Selah – To Pause and To Praise in the Midst of the Chaos

Pause ButtonSelah – pause and calmly think about it. Selah – pause to carefully weigh the meaning of what we have just heard and read.  To praise. To lift up. To praise.

To pause and to praise.

You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah (Psalms 32:7 NKJV)

God is our refuge and strength,a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah (Psalms 46:1-3 NKJV)

Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalms 62:8 NKJVS)

In a world of constant contradictions, there is a place of safety and rest in Christ Jesus who is our peace.

As culture implodes from within, crashing down amidst a diversity of unique challenges, there is wisdom in Christ Jesus.

Anger, division, chaos, anxiety, and worry  like a turbulent whirlwind swirling around lives trapped in hopelessness, despair and confusion. There is a way, truth and life in Christ Jesus.

Pause Shoes by OceanAs a nation, we are in desperate need of a divine selah, a divine pause to reflect rather than react. Who is God in all this unrest? How do I see this through the lens of Christ Jesus rather than my own sense of entitlement or vindication? Who are you God, in the midst of all that is going down before our eyes? What we see happening is just the tip of the iceberg, the initial stages of a volcano beginning to roar and spew forth lava, the divine unsettling silence before a massive earthquake,  or a warning system of a large tsunami ready to hit the shore?

People of every color, race, and gender, shame, blame and level charges at one another, talking but often not really listening. Their words flow from an inner ocean of emotional upheaval and distress. The outward flow is the result of deep inner turmoil of the heart. A nation that needs Christ. A world that needs Jesus.

Since returning to the United States from living overseas for many years, I see a country imploding from within itself. I also know that the answer is Christ Jesus. This nation is ripe for a spiritual awakening. Christians bear the burden of a divine responsibility to walk in the wisdom of heaven and to preach Christ. Christians are an opposing force to the flow of hatred and confusion as Holy Spirit guides our lives to impact the environment God has placed us in. Christians walk in the way, the truth and the life in Christ Jesus.

Our problems are complex residing deeply in the heart of man/woman. There is no simple, quick and easy answer in the world. No politician or political system, no social or economic answers will ease the pain or establish peace. They are part of the answer but our only answer is an awakening unto Christ Jesus – His salvation, His love, His mercy.

Many will continue to thrash around, looking for solutions and answers. Yet, I see a tangled mess that is only getting messier by the moment.  That answer is Christ Jesus. It’s really quite simple. From the reality of who He is there will flow wisdom, revelation, and peace.

So the only question to ask ourselves is simple. What would you have me do Jesus? In this place I am, this city I live, this metron you choose for me. How do I live, move and have my being in your creative expression in Christ Jesus?

Our answers turn us back inward on ourselves, Christ in me, the hope of glory. This is not some distant problem that we shut out as soon as the TV is turned off. It is our problem and we bear the responsibility to BE Christians so that the world may see Christ Jesus living, moving and having His being through our lives. What will I do? Personal responsibility.

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!

To All The Cave Dwellers: Come into the light!

stop-scaring-meAre you a cave dweller? This is a place that many may find themselves in at this time. In caves, one adjusts to a level of comfort, whatever that may individually be, isolated from reality. To many, a cave is better than confronting the fear of what is ‘out there’. One can find solace in the safety of a cave. One can be isolated from the reality of the world, which exists in increasing fear. The light in a cave varies from pitch-black to shadows laced with illusion and imagery. In this place, one can even create their own reality. In any case, a cave is not a pleasant place to be for it evades the light of life. And, life comes with fear. That’s life.

One can live forever in a cave, isolated and alone, even when surrounded by people. One can live bound by fear, go through the motions, and yet, not really live even in the midst of their life. One can learn to see through shadows, avoiding pain and living in internal sorrow. There are self-imposed caves that people live in and these people are all around us on a daily basis. One retreats there to avoid the pain of a chaotic world, its confusion, and its uncertainty. It seems safe.

Fear abounds in caves where voices of accusation cry out. This voice consistently tries to contradict the voice of light and love, which is outside in the light trying to get you to see there is a better way. The voice of fear is powerful and its sheer purpose is destruction of your life. As I said, you live but your life is really only existing. You are not really living.

