My song has no melody, so I hope you like the words

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Who are the Delaware 2012 Candidates?

Founders Values sponsored a kind of 'meet and greet' event last night for statewide candidate running in Delaware this year, and I was encouraged by what I saw. Yes, I know, it is really early in the year to be talking about this, but now IS the time to get involved if you want to make a difference in your community. We each have a part to play in this citizen ruled country, despite what the career politicians may be telling us.

Nine candidates from various backgrounds and political parties spoke last night, and all of them are stepping out of their comfort zones because they believe they have solutions to the problems we are facing at this moment in history. I applaud their willingness to speak up, even if I disagree with their specific ideas.

The two candidates that most impressed me were Kevin Wade, running for U.S. Senate against Tom Carper, and Sher Valenzuela, running for Lt. Governor against the incumbent Matt Denn. It was my first opportunity to meet either of them, and I liked what I heard. Both of them are long time Delaware business owners who have become increasingly concerned by the direction of our state. Mr. Wade addressed national issues determined to bring an end to the 'professional class' of politicians who "treat the public treasury as a tip jar." (I liked that line) I encourage you to check out all of his positions on the Constitution, sound fiscal policy, limited government and energy policy at his website,

Ms. Valenzuela is concerned about the erosion of our freedoms, and over regulation by a government that seeks ever more control of our daily lives. She believes the Lt. Governor can be more than window dressing, but an effective agent of change. She cites New Jersey as a model where the Lt Governor is actually working to cut red tape in the state. Delaware could certainly use someone in that role, given that there have been 6,000 new regulations passed here in our tiny state in the past decade. She is a mother, business owner, and citizen, not a slick politician. Check out her website at

Jeff Cragg is running for Governor against the incumbent Jack Markell. He is a small business owner and made some good points about the need to reduce both the cost and intrusiveness of state government as well as the corruption that has led to situations like DelDot being investigated by the FBI.

Three candidates for Insurance Commissioner spoke - who knew that was such a popular job? One was a lawyer, one an investment banker, and one an insurance agent. It was interesting, if predictable, to hear the thrust of their solutions to the mess we have in Delaware right now in this area. The lawyer seeks new laws, the businessman seeks transparency and free market policies, and the agent promised to reduce premiums.

Tom Kovach and Rose Izzo are vying to replace John Carney. Mr. Kovach is currently the President of the New Castle County Council, and though his job kept him from attending the meeting last night, my son had good things to say about him when he was working with the state Republican party.

If you want to learn more, check out the links on this website for First State Patriots and Founders Values. Both non-partisan groups are dedicated to educating the citizens of Delaware on issues and have a lot of good information available on their websites and at their monthly meetings.

Remember that this nation only succeeds when we the citizens take seriously our responsibility to participate in the process!

A Special LEAP Day Opportunity

Please view the following video by clicking on the title of this post, then go to to donate today.

A generous donor is matching all of today's donations, so please do something extra special to recognize this special extra day! I wrote at length about this wonderful ministry in a post titled 'Transformation' on 11/13/2010 - you can find it by going to the archives on the right side of this page. Our family has seen many lives changed through the work of this ministry, and right now they are very much in need of a financial boost. Please prayerfully consider donating $5, $10, or more to help them through this challenging time.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Free Verse Poetry

I'm claiming bragging momma rights here and posting two free verse poems written recently by two of my sons. Enjoy!

until in GOD we all abide, by Daniel Schea

it is in us ALL
causing all men to fall
Some call it Anger
i call it
does my belief make you burn against (me)?
i don’t blame you
This Knowledge made me do THE SAME
its flames will not subside
its power cannot be denied
until in GOD we all abide

Days of Creation, By Joshua Schea

Before day found rest or let the night wake
What shall we make?
What then shall I make?

Father son and spirit made the day break
Made the first night
He made the first day

With second day God moves all the water
Some stays under
And some comes over

What then did He name this wondrous cover?
Some call heavens
What He called the sky

Water below left the world unfinished
So ground was laid
Now the earth was made

God wished to fill this earth with His beauty
Now came the tree
Created for me

Fourth day comes without a sun to lead it
No warming light
Still no glowing light

This day closes with the world’s first sunset
And sky was strewn
With stars and the moon

When fifth day comes then here is something new
Skies are singing
The water’s teeming

God gave life to the sky and sea both blue
So fish now swim
While the birds sing hymns

Yet what was left to perfect creation
All things are done
Save for this last one

Land has yet to fill with life of its own
Now the spaces
Hold diff’rent faces

Now to end his making God makes humans
For us to span the whole world was His plan
Though He remains the greatest of all time
We creators have the world in our hands

