From Butterfly to Bay

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A butterfly on a flower or a beautiful blue bay…
Can you really see those exquisite things and then not say–
“There has to be a Creator to fashion things so fair,
For all the evidence needed is seen in each of them there!”

P. A. Oltrogge

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“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”
Romans 1:20 (New Living Translation)

You may want to consider a visit to the Cincinnati area, to experience the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter in nearby Kentucky.

Fresh as a Dewdrop

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“Fresh as a dewdrop,” My Word is to you.
Go to it daily and find things new.
You’ll find the familiar in it as well–
Of comfort, wisdom, and truth it will tell.
At times, for direction, it gives a faith hint,
Bringing light to your path like a dewdrop’s glint.
Fresh as a dewdrop, I want to impart
More of its treasures into your heart.
Like finding the dewdrops, you can depend
On My being there always to instruct and befriend.

P. A. Oltrogge

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

“I will never forget Thy precepts, for by them Thou hast revived me.”
Psalm 119:93

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort….” 2 Corinthians 1:3

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

“Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.” John 17:17

“…I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20

(Scriptures NASB)

See “About the Porch”

The Process of her Miracle

Below is a link to view the testimony of Delia Knox, whose story you may have already encountered. If you have, you may find encouragement in viewing it again. I remember Delia’s visit, years ago, to my church when she was singing from her wheelchair…

https://www.cbn.com/700club/features/Amazing/RWR59_Delia_Knox.aspx

I have seen another interview with Delia, and she tells of being at that healing meeting but being so focused on a baby that the parents had brought forward for healing…yet she herself was touched by Jesus.

May we continue to focus, too, on the needs of others through prayer and through worthy ministries, of which there are many—below are a few.

http://www.operationblessing.org
http://www.samaritanspurse.org
http://www.lifetoday.org
http://www.danitaschildren.org

Delia shares that whether or not she had been healed, she still would have been seeking the Lord on her journey in life. As she says, it’s all about knowing that God is there for us.

A Visit to the Woods While in the City

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Today I have responsibilities that call;
I may not be able to get to them all.

I like to think back on visits I’ve made
to peaceful wooded paths or a quiet glade.

At such places, it’s natural to pause and reflect
on the Lord, our Creator, and give Him respect.

But amidst crowded sidewalks or busy streets,
I can praise you, God, and remember our “retreats.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“And He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place
and rest a while.’….” Mark 6:31 NKJV

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29 NKJV

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

Exodus 33:14; Psalm 23; Psalm 91:1-2; Psalm 119:105; John 14:27; John 20:21

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Photos by Porch of the Lord

There’s Still Light in Goshen

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The Lord was working out a major plan to set free–the captive Hebrew people of old. There would be ten plagues, so the actions of Moses and Aaron would need to be brave and bold.

When they came before Pharaoh, they had commands from the Lord on what to say or do, to warn him of, or initiate, every plague that his nation was soon to go through.

The ninth plague of darkness was so severe that the Egyptians couldn’t get around. For three days, the darkness was “felt” and thick, in the air and on the ground.

One of Egypt’s chief deities was the sun “god,” so such darkness proved the Lord’s might, to prevail over any of the “gods” of the Egyptians. Only His power could end the dark night.

But the Hebrews were under God’s protection; and, in the midst of that constant night, there was light in Goshen in their dwellings because God was in charge of their fight.

Today, people experience darkness, not of God and not a kind where you can’t visibly see, but darkness in their minds when they’ve not recognized “the door,” through which anyone’s able to go free.

Jesus pointed the way, saying, “If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” You can experience “Goshen” through God’s Son yet today, and you’ll have all of the light that you’ll need.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt. So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Exodus 10:21-23

“If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 KJV

“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.’” John 8:12

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill, and destroy: I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.’” John 10:9-10

“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NKJV

In Everything Give Thanks

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When it looks to you, at times, like there’s simply no way out,
let thanking God, the Father, be your sure and chosen route.

When it seems that pressing problems have no known solution,
let thanking the Lord turn any worries into a grace revolution.

Paul and Silas were imprisoned but raised their praises high–
then found they were delivered, with praise their only cry.

When the way seems very foggy and you’re tempted to despair,
just know, though you can’t yet see it, the victory is there.

A great principle of the Bible is to walk by faith and not by sight–
so thank God for His presence when it’s dark and you need His light.

Like a pilot relies on instruments through weather good or bad–
let thankfulness be the “instrument” with which your life is clad.