The darkest of voices accuses in the midst of the cave. The sound bounces off the walls with such a strong reverberating echo that the one who is imprisoned in the cave will repeat over time what the echo is saying.

The dark voice sounds forth: “YOU CAN’T”. This sound crashes against the walls of the cave, resounding with such fury that it penetrates the ears of the cave dweller. It echoes: “YOU CAN’T. YOU CAN’T. YoU Can’t. YOU can’t. You Can’t. you can’t. you can’t”…as it fades away.

The sound penetrates the ear of the one listening. The cave dwellers repeat this empowering sound to themselves each and every day. “YOU CAN’T. YOU CAN’T. YoU Can’t. YOU can’t. You Can’t. you can’t. you can’t………….”

It is a discordant and destructive sound that demands attention. This fear embeds itself in many lives and many don’t know how to get out. The voice continues.

“It’s not possible.”
“Give up.”
“It won’t work.”
“There is NO way out.”
“You’re stupid.”
“You’re worthless.”
“You’ll die.”

Even in the midst of great fear, to the cave dweller, the alternative is unacceptable. They won’t walk into the light. The light itself seems fearful. Having to confront pain and fear is not easy. It’s easier to stay in the cave than confront the illusion of fear. And it is just an illusion. Staying in the cave, lives are framed within the reality of fear. Lives are lived this way. I see it in people all around me. One always opts out of something one does not want to confront fear in any measure – drugs, alcohol, violence, abuse, pills…………There is a better way.

breaking chainsBe brave! Be courageous! There is nowhere to hide. The world is changing, chaotically and drastically. There is safety in the midst of it all – only in Christ. You can’t hide out. Fear seeps through the cracks and crevices of our lives.

What to do? This is for all those cave dwellers out there who are stuck in the darkness or living in the shadows, captured by fears of all kinds. You only need to come out into the light of Christ. Fear will increase in the world. This is indeed a given fact. It is only in the reality of Christ’s love that we find perfect peace to live in the midst of fear. God has NOT given us over to fear. In Christ, love conquered fear.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

1 John 4:18-19
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.

Jesus is clear. There is NO FEAR in love. Perfect love (in the person of Christ) conquered fear and death. This is truth. We do not live in torment or the shadows of fear and confusion. Perfect love is victorious in Christ. Fear is an illusion, a strong one but an illusion nonetheless. There is reality in Christ Jesus.

Fear originates in death, a fear of death, the voice of death, the sound of death. Behind fear’s sound is the reality of death. Christ has conquered death on the cross so death and fear has lost its power. Death is no longer a motivator, a controller, or a manipulator in this life for as Christians, we are eternal, here and now. When Christ died, we died and we now walk and live in union in Christ. We die physically but cross over into life. That is good news.

Perhaps the last enemy to be conquered in our lives in Christ is death and its fears. Perfect love casts out fear.

Look around. There is fear everywhere and behind it is the sound of death. Whether it be Ebola, ISIS, the enterovirus attacking children, the economy, border wars, rape, crime, abuse, violence……………..death fuels fear. Yet, that is what we hear constantly through media, news outlets, and television.

The greatest thing to fear is fear itself. Theodore Roosevelt

Fear is a spirit. Christ’s death and resurrection conquered fear and death.

In Christ.
Not religion.

In Christ.
Not psychology.

In Christ.
Not self-motivation.

In Christ.
Not introspection.
In the person of Christ.

As a Christian, He lives in me. I am in union with Him. My reality. I have nothing to fear.

That does not mean that fear does not try to control and manipulate my life every chance that it gets. Each and every day fear tries to get me to retreat to the cave. It does not work. I don’t retreat because perfect love casts out fear. I won’t stop living amidst the fear and confusion of this world. Fear will not manipulate me to hide out and cringe over what may happen. There is freedom in Christ and this is supernatural reality right in the midst of fear.

Love is strong, courageous, and brave. It conquers fear and brings me life. He makes me brave to face each day in Him. The world takes its best shot. I may falter. I may fall. I may stay down for a bit. Yet, despite it all, perfect love casts out fear. In His light, there is life.

John 8:12
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “ I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.

