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Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
 Pastor's Blog 
Monday, October 14 2019

I lovingly embrace you and faithfully carry you close to My heart. What difference does it really make? All the difference in the world! When you follow Me as your Shepherd, I take good care of you.
 

Hungry? I alone can satisfy your heart’s deepest hunger. Like a sheep after a satisfying meal, you lie down in a green meadow to take a nap—content.
 

Falling apart under stress? Take My hand—I will lead you by peaceful streams where you will not be frightened and you can enjoy My poise.
 

Tottering? Look to Me for strength for life’s challenges—soar higher than mediocrity, run faster than temptation, walk farther than lethargy. Find renewed energy in the pleasure of My company.
 

Yearning to be holy? My paths are right and honorable—walk on them and grow in My likeness.
 

Troubled at the thought of dying? Do not fear—I am with you. I will protect and comfort you as you cross the dark valley to the city of light.
 

Encircled by foes? Take a seat at My table—enjoy a meal with Me.
 

Hurting? Divine hospitality cures your headache and heartache.
 

Unhappy? Look around—then look up and thank Me for overflowing blessings in your life. I do not just hang one star in the sky—I spangle nights with countless constellations. I do not plant only a single flower for your viewing enjoyment—I arrange whole fields. I do more than toss occasional blessings—goodness cascades from My heart to yours day after day.
 

Feeling unloved in an uncaring world? Nestle near My heart, and My goodness and unfailing love will warm yours. It can indeed be a cold, cruel world—as I learned firsthand when I visited your tilted planet—but I am the heartwarming God.
 

Longing for permanence? Heaven on earth will bring you an unchanging address. Better than hope-so, maybe-so, guess-so talk—know-so confidence faces forever with unflinching faith in your Shepherd. I am your Center of Gravity—everything you need in time and eternity. Follow Me—I will get you home.
 

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 200 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Monday, October 07 2019

My GOD, my God, why have You forsaken me?

Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?

Psalm 22:1 THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE
 

     The place of the skull was a place of doubt. My Son thought I had forsaken Him. In sadness, you feel you are in a God-forsaken place. When you need Me the most, you may sometimes conclude I am hiding. Skeptics are no help—      they mockingly tell you I am a very absent help in trouble. Then you remember I have promised never to leave you alone.
 

     The place of the skull was a place of desperation. Golgotha meant groaning for Jesus. Cries for His Father’s help ascended from the cross. In times of sorrow, you feel a little like He did. Oppressed by the enemy, you mourn. Prayer seems pointless in pain. “Why bother?” you ask. When you reach the end of your rope, tie a prayer knot and hang on. When it is hardest to pray, pray your hardest. I bless desperation.
 

     The place of the skull was a place of derision. Calvary meant contempt for Christ. Carrying your cross will bring a similar response. Human scorn may lower your self-esteem to that of a worm! Sarcasm may hurt your heart. Enemies of righteousness will taunt you, “So where is this God of yours you claim is so helpful?” Unbelievers have no time for Me or you—uninterested in holiness, they take aim at anyone who is. The world is not a friend to grace, to help you get nearer Me. So keep your eyes on Jesus your Friend.
 

     The place of the skull was a place of death. Jesus died on His cross—die on yours. Discipleship means death to self. The cross crosses out “I.” Die to selfishness and find self-fulfillment. Shoulder your cross for My sake, and discover life’s truest meaning. Deny yourself, and come alive.
 

     The place of the skull was a place of deliverance. Rejection was not the end of Jesus’ story; I had a surprise for the world—resurrection! My love for you began before you were born and will continue infinitely beyond the day of your death. Eternal life will be yours—abundant life is yours you rise above moral corruption and spiritual death.
 

     Jesus was mocked so you could inherit a mansion. He was deserted so you could be delighted by the pleasure of My company. He was crucified so you could be changed. He went to hell for a while so you could go to heaven forever. He bore a gory cross so you could wear a glorious crown. Walk in His steps even though it hurts—             total redemption is on the way!
 

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond,  Day 199 Gentle Whispers from Eternity 

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Monday, October 07 2019

My GOD, my God, why have You forsaken me?

Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?

Psalm 22:1 THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE
 

     The place of the skull was a place of doubt. My Son thought I had forsaken Him. In sadness, you feel you are in a God-forsaken place. When you need Me the most, you may sometimes conclude I am hiding. Skeptics are no help—      they mockingly tell you I am a very absent help in trouble. Then you remember I have promised never to leave you alone.
 

     The place of the skull was a place of desperation. Golgotha meant groaning for Jesus. Cries for His Father’s help ascended from the cross. In times of sorrow, you feel a little like He did. Oppressed by the enemy, you mourn. Prayer seems pointless in pain. “Why bother?” you ask. When you reach the end of your rope, tie a prayer knot and hang on. When it is hardest to pray, pray your hardest. I bless desperation.
 

     The place of the skull was a place of derision. Calvary meant contempt for Christ. Carrying your cross will bring a similar response. Human scorn may lower your self-esteem to that of a worm! Sarcasm may hurt your heart. Enemies of righteousness will taunt you, “So where is this God of yours you claim is so helpful?” Unbelievers have no time for Me or you—uninterested in holiness, they take aim at anyone who is. The world is not a friend to grace, to help you get nearer Me. So keep your eyes on Jesus your Friend.
 

     The place of the skull was a place of death. Jesus died on His cross—die on yours. Discipleship means death to self. The cross crosses out “I.” Die to selfishness and find self-fulfillment. Shoulder your cross for My sake, and discover life’s truest meaning. Deny yourself, and come alive.
 

     The place of the skull was a place of deliverance. Rejection was not the end of Jesus’ story; I had a surprise for the world—resurrection! My love for you began before you were born and will continue infinitely beyond the day of your death. Eternal life will be yours—abundant life is yours you rise above moral corruption and spiritual death.
 

     Jesus was mocked so you could inherit a mansion. He was deserted so you could be delighted by the pleasure of My company. He was crucified so you could be changed. He went to hell for a while so you could go to heaven forever. He bore a gory cross so you could wear a glorious crown. Walk in His steps even though it hurts—             total redemption is on the way!
 

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond,  Day 199 Gentle Whispers from Eternity 

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 02:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 01 2019


 

She played fast and loose with life, she never considered tomorrow,

and now she’s crashed royally, with no one to hold her hand.

“Look at my pain, O God! And how the enemy cruelly struts.”

Lamentations 1:9 THE MESSAGE
 

After getting burned playing with fire, you say, “I just wasn’t thinking.”

    You should have been!

    Flirting with temptation starts you on a toboggan ride toward disaster.

    Sin’s slippery slope is difficult to exit—it is easier to avoid altogether.

    It is foolhardy to only consider the consequences after they hit.

    Impulsive choices typically land you in trouble.

    Human nature chooses the easy way, and that is usually wrong.
 

Think back—learn from history you cannot sin without painful effects.

    Reflect on how unpleasant your life became when you acted badly.

    Reconsider how complicated relationships got when you misbehaved.
 

Think ahead—anticipate the awful effects of sin—turn away from it.

    Keep in mind consequences of guilt and grief—avoid doing wrong.

    Reflect on how pleasant your life is when you trust and obey Me.
 

Jerusalem, city of peace, was exiled to heart-wrenching loneliness.

    Jerusalem, city of the Great King, was shackled by cruel tyrants.

    Jerusalem, the holy city, was orphaned from the Promised Land.

    If they had only thought ahead, they could have avoided disaster.
 

Now it is your turn.

    Repent and walk humbly with Me, and I will help you live correctly.

    Hold My nail-scarred hand, and I will guide you on a glorious path—

        a path of peace and joy, not chaos and heartache.
 

Want to celebrate victory—not defeat—at sunset?

    Then, at sunrise, think ahead!
 

