Looking Out, Looking In – A Spiritual Vision Unfolds – My Journal

2770652191_67aeac9902_zStanding on the edge of a cliff, I look out over a beautiful panoramic view of a valley. I then look down at my feet, planted firmly in this spot.

Questions stir in me, shooting against the walls of my mind, each trying to one up the other in wanting me to make a decision…………apart from the Spirit of God. This internal conversation goes on and on and on.

Go………Stay
Wait……Move
There…..Here
Jump…..Stand

There is tension brewing within me between what is out there and what is right here. My heart cries out for adventure, yet the practicality of life’s day-to-days keep me anchored to my own fears in real-time. In the place that I stand right now, comfort and convenience can often become my best friends. Life can be lived through a lens of being too careful and too confined. Thank you Holy Spirit that you keep opening my spirit to see my life through an eternal lens of what it is in Christ not what it is in the world.

Is there a clear direction coming soon? Is there an answer to these weighty questions that I have been carrying for so long? I hope so. I don’t want to stand here forever. I like a change of scenery. I want to move within that sweet spot called destiny, called purpose.

Change is GoodChange is good. Change is in my DNA, or at least that is what I keep telling myself, over and over and over.

Yet why is it that at times, I fight this overarching storyline of my life? Why is it that I won’t always accept my own joy in spontaneity, travel and change? The voice of regret likes to remind me about what this has cost me, the price paid over years of travel. Lost time. Lost memories. Lost friendships. Sigh……….wait a minute. If I buy into this, regret would have its way and tell me what my life should have been like…….like this, like that. And if regret had its way, I would never ben standing on the edge of this cliff.

Lost in my thoughts, I smile and look up again to see this beautiful expanse of valley. Something occurs to me. I can’t stand here forever and at some point I have to shorten the distance between here and there. How? Jumping. There’s no way back. The distance between here and there must first be reconciled in me before any new step of adventure is before me

“Define yourself,” an inner voice whispers.

I think for a brief moment before words start flowing out of my inner being.

Words Words WordsTravel
Journey
Places
Inspiration
Color
Nature
Oceans
Mountains
Cities
Museums
Art
Coffee shops
Writing Dreaming Photo this Photo that Creativity Originality Movement Intentional Spontaneous Sound Music Worship Vision

I could go on and on and on but at this point I sense Jesus is smiling. I have been brought to the edge of this cliff for such a time as this. All these words are open-ended. They come alive within action and action involves faith and faith always involves risk and cutting against the grain of what is normal or acceptable. These words integrate my purpose and infuse my being.

So, why am I still standing here, frustrated at times? I am the one holding me back. True reconciliation must take place inside myself in order to move. I have to come to terms with who I am. Not the terms of what anyone says but who God says that I am, how He is forming my life.

I must look at me, the ‘me’ Jesus forms, Holy Spirit breathes into and Father God loves. I am my biggest obstacle to my own well being by allowing so many others to write the script of my life at times, while I passively look on and accept their terms.

What’s next? I don’t know. I’m still standing in this place, on the edge. Been here for a while but I perceive it won’t be for long. This place? It’s been about 4 years now. Preaching about the edge. Talking about faith. Out of the box journey and adventure yet…..I am still here on the edge. Why?

God is doing something so deep in me that it goes beyond anything I have ever been through up to this point in my Christian life. I can’t always define it. I don’t always know exactly what it is. I only know that at some point I will be asked to jump. I hope that what Scripture says is true. I know it is but again….faith in action? There’s always a few questions asked by even the most spiritual of us.

Soaring Eagle

 

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. (Isaiah 40:31 Message)

 

This is all preparation time for me into the next phase of my life. One thing I do realize. We never arrive. We are always in journey. And there will be another time that I find myself at the edge of a cliff in preparation to jump once again.

For now, I wait, looking out, looking in. As these two perspectives are reconciled, I will jump into my next place of glory and faith. Christianity is exciting. Or at least I see it that way. Enjoy the journey!

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

Truth Staggers Down The Street

Truth is lost in the midst of cultural noise and political correctness. Words blast their way into the atmosphere on a daily basis. They continually try to change our minds and destroy our thought processes from seeking what is real, what is true. Words are a vehicle by which truth is moved along so if you distort words, trying to change their meaning from what is originally intended, it is easier to control people through deception, dilution and distortion.

