In The Studio This Week

Nashville Bound

Tracking For The New Record Begins This Week

Good Day,
I hope that this update finds you well. The advent season is upon us again and with it, as always, is much busyness. In addition to the normal Yuletide events this year, This year I add recording a new album to the schedule. This Thursday I will begin my drive to Nashville Tennessee and on Friday morning we will begin tracking the new album. I am so excited about this as I’m sure you are well aware. I have dreamed of an opportunity like this for so many years and God is finally open the door. I am so blessed to work with Lifeway Worship, Producer Craig Adams, A list musicians, and the top engineers in Nashville on this project.

I believe we have come up with a title that encapsulates this project. We think the title will be Hymns, Prayers, and Invitations. I am so blessed by so many of you given how did your resources to make this album the reality. Make God bless you in this holiday season and renew your faith in Christ. I covet your prayers as we begin this recording process and I ask you to pray for others will be renewed in their faith as a result of this endeavor. While we want to make great music, the goal is to reveal Jesus and the present reality of the kingdom of God.

I’ll do my best to update you on line through Facebook and Twitter (@RickLeeJames) while I am in Nashville with pictures and more as I am able. I feel very blessed today and I can’t wait to share the songs with you as a complete collection.

Blessings,
Rick Lee James

www.RickLeeJames.com

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How Do We Love Our Enemies? How Do We Pray For ISIS? How Did Jesus Do It?

New Blog How

How do we pray for our enemies? Are we called to pray any differently in times like these when terrorists groups like ISIS slaughter people without remorse? Isn’t this just like the world Jesus was in 2000 years ago when Romans occupied his Jewish homeland, enslaved his people, and demanded that they declare “Caesar Is Lord” or face execution? Is it any different than ISIS forcing victims to convert to Islam or die today?

It’s hard to be like Jesus these days. It was hard to be like Jesus 2000 years ago as well. It was hard for Jesus to be like Jesus, but he was like Jesus all the way to the cross, and back. That is to say, Jesus was being like God, perfect as He is perfect. His call to His followers is to follow His example and to do the same. What would Jesus do? Jesus would die for the sins of man. Maybe a better way to say it is, Jesus would die by the sins of man, at the hands of sinful men. In fact, Jesus did die, at the hands of sinful men, execution by sinfulness.

Being like Jesus so often will lead us to the wrong side of a cross, a machine gun, a knife, machete, or a death squad, but I don’t think He was kidding when he taught his followers to take up their cross and follow him. It’s insane, but it’s an insanity that ushers the Kingdom of God into the world.

“Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee.”

Do we mean that in the bad times when our lives are at stake?

Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.

Do we mean that when terrorists like ISIS are threatening to kill, steal, and destroy our families and take our lives?

Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee.

Are we willing to bless when we are cursed? Are we willing to bless the common cup and share the common bread, even when Judas is at the table?

God never created an evil thing. There is no evil anywhere that was created by God. God is love and every act of God is an act of love. Evil is a distortion of the good things of God. ISIS is made up of humans who are created in God’s good image. However, that image has been distorted by sin and evil. God creates and redeems, but these men are doing the opposite of that, they are destroying and causing chaos.
These are not things blessed by God, willed by God, condoned by God, or overlooked by God. It doesn’t matter if they do it in God’s name or not, these murderous acts are not of God. Religion enforced by violence is not true religion! It never has been and it never will be. ISIS is a distortion of the good things that God has made, namely human beings. These men are not being their true selves, they are not being who God made them to be. They are distortions of human beings, not the holy thing God created them to be.
My prayer is that God would restore his image in these human beings in spite of the evil things they have done and are doing. Show them Your Glory, O God, and in doing so bring them to repentance. The God we serve is a God that can change even the cold hearts of the men in ISIS. Only God can do the healing that needs so desperately to be done.
Lord, break the bows and shatter the spears. Make every missile miss it’s Mark and let every bullet be a dud. Thwart the plans of the wicked and restore them, to your image, O God. Bring violent men to justice and heal the wounded hearts and shattered lives of the people who have become victims of their deeds.
Bring about a forgiveness and mercy that only you can bring. You are the God who bore the worst that man can do on a Roman cross. Mankind is at it again, doing the worst that they can do. Overcome them, Lord, In Jesus name. Save, O God. Protect the innocent.
Deliver the suffering, O God of love. Above all, let Christians who are suffering, show the world what Jesus looks like, even in their suffering. Help your followers to love their enemies and pray for their persecutors. This cannot be done without divine intervention, Lord. We simply don’t have it in us to love people who cut innocent children in half, but You call us to do it anyway. This is what we signed up for when we signed up to follow you, Jesus. If it takes our death to show the love of Jesus then let the love of Christ be seen in death and in life, for we believe it can change the world. It is a path we can only take because you took it for us, showing the way. I pray for the victims as I would pray for myself, let Jesus be seen, and come quickly Lord.
And since you call us to pray for our enemies as fervently as we pray for our loved ones, we pray for ISIS. Stop them, discipline them, punish them, bring them to repentance, save them, and turn them into brothers in Christ. Bring to them an overwhelming remorse for what they have done and are doing. Change things, Lord. Set this right. Make all things new. Show us Your Glory and make wars cease to the ends of the earth. We don’t believe violence will ever stop violence, but we believe the love of Christ can.
And We believe the words we declare in our creeds.

