By Bunni Pounds, Guest Writer and TEF Consultant
Texas Eagle Forum Devotionals (#TEFDevo)
What was the joy?
By Bunni Pounds, Guest Writer and TEF Consultant
Texas Eagle Forum Devotionals (#TEFDevo)
What was the joy?
By Kevin and Marnie Freeman
Texas Eagle Forum Devotionals (#TEFDevo)
A new movie arriving in theaters July 21, will attempt to tell the story of some rather extraordinary events that took place in May 1940. Tragedy of the most extreme type was about to befall the British, with more than 300,000 soldiers trapped in France and surrounded by a German army more than twice their strength. Short of a miracle, these brave souls, comprising the bulk of the British army, were to be captured, killed, or starved. Yet, as any amateur historian knows, the vast majority was safely transported back to England in what is now known as “the Miracle of Dunkirk.”
Hopefully the movie from acclaimed director Christopher Nolan will tell more than the facts of the matter. The true story is that not one, but multiple miracles took place after King George VI called his nation to set aside May 26th as a National Day of Prayer. The King worshiped God at Westminster Abbey. The rest of the British Empire joined him in churches around the world crying out to the true Almighty. This heartfelt prayer certainly had an effect.
We know from the scriptures that when two or more gather in the name of the Lord, God shows up (Matthew 18:20). We also know that the effectual, fervent (heartfelt) prayer of the righteous has great power (James 5:16). These scriptures proved true at Dunkirk. As Winston Churchill observed, “335,000 men had been carried out of the jaws of death and shame to their native land.” How that happened was indeed a miracle.
Reverend David E. Gardner wrote a trilogy on Dunkirk entitled The Trumpet Sounds for Britain. He went to be with the Lord in 2002 but MovieGuide saw fit to excerpt his work for a recent article titled History in the Movies: The Miracle of Dunkirk (https://www.movieguide.org/news-articles/history-in-the-movies.html).
Rev. Gardner explained the miracles that saved the men (quoting the Movieguide excerpts):
“The first miracle
The first was that for some reason – which has never yet been fully explained – Hitler overruled his generals and halted the advance of his armored columns at the very point when they could have proceeded to the British army’s annihilation. They were now only 10 miles away! Later, Mr. Churchill asserted in his memoirs that this was because Hitler undoubtedly believed “that his air superiority would be sufficient to prevent a large-scale evacuation by sea.” That is very significant in terms of the second miracle.
The second miracle
A storm of unprecedented fury broke over Flanders on Tuesday, 28 May, (1940), grounding the German Luftwaffe squadrons and enabling the British army formations, now eight to twelve miles from Dunkirk, to move up on foot to the coast in the darkness of the storm and the violence of the rain, with scarcely any interruption from aircraft, which were unable to operate in such turbulent conditions. The Fuehrer had obviously not taken the weather into his reckoning, nor the One who controls the weather! And, the third miracle?
The third miracle
Despite the storm in Flanders, a great calm—such as has rarely been experienced—settled over the English Channel during the days which followed, and its waters became as still as a mill pond.
It was this quite extraordinary calm which enabled a vast armada of little ships, big ships, warships, privately owned motor-cruisers from British rivers and estuaries – in fact, almost anything that would float – to ply back and forth in a desperate bid to rescue as many of our men as possible.
The Little Ships
There were so many ships involved in the evacuation that this is the way in which Douglas Bader, the legless Spitfire fighter ace, who sped over with his squadrons from the fighter base at Martlesham, near Ipswich, to help cover the operation, described the scene in Fight for the Sky: “The sea from Dunkirk to Dover during these days of the evacuation looked like any coastal road in England on a bank holiday. It was solid with shipping. One felt one could walk across without getting one’s feet wet, or that’s what it looked like from the air. There were naval escort vessels, sailing dinghies, rowing boats, paddle-steamers, indeed every floating device known in this country. They were all taking British soldiers from Dunkirk back home. You could identify Dunkirk from the Thames estuary by the huge pall of black smoke rising straight up into a windless sky from the oil tanks which were ablaze just inside the harbor.”
