Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

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.

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Kevin Pauls: Trust – a prayer for today

Written by Staff on May 21, 2020 – 3:32 pm -

Kevin Pauls. True MusingsThis was my prayer this morning… by Kevin Pauls

Today God…I first want to acknowledge your provision. I really feel awkward when people say “God is in Control” – that leads me to believe you are in control of this chaos. I believe you are in ultimate control, but that does not mean micro managing the world or our lives. In simple terms…I do not think you caused this or any other tragedy…but I firmly believe you are in this with me! Standing, holding, encouraging…loving me through this entire episode.I never want to pretend I know things that are un-knowable. We have a book full of stories about God and the interaction between the Jewish People and Yahweh. We have letters and encounters about the life of Jesus, we have first hand accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have life lessons and we have the the words of Jesus…and so much more that point us to knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world…

Somehow, Jesus is the divine; was human enough to understand our plight and divine enough to save us. I do not understand this at all. However, this understanding guides my life and guides everything I do.
However, this beautiful book we call the Bible does not clearly allow us to understand all the inner workings of the world and how God interacts with His creation…
Kevin PaulsSo, I say all that to simply tell you I do not know exactly how God works. But I am confident he does.
That confidence allows me to have hope for the future. That confidence allows me to have peace in the midst of the storm.
I do not need to know the inner workings of the universe because I know the one who is charge and I trust him!
Today, I simply rest in that trust!
By Kevin Pauls
Kevin Pauls. Wendy PaulsMore About Kevin Pauls
Kevin Pauls is best known for two things – his powerhouse vocals and his unbridled optimism.  Kevin cut his teeth on gospel music and over the years has delightedly shared the stage with many of his musical heroes: Gaither Vocal Band, Michael English, Russ Taff, Steve Archer, and Steven Curtis Chapman. He’s performed an eclectic array of musical styles – from popera to southern gospel to hard rock. In short, Kevin loves to sing almost as much as he loves chicken wings. Find out more HERE.
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Kristen Stanton: Destiny by Design

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

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton is a dynamic singer, speaker, and writer. From discussions on Facebook, to live concerts on any stage, Kristen’s main focus is to share her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She says: “I was saved when I was four years old. I’ve been in church my whole life. I went to a Christian college. I don’t have the experiences of walking away from God and how He brought me back. But I do have the experience of how God continuously reveals Himself to me… of how He answers prayer. I want people to understand who God is so that they can be more of a reflection of Him. My goal is to help others see God in a way that meets every need in their life.”
Following a trio of No. 1 songs from her debut project, “Destiny by Design,” Kristen recently released her second solo project, “Love As Jesus Loves” and is currently writing songs for her new album. Kristen is also an Attorney-at-Law, serving clients in Northwest Ohio.

 

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

 

 

 


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Ten Ways to Have a More Successful, Effective Prayer Life

Written by Staff on September 4, 2019 – 10:35 am -

Ten Ways to Have a More Successful, Effective Prayer Life

Ten Ways to Have a More Successful, Effective Prayer Life

The other day as I was poring through some papers that belonged to my dear Mom, I came across an article she used to refer to often. It was written by someone in China many years ago, and it gave a description of how things would be right before Jesus comes back. I found the words as sobering as they used to be when Mom would read them to me or speak of them through the years. One of the main subjects the author spoke about was how increasingly difficult it would be to pray as we approach Jesus’ 2nd coming.

As I read the words again, I was amazed at the accuracy of this “prophecy” written so long ago.

Does anyone else have as difficult a time entering into intercessory prayer as I do?

It is not that I don’t love to pray.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I DO love to pray. I cannot begin to express how much I love immersing in a time of deep communion and conversation with my Heavenly Father.  Those moments with Him are my favorite moments of all, and without that time of keeping our communication open and fresh, I could not, by any means, maintain the spiritual Christian walk that He enables me to walk day by day.

