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Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
 Pastor's Blog 
Monday, October 30 2023

“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees!  Frauds! 

You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun, 

     while the insides are maggoty with greed and gluttony.  Stupid Pharisee!

Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.

You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright,

    but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh.

                                People look and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.”

                                                      Matthew 23:25-28 THE MESSAGE

I’m giving you fair warning—heaven’s judgment fell on first-century pretenders,

     and it still falls on the heads of all who repeat their folly.

Pride always receives My severe condemnation.

     Religion means nothing to Me—relationship means everything.

     My Son put an end to religion, making heartless ceremonies obsolete. 

     Status nauseates me—servanthood receives My smile. 

     Payola piety turns My stomach—sincere worship melts My heart.

     Sermons without words are what I’m looking for, not hollow lectures.

     Fall to your knees because of your sin, then you can get to your feet again.

     I am your Teacher—sit at My feet as a humble student.

     Learn My lessons before you presume to teach others how to live.

Pretense always meets My heavy disapproval. 

     Pharisees practiced payola piety, trying to win human approval.

     They got what they wanted, nothing more—they were paid in full.

     They learned verses in their head, but did not know Me in their heart.

     They loved the attention of the masses, but did not love the Master.

     They acted spiritual to cover up their evil, but hid nothing from Me.

     They painted a veneer over their sin, but changed nothing inside. 

     Do better than the play-actors—take off your mask and avoid theatrics. 

     I am your Leader—stay near My heart and walk in My steps.

     Get real with Me before you attempt to lead people.

Superficiality always merits My intense judgment.

     Peripheral issues detract from nobler matters—equity, kindness, fidelity. 

     Looking good is no substitute for being good.

     I see right through you—you can’t fool Me for a minute.

     Reputation is what others think of you—character is what I know you are.

     Externalities may impress people and gain you wide recognition;

          but what pleases Me is a clean, wise, joyful, loving, obedient heart. 

     Keeping up appearances, with a heart rotten to the core, angers Me.

     I am your Savior—be pure inside and your public persona will be authentic.

     Be right on the inside before you try to influence the world.

     Be a fake, and you’re sure to receive My harsh censure.

     Be My authentic follower, and you’re certain to receive My commendation.


  © By Pastor Johnny R. Almond                         Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Monday, October 23 2023

The Horrors of War

A Thought for Today by Pastor Johnny Almond

You will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic.

Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.

Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

Matthew 24:6-7a NLT


     Hamas’ attack on Israel October 7th killed over a thousand people. Israel’s response of a daily barrage of missiles into Gaza has reduced buildings to rubble and killed over four thousand people. Iran is using proxies to fire drones and missiles toward Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu says if Hezbollah launches a war against Israel and invades, “it will make the mistake of its life.” Terrorists are targeting American forces stationed in the Middle East. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the United States is ready to get involved in the Israel-Hamas war if “a line is crossed.”


     Images of the effects of war are heartbreaking—widespread carnage; innocents, many children, killed; apartments, homes and hospitals razed; mourners grieving loss of family and friends. Martin Luther wrote “Cannons and fire-arms are cruel and damnable machines. I believe them to have been the direct suggestion of the Devil. If Adam had seen in a vision the horrible instruments his children were to invent, he would have died of grief.”


     In Ukraine and on other battlefields today death is rampant. Human history is tarnished by the blight of combat. Benjamin Franklin said “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” Deep in our heart we know that our world cannot be patched up, that shuttle diplomacy only brokers a temporary truce. Leaders try their best to end chaos of unsettled nations, but calm is perpetually elusive. Romano Guardini, Catholic priest, wrote: “After we have done our utmost to defeat war, the realization breaks through that only God can truly do something about it. And the longing swells for the coming of that which not only can turn all things to the good, but also leads into the new: the end of time, which is the breakthrough of the eternal.”


     “After that the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after abolishing every ruler and all government and power. He must be King until He puts all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be subdued is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-26 MLB) The King of kings alone can obliterate war (Revelation 19:11). Finally swords will be hammered into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, and “nation no longer fight against nation nor train for war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4) The Prince of peace promises to come very soon (Revelation 22:20). God speed the day!



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Monday, October 16 2023


                             You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.
                                                        This is the first and greatest commandment. 
A second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself”
                                                                           Matthew 22:37-39 NLT

You need to get over and beyond yourself—

     self-love shrivels your soul and detracts from allegiance to your King.

Falling in love with yourself leads to a fall and a difficult recovery.

Falling in love with Me leads to fruitfulness and a delightful relationship.


If you doubt that I really love you, remember what I have done for you.

     God became a man; the Creator became your Savior;

     the King of kings became a slave; the Shepherd became a Lamb.

