Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Selena Day: Don’t waste your suffering

Written by Staff on August 8, 2020 – 11:06 am -

Selena Day

Selena Day

I don’t know about those of you who are reading this, but for me, I have been banging my head against the proverbial wall in my brain.It is so easy to get lost in the vortex of opinions, debates, and agendas swirling in the world today. The past few months have put pressure on all of us.

Now, more than ever, we need to come together in unity and pray.  Pray for our country and our leaders, pray for our world, pray for our families, pray for our ministries and ministers.

Turn off the television, the internet, and spend time lifting each other up.

This morning, I awoke a little before 5:00 a.m., and once again, I felt God gently calling me downstairs to spend time with him. I don’t say this in pride, but in humility, because I have been battling with Papa God about these early morning moments. I would rather be sleeping, or I haven’t seen the desired results from our time together. Don’t get me wrong, I love and am grateful for every moment we spend together, but I am also very transparent and real with God.

I give you this glimpse into my soul, so you will know what I am writing here isn’t just for you the reader, it is also me preaching to myself.  

We entered this year with grand declarations. 2020: a year of double portion; 2020: a year of great vision. Then 2020 decided to hit us head-on, and we began crumbling.  

The best thing about this year is that it has shaken us deeply.  Scripture tells us in Hebrews 12 that what can be shaken will be shaken, and only that which is of God will remain. 

This year has agitated and rubbed us raw. This morning as I read my devotion, I loved what the writer wrote: “A pearl is the only gem that has the ability to absorb and reflect. That is why the scripture sometimes refers to the kingdom of heaven being like a merchant.  Jesus goes out and sells everything He has to purchase the pearl of great price. It is imperative to understand that, if you are going to be looking for pearls, you have to go into the sea of humanity, and there you find pearls in oysters.  Unfortunately, every oyster does not produce a pearl. Only those that have spent their existence being irritated will become pearls. Their suffering has formed a substance inside of them that makes them precious. Do not waste your suffering and your sorrow…”

All oysters reside in the sea, and they all bump along the sand, but just a few will open enough to allow a piece of sand to enter and not regurgitate it back out. Only a few press into the uncomfortable and pain that the sand causes to produce pearls.

‘Do not waste your suffering!’ That phrase jumped from the pages of my devotions. Where has your heart been during this season of chaos and confusion? Have you wasted your suffering? 

My heart has been leaning into God, but I have so many questions. I have squirmed and tried so very hard to displace the sand agitating me.

This morning as I write this, I am making a decision to change my focus back to the beginning of the year. I will proclaim that 2020 is the year of double portion and that all circumstances work for my good, because I know to whom I belong.  

Our words have power, so when believers speak gloom and doom when the world seems to be going in a negative direction, it can be devastating.

Proverbs 18:21 (GNV) “What you say can preserve life or destroy it, so you must accept the consequences of your words.” 

As the bride of Christ, we need to be as the woman from Proverbs 31:  “Even in the night (dark) season she arises and set food on the table for the hungry ones in her house and for others.” 

In this dark season, let us begin to set the table for those hungry to find meaning by speaking positive words of life. Christ has given us the keys to the kingdom, now let us rise up and use them.  

We need to filter our circumstances by the purification of scripture: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report. Let us meditate on anything that is of virtue and anything praiseworthy. 

When we begin to practice the aforementioned, we will discover love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness and faithfulness reigning in our lives.  

Today, let us focus on the best parts of 2020, and begin to pronounce that this year will be a year of great opportunity for the message of Christ. That will be my message for those around me. 

It may mean that when others around you are in fear of illness, you proclaim that, “No weapon formed against me will prosper.” It may mean that when you see someone die from illness, you declare that, “Everything works for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” It may mean that you just sit with those who are hurting in this world and not give any advice, but only show your love and friendship to others in action and not with Christianize words.  

Remember to whom we belong and remember the message that has been spoken to you in your life. Great opportunity comes from adversity. I believe that greatness is coming out of 2020 and that our best days are ahead.  

Selena Day: What do you fear?