I have lived for Jesus long enough and neglected my prayer life enough times to come to a full realization that prayer is absolutely essential and imperative to my success in living a Christian life. I cannot do without it for it is in Him that I live and move and have my being.  (Acts 17:28)

I have no ability to know which path to take, without consistently engaging in conversation with my Lord. “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”  Jeremiah 10:23

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in His way.”  Psalm 37:23

I desperately need to continually hear His voice instructing me which way to go, and it is crucial that I do whatever is necessary to draw daily strength and grace from Him to overcome the onslaught of evil that we all have to contend with in daily life.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”Matthew 26:41

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”  John 15:51

I know I need to pray, and I know the consequences that ensue when I don’t pray as I should, so I determined to try to identify the main opponents to my prayer life.

Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

What exactly is it that makes praying so difficult in these last days?

Once I identified my biggest prayer hindrances, it was easier to come up with ammunition to combat those deterrents and win!  I hope you will also find these tips helpful as you pursue a more effective prayer life for truly there is no substitute for the amazing power of consistent, effectual prayer in the life of a Christian.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.“James 5:16

Ten Ways to Have a More Successful, Effective Prayer Life?1.  Pray first.  

Let it begin as soon as you awaken in the morning.  Just get it done!

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  Matthew 6:33

On days that I don’t pray first, not only does it seem the day falls apart, I also walk around with a continual nagging sense of not having done what I should.  It sets an out-of-sorts tone for the whole day.  Spending those first moments of the day with God in prayer gives a sense of having done my duty and arms me with what I will need to face the unfamiliar challenges of a new day.  As I get older and don’t sleep as soundly as I used to, I find that I am doing a lot of praying during the night, too.  There is nothing more comforting to do when you are tossing and turning than to turn your heart Heavenward and talk it all over with Him.  It is soothing to the soul and gives a sense of refreshed peace when you wake up later.

My mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips: when I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches.  Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.”  Psalm 63:5-7

Yet the LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”  Psalm 42:8

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on Your promises.”Psalm 119:148

Most importantly, Jesus, our example, prayed all night long.

And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”  Luke 6:12

The Bible mentions Jesus’ prayer life enough times to reveal His prayer patterns to us, and we would all do well to pay careful attention to those details.  If He needed to pray so often and for such long, extended periods of time, do we really think we can run a successful Christian race doing less?

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees.”—-EM Bounds

2.  If you can’t pray first, pray faithfully.

If praying during the first part of the day doesn’t work for you, the main thing is to be intentional about specifying a block of daily time for prayer regardless of the time of day, and then committing to it daily and making it a habit —just like a daily important appointment.  It is actually the most important of all.

3. Establish a designated place to pray.

  Though we can obviously pray from anywhere, it helps to have a particular place to pray. Having a designated prayer spot will associate prayer to that location and become a place that draws and reminds you to pray.  Over time, as you experience God’s anointing in that place, you will begin to regard and cherish it as holy ground.

4.  Be comfortable.

This may sound like an odd prayer strategy, but if you are in an uncomfortable position, you probably won’t want to stay there long.  Again, as I get older, I find that being on my knees isn’t the most comfortable position, and when I start out praying that way, I usually end up moving to my recliner to finish.  It may be just my opinion, but I don’t believe God is nearly as concerned about bodily position while praying as He is in fervency, earnestness, and the condition of the heart.  I will never forget how much it impressed me to read about how Charles Stanley arms himself with the whole armor of God before his feet touch the floor each morning.  This lends support to the point of praying first and gives another reason that it is a good idea.  Praying in bed first thing in the morning brings us into the presence of God and insures that He is the first one we face and talk to.  We never leave an encounter with Him unchanged, and after being with Him, we will find ourselves prepared for every other intersection and interaction that will happen throughout the day.

5.  Keep paper and pen near your prayer spot.

One of my main inhibitors during prayer time is becoming so distracted by the onslaught of meddlesome thoughts that continually stream through my mind as I am trying to pray.  I start thinking of phone calls I need to make, emails I need to write, people I need to reach out to and connect with, chores I need to accomplish, what I will cook for my family, and upcoming occasions for which I need to prepare.  So, to beat the enemy at his distractions game, I started keeping a pad of paper and pen close by.  Now, when those distracting thoughts start invading, I start jotting short little note reminders.  This transfers the task from my mind to paper, and I can let it go to be revisited later in the day.  It’s a winning strategy that works perfectly and enables me to keep right on praying until I am finished!

