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Cheryl Smith: This is a test, this is only a test…

Written by Staff on January 28, 2020 – 11:52 am -

Cheryl Smith this is only a test

Test. 1.2.3.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
James 1:3
(ESV)

When I was a little girl growing up in Ohio, Mom and Dad used to regularly listen to Moon Mullins’ bluegrass radio show on a station called WPFB. They also loved to listen to a station called WYSO on Saturday nights, when a bluegrass show came on every week. Our house was full of old-time country, gospel, and bluegrass music, with Dad often taking out his five-string banjo or guitar, as he and Mom and I would belt out those old bluegrass, gospel, and country tunes.

As Mom, Dad, and I would listen to that music coming through our house stereo or car speakers, we would sometimes hear an annoying, loud, alarm, siren-type noise, accompanied by a radio announcer’s voice saying, “This is a test. This station is conducting a test of the emergency broadcasting system. This is only a test.” It was like the announcer was wanting to let listeners know as quickly as possible that there was no imminent danger or cause for concern—it was simply a test to make sure equipment was working that would be used should there ever be a real emergency of which we all needed to be made aware.

Those words have been coming back to me a lot lately as I have considered the fiery trials that come into the lives of those who follow Jesus. Sometimes, they can seem to be way too much, am I right? Sometimes, they stretch us to the very limit of our endurance, and then some. Sometimes, the overwhelm feels like a tidal wave that knocks us off our feet and threatens to hold us under until we drown. It is hard to find our footing after such a bombardment.

The word “trial” means –
test to assess suitability or performance

In a nutshell, trials are tests, and I got to thinking and wondering how it would affect us if each time one was presented to our lives, we would immediately hear God’s voice say, “This is a test. I am conducting a test of your endurance and faithfulness. This is only a test.”

I don’t know about anyone else, but if I audibly heard God’s voice saying that to me, I believe it would completely transform the way I walk through the tests He allows to come into my life. Let me tell you why.

1. I would immediately know that there is no cause to panic.
Just as relief washed over our minds when we would hear the voice of the emergency broadcasting system’s announcer letting us know there was no imminent danger, that it was only a test and not the real thing, my mind would be quickly set at ease to hear God telling me He was merely conducting a test, and there was NO threat for me to be concerned about.

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” I Peter 4:12-13 (NKJV)

2. I would be reminded that God is the One who is in control.
Not the person who appears to be the root of the trial. Not the devil. Not the overwhelming circumstances. I would know that even though it feels like the whole world is reeling out of control, every, single thing is still under His feet and nothing can operate outside of His permission and command.

“But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.” I Thessalonians 2:4 (NKJV)

3. I would know that the trial is only temporary.
Those tests of the emergency broadcasting system didn’t last very long. It was relieving to know that the annoying sound would soon stop, and life would resume normalcy. Being told that at the onset of the noise made the irritating commotion bearable. When we are walking through a season of testing, it can feel like it is going to last forever. We look ahead, and all we see is more of the same, with no way out. We aren’t given an ending date for the testing season, so we have no idea of its duration. The truth is, this life, every season, and everything about it, is temporary, and there is a beginning and an end to every trial. Tests start. We walk through them. They end. Life goes on.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
I Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV)

4. I would realize that my profession of faith isn’t worth its salt if it is never tested.
Even though those emergency broadcasting sirens were beyond irritating, they seemed to be so unnecessary, and they interrupted what we would rather be doing and listening to, there was a reason they happened. The person administering those tests was not just causing them to happen to punish us or make us miserable, but in reality, the testing was for our own good and benefit. Those tests were to make sure all of us could hear and make necessary preparations in case they one day needed to sound that alarm for real. What if a real emergency had happened, and due to inadequate testing, the emergency broadcasting system’s alarm had an undetected malfunction that was never discovered? What if this negligence prevented innocent, trusting people from being duly warned of real impending danger? What if they hadn’t performed those regularly-scheduled tests and just assumed that because they had been told all was working properly, there was no need to test their equipment? We can sing, “Living By Faith,” lift our hands in worship, and raise a hallelujah all day long, but can’t anyone and everyone do that? What good is a testimony that hasn’t been adequately tested? When life is going along unruffled, it is an easy thing to praise God and rejoice, but can we still rejoice when the Teacher is completely silent during the test? Do we still believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him? (Hebrews 11:6) Do we really believe what we say we do, and how will we really know unless we are put to the test from time to time? Don’t we really want to know if what we have on hand is real before we face God on Judgment Day? Isn’t it better to have it tested now while there is still time and space for repentance and adjustment before the REAL thing happens one day and we find ourselves standing one-on-one, face-to-face with Almighty God?

“Examine me, God, and know my mind, test me, and know my thoughts. See if there is any offensive tendency in me, and lead me in the eternal way.”
Psalm 139:23-24 (ISV)

5. I would remember that at the end of testing, there is a guaranteed reward.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-3 (Berean Study Bible)

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 (ESV)

“The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21 (ESV)

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
Hebrews 12:11 (KJV)

As I was seeking God earnestly in prayer recently, He took me to Genesis 22:1-14, and OH, the lessons He began and continues to teach me through that passage! Truly, Abraham was presented with the ultimate test. God told him to take his son, his only son, Isaac, the son God had promised and given him at a ripe, old age, and sacrifice him on an altar!

