TFL’s Capitol Connection, Ep. 2: “Prayer doesn’t only move mountains”

The FAMiLY LEADER’s Bob Vander Plaats, Chuck Hurley, and Danny Carroll sat down to discuss the second week of the 2018 Iowa legislative session:

The trio opened with a discussion of two proclamations issues by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds this week: one echoing President Trump’s proclamation on Religious Freedom Day, and a second on human trafficking.

The religious freedom proclamations led Bob to quip, “I guess prayer doesn’t only move mountains, but it produces proclamations!”

Human trafficking: Chuck called the day Reynolds signed the human trafficking proclamation “the best human trafficking moment at the State Capitol that I’ve ever seen,” as the day also included awards given “for real change, for lives saved” and news that over 70 hotels in Iowa have been trained and are already identifying evidence of human trafficking.

Yet Chuck also warned, “There’s a hitch in that getalong,” as Gov. Reynolds’ budget did not match the rhetoric, actually decreasing the funds for human trafficking prevention.

Religious liberty: Danny gave an update on the case of Business Leaders in Christ, or BLinC, a student group that was kicked off the University of Iowa campus for its religious beliefs. Legislators this week heard testimony of how the group’s student leader has since been targeted “maliciously and viciously” and the “unseen toll” it has taken on this young man. The testimony, Danny said, has “incensed” Iowa legislators, and there are efforts both in the courts and Legislature to protect religious liberty rights on campus.

Bibles in school: About a dozen House Republicans are working to give school boards permission to use an elective course on the Bible. In this discussion, Danny says, “They’re serious about bringing the Word of God into students’ education.”

Chuck added that the course the legislators are advocating has already passed in Kentucky and been approved by the courts, as it clearly passes First Amendment muster. He also pointed out the need: Even secular university professors are admitting the Bible is so central to Western Civilization that students “are not equipped for college” without a working knowledge of the Bible and its influence on art, law, literature, and more.

Life: Finally, Chuck said, the battle for life at the Legislature has great momentum, but, “It’s a spiritual struggle; it’s a legislative struggle; it’s a legal struggle.” Your prayers are earnestly, desperately needed if meaningful pro-life legislation is going to clear the hurdles and be passed this year.

Make sure you sign up for TFL’s free, weekly Legislature Updates, which will keep you informed and in the know on key issues impacting your life during the legislative session!

Click here now and make sure to check the “Iowa Legislature Updates” box!




MSNBC asks: What do YOU think of Trump’s first year?

Lights, camera, action! National network MSNBC brought correspondent Rehema Ellis and a full camera crew to The FAMiLY LEADER offices to talk to Iowa evangelicals about President Donald Trump’s first year in office.

Among the hot topics: Is there a difference between the president’s public persona and the policy he’s enacting? What do you think of the media circus surrounding him? What do you want to see him do in his second year in office?

The network boiled down over an hour of friendly, but earnest conversation into fewer than three minutes, then aired the clip multiple times on several programs on Jan. 18.

Watch MSNBC’s recap and coverage by clicking below:

The six panelists Ellis interviewed included:

  • Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER
  • Pastor Ryan Jorgenson, Harvest Bible Chapel, Grimes
  • Vicki Crawford, homeschool mom and political activist
  • Steve Deace, talk show host with Conservative Review
  • Pastor Al Perez, Zion Lutheran Church, Des Moines
  • Joan Acela, retired school teacher

The FAMiLY LEADER is your voice for biblical values, standing in the gap for YOU, both in Iowa and on the national stage. Click here now to help TFL shout with a megaphone!




TFL’s Capitol Connection, Ep. 1: “Life looms large”

The FAMiLY LEADER’s Bob Vander Plaats, Chuck Hurley, and Danny Carroll sat down to discuss the first week of the 2018 Iowa legislative session:

The discussion opened with a review of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Condition of the State Address, which Chuck called the best he’d seen in 27 years of work at the Capitol, highlighting the governor’s passion when talking about life. Danny, however, offered a note of caution that Reynolds celebrating last year’s successes is not the same as promising further action.

The discussion then turned to the 2018 Election, which Chuck and Danny can already detect is infusing everything happening at the Capitol. Legislators’ antennae are on “high alert” that they may only have one year left to “swing big” on pending legislation, while at the same time being wary of “swinging too big,” lest they leave themselves vulnerable politically.

Finally, Chuck and Danny talked about three major issues the The FAMiLY LEADER is focusing on:

Life: According to Chuck, “Life looms large” at the Capitol this year, with several bills already being proposed. “We think we’ve got a shot at saving some babies’ lives this year,” Chuck declared.

