Hey Everyone!2012 is off to a rip-roaring start. Last year we saw an increase of over a third in the number of our concert bookings, taking us up to 100 concerts. The way things are going so far this year, we're expecting that we'll be even busier this year. We're so exited at the way that God is increasing and blessing Miles Pike Music.
Fifth Annual Homecoming ConcertLooking back, it’s hard to believe that this can possibly be the fifth! Five years ago, I stepped out on faith and no money to speak of, and felt that God wanted me to construct an event for my community. The idea was that the event would be sponsored by MPM, would pull churches together to a common place of worship, and would feature some of my dearest friends and most admired Gospel artists. Since that first concert, I’ve seen this event grow more every year into something that I can be proud of.
Even if you don’t know the name “Mark Bishop”, you will probably know his music. After nearly 30 years in the Gospel music field, he’s had sixteen Top 40 songs, five Top 5 songs, and two #1 songs. But I respect him for more than his voice and songwriting. Mark is one of the few artists that I have regularly had opportunities to see and talk to on-stage as well as off-stage all through my life, and he is always simply “Mark”, a Godly man with no pretense or on-stage persona. That is why I’ve invited him to be my special guest artist this year. Please check out his website, www.MarkBishopMusic.com, and get a glimpse of what you’re in store for.
MARCH 3, 2012 at 6:00PM
The People’s Church in Jacksonville, TX
The People’s Church in Jacksonville, TX
New CD Soon to be Up and Walking“Walk Through The Pages” is nearly completed! Many years of prayer, study, and hard earned money have gone into making this dream a reality. This album features four original songs from the pen of my Dad, James Pike, and also songs from noted writers such as Phil Cross, Greg Day, Douglas Riley, and Chaz Borsage. Once you hear the project, I believe you will appreciate what God has orchestrated more each time you listen to it.
Mar and I were thinking out loud about this project one night, talking about it song by song, and Mar (the secretary) decided to type out what I was saying, starting with the first song and going through to the end. This page, only available to you newsletter subscribers, is the result of that conversation and in-depth Bible study. Please take advantage of our footnotes and dive in yourself. Additionally, Mar kept up a blog with pictures and videos during the time that we were in the studio recording this project. You can look through that HERE.
I’ll be debuting this project at my Fifth Annual Homecoming Concert listed above! Come on out for this great night of music and fun, with plenty of surprises, as always.
February 16-17 Prison Revival
February 19, 11AM Spirit Life Worship Center, Lufkin, TX
February 19, 6PM Prison Concert
March 2, 7PM Concert with Mark Bishop, TASCA, Whitehouse, TX
Order tickets at (903) 871-3217 - $12 or $14 at the door.
March 4, 6PM Mark Bishop Concert, Landmark Baptist, Tyler, TX
March 6, 6PM, First Baptist Church, Bullard, TX
March 18 10:50AM Westwood Baptist Church, Waskom, TX
March 20 5:00PM Senior Care, Jacksonville, TX
March 25 10:45AM First Assembly, Jacksonville, TX
April 1 8:30AM Canton Indoor Marketplace, Canton, TX
April 1 10:45AM Grace Bible Fellowship Baptist Church, Canton, TX
April 15 10:45AM Pierces Chapel Assembly, Jacksonville, TX
April 22 10:50AM Westwood United Methodist Church, Palestine, TX
April 29 1:00PM Long Lake Baptist Church, Palestine, TX
May 6 11:00AM Cove Springs Community Church, Jacksonville, TX
May 20 12:45PM Atoy Baptist Church, Rusk, TX
May 20 6:00PM Prison Concert
May 30-June 9 AFAB Recording Studio Nashville, Tennessee
June 22 11:00AM First United Methodist Church, Lawrenceville, GA
New Radio SingleCall your local DJs and request my new radio single, “Teach Me To Love Like That”. Call your local Gospel music station and request it. If they don’t have it, have them contact me and I’ll make sure they get it.
Our New Tour BusBack on January 22, we did a concert at The First Congregational Methodist Church in Rusk, TX for their morning service. We went expecting a good time of worship, a love offering, and some CD sales. During the fellowship after the service we got way more than we bargained for when the pastor, Robert Newton, got up and announced that during the service God had been dealing with him about a car that he and his wife, Carol, had been trying to sell for the past few months.
Folks, I was in the process of eating my green beans when he said that God had told him on no uncertain terms to give Miles Pike Music the car at no charge. At that point, I’m pretty sure my mouthful of beans started dribbling out of my now gaping mouth. I couldn’t help but laugh when he said, "Now listen Miles, this is a gift from the Lord... because I wasn't in agreement with Him at first".
