Christmas on the Porch—a Gift Idea

Featured

 

Christmas on the Porch

Christmas is almost here, and the Porch of the Lord is offering you a “stocking stuffer!”

…a book of Christmas poetry by P. A. Oltrogge, for you to share the true message and meaning of Christmas with others—family, friends, acquaintances, or anyone who comes to mind. It is a new release, and its title is Christmas on the Porch.

Featuring a new Christmas poem written especially for the book, Christmas on the Porch is a treasury of seasonal poems from the Porch of the Lord. Friends of the blog will recognize their familiar Christmas favorites, collected in print for the first time.

You can obtain a copy of the book at BarnesandNoble.com or at Amazon.com. You can also order a copy, printed on request, through Barnes and Noble stores.

A blessed Advent and Christmas season to you,

P. A. Oltrogge

On the Porch of the Lord

Featured

A place of refreshment, the porch of the Lord…
Pull up a chair, take in spiritual air.
Jesus always has time, and His is the power–
Receive there His touch in this end-time hour.
Like Mary, take time to sit at His feet;
Come to His porch for relief from life’s heat.
Only one thing is needful and truly can please–
His Word and His presence, felt on each breeze.
He offers living water, quenching everyone’s thirst;
And that’s yours there daily, by seeking Him first.
There’s joy on His porch, with your sisters and brothers,
As you find your needs met while caring about others.
The healing and peace which only Christ can bring
Are found there at all times—an everlasting spring.
Taste there His love, so generously poured;
Your “cup will run over” on the porch of the Lord.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things; But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.'” Luke 10:38-42 NKJV

“But one thing is needful…” verse 42, KJV

A Glorious Choice

Featured

First Easter by Pauline Voorhees Eikenberry

First Easter by Pauline Voorhees Eikenberry

Jesus Christ of Nazareth had taken His destined place
On a cruel cross upon a hill–for the task He’d been born to face.
His sinless life had made Him the chosen Lamb of God–
Though now He sits at God’s right hand and bears a Shepherd’s rod.
Three days after Christ’s burial, and just at the brink of dawn,
Some, in love, had come to the tomb and had found that His body was gone.
But the pain of their grief concerning His death had then given way
To amazing angelic tidings on that glorious Resurrection day!
Jesus, the Man on the center cross, on the hill of crucifixion had been
The focus of God’s judgement upon all of mankind’s sin.
But now, with joy, the angels reminded that just as He had said,
Jesus, God’s Son, had risen in victory, up from the dead!
His Father’s gracious plan of redemption for all people had been met;
And all of their faults or sins, a holy God could now forget!
There’s just one requirement remaining; and it’s your choice–
To believe in your heart He’s Savior, and confess it with your voice.
Angels rejoice in heaven over one sinner who’ll repent,
And put their faith in Jesus Christ–the One Whom God has sent.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Romans 10:10 (New King James)

“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:10 (New American Standard)

“For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 6:2 (New King James)

“Therefore, I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Isaiah 53:12 (New King James)

Resurrection references: Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler

Featured

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler by Pauline Voorhees Eikenberry

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler by Pauline Voorhees Eikenberry

A rich young ruler, with eternal concerns, made a mental list–
Then sought out Christ to see if there was anything he’d missed.
In contemplating heaven, he hoped he’d done God’s will
By following His laws, from his youth, but wondered still.

He addressed Christ as a good teacher, but didn’t realize
That Christ wasn’t just a good teacher, but God before his very eyes.
He asked the Lord what he could do to aid him on eternity’s quest,
And Jesus confirmed that to keep the commandments is best.

The young man replied he’d done that from as early as he could recall–
Then Jesus told him of his need to follow Him and surrender all.
His wealth and possessions had become too strong of a hold
And kept him from seeing the purity of God’s desires–true gold.

With sadness, the ruler left because he couldn’t see the reward.
He hadn’t yet grasped the higher life offered through Christ, the Lord.
You see, making Christ your Lord doesn’t actually cost–in fact, it pays,
With dividends of God’s blessings throughout all your days.

The greatest blessing of all is getting to know God as you should–
A loving heavenly Father whose care and plans for you are good.
Then, committing your life and resources, in faith, as He leads
Will help you to reach exactly those He knows of who have needs.

God knows that when possessions become your highest treasure,
You’ll fail to find the things that He knows are of greater measure.
Christ looks for our faith and love for Him and where our loyalty lies;
Let’s not fail to see that investment in His Kingdom is certainly wise.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now behold, one came and said to him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But, if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said to Him, ‘Which ones?’ Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

Matthew 19:16-22 (New King James)

The Heart of Christmas

FE1DD1FF-9DF8-4AF2-ACC7-37C53AFCA57D.jpeg

For God so loved the world…
Can we comprehend His very big heart?
All the way back to Adam and Eve,
He loved us from the start.

