Partying All Month Long!

Hey Everyone!
Can you believe it's October? I mean, really! Where has 2012 gone? Since last I wrote, we've been busy with concerts, CD production, and much travel. Welcome to all the new members of this newsletter, and there's a lot to cover, so let's get started...

Thank God For Fans Like YOU!
The debut of my current radio single at #22 showed me quickly that “Teach Me To Love Like That” is a desire that all Christians share. Further confirming this, for October it is #1 on the Country Gospel Music Chart for Cashbox Magazine and the Christian Voice Magazine. To me, a great song is like a great sermon. It spurs the heart of the believer on to live more Christlike. That is the strength of this song.

Even in the end
When they scoffed and they laughed at you
“Father, please forgive them
For they know not what they do”
Teach me to love like that...

I cannot sing this song without thinking of instances in my life in which I could have and should have better expressed the same love and forgiveness that I have been shown. Many thanks to all the DJs who play it, to the listeners who call and request it, to Canyon Creek Records, and to my Lord. Teach me to love like you do. (Would you like "Teach Me To Love Like That" on your iPod? We can do that.) By the time the next newsletter rolls around, I'm sure we'll be ready to announce my next radio release.

Notable Mentions:
Check out my SGM radio press release!
Download my 6th Annual Homecoming Concert Flyer.
View "Teach Me To Love Like That" on Cashbox Magazine.
Be on the lookout for our two-page feature in the October '12 issue of the Christian Voice Magazine
Martha and I are honored to be featured artists periodically on the SGM Radio blog. View this month's post of Pike's Point!
We are booking voice and piano students for next year. Visit our music lessons page for details.
Read a review of "Walk Through The Pages".

72 months, 13 states and 350+ concerts later, here we are!
Tens of thousands of miles have been put on Miles since I did my first concert in October 2006 at Calvary Baptist Church in Exeter, MO. It's been quite the ride to sit back and watch God open doors and bless in ways that only He can. Had anyone told me six years ago that 100+ concerts a year would be normal for me, I would have had second thoughts about this full time ministry thing. And yet, looking at the concert dates for 2012, by the time we get to our Christmas break in December, we will have done 110 concerts. Looking farther ahead, into 2013, we are nearly halfway booked already, and it's looking like we'll be busier than we have been this year! So prayers are appreciated, as it seems that the Lord has no intention of slowing down. I am blessed beyond measure that my spouse, Martha, for the past two years has been my constant companion to every concert (and my partner in the road, hotel, and car stories we’ve experienced personally). I am so glad that I get to share every day at home and abroad with her in this work. Those familiar with my testimony understand that Martha (and before she came along, my family), is my eyes on the road and in many other tasks. As I have had to explain many times over the years, I see just enough to fool people. I am legally blind from birth, and so over the years have learned to compensate well. It is my desire in the coming years to build up the saints, edify the church, and lead the people of God in worship through my presentations, whether the door opens to sing to the masses or to a small country church. I believe that this must be the purpose and drive behind any minister of music. 4 CD projects, 4 #1 songs, 3 awards, over a dozen Top 5 nominations, 32.7 tons of fast food, and 1 amazing God to thank for all of it (even the fast food).

It's my anniversary… but YOU get the present!
For the month of October only, all four of my CD projects are $40 and shipping is FREE. That's a savings of $25! Order online HERE.

Event Schedule
10/26 @ 12:30PM: Garrison Nursing Home Annual Fall Festival
10/27 @ 3:30PM: Alto Fall Festival, Alto, TX (this event has been cancelled)
10/28 @ 6:00PM: Grace Fellowship Church, Rusk, TX
11/1: Prison Concert, Rusk, TX
11/2: Prison Concert, Rusk, TX
11/4, 10:45AM: First Congregational Methodist, Rusk, TX
11/4 @ 6:00PM: County Line Baptist Church, Bullard, TX
11/10 @ 2:00PM: Wedding: Jack White & Sheila Paris
11/11 @ 1:00PM: Turner Baptist Church, Wills Point, TX
11/12 @ 3:00PM: Horizon Bay, Bossier City, LA
11/13 @ 2:00PM: Chateau Ridgeland, Ridgeland, MS
11/14 @ 2:00PM: Rocky Ridge, Hoover, AL
11/15 @ 10:30AM: Conyers First Baptist, Conyers, GA
11/17 @ 7:00PM: Buckners Family Restaurant, Jackson, GA
11/18 @ 6:00PM: Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Cumming, GA
11/19 @ 6:30PM: The Lodge At Bridgemill, Canton, GA
11/25 @ 6:30PM: Centennial Baptist Church, Madison, GA
11/30 @ 7:00PM: RU at Victory Baptist Church, Loganville, GA
12/1 @ 7:00PM: Lake Oconee Baptist Chapel, Buckhead, GA
12/2 @ 11:00AM: Lake Oconee Baptist Chapel, Buckhead, GA
12/2 @ 6:00PM: Shiloh Baptist Church, Newborn, GA
12/7 @ 3:00PM: McKendree UMC, Lawrenceville, GA
12/8 @ 11:00AM: First Methodist Church, Lawrenceville, GA
12/10 @ 2:00PM: The Regency, Decatur, GA
12/11 @ 2:00PM: Laurel Grove, Lawrenceville, GA
12/19: Wedding Anniversary!

