Politics

Politically speaking, I am a staunch Republican.  I, yes, greatly enjoy Fox News and a good political debate.  (Meaning I, personally, love debate).  So far, I must say this season has been filled with interesting debate on the main stage.  Now if they would just get to the issues!

Actually, I am O.K. that we have been in a quagmire of character assessment.  Honestly,  if you haven’t been paying attention because you feel the Presidential election is still so far off, I hope you begin to tune in to what’s going on.  It’s in this time period that the depth of a person’s beliefs and character begin to show in earnest because many they haven’t yet mastered the game.  Hopefully, a man or woman of integrity, honesty and truth will emerge as the nominee.

In this season I wish to offer a prayer for each of us who will vote for our next President.  It is a prayer for discernment.  I, of all people, would LOVE to see our country prosper again.  We have a number of small businesses and would love to have someone who understands business (or someone who would surround him or herself with honest, truthful advisers who “get” business).  However, much more is at stake here than business and financial prosperity, as we all know.  So much more.

So I asked myself, how did God choose a king?   We don’t call our leaders “kings”, although a recent one has acted a bit like one in my opinion, however, there are fine Biblical examples given of the types of attributes and HEART that the Lord looks for in His leaders.  He’s given us multiple examples of good kings and bad kings plus a look into many other great, effective and admirable leaders lives (be sure to look closely because no one in the Bible seems to be perfect). So here is my prayer for us as we select a Republican nominee:

“Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus, please grant us wisdom, truth, knowledge and discernment as we prayerfully consider your will for our next Republican nominee for President of our beloved country, America.  We pray that we would study examples that you have given us in Your Word so that we could learn from history and  have the mind of Christ as we choose our leader.  We thank you for guiding us away from wrong motives and into the best overall choice for such a time as this.  You have prepared our next leader for this task and we ask for great blessing on whomever will be taking over the most difficult job on the planet.  Forgive us of our sins as a country and help us to set things right.  Help us to lead the world out of these dark times.  Thank you for giving us a strong and competent leader to be chosen in our next election cycle and please work miracles in our world.  Unite our country again, Lord!  Thank you for all of our sacrificial leaders whom you have given charge over this country and bless them with wisdom and discernment to do your will and to lead strong!
Thank you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

May God grant each of us BRILLIANT CLARITY and everybody go vote when the time comes.  Let’s get over this silence!  It’s time to engage!

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Worship in the Church

A wonderful worship/ musical movement has swept through the churches, world-wide, in the past generation.    The Praise and Worship movement has redefined how we facilitate worship in most evangelical denominations.   Whether you love it or long for the old school ways, this music continues to impact the lives of countless people with its pathway to concentrate our minds and spirits on the Lord in an overall more simplistic approach to lyrics, melodies and harmonies.  This genre allows for great “choirs” of participants to sing together as one voice and to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.  It makes room for an intimate time of listening in our hearts as we sing, to hear the various messages of the Holy Spirit that are being imparted to each individual and to each corporate body of believers and to the unbeliever who is being wooed by that same Spirit to belief in Jesus Christ. These songs and remixed hymn arrangements guide us in prayers for family, friends and others.    This genre has the substance of connection with God and has great value in the church.

So MUCH is going on in worship beyond the lyric and the song.  Through worship we go to war and find peace. Through worship we release bondages and find our liberty in Christ.  Through worship we find our true motive of love and find renewed strength to get the job done.  We listen in our hearts to find it.

I love the worship movement AND am also a firm believer in embracing all types of Christian music that is brought to the feast.  Why limit ourselves to one genre when the Lord has prepared such a wide variety of styles at this banqueting table?  Has He not used fresh style to speak to every generation?

Shouldn’t the music of the church lead the world instead of the other way around?

