Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly: How I Got to Here

By Emily Horne (Guest Writer – From Texas Right for Life)


Like many others, I often find myself in the craziness of everyday life without having looked up in a while. Without having taken the time to thank God for where he has placed me, and the work he has given me. I work full-time in the Pro-Life movement lobbying for Pro-Life policy, and in many ways, landed here unexpectedly. But if I am honest when I look back, I can see the building blocks had been laid my entire life while I was making other plans, and I thank God now that he knew what he was doing. Trayce asked me to write about what led me to where I am now, so this is my best attempt to explain God’s path for my life thus far and to thank him for all the times he has persistently directed me back to that path.

I always assumed I would spend my life as my mother did, raising a lot of kids. I’m one of nine children, and no, we were not Catholic or Mormon as we were frequently asked – my Dad loved to embarrass us in front of strangers by saying we were “passionate Protestants.” I loved being a part of a big family and still do, I’m forever thankful my mother chose to pour her life into raising us. Faithfully living out her calling to give us a Christ-centered foundation.

Perhaps it was having three older brothers and having to fight to be heard, but I found my voice early and had a strong sense of justice as a child. I would like to think I used it to stick up for my younger siblings, but I think my Dad would say I used my argumentative skills to my own benefit most of the time. I knew what was right, and even if you disagreed with me, you would have to listen to me loudly argue my case before I let any matter rest. There are lingering accusations that I was the most stubborn child of the nine, but it is hard to prove these things. My favorite bible story (my Dad read this to me at my request countless times before I finally started reading it myself) was Esther. I was in awe of her courage to do what was right at the risk of her life, crusading for the lives of her people.

When I was 15, I vividly remember the Scott Peterson case that dominated the news. He was suspected, then convicted of murdering his wife Laci who was 8 months pregnant at the time. What made this case so unique, as many of you remember, is that Laci and her son Connor’s bodies were found separately, leading Scott to be tried and convicted of two murders. This later led to the passage of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act which punished anyone injuring or murdering an unborn child, also known as the Laci and Connor Peterson Act. This was the first time since Roe v. Wade that unborn children had ever formally been recognized as persons worthy of protection. At 15, many of the deeper levels were lost on me, but my sense of justice had been awakened. I thought I knew my life plan. I wanted to go to law school to become a prosecutor, to achieve justice by fighting for vulnerable people like Laci and Connor, and bring due punishment to murderers like Scott. I thought I knew the specific plan for my life. Thank God that was settled.

My high school graduation verse was Psalm 96:10, Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously.” (NKJV) No Jeremiah 29:11 for me, I didn’t need to be assured of God’s plan, I already knew what it was! Psalm 96:10 told me that God was in this justice thing with me, that I was firmly established with God bringing justice to the world. I had a plan.

Perhaps it’s wise now to contrast this verse with a more widely known verse about justice, Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness [or mercy], and to walk humbly with your God? (NASB)

Justice is a concept invented by Christ. He was establishing justice for the most vulnerable (orphans and widows) in the very first written law, in Exodus. Why then, does he couple justice with mercy and humility when he instructs us on what he requires of us? Could it be that our human sense of justice without mercy and humility is an incomplete and poor reflection of his idea of justice? I shudder to think of where we would be if we justly paid the price for our sins. But for his mercy and humility, justice would be a dark concept. And yet, our earthly understanding of justice can often lead us to shed mercy and humility when executing earthly justice, or what we understand it to be. Our sense of justice can leave us blind to other perspectives, blind to the possibility that we don’t have all the answers, because crusading for justice means we are on the right side, pay no mind to the naysayers! At least this was my high school self – I had little patience for other perspectives, and knew that I was right most of the time. Mercy and humility were not the most apparent traits in my life at the time.

Source from http://blackchristiannews.com

I’m thankful God began the long process of changing and softening my heart before I landed in the Pro-Life movement. Because you do need that sense of right and wrong, the conviction that can carry you through fierce battles, but this is not all you need. Ask anyone in the Pro-Life movement what the most important character component is that you’ll need and they will say compassion, or that sense of mercy for the women most deeply affected by abortion and unplanned pregnancies. You’ll need the humility to shut up and realize your words and sense of justice do not matter to a scared young woman in crisis. She needs kindness and a listening ear before she can hear anything you might have to say.

Throughout college, God began to open my heart towards children and motherhood, leading me to question if I wanted to put myself in debt and three more years of school before starting my career path. I had the vague idea that I didn’t want to be paying off law school if I was going to be raising kids just a couple of short years later. There were some clear moments of direction that led me to slowly move away from my plans of law school, but those moments did not clearly lay out my direction following graduation. By the time I graduated Texas A&M with a business degree, I was fairly certain I wanted to work for a non-profit. Again, not because I had a clear vision, but because I knew I wanted to be working for a cause, something bigger than myself. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a category on the job search engine. So, I worked a year for my Dad’s small business, unsure of what would follow.

