CD Review: Looking Toward Home (Herb Henry Family)

Pro-TowardHomeWhen I first heard southern gospel music, I fell in love with the harmony of some of the mixed groups of the time. The last little while, we seem to have returned to more of a quartet/male group genre; however, I still love good family harmony when I hear it. That said, I am so glad I finally got to hear The Herb Henry Family last year.

Several groups have recorded Ronnie Hinson’s song, He is Leading the Way, in the last couple years. I’m glad to see that song hasn’t died. I first heard it 25-30 years ago but the message is still relevant.

Healer of Broken Hearts has a great message and great harmony.

Chris Henry wrote Looking Toward Home. “I’ll not grow weary though the journey be rough wherever I roam. I’m looking ahead and I’m looking toward Home.” Amen!

Tougher Than Nails is a song about the cross but Jesus was tougher than nails. He is still ready and willing to forgive you if you reach out to Him.

I love the toe-tapping On the Sea of Life.

Arise is about Christ’s Resurrection.

I remember my mom singing Song Holy Angels Cannot Sing when I was a little girl. The Herb Henry Family does a great job on this Gordon Jensen classic.

Next is an acapella rendition of Golden Bells.

Wish You Could See Me Now is a bit more progressive but I love it.

Another song I absolutely love is Unto the Hills.

The Second Time Around, Jesus won’t be coming as a baby and He won’t be dying on a cross. “He’ll step on a big white cloud when the trumpet sounds to take us Home when He comes the second time around.”

Bless the Lord has a Hawaiian feel to it. It’s straight out of Psalm 103.

Chris Henry wrote about the Perfect Gift which is the one that God gave when He sent His Son to earth.

The children sing Go & Tell. Very cute and a good message.

Dear Friends:

I work for Family Renewal and handle the itinerary for Israel Wayne, a national speaker, founder of Family Renewal, LLC and author of Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview, Full-Time Parenting, and Questions God Asks. Would you be interested in helping to organize a seminar with Israel as the speaker? His most popular seminar right now is Revival in the Home which is not homeschool specific but talks about the importance of spending time with your children and discipling them so that they are not among those who leave the faith when they are older. He can also speak on worldview/apologetics, homeschooling, etc. If you have an event coming up where you would like a speaker, that would be great but I could also schedule a seminar when we are going to be going through your area anyway.

Let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sony Elise

Family Renewal

P.O. Box 227
Berrien Springs, MI 49103
(269) 282-6058

Happy New Year 2014!

Yet another year has come and gone. As I look back over the past year, I am in awe of where I am today. I am 40 years old, still single, and still traveling. Earlier this year I resigned from the job I held for over 20 years to begin a business with my brother and his wife, and I am in the process of starting my own proofreading/editing business. In the midst of life’s hecticity, I still find time to spend with my siblings and my nieces and nephews. God has been so good to me!

2013 was also the year for physical challenges. I hope the coming year is better in that regard. I need to strengthen my back and get some stamina so I can keep up with the work God has given me to do. I am learning once again what it means to rejoice in everything since this is God’s will for me. This becomes much easier as I see my Father’s hand at work. I’m so grateful that, in the midst of my struggles and doubts, He never left me. He simply wanted me to trust Him and hold His hand no matter what. He truly is my dearest friend.

I don’t know if I’ve ever made New Years’ Resolutions but, this coming year, I plan to continue to work on my health. I’ll try to work with my body to sleep better so I can put in a vibrant day. I want to seek Christ first in everything and have Him be such a part of my life that my will becomes His. I want God to use me more than ever before. He has a purpose for my life, and I pray to fulfill that purpose. I want to be the best sister, daughter, aunt, and friend I can be. I want everything I do to point people to Christ because there is nothing good in me that does not come from Him. God, help me to keep sight of that fact.

Maybe these aren’t resolutions as much as they are things God is showing me need improved upon. What do you see you need to grow in this coming year? Is there anything specific that you overcame in 2013? If you’d like to share, I would love to hear from you. I am so glad that God is still working on me, and I trust that, next year at this time, I will have even more good things to report.

