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 December 6, 2016

In This Edition

Paul's Epistle
"Mom's Advice"

First, let me thank all of you who have sent along condolences and comforting thoughts since the passing of my mother the day before Thanksgiving. (Shelia wrote about the circumstances in this newsletter last week.) Your words of encouragement have been most appreciated.

The loving and gracious way the Lord took Mom home (without pain, without illness) was truly a blessing for those of us in the family. She just lay down and went to sleep. In fact, many people told us, "That's the way I'd like to go!"

At Mom's funeral service, I shared quite a few memories. But one of them was something Mom told me back when I was just a child, probably in grade school.

My father was a pastor and Mom was a dedicated Pastor's wife. I can still see her standing in the upstairs hallway near the steps when she said this to me: "Paul, your father is a man of God. Don't you ever do anything – anything – that would hurt him. Don't ever do anything that would hurt his testimony – his ministry – in the community. Don't ever do anything that would bring him shame."

Now, I don't remember what might have occasioned her words. I don't recall doing anything in particular that would have brought that on. But I confess that her words were very effective in throttling my actions growing up – and they have served me well ever since. I certainly did not want to do anything – ever – that would harm my father's good name, or, of course, that of Mom.

But it occurs to me that Mom's advice – her admonition – is really for all of us.

Proverbs 19:26 tells us, "He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach." Of course, that's based on one of the Ten Commandments: "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you" (Exodus 20:12). Paul calls that "the first commandment with promise" (Eph. 6:2).

But even more important to remember is that each of us, as a Christian, is a child of our Heavenly Father. As we live our lives every day, we should never, ever do anything that would bring reproach on our Father. We should never, ever do anything to disappoint Him. We should never, ever do anything that would bring reproach to the name of Christ.

If, before we do anything — anything at all — we match it up to that particular qualification – and if it passes muster – then we can be pretty sure that we're on the right track.

Thanks, Mom, for your words of wisdom. They continue to serve me well.

- Paul

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A printable version of the Epistle above is linked from our newsletter archive page.
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Coming on the broadcast the weekend of December 10th & 11th, 2016:

Christmas music!   All of our programs during December, right through Christmas, feature Christmas music. You'll also hear from the artists who share their thoughts about this most blessed season of the year and the real reason we celebrate.

Featured Artists (Hour 1):  On our first hour of this edition, our Featured Artists will be Triumphant Quartet with songs from their brand new Christmas CD entitled "He Is Christmas." We'll talk with all four members of this quartet about their favorite songs, and hear four of their new Christmas songs.

Featured Artists (Hour 2):  On our second hour, our Featured Artists will be the Kingdom Heirs, who also have a brand new Christmas CD. It's called "Glory To God In The Highest." You'll hear four songs from this one, too, including their new Dianne Wilkinson song, "Singing To The King." We'll talk with all four guys in the group, including their newest member, Loren Harris.

Christmas Spotlight:   Our Christmas Spotlight guests will be the Hyssongs, with songs from their brand new Christmas CD called "The Hyssongs - Merry Christmas." The Hyssongs will tell you about Christmas observances, including something that happened one Christmas that they'll never forget. You'll hear three of their newly-recorded songs, including "Christmas Is Still About That Baby."

Other Guests:   Michaela Brown (the Browns); Jacquita Lindsey (11th Hour); Les Butler (Old Time Preachers Quartet); Devon McGlammery (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound).

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 December 3rd & 4th, 2016:

This was the first of four all-Christmas editions of The Gospel Greats, the fourth of which this year will be our "A Gospel Christmas 2016" special on Christmas weekend. The "crop" of new Christmas CDs by many of today's top Southern Gospel artists is unusually large this year, so we have a LOT of new music.

Our Featured Artists on this edition provide a case in point. Canton Junction has just released their very first Christmas CD, "A Canton Christmas." Traditional Christmas carols and new Christmas songs all take on a special "Canton Junction" feel on this recording, which was their goal. You heard us visiting with Matt Hagee, Casey Rivers, Tim Duncan and Ryan Seaton — an interview conducted in their San Antonio, Texas, studios. By the way, please don't let Tim Duncan's favorite Christmas memory ("bottle rockets down the chimney" or fireworks on the porch) give you (or your kids) any ideas.

Canton Junction's CD featured on this program, "A Canton Christmas," is available from our mailorder service, Springside. Just call 1-800-38-MUSIC to order. Call by Friday, December 9th, 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.

