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Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
 Pastor's Blog 
Monday, April 27 2020

Strike up the music, beat the tambourine, play the melodious harp and the lyre;
blow the trumpet for the new month, for the full moon, for our feast day!

PSALM 81:2-3 TNJB

I am your Vital Strength.
     When you feel like giving up, I give persevering courage—
          so you can keep on keeping on.
     O to grace how great a debtor daily you are constrained to be (Robert Robinson,
          “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”).*
     I am your Power.
     Outsoar mediocrity—outrun temptation—outwalk lethargy.

I am your Victorious Success.
     When you are on the verge of losing the battle with sin—
          I inspire you to purify your heart.
     I am your Purity.
     You are prone to wander from the God you love.
     Let My goodness, like a fetter, bind your wandering heart to Me.
*

I am your Visiting Support.
     When you are burdened by the taxing cares of life—
          I invite you to trade your struggle for My serenity.
     I am your Peace.
     Praise My name—you are fixed upon it, Name of My redeeming love.*

I am your Vision in the Storm.
     When you think nobody is listening, and you are frazzled by stress—
          My theophany sets your heart at rest.
     I am your Paraclete.
     I am the Fount of every blessing—I tune your heart to sing My praise.*

I am your Veritable Supply.
     When you are afraid you are about to run out of critical necessities—
          I reassure you by supplying everything you need through Christ.
     Give Me your heart, let Me seal it for My courts above.*
     I am your Provision.
     Meditate on My generosity—let music and gladness fill your soul.

I am your Vivacious Song.
     When you are down-in-the-mouth for no particular reason—
          I give you a melody that puts a spring in your step.
     Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.*
     I am your Praise.
     On your journey toward heaven, I am your Traveling Music.
 

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
Day 221, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Thursday, April 23 2020

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.
Psalm 55:22 KJV

“This too shall pass” is not found in the Bible. It’s in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
 

Scripture does offer comfort and encouragement by expressing this truth in different words.
 

“It came to pass” appears thousands of times in the King James Version. One man testified, “When I’m pestered with trouble and difficulty, I pick up the blessed book of the living God, and I never read very far before I come across those words ‘It came to pass.’ Then I say ‘praise the Lord! I’m glad it didn’t come to stay, it came to pass!’” Though a misinterpretation of the literal meaning, truth he celebrated instills hope in hearts going through hard times.
 

The apostle Paul was inspired to write, “Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now, rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NLT).
 

Though life is pleasant in many ways, sometimes we “walk in the midst of trouble” (Psalm 138:7). Yet difficulties are parenthetical—they’ll all be behind us when we live in a tearless, painless, deathless, sinless place.    
 

Gracie Allen wrote “Never place a period where God has placed a comma.” Troubles we endure now will soon be history. Glory will make us forget gloom. Paradise will eradicate pain. All creation will celebrate total freedom, alongside the redeemed.
 

We should not let winter freeze our hope—spring’s just around the corner. When God’s New World Symphony is debuted, the universe will stand to its feet in thunderous applause. 
 

In his book The Passing of the Night, Robinson Risner, senior POW in Vietnam, recounts seeing a single blade of grass through a crack in his cell wall that sustained him for months. If we treasure the promises of God, faith will sustain us as we travel rough roads.
 

“Well get through this together” is something we hear frequently during this COVID-19 pandemic. There’s comfort in shared frustration, but we have a Helper infinitely better than other humans. To get through this, we can do better than a DIY approach—we can draw nearer to God in prayer and find strength and courage. After this unnerving time has come to pass, we will praise the Lord for helping us. We might even say to one another, “I’m glad it didn’t come to stay!”
 

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Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 12:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, April 20 2020

It is my grief that the right hand of the Most High has changed. PSALM 77:10 NRSV


Crying to a Good Source is a sincere quest.
     Hold nothing back—let your tears flow freely in My Presence.
     When you are in deep trouble, reach for the Most High God.
     Pray all night long, if you feel the need—I bless desperation.
     You need My Presence more than sleep—only in Me can you rest.
     I hear your problems.
     Urgent faith consoles you in life’s search.

Contemplating a grievous situation raises serious questions.
     The difference between your sad now and your happy then hurts.
     The good old days seem to never repeat themselves.
     Your heart aches pondering the apparent absence of My love.
     Heavy questions bother your mind and burden your soul.
     Never forget—the Comforter will not leave you.
     Never doubt—the Encourager will not orphan you.
     Never fear—the Advocate will not forget you.
     Never worry—the Sovereign will not fail to take good care of you.
     I heal your pain.
     Ultimate focus changes life’s sufferings.

