Tuesday, December 27, 2016


I've heard it said that the only constant in this earthly life is change(other than death and over taxation). Over the past few days, a few things have become quite apparent to me. I've prayed and listened more and talked less. I need to do more in the service of others. This is where my change starts for 2017. 
I will be looking to work with the public again. I want to be more involved in my church's soul winning ministry. I want to be able to share my faith more effectively. I want to become a better listener. I want to make sure I'm there for my friends when they need me. I also want be a better witness. I need to let God lead, both through prayer and reading His word. 

Last year at this time, I was so wrapped up in campaign mode, I couldn't even squeeze anything else in my schedule or in my thought process. Until early May, I lived and breathed campaigning. It was fun. I was with like minded people everyday working for a goal. After that all blew up in early May, I tried to fill that time with other pursuits. Working for work's sake had become dreary. I didn't feel I was doing what God wanted me to do. Until last night, I have been in a rut for several months. 

Last night, during my prayer time, a wave of peace came over me. I just need to put my head down and serve others. I need to let go and choose not to let negative people who don't follow God bring me down. If I've given them the Gospel and it still doesn't matter to them, I'll continue to pray, but I can't let their unwillingness to change cause me to have a bad testimony. I believe God is telling me it is OK to let go. This doesn't mean I quit loving these people, but it does mean that I need to let my burden for them go. God will work on them and it's up to them to surrender to Him. Instead of living in fear of what I couldn't do or couldn't have, I must be grateful for what I do have and continue to serve Him.

The other thing I continue to work on is showing gratitude and love to my friends, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. One specific couple has been there for me over the last few months when I felt I could turn to no one else. I need to be there for them in this coming year. They are in my prayers.(They know who they are.) I also need to make sure I support my other friends as they leave for their upcoming tour. They've done so much for the cause of Christ and I pray they continue to do so. They've shown me how to live and I love them for it. I also need to continue to pray for my pastor. He's a good man with a good family leading a great body of believers. 

Over the next few weeks, I will be looking at what I can do in 2017 to live like I should. I need to let anger and frustration go. I need to let God lead. I am willing to surrender to Him and get my own aspirations out of the way. Thanks for letting me bend your ear, so to speak.

The above quote has resonated with me for the last few months. I need to do more. I need to be better to people who don't know me and to people who do. I look forward to what God will bring in 2017.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

From My Heart

I've been pondering this blog post for several months. This is something I need to write about. Someone I know has taught me about gratitude and I need to make sure those I'm grateful for know it.

Let me start from the beginning. My life has been one of a series of good and bad decisions. What is apparent is the bad ones were almost all when I was away from God. I had strayed. Only in the past 15 months, have my eyes been opened to the point where I've been able to reconcile the past with the future. God has placed a few people in my life that have opened my eyes and He's placed me in a few situations over the past year that have shaken me to the core, in a good and convicting way. My past doesn't have to limit my future.

Several of these people that have changed my life have become my three best friends. One is my pastor. Another is the eldest son of a family I've grown to love and the last is a fellow church goer who shares my same world view on nearly everything. The other two who have had the biggest impacts on me are a 14 year old boy and a 22 year old woman. These five people have shown me that that I can trust people again. They've shown me that unwavering faith is possible. I've had weak moments and a kind word or a well timed text message have lifted me out of something that in years past would have saddled me with sorrow and grief.

What spurred this post is an experience I had over the last weekend. I spent the past several weeks helping prepare for the Marion Avenue Baptist Church Live Animal Christmas Play. I was able to spend time with people I have grown to love like family. Sunday evening, during the final performance, my pastor came off stage and gave me a high five and a hug because he was so pumped up about that final performance. Our church charges nothing to attend this play because we want people to come and hear the Gospel message of Christmas and the Resurrection. This is a mission field for this church and my Pastor's attitude has changed my life. He knows my past and still thinks enough to call me a friend.

The other two friends are there for me, no matter what, and I strive to be there for them, too. Whether it is a call or a text, I can always reach out and I want to be there to listen when they need an ear to bend. We laugh and talk sports or politics or family. I appreciate these two guys more than I can express.

The next two will make me tear up a little. The 14 year old young man I speak of has shown me that it is OK to share my faith with others. He is so cognizant of others that he makes me take notice of people who might need a message of hope through Jesus. His knowledge of the Bible pushes me to read the Word of God everyday. His earnest kindness pushes me to be better to people because I need to be a better witness for the One who has saved me.

