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Paul Heil's "The Gospel Greats" syndicated radio program.

The Gospel Greats Weekly Newsletter
Published June 30, 2015

In This Edition

Paul's Epistle

"Words no longer have meaning."

Those words were used by U. S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in his scathing dissent from last week's Court ruling upholding "the intent" of the so-called Affordable Care Act.

He was incensed that the Court had decided the term "established by the states" found in the law didn't really mean "established by the states."  Huh?

While we're at it, remember these famous words from the fight to get the Unaffordable Care Act passed in the first place: "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor." Those words turned out to be meaningless. (The less generous among us might brand it an outright lie.) And that from the man who, ironically, two years ago said in a significant speech in Wisconsin, "Don't tell me words don't matter."

It reminds me of the words of a former President who, when faced with accusations of moral failure, insisted that "it depends on what the meaning of 'is' is."

So, "words no longer have meaning?"  Increasingly, that's describing a fundamental problem of society today – its frame of mind, its relationships, its morals (or lack thereof).

Here are some other rather famous words* that seemingly, according to today's society, no longer have meaning:

Everything, we are told by society, is relative. It's the constant media drumbeat. Today, situational ethics trump the actual clear wording of the law, even God's law. There is no "right" or "wrong," only what feels good. But God says, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes..." (Proverbs 12:15). But that's alright in the fool's eyes, because, after all, "the fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'" (Psalm 14:1). So, why should he worry? He's accountable to no one.

Obfuscation of the meaning of words is Satan's oldest trick. In the Garden of Eden, he sssslithered up to Eve and said, "Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Gen. 3:1). And thus the devil's cunning trick to negate the meaning of God's words caused sin to come into the world – and it's still one of his favorite tricks. One who doesn't use words to convey truth has no compunction against using lying, deceptive words. And Satan "is a liar and the father" of lies (John 8:44).

God obviously thinks highly of words and their meaning. Consider... He uses words to communicate His truth to us through Holy Scripture. He used words to speak Creation into existence (Genesis 1:2, ff.) God even refers to His Son, Jesus, as "the Word" (see John 1). Clearly, words have meaning. And, like God Himself, His word never changes and endures forever (Psalm 112:9). "Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven" (Psalm 119:89). And, "...the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8). So, as Peter affirmed, "...the word of the Lord endures forever" (1 Peter 1:25).

It's comforting to know that some things never change. And even the Supreme Court can't reinterpret the Supreme Being's clear words.

- Paul

* from Exodus 20

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A printable version of the Epistle above is linked from our newsletter archive page, listed by date and title:
NOTE: That same page includes a link to the audio version of this "Epistle."

Coming on the broadcast the weekend of July 4th & 5th, 2015:

Featured Artists:  Our Featured Artists on this program will be Steve Hess & Southern Salvation. Paul will talk with Steve Hess, Jay Arview and John McCall about songs on their soon-to-be-released CD entitled "Carry The Message." (You'll hear five of those songs as a "sneak preview" because the CD won't be out officially for several weeks.) You'll learn why the title song and others on the CD are, in effect, their testimonies. Please join us as we visit with this very popular emerging trio of veteran singers.

Artist Spotlight:   Our Artist Spotlight guest will be soloist Tim Livingston, who'll share some songs from his current CD entitled "I Just Miss You." Included will be his new radio song, "More Than Enough." (Be sure to hear the Headline Update for information about a special contest involving that song.) Tim will explain why being a pastor helps with his songwriting.

Other Guests:  Mike Bowling (Bowling Family), Chris & Darrell Freeman (Freemans), Matt Hagee (Canton Junction), more.

Who can YOU invite to listen this weekend?

Click here to hear the audio announcement regarding this next program.

From the broadcast the weekend of June 27th & 28th, 2015:

The McKameys, our Featured Artists on this program, certainly are long-time favorites. Although they've been singing for most of five decades, they really came to widespread public attention back in the 1980s with such #1 songs as "Who Put The Tears (In The Eyes of The Lamb)," "Getting Used To The Dark," "God On The Mountain" (a song that stayed at the #1 position for five months). Their strong message songs have always served them (and the Lord) well. This program included three songs from their brand new CD, "What If," including that title song. Today's group includes Ruben and Peg Bean, their daughters, Sheryl and Connie, Connie's husband, Roger Fortner, and Connie's and Roger's son, Eli.

The McKameys' CD featured on this program, "What If," is available from our mailorder service, Springside. Just call 1-800-38-MUSIC to order. Call by Friday, July 3, 2015, ask for the "Featured Artist Discount," and get 20 percent off this item. You can order easily from our webstore by using this link to go directly to this item. Note, too, that our "Featured Artist Discount" applies to any other currently in-stock recordings by this artist. While ordering online, when you get to the "Checkout" page, find the "Special Instructions" lines near the bottom, type in "Featured Artist Discount - 20 percent" to get the discount. Note that the discounted price will not be reflected online or in your first confirmation e-mail, but it will be applied here when the order is processed and before it is charged or shipped.

This was our official Singing News Countdown Edition of the month, based this time on the chart of favorite songs appearing in the magazine's July issue. The chart is compiled based on airplay at Southern Gospel radio stations nationwide.

The 17th annual St. Jude Hospital Benefit Sing on August 1st in Gainesville, Georgia (at the First Baptist Church), as mentioned on the Headline Update, features Legacy Five, the LeFevre Quartet and the Diplomats. More info is available by calling 770-540-9085.

For the song list from this broadcast, click on the link below.    (PDF viewer required.)

Hear last weekend's Headline Update report about your favorite artists by clicking on this link:

New items available this week from

  • Trey IveyTimeless   (CD)

Click here to view this Southern Gospel music item in this week's Springside Music Update newsletter — including 20 percent discounts on this week's new releases. Or get the Springside Music Update newsletter by email each Monday. Details can be found here. Or call 800 38 MUSIC during weekday office hours to ask about this week's specials or to order. Your purchases from Springside help support The Gospel Greats program.

Shelia Shares
"Not My Gift"

My parents taught Christian principles by the way they lived their lives. They supported the church through time, talents and money. We were expected to do the same.

I well remember one Sunday when my dad was pastoring a small church in a rural community. There were not many members and no outstanding singers. The singing wasn't the best and we definitely depended on the piano for help.

When one of the ladies arrived at church, she told my dad that the pianist couldn't be there that Sunday. There was no one else in the congregation that played piano.

My dad looked at me and told me I needed to play piano.

I told him that I didn't play.

He reminded me that he had heard me playing on the organ at home.

We had a small chord organ with about three octaves. I played from a special booklet that listed one note at a time. I explained that I really didn't know how to play.

He told me there was no one else to play piano, so I would have to do so. He even told me I could pick whatever songs I wanted to play.

I played piano that Sunday – one single note at a time. Everyone told me what a good job I did. I knew they were being more than kind and I was so glad to have church finally end. I prayed the pianist would be able to be at church the next Sunday – and forever. I still shudder when I think of that experience.

God gives us gifts and talents. When we use our gifts and talents, the church functions well. When we try to do jobs that are not our gifting or our talent, the whole body suffers. We burn out. We are embarrassed and others struggle to find something positive. Everything feels and sounds off key.

Each person has something they can do for the church. Each person is uniquely gifted. Each person has situations where their personality shines and they are the best person for the job.

Use your gifts wisely. Accept that nobody is the best at everything. Support those who serve. Work together as a church. Leave the results to the Lord.


Comments on this?
(To ensure that we get your comments, please use that address and do not simply hit "reply" on your email program.)

A printable version of Shelia's column above is linked from our newsletter archive page, listed by date and title:
NOTE: That same page includes a link to the audio version of this "Shelia Shares."

On the Lighter Side

But The Sign Said...

A little girl was in church with her mother when she started feeling ill. "Mommy," she said, "can we leave now?" "No," her mother replied. "Well, I think I have to throw up!" "Then go out the front door and around to the back of the church and throw up behind a bush." After about 60 seconds the little girl returned to her seat. "Did you throw up?" Mom asked. "Yes." "How could you have gone all the way to the back of the church and returned so quickly?" "I didn't have to go out of the church, Mommy. They have a box next to the front door that says, 'For the Sick.'

First Aid

A blonde lady had just completed a CPR course and was on the lookout for a chance to try it out. As she left a shopping center, she saw a man lying on the floor with a lot of people gathered around him. Screaming, "I know first aid!" she ran to the person, threw her bag down, loosened all his tight clothing, and got ready to start mouth-to-mouth. At this stage a huge policeman tapped her on the shoulder and said, "Do you mind? I am trying to arrest this man."

The Proposal

Kurt was going out with a nice girl and finally popped the question. "Will you marry me, darling?" he asked. Lisa smiled coyly and said, "Yes, if you'll buy me a mink." Kurt thought for a moment and then replied, "Okay, it's a deal, on one condition." "What is that?" Lisa asked. "You'll have to clean the cage," Kurt replied.

The Cue

My nine-year-old nephew, Phillip, was a ring bearer in my wedding. At the wedding rehearsal, the singer asked when she should begin singing. The pastor answered, "After the vows." She asked: "What are the vows? I'll need a cue." Phillip shook his head and explained: "The vowels are A-E-I-O-U. There is no Q!"

Are You Ready?
1 Thess. 5:2-10; Matt. 24:44; Luke 21:34,36
Free Gift
Pray for the President!
Until next Week...Keep Looking Up!

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