Monthly Archives: August 2017

One Day or Day One? You decide.

One day day one

I saw this on a church marquee a few days ago. AND I LOVE IT! Why? Because it’s a challenge and statement of fact all in one!

It also makes you think. At first, it may be a bit confusing. But upon reflection, the light bulb above your head begins to blink a little before shining bright as you realize what the message behind it is.

Simply put, you have a decision to make.

Will it be one day or day one? Will you put off what needs to be done to one day or will this be day one of getting it done?

This matters for the following reasons:

  • The last part is the most important: You decide. It’s a choice. You can sit on an egg until it hatches or you can crack that sucker and make scrambled eggs. What’s it going to be? If you’re hungry, make the eggs! What holds you back keeps you from moving forward. When it’s your decision and you never get around to it, you are your own problem. One day or day one?
  • About one day. When you postpone, one day turns into some day. Some day turns into some time. Some time turns into never. My spin on the popular quote: Don’t put off today what you will still not do tomorrow. Do it now.
  • About day one. Day one is the first day of the rest of your life. Get the things done you need to get done so you can do the things God wants you to do.

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
– Proverbs 13:4

Putting things off is a turn off. Make every day day one!

Trey Campbell,
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Feed your mind with books as you would your belly with food

It hurts my heart when a young person tells me they don’t read books. Why? Because feeding your mind is secondary to feeding your body. You need to work your brain just like you need to fill your belly. Investing in knowledge is long-term, where as investing in a meal is short-term.

Reading is so important, we have it as one of the five schedules of the summer for the1000 Tips 141 Reading 149-year-old Southwestern Advantage entrepreneurial program. It’s a habit that once started, can open up your imagination and allow you to communicate your own story much more effectively.

A great friend of Southwestern Advantage, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones would say, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

Reading is a way to escape from your current situation and delve into a mystery or adventure that takes you as far as your mind dares. Or you can read something motivational that prompts you to self-improvement and reaching a goal. Or you can read something mindlessly entertaining that makes you smile when you think about it. The great thing about books are they are portable devices for imaginative and soul-changing gratification. Books truly are food for the mind, sustenance for the soul.

I was reminded of this recently by a Facebook post from Loyd Elmore* asking what your favorite book is, and then further reminded by looking through some books in my closet. While I’ve read plenty and underlined and highlighted for miles, there were two books I pulled aside where the words have not been marred by ink or spoken by my internal monologue. If you want to know why, it’s because they are in Spanish.

It was two books from a service project trip in the Dominican Republic in 2016. One was a Bible given to me from Magdalena Rafael Arias, the founder and Director of a school we added four classrooms to. She has since called us her angels because we swooped in and provided a need to educate 150 more children and get them off the streets.

DR Books 4

The other was the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Only this one is titled Loco Amor (because of the Spanish thing). It was given to me by an English teacher, Ramon, at a school we helped who didn’t really know much English (being always helpful, I did secure him Rosetta Stone to learn English so he could be more effective as the English teacher). He had tears in his eyes when he gave the book to me and kept calling me his “new friend.”

These books are gifts I will always treasure for two reasons: 1) These two people with little means gave me a gift out of love, not obligation. 2) Both were a book that meant something to them. They put thought into the type of book they gave me. In addition, they wrote a note in the front cover. I love books that are given out of special intention. Theses books were graciously accepted and are appreciated because of the pride the giver had in picking them out and ceremoniously presenting them. Ah, what we Americans could and should learn from other cultures…

In the past month, my youngest daughter, Megan, suddenly gave up an an obsession with the screens of video games and technology for the paper pages of books. This makes me proud and lets me know all is not lost on the up-and-coming generation – not that it really ever is. This is something older generations say because of either fear or a lack of understanding and acceptance of the differences between the generations. Here’s something that spans all generations: leaders are readers… and if this is true, books and leadership will continue to go hand-in-hand. The chapters of our lives are enriched by the chapters of books.

So, what are you reading?

