Iowa House Introduces ESA Legislation

February 4th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

The Iowa House of Representatives has introduced ESA Legislation!

From Iowa Advocates for Choice in Education:

House File 2090, sponsored by Representatives Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights), Jake Highfill (R-Johnston) and Peter Cownie (R-West Des Moines), calls for this revolutionary school choice initiative that gives every Iowa parent a grant of state funds to use toward nonpublic education expenses.  You can read the entire bill here:  HF 2090.

Reactions are starting to come in including this one from Jay P. Greene’s blog: “Education Savings Account Effort in Iowa

A Look Back At Personal Posts

June 27th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

A look back at personal posts can be a healthy way to see where you’ve been and where you are.  I sometimes get a little insight in to where I’m going which can, at times, be both encouraging and scary.

I was telling someone earlier this week about me and my story and this person asked if I had ever written any of this stuff down.  Some.  A little.  Here are some links to posts I’ve written before that sum up my little life:

About Me – Who the heck am I?

The Path of The Fatherless – a little about my childhood.

The Great Anger – the most defining time in my life.

Loving Your Enemy – Something I’m working on.  Enemies aren’t the hardest to love…”frenemies” are.

Christians In Politics – an old post outlining my thoughts on people of faith in the public policy arena.

There are others on this blog and elsewhere on the interwebs.  I hope my experiences in my relatively young life resonate with you in some way.  I don’t post as much as I used to but I am an open book.  You can drop me a line on my “About Me” page any time or leave a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!

My Information Workflow

April 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

My information workflow gets me up-to-speed every morning.  I’ve had a number of people ask me what apps I use, what websites I check, and how I stay on top of things at work.  The answer: I don’t stay on top of things like I would like…there is simply too much information out there.  But with a few good apps and websites, you can get a good big picture for whether the world is still spinning each morning.

Here is a short list of apps and sites I check each day to make sure I’m on top of things and as in-the-know as possible: » Read the rest of this entry «

Action Alert From The Iowa Association Of Christian Schools

March 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Action Alert From the Iowa Association of Christian Schools:

IA Assoc. Of Christian Schools

March 21, 2013 – House Study Bill 225 would increase the amount of tax credits for school tuition organizations to $12 million (currently at $8.75 million). The credits are made available for those who donate to scholarship funds for nonpublic school students through School Tuition Organizations (STOs).

Last fall more than 10,400 low-income students received a grant through the program to attend the school of their choice. More than $11.3 million in scholarships were awarded.

We support the bill because it helps parents get assistance in choosing the school that best fits their child’s learning needs.

Please send a message to your member of the Iowa House asking him or her to support HSB 225 by clicking here.  We are partnering with the Iowa Catholic Conference to send out emails and encourage you to do so today!

Very happy to see school choice get such bipartisan support in Iowa.  Click the link above and help keep it that way!  I highly encourage you to sign up for their email list at www.iowachristianschools.org.  They don’t spam, only send out action alerts when big things are happening at the Capitol, and they are a great resource for information on education, education reform, and private school choice.  They are there every day during the legislative session and have a great Board of Directors.

Senator Rozenboom’s Senate Speech This Week

February 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Senator Rozenboom delivered a great speech on the floor of the Senate this week about their adopted son, life, adoption, policy priorities, and hope!  You can click here to see the whole thing!  This is how the pro-life message is to be spread.  Compassionately and lovingly.  Well done, Senator!

The Salvation Army On Abortion *Updated*

November 20th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

The Salvation Army’s position on abortion is horribly weak.  They begin by stating that life begins at “fertilization,” it is a “gift from God,” and that “All people – without exception – are of value to him…”

They finish their statement with a great statement about treating women who’ve had abortions with dignity and love.  The problem is the moral relativism and spiritual schizophrenia sprinkled throughout the whole thing!  They make room for abortion in the case of rape and fetal abnormality!

Read it for yourself and ask yourself if a group with such a weak position the issue of life deserves a penny this holiday season when plenty of other organizations are doing the same work.  It’s one thing to panhandle by ringing bells that drive you mad as you shop.  It’s a totally different thing to contradict the Word, your mission, and common sense on an issue as important as life and expect support from pro-life individuals, especially Christians.

Change your position, “General.”  It’s the Biblical thing to do.

***Update***
11/24/2012
I’ll be avoiding donations as anyone who affiliates with an international office that takes a lame stance like this isn’t going to get my money.  However, this article may make you feel better about the position of the U.S. Salvation Army.

