You and I have busy lives. In those busy lives, we have many important things to do, and most of us prioritize our tasks, even if we don’t always explicitly realize it. If you think about it, I would imagine that saving unborn children, protecting and raising your family according to your beliefs, being allowed to worship as you choose, and similar values are pretty high on your list. But my question is this: are you “all in”?

I dare you to think of more important things that matter in your life than those I’ve listed above. You want these dearly held values to last for your children, grandchildren, and our great country. Someone once said to me, “When you do something to last, you do it differently.” Exactly. When you want it to last, you are “all in”.

Given my role representing these values across North Dakota, I certainly need to be all in. That’s my job and my commitment to you, our ministry partners. But what about you? It’s not your job, but I would contend you also need to be “all in”, and what does that look like?

Some of you are “all in” through testifying during legislative sessions. Others stand outside Red River Women’s Clinic on Wednesdays and try to prevent the deaths of preborn children. Writing editorials in local publications to make your voice heard is another important way to engage. Others of you support our organization financially, allowing us to be “all in” on your behalf. Thank you for all these things.

Every time I’ve been presented with a job offer over the years, I’ve always said the same thing to the prospective employer before accepting the job. “I am completely committed to the success of this company, but you need to know that my priorities are God, family, and work, in that order. If you can’t live with that, please don’t hire me.” Interestingly, every employer, nonprofit or for-profit, Christian or secular has said they can live with it. I wanted them to know that I was all in, but that there was a priority, based on my values.

Please understand that I’m not trying to guilt anyone. We all deal with enough guilt in our lives, thanks to society’s onslaught. I’m simply saying that whatever God calls you to do; to protect these children, defend your families, or stand for religious freedom, be “all in”. Give it everything you can and please think long and hard where these values are on your list of priorities. Whatever you do to uphold and advance your most sacred values, be “all in”!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

Dear Friends:

On behalf of Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, I want to thank you for the outpouring of support we have received over the past few weeks! I am proud to say that we are well on our way to restoring a culture of faith, family, life and freedom in New Mexico.

This week, I had the honor of hosting Family Policy Alliance President, Paul Weber, in New Mexico to meet with local business leaders, church leaders and legislators. We also visited with some of our existing, faithful supporters and others interested in partnering with us moving forward. The responses we received were nothing short of remarkable, and, yet, we are just getting started!

While many New Mexicans have already joined us through prayer and financial support, I realize some may still be asking, “So, what’s this all about?” And if that’s you, please allow me to briefly explain who we are and what we stand for.

Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico is a proud public policy partner of Focus on the Family and one of 41 vibrant, pro-family state groups across the country. Our mission is to advance biblical citizenship, to equip and elect honorable leaders, to promote good public policy and to serve an effective alliance of like-minded New Mexicans; all committed to a common vision – a state and nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.

We believe the Founding Fathers were right when they guaranteed the “free exercise of religion.” THEREFORE, we work to protect the freedom of individuals, churches and businesses to speak and act according to their faith.

We believe God’s timeless design for the family is the strongest foundation for any free and successful society. THEREFORE, we work to equip and mobilize families to raise their voices and cast their ballots in support of pro-family candidates and policies.

And we believe all human life is sacred and that we are all created in God’s image. THEREFORE, we work to protect life from conception through natural death.

Friends – if you share these values and would like to be part of our mission, please consider making a financial donation to support our work today.

Together, let’s unleash Biblical citizenship in the Land of Enchantment!

Thank you and God bless,

Vince Torres
President and Executive Director

Idaho is such a great place to live! We love our freedom, our independence and our sense of community. We love our great summer days here. And as we near the middle of August and summer threatens to wind down, the smoke in the air tells us that summer heat is still hanging on.

Lately, we have been waking up to a bright red-orange sunrise. We are greeted with “air we can see” and a weather forecaster telling us of another “air quality alert” day. Our Idaho seems to be covered in a haze that obscures our view of the mountains and hangs in the air between the plants and trees in town. Yet, even in the smoke and haze, we love living and raising our families here. Because Idaho is a gift.

As I was driving through our hazy air this week, unable to see landmarks like the Boise foothills and Bogus Basin, it occurred to me that families are laboring under a similar haze. This cultural pollution comes from multiple sources, and makes the oxygen of freedom, difficult to find. Media, education, politics, entertainment, the internet and social media all seem to be spewing particulates that obscure family, faith and freedom.

This means that just as we must be diligent to guard against fires in our environment, we must also be diligent to guard against the flames that rage against biblical truth.

Our launch of Family Policy Alliance of Idaho could not have come at a better time. Family Policy Alliance of Idaho will increase our “bandwidth” to strategically deal with growing cultural threats in our state.

This Christ-centered organization is part of a larger movement of states with a national presence. Our vision is an Idaho where God is Honored, Religious Freedom Flourishes, Families Thrive, and Life is Cherished. Working toward this vision together, we can clear the cultural air and fight to extinguish the flames that seek to deny family, faith, freedom and life.

Family Policy Alliance of Idaho will engage in four strategic spheres to help protect family values:

With our sleeves rolled up, Family Policy Alliance of Idaho has already hit the ground running!

With your help, we sent two Idaho legislators to the Statesman Academy in Colorado Springs last month. Understanding that politics and policy is one of the fronts on which the cultural fire is burning, the Statesman Academy helps advance biblical citizenship and train statesman who hold Judeo-Christian moral beliefs to serve boldly and effectively. It’s a project of our sister organization, Family Policy Foundation.

As 2017 progresses, we will strengthen our efforts to serve the Church, building on our strong alliances with like-minded organizations, while we also gather tools for Christian citizens to promote stewardship of our great state.

In order to get moving on these strategic goals, we need your help. Would you partner with us financially to work to clear the cultural smoke out of our great state?

Sincerely,

Julie Lynde
Policy Director

TAKE ACTION: Family Policy Alliance of Idaho is passionate about standing strong for pro-life family values while pushing back against destructive cultural influences. Your help is needed today in this battle. Please consider partnering in this work with a financial gift today.

Traditional homemade soup. What comes to mind? For many of us, I suspect it evokes the memory of delicious aromas from our favorite being cooked in our parent’s home when we were growing up. Being of Dutch descent, for me it is the memory of my mother huddled over the stove cooking traditional Groentesoep met balletjes (vegetable soup with meatballs). For many of you in North Dakota, it may be Knoephla, the traditional German soup. Regardless of your cultural background, the tradition of making soup and its accompanying aroma and taste often brings back fond memories.

So why have I brought up soup? Soup is one of many “tradition anchors”. In some small way, it helps define us; in a more substantive way, it encourages us to pass down traditions to our children. Regardless, it is a tradition worth preserving.

I think we would all agree that soup is a tradition, not a value. Nevertheless – and this is what I’m really talking about – I think we sometimes confuse traditions and values. Traditions can spring from values, but rarely does it happen the other way around. Traditions are customs passed to future generations. On the other hand, values are principles that form the basis of one’s life.

For example, singing hymns versus contemporary worship songs in our Sunday services is a decision about tradition; worshiping the Lord is the value. While traditions often have their roots in personal values, they are not the same things.

We at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota fight for values. In turn, these values help us preserve our dearest traditions. Values are the underpinnings of who we are and what we hold to be true, and therefore matter most.

We ask that you help elect and support North Dakota legislators who share and protect your values. Please write to your senator and representatives to remind them that your Christian values are important, and thank them for supporting those values. Please visit our Action Center for an easy way to send this message to your legislators. Thank you for speaking up for your family’s values!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
Executive Director

P.S. Our family has a favorite soup recipe that has become a tradition in cold winter months – a comfort food in the truest sense. If you are interested in trying something new, here’s the recipe for our Chicken Broccoli Cheese Chowder. Enjoy!

Chicken Broccoli Cheese Chowder

Ingredients
3 cups cooked chicken, diced into cubes
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup chopped onion
15 oz. frozen chopped broccoli
2 cups Potato Buds
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups milk
¾ tsp salt

Preparation
Heat broth, onion, and broccoli to boiling, then simmer 10 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat until cheese is melted. Goes great with sourdough bread. Serves 6-8.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve challenged two entities to fight for pro-family policy engagement: the Church and the business community. This week I challenge families.

