Thoughts Gathered from the 23rd Psalm

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“Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will go in and out and find pasture. 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 10:7-11 NKJV

The Lord is my Shepherd–my faithful guide;
And through His leading, He always will provide.
He causes me to rest in pastures so green,
Beside quiet waters that speak of the serene.

He encourages my soul if I should ever feel down,
Reminding me I’m wearing God’s “lovingkindness” crown.
Knowing the wisdom of following as Christ leads,
I walk paths of righteousness, sowing Kingdom seeds.

If at times there are valleys, with storms very dark,
I’m safe with my Shepherd–He is my strong ark.
I refuse any fear–His rod and staff keep me stable;
And before any enemy, He prepares me a table.

With divine Kingly oil, He’s anointed my head;
My cup overflows, as by His Spirit I’m led.
Of His goodness and mercy, He always will give;
And in the house of my Shepherd King, I forever will live.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:3-5 NKJV

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17 NKJV

“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.’” Revelation 5:9-11 NKJV

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Psalm 23 KJV

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A scripture to remember during these times and always:

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

Encouraging mini-messages at:
http://www.moorelife.org and scroll down to “Hurting?”

“A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” by W. Phillip Keller,
available at http://www.christianbook.com

Seemingly Unanswered Prayers are Subject to Change

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints….”
Ephesians 6:18 KJV

At times, people wonder why God “permits” some things;
but, really, we know it’s from Him that all hope springs.
Our adversary is the devil, the scriptures clearly state;
so prayer and keeping faith in God will determine our fate.

The tenacity of a bulldog with a bone may be required
to see the manifestation of some things we’ve desired.
I will say of the Lord, He is my God in whom I trust–
Voicing God’s Word is wise, is creative power, and is a must.

“The Word of the Lord is proven,” forever His Word is true.
“This I know, that God is for me” applies firmly to you.
Don’t fall for the devil’s lies, giving in to despair–
God knows all of your concerns, and He definitely does care.

Faith and patience in many things are often the key–
so say it always, with sure conviction, “Jesus loves me!”
As for God, His way is perfect–we’re never forgotten.
This we know, through faith in the Son, whom God has begotten.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.” Hebrews 10:35 KJV

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” Psalm 91:2 KJV

“He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV

“As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” 2 Samuel 22:31 and Psalm 18:30 NKJV

“Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me.” Psalm 56:9 NASB

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 NASB

“…that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:12 NASB

Teaching/creative power of God’s Word:
http://www.charlescapps.com
Encouragement despite difficulties at:
http://www.jerrysavelle.org

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Pathways Walked with Mom

Pathways of love,
pathways where you guided–
sweet memories of those pathways,
dear Mother, you’ve provided.

Much like a gardener,
you tended to my care–
weeding out some tendencies,
while cultivating those that were fair.

And if there were problems
at school or at play,
the pathway to Mom’s door
would help them go away.

Best of all, we walked pathways
which caused my spirit to be fed
with the truths in God’s Word,
so that by His Spirit I’d be led.

Now as I go about, on my own pathways since I’ve grown,
I’m grateful for the pathways that together we’d known.

P. A. Oltrogge

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Photo/Porch of the Lord

(The white stone borders along the flowers in this photo brought to mind the concept of the pathways in the poem. Hope you enjoy the blooms in the photo, which was taken by my daughter.)

He’s Opened the Life Gate

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To God be the Glory

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Refrain
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
Oh come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

Oh perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.

Words by Fanny Crosby
Music by William Howard Doane
Published 1875

Put any Wrongs into the Lord’s Hands

If someone in your life has wronged you or has been hurtful to you or cruel,
recognize the way to keep that from becoming a further demonic tool.

Forsake any feelings of anger, hate, or bitterness if you want the Lord’s peace. Forgive who has wronged you and release them to Him, so your well-being won’t cease.

Give any pain to God. He heals the broken-hearted and has said He will draw near…when you draw near to Him, giving Him your cares on the matter, or any fear.

That other person, or persons, need the grace of God as much as anyone.
Pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to convict them of all that was said by God’s Son.

Then, picture yourself walking on the shore of an ocean of love with the Lord.
Let the sound of the gentle waves of His grace and peace heal you today, and be fully restored.

P. A. Oltrogge

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“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV

“We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 15:11 NLT

“I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.” Romans 1:7 NLT

Reassurances by our Redeemer

The following is a recent uplifting Word from the Holy Spirit, received by minister and evangelist Jerry Savelle. This has been shared with his ministry partners (jerrysavelle.org) and also by Pastor George Pearsons of Eagle Mountain International Church (emic.org)

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

A Word from the Holy Spirit:

Do not fret and do not fear;
I still plan to give you a supernatural year.

It’s not over and you will not fail.
Didn’t I tell you that the gates of hell shall not prevail?

Rest in Me and I’ll see you through,
and I’ll bring to pass all that I said I would do.

So thank your Father in Heaven that you have a choice.
You can choose to fear or you can choose to rejoice.

So rejoice and do not cease.
This is how you tap into My supernatural peace.

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

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Like Sheep Without a Shepherd

“And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

“And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.

“Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Matthew 9:35-38

There wasn’t any kind of sickness or disease which Jesus couldn’t cure. Today, He’s still alive; and, of His mighty healing power, we can be equally sure.

Jesus felt compassion for the multitudes, knowing that they were downcast and distressed. Like sheep without a shepherd, they were in need of His touch to be blessed.