Trey Campbell
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*Loyd Elmore is a fellow writer that has a blog for the purpose of helping him deal with depression (and he always has interesting topics and thoughts…). Writing is his form of therapy. “It might not help anybody else but it might help me.” Check it out: 




Prayer: the difference between “with someone” and “for someone”

As I attended a church service packed wall to wall that would make any Fire Marshall uncomfortable (this is a good thing), I looked around and marveled at how many people had come to one place at one time for one reason.

The reason for the cramped quarters was because the youth of the church had returned TBF Youthfrom a week-long camp. All their family and friends who attended the service dedicated to them fed off their energy. It was truly an amazing sight for these eyes. Unlike many others who worry about the future of this generation, I do not. I think it’s in good hands.

During the service, something our Lead Pastor, Phil Wilson, said caught my attention. Truth tends to do that. He said, “There’s a difference between praying with someone and for someone.”

This was directed to the youth in order to prompt active prayer with someone rather than always the usual private or internal prayer for someone.  If you pray for someone, they may never know about it. If they don’t know about it, an opportunity to witness or change their life can be minimized. How would they then be a part of it? How will they feel special because someone reached out and cared? Don’t minimize the power you have to impact others.

Upon personal reflection, I know so well the power of both one-on-one and group prayer. Praying with someone does several things:

  1. It shows them two people care and they are loved: you and God. By loving someone enough to pray with them, this is one of the most intimate things you can do with another. It’s not physical, it’s spiritual.
  2. It opens up the prospect of a deeper relationship. Praying with someone builds a trust that’s just not the same as with conversation. There’s an intimacy that comes with prayer because you are speaking into a person’s heart, soul, and spirit. You are reaching things that are guarded. Prayer breaks down the toughest of walls.
  3. There’s Christ in community and community in Christ. In Matthew 18:20, Jesus says, “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Praying together is a powerful thing. To have an audience consisting of Jesus is a big deal. Our faith in not built on solitude. When we break bread together and join in prayer, we are coming together in unison for a common cause. There is strength in numbers. The triple braided cord is stronger than a single cord.

When praying with others, I have had the wonderful opportunity to simply share my heart and touch theirs. This is not done for any kind of recognition, credit, or any other selfish or impure motive. There’s no such thing as “heaven points” that are to be gained through this. The reward is knowing you have done what you are called to do. Faith is an active thing. To hear someone tell you through tears that no one has ever prayed with them before or the hug that comes afterwards because of the overwhelming feeling of a warm heart and cleansed soul is reward enough.

Encouraging our youth to do this builds a strong foundation for not only our future church leaders, but our future faith leaders. Hearing stories of my teenage daughter praying with her friends or helping those with real issues such as cutting and suicidal tendencies brings tears. This generation does care. They need our guidance and leadership now so they can have the confidence to be who they were made to be through Christ.

Prayer in Friusa
A prayer circle with Southwestern Advantage college students in Friusa, Dominican Republic put together by the students.

Prayer is a means of connection. Be fearless in your faith and bold in your prayers. Many find it hard enough to pray alone, much less do it with someone else. If you are in this category, that’s okay. Ask someone who you know will pray with you to do so. Don’t wait. If you don’t ask, you will never know the warmth that comes with the Spirit washing over you.

Trey Campbell,
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The blood of those slain still cries out

“Am I  my brother’s keeper?”1000 Tips 139 Brothers Keeper

These were the infamous words Cain spoke to God when lying about knowing the whereabouts of his brother, Abel.

“Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”

These were the words of the Lord when outing Cain in his lies.

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” These five words sting like a thousand hornets. While Cain was being a defensive and juvenile in response to God’s question, he was unknowingly setting the stage for what started in the garden with the serpent – continuing with the disobedience and general mutiny of man towards our Maker and each other.

In a sense, every man is his brother’s keeper. Cain took the low road with a barefaced disregard for his brother when he took him to the fields and killed him. His jealousy turned to hate and his hate to rage and that rage engulfed him, driving him to commit the first murder the world had known. Cain could not contain his contempt and hatred for his brother.

