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- Searcy Living Issue 5 2023
Download the issue here!
- Issue 5 2023 Answers
Across 2. WORK 6. ABNORMAL 7. PEACE 8. CAKE Down 1. DIFFERENCE 3. KIDNEY 4. SAFE 5. TANF Riddles 1. Turn over a new leaf 2. High frequency 3. Count the ways
- Issue 4 2023 Answers
Across 2. SMOCK 5. FIREARMS 6. LIVING 7. BRAND Down 1. Housing 3. TPA 4. COVER Riddles 1. First Aid 2. Walk in the Park 3. Looking Back 4. Too Funny For Words 5. Belong
- Searcy Living Issue 4 2023
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By Lucas Anderson A few days ago I was pouring some loose leaf tea into one of my favorite handmade mugs. I felt this unction in my spirit to continue pouring until the tea seeped up from beneath the strainer and overflowed the brim of my vessel. I held the tilted kettle steady wondering about the wisdom of this notion as my mug volume maxed out. An abundance of tea spilled over the sides and streamed from my clay-made cup onto the counter. The steamy mist of fragrant liquid continued its Niagara like fall down the oven door and began puddling into a small pond fit for a few minnows on our tile floor. It really happened just like that. I’m so glad no one was watching. As I wrung out a wet rag and knelt to clean it up, revelation began to rise from the bottom of my clay-made soul up to the brim of my brain until it spilled out into words on my lips. “Everyone wants abundance and overflow, but unless we have another vessel to pour the increase into we’ll just have a mess to clean up.” I stayed on my knees considering the weight of all my own wants and wishes for more. I contemplated the promise that when I give, I am given back a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and what? Running over. I thought about how many times the increase has come and I found myself with a mess on my hands or scrambling to grab another cup to catch the extra. And, I gave thanks for all the times I’m sure Love has wisely and patiently held back the blessings so I wouldn’t drown in the downpour over and over again. If I take a moment to learn from those I admire who have lived or do live lives of increasing abundance, I see a common theme. They all took action to surround themselves with people and position themselves in circumstances beyond their abilities before their cup began to overflow. They recognized that cups are never just full. I am either being poured into, or out of, and if there is nowhere for the extra to go, then eventually my cup will run dry because I will remain distracted cleaning up my selfish mess. Most of the time I perceive these heroic characters of mine to be different than me, carrying some type of born confidence and genetic generosity. The truth is, these overflow exchanges are motivated by a modest paradigm: knowing there is more, and discerning I don’t know it all, or have it all, and the only way to enjoy it all with as few messes as possible is to receive and reciprocate with the world around me. Here’s to humble overflow. :)
- Not. One. Hoof.
By Jessica Jecker In the book of Exodus, after many plagues had befallen the land of Egypt, Pharaoh calls Moses before him and tells him that the Hebrew people can leave Egypt but there is one stipulation, the livestock must remain. Moses, understanding that the Hebrew people would need their livestock for burnt offerings to God, tells Pharaoh their livestock must go with them, that not even one hoof should remain in Egypt. It would have been easy for Moses to agree to Pharaoh’s terms, after all, his people would finally be free. But Moses understood that even one thing left in Egypt would be a stronghold for his enemy. Moses wasn’t willing to leave even one thing behind, he wasn’t willing to concede even a little. Not one thing should remain in the enemies camp. Not even one hoof should remain in Egypt. Compromise, even in the smallest degree will allow Pharaoh to continue to bind you. You can march out of Egypt, shouting and clapping your hands, but if you have compromise in your life, you will still belong to Egypt. It’s the small foxes that spoil the vine, it’s the small compromises that spoil the victory. Leave not one hoof in Egypt. One door left open will allow the enemy full access. He is waiting, he is watching, he is calling you back to Egypt. That door left standing open will slam the shackles of bondage over you again. You cannot allow one point of entry to the enemy. You cannot allow any door from the past to be ajar. Leave not one hoof in Egypt. Free men don’t wear chains. If you have walked out Egypt you can’t allow Pharaoh to continue to rule over you. You don’t belong to him anymore. You have to drop the slave mindset. Continuing to allow Egypt to define you will keep you bound. Leave not one hoof in Egypt. When you come out Egypt, take everything with you. Shut every door, shake off every chain, pack up all your things and march out completely free. Whatever you allow to remain in Egypt will be a stronghold for your enemy. Everything must be laid on the altar before your God. The enemy will try to get to leave just one thing… just one little compromise… leave just one door open… Leave not one hoof in Egypt. About this Writer/Blogger: Hello and welcome to “Simply Jecker” my name is Jessica! You know that saying “a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus,” yeah that pretty much sums up who I am. My life is full of chaos, love, noise and Jesus. I am a wife to a fiery evangelist and a mom to three wild Jecker boys and one feisty Jecker girl (which is why I need alllll the coffee). I homeschool my kids and am a stay at home wife. My husband is a bricklaying instructor by day and evangelist by night. My boys are full energy, big personalities and about as different from each other as can be. My daughter is only a few months old but already rules the roost. She is a redhead and so far is living up to the stereotypical red headed temperament (pray for me). This blog is dedicated to all things motherhood and ministry. Won’t you join me as I navigate the waters of Motherhood and as my husband and I pursue the call of God on our lives?
