Ballast Stones

Two ships leave the port. Headed for a distant land both ships expect to return loaded with valuable cargo.

One ship rides high and majestic in the water. Her sails are filled with air, she seems to fly along on top of the water. The captain stands at the wheel piloting his vessel with pride. Because of the speed and agility of the ship, he anticipates a quick and successful journey.

The second ship sets low in the water. Her sails are also filled with air but she struggles to force her way through the water. With a firm grasp on the wheel, her captain watches as the first ship leaves him and his crew behind.

The first night out there is a fierce storm. Both ships are hit hard by the force of the wind. As the lightning flashes the crashing waves pound against the vessels. The storm is devastating. Only one vessel can survive. The wind and the waves batter the other one and it is tossed around on the ocean until it capsizes and is lost.

Why was one ship able to withstand the storm but the other couldn’t? The answer is simple. The surviving ship was weighed with ballast stone and the other vessel was not.

The first ship was lost in the storm because she was light and had no weight to give her stability. The second ship was able to withstand the storm because the captain had filled the cargo hold with ballast stones. The ballast stones caused her to ride low in the water, slowing the ship and making her look cumbersome. However, the ballast stones also gave her stability and the ability to withstand the storm.

The first ship is called Pride and the second ship was called Humility. The Bible teaches us that, A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor. Let humility be the ballast stone of your life because pride brings destruction but those who are humble will survive the storm.

Douglas Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Be Still and Know That He Is God

Be Still And Know That He Is God

People often asked me, “Where do you get the ideas for the devotions that you write?” The short answer is,” God gives them to me.” The long answer however is that I have learned to see the evidence of God in all my surroundings. This forensic evidence confirms the power of His love. Just as with Jeremiah, the proof of God ignites a fire in my soul that cannot be contained. It is my inspiration to write and to preach.

Right now I am watching some large birds floating on currents of air that are stirred up by an approaching storm. The gentle strength of the wind that carries the birds and the boisterous power of the coming storm bear witness to the presence of an omnipotent God. I can see the fingerprints of God all over the red and yellow leaves that seem to have suddenly appeared on the trees. He tells us in Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Never make the mistake of thinking that God is in everything. That kind of erroneous thinking often leads to idolatry. No, God is not in everything, but evidence of God is in everything. He is the Creator of all things and all of creation bears His DNA. The heavens declare His glory and the ocean tides reveal His constancy. The silence of a falling star punctuates His brilliance and the crash of thunder highlights His strength. In all things He makes Himself known because all things bear His fingerprints.

So, where do I get the ideas for the devotions that I write? Well, the answer is easy. My heart is warmed by His invisible presence, while my eyes marvel at His visible glory. The simplest things bear witness to the most profound truths. It is easy to write when I take the time to “Be still and know that He is God.”

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Our God Reigns

The sun rises and chases away the darkness. The birds sing and fill the air with cheerful songs. Two doves cuddle on a wire reminding me of faithful lovers. Majestic clouds paint a moving portrait that declares the glory of the Lord. In the throne room of Heaven, our God reigns and is impervious to the fools who say He does not exist.

Underneath the sun, the nations rage and plot vainly against our omnipotent Lord. They imagine they can free themselves from His laws. Corrupt and wicked people conspire to do evil things against God’s righteous ones. Sometimes we feel as though we are being chewed up like bread. We wonder does God hear our prayers. Yes, He hears our prayers. From His throne in heaven, He laughs and ridicules the ones who conspire against Him and His chosen ones. We will prevail because in Heaven our God reigns.

The sunrise emphasizes that God hears our prayer and chases away the darkness. The birds sing a victory song and we know that the battle is the Lord’s. The cooing of the doves reminds us that Jesus is the lover of our souls. The clouds declare the glory of the King. Our God is a despiser of wickedness and evil people will not stand in His presence. The wicked ones will be filled with terror because God is with His righteous ones. Our salvation is from the Lord of all Creation and forever in Heaven, our God reigns.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

How Magnificent is Our God

How magnificent is my God? With omnipotence, His shining glory illuminates the highest heavens. By His authority, He has ordained strength from the mouth of the most helpless of babies. In His presence, the enemy is silenced. With His righteous power He has, He is, and He will defeat the adversary.

