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Monday, April 24 2017

That’s the Spirit!

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

At that time the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah.

Judges 11:29  NLT

I am the Spirit of love. When you let Me control your heart, I lead you to be caring. I am Love—I transform selfishness into sacrifice. “Who knows? Who cares? Why bother?” will never be your bumper sticker!

I am the Spirit of joy. When you let Me control your outlook, I make you cheerful. I transform pessimism into optimism. As your Commander in Chief, I grant you faith to thank Me in advance for the triumphs I will give. My cross is a plus sign nestled in a “V” for victory. Marching along in Christ’s victory parade, hold your head erect, confidently anticipating the bright future I promise.

I am the Spirit of peace. When you let Me control your mind, I produce an amazing, inexplicable calm. I transform panic into poise. Look earthly trouble squarely in the face, and in heavenly strength boldly say you are ready for anything life may throw at you.

I am the Spirit of patience. When you let Me guide your will, I keep you composed under pressure. I transform tumult into trust. No matter how stormy life’s sea gets, you can stay on an even keel with your Captain at the helm.

I am the Spirit of kindness. When you feel My emotions, you are courteous. I transform steel-heartedness into empathetic concern. Aware that everyone near you fights a hard battle, you are considerate.

I am the Spirit of goodness. When I shape your attitudes, you are compassionate. I transform grouchy stinginess into lavish service.

I am the Spirit of faithfulness. When I control your habits, I make you miraculously constant. I transform fickleness into fidelity.

I am the Spirit of gentleness. When I sculpt your personality, you become gracefully cordial. I transform rudeness into reasonableness.

I am the Spirit of self-discipline. Let Me manage your lifestyle, and you will be morally controlled. I transform thoughtless impulsiveness into true integrity.

You are My child—I guide you by My Holy Spirit. When you take charge, vices appear that are diametrically opposed to My virtues. Rise above sinful cravings and travel the high road! That’s the Spirit!

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church - Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

This devotional based on day 127 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 02:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, April 19 2017

The Laughter of the Redeemed

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

because God raised Jesus from the dead.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead.

     1 Peter 1:3, 6 NLT

During WWII, an 18-year-old German named Jurgen Moltmann was drafted to serve in Hitler’s army. Assigned to an anti-aircraft battery, he saw the horror of fellow soldiers incinerated in fire bombings. After surrendering to the British, he spent three years in prison camps. There he saw how other prisoners “collapsed inwardly”, gave up all hope, sickened for lack of it, and some died.

Jurgen Moltmann had not grown up as a Christian. An American chaplain gave him an Army-issue New Testament and Psalms, signed by President Roosevelt. He read the Psalms and found something he desperately needed—hope. He became convinced that God was with him, even behind the barbed wire.  Transferred to a camp run by the YMCA, he learned Christian beliefs and experienced accepting love, being treated better than by the German army.

Moltmann found new life in the Gospel of Christ, after seeing only death in WWII. And there’s more to his story—the risen Christ was leading him into an unexpected future. After the war, he became a Christian theologian and focused on two ideas coming out of the story of Jesus and his personal story—God is with us in our suffering; and God is leading us to a better future.

“Easter Sunday”, this theologian wrote, “is the beginning of the laughter of the redeemed.” Expressing the significance of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, he wrote “God weeps with us so that we may someday laugh with him. Easter is God’s protest against death. God is not satisfied with the way the world is today, and he intends to make all things new.”

While I was serving as a chaplain at Arlington National Cemetery,  I read an anonymous poem on the cover of Guideposts I will forever remember—

Lift up your hearts, ye sorrowing ones;  And be ye glad at heart.

For Calvary and Easter Day—Earth’s saddest day and gladdest day,

Were just three days apart.


Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 01:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, April 10 2017

A Promise to Remember

Remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.


I was with you yesterday—

In your naiveté, I guided you perfectly.

In your sincerity, I blessed you abundantly.

In your trouble, I sustained you gracefully.

In your rebellion, I convicted you mercifully.

In your doubts, I reassured you tenderly.

In your sickness, I healed you miraculously.

In your worry, I watched over you closely.

I am with you today—

In your sin, I forgive you compassionately.

In your discouragement, I buoy you helpfully.

In your sadness, I cheer you nearly.

In your responsibilities, I empower you supernaturally.

In your frustrations, I calm you peacefully.

In your loneliness, I accompany you lovingly.

I will always be there for you—

When the night depresses, I will be your Bright Morning Star.

When the morning dawns, I will still be with you—faithful as sunrise.

I will never leave you on your own, to your own devices.

I rose from the dead—I can help you with your big and little problems.

I triumphed over the tomb—I can give you victory over bad habits.

Every heartbeat, breath, step, hour, day, season—I will stand by you.

Until the end of the present earth—and beyond—I am by your side.

I am your Travel Guide—follow My directions carefully.

I am your Greatest Friend—enjoy the pleasure of My company.

No force can ever cancel My love for you—I guarantee it.

In sunshine and shadow, pain and pleasure, doubt and confidence,

    you can be absolutely sure I am there for you—I promise.

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church - Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

devotional based on day 312 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 02:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, April 03 2017

Victory Parade

Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey.

Most of the crowd spread their coats on the road ahead of Jesus,

and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

He was in the center of the procession, and the crowd all around him were shouting,

“Praise God for the Son of David! Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD!

Praise God in highest heaven!” The entire city of Jerusalem was stirred as he entered.

MATTHEW 21:5, 8-10 NLT

Walk prayerfully on the parade route I have mapped out for you. I am the Way to the Truth of Life—free, real, rich, full, eternal life. The evil one steals enthusiasm, kills joy, and destroys influence—I guide you to a significant and fulfilling life. I am the Humble King who practiced downward mobility to save you. Walk in My steps—have My frame of mind and serve others. You are a beautiful work of art I envisioned long before your birth—yield to My Spirit brushstrokes on the canvas of your circumstances and be displayed for angels and saints to admire in heaven’s gallery.

Dance joyfully with praise that lasts—celebrating blessings I give. Avoid a fickle heart—calling Me king one day, deserting Me the next. Keep Me in the center of your life’s procession, bowing to nothing else. Give your Most Honored Guest a royal welcome every sunrise. Keep My joy alive in your heart every mile of the journey—let no cheap thrill compete with the ecstasy of My Presence. No matter how rough the road, be grateful—find reasons for thanks.

March in My triumphal procession leading to a bright future I promise.

I am your Personal Friend—I never let you down or run away.

I am the Pardoning Savior—I forgive your sins and set you free.

I am the Powerful God—I help you accomplish all I ask of you.

I am the Perfect Lamb—I redeem you from sin’s penalty and power.

I am the Drumbeat of hope—I fight for you until the battle’s over.

I am Alpha and Omega—I spoke the first word and I will have the last.

I am the Prophesied Messiah—I will win the last war and defeat evil.

One day you will wave palm branches along golden streets—until then, celebrate victories I give on the roads you travel today.

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity © 2013

This devotional is Day 310 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 10:52 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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    Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
    420 Enon Road | Fredericksburg, VA 22406 | PH: 540.371.4124