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February 28, 2012 (08:38 AM)
I was brought up to be a patriot. From the time I was old enough to think, I was grateful to be an American - to be born into this land of blessing. I knew that life, liberty and the freedom to worship God were not to be taken for granted, and that God Himself had given our forefathers the wisdom to delineate for us these rights that come from Him.
It was deep in my heart, even as a child. And like so many Americans, the National Anthem or the flag could bring tears to my eyes. The first time I was old enough to vote, I voted for Ronald Reagan. He was inaugurated in the year I recorded my first album.
The songs I‚Äôve selected for this project were all written and recorded against the backdrop of the dramatic changes in society and government that have continued to unfold from 1980 until the present. Some of these lyrics were directly inspired by current events. Others were much more personal at the time. But I have included these particular songs here, along with two favorite patriotic hymns, because I hope they will be heard in a new context for a new time.
I still cry easily at the thought of my country. But now, more often, the tears come from sadness for a nation that seems to be racing away from its only true foundation. In recent years, singing our National Hymn in church has caused my heart to ache with grief rather than swell with pride, because the conflict between the words I‚Äôm singing and the world I live in is undeniable.
But I believe these words can be true again. It‚Äôs clear that God‚Äôs people are praying. And as we pray, He is showing us how to think, speak and act in ways that can truly be salt and light in a darkened culture. I see and hear His wisdom in the words and actions of a new generation of patriots. I see you standing, and this project is offered as gratitude and encouragement.
History has shown us that it is easy to turn a ship of state in the wrong direction - much harder to correct the altered course. But as we continue to pray for mercy and move in obedience, may the holy breath of God, once again, be the wind in our sails.
II Chronicles 7:14
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