Action Alert Today – Call In

Good Afternoon!

Thank you for your help through out this unusual session. I cannot tell you how much it encourages me to know you all are out there getting engaged and fighting for Texas and our families.  I know there are many bills you may want to call on or wonder what the heck is happening, and believe me, I get it, however, we have reached a time where hard deadlines are hitting and basically if the bill is not already on the calendar it is dead.  There are many reasons and many ways bills meet their demise and we will discuss all of these to the best we can after session at a session wrap up for Texas Eagle Forum.  But today there is still work to do. Two priorities for us are listed below.  Please act on these quickly!

As always THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Call to Action : HB 29 Human Trafficking Omnibus Bill 

Background:
The Senate Amendments require tech companies to respond quickly to law enforcement if human trafficking or violent crimes occur on their platforms or if they have information related to the crime.

~ March 2017: 14 year old girl was sexually assaulted by multiple men on Facebook Live
~ April 2017:  Elderly man was brutally murdered on Facebook Live
~ May 2017:  Change.org petition posted demanding Google, Facebook & others to stop supporting child sex trafficking
Learn more, read this article from the Washington Post.

Goal:
Help law enforcement stop human trafficking & violent crimes online!  Keep the Senate Amendments! 
Contact:
Conference Committee From the House
Chairwoman Senfronia Thompson 
(512) 463-0720  senfronia.thompson@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Diana Arevalo
(512) 463-0616  diana.arevalo@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Nicole Collier
(512) 463-0716  nicole.collier@house.state.tx.us
Rep. John Frullo
(512) 463-0676  john.frullo@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Morgan Meyer
(512) 463-0367  morgan.meyer@house.state.tx.us

As we get the Senate list I will send but please start calling on this right away. The author of the bill is Chairwoman Thompson and  has been doing great work for years on human trafficking when no one else believed it existed.  There are a number of issue she and I may not agree on but this one we do!!

Call To Action : Contact ASAP for Pro-life Measure

Background:
Last night, House Bill 3124 was amended to add language from Senate Bill 20 (ProLife health insurance reform), which would ban abortion coverage in private insurance plans as well as plans offered to state employees and participants in the Affordable Care Act. Abortion coverage would have to be purchased in supplemental plans.
Learn more, read this article from the Statesman.

Goal:
Let our Representatives know that citizens will NOT accept the excuse of “House parliamentarian ruled Senate’s amendment non-germane.” 

Contact:
Rep. Lance Gooden 
(512) 463-0458
Pass this message on to your circle of influence and have them contact the Representatives too. Multiply your impact! 

Thank you,

Trayce Bradford

 


Take a Moment- #WomenWednesday

For the last 16 weeks, we have been featuring inspirational articles from extraordinary women from all around the state. Their contributions to the Texas Eagle Forum Blog chronicles their journey into the world of grassroots activism and reflect the heartbeat of Texas women everywhere. Each post stands alone and yet is uniquely unified. They are all ready and waiting just for you!

Bunni Pounds – Your Revolutionary Leader is Here 1/24/2017

Audrea Taylor – How Are You Not For Women 2/1/2017

Bethany Jarrell – Not All Millennials Are Created Equal 2/15/2017

Tammy Morgan – Are They Missing Something? 2/22/2017

Debby Efurd – Why the Women’s March Didn’t Speak for Me 3/1/2017

Teresa Beckmeyer – Family, Politics and Power of a Newsletter 3/8/2017

Glyn Wright McKay – Seeking Value, Finding Purpose 3/15/2017

Kara Green – Duty is Ours, Results are God’s 3/22/2017

Marnie Freeman – So How Did I Get Involved in Politics? 3/29/2017

Bunni Pounds – Politics is Not Inherently Evil 4/5/2017

Jennie Krause – Politics- My Ministry, Not My Identity 4/12/2017

Cindi Castilla – Books, Reading, and Political Activism 4/19/2017

Emily Horne – Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly 4/26/2017

Marilyn Statler – If the Lord Nudges… 5/3/2017

Karen Starnes – The Road Ahead 5/10/2017

If you appreciate the information, influence, and inspiration that Texas Eagle Forum provides during session and year-round, consider making a contribution towards our monthly expenses. Just visit our donate page here.


The Road Ahead

Written by Karen Starnes – (Guest Writer)

Life. As so many have stated before me, “Without Life, there can be no Liberty.” This sacred and precious gift pointed me to get involved in politics. I can’t pinpoint when I first heard about abortion, but it probably had to do with learning of Roe v. Wade. Like any child, I instinctively knew it was wrong.  Through the years I heard stories of young girls faced with seemingly no other option, and sympathized with them. I heard things like, “There is nothing we can do because it’s the law of the land.”, and “It’s a blob of tissue, and won’t feel anything anyways,” influencing my developing mind to accept that it might be ok in certain circumstances.

