Cross Over to the Other Side

Jumonville Cross
Photo by Josh Matthews

A cross on a hillside beckons for our attention,
and can bring to mind something that Jesus Christ mentioned
when He and His disciples launched out for a sail–
“Let’s cross over to the other side,” were His words that didn’t fail.

Have you been on the side with those who have apprehensions,
or reject that Christ is Lord or doubt God’s intentions?
Look thoughtfully to the cross, for a strong message it bears–
God wants you to cross over to knowing that He cares.

Any other “religion” hasn’t the cross’s personal touch–
God sent His Son to die for you because He loved you that much.
There, Jesus made the sacrifice for your well-being and sins–
so you could cross to the place where new life in Him begins.

Despite a storm, His words didn’t fail in that Biblical account recorded.
They won’t fail in your destiny either, but you’ll be greatly rewarded,
as you come under the shadow of the Almighty and cross to the other side.
You’ll be so thankful you heeded the message of the wonderful cross as your guide.

P. A. Oltrogge

“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’

“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!’”

Mark 4:35-41 (NKJV)

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” 

John 5:24 (NIV)

“…that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” 

Romans 6:4 (NKJV)

A Visit to the Woods While in the City

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

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3 KJV

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 KJV

“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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

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

Photos: top, pxfuel; below, Porch of the Lord

A Rewarding Referral

You may have already seen it; but, in case not, today I want to refer you to another Christian blog, by Kim Potter, at http://www.anewthingministries.com where are many encouraging messages. But I believe you’ll be blessed by recent ones shared–today’s on communion and its power and another, on the importance of a season.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ….

“I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.” Philemon 1:3-7

Photo/pxfuel

Honoring America’s Brave

Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Through the years…

Many warriors have set aside the joys of life,
to enter into battles that were born of strife.
All gave their service, but some gave their all.
With courage, they answered their country’s call.

We’re reminded of their sacrifice on Memorial Day.
Death or injuries were the price that many did pay.
As we go about our lives, we tend to forget…
for our freedom and stability, they’re owed a huge debt.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper.  Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply.  It has a cost; it imposes a burden.  And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we–in a less final, less heroic way–be willing to give of ourselves.”  
Ronald Reagan, Arlington National Cemetery, May 31, 1982

You may want to refer to today’s post by Dutch Sheets:

http://www.givehim15.com (written post)

and giving efforts at such ministries as: http://www.samaritanspurse.org

Photos/Unsplash

My Faith Looks Up To Thee

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might….” (from Ephesians 6:10-17)

My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray,
take all my guilt away.
Oh, let me from this day
be wholly Thine!

May Thy rich grace impart
strength to my fainting heart,
my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me,
Oh, may my love to Thee,
pure, warm, and changeless be,
a living fire!

While life’s dark maze I tread,
and griefs around me spread,
be Thou my guide.
Bid darkness turn to day,
wipe sorrow’s tears away,
nor let me ever stray
from Thee aside.

All through life’s transient dream,
until death’s sullen stream
shall o’er me roll;
blest Savior, with Thy love,
fear and distrust remove–
Then bear me safe above,
a ransomed soul!

Rev. Ray Palmer

“The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.” Psalm 46:7

“And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint…” Luke 18:1 KJV

Photo/pxfuel

A Prayer…for People to No Longer Walk in the Darkness

“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

*********************

Father God…evil events in this world point to our need to continually pray

for those who walk in the darkness–who haven’t found Your Son and the Way.

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life–truly, this world’s light.

Christians are also “lights,” He said, here to direct other souls to what’s right.

Sin has darkened the minds of many people, to not recognize their need…

“Man doesn’t live by bread alone,” but on Your Word, we all must feed.

Jesus gives life abundant and eternal life–when a believer dies, yet he’ll live.

He taught us of Your love, Father–and that we’re to love others and to forgive.

Your Son went about healing, demonstrating Your compassion and grace.

He said to “Have faith in God,” that You’d be with us in whatever we’d face.

So, we believe in Your goodness, Father God, in the midst of evil’s blight.

We keep our trust in Your Word, holding onto it, with a grip of faith that’s tight.

Help us, Father, to be aware of those who are living without Christian hope–

and to tell them of Your love, with an offer of friendship, to help them cope.

For those who have a reverence for God, may Your Holy Spirit open their eyes….

to see Christ throughout the Bible, wherein is the truth that makes us wise.

in His Name, we pray….

Amen

“Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:25-27 (This Jesus did, while on His walk with Cleopas and another disciple on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus after His resurrection from the dead…)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” Psalm 111:10

“But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 (Jesus’ words during the temptation in the wilderness)

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15 KJV

“But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17 NLT

“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. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11

“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God.'” Mark 11:22 (faith that can even move mountains…)

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”  John 11:25

“Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.’ Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.'” John 14:5-11

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” words of Jesus in Matthew 5:14-16

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10

“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 KJV (and all of verses 31-39)

Scriptures: NKJV or as noted

Depiction of Jesus, with Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus…

(Poetic prayer by P. A. Oltrogge)

Wednesday, May 25

It has been my intention, as with many other Christians who do blogs, to simply share with others about the importance and blessing of placing one’s faith in the Lord Jesus. Sometimes, in light of current events, however, it seems right to comment on what’s transpired.

As regards the recent school shooting in Texas, (so grievous a thing, against wonderful young children, their teachers, and the families), I would suggest visiting http://www.ifapray.org where there is commentary and an article with specific prayer directives. The author tells of a time of being a school crossing guard, but was led of the Lord to be a prayer guard as well.

