Turning to See from a Different Perspective

38300_132602726774908_100000755446557_150738_6639889_nRainy day in Texas. I love days like this. They give me an opportunity to spend time reading, writing and letting Holy Spirit lead me into prayer and worship.

My last blog post, In Obscurity? A Fresh Wind is Blowing, beautifully ties in with what I am reading today, Water to Wine by Brian Zahnd.  God amazes me by bringing books into my life to read at the ‘just right’ times. And He gifts me with rainy days to settle in and absorb the revelation pouring into my life.

When God confirms things to me 2-3 times, He expects me to take notice and to ask the right questions (Another blog post on not asking ‘why’).  So I did. I asked God some questions.

What is the purpose of this book coming right into my life today?

How does this book resonate within me to move me forward in the midst of my transition?

What do You want me to learn, to see, to know?

This book was written as the author faced a time of total disssatisfaction with Western Christianity, the consumerism in the American church, and many other things. This is where I stand right now. I am dissatisfied with most things ‘church’ and I find that God often has to give me a reaon to go when staying home seems more filled with His presence. I’m not jumping ship. I continue to gather and believe in the church but I know what I seek is the expression of Christ and His kingdom in community. I don’t see that in my life….yet…..but I know I will.

I found some answers in the silence, reading the book, settled in on a rainy day. In a world filled with chaotic noise silence is necessary for our Christian walk. Here are some takeaways from this book that I hope encourage you.

“Without some intentional silence, the weary soul is a prisoner very slowly worked to death in a mindless gulag of endless noise.” 

“Too much of the most visible presence of Christianity is loud, vociferous and angry.”

The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. Isaiah 32:17 

“Because we are obsessed with all things ‘big’ and ‘powerful’ in the conventional sense, we are convinced that to change the world, the kingdom of God needs to sound like a deafening construction site – bulldozers and jack hammers.”

The stone blocks for the building of The Temple were all dressed at the quarry so that the building site itself was reverently quiet––no noise from hammers and chisels and other iron tools. 1 Kings 6:7

Listen“In a world that surely must grow weary of the harsh blare of ideological anger, the church is to be a haven of quietness and trust, a gentle refuge of peace.’

As life shifts into a new place, I find myself gazing into a new horizon, toward the east where the sun is rising, not setting. This gives me hope to trust God that He has the whole world in His hands. And, what is  my place in all of this? To challenge you to turn your eyes upon Jesus, away from the world at large. Then, to look back on the world with a new lens in Christ. To unplug and to gaze upon His beauty. I am one small voice but resolute in the message that sounds out from me in this time.

I love the church but I am not in sync with most of it right now. I don’t opt out or pull away for I value community but I have not found it yet here where I live. So I still believe and look for a home, a tribe, a place where I can see the creative expression of Christ worked in and through people who love Jesus. Why? It’s something he said in the book.

“Salvation is NOT a private, autonomous, individual, unmediated experience – salvation is being personally gathered by Christ into His salvation community…..Salvation is communal by design….”

So for many of us, has it come down to this in our waiting time -> Is going to no church better than going to a church where the center focus is on the stuff – the stuff being all the peripheral things – the constant flow  of prophetic words that at times seem to be a lot of noise,  or the worship in a performance flow, or the experience of people manifesting over and over and over until it all gets so predicatable and boring, or the preaching the settles into the trending topic of the day,  or the iconic leaders that people flock to see, or more of the stuff and the stuff and the stuff?  (My small rant from my silent morning that revealed my inner frustration.) I am only being honest here, okay?

Does going leave you dryer and more out of sync than before you walked in? And how about all the commments and silent implications that imply there must be something wrong with YOU? Well I guess I have to answer these for myself and so do you. But questions are good for us. They make us think deep thoughts. A mixture of stuff coming out today and it’s all good for me.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

To be Positioned to BE Present…….More Thoughts On This Journey

In creative ways, God graciously confirms His word to my spirit. Once He speaks, prophetic words, pictures, music or videos intersect my path. He’s got this all in control even if I don’t entirely see the whole picture.

The previous blog sets the stage for me in all of this. I acknowledge that fear tries to rise up to get me off-focus, to convince me that God can’t be trusted. I can get buried in the what-if’s along with other questions that center on doubt.

I would like to say that I simply released all control and in a quiet contemplative state I whisked through my day along a cloud of knowing.

But I didn’t. What did I do? After so many years of God showing His faithfulness to me, I still decided to make a list. I listed the pros and cons of what life would be like if we moved to various places to ‘settle’ in order to travel out to minister.

Over the course of an hour, I thought it seemed right to me. Notice what I said there – seemed right to me. I should know by now shouldn’t I?

What's next What nowMy lists show my humanness in full force. The lists went in so many different directions that I ended up doing what I usually do. I threw them away and just sat there, eyes closed, heart open. I quit. I won’t establish my path in my own wisdom.

In that moment of just being, God spoke and continued to speak over the whole day.

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him… (Psalms 37:5-7 NKJV)

Commit my way to His way in complete trust.

He does what He promises He will do.

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NKJV)

Little Guy With PostitsThen I read this on FB and it seemed to go hand in hand with what I am seeking in this season. Perfection.