Is this not unlike what is still going on in the world today? So much hate… Cain gave way to his emotions – just like people still do today. Emotions are controllable. Many people don’t know this because they don’t practice it. Ignorance and hatred are controllable too. There’s also many not practicing controlling these as well.

Those who practice hate don’t know God’s love. This unrelenting love overwhelms hate. There’s simply no room for it in your heart if you know God’s love. If you don’t believe me, just read 1 John 3:11-24 and 4:7-21. It’s all about loving one another – something this world could use some more of.

This past week in the news saw some tragic, despicable, and down-right nasty examples of the evil nature that consumes humans. From the hate-violence in Charlottesville to White House staff turnover to idiotic, nonleader-like tweets and insensitive statements from the POTUS to multiple police officer shootings to the Barcelona attack in one of many disturbing incidences of vehicles being used as weapons of terror when unsuspecting crowds are gathered to the stabbings in Finland to threats against Guam, of all places, by North Korea. It just goes on and on.

bloodsplatterHere’s what I know – the blood of those slain still cry out! It did when Cain’s blood stained the ground and it does today when the cruel actions of hatemongers lead to bloodshed. People are hurting. People are fearful. And people can be dangerous when shrouded in a veil of darkness and insecurity (or a pointed hood). As individuals, we need to rise up above the hatred and pain and take a stand. You want change? Put prayer back in school. Warm up a pew at church. Dust off that Bible on the shelf. Seek Christ through community with others. Put forth an effort.

Some harsh yet true words from John:

If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers do not have eternal life within them.
– 1 John 3:14-15

For those who choose to be haters, it looks pretty glum. But… that’s why the Good News is called good news! The haters can still change their ways, their thoughts, and their hearts. God forgives and He delivers. Just like He did by delivering His Son to us, for us.

The blood of Jesus saved us. Though the blood of those slain still cry out. They cry out for social injustice. We are all our brother’s and sister’s keeper. For the sake of righteousness and justice, can’t we all practice the love that passes us from death to life?

Trey Campbell,
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My story: from confusion to clarity in a Mexican orphanage

2011 was the first year my company, Southwestern Advantage, implemented organized service projects to meet the needs of the communities we go to for incentive trips. Over the years, we’ve met some incredible people and helped some outstanding organizations. What’s special about these projects is they are entirely funded by the independent student dealers – college students who donate a portion of their business profit to make it all happen.

When you sow your seed, you hope to see your fields flourish and yield worthy crops. As such, we find local people and help so they may have resources to multiply their efforts long-term, spreading their seed to see the spoils of their own bountiful harvest take root and change lives.

While seeking out potentials recipients for our service projects, a harvest we sowed six years ago with an orphanage once again caught up with me, as it has many other times since. But this time was different.

1000 Tips 126 confusion clarityThis harvest is now a ghost of the past that no longer exists as I knew it to be… or knew it could be. It was a mixed bag of emotions. I felt like the particular bag these emotions were mixed up in was pulled over my head, sucking the air from me… slowly suffocating me. It could have been the humid, sticky, steamy summer temperatures toying with me as I melted to the floor. But when I gasped for air, I saw clearly what God was showing me. Confusion has a weird way of leading to clarity.

Here’s the backstory: Elisa (a co-worker I was traveling with) and I had a gap in time in between meetings with organizations and wanted to do something productive. So, we did what most people would not think to do: went to play with orphans.

Now, in the past, I’ve had a welcoming reception and free-reign of the orphanage. I’ve been to this orphanage over 10 times. We have painted, put on a new roof, cleaned storage rooms, deep cleaned their kitchen, bought thousands of dollars worth of clothing, medicine, food, and supplies, had a pool party, taken the kids to the beach, held the babies who live in a dark closet, bought mattresses to replace the foam they were sleeping on… Well… you get the picture.

