Devin McGlamery wins vote for 2013 Best Southern Gospel On-stage Video

The results are in! The readers of Southern Gospel Journal voted this video as the best Southern Gospel on-stage video of 2013:

With over 3,000 votes cast, the second and third place finishers had such an overwhelming showing as to deserve an honorable mention. In fact, the second-place finisher, The Inspirations’ “He Broke The Chains,” had more votes than the total votes cast in the concept and behind-the-scenes polls combined:

Meanwhile, the third-place finisher, The Old Paths’ “Long Live The King.” Their showing would have been enough to win either of the first two polls!

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Sony’s Thoughts: Fulfill My Joy

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill you my joy, that you be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Philippians 2:1-4).

The above is one of my favorite admonishing passages of Scripture. My favorite passages change from time to time but I love the way Paul admonishes the Philippians to be of one mind. Easier said than done but so vital. I don’t think being of one mind always means completely agreeing but we are to be of one Spirit, preferring others as better than ourselves, being willing to admit that my way may not always be the right way and, even if it is, to back up at times and be willing to let others make mistakes.

Humility is not an easy thing but it is one of the things that Jesus modeled perfectly for us. He was always ready to teach but, if they didn’t want to listen, He would let it go.

So much of what divides the Body of Christ is petty. We have lost site of the core of Christ’s teaching which was love–for God and for others. There are issues worth dying for but not everything is. Hear the heart of Jesus as He says, “The greatest commandment is this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.” That is the greatest Commandment. Let’s show the world (and the Church) that we really do love them and will continue to do so as Christ shows us how.

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2013 SouthernGospelBlog.com Awards: Best On-Stage Video: Voting

Quite a few Southern Gospel magazines and websites offer “best of” contests and awards shows. But they often cover much the same ground: Favorite artist, song, album, musician, singer at each vocal part, and the like. Let’s do something different. Let’s honor the best Southern Gospel videos—concept videos, behind-the-scenes videos (including studio videos), and live concert videos. For each category, we’ll do a nominations post and a follow-up post with a poll featuring the top nominees.

You’ve already selected the best concept video and the best behind-the-scenes video. You’ve also nominated and seconded the finalists for this final category, best on-stage single-song video, here. It’s time to vote!

[UPDATE, 1/27/2014] The results are in! Here are the final vote totals and percentages:

  1. 42% / 1,313 votes: From My Rags to His Riches – Devin McGlamery – http://youtu.be/LC0B7idut00
  2. 33% / 1,036 votes: He Broke The Chains – Inspirations – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7clxQv-uRZ8
  3. 8% / 239 votes: Long Live The King – Old Paths – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bW-t09L4kk
  4. 4% / 132 votes: Thanks To Calvary – Pat Barker at the Cathedrals Family Reunion – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cnp8azmLVQ
  5. 3% / 83 votes: I Rest My Case At The Cross – The Perrys – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wozmtqhEfA4
  6. 3% / 80 votes: While I Still Can – Devin McGlamery – http://youtu.be/wi2CWLFEInE
  7. 2% / 52 votes: Glorious Freedom – Gaither Vocal Band – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qzxv8EYGCM
  8. 2% / 47 votes: Light a Candle – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound – http://youtu.be/sWvLdgG2RQk
  9. 1% / 44 votes: He Loves Me – Chris Allman, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell, Pat Barker – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3z-vIVdoeE
  10. 1% / 43 votes: All Bass Quartet at NQC – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSBYqFdeKo0
  11. 1% / 28 votes: Something’s Happening – Hoppers with TaRanda Greene – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhTXW0Q8s5U
  12. 1% / 16 votes: All is Well – Whisnants with Melissa Brady – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw7u9F1-n7k

Total votes: 3,115.

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SouthernGospelBlog.com becomes Southern Gospel Journal

For most of this website’s existence, I have wished that I had picked a different name. “Blog” was a cool term eight years ago, much like “social media” is now, and something else will be in a decade. The term suggests an amateur and often short-lived personal opinion column, not a reliable news source taken seriously by its staff and readers. So, three or four years ago, I decided that I would rename this site if I could ever find the right name.

