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.


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.


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


The Top 5 – March 13, 2017

Our President Trayce Bradford has been constantly down in Austin fighting for the legislation that matters to us and to you. You can follow her adventures not only on our Texas Eagle Forum page but on her personal Facebook account. Feel free to befriend her here.  She testified for Senate Bill 6 (The Texas Privacy Act) this week and it passed the Senate State Affairs committee. We are continuing to work for the passage of this bill to protect every woman and every child. Continue to speak up on this issue.

Here is our Top 5 this week. These are ACTION items – please read them and help us make a difference.  If we all spend 30 minutes and take action, we can make a great impact in this state.

Here is our Top 5 for this week:

#1 This Thursday is Faith and Family Day down in Austin. Texas Eagle Forum is one of the sponsoring organizations and we want you to be with us  Bring a car load or a bus load of friends.  Join us for a day where we make a difference together in Austin. We will share information about the legislation currently on the table during the 85th Texas Legislative Session important to our family values community. Come share your thoughts and hearts with your elected officials as we hit offices together. Register here: www.texasfaithandfamily.com

#2 This week we need to call the Business and Commerce Committee in the Texas Senate to ask them to support Senator Creighton’s anti-BDS movement bill – SB 29 – BDS is a global campaign attempting to increase political and economic pressure on Israel through boycotts, divestment of investments and international sanctions. While it isn’t officially stated by BDS, it’s believed that one of the target goals is delegitimizing the State of Israel. State Representative Phil King (R-Weatherford), is the sponsor of House Bill 89, while State Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) is sponsoring Senate Bill 29. To reach more about the bill, go hereHere are the members of this committee – please call their offices and tell them to vote for SB 29 and stand for Israel and the Jewish people.

#3 Call your Senators office and ask them to support SB 83 – the Grid Protection Bill sponsored by Senator Bob Hall – Relating to protection of energy critical infrastructure from electromagnetic, geomagnetic, terrorist, and cyber-attack threats. Please call Senator Kelly Hancock’s office and ask him to please give Senator Bob Hall’s grid security bill a hearing. Call him at 512-463-0109.

#4 Thank Senators Kelly Hancock and Paul Bettencourt for standing up for truth – While you have Senator Kelly Hancock’s office on the line (512-463-0109) – thank him not just for the incredible job he did exposing the false narrative of the Texas Association of Business on the “bathroom bill” (The Texas Privacy Act) but for also confronting other misrepresentations through other witnesses in hearings this last week. Senator Paul Bettencourt also did a fabulous job defending truth this last week. His number is 512-463-0107. Please call him and thank him as well. You can see an video of them in action here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTeZiVIu2QM

#5 Please call your Senators and let them know we want Senate Bill 2 – Relating to ad valorem taxation-  to get to the floor – As Senator Van Taylor, one of the bill’s author said,“Texas families should not fear being taxed out of their homes by an ever expanding government that continues to take more and more.  Our homes are more than just another asset for the government to tax!”  The bill has a committee hearing Tuesday March 14th in the Finance Committee. Be sure and call the committee members as well and ask for a timely vote in favor of SB 2. Here is the link to all of the committee members. Help us by calling them and encouraging this important property tax reform effort.

»» See this list on your blog so that you can easily share it »»

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

Our latest #WomenWednesday blog post is hereTrayce’s latest TEF letter, and our latest March Torch Newsletter is hereCheck out our website weekly for new content that will keep you informed.

Is the effort we are making to keep you informed helping you? We hope so. We want to hear from you on what we are doing to empower the grassroots. Please reply to this email and let us know.

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


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


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.

 

Support Texas Eagle Forum:

We need your support! If you enjoy these #WomenWednesday blog posts and the other information that we are getting out to help the grassroots of Texas, please consider signing up for re-occurring monthly donations or a one time donation to support the work of TEF.


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

Do you like what you are reading? Help Texas Eagle Forum create a grassroots army of activists who care about life and women.


How Are You NOT for Women?

By Audrea Taylor, President of im2moro (Guest Writer)

I remember the look on my professor’s face when she asked, “How are you not for women?” The question was the culmination of a forty-five minute heated discussion we had in front of the class a few days before, and another forty-five minute or so conversation we had sitting in the middle of a busy Starbucks with college students buzzing around us.

