Looking Out, Looking In – A Spiritual Vision Unfolds – My Journal

2770652191_67aeac9902_zStanding on the edge of a cliff, I look out over a beautiful panoramic view of a valley. I then look down at my feet, planted firmly in this spot.

Questions stir in me, shooting against the walls of my mind, each trying to one up the other in wanting me to make a decision…………apart from the Spirit of God. This internal conversation goes on and on and on.


There is tension brewing within me between what is out there and what is right here. My heart cries out for adventure, yet the practicality of life’s day-to-days keep me anchored to my own fears in real-time. In the place that I stand right now, comfort and convenience can often become my best friends. Life can be lived through a lens of being too careful and too confined. Thank you Holy Spirit that you keep opening my spirit to see my life through an eternal lens of what it is in Christ not what it is in the world.

Is there a clear direction coming soon? Is there an answer to these weighty questions that I have been carrying for so long? I hope so. I don’t want to stand here forever. I like a change of scenery. I want to move within that sweet spot called destiny, called purpose.

Change is GoodChange is good. Change is in my DNA, or at least that is what I keep telling myself, over and over and over.

Yet why is it that at times, I fight this overarching storyline of my life? Why is it that I won’t always accept my own joy in spontaneity, travel and change? The voice of regret likes to remind me about what this has cost me, the price paid over years of travel. Lost time. Lost memories. Lost friendships. Sigh……….wait a minute. If I buy into this, regret would have its way and tell me what my life should have been like…….like this, like that. And if regret had its way, I would never ben standing on the edge of this cliff.

Lost in my thoughts, I smile and look up again to see this beautiful expanse of valley. Something occurs to me. I can’t stand here forever and at some point I have to shorten the distance between here and there. How? Jumping. There’s no way back. The distance between here and there must first be reconciled in me before any new step of adventure is before me

“Define yourself,” an inner voice whispers.

I think for a brief moment before words start flowing out of my inner being.

Words Words WordsTravel
Coffee shops
Writing Dreaming Photo this Photo that Creativity Originality Movement Intentional Spontaneous Sound Music Worship Vision

I could go on and on and on but at this point I sense Jesus is smiling. I have been brought to the edge of this cliff for such a time as this. All these words are open-ended. They come alive within action and action involves faith and faith always involves risk and cutting against the grain of what is normal or acceptable. These words integrate my purpose and infuse my being.

So, why am I still standing here, frustrated at times? I am the one holding me back. True reconciliation must take place inside myself in order to move. I have to come to terms with who I am. Not the terms of what anyone says but who God says that I am, how He is forming my life.

I must look at me, the ‘me’ Jesus forms, Holy Spirit breathes into and Father God loves. I am my biggest obstacle to my own well being by allowing so many others to write the script of my life at times, while I passively look on and accept their terms.

What’s next? I don’t know. I’m still standing in this place, on the edge. Been here for a while but I perceive it won’t be for long. This place? It’s been about 4 years now. Preaching about the edge. Talking about faith. Out of the box journey and adventure yet…..I am still here on the edge. Why?

God is doing something so deep in me that it goes beyond anything I have ever been through up to this point in my Christian life. I can’t always define it. I don’t always know exactly what it is. I only know that at some point I will be asked to jump. I hope that what Scripture says is true. I know it is but again….faith in action? There’s always a few questions asked by even the most spiritual of us.

Soaring Eagle


But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. (Isaiah 40:31 Message)


This is all preparation time for me into the next phase of my life. One thing I do realize. We never arrive. We are always in journey. And there will be another time that I find myself at the edge of a cliff in preparation to jump once again.

For now, I wait, looking out, looking in. As these two perspectives are reconciled, I will jump into my next place of glory and faith. Christianity is exciting. Or at least I see it that way. Enjoy the journey!


