Siloam Springs is the kind of hometown where you are likely to meet a friend at the grocery store and you can still expect your neighbor to loan you something. There are advantages to living in a small town. But there are also disadvantages. Take my neighbor Don Haxel. Upon meeting Don you will immediately like him. He has been a fixture in this town for many years. There are many families who have been blessed by Don and his wife Brenda. So why the disadvantage? Simple, he has perhaps the greenest thumb of anyone I know. His gardens and flowers are absolutely beautiful, but apart from taking out a small loan for flowers and plants and hiring someone to plant them and ensure they grow. I cannot compete. So I get to admire his house and wish I could get my stuff to look half as nice as his.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men. Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
For those of us fortunate enough to live in the United States of America, it is easy to take for granted the unparalleled liberty we've experienced for over 200 years.
You don’t have to compare yourself to anyone else. We all compare ourselves to others at times. We look at other people and ask ourselves, “Why can’t I be more like them?”
So let me remind you today that you are exactly who you’re created to be.
I know of a family who went car shopping in Springdale. When the salesman tried to convince them he could help them finance a new car with the same payment they had on their existing car he was SHOCKED to find out they didn't actually have a car payment.
In fact, his response was classic, "No car payment... why, that's Un-American!"
I used to think that loving someone was a feeling. One that makes you tingly or happy.
While I’m glad for those emotions, I’ve discovered a greater truth.
Real love shows up when feelings fail to arrive.
“I drove into the woods alone, I was planning to drink myself to death. Then my sponsor came and found me and brought me back to Souls Harbor.”
Danny is just one of hundreds of men who have found a safe place at Souls Harbor over the last 30 years. That day in the woods was years ago, but you can still find Danny at Souls Harbor. Today he’s there as a staff member helping the men like Les, who is 7 months free from a 29 year meth addiction, find work and encouraging them in their hard moments.
I heard a sportscaster say that opening day of the NCAA men's basketball tournament is the number one day men call in sick.
I don’t know if that’s true or not, but on day one, the University of Kentucky opened up against Hampton University and Hampton’s odds of winning were .006%. They were an underdog for sure.
You're loved by God. I don’t know why it's so hard for us to deeply, wholly believe that's true sometimes. We hear again and again the whispers of doubt. Can I be a different voice, a louder voice, in your life today?
You really are loved.
“We were waiting in the driveway of their foster home and they got off the school bus. They came running down and all of a sudden Corey said “Daddy” and I just lost it and then Shamarion kept saying “Daddy” and that’s a word they hadn’t said in a long time, that was a really powerful moment.” Kyle Cooksey
When the Cooksey’s decided to adopt God led them to Project Zero and through Project Zero to their kids De’Aysha, Shamarion, and Corey.
When Richard and I moved last year we discussed whether we should pack a heavy bucket of old, rusty tools.
I pointed out that they hadn’t seen the light of day in five years. He held tight to the oversized white bucket, assuring me that he’d need them one day.
So we lugged the bucket of tools across state lines.