My professor had asked me to coffee after our classroom exchange. She was one of the most loved professors on my small Christian college campus. She was young, charming, smart and had a deep love for students. The discussion we had was about women’s rights. We had disagreed on what “women’s rights” actually meant.

Fast forward to just this past week in Washington D.C – I thought back to this conversation I had with my professor as I sat next to a group of women who had traveled from Austin, Texas, not to attend the Inauguration, but to join the Women’s March protest that would take place the next day.

I knew why I had spent valuable resources, time and money, to make the trip to Washington.

I was in D.C. for the historic Inauguration of the 45th president of the United States – to witness the founder’s grand experiment performed for the 45th time in American history with a new president.

Ronald Reagan said in his 1981 Inauguration Address, “To a few of us here today this is a solemn and most momentous occasion, and yet in the history of our nation it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-four-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.”

President Reagan spelled it out – the transfer of power is something special and unique. I wanted to see it happen.

But why had these ladies traveled to D.C.? I know, for the women’s march – but really why had they come? What rights were they deprived of? What rights did they desire?

When you ask people who supported or attended the women’s march this question, you will receive a variety of answers. But I believe there was really only one right they gathered to defend – the right to an abortion.

Ironically, this is a right they already have based on the Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade. But it’s a right they are afraid of losing under a new administration.

You see, the march was not about promoting women, feminism, respect or equality. Many Christian women tried to join the march but were removed from the sponsor list because they believe in the rights of baby girls in the womb. Instead the march was about an ideology that does not value life. It was a platform for planned parenthood’s biggest supporters to publicly display their hate (Madonna saying she thought about “blowing up the White House”) and it was about planned parenthood telling the world they are frightened their business empire based on terminating life will come crashing down when congress defunds them and the Supreme Court upholds a different ideology.

As I sat next to these ladies from Austin who had traveled to Washington D.C. it hit me – I do not believe these hundreds of thousands of women who marched around the country and the world truly understand what is at stake. Edifying a culture of death over life…the damage will stifle generations from now.

I remember explaining to my professor my beliefs on women’s rights – she looked at me genuinely puzzled and asked, “How are you not for women?” I laughed and said, “How could I not be for myself? I’m all for women.” But contemplating her statement in D.C. this past week, a couple years now since I sat in that Starbucks with her, I’m reminded why she said it.

For so long there has only been one side presented in the “women rights narrative.” There have been a few bold women who have dared to swim upstream against this rushing current, Lila Rose for example. But overall, my generation, the women in the millennial generation have bought in to the propaganda on their university campuses and they are perplexed and shocked as my professor was – how a woman can be both pro-life and pro-women?

I truly believe we are at a crossroads in America today. The millennial generation is deciding what they will believe. You could feel the divide in the city of D.C. – those who believed in life and those who gathered for abortion rights.

I want to remind us, we can win on the issue of life for the next four years, as Vice President Pence said, “Life is winning in America.” Yet, if we do not win the narrative with the next generation, we lose the war for our nation’s soul. As quickly as President Trump and Republicans are changing policies to defend life – a new political cycle can reverse the progress.

The pro-abortion advocates know the millennial generation is their key. Obama said this in his Presidential farewell address, “This generation coming up — unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic — I’ve seen you in every corner of the country.” He continued to say, “You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result that the future is in good hands.”

Reagan understood the importance of reaching the next generation when he said his now famous words, “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

We will truly win on the issue of life when we begin to win the narrative and effectively explain how we are actually for women. Political victories are sweet, but let’s not forget the difficult work that lies ahead. Reaching and engaging the hearts of the largest generation in American history – millennials.

Andrea Taylor is a featured Texas Eagle Forum Speaker – see her bio and information here.

Do you like what you are reading? Help Texas Eagle Forum create a grassroots army of activists who care about life and women.


Your Revolutionary Leader is Here – A Response to the Women’s March in Washington DC

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

Over 10 years ago, I launched into the world of professional politics because of many things – I had a man who believed in me, U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05), I was inspired by the lives of Karen Hughes, Special Counselor to President George W. Bush and Peter Robinson, speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, and I was addicted to West Wing (Yes, the liberal TV show) – but most of all I wanted to serve Jesus. I wanted to be a missionary to America and to make a difference in our culture and I had a vision for how my life could make a difference in this field.