The lady I speak of has shown me what unwavering faith in God looks like. She has shaken me to my core. Several times, her words have caused me to reevaluate a situation from the side of God and walk in faith, trusting that He would make a way, and she's not been wrong. I appreciate her pointing me toward God more than anyone I've ever met. She continues to be the light I need to continue to follow God and pursue a closer relationship with Jesus. Her words to me almost 10 months ago stick with me everyday, "One of the blessings of being a child of God is sweet peace in the midst of storms". When I have a bad day, I repeat that to myself and remind myself that I am a saved believer in the one true God and that his Son came to earth to be a perfect sacrifice for me, and anyone else who would believe on Him.

I urge anyone who reads this to do what ever is possible to find people who point you to God. I did not deserve any of what I've been given and it was only after I recommitted my life to Jesus that these blessings came to me. I needed a life line and God gave me one. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A National Day of Reflection

  1. deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed.
    "they were filled with remorse and shame"
    synonyms:contrition, deep regret, repentancepenitenceguiltcompunction, remorsefulness, ruefulness, contriteness; More

Today, November 8th, 2016, should be marked as a new national day of reflection. On this day, a new president will be elected. Normally, I would have a rooting interest in this day. Today, I don't. Today marks a day of profound disgust for me. Disgust with the fact that the two major political parties and the majority of voters from one and the smallest percentage plurality of voters in over 4 decades from the other saw fit to nominate the two worst candidates in the history of this nation. Frankly(inside joke), if you would have told me we would have two candidates in 2016 who's sole purpose is to make Barrack Obama look better than he is, I would have told you that you were insane. That exact scenario has happened. My confidence in the America people has suffered greatly this election cycle.

Let's do a bit of a premortem postmortem, if you will. First, Hillary Clinton is the worst Democrat to seek office since the last one. Donald Trump is first Republican to make Richard Nixon look good. Clinton has ties to awful world governments. Trump has funded her after her ties were exposed. He even said she was a great Secretary of State after the failures of Benghazi.

I think the vast majority of the blame for Hillary rests on the Democrat party. She is who the Democrat establishment is. She and her husband have been the measuring stick for the Democrat party for years. Nothing more needs to be said as this is who the Democrats are.

The blame for the cesspool of awfulness that is Donald Trump rests solely at the feet of a useless and feckless Republican Party. Under the leadership of Reince Priebus, this party has taken more governorships, state legislatures, and the majority in both the US House and the Senate. What does this nation have to show for it? Absolutely nothing. We still have out of control spending. The best evidence was the latest Continuing Resolution vote several weeks ago. Obama has only had to veto 12 bills in nearly 8 years. He should have had to veto more than that in the first 6 months of 2015. The level of abject awfulness and fecklessness of this party has never been matched. See this July's convention just as a confirmation of this fact. Conservative voices were crushed. It is clear that people like me have no place in this party. The slobbering hordes of insane people shouting to vote for Trump or we all die does nothing to smooth over my righteous indignation at this party.

Donald Trump started courting conservative organizations with donations a few years ago and crafted a message to fit this willfully ignorant mass of voters on the right in this nation. The rise of the AltRight(AltReich is actually a more fitting term) is proof positive of Trump's appeal to the lowest dregs of our society. We've even come to the point where clickbait, made up news is now the most credible source for info for the slobbering horde of true Trumpcult believers. Alex Jones and Infowars are seen as sources worthy of citation now.

I hate to cite this oft used comparison, but there are shades of 1932-1933 Germany popping up all over this nation. Masses thinking that one man can fix all the ills of our nation. People buying into a personality cult. If you combine one candidate who is like the first truly fascist progressive to hold office at 1600 Pennsylvania, in one Woodrow Wilson, and the George Wallace run in 1968, you have the makings of this presidential election. Except now, there is no elder statesman to step in and win the presidency.

Our best hope for this government is to throw off the constructs that have been placed on us by the current corrupt two party system. We must get back to a civil discourse and work towards smaller government. This should be the first goal of any person seeking higher office. Reign in the out of control government and let liberty reign across this nation. Freedom must be the rallying cry. Short of these goals, I will not support anyone running for any office, whether it be county, state, or federal office, from here on out.

