by James Merritt

Dr. James Merritt
2 Chronicles 7:14


1. When Ronald Reagan was elected President of the
United States, he and Nancy had to get used to the
Executive Mansion on their own. President Carter had
broken with recent tradition and had not given the
Reagans a tour of the White House. If you remember,
during those days it was a difficult campaign with
Carter and Reagan both bitterly fighting out what was
to be a runaway election landslide for Reagan.

2. The Carters greeted the Reagans a few days before
the Inauguration, and then turned them over to White
House staff for them to have a tour of the White
House. In the limousine on the way to Reagan's
swearing in, Carter didn't say one word, exhausted and
depressed after staying up all night dealing with
trying to get the hostages released in Iran.

3. The Inauguration also broke precedent because for
the first time in history it was held on the West Side
of the Capitol. Reagan wanted to look out toward
Illinois where he had been born, and California where
he had become a public figure. He wanted to look out
toward the country that had elected him in a

4. It was overcast, dark and cloudy. But an amazing
thing happened. As Reagan took his place behind the
podium and looked at the Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court, the sun burst through the clouds, and what
Reagan remembered later as "an explosion of warmth and
light." He could feel the heat on his face as he
recited the Oath of Office. His left hand was on his
mother's Bible which was open to the text of my
message - 2 Chronicles 7:14,

"If my people who are called by My name will humble
themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from
their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and
will forgive their sin and heal their land."

5. Next to the verse were words his mother, Nelle,
had written in her own sweet way: ...

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