Tracy Stuffle arrives home

Editor’s note: This is such a significant update to the biggest story of the year that I moved the dates on the post to make it Tuesday’s lead post, so that it can stay the lead story for longer and more people can see it.

After nine months of slow tedious recovery from a stroke and five cerebral hemorrhages, Tracy Stuffle is finally recovered enough to continue his rehabilitation at his home. His church friends and Southern Gospel colleagues gathered this afternoon to welcome him home. 

Former Perrys member Troy Peach posted a video of the van pulling into the driveway:

Meanwhile, fellow Perrys alumnus Mike Bowling posted a video of the current lineup singing “Did I Mention”:

Praise God!

A long road still lies ahead. Continue to keep the Perrys in your prayers!

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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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Saturday News Roundup #189

Worth Knowing

  • Fantastic news on Tracy Stuffle’s continuing stroke recovery: Lord willing, if all goes well, he’ll be heading home on Monday to continue recovery there.
  • Arthur Rice has been named President of the SGMA.
  • Kim White’s mother, Carol Baker, has passed away. Kim leads ViewFinders TV, which produces live concert DVDs and concept videos for many of Southern Gospel’s leading artists; her husband Chris is with Crossroads/Sonlite.
  • Dallas Rogers and Restored signed a recording and marketing deal with Chapel Valley. Rogers previously sang with The Inspirations, The Dixie Echoes, Cross 4 Crowns, and other groups.
  • In August, a contest was announced offering the winner a chance to sing at the Cathedrals Family Reunion concert in November. The winner is Colet Selwyn of India; Selwyn has made similar guest appearances in the past with Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, but has never (to my knowledge) sung with any of the other Cathedrals alumni.

Worth Watching

This has been a great song ever since Joe Kitson sang it in his Statement of Faith days; it’s nice to see that the song didn’t disappear with the group:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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