But this time… this time, it was different. The welcome was cold and guarded. While listening to Elisa converse in Spanish, I had an uneasy feeling. My Spanish is “no bueno, es muy pequito,” but I could tell something was wrong, something was off. Body language and tone is a universal language. Suddenly and out of nowhere, I got a migraine where I started to lose my vision. I listened silently trying to make out the conversation, but could only focus on the squiggly lines everywhere. What I have come to realize over the years working with foreign organizations is there are things always going on you just don’t see. I know this and, as such, always work to partner with organizations where this is as little of the case as possible, or at least is not prominent.


Upon further reflection on the strange encounter, what I realized was how things change: people change, situations change, hearts change… and yes, memories change because they are sometimes short-lived. While I’d like to say all the people I meet are people of integrity who have pure hearts and are right with God… the reality is, this is a fallen world full of broken people. Broken people lead broken lives. They also lead organizations. Just because they get labeled as something helpful and good, it does not mean they are. You can call an orange a banana if you want, but no one cares if they are not there to correct you. And so it is when no one knows what goes on behind closed doors with bars and locks (as this organization has lots of).

In a strange, and what could be described as a not-so-positive interaction with a past organization that’s received much help from us before, I feel I was given a sign to not engage further. As soon as we walked out the doors, my sight was fully restored. I took this as a sign to put a halt to our relationship for now. My vision was clouded so my judgement would not be. It happened to Paul on the road to Damascus, so why not me in a Mexican orphanage on a much, much lesser level? I thank God for speaking to me in ways I never imagine. In a place where things go on that rock our unenlightened Americanized minds and comfortable mindset, it’s because of things like this – my eyes are wide open.

Trey Campbell,
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*The picture above is a little girl behind locked bars at the orphanage in 2014. 

So, what’s your excuse?

A lesson in the fourth and fifth grade class I serve with at church had a really good message. It made me think about excuses. We all have them. In fact, many of us limp through life because we use them as a crutch.

With what I’m about to say, this would be a good time for some self-reflection, an1000 Tips 25 internal audit of sorts. So I’ll start with this: your excuses stink. They stink like yesterday’s fish.

Excuses have been around since the creation of mankind. Take Adam and Eve for instance. Adam’s excuse was Eve told him to do it, saying “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” Eve’s excuse was the serpent old her to do it, “The serpent deceived me, that’s why I ate it.”

At some point, the time for excuses in all of our lives has to end. When the excuses come to an end, a new era begins. It’s called responsibility. This is something we all need to start in our own lives – ending our excuses and taking responsibility! Take a minute to think of the things you put on hold because of an excuse you have.


< pause to actually think of the lame excuses that are part of your life
that keep you from being the person you want to be, from reaching your potential >

< If you are thinking you are not lame because of your excuses, that is likely another rationalization you are telling yourself that is likely contributing
to a even bigger problem… so just read on >


What are things you should be taking responsibility for rather than living through your day-to-day cover ups? It may be you’re not the mother/father you need to be. Maybe you need to kick an addiction. Perhaps you need to mature and make better choices. Maybe your behavior does not match your heart’s intention. Maybe you feel like the position you are in is someone else’s fault and not yours. Maybe you just need to be present. Some of us have more excuses than sense (yeah, including me too).

excuses monument of nothingnessExcuses can be a precursor to sin. Let me ask you this question: What do your sins bring? Adam’s brought death. But through this, God promised a Savior. He promised a redeemer. His Son, who was appointed from the beginning of time, redeemed us all. That was Jesus. He redeemed us through his sacrifice on the cross so we did not have to bear the sins passed down to us alone. How are you redeeming yourself and your daily fails? Have you simply asked for forgiveness? Have you accepted your situation and taken responsibility? Change does not happen without those two steps. God forgives, but you also have to forgive yourself to move onto that responsibility thing.

Adam and Eve got evicted from their home. And because of their massive fail and excuses afterward, we are now all natural born sinners. Still to this day we are effected by their miscue. We are born into it. But there is hope! We’ve been given the opportunity to get redeemed from the sin we are born into. So, really, there should be no excuses. Jesus took away all of our excuses. It’s never too late while you have air in your lungs and a beating heart to do the one thing that can wipe away the sins of our first ancestors.

