Grab Another Gear and Go

In Matthew 11:12 we read “ From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” For a long time I did not understand this verse. I would read it, scratch my head and ask God “What in the world are you talking about?” The Bible says ask and you will receive, so one day while I was driving He showed me what this verse meant.

I was driving up the road in my little pickup when I met a truck pulling an open sided trailer hauling 10 or 12 cars. As the air went over under and around these cars, a forceful turbulence was created. As I encountered this turbulent air, it was like a violent force that almost stopped my pickup. In order to continue on my way I had to become more forceful than this wall of invisible air. So I grabbed another gear, stepped on the gas and powered through the violence.

This is the lesson I learned. The kingdom of heaven and God’s children have always faced violent attacks from Satanic forces. These attacks have and will increase as the Great Day of the Lord draws nearer. God’s people must not be fooled by those who tell us we should be tolerant and compromising. Like David we must fill our pockets with stones and like Jesus we must prepare to turn some tables over.

Jesus told us in this world we would face turbulence. But we need not be afraid, He has overcome the world. Satan will continue to attack us with violence and force. But with God we will gain the victory and He will trampled down the enemy. So when the enemy comes at us with a wall of turbulence and trouble, don’t let it slow you down. Lean into it, grab another gear, step on the gas and go.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Email- pavementendsministry@gmail.com

Hands

Hands

He was looking at his hands.

A torn piece of cardboard announced his position in life.

It said, “I am homeless, need help, God bless you”.

His coat was dirty and ragged and all the warmth that he had.

A backpack lay on the ground beside him, possibly containing everything he owned.

He was leaning against the sign post, the sign said stop.

But the preacher, who preaches love and mercy, would not.

Hands

He was looking at his hands.

A torn piece of cardboard announced his want in life.

It said, “Homeless, I need help, God bless you”.

His hands were dirty and bare and empty.

I wonder, do you suppose he was thinking I wish I had work for these hands to do.

Maybe he was wishing for water to wash with or food to eat.

He was leaning against the sign post, the sign said stop.

But the preacher, who was busy doing church work, would not.

Hands

He was looking at his hands.

A torn piece of cardboard announced his prayer in life.

It said, “Homeless, need help, may God bless you.

He never looked up as the people drove by.

What was his greatest need? A bite of food, a drink of water or just a phone call home?

Maybe God had placed him there for the preacher to help.

He was leaning against the sign post, the sign said stop.

But the preacher, who preaches about Gods Greatest commandment, would not.

Hands

I am looking at my hands.

A torn piece of cardboard convicts my soul.

It told me that the man was homeless and needed help. God forgive me.

I gripped the steering wheel and tried not to see him.

I rationalized, I am busy, and it is to dangerous maybe he does not really need help.

God said you, are My hands, but I pretended not to hear.

He was leaning against a sign post, the sign said Stop.

But the preacher, who preaches about the need to obey, did not.

May God have mercy on all who speak about love, but do not.

No Other Name Than Jesus

Jesus is my Savior. When I was a nine year old boy, I reached out my hand to Him and trusted Him with my life. I didn’t understand a lot about Him. But that was ok, because He understood everything about me. My faith in Him was not misplaced. He has never failed me. I have many good friends and loved ones whom I can trust with things of this world, but for my eternal hope I will trust in no other name than Jesus.

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Light. No one can ever make their way to heaven except through Him. He is the only begotten Son of God. He came to do the will of His Father. It is the will of God that no one should be lost but that all should have eternal life. When the religious leaders instructed Peter not to preach in the name of Jesus, Peter said, “I think I will listen to God and not you.” Then Peter preached with the authority of God that there is no other name by which we might be saved than the name of Jesus.

If you trust Jesus, you will find in Him everything you need. When your life seems to be as dark as night, He is the Bright Morning Star. If your world seems to be crumbling around you, He is the Rock on which you can stand. If you feel loneliness, you can know that He will always be there. His righteousness will wipe away your sin. If you are prone to wander in darkness, He is the Good Shepherd and the Light of Life.

Have you trusted Jesus and Jesus only for eternal salvation. I have heard His voice and I can tell you without a doubt that He, and He alone, can save your soul. Many things and people want to be a god to you. But Jesus is the only God who died to wipe away your sins. He rose from the dead to reveal that He alone can give you eternal life. In Christ alone, can you find Salvation. There is no other authority under Heaven by which you might be saved. No other name but JESUS.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

email- pavementendsministry@gmail.com

The Chosen Ones

Jesus personally called the men He wanted to be His disciples. These men were Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the Son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Cananite and Judas Iscariot. Now we know that Jesus walked this earth as a man, but He was The Great I Am. Therefore, He knew all there was to know about these men He wanted to be His disciples.