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 280 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Monday, September 23 2019

Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer
 

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Psalm 20:7 NIV
 

     When you are in distress, I am your Vitality. When life crashes and you send out an SOS, I quickly respond to your desperation. I do not give you an attitude of paralyzing fear or immobilizing timidity—I embolden action, intensify compassion, and calm anxieties. Do not go to pieces when trouble comes—I hold you together. Discover the secret of surviving every situation—lean on Almighty God!
 

     When you are discouraged, I am your Valiancy. When the fight is fiercest, I am on the front line with you. With My support, you will not sink—you will soar high on eagle’s wings. You can be strong, not intimidated; brave-hearted, not cowardly; faith-full, not fearful; determined, not irresolute—all because of Me. There is a Higher Power on your side, fighting your battles for you—press on!
 

     When you are bothered by doubt, I am your Vision. Your devotion to Me will eventually be openly vindicated. Place your life on the altar of surrender, and I promise to remember your sacrifice and smile on your efforts in My cause. Detractors judge worship worthless, but unfolding developments will prove its worth. When time gives way to eternity and human governments are replaced by My throne, the wisdom of worship will be crystal clear to the entire universe. On the other side of trouble and sin and sadness—you will sing My praises, serve Me wholeheartedly, enjoy face-to-face communion, and reign with Me forever. So make a conscious effort to live a pure life.
 

     Lowell’s poem “The Present Crisis” eloquently expresses ultimate reality:

                                 Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust,

                                 Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;

                                 Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,

                                 Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified,

                                 And the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.
 

     It may seem at times you are on the brink of defeat, but that will never happen, because I am your Victory. Life’s battles may occasionally make you weak-kneed, but you do not buckle under—stand tall! Military armed forces cannot stop evil fiends attacking your heart; cruise missiles and fighter jets will not help in this fight with the Devil. The sure formula for spiritual conquest is to earnestly seek My help. Include Me in your formula for living—and you are sure to win!
 

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 198 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Monday, September 16 2019

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14 NLT
 

     See My smile in star-shine marvel and sunlight majesty. The skies speak of My omnipotent greatness. The dazzling beauties of My earliest creations reflect My supernatural power.
 

     My throne is in the third heaven—invisible to you from earth. However, you can gaze in wonder at the second heaven of stars and the first heaven of clouds. High above faltering people, I direct the traffic patterns of countless galaxies and paint canopies of beauty. Spacious firmament, blazing sun, sparkling stars, and orbiting planets are “forever singing as they shine, ‘The hand that made us is divine’” (Joseph Addison).
 

     See My smile in inspired Scripture. My Word is a compass revealing wise moral principles. The Book from Heaven is a travel guide for meaningful living. My flawless law puts a spring in your step. My true Word gives sense to your head. My basic principles inspire a song in the depths of your heart. My direct orders clarify your soul’s vision.
 

     See My smile in your everyday life. My face shines on you with reinforcing smiles—undying grace sustains. My face shines on you with revitalizing smiles—unfaltering light energizes. My face shines on you with loving smiles—unfailing wisdom teaches. My face shines on you with understanding smiles—unparalleled compassion holds you together.
 

     In the grip of despair? Hear gentle whispers from eternity—find hope. Discouraged? Recall your ultimate destination—get up and keep going. Saddened by the world scene? Look up—I will teach you to smile again.
 

     See My smile of approval as you obey the Omnipresent God. If your conscience yearns to please Me, submit to My thorough x-ray of your life—I will test your thoughts and point out attitudes and habits that sadden My heart. Make necessary changes and all will be well.
 

     To hear My “well done” will not compare to the joy you will experience when you see My gracious smile. When you stand before your King, everything you have done in My service and for My honor will be worth it. Let this thought keep you going—live and work above all for My pleasure. I will repay you with something better than a golden crown—My smile.
 

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 197 Gentle Whispers from Eternity 

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Monday, September 09 2019

Guard me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 17:8 NLT
 

     Incredibly, I take a personal interest in you. Believe it or not, you are a gleam in your Heavenly Father’s eyes! The sun and moon and brightest stars do not bring Me as much delight as caring for you.
 

