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May 23, 2016

Nearer Forever Faith

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died.

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to Thy precious bleeding side.”

I am Thine, O Lord (F.J. Crosby & W.H. Doane)

I saw his dad the other day. And the moment from over thirty years ago came rushing back.

The score was knotted at zero in the fifth inning of this baseball tilt pitting all-stars players from our North Florida area against those from a team in Central Florida. The winner of the game would play the next day for the right to go to the State of Florida—Pony League championships. I was doing my best to coach them toward that goal.

With my focus on the game and each pitch, I never saw the clouds forming high in the sky behind the backstop.

But he did. Of course. (more…)

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

May 16, 2016

Dream! Ride! Press On!

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

I focus on this one thing:

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

Philippians 3: 13-14 (NLT)

It resonated a bit longer than all the other tripe I hear on talk radio, when a talk show host commented the other day—

We live in a cynical world. A tough world of competitors willing to step on and over you to climb the ladders to success.”

So, how’s your day going, in the midst of that kind of world painted by that talk show host? Or maybe you live in a different world?

We still hear about him today because of his incredible career, and a life marked by disappointments, difficulties, detours and distractions, like most of our journeys, but which was fueled by a determination to rise above those. We didn’t hear quite as much about Calvin Borel—jockey and dreamer—that one year in 2007 when his horse Street Sense, after winning the first leg of the Triple Crown that year, the Kentucky Derby, lost the next race, the Preakness, and was out of the running for the coveted Triple Crown. (more…)

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

May 9, 2016

Forever Loved

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.”

1 John 3:11 (NLT)

If you’re blessed to know my bride, Lynda, then nothing you hear good about her will surprise you, and neither will this story. But it’s a story that is illustrative about how her life and love has changed lives through the years, and in particular the life of one boy named Bernard.

Bernard was a football player at Eastside High School with our son Nathan. Bernard lived in what our community refers to as the east side of town, which some viewed as the less affluent side of town.

It was Football Parents’ Night at Eastside. At halftime the players were to be introduced alphabetically by their last names and then escort their parents across the center of the field. Bernard had no father living at home. His mother said she hoped to come so Bernard could escort her across the rain-soaked field at halftime. It had been raining through the first half of play, and the field was pretty wet and muddy. (more…)

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

April 25, 2016

Sprinkle

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

You saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child.”

Deuteronomy 1:31 (NLT)

You could feel the cold front beginning to creep into the area that night a few years ago as my son, Nathan, and his five-year-old daughter, Ellie Kate, left for their Girl Scout Daddy-Daughter Dance. And so with a delicate corsage gracing her dainty wrist to highlight a beautiful dress, her Daddy also draped her in a matching overcoat to protect her precious, tiny person from the approach of the penetrating colder temperatures.

The digital pictures which were taken did their best to capture the moments of their time together at the Girl Scout daddy-daughter dance. But even the pictures couldn’t capture the gleam in her daddy’s eye as he painted the picture of Ellie Kate making her way through the crowd at the dance to receive what she described afterwards as the award she and her daddy won dancing together. It was a door prize—but you can tell her that at your own peril. To her, she and her daddy won the prize while dancing together.

Is there a powder we can sprinkle on our children and grandchildren to keep them from growing up? Or at least, from growing up too fast? Is there a shelter we can house them in to protect them from the cold winds which will inevitably blow through their lives?

Oh how I wish it were like that daddy-daughter dance for all children! For all times. Where children felt they were deeply loved all the time. Where every moment of every day, children would catch a glimpse of God’s love for them through those entrusted with their care. Where the voices of those close to them connect them to the quiet voice of a God who is always pursuing them, and always loves them. (more…)

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

April 18, 2016

Whining or Winning

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

They cried out to the Lord, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt?”…

The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Exodus 14: 11, 14 (NLT)

I wonder what that day was like as Moses and the Israelites stood there on the banks of the Red Sea waiting for what seemed to be an inevitable and tragic fate to occur. I suspect it was a lot like today—sunny and beautiful with just a touch of breeze in the air, even though maybe a bit sandy, and with storms forecast for later.

Their journey to that day and to that point on the banks of the Red Sea had begun when Moses was led by God to go to the Pharaoh of Egypt and demand that he let God’s people go, to free them from slavery. It didn’t happen, and so one thing led to another and the Lord sent one plague after another—ten plagues in all—upon the Egyptian people until the Pharaoh finally relented and told Moses to take the Israelites and go. Now. Quickly. (more…)

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