Look Around – Some People Are Not Walking With You Into Your Future

Open RoadIt’s a sad fact but some people, no matter what we do, will not walk with us into our future. We may want them to with all of our heart, knowing that the fit seems perfect, at least to us. Yet, they stand resolute in the now, seeing us as we were but not as we are. Everyone and I mean everyone is capable of change and restoration in God’s grace. In Hm there is hope and restoration.

Our heart is still linked with their heart. We ask forgiveness, seek reconciliation, a second chance – and all the while time goes by without the slightest indication that the situation will change. They still stand and won’t move any closer to where we are.

Open DoorA choice has to be made, a sad choice but a true one. It is time to settle things within our hearts, look one more time, and move on. We have done all we know to do.

Reconcile this fact within yourself, focusing on the good in the situation, at least one good thing. All of us can find at least one good thing if not more in life’s difficult circumstances. It is time to reconcile with our self, our dreams, and our vision. Time to be restored and move ahead.

There may be a measure of grief in the parting- loss on many different levels. We can’t keep holding on. Standing too long in this place develops an inner hopelessness – a river of regret constantly flowing, looking back at possibilities that never came about over time.

PaintbrushThe future holds hope. Let’s walk. We don’t walk alone. Jesus walks with us in sync with our steps, healing, restoring in His  great abundant grace. He walks slowly at first as we come to terms with this loss that grips our heart. Filled with grace, He knows our pain and our sorrow.

He walks in sync with us for a bit but at some point down the road He picks up the pace and says, “Let’s go! You’ve spent too much time in introspection, deep reflection….let’s move. It’s going to be alright.”

This is truth, no matter how deep the pain there are only a few choices to be made – walk on or stand still. Don’t stand still focused on the now which links itself to the past in constant memories of regret.

Those people standing around us, whether in real life or in our constant memories – they’re not going with us into our future. We can’t make them go. It’s their decision now and perhaps one day they will meet us down the road but we can’t wait. Time is moving on and so must we. Be encouraged.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

Creative Expression – Three Years Of Wandering; Prophetic Realignment

AdventureI 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 139:14-16 Message)

It is hard to believe sometimes, as I look at my life, that I am marvelously made. I see the constant inconsistencies and contradictions within me. Who do I believe I am or desire to be?

At this point in my life, I need an ‘internal alignment’ this truth in Psalm 139. I need to line up my life with some essential truth. Here are those truths.

The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 Message)

There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. (Philippians 1:6 Message)

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out––plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for (Jeremiah 29:11 Message)

How often do I fight within myself to accept what God believes about me and how He sees me and where He wants to lead me? I often set boundaries in my limited understanding, defining who I am and thereby leading me into a path to get to my destiny, not necessarily to what God calls me to do for Him.

2014 is a year, for me, to come into alignment and agreement with exactly who I am in Christ, or rather, who He is in me. It is better said that way. For the past 3 years, it appears I have been following a path laid out in my own wisdom. Follow along on this prophetic path today and see if you can glean anything in it for your own life.

Chuck Pierce, Glory of Zion. I respect this man as a prophet. A lot of what he says works its way into my being as truth. When God wants to captures my attention and speak to me, he often brings me to prophetic people who impart something into my being. In this case, some things that Chuck said in a recent prophetic message, grabbed hold of me, loud and clear.

In 2010, Marvin (my husband) received a clear word from the Lord. God spoke and said to him, “ONE WAY.” That’s it. At the end of his job assignment in Abu Dhabi, we left to go back to Northern California simply because we did not know where else to go, and Cali was our home. Marvin retired at this point. So for 2010, we shifted into our ‘normal’ and assumed, after a few months, that God placed us there to start a work. We rented a beautiful building, furnished it, bought sound equipment, advertised services and more. After 6 months of trying to build, no one came and we closed up shop.