I am thrilled to be joining up with a seasoned band of worshippers at Jersey Baptist who also have embraced a variety of musical styles as we, together, lead worship in both Traditional and Contemporary settings.  (Also Modern worship and Southern Gospel as well as children’s. Etc)

I am having such a BLAST singing with these dedicated folks in the choirs and enjoy the wide variety of styles we present including traditional octavos, hymns, gospel, Southern Gospel, Praise and Worship, and many other genre.

These musicians have quickly welcomed me and befriended me and I am thankful.  Also, I am so grateful to those who have over the years organized such a wide ranging system to facilitate the musical/worship needs of this place.

Music should unite us, not divide us.

If you don’t have a church home or are a musician without a place to minister in your giftings,  I invite you to try Jersey.  It’s really FUN (good musical hard work too!) and above all, ministry is really happening here!  You can feel it. You can sense it.  And you can see it. May all the glory go to the Lord!

Psalm 104:33-34

Psalm 104:33-34

I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to Him, as I rejoice in the Lord!

Praise the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!

I’ve recently joined forces with the Jersey Baptist musicians.  I am beyond blessed to be singing before the Lord beside fellow “Levites”.  (A reference to the Old Testament musicians who were set apart to make music before the Lord and to worship Him wholeheartedly as their work).

As E.T. So aptly put it…”Home”.

“These are a few of my favorite things”

“These are a few of my favorite things”….Well people that is😜.

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My husband David and I are doubling with our dear friends Keith and Amy Pausch.   Keith and I meet weekly to use that south paw of his and brilliant brain to overcome the effects of a recent stroke.
He’s getting some worship songs around on the keyboard and vocally to take with Amy and I to children’s worship, nursing homes and other venues one day soon.  I’m so proud of his efforts to relearn musical skills for which he’s so naturally gifted.
The handsome mug in the photo beside Keith and Amy, is my darling husband of 30 years, David James.

“Fire and Ice”

Inspired by the extremes of nature including lava, red hot coals, frozen crystals and opaque white ice, this stained glass piece of art brings energy and movement to a simple or modern space. The rare black repurposed window frame comes complete with original hanging hardware.  Just for fun, hang this in a window during October to create an edgy seasonal display!  Visit our online store at WendyJames.com for this and other unique works.

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Jumpin Joy!

Today, sitting in my white wicker rocker on the back porch, drinking VERY strong coffee (albeit decaf so I’m not sure it counts), I’m reminded of another steamy, hot summer day when my family and I were on tour with our Wendy and the James Gang shows (visit the bio on this website to learn more).

As a child growing up in the United Brethren church, for 13 years, I spent a week of each summer attending our church camp – Camp Living Waters in Luther, MI, near the Cadillac area.  Those weeks were a blast and I loved every minute of them.  So, as an adult, I wanted to take my family to the camp to visit.

On this particular day, we were quite exhausted from a heavy schedule and REALLY ready for a day off from concerts and touring.   Throughout the summer I had been composing the music for our second show and we were working on deadlines with our friend and producer, Russell Mauldin, of Nashville. David was off with our two boys exploring the camp and I was down on the dock on a day like today, resting and thinking and praying.  And sleeping a bit!  I remember looking out over the placid water of the reflecting lake and viewing the lily pads along the edge with humming dragon flies hovering over the blooms.  Suddenly, a fish jumped near me and I was filled with this inexplicable joy.  Then in my prayerfulness images of these colorful fish diving deep and barreling for the surface like dolphins in a water show and breaking the surface with a shower of rainbow sparkled spray and drops shimmering out in all directions came to me.  I was delighted by the playful fish dancing before me and a song popped into my head which I quickly scribbled down.

The name of the song?  Jumpin Joy – the opening song of our second project and tour:  The Song of the King!

Armor of God Position

JUMPIN’ JOY

Jumpin’ Jehosaphat!
Hey will you look at that!
Joy bubblin o’er my soul
Think I’m gonna lose control!

