Creative Friday: A Visual Feast – Prophetic Artist Karen Martin

Welcome to 1st Friday and a Visual Feast. This blog, riversofeden1, flows in creative expression in Christ. For me that flows through words, stories, and prophetic insights. For others, like Karen Martin, creativity flows through art. Enjoy!

Karen Martin – Lover of Jesus, Artist, Music Teacher

For an artist, inspiration comes from many sources. I can see a beautiful flower, a pond filled with Koi or some simple pots. My vision immediately focuses on the beauty of God’s creation in many different forms. This stirs my spirit to create.

 

My abstract works are often painted during a church service. I focus on Jesus and ask Him to guide me in what He wants me to paint that day. At that point, I can feel both excited and overwhelmed when I realize that the whole congregation may be watching me through the process. I often ask myself “What if nothing of His glorious nature shows up on this canvas?” Then I realize that I have to get out-of-the-way and remember that He will guide my hand and my heart. I paint and trust.

 

Other times, God challenges me to feel His heart for certain issues. I focus on abortion or human trafficking. This stirs up my emotions for some time and then at some point, an image emerges in the conscience part of my brain that reveals the issue to me in visual form. “How do I do this?” is often the cry of my heart. I feel incapable of painting something so gloriously revealed with my existing skill set. So, the challenge is on. How do I paint what I see in my mind?

 

Art seems to be in my creative DNA in Christ. I started painting as a child. My creative pursuit of art is enhanced by many various passions and hobbies in my life. Marriage, family, teaching, acting, and music – they all enhance my work.

Painting is always a struggle for me to this day…but it is a glorious struggle where I place this gift in God’s hands and both of us flow together in creating something that will bring Him glory. He is the ultimate artist, isn’t He?

Image

 

Karen Martin
Follow Me On Instagram: Renwowart

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

Cast Away – The Other Side Looks Great

And He said to them, “ Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. (John 21:6 NKJV)

Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results is insanity….so says Einstein.

Thai BoatI like what Jesus said above lot better. Cast on the other side. He is talking to me….now.

“You keep doing things this way. Now switch it up and do what I tell you to do. Do it now AND don’t think about it because you wisdom seems to get in the way at times.”

On the other side of the boat there is an abundance of fish waiting to be caught. It says in this story in John 21 that they caught 153 fish when they obeyed the Lord. All I have to do is cast, contrary to what may feel comfortable. I cast by faith in the direction that Jesus is telling me to cast.

Like many, I sometimes tend to stay too long in one place. That does not have to be just a physical location but can be a spiritual place or even an emotional healing . For me, I have a bit of a preconceived notion of what Rivers of Eden Ministry should look like so I tended to run in that direction, my own ideas at times. Catching nothing, but there I was, persistent in casting, somehow feeling noble about it all OR so spiritual in hanging in there and suffering for Jesus.

When God spoke this verse to me a few days back, I tended to want to lump it in as a cliché verse that I heard a million times. It landed with a thump and a thud, no pizzazz, no lightening strike. Just a simple: Cast that net the other way!

And at the moment that He said it, I was fed up with a lot of things. Whining a bit at how things weren’t going the way I thought. Bad day! Ever had one of those pacing the floor, angry at people, trying to act more spiritual that we really are. I was perturbed with a few things and was praying it all through when God spoke a simply directive. Cast the net on the other side!

Woman FishingIt’s time to let go of all the stuff that seemed to work in times past – let it go. Cast on the other side. I received it – hook, line and sinker…….forgive the pun. I know – a bit hokey but hey it’s almost midnight in California and I just felt like writing this tonight.

Going to Kenya in August/September with a fresh new perspective. Working with one couple to build a habitation for God’s glory. Keeping it small just like Jesus did, away from big meetings and all the hype that we have seen happen in times past to equip in a Christ centered, eternal purpose, inheritance, creative expression focus with hungry people. Three weeks of relationship building so as to lay a firm foundation to prepare for future visits. That’s a good thing.

Good night for now! I will share the details of the trip in the next blog. Casting for His glory.

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!

Preach Jesus – Revelation Flows!

Blue Flowing RiverTo preach Jesus in His love, grace and glory will allow the river of God to flow from His throne. The Father proclaims, “And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “ You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased. (Luke 3:22 NKJV) The pleasure and favor in the Father flows through exaltation of the Son – preaching, prophesying, singing, dancing manifested in a glorious way.

As Christians, we gather with expectation to allow Holy Spirit to flow. That is what we always expect when Rivers of Eden ministers. Is there any other way? Not for us. On this past Sunday, at Oak Valley Church in Oakdale CA, Holy Spirit flowed in freedom because leaders dropped their agendas and lined up with God’s way for that time.

I preach Christ, the center of my life, my all in all. He flows in revelation and it infiltrates every aspect of the service, in the atmosphere. I feel I am called to be a Holy Spirit conductor, following the flow of the Spirit, with wonderful effects in our midst. Prophetic songs flowed over people, over the congregation, bringing healing. When preached, the word was flowing with the sound of heaven imparting a kingdom dynamic in our midst.

