SE Regional Summit Video

Did you miss the gathering of more than 600 Iowans in Mt. Pleasant to hear speakers Kelly Shackelford, Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Rick Santorum, and more?

We’d hate for you to miss out on these fantastic speeches.
Watch the video from the SE Summit below:
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Click on the link below to view the video where you can click on individual time codes to go to hear specific speakers. View SE Regional Video
Here is the link to the initial event information and to learn of future events: click here




Inspiring: Pastors Giving Bibles to Legislators

God’s Word will never return void…  

For those who may have missed it, last week The FAMiLY LEADER organized 130 churches from all across the state to sponsor and give leather-bound Founders’ Bibles to their legislators.  Many churches sponsored bibles for both their senator and representative, enabling all 150 legislators to receive their own personal copy of God’s Word! 

terry amann“This isn’t just any Bible, this is The Founders’ Bible.  [It includes] the belief of the Founding Fathers, their fear of God, their understanding of the scriptures and how it applies to everyday life, and the government they formed around that.” -Pastor Terry Amann

founders bibleThis bible was specifically chosen because it is infused with hundreds of pages of historical context outlining how our Founding Fathers used the Bible as their primary guide for designing this nation.

robert cramer“What a difference that will make in the way they govern if they understand God’s plan for government!” -Robert Cramer

I think you will be very inspired as you watch this short video on how the legislators responded as the Bibles were presented:

 

We are inspired by the support and response of the pastors and lay-leaders who traveled hours to make these presentations, get to know their legislator on a personal level, and commit to pray for them.

If you want to watch a clip with more sound bites of Del Tackett and me, we have condensed it down as best we could to just a few minutes:

 

Thanks for your support!  Efforts like these are expensive. If you’re inspired, please make a donation today so we can keep organizing efforts like this to inspire Christ-like leadership in our culture.

 

For the family,

Bob




Recap of Life, Marriage, and Family Rally

 

…so is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 

Isaiah 55:11

Over 250 Iowans came to the Iowa State Capitol on Tuesday to claim that promise found in the book of Isaiah.  With the support of over 130 churches from all across the state, every Iowa legislator received their own personalized copy of The Founders’ Bible.  Over 80 churches were represented in person during the Rally and Bible presentations.

Watch the highlight video (5 min)!

See the photo gallery on Facebook

We are getting very positive feedback from several legislators who have started reading the Bible, which incorporates numerous accounts of our Founders, and their reliance on the Bible when they laid our country’s foundation.

In addition to the Bible project, we hosted Dr. Del Tackett, author and teacher of The Truth Project, and possibly the top worldview expert in the world.  Dr. Tackett met with about 25 legislators for breakfast at 7:30 Tuesday morning.  Several legislators had to leave briefly to participate in the gaveling in of the House, but they quickly returned to learn more from Dr. Tackett. 

Watch the video of Del’s presentation

Afterwards, those attending the Rally met at the Iowa State Historical Building to hear from Bob Vander Plaats and Del Tackett.  Dr. Tackett then participated in the Bible presentations, and spent time visiting with legislators, the Governor, and Rally attendees.  He was most gracious with his time, and greatly added to the experience.  We are humbled and encouraged by the outpouring of support we witnessed at the Rally and the day at the Capitol.   

The FAMiLY LEADER team gives thanks and praise to God for His blessing this week.  We are honored to have been a part of spreading God’s word, while encouraging all members of the General Assembly in their service.  We look forward to seeing what God’s word “will accomplish.”




A Tribute to Rep. Dwayne Alons

Dear Friend of the FAMiLY,

Early Sunday morning, State Representative Dwayne Alons, a dear friend of The FAMiLY LEADER passed away after a brief battle with terminal cancer. We worked with Dwayne in the legislature for many years, and had become close with he and his wife, Clarice.

On Friday, Darla and I were able to make the journey to Sioux Center to visit Dwayne. I’m so thankful we had the opportunity to be blessed by him and the presence of his family before he passed.

This morning during team devotions, we were solemn as we discussed the loss of this wonderful man we were privileged to know and consider our friend. We decided the best word to describe Dwayne was “dignified.” He never faltered in his convictions, and was always respectful of everyone, including those with whom he didn’t agree. Dwayne was a “man’s man” — every man should aspire to be like him. He loved God, and loved his wife and family. Even as I visited with him on Friday, he was the same way — dignified– and with that familiar sweet demeanor.

We pondered and prayed through the words found in Isaiah 55, “God’s ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts like our thoughts.” Even now, it is with great blessing and assurance that “God’s ways are higher than our ways” and His will is accomplished through Dwayne’s life and through the timing of his passing. Although we are greatly grieved to be separated from Dwayne, we rejoice with him knowing he met his Savior face to face, and that his every tear has been wiped away. It is safe to say that the streets of gold and the sea of crystal greatly trump hospitals, IV’s and anything else this side of eternity.

It is because of Dwayne’s integrity that we decided last year to recognize him publicly for his many years of unwavering advocacy for Iowa’s families in the legislature. The FAMiLY LEADER honored him with the first annual, “Family Champion” award at this year’s “Celebrate the Family” Dinner on November 22. In preparation for this award, it was my honor to interview Dwayne and Clarice in their home in late October of this year, where they shared many reflections and insights from his life of service to his Church, to his family and to his country.

I believe you’ll enjoy and be greatly blessed by watching this video representing the lasting legacy of Representative Dwayne Alons.

