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Glad You’re Here | Walker Hayes and Craig Cooper

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
June 4, 2022 1:00 am

Glad You’re Here | Walker Hayes and Craig Cooper

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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June 4, 2022 1:00 am

On this edition of Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, you’ll meet two unlikely friends. Walker was a hard-living, atheist, singer-songwriter at a low point. Craig was a pastor with dreams of being used greatly by God. Their friendship changed both of their lives. Hear Walker Hayes and Craig Cooper, today on the Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman podcast. 

Featured resource: Glad You’re Here: Two Unlikely Friends Breaking Bread and Fences

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How do you forgive a dead man, particularly when he's your grandfather? My name is Brian Dolan, host of a brand new podcast called The Grandfather Effect. This podcast is five years in the making. It contains interviews, ponderings, and wrestlings with my family, my faith, and what forgiveness really looks like in the face of generational sin. If you listen carefully, you'll hear more than a story about my family. You'll hear a story about yours.

Streaming now on the Moody Radio app and anywhere you listen to podcasts. You know, when we walked into church that night, I smelled like a beer. It was a Saturday. I'm sure I was wasted. I had a really disgusting look on my face. I mean, I'm really good at writing on my face what's going on in my heart, and I didn't want to be at that place. The first words that I said to him were, Glad you're here.

It was, I thought, an answer to prayer and just God smiling on us when He walked in that door. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" . Today, the story of an unlikely friendship that led to a huge change for both Walker and Craig. They've written about their experience in a book titled Glad You're Here, Two Unlikely Friends Breaking Bread and Fences.

You have to hear this story. Walker was an alcoholic. He was an atheist. And when he walked into the church, well, let's just say the story is redemptive and might be just what you need to hear today. You can find out more at

It's And Gary, with all your pastoring experience, you know, 50 years at the same church, did you ever walk in one day and do a double take for somebody that you saw sitting there that maybe you didn't expect? You know, Chris, I have seen that a few times. And usually it's something about the way they're dressed that raises a question mark or the way they are walking or behaving that makes you think, wonder what's behind the outward form that I'm seeing. So there's a question mark that you have.

And that same thing happened to our guests. And you're going to hear that story straight ahead. Walker Hayes is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter originally from Mobile, Alabama. He has released multi-platinum singles, Fancy Like and You Broke Up With Me. His single Craig is a song about a neighbor who reached out to him and his family. You're going to hear that song that inspired the book that we're talking about, Glad You're Here, Two Unlikely Friends Breaking Bread and Fences. His co-author is Craig Cooper, a gifted storyteller, Bible teacher, one of the founding pastors of Redeeming Grace Church in Franklin, Tennessee.

Find out more about the book Glad You're Here at Well, Craig and Walker, welcome to Building Relationships. It's such a pleasure to be here. Thank you so much for having us on. What's going down? We're going to find out. Let's go.

Walker, let's start with you. Tell us about growing up in Mobile and what you wanted to do when you were a kid. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I was a kid.

I did. I grew up in Mobile. I met my wife, Laney, in high school.

That was a light in my upbringing. My dad was an ex-music minister who had turned into a realtor, so my plan was kind of just to do the real estate thing with him until he encouraged me to play at a bar in Mobile, and that gig changed my life and ignited a passion for music when I was engaged to Laney. So we set out on an adventure making zero sense to anyone, and we moved to Nashville in about 2004 and just started living that honky-tonk dream, if you will.

But yeah, man, we went about it in a really unique way. Honestly, we started having kids, and life got really hard over the course of about 15, 16, 17 years. I had minimal music success, maximum music heartbreaks. I started drinking when I was 13. I heard somebody mention that I was an alcoholic.

I drank my entire life, and it's somewhat of a family tradition. But yeah, when I met Craig, we were in a bad spot. I was working at Costco from about 4 a.m. until about 11, writing songs and playing as many shows as I could, and Laney was pregnant with our sixth child. When we walked in a restaurant, we got a lot of stares. We weren't walking into many churches. We were kind of out of the church-hunting market, honestly, when I met Craig, and I was excited about that. I was tired of visiting churches upon my wife's request and was actually frustrated at Craig's wife, Laura, for inviting us to church when we met. So yeah, that's kind of where I was when the relationship began.