That day has arrived. Today, SouthernGospelBlog.com becomes Southern Gospel Journal.

Where “Blog” feels increasingly dated, “Journal” feels timeless, businesslike, and professional.

Several new columns and other changes have been planned to coincide with this rebranding. Several have already been rolled out, including the introduction of the CD Interviews column and the return of the Songs From the Books of the Bible column. Other changes should be announced in the near future.

Welcome to Southern Gospel Journal! 

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2013 SouthernGospelBlog.com Awards: Nominations for Best On-Stage Video

Quite a few Southern Gospel magazines and websites offer “best of” contests and awards shows. But they often cover much the same ground: Favorite artist, song, album, musician, singer at each vocal part, and the like. Let’s do something different. Let’s honor the best Southern Gospel videos—concept videos, behind-the-scenes videos (including studio videos), and live concert videos. For each category, we’ll do a nominations post and a follow-up post with a poll featuring the top nominees.

We’ve already selected the best concept video and the best behind-the-scenes video. It’s time for the third and final category:

What were the best Southern Gospel live concert single-song videos posted online last year? Nominate up to two videos in the comments below.

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2013 in Review: Southern Gospel’s Biggest News Stories

Site Statistics

In 2013, SouthernGospelBlog.com reached a significant milestone: It was our first year with more than 1 million unique visits (1,070,730). We’ve come close several previous years, but this was our first to actually pass that mark. Thank you for reading! For anyone interested, here a report with other interesting site statistics.

Top Posts of 2013

The top posts of 2013 included several from previous years, and several that were not news stories.

  1. Michael English and Mark Lowry to Leave the Gaither Vocal Band (October 29, 2013; 13,509 views)
  2. Updates on Tracy Stuffle [Update 5] (May 21, 2013; 8,982 views)
  3. Tim Duncan Joins Canton Junction (October 7, 2011; 5,886 views during 2013)
  4. Joseph Habedank Leaves The Perrys (May 22, 2013; 4,619 views)
  5. Tim Duncan leaves Ernie Haase & Signature Sound; Ian Owens Joins (January 19, 2011; 4,609 views during 2013)
  6. Where is Glenn Dustin Now? (April 25, 2013; 4,461 views)
  7. National Quartet Convention posts 2013 Schedule (January 18, 2013; 4,380 views)
  8. An Interview with Tim Duncan (October 27, 2011; 4,302 views during 2013)
  9. Tracy Stuffle Suffers Stroke [Update 1] (January 22, 2013; 4,004 views)
  10. Gaither Vocal Band to perform 2014 tour with Phelps/Hampton/English/Gaither Lineup (October 24, 2013; 3,606 views)

Due to the mixture of posts and topics, this list doesn’t really answer the question of what were the year’s top stories.

Top News Stories of 2013

The two biggest stories of 2013 unfolded over multiple days and were covered in multiple posts. To determine the top stories, we combined the view counts on all posts in the unfolding story.

  1. Tracy Stuffle’s stroke (1 2 3 4 5) (18,653 total views)
  2. Michael English and Mark Lowry leave the Gaither Vocal Band (1 2) (17,115 total views)
  3. Joseph Habedank leaves The Perrys (4,619 views)
  4. Where is Glenn Dustin Now? (4,461 views)
  5. National Quartet Convention posts 2013 Schedule (4,380 views)
  6. Mike Holcomb Leaves The Inspirations (2,407 views)
  7. Dan Keeton Leaves Gold City (2,189 views)
  8. Shane McConnell Joins Canton Junction (2,157 views)
  9. David Ragan leaves The Inspirations (1,959 views)
  10. Debra Talley injured in fall (1,825 views)

Incidentally, these view counts do not count readers reading the post on the home page, via RSS, or via email. So they don’t measure a story’s full reach; however, home page, RSS, and email views stay steady enough that the numbers provide a valid apples-to-apples comparison, even if the numbers are similarly incomplete for each post.