So the next idea seemed to be obvious. Since nothing was going on in Cali, we would head back to Finland since we hold a residence visa there. It seemed clear that 2011 was a year of wandering in our good ideas. 2012 seemed to hold promise. Off we went. Eventually, I had another good idea. Build in Finland a spiritual house of grace and glory to raise up a people, healed, delivered and set free in Christ. The same scenario began to play itself out. We rented a great place; furnished it ourselves, did all the right things, and preached great life changing messages. Over 3-5 months, a few came and went, and eventually there was no one coming so we closed up shop.

Now let me say this. I know some may be thinking that we stopped short of the breakthrough and that we should have persisted in holding on. That was not even an option at all. Nothing we tried worked for us. Is that God? Can I believe that God was in it? Now, yes, I can, looking back.

Okay so then what? I have covered 2011, 2012, and now comes 2013. We are done with Finland so we are officially without a plan or purpose, beat down through and through, without hope and feeling a bit lost after years of this. The only place we knew to head was Southern Cali to be near our son, only this time we did not start something. We sat in SoCal in our townhouse, and sat and sat, wondering if all the years and promises were a thing of the past. Our lives pretty much seemed without any purpose. So here we sit……….and then along comes the message from Chuck Pierce one day last week.

I can’t relay the whole message but here is the main word for me, and possibly for you.

“Work both sides of your brain. Some of your order can’t permeate into a new creativity. There is something you missed 3 years ago in what God was trying to do in your life to prosper you and to begin to see the call of God on your life. Go back and think, 3 years ago. What have you not allowed to permeate into a new creativity?”

So I did just that. I saw that for 3 years, we have wandered in our own good ideas – just wandered, without a purpose, or so it seems to me. I believe that we can’t go back and redo the past. Yet, I can redeem my future by realizing that perhaps some mistakes were made that a gracious, loving, awesome God wants to bring to pass through a course correction. I go back and align myself with His wonderful promises, submitting myself to His will and His ways.

Now some may be wondering – “But couldn’t have God told you that 3 years ago and you could have avoided all the wandering?”

Well, yes He could have, but He did not and God works mysteriously at times.

The shortest distance between two points for God is not always a straight line. Perhaps there was lot to learn during this time that will become apparent to me as I continue to meditate on this word and see where God is leading NOW.

So back to Marvin’s word, ONE WAY. Let’s see what pans out in the next year. Will write more on this in the next blog.

In Christ, Debra

Please pray and consider having Rivers of Eden minister in your gathering, home group, conference or church in 2014. This is our year of release wherever and whenever God opens His doors bringing His grace and His glory through us to those to whom we are called in this season. Feel Free to contact us on Facebook, Twitter, or on our Contact Page on our website.

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Life On The Island – Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Skyline

Abu Dhabi Skyline

Here’s Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. We lived there for 4 years, loving every minute of it. Life there is – what’s the word – cushy? Convenient? Indulgent – yep, that’s it! Indulgent, the perfect word. The UAE is filled with self-indulgence. They want to be bigger, better, and more iconic than any other nation. Most people take jobs there because you are paid more to go on an overseas assignment. For a few years, you can pretend that you are rich, at least for a few. The UAE is one of the richest nations on the planet. You realize this when suddenly you stop at a traffic light and notice a brand new Ferrari, Maserati, BMW, Bentley or Jag and a young person is driving it because Daddy gave it to them for a birthday present. Oh, yes, shopping at Marina Mall – check out those ladies sauntering into Chanel and Armani just for quick shopping trip. I learned a lot.

Abu Dhabi Apartment

Abu Dhabi Apartment

The island is mostly expats from 125 nations so life is very very interesting. I guess I can spend more than one blog to talk about this but I don’t have the time, right now at least. We had a glorious apartment in the middle of Abu Dhabi, drove a Peugeot (unfamiliar to most Americans), enjoyed our official day off as being Friday and not Sunday, and endured temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit for summer months. Marvin worked on the Abu Dhabi airport for those years, so I had a lot of time to write, travel, and explore. I guess now it may pay off in writing. At least I hope so.

Abu Dhabi Apartment View

Abu Dhabi Apartment View

What did I learn there? Okay I hope, amidst the light heartedness of this blog, that I can speak some reality right now. I learned that women were second-class citizens much of the time. I learned that Filipinos along with Pakistanis and Indians were little more than slaves in this culture in the way they were treated. I also learned to live in the tension of seeing reality but unable to speak against it at that time. I learned a lot.

