Cathedrals song on Haskell Cooley record

During Haskell Cooley’s years with The Cathedral Quartet, he released an LP titled A Meeting With God. I recently got a copy of this LP from someone I’ve traded quite a few LPs with over the last few years. On the song “What Are You Gonna Leave,” George Younce is featured vocally, and the Cathedrals appear on the chorus.

Two more notes of interest: It’s the Roy Tremble-era Cathedrals, which isn’t exactly surprising since that was the era in which Cooley was the pianist. Also, the song was written by George Younce.

I figured this would be of interest to Cathedral Quartet collectors on what is a slow news day so far (though saying so seems to be the surest way to guarantee it won’t stay that way!)

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The Need for Discipleship: A Sermon from Jeremy Peace

Old Paths tenor singer Jeremy Peace recently preached his first sermon, on the need for discipleship to be taking place in our churches. Peace, who sang with the Kingsmen prior to joining the Old Paths, also shares his testimony:

(Just to clear up any rumors: He has made it clear that he’s not leaving Southern Gospel. He only plans to preach on days when the group is not touring.)

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Sony’s Thoughts: A Place in Jesus’ Arms

“I have a place I love to be whenever things go wrong. I know that fears and doubts give way. This place is Jesus’ arms.”

These words, penned by my grandparents, have brought me comfort so many times through the years. I love the thought of finally being with Him in Heaven but the thought of being in His arms now gives me peace for every situation. 

When I listen to the news it’s easy to be fearful. So many homicides, accidents, betrayals, etc. Sometimes I have to consciously remind myself that His arms are around me keeping me safe. When I close my eyes I can hear Him say,  “Fear not, my child. I am here.” At that moment all my fears disappear and a peace that only He can give fills my soul. 

As I walk with Him in this world of uncertainty I know I’m in His arms and, for that, I am very thankful.

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Random Biblical Group Names: The Winner

Last week, I asked:

It appears that, in other genres, picking rather random group names is currently considered to be cool, and has been for quite some time. What if Southern Gospel groups were to use the idea, but use Random Biblical names? (In all seriousness, this will probably never happen, and it might not be a good thing if it did. But mentioning ideas for random Biblical group names could make for a fun discussion.)

There were so many great suggestions that we ended up having a contest to pick favorites. Despite voting being far down from the normal thanks to one of the biggest news stories of the year bumping it within a couple of hounrs, the results are in!

We actually have a tie: Floating Axeheads (submitted by Slade Adlay) and Five Smooth Stones (submitted by David Bruce Murray) are the two winners. Honorable mention goes to two more names tied for second place, Malchus Ears (submitted by Brian) and Rent in Twain (submitted by Daniel’s Siblings). I will be contacting Slade and David shortly regarding their prizes.

Thanks to everyone who participated in all stages of this contest!

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Random Biblical Group Names: The Contest

Last week, I asked:

It appears that, in other genres, picking rather random group names is currently considered to be cool, and has been for quite some time. What if Southern Gospel groups were to use the idea, but use Random Biblical names? (In all seriousness, this will probably never happen, and it might not be a good thing if it did. But mentioning ideas for random Biblical group names could make for a fun discussion.)

Quite the discussion ensued. So many incredible suggestions, both serious and funny, were offered that it makes sense to highlight some of the best (or funniest) by spotlighting ten of the best and asking you all to pick a favorite.

  • Dry Feet in Jordan
  • Five Smooth Stones
  • Floating Axeheads
  • Golden Calf Milkshakes
  • Heights of Nebo
  • Malchus Ears
  • Outrunning Peter
  • Pilate Error
  • Red Sea Splitters
  • Rent in Twain

Vote by posting a comment naming up to two names. Whichever name gets the most votes will win; I will email the person who submitted the favorite entry and offer them a CD from my current stack of duplicate CDs as a prize. Voting will be open for 24 hours, through 7:30 AM Eastern Time tomorrow morning; any votes submitted after the deadline will not count.

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Sony’s Thoughts: Always Praising

As I was worshiping yesterday morning, my heart overflowed with thanksgiving to God. As I lifted my voice in song, I was again reminded that we are to praise God continually. Not just when we feel like it but even when we don’t. Praise can lift the spirit like nothing else can.