On a blustery day, I hear the wind howl and watch as the tree sway back and forth. I watch as the sun goes down and light fades away. The moon rises, chasing away the darkness, and stands guard over the night.  In the distance, a whippoorwill cheers as the stars decorate the purple sky. All of this makes me wonder. Who are we that God would have us on His mind? He made us a little lower than the angels and He has given us a crown of glory and honor.

He is a great and awesome God and He has given us authority over His creation. He has placed all things in our control, the cattle in the field, the beast in the woods, the birds in the air, and the fish in the water. We are just sons of men, yet the Son of God has visited us and given us the right to become children of the most gracious God. 

How magnificent is the Power and Authority of the Lord my God. His shining glory illuminates the highest heaven. To Him be all honor and glory. Oh LORD our Lord How excellent is your name in all the earth.

Psalms 8:1-9

Douglas & Deborah Huff

Desiring the Masters Touch

My favorite place for a morning quiet time is the back porch. Here I can see the sunrise, 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 lie 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 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

I Believe

I believe that laughter of children is sweet music and the love of a child can put a song in your heart. I believe that the sweat from hard work feels good and the reward of working hard is a good feeling. I believe that reading the Bible while the sun comes up is the best way to start the day. A cup of coffee while talking to God will make the day good to the last drop. The Bible tells us in Romans 15:13 “ The God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus said whoever believes in Him will never die and I know this to be true. I also am convinced that whoever does not believe in Jesus has never lived. Belief is a powerful thing. It can imprint on your life unending hope and it can erase from your life debilitating fear. Belief in the Savior has caused crippled men to walk, blind men to see and dead men to live. I believe that God is good and greatly to be praised. I will praise God in all things, good and bad.

God has promised that with a little faith, we can prayerfully move mountains. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, your prayers can bring healing to the sick, salvation to the lost and hope to the hopeless. This is true for all of us who believe in the power of Jesus our Savior. Sometimes in our human frailties, we struggle to believe this. But if we cry out to Jesus, He will help us in our unbelief.

I believe that my sins are great but God’s forgiveness is greater. I believe that when I fall my Jesus will be there to pick me up. In my weakness, I often stumble but I have this certain assurance that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I know that I am righteous, but only because of the shed blood of Jesus. So for this reason I have firmly planted my feet on the Rock of my salvation. This salvation is found only in Jesus Christ the Son of God. HE is the One in whom I believe.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

The Sun Rose

The sun rose this morning, just like it did yesterday. It was a beautiful red ball of fire rising above the treetops.  Yesterday a famous person died. Everyone took notice.  The newsman talked about how much they would be missed. But God said, Let the sun rise, famous people come and go, but time marches on!

The sun rose this morning, just like it has always done.  Yesterday some ones favorite team lost. It was a bad day. The sportscaster called it an upset. But God wasn’t upset. He said, Let the sunrise, while grown men play games, the clock continues to unwind.

The sun rose this morning, as always it chased the moon from the sky.  Yesterday some one’s business failed. The stock market took notice and the prognosticators said it is a downturn in the economy. But God said, not in my economy, I own the cattle on a thousand hills. So let the sunrise, there will be a new day.

The sun rose this morning, just like it did the day before. Yesterday some ones loved one died. In their grief they cry out to God asking why did death come to my family? God replies, why not? After all everyone leaves this world in a box. But look; the sun is rising. You see our time on earth is temporary but heaven is permanent and life will go on.  

The sun rose this morning, God said it would, so it did.  And it will rise every day, until, God tells it not to.  Famous people will die; they are not famous to God. Sports teams will lose, if there are no losers their can be no winners. Businesses will fail but that gives successful people something to build on.  Loved ones pass away, but God’s children live forever, even after the sun stops rising.

The sun rose this morning. God said, “Let there be light” so there is light and it is good because God said so. This is the day that God has made, I will rejoice and be glad, because God told the sun to rise this morning. And it did.

Douglas Huff

From Down Where the Pavement Ends