- Recognizing Cpl. J L Tillett
Written by Jennifer Webb J L Tillett had no intentions of ever being a police officer, but sometimes our own plans for our life are not what God plans. Everything had been going smoothly up until 2012. That’s when everything seemed to hit a wall and his own plans crumbled to dust. His parents had moved here from California when he was 6, settling outside of town in Center Hill. They had a chicken farm there before moving into town and later establishing Tillett’s Paint and Wallpaper. He met his wife when they were still in high school. Michelle was playing piano in the choir room. He walked in, complimented her playing and she followed him out the door. They’ve been together ever since. He graduated first, but they still continued to see each other and got married her senior year. J L worked for Walmart Distribution for several years before starting work at his parent’s business around 2000. He was blessed to work with them until they made the decision to retire in 2011 and closed the store. He started up his own business but had to close the doors after a year since it was not providing adequately for his family. He and Michelle had 4 lovely daughters to take care of - Erin, Ashley, Avery, and Emily. That’s when he realized that his plans had crumbled to dust. But God provides. In this case, it came from a fellow church member telling him that there was an open position for the City of Searcy - in the Animal Control department. He applied in early 2013 and got the job. After an exciting year in animal control and working closely with Searcy police officers, he switched to dispatch. He answered 911 calls and emergency services dispatch. It gave him a whole new perspective of what the officers deal with on a day-to-day basis. The job was not always fun, many times intense, but the people he worked with made it a great experience. The more he worked with the Searcy Police Department, the more he wanted to be a bigger part of it. He made friends and they encouraged him to become an officer. One day in 2015, Chief Eric Webb asked him if he still wanted to be an officer. J L said “Yes.” Chief Webb said that he’d make it happen. J L went to the police academy in Camden, AR and he’s been an officer ever since. He was promoted to Corporal in 2021 under Chief Steve Hernandez and was recently named Officer of the Year. As a patrol officer, he serves in the patrol division under Sgt. Higgins and Lt. Wells. They have multiple shifts that rotate in 8-week sequences of days and nights. He loves it because no two days are ever exactly the same. The shifts are divided up into squads which are labeled as A squad, B squad, C squad, etc. His shift is A squad, so when they started calling themselves the A-Team, it stuck! He loves the camaraderie within the A-Team. They've created t-shirts and other items for the “A-Team” and their families. They get along well as a squad, eating together and enjoying each other's company on and off duty, and they are constantly backing each other up. Even at a "routine" traffic stop, you will sometimes see multiple officers there because they want to make sure that each officer is safe. "Not everything stays routine. We all want to go home to our families at the end of the day… just like anyone else.” - Cpl. J L Tillett There are a lot of things about the job he says you’re not going to find anywhere else. “Not just a job well done but it’s a job that you know affects somebody else’s life.” - Cpl. J L Tillett It may be separating a couple that has been fighting. It might be talking to a teen having issues with their parents and getting them to hear something that makes sense to them. Sometimes it’s helping young kids if there’s an accident. Officers frequently still do the job of animal control, especially when the Animal Control Officer is unavailable or off duty. For example, if there’s a dog in a vehicle involved in an accident and the owners have to go to the hospital, they make sure the dog is safe and taken care of. For J L it’s about the opportunity to make an impact on others’ lives through his work. He’s helping the people that are in some sort of crisis and he has the opportunity to intervene and be a positive influence for change. He gets great satisfaction in knowing that he’s really helped someone in their life in a way that matters. When he’s not in uniform, you can find him and his wife Michelle on the Tillett Family Homestead or hitting the road and exploring Arkansas parks and campgrounds. They love camping - so much that he custom-built his own small camper and has plans to start another one soon. You can see their adventures and the custom-built camper on the Tillett Family Homestead Facebook Page. Letting go of Tillett’s Paint and Wallpaper and of his own business was hard. Cpl. J L Tillett’s story is just one more beautiful example of how when God closes one door in our lives, he opens another one - often one that we never would have walked through otherwise.
