Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday ~ Our Dwelling Place, His Presence

[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

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Knowing

[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]

“God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” Ephesians 6:18 MSG

After the crucifixion, the followers of Jesus are emotionally stranded, fear-full, and alone. Hidden and disillusioned, they yearn for what they cannot have, they grieve for what they do not understand, they wait for what they do not expect. On this Sabbath, the solitude feels suffocating, doubt engages defeat, and hope hesitates. Just a week ago, they were preparing to come to Jerusalem.

Spiritual enemies use tools of discouragement, deception, and division. Confusion, chaos, and contradiction shout, whisper, and overwhelm. In contrast, truth and God’s righteousness along with peace and faith in Christ become the spiritual armor protecting us from the fiery arrows of Satan. Having salvation as the helmet, Holy Scriptures as the sword, and prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit, these spiritual weapons belong to all Christians! Only in God’s presence can we truly know safety and wholeness, order and peace, love and unity. Brother Lawrence in Practicing His Presence shares that his prayers are nothing other than a sense of the presence of God and suggests trying to live in a continual sense of the Lord’s presence. Holy God, as the fiery arrows fly, as temptations test, as disobedience destroys, cover me. In Your presence, grace prepares me with righteousness, provides me with knowledge, protects me with holiness. Count me alive in Christ. Blessed Assurance, my Hope in all times! -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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Friday, April 18, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Good Friday - Place of Everlasting Glory

[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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Maundy Thrusday - Place of Completeness

[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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Community

[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]

“Come to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by the people, but He is precious to God who chose Him. And now God is building you, as living stones, into His spiritual temple. What’s more, you are God’s holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please Him because of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4-5 NLT

Peter’s words declare Christ as the foundation of the church, and those who follow Christ become the living stones that God uses to build His church. This reference does not suggest literal buildings, rather the building of the church as a community of believers. When the curtain in the Temple is torn in two, every believer gains direct access to God. Rejected but resurrected, Jesus creates a New Way back to God. Christ, the Great High Priest, makes the last and ultimate blood sacrifice for sin. Through Grace we can enter into the Presence of God as His holy priests.

God always desires to have a dwelling place with His people, first in the tabernacle, later in the temple, then on earth in Christ, and now within each believer through the Holy Spirit. God’s presence resides in the community of believers, the body of Christ, the church. Holy God, infinite in wisdom, I try to imagine Your mystery but cannot understand such love, cannot comprehend such power, cannot explain such mercy. My sacrifice of praise is endless. Count me alive in Christ. Let this living stone glorify You! – 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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Contentment

[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 teach me how to live a holy life. Being with You will fill me with joy; at Your right hand I will find pleasure forever.” Psalm 16:11 NCV

The Psalm of David voices deep expressions of trust in God, the One from Whom all good things come. In his devotion to honor God, David acknowledges that some worship idols, but he believes that God alone is my cup of blessing. At Pentecost, Peter even quotes verses from this Psalm in his first sermon. Verse 10 reads: For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. As prophecy, these ancient words point to the Messiah; in remembering, these words affirm God’s promise.

Contentment suggests satisfaction or a willingness to accept certain situations. Psalm 16 reflects on full and lasting spiritual satisfaction not on momentary and fleeting happiness. With the resurrection of Christ, we are guaranteed this holy living, fullness of joy, and forever peace because the presence of God now dwells within us. Lord, in Your Presence I long to sit in solitude, pray without ceasing, love beyond imagination. To live in Your glorious presence gives me confidence to stand firm in my faith. Count me alive in Christ. All good things come from You! – 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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Monday, April 14, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Righteousness

[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]

“By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us – set us right with Him… We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand – out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory.” Romans 5:1-5 MSG

In the chasm between Holy God and human frailty, Jesus stands. In the desolate place between this God of Righteousness and the sinner’s rebellion, Jesus mediates. In the darkness of sin that offends holiness, Jesus lights the path back to God. Only righteousness brings peace that allows one to stand in the wide open spaces with God. The blood of Christ permanently opens the door to God’s grace and glory.