Yeah. Now, when you and your wife, right after you got married, decided to move to Nashville, how did your family feel about that? You know, my mom was really concerned. My dad, he was always excited. He was a very consistent figure in my life. Praise God.

He was very consistent, and so he encouraged me 100%. Laney's parents, God bless them, were not very excited. I wouldn't have wanted to have been in their shoes when I came to their house and said, Hey, guess what? I'm not going to be selling real estate and mobile anymore.

I'd like to go be a rock star in Nashville. If somebody came and said that to me about my daughter now, I'd be like, I don't know, man. Are you sure? And so they weren't super supportive from the get-go, honestly. Yeah, I can imagine that. Now, Craig, you and your family moved to Nashville in 2012, but you were chasing a different dream.

Tell us about that. Yeah, so the dream I was chasing, I was wanting to plant a church in a different area, and I wanted to see people come to faith in Christ. I'd been a part of a church in East Tennessee.

We had about 1,000 people. I served as one of five pastors there, actually in two different stints, so for a period of about eight and a half years all told, and just had a passion to see the gospel advance, and I wanted to see the eyes of a new believer. I've been all over the world on mission trips at times. Our family loves to travel, so we try to hit national parks and everything, and we've seen beautiful, gorgeous, incredible places all over the world, but nothing to me beats the beauty of seeing the eyes of a new believer.

That was the dream that I had. I just wanted to see God reach new people with the gospel. In Romans 15, it talks about verse 20, I believe, where the apostle Paul is saying, it's always been my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I'm building on someone else's foundation. That's what I wanted to do was just go someplace new and reach people who maybe haven't been reached and see the eyes of a believer and see God transform people's lives.

That's the dream I was taking with me in 2012 when we helped plant Redeeming Grace Church. Back up a little and tell us your faith story. How did you encounter the gospel? I came to Faith in Christ as an 18-year-old college freshman on the campus of the University of Tennessee.

I grew up going to church, so it was interesting. You could have pretty much called me a nominal believer. I was a Christian in name only. In other words, if you said, Are you a Christian?

Yeah. But I didn't really have a relationship with Jesus. I didn't know the Lord. It was more religious. We went every Sunday morning, every Sunday night, every Wednesday night to church.

I remember becoming a leader in the youth group. I got baptized when I was 17 and feeling bad about some things I had done. Everything I was doing, I was trying to earn God's favor. I was in a church that was more legalistic and really teaching works-based righteousness.

That's what I grew up in and the air that I was breathing. When I went to college at UT, life just fell out from underneath me. I really, for the first time, was realizing my desperate need for a Savior. Somebody came and invited me to a campus ministry called Volunteers for Christ. I went that night.

It was October 26, 1995. A gentleman was preaching out of John chapter 3. He had printed it out for everybody to have on their seats. It was walking through the story of Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish Ruling Council who came to Jesus at night. He had this conversation with Jesus and Jesus read his mail.

Even though he was religious and well respected in the community and all of that, he didn't know the Lord. Jesus basically said, you can't even see the kingdom of God unless you're born again. That night, I was born again.

That was October 26, 1995. I heard the gospel, the good news about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Really, faith and trust in Him alone is what brings salvation. I was a new believer at that point and devoured the scriptures and set my heart in going towards ministry. That's my faith story.

You can find out more about the book at Walker, you had this music dream and you had some success, but things kind of fell apart. What happened? I just love writing songs. The obvious play for a songwriter is come to Nashville and make it, writing songs. I kind of went back and forth from full-time songwriter to also singing the songs I wrote because nobody else would cut them. Over the course of about 12 years, I had three different publishing companies that I wrote songs for. I acquired and lost two record deals. Two record labels gave me a go as an artist. They failed, and I failed too.

