Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart

Most of the time when we talk about giving thanks, we make a list of people and things that are currently in our lives. This is as it should be, because we are surrounded by present blessings. However, today I have blessings from the past on my mind.

I am thankful for many people who are no longer around. Preacher Dallas gave an invitation during VBS that led to me walking with Jesus. Brother Alan was a great Bible teacher and Mr Pete was a good church leader. In the beginning of my preaching ministry, Mr. Parker and Pastor Steve were there to give me inspiration and advice. I will never forget the support of a man named Tot, and the encouragement of a man named Marcus and the blessing they were to me, their pastor.

My gratitude overflows when I think about my In-laws. I can never forget the food that Helen cooked with love and the half chewed cigar that Cooter would lay on top of the refrigerator before we ate. One thing is for sure they loved their family. Their lives still inspire the ones they left behind.

The one man I miss more than any other is my daddy. From him I learned how to work on tractors, plant a garden and drive a truck. He taught me how to run a chainsaw, shoot a gun, and hunt. Most of all my daddy taught me how to love my family. I thank God for my daddy. Although he walks in Heaven now, I still want to follow his footsteps.

Right now we are all blessed with loved ones that we can hold in our arms. But we are also blessed by the memory of our loved ones who are in Heaven. The Bible talks about a great cloud of witnesses and I believe many of our loved ones are in that cloud. They blessed us while they were on earth and their memories bless us still. So I challenge you, honor their memory by finishing the race that is set before you. Let’s lift our eyes to heaven and give thanks with a grateful heart for all our blessings past and present.

Douglas & Deborah Huff
From Down Where The Pavement Ends


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

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


Marvelous Grace

There once was a young man who was homeless. He lived on the streets. Finding shelter where ever he could he existed on food and clothing that others had discarded. He was hungry and cold, he was ragged and dirty and he smelled bad.

One day a very kind man saw him and felt pity for him. The man took the boy to his own home. He gave the young man use of his bathroom and provided him with everything he needed to be clean. The boy was then given new clothes and fed a good meal. At the end of the day, he was shown to a wonderful bedroom with a soft bed and fine linen. When he awoke the next morning he was fed a hearty breakfast and sent back out into the street. The young man was grateful for what had been done for him, but he was still homeless.

Now listen as I tell the story again. There once was a young man who was homeless. Finding shelter where ever he could, he existed on food and clothing that others had discarded. He was hungry and cold, he was ragged and dirty and he smelled bad. One day a kind man took the boy to his own home. He gave the young man use of his bathroom and provided him with everything he needed to be clean. The boy was then given new clothes and fed a good meal. After the meal, he was given a wonderful bedroom with a soft bed and fine linens to sleep in.

This is where the story changes. The next morning after sharing a good breakfast with the young man the host said “I have something to tell you. Son, if you choose to stay you will never have to go back to your old life. Because I am offering you a new life. From this day forward everything I have will be yours. My home will be home now. From now on you will be my son and I will be your father. You will never be homeless again.”

This is the message I want you to receive. In the first story, a homeless man was shown pity. In the second, Grace was given. In the first story, the boy was given temporary relief. In the second he was made permanently whole. You should know that God is a giver of Grace. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” God the Father with His Marvelous Grace is saying to everyone “Come with Me and all I have will be yours. I will be your Father and you will be My child. And you will never be homeless again.”

Douglas Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

My Daddy

In Honor of my Daddy; Russell Huff, He served God and dedicated his life to loving my Momma and raising nine children. He was the greatest man I have ever known!

My Daddy, My Hero
Big bucks, deep deer trails, squirrels cutting hickory nuts,
Cane cutter rabbits, cold November mornings
Deer stands, and my daddy,
Thank you God!
Broad River, wooden boat, 5-horse motor,
bank hooks, trotlines, and fish baskets
Big carps, big catfish and my daddy
Thank you God
Oak trees, hickory trees, popular trees
Chainsaw, axe, log splitter, old pickup truck
Warm house and my daddy,
Thank you God
A Farmall, B Allis Chalmers, Cornfield,
Tomater rows, pea patch and butter beans
A cold drink of water, Suppertime and my daddy
Thank you God
Five sisters, three brothers, mommas smile
Laughter, tears, riding sweet gum saplings
Hickory switch when needed, lotsa love always
And my daddy, my precious Daddy,
Thank you God!
Thank you God; for my daddy, my hero, he taught me how to be a man!

Douglas Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends