Today is the National Day of Prayer.
If some groups in our country had their way today would be the last Day of Prayer celebrated nationally. I don't know what their beliefs are (or if they even have any, outside of not believing that there is a God).
But I do know this: There is no way you can go to our nation's capital and continue to argue that this great country was not founded as a specifically Christian nation. A year ago, I might have been swayed by the "America is not a Christian nation"argument, but no more.
One year ago we traveled to Washington D.C. and saw for ourselves that just the opposite was true.
It was there that I began to take notice that the references to God were many and frequent. In fact, every speech quoted by the Founding Fathers, every letter they wrote and now in every monument, engraved in stone are their words continuing to profess their faith in a good and providential God.
Honoring God was obviously a high priority in their lives and in creating this great experiment called America. I say obviously because their words began jumping out at me. I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and an awareness of God's sovereignty in allowing this country to be established in His name.
The Jefferson Memorial.
Arlington National Cemetery.
The Jefferson Memorial.
The Lincoln Monument.
This is on the corner of the painting, The Embarkation of the Pilgrims by Robert Walter Weir in the Capitol Rotunda.
In the Presidential Oath.
And my personal favorite. The capstone of the Washington Monument.
The National Park Service displays a replica of this capstone at the top of the monument. It is a pyramid which has four sides to it. Of course, the actual capstone is at the 555 foot level at the top and cannot be seen. It's made out of metal because the Washington Monument is the highest point in the city. It therefore also acted as a lightning rod.
What is not visible is the inscription on the East Side of the capstone. It simply reads in Latin, "Laus Deo," or "Praise be to God." (The reason the photo is so blurry is because the capstone was pushed against the wall on this particular side - shame on the NPS for trying to obscure it! - and I had to bend myself into a pretzel to get the photo of this, but that's not important right now.)
The words, Laus Deo, "Praise be to God" are facing the East because it is the very first spot in the city of Washington D.C. that the sun hits as it rises. It was placed there very deliberately in the hopes that the very first rays of the light of the sun each morning would cause this country to give glory to God.
Let that sink in for just a moment.
From atop the Washington Monument you can take in a beautiful panoramic view of the city. The original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles L'Enfant, can be easily discerned from that vantage point.
The White House to the North, the Jefferson Memorial to the South, the Capitol to the East and the Lincoln Memorial to the West you can see that the city was very obviously designed in the shape of a cross.
I believe in a good and powerful and merciful God. I believe it was by His gracious providence that this amazing country was established.
I am very, very proud to be an American. I love this country. Having fled communism in Cuba, I love and appreciate the freedoms we enjoy here in the U.S. When I was in school, we were taught that the Pilgrims risked everything to come here to this savage land to escape religious persecution. That's no longer being taught in our California public schools. And sadly, religious persecution still exists.
I'll be on my knees today. I'll be praying for many things, but mostly that everything this nation was founded on and stands for, would never, ever be obscured.
"Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged." ~ Ronald Reagan