Voices In My Head Podcast #138: Worship Leader Talk

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with host Rick Lee James

This week’s Voices In My Head Podcast will be of particular interest to Worship Leaders who are looking for some tips on leading.

Episode #138: Worship Leader Talk


FEATURES:

  • Exciting Announcement about Rick’s next record.
  • Your feedback is requested for future episodes of the Podcast on the topic of worship.
  • Listen in to find out how you can be on an upcoming show.

RECENT SHOWS:

Episode 137: Andrew Peterson and Resurrection Letters Vol. 2

Episode 136: Dave Cleveland

Episode 135: Oscar Winners with John Wilkerson

Podcast Episode #137: Andrew Peterson Returns

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This week on the Voices In My Head Podcast, Andrew Peterson returns. Since we are so close to the Easter Season we talk a lot about his classic record, Resurrection Letters Volume 2. It was great to record this episode on location in Nashville at the Rabbit Room’s North Wind Manor. There’s a little something for everyone here. Great music and great conversation with a great artist, Andrew Peterson.

LISTEN HERE:

St. Patrick’s Day and Psalm 42

The Following is From The Book,

Out of the Depths: A Songwriter’s Journey Through the Psalms

Since I close chapter three of the book by talking about St. Patrick I wanted to share the entire chapter as a celebration of his life and legacy. I hope you enjoy it. The book can be purchased from Amazon.com at this link.

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Simply click on the picture below to read Chapter 3 – St. Patrick and Psalm 42

imageOut of the Depths Chapter 3

Podcast Episode #136: Guest guitarist Dave Cleveland

Dave Cleveland on the Voices In My Head Podcast

Dave Cleveland on the Voices In My Head Podcast

Dave Cleveland has played guitar for Steven Curtis Chapman, Brooklyn Tabernacle, Point of Grace, Michael W. Smith, Twila Paris, 4 Him, Crystal Lewis, Michael O’Brien, Cindy Morgan, Anointed, Russ Taff, Steve Green, Wes King and Out Of The Grey, Miley Cyrus, and now he’s playing with me on my new record and on this week’s episode of Voices In My Head. Don’t miss this interview with great guy and world  class guitarist, Dave Cleveland.

LISTEN HERE:

 

Listen To Dave and Rick Playing Sunset Drive

 

Cursing God and Finding Faith…My Story

The following is excerpted from my book, “Out of the Depths: A Songwriter’s Journey Throught The Psalms“. If Lent is a time of sharing, praying, and fasting then I guess this is my way of sharing. It’s a story of a lost follower of Jesus, it’s my story. I hope it’s a help on your Lenten Journey toward the cross.

It was the darkest time of my life so far, and I hope ever. It was my own dark night of the
soul. The brilliant theologian Frederick Buechner once wrote “Doubts are the
ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.” With that thought in
mind then I guess you could say that at this point of crisis in my life I had ants
in my pants.

In my experience, God honors our doubts about Him. The mystery is that
somehow God’s presence becomes clearer in His absence. If in our moments
of darkness, we will acknowledge that we are indeed in a time of doubt, God will honor that. Our doubts, failures, and hurts are to be embraced, for
ultimately they drive us to our Lord.

I’m about to describe to you a time in my life when I felt like God was an
absentee father. I felt like a child desperately trying to find Him, but He
seemed conspicuously nowhere to be found. It’s important for us to be honest
with ourselves in these times. It was during this dark period of my life that I
completely renounced my Christian faith. Granted, it was only for a couple of
days and I never made it known to anyone but God, but it happened, and here’s
why.

My marriage had fallen apart and no matter how hard I prayed I couldn’t
piece it back together. I was broken through and through. I was angry at my
wife, I was angry at the world, and I was angry at myself. The only one whom I
felt safe directing my anger at was God since He was the only one with
shoulders big enough to take the beating I needed to give.

