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Rev. Mark Creech
Rev. Mark Creech My Mother, Once a Country Music Singer
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My Mother, Once a Country Music Singer

February 4th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

During the late 1960s and early 70s my mother was a country music singer. She had one top ten hit on the Billboard charts – a country version of “The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down” that went to number 9.

Not that you can’t be a celebrity and be a faithful Christian too, but my mother says she wasn’t fully surrendered to the Lord during that period. Her complete surrender would ultimately lead her to leave the music business and devote herself to motherhood. I can never be grateful enough for that commitment and sacrifice. She would have been a big star, no doubt. She is incredibly talented.

Mom was also a high school dropout. Yet in her 50s, after my sister and I were grown and moved out of the house and were making lives of our own, Mom went back to school, got her GED, then pursued nursing and received her degree and certification at the age of 58. Today she is still a practicing nurse at the age of 77.

You’ll forgive me for my bias and boasting, but that’s pretty impressive, if you ask me!

To the right is a picture of my mother, backstage after an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. She was an exceptionally beautiful women in those days, and no less beautiful to me today.

I once wrote a piece for the Christian Post that contained more information about my mother’s music career. You can read the article below:

He Bought Up the Records

By Dr. Mark Creech

Not many people are aware of it, and others may have forgotten about it, but my mother had a distinguished country music singing career back in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. Two of her records did very well; her country rendition of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” went to #9 on the Billboard charts; and “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine,” which was originally a folk tune, reached #24.

Alice Creech was the opening act for some of the most revered country artists today: Ernest Tubb, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Jr., Charlie Pride, Merle Haggard, String Bean, Grandpa Jones, Bill Anderson, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and many more. In addition to being rated #21 of the top female vocalists of 1972 with a single by Billboard magazine, she was also the recipient of two ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) awards that same year. She even made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, when it was previously located in the famous Ryman Auditorium.

About the time my mother was just becoming a major country and western celebrity, she decided to surrender her life to Christ and leave the business so she could be a better mom to my younger sister and me. I earnestly pray I would always live worthy of the godly influence and instructions she gave during the years that followed.

Recently, while attending an Ethics Leaders Conference at the offices of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, I retraced some of my mother’s steps during her days as an aspiring artist in Music City. I visited the historic Ernest Tubb Record Shop and saw the stage where my mother often performed on WSM’s “Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree.”

But the greatest thrill came when visiting the Lawrence Record Store downtown, where they have a tremendous selection of vintage vinyl records. You can imagine my delightful surprise to discover they had all of my mother’s recordings – original labels, jackets and everything. There they were – all of them – ready to play on the nearest phonograph. Naturally, I bought them up to safely put them away.

That experience made me think of a profound truth often forgotten in our day: God has every recording of our lives and He’s planning to play them at the Judgment. He has them all – the originals – everything we ever did; the things others either never knew or had forgotten about. It’s all there and none of it is omitted. Moreover, there’s no spin to it. It’s all just the bare and unadulterated truth about who we really are and what we’ve done.

LIFE magazine once interviewed dozens of people to learn how Americans feel about prayer. One person interviewed was a young prostitute from White Pine County, Nevada.

“I don’t think about my feelings a lot,” she said. “Instead I lie in my bed and think onto Him. I meditate because sometimes my words don’t come out right. But He can find me. He can find what’s inside of me just by listening to my thoughts. I ask Him to help me and keep me going. A lot of people think that working girls don’t have any morals, any religion. But I do. I don’t steal. I don’t lie. The way I look at it, I’m not sinning. He’s not going to judge me. I don’t think God judges anybody.”

Very few modern notions are more popular than the one that God judges no one. The problem is, however, that comforting perception is patently false!

Judgment is as certain as God is holy. The Psalmist says in Psalm 7:11, “God is angry with the wicked every day.” In other words, as Dr. George Sweeting of Moody Bible Institute puts it: “God never makes détente with sin.” The apostle Paul explicitly warned: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).