We believe in the one High God, who out of love created the beautiful world and everything good in it. He created Man and wanted Man to be happy in the world. God loves the world and every nation and tribe on the Earth. We have known this High God in darkness, and now we know Him in the light. God promised in the book of His word, the Bible, that He would save the world and all the nations and tribes.

We believe that God made good His promise by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, a man in the flesh, a Jew by tribe, born poor in a little village, who left His home and was always on safari doing good, curing people by the power of God, teaching about God and man, showing the meaning of religion is love. He was rejected by his people, tortured and nailed hands and feet to a cross, and died. He lay buried in the grave, but the hyenas did not touch him, and on the third day, He rose from the grave. He ascended to the skies. He is the Lord.

We believe that all our sins are forgiven through Him. All who have faith in Him must be sorry for their sins, be baptized in the Holy Spirit of God, live the rules of love and share the bread together in love, to announce the Good News to others until Jesus comes again. We are waiting for Him. He is alive. He lives. This we believe. Amen.

(The Maasai Creed composed in 1960 by the Maasai people of East Africa)

 

 

Published on Aug 13, 2013
Lead Sheet Available at this link:
http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/3ba9459bf5f952a99f3997477058d30d11f85429

Lyrics and Music by Rick Lee James
Love Our Enemies

Verse 1
God has made this declaration
through His Son, the Prince of Peace,
that to enter in His Kingdom
we must love our enemies.
They may seem our adversaries
but are merely slaves to sin,
so our battle is not with them
who are only hostages

Verse 2
Lord, deliver us from hatred,
prejudice, and cruelty.
Come remove discrimination
that the truth may set us free.
When we look at our reflection
we not only see ourselves
but we see a former captive
whom the grace of God has helped.

Verse 3
Father, show us how to free them
with Your mercy above
for our enemies are brothers
who’ve forgotten how to love.
You have made us in your image,
You’ve redeemed us through Your son.
Gather us into Your Kingdom
where no sword is drawn but love.

Verse 4
Jesus Christ, is our example
showing us the face of God
when He chose to die for sinners
rather than to shed their blood.
So we’ll fight them with affection,
we will conquer them with grace.
May our enemies see Jesus
when they look upon our face

Verse 5
In His time and for His pleasure
pray we all will stand one day
reconciled before the Father
when the old has passed away.
When revenge would cloud our vision
turn our eyes to Calvary
where our Savior died to show us
how to love our enemies.

Ending
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
In the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Podcast #115: Karissa Knox Sorrell and the Journey to Orthodoxy

Podcast 115

Karissa Knox Sorrell is a wife, mother, writer, and educator. She love books, coffee, early mornings, good friends, and the ocean. She grew up as a preacher’s kid and missionary kid in the Church of the Nazarene and lived in Bangkok, Thailand from the ages of 11-18. Now she makes her home in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two children. In her twenties, she and her husband began to learn about liturgy, which led them to the Eastern Orthodox Church. They’ve been there for the past nine years. She has a passion for immigrants and people from other cultures and was an ESL teacher for eleven years. Karissa has also been pursuing creative writing for the past several years and is almost finished writing her first book, Transfigured Faith, a spiritual memoir about growing up in the home of Protestant ministers and later discovering Orthodoxy. Hear more about her writing, her family, and her faith journey on this week’s episode of Voices In My Head, the official podcast of Rick Lee James.

Click To Listen

Click To Listen

Voices In My Head (the Official Rick lee James Podcast) is dedicated to covering books, music and various other things that get stuck in the head of pop culture, with a Theological lens. Listen to it on Podbean.comStitcherThe Rick Lee James Mobile AppiTunesFacebook, and Rick Lee James.comRick Lee James Official Web Site is www.RickLeeJames.com. To leave a voice messagecomment forVoices In My Head call (937) 505-0162. Get Rick’s music Bandcamp.com,  iTunes and at CDBaby.com. Email can be sent toRLJames29@yahoo.com. You can also watch Rick Lee James music videos on YouTube. Please leave a review on iTunes and let us know what you thought of today’s episode.
Music used on Today’s Episode:

If You Hear His Voice Today – Rick Lee James

Rick Lee James Interviewed By Worship Links

This week I was interviewed by WorshipLinks.us for their web site. Worship Links isa hand-picked collection of the best worship resources on the web so needless to say I was honored that they wanted to talk with me. I encourage you not only to read the interview I was featured in, but especially if you are a music pastor, check out all of their great resources. It’s a truly awesome place on the web.

 

Blessings,

Rick Lee James

 

 

Read the full interview on WorshipLinks.us

Click the picture to read the full interview on WorshipLinks.us

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