Every minute detail of our Christian life, service, and our gatherings are to be centered and focused in Christ.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:15-18 NKJVS)

We preach Christ in unique creative ways as we gather. To preach means to proclaim openly with authority, words which must be listened to and obeyed. A river of divine love revealed Jesus and in the flow of this glorious grace, hearts turn and are healed and set free. Holy Spirit, I need you…how does anyone hold a service without Holy Spirit leading the way? You can’t but many do. Yet, I never will.

Little Girl with balloonRadical? It is simply obeying Holy Spirit flow. Over the years, it cost us many times of ministry as fear or control in leaders held us back from walking in freedom. But this weekend, Rivers of Eden was launched out in prophetic word over our lives and ministry from the leaders and in that there is such great joy in me.

The manifestation of the Spirit during this gathering:

Prophetic songs flowing over people and into the atmosphere with a dynamic worship leader that simply knew how to follow Holy Spirit.

Prophecy – corporate and over individuals brings life. I prophesy UP – seeing people’s destiny, their lives, through God’s eyes, no matter where they stand in the present. This gives them hope and healing, a horizon line to walk through as pastoral ministry brings them into healing and restoration.

Rivers of Eden is flowing. I preached about being “Off the Grid” for so many years, all props removed from my life, all locators removed until the only One I could gaze upon was Christ Jesus. His way was revealed to me by Holy Spirit placing me in diverse places where nothing was familiar to me, nothing I could lean upon. Perhaps I will write out the message…………………let’s see.

This blog is a declaration to myself. I prophesy and encourage myself that God is faithful in all things and in all ways. Fresh start. New day. New way. Doors that God shut over the years were unable to be opened by man or any of my efforts. Now God opens doors that no man can shut..

How did this happen? I wonder. Suddenly. Here it is. God’s timing. God’s way.

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!

Graffiti on the Walls of Your Life

Abstract graffiti wallEvery child is an artist. The problem is how to remain one when we grow up. Pablo Picasso

Every child is an artist……..until people recklessly graffiti on the walls of our life. They paint with words and images trying to brand us with their way, their truth, their life. We stop living from the inside out, and live from the outside in. Consistently tagged by the plans or well-meaning intentions of others, life and creativity is lost beneath various colors, images, and words…..and they are not ours, not who we believe we are deep inside.

Over time, creativity is lost. We turn into robotic adults who breathe in and breathe out, losing our sense of awe and wonder. It is in this awe and wonder, this childlike faith that creativity flows like a river. As an adult, creativity is dammed up within us by the refuse of pain, sorrow, grief, anger, depression……………

Graffiti 1We walk through life in a daze, wondering who we really are, feeling alienated from the very day that we call our own. What is it? We look deep inside and remember the days of creativity as a child. The graffiti on the walls of our life dictate our course of action. People constantly tag us with everything we can possible imagine and amidst it all, we lose ourselves amidst the chaos. Again, creativity is lost.

As a Christian, we are destined to be creative. It is the DNA of God, our creator in us. Each of us has purpose and promise and everything in this day and age tries to make us robotic and a template of the times and cultural trends at hand. We have to resist that flow with every fiber of our being. Creativity is the river of our lives. Within that river, there is adventure, journey, rest, peace…..this river is the flow of God in Christ through our lives.

AwakeGod breathes into us from the very womb of our existence.

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations––that’s what I had in mind for you (Jeremiah 1:5 Message)

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God––you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration––what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” (Psalms 139:13-16 Message)

God writes on the walls of you life. He calls you to awaken to who you really are. He restores the journey in our lives, the sense of adventure, the place of creativity. Without it we are cogs in a time machine and it is only in Christ Jesus that we have life.

Little Girl with balloonWhy do I keep focusing on creativity? I believe creativity, divine life in us from the very womb, has been aborted, destroyed, delayed or any number of things. Creativity is the divine expression of Christ in us. Without it, we only go through the motion day by day. Life paves a path of boredom and frustration that eventually flows through defeat on every front. Unfortunately, religion has only enforced that through mundane, robotic Christianity. Creativity is our destiny.

Allow God to restore divine creativity within each of us. We must know that no matter what the circumstances of life have dictated to us, God knew us and placed us in our mother’s womb. For some that is a joyous memory. For others the very thought is painful. For many, they live with regret, anger, pain. The answer is to forgive on all fronts. First of all, know that the plans God has for you are creatively excellent. Forgive parents, friends, teachers – anyone who has attempted through ignorance or through determination to destroy the seeds of creativity that God placed inside of you. After forgiveness, ask the Lord to restore a sense of childlike faith, a sense of wonder at His wonderfulness, His awesomeness, His majesty. Ask Him to breathe His creative breath into you again so that you may co-create with Him, your life in Christ. Live in Christ, creatively.

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!