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August 27, 2018

Always Joyful—For Good Reason

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 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 was always hungry, thirsty, and without sleep.

And Paul’s advice to us:

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

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

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

August 20, 2018

Your Choice—Your Life

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile.'” Job 9:27

I wonder what Wes is doing these days. Our meeting that day was only a “chance” and one-time meeting. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I had thought about my limping friend, until the other day.

This is hard to admit, but I had a momentary lapse the other day and found I was viewing the glass as “half-empty” and wondering “why me” and thinking “if only.” I had all the makings of the onset of my own pity-party. I was struggling with perspective and I had allowed worry to replace trust in God.

Oh, I worry about my granddaughters and their safety in a difficult world. I’ll probably always be on guard for that and them—it’s part of the stewardship of the sacred trust God placed upon me as their granddaddy. You don’t dare try anything with them with me around. I’m not talking about that outlook as a “glass half-empty” moment. But, instead, every now and then a confluence of events, spoken words and relationship moments occur which provide the opportunity for that “half-empty” kind of thinking to take hold. Usually it doesn’t last for too long—occasionally it does.

But that’s when I remember Wes. (more…)

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

August 13, 2018

Good Success—Don’t Come Up Short

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Joshua 1:8 (ESV)

In that verse, involving one of my favorite Bible personalities, Joshua, God lays out the template for the life that He wants us to follow—right there. To live the life of significance, the life of impact, of good success, we were created to have, we need to follow Him and His Word. A pathway for each of us to follow today—no matter our age or station in life.

Yet it’s a template for a life much different than, and often in direct contrast, conflict and contradiction to the one which society today lays before us. A worldly plan which always seems to lead us to a need for more and bigger, and even more immediate and momentary satisfaction; and in the end people are left empty, unsatisfied and unfulfilled. Too often we end up looking back and seeing that we have played out the given string of years we have been given without ever getting close to the impact God intended us to have, and as a result, never living the lives, or leaving the legacy God intended for us to leave.

We come up short on all we could have been and done. (more…)

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

August 6, 2018

Lives of Impact, or…

 Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…

a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…

a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2, 4, 6-8 (NIV)

In his book “Don’t Waste Your Life”, John Piper re-tells a story first published in the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest about a couple who “took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.”

Piper wondered at first if it was a joke—a spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. It was reality—and tragically, Piper shared that their dream:

You come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God-given life—and the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells.”

Think about that, as they look up into His face, with hands outstretched toward Christ, and say: “Look, Lord. See my pretty shells.”

That would be a tragedy. (more…)

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