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Johnny Russell Almond's Blog (91)

A World on Edge

“If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living.” (Seneca, Roman statesman; 4 B.C. – A.D. 65)

 

A review of current events does little to increase our optimism about the chances of world peace. It feels like “everything nailed down is coming loose” (the angel Gabriel in the musical Green Pastures).

 

Over the last year, fighting associated with Boko Haram in Nigeria has led to the deaths of over 6,000 civilians.

 

A…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on March 24, 2015 at 10:33am — No Comments

Overwhelmed or Overshadowed?

“I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining; I believe in love, even when it is hidden; I believe in God, even when he is silent.” (Air-raid shelter; Cologne, France; WWII)

On this first day of spring, we look in vain for the sun; but we believe the sun is still shining beyond the clouds. 

When we are gloomy, God overshadows us with invulnerable joy. Guardian angels spread their wings over us, surpassing angst with ecstasy. When life gets…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on March 20, 2015 at 10:41am — No Comments

The Sun -- A Sermon without Words

“‘In our world,’ said Eustace, ‘a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.’ ‘Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of.’” (C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

 

NASA has released a breathtaking video sampling of the 200 million images captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory taken over 5 years in space. A kaleidoscope set to music, it provides unprecedentedly clear pictures of the sun’s activity. You can view it…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on March 16, 2015 at 2:31pm — No Comments

An Answered Prayer and A Prayer Request

After the Lord gave me the privilege and joy of writing Gentle Whispers from Eternity and it was published in March 2013, I began praying that God would bless this book to change lives and glorify His name around the world. This prayer is being answered in amazing ways.

 

Gentle Whispers from Eternity has now been published in Urdu, the language spoken by millions in Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. The book is currently being translated into Telugu, the primary…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on March 5, 2015 at 4:06pm — No Comments

How in the world can we relax?

“To be ‘on edge,’ you are literally not centered — not being in your spiritual center.”  (Carrie Latet)

 

When life gets confusing, Christ is our personal Tour Guide.  If we trust and obey the Lord, He will accompany us on our wilderness journey to the promised land. Christ is our Comforter, Coach, Guide, Defense Counsel, and Teacher. He is right beside us—praying, cheering, advising, forgiving, and instructing. If we yearn for Christ to be more real to us,…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on February 25, 2015 at 11:20am — No Comments

The Ultimate Icon

Seventy years ago today, 33-year-old Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, having being rejected from serving in the Army due to poor eyesight, took a photograph that would become widely recognized and reproduced. The image records U.S. Marines and a Navy corpsman raising an American flag atop Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, site of the only Marine battle where the American casualties, 26,000, exceeded the Japanese. Not surprisingly, today’s USA Today headline describes this war…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on February 23, 2015 at 9:45pm — No Comments

Presidents Day - Lincoln on Progress

“I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.” – Abraham Lincoln, U.S. president from 1861 to 1865

 

President Lincoln’s statement prompts us to reflect on several dimensions of the truth about progress.

 

Walking forward is the best course. Our Creator made us in such a way that walking backward is awkward. Physically, it’s challenging. Emotionally, it’s counterproductive. Spiritually, it’s discouraging. Our bodies can trip if we attempt this.…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on February 16, 2015 at 1:02pm — No Comments

A View from the Other Side

We’ve all done some moon-gazing—charmed by the beauty of this object reflecting light from the distant sun. At times we may have wondered what the “dark side” of the moon looks like. Now, thanks to a recently-released NASA animated video, we can get a glimpse of the other side. There are faith implications to consider. Read “A View from the Other Side” on my blog at…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on February 9, 2015 at 8:12pm — No Comments

Down-to-earth Living

“Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.” (President Theodore Roosevelt)

 

Private quiet time with God in rarefied spiritual heights is enjoyable. In fact, His company may be so sweet we consider constructing a shrine to revisit now and then; we may even feel we’d like to permanently move to our mountainside retreat. To escape the world’s polluted atmosphere and breathe pure…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on February 6, 2015 at 11:58am — No Comments

Mizzle and Music

Even on this dreary Groundhog Day, with multiple bad news headlines, hope hears the melody of the future and faith dances for joy. Read “Mizzle and Music” on my blog at http://GentleWhispersFromEternity-ScripturePersonalized.com/

 

Added by Johnny Russell Almond on February 2, 2015 at 12:41pm — No Comments

A Cold, Cruel World

“Every mile is two in winter.” (George Herbert, 1651)

 

“Winter changes into stone the water of heaven and the heart of man.” (Victor Hugo, 1862)

 

“Winter Storm Juno” (aka “Blizzard ‘15”) with its hurricane-force winds is dumping heavy snow, creating whiteout conditions, and causing coastal flooding across much of New England. More than 50 million people are hunkered down seeking warmth and shelter. Power outages are widespread.…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on January 27, 2015 at 11:01am — No Comments

The World's Nervous Breakdown?

