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July 18, 2016

Now What?

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Luke 12: 48b (NIV)

Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.”

Reverend Billy Graham

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Attributed-Edmund Burke, British House of Commons

And then—Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Now what?

Yet another moment of evil to be added to a growing list of terror: Nice and Paris, France; Dallas, TX; Orlando, FL; Brussels; Bristol, TN; Columbus, OH; San Bernardino, CA; Ft. Hood; September 11; and so many others.

Some time ago, in the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve the right to choose—free will. To choose to draw near to Him, to love and follow Him, or not. He could have done it differently, not provided free will, and demanded and directed Adam and Eve, and all of us who would follow, to love Him and to follow Him. But He wanted us to choose to love Him, and therefore free will and the power to choose was born. (more…)

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

July 11, 2016

Painting the Blank Pages

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

Hebrews 11:1

As I entered my upstairs office recently where I spend a good bit of time, and which my granddaughters call “Granddaddy’s and our office,” I reflected again on the paintings my granddaughters had done through the past years on the easel in that room, which is always up and awaiting their return.

One painting is fastened on the face of the easel. Three hang proudly across the mantle of the fireplace facing my desk, a number hang on the side of the fireplace, one is framed and hangs on the wall, and many others are kept in a neat stack on a cabinet in an alcove off the study.

It has been a while since my granddaughters and I have thumbed through all the paintings they have done. The last time we did, they recalled proudly every stroke, splash, dash, and dot of paint they had made on those initially blank pages.

They had seen something there, which they would not have seen on the pages in a coloring book. They had seen something on those blank pages from the nooks and crannies of their imaginations. Something fresh had made its way from the recesses of those intimate places that is their being, and through their tiny fingers to the paint-laden bristles of a brush and onto a blank sheet of paper, where they began to tell those around them something of who they were, what they valued, and what they believed. (more…)

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

July 4, 2016

The Torch of Liberty—They Paid the Price

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

In the name of God, Amen. We…[h]aving undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith…a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do, by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together…”

The Mayflower Compact, November 11, 1620

As I returned with the morning newspaper, I could see our American flag now posted where it belongs in the holder on the front of our house, continue to wave in the morning breezes. It seemed to be saluting the celebration of the birthday of this great Nation today.

The celebration of a Nation founded and established by many who held a deep faith and belief that they were acting in concert with God. And as The Mayflower Compact sets out above—as the governing document of the first settlement of Pilgrims in this great land—this Nation also was an offering and opportunity for the advancement of the Christian faith, rooted in the Judeo-Christian heritage of this country. (more…)

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

June 27, 2016

If Tomorrow Never Comes

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Say what you want to say when you have the feeling and the chance. My deepest regrets are the things I did not do, the opportunities missed and the things unsaid.”

Jim Keller

Rainy days seem to bring out that reflective spirit that dwells within all of us—at least they do that for me. Today seems to be no exception, as I sit here, with the rain falling softly outside my window, reflecting again upon something which I really don’t like to think about…

If tomorrow never comes.

Books have been written about it. Songs have been sung from generation to generation to remind us. The lesson of that simple statement penetrates our hearts when loved ones leave us all too soon.

If tomorrow never comes.

From wherever the reminder enters our life, on both rainy and sun-lit days, it always seems to cause us to brake to a stop for a moment, often being moved to tears, vowing to commit to change the way we approach the rest of today and all of our tomorrows and how we treat all the important people and things which are a part of them. (more…)

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

June 20, 2016

The Only Thing

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

The only thing you ever had to do to make me happy was to come home at the end of the day.”

(President Bartlet to his daughter Ellie, “The West Wing”)

I just got off of I-10 at Baldwin. I should be home in an hour or so.”

We knew it had been a long drive for him, but our son’s voice seemed energized and enthusiastic. Nathan had just called as he was driving home from Duke University for the Christmas break, to update us on the progress of his journey.

The excitement, anticipating his safe arrival within the hour, had both his Mom and me running around finishing up decorations, and a few last things for his return home. Our Basset hound, Amos—Nathan’s dog—could sense that something special was going on, and despite his aching older joints, happily followed us around the house overseeing the final few preparations.

Five minutes later the chimes of front door bell interrupted our efforts. (more…)

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