It’s Pentecost

Worship leaders, lead today like you expect something to happen. It’s Pentecost, it’s Jubilee. If your church is dull today, that’s not the Holy Spirit’s fault. The gospel is never dull and of all days, it won’t be dull today. It’s the birthday of the church! 
Terrorists won’t keep us from our worship, in fact, our worship reveals them as the phonies they are. The Holy Spirit is more powerful than any bomb they could ever think of detonating.
Karl Barth said, “The church must not allow itself to become dull, nor its services dark and gloomy. It must be claimed by, and proclaim the lordship of God…rather than the lordship of the devil or capitalism or communism or human folly and wickedness in general.”
Dullness is the gift of the Devil, not the Holy Spirit. At the first Pentecost of the Church everybody thought the believers were drunk because they were partying so hard and calling everybody from every nation to join in. If the Holy Spirit is leading, it won’t be boring, and it won’t leave anyone out.
For the love of God, lead your people well today. It’s Pentecost, it’s Jubilee. Slaves are set free, sins are forgiven, the Holy Spirit is poured out in our hearts! Hallelujah! He is Risen!

Be Thou My Vision – A Hymn Story

image

Be Thou My Vision – A Hymn Story

In 433 A. D., the Irish King, Logaire of Tara, had enacted a decree that no one could light candles on the Eve of Easter because it coincided with the Druid Feast of Bealtine and the Spring Eqinox. It was the tradition of these Pagan festivals to observe the “fireless night”, when all fires in Ireland were to be extinguished. On the Hill of Tara, in the presence of the High King, a massive bonfire was lit and from this all other fires were to be lit. This annual spring ritual was said to transform the High King into a God-King. The bonfire on the Hill of Tara was the symbol to all that this God-King was in command of the seasons, and that spring began at his command.

Legend has it that in clear defiance of this Pagan observance, St. Patrick built a Paschal bonfire on he hill of Slane, a Christian strong point located ten miles away from the Pagan Strong Point on the Hill of Tara. Patrick built his fire before the the king of Tara built his. The fire from the Hill of Slane would have been clearly seen from the Hill of Tara, and was a blatant statement that Christ was the only God-King for the Christian. Patrick chose to honor God in spite of how it would threaten his life and the story goes that King Logaire was so impressed by Patrick’s bravery and devotion to Christ that he left him to continue his missionary work in Ireland.

An 8th Century Monk, Dallan Forgaill, penned the words to Be Thou My Vision as a tribute to St. Patrick and his bravery on the Hill of Slane. This hymn was translated from Irish to English in 1905 by Mary E. Byrne and in 1912, Eleanor H. Hull arranged the song into the verse most commonly found in most English hymnals today. The music that accompanies the lyrics is an ancient Irish folk tune called Slane.

This is my tribute to Patrick and to the God he served so faithfully, my rendition of Be Thou My Vision.

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,

May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

<

p style=”text-align:center;”> Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

image

Take the $5.00 Challenge - Make The Record
Take the $5.00 Challenge – Make The Record

Rick Lee James Easter Experience 2014

This is a medley of songs I’ve written or arranged for Easter Sunday. If it is any help to any worship leaders who may read this blog, all lead sheets are printable for no charge at www.RickLeeJames.com/freesheetmusic

Blessings,
Rick Lee James

Easter Worship Exp 2014

Recorded

Click To Download From Noisetrade
Click To Download From Noisetrade

Easter Worship Experience 2014

I recorded Easter Worship Experience 2014 at First Church of the Nazarene in Springfield Ohio on April 12th, 2014. In the prayer room at my church with no one else present, I played guitar and sang all the songs in one take with no overdubs. I added Pad Loops in post-production but other than that it’s all live. These raw tracks were recorded in a private worship time, with the hope that they will be used to help others worship. These songs, birthed out of a local congregational setting, are intended to guide you to worship the Risen Christ wherever you are in the Easter season and beyond, whether you’re in a church service, in your car, or a private time of prayer. These are not songs of lament, they are songs of celebration telling the story of the Risen Lord. The final track is a song of invitation intended for communion in a congregational setting but it’s also an invitation to enter into God’s Kingdom of grace and peace. May God bless you as you listen and worship along with these songs of resurrection.

Blessings, Rick Lee James

Lead sheets for all songs available at www.RickLeeJames.com/FreeSheetMusic

Songs Included on this EP

1.) Christ The Lord Is Risen Today – Written By Charles Wesley

2.) Advent Hymn (Watching, Waiting, Longing) – Written by Rick Lee James & Ted Rastatter

3.) Christ Has Died, Christ Is Risen – Written by Rick Lee James

4.) Hallelujah, Christ Is Lord (St. Patrick’s Prayer) – Written by Rick Lee James & Eddie Kirkland

5.) The Invitation (Communion Song) – Written by Rick Lee James & Andrew Greer

image

New Arrangement of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” For Worship Leaders

Lest I be accused of starting festivities too early, let me just say that this is a tool for worship leaders who may be looking for a new arrangement to an old classic. We’re doing this arrangement of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel on Sunday December 1st to kick off the Advent Season. If you like it there is a link to the free lead sheet. Sometimes it helps breathe new life into an old song when we mess with the timing and tempo a bit.

Blessings,

Rick Lee James

Free Sheet Music for this song here: (click on the picture below)

O Come Emmanuel