If you ponder My unfailing love, you will love Me with all you are.


Love the King of hearts with all the passion of your innermost being.

Avoid false gods of the heart—allow Me to completely captivate you.

I have made your heart My home—permit Me access to all the rooms.

Love the Lord of all with your entire personality and conscious life.

Make living for your King your number one goal and noblest purpose.

Take a heavenly perspective—do not obsess over transient matters.

Love the Master of wisdom with all your intelligence and thoughts.

You are not what you think you are; but what you think, you are.

Do not misuse your mind—do not dwell on thoughts that dishonor Me.

Love the Manager of the Universe with all your strength and energy.

Your body is a temple of My Holy Spirit—keep it clean and strong.

Love Me wholeheartedly—never get over your love for Me.

Love others like you do yourself—care about someone other than you. 

Start with your family—they are heaven’s gift to solve loneliness. 

Have a heart—neighborliness is nicer than narcissism.

I am love—I proved it by sending Jesus to the world to die for sinners.

Do you love Me? Prove it by giving Me your entire heart and soul.


© by Pastor Johnny R. Almond                

Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Tuesday, October 10 2023



     When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us:
      love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

                                          Galatians 5:22-23 NLT


Sacrificial love results when serious disciples set out to walk in My steps.
    A compassionate life toward others is the way Jesus lived on earth.
    Why be content with merely going around? Go around doing good.


Invulnerable joy results when believing souls draw near My heart.
     A cheerful life is the surest sign of My presence with you.
     Why be satisfied with cheap thrills? Celebrate My inexpressible joy.


Incomprehensible peace results when desperate people kneel before Me.
    A calm life is the consequence of letting God do what you cannot.
    Why wring your hands in panic? Fold them in prayer.


Enduring patience results when trusting hearts believe My promises.
     A courteous life keeps your light shining when you have blown a fuse.
     Why rush like it all depends on you? Resign from My job and relax.


Empathetic kindness results from getting in synch with My Spirit.
    A cordial life reflects your humble gratitude for My love for you.
    Why run people down? They have battles to fight, just like you.


Lavish generosity results from sharing My resources with the needy.
     A charitable life is what I expect of all who receive My care.
     Why be stingy? The more you give, the more you are blessed.


Tenacious faithfulness results from focusing on My cross.
     A consistent life is possible if you will rely on My reinforcing grace.
     Why quit? I never give up on you—do not ever give up on Me.


Christlike gentleness results from accepting My invitation.
     A considerate life is the hallmark of those who serve Me.
     Why be harsh with others? I treat you with tenderness, so pass it on.


Supernatural self-control results from yielding to My Holy Spirit.
     A controlled life is only possible if I am in the driver’s seat.
     Why crash and burn? Surrender to My guidance—get safely home.

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond             Day 343, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Monday, October 02 2023


                                                            God gave the people all these instructions.
                                                                         Exodus 20:1 NLT


    Live joyfully by trusting Me. Do not worship in pragmatism’s pantheon, adding Me to your list of material preoccupations. Bowing to earth’s no-gods disappoints. I am the Only Absolutely Reliable Spot in the universe.

     Live wisely by worshiping Me. I brook absolutely no rivals. Allegiance to the Sovereign God is indivisible. First place belongs only to Me. Keep away from false gods of the heart.


     Live humbly by lovingly speaking My Name. Do not misuse My Name. I am not amused by the flippant phrase “Oh my God.” Irreverent voices thoughtlessly toss My Name around in curse or jest, but I am your God. 


     Live healthfully by recreating your zest for living. Creation took six days, then I rested. So why do you think you do not have time for re-creation? Take a one-day vacation every week. Get out of fast-forward mode—push the pause button. Take a deep breath every Saturday morning, then you can breathe easy all day.    


       Live fully by honoring your parents. Respect your father and mother. 

     Live harmoniously by deleting sarcasm from your vocabulary. Do not kill with angry looks. Do not murder with verbal arrows.    

     Live purely by running from all sexual temptation. Avoid mental adultery. Evil fantasies will weaken your character.   

     Live honorably by refusing to steal. Be honest at all costs. Thievery takes what belongs to another; it also robs you of self-esteem.  

     Live kindly by squelching gossip. Never tell lies. Do not let your tongue idle while your mind is still in neutral. Hearsay always wrecks the neighborhood. 

     Live contentedly by humble gratitude. Learn to be satisfied with what I give you, and be genuinely rich. 

     I have never revised My publication on relationships. I write commandments, not suggestions. Breaking My rules breaks you. Compliance fosters tranquility between us and between you and others.  


     When you cannot seem to get life together, try following My directions.


© by Pastor Johnny R. Almond                                                                                                           

Day 49, Gentle Whispers from Eternity


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