The Fosters

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

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.
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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Kristen Stanton: Do Not Fear

Written by Staff on March 30, 2020 – 1:23 pm -

Kristen Stanton: Do Not Fear

Kristen Stanton

In these uncertain times, there is a refuge. In these uncertain times, there is truth. In these uncertain times, there is power.

A couple of weeks ago, I got up in the morning to go to work. It was unusually warm for March, but it was exciting because I knew it meant spring weather was coming. Flowers were getting ready to bloom. I could see the barest hint of green unfolding in the woods surrounding my house. Awakening after the darkness of winter, it was a promise of a better day.

And then the news came. COVID-19 was spreading throughout our country. Our state closed schools, restaurants, and then all nonessential business. It seemed like in the blink of an eye things were completely different. The lightheartedness I felt that morning was gone. Yes, I was dealing with fear. If I’m being honest, it was causing anxiety like I hadn’t had for years. I knew God was in control. I knew that this didn’t take him by surprise. And yet, like many others, fear of the unknown loomed ahead.

I started reading Psalm 91 everyday, recollecting the many times in the past God has protected me. I would remind myself that God is my refuge and my fortress. He is my shield and my buckler. He would cover me with his feathers the way a mama bird would protect her babies. But why are Christians still dying?

And then I read verse 5: “You shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day;” Wait, God, did you just command me to not be afraid of things I can’t see coming? God knew that we would be surprised in life by things we cannot see. God knew that terror would strike our hearts. He simply said don’t be afraid. Trust me.

We are afraid because we fear the unknown. But the unknown to us is not unknown to God. Psalm 91:4 says, “His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” Those are weapons of warfare. Not just the shield and the buckler which remind us that he always goes before us into battle, but his truth. His truth. His truth.

Here is the truth: Your mind is Satan’s battlefield. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Satan terrorizes using fear. God loves us and protects us. Sometimes God lowers the hedge. But God will never leave us or forsake us. Never. If we focus on God and not the news, if we focus on God and not on the way we feel, if we focus on God and not on what our friends think, we will begin to feel peace. We will begin to feel safe, hidden in the shadow of the Almighty – tucked beneath his wings.

The only one who knows the beginning from the end is our Creator. The truth is that he has created me for a purpose. He has created you for a purpose. God led Israel out of captivity. God kept David from being killed by Saul. God shut the mouths of the lions against Daniel. Nobody walks through life free from trials. And nobody walks through life free of fear. The difference is remembering what is truth.

The next time you are feeling afraid, open up the Bible, and let it envelop you like a mama bird envelops her young. Find the peace and security that only God can provide. God is your buckler. God is your refuge. God is your truth. And in that knowledge, there is great power.

Maybe those spring plants aren’t just here to remind us that winter is over, but maybe they are also here to remind us that no matter how bleak things may seem, God has promised us better days just ahead.

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

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.
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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Kristen Stanton: Prisoner of War

Written by Staff on February 17, 2020 – 8:42 am -

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

Prisoner of War 

The Bible says that the enemy comes to steal,  kill, and destroy. When the enemy comes he will always seek to do one of those things. If you aren’t prepared for the battle – if you fall for the lies Satan perpetrates — you will become a prisoner of war.

This battle is not against flesh and blood, but you can become caught up in the deception and end up on the losing side of the battle.

One example that we see is the story of Lot and his wife in Genesis 19.  In order to fully understand the story we have to go back to Genesis 13:5-18.  Abraham (at that point still known as Abram) and Lot were traveling together and had become so wealthy in flocks and herds that Abram told Lot to choose what land he wanted and he would go the opposite way.  Genesis 13:10 says, “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the Garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as you come unto Zoar.”

Lot saw – he relied on his experience based upon what he saw – and he saw how beautiful everything was. He did not seek God as to where he should go. He did the same thing Eve did in the garden. He looked with his eyes and made a judgment that it was good. In verses 11-12 it says, “Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves one from another. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.”

Fast forward to Genesis 19. Genesis 19:1 tells us that Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot left Abraham and chose the plain and pitched his tent toward Sodom, I highly doubt he ever thought he would end up living in the midst of Sodom.  Yet here he was sitting on the gate of the city. This is just how clever Satan is. The deception caused Lot to become a prisoner of war, and he would be caught right in the middle of the battle.  He made a decision to go into Sodom, yes, but he didn’t make a conscious decision to leave God and enter into the wickedness.