After the church fellowship, we followed the Newtons to their home where we saw the car for the first time. Needless to say, I was practically speechless the whole way there, and Martha will tell you, that’s not a place I am very often. Then we saw what God had given us to be our new ‘tour bus’. It’s a silver 2002 Mercury Sable with as many posh upgrades as the manufacturer had to offer -- leather, power everything, CD changer, tinted windows, HUGE trunk -- we're still discovering what all it has. This car has 73K miles on it. Our other car had 173K (not counting me). There are other details that I won’t bore you with, but the car couldn’t be more of a Godsend to us.
Before we left the Newton’s home, we did our very best to stammer out a ‘thank you’ for such a perfect gift our Father gave us through them. We prayed with them then and are still praying that God will richly return to them the goodness that they have shown to us in walking by faith and trusting the voice of Jehovah Jireh, our Provider. I know that He won’t let them down, just as He has never failed us.
Pastor Newton is the chaplain over the Skyview/Hodge Prison in Rusk. We have done concerts at this unit and others like it several times a year for years, holding revivals, concerts, and Bible studies. Of course, all these events were done at our own expense. I can’t help but believe that this new vehicle is God’s way of blessing and encouraging me and my family for singing at events that had a great need for the Gospel but no ability to provide an honorarium.
The Winds of ChangeAfter four unforgettable years with some of my best friends, The Gospel Tones, I regret to announce my departure as their tenor. As I mentioned earlier, 2011 saw a spike in my solo dates, and, as I knew it would eventually, it began to hinder the amount of group dates that I was able to commit to. To complicate the issue further, four hours of distance lie between my home base and the rest of the group. Not wanting to hold back the progress of the group, I tendered my resignation in the belief that God will continue to open doors in other areas for myself and my dear friends. I can’t thank the guys enough for the memories, the learning experience, and the sweet harmony on and off stage.
For Our Northern FansWe have some dear friends from Maine who just moved to Texas this winter, and we have many other friends we’ve met over the years from the North. I felt that I should share a few tips to help my Yankee brothers and sisters in Christ deal with Southern culture shock.
1) Just because you can drive on snow and ice doesn’t mean we can. Stay home the two days of the year that it snows.
2) Remember. “Y’all” is singular. “All y’all” is plural. And “all y’all’s” is plural possessive.
3) Get used to hearing “You ain’t from around here, are ya.”
4) You can ask a Southerner for directions, but unless you already know the positions of key hills, trees, and rocks, you’re better off trying to find it yourself.
5) People walk slower here.
6) If you hear a Southerner say, “Hey y’all, watch this!”, stay out of his way. These are likely the last words he will e.
Miles & Mar’s DevotionalMar and I were having one of our many ‘round table discussions’ the other day, this one regarding ministry concerns. Like so many other people these days, our discussion was specifically in regard to finances. To tell the truth, doing what we do, our income fluctuates greatly depending on whether we get a ‘love offering’ or a ‘like offering’, what gas prices are, how much product we sell, and how many bookings we have in a given month. We could never have appreciated just how much money it takes to not only run a full time ministry on the road, but to maintain a home that we are often away from, while birthing new material through expensive CD production... until... well, here we are!
Now, I am the ‘big picture schemer’ of the two of us, whereas Mar is the ‘micro-organizer’. It kinda works out great for me, because I get to dream big, but she is the one who tries to figure out how to make the big dreams happen. That being the case, she is more prone to be aware of and worry about all the ... well... the micro.... things and bring them to my attention. This is what led to the round table discussion regarding our finances.
We ended up discussing worry, and how worry leads to fear, and fear to inaction. Our conversation then naturally turned from worry and fear to their opposite: faith. I’ve heard preachers say “Faith is a verb”. The truth is, you cannot “do” faith, as if it were a verb. Rather, faith makes you do (James 2:18-26). Mar, always the logical type, said that it’s all well and good to say "Don't worry. Have Faith!", but you can’t just “have faith”, and therefore stop worrying. You’ve got to have faith in some thing.
Now we got stumped. What must the specific object of our faith be when we are tempted to indulge worry and fear? God, of course, but specifically, what part of His nature? We combed our Bible verse memories and after a few minutes, the verse “Perfect love casts out fear” came to mind. We had never really understood what this verse meant, practically speaking. We got to talking about it, and realized that the only one with perfect love is God. God loves us perfectly -- absolutely, with nothing held back. Because he loves us perfectly, He has a perfect plan for us, a plan meant for our greatest good. The problem is that “His ways are higher than our ways” -- a perfect plan cannot be understood by imperfect beings. As beloved children of an omniscient Father, we can rest assured that regardless of where we find ourselves, God is active in our pain and in our problems, and will (not "can", or "might", but WILL) bring about our greatest good.
Until the day comes when God Himself will take us by the hand and tell us what His plan was and why He allowed what He allowed in our lives, we cannot know all that He is doing. But we need not live in worry and fear because we don’t know exactly what He is doing. We can rest in the knowledge that He loves us with a love that knows no limits and has no dilemmas. He has always been and always will be faithful. Period. How simple is that?
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father.
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not.
As Thou has been, Thou forever will be.
See y’all down the road,