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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source from http://blackchristiannews.com

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

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

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

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

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


Books, Reading, and Political Activism

Written by Cindi Castilla (President of Dallas Eagle Forum)


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

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

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

How in the world did reading lead me to politics?

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

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

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

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

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


Politics – My Ministry Not My Identity

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.


So How Did I Get Involved In Politics?

Written by Marnie Freeman (Guest Writer)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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


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


Seeking Value, Finding Purpose

Written by Glyn Wright McKay (Guest Writer)


Abortion. Birth control. Glass ceilings. Feminism. Marching for equality. Skipping work to prove your value. If you only read headlines and social media, you might think this is all there is to womanhood. It seems that if the government doesn’t pay for your contraceptives, and society doesn’t reward you with preferential treatment, then you’re a victim of an oppressive, patriarchal society. Aren’t we made for more than this?

I just want the madness to stop. American women are the most fortunate women in the world, why can’t we embrace it and use that freedom to lift others up? When I was asked to write this blog, I struggled for weeks because all I really wanted was to publicly rant about the above-mentioned “women’s movement.”

But, there was something inside of me that kept saying, “Stop. This issue is so much bigger than youyour convictions, and your opinions.” It occurred to me that it has never been about shattering glass ceilings, fighting sexism, or marching for reproductive rights. Rather, this struggle is more about lostness than the labels and platitudes that dominate the conversation.

Though we seem divided, if we’re honest, we all want the same things: meaning and purpose; to live beyond ourselves; a legacy that outlasts the here and now; to leave the world better, safer, and more whole.

I wrote and rewrote this piece in a struggle to find balance between the spiritual and secular. Yet, again, that still, small voice kept saying, “You can’t.” If the issue is lostness, then the only hope is the Truth.

The Creator and God of the Universe has written a marvelous story for a depraved humanity that ends with reconciling those who belong to Him to an eternity with Him. All He asks is that we recognize our brokenness and commit our lives to Him. The truth is, He didn’t just arbitrarily decide to give you life – no, His Word says He knew us before we were born, and if you belong to Him, He has given you hope and a future. He promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him.

Unfortunately, the finding part is a tiresome struggle in a world that is constantly pulling us in a million different directions and in a time where truth seems relative.

When I was fresh out of college, the plans I had made for myself kept getting in the way of the plans God had for me. I struggled with the notion of finding “God’s will” and my “calling.” I could see God working and moving but struggled to know where I should go. Ultimately, I realized that God is constantly moving and working in me, and He would use me wherever I ended up.

At the time, I was studying the story of Queen Esther. She was simply faithful where she was with what she had, and God used her to save an entire nation. She, too, struggled with her calling, and finding it took someone else, her uncle, imploring her to rise to the occasion: “…Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14, HCSB)

So much of my personal understanding of purpose and calling began when I started to work for Phyllis Schlafly. I knew of her from the history books and because of my grandmother, but I soon grew a deeper respect and understanding for her well-defined positions, fearless nature, and unencumbered grit.

In her story, I found inspiration and encouragement – always grounded in moral truth, she took on the issues of her day, doing what she could with what she had. She is remembered as a great communicator, brilliant strategist, and a disciplined warrior for traditional values and the family. Through her leadership, she led an entire movement to ensure our freedom as American women to live as we please and to make the choices that we feel are best for ourselves and our families.

When she began, she didn’t know she would become a national icon– in fact, she began her work organizing at her kitchen table with her husband and children. She was simply faithful to God and to her mission, and through it all, she enabled and mobilized tens of thousands of people who faithfully continue her work today.

While I certainly don’t have it all figured out, of one thing I am sure, God has something for you too. He may not ask you to lead a national movement or to save an entire people group, but He has asked you to seek him where you will find him and to be faithful where you are in all you do.

Who knows why you’re in this particular job. Who knows why you lost your job. Who knows why God moved you. Who knows why He has kept you still. Who knows why you became pregnant “too soon.” Who knows why you are unable to conceive. Who knows why you met this person or that one. Who knows why you have experienced great loss. Who knows why you find yourself where you are in this moment.

Who knows, perhaps you have come to ___________________ for such a time as this!

The One who knows is the One who created you with purpose. The One who knew the world needed you. The One who simply asks that you follow Him. I am a testament to God taking unforeseen circumstances, upsetting situations, and even loss, and making something very good out of it. His promises and His Word are true. Believe Him.

