Joseph

His name was Joseph. His calling was the most important task ever given to a man. Joseph was chosen to be the earthly daddy of the Son of God. He could have rejected this responsibility but He didn’t. Instead, Joseph chose to be the daddy he didn’t have be.

If I asked you to tell me what Joseph said, you couldn’t do it. None of his words are recorded in scripture. From the Bible we learn that he was a just, thoughtful and patient man. Yet it appears that he was not a vocal man. Being a righteous man, and knowing that actions speak louder than words, Joseph simply stood up and did as the angel of the Lord commanded.

The words of famous men are often immortalized, but the reserved and quiet man will not be remembered by many. His taciturn nature will frustrate his wife and children. But his love is revealed through his actions. God has created him quiet, but faithful. He does not seek to be noticed, he just seeks to please God. Great men show their greatness not with words but with deeds.

Most men are like Joseph. They are chosen by God for an important task. They may never build great buildings or lead great companies. But God chose them to touch the world with the hope that is within them. That is the most important task.

Remember, I said the words of Joseph were not recorded in the Bible? Well that’s not entirely right. One thing he said was reported in Matt. 1:25. In this scripture we are told that when Mary gave birth to her Son, Joseph called His name “Jesus”. Now the truth is people may forget everything you say or do in this life. So it is important to live your life in such a way that people will remember that like Joseph, you spoke the name of Jesus.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

Down Where The Pavement Ends

The Christmas Tree and Three Rusty Nails

Throughout the years that I was privileged to pastor a church, we always started the Christmas season with a special evening service. The Sunday afternoon following Thanksgiving we would take the children of the church to a tree farm and let them choose a Christmas tree for the church sanctuary. When we returned to the church, we would spend the rest of the afternoon putting the tree in the sanctuary and hanging lights on it. Usually we would finish just as the rest of the congregation arrived for the evening service.

We would begin worship that night by singing Christmas hymns and reading the story of Jesus’ birth. Each member had been asked to bring an ornament from home that held a special meaning to them. As an act of worship, we would then take time for everyone to hang their ornaments on the tree. Then I would read a special story about the journey of the Christ Child from the stable to the cross.

As we brought our time of worship to an end, myself as the pastor would hang my special ornament on the tree. My ornament was three spike nails fashioned in the shape of a cross. But I would not hang this cross on the outer branches of the tree. I would hide the cross out of sight on an inner branch. The hidden cross was a reminder that Christ Child whose birth we were celebrating with a Christmas tree had another tree in His future. One day the Son of Man would purchase for us the gift of eternal life by sacrificing His life on that tree shaped like a cross.

So this Christmas season, as we navigate the hubris of flying reindeer, jolly old elves and a little drummer boy, let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas. Let the beautiful lights remind us that Jesus is the Light of the world and the evergreen trees shall symbolize our hope of eternal life. Underneath the trees will be beautifully wrapped gifts, but the greatest gift of all was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The Angels in Heaven will shout these words: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

A Question

This posting is going to be a little different. Recently a friend asked me a rather deep spiritual question concerning destiny, free will and the Sovereignty of God. What follows Is his question and my answer

Question- Since God knows our destiny, how do we have the “free will” to make the right choice knowing that our destiny is already decided.

Answer-

1. God is the creator of all things, including time.

2. As the Creator of time He Himself is not restricted by time. You and I can only see the present, remember the past and wonder about the future. I believe that it can be said that God sees the past, the present, and the future the same as we see the present.

3. Therefore God knows our destiny because He sees it being played out.

4. We have free will in that we are allowed to make our own choices.

5. God is sovereign because He knows what our choices will be and He allows us to make them.

The bottom line is this, The fact that God knows the things we will do does not mean that He forces us to do them.

I don’t know if this answers the question but maybe it will give you something to think about. Here is a passage of scripture that I lean on when I cannot get spiritual issues resolved in my head.

““For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV

Douglas Huff

Set Your House in Order

I once knew a man who became very sick. He went to the doctor for treatment. However, the doctor was unable to help him. He had an untreatable cancer and only a short time to live. What can a man do in this situation other than go home and get his house in order.

This man and his wife of many years had worked hard to build a house, a home and raise a family. As he looked around, he realized the house that he would leave behind was in shambles. Not wanting to leave his wife in such a rundown house he began to make sure it was restored and in good condition. Yes, he was going to be gone and would not benefit from the restored house, but he loved his wife, so he got the house in order.

Society is the house we live in and it is in shambles. It does not matter what your age is, you are not promised tomorrow. If you do not want to leave a broken and rundown house behind, do something to improve society today. Remember your loved ones are going to live in this world you leave behind.

So cover this world and your loved ones with prayer. Then broadcast seeds of the Gospel everywhere you go. Be kind to everyone and lend a helping hand to at least one person today.

Love God with all your heart and let this love be evident in your words and actions. Remember this, if one person has a closer walk with God because of your actions today, then you have made the world a better place for tomorrow. And you will have succeeded in setting your house in order.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Where’s My Hat

I can’t find my hat. It’s been missing for a couple of weeks now. I have looked in all the usual places but can’t find it. It is not my only hat. I have other hats to wear, but it is my favorite hat. This hat is showing its age, it is ramshackle and out of shape, but so am I. Where is my hat?

Now it is just a hat and its value is mostly sentimental. If I don’t find it, I will be disappointed but I will get over it. At times, we have lost things of much more value than my hat. Sometimes the loss is devastating and other times the loss puts us in danger.

