The True Meaning of Christmas, Remembered

Here, at the Porch of the Lord, as Christmas nears…

Christmas on the Porch joyously reappears…

With a variety of Christmastime reflections on Jesus, the Messiah’s, birth–

to read this book, or share it with others, can be a gift of eternal worth.

P. A. Oltrogge

Available through http://www.christianbook.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com, and http://www.amazon.com

Triumphing through Christ

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”

So keep your thoughts/words on Christ as Victor in any faith fight.

The first line of this poem has been attributed to Henry Ford.

The second line is gleaned from the Bible, the word of the Lord.

The battle is the Lord’s, but the victory is ours!

Our part is to pray and not lose heart, ever mindful of God’s powers.

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 NKJV

“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

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart….” Luke 18:1 NKJV

“Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:47 NkJV (David, to the Philistine, Goliath)

Psalm 17:1-2; Romans 8:37; Ephesians 3:19-21; Hebrews 10:35; Hebrews 11:1

Book recommendation, “Never Run at Your Giants With Your Mouth Shut,” which is part of a package of books, that includes “The Spirit of Faith,” and “The Love Book” at http://www.markhankins.org

The Light of the Glory of the Gospel of Christ

From an account in Matthew 9:27-31

When someone’s not qualified to lead another, we say it’s “the blind leading the blind.” The Bible gives an account of such an occurrence, but of a very positive kind.

One day two blind men were following Jesus, knowing that the vision which they sought…could surely be realized through His miracles, which they had heard
He’d wrought.

“Have mercy on us, Son of David!” was their heartfelt, earnest cry for His touch.
When He entered into the house, they may have wondered if He’d even heard
them much.

But they were bold to enter the house then, where, at the time, Jesus was staying–
They were ready to receive the healing, for which they’d both been praying.

“Do you believe that I’m able to do this?” Jesus questioned the pair;
They answered Him, “Yes, Lord,” for they knew–that He’d done great miracles everywhere.

So Jesus touched their eyes, saying that according to their faith it was done;
Then their eyes were opened to see perfectly—a new life for each had begun.

Though they’d been blind, they’d helped each other, on a pathway of which they felt sure. Their faith in Jesus and readiness to receive brought about their miraculous cure.

Though Jesus charged them to let no one know, they couldn’t help sharing their story–of how Jesus Christ had given them sight, and they gave to Him all of the glory.

There have been testimonies in these days, too, of people receiving their sight–
I praise God to hear of it and for His heart to heal those who face any health fight.

There’s darkness of an even greater kind, that seeks to keep people from following Christ’s way; In such cases, they need someone who’s spiritually-sighted, to lead them to the Light of day.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”  John 8:12

“While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”  John 9:5

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15

“In whose case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:4

“Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38

“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” Proverbs 4:18

For miracle testimonies of today, just to name a few ministries, refer to:
http://www.cbn.com
http://www.awmi.net
http://www.oralroberts.com

Observations and a prayer

“If you love Me, keep My commandments,” are words that Jesus said. Today, may His people remember His commands that they have read.

Jesus spoke to His disciples about the great value of a little child. Voting pro-life keeps that affirmation of the Lord’s from being defiled.

And God creates us male and female, so wonderfully designed. May His people not vote for those who support that being redefined.

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”–that’s Biblically sound; and our President has spoken boldly that religious liberty must abound.

These are just a few observations on issues for which God, more than anyone, has a heart. From basic Biblical guidelines, I pray that His people and then our nation will not depart.

P. A. Oltrogge

Matthew 19:4-5; Genesis 2:20-23; 2 Samuel 22:31; Mark 10:13-14; Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13-16; 2 Corinthians 3:17

The Fear of the Lord

“By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4

“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 110:10

“Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.” Psalm 34:9

“The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.” Psalm 121:8

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.” Proverbs 12:28

“The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.” Proverbs 15:31-33

“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.” Proverbs 14:26

“The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.” Proverbs 20:7

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” Proverbs 8:13

“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

“His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins and faithfulness the belt of His waist.”

Isaiah 11:1-5

Scriptures NKJV

An Encounter at Jacob’s Well

On His way to Galilee, Jesus went through Samaria to a city called Sychar, near land given by Jacob to Joseph, his son. Jacob’s well was there, and being wearied from His journey, Jesus sat down by the well before His traveling would be done.

While His disciples went away into the city to get food, Jesus asked a woman of Samaria there to give Him a drink that day. How He, a Jew, could ask a Samaritan woman for a drink was her immediate question, and she wondered what He would say.

“If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’” He said, “you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She noted that He had nothing to draw up water with and the well was deep, so where could He have gotten such to have brought her?

She asked if He considered Himself greater than their father, Jacob, whose well it had been, but which was later left to them. Jesus said that though she drank from Jacob’s well, she’d thirst many times more; but the water He could give would keep her from ever thirsting again.