     My unfailing love, undeserved mercy, and kind understanding are your heart’s sweetest delights. However, how often do you consider the reality that I actually enjoy you? Trust Me, it is not too good to be true! As your Creator, I celebrate you. As your Father, I dance for joy when I think of you. You set My heart to singing. You are one sheep in millions—yet I know you intimately, calling you by name. You are far more to Me than a number on the books—you are the apple of My eye.
 

     Invariably, I protect you. Your archenemy is intent on stealing enthusiasm, killing contentment, and destroying influence. Your Greatest Friend is intent on enriching your life, guarding you from all that would rob you of joy.
 

     You naturally protect the pupil of your eye—I supernaturally encircle you. My commandments are not designed to make you miserable—I am not a killjoy! I nestle you near My heart in eternal love—death’s terrors cannot kill love, life’s troubles cannot overcome love, demons’ distractions cannot cancel love, today’s fears cannot overwhelm love, tomorrow’s worries cannot defeat love, hell’s powers cannot destroy love.
 

     Infinitely, I provide for you. I govern your life every day in every way. Providence engineers your circumstances, orchestrating every event for good. Whatever happens to you, I either cause or permit. I do not sign every piece of work, but I am the Artist behind the scenes.
 

     I am the Good Shepherd leading the way through life’s labyrinth. Recognize My voice in the midst of the competing cacophony—trust My limitless knowledge to know what is best for you. Life makes sense when you take time to listen to My voice and seek My face. The journey will be an adventure if you stay close to your Guide. Feeling overwhelmed, remember My wings overshadow you. When you tremble on foot bridges, I am out there with you—trust Me to find your way across the deep ravine.
 

     Immortally, I make paradise your home. Face to face, we will embrace in joy. Waking up from death’s sleep and getting up from the grave to see the One who made it possible—that is My promise to you! Until you see your Savior, let the light of heaven sparkle in your eyes.
 


 

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 196 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Tuesday, September 03 2019

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Psalm 13:1-2 NLT
 

     When you experience one of those days when life is in shambles, nothing goes right, and you wonder if it will ever end—in your heartache and despair, you theorize I have forgotten you and left you out in the cold to eke out an existence on your own.
 

     Raging winds of catastrophe and faith-quakes raise serious questions. In a seemingly endless emotional tempest, you cry out “How long?” In your desperate moments, recall My promise never to orphan you in the storm.
 

     When problems overwhelm you, you may wonder how long you will have to look at the back of My head. In a long day of panic and perplexity, you may ache to experience My Presence. Wrestling with heavy thoughts and broken heart, you may wonder if worry will ever stop. A ton of trouble may weigh so heavily on your shoulders that you feel you are going under. Battling evil, you may doubt that you can ever experience victory.
 

     When you are afraid, let Me remind you of your conqueror status. Death’s

terror, life’s trouble, demons’ distractions, today’s fears, tomorrow’s worries, hell’s powers—none of these can come between Me and you, because we are inseparable! Any friend of My Son is a friend of Mine—when the smoke of battle clears, you will share in the King’s glorious reign!
 

     In your most frustrating day—when you are tempted to conclude I have actually written you off—continue to exercise tenacious faith in Me. In chaos, believe in Christ. In trouble, trust. In every difficult situation, seek My help and you will survive. In heartache, count on My unfailing love. Rely on heaven’s help, and you will make it through earth’s toughest day.
 

     You will not always feel like celebrating circumstances, but you can always celebrate inner-stances. Your heart is My permanent home—nothing will cause Me to move away. My Presence in your life is your greatest blessing—Christ in you is your hope of heaven. I am with you for the long haul—you can stay in high spirits because of My Spirit.
 

     The longest day is not forever. At the close of time’s little day, you will see Jesus and join a symphony of praise in eternity’s unending celebration.     Listen hopefully for heaven’s future melody—dance faithfully for joy today.
 

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 195 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Monday, August 26 2019

I’ve already run for dear life straight to the arms of GOD.
So why should I run away now when you say, “Run to the mountains”?
Psalm 11:1 THE MESSAGE

     When you are honest to God, you admit there are times when you feel like running away. Sometimes it seems the values you thought would always be respected are ridiculed, and your nation’s wholesome influence in the international community is deteriorating rapidly. When foundations of law and order crumble, what is a believer to do? When you need a storm cellar for your soul, where can you turn?
 