Nashville picked me up, gave me a try, and spit me out a couple of times pretty quick. What was going on in Lainey's life as your career kind of sputtered? I think Lainey would agree with me. She is a very joyful person by nature. She's a believer, always has been since I've known her. Her dream was to be a mother, and that's what she was. We have six kids now, six on earth, one in heaven. I feel like having children was a light in our life. Despite all the things gone wrong career-wise and our financial woes, which obviously having kids didn't help us in any way financially, but we loved our growing family all the time. She was very supportive. She's an incredible mother. She's ten times as good at being a mom as I will ever be at songwriting or singing. She's actually a joy just to watch and behold as a mother. She was a great support system and a very patient woman along this adventure. I hope all the husbands who are listening are hearing what you're saying about your wife.

Guys, maybe you could give a few positive words about your wife and to your wife. A little sidetrack there. It says in the song that when you met Craig, and I'm quoting here, you felt out of place and you smelled like beer. Was alcohol a big part of your life?

Yeah, it was. I started drinking when I was 13. I was a very insecure kid trying to fit in. I'm the last of nine kids, and I looked up to my brothers as heroic figures in my life.

I wasn't as outgoing or as courageous as them. I vividly remember the night I drank for the first time. I went from a shy, kind of standoffish, awkward kid to the absolute life of the party. The next weekend I did it all again. It wasn't long until I was always drinking. Drinking was a big crutch for me. I remember when I met Craig.

You talk about Building Relationships. Craig is one of the first people I was ever vulnerable with in my life other than Lainey. I remember telling Craig, or he remembers actually.

I don't remember. He reminded me that I said I would believe in Jesus if I could quit drinking. I said that, one, assuming there was no way I would ever stop drinking. Therefore, I would never even have to confront the thought of believing in something I thought was as crazy as I thought Jesus was. Yeah, alcohol.

I'm a mere six years sober now, so it wasn't that long ago for me. I was leaning on that. Yeah, yeah. Now, how did you decide to go to church on that particular day? Well, I didn't really decide to go. I didn't want to go. My wife wanted to go, and to be quite frank, I thought we were kind of out of the church hunting market. Lainey had just been kind of fatigued by trying churches and us not really staying consistent with them. We didn't fit in. Just the typical, we tried a few, now we just don't go. That's kind of where we were in life. I actually liked it because Sundays make me cringe.

I still wake up some Sundays and I feel like a 12-year-old and whatever was going wrong there. I don't know. Lainey was invited by Laura, and when Lainey told me that Laura had invited us to church, I was not happy about it. I did. When we walked into church that night, I smelled like a beer. It was a Saturday. I'm sure I was wasted. I had a really disgusting look on my face.

I'm really good at writing on my face what's going on in my heart. I didn't want to be at that place. Craig, do you remember seeing Walker on that particular day?

I do, yeah, absolutely. My wife, Laura, had told me about the interaction at the basketball game where she invited Lainey to come to church and invited their family. I was really just so encouraged when he walked in the door and thought, oh my goodness, they came. A lot of people sometimes when you invite them, they may say, yeah, I'll be there.

I'd love to come or whatnot in a noncommittal way. Or maybe even say that they'll come and not come, but they came. So when I saw them, I lit up. I remember, and Walker says this all the time, the first words that I said to him were, glad you're here.

So glad you're here. Which became the title of the book that we wrote together. But yeah, it was, I thought, an answer to prayer and just God smiling on us when he walked in that door. So why do you say that you two were unlikely friends? I think that is just kind of indicative of my beliefs. To me, that phrase, unlikely friends, I was not looking for Christian friends at that point in my life. To be honest, I wasn't looking for friends at all.

One image of myself that is depicted in the book that really defines me at that point in my life is I loved holding our newborn baby Loxley at any sporting event because it gave me a reason to isolate and just kind of stand in the corner. I was sick and tired of having conversations about, oh, you're a songwriter. Have you written anything that I've heard? And the answer was always no.

I actually work at Costco to pay the bills. I just happen to love writing songs. So basically, everything about myself that I found to be true was typically an embarrassment. The number of kids we had, the amount of money we didn't have, we didn't make sense to really anyone, even our close family. Our families were beginning to, we were just kind of estranged from everyone because if we felt any judgment or, hey, I don't know if I would do it that way. If we got that vibe, we just ran away.

