The Fosters

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Easter Is Not Another Ordinary Day

Written by Staff on April 12, 2020 – 1:47 pm -

Jennifer Campbell. Easter Is Not Another Ordinary DayEaster Is Not Another Ordinary Day by Jennifer Campbell

 

Not too long ago, we were living ordinary lives, enjoying ordinary days, and doing ordinary things. Then, our lives literally started to change overnight when entire nations began ordering stay-at-home lockdowns. Today, over 180 countries have recorded COVID-19 cases. More than 1.8 million people have been infected, and tragically, over one hundred thousand people have lost their lives to this highly infectious respiratory disease. The coronavirus pandemic literally changed the world, and it all started on what seemed to be another ordinary day.

Jennifer Campbell. Easter Is Not Another Ordinary DayJust over two thousand years ago, men and women, boys and girls, awoke to another seemingly ordinary day. They got out of bed, dressed, combed their hair, ate breakfast, and started their daily routine. Only nothing about this particular day was business as usual. The night before, Jesus and His disciples sat down for their last meal together before Jesus would be crucified. Early the next morning, “all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed” (Matt. 27:2 NIV). A short time later, Jesus was lashed and beaten beyond recognition. Simon from Cyrene carried Jesus’ cross to the hill known as Golgotha (Matt. 27:32-33). Jesus was hung on this cross with nails piercing His hands and His feet.

Matthew 21:45-46 says, “From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’)” As Jesus took His final breath, a violent earthquake came upon the land, the temple curtain was torn in two, and many tombs were opened and people were raised from the dead (Matt. 27:51-53). Even the centurion and some of the soldiers who previously mocked Jesus, saw what happened and exclaimed, “‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” (Matt. 27:54 NIV). Jesus Christ did not stay on the cross, for He rose to life on the third day (Matt. 28:6 NIV). From the moment Jesus arose, the world would never be the same again.

Jennifer Campbell. Easter Is Not Another Ordinary DayThis year, Easter will be observed a little differently, which will hopefully give everyone additional time to reflect on what Christ did for us. As I look forward to worshiping the Lord on Resurrection Sunday, in the comfort of my own home, I am reminded of a dream I had a couple of months ago. I dreamed that I was going through some papers and found two Easter Sunday bulletins from two distinct years past. In the dream, I commented to my dad that it would be unusual for there to be no Easter Sunday services anywhere in the world. At the time, this dream seemed very unrealistic, so I thought little more about it. Two weeks ago, I was sorting through some papers, found two different Easter Sunday bulletins, and reminded my dad of the dream I had two months ago. I feel that God was preparing my heart for this unpredictable turn of events.

Although special religious services can encourage believers and even attract non-believers who come to church on religious holidays, I feel that the Spirit of God may be speaking to the churches through this pandemic. The entertainment and sporting venues have widely been shut down. Even churches are primarily closed, with the exception of online services. Perhaps God is using this “pause” to allow us time to listen to His leading. A.W. Tozer said, “Sometimes I think the church would be better off if we would call a moratorium on activity for about six weeks and just wait on God to see what He is wanting to do for us.” During these less-than-ordinary days, let us make it a point to listen to God’s voice. He has a master plan for each of our lives, if we are willing to listen to His sovereign guidance.

For many pastors and congregants, the absence of an Easter service seems like a major roadblock on the religious calendar. Yet, the church is not a building; it is a body of believers. Jesus did not tell us to build a sanctuary; He commissioned us to “‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation’” (Mark 16:15 NIV). Even now, as the majority of regions are under shelter-in-place orders, we can still proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the Internet or through telephone calls, letters, and other forms of communication. Yet, the glorious message of salvation is too wonderful for us to only share on Resurrection Sunday. I once knew someone who only wanted to sing the song, “He Lives,” as an annual tradition on Easter Sunday. Jesus Christ did not give His life so we could be saved, celebrate the risen Savior one day a year, and then wait patiently for His return. He gave His life so we could worship Him forevermore, and so we could share the wondrous love of Jesus Christ, 365 days per year.

Jesus’ resurrection is something we should praise God for every single day of the year. God knew we needed a Savior, since we have all sinned (Rom. 3:23). He loved us so much that He gave His only Son to shed His blood and to die on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins (John 3:16). Jesus gave His life because of love (1 John 3:16). There is no other name by which we can receive salvation. The manmade holiday known as Easter cannot save anyone. Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost. When we confess our sins and put our faith in Him as our Lord and Savior, then we will become a new creation in Christ Jesus. Let us remember to thank Him for His mercy and grace every single day, always keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2).