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Sony’s Thoughts: He’s Leading the Way

The title of this post reflects my theme song this year. After a couple months of being off the road, we start traveling again next weekend. At times life can be overwhelming but I’m so grateful that God continues to lead and to guide.

I have experienced the quiet times where I couldn’t hear God’s voice to know which way He was leading but He has been faithful, at just the right time, to let me know what direction He wants me to take. My responsibility then is to follow Him in complete obedience, knowing that the path He takes me down will bring Him glory, and that is why I am here.

If you feel like God is changing your direction but you don’t know where He is leading, don’t fear. Keep patiently waiting. In His time, He will show you the new path He has laid out for your life. Then you can say with me, “Thank You, Lord, for leading the way! Wherever You lead me, I will follow.”

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Sony’s Thoughts: Reflecting and Looking Ahead

I was just reading through some of the news posts Daniel posted the last few days, and I am feeling so blessed to have the privilege of writing for this blog. I think it’s been about six years now that I have been writing regularly, and I’m not sure why Daniel hasn’t fired me yet but I’m glad that he hasn’t. I keep a busy schedule, am often on the road and not always able to post, but I love being able to share what God lays on my heart. It always blesses me to hear from different ones who read my posts. I thank God for each and every one of you.

As you know, if you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time, the last few years of my life have been riddled with more trials than victories (or so it seemed). I knew God was doing something in my life, and I prayed daily to be faithful, but I could not see light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve never experienced depression like I did at points during that time. This past year, I finally received some much-needed direction and a renewed awareness of God’s presence. I knew He was with me but I have really missed feeling Him holding my hand.

Sometimes Christians speak what they know to be true because God’s Word is true but I can tell you from experience that God will not leave you during your darkest trial. Everything happens for a reason and, many times, that reason is to further the work that He has begun in you.

Things in the world are not going to get better. At least not to the degree that I’d like them to. I do know who is ultimately in control, however. He is my King, and He will continue to direct the events in my life. He’ll continue to guide me over mountains and through valleys until I am resting in His arms forevermore. Hold on to that no matter what this year holds. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Make it a daily practice so it will not be difficult if you find yourself in the valley of despair. Each day, it is more vital than ever that we learn to hear God’s voice and obey.

Don’t forget to praise God daily as well. It’s easy to neglect that in the hecticity of life but many battles can be won by that simple act of obedience whether you feel like it or not.

I pray this year finds you even closer to our Savior. What a wonderful God we serve. I’m so thankful I serve a God who will never let go of my hand. I love You, Father!

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2013 SouthernGospelBlog.com Awards: Voting for Best Southern Gospel Behind-The-Scenes Video

Quite a few Southern Gospel magazines and websites offer “best of” contests and awards shows. But they often cover much the same ground: Favorite artist, song, album, singer at each part, and the like. Let’s do something different. Let’s honor the best Southern Gospel videos—concept videos, behind-the-scenes videos (including studio videos), and live concert videos. For each category, we’ll do a nominations post and a follow-up post with a poll featuring the top nominees.

What were the best Southern Gospel behind-the-scenes videos posted this year?

UPDATE, 1/5/14: The results are in. Thanks for voting!

  1. Interview: Matt Fouch with Nick Trammell & The Invader (watch): 53.87% (153 votes)
  2. Rehearsal: Collingsworth Family, “Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary” (watch): 19.37% (55 votes)
  3. In The Studio: Brian Free & Assurance (watch): 8.45% (24 votes)
  4. In The Studio: Kingdom Heirs (watch): 8.45% (24 votes)
  5. In The Studio: The Martins (watch): 2.11% (6 votes)
  6. (The Gaither Vocal Band video was disqualified after it was noted that it was posted in 2009, not 2013.)

To avoid the confusion we had with the previous poll, with duplicate votes in the comments, we will close the comments section on this post.

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