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

To live the life of a nomad is a choice. We lived in California during the years our children were growing up, but they are now adults. Travel increased for us around 2000, making a choice to live free and clear of any entanglements that would keep us bound to one place. We do not own a home. We live very simply with few material possessions. Hmmm, I do love my used BMW – always have, always will. We don’t like to be in one place for too long. I have decided to stop fighting this and to move into the glorious reality of my life.

Abu Dhabi Beaches

Abu Dhabi Beaches

More travel is ahead of us. I know it because that is how God created me. I consistently prayed for God to give us a few places to ‘settle’ and hang our hat and then to travel out from there. It’s a lot less unpacking if you can afford it. Well, let’s see if that is a reality for us in 2014. I want California and Finland as home bases. Settling for two for the price of one – one small small apartment in Cali and one small small apartment in Finland BUT the back yard is the world to me, along with some disposable income to move out and GO. Life is beautiful to me and Jesus is the very center of my joy. I like how He created Debra. My life is not glamorous. I sacrificed a lot to live this way, but it is all worth it. It truly is.

The Same Ole Same Ole – Speaking From Outside The Walls

images-10As you first step away and step out, you often find yourself looking back. Then you find yourself looking around. Finally, at some point, you only look forward; knowing God has called you to keep walking with Him, into places that are neither convenient nor comfortable.

To start writing this blog, I am looking back a bit, without criticism or judgment, but honesty and truth in my words.  I will then get to the point where I look around and actually open my eyes to see the reality of the Christian condition and the Body of Christ. Then here we are today, looking forward and following God by His Spirit. But between what was and what is now, there’s a lot of blog to be written.

The timing of this is perfect. Right now in our lives, Marvin and I have been stripped pretty bare. There are no great ministry opportunities coming our way. There is no support coming in to help us to travel out even if we wanted to. I am beyond concentrating on it anymore. I am writing. September for the blog. October for the book. Okay, onward.  One day about 16 years ago………………

I was sitting in a car with another leader going somewhere. This person was desperately trying to define me or understand me. I did not seem to fit in, even then. So the questions started:

Bla_Bla“What is your purpose? What is your call? What do you want? In my life as a leader, I focus on relationships. Everything in my life is built on relationships and what flows from that. I am pretty practical you see. What are we doing for the people?”

After thinking for a brief moment, I answered with a simple answer.

“I want to gaze upon His beauty and reflect His glory.”

This person laughed at me. Laughed at me as if the answer was so ridiculous and vague as to have no substance to it. I was shocked and then a bit saddened. I never got angry but I was very sad. This sadness played out in my life in the months and years ahead. I did not want the externals and the man-made stuff, which was the focus of the denomination in which I was a pastor. I wanted more, much more.

The journey to my eventual exit from ‘church” started this very day in this car. I realized that the desire of my heart was to actually believe that spiritual environments could be built and sustained by the Holy Spirit – Habitations of God’s Glory. Kingdom environments moving in Christ with strong clear leadership sold out for Jesus. Sadly to say, I have seen it only a few times in my 30 years of Christian life. But I am still holding this dream in every way for I know it shall become reality in the Body of Christ one day.

What I did see in my years of being in the church structure was a preponderance of the fear of man where leaders take their cues from the people and even from the world, and not from the Spirit. Man continues to build using the world’s wisdom and tactics in so many different ways I could scarcely believe it to be true. But it is.

After we left, as I said before, we continued for a while to seek out churches. We were looking for Jesus. Don’t even think I was looking for some perfection that doesn’t exist. You are wrong if you make that assumption. I was looking for a place where Jesus was given the freedom to flow and move, as He desired. That is perfect order by the Spirit.

What I found instead were churches that were run like a fine moving machine with all the parts set in place with exactness and precision. It was so ridiculous that it could have been funny had it not been so sad. The typical scenario confronted us with each place we went. There were variations on this theme in some places but that was the exception.

bored_e_mBasically 90 minutes or a bit more was allotted for God to move. The reason being that Sundays were not times to rock the boat or to scare people away. We heard it was a time for people to come in and taste. How utterly ridiculous. We saw the same routine over and over.