Because of Jesus, we are able to stand before God full of hope. The power of Christ’s resurrection creates a dwelling place for God in each believer. Now, we can experience God’s love, embrace God’s goodness, expect God’s peace. When we consider the generosity of God that flows into us through the Holy Spirit, we overflow with praises. Spirit of Love, take my wordless joy to the Father. I stand in a place reconciled through grace, lavished with love, and overwhelmed by glory! Count me alive in Christ. My heart rests in His Presence. - 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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Palm Sunday - The Holy Spirit Dwells With Us

[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 must make your heart a spiritual temple,
a temple where you can go to adore Him incessantly.”
Brother Lawrence

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”

To effectively spread the Gospel, understanding the cultural language is of great importance. Paul brings the message of Christ to Athens, Greece, a great center of culture and philosophy. Greek intellectuals frequently challenge each other. In an attempt to introduce the Gospel message, Paul reaches into their world of curiosity and idols, uses common language, and draws them into his story. Starting in the marketplace, the Greeks take Paul to their official court, and there he preaches the Good News. While there are some who mock Paul, some walk away unsure, but others believe. The Holy Spirit breathes new life into those whose faith confesses Jesus as Redeemer.

As Christians, we find great comfort in knowing that God chooses us, forgives us, and calls us through Christ. God marks us as His own with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians says, “The Spirit is God’s guarantee the He will give us everything He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people.” Whether we encounter opposing philosophies or cultural apostasy, the Promises of God always remain. El Shaddai, You are the Great I AM, the All Sufficient One who chooses me! Through Your Promises, I discover my identity in Christ. Your Spirit breathes new life into me, creating a spiritual temple within me. Count me alive in Christ. Praises keep rising to You! – 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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Hope

[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]

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:24

Looking at the first-century church, the underlying tensions and quiet rebellion within Jerusalem and the inner circles of Jewish leadership compete with Rome’s political agenda. Factions among Christian believers clash with Jewish tradition. These are difficult times. Their only hope rests in the resurrection of Christ, in the spreading of the Good News. HOPE lives in the presence of God.

Today, we live in a world that craves immediate gratification and power that breeds arrogance, pride, and self-sufficiency. We experience conflict and contradiction on all sides. These are difficult times. So, after all these centuries, what hope do we have? Jesus, through all generations, throughout all time, You are still the only HOPE! Grace pours over me and refreshes my soul in the chaos of this world. For now, You live in the presence of God and speak my prayers before Him. Count me alive in Christ. Holy Spirit, live in 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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Friday, April 11, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Unity

[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]

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in who you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:16-19 NASB

Through Christ, there is reconciliation with God which destroys the barriers that divide people, which breaks down the walls that people build between each other. Scripture offers proof that Christ has died for all. In Christ, there are no distinctions between racial background or economic status, cultural differences or dietary choices. Living in unity with Christ and without division is truly living the resurrection. When the Holy Spirit dwells within us, our unity in Christ will look beyond the differences and share the uncommon love of Jesus.

The 1st century church provides the language that the 21st century church needs. God looks beyond our differences and builds His dwelling places with Extravagant Love. Holy One, my safe place is surrounded by people just like me, but You call me to look beyond myself, to walk outside my carefully constructed walls, to search within my redeemed soul, to find community in You. Count me alive in Christ. Build us all together as Your dwelling place. -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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Inclusion

[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]

 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as He had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift He gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”
Acts 11:15-17

Messengers from Caesarea sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer and faithful man, visit Peter in Joppa asking that he come and share the Good News with the Gentiles. Peter breaks Jewish rules by entering the house of a non-Jew, but the Holy Spirit approves. Those present believe and are baptized. Upon Peter’s return to Jerusalem, some criticize him, but after discussion, they realize, “God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of turning from sin and receiving eternal life.”