Jennifer Campbell: Hope in times of Misgivings and DoubtJesus is the One we should be listening to above all others. Do not let the sounds of the world surpass the sound of the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart. During this pandemic, be careful not to be drawn in by the news headlines, the inconveniences of getting groceries, or the concerns you have for your family and friends. Instead, take time to read God’s Word. Take time to pray. Take time to listen to His voice. Focus on the risen Savior. May we all tune our hearts to Him, as we worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24)! For there will come another seemingly ordinary day when Christ will return to this earth, and that is the moment that will truly change the world for all eternity.

By Jennifer Campbell

More about Jennifer:

Jennifer 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 )

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
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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Grace Friday

Written by Staff on April 10, 2020 – 6:06 am -

Grace Friday

Grace FridayBy Jennifer Campbell

Good Friday is a day that I hold very dear to my heart. But sometimes I wonder why it is called Good Friday.

Just think about it. We often say, “That was a good dinner.” We say, “Good morning,” even to passersby on the street. Let’s face it, the word “good” is used so frequently that it has nearly lost its credibility as an adjective.

So maybe we should rename today and call it Great Friday. That would give it more significance, right? In reality, it matters not what we call this particular day. What matters is whether or not we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ gave His life for you and me. It wasn’t about fame or fortune. He wasn’t trying to do a good deed or striving to be great. He died on the cross to cleanse our sins, to grant us eternal life, and to shower us with love and mercy we don’t even deserve. When you really stop to think about it, the name most befitting of this important day on the calendar would be Grace Friday.

Perhaps you look at the calendar and wonder what Easter is really all about. Deep within your heart, do you feel as if there must be something more, beyond the chocolate bunnies and plastic eggs? If you are searching for answers, look no further. Jesus Christ is the answer you seek.

John 3:16 says, “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.”

The King of Kings and Lord of Lords gave His life as a ransom for every man, woman, boy, and girl on this planet.  That includes you. Why? Because of the unconditional love He has for us.

Jesus could have called ten thousand angels to save Him from the cross. He didn’t have to endure the pain and agony. He could have simply told his Father, “I can’t do it. I’ve had enough. I’m going home.” But He stayed there, because He knew that you and I needed a Savior. He knew that we would have no lasting hope on our own. Jesus wanted to give us the most heartfelt and important gift given in the history of mankind: eternal love and everlasting life. It is the gift that truly keeps on giving, through all eternity.

You may be sitting there, thinking, why would a King do this for me? I’ve failed, I’ve sinned, and I’ve done so many wrongs. The Bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Not one of us is without blemish. We have all made mistakes. Still, His love for us is never-ending. Jesus shed his blood to forgive our sins. He bore all of the earth’s diseases to heal our sicknesses. On top of all of that, He granted us eternal life in Heaven with Him, for everyone who has a personal relationship with Him.

This Easter, cherish the time you have with family and friends. Enjoy the delicious dinners and sweet bunny-shaped treats. Above all, remember the reason for the Easter season. Jesus Christ gave His life for love (I John 3:16).

On Good Friday, Jesus died. On the third day, He rose again. At this very moment, He is sitting at the right hand of God, interceding on our behalf. He bestows upon us unconditional love, even though we are undeserving.

God’s word says, “All are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). No matter where you have been, what you have done, or who you are, His redeeming Jennifer Campbell: Hope in times of Misgivings and Doubtlove is free to all. That is true, divine mercy.

So whether you call it Good Friday or Great Friday, remember that Easter is really all about grace.

By Jennifer Campbell

More about Jennifer:

Jennifer 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 )

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
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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Wade Phillips: Every Spiritual Blessing in Christ is Enough 

Written by Staff on March 11, 2020 – 1:58 pm -

Wade Phillips preaching

Wade Phillips

Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

This doesn’t say we have a few spiritual blessings; it says we have them all. 

If you have a relationship with Christ, you have everything Heaven has to offer.

If we truly believe the above statement, why is it believers walk around with their heads hung in depression? Why is it believers tremble in fear at the current political climate? Why is it relationships are breaking apart? Why is it churches are barely getting by financially? The answer is, “We just don’t understand what it means to have every spiritual blessing in Christ.” 

Let’s look at just a few of those blessings and see if we can begin to have a better outlook on things. 

The first blessing I would like to mention is Salvation. Acts 4:12 says, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” 

Wade Phillips

Wade Phillips pop

Jesus Christ is our salvation.  That alone should be enough to get your fire burning. You no longer must worry about where you will spend eternity. You can be confident that Jesus is good enough to cover all your imperfections, and it is through Him that you have victory over sin and death.  

And if that’s not enough to cause you to live life with joy in your heart, he also gives you a Helper and Guide. Acts 2:38 says, “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” John 16:7-8 says, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”

Not only do you have Salvation, but you have been given the Spirit of God to guide you through this complicated world. It’s through that Spirit you will be able to know the right path for your life and be able to discern what is good and what is not. It is through that Spirit you can have strength and confidence in what God has given you.

If that wasn’t enough to get you through this life, He has also given you hope. 1 Peter 3:4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”

I am so glad that God, through Christ, has given us that living hope. Through Christ, we know we have a place waiting for us in Heaven that is so beautiful we can’t describe it with the human tongue. We are not sentenced to eternity separated from God in a place so horrible it can’t be described. We have living hope and are heirs to God’s riches. He says we have an inheritance that will never fade away. 

I’m looking forward to the day when I get to step into the throne room and be in the presence of God. But, until that day, I know I have everything I need to live a life free from fear. I can walk with my head held high, knowing that Jesus paid it all and I belong to him.

You are a child of the Most High God, so live your life accordingly.

God bless, and have a great week in the Lord.

Pastor Wade Phillips

Three in One Ministries  3in1ministries.org

Wade Phillips is from Madisonville, Texas, where he attends Madisonville Christian Fellowship. He is married to Tonya Phillips, and they have a son, Nicholas, daughter-in-law, Courtney, and grandbaby Anna Grace. Wade’s Christian Country ministry is based on preaching, singing, and being the hands and feet of Christ.

For more Gospel Music News, read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine PDF Here
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Listen To Today’s Gospel Music Here

 

 


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Sweetheart Stories: Jack and Vonda Armstrong

Written by Staff on February 13, 2020 – 8:57 am -

Jack and Vonda Armstrong

Jack and Vonda Armstrong

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and we are happy to present another love story in our series of Sweetheart Stories. For many years, the gospel music community had known Vonda Easley as the vivacious blonde southern belle with a big smile and country drawl. However, behind the smile was a lifetime of challenges and mountains that she had overcome. She was a single mom with two grown children, who had their own families and lives. Vonda is hard-working and generous, humorous and full of faith in a God who cares. Yet, she realized a couple of years ago that something was missing. Here’s Vonda to tell her story:

 

I must have said it over a thousand times, “It just isn’t in the cards for me to find someone that loves me enough to let me be me.” And I usually followed that statement up with, “They would want me to leave my home, and I will not ever do that.”

I met Jack Armstrong at a Bill Bailey Event in Bonifay, Florida. I remember thinking that he was one of the friendliest people I had ever met, but the last thing I Jack and Vonda Armstrongwas looking for at a gospel concert was romance. I was there to hear my kids, Josh and Ashley Franks, sing and cover the event for SGNScoops Magazine. However, my daughter and Penny Shelnut (Scoot’s wife) were at Ashley’s booth, already playing matchmaker. When they suggested we go out to eat after the concert, I was quick to let Ashley know that I knew what they were doing, and I was not interested. I told her there was something messed up with your child having to get you a date!

As the concert went on, Jack talked to me a little about radio promotion, and when I got home, he called and hired Hey Ya’ll Media, my radio promotions company, to work radio for his group, The Bibletones. (I often tease him that he married me so he wouldn’t have to pay me anymore.)

I believe that God set up a divine appointment for me that night to meet Jack. It still amazes me today how much he is like my Daddy. I felt safe when I was with my Dad, and I feel safe when I am with Jack. He makes me want to be a better person, and he supports me in all that I do.

Jack and Vonda ArmstrongTrue Love is unconditional. There are no expectations set. To love unconditional is difficult, and most people aren’t good at that. But true love really does love without trying to change the other person. I love you, Jack Armstrong. Thank you for loving me and letting me be me. And by the way, Home is wherever you are…….. V

 

Vonda and Jack Armstrong, III,  were married on October 21, 2018, at her daughter’s church, People’s Tabernacle Church, Savannah, Tennessee, and officiated by her son-in-law, Josh Franks. Standing up with the couple were Vonda’s grandchildren, Priscilla and Eli Franks. The couple fits together like hand-in-glove and Jack’s laidback personality complements Vonda’s vivacity.

Do you have a Sweetheart Story to share? Write to me at lorraine@sgnscoops.com.

Be sure to let everyone you love know how much you care this Valentine’s Day. And Jack and Vonda Armstrongremember, God loved you enough to send Jesus Christ, his only son, to die on a cross so that he might have a relationship with you. Jesus went willingly because he knew it was the only way to bring you into his love. Please accept that love today. Want to know more? Write to me!

For more Gospel Music News, read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine PDF Here
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook Here
Listen To Today’s Gospel Music Here
Jack and Vonda Armstrong

Eli Franks, Jack Armstrong, Vonda Easley Armstrong, Priscilla Franks

Jack and Vonda Armstrong

Jack and Vonda Armstrong

Top Row: Josh and Ashley Franks
Bottom Row: Eli Franks, Jack Armstrong, Vonda Easley Armstrong, Priscilla Franks


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Wade Phillips: Don’t Be A Consumer Christian

Written by Staff on October 10, 2019 – 9:25 am -

Wade Phillips: Don’t Be A Consumer ChristianWhat have you done to serve in the Kingdom of God lately? Are you a consumer Christian?

There are many consumer Christians in the churches of America today. These people go to church and ask, “What can you do for me?”

God never intended for us to become consumers; He planned for us to do good works for others. The question you should be asking yourself is this, “What can I do for God today?”

If Christians keep on consuming and never get busy giving, then you will never see the product God intended for His people.

God’s word encourages us to be doers and not just hearers. James 1:22-25 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

Now that we know that we are supposed to be about faithful action, let’s see what the word says about what that action is.

Wade Phillips: Don’t Be A Consumer Christian

MARK209 at NASHVILLE RESCUE MISSION

Luke 10:25-37 says,On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply, Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.

The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

It all boils down to this: as a Christian, we are supposed to place God above everything in our lives and we are supposed to show the love of Christ to others. When we actually put action to our faith by giving of our time, talents, and treasures, we then begin to become “The Church” Jesus called us to be. 

Wade Phillips

Wade Phillips

God has always used people to do His work and he continues to do that today. Please don’t get caught up in being a consumer, get busy being a producer of faithful action.

God bless and have a great week in the Lord.

Pastor Wade Phillips 

Pastor Wade Phillips –  3in1ministries.org

Wade Phillips is from Madisonville, Texas, where he attends Madisonville Christian Fellowship. He is married to Tonya Phillips, and they have a son, Nicholas, daughter-in-law, Courtney, and grandbaby Anna Grace. Wade’s Christian Country ministry is based on preaching, singing, and being the hands and feet of Christ.

For more Gospel music features, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine In PDF Here
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook Here

Listen To Today’s Gospel Music Here

 


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Kristina Cornell: No Other Name — Deliverance

Written by Staff on September 6, 2019 – 1:46 pm -

Kristina Cornell. No other name. Deliverance

Kristina Cornell

No Other Name – Deliverance

“The crowd joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison and instructed the jailer to guard them securely. When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake.

Deliverance from Prison 

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened, there was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew [his] sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, ‘Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.’ He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.’ So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house. He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once. He brought them up into his house and provided a meal and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.” Acts 16:22-34.

The scripture goes on to explain that Paul and Silas were actually Roman citizens. How frustrating it must have been for them to be accused of being something that they were not. And in addition to that, ridiculed, beaten, imprisoned, surrounded by darkness.  

As we read the New Testament, we understand that Paul wrote a lot of it.  Once a Christian killer, Paul was actually named Saul. As Saul, he was ruthless, what we would refer to today as a terrorist. But, on the road to Damascus, Saul had an encounter with the Lord and was converted to Christianity. He had a real experience with the Holy Spirit. Because of that experience, we have the greatest evangelist of all time, Paul.

The Lord used Paul in a mighty way for the early church. Paul wrote, “It is no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me.”  And, he exemplified that statement.  

In my life, I have been falsely accused, even misunderstood. I have been abused and rejected. I have experienced circumstances that held me captive, imprisoned in a situation that I, in myself, could not escape. 

These were very dark times in my life.

As I reflect, I am reminded of the difference in the outcomes of such situations. The outcomes were a direct result of my behavior, my actions, and my reactions.

There was a time in my life when I was so broken and so devastated that I was angry with God. I served him for my whole life and I faced some really awful things in a horrible sequence of events. 

I would have taken my life if I did not have a child that needed me. I had nothing left to give, nothing left to do.  That was the lie of the enemy that almost took my life.

Through some tough times, unnecessary self-inflicted trials, I surrendered my life to the Lord again.  He took me back into his arms and loved me, like a father does. He never reminded me of my wrongs, only redirected my path.  

Several years later, I had a very similar set of circumstances in my life. The same abuse, the same loss, the same devastation.

However, I learned a huge lesson the first time I suffered through this. I learned that being angry with God because of my circumstances was silliness.

He gives free will, and sometimes people make very poor choices, choices that make them seem like monsters. 

My free will had the right to choose how I would endure this hardship. Would I walk away from my best friend, Jesus? Would I cling tighter and expect him to deliver me however he saw fit?  This time, I chose “b”. I cried, I hurt, I sought God’s face constantly, I surrounded myself with worship and those who would join me in it.  

See, the enemy mistook my loyalty. He thought he could beat me up, humiliate me, bind me in chains, and keep me in darkness. But in my midnight, one of the most depression-riddled seasons of my life, my perspective changed. My behavior and actions were different. 

This time, I began to worship. I began to serve God more and deeper. I sang louder and louder. I wrote music to God. I stopped praising and began worshipping. I refused to be blinded by the darkness that was so thick I could not see.  

Something amazing began to happen. The chains of anxiety that bound me were being released. The prison walls of depression began to fall around me. I was free.

Like Paul and Silas, I sat there for a minute. See, the awesomeness of the freedom was not because I could now walk free from the scenario. It was awesome because even as I sat in the middle of my broken chains and darkness, I just was free. Whether walking out in the night or sitting in the middle of it, my freedom was the same.

One of the coolest points to this story is that Paul and Silas could have walked out, but they did not want their freedom to cause anyone else to stumble or to not experience freedom with them. When my deliverance began, I sat there. I waited ’til the Lord told me to go. In that time he was not only strengthening me but allowing me to be a witness to countless people. 

Dear friends, your deliverance is not only for you, it is for a testimony to others who also need deliverance. Theirs may look different than yours, like the guard’s deliverance was salvation, which was different than that which Paul and Silas experienced, but there was deliverance nonetheless.

I know that when God begins to break things from us and we enjoy freedom it can be difficult to wait and allow yourself to be used in such an exhausted state. But God has a plan and we will live a beautiful life of peace when we surrender all to him.

Kristina Cornell. No other name. Healing

Kristina Cornell

There is no other name for deliverance than the precious name of Jesus. He makes all things new.

By Kristina Cornell

Kristina Cornell is a regular contributor to SGNScoops website.

“…I have been delivered so many times by the hand of God that any creativity that I have I only want to give back to Him. I really have nothing else to say, as I have learned that I have nothing of significance to offer of myself. I am just like everyone else, in need of a Savior. I write from my heart, I write devotionals, stories, songs, messages, even starting on a book, and all I have to offer is Jesus and what He has done in my life!” — Kristina Cornell. Visit her website at www.tellthemministries.net.

You can find out more about Kristina on Facebook HERE.

 

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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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Kristina Cornell: Sometimes the Shadows Are Cold

Written by Staff on May 14, 2019 – 8:30 am -

Kristina Cornell

Kristina Cornell

Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”

This is one of the most well-known verses in the Bible. But what does that mean? What is the “valley of the shadow of death?” We hear this verse a lot at funerals and to comfort Christians in really difficult times of loss, but what is the most accurate translation of the original Hebrew text?

The Hebrew word for “shadow of death” is sal-ma-wet, which means “darkness” or “darkest shadows.” As we are reading in the context of the Hebrew, as it was written, we would say “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, which is the darkest valley, I will fear no evil.” The verse goes on to read, “for YOU are with me.”

I am going to pause. Although, this entire Psalms 23 passage is POWER PACKED with amazing promises for believers, I want to visit five words that MOVED me in a different way as I was studying for this devotional. “FOR YOU ARE WITH ME.”

I have faced some really tough things in this life. I remember looking at my pastor and telling him that I am not afraid to die, that if I did not wake up the following morning it would be ok with me. I proceeded by saying, “However, I am afraid to live; I do not know how to move through this.” Have you ever felt that way? Even though I am a child of God, a weapon for the Kingdom, a “right-fighter”, an alpha female-go getter, I am human. You are human.

When we consider David’s history, we can sort of understand why he realized his deep need for the Lord and why the Lord was truly his Savior.

David faced potential fatality while caring for his sheep. As just a boy, he fought away a lion and a bear to protect his flock. David was fearless in the face of Goliath. He had a warrior’s heart, prepared for battle even when it made no sense. With all odds stacked against him, he stood strong, faithful, and fearless.

David was tactical in his dealings with Saul. He used stealth and wisdom. He also brought great comfort to Saul as he skillfully played music and provided peace for his predecessor.

David was an anointed King. He was meant to be the King of Israel, the royal bloodline of Jesus. David was the “apple of God’s eye”. He found favor in the heart of the Father.

David lusted after a woman with whom he then had an affair, the woman became pregnant, and he had her husband killed. David was a man, in need of THE Savior.

Now, with that very brief history in mind, reading this passage, well it reads a little differently. He was not just a little shepherd boy writing a song. He was a fearless warrior, a revered leader, a skilled musician, and a sinner.

In all honesty and conviction, having a real human experience with God, David wrote: “Yea, though I walk through the darkest valley, the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for YOU are with me.”

I can imagine that David must have thought that sometimes the shadow, the darkest valley, is so cold. We cannot see the light of day; we cannot feel the warmth of the sun. Sometimes we cannot feel the light of our Father, the warmth of His arms. It is scary and unsure. Fear grips our hearts and we want to sit down and not move through to the other side. It is in that darkest valley, that shadow of what feels like death, that David reminded himself, “FOR YOU ARE WITH ME.” God did not need for David to tell Him where He was, David needed David to tell himself where God was.

But wait! What about Ps. 91:1 We believe that the scripture was an account by David but was actually Moses’ writing of the exodus. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”? David was recording this song of his hero; he was reminding himself of what the forefathers of his faith sang as they headed to the Promised Land. Actually, there are seven times in the book of Psalms that “shadow” is referenced as a hiding place of comfort and keeping.

Yet, even as I read these scriptures, I am transported to times that I, personally, was in that covert place with God, under His wings, because I was so wounded that I could not move. But guess what? Even that shadow felt cold. I am sure Moses felt the weight of the world, cold, lonely, scared, frustrated, angry when he returned from the mountain to find the Israelites building an idol, or as David must have felt when he was running for his life from Saul. That shadow of hiding and protection felt like I was so far removed from everyone and everything, it felt dark and cold, so lonely and isolated.

David KNEW God! David CONNECTED with God! David LOVED God! David CRIED OUT to God! David wrote this in his old age: Psalms 37:23-25 “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.”

For all of the trials and triumphs that David faced, these are the words that he wrote about his Father. It seems as though David figured out that the source of the shadow does not make the circumstance less dark, less cold, less isolated.

The source of the LIGHT that is creating the shadow is all that matters.

And just like David, we have to remind ourselves “FOR YOU ARE WITH ME”.

Kristina Cornell

When we recognize that the Light of the World is the author and finisher of our faith; He is the Alpha and Omega, the Great I Am; His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path; and He will NEVER leave us or forsake us, THAT is when the shadows do not matter.

The Light that is larger than the circumstance, is shining on us, and He holds our hands as we walk with Him.

By Kristina Cornell

“…I have been delivered so many times by the hand of God that any creativity that I have I only want to give back to Him. I really have nothing else to say, as I have learned that I have nothing of significance to offer of myself. I am just like everyone else, in need of a Savior. I write from my heart, I write devotionals, stories, songs, messages, even starting on a book, and all I have to offer is Jesus and what He has done in my life!” — Kristina Cornell. Visit her website at www.tellthemministries.net.

You can find out more about Kristina on Facebook HERE.

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Beyond the Song: Day Three sing “I Fail, But I’m Not A Failure”

Written by Staff on May 11, 2019 – 5:45 pm -

Day Three

Day Three

Jantina de Haan brings us another Beyond the Song look at a tune by Day Three, entitled, “I Fail, But I’m Not A Failure,” written by Rodney Griffin and Joseph Habadank. This song can be found on their recording, “Just Sing.”

Please talk to us about “I Fail, But I’m Not a Failure.” Why did you include this in your latest recording?

This is one of our most requested songs. We chose this because we could each identify with the lyrics. I think we have all come to a place in life where we feel like we’ve failed the Lord. This song is a constant reminder that God is always near, and He still saves, He still picks us up when we are down. He still forgives and most importantly, He forgets. No matter what you’re going through today, you’re not a failure in God’s eyes.

Day Three is from Mobile, Alabama, and is made up of Scott Washam, Amy Dunnam, and Bo Sullivan. They have been singing since 2014 and have made a mark in gospel music for their tight harmony and warm presentation.

We hope you enjoy this song as performed by Day Three. Producer Jonathan Goodwin, Redemption World Records.
Released on June 4, 2017.

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Amy Oxenrider asks, “Who’s Your Daddy?”

Written by Staff on May 9, 2019 – 10:47 am -

Sweet Water by Amy Oxenrider

Sweet Water by Amy Oxenrider

Sweet Water by Amy Oxenrider

Who’s Your Daddy – Part One

Christians often refer to the Almighty God as their Heavenly Father, Abba Father, or Daddy… but do we really know who he is? Amy Oxenrider takes us on a journey to delve into the “who” of the God of the universe…

Exodus 3:11-15
“But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, “What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?’
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites; ‘I Am has sent me to you.”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.”

Sitting back and looking over my life, I can see how God’s finger has led me from place to place to bring me to this point. I can also see how God was so many things to me; he was and is what I needed, and continue to need, at any particular time.

Throughout history, one can clearly see the hand of God, the physical presence of God, and the Spirit of God dwelling among us and taking care of those who trust and believe in him wholeheartedly. He is and continues to be “I Am;” all we need. Christians often need to be reminded of all God is each and every day. Let us begin at the beginning.

Jehovah-Bara means Lord creator. Do you realize that there was nothing at all desirable of the earth until God worked upon it? But, when God works, life takes place. Dead things become alive. Void things become filled. When God works, things change for the better.

Jehovah-Bara was at the beginning of creation and before we were created in our mother’s womb. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

rushing waterHe is our creator as well as the creator of the universe. When was the last time you chose to praise God for just who he is? Do you praise him only for what he can do for you? Do you praise him only when things go wrong? We should have praises on our lips throughout the day, each and every day for just who he is, and not for the sole purpose of what he can do for us.

This may seem very minute to some, but I find myself saying, “Thank you Lord for allowing me to see this mistake.” When I find myself typing an article or a psycho-educational evaluation, I often thank God for allowing me to see my mistakes. And this tends to happen several times throughout the day.

Sometimes I wonder, how often do I praise him, instead of praying and asking for something he can provide. Please do not misunderstand this statement. I believe God wants his children to come to him with our needs. However, I also believe he wants to be loved and hear prayers of thanksgiving.

The Hebrew word for Bara means to create out of nothing. God spoke the world, universe, and all our finite brains cannot understand into existence. All he had to do was speak, and it occurred. What power and authority our God has. Our lives were as an empty canvas until God took control. He then molded us and made us into what he has planned for our lives. He is patient with his creations and loves us all so much that his mercies are new each and every day.

Amy Oxenrider introduces Sweet Water

Amy Oxenrider

I want to close part one with a little humor. Three scientists had a conversation with God and indicated mankind no longer needed him because we have reached a point in our intelligence that we can do all he can. These cocky, arrogant scientists told God they could prove it to him. God simply said, “Ok, I will take your challenge.” The scientists told God they were going to make a man out of dirt. As they knelt down and began forming the image of a man, God spoke up and said, “Gentleman, I believe you need to get your own dirt. All of this belongs to me.”

Something out of nothing, that is what he has done with my life. That is what he does with all true believer’s lives. He takes a void and empty place and fills it with love, peace, and compassion for others. He takes simple pieces of clay and makes them the most beautiful creations in his eyes. And remember, God doesn’t make junk!

Much love,
Amy Duncan Oxenrider

Amy Duncan Oxenrider, the daughter of Grant and Shelia Duncan, is married to Jason Oxenrider and they have three sons, Brady, Weston, and Rylan.  Amy works as a psychometrist for the Mississippi Department of Education. She also writes for Pure Gospel Magazine and is now a member of SGNScoops.  A former member of the Riders, Amy continues to minister through singing and speaking engagements.  She is excited to see what her future holds and longs to uplift the name of Jesus Christ wherever the doors may open.  Find Amy on Facebook HERE.

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