July 13, 2022
by Steve Sanchez

America’s Christian Roots

Since we celebrated Independence Day last week, I thought it important to understand how the majority of its founders acknowledged that God had a hand in building this greatest nation on earth despite what the naysayers and cynics say.

American’s confidence and belief in the bible is at an all-time low with only 20% saying that the Bible is the literal Word of God, according to a recent Gallup Poll. In addition, there’s a decline in overall religiosity in the U.S. adult population including

  • declines in formal identification with a religion
  • declines in church membership
  • declines in religious service attendance,
  • declines in the personal importance of religion,
  • and declines in belief in God.

This is tragic because we as a nation were founded on Christian principles. Want proof? I’ll bet you didn’t learn this about Christopher Columbus’ reason for setting off to discover a new world:

“I was led of the Holy Spirit to carry the message of the Gospel to undiscovered lands.”

This is what the Pilgrims wrote in the Mayflower Compact about why they came in 1620:

“In the name of God, amen. Having undertaken for the glory of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith, do solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, covenant and combine ourselves together.”

Twenty-three 23 later, as more and more people settled in New England, the Puritans formed The New England Confederation. This is in their Constitution:

“Whereas we all came into these parts with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity and peace.”

As each state organized itself, the founders’ commitment to the Gospel is evident in the documents drafted: Continue Reading

June 14, 2022
by Steve Sanchez

Flag Day in Johnson City

Today is Flag Day which commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

It’s wonderful to live in Johnson City, Texas, a town that loves America and celebrates traditions such as Flag Day.

Our flag is a symbol of the greatest nation on earth, exceptional in that America is a nation of immigrants bonded together by a shared commitment to the democratic principles of liberty, equality, individualism and laissez faire economics, as well as one nation under God.

I have the honor every year to give the Invocation at our Flag Day Observance sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution in front of the Courthouse.

Here is the prayer I composed during my time with the Lord this morning and then prayed at the Courthouse:

Lord God of the earth and of America, Continue Reading

May 26, 2022
by Steve Sanchez

Beyond Thoughts and Prayers

“Boycott the N.R.A.! “Ban assault rifles!” “Improve background checks!” “Raise the purchasing age to 21!”

Those are some of the proposed solutions from one side of the gun violence argument in response to another tragic shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

The other side? “Arm the teachers!” “Provide better education and training for gun owners!”

Maybe repealing the 2nd Amendment altogether is the answer?

Not one of those proposals will work.

I’d be remiss in my pastoral writing not to address the reasons for such acts of senseless violence.

We can certainly anticipate more controversy of what could have been done, what should have been done. And you can bet that those who offer their thoughts and prayers will be shamed once again, too.

Then-Presidential candidate Kamala Harris after a mass shooting several years ago Tweeted, “Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need action.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said: “No more thoughts and prayers.”

When Senator Ted Cruz Tweeted “Heidi & I are fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote in response: “You can do more than pray. Faith without works is dead.”

CNN reported that the phrase “thoughts and prayers” had reached “semantic satiation, the phenomenon in which a word or phrase is repeated so often it loses its meaning.” Continue Reading