Judas was a thief who would sell his soul for thirty pieces of silver. Thomas doubted that Jesus could rise from the dead. James and John were called the Sons of Thunder, probably because they had violent tempers. Peter well, we all know that Peter denied he even knew Jesus. When Jesus called these men, He knew about their past. He knew about their current actions and He knew what they would do in the future. Yet He called them anyway, because these were the ones, He Himself wanted.

The disciples were all chosen by Jesus in spite of their sins and failures. The Bible teaches that there is a way that seems right to men, but the ways of men always end with death. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. When Jesus called the disciples, they all repented and followed Him for eternal life. All except for Judas, who chose the way that seemed right to men and lost his soul.

There is good news for you and I. Jesus is still the Great I Am. He knows about your past, your future and what you are doing now. And yet He still chose you. Jesus has called out to us because we are the ones that He Himself wants. You and I are chosen in spite of our sins and failures. He does not call us because we are good or holy. He doesn’t call us because we are righteous and just. He calls us because we are sinners in need of a Savior and He is that Savior. So now you have a choice to make. Will you choose the way that seems right to men or will you choose to follow Him.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Email- pavementendsministry@gmail.com

Ouch

Once while working on a project I hit my finger with the hammer. Ouch, I threw the hammer down and grabbed my hand. Then I proceeded to jump and dance as I held my hand and sang ouch, ouch and ouch. I had almost stopped working for the day, but I decided to put up one more board. I had the board up and decided to swing the hammer one more time. I should have stopped while I was ahead, but I didn’t and so I had a finger that was the color of a grape and it hurt “ouch”.

It is a funny thing about pain, no one likes it and yet we know that it is a gift from God. Yes it is a gift, can you imagine what my hand would look like if there were no pain. I probably would have pounded my fingers into mincemeat and not even realized it. But God gives us pain to protect us from ourselves and the world. So “ouch” is a wonderful word!

Pain comes in many forms. The pain I have been talking about came about from a careless accident. It was physical. The finger healed; but I will remember it and be more careful. We often have emotional pain and sometimes we have spiritual pain. And sometimes all three combine. At these times we wish we could be like a wounded animal, and go find a deep dark cave and curl up and die.

I have felt this kind of pain as a result of being a pastor. With the help of the Holy Spirit I tried to be a good pastor. Seeking Gods will, all week long I would pray as I prepared the sermon. Then preaching until I had no more energy, I would pour my heart out for the congregation. Only to be pounded by people I thought I could trust, as they would go home and have roast preacher for lunch.

That pain was intense. There have been times when it was physical, my heart would hurt so bad that I was afraid I was having a heart attack. Emotionally I have faced depression; I have suffered with the lost of appetite and even lost the desire to preach. After all why preach? No one is listening, or so it seems. Spiritually, I became like Job and wondered why God had turned his back on me.

I know now that pain is my friend. Through it I learned how to trust God and I learned how to pray, I thought I already knew those things but I didn’t. In the last chapter of the book of Job, he says, “I had heard of God with my ears but now I have seen Him with my eyes.” In effect he was saying, before I thought I believed but now I know that God is real. Job had finally gotten to the place, were God wanted him to be. And that was the purpose of the pain in his life.

You know we face nothing that Christ did not face. As a pastor I understood that. When people abandoned me, I knew how Jesus must have felt when people went back from following him. When I was betrayed I remembered that a disciple betrayed Jesus with a kiss. When I hit my finger with a hammer and felt the intense pain, I knew that it was nothing compared to the nails driven through the hands and feet of my Savior!

So what should be our course of action? Well since pain teaches us about Jesus, when we suffer, let us worship Him. Pain will teach you how to pray, be strong, and to be wise. So when you suffer; kneel in prayer, stand in His strength and depend on His wisdom.

Pain, Ouch! A gift from God! Bringing us from where we are to where we must be if God is going to use us. Count it as all joy to suffer for Christ because He first suffered for you.

Douglas. & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

A Gentle Old Soul

A gentle old soul walked into the shop the other day and called out, “Is anybody at home”. I looked up to see a precious friend of myself and most everyone in the community. I asked, “can I help you?” By the way he answered, I recognized he was lost in the fog of Alzheimer’s disease. He told me he was looking for his wife and I knew she was probably frantically looking for him.

Putting my hand on his shoulder, I walked with him to where his family was. As he shuffled along he talked about things that only he understood. He kept telling me he had something for me and that he was going to take care of me. I wish I could have made him understand that he truly was giving me something very precious. You see, Alzheimer’s had taken my daddy and as I walked with this gentle old soul, I felt as if I was walking with my own daddy once again.