Don’t Forget to Take Time For God

This has been a busy week but a good one. Today, I went to see Frozen with my sister, and I thanked God for blessing me with a family that loves me. Life looks to continue to be busy through the end of the year but, in the midst of this hecticity, I am reminding myself to still take time for God. He is the one who has given me so many blessings.

Today, while we were out, a car pulled right in front of us but God kept us from colliding. On the way home, a deer was running toward the road but stopped right on the white line so we didn’t hit him. Many times, God protects me and I don’t think about it. Today, I saw His hand at work, allowing us to get back home and enjoy some more time together.

There are many times I don’t take the time I should to say Thank You but I continue to pray for an attitude of gratitude, a heart that continually is in tune with His. I am so grateful that I am His and He is mine.

To Everything There is a Season

“Oh the weather outside is frightful but the fire is so delightful. And since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”

Right now, I’m ready for the snow to stop. It’s beautiful to look at and, if I’ve no place to go, it’s fine. However, I have places to go and people to see, and it is not very fun (or safe) riding in a winter wonderland.

I’ve learned not to complain though. When we moved back up north after living down south for a couple years, I asked God daily to help me not complain about the snow and cold weather. I much prefer sun and 70-degree days but snow and cold are necessary to keep us from being overrun with bugs. Snow is also helpful in putting moisture into the ground which can be helpful for crops that will be planted in the spring.

God thought of everything. Things we may not see as a blessing do have a purpose. We must just trust and know that this too will pass. To everything there is a season, and a purpose to everything under the heavens.

As in weather, there are also seasons in life we would rather not go through. There is a purpose to these as well, however. If you are struggling, ask God to help you not to complain. “He is always there hearing every prayer faithful and true. Walking by your side, in His love abide all the day through. When you get discouraged, just remember what to do. Reach out to Jesus. He’s reaching out to you.”

CD Review: Christmas in Kentucky (The Sneed Family)

cd_book_2_panel_mediumThe Sneed Family recorded a Christmas CD of some new songs and some old.

The CD begins with the rousing Christ is Born, written by Tim Greene.

Follow That Star is a beautiful song. “Just keep the faith when the road gets dark. Don’t be afraid. Love lights the way. Follow that star.”

Daryl Williams wrote Fear Not, after which they sing The Christmas Song.

Folks from Kentucky will like the title song, Christmas in Kentucky.

I love Winter’s Not a Wonderland (Without You). It’s more of a sweet love song. “The snow no longer glistens. Sleigh bells ring but I don’t listen. Winter’s not a wonderland without you.”

Do You Hear the Cry is an uptempo song written by Rodney Griffin.

The tempo slows down with Still Remember When, a song of reminiscence.

A southern gospel Christmas recording doesn’t seem complete without Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.

My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night, and The Sneed Family does a good job on that beautiful song.

Other songs include Once Upon a Christmas, Unspeakable Joy, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and The Old Story.


DELTA 3838

Announcing Family Renewal

  • December 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm in

I don’t often run a commercial on my blog but I thought this would be a good time to update you all on what I’ve been up to.

Earlier this year, I joined my brother and his wife in forming a new ministry: Family Renewal, LLC. We felt like God was calling us to do this but I am still amazed at how widely He has thrown open the doors for my brother (Israel Wayne) to speak and write.

We started Family Renewal in July but have only recently gotten our website up and running. I hope you will check it out. It will keep you informed of where he will be speaking, what books we sell, etc. I often travel with him so I hope you can come see us somewhere. If you would like to be put on an email list for Family Renewal, please email, and I will see that you are added. If you are looking for a speaker for your conference or another event, please contact me as well. My primary job is handling Israel’s itinerary, and I’d love to work with you to bring him to your area.

I hope you are having a great December so far. Here in Michigan, it is cold but we have only had one good snow. More predicted next week so our mild winters may be over.

