Voices In My Head Podcast Episode 262 Guest William Willimon: Who Lynched Willie Earle? Preaching to Confront Racism.

My guest today on Voices in My Head is The Reverend Dr. William H. Willimon, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at the Divinity School of Duke University. He served eight years as Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church, where he led 157,000 Methodists and 792 pastors in North Alabama. For twenty years prior to the episcopacy, he was Dean of the Chapel and Professor of Christian Ministry at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

He is the author of over sixty books including Resident Aliens,  Thank God It’s Friday, Word, Water, Bread and Wine, Worship as Pastoral Care (which was selected as one of the ten most useful books for pastors by the Academy of Parish Clergy), and What’s Right with the Church?  In 1996, an international survey conducted by Baylor University named him one of the Twelve Most Effective Preachers in the English-speaking world.

Today we discuss one of his latest and most timely books, Who Lynched Willie Earle? Preaching to Confront Racism.

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Words From Walter Brueggemann about ‘Hymns, Prayers,and Invitations’ by Rick Lee James

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Some Words From Walter Brueggemann about ‘Hymns, Prayers,and Invitations’ by Rick Lee James

“I have listened to Hymns, Prayers, and Invitations and am so grateful for it. Rick Lee James has a great gift for taking up familiar words and giving them freshness with new cadence and voicing. I love the Advent Hymn (Watching, Waiting, Longing), which gives newness to the phrases of Isaiah. Watching, waiting, and longing is what we do now, and these songs help us do that in confidence. I anticipate that this album will be received as a great gift by many who will find their faith nourished and awakened by it.” -Walter Brueggemann

 

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Listen To Rick Lee James’ Conversation with Walter Brueggemann on the Voices In My Head Podcast Episode #152

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Walter Brueggemann with Rick Lee James on the Voices In My Head Podcast: Episode #152

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What a treat it was to have Dr. Walter Brueggemann on the Voices In My Head Podcast. We had such a great discussion talking about theology, music, and where we will go if we die tonight. This episode was recorded on location at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Cincinnati Ohio on Wednesday September 30th.

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Walter Brueggemann To Guest on Voices In My Head Podcast and Other News

THE
Rick
Lee
James
UPdate.
September 2015

BIG NEWS
I hope your September is off to a great start. It’s been a while since I wrote one of these so I thought I should give you some big news.

WHAT IS IT?
I am so excited to announce that Dr. Walter Brueggemann will be joining me on September 11th as my guest on Voices In My Head (The Rick Lee James Podcast). Brueggemann is widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades and has greatly influenced my own thinking.

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If you would like to submit a question or comment for me to share with Dr. Brueggemann on September 11th, please email them to VoicesInRicksHead@Gmail.com

We’ve already got some great ones and are only sharing the best ones so put your thinking caps on.

For an archive of our past podcasts go to www.rickleejames.com/podcast

FINISHING THE NEW RECORD
On September 22nd I will be heading back into the recording studio in Nashville Tennessee to finish my new record titled Hymns, Prayers, and Invitations. I’ve been recording extra guitar parts for the album from my home in Ohio and the record is really cooking along now. We still are about $1000 short on funds so if you want to pre-order the record, thus helping to fund the production, you can do so at www.GoFundMe.com/Hymns.

EMPOWERING THE CHURCH
On October 24th I’ll be leading worship and teaching some worship related seminars with Jonathan Burkey at Lima Community Church of the Nazarene in Lima Ohio. You can get more information about this great event at www.nwonaz.org.

IN STORES NOW

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Positively Hope is a new CD available exclusively from Lifeway Stores. I’m honored to have writen two of the songs on this great worship record.
— Rick Lee James

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Rick Lee James Author Page Amazon.com

BACK TO SCHOOL
CEDARVILLE UNIVERSITY
On September 14th I will be leading a songwriting seminar on the campus of Cedarville University for students in the worship arts course of study. I’m really excited about the chance to join these great students once a month to help them grow in their craft for the service of the church
OLIVET NAZARENE UNIVERSITY
October 11-13th I have been invited to the campus of Olivet Nazarene University, just outside of Chicago Illinois, to participate in a conversation about worship for the center of faith and culture with other leaders for the Church of the Nazarene. This time together will allow a sustained dialogue concerning worship from a Wesleyan/Nazarene theological perspective, exploring the faithful exercize of worship leadership. Our hope it to move toward a sharedunderstanding and language concerning worship in the Church of the Nazarene

The Science and Faith of George Washington Carver

I recently was reading about George Washington Carver again in a wonderful book written in 1955 by Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn. The book does a wonderful job showing us that there need not be a conflict between faith and science. This passage from the book, about the life of George Washington Carver moves me deeply. I thought many of my readers would also,appreciate it so here is a passage from the book, Little Lower Than The Angels, on the life of Dr. George Washington Carver.

