walmart parking lot. See more here.

Panama City Toyota is hosting a cookout today from 12-5. They will have enough food to feed 5000 people.

Parker notes that Alford workers, lineman, phone workers, any kind of workers in the community of Alford, we are feeding people at 7 am, 12 pm, and 5 pm. Limited supplies to give out. All churches and all businesses we are desperate for supplies. Call Mary 8505268734. HELP US.

Parker is posting more information as she collects it from various areas. Follow her facebook page here.

Chipley, Fla., after Hurricane Michael. Photo by Michelle Drummond.

Chipley, Fla., after Hurricane Michael. Photo by Michelle Drummond.

Patrick Drummond, Sr., of the Drummond Family, a gospel music group from Chipley, Fla., posted the following:

I keep getting asked what’s needed in these hard-hit areas of Michael. These items are needed badly.

1. Baby formula- both premixed in individual
Bottles as well as powder and we got the AR and the gentlease and the regular because I know some babies have special needs. 
2. Baby wipes-tons both for babies and mommies. I know water and showers aren’t easily accessible now. 
3. Diapers and pull-ups of every single size. 
4. Tons of toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste.
5. Tons of deodorant.
6. Dry shampoo
7. Sunscreen
8. Chapstick
9. Tampons/feminine products
10. Bars of soap
11. Women’s underwear 
12. 6-12 months boys clothing
13. Crystal light and Koolaid individual powder packets for water flavoring 
14. Kid’s board games
15. Tons of adult Tylenol and ibuprofen 
16. First aid kits
17. Boxes of band-aids
18. Kids Tylenol and ibuprofen 
19. Tubes of Neosporin 
20. Lotion
21. Mouthwash
22. Kids snacks/mini boxes of cereal 
23. Water
24. Food 
25. Chain Saw Gas
26. Bar oil
27. 50/50 oil for saws

Staging at: Fountain’s Victory Tabernacle 
18801 US 231
Fountain, Florida

Patrick’s wife, Michelle, posted a picture of her area, also seen here.

Do you want to be the hands and feet of Jesus? Wherever and whoever you choose to help survive the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, we hope you are able to do so, and that you also pray for those who try to get on with life after the disaster. Thanks. SGNScoops.


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New SGNScoops writer Amy Oxenrider drinks “Sweet Water”

Written by Staff on September 15, 2018 – 6:59 am -

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Mrs. Amy D. Oxenrider is the newest member of the SGNScoops team and we are pleased to present her first devotional article here. A former member of the ‘Riders, Amy continues to sing and has also taken on several speaking engagements. She continues her ministry through writing articles, speaking at revivals, conferences, and one-on-one counseling. The Sweet Water article will be written monthly by Amy, and she will also be conducting live interviews throughout the country, keeping everyone up to date on their favorite artist. Amy, we are pleased to have you as a member of the SGNScoops family.

Sweet Water by Amy Duncan Oxenrider

According To Your Faith

Imagine a woman sitting in her home day after day wishing she could be normal. An illness prevents her from engaging with her peers and family because she is considered unclean. She has no control. She has spent all of her money on herbs and rituals in hopes of being healed so she could be normal.

She sits thinking to herself, “What do I have now? I’m still sick and have no money for medicine. I am bound to my home, away from friends and family. How long will I have to suffer? How long will I be isolated form society?”

As she sits feeling hopeless, she hears through her small window the crowd becoming excited. She walks closer hoping to hear the cause of the commotion.

Then she hears the name “Jesus.”

She remembers what she has heard about this mysterious man they call “Teacher,” “Son of David,” and “Healer.” “Is it true he has so much power,” she says to herself. “Could it be possible that he could actually heal my disease?”

waterfallSuddenly, without a second thought, she grabs her cloak, wraps it tightly around her upper body and rushes out the door. She begins to follow the crowd but soon realizes she is not the only one that’s heard Jesus is in town. There are so many people running towards him, will she ever make it before he is out of reach?

She sees him from a distance but can’t seem to get close enough to ask him for help. He begins to walk further away and the crowd is getting thicker. She thinks this is her one and only chance and she is not going to let him get away from her. She pushes, steps over the fallen, presses her way through the crowd but he is still too far ahead of her.

She thinks to herself, “This man has so much power, if I can only touch his cloak, I will be well.”

Again, she becomes more and more determined to make her way to him. Finally, she gets close enough to touch the very edge of his cloak. She falls on the ground and reaches between others to touch the very hem of his garment.

Jesus stops.

He turns and looks to her, asking, “Who touched me?”

