God, Religion and the First President of the United States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gilbert_Stuart,_George_Washington_(Lansdowne_portrait,_1796).jpg

The other night I watched a video I received in the mail, documenting some of the writings of America’s Founding Fathers, in reference to the need for Godly principles in American public life and excerpts from court cases upholding those principles.

George Washington, himself, in his Farewell Address, wrote that our country would fail without them.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens…Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington’s_Farewell_Address

As I consider how successful special interest groups have been in removing God and religion from so much of our public life, I could not help but draw a parallel to this past Sunday’s first reading from Nehemiah 8:2-10.  After years of captivity and being forbidden to hear the Word of God in public or practice their religion, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem.  “Ezra the priest…standing at the open place…read out of the book…and all the people listened…all the people were weeping as they heard the words…”  I cannot help but think that what was foretold by President Washington if we exclude religion, is coming to pass.  I do not believe religion or faith should be forced upon a person –  the Catholic Church practiced that grievous mistake for hundreds of years.  This, after having it practiced on us for hundreds of years in an attempt to suppress us.  God gave us free will that we may come to him willingly and joyfully if we so choose.

As a modern, American Catholic, I am very comfortable with my religious freedom.  Maybe even complacent.  However, I have been hearing warning bells, and must pull myself out of my complacency.  Lest we be dragged into the abyss of secular humanism, let those of us who have faith, pray.  Let those of us who have wits, join the fray and educate, legislate and lobby to keep our Constitutional rights.  Let those of us who waver, not be swayed by popular opinion, but seek truth on our own, delve deeper into the issues, and draw our own conclusions, instead of jumping on someone else’s bandwagon in ignorant bliss.

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Julie Carrick – Living The Faith Boldly

Year of Faith Events – Carrick Ministries

Julie Carrick sang her first solo at the age of 5.  Since then, she has devoted her life and her music to Jesus.  Even after surviving a rare form of lung cancer a few years ago, Julie continues to minister and share her faith with Catholics all over the world.  We were recently blessed to once again host one of Julie’s fantastic missions:  Living Our Catholic Creed.  

One thing you will notice about Julie is that she is humble and transparent.  She shares freely of her own pain and her own joy.  Her music flows from a wellspring of experience throughout her life.

She proudly tells of how her husband of nearly 30 years bore witness to his Catholic faith to a co-worker.

She shares her agony upon learning that her daughter had been raped and subsequently became pregnant.  Her daughter Edel’s courage in accepting and embracing that new life is also a part of Carrick Ministries.

She shares her own story of temptation, when she has to make a choice between a lucrative recording contract with “stipulations” and her own morals and values.

Throughout the evening, Julie performs her award winning compositions, as well as classic hymns, interweaving inspiration with quotes from St. Teresa of Avila and an attentive reading of the Creed. 

This mini concert/mission is perfect for the “Year of Faith”.  You will truly be inspired to live your faith boldly, taking a stand for marriage, for life, and for what “We Believe”.

For more information on Carrick Ministries, available concert and event dates and to order Julie’s recordings, see Carrick Ministries.

No compensation was received for this review.

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Amazing Love

As a prisoner in a Nazi death camp, Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch watchmaker, saw many of her family and friends die.  A fateful mistake caused her release only one day before all women her age were to be killed.  She had every reason for despair and revenge.  Instead, a few years later, she brought the Gospel of Jesus to the very women who were her guards in that concentration camp.  The same women who had hated and despised her, were now imprisoned, and hungry for hope.  With some difficulty, the grace of God and a box of chocolates, Corrie won these women to Christ.

Amazing Love is the story of Corrie Ten Boom’s life of evangelization after surviving the Nazis in World War II.  Originally published in 1953, the audio version is well read by Nadia May, (c) 2010 by Christian Audio.  Ms. May’s reading gives a personal quality to the narrative.  I almost believed I was listening to the author herself. Corrie travels all over the world bringing the Gospel to movie stars in Hollywood, communists in Russia, and the poor in developing countries.  Her courage and confidence are inspiring.  She even admits to bouts of arrogance, when relying on her own talent and strength fails her, until she remembers to pray, and turn her will over to Jesus once again.  Time and again, she is called upon to perform the impossible.  Exorcizing demons, healing the sick, flying across the world to spread the gospel, with no money for plane tickets all demonstrate the power of God, manifested in the weakness of this woman.  Relying only on her faith and trust in Jesus, Corrie does all that is asked of her, and many souls are converted to Christianity.

This is a very thought provoking, as well as entertaining account of Ms. Ten Boom’s adventures.  As Christians we are called to evangelize.  To spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.  Do we really know how to do this?  Can we even spread it around us in our current every day lives?  I am left with much to ponder, and a thirst to learn more about how to do what I can to lead others to the love and peace I find with Jesus.

On sale right now for $7.49 from http://christianaudio.com/amazing-love-corrie-ten-boom.

Thank you to Christian Audio Reviewers Program for providing me with this free review copy.  No other compensation was reveived for this review.

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