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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Scott Nelson: What will God judge in you?

Written by Staff on August 2, 2020 – 9:56 am -

Scott Nelson: What will God judge in you? Praise“But if anyone suffers as a Christian, he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name. For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:16-17 (HCSB)

Have you ever wondered about your own relationship with Jesus Christ?

I’m not talking about doubting your salvation, but rather, I’m wondering what exactly will God judge in my life on that day.

Please hear me, in my heart I’m so thankful for God saving me from my sins completely, but this still doesn’t give me the liberty to do as I please. Sometimes, I find myself pulling more than being led in my relationship with Jesus Christ, kinda like the relationship I had with my old Palomino Quarter Horse when I was 12 years old.

I can remember pulling her out of the barn, and trying to saddle her up to go for a ride in the pasture.

As soon as I put the saddle on her back, she would pull, yank, rare up, stomp, do whatever it takes basically to keep me from tightening the girth.

So, by pulling, I mean doing what I want to do, and not serving God according to his purpose in my life.

And as I’m thinking more about this, I wonder, like most, is God going to judge me for my pulling back? I believe he will.

I know that God is testing me every day, to be more, and more obedient to him, so that I can understand this scripture truth today that I’m sharing. So as you read with me, I’m asking you to consider your relationship with Jesus Christ.

I truly feel that it’s time, Church, to renew our engagement with Jesus Christ and each other.  Jesus built his church to serve him together, and I truly believe we must work harder than ever right now, for the marriage supper of the Lamb will soon be here.

The Gospel is in your hands and mine. Your voice can be heard by those around you. Will the person to your left, right, front or back split hell wide open, or do they see Jesus in you?

It’s time Church, it’s time.

Scott Nelson: What will God judge in you?Your Friend, Scott Nelson

“But if anyone suffers as a Christian, he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name. For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?”

1 Peter 4:16-17 HCSB

Scott Nelson

Nelson Recordings

www.nelsonrecording.com

scott@nelsonrecordings.com

Scott Nelson is a singer/songwriter who lives with his family in Tennessee.

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
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Katelyn Dyess: To The Girl That Worries About What Other People Think

Written by Staff on July 30, 2020 – 3:42 pm -

Katelyn Dyess

Katelyn Dyess To The Girl

Katelyn Dyess

To The Girl That Worries About What Other People Think

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27

If you’re like me you constantly worry about what other people think. Do they like my outfit? Do they think my hair looks cute? Do they like my makeup?

I was even worried about what people would think about this blog. Will they think I’m crazy? Will the blog be too short? Will my writing actually encourage people?

Honestly, if you think about it, how much time do you spend a day worrying about what people think? It’s a lot, isn’t it? I’d be scared to know the hours I’ve spent a day worrying about what people think.

But, God doesn’t want us to spend our days worrying about what other people think. God’s opinion is the only opinion that matters. (Your parents’ opinions are VERY IMPORTANT too.)

The devil will put thoughts into your head to make you think those other people’s opinions matter. Everyone has an opinion. We all do. We’re human. But their opinion truly doesn’t matter.

As long as you’re doing what God has called you to do, you shouldn’t be worried about other people’s opinions.

Be you, fulfill your calling, be confident, and have fun in life.

You don’t want to look back 20 years from now and regret worrying about people’s opinions all of the time.

My prayer today is that God will help you not to worry about what people think of you.

Thanks,
Katelyn

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

 

To The Girl by Katelyn Dyess

Katelyn Dyess

Katelyn Dyess

A Message From Katelyn:

I’m a high school senior that lives in Meridian, MS. I want to show girls through my blog that they aren’t alone and that someone understands what they’re going through. I am excited about so many doors God has opened up for me. You can contact me at Katelyn-Dyess@comcast.net
I’d love to speak at your next youth event.

