Thursday, April 30, 2015

Junk-food of the World

a personal glimpse into my recent Lenten journey! - Donna Oswalt/2015


Spiritual famine happens when we fail to recognize the presence of God in our daily moments, when we no longer find joy in serving God, when we forget God's promises. Self-reliance and self-satisfaction take the place of depending on God. We choose the demons of boredom and anger and disappointment; they consume us, not feed us. Only the Bread of Life can provide the spiritual nourishment that renews hope, strengthens resolve, and conquers evil. People all around us are starving, sometimes even you and me! Remember - God provides! - dho


Saturday, April 18, 2015

After The Resurrection


...Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! "Peace be with you," He said. John 20:19

Like many of you, I worshiped Easter Sunday among family and friends, with overflowing crowds, hearing amazing music and the Good News! While I was not at home but at a lovely chapel at the beach, the scenes and sounds and sermon were the same, except the ocean was across the street! There is something different about worshiping on Easter Sunday that refreshes the mind and renews the heart and replenishes the soul. Worshiping among friends emphasizes community just as being welcomed into a chapel by the seashore.

In the days to come, I hope you reflect on your personal journey to the cross this Easter season. As Lent ends, my blogging will return to weekly (or more, but not daily), and I will be sharing some of my personal discoveries this season. Hearing some of your soul revelations would be great, and I hope you will share them here in the comments or on Mangrove Ministries' Facebook page. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! Celebrating the Resurrection is simply the beginning! - dho

Jesus says, "Peace be with you!"

Sunday, April 05, 2015

EASTER Sunday ~ God's Faithfulness in Us

God’s Faithfulness ~ Our Everlasting Hope!
LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness
You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 NIV

During this season of reflection and renewal, join me in exploring God’s Faithfulness. Do you find strength for every circumstance in God’s Faithfulness? God IS Faithful!  God’s Faithfulness is our everlasting Hope! ~ Donna Oswalt


A life of faith does not consist of acts of worship or of great self-denial and heroic virtues, but of all the daily, conscious acts of our lives.
Oswald Chambers

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True … And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:11-16 NKJV

The resurrection of Christ invites faithfulness to a new standard. Christ calls us to be people of faith, identifies us as His faithful people, and affords us the opportunity to be faithful in worship, obedience, study and service. God longs for His character and truth to be reflected in the lives of His people. KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, the One who is called Faithful and True, challenges each of us to live faithfully, to live by His own example.

Our faithfulness cannot be limited to religious activities or righteous deeds but must secure its foundation in the faithful promises of God. In Christ, we can love without perfection, have certainty without understanding, experience peace within grief. When God dwells in the hearts of His people, we have new awareness, new insight, and new hope. The Holy Spirit empowers us to see those living on the margins, to offer Bread of Life to a starving world, and to retell the stories of God’s faithfulness.

El Shaddai, Immanuel, LORD of Lords – Hallelujah! Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again! Such an offering leaves my heart in wordless praise, with endless wonder. Great is Your faithfulness! You take me to Your high places of blessing! I pray to stand firm in my faith, to listen for Your voice, to respond to Your calling. Perfect Love, You pour unmeasured Grace over me. Your faithfulness is everlasting! Amen! –dho


Focus Point: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, the One who is called Faithful and True, challenges each of us to live faithfully, to live by His own example.

All rights reserved; copyright 2015 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 04, 2015

Faithfulness Beyond Death ~ Lent 2015

God’s Faithfulness ~ Our Everlasting Hope!
LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness
You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 NIV


During this season of reflection and renewal, join me in exploring God’s Faithfulness. Do you find strength for every circumstance in God’s Faithfulness? God IS Faithful!  God’s Faithfulness is our everlasting Hope! ~ Donna Oswalt

…And by His stripes we are healed…My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities… Because He poured His soul into death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53 NKJV

This is the 4th Servant Song in Isaiah and depicts Christ as the Suffering Servant. Take time to read the Scripture in full, savor the descriptions, hear the prophecy centuries old. In Isaiah, we learn the Messiah will come as a Suffering Servant and as King. On His first advent, Jesus enters as the servant, the One who bears the punishment for our sins. As Jesus dies, many express disappointment and disbelief that the man nailed to the cross could be the Messiah. Good Friday ends leaving His disciples broken and confused; the body of Jesus is placed in a borrowed tomb. This Sabbath day, they must physically rest from work, but they mourn for what they do not understand.

Prophecy about the Messiah coming as King continues to be unfulfilled. We are still waiting and watching. On His second advent, His Second Coming, Christ will come as King over all. His power will be astonishing, His Light will be radiant, and His judgment will be final. The time for brokenness and mourning will end for all believers. When this end comes, will you know everlasting Sabbath-Rest, will you rejoice in salvation through faith in Christ? Then our eyes shall see the infinite faithfulness of God.  

King of kings, the ancient Scriptures reveal the plan of a holy God. You gently came into the world bringing love and compassion, and left through the violence of the cross. You did this for me, but I can hardly comprehend the offering… He poured His soul into death; I can scarcely imagine the willingness… He bore the sin of many; I can barely hear the words… by His stripes we are healed. Great is Your faithfulness, then, now, and in all that is still to come!  -dho


Focus Point: Messiah will come as a Suffering Servant and as King.

