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February 27, 2017

Crossing Over—Without a Doubt

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide:

Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you everyplace where you set your foot, as I promised Moses…As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous…Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, that you may be successful wherever you go…Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9

I’m guessing that the sun was shining that morning over three-thousand years ago—as it is this morning outside my window—as Joshua stood there on the banks of the Jordan River. Moses, the great servant of the Lord, had just passed from the scene, and Joshua has been selected by God to succeed Moses to lead the Israelites from this point forward into the Promised Land.

But, even with the sun shining, I’ll bet if you look closely between the lines, you can almost see Joshua’s knees knocking, feel his pulse racing, watch the pools of sweat cover the ground beneath his perspiring palms—all from the doubt, worry and anxiety he is probably feeling as he realizes the position to which God is calling him.

If you listened closely and you might hear—

Me? But Lord I’m too inadequate; surely there is someone else more capable of crossing the Jordan River, and with all these people blindly following—me! And what’s on the other side?”

I can identify with Joshua, always have. I wonder how many of you can identify with him also. I wonder how many of you feel today as Joshua felt so long ago. Facing something you have the ability to do, or something you should do—and you begin to wonder whether you can do it. Something you have been prepared for, and which you have prepared for—and you wonder if this is the right time after all. You know you can do it, you know it’s time. But then the subtle enemy of your faith slips in—doubt. (more…)

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

February 20, 2017

Today—Why Not?

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You will be changed from the inside out…

Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of maturity, God brings out the best in you…” Romans 12: 2a (The Message)

There it is Wendy, second star to the right and straight on till morning.”

The words are those of Peter Pan to Wendy pointing the way to Neverland. And as I sit here this morning, I can’t help but believe it’s one of the great lines in all of literature.

Maybe it’s just the morning. Or our two Granddaughters running around the house through the years, seeing things I never saw. Maybe it’s the dreams—still needing dusting off—smoldering in my heart. I wonder what J.M. Barrie was feeling when he penned those words in his classic book “Peter Pan.” (more…)

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

February 13, 2017

Don’t Blink

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’”

James 4: 14-15 (NLT)

Whether we have realized it yet or not, our time here on earth is limited. No matter how uneasy that might make us feel, it’s an absolute fact.

No matter who you are, how young or how old, what measure of success, fame, or power by worldly standards you have attained, or wherever you live—mortality is the great leveler for us all. (more…)

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

February 6, 2017

A Hand-Lifter Extraordinaire

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”

So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up.

So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.

Exodus 17: 8-13 (NLT)

Friends and family, and people reflecting on their time with him, knew that’s what he was—a hand-lifter. We lost him from within our midst on February 2, 2017 to his eternal resting place. He reminded us what was most important in life—to lift and love those around you without fanfare or expecting any credit or recognition. Many of you don’t know him, but maybe someone like him.

That was our friend—Perry C. McGriff, Jr.

When we come upon this moment in scripture as recorded in the passage in Exodus above, Moses had been running on adrenaline for some time. Although he always felt ill-equipped to do what God had called him to do, he had taken on the responsibilities God set before him and led the Israelite people out of the slavery they experienced in Egypt. Across the Red Sea through the power of God, into the Desert of Shur, to Elim, and into the Desert of Sin by way of the less traveled “Way of the Sea” along the expanses of the Red Sea, Moses led his people. (more…)

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