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
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The New Covenant Children and the start of the Canadian Gospel Music Association

Written by Staff on July 28, 2020 – 11:26 am -

The New Covenant Children.CGMA.Ontario Canada

The New Covenant Children

History of London, Ontario, Canada’s Christian Country band, the New Covenant Children (1972-1977)

It all began with Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry

New Covenant Children. Ontario Canada. CGMA

Neil Degraw and his Sho-Bud double pedal steel guitar

Like a lot of good musical stories in North America, the history of London, Ontario’s, Christian Country band, the New Covenant Children’s story began in Nashville, Tennessee. Young Neil Degraw, a 17-year-old resident of London, Ontario would listen at night to AM radio broadcasts of the Grand Ole Opry from Nashville, Tennessee, as well as the Jamboree out of Wheeling, West Virginia. He was inspired to play steel guitar, and at the age of 19, obtained a rare Fender 400 pedal steel guitar.

Somehow he befriended Gary Spicer, a player from Nashville who taught Degraw how to replicate that unique Nashville sound on the pedal steel. Degraw began playing in local country bands and would often travel to Nashville where he would attend Evangel Temple. The church was pastored by Rev. Jimmy Snow, the son of the legendary Hank Snow. Johnny Cash and Kris Kristopherson also attended the same church.

Soon, Degraw was feeling the call to use his special talent for the Lord back in his hometown of London, Ontario.

The formation of the New Covenant Children in London, Ontario

New Covenant Children. Ontario Canada, CGMA

The NCC Singers at practice- left to right, Nancy Mills, Donna Harris and Sharon Degraw

While attending Faith Tabernacle, his home church in London, Ontario, Degraw would sometimes accompany three female vocalists singing harmony on gospel songs like “The King is Coming”. Degraw was still performing with a traveling country band when he decided he needed to use his talent exclusively for the Lord.

The New Covenant Children were formed with Neil on pedal steel and Darlene St. Pierre on piano. The harmonies of the three singers, Donna Harris, Elaine Weurch, and Julie Sholtanuk made for the sweetest sounds this side of heaven!

New Covenant Children. Ontario Canada. CGMA

Author Dan Mailer in the recording studio

In an effort to expand the musical appeal of the group, Degraw added his brother Don Degraw on bass and Dan Mailer on rhythm guitar. The group was dedicated to spreading the gospel and performing meaningful inspirational gospel songs that touched the lives of many. The popularity of the band continued to increase and it was time to record an album.

New Covenant Children. Ontario Canada. CGMA

NCC in concert

In early 1973, the group was headed to Nashville to a recording studio owned by Opry lead guitar player, Joe Edwards, where the band recorded “Reaching Out.” This album featured some of their most popular and well-liked tunes such as “The Lighthouse.” The album only helped increase the band’s popularity back in Ontario and surrounding areas. A drummer, Ron Mills was added and over time, lead singers Nancy and Sharon Degraw replaced departing singers. Every member of the band volunteered their time and effort and tirelessly practiced their music and instruments to polish their presentation. By 1974, the band was traveling almost every weekend and some weekdays, performing at churches, coffeehouses, picnics, parades, sings, concerts, as well as on radio and TV.

New Covenant Children. Ontario Canada. CGMAIn November 1974, they were back in the studio, this time at the Masters’ Workshop in Toronto, recording their second album “That’s Just Like Jesus,” which soon sold 2000 copies on vinyl, cassette, and 8 track tapes (remember those?). The band performed some of those songs on Cam Shillington’s nationally syndicated television program “Gospel Singing Time,” which reached as many as 10 million viewers at times. The Lord was using the band in a powerful way to touch thousands of lives. For a while, the band also had a monthly newsletter that they sent to keep in touch with their fans.

In April 1975, it was time to record another album titled, “I’ll See You in the Rapture.” This was the band’s final and most popular album. All 2000 copies sold out quickly. In late 1975, the band underwent a few line up changes but continued to travel. Cam Shillington invited the band to perform at the Summer World Olympics held in Montreal and Kingston, in August 1976.

The band disbanded in 1977 but all members continued to perform gospel music in one form or
another together or on their own.

