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February 8, 2016

Uncommon Lives

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s our son Nathan’s birthday tomorrow. I can remember almost every moment of his life from that very first time I met him—when he was born. And then watched him respond through the years to the call of God on his life.

What is it that God is calling you to do today? Perhaps a different direction and onto a different path.

How’s that make you feel? I don’t know about you, but that has always been a disconcerting moment for me. Never easy—something new, something different.

Because the common course of our lives is often one of familiarity and comfort and often has been guided by things as to which we have become all too accustomed or resigned. We follow the usual and common paths—the ones which sometimes have led us to successful results in the past, and where we anticipate finding the least number of pitfalls. And our lives take on a familiarity and predictability which, although not all bad, is not really the life that God intended when He created us. (more…)

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

February 1, 2016

Joe Brown

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Matthew 16: 24-26 (NIV))

Disciples. Where? When? Why?

In one of my many other lives, I coached baseball at the University of Florida for three years. We were pretty good, too, going to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, one of those years and playing in the championship game of the regional that would have led to two other trips, falling a few runs short each time.

To get to that level of consistent championship quality, as you can imagine, we spent a lot of time on the practice field. We worked and practiced until fielding ground balls, hitting curves, sliders and 95 mph fast balls, and pitching successfully against the very best teams became second nature. All while playing before energized, screaming, and sometimes seemingly hostile crowds of thousands.

We spent hours most every day at the practice field, part of which was connecting with what was going on in the lives of our players off the field. What movies and music they were watching and playing. What associations they were involved with. It was part of the calling as their coach, mentor and chaplain. Maybe even as a disciple of God, talking to them about His love for them that was always there to help to carry and encourage them through some of their difficult moments, always helping them to be all they were created to be. (more…)

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

January 25, 2016

Relationships

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Friendship is a sheltering tree; Oh, the joys…of friendship through my years.”

“Youth and Age (Poem)”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.”

1 Samuel 18: 4 (NIV)

And…Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.”

1 Samuel 23: 16 (NIV)

You may remember Keli McGregor.

I’ve mentioned him a number of times before. He was a dear and trusted friend who left us much too soon—at least that’s how it seemed to many of us.

Some of you may remember meeting and listening to him share with us at an Impact for Living Men’s Conference a few years ago at Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida. I first met Keli McGregor at the University of Florida over twenty-five years ago. He was a former tight end in the National Football League, and then served as a graduate-assistant with head football coach, Galen Hall, at the University of Florida while obtaining his Master’s degree.

Keli became a dear friend—and then after earning his Masters, he went on to work with Coach Frank Broyles at the University of Arkansas as an assistant athletic director, where he spearheaded the building of their campus basketball facility named the Bud Walton Arena. He then returned home to Denver, working with the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club, leading the construction of their new stadium, Coors Field. He was eventually named the Rockies’ President. (more…)

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

January 18, 2016

Broader Themes—to Save the World

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

“I Have a Dream”, Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963

As I sit here early this morning, except for the glow from the screen of my laptop, the room is dark. No light can be seen anywhere.

I know from my experiences of the past, that the darkness will be lifted for me and for all of us before too very long as the sun begins its rise across the landscape. We’ll awake to move through the usual themes of our days as we did the day before, and have done day-after-day in the past, and will into each of our tomorrows we are blessed to experience here on earth.

But as I sit here, I’m haunted by this vision I am having of the “dark rooms” around the world which will never see light. Where a darkness prevails which is so deep that not only from sunset to dawn, but from sunrise to dusk, it continues. Places where millions across this country and world will sit waiting for a light to penetrate, for relief to come, for help to reach out to them. “Rough places”, “crooked places” where the sunrise will bring no light for them, no change, and as a result—no hope. Places where it would seem that the glory of the Lord has yet to be revealed. (more…)

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

January 11, 2016

Something to Believe In

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 2: 1-14 (ESV)

Great story. Brings a tear to my eye every time I read or hear it read.

But do we really believe it? Our actions will be a dead give-away as to whether we do, or not.

Here we are two weeks on the other side of yet another Christmas celebration, and I wonder if we really know, and remember, where we have been.

We know that we tried during the busy season, amidst all the shopping for presents, and decorating and meals with family and friends, to make room for Him in our lives—and through that to begin to reclaim afresh and anew His peace for our lives. (more…)

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