- The Storehouse
Written by Jennifer Webb Have you ever had to clean out a house and wished that someone could just take some of the household items away and give them to someone that really needs them? Maybe your kids outgrew that bunkbed that you got for them, or you just got a new table and need to get rid of your old one. Or maybe you have to clean out a house after a loved one has passed (never an easy task!) and feel like you have household items and furniture running out of your ears. What if you have to move and you have items that you really don’t want to take with you? There is a ministry in Searcy called The Storehouse that takes those household items, and furniture and gives it directly to a family that needs them. Your old household items could literally be the blessing that someone else is praying for. So what exactly is The Storehouse? The Storehouse’s story really starts with another organization called 100 Families. Their goal is to keep families together that are struggling throughout all of White County. A family might be struggling with housing, job loss, drug or alcohol dependence, finding childcare so that they can work, finding reliable transportation, or a whole host of other issues. If a family has no extended family, friends, or church family to lean on, who can they turn to to help? They turn to 100 Families. When a family that is struggling comes to 100 Families they are assigned a caseworker whose job it is to pool resources to help them get their lives back together. This can include things like helping with housing, food, transportation, jobs, education, medical needs, and more. All this coordination involves many people and many organizations. Some are government programs such as SNAP, while others are privately run charities and faith-based organizations. The other organizations that 100 Families uses are called “partner agencies.” The Storehouse is one of those partner agencies. After talking with Dana Baker, of 100 Families, and her husband Shayne Baker, now of Restore Hope Arkansas, Holly Wilkins felt that God was calling her to serve. There were other organizations that were offering assistance with things like clothing, housing, and food, but none were dedicated to helping with home furnishings after a struggling family had secured housing. That’s how The Storehouse came to be in 2021. Full of enthusiasm and armed with a notebook, Holly started the organization as a loosely run group of volunteers. Its mission is to share the love of Christ by providing 100 Families active clients with home furnishings. One of the local churches donated facilities for storage. They started collecting donations. The donations come from private individuals as well as corporations and churches. Julie Stratton moved to Searcy in 2020 and had been looking for ways to serve the community, make friends, and get involved. She came on with The Storehouse in July 2021. She and Holly work as a team. Before Julie came, Holly was basically running the organization herself, including transporting large items with the help of her husband and other volunteers. She was more focused on immediate needs. But Julie had a more long-term vision. Julie took Holly’s notebook of people’s names, addresses, and requested items and made excel spreadsheets to keep better track of what donations came in, what was needed, and how many people they had served. When a family is trying to get back on their feet, one of the first things that they have to do is secure housing. But housing usually comes empty. It‘s hard to make the house a home or for it to function when it’s empty. How can a person cook if they don’t have pots or pans? How can you curl up on the couch if all you have is a bare floor? How do you get your kids back from foster care if you don’t have a bed for them to sleep on? And how do you get these items if all your money has just gone for a deposit on the apartment or trailer? The Storehouse takes donations both from individuals and businesses. They range from linens, small and large appliances, kitchen items, furniture, mattresses, baby items such as playpens, swings, highchairs, strollers, and car seats, ac units, heaters, fans, hygiene products, cleaning supplies, tools for home repair, and other items needed to make a house a home. The Storehouse takes these generous donations and gives them to people that need them and are working to improve their lives. To date, they have helped approximately 150+ families that live here in White County. If you or your church would like to help or would like Holly or Julie to speak, please email email@example.com. If you would like to learn more about 100 Families visit www.restorehopear.org/100families or call (501) 380-0715.