Maybe I can share something...

Friday, April 27, 2007

What Do You Want?

Taken from My Utmost For His Highest, by Oswald Chambers

"Do you seek great things for yourself?" (Jeremiah 45:5)

Are you seeking great things for yourself, instead of seeking to be a great person? God wants you to be in a much closer relationship--He wants you to get to know Him. Even some large thing we want is only incidental. There is nothing easier than getting into the right relationship with God, unless it is not God you seek, but only what He can give you.

If you have only come as far as asking God for things, you have never come to the point of understanding the least bit of what surrender really means. You have become a Christian based on your own terms. You protest, saying, "I asked God for the Holy Spirit, but He didn't give me the rest and peace I expected." And instantly God puts His finger on the reason--you are not seeking the Lord at all; you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you..." (Matthew 7:7). Ask God for what you want and do not be concerned about asking for the wrong thing, because as you draw ever closer to Him, you will cease asking for things altogether. "Your Father knows the things you need of before you ask Him" (Matthew 6:8). Then why should you ask? So that you may get to know Him.

Are you seeking great things for yourself? Have you said, "Oh, Lord, completely fill me with your Holy Spirit"? If God does not, it is because you are not totally surrendered to Him; there is something you still refuse to do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what is it you want from God and why you want it? God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor of your ultimate future completeness. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, buy He's continually working out His ultimate perfection for you--"...that they may be one just as We are one..." (John 17:22).

Monday, April 23, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Oklahoma City Bombing - April 19, 1995

Today marks the 12th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. Even though I wasn't there when it happened I feel a strange attachment to it, almost like it really happened to me. I guess in some respects it did happen to me, it happened to all of us. Having been connected in some way to the OKC area for most of my life I feel a stronger connection than most of you might. On the day of the bombing my sister was a student at Southern Nazarene University(SNU) located in the city of Bethany, just seven miles from the sight of the bombing. Even at that distance there were several items knocked off of shelves in her apartment, others on campus had even thought there might have been a small gas explosion in one of the buildings.

By the time I made it to SNU the remnants of the Alfred P. Murrah Building had been demolished, the large hole in the street filled and repaved, and the memorial had not been built yet. The chain link fence that surrounded the construction area had become a makeshift memorial where people had left their tokens of love and remembrances.

I remember when I returned to OKC in 2000 I transferred my residence due to insurance regulations connected with the job that I had. I remember a buddy of mine telling me, "Yup, you're now officially an Okie!", to which I replied, "No way! I'm a cajun through and through and there's nothing in Oklahoma that'll change that!". But Oklahoma, and especially the OKC area has a special way of making you one of them. I tell people that Oklahoma City is the friendliest city in the world and one of the greatest places to live. But no one seems to believe me. Until you've lived there, you'll never know exactly what I'm talking about. It's something that has to be experienced. The longer I lived there the more I felt like an "Okie" but honestly didn't appreciate it until I moved away. It seems to me, and I've heard it from many others, Oklahoma will steal a piece of your heart, and it certainly has mine. I think that its mostly because of this I feel so close to the Oklahoma City Bombing.

-387,000 Estimated number of people in Oklahoma City who knew someone killed or injured in the bombing (more than a third of the population).

-190,000 Estimated people in Oklahoma City who attended funerals for bombing victims (19% of the population).

-Over 300 Buildings Were Damaged or Destroyed.

-168 People Killed

-19 Children Killed

-1 Rescuer Killed (Rebecca Anderson)

-850 People Injured

-30 Children Orphaned

-219 Children Lost at Least One Parent

Below is a memorial video I found on Very moving, it covers the bombing and the entire memorial area.

This video of the song, "The Change" was made by Garth Brooks as a tribute to the OKC Bombing. Garth is a native of Yukon, OK just 15 miles west of OKC.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Summer Concerts You Shouldn't Miss!!!!

Suwannee River Jubilee
June 14-16, 2007
Live Oak, Florida

This year's Suwannee River Jubilee(SRJ) marks the 20th gathering of this event, and it's promising to be the largest SRJ EVER!!! "SOLD OUT" is becoming a common phrase associated with this years event as EVERY full hookup campsite is SOLD OUT!! And...EVERY cabin and duplex is SOLD OUT!!! We still have plenty of water/electric only campsites still available but they are going fast! We've checked in with the local hotels and they too are SOLD OUT or nearly SOLD OUT!!! I can't tell you how excited we are to see this kind of response to the SRJ. We knew you folks loved southern gospel music and you're proving it over and over! There are still plenty of tickets available. If we run out of tickets, we'll order more!! We plan on cramming as many people as we can into that ampitheatre as possible! Below I'm going to recap the talent line-ups as well as ticket and camping information.

