Johnny R. Almond's Posts (337)

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The Last Word

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  See, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me,

            to repay all according to their deeds.

               I am the Alpha and the Omega,

   the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 

                       Revelation 22:12, 13 NLT

 

 

 

 

I am the Omega, the Last—the Immortal, Ever-present, Unchanging God.

My Kingdom is coming—sin’s night will not restrain salvation’s dawn.

My promises will materialize—heaven’s perfect peace will last forever.

I will write the end of earth’s story and the beginning of eternity’s—

     a never-ending story of unimaginable love.

Until then, Light beyond light illumines the winding road home.

 



Omniscient—My truth outweighs the trivial.

     I am the Counselor, wisely guiding you through life’s perplexing maze.    

     Exercise uncommon sense to trust Me, and I will teach you how to live.

     I reward humility with the incomparable perfection of My counsel.

 



Merciful—My tenderness out-loves the transgression.

     I am the Wonderful One, helping you persevere in moral struggles.

     My grace helps you succeed; My mercy helps you recover from defeat.

     I reward repentance with the infinite pardon of My compassion.

 



Eternal—My tomorrow outlasts the temporary.

     I am the Everlasting Father, stabilizing you in life’s changing situations.   

     Focus on the Bright Morning Star—you’ll see My face when night is over.

     I reward hope with the inevitable promise of My coming.

 



Gracious—My tranquility outshines the turmoil.

     I am the Prince of Peace, quieting you in the chaos of life’s trouble.

     Do not wring your hands—fold them in prayer and I will care for you.

     I reward prayer with the incomprehensible peace of my calm.

 



Almighty—My triumph outdoes the trembling.

     I am the Mighty God, energizing you for battles with the evil one.

     I reward trust with the inspiring pleasure of My company.

     I spoke the first word—and darkness was dispelled by light.

     I will have the last word—and guilt will be conquered by grace.

 

                                 

                           © Pastor Johnny R. Almond

                  Day 366, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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The Way to the Truth of Life

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                       I am the way, the truth, and the life.

          No one can come to the Father except through me.

                                     John 14:6 NLT

  

 

 

Sallman Head of Christ 

 

 

 

 

I am the only Road that leads to the destination of glory.

     Convicted of sin, do a repentant U-turn and travel the King’s Highway.     

     Challenged by righteousness, set out to be like your Sinless Savior.

     Convinced of judgment, make a conscious effort to prepare yourself.

     My death on the cross paved the highway to the Father’s future.

     My blood on your soul marks you as a child of God He will not disown.      

     Follow the Way—and be confident of reaching heaven.

 

I am the only Reality that defines goodness.

     Lied to by the dark prince, turn a deaf ear to his brainwashing.

     Led by the Spirit of truth, listen well and learn life’s greatest lessons.

     Loved by the One knowing you best, stay near and enjoy My company.

     My light liberates you to sing for joy in the Father’s freedom.

     My Spirit in your mind teaches you truth you would not learn otherwise.

     Learn the Truth—and be changed for good from the inside out.

 

I am the only Redeemer who distributes grace.

     Attacked by the evil one, do not forget that he is a hateful killjoy.

     Attracted by the Holy Spirit, surrender and know life in all its fullness.

     Approved by the Father, revel in His love and rest assured of heaven.

     My promise guarantees the bright tomorrow of the Father’s festival.

     My melody in your heart instructs you in faith’s dance of joy.

     Celebrate the Life—and be cheerful in all circumstances.

 

I am the Way to the Truth of Life.

     Your search for heaven, significance, and vitality ends in My heart.

 

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© Pastor Johnny R. Almond

Day 323, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Wearing God's Name

In Antioch the disciples were first given the name of “Christians.”

                                Acts 10:26 NTME

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Wear My Name humbly.

     You did not choose Me—I chose to charm you to My heart.

     Stay out of dark, dingy places—walk as a child of the Light.

     Remember who you belong to—conduct yourself as one of Christ’s.

 

 

 

Wear My Name freely.

     I save you from evil’s power, removing hellacious handcuffs—rejoice.

     Let My Holy Spirit cascade through your inner being—dance for joy.

     You are My subject in time and eternity—live royally, like your King.

 


Wear My Name confidently.

     By faith you will reach the tearless, painless, deathless, sinless place.

     Trust Me, and rest assured My promises will all come true.

     You are named for One who is Truth—never doubt My Word.

 


Wear My Name honorably.

     Do not try to get your name up in lights—I am the Light of the world.

     You are part of My kingdom of priests—heaven’s nobility on earth.

     You are My ambassador to the world—represent Me well.

 


Wear My Name joyfully.

     Satan destroys influence, kills joy, and steals enthusiasm—watch out.

     My Presence comforts, guides, instructs, and defends you—be glad.

     A frown is a poor advertisement for Christianity—whistle in the dark.

 


Wear My Name comfortably.

     I direct traffic patterns of constellations—I also orchestrate your life.