We pushed ourselves away. So it was not, I don't think anybody would have predicted, oh, Walker is about to meet this God-fearing man with this family at an upstart church and they're going to strike up a friendship. They're going to eventually be next door neighbors. They're going to eventually write a book about Jesus together. Nobody.

That was the last thing anyone would have predicted. Greg, we live in a connected culture today, and yet many people say they struggle with loneliness. Why do you think genuine friendship is hard for people in these days? You're exactly right. Everyone is so connected online, through social media, that you can have the feeling that you're really connected. But there's a huge difference between table connection and tablet connection. There's our next book right there, baby.

That's a good Lord, Greg. Well, I think with social media, you can feel like, man, I really know these people. But you don't.

When you really know somebody is when you sit across from them at your table or their table or at a restaurant table or someplace and you share your life and your real burdens and what you're struggling with and what you're rejoicing with and you celebrate with one another and you grieve with one another, that's genuine friendship. And I think the world is so hungry for that because it's almost like a mirage when you're in a desert and you see this water that's not really water and you go up to it and you try to drink from it and it's sand. It's like filling your soul with nothing but thirst. And so sometimes I get really frustrated with the feeling that I get when I scroll through social media.

And by the way, I love social media and the way that it can be used and there's some great things about it. But it also can be a mirage and you can think you're really connected when you're not. And so I think what we talk about in the book and you see is just table after table after table after table and grieving together and rejoicing together and just being there and doing life with one another.

And the coopers have needed the haze. And so it's not just like people hear the song Craig or whatnot and oh, well, what a great friend you were. You know, if people have said that. But y'all, it's I mean, I don't know what my life would be like right now if Walker and Laney hadn't moved in next door to us in the middle of the pandemic.

And they have upheld us. It really in some of the darkest times of my of my life. And so now it's just amazing to be able to say, you know what, the hero hero of this story is not Walker. It's not Craig. Y'all, it is Jesus. It's always been Jesus.

It will always be Jesus. And that's what we we are, you know, connected by at our core is Christ. And so, yeah, that's what I would say about a connected culture. You know, friendship is always more than simply knowing somebody's name or saying, hi, good to see you.

Good morning. You know, it's a two way street. And however it starts, it's a two way street. And we both enrich the lives of others.

And for those of us who are Christians, Christ is at the center of the whole thing. And I think, Gary, that this is going to be from the book and you can just hear it coming through the pores of our guest today. That this is take your eyes off of if you're in the church, take your eyes off of the pews and off of everything that's going on here that you want to keep safe and nice and look up, because there are people who are hungry for the truth of the gospel lived out. Craig, you talk about that and we're going to play the song here in just a minute.

You've got to stay for the song, folks, if you if you haven't heard Craig yet. But that's what that's what our mission is. We're missing it by by looking at keeping everything nice. I said one day, one day, Craig and I were standing on the sidewalk and I was, you know, Craig and I were just marveling together, as we do often. I mean, we meet between our houses and just go, what in the world? How did God do this to us? And didn't together, you know, and I was telling him how I didn't come to Christ because I went to church. I came to Christ because church came to me.

And I don't think, you know, I don't think we save people. I think Christ saves people. But I saw Christ in Craig, you know, and that is that's possible every single day. You know, me as a new believer, that fires me up, is that doing life with someone is speaking Christ into their life. I don't got to go slap them in the face with a Bible. I don't even really got to get them into redeeming grace and make them become a member. I just can literally take Christ. Christ is portable. I mean, like he is he's in every relationship I have on a daily basis. And that's what to me is so phenomenal about the whole story is I've given up on sanctification, transformation.

I didn't think it existed. And then I saw Craig, an imperfect person with the brightest light of Christ I'd ever seen. That it was confusing and he was just doing life.

Craig never preached to me. He just was there with me in a way that I see Christ being with people in the gospel. Well, you're listening to Craig Cooper and Walker Hayes talk about their unlikely friendship. Their book is our featured resource today. The title is Glad You're Here.

Two Unlikely Friends Breaking Bread and Fences. Go to to find out more. That's We've been talking about this song about Craig. The title of it is Craig.

