Following God’s Guidance

Choices made through prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit will cause you to find God’s best pathways and fulfillment in your life…

Joseph’s Example

Joseph, a son of David, took Mary for his wife,
believing she was carrying God’s very sacred life.
Joseph stood by her when others may have condemned.
Joseph believed God when they didn’t comprehend.
He was chosen by God, and it was to him that Mary and the Child were sent.
He became the protector of God’s great intent.
Joseph was quick to recognize that in dreams God often spoke,
with messages from His angel, and he obeyed when he awoke.
Joseph named the baby, Jesus, just as he’d been told,
for He would save His people from sins as said by the prophet of old.
In obedience, Joseph went to Egypt–“Out of Egypt did I call My Son.”
Joseph had them stay until God said their time there was done.
We see him obeying God in Bible scene after scene;
being warned of God, he went to Nazareth, so Jesus would be called a Nazarene.
His part was that of an earthly father, and he obeyed God in that role.
His heart to obey Him was needed to accomplish God’s great goal.
Joseph’s life seems an example of the importance of hearing and obeying God’s voice.
Dear God, may I seek to do that in each and every choice.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’ And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Matthew 1:20-25

(Further references in Matthew 2)

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Additionally:
“How You Can Be Led by the Spirit of God” by Kenneth E. Hagin
under Bookstore, at http://www.rhema.org
Also Audio Teachings, “How to Find God’s Will” at http://www.awmi.net

The good old swimming days…

Photo by Jarrett Campbell

Photo by Jarrett Campbell

Remember your growing-up years and the good old swimming days?
You used an inner tube or floated amidst the water sprays.

Jesus can help you through rough waters–think of floating your cares on Him;
He’s your heavenly life preserver–you’ll not sink but peacefully swim.

Don’t let go of Him or panic if the “waters” look too deep–
If you truly cast your cares on Him, you’ll find He gives you blessed sleep.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” words of Jesus in Matthew 28-30

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for Thou alone, O Lord, dost make me to dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

Psalm 127:1-2 and Matthew 14:29-31

The Beginning of Wisdom

Far above the many things we value, there is one thing…

Of Highest Value

“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17

There are many things to value–family, friends, one’s home, possessions, and such.
But there’s one thing in this life to value that, though they’re good, the others cannot touch.

The Word of God abides forever, and it was given to abide inside your heart.
If you’ve neglected it or never considered it much, today’s the perfect day to start.

Without it, people experience a void in their lives that they can’t easily explain;
but when the value of it is recognized, they desire to forsake all to have its gain.

Through it, we have a divine connection with our loving God who sent His Son,
that none would miss the blessings now and forever, that by Christ’s death were won.

The Word of God brings wisdom, peace, and guidance; and by it, we’re refreshed and energized. It leads us into the kingdom of heaven and is like a treasure or beautiful pearl, so greatly prized.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
Matthew 13:44

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went out and sold all that he had and bought it.”
Matthew 13:45

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 (and Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7)

“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, and the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ Now this is the word, which by the gospel was preached to you.” 1 Peter 1:22-25 NKJV

Photo by Tito and Eva Marie Balangue

Photo by Tito and Eva Marie Balangue

Our Christian Walk

The following is a reprinted post, worthy to read again

Our Christian Walk is Really a Marathon

by J. Vetter

Perhaps that’s where I first went wrong–believing walking with the Lord was just that–only a walk. Lately, it seems like the speed has increased, and I have to run to keep up! There have been a few times I’ve “hit the wall” too. So I searched out what it means to run a marathon.

First, you need to train–not just any way you want to, but by listening to experts and following a schedule. Then, you need to eat the correct foods, drink appropriately, and learn to pace yourself.

But the most important thing is realizing you will “hit the wall” sometime during your race; and that doesn’t mean it’s over. It means if you keep on going, you will make it! Others go through this and still finish the race.

Legend has it that marathons got their beginning when a Greek messenger was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens, announcing that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. He ran the entire distance without stopping, and then burst into the assembly exclaiming, “We have won!” before collapsing and dying.

We, too, have a message–that we have won–and to proclaim it fully, we have to die to only focusing on ourselves or the problem or, better put, the magnitude of our race.

One of the walls we hit in our Christian race is discouragement. There are times when we feel nothing is changing and our prayers are not being answered. Perhaps an affliction increases its grip with a fury that cries “unfair.”

Another wall is believing the lie that we really can’t make it. I listened carefully to the interview with Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger as he described what he felt when he realized his plane was about to crash land in the Hudson River (January, 2009). His initial reaction was that he couldn’t believe this was happening to him. However, on the heels of that thought, he also proclaimed, “I was sure I could do it.” He was a man confident of his training and his experience. Because he was at the helm, 155 people survived that day. Incidentally, he also gave credit to the crew, passengers, and the first responders by sharing his belief that the miraculous outcome was a team effort.

We may think our race is just our own, but the Christian race is also a team effort. We’ve got to take a drink from that brother or sister on the sidelines. We’ve got to cheer and encourage others in their race and be able to accept words of encouragement from others along the road. One of the interesting aspects of participating in a marathon is that few people enter expecting to win. Their goal is to finish.

Another stumbling stone is fear. Perhaps the fear of making a mistake. A friend shared a quote with me. “A person who never makes any mistakes seldom makes anything else (new).” I believe a person who is afraid of making another mistake won’t make any significant steps further in his race. That’s why we are told in scripture to forget the past.

