In this Lenten Season

The Porch of the Lord

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet on Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge 02

Photo by USFWS Mountain-Prairie

The sweetness of the song of a bird outside that stopped to rest in a tree,
was a little sign of love God brought by my window, sharing His creation with me.

He does send the birds to cheer us…before we start the daily tasks we face,
and every spring breeze or flower that buds reminds us of His grace.

Better than the actions of a loving parent, watching over children on their way, God doesn’t just come alongside us, but lives within us, by His Spirit, each day.

With tenderness and compassion, He answers His children’s every call.
And we answer His call, too, by telling others that Jesus died and rose for us all.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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.” 1 John…

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Shalom, Always

The Porch of the Lord

Completeness, or Shalom, means nothing missing–nothing broken;
And Shalom will always prevail where the Word of God is spoken.
As the Word dwells richly within us, and we trust the God who’s good,
Any strife will be extinguished as we love as He says we should.

By the Holy Spirit’s direction, we go beyond our homes to share
Christ’s love with many others, since we have love to spare.
We’re confident in living life as we trust the Lord to guide–
Blessed coming in and going out from any place where we reside.

Our homes will be an oasis of contentment all our days,
For we know that the Father is faithful to keep us in all of our ways.
And, surrounded by His Love, we’re “at home” when we’re away;
We’re sheltered under His wings, with His protection every day.

Even if circumstances would cause some outward things to…

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A Rose in the Rain

The Porch of the Lord

Photo by Audrey J.M. Photo by Audrey J.M.

When facing difficulties…

Beloved, to God, you are His rose in the rain;
And don’t ever think He doesn’t feel your pain.
Trials aren’t sent to us by the Lord;
No, they’re deep rivers that He alone helps us ford.
The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy,
But we’ve got God’s Word to foil the thief’s ploy.
God’s promises are sure–He never has lied;
And the desire of your heart will surely be supplied!
With our eyes on God’s Word, we persevere;
We know this fulfillment is already here!
For faith says right now what isn’t seen with our eyes,
Because we know that our God has heard our hearts’ cries.
A rose in the rain, but you’re hardy and strong—
You trust in God’s Word and in Him to Whom you belong.
There’s an answer in God for every problem we face;
So…

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Conceived in Prayer, Birthed Through Faith

The best things in life, the amazing things
are direct results of what prayer brings.
Call out to God, reminding Him of His Word,
Know that He’ll answer and that He has heard.

After you’ve done this, keep standing your ground.
God’s Word is the “ammo” to do round after round.
Let it dwell richly within your heart;
There’s no end to His supply, so keep doing your part.

Realize, through Christ, you’re an empowered saint–
The Word says you’ll reap if you just don’t faint.
Praying in the spirit impacts with clout
any situation that has caused fear and doubt.

Another kind of ammo is praising God in song,
which assists in a battle and keeps faith going strong.
Petitions with thanksgiving will help you see the final light
at the end of the tunnel in any kind of fight.

Conceived in prayer, birthed through faith–remember each phrase–
to see good come to pass all of your days.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16

“I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.” Psalm 116:1-2

1 Samuel 7:9; 1 Samuel 12:8; Psalm 40:1; Psalm 50:15; Psalm 86:7; Psalm 145:18; Isaiah 55:6; Jeremiah 33:3; Galatians 6:9; Colossians 3:16

The “Unknown” God Becomes Known

“…for in Him we live and move and have our being….”

The above quote is from Acts chapter 17, NKJV, verse 28… the apostle Paul’s address at Areopagus/Mars Hill.  The following is a brief synopsis of the chapter, during the course of travels of Paul and Silas….

From Thessalonica to Berea to Athens…they went to the synagogues, Paul reasoning with the Jews…about Jesus’ need to suffer and die and rise again in order to bring about “the good news.”

In Thessalonica, Paul persuaded a great number of devout Greeks and some Jews that Jesus was the Christ; but the Jews in Berea much more eagerly believed that his declarations about the scriptures and Jesus sufficed.

Those Jews, however, who didn’t embrace the truths of which Paul had spoken…stirred up mobs to discredit him, hoping that the success of his “campaign” would be broken.

