Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Holy Spirit Within Us




Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless 
it may appear to me. A.W. Tozer

The secular response to Christ - if there is any acknowledgement - is that Christ was a great teacher and a good person. The world says there are no absolute truths, that truth is what you believe to be true. The Holy Scriptures, the foundation of the Christian faith, tells a different story. Christ is the Living Son of God, the willing and sinless sacrifice offered for all the iniquities of humanity. He has always been and will always be. Jesus came in human form to earth to fulfill God's Plan of salvation for mankind. There ARE truths that must be part of our faith statement as Christians. Without these absolute truths, we claim a belief in nothing more than good intentions.

Read 1 John 2:18-29

So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will continue to live in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life He promised us. . . you have received the Holy Spirit and He lives within you. . . For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what He teaches is true. 1 John 2:24,27 NLT

Through careful and continued study of the Scriptures, these truths become more clear. God reveals Himself to us today through the Living Word. The Scriptures are both ancient and living words, telling us the stories of old and using these lessons for today. Our struggles in the world are no different than centuries ago. There was unbelief then and unbelief today. Then - time after time, faith required a bold stance in the face of uncertainty, and today - we must continue to stand boldly in faith to our Creator, Redeemer and King.

Consider this!
  • How do believers come to more fully understand the character of God?
  • Why does the world dilute and deny the absolute truths in the Scriptures?
  • What do you believe about Christ?
Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. Father, Son and Spirit ~ three in One ~ we cannot understand Perfect Love, but we can accept this Gift by faith. Give us the courage to grow in understanding of the Living Word that we might be light in the darkness. Amen. ~ dho

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Oneness in Christ

There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6 NASB

The journey of every Christian begins at the same place, the cross. Without the cross, the death of innocence and victory over death, grace would be just a concept. Instead, grace chooses us and claims us though our faith. Hope not only promises but sustains us. Despite differences among Christian denominations, Christ remains the One constant. Holy Scripture reveals the beliefs of the collective body of Christ, the church, and connects the commonality of our faith, our humanity, and our destiny. Christianity is oneness in Christ

In this Scripture, the Trinity ~ one Spirit, one Lord, one God ~ merges with the one God of all who is over all and through all and in all, individually unique but unified all together as One. The Holy Spirit dwells, intercedes, and builds unity. This Spirit of truth and understanding and counsel guides us. Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, becomes grace. The righteous and holy and sinless Jesus takes the punishment for humanity's sin, and calls to us, "Follow Me." The loving Father, protector and provider, desires to be in relationship with us. Encompassing all, the transcendent God reigns ~ sovereign and just and infinite.

One faith unites us to the Living God, Jehovah, El Shaddai, the One who offers one hope, a promise of everlasting life. Inward renewal of the soul by the Holy Spirit identifies our oneness in Christ with one baptism, a spiritual baptism into the body of Christ. The Message ends the Scripture this way, "Every thing you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness"Theology and sacrament converge as together we confess oneness in Christ with our whole being ~ in character and thought and deed. ~dho

 "Every thing you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness"Theology and sacrament converge as together we confess oneness in Christ with our whole being ~ in character and thought and deed. - Donna Oswalt

Monday, January 19, 2015

God's Mystery ~ Contemplation and Conversation, 2015



“Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.” 



[No human being, no matter how wise or how spiritual, can interpret the ways of God, explain why one miracle and not another, why an apparent intervention here and not there...we can only wait and trust.]

Philip Yancey, from Prayer, Does It Make Any Difference?



“Good words satisfy like a fine meal; yes, good conversations are sure to satisfy.” 

Share your thoughts, questions, experiences, and/or conversations:
*right here; see below "COMMENTS"

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jesus Knows

Nathanael said to [Jesus], "How do You know me?" Jesus said, "...I saw you." 
John 1:47-51 NKJV

Currently, I am studying a book, Discernment by Henri Nouwen, to better understand God's will and purpose for this time in my life. This Scripture from John reveals that Jesus knows us, intimately hears our hearts and hopes, completely understands our intentions and frustrations, actually sees our willingness and weakness. Just like with Nathanael, Jesus demonstrates His supernatural knowledge to us whenever we are open to God's presence. Jesus knows!

