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Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
 Pastor's Blog 
Wednesday, May 31 2017

Present Tense Living

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

The man won’t rest until he has followed through on this. He will settle it today.

Ruth 3:18 NLT

I am—I did not say I was or I used to be. I am the God of today. Today is the day of salvation; it is also the day of service. Right now is your golden opportunity. You have a long list of good intentions that need to be translated into initiatives. Follow-through improves golf, and life. It is a sin to know what you ought to do and not do it! Procrastination is more than laziness; loitering is sin. Idleness is the Devil’s workshop—when you fool around, he will go to work and attack you.

“Someday” you plan to speak kindly to one emotionally distant. “Someday” you intend to encourage one of your friends who is down. “Next week” you will spend more time with your spouse and children. “Tomorrow” never comes. That tomorrow you have been thinking about has arrivedit is today! Quit dawdling!

There is no time like the present. In fact, there is no time except the present!

Time is My gift—a present for you. Whatever else you use this day for, remember I made it for rejoicing. It is fine to be busy, but do not forget to be merry while you are at it. Whistle while you work.

Daylight hours are no time for long naps. Now is no time for mulling over plans for noble tasks. Do not just stare up the steps—step up the stairs. You have memorized your Commander’s orders; for heaven’s sake, obey!

You intend to be all I want you to be—tomorrow. You hope to be braver and kinder—tomorrow. But if you do not get on the move, you will disappear from the scene, with nothing left when your living is through but a mountain of things you intended to do—tomorrow. You will not pass this way again. I only give you one life. Be decisive in good deeds, so you can cross eternity’s threshold without outdated to-do lists.

Do things right—own up to sins, repent of ignoble purposes, and begin today to live rightly.

Do the right things—review your activities and cull the good that is distracting you from the best. Plan your work.

Do the right things right away—keep in mind life is not a dress rehearsal. You are on the eve of victory. Do not lie down to rest on plains of hesitation, or you may die there! Waiting for perfect conditions accomplishes zero. Work your plan.

I made this workday for a reason. You can get some rest after sunset—get to work!

Time is ticking away …

Pastor Johnny R. Almond

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

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 09:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 22 2017

Lifetime Commitment

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. I will die where you die and will be buried there. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”

RUTH 1:16, 17 NLT

Undying love is rare. Most people turn back from commitment in favor of convenience, forsaking commitment to enjoy personal comfort. Orpah returned to her people and gods, but Ruth stayed close to her mother-in-law and was determined to accompany her. She extended her trust in and love for Naomi to trust in and love for Me.

“Until death do us part” determination is hard to find. Marriages dissolve because of petty arguments, me-first demands, or sexual unfaithfulness. Few marriages go the lifetime distance. Promises are made only to be broken far short of the sworn goal. People do not always mean what they say. Minds change because hearts are not committed.

Ruth’s words paint a picture of how to make marriage last—traveling the same route, not going separate ways emotionally; living in the same residence, not separating a while to think things through; interacting with each other’s relatives, not snubbing those you do not like; worshiping the same God, not kneeling at different altars.

Know where your spouse is going. Pay close attention to the emotional and spiritual journey of the one you love most in the world. Demonstrate your love by listening. Cultivate meaningful relationships with your spouse’s relatives. Do not ignore or write them off—get to know them and enjoy their friendship. Pray with your spouse. Share your deepest desires with the one I gave you to be your partner for life.

Seek My blessing on your marriage. Depend on My Presence to enable you to keep your wedding vows. As long as you breathe, be faithful to your loving and wonderful spouse. Be grateful for the one I sent your way. Count your companion a blessing from the skies—see the touch of heaven in your mate’s eyes. You have given your heart—make sure it is forever.

You and I are inseparable. Death cannot kill My love for My bride. The Bridegroom has gracefully embraced you and will never let you go. Be true to Me until your last breath, and I will be true to you even after that.

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 10:12 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 16 2017

Idolatry and Irritability

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

“You took the gods I made, and my priest, and went away. What else do I have?

How can you say, What’s the matter with you?”

Judges 18:24 NIV

Micah’s mistake—crafting idols and designing his private religion—sadly echoes in your life if you congratulate yourself on being self-made and worship your creator! Without his idols and priest, Micah had nothing. Self-exaltation forms a spiritual vacuum.

I am the Creator and Manager of heaven and earth. I made you—not the other way around! I warn you of idolatry’s idiocy so that you will not get sick with Micah’s madness. Fools manufacture their own worthless gods. Blockheads worship blocks of wood. Deluded fools feed on ashes and trust inanimate objects that are no help. Thinking happiness comes through tangible possessions, people make things into gods.

Idol makers are destined for disgrace—true worshipers are destined for glory. Praying to gods who cannot save, idolaters waste time and injure eternity. Seeking My face, believers find significance in time and invest in eternity. Trusting My Son, you anticipate a delightful destiny beyond the threshold separating pain and paradise.

If all your idols—money, prestige, success, possessions, career—were taken away, what would remain? An empty shell? Depend on Me, and you can be sure I would still be there, even if all things were removed. Even without everything else, I would be more than enough. Without Me, you would always be in want. In Me alone do you have everything you need. Christ is your Defining Center of Gravity.

