Friday, December 30, 2016

Accepting God's Call

In 2015 I wrote Answering God's Call, a 15-part Bible study through the book of Exodus. The book's name came from the famous encounter between God and Moses at the burning bush, where Moses reluctantly answered the call to demand Pharaoh release the Hebrew slaves.

As Moses would discover, saying yes to God was only the beginning. He obeyed by agreeing to do what God required, but he had to daily choose to obey for the final forty years of his life. Having already answered God's call, Moses now had to accept the call by living it out.

Accepting God's Call is another 15-part study, covering the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Each chapter includes five discussion questions that can be used for personal edification or in small group studies.

From a talking donkey and a bronze snake, to celebratory feasts and Nazarite vows, this study will give you a deeper appreciation for the God who has called you to follow Him.

The paperback is available here, and the eBook here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tommy Mann Ministries is Back

In 2009 we created Tommy Mann Ministries with the release of All the Law (which is now available in Spanish, I might add). Six books and a lot of ministry projects later, I had to make a tough decision. On the last day of 2015 I shut down the ministry that I thoroughly enjoyed. In 2016 I officially became a candidate for office, and as I explained on here at the time, it would be impossible for me to run a not-for-profit while fundraising for a campaign. I didn't want to have any conflicts of interest (see: Clinton Foundation), nor did I want to even be accused of any violations.

Now that I am no longer a candidate for office, you know, because I lost the election, we are re-launching the ministry. Tommy Mann Ministries will kick off with the release of the book I wrote during the campaign, Accepting God's Call (more on that book later).

In the spirit of full discloser, a spirit that I am fond of, I want to be clear about what this ministry will be. From 2009-2015 it was a full not-for-profit. For five years I never made a penny off the sale of any books. $1 from each book went straight to Phillipi, the church that employed me and allowed me to write and pursue a passion on the side. The rest of the money was used for ministry expenses and to support other ministry projects.

In 2016, without TMM (and for a while unemployed), book sales were a source of income, modest as they were.

Now the ministry will be a hybrid of both formulas. $1 from every book sold will go to Putman, the church that now employs me and allows me to pursue a passion on the side. We will pick right back up with the ministry projects, although we never stopped the prison ministry or helping in the fight for the unborn. The only difference is this time I will be paid by the ministry, also $1 per book.

Any donations made to the ministry will be used exclusively for ministry projects, just as they always were. I hope that something we do here can be a blessing to you.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Life Begins at Conception Act


To implement equal protection in the State of South Carolina under the 14th article of amendment to the United States Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina in the General Assembly assembled,

This Act may be cited as the “Life Begins at Conception Act.”

To implement equal protection for the right to life of each born and preborn human person, and pursuant to the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the General Assembly hereby declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and cannot be denied equal protection. However, nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the prosecution of any woman for the natural death of her unborn child.

For purposes of this Act:

(1)         HUMAN PERSON; HUMAN BEING.—The terms “human person” and “human being” include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Clinton Chronicle Interview 10/19/16

Here are my responses to the Clinton Chronicle in an interview published on October 19th. This interview was available in print but not in the online edition, so the answers are provided here.

Question 1: Why do you want to be a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives?

My reason for entering this race is simple: my heart is in it. Fifteen months ago I was waiting to see how a few factors would play out, but while I was waiting I realized this was my passion, no matter what. I learned a long time ago that when I know something is right, I need to do it. I now know that I am doing the right thing. I have an ever-growing, burning desire for the people of District 42, and I want to be used to help make a difference in any way I can.

Question 2: What is the main issue South Carolina will face over the next 12 months?

There are several critical issues facing our state that require immediate action. Repairing our infrastructure is a priority of mine, as well as seeing laws passed to guarantee First Amendment liberty in the face of the out of control Supreme Court. But the most immediate action may have to be the state retirement benefits promised to our teachers, police officers, and other state employees. We can’t pay them with promises. They deserve their pension and we have to ensure they receive what they worked for. I’m prepared to work with both parties in Columbia to find a satisfactory solution.

Question 3: Are public schools adequately funded? If not, how much more is needed?

The biggest issue with school funding is not the dollar amount, but the fact that current statues are routinely ignored. Three statutes—regarding state money, local money, and school bus funding—are being violated, in part because of the complex system currently in place. We either need to abide by the laws we have or replace them altogether. The problem isn’t just money, but in many cases is management and leadership. Some districts receive far more Base Student Cost than others, and underperform when compared to districts receiving far less BSC. This issue isn’t about dollar amounts, but about management.   

Question 4: What can the General Assembly do to promote job growth in South Carolina?

The General Assembly can help promote job growth by working with Governor Haley to promote our great state around our great country. Governor Rick Scott of Florida and Governors Rick Perry and Greg Abbot of Texas have promoted their states and successfully lured in new out of state companies. Their greatest tool is their states’ low taxes and few regulations. We need to continue to keep taxes low and free up industries to run their businesses without so much government interference. Finally, we need to advertise our state, letting CEOs and presidents know that South Carolina is open for business.  

Question 5: What should be done to fix the state's deteriorating roads and bridges? 

Our infrastructure must be immediately addressed, and we need to start with the more than one billion dollars in surplus money that is just waiting to be used on roads. We need our county councils to submit what I call Priority Plans, ranking their biggest needs first and working their way down. In Congress we have to pass a clean bill, not connected to gas tax hikes or part of any other piece of legislation. We also need to commit to put other projects on hold until this issue is solved. We can do this soon and without raising taxes.  

Question 6: Are you in favor of tax vouchers for parents of private school students? 

I absolutely support tax vouchers for parents whose children are in private school, but only if they are paying their child’s tuition. Children on scholarships or in charter schools should not qualify. The purpose of the tax break is to alleviate the double burden of paying for your own child’s education out of pocket while also paying for the public education of others. My wife and I make sacrifices to keep our daughter in private school, so I understand how this voucher can be a blessing. I also support school choice for parents who are dissatisfied with their child’s school.