Hidden In Plain Sight – So Much To Learn

In seasons of my life when I am transitioning from one place into a new place, I am often hidden in plain sight. Not a fun place to be. Funnier still is that God Himself initiates and maintains this time for me. He waits for me to stop moving so much and just sit still for a bit. If I don’t discern the time, I will find myself in great pain trying of my own will to wiggle out of it. Not understanding the ways of God’s love for me, I can consider it a divine chastisement or deep rejection by some heavenly courtroom passing a verdict that says: “Unqualified.”

Hidden in plain sight teaches me to trust God and God alone. He knows me and has my best interests in His heart. And, He wants to see how I respond when He is all I have to define my life. What happens as I am stripped of so much that forms my identity according to the world’s demands? How do I handle the pressure of being constrained by the hand of God to submit to this place even when it hurts? How do I handle being passed over when I know I am the woman for the task and there’s some great stuff within me?

He waits until I release. Release what? All of my life into His life, His plans, His purpose, and His way. Obviously that is taking awhile. I still feel somewhat hidden, no matter what I do, but I know that this will not be forever. This does not mean that I stand still, not doing anything but waiting and wondering where I am heading. Each day is a journey. I just don’t try to make things happen anymore. I don’t walk ahead of His purpose, but I do keep walking. And, when someone forgets my name for the 100th time or forgets the name of Rivers of Eden, I can smile now. Heaven knows all the necessary details.

This is a good season, one filled with a growing wisdom in me. Continual downloads of wisdom fill my being, transforming my life and my accompanying actions. I am learning to listen more and speak about me much less. I am learning to quiet down to see and hear in the Spirit with greater accuracy.

Lessons are learned through tears. If I even look sideways to see the immense favors on other ministries or other people, I lose my focus and can easily fall into a hole for a bit. So I don’t. I keep looking forward, focused on Jesus and His plan for me, not some one else.

20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “ Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “ If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me. (John 21:20-22 NKJVS)

Yep I am a lot like Peter. Peripheral vision at this time is not a good thing.

You know, it’s true what God said to me.

“Time is not working against you. Time is on My Side. Follow Me.”

DebraIn Christ,

If you would like Rivers of Eden Ministry to come to your home group, church, or gathering please comment below, or contact us on the Contact Page or on Twitter. Read Our Timeline to get better acquainted with me.

In Sync With Your Spiritual Senses– Part 2

PaintbrushEach of us should be in sync with our internal wiring, our internal ‘bent’ – ‘bent’ meaning the way we are designed to live, move and have our being in Christ. He is our life. He is the way. He knows the path we take as are we created to walk in sync with Him.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (NKJV)

Proverbs 22:6 Point your kids in the right direction––when they’re old they won’t be lost. (The Message)

In other words, our parents raise us up and get us going on our own unique paths created in Christ, encouraging and challenging us each step of the way to be US. To be the unique individual that God created.

Some of us are blessed to have parents that did just that while others may not even know what it feels like to have the unconditional support and love from parents who love you no matter what. Well, for those who have been blessed to be raised up to BE, that is a great thing. For others, I have great news.

What is lacking in the natural in your life, is now given to you in a Father, God Himself, who will lead you on a journey to discover how you are internally wired, how He made you, so as to live a life, even in the midst of trial and struggle, knowing that you are created to BE perfectly and rightly formed. In this there is great peace along with an adventurous wild ride in radical Christianity that evades the norm of this complacent religious atmosphere to BE spiritual, our true self.

We are more easily trained to physical jobs, some of which we hate at times. So many of us drag ourselves out of bed, knowing that we have to DO the work to get by and make a living, but the work does not satisfy, leaving us void of passion and purpose. I do not have a 10-step plan on how to achieve your dreams. I have something greater. Let me introduce to you Holy Spirit – who leads you into revelation of the person of Christ who is your life. Jesus Himself looks at you and simply calls out, “Follow Me.”

We are created for a more excellent way. To BE a Christian involves walking in Christ in Holy Spirit, loved by Father God, along a path of light and life, tailored for each of us in unique and creative ways. And, that involves using our spiritual senses to flow in a greater reality. What reality is this?

Colossians 1:27
….Christ in you, the hope of glory….

Ephesians 2:6
……and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus….

