Here is your weekly newsletter created for listeners and friends of
Paul Heil's "The Gospel Greats" syndicated radio program.

The Gospel Greats Weekly Newsletter
Published July 19, 2016

In This Edition

Paul's Epistle
"Facing The Inevitable"

Just a few days ago, scores of people were deliberately mowed down on the street — murdered — by a deranged terrorist driving a large truck in Nice, France. Such mass murders are, as you know, becoming all-too-common. Nevertheless, it's safe to say that not one of these victims got up that morning with any inkling that it would be their final day. As someone once said, death seldom announces itself in advance.

When your time comes, how will you face death? Will it be like Joseph Stalin, a one-time seminary student who turned his back on God and became a ruthless Soviet dictator and murderer? His daughter says Stalin, on his death bed, mustered his last ounces of strength to raise his fist toward heaven, shaking it in defiance against God — a strange act for someone who had claimed to be an atheist.

Or will you face death very differently? Although we might prefer not to think about it, it is inevitable, you know. As the writer of Hebrews 9:27 put it, " is appointed unto men once to die..." The difference is that, as a Christian, you know what's ahead. You can look forward to a glorious eternity in heaven with Christ. And what a difference that makes! It makes all the difference in how you face death.

Such is the case with Michael Helwig of the Blackwood Brothers. As you heard on our recent broadcast with them, Michael has been diagnosed as having ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It's better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. And it is, as one of the group's members said on the program, essentially a death sentence in perhaps two-to-five years. Medical science has no way of dealing with it.

Michael, though, is dealing with it quite well. Although mostly confined now to a wheelchair, he is still singing with the group – and plans to continue doing so as long as he can.

How's he taking it? "You know, Paul," he told me, "I've had people ask me if I was angry with God." Quite obviously, he is not. Michael is quietly at peace with the situation because he has entrusted his future – here and hereafter – to God.

In fact, Butch Owens of the group overheard Mike talking with a Texas pastor about all of this after one of their concerts. As Butch recalls it, Mike summed it all up for the pastor this way: "If I win, I win. And if I lose, I win." Ironically, Mike doesn't really remember saying that. But he readily confirms that is exactly how he feels.

So now that's become a motto for Mike. In fact, they've printed it on T-shirts which the group sells at concerts, with all of the proceeds going to the ALS Association for research toward a cure for the disease.*

But on those shirts, they've also included a reference to Philippians 1:20-21, taking the words of the Apostle Paul and applying it to Mike's situation: "...with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

That's how Christians face death. Sometimes, as in Mike's case, God grants plenty of advance warning of the inevitable – graciously allowing time to wrap up details of a life well lived. But sometimes, as with those who die every day in terrible mishaps, there is no advance warning.

Either way, are you prepared?

- Paul

*PS:  Please keep Mike in your prayers for strength and also, especially, for his wife and children as they go through this with him. If you are interested in one (or more) of those T-shirts mentioned above, you can email Mike for details: He'll let you know how you can get one. Again, all proceeds go toward ALS research. Mike would also much appreciate your personal words of encouragement. You can check his Facebook page, too, at

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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."

Special note to entrants in last spring's Great Annual Giveaway

As previously advised, entrants in our 2016 Great Annual Giveaway received their promised sample copies of Singing News magazine later than had been planned. A card enclosed with the magazine provided a special subscription offer which, unfortunately, was already expired by the time the magazine was received. But, regardless of what was printed on the offer card, Singing News magazine has graciously extended the offer through the rest of the year, so you are still welcome to take advantage of the special subscription discount offered.

Coming on the broadcast the weekend of July 23rd & 24th, 2016:

Featured Artists:   Our Featured Artists on this program, for the first time ever, will be the quartet known as Butler, Hughes & Hayes. You'll hear songs from their current "Adopted" CD, including the special story behind that title song. You'll find out why this quartet seems to have a "trio name." And you'll hear how their music is a big part of their ministry. Please join us for our visit with Butler, Hughes & Hayes.

Artist Spotlight:   Our special Artist Spotlight guests will be Shenandoah. Known best as a country music group, they've just completed and released their first-ever all-Gospel recording. We'll talk with Marty Raybon and Mike McGuire about the reasons behind this new CD, which includes plenty of original songs. Join us to get to know, in a new context, Shenandoah.

Other Guests:  Steve Hess (Steve Hess & Southern Salvation); Susan Whisnant (Whisnants); Elliott McCoy (Three Bridges); more.

Who can YOU invite to listen this weekend?
Click here to hear the audio announcement regarding this next program.
Click here to find a local station carrying The Gospel Greats program.

