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October 16, 2017

Impact & Significance or Success

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.”

Ecclesiastes 2: 11 (NLT)

Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work.

But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind.

There was nothing to any of it. Nothing.”

Ecclesiastes 2: 11 (The Message)

There he is, Solomon—supposedly the richest, wisest, smartest, most influential man in all the world at that time and he probably would be by today standards—and yet he gets to the end of his life and says—

Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work.

But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind.

There was nothing to any of it. Nothing.”

Ecclesiastes 2: 11 (The Message)

Here’s what he seems to be saying—the “success” that society talks about always lies in the things of the world, in the things we do and achieve, the stuff we acquire. And by itself it’s nothing. Smoke and mirrors and spitting into the wind.

But “significance, the “real meaning” in life, lies in the things of God, in who He created us to be. In who we are inside. In who God calls us to be.

And that critical difference between the two—which Solomon finally realized at the end of his life—creates a tension and conflict in us between whether we follow the ways of the world, or the ways of God. And when the ways of the world seem to be going well, we seem to be fine. We may not even notice if we are following and doing what God would want us to be doing, or not. Things are going along well, we’re winning, and there are no apparent problems in our family or in careers. Until we look closer. (more…)

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

October 9, 2017

Turning toward Love

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided the property between them… [and] the younger son…set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living…and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating…

When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say…‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

Luke 15: 11-20 (NIV)

The scripture above is a big message in a short story. I suspect that Jesus was smiling as He told it—even though the story didn’t seem to have much to smile about for a while—just knowing the punch line that was coming.

You have to admit that Christ really had a way with making a point when He shared one of His poignant moral-message stories, or parables. The objective for the listener, or reader, was and still is—to get the point and do something with it.

You can tell from the scenes and the responses, that He was a master at painting a message with His tone, expression and the words. And making points which would last longer than that younger son’s squandered inheritance we saw in the parable above.

And the lesson He shared in this particular parable is a one that God wove throughout the Old and New Testaments—from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Simply and clearly, a poignant reminder of God’s continual presence in our lives and His never-ending love for us—no matter what pigpens we find ourselves wallowing in. (more…)

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

October 2, 2017

The Gentle Whisper of Wisdom

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”

1 Kings 19:11-12 (NLT)

So how do we do it?

We may not be there now, but we know we are going to find ourselves once again faced with a decision like Elijah was, which we can’t seem to make. Maybe later today, maybe tomorrow or the next day. It’s inevitable. And where we can’t seem to decide. We get a lot of input from others, but we’re still not sure. Which is the right way to go? How will we know?

The answer is—the same way you have done it before in your quietest and best moments. In those quiet times where, whether you knew it or not, you spent time with, and heard from the God who created you.

Spending quiet time with God. Listening for that “gentle whisper” of God referred to in the scripture above, or as another translation refers to it—that “still small voice” of God. (more…)

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

September 25, 2017

To Pass By—Or Not

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20: 25-18 (NIV)

Dr. Martin Luther King’s last speech ever given—“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”—was delivered in Memphis, Tennessee to the Memphis Sanitation Workers.

In that speech that evening, Dr. King shared his views about Christ’s parable of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to help a man in need on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. The next day Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, and passed on to be with his heavenly Father who had guided his every step.

Dr. King’s legacy and life reminds me of the life of another. The life of a dear friend of mine and many, who passed on to be with his Heavenly father on April 20, 2010—Keli Scott McGregor. At the time Keli also serving as the President of the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club. A friend whose life of impact can still be felt today in the lives of others. (more…)

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

September 18, 2017

In the Midst—The Foundation

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25 (NIV)

It’s a simple enough reminder.

This morning began with swirling emotions of personal struggles, along with an awareness of concerns around the nation and world. The noticeably cooler breeze, although slight, provided a moment of encouragement for the hopes and dreams still held for our family, country and world.

Those thoughts and breeze put a spring in my step as I set out to post the American flag and retrieve the morning paper. And then as I walked back up the driveway to the house, with the breeze causing the flag to flap, for just a moment my thoughts and eyes were lifted to a better place.

We need that reminder. A reminder of that better place.

Maybe we do because of the sobering moments of this last week recounting the tragedy of September 11, 2001, when all the insanity and the reality of the existence of evil in the world was frozen forever in one horrific morning. Maybe—even as we remembered that sixteenth year since that day—it’s because Americans and other peace-loving people around the world have forgotten that moment. (more…)

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