NEW! Wisconsin Primary Voter Guide Released

Who are our leaders – REALLY?  
What’s behind the polished speeches
and promises to make our lives better?

>>>>>Click HERE to watch a video that explains how YOU can affect change in Wisconsin, and in Washington, with your VOTE.

Less than 20% of voters actually vote in the PRIMARY elections in their state, yet did you know…

  • primaries determine the election?
  • in low-voter-turnout elections, your vote matters more than ever?
Wisconsin’s Primary Election is Tuesday, August 12.

That’s less than 3 weeks away!  How do you know who to vote for?  Who are the candidates? How have incumbents voted in the past?

YOUR customized voter guide is NOW AVAILABLE – CLICK HERE!  

The Wisconsin Voter Guide is a combination of:

  • Voting records/ratings
  • Financial contributions
  • Endorsements
  • Candidate website
  • Comprehensive candidate survey

Each candidate is evaluated by a panel of volunteers, people like you, who are dedicated to helping others vote wisely.  
Click HERE for general voter information and to see if you have a primary on your ballot.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  • Access the Voter Guide TODAY.  Take a close look.  If you want, print off your local races and be prepared for the Wisconsin Primary Election on August 12!
  • SHARE SHARE SHARE this Voter Guide with everyone you know who is eligible to vote in Wisconsin!  Print off extra copies of the Voter Guide candidate results for your local race and distribute them to neighbors and others in your voting district.
  • Copy and paste this link:  http://goo.gl/ORWhCW  (this is just a shortened URL that goes directly to our WI Voter Guide) in an email, on Twitter, or on your Facebook, and let others know about this valuable voting tool!

NEW STUDY: AMERICA – Improving or Getting Off Track?

Heritage logoThe Heritage Foundation has just released its 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity.

The 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity tells how social and economic factors relate to the success of individuals, families, opportunity, and freedom. Through charts that track changes, and commentary that explains the trends, the Index shows the current state of some key features of American society and tells whether specific indicators are improving or getting off track.

>>>>>Click HERE to access The 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity on line.

cultural indicatorsWisconsin Family Action also recently released the new publication, Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, which is the only document of its kind, giving statistical overview of Wisconsin, her values, and the impact on traditional families.  We trust that public officials, educators at all levels, business leaders, pastors, ministry leaders, and lay citizens will find this Wisconsin Cultural Indicators 2014 Edition instructive and helpful as they make decisions affecting Wisconsin’s future.

>>>>>Access YOUR copy of Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, HERE

President Obama “LGBT” Order Threatens Religious Liberty

This week, President Obama signed an executive order that will force federal employers to hire homosexuals, bisexuals, transgenders against their religious tenets and excludes religious exemption.

>>>>>read more HERE

WFA president Julaine Appling responds, “So this man who would be king once again takes matters into his own hands and tramples on the constitution.  This time our religious freedom is very much at stake.  Our founders called religious liberty “the first freedom” because it is foundational to our other freedoms.  Christians should be alarmed and on high alert.   Churches and Christian ministries are in the crosshairs.”

>>>>>Julaine was a guest on Q90FM’s Stand Up for the Truth program this week to discuss this issue.  Listen to the podcast HERE.

Woe to Wisconsin: Getting Serious About This Marriage Thing

From the desk of WFA president Julaine Appling:

single momThe story could be repeated countless times.  Cindy—not her real name—was born to a single mom in Milwaukee; no father in her life.  Her mom could have chosen abortion; fortunately she made the right choice and chose life. Mom struggled to make ends meet but was dealing with her own issues in addition to rearing a child by herself. Her grandmother became the strongest and most reliable influence in Cindy’s life—taking her to church, praying with her, in general being there for her.  Eventually Cindy wound up in the foster care system and experienced some pretty rough knocks in her teen years and early twenties.  Life was rough. She saw a lot of the seamy side of it.

It took some time, but by God’s grace, Cindy was spared some of the worst things that can happen as a result of an upbringing such as hers.  She got a college education, found a good job, and took on adult responsibilities. In a recent conversation with her, Cindy said in a completely unsolicited comment, “You know, I think if I had had a father in my life, things would have been different.”

Cindy knows, intuitively or otherwise, that being born to a single mom with no father around put her in a dangerous situation and at a distinct disadvantage to actually grow up and thrive.  Today, nearly 40% of babies born in Wisconsin are born to single mothers.  In Milwaukee, that number skyrockets to over 80%.

Cindy happens to be biracial but really her race is immaterial.  Family matters regardless of one’s race.  Children of any race or ethnicity do better when they are brought up by their married moms and dads. Thousands of research studies confirm this.  Experience confirms it.  But yet we pay little to no attention to this incredible truth.

dad_baby_1Our state legislature still is unwilling to grapple with this situation in any kind of meaningful way. Unwed childbirth and divorce, which is nearly as harmful to children as being born to a single mom, cost our state over $737 million each year.  I hear every day from sitting officials and candidates that the only issue worth talking about and the only one anyone is interested in is the economy and jobs.  Well, how about we deal in some significant way with that $737 million number?  How about weaning women off taxpayer-funded handouts that encourage them to keep having children without being married to the father of their children?