Can you imagine what Abraham must have felt like and the questions that were swirling through his mind? After all God had promised him, now He was asking him to lay down the son whom the very promises hinged upon? Seriously? But, without hesitation, we see Abraham begin to make preparations to make the three-day journey to the specific place where God wanted to conduct this test.

Looking at this remarkable story from the vantage point of history, we know that it was NEVER God’s intention for Abraham to kill his own son! But, when God presents us with a test, we do not know His mind or intentions. All we are given is a specific set of instructions and a choice as to whether or not we will be obedient in that test.

After Abraham and Isaac made the three-day journey and climbed the mountain God specifically designated as the test site, Abraham bound Isaac, just like he would have bound an animal sacrifice. He then took the next natural step and raised the knife to kill his son, as God had instructed. At the moment his arm was raised, the testing period was over. Abraham had completely followed God’s plan, he had proven that he would walk out obedience to God no matter what the directive, and he had aced the test with flying colors.

God said, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” Genesis 22:12

And, the next verse is the one that has been ringing in my head for days—
“Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.”
Genesis 22:13

Only after his test of obedience was 100% complete, did Abraham see the ram—what had been God’s plan from the beginning.
I believe that ram had been there all along. Abraham just couldn’t see it because he was in the middle of a test. Had he seen the ram, he would have known God had everything under control, and even though it looked like he would be required to kill his only son, he would have known that couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

What are you going through? I’d like to ask you to stop and consider your current circumstances and identify any test(s) you are currently walking through, and as you think about that, may I please encourage you?

This is a test. It is only a test. You are not going under. You will not be overcome by your circumstances. There is a ram. It is caught in the thicket by its horns. You can’t see it, but it is there. It has been there all along, and once you reach the point of proving complete faithfulness to God, in HIS time, He will say, “Enough!” THEN, my friend, you will do this —

You will lift up your eyes and look, and there behind you, (something you have not seen before) will be a ram. Caught in the thicket by its horns. Unable to move or be shaken or stolen from your grasp. God placed it there. He orchestrated the “catch of its horns.” He caused it to become lodged in such a way that all of earth and hell below cannot wrench it away from its designated purpose—YOUR DELIVERANCE! Your reward for being faithful to walk out God’s plan and the sacrifice needed to substitute for what it looked like was being taken from you. When the ram becomes evident and visible to you, you will courageously go and take the ram and use it for its God-ordained purpose.

“Taking the ram” may require some work on your part. God did not loose the ram, pick it up, and place it on the altar for Abraham. God placed the ram there and allowed it to become lodged and rendered incapable of leaving the very spot most visible to Abraham, but once Abraham saw it and recognized what God was doing, he had to put forth the necessary effort to free the ram’s horns from the thicket, so it could provide for his needs.

In verse 14, we read,
“And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”

Cheryl Smith. Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people

Cheryl Smith, author of the Inner Views and Homespun Devotions

I am not sure who God may be talking to through this post, but I know without a doubt that God has a ram for you! Stay the course until the ram becomes evident. Walk in obedience to the path of testing God has placed in front of you. Don’t quit. When God hits the “Stop” button on the test timer, you will look behind you and see the ram. When you do, go and place full trust in God’s plan of deliverance. Take the ram and enjoy the blessing of it providing exactly what you need.

This is only a test. It will come to an end. Keep trusting God and walking forward in faith and watch as God amazes you with what has been His plan all along!

Written by Cheryl Smith and originally published at www.homespundevotions.com.

Cheryl Smith describes herself as a “passionate disciple and follower of Jesus Christ.” She says: “I am married to the sweetest, most patient man for over 30 years…Mama to one miracle son God sent to us after 12.5 years of infertility…Homeschool Teacher who learns way more than I ever teach.I love to spend time with my husband and son in the mountains, sing and play Bluegrass music, and write. I am so thankful for your visit and hope you will visit my blogs: homespundevotions.com/ and biblicalminimalism.com/ It is my goal to encourage you in your walk with Jesus and to inspire you to let go of this world for the sake of a higher call. It is His call that I hope you hear. So compelling, so intense, so far above anything this world has to offer. It is the call His disciples heard as they went about a normal, ordinary day, fishing. It is a call they could not refuse. A call that caused them to drop everything they had and walk away from life as they knew it, without a backward glance. Can you hear it? Are you listening?”

Prayer Action Leader for Concerned Women for America

 


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Rob Patz: Because He Lives

Written by Staff on January 25, 2020 – 5:42 am -

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

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

2020 January SGNScoops Publishers Point By Rob Patz

Welcome to the January Publisher’s Point. Can you believe it’s 2020? As I get older, it is amazing to me how time seems to move so much more quickly, and how we need to cherish the moments that we have.