I hope I’m not over-beating the “praise” drum but it is a burden of my heart–to encourage others to get past their trials and heartaches to praise the God who is truly worthy. Praising can bring you to that point where God means everything to you. As you begin to praise Him, you realize He is all you truly need. It’s saying, “Lord, I love You no matter what. You alone are worthy of my praise and devotion.” When you can do that from the heart, even in the bad times, you will begin to grow closer to God like never before. It brings new perspective to Brian Free and Assurance’s song: “If it takes a valley to really know your grace and if it’s in the desert where I’ll meet you face to face, then turn this road I’m traveling to some dark and lonely place ’cause if it takes a valley, then a valley’s what I’ll take.”

And all God’s people said Amen.

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Site Maintenance: Discussing Closing Comments on Old Posts

The more popular a site gets, the more spam comments it attracts. This site receives between 100,000 and 200,000 spam posts each year. The spam filter catches most of these, but spammers are always working on clever ways to get around that filter and make me delete those comments manually. Most of those comments are on old posts, often ones months or years old. 

Also, a fairly high percentage of comments on old posts are irrelevant, often in a funny way. Many—dare I say most—comments on older posts are made by people discovering the post on a Google search, and expressing regret or excitement over a story that is often several years old. We see posts of condolences to Stephen Hill’s family on his passing, and posts of excitement (to this day) that Tim Duncan has joined Canton Junction or that David Phelps, Michael English, and Mark Lowry have returned to the Gaither Vocal Band. These posts can be a rather funny, but I can feel quite guilty laughing at someone else’s expense!

For these two reasons, I have been contemplating closing comments on posts older than, say, one month. I would probably add in a message something like: “Comments on this post are now closed. If you want to discuss this topic further, visit one of our weekly Saturday News Roundup / open threads posts [link].”

With all that said, I’m open to be talked out of this. I’m just leaning in this direction—I haven’t made a final decision. I’m also open to being persuaded to setting a different time stamp than one month. Do any of you have opinions on the matter?

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Sony’s Thoughts: The Battle of the Mind

Last week, a friend bought me a copy of Jesus Calling. I’ve heard of the book for several years now but have never read it. The first page I read talked about the battle of the mind, how difficult it can be as both God and satan war for a stronghold. It resonated with me as that is where my fiercest battles are fought. It’s a fight I hate and one I don’t always win but I strive to “take every thought captive” and walk in the faith and victory Christ has called me to.

Mind battles can be different for different people. For some, it may be a battle of purity. For others, it may be a propensity to worry. Still others may struggle with feeling inadequate and wondering if people like you, etc. I have the latter problem but I realize that, whenever I let my thoughts go there, I am giving the enemy a foothold to render me ineffective so I press on. God has a call on my life, and I aim to fulfill that call. I may not see the whole picture but I purpose each day to do what I know God has called me to. He who has called me is faithful, and He will do it!

For those of you who struggle with this, I can’t promise that you will ever be done fighting this battle this side of eternity. I can tell you, however, that you must fight the good fight. You must keep drawing near to God, and He has promised in turn to draw near to you. He will begin to fill you with His love and peace and His thoughts. He will remove the cobwebs from your mind and help you to see more clearly if you are willing to release those thoughts and allow Him to do so. Many have surrendered a lot to God but, for some reason, hold on to their thought life. God wants this as well.

If you are currently experiencing a battle of the mind, take extra time in prayer, worship and the Word this week. Ask God to remove the negative thoughts and replace them with His thoughts. Then practice this often. I pray you find the peace and joy that only He can give.

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SouthernGospelBlog.com turns 7

Seven years ago today, on September 18, 2006, I posted this site’s first post. I didn’t have the faintest idea how far this would go; your readership and participation in the comments has been well beyond my most optimistic dreams.

Last week another milestone, as I wrote my personal 3,000th post here. (Thanks to contributors, we’re at 3,253 total posts.) And there have been 47,763 approved comments—more than a few of which came last week, as the NQC free Friday webcast live-blog was the most-discussed post in this site’s history. More than anything else, it’s your comments and feedback, publicly and privately, that keeps me going.

Thank you for all your support for these first seven years!

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