Christmas on the Porch—2019

Cover Art for Christmas on the Porch, by P.A. Oltrogge

Cover art for Christmas on the Porch, by P.A. Oltrogge

Christmas will soon be here; and the Porch of the Lord book, Christmas on the Porch, has been updated with Christmas poems from the 2018 season that have now found their places within its pages, along with the Bethlehem star. This can be a great “coffee table” book or one to share and give away as a gift—a gift that reflects the true meaning of Christmas.

If you missed giving a copy to someone last year or would simply be interested in having the new collection of Christmas poetry for yourself, the updated book is presently available at http://www.amazon.com and also at http://www.barnesandnoble.com.

Have a blessed Advent and Christmas season, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

P. A. Oltrogge

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This Jesus…

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“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths, reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.’ And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.” Acts 17:1-4

This Jesus…
Who suffered and died
and rose again from the dead–
This Jesus is the Christ,
the Chief Cornerstone and Head
of His Church.

Through this Jesus…
our lives can take on
a whole new scope…
The Father has provided us new birth
into a living hope.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”
1 Peter 1:3 NIV

“Therefore, it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’”
1 Peter 2:6 NKJV

Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16; Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Ephesians 2:19; 1 Peter 2:6,7

The above image of Jesus
used by permission of Bob Berran
at http://www.bobberran.com
See his Online Store to
purchase reprints of
various sizes.

Thanksgiving Every Day

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“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 and for His help and solutions to come for any concerns we may have on our hearts.

P. A. Oltrogge

Thanks be to God

Thanking God that we are anchored through Christ…

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:19-20

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Photo by Porch of the Lord

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute; if there be any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:6-8 NASB

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

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.” John 6:11

“…other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks.” John 6:23

(Other scriptures above, NKJV)

Powerful Prayers for Peter

Herod began to persecute those who believed in Jesus, it’s told in the twelfth chapter of Acts. James was martyred by the sword and Peter was seized, though there had been no criminal facts.

The church was offering up constant prayer for Peter–imprisoned by Herod Agrippa, the king. So in the dark of the night, God sent an angel to visit Peter there, who was asleep despite everything.

Four squads of soldiers had been assigned to him; and he was chained as he slept that night. A soldier on each side of him and guards were there, who were keeping the prison door barred tight.

Suddenly, the angel of the Lord stood by Peter, and a light shone inside the prison cell. The angel struck him on his side and raised him up; and from Peter’s hands, the heavy prison chains fell.

At the angel’s instruction, Peter dressed quickly to follow him–though it all seemed to be unreal. They went past the first and second guard posts. “This must be a ‘vision,’” was how it made him feel.

They came to the iron gate that led to the city, which simply opened to them of its own accord–then went out and down one street, and the angel departed. What a rescue from an angel of the Lord!

Peter came to his senses, realizing it had actually happened–he’d escaped Herod and leaders of the Jews. He proceeded on to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where they’d fervently prayed for this news.

Peter knocked at the door of the gate to the house, and a girl by the name of Rhoda came to see who was there. In her joy at hearing his voice, she ran to tell the others it was Peter, and that God had answered prayer.

They just couldn’t believe her, so Peter had to continue to knock, until they opened the door themselves to see… that God, indeed, had heard their prayers for Peter, and had sent His angel–to miraculously set him free!

At dawn, back at the prison, there was a commotion among the soldiers, as to how Peter’s captivity was defied. After a search was endeavored, Herod ordered the soldiers’ deaths; but the Bible records that he, too, soon afterward died…

“But the word of God grew and multiplied!”

P. A. Oltrogge

(From the account in Acts 12)

Jesus, His Name, our Anchor

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For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:

“I will certainly bless you,
and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.”

Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.
Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:13-20 NLT

In calm times of life or in a storm, a strong anchor is what I need.
The name of Jesus is that anchor—demons have to take heed.

By quiet waters or a turbulent sea, my anchor firmly holds.
Sure and steadfast is my hope as every moment unfolds.

In the order of Melchizedek, Jesus is my High Priest FOREVER.
His covering of love gives me confidence in whatever I endeavor.

God has given us His promise and oath. It’s impossible for Him to lie.
We have covenant with Him through Jesus Christ—the Son of the Most High.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.’” Luke 1:30-33 NASB

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:14-15 NKJV

“And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath, (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him:

“The Lord has sworn and will not relent.
‘You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek’”),

by so much more, Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.”

