Dear Friend of the Family,
It’s hard to imagine topping last year, since by God’s grace 2014 was the most fruitful year for The FAMiLY LEADER.
I have two main reasons for writing this letter. First, I want to tell you about a couple great initiatives we’re focusing on and are invested in during the first half of the year. And second, I want to ask for your ongoing financial support, prayers, and participation.
Before I get to those items, I want to highlight a story that ran in the Des Moines Register on December 31. It was about my growing friendship with Donna Red Wing, executive director of One Iowa, the pro-homosexual marriage organization here in Des Moines, and how Donna and I have been meeting for coffee on a regular basis.
In the spirit of that story, I would encourage you to find someone who you disagree with on an important issue, and make an effort to build a relationship with them. Who knows how God will use our best efforts to be ambassadors of salt and light and grace and Truth? You can find the article by clicking here.
Life, Marriage, and Family Rally, Founders’ Bible Presentation, and Del Tackett
As you know, during each session of the General Assembly, The FAMiLY LEADER staffs a tremendous legislative team up at the Capitol to interact with, inform, and encourage representatives and senators toward the passage of pro-family policies. This year is no different. Greg Baker, Danny Carroll, Chuck Hurley, and Tamara Scott are as good as they get when it comes to representing the Biblical worldview and the conservative principles we strive to uphold.
Also, each year we host a rally where pro-family citizens, pastors, and community leaders are invited to gather in support of life, marriage, and other family-friendly legislative initiatives. This year’s rally was held on Tuesday, February 3. We had a very special guest, and we made some very special presentations!
The guest was Dr. Del Tackett, former president of the Focus on the Family Institute and creator/presenter of The Truth Project, Focus on the Family’s biblical worldview video curriculum. On the morning of the rally, Dr. Tackett gave a brief lesson on the biblical purpose of government to a group of legislators at a breakfast planned especially for them. After that, he spoke at the rally, and then returned over lunch and into the afternoon to meet with legislators.
In conjunction with Dr. Tackett’s visit and our rally, elected officials were also presented with their own personalized, leather-bound copy of The Founders’ Bible. The Founders’ Bible is a version of the Holy Scriptures that includes articles and full color pictures revealing how certain portions of God’s Word influenced the people who founded the United States of America. The material was compiled by renowned historian, David Barton.
Not only were Bibles prepared and given to every representative, senator, and most elected executive office holders – including the Governor and Lt. Governor – but they were generously sponsored local churches. For the most part, participating churches hail from the vicinity of the state where the elected officials are from. And, in many cases, the Bibles were presented to the office holders by someone from his/her area or particular congregation. The church leaders and lay people have committed to create a relationship with, stay in touch with, and pray with fellow parishioners for the official from their legislative district.
What an incredible image! Churches, pastors, and lay leaders graciously and lovingly handing out copies of God’s Word to, in some instances, a legislator who may be opposed to their personal beliefs.
Please pray that this is not just a fleeting gesture of good will. Rather, pray fervently with me that these office holders will read the Scriptures, and that the Spirit of God will enlighten their hearts to understand who He is and what He is calling them to do. Pray that they will govern our land in a way that is consistent with God’s Word and with our founders’ God-granted vision for our country. Pray that this presentation of Bibles bears fruit that lasts. I hope we have some stories to relay back to you regarding the impact of these Bibles.
Thank you to our legislative team for coordinating our rally, Dr. Tackett’s visit, and the presentation of Bibles. Thanks to the churches and leaders who sponsored and presented a Bible to a particular office holder. And thanks for all who made the trip to Des Moines to participate in our day at the Capitol.
2016 Caucus Prep and The Family Leadership Regional Summits
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re already embarking on another Iowa Caucus cycle. It’s hard to believe another four years has flown by so fast. It seems like not so long ago we were vetting candidates for the 2012 Presidential Election!
Some things about the Iowa Caucuses don’t change. Candidates reaching out for our support. News coverage about this or that candidate at the local café or pizza joint. Campaign buses and TV news network trucks in every corner of the state. And just like caucuses past, The FAMiLY LEADER Foundation will be playing a significant role in the process of selecting the next President.
However some things do change. Obviously, the field of candidates is different, and sometimes their individual positions on issues change too! For that reason we must be ever-vigilant in our vetting. Another thing that will be different for this year’s caucus cycle, Lord willing, is that The FAMiLY LEADER and her constituency will impact the process even more than before.
Let me be clear about why we want to have even greater impact. It’s not for the purpose of making a name for ourselves. And it’s not so we can rub shoulders with powerful, well-connected people. No, our influence and impact in the Iowa Caucuses (and beyond) is for one reason: to elect a President of the United States who honors God and governs in line with the conservative, constitutional, pro-family principles this nation was built on.
Toward that end, we will expend tremendous resources and time to give you and as many other voters like you in Iowa a clear view of who each candidate is, and what each candidate is about. All of us should take our role as “First in the Nation” very seriously. Our influence can diminish a candidate’s presidential hopes who might otherwise be favored, and we can help launch a candidate onto the national scene who otherwise might not stand out as a chance (like Democrat caucus-goers did with Barack Obama in 2008.)
Please resolve in your mind, particularly you who are God-fearing followers of Christ, to participate in the process. We’ll do our best to keep you informed of opportunities, but you’re ultimately the one who will choose to show up. And you’ve just got to show up!
Especially on Caucus Night! Sometime in January of 2016.
The first set of opportunities we’re providing for Iowans to interact with and learn about the myriad of leaders and speakers is The Family Leadership Regional Summits. We will be hosting four regional events, to which every candidate who meets the criterion will be invited. They’ll be asked to share their pro-family vision for America. Dates and locations are as follows:
Please put those dates on your calendar and plan to join us in one of these regionally convenient areas. Also notice we are not hosting anything in the Des Moines area.
While Des Moines is our largest population center and an obvious location for candidate events, we are making a conscious effort to get the candidates out to the four corners of the state, giving more access to more pro-family voters across Iowa. When I first became President & CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER in 2010, I made it one of my priorities to put our organization out on the road; to get out of the Des Moines bubble and take our message to every nook and cranny of this great state.
The Family Leadership Regional Summits are just one small attempt to follow through on that priority. So I hope you’ll take the time and make the effort to come out and see us.
For those of you living in the Des Moines area, don’t worry! We’ll give you plenty of opportunity to vet leaders here in central Iowa, too.
And one last thing while we’re talking about the Iowa Caucuses… Did you catch how I included “our impact in the Iowa Caucuses (and beyond)” a few paragraphs ago? Over the past several years since the 2012 caucuses, the Lord has given us relationships and influence beyond our state borders – this is another thing that is very different from previous caucus cycles.
This is going to be a huge and a costly year. We’ve got several other plans in the works that I don’t have time to unveil for you today. Stay tuned closely to future newsletters, to this website (www.TheFamilyLeader.com) and our emails to see what else is planned!
Keep praying. And please help us with your most generous financial support, too. God is blessing our efforts beyond what we could ever ask or imagine. For that we are truly grateful. We will use your sacrificial resources to continue investing and leading in the direction He calls us. Thank you!
I hope to see you around in the next few months!
P.S. Please send your very best contribution to The FAMiLY LEADER today, by going to TheFamilyLeader.com right now and make a secure online donation. Thank you!