Growing up, my family watched the news together and my parents talked openly to my sister and me about current events, morality, and the Lord. They believed that prayer changes things and they modeled trust and faith in God no matter how unfortunate things might have looked for our country or in tough times at home.  A sign always hung in our entryway quoting the scripture from Joshua 24:15, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” We praised Jesus in the good times and bad at the Watson Home.  I’m so grateful for my upbringing in church and a loving family. It’s something I have never taken for granted, and I remember nostalgically being proud of America during a time when it seemed everyone loved our president, Ronald Reagan

During my government class in High School I remember thoroughly enjoying a project assigned to research presidential candidates for the upcoming election and choose who you would vote for and why.  I enjoyed watching the debates, reading newspaper articles, and was fascinated by the process. It was incredibly disappointing to me to miss turning 18 in time to vote when Election Day arrived. I had met the love of my life, Joel Starnes by this time as well. He was raised a Rush Baby and had a solid Christian World View galvanized by attending Summit Ministries Summer Camp.  Sometimes he challenged me to consider some things that my public school education had influenced me to believe about our government that were at odds with my Christian Faith and the historical facts of our founding.

Politics wasn’t a big part of my life except for the subsequent presidential elections for the next few cycles. I did run for student government and served on the First Year Council, then was a Sergeant at Arms my Sophomore year at UMHB, but didn’t continue on in subsequent years due to being so busy with nursing school and planning a wedding. I voted as soon as I was old enough and felt proud and grateful to be free to participate in the process.

My wake-up call that America was changing came September 11, 2001. I had just climbed into bed after a long night shift working as an RN on the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit when Joel called and grimly told me to turn on the T.V. I watched in disbelief and cried and prayed. Later that afternoon I startled awake to loud BOOMS shaking our tiny house; I thought surely it was the end and prepared myself. I soon realized it was the brave soldiers at Fort Hood running training exercises across Lake Belton. It was a sobering time that grew us up. Joel and I considered joining the military and prayed for direction. We both wanted to help our country in some way. My friend who was an AA flight attendant called me to tell me she and her dad, a pilot were safe, but stuck as all air traffic had been suspended.

Fast forward a few years. We had moved back home to the HEB area and had our first born son. Everyone knows how much that first baby changes you!  He came into this world at 36 weeks and was delivered emergently.  I had unknowingly developed HELLP Syndrome which I had learned in nursing school years earlier was one of the most dangerous complications of pregnancy where infant and maternal mortality rates were alarmingly high.  The acronym stands for Hemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes and Low Platelets. Because my platelets were so low, I could not get a spinal or epidural due to risk of bleeding.  I remember thinking, “but they are about to slice into me….” I don’t remember feeling fear, but prayed and asked God to protect us. I wanted so badly to stick around and be Mommy to my son, and I didn’t want Joel to be a widower at age 29. We both made it through the C-section with risky general anesthesia, and despite a few challenges both miraculously were discharged home after only 6 days. Some sweet friends even surprised us with a Limo ride home from the hospital.  Knowing we had experienced a miracle a newfound greater appreciation for life developed and a deeper sense of its fragility.  One thing we also carry with us is the fact that many who experience this complication are much earlier in their pregnancy. It happens as early as 20 weeks. In all my research about the topic, I have never heard of a doctor recommending an “abortion procedure” to rescue the life of the mother. The treatment is to simply deliver the baby as fast as possible and work to save both the newborn, usually preemie baby and its mommy.  A standard abortion procedure would not only kill the baby, but be a riskier procedure for the woman. I am keenly aware of the argument made by Pro-abortion politicians that we must keep abortion on demand legal in order to save the life of a mother experiencing complications, but I have yet to find a complication that would be remedied with abortion vs. swift delivery.

I learned more about the abortion procedure and the history of it first in nursing school and then through my brother-in-law’s work with Priests for Life, Life Dynamics, and the documentary Maafa 21 he was involved in making. The truth about the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, the eugenics movement in America and the diabolical ties to racial hatred and targeting was the stuff of horror movies causing my convictions about Life without exception to deepen. I believe some of my traits are God ingrained in like a sense of truth and justice and a desire to act when called. Micah 6:8 is a go to verse for me and reads, “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” I also love His word where it says, “ For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” Psalm 33:4-5. The entire passage of Psalm 33 is wonderful!  Another passage that influenced me in my walk with Jesus is Psalm 139. Verses 13-18 say, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!  Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand-when I awake, I am still with you.” Not only do the scriptures affirm how precious the unborn are to the Lord, they were words of deep comfort during a time when I struggled with my identity in Christ, and felt insecure and insignificant. Still, if those old dark feelings creep in, the Holy Spirit brings these life affirming words to my mind and I speak them out loud because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of the Lord.

After Clive was born I remember contacting my Congressman and President Bush urging and pleading with them not to bailout the banks. I was sorely disappointed in the decision to ignore the majority of the people. Joel and I were both engaged in listening to conservative talk radio and lively discussions regarding the massive growths in government while the people became more burdened and ignored. I took Clive in the baby stroller down to the lawn of the City Courthouse in Hurst, TX to join the first Tea Party Rally armed with tea bags and letters for our Congressmen and the president.  We were tired of over taxation with little to no representation for hard working average Americans. Thanks to social media I had seen a lifetime friend’s mother posting about politics and the rally.

