Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"It's Not Over Yet!"

It's strange how much things can change within a week. Last week, I was composing a post that was full of optimism and hope. I had just been to a Cruz rally with my family and felt good about what the Indiana primary results would yield the next day. My heart was so full!

Needless to say, I was shocked, ashamed, and disappointed by the end of Tuesday evening. I guess the one consolation is, the counties I grew up in were both won by Cruz and the county that I currently reside in only went to trump by 1,100 votes. I was also proud of Fort Wayne (Allen county) that was won by Cruz. Maybe that's why I had so much faith in my beautiful conservative Indiana. I was raised in areas that were (and are) Christian and conservative. The people I knew/know were mainly against Trump, so I thought that things would go well. I figured the Indy and South Bend areas might be different, but I still thought that everything would work out.

The shock, anger, and sadness of the loss weighed heavily on the hearts of my family and I. The emotions were magnified when Cruz suspended his campaign so soon after the results were final. I don't know who cried more; me or the kids. Paige asked when we were moving to Canada, and Gianna bawled and said over and over again that she didn't want Trump and begged for Jesus to return within seconds to take her away. She also voiced something that was lingering in my own heart: "How will we ever stop abortion now? It will never end!" Though, as my good friend Cathie reminded me, we just have to keep saving them one by one. Even if legalized murder continues to go on, we have to keep caring and educating so that hearts and minds can be changed and people will choose life instead of of death.

The next morning, I kept thinking about King David in 2 Samuel 12:15-23. He fasted and prayed for his sick child until the child died. Then, he got up. He pulled himself together, cleaned himself up, ate, and carried on as normal. In my heart, I also felt that this was what I must do. I had fasted, prayed, and hoped for the best. During that time, I felt that God gave me the following words to prepare me for whatever was to come. Here is what I shared on Facebook that Tuesday afternoon before the results:

Fellow Hoosiers, PLEASE vote today! Your vote DOES matter because YOU matter. Your FAMILY matters. Your JOB matters. Your BELIEFS matter. ANYTHING and everything that matters to you WILL be affected (for good or for bad) depending on how you vote or if you neglect to vote at all. It's not only your right and honor to vote, but it is your duty as a patriot of this great land that we live in called "America"! I urge you, brothers and sisters, VOTE.....and vote WISELY! Do it for you, your family, and your children! Don't undervalue what your voice means just because you think you're only speaking for yourself (because you're not!). 

It's no secret for whom my votes were cast (‪‎Ted Cruz‬, Jim Banks‬, Marlin Stutzman‬). They got my vote because GOD gets my vote. I vote for the ones who follow His ways, not their own way. If we keep voting out of our own selfishness and ignorance, we will reap the fruit of it. We will continue to have a nation that is vulnerable to our enemies and be stripped of the right to protect ourselves when our right to bear arms is ripped away from us. We will also continue to see our taxes raised and wasted senselessly; and Planned Parenthood will still keep robbing us of our money as they continue to rob our nation of innocent human life to sell for profit. 

If evil continues to thrive, it's not because God allows it....it's because WE do! It isn't the will of God for us to hurt and suffer. He longs to heal us and give us life abundantly. However, how can He give it if we won't accept it? How can we receive it if we don't choose it? We all have free-will. Our choices determine whether we live in victory or defeat; live and thrive, or decay. It is imperative that we elect people that share our worldview because we are CHOOSING them to make crucial decisions on OUR behalf! YOU are picking who gets to sit in that congressional/senate seat, or oval office chair. Whose hand do you want signing important legislation? Whose mind do you want making life and death decisions? What kind of heart do you want deciding how to use and spend your hard earned money? It SHOULD be a person who is a servant of the Lord because He who serves the Lord knows how to best serve others and have your interest at heart over his own. He will govern with godly wisdom, common sense, and character. 

I'm pleading with you one last time......allow God to speak to your heart and give you the wisdom, discernment, and conviction to make the right choice! May God bless you and may ‪God bless America!

