God Weaves His Story Through Your Life

Enjoy the JourneySo often we can lose ourselves in the “Big Picture”, gazing at the horizon of what could be, what may be, or what will come. In doing that, we lose a sense of our purpose in the moment, in the now – discouragement or disillusionment sets in quickly.

Our lives are works of art, created in Christ, loved by the Father and walked out in Holy Spirit.

Look at your life. Look at the story God is weaving through all your experiences, good and bad. There is a picture God wants to show you so that Christ can live His life through you, uniquely and creatively. We are the story and we are the message of our life in Christ.

Take time to get alone to simply BE and allow the Spirit to minister to you and Jesus to speak to you.

What I was as a child, I am now – creative, spontaneous, loving adventure……….Jesus says that we are to be like children in our faith. To believe that we walk out the mysteries of His love and grace day by day.

As adults, we lose this sense of wonder along the way due to life’s pressures along with many other things that come against us and try to destroy our wonder and innocence in the beauty of Jesus.

Childlike faith moves out in simplicity and trust as Holy Spirit leads the way. I think perhaps we need to look back upon our lives as children, not to focus on all the pain, wounds or our negative feelings about what our parents did or did not do……….forgive and then allow the Lord to reveal to you how you are made, who you are, and why you are in such a time as this……….what was taken away due to life’s ongoing pressure is now coming alive in Christ. What’s your story? Look carefully and see all the little things that make you…….YOU.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…Jeremiah 1:5

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…..Psalm 139:13-14

Living with Passion and Purpose……..In Christ,
Debra

About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

Aslan Is Not A Tame Lion – C.S. Lewis, Imagination, and Creativity

What better place for God to lead me in my study on imagination than right into the life of C.S. Lewis? I can’t tell you how many times I watch The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe every year. When Aslan confronts the White Witch with a simple roar that sends her reeling, I love it beyond measure and find myself rising up victoriously in my spirit.

So are some thoughts, musings, and quotes about Terry Glaspey’s book, C.S. Lewis – His Life & Thought.

 “The figure of Aslan tells us more about how Lewis understood the nature of God than anything else he wrote. It has all His hidden power and majesty and awesomeness which Lewis associated with God, but also His glory and tenderness and even the humor which He believed belonged to Him, so that children could run up to Him and throw their arms around Him and kiss Him.” Dom Bede Griffiths

C.S. Lewis used the power of image stirring the imagination to run wild. His own imagination along with humor and creativity,all  invested in Biblical truth, still ministers to people of all ages. His passion  in telling an old story, still introduces many to God. Brilliant in theology and apologetics, He did not only rely on the preached word in a formal setting to convey Biblical truth. He used His imagination.

This journey into informed imagination is something I simply can’t get away from at this time. Each day I am challenged to explore it more and more and to begin to write more in a creative way. Let’s see what transpires over time.

What sets Lewis apart from Christian philosophers and theologians, and allows him to speak so effectively to so many varied people, is his ability to communicate in a way that is creatively compelling as well as intellectually satisfying. Lewis demonstrates the power of the imagination, which has been captured for the cause of truth. (Glaspey pg. 179)

The power of imagination in writing so as to convey Biblical truth.  Lord, can I please play my part in this in some small way?

In Narnia, Lewis addressed the child in all of us. As I have said before, I see that many disdain the simplicity of this approach. Have you ever just hung around in the background on Facebook when people get involved in heavy theological discussion?  I was only a fly on the wall as I looked down the thread. What I saw was quite often arrogance and pride. It made me think about my childhood growing up strict Catholic where the Bible sat on our coffee table, BUT we were taught to never presume to read it with any understanding. Just let the priests interpret it all for us. Has it changed today? Not always.

The simplicity of childlike faith enjoined with imagination, creativity, storytelling, art, music…will draw people to Jesus Christ.

Jesus was and is a storyteller. In my own intimate times of worship and prayer, I can’t recall Jesus ever getting into a theological discussion with me. Generally it is through image and creative words, pictures and visions. It is in the walking with Him that He reveals Himself to me creatively. His life forms in my own life’s narrative as I live, move and have my being in Him.