Over this past year, I dealt a lot with mourning, as my family dealt with the sorrow of death. Now, I will tell you that, as a Christian, I have said many times, that even though someone in our life has passed away, we will have the joy of seeing them again. I can also tell you that in the last year, those words seemed to ring hollow inside of me as I missed seeing family members.

Recently, I have found comfort in a song that I’m sure we’ve all sung: “Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow.” If you really think about it, facing tomorrow isn’t always easy, but we know that because Christ died and rose for us – for you and for me – we can face tomorrow no matter what the struggle is.

Maybe you’re struggling with your health, or with finances, or with finding a job; just know that you – like me dealing with mourning – you can face tomorrow because Jesus is going to be there with you. Just think of how amazing God is! He is not only here right now, but he is also already in tomorrow! Nothing catches him by surprise. Nothing will take him off guard. He knows your steps.

Rob Patz celebrates his birthday Sept. 24My dad used to reassure me about how much God loved me as a child, when he would tell me that God knows the number of hairs on your head. He would sit me on his lap and he would tell me that if God cares enough about you to invest the time in counting the number of hairs on your head, then he cares about your daily life, and He cares about your joys and your sorrows.

In 2020, my theme song is going to be “Because He Lives.” Not only that “Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow,” but also, “Because He Lives,” I have the hope that I will see my family and friends again. “Because He Lives,” I know that he will take care of my finances, he will take care of my family, and he will take care of my job. “Because He Lives,” I do have hope for tomorrow.

I know that in most years past, I have spent the first Publisher’s Point talking about getting ready for the new year. But this year, it just feels different. This year, it feels like we need to talk about life, about what this year is going to hold for all of us. I know one thing: that “Because He Lives,” I can face tomorrow with joy, hope, and strength; that everything is going to be awesome.

Hey, I’d love to see you in Oxford, Alabama, March 19 – 21, 2020, for Southern Gospel Weekend. If you can’t make that, I would love to see you in Tupelo, Mississippi, April 23 – 25, 2020, for Gospel Music Expo.

SGNScoops Cover January 2020Also, watch the website for the opening of the Diamond Awards 2020. And let this be your special invitation to join us for Creekside 2020, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, October 25 – 29, 2020. For more information on any Coastal Events, email events@sgnscoops.com.

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The Old Paths’ ‘Come Sunday Morning’ goes No. 1 on multiple charts

Written by Staff on January 24, 2020 – 8:53 am -

Old Paths

The Old Paths are, from left, Daniel Ashmore, Doug Roark, Steve Ladd and Tim Rackley.

Arden, North Carolina (January 24, 2020) — “Come Sunday Morning,” from The Old Paths’ It’s Real EP, has reached No. 1 on both the Singing News and SGNScoops charts.
The closing song of It’s Real, “Come Sunday Morning,” features tenor singer Steve Ladd. The ballad about the Resurrection story has a strong hook and chorus and uses a common, unspectacular phrase to describe a miraculous story.

“On Friday, the Savior died on a cross / Saturday it seemed like all hope was lost / But soon, there would be cause for rejoicing / ‘Cause everything changes, come Sunday morning!”

The Old Paths’ Tim Rackley said the group is thankful that listeners and radio DJs connected to the song.

“When we came back on the road full-time last year, we didn’t realize how much we would be welcomed back with open arms,” says Rackley. “And for that we are so thankful, not only for the support from fans, friends, song writers and Crossroads Music but also from gospel radio.”

Listen to “Come Sunday Morning” HERE.

The Old Paths CD - It's RealAbout The Old Paths
In 2003, The Old Paths began its ministry taking the group’s name from Jeremiah 6:16 which says, “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for The Old Paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” With this vision in mind and a heart for ministry, founding members Douglas Roark and Tim Rackley started The Old Paths as a trio.

The group morphed into a quartet shortly after. They signed with Crossroads Music’s Sonlite Records in 2012. Their album Right Now was a breakout project for them producing two #1 hits, “Battlestand” and “God’s Great,” within a six-month span. In 2013, the group was named Favorite New Quartet in the Singing News Fan Awards, and songs like “Love Them to Jesus” and “Ordinary People” also quickly became fan favorites.

The quartet made the decision in 2015 to come off the road for a while due to family circumstances. While the decision was not easy, they left the door open for a possible return to gospel music and touring. When God opened that door for them in 2017, they were ready to walk through it. With a renewed passion for ministry, The Old Paths took the stage again at the Memphis Quartet Show in June 2017.

The group now consists of founding members Tim Rackley and Douglas Roark, longtime bass singer Daniel Ashmore and tenor Steve Ladd.

Tim, Doug and Daniel found the right blend with Steve to be able to come together as The Old Paths again. The goal of the group has stayed the same after all these years to see people come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and to encourage fellow believers. They are thankful that God gave them the chance to return to the platform again to sing and encourage. They could not be more excited about this new stage of their ministry and to see what God has for the group in the future.