We tried for two years to conceive again and were overjoyed when we found out at only two weeks along. We were a little nervous, but I had been thoroughly checked out by my doctor and an hematologist and declared healthy, with little chance of developing HELLP Syndrome again. So when the bleeding started at 9-10 weeks we were heartbroken and pleaded with the Lord to save our baby. I won’t go into detail, but it was a painful time both physically and spiritually. Jesus walked with us through it, but I admit it was hard to understand why this sweet life ended. I cramped and contracted and delivered a tiny dead baby at home by myself.  I have thought many times that is probably a similar experience to those going through an early trimester abortion. There are feelings of shame and regret and feeling like you did something wrong to cause this even when you didn’t.  I was crushed and struggled for a long time. It was in a season of feeling broken that I clung to my Heavenly Father like never before. He carried us and growth happened and even breakthrough in our marriage.  We can testify to His compassion and as Psalm 34:18 states, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  He is “The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” II Corinthians 1:3.

About a year later we conceived again and had a sweet baby boy Isaiah.  His name means “Yahweh is salvation”.  My pregnancy with him and his delivery deepened my desire to grow closer to God and increased my love for Him.  There are so many lessons I learned about God’s love and mercy for me through caring for my babies. A mama’s heart is beating for her kids and wants nothing but the best of everything for them.  You love them so much it hurts and would give anything to keep them  safe and free of suffering. You want to teach them everything because you don’t want them to make the same mistakes you did. I felt so many times when speaking life to my babies my Heavenly Father would speak things to my heart things like, “See honey, that’s how I feel about you.”

I became aware of the Pro Life legislation Texas legislatures and Pro Life activists were trying to pass in Austin in 2013 through Facebook first I think, and heard about a call to come to the Capitol in support and prayer.  I had already called my congressman, but felt like I could do more this time. A sweet friend felt the same so we got our hubbies to watch our kids and hopped on the road down to Austin. I had been to the Capitol a couple of times to visit and learn TX history, but had never gone in this capacity before.  There were thousands in blue in support of women and babies all over the capitol grounds as well as thousand in orange there to protest.  We waited in an incredibly long ling to sign in as support for HB2. Then we attended a rally on the south steps. Protesters tried to drown out the truth, but truth was heard. I’ll never forget the presence of the Lord being so strong and feeling so peaceful despite angry protesters all around us. I could almost see the spiritual warfare going on in the heavenlies….It was tangible. When the rally officially ended we were still singing praise and worship songs while protesters descended upon us screaming and yelling hateful things. I wasn’t afraid even when a lady got in my face and started screaming at me. We peacefully moved to the side and let them protest. My friend and I joined up with a group of ladies from church and Texas Eagle Forum and were led in prayer by Trayce Bradford. I was so inspired by these ladies and knew I want to stay involved in some way. The bill miraculously passed. It was a step towards victory in protecting life.

I’m only scratching the surface of how the Holy Spirit has been drawing me to be involved in government change. My prayer is to be a light, a servant of Christ and an instrument of peace and justice.  Many times my involvement is not what I think would make a huge difference, but I feel compelled to obey and act when He calls. I know that all of us doing a little can make a huge difference! I’m a busy homeschool mom of two precious boys and now a sweet baby girl. He’s brought me on a journey of finding my identity in Him alone and to a place where I can lay down fear of man to seek Him and boldly walk out who He has uniquely created me to be. It’s such a pleasure to serve Jesus and although never perfectly, I’m learning to count it all joy when we face trials of many kinds.  My God is faithful.  He redeems and restores; He shines light in dark places and comforts those who mourn. He is a life giver, and wants us living life abundantly.  Thank you for reading my story and I pray you are encouraged in some way through what I have shared.


The Top 5 – May 8, 2017 – The Final Stretch

Eagles –

Thank you for sticking with us thus far. We are in the final stretch.

We only have 21 more days and I will repeat that many that have been around for more legislative session than I say this has been “one for the books”. I appreciate your patience as we have tried to be wise in where we spent our time and effort. We have been very prayerful and deliberate about our strategy this session.

We have some real great news! For several sessions, we have had the privilege to work with Rep. Jeff Leach and his staff on American Law for American Courts. We have learned much along the way and this last Saturday the 3rd reading the bill HB 45 passed the House with 135 AYE votes. I sat for hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday waiting to hear the votes on this bill as well as HB 787, the Secure the Grid bill. The Grid bill got bumped to Monday. We are terribly excited that HB 45, American Law for American Courts heads to the Senate and for the first time ever it was voted out of the House! We also have high hopes for the Grid bill coming out of the House.

I also was invited to attend the bill signing for HB 89 – The Anti BDS bill that supports Israel. This was a thrill as it is the first bill TEF was supporting this session was signed by the Governor. Chairman Phil King did a great job shepherding this bill and Sen. Creighton worked it through the Senate.

More good news and a personal victory is SB 256 by Senator Van Taylor. This bill provides further protection of privacy for sexual assault victims, stalking victims and trafficked victims and I was in the House when it to was voted out unanimously and will head to the Governor for his signature.