Formation of the CGMA and awards

New Covenant Children. Ontario Canada. CGMAIn November 1974, Neil Degraw, working with Cam Shillington and the Hisey family, formed the Canadian Gospel Music Association known as the “CGMA.“ The stated purpose of the CGMA was to promote unity among Canadian gospel music groups and to provide an incentive to groups to improve musically and spiritually.

The first CGMA convention was held in Waterloo, Ontario, during a weekend in May 1975, and the New Covenant Children and numerous other high quality Canadian gospel bands performed. Rev. Jimmy Snow traveled from Nashville to give the inaugural address at the banquet. A trophy was awarded to the Hisey Family as Group of the Year, and the New Covenant Children also received industry recognition. Their album “That’s Just Like Jesus “ was voted Album of the Year in 1975, and “I’ll See You in the Rapture,” album of the year in 1976.

New Covenant Children. Ontario Canada. CGMAI think that the band would all agree that these awards pale in comparison to the blessings that each member received as a result of sharing the gospel and inspirational music to so many in Ontario and the surrounding areas of the United States. Each member volunteered their time and effort free of charge to do what they strongly believed was the Lord’s work. It was a very precious honor to be part of something so special that touched the lives of so many. And now you know the story!

By Dan Mailer, with assistance from Torrey Antone

In memory of Cam Shillington, May 17, 1946 – January 12, 2016

The Master’s c. 1976
Cam Shillington, second from left, top row
Posted by Roxy Smith, first from left, bottom row

Note by Lorraine Walker, editor of SGNScoops Magazine: If it weren’t for the singers who have gone before us, many of us whose lives have been touched and shaped by gospel music would not be the same people we are today. Having just started to listen and learn about gospel music in Ontario in the ’80s, I missed the heyday of the NCC, but I do remember others who were traveling the Ontario backroads every weekend…there were few fulltime gospel singers in Ontario. I could start to name the groups I remember but I would leave out half, so please just accept this shout-out from a former member of the CGMA and one who enjoyed several CGMA Conventions. I would love to hear from other members of groups and of the CGMA from that time period. Please write to me at lorraine@sgnscoops.com

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
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Amy Duncan: God Don’t Make No Junk

Written by Staff on July 26, 2020 – 6:54 am -

Amy Duncan 2020

Amy Duncan: God Don’t Make No Junk

Genesis 1:26-27K
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:31
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day.

The Moody Bible Commentary (2014, the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago), states the following: “Since God could have created man in any other way He chose, such as by simply calling a man into being (as he did for everything else), the question naturally arises, “Why did he create humanity in this way?” and the answer is, “To demonstrate his special care (love) for man and his desire to relate to him in an intimate way.”

Mark 12:13-17
Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch hm in his words. They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance to the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Who’s portrait is this? And who’s inscription?” “Caesars.,” they replied. Then Jesus sad to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” They were amazed at him.

John 3:15-21
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the son of man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of Light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

Please take note of how many times the words ‘everyone’ and ‘whoever’ were mentioned. Six times, these words scream that Jesus freely climbed that hill, carrying his own cross for each and every person that has taken a breath. The Bible does not teach that Jesus had a pre-arrangement with God specifying his blood was only for a particular group, race, sexual-orientation, gender, etc. The blood of Jesus covers all sin, washes white as snow, and transforms us to our original creation, from glory to glory.

Luke 10:27
He answered, “Love the Lord God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.”

What does it mean to be a Christian? It’s very simple. It means to be Christ-like. This is something I have to work on daily. Do I fail? Many times. Do I need his grace and mercy each moment of each day? Without a doubt. Because I fail him, does that mean I don’t belong to him? No way, Hosea… I am WHOSOEVER. You are WHOSOEVER. When I write and read this, it brings tears to my eyes. My sin did not knock me out of this category. Your sin does not prevent you from claiming that marvelous gift so freely given to us so many years ago at Golgotha.

You and I are created in God’s image and we must render unto God what is his. We must give our lives to Jesus, grow in him daily, and strive to be as Christ-like as possible. The one thing we must all accept and know in our hearts is that God don’t make no junk!!!