In Christ,
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

Pick Your Battles Wisely! Get In The Fight!

explosion-14495926Life can be like a war zone at times with bombs going off around me. Shrapnel whizzes by and hits me right in the back. Words shot forth from long-range missiles travel through the air on a trajectory path straight from someone’s mouth to hit my heart, intending to wound or destroy.

Warfare is inevitable. I can’t deny it exists nor can I ignore the situations. I pick my battles wisely for they are coming my way whether I like it or now. If I am breathing, I will be involved in some kind of skirmish at some point.

I take the hits. I keep walking. Some battles try to slow me down or incapacitate me but I am a warrior by nature and a fighter at heart so I keep walking. Not much keeps me down.

I have been through a lot in my life. If you live over 50 years, and you live life in full measure, you experience warfare. If you are determined to walk in your authentic purpose, you will be the object of persecution at some point.

It’s like this. If you don’t want to be attacked, just hide out, never revealing who you are to anyone. Never take any risks. Always play the game by the set rules. And, never never, in this politically correct world, tell people what you really feel, think or believe. That will all assure you are safe and sound.

It will also assure you of a life lived in the shadows, blending into cultural conformity political correctness. Do you want that? Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you are afraid. There’s something great about being older. It’s not that I do care. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s just that I don’t have the time to be anyone else but me.

Today I am here to tell you that warfare is inevitable so pick your battles wisely. Reminds me of a story.

Enter David. (1 Samuel 17). Stuck in the fields, he receives his training in the wilderness of wide-open spaces, tending a bunch of sheep. He goes to deliver food to his brothers who are out on the battlefield, fighting the Philistine army

Enter Goliath, a hulk of a man, wearing 126 pounds of armor, ready to fight. Let the battle begin.

explosion-14495926David sees the situation quite clearly. No one is willing to stand up and fight. Being young and inexperienced (which does not depend on age), he looks around disgusted that these warriors are kowtowing to the giant. His response is classic.

For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God. (1 Samuel 17:26 NKJVS)

In other words, he’s saying to Goliath, “Who do you exactly think you are?”

And, in the same question, he aims at the heart of the Israelites and says, “Are you really telling me that you are going to take this lying down?”

Instead of being applauded for his bravado, his brothers try to slap him down but David answers again with this.

And David said, “ What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” 30 Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did. (1 Samuel 17:29-30 NKJVS)

Long story short – Saul hears what David is saying and gives him the go-ahead to fight the battle. At this point, I can only believe most of the men surely thought David was crazy, out of his mind so why bother? Let this guy go for it.

Saul tries to dress David up in his armor, but it doesn’t fit. “And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off. (1 Samuel 17:39 NKJVS)

Hint: In fighting battles, never wear someone else’s armor. It does not fit. And if you try to squeeze into it, it won ‘t work. Trust me on that.

explosion-14495926The rest of the story – five smooth stones rest in David’s pouch. He pulls one out, aims with precision, hits straight at the giant’s head and Goliath goes down. Battle won.

Now back to me in present time. If I learn from David’s life I don’t run from a battle that God has already ordained that I win and provided me with the right weapons.

Five – the number of grace.

Stones – the least likely weapon to take down a giant.

In my life, giants at times have taunted me, tried to take me down, insulted me and downright humiliated me. With each one, whether they are fear, rejection, shame, I pick my weapon of grace and let it go, straight and sure.

I live in the world, not of the world. I am in Christ. I am a peacemaker in my heart yet battles rage around me on a regular basis. I pick my battles wisely according to the Spirit of God and don’t waste time or energy on anything not ordained by God.

I don’t use anyone else’s strategy. I don’t avoid the war. I take some battles as my cause to move out to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

Practical application time: The other day, I woke up feeling out of sync with everyone and everything. A bit discouraged, feeling like I was going nowhere, I knew I could not bow to it or it would take me down, down, down during the day. (Hint: Demonic attack aimed at my mind, the biggest battlefield.)