     I hold the universe together—and I understand and stand under you.

     I cheer your soul when you are down—remember you are Mine and relax.

 


Wear My Name optimistically.

     Mention of My Name will bring the universe to its knees—count on it.

     My promises brighten the future—march forward with head held high.

     Because You wear My Name, I remember yours—look forward to glory.
 

  

                                        © Pastor Johnny R. Almond                               
                            Day 328, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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The Refreshing Christ

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They washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.

They stand in front of the throne of God, serving him day and night in his Temple.

He who sits on the throne will live among them and shelter them.

They will never again be hungry or thirsty.

The Lamb who stands in front of the throne will be their Shepherd.    

He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.

God will wipe away all their tears.

                                                                                                    Revelation 7:14-17 NLT

 

 

Christ’s deliverance refreshes our soul.

Guilt can only be removed by the blood of the innocent Lamb.

When our heart is purified, we can have a spring in our step again.

God’s pardon makes us holy.

Jesus is our salvation—performing the miracle of complete forgiveness.

 

Christ’s dynamic refreshes our strength.

Falling to our knees, He helps us get on our feet again so we can        

     soar above mediocrity, outrun evil, and continue beyond faintheartedness. 

God’s power is our help.

Jesus is our strength—blessing our mission with capable fulfillment.

 

Christ’s defense refreshes our serenity.

Sealed by the Holy Spirit, we’re marked as belonging to God’s family forever.

Surrounded by his love, we enjoy safe refuge in life’s storms.

God’s peace is our hiding place.

Jesus is our shelter—granting us mercy in faith’s comforting fortress.

 

Christ’s delight refreshes our song.

Satan is a kill-joy, a spoiler of reputation, and a thief after our enthusiasm.

God’s love is a deeper well, God’s life better water, God’s laughter higher joy.

God’s pleasure is our happiness.

Jesus is our satisfaction—inspiring music in our soul like a cascading fountain.

 

Christ’s direction refreshes our search.

He walks before us into tomorrow—right beside us, every step of the journey. 

God’s Providence is our hope. 

Jesus is our Shepherd—leading us to the bright mystery of the celestial future.

 

Christ’s destiny refreshes our struggle.

Tears of regret will be over when we’re totally redeemed—sins all forgiven.

Tears of pain will be over when we’re finally relieved—suffering forever gone.

Tears of bereavement will be over when death dies—shadows of grief history.

God’s Presence is our heartbeat.

Jesus’ smile will reward us when we meet him in face-to-face celebration.

  

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 © Pastor Johnny R. Almond

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The Revealing Christ

 

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                                           Warner Sallman  Head of Christ  

 

                                     This is a revelation of Jesus Christ.

                                When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.

                                  He laid his right hand on me and said,

                              “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last.

            I am the living one who died. Look, I am alive forever and ever!

                                And I hold the keys of death and the grave.”

                                         Revelation 1:1, 17, 18 NLT                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


Envision the Almighty—able to do anything He pleases, unrivaled in power.

Ponder the Holy One—unable to do anything wrong, untarnished in purity.

Revere the just God—sure to make everything right, unstoppable in plan.

Picture the loving God—dying for all on a cross, unmatched in passion.

 

God’s wisdom is beyond our ability to decipher—infinitely profound.

God’s awareness of us is beyond our comprehension—intimately personal. 

God’s message of ultimate truth is beyond our intellect—infallibly perfect.

God’s heart of mercy is beyond our vilest transgression—incredibly poignant. 

 

Jesus Christ is God’s Holy Alphabet—A to Z, First to Last, all God has to say to us.

Eons ago, He spoke the first word and radiant light dispelled sin’s darkness.

At the end of time, He will have the last word and eternal life will conquer death.

 

God is the only One in the cosmos who will always be who He has always been.

Generations have made God’s heart their Home, and God made their hearts his.   

Before Jesus sculpted mountains or whispered stars into being, He cared for us.

Before we were born, He knew our name and drew the blueprint of our life.

He loves us today no less than He did yesterday—His love for us will never fail. 

 

Standing in awe of Jesus, we never lose the wonder of who He is.

     When we come to Christ, we find purpose for our life.

          But first, we must get over our self.

                Falling on our knees, we discover meaning. 

 

Paying attention to God’s’ Word, we put our hand over your mouth and listen.

     When we come to Christ, we learn timeless truths.

          But first, we must understand we can’t figure everything out alone.

                Hushing, we get to know God.

 

Adoring Christ, we do more than meditate; we worship him with all our being.

     When we come to Christ, we experience joy too wonderful for words.

          But first, we must become dissatisfied with the world’s empty promises.

                Following his orders, we really come alive.   

 

Giving Jesus undivided allegiance, we surrender our will to the King of hearts.

     When we come to Christ, we find rest.

          But first, we must become restless in our spirit and desperate for him. 

                Falling at his feet, He makes himself real to us.   

