Des Moines violence meets more powerful force

Iowa’s capital city is reeling from a wave of violence over the past year, including the killing of police officers and a historic spike in homicides.

Which is why some of the state’s leading prayer and transformation advocates, including If 7:14 and Regenerate7, are uniting believers at this year’s DM 1 Cry event to confront the violence with the power of prayer.

Attend DM 1 Cry on Sunday, June 25, and be a part of the change we need!

“As a community, our conversations have been addressing the wave of violence in our city,” said Regenerate7 founder Al Perez. “However, we know that we need to take our conversations to prayer with the Lord as the city Church if we want to see our city transformed. This is the challenge we are facing, like Goliath in the face of David.”

DM 1 Cry unites believers across racial, political, and denominational lines to come together to pray for the city.

What: DM 1 Cry, crying out to the Lord together in prayer for Des Moines
When: Sunday, June 25, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Reconciler’s Worship Center, 920 31st Street, Des Moines
How: It’s free! Additional parking is available at Callahan School, 3010 Center Street, and a shuttle will be provided to the event, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

“How we steward these moments when we put a DM 1 Cry together is critical,” Perez said. “Wouldn’t we glorify God together if the media showed up to report a prayer meeting rather than another crime scene? Right now city leadership is scrambling for answers. Do you believe we have them? We are meeting for a massive prayer rally. … Please make it a priority.”

Make prayer for revival a part of your every day! The FREE If 7:14 phone app makes it easy. Click here to learn more!

He narrowly escaped 9/11 … to come to Iowa

On Sept. 10, 2001, First Officer Steve Scheibner packed his suitcase and waited for the phone call finalizing his assignment to fly American Airlines Flight 11 the next day from Boston to Los Angeles.

The call never came. Scheibner had been “bumped” from the assignment.

The next day, American Airlines Flight 11 was hijacked … and became the first plane to fly into the World Trade Center.

Now the The FAMiLY LEADER Foundation is excited to introduce Steve Scheibner will be sharing his testimony at this year’s Family Leadership Summit on July 15, as he explains what it feels like to have someone die in your place.

Will YOU be at the Summit this year? Click here to get your tickets or to find out more!

You can see a highlight of his story here:

Steve is a retired Navy pilot. After leaving active duty in 1991, he was hired by American Airlines and currently flies the Boeing 757 and 767 out of Boston’s Logan Airport.

In July of 2000, Steve, Megan, and the family moved to Georgetown, Maine, where Steve founded Cornerstone Baptist Church. The church has grown over the years, and current attendance tops 225 per Sunday service. Steve remained active in the Navy Reserve. In 2001, Steve was asked to design and teach a course in Navy Core Values. The course has found broad acceptance, and Steve is a highly sought after trainer and motivational speaker. More than 10,000 service members have attended his Core Values seminars, since its inception in early 2002.

Steve and Megan are instrumental in the lives of young parents. They have developed a parenting course entitled “Parenting Matters: The Nine Practices of The Proactive Parent.” They travel extensively, teaching weekend parenting seminars. Steve recently adapted and taught his Navy Core Values training to the entire student body and faculty of Clearwater Christian College in Clearwater, Florida. He is also the author of several books and studies.

In 2011 Steve retired as a commander from the U.S. Navy. He is currently a first officer for American Airlines. He recently retired as senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Topsham, Maine to become president of Characterhealth Corporation, a non-profit conference ministry aimed at equipping parents to train the next generation of character-healthy leaders.

Click here for more on The 2017 Family Leadership Summit now.

STATEMENT: Last-ditch effort to make Iowans fund abortion providers

According to a Des Moines Register report, the governor-appointed Council on Human Resources held a vote to reject a new state-financed family planning program created by SF2, a law designed to stop taxpayer dollars from funding abortion providers.**

According to the report, even the council was unsure if its vote holds the authority to block SF2 – a law supported by over 30 Iowa pro-life organizations – from taking effect.

The FAMiLY LEADER’s president and CEO Bob Vander Plaats insists no unelected committee has the authority to reject SF2:

“We have elected legislators and an elected governor who have passed this legislation. An appointed executive committee doesn’t get to overturn it,” said Vander Plaats. “The only executive branch body with veto power is the governor. And the governor has signed this legislation. We expect the law will be carried out as written, and Iowan taxpayers will be protected from being forced against their conscience to fund abortion providers.”