“George Washington Carver was one of America’s greatest heroes. This despite the fact that he never wore a uniform or piloted a plane or carried a gun. He was a great hero of science. The son of Negro slaves in the south, he overcame unbelievable handicaps in his search for a scientific education, and despite poverty and discrimination, advanced to the point where he became an outstanding chemist and college instructor in science.
Greatly worried over the fact that the South was entirely dependent upon its cotton crop– and the price of cotton was so uncertain – he set about to discover possible unsuspected uses for the peanut, another crop wide–spread in the South. Up to that time, the peanut was considered almost a waste product of the soil. Dr. Carver, to begin with, found the peanut to be one of the most nutritious foods in the world; it contains very nearly every food element required to sustain human life. Then through patient research and experimentation, he discovered more than 100 commercial uses for peanuts and peanut oil. As a result, the agricultural economy of the South was practically revolutionized.
The peanut became a major crop in many southern states, chiefly because of the scientific genius of a Negro chemist who wasn’t even recognized as a human being by many of those whom he most greatly benefited. To the end of his life, when Dr. Carver lectured at a convention of distinguished white scientists anywhere in the south in order to share with them the results of his work, he was forced to use rear entrances and freight elevators, and could not eat publicly with those whom he was instructing. All because his skin happened to be a little darker than theirs!
Another person might have become angered or embittered by such experiences. But Dr. Carver retained a sweetness of character which was quite as remarkable as his scientific genius. He was also a very deeply religious person, which brings us to the point of discussing him in this chapter. He wrote a number of statements which can help us greatly in our present search to discover whether or not there must be a conflict between religion and science. For example: “I discover nothing in my laboratory. If I come here of myself, I am lost… I am God’s servant, his agent, for here God and I are alone. I am just the instrument three which he speaks, and I would be able to do more if I were able to stay in closer touch with him. With my prayers I mix my labors, and sometimes God is pleased to bless the results. “
That, you will admit, is quite a remarkable statement, especially coming as it does from so imminent a scientist.
But there were many equally impressive sentiments voiced by Dr. Carver. On one occasion he said, “Without God to draw aside the curtain I will be helpless.” Another time he said, “What I have done, I have done in communion with God. He has revealed all these marvelous things to me. I deserve no credit for them whatever….My laboratory has been called God’s workshop by Dr. Glenn Clark and so it is.”

Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn – A Little Lower Than The Angels – copyright 1955 by Union of American Hebrew Congregations

Love Our Enemies (A Hymn I’m Writing)

This is a hymn I am writing on Jesus teaching to love our enemies. It’s been difficult to write, probably because it’s difficult to live. I would appreciate your input, and constructive criticism. Lyrics and a link to the lead sheets are below. There are two different versions. One version has a refrain and one does not.

Version One

Lead Sheet: http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/bfe6bde374baf3634692de55d8e14a6d5fc7b6e9

Lyrics:

Lyrics by Rick Lee James

Love Our Enemies

Verse 1
God has made this declaration
through His Son, the Prince of Peace,
that to enter in His Kingdom
we must love our enemies.

They may seem our adversaries
but are only slaves to sin,
so our battle is not with them
who are only hostages

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 2
Lord, deliver us from hatred,
prejudice, and cruelty.
Come remove discrimination
that the truth may set us free.

When we look at our reflection
we not only see ourselves
but we see a former captive
whom the grace of God has helped.

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 3
Father, show us how to free them
with Your mercy above
for our enemies are brothers
who’ve forgotten how to love.

You have made us in your image,
You’ve redeemed us through Your son.
Gather us into Your Kingdom
where no sword is drawn but love.

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 4
Jesus Christ, is our example
showing us the face of God
when He chose to die for sinners
rather than to shed their blood.

So we’ll fight them with affection,
we will conquer them with grace.
May our enemies see Jesus
when they look upon our face

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 5
In His time and for His pleasure
pray we all will stand one day
reconciled before the Father
when the old has passed away.

When revenge would cloud our vision
turn our eyes to Calvary
where our Savior died to show us
how to love our enemies.

Version Two

Lead Sheet for version 2 available at this link: http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/b07d46a46e3fd5cab63d57bf417d81e3fecd1cb1

Lyrics by Rick Lee James

Love Our Enemies (Version 2)

Verse 1
God has made this declaration
through His Son, the Prince of Peace,
that to enter in His Kingdom
we must love our enemies.
They may seem our adversaries
but are only slaves to sin,
so our battle is not with them
who are only hostages

Verse 2
Lord, deliver us from hatred,
prejudice, and cruelty.
Come remove discrimination
that the truth may set us free.
When we look at our reflection
we not only see ourselves
but we see a former captive
whom the grace of God has helped.

