Stepping up the Stairs


What can I offer the LORD for all he has done for me? 
                                             PSALM 116:12 NLT


“Why should I do anything for him? What has he ever done for me?”
     Apply this commonly asked question to your relationship to Me—
          and the answer will become apparent.

What have I ever done for you?
     I listen when you pray.
          I am your Best Answer to prayer, All You Need in life—
               Language of Infinite Inspiration, Sunrise of Loyalty,
               Flame of Holiness, Window of Grace, River of Peace,
Sunshine of Glory, Vision of Victory, Rainbow of Beauty,
Solid Rock of Encouragement, Heartbeat of Love,
Intellect of Wisdom, Orbit of Providence,
               Music of Joy, Starlight of Hope.
I preserve your life.
     You are alive not because you eat, but because of the Bread of Heaven.
I give you power when you are running low on energy.
     When you feel like you are going under, I under stand you.
     When you are falling apart under pressure, I stand under you.
I treat you royally so you can enjoy incomprehensible peace.
     I have rescued you from terror, so you are alive.
     I have rescued you from tears, so you are assured.
     I have rescued you from temptation, so you are alert.

Why should you do anything for Me?
     Because of all I have done for you, the answer is crystal clear.
     So the question then becomes, what can you do?
          Live in your Lord’s presence—enjoy the pleasure of My company.
          Persevere in your loneliness—trust Me and wait for the dawn.
          Praise My love—offer a daily sacrifice of thanks-living.
          Proclaim your loyalty—soldier on in the battle with evil.
               Humble in My Sovereign Presence, serve your Father.
               Holy by My Son’s pardon, gratefully sing My praises.
               Handed over to My Spirit’s plan, stack arms and surrender.
               Do more than stare up the steps—step up the stairs!

                                           

                                     (c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
                             Day 238, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

To the Glory of God

Hubble Telescope


Not to us, O LORD,
but to you goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
PSALM 115:1 NLT 
 

I alone deserve all the praise.
     Let My faithful love lead you to sincere and heartfelt gratitude.
     In spite of your obstinate waywardness, I go on steadily loving you.
     My persistent love will not let Me ever give up on you—be glad!
     In time and in eternity—be thankful.

I alone do whatever I please.
     Everyone and everything is ultimately accountable to Me.
     Rebellion spells ruin—submission means salvation.
     I am powerful over every plan—I am Sovereign over every strategy.
     I alone am fit to take the universe’s throne.
     I am totally, irrevocably responsible for everything—I am transcendent.

I alone am dynamic in power.
     With My mouth, I give My Word from heaven for living on earth.
     With My eyes, I am omniscient—seeing right through your pretense.
     With My ears, I hear—I have time to listen when you need to talk.
     With My crucified hands, I carry you when you cannot carry on.
     With My nail-transfixed feet, I travel life’s road right beside you.
     Infinite over idols; Creator, not created—I am trustworthy.

I alone deliver you by My protection.
     If it were not for My help with life’s obstacle course, you would fall.
     If it were not for My shield against Satan’s temptations, you would fail.
     With My assistance, you do more than get by—you are triumphant.

I alone delight in your peace.
     I am Caretaker of the universe—and I am taking good care of you.
     I am Superintendent of stars—and I am shepherding you to heaven.
     I am Creator of planets—and I am conducting you in the proper orbit.
     Incredible as it seems to an impersonal world, I am thinking about you.
     Live with eternal significance–transformed to the glory of God!

                                    (c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
                                  Day 237, Gentle Whispers from Eternity 0 Co

Whistling in the Dark

Happy are those who fear the LORD. PSALM 112:1
 

Joy is the clearest evidence of My Presence.
     My openhanded blessings let you enjoy life in every dimension—

In the reading of My inspired Scripture
     Mine the gold and silver of the Book from Heaven—treasure My Word.
     Mull My orders over hour after hour—think them through, pray them in.
     My words are honey for your soul, not bitter medicine! Relish them!
     Looking for significance in the pages of the Bible? Obey the Author!

In the riches of My infinite supply
     Out of My limitless wealth in glory, I make your cup overflow.
     Out of My inexhaustible resources, I provide more than enough.
     Like to enjoy life to the hilt? Develop a contented mind.

In the remembrance of inviolable security
     You will not be overwhelmed by guilt—you are overshadowed.
     Your name is indelibly written in blood in the Book of Life—relax.
     Yearn to celebrate blessed assurance? Trust your wounded Savior.

In a reputation of invariable strength
     Spectators of the Faith Marathon may marvel at your perseverance.
     Approaching burnout? Refuel with My Spirit and soar like an eagle.
     Trying to unlock the secret of facing hard situations? Use the Christ Key.

In the Rock of invulnerable steadiness
     My invulnerable joy transcends the fragile happiness of circumstances.
     Facing uncertainties, you have more than faith—you have your Father.
     Looking for peace and tranquility? Surrender to Me unreservedly.

In the reflection of My Indwelling Spirit
     I am always with you—do not let despair get the best of you.
     I am your Night Light—let Me shine through your personality.
     What has been said of Me can be seen in you—if you truly believe.
     Desire to experience joy beyond words? Get in step with My Spirit!

                                        

                               (c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond
                      Day 236, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

When All You Can Do Is Pray

Albrecht Durer
Praying Hands


In return for my friendship they denounce me, and all I can do is pray!
                                       PSALM 109:4 TNJB


I am the One and Only God—your Only Recourse in effective prayer.
     No matter how sweetly you treat some people, it does not change them.
     You would be kind, but they would kill.
     When all you can do is pray, seek My wisdom to know how.

I am the Omniscient God—able to execute retributive payback.
     You do not live under the old covenant, where vengeance ruled.
     You live under the new covenant, where getting even gives way to love.
     Pray for those out to get you—shine sunlight on the ill-intentioned.
     I alone will set the record straight—I alone am unerringly fair.
     When all you can do is pray, trust that I will make justice prevail.

I am the Omnipotent God—able to reinvigorate you with power.
     In My faithful love, I energize you to keep on keeping on.
     When you are broken-hearted, I heal your soul’s diseases.
     When you are weak-kneed, I encourage you for the hard tasks.
     People shake their heads at you; I smile on you, the apple of My eye.
     Others curse, but I bless—critics’ barbs will boomerang.
     I will mute opponents’ jeers by My everlasting joys.
     My supernatural might works best in your human weakness.
     You are never stronger than when you are relying on Me.
     You are never greater than when you are on your knees.
     When all you can do is pray, feel your weakness become strength.

I am the Omnipresent God—able to teach you how to sing for joy.
     Others may slander you, but I stand at your side.
     I am the Paraclete—forever faithful, called alongside to help you.
     I am your Greatest Friend, no matter how others mistreat you.
     However chaotic life gets, come to rest in My gentle grace.
     No matter what happens, find a reason to be thankful.
     Never, never, never stifle the Holy Spirit!
     To know the heartbeat and happiness of worship—keep praying.
     When all you can do is pray, believe that is enough.

                       (c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond

                Day 235, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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