Hello my friends,
Every year in their Nov/Dec issue, Worship Leader Magazine releases their end-of-the-year Best of the Best resources for Worship Leaders.
This issue is currently in the works. WLM’s team of editors, writers, and trusted professionals are getting ready to choose which resources from the past year were most useful in their ministries, and they want to make sure to include you in the running.
If you have found the music on my album, “Hymns, Prayers, and Invitations” to be a useful and good resource for your ministry, it would mean the world to me if you could go to their web site and submit my album in the appropriate category. You can also submit a nomination for my podcast, Voices In My Head, if you have found it a valuable resource for your worship ministry.
You can also list any other new resources that you have found useful in this past year.
As you can imagine, there is a large amount of worship-related products for them to consider, and they don’t want to miss any. So, If you have any resources software, gadgets, gear, music, websites, etc., that released this past year, please remind them about it, and they will put it in the running.
Products must have been released or received (or will be released/receive) a major overhaul between January 1, 2016, and January, 1, 2017.
Please take the time to submit your favorite resources of the year at this link. I hope my new worship music has been one of them.
Rick Lee James
A friend of mine challenged me to write a version of the hymn “Cleanse Me (Search Me O God)” in the style of “The Civil Wars”. This is a live Facebook video of me trying to do that. I hope you enjoy it.
“Crafted directly from inspiration found in hymnals and prayer books, songwriter and worship leader Rick Lee James offers Hymns, Prayers and Invitations. It is with the intentionality behind the last word of the album title, Invitations, that makes this project a stand out. More than a collection of hymny interpretations or simple song book upgrades, James’ purposeful use of lyric, timbre, and track synchronism should lead the listener into moments of powerful communication and worship with the Lord. Hymns, Prayers and Invitations drip with soundtracks of Sunday morning sanctuaries to intimately personal prayer closet concerts.”
“The modern hymn approach to congregational songwriting and singing has a worthy new addition”
“If you’re looking for music that is congregational yet not cookie cutter, get this album”
On Tuesday, July 26th, an 84 year old priest, Father Jacques Hamel, was murdered in cold blood while he was leading a mass in France. He was forced to his knees before his throat was slit all while being videotaped. How marred the image of God must be in the people who do things like that, one of them a 19 year old.
Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). He also said, “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27–28).
So how do we pray for enemies like this? How do we possibly love them like Jesus taught us?
Maybe we try praying the Lord’s Prayer for them.
Our Father in heaven, we pray that our enemies would be converted by your hallowed, holy, sacred name.
We pray that your Kingdom would come upon our enemies and Your will would be done in them and to them. Let this happen on earth before they have to stand before your heavenly throne in judgment.
Give them as little or as much provision as is needed to drive them unto you and to beg for forgiveness of their trespasses. Do the same for us until we have prayed to a place where we are able to forgive them, lest we be accountable in Your judgement.
Lead them away from the path of temptation and deliver them from this evil that has overcome them, because Lord, Your Kingdom is the only Kingdom with power, authority, and glory.
As we pray this for our enemies we pray it for ourselves as well. Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy.
In our lives and especially in our deaths, may the love of Jesus be seen in us by everyone, especially our enemies who need Your love so desperately.
Our lives are yours Lord, and with our final breath, help us to tell our enemies, “God loves You and what the enemy has intended for evil, our God will work for good.”