Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. Families spend time together and there’s always plenty of turkey, dressing and gravy. Thanksgiving comes at the best time of the year. I love the falling leaves, the cool days, the cold nights and the smell of smoke from someone’s fireplace. I love Thanksgiving for many reasons, but most of all I love the fact that grateful people are giving thanks to our good and gracious God.

In First Thessalonians, Paul the Apostle teaches us about thanksgiving. He begins by showing us that we should give thanks always for one another. We should be thankful for our churches, church leaders and our pastors. As we thank God for our friends and loved ones, we should also constantly lift each other up in prayer.

The Word of God tells us that it is His will that we should give thanks in everything. Now, I do not think that God is insisting that we give thanks for all things because there are some things that we are just not going to be thankful for. However, God has promised never to leave us or forsake us. Therefore, no matter what circumstance we are in, we can always give thanks because we know that God is in it with us.

The Bible teaches that we are to rejoice always, because there is always joy to be found in Jesus. We should pray without ceasing, because we have a God who never ceases to listen to our prayers. In everything we can give thanks, because God is victorious over all things.

I love Thanksgiving because on this day and every day, I know that my gracious God is worthy of all my gratitude.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where the Pavement Ends

This Old House

This Old House

On April 16,1978 Deborah and I were married. On that day, by God’s Grace the two of us became one . In 1979 we purchased a house and it has been our home every since . In this house we have laughed and cried, we have fought and made up, we have celebrated and mourned. This is were we live. In this house we raised our family and every inch of it is coated with memories. It is our home, but it is not us, it is not our marriage.

This house greatly reflects our personalities. We are familiar with all the creaks and pops and every crack in the walls. There is contentment to be found in its every flaw and we want no more comfortable place than is our house. But if it is taken from us tonite and if tomorrow we are homeless we will still have each other because what God has joined together nothing can put asunder. You see this house is our home, but it is not us, it is not our marriage.

All over this land there are buildings that people call churches. Some are beautiful brick and mortar structures while others look more like metal warehouses. In these buildings church members have laughed and cried, they have fought and made up and they have celebrated and they have mourned. In these buildings the family of God has grown and they are filled with memories. But if all these buildings were destroyed today and we had no place to gather, we would still gather and we would still worship God. These buildings are not the church, they are not our salvation.

The church is the bride of Christ, Jesus is the bridegroom . He loves the church and He gave His life for her. But when Jesus said,” I will build my Church” He was not talking about brick and mortar. No, He was talking about us. Those of us who are His followers, we are His bride, we are His church. We have been chosen by God to be precious, living stones in the spiritual house that Jesus is building.

One day all these buildings that people call churches will rot and burn, they were never meant to be permanent. However The church that is the bride of Christ is built on a firm foundation and will never fail. Christ loves the church and gave Himself for us, He has sanctified and cleanse us and one day we will be presented to Him as a glorious church, holy and without blemish.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

In Honor of Veterans Day

“Thank you for your service.” We always mean well when we say this but I have noticed many veterans seem to be embarrassed by the recognition. It is as if they would say,” I was just doing my job”. Yes, they had a job to do and they did it well. Veteran’s Day and everyday a grateful nation says thank you for a job well done. Myself, I will always be proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free and I will never forget those of you who served so faithfully to preserve that right for me.

This devotion is an audio podcast. In it I wish to say thank you and honor all brave Veterans who served our nation so faithfully. Please Click the link below to listem

https://podpoint.com/pavement-ends-ministry/in-honor-of-veterans-day?fbclid=IwAR1KSo1g3ku5FiscoCTVgaXVhZ1hWB5llj6WHHd6rQD4fkQsAbp_OitNpu4#

Are You Scared

I was twelve years old and it was the opening day of deer season. It was still dark. The sun would not even think about rising for another thirty minutes. I climbed into the deer stand as Daddy’s flashlight illuminated the boards nailed into the tree. He watched as I got settled in then handed my new Winchester 30-30 up to me. Before he walked to his stand he asked me, are you scared? I said no, I’m all right. But I lied.

You see it was dark and my daddy was about to leave me setting on a board in a tree in the dark. I was scared. But I wasn’t going to tell Daddy. Because even though I was scared, I knew that I was going to be all right. I trusted my Daddy and I knew that he would not be far away and he would not leave me in danger. So even when I was just twelve, I knew you could be scared and still be all right.

I have not counted them all for myself, but I have been told that throughout the Bible we are told “do not be afraid, or fear not” 365 times. That is one fear not for every day of the year. I do know that throughout the Bible almost every time angels appear, the first thing they say is “do not be afraid”. Having thought about this a lot, I have come to believe that God is not saying that fear is sinful nor is it a bad thing. Fear teaches us to be careful and seek safety. We learn in Psalm 34:4 that if we seek the Lord He will answer us and deliver us from all our fears. For this reason, if you are in Christ you are going to be all right.

