Picture this…

Picture great crowds, coming to be taught…
Picture the sick, whom others had brought.
Picture them healed, through miracles wrought,
By Jesus, God’s Son, Whom so many had sought.

Picture a day where the sun was getting low.
“Hear” the disciples saying they just didn’t know…
How the people would eat—and should be told to go;
But picture a lad with loaves and fish that would grow.

“Listen” to Jesus say, “Bring them here to me…”
Picture loaves and fish multiplied by His decree,
With five thousand being fed, at a cost that was free,
And full baskets left over before the disciples put out to sea.

Picture Jesus sending the multitudes away,
Going up to the mountain by Himself to pray–-
Then joining the disciples, through water and spray,
On the fourth watch of the night, just before day.

Picture Peter bravely wanting to join the Lord,
Picture him boldly stepping overboard;
Then see his faith waver as sea and wind roared–
Picture him sinking but, by Christ, being restored.

Picture your own life and remember these things;
Remember that “greatness” to small things Christ brings.
Look to the Lord for your faith to take wings,
As you walk on life’s waters with the King of Kings.

P. A. Oltrogge

From Matthew 14:14-31

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Photo/Porch of the Lord

Meet Nurse Georgee (Part 2)

Part 2 (a continuation of Big John—I saw Jesus)…having left off at:

“John, I’m here. What’s wrong?”

“I SAW JESUS! I SAW JESUS!”

“Oh, John! What did He look like? I never saw Him. What color were His eyes, His hair?”

“I can’t tell you that. All I know is that He is love. Look, He’s here,” pointing to the left side of his bed. “You want to know something? That devil is a mean devil.”

“What do you mean, John?”

“You know all those fights I told you I was in? Well, I never fought so hard as I did with that devil. I was sweating buckets full. That devil almost got me, but Jesus saved me. So, then I asked Jesus if I could come back for a little bit. So then, Jesus went through the gate to the Dad and asked the Dad if I could come back.”

It was at this point that I felt it necessary to interrupt John and inform him that Jesus went to the Father. I thought it necessary to have a theological discussion about the trinity.

“Nurse Georgee, Jesus went to the DAD. He went to the DAD.”

I heard the Lord yell at me as loudly as John screamed my name earlier, GEORGIA, BE QUIET. LISTEN TO JOHN.

But I just had to ask one more question. “John, did you see the Dad?”

“Oh, no, I didn’t see the Dad, but I heard the Dad.”

“What did the Dad sound like?”

“Well…I guess it was like He was talking through a great big megaphone.”

“WOW! You mean like thunder?”

“Yeah, that’s what the Dad sounded like.” Then, John sat straight up in bed and pointed his finger at me, commanding my attention. “Nurse Georgee, I want you to know something. No one goes through that gate to the Dad unless Jesus takes them.”

I literally froze in amazement at what John just said to me. I’m sure my eyes were as big as cantaloupes. John had quoted my favorite scripture in the Bible. It is found in the book of the gospel of John chapter 14, verse 6:

…..”Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

My mind was racing with questions. John told me before his cardiac arrest that he never saw a Bible. He said he was never in church. Yet, he was quoting from the Bible a truth that I knew. How could this be? He couldn’t be making it up. He knew nothing about the Bible. Did he really see Jesus? I was so confused. I am ashamed to admit that I doubted his account of what happened to him. Was John hallucinating? When he said Jesus went to the Dad, I asked John if he saw the Dad. I asked him that question because I doubted his story. The Bible tells us in the gospel of John chapter 6, verse 46:

…..“No one has seen the Father except the one (Jesus) who is from God; only He has seen the Father.”

I knew this passage of scripture. Therefore, if John would have said he saw the Father, then I would know he was hallucinating. God forgive me. Why do You even bother with me? I battle fears, doubts, and unbelief. Is there any hope for me? Forgive me for doubting You.

John continued to yell at me at the top of his lungs. “Nurse Georgee, I’m telling you the truth. NO ONE GOES THROUGH THE GATE TO THE DAD UNLESS JESUS TAKES THEM!” It was like John knew I doubted his story. How much clearer can it be? JOHN SAW JESUS. Glory be to God. John had an encounter with the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Who am I to discredit his encounter? God forgive me.

