The Perfect Gift

The Porch of the Lord

Photo by Jim Sorbie Photo by Jim Sorbie

…A seasonal poem telling a story of a Christmastime visit–northern relatives visiting family in the southern U.S…. They appreciate some brisk weather for a southern state as it reminds them of home.  They shop for gifts and then take in an outdoor Christmas lighting display at a local church, where their attention turns to the most perfect gift of all.

A special time, pure white snowflakes,
Drifting down upon the roofs–
Moonlight reflecting on glistening snow blankets,
Years ago sleighs and horses hoofs…

Yet further south where palm trees stand,
It’s not so cold this time of year.
But some nights can get brisk and that’s all the better
To spread the feeling of Christmas cheer…

We’ve shopped for gifts
For this time of giving and receiving,
And have wrapped them quickly before they were seen.
Each one will be perfect, we’re hoping, believing…

The bustle of shops seems…

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Emmanuel, God With Us

The Porch of the Lord

Emmanuel, God with us…
You see, we are not alone.
Emmanuel, God with us…
Through the birth of a Child, God’s presence was shown.
He couldn’t leave us without knowledge of His love,
But made Himself known, coming down from above.
Emmanuel, God with us…
From God, the Father, came a Baby so mild.
Emmanuel, God with us…
God’s Son was embodied in a holy Child.
Born of a virgin, the handmaiden of the Lord–
From His life, the goodness of God would be poured.
After humble beginnings in a manger stall,
His Name would become great–He would die for all,
So that any individual living on this earth
Could personally know their God of great worth.
Emmanuel, God with us…
It’s the greatest Name known.
Emmanuel, God with us…in Jesus…
And now we need never be alone!

P. A. Oltrogge

“In that day you shall know that I am…

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The Nativity, God’s Prime “Ornament”

Photo by Porch of the Lord

Photo by Porch of the Lord

Old, familiar ornaments for our evergreen…and bright, new ornaments we’ve not yet seen–we bring these out before our Christmas tree.  But we’re looking, especially, for the blessed Nativity.

Oh, what a wonderful true story of joy–to know all about Jesus, that heaven-sent boy.  Shepherds of the field, wise men from afar–are part of the Nativity set, and the star.

Mary and Joseph and the baby on the hay–even the animals were “in on” Christmas Day.  Surely, the human heart was meant to receive…the message of Christ’s birth.  It’s so good to believe!

As for the children, each has such a tender heart.  “Let them come” to Jesus before they depart, to one day leave your home to work or study in a distant place.  Then they’ll know the real meaning of Christmas and God’s amazing grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.  But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.  Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.'”  Mark 10:13-15 NKJV

Come, as a little child, to our Savior

“…behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (From the account of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2)

Two Significant Births

The Porch of the Lord

The Hebrew people had prayed for a deliverer to be their long-promised King.
While living under Roman rule, they looked for the answer that God would bring.

Then it came to pass that two little babies were born in the same time span.
The lives of each one of them would be major in God’s great redemptive plan.

One would be a prophet named John, the baptizer, and was the son of Zacharias, the priest. The other was Jesus, who would be the focus and celebration of God’s greatest Passover Feast.

John’s mother, Elizabeth, had longed for a child and rejoiced at the birth of her son.
And Jesus’ mother, Mary, told the angel who came that God’s will for her should be done.

The angel, Gabriel, had first appeared to Zacharias and told him what to name his son–
John, “The Lord is gracious,” a preparer of the way…

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A Message and Prayer from a Shepherd in the Field

I was out in the field with the other shepherds on what seemed like an ordinary night, when we suddenly were surrounded–by an extraordinary, glorious light.

I would never have thought to see an angel, but that’s what I saw appear.  He began to give us a message, saying, first, there was nothing to fear.

He continued, speaking of good tidings of great joy, for all people of the earth–for that day, in the city of David, had been Christ the Lord, the Savior’s birth.

Then the angel spoke of a sign, which would help us to locate this wonder.  He’d be wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger–then I heard what seemed like some thunder.

It turned out to be the sound of many angels–not just a few, but a multitude! They were praising God with great rejoicing, creating a festive mood.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men!”  These were the words they left us with, so we went on to Bethlehem then.

We were eager to follow the heavenly directive given to us that night; and just as the angel had specified, we found the Baby in a manger–God’s “Light.”

We stood in adoration of the Christ child, knowing His destiny was divine…and that He had been born to be our Savior–I knew then also that He was mine.

We thanked Mary and Joseph for this moment, having told them of the visitation in the field…then went on to make known to others the good news, that, to us, had been revealed.

What an amazing night I had experienced–the Lord visiting me in such a way!  And may people of all future generations, receive this heralded Savior, I pray.

P. A. Oltrogge

(from the account in Luke 2)

“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”    John 12:46 NKJV

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”  Isaiah 9:2 NKJV

A Sudden Snow

The Porch of the Lord

Photo by Krystian Olszanski Photo by Krystian Olszanski

A friend and I walk early mornings at a lovely park by a lake near where I live. Two weeks ago, even before the trees had shed all of their leaves, we got surprised by a sudden snow shower. It was incredibly beautiful.

The snowflakes were large and softly fell, staying “on my nose and eyelashes.” It was just dawn, and silence surrounded us while the softly-falling snow covered the woods and ground in white. As we glanced out over the lake, the falling snow was like a curtain of lace over the lake, and the two almost became as one.

It was an extraordinary experience, and we thought of the Artist’s gift of seasons, each as beautiful as the other.

written by Jane…
a guest contributor

“Have you entered the treasury of snow…?” Job 38:22

“He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like…

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What Has Been Purchased For Us

I’m surrounded by angels and loved by my Father God.  He’s given me a Good Shepherd who guides me with staff and rod.

His sure Word and blood covenant keep me from destruction.  I listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice and heed every instruction.

The blood of Jesus is my defense to keep plagues and trouble out, and I refuse any worries and refute any doubt.

As Jesus is in this world, so then also are we.  The Greater One is within–we can command demons to flee.

“But it can’t be that simple,” may be your thought.  Just realize the truths that Jesus spoke of and what He bought.

So great a salvation and redemption is ours– We’re seated in the heavenly places amidst God’s highest powers.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  1 John 4:4 KJV

“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”  1 John 4:17 KJV

“Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7 NASB

“He sent His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”  Psalm 107:20 NKJV

“No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.  For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.”  Psalm 91:10-11 NASB

“…to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.”  (from Acts 20:28) NASB

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7 NASB

Believe you receive all that God has for you….

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

Helpful sites: http://www.awmi.net, http://www.kcm.org and see http://www.billyebrim.org for “The Authority of the Believer and How to Use It” Booklet