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August 14, 2017

A Bow to Possibility

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

The Lord has made everything for His own purposes.” Proverbs 16: 4 (NLT)

If the story is true as it has been passed down throughout history, the twentieth President of the United States of America would have been a very busy man around the start of school—as we are about to experience in our country once again.

Upcoming weeks during which my granddaughters, and children of all ages all across this nation return to classrooms to begin yet another year of formal education—private, public and home-school. Elementary, secondary, college, and graduate schools—hopefully tapping into all their potential as they are equipped with the academic tools, accurate historical lessons, and spiritual groundings they will need to live the lives of success and significance they were created to live by the God who loves them. (more…)

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

August 7, 2017

Every Time You Go Away

 Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Psalm 90: 12

“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent.” Barbara Bush

Our son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Amy, celebrated their twenty-third wedding anniversary yesterday. They did it in style with their two precious gifts from God—their daughters—on trip to Atlanta and then on to North Carolina for a few days. While in Atlanta they saw The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum and Stone Mountain (which Nathan and I had ridden to the top of thirty-eight years earlier).

In honor of their anniversary, Lynda and I yesterday played one of our favorite songs by Paul Young, “Every Time You Go Away” (…you take a piece of me with you). A song which always brings a tear to our eyes, and reminds us of the importance of the relationships God has placed in our lives. Relationships to cherish and enjoy, even though at times we find ourselves taking them for granted.

Nathan and Amy do as good a job as anyone we know of not taking their marriage relationship for granted. I have to admit, I’ve learned something from them about that—which makes my bride happy.

How about you?

Look back over the last six months of your daily calendar—how did you spend your time? How many times do you see the names of those special people given to you listed there setting time aside to be with them? For years I didn’t understand the importance of that—I was too busy always headed out to climb another mountain to be successful, to make money, to win another award or acquire another bigger and better thing. (more…)

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

July 31, 2017

Defining Your Life

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash…

Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, first-hand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung.”

Philippians 3: 7-8 (The Message)

I have a couple of questions for you today to think about: What defines you? What defines your life?

Consider this—in any given season of collegiate or professional sports —whether college or professional football teams preparing for the fall season, Major League baseball in its stretch run these last few months for the playoffs, or basketball just around the corner—teams begin the year with a focus on being the last one standing with the championship trophy.

In college, hundreds of teams in all divisions begin the year with a dream of being that one. In MLB, the NFL, NBA, the National Hockey League, and others—only one outcome is acceptable and after a time changes occur when it doesn’t occur. And winning, standing at the end of the season, at the end of the day, and even standing at the end of our lives with the trophy in hand—begins to define us and our lives.

And unfortunately, it begins to weave itself into the day-to-day journey of our lives, and begins to define the decisions we make, the roads we take, the schedules we follow, and the people we spend time with. And it begins to happen each and every day of our lives in every setting. Doesn’t it? (more…)

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

July 24, 2017

A Golden Calf?

 Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me…” Exodus 20: 1-3 (ESV)

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

Exodus 32: 1-4 (ESV)

How are you doing with your idols? Don’t have any? Great.

The scripture set out above in Exodus 20, is one of the many moments of conversation which God and Moses had in the journey of the Israelite nation toward the Promised Land.

Here, Moses had now gone up onto Mount Sinai to learn even more from the Lord. To spend some time with the Lord he loved, as God laid out for him the laws and expectations He had for his people, that the Lord would expect Moses to share with the Israelites.

Laws, directions, and expectations—all for their good.

But this time, Moses was gone a bit longer than their patience would allow, and the Israelites were feeling insecure again. And they resorted to their favorite pastime—whining. Moses was their leader, and represented God to them, and they needed him there, they needed him to follow, to go before them, to be with them. But where was he? (more…)

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

July 17, 2017

God Moments in the Basilica

 Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you…

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

Matthew 25: 34-35, 37-38, 40 (ESV)

It was an unexpected moment which could have gone a number of ways. I suspect everyone who noticed wondered any number of things. Perhaps they thought—was he invited? Did he belong here? What should we do? Would he cause a problem?

Society has wired us that way. There are things that are supposed to fit a certain way, and then, of course, there have to be things that don’t fit. There are rules, doctrines, dogma, expectations, certain ways of proper behavior and decorum and etiquette. But Christ, in the passage above, talks about those things that don’t seem to fit, the least in society, and our response.

The unexpected moment was reminiscent of the opening scene in Charles Sheldon’s classic novel “In His Steps.” The man described in that scene by Sheldon looked as out of place as our late arriving guest at the wedding the other day. It was a beautiful wedding of a young man and young lady from families of dear friends. It was held in a beautiful Catholic Basilica. The bride was radiant in her white gown, the groom dressed as you would expect, and the wedding party also. The family and friends in attendance were all traditionally dressed in appropriate business or church attire. (more…)

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