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Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
 Pastor's Blog 
Tuesday, December 19 2017

Small-town Star

 

You, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah.

Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.

He will be highly honored all around the world. He will be the source of our peace.

Micah 5:2, 4, 5a NLT

 

He was born in a little town, yet He never began.            

Before mountains were sculpted, He existed—in fact, He made them.

Before the planet you call home hung in space, He was your Home.

You cannot understand this, but you can believe it.

 

He entered earth in a dark barn, yet He will enlighten new Jerusalem.

His light illumines seeking minds—His life comforts desperate hearts.

He spoke first light into being—that light shines on, inextinguishable.

You cannot explain this, but you can enjoy it.

 

He was marked by a star, yet He made all the stars.

Heaven’s GPS pointed out His location to those who wanted to know.

I still use circumstances, events, and people to direct people to Jesus.

You cannot figure out what I am up to, but you can follow.

 

He was a helpless baby on earth, yet He is the Sovereign of Heaven.

He enjoyed prerogatives of power and glory, but He gave it up for you.

Rather than demand His rights, He humbly gave His life to redeem you.

You cannot earn this, but you can receive it.

 

He was adored by wise men from a foreign land,

and He will be worshiped by ransomed saints from all lands.

No one else is worthy of universal praise—He alone is the Savior.

You cannot imagine this, but you can experience it.

 

He became human in time, yet He is the Ruler of Eternity.

You cannot see Him now, but in the distant future you will.

Storm clouds veil stars, but dawn will reveal the rhapsody of peace.

You cannot envision this, but you can anticipate it.

 

His star led magi to Him, and the Bright Morning Star guides you.

All wisdom centers on Him—all truth connects to Him.

Wise men traveled a long way to find Him—yet it was worth the trip.

You cannot know it all, but you can know the One who does.

© 2013 Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 04:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 12 2017

                                                      

God of heaven and earth,


USA Today tells us there are five things we need to know today—

     news we cannot live without,  information we absolutely must have.

The Alabama Senate race pitting conservative Roy Moore against Democrat Doug Jones—

     one facing allegations of assaulting young girls, the other calling for a referendum on moral decency.

Authorities searching for more information after an attempted NYC terror attack—

     a bomb intentionally detonated near Times Square,

     an assault timed to coincide with the Christmas season for the greatest possible effect.

Brutal weather to slam the central and eastern United States—

     extremely frigid air straight from the Arctic, wind chills in the single digits.

Top U.S. cities to buy and sell homes—the 10 best and worst markets.

Sundown marks the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights—

     commemorating the rededication during second century BC. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem,  

     remembering the time Jews rose up against oppressive Greek and Syrian rulers.


Network and social media message traffic lets us know constantly what culture is concerned about—

     yet our hearts cry out for some good news to counteract the bad.

     Tired and fed up with depressing news, our souls yearn for something better.

     

You have already given us good news, if we’re willing to slow down and listen—

     You are the High God—above politics, above everything.

      You are the Prince of Peace—the One who will replace terrorism with tranquility.

     You are the Heart-warming God—comfort and joy in a cold, cruel world.

     You are the One who will always be who You have always been—our Home.

     You are the world’s Light—shining hope and confidence into despairing, anxious souls.


Help us—in this season of gift-giving—to celebrate You, the gift too wonderful for words

     More than anything, You are the One we need to know today!

     Amen!

          

Pastor Johnny R. Almond

Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Friends on a Journey of Faith

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 09:34 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 11 2017


Gentle Whispers from Eternity
 

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain” the Lord told him.

Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain.

It was such a terrible blast, rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind.

After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.

And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.

And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.

1 Kings 19:11-12 NLT

 

When fierce windstorms of chaos crumble mountains of your life, I may be trying to teach you a critical lesson. Your typical response is to attempt to put everything back together as best you can. In the process, you may or may not be aware of My Presence.

 

When emotional earthquakes shake familiar ground beneath your feet and everything nailed down comes loose, you may run to Me in search of stability—or you may simply run away.

 

When judgment fires sweep through your life’s landscape, you may recognize My purifying purpose—or you may do your best to extinguish the holy blaze.

 

When I gently whisper, I capture your attention.

 

Sometimes you feel like Elijah—afraid, lonely, burned out, exhausted, and discouraged. At those times, thank Me for My Holy Spirit. Better than a worrisome wind, egocentric earthquake, or fearful fire—the quiet whisper of My voice encourages you to get up and keep going by consoling, comforting, supporting, and helping you like no earthly voice.

 

In the midst of the world’s cacophony, My Spirit’s symphony is a welcome break for your troubled soul. Force is touted as the answer to the problems of the world; human strength impresses the masses—but My Holy Spirit is the Ultimate Solution.

 

My still, small voice counteracts tumult with tranquility—calming the noisy wind to a light whisper and hushing loud waves of the sea to sleep.

 

In the gentleness of My heart, find rest for your soul. Be silent and get still—you will know deep in your heart that I am God.

 

I never crush the bruised reed of your music-making ability—I restore your joy and teach you to sing of heaven’s forgiveness. I do not quench the smoldering wick of your good influence—I rekindle hope and encourage you to shine on for My honor. I calm your troubled heart, speak peace to your restless mind, and soothe your jangled nerves—when you listen prayerfully to gentle whispers from eternity.

 

                     © 2013 Johnny R. Almond

                Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

                  Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 02:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 04 2017

 

Costly Discipleship

 

But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I cannot present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.”

2 Samuel 24:24

 

Grace is free, but not cheap. Grace cost Me the Love of My life. My Son Jesus paid sin’s awful price with His innocent blood. Near the location of Araunah’s threshing floor, Abraham would have sacrificed his son Isaac, had an angel not interrupted his brave plan; but I did not spare My Son His excruciating death on Skull Hill.

 

Grace is yours for the asking, but there is a high cost to pay if you are to be My disciple. David had a chance to make an easy sacrifice, by accepting Araunah’s offer of a gift. But his conscience moved him to purchase the threshing floor and oxen. I ask you to surrender to your Creator at a cost the finest you have to offer, not just what requires no sacrifice. Anything less than your best is no real sacrifice.

 

Half-hearted discipleship will not do. I demand undivided allegiance. Only the highest quality, fully devoted service pleases Me. To follow Me, deny cheap attractions. To love Me wholeheartedly, quit lesser loyalties. To worship Me authentically, ignore inferior idols.

 

Let challenging teachings of My Son reverberate in your heart—If you want to be My follower, you must give up your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and walk in My footsteps. If you try to make everything revolve around yourself, you will miss life. If you make Me the center of your life, you will find life’s true meaning.

 

I am not opposed to your having a good time. I am not advocating that you go looking for pain. I am saying it will take heroic effort on your part to stay close to Me. Kingdom work will often be difficult. Walking in Jesus’ steps is never a cakewalk.

 

Near the site of David’s burnt offering was a place called Calvary—no easy place to die. You can be sure it will not be easy for you to shoulder your cross and unselfishly serve Me. Splinters from the cross will hurt—crucifixion of your ego will be painful.

 

Because your King paid a high price for you, respond in kind. Giving Me your life as a pure and holy sacrifice is reasonable worship. Solomon built the expensive, magnificent Temple on the former site of Araunah’s threshing floor—build your life on Christ, whatever the cost. Consecration of your body as a temple of My Holy Spirit will transform your inner being to be like Jerusalem, city of peace. The eternal value of closeness to the King of hearts will be worth any price you have to pay.

 

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 10:53 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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