DebraIn Christ,

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More of Jezebel

stock-photo-11007067-random-alphabet-with-the-word-chaosThanks to everyone who so graciously affirmed me in writing these posts. It is a journey that I have been on for some time now. I have not spoken much about it simply because in the midst of these attacks by control and manipulating people over the years, I was also dealing with rejection, misunderstanding and persecution at the same time coming at me from leaders who did not understand, believed the lies, or presumed to know me when they really did not know me at all. Isn’t that how it usually is for many of you too? Being a strong woman in the Body of Christ comes with its share of labels, Jezebel being one of them.

When control and manipulation manifest through individuals in a Jezebel type way, these individuals can have many different accompanying characteristics to get their way. You will see excess flattery coming forth from them, continual self-focus on their ministry or their giftings, and even sickness to draw attention to themselves.  The sad thing is that I have seen this over and over in many different ways and in different places and for the most part, I have also seen that leaders do nothing about it at all. In fact, it is as if they don’t know what to do many times or don’t see it. When you address it as a woman of God, it usually backfires on you. It then becomes you who are critical, judgmental or angry. Has anyone ever experienced that?

Let’s talk about another woman. I will call her Marie. When she was ministering alongside us in a particular situation, it was constant interference, intense pride along with lots of fleshly manifestations to appear hyper-spiritual. She came on the scene and we were never told that she would also minister during this time that we were there. See how they work their way into situations unseen and do damage? If we had known, we would never have gone into this situation but suddenly, there she was and intense drama began for the whole week.

Here are some sound bytes. She feigned an illness around people but when I tried to pray for her one day, she pushed me out and did not want to be alone with me. Why? Because I had her figured out and she could not pull the wool over my eyes. She paraded past me and went into the room where everyone was sitting and began to exaggerate her symptoms by sitting down, pretending she was so weak, etc. She continued this charade for the whole week and loved the attention.

She was given instructions for ministry but usually did what she wanted every time. We were told to follow her, giving us more time and that meant picking up the mess she left behind in the anointing by taking people’s focus off the simplicity of Christ Jesus. Here’s something else that I had to learn. This spirit has no originality so be prepared for them to mimic and copy to gain attention. If we were led to prophetically sing, she got up and asked if she could sing a song. Don’t laugh, it’s true.  If we said something revelatory during the prayer meetings, she would tack it on to her message.

img_3783-croppedIt seems that in cases like these, you are darned if you do, and darned if you don’t. If you confront, you generally get backlash. If you don’t confront, you can sense how much it grieves the Spirit of God. The main thing is the lack of authority in many of the leaders we saw who refused to confront this in any way due to a fear of man.

The showdown came at some of the last meetings. When you are a visiting minister, you are submitted to the leader in charge. If they refuse to do anything, chaos results. That is what finally happened the last few days. She disregarded all instruction and God just let her go, to show the leaders just what could and did happen. She was given 15 minutes but just kept talking and talking and would not stop. The leaders did not stop her. Then she proceeded to take it one step further and gave numerous altar calls while time marched forward. The leaders felt uncomfortable but would not stop it. In fact, one guy actually thought it was the Spirit of God despite the atmosphere charged with confusion and chaos. Finally, we confronted it by speaking to the leaders to sit her down, which they did. What to do now? The people were confused and the spiritual atmosphere was like death. We did the best we could by praying and worshipping but we never seemed to regroup.

Now here is my gut level honesty. Hold onto your hats. At one point in the meeting, she kept trying to control so I went to her and boldly and strong spoke into her ear to stop, rebuking her. Well, she did stop BUT in the car on the way home, she began to rant and rave and…here it comes……….she called me a Jezebel. Bam………..there it is again. When she did that, both Marvin and I, simultaneously turned to her, got in her face, and loudly and forcefully said, “Be quiet.” For the next three days, she took breakfast and lunch at times in her room. They served her by bringing food up to her. The end result was that she regrouped and we left with some leaders believing I was just an angry woman who liked to also control. They relegated it down to the fact that it was just between us girls so I should just play nice and keep the peace. In telling just bits and pieces of these stories, I am feeling so free. Remember, shame over what you did not even do, keeps you silent.