A couple of years ago I came across a book in my local public library that literally changed the way I think about forgiveness and the mercy of God called, “Unconditional?: The Call of Jesus To Radical Forgiveness”. The author of this book was a man named Brian Zahnd. I’ve since read and re-read every book that he has written. I guess you could say that in man ways I became a disciple of Zahnd. One of the greatest honors I’ve ever had was to share an advance copy of my book, “Out of the Depths” with Brian Zahnd in order to get his thoughts on it. What I received back from him was an incredibly gracious endorsement of the book that I am so happy to share with you. I wanted to share it here with you.
There are only 6 days left to give at Kickstarter.com to help get this book published. If we can raise $290 more we will be able to print the book in hardcover. I hope you will consider pre-ordering Out of the Depths on Kickstarter.com and in turn be a part of publishing this new project.
Rick Lee James
Back from the Road
I had an incredible weekend playing music in Indiana. On Sunday morning I led music at Southdale Church of the Nazarene in Anderson and was blessed by the presence of God in our service and by the warmth of the people there. Sunday evening took me to Bluffton where over 400 people were in attendance at the 4-H pavillion. It was my first time to play a concert in Bluffton so I was amazed to see so many people singing along with my songs at their annual church gathering.
10 Days Left
Thanks to the generosity of new donors in Indiana this weekend we are now only $300 short of being able to print my book, Out of the Depths: A Songwriter’s Journey Through the Psalms, in hardcover. If you haven’t donated yet there’s still time. Simply go to Kickstarter.com and search for Out of the Depths to donate. Below you will see a list of the rewards that donors will receive when they back this book. With Christmas around the corner I just want to remind you that they make great presents!
Wow, what a great Sunday. Had a great day of leading music at church and great fellowship with our people. When I arrived home tonight I saw that we had another donor and we are now only $365.00 away from meeting our goal.
God has been so good and I am so grateful to all of you who have been so generous by helping me to raise the funds to publish this book. I can’t wait to share your rewards with you in the not too distant future.
Thank you for posting links to the Kickstarter page on your social media and for talking it up with your friends. I couldn’t do this without your help.
Rick Lee James
Many thanks to Music Pastor Brannon Hancock and the music team at Xenia Church of the Nazarene for including one of my sillier songs (We Lost The G) in their Sunday service this past week. They even made a funny little music video to go with it. I never thought one of my songs would be featured in a video with the Rock, but here it is. Thanks my friends. For those of you interested, you can buy my version of the song buy clicking on this CDBaby link.
-Rick Lee James
I’m not saying this to be argumentative, just sharing my honest thoughts. Convince me that Jesus would ever use violence against anyone and I’ll be convinced that followers of Jesus may resort to it as well. Violence may be the best idea men can come up with but that doesn’t mean Jesus endorses it. Sure, killing our enemies seems like a good and effective way of stopping them but Jesus preferred dying at their hands rather than resorting to their ways. Short of having a new word from Jesus that says, never mind, don’t love your enemies, don’t turn the other cheek, don’t bless those who curse you…fight them instead…then violence is a hard sell for me. I realize there are many justifications for violence and that scripture can be used to support it, but if Jesus came to show us what God is like and how we’ve misunderstood Him (and scripture) then I have to go with the life, teachings, and witness of Christ above all else.Truthfully, I’d rather be like John Wayne ( who ironically may have been a draft dodger) and charge in with guns blazing, but Jesus’ way doesn’t let me take that route. The Jesus way will probably get us killed, but there is no greater love than a man lay down His life for another. Why should we expect anything else for ourselves as followers of Christ than to have the same violence done to us. On the other hand, there’s more to life than living and it takes more guts to lay your weapons down than it does to pick them up. The call of Jesus is a foolish call to courage, but if He is in fact, God in flesh, then we better heed the call. He will use the foolish to shame the wise and the weak to conquer the strong.
-Rick Lee James
It’s always so cool as a songwriter when someone else records or performs one of your songs. Here is Lakeholm Church of the Nazarene’s version of my song, Advent Hymn (Watching, Waiting, Longing) written by . The song is performed here by Shawn Barrett while artist Laura Tappen creates sand art, live Sunday December 23rd, 2012. Thanks Shawn and Laura for including my music in your Advent worship service.
I have to thank my friends at Xenia Church of the Nazarene for using 2 of my songs in their worship services for the first Sunday of Advent 2012 (Advent Hymn and I Lift Up My Eyes). As a songwriter there are few thrills greater than to have someone else record, perform, or in this case lead worship using your music. Bear in mind, this is a rough mix from their Sunday morning service but in my opinion it still sounds pretty great.
Brannon Hancock is their music pastor and as you can tell from the audio, he is incredibly talented and a Spirit led song leader. Gloria, his lovely and talented wife, is the other vocalist on Advent Hymn. This might be my favorite Christmas gift this year. My thanks to everyone at Xenia Nazarene Church for including my songs in your Advent celebration. Make sure to check out their web site at the link below and if you live near Xenia, stop in and worship with them. They will welcome you with open arms, coffee, donuts, and best of all – the Love of God.
LISTEN HERE: “I Lift Up My Eyes”
LISTEN HERE: “Advent Hymn (Watching, Waiting, Longing)”