The Benefit of Blinders

The Porch of the Lord

Photo by Paul Kehrer Photo by Paul Kehrer

I’m hoping that this poem makes a little bit of sense–
I’m reminded today that it’s not good to be tense.
But it’s best to look to Jesus in situations big or small,
for He’s the problem solver, we know, after all.

I’m thinking of those who race horses and know a lot about
keeping a horse calm, despite the crowds that shout,
and from distraction by other horses that are running in a race–
they use blinders to keep the horse focused to better win first place.

I want to look to Jesus only and keep thanking the Lord,
for faith pleases Him; and those who seek Him find reward.
“The battle is the Lord’s” was David’s decree against the giant–
faith in the Almighty made a “Goliath” problem be compliant.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also…

View original post 156 more words

He, a Rose

The Porch of the Lord

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

“I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys.” Song of Solomon 2:1

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” Luke 12:27

________________________________________________________________

The variety of flowers God created are such a feast for our eyes–
And, besides their beauty, most have a pleasing fragrance that will arise.

No wonder Jesus said that we should consider the lilies of the field–
Their essence is a tribute to His Father’s care to which they yield.

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross arose, as a pleasing fragrance, to the Father’s throne–
An aroma so pleasing that Christ now, as the rose of Sharon, is known.

Yes, like a rose, that was crushed and associated with thorns upon His head,
Jesus paid for our redemption through…

View original post 411 more words

A Morning Walk with Jesus

The Porch of the Lord

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…

View original post 78 more words

A Mighty Forest and The Mighty Fortress

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither, and in whatever he does, he prospers.”  Psalm 1:1-3 NASB

Like a tree firmly planted by streams of water–

that’s what each of us will become, as God’s son or daughter,

when we meditate, continually, in God’s written Word.

Our growth in Christ will increase–it can’t be deterred.

Jesus reminded us that man doesn’t live by bread alone–

It’s by regular feeding on God’s Word that we will have grown

to be strong trees in a  mighty “forest,” the planting of the Lord–

rooted in God, our mighty fortress, our faith having soared.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”  Psalm 18:2 KJV

“For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore, for thy name’s sake, lead me, and guide me.”  Psalm 31:3 KJV

“I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.'” Psalm 91:2 NKJV

Photo by VASTATEPARKSSTAFF

Photo by VASTATEPARKSSTAFF

The Winter is Past

img_0726

…Caribbean Photo by Porch of the Lord

“For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”  Song of Solomon 2:11-12 NKJV

“This, too, shall pass” is a statement often quoted,

which lines up with the words of our Lord, so devoted,

to our well-being through any winter-like season

or storms of life, which seem to arise without reason.

The wintry blast shall pass, so keep listening to hear

for the sound of the turtledove…there’s nothing to fear.

P. A. Oltrogge

Jesus said, “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

…and He said, “Fear not, little flock,; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32 KJV

also, “This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 15:12 NKJV

“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.”  (from Psalm 23…verse 4) KJV

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 NKJV

“And now I exhort you to be of good cheer….” Acts 27:22 KJV

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 KJV

The Living One

…from Luke 24, NASB…a poetic account…

Some of the women who had loved Jesus set out at early dawn with spices they’d prepared…in order to anoint His body.  How they might enter the tomb must have been discussed and shared.

When they discovered that the stone had been rolled away, they stepped inside the tomb and found…that Jesus’ body was not there–they were perplexed in looking around.

Suddenly, two men in dazzling clothing appeared to them–the women were terrified!  The angels had come with a message about His resurrection…and death having been defied.

“Why do you seek the living One among the dead?  He is not here, but He has risen….” as the women could plainly see.   Then the angels said to recall how Jesus had spoken of this very thing while still with them in Galilee.

Jesus had told them how the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men…and then be crucified; and on the third day, He would rise again.

So they remembered Jesus’ words and returned from the tomb to share with the eleven and all the rest.  But the apostles couldn’t believe them–though Peter went to see for himself about this news that was blessed.

Two of the Lord’s followers were going to Emmaus on that very third day.  They were discussing with each other the things that had happened in Jerusalem as they went their way.

Then Jesus Himself, not actually recognized by them, approached and began to travel beside them on the road.  He asked them what they’d been discussing–their demeanors reflected that they were carrying a heavy load.

One of them, named Cleopas, asked how he could have been visiting Jerusalem and not have known or heard…of the fate of Jesus, the Nazarene, –a prophet mighty in deed and word.

They said that they had hoped He would be Israel’s redeemer…meaning by His leadership or even by being its king.  But His death, instead, by crucifixion, had definitely changed everything.

Next, they shared that, on this third day, some women had gone to the tomb at dawn…and told them that, but for two angels, it was empty–His crucified body was gone.

Jesus addressed them, then, as foolish men, who were slow of heart to believe…in what the prophets had spoken of the Christ, implying that the wise would understand and receive.

Jesus went on to explain the things foretold of Him in the scriptures by Moses and other prophets, throughout.  All this while, their eyes were prevented from recognizing Who was really with them on their route.

As they approached the village of Emmaus, their traveling companion, Jesus, acted as if he might travel on, but they urged him to stay with them, for the night was almost upon.

So Jesus went in to stay with them and reclined at the table to break bread.  When He took it, blessed it, and gave it to them, their eyes were opened to see the living One, risen from the dead!

Jesus then vanished from their sight, and they reflected on how their hearts had been burning…as He spoke of how the Christ needed to suffer these things–this “stranger” had been so discerning.

At that very hour they got up to return to Jerusalem to share with the eleven what had transpired.  As they were telling these things, there came in their midst, He whom their hearts desired.

It was Jesus, Himself, the Master, saying, “Peace be unto you.”  Startled and frightened, they needed His assurance, once again, to see them through.

He asked them why they doubted and then showed them His hands and feet.  They still couldn’t believe it, for joy and amazement.  He then asked for something to eat.

After having the broiled fish that they gave, He again opened their minds to understand all that had needed to be fulfilled.  Repentance and forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His Name, starting from Jerusalem…and from there, it would build.

They were to wait until they were clothed with power from on high…. Then He led them out as far as Bethany, where He blessed them and departed from them up into the sky.

After worshipping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy that was hard for them to contain.  They were continually in the temple, praising God for their redemption, which had been made so plain…

and for their beloved King’s reign!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Why do you seek THE LIVING ONE among the dead?  He is not here, but He has risen!”  Luke 24:5-6

 

 

 

On Good Friday

The Porch of the Lord

“Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. ‘Now leave him alone.  Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,’ he said.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed His last.” Mark 15:36-37 (NIV)

He was betrayed in a garden
For purpose of our pardon…

Then brought, as a Lamb,
To a “trial” that was a sham…

Spit upon and crowned
With thorns that they found…

He was whipped on His back,
And endured each loud crack…

Made to carry the cross,
Despite His strength’s loss…

His hands and feet were nailed down
On a cross, rugged and brown…

His bleeding and His pain
Were meant for all our gain…

Wine vinegar for His thirst
On a sponge, was among the worst…

Of the things He did endure
For a motive, which was so pure…

He knew His…

View original post 133 more words

The Trial of Jesus Christ

The Porch of the Lord

He was brought before Pilate by God’s divine plan;
Pilate said, “I find no guilt in this man.”
Questioned before Herod, Christ gave no reply,
For He knew in His heart He was destined to die.

Then brought back to Pilate once more to stand–
Pilate still found no guilt justifying a crucifixion demand.
But the crowd was insistent–their voices prevailed;
And God’s Sacrificial Lamb was thereby unveiled.

Led away with two criminals while women mourned
To a place called, “The Skull,” where He would be scorned–
There He was lifted, nailed to a cross’s wood,
Though His service to God had been perfect and good.

An inscription said, “This is the King of the Jews.”
He came to lay down His life–it was His role to choose.
He was taunted by soldiers and a criminal in despair,
Saying if He was the Christ, He could come down from there.

View original post 193 more words

As Simon Peter may have Remembered

I once said to the Master, Jesus, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!”  Yet, I was forgiven by Him and blessed to be a part of His Father’s redemptive plan.

I remember when Andrew came to me with some news that truly amazed–that by way of John the Baptist, he had found the Messiah who was to be praised!

Jesus became our teacher, and we left our nets to follow Him.  This meant leaving our daily livelihood, so we weren’t simply doing so on a whim.

No, we knew that this was big.  We began to see many miracles taking place–miracles of healing, provision, and protection were wrought by Him, revealing to all God’s grace.

The lame, the blind, and the deaf were finding that the Master was always willing.  We disciples saw Him calm the sea during a storm that had been frighteningly chilling.

Another time, faith arose within me to walk towards Him upon the sea.  He quickly saved me from sinking below the depths when fear had gotten the better of me.

Once, Jesus took me with James and John on a destined mountain climb, where He was transfigured before us–Elijah and Moses appeared at the time.

I suggested that three tabernacles be built for each, not knowing just what to say.  Then a cloud came around us with a message from God on that remarkable day.

It was the voice of His Father in heaven, telling us that this was His beloved Son, and that we should listen to Jesus–His raiment was white as no launderer could have done.

Just as quickly as it had begun, the experience ended and we were alone.  We often could expect the unexpected–such was His ministry’s tone.

HIs raising of Lazarus from the dead wasn’t envisioned by any of us disciples, though.  Imagine our reaction when we saw death reversed to loose Lazarus and let him go.

I once gave the Lord the use of my boat, for Him to minister from to those on shore…only to be given back the catch of a lifetime–He gave back to us always more!

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” I declared to Him one day.  He said His Father in heaven had revealed that truth to me about the Son, who had taught us all to pray.

At the Passover meal, I was taken aback when Jesus came to me to wash my feet.  I allowed Him, though, for He said to be a part of Him, it was a duty I needed to let Him meet.

What a blessed remembrance, to have spent that time with the Lord in the upper room…before His betrayal and crucifixion and eventual resurrection from the tomb.

Of course, I felt remorse for my own denial of Him–my boasted loyalty and support having failed.  But afterwards, I came to my senses, realizing that I was one…for whom, to the cross, He’d been nailed.

We disciples were so happy when He appeared to us after His glorious resurrection–and later were so glad to spread the news that Jesus is Lord…by the promised Spirit’s direction.

I loved to tell of Him throughout the following years and was always looking toward…that time of my reunion with Him, the Master and Teacher whom we all had adored.

P. A. Oltrogge

A Participant’s Thoughts on Greeting the Coming King

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.”  Zechariah 9:9

We thought He would be the King of Israel, riding on a donkey, He came…

Instead, He was heading towards Calvary’s cross.  There, He would be taking the blame…

for my sins and those of the entire world–God’s gift of salvation for all.

We waved our palm branches before Him–so worthy, for He was following His Father’s call.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say?  ‘Father, save Me from this hour’?  But for this purpose I came to this hour.  Father, glorify Your name.”

“Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.'” John 12:27-28

“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

Scriptures: NKJV