Staying Afloat

Rembrandt Jesus Calming the Storm

Nevertheless He regarded their distress when He heard their cry;
And He [earnestly] remembered for their sake His covenant
and relented their sentence of evil [comforting and easing Himself]
according to the abundance of His mercy and loving-kindness.

PSALM 106:44-45 THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE
 

Review your uncomplimentary history in honest confession.
     Sometimes you are a lot like the ancient Israelites—
          dull and slow to catch on—not seeing the light until you feel the heat!
          defiant and stubborn—rebelling against your own best interests!
          distracted and sidetracked—forgetting your Creator and Lord!
          dissatisfied and searching for more—desires running wild!
          demented and substituting lesser gods—worshiping counterfeits!
     When you realize you are in trouble, I hear your cries for help.
     The Master of the sea hears your despairing cry, lifts you from the waters,
          and keeps you safe
(James Rowe, “Love Lifted Me”).
     In My mercy, you are liberated and pardoned.
     In your sinful feelings, stay afloat by My grace.

Rejoice in the unparalleled happiness of My celebration.
     Think over the glorious miracles I have performed on your behalf.
     Pull out all the stops and praise Me—you cannot ever overdo it!
     Love will not let you go—rest your weary soul in Me.
     In My music, you are lyrical and peaceful.
     In your sad feelings, stay afloat by My gladness.

Rely on the unfailing hope of My covenant.
     My promise of a bright future is what keeps you from going under.
     Joy seeks you through pain, so do not close your heart to Me.
          Trace the rainbow through the rain, remembering morn will be tearless

          (George Matheson, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go”).
     Life’s sea is wide, and your boat is small—but I will not let you drown.
     In My mind, you are loved and pitied.
     In your sinking feelings, stay afloat by My goodness.

Waves overwhelming? Wind ferocious? Frightened by high seas?
     Trust My unfailing love—and stay afloat.

                               (c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
                      Day 234, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

To Life!


When you send your Spirit, new life is born to replenish all the living of the earth.
PSALM 104:30 NLT
 

I am the Unrivaled Sovereign Force.
     Learn two lessons well: 1) I am God; 2) you are not!
          I give life meaning by indelibly writing love letters on your heart.
               I am the Lord of Life.
                    Resign as Universe CEO—and experience My peace.

I am earth’s only Secure Foundation.
     I am your Driving Motivation and Enduring Success.
          I am the Light of Life.
               Rely on Me absolutely—and exult in My power.

I am your Satisfying Food.
     Make My Word more important than your daily bread.
          Identify with My Son and internalize His life—really live!
               I am the Life of Life.
                    Let My Spirit restore you—and enjoy My provision.

I am your Sheltering Fortress.
     Nothing in the world outshines the glory of My Presence.
          On high seas, seek My face—do not let fear get the best of you.
               I am the Love of Life.
                    Take refuge in Me—and enter My protection.

I am Mercy’s Smiling Face.
     Permit My Holy Spirit to work in you—become more like Christ.
          I am the Laughter of Life.
               Be renewed by Me—and emulate My perfection.

I am your Heart’s Singing Faith.
     Soar with My Wind—celebrate real freedom.
          I am the Lyrics of Life.
               Rejoice in Me—and echo My praise.

(c) Johnny R. Almond
Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity (Day 233)

Affectionately Yours

Beautiful Temple

Praise the LORD, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
The LORD is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love.

PSALM 103:1, 8 NLT

My Dear Child,
     I know life can be painful—My Son experienced it firsthand.
     The world can be hateful, so let Me remind you I love you.

Rejoice in introspective praise—you do not have to be depressed.
     With all your innermost being, thank Me for My acts of kindness.
     I will finish the good work I began in you, even if it takes eternity!
     Honor My holy Name by holy living, and celebrate the process.

Remember My infinite pardon—you are not doomed.
     You have often offended Me, but I will not hold it against you forever.
     I infinitely separate you from rebellion—I love you despite your sins.
     Relax in My indefinable peace—do not let your heart be disturbed.

Revel in My incomparable provision—you are not at all deprived.
     I give you everything you need, and far more!
     Lie down in green pastures—completely satisfied.
     Enjoy contentment—a great blessing in the restless world.

