Sit Down, Take a Seat – Right in the Midst of the Battle

NowTo live in a realm where everything is possible in God, we will confront an opposing realm where people, even those close to us, will tell us that everything we believe is simply impossible to achieve

We’ve all heard them.

You can’t do this.

You will never be able to do this – you’ll never have enough money. You’re not qualified. There are too many people out there better and more connected than you.

Why even bother? Just reach low and if you miss it, then you are not disappointed.

This morning, I felt a surge of something rise up within me. It started in the core of my being. In the spiritual realm, I felt like a warrior dressed for battle, unmovable and unshakeable.

I felt resolute, steadfast, unwavering. Strong. It is all that but, it’s more than that. What to call this?

I call it faith. Faith to enter into all the possibilities that are promised me in Christ while taking a stand against what people say, the world says, or what my circumstances dictate to me on a daily basis.

To enter into God’s possibilities, we must stand strong in the promises of God, believing, despite opposition assaulting us from all sides.

JourneyWe rise above a natural reality and live in the Spirit, which in and of itself confounds the ways of the world. The Holy Spirit directs us into the possibilities of God, which defy man’s wisdom and logic.

God seats us in heavenly places in Christ and that is our reality to be walked out in the earth, right now.

Breakthrough is ours in Christ but we fight doubt, unbelief, condemnation, and worry to believe it and receive it. This is an unending battle. It’s called life. The battle will never end so what to do?

Here’s what God says about living life in the battle, not waiting for the right time or the right circumstances.

Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure. You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. Psalms 23:4-5

He sets a table for us RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of our enemies and says, “Sit down and eat. Let’s dream together. Nothing is impossible with me. Sit down and focus. Focus on me. Follow Me.”

Breakthrough to enter into His possibilities? What is it? What does it mean? I am not quite sure what it means for you but for me it means crossing into promises He gave to me which fear tried to abort on a daily basis. It means restoration and reconciliation in some relationships, destroyed and beyond repair. It means open doors to travel into nations with a sure word to deliver that brings healing and deliverance into people’s lives, changing and shaking atmospheres within the sound of my voice. It’s time to move out in the Spirit, confident in His strength, resting in His grace.

What do you believe for that goes beyond any ability you have in you to obtain it?

What dream do you see yourself living out in real-time?

Do you believe, really believe that God can override all the negativity, all the pain in your life and all the dead ends and locked doors to break you out into that sweet place of destiny that your heart has longed for all these years?

Only believe and if you can’t believe, ask Him to strengthen your unbelief. Never give up.

Debra

 

Living with Passion and Purpose In Christ.
Debra Westbrook

 

 

Please share this with those struggling to enter into their breakthrough to given them hope and tenacity to stand strong in Christ.

I’d love  to speak at your gathering, conference or home group, please send me a message on the contact page or email me at westbrook.debra@gmail.com Please visit Rivers of Eden Ministry page to find out something About Us.

Be Intentional – Be Creative

Be IntentionalThere’s a great Twitter chat on Sunday nights at 6pm (PST) – #beintentional. When I can, I tweet along and gain great insights from others in the chat. It’s led by @natejturner and it changes from week to week, always focused on some aspect of being intentional in our lives. There are 9 questions and people respond to each question with #beintentional in the tweet.

This past Sunday the subject was about being intentional about being creative. I love everything about creativity so I am going to keep flowing in that vein this week – revelation that is coming to me by Holy Spirit, insights gained and actions walked out in faith.

Here are some great quotes from Sunday night:

Creativity is a spark in the darkness. @bhsteeler

Creativity is the expression of Christ in you, through you – unique, creative. @westbrookdebra1

Creativity is the crossroads of talents and imagination. @ncbluegrass

Creativity fuels innovation for products, structure and culture in everyday life. @natejturner

Creativity isn’t some magical/mystical process, rather creativity is 90% effort and 10% waiting for the right connection. @natejturner

It is all about risk. Or willing to get uncomfortable. Some play it safe and stumble in to greatness. Others create it. @bentaylor

Creativity inspires us to take risks, try new things; helps us manage resources better; builds connection. @DeannaFoong

