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June 25, 2018

No Matter What—Try This!

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-17 (NIV)

I probably feel the same as you do. Go back and read that scripture verse again.

The Apostle Paul wrote it. This is the same guy who persecuted followers of Christ until he had a God-orchestrated “blinding-light-conversion-experience” on the Damascus Road. After that, Paul was imprisoned regularly, lashed five times and beaten with rods three times by his fellow Jews, stoned, shipwrecked three times, constantly on the move and in danger from rivers, bandits, friends who betrayed him, whether in the cities, the country or at sea, and ended up hungry, thirsty, and without sleep.

And Paul’s advice:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.”

I’m with you here—the man obviously has a few screws loose. (more…)

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

June 18, 2018

God—He’s Been There

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.

We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.

And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.

He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

Isaiah 53: 3-5 (NLT)

Every morning after a game, an event, a recital, a test, a contest or spelling bee, a big business presentation, whatever—win or lose, success or not—we get up the next morning and begin to plan for the next one. Or that really is what we should do.

No matter what happened before—big win, great results, crushing defeat or failure—the fact is that it’s over, we can’t change it, and we have to get ready for what’s coming next, or what we want to come next.

Not to sound too simplistic, but that is just the way it will be for every day of our lives. Because we will experience big wins and great moments, and we make huge mistakes and suffer heart-wrenching losses. We will experience deep joys, and suffer crippling disappointments. And we will have a choice—to move on, or not.

And in that moment it may help us, if we remember the truth which the Apostle Paul—inspired by God—shared in Romans 8:28 when he forecasts for all time this promise from God—

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.”

Of course, that promise doesn’t mean that everything will work out exactly as we hope it will. But instead it means that God has promised to work everything we go through into His plan for us—a plan for good. (more…)

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

June 11, 2018

In the Beginning—God

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 (NIV)

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” I Corinthians 13: 12 (NIV)

We’ve all had those questions before. You know, the ones you can’t answer or don’t want to think about, so you try to deflect or dismiss them with a quick and easy answer. Maybe an answer that is just acceptable enough to deflect the question so the conversation can move on to something else.

But you can’t dismiss a grandchild’s question. Oh, I suppose you could, but you really shouldn’t—never, ever. And if the truth be told, the same applies to your child—it’s just that with a grandchild you’ve been given that second chance to try to get some things right.

A dear friend asked my thoughts on a question with spiritual threads and it reminded me of a question from our younger granddaughter Ellie a few years ago. Her question seemed to come from out of nowhere. We weren’t talking about anything related to what she asked. Occasionally she’d sing out a few “Alleluias” for no apparent reason—except to bring a warm smile to our faces and hearts.

We were just hanging out in the kitchen laughing and doing things you do when blessed with a visit by precious granddaughters. And then Ellie—then four-years-old—hung her haunting question in the air. (more…)

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

June 4, 2018

Love for a Bride. Love of a Bride

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives.”

Ephesians 5: 25-28 (The Message)

Yesterday, Lynda and I celebrated our fifty-first wedding anniversary. If you will permit, I’d like to take a moment today of personal reflection.

In the morning yesterday, we said goodbye to a friend who had stayed the night before with us, we attended church, went out for lunch and shared a sandwich, returned home for the afternoon, and then attended the University of Florida regional baseball game.

Fifty-one years.

Lynda likes to remind everyone again that she was much younger than me when we were married—despite the fact that we were in the same class in high school together. But she seems to pull it off.

I like to share with everyone who expresses joy for us, and at times surprise (I think their surprise comes as a result of their knowing me) at our grand accomplishment of longevity together—that every day that Lynda lets me back in the house, well it’s a good day for me. (more…)

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