Again, John very emphatically yelled, “Nurse Georgee, I’m telling you the truth. NO ONE GOES THROUGH THE GATE TO THE DAD UNLESS JESUS TAKES THEM. You don’t believe me. Nurse Georgee, I’m telling you the truth.”

“John, I believe. I believe.” Once John knew that I finally believed him, he was ready to tell the world he saw Jesus and that Jesus was for real. With the door wide open to John’s room and the nurse’s station within earshot, John yelled as loud as he could, “Is there anyone out there that doesn’t know Jesus?” Immediately, all staff and even some visitors gathered in John’s room. John radiated while he related his encounter with Jesus. Even his dear wife, who sat quietly in the corner of John’s room, took it all in.

Eventually, John’s room was cleared of nurses and visitors; however, the presence of Christ continued to permeate the atmosphere.

“John, let’s talk about what just happened to you. Jesus revealed Himself to you as the Lord of lords and the King of kings. John, are you now ready to surrender your life to Jesus?”

“I sure am. What do I need to do? I know that Jesus is for real. I want to be with Him forever.”

“John, you need to pray and invite Jesus into your life. You don’t need to worry about fancy words. Talk to Jesus just like you talk to me.”

“O.K., Nurse Georgee, here it goes. Jesus, it’s John, the one you just saved from the devil. Don’t leave me, Jesus. Forgive me of all the fights I was in. Sorry I beat my wife up. Come live in me. Thank you for loving me. I’m YOURS. Amen!”

God, You are so amazing and awesome. Thank You for giving me the privilege to talk with a patient who has been in Your presence. You have blessed me beyond belief. I know, without a doubt, that every word is true in the Bible. Sorry it has taken me so long. Thank You again for Your patience with me.

_________________________

For other compelling stories, Georgia’s book, Nurse Georgee, is available at Barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com.

Meet Nurse Georgee (Part 1)

The following true account is told in a book written by Georgia Cohen, a nurse with a boldness to share her faith in Jesus with her patients. This particular story is reprinted, with her permission, from her book, Nurse Georgee—and she is “Nurse Georgee.” Except for her name, names have been changed to protect privacy. Due to its length, it will be posted in two parts.

P. A. Oltrogge

The following is Part 1.

Big John—I Saw Jesus

Yelling at the top of his lungs, John screamed, “Nurse Georgee, get in here!” All the nursing staff raced with me to John’s room. We all had been involved in his CPR and knew it was a miracle that John was still alive. What solicited John’s screaming? Was he again experiencing chest pain? “John…John…what’s wrong?”

John was a 40 year old man, flown by helicopter to us from West Virginia. His condition was extremely unstable, necessitating transfer to a big city hospital. The life-flight crew remained in charge, barking orders at Ruthie and me as they leaped from the helicopter. “Lead the way. We have to stay with John until he is in CCU. His heart stopped five times during flight. Run as fast as you can.”

Ruthie and I were yelling, “Emergency! Move it! Out of the way!” to everyone in our path, as we raced like marathon runners to the CCU finish line. Ruthie and I literally threw ourselves against the two, large, mahogany doors that led to the entrance to CCU. The noise from the doors hitting the walls as they opened was deafening. All CCU staff immediately came to attention as we raced into John’s new home. Within minutes, John was hooked up to the CCU monitor, had a Swan-Ganz catheter inserted with new IVs hanging, and new CPR patches applied to his chest. John presented as a perfect text book picture. We were ready and able for anything that might happen, or so we thought.

The life-flight crew was now gone. John was resting as comfortable as possible with his blood pressure stabilized at 118/80. His heart rate, at 88, continued to have some extra beats (PVC’s), with intermittent short runs of ventricular tachycardia (VT). The atmosphere in his room was now one of serenity. Formally introducing myself, I oriented John to his new home. While bathing John, I sensed that the Lord was asking me to talk to John about his relationship with God. Okay, Lord, I will do it, you gave me another chance with Joe. Thank you for this opportunity. “John, has anyone ever introduced you to Jesus?”