6.  Allow for listening.  

The fact that a conversation is two-way also applies to prayer, but an often overlooked part of prayer is allowing space for God to speak.  We want to do all the talking and asking and petitioning, but we rush away from prayer after pouring out what we want to say, and we fail to linger long enough to give Him an opportunity to deal with our hearts and reveal His thoughts.  There is much that He will relay to us if we will make the effort to be still before Him.  Reduce noise, and pray in solitude.  Jesus did.

And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone.” Matthew 14:23

And when He had sent them away, He departed into a mountain to pray.”  Mark 6:46

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”  Mark 1:35

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”  Luke 5:16

Just as I am with Justin McLeod7.  Pray on.

Though you have an allocated prayer spot and time, it is important to also remember to stay in a spirit of prayer after you finish and as you continue throughout the entirety of your day.  I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray without ceasing.”  We obviously cannot stay in our designated prayer spot and preferred prayer position 24/7, but we can continually call on the Lord and pray unceasingly as we go about our day and perform our duties, keeping our minds in a continual state of communion with Jesus.  He is always there with us, as close as the slightest whisper, and every time we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.  “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.”  James 4:8  I have found that my daily duties, i.e., homeschooling, cleaning, cooking, laundry, and even errands have become springboards from which prayer wells up, and things that would otherwise be mundane and laborious are transformed into opportunities for deep conversation with my Lord.

8.  Shed toxic influences.

Shed people who continually hinder and dampen the audaciousness of your faith.  Stop listening to those who quench your inspiration.  When Jesus was on the earth, and He was faced with an impossibility to pray through, He sent all doubters away and dispelled hindering spirits from the atmosphere.  They were not allowed access into His inner circle.  In fact, in particular situations and circumstances, Jesus ONLY permitted a select three of His twelve disciples to go with Him.

In the case of raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead, He allowed only Peter, James, John, and the girl’s parents to stay in the room as He performed the miracle.  (Luke 8:50-55)

When Jesus was going to the mountain to be miraculously transfigured, (Matthew 17:1-2), He only took Peter, James, and John.  When He entered the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of His crucifixion, He only invited Peter, James, and John to go farthest into the garden with Him to pray.

There was no place for doubt, fear, or unbelief in Jesus’ realm.  When opposing spirits were present, He removed them.  Why?  Because fear, doubt, and unbelief can hinder the miracle from manifesting.  It can also deeply influence and injure the faith of others who DO believe God is going to answer prayer.  If you are praying with someone who does not believe for what you are asking, that spirit of unbelief can absolutely hinder the answer from coming through and can start to cause you to start doubting God’s ability to do what you are asking Him to.  Doubt is toxic to faith.  Get rid of it, and shed those who inject it into your prayer life.  It may sound cruel and heartless, but it is just that necessary.

9.  Surround yourself with Godly influencers of faith.

  Surround yourself with those who unfailingly believe that God is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6

Ask the Lord to send earnest, relentless prayer partners into your life.  Seek out those who speak life into the situations you are praying about.  Abraham had faith in “Him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.‘  Romans 4:17

THAT is the God we serve.  He has not lost one bit of His power, and “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  Hebrews 13:8

Just as Jesus chose those whom He knew believed with all their hearts and placed them in His inmost inner circle, we have the free will to choose the people we allow in ours.  None of us want to hurt another, but when it comes to running a successful Christian race, and knowing the main tool to make that happen is the maintaining of a strong, faith-filled prayer life, it is imperative that the people we permit access to our closest companionship are those who possess a resolute, unshakable faith in God.  It took me a long time to realize the depth of wisdom in expending the necessary effort it took to develop an encirclement of stalwart faith-filled prayer warriors around me.  When a need arises, I want to know that the people I ask to pray will fervently pray and that they will do so with zero doubt in the God they are praying to.

Don’t you?

