NewSoGoFan moves on, launches blog

I have told each of my contributors that they are free to launch out on their own at any time they want—and that I will do everything I can to promote their new ventures. NewSoGoFan has decided to take me up on that offer; today, she launches

She has contributed fourteen posts: CD reviews of Influenced II (Ernie Haase and Signature Sound), Declaration (Booth Brothers), Acoustic Sunday (Kevin Williams), A Man Like Me (Wes Hampton), and Signature Sound’s Cathedrals Tribute CD and DVD, encore series entries for Hide Me Behind the Cross and I Just Can’t Make It By Myself, translation series entries for Embrace the Cross, Our God is With Us, On Faith Alone, The Coloring Song, and Runner, and a humor post. She also played a significant role in two other posts, the Ernie Haase interview and the discussion on Wes King’s “The Robe.”

I distinctly recall the early days of wondering whether I would ever reach one hundred daily readers. That’s part of why I’m pleasantly surprised when someone wants to contribute posts, and astonished when that person gets excited about it!

Perhaps that is because the day-to-day work isn’t all that glamorous. I’m not sure what you see, but…

I see a blank screen every morning that needs to be filled up with something interesting enough to make you feel that your daily five-minute visit wasn’t a waste.

I see the obstinate sentences that sturdily resist my attempts to reshape them into something that flows naturally.

I see a stack of one or two dozen CDs each September, with a hundred smiling faces that stare at me until I set aside a full-blown marathon writing weekend to write reviews non-stop for hours. I enjoy the other 363 days I spend on the site, but I have to admit, that weekend is always too much of a good thing!

Yet I love what I do, just the same. And enough of you find some level of value in the end result to keep me going. But it does explain why I’m as astonished as excited when someone wants to contribute posts.

This story’s ending has an surprising and exciting twist. Even as one contributor comes on, another is about to come on board! Be watching for an announcement later this week.

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46 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Long time reader – first time commenter.

    The big surprise for me is that NewSoGoFan is a lady!!! For some random and unexplained reason, I always thought you were a man 🙂 HAHA!

    First post looks good!

    • Welcome to the comment section! I think NSF will actually be pleased that you assumed that!

      I wondered at first, but I believe I did figure out that NSF was a lady before I was told.

    • I did too and even mentioned it on one of the blogs (I think here). I never saw a correction if it happened.

  2. Funny “Me”. I thought the same things as well. Guess I will be adding another blog to my daily readings. Congrats NSF.

  3. Huh, I thought NSF was a guy too. And was going to say so before I read these comments. I wondered, but I was pretty sure it was a guy. 😆

    I guess you decided you had too much to say for it to all fit in the comments, huh? Congrats!

    • Something like that. 😉

  4. Hello my name is Thomas, and I’m a lady!? Really?? I highly doubt this! I would have guessed a very opinionated “Tenor Singer” not a lady! All that funny stuff said, I will miss getting under your skin NSGF it sure was fun! 🙂

    • Were you trying to get under my skin? I think I wasn’t noticing half the time, but thanks. 😆

  5. Thanks for the congrats guys. And yeah, I know some of you assumed I was a guy, but I actually don’t mind. Momma always taught me to write and argue like a man. 🙂 (I actually got into a frustrating online debate with some guy once where I literally told him to argue like a man. That must have hurt.)

  6. Oh, almost forgot—this is my new username. 🙂

    • There are TOO MANY BLOGS!!!!

      I have been off-line due to travelling in my line of gospel-work. Oh, and thanks for the compliment ref co-contributor!!

      I am genuinely not consistent enough for that. I do like to “peer in from outside”, and comment as I see fit.

      I am an ex-pat missionary living in the African sub-continent, so I have a semi-global perspective, BUT a strictly NON-USA one, which colours [colors!] some of my perceptions and perspectives…

      I genuinely feel ‘at home’ on Daniel’s blog and the Den Master deserves a lot of credit for running a tight ship.

      A few of us – YGG sis [ex-NSGF] are a wee bit more robust by times, but Daniel’s moderation [both senses] keeps us in check. It must be a good blog-spot for an SGM professional to keep an eye on!!

      Oh and there were a few feminine-give-aways, BUT “argue like a man” – totally agree on that. Very right brain!

      • Perhaps one of these days it’ll work out, and until then we’ll certainly welcome your guest post observations when inspiration strikes!

