Saturday, April 2, 2016

We've Moved!

In case you missed it, Generation Joshua now has a brand new website -- and a new blog to go along with it! Head on over to and let us know what you think!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Because He Lives

In the realm of politics, you see the good, the bad, and the ugly of this world. It quickly becomes very clear that this world is far from perfect, and as conservatives, we tend to worry quite a bit for the future of our country. Uncertainty at home and around the globe grips our hearts with fear. This week, though, Bill Gaither's song "Because He Lives" has been on my mind quite a bit, and I think it's very fitting this time of year: 

"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, 
Because He lives, all fear is gone; 
Because I know He holds the future, 
And life is worth the living, 
Just because He lives!"

Jesus Christ lives. It's a reality that gives us hope. Because He lives, we press on. Because He lives, hearts and minds are being changed -- for the better. Because He lives, we have hope -- forever. 

There are many things that can very easily cause us to feel that all is hopeless, and while it brings many exciting moments as well, political involvement definitely provide opportunities for disappointment. Elections are lost, bad legislation is passed, and it feels like everything is hopeless. But our hope isn't in a candidate, a political party, a government, or a country: instead, we have hope because He lives. 

Take heart, rise up and take action. We know who is in control -- and we know how the story ends. As you celebrate Christ's resurrection, take a minute and think of the future. Because He lives, we don't have to live in fear. Because He lives, we have hope for tomorrow. 

He lives!

- Peter Baergen, with special thanks to my friends Leah and Mikayla for their input! 

Monday, March 7, 2016

You Can Set The Tone

Yes. Sometimes I read for fun.
Over the last week and a half or so, I've seen three GOP candidates dominate political discussion in my newsfeed. Trump, Cruz, and Rubio seem to be locked in deadly combat and their supporters seem to have lost their sense of perspective.

"Can we call a truce and talk? We can always go back to killing each other later.” - Magnus Chase (The Sword of Summer, by Rick Riordan)

Yes, sometimes even children's books can teach us a valuable lesson in political discourse.

The discussion, of course, is about who should lead our party. Some appeal to making America great again and sticking it to the man. Some appeal to the Buckley Rule saying that we need to vote for the most conservative candidate who can win.

Of course we want to believe in the greatness of our country. Indeed (at least I believe) conservative issues are supreme and are the most important thing to look at in a candidate. Obviously the ability to win is vital.
Jeremiah Lorrig (me)

But I submit that we must look beyond those things. I have a long history of supporting candidates who lose. The first candidate that I really cared about was a friend of mine who ran for Congress. When Jeff Crank ran he had a chance of winning. He believed in America. He and I agreed on issues. But while those things were good there were other candidates in the race that would have met those minimum requirements. What that race taught me was that character, leadership, and honor matter. And they matter more than winning.

Jeff stood out by refusing to use some pretty damaging info that someone gave him about his opponent’s son in the campaign. Jeff’s leadership was clear when countless people he had worked with over the years (including many who served with his opponents in elected office) endorsed him and worked hard to help him out. He lost with honor even though nasty campaign tactics were deployed against him falsely claiming that he was a squish on important issues. Now, I don't have any illusions that Jeff is perfect or that any candidate is. Candidates, even our favorites, are human and will let us down.

Jeff Crank

And while today, Jeff will say that he now sees that God had better plans for him than Congress, I remember going to his “victory party” and feeling the agony of loss. But in that moment when the loss was so real, I looked back and realized that I was still proud to support him because it was worth it to support those things because they matter.

So, no matter who you support I want to ask you to also take into account character, leadership, and honor. Don't ever abandon your core issues. Also understand that winning does matter. Dream for your country’s future. But also weigh integrity, honesty, love of neighbor. Look at their accomplishments, their record, their ability to build trust with and work with those they disagree with. And evaluate how they conduct themselves with their friends, their family, and their enemies. And do this honestly, knowing that even your favorite people will not hold up entirely under this kind of analysis.