From the broadcast the weekend of July 16th & 17th, 2016:

Our Featured Artist on this program was soloist Jason Crabb. I've known Jason, and have been interviewing him, since he was barely 21 (which was almost two decades ago). He was singing back then with his mom and dad and brothers as the Crabb Family. And it's been a pleasure to watch this young man grow in music and in ministry over the years. The Crabb Family, as such, retired in 2007 (not counting occasional reunion concerts). But Jason went on to launch a highly successful solo career. He's collected all sorts of awards, including a Grammy award, several Dove awards, Singing News Fan Awards and many other recognitions. As you heard Jason say on the program, "I'm very blessed to get to do what I love to do... And so I thank the Lord. I really try to thank Him, take time out to thank Him every day and say I'm thankful for what You allow me to do..."

Jason's songs on this program were from his current "Whatever The Road" CD. "Mysterious Ways," written by Gerald Crabb and Jimmy Yeary, was compellingly built around a surprising story. "He Won't Leave You There" spent several months on the Singing News Top 40 earlier this year. And "Home" is his current radio single. That's the song Jason said always reminds him of his grandma. It's great to see Jason spreading his wings as a songwriter, following in the footsteps of his dad, Gerald Crabb.

Jason Crabb's CD featured on this program, "Whatever The Road," is available from our mailorder service, Springside. Just call 1-800-38-MUSIC to order. Call by Friday, July 22, 2016, 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.

If you heard Lindsay Huggins on this program's Artist Spotlight segment, you know she is an amazing singer. Based in Nashville, she travels quite a bit to sing in churches. She's also leading music worship for various ladies' retreats and she does worship music for various campmeetings. She even traveled for a while as a backup singer for Reba McEntire. I found it interesting that, as she recounted on the program, God used a song to open her heart to receiving Him. So it really makes sense that she is using her music now to reach others for Christ. You can find out much more info about Lindsay on her website,

If you caught the Headline Update on this program, you know that Charlie Waller is retiring his Florida Boys quartet at the end of the year. He also sees virtually no chance of continuing his annual summertime event, the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion. Just as Charlie picked up the mantle of the Florida Boys a decade ago, is there anyone who would want to continue the tradition of the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion?

Also on the Headline Update I mentioned the 18th Annual St. Jude Benefit Singing that will be held August 6, 6 p.m., at the Hopewell Baptist Church in Gainesville, GA (5086 Poplar Springs Road). As the name implies, this is a concert to benefit the enormously beneficial work of St. Jude Children's Hospital. Past concerts in this series have raised more than $370,000. There is no admission charge, but a love offering will be taken. Singing will be the Inspirations, the Primitives and Georgia, along with other special music. More info is available from Stanley Pierce 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
  • Allegiance - Time To Sing  (CD)
  • Blackwood Brothers - Best of the Blackwood Brothers (DVD)
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver - Burden Bearer (CD)
  • Sunday Drive - Special Edition (CD)

Click here to view those Southern Gospel music items 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
"Blind Spots"

How many accidents have been caused by someone's "blind spot?"

The blind spot, in a highway context, is that area on the right side of the vehicle that the driver can't see. When he swings into the right lane, suddenly a car is there, seemingly out of nowhere.

I lost my peripheral vision in my right eye with my eye surgery a few years ago. Because I know I can't see well to my right, I am extremely careful when I drive. I look time after time to be sure I don't cause an accident changing lanes. Even in the office, someone can walk up beside me and I won't know they are there unless they make a noise. (Some people think it is funny to stand beside me and watch me jump when I finally realize they are there. Ha, ha.)

The good news is that I am aware that I have a blind spot. I know it and pay attention, so it really doesn't cause me problems.

But spiritually, people sometimes have blind spots, as well. They just don't see the danger of their actions. They don't see that the next step is a trap that leads into sin. All feels good. That can cause an emotional blind spot, where they depend on feelings and not on facts or truth.

Sometimes we look into a mirror and see things "darkly."1 We don't look at the actual situation. We don't see how close we are to something. We think the mirror's backward view is the real view.

How do we fix that spiritual blind spot? The Bible says we need to be careful, because when we think we stand, we sometimes fall.2 We need to be conscious of our imperfections. We need to be aware of our weaknesses. We need to understand that we need God to lead us and guide us and keep us on the right path We might be weak, but He is not.

When you are driving, be aware of the blind spot. It could save a life.

As you are living, be aware of spiritual blind spots. It could save a life – one that will last for eternity.

- Shelia

1. See 1 Cor. 13:12
2. See 1 Cor. 10:12

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

Skill Set Enhancement

A young man, hired by a supermarket, reported for his first day of work. The manager greeted him with a warm handshake and a smile, gave him a broom and said, "Your first job will be to sweep out the store." "But I'm a college graduate," the young man replied indignantly. "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know that," said the manager. "Here, give me the broom, I'll show you how."

Camping Advice

When using a public campground, a tuba placed on your picnic table will keep the campsites on either side vacant.

My Housework Philosophy

Good Neighbor Policy

A good neighbor is one that lets his grass grow as tall as yours.

Church Visitors

While on vacation, a friend visited a church on Sunday. They settled into a pew near the front of the church. An usher came up to them, tapped on pew and said, "This pew is saved." Her husband looked up, smiled and replied, "So are we!"

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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