Twenty years ago tonight, Tracey and I had our rehearsal
dinner for our wedding. We married on a 98 degree July afternoon surrounded by
family and friends. A number of those folks are now in heaven. Having children
and raising a family has been richer and greater than we could have known. Life
and ministry have been tougher and more challenging than we expected. And the
years have gone by quicker than we wished! In retrospect, I've questioned
numerous decisions I've made in life after the fact. But I've never doubted if
I should have married Tracey
Funderburk Wilson and built a family with her.
Here's an article I
wrote about our marriage 4 years ago on our 16th. Love you, Tracey. You are
still a gift of love to me.
Oh, wonderful summer! For my family,
summer begins when the school bells stop ringing. There’s something nice
and needed about a slower pace in summer. I always enjoy knowing that my
wife and children have extra time to rest and play, and we all love getting
away on some vacations.
In many ways it seems like just last year when my wife and I brought our
firstborn home to our house on Hickory Street in Clinton. I vividly recall
rocking him as a baby, wondering and praying about what life for us would hold.
Now he stands almost as tall as me.
dads, grandmas and grandpas, take some time this summer to make memories. I
heard a man say years ago that wise people value people over possessions. What will
you do in the next three months to invest time into the people who matter the
most in your life?
If you or your church receive HomeLife magazine from Lifeway Christian Resources, check out my and Tracey's article in the July edition. True Foundations explores the solid impact Christianity had on our Founding Fathers and their vision for this nation. We share ideas for teaching our children to respect our great nation and her heritage. Picture used by permission from pixabay
I love the United States of America. Every summer, our family enjoys celebrating
the 4th of July with decorations, fireworks, food, and PBS’ A Capital
Fourth. I enjoy patriotic music almost
as much as Christmas music, adding two new CD’s to my patriotic collection this
year: American Jubilee by the Cincinnati Pops and For God and Country by Dolly
Three summers ago, my family toured our beloved capital,
Washington, D.C. We proudly toured the
monuments, museums, and hallowed landmarks.
We witnessed one reality chiseled on stone - the majority of our Founding Fathers had deep
respect for the God of the Bible. Though
revisionists work meticulously to rewrite our history, the American experiment
was one rooted in a Christian worldview.
John Quincy Adams said that the Declaration of Independence
“laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of
Christianity.” In his speech delivered
on July 4th, 1837, President Adams stated, "Why is it that next to the birthday of the Savior of the
World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [July
4th]? . . . Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of thenation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a
leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the
Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the
foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the corner stone
of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity . . . ."
President John Adams said, "The general principles on which the fathers achieved
independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I
then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity
are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."
These Fathers did not want a state-sponsored religion
because they did not want the state to interfere with the religion of the
people. Instead, they expected and
wanted the religion of the people to influence the state. These Founders would not recognize the
obsession in America today to “separate church and state.”
How different are the two Adams Presidents’ words from the
outcry we hear today to keep Christianity, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments
from the public square. In the National
Archives building in D.C., upon entering you gaze upon the Declaration of
Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
Look at the floor and notice the
Ten Commandments depicted. These Mount
Sinai laws appear numerous places in the Supreme Court building, engraved on
the huge oak doors entering the chambers.
Moses is the chief lawgiver engraved on top of the building above the
steps out front.
Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of
Independence, believed that the only way to preserve the new nation was to
train the next generation in Christian teaching:
We profess to be republicans [not governed by a king], and
yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican
forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the
principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible. For this Divine Book,
above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just
laws, and those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of
George Washington, addressing the Synod of the Dutch
Reformed Church in 1789 shared that national morality could not prevail without
religious principle. To try and remove
the religious influence is to “shake the foundation of the fabric” of our
Chief Justice John Jay, first Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court and Vice-President of the American Bible Society, understood this
reality. He wrote, "Providence has given
to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the
privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians
for their rulers."
Many years later, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich,
shares in his book A Nation Like No Other, “The Founders’ distinctively
Christian faith is well documented, as is their conviction that government must
be infused with Christian principles.”
Today, we see America tearing apart at the seams. We have ignored her recipe for success. We unashamedly need God in America again.
John Adams had it right: “Our Constitution was made only for
a moral and religious people. It is
wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”