Amy Duncan 2020

Amy Duncan

Much Love
Amy Duncan

Amy Duncan 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.

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.  She has recently signed with Green Family Ministry Promotions 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.

More on Amy Duncan HERE.

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
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Jennifer Campbell: The Answer for the World

Written by Staff on June 23, 2020 – 8:24 am -

Jennifer Campbell

Jennifer Campbell

Right now, millions of people are longing to return to their normal, daily lives. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live, the way some people think, and the way others act.

From the essential workers on the frontlines to the people who are staying safe at home, each one of us likely has a plethora of questions swirling about our minds. There are those who ask, “How can I adequately protect myself and my family?” Others want to know what they can do about their loss of income during the lockdown. Sorrowfully, thousands of families are wondering why their loved ones had to die. In such unprecedented times, we may not have all of the answers, but there is One on whom we can rely. In a world filled with questions, Jesus Christ is the answer for the world.

COVID-19 has affected the world in a way we have never seen before, causing many people to ask, “Where is God in all of this?” They continuously complain about everything from social distancing to travel restrictions, and some individuals feel as if God has abandoned them in the midst of their suffering. Some people are depressed and many have become fearful, even to the point of refraining from ordinary day-to-day activities. Others have embraced new ways of doing everyday things, opting for grocery delivery services and curbside pickup at retail stores. There are even families who have reinstated family dinners, taking advantage of extra quality time together. While some people have taken lemons and made lemonade, other people have a hard time walking into a business or doctor’s office seeing people wearing masks and other personal protective equipment, as it causes their anxiety levels to escalate to the point where their body involuntarily employs the physiological response known as fight or flight. Even now, as a large percentage of the world is under quarantine or stay-at-home orders, many people seem angry, discouraged, and confused. They do not know what to make of such widespread calamity going on around them.

For centuries, people have wondered why God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Ultimately, though, bad things have only happened to one good person in the history of humanity. Jesus Christ is the only good person to walk on the face of this earth. Jesus said, “‘There is only One who is good’” (Matt. 19:17 NLT). God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, as a perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. Romans 3:23 (NLT) says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Notice this verse does not say everyone, except for a few good people. It says everyone has sinned. Ecclesiastes 7:20 (NLT) says, “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.” By God’s standards, I am not a good person. You are not a good person. No one on earth is an inherently good person. Only through the grace of God can we become good enough to enter into God’s Kingdom.

We cannot rely on our own merit to achieve salvation. Good deeds cannot save you. Having a lucrative career cannot save you. Loving your friends or family cannot save you. Going to church cannot save you. Jesus said, “‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6 NLT). Jesus Christ is the only way to receive the gift of eternal salvation. You do not have to live in a state of confusion any longer. Do not let the problems of the world overwhelm you. Isaiah 50:10 (NLT) says, “If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.” Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, and He wants to give you the “light that leads to life,” if you will put your trust in Him as your Lord and Savior (John 8:12 NLT).

Perhaps you are going through a very dark time in your life, whether due to the pandemic or other causes. You may feel as if the walls are closing in around you, and you cannot see a way to escape from your dire circumstances. Although I do not know what you are going through, I can tell you that I have experienced my own share of trials. In the fall of 2018, the doctors at Mayo Clinic showed me disheartening MRI results, which showed a possible malignant tumor the width of my entire leg. They were discussing amputation, oncology, and other terms that no one ever wants to hear. Through this physical battle, I sat on my sofa at home, with the exception of visits to the hospital, for three months straight. During this time of sitting still, I was writhing in pain so severe that it elevated my heart rate and blood pressure to life-threatening levels. My dad and I were greatly discouraged, but we put our trust in Jesus Christ. Yes, we had many questions, but we could not dwell on the uncertainties of life. We had to focus our attention on the One who gives life. I thank God every day for restoring my health. He deserves all of the glory, honor, and praise.