Discernment becomes a new way of seeing that results in divine revelation and direction. ~ Henri Nouwen  
The discernment process consists of listening more deeply for the voice of God, and its global purpose for each of us is to know God's will. This new way to see God affords the individual new opportunities. In the process of discovery, the acknowledgement that God does see and know me evolves, and my alertness to God's presence heightens. This openness to God reveals a deeper awareness of spiritual truth, and the awakening of purpose begins to unfold. I find new affirmation of who I am in Christ. I know Jesus knows! ~ dho  

"Jesus demonstrates His supernatural knowledge to us whenever we are open to God's presence. Jesus knows!" ~ Donna Oswalt

Monday, January 12, 2015

God's Love ~ Contemplation and Conversation, 2015

Breathing Room For My Soul

“Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.” 
Proverbs 18:15 The Message

Contemplation...

[God has created you and me with a heart that only God's love can satisfy. And every other love will be partial, will be real, but limited, will be painful. And if we are willing to let the pain prune us, to give us a deeper sense of our belovedness, then we can be as free as Jesus and walk on this world and proclaim God's first love, wherever we go.] - Henri Nouwen

then Conversation... 


“Good words satisfy like a fine meal; yes, good conversations are sure to satisfy.” 
Proverbs 18:20 The Voice

Share your thoughts, questions, experiences, and/or conversations:
*right here; see below "COMMENTS"

Thursday, January 08, 2015

WORDS for a New Year ~ 2015!

Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights. 
Proverbs 18:15 The Message

Words, words, words, AND more words! With the internet, social media, and electronic devices - we scan, read, and process an enormous amount of words daily. Overflowing words saturate us with general information through our work, from the news, about our connections while others pour into us from books, movies, lyrics, signs, and directions. How many of these words are useful to our souls, improve our personal spiritual journey, or increase our knowledge of who God is, of who God calls us to be within our community?

Proverbial wisdom reminds us, "Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as satisfying as a good harvest." (Proverbs 18:20 MSG) While studies show the average woman speaks 20,000 words per day and men, 7,000 words, the studies do not evaluate the usefulness of these many words. Maybe the more important question is not how many words we speak, but how do we use our words? Words can destroy or encourage, blame or explain, be loving or deceitful, be filled with compassion or empty and useless. Words connect us to each other! Words have great power! 

Thinking about the new year, I want to add something to my blog I am calling "Contemplation and Conversation"! From time to time, a short quotation will be given for your reflection and then, hopefully, you will share your thoughts with someone else. So often these days, we simple read words, maybe ponder them, and sometimes even incorporate new ideas into our personal experiences, but sharing words - in conversation, with discussion - happens less and less. Oh, we speak to each other - obviously 1,000's of words a day, but deep and honest exchanges have become fewer and fewer. Words have the potential to grow our minds and hearts. From the beginning before time, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) Jesus, this Word, can transform each of us into more!

So, here's the challenge! Read the "Contemplation and Conversation" posts, ponder them then talk to someone or several someones. Share your thoughts and ask them what they think! It will be posted to Mangrove Ministries' Facebook page (click link here) as well. Comments welcome!  Begin today by sharing your thoughts about today's Scriptures and this idea. Get involved! Share your experiences! Let's start feeding our inner voices, increasing our Spiritual journeys, always learning, always listening for fresh insights. ~dho

***By the way, my regular blog will continue as usual, posting typically will be Thursday! AND while we are talking about the blog, share and invite your friends to follow - SIGN UP for EMAIL! (top right corner)

Let's start feeding our inner voices, increasing our Spiritual journeys, always learning, always listening for fresh insights. ~ Donna Oswalt