A place of refreshment, the porch of the Lord… Pull up a chair, take in spiritual air. Jesus always has time, and His is the power– Receive there His touch in this end-time hour. Like Mary, take time to sit at His feet; Come to His porch for relief from life’s heat. Only one thing is needful and truly can please– His Word and His presence, felt on each breeze. He offers living water, quenching everyone’s thirst; And that’s yours there daily, by seeking Him first. There’s joy on His porch, with your sisters and brothers, As you find your needs met while caring about others. The healing and peace which only Christ can bring Are found there at all times—an everlasting spring. Taste there His love, so generously poured; Your “cup will run over” on the porch of the Lord.
P. A. Oltrogge
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things; But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:38-42 NKJV
“But one thing is needful…” verse 42, KJV
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Psalm 23:5 KJV
(See Porch of the Lord website for Sonja Lovas photo link)
The following was written before the pandemic. Thankfully, many churches have opened up again. But online churches are also available.
Recently I went out for lunch at a restaurant with one who’s a special friend. We talked about menu items that looked good and what we wanted to spend.
There was also offered a large brunch buffet, of which one could partake. But we opted for menu entrees, unaware of the time that those would take.
For some reason, our chosen meals from the menu took well over half an hour. We were seated right by the grand buffet and soon began losing willpower.
Here was all of this delicious food; each person came by with a full plate. Yet despite its nearness, we couldn’t partake, but simply were left to wait.
I thought about that, in a spiritual sense, especially in countries very blessed. Christian churches abound, yet are passed up–by people who choose Sundays to just rest.
God is offering His buffet of goodness and blessings, and the Bible teaches us His voice. But some are waiting and hungering still–due to simply making the wrong choice.
“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good…” These words from the Bible are for you! God wants you to join others in receiving “the Blessing” from Jesus, who is so Faithful and True.
P. A. Oltrogge
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.” Psalm 34:8-9
“And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Revelation 19:11
A local Christian church, where you can worship with other believers, is God’s pathway to many blessings; however, here are some online church services if you are new to following Jesus or if you simply want to receive more from Him:
A cross that’s fashioned of gems will remind of Jesus, God’s “gem,” who died for mankind.
He was (is) the Light of the world, yet was crucified. We, too, become lights when, in Him, we abide.
The sparkle of light from a jeweled cross speaks of light and life gained, and not of loss.
For Christ’s death on the cross, as His Father planned, became victory, by the Savior, who is at God’s right hand.
At the cross, Satan was conquered–a soundly defeated foe. This is shining light and truth from the cross’s glow.
In Jesus Christ, we’re strong and have good news to tell. We thank you, Lord, for victory won over darkness and hell.
Eternal life is ours, and you showed us how to live– a life turned to thoughts of others, and a life where we always forgive.
P. A. Oltrogge
“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and are in him that is true, even in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20 KJV
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'” John 8:12 NKJV
“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.” Matthew 5:14-15 NKJV
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:13-15 NKJV
“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 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; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV
“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen”
Ephesians 1:18-23 Ephesians 2:4-10 And archived post, “Seated in the Heavenly Places”
Hymns most often have poetic words–the following is a familiar one:
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; 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.
His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in Him be found–in Him, my righteousness, alone; faultless to stand before the throne.
by Edward Mote, 1834
Christ Our Cornerstone Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 NKJV
Peter and John went up together to the temple at the ninth hour, which was the hour of prayer. There was a man laid daily at the gate, lame from his mother’s womb, who asked charitable alms from those who entered there.
Seeing Peter and John about to enter, he asked alms of both of them, too. Then Peter, with John, looked directly into his eyes, telling him to look at them; and he began to tell the man of something better they could do.
That through faith in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, he could rise and walk–a far better gift than silver or gold. Then Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up. He received strength in his feet and ankle bones upon Peter’s hold.
The exact words that Peter said to the man were “Silver and gold have I none…” Then he told him of that which he did have to give–a gift of healing, through the name of Jesus, God’s Son.
The man who’d been lame began leaping, walking, and praising God at the temple’s “Beautiful” Gate. He entered the temple with them, and Peter went on to share with the people that it was the power of Jesus’ name that had changed that lame man’s fate.
Excerpt from Acts: “Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: ‘Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, and faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.’” Acts 3:11-16 NKJV
Peter continued, saying that Christ had been crucified by them in ignorance, but that He had fulfilled all that the prophets had foretold. Now, forgiveness of sins and salvation could be theirs through Jesus–again, a gift from God far greater than silver or gold.
P. A. Oltrogge
The Greek adjective used to name the gate can be defined as ‘1. happening or coming at the right time —2. beautiful, fair, lovely’. Some scholars believe the word may refer more to ripeness than to beauty.
Lord, cause our faith to be ripe to believe we receive of Your help when we pray….(in reference to Mark 11:24)
What every country needs is leadership by those who do pray– and that would also be those who follow what the Bible has to say. The beginning of wisdom, it states, comes by the fear of the Lord; therefore, leaders of any country should want for Him to be on board.
So, as we pray for the U.S.A., we intercede for God’s protection from any legislation that would not be His heart’s true reflection. We pray that the light of Christ will shine into every person’s heart– especially those in leadership roles, so that liberty will not depart.
P. A. Oltrogge
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10 NKJV; also Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 9:10
The following were the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower at his first Presidential inauguration in 1953:
My friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow your heads.
“Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment, my future associates in the executive branch of government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere. Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race, or calling. May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths, so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen.”
