*It was a celebration of what God had done over the years in and through America and a challenge to find our place in the story that God is still writing.
*Very unusual day for us. We sang the Star Spangled Banner just prior to worship and then followed that with:
- Revelation Song
- I Will Rise
- I Surrender All (invitation hymn)
Then too, I'm pretty intolerant of the political correctness and skimming of US history that occurs today. If today's students aren't outside readers, they'll only get a fraction of what we got going through elementary and high school. Turns out that the first exposure to US history is in a study of several cultures here, and that exposure is brief at best. Whereas I came out of the 7th grade expected to be able to recite or write out the preamble to the constitution and beginning and ending portions of the Declaration of Independence, today's 7th grader would not. The curriculum has been changed to match what the Federal government wants to test for.
Patriotism isn't a bad thing, as far as it goes. But a love for country isn't particular. You could love North Korea I suppose but what the government of that country does is not good. What I hoped to show was that the founders believed in God - in a God Who was active in the affairs of men, and Whose precepts and principles - learned from the Bible - were instrumental in the very core structure of America.
Using Psalm 33, I first made the case for Who God is and then what the founders saw Him doing during their time. Then using the second half of the Psalm as well as some quotes from those luminaries and others, I tried to show that the only hope for His continued blessings was a people today living out their faith just as the founders did. That our hope lay not in our strength of arms, but in the precious grace and merciful sacrificial love of Jesus Christ.
Structurally, it was a lot of quotes and Scripture. Bordered on "death by power point." There is SO much information and so much of it I believed to be brand new info,that I felt like I had to use as much as I did. You know going in that there's only so much time you'll get, so in a sense you hope to pique the interest of people on the History side of things to make them want to explore themselves. Yet you also want to bring the spotlight on today and the people in front of you to hear from God through the Holy Spirit and make a decision to live for Him - maybe in ways they never have.
I'll be praying that happens.
* BTW, band and praise team - you did a great job yesterday.
* Was great to take a step back and have John Anderson handle the welcome and announcements. Oh and showing his mad versatility, he later handled children's church too! He said that the Kidmo overflow was exactly what the kids wanted yesterday. It probably was like herding cats all sugared up.:)
* Great job by the girls and their guides on Wednesday night making the red white and blue ribbons with the crosses in the center. Exactly where we need to be.
*Thanks go out to Amy for getting the worship guide done early too.
Looking forward - Potluck fellowship meal this week means everything from tacos, kimchee, red beans and rice, Krystals, and Danny's Fried Chicken could be up for grabs. Come at 5:30 and taste the goodness that New Hope brings to supper.
Keep praying for Scott Marston in Afghanistan and for Laura and the kids here.