Creativity is only recognized by attempting creativity. It’s developed, strengthened, and recognized only by practice. @blake_odgers

Creativity is ContatgiousCreatives – those who dare to dream and are passionate to change. @hope4shame

Creatives are learners so be constantly curious. @natejturner

You must purpose to look at or respond to a thing outside of what is considered the norm. @ncbluegrass

Creativity is only recognized by attempting creativity. It’s developed, strengthened and recognized only by practice. @blake_odgers

Creativity should not be restricted to certain tasks. If you choose to be creative, it turns into a lifestyle. @JohannavanEeden

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

Deep Canyons, Distant Dreams – There’s Got To Be A Way To The Other Side

DreamsHere I am, standing on the edge of a great canyon. Looking down all I can see is how deep the bottom seems to be. Looking up, the distance between me and the other side seems enormous. It’s over there, yet it is unattainable to me, even after all this time.

My ideas, dreams, revelation – there they are, on the other side. My declarations, what I believe – I spoke them forth, but they manifested in the distance, a bit of an illusion.  Do I really believe them? All these declarations build up on the other side, far away from me. I interact with them in my heart; words come out of my mouth, yet I can’t seem to actually flow in their reality now.

I know what God has placed inside of me. I dream with Him each day, yet it never seems to manifest in the now, right now. My life’s design, that place of flow in my being, always appears elusive and distant, like I am fighting to get to a place that I already know I am at. How do I cross this great divide?

Echoes rise up from the canyon. These echoes are the sounds from the deep – accusations that remind me of the futility of even believing I can cross over. Accusations, over and over of what was and what is keep me from what can be on the other side.

Standing there, I am continually reminded what was – wasted time, fears, failures, regrets – all the necessary stuff that keeps me grounded in the past while standing in the present on the edge of this canyon of impossibility.

This is not just a story for me. During a time of worship and prayer yesterday, I received this as a vision. Throughout the day, I continually kept asking myself, “How do I get across to the other side?” Instead of bringing a sense of peace, this vision frustrated me.

I picked up ‘The Artisan Soul’ by Erwin McManus to continue reading where I left off, not knowing that I would receive revelation about my vision. Have you ever been reading and the words leap off the page into your soul? Then, they expand into a knowing, a deep knowing that changes your life in a moment. God brings the light of truth into the situation. He coordinated all these points of process for me – the vision, the book, the words. He combined them in creative ways to reveal Himself to me, right in the middle of my frustration and my relationship with Him is strengthened. I know that He loves me and deeply cares about my life. These words opened up a door of revelation for me.

The Artisan Soul

“Scripture is permeated with the intention of God. Humanity is God’s culminating act of creativity, designed with the highest intention to reflect most personally the likeness of God. Intention precedes creation and essence informs intention.”

This is just a small quote from a glorious book. God loves details. Look at Scripture – the creation story, the building of the tabernacle, etc. etc. God is intentional before He creates and He creates for love of His creation (that being us) and for relationship with His creation (that being us). His intention forms His creation. What is in His heart and in His mind is formed and created through His intentional act of love for us.

All day I kept thinking of these words, “Intention precedes creation.” Standing on the edge of the canyon kept me in close proximity to the echoes of my past –its fears and failures. I am called to be creative yet I am not intentional in actually believing His creative design for my life, more often considering myself a fraud because of past mistakes. I am fearful of being intentional, of actually walking by faith into what I know to be true deep inside myself. Without intention, all this creativity just lays dormant inside of me, bound up in fears, wrapped in regret. This places me on the edge of the canyon. Intention requires risk, bravery and courage on my part. Intention requires BEING me. Intention requires focus and faith.

HeartFor the creative to flow in and through me, I must be intentional in that which I want to create in sync with God, Christ in me. All that flows under the surface, in the corners of my heart, in the depths of my soul, within my dreams and ideas right now deep inside me, must come forth with intention, trusting in God. Intention brings it out of me, amidst all the fear and trepidation. Intention is to trust God, trust Christ in me.

Intention = design, meaning, forethought, an aim or plan.

