Monday, April 25, 2016

Last Night

I'm not writing about the deal made between the Cruz Campaign and the Kasich people. That will be rehashed in the media for the coming weeks. Plenty will be said.

I am writing about what happened at my church on Sunday, May 24th during our evening service. I was changed. I thought I had been moved closer to God but I was broken last night. Instead of a sermon by our Pastor, the message was just people giving testimonies. I lost it. I realized that I had not been doing enough toward what God wants me to do.

I have never felt so broken but I also know that there is a path forward. I need to listen for that still small voice, as Pastor Brown always refers to. I need to put aside my own needs. I've always lived for me. It has been an empty and awful existence. I no longer will do that. I need to find away that I can be of service to others and make ends meet. I need to be able to tell people about Jesus. I trust that He'll provide a way.

A conversation I had over email with a friend has changed my outlook. This friend said this: "Keep pressing on. Don't forget to put on the armor of God every day (Eph. 6). And remember, it is not about being strong. God wants to be strong through us when we are weak. And if you don't feel equipped for what He is calling you to do, "He doesn't call the equipped, He equips the call."...One more thing- we serve a Savior who loves us at our worst. He breaks us to re make us- a more whole vessel than before." This is the second time that this same person has given me advice that has changed my life and I thank them for it. I don't want to call attention to this person but I think they'll know who I'm talking about. Thank you.

Last night broke me but with God's help, I'll come out the other side all the better to serve Him and to serve others in His name. I ask that you'll pray for me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Laborers Are Few

Tonight, as I processed the New York primary results, I was struck by a point my pastor made several weeks ago. Just a few people, when serving a righteous cause, can do much. Jesus did great things with only a few disciples and they carried his church across the world.

This reminded me of the story of the American Revolution. The American Revolution was started by a small group of colonists who were tired of being under a far off King's rule. Fully 20% of the colonial population left after the war because they were loyal to the British Crown. Some estimates are as low as 3% of the colonists started the Revolution. That number grew by the Revolutionary War's end, but the laborers for liberty were still few.

Just think of what 3% of the current day population could do if they mobilized for liberty. 3% is roughly 10 million people out of the current estimate of about 330 million people in the United States. Imagine 10 million people rising up with a unified voice for our founding documents and advocating for limited government. Our legislators in Washington, DC wouldn't know what to do.

What I'm trying to say is that even if you can only spare a little time or give a little money, you can do something. If you are waiting until your situation is "just right", you may be too late. What if we lose to a Democrat or a Democrat in disguise, like the other two guys running for the GOP nomination? We could lose everything we hold dear. Our rights of religious liberty, self preservation, free press, free speech and the rights of the States to self govern could all be greatly diminished by the election of 3.25 out of the current crop of 4.25 presidential candidates(John Kasich rates as a quarter of a candidate). Only Ted Cruz has a record of standing for limited government and actually protecting our rights.

Now is the time to give your time, your fortune and your sacred honor to the cause of freedom and liberty. Not only are your fellow countrymen counting on you(even if they don't know it yet) but the rest of the world is counting on you. Whether we like it or not, a strong United States is necessary for world stability. We must band together and stop the bleeding or the greatest nation, the nation responsible for the vast majority of the Christian mission work across the world, will cease to be.

Do I think the country will just dissolve? Not really. We'll just cease being a Constitutional Republic in favor of either a more fascist and nationalist state or we'll lurch even further left and we'll collapse like the Wiemar Republic. We'll then have a period of rampant violence and fascistic nationalism as a response. Study history so we don't repeat it.

Now is the time to sacrifice. Now is the time to fast. Now is the time to fall to your knees and pray. Pray on 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

No Politics Today

I was all prepared to go all political today but there are still several months left in this primary season and then the lead up to the convention in mid-July, so I have plenty of time to expound and wax poetic on all things political. The ironic thing is all of the following thoughts are possible because I chose to get involved in the dirty business of politics. The Lord does work in mysterious ways.

I wanted to write today. New job news and many other things are in the works but the best thing is having a purpose greater than my own good. I had lost my way for many years while I just worked and went home and repeated the cycle every day. I had been driven by a job and money before. I no longer want to fall into that trap. While having a good job is great, I had been relying on myself too much.  I had been turning inward rather than turning toward God. I didn't realize how profoundly unhappy I had been until now. I am so glad I'm no longer trapped in a that old cycle.

There is so much more to life. There is a purpose above just a job. There are other people in this world that you can positively impact. Whether it is in deeds or words, there is always something you can do to help someone else. I had lost this purpose until I was led back to it. That there are people in my life that helped lead me back can be attributed to nothing but God's love and grace. I had done nothing to deserve what I've been given and there is no way I can ever pay back the kindness and love I've been shown, All I can do is try my best to live for God and in turn, show others what I've been shown.