Accept Jesus into your life and allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Lose the excuses and start down the road to responsibility. And remember, you don’t have to do this alone. You are never as alone as you may feel.

Trey Campbell,
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If you need to talk about getting rid of your excuses to get results… contact me.



You don’t have a DeLorean with a flux capacitor…

1000 Tips 10 Prepare for what is to come

We all have our pet peeves, our frustrations. I get frustrated with people who live in the past so much they aren’t prepared for the future. It’s not my only peeve, but it’s a big one.

Why? I experience this over and over with people. It’s because what hinges on the success of anything you do is how you prepare for it. Your plan, consisting of your goal all the way down to your tactics and strategies, is determined by what you are doing in the present. In fact, your future is determined by a short-lived, fleeting present. In one second, it will be the future! The results are your future. Due to your choices in the present and any unreconciled ghosts from the past, you have to deal with the reality of your future. I see people waste away their present dwelling on their past and wonder why they struggle in the future (which quickly becomes their present). I know, it’s confusing…

The past is the past. There’s nothing you can do about it unless you own a DeLorean with b to the f cara flux capacitor and hit 88 MPH. And, you likely don’t. So move on to make the most of your current and future situations.

Sometimes we spend our present fixing the past so we can better the prospects of our future. If this is done to be productive, it serves a worthy purpose. But if it’s done reactively, we only serve ourselves.

Make your future what God planned for you. Don’t dwell on past mistakes. Take advice from wise King Solomon:

Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. – Ecclesiastes 7:10

Trey Campbell,
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Control the Controllables – Vol. 2

“What consumes your mind, controls your life.”

In the second volume of this three-part blog series (Volume 1), I want to talk about how we lose controllables comsumes mindcontrol. Control is a funny thing. We often think we need it. We have to have it. In fact, we cling to it so as to feel, well, in control.

But you can’t control the controllables if the things within your control are out of control. Allow me to explain.

If you eat McDonald’s everyday and supersize the combo, you will see noticeable changes in your body, particularly your waist line. Just like your how your body reacts to the foods you choose to eat, your mind reacts to the things you choose to feed it as well. If “we are what we eat,” then we are certainly what we think as well. If you don’t control your intake of greasy, high caloric fast food, you don’t control the results – poor health and not just a muffin top, but a whole baker’s dozen! One way to feed your mind is to nourish it with positive material in the form of books and programming where you learn and grow. Entertainment has its time and place, but at what expense does it have when you feed your mind with too much garbage?

Let me throw out another example. Addiction. Specifically for our purposes, porn addiction. I know quite a number of people who have this addiction. It’s more common that you might think. The things they view consume their mind and begin to control their life. This is an example of a something within your control getting out of control! Addiction is serious and has many people living a life of lies. Back to  whatever consumes your mind, controls it. But there is always hope. Sometimes you have to get the help other others to gain back control – no matter how strong the pull is for you to take your hands off the wheel of your life, you can always be driving down the road to recovery.

We tend to lose control of the things that are 100% controllable when we lose our perspective, when we dance on the other side of reality. This happens with different people for different reasons. It might be anxiety, pressure, desire, lust, gluttony, lies, poor choices or, yes, addictions.

Any one of these things has the potential to control your mind. In fact, dominate it. Why? Because the things that are front and center in our mind are hard to escape. At some point, we let them control us instead of us controlling them. When our mind loses containment of a controllable, things tend to spiral out of control – quickly!

contol spiral quoteIf this is something you have found true in your life – here’s something you can do. Surrender it. Let it go. Give it to God. Because of his infinite, unending love, overwhelming victory is ours! We shall conquer the source of our loss of self-control just as we shall conquer the day!

“No, in all these things we are more than
conquerors through him who loved us.”
– Romans 8:37

A few take-aways:

  1. Don’t let what is out of your control interfere with the things that are.
  2. “No matter the situation, don’t let your emotions overpower your intelligence.” (Author unknown)
  3. Stop overthinking
  4. Recognize and cease (to the best of your ability) indulging in the things that consume your mind and control your life that are not good for you
  5. Surrender to God

Trey Campbell,


When the harvest finds you

Today I find myself in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Not for sun and fun, but in search of something. It’s not something I lost, but rather something I know will find me. While this has the making of a great riddle, it’s not.