About Crossroads:
Crossroads (website here) is a market leader in the Southern Gospel, Bluegrass, and Americana fields. Established in 1993, following the combination of Horizon Music Group and Sonlite Records, Crossroads now operates several divisions including Crossroads Label Group (Horizon Records, Sonlite Records, Mountain Home Music, Skyland Records, Pisgah Ridge Records, Crossroads Records, and Organic Records), Crossroads Distribution, Crossroads Radio Promotions, and Crossroads Recording Studios. Led by a strong executive team of Christian music and Bluegrass music veterans, Crossroads combines cutting-edge technology with creative innovation to connect fans with our artists’ music.

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Appointed Quartet announces new member

Written by Staff on January 23, 2020 – 5:41 pm -

Appointed QuartetAppointed Quartet of Tunnel Hill, Georgia, would like to welcome their new lead and bass singer to the ministry. Jamie Stancil, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has rejoined the group as the lead vocalist, and Mr. Joe Collins, of East Ridge, Tennessee, has assumed the bass position.
Group manager and tenor singer, Stephen Roberts, is thrilled with the way things have came together. He says, “I am so happy to have my friend Jamie rejoin me with AQ, and I believe we found the perfect fit with him at lead singer but also with Joe singing the bass part.”
Appointed QuartetJamie Stancil sang with Appointed Quartet from August 2017 until April 2018 before coming off the road.  “Rejoining the group now just seems like the perfect time in Gods plan,” he says. Joe Collins is no stranger to gospel music after traveling with groups such as Higher Calling and Southern Heart Quartet among others.
Stephen says, “It was just a perfect fit when Joe came to tryout, and it didn’t take us long to offer him the position.” He adds, “We want to wish our former members, Earl Roberts and Cayden Howell, the best, as they have taken positions with The Dixie Melody Boys, and we all could not be happier for that opportunity in their lives.”
Appointed Quartet has a big year coming up with appearances at Southern Gospel Weekend in Oxford, Alabama; Gatlinburg Gathering, and a trip to Daywind studios in March 2020 all on the horizon. The group lineup will be Stephen Roberts-Tenor, Doug Brady-Baritone, Jamie Stancil- Lead, and Joe Collins- Bass. You can find them at their website, on facebook and follow them on Instagram….
Be on the lookout for further news from AQ soon!

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APRIL POTTER AGENCY ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE BOOKING AND MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT WITH BLUEGRASS/COUNTRY/GOSPEL ARTIST NATHAN STANLEY

Written by Staff on January 22, 2020 – 6:19 am -

Nathan Stanley signs with April Potter AgencyNASHVILLE, TN – April Potter, President of the April Potter Agency announces the addition of Bluegrass, Country, and Gospel artist Nathan Stanley. April Potter Agency will be handling all booking and management duties for Nathan.

“I am very excited to work with such a music royalty with rich heritage such as Nathan,” shares April. “I have the utmost respect for his grandfather and his influence on the world of music and I look forward to helping Nathan carry on that legacy.”

Nathan StanleyNathan adds, “I’m thrilled to be working with April Potter and all of her wonderful staff. She has many years of experience with booking and management and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future has in store.”

MORE ABOUT NATHAN STANLEY:

Nathan Edmond Stanley was born into a music royalty bloodline and rich family legacy. The grandson of the Bluegrass music icon Dr. Ralph Stanley, Nathan made his music debut at the young age of two playing the spoons for the Clinch Mountain Boys with his grandfather at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

He later graduated to playing the mandolin, and from 2007 to 2016 became the last lead singer and rhythm guitar player for the Clinch Mountain Boys – one of the most highly acclaimed bands in the music industry.

Nathan StanleyNathan has spent most of his life on a 45-foot tour bus traveling across the United States and internationally collecting many awards and accolades along the way:

  • In 2006, Nathan had the great honor to perform for the Queen of England when Her Majesty visited the state of Virginia.

  • In 2011, he had a #1 song on the Inspirational Country Music (ICM) charts for the unforgettable song “White Dove” with Vince Gill.

  • In 2011, the National Traditional Country Music Association voted My Kind Of Country the Classic Country Album of the Year.

  • In 2014, Nathan signed a recording deal with Willow Creek Records Nashville, TN.

  • In October 2014, his album Every Mile garnered Nathan his first GMA Dove Award (Gospel Music’s Highest Honor) nomination and win for “Bluegrass Album of the Year”.

  • In January 2015, Nathan was featured on the Grammy Nominated Cracker Barrel album Ralph Stanley and Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow. Nathan performed two songs with his grandfather on the special project. One was the classic “Rank Stranger” and the other was a heartfelt performance of “Hills of Home.”

  • In 2016 Nathan was voted “Best Bluegrass Artist” at the ICM AWARDS in Nashville, TN.

  • Also in 2016, Stanley made several cameo appearances in the award winning Christmas Movie Believe starring Ryan O’Quinn and produced by Billy Dickson.

From 2013-2016, Nathan Stanley hosted his own television show on Living Faith TV based out of Bristol, Tennessee. With close to one million viewers each month, The Nathan Stanley Show was the #1 show on the network for almost the entirety of its four years of airtime.

Stanley has nine solo albums to his credit, recording with artists such as Brad Paisley, George Jones, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Patty Loveless, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, The Isaacs, Gene Watson, T. Graham Brown, and many more.