Verse 3
Father, show us how to free them
with Your mercy above
for our enemies are brothers
who’ve forgotten how to love.
You have made us in your image,
You’ve redeemed us through Your son.
Gather us into Your Kingdom
where no sword is drawn but love.

Verse 4
Jesus Christ, is our example
showing us the face of God
when He chose to die for sinners
rather than to shed their blood.
So we’ll fight them with affection,
we will conquer them with grace.
May our enemies see Jesus
when they look upon our face

Verse 5
In His time and for His pleasure
pray we all will stand one day
reconciled before the Father
when the old has passed away.
When revenge would cloud our vision
turn our eyes to Calvary
where our Savior died to show us
how to love our enemies.

Ending
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
In the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Author Matt Litton Endorses Rick Lee James New Project.

“In Basement Psalms Live, the talented Rick Lee James, presents the truth of the Psalms through music – raw, beautiful, emotional, honest and artistic. James invites you into a journey through the earth-bound movements of our faith: from lament, to lessons, to thanksgiving and to praise. His heartfelt live performance is a beautiful soundtrack to rhythms of the real-life, life to the fullest, that Jesus points us to in the Gospels.”    – Matt Litton

Matt Litton: Author of Holy Nomad: The Rugged Road to Joy
Matt Litton: Author of Holy Nomad: The Rugged Road to Joy

 www.MattLitton.com

Rick Lee James Concert DVD Preview

These song is from Rick Lee James soon to be released concert DVD, Basement Psalms Live:

 

This one features Brannon Hancock on BGV‘s.

Psalm 8 (How Majestic Is Your Name)
(Praise/ Thanksgiving Psalm)
Chorus
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name
How majestic is You name
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name
How majestic is You name, how majestic is Your name in all the earth
Verse 1
In all the earth we see your hand
In the creatures of the air, the sea, and the land
The little babies cry your name
And the enemy is broken by their praise
Chorus 2
O Lord, echo: (Yahweh)
Our Lord, echo: (Yahweh)
How majestic is Your name, How majestic is You name
O Lord, echo: (Yah-weh)
Our Lord, echo: (Yah-weh)
How majestic is Your name
How majestic is You name, how majestic is Your name in all the earth
Verse 2
The moon above, the starry skies
You set Your glory in the heavens So Father who am I
That you would dwell Your thoughts on me
That You would put the whole world under my feet
Chorus 3
echo: (Ya-weh)
echo: (Ya-weh)

News Flash: There Are Differences Between Mormonism and Christianity

There has been so much confusion this election season about people’s beliefs.  Let me first say that I am not endorsing either candidate, and refuse to ever join religion with politics.  I think Constantine might be the worst thing to happen to Christianity until the Left Behind books and I always want to strive to keep the voice of the church as one “to” the nation, not “of” the nation.

That being said, there is a lot of confusion about beliefs this election season, partially because one of the main candidates is a Mormon.  Even though the religious right is desperately trying to convince us that Mormonism and Christianity are the same thing, they aren’t. It takes more than being anti-abortion to be within the bounds of Christian Orthodoxy.  I’m sorry if this bursts any bubbles.

I don’t want anyone to rob the world religions of what makes them distinct.  I love the world religions and I think they have their place but it is wrong to lump them all together just as it would be incorrect to call a dog a human or a horse and automobile. I don’t want to insult any other religion just because I am a Christian, it’s their distinct beliefs that make them who they are.  I simply want to be about truth telling and in telling the truth we should be able to point out that there are things about the world’s religions that make them different, even beautifully different at times.  Mormonism is distinctly different from Christianity as Islam, Jehovah’s Witness, Judaism, Hinduism, and all the other world religions.

If you think I’m lying about this, below is a short list of beliefs Mormons hold that Christians don’t. If you don’t believe me, look it up in the book of Mormon, they will send you a free copy. They are really friendly and want to help you know more about their religion:

  • God came from another planet
  • God lives on a star called Kolob
  • God is a man with a body of flesh and bones
  • There is a mother goddess
  • God and his goddess wife are married
  • Human can become gods if they become Mormons
  • There are many gods and we will all be gods one day.
  • The Trinity are three separate gods distinct from each other.
  • Jesus is the brother of Lucifer.

Needless to say, no Protestant or Catholic churches hold these not so ancient beliefs. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (usually called the “Mormon” Church) was organized on April 6, 1830. To be fair, their members argue that theirs is a restoration of the original Christian Church and therefore, was never invented but simply continues from ancient times. Also to be fair, all other Christian denominations reject that belief.

Don’t let this sway you in how you vote this year.  I’m sure Romney is as good as any other mud-slinger out there, and probably no worse. I simply wanted to do my part to put an end to the rumor that all world religions are basically the same thing.  Don’t rob religions of things that make them unique and distinct for something as ordinary as politics.