Hebrews 7:20-28 NKJV

“…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” from Colossians 1:27

Highly recommended:
“The Name of Jesus” book by Kenneth E. Hagin
under Bookstore at http://www.rhema.org

There’s a Good Shepherd

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There are those in this world who dismiss the notion
of a heavenly Shepherd who guides with loving devotion.

They’ve decided, for themselves, that Jesus isn’t real.
Then Satan comes to them with his choices, making his appeal.

Later, when things go wrong, they try to say that God was to blame
and that thanking God for blessings is making a foolish claim.

Some do have belief in God but haven’t yet seen that Jesus is Lord.
A prayer for them is that they’ll see His Name cannot be ignored.

God’s mercies are over all; He gives rain for the just and the unjust.
Yet there’s only One— Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life—in whom we’re to trust.

When we turn to God for guidance, He gives the counsel that we request.
Let the Good Shepherd be your eternal Savior and, by His leading, now be blessed.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:26-28

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

“…for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” from Matthew 5:45

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’ Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

Scriptures NKJV

How the Lord can guide a life is shown
throughout the book, “God Owns My Business”
by Stanley Tam.

For more on guidance:
“How You can be Led by the Spirit of God”
and “The Name of Jesus” by Kenneth E. Hagin
at the bookstore, http://www.rhema.org

Daybreak Thoughts

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What should I do, Lord Jesus, this day?
The first thing, for sure, is to stop and pray.
Then listen to “hear” that still, small voice
before I make even one first choice.

May I find how to serve You every day
by seeking You early for Your pathway.
What I think of doing may need to be set aside
in order to help others with a heart opened wide.

And let me not miss telling those I meet how to find
their Lord and their Savior, who is so good and kind.
For there are many people with an emptiness inside
that can only be filled when You come to abide.

Then, too, some who know You may be facing a trial;
help me to encourage that it’s only for a while.
For You, Lord, are good and want them to be blessed,
with all of the things that work out for their very best.

P. A. Oltrogge

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

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me.” John 10:27

“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4

“A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” Psalms 34:19 (New International Version)

Also Luke 11:13; John 14:26; John 16:7; Romans 8:14;
1 Corinthians 10:24

Thank you

Dear blog followers,

Thanksgiving time in America is approaching, a time when we especially stop to thank God for all of His goodness and blessings to us. I’d like to take a moment today to thank all of you who have signed up to follow The Porch of the Lord blog posts/poetry, and thanks to all of you who occasionally send “likes” regarding them. Your encouragement is greatly appreciated.

I am praying for you and believe that you will find all of the goodness and mercy the Lord has for you today and always as you trust in Him. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches over you.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” words of Jesus in Luke 12:6,7 NKJV

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Take courage today

Jesus told His disciples to go ahead of Him to the other side of the sea.

He had sent the crowds away and, for a time of prayer, He needed to be free.

When Jesus came walking upon the water in the fourth watch of the night,

the disciples, in their boat, thought they were seeing a ghost and cried out in fright.

They had already been disturbed that night, having been battered by waves—

the wind was contrary. Here, we’ll see another instance where “Jesus saves!”

Jesus told them to take courage—that it was Him and that there was nothing to fear.

Some translations of this account say that He told them to be of good cheer!

Having witnessed the Lord’s miracles, Peter wanted to be a disciple of faith, as Jesus had taught,

and join the Lord on the water. Stepping out of the boat, he actually walked on the sea, but then became distraught.

Initially, his confidence had been high, so when the Lord told him to come, he boldly went ahead.

The Bible indicates, though, that he took his eyes off of Jesus by noticing the wind, instead.

It says that he “saw” the wind, meaning that it was whipping up the water to a greater degree.

Looking away from Jesus, the Fearless One, even for just that moment, caused Peter’s courage to flee.

Jesus reached out quickly and rescued Peter, but questioned him as to why he had succumbed to doubt.

As they entered the boat, the wind stopped; and the disciples, in awe, worshiped the Lord as they continued on their route.

We, too, today, must ever look to Jesus, remembering His great love for us and the mighty miracles that He can perform.

We have testimonies today—as well as those told in the Bible—of His ability to bring us out, in victory, through any kind of storm.

P. A. Oltrogge

(From Matthew 14:22-32)

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