I asked myself (and I'm asking you, brothers and sisters): Is God still good, unfailing, and worthy of our praise? Yes, yes, yes....He is...and His love endures forever!!! It made me think of "Praise You in This Storm" by Casting Crowns and the old song "I Will Praise The Lord" by Ray Boltz. PEOPLE have failed, but God has not. In fact, in the midst of my stages of grief, God comforted me in an amazing way! I had not intended to listen to the radio on the way to work that morning, but it was already on when I started the car. The very first song that played for me was "It's Not Over Yet" by For King & Country. I had heard it countless times before (and had actually been feeling burned out on it). However, it was like I was listening to it for the first time because the words seemed to be so clear and profound:

They are inside your head
You got a voice that says
You won't get past this one
You won't win your freedom

It's like a constant war
And you want to settle that score
But you're bruised and beaten
And you feel defeated

This goes out to the heaviest heart

Oh, to everyone who's hit their limit
It's not over yet
It's not over ye-et
And even when you think you're finished
It's not over yet
It's not over ye-et
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It's not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It's not over
Can I just say, "Wow!"?!! My heavy heart felt like it had hit its limit; fighting the good fight in this political war while being told by opposing forces in my head (and in the world) that there's no winning this one. There's no hope for freedom. The American ideals and "one nation under God" is gone. Yet, I am encouraged to "keep on fighting"! It's NOT over! "Out of the dark...into the light...it's not over....hope is rising....never give in...never give up...it's not over!"  

If there's anything we know about God, it's that He likes to show up and show off at the last minute, doesn't He? ;) Everyone thought it was over when Jesus died on the cross, and the disciples went back to their "normal" lives. But....what happened next?! That's why I feel that God was reminding me that this fight isn't over! Even Ted Cruz said that he was going to continue fighting. This whole thing could be a big strategic move (Reagan did this same thing). Or, it could just mean that he's still going to fight the good fight in the senate. Cruz or no Cruz, God is still God and He gets the last word no matter what does or doesn't happen with politics or all the drama in the world. He is with us....always!

As if this song weren't enough, there were four more songs that played right after the first one that spoke to my heart: 

"Blessings" by Laura Story 
"Tell Your Heart To Beat Again" by Danny Gokey 
"The River" by Jordan Feliz
"Press On" by Building 429

I have put these songs (as well as the other songs I mentioned) into a YouTube playlist so you can hear the music, see the lyrics, and allow the words and common themes to speak to you as well. Each and every song spoke to me as if God was having a whole conversation/pep talk with me! It all fit together perfectly! I was renewed with fresh hope and faith as well as the desire to persevere and praise Him no matter what! 

I'd like to think that we could still have a godly leader if people in the remaining states will still vote for Cruz and prevent Trump from getting to 1237 delegates (which will obviously get Cruz the nomination on a second ballot at the convention). But, even if that (or some other miracle) doesn't happen, it's all going to be ok. No matter what catastrophe Obama, Hillary, Trump, or anyone brings about in America, we will persevere. We will fight the good fight until the day we die or until Jesus comes back; whichever comes first. If our nation truly has become so godless as to vote for its own destruction, God will let us have what we asked for. We'll be like the Israelites wandering around in the desert; moaning and complaining when we could be in the Promised Land if we would only shut up and listen. History doesn't HAVE TO repeat itself, but if we refuse to learn from history, we will most certainly keep repeating it. 

Grace and peace to you, my friends! I truly hope that things can miraculously turn around for the better in these next few months before the nominations are official. No matter what happens, though, I will not give my vote of consent to Trump, Hillary, or anyone that goes against my faith in Christ. I will not be a part of that. If that means voting for a third party, write-in, or not getting to vote at all, I'll do it. I don't answer to people. I answer to God; and my aim is to always be on the same side as Him! May God bless you and may God bless America as we fight the good fight and press on in faith! It's not over yet!!! :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Come What May....TOMORROW!!!

Tonight, I watched my girls in a Spring Program at school. The grade below them sang classic songs from the musical "Annie" (which I adored because I used to watch the 1982 movie all the time and LOVED the songs!). When they started singing "Tomorrow", I got the same chills that I always do. Does anyone else tear up when they hear it?! It's so filled with hope, optimism, and perseverance. It's inspiring!

Car Selfie On The Way To The Rally!
The song made me think of how my family and I had spent the day. We got the rare and unique opportunity to experience a political rally. It isn't very often that Indiana's vote matters so much! It's VERY exciting! Therefore, we made sure to go to the Ted Cruz rally in Fort Wayne.

