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 October 6, 2015

In This Edition

Paul's Epistle
"What If..."

Who knows better how you should live your life – you or God?

"Paul, that's a ridiculous question!  Of course, God knows best."

Ah, that's true. But so often, through our actions, we seem to forget or ignore that basic fact. We have our own plans, you see. We think we know what we should do and how to do it. Our plans – for family, for relationships, for employment, for life in general – extend well into the future. But do we too often seem to let God out of the planning process? Unfortunately, this often happens even when it comes to our desire to serve the Lord.

What got me thinking about this the other day was the title song from the McKameys' "What If" CD. Sheryl Farris of the group, who wrote it, told me this: "Sometimes we limit, we put so many limits on God and we decide for ourselves what we're going to do for God, rather than what He wants to do through us. And so the song is about this — what if we allowed Him to do whatever He wanted to do in us?"

"Sometimes," Sheryl says, "we limit God in what He wants to do and I think, ‘What if we really believed that He could do the impossible?' It doesn't mean that He will do what we want all the time, but I think we would be surprised."

What would happen if we would allow God fully to work His will in our lives – and really mean it? Are we honestly and completely surrendered to His control? Is there something you know God would have you do – but it simply doesn't fit into your personal plans? "Maybe later," you might say. But there's never been a better time to reevaluate your priorities than right now.

As the song says,

     ...when I must surrender, it's time to remember:
     His plans are bigger than my mind can grasp.
     But I'll never know what God will do
     ‘til I trust in Him to see me through,
     knowing He will bring His will to pass.

This really is an eternally significant matter. The song's chorus puts it in perspective:

     But what if...
     When we stand before our Maker
     instead of hearing "You've been faithful"
     as we give account for every word and deed,
     He says, "Child, I had so much in store,
     if only you had trusted more."

That is definitely not something any of us would want to hear as we stand before the Lord.

Have you done all that you believe the Lord wants you to do — so far?  Have you given Him your time and energy to do His work, however He would define that in your life? Young or old, God still has something He would like you to accomplish for Him. And doing so would certainly please Him.

Today would be a great time to reflect on that so that, as whatever time we have left moves on, we don't have to look back on our lives and say, "What if only I had trusted Him more."

- Paul

1. From 2nd verse of "What If," by Sheryl Farris, McKameys Publishing Co. BMI, lyrics used by permission.
2. From chorus, ibid.

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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 October 10th & 11th, 2015:

Featured Artists:   Our Featured Artists will be the quartet Mark 209 with songs from two of their most recent CDs, "On A Roll" and "Live From Inside." You'll find out why these songs are so special — and why the live CD was done in a very unusual place. Get to know Jym, Nate, Ray and Josh, and find out what that name — Mark 209 — actually means. Join us for our visit with Mark 209.

Artist Spotlight:   We'll have an Artist Spotlight segment with the Whisnant brothers, Austin & Ethan. You'll hear a few songs from their current "Live For You Today" duet CD, including their current chart song, "1+2+3." You'll learn how these guys (who still travel with the Whisnants) are helping get their music (and their message) to a younger audience. Tune in for our visit with Austin & Ethan.

Pastor Appreciation:   October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and several of the songs and artist thoughts on this edition will be geared toward remembering, honoring and encouraging pastors in their calling. If you are a pastor, please listen. Or encourage your pastor to listen.

Headline Update:   Three well-known soloists form a new (part-time) trio; 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 October 3rd & 4th, 2015:

Our Featured Artists on this program, Mercy's Well, are about to celebrate the group's 15th anniversary, as you heard. Anniversaries are always a time of reflection, so their new CD is partly that. Although they've included three new songs and the remake of one of their previous songs, the rest of the songs are their "greatest hits" of the past 15 years, as judged primarily from how those songs have touched lives. Congratulations to Brad Strider, Greg Gainer and Jake Wood.

The Mercy's Well CD featured on this program, "Thanks To You," is available from our mailorder service, Springside. Just call 1-800-38-MUSIC to order. Call by Friday, Oct. 9, 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. 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.