And once you are done evaluating them, look at yourself. You, my friends, can do better. Walk in integrity, honesty, and love of neighbor. Build trust. Respect those you disagree with. Fight hard, but fight with honor. No candidate is worth you losing your honor for.

I write this to myself as much as to you. Honestly, the fact that Trump is leading nationwide has me deeply troubled. The venom that I see thrown at my candidate, Rubio, makes me mad. But I cannot let that rule me. I know it is better to lose with honor than to win at the cost of your soul.

The tone of political discourse in our country is fairly bitter today, and everyone says it needs to improve. Change has to start somewhere. A new tone of political discourse can begin with us. Because a higher standard can begin with us.

- Jeremiah Lorrig

The views appearing on this blog are not necessarily the views of Generation Joshua or HSLDA and should not be construed as positions of either. Generation Joshua and HSLDA have not endorsed a candidate for President. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Get to know Peter Baergen

We asked Peter 10 Questions 

Peter Baergen first got involved with Generation Joshua in 2012 and has been involved with GenJ Clubs and Student Action Teams. In 2014, he received GenJ's Future of America Leadership Award. Peter is currently interning with Generation Joshua remotely from his home state of Michigan while enrolled in Liberty University Online and staying active with local campaigns.


1. What was your first job?

My first "official job" was helping run a State Board of Education campaign in Michigan. Prior to that, I had the opportunity to intern for both Students for Life of Michigan and the Michigan Republican Party, and learned a tremendous amount from each one of these opportunities. Never underestimate the value of internships, especially if you can do them early on.

2. What book are you currently reading?

Right now, actually, I've temporarily put my reading list aside due to school and other projects, and I'm just reading through the book of Proverbs. I've read Proverbs several times over before, but it never ceases to amaze me how many little bits of wisdom I find each time I read it that hadn't previously caught my eye. Previously, I recently finished No Fear by Tony Perkins, a collection of stories about young Christians who are standing up for God's truth each and every day across America.

3.  What is your dream vacation destination?

I love traveling, so any variety of places could come to mind at any moment... I would love to go back to Washington State. From the Hoh Rainforest and Mount Saint Helens to the Pacific coast and Columbia River gorge, the place is absolutely beautiful.

4. Where are you most likely to be seen dining when you want a great meal?

Probably Los Tres Amigos, a Michigan-based Mexican chain. The fajita nachos are the best. But you just can't beat my mom's tuna casserole.

5. What is your favorite professional sports team?

Excellent question—I was the guy who was researching Senate Bill 50 during the Super Bowl. If you'd asked me 12 or 13 years ago, I probably would have said the Detroit Pistons, so we'll go with that.

6. What is one way you have seen serious growth in your faith as an adult?

Over the past couple years, God has been teaching me about trust. I don't have all the answers, education doesn't teach you the answers, and you definitely don't find many good answers to life's questions in the political arena. God's the only one who has the answers, and I've been learning to trust Him to show me His will step by step, at the right time, in the right way.

7. What’s the most impacting story you read/watched in your youth?

That's definitely a tough one, but I'd have to say Nate Saint and the four other missionaries that were murdered as they were trying to bring the Gospel message to the Waoroni (Auca) tribe in Ecuador. Most people associate this story first and foremost with Jim Elliot, but as a kid who was very interested in aviation, I read several books about Nate Saint and his family. I was deeply impressed by the way he took a "secular" passion and turned it into an opportunity to minister. If your reading list could use an addition, I highly recommend Jungle Pilot: The Gripping Story of the Life and Witness of Nate Saint, Martyred Missionary to Ecuador by Russell T. Hitt.

8. What motivates you to continue when life gets crazy?

The hope I have in Jesus Christ. No matter what comes, I know that He works all things together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

9. What were you most surprised about when you started serving with Generation Joshua?

The biggest thing (and there are many things) that has impressed me about GenJ is how open and accessible the team is to students—always ready to answer a question, listen to a concern, or just talk. That's not something you find in many organizations, especially not when they have tens of thousands of members/alumni and a core staff of half a dozen people.