Our special guests on the Christmas Spotlight segment were the Torchmen, well-known as one of Canada's premier quartets. As you heard Mike Moran says, this is their first Christmas recording in a very long time. (I think the last one was on 8-track tapes, but I could be wrong.) The Torchmen are based in Southern Ontario, Canada. You heard from Mike and from Jon Hisey. The two others are Jeff Tritton and Sandy MacGregor. More info about them can be found on their website. Their Christmas CD is available through

You heard me play two songs from a new Christmas "EP" by the Nelons called "A Very Nelon Christmas." The "EP" (an old designation for "extended play" which now simply means a recording with more than one song on it) includes five songs. They had hoped to do a full CD, but just ran out of time. I'm glad, though, that they did what they did. By the way, the Booth Brothers had hoped to do a Christmas CD this year, but they keep so busy that they, too, just ran out of time. Maybe next year. Whenever it comes out, it'll be good!

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

  • Whisnants & Mark Trammell Quartet "Glad Tidings" (CD)
  • Allison Speer "Abandon" (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 Thursday morning. 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

Jim McComas is Director of Church Revitalization with Free Will Baptist North American Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee. The story he shares below should make each one of us think about what we can do. You are only one, but you can make a difference.

"Taking A Stand"
by Jim McComas

I arrived early into Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and was able to attend the Christmas show at the "Smoky Mountain Opry" over the weekend.

Toward the end of the show, as the Biblical account of the Christmas story was being portrayed on stage, the performers began to sing "The Hallelujah Chorus." It has been a tradition for hundreds of years that audiences stand during the singing of "The Hallelujah Chorus." I was sitting in the back of the auditorium and watched to see if this crowd would follow suit.

Nobody moved at first and I just assumed that folks either weren't aware of the tradition or thought since they had bought tickets to a secular entertainment show, they weren't obligated to rise during a spiritual moment.

All of a sudden, in the middle of the crowd, I watched as an elderly woman struggled to her feet. Immediately, following her lead, several others and I also rose.

By the end of the song, pretty much the entire crowd of hundreds were on their feet.

As I reflected on this later, I realized this: It just took one person brave enough to go against the crowd, to actually move the crowd to action.

That person was not the preacher. It was a feeble senior citizen.

Christians, we live in a world where we often feel like we don't belong anymore. When we look around at what we face, we have two choices: Just sit quietly doing and saying nothing, and just watch our nation continue to slide towards certain destruction. The other option is the one I watched that senior citizen saint take: We can lovingly, firmly, boldly and bravely stand and let our light shine unashamedly for the Savior, Who wasn't ashamed of us.

"Let the redeemed of the Lord say so..." (Psalm 107:2a)

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 the "Shelia Shares" above is linked from our newsletter archive page.
NOTE: That same page includes a link to the audio version of this "Shelia Shares" and a "Share" button for sharing this column on Facebook.

On the Lighter Side

Which Comes First?

All too often, Christmas is a race to see which gives out first — your money or your feet.

Don't Bug Me

At a clearance sale, the wife of a federal district court judge found a green tie that was a perfect match for one of her husband's sports jackets. Soon after, while the couple was vacationing at a resort complex to get his mind off a rather complicated conspiracy case, he noticed a small, round disc sewn into the design of the tie. The judge showed it to a local FBI agent, who was equally suspicious that it might be a 'bug' planted by the conspiracy defendants. The agent sent the device to FBI headquarters in Washington, DC for analysis. Two weeks later, the judge phoned the Washington office to learn the results of their tests. "We're not sure where the disc came from," the FBI told him, "but we discovered that when you press it, it plays 'Jingle Bells.'"


The Sunday School teacher looked at the boy's drawing of a manger scene, which included a large dog was among the animals. The teacher asked about it. "Oh," said the child, "That's a German Shepherd."

Insufficient Instructions

Aboard a flight from Los Angeles to New York, Grandma Jeannette was taking her very first flight. They had only been aloft a few minutes when the elderly lady complained to the stewardess that her ears were popping. The girl smiled and gave the older woman some chewing gum, assuring her that many people experienced the same discomfort. When they landed in New York, Grandma thanked the stewardess. "The chewing gum worked fine," she said, "But tell me, how do I get it out of my ears?"

Isn't it supposed to?

I recently decided to sell my vacuum cleaner. All it was doing was gathering dust.

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

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