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February 19, 2018

The Secret

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Psalm 23 (ESV)

Notice the first five words of this Psalm—“The Lord is my Shepherd…”

I can’t begin to count all the times I have written those words from the first part of verse one of the 23rd Psalm, on the top of a notepad as I was beginning a meeting. Or wrote them down again in the midst of some disagreement or difficulty which may have occurred during the meeting, or began reciting them aloud to myself in the face of some uncertainty rising up, or bad news I had received. (more…)

Posted by: Scott Whitaker at 6:00 am
Filed under: Thoughts

February 12, 2018

At Your Darkest

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 (TLB)

It happens in the most unlikely of places and ways. God shows up.

God shows up and demonstrates to us that He is always at work for you and for me, and finds ways every moment of every day to lift and encourage us. All it usually requires on our part is to look for Him.

A few days ago was no exception.

I was checking out of “Bed Bath and Beyond,” with all due diligence completing a list of errands Lynda had asked me to do for us. As I put the item I was buying onto the checkout counter, I could see that the young lady who was helping me checkout, had a tattoo on the underside of her left arm, which mentioned Romans, but I couldn’t make out the verse referred to from the book of Romans. (more…)

Posted by: Scott Whitaker at 6:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

February 5, 2018

On This Day—For This Time

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Mordecai also gave him a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for [the Jews’] destruction, that he might show it to Esther…and command her to go to the king to beg his favor and plead with him on behalf of her people…Then Esther [said]…’that if any man or woman goes to the king…without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death…But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.’

And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai [said] to Esther, ‘Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’”  Esther 4: 8, 10-14 (ESV)

One day more in this New Year.

One day more in our journey together.

Try this question on for today and all the other days we may have on earth—

What will we do with today? And with tomorrow? (more…)

Posted by: Scott Whitaker at 6:00 am
Filed under: Thoughts

January 29, 2018

His Touch—For You

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.

Matthew 8: 1-3 (NLT)

What is going on in your life at this moment? Is it all good? Is everything working out just exactly the way you had it planned? Great.

But maybe something has gone wrong? Or something has you worried? Perhaps you’re finding it hard to trust God at the moment. Has the sunshine seemed to have gone out of your days?

Are you wondering if you can get through what is in front of you? Maybe you even sense a feeling of despair or depression beginning to sap your energy and deprive you of a sense of hope? (more…)

Posted by: Scott Whitaker at 6:00 am
Filed under: Thoughts

January 22, 2018

God Ran—So What?

 Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!

I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’  So he got up and went to his father.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

Luke 17: 20 (NIV)

It is one of the most dramatic and hope-filled lines in all of scripture.

Carefully woven within Christ’s parable of the “Prodigal (or Lost) Son”, it is one of the clearest and most accurate verses depicting the nature and grace of the God of the universe—our Creator.

A good story that seems so far from anything that could ever be a part of our lives; or ever happen to us. It’s a picture of a God Who runs to us, Who throws His arms around us and kisses us. Crazy right?

Even if we were able to envision the idea of God running, versus our usual images of a God sitting, standing, walking amongst the billowy clouds of heaven which our mind’s eye paints for us—God running to us is another leap of faith altogether.

Running to me? Or to you?

Running to any of us? Really?

But the answer is—yes! Just like to that younger son. And just like that younger son, we don’t deserve it, we didn’t do anything for it, and we can’t do anything for it.

It’s there, regardless, for you and for me. God’s love, grace, forgiveness and peace—lifting us up when we are down, picking us up when we fall or fail, encouraging us when we doubt, healing us, affirming us, and throwing us back into life. (more…)

Posted by: Scott Whitaker at 6:00 am
Filed under: Thoughts
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