As I look back on my Christian life, I see it is precisely at the moments when I continually release my life into His hands, following the leading of Holy Spirit, that He beckons me to take a walk with Him. In childlike faith, I accompany Him on a supernatural adventure and journey. As Bertie Brits always says on Facebook, there is much to say on this. Keep following.

Debra

In Christ, Debra

Rivers of Eden Ministry

To See the Ordinary as Extraordinary

7711866066_9ffdaf3078_zThe extraordinary flows through the ordinary. Quite often the starting point for the manifestation of the miraculous begins in something quite simple. It could be right in the hands of a child and we may miss it unless the Lord directs our attention that way.

Jesus has a great crowd of people following Him and they’re hungry.

Jesus asks Philip,  “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?”

Seeing through natural eyes, Philip says,

“Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.’ (John 6:7 NKJV)

Not quite a faith filled response considering that Philip had seen Jesus turn water into wine.

Then, Andrew notices someone, a boy standing nearby.

“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many? (John 6:9 NKJV)

This answer is also a bit ridiculous to the rational mind. Anyone can see that 5 loaves and 2 fishes would hardly feed five thousand people.

Child by WaterYet the hands of this child hold the manifestation of a miracle.

Jesus reaches to take the loaves and fishes from the hand of a child. Then He turns and hands the food to His disciples, saying,

“You give them something to eat. (Mark 6:37 NKJV)

Whoa! I thought it would be easier than this. He wants me to merge my faith IN Him WITH Him to do the work that He calls me to do. AND with only a meager provision of 5 loaves and 2 fishes?

In my imagination, I engage with this Scripture as if it is my own, now.

I look at what is in my hands. I feel what is in my heart. I sense that tension again – the fear that rises between what I see as real in the natural and what I know to be real looking with spiritual eyes.

While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things, which are, seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV)

I am determined to see with eyes of faith. I want to be trained in the Spirit to SEE extraordinary supply flow through ordinary means when touched by the hand of Christ.

It is not enough to just see the extraordinary hidden in something ordinary. I must move out in faith to see its miraculous manifestation.

I have spent time wondering, concerned as to how the Lord will finance our dreams, our destiny. In my prayer time, I have often complained with some indignation, “Lord you gave us this dream and yet we lack the finances or the resources to accomplish what’s burning in my heart.” That seems to be a bit of an accusation hurled towards a wonderful faithful God. But, I get moments like this and His grace is indeed sufficient in my weakness.

“Debra, you give them something to eat. Here, you feed them. Stretch your faith to know I am faithful. Stand on the truth that what I start in you I will finish. Believe that He who calls you is faithful and will do it. Give them something to eat.”

In that moment, there is really no choice for me. I choose to walk by faith, move out, and believe that what He has placed inside of me will CREATIVELY MULTIPLY as I trust, obey and move out.

Can anyone relate to this? Do you have a God-given dream that seems incapable of being fulfilled? Not enough resources? Not enough time? Well, Jesus takes the insignificant reality of our lives and resources, hands them back to us and says, “Work in Me, With Me.”

He hands you a potential miracle that just needs to be activated in faith. He asks you to reach out and take it and then walk in faith and believe it. You are enough in Christ. You have enough in Christ. Be faithful in what is little and watch it multiply right before your eyes.

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!

Walk As Children Of Light

Arise, shine; for your light has come! and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you (Isaiah 60:1-2 NKJV)

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. (John 8:12 NKJV)

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7 NKJV)

3487040811_34c1ae6f37_zAs children of the light, in Christ, we shine in the darkness. The darkness can not comprehend this light of Christ in us us even as it tries to attack us.  We are enigmas, easily misunderstood by the darkness as grow brighter and brighter each day. Revelation floods our being with mysteries unfolding of our identity and inheritance in Christ. It is time to truly receive a revelation of our life, hidden in Christ in His light.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord (Ephesians 5:8-10 NKJV)

It is implicitly evident that light always overpowers darkness. The problem is that we tend to retreat from the very darkness we, as Christians are called into, to walk in, to confront, to challenge and to overcome.

Do we know how brightly we shine or are we inherently dimmed by the darkness that seems to be encroaching upon the earth at large? We are in Christ and in Christ we arise in the reality of light to BE His light in the world.