Considering a Great Savior results in serene quietness.
     Preoccupying your mind with My love tranquilizes panic.
     I am the Good Shepherd—follow Me to heavenly peace and quiet.
     “No pain, no gain” encapsulates more truth than you can imagine.
     There are no rainbows without rain.
     You could not appreciate calm without weathering storms.
     You would not celebrate spring if you did not shiver through winter.
     You would never know the thrill of dawn without lonely nights.
     There could not have been a resurrection without a crucifixion.
     You could not walk golden streets if Jesus had not walked the Via Dolorosa.
     Hard times strengthen character—tears cleanse the soul.
     Coal under pressure makes diamonds—trouble purifies the heart.
     I give you historical perspective and hopeful prospects.
     Unseen footprints carry you through life’s storms.

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 220 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 12:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, April 14 2020

   


 

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.

PSALM 73:26 NLT

     Life is difficult, but you can depend on Me whatever happens. Circumstances may depress, but inner-stances delight if you trust Me. In a quicksand world, I am the Solid Rock—your Firm and Faithful Friend. Never give up—though your body is dying, your inner being is being renewed day by day. Your troubles are small potatoes compared to the glory of paradise. Hard times are temporary—heaven is forever.

     Believe I am real—trust My perfect wisdom, power, and love. Let these realities become your unflinching confession of faith. Opinions are carried around like a suitcase and just as easily dropped. But convictions carry you around and are your driving motivation—they are more than ideas in your mind; they possess your mind.

     Believe I am righteous—be good for something, My smile. Life’s unfair conundrum is the Job problem—a question of justice. Wicked people get away with murder; you cannot get away with anything. They think I do not realize what is going on, or that I am powerless to do anything about it. You attempt to understand why the rebellious succeed while the righteous suffer—it is puzzling to you. When bad things happen to good people, you wonder if you are being good for nothing. At the end of the day, the world will feel the heat and see the Light.

     Believe I am redemptive—let the Good Shepherd tend your life. The universal church is the circle of My children around the world who implicitly depend on Me and worship Me with all their heart. Believe I am Ruler—bow your knee at the mention of My Name. The inevitable consequences of ignoring Me will be crystal clear at the crash site of sin’s slippery slope. Rebels will have hell to pay! Defectors will face court martial before the Judge of the universe.

     I am your Counselor giving you a creed for troublesome times. I am your Travel Companion on the journey, Guide through life’s maze, Center of Gravity in a topsy-turvy world, Designer of your mansion, Guardian of your heart, Sustaining Breath, and Perfect Storm Shelter.

     Believe I am reliable—lean your whole weight on the Rock of Ages. Every other staff you lean on breaks and pierces your hand and heart—I am the Only Completely Reliable Spot in the universe. Whatever fails, rest assured the Almighty never will disappoint you—you can trust Me.

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
Day 219, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Monday, April 06 2020


I've lost it; I’m wasted. God – quickly, quickly!
Quick to my side, quick to my rescue! GOD, don’t lose a minute.

PSALM 70:5 THE MESSAGE


Through all time and eternity, rest assured I will encircle you.
     In your panic, you wish I would hurry.
     Opponents think they have got you, but they do not—I have you.
     Enemies of your soul will be disgraced, but you will not be.
     Do not let the sense of being targeted and wished ill overwhelm you.
     Unfailing Love encompasses you—death’s terror, life’s trouble,
          demons’ distractions, today’s fears, tomorrow’s worries—
          none of these things can come between us, because we are inseparable.

In My gracious time, rest assured I will educate you.
     In your praise, do your best to honor Me.
     I engineer life’s circumstances for the good of those who love Me.
     Time educates for eternity—you are enrolled in Adversity University.
     Friction polishes the gem—hurt can help you grow in holiness.
     Unforgettable lessons instruct you—be sure you learn them well.

In My own good time, rest assured I will enrich you.
     In your poverty, count on My compassionate help.
     The One who died for you lives for you—and He is praying for you.
     In My time, I will replace sin’s ugliness with heaven on earth.
     Unimaginable lavishness is preparing a mansion with your name on it. 

In My glorious time, rest assured you will exult in Me.
     Glory will make you forget gloom—paradise will eradicate pain.
     All creation will one day celebrate total freedom—and so will you.
     Do not let winter freeze your hope—spring is just around the corner.
     Wait patiently and confidently—heaven is sure as sunrise.
     I orchestrate life’s every detail for the good of those who worship Me.
     When My New World Symphony is debuted,
          the universe will stand to its feet in thunderous applause.
     Unending Life encourages you—My promises brighten the future.

(c) PastorJohnny R. Almond, Day 218 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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    Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
    420 Enon Road | Fredericksburg, VA 22406 | PH: 540.371.4124