State of the Heart

In God we have made our boast all day long,
and we will give thanks to Your name forever.
Selah [Pause and calmly think about that.]

     I am the God of your yesterdaysrecall the times you celebrated Me. Triumphs came not because of your sword, but because of Mine.

     Success came not by your limited ability, but My infinite strength.   

     The light of My smile has illuminated the darkness of your fears time and time again. Memory of your history is encouraging when you reflect on Unfailing Love. You have never gone wanting for good things, so you should not complain about your current frustrations.

     Recall My peacelet heartfelt praise transform your depression into delight and give you a new view.

     I am the God of your todayrejoice in conquests you experience in Me. By heaven’s power you overcome ferocious spiritual enemies. In My invigorating energy, you win life’s battles before they are fought. Pledging undivided allegiance to the King of your heart, you are guaranteed victory at every turn.

     Through the Name above all names you defeat evil threatening to overwhelm you. Suited up in heavenly armor, you still stand tall after the smoke of battle clears. My mastery is your confidence in struggling with temptation—Satan will not throw you when you cry out for My help.

     Rejoice in My power—let heartfelt praise transform your defeat into dynamics and give you a new vitality.

     I am the God of your tomorrowsrely on My constancy. Even if it seems I have given you up, rest assured I will keep My promises. Resolve to obey Me no matter what—I honor that kind of commitment.

     If you feel like retreating before foes, depend on My Holy Spirit to cause a turnaround and inspire you to seize the initiative again. Saints are sinners who keep trying—never give up! Though the world makes fun of your faith, make Me your Refuge and survive the storms. Do not let mysteries of the unknown cancel your hope—count on Me.

     Rely on My promises—let heartfelt praise transform your doubt into devotion and give you a new vision.

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 208 Gentle Whispers from Eternity  

Trail of Tears

Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again–my Savior and my God!

PSALM 42:11

In your grief, surrender through your trials.
Crying sad tears as society scoffs at faith’s radical perspective? Heartbroken as skeptics make fun of your optimistic creed? Sighing and singing the blues as cynics deride your hopeful stance? Tempted to wonder where I am as atheists question My existence? Return to Me.

In your grappling, search through your trouble. Thirsty for significance in a world experiencing spiritual drought? Reach out for Me. Yearn for My Presence as a deer pants for the brook. Do not settle for anything less than infinite joy. I do not ration My Spirit—it cascades from My heart to yours—drink deeply at the Fountain.

In your gladness, sing through your travels. Nostalgic about how it used to be? Reflecting on good old days when crowds celebrated My love? Remember high points of worship. Conduct therapeutic self-talk—respond to disturbing inner voices. When you are down-in-the-mouth, place your hope in your Creator. Fix your eyes on your Face Healer—I will put a smile on your face. Reflect on your relationship to the One who will always be here for you.

In My goodness, struggle through your tension. Whatever disturbs or dismays you will pass, but I never change at all. Look forward to looking back on whatever has worried you on earth. Remembered from eternity’s perspective, difficulties will become blessings. Heartaches are steppingstones along an upward-winding trail. Be patient and poised—heaven will never be surprised by any emergency.

Trust My guidance and unfailing love—gladly sing My praises. Faith quakes will stop. Storms will subside. The sun will shine again. Rely on Me—nestle near My loving heart. In your midnight hour, believe in Me and you will hear nocturnal echoes of heaven’s melody of hope.

Trust Me, however sad life gets—then you can dance the jig of joy. Remember what a Jewish girl named Etty Hillisum wrote in her diary as
she endured a World War II concentration camp: “There will always be a small patch of sky above, and there will always be enough space to fold two hands in prayer.”

In My grace, smile through your tears.

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 207 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

The Pleasure of God’s Company

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Psalm 37:4 NLT  

     Delight in the wonder of our relationshipbe sure of focus. Enchantment with anything else can be disillusioning, but I never fail. Avoid false gods of the heart—never let anything usurp First Place. Worship the Invisible and Eternal One, be content with your lot in life, and walk humbly with the King of your heart—live a purpose-driven life. Enjoy the pleasure of My company and vindicate your faith to the world.