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

Cheryl Smith, author of the Inner Views and Homespun Devotions

10.  Keep prayer commitments. 

Just as you want to know you and your prayer requests are being faithfully prayed for, be careful to pray for those for whom you have promised to pray.  If you tell someone you will pray for them, honor your word and be committed to keeping your promise to carry their needs to the Father.  I find it is very helpful to keep a prayer book where I record the names of those I have made a commitment to pray for.  Life is busy and full of care, and it is easy for me to become so absorbed in all that is going on in my own life and completely forget to keep my promise to pray for others.  I have also learned to drop what I am doing and pray instantly with/for those who ask for prayer, if at all possible.

As always, if anyone who reads this needs prayer, please always feel free to email me through this site.  When I tell you I will be praying for you, by God’s grace, I will keep my word!

God bless you as you pursue an ever-deepening prayer life, and may He send people into your life who will reinforce your faith, support your determination, and powerfully enhance the strength of your prayers.

First published on Homespun Devotions at https://www.homespundevotions.com/2019/08/ten-ways-to-have-more-successful.html

By Cheryl Smith
Blessed & Grateful Wifeto Kevin and Homeschool Mamato Zach
Prayer Action Leader for Concerned Women for America

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Selena Day: Finding Life Within

Written by Staff on June 20, 2019 – 12:57 pm -

Selena and her husband Chuck DayI married Chuck when I was 22 years old and thus began my journey traveling. I have spent most of my adult life living out of a suitcase. We have raised two daughters from diapers to homeschooling and into young adulthood, while still maintaining a home and staying on the road three to four days out of the week. We had a bus when the girls were very young; they actually learned to walk on a tour bus.

Selena Day and Chuck Day

Selena Day and Chuck Day

I have been to 34 states, and I think 40 (give or take one or two) countries. I tell you all this only to make a point.

Over the past 10 years, the words, ‘Adventure, Explore, and Journey’ have all been percolating through our society. A study recently showed that millennials would rather use their money to travel than to purchase large investment items such as homes, land, stocks. They believe that experience will bring greater happiness to them than material things.

Selena Day and Chuck Day

The Day Family

This article is not meant to dispute this logic because I have had so many amazing experiences while traveling, but I also love coming home. My home, not my parent’s house, but mine. If I come back off the road and feel really tired and don’t want to unpack and wash my clothes for a day or two, I can. No one can tell me that I can’t, because it is my house. There have been weeks in our life that I never unpacked. I came in, took the dirty clothes, washed them and repacked them in our suitcases, and loaded back up. There were clothes strewn all over the house, and the house actually looked cleaner after we left than when we were there.

Selena DayI say all this because one thing I have discovered from all this traveling, is that happiness is not found in anything but that which resides within. I honestly believe that it is Christ within me that brings hope, happiness, and joy; absolutely anything we will ever need in this life. It is through him, in him and with him only that we can live and thrive in this life.  

I have learned that happiness is not found just beyond the horizon and happiness is not found in what you own or what you do. Happiness is living the life you were created to live, and our journey is about discovering what this life is meant to be.  

Selena Day and Chuck DayI am not trying to imply that travel is not suitable for your soul, because I absolutely believe this to be true; but I also think that living a fulfilling life is about so many different things. It is about the people you surround yourself with, it is about the purpose you have in your life.

Don’t judge someone because they choose the life they are living.

Scripture says that love covers a multitude of sins. And the simple definition for sin is; missing the mark. We get the word sin from the Greek word hamartia.  This word was used during the first century church times in Greek literature when telling a Greek tragedy. It was commonly understood to refer to an error or tragic flaw that lead to a chain of plot actions culminating in a reversal from bliss to disaster. It qualified as the failure or deficiency resulting from ignorance, a mistake of judgment, a flaw in character or wrongdoing.

I think this is important to understand when loving others and living our life. Realizing that, Peter believed significantly in the sacrificial love of Christ to change our lives so drastically from every negative influence that we obtain in life, from lousy parenting to the negative effect of friends or colleagues. When we love, we literally change the course of a person’s life for the better.