There is a new party launching in the coming days. I urge you to check them out. I intend to put as much effort toward this new effort. Click here to find out more. Let us always remember November 8th, 2016 and use this day as a day of reflection and recommit ourselves to the American ideal of government of, by and for the people.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


As many of you may, or may not know, my life has been changed greatly over the last year. Much of this has been due to my church and the people I've met through this church. My friends have had a great effect on me. I see the world as a place to serve others, rather than only myself. I have found joy where none existed before. God is always good. One thing that has greatly increased in me is my sense of the amazing differences God bestowed upon each one of us. No one is the same and there are some differences that God intended us to respect. First and foremost of those is the respect a man should have toward a woman(any woman).

A little background before I go any further. I have never been one to have many female friends. That has changed over the past year. The ladies in my church are great. Several I consider to be good friends. This has changed my perspective, mainly because many of these women are godly and respectful. They honor God and respect the word of God. When you see ladies like this in everyday life, a new respect for women is developed.

I think some blame can be placed for the moral sewer we are in right at the feet of the feminist movement over the past 50 years, downplaying the inherent differences between men and women. Men have gone from cherishing women to competing with them. I don't think this is the way God intended us to live. Before you decry me as a misogynist, I believe, as the civil law says, all people are equal before that law. Also, before you get mad, realize that I am advocating that men honor women and women respect men. Both sides have much to work on because our culture has muddled what it is to be a godly man and a godly woman to the point that this aspect of life is almost unrecognizable. Boys need to be raised to be godly men and girls need to be raised to be godly women, and until we get back there, this will continue. It's taken me over thirty years of life to realize this.

Now, to the meat of my message. I am tired of people who, for many years and decades, have hammered the left(rightly so, I might add) for being anti family and anti Christian and anti morality and now have gone all in for Donald Trump because they are afraid of the bogeywoman Democrat running for president. I know Hillary Clinton is a disaster and she will likely be an enemy of the church. Ask anyone who knows me and they can tell you how much I did to try to prevent the scenario we're facing right now. Nearly 10,000 miles traveled and thousands of doors knocked on will attest to that point too. I've been in this fight for quite some time.

Fast forward to today and people I once respected and looked to for moral guidance have left the Christian movement high and dry. People like Franklin Graham, Dr. James Dobson, and Tony Perkins have flushed their ability to speak to issues of morality and biblical sexuality down the drain. How are we supposed to be able to advocate for marriage being a forever promise between God and our prospective spouse when people the same people who told us that for years are now covering for a man who trades in his wives when they get too old, like a wealthy man does with his cars? Michael Farris, who has been instrumental in the homeschool movement and was a founding member of the "Moral Majority" in the 1980's said this,

 "The premise of the meeting in 1980 was that only candidates that reflected a biblical worldview and good character would gain our support.
Today, a candidate whose worldview is greed and whose god is his appetites (Philippians 3) is being tacitly endorsed by this throng." 
I couldn't agree more with what Mr. Farris said. The Christian right has become what they railed against for so many years.

When people, who have made it their business and their mission to speak up for traditional values, throw their credibility away for political expediency, we know they have bought into what Satan peddles. No one is righteous before God, but we must try to be. Giving in to a disgusting man, like Donald Trump, because of a fear of his opponent shows a stunning lack of faith in God. A phrase my pastor used several months ago keeps coming back. So many people are trying to "put God in a box".

On October 7th, when I first saw the piece about Trump's hot mic comments regarding how he treats women, I told some friends of mine, but I wouldn't even send the article to my female friends. I did send it to their dad and let him know what I thought so that he could inform them, but I wasn't going to subject them to that kind of filth. I couldn't bring myself to do that. Fast forward to just last week and a piece by Nancy French in the Washington Post,
"Republicans who have lamented the Clintonian proclivity to malign women are now defending the same activities because … well, they idolize power or their own strategic cleverness. Trump, like the preacher, is too important to abandon. We have become what we said we despised."
I was in tears by the end of this piece. I want nothing to do with a movement or a party that will excuse one vile and awful person just because the other might be worse. I can't do it. I have screwed up many times in my life and I've paid a price for doing so. Relationships have been harmed. I was on the wrong path. I've found my way back, thanks to God working through so many good people and lots of personal reflection and prayer. I don't want to go back to the path that isn't from God's word.