Even now I am often scared. But when I am afraid I trust in God. Because just like my Daddy would never leave me in danger, God will never leave His children in danger and He will never be far away. When He says fear not, He is saying “I know you are scared, but trust Me and I promise you, you are going to be all right.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Email- pavementendsministry@gmail.com

The One Who Gives the Most

Sitting in the synagogue next to the collection box, Jesus watched as the people brought their offerings. The wealthy and the influential put their money in with great ceremony. Their many large coins made a lot of noise as they were dropped into the box. The big shots wanted to impress everyone with their generosity. But Jesus wasn’t impressed.

That same day an old widow woman came into the synagogue. Quietly she dropped her two mites into the collection box. The wealthy and influential looked at her giving with great disdain. They considered her and her offering to be insignificant. But Jesus was excited about her giving. He was impressed with her generosity.

Now, the wealthy and the influential people are impressive to the world. They will have buildings named after them, they will sit on the board of directors and worldly people will call them great. But they do not impress Jesus, and He does not call them great. He knows they give from their overflow. He also knows their large coins are just a small part of their livelihood and will never be missed.

The old woman means nothing to most people. No buildings will have her name on them and no one will ask her opinion about anything. But Jesus is impressed with her giving and He is excited about her greatness. He knows that she is giving all she has and while most people see it as little, Jesus sees it as much. He knows that her offering is her life.

We must understand this, Jesus does not care about the haul of the offering plate. He only cares about the heart of the giver. One day we will all stand before the Savior. When you do, He will not ask how much money you gave or what great things you did for your church. You see, He does not care about the amount you give as long as you trust Him with all that you have. He does not need your money, but He longs to have your heart.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where the Pavement Ends

More To Come

I saw it on an empty shelf in a store. The merchandise that inhabited that shelf was sold out. In its place was a sign that said, “ more to come”. This was a promise that the empty shelf was only a temporary condition. There was more to come, it would be full again.

“More to come” that is an assurance that the emptiness will not last. This is nice if you are looking for a book in a bookstore. But what happens if it is your life that suddenly has the gaping empty spot? Where is the promise of “more to come” when death takes a loved one. Where is the hope of “more to come” when a crazy disease steals your future? Where is the desire for “more to come” when divorce invades your marriage. Life events like these often leave us feeling empty and thinking that there cannot possibility be any “ more to come.”

However in Jeremiah 29:11, God says “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Now, can you hear the laughter of children and the birds singing? That is God’s assurance that life will go on. Take a deep breath, do you feel the air rushing into your lungs? That means you’re still alive. If you’re still alive, then take the breath that is in your lungs as God’s promise that there is “ more to come”.

Please understand,God never promised His children that every day would be good. But if we trust Him, we will find that everyday God is good. As a child of God, we have only seen the beginning. We don’t know how we will end up. Our eyes cannot see, our ears cannot hear and our hearts cannot understand the fullness that God has for His children. We know that faith is the essence of things hoped for and the certainty of things not seen. It is our faith in Jesus that fills our empty hearts and guarantees us that there is “ More to Come”.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Enoch’s Walk

Here is a riddle for you. In the Bible I lived longer than any other man, but I died before my father did. Who am I? Of course most people know that Methuselah is the man who lived the longest. But how is it possible for him to live the longest and yet he dies before his father does? Well, the simple answer is this. His father was Enoch, a man who never experienced death. Enoch was a righteous man. One day as he walked with God, the door of Heaven was open to him so he walked right in and he was never seen on earth again.

When we read the story of Enoch in Genesis 5, we find that he walked with God after the birth of his son Methuselah. Was he a righteous man before the birth of his son? I don’t know, but I do know that he did walk with God after Methuselah was born. I believe the weight of responsibility that came with this seven or eight pound baby boy drove Enoch to his knees. Enoch realized that walking with God was the only way he could ever be the father that Methuselah needed him to be.

The Bible teaches that, “Children are a heritage from the LORD. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” Arrows are made to fly high and fly far. They are also made to fly straight and true. But it is the strength of the archer that bends the bow and launches the arrow. It is the skill of the archer that aims the arrow and hits the target and it is the wise archer who develops arrows to be true and straight.

The Word of God is clear. It is the responsibility of daddy to train up a child in the way he should go. A father should encourage his children to fly high and fly far, but he also must teach them to fly straight and true. This is a terrifying responsibility because the truth is unless he trusts in God no man has the strength, the skill, or the wisdom that children need from their daddy. Therefore the challenge is for every daddy to be like Enoch and to become known as a man who walks with God.