**UPDATE** After receiving a call from the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, the Council on Human Resources unanimously reversed its vote, reportedly convinced it did not have the authority to block implementation of SF2

Bob and Darla go back home to lead prayer for life

Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of the The FAMiLY LEADER, will be returning to his native town of Sheldon, Iowa, on Sunday, June 18, to speak on the sanctity of human life.

“It’s an honor to be asked to return home to speak,” said Vander Plaats, “but it’s a duty – for all of us – to speak up for those who have no voice. Because that little girl in her mother’s womb? She’s a baby.

“And in light of the millions of babies who have died in this nation through abortion, it’s only right that we turn to God in prayer,” he continued. “We absolutely need to humble ourselves, repent, and pray, seeking His mercy – not only on the mothers and babies harmed through abortion, but also on our nation.”

Darla Vander Plaats, director of The FAMiLY LEADER’s If 7:14 prayer ministry, will join Bob in Sheldon and lead a prayer for children and people with special needs. Bob and Darla’s son, Lucas, is uniquely gifted with special needs and just celebrated his 24th birthday.

The Immanuel Christian Reformed Church’s prayer team is organizing the “Prayer for the Sanctity of Life” event, free and open to the public from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the church, 601 Union Street in Sheldon (for additional information, please contact Lorna Kraayenbrink, 712-635-7754, or lmmanuel Christian Reformed Church, 712-324.4523).

Bob and Darla were born and raised in Sheldon, Iowa, and both graduated from Western Christian High School and Northwestern College. Bob continued his education earning a masters and specialists degree in educational leadership from Drake University. Currently, Bob and his wife, Darla, live in the Des Moines metro suburb of Grimes, Iowa.

The FAMiLY LEADER, in cooperation with over 30 other pro-life organizations in Iowa as part of the Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders, has been instrumental in touching hearts and minds through the powerful “She’s a Baby” campaign. “She’s a Baby” has become the rallying cry for Iowans who share the conviction that every preborn child is not just an “it,” but a baby worthy of protection. The “She’s a Baby” video has already been seen by over 214,000 people.

Visit and click “I agree, she’s a baby” today!

Sen. Chuck Grassley joins Family Leadership Summit

The FAMiLY LEADER Foundation announces U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley will be joining the already great lineup of speakers – including George Barna, Kellyanne Conway, The Benham Brothers, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, Pastor Jim Garlow, and more – for The Family Leadership Summit 2017!

The Family Leadership Summit will be held Saturday, July 15, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (formerly known as “Vets”) in Des Moines.

Reserve your tickets to the Summit by clicking here now!

“We’re excited to welcome Sen. Grassley,” says Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER Foundation. “The senator brings a wealth and diversity of experience to our discussion of what it means to stand on principles in a culture increasingly divided by politics.”

The theme of the 2017 Family Leadership Summit is “Principle over Politics,” challenging Christians to engage in government while “thinking bigger” than just politicians and elections, to a Christ-centered cultural transformation that impacts not just government, but churches, families, and individual lives.

“This year’s Summit includes leaders from government, entertainment, and church circles, each of whom has faced firsthand the clash between principles and politics,” Vander Plaats continued. “Attendees are sure to be challenged and inspired to embrace a greater vision for America, toward a revived nation that honors God and blesses people.”

For more information about The Family Leadership Summit, visit

For more on Chuck Grassley, see his official bio below:

Senator Grassley has earned a reputation in Iowa for keeping in touch with the people he represents and in Washington for standing up for common sense and holding government accountable.

Chuck Grassley does his job with a work ethic that can be traced to the Butler County farm where he grew up and still lives today, and to his days as a young father of five who worked three jobs.

Today, Senator Grassley holds the record for the longest record of not missing a vote of any senator in office, showing respect for the public trust he holds. Senator Grassley also has conducted at least one meeting in each of Iowa’s 99 counties every year that he’s served in the United States Senate, to encourage participation in the process of representative government. Grassley stays connected by responding to every phone call, letter and email from Iowans, and by communicating with Iowans extensively online via Facebook, Twitter and his own website, as well.

In Washington, Senator Grassley has been a leader in shaping legislation to improve the quality of life for Americans and to expand the economic opportunities for individuals, families and communities.