Be sure and make your plans now for the Fall Jubilee which will be held on October 4-6, 2007, and will feature the Dixie Echoes all 3 nights, as well as the Mark Trammell Trio, Squire Parsons Trio, and our good friends the Dixie Melody Boys!! ALL cabins, duplexes, and ALL campsites are still available for the October Jubilee.

Summer Jubilee Talent:

Thursday: Chuck Wagon Gang, Florida Boys, and Dixie Echoes
Friday: Booth Brothers, Southern Joy, and Dixie Echoes
Saturday: Dove Brothers, Kingsmen, and Dixie Echoes


3 DAY PASS FOR $30 / or $13 per night
3 DAY PASS FOR $38 / or $15 per night
Children 12 and under FREE!

Group orders of 10 or more receive $2.00 discount per ticket PLUS 2 Free tickets!

HOW TO ORGANIZE A CHURCH GROUP?Would you like to share the Suwannee River Jubilee with friends from your church? Whether your group is large or small, significant benefits are available for church groups. For more information...

Gate opens at 5:30 PM / concert begins at 7:30 PM. Park is located on Hwy 129, north of I-10 exit 283, and west of I-75 exit 451. Bring your lawn chairs!

TALENT CONTEST INFORMATION...To enter the talent contest in advance, send check or money order for $50.00 payable to: Jubilee Productions, 481 Ronda Street, Pensacola, FL 32534. Along with payment, please include name of artist, address, phone number, and any other special needs (any live instruments, tracks on cd, etc.?) Each artist will be allowed to sing two songs during the talent contest. First prize winner will receive 6 hours of studio time at Echo Sound in Pensacola, Fl, plus a banner ad in the Singing News magazine, plus they will get to perform two songs on stage during the night concert. Second prize winner will receive a banner ad in the Singing News magazine. Third prize winner will receive a trophy.

Visit for complete event information!


Pensacola Homecoming
J.G. Whitfield Memorial Sing
Marcus Pointe Baptist Church
Pensacola, Florida
June 22, 2007

J.G. Whitfield began his singing career in 1944. In 1947, he organized and managed the Gospel Melody Quartet which became known as The Florida Boys. "Whit" sang bass and managed the group until 1958, when he retired. Shortly thereafter, however, he formed the Dixie Echoes, once again singing bass and managing one of Southern Gospel's most active groups. Whitfield's association with the Florida Boys and Dixie Echoes led him into new territory as a promoter of Gospel sings throughout the South. He promoted his first gospel concert in Carnegie Hall in 1963 and became one of the largest promoters in the country. He is the founder of the Singing News. In 1969 and 1970 he received the Gospel Music Association's Dove Award for "Best Gospel Disc Jockey". He is a Charter member of the Gospel Music Association, served on the original Board of Directors, and served on Board of Directors as the Promoter Representative. He was also a prominent player in the origins of the popular television series, The Gospel Singing Jubilee, which served to launch the careers of many of today's top artists. The Southern Gospel magazine, Singing News, was another of Whit's contributions, organized in 1969 to promote his many concerts across the country.



• $13.00 in advance
• $15.00 at the door
Children under 12 Free. Group orders of 10+ receive $2.00 per ticket discount, plus 2 FREE tickets!
EMAIL US with requests for group orders, or place order below and discount will be adjusted from online quote.

Marcus Pointe Baptist Church 850-479-8337
Gospel Lighthouse Bible Book Center 800-32-JESUS

Tickets are available at all 10 Gospel Lighthouse Locations:
Pensacola (2 Locations); Milton, FL; Ft. Walton Beach, FL; Crestview, FL;
Foley, AL; Bay Minette, AL; Mobile, AL; Atmore, AL; Pascagoula, MS

To Order online, Click below:
*There will be no shipping charge for online ticket orders
even though it adds it in shopping cart. We will not charge Shipping!*

Order Tickets Online

An advertisement program book is being prepared to be given away to attendees at this concert. If you are interested in purchasing an ad for your business, or would like to help sponsor this event, please email us.


