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 May 3, 2016
 

In This Edition


Paul's Epistle
"Pray!"

This Thursday, May 5th, is the 65th annual observance of the National Day of Prayer in the USA. Millions of Americans are expected to assemble at various NDP events across the land to intercede on behalf of their communities, their nation and their leaders.

That's especially true this year because the theme is a stark call to action: "Wake Up America!"  That theme itself implies that Americans – especially Christians – have been asleep. And, when we look around and see all the nonsense that's been going on in society (with very little vocal objection from Christians, individually or collectively), that certainly seems to be the case.

For that reason, the NDP organizers have chosen as their theme this year a quote from Isaiah 58:1a, which says, "Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet."  I've written before, often, about the need for Christians to take a public stand for what is right. If we don't, we'll continue to be out-shouted and marginalized by those in our increasingly atheistic society who care nothing about God-inspired morals and principles and, indeed, actively oppose and undermine them.

Well-known pastor Dr. Tony Evans of Dallas, Texas, is this year's NDP honorary chairman and he's written a prayer that will be read at observances all across the land on Thursday. It is a passionate plea for God's guidance and intervention in our society. It addresses the problem of Christian apathy directly. Here it is:

"Dear Heavenly Father, we come to You today as a humble people desperate for Your supernatural intervention on behalf of our beloved nation. First, we thank You for all the blessings You have bestowed on our land, blessings that have allowed us to bring so much good and benefit to not only our own citizens but also to the rest of the world. The very ideals upon which this country was founded were based on biblical truths, no matter how some try to rewrite history to deny that very fact today.

"This is why our hearts are so broken over how You continue to be marginalized and dismissed by both our people and our institutions. We are also saddened by the fact that Your people have contributed greatly to the spiritual apathy that now engulfs us. Our satisfaction in remaining religious without being fully committed to living out the truths of Your Word has caused us to become co-conspirators with the forces of evil that are destroying us as a society.

"It is for this reason that we personally and collectively repent of our carnality and recommit ourselves to becoming visible and verbal disciples of Jesus Christ. Enable us, by Your Spirit, to no longer be secret agent Christians but rather to publicly declare and live out Your truth in a spirit of love so that You feel welcome in our country once again.

"Thank You for Your promise to hear our prayers when we call to You with hearts of repentance and obedience, which is how we are appealing to You today, Father. On behalf of Your church, we affirm afresh the priority You are to us that You would fill every dimension of our lives as we seek to bring You glory through the advancement of Your kingdom in our personal lives, our family lives, and in the lives of our churches and our government leaders. We confidently invite heaven's intervention into all the affairs of our nation and we praise You in advance for Your answer.

"In Jesus' name we pray. Amen."

Wouldn't be great if every Christian would sincerely and earnestly pray that prayer this Thursday – and, for that matter, every day.

- Paul

Comments on this? paul@thegospelgreats.com
(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 Epistle above is linked from our newsletter archive page, listed by date and title:
http://www.thegospelgreats.com/ggnlarchive/
NOTE: That same page includes a link to the audio version of this "Epistle."

NOTE: We have scheduled a Listener Favorite Call-In opportunity for Sunday afternoon, May 15th. Click here for more information. We really would love to hear from you.


Coming on the broadcast the weekend of May 7th & 8th, 2016:

Honoring Mothers:   Coming as this program does on Mother's Day weekend, much of our music and artist comments will be about honoring mothers. Among those sharing their special thoughts will be Gerald Wolfe (Greater Vision), Andrew Ball (Ball Brothers), Mark Bishop, Jordan Wilburn (Wilburn & Wilburn) and others. Thanks, Mom, for all you do for us!

Featured Artist:   Our Featured Artist on this edition will be songwriter Rebecca J. Peck. She'll share the backgrounds of several songs that she's written for top artists in recent years, such as the very popular "Cross Of Grace" that the Kingsmen sang last year. You'll find out how she got started writing songs. And she'll have some practical advice for aspiring songwriters. Please join us for our visit with songwriter Rebecca J. Peck.

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 April 30th & May 1st, 2016:

Our Featured Artists on this program were the LeFevre Quartet. Included in the group are Mike LeFevre (baritone and the group's founder), Jordan LeFevre (lead singer, Mike's son), Jeremy Peace (tenor) and Jonathan Epley (bass). Both Jeremy and Jonathan joined the group within the past year. Jeremy was well-known as a former member of the Kingsmen and Jonathan as a former member of the Inspirations. Their songs on this program were from their new CD entitled "Home." That title song, which you heard, brought back memories of the Singing Americans who originally sang that song back in the 1980s. The LeFevre Quartet's current radio song is called "Something." It's a bit unusual. In fact, before he released it, Mike called me to ask what I thought about making it a radio song. He was concerned that it might be just a bit too unusual. But — not to worry — it's doing great. And people are, indeed, catching on to the song's message about how God can turn a "nobody" into a "somebody" for Him.

The LeFevre Quartet's CD featured on this program, "Home," is available from our mailorder service, Springside. Just call 1-800-38-MUSIC to order. Call by Friday, May 6, 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.

This program was our monthly official Singing News Top 20 Countdown edition, based this time on the song popularity chart appearing in the magazine's May issue. The Singing News compiles the chart by surveying radio stations that play Southern Gospel music nationwide to determine local favorites.

On the Headline Update I mentioned the 2016 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards. Here's a link for the complete list of winners.