     Dedicate yourself to living My waybe sure of fulfillment. Devoting yourself to lesser causes leads to despair, but relying on Me and committing your energy to My service increases hope and peace. Place your entire being on the altar of sacrifice and you will find true joy. In his hymn “Trust and Obey,” John Sammis goes to the heart of the matter: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus.” Want a worthwhile purpose? Searching for a reason to get out of bed in the morning? Walk in My steps.

     Depend on Me in life’s waiting roombe sure of a bright future. Be calm in My Presence; wait patiently for Me; steady as you go. Relying on anything else will dishearten you. Other staffs you lean on will break and pierce your hand and heart—I am the Only Absolutely Trustable Spot in the universe.

     Decline wrath—be sure of friendship. Giving in to rage and anger always disrupts relationships. I alone bring perfect peace—let Me.

     Discipline your walk—be sure of forward spiritual progress. You stumble on your own, but you will never fall if you hold My hand—I will see that you make progress in Christlikeness. Some will tell you the Devil is in the details—the fact is I delight in every detail of your life. An undisciplined day paints a sunset of defeat—watch your step!

     Displace all wickedness—be sure of fidelity to your Master. If you want to really live, you must reverse evil! Transgression distracts from life’s highest purpose and is deadly to peace. I place you in a crucible to purify you and draw you nearer to My side—stay close.

     Decide for wisdombe sure of fairness in your relationships. Know the difference between right and wrong, and then choose wisely. Do not join fools practicing deception and deceit. Keep company with Me—and you will surely enjoy life’s best!

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 206 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Light beyond light

You’re a fountain of cascading light, and you open our eyes to light.

In light of My peace, see the Light of holy ecstasy.
No matter how shadowy life gets, the dawn of lightheartedness brings radiance to your face. The wonder of unparalleled joy inspires a song.

In your dark world, there is a Bright Light shining. Satan is king of the dark
side, but he will lose to Jesus—Source and Sovereign of Light. My Son has turned on the light in your life, and nothing can extinguish it.

In light of My promises, see the Light of perfect eternity. Dawning of the kingdom of heaven will bring rejoicing beyond belief. Jesus is the Solution to the world’s problems—the Universal Hope. Seek shelter under Christ’s overshadowing wings—survive the meltdown of the elements, and celebrate the new heaven on earth.

Make Jesus the Light of your life and discover wisdom’s key. Learn to think
vertically as well as horizontally—do not worry constantly about earthly concerns; lighten your mind with thoughts of heaven.

In light of My purity, see the Light of a worthy example. Dawning of Life makes you righteous—I forgive your badness and give you My Son’s goodness. The whiteness of His untarnished holiness—the antithesis of sin—makes you able to stand in My Presence. The Light of the world died for your dark deeds—He shines joy into your heart to replace the shadows of guilt and inspire you to live nobly.

In light of My principles, see the Light of true education. When My lessons dawn on you, you grow more reflective. The wisdom of heaven strengthens you for the decisions and responsibilities of your life. Thinking My thoughts, you change from the inside out—and in the process grow up.

In light of My protection, see the Light of encouragement. Dawn of My love makes you relax. My welcome is your Eternal Home and Comfortable Sanctuary. I live in light so brilliant no person can approach Me without going blind—no one is able to look at Me directly. I shine Light through the darkness so people can get a glimpse of My glory— seen most clearly in the face of My Son.

Live as My child—keep your heart’s eyes on Light beyond light.

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 205 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Time Traveler

Galilee Sunrise

My times are in your hands. PSALM 31:15 NIV

I am the Timeless God—holiness to cancel yesterday’s sins.
My grace transforms your down-on-yourself guilt into upbeat gladness.
I have not rejected you—I have given you Christ’s righteousness.
You are a sinner by nature—you do not deserve or merit My love.
My Son is perfect—He did not deserve what happened to Him at Calvary.
Like Barabbas, it should have been you; instead, you are free.
I am your forgiveness.

I am the Enough God—hiding place to calm today’s sorrows.
I shelter you from accusing tongues, sustain you through distress,
and save you from the addictive power of sin.
I am your Time-out from the rat race and Anchor on high seas.
When your daily schedule gets crazy and hectic, take a deep breath—
breathe out worry about possibilities, breathe in worship;
breathe out fear of contingencies, breathe in faith in My promises.
I am your fortress.