So many thing have changed for me. I have lost the want to watch TV. I'd rather read or have a conversation with friends. I haven't had a drink of any sort of alcoholic beverage in almost 5 months. I used to drink to unwind a little. I don't need or want it any more. There is a peace that I have now that was missing before.

I notice things now that I didn't before this journey started. I find people that worry and complain more abrasive than before. Worry, anxiety and complaint are all just avenues to express doubt in God. There are no good reasons for these feelings. Instead, prayer has replaced those feelings in my life. One of my friends told me something a few months ago that has really stuck with me. A benefit of being a child of God is sweet peace in the midst of storms. Every time I find myself with a sliver of doubt or worry creeping in, I think that thought and I know I have no reason to worry.

I find things that didn't have any effect on me before do now affect me. I am pained by people that choose to follow false teachings relating to faith in God. I've been shown the truth. Telling people that they can live better and by doing that, they can experience salvation is nothing but a load of lies. The exact opposite is true. You'll just died a tired and condemned sinner. Before any true change can happen, you must accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. After that, the works will come naturally if you remain rooted in the Bible and have a network of people around you that are on the same path. Jesus said that his yoke is light. He was completely correct. Having a mentor in this incredibly helpful. I have several people that I look to in order to see how a godly man should act. I pray that I can be that person for someone else in the future.

I find myself thinking of others when in a large group. Before, I always thought of how my decisions would affect me. Would I gain success? Now, I think of the effect on others before I make the decision. That doesn't mean that I hold back when speaking the truth. If the effect on others is for them to not like me because I spoke the truth, I'm now OK with that. I'd rather be on the right side with God and offend someone rather than placating them for worldly gain. God willing, the truth that I spoke would convict that other person in the future and help them turn toward God. Living for God is so much more fulfilling than living for yourself, wandering(and maybe wondering too) from one day to the next.

One other thing that really gets to me now that I've had a chance to reevaluate life is mistreatment of women. I never gave that much thought to how a person treated those around them but now that I know so many godly ladies, mistreatment of women really gets to me. I knew politics was going to creep in...what I've seen and heard from people associated with the Trump campaign raises a righteous anger in me. I don't like letting injustices slide. I've seen the comment sections on news articles written about certain friends and those people that would deride someone, especially a lady, for no reason other than their own misguided notions will now elicit a reaction from me. I don't let these things slide. I want to stand in the gap between today's declining culture and my friends who have done nothing but live for God and try to help others. I've seen both sides of all of these cultural battles and I can say, unequivocally, that I know which side I'll stand on from now on. I'm on the side of those working for Jesus.

None of these changes were overnight. I know God has worked and will continue to work in my life as long as I keep my eyes on His face and continue praying for His guidance in all that I do. I know this post won't get the most likes on Facebook or be retweeted multiple times but I needed to let the world know of the transformative ways of a God that loves us, if only we'd believe on His goodness and accept his Grace in the form of the ultimate Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Way Forward

After the serious trouncing the Trump camp received in Wisconsin, the Donald lashed out in a disgusting and worse-than-childish statement posted to his website and disseminated by all of the major media outlets. His language was crude and the statement was poorly written, leading me to believe that he wrote it himself. Contrast his poor behavior to the speech that Ted Cruz gave after his Wisconsin win. It was concise and positive. Ted struck a tone of unity. The party is coming to him, albeit begrudgingly. I find this to be quite satisfying.

The way that this country can move forward is to look to our founding principles and apply them. Ted Cruz is the only candidate actually proposing to roll back the size and scope of the federal government. Implementation of the Cruz tax plan would result in economic growth the likes of which this country hasn't seen in years. The Cruz tax plan would also take away the majority of the K Street lobbyists' power. Without an ability to carve out tax loopholes, they would be made useless, for all intents and purposes. The Cruz flat tax would also effectively eliminate the need for the IRS.

Obamacare will only be abolished and replaced with free market solutions under a Cruz administration. By decoupling health insurance from employers, thereby making it portable, and then tearing down mandates and onerous state by state insurance rules, the cost would drop because competition would explode. These fat cat insurance companies would actually have to work for your business. Novel concept. Another reform being proposed is increased availability of Healthcare Savings Accounts(HSAs). This would allow a person to carry a catastrophic policy and then shop around for the best deal on normal, everyday medical procedures like office visits and simple tests. Empower the actual end user and costs would drop dramatically.

The Cruz plan for border security is an actual plan. You can read the whole thing by clicking here to go to the website, . Ted has been working on this issue for years. He is not a newcomer to fighting illegal immigration and he won't be flexible like one New York lefty running on the Republican side this year. He actually knows that border security IS national security.

