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August 28, 2017

A Very Special Life

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

For I know the plans 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)

Gran,” she began to say knowingly, “can I watch the last part of the movie with you, sitting together in your chair?”

It was as if sung by a chorus of Angels. And even though my youngest granddaughter Ellie Kate knew the answer before she asked it, it was what my heart needed to hear at the moment.

It was a few years ago, and we were keeping the girls and watching the movie “Secondhand Lions” while eating granddaddy’s famous popcorn and drinking Fresca. Our elder granddaughter, Hannah, was snuggled with her Mimi on the couch, watching the movie for the first time. I was doing kitchen runs for my three girls, having seen the movie before.

Until Ellie’s question slowed me down and reminded me of the most important of those things and people which God places in our lives.

It was very much like the moment thirteen years ago today when the sun began to rise in Tampa, Florida to announce the birth of our newest granddaughter, Elise Katherine Whitaker (Ellie Kate or Ellie, as she likes to be called today). As the sun’s rays broke through the windows of the closed hospital cafeteria—which had been our dormitory through the early morning hours of waiting—our son, Nathan, advised us that the doctors had to do a C-section to bring Ellie into the world, and in the process Ellie had aspirated some liquids into her lungs. (more…)

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

August 21, 2017

Need Help? Ask

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.

One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”

John 5: 1-9 (NIV)

So here we are moving through summer and heading none too soon toward the cooler temperatures of the fall of 2017. As we reflect on that for a moment, I wonder if we’re on track to accomplish all the things we had in mind to do for the year.

If so, good; but it gives me pause to wonder if maybe we set our goals too low. How high did we set our dreams? Maybe we set our dreams just high enough for us to accomplish them—in our power. But did we crank God and God’s power into the equation—perhaps needing to set them much higher?

Maybe we believe it’s about what we alone can accomplish. Do we have enough faith to take leap after leap believing, or being willing to believe, that with God we can dream bigger? What’s neat about setting our dreams beyond our own limits is that even if we fall short, we fall short well beyond where our lesser dreams would have taken us. (more…)

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

August 14, 2017

A Bow to Possibility

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

The Lord has made everything for His own purposes.” Proverbs 16: 4 (NLT)

If the story is true as it has been passed down throughout history, the twentieth President of the United States of America would have been a very busy man around the start of school—as we are about to experience in our country once again.

Upcoming weeks during which my granddaughters, and children of all ages all across this nation return to classrooms to begin yet another year of formal education—private, public and home-school. Elementary, secondary, college, and graduate schools—hopefully tapping into all their potential as they are equipped with the academic tools, accurate historical lessons, and spiritual groundings they will need to live the lives of success and significance they were created to live by the God who loves them. (more…)

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

August 7, 2017

Every Time You Go Away

 Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Psalm 90: 12

“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent.” Barbara Bush

Our son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Amy, celebrated their twenty-third wedding anniversary yesterday. They did it in style with their two precious gifts from God—their daughters—on trip to Atlanta and then on to North Carolina for a few days. While in Atlanta they saw The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum and Stone Mountain (which Nathan and I had ridden to the top of thirty-eight years earlier).

In honor of their anniversary, Lynda and I yesterday played one of our favorite songs by Paul Young, “Every Time You Go Away” (…you take a piece of me with you). A song which always brings a tear to our eyes, and reminds us of the importance of the relationships God has placed in our lives. Relationships to cherish and enjoy, even though at times we find ourselves taking them for granted.

Nathan and Amy do as good a job as anyone we know of not taking their marriage relationship for granted. I have to admit, I’ve learned something from them about that—which makes my bride happy.

How about you?

Look back over the last six months of your daily calendar—how did you spend your time? How many times do you see the names of those special people given to you listed there setting time aside to be with them? For years I didn’t understand the importance of that—I was too busy always headed out to climb another mountain to be successful, to make money, to win another award or acquire another bigger and better thing. (more…)

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