On the Porch of the Lord

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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

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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

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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)

A Visit to the Woods While in the City

The Porch of the Lord

Photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli Photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli

Today I have responsibilities that call;
I may not be able to get to them all.

I like to think back on visits I’ve made
to peaceful wooded paths or a forest glade.

At such places, it’s natural to pause and reflect
on the Lord, our Creator, and give Him respect.

But amidst crowded sidewalks or busy streets,
I can praise you, God, and remember our “retreats.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“And He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’….” Mark 6:31 NKJV

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

Exodus 33:14; Psalm 23; Psalm 91:1-2; Psalm 119:105; John 14:27…

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Thoughts and Declarations

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If a thought, upon arising, says that every hope is gone,
remember that the Lord’s mercies are new at every dawn.

If moments from the past come to mind that weren’t the best,
think only of those times when you just knew that you were blessed.

And instead of sad lamenting over any “milk” that has been spilled,
think expectantly about the future and God’s promises being fulfilled.

Make prophetic declarations that will inspire you on your way.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue…you can have what you say.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23 RSV

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV

Often referenced by Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin, were Mark 11:22-24. He therefore believed in the power of our words and taught, “You can have what you say.” See http://www.rhema.org  (Faith Food Devotionals under Study Center)

“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God.  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.’” Mark 11:22-24 NKJV (and 25-26 on forgiveness)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 NKJV

”(The Lord) crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” from Psalm 103 NKJV

Pleasant Words

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Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 NKJv

Oh, how our souls are often in need of words that are sweet,
for it’s so very easy in life to have thoughts of defeat.

Finding words of encouragement, perhaps from a Psalm,
will go a long way in helping to keep our thoughts calm.

And the words that we ourselves speak should always be trained
to be gracious and uplifting, as God has ordained.

Pleasant words, kind words, are words that will nourish.
By them, the lives of others and our own lives will flourish.

P. A. Oltrogge

“A word filly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11 AMP

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 NKJV

“Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!” Psalm 31:19 NKJV

“But He (Jesus) answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 NKJV

“Surely goodnesss and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Psalm 23:6 NKJV

God is Good, All the Time

…from Luke 13:10-17

In this account, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues; and it was on a Sabbath day.

A woman was there who, for eighteen years, had had a sickness caused by a spirit—she was bound by Satan that way.

She was bent double and was totally unable to straighten up at all.

But she made her way over to Jesus, upon His invitation and call.

“Woman, you are freed from your sickness,” He said, laying His hands upon her—immediately she became erect.

She began to glorify God that Jesus’ ministry had had such a powerful effect!

But due to rigid adherence to the Torah, a synagogue official could only “see” the Law.

Jesus should not have healed on the Sabbath, he said. All he could see was this “flaw.”

In the face of such a miracle, he still, obviously, wasn’t persuaded.

His only desire seemed to be that Jesus’ act of love should be degraded.

Jesus then called him a hypocrite, saying that he, and the other synagogue officials, would untie their own oxen or donkeys on the Sabbath to lead them to some waters.

How much more, then, was it right for Him to heal, even though on a Sabbath, this woman, who was one of Abraham’s daughters.

After Jesus had said these things, his opponents were put to shame…

while, for the glorious things He was doing for others, the people were giving Him great acclaim.

As believers, we, too, are heirs of Abraham; and on any night or day…

the Lord, who never slumbers or sleeps, will hear and answer us whenever we pray.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” Galatians 3:29 NASB

“…He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:3-4 NASB

Pathways Walked With Mom

The Porch of the Lord

Pathways of love,
pathways where you guided–
sweet memories of those pathways,
dear Mother, you’ve provided.

Much like a gardener,
you tended to my care–
weeding out some tendencies,
while cultivating those that were fair.

And if there were problems
at school or at play,
the pathway to Mom’s door
would help them go away.

Best of all, we walked pathways
which caused my spirit to be fed
with the truths in God’s Word,
so that by His Spirit I’d be led.