God, the Father, would send a Savior
through Jesus Christ, His Son.
Born of the virgin, Mary–
through Jesus, His plans would be done.

Jesus, the Son, would die for our sins;
He would teach us about loving and giving.
I thank God for the gift of Jesus at Christmas,
who renews my faith always for living.

P. A. Oltrogge

“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5 NASB

“All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His commandments and His testimonies.” Psalm 25:10 RSV

“…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV

Photo/Porch of the Lord

A Very Present Help

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 KJV

Troubles come to all of us, trials are an unsolicited part of life;

but there is One who is a very present help in the midst of any kind of strife.

He’s not only present, but He’s VERY present amidst things which can be dire–

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, remember, weren’t burned though engulfed by fire.
__________

The men had refused to worship the gold idol, as King Nebuchadnezzar had decreed–

Such a decree to these men of faith was something they simply wouldn’t heed.

Anyone who disobeyed would be cast into a fiery furnace that had been stoked very hot–

At the sound of the horn, flute, harp, or lyre, all were to bow down, but these three men would not.
__________

Called before the king, he gave them another chance to obey, but they bravely made it clear…

that their God could deliver them; yet if not, they served Him only and had nothing to fear.

Then, thrown into the furnace, divine intervention left them without even the smell of fire–

Their hair wasn’t singed, nor their clothes affected, because no other “god” was higher.
__________

In the midst of the fiery furnace, a fourth “man” had appeared, among the other three.

His appearance was “like the Son of God;” and He’d loosed them and had set the men free.

Though they’d initially been bound together, Nebuchadnezzar saw them unhurt and walking separately around–

This miraculous event became proof to him that there was no God but theirs to be found.
__________

God has promised to be our sure refuge, whom we can run to for shelter from any storm–

If the “winds” of life become threatening or cold, under His wings, we’ll be protected and warm.

He’s the strength upon which we’ve come to depend; and we’re blessed by the love He supplies.

Keep looking to Jesus, your very present help. In every circumstance, that will prove to be wise.

P. A. Oltrogge

(The poetic account is derived from Daniel 3)

…trials sometimes come, but confidence in God’s love and care for us (Psalm 91:4) and the presence of His Holy Spirit within strengthen those who believe….

Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 (and through 26)

Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:1-4

Star Gazing Leads to the Star to be Praising

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod, the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’

“When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’

“Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.’

“When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

“Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.” Matthew 2:1-12 NKJV

0C24A57B-14D7-4F42-B7CA-AA19F2AB17F7

There’s something very compelling about a brilliant star;
and that, dear Lord, is what You are…

“The Bright and Morning Star,” is one of Your titles, which inspires—
“Glory to God in the highest” was sung at Your birth by heaven’s angelic choirs.

The wise men followed the guiding light of a certain star in the sky,
which led them to You, the Bright and Morning Star—
Jesus, the Son of the Most High.

P. A. Oltrogge

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16 NKJV

“And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:30-33 KJV

“For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.” Psalm 47:2 NKJV

“Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.” Psalm 50:14 NKJV

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 NKJV

Mary’s Lord, Elizabeth’s Lord, Our Lord—Jesus

“And in the sixth month, the angel, Gabriel, was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, ‘Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ Then said Mary unto the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:26-38 KJV

3DBA1814-490A-46CE-975C-8C14177F5AAF
Photo/The Nativity Story movie

As foretold, Jesus was divinely conceived in the virgin Mary. Thereafter, she visited her cousin, Elizabeth, who was expecting a child, John, as well.

Upon arrival to her home, Mary greeted Elizabeth. Between the two, there must have been much to share and tell.

On hearing the greeting of Mary, Elizabeth felt the baby, who was already filled with the Holy Spirit, inside of her own womb leap for joy.

And then, by the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth spoke loudly, declaring that God’s favor was great on Mary and her baby boy.

Elizabeth questioned why she was being granted such an honor, to be visited by Mary, “the mother of my Lord,”

but said that, through Mary, the world would have Jesus, the Savior—every believer’s greatest reward.

The Song of Mary

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and Holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.” (Luke 1:46-55 NKJV)

“And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.”
Luke 1:56 NKJV

…from Luke 1

Poinsettias for the Prince of Peace

49C7BB1B-FFC7-4A32-9B39-1D8AF8BAC563

At the Christmas season, with decorations inside and out,
the poinsettias reflect what it’s all about.
Clean as the whiteness of a lamb or a dove–
the purity of ivory petals speaks of the Child sent from above.

