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 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.
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.
April is all about spring. The dread of winter in the rearview mirror and the new of spring in the front windshield.
April also brings golf fans to a place in Georgia that is about as beautiful a place as you will find. The Dogwood trees and Azaleas are in bloom and set against the green of the course, it's incredible. The competition is great because The Masters is considered a major championship and all professional golfers dream to win there.
Don't give up. You've persevered when it would have been easier to quit. You've moved forward when you felt weary. You've pushed through to what God has for you. And that is extraordinary.
It may seem like no one sees, no one notices, no one even knows. But let me reassure you that the loving eyes of God have watched every step. And he has not just watched — he has walked beside you all the way.