Dale Shelnut Day
Oak Grove High School Auditorium
Bessemer, Alabama
June 23, 2007

Dale Lawrence Shelnut
1935 - 1983

Inducted 2001 - Southern Gospel Music Association Hall Of Fame

Few individuals ever sang a Gospel Song with the innate feeling of Dale Shelnut.

Born July 29, 1935, just outside Guin, Alabama, Dale began his career in 1951 with the formation of the Rhythm Masters. In 1960 he joined the Tennesseeans Quartet but he became best known as lead singer for the Dixie Echoes and as a regularly featured soloist on the Gospel Singing Jubilee television program.

Always a crowd favorite, Dale took control of the Dixie Echoes in the late 1960s and for the next fifteen years kept them atop the industry as one of Southern Gospel's finest quartets. He passed away suddenly in 1983 but not before making an irreversible contribution to the heart and soul of Southern Gospel.

Visit for complete concert and ticket information!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Creation Museum's 1st Visitor? Bill Maher

Comedian sneeks peek at new $30 million tribute to biblical view.

By Jim Fletcher
© 2007

The new $30 million, 60,000-square-foot Creation Museum, built on prime real estate near Cincinnati's airport, isn't scheduled to open its doors officially until May 28, but it already had its first celebrity visitor.

The facility, the crowning achievement of Answers in Genesis, which defends a biblical worldview including its account of Creation, was visited unexpectedly – and covertly – by comedian Bill Maher, formerly of ABC's "Politically Incorrect" and lately of HBO's "Real Time," and who once said
Christians suffer from a neurological disorder.

Ken Ham, president of the organization, calls the incident part of "an elaborate media deception."

"A video crew with so-called 'First Word Productions' arranged to come to AiG to visit the museum for a documentary on world religions," explains Ham. "At the end of their three-hour visit and taping, they wanted to do a sit-down interview with me in my office. They asked permission to drive around the back of the building to bring in their equipment. Then one of the crew members distracted a staff member who was with me and – without registering with our security office, as they knew had to be done – they propped open a back door and sneaked HBO commentator and comedian Bill Maher into my office. I only vaguely recognized him, and just figured this person was a latecomer to the filming."

Because the Creation Museum is the first of its kind, with numerous displays presenting the Bible as a true history of the world, it has generated a tremendous amount of media interest. Mark Looy, the co-founder and chief operating officer of AiG, says he has a 24/7 job handling requests.

"In the past few weeks, we've had several foreign correspondents visit the museum, representing media outlets in Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, as well as the United Kingdom and Australia. The media interest for a museum not yet open is huge. Major newspaper articles have appeared across the U.S., and media outlets such as CNN, Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, BBC and many others have already filmed here."

Looy says the quality of the Creation Museum has earned grudging respect from most visiting journalists, who can't help but be impressed by the effort. Still, a museum that promotes a biblical worldview is sure to draw ire from certain circles.

"To be fair, though, most of the media covering us have been balanced, especially after they have seen the quality of the museum's exhibits for themselves," said Looy. "But the British and Australian press can be quite harsh at times."

And Ham and the staff have attracted plenty of international attention.

"A leading anti-creationist visited with the BBC for an interview," Ham said. "She was quoted in news sources as saying she was frustrated that because the museum was so professionally done – so first class – she was worried kids would believe what is being taught here! That's what we call an 'endorsement!'"

With heightened visibility comes heightened scrutiny. A few years ago, when AiG was shopping around for land on which to build the Creation Museum, the search itself created such a firestorm of local controversy that the Cincinnati Enquirer ran a steady stream of articles about planning and zoning meetings, local civic and religious opposition, and the broader cultural fight over origins theories.

Yet, nothing could have prepared Ham and the Creation Museum team for its surprise reconnaissance mission by Maher – known for his biting criticism of fundamentalist Christianity.
"When someone like a vehement anti-Christian Bill Maher goes to elaborate lengths to get into AiG, it tells me how threatening our museum must be to their worldview," said Ham. "But it was a good wake-up call for us, and our security crew is already taking measures – ahead of the museum's opening on May 28 – to prevent a reoccurrence."

While there is no word from Maher and HBO as to how the shoot will be used, Ham said he did answer the comedian-commentator's questions.