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Meeting with Senator Tom Carper 2/25/12

We just attended a meeting with our U.S. Senator that was arranged by six patriot groups here in Delaware. My main impression of him was that he is a nice guy who diminished himself by being evasive. I agreed with him on one or two points, and disagreed with him on more, but his avoidance of the questions really annoyed me. Okay, maybe I need to cut him some slack. After all, he told us that all of his advisers [including his barber] thought even coming to speak to a group of conservatives was a bad idea, and he came anyway. That should, and does, count for something. I respect him, even if I won't vote for him. [disclaimer here: my son is working on his opponent's campaign]

He served in the US military for 27 years, and has apparently never worked in the private sector. He has held elective office for the past thirty-five years, and is very good at being a politician. You might guess that isn't exactly high praise coming from me...

Most of the time tonight was divided between moderators asking him questions that the leaders of these various groups had culled from their membership and Senator Carper answering [or sometimes completely evading] those questions.

Some of his answers bordered on silly, as when he spoke at length about the lack of an assistant secretary of acquisitions for the Department of Defense being his reason for supporting the four National Labor Relations Board recess appointments made by President Obama while the Senate was still officially in session. Don't worry if that last bit didn't make sense, it didn't make sense when he was saying it, either.

He stood by his prior comment that the role of the federal government is to "steer the boat" of the country, and expanded that to state three specific reasons he supports subsidies to private companies paid for by our taxes. He believes the federal government should pay for basic research and development of commercial technologies, give tax breaks for technologies the government wants to encourage, and use tax breaks to "create" a market for products the government wants to support.

This statist approach corrupts the free market, and makes a capitalist like me shudder, but as a lifelong government official, it seems quite reasonable to our Senator. He never mentioned how the working people who pay the taxes that are then given to these private firms are ever supposed to be repaid for their investment. As long as the government is 'steering' that doesn't seem to matter.

Leave aside his views in favor of mandated health care coverage and his apparent lack of knowledge on other issues of concern to Delaware conservatives he is supposed to represent, his fiscal policies are enough to lose my vote.

As best as I can figure, Senator Carper is 65 years old. Maybe its time for him to come home and spend more time with his wife Martha. He truly does seem like a nice man, and I'm sure she'd enjoy his company rather than having him serve another 6 year term. And our state and our country need someone who trusts individuals more than government mandates for a change.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trying to Write Right

I've always wanted to write a book, which makes me just as unique as millions of other people who thought the same thing. Of course, I made lots of excuses for why I couldn't do it today, or this month, or this year. That is what millions of other potential writers have also probably said, so nothing else that follows will be unique either.

For whatever reason, it has recently occurred to me that I'm running out of time to make this dream into a reality. Maybe I just matured enough to realize it wasn't going to fall into my lap without some consistent effort, or maybe I'm finally growing up. I know one big thing that has changed is that I find my own story much less interesting than it once appeared, and so the desire to write about my own life has faded. (Are those sighs of relief I hear?) I enjoy writing poetry, but can't really see myself publishing most of it. Besides, if I ever did publish my own story or most of my poems, it would have to be done under a pen name to protect my privacy, and where's the fun in that?

There are ideas I think are important, and a gripping story is an effective way to communicate ideas. I have a story concept that I'm enjoying writing and that I hope someday others will enjoy reading. Sounds simple enough, right? Write something people want to read, and somehow the magic fairies will turn it into a book on the shelf at the local bookseller. What do you mean that's not how it works???

Now my brain is churning with concepts such as 'building your platform to get published', and 'utilize search engine optimization' and 'draft a powerful proposal', and 'self publish for success', and 'e-books or printing on demand', and.... excuse me while my brain explodes.

All I want to do is write, right? The process of stringing words together is intimidating enough for me, let alone all of the other tasks involved in getting a book into print. Lord, please help me focus on you first, and trust that all the rest will come together in your time!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Using a Thimble to Catch a Waterfall

I spent the day yesterday with three sisters in the faith planning a summer camp program on the life of Christ. Don't worry, all they asked me to do was come up with some fun games, so the children will be doctrinally safe....

At the end of his gospel, John remarked that the whole world would not have room for the books that could be written about what Jesus did. We agreed with him more than once as we attempted to confine the life and work of our Lord to twenty-four specific bible lessons. An entire summer was already spent on his parables, so we agreed not to include those. We also agreed that an in-depth exposition on the end times and Christ's return would probably be over the heads of the youth we will be serving.

