My heart is full this Christmas morning and I want to share some of the things responsible for that feeling with you. First of all, Merry Christmas! May this be a day for you to stop and put your arms around everyone and everything you hold dear.
Another thing that is full for me is the week leading up to Christmas! (I’m sure you can relate to that!) Besides all the typical last minute stuff, we have a few special birthdays and our wedding anniversary. This year was a milestone-Deone and I have been married for 30 years. (Maybe benchmark is a better word-I feel like I need to sit down when I see that number!)
As I sat down one afternoon and tried to quiet the various freight trains in my head, at least enough to give me a chance to reflect, these are the things that came up. I hope some of them may be relevant to you this Christmas. As I go along in a rather anecdotal way, I will pull out each “lesson learned” in an attempt to share some thoughts for this coming year.
Over half of these past 30 years have been enriched by the most amazing pair of gifts we have ever received (or ever will!) We have two sons who are ours only because God decided we needed each other! Zach and Austin have taught us more about life and what’s important than all the books we’ve ever read. (If you’ve ever been in our home, you know that is no small claim! We are voracious readers.) In short, they’ve taught us to listen to the voices of those closest to us.
Listen to the people closest to you in order to hear what they are experiencing and how it affects them. This is the key in the process of deciding what to do about what concerns them.
It has been a common practice in my life to rise early, read the Bible and take time for prayer before starting the day. It helps me get centered and reminds me who is in charge! Recently I was reading some reflections on the meaning of advent by a favorite author and he asked a question which really made me think. (Most of the time, that’s a good thing.)
“What did Jesus really bring to the world since we still experience poverty and famine and world peace is an elusive entity? Simply stated: He brought us God. He put heaven aside in order to offer us the presence of God (himself) to walk beside us with many promises go the distance and give us a future beyond this world.” In a Word, what Jesus brought to earth that first Christmas is Hope.
However you perceive God, stop and think about what gives you hope and make it a priority to offer hope to others. This is what leadership is about and a requirement for those of us who want to make a difference in our world.
My last thought is far less esoteric and gets right to the heart of what we have waiting for us in our stockings this morning-the gifts given by our leaders in Washington. Gifts we as North Dakotan’s would never request.
Gifts that will keep on giving for years to come:
1. Government requirements
2. Government mandates
3. Government limitations on profit
4. Government penalties
5. Government Redistribution of resources
6. Government tax assessments
We the people of North Dakota have not elected a Republican to represent us in the U.S. Congress for 30 years. That puts us at the bottom of the heap of the rest of the country. Not to mention, it is completely inconsistent with our distinction of voting for Republican presidential candidates for over 40 years. Something has to change.
Christmas is not always a time for “a warm family feeling”. Most of us have some issues with our families which create tension and even conflict. We may even avoid each other. But if we’re ever going to call a truce and come together, we seem to be more willing to do it at this time of year.
With the challenges before us in the political arena and the magnitude of what is at stake for the future of this country, it has never been more important for us as Republicans — a “family” of Americans to present a united front. We cannot afford another 6 years of democrat leadership; recent polls spell out an unprecedented opportunity to break a stronghold of liberalism by replacing Dorgan and Pomeroy with Republicans,
Look in your stocking, pick up the lump of coal compliments of the democrat Congress and President Obama. Commit yourself to the process of change by the 80/20 rule championed by Ronald Reagan –
Be willing to live with the 20% you don’t agree with to achieve the 80% you believe in.
Let us embrace what we as Republicans, conservatives, and liberty loving Americans value and consider of high importance. Then, let’s join hands and take the first steps forward on the way to making our voices heard.
Let’s take back America.
Blessings this Christmas