If Satan held up a sign that said “Follow Me” how many would actually follow?  Most of us would naturally run the other direction. So he reverts to warfare–and in this case it was lust of the eyes. Lot saw the plain. And he pitched his tent toward Sodom. Oh, what harm can there be in looking?

 Have you asked yourself this question? I have. I talk myself into going by the shoes in the mall just to look. And then sometimes I find myself in a quandary: I found some shoes for a good price that would be so awesome to have! I don’t really need another pair of black heels but well, they are just different enough that I could justify buying them. So what started out as a leisurely window shopping day turns into a fight between do I buy the shoes or not buy the shoes? Yes, it’s okay to laugh because it’s a silly example, but it’s the truth of the situation we often put ourselves in.

We can avoid sin altogether but we don’t understand the battle.  Understanding that there is a battle behind every decision would help us to identify that we are pitching our tent towards Sodom. We are walking right into the trap our enemy has set, and he is about ready to take us as a prisoner of war.  He will hold us captive until we understand the war we are in and that the only thing that can set us free is the blood of Christ.

So in Genesis 19, we see that Lot was now living inside one of the most wicked cities ever to exist. He was now a prisoner of war. Somewhere along the line he stopped looking and started participating. Maybe his wife complained that there was nothing to do in the plain. Maybe his daughters complained that they were bored. Maybe the servants said it was too much work to go into the nearest city for what they needed. Maybe Lot himself forgot the Giver of the Blessings. Maybe Lot just thought it would be more convenient. Maybe he thought his family would be safer if he were in the city because more people would be around to help if trouble came.

All of these thoughts, if they passed through Lot’s mind, are fiery darts of the enemy. Deception and dissension. Excuses. Fear. They are all things that take place on the battlefield of the mind.

But here we are and, not only is Lot living in the city, he is smack dab in the middle of all the sin. In fact, his family is so entrenched in the sin that they don’t recognize it for what it is. It’s just the way things were. Everybody else was doing it so it couldn’t be all that wrong. Right? WRONG.

The attitude of everyone else should not bear on what our attitude is. The war is raging and this manipulation tactic is winning out in our world today. The viewpoints of the world, when in conflict with God’s Word, are the viewpoints of the enemy, trying to infiltrate the mind.

Lot’s wife became a prisoner of war who died in the war, not knowing that she was even a captive. When the angels warned Lot to get his family and get out of the city because God was going to destroy it, verse 26 says, “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”  She looked back longingly at her place of captivity and did not want to leave. If given a choice, she likely would have stayed. 

Sin will destroy you. It destroys your ability to make proper decisions. You can no longer filter things through your mind and understand that it’s a tactic of the enemy because your mind has become tainted.

Think of it like this: you are making frosting. You need the frosting to be white but you accidentally put a drop of red food coloring in it thinking that it will just be a really light tint… and you notice that the more you mix it the more you can no longer find any white. And by now you realize your icing is pink… it’s not the color you had originally designed and you can’t go back and change it. That pink food coloring is the deception that taints the mind. Once the mind is tainted you can no longer go back to the way it was. You have to make a new batch of frosting.  God has to renew your mind.

Satan wants you to think that it’s not possible for your life to change.  But when you leave it in the hands of God– when you cast yourself into His arms – He will break those chains, wipe away your past, and renew your mind.  When Satan tells you that God can’t use you, remember that even though Lot was living in the middle of Sodom, God still provided a way of escape. If you feel paralyzed– convicted by Satan’s lies–  trust in God, and He can change your status from captive to captor, freeing you from being a prisoner of war.

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

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.

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

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Kristen Stanton: My Everything

Written by Staff on July 23, 2019 – 10:58 am -

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton: My Everything

Psalms 18:1-2 “I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my strength, in Whom I will trust; my Buckler, and the Horn of my Salvation, and my High Tower.”

Have you ever wondered why David, in writing this Psalm, used a laundry list of descriptors in his praise to God? And have you ever stopped to think about what each of them meant?

