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October 8, 2018

Winning—What or Why?

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”

Hebrews 12:1b-2a (NIV)

You can feel it when it happens. Fall happens, and the signals are everywhere.

The breeze seems a bit more brisk and cool. Our American flag seems to billow with a bit more purpose from its post on the outside of our home.

Major League baseball playoffs are in the midst of their trek toward the fall classic of the World Series. And college football fan(atic)s are hanging on to hopes of championships despite the obvious fallibility of their favorite teams.

This past weekend some of the top-ranked college football teams in the nation won, some lost. They showed up, kicked off, ran and passed the football up and down the field for three-plus hours—and many won. And for many football fans of the winning teams, their world was still in good shape. Their hopes for a championship were still intact. Winning is the key, of course—and many won.

Or, is winning the key?

And whether it is or not, did they really win?

I wonder instead if “why” they’re doing what they are doing, matters more. (more…)

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

October 1, 2018

Got This Friend?

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. James 2: 23 (NIV)

Friday evening was always collection time for my paper route and it was then—on my very first round of collections—that I learned an important lesson about finances and friends.

For all of you who aspire one day to be paperboys or papergirls, remember this—when collecting on your paper route, avoid the area where your friends and the Good Humor ice cream truck are located—at least until you’ve had a chance to count how much money you really have to spend on ice cream for one-and-all gathered.

It only took that one time for the lesson to sink in. Counting and recounting the money remaining from the payments, I finally realized that—despite a lot of new friends—I had dipped well beyond the actual profit I had earned that week, into what I owed the newspaper company for the cost of the newspapers.

No more Good Humor trucks on Fridays. (more…)

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

September 24, 2018

If I Had Only Known

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Robert Brault

Yesterday marked the first day of fall. The temperatures were slightly cooler early as I posted the flag. The cooler temperatures are signal to me that it’s time to get the Christmas music out and begin to play it in the car and throughout the house.

I would probably have the music out during the year—and there have been a few times that I have—finding it always encouraging and uplifting.

I have had those moments throughout the years when in dealing with whatever it was going on in my life, it helped to be reminded of that time of year again, that time in history, and of that special thing which God did for me—and for you—in that moment in Bethlehem, so long ago. (more…)

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

September 17, 2018

Peace in Our Storms

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”  So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed).

 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”

Mark 4: 35-41 (NLT)

I wonder if we’ll ever just get it!

In the passage above, the disciples are in a boat, with Jesus onboard and asleep in the back. When out of nowhere, as they often do, a storm comes up. The disciples begin to worry, they allow the storm which is outside of the boat, into their life—despite the fact that Jesus is on board. They allow what is around them to control them.

And so they panic. They go nuts, actually; shouting at Christ to wake Him up, and accusing Him of not caring about them simply because he continued to sleep in the midst of the storm. (more…)

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

September 10, 2018

A Time to Rise Again

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes, and we reach for the stars.” (The West Wing)

I wonder how many this week will pause to remember.

Yesterday I paused to listen to Tom Ridge, former Governor of Pennsylvania and the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security, share in the dedication of the “Tower of Voices” memorial erected in Shanksville, Pennsylvania remembering the moment seventeen years ago, where and when United Flight 93 went down killing forty passengers and crew members.

Remembrances of that tragic day on September 11, 2001 seem to be different, and fewer, than those which occurred in the days and early years which followed the attacks of 9/11.

I wonder if complacency and apathy have begun to rule the day. And, of course, neither of those is worthy of this great nation and the people who have gone before us.

But on that day, seventeen years ago, the evil attacks on our land did, in fact, occur. And they continue. However, the current assault is not only occurring from outside by those intent on hurting us—through the attempts by growing numbers of terrorist cells around the world and crossing within our borders—but it seems to be occurring from within the walls of our institutions and foundations of our Country. (more…)

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