Selena Day and Chuck Day

Selena Day

Living a wholehearted, full, and happy life can only come with knowing who you are inside. It’s in finding absolute truth as your foundation for all that you do, whether it be in finding the adventure in life when traveling, or being the strong influence of stability by staying in one place, or in my case, doing a little of both.

For me, my truth comes from God. I believe that man cannot save himself. I have a redeemer and he not only saved me once for eternity, but he continually rescues me from adversity. Either by showing me that I am strong and smarter than I once believed, and I can work through my battle, or by miraculously delivering me.

I know that I am loved. No matter what I do or what I say, I am loved by a greater force than I could ever begin to comprehend. And that love gives me the courage to pursue my dreams, to fail and to get up and try again. I am grateful that I have a Savior that loves me and has made way for me to live my best life.  

I pray that if you do not know him, you will stop right now and just talk to him. Just begin to ask questions in your own words and allow him to answer them. He will.

Life is worth living. But real life is in Jesus Christ. Scripture says to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  Zoe, Zao living means to live abundantly, vigorously, fully. So today I pray that if you are struggling wherever you may be; traveling on the road or sitting at home on the couch, you will know that there is a God that loves you and he has a plan for your life.  

Selena Day

Selena Day

Your best days are yet to come.  

By Selena Day

Selena Day is a regular writer for SGNScoops Magazine. She and her husband, Chuck Day, are tireless ministers of God. Chuck is a Christian Country artist.

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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Kristen Stanton: This Day

Written by Staff on May 2, 2019 – 2:17 pm -

THE VALLEY BETWEEN

VICTORY IN THE VALLEY

THIS DAY 

Devotional by Kristen Stanton 

I Samuel 17:46  “This day will the LORD deliver you into my hand; and I will smite you, and take your head from you; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the Earth; that all the Earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”

Have you ever faced an obstacle that seemed insurmountable? Have you ever looked at the mountain in front of you and said, “Lord, I’m willing to climb it but I don’t see how I can!”  

Have you ever been so discouraged by what you are facing that you just resign yourself to the idea that you’ll never make it past where you are right now? Or maybe you know God can but you don’t know why God would. So you stay right where you are instead of venturing through the unknown valley ahead.

The reality is that each of those situations has one thing in common—lies straight from the pit of hell. Your mind is Satan’s battlefield, and he will try to win the war right there because he knows that if the battle moves beyond your mind he will surely lose.  

You have to be willing to fight the battle in order to have victory. And when you fight, you will also gain deliverance from the lies, the doubts, the fears – everything Satan uses to cause paralysis and destruction in your life.  Strongholds.

In I Samuel 17:45, we see David staring his enemy down in spite of what he was facing – a giant man, a sword, a spear, a shield — all of the normal proven weapons of warfare.  

And yet there David stood. No armor. Nor armor bearer. No sword, no spear, no shield. All of these things on the surface look like insurmountable obstacles—something impossible to overcome. But David did not get caught up in his circumstances. Instead, he declared in faith that he had victory.

David knew he had a weapon more powerful than anything this Philistine could use against him. He knew that Goliath wielding weapons of warfare was no match for the Lord of Hosts!

Likewise, it doesn’t matter what you are facing today. It doesn’t matter how big the enemy appears as he confronts you with fear, doubt, insecurity, discouragement. It doesn’t matter the obstacles. You have power over that today. Yes, today.

In I Samuel 17:46, David said, “This day will the Lord deliver you…” This day.  

David was not going to allow the enemy an opportunity to gain a stronghold. David declared in the face of his enemy that this day the Lord would deliver him into David’s hand.  

David had a choice. He was prepared for battle mentally. He knew that the battle belonged to the Lord. But he also had to fight. He had to walk into that valley and meet his enemy in order for him to be victorious.  

What is your greatest dream? What is holding you back from realizing that dream?

Speak the truth. God is for you. It doesn’t matter if your battle seems impossible because the truth is that battle belongs to the Lord.  

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

The battle begins in your mind. Declare victory over your enemy. Walk into that valley with the assurance that you have already won. Be ready.   

Your deliverance in this valley is coming. This day.

By Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton is a dynamic singer, speaker, and writer. From discussions on Facebook, to live concerts on any stage, Kristen’s main focus is to share her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She says: “I was saved when I was four years old. I’ve been in church my whole life. I went to a Christian college. I don’t have the experiences of walking away from God and how He brought me back. But I do have the experience of how God continuously reveals Himself to me… of how He answers prayer. I want people to understand who God is so that they can be more of a reflection of Him. My goal is to help others see God in a way that meets every need in their life.”
Following a trio of No. 1 songs from her debut project, “Destiny by Design,” Kristen recently  released her second solo project, “Love As Jesus Loves” and is currently writing songs for her new album. Kristen is also an Attorney-at-Law, serving clients in Northwest Ohio.

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New SGNScoops writer Amy Oxenrider drinks “Sweet Water”

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

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

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

Sweet Water by Amy Duncan Oxenrider

According To Your Faith

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

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

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

Then she hears the name “Jesus.”

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus stops.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to your faith will it be done to you.

God Bless You All

By Amy D. Oxenrider

 

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

More on Amy Oxenrider:

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

 

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TO REALLY LIVE, YOU HAVE TO DIE

Written by Staff on May 3, 2016 – 5:30 pm -

Death

To Live or Die

We Christians rejoice in the significance of new life in Christ – and rightly so. Apart from Jesus Christ we cannot know the joy of true life.

But we seldom give much thought to the fact that in order to receive that new life, Christians have to die. We tend to skim over the Scriptural passages that speak of our need to die. We don’t do it deliberately, but we are understandably more enthused about the life in Christ that we now live than the death of leaving things behind.

The life we enjoy in Christ is, however, very much a result of death. Above all it is the result of Christ’s own death for our sins. Without his death on our behalf, it would be impossible for us to enjoy eternal life.

But the Scriptures also speak of ways in which we ourselves must “die” – a death that can be anything from a minor, inconvenient loss of something we cherish, right through to the most stressful and traumatically life-changing experience. All of us, if we are to fully enjoy life in Christ, must experience “deaths” of various kinds.

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We’re All Human by Jeff Steele

Written by Staff on April 24, 2015 – 8:16 am -

Dr. Jeff R. Steele

Dr. Jeff R. Steele

Three Reasons For Trouble

A lot of people don’t like to hear this but sometimes God allows trouble to come into our lives. One need only to look at the life of Job to realize that God does this from time to time. I believe there are three reasons God allows trouble to come to us. One is…He’s preparing us for what’s coming. Why is there Spring Training in baseball? Why are there Preseason workouts and two-a-days in the blazing hot summer for football? To get the players ready for the actual season that is still to come. Does the military just throw otherwise able-bodied men into the conflict of service? No, they first run them through “basic training” to prepare them for their real service.

I had a friend of mine when I was in high school. His dad owned a jewelry store where we lived. We visited that store often. This guy’s dad had solid white hair. I now know (with the perspective of years) that at the time I was visiting his store he was probably younger than I am right now. One day he was talking about the rigors of his basic training in the army. I (being a stupid teen-ager) said, “That must be where that white hair came from, the toughness of basic training.” He became very serious as he looked at me and said, “No, Son. Basic training didn’t give me this white hair. World War II gave me this white hair!”

The difficult thing that you’re going through…that trouble you’re facing…don’t be so quick to get mad at God for allowing it to come. He could be putting you “through the paces” so you will be prepared for the REAL battle that’s much tougher than this so you’ll be prepared when it comes.

Secondly, I believe He allows trouble to come in order to test us. When we were in school (if we’re honest) our least favorite part was test day. You know what, though? The teacher didn’t just give a test to determine whether we passed or failed the subject. They gave us the test to determine whether we had retained what we were supposed to have learned to see if we could move forward. There’s no sense going to what’s next if we haven’t yet retained the knowledge and skill we are supposed to have learned in the previous lesson. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Don’t put that on your car as a bumper sticker until you have passed the test that lets you know for a certainty that it’s true!

