Thursday, April 19, 2018

Christ Reveals the Dwelling Place of God

 “The Christian does not go to the temple to worship. The Christian takes the temple
with him or her. Jesus lifts us beyond the building and pays 
the human body the highest compliment by making His dwelling place, 
the place where He meets with us.”
Ravi Zacharias


“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.” Matthew 27:50-51 NASB 

Until this day, God’s Presence dwells on the Mercy Seat in the Most Holy Place in the Temple, but when Jesus breathes His last breath, the curtain separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place rips from top to bottom. Before this moment, only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place and only one time a year on the Day of Atonement. Now, the barrier between humanity and God is torn apart. The crucified Jesus reveals the door to reconciliation. 

This long day has been full of betrayals and beatings, accusations and abandonment, interrogations and inscriptions, mockery and miracles. The crucifixion of Jesus reveals His willingness to die once for all, to be the last blood sacrifice needed for redemption. Standing at the foot of the cross, the Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that happened. They said, ‘Truly, this was the Son of God!” [Matthew 27:54] Christ reveals the dwelling place of God. 

Lamb of God, You reveal my imperfections! Some days I choose the world, use words that hurt, simply pretend to care. But because the veil is torn, I can enter the Holy of Holies. Count me alive in Christ. Every day You reveal the unforced rhythms of Grace. – dho

Thursday, April 12, 2018

God Dwells Among Us



 “There is no chance thing through which God cannot speak—even the walk from
the house to the garage that you have walked ten thousand times before, even the moments when you cannot believe that there is a God who speaks at all anywhere. 
He speaks, I believe, and the words He speaks are incarnate in the flesh and blood of ourselves and of our own footsore and sacred journeys.”
Fredrick Buechner 

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

In the first chapter of John, Scripture describes the incarnation of the Word. Jesus, the Word, becomes human and dwells among us. Both fully God and fully human, Jesus enters the world as the visible manifestation of God, His perfect love in human form. This unique Father-Son relationship offers a glimpse of possibility for the Christian. Full of grace and truth, Jesus pitches His tent and takes up residence among the people. 

Throughout all time, God has chosen to dwell in the midst His people, but when Jesus enters the world, both visible and tangible, God literally lives beside His people. Jesus is the Truth that brings Grace because He is the Perfect Sacrifice for all sins. 

Image of the Invisible God, this mystery of You coming to live among the people transcends intellectual thought. Perfect Love, You reveal the Light that darkness cannot cover and become the Grace that sin cannot destroy. Count me alive in Christ.  Be born in me! - dho

Thursday, April 05, 2018

God’s Presence Dwells with His People



All His glory and beauty come from within, and there He delights to dwell. 
His visits are frequent, His conversations sweet, His comforts refreshing: 
His peace passing all understanding.
Thomas Kempis

“The LORD replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” Exodus 33:14

From the beginning in the garden, God desires an intimate relationship and divine fellowship with His people. At 75 years of age, Abraham leaves Haran in obedience to God’s call to a Promised Land. His response in faith to God would be blessed many times over; witnesses testify, “God is with you in all that you do.” Joseph, sold into slavery by his own brothers, is imprisoned in Egypt, but Scripture recounts, “the Lord is with him in prison,” protecting and providing. Joseph becomes a ruler in Egypt, saves the people from famine, including his own brothers. Moses leads the Israelites from captivity in Egypt across the Red Sea, a miracle of God. Throughout the next 40 years, God repeatedly demonstrates His promise to Moses and to His people, “My presence will go with you.” Despite the separation of God and mankind by sin, He still longs to be in relationship with us.

Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can boldly enter the Most Holy Place. Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. [Hebrews 10:22] Through Christ’s sacrifice, the intimate relationship between God and us is restored. How do we know our dwelling place is truly in God’s Presence? A genuine response to God must exceed our personal desires. Stepping out with faithful obedience to Christ’s example to love and encourage others will reveal our heart’s true resting place. 

Faithful Father, God of Power and Promise, find me willing to embrace Your goodness. In divine fellowship with You and other believers, let my words demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When I stand surrounded by those who are cold and lonely, hungry and thirsty, open my heart to live by the Spirit. Count me alive in Christ, my dwelling place His Presence. ~dho

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Easter Sunday - Our Dwelling Place, His Presence - Lent 2018

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]


“The hope we have in Christ is an absolute certainty. We can be sure that
the place Christ is preparing for us will be ready when we arrive, because with Him
nothing is left to chance. Everything He promised He will deliver.”
Billy Graham

“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple.” Psalm 27:4 ESV

Just before Jesus ascends to heaven, He instructs the disciples to tell the story of Good News to all people. His final words of encouragement: And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. In Scripture, the last days refers to the time between Christ’s return to heaven after the resurrection and His second return to earth. The last days are now! The promise remains true; Jehovah Shammah, the LORD is there, dwells with us. God’s presence with His people is certain.