"Bill Maher did interview me; though respectful in one sense, most of his questions were just mocking attacks on God's Word," he said.

Ham, an affable Australian himself, is not known for pulling punches. His organization and the museum facility's mission is to defend the Bible "from the very first verse."

Maher's weekly show, now in its fifth season, features panelists such as Court TV's Catherine Crier, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and broadcaster Dan Rather.

"I first thought of a Creation Museum back in my native land of Australia," Ham recalled. "As a teacher, I had found that the teaching of evolution ... was a stumbling block to these young people even considering the Bible and Christianity as true. Each time we visited a secular museum, I saw groups of school students receive only an evolutionary explanation of origins. I often thought: Why can't we have a museum to teach them the truth?"

His thought was to build it in his native Australia, but, after launching AiG 13 years ago, the opportunity to build it in America – as close to as many population centers as possible – became compelling. Two-thirds of Americans live within 650 miles of Cincinnati, making it possible for most to drive to the museum.

Attention to detail has already brought the Creation Museum extensive interest. From the cavernous lobby – with its cypress trees, waterfalls, and children playing with dinosaurs – to the nature trails and lake on the grounds, visitors will be treated to a total biblical worldview. For years, Ham has taught audiences that the Bible is trustworthy and in fact, what is seen "in the real world" is what the Bible proclaims.

For example, a staple of AiG's message is that there is no conflict between science and the Bible; only various interpretations have resulted in debate, argument, and splits between scientists and the religious world. That's why Ham's emphasis on dinosaurs has brought such notoriety to the museum.

AiG maintains that since the Bible explicitly says the world was created in six regular days, there is no reason not to believe that dinosaurs originally co-existed with man. Thus, references in the Book of Job to "behemoth" and "leviathan" are, in fact, Ham says, brief descriptions of dinosaurs, not crocodiles and hippos, as is generally cited in modern Bible translations.

Animatronic dinosaurs (and humans) appear regularly throughout the Creation Museum. World-class dinosaur sculptor Buddy Davis, an early friend of Ham's and a fixture at conferences, has designed dinosaurs so real even the staff is startled.

The dinosaur "angle" has proven so popular that the museum's "Dragon Hall Bookstore" (based on dragon legends from around the world) is stocked with books on the subject.

A planetarium, Bible Authority room, displays of ancient civilizations, and extensive information about Noah's Ark will give visitors much to think about.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bill Bailey's Winter Convention & Saturday Nights in Lakeland

Bill Bailey's Winter Convention
Manatee Civic Center
Palmetto, Florida

The Dixie Echoes singing at Bill Bailey's Winter Convention 2007 in Palmetto, FL

People from all over the country gathered at the Manatee Civic Center for a full week of non-stop southern gospel music. What a great crowd to sing to!

We always have a great time at the Winter Convention, but maybe some of us have too much fun!!!

Yours truly playing the "Kiss the mic" game!

Make your plans to attend next years convention. Visit to get information on next years concert. We would love to see you there!

Saturday Nights in Lakeland

This was the Dixie Echoes 9th year to appear at Lakeland, Florida's, Lake Gibson Church of the Nazarene for their "Saturday Nights in Lakeland" Concert Series

Stewart always enjoys getting to play an actual grand piano instead of the keyboard we carry with us in the bus

Kinda scary to see my face covering that huge screen!!! I'm surprised the people stayed!!

Singin out of the old red back church hymnal around one mic, the old fashioned way!

Be sure and visit to see a short video clip of the Dixie Echoes concert

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

'American Idol' Sligh to Pursue Christian Music Career

By Kevin Jackson
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Apr. 03 2007

The curly-haired phenom of this season’s American Idol will use his media exposure from one of the most watched television shows ever to continue on a singing career in Christian music.

Chris Sligh, who was quoted as “bringing back chunky,” has decided to meet up with a Christian band he formed last year called Half Past Forever and use his recent popularity to possibly solidify a record contract with a Christian label. He feels the chances are good since there had already been interest in a CD that the band created (Take a Chance on Something Beautiful) before the show.

“Idol presents an avenue for advertising in music that major labels simply cannot buy,” expressed Cole Edmonson, bassist for Half Past Forever, in the Boston Herald. “It springboards you in a media whirlwind.”