Sometimes during our struggles, we forget the message of Hebrews 12:2-4, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because he never lost sight of where He was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with God–He could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourself flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility He plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Message Bible)

Race on!

Conservatory Photo by B. Oltrogge

Conservatory Photo by B. Oltrogge

The Sea of Galilee

Photo by Zachi Evenor

Photo by Zachi Evenor

…also called Kinnereth, Lake of Gennesaret, and Sea of or Lake Tiberias

I’ve not ever visited the Holy Land of Israel or viewed Galilee’s beautiful sea,
but I can visualize the prominence of its waters in Jesus’ life and ministry.

Peter, Andrew, James, and John made their living there–then suddenly were called
to follow the Messiah, after which they experienced some miraculous catches hauled.

Near to its shores, five thousand men, and women and children, were divinely fed
through a little boy’s blessed lunch of just two fish and only five loaves of bread.

After leaving Nazareth, Jesus settled in Capernaum, which lies beside its waters;
and Mary, of Magdala, a seaside town, became one of God’s beloved daughters.

We know that Jesus walked on its waves; and Peter did, too, to some degree.
Another time, the disciples called on Jesus to save them when it became a raging sea.

Jesus told His disciples to cross over it at times in following His Father’s direction.
And from a mountain above it, He shared The Beatitudes–a major spiritual reflection.

You may not have seen the Sea of Galilee, that Jesus and the disciples traveled along;
but you can experience the Spirit’s “living water,” which is God’s gift to make us strong.

P. A. Oltrogge

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37-39

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
John 16:7 KJV

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. Acts 1:8 and all of Acts 2

When Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. Acts 10:44-45

So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! Luke 11:9-13

For more on this, go to: http://www.awmi.net,
Look for Teaching Articles and then Holy Spirit

Testimony from Texas

“We can change the world by changing how we “do” Christianity. It all starts with answering the call to fellowship with Jesus.” …Kevin Kinchen

You may like to browse the website of the man who wrote the above quote. At the website, you can see a reenactment of the time when he was accidentally run over by a 13,000 pound backhoe tractor and survived. This testimony is a tribute to the healing power of the Lord through various means–medical assistance, much prayer, and faith in (and agreement with) the Word of God. Since then, he has had some new experiences, both triumphs and adversities; but his faith in Jesus, and time spent with Him, encourages him in his own life and spills over to the lives of others.

http://www.E-quip.org (website, with testimony)

http://www.TheNetRev.com
http://www.footwrites.com (blogs)

He’s written a book so that others will know,
that it’s time alone with Jesus that makes faith grow!

The Lord Always Comes Through

Photograph by Stephanie...

Photograph by Stephanie…

Sometimes we try to figure things out;
We really should know that’s a precarious route.
God has a plan–He tells us so…
Then why do we act like there’s something He doesn’t know?
God’s THE most able to “do” for you;
The truth is, the LORD always comes through!

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. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him.'” Lamentations 3:22-24 RSV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart…” Jeremiah 29:11-13 RSV

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT

“Surely goodness 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 and all of Psalm 23

“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” words of Jesus in John 10:10

“May the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 RSV

A Morning Walk with Jesus

Photo by Keith Eggert

Photo by Keith Eggert


“For the Lord is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!” Psalm 84:11-12

Early this morning, I got up from the night’s rest
and stole quietly out to find day at its best.

It renewed and inspired to greet God’s morning sun,
and it spoke of His glory before my day had begun.

I thought of this verse, how He’s a sun and a shield;
it’s in looking to Him that I’m guarded and healed.

He gives grace and glory–all good things are mine–
I just “receive” from His bountiful source of “Son” shine.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.” Matthew 17:1-2

“…a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!'” (verse 5)

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.” Mark 11:24

Peace of Mind

I’d woken up feeling blessed–confident that my day was going to be good.
Then some things transpired that didn’t turn out like I had hoped they would.

Feeling troubled, I eventually remembered a verse that brought assurance back to me…
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee….”

I’d let “the winds and the waves” of life cause me to lose my sense of God’s peace–
If you ever find you’re in a similar state, Isaiah 26:3 can bring freedom and release.

P. A. Oltrogge

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3 KJV

…more on His perfect peace:

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:26-27 KJV

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 KJV (and all of verses 31-39)

Photographed by Stephanie at a rose garden in Europe

Photographed by Stephanie at a rose garden in Europe

Thoughts Gathered from the 23rd Psalm

Photo by Roger Davies

Photo by Roger Davies

The Lord is my Shepherd–my faithful guide;
And through His leading, He always will provide.
He causes me to rest in pastures so green,
Beside quiet waters that speak of the serene.

He encourages my soul if I should ever feel down,
Reminding me I’m wearing God’s “lovingkindness” crown.
Knowing the wisdom of following as Christ leads,
I walk paths of righteousness, sowing Kingdom seeds.

If at times there are valleys, with storms very dark,
I’m safe with my Shepherd–He is my strong ark.
I refuse any fear–His rod and staff keep me stable;
And before any enemy, He prepares me a table.

With divine Kingly oil, He’s anointed my head;
My cup overflows, as by His Spirit I’m led.
Of His goodness and mercy, He always will give;
And in the house of my Shepherd King, I forever will live.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:3-5 (New King James Version)

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17 NKJV

“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.’” Revelation 5:9-11 NKJV

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Psalm 23 KJV