How about providing real incentives for men to marry the mothers of their children and to be around for the children they bring into being?  How about modifying our divorce laws so that couples with minor children, in marriages where adultery, abuse, and abandonment are absent, are required to attend classes that show the effect of divorce on their children and extending the waiting period before such a divorce is finalized?

How about honestly and aggressively promoting marriage by championing it instead of dismissing it or worse redefining it to ensure that legally some children will never have both a mother and a father?

After all, judges keep telling us that all children need is people who “love” them and provide for them—whatever that may mean to any particular judge.  Federal judges around the country have determined they know better than the experts in this area and have decreed children don’t need both their mother and father—they just need people…two men or two women—it’s all the same. Two men or two women can give a child everything he or she needs to grow up to be well-adjusted, healthy, productive, contributing citizens.  If nothing else, that’s a denial of reality.

marriage defendingAnd then there’s the president who campaigned saying he believed marriage is between one man and one woman, and early in his presidency made a point of saying how important fathers are in the lives of their children.  Fast forward several years, and we finally get the truth from this man who would be king:  he really believes marriage should be redefined to include at the very least two men and two women because, don’t you know, they are in loving and committed relationships—whatever that may mean.  By promoting this marriage de-construction, the president was also essentially saying gender and inborn gender differences are meaningless and that fathers really aren’t all that important.

Cindy would not agree.  She knows, from very real personal experience, that her life would have likely been considerably different—and much better—if she had had a father involved in her life.  And by the way, God, the creator of male and female and the One Who instituted marriage, doesn’t agree either.

For all the Cindys in Wisconsin, we need to get serious about this marriage thing.  Mothers and fathers—men and women–really do matter to children.  Woe to Wisconsin if we keep ignoring both research and reality.

Parenting With Purpose – For Today, or For Eternity?

From the desk of WFA president Julaine Appling:

Purposeful Parenting

(Part 3 in a 3-part Series)

Are you parenting with purpose and intention or are you just kind of winging it and trying to survive each day, hoping that somehow your children will grow up with strong character and a sincere desire to know, love and serve the Lord?  Are you parenting for today or for eternity?

Parenting is a high and holy calling. While it brings unbelievable blessings, it also comes with enormous responsibility.  Being purposeful and intentional in the rearing of the precious lives God entrusts to parents helps to ensure that the responsibility is handled well and increases the blessings.
FilipinoFamilyWith the sincere hope that giving some practical suggestions for intentional parenting will be helpful in that regard, this week we wrap up the short series “Purposeful Parenting,” based on a blog post by Whitney Hopler of Crosswalk.com.   Hopler is doing a practical application of a book written by Jim Burns, The Ten Building Blocks for a Solid Family.
The first two commentaries covered the building blocks of be there; express affirmation, warmth and encouragement; build healthy morals and values; discipline with consistency; ruthlessly eliminate stress; and communicate well.  This week we deal with the last four building blocks.
The seventh building block is “play together.” Recently, I’ve been to places where my family vacationed during my growing up years.  Floods of happy memories came back as I recalled fun times, play times together with mom, dad and my brother.  All families need play time…both planned for and spontaneous.  But if you don’t plan for some fun, it’s likely it may not happen given today’s hectic schedules.  Playing with your children allows them to see another side of you—a side that is extremely important.
husband and wife“Love your spouse” is the eighth building block.  Someone very wise has said that the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.  It seems to me it could also be said that the best thing a mother can do for her children is to love her husband.  Children thrive when they sense they are safe and protected. And nothing nurtures that sense than a loving, low-conflict, Christ-centered relationship between their mother and father. So build in date nights and marriage retreats and more.  It’s one of the best things you can do for your children.
Burns’ ninth building block is “remember that the best things in life aren’t things.” Hopler says this is about developing a family budget, sticking to it and avoiding debt so that the family is on a strong financial foundation. One of the most important gifts you can give your children is to teach them about tithing and giving—make it a joyous personal practice and an expectation of your children.
And, finally, the tenth family building block according to Burns is “energize your family’s spiritual growth.” The author rightly notes that a parent’s “greatest calling in life is to leave a spiritual legacy for kids.” That requires paying attention to your own relationship to the Lord, purposefully strengthening it daily with Bible reading and prayer. Your children seeing you read your Bible and praying is more powerful than you can imagine. Have family devotions and prayer regularly. Attend a Bible-preaching and teaching church—faithfully—as a family.  Make your family’s spiritual growth a top priority and attend to it with energy and passion, not as a dictator or autocrat but as a loving, attentive, giving father.
Burns talks in terms of building blocks for healthy families. Building something requires a vision, a plan, a foundation, dedication and attention to following the plan, a system, good materials, knowing and following certain rules and more. How many of us have driven by a building that was begun but never finished or seen a building collapse because of poor planning, bad execution, rules not followed, poor workmanship, bad materials.  Building a building takes time, purpose and intention.  How much more so in building a family and how much more important. Purposeful parenting, purposeful family building is all about time–and eternity.

Purposeful Parenting, Part II

Two weeks ago we began a short series I’ve entitled “Purposeful Parenting.” It’s based on a blog post by Whitney Hopler of Crosswalk.com.   Whitney is doing a practical application of a book written by Jim Burns, The Ten Building Blocks for a Solid Family.
In the first commentary in this series, we covered 3 points: be there; express affirmation, warmth and encouragement; and build healthy morals and values.  I am structuring this series around the idea of being intentional about parenting.
It’s been my experience, and I believe this is certainly substantiated by the experts who write on the subject of building strong families, that when parents are purposeful in their parenting, good things happen.  No, they aren’t perfect families. And, yes, sometimes even in the most purposeful and intentional parenting situations, a kid goes off the rails.  There’s absolutely no guarantee, although we do have the principle in Proverbs 22:6—“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  That verse and Deuteronomy 6:4-7, in which God instructs the fathers to teach their children all the time, everywhere, the truths that He, God, was imparting to the Fathers, seem to me to be calling parents to purposeful, intentional parenting.
Fathers inspireAt some point, and I suspect it is very, very early, a child makes his or her choices about behavior. Parents who are purposefully parenting have spent time discovering everything they can about this gift from God, this little human who has been given to them to love and nurture.  Not only that, but parents determined to purposefully parent, and not just go with the flow or respond in the moment, spend time in serious Bible study and prayer, seeking to know God and to have His Word instilled in their own hearts and minds so that they bring their children up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
And that brings us to the next point:  Discipline with consistency.  Author Burns and blogger Hopler note that this is not easy. It takes energy and time—and I’ll add self-discipline. It’s always easier at the moment to give in. And that becomes a pattern children recognize.  If they badger, cry, act out, plead long enough…they’ll get their way.  In the long run, that’s not good for anyone and actually puts the child on a collision course eventually. Setting clear boundaries and expectations, individually and for the entire family, and then establishing corrective discipline for infractions, is good for everyone. Purposefully, intentionally and prayerfully establish the boundaries and expectations and the consequences for infractions—and then seek God’s strength to discipline yourself so that you can discipline—disciple—your children.
Burns and Hopler highlight that parents need to “ruthlessly eliminate stress,” in their own individual lives and for the entire family. Trim activities; don’t overschedule you or your family. Don’t let your career so stress you that you have nothing left to give to your family. Get adequate sleep and exercise.  When the stress is manageable, it’s easier to purposefully and intentionally parent, to be patient, to discipline in love not anger, to enjoy your spouse and your children.
The sixth building block the authors highlight is power-packed: “communicate well.”  Books and seminars abound on this topic. But it really can’t be over-emphasized. Parents devoted to purposeful parenting take time to listen to their children—really listen—both in the everyday things of life and in the times of discipline. In these exchanges you learn much about the individual child, the way he or she thinks and sees the world. It affords insight that will help you guide your children as unique persons with unique personalities. Purposeful parenting means positively communicating with your children, finding ways to encourage and affirm them not just giving them a constant barrage of negative.  Apologizing when appropriate can also be a real growing experience for all family members.
God the Father deals with us purposefully and intentionally as individuals—unique individuals. His discipline, His communication, and His salvation are all tailored to us individually.  In doing so, He has set the example for parenting.  Nothing can replace the value of strong marriages and strong families—and both happen when husband and wife, mom and dad, determine that by God’s grace, with His wisdom and in His strength, they will purposefully parent the children God gives them.

 

SCOTUS strikes blow against parental rights

From ParentalRights.Org:

SCOTUSThe Supreme Court of the United States has been in the news a lot lately with some major decisions regarding the balance of power. But one decision you may not have heard about – a decision to not make a decision – may have the biggest impact on your parental rights.

On Monday – the same day the Court handed down their rulings in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Harris v. Quinn – they also chose to deny cert to (that is, they opted not to review) Pickup v. Brown and Welch v. Brown. In doing so, they left in place a California ban on reparative therapy which treads on parental rights.

 

Read the rest HERE

WFA president Julaine Appling states, “These laws truly trample on parental rights but then government today seems to think children are their heritage, not the heritage of the Lord given to married moms and dad to love, direct and nurture.  We had a similar bill introduced this session in Madison. Fortunately, it went nowhere but I’m sure it will be back. Parents need to stay tuned in and engaged on this important issue.