As you've heard, singer/songwriter/pastor Carroll McGruder passed away September 14th. He had suffered from cancer off-and-on for many years, but this time it was too much for him. Carroll was invariably humble and most gracious in our conversations with him over the years. As I was putting together the special segment for this program remembering him (heard as a segment during hour two), I was reminded of Carroll's first priority — his heart for ministry. Carroll and his group, the McGruders, who were especially popular back in the 1980s and 1990s, touched many lives, including those of other young artists. The McGruders' influence on an entire generation of young artists was considerable, as you heard in Adam Crabb's comments on the program. As I mentioned on the air, Carroll's songs will live on. They continue to touch lives today — with a positive impact on eternity.  Carroll will be missed.

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 item available this week from
  • Kingdom Heirs - "A New Look" (CD)

Click here to view this Southern Gospel music item (and others) 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
"Listen First"

A radio station had just picked up The Gospel Greats program and they had salesmen on the road finding program sponsors. One of the businesses where they stopped was a sign shop, GreAT Signs, which (unbeknownst to the salesman) is owned and operated by my nephew, Greg.

The salesman came in telling about a wonderful opportunity to sponsor a new program on the radio station. The salesman told him the name of the program, so Greg asked the right questions to get more information. He wanted to see what the salesman would say.

Talking about the quality of the program, the inspirational content and the terrific host, the salesman related that a number of people had already heard the program and contacted the station thanking them for carrying it. The salesman did a thorough sales job and Greg just listened.

When asked about sponsorship, Greg finally told him that he was familiar with the program. He told the salesman that the host was his uncle. The salesman laughed, assuming Greg was joking.

Greg clarified that, in actual fact, the host was his uncle. "Paul Heil is my uncle," he said.

I liked the way that Greg didn't jump in immediately telling all he knew about The Gospel Greats. I liked that he listened and asked the right questions. When the salesman concluded what he had to say, then Greg could mention his relationship to the program.

When we are witnessing to others, sometimes we want to tell everything we know immediately. But, we don't know with whom we are talking or what their spiritual needs are. We don't know what background they have with God or what relationships have brought them to their present understanding (or misunderstanding) of God.

In fact, when we truly listen to someone else, we are in a better position to have them listen to us. If we know where they are spiritually, we can better know where to start as we talk about God.

People aren't statistics. People are lost sinners needing to know a Savior. We can listen to their heart and introduce them. It's worth the extra time.

- Shelia

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

Name Game

My friend's habit of associating a person's name with something familiar in order to remember it recently caused a social disaster. She had been introduced to a Hazel Johnson at a gathering. Some time later, they met again. My friend recognized the woman but forgot her name. She did, however, recall associating the name, and impulsively greeted her new acquaintance with, "I'm so sorry, I can't recall your name. But I distinctly remember you as some kind of nut!"

Pedal To The Metal

A senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership. Taking off down the road, he pushed it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing across his scalp. "Amazing," he thought, pushing the pedal even more. But then, looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a Florida State Trooper, blue lights flashing and siren blaring. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120. Suddenly he thought, "What am I doing? I'm too old for this!" So he pulled over to await the trooper's arrival. Pulling in behind him, the trooper got out of his vehicle and walked up to the Corvette. He looked at his watch and said, "Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a new reason for speeding — a reason I've never before heard — I'll let you go." The old gentleman paused, then said, "Three years ago, my wife ran off with a Florida State Trooper. I thought you were bringing her back." After a brief pause to reflect, the Trooper said, "Have a good day, Sir."

The Investment

At my parents' 60th anniversary, my Dad told of how he met Mom. She was an underpaid teacher at a one-room school in rural Canada and Dad was working on a nearby farm. One of the local boys had asked her to go to a movie. Dad was also going to the movie, and had caught a ride to town with them. At the theater, the fellow paid for himself and walked in, leaving Mom standing there with no ticket. She had no money with her, having assumed her date was paying her way. Dad stepped up and paid for her ticket. He said, "That was the best 50 cents I ever invested."


Did you ever wonder – why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

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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