Construction Well Under Way

You may enjoy visiting  http://www.arkencounter.com to view their latest video update(s) on the building of the life-size replica of the ark of the Bible being built in Williamstown, Kentucky, near to Cincinnati, which will be the world’s largest timber frame structure. It is due to open on July 7, 2016. You’re invited to come aboard!

P. A. Oltrogge

On a Desert Road

Does this world seem like a desert–parched and offering little shade?
Thank God, we have an oasis, when our minds on Christ are stayed.

It’s there, we find “living water,” through God’s Holy Spirit and His Word.
Why struggle, as if in a desert, when the “rain” of God has occurred?

It’s said that very little water can cause desert seeds to flourish.
Likewise, you can be revived–just one word from God can nourish.

Troubles can bombard our minds through circumstances or daily news,
so turn to the life-giving Word of God, the blessed oasis that’s yours to use.

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

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.'” John 4:10 NASB

“Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.” Psalm 119:50 NLT

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NKJV

Blueprint Negev trees in the Israeli desert

Photo by David Shankbone

What a Friend…

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”  John 15:9 NKJV

I’m sharing today the poetry of the old hymn–“What a Friend we Have in Jesus”

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?  Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?  Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there.

Joseph M. Scriven
(Written in 1855)

Jesus is our solace, our refuge and strength.  I hope you enjoyed remembering this old hymn.

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

I would add a few scriptures of encouragement, though, regarding any weakness we may sometimes feel:

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:29-31 NKJV

“The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.”
Psalm 29:11 NIV

“…let the weak say, I am strong.” Joel 3:10

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. The Lord is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed. Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; be their shepherd also and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:6-9

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

The Lord’s blessings be upon you today is my prayer…

An Alabaster Jar of Love

A woman with costly perfume–approached Jesus, in love, and poured
the fragrance upon the feet of this Master and Teacher she adored.
She gave with heartfelt love, unaware of His impending doom.
It was an anointing upon His body before it would be laid in a tomb.

The disciples were indignant, declaring the act a waste;
but Jesus knew of the trial, with which He would soon be faced.
With the perfume, she was preparing Him for burial, He had turned to them and said.
He expressed appreciation for her kisses and for the tears that she had shed.

Not only that, He said her sins were forgiven and that her love was great;
He told her to go in peace, thereby ending the disciples’ debate.
He said she was an example of faith and love and also of His grace,
and that in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, she would forever have a place.

The alabaster jar she brought contained that which was purchased at great price–
symbolic of sacrifice and love, and through Christ, then, was poured out twice.
God’s still pouring out His love and His Spirit upon each open heart.
May we fill our “alabaster jars” with His love and eagerly do our part.

There’s a world of people He died for, and many are in great need–
Dear God, may we pour out Your love, caring with both word and deed.
We thank You for Your sacrifice, we thank You for Your great love.
We appreciate so much what it cost You to visit us from heaven above.

P. A. Oltrogge

Matthew 26:6-13
Mark 14:3-9
Luke 7:36-50
John 12:1-8

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

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  1 John 4:7-11

“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

The Love of Your Life

Photo by Anthony Kelly

Photo by Anthony Kelly

Pre-Valentine’s Day thoughts for those who are married…

Some learn the lesson a little late–
that ways which seem to irritate
can become endearment, as God has planned,
of the one who wears our wedding band.

All it takes is some time alone,
without hearing their voice across the phone.
Day-to-day living without their smile
will make us miss their particular style.

Habits or ideas that seem amiss
don’t matter at all without their kiss.
Arms that enfold us mean so much
on a troubled day, when we need their touch.

A wise thing it is to put conflicts away–
In love, serve one another, and, together, pray.
Thank the good Lord for a love that’s true
and be glad of the moment you said, “I do.”

P. A. Oltrogge

Taking The Shield of Faith

Having written recently of God’s care over us when we have moments of fear or doubt, it’s still, of course, His desire for us to keep growing in faith.

You can be blessed in that by going to http://www.moorelife.org and viewing “The Greater Faith Conference 2016.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17 (NKJV)

 

Faith in…God’s Heart of Grace

White Tulips

Photo by Roman Boed

Sometimes…

It’s nothing but God’s mercy and nothing but His grace
that can take over for my faith, in running the Christian race.
When I’ve exercised my faith, but find there is no trace
of a faith that will endure–then I just need the solid base…
of Christ as my life’s Savior, who’ll extend His hand of grace.

If troubles overwhelm, we need to sense the Lord’s embrace.
So think of “grace” through any circumstance; and in every case,
Christ’s love will lift you from discouragement–there is no disgrace.
Sinking, by fear of wind upon the water, Peter then looked to Jesus’ face.
“Lord, I believe–help my unbelief,” is understood by God’s heart of grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’  And they cried out for fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer!  It is I; do not be afraid.’  And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’  So he said, ‘Come.’  And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’  And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.'”  Matthew 14:25-34 NKJV

…from the account of Jesus healing a boy with a mute spirit:

“…’But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’  Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!‘  When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!’  Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him.  And he became as one dead, so that many said, ‘He is dead.’  But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.” Mark 9:22-24 NKJV