Biblical Imagination – Michael Card (The last one slipped away on me!) Read on!

The last post slipped away by mistake before I even started. Read on!

“I would be cautious of using the word ‘imagination,’ for with an UNINFORMED IMAGINATION Jesus is merely a FIGMENT of our IMAGINATION.. But when the imagination is surrendered along with the heart and mind, it becomes a unifying bridge that opens the scriptures in a new and meaningful way.” Michael Card Biblical Imagination

I am getting my thoughts from Michael Card’s article on Biblical Imagination. My study time is taking me into a deep well or revelation. What prompted this journey? To some it may be an obscure subject, somewhat inferior to other forms of expression. NT Wright says it better than me:

“The arts, the imagination, our capacity to create beauty ourselves, is not simply incidental to what it means to be human. For generations now, many Christians have really believed, and acted on the belief, that the arts, the imagination, are the pretty bits around the edges, the kind of decorative border, whereas the middle, the main bit, whatever it is, is the kind of solid, stodgy, chunky bit in the middle which is Christian truth, dogma, belief, and ethics, and all that stuff, and then you can kind of go away and play sometimes around the edge if your lucky.” 

Tunnel_Of_LoveWithout freedom of expression in the lives of Christians, we might as well relinquish our passions to Hollywood or Madison Avenue to convey creativity. Wait, they already are doing this. Why? The church has either copied the form of the world or retreated so far back into a shell of ambiguity that we have lost the luster, the grace and the glory of Jesus Christ manifested in us and through us.

I was a frustrated creative who allowed this passion in me to be subjugated/crushed under people’s opinions, deep rejection and insecurity. Now….I am enjoying this journey, hoping to see creativity restored to Christians so that God’s glory will amaze and astound us in unique expression.

Michael Card’s article above is worth reading. Some great quotes moved me right into Holy Spirit revelation. As I am read, my notes do not always reflect what is being said but what I am hearing and what Holy Spirit is revealing to me.

The subject of imagination can be quite touchy. Many Christians would rather be entrenched in routine week by week as a spectator in a performance based church setting.  I know there is a better way but it will take brave leaders who are surrendered to the glory of God, without trying to legislate it or manipulate the flow of meetings. It will take creative leaders who raise up new expressions in a gathering besides just the usual: songs, preaching, maybe altar ministry.

ColorfulLooking at Scripture, I can see that imagination is generally presented in a negative sense. Yet, as I read the article, my eyes were opened to SEE that it is not the word imagination but actually the problem with the heart as most references in Scripture reference heart or imply heart when speaking about imagination.

“When we imagine, we are working with our hearts and minds to create images. Working in concert, they are connected by a bridge, which is imagination. Imagination seeks to re-integrate and reconnect the mind/heart from the Fall where they were fragmented.” Thoughts from Michael Card

Well there you have it. Imagination is excellent but as in all things, our focus is Jesus. We desire to bring Him glory. We follow the leading of Holy Spirit who seeks to glorify the Son. We engage with Scripture, alive and real, allowing its narrative and story to grasp our heart. This is done through study, prayer, meditation, and in worship. Images come, Thoughts form and the Word of God is alive.

So here is what I imagine. A group of people flowing in unity in Holy Spirit as the divine leader. One mind, one accord to being glory to the Son. Preaching flowing from interpreting the dance. Artists revealing process as they talk of dreams and revelation. Prophetic songs flowing from psalmist who open the heaven’s wide so that corporates we may ascend into His presence. Step by Step……..I love walking in this direction. Some of this will be flowing in Kenya on the next trip.

There is so much more to come as I am just starting out. More study on imagination. Then at some point, Holy Spirit directs me to study the Renaissance.

DebraIn 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!

Informed Imagination

In HimAn Informed Christian imagination (informed through Scripture) bridges the gap between our mind and heart. One does not rule the mind as superior to the heart. Both are needed in the wholeness of salvation. We look at the tension that exists – the reality of the darkness of the world alongside the beauty, truth, love and light that flows in the reality of the kingdom. We convey beauty through our imagination in art, visual media, writing, dreams visions.

We reconcile this tension by knowing that we are Kingdom people, children of God. We reconcile this tension by being in the world but not of the world. We manifest heaven on earth through the resurrection power of Christ in us……in creative expression. His glory advances, the darkness retreats. There rises a strong attraction to the light as many wonder or are amazed at God Himself flowing through us. Holy Spirit leads the way, directs and guides us into an expanding revelation of the KIng of Glory, Jesus Christ.

We declare truth in the person of Christ. We walk in beauty in His glory. Imagination is not inferior to any other Christian expression. In our imagination, joining our mind/heart we are liberated from the harsh reality of the world by beholding His beauty and His glory. We are not unaware that darkness encroaches but it is in the beauty of the Lord that we live, move and have our being.

Still processing, processing…………

DebraIn Christ, Debra

Creativity Declaration – A Creative Force

This word below is for Me and it is Me. Is it for you? May creativity and beauty be established in the Body of Christ.