Grassley serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where he works for a competitive marketplace with antitrust enforcement and tort reform, to reward innovation and invention with an updated patent system, and for legal immigration that will help America’s economy grow. Grassley has led a campaign to open up the federal judiciary by allowing cameras in courtrooms, and he is unmatched in his legislative and oversight work to protect whistleblowers, both in and out of government, who speak up about wrongdoing for the public good. Grassley is an advocate for victims of crime and a leader in the fight to keep illegal drugs out of the hands of young people. He leads efforts to safeguard America’s freedom with effective anti-terrorism and domestic security policies.

Previously, as Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Senator Grassley led through Congress $2 trillion in tax cuts, leaving more money in workers’ pockets, making the tax code more progressive, and spurring economic growth and activity. Grassley is an outspoken advocate for free trade agreements that expand opportunities for job-creating U.S. exports in manufacturing and agriculture. He’s a leader in the development of wind, solar, biodiesel, biomass and ethanol as domestic, renewable energy sources to help fuel America’s future. Senator Grassley authored the Senate bill that created the Medicare prescription drug benefit, bringing the program up-to-date with the practice of medicine and better enabling treatment outside of expensive hospital stays. He’s a leading advocate to improve the foster care system and help more kids find permanent, loving homes through adoption.

Grassley also serves as a senior member of the Senate Committee on the Budget, where he applies his personal frugality to the public purse, and on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, where he brings real-life experience as a family farmer to farm policy.

Along with legislation, Senator Grassley commits tremendous time and energy to congressional oversight. He works to shed light on the federal bureaucracy. He champions transparency when it comes to the people’s business. Whistleblower laws authored by Senator Grassley are the federal government’s no. 1 anti-fraud tool. Thanks to Grassley’s ongoing legislative victories to protect whistleblowers, taxpayers have gotten back more than $28 billion that would otherwise have been lost to fraud. Grassley’s congressional oversight holds accountable those who do business on the taxpayers’ tab.

He’s leading efforts to make sure the Securities and Exchange Commission protects investors and America’s financial system. He weeds out fraudulent schemes that bilk billions of dollars from the Medicare program and rides herd on Medicare and Medicaid officials to ensure quality care in nursing homes and program accountability for both taxpayers and beneficiaries. He exposes federal farm payments made to deceased farmers and exorbitant payment mismanagement and oversight at the Pentagon.

Grassley also led efforts to oversee the unprecedented taxpayer-backed bailouts. It was Chuck Grassley who figured out that the now infamous claim by the Treasury Department and GM that a multi-billion dollar taxpayer loan that had been paid back in full and ahead of schedule was nothing more than a shell game being played with taxpayer dollars. Grassley’s pursuit of accountability has crisscrossed virtually every federal agency. When a federal law enforcement agent on the Southwest border was killed on the job, Chuck Grassley demanded information and accountability from the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives about its high-risk program, which allowed guns into the hands of the illegal aliens shooting at our agents. Grassley has called attention to the FDA’s approval of potentially unsafe foreign-made medical devices and refereed turf wars between federal agencies that compromise U.S. border security. He’s examined abusive practices by tax-advantaged non-profits and shut down offshore tax shelters exploited by corporate elites.

Chuck Grassley’s time-tested blend of pragmatism and integrity gives him a license simply to tell it like it is. He brings a refreshing, no-nonsense style that displaces Washington nonsense with Midwestern substance. Chuck Grassley served in the Iowa legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives before winning election to the Senate for the first time in 1980. Grassley’s creed of ethics and accountability gives Iowans strong and effective leadership.

Why would Christians support a ‘Jewish’ state?

Commentary by Denise Bubeck

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is showing bold leadership by backing an Israeli bill establishing Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people in [their] historic homeland.”

While it’s no surprise some say that’s wrong (such as a Des Moines Register Letter to the Editor from May 25, 2017), as an evangelical Christian, I fully support Israel and am in complete agreement with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Israel, as a political state, is unique for several reasons.

Having a homeland brings hope and security to Jewish people with a common heritage. They have a long history of physical roots and geography regarding the land of Israel.

The birth of Israel as a Jewish state in 1948 also fulfills God’s recorded promises, providing evidence of His hand in history. The recognition of a Jewish state gives Jews and Christians around the world a proclamation that God keeps His promises!

Israel also shines as a beacon of hope. People groups from around the world are being displaced because of persecution for their faith (i.e. Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, and Myanmar, etc.). Most displaced persons yearn for the opportunity to return to their homeland. Israel’s return is a promising example for all peoples, demonstrating that perseverance and tenacity can one day enable citizens to live in their native land where they can practice their faith freely.

