“Us” vs. “Them” is the opposite of the Gospel. There is just as much “Them” in “Us” as there is “Us” in “Them”. The coming of Christ is the birth of the One who taught us to love “Them” even when they don’t love us. This isn’t to say that Jesus found all of “Them” lovable or even likable, and I think he found “Us” even le
ss so. It almost seemed like he couldn’t stand religious people because they couldn’t loosen up enough to have some food, a drink, and a laugh with the non-religious people. That’s saying a lot for an Orthdox, practicing Jew like Jesus to act so unorthodox. It’s so strange of Jesus to treat his enemies as family and friends and to treat his friends and family as enemies, but that’s the gospel for you. It draws people in and drives people out. Christmas is the birth of the one who makes us all uncomfortable by loving “Us” so much that He is willing to treat “Us” like “Them” and “Them” like “Us”. For us it seems to be “Merry Christmas” today and “Crucify him” tomorrow for we don’t want a Savior we can’t manipulate and control. He’s more like “Them” than we want to admit, which is why we will smile and betray him with a kiss. Come Jesus and show us what love really is, even if it make “Us” squirm when we discover we are “Them”.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be featured with Chris Rice, Ginny Owens, Andrew Greer, Bebo Norman Ed Cash, Sara Groves, and so many other great artists on Under the Radar’s Christmas music show this week (Episode 261). There are so many incredibly talented people on this show, I can’t believe I’m counted among them. Listen in to hear an hour of fantastic Christmas music this week on Under the Radar. My song is features 36 minutes and 39 seconds into the program (but who’s counting?).
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“Rick Lee James has accomplished what I have been trying to do for decades; bring together the thoughtful reader with the discerning listener. He has written an important introduction to the Psalter which opens the door to his own musical interpretations.”
Award Winning Singer, Songwriter, & Author
“The Psalms take up more real estate in the Bible than any other book. This ancient Jewish hymnal is an anthology of lyrics for one hundred and fifty songs. These God-obsessed poems are not to be blithely read, but prayed, or better yet chanted and sung. To properly approach the Psalms we need to abandon the didactic and embrace the poetic, but this does not come naturally for everyone. What we need is the artistic sensibilities of a songwriter to guide us. This is precisely what Rick Lee James brings to the Psalms in his wonderful book Out Of The Depths. As a pastor/songwriter/musician Rick Lee James is uniquely suited to introduce us to the Psalms and help us see how these three thousand year old songs speak to the whole range of human experience in the light of brutal honesty and radical trust in God. I highly recommend Out Of The Depths!”
Pastor of Word of Life Church, St. Joseph, Missouri & Author of A Farewell To Mars (2014)
“My friend, Rick Lee James, reminded me that Christian art can still be thoughtful and profound in his beautiful record “Basement Psalms Live.” In this companion book, Rick brings the depth of his attentive songwriting to life by highlighting the intention, the community, and the reverence that the Biblical Psalms have demanded from people of faith since their inception. Most important, Rick’s writing expounds on the deep sense of hope and joy that is the palatable foundation of his music. I highly recommend this book.”
Author of Holy Nomad: The Rugged Road To Joy, Educator, & Speaker
“Part memoir, part biblical commentary, part album liner notes, Out of the Depths is a unique and refreshing exploration of the Psalms. Rick Lee James offers a compelling, insightful overview both of the theological contributions of the Psalms but also their inspiration for his own musical pursuits. The result is a soul-enriching journey through the highs, lows, joys and laments of the Christian life.”
Author of Gray Matters: Navigating the Space Between Legalism and Liberty
Rick Lee James’ insight into the Psalms is refreshing! His love of songs and worship find thought-provoking expression in this truly inspirational book!
Starting Tuesday November 26th iTickets.com will be offering Rick Lee James’ new holiday single, “Christmas time Is Here” as the free download of the week. Feel free to change your Facebookcover photos to one of these shown below for the month of December to help spread the word about his new cover song. Preview “Christmas Time Is Here” at www.RickLeeJames.bandcamp.com