She knew he was referring to her. Scared and timid, she quietly says, “It was I.”

Jesus did not have to ask her what was wrong or why she felt the needed to touch him, he already knew. He saw the faith she had in him and loving said, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.”

She was instantly healed. After twelve years of suffering, it all went away once the Healer spoke.

One thing I would like for you to notice: Jesus told the woman that her faith was the reason for her healing. We can pray and pray and pray 24/7, but if we do not have the faith that God is able and willing to answer us when we call on him, our prayers will be in vain.

In the same chapter of Matthew 9, Jesus told two blind men, “According to your faith will it be done to you.” He did not say your mother’s or father’s faith, he said your faith. These blind men believed and were healed. The woman with the blood disease had enough faith in Jesus that she would do anything to get to him. What was her result? Healing. According to her faith, she was healed. Remember, for twelve years this woman was considered untouchable.

Isn’t it amazing that our Savior can change a situation that seems unending in less than a second? Immediately, she was healed. Immediately, our bad situations can change when we touch Jesus, knowing he is able to take care of us.

When we completely submit to his will, giving our future to him and being led by his sweet Holy Spirit, the changes that we will see take place in lives will be amazing.

In times of desperation, don’t worry about the correct way to reach God, just reach him. That’s all that matters.

According to your faith will it be done to you.

God Bless You All

By Amy D. Oxenrider

 

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

More on Amy Oxenrider:

Amy was raised in a conservative Christian home, being one of two children of Reverend Grant and Shelia Duncan. She and her sister were on the stage singing as soon as they were old enough to hold a microphone. This legacy continues to be passed on through Amy to her three sons. She has recently signed with Green Family Ministry Promotions as a solo artist and will be sharing the love of Christ wherever the doors may open. Amy has also signed with Holland Management Productions (HMP) as a model. Understanding that beauty is not standard, it is Amy’s desire to express to women that we are all created in the image of God and are beautiful in his sight.

 

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Easter: The Greatest Event for Mankind by David Staton

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

Celebrate the Risen Savior

Good Friday. Celebrate the Risen Savior with David Staton

Can You Handle It? by David Staton

Easter: The Greatest Event for Mankind

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

    

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

He is alive.

 

Photographs courtesy of David Staton.

David Staton

David Staton

By David Staton

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in April 2017

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Lorraine Walker asks: What are Your Spiritual Goals for 2018?

Written by Staff on February 6, 2018 – 8:36 am -

January 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

Lorraine Walker, Editor of SGNScoops Magazine, asks about your spiritual goals for January 2018

SGNScoops Magazine: Editor’s Last Word by Lorraine Walker for January 2018

Happy New Year. I trust everyone had a good holiday season. For those whose December was a time of sorrow, I understand and pray that this new year will bring encouragement and joy from our Lord.

Here at SGNScoops, we like to highlight an up-and-coming gospel music artist every year on our January cover. The Jordan Family Band is a great new family group that everyone seems to be talking about.

I first became aware of them by catching videos on Facebook by Randa Jordan. It was just her and her piano, and it was so real and heartfelt, as well as being accomplished and skillfully presented, that I kept looking for her when I went online. Then, her family joined her, and I wondered what rock I’d been hiding under that I wasn’t aware of the Jordan Family Band until then. Seriously, if you haven’t heard them yet, find them on Facebook, and they will touch your heart. Be watching for them to climb the charts in 2018.

It is also nice to hear some new year’s resolutions by gospel artists and to think about our own goal-setting. As we consider the year ahead at SGNScoops, we would like to have your input. Who would you like us to feature? Is there a story or film or book you would like us to cover? Please send me an email with your suggestions at lorraine@sgnscoops.com.

Taking stock of your personal life is also good at any time, not just at the beginning of the year. Most people mention their physical goals, but what about your spiritual goals? It’s a good time to pray about God’s direction.

Editors Last Word by Lorraine Walker for January 2018

What are your spiritual goals for 2018?

Perhaps He is urging you to reach out to your neighbor this year, to find a missionary to support, or to dare to walk more closely to the light of His glory. I think we as a society are becoming more aware of religious persecution, but what some may not realize is that Christians are persecuted and martyred around the world. The tide against us is growing higher all the time, as is evidenced by daily news reports. The closer you walk with the Lord, the more this tide will grow, but a life with Jesus is worth it all.

If the new year appears to be filled with the same difficulties that you have faced in the past, remember that the Lord knows and wants to help you along the road you have to walk. Remember that He is building character in you. Romans 5:1-5 (NIVUK) “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Editor's Last Word for January 2018 by Lorraine Walker

Be courageous in 2018

Trust God to be your source of peace and hope in 2018. Happy New Year.

