Breakthrough over the Blues

64D0A8A1-8100-4A0F-9771-CE6800F38AF5
Photo/Porch of the Lord

Perhaps you’ve experienced disappointments…
I know that others and I have, too.
But when I recall precious moments I’ve had,
I can no longer stay feeling blue.

Realize this old world with its trials
can’t keep you from all that delights.
Disappointments may occur, but some very nice gifts
will come through from the Father of lights.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 KJV

HE Strengthens Me

1C70FF69-C0C3-4033-ABB3-F44222FA7FF2

I’ve got some mountains to climb

and I need to feel prime…

So I thought of that script,

which says that I’m equipped:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

He strengthens me; HE strengthens me…

With each step forward, He strengthens me;

with each step up, He strengthens me.

If I suffer a setback, He strengthens me.

If I feel weak, I’ll resist being distraught…

No, “He strengthens me” must be my thought,

for that is what the scriptures have taught.

This confidence I have, for I’m blood-bought.

So, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might,”

just as David found strength in God for a Goliath fight!

P. A. Oltrogge

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

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19 NLT

“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

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28 NASB

“(The Armor of God) Finally, Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” Ephesians 6:10 NASB

“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands….’” 1 Samuel 17:45-46 NASB

“For by You I can run against a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall.”
2 Samuel 22:30 and Psalm 18:29 NKJV

2C78B596-FBF2-41F7-9A02-DF94141F0C91
Photos/Pixabay

Postscript:
Whatever you have to do,
the Lord will see you through!

It’s a New Day

244D6B3B-1A14-40EA-BEC2-F5F3989321C1

by J. Vetter,
Guest Contributor

Don’t you love new beginnings?

A new baby?

A new job?

A blank canvas, if you are an artist?

But do you realize YOU are a blank canvas in God’s hands and that He is the Master artist? Instead of worrying so much about what we will do each day – just think of how much more would be accomplished if we asked God to bring forth His awesome, creative gifts through us every day.

A new year often means well-intentioned resolutions. However, we usually approach them with an “I” – I want to lose weight, I will exercise more, I will stop smoking, etc. Instead, let’s anticipate the blessings of God and the creative flow of His gifting.

Many of us have just gone through a season where we received gifts. Maybe some of them were the wrong size or not really what we wanted. However, the true giver of perfect gifts is the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He also created you and knows exactly who you are and what you need.

God’s word says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 NKJV

So if you didn’t receive the “perfect” gift at Christmas, trust the Lord to bring those precious gifts that speak of His knowledge of who you are. After all, He created you and knows even the number of hairs on your head. (That always amazes me – especially when the number changes daily!)

When you are on the lookout for God’s gifts, don’t expect them to arrive in tinsel or pretty bows. One of my favorites, at two different times, was a cardinal, (God knows how I love them) which appeared right when I needed a pick-me-up. Once, he sat quietly for a long time on the azalea bush outside our bedroom window. Another time, he flew to the tree close to our dining room window as I stood there asking the Lord to lift my discouragement.

A friend shared with me recently an incident that happened one day when she was out walking. The day was really chilly and her nose began to run. She said, “Lord, I really need a tissue.” A few minutes later, she looked up and saw a perfectly good tissue caught on a branch. I’m sure many a skeptic would say that was only a coincidence; and I can’t begin to understand how it got there, but I know she won’t forget that “gift.”

I remember the day of my grandson’s funeral – the end of a hot July in Texas – but a cool breeze danced around the gravesite as we sat there, and butterflies seemed to be led by an angelic symphony as they darted from flower to flower. My heart lifted with the certainty that this life is not the end. What a gift God’s presence was on that day.

In this new year, let’s learn to receive all the gifts God has to give, starting with the greatest gift of all – Jesus Christ. If Fed Ex comes to our door with a package that requires a signature, they won’t leave it until we sign to receive it. Likewise, we need to simply sign our name, so to speak, on the gift sent from heaven.

Have you said “yes” to the greatest gift of all?

5034FA25-8D9C-4EC6-83CF-15153673E4F8

Lift Up Your Voice

I don’t know what this day will bring;
but this I know—God wants me to sing…

If there are problems and hope seems dim,
I can look to Jesus and worship Him.

P. A. Oltrogge

An old, familiar hymn to sing:

“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.”

by Joseph M. Scriven
written 1855

“Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.” 1 Chronicles 13:8

“All the earth shall worship You and sing praises to You; they shall sing praises to Your name.” Psalm 66:4

On Paul and Silas:
“And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were loosed.

“And the keeper of the prison, awakening from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, ‘Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.’

“Then he called for a light, ran in and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.

“And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.” Acts 16:23-34

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”
Psalm 150:6

(All scripture NKJV)

E008F66F-6E8C-4F21-A7A3-FCEEEAE474EF
Pixabay

The Rise of a Miracle

4CD1A405-7350-4D9E-AFA1-0C957B638487

A sunrise doesn’t occur ‘til after many hours of night,
…but then it begins to appear with ever-increasing might!