Clock-watching... Nail-biting... Sleepless nights...
Maybe that's a little melodramatic, but as I dictate (and Mar types) this newsletter, we are both eagerly anticipating hearing the final cuts for my brand new album, "Blood Kin." This 15-track project is my most personal to date, speaking of the family into which I was born, and the family into which I was born again. I recorded this project for the believer; for those redeemed and accepted into the family of God. We are our brother's keeper. We are blood kin. I cannot wait to start sharing these songs in concert. Are you like us and can't wait? Pre-order your copy here.

Bigger And Better Than Ever!
This CD will be the focus of my sixth annual homecoming concert on March 2, 2013. As a palpable representation of the heart of this CD, I am introducing an 85-voice homecoming choir. This unique group of volunteers will represent over 35 churches of all denominational backgrounds from all over the East Texas area. They will join me and my special guest, Gaither Homecoming artist, Larry Ford, on a selection of songs at the beautiful Colonial Hills Baptist
Church in Tyler, TX. These annual homecoming concerts have always been near and dear to my heart as a gift back to my community.

As such, the doors are open to all, and a free will offering is received. Allow me to extend my personal invitation to you my friends, to join this corporate body of believers for an unforgettable evening of worship. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining the choir and representing your church, visit my website or call 903-586-8605. No cost, and no auditions, but at the time that this is written, the choir is already over seventy. This homecoming promises to be a memorable event, so be sure that either you or someone from your church takes part!

Church Bulletin Bloopers
The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.

Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM . Please use the back door.

Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

May I introduce… the future Sheila White!
Our family is enjoying a time of celebration as we anticipate my Aunt Sheila's forthcoming marriage to a long time family friend and respected community member, Jack White. Aunt Sheila, or "Ana," as I've always called her, is not just a part of our family, but she is a part of Miles Pike Music, and supports it in a countless number of ways. Her vocal talents can be heard on several of my songs, including my first #1 song, "Jesus, Savior Pilot Me." Jack White is not just a sincere Godly man, but is also a preacher, and the constable in our area. We are proud to welcome him into the family, and look forward to getting to know him better in the years to come. I will have the honor of officiating their wedding this coming November, right before our Georgia tour. We hope that upon our return, their twitterpation has worn off to moderate levels… so Martha and I don't seem like an old married couple next to them. :)

Miles & Mar's Devotional - Volume VI
In light of the nationwide acceptance of my #1 song for October 2012 - "Teach Me To Love Like That," Martha and I thought we would bare our hearts and write about what the Lord has shown us about this message.

They brought you the woman caught in the act
and said they were bound by the law
You never looked up; your words were exact.
Compassion was all that they saw.
When she stood in judgement, afraid and alone,
You said, "He without sin, let him cast the first stone."
Teach me to love like that.

In this verse, Jesus demonstrates love both to the religious and to the sinner. Understand, there is only one source of love, and therefore, it is the same love, but different applications. The love of God shown to people who are merely religious is a love of brutal honesty and shock. All throughout the Gospels and the whole canon of Scripture for that matter, God shows very little tolerance for those who profess a commitment to His laws and statutes, but who are in fact "full of dead men's bones" (Matthew 23:27). It would be worth your time to read Matthew 23 and see if that chapter don't give you a chill up your spine like it did us. This was Jesus' treatment of the outwardly religious.
In modern day churches we don't have the office and title of Pharisee, Sadducee, or scribe, but these men are the very picture of any person in any level of service who professes Christ but who does not "produce fruit in keeping with repentance" (Luke 3:8).
Jesus' assault of truth on the religious leaders of His time was not only because of their wrong motives, religious facades, self-deception, and spiritual blindness. No, the Bible teaches that those who are in positions of spiritual authority over others bear a greater weight of responsibility than others (James 3:1). As Jesus says in Matthew 23, not only do false spiritual authorities keep themselves out of heaven, but they shut the door in the faces of those that follow them, and thus have the greater condemnation.