Rely on so-called gods, and their disappearance will make you irritable. Dethrone your dearest idol from the throne of your heart. Irritability will change to serenity if you stay as close to Me as a branch to a vine.

Let Me be your High Preeminence—the Heartbeat of your life. Stay away from all false gods of the heart, all rivals for My affection, all clever and cheap counterfeits. Avoid idolatry!

Let Me be your Holy Purpose—use all you own to honor Me. Give freely to communicate your faith to a watching world. Avoid insanity!

Let Me be your Helpful Priest—merciful in your transgressions, and mighty in your struggles with temptation. Avoid insecurity!

Let Me be your Happy Peace—enjoy the sweet blessing of genuine contentment, wanting nothing more. Avoid irritability!

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 09:08 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 08 2017

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Olympic Faith

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me one more time...” Judges 16:28 NLT

You frequently pay Me lip service, but your heart is not always in the words. Your religious motions are sometimes steel-cold and robotic. Compulsively ritualistic, you are sometimes careless in relationships. Attempting holiness, you neglect honesty. Philosophizing about faith, you practice faithlessness. It may hurt you to admit it, but in some ways you forget Me. But I never forget you. I have been unfailingly faithful to you day after day. My covenant love never cools. Even now—if you earnestly pray and seek My face, I will be attentive to you and give you a fresh start.

The secret of Samson’s legendary power was his vow of strict separation from evil and dedication of all the forces of his nature to Me. When he abrogated his vow, he became a helpless weakling. Though foolish because of his demoralizing love affairs, he demonstrated faith in Me, and so I hung his portrait in My hall of heroes. When he returned to Me, I reenergized him to perform superhuman feats. Desperate humility brought the house down!

I am the Secret of moral strength. Godless, you are weak. Connected by faith to Me, you are strong. Help does not come from the mountains, but from the Mountain-Maker—the Architect and Builder of heaven and earth. I direct traffic patterns of galaxies, orchestrate life, and assist you. Invisible hands keep Earth in proper orbit in its annual trip around the sun—I hold you together through every year of your life.

You can resist temptation and survive any situation by an infusion of My power. My might at work in your inner being accomplishes infinitely more than you dare pray or dream. Reinforced by My strength, you are ready for anything that life brings! Day by day, hour by hour, heartbeat by heartbeat—I keep you strong. Never forget you need Me. Lean on My everlasting arms, and I will give you response-ability for responsibility. Do not wish for easier circumstances; pray for stronger character.

The route back to vitality is profoundly simple—pray and believe. Link to the Ultimate Power Source and regain strength to soar like a majestic eagle above earth’s worries on wings of trust and obedience. Make the international athletic motto—“Swifter, Higher, Stronger”—yours. Run swifter than the tempter. Fly higher than the temporal. Walk stronger than the timid. Exercise Olympic faith!

Johnny R. Almond

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

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity--ScripturePersonalized.com/

devotional based on day 129 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 10:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 02 2017

Caging the Lion

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

At that moment the Spirit of the LORD powerfully took control of him,

and he ripped the lion’s jaws apart with his bare hands.

Judges 14:6  NLT

Eyelids getting heavy? Do not let Satan catch you napping! Your fiercest opponent is a roaring lion in search of a victim to shred. You are subject to hellacious attack, so you need My wisdom to alert you to his trickery and enable you to survive in the jungle of temptations. There is no way in human strength to cage the formidable lion. Satan will tear you limb from limb, unless you deal with him using supernatural resources. Only in My power can you take your archenemy by the scruff of the neck and be rid of him. Only by My strength can you survive his strategies. Empty-handed, grasping no earthly weapon, you can conquer the Devil—if you are brave-hearted, wielding invisible weapons retrieved from the Holy Spirit’s arsenal.

I am stronger than the tempting lion. When I control you, you enjoy spiritual victory. Hoisting the faith shield, extinguish flaming arrows of allurement he hurls through the night. If you give an inch morally, the Devil will take a mile of your character. Surrendering to temptation does not extinguish it; it only stokes the flames. Do not yield to the evil one—resist! Say no and he will go!

The lion of hell is a ravenous beast determined to ruin you. The Lion of the tribe of Judah is determined to resurrect you.

Look forward to the day of eternal ecstasy when My salvation, power, kingdom, and authority will at last be openly unveiled to the universe—and the accuser will be imprisoned in the Abyss in irremediable defeat. Throw a party celebrating inevitable victory over public enemy number one! Worship the Shepherd crucified as a Lamb, soon to be crowned King.

In the meantime, when the lion roars in accusing tones, Jesus is your Defense Counsel who pleads your case at heaven’s throne. Even if your conscience still condemns you, I know you trust Me—let My love set your heart at rest. Until you see Me face to face, depend on My Holy Spirit’s power to triumph over sin. Reverse evil and live! Vitality will be stronger than a lion. Victory will be sweeter than honey.

You are dust—I am Spirit. You are mortal—I am eternal. You are frail—I am omnipotent. You are foolish—I am omniscient. You are limited—I am omnipresent. You are vulnerable—I am invincible.

Is it not about time you donned My armor and started winning more of life’s battles?!

Johnny R. Almond

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

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity--ScripturePersonalized.com/

Devotional based on day 128 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 11:18 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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