Governor Abbott also signed the bill outlawing sanctuary cities as well this weekend. This was a huge WIN for the conservative movement and TEF was thrilled to have supported it as well. Here is the Governor signing the bill.

This week I want to start our top 5 a little differently.

1) Let’s Pray FIRST – Please stop right now if you can and pray. Pray for all our legislators and state leaders. They need courage, wisdom and strategy. Pray for their families and protection for all of us. We are all getting very tired and sometimes deeply frustrated. Pray for us to know what we should focus our time and energy on as we head into the final days of the session. Please pray for your families that have gone over and above to make it possible for us to be able to be in Austin. Your prayers right now mean more than anything. There are many decisions that are being made and things can literally change within minutes.

2) Privacy & Protection – Call your legislator again and ask them where the privacy legislation is and what they are personally doing to make sure that protection for the privacy and protection of women and children is taken care of in the state of Texas. This legislation is a must so that municipalities and school boards are not continuing to make up their own rules around the state. To request this is not being discriminatory, it is irresponsible for our leaders not to address this issue NOW. Co-Authoring a bill like HB 2899 is nice but if they are jumping on in the last couple of days- what have they been doing leading up to this point? We need you and we need our leaders to step up and take charge. You can see if your legislator is a co-author on the bill and if they are not, call and ask what they are doing for this incredibly important issue.

3) Thankful for American Laws for American Courts – Be sure and send an email or call your representative and thank them for supporting HB 45, this important bill through the House. You can check here by clicking on role call and see who voted for it and who did not.

4) Church Security – We have two Church Security bills currently stuck. HB 421 is in calendars and HB 981 is in the process of getting reports submitted to calendars. If you are unsure why this bill is important go to the Mom Caucus Facebook Page and you can watch one of the most recent videos from May 3rd that explains most if not nearly all Texas places of worship are out of compliance with the occupation code. Please let your legislators know this bill is one of these bills needed to make it onto the calendar. If bills don’t make it by midweek they are as good as dead. This is a critical week, please help us!

5) Protecting our consciences in Texas – CPS bills and a very important right of conscience bill HB 3859 are on the floor Monday in the House. I cannot begin to tell you how important HB 3859 is and the battle now being played out in the national media is full of misleading information. Read some of it here. As we have said so often throughout this session – Read the Bill! Apparently, the media DOES NOT READ THE BILL…This bill protects the rights of conscience for child welfare services providers. Texas is in a crisis with our child welfare system. We cannot afford to lose any of the foster/adoption providers in Texas which make up-25-30% of all orphan care. We have seen these agencies close in other state and are now being threatened in Texas. PLEASE Call your Rep. asap and ask for them to vote yes when this bill hits the floor today!

Thank you again for walking with Texas Eagle Forum this legislative session. This is not the end – this is just the beginning of our activism but these final weeks are so important.

Please share this blog with your friends.

Please donate to help us keep getting the word out.

Please pray for all of us.

Thank you – Trayce Bradford.


If the Lord nudges…..

Written by Marilyn StatlerTexas Eagle Forum Newsletter Editor

Have you ever felt the Lord nudging you?

He had been gently nudging me for a few days. Every time I walked by the phone (no cell phones in 1983), I felt the Lord whisper, “Call them.” I kept hesitating. Did I really want to get involved? Did I have the time? After all, we had just moved to Plano, and I finally had all three kids in school. Now I was free for several hours during the week to pursue my own interests.

Nudge, nudge.

Little did I realize that when I finally made that call, my life would be changed forever.

Two things happened that day: I became a volunteer at my local crisis pregnancy center encouraging clients to choose LIFE for their unborn babies… and I met Cathie Adams. She, too, was passionate about the LIFE issue, and we became friends.

Fast forward to a year or two later: the CPC closed due to lack of funds. Cathie was invited to attend an Education Seminar, and I tagged along. The event was sponsored by a group called Texas Eagle Education Forum (TEEF) and was held at a local Dallas hotel. Co-sponsors were Texas Eagle Forum and Dallas Eagle Forum and the keynote speaker was a lady I had never heard of named Phyllis Schlafly. Her book, “Child Abuse in the Classroom,” was featured at the seminar.

The information of what was happening in public education blew me away, as did the articulate and spellbinding speech by Mrs. Schlafly! I learned that concerned parents and citizens had testified at a U.S. Department of Education hearing that public school curriculum was infused with “violent, disturbing books and films; materials emphasizing parental conflict, death, drugs, mental illness and despair; role playing, involving death, pregnancy, abortion, divorce, hate and suicide; explicit pornographic instruction in sex education, and hopelessness resulting from preoccupation with ‘inevitable’ nuclear war.” That was in 1985, folks!

As a result of that seminar, both Cathie and I joined Dallas Eagle Forum, attended monthly meetings and became involved. Having taught in the public schools for several years, education became my focus. I began reviewing high school English Literature and Health textbooks up for adoption in Texas and wrote reports which were submitted to the State Board of Education for textbook hearings. Some of what I saw in those books matched what the seminar had discussed.