Words Words WordsThis is not a new thing. If fact it is an old thing and I only need look at a verse in the OT to speak truth into this very problem.

Justice is beaten back, Righteousness is banished to the sidelines, Truth staggers down the street, Honesty is nowhere to be found. (Isaiah 59:14 Message)

Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter. (Isaiah 59:14 NKJVS)

There is an attack on truth through the use of words that seem to be ever changing, evolving to bolster man’s political agenda or partisan way of life. Look around if you can and find truth in the midst of chaos. It is lost amidst word mixtures and word distortions.

The only way to navigate the treacherous waters ahead is through the only truth that exists to be found. Christ Jesus.

Jesus said to him, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6 NKJV)

Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. (John 14:6 Message)

Truth in Christ is true in any matter, under all circumstances in perfect reality. If one does not know Christ, one cannot comprehend truth. Truth in Christ in me is a life renewed with an excellent mind, able to perceive truth in the midst of deception. I am in union with Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit and in my life there is a perfect expression of Truth as I live, move and have my being in Him.

Many see Jesus as a lunatic for saying this pretentious statement in John 14:6. Listen to what C.S. Lewis says below.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity.

Truth Will Set You FreeA battle rages for truth. People desperately desire truth. Truth is in Christ. Truth is Christ Jesus. Truth is found in Christ and the outflow of His teachings, His person, and His oneness in the Father. That forms the simplicity of my life, the way this blog will flow and the prophetic nature of speaking forth hope into a chaotic future that exists in the world apart from Christ.

Prophetically speaking I would say that confusion rules the atmosphere in this present day. Yet that is not a reality for those hidden in Christ Jesus. We are able to see and to hear beyond what is being shown us and far beyond what is being said. We hear truth beyond words that seem to bolster political agendas or foster partisan belief. There is a sound behind the sound when one is discerning to truly hear. God will reveal His heart to us and through us in Christ.

Look no further than the simplicity that is found in Christ for the coming days will toss us back and forth on the winds of change if we are not anchored in the truth of the divine words of Scripture. Make no mistake, we desire to see hope restored and peace reign in our midst but this is an impossibility apart from Christ ruling and reigning in the power of His kingdom that dwells first in the heart of His people and flows out in its necessary power…..now and in the days ahead.

Hope is restored. Peace is maintained. Lives are lived contrary to the prevailing atmosphere of humanistic logic and wisdom. How can one find this? How can one live in direct opposition to fear, distress, and hopelessness? In Christ. Rise up and live above in heavenly places, where we are seated in Christ Jesus.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 NKJVS)

This is a simple way to start the New Year prophetically speaking. We must disregard the extraneous things pulling on our lives on a daily basis.  They only seek to take us into a reality bound by fear and distress. There is a better way, a more excellent way and those who seek Him will find Him. The promises are yes and amen in Christ Jesus. He never leaves us or forsakes us.

Start today. Spend time alone with the Lord. Learn to hear His voice and respond to His overtures of love to you. In this time set apart we will develop a hearing ear and discerning eyes to follow Him in the midst of the coming storms. We will walk in peace and hope and love despite anything that tries to come against us, uproot us or destroy us.

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 13For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalms 139:1-3, 7, 13-14, 23-24 NKJVS)

Debra

 

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

A Week of Merry Christmas -Look For The Star

“Those entrusted with the Scriptures, the scholars paid to study The Holy Story, had no interest in the birth of the newborn king. They knew about it. They knew the plot cold. They could even draw a storyboard to teach others. But their interest was academic. Only pagan scholars were moved enough by the story to get up and take a journey. 

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These “wise men” had no Scriptures to follow. Only the stars. But a star led them to the child of Bethlehem. In everyone’s life a star will fall . . . that leads to Bethlehem.” 

Leonard Sweet

Marvin Debra Christmas

 

Merry Christmas!

Debra & Marvin Westbrook

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Here we are in Texas – our new home! Adventure awaits us and journey defines our life! Over the past 10 years home was the San Francisco Bay Area (which I will always call my home), 5 years in Abu Dhabi, over 10 years of traveling in and out of Finland, (actually living there 6, at least) and Southern California for the past 3 years. That does not count all the traveling in and out and in between.

You can say that adventure is our normal, our journey, our life. This is us (Marvin and I). And for all of this I am thankful.

