A not well-kept secret: I love the old hymns. I know that choruses and praise teams have pretty well supplanted the grand songs and great choirs that used to be the hallmark of churches coast to coast, but my heart still holds a hallowed place for the beautiful, enduring music that I most remember from my earliest days: Amazing Grace, Just As I Am, How Great Thou Art.
And one I’ve lately found myself humming, in my mind’s quiet corners: I Stand Amazed, whose chorus goes, “How marvelous, how wonderful / And my song shall ever be / How marvelous, how wonderful / Is my Father’s love for me.” I see so much to marvel at, these days.
We recently celebrated 20 years of public ministry at Alliance Defending Freedom—a time for taking serious measure of the remarkable impact our gracious Lord has enabled us to make on our nation’s legal system over these two decades. I give thanks and marvel at what God has done, at the extraordinary ways He has shown Himself strong on behalf of those of us who trust in Him.
I’m continually astounded at the faithful encouragement, prayers and gifts we receive from you, our Allied Ministry Friends. Twenty years ago, nearly every observant Christian realized something was terribly wrong with America’s legal system; not many believed a unique new form of legal ministry could do much about it. But those who did gave generously, and their numbers have been multiplied so many times over. Their gifts, your gifts, have made our work possible; their prayers, your prayers have made it a success. I’m daily astonished at the extraordinary talent God has brought together at this ministry. Not only staff attorneys and more than 2,300 Allied Attorneys of exceptional skill and insight, but outstanding office staff, accountants, and experts in media, development, and the creative arenas—just a startling array of gifts and personal commitment to the work of preserving our nation’s religious freedom.
Perhaps most of all, I marvel at our clients: the rare courage these men, women, and (as you see in this issue) even children display in taking their often lonely stands for freedom. In an age when many Christians trim their sails to the prevailing cultural winds, some still make a determined effort to steer by the Bright and Morning Star … and their heroism is saving our nation’s true legacy for my children and grandchildren—and yours.
I have a unique vantage point from which to see all these things: as the first team member (before there was even a team), I’ve probably seen more of what’s happened here, at every level, than anyone. All I can tell you is that, from where I’m standing … I stand amazed.
John 15:5–Apart from Christ, we can do nothing.