Southern Gospel Weekend

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Selena Day: Christmas Love

Written by Staff on December 10, 2019 – 10:27 am -

Selena Day - Christmas Love

Selena Day talks about Christmas Love

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I pretty much begin decorating right after Halloween. Because of our traveling schedule, Christmas is usually the only holiday I decorate for. During this time, it looks like Christmas regurgitated all over my house. I have the 1960’s Christmas cartoon philosophy to decorating.  

 

Romans 12:2 NLT “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

 

With the Christmas season upon us, the same old discussions of what is excess versus what is not enough, tend to begin to war in our minds as well as in the Christian community. Asking ourselves, are we missing the ‘real’ reason for the season by our rushing around in a fury of activity? Like Paul, I say, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, not the media nor your church peers.  

 

 

chuck Day Selena Day Merry Chrismas

Chuck and Selena Day say Merry Christmas

I really hate how we tend to judge others, by what is either going on in our own lives or what is going on culturally in our society. The other night Chuck and I, after a very long day of work, went out to eat at a restaurant. Both of us had our cell phones out, checking our social media, e-mails, and just basically decompressing from our day. We were chatting about what we had seen on our Facebook pages, and I thought of how many times we judge others doing this very same thing. We are seeing them as not connecting, instead of what it was for us, our time to relax and reconnect with what was going on in our family’s lives.  

 

Gal. 5:1 MSG. “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” 

 

Gal. 5:14 NLT. “For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

 

I love what verse 14 says; for the ‘whole law’ can be summed up in this one command, love. Isn’t this what the season of Christmas is all about; God so loved us that he sent his son. And that son was sent not to condemn us but to save us. Isn’t this the very foundation for Christmas? We celebrate the birth of God’s Son into this world and how it changed the very fabric of time.

 

I have been meditating on Romans 12:2 lately. In that scripture, it tells us not to copy the behavior and customs of this world. What are the behavior and customs of this world? Jesus said to us that the world would know we are different because of our love for one another. What does that look like, practically, in your life? He also tells us that even the tax collectors, the dregs of society, love those who love them. 

 

Selena Day. ChristmasOur country is the most divided than I can ever remember it being. Now is our time as believers to stand up and love. Chuck and I have been married for 31 years. During that time, we both had had to choose to love the other, even when we were unlovable. Any parent will tell you that sometimes it is hard to love the child that may resent you or blame you for the pain and hurt they have experienced. You may love them, but being “in love” with them is a whole different experience.

  

Go on a search for love this Christmas season. Learn to love yourself again and allow God to help you to love others. So many people are in pain. Longing for someone to come along and make a difference in their lives. That difference just might be you. 

 

Someone, somewhere just might be asking God to reach out to them, and God may be asking you to be his hand extended. Think of the one person right now that brings up the most difficult emotions…do you have their face in your mind? Now maybe you need to reach out to them? Or perhaps they need your prayers right now? This is how we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. By changing the way you think about a person or a circumstance changes the brain cells in your brain, it releases healing to you.

  

This is how our world will change. I love the scene in the movie Elf. They are trying to get Santa’s sleigh to fly, and they remember what Buddy the Elf said about singing Christmas carols and spreading cheer for all to hear. Christians have the power to spread Christmas cheer all year long because our Christmas cheer is about Christ and how he came to save us, and our world. 

 

Merry Christmas from Selena Day

Merry Christmas from Selena Day

This Christmas season, you can change the very atmosphere around you by bringing the love of God to those around you. Not the judgment you believe God has for the world, but his love. Scripture tells us that love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. Let us become different, showing love for others, and being the change you want to see around you.

 

The world is waiting for you.

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.

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Lorraine Walker: What the world needs now

Written by Staff on October 31, 2019 – 9:27 am -

Easter and the Cross. An Act of Love

The Cross. An Act of Love

I have been thinking about what it means to love God by loving those around me, including family, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, those I worship with, and even those on my Facebook friends list! I don’t think I do a very good job, but the Lord has been talking to me about improving on that area of my life.

 

I have been reading in John a lot lately, not in his gospel, but in first and second John, later on in the New Testament. He says, “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands.” (1John 5:2-3, NIVUV)

 

So, to break it down further, I took a look at God’s commands in the Old Testament. (Exodus 20:3‭-‬17 NIVUK). I have added my own thoughts and comments.