Nathan StanleyNathan will release his 10th studio album in 2020. The project is real country music! The first radio single “That’s How I Got To Memphis” will be released to Country & Americana Radio nationwide in February 2020. Stanley will tour with his country band in 2020 while still doing a select amount of his acoustic show concerts. Stanley is currently signed with J&T Entertainment and MC1 Nashville.

MORE ABOUT APRIL POTTER AGENCY:

April Potter Agency is a full-service, exclusive booking and management company located in Nashville, Tennessee serving a large selection of venues including arenas, auditoriums, churches, fairs, festivals, schools, city events, coffeehouses, theme parks and more with a variety of artists. April Potter brings to her agency 23 years of experience in the music industry. In 1996, she began working for The Harper Agency, and later formed her own company in 2002, where she represented some of the most popular names in gospel music. She returned to work for Harper in 2010 for two more years, before leaving to homeschool her daughter. Since that time, she’s worked as a freelance agent and consultant in multiple areas of the industry, including management, marketing, radio, publicity, and booking both stateside and worldwide. In May 2016, she relaunched April Potter Agency expanding from Christian music to several genres including Country, Bluegrass, Rock, Corporate Speakers and Tribute Bands.  Potter is a Franklin County, Alabama native and Music Business graduate of the University of North Alabama. For more information click HERE.

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SGNScoops DJ Spotlight on Sylvia Green of WVOB

Written by Staff on January 20, 2020 – 5:32 pm -

DJ Spotlight on Sylvia GreenDJ Spotlight on Sylvia Green

By Vonda Easley

WVOB 91.3 FM went on the air in December of 1988 with 2,500 watts of power. The studio is situated in the main Administration Building of Bethany Divinity College and Seminary.

 

WVOB offers Great Christian Programming, including the best and latest in today’s Southern gospel music, 24 hours a day. WVOB 91.3 FM is a listener-supported radio station and is the home of this month’s DJ Spotlight, the amazingly talented Sylvia Green. I quizzed Sylvia with five unique questions. Check out her answers and get to know her. You will be glad you did!

 

Vonda Armstrong: Sylvia, tell us about your current radio position. station, location, job, years on the job, and how you got started? 

Sylvia Green: Our station is Gospel 91-WVOB Dothan/Webb, Ala. We’re a 24 hour, seven days a week Southern gospel music station that covers parts of the tri-states area of Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Currently holding the position of Assistant Program Director, I’m proud to say I’ve been associated with this station since the first few months of 1992.

Keith Brady, from the group I sang with at the time (the Bradys) was working at WVOB part time when not on the road. When a sister station was opened in nearby Bonifay, Fla., due to my knowledge of gospel music, the management asked me to help spearhead the opening of WJED.  I had no prior on-air experience, but with great on-the-job training and help from up above, WJED became a vital station in that area for many years. When management decided to sell it a few years ago, they transferred me to Dothan’s WVOB where we soon started the “Coffee-Break with Keith and Sylvia,” which has become dear to my heart. We love sharing behind the scenes news in gospel music, jokes, trivia, and a whole list of other things, plus we have the “Word Game” each segment where listeners can win gift items.

 

VA: You are not only a DJ, but a singer, songwriter and an inspiration to many. Do you have a favorite song that you have written? Tell us about that song of one that is special to you and why?

SG: “Here I Am” which was recorded by the Hoppers would have to be my first choice. I was so honored that it became Song of the Year in 1990 and was Song of the Decade for the 90’s. But what means the most to me are the thousands of testimonies connected with this song that I’ve heard through the years. Each time I stop to think about the far reaching effects for the cause of Christ this song has had, I’m blown away yet again by the fact that God allowed this simple girl from lower Alabama to write it. Next year marks the 30th anniversary of “Here I Am” winning Song of the Year. I’m still getting testimonies of how it changes lives. To God be the glory, he far exceeded my goals and I’ll always be humbled by it.

 

DJ Spotlight on Sylvia GreenVA: Please share your testimony. 

SG: I became a Christian at the young age of six years old during a revival at the church my dad and mom pastored in Troy, Alabama. I guess some think that is too young, but I knew exactly what I was doing. My heart was touched, the tears flowed, and I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life. I’ve rededicated my life to him many times since then because none of us are perfect.  We all fail, we all mess up, we all stray a little from where we know we need to be in our walk with him. We break his heart, but his mercy and grace woos us back to him and I’m so thankful for that. Too many feel that because they’ve made a mistake, that God hates them. But nothing could be further from the truth, that’s what the cross was for. I’ve spent a lifetime in gospel music, whether through singing, songwriting, or on radio, sharing the good news of his love and forgiveness; I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

 

VA: What is something you  look for from artists who send music to Gospel 91-WVOB? 