In Athens, Paul saw the many idols throughout the city, which made him feel grieved, so he later would give a passionate message about the Lord on whom he believed.

In fact, “To the Unknown God” was carved on an altar there…  That God doesn’t dwell in temples made with men’s hands, he continued to share.

Paul declared that God Himself, who made the world and all things in it isn’t served by human hands…for He Himself gives to all people life, breath, and everything needed, by His commands.

Continuing, he said that God made from one man every nation on the earth…and has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man He has appointed–Jesus Christ, Lord of “the new birth.”

Paul shared that this was confirmed by God having raised Jesus from the dead…and so God was spreading this good news abroad through Paul and others who were Spirit led.

Paul encouraged the people to seek the Lord while He may be found…that He is not far from any of us.  He’s made Himself known through that name that’s renowned .

P. A. Oltrogge

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.  That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth.”  Philippians 2:8-10 KJV

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12 NASB

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'”  John 3:3 NASB

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.”  Isaiah 55:6 NASB

“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

A Bit of the Irish

The Porch of the Lord

shamrock

Photo by Liz West

“Top of the morning” to you, on this St. Patrick’s Day!
May all of God’s wonderful blessings graciously come your way.

It’s said that St. Patrick used the shamrock, which has leaves of three,
as an illustration to the Irish people of God’s holy Trinity.

Just as a shamrock is composed of three separate leaves, yet is one–
the almighty God of the Bible is the Father, Holy Spirit, and the Son.

Shamrocks have been associated with “luck,” but God’s promises are sure.
While shamrocks cannot last, God’s loving kindness will forever endure.

Today is a day when many will turn to thoughts of the Emerald Isle;
but may we daily be sure to turn our thoughts to the Lord for a while.

And on a day when some may be thinking of “wearing the green,”
may the people of God reflect His joy, which is…

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The “Super” Natural Power of God

The Porch of the Lord

by J. Vetter,
Guest Contributor

“Oh, Lord, take your super glue and glue my bone together.” This was one of my first prayers after fracturing a bone in my foot. At the time, I did think it was sort of a silly prayer until I read the paperwork from my emergency room visit. It stated, “When a bone heals, the body puts a CALLUS together across the piece that is broken. This callus is made of new bone material and will eventually melt or glue the two broken pieces together” What a sweet reassurance that the Lord was indeed with me in my pain, even in the formulation of my seemingly strange prayer.

Being forced to reduce my activities gave me time to reflect on the word, “broken,” and the pain involved. I realized my foot would eventually heal and the pain would then be just a memory, or maybe…

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Have Faith in the Power of God

“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God.'” Mark 11:22

Just as raindrops in the air act as prisms, producing rainbow light,
so the moon glow through the clouds disrupts the dark of night.

Mankind has lit up buildings, using electricity as an energy source,
but Almighty God lit the many stars and set each planet on its course.

Imagine the power it takes to keep all those heavenly lights burning–
As proof of the existence of God, His lights make us discerning.

The sound of mighty ocean waves, day or night, speak of His power,
as do the majestic mountains and each uniquely-crafted flower.

Then, consider a newly-born baby or every individual’s special face…
the mighty to very small animals, the seasons and their systematic pace.

To have faith in the power of God is easy to do by just looking around
at all of the creative beauty with which this world has been crowned.

P. A. Oltrogge

See Genesis 1

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”  Romans 1:20 NKJV

Be blessed by The Greater Faith Conference 2017, http://www.moorelife.org, Session 4, “Life Energy” and Session 5, “Faith in the Power”

White as Snow

The Porch of the Lord

Photo by Phil Roeder Photo by Phil Roeder

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
These are gracious words that the Lord has said, and only He would know
whatever sins have been in your life that you have come to regret.
What peace it is to know that God will forgive…and will also forget.

We read in the Bible of Peter, James, and John being led up by Jesus on a mount,
where His clothing became radiant–white, like snow, it’s told in that account.
This spoke of His glory and was a demonstration that He was the Holy One–
God’s voice, coming out of a cloud, said to listen to Jesus…

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