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December 3, 2018

Leaning In—Eternal Assurance

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders…He will reign upon David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” Isaiah 9:6, 7

It happened a few years ago. Actually eleven years ago. It will remain forever.

As my younger Granddaughter Ellie was discussing important matters with me on the carpet in front of the Christmas tree in the upstairs bedroom shared by her and her older sister, Hannah, in our home, there came a point where I had to lean in a bit closer to hear her words. She was kneeling and had just turned to wrap her three-year-old arms around an eighteen-inch-high and now forty-nine-year-old plastic lighted Santa we have put out each year since our son was born.

I love you Santa,” she whispered as she nestled him into her cheek.

Our Granddaughter Ellie’s gentle sincerity flowed from the depth of the experiences of her young life. Santa Claus always brought presents to her and her sister at Christmas. Santa took good care of Rudolph and his other reindeer every day. Santa was always happy, and glad to see everyone. Santa loved his appointed mission and proved it with his jolly “Ho! Ho! Ho!”, as he circled the world from rooftop to rooftop making sure that children everywhere received presents for Christmas.

I love you Santa,” she whispered again. It all seemed very appropriate. (more…)

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

November 26, 2018

It Could Be Different

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you:

You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2: 11 (NIV)

A month away, and it could be different this year.

Really, it could.

But it will probably depend on where we look as we move through the next few weeks.

But really, it could be different this year.

“…You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

A month away, and the crushing busyness of the season has already begun. The Friday after Thanksgiving, just a few days ago, began with an armload of newspaper inserts of sales you couldn’t miss, stores opening at midnight and other unseemly hours welcoming bargain hunters, and with lines forming for days to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime bargains you couldn’t do without.

Society has dubbed it as “Black Friday”—signifying a retailer’s reliance on that particular day of the year to get their “bottom-line” for the year into the black—dollar-wise. Yes, that one day having, they hope, that impact, for the year. Really.

But it could be different this year. (more…)

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

November 19, 2018

A Better View—Thankfulness

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

Psalm 50: 14-15 (ESV)

I don’t know all that’s going on in your lives at the moment, but I’ll bet if you’re anything like me, you’ve had your share of valleys to walk through lately. Whatever they have been, it seems there are times that you can’t seem to catch a glimpse of the sunshine which you have heard was out there somewhere.

Well, why don’t you and I take time this week to stop, and climb back up to the mountaintop, and take a moment to remember and reflect on all the blessings of our lives? Perhaps this week—this Thanksgiving week—we could try something different.

Perhaps, instead of dwelling on the things in the valley, we could change our perspective to a view from the mountaintop, and begin to list all the blessings for which we can be thankful.

Maybe begin with the everyday basics—you woke up this morning, your spouse, someone special, the health you have left, your children, grandchildren and Godchildren, the family pet. Maybe it’s a paycheck, a donation to a ministry, food on the table, the wrinkled smile of long-time loyal friend, a precious child, and a phone call of caring which comes when you need it most, an unexpected hug, and a beautiful sunset. (more…)

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

November 12, 2018

Never Forget

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land…” Ezekiel 22:30 (NIV)

It couldn’t be indifference, could it?

But I can’t help but wonder what it is.

We can never forget.

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day, where we paused to recognize those who stood in the gap for us. So many of our churches took a moment to recognize their service and sacrifice. But I don’t understand how some of our churches still don’t pause to recognize our veterans, or even acknowledge that as a nation we set that day aside to remember, to recognize, to thank them once again.

Certainly, it can’t be indifference, can it? They care, don’t they? Surely they must understand that it might be viewed by some as a snub, not worthy of them, and certainly not worthy of the veterans. Certainly they see that, don’t they? (more…)

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

November 5, 2018

Veterans—Proud to Remember

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Yet you risked everything here. Why? We look at you and somehow we know the answer.

It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love…

You all knew that some things are worth dying for.”

President Ronald Reagan—June 6, 1984 in Normandy, France

On the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

As a nation, our thanks will be expressed this coming Sunday, when we will pause to honor those who have served to defend our country in the Armed Forces of the United States of America—our Veterans.

I wonder if our expression of thanks to them should be offered every day.

It wasn’t until a dinner one evening about ten years after my discharge from the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War that I remember hearing the words “thank you.” Instead, up until that moment, those who had served during that time were often made to feel less than appreciated and were often ridiculed for their service.

At the conclusion of his remarks, the speaker that evening—himself a retired and wounded Marine—asked all the veterans to stand and be recognized. He began first with WW I, then WW II, then the Korean War, and, finally with the last war at that time, the Vietnam War. (more…)

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