Let’s get this down into our spirit, firmly settled in our foundational understanding of our salvation. I am created, along with you, to engage our spiritual senses from this new place we call home, the heavenly realm. I am seated with Christ, IN Christ, in heavenly places. I live in the world yet I see and hear that which is from a higher reality. And that is what gets me through the fear, the angst, the chaos, and the violence of this world that which surrounds me on a daily basis. I don’t ‘bow out’ or ‘opt out’ but I SEE through the lens of a greater reality – the reality of being seated in heavenly place right now.

To interpret our natural reality through the lens of a greater spiritual reality brings life and light through our lives in the earth realm. That is why God wires us each differently in life. Some of us continually see visions. Some of us hear the word of the Lord with a firm knowing inside that which is God’s heart. Some of us administrate. Some of us serve in extraordinary ways in obscure places. It matters not the ‘what’. The focus is ‘WHO’. Who calls you? Who knows you? And, who equips you to walk in this earthly realm while seated in heavenly places? Who challenges you to step out and bring heaven to earth right where you are right now? God Himself in the reality of His Son.

Holy Spirit is within to help us engage with our spiritual selves while walking in the natural. It is time. We need this now and in the days ahead. One needn’t learn to BE who we are – no striving, no restlessness. It all starts with intimacy. One on one with God who leads the way.

DebraIn Christ,

If you would like Rivers of Eden Ministry to come to your home group, church, or gathering please comment below, or contact us on Facebook or Twitter. Read Our Timeline to get better acquainted with our lives.

To Infinity and Beyond

TD Jakes – whenever I want to be motivated and kicked in the butt with a challenge, I listen to TD Jakes. He has the innate ability and anointing to express, with great love, the need to look at oneself and change, accepting all my imperfections and failures and KNOW – God is indeed good, very very very good. My quote of the week:

“Don’t write the memoirs of pain and agony, writing from the REAR VIEW window.” TD Jakes

Rear View Mirror SkySo, here it is. One day before we actually do the pack up and move – I feel great. It is not a ‘great’ that is motivated by false assumptions or vain imaginations of what could be based on fear. It is a ‘great’ that is filled with the reality of how good and faithful God is.

I can’t look in the rear view mirror any more. Gazing at the past with some sorrow, great disillusionment, and deep discouragement at times. This woman is moving on. It has been so busy that despite my love of blogging, I found time itself to be at a premium with the move. So, I did not sit down to write BUT I have so much stirring in me that next week, revelation and thoughts and stuff will be coming your way.

It’s time to move past blogging angst – writing of pain, sorrow, disillusionment, etc. I know that may help people at times but what helps more is a revelation of Jesus Christ and the truth in His promises to us. No writing about unanswered questions that still remain unanswered – done. Moving on past blogging about the pain, the anger, and the sorrow. Moving into Christ and the hope that fills me with such expectation that I can hardly breathe at times. Moving with Christ into a future that is promised to me because He is faithful to complete what He started in me. Moving through revelation that helps me walk day by day, one step at a time into adventure and challenge and LIFE, unedited.

Where have I been these past years? Trying to be everything to everybody. I was whooping and hollering along with TD Jakes all the way from Ventura to Valencia last night. Amening and believing it 100% – accepting the reality of my life in Christ.

Rear View MirrorI used to be filled with passion and positivity and great faith. When I found myself talking more about my past, I realized that something in me stalled and died. When I realized that I blogged about the intricacies of introspection, I realized that is not always the way I want to go. As a mother, grandmother and daughter of the King, my job is to love you and to challenge many of you to keep moving. These blogs will not always sound oooshy and gooshy with love, but they will sound forth with love that is solid and believes in the reality of Christ within a person to live in an abundant life, despite any outward circumstances that drag one down.

Like TD says (paraphrasing here) – you can live in the ghetto but you don’t have to think like the ghetto. I have not lived in any ghetto but I lived in a prison in my own mind that limited and restricted me to the opinions of others along with the guilt and condemnation that comes from the past.

When we leave Valencia tomorrow, it’s almost September, the 9th month – a birthing month. For me, spiritual birthing. That could explain why I have been in a bad mood for the past 5 years. I am carrying a baby that is long overdue to be birthed. I found my birthing room in Christ, outside the walls, outside of institutional Christianity, at least for now. There is spiritual significance in the move taking place right now. I will not be looking in the rear view mirror any more. When I do that, I can’t see the future.