        Yes, I err on the side of caution and moderation. Enough artists read this that it behooves us, for that reason even if for no other.

      • A quote from your “bro” Sam, “Thanks for your concentration, coordination, and determination!”

        We appreciate your “tightship”!

        -Sam and TGF

      • Sam – you’re welcome!

        Hmm . . . if this keeps up, perhaps instead of “his highness” or something to that effect, I’ll get the nickname of “his tightship.” 🙂

  7. I’ve always been curious how perceptions of us are different online than in real life. I usually use “Amy” in my handle, so I don’t get mistake for a guy too often. 😛 I also wonder about minorities … would they detect a difference in the way people respond to them? I never set up a poll about it or anything because even when I was back on Crosswalk’s forums I stuck mostly to the SG folder instead of general stuff.

    • Regarding minorities…I really don’t know. I will say that I do think that your personal appearance matters. For example, I have known very courteous, young, Christian black men who were well-spoken and well-educated. They never seemed to have problems or complaints about discrimination.

      • Yeah, I agree.

        But you know how we have an established framework that we use to fill in unknown info about another person. It’s a natural thing, part of the way our brain classifies. We meet more and more people who are part of a group, and we draw generalizations. I did it about you – and then this morning I had to go back and try to sort out what I specifically know about you with perceptions and assumptions from my “That person is a guy” framework.

        I know so many white people that I know I can’t draw too many generalizations about them. (Like it or not, you can draw some generalizations about a lot of guys and gals!) I have a set of generalizations that I apply to the majority of Hispanic people (like life experiences I assume they’ve shared and widespread cultural viewpoints). I don’t know many Asian people, and I tend to fit them into the same framework, but if I knew more I’m sure I’d separate between, say, Chinese and Vietnamese. I know people who see real distinctions between Bangladesh and Indian. I haven’t the foggiest. And I frequently do it to black people too, although I probably differentiate between middle class, upper class, and lower class (talking income here, folks!) I guess we also do it based on parts of the US – Yankee, Midwestern, Southern.

        Online, about the only frameworks we can draw from are guy and girl. We rely on these tremendously, and we are sure to assume we know the gender of the “other” person; if not, we’re likely to ask! I think it’s an interesting phenomenon; not one I lie awake at night thinking about, but enough to make me curious, anyway. My befuzzlement this morning made me start thinking about it again – Sorry to unload my thoughts on you all – Hope this comment isn’t too long!

      • No, it’s all right, your comments make interesting reading! 🙂

        I will also say that I think certain generalizations can be natural, and we shouldn’t feel guilty about making them even for minorities. I’d rather not get into hot water here, so I’ll probably leave it at that!

      • I do agree … It’s normal and natural to make generalizations. What I don’t like is when a close friend I have, minority himself(!), picks out another minority and says ——- don’t work at all; they just live off the government. Well … you can’t make judgments of individuals, even of that generalization were true (which I doubt it) of 60% (or 90%!) of that minority.

        And I’m quite sure you’re not guessing which minority I’m talking about in this illustration. But that’s usually the sort of stuff I’m thinking about when I gripe about discrimination. Some other stuff is included, but this gets me the worst. And I think the inability or refusal of our culture to get this distinction is part of what hinders our progress. We cry “Racism!” or “Sexism!” when we’re talking about harmless misconceptions. And then we sometimes give our friends a free pass when they do something genuinely hurtful to another group of people, or we divide ourselves into groups of “us” and “them” and step on “them” to help “us” feel a little higher up.

      • I think there’s another factor that people tend not to consider, and that’s the tendency within certain minority groups to harm and hinder each other.

        To give an example, I heard of a girl from my hometown belonging to a certain minority group (I’ll leave it to you to guess which), who was going to college and had an astonishing gift for math. Her (presumably white) professor saw her potential and was encouraging her to pursue her gift and possibly build a career from it.

        But she eventually dropped out of college, and the reason had nothing to do with white vs. minority discrimination. As a matter of fact, she dropped out because her family and “friends” were making her miserable and bullying her to “stop being white.” Those were the very words she used when explaining why she would no longer come to class, “They told me I was being white.” So they dragged her down with them.

        I believe there’s an internal problem here that far outweighs the externals.

