The Call, The Pledge, The Music, The Awards, & the Appeal
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Prov. 29:18)
“I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for Which It Stands, One Nation Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.”
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The Call for “A New Christian Awakening in America”
The Call: Bishop E.W. Jackson repeatedly brought standing ovations from 400 guests at the Forum’s 16th annual “Celebration of “God and Country” dinner on the JMU campus last Friday as he called for “A New Christian Awakening in America”.
His call included an electrifying vision for what we must do to restore America to the Judeo-Christian values and Constitutional principles on which it was founded and has prospered. Details follow.
The Pledge: It all began with a prayer and a presentation of colors by Trail Life USA. Then, dressed in formal attire and a black derby, Jim Henry introduced the program theme with a Red Skelton-style homily on the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the Pledge itself. Together, they affirmed our love for and our allegiance to America as One Nation Under God.
The Music: Throughout the evening, Southern Hospitality reinforced this theme with an outstanding medley of patriotic and spiritual songs that featured The National Anthem and America the Beautiful, followed by The Battle Hymn of the Republic and God Bless America. Miriam Clark complemented this musical feast with piano selections during the dinner itself.
The Jericho Plan: In addition, we were reminded – as we are every year — of how God directed the Israelites to march against the stronghold of Jericho that stood in their way to the Promised Land.
Reminded because, like them, we too must march together against our own strongholds of evil. Like them, we too depend on our fighting soldiers and civil leaders to lead the way, and on our pastors and priests to blow their trumpets in the middle of the march.
But also like them, we know that “We the People” must also add our voices before the walls will come tumbling down.
The Minuteman Awards: As part of that Jericho plan, we recognized and honored our elected leaders who were present at the dinner.
They included Cong. Bob Goodlatte, state delegates Ben Cline and Tony Wilt, Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst, Commissioner of the Revenue Lowell Barb, School Board member Kaylene Seigle, and County Bd. of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, plus numerous pastors and para-church leaders and their spouses.
Finally, we called to the platform a long line of military, law enforcement, and first responder personnel – both active duty and retired — and presented them with individual “Minuteman” awards. They put their lives on the line for us every day, and deserve our appreciation, our respect, and our support. Laus Deo!
Bishop Jackson: A New Christian Awakening in America
The Grand Finale: All of this set the tone for Bishop E.W. Jackson’s electrifying call for “A New Christian Awakening in America” — as only he can do.
Citing the Bible as the foundation on which America was built and has prospered as a nation, Jackson chronicled ways in which we have strayed from its teaching. We are in a moral freefall. We need to do something.
The Vision: To that end, Bishop Jackson outlined his own vision for restoring an America in which:
1. God is honored and His Church is respected.
2. Life is valued and protected from conception to natural death.
3. Marriage is once again sanctified and respected as only between one man and one woman.
4. Families have a loving father and mother in every home to raise and to educate their children.
5. Crime no longer plagues our inner cities with its gangs, drugs, rapes, and murders.
6. Racism no longer divides us and where we are all equal without regard to color or religion.
7. Prayer unites us as we seek God’s direction and blessing on America as “One Nation Under God”.
Jackson concluded with a clarion call for an America that would become the shining City on a Hill that was envisioned by our earliest settlers. It was a call for us to put on the whole armor of God, looking not to politics for all our answers but rather calling on God for guidance and for His blessing on America.
The Forum: Who We Are, What We Do
This Celebration of God and Country was a tribute to all who participated, to all who attended, and to all who are committed to answering the call that Bishop Jackson set before us.
That has been the Forum’s call since its founding in 2002, working with many of you to defend and to promote these core values in our culture and in the public square. For example:
— The Forum helped lead the effort to drive sexually oriented businesses (SOB’s) out of Harrisonburg, restore employment for Luis Padilla when he came under attack for his public support of natural marriage, and amend the VA Constitution for marriage as only between one man and one woman.
— The Forum also led the effort to bring “In God We Trust” license plates to Virginia and to encourage self-identified Christian institutions like EMU to stay true to Biblical teaching on marriage.
— Finally, the Forum continues to carry this message throughout the Valley on a weekly WAZT-TV program called “Valley Faith in Action”. It also produces a radio program entitled “Crossroads: Where Faith and Culture Meet” and which airs on four Valley stations.
Our Appreciation and Our Appeal
We are deeply grateful for all who attended this “God and Country” Celebration and who contributed so generously to the work of the Forum. We could not do it without your prayers, your encouragement, and your generous support. Thank you!
However, if you were not able to attend but would still like to contribute, you can do so by check to the Valley Family Forum at our new address, which is PO Box 881, Harrisonburg, VA 22803. All gifts are tax deductible.
With Appreciation, for God and Country,