All rights reserved; copyright 2015 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 03, 2015

Good Friday - Jesus IS God's Faithfulness ~ Lent 2015

God’s Faithfulness ~ Our Everlasting Hope!
LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness
You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 NIV

During this season of reflection and renewal, join me in exploring God’s Faithfulness. Do you find strength for every circumstance in God’s Faithfulness? God IS Faithful!  God’s Faithfulness is our everlasting Hope! ~ Donna Oswalt

…they crucified Him Matthew 27:35; …they crucified Him Mark 15:25 …they crucified Him Luke 23:33; ...they crucified Him John 19:18 NKJV

The Via Dolorosa, a remnant of an ancient road in the Old City of Jerusalem once known as Decumanus Maximus, becomes crowded with Christians each year on Good Friday. People walk along this street called the Way of Suffering, following the last steps of Jesus that lead to Golgotha for crucifixion.  Among the stones, shadows of Roman soldiers with swords and whips linger in the mind. On Good Friday millions of Christians all across the world remember Jesus, reflect on His journey to the cross, recall the betrayal, the injustice, the suffering.

More than 2,000 years ago, with huge crowds of people filling the city for Passover and vendors selling their goods, Jerusalem is a city full of noise and energy. Schemes of political and religious leaders call for the crucifixion of Jesus, while the passion of Christ reveals itself in an unexpected fashion. Beaten and weary, wearing a crown of thorns, Jesus is forced to carry His own cross for crucifixion. Blinded by their lost hope of political reform and revival, the masses turn against Jesus. YET – this IS the passion of Christ; the faithfulness of God willingly embraces the suffering for the sins of all.

Lamb of God, that You would be willing to die for me redefines love. The suffering You endured for me redefines sacrifice. The injustice You experienced for me redefines compassion. Your wounds redefine me! Great is Your faithfulness. –dho


Focus Point: Jesus, reflect on His journey to the cross, recall the betrayal, the injustice, the suffering.

All rights reserved; copyright 2015 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 02, 2015

Maundy Thursday - Faithful Servant ~ Lent 2015

God’s Faithfulness ~ Our Everlasting Hope!
LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness
You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 NIV


During this season of reflection and renewal, join me in exploring God’s Faithfulness. Do you find strength for every circumstance in God’s Faithfulness? God IS Faithful!  God’s Faithfulness is our everlasting Hope! ~ Donna Oswalt

[Jesus asks His disciples] “Do you know what I have done for you…I have given you an example that you should do as I have done…a servant is not greater than his master. John 13:1-17 NASB

During Holy Week, the Last Supper paints a picture of traditions and fellowship, of humility and betrayal. These holy moments become markers for new traditions and fellowship, a way to remember the sacrifice of Christ, an opportunity to become the broken bread and poured out wine. One such holy moment comes when Divine Power appears to clash with the humble act of a servant. The disciples reject the idea that Jesus, the Son of the Living God, the Messiah, would dare to kneel before them and wash their feet. Jesus demonstrates a lesson of humility and obedience, and becomes the example of holy living.

Jesus comes with an inner Divine identity, being fully God, and takes on an outer human identity, being fully man. In His willingness to enter the world as man, Perfect Love volunteers to submit to the authority of the Father, and at the same time, reveals the Father’s heart. God’s faithfulness comes from heaven and walks among us, sacrifices everything for us. 

Faithful Servant, I struggle with the lessons of humility and obedience. The world does not find humility worthy, often mocks and demeans compassionate and unselfish acts. Goodness often pays a high price, and holiness finds little respect. Great is Your faithfulness; Jesus, teach me more about the order of holy living, about complete surrender, about true submission, about being a servant. –dho


Focus Point: God’s faithfulness comes from heaven and walks among us, sacrifices everything for us.

All rights reserved; copyright 2015 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 01, 2015

Earthly Faithfulness ~ Lent 2015

God’s Faithfulness ~ Our Everlasting Hope!
LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness
You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 NIV

During this season of reflection and renewal, join me in exploring God’s Faithfulness. Do you find strength for every circumstance in God’s Faithfulness? God IS Faithful!  God’s Faithfulness is our everlasting Hope! ~ Donna Oswalt

So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:14 NLT

Jesus embodies the glory of the Father and evidences a spiritual glory to His followers. Along with compassion, wisdom, and love, Jesus Christ exhibits other attributes of the Father, including goodness and faithfulness. Jesus, the Son of God, enters the world bringing grace and truth. Although no one has ever seen God, not even Moses who only glimpses the glory of God, Jesus comes and lives among humanity revealing the Father.

Throughout the Old Testament, God’s earthly residence remains within the Temple, but when the Living Word becomes human and dwells among His people, the invisible God stands before the people, full of unfailing love and faithfulness. 

Holy One, Your goodness speaks with kindness, acts with humility, and loves without condemnation. Your humanity experiences weariness and grief, fellowship and friendship, betrayal and pain. Your glory teaches compassion, demonstrates healing, and encourages community. Great is Your faithfulness. Dwell within my heart! –dho

Focus Point: Jesus comes and lives among humanity revealing the Father.


 All rights reserved; copyright 2015 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!”