Christmas on the Porch—a Gift Idea

 

Christmas on the Porch

Christmas is almost here, and the Porch of the Lord is offering you a “stocking stuffer!”

…a book of Christmas poetry by P. A. Oltrogge, for you to share the true message and meaning of Christmas with others—family, friends, acquaintances, or anyone who comes to mind. It is a new release, and its title is Christmas on the Porch.

Featuring a new Christmas poem written especially for the book, Christmas on the Porch is a treasury of seasonal poems from the Porch of the Lord. Friends of the blog will recognize their familiar Christmas favorites, collected in print for the first time.

You can obtain a copy of the book at BarnesandNoble.com or at Amazon.com. You can also order a copy, printed on request, through Barnes and Noble stores.

A blessed Advent and Christmas season to you,

P. A. Oltrogge

A Perfect Redemption

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“…that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.’” Matthew 8:17 (NKJV)

“…for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

Jesus, You took my infirmities, You took my pains…
Through scourges and the bleeding that came from Your veins.
That blood was spilled out for my sins, well-being, and health–
A perfect redemption from God’s Son of great wealth.
There’s no point in my bearing a cruel disease–
You’ve already done so in order to please
The Father in heaven, Who gives in a loving way,
To any who come to Him in faith when they pray.
In this matter, some have been hurt by the devil’s wiles;
But Your compassion is steadfast in the midst of such trials.
To keep my words in the past tense is what You’re telling me–
“For me, the battle’s been won!” and the devil has to flee.
I’ll continue to thank You despite how I feel
And practice faith laughter since it’s a “done deal.”
In faith, through my actions, I’ll pursue any route
That, if led by Your guidance, would assist in the way out.
But “mountains” melt like wax in Your presence, oh Lord,
And the one that’s before me must yield to Your Sword.
In remembrance of You, I’ll often take
Of the covenant meal provided for my sake.
I won’t quit in giving thanks, but see myself whole,
For You didn’t just attempt–but achieved–redemption’s goal.
A message in Your Word, a message that’s true–
“He heals all my diseases”–I know You’ve seen it through.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases….” Psalm 103:1-3

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’” 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 (NKJV)

“My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22

“The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” Psalm 97:5

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-15

“With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My salvation.” Psalm 91:16

(If you’ve experienced doubts or even disappointment regarding healing, I pray you will cast the care of that over on the Lord and persevere, retaining faith for healing, for God’s Word is His will.)

Further scripture references:

In Deuteronomy 28:15-22, 27-29, 35-61 sicknesses and disease are listed as a curse of the Law. Galatians 3:13-14 states that “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us….”

Exodus 15:26; Exodus 23:25-26; Psalm 91:3; Psalm 91:10; Psalm 107:19-20; Psalm 118:17; Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 16:24; Proverbs 17:22; Isaiah 53:4-5; Isaiah 55:11; Isaiah 57:19; Matthew 7:11; Matthew 8:2-3; Matthew 15:30-31; Mark 11:23-26; Mark 16:15, 17-18; Luke 18:27; John 10:10; Acts 10:38; Romans 8:11; James 1:17; 1 John 4:4; 3 John:2 and others.

See http://www.rhema.org
Look for Study Center, Articles on Healing

and http://www.awmi.net
Testimonies on Healing

And http://www.josephprince.org/blog/praise-reports

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Don’t Cast Away Your Confidence

“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:35-39

Turn your confidence around;
Let it now in God be found.
There are thoughts that seek to deceive,
But just let God those fears relieve.
Turn your confidence around;
Jesus’ Words are sure and sound.
Cast down any thought that things can’t change–
With God, anything can rearrange.
Turn your confidence around,
For every victory in Him is found.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 John 5:4,5

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”
2 Corinthians 2:14

And another scripture, with thoughts from a guest contributor:

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart….” Luke 18:1 NKJV

Pray always without being weary. Do not: stop or give up. Do: pray, even when you feel tired from or distressed about a problem. Do pray: when you wake up and before you fall asleep.

