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Overcoming The Fear Of The New World by Chris White

I suppose all of us, at some point in our lives, have discovered that we are afraid about something that we feel overwhelms us. It might be that we are afraid of our abilities to perform a task, therefore choosing not to try and engage in the effort. Such is the case for many in this new world of technology we find ourselves, in this new 21st century.

I, like most people, have found some challenges in this new era that I was afraid of, one being computers. I had run my business for years from the top of a legal pad with a pen and pencil. When I decided as a company owner that we had to move into the computer age with the rest of the world, I bought them for those in our offices who could navigate this new technology, not for myself. Now I will admit that I did something a little underhanded. I bought me one to sit on my desk so everyone would think I was a part of the new age. Truth of the matter is, I never plugged it in! However, I sure looked like I was in tune with the changing world.

Today, 20 years later, I wouldn’t know how to live life without my laptop and Blackberry phone. They go with me everywhere…day and night. Even so, when the company that I still co-own and serve as an executive officer decided to enter the on-line store arena, I rediscovered new fears about technology. Even though I was completely dependant on my computer and phone to function, I had never downloaded a song from the Internet. So here I am, my company is building an on-line store and one of the main focal points is downloading. I figured out pretty quickly that if I was going to expect the public to download our music from our site, I had better know how to do it as well. Now I’m anything but a “spring chicken” so I will admit I was a little nervous. So, on my own without any help from our tech guys, I set up my account and did it. It was so easy!! That’s when I knew, as the old saying goes, if I can do it…anybody can.

Today my world is full of technology, not just at my office, but also in my home. There are Tivo’s, flat screens, Ipods with docking stations and hard drives all over the house. I never thought I would adapt to this new world but now I wouldn’t know how to live any other way. Such is the case with many people in my age group as well as some in the younger generation. I often hear people say that they are afraid to do business on-line because they don’t want to give out their credit card number on their computer. Well the fact is, it is safer typing it on a secured on-line store site, than it is giving it out to someone over the phone. Besides, if people want it…they’ll get it no matter how protective one tries to be.

So I encourage everyone who reads this article, who is living in a world of fear just like I was, don’t be afraid. You’ll soon discover that baking a chocolate cake is much more difficult than downloading music from the Internet. There are so many upsides to engaging yourself in the technical world we live in. Buying your favorite products without leaving the comfort of your own home is not only easy, it’s economically smart. With the simple click of a button, you can bring the mall to your living room. Give it a try.

Chris White
Executive Officer
Crossroads Entertainment & Marketing, Inc.

SGMG Podcast

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SGMG Singing News Article

I would like to start this article by posing a question: What comes to your mind first when you hear phrases like “Digital Age,” “Digital Revolution” and “Digital Media?” Your first reaction may be to think that you’ve gotten along just fine without it for most of your life, so why bother now? These phrases may introduce feelings of uncertainty, reluctance or just indifference. In the music lover’s world, I would also venture to say that they are often only associated with other terms like downloads, MP3, and iTunes. It’s not that these associations are not valid or true, because they certainly are and have opened up a whole new world for music consumers of all genres, including Southern Gospel. However, this article hopes to prove that there is more to these phrases than just all those new-fangled devices we can play our music on. It represents a world that at one time seemed so big and unreachable, but now can be reached with the touch of a button. The possibilities for using the powerful message of Southern Gospel music to spread God’s love throughout the world and to connect with other believers now seem endless.

Did you know that there is a place where you can chat with Southern Gospel artists? What about a place where you can be first in line to purchase Gaither Homecoming tickets? Did you also know that there is a way for you to use your cell phone to send a Bible to your Christian brothers and sisters around the globe? These are just a few of the ways one can connect with their favorite artists and other Christian resources throughout the world. One site is even trying to round up all of its Christian users and is currently close to the 1 million mark. What an awesome way to connect with people and to experience the Gospel in ways you never thought imaginable!