Jennifer Campbell

Jennifer Campbell

I want to encourage you today. You may not understand why you have to climb over mile-high mountains or forge raging rivers, but I can tell you that God will help you through this pandemic and every other difficult situation that you face. Jesus said, “‘I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world’” (John 16:33 NLT). No matter what, remember that Jesus Christ will walk beside you, guiding you through each rough patch. Jesus Christ loves you more than you could ever imagine. Do not lose heart; He has already overcome every problem you will ever encounter. Instead of dwelling on the many questions of life, strive to “set your minds on things above” (Col. 3:2 NIV). When you focus on Jesus Christ, the tribulations in this world will fade out of view.

Although I cannot answer the question as to when the coronavirus pandemic will end, I can tell you where to find the answers to all of the questions plaguing your mind. Psalm 119:105 (NIV) says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” When we read God’s Word, He will show us the answers that we need. God wants to impart His wisdom, if we take time to listen to His still, small voice. May we all have a discerning heart and a listening ear when it comes to following the Lord’s leading, not just about the COVID-19 crisis, but in every aspect of our lives.

No organization, government, or religion has all of the answers. Jesus Christ is our only eternal hope. He is the Son of the only living God. Unlike this ever-changing world, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). He is not only the answer for today’s problems, but He is the answer for all of our tomorrows. Put your trust in Jesus Christ today!

By Jennifer Campbell

Jennifer Joy Campbell, There's Sunshine Awaiting YouMore about Jennifer Campbell:

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

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

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

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

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

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COVID-19 and the Extreme Poor; What Churches Should Do Now

Written by Staff on June 21, 2020 – 6:18 am -

COVID-19 and the Extreme Poor; What Churches Should Do Now
COVID-19 and the Extreme Poor; What Churches Should Do Now

NEWS PROVIDED BY
Bright Hope
June 16, 2020

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., June 16, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ — Bright Hope is a 50-year-old ministry helping poor churches in developing countries. Their unique success path for raising the poor out of poverty has put hundreds of thousands of people on the road to self-sustainability. Bright Hope Allies are Christians, private businesses, churches and foundations who believe Christians should be active in helping the poorest people on the planet.

FIVE (5) ACTIONS churches must do to help the extreme poor dealing with COVID-19:

  1. Pivot your thinking from disease prevention to food security. While COVID-19 is impacting the poor and putting healthcare systems at risk, far more of the poor are being impacted by the shutdowns and lack of income for food purchases.
  2. Help in-country (indigenous) churches survive and thrive. Many pastors in slums and remote villages have lost contact with their congregation, and therefore their weekly offerings. For churches in extremely poor places there is no online giving option. Pastors are struggling to support their families and it is difficult for them to visit needy members of their church without any resources to offer.
  3. Interview your missionaries or experts on how COVID-19 is impacting the world’s poorest communities. Chances are someone in your church has some expertise or a connection. If not, reach out to Bright Hope. We are happy to help.
  4. Encourage connection between your church and indigenous poor churches. It is time to be creative. One of our partner churches in rural Uganda began distributing soap to homes in their village. A simple bar of soap was such a blessing and is an important part of virus prevention. They were able to distribute 1,000 bars of soap!Here’s just one idea: what if a U.S. Church asked each member to buy a bar of soap, write an encouraging note to put inside, and donate $25 for food relief for each family receiving a bar of soap? How great it would be to see food and clean hands in some of the poorest places. Creatively connecting with the poor is needed more than ever, but we must meet real needs in a timely fashion, while helping build long-term relationships.When seeking greater connection with churches in poor places, ask these three questions:*  What exactly are you asking for?

    *  What can we do, together, that will make a long-term difference in the lives of the poor?

    *  How can we provide help in a way that increases our connection/bond?

  5. Distribute Bright Hope’s free booklet, COVID-19 & The Extreme Poor: Why the Poor May Be Hit the Hardest. We need to get the word out about the poor and what is going on in their homes. Let Bright Hope be a resource for you—download the booklet and distribute freely. Co-branding the booklet is available to those interested.

Bright Hope is a Christian ministry helping the poorest churches in the world reach their communities with Hope for Today, Tomorrow and Eternity ©. You can connect with Bright Hope at www.Brighthope.org or by emailing info@BrightHope.org.