Reflect on this in the times of encroaching darkness in the world today, closing in on all sides.

It is in darkness that we shine and power flows from our innermost beings.

God keeps me in the Book of Acts where the demonstration of heaven’s power in Christ through His servants was also accompanied by persecution, trials and tribulation. In the midst of darkness, the light shone so brightly. So as it was then, so shall it be right now. It is a great day to be in the Kingdom for those who live, move and have their being in Christ. It is time to open wide our spiritual eyes to see that those who are for us are greater than those against us.

Just some prophetic thoughts today to encourage you on the journey.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

Sit Down, Relax, Do Nothing!

VenturaFor my own well-being, I need to consistently unplug from people, computers, and TV. It’s good to be out of the mix. Noise rattles the thinking process into its submission of overload and distraction. Chatter is the subliminal sound of constant chaos as I spend excess time on social media. I can lose myself and not even know it. That is a scary thought.

Another quote by Austin Kleon from Steal Like An Artist:

“Creative people need time to sit around and do nothing!”

I need to be alone at times doing nothing. My friends often think of me as an extrovert. I definitely can be outgoing. I engage in conversation easily. Yet, if I spend too much time extroverting with people, I lose focus, get tired, start getting antsy and look for a door to get out. My life is somewhere between introvert and extrovert. I believe it’s called ambivert. Excessive prolonged exposure to being in the mix makes me tired. I consistently need time to sit around and do nothing.

Me, a pen, my journal or tablet, the ocean, my office, or Starbucks – I dial down in time and find stillness. God knows I need this.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)

 “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything (Psalms 46:10 Message)

Busyness – the current buzzword of so many people:

I’m busy.
I’m too busy.
I am so busy.
Busy, busy, busy.
Can’t – too busy.
Can’t possibly – too busy.
No time! Too busy.

Busyness – the hard taskmaster who leads us as a slave in the midst of excessive demands. Our lives hunger for meaning. Internal forces drive us forward to find this as external forces create a path of endless distraction where we never quite arrive at what we are seeking.

Busyness sounds admirable, important, and essential in life. Yet, busyness aborts creative thinking for those who need quiet times to come apart. It is in stillness and just doing nothing that creativity thrives. Creativity abounds here! In the midst of dialing down, creativity is forming – an image, ideas, revelation in Christ.

MalibuI spend time each day in the stillness, being with Jesus Christ. He is my source of creativity. My creativity is enhanced and encouraged as my identity is formed in Christ. That takes time and relationship, being with Him, in His presence.

Since I was a child, God wired me to come apart, unplug and learn to be in order to find ME. I remember times of being alone and loving it.

Growing up on the northwest side of Chicago, beautiful cherry trees stood tall and strong in my yard. Their branches joyfully carved out seats just for me to sit and read. With a book and some snacks in hand, I hoisted myself up into a new world, spending hours reading and thinking. I was a bit quirky, but I needed this time alone. Is your child wired this way? Parent them into times of quiet.

On dark winter nights as snow sparkled in the moonlight, I ran outside into the yard to make snow angels. For hours, I raced around, falling down, getting up. I would often look up into the sky, just being, thinking. I needed these times to flow in creativity of thought and action.

My memories of childhood remind me that God wired me to BE unique and creative in His Son, Jesus Christ. In childhood, creativity flourishes. As a child, I flowed beautifully in awe and wonder. Perhaps many of us need to get back to being childlike again in our faith, in our creativity, in our lives. Playing with God in the beauty of His holiness, learning His creative ways in relationship will do wonders for our lives.

At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me. (Matthew 18:1-5 Message)

Children are creative, playful, innovative, spontaneous, joyful, adventurous, contemplative, risk takers, and more. As creativity is resurrected in Christ, childlike faith will arise to create again. Let’s face it. Christianity is rarely innovative or creative. Why is that? Perhaps we are taking our cues from the world in all its busyness, trying new programs, mimicking or copying what the world is doing to succeed. Jesus is simply telling us to come apart with Him to BE and just do nothing.

There are so many creative thoughts that flow from this reality. Many more blogs to write with more creative encouragement and challenges to come.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

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