Israel stands alone as the only state in the Middle East to protect religious freedom. Jerusalem displays diverse houses of worship throughout the city. The Jewish people are not striving for a state that only practices Judaism, but rather provides freedom for alternative religions in their homeland. We similarly are blessed in the United States to live where people of all faiths can worship.

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Israel’s legislative body, the Knesset, last year on Jerusalem Day, promoting peace and freedom to all religions in the city of Jerusalem. He honored the remembrance of the Temple, linking it to the roots of their faith.

In 2014, I was blessed to stand, pray, and touch the Western Wall remembering the promise that God gave to Abraham to establish his people: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3). This experience inspired me to stand in unity with my Jewish brothers and sisters and to push back on the movement to delegitimize Israel.

The FAMiLY LEADER and I join with Israel in the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War. The Sixth Day War on June 5 – June 10, 1967, expanded Israel’s territory just as Scripture prophesied. We are thankful God’s promises are always true!

Denise Bubeck is a regional church ambassador with The FAMiLY LEADER

If 7:14 hits milestone, unites 50,000 people in prayer!

“Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of Your name” – 2 Samuel 22:50

The FAMiLY LEADER’s If 7:14 prayer ministry is celebrating a milestone today, as 50,000 people have now downloaded the free If 7:14 phone app, uniting in a global rhythm of prayer for revival every day at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 p.m.

But this is just one of the reasons If 7:14 is praising the Lord for what He has done!

The Newsboys
The Newsboys

Praise the Lord for the partnership between If 7:14 and the Newsboys! Through their concerts, the Newsboys have proclaimed a message about praying for revival and have introduced well over 250,000 people to If 7:14.

Praise the Lord for the first birthday of our time-zone-sensitive app, which reminds people through encouraging messages to pray at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 p.m. and allows them to share prayer requests with others.

Praise the Lord for 262 downloads in China and over 200 in Japan. We don’t know how they found it, but it’s amazing to think that we are praying in unity twice a day with people who don’t just live far away, but people who may be suffering for their faith.

170524chinese-christians-prayingPraise the Lord for people like Noe, and Patty and Peggy, who are faithful prayer warriors, lifting up prayers for the Body of Christ and leading all of us with the prayers they submit on the app.

If 714 prayer appCroppedPraise the Lord for the fact that people in more than 30 countries around the world have downloaded the app and are joining the prayer for revival!

Praise the Lord for opportunities we have had to share If 7:14 at conferences in North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, even in London and Rome!

Praise the Lord for all the opportunities we have through social media to talk about and encourage revival prayer!

Praise the Lord for our other partners, like Liberty University, Focus on the Family, National Radio Broadcasters, The National Prayer Committee, and many more.

On our own, none of this would have happened, but “with God, all things are possible!” (Matthew 19:26). Therefore, all of the praise goes to Him and our prayer is that we honor Him and give Him glory in all we do.

Download the If 7:14 app for your phone today!

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord” – Psalm 150:6

International prayer warriors spark a ‘Heart-Cry’ for revival

“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” – Psalm 85:6

It is rare and wonderful when an opportunity arises to be inspired by the combination of natural beauty, biblical teaching, heartfelt worship, and rich fellowship. The If:714 team enjoyed such an opportunity in April when they attended the Heart-Cry for Revival – Fusion Conference at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove. Ashley Baker, Kathy Van Soelen, and Darla Vander Plaats were blessed to represent The FAMiLY LEADER’s If 7:14 prayer initiative at this incredible gathering of prayer warriors and revivalists.

The Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove is a conference center nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. The setting is beautiful beyond words. The wooded property is networked with walking trails and Scripture verses to guide and prompt prayer.

170518 cove2As Darla said, “It truly feels as if you have left the ‘real world’ with all its cares and distractions behind as you drive onto the property and begin to be immersed in the quiet, Spirit-filled atmosphere.”

This year’s conference was the 11th bi-annual “Heart-Cry for Revival Conference.” The purpose of the conference is to learn, share, be encouraged, be inspired, and pray for revival. There were numerous opportunities to join other believers from all over the world in prayer. It was encouraging to the If 7:14 team to know they were not alone. It was not only eye-opening to meet people from different states, countries and denominations, but also to hear their prayers echo our own prayers for revival. Truly, God’s Spirit is moving, calling His own to their knees.