Because the family was the first and most fundamental form of government established by God, it is the foundation for communities, societies, and national and state governments. Given the importance of the family in God’s plan, we need to not only teach our children our Christian values, but also explain why it’s important to embed these values into public policy. Here are some current topics that families should discuss together:

Sanctity of Life: God creates individuals as unique persons at conception and values them at all stages of life. This means that practices such as abortion and assisted suicide are not part of His will and any policies advancing these practices are antithetical to our Christian values.

Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity: God creates us biologically as male or female. The biblical mandate is to preserve and honor His plan for our lives, and that includes being a man or a woman. Anything other than this is a misrepresentation of God’s plan. This also includes honoring the biblical definition of marriage as a union between a husband and wife.

Religious Freedom: We have been endowed with inalienable rights by our Creator. They come before any rights granted by government. As our Founding Fathers clearly understood, God’s laws are foremost. Religious freedom encompasses everything from the right to teach our children from a biblical foundation, to the right to operate our businesses based on our religious beliefs.

Compassion and Humility: God commands us to treat all persons with compassion and humility, including those who disagree with our principles. We must hold fast to our Christian values, but recognize that Christ loved all: those who agreed with Him and those who didn’t.

These are just a subset of values we as Christians need to pass along to our children. They are our legacy and our children will live according to these principles long after we have passed on. Let’s make sure our children understand that these values touch all of life, including public policy, and that they are worth fighting for. Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota fights for these values on your behalf, and you and your children can join us in this effort. Let’s leave a legacy of biblical values and do what we can to ensure the next generation cherishes and is willing to fight for them!

Sincerely,

Executive Director

Three years ago, I entered the State Senate to be a voice for Georgia families – willing to be bold, stand up and be counted, and take the tough stands. I believed that as a conservative southern state, there would be a host of likeminded individuals roaming the halls of the Capitol.

However, I quickly realized that while I wasn’t alone, I was one of a few.

That’s why I am glad that Family Policy Alliance of Georgia is here, and why I am proud to be a part of their new initiative, called the Family Leadership Team.

Far too often, pro-family voices wander in the proverbial political wilderness alone and isolated. With the forces of the Left united, well-funded, and committed to our utter defeat, our side gets drowned out and fails to make the impact we work so hard for.

I share the commitment of Cole Muzio and Family Policy Alliance of Georgia to make certain that is no longer the story in our state.

Last week, we held a meeting aiming to bring together the godly pro-family leaders of our state to organize a strategy to achieve gains for the cause of life, the family unit, religious liberty, school choice, and so many other issues we care about. I am committed to working with Family Policy Alliance of Georgia to keep this discussion going, continue to bring together new allies, and see this conversation lead to real action that provides greater protection for Georgia families and for people of faith.

Family Policy Alliance of Georgia is committed to our Christian principles. At this historic juncture in our nation and in our state, I look forward to working with Cole and his organization, along with you, to seize the momentum and advance the banner for families.

It is a privilege for me to serve in the Georgia State Senate, and I am honored to work with Family Policy Alliance of Georgia to chair the Family Leadership Team. We are blessed to have a number of great organizations who are partnering with us, and I am proud that my colleagues, Sen. David Shafer, Sen. Chuck Payne, and other God-fearing public servants are joining the cause.

Only together, with strong leadership, a fidelity to principle, a clear sense of purpose, and a cohesive strategy, can we achieve a Georgia where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. Know that I stand shoulder to shoulder with you and with the Family Policy Alliance of Georgia to see this vision become a reality.

Yours,

Sen. Michael Williams
Georgia State Senate

P.S. It has been an honor to lead the charge on behalf of Georgia families in the State Senate, and I’m excited to lead the Family Leadership Team as we begin to work together, strategically, to make gains for our values. The Family Policy Alliance of Georgia has proven to be an integral leader in the pro-family movement, and I look forward to continuing to partner with them. Would you join us?