The endurance of houses and nations

November 3, 2013

On Wednesday of this week, the house built by my parents was torn down, crushed and crunched. Nothing left as it was; hardly any part of it was recognizable. A two story, eight-room house, piled in one big heap of debris no taller than the ceiling in any of the first floor rooms. That house in its prime was a pleasure, in later years it was in a pained existence. It endured for 66 years.

Everything was destroyed and mangled except the memories of living in that house. It was the dream house of my parents. They worked hard and sacrificed much to make it possible. When we moved into it on June 2, 1947, life took a turn in a decidedly different direction for each of the five members of our family. We often looked back, but never wanted to go back.

When we moved, Harry S. Truman was President of the United States. He followed Franklin Delano Roosevelt, our longest serving president, who brought us through The Great Depression and most of World War II. President Truman led us to the conclusion of those terrible war years.

He was an honest and trustworthy president. He was the president of the common people. He had the kind of sense that so often is lacking among leaders. It is called “common sense” seasoned with integrity, honesty and truthfulness.

Our nation was born in 1776, though its beginning days were 156 years before that. Distinguished historian, William J. Federer, records these words about the nation’s beginning, “Charter of the Plymouth Council, November 3, 1620, granted by King James, declared the purpose of the colony was, ‘In the hope thereby to advance the enlargement of the Christian religion, to the glory of God Almighty’.” One hundred fifty six years later, we date our “Declaration of Independence” as a free nation to be July 4, 1776, when the formal Declaration was adopted.

Many times in the last few weeks, and especially today, I have thought of Stuart Hamblen’s popular song about “This Ole House.” Our nation has existed longer than many. Some think she may be about ready to crumble.

After each of the delegates had signed the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams declared, “We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.” To the extent that we acknowledge and obey God, we will remain free and strong.

On November 7, just a few days from now, America’s most respected preacher, Billy Graham, will deliver a very special message to our nation on his 95th birthday. It will be titled, “My Hope America”, a nation he loves and like millions, prays for each day. Pastors and churches all across the country will join in asking others to view this unusual presentation that will offer hope for our nation.

I cannot imagine any pastor or Christian believer not being an active participant in this tremendous effort to call our nation back to God. We have no greater work to do. Millions of Christians will be inviting their friends to view and listen carefully to the saving message this program will present.

We need to heed the solemn warning from the prophet Isaiah, chapter 55. “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6). This is our hope.

© 2013 Wm. C. Ellis

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