The men and women who were called upon to speak at the conference were from widely diverse backgrounds, but the messages were woven together by a common spirit of passionate devotion to our Lord and a desperate desire to see a new spiritual awakening.

John Avant, a pastor from Knoxville, Tennessee, gave a compelling message about revival happening around the world and testified to God’s work in places like China and Iran. In fact, he said, “If you really want to see revival, if that is really what you want – my best advice is to buy a plane ticket.”

Michael Catt, pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Georgia, spoke about the famished state of much of the Church in North America. He said, “We have lived in famine for so long, we think it’s normal!”

Catt also quoted Vance Havner, saying, “The tragedy of the day is that the situation is desperate, but the saints are not.”

Download inspiring messages from the conference by clicking here!

If 714 prayer appCroppedTFL’s team was truly blessed to have had the opportunity to share If 7:14 with people who already have a heart for revival. Kathy, Ashley, and Darla helped some women from Mexico City, who have never downloaded apps before to download the If 7:14 app to their phones. These ladies were thrilled to not only have the prayer app, but also to have a new skill of downloading apps!

We invite you to join the thousands, in America, in Mexico, in China, in over 30 countries, who are already praying together at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 p.m. for revival using the If 7:14 app.

Click here to download the If 7:14 app today!

We are thankful God provided the open door for The FAMiLY LEADER’s If 7:14 team to experience this revival-focused conference at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove. Joining voices and a heart cry with others was truly a blessing!

TFL defends churches from Des Moines Register’s attack

Commentary by Nathan Oppman, published as a letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register

The Des Moines Register’s May 12 editorial argues America’s 1.6 million tax-exempt charities, including 400,000 “religious entities,” are a burden on the taxpayer “that drives up the federal deficit, hurts local governments and forces the rest of us to pay more to compensate.”

No mention is made of the fact that local “religious entities” run many of our soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters, counseling services, crisis pregnancy centers, endangered women’s homes and more. No mention is made of “religious entities” like the Red Cross, which has provided disaster relief for thousands of Iowans, or the Salvation Army, which has clothed thousands more through its second-hand stores.

The editorial speaks of nonprofits only in terms of speech and money. But churches and charities are about far more: They are about doing good and improving our communities. Think of the children helped at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, or the church roots of many hospitals in Des Moines, or the crime prevented because a child learned the Ten Commandments in Sunday school, or the single mother who got her children to school because a group from church got together and fixed her car for free.

Far from a drain on government revenue by “evading taxes,” churches and charities provide vital services and community benefits it would cost government and the taxpayers incalculable dollars to replicate. Taking away their tax-exempt status is what would really “force the rest of us to pay more to compensate.”

Christianity and your religious liberty are under attack from every angle.
Donate today to help The FAMiLY LEADER take a stand for YOU.

– Nathan Oppman is chief of staff for The FAMiLY LEADER

Iowans race to save lives of three children

A group of Iowans is racing right now to save three Tanzanian children who survived a nation-shocking school-bus crash that claimed the lives of 32 of their classmates.

The story is a testimony to God’s timing and the Church working in unity; and The FAMiLY LEADER is telling you about it because these three children urgently need your help.

Dr. Steve Meyer is president and co-founder of Siouxland Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries, or STEMM, based in Sioux City, Iowa. The ministry provides medical, educational, and spiritual outreach to children and orphans in the African nation of Tanzania.

Meyer told TFL a STEMM team had just finished a medical mission to central Tanzania on Saturday, May 6, when their plans to take some R&R time on safari were held up, over and over. Only after finally getting on the road did they discover God had been orchestrating the timing.

It had been a rainy day, the steep, muddy roads slick and treacherous, when the STEMM team came across a horrific scene: A school bus had lost control and plunged into a ravine.

“Our medical team slammed on the brakes and jumped out,” Meyer said. “They were just the third vehicle to arrive on the scene. They went to work coordinating the effort to pull 35 victims out of bus, but among the broken bodies, they identified three children who still had a heartbeat. They scrambled to stabilize the surviving children and ensure they made it to the hospital.”

But the story only starts there.

170512 STEMM2“The team felt they needed to visit the children afterward,” Meyer said. “One of the girls had a head injury, her pupils fixed and dilated. Local doctors were sure she wasn’t going to make it.”

To have the best chance of recovery, the three survivors – Wilson, Sadia, and Doreen – needed to come to the U.S. for treatment.

