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November 24, 2014

A View from the Mountaintop

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 on 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 change our perspective to a view from the mountaintop, and list all the blessings for which we can be thankful.

Maybe begin with the basics, all the things for which you and I are thankful everyday—you woke up this morning, your bride, your husband, the health you have left, your children and grandchildren, the family pet. Maybe it’s a paycheck, a donation to ministry, food on the table, the wrinkled smile of an older and 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 17, 2014

What Are You Doing That’s Important?

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Train yourself to be Godly.  Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”

I Timothy 4: 7-8 (NLT)

So, what are you doing that’s important?

For instance, those who are working around the world to stem the loss, report that twenty-six thousand children will die today because of starvation or a preventable disease. Children and families will go to bed hungry in this country at the rate of one in five, and around the world at much more alarming rates?

So, what is it that you are doing that is all that important?

Maybe you’ve wondered at times about what it is about your job that is so important. Or what is it that you can use your job for that may be important?

This past weekend hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to watch and produce football games in colleges around the nation and within the National Football League. The beginnings of the basketball season will do the same in the months to come.

Yet it is conservatively estimated that twenty-seven million adults and thirteen million children will be forced this year into sexual trafficking systems in this country and other countries in the world. So is it really that important that we won or lost the game, rather than whether we played the game with integrity and honor? Or is it more important that we use the opportunity of the game to share what may really be important with all those who watch? Is it really so important that a coach win the conference championship, rather than win the hearts and minds of the players so that they grow and learn and make a difference in the world?

Maybe we should be asking ourselves whether we are using the gifts and opportunity (the platform) God has given us to make a difference in this world. Maybe we should be thinking that if God placed us here—what can we do to make a difference? Maybe we should be giving some thought to what God expects of us.

In the movie “Chariots of Fire,” Eric Liddell had to respond to the critics saying that he wasted too much time on other pursuits—namely Godly pursuits—to ever be considered as a world-class runner.

His critics suggested that he needed to change his approach to training if he ever really wanted to be a runner that competed successfully at high levels, and who won awards, fame, money and other worldly accolades. His response to his critics was succinct and direct when he said—

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast.

And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

For Eric Liddell it was all about God. And God’s glory.

In the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, France he was forced to withdraw from the 100 meter competition—his best event—because one of the heats for the event was run on a Sunday. He would not run on Sunday. He knew from where his ability came, and he knew he was running for God’s smile and honor. His heart’s desire was to honor God with the gift God had given him. Liddell went on to win the Bronze Medal in the 200 meters and the Gold Medal in the 400 meters.

After reaching the pinnacle of competitive running in those Olympics, Eric Liddell left for China as a missionary, again simply to honor God. He would continue to do that up to the date of his death in a POW camp.

Eric Liddell realized that the two greatest passions the Lord had placed on his heart—running and reaching the lost—should both be used to his utmost—for God’s glory.

For God’s glory. Not alone for championships and trophies, money or fame or awards.

Maybe that’s what we should be doing with our lives. Maybe that should be the focus of our lives—God’s glory. It’s just a thought.

The reality is that God has given all of us incredible gifts, abilities and talents, deep reservoirs of passion, so many opportunities, and in many cases the resources to help others. What do you suppose He wants us to do with all of that?

Trophies? Championships? Stuff? Money? Fame?

Remember the earlier numbers: 26,000 children dying; 1 in 5 hungry at night; 27 million adults, and 13 million children in unspeakable slavery.

What do you really suppose He wants us to do with our lives?

If it is to make a difference in the lives and world around us, and all for His glory—are we doing that? Is He smiling down on you and on me?

If you didn’t before now, will you do it today and from now on? How will you do it? Maybe it has to start with the focus of our lives.

Doing what is important—changing the world one life at a time.

Just something for us all to think about now and always, and in all ways?

Others may be counting on it.

So, again, what are you doing that’s important?

In His Name—Scott

 

Copyright 2014. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.

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

November 10, 2014

More than Appreciated

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

The air is quiet this morning, reflected in the softly hanging folds of our American Flag now posted on our home—almost waiting for something special to occur. As a nation, our thanks will be expressed tomorrow 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. (more…)

Posted by: Scott Whitaker at 8:51 am
Filed under: Thoughts

November 3, 2014

It Was Only a Chair

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6: 25-33 (ESV)

So, after reading that familiar passage scripture, I’ve got to ask myself—what’s important? What are we worrying about? What are you focusing on? What are you seeking?

It’s 55 degrees, and the air is dry. It’s great outside—breezy, crisp, beautiful blue skies high above. Fall has arrived. It’s getting darker earlier in the evening. It’s a reinvigorating and renewing time.

So what’s important on a day like today? What will bring meaning and fulfillment and purpose to our lives and the lives of others?

Maybe you’re thinking of the office, and if you get a promotion, a raise or the corner office with the view. Maybe if one of your children gets an A in class, or is accepted to graduate school.

Maybe what’s important is a new position, and new opportunity, or maybe instead, you might be wondering if you’ve done all you can do, lifted all the lives you can around you, to be all you can be where God has planted you. (more…)

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

October 27, 2014

Memories—Don’t Miss Them

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, wouldn’t have missed lovin’ you girl.

You’ve made my whole life worthwhile with your smile… I wouldn’t trade one memory”

Ronnie Milsap

I watched through the laundry room windows as she took our little rescue dog—Tulip—out for her first morning exploration of the yard. Tulip is now three and part Jack Russell and Rat Terrier mix, sweet, energetic and attached at the hip to my bride.

The breeze tossed Lynda’s hair as it blew by, and from the way she pulled her robe tight around her, then wrapped her arms around her chest, I knew what the temperature must be like, and what her words would be when she returned.

A cold front had wandered through our part of North Florida over the weekend. And with it brought what appeared to be a beautiful day.

Wow, it’s cold out there.”

She hurried to open the door, with Tulip bursting past her to return to a somewhat warmer space.

Fall has arrived and with one week to go before we set our clocks back an hour, you can already feel the cool weather settling in, determined to stay around for a while. The World Series between the Kansas City Royals, the American League champions, and the San Francisco Giants, the champions of the National League, is shaping up to be one to remember. College football is in the homestretch heading toward conference championships, bowl games, and a four-team playoff designed to crown a national champion. (more…)

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