Information is important. As an attorney, knowing the facts is crucial. For example, in a custody case, people will parade through the office with their version of “he’s a good dad,” or, “she’s a good mom,” but the other information may not be relevant. What is important is what the child has to say – and how he refers to his father or mother. It speaks of the type of relationship he has with his parent.   

David is showing what type of relationship he had with his Heavenly Father. He understood who God is, but yet he also understood who God was in relation to him.

God was his Lord – He was the Master, the Ruler, the One in command.  When we submit to God as the Master, we recognize that not only is He in control but that He will always take care of us.  A servant submits his will to his master. When we understand that, we will then also know we can run to him for everything.

David then described God as his strength, his rock, his fortress.  David knew that he would have movable moments – those times when he couldn’t go on without God there to uphold him with His hand. And he knew there would be times he would need a place to fight from– his Fortress; those instances where he needed to feel secure – his Rock; and the only One who could defeat the giants he was facing– his Deliverer.  

God was David’s buckler. I’ve loved that descriptor since I first understood what it actually meant. A buckler was a small shield worn on the forearm into battle. Think about that image. Going into battle, the buckler would always be in front of the warrior. It would be the first line of defense. A buckler would never be tucked away behind a warrior or hanging to the side as if it served no purpose. It was there to defend.

If God is our Buckler, we can rest assured that He will always go before us. And if He always goes before us, we know that He will be our first line of defense against the enemy’s attack.

David also recognized God as the horn of his salvation and his High Tower. In other words, God was the author of his salvation. And as a warrior, David also knew the importance of a high tower– that vantage point where you could see the paths into and out of battle, the location of the enemy, and where all of the pitfalls on the journey would be.  

God sees it all. He created us. He called us by name. He knows exactly where we are. Yet in those two verses, David recognized choices that he had that we all also have.  We still need to choose to love Him. And we need to choose to trust Him.

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

In the end, David used a lot of words to say one thing: “God, you’re my everything.” Is He yours?

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.

Read the July SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

Download July SGNScoops Magazine On PDF HERE
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE
Listen To Todays Gospel Music HERE

 


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Kristen Stanton: Tomorrow about this time

Written by Staff on May 30, 2019 – 5:22 pm -

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

Sometimes, life does not make sense. 

Sometimes it feels like circumstances will never change.  And sometimes it feels like you have no purpose. But with God, timing is everything.

I love the story of the four lepers found in II Kings 7. These men were outcasts. They had no purpose in life and were rejected by society. They were stuck outside the city gates, marked by their condition. Nobody had any use for them – except God.

At this time, there was a famine in the land so severe that the Bible says that the people were buying one quarter of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver. It tells us that they were boiling their children and eating them. And Elisha prophesied in II Kings 7:1 that “tomorrow about this time” a measure of fine flour would be sold for a shekel and two measures of barley would be sold for a shekel inside the gates of Samaria.

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

The story shortly thereafter shifts its focus to these lepers. They knew they had nothing to lose – it was either they stay where they were and die, or they throw themselves upon the mercy of their greatest enemies, the Syrians, who would either spare them or kill them.  

And hey, they were going to die anyway if they stayed outside the gate and did nothing. So they rose up. These four leprous men did not stay where they were. They took action. And they didn’t wait until morning.

As they approached the camp, the Lord caused the Syrians to hear a mighty army (II Kings 7:6) and the entire army fled and left everything behind. The lepers came into the camp and found food, drinks, silver, gold, clothing – and they had a choice to make. Again. Remember, they were outcasts. Nobody was helping them.

They could have chosen to keep the spoils to themselves and try to justify it. But they didn’t. They immediately reported to the king’s house what they found.

They didn’t wait until morning. They saw the urgency of the situation. II Kings 7:16 says this: “And the people went out, and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the Word of the Lord.”

There are so many things we can all learn from this story. We should understand that with God there are no outcasts. He has a plan for you regardless of your past, regardless of your present circumstances, regardless of how society has labeled you.  If God used four leprous men to end a famine, He can use you to change the world around you.

God also shows us in this story the need to be obedient.  If He tells us to do something, we need to do it immediately – even when it doesn’t make sense to us. We need to trust that God has a plan even when we cannot see the end results.

We can also learn that even those things which appear impossible are nothing to God. Whatever it is that you’re facing, just hold on. Hold on just a little while longer.   