Less than a year later, Texas Right to Life, an organization my parents had supported for many years, announced they were looking for an additional person to join their lobby team working to pass Pro-Life laws. Thankfully my Dad realized this was the cause I had been seeking, the place for my passion. And thankfully Texas Right to Life was willing to give me a chance, someone that knew nothing about Texas politics and even less about public policy.

Now in my fourth legislative session, I’ve come to love studying and influencing policy, and fighting for the unborn. Living without that law school debt doesn’t hurt either! I’ve been blessed to be part of the team lobbying for the Sonogram law, the defunding of Planned Parenthood in Texas, and the 2013 Pro-Life omnibus bill HB 2. I recently began to wonder why it was God had changed my course from law school, thinking I would be parenting young children, since God has still not called me to marriage and motherhood. God gently pointed out that had he not changed my course, I would have been in law school or paying off law school during all those great gains made for Life in Texas – the 2011 Sonogram law, and all that followed.

God has continuously shown me his plan for me despite my stubborn attempts to chart out my own path. I’ve grown more and more thankful for that, knowing that I am not owed even the roadmap he has shown me thus far. I do my best to approach my life with unclenched fists and an open heart to his path, knowing now that even if my heart isn’t open, he will eventually place me where he wants me despite my best efforts. Thank God for his mercy in caring for us despite our self-destructive efforts! So that’s how I got to where I am now, and I face my path forward with joyous anticipation.


The Top 5 – April 24, 2017

After spending only 5 days’ home of the last 22 – President Trayce Bradford – wants to remind us that things are not always as they seem.  Please keep this in mind if-and-when you decide to send some friendly fire toward someone that is fighting for us and stands with principled, godly conservative values, but they have a vote or two you dislike.  Let’s keep in mind the whole body of someone’s legislative work as we head into a week where MAYBE something that we can cheer for makes it to the floor. Make sure you get all the facts before shooting off at someone. These issues can be contentious – but we don’t have to be contentious.

#1 – Senator Bob Hall’s Protecting our Grid Bill – SB 83 needs to move out of committee. Please reach out again to the Business and Commerce Committee and ask them to vote it out this week and allow the floor vote.  The Grid bill in the House – HB 787 – did get voted out of State Affairs 9-0 last week.  Please call the head of the calendars committee, Chairman Todd Hunter, and ask that it be added quickly to the floor calendar.

#2 – Bills dealing with the privacy issues for victims – SB 256 and HB 2222 are moving at a good pace through the House and the Senate.  These bills deal with the privacy issue for victims of sexual abuse, trafficking and stalking.  It helps shore up some loop holes when it comes to keeping personal privacy for these individuals intact.  This is an important bill for many including children in those abusive situations. Please tell your Senators and House Members to support these bills.

#3 – Senator Perry’s HOME Act – SB 892 (Hope for Orphans and Minors Expansion Act) relates to the protection of the rights of conscience for child welfare services providers.

Please call Chairman Schwertner and thank him for giving it a hearing and then ask him and those on the Health and Human Services Committee to please vote this bill out this week.

#4 – Sanctuary Cities, ethics reform, religious liberties – so much going on. Currently, there are 4 identical pieces of legislation that are serving as companions with SB 4 – Sanctuary cities. As of the online status today, all for have been referred to the State Affairs Committee and are awaiting to be scheduled for a hearing. Please call the Chair of the Committee – Chairman Byron Cook and ask that these bills be heard ASAP!!

To read Senator Van Taylor’s Ethic Reform bill – see the full text here and guess what – it was voted out of committee 9-0, voted out of the senate and is currently sitting in the House unassigned.  This is one of the Governor’s priority items. Tell your Senator to please support it.

It would take pages and pages to lay out all the twists and turns on religious liberty legislation or the lack thereof passing in the House at this time.  The best action now is to contact your state legislator and state senator and ask them – “Where are you supporting religious liberty?” Saying they will vote on whatever makes it to the floor is NOT a good answer.  Please ask them what they are personally doing to forward this issue.  There are some stalwarts out there and they are working hard but we need everyone on this.

#5- Anti-toll roads legislation – for updates on these important subject, we want to give you the full information from Terri Hall – Founder/Director of Texans Uniting for Reform & Freedom (www.texasturf.org) Priority bills from Terri are here:

Help us stop HB 2861 authorizing 18 Texas roads to come under the control of a private, foreign toll operator

Call your House member to vote ‘No’ on HB 2861 (by Larry Phillips) that would hand 18 Texas highways to a private, foreign toll operator in sweetheart deals that last for a half century. Foreign control of our infrastructure cedes our state’s sovereignty over critical roadways to a private, for-profit entity. These deals use billions in taxpayer subsidies, putting taxpayers on the hook for the private corporation’s losses. It’s corporate welfare on a massive scale. By granting a government-sanctioned monopoly to a single entity for over 50 years, these toll contracts are designed to extract the highest possible toll rates from the traveling public, making Texans pay a premium to drive and causing everything we buy to cost more. Commuters in the Metroplex report having to pay $30-$40/day to take two such privately operated toll lanes. Keep Texas roads in Texans’ hands and help us stop HB 2861 in the House!

