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Summary: Even though there is evidence, since 9-11, that we’re beginning to acknowledge the principles that once made our nation great & brought the blessings of God upon us - is it too late? Like Judah, have we already gone too far? (*Powerpoint Available - #235

MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX

(Changed e-mail address: Powerpoint slides are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at mnewland@sstelco.com with your request - #235.)

A. I really do love the United States of America, & I feel tremendously blessed to be a citizen of this land! There is so much that is special about our country.

ILL. For instance, someone wrote:

Only in America can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

Only in America do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, & a DIET coke.

Only in America are there handicap parking spaces in front of a skating rink.

Only in America do we buy hot dogs in packages of 10, & buns in packages of 8.

Only in America do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions, while healthy people can buy their cigarettes at the front.

Only in America do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway & put our junk in the garage. -- Something to think about, isn’t it?

(Adapted from Steve Shepherd on SermonCentral)

ILL. Most of you probably know who George Carlin, the comedian, is. But there are times when he gets serious. And in one of his serious moments he wrote something he called, “The Paradox of Our Time.” Listen to a part of it:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers….

We have bigger houses but smaller families, more conveniences but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge but less judgment, more experts, & yet even more problems….

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not how to make a life.

We spend too recklessly, drive too fast, get too angry, read too little, watch TV too much, & pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We talk too much, love too seldom, & hate too often.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted our souls.

(Adapted from Steve Shepherd on SermonCentral)

SUM. Sounds kind of dismal, doesn’t it? But even though there are a lot of negative things that could be said, I still believe that America is the greatest country in the world! But that may not be saying very much about America.

A. As most of you know, I lived the first few years of my life on the China/Tibetan border, & since then have had opportunity to visit other countries, too. I’ve seen the differences, & I thank God for the United States, & what it has meant to so many.

This Thursday will be the 4th of July. Here in the city of Brownsville, & in many other places, parades & special ceremonies have been scheduled, reminding us of our nation’s heritage, & honoring those who have gone before us.

And I must admit that when I stand to pledge allegiance to our flag, or to join in singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" or "God Bless America," oftentimes I get a catch in my throat or my eyes begin to mist.

ILL. A few years ago I was at a gathering of some 10,000 Texans, & a part of its program was the presentation of the colors. I stood with all the others as men & women of our armed forces marched by, carrying flags emblematic of each branch of service.


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