God knows me through and through. I love change and I consider myself fairly adaptable. Each new move I get excited about possibilities that are hidden in the mix, waiting to be discovered. I can get a bit frustrated also because I am learning the art of downsizing and paring down a life to what is really me, what I consider part of me, and what I can’t do without. With each move, our ‘stuff’ gets less and less. That’s a good thing.

What’s ahead? New relationships, divine connections with many people. Doors opening revealing new places waiting to be explored. I am thankful for all of this.

I am thankful that God has his eye on my life, knows me through and through in each step of my journey. He already knows who I am and it is indeed an adventure to walk it out discovering myself as He looks on.

10511315_794327653940721_886065626280149819_nAgain Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am so very thankful for so many things – my God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, my incredible husband, my family, my life, my friends, and my Frenchie, Chloe.

In Christ,
Debra

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Blog Posts On Creativity

Happy ThanksgivingHere are some of my favorite posts on creativity and its expression though our lives in Christ! Enjoy and be creative!

Creativity – It’s All In Christ Jesus

In the beginning, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit spoke and created the heavens and the earth. Creativity flowed! There is seen, in creation, diversity, beauty, form, flow, and function on every level, from the smallest cell to the largest star. God breathed and formed a human being. There is creativity resident in man through His breath and in the power of the Holy Spirit in Christ. Read more…..

A Circular Flow – Creativity In Christ

Jesus did not live life according to a linear reality such as a timeline. He allowed people and situations to impact His life along His journey. He knew that He came from the Father and was going back to the Father (Circular Rhythm). In this way of life, He stopped, led by the Holy Spirit, for anything that intersected with His life. He moved circularly if you get my picture visually. He lived creatively to the sound of heaven. So He valued the day-to-day, led by the Spirit. His life was full and quite busy, yet He moved in rest. Read more…..

A River of Life – Creativity

Creativity is about flow and movement in life– what is in you, flowing out of you. The alternative to flow would be creativity trapped inside, with great potential, but growing lethargic and stagnant unable to be released. Creativity is about Jesus Christ in me. That is the foundation upon which my creative passion is founded, Christ in me in the power of Holy Spirit. He is like a river that flows, unhindered and free, through my life. Read more….

The Power of the Imagination – Captured for the Cause of Truth

Lewis’ imagination flowed through His work. The fantasy and beauty of Narnia manifests the eternal truth of Jesus Christ in the flow and form of the movie. The power of imagination is wonderful. It takes me to a glorious place in the Spirit where I find myself entering into the story. Isn’t that what it is all about? I enter the story and my life narrative is transformed. Read more…..

Creating Beauty While Living in A world of Chaos

This world thrives in the midst of tension and chaos. Unsettling on every front, current events drive us either into a sense a fear or subtle escapism. In Christ, I choose to bow my knee to neither. Perfect love casts out fear. As the love of Christ flows into my life, fear evaporates in the glory of His presence. Read more…..

Imagination in Christ

Christian imagination evokes both negative and positive feelings in people. In studying this each day. I conclude that Imagination is the connector between mind/heart giving us images, pictures, revelation – in essence, bringing heaven to earth. The mind and the heart, working together. Read more…..

Creativity – Expressed

Creativity has expression through people in art, music, dance, prophetic words, visions, dreams, revelation, and on and on. The Holy Spirit is endless, varied, and multifaceted in His forms of expression in our lives or in a meeting. This post is about Holy Spirit expression in our meetings in Rivers of Eden. The Holy Spirit moves and we interpret what He is doing or saying.  I can often see the direction that He desires to move, the picture He wants to paint, and the story He wants to tell. Holy Spirit is like the master conductor that says, “Follow Me as I lead the way!” Read more…..

Courage in All Ways – Especially in Being Creative

Creativity is courageous. It is a necessary element needing to be infused into the Body of Christ. Not staged or produced but infused. The alternative to Holy Spirit creativity, as expressed through God’s people –robotic Christians who know form and structure but never touch the heart of Jesus Christ. There has been enough of that. Read more…..

Creativity – The Breath of God

Creativity does not flow in a vacuum (a space or container in which the air has been completely or partly removed.) God breathed into Adam and that breath was life-giving. God created through His breath, forming Adam. Read more…..

Aslan is not a Tame Lion – C.S. Lewis, Imagination and Creativity

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. Read more….

Debra

In Christ,

Debra Westbrook