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March 20, 2017

A Glass of Milk—On the Road to the Cross

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Then he said to them all:

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

Luke 9:23-25 (NIV)

I can’t seem to get over doing it. Maybe that’s a good thing, because it keeps me thinking and reaching out to do something.

It happens more often on cold nights when I know that families of adults and children probably don’t have the money to turn on the heat in their homes, if they have homes at all.

And it happens every time I go into the refrigerator at night in our home to get a glass of milk or juice—their faces come to mind. Those souls not too far from me, and elsewhere in our community, who can’t do that. It would be pointless because there’s nothing in there to get once the door is opened.

Those souls whose home is freezing, or they’re looking for a place to get in from out of the freezing cold night air. They all come to mind, when I look to get something for myself.

It often keeps me from going there. Their faces haunt me to do something. My preference and approach, as those who know me won’t be surprised with, is to help them all, but at least one, and then another. And so on. (more…)

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

March 13, 2017

Relationships—Moments of Importance

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach…”

Mark 3: 13-14 (NLT)

I remember that it was a God-appointed moment that morning a few years ago in a Starbucks on Blake Street in Denver, Colorado. It was a moment for my son and me, with a dear friend who is no longer with us.

What began as a scheduled hour-long meeting, turned into three, making us all late for the rest of the day. All because we were into the moment, into the relationship together—the three of us with each other, together.

Unfortunately, relational moments like that are being lost in today’s fast-paced technological culture with the advent of all forms of social media to connect with others, at least superficially, notwithstanding that it also interrupts most face-to-face moments.

Simply being in the moment with another human being—focused on them, not in the room and on your cell phone with the non-stop calls, emails, texts, Facebook or Twitter messages bombarding the setting. Actually, since there is an on-off switch on our phones, iPads, computers, and other electronic communication devices, it’s not the devices which are to blame for the intervention into relationships—is it?

The late Dr. Richard Halverson, fourteen years the Chaplain of the United States Senate, never kept a Day-Timer or a schedule. He knew when he had to be in the Senate Chamber to open the Senate each day in prayer, and he knew when a particular Senator wanted to visit with him about something or someone. So instead of keeping a schedule, he simply made it a point to be where people were. He made it a point to always know everything that was going on in someone’s life—whether a U.S. Senator, or a member of their staff, one of the custodians, a clerk, a housekeeper, or the Senate Dining Room wait staff. (more…)

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

March 6, 2017

Perspective for Real Purpose

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Jesus said to him,

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22: 37-40 (NKJV)

A couple of months ago we finished the season of Advent—which means “to come.” Now we’re in the season we call Lent, a period of forty days, not including Sundays, from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, starting another period of reflection and hope, like Advent.

Of course, as Advent marked the coming of the Savior, Lent leads to the fulfillment of His coming on Easter Sunday, as we follow Him to the Cross and then the Empty Tomb.

So here’s the question for you and me—what are we as His followers doing to honor that which Christ did—coming, dying, raised to life for us and to change the world? Are we doing anything to change the world ourselves? To become more like He intended for us to be? What are we doing that’s important? What are we doing that will honor the Empty Tomb we will celebrate again in a few weeks? I wonder if there is before us, an opportunity to change the world. (more…)

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

February 27, 2017

Crossing Over—Without a Doubt

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide:

Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you everyplace where you set your foot, as I promised Moses…As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous…Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, that you may be successful wherever you go…Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9

I’m guessing that the sun was shining that morning over three-thousand years ago—as it is this morning outside my window—as Joshua stood there on the banks of the Jordan River. Moses, the great servant of the Lord, had just passed from the scene, and Joshua has been selected by God to succeed Moses to lead the Israelites from this point forward into the Promised Land.

But, even with the sun shining, I’ll bet if you look closely between the lines, you can almost see Joshua’s knees knocking, feel his pulse racing, watch the pools of sweat cover the ground beneath his perspiring palms—all from the doubt, worry and anxiety he is probably feeling as he realizes the position to which God is calling him.

If you listened closely and you might hear—

Me? But Lord I’m too inadequate; surely there is someone else more capable of crossing the Jordan River, and with all these people blindly following—me! And what’s on the other side?”

I can identify with Joshua, always have. I wonder how many of you can identify with him also. I wonder how many of you feel today as Joshua felt so long ago. Facing something you have the ability to do, or something you should do—and you begin to wonder whether you can do it. Something you have been prepared for, and which you have prepared for—and you wonder if this is the right time after all. You know you can do it, you know it’s time. But then the subtle enemy of your faith slips in—doubt. (more…)

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

February 20, 2017

Today—Why Not?

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You will be changed from the inside out…

Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of maturity, God brings out the best in you…” Romans 12: 2a (The Message)

There it is Wendy, second star to the right and straight on till morning.”

The words are those of Peter Pan to Wendy pointing the way to Neverland. And as I sit here this morning, I can’t help but believe it’s one of the great lines in all of literature.

Maybe it’s just the morning. Or our two Granddaughters running around the house through the years, seeing things I never saw. Maybe it’s the dreams—still needing dusting off—smoldering in my heart. I wonder what J.M. Barrie was feeling when he penned those words in his classic book “Peter Pan.” (more…)

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