 

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     © Pastor Johnny R. Almond

    Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Rest Assured

 Rest Assured

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                 Were not our hearts greatly moved and burning within us
while He was talking with us on the road as He opened and explained to us
                                 the sense of the Scriptures?

                          Luke 24:32 THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE


Saddened by emptiness?
     Obey Me, and I will make Myself real to you.
     Trade a long face for a smile—be a good advertisement for the gospel.
     I am your Source of Music—sing out for the entire world to hear.

Entombed by loneliness?
     You are never alone—I walk alongside you on every road you travel.
     When perplexing cares crowd your heart, I console and cheer you.
     I am your Greatest Friend—you have not lost Me, so dance for joy.

Afraid of death?
     Hear My reassuring voice and overcome Satan-coaxed anxiety.
     Death Valley terror disappears as you realize shadows mean Light.
     I am your Life—I will defeat all enemies, so count on ultimate victory.

Losing hope?
     Open the eyes of your heart and envision My promised bright future.
     Wait patiently for My new world to materialize—be brave-hearted.
     I am your Center of Gravity—hide in Me and unflinchingly trust.

Perplexed by despair?
     Guilt, death, hopelessness, angst, and gloom burden your heart.
     Grace, vitality, hope, faith, mercy, and freedom bless your heart.
     I am your Redeemer—hang on for dear life—all is well.

Walk life’s road with Me—and I will change dejection to delight,
     skepticism to optimism, despair to hope, restlessness to tranquility,
     depression to ecstasy, self-pity to praise, and doubt to worship.
     I am your God—rest assured. 

                                      

                                   (c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
                          Day 319, Gentle Whispers from Eternity 

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Victory Parade

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Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey.
Most of the crowd spread their coats on the road ahead of Jesus,
and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
He was in the center of the procession, and the crowd all around him were shouting,
“Praise God for the Son of David! Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD!
Praise God in highest heaven!” The entire city of Jerusalem was stirred as he entered.

Matthew 21:5, 8-10
 

We walk prayerfully on the parade route God has mapped out for us.
     Jesus is the Way to the Truth of Life—free, real, rich, full, eternal life.
     The evil one would steal enthusiasm, kill joy, and destroy influence—
          Christ yearns to guide us to a genuinely significant and fulfilling life.
     The Humble King practiced downward mobility to save us.
          Walking in His steps, we have His frame of mind and serve others.
     We are a beautiful work of art God envisioned long before our birth—
          yielding to Spirit brushstrokes on the canvas of our circumstances,
          we are displayed for angels and saints to admire in heaven’s gallery.

We dance joyfully with praise that lasts—celebrating blessings God gives.
     To avoid a fickle heart, we do not call Jesus king one day and desert Him the next.
     To keep our Savior in the center of our life’s procession, we bow to nothing else.
     We are privileged to give our Most Honored Guest a royal welcome every sunrise.
     If we would keep joy alive in our heart every mile of the journey,
          we must not let cheap thrills compete with the ecstasy of His Presence.
     No matter how rough the road, we can always find reasons for thanks.

We march in Christ's triumphal procession leading to a promised bright future.
     Jesus is our Personal Friend, never letting us down or running away.
     He is our Pardoning Savior, forgiving our sins and setting us free.
     He is the Powerful God, helping us accomplish all He asks of us.
     He is the Perfect Lamb, redeeming us from sin’s penalty and power.
     He is the Drumbeat of hope, fighting for us until the battle’s over.
     He is Alpha and Omega, speaking the first word and having the last.
     He is the Prophesied Messiah, winning the last war and defeating evil.
     One day we will wave palm branches along golden streets—
          until then, we can celebrate victories He gives on the roads we travel today.
 

                                                

                                          (c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond 
                                  Day 310, Gentle Whispers from Eternity 

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A Bottom-line Question

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                      Then he asked them, “Who do you say I am?”

  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

                                       MATTHEW 16:15-16






Opinion polls reveal that from the world’s viewpoint the jury is still out.
     But what about you? Who do you say I am?

Do you confess I am your Savior?
     Then leave your eternal destiny in the hands of the King of Love.
          Trust Me to forgive your sins—I will save you from hell, sin’s penalty.
     Then lean on Me to experience victory over sin’s addictive power.
          Do not depend on your own imagined virtue to conquer temptation.
     Then look forward to total redemption—freedom from sin’s presence.
          Do not be shaped by your guilty past—be shaped by My glorious future.

Do you claim I am your Sovereign?
     Then advance My kingdom, and do not just try to build your own.
          Give Me the wheel—if I am not in the driver’s seat, you will crash.
     Then promote My cause—do not be preoccupied with your interests.
          Copy Christ’s example of downward mobility—the way up is down.
     Then build your life on Solid Rock, not on the quicksand of selfishness.
          Stand on the Gibraltar of My government, not the fault line of your ego.

Do you testify I am your God?
     
Then worship Me with your emotions, personality, intellect, and energy.
     Then revel in My mercy and unfailing love.
          Be glad I do not treat you as you deserve—or you would not survive.
     Then struggle to live a radically holy life.
          If you claim you know Me, I expect you to live in a Christlike way.

Do you say I am your Master?
     
Then put aside selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and walk in My steps.

                       
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          (c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond

   Day 309, Gentle Whispers from Eternity 

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Heart-to-heart

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                                           Warner Sallman  Head of Christ 


                                      Come to me … and I will give you rest.
                                                  Matthew 11:28 NLT


Consider this your personal invitation from the King of hearts—
     written in blood, dispatched from grace, stained by tears, signed with love.

Come to Me—not human resources, sinful pleasures, or popular opinions.
     Surrender to Me and experience the best conquest of all—a conquered heart.

Come to Me—not obsessive-compulsive rituals, not pious-theatrical religion.
     Yield to Me and experience an uncommon miracle—a calm heart.

Come to Me--not false gods of the heart—ego, money, status, possessions.
     Augustine was right—your heart will be restless until you rest in Me.
     I hide wisdom from sophisticated smart-alecks—I reveal it to trusting children.
     Worship Me and I will be real to you and give you true riches—a contented heart.

Come to Me—not imagined self-sufficiency; you are made of dust, not steel.
     My peace is an extraordinary out-of-your-world gift—receive it—relax.
     Depend on Me and I will help you succeed and give you more—a confident heart.

Come to Me—and learn how to live—
     Purposefully—not trudging and toiling; yoked to Jesus, patiently productive.
     Peacefully—trading hectivity for My home, giving up madness for My mastery.
     Calmly—bravely riding out storms on life’s sea, relaxing in faith’s quiet zone.
     Meekly—traveling the only road that leads you to Me—humility.
     Easily—keeping My commands, which does not chafe like Satan’s bondage.
     Gently—not stepping on those who are down, not quenching hopes of the sad.
     Lightheartedly—letting Me carry your burdens for you, so you can travel light.
     Learn My lessons well—advance toward My dream for you—a Christlike heart.

Come to Me—you are invited to nestle near My heart; here is how—
     Exchange your yoke of self-imposed stress for My yoke of sustained repose.
     Drop your overburdening cares, and delight in My overshadowing concern.
     Step off your unrealistic schedule treadmill, and rest in My gentle way.
     RSVP yes to heaven’s invitation and find the secret of peace—a consecrated heart. 

                                                    

                                               (c)  Pastor Johnny R. Almond 
                                        Day 308, Gentle Whispers from Eternity 

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A Prayer for Life

 

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         With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
              Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right.
      Do what’s best – as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you, forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
       You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty!
                                                    Yes. Yes. Yes.

                                   Matthew 6:8-13  THE MESSAGE

Be reverent—remember who you are talking with.
     Speak life’s most glorious and awesome Name with respect and awe.
     Everything Jesus did was to honor his Father—we should do the same.


Be hopeful—look forward to the new heaven our Father will establish.
     Listen for the trumpet sound—the first notes of the prelude to peace.
     Do not despair over current events—believe in God’s bright tomorrow.

Be submissive—do not focus exclusively on getting your way.
     We do not resign to fate when we place our self in our Father’s hands.
     Demonstrate your faith that God is in control and knows what is best.


Be dependent—trust your Heavenly Father to care for your earthly needs.
     Hunger for God above all else, and He will never let you starve.
    Thirst for God over all, and His joy will cascade through your inner being.

Be repentant—turn from sin and turn to your Savior for a new direction.
     Self-sacrifice cannot atone for wrongdoing—cross pain paid the high price.   
     Forgiven, forgive others—God does not hold grudges; neither should we.


Be holy
—struggle against evil and make a conscious effort to be like Jesus.
     Pray around the clock that you will not be tricked into sin by the evil one.
     Never compromise God-given convictions—aim for Christlikeness.

Be worshipful—keep God at the center and circumference of your life.
     Advance His Kingdom, not your own.
     Rely on His power, not your own.
     Seek His glory, not your own.

 
Be confident—say Amen, so be it, make it so, God; rest assured He will.
     The future is as bright as God’s promises—He will keep every one.
     Until His Kingdom dawns, pray as you go—you will always be glad you did.

 

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© Pastor Johnny R. Almond
Day 307, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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To Beat the Devil

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Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted there by the Devil. 
                                                         Matthew 4:1 NLT


Satan’s favorite time to attack is immediately after high points.
     Jesus felt the Holy Spirit Dove resting on His shoulder.
     He heard his Father's voice expressing love and commendation—
          and then He was fiercely assaulted by the Devil.
     The evil one carefully decides times for his attacks—so be on guard!

The Holy Spirit may lead us into the wilderness of difficulty.
     Jesus was not tempted at the magnificent Temple or scenic Jordan,
          but when He was exhausted and hungry—thus susceptible.
     When we are under pressure, facing crucial decisions, or anxious—
          when we are hungry, aggravated, lonely, tired—HALT!