At one point I stood alone in the sanctuary of my church pointing at the
cross angrily shouting something like this at God:
“I gave you everything, I did everything like I was supposed to, and
still she’s gone. I didn’t want to be a pastor. I hate being a pastor, and I would never have done it if You hadn’t called me. I did everything they said
to do. I prayed, read my Bible, waited until I was married to have sex,
married a Christian and none of that mattered. Following You has ruined my
marriage and my life. All these stupid rules that You and your church inflict
on us are crazy. That’s why she left you know, couldn’t stand life in the gold
fish bowl. You’ve ruined everything in my life, God. If you were here right
now I would crucify you myself. I did everything like you wanted and what
did you do? NOTHING! I don’t believe in You, and I will not follow You, and
I am not Yours anymore. I don’t care if I go to Hell, I’m done with You”.
I went back and sat in my office at church after praying that prayer.

It’s weird to call it prayer but it was indeed prayer. It was a strange mixture of
agonized sweat, tears, and numb ambivalence. Imagine my secret conundrum: I
was a pastor and I didn’t want to follow God anymore. When my wife left, it
broke me all the way down. There was such a feeling of uncertainty and mental
conflict in my life. I guess that’s what a crisis of faith is, an uncertainty about
things that are supposed to be certain.

The odd thing was that a couple of days later I again found myself alone
in that same sanctuary, crawling on my hands and knees toward the altar. I told
God how sorry I was, how wrong I knew I was to say all those things to Him. I
still didn’t like where I was, but I was glad to do it if He had called me there. I told Him that I knew He didn’t cause my life to crumble or my marriage to fail.
I just cried and sat with Him in the silence for a while.

I know it wasn’t a physical presence, but while I knelt there praying, I
felt in my spirit like God was holding me tightly to his chest whispering in my
ear, “It’s okay. No one else could have taken the beating you gave me. It didn’t
hurt. I know you love me. I love You.” Ironically, in those few days when I
“renounced” my faith, I experienced His closeness in the most real and
profound way I ever had. What I really needed was to be honest with a God
big enough to absorb my frustration, hurt, anger, and my sin.

During that time of life, I was at an in-between place of uncertainty. I
didn’t know how the story was going to end. That seems to be the place the
Psalmist finds himself in too. Psalm 89 is a community lament written for a
time when, in spite of the promise God had made, the future of the Davidic
dynasty was in doubt. The Psalmist was the representative of the community,
voicing its urgent prayer for help.

James L. Mays, in the Interpretation
Commentary makes the following helpful observation about this Psalm:
“The future of the community was at stake in the fate of its king. In a way,
the psalm locates the people of God where the books of Kings leave them–
with their king and their future in the power of their enemies. In the
arrangement of the Book of Psalms, this lament is placed at the conclusion of book III…It stands as the counterpart to Psalm 2 with its divine decree that the
anointed is God’s answer to the hostile turmoil of the nations, and it voices the
anguish and disparity between the reign of God and the destiny of the
Messiah.”

I believe Psalm 89 is one of those in-between places similar to the one I
personally described above. It’s not very satisfying to end on a note of
unresolved tension, but that’s how real life goes. It works the same with
unresolved music actually. There’s nothing that will unnerve a crowd more at a
concert that to leave the final chord of a song unresolved. I’ve had audience
members that wanted to come up on stage and strum the tonic key for me just
because they can’t handle the unresolved music. How much worse is an
unresolved life?

Pastor of Entertainment

Originally posted on Led To Lead:

There’s one thing I can count on nearly every Sunday following one of our worship services at Decatur First.  As I’m putting things away, sharing in conversation, or headed to the car someone will stop me to offer a handshake or a pat on the back and tell me, “You really sounded great out there today.  I love your music!”  It’s a wonderful thing to hear.  I put in a lot of time practicing, honing my craft to make sure that I’m a good steward of the talent God has given to me, so knowing it is well-received puts a smile on my face.  But sounding good is just a tiny sliver of what I really, truly desire for our worship time.

In the church (or anywhere, really) great music can be a powerful tool to help connect the heart and the mind, which is fantastic for evoking an emotional swell in the midst of…

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