How Do We Love Our Enemies? A Conversation with Jesus & a Song

Me: “Jesus, enough is enough. You just told us to sell our cloaks and buy swords, but now your telling us not to use our swords but to beat them into plow shares. Are you really telling us to sell our possessions and destroy our weapons? Do you really want us love our enemies, pray for them? Do you really expect us to do that? Won’t living like this will likely get us, our families, and friends tortured and killed.”

Jesus: Yep.

Me: But this isn’t safe.

Jesus: No it isn’t. Do you still love me?

Me: Yes.

Jesus: Those who love me keep my commands. I’m only asking you to follow my example. I did it and so can you. I’ll be with you every step of the way.

Me: Anything else?

Jesus: Forgive the people who hurt you and your loved ones. Show them what God is really like.

Me: What the %#@$, Jesus?

Jesus: I get that a lot. Follow me.

Judge Me

It seems like everyone is always railing against being judged in our society but our social media is set up in such a way that proves we all want to be judged, otherwise we wouldn’t be on Facebook and Instagram. The issue isn’t that we don’t want to be judged, it’s that we don’t want to be judged negatively. The interesting thing to me about this is that historically, judgment for Christians is something positive. St. Patrick’s breastplate prayer speaks of the sweet well done of judgment hour made possible through the work of Christ. What wonderful news that we are judged as worthy of being loved because we have been created, pursued, died for by one who loves us so dearly. When the one who is judging you is made up of love unbounded and judgment is not something to fear, it is something to be embraced. May we all be like Christ in our judgments, viewing others from the perspective of love.

On The Road, On A Treadmill, On A Hospital Bed

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What a week it has been. It started last Sunday with a concert in Plymouth Michigan at one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever had the honor of playing in. It was a great time but a very exhausting weekend.

 

I came home Monday, got up in the morning, ran 6 miles on a treadmill, came home and did stuff around the house with my family. Tuesday I woke up, ran 6 miles on a treadmill, came home, showered, and  weighed myself thrilled to find that I was down 20 pounds from when I started my new diet/ weight loss program over a month before.

That joy was short lived as I started experiencing a sharp pain in my stomach, profuse sweating, and a numbness in all of my limbs. A 911 call and an ambulance ride later I was in Springfield Regional Medical Center being stuck with needles, injected with medicine, and being CAT Scanned.

As it turns out I had a severe infection in my lower bowel. This led to me spending a night in the hospital and a process of recovery that I hadn’t planned on. I’m glad to say that I’m able to eat some solid food with much less pain each day than I had earlier in the week. I’m also happy that I will once again be leading worship through music at my church tomorrow singing this great hymn of the church which has come to mean a lot more to me this week because once again I’ve seen how faithful God has been. On the road, on a treadmill, or in a hospital bed, He is our help from age to age the same.

Lyrics:

  1. O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home.
  2. Under the shadow of thy throne, still may we dwell secure; sufficient is thine arm alone, and our defense is sure.

Chorus Today, Tomorrow, In Ages Past The Alpha, Omega, the First and Last You were, You are, You are to come The Father, The Spirit, The Risen Son

  1. Before the hills in order stood, or earth received her frame, from everlasting, thou art God, to endless years the same.
  • O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come; be thou our guide while life shall last, and our eternal home.

  • Chorus Today, Tomorrow, In Ages Past The Alpha, Omega, the First and Last You were, You are, You are to come The Father, The Spirit, The Risen Son

    1. O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come; be thou our guide while life shall last, and our eternal home.

     

    O God, Our Help In Ages Past (With New Chorus)

    Here’s my latest song, which is also an old song, “O God, Our Help In Ages Past”. I added a new chorus. Usually I hate when people add new choruses to old hymns but in working with the theme for our upcoming service it seemed appropriate. I really feel like this one works with the song arrangement as a helpful chorus to Isaac Watts verses. I’d love to know what you think. If you like the arrangement there are free lead sheets here on my web site at RickLeeJames.com/FreeSheetMusic
    Blessings,
    Rick Lee James

    Picture from last night’s concert with “About A Mile”. You guys need to go buy their record next week from Word Records. It drops July 15th.

    Rick and About a Mile

     

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    Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Live 5-18-14)

    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.”

    Blessings,

    Rick Lee James

     

    Worship Music for St. Patrick’s Day

    Looking for music for St. Patrick’s Day 2014?

    Below you will find the music and lead sheet for St. Patrick’s Pray (Christ Before Me)

    written by Rick Lee James and Eddie Kirkland. Enjoy!

    St. Patrick's Prayer Cover

    Download This Song On Bandcamp.com

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