Every August the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) hosts a weekend conference that brings together Alabama’s business community and cross-section of public servants who have been elected to state offices. Republicans and Democrats seated around the same tables getting to know the people behind the businesses that employ Alabama families. It’s the one conference each year where everyone gets to meet the spouses, children, and even grandchildren, of the people who are at the center of Alabama politics.
This year’s BCA Conference was awesome. For the first time I actually realized that strengthening Alabama families through employment opportunities is at the heart of the efforts of the men and women who are guiding today’s Business Council of Alabama.
With a strong business climate our state will attract new businesses, strengthen current businesses, and employ more people. More people working will grow our tax revenues without increasing our tax rate. An increase in tax revenue will pay for the construction of more state-of-the-art classrooms that will enhance the learning environment that creates better schools. Better schools will produce a better workforce that will attract businesses with higher paying jobs.
With the strengthening of our families through a stronger business climate we will begin to see families being taken off welfare and Medicaid rolls. And don’t kid yourself; those stronger families will also begin to shrink our state prison population.
This year’s BCA Conference showcased two remarkable presentations. The outstanding speakers filled everyone’s heart with messages of courage, dedication, and faith in God. Everyone left for home Sunday proud to be an American, and absolutely convinced in the Power of Prayer.
Robert O’Neill, a highly decorated former U.S. Navy SEAL, began Saturday morning by sharing personal stories of a courageous group of dedicated Americans who stand ready to travel the world to keep American families safe and free. (Robert O’Neill spent many years as the team leader of the now famous “SEAL TEAM VI.”) He assured everyone that a U.S. Navy SEAL will NEVER QUIT.
Katherine and Jay Wolf closed out this year’s BCA Conference speaking at the Sunday morning Interfaith Service. This young couple shared a story of love, courage, and Hope in the truth of God’s Word. Their testimony had everyone riveted to their seats.
In 2008, at the age of 26, Katherine had just laid their 6 month old son down for his afternoon nap when she fell to the kitchen floor paralyzed and vomiting. She had suffered a massive brain stem stroke. With Jay just three weeks from finishing law school this young Christian couple suddenly found themselves placing their family’s future completely in God’s hands.
As Katherine and Jay were in the middle of their story a transformer on a nearby power pole blew and all the lights in the hotel went out. The young couple never flinched. They lowered their microphones, but NEVER QUIT talking about God’s grace, mercy, and miraculous healing powers. (A couple of men walked over and opened the window blinds for outside light, and Katherine and Jay Wolf finished their story.) No one in the packed room ever moved a muscle to get up and leave. I told Katherine later that the devil tried his best to keep someone in the audience that morning from hearing of God’s love and the power of prayer. (I also assured Katherine that her unwavering testimony had slapped the old devil right in the mouth.) She smiled and thanked me.
Today Katherine and Jay Wolf are the founders of a Christian ministry called Hope Heals. Katherine’s right side remains paralyzed, but God has restored her left side and given her a powerful voice. (Their son James is now 6 years old.)
John 12:30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.”
God Bless America!!!
Allen Farley – Alabama House District 15
Allen’s blogs can be viewed at allenfarley.wordpress.com