Yet still, to a very large extent, the German air squadrons were unable to intervene. Certainly not in force, nor in the way Hitler had anticipated, for so many of these squadrons still remained grounded. So much so, that General Haider, Chief of the German General Staff, three days after the High Command had so proudly boasted that the British Army was about to be annihilated, was obliged to record in his diary on 30 May that “Bad weather has grounded the Luftwaffe, and now we must stand by and watch countless thousands of the enemy getting away to England right under our noses.”
A strange immunity
Even though some squadrons did get through, it seems that yet another miracle happened. Many of the troops on the beaches were favored with a strange immunity. When about 400 men were being machine-gunned and bombed, systematically, by about sixty enemy aircraft, one man who flung himself down with the rest reported that, after the strafing was over, he was amazed to find that there was not a single casualty.
Another man, a chaplain, was likewise machine-gunned and bombed as he lay on the beach. After what seemed an eternity, he realized he had not been hit, and rose to his feet to find that the sand all around where he had been lying was pitted with bullet holes, and that his figure was outlined on the ground.”
There was and should be no doubt that miracles took place. In fact, it was so obvious that the British, with such deep gratitude, held a day of National Thanksgiving on June 9 with praying and the singing of Psalm 124:
1 If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say:
2 If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
3 Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
4 Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
5 Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
6 Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
7 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
King James Version (KJV)
So What Lessons Can We Learn from Dunkirk Today?
There are at least three valuable and timeless lessons to take from the Dunkirk Miracle.
First, we must recognize that miracles can still happen today. Sometimes it seems easy to relegate God’s hand of Providence to Biblical Times. And then the temptation is to relegate Biblical accounts as simply stories told as if they were Greek mythology or ancient fairy tales. There is no discounting what happened in 1940, however. That history is so well documented that it must be accepted. And that history is absolute in explaining the miracles that took place.
Oftentimes, people will question Biblical accounts because they don’t experience modern miracles. Dunkirk gives us reason to not only acknowledge the miraculous in modern times but heartens our understanding of Biblical accounts.
Think about it. We have a nation in an impossible situation. A hostile army of superior strength intent on their destruction surrounded their people. That nation cries out to God and is miraculously delivered through the sea. Sound familiar?
Kevin was recently in Egypt and had the opportunity to learn about the mummified remains of Pharaoh Ramses II. This is the Pharaoh commonly associated with Moses and the Exodus. When the researchers unwrapped him for display at the Egyptian Museum late in the 20th Century, his arms were differently positioned from any other mummy. In fact, the museum officially states that his arms were positioned as if he were holding the reigns to a chariot with his right hand and attempting to hold back an onslaught of water with his left. In addition, x-rays suggest that he died from drowning with sea salt found inside the mummy. Other research suggests that he died around the age of 90. All of this is consistent with the Biblical account of Exodus. (http://thecairopost.youm7.com/news/142273/culture/ramses-ii-pharaoh-of-exodus-researcher-says).
God’s deliverance is a continual theme in the Bible. Sometimes, this was personal deliverance for individuals or families, as in the case of the three Hebrew children (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). Other times, it was a miracle to save a nation (such as David vs. Goliath). But the point is that the history of Dunkirk demonstrates that these are more than stories. And, the miracles did not end when the Bible was finished.
The second lesson from Dunkirk has to do with the importance of giving thanks for God’s deliverance.
It is essential to note that the deliverance of Dunkirk did not end the war. In fact, the British were still heavily outmanned and outgunned. The war was going to be taken to their homeland with the Battle of Britain that would start in the next month and last for another year. And, the completion of the war itself was five years away and the prospects remained dire. Britain was about to be tested as never before and they knew it. And yet, they paused on a Sunday in June to drop to their knees in Thanksgiving, prayer, and praise.
For us, we should be careful to give God the glory and demonstrate our own thanksgiving for any deliverance, whether large or small. We must do this even if we don’t know or see the final outcome. It is too easy to ignore the miracles we experience daily because we continue to fear the larger challenge. A good example from Exodus is how the children of Israel took manna for granted because they remained in the wilderness.
A New Testament example that shows a lack of gratitude can be seen with the ten lepers who were healed. Only one returned to give thanks. Jesus rightly questioned (Luke 17: 17), “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”
The third lesson from Dunkirk is a reminder that we ought to be crying out for deliverance. What are you going through today where you could use a touch from God? Do you need God’s miraculous help with your family, your health, or your finances? If God was able to rescue 335,000 Brits from an impossible circumstance, He is clearly able to deliver you. And, for those of us concerned about the declining culture, the economy, or national security threats, it is imperative that we purposely cry out to God now.
