Free Inspirations mp3

Some time back, Crossroads offered free mp3 downloads of a song from current projects. This feature returned yesterday, with a song from the new Inspirations album, “So Simple, So Profound.” You can get the song here.

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Sony’s Thoughts: Dining with the King

One of my favorite songs right now is Legacy Five’s “Living in the Palace.” It paints a beautiful picture of people who were looked at by the world as outcasts and misfits but God loved them and drew them to Himself. Now they’re living in the Palace and dining with the King.

I think of Mephibosheth who may have been an heir to the throne of Israel if his grandfather hadn’t rebelled against God. After his father and grandfather were killed, Mephibosheth’s nurse tripped while carrying him to safety which is what caused his lameness. I don’t know how many years passed before David was told that Jonathan’s son was still alive but I’m sure Mephibosheth must have felt alone and useless at times during those years. When David heard of him, however, he invited him to the palace and told him he would be eating all of his meals at the king’s table from now on (2 Samuel 9:7). What a change that must have been for him at a time when cripples were outcasts.

So many of us were once like Mephibosheth. Maybe we weren’t lame physically but we were cast out, forgotten, looked down on by those around us … until the day the King came by, saw our pitiful state, had compassion on us, and said, “Follow me. You don’t have to be alone. I love you and I will care for you. And, when I finish the mansion I’m preparing for you, you can join me in my Home and dine at my table for ever.” I don’t know about you but gratitude wells up in my heart at the thought that a King would love me so much. I look forward to the day when I’m “Living in the Palace, dining with the King, joining the angels as they sing, ‘Holy is our God.'”

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Sony’s Thoughts: A Renewed Resolve

Last evening, my nephew stopped by so I enlisted him to help me with the dishes. As we worked, we listened to the Cathedrals and sang as I danced around the kitchen. I used to sing and dance around while doing dishes all the time but I’ve not done that in a few years and it was such a blessing to do so once again. The last few years have been full of trials but I was reminded of the truth I tell people all the time. No matter what is going on in your life, you still have so much to be thankful for. Last evening, I was thankful for the time I was able to spend with my nephew, I’m thankful that I can still sing and dance, and I’m thankful my nephew enjoys good music. 🙂

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Honestly, I’m hoping that my season of trials is over for a while but, even if it’s not, I pray I will be faithful to count my blessings. I pray I will continually look past my circumstances to see my Father’s face because I’m sure I will still see eyes of love. His thoughts toward me do not change just because life doesn’t always go the way I want it to but He does desire me to draw near to Him so that He can bring me through the fire unharmed.

Last evening, as I prayed, I felt God’s presence stronger than I have for a while, and it renewed my desire to stay close to Him. I wish I had not allowed myself to let the cares of life get me down as much as they have but praise God His mercies are new every morning (and evening)! I know I will continue to be tested but I pray that I will stay close to God and allow Him to fight the battles for me. Fighting on my own, I get weary really quickly but, if I lean on God, I will receive His strength.

If you’re going through a difficult time, no matter how fierce the battle, cling to the One who will never leave you nor forsake you. Rest in Him and find His peace. Please don’t fight the battle by yourself. We’re in this fight together, and it’s together with God’s help that we will win!

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Southern Gospel LP Swap #3

Some sites make it relatively easy to swap books and CDs. But I have yet to find something similar for Southern Gospel LPs. So I occasionally set aside a day and a post here for this.

We post the duplicates we have, and, optionally, the ones we seek. Since not all LPs have the same value, we indicate whether we would swap it for, say, 1, 2, or 3 others, rating a common LP as 1 and a rare one as 3. (If it’s worth more than 3, just sell it on eBay!)

Here are my current duplicates:

  • worth 1 – Blackwood Brothers – Give Us This Day (split seam on cover)
  • worth 1 – Blackwood Brothers – In Concert
  • worth 1 – Blackwood Brothers – The Joy of Knowing Jesus
  • worth 1 – Blackwood Brothers – Bill Gaither Songs by the Blackwood Brothers
  • worth 1 – Blue Ridge Quartet – And That’s Enough
  • worth 1 – Coy Cook (Florida Boys tenor) – High and Easy
  • worth 1 – Dixie Echoes – Get on Board 
  • worth 1 – Evie – Come On, Ring Those Bells
  • worth 1 – Florida Boys – Something Exciting!
  • worth 2 – Florida Boys – Brotherhood – I picked this one up because of its condition; other than some slight wear at the lower right edge of the sleeve, this is the best copy I’ve seen of this LP
  • worth 1 – Florida Boys – The Best of the Florida Boys – also in great shape
  • worth 1 – Bill Gaither Trio – The Very Best of the Very Best
  • worth 1 – Happy Goodmans – Refreshing (no cover)
  • worth 1 – Jake Hess & the Imperials – To Sing is the Thing
  • worth 1 – Inspirations – A Night of Inspiration: The Inspirations Live
  • worth 1 – Inspirations – Golden Street Parade
  • worth 1 – Inspirations – Something to Sing About
  • worth 1 – Kingsmen – Suddenly There’s a Valley (worn and no cover)
  • worth 1 – Kingsmen – Gospel Dynamite (might as well be no cover, because it looks like a previous owner of the LP got really hungry and took big bites out of three corners of the cover! I promise it wasn’t me!)
  • worth 1 – LeFevres – Experience the LeFevres (worn / warped cover)
  • worth 1 – LeFevres – Without Him
  • worth 1 – Rex Nelon Singers – Live!
  • worth 1 – Rambos – Come Spring (no cover)
  • worth 1 – Rambos – Too Much to Gain to Lose and other Favorites
  • worth 1 – Reba Rambo –The Prodigal according to Reba
  • worth 1 – Henry & Hazel Slaughter – All in the Name of Jesus
  • worth 1 – Speer Family – Garden of Melody
  • worth 1 – Stamps Quartet – Whispering Hope
  • worth 1 – Statesmen – Mansion Over the Hilltop (note: sleeve in poor condition, with section cut out and tape holding cover together, but the LP does have an added paper sleeve for additional protection)
  • worth 1 – Statesmen – Sings the Gospel Gems
  • worth 1 – Truth – You Don’t Know What You’re Missing (two-LP set)
  • worth 1 – Lanny Wolfe Trio – Can’t Stop the Music (might as well be no cover, because it looks like a previous owner of the LP got really hungry and took big bites out of two corners of the cover! I promise it wasn’t me!)
  • worth 1 – Lanny Wolfe Trio – A Brand New Touch
  • worth 1 – Various – Beloved Hymns – Wendy Bagwell & the Sunliters, Wally Fowler & the Oak Ridge Quartet, Jake Hess and the Jordanaires, Plainsmen, Sons of Song, Sego Brothers and Naomi, Georgians, Dixie Echoes, Goss Brothers, Little Steve Sanders)
Here’s what I’m looking for.
 