I quickly realized that despite everything, inside, deep inside, I am not intentional because I don’t truly believe God will flow through me and fulfill His design in me. That is why God gave me the vision. He wants me to start being intentional about why I am in time for such a time as this. Intention precedes creativity flowing through my life. He knows me.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you….

God intentionally breathed life in me through Christ, creating me as His masterpiece. I, in turn, am to be intentional in creating life as I live, move, and have my being in him.

My words for 2015: Be intentional.

This blog for 2015 is on ongoing journey, one step at a time, one day at a time. Be intentional – that forms my bridge to the other side. At some point, one has to start living in faith, not fear.

This is a great quote:

“The past will be our future until we have the courage to create a new one. To make our lives a creative act is to marry ourselves to risk and failure.”

In 2015, each blog post is a journey. I won’t reach a resolution in each blog or give anyone a 10-step program to freedom or even how to be creative. I journey with words, ideas, dreams, pictures, and revelation into a new place. Enjoy the journey with me!

What’s keeping you from living and moving in what God has formed in you before you were even born? How can you move across your own great divide?

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

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

Less Is More

Focusing on what enriches my life also means deleting what is nonessential for me or wastes my time. All the possible clicks, links, images, likes, and favorites leave me stressed and distracted, thinking I am missing something by letting them just scroll away. Without an internal censor, I get lost in information oblivion. This pulls me down into the mundane and I lose my creative edge.

Creativity is Subtraction

  (Image via Flickr Creative Commons)

According to Austin Kleon, the author of Steal Like An Artist, “Creativity is Subtraction.”

His quote: “In this age of information abundance and overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s really important to them. Nothing is more paralyzing that the idea of limitless possibilities. The idea that you can do anything is absolutely terrifying.”

A great verse comes to mind:

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious––the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies (Philippians 4:8-9 Message)

The source of my creativity is Jesus Christ who made all things. All things hold together in Him. There is an endless flow of revelation available to me as I am seated with Christ in heavenly places. Revelation downloaded into my life is the creative spark that activates my faith to do, go, write, sing, paint, move, and live in Christ. It’s a matter of flowing in sync with Him for MY life, not anyone else’s. For me, creativity is about subtraction so that my focus on Christ is simple and clear. Get rid of what appears good to find what is excellent for my life. It differs for all of us.

In the creativity of Christ flowing through me, I engage in life wherever I go for He is in me. I open myself up to see Him, hear Him, and watch Him move in unique ways. Christian books, movies, and music – I love some of it but I often find much of it lacks true creative innovation. In a creative world, staying focused just on what is labeled ‘Christian’ is not enough. It never has been but religion tried to get me to think it was. The sacred can be found right in the midst of the secular when my eyes are open to see God move in the way that He wants to move. Don’t misunderstand me. I love the word of God, worship, prayer but those entire things can and do become very mundane unless energized in Holy Spirit.

Austin Kleon also says, “Keep all your passions in your life.” I failed at this one. When salvation in Christ became my life, I was studying fashion design. Colors, fabrics, designing, sketching – I was right in the midst of it all on a daily basis. I finished the program but when I finished I started to believe this passion for design and creativity was not holy enough, not sacred enough. So I walked away. I sold everything and set up my design room as an office. I then told everyone that God told me to do this so that I could now follow His path for my life. This sounded so spiritual. After all, at that time in the church, design was fleshy and worldly. I left my passion for religion. I didn’t have to separate myself. I only had to allow Him to flow through me in whatever He called me to do for Him. Jesus did not tell me to stop this creative flow. Religion put pressure on me with laws of constraint instead of freedom in grace. The creative spark in me died that day but God is restoring all those lost years and redeeming the time, NOW.

Creativity is ContatgiousMay we spiritually wake up to the revelation that Christ in us is the spark of creative genius that should flow through His body worldwide. Creativity is not something to be ignored as if it takes a second place to more worthy theological pursuits. Creativity flowing through Christ in His children and all then, the world sees the beauty of Jesus in and through our lives.

Be brave. Be courageous in Christ. Be creative.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

Rivers of Eden Ministry would love to speak at your next conference, home group of gathering. Contact me on our Contact Page. Get to know me on Twitter, and by going to Our Timeline of Life.

