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October 22, 2018

A Tradition in a Tradition

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”

2 Thessalonians 2:14-15 (ESV)

Well here we are again—cooler weather and all—entering into one of the great classical traditions in all of sports. It’s World Series time, where a lifetime of memories are made for baseball fans—younger and older and like you and me.

The World Series, beginning again tomorrow, when the Los Angeles Dodgers, National League Champions square off against the American League Champion, the Boston Red Sox.

A grand tradition where unexpected moments will be added to special memories—both on and off the fields where the games will be played. One such moment I’ve shared before—a reminder to us of the importance of relationships, and traditions, in our journey.

It was October, 1967, and the Boston Red Sox were set to square off in game one of the World Series against Bob Gibson and the powerful St. Louis Cardinals. Lynda and I had been married a few months earlier in June, enjoying a brief four day honeymoon trip along US Highway 17 from Florida back to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, where I was stationed in the United States Air Force. (more…)

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

October 15, 2018

Time Out!

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29: 11 (NIV)

Time out!”

The memory is still as vivid today as when it occurred. Our ace pitcher—“One-eyed Jack”—was pitching a no-hitter for us in the United States Air Force fast-pitch softball championships.

Master Sergeant, Jack Orvin, had lost an eye early in his Air Force career, yet in addition to being able to do his job in the Air Force, he could still pitch a softball at speeds in excess of one-hundred miles an hour. His nickname—One-eyed Jack—was always a nice reminder to hitters on opposing teams that they might not want to get too comfortable in the batter’s box.

During a strategy meeting on the mound in the sixth inning of the semi-final game of the championship playoffs, our catcher happened to mention to those of us gathered that Jack was pitching a no-hitter—with one inning yet to go. Superstition has it that the sure way to break up—or jinx—a no-hitter is to mention it while it’s in progress. The antidote to break the jinx—is to “knock on wood” somewhere, quickly and before the next pitch. (more…)

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

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
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