With that, I gotta say… today was a good day.

Each time I travel internationally to set up service projects for a couple hundred college students for Southwestern Advantage’s annual incentive trip, I get nervous and excited all at the same time. Why? It’s because I know God is going to show up. It’s like clockwork. He always does.

Being in the tourist city of PV, the town is hopping with vacationers from all over the world. This city, like others in the country, was spawned to lure tourists and their discretionary income to enjoy the beauty and culture of the locals.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut there’s a little secret most of those on holiday are not let in on. It’s what lies just several miles outside the tourist district. It’s the dark side. Poverty, prostitution, drugs, alcohol, abuse, sex trafficking, hunger… you name it and you can find it. You see, with extreme poverty comes a whole host of other problems. But what I’ve come to learn is, in each of these places, there is a Heavenly Host present as well – an army of angels.

Not only am I protected by this army when I set out into the unknown, I also have a guide – the Holy Spirit. Every. Single. Time. He. Shows. Up. Without fail, God has come through with opportunity and people who are as missional and service-oriented as I want to be. I’ve met the most interesting people over the years.

  • There was Magdalena who was sick and made a promise to God if she made it, she was going to start an orphanage. The orphanage never took root, but she did start a school that has hundreds of students off the streets in Punta Cana, Domincan Republic who are now receiving an education.
  • There was Sonia who started La Escuelita in her home in Cancun because one crippled boy with polio was kicked out of school for defending himself. She has hundreds of students in her home each day who can not attend public school for various reasons.
  • There was Ana Concepcion whose parents were killed in a car accident. She and her siblings lived in a house that was not really a house at all because it had only three walls and a tarp for a roof.
  • Today, it was Art, Victor and Paco. They’ve started something in the poor Volcanes colonia that is impacting not only an entire community, but generations to come. Paco is in his second year of medical school and is a product of the Volcanes Education Project. He made a video for the organization that helped get him where he is and where he will one day be. He has nothing, but volunteers his time, energy, and little resources to give back to others.

Not only are all of these people life changers, but they also have had their life radically changed in order to do what they do. I can give example after example and testimony after testimony of people who have crossed our paths who we’ve been able to bless because of their efforts blessing others.

For me, both the thrill (and quite the education) has been in the chase. The chase is the scramble to locate the beneficiaries of our next blessing. The blessing we can give has grown from short-term projects to long-term vision. This started when Henry Bedford, CEO of Southwestern Advantage, challenged us to think bigger. Rather than give a family a bed, he said “Let’s build them a house.” And we did. It’s this mentality the Lord expects of his servants. “What more can be done?” is a question I find running through my head all day long.

I said earlier today was a good day. You have no idea. Myself and my friend and co-worker, Elisa Serrato, found ourselves in the presence of people who just earned a boatload of respect from us when we heard their stories and witnessed their results. This presence was also that of the Spirit moving us to them. These verses from 2 Corinthians spoke to me tonight.

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.

2 Corinthians 9:8-11

God provides. He provides every time we seek counsel and guidance on where to go andOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA who needs help. And He provides for those doing the helping on the ground level. We all have a great harvest of generosity – it’s a matter of planting the seeds. If you’re not planting, you can’t really expect anything to grow. The ultimate satisfaction is when your harvest finds you and it is good. This happened when we visited the family of Ana Concepcion today (pictured). We took the gifts to those who needed them three years ago, and today they are still thanking God. This is emotional and powerful. Words can’t even begin to describe.

I started by saying I was looking for something. I was looking to be led by the ever-present Spirit of God. I was led, and then I was blessed by the people and places I went. I was also found by a previous harvest. When we sow generosity, we reap it. Today I found the harvest – and it was more than I thought it would or could be.

Trey Campbell,
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