Likewise, that very miracle which seems to be delayed,
will dawn for you if you don’t lose faith in the promises God has made.

Remember your part is believing with your heart, with your voice confessing—
that you’ve spoken to the mountain in Jesus’ name—it can’t stand in the way of your blessing.

An important fact to remember and voice is that the devil is defeated.
Whenever a negative thought casts doubt, that fact should be firmly repeated.

So, patience, praise, and the joy of the Lord are needed in the nighttime hour
before that miracle dawn breaks forth. At work within us is God’s power.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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 3:20-21

“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:23-25

“How blessed is the man…(whose) delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (from Psalm 1:1-3 NASB)

“…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.” Psalm 5:11

“And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.” Psalm 27:6

(Praise to God for His awesome works) (To the Chief Musician. A song. A Psalm.). “Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!” Psalm 66:1

(All scriptures New King James Version)

Celebrate Life

0095AF57-CD4C-4C7B-AD99-30A257A09DC6
Pixabay

Celebrate the gift of life today—
don’t let troubles steal away your joy.
Jesus offers us abundant life,
while the devil only seeks to destroy.

There’s so much good to appreciate;
open your eyes to the blessings you’ll find.
And don’t let past disappointments cloud
today and your future that God has in mind.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 NASB

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8 NKJV

“The Lord will work out his plans for my life—
For your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for you made me.” Psalm 138:8 NLT

“The Lord will accomplish that which concerns me;
Your (unwavering) lovingkindness endures forever—
Do not abandon the works of Your own hands.”
Psalm 138:8 AMP

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 NKJV

“‘For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11 AMP

“Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 NKJV

I Believe in Miracles

8E60183F-5D14-4A63-9B15-5B76314BDA39
Pixabay

I believe in miracles, is a good thing to frequently say,
especially when we know the Lord wants us to have confidence after we pray.

I believe in miracles, though things can seem contrary or dark.
I believe in miracles, even when the “kindling” isn’t showing a spark.

I believe in miracles…of provision, protection, and to see healings.
I believe in miracles, shows we’re not giving in simply to feelings.

I believe in miracles, as shown in the Bible through and through.
I believe in miracles, knowing they’re meant for believers today, too.

I believe in miracles, though afflictions can be harsh and persistent.
I believe in miracles; therefore, my faith can be equally insistent.

I believe in miracles, even when patience is sometimes needed.
I believe in miracles, can keep us strong until adversity’s receded.

I believe in miracles, because I’ve had some God-given ones prior.
I believe in miracles, are words that encourage and lift us higher.

And I believe in Jesus, the miracle worker, who was called a Nazarene.
With our expectation in Him, miracles are sure to come on the scene.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” …words of Jesus in John 14:1

“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13

“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 3:20-21

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him….” from Mark 11:23-26

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8

(Scriptures NKJV)

By His Grace

92E35443-B8F3-49A2-8CDF-B3E5DD1CDE56

Jesus…

I’ve come to a situation that’s difficult to face,
so I ask of you, Lord, to sustain me with your grace.

Send down your grace…much of it may be needed
before this problem’s “flooding” will have receded.

But if it’s prolonged, I’ll keep drawing from your supply
of divine grace upon grace to help me get by.

Thanks for bountiful grace, poured into my being.
I’ve found it’s your grace that is absolutely freeing.

P. A. Oltrogge

“From his fulness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16 NRSV

59A04FD1-B636-4E75-B5D5-C730D31A9F4E
Photos/Pexels

Thoughts and Declarations

32303650-26D6-419A-B88F-E0476FC32F4C
Pixabay

If a thought, upon arising, says that every hope is gone,
remember that the Lord’s mercies are new at every dawn.

If moments from the past come to mind that weren’t the best,
think only of those times when you just knew that you were blessed.

And instead of sad lamenting over any “milk” that has been spilled,
think expectantly about the future and God’s promises being fulfilled.

Make prophetic declarations that will inspire you on your way.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue…you can have what you say.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23 RSV

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV

Often referenced by Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin, were Mark 11:22-24. He therefore believed in the power of our words and taught, “You can have what you say.” See http://www.rhema.org  (Faith Food Devotionals under Study Center)

“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God.  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.’” Mark 11:22-24 NKJV (and 25-26 on forgiveness)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 NKJV

”(The Lord) crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” from Psalm 103 NKJV

Pleasant Words

895601F0-6202-4061-983F-61CB5E10CB53
Pexels

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 NKJV

Oh, how our souls are often in need of words that are sweet,
for it’s so very easy in life to have thoughts of defeat.

Finding words of encouragement, perhaps from a Psalm,
will go a long way in helping to keep our thoughts calm.

And the words that we ourselves speak should always be trained
to be gracious and uplifting, as God has ordained.

Pleasant words, kind words, are words that will nourish.
By them, the lives of others and our own lives will flourish.

P. A. Oltrogge

“A word filly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11 AMP

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 NKJV

“Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!” Psalm 31:19 NKJV

“But He (Jesus) 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 NKJV

“Surely goodnesss 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 NKJV