Deep Currents of Revelation – Holy Spirit Flow!

Adventure AwaitsHoly Spirit draws us into deep currents of revelation.

But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. 14 He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. 15 Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you. (John 16:13-15 Message)

Truth swirls, moves, and flows beneath the surface of the deep waters. To apprehend it, you must dive down. We can’t be content with surface revelation. Go deep – into Christ.

In these initial posts on deep waters, I desire to awaken a faith-filled imagination within each of you. Images, dreams, pictures to see with spiritual eyes and to hear with spiritual ears.

This is an inward journey that brings about a deep transformation and outward life flow. This brings us back to the living well, the bread of life, the light of the world, the resurrection and the life – Jesus Christ. This is necessary, absolutely essential for Christians to flow in kingdom power and anointing in Christ. The Father invests His life in the Son. They are one and in unity in eternal love with Holy Spirit. Christ is in me, a river flowing out of my life. To know Christ is to know life. We are to be life, grace, glory, revelation, power carriers to the world at large. Our world – where we live, move and have our being in Him.

AwakeI want to awaken you – press beyond the boundaries and anchored realities that currently dictate your life and believe that Jesus IS who He says He IS – the way, the truth and the life. Rise up! You are already there in heavenly places.

I want to awaken creative flow in your life to imagine with the eyes of faith that you are in Christ, right now.

The deep waters – a journey out is a journey in. Christ in you, in me.

I will focus on words of Spirit and life, not always easily understood and definitely enigmatic at times. That’s a good thing. Jesus HImself did that through prophetic acts and lots of stories. He will lead me now and in the days ahead to BE in Christ creatively expressing His being through this blog. I love the journey.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

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!

My New Normal: One Little Word – Risk

Light on a PathThe inner cry of my heart may sometimes be – “I’m scared, Lord.” This inner cry flows in all of our lives at times. The economy falters. Our health takes a bad turn. Marital problems arise. Family disputes go unresolved. This can leave us a bit fearful of the great unknown which is always full of unanswered questions – What if? How Come? When? Why?

In my case, I long for change. I thrive on spontaneity. I blog about it. I am a thorn in my own flesh, fearful that I will sink into any form of normality that kills a creative life. Yet, there are those days where I, along with many of you, simply whisper, “I’m scared, Lord.”

Yes, me – the consummate preacher of change and creativity. I preach it but do I walk it without any fear? No, of course not. I’m human. Risk is what I talk about a lot. To me, Christianity is not static but an adventure in Christ. When we let it all go and just live in the Spirit there comes great purpose along with great challenge, great confrontation and lots and lots of questions. But, is there any other way to live? No, not for me. I think about this a lot because if I am talking about it, I want to walk it out. Authenticity, honesty and trust are very important for me.

Today I want to talk about risk – that little four-letter word that I throw around a lot. According to Webster risk means:

Possibility of loss
Exposure to danger
Possibility that something unpleasant will happen

Whoa…wait a minute……….according to this definition, risk means I face the possibility of losing something, facing danger and seeing something unpleasant happen to me. Is my Christian life actually about risk or is it really about walking in faith? Now I see two very different things. Maybe I need to examine this closely and change the word I want to use to describe my Christian walk.

Do I really risk or suffer the possibility of great loss in my ongoing relationship with Jesus? Well, yes, I do suffer loss in my flesh and my own desires. I like my life, a lot. I often want things my own way. When Christ asks me to lay some things down and walk by faith, I don’t always want to because I love my life. That produces tension in me. I am fighting within myself to accept His change or to go my way. This is so true right now in my ‘new normal’ as I am looking for a clear direction from the Lord where to settle. I get in the way many times. That is when fear can set in or confusion or just chaos.

I lose my life to find my life in Christ. I am promised an abundant and full life in Christ in great possibilities that may appear as impossibility right now. But, step out in faith. He is faithful so there is no actually no risk at all. My life is now hidden in Christ. That is not risk in the sense that it comes without great reward. An exchanged life comes with great reward to me– His life in me. Who could actually ask for anything better than that? To follow Christ is to accept the fact that to move in sync with Him, you will lose your life as you know it and come to know Him. No possibility, but fact. What are the alternatives? Keeping your life, living for your self, walking your way day by day by day. I don’t want that.

Do I expose myself to danger? Well yes and no, maybe, could be. Remind me to tell you the story of what happened to me in Uganda some years ago, that involved the military, large guns, a runaway matatu and a somewhat crazy American woman (that would be me) who did not feel it was her time to die so proceeded to take matters into her own hands at one moment in time. That is another story. So yes, there was danger in my obedience to follow God to the ends of the earth. But, He is in control and was in control all the way. I’m still here, aren’t I? He always provides a way out when we are walking His way. Not easy or predictable but there is safety under the shadow of His wing. Danger is as easy to come by walking the streets of New York, in the villages of Africa, or on the interstates of LA.

Does risk bring me headlong into the possibility that something bad or unpleasant will happen? Well, helloooooo…….isn’t that called life? I mean has anyone reading this not experienced something bad or unpleasant happen to them at times? Perhaps if you stayed hidden in your house or just keep your Christianity in a building on Sunday mornings, then, there may be no risk but again, that is not me.