“But to be honest,” Meyer said, “though God’s arms are never too short, the odds were long. The Tanzanian government discounted the children’s need for Western aid. Visas, transportation – so many hurdles.”

But one of STEMM’s co-founders is a member of Tanzania’s Parliament and got Meyer an audience with the nation’s vice president. When they met, the vice president remembered meeting Meyer 20 years previous, and she was moved by his offer to help.

It was the morning of the nation’s memorial service for the lost children.

“It was one of the most sobering and emotionally charged things I had ever seen,” Meyer said. “50,000 people were packed into a soccer stadium that only held 15,000. International cameras were rolling. Then the vice president stood up, thanked us publicly, and told the nation if it weren’t for us, there would be three more caskets in the stadium. Then, she set into motion getting the children visas to come to the U.S.”

Back home, Iowans began to respond. Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City offered to treat the children at no cost. Hometown paramedics volunteered to transport the children. U.S. Rep. Steve King was a “bulldog,” Meyer said, trying to arrange a medical evacuation flight … but to little avail.

Then Meyer got a call from a voice he recognized instantly: “Hello, Dr. Meyer. This is Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse. How can we help?”

Meyer told TFL Samaritan’s Purse has never provided this kind of medical evac before, but Graham’s call was just the first of several that came in within 36 hours in which hurdles began to fall.

Meyer explains STEMM is now waiting with baited breath. The plane is on the tarmac. They await news that the last of the papers is signed and the children are in the air.

Updates on Wilson, Sadia, and Doreen can be found on STEMM’s Facebook page. Click here for more.

Meanwhile, Meyer said, the people of Tanzania are grief-stricken, but amazed that these American doctors would be so dedicated to three African children: “The entire continent of Africa is watching and drawing hope from this.”

“I spoke to the father of one of the girls,” Meyer said, “to reassure him that his wife and daughter are warmly welcome, and we’re not just trying to convert them, but that we respect him and his beliefs. With tears in his eyes, he asked me, ‘Why? Why would you do this?’ I told him it was because Jesus didn’t differentiate between Christians, Samaritans, or Gentiles; He offered his love to everyone. And this is how we live out Christ’s example, reaching out to people of a different color and creed, taking three broken remnants of a horrific accident and restoring them to be a light in this dark tragedy.

“The answer to why is Christ’s example of love,” Meyer told TFL. “He met people where they were at, addressed their physical and emotional needs, and that created opportunity to speak to their spiritual needs. People sought Him out, and when the opportunity came to Him, He responded in loving way.

“When this opportunity came to us, we couldn’t say no,” Meyer said. “Rescuing kids from accident scenes and bringing them to the U.S. is not part of our usual ministry, but we were there. All of us are given multiple occasions to say yes to those moments, and there’s so many excuses to say no, but in my weakness God is made strong. So say yes.”

Please say “Yes” to supporting STEMM’s efforts to save Wilson, Sadia, and Doree.
Visit the STEMM website to donate or volunteer today.

Who gets the glory: America or God?

Commentary by Greg Baker

Rome has the Coliseum, Egypt the pyramids, and Greece the Parthenon. These were the symbols of great empires that were each the center of the world in their time. These empires dictated human culture. Their ruins remain today, reminders that something great and powerful once stood there. They are symbols of massive power, wealth, and glory. They are also a shadow of what once was, a constant reminder that even the most powerful nation can fall, as every empire has.

Throughout the Holy Scriptures, we interact with these empires, and God constantly reminds us that empires come and go, but He remains forever. Living in modern America we must remember the fate of all great empires – and that salvation, power, and glory do not belong to any nation, but solely to God, Yahweh, the Creator of the heavens and earth.

Before becoming “born again,” I always looked at Genesis as a book with simple stories to answer the world’s complicated questions. The Tower of Babel was one of those stories, just a way to simply explain the world’s diversity. Today, when I look at this story, I see it as history that has repeated itself over and over again. People are always looking for ways to massively centralize power to one place. The Bible records many principalities, places of centralized power, and the first one it records is Babel. Babel was the people’s attempt to consolidate power – one language, one currency, one identity, in one place.

God looked down on this principality and deemed it not to be good. He knew and still knows that we as people cannot handle such power. It corrupts us and leads us to commit some of the greatest sins of history. It leads us away from the Lord, and brings us to worship of ourselves. We forget God and believe instead that salvation, glory, and power can be found in our plans. God, being gracious, merciful, and wanting all people to come to a knowledge of Him, cannot let this principality stand. So He did the most merciful and loving thing that He could do: He destroyed Babel.