Some (archived) posts, previously done on this blog, certainly seem applicable, such as “It’s a Hard Subject,” “In Need of the Savior,” and others… Right now, we pray for the families affected, but the following reminds that there are individuals out there who certainly need our prayers:

Standing in the Need of Prayer

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,  for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-7 NKJV

At the end of the coming year, I’d like to be able to say…

I didn’t meet or pass by a person for whom I didn’t pray.

It doesn’t have to be long…and I can quietly intercede–

even praying to God in thought, for Him to meet their most urgent need.

P. A. Oltrogge

You may already be doing this, not wanting to miss someone who may need the Lord’s help in a particular way in their lives…and for some, most importantly, to come to know Him. It is a worthy goal, for there are surely many people who don’t even realize that they are standing in the need of prayer….

I Take Care of My Own

If you’re looking to find a church to which to belong, or even if you already have one, be blessed to additionally “attend” Eagle Mountain International Church at http://www.emic.org. There, you’ll learn of their continued work in helping Jews and other people from Ukraine to relocate to Israel, (an effort to which anyone can contribute), as well as learning more about, and participating in, their worldwide sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Yesterday’s message, “I Take Care of My Own,” will greatly bless. After praise and worship in the service, you’ll hear from those from Israel, with whom the church has been working. But you can scroll in, if your time is limited, to simply take in the encouraging message by Pastor George Pearsons, as well as to hear a brief but very special word from the Lord as ministered through Kenneth Copeland. If you’ve become increasingly concerned about the times in which we’re living, the message from http://www.emic.org (latest service) is for you.

Blessings to you…

P. A. Oltrogge

You’re one of about four-hundred people who appreciate Biblically-themed poetry at the Porch of the Lord. I appreciate your having signed up to follow the blog…thank you. Sometimes repeats are shared, simply because they still seem relevant and because of the fact that they may not have been seen or read by newer blog followers. Hopefully, contemplating their words can still bless, even if you’ve read them before. I know you’re blessed in meditating on the accompanying scriptures. And I do enjoy sharing, via occasional photos, the many things of beauty that the Lord has created….

Here’s a scripture, now added on the website, which was actually meant to have been included in yesterday’s post:

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14

Photo/pxfuel

In the Cross of Christ I Glory

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14

In the cross of Christ I glory,
towering o’er the wrecks of time;
all the light of sacred story
gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me,
hopes deceive and fears annoy,
never shall the cross forsake me,
Lo!  It glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming
light and love upon my way,
from the cross the radiance streaming
adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
by the cross are sanctified;
peace is there that knows no measure,
joys that through all time abide.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
towering o’er the wrecks of time;
all the light of sacred story
gathers round its head sublime.

…words by John Bowring, 1825
…music by Ithamar Conkey

The Old Familiar Hymns

Sometimes recalling the words…
or hearing the melody as it starts…
or, very often, both of these
are a blessing to our hearts.

It’s wonderful, how they come to mind…
remembered, though from years behind.
The old hymns are worthy to sing yet today–
still relevant, with what they have to say.

P. A. Oltrogge

Speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well….

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’

“The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’

“Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.‘” John 4:21-26

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” Colossians 1:19-20

“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.” Colossians 3:16

“Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! 1 Chronicles 16:29

“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Matthew 26:30 (This was done just before Jesus’ betrayal and arrest in Gethsemane, on His way to the cross.)

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:14-17 (Jesus’ words on how He would be lifted up on the cross, on our behalf)

By the Apostle, Paul: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures….” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Scriptures: NKJV


The Children’s Bread

“And He was saying to her, ‘Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’” (Mark 7:27) These were Jesus’ words to a Syrophoenician woman, regarding the healing of her daughter… Here He was referring to healing as “the children’s bread.” She was not Jewish (“the children”) but persisted in faith, to ask for His help, which He gave.

We read in the Bible’s book of Acts that in the course of Peter’s travels, he arrived at the town of Lydda to visit with some of the saints. 

There He came upon a man named Aeneas, who’d been bedridden for eight years with paralysis and its constraints.

The account tells us that Peter spoke with sure faith, saying, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you: arise, and make your bed.” 

At Peter’s words, the paralyzed man immediately arose; and all who lived at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord, having seen that healing is the children’s bread.

In another instance, in Joppa, there was a disciple named Tabitha, or Dorcas, who abounded with charity for others and deeds that were kind. 

Just at that time, she had fallen sick and died–a loss which was felt deeply, for she had made garments for many; and by such acts of service she was defined. 

Some of the disciples heard that Peter was in nearby Lydda, so they sent two men to him to entreat him to come and not delay. 

He agreed to come with the men and there, in an upper room of the house where her body had been placed, Peter sent out those who wept. He knelt and prayed–then turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, arise,” at which point, death couldn’t stay.

She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. He gave her his hand and raised her up, then called those who’d been there to return. Peter presented her alive to all of them, who were so grateful and amazed.  

The raising of Dorcas became known all over Joppa and many there believed, too, on the Lord and that the Name of Jesus, of whom Peter preached, was greatly to be praised.

P. A. Oltrogge

A poetic summary from Acts 9:32-43

Also refer to Acts 10 on the inclusion of the Gentiles in the Gospel, and Acts 11:18 “And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, ‘Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.’”

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

“And when evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘He Himself took our infirmities, and carried away our diseases.’” Matthew 8:16,17

Other examples of Peter and the other apostles extending healing in Jesus’ Name: Acts 3:1-10, 16 and Acts 5:12-16; Acts 14:8-10; Acts 19:11-12; Acts 20:9-10; Acts 28:3-5 (Paul suffered no harm himself); Acts 28:7-9

Further encouragement on healing: http://www.awmi.net, http://www.kcm.org, http://www.faithschool.org, and other ministries previously mentioned on this blog.