Keep praying, always looking for the Holy Spirit in action all day. Keep God on your heart and thank Him throughout your day.

Also…be blessed to visit http://www.jerrysavelle.org for his
featured book, “The God of the Breakthrough Will Visit Your House”

This is Eternal Life…

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“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” …spoken by Jesus in John 17:3 NKJV

“And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”
1 John 2:25 KJV

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11 KJV

“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

Photo/Pixabay

Thanking God for you and for all of His blessings

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Photo/Harvestfieldsbaptist.com

“I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:6

“Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.” Psalm 107:22

Words of an old hymn
by Henry Alford

Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God, our Maker, doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple come,
raise the song of harvest home.

“While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And He said to him, ‘Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.’” Luke 17:11-19

Turn Back

When I think of the healing of the ten leprous men,
and how only one man turned back, in thanks to God, out of the ten,
I’m reminded of how I often take for granted God’s care,
when I should “turn back” to the place of blessing and thank the Lord there.

Joining you in thanking God today for all of our blessings….

P. A. Oltrogge

Samson—of the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11

“And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”
Hebrews 11:32-34 NASB

I thought about the Bible’s Samson, and what one could basically say,

regarding his life and mission in a poetic way…

His future parents were visited by the angel of the Lord, who foretold his birth,

saying that Israel’s deliverance from the Philistines would begin through him, a Nazirite of worth.

As foretold, he was born and blessed of the Lord, and then we also read…

of the Spirit of God coming upon him at times, with the mighty strength that he would need.

An early event recorded is his favoring of a certain Philistine woman to be his wife…

though his parents tried to dissuade him, saying one of their own people could better bless his life.

But she did become his bride—scripture says it was “of the Lord” in this unusual case.

The Lord was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines, for their dominion over Israel was in place.

Killing a young lion with his bare hands, throwing a wedding feast at which a riddle was told—

then came a clash with the Philistines after the riddle was “solved.” Through Samson, their defeat was beginning to unfold.

Deprived of his wife, he caught three hundred foxes, by which he set fire to the Philistines’ vineyards, groves, and grain.

At that, they retaliated, causing her death, at which Samson fought them again, making his readiness to confront them even more plain.

The Philistines encamped in Judah, then. To prevent attack, three thousand of Judah’s men went out with new ropes to have him bound…

and hand him over to the Philistines. Samson allowed them to bind him but broke free, killing a thousand Philistines in just one round.

He commended himself for the triumph, “With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps…I have slain a thousand men.”

But he was overcome at the end of the conquest with extreme thirst then…

So he cried out to the Lord for water, saying, “YOU have given this great deliverance by the hand of your servant…”

He continued, asking God if he was going to let him die without needed water—his plea being fervent.

Out of a hollow place came a spring—the requested water that God provided.

In looking to the Lord, strength was restored; his thirst was quenched and his distress subsided.

And the strength that was given to him by God far surpassed the normal for lifting any heavy weight.

From Gaza to the top of the mountain opposite Hebron, he uprooted and carried on his shoulders, one night, the doors of the Gaza city gate.

He judged Israel for a span of twenty years, according to Judges 15 and 16;

but despite having had strength to have killed a lion, weakness in his personal life was seen.

Most often remembered about Samson’s life is that of Delilah’s snare,

where he told her the secret of his strength, which was in a Nazirite’s vow to keep his uncut hair.

Several times she had inquired, hoping to set a trap, yet Samson had always broken free.

But, in the last case, the Lord departed from him. He was caught—his eyes were put out, and he could no longer see.

He fervently called upon God when he was mocked by his enemies and bound.

And, in a final act, he slew three thousand Philistines—God restored his strength that had been renowned.

One lesson from his life which could be stated is that we shouldn’t be distracted…

from consecration to God—so that, in these times, by living for Him, others will be spiritually impacted.

Surely, Samson knew of the calling on his life from God and that he was to be mindful of His help throughout his days.

God used him mightily, as had been prophesied, for deliverance from the Philistines in an initial phase.