>Ask your State Representative to vote ‘No’ on HB 2861. We expect a floor vote this week or next. 

1) To protect the highway fund from being raided for toll roads.
If a road is built with tax money, it should be a freeway not a tollway, otherwise, it’s double taxation. We’re just asking for the same protection as was put on Prop 1 and Prop 7 funds.

  1. A) Huffines/Campbell– HJR 35/SB 639/SB 1909/Leach– HJR 65/HB 1518

Status:
None of these bills have even had a hearing! However, Leach offered this as an amendment to the budget. It got thrown into Article 11.

>Ask budget conferees to keep Leach Amendment #257 in the final budget.

B) Kolkhorst/Pickett – SB 812/HB 303 – A compromise bill that would at least require a toll entity to repay any money it received from the highway fund. This would keep TxDOT from simply ‘granting’ money to toll projects (which is double taxation) and allowing the roads to built with state funds and allow local toll entities to pocket all the revenues. The taxpayers should, at the very least, get their money back!

Status:
SB 812 is up for a hearing this week in the Senate Transportation Committee Wednesday (if you’re at the Capitol Wednesday, come register in favor of this bill). Pickett also offered this as an amendment to the budget. If the Leach Amendment above is not adopted, Pickett’s Amendment #258 & #259 should be included in the final budget.

>Ask your senator to support the swift passage of SB 812!

2) To make the toll come off the road when the debt is paid for.

Kolkhorst/Shaheen – SB 668/HB 1282

Status:
None of these bills have gotten a hearing.

3) To prevent the conversion of free lanes or HOV lanes into toll lanes, making you pay twice to use a road you’ve already paid for — which is double taxation.

Kolkhorst/Hall/Taylor, V. – SB 399/SB 1127/SB 1143/SB 891/Sanford – HB 1311

Status:
SB 399 and SB 1143 had a hearing last week. SB 399 got voted out, but SB 1143 is still pending. Toll agencies are trying to water down the SB 399 to wiggle around this protection. They want to toll your highway main lanes and downgrade your free option to a frontage road.

>Ask your senator to support SB 399 AS FILED, and NOT amend it to make toll agencies happy (which effectively guts the bill). 

PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY! Yes, we mean pray that much and when you are done please pray some more. Please pass on the word how much we need prayer covering everything that is going on in Austin. We are not a weak and apathetic people and we serve a mighty and righteous God.  Let us go boldly before His throne and ask for His strategy and wisdom on behalf of our leaders. Cry out for protection and provision for them as well. Thank you for being the answer in so many ways to our prayers.


Books, Reading, and Political Activism

Written by Cindi Castilla (President of Dallas Eagle Forum)


I fell in love with reading quite young. My mind would create pictures of the landscapes and people and I would sometimes imagine myself in the situations the story explored. When reading Johnny Tremain, I wondered if I would be willing to risk capture and maybe even death to spread pamphlets about the Revolution? Yes!

Reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, I promised myself that I too would hide Jews if I lived in Germany. I would have been part of the Resistance during the Nazi occupation.

I would endure hardship, live on the prairie and help do the hard work to survive! I would help slaves along the underground railroad! If I lost use of my hand and legs, I would write with my mouth (like Joni E. Tada and several others!) Books helped me not want to miss any worthy opportunity.

How in the world did reading lead me to politics?

My parents were always supporting people for office while I was growing up. We would collate flyers for distribution at polling places as a family. Long car rides became discussions of political issues. I became a Christian in High School and transferred to a private school where I began to understand God’s amazing design for man and for me.  I had a standout government teacher in 12th grade who introduced me to Adam Smith, Milton Freedman, our amazing Constitution and the fact that Time Magazine was liberal!

There was a moment when I realized I could make a difference… I wanted to live out the novel or the biography. I could dive into issues and politics and do something rather than only read about how others made a difference.

I joined conservative groups at college, made calls for trusted candidates, handed out material at the polls. I got my friends to register to vote. When we were a young couple, my husband and I offered to help our precinct chairman. I became my precinct chair. We joined a republican club. I became an officer in that club. We got elected to attend the state convention over and over. I was asked to serve on committees at the Senatorial district and State level. All I had to do was step up and say, Yes!

I joined Texas Eagle Forum and other groups to educate me on issues. Just knowing a little bit about people representing us or running for office –  while also understanding some issues has allowed me to educate my children, friends and neighbors. They now look forward to my endorsements of good people who will represent their conservative values in office.

I won’t go on to be a heroine in a book or to star in a movie, but I do know that I will leave a small footprint of effort on the future of my state and nation. I just want to write my own story and help our good leaders write theirs – in any way that I can.


