Transition Into 2016 – Holy Spirit Journey To Texas

12314019_1072377059469111_6846878766577459281_nLots of prophetic thoughts rise up in me as I journey into 2016. There will be plenty of blog posts focused on that after the holidays.

But right now, it’s all about settling into Texas. Let me take you on our Holy Spirit journey in how we are walking in sync with the Lord, each and every day during this move. It will be great transitional writing for me leading into the next series of blog posts after the holidays.

Lots of ups and downs in this move,   leading me to trust and obey God with each step. Not seeing the whole picture leaves me frazzled at times but I keep going (along with Marvin).Frustration can set in at the little things – looking at 10 houses and never feeling like this was the ‘one’ for us. Endless hours of driving between El Paso and San Antonio birthed a new level of patience in me. 

I love Holy Spirit adventure, journeying into the heart of God, trusting Him to lead the way into a Christianity that is dynamic and alive, and yes, a bit scary at times.

Downsizing, leaving things behind – either I am going to walk by faith or live in fear. What kind of life is that? Travel and change is my norm. At least, that is what I keep professing isn’t it?

Truth – Left to myself, I probably would not have moved back to Texas. I truly love California. But, when God said to go, we obeyed. Yet, there is more to the initial act of obedience.

God spoke and told me to “Bless Texas.” And so that is what I have been doing – as I am walking country roads in Beaumont close to my mother-in-laws home, driving up to Dallas through, etc. I bless Texas.

And……when we do that…….God places a love in our hearts for that very place into which He calls us for a season – to see its beauty, to encounter its people, and to look with creative eyes to see your purpose here for such a time as this.

Lord, I pray that Texas is our small open door, opening wide, into the nations…only You can do this Lord, in your way, in your divine timing.

Debra

In Christ

Debra

Rivers of Eden Ministry

About Me

Sounds Within Sounds – Speaking Truth, Bringing Healing and Confronting Contradictions Part 2

Stephen had a clear, distinct sound come forth as he gazed upon Jesus Christ in glory. He spoke and His sound exalted the reality of a risen Savior. This sound was antagonistic to a religious Pharisaical mindset. They gnashed their teeth with furious frustration while stopping their ears, unable to listen to the sound of heaven.

Visual representation of a soundwaveWhen they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. Acts 7:54-58 NKJV

Stephen spoke truth, confronting contradictions with every word.

“You stiff- necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it (Acts 7:51-53 NKJV)

Then he lifted his eyes and saw the Lord. That enraged the religious system and contradicted their sound. The religious system in this time lived in an atmosphere that refused to truly SEE or to truly HEAR. These words came forth as light in the darkness. The darkness could not comprehend it and was enraged by it so it caused them to react by stopping their ears. They did not want to hear. They refused to hear.

AwakeThe sound of heaven empowered Stephen’s words. Stephen’s eyes focused on the revealed glory of God. He could not deny the preeminence of Christ. He could not do anything other than speak the sound of heaven itself. Every fear paled in light of God’s glory. Fear simply faded in the presence of love. He could not do anything but speak. And, in the face of imminent death, He focused on Jesus.

Let me bring this into today, into my own life, perhaps with a spiritual application. When speaking forth the marvelous freedom of grace in Christ, I confront the contradiction that exists within a religious sound. What does this sound do? Even today? It gnashes its teeth trying to defend its doctrinal position with accusatory words on social media. Then it gets worse. When the sound can’t be handled, it closes its ears and rushes forward to basically try to stop you and kill your voice through slander and opposition on all sides. Its goal is to kill or keep us silent. Yet, how can we not bring forth a sound that flows in the glory of Christ? In continually exploring, studying and praying through this grace message, I can only say, “Yes.”

As I continue to spend time in the Lord, studying Scripture, worship, and praying in the Spirit, I am not being tossed around by wave after wave of constant Christian noise. I don’t lose my focus on Christ in me. I discern the sound of love, grace, freedom, mercy, abundant life in Christ and so much more in everything I listen to in this time. Let us discern the sound of today. Listen carefully to hear whether it is bringing you life in the Spirit of death.

As I encountered a grace awakening over these past few years, after a long time being in the mix of everything charismatic, prophetic, experiential, I began to turn to solid teaching that would enhance my life in Christ in truth, in grace, in Good News, in life, in New Covenant. It was a new sound at first and I was a bit apprehensive as religion, even in the form of the charismatic or prophetic stuff, tried to stifle me and pull me back in various ways. I kept thinking, kept searching, and kept finding Jesus around every turn, in portions of Scripture that opened my eyes to see something fresh and new.

Is Jesus really that good? Yes.

What was I thinking all these years – performing for Him, trying to get His attention, trying to add on things to my salvation in order to grow in Christ?

Grace is solid, real, sure and true but let me say that it will confront contradictions within first and foremost with the purpose of revealing Jesus Christ in and through you. Along the way I read some great books and learned from some great people that you may be interested in at this time.

Paul Ellis blog – Escape to Reality

Paul Ellis – The Gospel in Ten Words

Bertie Brits – Dynamic Love Ministries

Andrew Farley – The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never Hear in Church

Andrew Farley – God Without Religion: Can It Really Be This Simple?

Debra 2In Christ,
Debra

I would love to speak at your conference, gathering, church or home group. Contact me here, on Facebook or on Twitter. Enjoy reading about Rivers of Eden and the Timeline of our Life!

Fears Thrives in a Realm of Distraction

Fear is a liarFear thrives in a realm of distraction. Looking every which way, I can focus on all the peripheral stuff in my life, which then only enhances the debilitating effects of fear. Fear is like a cancer that creeps up on us, relentless and invasive. As it tries to set up its throne, it seeks to ultimately destroy my life and yours. That is its purpose. It is evil and only seeks to kill and destroy.

Jesus says it like this: ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 NKJVS)

Peter says it like this: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NKJVS)

Simply ignoring this truth won’t make it go away for the enemy is relentless in his pursuit of getting our eyes off of Jesus Christ. Fear is one tactic enemy uses to try to destroy our life and peace in Christ.

While I don’t continually focus on spiritual warfare, preferring to keep my focus on Christ, I do accept this reality of it in my life. Fear is a liar. And, it does not give up that easily. Look around. How many do you and I see each day bound by fear? It is a killer of life. Anxiety, worry, depression – they are all the overflow of fear in so many lives all around us.

Benicia CrossRather then giving a quick shallow cliché or even attempt to provide an easy solution, I want to say to each of us today: “Focus on Jesus Christ.” I turn my eyes away from anything that easily distracts me. This is life, ongoing for me. I pull my focus back to Christ continually throughout my day and in my life.

I would like to say that the world will get better and we can anticipate a utopian paradise rising up soon. The world will live in peace and harmony, joining hands and singing Kumbaya. Nations will coexist peacefully alongside other nations. Wars, both internally and externally, will cease to exist because of the nobility and honor of people all across the globe. That won’t happen.

In transparency and honesty, I can only say “Focus.” There is way more chaos, confusion, and destruction coming our way. As a Christian, I am called to live in the world but not be of the world. I am affected in situations because I am human but I am not entangled in this life with overwhelming fear, anxiety and depression.

Fear must be faced head on so that it does not gain any hold in our lives. Running from it or denying it will not stop its invasive demands on our lives. To confront the enemy one must call out the enemy and then face the enemy. Strength and courage must rise up within us to know our lives are hidden in Christ.

My life is Christ. Whether I live or die is not the problem, I have already died and my life is hidden in Christ, now. Now I choose to live in Christ.

Fear kills – creativity, life, adventure, journey, process and more. I want to focus on some foundational realities in the coming days here on this blog. And it all starts now by acknowledging that the enemy will resist us on every turn as we try to live our lives in Christ. Here are some verses that are coming your way in future blog posts. The river is flowing. Enjoy the journey as I flow in this direction. True creativity in Christ arises within us as we set our minds on Christ, knowing our life is hid in Him. As chaos and confusion, disease, destruction or whatever else surrounds us on all sides, our life is hid in Christ Jesus. This is reality.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20 NKJVS)

Then He said to them all, “ If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. (Luke 9:23-24 NKJVS)

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things, which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 NKJVS)

Debra 2In Christ,
Debra

I would love to speak at your conference, gathering, church or home group. Contact me here, on Facebook or on Twitter. Enjoy reading about Rivers of Eden and the Timeline of our life!