In today's society, the plain speech given here by Jesus would not be taken as one of the "5 love languages!" In fact, Jesus was demonstrating his love toward them in a way that was absolutely necessary and righteous. He knew exactly what they needed, and He gave it to them. This honest and loving approach is a practice that is clearly lacking in the church today.

There are two main facts we can see about the woman "caught in the act." One, she is a sinner. She does not profess to be living the life of a good Jew. She was not in attendance to the 'church service' that Jesus was leading. She was 'drug in' by the Pharisees. Thus, point two -- she is a pawn in the Pharisees' religious game. Jesus' actions toward the woman are how we, as Christians, are to treat those outside the church. There is nothing deceitful or hypocritical about a sinner acting like a sinner, unlike the Pharisees who claimed one thing and lived another. In our dealings with those who do not profess to be Christians, we need to be reminded of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1. "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called." Jesus said "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." We need to remember that all have sinned, including us, and have fallen short of the glory of God.

Lord, teach us to love in such a way that when it comes to the lost, we put down our stones of gossip, judgement, condescension, and dirty looks, and love them enough to say "Go, and sin no more."

You sat with the twelve at the Passover feast
Knowing of grave things to come.
"This is my body," you said, "take and eat."
It would be the last supper for some.
And although you knew you would soon be denied,
You stayed and broke bread with them one final time.
Teach me to love like that.

Jesus is sharing this last meal, just as He had done so many other times, with these men into whom He has invested so much. Here, at what He knows is to be His "last supper," He not only shares table with them, but pours out His very heart to them yet again, encouraging them to follow His words, trust His plan, and to love one another. Almost comically, the disciples argue yet again about who is to be the greatest, and our Lord takes on the literal role of a servant, teaching by doing the most base thing -- washing the weathered, filthy feet of these men. He doesn't stop there, but goes on to give us one of our most cherished sacraments that we, the Church, have, and symbolically breaks the bread of His body and gives of the cup of His blood that is to be shared by all. Knowing He was hours away from being crushed by His beloved Father for their sin and ours (Isaiah 53:5,10), He gives of Himself yet again to them, praying for them and for us.

Keep in mind, He knew that these are the very men that a few short hours later would fall asleep while their Master wept His most bitter tears. Then when confronted with the arrest of their Teacher, they would all respond in the wrong way: one with violence, and the rest by running in fright. All in all, over the next three days, they would give a shoddy performance by betraying Him, denying Him, not providing their testimony at His mock trial, remaining in hiding, and finally, doubting His resurrection even though He had explicitly told them that He would die and rise again in three days (Luke 9:22), and even though they had seen His works before and had eyewitness testimony from close friends.

If this is any indication of how we are to treat our friends who will surely fail us and our brothers and sisters in the church who are surely as flawed as we are; if this is how we are to exhibit 1 Corinthians 13 with the patience, the lack of record-keeping, and the lack of anger in the face of betrayal, then I dare say that the bar has been raised to a daunting height for us all.

Even in the end, when they scoffed and they laughed at you,
"Father, please forgive them for they know not what they do."
Teach me to love like that…

What a request to His Father! Asking His Father to extend forgiveness -- the forgiveness that He is paying for with His life -- to the very ones who are not only killing Him, but mocking Him and laughing at Him.

This love is extreme. It's unbridled and, humanly speaking, nonsensical. It baffles the logic of this world and our mortal flesh by not just going the extra mile, but by going as far as it possibly can. It convicts the hypocrite, compels the lost, and emboldens the testimony of the saint.

Teach me to love like that when it matters most.
I want to live without fear.
Teach me to love like that: keep drawing me close,
Until the only clear voice that I hear
Is something that you'd say.
I want to learn Your way
Teach me to love like that.

May this be the continual prayer and the greatest joy of each child of God as we do that which we were created for -- love.

Still learning in Christ,

Miles & Martha

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