Kris Vallotton

One of the difficulties in becoming fully actualized occurs when people find themselves in a community that doesn’t have the capacity or vision to collaborate with their calling. For example, if you want to be an actress it might be good to move to Hollywood. If you are called to be a singer maybe Nashville is the place for you. New York is a great place to become a model, and the Silicone Valley might be the best place for a High Tech start up. But moving to the Silicone Valley to pursue a career in modeling is probably a bad idea. Conversely, it might be tough to start a tech company in Hollywood. Although these examples are in no way absolutes, they serve to paint a picture in our imagination of the collaboration that takes place when we discover our people and find our Promise Land. These examples also help to explain what happens when we try to fulfill our call in the wrong community. Forging Champions

I am seeking a spiritual community of people who live and move in the direction and power of the kingdom, seeking Jesus in radical love. To me that is being positioned to BE present and the dominos just go falling down – connections, opportunities, relationships, creativity, and expansion. It’s a good thing. Where is it? Still looking, still trusting, still hoping, and still focusing on God. No more lists. Just day by day walking in sync with Him one step at a time.

KeyholeThis move seems so crucial for us to settle in order to move out and travel to the nations. What seems so overwhelmingly BIG for me is just part of God’s process for me and in Him there is peace that surpasses understanding. In this peace I will walk, wait and trust.

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:11-12 NKJV)

I want to keep focused on this so more is coming soon.

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!

My New Normal: Wandering and Waiting

479731_10151387670278930_1741421622_nWhere do I settle to bring forth the reality of the revelation – Christ in me, the hope of glory? I invite you to read the previous blog – There’s No Room At The Inn. I invite you in on this prophetic journey, step by step by step. Oh, in case you don’t know the story of Mary and Joseph, just google Luke, Chapters 1 & 2.

I live, move and have my being in Christ Jesus. At this time, there is this sense of destiny and purpose deep within me to BE at the right place IN the right time. This should not come with pressure since Holy Spirit is able in all ways to lead us in grace and glory. Yet, there are days where I rant, days where I am frustrated, and days where I find inner peace – it’s life. Perfection in my emotional states often elude me since I am a passionate person of outward expression. I know my rest is in Christ alone. But, there are days where I find myself out of sync internally. I then return to the secret place in Christ, breathe and keep on walking, in peace and rest.

“I don’t have to figure it out.” I keep saying to myself each day. “I just have to BE and the flow will move me in the direction I am to go. But, Lord, what about the now? There does not appear to be direction today.”

This is my now – transition, of a good kind. Walking the walk, in sync with my verbal message. A prophetic journey, step by step. I am letting you all in on it, too. A new day dawns with increasing hope and promise. Why? Haha! Time comes with limitations. In our case, our lease is extended to mid-August, giving us a bit more time. So, there is hope that today IS the day. It may prove to be the same old day as yesterday. In any case, the day is coming where we have to pick up and go so I hope in the passing of time.

There is no room at the inn for us – prophetically speaking. It is my new normal and actually has been for some time. It is difficult to find a place to BE right now, a place of acceptance, love and community. A place where there is a gathering, a coming together, one with another for Jesus Christ and Him alone.

(Here’s a bit of an aside. Many times, when I speak about my life in this way, people say “Oh Debra….what about the “one”? There is plenty to do. Just look around. You are over spiritualizing this.” Those spiritual clichés and many more abound and even though there is truth in those statements, they do not apply to me at this time. We (Marvin and I) have always stopped for the ‘one’. This time is different. There is something greater that is coming, that I have waited for and longed for in my life. I press.)

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

When we go into different spiritual environments (churches, gatherings), we experience a variety of things – acceptance based upon the prevailing norm, hype, rejection, conformity stressed in subtle ways, works, performance, etc. We can’t seem to find that place to settle where it all just comes together in community for us. I look for a place to birth Rivers of Eden. This involves people of grace, vision, and purpose in Christ alone. In other words, a place to BE me, who Christ is in me. I want that for me and I want that for each of you reading. (Stretching out in total honesty now – risking.)

At this time, we can’t seem to settle, to find other people, outside of the internet, who seem to be going our way. I want the face to face with people, not just online.

Often, going into different places, as we passionately speak of Christ, many seem to disregard what we say or even disdain our grace awakening to His goodness and glory. Many have a set path, following some iconic minister or ministry, speaking the God-talk, preconfigured and templated. There seems to be no room at the inn for what is out of the box, still in process, or not totally aligned with the prevailing vision. This season is hand-tailored by God, for us, for His purpose. So, we wander and we wait.

Today, there is no time for self-pity, discouragement – birthing pangs increase in my life each day. Where to go? My focus – find a place to birth. Birthing spiritually and settling down in the natural, physical realm as to location. They both go hand in hand right now.

Geesh – I pray I am not losing some of you. Follow along by the Spirit – I am trying to speak spiritual thoughts with spiritual language, doing the best I can, without constantly explaining or qualifying my statements.

More coming…..wanting to keep this a bit shorter for each of us to digest a bit at a time. Do you find yourself in any of this? Maybe, maybe not. I know some of you do. I can feel it as I write, or I would not be writing this. In any case, process is good and writing in process is really good.

In Christ
Debra Westbrook

10511315_794327653940721_886065626280149819_nGod breathed Rivers of Eden Ministry into my life many years ago. I have tried to define it with the typical Christianese language. I can’t. All I know is that our heart’s cry is to focus on Christ, the Tree of Life – to show forth His grace and flow in His glory wherever we are sent. Holy Spirit flows through us (Marvin and I), in creative expression, through preaching, teaching, prophetic flow – people are healed and set free. Divine connections are the norm for us. We go where God leads us – wherever and whenever He wants us to go. The reality of Christ in me, the hope of glory, is alive and well. Now, I am ready to move out again. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter. God may want to lead us your way – to your home group, church, gathering.