Shortly after reading that piece, Nancy's husband, David French, released this piece in National Review,

"I distinctly remember the first time I saw a picture of my then-seven-year-old daughter’s face in a gas chamber. It was the evening of September 17, 2015. I had just posted a short item to the Corner calling out notorious Trump ally Ann Coulter for aping the white-nationalist language and rhetoric of the so-called alt-right. Within minutes, the tweets came flooding in. My youngest daughter is African American, adopted from Ethiopia, and in alt-right circles that’s an unforgivable sin. It’s called “race-cucking” or “raising the enemy.”"
David French and his wife, Nancy, adopted a child from Ethiopia. He was a subject of scorn and ridicule for this because a sizable minority of Trump supporters, Trump's cult, if you will, think this is disgusting. We have to push back against this type thinking. Enough is enough.

As I read an email from a friend of mine last night, her work and her words rang true. She is burdened for two young ladies in the community she is staying in who have an abusive and immoral father. She's trying to combat what so many "evangelical" leaders are now excusing as locker room talk. She is reaching out to young women in a different country, trying to help them overcome what society has become. She, through the Holy Spirit working through her, is doing what we all need to do. We need to readjust our focus from a purely political and worldly focus to one of reaching the lost for Christ and then helping them to walk the path laid out for us in the word of God. This friend has reminded me of that calling and I think we all need a reminder, from time to time.

Stop making up excuses for evil! Stop making up excuses for fearing man! Fear God and speak the truth in love! Jesus still saves and God will still be in control on November 9th, just as He is right now.

Some more resources and reading:

"I want to ask the men leading the GOP some questions. Why didn’t you defend women from this raging sexist especially after so many Republican women — for so many years — eagerly defended the party from charges of sexism? You must make us out for fools."

"Only 9% of Americans chose Trump and Clinton as the major party nominees. The one is a repeat donor of the other. Trump endorsed Hillary Clinton over both John McCain and Barack Obama in 2008. He has given to her campaign repeatedly. He defended Bill Clinton in the 90’s against Paula Jones, et al."

Find me on Twitter.

Comment below.

Friday, October 21, 2016

From Skeptic to Advocate

I've been debating with myself on what to write over the past week or so. I have multiple angles on how to approach the cultural battle we are in the midst of right now, but this idea has been coming to the forefront of my mind since I took the plunge into leading a homeschool class every Thursday.

Just over a year ago, I would have considered myself a homeschool skeptic. My eyes have been opened. The biggest eye opener has been my friends(not just one family, either) and their dedication to homeschooling. My pastor and his siblings were homeschooled. My friends, the Bontrager Family, have all been homeschooled and several other close friends I've met over the past year were also homeschooled. They are the reason for the break through on this subject for me.

Over the past 14 months, I've been heavily involved with politics(who, me?) and I've had a chance to interact with people from all walks and ways of life. The singular element that I've seen that makes the difference in a young person's life is the way they have been cared for and educated by their parents. Looking back on my education, public school did a decent job of teaching me to do math and to write and read. What it didn't do was prepare me for life after school. What it didn't do was instill in me values I now hold dear. What it didn't do was give me a grounding in the Bible. I've had to do all of these things on my own, and sometimes, I failed miserably. I don't blame my parents because homeschooling really wasn't even a thing people did when I was a child in Nebraska. In some states, it was illegal. In many states, it is still frowned upon. Luckily, here in Iowa, many people celebrate homeschoolers. 

Here's where I'm going with this. The Bible says this in Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  The more a parent can instill the ways a child should go from an early age, the less likely our society is to be filled with people like we have now, so uninformed/misinformed/ignorant(sometimes willfully so), they can't make decent decisions in areas of great importance. Nobody knows a child better than that child's own parents. Each child can be brought along at a pace suited for that specific child. Most public schools teach to the mushy middle. The kids who could excel are held back and the kids who need a lot of personal help are left behind. This is hurting so many children.

Not to discount everything else I've said above, but the main reason I see to take your kids out of public school is this; public schools teach things that are harmful to children. Secular humanism is now the default religion of the government school. Students are taught that the only absolute is that there is no absolute truth. Everything is gray. Nothing really matters except for how something makes them feel. This is killing our nation.   