Have a blessed day basking in God’s love. Don’t forget to thank Him for His numerous blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

This year has been quite the year for me. As always, I have so much to be thankful for but I realize that thanksgiving is more than just saying thank you. It is an attitude of appreciation for everything that God has done for me. It’s knowing from my heart how truly blessed I am.

Blessings are not just tangible things. I am also thankful for things like peace, joy, God’s presence, etc. Then, of course, there is my family, my friends, those of you who read this blog, etc. If I took the day just to name the things I’m thankful for, there wouldn’t be enough time but I’m grateful that God knows my heart. He sees that I am but dust trying to serve Him yet He has called me to serve Him anyway. That makes me truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! May you have a wonderful day counting your blessings!

Give Thanks in Everything

I am still learning to give thanks in everything for I know there is a purpose in each trial. If I don’t take time to rest, God may allow me to get sick so that I finally get that rest I need. If  am beginning to be over-confident in my abilities, God may see fit to remove a bit of my comfort to remind me that it is He who supplies my needs. God loves me so much that He will not leave me in my sinful, selfish state if I am truly His child.

I confess I am a slow learner at times but I am striving to be quicker to hear what God would speak during the “down” times. I am pressing on to draw closer to Him and to allow Him to teach me and purify me as He sees fit. “Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11).

Thank You, Lord, for not leaving me as I was but for working out Your will in my life. Continue to give me a heart of thanksgiving through every trial that serves to mold me into the daughter You desire me to be. I love You, Father!

Enter Into His Rest

This week, my sister-in-law and I attended a ladies Bible Study. The topic was on rest. Not just physical rest but also Spiritual and what that looks like. One of the questions was something like, “How do you find Spiritual rest?” For me, I find the most rest in withdrawing to my room on a hectic, stressful day and lying on my bed and consciously drawing near to my Savior. Sometimes when I’m busy trying to get a lot done, I don’t think about how near God is but, in those quiet moments, I become very aware of Him. It’s these times when I can hear Him more clearly.

I don’t take the time as often as I should but I’m purposing to start doing that more often. I don’t want to be so busy doing things FOR God that I neglect to spend time WITH Him. I always take time for morning worship but He deserves more than just that. I want Him to be with me everywhere I go in everything I do. I want to be in tune with Him so that I know I’m where He wants me to be at every single moment. I want to know that He is with me continually. Not only during times of prayer and worship, yet that is where it must start–in a heart that desperately longs for Him.

With the holidays coming up, many have increasing stress but I just want to encourage you today to rest in Him. Don’t let the cares of this world quench your heart of Thanksgiving. Give Him your burdens, and you will find rest for your soul.

CD Review: Open Your Heart and Sing (Johnson Family Quartet)

CDCover-front-OpenYourHeart-smBack in September, I had the opportunity to attend the WSGMA Labor Day Celebration in Turlock, CA and I was introduced to The Johnson Family Quartet for the first time. I was instantly struck by their stage presence and their harmony, along with their fun style of singing.

“Open Your Heart and Sing, Sing, Sing!” is an uptempo, fun song.

I love their medley of “Cleanse Me/Whiter Than Snow.”

“Jesus Knows My Name” is another uptempo song with a simple but good message.

“There but by the Grace of God Go I” is a really neat song and one of my favorite songs on the CD.

“I Sing the Mighty Power of God” is an acapella number which showcases their great harmony.

“Brand New Old, Old Story” is a happy song about salvation being the brand new old, old story.

“Autograph” talks about how we can see God’s love all around us.

Bonnie Johnson has a sweet voice and sings, “I Fall On My Knees and Pray.” No matter what you are going through, there is such comfort on your knees, talking with the One who can take your burden away.

They sing a unique arrangement to “Love Lifted Me.”

“I Love Living in Grace” has a “swing” feel to it.

“A Secret Place” is an excellent song penned by Michael Booth. Every time I hear it, I have to ponder: Is there a place in my heart that I wouldn’t want Jesus to go?

An acapella version of “There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit” concludes the recording.