Coming To Terms With The Impossible

(I feel prompted by the Lord to send this out again so I am doing just that! 🙂

We hear it, declare it, and believe it. Sometimes we doubt it, or react against it in anger when things simply don’t go the way we want. Nevertheless, it is clear in Scripture.

But He said, “ The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
(Luke 18:27 NKJVS)

Today, I sat on the couch, upset by something I read on Facebook. All I could do was close my eyes for the umpteenth time in years and shake my head. I said to the Lord, “Lord, this is impossible unless you change this situation. It is impossible for women to lead in the Body of Christ in any capacity unless You make a way. Men don’t see it, won’t see it.” You may think this is a generalization, but it is not. It is truth. And, the sad fact is that so many women also put other women down in this regard, spouting off that women need male covering or any number of religious platitudes. So, as a woman in leadership, you can get this from both sides. Today is my day simply to be me and to express my heart.

With Brave Wings, She FliesUnless God changes this situation , (and I believe He is) the condition of women in the Body of Christ will only be seen on the peripherals. Yes, I know there are women leaders in the Body of Christ but they are few and far between. It is impossible to move out as a women apart from God Himself making the way. Please don’t get so spiritual on me that I hear “But God always has to make a way.” Yes, He does but He also uses people in the process. We are in this together but upon closer inspection, looking at the round of conferences, churches, meetings, etc. one could only see that the vast majority are men in positions of leadership. This is simply wrong and is not the heart of God. Let me say again, with all the kindness and grace I can possibly pull together. Women are in every sense equal in the Kingdom of God, able to hold any leadership, walking alongside men in every capacity, leading men and women, serving in any way God has called them to serve.

Will this every change? In and of itself?  No, not if women still believe they are little girls, always waiting for affirmation, covering, and someone to give them the go-ahead. That is not necessary and in no way am I justifying rebellion or independence, trying to push your way ahead or making a way for yourself. This is a multifaceted problem existing in Christianity on many levels and I am but one voice. Something deep is changing in me.

Today, I closed my eyes and just sat on the couch, trying to ignore it and be the better for it but inside I always get angry. I am so tired of feeling restricted and held back by man when God says I can BE in Christ and do anything He calls me to do. I am a strong women and feel this way. How do women feel that perhaps aren’t strong but have been beaten down years after year, being put in a place that is less then their God affirmed destiny.

I know I know. God is in control and he makes a way where there is no way and we should rest in his timing and his ways and nothing is impossible with God. I Know all the right things to say and how to appear graceful when I say it to avoid being called angry or some such things.

But today, I am tired. Christian platitudes won’t solve this problem. Neither will anger. But neither will staying silent on it either as if it is a point that has been rehashed so many times, it does not gain attention. Women are not second-class citizens in the Kingdom.

I got angry this morning. Now, please hear me. I am no longer an angry person flying off the handle. I am passionate about what I believe. And it is good to get angry but not to run with it causing damage to yourself or others. Big difference.

My own personal experience – I have been passed over for years, rejected and tossed aside because I don’t fit the mold. (Now to be honest, I was an angry women for some years ago but that is healed and I have made amends with people and asked forgiveness of them and of God.) So what is this rising up in me? It is an anger that is just grieved at being 60 years old and still seeing this same stuff in the Body of Christ.

God will make a way for the sake of unity and freedom in His body. I believe He longs for this reality of equality to be revealed in us and through us, our hearts totally transformed that in Christ there is no male or female……

Though she be littleWhat equally disturbs me is that women are not even considered as if they did not even come to mind as being qualified or able. Once I asked a leader why there were not more women to be considered for conference positions or church positions and instead of responding to me in grace, his answer was so condescending with a clear purpose to avoid answering the question. Then my husband asked and he acted the same way toward him, perhaps feeling sorry for the poor guy that has to live with me. (Sigh!)

Yes there are token women out there leading in the Body of Christ, and more added daily but it is a wearying fight in many ways and they are few and far between, at least for now. 🙂

God we need your help. Our hearts need to be transformed and changed. The Body of Christ is functioning at half its capability without women.