Scratching his head with a somewhat puzzled look on his face, John slowly responded, “No, I don’t reckon anybody ever has.”

“John, may I introduce you to Jesus?”

“Sure.”

Sharing with John for only a minute or two what Jesus did in my life, John interrupted me.

“Now wait a minute, Nurse Georgee. I just don’t know about this Jesus. I have never been to church. In fact, I have never even seen a Bible. I just don’t know about Jesus.”

“John, that’s okay.”

“Nurse Georgee, you don’t know what I have done. Don’t get me wrong. I have been laying here thinking about my life. I want to change. I don’t want to beat my wife up anymore. I have been in terrible fights with the guys. I need to think about some things. I just don’t know about this Jesus.”

“John, that’s fine. If and when you are ready to talk about Jesus, you know where I am.”

John fell asleep for about an hour. Alarms started blaring, and the monitor showed that John was in VT, with a heart rate of 196, which increased rapidly into ventricular fibrillation. All CCU staff responded immediately with the typical CPR. Chest compressions, proper ventilation and shocking John’s heart all seemed to be to no avail. We were losing him, and fast. Even the IV pressors didn’t help raise his blood pressure, which was nearly nonexistent. According to his monitor, John was flat-lining. No heart rate, no blood pressure, and no response to the repeated shocking at even 400 joules of electricity. We refused to give up. I don’t remember how long we worked on John. It seemed like an eternity. The flat-line was ingrained in John’s monitor and was not disappearing. No rhythm was in sight. Just as we were about to call it quits, John’s monitor revealed a rhythm. John was coming back, unconscious, but back and breathing on his own.

Report time was rapidly approaching. Gathering my nurse’s notes, my mind was racing with John’s last words to me. “I just don’t know about this Jesus.” Report went well; however, it was longer than usual. I had a few loose ends to tie up before leaving for home. After getting my purse, I gave John’s monitor one last glance. All seemed well. Breathing a sigh of relief, I was off. Placing my hand on the big doors to CCU, I was stopped dead in my tracks. John’s loud, demanding voice echoed throughout CCU.

“NURSE GEORGEE…E…E…NURSE GEORGEE…E…E, get in here.” Immediately, I turned and ran to John’s room. I heard my name bouncing off the walls surrounding CCU.

“John, I’m here. What’s wrong?”

(Continued in Part 2)

A Time of Budding

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Photo/Unsplash

Yes, there is a life inside the womb,
Where it was meant to be safe
But a multitude have met doom–
A delicate bud created to bloom
To be a beautiful flower, but was cast away;
Yet many have been spared because you did pray.
And I have My “angels” going around
Rescuing those women who haven’t yet found
That the one inside is special and gifted–
Not a burden that needs to be lifted.
An awakening can bud–a turning around,
So all the unborn can be brought forth sound.
And “parents” who’ve aborted these and may know little of Me
Can repent and then I will set them free
To go on and find a better day;
For I remove sins far and away.
And what of those who performed the deed?
These also I’d forgive if they would realize their need
To repent for this taking of humanity,
And what a sad realization it would be.
Tears of remorse can so overwhelm–
Remember, I forgive all sins in My Realm.
But for those who faced the world and stood
For these little ones when no one else would,
I won’t forget the things you’ve done
At the time the battle is truly won.
For I am the Giver of Life on this earth,
Declaring the value of each person’s worth.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Psalm 139:13-16

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you….” Jeremiah 1:5

“From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Matthew 4:17

…the poem above is the writer’s reflection on possible thoughts of the Creator…

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Our Father of Forgiveness

A subject that Jesus taught, and that He made so perfectly clear,
was the need to forgive others—God’s standard, to which we’re to adhere.

By word and by His example, especially on the cross, this was displayed
when forgiveness, of even His enemies, was the kindness for which Jesus prayed.

Jesus had warned that if we ever felt this was something too difficult to do,
then, He said, of our trespasses, that “neither will your Father in heaven forgive you.”

Obviously, our merciful God has forgiveness at the very core of His heart.
If there is someone you haven’t forgiven, therefore, forgive, letting withholding of Christian love depart.