Some would say that our nation has lost its moral compass. Now concerning a compass, we know that the needle always points north. This knowledge is what gives us direction when we use a compass. If you are depending on a compass for direction, it can be dangerous if you lose it. However, it is even more dangerous to have a compass and disregard it because you don’t like the way it is pointing.

I’m not sure that our nation has lost its Moral Compass. After all the Bible is our Guide. The Word of God is Truth and Truth is the needle that always points to Jesus. The Word of God will never be lost. However, many people don’t like the Bible’s direction. So they disregard it. And they go the way that seems right to them. The way that seems right to them is deadly.

I am not talking about lost people. I am talking about church people. Pleasing people seems more important to some Christians than following God’s direction. So they go the way that seems right to them and that way is leading to the death of a nation.

Yes, the Bible is our Moral Compass. The truth that it contains is the needle that always points to Jesus. He is the Way and we must follow Him. I have lost my hat, but I have not lost the Helmet of Salvation. So, I must share the Gospel, because souls are too important to be lost!

Where is my hat? I don’t know. But I do know the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I will always follow Him.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where the Pavement Ends

email-pavementendsministry@gmail.com

Anyhow

We are a blessed people. We woke up in a dry and comfortable place this morning. Most of us had a good breakfast, if we wanted it. Indeed, God has given to most of us more toys, stuff and valuable junk than we ever had any right to expect. However, no matter how much stuff God has given us, we always want more. It seems that we are never satisfied.

The world has a way of convincing us that God’s gifts are not enough. Sometimes we accuse God of not being good to us just because we cannot afford the latest gadget. But, as much as we grumble and complain, we cannot deny that God has blessed us beyond anything we ever deserved. The fact is our Father in Heaven has provided our every need according to His riches in heaven.

As for me when I woke up this morning, I was cool, dry and comfortable. I knew I was going to have something to eat. I am healthy, so to God be the Glory. I said thank you Jesus for blessing me so much. However, I know that life can change in the blink of an eye. Tomorrow I may wake up in a cold damp cave. I may wake up hungry and sick. We never know what another day may bring into our lives. But this I do know, the God who is worthy of praise when life is easy, is also worthy of praise when life is hard.

In Philippians 4:11, the Apostle Paul tells us that he had learned to be content in whatever state he found himself. Paul knew that no matter what he faced in life, God was good and greatly to be praised. So let us learn to be content in what ever state we find ourselves. In good times or bad, in comfort or pain, in sickness or health, let us lift our hearts to heaven and praise God anyhow.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where the Pavement Ends

WOW, God Loves Me

“I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how He could love me, a sinner condemned, unclean.” This is a line from one of my favorite old hymns. Like the writer of this old song I am in awe of the fact that the God of all creation loves me.

This morning as I sit in my study there is a fly buzzing around, and I am determined to hunt it down and swat it. As I think about my place in the history of this earth I know that life is but a vapor. Along with all the billions of people that have lived here before me, I know that I and that fly will soon be nothing but dust. The Word of God tells us this, it says, “from dust you were taken and to dust you will return”.

It is true that your body will return to dust. I know that sounds depressing. But understand this; there is a great and awesome God who is mindful of your soul. You are nothing but a tiny speck of dust on this earth and yet the God of all creation has set His great heart on you. You are the crowning jewel of His creation and He loves you.

It is because of His love for you that He sent Jesus, His only begotten Son as an atoning sacrifice. Jesus the Son of God was crucified for your sins. He died, was buried and rose again so that you can receive forgiveness. In the grand scheme of things, on this earth your life is but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. But if you believe in Jesus and trust Him with this tiny speck of dust that is your life, then you can live forever in Heaven in the presence of God .

That is why I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus my Savior, who took no thoughts for His own life but He shed drops of blood for mine.

Douglas Huff & 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

Useless

Useless, an old building torn down and reduced to a pile of worthless wood. Good for nothing, really all it was fit for was to be burned or left to rot. Looking at the heap of old planks I thought, maybe there is something good in there. One by one I examined the old planks. Everyone of them was rough. Twisted and warped there was not a straight edge to be found. It was just an old pile of useless lumber

I took the best of these crooked boards, pull out all the nails and ran them through a planer to make them all the same thickness. Then using hammers, saws, clamps and glue I cut and banged and squeezed the old wood into a box. That is what it was, full of nail holes, scars and blemishes it was just an ugly box.

But then I covered it with polyurethane. The polyurethane did something wonderful. It highlighted all the imperfections. Now the nail holes and scars are no longer blemishes instead they are character marks. All the mistakes I made, now look as though they were planned. With the coating of polyurethane, the ugly box suddenly turned into a beautiful chest.

As usual I see a Spiritual metaphor.

Many people are like that old pile of wood. Warped and twisted their lives are fit only to be left to rot. But they try. With their own abilities they work hard to make something of their lives. They cut, hammer, glue and squeeze until they turn their life into an ugly box. They have done the best they could but still their life is useless. After all they are amateurs. They need the help of the Master Carpenter.

Jesus is the Master Carpenter. He invites you to surrender your hopeless life to Him. If you will allow Him, He will fill you and cover you with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can highlight your imperfections and scars turning them into trophies of grace. The polyurethane I used turned an ugly box into a beautiful chest. In the same way, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit can turn your life into a beautiful vessel that is suitable to adorn the throne room of Heaven.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Email- pavementendsministry@gmail.com

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