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December 28, 2015

The Aroma of Christ

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.  Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do.

Ephesians 5: 2-7 (NLT)

During a trip to Hawaii a number of years ago, one of our stops was on the small Island of Lanai where Lynda and I stayed at the Lodge at Koele on the top of the island. Behind the Lodge just within walking distance from our bedroom was a greenhouse with hundreds of varieties of orchids. Walking into the greenhouse, the fragrance was overwhelming—but absolutely beautiful, as were the many flowers of every shape and color.

When you walked out of the greenhouse, with fragrance of the flowers clinging to your clothing—everyone knew where you had been. The aroma followed you wherever you went.

It’s the same with us, in our relationship with Christ. The depth and commitment of our growth in Christ gives off an “aroma” to those around us. When we follow His example to others, we should be able to be easily distinguished from someone following their own ways and not aligned with Christ. (more…)

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

December 21, 2015

A Night of Wonder

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An Angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the Angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be to all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’

When they had seen Him, they spread the word…and all who heard it were amazed…”

Luke 2: 8-18 (NIV)

It was a few years ago. Saturday was to be the coldest night of the year so far. She couldn’t have gotten far. We know she wouldn’t go outside. Maybe in the garage. I had just brought her home to spend the night with us, but she was nowhere to be found. As in times past when she had gotten out of our sight for a moment, Lynda and I approached the search in our usual calm manner with a decibel level and hysteria that would probably bring the neighbors running in a matter of minutes.

And then we found her—our precious little Granddaughter safely nestled in another room of the house in front of the manger scene arranged at the warm and welcoming base of a Christmas tree covered with sparkling ornaments and magical lights.

Calmer now, we watched her for a moment, enjoying the wonder and amazement in her angelic little face as her gaze danced between reflecting in her eyes the lights and ornaments, and the cradle in the manger holding the Baby she had positioned strategically. A similar position that 2,000 years earlier had changed everything in our world. (more…)

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

December 14, 2015

Hey! Hey! Hey! Listen up!

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Hey! Hey! Hey! Listen up! Unto you a Child is born! It’s Jesus! And He’s in the barn! Go on, go in!”

Luke 2: 10-11 (Translation by Gladys Herdman from “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”)

It was Gladys Herdman’s first exposure to the Christmas story recorded in the Gospel of Luke. The same for her five brothers and sisters—troublemakers, living in squalor and by their wits on the east side of town. At least that’s how their characters were depicted in the made-for-TV movie—“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” (more…)

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

December 7, 2015

Santa Claus—Believe in the Possibility!

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’”

Luke 2: 10, 11 (NIV)

So when did you stop believing?

That reality check hit me again a few years ago as I was putting our youngest granddaughter Ellie Kate to bed. She loves to visit and stay with us. As she was drifting off to sleep looking at the lighted Christmas tree and manger scene under the tree in their bedroom in our home, her eyes fell on the lighted plastic Santa that still shines for her and her sister, Hannah, as it did for her Daddy over forty years ago.

As that precious little girl lay there, taking in the scene before her, she caught me by surprise when she asked:

Gran, is there really a Santa Claus?” (more…)

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