Your life may not be what you dreamed, your situation not ideal – but know that He is for you. The Creator of the Universe – the same one who called on women like Queen Esther and Phyllis Schlafly—is calling you. And, He promises that if you seek, you will find. God has something for you right now, where you are at – only trust Him.

If you are searching, these promises, prayers, and Truth sustained me in my days of wandering:

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him… Psalm 37:3-7

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:1-2

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my own weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And, more: Psalm 3:4-5; Psalm 27:14; Psalm 139:23-24; Psalm 51:10-12; Psalm 147:10; Proverbs 3:3-8; Proverbs 4:23-27; Proverbs 16:1-3; Isaiah 41:10; 2 Corinthians 5:14; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Philippians 4:19


Family, Politics, and the Power of a Newsletter

Written by Teresa Beckmeyer (Guest Writer)


Growing up in the household of a small business owner, politics was always discussed around the dinner table—always.  My parents were never Democrat or Republican, they just always supported the candidate who was doing the best job in leaving them alone to live their lives in freedom.  I guess this concept rubbed off on me.

My first experience with groups that were involved in politics was when I was about a sophomore in high school.  My great aunt (you know, every family has that one person that you call during election time to see who you need to vote for) would bring over to our house newsletters that had been typed out on a typewriter and mailed from Phyllis Schlafly and Eagle Forum to an aunt.  When my aunt finished reading them, she would then give them to me to read. Those early newsletters educated me, a young curious girl, about what was happening in the world of politics beyond the cotton fields of West Texas.

I never forgot the lessons I learned from those early writings of Mrs. Schlafly and when my husband went to work in Washington, DC for the Department of Agriculture, I was able to see the problems that she addressed in full-color. From that time on, I became involved in politics. after returning home to Texas, I got involved with state politics and the rest is history.

Having been involved in party politics and national/state/local campaigns for years, I decided three sessions ago to go to Austin during session to see for myself what was happening.  The things I learned and observed have changed my life forever and have caused me to become committed even more to informing other Texans about what I have come to know and continue to see.

I am now the Executive Director of Lone Star Voice that is dedicated to engaging citizens in their government and educating them about what is happening under the pink dome in Austin.  I have been a Republican County Chairman for 13 years and I am a regional director for the Texas Republican County Chairman’s Association.  I have served on the Credentials Committee and Rules Committee for four of the last five Republican State conventions.

The most important job that God has given, though, is being a wife and home school mom of three. When all of this politicking is over, my family is where I have the most influence in my life.

When you see what is going on in our country and you think that there is nothing that you can do to make a difference, just remember this thought:

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something, and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

~ Edward E. Hale

Thankful for my great aunt – the aunt who did what she could.


Check out Lone Star Voice and all of Teresa’s work:

lonestarvoiceonline.org


Why the Women’s March Didn’t Speak for Me

By Debby Efurd (Guest Writer)


Source from Unsplash

It’s been an action-packed five weeks since the inauguration. While the new president has been busy getting the new administration in place, there have been numerous and massive protests against him. The biggest protest, and one which I’ve been asked about the most, is the Women’s March held across the country the day following the inauguration (January 21, 2017). While I support women and their various causes, I did not support the March and here’s why.

I’ve been a woman my whole life (that’s meant to be a joke), all 65 years of it.  I have changed over the years. As a wife, mother, grandmother, speaker, author, activist, business woman, I’ve experienced a lot. When I was younger, I would have been marching and yelling right along with Madonna and Ashley Judd. You see, for years I was angry following my own abortion, and in order to justify my actions, I lashed out at any one and everyone, and that’s exactly what I saw at the Women’s March. I saw vile, nasty, angry women who are so intent on furthering their own agenda, and they left out a majority of women who don’t follow their political and ideological philosophies.

As I’ve matured, I’m now comfortable in my own skin. My reproductive organs don’t define who I am. I embrace and am grateful that I’ve been given the ability to have children, love unconditionally, nurture completely, express empathy, support my husband, enjoy healthy relationships, have strength, the ability to multi-task, be a problem solver, and not be intimidated by anyone or anything.

I love life and believe it is God-given, from the womb to the tomb, and am unashamedly pro-life. When I witness abortion supporters gleefully promoting their abortions and pushing reproduction as a right, I merely see a money making tool for a big industry that deals in death. When money is made off the sale of human body parts of our most innocent, there’s something terribly wrong in our society.

