Memorial Day

Lincoln

Lincoln

It is natural for people to use the occasion of Memorial Day to get away and relax. And if I wasn’t running for the State Senate in 56 days, I’d probably be doing the same thing.   

But I encourage you to take a moment this Memorial Day to remember “the reason for the season” – to recall those Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  They did so to preserve the personal freedoms we enjoy here, and to ensure that societal decisions continue to be made by regular citizens and those who elect them, not dictators or foreign powers. 

Though I know of no personal relative who paid that price, my maternal grandfather was career Army, as was my uncle, and my paternal grandfather served in WWI.   My family fought so that I may do exactly as I am right now – participating in the democratic process. I am so grateful that they did. And I am deeply thankful for those who gave everything for this country, which remains, thanks to them, the greatest and most successful experiment in the history of civilization.

I’ll leave you with the Gettysburg Address, a re-reading of which is an ideal way to spend a few moments marking the true reason for Memorial Day.

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. 

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. 

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Knocking doors in the heat

Just finished with two full days of knocking on doors.   Summer is unofficially here!

Knocking doors with Rachel and George

Our family

Our family

Just finished with three straight days of wall-to-wall door knocking.  

Rachel and George were with me for most of it, which is always a great treat!

I continue to get a very favorable response.  I can tell that our friends and neighbors appreciate that we’re taking the time to personally visit their home.  I think they know that the work ethic you exhibit on the campaign trail is an indicator of how hard you will work on their behalf.

George Holt, Campaign Manager

Been knocking doors and calling voters the last three nights. 

That doesn’t mean I don’t get my time in with George, however…

Me and George as I call a voter

Me and George as I call a voter

I-40 and Choctaw Road

Love's

Love's

 

Toured the damage at I-40 and Choctaw Road in Oklahoma City tonight with Mayor Mick Cornett and Congressman Tom Cole.

Here is the front door of Love’s.  My dad took a nap in the parking lot here Sunday afternoon.   I have been to this Love’s many, many times.

There were several stories of heroism at this intersection.   We met one gentleman tonight who pulled into the travel stop ahead of the tornado and demanded that everyone take shelter immediately.   At the Love’s, an employee did the same.

Our Seventh Anniversary

Rachel and I on our wedding day

Rachel and I on our wedding day

Today, May 10, is Rachel and I’s seventh wedding anniversary.   We were married in 2003 in Philadelphia, PA, Rachel’s hometown.

In honor of that occasion, here is the homily that our great friend the Reverend Sean Mullen delivered at our wedding mass at St. Mark’s Church:

When the musical, Oklahoma! opened in 1943 it did not look very promising.  Not only was the country at war, the show was a departure from the formula for success on Broadway.  It was, as an article about the show put it, “a musical without stars, without gags and humor, without the sex appeal of chorus girls in flimsy attire.”

 

People in the industry predicted it would flop.  When scouts brought back word from the out-of-town preview productions they summed up their assessment of the likelihood of success succinctly: “No girls, no gags, no chance.”  So it was a surprise when on opening night the audience rose to its feet for a standing ovation and the production continued to run for five years and nine months.

 

Oklahoma has been on my mind as Rachel and David’s wedding has approached, because we know that they are Oklahoma-bound.  But the musical Oklahoma! has been on my mind as the wedding has approached because when we plan a wedding it is as close as many of us will ever get to staging a musical.  And while we might leave out the gags and the humor, every wedding has its stars and there is usually a good compliment of chorus girls – though not in such flimsy attire!  And this wedding, perhaps as a homage to Oklahoma!, even has a surrey, but I’m not sure that there is a fringe on top.

 

One of the best-loved songs from Oklahoma! is a duet sung between the two principle characters: Curly and Laurey, who are still in the early stages of romance and don’t want to admit their mutual attraction.  Curly sings to Laurey:

 

“Don’t take my arm too much,                                                    

don’t keep your hand in mine;                                                     

your hand feels grand in mine;                                                    

people will say we’re in love.                                                      

 

Don’t dance all night with me

till stars fade from above;

they’ll see it’s alright with me;

people will say we’re in love.”

 

In just a few moments I am going to ask David and Rachel to take one another by the hand in a very deliberate way – holding each other, right hand in right hand, as they pledge their love and their loyalty to one another.

 

In a wedding we make this fuss over hand-holding precisely because we want people to say they’re in love.  And we need these outward and visible signs of the deeply invisible truth that something is going on here – that God is at work weaving David’s and Rachel’s lives together in a most wonderful way.

 

Remember those wonderful words we just heard from St. Matthew’s Gospel:

 

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you…?”

 

These words remind us of the secret work God does in our lives, if we trust him.  They remind us that God does not need stars or gags or chorus girls to work with to make something beautiful.  They remind us that every detail of this wedding could fall to pieces but the beauty of God’s love would still carry the day in its invisible way.

 

I suppose that we could think of Rachel and David’s time together in Washington as the out-of-town preview that all musicals go through: a time to work things out, figure out how to sing and dance and live together, a time to make adjustments, re-write songs, learn new choreography.  And if Washington has been the previews, then Oklahoma may be where Rachel and David are going to have a long run in the near future.

 

But in any case, this is opening night, when we give them a great standing ovation.  This is the time to dance all night till the stars fade from above.  For we see that it’s alright with you, and people will say you’re in love.

 

May God bless you richly as he joins you together, Rachel and David, and may we always say you’re in love.  Amen.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Rachel and George

Rachel and George

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, but especially my Rachel.   This is our first Mother’s Day since George’s arrival. Rachel is such an amazing mother – loving, thoughtful and patient.   George is so fortunate, and so am I.

My thoughts also turn to my mother, who passed away 17 years ago.  I’ve been without her longer than I was with her, but she will always be an influence on my life.   Here’s a little bit about her.

SWCU / Door Knocking

Last night, I attended the inauguration of Ed Huckeby, the new President of Southwestern Christian University in Bethany.

After that, got in some door knocking, and then a full day today.   I’m getting a great response as the campaign  continues its march!

Okie Pundit: “It’s clear David Holt will win this non-race and almost certainly be the next state senator from Senate District 30″

Okie Pundit analyzes the race here.

Six month milestone

knockingJust finished another day of knocking on doors.  

This represents the end of our sixth month on the doorsteps of the 30th Senate District!  Three more months to go!