It was a wonderful experience! We greatly enjoyed gathering with 2,000 fellow patriots who are firm believers in our constitution and faith in God. The speakers were all fantastic! There was a local pastor that encouraged us with these two verses from the Bible; describing how it was easy to discern who to vote for. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:5-7) and you can't serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24). He said there's been one candidate that constantly boasts and is always talking about his wealth (HINT: It's NOT Ted Cruz!). So, if he's opposing the "proud" one who is boasting about his riches (and it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven), don't we want to be on GOD'S side? I know I do! That's why we have been supporting Ted Cruz because not only has he been fighting for our constitutional rights (and will continue to do so), but he has the character and humility needed to be a SERVANT for God and country!

That same pastor that shared those verses also shared with us that he had gotten a personal call from Cruz's father. They talked for 20 minutes or more and he said that he was amazed at his knowledge of the scriptures and could tell he was a brother in the Lord and that his family had been immersed in the Christian faith all their lives. The pastor asked him if he could count on the fact that when Cruz is president, he will be on his knees in prayer in that oval office depending on God and asking him what to do (and especially in the toughest decisions when it's hard to know what to do). He assured him with confidence that he would absolutely be doing that because that is the way they have always lived their faith in their family.

I think that that part of the rally really resonated with me the most. Of course, I also enjoyed Glen Beck and how he re-told the story of George Washington's leadership, hardships, and service to the country (and that that's what our country needs to remember and fight for right now). I was also energized and thrilled to hear Ted Cruz speak. However, the words from that pastor gave a new insight into Ted's heart and faith foundation. It cemented into my mind the fact that Ted Cruz is the right, best, and only choice!

When the rally was over, we pushed forward to the front to see if we could meet with Cruz for a few moments. My daughter, Gianna, had written a letter of encouragement for him that we gave to WOWO's Pat Miller to give to him (he assured us he would make sure he got it!). Gianna kept calling out for him in the crowd, and he smiled and waved to her. I was able to capture his attention when I said, "Make sure you stick it to Planned Parenthood!" The crowd affirmed my statement as I stretched out my hand toward Ted Cruz. He grasped my hand, and in those several seconds, it was like he communicated to me more than words ever could. I felt a peace, calm, and relief that I haven't felt in this election in a while (or probably at all!). In his strong but gentle hand, I felt a sense of promise, reassurance, and understanding. It was like when a parent, family member, or close friend squeezes your hand to let you know, "It's going to be alright. I'm here for you!" It was a hand I felt good about placing mine in! In that moment, he was saying "We're going to get it done! We will fight to the end for all we hold dear!" I didn't want to let go lol ("I'll never let go, Ted.....I'll never let go!!"). ;)

The reason all of this reminds me of that little orphan Annie song is because "Tomorrow" is such a big day (and LESS than a day away now!). As I write this, there is a little over an hour until midnight. The morning will come, the sun will come out, and the day will be new. It will be a turning point for America (and the world) as Indiana steps out and votes on whose "hands" we decide to put our trust in. Ultimately, it's all in God's hands; our hope and trust is in the Lord. We need to SEEK the Lord and vote for the one that translates into a "vote" for God; a vote for HIS side and HIS ways. God will bless America again if we put our faith into His hands and vote for the servant that He has risen up to defend faith and values.

Ted Cruz & Governor Mike Pence
Hoosiers, your vote DOES matter! The fate of America is on the line and it matters GREATLY whose hands it's in (and that includes your state and local reps)!! Ted Cruz is the only candidate who has always stood CONSISTENTLY for the faith and hope we have in God and on the foundation our forefathers built this nation upon. He has a servant's heart and the drive/perseverance to never quit on America! Make those headlines say what they were saying at the rally: "Trump failed. Kasich bailed. Cruz prevailed!"

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Please, feel free to share this post with fellow Hoosiers (or anyone that has yet to vote in the primaries). We can't have a godly president if we don't vote for a godly nominee! Do your duty, my fellow Americans! Fast. Pray. VOTE!! Don't sit this one out! Find your polling place here! Come what may!!! Tomorrow,...tomorrow....I love ya! Stick out your chin, and grin, and vote TED CRUZ!!! :) May God bless you and may God bless America!