I respect authority and rule of law and strongly support free speech and peaceful demonstrations for opposing policy or opinion. I never support violence to persons or property. However, as I watched the Women’s March all I could think of were adults acting as children who were throwing temper tantrums. We have lost the ability in America to have a civil debate.

Source from Wikipedia

There was a pro-life group, New Wave Feminists, who were originally invited to be a part of the D.C. march, but once the march organizers learned they were pro-life, they were disinvited. The organizers were not all-inclusive, but were close-minded. Their total intent was a pro-abortion death march. I saw no explanation of what they were marching “for.”

I am a firm believer in equal pay no matter the gender. I believe women have the right to work outside the home or stay in the home to raise their children and family. What I am adamant about is that at no time should a woman be scorned because they believe life begins at conception and fails to follow the pro-abortion mantra.

Recently, someone I have never agreed with said the “future is female.” I agree with that statement, but I believe that future must include the full potential of women, not the limited view of those exhibited from this year’s Women’s March.

I’d love to hear from you.


Debby Efurd is an author, speaker, ministry leader and pro-life advocate. Her blog, The Second Mile can be followed at debbyefurd.com where she shares her perspectives on what really matters in life. Her articles have been published in national news magazines at Life News, Life Site News, The Christian Post, Charisma News, World Net Daily, and The Baptist Standard.  She is a contributing writer for Bound4LIFE as well as National Eagle Forum.  Her most recent published work is Go Tell It!, available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Christian bookstores. Find out more about her post-abortion ministry at www.initiative180.org, as well as Facebook and Twitter.


Are They Missing Something? Maybe some Gentleness and Meekness?

 

By Tammy Morgan (Guest Writer)

Source from Wikipedia

As I watched the images of the Woman’s March in Washington D.C. a few weeks ago, I had a great sense of sadness and even a little anger because globally these women were being portrayed as role models. The women on the screen were furious and harsh, but the media lauded them as heroes. Pop star, Madonna, even claimed she’d like to blow up the White House! Even though I don’t have a daughter, I wondered how hard it would be to bring one up in this day in age. There is so much pressure on girls of all ages, to look, act, and dress a certain way. To add to the confusion, most women portrayed on television, and in movies lack the character and discretion that we would want our daughters to have.

So, what is it that these ladies of the world are lacking? The word gentleness comes to mind. One definition of gentleness claims that it is a sensitivity of disposition and kindness of behavior, founded on strength and prompted by love. The words of J.R. Miller describe gentleness perfectly, “Gentleness is a beautiful quality. It is essential to true character. Nobody admires un-gentleness in either man or woman. When a man is harsh, cold, unfeeling, unkind, and crude and rough in his manner- no one speaks of his fine disposition. When a woman is loud-voiced, dictatorial, and petulant, given to speaking bitter words and doing unkindly things – no person is ever heard saying of her, “What a lovely disposition she has!” She may have excellent qualities, and may do much good – but her un-gentleness mars the beauty of her character.

Source from Unsplash

Being able to display gentleness does not mean that you are not passionate about the things God has laid on your heart. Being gentle does not mean that you’re a doormat upon which others can walk. Even if we display justice, righteousness and strength, but lack gentleness, life is sadly flawed. In fact, the Bible gives us many glimpses of gentleness being an attribute of God.  In the beatitudes of Matthew 5, Jesus states, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” What did Jesus mean by “meek?” If you trace back “meek” to its Greek translation, it is translated as “gentle.” Isn’t it ironic that Jesus didn’t say blessed are the bold, strong, or pushy? The more I dive into God’s Word, the more I realize that it is so contradictory to what the world teaches.

When pondering who consistently displayed the characteristic of gentleness, Tom Landry came to mind. My pastor once served on a board with Coach Landry and he said, “Tom Landry rarely spoke during our meetings, but when he did everyone would lean in and listen very closely to every word.”  A biography about his life said that, In 1959, Tom was a 33-year-old assistant coach for the New York Giants and in the off-season, an insurance salesman. Eventually, he coached a team of his own – the Dallas Cowboys – and he led them to an unprecedented 20 consecutive winning seasons, five Super Bowl appearances and two championships. An impressive record, to say the least. What could be considered even a greater feat, however, was that he did it without raising his voice. Tom was meek in the best sense of the word. He was a reserved, soft-spoken, and a man who walked with God as he walked the sidelines. That was evident by his game-time mannerisms. Were the Cowboys up by 14 or down by 14? Tom’s demeanor provided no clue. Was it fourth and goal on the opponent’s one yard line or first and ten on their own twenty? Did the Cowboys just fumble away the game? Did the refs just blow a call? Don’t look to Tom’s expression for answers. This now-devout Christian personified gentleness and self-control.

