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December 25, 2017

A Child is Born

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2: 9-14 (NKJV)

Here we are once again. It’s Christmas.

A Child is born.

Around the world everywhere this morning, the sunlight will flicker across the eyelids of children of all ages as they awake. And they will awake excited. Their tiny voices will begin to ring throughout their homes, excited about what Santa Claus and others left the night before—packages, filled stockings, new toys and things to eat.

And our two granddaughters will awake in a moment filled with an excitement unmatched by all the other mornings in their lives. Which is how it should be for them, and for children everywhere like them, and for “children” like you and like me. And so we will read scriptures appropriate for the day, eat breakfast, and open presents nestled under and around the tree.

It will be a grand and wonderful morning.

A Child is born. (more…)

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

December 18, 2017

A Needed Reminder, Once Again

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2: 8-12 (ESV)

Well it happened again a few weeks ago. I watched my favorite movie of all time—“It’s a Wonderful Life.” Twice.

Despite having seen it at least a hundred times and preparing to watch it again this week, I sat there watching it to its glorious eye-moistening-end as all of those people whom George Bailey’s life had touched came to his aid during a time of trouble and need.

The movie never fails to remind me of what God was trying to tell us so many years ago when He sent His Son for you and for me. And it is a reminder I need. Regularly. It is a reminder that many of us need.

In the movie, George Bailey has lost $8,000 from the Bailey Building and Loan, and realizes that his life insurance proceeds would cover the loss—and so people would be better off if he were not there.

While thinking about jumping into the river, Clarence Odbody, Angel 2nd Class, who was sent from Heaven to help George, jumps into the river knowing George would jump in to save him—which he did. (more…)

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

December 11, 2017

Bethlehem Morning

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9: 6 (KJV)

Even if I wanted to wrap myself in the quiet darkness of the early morning, with five windows in my upstairs office the morning’s sunshine has a way of breaking through into the sanctuary I have created with my thoughts. The moments of sitting alone in that darkened corner of my world wondering, planning, a bit anxious about what today and tomorrow will bring are always penetrated by that incessant light.

I wonder if there’s a message there—from long ago—we need to remember or learn.

That morning so long ago didn’t attract large crowds. Just three camel-riding Kings with some gifts, a few shepherds in the fields nearby, and some rather ordinary barn animals relegated to the manger out behind the Inn. The manger which was to be the site of that momentous morning of so long ago. Hardly a response you would see from us today, right? Maybe word of that morning hadn’t gotten out yet. Maybe it would have fallen on deaf ears anyway.

After all, there had been a long period of waiting for something like that morning. Too long. Almost to the point of causing one to give up on it ever happening. (more…)

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

December 4, 2017

Christmas—Magic or Miracle?

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

The Angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.”

Luke 1:35 (NIV)

Read that scripture again. What does it depict to you?

Magic? Miracle?

Which is it that you believe?

Maybe it depends on what we really believe in the light of things unseen. Things which we really want to believe—things which in our most difficult of moments we have to believe. I wonder if our past experiences on the mountaintops and in the valleys carry any weight with our answer, and influence at all what we believe it to be—magic or miracle.

Be honest now—did you think it was just a moment of magic?

Magic? Ultimately man-made but with a sleight of hand or some concealed apparatus producing baffling effects or illusions, of the David Copperfield or Houdini variety.

Or, did you think it was a miracle? An event or action that contradicts known scientific laws and is thought to be due to supernatural causes, especially linked to an act of God. (more…)

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