What a Friend…

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“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:9 NKJV

I’m sharing today the poetry of the old hymn–“What a Friend we Have in Jesus”

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there.

Joseph M. Scriven
(Written in 1855)

Jesus is our solace, our refuge and strength. I hope you enjoyed remembering this old hymn.

“…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV

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

I would add a few scriptures of encouragement, though, regarding any weakness we may sometimes feel:

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:29-31 NKJV

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

“…let the weak say, I am strong.” Joel 3:10

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. The Lord is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed. Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; be their shepherd also and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:6-9

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

The Lord’s blessings be upon you today is my prayer…

Snow Poem

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There’s a quietness…the air is brisk;

and now it’s getting thick with snow

as I take a walk along the street,

with nowhere necessary today to go.

Heard in the distance are joyful shouts

of some children who are out at play.

Predictions are…the snow will be deep—

the schools have been called off today.

Cars are few out on the streets;

and those that are out are going slowly.

The beauty of the snowfall makes one think,

for the moment, only of its presence wholly.

“Have you entered the treasury of snow?”

That was a question God asked of Job.

“He gives snow like wool,” is from the Psalms.

The neighborhood seems to be in a “snow globe.”

Underneath my plush-lined boots,

the snow keeps crunching as I walk.

Heading back to my front porch,

I meet some neighbors and stop to talk.

They invite me to come inside for coffee,

where the fireplace in their home is glowing.

It’s a perfect time for fellowship

on a day set aside because it’s snowing.

P. A. Oltrogge

Scripture references:
Job 38:22
Psalm 147:16

God Knows

I was recently reminded about a poem written by Minnie Louise Haskins, and an excerpt from it, which was quoted by Queen Elizabeth’s father, George VI, in his 1939 Christmas radio address, at a time during World War II when things were very dark for England. Here are its encouraging words, which actually are a reflection on Jesus, the True Light (John 1:6-9):

The Gate of the Year

“God Knows”

“i said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: ‘Give me a light that I may tread softly into the unknown.’ And he replied: ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.'”

King George concluded his radio address by saying,

“May that Almighty Hand guide and uphold us all.”

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Let not your heart be troubled…

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For the believer, at this new year…

from John 14, verse 27:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Remember these words of Jesus—
if you still feel troubled, even after you’ve prayed.

Command all stressful thoughts to cease…
for Jesus, our Lord and King, is the Prince of Peace!

You belong to Him, and He takes care of His own.

P. A. Oltrogge

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NKJV

Psalm 29:11
Psalm 119:165
Isaiah 26:3
John 16:33
Romans 5:1
Ephesians 2:14
Philippians 4:6-7
2 Thessalonians 3:16

photo/Unsplash

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