Upon proper reflection of our faults and failures, such should cause every person to tremble, because it doesn’t require a host of sins to condemn and bar us from paradise. As it was for Adam and Eve, it only requires one – just one – one single act of disobedience to God’s law. Yet the records will reveal that all have failed miserably.

That is – unless the records are bought up and put away to never be played. Essentially, this is what Christ did when He gave his life as atonement for sin on the Cross. He bought up all the records and forever put them away for everyone who trusts Him for forgiveness and receives Him as Lord.

My mother will tell you that nothing she sought after before – riches, fame, success, etc. – could ever compare to the new life she found in Christ. Furthermore, let me say if she hadn’t made that decision, I would have never known the grace and goodness of Christ … and certainly wouldn’t be writing about Him for this editorial.

The article by Dr. Creech was written and published by The Christian Post in 2006.

 

Why We Can’t Hear the Truth?

January 28th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

The office of the Christian Action League, the organization I represent, is located in a building that houses several Christian counseling ministries.

Recently I noticed something outside the door of these counseling groups I had never seen before – little disc-shaped machines plugged into the wall that give out a constant white noise. It’s my understanding these devices are ambient noise generators. The purpose of such machinery is to protect the privacy of the clients being counseled. If it gets too quiet in the building, it’s possible at times to distinguish the voices in the counseling offices. The noise generators, however, will cover those voices.

That makes perfect sense. But here’s a fact that adds another dynamic, those little machines don’t necessarily need to be louder than the conversations inside, the constancy of the sound is such it fools the ear so that what’s being said can’t be distinguished. Read the rest of this entry »

Life: We Should Choose It

January 21st, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

Tom Carr, an educator from Hillsborough, North Carolina, who now serves on the Orange County Board of Education, wrote a little book published in 1998, titled, Morning Messages: 36 Stories to Motivate and Inspire Young People.

One story Carr records is about Shawn Hessee, a high school senior at the time of the book’s writing. Carr says that he called upon Shawn to speak to a group of graduating fifth graders.

“Shawn Hessee is a remarkable young man who has won numerous awards and honors,” wrote Carr. He always did well academically. He was very active, swimming, skiing, and playing various sports. Read the rest of this entry »

Racial Reconciliation: It’s a Beautiful Thing

January 14th, 2017

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
By Dr. Mark Creech

It was April 1969. One hundred black students had taken over the student union on the campus of Cornell University in a protest for civil rights. The Associated Press reported that the students were angry at “the lack of Black studies programs and what they saw as the university’s treatment of them as second-class citizens.” They had even smuggled guns into the building and threatened violence.

Leading the protest was Thomas W. Jones. Jones declared in some of the most inflammatory rhetoric that Cornell University had only “hours to live.” He said that he was willing to give his life for the cause and racist faculty and staff would be “dealt with.”

Fortunately, the takeover, which lasted more than 30 hours ended peacefully. The one hundred black militants exited the building with Jones being the last to leave. He left the building carrying a rifle and raising a symbolic clenched fist. Read the rest of this entry »

The President is No Friend

December 30th, 2016

By Dr. Mark Creech 

Last year, Judson Phillips wrote in the Washington Times something apparent to anyone politically astute. He said, “It is beyond debate that America has a president who is cheering for and working for our enemies. We have a president who wants to see nations that hate America and an ideology of evil triumph over America as well as the Western values of freedom and liberty.”

Now the President has instructed his U.N. Ambassador not to veto a resolution condemning our best friend of democracy in the middle-east for building “settlements” on disputed lands. Yet the compromises Israel has made in the past over such territories have not produced peace, but only emboldened her enemies with more acts of terror. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s really behind FFRF’s Christmas Opposition?