The FAMiLY LEADER’s collective sympathy goes out to Dwayne’s wife, Clarice, and to his four children and fourteen grandchildren.
For the family,
Bob

P.S. As another testimony of Dwayne’s integrity with his family, we also received a beautiful tribute to Dwayne from his daughter, Kristie:

Last night, my father, Dwayne, who was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer, passed on to glory. It’s hard to believe he is gone so soon and so young. I know he had a lot more life to live, and he fought to the very end. He gave so much during his lifetime, and I’m grateful for the many wonderful years that we were allowed to enjoy his presence.

My dad is my hero. He followed his Savior faithfully his entire life. He was a devoted father and husband who taught and modeled a life of commitment to the Lord, Clarice, his wife of 47 years, his family, and his country. He diligently worked the family farm for decades. He also served in the Air Force and Air National Guard for much of his career, flying fighter jets and retiring with the rank of Brigadier General. Dwayne followed that up with nearly 2 decades of service as a representative for his district in the Iowa legislature. I love my dad and am so proud him. The impact that he had on me and the many people that he interacted with, and the legacy that he leaves for all of us, is immeasurable.

One of my dad’s favorite poems was “High Flight,” written by another aviator, and it describes his life quite well.

“Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds –
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of –
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I’ve chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God.”

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers over these last two difficult months. We are grateful that we could spend several days over Thanksgiving with my dad. In the midst of the fight for his life, he imparted a personal blessing on everyone who visited him. And we rejoice in the confidence that he is now in Jesus’ presence and dancing on streets of gold.
Sincerely,
Kyle & Kristie Alons & family

The interment will be on Wed., Dec. 3, at 10:15 at the Boyden cemetery with the Gideon circle and the military rites. The memorial service will be at 11:00 AM at the First Reformed Church in Hull. Visitation will be at the First Reformed Church from 6-8 PM on Tuesday, Dec. 2.




Dr. Carson Goes to Iowa!

What a wonderful evening! If you were unable to attend, you missed a tremendous time of fellowship, praise, challenge, and inspiration.

IMG_0451On Saturday evening, we held our annual “Celebrate the Family” dinner, this year with Dr. Ben Carson. The enthusiasm and energy in the room was terrific! We had a full house with about 900 attendees, all anxious to hear from Dr. Carson.

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Iowa Hall at Airport Holiday Inn, just after doors opened.

Watch this video montage of 13 minutes of Dr. Carson addressing:

-What will save America
-Healthcare
-War on Women
-Political Correctness
-Why America is Good
-Education
-Immigration
-Poverty
-Capitalism
-Compassion
-Putin
-What freedom is…

We started off the evening with some enjoyable harp music, the national anthem, and a few remarks by our emcee, Steve Deace.  IMG_0332

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Acacia Scott provided wonderful harp music prelude and during dinner.

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Emcee, Nationally Syndicated Radio Host, Steve Deace

Dinner was then served, followed by a very emotional and touching presentation of our first annual “Family Champion Award.”  The first recipient of this prestigious award was Representative Dwayne Alons.  Representative Alons has served in the Iowa Legislature for 17 years, while continuing to stand firm for family-strengthening values that are desperately needed in our homes, churches, and government.  Unfortunately, Dwayne was recently diagnosed with cancer, and his health made it impossible for he and his wife, Clarice, to receive the award in person.  However, in anticipation of that situation, we were able to video record Representative Alons accepting the award a few weeks ago in his home, and shared that with the attendees.  On Saturday, their son and daughter accepted the award on his behalf.  The entire presentation was very moving.  Dwayne received a standing ovation, and there were few dry eyes.

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The entry way was a buzz of activity while folks were waiting for the doors to open.

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Representative Dwayne and Clarice Alons, along with the Family Champion Award

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Following the award, our President and CEO, Bob Vander Plaats, shared the core reasons for why The FAMiLY LEADER is such an important organization for our nation, and what we believe to be the most critical needs for our nation. Bob stressed that while we believe that immigration, the national budget, ISIS, the undermining of marriage and the right to life are all hugely critical issues, we are convinced that none of those issues can be permanently fixed until we have spiritual awakening that crosses our great land.  The issues we face are, at their core, evidence of spiritual needs and spiritual battles.  At exactly 7:14 pm, Bob stopped his remarks to pray for our nation as he encourages everyone to do in his book, If 7:14.

Secondly, Bob emphasized the unique and, we believe, God-orchestrated location of TFL – in Iowa.  Iowa has the privilege of being the first to vet and truly connect with potential presidential candidates.  This is an opportunity that is unparalleled, and we may not have again for years – or ever.

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Then it was time for Dr. Carson to speak, to which the entire congregation sprang to their feet to welcome him.  Every ear was attentive, and the room was still as Dr. Carson spoke about the importance of the family unit.  He shared about his youth, growing up in absolute poverty, but how his mother encouraged him to work hard and always do his best.  He spoke how political correctness really bothers him as it stifles healthy discussion and is an affront to the Founder’s intent of freedom.

Dr. Carson mixed in a lot of humor as he continued to speak to a wide range of issues, from immigration and the threat of ISIS, to the national budget, personal responsibility, and the breakdown of the family in our culture.

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Following the dinner, attendees were able to purchase Dr. Carson’s books and then have Dr. Carson sign them personally. This was very popular, and hundreds of people were able to meet Dr. Carson.

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Dr. Carson at the book signing after Celebrate the Family dinner. Photo by Dave Davidson.

Be watching for more photos, quotes, and videos to be released in the coming days!