Most public school kids, even with highly involved parents, will be fed a steady diet of secular thought and no respect will be given to a child's spiritual well being or to that same child's parents' wishes to have them brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Public school is incompatible with raising godly children. Do some godly Christian people make it out of public schools, yes. Is this the norm, most definitely not. In a study, released last year, the Pew Research Center found that 25% of people born after 1980 have no belief in God. This number is more than double the amount for any previous generation. It is no coincidence that public schools have been consistently moving toward outright hostility to those who believe in Biblical truth. 

The biggest over reach from the progressives running our government run indoctrination education systems has to be the new catch all for all things progressive and anti God: Common Core. The phrase is nebulous but it really just means a whole curriculum centered on making little progressive automatons, suitable for work in factories and service jobs. After much research, I found a piece that sums it up succinctly. 

But there’s more. Common Core supporters will admit that several states had better curriculum requirements than Common Core. Then they typically say it’s still better for those states to have lowered their expectations to Common Core’s level, because that way we have more curricular unity. That’s what the Fordham Institute’s Mike Petrilli told Indiana legislators when he came to our state to explain why, even though Fordham graded Indiana’s former curriculum requirements higher than Common Core, Indiana should remain a step below its previous level. One main reason was that we’d be able to use all the curriculum and lesson plans other teachers in other states were tailoring (to lower academic expectations, natch). Yay, we get to be worse than we were, but it’s okay, because now we’re the same as everyone else!

The even greater impact for future generations is this; homeschoolers grow up with a healthy skepticism of government and a greater reliance on family and the Church. We must start to push back at big government. I see homeschooling as the primary way to remove government influence from the life of the American family. We must remove government from as many aspects of daily life as possible. When government doesn't matter, they stop being able to control us. When government doesn't matter, people will actually take care of their neighbor. When government doesn't matter, businesses will flourish.When government doesn't matter, the United States of America will be made great again(to borrow a misused phrase). Government must never be the solution. People must provide that solution or be prepared to fight a tyrannical government at a later date.

Comment below. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Prayer Request

I have a prayer request. A dear friend of mine has been called into the mission field. Allison Bontrager is going on a 5 week mission trip to Mexico to minister, encourage and support young women in the Russian/German Mennonite community in that country.

Pray for her safety, that she would be filled with the spirit of the Lord, and that she would be able to help win souls to the Lord. Also, pray that she is a light to the young women she comes in contact with.

Allison has been there for me at God appointed times to speak to me from God's word and to provide a spiritual lift when I've faltered over the last year. My faith is immeasurably stronger because of Allison. And, she makes the best no bake cookies.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A National Nightmare

The truth is, Trump is just a product of a sick and dying culture. The further we pull away from the roots of faith and family that built this nation, the more depraved and base we become. - Susan Wright for Redstate.com

In one month, our national nightmare will be codified by the vote of people who don't have the best interests of the nation at heart. The 2016 presidential election has been a hot mess(or as a Senator from my home state of Nebraska described, a dumpster fire) for the better part of a year now, but mark October 7th , 2016 as the day the Trump campaign died. I won't post links to the articles that quoted or even showed the video of Donald Trump from 2005 because I have too much respect for my female friends. Suffice it to say, what Trump said 11 years ago is the real Donald Trump. Those wishing he was a better person or could possibly act "presidential" will be waiting until they die or until Jesus comes back, which ever comes first. I pray for the latter daily.

The Trump campaign has forever damaged the ability of the current Republican party to speak to issues that many of us hold dear. I'm a small government type when it comes to political philosphy. The GOP is so far from being a small government party, they are happy being the "we'll die from debt slightly slower than the other guys" party now. In areas of morality, the GOP has also abdicated their place as the party of morals, once and for all.

As someone who led a life away from church and from the truly Christian lifestyle for many years and recently found my way back, I can honestly say that I understand why so many people are eschewing the Church, nationally. When people like Robert Jeffress and Dr. James Dobson make excuses for the behavior of Donald Trump, why choose to be apart of a religion that endorses the same thing as the world endorses?

Christians are called to be separated from the world in our ways. If we are not willing to stand against the national disgrace that is Donald Trump, what will we be willing to stand against? I know Hillary is bad. We've all known that for the better part of 30 years. Why then, did Christians allow someone like Donald Trump to gain the nomination to oppose the wretched woman? It's almost like some of us went from state to state sounding the alarm that a Donald Trump nomination would result in Hillary Clinton being elected president. Oh, wait. Some of us actually did do that.