In Genesis there is a story of a man named Enoch. The story goes that Enoch walked with God everyday. But one day Enoch could not be found, because that day God took him home to heaven. Now I think that like Enoch, those who suffer from Alzheimer’s walk close to God in ways you and I cannot understand. As these gentle old souls shuffle along on their last journey, I think that God walks with them. He listens to their jumbled words and untangles their confused thoughts. Then one day they are no longer here, their journey has ended. God has taken them home.

These gentle old souls with Alzheimer’s have much to give as they walk their last mile. It is easy for us who are mere mortals to be impatient and misunderstanding in their presence. But if we listen to their rambling stories, we might hear a conversation with God. If we put a hand on their shoulder and walk with them, we might find ourselves walking with The Father. Myself, I truly believe that God sent this gentle old soul into the shop the other day so I could walk with my daddy one more time.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

Pavement Ends Ministry

Desiring the Masters Touch

My favorite place for a morning quite time is the back porch. Here I can see the sun rise, feel the morning breeze, and listen as the birds start their business for the day. Knowing that days have started like this for thousands of years helps me to draw close to the God of hope and glory.

As I sit and try to commune with God, my dog will pester me for attention. She stands on my left nudging my hand begging me to pet her. When I ignore her she goes around to the other side and nudges my right hand. If I continue to ignore her she comes around in front of me and plops her big ol head down on top of my Bible. When I push her back and continue to read she will lay down at my feet and wait until I decide to pay attention to her.

Why does she so persistently seek my attention? Is it because I feed her and take care of her? No. She would be loyal to me even if I did not feed her. She is persistent because she longs for my touch. Because I am her master, Her greatest joy is in the touch of my hand.

Like this dog I long for my Masters touch. While I sit on the porch and watch the sunrise I look expectantly to God. With the morning breeze He fulfills His promise as He opens His hand and satisfies my great desire with an amazing caress. The birds pay no attention to worldly affairs, as they have for thousands of years they just go about their daily business of singing to the Glory of God. So through it all I am remember this; God is righteous in all His ways and gracious in all His works. And He has promised To be near to all who call upon Him. If we seek first His Kingdom He will fulfill our greatest desires with the touch of His Hand.

Douglas Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Thorns

            The Apostle Paul was the greatest preacher ever. His obedience and sacrificial service to Jesus is something that we should all imitate. There is no doubt that when he was beheaded for his Savior the next thing, he heard was his Heavenly Father saying, “Well done My good and faithful servant.”

            Yes, Paul was a great man of God. And yet he suffered from what he called, “a thorn in the flesh.” What was this “thorn in the flesh”?  No one knows. It could have been an illness, a deformity, blindness or anything that affected his physical body. 

            There is one thing that I have never heard anyone else suggest. Maybe Paul’s thorn in the flesh was an addiction. Maybe he was addicted to alcohol or drugs or food or even porn. Some people would say; “Paul could not have had an addiction because he was a Godly man.” Yes, he was a Godly man but he was not a perfect man, He had faults and his faults made him feel like he was ” the chief of sinners”.  God does not use perfect people; He uses broken people. Especially those with thorns in their flesh.

            The Bible does not answer every question, and that is a good thing. It is a fact that all Christians struggle with sin, even the Godliest among us. All of us have a thorn in the flesh of some kind. We do not know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. But we do know that God’s grace was sufficient for Paul and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

            The blessing of the Bible not giving us all the answers is this; not knowing what Paul suffered, we can identify with him in our suffering. When we feel wretched and wonder who will deliver us from this body of death, we can thank God for Jesus Christ our Lord. Because God’s grace was sufficient for Paul’s thorn in the flesh and it is still sufficient for yours.

Douglas 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

It is Finished

            Among the last words that Jesus spoke from the Cross were “It is finished.” As He spoke these words, He committed His spirit into the hands of the Father. Then He died. But what was it that was finished? What task had Jesus completed?

An epoch of time has ended and a new era has begun. With His death on the cross, the Age of Law was finished and when Jesus rose from the grave, the Age of Grace began.

            In the Age of Law, men made sacrifices to appease God and tried to keep His Commandments to earn a place in heaven. However, mankind could never satisfy or appease God. Nor could they purchase His approval. The Age of Law served to show us how hopeless we are without His Mercy and Grace.

Hopefully, you know that Jesus died on the cross to purchase our forgiveness. Yes, we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Since the wages of sin is death, we have no hope. No matter how good you are, you are not good enough.

But with His resurrection Jesus turned hopelessness into hope. Eternal life could never be purchased or earned, but now because of Grace it can be received. With the words “It is finished” Jesus said, “I have paid the penalty for the crimes and sins of all men.” So Now we have hope and eternal life can be ours.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” Ephesians 2:8

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where the Pavement Ends

Email-pavementendsministry@gmail.com