President Obama Visits Aggieland

President Obama, Secretary Gates, and former President BushPresident Obama attended the Points of Light forum on community service at Texas A&M on Friday.  It was hosted by former President George H. W. Bush.  It was an amazing display of bipartisanship in the current polarized political climate.

His speech(text), about service, was pitch perfect and I think really spoke to the heart of what I have been saying about living out what we believe.

“And if anyone here thinks that our government has all the solutions, President Bush and I will be the first to tell you that you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Government can build the best schools, with the best teachers — but we can’t run the PTA, or chaperone those field trips, or mentor those kids after school, or have them sit down and do their homework at night. We can pass the most comprehensive health reform bill — but Congress can’t be on the ground in our communities caring for the sick and helping people lead healthier lives. Government can give our troops the equipment they need, and the pay and benefits that they have earned, and nobody is working harder at doing that than Secretary Gates — but it can’t be there to offer a home-cooked meal to a military family stretched thin, or to make sure our veterans get the respect and appreciation they deserve in their communities when they come home.”

President Obama, Oct. 16th, 2009

He made a call to everyone to get involved and serve in their communities.

“In the end, service binds us to each other — and to our communities and our country — in a way that nothing else can. That’s how we become more fully American. That’s what it means to be American. It’s always been the case in this country — that notion that we invest ourselves, our time, our energy, our vision, our purpose into the very fabric of this nation. That’s the essence of our liberty — that we give back, freely.”

President Obama, Oct. 16th, 2009

Service binds us together.  I love that.  I think that President Obama hit the nail on the head.  Our problem these days is that we are too quick to serve our own interests and not the interests of those around us, as if we are the most important people on the planet.

The Church is called to act in this way.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:1-4 ESV

I was glad to hear our president echo what the Bible says about service, and our role as servants.  We get so frustrated with our country, thinking that our government is growing increasingly secular, and our culture increasingly immoral.  But here, the leader of the free world is encouraging us to serve one another.  It was great.  I may not agree with President Obama about everything, but I think we can all agree his views on service are great and I am glad he is trying to encourage us all to lend a helping hand wherever we can.

Here is video of his speech:

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