So do I actually risk anything at all? Or is it just normal Christianity to walk out in faith (my new normal)  what seems to be impossible in my earthly eyes? I hold on with the sheer belief and trust that God is able, faithful, awesome, marvelous, in control, loving, kind, graceful, merciful………….all along knowing that He will finish that which He started in me. He does not leave me high and dry. He never leaves or forsakes me. Never. So perhaps I need to word this a bit different. Risk? Well, there is no risk in His love. It is sure, real, true and absolute for you and me. Adventure? Change? Yes, love brings me into that everyday. That is what makes life and my own Christian life filled with possibility in Christ.

So now I face this day. My other blogs reveal that I am walking in a faith that is not my own but is the faith of the Son of God who is leading me forward step by step. Yesterday was not really a good day for me but today looks a bit better because life goes on and I am determined to keep walking, keeping my eyes on Him. It’s all so good.

My challenge to all of us today – don’t see our Christianity as a risk filled with chance but see it as an adventure on a sure path that is laid out for us in Christ in faith. It changes our take on our life if we see it that way. You risk nothing for He is our great reward. You gain Christ. He is our life.

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.

My New Normal: Life’s An Art, Not A Science

Paintbrush“Maybe knowing God is less a science and more an art.”
Divine Nobodies/Jim Palmer

(I have hit a wall. I desire to walk the walk I am talking, living an authentic life and being true to myself. Yet, I hit this wall filled with a bit of unbelief and doubt. In my humanity, I look at God with eyes that question at times. There are days like this but they don’t last long. I thank God for His unconditional love that accepts my questions in the midst of my struggling humanity. These questions do not demean my Christianity. They strengthen it.)

Science has it all down. Each step is quantified and qualified into a predictable result. I know this well. My major in university focused on biology, chemistry, calculus, environmental sciences, algebra and more and more and more. My life was a bit preplanned by my father and in wanting to obey him, I simply took this route. Yet, my heart consistently lived in the tension of loving the arts – music, painting, and more.

At first, in my Christian life, I approached God this same way. Each step, if taken the right way, will lead into a predictable result. Trying to please God, like my dad, I wanted to do the right things. Trying to be the right person, in the right way, walking a predictable path hoping a predictable result would ensue and life would be lived happily ever after.

Life is not predictable and neither is God. It’s best we learn that quickly. When life comes at you in violent storms, major upheavals and just plain silence, not knowing which way to go…………your Christianity is deconstructed down to the bare minimum. Who are you God? Do I even know you after all these years?

Tension keeps rising in me because there are twinges of fear and doubt in the process while at the same time an innate hunger and desire to be me, the ‘me’ who God created me to be. I can’t find me in the predictability of religion or religious surroundings. Hence, There Is No Room For Me At The Inn.

The tension of wanting to be ‘me’ is greater than wanting to be (liked, accepted, favored, honored)___________ fill in the blank. When you are confronted with yourself, as I am right now, I decided that who I want to be is me, not anyone else. So a lot has to go and be healed. This is right now in what we are walking through.

I followed the plan for so many years of what was expected. In fact, I not only followed it but I was excellent in trying to be something I was not because who I am was generally not highly sought after. Please read a few of my other blog posts to keep you updated. Wandering and Waiting. And Looking at the Horizon. This prophetic walk is keeping me on the edge.

Tension escalates and peace is on the horizon some days. Right now in the place I stand, there are no apparent answers and they don’t seem to be coming in my timing and in my way. I can opt out for safety and comfort as a viable alternative by choosing whatever is out there. But, instead I wait for the voice to speak.

“Remember, without hearing the voice of the Lord, you cannot move. After you hear the voice of the Lord, you cannot stay. Trust the cry of your heart; love the cry of your heart. The Church Jesus is building will move forward with the sound of a voice.”
Don Nori

Knowing God is less of a science than an art. As much as I hate to admit it, I have majored in the predictable over these past years of hurt and pain and the tension to break out is intense. I don’t want the science; I want the art side of discovery. That is how I am created to be.

I got up today a bit askew. I am being weaned away from the ‘should do’ and the ‘must do’ into the silence of His presence again. And, let me tell you straight up. God is soooo silent right now. I read, pray, worship – all the quantitative things to produce a predictable result and guess what? Nothing. Not even a whisper.

Since He is all wonderful and loving and kind and real, gracious and merciful and faithful, He knows the time and the place and the way to speak into it all to remind me that I am not alone in this prophetic walk. There He is. In the midst of my moment, God whispers,“Read Divine Nobodies by Jim Palmer.”

I immediately downloaded the Kindle version and could not put it down until I got to this quote above. I circled around it and finally settled on it knowing God would speak to me through it.

“Maybe knowing God is less a science and more an art.”

That’s it. That’s for me. That IS me. This journey for me is not a science, trying to figure God out, trying to do it right and not make any mistakes. This walk is an art – movement and flow in creative expression based upon the flow of Holy Spirit in my life. It is not built upon predictable calculated movements. My life is the creative expression of Christ Jesus in the earth right now, and so is yours. That is why our path seems to be a bit up, down, and all around in our eyes. But, not in God’s eyes. He knows the way He is taking every step.

Reality: Still no place to rent – we call daily to various rentals. They either don’t answer at all or else we are turned down because someone jumped in with an application ahead of us or they are too expensive.

Reality: Marvin is an excellent project manager. I not only love my husband but also admire him in every way. Yet, numerous interviews and being narrowed down to just two people and each one – well, no job.

So what now? I will leave this an unanswered question. I don’t know yet. If I did this blog would not be written for the predictable result would be at hand. I want you to enjoy this journey with me and see God get all the glory in what is coming. We can all laugh and smile together and perhaps it will build up your faith to take God out of any box you have put Him in!

Thanks for walking with me in this!

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.