SG:  Our station has certain guidelines set up by management, that we as employees must adhere to when it comes to what is allowed to be played. One in particular is that it must be recognizable as a gospel song in lyric content. We are reminded that there are many good, positive songs, that may not necessarily fall under our guidelines. In the position I hold of being the person who approves or disapproves what gets to be added into rotation, this can sometimes be a hard task. Because I applaud great, positive lyric content, and because we always want to be relevant as music progresses in ways we can, as we maintain our original goal, I do my very best to make the distinctions needed so that management is pleased, God is glorified, and artists continue to send us great music! Having said that, listeners are facing some tough times, they struggle with things they never thought they’d have to face, so I love getting songs that point us to the source of our joy, our strength in times of trouble, and remind us that although what we are facing right now seems to have no answer, we have hope in a heavenly father who can bring miracles to pass!

 

VA: Do you have a bucket list? We’d love to hear about things you’ve checked off and what’s still there? 

SG: When I was young, the first time I saw Vestal Goodman sing, I wanted to sing. When she became “Queen of Gospel Music,” I immediately wanted (to be) that one day. That of course wasn’t meant to be. When I started writing, I dreamed one day of winning the “Song of the Year Award.” And, for some reason God saw fit for that little 14-year-old girl’s dream to come true.  Veering away from music a bit, I marked several things off my list, like, owning my own golf clubs and learning how to play, learning to shoot a target with a gun, learning to make old fashioned cat-head homemade biscuits, and learning to decorate cakes with roses. But there are some things on my bucket list I have not done. These include, going to Australia and Hawaii for vacation, and becoming a pilot. (Sylvia laughs.) How many would like to fly on a plane I was piloting?

 

Vonda Armstrong

Vonda Armstrong

Thank you Sylvia for sharing with us. I’d fly with you anywhere! Let’s go.

By Vonda Armstrong

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in June 2019

 

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SGNScoops shines DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER 

Written by Staff on January 20, 2020 – 2:50 pm -

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER 

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER

By Vonda Armstrong

WMER AM 1390 and FM 91.3 is a radio station broadcasting from Meridian, Mississippi. The station airs gospel music, weather, news and community programs. In Meridian, you will love the sights and sounds of the city from the country music history and railroad heritage, to musical performances and outdoor activities. But, in the afternoon from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., the town of Meridian is tuned in to Jason Dyess and his gospel program. This month we are shining the DJ Spotlight on Jason. Join me as we get to know Jason and his ministry better. 

 

Vonda Armstrong: At what age did you know that you would like to work in radio? Please give us your current radio position and station information. 

Jason Dyess: That’s tough to nail an exact age. I’ve always loved music of all types. I can remember making mix tapes from old cassettes and radio. I’ve always dreamed of doing talk radio from current events to sports talk radio. It took me losing my job last year to finally get my chance with a Southern gospel radio station with music I was raised on. I now manage WMER 93.1FM/1390AM which is a Southern gospel music radio station in Meridian, Miss. I also have a talk show once a week entitled “Good News Meridian,” where I bring in government leaders, civic leaders, pastors and other guests, so we can spotlight positive things going on in the city and area we cover. It seems people are tired of hearing negative news, and this is an opportunity for listeners to hear some positive news to go along with our good news gospel music. 

 

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER Vonda: If you could interview any person alive, who would that be and why? 

Jason: When I first read this question, three people came to mind. Pastor Jentezen Franklin, John Maxwell and President George W. Bush, because they all have so much information that I love learning from. I love to listen to Pastor Franklin; he’s an awesome pastor and I admire him. Being an ordained minister myself, I have so many questions. 

Then there’s John Maxwell, with all of his leadership and management advice he gives. I learn so much from him and I think it’s because of his past pastoral background. Thirdly, President George W. Bush because of the way he led this nation while still being a family man. I even gained more respect watching the way he led his family in grieving with the passing of his father in the public eye last year. I really cannot narrow this down to one. 

 

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER Vonda: Please share your testimony. 

Jason: At a young age, my mawmaw Jet and my parents always said I was going to be a preacher or politician. For a while as an adult, I ran from God’s calling on my life. In July 2002, the Lord really grabbed a hold of my life. In April 2006, I finally surrounded to the Lord’s calling in my life, and began the process of ministry schooling, becoming an ordained Assemblies of God minister in May 2017. I’ve been hoping to pastor a church. I have been bi-vocational by serving on ministry staff and a regular job in the past. The company I had worked at for 18 years left Meridian last year. We had opportunities to leave this area, but I felt the Lord was not done with me in my hometown. As a family, we felt this was the time to pastor a church. Although those doors didn’t open, the radio station did and now gives me a bigger platform to share God’s word. My heart is to still serve and help people to get to know God on a more personal way. So my prayer now is that the Lord will use and guide me with the plan he has for me, and not what I feel is my own plan. 

 

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER Vonda: Please tell us about your family. 

Jason: My wife, Dawn and I began dating in January of our sophomore year of high school. Everyone in high school said that we were going to get married, and I proudly say I married my high school sweetheart. We’ve been married for almost 22 years. I almost lost my wife and daughter Katelyn during Katelyn’s birth. Now, 16 years later, both Dawn and Katelyn are healthy. Dawn works for Mississippi State – Meridian campus, and Katelyn is 16 years old and is a junior in high school. 

 

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER Vonda: When you are not behind a mic, what do you enjoy doing ? 