There's a couple of different versions. Here's one of them. Here's Walker Hayes. From Sunday school, right? I still ain't figured out church yet, but Craig, I get. Now he can't walk on water or turn in Napa Valley red, but he just might be tight with a man that did. Now he's not the light of the world, but I wish that mine was bright as is.

Yeah, he just might be tight with a man that is. When you lose a record deal, all the perks fade fast. Dealership said we're going to need to get that minivan back, so we were down in one car. Broke as I felt, and my wife has six kids and only five seat belts. I needed help, but couldn't admit I was struggling. He said, Craig, it's all good, but he knew it all wasn't.

Hey, man, I'm praying for you. Would have been sufficient, but nah. He took roadside assistance to a whole nother level. The sacrificial heights showed up at the ballpark after my son's game. One night in two cars with his wife, Laura, watching from the other said, What in the world are y'all doing here, brother? He just laughed at that old Chrysler Town and Country Man with a key in the title and a pen in his hand. Said, man, all you got to do is sign in this yard. I said, no, no way. But he wouldn't take nah for an answer. He said, please do. Somebody did this for me once.

Just let me do this for you. We argued about it for a little while, then I teared up and Craig smiled. Yeah, I know he sounds cool, right?

Not your typical kid from Sunday school, right? He can't walk on water or turn a Napa Valley red. But he just might be tight with a man that did. Now, he's not light of the world, but I wish that mine was bright as his.

Yeah, he just might be tight with a man that is. My pride was way too ashamed to be adequately grateful at the moment, but I signed the dotted line and I drove the kids home. When a cop pulled up beside us at the light, they didn't have to duck because thanks to Craig, they were all buckled up. Walker Hayes, the song is Craig. So much in that story, along with the minivan and Craig and the baseball. OK, Walker, tell me, did that was that a song that came to you really quickly?

No, no, no. That song took me forever to write and honestly, my heart of the song was a... It came out of a frustration of not being able to adequately thank Craig for his gift of the van and really his gift of just his kindness. And remind everybody, that version you just heard, I was not a believer. I was merely, by song, expressing my confusion saying, this guy talks a lot about Jesus and he says these things and he does life with me and something about him is starting to make me think, maybe he does know Jesus.

Maybe I'm the crazy one here. And I love hearing that original version because it was. It was from the heart of an unbeliever just saying, man, whatever this Jesus guy is doing in you or whatever, it's amazing. And the crazy thing to me, I didn't know this guys, but when I wrote that song and shared it with Craig, Craig was going through some stuff and really the Lord was using me, just a messed up guy to encourage Craig.

And honestly, I was oblivious. These things weren't things that Craig shared. He didn't share his discouragement with me at that time, but the song met him at a broken place and he heard the Lord's voice through the song, which is baffling to me. Wow. That's fantastic.

Well, OK. Then we got to hear Craig's version of this. When you first heard the song, what was going on in your heart and soul? Well, so we're five years in after planting a church and I had gone on a ministry trip. It was a youth retreat over the weekend and, you know, had reconnected with people from the sending church that, you know, from five years previous.

And I just, you know, you have certain moments, your conferences and different things. And I left there and I just thought, you know, is anything I'm doing making a difference in anybody's life? I was so discouraged. I felt fruitless, like, you know, I couldn't see anything.

I wasn't, you know, when we planted the church, we weren't looking for transfer growth, you know, people coming from one church to the next. I was hoping and praying for conversion growth, you know, the eyes of a new believer, seeing somebody's life transformed. And so I took a walk that day and the day that I heard the song, which the morning of that, I'm taking a walk.

And I'm I'm in downtown Franklin on Main Street, down 11th Avenue and back on Fair Street, which is an area that I would walk. And I just poured my heart out to God. And I'm going to sorry, I'm going to get choked up thinking about that moment. Because I stopped and said, Lord, you know, I try to encourage other people. I am begging you now and I'm asking you now, I need you to please encourage me because I'm so discouraged right now. And I want to know if you have me where you want me.