I called my husband, my best friend, and shared what I was feeling. The eternal optimist, he never fails to bring me back into reality but never, ever tries to fight my battle. It is mine. Only I can take up the sword of truth at that point. I can’t wear His armor. It does not fit me.

This is a battle that I can’t go around or ignore because these feelings have been a battlefield in my mind over the past week. They are my Goliath, dressed up in modern form and I am a giant slayer as often as it takes. Only one of us is going down and it is not going to be me.

My weapons of warfare are not carnal or fleshy. My weapon that day was a smooth stone of grace, just like David. I raise up. I look around and fire away.

How? I strengthen myself in the Lord and bind the enemy, a spirit of witchcraft, etc. etc. Then I strengthen myself in the Lord by prophesying over myself. I verbally declare through prayer and worship who God says I am. Holy Spirit is right with me to give me words of revelation, pictures of affirmation for the Spirit intends for me to align myself with truth. It works. The day is saved from destruction and I am better from the battle.

Warfare is inevitable but it’s time to pick our battles wisely and ignore the rest. Get in the fight. Don’t run. Don’t hide.


In Christ,

Rivers of Eden Ministry
About Me

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!

Flowing With Holy Spirit In Kenya

Marvin and I are having a glorious time in Kenya – healings, deliverances, and a beautiful prophetic flow in the midst of God’s people in prophetic song and preaching. As Holy Spirit leads, we move out in a clear direction. The Spirit creates a path of light, love, revelation, grace and so much more. It is exciting times in the Kingdom of God!

Kenya Singing

Glorious, beautiful, wonderful adventure in Christ in Kenya. We are so happy to be back here. I know that it is a new day and all those years of wilderness training of breaking and trials is now being manifest in and through our lives. Our focus is Jesus Christ and Him alone. May He receive all the glory from our lives in this season.

May each of you reading this today, be blessed in the knowledge of Christ Jesus so that you know the depth of His love for each of you. May you seek His face so that His glory is manifest in your life in marvelous and exciting ways! Shine!

DebraLove in Christ,

Moving Through Time – At God’s Pace

In this season, I find myself gliding through time observing and watching the moments- without an internal presumption of want to know or need to know. Often there is little interaction as situations swirl around me. It seems I am restrained from fully seeing but instructed to just keep on moving, keep on observing. Don’t speak…….yet.

I was always in a hurry in times past. Where am I going? What does this mean?  I loved to move to my own beat, my own sound. I always wanted to see and to know, NOW. I grabbed each moment and formed a life picture, in my own wisdom and strength.

Remind myselfLately, God slows me down and says, “Enjoy the journey and be amazed!”

Moving along what seems to be a slow conveyor belt, I adjust myself to this slower speed, taking in all the details I would miss if I determined to form time my own way. Anointed by the hand of God, time itself only lays down bits and pieces of the journey. I apprehend moments with a sense of awe and wonder. As discontent and frustration leaves me, life is getting a bit easier. Funny to say that now, in a time when chaos abounds throughout the earth. Yet inside myself, I am slowing down to see and to know what is behind the facade of the times.

He is not giving me the full picture. It’s not supposed to be that way. I see a little bit here and little bit there, trusting Him every step along the way.

Peace settles into the journey displacing any confusion or fear. Slowly, time reveals the beauty of moments, one at a time, forming a picture of fullness right before my eyes. Ah! Now I see. Now I know. Enjoy the journey in Holy Spirit.

ListenGliding through time is necessary in a fast-paced world that is built on a chaotic shallow foundation. I don’t fight this. I want to go deeper in a revelation of Jesus Christ. I am in a hurry. He is not.

Relish this time! Savor it. Don’t waste it.

What transformation is taking place within me? An increased sensitivity to Holy Spirit. Wisdom to discern and interpret the times. To know when to move, when to be still. When to act instead of react. How to move in sync with Jesus in time in Holy Spirit. And…so much more.

DebraIn Christ,

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!