The tempter is a real being—not an imaginary concept.
     The Devil who tempted Adam and Eve in Eden also tempted Jesus.
     Satan is not merely a symbol of evil—Satan is prince of the dark side.
     More than an idea invented to explain conscience, he is the evil one.

Temptation itself is not sinful.
     
Jesus, Holy Son of God, was the prime target for the Devil’s temptations.
     The more we try to be holy, the more the unholy one will try to trip us up.
     We may feel dirty after hearing the evil suggestions of the world’s god,
          but if we do not give in, we have not sinned against God.

The Spirit Sword can help us achieve victory over temptation.
     When Jesus was tempted to get quick gratification of physical urges,
          He quoted Scripture reminding us people need more than bread.
     When Jesus was tempted to show off and impress others,
          He quoted verses cautioning people not to try to force God's hand.
     When Jesus was tempted to strike a bargain with hell to get the world,
          He quoted Scripture's command requiring exclusive, wholehearted worship.   

The King of heaven won His battles with the tempter from hell.
     If we rely on His grace, and skillfully brandish His Word—we too can win!

                                                  

                                            (c)  Pastor Johnny R. Almond 
                                  Day 306,  Gentle Whispers from Eternity 

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The Name Above All Names

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You are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
                                         Matthew 1:21  NLT


Jesus means Joy—He saves from despair and hopelessness.
     Alexander conquered the world by force and was called great—
          Jesus captures hearts from all nations by love and is called God.
     In contrast to fleeting happiness, Immanuel gives invulnerable joy—
          His cross brings deep peace, His Presence inexpressible ecstasy.

Jesus means Everlasting Life—He saves from death and hell.
     Tutankhamen’s tomb was found treasure-filled, making him famous.
     Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty, making Him King of Eternity.
     Abundant life here and now, eternal life in the hereafter—
          a grand duet of wonder brought to light by the Dayspring from on high
          who has visited your tilted planet.


Jesus means Separation—He saves from deceit and hypocrisy.
     The clear difference between heaven and hell, Christians and worldlings,
          is made by the One who died on the middle cross.
     At the name of Caesar, millions offered incense and called him lord.
     At Jesus’ Name, the universe will fall to its knees and call Him Master.
     His Name will be forever paramount in minds of those who worship God.

Jesus means Understanding—He saves from devastation and helplessness.
     The names of famous kings and fearful kingdoms all fade into oblivion,
          but Jesus’ incomparable Name increases in glory while ages roll on.
     When we feel like we’re falling apart, Jesus holds us together—
          no one understands us, or stands under us, like He does.

Jesus means Salvation—He saves from self-destruction and homelessness.
     Charlemagne and Napoleon changed the face of the world by war—
          the King of hearts changes lives in time and eternity by His grace.
     Jesus saves believers from sin’s addictive horrors
          and makes His heart our eternal home.
     God’s dream for us—and our destiny—is that we become like His Son.
     Jesus is the most glorious and awesome Name—address Him reverently.

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         © Pastor Johnny R. Almond
Day 305, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Eternal Sunrise

 

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For you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.
              And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.

                                                     Malachi 4:2  NLT

 

Dawn of eternity will inspire a beautiful morning song.
     The celebration will never end—there will be no sunset there.
     We are saddened by sin, but we will soon join a heavenly chorus—
          a new song of joy sung by the redeemed from every nation,
          accompanied by millions of angels around the throne adoring Christ.

Dawn of God’s planned future will bring miraculous strength.
     His promises will never fail—we have his Word.
     People who love God experience daily grace sunrise in their heart.
     Warm rays of peace reinforce trusting souls to persevere in difficulties.

Dawn of full redemption will reveal a Merciful Savior.
     Heaven will never disappoint—it is not too good to be true.
     Healing is on the way—the handicapped will leap like a deer,
          the blind will see,  the deaf will hear,  the mute will shout and sing.
     No one will cry, hurt, get sick or die—evil and its effects will be gone.
     Humiliating, mortal bodies will be replaced by heavenly, immortal ones.
     Freed from sins by Jesus’ blood, we will stroll golden streets in His light.

Dawn of glory will unveil Messianic splendor.
     Christ’s magnificence will never dim—it is not too good to last.
     First light will shine forever—Light beyond light will illuminate heaven.
     Infinite sunrise will blind the rebellious, and bless the obedient.
     Holy Radiant Light will flood the new earth with beauty and grace.
     The Old Testament ends with a threatened curse—
          the New Testament ends with a promised blessing.
     The world makes us sing the blues—soon we’ll be dancing for joy.
     Trouble dogs our steps—but sunrise will be here before we know it.


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© Pastor Johnny R. Almond

Day 304,  Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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The Surprising God

 

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                                                                              Golden Sunrise 

Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion!  Shout in triumph, people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. 
         He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey--even on a donkey’s colt.
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ECHARIAH 9:9 NLT


Humility will surprise the proud.
     The Messiah’s triumphant entry surprised spectators lining the parade route.
     They dreamed of a conquering-hero lion, not a Humble-Servant Lamb.
     Heaven’s front-row seats are not reserved for earth’s big shots.