Then, you’ll be confident, with Christ as your Savior, when you go to enter heaven…that you’ve forgiven others, along your life’s journey, as Jesus said, even “seventy times seven.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:26

“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him, up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” Matthew 18:21-22

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 3:43-45

“Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’” Luke 23:34 KJV

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Psalm 103:8

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An Example Poured Out

From His grand and glorious home in heaven—a place of comfortable rest,

Jesus came down to this earth on a mission, so that mankind could be blessed.

During the last supper with His disciples, likewise, He got up from a comfortable place, to give Himself to serving.

Just as He would be stripped and crucified soon, so He set aside His garments, girding Himself with a towel, to cleanse the undeserving.

Pouring water into a basin, He began to wash and wipe the disciples’ feet.

But Peter failed to understand this requirement that Jesus was wanting to meet.

“Never shall you wash my feet!” were his immediate words—an outflow from Peter’s heart.

But Jesus said to Peter that unless He washed them, then, with Him, he would have no part.

At that, Peter told the Lord to wash not only his feet, but also his hands and his head.

So sincere was Peter’s desire to please Him, that he quickly permitted Him to do so instead.

Jesus continued, speaking of being made clean, but said that not all of them were clean.

In his relationship with the Lord, Judas would betray Him, letting Satan come between.

When Jesus revealed that a disciple would betray Him, the others wondered which one this meant.

By giving Judas the dipped bread—said to be a custom of graciousness, it’s been thought that Jesus was giving him a chance to repent.

But Judas turned away from the Lord and went out into the dark of night—

as many still choose darkness today, sadly, resisting Jesus’ love and Light.

Just as Peter would have had no part with Christ, likewise, it’s the same today…

If anyone doesn’t receive the cleansing from Jesus’ poured-out blood, which takes our sins away,

they will have no part with Christ, our Lord and Savior, who, by His example, taught…

that we, also, should serve one another with love and humility, having received the redemption that He bought.

Jesus loved His disciples to the end; He died for us all, having laid aside His glory.

And, as at that Passover meal, when His task was finished, He sat down…but now He’s seated at His Father’s right hand, in completion of this true redemption story!

P. A. Oltrogge

“And so when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and reclined at table again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher, and Lord, and you are right for so I am. If I, then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.’” John 13:12-17 NASB

“Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’” Mark 9:35 NASB

“And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.’” Matthew 26:27-28 NASB

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB

“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to My Lord, sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” (words of Peter from Acts 2:32-36 NASB)

Jesus’ blood, the cleansing flood…

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The Way to Please God…

So many religions speak of various ways
to address pleasing God all of your days.

Five times a day, you could be down on your knees,
with prayers to the god you hope to please.

But, really, these things are ritual merely
and can’t please Him, no matter if done so very sincerely.

But there is a way to come to God,
and it’s by looking to the road that Jesus has trod.

He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
He paved the way for you through much strife…

released upon Him as He went to the cross,
where He suffered in pain so you wouldn’t be lost

to the God who loves you and calls to you now
to embrace His Son, Jesus, to Whom, one day, every knee will bow.

But only grace, through faith, is involved—all works are in vain.
Through Jesus’ righteousness, our salvation is made plain.

You may want to fall to your knees when you recognize all that was done
by a God who loved so greatly, He gave His only Son.

P. A. Oltrogge

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“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

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

“Therefore, also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him, the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:9-11

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

The Creator versus the Atheists

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Even within a city or out on a rural farm,
we’re blessed to always enjoy the vast creation’s charm.

To say, then, as some do, that there is no God
is a kind of blindness that seems, to me, so odd.

For there are many masterpieces, on which our eyes can feast–
from the starting of a snowfall to the landscape when it’s ceased.

From the city to the beauty of the peaceful countryside,
the signature of the Creator is something atheists cannot hide.

P. A. Oltrogge

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“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 NIV

“For he (God, the Father) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son (Jesus) he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible….” Colossians 1:13-16 NIV written by the apostle Paul to the Christians in Colossae

Paul’s Rough Sea Voyage and Shipwreck to an Island

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Photo by Porch of the Lord

I’ve shared this Biblical poetic account previously, but would like to add, if you’ve not yet come across it, recommendation of the book, by Robert Cornuke, “The Lost Shipwreck of Paul.” In it, the author takes you on his captivating journey to Malta to research the actual location of Paul’s shipwreck and any possible remains of the ancient Roman anchors mentioned in the Biblical account. The book is available at Amazon.com, where you can also find many positive reviews of it.