10. What’s one piece of advice that has helped shape the course of your life?

In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul writes to Timothy reminding him that while he is young, he can and should still be setting a Christ-like example. "Let no man despise thy youth," Paul writes, "but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

Want to stay in touch? Follow Peter on Facebook and Twitter.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Remembering Justice Antonin Scalia

On the afternoon of Saturday, February 13, my sister and I were phonebanking at a local presidential campaign office.  Taking a break as the pizza arrived shortly after 5pm, my sister looked up from her phone, and in a quiet but urgent voice, uttered the last words I expected to hear that day: "Justice Scalia is dead." 

As I pulled out my phone to search for confirmation, we heard a shocked "Oh, no!" from the next room over, and the campaign's state director announced the tragic news to the entire office.  At that moment, we all realized that this election had just become even more important: on Friday, we were merely guessing that the next President will appoint 2-4 Supreme Court justices. On Saturday, it became a very real possibility that one of our next President's first official acts will be the nomination of Justice Scalia's replacement. 

For a moment, however, let's set the politics aside and remember the man who has been so instrumental in shaping the United States Supreme Court over the past 30 years. 

Justice Antonin Scalia was one of the court's strongest adherents in recent memory to a strict textual interpretation of the Constitution. He was adamantly opposed to the concept of the Constitution as a "living, breathing document"—he understood that it must be interpreted based on the literal text of the Constitution through the lens of the Founders' original intent.
Appointed to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in 1986, Justice Scalia took his seat on the bench in September of that year. Even before his time on the nation's highest courtScalia served 4 years as a DC Circuit Court judge before his Supreme Court nomination—he earned a reputation for his powerful opinions and biting humor. That reputation was solidified early on in his Supreme Court tenure, and his various dissents in particular have commanded the attention of those not ordinarily intrigued by matters of law and jurisprudence simply by the wit and brilliance that marked his style. "What secret knowledge, one must wonder, is breathed into lawyers when they become Justices of this Court," reads Scalia's 1996 dissent in Wabaunsee County, KS v. Umbehr, "that enables them to discern that a practice which the text of the Constitution does not clearly proscribe, and which our people have regarded as constitutional for 200 years, is in fact unconstitutional?"

Justice Scalia was a man of conviction, a man of the Constitution, and a man of faith, and there are many things that can be said about his life and legacy. But I think it is fitting to close with this quote from a speech he gave in 2012.

"God assumed from the beginning," said the devoutly Catholic Scalia while speaking at a Living the Catholic Faith conference, "that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and He has not been disappointed. Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society. We are fools for Christ’s sake. We must pray for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world. If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world."

- Peter Baergen

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Get to Know Spencer Milligan

We asked Spencer 10 Questions

Spencer is an intern at Generation Joshua. As a student at Patrick Henry College, he has been a leader on Student Action Teams and now will be helping with around the office and working on projects for the summer. 

1. What was your first job? 

Everyone’s favorite occupation: a grill cook at McDonald’s. And no, I don’t really eat there anymore unless necessity demands it.

2. What book are you currently reading? 

At present I am in the middle of a compelling Star Wars novel, Ruin. Yes, I am a Star Wars junkie. And Yes, this is the 103rd Star Wars novel I have read.

3. What is your dream vacation destination? 

Hmm, well I would have to say the French countryside (like Bayeux and Normandy). I went there in middle school and fell in love with the place. The scenery is beautiful and the history is rich.

4. Where are you most likely to be seen dining when you want a great meal? 

Oooo, I would have to say Clides in Ashburn, VA. Some of the best duck you’ll ever try.

5. What is your favorite professional sports team? 

Ha, well to be honest I’m not a huge sports person, but if I had to pick it would be either the Colts or the Broncos; whichever one manning is on at the moment (tbh I don’t know).

6. What is one way you have seen serious growth in your faith as an adult? 

I would say through developing a consistent quiet time with God. Just by setting aside that time to pray and focus on what God has to say, I have seen my relationship with Him improve in a meaningful way.