Psalm 18:35 declares that, “Your gentleness has made you great.” I believe that it was Tom Landry’s gentleness that made him great!

It is comforting to know that we all have to learn to be gentle (Galatians 5:22). It is not a gift that God simply bestows; it takes work and it takes practice because we will have good days and bad days. As our walk with the Lord deepens, our characteristics should become a reflection of Him.

Source from Unsplash

Back to the protestors… When we look at them through the eyes of gentleness, we see souls that are lost and hurting. Perhaps they have never received a gentle answer in spite of their anger and wrath.  Throughout our days, we never know when someone may need a special touch of tenderness. It is impossible for us to know the secret burdens that others carry. Even those who have a happy disposition on their face may secretly be carrying grief. Many people may not be able to explain their need for tenderness, but it is still something they desire.

Even though we have been called to speak truth we must remember to do it in love! We are called to vigorously pursue the things God has placed upon our hearts, but we are to do all things in a spirit of gentleness. God will give us the game plan, an open door of opportunity, and allow us to accomplish things for His glory as we seek Him as an example.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t have a daughter. However, I do have three sons. I desperately hope and pray that they will be blessed enough to someday find a girl who is gentle, because we know that the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth and value in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:4). May we all rise to the challenge to be gentle in everything we do!

“The Lord’s servant must be gentle towards all.” 2 Timothy 2:24

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. “  1 Timothy 6:11

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,   kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

 


 

About Tammy:

Besides being a wife to her rancher/farmer husband, and a mother to her three teenage boys, Tammy has devoted herself to the field of education. She serves as a school administrator in a rural Texas school district. She also enjoys getting involved legislatively in promoting faith and family values. Currently, she serves on the Board of the Dallas Eagle Forum and enjoys supporting the efforts of the Texas Eagle Forum. You can check out more of her musings at: www.thereasonweteach.com.

 

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Not All Millennials Are Created Equal

By Bethany Jarrell (Guest Writer & Our Current Texas Eagle Forum Intern)

I grew up surrounded by strong women. I learned early on that women could work hard, raise children, love their husbands and pursue their passions even if it required quite a bit of juggling. I realize now how special that early childhood experience was. When I think about the young women my age who are marching and demanding that women be treated like men, I am reminded of the fact that many have only seen feminism as it is presented by the mainstream media.

In fact, as a young female born into this millennial generation, according to the media, my opinion on the current gender gap situation has apparently already been decided. The media can spin any scenario with whatever narrative best fits them, as long as the outcome is that those who represent me are still oppressed, overworked, and undercompensated. I am concerned that the questions being asked of me as a single woman only begin to scratch the surface of what I believe is actually going on in our nation.

Do I want equal treatment for men and women? Yes.

Do I think women should be treated like they are human beings with all the dignity that allows? Of course.

What I am still discovering and trying to figure out is – how do we make this happen?

When I consider my generation and what they meditate on, I see now that they believe and what they do is based on the fact that they cannot comprehend anything different. With the perspective I have, shaped by the strong men and women in my life, I can say that there is much at stake for my generation. The future is being shaped by the unimpeded, purposeless whims of a generation that have very few people after whom they can model themselves.

What my generation needs is mothers and fathers.

We need mothers and fathers ahead of us to take an interest in our development. We are not all lost causes chained to our iPhones; nor are we all so easily brainwashed by the mass opinions floating around. The young women of today need to see strong women leading with grace and dignity. Mentoring is a lifestyle that must be done by women because they are women.

I once read the book, 7 Women and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas and I was moved by his premise. There are some women who were able to be the force for change because they were women, not in spite of it. When we think of Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc, Susan B. Anthony, and Hannah More, these women were so distinguished in their fight for what they believed to be right, because they were women. No man could have done what they did and brought about the same kind of change that was so vital to the shaping of the world in which they lived.

As I thought about what to write today, I realized that most everything had already been said on the matter. There have been centuries of men and women before me who have fought hard for the freedom we now have and I do not want to add too much to a narrative that ought to be simple.

It all boils down to the simple truth that the young people of the world and this nation are passionate and driven – but limited in their perspective. As a fellow young woman in the fight for equality, I am convinced that the key to our victory is not in one gender outshining the other, but in men and women leading together while providing the next generation with a better example of unity and strength.

Read More About Bethany Here

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