America’s 246th Birthday—Special You and God Edition

This weekend we celebrate America’s 246th birthday! We sing “God Bless America,” and we must say that God has blessed America.  With all the monumental problems facing this great land of liberty, the USA is still at the top of the mountain of nations, with no country even running a close second.  That is not to say we should breathe easily; there is plenty of cancer at our core, rottenness if you will, which, if left unattended, will put us on the ash heap of history. But today, the words of Sir Walter Scott still resonate within our breasts: “Breathes there the man with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said, ‘This is my own! My native land!’ Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned, as home his footsteps he hath turned, from wandering on a foreign strand!”

Not everyone has wandered on a “foreign strand.” But if you have, no doubt you wanted to kiss the ground under your feet once they were planted back on the soil of your native homeland! We cannot fully appreciate what we have here in America until we have seen something of what most of the rest of the world does not have!  And I’m not just talking about material things, though in that category alone we are without equal.

In spirit, in strength, in character, heart, freedom, faith, family, generosity, love and a thousand other intangibles, America is #1! Yet, in spite of all of this, there is a malignancy in our body politic. It is a spiritual and moral cancer that is fast sapping away the life and liberty of the America soul. The solution, of course, is not to “vote the rascals out.” What takes place in Washington is only a mirror of what is going on throughout the land. The enemy is us! In spite of God’s abundant goodness to us, in spite of material prosperity and individual liberty, in spite of educational and scientific superiority, we have become morally bankrupt, spiritually decadent, politically perverse, and disabled. We do not need different politicians or better schools or more jobs or improved infrastructure, or reformed welfare, or a revamped social security system. We need a grass-roots revival that will spread throughout the length and breadth of this land. We need a fire ignited in the hearts of 10,000 preachers that will set ablaze their pulpits, fanned by flames of faith that send men and women to their knees in prayer—producing purity, promoting prayer, and propagating peace with God from shore to shore. So that He will, as He has promised, hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land. (2 Chr.7:14)

May God spare His judgment that we so deserve and mercifully give us another day to repent and enjoy His divine mercies.


On a personal note, I want to thank all of you who have been praying that God would put into remission the multiple myeloma cancer of the blood that I have been dealing with most of this year. A trip just this past week to a myeloma specialist at Indiana University Hospital brought good news on that front. Having examined the statistics and charting the progress of the treatments I am undergoing, he said that the myeloma had improved 90% from the diagnosis to this present day.  That, of course, is very encouraging.  I know many people are praying for “remission,” and Ellen and I want to thank you from the depths of our hearts.  God has a plan, and I am OK with that, whether to live or to die. But with my 80th birthday only months away, by God’s grace I have preached the past three Sundays! God is exceedingly good, and His compassions and loving kindnesses never fail.  Once again, thank you for your intercessions and encouraging calls and cards along the way. No words can express the joy that one experiences, living in light of the love of God and the caring kindness of God’s people. As our dear friend Elaine Camp—widow of beloved pastor and evangelist Don Camp of Anderson, Indiana—heard Vance Havner say (in the Billy Sunday Tabernacle in Winona Lake, Indiana, where she worked as a teenager), “God will give you what you need, when you need it!” Amen.  Selah.

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