I am the Unchanging God—hope to celebrate tomorrow’s surprises.
In all the universe, I alone will always be who I have always been.
I made promises I intend to keep—My faithfulness will not fail.
Anticipate the ultimate fulfillment of My perfect plan—
believe the overcast unknown will brighten in My time.
Whatever change comes your way, rest assured I will keep My word.
For the time being, rely on Me to lead you in honorable paths,
rescue you from the evil one’s malicious strategies,
and reinforce you to bravely move ahead.
In your darkest times, keep believing in Light beyond light—
follow your Guide across the fearful ravine to Tranquility Meadow.
I am your future.

Count on My unchanging love to absolve your embarrassing past,
accompany you on your journey, and guarantee your heavenly future.
Place yesterday, today and tomorrow in My hands—
then you can enjoy the time of your life!

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 204 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Christianity – Made for the Road

Give honor to the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. PSALM 29:2 NLT

Be awed in My Presence. Keep in mind that except for grace, you would be helpless. Realize I am the Source of your poise and peace. Completely rely on Me. Reverence Me as your Master.

Let me remind you that you are subordinate to the King of kings! Permit Me to formally educate you in life’s highest lesson; learn it well—there is a God and you are not Him! Take a low position before Me. Give Me the glory and the honor I alone deserve. Tremble before Me. Come down where you ought to be. Worship Me humbly.

Be active in My power. Let My Spirit kindle your adoration. Yield to My influence, so you will be fired up with sparkling enthusiasm.

I am Sovereign of the universe—obey Me in every dimension of your life.
Worship Me with all your heart.

Advance in My purity. I alone am perfect; however I want you to grow in My likeness. My plan is for everyday saints—24/7—until eternity. Dress your Sunday best Monday through Saturday also! Honor Me in all your thoughts, words, and deeds. Make living for Jesus Christ your life’s noblest purpose—realize dying to selfishness for Christ’s sake is the bridge to significance.

Seek My inspiration to motivate you to be faithful. Search for My power to help you behave your beliefs and practice what you preach. Do more than meditate—get on with your assigned mission. My Son went around doing good—do not be content with merely going around, a big wheel going in circles.

I have outfitted you with spiritual armor for the purpose of fighting! A full suit of armor is awkward equipment for an easy chair. Do not spend all your time getting ready to live—take time to really live! After all is said and done, there is more said than done—do not let this be true of you.

Advance in the splendor of radical holiness. Reverse evil—live! I made you pure in heart—you must make yourself pure in conduct.

Make worship your lifestyle—not just on Sundays, but all the time; not just at church, but everywhere; not just in a pew, but on the road.

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 203 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

The Name Above All Names

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—

         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 worshiping Me.

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 you feel like you are falling apart, Jesus holds you together—

        no one understands you, or stands under you, 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 you from sin’s addiction and makes My heart your home.

    My dream for you—and your destiny—is that you become like My Son.

Jesus is the most glorious and awesome Name—address Him reverently.

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

Travel Mercies

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Psalm 28:7 NIV

     I am your Strength. When you seek Me, I never turn a deaf ear. I am not, as the skeptics claim, “a very absent help in time of trouble.” When you stand in need, I am only a prayer away. Whatever enemies you face,  I take your side.

     Your critical need for forgiveness is met by infinite love and mercy. Your desperate need for victory is answered by supernatural assistance. Your pivotal need for friendship is found in the Shepherd’s tender care. Your crucial need for reinforcement is nourished in waiting on Jehovah—enabling you to walk farther than the fainthearted and lethargic, run faster than the tempter, and soar higher than the mediocre.

     You have found the secret of surviving all situations—Christ’s help. Infused with His strength, you are ready for anything life throws at you. Relying on His power, you can live to tell about difficult circumstances. Inspired by His example, you can hold your head high and march forward.

     I am your Shield. Your deep need for tranquility is met by My gift of peace of mind. As you pray about every situation and thank Me for My responses to your needs, perfect peace forms a bulwark around you and fills your mind with thoughts of your Savior’s love. You cannot comprehend this; neither can you define or explain it, but you can experience it.

     The Breath of heaven holds you together. Do not try to go it alone—take My hand and journey on.