This Samaritan woman must have believed He possessed some special water, for she asked Him to give to her of that kind. Then Jesus revealed personal things about her life that could only have been known by One with divine knowledge in His mind.

At that, she said she perceived He was a prophet and raised the question of where the worship of God should best be done. Jesus said the important thing was how people should worship, which would be “in spirit and in truth,” or by hearts that were truly “won.”

He said that God, the Father, seeks people with such a heart to worship Him and that she’d worshiped what she didn’t really know. He told her that salvation was of the Jews. Though she was a Samaritan and He a Jew, He was reaching out as a friend to her and not a foe.

The woman from Samaria said she agreed that the Messiah would come and would reveal to the world all things. Then Jesus said, “I who speak to you am He,” declaring He was (is) the One from whom the fountain of water to everlasting life springs.

Amazed, she left her water jug to make her way back to the city, telling the men of how He’d known all the pages in her life’s book. “Could this be the Christ?” she was inquiring and told them that they should really go out for themselves to hear and take a look.

In the meantime, Jesus’ disciples had returned with the food they’d gone to get, and urged that He should partake with them and eat. But Jesus said He had food of which they didn’t know–to do the will of His Father. Working to win the lost to God was His bread and meat.

He said the “fields” were white unto harvest! Then came out to hear Him many who’d been alerted by this “woman at the well’s” own story. And by hearing the Lord Himself, the life-giving “water” continued to flow greatly, as it still does to all today…to God be the glory!

P. A. Oltrogge

(from John, chapter 4)

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17 KJV

Original Intent

(Reference: The Bible–as might be spoken by the Creator)

For My original intent, we have to look back
to a man and a woman–not a thing would they lack,
with a bountiful garden and glorious days ahead–
But sin entered in and things were different instead.

From beautiful Eden they then had to leave,
yet children were planned for Adam and Eve.
And so it’s continued down to this day–
A man and a woman–not any other way.

To change this design, gives Me displeasure
and is not my intention by any sort of measure.
Don’t fail to see that it’s in My Book–
Turn to Romans 1:26-27 and there take a look.

And with mother and father, children are glad;
that’s My original intent–the only one I’ve had.
When one parent’s missing, I’ll be there to care–
such families who trust Me have found that I’m there.

Any other thinking, I’d have people forsake
and turn the corner–an established road’s there to take.
I know there are some who want it both ways,
but My original intent is still the standard I raise.

P. A. Oltrogge

And He (Jesus) answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?’” Matthew 19:4-5

“…but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’” Genesis 2:20-23

See all of Genesis, chapters 1 through 3

As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried; He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him. II Samuel 22:31

Fresh as a Dewdrop

“Fresh as a dewdrop,” My Word is to you.
Go to it daily and find things new.
You’ll find the familiar in it as well–
Of comfort, wisdom, and truth it will tell.
At times, for direction, it gives a faith hint,
Bringing light to your path like a dewdrop’s glint.
Fresh as a dewdrop, I want to impart
More of its treasures into your heart.
Like finding the dewdrops, you can depend
On My being there always to instruct and befriend.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”
Psalm 119:105

“I will never forget Thy precepts, for by them Thou hast revived me.”
Psalm 119:93

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort….” 2 Corinthians 1:3

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

“Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.” John 17:17

“…I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20

(Scriptures NASB)

See “About the Porch”

A Sudden Snow

A friend and I walk early mornings at a lovely park by a lake near where I live. Two weeks ago, even before the trees had shed all of their leaves, we got surprised by a sudden snow shower. It was incredibly beautiful.

The snowflakes were large and softly fell, staying “on my nose and eyelashes.” It was just dawn, and silence surrounded us while the softly-falling snow covered the woods and ground in white. As we glanced out over the lake, the falling snow was like a curtain of lace over the lake, and the two almost became as one.

It was an extraordinary experience, and we thought of the Artist’s gift of seasons, each as beautiful as the other.

written by Jane…
a guest contributor

“Have you entered the treasury of snow…?” Job 38:22

“He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes.” Psalm 147:16

New King James Version

The Strength of United Prayer

Have you read about or heard of a story…regarding a tough situation,

where prayer turned things around with a kind of heavenly litigation?

It’s good to remember such times, of great breakthroughs coming about,

when believers joined their faith in prayer, effectively driving out doubt.

This can also be likened to a soldier in battle–weary from fighting hard,

when suddenly fresh troops come to his aid, to relieve him and stand guard.

It’s wise to make declarations of faith when traveling down a difficult way;

but often we need our family in Christ, to join together with us to pray.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:19-20

“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” Acts 12:5

“So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.” Acts 12:12

“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 6:17-18

“Be kindly affectionate to one another, with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” Romans 12:10-13

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14