How does this affect me? I simply can’t make things happen in my life. I never really thought I could but perhaps there is a small seed in me that says, Be nice, be graceful, be a good girl. Don’t rock the boat. And this blog is talking to me more than you. I can’t do anything to help you to see or believe this but I know I can do a lot about me.

What to do? I can’t make doors open for me. I truly believe it is God that will do this for me and is already doing that for me. (I will be preaching in Oakdale CA in May, Oklahoma in May and also Kenya in August/September.) I will not wait, sitting around, looking for someone to affirm in me what God has already affirmed and called forth. It is a good place to be because my deep trust is in the Lord alone to take me where only He can take me. My eyes are focused on Him alone.

Today, I hit the wall when I saw this conference with no women. It is not the first conference that I have seen like that and I am sure it won’t be the last but something in me just exploded at the sight of it. I was volcanic in a good way. My own husband affirmed me as the lava flowed.

Coming to terms with the impossible? Look to God and Him alone. Move out, in confidence and assurance of Holy Spirit in me. Enough is enough. No qualifications, no justifications, no affirmations, no networking in the flesh trying to change things that will not change. Move out going where God says to go and do what God says to do with grace in humility. That’s the key isn’t it?

DebraIn Christ,

Debra……………………….

I will be sending this out immediately and again on Monday. Just to let you know. Just something I have to do.

Coming To Terms With The Impossible

We hear it, declare it, and believe it. Sometimes we doubt it, or react against it in anger when things simply don’t go the way we want. Nevertheless, it is clear in Scripture.

But He said, “ The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
(Luke 18:27 NKJVS)

Today, I sat on the couch, upset by something I read on Facebook. All I could do was close my eyes for the umpteenth time in years and shake my head. I said to the Lord, “Lord, this is impossible unless you change this situation. It is impossible for women to lead in the Body of Christ in any capacity unless You make a way. Men don’t see it, won’t see it.” You may think this is a generalization, but it is not. It is truth. And, the sad fact is that so many women also put other women down in this regard, spouting off that women need male covering or any number of religious platitudes. So, as a woman in leadership, you can get this from both sides. Today is my day simply to be me and to express my heart.

With Brave Wings, She FliesUnless God changes this situation , (and I believe He is) the condition of women in the Body of Christ will only be seen on the peripherals. Yes, I know there are women leaders in the Body of Christ but they are few and far between. It is impossible to move out as a women apart from God Himself making the way. Please don’t get so spiritual on me that I hear “But God always has to make a way.” Yes, He does but He also uses people in the process. We are in this together but upon closer inspection, looking at the round of conferences, churches, meetings, etc. one could only see that the vast majority are men in positions of leadership. This is simply wrong and is not the heart of God. Let me say again, with all the kindness and grace I can possibly pull together. Women are in every sense equal in the Kingdom of God, able to hold any leadership, walking alongside men in every capacity, leading men and women, serving in any way God has called them to serve.

Will this every change? In and of itself?  No, not if women still believe they are little girls, always waiting for affirmation, covering, and someone to give them the go-ahead. That is not necessary and in no way am I justifying rebellion or independence, trying to push your way ahead or making a way for yourself. This is a multifaceted problem existing in Christianity on many levels and I am but one voice. Something deep is changing in me.

Today, I closed my eyes and just sat on the couch, trying to ignore it and be the better for it but inside I always get angry. I am so tired of feeling restricted and held back by man when God says I can BE in Christ and do anything He calls me to do. I am a strong women and feel this way. How do women feel that perhaps aren’t strong but have been beaten down years after year, being put in a place that is less then their God affirmed destiny.

I know I know. God is in control and he makes a way where there is no way and we should rest in his timing and his ways and nothing is impossible with God. I Know all the right things to say and how to appear graceful when I say it to avoid being called angry or some such things.

But today, I am tired. Christian platitudes won’t solve this problem. Neither will anger. But neither will staying silent on it either as if it is a point that has been rehashed so many times, it does not gain attention. Women are not second-class citizens in the Kingdom.

I got angry this morning. Now, please hear me. I am no longer an angry person flying off the handle. I am passionate about what I believe. And it is good to get angry but not to run with it causing damage to yourself or others. Big difference.

My own personal experience – I have been passed over for years, rejected and tossed aside because I don’t fit the mold. (Now to be honest, I was an angry women for some years ago but that is healed and I have made amends with people and asked forgiveness of them and of God.) So what is this rising up in me? It is an anger that is just grieved at being 60 years old and still seeing this same stuff in the Body of Christ.

God will make a way for the sake of unity and freedom in His body. I believe He longs for this reality of equality to be revealed in us and through us, our hearts totally transformed that in Christ there is no male or female……

Though she be littleWhat equally disturbs me is that women are not even considered as if they did not even come to mind as being qualified or able. Once I asked a leader why there were not more women to be considered for conference positions or church positions and instead of responding to me in grace, his answer was so condescending with a clear purpose to avoid answering the question. Then my husband asked and he acted the same way toward him, perhaps feeling sorry for the poor guy that has to live with me. (Sigh!)

Yes there are token women out there leading in the Body of Christ, and more added daily but it is a wearying fight in many ways and they are few and far between, at least for now. 🙂

God we need your help. Our hearts need to be transformed and changed. The Body of Christ is functioning at half its capability without women.

How does this affect me? I simply can’t make things happen in my life. I never really thought I could but perhaps there is a small seed in me that says, Be nice, be graceful, be a good girl. Don’t rock the boat. And this blog is talking to me more than you. I can’t do anything to help you to see or believe this but I know I can do a lot about me.

What to do? I can’t make doors open for me. I truly believe it is God that will do this for me and is already doing that for me. (I will be preaching in Oakdale CA in May, Oklahoma in May and also Kenya in August/September.) I will not wait, sitting around, looking for someone to affirm in me what God has already affirmed and called forth. It is a good place to be because my deep trust is in the Lord alone to take me where only He can take me. My eyes are focused on Him alone.

Today, I hit the wall when I saw this conference with no women. It is not the first conference that I have seen like that and I am sure it won’t be the last but something in me just exploded at the sight of it. I was volcanic in a good way. My own husband affirmed me as the lava flowed.

Coming to terms with the impossible? Look to God and Him alone. Move out, in confidence and assurance of Holy Spirit in me. Enough is enough. No qualifications, no justifications, no affirmations, no networking in the flesh trying to change things that will not change. Move out going where God says to go and do what God says to do with grace in humility. That’s the key isn’t it?

DebraIn Christ,

Debra……………………….

I will be sending this out immediately and again on Monday. Just to let you know. Just something I have to do.

Creative Expression – For The Ladies (and Men) In The House

Below are some great quotes from Danny Silk. He wrote an awesome book, Powerful and Free, on the equality of women in the church. Even though I would like to say that we should no longer even have to deal with this, the reality is that we are dealing with this. So, I choose to keep on walking in my equality and freedom in Christ not letting anything hold me back. May these quotes serve as a source of encouragement for each of you, both men and women.

When Eve was taken from Adam’s side, she was formed as a suitable partner, she was given the same authority and mission as her husband. She was not diminished or limited by her relationship to Adam. She was fully empowered in their relationship

By valuing male characteristics more than female ones, we have created an environment where it is very difficult for a woman to be successful and influential without suppressing her femininity. When women have to become like men in order to be trusted and empowered, it is a lose -lose scenario. Men miss out on the dimensions of God conveyed by femininity, and women are not fulfilled because they’re trying to be something they’re not.

Women actually had greater perception regarding who Jesus was, and they acted on their perception while the men reacted to the situation in fear. Then men took off running, but the women kept following Jesus and stayed with Him even as He was crucified.

After Jesus died and was buried, the women continued following Him. Could it be, that women rather than men, were the ones to discover the empty tomb because of their spiritual intuition? Why else would they be drawn to visit and linger in such a dangerous place while the disciples were hiding in fear in their homes?

God told us that He created both men and women to bear His image, meaning that if we only allow men to have the influence in our churches, we are only valuing half of who God is and what He has place in humanity.

Equality is expressed through partnership. Women love the Church and want to be apart of it. They do not want to be regulated to a SIDE group. They need and want to run as equals with men.

Because God chose a woman to bring the Redeemer into the world, the devil declared war on woman. At a spiritual level, this is why we have a history for of underdeveloped and abused women. God deposited the solution to humanity’s hopelessness, the champion who would finally vanquish the deceiver and end his war, within a woman… without a man’s involvement.

“Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak”…….. In this passage of scripture Paul is not affirming a universal “SHUT UP” to all women in the church. In fact, in the same letter to the Corinthians, Paul referred positively to women praying and prophesying in church meetings, which definitely included speaking. Paul was addressing the disorder of CERTAIN women who are constantly speaking out and distracting the service and presentation of the Gospel. Paul was not dealing with the fact that they were speaking, but that they were keeping unbelievers who might attend the meetings from hearing a clear message.

It was only appropriate that Jesus commissioned Mary, a former demon possessed, outcast woman, as His first apostle to announce that patriarchy had received it’s deathblow and the new Kingdom of freedom, love, and restoration had been established.

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

DebraRivers of Eden Ministry is called to prophetically minister into the nations, challenging people to a life of creativity in Christ. We (Marvin and I) travel into gatherings, home groups or churches as led by Holy Spirit. in your gathering, home group, conference or church in 2014. We look forward to hearing from you if you sense that Rivers of Eden is called to minister in your area. Contact us on Rivers of Eden Facebook, Facebook or Twitter.

Creative Expression – Invisible No More!

KiteI really enjoyed writing my last post on Invisible Women. Don’t you know that when we write with authenticity, we write from the depths of our heart, without pretense. Without trying to be anyone other than ourselves, we write with clarity and hope.

I can try to force myself into situations to be seen, and yet, still not be seen. I can talk and talk and talk and yet still not be heard. The problem is not ‘out there’ but ‘in here’. In me lies the problem and the solution. That is very good indeed. When I always put myself at the mercy of people’s opinions who are ‘out there’, I lose my focus and can get bogged down in the muck and mire of life, losing my way. I am then subject to a permeating lie.

This lie spoke to me consistently in times past. It said that people will hinder my destiny in Christ through their opinions about me. It said that others, by their actions, can prevent me from walking in the fullness of my identity. This lie consistently reminded me that I  lived in the now, constantly carrying baggage from my past, hindering me from walking in the fullness that awaited me in the future. What a lie! I came out from under that lie and I can breathe again.

I faded into nothingness over these past few years. I fought to be seen. Perhaps people saw my own deep insecurities and hopelessness and perhaps they did not. I saw it. I knew it. But, I was fearful of missing out, being disqualified in Christ. What a horrible feeling it was.

How often I would cry out to God that it would be better to strip me of any call, or destiny or purpose in Christ than to walk in the reality of always waiting or losing hope. It got that bad and the pain was deep. But, I don’t feel that way today. Supernaturally touched by God healed a season of deep disillusionment and fear. When God touches a heart, He can heal in a moment what one would think would take years of therapy.

My life is built in rest, moving in rest and trusting in Christ. How often I preached it but deep inside I did not always see it or believe it. Hope deferred in my life hindered my faith. I simply did not hope so I could not see my future. I saw only the grim reality of my present which seemed like I was going nowhere. When God healed, He touched my life. What does that mean? Well, I guess you can put it this way. Once I was blind, and now I see.

What do I see? Jesus Christ. When I gaze upon His beauty, I reflect and walk in His glory. I am renewed and refreshed again.

This is the year of the release of women. How? There will be many different ways as there are many different types of women. It is best to hold onto its reality as truth and walk where the reality of equality in the Body of Christ is not only talked but walked out in the reality of Christianity. That is why Marvin and I will not go to churches that do not believe in the equality of women. I tried that. I tried to change it. Now, I just go where I cam celebrated and not tolerated. I don’t look back. I am not angry. It opens up a wide field of possibility for my life. How about you?

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

DebraPlease pray and consider having Rivers of Eden minister in your gathering, home group, conference or church in 2014. This is our year of release wherever and whenever God opens His doors bringing His grace and His glory through us to those to whom we are called in this season. You can contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

Some Great Posts To Read

It’s Been A Long Time Coming!

Formed By Shame, Free in Christ

Breaking It All Down