Now as I go about, on my own pathways since I’ve grown,
I’m grateful for the pathways that together we’d known.

P. A. Oltrogge

(The white stone borders along the flowers in this photo brought to mind the concept of the pathways in the poem. Hope you enjoy the blooms in the photo, which was taken by my daughter!)

Photo by B. Oltrogge Photo by B. Oltrogge

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By this time…

…from John 11 on the death and raising of Lazarus…

“Now Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.’”

“Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, ‘Lord, by this time, there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe, you would see the glory of God?’”

So often in life we turn to logical courses and reason;
but now’s an opportune time—in fact, in any season,
to trust the good Lord for help that’s supernatural,
instead of leaning so heavily on mainly the factual.

In the Biblical story of Martha’s brother, Lazarus, who had died,
she seemed to sense that her brother’s death could still be defied.
Yet, when the Lord said that someone should open the cave tomb door,
she reasoned about the time that had passed and other facts in store.

“By this time” became Martha’s very predominant thought,
instead of remembering the miracles that Jesus had already wrought.
Likewise, in a crisis, we know that God can come through still;
but let’s be assured that healing and restoration are always His will.

P. A. Oltrogge

Postscript:
It’s sometimes thought that miracles are few and far between;
but, whether instant or more gradual, they’re frequently being seen.

Encouragement:
http://www.sidroth.org
http://www.johnmellor.org
http://www.awmi.net
Porch of the Lord Archive, “Lost at Sea”
and “The Supernatural Power of God”
Dodie Osteen booklet, “Healed of Cancer” at:
http://www.JoelOsteen.com

“Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.’ Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.’” John 11:41-44 NKJV

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV

And Mark 11:23-26

National Day of Prayer

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Jesus said,
“Pray, then, in this way:

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, forever. Amen.”

Matthew 6:9-13
NASB

Joining you and others in prayer…

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.”

1 Timothy 2:1-6 NASB

His Presence

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To Our Great God…

At Pentecost, your Spirit came, with the sound of a rushing mighty wind.
The Comforter comes to us yet today, a promise you’ll never rescind.

Often, your presence is apparent through a reassuring, inner voice.
When problems threaten to overwhelm, you encourage us still to rejoice.

You’re blessed by the praises of your people…bless the Lord, oh my soul.
I’m thankful you’ve said that all of my cares—on you, dear Lord, I can roll.

It’s good to abide in your presence, for there’s fullness of joy therein.
Thank you for provision and healing, as well as for forgiving my sin.

We praise you for your creative ability, for the beauty of bird and flower,
the mountains and other majestic things that speak to us of your power.

We’re so blessed you desire to visit with us, as you did first with Adam and Eve. All that you require of us to meet with you, Lord, is to believe in the Son and receive.

P. A. Oltrogge

“‘Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him, the Father, God, has set His seal.’ Therefore they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’” John 6:27-29 NASB

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:2-4 NKJV

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” Words of Jesus in John 14:16-17 KJV

The Greatest of These…

Something to remember about the story of Joseph, whose brothers had him sold,
is that bitterness towards them isn’t recorded in the story as told.

It relates the various trials of Joseph, being imprisoned unjustly was among the worst. Perhaps a bit of revenge was enacted when, as Egyptian ruler, he treated them harshly at first.

But when Joseph observed their attitude towards Benjamin and now how much they cared, he could no longer keep from revealing himself to them, but wanted brotherly love to be shared.

He completely forgave his brothers for the evil to him that they’d done;
and they, in turn, loved Joseph, who’d been their father’s favorite son.

Most often noted is Joseph’s great faith in God, from which he never departed;
but he was also a very gracious man, loving, and tenderhearted.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 NKJV

“But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.” 1Thessalonians 4:9 NKJV

“Let brotherly love continue.” Hebrews 13:1 NKJV

“Weeping with joy, he embraced Benjamin, and Benjamin did the same. Then Joseph kissed each of his brothers and wept over them, and after that they began talking freely with him.”
(from the story of Joseph in Genesis 45:14-15 NLT)

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