You could have never convinced me a decade ago that I would still be serving Congressman Hensarling as his campaign manager and Texas fundraiser or that I would launch my own campaign consulting and fundraising firm and to be able to serve Members of Congress, State Senators, State Representatives, organizations like Texas Eagle Forum, or even our brilliant Fifth Court of Appeals Justices.

I am living my dream right now. I am a successful woman in politics who has “broken the glass ceiling” and every day I get to wake up and encourage my clients to serve the people of America or Texas with integrity and believe in the call of God on their lives.

The women in Washington DC this week that were marching after the inauguration would tell us here that we are oppressed as women and that we can’t reach the potential of our male counterparts in this country.

They are angry at our new President Donald Trump for words he spoke over a decade ago and they are deceived to think that he will treat them – the American women- with the same disrespect that he demonstrated that one day on the set of NBC.

The truth is that these women marching are looking high and low for significance. They want someone to believe in them and tell them that they can be all that they hope and dream. They want to turn off the voices of the people in their lives who have spoken rejection over them, the fathers who have not loved them in the way that they should have been loved, or the culture that screams at them every day that if they want to “make it” they are going to have to claw their way to the top with all their might.

This is my message for these women – your revolutionary leader is here. Jesus has the ultimate life-giving message for women all over this country.

He says – You are free! Free to be yourselves. Free to be who I created you to be. Free to share the story of your life and my gospel. I love you just as you are. If you want to do something – do it. If you want to follow your dreams – follow them. Believe in yourself and who I have created you to be.

In Matthew 28 in the story of the resurrection, these beautiful women came to the tomb looking for Jesus, wanting to be near Him. They were seeking Him and wanting to show Him their affection. He had changed their lives. He had accepted them as equals. He had received them as followers and disciples.

In the moment that changed all of history, Jesus appeared to them in His resurrected body. He loved them, He believed in them and He commissioned them to be the first evangelists of the greatest story ever told.  He sent them to tell the men that He was alive. Mind-blowing thought for the day in time that they lived!

Jesus today loves the seeking hearts of women who love Him passionately and fervently.

Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

My response to these women who are marching and women who are looking for significance – if you want to meet the ultimate revolutionary, the only one who really accepts you and loves you – let me introduce you to Jesus. He is the ultimate freedom fighter for His women. He absolutely thinks you are amazing! He just wants you to see yourself the way He sees you.

I am who I am today because Congressman Hensarling thought, “I think this woman who sold pest control for a living can do this. I think I believe in her enough to give her a chance. If she sold bugs – she can sell me.”

I am who I am today because I had a father who always thought I was a world-changer and told me I could do whatever I wanted in life – preach the Word of God to thousands of people or stand next to elected officials.

In the end, I get to live my dream today because the Man, Christ Jesus, believes in me. He stands beside me every day and speaks significance and identity into my heart. He is the one who laid down all His power to come to earth as a humble man and die on a rugged cross to redeem my life.

In the moments that he was dying He thought of me and He thought of you.

Hebrews 12:2 says – “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The moment I became free was the moment I realized that I was the JOY in His heart. I was the thought that helped Him endure that torment and pain. He believed so strongly in me that He gave it all.

Jesus is my revolutionary and He is the ultimate freedom for women all over America and all over the world.

I am loved by Jesus and commissioned by Him. I am already free. Join me in the revolution of ultimate freedom.

Bunni Pounds

#womensmarch #ultimatefreedom #iamalreadyfree

To see Bunni’s full bio – click here.

To support the freeing of women into the realm of politics, support the work of Texas Eagle Forum here.


Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace Is. 9:6 NIV

There is no better way to communicate a Christmas greeting than through the greatest story ever told and the most lavish gift ever given! We at Texas Eagle Forum want to wish you and your family a Blessed and Merry CHRISTmas and a Joy-filled New Year!

The Birth of Jesus

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.”

Luke 2: 1- 21 NIV Int. Version
Let it Be!