Questions? Comments? Email me at lorraine@sgnscoops.com

By Lorraine Walker

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in January 2018.

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David Staton: Are you bigger than God?

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

David Staton

David Staton

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

 

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

 

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

 

David Staton and family

David Staton and family

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

David Staton and family

David Staton and family

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

David Staton

David Staton

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

By David Staton

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

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About David Staton ( abridged from his website bio here )

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

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

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

 

 

    


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Rob Patz: Fast Trains and Life Regrets

Written by Staff on June 22, 2017 – 7:36 pm -

Courtesy of https://www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk/

Rob Patz: Fast Trains and Life Regrets. Photo courtesy of https://www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk/

2017 June SGNScoops Rob Patz: Publisher’s Point

Welcome to the June edition of SGNScoops Magazine. Can you believe that we are almost halfway through the year of 2017? It’s hard for me to imagine how fast this year has flown by. When we’re younger, we think time moves so much slower than it really does, and when we get older, we realize how fast time really is moving.

 

As many of you know, I usually avoid talking about Father’s Day during the month of June in the Publisher’s Point. If you don’t believe me, go back and read past years of SGNScoops. Now that I look back on it, it was not necessary, but each of us mourn the loss of someone in a different way. I’m coming to grips with that, so this month I want to tell you a story about my dad.

 

My father loved trains, and in fact, my grandfather worked for the Canadian National Railroad as an arbitrator, so trains are in our family. I can remember my father buying me my first train, which progressed to a larger train, and a larger train, and then a larger train. My father would lay on the floor with me, and we would play with these trains. To be honest, I think he was having as much fun or maybe more than I was.

 

Rob Patz and his dad, Rev. Don Patz

Rob Patz and his dad, Rev. Don Patz

I remember at about eight years old, my dad and I were laying on the floor playing with the larger model train that he had gotten me. Now, I know my dad … he would never miss an opportunity for a life lesson. I think that was the pastor in him. As we were laying there on the floor, he said, “Our lives are a lot like a train. We are on a track to a destination. Unfortunately, some engineers push their train, and those trains derail. They are much like people who push life outside of the speed limit, go too fast for the tracks and miss their station. Then, there are people who stay within the recommended speed. They move along the tracks safely and get to their destination.”

 

I remember him looking at me and saying, “Rob, that is much like people and our relationship with God. If we try to speed things up and move past what God wants, we are going to derail our life. If we listen to God, who is the ultimate engineer – and stay within the parameters that He has laid out for our lives – not only are we going to get to our location but we are going to get there safely.”

 

Being a boy of eight years old, at first that story didn’t sink in. In fact, it was many years later before the story really hit home with me. If I remember correctly, my first words after he made this great analogy were, “Hey Dad, can you set up my race car set now, because I can switch lanes, and we don’t have to go around on the same track.” I’m sure my father was wondering if I had listened at all. I wish more than anything he could read this and know that I listened and understood.

 

So many of us today want to rush to the destination. We want to get to the place that in our mind we think is the most important, sometimes cutting corners on our own convictions, much like the engineer who knows better but still gives the train too much fuel and accelerates past the recommended traveling speed. He knows he’s pushing it to the limit and probably hoping he doesn’t derail. Unfortunately in life, if we cut corners or go past the recommended traveling speed, we more than likely are going to suffer derailment in our lives.

 

Rob Patz

Rob Patz

I’m thankful that I serve a God who watches over us even after we’ve derailed. Much like me as as a child, when my train would derail because I would push it to the limit of speed, God is willing to reach His hand down and put our lives back on the track. He doesn’t think twice about it if we ask Him and if we seek to move in the right direction.

 

So many of us rush through life. I think that’s my biggest regret. I haven’t taken the time to enjoy moments. If I could go back to that moment at eight years old, I would. If I could tell my father I loved him one more time, I would for all the money in this world. So if your dad is still with you, tell him you love him and tell him you appreciate what he has done for you.

 

I hope each and every one of you have an amazing month of June, and please join me for Vernon Alabama’s Gospel Music Weekend, Sept. 8-9 in Vernon, Ala.

 

I also encourage you to be with us Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 for Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. It’s going to be an awesome four days of Gospel Music and renewal for your soul.

 

June 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

June 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

And that’s this month’s Publisher’s Point.

Read the Publisher’s Point and more in the 2017 June issue of the SGNScoops Magazine:

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