And is there anything I'm doing in my life right now that's making a difference in anybody's lives? And so we went on a date that night. Laura and I, we go on a weekly date night. We went on a date that night. And I was so down. I was sitting in the car talking with my wife, Laura, and trying to tell her about, you know, that ministry trip and how discouraged I was with where we were with the church plan.

And and what I just shared about is my life making a difference? And her phone buzzed and she looked down at it and it was it was a text from Walker's wife, Lainey. And I remember initially my initial response, you know, I'm ashamed of this, but it was I was I was irritated. Like, babe, can you please just talk to Lainey later?

You know, I'm trying to share with you how discouraged I am. And she said, well, this it's got an MP3 on it and it has your name on it says Craig. Now, we were used to. So she said, I think we need to play it.

Maybe it'll help. And I said, that's what she said. And I said, let's let's just play that later. And, you know, but she persisted. And now we were used to getting MP3s from Walker. Any time he would work on a song, he would he would send it to me.

Any time I would write anything, I would send it to him. We just encouraged each other. And that's the way that our relationship was.

And so, you know, but I was used to getting those things, but not one with my name on it. She persisted. She played it in our car. And through the radio speakers, I heard my friend singing over me. And when I heard him singing, you know, I met Craig at a church called Redeeming Grace. You know, it stopped me in my tracks and thinking, where are you going with this? And then he gets to the chorus and basically, you know, says he you know, you can't walk on water or turn at Napa Valley Red, but he just might be tight with the man that did. And here's my unbelieving friend singing about my relationship with Jesus in a very curious way where he's like, maybe, maybe he does really believe, maybe not just as he believes this, but maybe Jesus really is real. Maybe that's what's going on with Craig.

Maybe that's what motivated him to give us this van and all this stuff. And so I think it just broke me in all of the best possible ways. I was flooded with tears. I was absolutely stunned.

I told Laura I can't respond. You know, she wrote back speechless. You know, he's speechless. And there's a verse in Zephaniah 3.17 that talks about the Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He'll quiet you, you know, with this love. He'll rejoice over you with singing. And I felt God rejoicing over me and singing over me through my unbelieving friend. And at that moment, I'm going, God's going to save this guy. And I'm right where I'm supposed to be.

So that's my that's my take on it. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Our guests are Walker Hayes and Craig Cooper, authors of Glad You're Here, two unlikely friends breaking bread and fences.

Find out more at So, Walker, what happened when the minivan was taken away? So, yeah, we had I had an endorsement deal with a minivan, a Volkswagen dealership in Texas. They gave me this van knowing I was a signed recording artist. Well, I got dropped from my label and I didn't tell the dealership for about a year. I tried to keep it a secret because I knew as soon as they found out I didn't have a record deal, they would take the van away.

And they eventually found out that I was dropped and they came and repossessed the car. And we were up a creek. I mean, we, you know, my wife was pregnant with our sixth or our fifth maybe at the time, or maybe she had just had our fifth. But we didn't have enough seatbelts, you know, in our car. And so we were sharing a car, you know, doing life. And it was a struggle, you know, each day, you know, who got the car, who could go to work, who, you know, it was it was troublesome.

But I tried to put on a front, you know, and act, you know, most people didn't know we were struggling. Craig knew me well enough to know, you know, he could see our schedule and the problems it presented. And so they let us borrow their van. And I would down, you know, I'd be like, thanks, man. You know, appreciate it here. You can have it back.

We don't need it. You know, we're good with one car. And I did that whole dance for a while. But that's how we got into the situation we were in with one car. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So then it was at a baseball game. It was a little league game. What happened then?

Yeah. So, you know, I'm literally finishing a team meeting, just normal night at the baseball field. And I see Craig out in the parking lot.

And I'm like, honestly, I just assumed Laney had called Laura and just said where we were and Craig just dropped by. And just like the song says, I'm sure I was like, what are you doing here, brother? And, you know, he just got out smiling. And, you know, it took me a second.

But I did the math. You know, he's standing there with the title and the keys and he'd even brought a pen for me to sign. And he was like, dude, just sign it. You know, I'm gonna give it to you all. You can have it.