Anyone else interested in jumping in this month?
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Sony’s Thoughts: If You’ll Move Over

Last week, I came across a song on YouTube that I’d not heard in years. The song was “If You’ll Move Over” by the Greenes. I didn’t realize at the time how timely it was that I found it but I’ve been playing it a lot lately.

We live in a world where many are bearing heavy loads and would probably welcome a friend who would help them bear that load, yet because they’ve been hurt by others, they find a way to position just right so they can somewhat get through life but the burden is still on their back weighing them down. Church, we need to be willing to help lift the load off of the lonely and hurting. When you see someone who looks like the weight of the world is on his or her shoulders, couldn’t you take a few minutes to say a kind word or see if there’s some practical way you could help? When you see someone who looks like they have everything together, if you take time to listen, you may find that they too have burdens they are struggling with.

Ultimately, we need to be “casting all our cares on Him” and giving our burdens to the Lord but I think sometimes we need our Brothers and Sisters to remind us to do so. We need to receive love and care from our Brothers and Sisters to remember how much God loves and cares for us. The world doesn’t care about our well being but Family should.

Today, ask God to show you someone who is carrying a heavy burden. Then go put your arm around them and gently say, “If you’ll move over just a little bit, I’ll help you carry your load.” That may be the perfect encouragement they need and may instantly make their load feel lighter.

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Photo Gallery: Mark Trammell Quartet in concert

Editor’s note: My family saw the Mark Trammell Quartet in concert last weekend. Here are photos and a video from the event.

Video Greeting from Pat Barker

(Footnote for those who have no sense of humor or don’t understand his: This was tongue-in-cheek, and in light-hearted fun!)

Photo Gallery

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Would you prefer posting from Facebook/Twitter accounts?

You may have noticed that, for several months, blogs hosted on WordPress.com (like Burke’s Brainwork or the Legacy Five blog) have had the option to comment from your Facebook or Twitter accounts. A recent plugin upgrade has made that available to sites like this one—Wordpress sites that aren’t hosted on WordPress.com. Do you like the simplicity of having one option – posting with name/email – or would you like to see Facebook/Twitter options added?

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Sony’s Thoughts: Enter God’s House With Purpose

“I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go unto the house of the Lord'” (Psalm 122:1).

Last evening, as I returned to my hotel room after a convention, I turned on “Heaven in the House” by the Greenes. I instantly felt the presence of God and an anticipation for what God is going to do in our presence this morning. I don’t know when you’ll read this but the next time you enter the Lord’s house, don’t go planning to be a spectator and critique the pastor’s sermon. Worship God with your whole heart. Ask God what He desires to speak to you. Ask Him to show you someone who is hurting and could use a kind word or a hug. The Body was not made just to sit. It was made to live and move and reflect the One who made it.

We don’t need to wait for Heaven to worship God and serve others. In fact, if you’re not doing those things here, you may not need to worry about doing them there. This morning, as I enter the Lord’s presence (which will be before I enter the doors of a church building), I pray that I will be a blessing to each person I encounter. I pray that God will fill me with His Spirit and that His love will flow through me. I pray that that love will flow first to my family as we get ready and as we’re driving and then that God will use us collectively. When Jesus comes, I want Him to find me ready, serving and living the life He desires for me. I’ve got a ways to go but that is my desire. How about you?

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Happy Father’s Day, God!

It’s Father’s Day once again and I’m thinking of those who don’t have a father to celebrate with. For some, that can be a lonely feeling but I pray that God comforts your heart. As I was thinking about this in the wee hours of the morning, I wrote the following poem. Regardless of whether or not your earthly father is still living or involved in your life, don’t forget to give thanks to the greatest Father a person could ever ask for and, if you will be celebrating with your father today, thank God for that blessing.

Happy Father’s Day, God, it’s Your daughter again
So thankful for what a good Father You’ve been
In good times and bad times, You’ve always been there
Walking beside me and proving you care
None can compare to You, Father above
There’s nothing on earth that comes close to Your love
And so with these thoughts, I just wanted to say
God, I hope You have a great Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day, everyone! May your day, your week, and your life be blessed as you serve your Heavenly Father. He’s truly been such a great Father to me.

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Listening to Southern Gospel overseas

The other day, I received an email from an 18-year-old Southern Gospel fan in Colombia. He mentioned how the high cost of international shipping made it prohibitively expensive to purchase Southern Gospel recordings from the U.S. So this is a question primarily for international readers: What online radio stations do you use to listen to Southern Gospel outside of the United States? Services like Pandora and Spotify are often limited to a small set of countries, but can you access sites like Live365 or Sunlite Radio’s on-demand stream of The Gospel Greats?

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