“As delegates get ready to assemble high up in the Swiss Alps, the world appears on the verge of a nervous breakdown.” (USA TODAY, January 19, 2015)

 

This week’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is drawing captains of industry and government from around the globe, to the alpine ski town of Davos, Switzerland—Europe’s highest town. Over 40 heads of state, 2,500 business leaders, cultural emissaries, and experts in many areas of human endeavor will…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on January 19, 2015 at 11:10am — No Comments

Medal of Honor

 

“He has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so.” (Walter Lippmann, A Preface to Morals, 1929)

 

Character originates in our mind. Thoughts translate into words, words into actions, actions into habits, habits into character.

 

Garbage pollutes; truth ennobles. What we think, we become. Television, movies, magazines, and websites full of violence…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on January 16, 2015 at 9:52am — No Comments

The Dream of Peace

 

"It is by making myself Catholic that I brought peace to Brittany and Vendée.

It is by making myself Italian that I won minds in Italy.

It is by making myself a Moslem that I established myself in Egypt.

If I governed a nation of Jews, I should reestablish the Temple of Solomon."  (Napoleon)

 

The Arc of Triomphe in Paris, the most monumental of all triumphal…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on January 12, 2015 at 9:24pm — No Comments

Epiphany -- Past, Present and Future

 

“Jesus, a man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” (Mohandas K. Gandhi)

 

Tomorrow, January 6th, is designated Epiphany (literally “shining upon”), a Christian festival commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi. The word epiphany also refers to perception or insight…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on January 5, 2015 at 12:13pm — 1 Comment

Audience with the King

“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

 

There’s plenty about life that can disturb us—dreary overcast Mondays, post-holiday depression, anxiety about what the new year may bring, health concerns, family squabbles, moral dilemmas. But we will not disintegrate emotionally if we habitually share with our Father what bothers us. Scripture reassures us we can give all our worries and cares to God, since He…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 29, 2014 at 2:24pm — No Comments

Christmas Truce

One hundred years ago today, on Christmas Eve, the World War I Christmas truce occurred. The respite in fighting happened in the unlikely setting of mud, cold rain, and senseless killing. It took place despite orders by superiors. It took place despite language barriers. If only for a few hours, sworn enemies became temporary friends.

 

World War I had been raging for only four months, but it was turning out to be one of the bloodiest wars in history. Soldiers on both sides…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 24, 2014 at 2:02pm — No Comments

Envisioning the Invisible God

“Instead of complaining that God had hidden Himself, you will give Him thanks for having revealed so much of Himself.” (Pascal, Pensees, 1670)

 

Reverencing Christ, we begin to comprehend God’s gracious personality. Jesus perfectly represents His Father, personifying love in His life. Observing Christ, we see God’s likeness.

 

Submitting to our Sovereign, we experience God’s infinite goodness. Believing God engineers our lives…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 17, 2014 at 12:41pm — No Comments

Will Next Year Be Any Better?

“Our notion of an optimist is a man who, knowing that each year was worse than the preceding, thinks next year will be better. And a pessimist is a man who knows the next year can’t be any worse than the last one.”  (Franklin Adams, 1944)

 

An end-of-the-year USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll reveals that 70% of people surveyed are dissatisfied with how things are going in America today. Only 49% predict 2015 will be better—the first time in a quarter center that…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 15, 2014 at 12:26pm — No Comments

Be Careful!

“No one tests the depths of a river with both feet.” (Ashanti Proverb)

 

Knowing life could be dangerous and being concerned for our welfare, our parents advised us to be careful. From God’s omniscient perspective, aware that invisible forces are ready to attack when our guard is down, our Heavenly Father warns us to be careful.

 

Drifting on life’s sea can lead to moral shipwreck. A tumbleweed in circumstantial winds entangles in embarrassing…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 10, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

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