Eagle Forum taught me to speak up in my local school when I saw something that concerned me. I volunteered in the library of my daughter’s elementary school, and one book was so popular that I decided it must be a good read. I was appalled when I realized it was a manual on how to commit suicide (at that time Plano was having a rash of teen suicides). I asked the school librarian if she was aware of the content of the book, and she said the American Library Association had given the book a rating of “worthy” so, despite my concern, the book would remain on the shelf. But if I was unhappy, I could talk to the principal. After meeting with the principal and eventually the district’s head librarian, the book was moved to the Adult and Parental Approval shelf. That suicide manual for 4th-6th graders was tame compared to what kids are reading today.

While my focus was on education, Cathie stepped up to become president of Dallas Eagle Forum. When her “volunteer” position became a full-time job, she asked me to help with the DEF newsletter and various administrative tasks. Thus began 30 years of involvement with Dallas Eagle Forum and later Texas Eagle Forum.

Through the years, I have seen women and men of all ages soar as Eagles and make a real difference in their communities and state.

They contact their legislators to support conservative issues and hold them accountable when they fail to do the right thing. (Eagles know their facts and present them succinctly and calmly, never in an angry or disrespectful way. The word “gracious” comes to mind.)

They travel to Austin during the legislative sessions to testify on issues of concern.

They write letters-to-the editor to their local newspapers.

They hold events informing the public on the perils of not only public education, but the plan to destroy U.S sovereignty, and the mischief of United Nations’ conferences and treaties.

They take criticism and ridicule for reporting on a new disease affecting homosexual men, called AIDS. Years later, as the homosexual agenda becomes mainstream, they fight for privacy for women in public restrooms, dressings rooms, and locker rooms.

They picket Planned Parenthood when learning that organization is coming to their city and endure not-so-friendly gestures from passers-by with a smile and friendly wave.

They attend annual Eagle Councils led by Phyllis Schlafly in St. Louis and Washington, D.C. and glean reams of information to take back to their circles of influence.

They man phone banks and walk their precincts handing out flyers for the candidates of their choice They are delegates to state conventions and even run for office. Most importantly, they pray together.

When asked why they become involved in politics, Eagles reply, “Because we love God, family, and country. And we want to be able to tell our children and grandchildren that we did everything we could to ensure a brighter future for them and for our beloved nation.”

Is the Lord nudging you? You, too, can become an Eagle and soar with the thousands of members who have shown you the way. Join us as we continue to fight for conservative Judeo-Christian values and keep Texas Strong!

“They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31


The Top 5 – April 17, 2017

This week there are some incredibly important bills working their way through committees. Trayce Bradford, our President, will be speaking on a panel at a conference this morning at a FRC/VA pastor’s conference in Austin. She will also be speaking at hearings from Monday to Wednesday this week and there are plenty of big ones. Here are ones we want to highlight right now, but there might be some more coming down the pipe later. Stay tuned.


#1 – Senate Bill 892 – Texas HOME Act

For over 100 years, Texas churches and faith based organizations have placed thousands of Texas children in loving homes. Now, their future is threatened by lawsuits seeking to restrict their First Amendment right to practice their faith when placing children in those loving homes. Faith based providers have stopped operating entirely in other states after being sued and some have already closed their doors in Houston and San Antonio.
SB 892 by Senator Charles Perry would provide faith based providers – who comprise 25% of all adoption providers in Texas – with the protection they need to keep operating and helping Texas children.

But radical, left wing groups are making wild claims that protecting the basic first amendment rights of faith based providers and churches would lead to discrimination or child abuse. These radical groups want to further their own agenda at the expense of following well respected national and Texas based providers that have helped Texas children for decades such as: Buckner International, Children’s Home of Lubbock, The Catholic Conference, Baptists Children’s Homes, and many, many more.

The hearing is Wednesday, April 19th in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Please call the members as soon as possible, and let them know you expect Texas to protect our children and our religious liberty by passing SB 892. Please thank Senator Charles Perry for authoring the bill and Senator Charles Schwertner for hearing it in his committee.

#2 – House Bill 421 -Church Security Protection Act by Rep. Matt. Rinaldi

Due to misunderstanding of the law, there are thousands of churches in Texas who are unknowingly violating the law regarding church security. The Texas Occupations code currently prohibits houses of worship from having volunteer security unless they are licensed as a private security company. Under the current law, churches and their volunteers who violate this law could be fined up to $10,000 and face criminal charges.
The Church Security Protection Act (House Bill 421) makes a necessary change to the Texas Occupations Code, exempting churches, synagogues, or other places of worship from the current law by adding Section 1702.333 to the Code.

House Bill 421 provides necessary relief to these churches and other houses of worship by allowing them the freedom to utilize volunteer security (i.e. church members) or hire private security, depending on their need.

The bill is currently in the House Calendars Committee. Contact the committee and ask them to pass HB 421 out of committee and to the floor for a vote. Also, contact your State Representative and ask them to support this important piece of legislation by signing on as a coauthor and voting for it when it gets to the House floor.

#3 – Rep. Cecil Bell’s Texas Sovereignty Act House Bill 2338 and the similar Senate Bill 2015 by Sen. Creighton.

This legislation will support tenth amendment enforcement in Texas and protects us from unconstitutional acts of the federal government. SB 2015 has been referred to the State Affairs Committee and needs a hearing and HB 2338 is left pending in committee please call the members of the State and Federal Power & Responsibility Committee and ask them to please vote this bill out of committee this week. Chair of the committee is Rep. Drew Darby and the Vice Chair is Rep. Andrew S. Murr, so please call them.

Rep. Cecil Bell says about this legislation “Statewide elected officers in those separate states must formally affirm where they stand regarding this egregious erosion of state sovereignty and of the sovereignty of the people of the separate states.”

#4 – Pray for a Legislator
We want to ask you to do something this week that seems unnatural – pick a legislator that you don’t know anything about or even dislike. Pray for them and then send them a card to encourage them. We must press in for love and grace to have the front place in our hearts – especially now during this session. Romans 13:10 says “Love does no harm to a neighbor: therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

#5 – Privacy Legislation
There is still a move to get Privacy legislation passed this session and people are still willing to work so that will occur. Pray for wisdom, strategy and a path for privacy legislation to succeed and that the most vulnerable will be protected. We will update you more as we have better information of what is being proposed and moved forward.

More……

Continue to share our #WomenWednesday posts – this last week it was written by Jennie Krause, wife of State Representative Matt Krause. So good!

Thank you for your continued support for Texas Eagle Forum!

Also a quick prayer request for LaNeil Spivy – who was the founder of Dallas Eagle Forum. LaNeil is not in good health and needs much prayer. Please pray for her and her family.

Keep engaging and keep moving!


Politics is not Inherently Evil

Written by Bunni Pounds (Guest Writer & Consultant to Texas Eagle Forum)

When I got into politics over 10 years ago, my father, a former pastor, questioned whether I was doing the right thing. He didn’t want me to leave what he considered to be the “call on my life” to teach the Bible. He had this idea in his mind that Christians couldn’t really get involved with politics without corrupting themselves with the “evil”. He believed it was a corrupting game. I told him politely that I believed he was wrong.

I know even more today that politics – the process of certain people getting what they want involving government – is not evil or wrong, it is necessary and it can even be considered a Godly struggle. My dad, years later, came around and knew I was in the will of God for my life, but like so many Christians he struggled with the idea that believers can hold their integrity together in the midst of a political world.

Jesus called us in Matthew — to be salt and light in the world. He called us to make a difference, to disciple nations, and to promote His love, character, and values in this life.

Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

When I sat down as a 30 year old mom and contemplated what I wanted to leave my children in this world, I didn’t want to leave them an America that continues to slaughter babies in the womb. My own husband had been affected by the issue before he accepted Jesus, so I was not uncompassionate to the debris of people’s hearts & lives who have been impacted by abortion. I just couldn’t sit by and do nothing about it. Getting conservative justices on the bench who will not legislate from the bench is so important for our great country which means we have to elect people who will appoint the right judges. I understood that then and I understand it even more now.

Ten years ago, I didn’t want them to wake up to an America that is not allied with Israel, the only democratic state in the Middle East, and a promoter of freedom and equality. I didn’t want to wake up in a world where we as Christians didn’t stand up next to our Jewish brothers and sisters and defend them. I couldn’t just stand by as liberal forces keep speaking out against our greatest ally and the people that God loves. I had to elect people who would stand with Israel.

The days of standing and looking at our national debt climb higher and higher had to stop back in 2004 and it is worse now. Deficit spending in Washington DC each year is causing our nation to pay it forward to the future in a bad way. This is a bleak reality for our children and grandchildren. Our elected officials had to stop the spending. It had to stop and I had to speak up!

These and many more issues are the ones I cared about when I started as a volunteer in politics and they are still the issues that I talk to all my clients about before I work for them today.

What are the issues we care about as Christians?

It is not unholy to advocate, to speak up, and to be educated on the issues. Most of them are not as black and white as I had originally thought getting into politics – which means people of faith may come down on different shades of a issue, but I believe it is still noble to reach an opinion and fight for what we believe in.

As a fundraiser for multiple clients in North Texas and many Members of Congress, I have a unique opportunity to get to personally know many of our great leaders. Many times I talk to them more often then their own staff. It is such a privilege to walk beside them, encourage them, help them reach their goals, and affirm them that they are worthy of being invested in. Hopefully I am bringing light into their lives with my joy, optimism, and faith in Jesus. Many times, I get to encourage them with the Word, through prayers, or just speaking over them who I feel God is calling them to be. It is a great joy of my life!

I truly am discipling leaders in my own way- my beautiful clients, these amazing elected officials. God has called us to “disciple the nations”. What better way to start then through our leaders?

God has called us to be salt and light. What better way than to shine the light of truth into situations that arise in politics and be the salt that preserves and sees the good in people not just the bad and the ugly?

For me, politics is not evil and I don’t believe the Bible teaches it is.

Yes, there are people who do evil things in politics as in everything.