Buzz LightyearSometimes when I want to detox from all the crap that comes with being an adult, I watch Disney – Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Madagascar and more. Okay, I do it a lot, not just sometimes.  There’s something that brings you into the beauty of reality when you look through the eyes of a child. This kept coming to mind today. “To infinity and beyond.”  Would you believe the Holy Spirit brought this one to me? God is indeed very very good. My trajectory is changed, catapulting into the great unknown,  infinitely filled with possibilities in Christ. It’s all good. Enjoy the next season of this journey with me.

In Christ,
Debra Westbrook

What If?

whatifWhat if my next step, in faith, is totally unrelated to anything that has brought me to this exact place in which I now stand? What I mean by that is quit simple. Sometimes I find that we are trained to believe to ‘go forth’ or to ‘step out’ or to ‘breakthrough’ somehow are related to what has gone before us. I tend to look for the same signposts that indicate a change is coming or a breakthrough is near. Kind of like going to the store by the same road you usually follow. You pass by one street, then a familiar park, and then perhaps a certain restaurant and before you know it, sometimes without being engaged in the whole process, you arrive at your destination. It can be methodical, day-by-day, moment-by-moment.

Yet what about those moments when God wants to break into the mundane and take me in a totally new direction? Will I accept the signposts in the road that may look different and lead me out on a new path? What if it all seems totally out of sync in the way that I am used to hearing His voice? What then?

You may want to start this journey with me in some previous blogs to gain some understanding here. Or you can read this one.

That is what I believe I am going through right now. Lease is up August 31. Still no place to live. Again, this may sound strange but there are a variety of variables working against us at times in renting something here in the LA area. They are too numerous to mention here. At the risk of making it all sound like some massive spiritual attack, what if it is God? What if He is behind this resistance because I have neglected to see the signposts in the road that indicates a new way to go?

Haven’t I been the one espousing this quote?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

This is my ‘what if’ blog post? If I did not write it, I may not be writing for some time because I don’t have anything to concretely tell you or show you that suddenly, all the pieces just fell into place. We search day by day for a place to live in this hot hot fast-moving LA rental market and turn up empty-handed most of the time or else we are moved out of position by someone who gets there faster than us.

What if our ‘next step’ is actually coming from left field, out of my focused field of vision? What if? What if there is no point of reference, absolutely none, to connect us to this next step other than Holy Spirit saying ‘This is it” or “Go left” or Go right”. What if?

fbe0c2ade21431a88d45790c2bbabffcHere’s what I think God is doing for many of us in some ways – subtle or more overt – but God all the same. As I am going about my day-to-day, I am keyed into hearing God in ways that I am familiar with hearing God. He is not speaking that way. I can say that for sure. Yet all the while I hear this whisper near my ear at times. Sometimes it’s so quiet and so indistinct that I have to wonder if it is me or it is God.

Then sometimes I have this knowing come over me that in the stillness, greater clarity and light will be brought into our position in the natural. You see along with the whisper I see something. Perhaps not so clear, a bit nebulous but I cannot deny its presence and its subtle influences upon my spiritual vision.

I see a door, a door that is hidden, perhaps a bit small, hidden behind foliage or some obstruction. Yet it is a door. I can make it out but I can’t tell you for sure anything more than that. It is a door, that when opened, will lead into a wide-open place, a new vista. But for now it is a bit unseen at times to me. It is before me at some distance. That is all I know in the spirit.

What if I ignore it and proceed along a better-designed path that provides me some comfort and a lot less stress? What if I do that? But I can’t. I can’t ignore the subtle moving of Holy Spirit, teaching me to flow in the reality of Christ in me.

Christ in me.

Sometimes fear creeps in a bit because I wonder, “What if I miss it? What if I don’t hear? Is your grace able to keep me moving forward even when I am unaware of your presence?”

Will His love and grace and mercy keep me moving despite myself and my need for surety and comfort? When I don’t know it, feel it, sense it, hear it, and when silence surrounds me on all sides, will I simply trust and not jump into what is before me? Will I wait in response to the whisper of His voice and the vision that drifts into and out of my spiritual vision?

Aha……….perhaps this is really being led by Holy Spirit – revealing Christ in me, the hope of glory. You see, in times past, I heard more clearly and saw more clearly. Perhaps it was God’s grace teaching me in the midst of my own growth and immaturity. Jesus is now leading me in fresh intimate ways that are contrary to the incessant noise of the world today.

Psalm 46:10
Be STILL and KNOW that I AM God.