Resort to My inestimable pity—so you will not be desolate.
     You do not have steel nerves or a stone body—
          I do not take you for granite!
     I am transcendent, yet tender—Lord of love, Creator who cares.

Rely on My inviolable power—and you will never be devastated.
     My throne cannot be toppled—My sovereignty cannot be surpassed.
     I rule and overrule all of life.

Rest in My invariable Providence—do not be dismayed.
     I have always loved you—rest assured I always will.
     My faithful love for you will endure forever.

                                                                           Affectionately Yours,
                                                                           God

 

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
Day 232, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Subject to Change

Exalt the LORD our God!
Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!

PSALM 99:5 NLT


I am the King of heaven—trust in My assuring hope.
     I am your Leader to the Promised Land—Guide to get you home.
     Present circumstances may discourage—remember they will not last.
     Sad chapters will not ruin the happy ending of My love story.
     Trouble is temporary—you will live to tell about it.
     I am your Shepherd who knows what is best for you—follow Me.
     Rely on My salvation—give Me your heart each dawn.
     I am the Answer to wandering—cheering your heart.

I am the King of the universe—tremble at My awesome holiness.
     I am Perfection over law—Authority over decrees, Truth under principles.
     My Holy Spirit liberates you from the vicious cycle of sin and death.
     You do not have to stay addicted to cravings of your human nature!
     Under My control, you experience out-of-the-world peace.
     Under My influence, you love sacrificially, celebrate continually,
          stay on an even keel on high seas, are kind to everyone you meet,
          generously share My blessings with others, hang in there,
          gently care for the hurting, and exercise self-control.
     I am your Sovereign with your best interests at heart—obey Me.
     Revere My Sovereignty—gain victory over evil habits.
     I am the Answer to wickedness—challenging you to a holy lifestyle.

I am the King of kings—triumph in My active help.
     I am your Power for living—Enabler in every tough situation.
     I make Myself at home in your heart—
          so resurrection power is yours to live a royal lifestyle.
     My Holy Spirit lives in you—rise above your materialistic culture!
     Soar above mediocrity, outrun temptation, and outwalk lethargy.
     I am your Savior bringing out the best in you—stay close to Me.
     Rejoice in My strength—desperately depend on Me and be strong.
     I am the Answer to weakness—crowning your humility.
     Submit as a willing subject of the King of hearts—be subject to change.

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
Day 231, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Taking the High Road

You are Yahweh, Most High over all the earth, far transcending all gods.
PSALM 97:9 TNJB


I am Most High over earth—exalt Me above all false gods of the heart.
     Idols are low-life—I am the Infinite High God.
     Idols are deaf—I pay attention to every prayerful word.
     Idols are heartless and insensitive—I care deeply about you.
     Idols are blind—I am aware of every agony, attitude, and action.
     Take the high road of eminent domain, not the low road of idolatry.
     Surrender to My Transcendent Highness!

I am Most High over everything—understand that idolatry is insanity.
     Decisions built on atheism construct a dead-end road.
     Take the high road of enthusiastic devotion,
not the low road of irreverence.
     Submit in thoughtful homage!

I am Most High over ethics—live as a child of the Light.
     Avoid shadows—do not scurry like a cockroach in dark corners.
     Stay close to My heart and make Me the Tour Guide on your journey,
          then you will not be down-in-the-mouth for fear of being found out.
     Take the high road of excellent determination,
not the low road of iniquity.
     Struggle on in My transforming holiness!

I am Most High over eternity—feel for people who are joyless.
     Let your heart go out to those who do not worship Me—
          people who will one day sadly experience My wrath firsthand.
     The other side of mercy’s coin has a cutting edge—there is hell to pay!
     Take the high road of expectant deliverance,
not the low road of incredulity.
     See the terrifying hereafter!

I am Most High over ecstasy—celebrate My reign as King of the cosmos.
     I am Lord of the universe—so all will ultimately be right with the world.
     With very little to celebrate in your unbalanced world,
          here is a great reason to rejoice—I am redeeming you from sin.
     Someday it will become crystal clear that I am absolutely right—
          and that I am earth’s Rightful Ruler.
     Take the high road of exultant delight,
not the low road of indifference.
     Sing in triumphant happiness!

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

Call to Worship

Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
PSALM 95:6 NLT
 

In a quicksand world, I am your Rock.
     Without My foundation, you would crumble.
     Rely on Me—steady as you go.

