Impact for Living LogoAutumn Trees Scene
Welcome to the Impact for Living Blog

October 24, 2016

Our Fall Tradition

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”

2 Thessalonians 2:14-15 (ESV)

Well here we are again—cooler weather and all—entering into one of the great classical traditions in all of sports.

It’s World Series time, where a lifetime of memories are made for baseball fans—younger and older and like you and me.

The World Series, beginning again tomorrow, when the Chicago Cubs, National League Champions for the first time in seventy-one years, will host the American League Champion, the Cleveland Indians. It will be a time for many of us, of remembering, reflecting upon and comparing similar moments in the past, of every pitch, every at bat and hit, every agonizing strikeout in a crucial moment, and every unbelievable game-saving play coming from out of nowhere.

It’s a time where memories of past special moments from generations older to younger, and in-between, are recalled, shared and enjoyed once again, while waiting for new ones to be added to the pages of our lives. Where the expected often gives way to the unexpected, and where often the least likely of the participants rise to an occasion to lift one team or the other to victory. It’s a time of mountaintops and valleys beyond compare, in the short space of a few days.

The most meaningful relationships in life are a lot like that—filled with exhilaratingly glorious mountaintop highs, and disappointing and dusty valley lows. Excitement mixed with a measure of heartache. Memories forever etched on the fields of fulfilled and unfulfilled dreams, of “home runs” and even “strikeouts” in life. (more…)

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

October 17, 2016

Growing Faith

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”

The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!

Luke 17:5-6 (NLT)

From that passage and that moment with his twelve Apostles, we see that the Lord asked them, as He asks us, to have faith. Faith in His promises, faith in what He says and does, and faith in what He did through Christ.

Faith that He has a plan and purpose for everything in your life and mine. Faith in everything He says. Faith in Him. Even when we don’t know how.

He asks us to believe without doubting, as written in James 1:6. To ask, to seek until we find, to knock because the door will be opened, recorded in Matthew 7: 7-8, to pray without ceasing, written in I Thessalonians 5: 16, believing that what we ask for, seek, knock and pray for—He will do something about. (more…)

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

October 10, 2016

Always

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances.”

I Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NLT)

The apostle Paul wrote the verses for today. This is the same guy who was imprisoned regularly, lashed five times, beaten with rods three times, stoned, shipwrecked three times, constantly on the move, in danger from bandits or friends who betrayed him, and was always hungry, thirsty, and sleep-deprived.

And Paul’s advice to us: “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances.”

Even with Hurricane Matthew beating on our doors this past weekend and apparently still not done with the journey.

The man obviously had a few screws loose.

Why would we listen to a guy who had gone through all of what he went through, and was probably writing out of exhaustion, dehydration, blurred thinking, anger, and was an obvious candidate for long-term psychological counseling? (more…)

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

October 3, 2016

That God-Shaped Hole

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Philippians 4: 8-9 (NIV)

And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”…But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, [and acts]…murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”

Matthew 15: 10-11, 18-19 (ESV)

When she was younger, our granddaughter, Ellie Kate, began referring to him as her “pastor.” She so looked up to and respected Ken, that she couldn’t believe that her daddy had his cell phone number. Of course Pastor Ken always made Ellie Kate feel as though she was the only little girl in the room, wherever they saw each other.

Pastor Ken Whitten is the Senior Pastor at Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Florida, just north of Tampa, and is a special servant of our God. Ken commented on those words of Christ about what comes out of the mouth showing what’s inside of us, not too long ago, when he said that—“What’s down in the well will come up in the bucket.” (more…)

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

September 26, 2016

Faith for Around the Bend

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

It was another beautiful morning as I drove to the airport in Denver last week to return home after a visit with my dear friends at the Rockies baseball club. Cool breezes, blue skies, low humidity and wonderful memory-making moments in the books once again.

The baseball games at beautiful Coors Field are always great to watch, but only when enjoyed with my dear friends. The game the night before was picture perfect for baseball, as I visited with my friends, made a new friend, George, and remembered a mutual friend, Keli, who was the catalyst introducing us many years ago.

Keli is no longer with us, face-to-face that is, but everything good about him remains, especially his unbridled hope and belief in all that God would do, could do, and wanted to do in the lives of His children. His faith and hope was contagious, encouraging and left everyone around him filled with a sense of belief in the possibility of what they hoped would occur.

It’s a lot like the Apostle Paul’s encouragement in his letter to the Ephesians, which always seems to be an appropriate follow-up to the verse from the writer of Hebrews above. From the man who endured much for the hope he held in his heart, Paul shares this for the start to all of our mornings—

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3: 13b-14 (NIV)

As our days begin, do we have that kind of faith even though we can’t see what is coming around the bend of our tomorrows? A faith that causes us to “press on” in the face of disappointments, setbacks and heartaches, by continuing to embrace what we hope for. The kind of faith which causes us to focus our hearts on the goal which God has called us to—while trying to find our purpose in life—with a certainty of heart that says “Thy will be done.”

A faith that causes us to endure with confidence, not bitterness, with joy and belief, not anxiety or doubt. I wonder if we have that kind of faith that causes us to press on in the face of doubt and doubters, waning resources, and tough times, believing that the vision God laid before us was really His and that He will continue to bring it all about.

And all that He asks us to do is to believe, needing simply only to have the faith to press on, and at times maybe to simply hang on to the hem of His robe for dear life as He leads us into the future He has set before us.

It’s a tenacious faith that causes us to press on in the face of all that is before us, and all that happens that tries to throw us off course, confronted with all the distractions of doubt and criticism, expectations, and all the heartaches, failures, and disappointments that will surely litter the path along our way, along with all the uncertainty which will come around the bend. We need that kind of faith to press on today and every day.

I don’t know what you’re facing as day opens before you and the week unfolds before you sometimes faster than your grip. Perhaps you’ve lost a job, or a family member has an illness that will affect their future, a relationship has taken a detour you never saw coming, or you just don’t seem to know what the rest of your days should look like. May I be so bold as to suggest that you embrace for your life the faith to which the writer of Hebrews calls us?

It’s faith that blows through our lives with the fresh winds of hope when we least expect it, reminding us again that the God of it all is still in charge, has never left us, and is tapping on our shoulder reminding us that He still has much for us to do—for Him and for others.

It’s a faith that will carry us through all of our days, into the Hope of all of our tomorrows, and always with the God of all eternity.

In His Name—Scott

Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Posted by: Scott Whitaker at 6:00 am
Filed under: Thoughts
« Newer PostsOlder Posts »
© 2008 Impact for Living