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October 31, 2016

Time Out!

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29: 11 (NIV)

Time out!”

The memory is still as vivid today as when it occurred. Our ace pitcher—“One-eyed Jack”—was pitching a no-hitter for us in the United States Air Force fast-pitch softball base championships.

Master Sergeant, Jack Orvin, had lost an eye early in his Air Force career, yet in addition to being able to do his job in the U.S. Air Force, he could still pitch a softball at speeds in excess of one-hundred miles an hour. His nickname—“One-eyed Jack”—was always a nice reminder to hitters on opposing teams that they might not want to get too comfortable in the batter’s box. (more…)

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

October 24, 2016

Our Fall Tradition

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”

2 Thessalonians 2:14-15 (ESV)

Well here we are again—cooler weather and all—entering into one of the great classical traditions in all of sports.

It’s World Series time, where a lifetime of memories are made for baseball fans—younger and older and like you and me.

The World Series, beginning again tomorrow, when the Chicago Cubs, National League Champions for the first time in seventy-one years, will host the American League Champion, the Cleveland Indians. It will be a time for many of us, of remembering, reflecting upon and comparing similar moments in the past, of every pitch, every at bat and hit, every agonizing strikeout in a crucial moment, and every unbelievable game-saving play coming from out of nowhere.

It’s a time where memories of past special moments from generations older to younger, and in-between, are recalled, shared and enjoyed once again, while waiting for new ones to be added to the pages of our lives. Where the expected often gives way to the unexpected, and where often the least likely of the participants rise to an occasion to lift one team or the other to victory. It’s a time of mountaintops and valleys beyond compare, in the short space of a few days.

The most meaningful relationships in life are a lot like that—filled with exhilaratingly glorious mountaintop highs, and disappointing and dusty valley lows. Excitement mixed with a measure of heartache. Memories forever etched on the fields of fulfilled and unfulfilled dreams, of “home runs” and even “strikeouts” in life. (more…)

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

October 17, 2016

Growing Faith

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”

The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!

Luke 17:5-6 (NLT)

From that passage and that moment with his twelve Apostles, we see that the Lord asked them, as He asks us, to have faith. Faith in His promises, faith in what He says and does, and faith in what He did through Christ.

Faith that He has a plan and purpose for everything in your life and mine. Faith in everything He says. Faith in Him. Even when we don’t know how.

He asks us to believe without doubting, as written in James 1:6. To ask, to seek until we find, to knock because the door will be opened, recorded in Matthew 7: 7-8, to pray without ceasing, written in I Thessalonians 5: 16, believing that what we ask for, seek, knock and pray for—He will do something about. (more…)

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

October 10, 2016

Always

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances.”

I Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NLT)

The apostle Paul wrote the verses for today. This is the same guy who was imprisoned regularly, lashed five times, beaten with rods three times, stoned, shipwrecked three times, constantly on the move, in danger from bandits or friends who betrayed him, and was always hungry, thirsty, and sleep-deprived.

And Paul’s advice to us: “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances.”

Even with Hurricane Matthew beating on our doors this past weekend and apparently still not done with the journey.

The man obviously had a few screws loose.

Why would we listen to a guy who had gone through all of what he went through, and was probably writing out of exhaustion, dehydration, blurred thinking, anger, and was an obvious candidate for long-term psychological counseling? (more…)

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

October 3, 2016

That God-Shaped Hole

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Philippians 4: 8-9 (NIV)

And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”…But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, [and acts]…murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”

Matthew 15: 10-11, 18-19 (ESV)

When she was younger, our granddaughter, Ellie Kate, began referring to him as her “pastor.” She so looked up to and respected Ken, that she couldn’t believe that her daddy had his cell phone number. Of course Pastor Ken always made Ellie Kate feel as though she was the only little girl in the room, wherever they saw each other.

Pastor Ken Whitten is the Senior Pastor at Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Florida, just north of Tampa, and is a special servant of our God. Ken commented on those words of Christ about what comes out of the mouth showing what’s inside of us, not too long ago, when he said that—“What’s down in the well will come up in the bucket.” (more…)

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