Right now, in our search, I would feel out of sync if I just moved on what I sensed was out there in the natural, just picking some place to live that seemed right but is it really? Trust me in this. I would not choose to go this way at this time – so much is unclear, many variables, many loose ends BUT day by day I continually sense there is something I am not fully seeing, not yet. I only have small pieces of the picture and I cannot make any assumptions as to how it will all turn out. What a journey!

Perhaps I feel a bit like this man.

Mark 8:22-26
A Blind Man Healed at Bethsaida – Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “ Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

In Christ,
Debra Westbrook

10511315_794327653940721_886065626280149819_nRivers of Eden is the ministry that God breathed into my life many years ago. Our focus is Jesus Christ, the Tree of Life. We preach His love and grace, moving in His glory wherever God sends us. Holy Spirit flows through us in creative expression – preaching and prophetic flow – seeing people set free to know Him. We go where God leads us, wherever and whenever He wants us to go. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter to minister in your church, home group, or gathering.

My New Normal: Looking At The Horizon In The Midst Of The Now

SeeKeep in sync with me – read some of the previous blogs. No Room at the Inn. And, of course, Wandering and Waiting. After going back and forth to San Diego, we found no peace to settle there, at least for now. I thought it was the place, but each time I go, we look everywhere, and come up short.

The journey sounds like the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears – the porridge is too hot, too cold, too big, too small……….finally, she finds one that is just right, perfect to taste. I want the just right – not the almost or the next best thing or the good enough.

We broadened our search to Huntington Beach, Redondo Beach, Long Beach – townhouses and homes. Nothing felt right. What’s going on here? I am not sure – not at all. Yet, I am not confused. I feel that God is walking with us, revealing a different side to Himself with each new day. I will keep you posted.

What am I waiting for? I wait for Holy Spirit to show us, “This is it.” I will know it when I see it. So wandering here there and everywhere, looking, watching and waiting is my new normal, at least for a while. I expect a lot from where I settle for a season, both spiritually and physically. There should BE community, unity, intertwining lives where one life is involved with another life, centered preaching on God’s grace, the finished work of the cross, reality, authenticity, a place of concern and love and care. Am I asking too much?

I don’t want to just ‘live’ in a place, I want to be “living” in the place where I settle.

Perhaps many of you wonder or think, “Why doesn’t she just find a place to live and be done with it?” Ah, then you don’t know my life. I don’t do it that way.

Over the years, Holy Spirit, consistently in grace, reveals to me, through dreams, visions, revelation and words of knowledge where to go, where to live, where to stay. Let me explain it this way. It’s like a ‘domino effect’. I am positioned in Christ in the right place, at the right time, and one domino sets off another domino and they all fall down. I trust. I believe. I walk one step at a time, following the leading of Holy Spirit. That ‘way’ has led us around the world, with perfect provision in perfect grace. I don’t know how else to live. If there is a different way, God will reveal that to me.

Now, in the dense urban jungle of LA, we seem to wander. It’s so BIG, so VAST, so SPREAD OUT – options, choices abound without limitations. The only constraint for most people is money and time. You get what you pay for here. You see, the closer to the beach, rents go up and up and up. Yesterday, 800 square foot house in Redondo Beach – $2400. I walked away and cringed inside. Can I believe that God will place me, position me in the right place, regardless of what the external circumstances and constraints say?

I am constrained by the voice of God to find that place to settle, not looking at the outward constraints but listening to the voice of Holy Spirit. I listen, wait and then act.

In the meantime, we pray and worship in the Spirit. In the natural realm, we wander and look at places to settle. It’s all good. Not everyone can live this way but it is our life. We always sense this quiet assurance that God is with us, does not forsake or fail us, and that a keen adventure lies right ahead of us. Just follow Him.

Remember, this is my prophetic process right now. Each of us goes our own way – thank God – in creative flow. Or, at least we should all be open to something new, something fresh. I pray your journey is well.

Why all of this? Why am I going here there and everywhere, sometimes with Chloe, our bulldog in tow? Well, I believe we are to be divinely positioned in time and space to discover divine connections, divine opportunities and divine moment that open up to us in time when we are in the right place. Every place is good, but not every place is good for me. These opportunities are heaven-sent, right smack down into the midst of time – like Peter and Cornelius, or Saul on the Road to Damascus, or Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the wall. Our life is not dull, but neither is it filled with the extravagance of riches. We walk in the simplicity of His voice. This is ‘me’.

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.