A Gentile Woman’s Plea

A woman from Canaan, who’d heard of Jesus, came to Him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, oh Lord, Son of David,” and she fell at His feet.

Her little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit; and she knew that only Jesus could cause it to retreat.

Jesus didn’t answer right away; but as she was a Gentile, He told her that He needed, first, to feed those of His own family—the Jews.

At that, it might have seemed that His final answer to her, a Canaanite woman, was to refuse.

He said it wouldn’t be right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs, after she’d repeated, “Lord, help me!”

Though the disciples had said that Jesus should send her away, her vision remained strong of seeing her daughter being set free.

She replied to the Lord that even the dogs were allowed to eat the crumbs that had fallen under the table, from food that the children had been fed.

Jesus noted her faith, through those words, and told her to go home—the demon was gone. Upon doing so, she found her daughter there peacefully lying in bed.

“Oh, woman, your faith is great,” He had said, and that it would be done for her as she’d desired.

Just hearing of the compassionate things He’d done for others caused her to worship and have faith that was tenacious and inspired.

P. A. Oltrogge

(From Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30)

“But He answered and said, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’” Matthew 15:24

“Yes, Lord, but even the dogs feed on the crumbs….” Matthew 15:27

The Lord’s Commission to His disciples before His ascension:
“…but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’” Acts 1:8

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16

Scriptures NASB

Mark 7 refers to the woman as
a Syrian from the region of Phoenicia

Breakthrough over the Blues

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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

The One Who Sent Jesus

When you believe in Jesus Christ and have settled that He’s the God who is true, you will not simply be believing in Him, but in the One who has sent Him, too. Jesus came into the world as God’s Light, so that darkness would be dispelled–that none should miss knowing their God, nor have their salvation withheld.

God desires to be a loving Father to all, but His justness will require judgment one day; Jesus did not come to judge but to save, and to teach us to be followers of His Way. All Jesus ever said or that He did, were things only from His Father that He’d heard. A blessed life now and eternally are the gifts of which a Christian can be assured.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus shouted to the crowds, ‘If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know His commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells Me to say.’” John 12:44-50 (NLT)

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:27-28 (NIV)

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” John 5:24 (NKJV)

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

“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.’” John 14:8-10 (NKJV)

Even in this, Jesus said, ”Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Luke 6:22-23 KJV

Photo by Porch of the Lord

Receive the Lord’s Peace

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Are you facing difficult problems which seem insurmountable at length?
Then it’s time to agree with God that, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”

You may not, initially, feel joy and strength when you’re first confessing it,
but this affirmation can build in your life as the Lord Himself is blessing it.

And, “Peace be with you,” were the words that the risen Savior said
when He amazingly appeared to His disciples after His resurrection from the dead.

In His message of the beatitudes, Jesus listed ways that we can be blessed.
Therefore, be a peacemaker, even to yourself…and, in Jesus Christ, find rest.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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

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

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’” John 20:19

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

“…But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6

Scriptures NKJV

Beauty is in the Eye of God, the Beholder

The story of a “different” duckling was one that, as children, most of us had read…This duckling was ridiculed because of his appearance–so much so, that he finally fled.

He then went through various experiences, away from the home he originally knew; but all of those experiences were bitter and caused him to keep feeling “blue.”

As the story progressed, he came upon a flock of magnificent swans, while downcast, who welcomed him as a most beautiful swan; and there he found happiness at last.

We learn, in reading the Bible, that God doesn’t look at how you outwardly appear–You may feel you haven’t much value, yet you’re a distinctive “swan” in His mirror.

And if blessed with what man defines as great beauty, God still looks within to start…His search for a person who is devoted to Him, humble, but courageous of heart.

Remember, too, that when God sees you, He sees the righteousness of His own Son; and He has promised to perfect the good work in you that, through Christ, He has begun.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For Thou dist 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.” Psalm 139:13-14 KJV

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him, for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” 1 Samuel 16:7

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

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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)

In the Beauty of the Lilies

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When problems arise,
considering the various lilies is wise.

Just as God so clothes them,
likewise, it’s from Him, that our provision will stem.

Knowing that, to worry, we would often be inclined,
Jesus’ guidance, for us, was not to have an anxious mind.

Simply reflecting on the beauty of the lilies can bring peace,
reassured that the care of our loving Heavenly Father won’t cease.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Words of Jesus from Luke 12:27-31 NKJV

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Photos/Pixabay

Out of the darkness into His light…

Jesus was teaching in the temple when some scribes and Pharisees approached,
bringing a woman caught in adultery, who they thoroughly had reproached.

Setting her down before Him, they brought up the command that she be stoned;
and what were His thoughts on that—should Moses’ law now be condoned?

Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground, as though He didn’t hear.
Soon the woman would find, through Christ, her deliverance from a death fear.

So when they persisted in asking Him, she surely was fearing the worst.
But He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

He again stooped down to write—perhaps knowledge of the sins of those accusing. They began to all leave, then, one by one, knowing their own sins they couldn’t be excusing.

Jesus stood up then, seeing only the woman, left there in the midst of the crowd. He asked her where her accusers had gone, their condemnation having been so loud.

“Has no one condemned you?” Jesus asked. “No one, Lord.” Not one of them had stayed. Then He said He didn’t either, but to go and sin no more. She received pardon despite having strayed.

After this event, Jesus declared that He was this world’s light…and that those who follow Him will not walk in darkness but, through Him, will “see” to live right.

P. A. Oltrogge

(from the account in John 8:1-12)

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Photo/Unsplash

The Perfect Will of God

Photo by Porch of the Lord
Photo/Porch of the Lord

Every day when, or even before, we greet the first rays of the morning sun,
we can pray that God’s perfect will, for that particular day, will be done.

“Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven,” Jesus said to pray.
In your own life, that will ensure that you’ll be walking on the right pathway.

“Not My will, but Thine be done,” Jesus prayed—another way of saying,
that you trust the Father’s wisdom in any matter about which you’re praying.

And for your nation’s government, trust this same prayer to have effect,
ultimately, in making the kind of wise decisions that God would select.

Of course, not everything that may follow our prayers can be called God’s will,
for there’s an enemy, in this world, who is out to steal, destroy, and kill.

But that’s exactly why our prayers are needed, because of the spiritual warfare. We’re told that the whole armor of God is the equipment that we’re to wear.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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.”
…from Ephesians 6

“Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven”…Lord, in our lives and in our government. We pray that any legislation, proposed or established, that is not right in Your eyes will come to nought, in Jesus’ Name…Amen

and the entire Lord’s Prayer….

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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