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

Hold on for another day and realize that God is getting ready to deliver you.

Tomorrow is coming.  

So be ready. Be looking for your answer – tomorrow, about this time.

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.

Read the May SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

Download SGNScoops Magazine On PDF HERE
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE
Listen To Todays Gospel Music HERE

 

 

 


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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.

For more Gospel Music news, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE

Download The PDF Of SGNScoops Magazine HERE
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE
Listen To The Best In Today’s Gospel Music HERE

   


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Gospel Music is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

Written by Staff on April 30, 2019 – 10:14 am -

Gloryway Quartet is doing their part to leave a legacy of gospel music in the Great Lakes

Gloryway Quartet is doing their part to leave a legacy of gospel music in the Great Lakes

Southern gospel music may be more widely known in the south, but the southern states don’t exactly have a corner on that part of the music market. Gospel music is alive and well in the Great Lakes regions of Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan.

Steeped in tradition and yet carving out an identity of their own, gospel music groups from the area are striving to carry on the legacy of those who have gone before them, all the while competing with the contemporary Christian music that overwhelms much of the area.

Michael Bailey is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

Michael Bailey

Michael Bailey, a soloist from Taylor, Mich., became enamored with gospel music as a young boy after hearing some iconic groups such as the Imperials and the Cathedrals. Although shy as a child, Bailey decided to heed God’s call on his life to share the message through gospel music, and has overcome that fear of being in front of people.

Walter Williams is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

Walter Williams

Walter Williams, from the West Michigan area of Battle Creek, also fell in love with the music at a young age as a musician. At the age of six, he started learning the accordion and then moved on to the piano, the saxophone, as well as other instruments.

For Williams, however, life hasn’t been all roses. He states, “My life took a sharp detour down the prodigal road. I’m glad that I found out that Jesus saves; even in the darkest of places. I’m grateful to be able to share my testimony how God never ever gives up on us.

“For me, Southern gospel music seems to really get at the root of this Christian journey and brings you to the cross. I am happy and humbled by the opportunity to share God’s message that brings us from guilt to grace.”

Bobby Jones Family is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

Bobby Jones Family

Some of the artists in the Great Lakes region have a family legacy in gospel music. Betty and Bobby Jones met in their youth group at church, and after suffering from two stress-related strokes and becoming unable to speak or move her right arm, Betty realized that the only thing that mattered was what she was able to accomplish for the Lord. She made a promise to God that if he would let her live and restore her voice, she would follow his call. The Bobby Jones Family hasn’t looked back.

The Morse Family is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

The Morse Family

The Morse family from Ohio travels and sings with seven of their nine children. What they anticipated being a one-time concert has turned into a traveling ministry for the family. Heidi Morse commented, “When God has a plan, he works and we simply follow. What a true honor to share Jesus as a family; to train our children to serve Christ with all their heart. There is nothing like it.”  

The Foresters are Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

The Foresters

Where the Morse family seemingly stumbled into a family ministry, Mark and Andrea Forester from Michigan began their ministry the day after they returned from their honeymoon in June of 2000. They now sing with their two boys, Trevor and Tyler, and are expecting to be in 21 states in 2019. In 2018 concerts alone, 252 people professed Jesus Christ as their Savior.

The Great Lakes region Southern gospel artists do not limit themselves to just the northern region, however. Many of these artists have appeared in several states, singing at not just churches, but also at prisons, fairs, and senior living facilities.  

4One is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

4One is Leaving a Legacy in the Great Lakes Region

Jim Quales, owner of 4One Quartet from Reed City, Mich., states that in 2018 they did over 240 dates, of which 85 were in a senior living facility. “We feel strongly about making sure we sing to these dear people. We are thrilled to spread the gospel in many different outlets, and find that we try to draw the people in with may styles and songs to share Jesus in a real way,” Quales commented.  

Southern gospel music may have some competition in the north, but it is definitely alive and well. You can catch some of these artists, including Diamond Award winner Gloryway Quartet from Ohio, at Creekside Gospel Music Convention October 27 – 31, 2019, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., sharing their passion for the music.  

Southern gospel music artists in the north are honoring their call. They are embracing the unique vision God has given them. These artists are leaving their legacy in the Great Lakes region.

By Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.

 

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Kristen Stanton: VICTORY IN THE VALLEY

Written by Staff on February 12, 2019 – 8:24 am -

THE VALLEY BETWEEN

VICTORY IN THE VALLEY

I Samuel 17:26: “And David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel?  For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

In this passage, between I Samuel 17:4 and I Samuel 17:26 when David spoke these words, the Philistine giant, Goliath, had appeared each day for forty days, bestowing a challenge upon Israel to fight him.

In verse 24 we finally see just how Israel responded – “And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.”

Have you ever wondered just how long this stand-off would have lasted had David not appeared on the scene?  

Have you stopped to ask yourself why there was a stand-off in the first place?

The Philistines faced off against them, equally able to move from their mountaintop to advance towards Israel.

However, they didn’t pursue –they intimidated. Goliath appeared every day to remind them that they would have to face off against him.

Satan doesn’t want to fight you; he wants to scare you!   

If he fights you, he loses because he knows God has gone before you and fights your battles. If he scares you, he wins because he knows you have forgotten in whom to place your trust!

Victory begins with a change in your perception. Your mind is Satan’s battlefield. Remember, if he scares you, he wins.   

Stop looking at the weight you are carrying as a burden that is keeping you from moving forward. Instead, start thinking about it as an opportunity to grow stronger as you press on.

Stop looking at the valley as a place you don’t want to be. Instead, start thinking about it as a place of growth, a place of life, a place of rest.

Don’t forget the beauty of the valley in your hurry to get through it.  

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

The reality is that the mountaintop is great for looking back at where you’ve come from and to look ahead to where you are going.

David had victory the moment he said, “who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”   

He did not run in fear but spoke in faith. His mind was prepared, and his perception was that nobody would defeat God!

Goliath was satisfied in scaring Israel because it prevented them from moving forward.   

Satan is satisfied in appearing every day in your life to scare you because that fear prevents you from moving forward in your life to the place God has for you.

Learn from Israel—they cowered in the face of fear and for forty straight days accomplished nothing for God.    

Learn from David–his perception of Goliath was that God would handle him.

Which are you emulating in your own life?  Like David, you too, can find victory in the valley.

By Kristen Stanton

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Southern Gospel Weekend 2019 to be featured on Andrew Brunet and Friends

Southern Gospel Weekend 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

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Kristen Stanton: The Valley Between

Written by Staff on January 31, 2019 – 10:26 am -

THE VALLEY BETWEENI Samuel  17:3 “And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.”

In I Samuel 17 we see a significant battle. There was a physical battlefield, but there was also a spiritual battle.  

The Philistines were gathered together on one mountain and Israel was on another. They were not occupying the same space–there was an entire valley between them. In order for war to engage, either the Philistines had to want to enter the area where Israel was, or Israel had to want to enter the area where the Philistines were and to obliterate them so that they would no longer face that fear.  

We must understand that we are in a spiritual battle every single day. If we are living for Christ, we are constantly being pursued by the enemy. We can stand on our mountain in the refuge that God provides, but sometimes we need to march into battle and destroy the enemy—face that fear and run it from our lives.  

Either way, it requires us to pass through the valley in order to get to the next mountain. And when we pass through the valley, we become vulnerable either to our enemy or to God.  

Where are you today? Are you refusing to move off the mountain because you fear the valley? Are you tired of the battle you are facing in the valley and just want to quit fighting?   

God knows exactly where you are and has already declared you victorious.    

Kristen Stanton

Kristen Stanton

Take that step of faith and face down your fear.

God’s plans are greater than your fear and greater than where you are now.

God is in the valley between.

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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Kristen Stanton Talks About Fun Times With Her Dad….

Written by scoopsnews on June 17, 2017 – 8:14 am -

Growing up we took family vacations to the beach every summer! I remember one year in particular we were all in bed with the lights out in our hotel room and my dad, who always thought that was the best time to clown around, started joking. My mom kept telling him he was going to get us in trouble which only served to egg my dad on. Soon we were all laughing so loudly that the front desk called and asked us to keep it down. My brothers and I still laugh about it today. And if you know my dad at all… he always has a joke coming! 😊 Love my dad! His sense of humor has made life interesting!


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