During his first term, Eisenhower signed the federal law inserting the phrase “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance. Why? According to Eisenhower: In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future: In this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.
For his second inauguration, Eisenhower was actually sworn in twice. Because the legally designated inaugural day fell on a Sunday, Ike refused to have a public ceremony; the official oath was administered to him on the Sabbath in private. The following day, however, he had a public ceremony and was sworn in (again) before large crowds at the Capitol, taking his oath on his West Point Bible as he had at his first inauguration.
Info on President Eisenhower from: Wallbuilders.com
“I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1
When troubles disappoint, overwhelm, or sometimes shock, remember, then, what time it is: it’s always Praise o’clock!
As much-loved members of the Good Shepherd’s flock, His goodness makes us praise Him all around the clock.
After praise and a mighty shout, the walls of Jericho fell down flat… The people followed Joshua’s instructions, and that was that!
When Daniel faced the lions in their den ’til morning light, an angel at Praise o’clock came there to keep their jaws shut tight.
Paul and Silas were imprisoned; their feet were placed in stocks. But they just sang with all their hearts, and made that prison rock!
If your prayer is for a miracle, but it seems to be “out of stock,” don’t give up, don’t give in–look at the time, it’s still Praise o’clock.
Surely when the way seems hard, there’s an answer to any “block,” for continually and forever, the correct time is Praise o’clock!
P. A. Oltrogge
“O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving. Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods, in whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:1-7 (NASB, Ryrie Study Bible)
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height–to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” Ephesians 3:14:21 NKJV
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13
“Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 RSV
Some may feel this poem doesn’t seem like the right choice for serious times, sounding too simplistic; yet it’s in serious times or circumstances that it’s exactly right to praise God. At the same time, we take authority, by the blood and name of Jesus, over evil spirits that would hinder or harm in any circumstance. We’re seated with Christ in the heavenly places, far above them. (Reference Ephesians 1:18-23 and 2:4-10)
One day Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts, proclaiming to all the good news…. when the chief priests and teachers of the law and the elders came up to question His views..
“Who gave you this authority?” they asked, for He’d just driven out all who would buy or sell. He’d said they’d made the temple a den of thieves, rather than a house where prayer could dwell.
Jesus answered them back with a question of His own about whether they could recognize…if John the Baptist’s ministry was of his own initiative–or was it divine in God’s eyes?
Before they answered, they debated among themselves on which answer would be best. If they said it was from heaven, they knew He would ask why they then hadn’t believed John was blessed.
But if they said John was acting only on his own, they feared they would actually be stoned… for all the people felt that John had been a prophet, and such an answer wouldn’t be condoned.
So their final reply on where John had gotten his authority was that they really didn’t know– Then Jesus answered them that neither would He reveal the source of His ministry’s flow.
Jesus went on to tell the story of a man who planted a vineyard and decided to rent it out. He journeyed to a distant land for some time, but sent one of his servants back on the route…
to collect his share of the harvest one day; but the renters beat him, and he returned in lack. The vineyard owner sent a second, then a third servant, who also received the same kind of an attack.
So he came to consider that he would send his only son–surely, they’d give respect in that case– Well, they not only beat him, but they killed the heir as well, thinking then they might own the place.
Jesus asked what they thought the owner would do to those who had done this thing…. He said he would come to destroy them in turn and give the vineyard to others whom he would bring.
This upset the chief priests, teachers, and elders as they realized he was speaking of them in the story. Some said no one would do such a thing, but Jesus brought up scripture that spoke to them of His glory….
What was the meaning, then, He asked, of “The stone which the builders rejected–has become the chief cornerstone” — Of course, therein His own life and ministry were reflected.
You see, the Jewish nation was the vineyard; the chief priests and others like them were tenants of the land. Through the years they’d not heeded God’s servants, the prophets–now His Son they were rejecting on every hand.
This parable speaks of God, the Father, who sent His prophets, then His Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Lord. As in the parable, He’ll return through His Son–and those who’ve put faith in Him will have great reward….
P. A. Oltrogge
“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” Psalm 118:22
Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”
Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?”
And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” Luke 8:22-25 NKJV
“Now why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when there was a flood, the river burst against that house and yet it could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; and the river burst against it and it immediately collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49 NASB
“For if by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17 NASB
Reign through the “rain”…is a message made clear
by Jesus, the Master, who said not to fear.
Rely on God’s Word in the midst of a storm
to stop fearful thoughts before they can form.
Having done all we can, we’re told to “stand,”
trusting God will come through with His victorious right hand.
P. A. Oltrogge
“Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and havingdoneall, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13 RSV
“…fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 RSV
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” …from Matthew 6 KJV
God bless/strengthen you in any circumstance in which you are standing on His promises in faith….
Cleanse me of worry, oh Lord. I lay my concerns at Your feet, for it’s only in letting You solve them that these problems will meet their defeat.
When worrisome thoughts do come around, I’ll trust You to help me to stand my ground. Worry can only cause hurt in a life– It can touch others, as well, and even cause strife. For worry is a poison to resist and forsake– Instead, from God’s goodness and mercy I’ll take.
So thank You for cleansing me of worry, reminding me to turn up the PRAISE, for You are a God of deliverance and peace, and it’s only Your banner I’ll raise!
P. A. Oltrogge
“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.” Philippians 4:6-7 NASB
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation. God is to us a God of deliverances; and to God the Lord belong escapes from death.” Psalm 68:19, 20 NASB
“Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity, for they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:1-4 NKJV (and the entire Psalm)
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6 KJV
“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.” John 14:27 KJV