While a chorus of "I told you so's" is highly warranted, I am now going to choose to drop to my knees and ask God for His mercy. Our nation surely doesn't deserve it, especially since our leaders and wannabe leaders now say marriage is a nebulous concept to be defined by the parties choosing to define it, men aren't men and women aren't women(opposing God's design), and babies aren't babies until some crazy group like Planned Parenthood says they are babies.

Don't try to tell me that "I should think about the cabinet and the Supreme Court" with regard to Trump. He has shown himself to not have the ability to listen to wise counsel. He has surrounded himself with people who are not conservative. His most trusted advisor is his daughter. She is a big government progressive with views more closely aligned with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama than with the late Antonin Scalia or Senator Mike Lee.

Anyone, and I mean anyone, who has accepted Jesus as He is and believes that He is the way, the truth and the life, must turn from the current major party choices for president. Some will practice situational ethics and say that one(or the other) is better than the other. That is wrong. Both must be soundly rejected. One will win, but the winner must not have a mandate to anything other than sit in the Oval Office.

On a more personal note, I've never had many female friends because of the businesses I worked for in the past were heavily male dominated, but I have become friends with several of the most amazing ladies I've ever met over the past year. If anyone, and I mean anyone, said what Trump has said about women toward one of my friends, my sister or my mom, I'd do a lot more than just wring my hands. I'd do everything I could to make sure that person was called out for the digusting human he was. I surely wouldn't vote for that person. What would you do if someone used language like Trump has used and directed it toward your daughter, your wife, or your sister?

Sara Gonzales, a writer at RedState.com, summed up the current mess like this:

Finally, if you want to disagree, give me your best shot. Tell me where I'm wrong. Just don't use the Bible or Christian values to make your case, because that would be heresy and I won't put up with it. Please, comment below. 

A few more links for you to peruse regarding the impending death of the Trump candidacy:

In 1999, Trump Said He Couldn’t Be President Because of the Women He’d Sleep With

Friday, September 23, 2016

#NeverTrump, More Than Ever

Today was a dark and somber day in our political discourse. A man who I thought held the same principles I chose to fight for for the better part of a year caved to the cult that is Trump. I will no longer place so much confidence and hope in an earthly human, lest I be burned again. 

With Senator Ted Cruz's capitulation today, Donald Trump won. He destroyed Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz will no longer be able to speak out against the evils of Washington, DC with any sort of authority. He will now be tied, like it or not, to the most evil man to run for president in our life time. I knew Hillary was a disaster and when I moved to Iowa. I also found Donald Trump to be just as deplorable(Trumpcult likes that word).

I chose to immerse myself in the task of fighting progressive politicians in both parties last fall. I had never been more energized for an undertaking. Today, that energy ended. The next president will be a progressive statist and one of the clearest voices of opposition to the progressive agenda snuffed his light out today.

I saw whole churches corrupted by a con man. I saw people scream at small kids(my friends) because they were volunteering for someone other than their Cheeto faced messiah. I witnessed people who had pined for a movement conservative change overnight and support a quasi fascist thug. I will not join.

Many in my movement are now gone. They have decided, out of fear of one evil, to support another evil. It is just that simple. Neither of the candidates currently running are worthy of any American's vote. The fact that upwards of 90% of Americans who do vote will vote for one of these two awful people boggles my mind. When will Americans stand up and say we've had enough? If this election doesn't cause a huge upheaval in this country, nothing will. 

I'm here to advocate for peaceful civil disobedience of the next administration. It is long past time people advocating for smaller government were heard. We must reign in Washington for this nation to regain some semblance of freedom. Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins, my efforts will be centered on removing them from office. I will work across the aisle to see this happen. Both VP candidates would make decent place holders until we can truly vet and chose a decent candidate for 2020. 

I'm also going on record, right now, that I will not support anyone who ran in this primary cycle, should they choose to run again, including Ted Cruz. Would I vote for Ted if he was the nominee in the future, most likely, but I would support a primary candidacy of someone who didn't cave and bow to the cult of Trump if they met a minimum level of Constitutional values. I won't suggest who might run, but I will ferret out any support, either overt or covert in nature, of one Donald J. Trump. That will be my start for a litmus test for who I will support in future elections. 