December 17th, 2016

By Dr. Mark Creech

It was both disappointing and frustrating recently to learn what the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) had done. Their bullying tactics, threatening possible legal action if a school choir from the Wake County school system (North Carolina) sang in a local nativity event, had frightened school authorities into canceling their participation.

School choirs had been performing at the festivities for years, but because an official from the church that hosted the celebration said it was “an opportunity to share the wonder and love of the Savior,” FFRF argued it created the perception of an endorsement of religion by the school. “Schools must not participate in overtly religious events,” insisted the non-theist group. Read the rest of this entry »

This is the Plan of History

December 3rd, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

Although I cannot remember where I first read the story, several years ago when the Soviet Union was still alive, a group of Seminary students took a tour of the Soviet Embassy in our nation’s capital. They were being led by a very articulate Soviet diplomat, when one member of the group asked the diplomat a serious question.

“Sir,” the student began his inquiry, “What happens if the Soviet Union and the United States ever go to war?” The Soviet reportedly sat back in his chair for a moment, obviously thinking carefully about his response.

“You know, I don’t really believe the two great super powers ever will go to war,” he replied. “The results of such a conflict would be unthinkable. The world would never recover from it.” Read the rest of this entry »

Thanksgiving: Dirty Dishes, Unfilled Glasses, and Old Faithful

November 23rd, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

In the mid-1990s, Christian writer, Philip Yancey wrote in Christianity Today:

“I remember my first visit to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. Rings of Japanese and German tourists surrounded the geyser, their video cameras trained like weapons on the famous hole in the ground. A large, digital clock stood beside the spot, predicting 24 minutes until the next eruption.

“My wife and I passed the countdown in the dining room of Old Faithful Inn overlooking the geyser. When the digital clock reached one minute, we, along with every other diner, left our seats and rushed to the windows to see the big, wet event.

“I noticed that immediately, as if on signal, a crew of busboys and waiters descended on the tables to refill water glasses and clear away dirty dishes. When the geyser went off, we tourists oohed and aahed and clicked our cameras; a few spontaneously applauded. But, glancing back over my shoulder, I saw that not a single waiter or busboy – not even those who had finished their chores – looked out the huge windows. Old Faithful, grown entirely too familiar, had lost its power to impress them.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nonresistance to Alcohol Compromises Marijuana Resistance

November 19th, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

The votes for advancing alcohol sales across the Tar Heel state were alarming this year. A total of 27 alcohol referendums were held in Alexander, Bertie, Burke, Camden, Cleveland, Davidson, Davie, Gaston, Haywood, Johnston, and Stanly counties. Every referendum succeeded with votes in favor of greater access to alcohol besting limited sales by an average of 62.3% to a 37.1% margin.

It used to be 30 to 40 years ago, if there was an alcohol referendum on the ballot in some city or town in North Carolina, nearly every mainline church would join forces to defeat it. There was a general consensus among churches that easier access to alcohol was inherently problematic, bringing with it hosts of social problems. Today, however, it’s difficult to find a handful of churches willing to oppose an alcohol referendum.

Thus, the primary reason pro-alcohol forces bent on making new markets for wine, beer, and spirits had a banner year in North Carolina. Read the rest of this entry »

For Freedom’s Sake, Bring Back Civility

November 12th, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

“Thousands across the USA Protest Trump Victory,” said the headline of USA Today on Thursday. The news source said the protestors had taken to the streets in at least 10 cities.

In cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Portland, and St. Paul, protestors angrily chanted, “Not My President” and laced their shouts with expletives.  In Los Angeles they torched a giant Trump effigy. In other places, protestors burned the American flag, started fires in the city, damaged private property, harassed and assaulted commuters, and delayed trains.

Only a couple of weeks before the election, in my home state of North Carolina, the GOP headquarters in Orange County was firebombed. The day after the election, signs at the Republican headquarters in Raleigh were vandalized.

It appears that we are at a juncture in American history where we’ve lost sight of civility in politics. Read the rest of this entry »