All cultures are not spiritually equal. Any nation that honors the Lord is promised his blessing. The Bible says every good and perfect gift comes from God. America is not a perfect gift but it is a really good gift.
The Christians I know are not so shallow as to imagine God waving an American flag; however, we do know a good gift when we see it. We can be unashamedly patriotic and unapologetically Christian at the same time. No nation in the world has been more blessed than the United States of America. Anyone who has traveled to other continents is aware that we are uniquely blessed with incredible resources, breathtaking scenery, unprecedented freedom, and international influence. We have also been blessed with an outstanding governmental system that has served us well for over years.
Why have we been so blessed?
This congress focused on how scholars, public intellectuals, policy makers, journalists and activists from diverse fields can and do contribute to our understanding of power, violence and justice. The CCP is mandating the five authorized religions in China to hold preaching contests that must include socialist doctrines and elements of traditional culture.
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Most of us spend our lives seeking wisdom and intelligence, and now it seems that those are the very attributes Jesus dismisses. In fact, Jesus says that the blessings of God are intentionally hidden from those who are filled with the wisdom and intelligence of this world. After that was over, we rented a car and drove up to Jacksonville to meet up with the Chapel Choir who were arriving in Jacksonville on Monday on their choir tour and mission trip.
They were performing a concert Tuesday afternoon at a nursing home, so we met them there to be there for the concert. We got there early, and they were beginning to set up. The concert was actually going to take place out in the lobby, near the front doors of the nursing home.
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It was crowded. It was so crowded and felt a little hot and chaotic, so Heidi and I decided to just get out of the way and go back to our car for a little while until it was closer to the time for the concert. I said, You know, I think Dianne and Fran need to think bigger when it comes to these concerts. This choir is really, really good.
I think they can do better than singing at these nursing homes. They ought to be looking for bigger venues. The truth is, I was so proud of our Chapel Choir, so impressed by them, that I wanted to get them out in front of more prominent groups of people—the wise and intelligent of the world. I really liked that.
But here we were on Tuesday crammed in the entryway of an obscure nursing home. Heidi and I went back in in a few minutes, and all the chairs were full of nursing home residents. And the concert began. And the choir was just fantastic. When they began to sing, one woman was literally putting her hand under her chin to keep her jaw from dropping in amazement. As you will see this afternoon, they are that good.
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There were all kinds of distractions. At one point an ambulance pulled up to the entrance, paramedics came in right in front of the choir, and in a few minutes came back out with a woman on a stretcher.
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Somebody came through walking a dog. They had to move the handbell tables at one point so somebody in a wheelchair could get by. But the kids handled the distractions like pros, and the residents were just enthralled by the performance and so enthusiastic in their responses. I wish you could have seen the responses from the nursing home residents. They smiled, they sang along, they clapped. Many had tears run down their cheeks.
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