Today was a bit cathartic. I left nearly every Facebook group I had joined in the last year. I blocked hundreds of Trumpcult members on Facebook and Twitter, many still spewing vile and awful things to a man who had just bowed to their perceived messiah. I saw many of the most active county chairs in the Cruz campaign sign off today. These were people who volunteered thousands of hours and gave thousands of dollars to a campaign because they thought the candidate spoke for them. Today, Ted Cruz stopped speaking for them.  It is comforting to know that the ones I'm closest to will stick to the principles we all hold dear. 

Do not get me wrong, I do thank Ted Cruz for acting like a principled candidate last year. The people I met during his run are the best people I know. Some are now the best friends I've ever had. We united around shared values. I was a backslidden believer until a man I met, because of a campaign meeting, asked me to come to church last year. When a friend of mine sends about 15 email sized texts to the group text I'm on with her family about how disappointed she was regarding what happened today, I take stock in knowing that we share principles and not a faith in human beings. God, through His word, has shown us what to do. I didn't follow what the Good Book said for many years, but now I've seen that if you place your faith in God and the grace provided through His Son, Jesus, no man will truly ever beat you, for even in death, there will be liberty if we know Jesus.

People who have decided to support Donald Trump are doing so out of fear. That is the only reason. There can be no other. They fear Hillary Clinton so much, they don't see the wolf in Republican clothing waiting to devour them. I, for one, choose to eschew fear for faith in a just and mighty God. I'm choosing to find my way by faith. I was lost for so long, I cannot afford to damage my conscience any longer. I need to clean it, not sully it with a vote for Donald Trump.


2 Timothy 1:7King James Version (KJV)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

An Eye Opening Week

I spent last week with my friends at a family camp that they, along with another family, host. I had fun being with my friends and meeting many new people. If you know me, you know I like meeting new people. This camp was mainly focused on homeschool families who teach their kids biblical principles, along with their reading, writing and arithmetic. Most of the kids were bright and easy to talk to. After my morning session teaching a little history and current day politics, I was encouraged by the conversations about American government I had with many of the younger men in attendance.

Here's where I break with many of the families in attendance. Many of the families were in home churches or family centered church settings. Some others were in Mennonite Churches. The main thing I heard from many of the people I talked to was a lack of enthusiasm for their church lives back at home. Some had fallen into the trap that the church must only revolve around the family and reaching out to others would somehow taint their ability to raise their kids in the way they wanted to. Some just found church to be a place to learn about the Bible. Learning is good, but I have found I need a soul convicting message from time to time to stay focused on what it is that I, as a Christian, am supposed to do. I was raised in a dying church and from my conversations with many of these families, they are in dying or dried up churches too. It breaks my heart.

A church should be focused on the Great Commission, set forth by Jesus Christ when he reappeared to the disciples after His Resurrection.

Matthew 28:18-20King James Version (KJV)

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. If your church isn't centered around this, you need to find out why. If your church isn't centered around reaching the lost amongst us, why does it exist? If your church is just a place for people to go to feel better about themselves, why go?

There are many Sundays or Wednesdays when I can be found weeping at the altar in my church because I am on my knees before a Holy God asking his forgiveness for my sins and my shortcomings. I was never asked to do this in any other church setting I'd ever attended until I was invited to Marion Avenue Baptist Church. I know I'm nothing with out Christ. I know that I must be broken before I can be of any use to God.

So many times, people get wrapped up in what makes them feel good. I know I did. I took the path of least resistance for so long. I was wallowing in my own iniquity and sin. Until I came to the realization that spiritual growth can't occur until spiritual baggage is let go of, I was unable to grow.

My burden is for this to be made clear, to all who are lost and even all who've been saved but then after their decision to trust Jesus were not discipled and led to grow in their faith, that there is more than just the 4 walls of your house/church. We need to be taking the light of the Gospel to all corners. We can't be afraid to hand out a Bible tract to those we meet. We can't be afraid to tell others. In living for others, we can see God bless our own lives more than we could ever see if we turn inward.

Many of the people I talked to didn't even have actual pastors who were tasked with preaching the Gospel in their churches. Some were in glorified Bible study classes. Learning and memorizing the Bible is great and to be commended. Doing that without applying the principles inside is rather useless. Having a called pastor is a must. That pastor must preach the Gospel and lead people in how to apply God's principles to their daily living. Anything less is dead religion.