Politics – My Ministry Not My Identity

Written by Jennie Krause (Guest Writer & wife of State Representative Matt Krause – HD 93)


When I imagined my life many years ago, my dreams did not involve politics in any capacity.  I didn’t give much thought to my husband’s career except that I knew I wanted him to be home as much as possible.  Just a regular, average job that paid the bills, but ended at five every day and never carried over into evenings or weekends.  That’s not too much to hope for, right?!  Apparently, God had bigger plans for my husband, Matt, and I needed to get on board quickly.  After just two years of marriage, we moved across the country so Matt could attend law school.  Law school required the majority of his time, but I stayed busy with work and my own education and I knew this was only temporary.  In reality, this was merely the beginning!  I knew God had planted the seed in Matt’s heart many years prior to become involved in politics, but I didn’t have a clear picture of what that life would look like.  In 2010, Matt pursued political office for the very first time.  After a long campaign season, he lost that first race.  I was very sorry for him, but a little relieved at the same time.  I simply wasn’t sure a political life was right for us, especially with babies, babies, and more babies!  I thought maybe once our kids were older (and even out of the house), it would be a more appropriate time.  Matt sought God’s will for the next months and years and strongly believed he should run again.  In 2012, he won his 3 way race outright.  I knew only God could have orchestrated this sequence of events.   A man with barely any name recognition, very little money in the campaign account, and no extensive political background was headed to Austin!  I was thrilled to see the Lord move in our lives so clearly, but also unsure how to keep our family strong with Matt away so often.

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us.”  (Ephesians 3:20 KJV)  

Fast forward to the present… we are in the midst of his third session.  Although there have been some challenging seasons, God has been faithful every step of the way to give me grace for the moment.

“…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…”  (2 Corinthians 12:9a KJV)

I still think at times I would be able to better partner with Matt if this political life would have started in about 20 years.  Nevertheless I trust God’s plan and timing.  I am humbled and grateful to report that our family is strong, my love and respect for Matt grows daily, and we are a solid team.  I believe the key to our success in this area is knowing Who is in control.  Matt is free to make decisions based on right motives rather than political moves to get ahead.  The stress of re-election or future political endeavors is non-existent as we have complete faith that God will direct our path and open or close doors as He sees fit.

“And He changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” (Daniel 2:21)  

This perspective has led me to the realization that this “political thing” is our Kingdom work.  It is our ministry, not our identity.  God has positioned us to be salt which will hopefully bring some encouragement and change to a lost world.

“Ye are the salt of the earth…  Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”  (Matthew 5: 14a, 16 KJV)

We are in desperate need of a revival in Texas and in America.  My heart’s desire is to say “Yes” to the Lord and be in a state of readiness to serve Him.  Revival begins with inner examination and conviction.  We need local and statewide leaders who refuse to compromise when the pressure intensifies.  With eternity in mind, it becomes clearer and easier to have the right priorities.  People are more important than issues and that’s why we must find common ground with others to show love and compassion while not giving into the middle ground/tolerance movement.  

I previously believed there were only one or two political issues that actually affected my personal life.  I thought we could merely keep to ourselves and the government would never intrude on my faith as a Christian woman or as a Christian mom raising my children with a Biblical Worldview.  As our culture is rapidly changing, I find it difficult to view any political issue without seeing how it may shape my life and the future of my children.  The only people our society seems unwilling to stand up for and protect are vulnerable women and children.  This is why we desperately need elected officials like my husband in the Capitol making these important decisions.  I joyfully make sacrifices wherever necessary to support and encourage Matt in his endeavors.  This is my political ministry… to pray for Matt, to encourage and support him, to share wisdom, to give him a happy home where he can return.

This has also been an amazing opportunity to educate my children in government and current issues.  It is incredible to see them think critically about an issue and come to their own conclusion based on their Biblical Worldview.  This reminds me how clear right and wrong, good and evil are to children (and should be to all of us).  It is the handiwork of sin, corruption, and sometimes a political agenda that desensitizes people to immorality over time.  One of the practical ways I engage my children in the political process is watching the proceedings of the Texas House live online.  They are thrilled to see “Daddy” on the computer and it also affords a time for us to discuss the issues being debated and laws being voted on.  For example, it is mind-blowing to my children to think that someone wants to allow men in women’s restrooms or a boy to use the same shower as a girl.  It is also unfathomable to them that it is legal in our country for a mother to choose to end the life of her baby.  The list goes on and on.  

“Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another;”  (Romans 2:15 KJV)   

I don’t have a list of awards or achievements; I’ve not authored books or blogs; I am not a sought after orator or performer, but I do know God has positioned me perfectly to be a homeschooling mom of 5, wife to a lawyer and politician, and a student of God’s Word.  I am proud to be a Christian stay-at-home homeschool mom and wife!  I look forward to continuing to be involved in politics in whatever capacity God allows. After all, it is vitally important to our present life and future.  Will the next revival begin in the halls of our Capitol in Austin?  Maybe!  I want to be ready to serve where God is working and I bet you do too!  Thank you for supporting my husband and family with your prayers, love and encouragement.  God bless each of you!