Ted Cruz's plan to fix our military is just as impressive. The Navy and Air Force need to be streamlined and strengthened. The Army needs more soldiers and the Marine Corps just needs to be unleashed when called upon. Ted's ideas for restructuring the rules of engagement are also a needed change. No longer should Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen or Marines have to call a superior officer to be able to defend themselves or terminate the enemy. The whole purpose of the military is to kill the bad guys and break their stuff. It's high time they be allowed to do that when force is needed. Once the objective is completed, we need to go home. No more nation building where there aren't nations to be built.

All of the above pales in comparison to the restoration of Constitutional liberty that would happen under a Cruz presidency. People of peaceful faiths would no longer walk on egg shells when exercising their inherent rights. Abolition of the federal department of Education would be a monumental step toward allowing states the ability to determine their own paths on education. School choice will be, nay, must be the central civil rights issue of the coming century. Leftist schools are resulting in dumbed down automatons that can't think or reason or live independently. I truly believe that homeschool and parochial school parents shouldn't be made to pay taxes to support schools they don't use. This practice is the epitome of taxation without representation and it needs to stop. Without federal mandates, these battles could be more easily waged at the state and local level. Below, you will find an excerpt from detailing his plans on eliminating the federal department of education and I've linked it to his Five for Freedom page for more info.

"Educational opportunity thrives on choice, ingenuity, and diversity; the Department of Education squelches all three. Largely created as an outgrowth of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, the Department of Education has existed in its current form since 1980. Despite its stated aim to bring equal access to all, it has failed to close the gap between low-income communities and other communities, and instead has led to one-size-fits-all solutions imposed on millions of students with differing educational needs. Eliminating the Department of Education not only restores the states’ constitutional power and saves taxpayers billions of dollars, it returns decision-making to parents and local communities, and liberates students and teachers from a failed top-down approach. The growing federal role in education spurred by the Education Department has led to perverse mandates such as Common Core and counterproductive laws such as No Child Left Behind.

We should repeal every word of Common Core. And, as President, I will direct the Secretary of Education to immediately end the federal government’s mandates that seek to force states to adopt this failed attempt at a universal curriculum.

Even more broadly, we need to get the federal government out of education altogether. The Department of Education has the third largest discretionary budget in the federal government, and it provides 10 percent of funding for K-12 education. Yet, with that 10 percent share, it imposes significant requirements on states and schools, forcing them to submit to federal bureaucrats. Education has traditionally been a state matter; the people closest to students know them best – parents and teachers know far more than Washington bureaucrats – and we are already witnessing remarkable reforms by state and local governments to increase school choice and resist Common Core standards. We need to restore parent and student choice and remove federal barriers to children’s success.

A Cruz Administration will eliminate the programs in the Department of Education that are wasteful, ineffective, and fail to achieve better student outcomes. We will perform a careful review of remaining programs to assess how best to return those responsibilities to state and local communities.

The lion’s share of K-12 funding will be block granted to the states, including Title I funding and the Individuals with Disabilities Education program, while the Indian Education program and Federal Impact Aid will be transferred to existing departments. Pell Grants will also remain intact and can be transferred to the Treasury Department. This will result in higher quality education, more tailored to local needs, at a lower cost.

The D.C. Public School Funding and the Opportunity Scholarship Program will persist because Washington D.C. is under the federal purview of Congress and it is constitutionally appropriate for those programs to continue to be overseen at a federal level. But those programs can be run by another department, and the Education Department can be shut down.

Ineffective Spending:

Since the Department’s inception in 1980, the federal government has spent nearly $1.5 trillion on education.
It cost the U.S. $151,000 per student to put the graduating class of 2009 through public school; adjusted for inflation, that is nearly three times the amount we spent on the graduating class of 1970.
Despite this outrageous spending, education outcomes have either stagnated or declined. The nation’s report card, first administered in 1992, shows that the disparity between white and black 12th grade reading scores has increased – showing African American students half a grade further behind their peers, and totaling a nearly three grade-level difference."

We know the way forward. We know that this way will work. We must put stupid party politics to the side and move toward a better and more free future. Ted Cruz is the only candidate in this race that has the correct plans, the temperament, the knowledge and the lack of fear to expend political capital to make good on his campaign promises. We must stand together and be heard. America is too valuable to entrust her leadership to unprincipled progressive nationalism or socialism.

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Below, you'll find the video of the Rally for Religious Liberty in Des Moines, Iowa. That event launched my foray into political activism and no other event has changed my life as much as that evening did. For more on how that day changed my life, click here.