Life will surprise the materialistic.
     
Atheists expect a finale, not an encore—death will not have the last word.
     Faith and hope will be vindicated in the saints’ resurrection dance.
     Epicureans will be dazed by an afterlife they never dreamed of.

Ecstasy will surprise the doubtful.
     
The despondent will be delighted when they see the dawn—
          triumph over despair will dumbfound ones who had given up on joy.

Calamity will surprise the cynical.
     
Christ’s return will shock those who never thought it would happen.
     Skeptics will be jolted into reality by an unanticipated Wrathful Judge.

Heaven will surprise the incredulous.
     
The death of death, the burial of heartache, the destruction of pain—
          these miracles will be more than unbelievers ever thought possible.

Judgment will surprise the rebellious.
     
Doomsday will be a shock with no remedy—panic will be pointless.
     Apostates expect a lamb, not a Lion—revelation will be an eye-opener!

Victory will surprise the pessimistic.
     
The Servant King rode a donkey into old Jerusalem to die—
          the King of kings will ride a white charger into new Jerusalem to rule.
     His war to end all wars will astonish those who had given up on peace.
     Whatever happens on earth, never give up hope—your King is coming.
     Begin the celebration today—and heaven will not be a surprise party!                                          

                                     

                                   (c) Johnny R. Almond 
                      Pastor, Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
                       Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity 

 

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Mid-term Exam

10038656054?profile=RESIZE_710xMID-TERM EXAM      

Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.
                                       Haggai 1:5 MLB

Life University curriculum consists of God-designed courses.
     It is time for serious self-examination—a check-up on our progress.

Perseverance—Are we hanging in there with Jesus?
     When the fight gets fierce, do we cringe and run for cover?
     Memo from the Master—Endure cross splinters, and wear a crown.

Priorities—What is highest on our personal agenda?
     Working hard to build our kingdom?  At a standstill advancing Christ’s?
     Memo from the Master—Realign priorities, placing God over all else.

Purpose—Where are we headed?
     Do we sing “To God be the Glory” then live “great things I have done”?
     Memo from the Master—Life has no nobler purpose than Christ.

Passion—What gets us hustling?
     Are we lackadaisical, or enthused and zealous for our Savior’s cause?
     Memo from the Master—You are My ambassador, so represent Me well.

Perspective—What are we hoping for?
     More concerned with earthly things than heavenly realities?
     Memo from the Master—Let heaven be uppermost in your mind.

Purity—How is our heart?
     Is Jesus our Center of Gravity or just another line in our creed?
     Memo from the Master—Internalize and practice My Word 24/7.

Peace—Are we working for harmony?
     Are we kind and merciful to others, the way God has been to us?
     Memo from the Master—Calm life’s troubled sea by a tranquil lifestyle.

If we learn lessons well and apply them carefully, we will graduate with honor.

                                                                                                                                                                        
         
                                                                                                                                                                   © Pastor Johnny R. Almond
                                                                                                                                                          Day 302, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Jesus Saves

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The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,

that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors,

and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.

Luke 4:18-19 NLT

 

Jesus’ plan will include a new earth for the meek.

Saints are ignored by big shots now, but one day they’ll be on the front row. 

The Great Reversal will turn everything around and right side up.

Big wheels rule the world now, but God’s favorites will reign in paradise. 

When the Lord lives with the humble-hearted, crying and pain will disappear. 

When God makes his home on earth, death and evil will be forever history.

The world mistreats God’s children now, but He will save us from oppression.

 

Jesus’ peace will bring elation to the believing.

The Day of all days will make heaven’s blessings evident to the universe.

Glory will cascade ecstasy through the heart of every trusting soul.

The beauty of heaven will replace the ashes of earth’s disappointments.

The joy of Jesus’ company will transcend heartache of earth’s discouragement. 

The praise of his love will cancel loneliness of earth’s despair.

The world breaks hearts of his disciples now, but He will save us from sadness. 

 

Jesus’ Presence encourages the desperate.

Can’t get it all together?  Ready to give up the noble quest?  About to quit?

Seek his face and listen to his voice and you will find strength to go on.

Listen to God’s future melody and you can dance by faith here and now.

When perplexities crowd our heart, his consolations cheer our soul.

Just when we need him the most, He is there for us.

With Jesus on our side, we’re richer than we think—He saves us from poverty.

 

Jesus’ power extricates the shackled.

Jesus is the key to freedom—He alone can emancipate us from sin.

A lifestyle of rebellion imprisons the soul—a lifestyle of obedience frees.

Fettered in a dark cell?  Let his sunshine set you free and you’ll leap with joy.

Resolve and dogged determination only go so far—He saves us from addiction. 

 

Jesus’ promise opens the eyes of the blind.