In a sad world, I am your Joy.
     In My Presence, shout a thousand hallelujahs.
     Think more and thank more—sing My praises.

In a rebellious world, I am your King.
     I am the Creator stronger than creation.
     Surrender to the Sovereign—be subject to change.

In an impersonal world, I am your Friend.
     In perfect storms, I quiet high seas and calm palpitating hearts.
     Relax in My Presence—trust the Lord of your rocking boat.

In an irreverent world, I am your God.
     You are not self-made, you know—I am your Maker.
     Humble your heart before Me—submit to My powerful love.

In a sinful world, I am your Redeemer.
     Without Me, you’d be a lost sheep; with Me, a liberated saint.
     Near My heart, you experience true freedom—stay close.

In an apathetic world, I am your Inspiration.
    
You are My work of art—heaven’s masterpiece.
     Work diligently for Me using inexhaustible infinite power.
     You are born from above—by grace, survive the turmoil.

In a hectic world, I am your Home.
    
Trade your impossibly crazy schedule for My sweet rest.
     Exchange your egocentric madness for My gentle caring.
     Give up your obsessive compulsiveness for My serenity.
     Settle down and make yourself at home—worship Me.

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
Day 229, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Turning the Tide

Giants Causeway, Ireland

Judgment will again become saving justice,
and in its wake all upright hearts will follow.

PSALM 94:15 TNJB


The ebb and flow of life’s forces may sometimes seem out of control—
     against the right and righteous, opposed to My purpose and people.
Have faith in Me—believe I can turn the tide.

I am the God of Vengeance.
     At times it appears to you the score is “Evil 29, Good 0.”
     Look beyond the size of the opponent and scoreboard numbers,
          and hopelessness will be overshadowed by the Light.
     The battle is not over.
          Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and heaven be one.
          (Maltbie Babcock, “This is My Father’s World”)
     I will turn the tide of infidelity—in its wake judgment will prevail.
     Calm down.

I am the God of Vision.
     Through My revelation, you are revitalized.
     Through My moral teaching, you are transformed.
     Through My law, you learn how to live.
     I turn the tide of ignorance—in its wake spiritual progress prevails.
     Wise up.

I am the God of Vitality.
     When you think you are about to go under, I under stand you.
     When question marks fill your mind, I quiet your heart.
     When you stagger, I am your Strength.
     When perplexity crowds your innermost self, I cheer your soul.
     I turn the tide of infirmity—in its wake joy prevails.
     Cheer up.

I am the God of Victory.
     I am earth’s Just Judge—My turn of events will be the right turn.
     I am Sovereign of nations, Savior of what is next—I guarantee triumph.
     I will turn the tide of injustice—in its wake justice will prevail.
     Rest assured.

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
Day 228, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Rest Area

 View of earth from the moon

It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High.
PSALM 92:1 NLT
 

You are so extremely busy! Stop awhile—and be refreshed.
     I rested on Saturday, after I finished the work of creation.
     Why do you not take a break on the day I designated for re-creation?
     I give you a one-day vacation each week—enjoy it!
     You are so driven! Take time to think and pray—listen for My voice.

Resign as General Manager of the universe.
     At dawn, celebrate My unfailing faithfulness through the dark night.
     At sunset, bow your head in gratitude for the victories I gave you.
     Enjoy peace of mind—rest in the constancy of My care.

Rejoice in My awesome power.
     Revel in the blessed peace and quiet of solitude.
     Sing, hum, whistle, dance for joy at what I have created.
     Enjoy a pause from life’s hectic treadmill—rest in creation’s beauty.

Relax in My care.
     Listen for My Spirit cadence—stay in step with heaven’s drumbeat.
     Do not feel totally responsible for everything—that is My job!
     Unwind in the hammock of My grace.
     Enjoy My Providence—rest in the perfect control of Christ.

Rely on My limitless resources.
     Star-gaze—you cannot name or keep track of all the stars, but I can.
     I empower the tired and weak—I rekindle the burned out.
     I teach the timid to soar like eagles high above mediocrity.
     I strengthen the embattled to run faster than temptation.
     I encourage the fainthearted to walk farther than lethargy.
     Count on Me being Enough—and infinitely more.
     Enjoy My lavish provision—rest in the courage of conviction.

Remain faithful in My service.
     Do not bemoan age as winter—celebrate harvest time.
     You are human; you make mistakes and regret them—repent.
     I am divine; I forgive you—doggedly blunder on toward heaven.
     Enjoy Spirit-inspired perseverance—rest in continuing consecration.

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
Day 226, Gentle Whiispers from Eternity

Clock Wise


Teach us to count up the days that are ours,
and we shall come to the heart of wisdom.

PSALM 90:12 TNJB



Trustworthiness is the heart of My authenticity.
If you want to learn who I am, I would love to enlighten you.
Genuine philosophers find Ultimate Reality and Meaning in Me.
I reveal My true nature to all who search for Me wholeheartedly.
I am the God with a heart—I am kind to the heartbroken.
I am the Perfect Hiding Place—I shelter you in life’s storms.
I am your Home.


Transience is the heart of your awareness.
If you want to learn who you are, I would love to instruct you.
Mortality and realism go hand in hand—tempus fugit.
A millennium and a minute are no different in My mind.
Are seven or eight decades enough for you to learn your limits?
You are human.


Timelessness is the heart of My agelessness.
If you want to learn the proper response to Me, I would love to tell you.
From once upon a time to living happily ever after, I am God.
You cannot fathom My plan, but I have planted eternity in your heart.
I am the Only One Who Will Always Be Who I Have Always Been.
Let My transcendence move you to humility.


Transformation is the heart of attitude adjustment.
If you want to learn to live purposefully, I would love to guide you.
Pray as you go—live wisely in the light of eternity.
Complete submission to Me is the only path to happiness.


Teaching is the heart of My arithmetic.
If you want to learn the best use of life, I would love to teach you.
Like a coin, you can spend life any way you like—but only once.
Take the responsibilities I have given you seriously—carpe diem.
Take heaven’s wisdom to heart.
Time management is eternally important—be clock wise.

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

An Encouraging Word

Sometimes we feel “where never is heard a discouraging word” is a Utopia existing only in dreams. Despair and pessimism are rampant. Bad news is all we ever hear. Futurists have little optimistic to predict.

When it seems discouraging words are all we hear, we can take a walk through the New Testament and revel in transforming truths.
 

Jesus Christ is our Travel Companion.  (Matthew 28:20)

Earth’s saddest day and gladdest day were just three days apart.  (Mark 16:6)

The gospel story captivates us and cheers us on.  (Luke 1:31-33)

The Holy Spirit brings peace in pandemonium.  (John 14:16, 27)

Christ’s return gives reason for living until paradise is restored.  (Acts 1:8-11)

In the darkness, dawn approaches.  (Romans 13)

Believers are victors, not victims.  (1 Corinthians 15)

We enjoy freedom, not shackles.   (2 Corinthians 1:19-20;  3:17;  10:3-5)

Our Heavenly Father cares for us, His children.  (Galatians 3:26)

Prayer opens the window to infinite resources.  (Ephesians 3: 20)

Christ unlocks the secret to surviving every situation.  (Philippians 4:13)

Unimaginable glory is waiting just around the corner.  (Colossians 3:4)

God is the Eternal Optimist—we can be too.  (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

The Prince of Peace brings peace at all times and in all situations.
(2 Thessalonians 2)

Jesus came to earth to solve our biggest problem—guilt.  (1 Timothy 1:15)

God gives power to live, love to relate, and self-discipline to mature.
(2 Timothy 1:7)

Christ is our Blessed Hope.  (Titus 2:13)

Active sharing of faith’s perspective helps us grow up in Christ.  (Philemon 1:6)

At the throne of prayer, we find mercy for sins and grace for struggles.
(Hebrews 4)

A humble attitude ensures help from the Almighty.  (James 4:10)

Trust causes joy beyond words.  (1 Peter 1:8)

Internalizing God’s Word purifies us from moral filth. (2 Peter 1:4)

In Jesus, there is certainty in all circumstances.  (1 John 1:4, 5)

We can count on Unchanging Truth.  (2 John 1:2)

Life’s greatest blessing is enjoying the pleasure of God’s company.  (3 John)

God is our Source of eternal security.  (Jude 1:24, 25)

The United Kingdom is on the way.  (Revelation 11:15;  22:21)
 

When we take this walk, God’s encouraging Word always lifts our spirit.

©  Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity