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

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday ~ Jehovah Shammah

[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]


“And the name of the city from that time on will be THE LORD IS THERE.”

While living in Babylon in a refugee settlement among the exiled Israelites, the prophet Ezekiel encounters “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it I fell face down, and I heard the voice of one speaking”. Through visions to Ezekiel, God reveals His warnings to an unrepentant Jerusalem, judgments on all nations, hope for Israel, and a New Jerusalem. Most refuse to listen to Ezekiel. Forty-eight chapters and over twenty years later, Ezekiel records as the Sovereign LORD declares, ”And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.”  Jehovah Shammah, Hebrew for ‘The LORD is there,” describes the New Jerusalem, the same city in Revelation 21:3 where God will dwell with His people.

Although idol-worshiping Babylon seems an unlikely place for Israel to find God, He is there. After Christ returns and all Believers live in the New Jerusalem, God will be there, too. God desires to dwell among His people. God’s presence exceeds our finite boundaries of time, location, and circumstance. Lord, today as I come to the altar acknowledging my infinite dependence on Christ, let me leave the altar wearing the ashes as a sign of repentance. Whisper the hope of THE LORD IS THERE into my brokenness, into my disappointment, into my weakness, into my silence, into my vanity, into my prayers.  Count me alive in Christ. Jehovah Shammah!  Amen ~ 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

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

LENT Begins Tomorrow!

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  
Psalm 90:1-2  

Lent begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. I pray this will be a season your soul finds new intimacy with Christ. I will be posting weekly this year, and hope you will find spiritual renewal in God’s presence! -dho


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]

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Rest in Prayer


"True silence is the rest of the mind;
it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body,
nourishment and refreshment."
William 
Penn


The world is full of noise and busyness, all competing at the same time for the same mind! In the world there is little silence; there is not much true rest for the mind.


Jesus tells us, "Come to Me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace ..." (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)

Jesus lived the example of spending time in prayer ~ away from the crowds ~ alone with the Father. This is how He demonstrated real rest ~ rest for the mind, the body and the spirit ~ rest in the middle of chaos ~ rest in the presence of God ~ rest in the silence. Listen to the words of Jesus; seek Him in the silence ~ learn [His] unforced rhytms of grace~dho


Thursday, February 01, 2018

The Always of Prayer

Throw-Back-Thursday's popularity fills our Thursdays. Along with its hash tags, pictures of yester-year dance across out computer screens, mobile phones, and tablets. Frequently the hair styles and clothing reveal the era. We laugh, usually, or moan, sometimes. Today I open my #TBT Bible, my name and the date 4/13/77 on the inside cover. Back in the day, unlike now, few translations of the Bible were available other than the King James Version. "The Living Bible" translation broke the rules by using current vernacular, much the way we appreciate The Message today. The words and the order of the words sounded friendly, more familiar to the ear. The Living Bible, while popular with teenagers, did not thrill the adults. Whatever your thoughts or preferences are about various translations of the Holy Bible, I believe God always uses His words to inspire, to convict, to reveal His Goodness and Grace.
#TBT High School, 1973

Reading today from Romans in The Living Bible, God's word tells it straight. Listen to some of the verses from Chapter 12Be honest in your estimate of yourselves...we belong to each other, and each needs all the others. God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. And further down, Don't just pretend that you love others; really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other. These very valuable words remind us our connectedness in Christian community. These words are not just for #TBT!

Life is messy! We wait, longing for time to pass more quickly then hurry to what is next. Hurt and disappointment become friends we wish we didn't know. Doubt shouts! Hypocrisy mocks! But, God always sees the bigger picture, sees beyond what our minds cannot understand. Using my #TBT Bible, I find these words: Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always. (Romans 12:12) I did not read other translations or search commentaries (none in the #TBT Bible), did not research Greek origins of the words or look for cross references. I simply let my prayer echo His inspired words: With a grateful heart, God, I trust You are planning something good for me. In times of trouble, help me be patient. Every moment of every day, my prayers rise to You. I long to spend time with You ~ listening, resting, waiting, learning, loving. Amen! ~dho