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To Jasper County

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What does a life of service look like?  Is it serving others, your community, your country, or God?  God calls for us to have a servant’s heart.  To serve those around us and other causes that are larger than ourselves.  Through doing this we can also serve God.  Some people decide to show their servant’s heart through volunteering at church, whether this is for the prayer team, praise team, or even for coffee time.  Others choose to show it through serving their communities, whether this is public service or volunteering in the community.

 

I was born and raised here in Iowa on my family’s farm.  I was brought up in the church, Newton CRC to be precise.  I saw first-hand my family’s sincerity and devotion in caring for the land that God had given us to tend, maintain, and preserve.  I saw what a hard day’s work looked like and why we should never stop striving to improve or stop short of giving something our all.  I was raised seeing what it looked like to be thankful for what you have and to take care of it.  Not simply to complain and wish for more.  I was instilled with these lessons and philosophies as I grew up the same as my father and grandfather before me.

 

After graduating from Pella Christian High School I enlisted in the Army.  I firmly believe that this was because of the Midwestern and Christian values that I had been brought up with.  God calls us to be a part of something much larger than ourselves, and I felt as though this was how he wanted me to start my service to Him.  I understand that some may disagree with me and say that military service is not service to the Lord.  However, I believe it is.  As Christians, we are told to stand up for the weak, to stand up against injustice that is in the world.  Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a military or law enforcement to protect the innocent and stand against injustice.  The lessons that I learned by being brought up on the farm and by serving in the military had a profound impact on my beliefs in adulthood.

 

First, God undoubtedly exists, and we all have some roll to play in His plan.  While deployed to Baghdad, Iraq I walked away from too many things that should have killed me to then doubt His existence or doubt that He has a plan for all of us.  We may not understand what this roll is or how to go about filling it, but we do have a part no matter how small.  I will be honest, most days when I wake up, I still don’t know what God has planned for me.  I simply continue to ask for His guidance to follow the path that he has planned for me.

 

Secondly, God calls for us to serve Him and, through this, something larger than ourselves. When I first got out of the Army, I felt empty and lost for a while.  It took me several years to figure out why, but eventually it all came back to service.  For six and a half years, I had served something larger than myself, and now that was gone.  So, I started trying to find a place that I could serve that would complement the gifts that God has given me.  Now I volunteer most of my spare time to Jasper County Pheasants Forever, trying to help preserve and protect the beautiful nature that God has blessed us with.  I don’t care what anybody says, I firmly believe that Iowa is as close to paradise that we will ever see here on earth.

 

Thirdly, God gives us strength to stand up for what we know is right in this world.  He gives us the strength to stand up against injustice and strength to follow the right path when it would be so much easier to fall and go down the wrong path.  If God has blessed you with this strength, especially the strength to stand when no one else will, then to not act on it is to go against His will.  We must especially stand up for those who are less fortunate or weaker than ourselves and help them to find the strength to stand on their own.

 

Fourthly, we must always strive to better ourselves and to learn from others around us.  Both in this world and in our relationship with God, we must never settle for what we have or adopt a “good enough” mentality.  We must continue to push ourselves in every facet of our life every day; from work and family to our spirituality.  When we begin to develop a “good enough” mentality; then we cease to improve ourselves or deepen our spiritual and earthly relationships, we fail to grow.  We are never good enough in any aspect of our lives. There is always something else to learn and improve upon.

 

Lastly, God has blessed our country and our people like nowhere else on earth.  It is our duty as Christians to help those less fortunate than us, both at home and abroad.  It is our duty to share the blessings God has given us willingly, not forcefully by the government.  We must also remember that the guiding hand of God on our founding fathers and their beliefs greatly impacted why our country is where it is today.

 

My name is Brandon Talsma, and I am seeking to serve the people of Jasper County as one of the County Supervisors.  My family has lived and farmed in Jasper County for four generations. Holly, my wife of ten years and mother of our four, soon to be five children, and I chose to move back home to Jasper County as soon as I got out of the Army.  We wanted to raise our children back in the country around good Christian values and principals.

I am not seeking this position out of personal or political ambition.  I am simply seeking to continue my service to God by serving the great people of Jasper County.  I believe that change is needed in America’s government today, and the best way to enact change is to start at the local level.  God has blessed me with the ability to serve, to lead, and to stand my ground for what I believe in.

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