Holy Spirit 1I am going to keep posting it on my Facebook page as often as necessary so that I keep reminding myself this is who I am, despite the dryness of these past years. So I will post and re-post as often as I feel the need to remind myself of this. This current blog post is for me and if you want to jump in this river, please do. I am not sure yet where it is going but I am in, all the way. Rivers of Eden.

I burst with creativity but the enemy has tried ever so hard to shoot me down and kill this in me. This creativity that is ready to explode in me that the enemy tells me daily that I am unqualified and unable on all fronts. There is so much to say about this but I believe and continue to believe that there are ‘creative forces’ ready to mentor creatives in Christ.

Ladder to skyThat is me. I know and feel I release this over people, over churches and over nations. So after years of wandering here and there, trying to hook into that ‘sweet spot’ in Jesus I am finding it. Also along the way, many have tried to deter me for whatever reason, even telling me that the creatives are irrelevant to the church. So here goes…………where? Not exactly sure except to say that it will begin in Kenya in April (our next trip.) It is a path that is somewhat here and there with the flow but it will be led by Holy Spirit to first build people up into their creative destiny and then set then loose.

Open DoorIt seems that in this blog, over time, I have said this before and then backed away due to increasing warfare and demonic attacks, to be quite honest with you. I can’t back up anymore for creativity flows through my veins. I am not content to see services run lackluster and boring when Holy Spirit leads and guides us in a beautiful heavenly artistic display of God’s glory and splendor. I am spending the next few days praying and fasting for one step in Holy Spirit’s direction. All I can say is this: Know your identity in Christ and then be led by Holy Spirit to flow in the direction He wants you to go. For too long, I have wavered. I know that. I see that. And if I don’t believe in myself, who else will?

A hesitation to proclaim who I am called to be has deterred me, distracted me and divided me. I hear you God. I am listening Jesus. Lead the way Holy Spirit.

Are You Called to Be a Creative Force?
Julie A. Smith

I heard the words this morning, “A Creative Force.” I saw in the spirit that some are called to lead creators and creativity. They are “marked” by God as a creative force to release creativity over people, groups, and nations… and nations who haven’t experienced the measure of creativity God destined for them.

I got the verses, “So God created…” and “God spoke…” and that’s the creative force some of these ones have been given from God to speak into hearts and atmospheres and release His creativity upon them.

New SoundI saw some even “overwhelmed” by the responsibility and said, “No God, I’m dreaming, I have an overactive imagination… it’s not me You’ve chosen to do this.” But He said, “Yes, it is.”

Some feel such a creative force inside of them that sometimes they feel like they are going to explode. And know this – that creative force isn’t just for you, it’s for the many who will receive this same creative force for themselves to create and to be creative.

As you “give yourself permission” to release this creative force inside of you, you give others that same permission.

You are “marked” by God to be a creative force. So… be the creative force you are called to be.

DebraIn 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!

The Cycle of Self-Pity

The Cycle of Self Pity (From God’s Now TIme by Chuck Pierce)

There is a lot of warfare in the atmosphere right now. Don’t fall into “self pity” this season!

Visual representation of a soundwaveProphecy unlocks our future. But once we get wounded or experience loss, we can lose sight of our future. The biggest demonic force that we have to contend with is self-pity. Self-pity draws attention to our loss and keeps us from seeing God’s glory manifested in our life. Instead of our loss directing us to God’s continued perfect plan for our life, our self rises up and causes us to say, “Pity me for what I have lost.” Any time we experience loss, trauma, wounding or injustice, we can either choose to live with a belief system that God can heal and forgive or we can allow our mind-set to form rejection, self-defense and self-pity.

During times of loss and wounding, we have a tendency to accuse God for the trauma that we are experiencing. The power of this accusation leads to a type of fatherlessness. Instead of experiencing the spirit of adoption, we feel abandoned and lost. From our self-defense, we actually form a rebellion to authority. We also become unteachable. We have a mind-set that says, “No one understands me or what I am going through.”

Heart MonitorWe also begin to think that there is no solution to our problem. We wake up thinking, There is no way out. We fall into apathy because we have no hope of healing or restoration. Since we know that we should be living a godly life, religious mechanisms become a solace to us. We may even gain a martyr complex and say, “O woe is me. This is my cross to bear. Look how heavy is my cross.” This type of thinking causes us to not fight when we need to fight. Instead of fighting and advancing, we become a slave to comfort and the status quo. We forget that we are called to fellowship with Christ’s sufferings—a type of fellowship that leads to His resurrection power manifesting in us.

Losing sight of the love of God causes us to turn to self. God’s love forces us to deal with these thoughts born of our self-pity. I have experienced enough freedom in my own life to know when I am not free. Faith works by love. Once we experience God’s liberty and love, we will be able to resist that call from self to be pitied and be able to overthrow hope deferred. Chuck Pierce

DebraIn 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!

I will be heading to Kenya soon, expecting a great and glorious journey in revelation in preaching and teaching God’s people along with some great experiences and growth in Christ.