Scripture tells us that in the last days the story of Jesus is mocked and questioned. Arrogance diminishes the power of God, discredits His role in creation, and dismisses His promise of judgment. People choose other gods to worship. With humility, His faithful followers must earnestly continue to be about the work God calls us to do. LORD, Creator and Promise Keeper, Your grace falls gently in the midst of these harsh last days. Forgive those who deny You and give them a reason to hope. I long to dwell in Your Presence all the days of my life. Here I see the beauty of Extravagant Love and know the unexplainable joy of Eternal Hope. As I eagerly anticipate what You will do next, help me tell Your story of Grace! Count me alive in Christ. Moment by moment, Jehovah Shammah, You are here! - dho 

Thank you for the opportunity to share the Extravagant Love of God with you during this Easter Season. For more devotionals throughout the year, see my blog: BreathingRoomForMySoul.com  Donna Oswalt

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday - Place of Everlasting Glory - Lent 2018

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’” Revelation 21:1-3 NASB

On the day of crucifixion, prophecy of the Messiah surrounds Jesus, but most watch unaware. A lack of understanding is consumed by fallacy and fear, power and providence, greed and grief, barter and betrayal. God’s plan of salvation unfolds before their very eyes. Perfect Love is nailed to a wooden cross, broken for humanity. The Lamb of God becomes the only necessary blood sacrifice, a complete sin offering for atonement and everlasting life. Immanuel, God with us, breathes His last breath on earth.

Messiah reigns in heaven, for now, but prophecy waits to be fulfilled. In the day of His return, there will be a new earth, a New Jerusalem. Then God will dwell among His people, and together, all the faithful will live in this place of Everlasting Glory forever. LORD of Lords, hold my broken places and forgive my foolish plans, change my stubborn heart and break my selfish will, reveal my complacent attitude and renew my weary soul. I eat the bread broken for me, and drink the wine poured out for me. Count me alive in Christ. Perfect Love, Amazing Grace for me! – dho 

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Maundy Thursday - Place of Completeness - Lent 2018

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

“How blessed is God! And what a blessing He is! He’s the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in Him.” Ephesians 1:3 MSG

God chooses us, Jesus redeems us, and the Spirit marks us. These are not temporary blessings but spiritual blessings. God’s goodness and grace continually flows from an endless well and takes us to the high places of blessing in Him. One of the greatest spiritual blessings is the peace that comes with knowing Jesus, the Prince of Peace. In Hebrew, Jesus, Prince of Peace is Yeshua, Sar Shalom.

Shalom offers more than peace, reflecting a deeper, more complex idea that conveys a completeness evidenced by the blessings of spiritual security and rest, wholeness and well-being. How does one find this kind of peace? Only grace through Jesus reconciles the soul to perfect rest with God. Yeshua, Sar Shalom, take me to the high places of blessing! When life empties my heart and blurs my thoughts, steals my joy and fatigues my soul, take me to the high places of blessing! Count me alive in Christ. Perfect Love gives Perfect Peace. - dho 

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Place of Living Water - Lent 2018

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]



“Jesus replied, ‘Believe Me, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father here or in Jerusalem… true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth…’” John 4:7-30 NLT

On His way to Galilee, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well around noontime. Jesus tells her, “I would give you living water.” At first she did not understand. Jesus explains, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give will never thirst. [It] will become a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” Only the Messiah can offer Living Water to satisfy the spiritual thirst of the soul. Jesus tells her, “I am the Messiah!”

Jesus, as Messiah, is bringing a new concept to worship. He explains, soon, worship will not be limited to one place, because the Holy Spirit will dwell within God’s people, creating new dwelling places for God. The Messiah provides Living Water that needs no well, new temples that need no stones, and spiritual satisfaction that knows no end. 

Lord, meet me at the well. My thirsty soul needs Living Water. Forgive me when I ‘play church’ on Sundays but ‘play god’ during the week, when I hide behind the Bible but forget to live the Truth, when I build shrines with brick and mortar but neglect Your presence within my soul. Count me alive in Christ. Nourish me as I love in spirit and in truth. – dho 

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Place of Surrender - Lent 2018

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]




The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.” 
Luke 1:28-35

Visitation by God’s angel, conception by the supernatural power of God, and Jesus coming to dwell among humanity exceeds common experiences. According to prophecy, the anticipated Messiah enters the world from David’s descendants, but Jesus enters without royal fanfare. The mystery of the virgin birth cannot be explained scientifically; rather, by faith we can embrace this spiritually. Although Mary does not fully understand, she surrenders to God’s plan, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever He wants.