7. What’s the most impacting story you read/watched in your youth? 

I would have to say the story of Sergeant York. I always admired the classic story of how God can convert and use even the most pagan of underdogs to do amazing things. If you haven’t read his autobiography, do it. Life changing.

8. What motivates you to continue when life gets crazy? 

All the little instances where I see God work. Mostly involving answers to prayers. I know that no matter how dire or trivial my circumstance, God hears my prayers and is always looking out for me.

9. What were you most surprised about when you started serving with Generation Joshua? 

Probably just how chill everyone was. Everyone in the office was friendly as soon as I walked in the door and was more than happy to answer all of my many questions.

10. What’s one piece of advice that has helped shape the course of your life? 

I hate to go cliché here, but it would have to be my life verse, Colossians 3:23. It says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not to men…” This verse made me realize that I am representing Christ everywhere I go and to remember that God’s glory should always be my end goal.

Want to learn more? Follow Spencer on Facebook.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Get to know Daniel Thetford

We asked Daniel 10 Questions

Daniel first got involved with Generation Joshua in High School when he and some classmates started a Generation Joshua Club in Charlotte. Since then Daniel has always enjoyed politics and government. He is currently studying American Politics and Policy at Patrick Henry College. His passion is to seek The Lord, Justice, and Truth, and to see the nation around him do the same.

1. What was your first job?

The first official job I had was at Bojangles, a fantastic southern style fast food restaurant. I had a variety of duties there, but my biggest responsibility was getting up to make all of the restaurants’ biscuits, chicken, and sweet tea before customers came in for breakfast. It was a stressful job, but I enjoyed it.

2. What book are you currently reading?

Right now I am in the middle of C.S Lewis’ ‘Till We Have Faces and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.

3. What is your dream vacation destination?

One of our history professor’s at Patrick Henry takes students on a trip to Rome most years. I would absolutely love to go sometime and take in all the history, sights, and gelato I can.

4. Where are you most likely to be seen dining when you want a great meal?

Definitely a Japanese steakhouse. Steak is the best. Japanese food is the best. It’s pretty much the best of both worlds.

5. What is your favorite professional sports team?

I have been a Carolina Panthers fan all my life. The Panthers had their inaugural season the same year I was born in North Carolina, so we go back a long way.

6. What is one way you have seen serious growth in your faith as an adult?

I think the biggest way I have seen growth in my faith has been in trying to build character as I live and relate to other people. No one can teach you how to build character, no one can force you to have a good heart and be full of virtue. In High School, I learned a lot about The Lord and theology, but that knowledge made me proud, and it didn’t change the way I lived and treated other people. As an adult, I have been slowly learning how to take the things I have learned, and live them out with practical wisdom and virtue.

7. What’s the most impacting story you read/watched in your youth?

The true story of John Quincy Adams has had a huge impact on me. After he served as President, he served in the House of Representatives. He was burdened by the evil of slavery in the country and he worked long and hard to end the practice for 17 years. He died in 1848 long before the end of slavery of slavery in America. Is that depressing? I don’t think so, I think he had a special kind of heroism because he fought for what he knew was right even though he knew there was no chance of success in his lifetime. That’s a quality I want to emulate.

8. What motivates you to continue when life gets crazy?

I know that my God gives me grace when I can’t do everything. I also have so many good people around me that keep going when things get tough.

9. What were you most surprised about when you started serving with Generation Joshua?

Honestly, I was just surprised how small it is. When I was in High School I assumed GenJ was some massive organization because there were camps and clubs across the country. I was surprised to find just a small tight-knit office.

10. What’s one piece of advice that has helped shape the course of your life?

There are a lot of wise people who given me great advice, but if I had to pick one thing it would be to find your duty and do it. It’s the simplest yet most complex and difficult thing we will ever do. God has purpose and duty for everyone. Ultimately the only thing that will ever leave you satisfied and happy is the assurance that you are following your calling. For some people their duty is within their profession, for others, it’s outside of their formal work. Either way, it’s up to us discover what we are supposed to do with our lives, and do it. Everything else is a meaningless distraction.

Want to learn more? Follow Daniel on Facebook.