On July 4th, when our pastor quoted part of a speech made by President Ronald Reagan, I wrote it down so I could post it for the holiday. Then I decided to look deeper for more of what this man had to say about our country, and what I found surprised me to some degree, partly because at the time, I was a young mom not too concerned about politics, so I wasn't paying attention. I learned that his heart dictated what came out of his mouth, and he wasn't shy about telling the world that his heart belonged to the Lord.
I really hope you will take a few minutes to read all the way through, and I hope that your heart is touched by the truth of Mr. Reagan's message, and the last message of this post, which explains it all. I've added a wonderful Youtube video of the Gaither Vocal Band singing "America the Beautiful" at the bottom, for you to enjoy this Sunday.
"We stand together as we did two centuries ago… One people under God determined that our future shall be worthy of our past." President Ronald Reagan, Jan. 21, 1985
“Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way. My fondest hope for each one of you—and especially for the young people here—is that you will love your country, not for her power or wealth, but for her selflessness and her idealism. May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will make the world a little better for your having been here. May all of you as Americans never forget your heroic origins, never fail to seek divine guidance and never lose your natural, God-given optimism. And finally, my fellow Americans, may every dawn be a great new beginning for America and every evening bring us closer to that shining city upon a hill.” Ronald Reagan (1992)
"We've got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom -- freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. ... I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit." 1989 farewell address.
"Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom, and then lost it, have never known it again.""America was born in the midst of a great revolution sparked by oppressive taxation. There was something about the American character—open, hard-working, and honest—that rebelled at the very thought of taxes that were not only heavy but unfair. Today the proud American character remains unchanged. But slowly and subtly, surrendering first to this political pressure and then to that, our system of taxation has turned into something completely foreign to our nature—something complicated, unfair, and, in a fundamental sense, un-American. Well, my friends, the time has come for a second American revolution."
At a 1984 prayer breakfast, Mr. Reagan stated: "Without God, there is no virtue, because there's no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we're mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."
"A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. He has no formal education. He owns no property of any kind. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father's shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside. Walking from place to place preaching all the while even though he is in no way an ordained minister he never gets farther than an area perhaps 100 miles wide at the most. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing -- the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place so he is interred in a borrowed tomb. End of story? No, this uneducated, property less young man who preached on street corners for only three years who left no written word has for 2000 years had a greater effect on the entire world than all the rulers, kings and emperors, all the conquerors, the generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who ever lived -- all put together. How do we explain that? ...Unless he really was what he said he was." Ronald Reagan
"[W]e've got to teach history based not on what's in fashion but what's important—why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know...on the 40th anniversary of D-day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who'd fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, 'we will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.' Well, let's help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are. I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let's start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven't been teaching you what it means to be an American, let 'em know and nail 'em on it. That would be a very American thing to do." Ronald Reagan
Reagan's favorite verse was John 10:10 where Jesus said: The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Please ponder this beautiful rendition of "America the Beautiful" by the Bill Gaither Vocal Band http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JXWXhteJ30&feature=PlayList&p=178F8F6D24251662&index=0&playnext=1
Thank you so much to our wonderful co-hostesses, Charlotte and Ginger. Visit them at http://bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/.
God bless you all, and please, God, bless America!