The Top 5 – April 10, 2017

This last week was exciting as we had some important hearings and the budget debate on the House Floor.  Trayce Bradford watched about 14 hours of the 15 hour debate and it was full of drama, strategy, frustration (sometimes maddening) a few laughs, boos and even prayer.  The process is something we encourage everyone to watch and learn more about.  In the midst of that debate, the US sent tomahawk missiles into Syria and Rep. Matt Schaefer asked for the members in the House to stop and pray for those involved – which they did.

Please keep all of our leaders in Austin in your prayers and also please pray that we have wisdom on the issues we need to strategy on.

#1 –  Potentially Dangerous Legislation –  Read this insightful article from Texas Right to Life. House Bill 3958 is currently sitting in the Public Health Committee.  If this bill moves, we will ask for your help reaching out to legislators, but for now, we wanted to be sure and draw this to your attention.

Source from Abilene Reporter Neews(Image Source from Abilene Reporter News)
#2 – Budget Bill – Here is a good summary of the budget battle. We will add that Rep. Matt Krause amended an amendment (yes, that does happen!) by Rep. Schofield and added $20 million dollars toward funding alternatives to abortions and Rep. Jeff Leach added an amendment to Rep. Shaheen’s amendment to wipe out funding to Texas Film Commission and monies (around $10 million) which would now go to core government services like the Healthy Texas Women’s program that provides women’s healthcare along with focusing on abortion alternatives. Rep. Jonathan Stickland gave a strongly worded speech using a personal privilege as a Member of the House. He said he had never done that in his three terms but felt that he needed to speak out against maneuvers being used on the floor to obstruct the process. The 15 hour debate came to an abrupt end (of course, as Trayce had stepped away for that particular 20 seconds) when all the remaining amendments (over 150) were added by a vote to Article 11, which we learned is the wish list/graveyard for those amendments, and it will be decided upon in the conference committee. The budget process is an experience and the battle is not over yet.

 

#3 – Protection for Faith Based Adoption/Foster Care Providers – Please call Senate State Affairs Chair Joan Huffman (512-463-0117), and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (512-463-5342) and tell them we want a hearing on Senator Charles Perry’s Senate Bill 892 relating to protection of the rights of conscience for child welfare services providers.  This bill would ensure that the government cannot discriminate against faith-based adoption and foster care providers in licensing, contracting, or funding for 1) facilitating child welfare services in accord with sincere religious beliefs, 2) providing children with a religious education, or 3) declining to facilitate abortions or provide abortifacient drugs or devices.  The House had a hearing last session and this session regarding these protections, and it is inexcusable for the Senate to not have had a hearing on this bill.

 

#4 – Protecting our Electric Grid – Senator Bob Hall’s Protecting the Texas Electric Grid legislation SB83 will have a hearing Tuesday morning in the Business and Commerce Committee.  We are very thankful to get this hearing and there will be a number of subject matter experts that will be testifying.  We encourage you to pray for this hearing. If you are in the area, please sign in to support the bill.  We are not asking people to testify as they have a hefty team ready to do that, however signing in support of the bill is helpful.  Finally, call your Senator and let them know you support this piece of legislation – that it is an investment in our states’ future. When Texas is the only state to have its own grid takes steps to protect that grid from cyber, natural or other threats, Texas will be even more appealing to business, that is good news for Texas and good news for Texas business.

 

#5 – PLEASE PRAY!  There have been a number of situations that have been impacting legislators and their families, the most recent was Chairman Phil King being hospitalized not long after speaking on the House Floor.  Please pray for their staff, family members and the activists who are working hard on the issues that we care about. Please ask others to join you in praying.

Please pass our Freedom Friday quotes along like the latest from Senator Van Taylor.

We still want to hear from you and why you fight for liberty. Hit reply to this email and let us know.

Please share our Women Wednesday blogs like this week’s by Bunni Pounds and be on the lookout for some video updates in the near future on social media.

Please consider a contribution to Texas Eagle Forum. Your support is so important to us.

You can share this top 5 straight from our website here.

Thank you so much for everything you do and keeping informed through Texas Eagle Forum. We are fighting for you.


April 2017 – From The Desk Of Trayce Bradford

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The Torch – April 2017

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So How Did I Get Involved In Politics?

Written by Marnie Freeman (Guest Writer)


So, How Did I Get Involved in The Political Arena?

The simple answer is . . . I married into it. That’s it!  End of story.  Sort of.  I mean I could not have told you who the vice president was when I got married!

NO, SADLY I AM NOT JOKING! You know those videos with Watters and “this is his world,” where he is making fun of the undereducated in the political, historical, and news arenas? He would have had a field day interviewing me! And my video, with billions of “views,” would most assuredly have gone so viral I would have ended up on the Ellen Show! Which makes me wonder about my husband’s mental clarity for asking my hand in marriage and asking me to join him in all his political adventures.