Stop The Common Core Standards

November 16th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The Common Core Standards are dangerous.  Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project is featured in this awesome video series called “Stop The Common Core.”  Embedded below is the first of five videos on the subject.  You owe it to yourself, your kids, and your grandkids to watch all five of them:

I know the video doesn’t fit perfectly in my WordPress template so click full screen and listen without distraction. You need to hear what Jane has to say.  There are five videos and they should play one right after another.  If the link doesn’t work, please visit the American Principles Project or Truth In American Education website and watch them there.

I used to work for the American Principles Project and my friend Shane still does. They are doing great work calling out those who would disenfranchise States and (more importantly) parents and are doing a good job calling on teachers, parents, and other citizens to stop and think about how truly dangerous this movement is. Let me know what you think.  It’s not too late to turn back this dangerous agenda and your sharing of this video, your willingness to talk about it to friends and family, and the sharing of these videos on social media and other websites will go a long way!

I don’t need unelected bureaucrats and D.C. based nonprofits determining my child’s education standards and curricula.  I don’t want my child’s quality of education determined by the prevailing national political winds and at a level of government inaccessible to parents and local schools boards, administrators, and teachers.

Watch the videos.  Share them.  Act.

How Then Should We Advocate?

November 12th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

The 2012 Election is behind us.  Now the question remains:  whether as an active citizen or a professional activist, how then should we advocate for the things we care about after any election result?  I’ve written about much of this before but wanted to get some additional thoughts off my chest for my own benefit if nothing else.

First, what is advocacy and activism?  Issue advocacy and activism can include writing a letter to your legislator, showing up for an event at the Capitol, running for office, posting political opinions on Facebook or Twitter, lobbying, writing letters to the editor, walking in parades for candidates, or discussing politics at a friend’s house over dinner.

If you are a Christ-follower and looking to contribute to a political organization or considering getting involved in any way, here are the top five things you must keep in mind in order to be a good advocate:
» Read the rest of this entry «

Some Post-Election Thoughts

November 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Since I work in politics and public policy, I’ve had some people ask me for some post-election thoughts.

Regarding the Federal election results: I feel the same way I did a month ago.  We’re screwed, at least in the short term.  Neither party will be able to accomplish much in Congress and the President will bypass them any chance he gets with Executive Orders.

My feelings on the State election results: I feel the same way I did a month ago.  Not much changed.  Some good legislators are gone or lost their races, some new legislators were elected, and the school choice coalition I work with made some good inroads relationally with candidates and legislators from both parties.  That’s my optimistic and smiley spin on it.

Were you looking for something more specific?  Sorry.

Coming up on this blog:  “How Then Should We Advocate?”

The Big Election Day Decision

November 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Vote PedroThe big election day decision everyone has to make is whether to vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or write-in or vote for a candidate with zero chance of winning.  Although I sympathaze with Evangelicals who do not want to support Mitt Romney, I believe I’m called to make wise decisions and be the best steward of the influence and resources God has given me.  I don’t believe a general election vote equates to an endorsement.  I don’t believe general elections are the appropriate vehicles for protesting our failure to get an adequate candidate on the ballot.

That being said, I am prayerful that whoever wins the election has a real meeting with God.  God made good men Kings in the days of Israel.  He anointed David, Asa, Hezekiah, and others who honored their King to rule over Israel.  He put up godly Judges like Debra and others to rule over Israel.  Good leaders can make a HUGE difference.

God also, however, placed in leadership evil men.  Saul was half-hearted.  Manasseh was an evil King.  Ahab was “more evil than all kings before him.”  Read through first and second Kings, Chronicles, etc. for the sometimes nasty details.

I respect men and women who, in their own consciences and within their own understanding of the Scriptures, can’t vote for Romney or Obama.  Don’t let anyone tell you, however, who to vote for.  Pray.  Show Up.  Vote.  Trust God with a clear conscience.  He was sovereign when he anointed good and evil men.  He’s sovereign this week as we vote.  He’ll be sovereign for eternity.  The Curse we live under makes men governing themselves futile.  It’s supposed to be that way.  It’s supposed to point us to our Creator King!

The biggest threat to the Church as it relates to public policy and politics is that some believers get so emotionally caught up in the political game that it becomes an idol.  They begin to think that politics holds answers.  They begin to believe that we are responsible for the outcome of elections and the direction the culture goes.  We are called to do two things: love God and love our neighbor.  I believe it is very difficult to love our neighbor if we lead them to believe that their party affiliation, voting record, or candidate preference is more important than the pursuit of their Creator.

I am not a fatalist in that I believe God will honor our participation as we vote with Him on our hearts.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t be active and using our gifts in the public square doing public service in any number of capacities.  I’m saying we need to keep this whole election in perspective.

Vote.  Love God.  Love your neighbor.  He takes care of the rest and will show us how government is supposed to work soon enough.