     I am your Song. Trust Unfailing Love and celebrate total salvation. Sing a new song every day—praise Me from wake-up call to lullaby.

     Your crucial need for lightheartedness is met by My Presence. You cannot always be happy in your circumstances, but you can always rejoice in your inner-stances. I am the God of your life—I meet all your needs out of My unlimited resources. I am Everything You Ever Really Need in life.      What more could you ask?

     I have always loved and cared for you—rest assured I always will. Review the history of our relationship, and be hopeful for your tomorrows. “In all of life’s ebb and flow,” as Luther Bridgers celebrates in his hymn “He Keeps Me Singing,” I will keep you “singing as you go.”

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 202 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 202 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Traveling Light

The Lord is my light and my salvation –
so why should I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1a NLT

     The light of courage dispels the darkness of cowardice. Faith is the antidote to fear’s poison. Fear Me and you need fear nothing else! Trust the Solid Rock in a quicksand world—I will never disappoint you. Stay close to My heart— change will not throw you. Rely on Me—storms will not dismay you. Build on Christ as your Foundation—be well.

     The light of conquest dispels the darkness of defeatism. The dark side cannot vanquish the trusting heart, because I am the Victor. I am your Strength, so do not let anything Satan hurls scare you. Jesus plus any problem equals victory. Hide in Me, your Fortress—win.

     The light of communion dispels the darkness of self-centeredness. I am your Salvation, so you are satisfied in all circumstances. Happiness comes and goes, but joy stays.  I am your Felicity—worship.

     The light of companionship dispels the darkness of loneliness. I am your Song, so you are not down-in-the-mouth. In the hymn “Wonderful, Wonderful Jesus,”   Anna Russell reveals an unfailing source of music: “There is never a day so dreary, there is never a night so long, but the soul that is trusting Jesus will somewhere find a song.” I am your Friend—enjoy My welcome.

     The light of counsel dispels the darkness of ignorance. My guidance may seem slow in coming to you, but it is a reliable light to guide your way. Live more by faith, less by sight. Use faith eyes to see invisible realities. I am your Father—live by My wisdom.

     The light of confidence dispels the darkness of pessimism. There is Light beyond light at the end of the tunnel of despair. No matter how depressing current events, look forward to My promised tomorrow. The future is bright as My promises. I am your Future—just wait!

     A new day is dawning. You can choose to be anxious about it, or you can choose to be enthusiastic about it. How you choose will determine your day. Gaze reverently on the cross—it shines as a plus sign that dispels all darkness.

     Do not reclaim unnecessary lost baggage of fear, negativism, egocentricity, melancholy, conceit, and despair—now is the perfect time to lose your luggage. Walk as a child of the Light—travel light!

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 201 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Second Coming … Second Thoughts

Just as the lightning flashes from the east and shines and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Watch [be cautious and active] for you do not know in what kind of a day your Lord is coming.

My return will be evident to skeptics—the end of the world for atheists.
Those who thought it would never happen will be convinced—too late.
My Presence will be as obvious as lightning lighting up the entire sky.
The Second Coming is more than a doctrine—it will really happen.
You can count on it—you have My Word.
The King’s return will be unmistakable.

My return will be exciting to saints—the ecstasy of worship for believers.
The King of kings will unite unsettled nations and rule the universe.
The surprise and shock will be more than many people can bear.
The Second Coming will bring the future perfect tense I have promised.
Everything will be transformed for the better when I put My foot down.
The King’s return will be unimaginably beautiful.

My return will be enlightening to the sincere—
the encouragement of wonder for the redeemed.
The triumph of righteousness will obliterate the darkness of evil.
Constellations will fade in the light of the Bright Morning Star.
To the lost, My return will mean tragedy—outer darkness with no exit.
To the saved, My Second Coming will mean triumph—eternal light.
The King’s return will bring unending celebration.

My return will be embarrassing to the slothful—
the exposing of waste to the lazy.
The unprepared will blush with shame—and cry tears of futile regret.
The King’s return, to them, will be uncomfortable—to say the least.
Are you surrendered to Me as your King? Then be subject to change!
Are you convinced I am actually going to return? Then live like it!
Are you persuaded you have an interview with Me? Then get ready!

(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 311 Gentle Whispers from Eternity