I can't believe I haven't updated this blog since January. OK, knowing the hectic pace of my life, I can believe it. (And if you know me, you can believe it too!) I know I promised an adoption update and I have some other great stories to tell too (remind me to tell you about the yellow motorcycle update!) but with the Oct 22 election day upon us, I wanted to share why I voted for Mark Baden for Rapides Parish Sheriff. (Lori and I "early voted" since we are going to be out of town on election day.)
Of course I voted for Mark since he's a member of our church. But that's not the only reason. I've known Mark off and on for many years and I've known him to be a compassionate, caring, giving and gifted individual. I remember the time he used his backhoe to dig a grave in the cold, hard north Rapides soil for a family who couldn't afford to pay the regular price to bury their young son. Mark took a day off work, went out early to dig the grave and then waited until after the funeral to fill it back in. He refused every offer of compensation and later I learned this isn't the only family Mark did this for. He would probably be embarrassed for me to share this, but it gives you a little insight into his character.
This was before he became a member of our church almost two years ago. Over the past many months I've gotten really close to Mark and have gotten to know his heart even better. We have cried together over matters I can't share with you and prayed for God to intervene with peace and reconciliation in matters that are too deep for a casual retelling. We have laughed together over the "God-incidences" (coincidences) of our lives. And we have shared stories of our love for our children. Mark has opened up to me in a very deep way and I am so grateful for the opportunity to know him as I do.
You've probably noticed I haven't mentioned his law-enforcement qualifications yet. Without a doubt he is highly qualified with 20 years of law-enforcement experience, both in the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office and in the Pineville City Marshal's office. While in RPSO he rose to the level of Major in the Detectives Division and his scrapbooks of accomplishments are a pleasure to peruse. He has many amazing stories of his early days on patrol and his love for the law enforcement community is evident.
But Mark is not just qualified because of his experience as a lawman. He's qualified because he has been touched with all of life's experiences. He knows heartache and joy. He knows how to be compassionate with a family who's experiencing loss or who is looking for answers for a struggling child. He isn't perfect, but the callouses on his hands and the weathered lines on his face are honest. His heart is both big and tender, and tempered with his law-enforcement experience, his compassionate leadership can make a tremendous impact on our community.
So I voted for Mark Baden for Sheriff. And I encourage you to do so as well. But even if you don't, please make sure you vote on Saturday, October 22. There are too many important elections at stake. And God will use YOU to accomplish His will, if you will vote. (Rom 13:1-7)
By the way, on the matter of the statewide elections, I highly recommend the Louisiana Family Forum's 2011 Fall Voter Guide, which you can find at http://www.louisianavoterguide.org/2011FallVoterGuide.pdf - it's a great resource to help you make your decisions.