And, you know, I think a lot of people on the surface, you know, I hope the song and the book definitely goes into detail. But I was not happy. Craig was very brave and bold to help on that level. You know, that's a courageous thing to do. That's courage from Christ right there to show up and give somebody a car and somebody like me. I mean, I wasn't having it. I mean, accepting that car was basically like me waving a giant flag that said I need help. And I am not.

I'm too proud. And honestly, Craig changed my life with a sentence that night. He said to me after a long, tense argument about the car, he said, man, it's like he took me aside almost and was like, look, man, somebody did this for me once. Just let me do this for you.

You know, let just please let me help you. And that gave me enough permission to just be weak and accept help. That honestly, I'm pretty sure my heart began to soften. You know, that night it just began. A brick came out, you know, if you will, of the wall.

And that's all it took. And yeah, I mean, it was a life changing gesture. And again, obviously as the song, you can listen to the song and you can go, man, this guy, he's just confused almost by what this dude did and how this family loves his family, you know, and how they do life with him. Now in the book, you also talk about how God can use ordinary things like even your dogs in powerful ways. So how did your pets tie your families together? Well, it's so funny because the first time we had Walker and Laney over for dinner, you know, you're getting to know a family and you're asking them questions. You know, where are you from? How'd you guys meet?

You know, tell us about your life, all that stuff. And somehow it had come up, you know, that they had two dogs at home and Labradoodles. And that it was they were actually looking for a home for one of the dogs because that dog irritated them.

Y'all, she was terrible. Worst dog of all history of dogs. Now, what's crazy on my end, you know, my daughter, Karis, she was 11 at the time and she had been begging us for a dog and she'd been praying, you know, for a dog. And I told her, I said, sweetheart, you know, we had a bad experience with a beagle and that beagle, Charlie, chewed up everything and we're just not dog people anymore. But, you know, she, you know, I said, you're welcome to pray for it, but here's what it would have to be.

It'd have to be free because we're not going to buy one. It'd have to be crate trained. It'd have to be hypoallergenic because your mom's allergic to, you know, pet hair. Somebody would have to be willing to watch the dog whenever we're gone, you know, because we travel quite a bit.

And it's probably have to be something like a Labradoodle, you know, but we're not going to we're not going to do that. But you're welcome to pray. So she she prayed those things. There were like seven different stipulations. I put it in the book, but and then we, you know, she wrote out a like a whole what do you call it, where you have people sign a petition. Yes. Yeah. Petition.

Everybody sign in their names and stuff. And and so then we're sitting with Walker and Laney and Laney goes through the whole list. Like she must have, you know, smelled blood or saw blood in the water or something. She said, you know, if you want to take Tulip, we'll give you our dog Tulip. And we'd even watch her when we're out of town or when you're out of town and, you know, free is she's hypoallergenic, you know, and all this stuff.

Anyway, we ended up taking Tulip on a trial moment and then we took Tulip for for good. And that dog, you know, God used that dog to knit us together because we constantly would have to. Any time we went out of town, we would drop her off with her her dog, Sister Noli at the Hayes. And that would lead it lead into dinners together and times together. And any time they went out of town, they would do the same thing.

They would drop Noli off for us. And, you know, before long, you know, we're celebrating every birthday together of our kids. You know, our our birthdays together. You know, we were we were just doing everything together. And I really do attribute, you know, Tulip passed away right after Walker became a Christian.

And we we just all thought she did what she was on planet Earth to do, which is help knit the Hayes and the Coopers together. Well, well, well, Craig and Walker, let me thank you, first of all, for being on the program with us today. And let me just challenge our listeners.

I mean, we just touched on a little bit of this story. This is a powerful book, and I'm just hoping our listeners will get it and read it. And it'll encourage you to see how God brought you guys together and the potential of what he wants to do in our lives. So thanks for being with us today. Our pleasure.

It was good times. Thank you so much. Once again, the title of our featured resource, Glad You're Here, Two Unlikely Friends Breaking Bread and Fences. Go to You can find out more right there. And next week, how to turn God shaped dreams into reality. Author and speaker Chip Ingram will join us. Our thanks today to Janice Todd and Steve Wick for their work Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-09 03:50:05 / 2023-04-09 04:06:38 / 17

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