SOURCE Bright Hope

CONTACT: C.H. Dyer, CEO, 847-971-4566, CHDYER@Brighthope.org

Related Links

www.Brighthope.org

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Cheryl Smith: Are You At Your Wit’s End?

Written by Staff on June 15, 2020 – 9:50 am -

Cheryl Smith: Are You At Your Wit's End?

Cheryl Smith, author of the Inner Views and Homespun Devotions, asks Are You at Your Wit’s End?

“These see the works of the LORD, and His wonders in the deep.  For He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses.”  Psalm 107:24-27  (KJV)

Does the above passage of Scripture resonate with you today? Like waves of the sea, do you mount up to the heaven one day, only to find yourself falling back down into the depths of despair the next? Is your soul melted because of the trouble that surrounds you? Do you reel to and fro and stagger like a drunk man? Are you at your wit’s end?
If you find yourself at your wit’s end today, I want to encourage you that you are in good company.
The prophet, Jeremiah, said, “Cursed be the day wherein I was born. Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?”  Jeremiah 20:14,18
The prophet, Elijah, “went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, ‘It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.'”  I Kings 19:4 

King David said, “I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.  My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.”  Psalm 38:6,10

Job said, “Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?  My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.”  Job 3:11, Job 10:1

 

Jonah said, “Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. I do well to be angry, even unto death.”  Jonah 4:3,9

 

The Apostle Paul said, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”  2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;  by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”  2 Corinthians 6:4-5,8-10

“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life.”  2 Corinthians 1:8

 

Most importantly, our dear Lord, Jesus was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed him not.”  Isaiah 53:3

He said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death.”

“Abba, Father, all things are possible unto Thee; take away this cup from Me: nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou wilt.'”  Mark 14:34,36

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is to say, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?'”  Matthew 27:46

We could go on and on and tell of not only Biblical people, but God’s saints throughout history who have reached the point of being at their wit’s end.

Are you there today?

If you are, may I encourage you?

Jeremiah, Elijah, King David, Job, Jonah, and Paul persevered, and they overcame! They are now a part of that “great cloud of witnesses” who proved it can be done!

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”  Hebrews 12:1

 

Our dear Lord, Jesus overcame! He rose above all, including death, hell, and the grave, and He is now seated in glory!

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

 

You, too, can overcome, my friend.

I don’t know the individual circumstances of life that may have driven you to “Wit’s End Corner,” but I can tell you this. “Wit’s End Corner” is where God hangs out – just like the old song says. He is there, right in the midst of your current situation, and He has everything you need to enable you to keep pressing on, to walk forward, even though you don’t know where you will find the strength to take the next step. He will empower you to keep fighting the good fight so that one day, you will join the ranks of those who have already laid hold on eternal life.

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”  I Timothy 6:12

 

As I stood next to the bed of my dying, Godly mother, she looked up into my eyes, struggling with all her might to talk to me. Unable to hear her through the BiPap pressed tightly to her face, I gently pulled it back and bent low to listen. I knew those meaningful words would be of eternal significance, and I could not afford to miss them. As I was still unable to understand her, my husband, Kevin came near and helped me decipher the three beyond-precious words she was trying so hard to say—words that have returned to my mind so many, many times since then and still sustain me, especially now during these difficult times.

“Keep.  Pressing.  On.”

These are the words I pass on to you today, weary heart. I know the battle has been long. I know the struggle is real. Keep. Pressing. On. Don’t give up. God is there with you – hanging out beside you on “Wit’s End Corner.” This time of severe trial and testing will produce precious fruits of righteousness, and you will one day look back on today and better understand the process.

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Lorraine Walker: Praise in a Cave

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

By Lorraine Walker

lorraine@sgnscoops.com

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Colet Selwyn: UK Bass Singer is Gaither-Approved

Written by Staff on May 27, 2020 – 11:54 am -

Colet Selwyn

Colet Selwyn

Every gospel quartet fan loves a great bass singer. If you were to stop an ordinary gospel concert attendee, most will mention the lows of George Younce, and J.D Sumner, to modern day bass singers such as Matt Fouch of Legacy Five and Paul Harkey of Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.

Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Colet Selwyn, whom many of you will be familiar with from the Gaither Homecoming Videos, to talk about his career in Gospel music.

“It all began for me at a young age, from listening to the Psalty, the singing songbook, as a toddler hiding under the covers, or watching my first ever quartet on a DVD performance (while I was living) in India– I can’t remember a time when this music hasn’t been enveloping my growth as a person, and for that I’m so thankful for my parents for that environment.” Selwyn was raised in India and now lives in Scotland.

 

Colet Selwyn“As a child, my parents called me the ‘absent-minded professor’ while I grew up. I had a scientist lab coat on and played my air guitar while singing along. As I mouthed along to the music I started unconsciously memorising aspects of the gospel, that Jesus died for my sins and then rose again! What else could help me as a teen when I was confronted by the world and my own failures? Thank God for music that reminded me! My desire, if God permits, is to help make music that helps us remember God’s grace to us in creative and harmonious. ” Selwyn shares.

“At the age of 17, I had just done a local talent show for a church family out of Scotland. Ernie Haase saw it and invited me to sing during Signature Sound’s European tour– and honestly if he hadn’t done that, I’m not sure what my music would have looked like today.” Selwyn adds, “Thank God for Ernie!” 

 

Bill Gaither and Colet Selwyn

This young bass singer cites several influences that helped shape his rich and resonant voice: “There are three of them: Bill Gaither, George Younce, and Tim Duncan for different reasons. Bill Gaither influenced me through his videos that introduced me to the variety of personalities, and enthusiasm of the gospel music world. George Younce influenced me as he was in the first Gaither DVD I ever saw at a young age, with Old Friends Quartet; he makes old age look good! And lastly, as a teenager I saw Tim Duncan with Signature Sound, and it was then I knew that this music was for young people as well.”

 

Selwyn has had many opportunities to share the stage with national Southern gospel acts such as Gaither Vocal Band, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, along with many others. Recalling this awesome experience, Selwyn shares: “While actually singing with them– I was sort of in a daze, my body in auto-pilot, and my brain freaking out. In retrospect, I was just blown away by the love and the team-focused nature of the guys, they were so encouraging to me, and that’s the type of heart I aspire to nurture.”

 

When asked about the memorable moments in Selwyn’s career in Gospel music so far, he shared: “Hearing Bill Gaither’s heartfelt laugh and Gloria Gaither’s wise words as we listened, learned, and worshipped together during the Gaither Songwriting Intensive. That was a very special memorable moment for me.”

 

Funny moments come for everyone, whether it’s a stage mishap or just a good ole road story. “A funny story that I would love to share with you is a number of us from the U.K. had come near the end of a long string of concerts abroad. We had experienced the thrill of singing before a vast audience and were still on a buzz after meeting some celebrities. During the opening song, the roar of the crowd turned into a cacophony of wingbeats as an enormous swarm of mosquitoes decided to envelope the stage. Well, the show must go on! We sang our hearts out while being bitten all over – the officials also came and doused the stage with some sort of insecticide. I’m sure the audience thought it was a new fog machine or something! 

 

Selwyn says that if there was one message that he would want fans to convey from listening to his music or seeing him in concert, it would be this: “I hope the music encourages, excites, and provides great words of wisdom for people to remember the great words of Christ.”

 

The next time you see that Colet Selwyn may be featured in a Gaither Homecoming Tour in your area, whether you’re in the grand state of South Carolina, or in the country of Scotland, be sure to go and listen to this awesome talent. You can find out more about him by going to his website (www.coletselwyn.com) or by following him on Instagram @coletselwyn.

By Andrew Brunet
Andrew Brunet is a gospel music social media figure who has a live radio program, as well as being a booking agent and concert promoter. He is currently on the management team at WOTG radio. Andrew can be reached at

andrew@andrewbrunetshow.com

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