Thirdly, God will allow trouble to come to chasten us. Scripture tells us that the Lord chastens those He loves. Now we don’t like that but listen; chastening from the Lord is one of the things that prove we’re SAVED! I run into people all the time who tell me they’re not sure they’re saved. I ask them: “Is God chastening you?” If He IS, then that’s a sign you ARE indeed one of His children. As His children we are called to live our lives according to HIS will for us.   When we began to follow our own desires and leave His will for us then He will chasten us to get us away from where we ARE and take us BACK to where we are supposed to be!

Don’t get mad when God allows trouble to come. Just realize that it’s all part of His perfect plan for your life and that He’s using it to build you into what HE wants you to be.

First published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in February 2015.

Connect with Dr. Jeff R. Steele on Facebook.

Read Jeff’s latest column in the current issue of SGN Scoops on the SGN Scoops’ Mainpage.


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David Staton: What Will You Do In 2015?

Written by Staff on March 6, 2015 – 12:50 pm -

David Staton

David Staton

I don’t know about you, but if I don’t make a “to do” list in the evening and plan my day, I will not get much done the next day. Everyday life has too many distractions that will keep me from getting done what I need to get done. I’ve never met anyone who was successful who didn’t create a plan on how to achieve their goals. Most people will never retire unless they map out a plan in writing with advisors and a team of people that know how to make it happen.

If I had a business that didn’t do very well this past year, didn’t grow, didn’t make a profit and I sat down with a successful business person, they would ask questions like: “How much money did the company profit last year? What is your product? What is the process for getting the product to the consumer?” Then they would ask a very important question: “Can I see your business plan that makes you think next year will be more successful?” If I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, I am almost guaranteed to fail.

We carefully plan our lives and take practical steps to make the things that we care about happen. Many people say that their number-one priority is following Christ, but something is wrong. When Jesus asked the disciples to follow Him, He told them, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” In other words, “I will show you how to share the Gospel with people.” Then just before He ascended, He told all of us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, baptizing them and making disciples. In other words, He is telling us that when we follow Him, He will teach us how to share the Gospel. It was important enough that the disciples took the time to write down important events and the words Jesus said so they and we would know how to share the Gospel.

Road Ahead            I know many churches that have had about the same attendance every week for the last year, two years, five years, 30 years. I have asked the pastors what they have planned for evangelism in the coming year and what their plan was to share the Gospel with the tens of thousands of people that live in their community. Some have a well thought out plan, but too many churches plan on doing nothing different than they did the previous year. I can tell you that most of those churches will not see significant growth. Why? They dream of their church growing, but dreaming is not enough. The difference between a dream and a goal is a timeline, a plan of action.

How can we say that ministry and serving Christ is our top priority and yet we never sit down and write down a “to do” list for sharing the Gospel. Learning how to share the Gospel effectively with the people and culture that we live in is essential if we are going to make an impact on the world around us. If you are a gospel singer and claim to be a ministry and you can’t open your Bible and lead someone to Christ, do us all a favor and don’t claim that ministry is a priority in your life! That last sentence may have been a little opinionated, but it’s just some free advice.

photo-michael-ryu-n-213            Maybe you are a singer or in a gospel group and if you’re like most, 2014 was a tough year. Good dates are getting harder to come by and church budgets are getting too tight to have any kind of outside singers or evangelists come in. Crowds seem to be getting smaller, but you think 2015 will somehow be better. Let me ask you what your plan of action will be to make it better?

If you have ever said that ministry is a priority in your life, and sharing the Gospel is the most important thing in your ministry, then let me encourage you to sit down with someone that can help you achieve more in 2015. If you’re a pastor or church leader, let’s work together to do more to share the Gospel in 2015 than we ever have. When we ask God to direct our paths and sit down and create a plan based on His will and His leading, we will be amazed at what He will do in and through us! A New Year that wins more people to the Lord is guaranteed to be a Happy New Year!

David Staton is a Gospel music artist and writer who has a monthly column in SGN Scoops digital magazine. Find his latest column in the current edition of SGN Scoops HERE.

For more information on David Staton click HERE. 

 

 


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