Jason: When not behind the mic, I enjoy doing photography. I do freelance sports photography for newspapers, colleges and other media outlets. I also love opportunities to preach and visit other communities when being able to share God’s Word. I also love deer hunting when the season is open. We are all big Mississippi State fans and we have season tickets to football and women’s basketball. When not traveling to Bulldog events, we love traveling to NASCAR races, the Smoky Mountains and Gulf Shores, Alabama. Family is important to me, so any time all of our family can come together is important to me. 

 

Vonda Armstrong

Thank you Jason Dyess for giving us a glimpse into your life of radio and ministry. When you are  in Meridian, tune into WMER AM 1390 and FM 91.3 between 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., to catch Jason playing great Southern gospel music.

By Vonda Armstrong

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in August 2019

Read the latest Gospel Music News in SGNScoops Magazine online HERE

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Listen To Todays Gospel Music Here

 

 

 


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SGNScoops shines DJ Spotlight on Darrell Gibbs

Written by Staff on January 20, 2020 – 12:18 pm -

Darrell Gibbs DJ Spotlight

Darrell Gibbs under DJ Spotlight

SGNScoops DJ Spotlight: Darrell Gibbs

By Vonda Armstrong

Recently, we shone the DJ Spotlight on Darrell Gibbs from WUAT AM in Pikeville, Tennessee. Darrell spent the week with us at the 2019 Creekside Gospel Music Convention, and it was a joy to get to know him better. Check out our conversation below. 

Vonda: Tell us about the station, where it’s located and how we can listen.

Darrell: The radio station is WUAT AM 1110. It is an “old-time” radio station, and has been around since 1960. We are considered the giant of the valley, and have an antenna on the top of the mountain that reaches way out there. 

The station is located on the corner of Main Street and Cumberland Avenue in Pikeville. We have around 3700 listeners. Many businesses in Pikeville and the surrounding area tune into our station in their stores, doctors’ offices, and even at the courthouse. The radio station “blasts through the streets” and side streets on speaker in town. It is  really old school and really cool.

Billy Bridges is our station manager, and is a great guy. We have several TV shows filmed at the station every week. The very popular “Albert and Billy Show” is filmed here, along with my program as the only Facebook Live. We hope to become an FM station in the future, and to purchase additional equipment as well. It takes time and money though. 

 

Vonda: How did you get your start in radio?

Darrell: The very first time I ever played gospel music as a DJ was in the 80s.  I was working on Christian Night at a skating rink in west Nashville. I was the only one that knew anything about gospel music, because of my dad’s love for it. The area I grew up in used to be called “the Star Route” in Nashville. I knew a lot of those people from school or at least their kids and grandkids.

 

Darrell Gibbs under DJ SpotlightVonda: Can you tell our readers your testimony?

Darrell: I was raised in the Methodist church. Once, I was able to take a ride to the Carolinas with Harold Lane. Some of your readers may remember him with the Speer Family. He told me about a simple gospel that started my way to salvation. I was working on pools in the summer, and in the winter I would do anything I could do to make money. I was driving my own car to school in the 9th grade. I worked hard, sometimes two or three jobs, as a teenager because I wanted to, not because I had to. I was making my own money and doing my own thing. 

Soon, I found myself doing things I shouldn’t. I was about to get into some trouble and I decided to leave and move to Chattanooga with my parents. Right away I went to the skating rink and got a job. They had a “Christian Night” and I was the only one that knew about Christian music. Fast forward to three years ago, I went into a radio station in Pikeville, wanting to DJ a show for Facebook and for the local radio station. 

I was called to preach many years ago. I told God he had the wrong guy. I told him that I don’t look right, I don’t talk right, and I can’t stand up straight.  But opportunities kept opening for me to speak on the road in churches and even colleges. God has given me my heart’s desire. A beautiful wife, a beautiful place to live on the Cumberland plateau, and a voice on the radio station. That’s what brought to where I am today and God is still working in my life today.

 

Vonda: If you had to play one group all day long, who would it be and why?

Darrell: This one is easy. I would play the Primitive Quartet. I had the opportunity to interview them once.They are amazing and so friendly.

 

Vonda: If you could interview anyone, who would it be and why?

Darrell: Well I would love to interview Johnny Cash. I would also like to interview Harold Lane and let him see what God has done in my life since the last time we saw each other. And besides them, I would also love to interview the McKameys, Guy Penrod, Gold City, and Squire Parsons.

 

Vonda: If someone is interested in working as a DJ, what advice would you give them?

Darrell:  My advice to them would be don’t give up trust in Jesus in all you do.

 

Vonda Armstrong

Thank You Darrell! Keep spinning those songs and thank you for sharing with us….

Vonda Armstrong

First published in SGNScoops Magazine in December 2019

Read the latest Gospel Music News in SGNScoops Magazine online HERE

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Hug a Disc Jockey Day: Brandon Bearden of SOGR

Written by Staff on January 20, 2020 – 10:18 am -

Brandon Bearden of SOGR

SGNScoops DJ Spotlight on Brandon Bearden of SOGR Radio

By Vonda Armstrong

SOGR Radio is dedicated to bringing the best gospel music in Powell, Tennessee. It was established in 2012 by Brandon Bearden, and since then has grown to become a favorite station with gospel music lovers everywhere. Recently, we spoke with Brandon and here is what he had to say.