Yes, there are evil systems and backroom deals and moral choices that cause my stomach to be sick.

BUT if we as believers in Jesus follow our conscience, keep in the Word of God as our compass, and stay humble in this unique seat of power, God can do so much through us in this world.

I have seen this time and time again and I want to continue to encourage the Body of Christ to get involved and to be in some small way the truth in the midst of politics.

Politics is not inherently evil. LIGHT is stronger than darkness in the midst of our culture. We can’t leave it someone else. It is time that we get engaged and stay engaged!

 

With over ten years of experience in Republican Party fundraising and campaign management, Bunni Pounds has raised over $9 million dollars for Congressional candidates and state and local elected officials. She has led one of the best campaign organizations in Texas gaining a reputation as a visionary, meticulous administrator, and an avid fundraiser. She is also an ordained minister and pastors Reality Community with her husband, Tim. You can read more about Bunni and her team at www.bunnipoundsassoc.com.


The Top 5 – April 3, 2017

This last week in Austin was a bit hectic and full of surprises, some good – some not so good. There are so many pieces moving and so many opportunities for good things to happen, but we need to continue to be engaged and active.

This week the top 5 action items are going to be a little different. Since we are in April and the session ends in May, you can imagine how many times we will need your willingness to pray, contact your representative, and pass the word along.

This week we are asking you to:

1) Pray for your legislator and their families – This is the time in the legislative session when days get longer and it gets harder to keep all the plates spinning. Several legislators have lost family members, been injured in an traffic accident and the list goes on and on. Please take time each day this week to pray for safety, peace, wisdom and protection over them. Trayce Bradford was at a private meeting this last week with Senator Ted Cruz. She asked how we could be praying and he said, “Please pray for wisdom and peace”. We believe this applies to all our state leaders as well Let’s keep the prayers coming.

2) Feedback on Issues – Would you take a moment and give us some feedback? Please send us the issue you are most concerned with as you are watching this session. Let us know what you have done to support or fight for an issue. TEF fights for faith and family values and that includes marriage, life, good stewardship, education, service, and so much more.

3) Social Media – Please make sure to read the Women Wednesday blogs and Freedom Friday quotes that we are posting on social media. Here is the latest blog by Marnie Freeman. It is so helpful to get TEF’s message out to more people if you considering liking these posts and sharing those that you think are important. We are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Here is a challenge. I would like to ask you to send in a quote that sums up why you fight for freedom. We will pick some to share as we finish out the session. Citizens Voice of Freedom will be posted on the Monday Top 5. You could be a Star for Liberty.

4) We also do an update on social media each week with Concerned Women of America and SBTC. This update is known as the Mom Caucus. We will be posting those to our TEF FB page in the future. They are usually more light hearted but we do give you updates on bill movements and other action items. We also have a Champion of the Week. We try to find someone doing good just because its the right thing to do.

5) There have been some bills moving through the Senate and the House. Next week we will have more information. Senator Bob Hall’s protecting our grid bill SB83 has a hearing in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on April 11th. Please be praying and calling your senators to tell them that this is a critical bill. Co-Authors now on the bill include Sen. Bettencourt, Creighton, Whitmire, Nelson and Sen. Larry Taylor!

There is another bill that matters a great deal to Trayce personally. Senator Van Taylor’s SB256 which passed out of the Senate Justice Committee 8-0 and then passed the full Senate floor vote and is on its way to the House. This bill pertains to an issue that Trayce worked on during college. Here is what she says, “As someone that had been stalked and physically assaulted, I had found no recourse to keep my personal information from my attacker. God opened a door for me to try to do something about this and I actually earned 6 college credits for work on this issues and victims rights. I worked as the first Victim’s Assistance Coordinator with the County DA my senior year at Texas A&M. There have been changes over the year to protect victims but not enough and this bill seeks to further protect abuse victims, trafficked victims and those in my situation giving more protection to private information. Please pray it passes through the House as quickly! Thank you for letting me share this with you and hopefully see an exclamation point on the end of the three decade long battle!”

Please share this Top 5 and please consider partnering with Texas Eagle Forum with a one time contribution or a monthly commitment.


The Top 5 – March 20, 2017 – Special on SB 6 – The Texas Privacy Act

Thank you to everyone who journeyed to Austin this week for our Texas Faith and Family Day. It is so important for us to go to Austin and make our voices heard and we did that this last week. We did a few Facebook Live videos which was fun! We shared Trayce speaking on ALAC (American Laws for American Courts), sharing before the rally, and we captured the full rally with Rafael Cruz speaking at the very end. You can find all of those videos on our Facebook page and we encourage you to watch them and share them.

Trayce testified for Senate Bill 6 (The Texas Privacy Act or known in the media as the “bathroom bill”) two weeks ago and it passed the Senate State Affairs committee and then the full Texas Senate. We are continuing to work for the passage of this bill to protect every woman and every child – it is now going to the Texas House which is a greater challenge. This week’s Top 5 is focused on what we need to do to get this important bill passed for the women and children of the State of Texas.