Kevin’s been politically involved since birth! I came from the “we-don’t-really-talk-about-the-issues-or-who-we-voted-for-because-it-is-a-private-matter-time-period.” Fortunately, he pulled me along to almost EVERY meeting for oh, say the last 18 years! And I have grown to love it (Most days!) You get to be part of the incredible, the good, the bad and the really ugly!  You too can be involved! Join me!

After only a few weeks of wedded bliss, I went to my first political meeting with top conservatives and unbeknownst to me at the time, very famous from the political, religious, and business arenas.  They gathered (still do) several times a year to discuss policy, government, culture, national security, family, education, religious liberty and more. I did not know about these issues, much less who these people were! I was a lowly political neophyte whose job was graphic design and marketing. Kevin could not understand why I did not get overly excited about meeting the likes of Phyllis Schlafly, Steve Forbes, Beverly and Tim LaHaye, Foster Friess, James Dobson. Okay I had heard of him because my parents, seeking a solution, attended a seminar of his about the strong-willed child. Hmmmmm, what does that say about me?

These conservatives all seemed very nice and way smarter than me, but I figured they put their pants on the same way I do so I chose not to fear their political prowess. At my first dinner, we were seated with Mike Farris. I was unaware that he is a guru, with demigod-like status in the homeschooling community, and founder of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. Literally, first thing he says to me is, “You are newlyweds, sooooooooo how many children do you plan on having?” I’m thinking that information was none of his business! Sadly, I was not even sure I wanted kids. I was a young, naïve, and a hurt lady, being healed over time by my Heavenly Father. So I answered, “I am not sure I want to have children” to Michael Farris, father of ten! He responded with another question: “So how many of God’s blessings are you willing to turn down?”

What????!!! Who does this guy think he is?? I was tiffed! In a couple of years we had our first child and introduced our new little one to Mike. He grabbed her and went around the same very large political group, showing her off, saying, “Look! I am responsible for this!” Yep, that can start rumors! We had such a laugh! My husband had to “correct” Mike.  He rephrased and began to tell people the influence he had on our family. He did and so did Phyllis Schlafly and many others.

Over time, I came to realize through connecting, listening, and learning from these amazing people and their groups, the importance of ALL the issues before us. I realized what conservative leaders were talking about and why they were fighting so hard!

My second education came when I started homeschooling my kids. Wow, where was I during history, government, civics, economics, math, speech, grammar, okay all the subjects? I didn’t remember any of this stuff! I have relearned what I missed (mainly truth), plus going to school in your pajamas is fabulous, having a crush on the Principal really works for me as well, and to see the light bulb go on in my kid’s eyes and how they learn to critically think – is beyond thrilling! I got involved politically right there by educating the next generation! I even started bringing my kids to all the meetings and getting behind candidates, making phone calls, hosting events, and designing campaign materials as well.

I even did a Christmas painting every year and designed a Christmas card around it for anyone or any organization who wants to send a true Jesus-is-the-only-reason Christmas card to their friends, family, and clients.

So, how did I get involved in the political arena? Ahhhh, now I remember… I had prayed a prayer, before I was ever married, a prayer so deep, heart wrenching, as I was seeking God in the middle of chaos (feminism really) and more than a few bad choices. I was begging, with hot tears streaming, that if God delivered me, I would serve him. I begged him to let me do something big for His glory through art, which I had left behind several years earlier in college in favor of graphic design. I wanted to make an impact in culture, ministry, really anywhere. I also wanted to earn a living and learned that graphic design was the way to do that, and as much as I love my parents, I did not want to live with them the rest of my life!

I was ready and this amazing Jesus delivered me from my own craziness and sin! Trust me. He’s still got plenty of work to do, but He’s real and He’s relational, people!  However, I DID NOT see the political arena as being a place for my creative talents!

But, interestingly that is where He has put me! I was an artist – how can I possibly do anything in this arena as an artist? Well, it turns out quite a bit! Seek Him and he will direct your paths!

Let me give you only a few examples, of many, how God has used the talents he gave me to get involved:

I had a client, a gentleman running for State Senate of Oklahoma. He was relatively unknown, but my friend, who helped run his campaign, assured me that he would be a great person to help lead Oklahoma. She knew the political landscape, so I dove in and designed his first logo and campaign materials. Over the years he has gone on to do great things and risen to the top. His name is Scott Pruitt. He served as a state senator, Attorney General of Oklahoma, and recently chosen to head the Environmental Protection Agency. I got to play a small part in that!

Another time, my husband and I were asked to join with a few others to host a coffee, at a national meeting, for an up and coming conservative star, a state senator that was running for Congress. We agreed and I was delighted to help by designing the invitation. Michele Bachmann has since become a friend, held a seat in Congress and then retired, accomplishing a lot while there.