You might think, then, that it would be a relatively easy matter to briefly introduce Jesus Christ, but if our experience is any guide you would be wrong. Hours of work had already gone into producing an outline of his life and teachings. The hard part was limiting it to the time available. Hence the title of today's post. When Paul wrote of knowing nothing but "Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" [1Cor 2:2]he was still talking about an awful lot of knowing.

What do you think is the main thing to share about his birth and childhood, let alone the prophesies that foretold it all? What do you consider the foundational knowledge to impart about his relationships here on earth, or his teachings, or the miracles he performed? What do we most need to communicate to others about him as our Savior?

If you only had four short opportunities to tell someone about what Jesus taught his disciples, what would you emphasize? Which of his miracles are the 'most important'? Thank God we don't have to figure it all out. We have God's word, and a lifetime to get better acquainted with him. Even in our own lives all we can really do is keep sticking that thimble in the rushing waters of his amazing power, and drink as much and as often as we can.

My prayer for the children this summer is that they will get a taste of that sweet living water. I pray that they will thirst for more, and enjoy an eternity of dipping their own thimbles into the vastness of God's glory.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Freedom of what, exactly?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

This quote from the very first line of the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution is on many people’s minds this week. Our leaders are debating whether or not the government can force Catholic charities to provide contraceptive AND abortion pill services as part of health insurance.

Some try to paint the issue as being about health care and cost efficiency. But make no mistake; this is about our God given rights to exercise our religious beliefs, and whether they will be recognized by our ever-encroaching federal bureaucracy.

The preamble to the Bill of Rights says these first ten constitutional amendments have been added to provide clarity and “to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers.” I believe that the Affordable Care Act, and its implementation by agencies of the Executive Branch, is an abuse of power on many levels, but today I will focus on just one.

The First Amendment does not just protect our right to worship privately; it clearly protects our right to live out our faith on a daily basis, what it calls “free exercise.” My religious faith is based on God’s Word, the Holy Bible, and it makes it clear to me that God creates and values individual human life. Therefore, for me it is a matter of faith to respect what God has made. Providing medicines that terminate a pregnancy violates my conscience, just as directly as paying for an actual abortion would do.

President Obama spoke today, claiming to have found a solution to this debate. His plan is that somehow the insurance companies themselves will provide these services for “free”, meaning that everyone’s premiums will necessarily be increased to cover these services. He claims that forcing all American citizens rather than purchasers of particular group insurance to share the cost of sterilization and “morning after” pills somehow gets around the First Amendment.

Jesus told the Pharisees to pay taxes and “give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” In a nation where our laws tell us one thing (religious exercises are not to be infringed upon) and a particular President is enacting policies that do the opposite, what should we do? I don’t claim to be a constitutional or biblical scholar, but more and more I sense that obeying God requires that I speak against immoral laws. How will you respond in your own life?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Serving Others

There was a time in my life when it seemed like all I did was serve others. Sometimes it was hard, but most of the time it brought me joy to be actively engaged in the world. If I'm totally honest, it gave me a sense of self worth to do things for others. I was what we used to call a "compulsive volunteer" - if there was a ministry that needed something done, I would jump right in.

Listening to a sermon this week on Christian service made me nostalgic for those days. It was easy to believe my life had value and meaning when there were tangible results, when I could look at my activities for the week and see something specific that made a difference. I was physically strong and willing to work hard to meet the needs of loved ones as well as those God brought before me.

My life doesn't look like that anymore. On the outside, it appears that all I do is sit around and leave the heavy lifting to everybody else. My desire to share God's love through acts of service hasn't changed, just my ability to do it the way I used to.

Instead of checking off multiple goals on a list [oh, those lovely lists I used to make!] my daily goals are simple: breathe, pray, breathe, pray, then whatever else I can manage.

The really cool part has been discovering a richer and more satisfying life than I ever imagined, and I thank God for being patient with me long enough for me to figure it out. I have only begun to discover the wonder and beauty of fellowship with my Lord. The quiet stillness of His majesty is even more awesome to me than the sense of His presence in my once busy life.

I have finally started to learn how to pray without ceasing. I pray for the needs that I know about, and ask God to reveal to me what else needs praying about. I listen, which is more central to prayer than any written list.

On the outside it may look like I'm sitting still, but God knows I am serving others by lifting them up to Him in prayer. By all means, do for others as you are able. Make meals, teach, organize, heal, drive on errands, sing, preach - use all of your gifts and abilities. But if there ever comes a time when you cannot "do" anything, simply pray, and watch in wonder to see what God will do.