After the destruction of Babel came a massive decentralization of power. The people learned that they were not indestructible and began to spread to the ends of the earth. New languages, tribes, and nations were born. Yet people had not learned the lesson. After the dust settled from Babel, people again attempted to create a central power. Nations began to merge. The number of languages began to decrease, and new principalities were born. In the Scriptures we learn of powerful cities like Sodom and Gomorrah, cities of power that became corrupt, small principalities that God was forced to destroy, because they shepherded people away from God. By the end of Genesis the massive principality that controlled the culture of the world was Egypt.

Egypt grew to be the central economy of the world. It was well-known throughout the world, and its culture extended well beyond its borders. Like all empires though, Egypt fell. Egypt was followed by Babylon, Persia and then Greece, each growing stronger than the previous before its demise. Greece fell to one of the most powerful principalities the world has ever seen, Rome.

Under Caesar Augustus, Rome accomplished what Babel sought. Augustus ordered that there would be one language, one currency, and one identity throughout the empire because he knew that for Rome to succeed, all those they conquered needed to conform to Rome’s identity. From Judea to Spain people would use the same currency and speak the same language. To this end, Augustus awarded Roman citizenship to people well outside the Italian peninsula. He ordered the building of Roman baths throughout the empire and expanded the network of roads that led to Rome. The Roman identity extended not only throughout the empire, but throughout the world. This massive culture created a climate for Rome to rule as the primary principality for centuries.

However, not even Rome could stand, and it too fell. When principalities of this massive size fall it creates great instability. Just like when Babel fell, people began to scatter throughout the world. Hundreds of new tribes, nations, languages, currencies, and cultures replaced the once massive principality. All that remained were ruins.

Rome is evidence that it is only by the Lord that nations rise and fall, and for the sake of His people God will not share His salvation, glory, and power with anyone or any nation.

In the Book of Daniel, we see this lesson taught to King Nebuchadnezzar. God sent Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar to address his pride and arrogance over his kingdom. The exchange begins with Daniel recognizing the power Babylon had acquired. Babylon had become a massive nation that the world not only looked to, but had also become dependent on. Then Daniel warned Nebuchadnezzar that God was going to turn him into a tree stump. Why a tree stump? Because when you see a tree stump it is evidence that something once powerful and magnificent has now been cut off. God did this to show the world that salvation, glory and power belong to Him. “This is so the living will know that the Most High is ruler over the kingdom of men” Daniel 4:17.

Nebuchadnezzar would later repent and be restored, but his heir did not learn from this lesson and would repeat the same mistakes. The night God sent Daniel to warn the king, the massive empire of Babylon fell. The massive kingdom was gone overnight. Babylon today is nothing more than a tree stump: a reminder of what once was.

America is the principality of today. After the fall of Rome, people did exactly what they did after the fall of Babel: scatter, rebuild, and then begin to centralize power. Small kingdoms became empires, and by the end of World War 2, America came out on top. World currency is exchanged off of the dollar, billions of people are learning English, and the American culture has become the dominant culture of the world, as people wear American clothes, shop at American stores, eat at American restaurants, watch American movies, and listen to American music. Most of the world can identify the president of the United States. Like Rome, America’s influence has expanded well beyond its borders.

Christians in America today must learn from men like Daniel, Joseph, Moses, Nehemiah, Peter, and Paul, who did miraculous things in the shadows of massive empires. Daniel thrived because he refused to eat from the king’s table and he refused to drink the king’s wine (Daniel 1). Moses thrived because he considered suffering for the Messiah to be of greater wealth than all the treasures of Egypt (Hebrews 11). Paul survived because he never took his eyes off of the prize. He endured the hardships. He did the work of an evangelist. He fulfilled his ministry (2 Timothy 4).

Like the principalities of the past, America is after our hearts. She wants us to find salvation, glory, and power in her. She wants us to eat her food, drink her wine, worship her gods. The American culture is calling us to find life in the earthly things it has to offer: nice homes, promotions, competitions, fame. It can be easy to try to find hope, safety, and glory in a massive economy, powerful military, and sheer patriotism.