Religious liberty: When the University of Iowa decertified a Christian student group for requiring its leaders to adhere to biblical sexuality, Danny noted, it “caught the attention” of several legislators. But while these lawmakers may seek to push for First Amendment protections, Danny also noted that large Iowa corporation Principal Financial has already disclosed its No. 1 legislative priority this session is to resist religious freedom legislation.

School choice: Chuck shared the reason school choice is so personal to him and explained why he is “very hopeful parents will have more choices at the end of this legislative year.”

Make sure you sign up for TFL’s free, weekly Legislature Updates, which will keep you informed and in the know on key issues impacting your life during the legislative session!

Click here now and make sure to check the “Iowa Legislature Updates” box!




Capitol Project Update: Session opens




2018 Condition of the State Address: Danny Carroll reacts

Make sure you sign up for TFL’s free, weekly Legislature Updates, which will keep you informed and in the know on key issues impacting your life during the legislative session!

Click here now and make sure to check the “Iowa Legislature Updates” box!




2018 Condition of the State Address: Chuck Hurley reacts

Make sure you sign up for TFL’s free, weekly Legislature Updates, which will keep you informed and in the know on key issues impacting your life during the legislative session!

Click here now and make sure to check the “Iowa Legislature Updates” box!




VIDEO: Christmas made “real” in Israel

Bob and Darla extend Christmas wishes to you and your family, and reveal how a recent trip to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan made the stories of Christmas so much more than just stories!




VIDEO: U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse at Celebrate the Family 2017

Over 550 people packed the Hall of Cities Ballroom at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown Saturday night for the 2017 Celebrate the Family banquet.

The event drew a diverse crowd of young and old, faith and government leaders and everyday Americans who came to hear about The FAMiLY LEADER’s vision for cultural transformation and to hear from keynote speaker U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

Norman Rozendaal of Monroe, Iowa, told Radio Iowa’s Kay Henderson he felt “honored” to be in the room.

Speaking of keynote speaker Ben Sasse, Rozendaal said, “I have never heard anybody as articulate as that man, off the cuff, saying exactly what has to be said in our American culture. … I would give him A+++.”

The evening also included three inaugural awards The FAMiLY LEADER bestowed upon a pastor, legislator, and citizen champion, respectively, for steadfast commitment to Christ-like leadership in engaging government and culture.

  • The Timeless Voice Award was given to Pastor Brad Cranston of Heritage Baptist Church in Burlington, Iowa:
    Cranston Award
  • The Dwayne Alons Award was given to State Sen. Dennis Guth of Klemme, Iowa:
    Guth Award
  • The President’s Wilberforce Award was given to TFL founding board members Dean and Judy Lauterbach:
    Laughterbach Award

In addition, TFL President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats presented “The Daniel Initiative,” The FAMiLY LEADER’s bold, new vision for equipping other states to adopt TFL’s proven model of cultural transformation.

The unique aim and success of TFL’s model has been to flip the old paradigm of the Church being hijacked for political “kingdoms” on its head – to instead inspire the Church to engage government for the advance of God’s kingdom.

The ultimate goal of “The Daniel Initiative” is to energize Christians through a state-by-state, contagious vision of seeking a revived America that honors God and blesses people.

Join the movement to spread cultural transformation, state by state, across America today!
Click here now to fuel the fire!

Sen. Sasse, meanwhile, echoed the themes and heartbeat of a Church engaged with government, but not for the sake of politics.

“Friends, there is no politician that is going to save America,” Sasse said in his speech. “Friends, there is no election that is going to transform your life to become so much better than it is right now, and into all that you want it to be. There are definitely reasons to walk precincts and to sign people up to register them to vote … but let us be sure we live among our neighbors as people who know that we actually believe, that we put not our hope in princes, except we believe there is a Prince who is yet to come.”

Watch Sen. Sasse’s speech in full below:

(Video courtesy of Shane Vander Hart and Caffeinated Thoughts)




VIDEO: You don’t want to miss this night!

Get more information on “Celebrate the Family” by clicking here and reserve YOUR tickets today!




VIDEO: After Las Vegas shooting … what can we DO?




VIDEO: Bob speaks to NFL, anthems, and America’s greater needs




Two Americas: Charlottesville and Houston

Pictures from the racial violence in Charlottesville and the hurricane recovery efforts in Houston reveal two very different faces of America.

The FAMiLY LEADER’s Drew Zahn explains that you and I can make a difference in which face becomes the truer one:

Click here to read the full column: “From Charlottesville to Houston …”