Creative Expression – Be Intentional, Nothing Less!

Be IntentionalHoly Spirit leads and guides my life, He is intentional in every way. Jesus was intentional in His walk while on earth, listening to the Father in heaven, only doing what the Father was doing. So, you may figure out that the word I am going to focus on is Intentional. Be intentional.

Over the past few weeks, I have seen this word before me in books, articles, on TV commercials and probably a few other places that I don’t remember. Since I am an outrageous visual learner, when Holy Spirit wants to grab my attention, He lights up words, ideas, or pictures and eventually, my eyes take notice, my ears start to listen, and I choose to sit still in a relaxed mode of attention to hear what the Spirit of God wants to say to me.

Intentional: done on purpose, deliberate, knowing, willful, purposeful, conscious intended, meant, planned

Holy Spirit is intentional in His guidance for our lives. To flow creatively does not mean being without plan or purpose. I choose to be creative, to think creatively, and to move creatively. In doing that with a conscious decision, I walk in His way. How did this all get started? (By the way, I am very very excited about this path of creativity more than at any other time. Before me lies an adventure I have been craving for a long time.) Now how did this get started?

Well, books are my passion. While reading Creative Confidence by Tom & David Kelley, these words below lit up in front of me. A light bulb was turned on that began to flash as if saying, “Look at this! Do you see? Stop! Look!” Like I said, I had already been seeing the word ‘intentional’ over the past few weeks. So I took notice with wholehearted attention at this paragraph.

Quote - Intentional

My path for 2014 is focused on being intentional, not living a life that constantly reverts to the safety of ‘default mode’. My life is formed on creativity and perhaps I am starting a bit later than many of you, but I am going for it with a fully focused heart and mind…in Christ. God, Jesus  Christ, Holy Spirit created in me, is creating in me and will create in me and through my life, an intentional glorious life. I will be intentional in 2014 in setting my feet on His path, going His way, and not looking back. Creator God is the ultimate designer. He designed my life to flow in His way.

This is firm in me. Why? Because for too long, I have been charismatically inclined to relate everything to the Spirit as just waiting on God, looking for God, standing for God. Sometimes that thinking is a bunch of crap, to be quite honest with you. I said sometimes. And now  it is a now time for me. Now, God is saying to move in the reality of what is and what will be by following His Spirit INTENTIONALLY.

So, this morning I sat on my couch, praying, worshiping, and writing what I hope to accomplish in 2014. As Christians we look to the Holy Spirit for direction, a path that leads us in the person of Christ, the way, the truth and the life. I don’t want dead ends anymore that lead me to places out-of-the-way of the passion and desires that God places within my being. He works His desires through my life AND gives me a broad place in which to walk it out. What do I mean by that?

Do Something AmazingGod is intentional about our lives by imparting His passions into us that form who we are deep inside. To find that place of knowing, of knowing Him, allows us to find out our creative spark, our bent, and our purpose in life. That shifts, changes and evolves in time so we move with Him. Yet it is all foundationally grounded in Christ and His intentions for our lives. Up until this point, I have flowed one way and it has been awesome. But now…(I love that word now)…………now I am shifting into a path that has been built upon every glorious experience that I encountered over the years. It’s all intentional, whether I understand it, figure it out, or know all the why’s and how come’s and what if’s. My life is intentional simply because He knows me, forms me, and is in me. That is so good, so very good.

Mentoring in creativity………that’s all I know about this first step. Moving in creativity in writing, photography and a few other things. (Here’s a great blog from the past – A River of Life.) So I pray these blogs challenge you to come out, rise up, move out and BE. That’s enough. Just don’t stand still anymore. It’s time. My creative confidence is building because I am acknowledging that I don’t want to fall back into a rut, or a default mode of doing things the same old way so by that very admission of truth, I will see doors open before me. I will walk through them. That is my choice. I have so much to write about creativity so keep walking with me. Thanks for your patience on this wandering journey.

Let me ask you this. What will you be intentional about in 2014 so that at the end of the year, you can look back and see something real and tangible that has formed in your life, adding richness, depth, meaning and so much more? How about just one thing?

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