Douglas Huff & Deborah Huff
From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Reconciliation

He walked into the shop early on a Monday morning. With my usual greeting I asked him, “ how are you doing today?” His answer was “ I don’t know yet.” My pastor senses were triggered, telling me that he had some problems on his mind. I said, “ Jesus loves you, so everything is going to be alright.” His face lit up and he said, “ Brother, you know you are right, and I really needed to be reminded of that this morning.”

His name was Harry and he and I immediately became friends. We are about the same age and have a lot in common. Both of us love Jesus, our families and America. In our conversation, we talked about the craziness in the world today. We are both concerned about all the riots and the hysteria over the corona virus. This causes us both to worry about the world that our grandchildren will inherit. Thankfully, we both know that Jesus is in control.

Oh, by the way Harry’s skin is dark and my skin is light. But our different skin color does not matter to us. We became friends because of all we have in common. It is our common prayer that America would return to the God of our salvation and be healed.

In this world we live in, racism is a commodity of small minded and manipulative people. Many politicians, most of the news media and some so called preachers, exist only for the money they make by causing heartache and division. These evil and wicked people thrive most when good people suffer. They hate it when good men like Harry and I ignore our differences and come together over the things we have in common.

Hey, let’s turn this world around. Just turn off the news. Those talking heads on television will only tear us apart. Love God with all your heart and your world will be changed. Love your neighbor as you love yourself and you might change their world. Understand this, you cannot be reconciled with your fellow man until you are reconciled with God. I am paraphrasing Romans 10:12-13 when I say; “ There is no difference between Black and White, because the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:12-13

Let us all call on the name of the Lord and let the reconciliation begin.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where the Pavement Ends

Great is Your Reward in Heaven

Blessed are the poor in spirit because you realize that God has chosen you to be rich in faith. Your poverty will be rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn over their sinfulness because Godly sorrow brings repentance. Repentance leads to Salvation that leaves no regrets.

Blessed are the meek. Your gentle power comes from the knowledge that you can do anything through Christ who gives you strength.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. You know that the righteousness of God is the only thing that will bring justice to this world. You have this promise, one day God will satisfy your hunger.

Blessed are the merciful. Your life is full of compassion, kindness and humility. You forgive as quickly and completely as Jesus forgave you. Because you show mercy, you will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart. Your desire is to live a life free from sin. In order to serve God, You store His Word in your heart. Because of the purity of your heart, you will draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Blessed are the peacemakers. You have let the peace of God rule in your heart so you will be known as a child of God.

You are blessed when you are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. This world is not your home. The people who are at home in this world will always hate God’s servants. In this world you will be abused and harassed. People will always report evil lies about you. However through it all you can find joy and great happiness because yours is the Kingdom of Heaven. You are truly blessed because great is your reward in Heaven.

Douglas Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Preparing for the Appointment

My five time great grandfather, Robert Huff, was a wealthy man who owned property in several Georgia counties. He ran a general store which also served as a post office and a small bank. Well respected in the community he held several positions in the county government.

When he died at the age of 54 in 1842, he was survived by 10 children and was buried in the family cemetery on a hill overlooking his spacious home in the Glade District of Oglethorpe County, Georgia.

In Psalms 49:10-12 New Living Translation, I read these words “Those who are wise must finally die, just like the foolish and senseless, leaving all their wealth behind.— They may name their estates after themselves, but their fame will not last. They will die, just like animals.”

In 2018 I went looking for the place where Robert Huff is buried. The cemetery had been abandoned many years ago. When I found his grave in the middle of some large oak trees, I had to use a wire brush and water in order to read the inscription on his grave marker. I sat and looked at this moss covered stone, thinking about the life that it memorialized. It occurred to me, as important and loved as this man may have been in the early 1800’s, no one alive today knows or cares that Robert Huff ever lived.

The Bible teaches that our lives on this earth are like a vapor that can dissipate as quickly as a wisp of a cloud on a hot summers day. Rich or poor we all have this in common, the Lord is the maker of us all. God has told us that we all have an appointment with death and then the judgement. During the judgement you will not be asked about your wealth, loves or intentions. You will be asked, “Did you follow Jesus, did you love him with all you heart, soul and might?”

I do not know about the spiritual state of my ancestor. I hope he was a follower of Christ and one day I will meet him in Heaven. However, most important right now is your spiritual state. Do you follow Christ with all your heart? Are you prepared for your appointment with God? You know we are not promised tomorrow and the clouds are blowing in the wind.

Douglas Huff & Deborah Huff

Email- pavementendsministry@gmail.com