     No matter how uncertain circumstances are, one thing is for sure—you do not have to tremble; you can trust. You do not have to turn into a jigsaw puzzle—going to pieces every time you face a problem. You do not have to wring your hands in terror—you can fold your hands in trust and let your tranquil life be a testimony to the pleasure of My company. Your situation may be shaky ground, but your soul can be serene when you are resting on the Solid Rock.
 

     Synthetic foundations—prestige, materialism, pleasure, money—will collapse; but you can always lean confidently on Me. Other hiding places are papier-mâché

compared to Me. Human advice may be that the best thing for you to do is escape, but experience keeps teaching you that running anywhere else except to My heart is a useless exercise. With heavenly assistance available, why seek shelter elsewhere?
 

     You do not need to resort to psychological defense mechanisms—turn to the Eternal One. You do not have to be paralyzed by fear—move out by faith. Tough times do not come down to either fight or flight; there is a third option to resolve your dilemmas—FAITH. When you go out on a limb, I will be your Guide so you will not perish in the ravine of uncertainty below. Rather than hiding from your problems, hide in My promises. Instead of panic, enjoy My peace. You might think you would like to live trouble-free, but there is something far better—getting to know Me as you and I go through trouble together.
 

     I am the Divine Psychiatrist—calming your inner being when chaos encircles. I enable you to stay on an even keel on the high seas of a crazy world. Refuse to be

discouraged by signs all around you that earth is the insane asylum of the universe.
 

     Søren Kierkegaard was right—life is not a problem for you to solve; it is a reality for you to face.
 

     Do not run from reality—run to Reality!
 

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 194 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Monday, August 19 2019

The Lord gave me a message.

He said, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb.

Before you were born, I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.”

“O Sovereign Lord” I said, “I can't speak for you!  I'm too young!”

“Don't say that” the Lord replied, “you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you.

And don't be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you.”

Then the Lord touched my mouth and said, “See, I have put my words in your mouth!"

Jeremiah 1:4-9 NLT
 

You have a divine calling—I had a plan in mind for you before your birth.   

I placed My hand on your shoulder and commissioned you for a special task. 

Your highest honor in life is to be endowed with a heavenly purpose.

Above all else, make it your supreme ambition to be true to your vocation.
 

I promise you a divine reward—I will not forget your hard work on My behalf.

Treasure the pleasure of My company as you serve Me day by day.

Anticipate the joy of living with Me in My home eternally. 

Look forward to the compensation of My words of commendation.
 

I provide divine empowerment—I overcome your feelings of inadequacy.

Weak? I am strong. Ineloquent? Use My words. Incapable? Lean on Me.   

Not up to My assignment? Whatever I ask of you, I help you accomplish. 
 

I guarantee divine protection—whatever happens, I will take care of you. 

Do not be afraid of your audience—their scowls do not compare to My smile.

Do not quake at delivering unpopular messages—you are in good company.

Do not flinch when people laugh at you—one day, they will cry before Me.

Do not run anywhere—unless it is into My everlasting arms.

I am your Fortress—giving you nerves of steel and a moral backbone.

I am your Rock in a quicksand world—stronger than any hostile force.
 

Deliver My divine message—an unsteady, hurting world needs to hear it. 

Worried about running out of anything to say? Share My eternal Word.

Anxious about creatively holding others' attention? Preach Scripture. 

Wondering where to get ideas? Let Jesus be the theme of every sermon.
 

Follow My divine directions—you have your orders, now obey them.

Let Me choose the coordinates—then bloom where you are planted.
 

Be concerned about divine success—not success by the world's standards. 

Doubting you are making headway at the task I have given you? Persevere.

Wondering if you are making any difference? Stay focused on the cross.

Discouraged by sparse results? Jeremiah preached 40 years without any.

Work conscientiously for Me—the smile of your Boss will amply repay you.  
 

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 11:11 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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