Short prayer from the pulpit to officially open the service. In one church, they actually had a countdown on the screen that said how many minutes until the service started. They were smooth and precise for at the last second, the person sauntered up and began, down to the very minute.

Worship services generally consisting of 3-5 songs that generally flowed one right after each other with very little time in between to wait on God. Worship people generally seem to not understand what it means to wait and flow in the Spirit. Basically this is because the leadership does not give any freedom to do that because it generally upsets the prescribed agenda.

Announcements in a power point presentation or short video clips which talk of a myriad of programs that appeal to tiny tots, children, youth, college age, marrieds, singles, over 50’s, leaders and on and on.

Offering was taken.

The Pastor generally then got up and began to preach, either a series that was in progression from the previous week or a new message. The focus on most of these messages was directed on how the individual could be a better Christian. Rarely did we encounter a message that actually delved into the depths of raising up or equipping people to BE and not DO.

Remember, I am writing this for me. I am trying to be as accurate as I can in this blog. I don’t even want to over-edit anything. I will save that for my book. I am just writing right now to get this out. It has been a long journey for Marvin and I – almost 13 years since we left to get to this point. It has all been worth it and we don’t regret taking this path at all. I have so much more to say. Enjoy this journey with me!

Sonic Boom – Voices of Truth Part 1

ImageI heard the Lord speak something to me many years ago. I also heard the Lord speak this to me again a few days ago. He simply said: “Sonic Boom”.  Let me define it and then follow me on the journey in this word. Take your time reading it and let it sink in, hearing it by the Spirit.

As a little girl, growing up in Chicago, there were many summer days when I heard a sonic boom pierce the atmosphere above us and shake our house. Here is the breakdown of what happened in that sonic boom.

When an airplane travels through the air, it produces sound waves. If the plane is traveling slower than the speed of sound (the speed of sound varies, but 700 mph is typical through air), then sound waves can propagate ahead of the plane. If the plane breaks the sound barrier and flies faster than the speed of sound, it produces a sonic boom when it flies past. The boom is the “wake” of the plane’s sound waves. All of the sound waves that would have normally propagated ahead of the plane are combined together so at first you hear nothing, and then you hear the boom they create. (www.howstuffworks.com)

The plane is moving through the air traveling faster than the speed of sound. This plane breaks the sound barrier and produces a boom when it flies past it. The boom is the evidence of the effect of the plane breaking the sound barrier. This sound is loud and penetrating. You cannot avoid hearing it. Now, what am I talking about?

When voices of truth are sent forth by God, their words will flow from the heavenly realm, imbued with an eternal weight of glory. These words are light accompanied by sound, which will break the sound barrier here on earth and cause a sonic boom in the Spirit, which will impact the natural. As a company of people rise up to speak God’s words, words that are spirit and life, these words will be sent for a purpose from the eternal realm. According to Jeremiah, God watches over His word to perform it. It also says this in Isaiah:

Isaiah 55:11 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. NKJV

ImageLike that airplane, our words of truth in Christ break the sound barrier of the natural realm and fly faster than the speed of sound and produce a sonic boom in the spirit. When one voice is speaking, there is power. When a company of people called to speak truth in Christ speak, truth will shake, and agitate and dismantle whatever is in its path.

There are a myriad of voices in the Body of Christ today bringing forth a sound that is birthed on earth and carries very little impact in the spirit. Words compete for attention and actually hit up against each other constantly in debate and argument. Words flow forth to defend positions and to enforce doctrine. Words also flow forth that are nebulous and vague with little substance.

In these transitional waters of birthing voices of truth that will speak for God (Read the Vision), there are many in process right now. We are learning. We are listening. We are waiting to hear and speak words that hold wisdom, grace, authority, and life. I believe that I am in these waters with many of you, counting the cost to follow Jesus Christ obediently and wholeheartedly with all love and passion. Speaking the truth in Christ or saying nothing at all!