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April 25, 2016

Sprinkle

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

You saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child.”

Deuteronomy 1:31 (NLT)

You could feel the cold front beginning to creep into the area that night a few years ago as my son, Nathan, and his five-year-old daughter, Ellie Kate, left for their Girl Scout Daddy-Daughter Dance. And so with a delicate corsage gracing her dainty wrist to highlight a beautiful dress, her Daddy also draped her in a matching overcoat to protect her precious, tiny person from the approach of the penetrating colder temperatures.

The digital pictures which were taken did their best to capture the moments of their time together at the Girl Scout daddy-daughter dance. But even the pictures couldn’t capture the gleam in her daddy’s eye as he painted the picture of Ellie Kate making her way through the crowd at the dance to receive what she described afterwards as the award she and her daddy won dancing together. It was a door prize—but you can tell her that at your own peril. To her, she and her daddy won the prize while dancing together.

Is there a powder we can sprinkle on our children and grandchildren to keep them from growing up? Or at least, from growing up too fast? Is there a shelter we can house them in to protect them from the cold winds which will inevitably blow through their lives?

Oh how I wish it were like that daddy-daughter dance for all children! For all times. Where children felt they were deeply loved all the time. Where every moment of every day, children would catch a glimpse of God’s love for them through those entrusted with their care. Where the voices of those close to them connect them to the quiet voice of a God who is always pursuing them, and always loves them. (more…)

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

April 18, 2016

Whining or Winning

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

They cried out to the Lord, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt?”…

The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Exodus 14: 11, 14 (NLT)

I wonder what that day was like as Moses and the Israelites stood there on the banks of the Red Sea waiting for what seemed to be an inevitable and tragic fate to occur. I suspect it was a lot like today—sunny and beautiful with just a touch of breeze in the air, even though maybe a bit sandy, and with storms forecast for later.

Their journey to that day and to that point on the banks of the Red Sea had begun when Moses was led by God to go to the Pharaoh of Egypt and demand that he let God’s people go, to free them from slavery. It didn’t happen, and so one thing led to another and the Lord sent one plague after another—ten plagues in all—upon the Egyptian people until the Pharaoh finally relented and told Moses to take the Israelites and go. Now. Quickly. (more…)

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

April 11, 2016

All the Way to the Finish!

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

II Timothy 4: 6-8 (NIV)

That passage in Paul’s second letter to his beloved Timothy, is one of the great passages of encouragement contained in Scripture, where Paul begins to pass the mantle of responsibility to Timothy. Look at it again from The Message translation, when Paul says—

You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it, He’s an honest Judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for His coming.” II Timothy 4: 6-8 (The Message)

Did you notice the subtle challenge Paul sets forth to Timothy and to each of us? “I’ve run hard right to the finish,” he says, “believed all the way.”

There’s the challenge for Timothy and for you and me; that no matter what you are going through, no matter what we face, no matter how many times we’ve fallen, or how many missteps or detours we’ve suffered—run to the finish. Or as the NIV translation above says—fight the good fight. And we’ve just come out of the season of Lent and Holy Week, leading to Good Friday and Easter Sunday—with the example of the One who fought the good fight, and ran hard right to the finish on the cross and then the empty tomb. (more…)

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

April 4, 2016

The Rest of the Story

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 

Luke 24: 1-6. 8 -9 (ESV)

It was a morning much like to today a few years ago, when I got the news that our precious five-year-old Basset Hound, Luke, wasn’t going to make it. He had developed a cancerous tumor—undetectable until it was too late—which had spread to cover over eighty-five percent of his stomach. Surgery wasn’t successful, and he continued to grow weaker in the days which followed until that last day when he died.

The next day our son, Nathan, drove to Gainesville with our youngest Granddaughter, Ellie Kate, to help Lynda and me bury Luke’s body in a special spot in the backyard.

While Nathan and I prepared the gravesite that morning, Lynda and Ellie Kate gathered flowers for him from around the yard. All kinds of every shape, size and color. And then Ellie Kate assisted in the site preparation, by jumping into the hole in the ground we were preparing and troweling away her share of dirt—while her clothes told the story for all to see of what she had been helping with. (more…)

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