Caesarea, the largest port city on the Mediterranean Sea, becomes the location of the first Gentile Christians and later the first non-Jewish church. Peter’s obedience to God marks the beginning of God’s plan to redeem Gentiles. God desires that all people come to know Christ. Spirit of Grace, open my heart to the prejudices that constrain my influence for Christ, melt the barriers that cultural experiences create between me and those God chooses, direct my steps toward the ones who need to hear the Good News. Count me alive in Christ. Holy Spirit, fill me with a spirit of inclusion. - 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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Transformation

[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]

“As [Saul] was nearing Damascus on this mission, a brilliant light from heaven suddenly beamed down upon him! He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, sir?” Saul asked. And the voice replied. “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” Acts 9:3-6 NLT

Saul, well-educated, steeped in Judaism, a Pharisee of Pharisees, continues his mission to persecute all who profess belief in Christ. Saul is present at the stoning of Stephen, one of the seven designated spiritual leaders of the early church. After this, a great persecution against the church begins in Jerusalem and many believers scatter to various regions of Judea and Samaria. Saul begins going everywhere to devastate the church. He went from house to house, dragging both men and women to throw them into jail. Then, on the road to Damascus Saul encounters Jesus.       

Jesus transforms Saul, personally choosing him to preach the Good News across the Roman Empire, especially to the Gentiles. Renamed Paul, a Christian missionary with a rich history in Judaism, he becomes one of the most prolific writers of the New Testament. Lord, Paul says, “For to me, living is for Christ.” I yearn for my life to reflect Christ, to be transformed daily to become even more like Christ. Take my abilities, my knowledge, my experiences, even my weaknesses. Count me alive in Christ. Use all of me for Your Glory. -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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Obedience

[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]

“When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

The first years of the church survive despite beatings and arrests of the apostles by the religious community. God’s power continually gives them boldness in teaching and preaching the Gospel of Jesus. The Holy Spirit empowers them to perform miracles of healing. Many people begin to believe, and the numbers of followers are increasing. While religious leaders repeatedly reject and slander and imprison the apostles, God keeps releasing them with renewed passion.

The apostles and these first disciples experience great personal risks in continuing to speak the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. They are hated, ridiculed, and punished for their obedience to God. Lord, let me recognize the Spirit that dwells within me as I stand firm in my faith when others around me lie and cheat, as I kneel faithfully in reverence when others curse and mock Your name. Count me alive in Christ. I choose to obey You!  - 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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Monday, April 07, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Holy Wind

[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]


“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a noise like a strong, blowing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw something like flames of fire that were separated and stood over each person there.  They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them.” Acts 2:1-4 NCV

Jewish history recounts that the curtains in the Temple that separate the Most Holy Place would sometimes move and describes this as phenomenon as Rauch HaKodesh, a Hebrew phrase meaning “Breath of the Holies”. In the Old Testament, the Jewish people understand the Holy Spirit to be God’s influence over humanity and the universe. In Psalm 51:11 David pleads with God, “Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.” God always desires to dwell in the presence of His people.

After Jesus ascends back to heaven, as promised, the Holy Spirit descends to His followers. The Holy Spirit is the Helper, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. Now, Jesus sits at the right hand of God, and the Holy Spirit becomes God’s Presence with us. Holy Spirit, come alongside of me and breathe holy life into my thoughts, my purpose, my service. In You I know the presence of the Lord. Holy Wind, embrace me, encourage me, empower me. Count me alive in Christ. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on 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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ 5th Sunday of Lent - Christ Reveals the Dwelling Place of God

[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 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

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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Betrayal

[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]

 “After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with His disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had gone there many times with His disciples.” John 18:1-2 NLT


Judas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, betrays Him to authorities for thirty pieces of silver. As for the motivation of Judas, one can suppose evil ambitions or simple greed. Whatever his intention, Judas brings the authorities to the Gethsemane, as he knows this place to be somewhere Jesus and the disciples frequently gather. Usually a quiet place for prayer and reflection, Gethsemane becomes a place of betrayal.

Life hurries along, and sometimes it is easier to be lost in a moment, enticed with the crowd, and controlled by the money, than admit weakness, confess insecurity, or express need. Jesus, when I forget Your goodness and ignore Your peace, when I hurry passed Your joy and overlook Your Grace, I betray You again and again. Count me alive in Christ. You give a greater grace. -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 ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”