So, grant us a surge of inner strength, Lord, at those times we feel we’ve failed…

for you offer forgiveness and redemption to all for whom to the cross you were nailed.

P. A. Oltrogge

from Judges, chapters 13-16

It’s been said that Samson’s life, though he was an imperfect man, in some ways, pointed to the greatest deliverer (at that time, yet to come) Jesus Christ. Some of these parallels were:

Parents of both had divine visitations, foretelling the birth of a son. Both sons were to be consecrated to God for life.

Samson’s mother had been barren. Mary, Jesus’ mother, was a virgin, so for both, the births of their sons were divine interventions.

The Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson for strength to do battle and strength to even kill a lion with his bare hands. Likewise, Jesus defeated the enemy, Satan, with no man-made weapons, but the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him.

As Samson uprooted and carried the doors of the city gate to the top of a high place, so Jesus carried the cross to Calvary’s hill, establishing and being the gate to heaven through His finished work on the cross.

Samson was handed over, at one point, to the Philistines by his own people. Jesus was delivered to His enemies by one of His own, a disciple. Samson broke free from the new ropes. Jesus broke out of a new, garden tomb, being raised from the dead.

Samson was blinded and mocked by his enemies. Jesus was blindfolded and mocked by His enemies. (Luke 22:64)

Samson’s arms were outstretched between pillars to destroy Israel’s enemies in his death, while Jesus’ arms were outstretched on the cross in His dying, to pull down and defeat the devil and death itself.

Consider the Birds and the Lilies

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Look at the birds of the air…
They don’t sow, reap, or gather
Their needed food into barns—
But are dependent upon God, rather.

Consider how the lilies are clothed—
They toil not, nor do they spin,
But to the heavenly Father’s care
They’re blessed to give in.

Yes, consider these,
And consider giving in,
To the message of Christ’s love
Above this world’s din.

Partake, through the Bible, from God’s table
Of spiritual food fit for a King’s heir,
And be clothed in the love of Jesus,
the finest thing you could wear.

Consider the children,
So gentle and so tender—
What kind of faith
To them will you render?

One that speaks dislike
And contempt of others—
Or one that speaks love
And draws all men to be brothers?

The heavenly Father gave Jesus
To tell of God’s care and to guide.
When we take Him as Savior, He gives love
For all others for whom He has died.

So just like the lilies
Or the birds of the air,
May people of all nations be blessed to give in
To Jesus—the way to the Father God’s care…

P. A. Oltrogge

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies….” Luke 6:27

“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’”
Matthew 22:37-40

“For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious, can add a single cubit to his life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.

“But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:25-34

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Of More Value

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The beauty of a peacock’s fanned-out feathers is a unique display
of one of God’s masterful designs, among the many which are seen each day.

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Notice this delicate, little hummingbird and its shade of shimmering blue—
Only the Lord Himself could have adorned it with such a brilliant hue.

And consider the magnificent body, soul, and spirit He’s given you…
The privilege of spending time with Him is such an important thing to do.

Jesus emphasized that, certainly, we are of more value than the birds,
which makes us eager to meet with Him daily, esteeming His words.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Matthew 6:26 NKJV

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26 NkJV

“For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7 NKJV

“All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:3-4 NKJV

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV

Photos/Pixabay

No Other Explanation

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We know that sometimes, more often than we realize, things occur for which there is no explanation other than that prayer made the difference…

There are things in this world that may gain your attention,
but give greater thought to what Jesus did mention—
that life more abundant can be yours every day;
and that will increase if you take time to pray.
Give it your heart and give it your all—
remember that, for you, there’s no greater call.
The things of this world—its gadgets and inventions—
can never compete with all of God’s intentions,
which are wrought by you through prayers effective and fervent.
Impacting lives—through prayer, you’re His servant.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
James 5:16-18 NKJV

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Jesus’ words from Matthew 6, where He goes on to share “The Lord’s Prayer”

When we put our problems in God’s hands, He puts His peace in our hearts.
Quote by an Unknown Author