It’s still the same in the world today–there’s need for healing and protection, even from any plague. But of greatest need is healing for the soul–as the ability to know God, for many people, has seemed vague.

Jesus said the harvest is plentiful and that we’re to pray for workers to bring it in before the night. And we ourselves can answer the call to share with others, near or far, about His love and light.

Yes, “like sheep without a shepherd” is descriptive of multitudes still today. Open their eyes, heavenly Father, to the Lord Jesus, as their healer, Savior, and Shepherd. This, for them, we pray.

P. A. Oltrogge

Lost No More

“Lost No More” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. http://www.GregOlsen.com

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” John 10:14

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3

(Scriptures NASB)

The Living One

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…from Luke 24, a poetic account…

Some of the women who had loved Jesus set out at early dawn with spices they’d prepared…in order to anoint His body. How they might enter the tomb must have been discussed and shared.

When they discovered that the stone had been rolled away, they stepped inside the tomb and found…that Jesus’ body was not there–they were perplexed in looking around.

Suddenly, two men in dazzling clothing appeared to them–the women were terrified! The angels had come with a message about His resurrection…and death having been defied.

“Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen….” as the women could plainly see. Then the angels said to recall how Jesus had spoken of this very thing while still with them in Galilee.

Jesus had told them how the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men…and then be crucified; and on the third day, He would rise again.

So they remembered Jesus’ words and returned from the tomb to share with the eleven and all the rest. But the apostles couldn’t believe them–though Peter went to see for himself about this news that was blessed.

Two of the Lord’s followers were going to Emmaus on that very third day. They were discussing with each other the things that had happened in Jerusalem as they went their way.

Then Jesus Himself, not actually recognized by them, approached and began to travel beside them on the road. He asked them what they’d been discussing–their demeanors reflected that they were carrying a heavy load.

One of them, named Cleopas, asked how he could have been visiting Jerusalem and not have known or heard…of the fate of Jesus, the Nazarene, –a prophet mighty in deed and word.

They said that they had hoped He would be Israel’s redeemer…meaning by His leadership or even by being its king. But His death, instead, by crucifixion, had definitely changed everything.

Next, they shared that, on this third day, some women had gone to the tomb at dawn…and told them that, but for having seen there a vision of two angels, it was empty–His crucified body was gone.

Jesus addressed them, then, as foolish men, who were slow of heart to believe…in what the prophets had spoken of the Christ, implying that the wise would understand and receive.

Jesus went on to explain the things foretold of Him in the scriptures by Moses and other prophets, throughout. All this while, their eyes were prevented from recognizing Who was really with them on their route.

As they approached the village of Emmaus, their traveling companion, Jesus, acted as if he might travel on, but they urged him to stay with them, for the night was almost upon.

So Jesus went in to stay with them and reclined at the table to break bread. When He took it, blessed it, and gave it to them, their eyes were opened to see the living One, risen from the dead!

Jesus then vanished from their sight, and they reflected on how their hearts had been burning…as He spoke of how the Christ needed to suffer these things–this “stranger” had been so discerning.

At that very hour they got up to return to Jerusalem to share with the eleven what had transpired. As they were telling these things, there came in their midst, He whom their hearts desired.

It was Jesus, Himself, the Master, saying, “Peace be unto you.” Startled and frightened, they needed His assurance, once again, to see them through.

He asked them why they doubted and then showed them His hands and feet. They still couldn’t believe it, for joy and amazement. He then asked for something to eat.

After having the broiled fish that they gave, He again opened their minds to understand all that had needed to be fulfilled. Repentance and forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His Name, starting from Jerusalem…and from there, it would build.

They were to wait until they were clothed with power from on high…. Then He led them out as far as Bethany, where He blessed them and departed from them up into the sky.

After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy that was hard for them to contain. They were continually in the temple, praising God for their redemption, which had been made so plain…

and for their beloved King’s reign!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Why do you seek THE LIVING ONE among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen!” Luke 24:5-6

A Life Redeemed

If you’ve never come across his story, I would like to suggest to view the true account of one of the Lord’s redeemed, Pastor Al Jandl. His personal testimony can be viewed on You Tube (choose “Testimony”)

He, along with his wife, Judy, founded Living Stones Church in Alvin, Texas. His is the story of a life that was in turmoil until Jesus helped him to resolve so many things after he came to understand and truly know and trust Him as Savior and Lord.

P. A. Oltrogge

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

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Calling things that be not as though they were…

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“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

How often we speak only of what we see, instead of the “good outcome” that we really mean.

“The mouth of the upright will deliver them” isn’t merely a Proverb that sounds good…

Jesus gave instruction on speaking to the “mountain,” so He surely was advocating that we should.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations), before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be.” Romans 4:16-18 KJV

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 KJV

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

“But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed, therefore I spoke,’ we also believe, therefore also we speak.” 2 Corinthians 4:13

“…but the mouth of the upright will deliver them.” Proverbs 12:6 (Proverbs 10:11; Proverbs 12:14; Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 13:3; Proverbs 15:4; Proverbs 18:20-21; Proverbs 21:23 and others)

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’” Mark 11:22-24 KJV

“And Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way; let it be done to you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed that very hour.” Matthew 8:13 (from the account in Matthew 8:5-13)

Jesus said, “Have faith in God….” as the following scripture from Isaiah also speaks of the surety of God and His Word:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

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