Info about the 2016 Gospel Music Fan Fair, May 16-21, 2016, in Somerset, KY, is available at this link.

For the song list from this broadcast, click on the link below.
http://www.thegospelgreats.com/cue20160430.pdf    (PDF viewer required.)

Hear last weekend's Headline Update report about your favorite artists by clicking on this link: http://www.thegospelgreats.com/update.mp3

New items available this week from Springside.com:

Shenandoah - Good News Travels Fast   (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
"God's Faithful Provision"

Recently a few tour buses were in our area for a Lancaster County vacation. It's a great area to visit and made me think back to when I first came to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to interview for a job. (No, not the job I have now!)

I had worked in Southern Africa, and on my return trip to the States, I spent a few days in London. When it was time to leave Europe, I went to Heathrow International airport, checked in, boarded the plane and we took off. Everything was going great.

We had only been in the air about fifteen minutes when my face started to go numb. I was scared. I called for the stewardess. Soon I was surrounded by all the flight attendants.

Questions flew. Had I taken any medications? Had I eaten anything strange? What about bug bites? My answer remained that I had taken and done nothing unusual.

Finally, the head stewardess told me that they would use the on-plane intercom system and call for a doctor, but they didn't know if one was onboard the plane. If there was no response, they would turn the plane around and drop me off at Heathrow. It was, after all, a six-hour flight.

The call was made and I prayed. Lord, please give healing. Lord, please let a doctor be on this flight. Lord, help me.

A man, who had been seated several rows behind me, came to my seat. He asked if I was having problems. I told him I was.

In his broken English, he told me he was a doctor from the Netherlands. He asked what my problems were. I explained about the numbness in my face.

After my answer, he asked if I had a cold. I confirmed that I had a terrible cold. He told me that was my problem.

His explanation was that as the plane ascended, the air pressure changed. Because of my congestion, I could not equalize the pressure in my face. That caused the numbness. He also told me that everything should be fine in about 15-20 minutes. I thanked him profusely.

The stewardess asked if I wanted to continue on the flight and I readily assured her that I did. The flight continued.

When the doctor talked to me about 15 minutes later, my face felt fine and all signs of the numbness were gone. He told me that when we descended, the same thing could happen. "Chew gum, even if you don't have any," he said with a smile. "If you don't do something to help equalize the pressure, the same thing could happen on landing." I again thanked him and my flight to the States was without further incident.

Recently in my devotions, I read the story of Zacchaeus. He was a tax collector, not well liked and everyone knew Zacchaeus was a sinner. He heard that Jesus was coming to town and he wanted to see this man. He was short and couldn't see over the crowd, so he ran ahead of Jesus, climbed a sycamore tree and watched as Jesus approached. When Jesus was under his tree, Jesus looked up and told Zacchaeus to come down so He could visit Zacchaeus' house.

Zacchaeus came down and immediately told Jesus that he would make right whatever he had done wrong to anyone. Then he welcomed Jesus to his home.

Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus and he did. But, when Jesus saw Zacchaeus, it changed Zacchaeus' life forever. It changed how he acted and it changed what he did.

Did you ever think about that sycamore tree, planted in just the right place? God can see ahead in time and He knew that Zacchaeus would need a way to see Jesus. He knew the circumstances and He knew the heart's need. So, back before Zacchaeus was in need, God made sure that sycamore tree was planted. God made sure Zacchaeus had what he needed to reach Jesus.

And, on that flight from Europe to the States, God knew that I would have a need. He placed that doctor on that particular flight so my need could be met.

I hope this is a great day for you. But, you might already have a need that has to be met. Maybe sometime later today it could be a phone call or an accident or just life itself that beats you up. God can meet that need and is already providing what will be needed.

Are you thankful for the trees with low branches that God has already placed in your path so you can climb?

Are you thankful for the provisions on your flight so you can continue to soar?

Whatever your need, God will provide. He already knows. He sees you where you are.

- Shelia

Comments on this? shelia@thegospelgreats.com.
(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:
http://www.thegospelgreats.com/ggnlarchive/
NOTE: That same page includes a link to the audio version of this "Shelia Shares."


On the Lighter Side

Aging Well

(Actual post from Donnie Williamson.)  "So, when I was in my early 20s a lady was interviewing me for her ministry's newsletter and she asked, 'What would you like for folk to say about you 100 years from now?' I said, 'I hope folks say, "you know old Donnie Williamson? He's 123 years old and still going strong!"' I'm getting a lot closer!"

A Child's Wisdom

Larry's kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw pictures tacked to a bulletin board of the ten most wanted criminals. One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person. "Yes," said the policeman. "The detectives want very badly to capture him." Larry thought about that for a second and then asked, "Why didn't you just keep him when you took his picture?"

Adoptees

Checking out of the grocery store, I noticed that the bag boy was eyeing my two adopted children curiously. They often draw scrutiny, since my son's a blond Russian while my daughter has shiny black Haitian skin. The boy continued staring as he carried our groceries to the car. Finally, he asked. "Those your kids?" "Yes, they are!" I answered proudly. "They adopted?" he asked. "Yes," I replied. "I thought so," he concluded. "I figured you're too old to have kids that small."

Dog Tired

An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of. He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head. Then he followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep. An hour later he went to the door and I let him out. The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks. Curious, I pinned this note to his collar: "I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful, sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap." The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: "He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3. He's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?"

Doggone

They say a dog retrieves a ball thrown from over a mile away. But that seems pretty far-fetched.


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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