Joy, joy, joy – I’ve got the jumpin’ jumpin’
Joy, joy, joy – I’ve got the jumpin’ jumpin’
Joy, joy, joy – I’ve got the jumpin’ jumpin’
Joy, oh joy, oh joy – joy joy!

I’ve got the jumpin’ joy of Jesus
Livin’ down in my heart.
Down in my heart.
I’ve got the jumpin’ joy of Jesus
Livin’ down in my heart to stay.

It’s an awesome feelin’
Really sends me reelin’
Right into my Savior’s arms
I’ve gotta jump and shout it,
Tell the world about it
It’s a red hot, melting pot
Fire alarm!

I’ve got the jumpin’ joy of Jesus
Livin’ down in my heart.
Down in my heart.
I’ve got the jumpin’ joy of Jesus
Livin’ down in my heart to stay.

Can you feel it too?
Does he live in you?
Did he take your sins away?
Then get on up on your feet.
Can you feel the beat?
Of that joy jumpin’ down
In your soul today! Yea, Yea

I’ve got the jumpin’ joy of Jesus
Livin’ down in my heart.
Down in my heart.
I’ve got the jumpin’ joy of Jesus
Livin’ down in my heart to stay.

Oh-oh, it’s not gonna
Stay down in my heart
No, it’s not gonna
Stay down in my heart
Oh, it’s not gonna
Stay down in my heart
Cause it’s reachin’ out to you
And you and you!

I’ve got the jumpin’ joy of Jesus
Livin’ down in my heart.
Down in my heart.
I’ve got the jumpin’ joy of Jesus
Livin’ down in my heart to stay.

I’ve got the jumpin’ joy of Jesus
Livin’ down in my heart
Down in my heart
I’ve got the jumpin’ joy of Jesus
Livin’ down in my heart to stay.

© 2003 Wendy James (BMI) / Kingdomrock Music (BMI)

The Winds of Change

The Winds of Change

Autumn is one of the boldest seasons of change in nature.  In the spectrum of colors on the wheel, reds, oranges and yellows are the most intense.  Set against the crisp, deep azure sky and the canvas of alabaster cumulus clouds, or contrasting a completely fuzzy gray, dreary, hazy sky, those crimsons, red-oranges and amber-yellows pop out and say, ‘Do not tarry! Do not tarry! The cold winds of winter are coming over the mountain.  The heavy frost is soon upon the ground.  Do not tarry! Do not tarry!  Bring the harvest in today.’

I find myself in those heady autumn years as many of you are, also.  Blessings abound as so many colored leaves.  Regrets and looking back are useless, unless to remind us of a better way to live.  Remembering what we did for good is only helpful to spur us on to finish strong.  The coming rest of old age may seem strangely alluring as we struggle on in the here and now attempting to store up and shore up for retirement.  Yet, we can begin to see as we take care of those before us how with the rest will come a largely diminished ability to accomplish the great goals of our youth.

And so, it is with renewed vigor that we glance up at the canopy of leaves over our daily walk and we feel the need to reevaluate, reinvent, rediscover, renew the purposes for which we were sent – to make sure that we finish what we started to the glory of God and to the best of our ability.  Not striving. Not simply surviving.  But finding it again and finishing it.

Did we change the world?  We set out to.  Did we blaze a pioneering trail?  We meant to.  Did we challenge the youth and those who come behind us?  We hope so.   Are we – have we drifted into complacency about retiring as though already half dead?

Listen to the rustle of the ever-changing leaves,
Listen to the locusts singing, chirping on the breeze,
Look inside your heart of hearts.
Focus on the needs.
And Lord help us laborers
To finish all our deeds.
Amen.

“Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who HOPE IN THE LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:28-31. NIV

WJ 

Weathervane Playhouse

Way  to go Amanda in your Weathervane Playhouse debut roles as The Judge in the courtroom scene and The Client in “Bend and Snap”from The Summer Youth Theater musical production of “Legally Blonde”.   We heard great things about your beautiful voice from many people!  Keep up the great work Amanda!

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