Without seeing him, we follow him by faith—one day we’ll meet face to face.

Eyes of the heart see things as they will be, not as they are now. 

Faith is an eye-opening experience, giving confidence of ultimate victory.

Believing we’ll at last see him motivates us to purify our heart to get ready.

The world will go up in smoke, then the New Jerusalem will materialize.

Painting a mural of heaven on condemned building?  Jesus saves from despair. 

 

 

 

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© Pastor Johnny R. Almond

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The Purpose of Christ's Church

 

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There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. 

A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.

1 Corinthians 12:5, 7 NLT


 

Christ’s church exists to worship Him.

     He is glorified when his children sing his praises wholeheartedly. 

     Humbling ourselves in his Presence—

          we acknowledge that God is our Creator and Master;

          we submit to his guidance and sincerely follow his lead;

          we thank him for rich blessings He showers on us day by day;

          we honor his name in our words, thoughts, and actions.

     We exalt Christ above everything, avoiding false gods of the heart. 

 

Christ’s church is designed to provide fellowship for his family.

     No saint should declare emotional independence from other saints.

     Every member needs help from other members—no one is an island.

     Jesus’ sheep flock together—love for him unifies and cheers our hearts. 

     God blesses his people with a kaleidoscope of gifts to build each other up. 

     We encourage others, showing sincere and loving interest in them.

 

Christ’s church is a school for his students.

     Disciples have different experiences, personalities and abilities;

          but we share one common need—to grow up in faith and grace.  

     Studying God’s’ Word, we try to live by the Book in our everyday lives. 

     Walking in God’s Light, we take one step at a time in life’s journey. 

     Reflecting on God’s Law, we obey his orders and set the pace for others.

     We educate all who enroll in Jesus University—there’s a lot to learn. 

 

Christ’s church is commissioned to share the best news every announced.

     Jesus died for the world’s sins so people wouldn’t have to experience hell.

     He rose again from the grave so people could be free from fear of dying. 

     Sowing Gospel seed in tears, we celebrate the harvest in joyful triumph.   

     We evangelize the world with a sense of urgency—time is ticking away.

 

Christ’s church is called to minister to others in his name.

     Our mission field is the world—compassion for others marks his servants. 

     Heartless service is useless service—love alone makes the difference.

     Shouldering our cross in the shadows of our Master, we serve the world. 

     We love beyond stained-glass windows—Christianity is made for the road.

 
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                                           © Johnny R. Almond

                              Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

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In the Beginning

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Hubble Telescope image - March 15, 2021
 

     US and European officials have announced December 24th, 7:20 A.M. EST for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. A $10 billion successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, it is scheduled to lift-off from French Guiana. This observatory is designed to look deeper into the universe than its predecessor, detecting events occurring further back in time--more than 13.5 billion years ago. Scientists also want to use its capabilities to study atmospheres of distant planets in the hope that signs of life might be detected.

     Few have ever experienced total darkness. At the bottom of a cave, or in a basement when the power shuts off perhaps. But there's typically a faint glow coming from somewhere. Even the night sky never seems truly black, because there's usually a star or two twinkling in the distance. 

     So it’s hard to imagine a time when all that existed was darkness, when you could travel in any direction for millions of years and still see absolutely nothing. This is the story scientists tell us of the "dark ages" that gripped the universe before the first stars ignited. They intend to show us how the cosmos ultimately became filled with light. They'll do it using the biggest telescope ever placed beyond the Earth.

     The Webb telescope is on a mission to look deeper into the universe - and therefore further back in time - than even the legendary Hubble Space Telescope, which it succeeds. Equipped with a 21foot mirror and four super-sensitive instruments,
it will stare for days at a very narrow spot in the sky to detect light that’s been travelling through the immensity of space for more than 13.5 billion years.

     Scientists think there should be stars, or galaxies, or black holes maybe beginning at 100 million years after the Big Bang. There may not be many to find at that time, but the telescope can see them if they are there.
     
     Reasoning that since light travels at a finite speed in a vast and expanding cosmos, scientists say that if we keep probing deeper and deeper, we should eventually retrieve the light from the pioneer stars as they group together into the first galaxies.

    This massive telescope must get past 344 hurdles to do what it’s designed to do—deploying a solar panel and radio antenna minutes after launch, opening wings of the primary mirror, unfurling a tennis court-sized shield to keep it cool and protect its vision from the glare of the sun. 

    Webb is complicated.  According to BBC, key hardware includes 140 release mechanisms, 70 hinge assemblies, eight deployment motors, 400 pulleys and 90 cables totaling 1,312ft. 

    Why go to all this trouble?  Why spend 10 years conceiving and another twenty years building a $10 billion machine to detect some faint, red blobs in the sky? Perhaps it is in search of an answer to the most fundamental of questions—Where do we come from?
      
     Here’s the scientists’ explanations. When the universe was formed in the Big Bang, it contained only hydrogen, helium and a little lithium. Nothing else. All the heavier chemical elements in the Periodic Table were forged in stars. Carbon making up living things, nitrogen in Earth's atmosphere, and silicon in rocks were manufactured in nuclear reactions that make stars shine and in mighty explosions ending their existence. We're only here because first stars and their descendants seeded the universe with the material to make stuff.
   
     Here’s the Bible’s explanation—In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. The Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light. Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth. God made two great lights--the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars.  Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us."  By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.  (Genesis 1:1-3a, 14-18, 26, 27;  Hebrews 11:3 NLT)    

     Several years ago, an anonymous author wrote--"Hundreds of top scientists worked together to build the ultimate computer, a master brain with the intellect to answer all the questions and solve all the mysteries of the world. Finally it was completed and ready for its first question. With trembling hands, one of the scientists fed in the question: 'How did the world start?' Lights flashed, wheels whirred, tumblers clicked. Finally the machine answered: 'See Genesis.'"

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Future Perfect Tense

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As my vision continued that night, 
I saw someone who looked like a man coming with the clouds of heaven.
He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence.
He was given authority, honor, and royal power over all the nations of the world,
so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him.
His rule is eternal--it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. 
                                        DANIEL 7:13-14 NLT


In the future the Son of Man will be revealed as the Son of God—
     My Right-hand Man, returning on the clouds of heaven.
     When His full character is unveiled, believers will breathe a sigh of relief.
     When His unquestionable authority is revealed, saints will leap for joy.

The Lamb turned Lion will be an awful revelation to an incredulous world.
     His piercing eyes will see right through all pretense and hypocrisy.
     His almighty feet will walk all over enemies of righteousness.
     His divine voice will thunder out proclamations of justice and truth.
     His authoritative arm will wield a sharp sword to cut away falsehood.
     His victorious hands will hold the keys of death and the grave.
     Gentle Jesus will shock people who forgot accountability to Him as Judge.

Worldly warring kingdoms will become the Messiah’s peaceful kingdom.
     Memories of chaos, anxiety, and turmoil will never haunt the redeemed.
     Cemeteries and hospitals will no longer be needed by the glorified.
     Loneliness will disappear in the fellowship of celebrative hearts.
     Millions will worship Him and sing His praises with liberated hearts.
     My servants will worship and serve Me with joyful hearts.

Current events disturb you, but the future perfect tense will delight you.
     Believer, you are destined to be part of Christ’s indestructible kingdom!
     Live gratefully, humbly, and reverently until earth’s nightmare is over.
     Jesus will reign over the new earth—heaven’s dream will come true.

                                         

                              (c)  Pastor Johnny R. Almond 
                      Day 291,  Gentle Whispers from Eternity 

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The Transforming Presence

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                                                 From that day the name of the city will be “The LORD Is There.”

                                                                                 EZEKIEL 48:35 NLT


When you are unsure which way to turn, I am there to direct you.
When you are feeling gloomy and despondent, I am there to cheer you up.
When you are worn out and exhausted, I am there to give you rest.
When you are frazzled, I am there to give you peace of mind.
When you are wringing your hands, I am there to settle your nerves.
When you are battling the evil one, I am there to guarantee your victory.
When you are frustrated by changing situations, I am there to stabilize you.
When you are on stormy seas, I am there to keep you on an even keel.
When you are experiencing earth’s chaos, I am there to calm your heart.
When you are on the verge of falling apart, I am there to hold you together.
When you are weak and overwhelmed, I am there to renew your strength.
When you are afraid, I am there to hold your hand and encourage you.
When you are going through deep waters, I am there to keep you afloat.
When you are experiencing fiery trials, I am there to shield you from harm.
|When you are surrounded by trouble, I am there as your Hiding Place.
When you are feeling life is too hard, I am there to help you succeed.
When you are stumbling in the dark, I am there to light your way.
When you are feeling guilty, I am there to forgive and take your sins away.
When you are wondering what is next, I am there to give you a bright future.
When you are dragging your feet, I am there to teach you how to dance.
When you are feeling no one loves you, I am there to hold you near Me.
When you are in a sad valley, I am there to give you a vision of hope.
When you are on an ecstatic mountaintop, I am there to celebrate with you.
When you are in a deep pit of depression, I am there to lift you up.
When you are visiting the world’s other side, I am there to travel with you.
When you are on cloud nine, I am there to be the Life of your party.
When you are overshadowed by clouds, I am there to shine joy in your soul.
When you are singing the blues, I am there to give you a new praise song.
When you are sleepless after a hard day, I am there to sing you a lullaby.
When you are opening your eyes at dawn, I am there as your wake-up call.
When you are struggling to navigate life’s maze, I am there to lead you.
When you are moving from time into eternity, I am there to make it heaven.
I am your Greatest Blessing—whatever you need, I am there for you. 

                                    

                            (c)  Pastor Johnny R. Almond 
             Day 290,  Gentle Whispers from Eternity 

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