P. A. Oltrogge

Acts 16:23-40:
“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were unfastened.” (25-26)

“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:14-17 NKJV

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV and Hebrews 11:1

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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

Find Encouragement at:
http://www.sandrakennedy.org
http://www.rhema.org

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Daniel in the Lions’ Den

…from the account in Daniel 6:

Due to Daniel’s outstanding capabilities, and out of concern that the king had given thought to putting him in charge over the entire kingdom, the other officials, knowing of Daniel’s reverence for God, concocted a plan to persuade the king to make an irrevocable decree—that for thirty days, whoever would pray to any god or man other than to the king, Darius, should be cast into a den of lions. After he had signed the decree and it was brought to his attention that Daniel continued in worship of his God, the king was greatly displeased with himself for having agreed to issue it; and he sought for a way to exempt Daniel. Finding no way to do that, the account continues:

“So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, ‘Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.’” Daniel 6:16

The Bible tells of the faithfulness of Daniel, yet he was thrown into a lions’ den—but God sent His angel to foil that plot of some evil-intentioned men.

The angel shut the mouths of the lions, that normally would have killed,
thereby saving Daniel’s life, which left his accusers with a plan that was unfulfilled.

That the king had fallen for their words and created the outrageous decree,
was a weak moment he quickly regretted, for he respected Daniel to a great degree.

Daniel remained steadfast in his worship of God—his prayers and praise were not diminished. We read that Daniel was delivered and prospered—and that his enemies met their own death before things were finished.

Today there are those who seek to subdue our reverence for the one and only God, too. But we should recall the example of Daniel, and how strong faith in God brought him through.

Opponents of Christianity may make their strikes against us, the Bible, and Jesus’ name. But we, too, can earnestly worship the Lord, believing for His intervention, like Daniel of lions’ den fame.

Some Bible teachers have said of this account, that it points to Jesus, as well. For the plot against Him couldn’t thwart God’s plan, leaving only of Christ’s death to tell.

No, God raised His beloved Son up—to the place of victory and greatest acclaim.
To this day, and forever, power and victory are synonymous with Jesus’ Name.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then King Darius wrote:

“To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

“Peace be multiplied to you.

“I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,

“For He is the living God,
And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure to the end.
He delivers and rescues,
And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

“So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”

Daniel 6:25-28

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:5-11

Scriptures NKJV

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I should not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10 NASB

On Christ, the Solid Rock, I Stand

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“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalm 61:2

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Written, 1834 by
Edward Mote
Composed, 1873 by
John Stainer

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope, to Timothy, a true son of the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Timothy 1:1-3

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Not Wrestling Against Flesh and Blood

“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

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand, in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Ephesians 1:18-23 NASB

“And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint….”

Luke 18:1 KJV

Abraham’s Absolute Trust

This poetic telling is of the account in the Bible, which was written of in Genesis, chapter twenty-two. It’s the story of Abraham’s act of trust, in a most difficult thing God had asked him to do.

God called upon Abraham to take along Isaac, his much loved and only son…and journey to the land of Moriah, where, He said, a sacrifice would need to be done.

The unthinkable thing about this, was that the sacrifice Abraham was to make…was to be that of his very own son. Abraham must have felt that his heart would break.

God specifically designated Isaac as the sacrifice, leaving no room about it to doubt. So Abraham rose early the very next morning, saddled his donkey, and then set out.

He took two of his young men with him and Isaac, as God had, with certainty, decreed. Abraham had split wood to bring for burning–he would be obedient as the Lord would lead.

On the third day, Abraham looked up and saw at a distance, the designated, sacrificial site. He told the others to stay behind; he and the lad would go to worship there in the early morning light.

Abraham took the wood that was needed for the offering and strapped it upon Isaac’s back. He took the fire and a knife and they walked on together, until Isaac began to realize their lack.

“My father!” he said, and went on to say to Abraham, that the fire and the wood they had–but where was the lamb that they needed for the offering? Then Abraham answered the lad…

that God would provide for Himself the lamb, for the burnt offering that they would be needing. So Abraham and Isaac walked on again together, his absolute trust in God still leading.

Then they came to the place that God had specified, where Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood. He bound his son, Isaac, and laid him upon both, which Isaac certainly couldn’t have understood.

So Abraham stretched out his hand, with the knife to slay his son, but was stopped from doing the act…because the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, saying his fear of God was now shown as fact.

“You have not withheld your son, your only son from Me,” the Lord conveyed. Then Abraham saw a ram…caught in the thicket by his horns, it became the sacrifice–the replacement offering to the Lord by Abraham.

So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will Provide,” as it is said to this day. “In the Mount of the Lord, it will be provided.” These words remind us of one who trusted God in a great way.

A second time, the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and spoke of blessings that were yet to be…that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in heaven and as the sand on the shores of the sea.

In his seed would all the nations of the earth be blessed, because he’d obeyed the voice of the Lord. So Abraham and Isaac returned to the other men, and went to Beersheba, happy and with God’s reward.

In the same manner, many years later, God, the Father in heaven, actually did give us of His only beloved Son. He spared not His Son, so that we could have reward. When we take Jesus as Savior, our eternal life has begun.

God is the One who taught us of sowing and reaping. You see, He “sowed” His Son as the sacrifice for sin in our place. He’s expecting a great harvest of souls to be His sons and daughters. That’s a gift given to us simply by His grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Scriptures: NASB