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February 29, 2016

I Wonder

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

If you meet me and forget me you have lost nothing, but if you meet Jesus Christ and forget Him, you have lost everything.” Anonymous.

The question haunts me during this national election season where vitriol seems to be the dominant theme, and just looking around at our nation and world, and the relativism, instead of absolute truth, which seems to be on the rise in our thinking.

It makes me wonder if we have forgotten. (more…)

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

February 22, 2016

Go Ahead—Step Out

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose?”

Romans 8:31 (The Message)

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Romans 8:31 (NIV)

In case you haven’t noticed, today is not yesterday.

It is a brand new day. Ready?

Maybe a day of uncertainty, and maybe some doubt. But for sure a day of brand new beginnings.

A number of years ago, after I graduated from the University of Florida School of Law and had passed The Florida Bar Exam, I had the privilege to be sworn into The Florida Bar, at the Supreme Court of Florida in Tallahassee. Even more, I had my bride, Lynda, and son, Nathan, with me as I was sworn in with two-hundred other soon-to-be lawyers.

After the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court asked the standard questions of all of us and then administered the oath for entry into The Florida Bar, he shared some brief remarks. One thing he said we have all heard before, but it hit me that day with a new reality.

We had worked hard to get where we were that day, he noted, reached the top of another ladder, finishing law school and passing the bar exam. Now we were starting again, at the very first step of the threshold of a brand new career, a brand new day, with a fresh new door opening before us. He encouraged us to work hard at it, demonstrate integrity in all that you do, and be patient with yourself. (more…)

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

February 15, 2016

All Things

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8: 28 (NKJV)

Maybe this is a good day for us all to remember the truth of that verse of scripture.

After all, in the last few days, we have been surprised with the loss of a national figure, some of us aware of the accidental loss of a young mother of five children, and all of us impacted by the usual unexpected stuff which seems to come our way on a day-to-day basis. In the last few years, God has been hitting me over the head with that verse, though—to help me remember that He was there.

It’s a familiar verse we have looked at before, but in the midst of the challenges and uncertainties of the days which unfold before us, we need to make sure we have a good grip upon. Because our tendency is to head toward the exits and wonder which way to go next.

The Apostle Paul wrote it. The same guy who used to be called Saul and who persecuted followers of Christ. Until his conversion experience, that “blinding light” experience which occurred on the Damascus Road.

After that experience and being tapped as a disciple of Christ, we read in various accounts in scripture that Paul’s life was anything that one might describe with the word “good.” He was beaten, imprisoned, stoned, and whipped, slandered, starved, and shipwrecked along with numerous other things happening to him. Good? None of us would have characterized those things with that word.

Yet Paul continued to share with everyone words of hope, conviction, and optimism about what Christ had done—all the good in his life and the lives of others—and all that He would do. Was Paul a lunatic? Maybe, but history doesn’t seem to record that he was. Zealous? Yes. Sold out? Absolutely. And he was fulfilling God’s purpose for him in some of the worst places, in some of the toughest moments, in the most difficult of circumstances and challenges. His fuel for it all came from his Hope. Paul was all about Hope! Hope that came from his relationship with his friend.

Paul knew that God was and had been there with him through it all, behind the scenes, encouraging him and transforming every condition and circumstance into something for his good and for God’s glory.

Notice in the verse Paul says—“we know.” He didn’t say “we hope” or “we feel” or “maybe.” He said “we know.” God’s loving involvement in our lives for good was unquestionable to him, it was an absolute fact. As it is today, for you and for me.

God promises to work out wonderful things in our lives. It’s not a promise of “happiness” or “success” in all things as we might want it to be, or as the world describes that “good” might be. But it is a promise of the fulfillment of the eternal purpose of our lives, eternal life, and of deep satisfaction and fulfillment in the journey of a life that is aligned with God.

And notice one more thing Paul says in that verse—“all things.”

Here’s what we know through our own experiences with God, and having learned through the experiences of Paul and others—“we know that all things work together for good to those who love God.” In the good, the bad, the joyful, the painful, the disappointing, whatever—God works all of those together for good; and good as He defines it, which has to be a whole lot better than any good we can create.

And with that assurance lifting us in the journey along the way, all the way to the end, “we know” that God will use “all things” that we go through to turn heartache into strength, confusion into clarity, doubt into belief, sorrow into joy, and loss into hope.

Believe it—in all things—today, tonight, tomorrow and every day of our lives.

In His Name—Scott

Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.

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

February 8, 2016

Uncommon Lives

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s our son Nathan’s birthday tomorrow. I can remember almost every moment of his life from that very first time I met him—when he was born. And then watched him respond through the years to the call of God on his life.

What is it that God is calling you to do today? Perhaps a different direction and onto a different path.

How’s that make you feel? I don’t know about you, but that has always been a disconcerting moment for me. Never easy—something new, something different.

Because the common course of our lives is often one of familiarity and comfort and often has been guided by things as to which we have become all too accustomed or resigned. We follow the usual and common paths—the ones which sometimes have led us to successful results in the past, and where we anticipate finding the least number of pitfalls. And our lives take on a familiarity and predictability which, although not all bad, is not really the life that God intended when He created us. (more…)

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

February 1, 2016

Joe Brown

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Matthew 16: 24-26 (NIV))

Disciples. Where? When? Why?

In one of my many other lives, I coached baseball at the University of Florida for three years. We were pretty good, too, going to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, one of those years and playing in the championship game of the regional that would have led to two other trips, falling a few runs short each time.

To get to that level of consistent championship quality, as you can imagine, we spent a lot of time on the practice field. We worked and practiced until fielding ground balls, hitting curves, sliders and 95 mph fast balls, and pitching successfully against the very best teams became second nature. All while playing before energized, screaming, and sometimes seemingly hostile crowds of thousands.

We spent hours most every day at the practice field, part of which was connecting with what was going on in the lives of our players off the field. What movies and music they were watching and playing. What associations they were involved with. It was part of the calling as their coach, mentor and chaplain. Maybe even as a disciple of God, talking to them about His love for them that was always there to help to carry and encourage them through some of their difficult moments, always helping them to be all they were created to be. (more…)

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