      • Yes, that’s sadly true. And looking at what can be done to get America from here to where it needs to be, I can’t figure out one single thing I can do to help that problem. And that makes me sad, because I really wish I could. Unless God opens a door in that direction … I’ve had that on my heart for years, but recent changes in my life seem to be sending me down a different road.

      • Well, I think that the government is largely to blame—and not because it’s not doing enough, quite the opposite! Many of the actions it has taken have done more harm than good.

        It’s something of a vicious cycle—young boys in the inner cities grow up without a father presence, then turn to gang violence and drugs, father their own children, and leave them to be raised by their mothers. Of course this isn’t specific to one ethnic group, but it’s most prevalent with certain minorities. A cycle like that is very, very difficult to break. But I applaud people who sacrifice themselves to work with young people in those situations, because even though I don’t think the problem can be “solved,” good can still be done.

      • One person can’t change the culture, but one person can make a difference in the lives of many individuals. I spent a few years in politics last decade (wow! I can say that now!) and saw no effect. I’ve been working to impact individual lives since, with far brighter results.

      • It’s obviously easier to see results when you work on a smaller scale. However, I wouldn’t use that argument to discourage political activism for a good cause!

      • Try it sometime.

        Sorry – that was more sarcastic than I intended.

        (For those who don’t know, I was a U.S. Congressional Staffer for a while.)

      • I have, and so have family members. We didn’t always win, but it was the right thing to do.

      • I speak as someone who knows firsthand: It’s one thing to volunteer with a campaign, and another entirely to be a staffer and see the sausage being made, so to speak.

      • Yeah, I hear what you’re saying. I even thought after saying that – I’m a receptionist in a GED program, and at least 50% of the people we help are minority, including many black students. So I guess I am doing something. But I can’t connect on a personal level with the people that seem to need it the most.

        We have a real imperative to be spiritual people, living spiritual lives. “Walk in the Spirit”; be “spiritually minded.” “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us,” or something like that. My efforts can’t do anything. But I have a responsibility to be a channel. I’ve made a dismal failure so many times. But yesterday morning our pastor preached about those who have “left their first love.” He reminded us of the verse about “faith as a grain of mustard seed” moving a mountain and casting it into the sea, and he said that “even if the mountain is one of our own building,” that promise is still good. And somehow with those words he yanked back a veil and revealed this gigantic vista of possibility.

      • I’m not just talking about working for a candidate—I’m talking about petitions and ordinances as well.

        I did work for somebody last year whom I know personally, and I saw a lot of what went on behind the scenes. Your situation may have been different, but I saw a lot of good people working their tails off for a lost, but good cause.

      • By petitions and ordinances, I assume you’re talking about local level?

        I’ve been involved in a number of local city council or county-level activities, and there’s a world of difference between that and federal-level politics. I was talking about federal-level politics in my earlier remarks – sorry for any confusion!

      • Yes, although I’ve worked for somebody who was running for federal office.

    • Well on some sites people think my handle is quarter-man, so I guess they think I am less than a man. 😉

      • Ha!

      • Wow! WordPress let you do a three-character comment. Yee-ha!

      • Yeah, I saw somebody else do it the other day, did a double-take, and thought I’d try it. LOL!

      • What happened to SGM hereabouts?

        We’ll be back on the Alaskan lady soon… y’all?

        Just sayin!

      • S G Muse…we like you. 🙂

        You seem sensible! – The LA’s (Lil’ Adventurers)

  8. It’s about time!! Congrats on the new site! I look forward to keeping up with you there 🙂

    • You can always subscribe. 🙂

      • Is there a link for a RSS feed of your comment section?

      • I’m looking into getting that up. I’m new to wordpress, so I’m still figuring stuff out. Just be patient. 🙂

      • Umm, you’re new to WordPress? I guess in the sense that I’m new to Southern Gospel! 🙂

        Sorry, couldn’t resist. You have at least had a few months in it at some level, though admittedly without the full array of dizzyingly exciting possibilities open to WP administrators. 🙂

      • Well, new in the sense that I’ve never run a blog with all its features. 🙂

      • Yes, I knew that had to be what you meant, but that was simply too good to pass up! 🙂

      • I’ve got it up now, Josh. It was super-easy and I didn’t know it.

  9. Wow, I think the biggest news story of 2011 may be that NSGF is a lady! :O