 

Vonda Armstrong: Brandon, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Can you give us the history of SOGR?

Brandon Bearden: Thanks Vonda for the opportunity to do this. SOGR Radio is an internet radio station. I launched it in 2012, when I saw that there were not that many gospel stations for people to listen to. I live out in the country in an area without much signal for an FM Station. I thought an online station would give other people like me a chance to listen to the Word of God and some great gospel music. You can listen to SOGR Radio either online via our website which is www.sogrradio.com, or you can listen on Tune-In, Roku, or our free mobile app. SOGR Radio is located in Powell, Tenn., as part of Kenny Interactive Media, a media company owned by Jay Stuard III and myself. We offer services such as website design, creating apps, and streaming services to name a few. 

 

Armstrong:  Can you please share your testimony with our readers?

Bearden: Many people don’t know this but I grew up in a gospel music ministry. At three months old, I had been traveling on a bus with my mom and the group she sang with out of Maryville, Tennessee. My grandfather was a preacher. I loved watching him preach, especially when the spirit fell. When I was eight years old, we were having a singing one Sunday morning and the spirit was moving. I could feel the Lord tugging at my heart. I went to the altar and got down on my knees, and my grandfather led me to the Lord. And I have served the Lord since that day.

 

Armstrong: At what age did you know you wanted to be a DJ? What happened that caused you to know that?

Bearden: I was 19 years old when I knew I wanted to be a radio DJ. I started the station because I saw the need for it. Since becoming a DJ, I have seen God work in so many ways in my life. 

 

Brandon Bearden of SOGR radio DJ spotlightArmstrong: If you could interview anyone, who would it be? Why would you choose this person?

Bearden: Wow, that is a hard one. I would have loved to have interviewed Howard and Vestal Goodman. I have heard other people that knew them talk about how you could feel God’s presence when talking with Vestal. I sure would have loved that interview!  That would have to be number one on my list.

 

Armstrong: Other than being a DJ, what are some other things you enjoy doing?

Bearden: I love spending time hanging out with my family. We love to sit out by the pool on a hot summer day. Another thing we love to do is visit the mountains in the fall and enjoy the beautiful foliage, God’s beautiful handiwork. But I would have to say that the thing I enjoy most is sitting behind the microphone in the studio and spinning this great music and telling folks folks about what the Lord has done for me.

 

Armstrong: What is your favorite gospel music event that you attend?  Tell us what you do there.

Bearden: My favorite event is the National Quartet Convention (NQC). I love seeing all the people that come from all over the world to hear Southern gospel music. My typical day at NQC is loading in equipment, setting up my booth, and doing live remotes and interviews. I try and keep the folks updated on what’s happening at NQC, but my favorite thing to do is catching up with the artists and finding out what’s going on in their ministry.

 

Vonda Armstrong

Thank you Brandon for sharing with us about SOGR Radio. God bless you.

By Vonda Armstrong

First published by  SGNScoops Magazine in September 2019

Read the latest Gospel Music News in SGNScoops Magazine online HERE

You Can Download SGNScoops Magazine Here
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Listen To Todays Gospel Music Here

 

 

 


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January 2020 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by Staff on January 18, 2020 – 8:31 am -

SGNScoops Cover January 2020Happy New Year! We are excited to present to you the first issue of SGNScoops Magazine for 2020. This is also the first issue that is a color magazine, sold by subscription and available on the record tables of your favorite artists. If you don’t see the SGNScoops Magazine, condensed hard copy, on an artists’ record table, then please ask them to carry it. We would love for you to see it!

The January issue of SGNScoops Magazine is usually one where our cover highlights an artist that we feel will make waves in Gospel Music in the new year. This year, we bring you Josh and Ashley Franks, whose music has been climbing the charts and whose talented family is well-known in the industry. We hope you enjoy this great article by Jimmy Reno.

Be sure to read all about the Erwins, Eli Fortner, Citizens of Glory, Mark Bishop, and Andy Leftwich; artists whose styles span the breadth of Gospel music. JP Miller reaches a milestone, and we pay tribute to Dr. Buck Morton. All this plus our DJ Spotlight, Coastal Events Update, Publisher’s Point, and the top songs across the country. Thanks to all of our writers this month, including Jantina Baksteen, Justin Gilmore, Lyndsey Chandler, Marcie Gray, Les Butler, Vonda Armstrong, and Rob Patz. Some of these talented people are doing double-duty this month, and all are gracious when asked for something at the last minute. Please check out their biographies at the end of the issue.

We hope you start the year with SGNScoops, but more than that, we hope you start the year with Jesus. He is our Rock and our Foundation, and if you don’t know Him, you are missing out on peace and security that can only be found in a relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If you have any questions or comments, please write to me at lorraine@sgnscoops.com

Read the latest SGNScoops Magazine online BELOW

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