While dwelling on the potential of this vast entity we call the World Wide Web, I am also reminded of an event that happened recently. While at the Dove awards, between commercial breaks, the audience was informed that Aaron and Amanda Crabb’s sweet little Eva had a terrible accident at home. By the next morning, their email inbox was flooded with messages of prayers for their little girl brought on by a flurry of phone texts and online posts that were on the web before anyone even left the Grand Ole Opry auditorium! It seems of no coincidence that, though her fall was quite serious, she was released from the hospital early that morning and well on her way to recovery - praise God!

So that seems to lead us to another powerful use of the internet…prayer! If you believe as I do, one should never underestimate the power of prayer. My pastor has the most amazing saying about this subject. He reminds us often that “Much prayer = much power; little prayer = little power; and no prayer = no power.” If one even thinks in terms of the 1 million Christians I spoke of earlier, I don’t think anyone would argue the power that could result in having such a network at your disposal. But the most exciting thing is, the internet is so much larger than even that!

Because of the vastest of the internet, we must be aware that for all the good things one can find, there are also sites of questionable nature and some that are down-right wrong. However, as Christians, we cannot escape the evils of this world, and in my opinion, have a responsibility to use the tools God has given us to spread the Message and increase the size of His Kingdom. “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). It is what we do with the tools He’s given us that matters most.

It has recently become one of the focused missions of the Southern Gospel Music Guild (SGMG) to promote spreading the Gospel through our genre of music via the internet and new technologies. The launch of SGMG’s new website this July will provide and equip Southern music lovers everywhere with the tools, education and resources necessary to connect and share their love for Southern Gospel with like-minded people all across the globe. There, one will find connections and links to music, news, communication opportunities with artists, educational topics and more. As a group, we believe that like no other time in history, it has been so easy to share the Gospel Message because of the extraordinary age we live in. We recently were fortunate enough to sit down with one Southern Gospel artist and discuss how he is currently using technology to minister to the masses through his music.

In a recent interview between recording artist Jason Crabb and Les Butler of the Singing News and Solid Gospel Radio Network, Jason weighed in on how technology has changed and affected his ministry from his Crabb Family days to the present. For starters, he explains that recording methods and the overall quality of sound recordings has come a long way in recent years. Jason also alluded to the fact that technology has allowed greater flexibility in the recording studio. For example, tracks can be emailed to certain musicians who can record their parts locally in their home studio and then email them back to the producer, which I’m sure, has proven to be a lifesaver in some instances.

In relation to his new album, Jason emphasizes the power of the internet to spread the word among his fans. With over 100,000 names on his address list, email becomes a powerful tool in keeping fans up to date on the album release, tour dates and more. Not only can one circulate text updates through email and on the web, but technology also allows for top quality video clips to be posted. Coming soon, Jason’s website will include a video featuring personal interviews conducted right off the Grand Ole Opry stage during the CMA Fest this year.

In speculating about the future of technology and where it will take us, he states that the products of our wildest imaginations have probably already come to pass or perhaps, if they haven’t, we don’t just know about them yet. Who would have imagined that we could use our phones as portable computers that can get online and send messages while also functioning as our portable music player that can store thousands of songs at a time…a far cry from the days of traveling with his family, rolling down the window and playing their favorite eight track.

On a lighter note, Jason admitted to not being particularly savvy when using today’s technology and gave major credit to his team at Spring Hill for keeping him current. By visiting www.jasoncrabb.com, fans can find links to Jason’s other social networking pages, such as Twitter and MySpace. For those that aren’t as familiar with these websites, they are a fun way to chat with other fans and even Jason himself. They allow a safe environment to keep tabs on your favorite artists, whether it be to tell a funny story or share a word of encouragement. I laugh even now as I visit Jason’s Twitter page as his last post reads “I’m outside sanding furniture in this hot heat! Wow, I’m having fun!” I detect a little sarcasm in his tone, but I do have to say that the internet, along with its seemingly bottomless bag of tricks, is a lot of fun indeed!

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