Remarks by Jeanne Luckey, Mississippi Republican National Committeewoman, to the Jackson County Republican Club:

Dear Friends,

?I regret not being able to be at the meeting today. This is the week of the Republican National Committee meeting and I am in San Diego. Thank you for allowing me to represent you on the RNC. Please know I take this honor very seriously and do not take lightly the trust you have placed in me. I will always strive to represent Mississippi and its values on the national level. But you and I both know, without the work of local republican activists across this country there would be no RNC.

So I also want to thank you for all you do. Each one of you in this room is a powerful Republican leader and others look to you and see you as an example of our party. What you do and say forms the image of being a Republican. You are the very cornerstones of our party.

Looking back to 2014 we certainly have a reason to celebrate. Last year was a great year for Republicans across our country. Of course we cannot rest on our laurels. In 2015 we all have a lot of work ahead of us both on a statewide level and a national level. We must hold our state offices and began our efforts to win in 2016. I challenge you to be the ones who will build our party toward victory in 2016. I have made two New Year’s Republican Resolutions which I believe will make our party stronger going into this election cycle.

FIRST LET’S MAKE IT LESS ABOUT OUR FEELINGS AND MORE ABOUT OUR FUTURE

Many times when someone is considering running for office they come to me and ask what I think. One of the things I always I tell them is to “do what God places on your heart”. I cannot answer the question about what God is telling them to do. But we must remember running does not always mean winning. Sometimes God allows us to run and lose. We don’t know why God allows things to happen and sometimes we are supposed to lose. This can serve His purpose as well as winning. If you win give others all the credit, if you lose take all the blame, but always lose gracefully, others are watching to see how you lose. Others are watching to see how we behave as a party.

I try to always remember we are all trying to do the right thing.

I often laugh and say my Husband doesn’t wake up every day and make a list of ways he can irritate the stew out of Jeanne today. He is trying to do the right thing. And I think most of us are trying to do the right thing. We are not going to all agree all the time on what the right thing is. If you disagree with a fellow member of our party go to them and talk to them, present your case but don’t destroy all that is good about the Republican Party because you disagree with someone on a few issues. If we tear each other apart how can we expect others to do any differently.

I was raised a Baptist and my father always said a Baptist’s favorite thing to have for Sunday lunch was the minister; and I’m not talking as a lunch guest. After church everyone wanted to sit around and slice and dice the sermon, what the preacher did wrong, what was good and what was bad. We do the same thing to our leaders and it’s time to stop. The future of our party depends on it.

In a sermon by Peter A. Alwinson he expressed this sentiment with the following illustration. An issue of National Geographic included a photograph of the fossil remains of two saber-tooth cats locked in combat. To quote the article: “One had bitten deep into the leg bone of the other, a thrust that trapped both in a common fate. The cause of the death of the two cats is as clear as the causes of the extinction of their species are obvious. When Christians fight each other, everybody loses. As Paul put it, “if you keep biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (Galations 5:15)

SECOND WE LET’S MAKE IT LESS ABOUT DIVISION AND MORE ABOUT OUR VISION.

Thomas Brooks, quoted in Credenda Agenda (Things to believe, things to do)
Labour mightily for a healing spirit. Away with all discriminating names whatever that may hinder the applying of balm to heal your wounds…Discord and division become no Christian. For wolves to worry the lambs is no wonder, but for one lamb to worry another, this is unnatural and monstrous.

What if when we went to church we put labels on everyone?

We’d have the CHEASTERS-Those who only come on Christmas and Easter.
We’d have the CHINOS- Christians in name only.
We’d have the ESTABLISHMENT- the deacons and elders, and I’m sure you can think of others.

As you can imagine this would only serve to separate not build. But yet we do it in our Republican party. I am going to work for a party that stops labeling and begins laboring to build one strong unified party that will elect a president in 2016.

My favorite poem “The Bridge Builder” by Will Allen Dromgoole reminds us how important it is for each of us to look to the future, how important it is for each of us to make it our responsibility to be the one to make a difference.

An old man going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast, and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim, near,
“You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head:
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today,
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”

I challenge you to be the one, build the bridge. Let’s all work to elect a Republican president in 2016. Together we have the power.

Remember: Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.