Or a painting I had done, “And Justice for All,” went to support a group, Consource.  Their website was used to help defend the Second Amendment in Washington DC. I was privileged to meet Justice Scalia and present him this painting that he chose to hang in his chambers. It now remains in the Supreme Court’s permanent art collection.

With David Barton and Bill Federer’s help, I painted a scene with Thomas Jefferson on horseback, riding to the U.S. Capitol, to attend church services titled “Church in the Capitol.” We are hoping that will hang in the U.S. Capitol someday to help dispel the misinterpretation behind “a wall of separation between Church and State.” This painting was presented to the current church that meets in the Capitol, The Jefferson Gathering.

I have since become known as the “Artist of Liberty.” ™ We have liberty as God sacrificed all for us. We have the same in our country because men and women sacrificed for us to be free. I am gripped by love for our Creator, His people, and our country and currently spend my time capturing moments in history, inspirational and biblical stories through art, that is then used to support groups, issues, or people in various ways.

Another key turning point for me wanting to get more involved was Terri Schiavo, a brain damaged woman that came to the national spotlight in Florida. Her husband starved her to death “legally,” even though her parents begged for her life and would have happily taken care of her, including all financial responsibility. I sat in front of the television bawling my eyes out, while painting a painting titled “One Nation Under God.” The juxtaposition of the painting and this dying woman and the state our country was in became too overwhelming! How could we as humans let this happen?  The level of anger and deep sadness was palpable.  I felt that the Lord was telling me, “Marnie, you can make a difference and have a voice if you stay in obedience to My calling by doing your art.” That has held true ever since.

What am I working on now? Well, I am glad you asked!  For the first time, I am doing a painting that will be “commissioned by the people” titled “March of the Deplorables.” It will depict a large group of supporters praying for and marching alongside President Trump and Vice President Pence, including other key figures, on their journey to the White House. By opening this up to the public (crowdfunding) more people can participate in this historic painting. The idea from Lt. Colonel E. Ray Moore, a retired Air Force Chaplain, wanted to honor the men and women who made the victory happen. I am hoping to present it to President Trump and Vice President Pence this summer and that it will become part of the White House permanent art collection and capture a moment in history. If you desire to be a part of this campaign you can visit www.MarnieFreeman.com and look for the link to “March of the Deplorables.”

My husband had more mental clarity and foresight than I understood. He pulled me to hundreds of meetings through the years, I have been the recipient of an amazing life, family, and a desire to affect the world for the better, in part, because of it.

 

Maybe art is not your specialty, but you have talents, desires, giftings, abilities, and interests where you CAN make a difference. You can jump in headfirst or just step in occasionally to make phone calls to legislators, letting them know you appreciate them or that you do not support a particular bill! Or jump into a campaign full on, or work with a particular group that deals with life, abortion, or human trafficking, the electric grid, economics, pastors, It’s endless. As someone who knew NOTHING about the political arena, you can do this! You can rise up and bring Godly truth, influence, and wisdom to the public arena. Fight the good fight!

You can be salt and light to a hurting world and working with amazing people like Trayce Bradford and Texas Eagle Forum!  

So how did I get involved in the political arena? I married into it, I prayed myself unknowingly into it, somehow stumbled into it. Eventually, prayerfully, and purposefully, I chose it! You can choose it too. Join me!


Marnie is a full on believer in Jesus Christ and her highest calling and honor are as a wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Oklahoma State University, she sits on the Texas Eagle Forum Advisory board and the Tarrant County Eagle Forum Board. She hopes to impact the world for better through painting, illustration, a timely word, a slogan, an idea, a dream, a laugh, a phone call, a text, an email, or a connection. Her husband Kevin is a best-selling author, an expert on economic terrorism, and the host of a new television show, Economic War Room airing on TheBlaze primetime Fridays, starting this summer.


The Top 5 – March 27, 2017

Thank you for all you do and those of you who rallied with us on Faith and Family Day – again we are so thankful.

This week’s top 5 action points include contacting your Texas house representatives’ office on several important issues.  If you aren’t sure who your state rep is go here:
http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

Before we move on, because of the uncertainty in the Texas House, we are moving our event on April 12th with Brad Stine and Crystal Yates to the fall. We will get back with you on that. Thank you for your understanding!

Also before we get to the list, please pray for your legislators. There is so much to get done in so little time.  We would also encourage you to pray for their staff who work so hard to keep up with all of the bits and pieces as well as an ever changing schedule.

Trayce Bradford, our President, has only been to Austin 3 sessions but this session has been a bit odd, and a bit off rhythm so to speak.  She has seen some really incredible acts of humility and kindness as well as some disturbing and unprofessional behavior. Overall, there are a number of men and women trying to make a difference and for our part we are willing to give the benefit of the doubt and trust but verify.  This is what she had to say, “As I get in my car each week to drive home from Austin, I always tell myself how much I can get done by making calls etc.  Instead as I drive away anxious to see my family, I start praying for all those folks up there all session, their families and what is going to happen to impact our great state!” We have to keep praying for them. Also please continue to pray for our Attorney General and his family and team.  This is a big week for them and it would be a tremendous blessing to have them lifted in prayer.