People, especially children, need to know the reasons for why they are told to behave in a certain way. If you offer nothing more than, "because I said so" or "Do as I say, not as I do", you'll have children that fall away from God and eschew the Church. I know this happened to me. I was lost and backslidden(that's a Baptist term) for years. I didn't even see it. It has taken me nearly a year to figure out that I need to forgive many people and repent of my own sins to be able to move forward with a joy filled life.

I urge everyone who reads this to find a Bible preaching church where the pastor will challenge you. You should be uncomfortable from time to time. When church becomes comfortable, it starts dying. When you do find a church like I've described, get involved. Help take the saving knowledge of the Gospel to a lost and dying world.

Romans 10:8-17King James Version (KJV)

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Shut the door, so that new ones may be opened.

This campaign season. My past idiocy. What do these two things have in common? Well, they are two things I need to shut the door on and move forward from.

The last message I heard my pastor preach was about shutting the door on past hurt and past sin and giving it to God. He preached on having faith to trust God in what was to come, but in order to do that, we couldn't let our past sin remain in the forefront. We needed to learn from it and move on, lest it become a weight around our neck, pulling us down.

I needed that message. Between the bleak outlook for our national discourse and the dumb things I have done in the past, I could easily choose to dwell in my own sorrow. I can't. I need to move on. Give it to God, lay my issues at the feet of Jesus and choose to move forward. To be honest, it was a pretty tame sermon (in Joseph Brown terms) that caused such a revelation.

If I chose to let my dumb and ungodly living in the past rule me, I'd be a slave to it. I need to move forward. I need to work on my anger and I need to work on living for others. When I am living to serve others, I truly find happiness and I think God designed us to be servants to our neighbors.

This week, I'll be spending my time at a camp with hundreds of Christians, mainly families, hosted by my friends, the Bontragers and the Wissman family from Nebraska. I feel blessed to have been invited to this by my friends. For the last month, all I heard was "You're coming to camp, right?" Well, I really didn't need my arm twisted. There are good people from all over the US and even from Canada at this camp.

On a side note, the political season can't come to an end quick enough. Between Hillary's health issues and her lack of any respectable ideas and Donald Trump's complete and total inability to grasp the issues at hand, I don't see a pleasant end to the election in early November. I must wash my hands of this presidential race. I will focus my efforts on a US House race in Northeast Iowa. Rod Blum needs to be sent back to Washington, DC. Outside of that, I'm left with a bunch of squishy Republicans to cast ballots for in my local races. If I focused on this, I'd go nuts. I'm giving it to God. I truly believe he'll use the next president to exact a measure of judgement on our nation.

2020 starts the moment our next president is elected. It is up to brave patriots to oppose the next president of the United States.

I know this post is kind of a mishmash of two thought tracks but I just needed to write a bit this morning. I'm ready for a week of meeting new people and being with my friends.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Step Back and See What is Important

This post is as much for myself as it is for anyone reading it.

Last week's missions conference at Marion Avenue Baptist Church showed me what was important. I saw people from all walks of life, whether they be a successful Fortune 500 businessman or an alcoholic who was a bad husband until he was presented the Gospel and chose to turn his life over to Christ, living for the work of Jesus here on earth. One thing that was true was the calling to help save souls across the world and here at home. Our assistant pastor told me that as a young man, he saw missionaries as heroes. I didn't know what he meant until I met this group of people at our missions conference. God has truly chosen them to help save others.

I didn't get it when a friend of mine told me she wanted to return to Mexico to help minister to other young ladies for a month and a half later this year, until I talked to these missionaries. It isn't about wanting to go to exotic places or experience other cultures, although that is part of the experience. It is about wanting to see as many people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus as is possible in our limited time here on earth. It is about being the salt and light Jesus called us to be.

I think this is where many so-called Christians miss the boat. The Great Commission was go and tell the world about Jesus. That world includes your neighbors, friends, relatives and people you meet in the course of normal life. It doesn't take someone special or gifted to do it either. It takes each one of us who call Jesus our Lord to just do our job.

Matthew 28:18-20King James Version (KJV)

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 16:15-20King James Version (KJV)

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Romans 10King James Version (KJV)

10 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

Two things are pounding themselves into my consciousness right now. The still small voice of God is louder than I've ever heard. I need to be more aware and willing to share my faith with those around me who I know aren't Christians and I need to be willing to surrender myself to serving the Lord in full time missions, if I'm called to do so.