There are so many threats we face as Christians in America. There is the effort to stamp out religious liberty, wherein you are not allowed to demonstrate your faith in the marketplace. There is the threat of terrorism and radical jihadists who want to force Shariah law on our nation. There is human trafficking and child exploitation that hides in the shadows but threatens our children. There are potentially systemic threats to our power grid. And, of course, there are international threats from rogue nations and their leaders. The list of threats is long. Given that, shouldn’t we be crying out to God Almighty both individually and corporately?
Sometimes it seems as if God waits for His people to cry out before delivering them. So why aren’t we crying out? Oh that President Trump, accompanied by leaders in Congress, would call for a day of national prayer and fasting to ask for God’s hand of protection. Oh that each state or city’s leaders would do the same. Oh that we would be unwavering in joining together in prayer groups and Bible studies everywhere, to perpetually and persistently petition God for deliverance for our ourselves, our families, our cities, our states, and our country!
For us, the challenge of Dunkirk is to believe in God, to recognize our utter dependence on his sovereign divine hand, to cry out to him ceaselessly, and to understand that the God of the Bible is alive today and He continues to reign in the affairs of men.
Are you facing a personal Dunkirk where things seem impossible and there is no way out? Odds are, you have just emerged from a serious challenge or are about to enter one. Take comfort! The God behind the miracle of Dunkirk is alive and well, ready to help you in your time of greatest need.
Marnie and Kevin Freeman are full on believers in Jesus Christ. They believe their highest calling to be serving God, their families, their friends and clients, their church, and their communities at the local, state, and federal levels. Kevin, an investment manager and CFA, is an expert on financial terrorism, a NY Times bestselling author (http://secretweapon.org/) of Secret Weapon: How Economic Terrorism Brought Down the Stock Market and Why It Can Happen Again and Game Plan: How to Protect Yourself from the Coming Cyber-Economic Attack, and host of the new television show Economic War Room with Kevin Freeman (http://economicwarroom.com/).
Marnie is a full time mom, award-winning artist (http://marniefreeman.com/), teacher, volunteer, and sits on the Texas Eagle Forum Advisory board and the Tarrant County Eagle Forum Board.
By Heather Stoner, Grassroots America We the People
Texas Eagle Forum Devotionals (#TEFDevo)
When my dear friend Trayce asked me to write a devotional for Texas Eagle Forum, she said “just write what God has been showing you lately”. I thought “Ha, WHICH thing?!” Have you ever had a time in your life where you feel that EVERY time you turn around, God is taking the opportunity to show you an area in your life that you need to work on? I now know how my precious daughter must have felt in those few (and thankfully they were few) seasons of life when she seemed to hear my voice OFTEN correcting something she was doing. I am in one of those seasons with God.
Recently, I received a stack of old quilts that had been worked by my grandmother who passed away years ago. Some of the quilts are lovely with just two colors. Red and white or lavender and white. But my favorite one is the patchwork, multi colored one. If I look closely at the tattered fabric, I recognize a little gingham from a childhood dress she made me, a bit of red striped fabric from my Raggedy Ann doll, and a little calico from the summer she taught me to sew doll clothes.
Today, I feel like that quilt. God has taken the “pieces” of my life and pieced them together to form who I am. And although there are days that I feel like I am tattered and worn. When I see only colors that are not as crisp and sharp as they were long ago. I remember that God has placed each experience, trial, joy and sorrow in my life to bring me to who I am today in him. Often, I wish he would take a seam ripper and cut out a few squares that I don’t want in my story and replace them with a pretty, new version. But he knows the pattern of the quilt. Some days I wish I was like one of the ones with only two colors. A life more settled, safe, and sane. But he saw fit to make mine full of textures, patterns and color.
Because I made a major move across the county three years ago I feel like a quilt that was pulled out of a chest. It had taken years to gather all the pieces, have a full life and tell a story with a completed pattern. But when found by a new owner it is only seen for what it is today. They do not know the story, the history or the purpose that the quilt was created for. BUT the creator knew. Just like my grandmother knew every scrap of fabric and where it came from and that she had created THAT specific quilt with love, for warmth to her granddaughter. God knows every single one of my pieces. He knows the purpose that I was created for and that there is STILL use and purpose, although a bit tattered and frayed around the edges, left until the day I am called home.
A treasured quilt also leaves a legacy. Years ago, God gave me a verse when I was going through the most difficult, darkest days of my life.
She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25
Many days I may feel too small and weak against the forces I am up against. He will give me strength. I want to honor God even in the most difficult of circumstances. He will give dignity and when I get stressed at the world around me. He will give me laughter without fear of the future. Will your legacy be one of strength, dignity and some laughter along the way?
So, sure there are pieces that we wish we could go back and re-cut. But be excited about the wonderful pattern and design that God is making out of your life. And know that just like every quilt, he has a purpose and will use you to his honor and glory. Look for how you can use the very fabric of your life to bring purpose to what you do. I look at courageous people around me standing up for what they believe. Many are using scraps of their story to form their testimonies. What do you have to offer? What is the pattern of your life that God is STILL weaving together and still using with HIS purpose in mind. Unique because just as there will never be an exact same hand worked quilt, neither will our stories and legacy be exactly the same.
By Dr. Thomas Schlueter, Prince of Peace House of Prayer Pastor & Texas Apostolic Prayer Network Coordinator
This is part of our new series – Texas Eagle Forum Devotionals (#TEFDevo)
The American Revolution was beginning in 1775. The British, the most powerful military in the world, was occupying Boston and problems in the colonies were rising. George Washington and the Continental Army were besieging British held Boston at the time. The British troops were trapped in the city and the only way to receive food and supplies was by sea. Washington wanted to harass and capture as many ships bringing supplies to the troops in Boston as possible, so he formed a small squadron of ships, outfitted at his own expense, for the task. Each schooner was to have a special flag flown from its mast. All boats were to have “An Appeal to Heaven” flags upon them. This flag, also known as “Washington’s cruiser flag.” was a white flag with an evergreen tree in the middle and the words “An Appeal to Heaven” stitched across.
On November 29, 1775, the USS Lee captured the British brigantine Nancy. Captain John Manley was given command of a schooner named the USS Lee, after General Charles Lee. The brigantine Nancy was a massive 250-ton British ship bringing supplies to Boston. Unknown to Captain Manley and the crew of the USS Lee, the ship was carrying tons of ammunition and weapons. The prize was so great that it was said our country would have taken well over a year to produce. Not only was this the greatest capture of the entire Revolution, it also inspired all the founding fathers and the birth of our countries United States Navy as we know it today. The original schooners bearing the“Appeal to Heaven” flags continued capturing British ships and performing special services for the remainder of the war as our new Navy was being formed. In addition to the schooners, the flag was also flown on floating batteries, river banks, in towns, battlefields like Bunker Hill, and even places of most importance like our nation’s capital in Philadelphia.
The Pine Tree, also known as the “Tree of Peace” has been sacred by the Iroquois Indians for over a thousand years in America. At a very troubling time in their history, a peacemaker united six great tribes from the Great Lake areas and established unity. This great treaty was symbolized by burying their weapons under a pine tree and this tree was to be guarded by a bald eagle at its peak clutching six arrows.
The truth is, our founding fathers and early settlers were very much influenced by the Iroquois Indians. Just around the time of the signing of The Declaration, The Iroquois attended a Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia. This meeting was one of the many were the Indians would inspire our founders to unite with them in their ways of living, laws, and style of government. It was just after this that the “Tree of Peace” became known as our new “Liberty Tree” and it would show itself on flags of all kinds, especially those in the fight for our freedom.
The phrase “An Appeal to Heaven” comes from John Locke from England. Locke was one of the great philosophers of his time. He, like other English Philosophers, was also influenced by the Iroquois in America. “An Appeal to Heaven” comes from his studies on “Natural Laws”, a system of right or justice common to all humankind and derived from nature rather than from the rules of society and the only judge is that of our Creator. Thomas Jefferson penned it well in our Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
As Texans and Americans, let us boldly make our Appeal To Heaven in this hour.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.