Enduring unexpected circumstances, trusting in God’s promises and the presence of the Holy Spirit giving life to wordless prayers can become our common experiences. Jesus comes to us. He reaches through difficulty and rises above uncertainty. The Holy One does not choose a royal crown; rather, He wears a crown of thorns. 

Son of God, Your kingdom will never end. You are majesty and mystery, glory and grace, worthy and willing, King of all kings. Count me alive in Christ. I surrender, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever You desire.” -dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Place of Assurance - Lent 2018

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]


“You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 ESV

Jeremiah, a prophet who predicted the Babylonians would capture Judah, writes a letter to the captives exposing the false prophets. Telling the Jews to settle in their new home, build lives, pray for their captors and serve God where they are, for their captivity will be long. Initially with vanity but later with despair, the Jews laughed at God then later mourned their fate. Within Jeremiah’s letter is a favorite verse of many people: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; to give you a future and hope.Jeremiah calls the people into a spirit of prayer, encourages them with hope, and reminds them to seek God, “with all your heart.”

As Jesus begins His ministry, many of those He encounters are in spiritual bondage, captive to disease, rejection, arrogance and pride. Held prisoner by false truths, Jesus brings healing and hope, forgiveness and freedom. Jesus calls us, too, “Seek Me with all your heart.” Blessed Assurance, unbind me from the chains that hold me hostage, the doubt that imprisons my success, the fear that feeds my insecurity, the darkness that steals my hope. Count me alive in Christ. Find me! I seek You with all my heart! -dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Place of Giants - Lent 2018

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place. Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]


“David shouted in reply [to the Goliath, the giant Philistine],’You come to me with a sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD Almighty – the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the LORD will conquer you … and everyone will know that the LORD does not need weapons to rescue His people. It is His battle, not ours. The LORD will give you to us!’” 1 Samuel 17:45-47 NLT

The armies of Israel and the Philistines camp on the opposite sides of the Valley of Elah in Judah. For forty days, twice a day, morning and evening, the Philistine giant strutted in front of the Israelite army. David, son of Jesse, a shepherd boy from Bethlehem, is given bread and cheese to take to his older brothers who serve in the Israelite army. He sees Goliath, the champion from Gath, come forward, shouting his challenge to the army of Israel. David tells King Saul, “I’ll go fight this Philistine, for he has defied the armies of the living God!” David goes with the confidence that the LORD will be with him. He picks up five smooth stones from a stream. Armed with his sling, David steps out with faith in a mighty God and wins a victory over the giant!

Over three thousand years later, this story about facing the giant continues to be told, continues to be relevant to us. Today the historic Valley of Elah rests in the hill country of Palestine. A stream runs through the valley during the rainy season. There are no landmarks, no memorials. People frequently pass this place but remain unaware of the historical battlefield. Many of our struggles are fought on a spiritual battlefield where giants taunt us, where others remain unaware. Like incense rising, when we pray to the Living God, we experience spiritual victory over the giants. God of the Angel Armies, see the giants before me. Call them by name; conquer them! Give me strength to step out in faith knowing You are leading the battle, preparing the way, giving the spiritual victory. Count me alive in Christ. May Your Glory mark these places! ~dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Place of Wisdom - Lent 2018

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place. Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]



“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.” Psalm 90:1

Commonly credited to Moses, Psalm 90 draws our thoughts to God’s Power in contrast to human frailty. God, everlasting to everlasting, is not bound by time but dwells in eternity; humanity is brief and finite. Verses 7-11 refer to Kadesh Barnea, a place of decision, the beginning of the Israelites’ 40-year journey in the wilderness. This prayer acknowledges their poor decision, lack of faith in God, rebellion, and God’s anger with them. A plea for compassion and restoration follows with an expressed desire to find satisfaction in God’s mercy.

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. Our experiences of success and failure, past and present, help prepare us for life, but all of our life experiences collectively prepare our hearts for eternity. Only in realizing a need for God, in trusting the power with God, in searching the wisdom of God, can life be fruitful now and eternal after. Elohim, God of All-Power, grow me with Your compassion and unfailing love. Let wisdom flood my mind. Sometimes life walks, wades, wails, and waits; other times, the days dance, dream, delight, and discover. In all these times, my soul longs to dwell with You forever. Count me alive in Christ. Satisfy me with Your mercy! ~dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat