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March 27, 2017

On the Road—To the Final Hope

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead.  A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him.  Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!”  Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said, “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.”

John 12:1-3, 12-15 NLT

Millions of people this week are watching with anticipation as college basketball makes its annual pilgrimage to the Final Four. I’m one of them. And in the midst of the excitement of the NCAA tournament, one could almost forget that another road to something more “final” than any basketball game is looming before us. I was almost one of them. The world tends to do that to us if we allow it.

Jesus was once again traveling the road; however, this Passover journey would end up in a different place. As we read above, it was just a few days before the Old Testament prophecy would be fulfilled concerning this particular Passover. Passover commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

This time, Jesus would stop at an old friend’s house on His way. You remember, the friend—Lazarus—that Jesus wept over when hearing of his death. Of course, Lazarus was very much alive this time. (more…)

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

March 20, 2017

A Glass of Milk—On the Road to the Cross

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Then he said to them all:

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

Luke 9:23-25 (NIV)

I can’t seem to get over doing it. Maybe that’s a good thing, because it keeps me thinking and reaching out to do something.

It happens more often on cold nights when I know that families of adults and children probably don’t have the money to turn on the heat in their homes, if they have homes at all.

And it happens every time I go into the refrigerator at night in our home to get a glass of milk or juice—their faces come to mind. Those souls not too far from me, and elsewhere in our community, who can’t do that. It would be pointless because there’s nothing in there to get once the door is opened.

Those souls whose home is freezing, or they’re looking for a place to get in from out of the freezing cold night air. They all come to mind, when I look to get something for myself.

It often keeps me from going there. Their faces haunt me to do something. My preference and approach, as those who know me won’t be surprised with, is to help them all, but at least one, and then another. And so on. (more…)

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

March 13, 2017

Relationships—Moments of Importance

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach…”

Mark 3: 13-14 (NLT)

I remember that it was a God-appointed moment that morning a few years ago in a Starbucks on Blake Street in Denver, Colorado. It was a moment for my son and me, with a dear friend who is no longer with us.

What began as a scheduled hour-long meeting, turned into three, making us all late for the rest of the day. All because we were into the moment, into the relationship together—the three of us with each other, together.

Unfortunately, relational moments like that are being lost in today’s fast-paced technological culture with the advent of all forms of social media to connect with others, at least superficially, notwithstanding that it also interrupts most face-to-face moments.

Simply being in the moment with another human being—focused on them, not in the room and on your cell phone with the non-stop calls, emails, texts, Facebook or Twitter messages bombarding the setting. Actually, since there is an on-off switch on our phones, iPads, computers, and other electronic communication devices, it’s not the devices which are to blame for the intervention into relationships—is it?

The late Dr. Richard Halverson, fourteen years the Chaplain of the United States Senate, never kept a Day-Timer or a schedule. He knew when he had to be in the Senate Chamber to open the Senate each day in prayer, and he knew when a particular Senator wanted to visit with him about something or someone. So instead of keeping a schedule, he simply made it a point to be where people were. He made it a point to always know everything that was going on in someone’s life—whether a U.S. Senator, or a member of their staff, one of the custodians, a clerk, a housekeeper, or the Senate Dining Room wait staff. (more…)

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

March 6, 2017

Perspective for Real Purpose

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Jesus said to him,

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22: 37-40 (NKJV)

A couple of months ago we finished the season of Advent—which means “to come.” Now we’re in the season we call Lent, a period of forty days, not including Sundays, from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, starting another period of reflection and hope, like Advent.

Of course, as Advent marked the coming of the Savior, Lent leads to the fulfillment of His coming on Easter Sunday, as we follow Him to the Cross and then the Empty Tomb.

So here’s the question for you and me—what are we as His followers doing to honor that which Christ did—coming, dying, raised to life for us and to change the world? Are we doing anything to change the world ourselves? To become more like He intended for us to be? What are we doing that’s important? What are we doing that will honor the Empty Tomb we will celebrate again in a few weeks? I wonder if there is before us, an opportunity to change the world. (more…)

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