(Having appealed to Caesar, Paul is sent to Rome…
a poetic narrative of Acts 27-28)

When it was decided to go to Italy, Paul and some other prisoners entered a ship at Adramyttium and were put to sea, to sail along Asia’s coasts.

Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment, treated Paul kindly, letting him receive care at Sidon from people who were Paul’s friends and hosts.

From Sidon, they sailed under the shelter of Cyprus due to the strong, contrary gales.

Then, over seas off of Cilicia and Pamphylia, they came to Myra, Lycia, where they were put aboard another ship bound for Italy in their forthcoming sails.

They sailed slowly many days, arriving with difficulty off Cnidus—the wind didn’t permit them to proceed.

So they sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone, passing it also with difficulty, coming to Fair Havens, a stop of need.

They’d lost a lot of time, and the weather was becoming dangerous as it was so late in the fall.

So Paul spoke to the ship’s officers about it—that he perceived trouble ahead, with great damage to the cargo and ship and even to the lives of them all.

But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and captain of the ship than by anything that Paul had said.

And because the harbor wasn’t suitable for wintering, the majority reached the decision to put out to sea, going ahead.

If, somehow, they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing southwest and northwest, they could spend winter there, they thought.

So when a moderate south wind came up, they supposed they’d attained their purpose, weighed anchor, and began sailing along Crete, on the route they sought.

But before very long, a violent wind, called Euraquilo, rushed down to sea from the land.

And when the ship was caught in it, and couldn’t face the wind, they gave way to it and were driven along—totally unplanned.

Running under the shelter of a small island called Clauda, they were scarcely able to get the ship’s lifeboat under control.

After they’d hoisted it up, they used supporting cables in undergirding the ship and let down the sea anchor. Avoiding being run aground on the shallows of Syrtis was the goal.

The next day, as they were being violently storm-tossed, they began to throw the cargo overboard.

On the third day, they threw the tackle over, another thing the ship was carrying but which they could no longer afford.

Sun nor stars appeared for many days, and of the thought of being saved, they’d gradually lost hope.

After having gone without food for a long time, Paul reminded them that if they’d listened to him, with this storm and loss they wouldn’t have had to cope.

Yet he urged them to not lose courage, saying there would be no loss of life among them, but only of the ship.

He shared that this he knew by way of the appearance of an angel of God, who had come and stood before him on the trip.

The angel told Paul that he would yet stand before Caesar and that God had granted him the lives of all those sailing along.

So Paul, again, strongly encouraged them, saying that he believed God and that God’s predictions were never wrong.

He added, however, that on a certain island, they would run aground.

And after the fourteenth night in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight, some of the sailors began to sense that land ahead might soon be found.

They took soundings as they approached; and not wanting to run aground on the rocks, they cast four anchors from the stern, wishing for dawn’s light.

Then the sailors tried to abandon the ship, lowering the lifeboat as though they were going to put out anchors from the front, but they couldn’t quite…

for Paul said to the centurion and his soldiers, “Unless these men remain in the ship, you yourselves cannot be saved.”

So the soldiers cut away the ropes of the lifeboat and let it fall away before any escape could be braved.

Until the day was about to break, Paul encouraged them that not a hair of their heads would perish—that they should not be anxious, going without eating—but to take some food.

He himself took bread and gave thanks to God in their presence and began to eat. So all the others on board took food as well, encouraged and their spirits renewed.

Two hundred seventy-six persons were aboard; and when all had eaten enough, they lightened the ship by casting overboard their wheat.

When day broke, they couldn’t recognize the land but observed a certain bay with a beach. They resolved to drive the ship onto it, if they could accomplish the feat.

So, casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea, loosened the ropes of the rudders, and hoisted the foresail to the wind—then headed for the beach.

