“I recently had the pleasure of reading A Farewell To Mars by Brian Zahnd. This is one of the most needed books I have ever read. It resonates so much with what I believe Jesus is saying to His church. I hope every pastor in America will read it because the Gospel of Peace is in fact the Gospel of Jesus. It’s as deep as any book by Hauerwas or Yoder that I’ve ever read but infinitely more readable for the lay person. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the words in this book are the utterances of a prophet. However, as with all prophetic utterances, I’m sure there will be a lot of opposition to it from those whom Brian describes as “the crowd.” However, there will be many others who will be transformed by the words that Christ has spoken through Brian Zahnd in this work. It takes the attentive, transparent spirit of a pastor to write a book like this, and a great amount of courage to publish it. This book is a call to all followers of Christ to lay their weapons down and follow Jesus. I encourage you to heed the call and bid farewell to Mars, the God of War, so that you can embrace the way of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.”
Rick Lee James
Author of “Out of the Depths: A Songwriter’s Journey Through The Psalms”
We know Jesus the Savior, but have we met Jesus, Prince of Peace?
When did we accept vengeance as an acceptable part of the Christian life? How did violence and power seep into our understanding of faith and grace? For those troubled by this trend toward the sword, perhaps there is a better way.
What if the message of Jesus differs radically differs from the drumbeats of war we hear all around us?
My guest this week on Voices In My Head is Brian Zahnd and these are just a few of the questions he addresses in his latest book, A Farewell To Mars. Join us as we discuss this great new book more in more detail.
Brian Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a nondenominational congregation in St. Joseph, Missouri. Brian is a passionate reader of theology and philosophy, an avid hiker, mountain climber, and authority on all things Bob Dylan. Brian and his wife Peri have three adult sons and three grandchildren.
Oh Lord of every nation whose Kingdom extends beyond the borders of mankind, we pray for the families and souls of those Americans who have fallen in battle, giving their lives for others. We know that there is no greater act of love Lord Jesus, than to lay down our lives for our friends. For these brave men and women we give thanks, we grieve, and we entrust to Your hands. Oh prince of peace, who commanded us to love our enemies, we also pray for those who have fallen by our hands and their families, asking that you would forgive us holy Father, for we have known not what we have done, nor did they. All loss of human life is a tragedy in your peaceable Kingdom Lord, for all life was created by You. Be merciful to us as we remember with seriousness those whom have lived and those whom have died, all of whom are precious in your sight, all of whom were given life by You, all who have fallen short of Your Glory, all for whom you died on the cross, that war may cease forever as we are remade in Your likeness. Let Your beauty overcome the wars of men and save the world. Show us that there is no them, there is only us. Restore our humanity and help us to love like You, boundless and without favoritism. We pray for mercy, we pray for peace, we pray for healing, and we pray that Your will would be done on earth just as it is in Heaven. Cause wars to cease to the ends of the earth, Oh God of every nation, who breaks the bow and shatters the spear. Redeem us from the shadow of death and remake us in your glorious light, Oh God who loves without borders.
Under the Radar is without a doubt my favorite show on the radio. They are syndicated nationally on over 270 radio station featuring Gourmet Music from incredible artists. This week is part 2 of their DIY special where they feature up and coming artists which you may not have heard of yet. I’m so blessed to have my song, “More Than the Watchman (Psalm 130)” featured on their show this week. The UTR web site is also featuring a video I filmed with them in Chicago where I give out the best music career advice I ever received. Check your local radio station listings to find out when the show is airing in your area or simply stream it from their web site at RadarRadio.net.
My guest this week is Gotee Records artist Ryan Stevenson. Ryan is a husband and father of two boys who currently serves as worship leader at Vertical Church Boise. Prior to his full-time music career, Stevenson spent seven years as a paramedic. He has performed at Creation West, Fish Fest and Lifest, among other top Christian festivals around the country, and has toured with such artists as Toby Mac, Group 1 Crew, Rachael Lampa and more.
“Ryan is an impressive songwriter who understands the delicate balance of writing songs about his faith and walking it out in a cold, cold world,” said TobyMac. “He never shies away from a ‘Jesus’ lyric, ’cause he is fully aware of where his strength comes from.”
On the podcast this week we have an exclusive live show with Ryan recorded at The Depot Coffeehouse in Urbana Ohio. Brought to you by the Gathering of Miami Valley.
In February we lost a great lady who really loved Jesus. We knew she loved Jesus by the way she loved others so well. This morning I was given a card that she had written for me before she passed away that the family didn’t know was in a drawer at home. The card had a beautiful encouragement for me and my wife Jenn that we were being used by God to minister to others. It caused me to stop and thank God again for Cheryl Conover Taylor, her life, and her ministry which has extended even beyond her death. I’m grateful to have been able to share one of her favorite songs at her memorial service last February. This is the audio from that service where I played and sang, “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin.
I sang and played yesterday at the funeral of a great man in our church, Bob Conover. This was recorded live using the piano in the sanctuary First Church of the Nazarene in Springfield Ohio. It was such an honor to be asked to honor Bob by singing to the God who was so faithful to Him in life and now in death. Bob had to bury two children and a wife during his time here on earth but never wavered in His faith. As He reunited with his family that went before him I’m sure they are singing a song similar to this one, experiencing Jesus in a way none of us yet have proclaiming, “Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me.”
Under The Radar is a music showcase that in addition to having a wildly popular podcast is also syndicated on more than 270 radio stations nationally. Next week UTR will feature Rick Lee James song, “More Than The Watchman (Psalm 130)”, on their show and will also be featuring an exclusive video with Rick on their web site (www.www). Check local radio station listings in your area for show schedules.
I was honored to be a guest on The Reel World Theology Podcast as the Spider-Man Comic Book semi-expert. I had a great time discussion the hit movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with Laura and Fizz. They were gracious enough to let me include our conversation on my show this week. If you’re a fan of comics and/or movies then I know you will enjoy this discussion of the good, the bad,and the sinister in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.