And with that here are your five action points for the week:

1. Please read this article from Texas Right to Life and ask your state representative to co-author HB 844 and turn your Senators to SB 415.
Read Now ->

2. Let your representative know the budget matters to you and your family and tapping  the rainy day fund is not a preferred option!  If there are less funds available for discretionary spending,  then let’s make the cuts we need to within the budget.

3. Take a moment and listen to Rep. Matt Rinaldi here on his Facebook page. He is speaking to the need for strong legislation that prevents local governments from providing sanctuary for illegal immigrants who have committed violent crimes. He and other conservative legislators are going to resist any efforts to weaken the bill and make sure the citizens voices are heard and represented on this issue of sanctuary cities.

Let your legislator know you want the Sanctuary City legislation kept healthy and not watered down – basically removing the enforcement teeth of the bill.
Go to Facebook Page ->

4. Rep. Cecil Bell and Senator Brandon Creighton have authored companions bills- HB2338 and SB2015 respectfully – The Texas Sovereignty Act. HB 2438 is in the State and Federal Power & Responsibility Comm. and SB 2015 was filed in the Senate March 10th. Please let your legislators know that you support this legislation!

5. Rep. Matt Shaheen and Sen. Van Taylor have filed HB 2069  and SB 1789-  The See Something Say Something Act.  This is applicable to not just concerns around terrorist activity but all human trafficking as well.  HB 2069 has a hearing this Tuesday in the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee in the House. Please pray for this to go well and again, let your legislators know this is on YOUR radar and even encourage them to co-author it.

We know this top 5 has been legislatively heavy this week but that is the season we are in. Thank you so much for helping us push good conservative legislation in the Texas Legislature.

Please consider a contribution to Texas Eagle Forum. Your support is so important to us. Thank you so much!


Duty is ours, Results are God’s

Written by Kara Green (Guest Writer)


I was only 24 years old when my husband was first elected to the Texas Legislature in 1998. He unseated the Democrat incumbent and then served two terms in a Democrat controlled House. We got married, had our first son, our second son was on the way, and he ran for office in the first four years of our marriage. Maybe we didn’t think that through enough! I look back on that time and laugh at how young and naïve we were. No one gave me a “How To” manual on how to survive the fast paced, often-nasty world of politics, but often times we learn best by being thrown in head first!

I have learned so much over the years and continue to learn from other strong women in this arena:

1) Keep perspective even when the negativity wears you down. I’ve learned to not let the big picture get clouded by the loud negativity toward Christian conservatives that seems to permeate in today’s culture. If I truly trust God’s plan, then I have to trust that He is working in all situations, even political, and even when it is not visible to us.

2) It is not about me. The older I get, the more I understand the importance of looking at solutions generationally. I’m going to be a first time grandmother this summer, and man, does it hit home now more than ever that I must not get complacent. Sitting on the sidelines is not an option!

3) God calls us to be involved in different ways for each season of our life. Every woman is not going to have the same talents, time, or influence. In my younger years, although I was up to my eyeballs in politics, I was honestly just trying to survive it. We eventually had 4 kids under the age of seven and we homeschooled all those years. Juggling home life and political life was a huge challenge, but I would do it all over again because that journey is what shaped our marriage and our kids and I wouldn’t change that a bit! Now that I’m in a different season of life, my political influence and interests are expanding because I have more time to devote to causes important to our family.

4) We can’t be experts on every political issue or be involved in every political battle. Find a cause that stirs your heart and that you are passionate about and focus on it. For some, it is a social issue. For others, it is an economic issue. Financially support the groups who are at the capitol every day engaging in those political battles for us, like Texas Eagle Forum. My husband and I have a passion for educating and equipping the youth of today to become leaders with a conviction in conservative principles. We knew this was an area where God was opening doors for us to dive in, and over 15 years ago we founded www.PatriotAcademy.com. We have seen God multiply our efforts abundantly over the years and it has resulted in expanding the program into six additional states besides Texas and seeing Patriot Academy alumni become influential in Texas politics at all levels.

4) We have many favorite family quotes, but the one we say almost daily in our house is “Duty is ours, Results are God’s!” John Quincy Adams had the right perspective after he had been fighting for 17 years in Congress to end slavery without making any visible progress. A reporter asked him why he was wasting his time fighting for a cause that was going nowhere, and he gave the reporter this famous quote. In our family, when we feel like we are not making a difference, we continually remind each other to just do our duty and leave the results up to God.

Truly, we can all have a hand in shaping the state and nation that we love. I am so thankful that as a woman, I can be a mom, wife, business owner, and get to be a part of influencing our culture, and I’m even more thankful for the other women in my life who I can learn from, lean on, vent too, and be a part of the solutions with!