Here is our Top 5 for this week to help us on SB 6 –
#1 Get educated on SB 6 and the TRUE facts. Here is a good fact sheet from Texas Values. Also read Trayce’s open letter against the Texas Business Association numbers from January here on our blog.

#2 Call every member in the House and ask them to sign the letter of support for SB 6 that Representative Matt Schaefer prepared for them. You can download the letter here! Make sure to call your own House Member at the very least. We need them to sign on today – before Tuesday! Find the phone numbers of the House Members here.

#3 Instead of being sent to the Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee where it should go, this bill will most likely be sent to Rep. Byron Cook’s State Affairs Committee. Conservative bills many times die there at the hand of Byron Cook. We need to keep that from happening. Please call the Members of both committees – and tell them wherever this bill lands this week, we need them to support it for the sake of our families here in Texas.

#4 Thank Senators Kelly Hancock, Paul Bettencourt, and especially Lois Kolkhorst (the main sponsor of the bill) for standing up for truth – If you didn’t last week – please thank Senator Kelly Hancock for standing up to the Texas Association of Business and being really clear on this issue for everyone to see. You can see an video of them in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTeZiVIu2QM. Call Senator Hancock’s office at 512-463-0109. Senator Paul Bettencourt also did a fabulous job defending truth on this issue. Please call and thank him at 512-463-0107. Call Senator Lois Kolkhorst and THANK HER – this woman has laid it all on the line – 512-463-0118.

#5 Follow what the Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is saying on SB 6 – He has been a hero, unafraid to stand up against all odds. Let’s thank him as well. Here are some of this thoughts on the issue. And here is his statement after it passed the Senate. Please call Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s office and thank him for standing strong on this issue. 512-463-5342.

Other Items:
Join us for Texas Eagle Forum Family Fun Night (April 12th) with Brad Stine & Crystal Yates in Dripping Springs– You can become an underwriter or get your tickets here. Thank you for your support of Texas Eagle Forum.

Our latest #WomenWednesday blog post is here, Trayce’s latest TEF letter, and our latest March Torch Newsletter is here that just hit mailboxes. Check out our website weekly for new content that will keep you informed.

Please consider a contribution to Texas Eagle Forum this week – you are the reason that we do what we do. Thank you so much!


Texas Eagle Forum is Excited to Partner with the New Texas Freedom Caucus in the Texas House.

Yesterday, it was announced that the Texas Freedom Caucus was launched in the Texas House of Representatives. Texas Eagle Forum is ecstatic about working with these lawmakers to help “amplify the voice of liberty-minded grassroots Texans”. Here is their announcement from February 14, 2017. – President Trayce Bradford

 

Freedom Caucus Formed in the Texas House to Empower Grassroots Texans


The Texas Freedom Caucus was launched today in the Texas House of Representatives.  The Texas Freedom Caucus’ mission is to amplify the voice of liberty-minded grassroots Texans who want bold action to protect life, strengthen families, defend the bill of rights, restrain government and revitalize personal and economic freedoms in Texas.

The Texas Freedom Caucus (TFC) will be focused on first principles that are the hallmark of liberty-minded Texans.  The policies supported by the TFC will be developed thru collaboration with grassroots leaders to identify priorities that are often dismissed in Austin.

“Go five blocks in any direction from the Texas Capitol, and you will see what interests are hard wired into the Austin establishment,” Caucus Chairman Rep. Matt Schaefer (Tyler) said. “The mission of the Texas Freedom Caucus will be to hard wire liberty-minded grassroots into policy making in Austin.”

The TFC will engage grassroots Texans on matters before session, during session, and long after session when policies are implemented at the agency level. The caucus is committed to restoring first principles – the right to life, liberty and property that are at the core of the freedom of America and the exceptionalism of Texas. The caucus will outline a set of legislative priorities after it holds a series of discussions with grassroots representatives from all across Texas. Thereafter, the TFC will support or oppose legislation in accordance with those principles.

“We don’t want our priorities to be determined from Austin down, but from the grassroots up. That includes taking things like the Texas Republican Party platform seriously,” said Schaefer. “There are thousands of people too busy working and raising their families to embed themselves in the legislative process. Their voices matter too, and we want to make sure they are heard, and their efforts are multiplied.”

The Texas Freedom Caucus will share many policy goals with other existing conservative organizations and caucuses, and it will buttress and complement rather than compete with those groups.  The TFC will distinguish itself by providing a specific focal point for grassroots Texans interested in conservative policy-making in Austin.

The Vice Chair of the Caucus will be Rep. Bill Zedler (Arlington). The Policy Director will be Rep. Jeff Leach (Plano), caucus Grassroots Liaison will be Rep. Matt Shaheen (Plano) and the Secretary-Treasurer will be Rep. Tony Tinderholt (Arlington). Other members include representatives Kyle Biedermann (New Braunfels), Briscoe Cain (Houston), Matt Krause (Fort Worth), Mike Lang (Granbury), Rep. Matt Rinaldi (Irving), Jonathan Stickland (Bedford) and Valoree Swanson (Spring).

James Bernsen will serve as Executive Director for the Texas Freedom Caucus.

www.freedomfortexas.com