83D589AB-2EE7-4163-852F-21F573FF3580

Pink reflects cheer and the joy that was proclaimed
by the angels about the Christ child–Jesus, He’s named.
Crimson red speaks of blood that was shed for mankind
by Jesus Christ upon the cross–our salvation defined.

CE5AC415-3590-4F43-8EF0-6CC074D9AC94

The lives of those who receive Him gain a new lease
in finding faith for living through this Prince of Peace.
So, in seeing the poinsettias, rejoice for the reason
that His birth in Bethlehem is what gave us this season.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:9-11 KJV

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” John 1:12 KJV

Photos/Pixabay

A Perfect Redemption

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“…that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.’” Matthew 8:17 (NKJV)

“…for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

Jesus, You took my infirmities, You took my pains…
Through scourges and the bleeding that came from Your veins.
That blood was spilled out for my sins, well-being, and health–
A perfect redemption from God’s Son of great wealth.
There’s no point in my bearing a cruel disease–
You’ve already done so in order to please
The Father in heaven, Who gives in a loving way,
To any who come to Him in faith when they pray.
In this matter, some have been hurt by the devil’s wiles;
But Your compassion is steadfast in the midst of such trials.
To keep my words in the past tense is what You’re telling me–
“For me, the battle’s been won!” and the devil has to flee.
I’ll continue to thank You despite how I feel
And practice faith laughter since it’s a “done deal.”
In faith, through my actions, I’ll pursue any route
That, if led by Your guidance, would assist in the way out.
But “mountains” melt like wax in Your presence, oh Lord,
And the one that’s before me must yield to Your Sword.
In remembrance of You, I’ll often take
Of the covenant meal provided for my sake.
I won’t quit in giving thanks, but see myself whole,
For You didn’t just attempt–but achieved–redemption’s goal.
A message in Your Word, a message that’s true–
“He heals all my diseases”–I know You’ve seen it through.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases….” Psalm 103:1-3

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’” 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 (NKJV)

“My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22

“The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” Psalm 97:5

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-15

“With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My salvation.” Psalm 91:16

(If you’ve experienced doubts or even disappointment regarding healing, I pray you will cast the care of that over on the Lord and persevere, retaining faith for healing, for God’s Word is His will.)

Further scripture references:

In Deuteronomy 28:15-22, 27-29, 35-61 sicknesses and disease are listed as a curse of the Law. Galatians 3:13-14 states that “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us….”

Exodus 15:26; Exodus 23:25-26; Psalm 91:3; Psalm 91:10; Psalm 107:19-20; Psalm 118:17; Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 16:24; Proverbs 17:22; Isaiah 53:4-5; Isaiah 55:11; Isaiah 57:19; Matthew 7:11; Matthew 8:2-3; Matthew 15:30-31; Mark 11:23-26; Mark 16:15, 17-18; Luke 18:27; John 10:10; Acts 10:38; Romans 8:11; James 1:17; 1 John 4:4; 3 John:2 and others.

See http://www.rhema.org
Look for Study Center, Articles on Healing

and http://www.awmi.net
Testimonies on Healing

And http://www.josephprince.org/blog/praise-reports

F651C3B7-D716-4665-8ED4-BB6BC94E22AB

Don’t Cast Away Your Confidence

D25C7404-96A2-4E44-BFF0-E94850B8EF61

“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:35-39

Turn your confidence around;
Let it now in God be found.
There are thoughts that seek to deceive,
But just let God those fears relieve.
Turn your confidence around;
Jesus’ Words are sure and sound.
Cast down any thought that things can’t change–
With God, anything can rearrange.
Turn your confidence around,
For every victory in Him is found.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 John 5:4,5

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”
2 Corinthians 2:14

And another scripture, with thoughts from a guest contributor:

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart….” Luke 18:1 NKJV

Pray always without being weary. Do not: stop or give up. Do: pray, even when you feel tired from or distressed about a problem. Do pray: when you wake up and before you fall asleep.

Keep praying, always looking for the Holy Spirit in action all day. Keep God on your heart and thank Him throughout your day.

Also…be blessed to visit http://www.jerrysavelle.org for his
featured book, “The God of the Breakthrough Will Visit Your House”

This is Eternal Life…

7F7BBA70-4A62-4B4C-9CFC-E637919476F5

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” …spoken by Jesus in John 17:3 NKJV

“And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”
1 John 2:25 KJV

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11 KJV

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and are in him that is true, even in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20 KJV

Photo/Pixabay