 

  1. God is number one. He is, not anyone or anything else. God the Father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit. He loves us more than anyone or anyone else could, and he enables us to love each other. So it makes it so much easier to show love when you have the greatest example in front of you.
  2. Nothing and no one else is to be number one. God will show love to a 1000 generations of those who love him and keep his Commandments. This is a great promise. If we put God first, he will bless our family, for many generations. For a lot of us who can look back through our family tree, we see how honouring God has blessed our family.
  3. Don’t misuse the name of the Lord your God. Don’t take his name in vain. Don’t swear using his name. Be very careful how and when you use his name. I have to admit, it bothers me when my fellow brothers and sisters in the faith use the name of God recklessly. And what about the people that know that we are a Christian, and they hear us use God’s name in vain? You would think that that would make them wonder about our faith. Be careful about your testimony. Authenticity is hard to find. everyone is looking for that these days. Those around you that you are trying to show love to will find it easier to accept that love if they believe that you are on the level and real. Authentic.
  4. Take one day a week where you don’t work. And where no one else in your house works. Keep it holy. You need to spend time to destress, relax, and spend time thinking about God. Spend time relaxing with your family. That will draw you closer together. That will help you love each other more and share that love with each other more.
  5. Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Respect your family. This command with a promise would not be in here if God did not think it was important. A lot of people have suffered at the hands of their parents. By respecting and honouring, I don’t think that means accepting bad or evil behavior. You should never stay in a relationship where there is abuse.
  6. You shall not murder. This one is obvious I think. If you murder, you are not showing love.  
  7. You shall not commit adultery. God wants us to stay out of a marriage relationship. You show love and honour to those around you by respecting that marriage covenant. If you wander too closely to someone else’s marriage bonds, there will be consequences. 
  8. You shall not steal. If it’s not yours, don’t take it. If you are showing love to someone, you are not going to take something that belongs to them.  
  9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour. No lying that is against someone. This of course includes gossip. Be careful little lips what you say!
  10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house, wife, husband, etc. or anything that belongs to your neighbour. Yearn to possess. Desire. This goes past the actions talked about previously, but straight to the heart.

 

In 2nd John 1: 5 and 6, John says the same thing: “I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his command. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” (NIVUV)

 

Lorraine Walker: What the world needs now

Check out the Mike Dubbeld Family and see how they are showing love

In the Gospels, we are told that the experts in the law asked Jesus a question about the greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:36‭-‬40 NIVUK)

 

“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’  Jesus replied: ‘ “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”

 

So, if we love the Lord Our God with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our mind, we are going to do what he asks us to do. We are going to obey him. And loving our neighbour as ourselves pretty much sums up those things that he asks us to do.

 

People praying for each other and showing love. Altar service at Creekside 2019

I hope that this message is for someone that is reading it, as much as it is for me. God wants us to increase our love for him and for each other. And that doesn’t mean just those we like. Our “neighbour” includes everyone, whether or not they dress the same, worship the same, or vote the same. It also includes those that live down the street and around the world.

 

Sometimes I get so caught up in my own worries and cares that I don’t look around and see those who are in need of my love. I would rather not talk to the neighbour who’s out on their front lawn. But I need to. Not only to show my love for God, to show that I care for them, but also for the health of my own mind and Spirit. Reaching out to others gets our focus off ourselves. Reaching out in worship to God shows him that we love and obey him.

 

Lorraine Walker

Loving God, and loving each other. I pray that each of us will “walk in love,” a little bit more today.

 By Lorraine Walker

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Kristina Cornell: No Other Name — Love

Written by Staff on September 17, 2019 – 9:39 am -

Kristina Cornell - Tell Them Ministries

Kristina Cornell – Tell Them Ministries

No Other Name – LOVE

I am so blessed. My daughter, Isabella, and I, travel together in ministry, appropriately called “Tell Them Ministries,” because that is our passion. 

We go all over the country and share our stories, our songs, our hearts with wonderful people who know Jesus as their Savior, and to those who do not.  We love to encourage believers. We live to share the gospel with those who have never experienced the love of Jesus and of the Father.  

We hear amazingly painful stories of people who are just like us: fragile, scared. They feel lost and alone. They recall the unexpected death of a loved one or losing all of their resources, sometimes they describe hearing the doctor give them a diagnosis that is terminal, fatal. 

They share of abuse and neglect; how those things not only stole their joy, but the very essence of who they are. We hear how spirits are broken, souls are devastated, and lives are desperate.

Every single person, saved or unsaved, needs the love of God, the kind of love that we find in I Peter 4:8 “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” Love that is unconditional, that covers everything. Some of us have hurts so deep that without a love that in fact covers, there would not be enough.

In Romans 5:8 we find one of my favorite scriptures: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 

This moves me. It is important to read this for each word written in this verse. Let us dive into the Greek meanings of these words to get a clear picture of the enormous affirmation this shows. 

“God,” in this verse is directly linked with words like magistrate, supreme deity, exceedingly God. No question here, He wants us to be secure in that He is as high as you can go to make this judgement call, this decision. 

“Demonstrates,” means to set together, to introduce (favorably), intransitively stand near.

“Love,” aha! This is the word “agape,” meaning affection or benevolent, specifically, a love feast – a feast of charity, dear love.

“Toward,” means of place, time, or purpose, concerning, continual, plus far more exceeding. 

“Us,” meaning humankind, with an accusing tone.

“Christ”- the anointed that is the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus: Christ.

“Died,” meaning to be slain.

“For,”  instead of, exceedingly, abundantly.

“Us,” this time it is used as the plural (hemon) of the word “ego”, a Greek word meaning for “I” that is only expressed when being emphatic.  

To summarize: the magistrate, (top of the line, cannot go higher than this deity) stands near us (the accused, mere humans), sets us together with Himself in affection, benevolence, a feast of charity continually and far exceeding any other love.  While we were still in sin, the anointed Messiah, Jesus Christ, was slain in an exceeding, abundant way for us (yes even us, sinners). {I am weeping}

I Corinthians 13:4-8:  “4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 [a} Love never fails;”

Every time “love” is used in this passage it is “agape:” meaning love that is affection or benevolence; specifically, a love feast – a feast of charity, dear love. I heard a teacher explain that if you really want to measure yourself against love, this kind of love, insert your name where the word “love” is used. 

Kristina Cornell and Isabella: Tell Them Ministries

Isabella and Kristina Cornell

Can you say this of yourself? For example, can I honestly say of myself: “Kristina is patient, Kristina is kind and not jealous; Kristina does not brag and is not arrogant, Kristina does not act unbecomingly; she does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, Kristina does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; Kristina bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Kristina never fails?”

A resounding no! I am not always patient; I am not always kind. Sometimes I act unbecomingly, I can be provoked.  I do not forget the wrongs done to me, easily. I cannot say that I always bear, believe, hope for, or endure all things. 

What a lesson this is to a believer. Jesus said four times in scripture for us to show His love to each other. And, please do not try to find a loophole and say that it is meant just for Christians, we only have to “love” fellow believers.  Remember the scripture in I Peter, “while we were sinners.”

This is what Jesus had to say:

  • John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love (agapao – much love (agape) in social and moral sense) one another; as I have loved (agapao) you, that you also love (agapao) one another.
  • John 13:35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love (agape) for one another.”
  • John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love (agapao – much love (agape) in social and moral sense) one another as I have loved (agapao) you (for your sake, with an accusing tone).
  • John 15:17 “These things I command you, that you love (agapao) one another.

Notice here, when Jesus was speaking about loving one another in a broad sense, the word “agapao” was used, denoting the same sort of love as “agape,” but broader because it is in a “social or moral sense.” This means beyond our circle.

In John 13:35, Jesus was talking to his disciples about love for each other and used the word “agape” because they were within the circle. Jesus’ love, His commandment to love, is not for the people that we like, or go to our church. 

He did not reserve His love or want us to reserve ours for people who look, talk, think, act just like us.

In fact, when we go a little further in the scripture we find in I John 4:8: “The one who does not love (agapao) does not know (absolutely know, be aware of, feel, have knowledge of, understand, can speak with resolve) God, for God is love (agape).

My final thought is Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25.  The Judgment.

Matthew 25: 31-40: “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

“Then the King (Jesus) will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared (made ready) for you from the foundation (conception) of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger (guest), and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’  Then the righteous (equitable in character) will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

“The King, (Jesus) will answer and say to them (akin to the meaning of baffling wind), ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them..”

Pause here. “The extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them,” literally means, to band together to cast out, lighten the ship, purge, shoot out one who is Jesus’ own, a simpler version of Him. Then He says: “you did it to Me.”

Matthew 25:41-46 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’

“Then they (akin to the meaning of baffling wind) themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e]take care of You?’  Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These (man and woman equally) will go away (depart) into eternal punishment (torment), but the righteous (innocent, holy) into eternal life.”

There is no other name but the name of Jesus, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, by whom we can learn the pleasure, the beauty, and the commandment of love.

Kristina CornellAs Isabella and I continue our travels, we will seek the least of these. We will be love.

By Kristina Cornell

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Time to “Love The People That God Gave You,” as sung by the Bowling Family

Written by Staff on August 4, 2019 – 2:24 pm -

Bowling Family

Randall Hamm: “Love The People That God Gave You” by The Bowling Family

Randall Hamm comments on the Bowling Family’s “Love The People That God Gave You:”

This song, released by the Bowling Family, took on a more somber tone this morning, Sunday, August 4, 2019.

For on Saturday, two tragedies, one in Texas and one in Ohio, took countless lives. Even here in Orange County, in my hometown of Paoli, this week two lives were lost due to problems that couldn’t be solved.

To writers Lee Black and Aaron Wilburn: You don’t know how precious this song is right now. To Mike Bowling and the Bowling Family, who just sing it from the heart: The Lord knew that a song like this would be needed at this moment.

Friends, life is short. In James 4:14, James says that life is but a vapor, like a mist. That it appears for a short time and then vanishes; it’s gone.

We know not what tomorrow holds. We’re not promised one extra second, minute, hour or day. We know not the time when we shall leave this earth.

None of the Texas or Ohio folks that perished knew that Saturday, in Texas, on a beautiful sunny day, and on a Ohio Saturday night, that their time of departure was nigh.

As the song says, “Love The People That God Gave You.” Say that extra ‘I love you,’ give that extra hug, say ‘I care,’ to your loved ones. Some families never had that chance yesterday…

To Lee, Aaron, and all the Bowling Family, this song couldn’t have been released at better time or moment than this…

More about the Bowling Family.

Bowling Family – Love The People That God Gave You

By Randall Hamm, new release reviewer for SGNScoops and DJ/Gospel Music Program Director for WFLQ Q-100 FM French Lick, Indiana.

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