We must learn from Daniel, that it is OK to love the land God has chosen us to live in, and it is right for us to desire its best, but we must never eat from the king’s table and drink his wine. We must never bow to the gods of the land. Our hope, our salvation, and our glory are found in God alone, through Jesus Christ our Lord. We must never forget that the things in America are temporary and cannot give us real life. We must remember that this nation will fall in the same way all other principalities have. Someday it will be nothing more than a tree stump.

This is not to discourage us, but to sober us. God has chosen us to live in this place at this time. We were chosen to be born in one of the most powerful nations of all time. We have an incredible opportunity to be a light, like the many servants of the Lord before us. God has truly surrounded us by a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12). Desire what is best for America. Love its people. But live as Paul commanded Timothy to live in Rome: “For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” 2 Timothy 4:3-5.

The time has come. Many believe that we can follow God and live the American dream at the same time. But let it not be so with us. Shine. Shine as a bright light in the culture. Suffer for the sake of the Gospel in a land that does not believe it needs salvation. Be sober. Learn contentment in the land of consumerism and shine for others to see, no matter where you are. At work, show you are working for the Lord and for the good of the company, not the promotion and the pay raise. Be thankful and content in all circumstances. Say no to endless entertainment that is rotting the culture’s brain. Say no to the culture of addiction. Deprive yourself of wants, and fulfill your ministry. If we do this we will be a light and will be able to say one day, “God, I fought the good fight. I kept the faith, and I finished the race. I did not eat the king’s meal and I did not drink his wine!” Now I await my crown of righteousness, which will not only be rewarded to me, but also to all who long for His appearing.

Greg Baker is director of The FAMiLY LEADER’s Church Ambassador Network

Kellyanne Conway joins The Family Leadership Summit

The FAMiLY LEADER Foundation announces Kellyanne Conway will be joining the already great lineup of speakers – including George Barna, The Benham Brothers, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, Pastor Jim Garlow, and more – for The Family Leadership Summit 2017!

The Family Leadership Summit will be held Saturday, July 15, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (formerly known as “Vets”) in Des Moines. Click here now for early bird ticket prices.

Kellyanne Elizabeth Conway is currently serving as Counselor to President Donald Trump, and is the founder and former president of the polling company inc./WomanTrend, a privately-held, woman-owned corporation currently in its 21st year of operation.

Kellyanne recently served as campaign manager to the Trump-Pence presidential campaign, becoming the first woman to successfully manage a presidential campaign. She is one of the most quoted and noted pollsters on the national scene, having provided commentary on over 1,500 television shows on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, and the Fox News Channel, and numerous radio shows and print stories.

Throughout her multiple decades in market research, Kellyanne has provided primary research and advice for clients in all 50 states and has directed hundreds of demographic and attitudinal survey projects for statewide and congressional political races, trade associations, and Fortune 100 companies. Kellyanne is a professionally trained moderator who has directed more than 300 focus groups. Clients have included Lifetime Television, The Heritage Foundation, Major League Baseball, The Federalist Society, Ladies’ Home Journal, Liz Claiborne, Game Show Network, Martha Stewart, American Express, and ABC News.

Kellyanne has worked for leaders such as the late Congressman Jack Kemp; President Reagan’s pollster Richard Wirthlin; Congressmen Marsha Blackburn, Lee Zeldin, and Steve King; Vice President Dan Quayle; Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich; Sens. Fred Thompson and Ted Cruz, and Gov. Mike Pence.

In what was a poor year for Republican polling, she and her team were among the few on the GOP side to predict the outcomes of major races in 2012. In 2014, all of their general election candidates won. The RNC tasked Kellyanne with helping to defeat the so-called “War on Women.”

A “fully-recovered” attorney, Kellyanne is admitted to practice law in four jurisdictions (Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia). She has practiced law, clerked for a judge in Washington, D.C., and for four years was an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law Center. Kellyanne is a magna cum laude graduate of Trinity College, Washington, D.C., where she earned a B.A. in Political Science, studied at Oxford University, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She holds a law degree, with honors, from George Washington University Law Center.

Kellyanne has been profiled in over a dozen magazines, newspapers, and television programs. Her polling data and op-eds have been published by The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New York Post, The Washington Times, USA Today, National Review, Human Events, Investors’ Business Daily, and Politico and she is a regular on the speaking circuit. She has received the Washington Post’s “Crystal Ball” award for accurately predicted elections and co-authored “WHAT WOMEN REALLY WANT: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live” (Free Press).

Kellyanne is married to George T. Conway III and they have four young children.

Click here to get your tickets to The Family Leadership Summit now!