But they struck a reef where two seas met and ran the vessel aground. The prow stuck fast and remained immovable. The stern began to break up by many a wave’s forceful reach.

The soldiers had planned to kill the prisoners so that none would swim away and escape; however, the centurion wanted to bring Paul safely through.

So, he kept them from those intentions and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first—the others to follow on planks from the ship or anything with which they could make do.

Thus it happened that all were brought safely to the land—they found that Malta was this particular island’s name.

There, the natives showed extraordinary kindness… Due to rain that had set in and the cold, they received them all and kindled for them a fire’s warming flames.

When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out, due to the heat, and fastened on his hand.

Seeing this, the natives expressed the thought that, likely, Paul was a murderer, lucky to escape the sea, but that death by snakebite was somehow justice served—perhaps divinely planned.

But Paul shook the creature off, back into the fire—the incident, for him, was not ill-fated.

Then the natives, who had expected him to swell up and die, suddenly changed their minds and said that with a “god” he could be equated.

In that region, there was a leading citizen, Publius, by name, at whose estate they were welcomed for three days.

The father of this man lay sick with a fever and dysentery. So Paul went in to him, laid his hands on him, and he was healed. Paul was continuing to follow his Lord Jesus’s compassionate healing ways.

When this was done, other natives on the island who had illnesses also received from Paul’s healing ministry during his stay.

The islanders honored Paul in many ways, giving him and the others much in provision before the time when they would again sail away.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness, has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.” Acts 27:23-25 NLT

The Lord of the Pillar of Cloud and Fire

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“Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” Exodus 13:20-22

“And with a pillar of cloud Thou didst lead them by day and with a pillar of fire by night to light for them the way in which they were to go.” Nehemiah 9:12
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Moses, a Hebrew by birth, was called by God to lead His Hebrew people out
from the ancient land of Egypt to a prayed-for promised land route.

Through his obedience and God’s powerful hand, their burdened lives as slaves
came to be changed forever because the good Lord hears and saves.

God had heard their desperate cries–and had seen the severe oppression.
After many God-sent plagues, Pharaoh finally made his concession.

So hardhearted had he been, that it had taken a very mighty blow
to his own and all Egyptian families before he would let God’s people go.

Many pestilences had been tried–including frogs and boils on man and beast–
hail, insects, darkness, and finally, death of firstborns of the greatest man’s home to the least.

That was the deciding plague, which caused the barrier to the Hebrews’ freedom to be broken– while they, in Goshen, were spared, for blood on their doorposts had “spoken.”

Yes, blood from an unblemished lamb on each lintel and doorpost was spread–
This proclaimed that their lives should be preserved because of a lamb that had bled.

They had shared the first Passover meal–a feast remembered to this day,
which points to God’s sacrificial lamb in Christ–now the Good Shepherd
who leads our way.

After the Passover, God guided His people with a pillar of cloud in their sight. And for gains through night-time travel, He led by a pillar of fire for needed light.

Quick to regret, Pharaoh pursued the former captives to the brink of the great Red Sea. But the angel of God and God’s pillar of cloud kept the Hebrews secure and free.

This protection and time were needed, for Moses to stretch forth his hand.
The Lord swept back the sea with a wind all night, creating for the Hebrews dry land.

God’s people then made their way safely, with walls of water on each side–
They followed the leadership of Moses, casting any fears they might have had aside.

God brought Pharaoh’s army into confusion; then the Lord gave Moses the instruction…to stretch forth his hand again, which made way for the pursuers’ destruction.

From out of the pillar of cloud, God caused the Egyptian’s chariot wheels to sway. The waters turned back and drowned them all, giving the Hebrews victory that day.

Protection and guidance were provided back then through God’s pillar of cloud and fire. Therefore, let’s seek the same Lord of those ancient days who calls us to a life that’s higher.

Today a “promised land” is yours through the leading of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Abundant life now and an eternal home with God are freely offered to everyone.

P. A. Oltrogge

(Based on the Old Testament account in the book of Exodus)

New Testament references:

“And Peter said to them ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 2:38

Words of Jesus:

“…I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10

“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28 KJV

“…and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said…And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” John 17: 1. 4

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2