The group has seen instant results as their CD, which had been ranked in the 13,000s for the past year on, skyrocketed to No. 25.

They hope to see a similar effect with their current music video for their song “Know.” It is posted on an online video contest sponsored by Music Nation, and the first prize is a recording contract with Epic Records.

“Chris may not be the best vocalist they’ve got (on Idol),” expressed Adam Fisher, lead guitarist for the group, in the Boston Herald. “But his presence on the show has already significantly impacted us. We’re going to take the opportunity for all it’s worth.”

Sligh, 28, had made remarks in the past week that he was somewhat happy to have been voted off Idol. He was discontent with the style of music that he was made to sing, and would not have enjoyed his music career had he won.

He even reported that he had thought of quitting the show once he had made the top 10, but continued on so that he could join the American Idol tour, which he could not join unless he was voted off.

The South Carolina native had also noted how he was not surprised by his expulsion. He had made a side bet of $50 with another of the show’s remaining Christian artists, Phil Stacey, about who would get voted out first. Sligh could be seen saying, “You owe me $50,” to his friend Stacey during his exit song on the Wednesday vote-off show.

“I’m excited to get back to my band,” said Sligh, during a telephone press session the day after his exit. “We had some label interest before, so this should really have opened some doors for us.”

Besides his band, Sligh is also looking forward to returning to his home church where he plans on helping out with much of the ministry there.

"When I get back to Greenville, my plan is definitely to be involved with the church as much as possible,” he said in a closing public interview.

In the interview, he also reaffirmed his contentment with being booted from the show.

"It comes down to this: I made the top 10, that was my goal,” the singer explained. “I wanted to make the tour. I wanted to be able to do making music for my living, so I don’t have to work at the marketing company that I was working at.”

American Idol will continue this Tuesday and Wednesday with the live performance program and vote-off show, respectively.

Still in the running are three Gospel Music Association (GMA) favorites – Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle, and Phil Stacey. All three contestants have strong support from the network of pro-gospel music artists and industry leaders as well as the Christian community.

(Photo: AP / Fox Television, Frank Micelotta)
In this photo provided by Fox television, Chris Sligh performs on 'American Idol', Tuesday, March 27, 2007 in Los Angeles. Sligh, the curly-haired jokester who once claimed he was 'bringing chubby back,' said goodbye to 'American Idol' on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 becoming the latest singer bounced in viewer voting. He has also shown interest in finding a Christian music label with his band Half Past Forever, whose musical genre he prefers.

Oklahoma Faith-Based Prison Program Gets House Approval

By Tim Talley
Associated Press Writer
Tue, Mar. 13 2007

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Preparing state inmates for life after prison and reducing the number of repeat offenders is the goal of legislation passed by the Oklahoma House Monday that encourages faith-based and volunteer groups to take a stronger role in rehabilitating Oklahoma inmates.

The measure by House Speaker Lance Cargill would encourage the state Department of Corrections to partner with faith-based, community and volunteer organizations to help inmates rejoin society and reduce recidivism rates in Oklahoma prisons.

State prison officials have already launched faith- and character-based programs at two state prisons, the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center for women in McCloud and the medium-security Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite, said DOC spokesman Jerry Massie.

"A lot of the religious portion of it is provided by volunteers," Massie said. "The goal is to improve their behavior while they're in prison but also to reduce recidivism after they're released."

Cargill, R-Harrah, said faith-based and volunteer groups want more input in counseling and rehabilitation of state inmates. Under the measure, recidivism rates would be tied to state prisons' performance reviews.

Cargill said statistics point out that two-thirds of all prison inmates commit new offenses and wind up back behind bars within three to five years.

"This bill removes any potential discrimination against faith-based groups who want to help prepare inmates to function in society once they're released," Cargill said. "It doesn't fund these groups or give them any financial assistance. It just fully opens up the doors for their participation."

The measure would establish incentives for partnerships between prison officials and faith-based and community groups. It would also encourage private and public groups to help inmates find jobs and services before they are released.

"There are many faith-based groups and volunteer organizations that already offer great tools to help our prison system reduce recidivism rates," Cargill said. "We want their participation, not their exclusion, so we need to make it easier for Oklahoma's corrections community to utilize those programs."

The bill, House Bill 2101, passed 95-1 and now moves to the state Senate for consideration. Similar legislation was approved last year in the House but was killed in the Senate.