Creative Friday: One Day – Beautiful Moments in Ordinary Places – Pass the Salsa Please!

Do you believe that God reveals Himself in ordinary moments? I hope that you not only believe it but also experience it. You know those times – when it seems that the spiritual atmosphere shifts, feeling almost electric. You can sense it. You can feel it.

God’s manifest presence brings with it a sense of awe and wonder. He loves showing up, showing Himself in the moments, and charging the atmosphere with heaven on earth.

I can feel far from God at times but that’s an illusion brought on by fear, anxiety, or worry. He always right here, in me. Christ is in me at all times and is my reality. So I practice His presence in my life, wherever I am. I always look to engage with Holy Spirit on this journey wherever I find myself, at any moment.

Taco PlateWhile sitting in a Mexican restaurant with a friend, celebrating my birthday, He moved in with His manifest presence right in the midst of our conversation, reminding us that He loved to be with us.

Shawn and I talked about the day-to-day and what was going on in our lives. Inevitably, the conversation centers on Jesus, in some way. He’s our life, so that’s the way it should be as we talk. He’s right there. He blends in nicely. You know…one minute we’re talking about prayer and worship and there He is, right in the middle as I say, “Pass the salsa.” Our God is incredibly wonderful.

The more we talk about Jesus, the more we sense that a shift in the atmosphere comes, a tangible shift that is real, right in our midst, right in the restaurant. 

Shawn began to tell me about watching a session of IHOP (International House of Prayer) when there came a moment, an ordinary moment when the worship leader was so engaged and overcome by the Lord that she was crying. It was a holy moment where people bowed down in His presence just gazing on the beauty of Jesus. That sense of holiness came right into Shawn’s home in Texas. Our spirits transcend time and place and His presence moves right through the TV to right where we are. How awesome is that right? I know that many have experienced that. It shows me how sensitive God is to us, right where we are, even in a Mexican restaurant one particular day, one ordinary moment.

Chips and SalsaAs she told the story, we then began to talk about the beauty of God right over the chips and salsa. Engaging conversation about the One we love. To gaze upon His beauty and to reflect His glory is what makes our hearts beat.

Shawn mentioned that it is a challenge to find beauty in life, with some places being harder to see His beauty than in other places. I wholeheartedly agree. While in Kenya, God told me to speak on beauty while ministering in the slum area of Eldoret. Beauty and the slums – quite a paradox. Hardly seems to go together. But, that day, His beautiful presence flowed out amidst poverty conditions. He makes all things beautiful and changes atmospheres in ordinary moments with ordinary people just as He did that day and just as He did while sitting in a Mexican restaurant eating tacos, chips and salsa.

Here’s some of Shawn’s words from an email. I think you will get the picture quite easily.

“…Some places and people groups just exude beauty and loveliness and it practically hits you in the face and surrounds you, engulfs you…others you have to search underneath, dig for the beauty…ask the Lord to show you where it is…. sometimes gritting your teeth…. but then you see it and sometimes this hidden beauty is more wondrous than the kind that smacks you in the face!

Oh, sometimes we are just covered in muck, and dirt…but we need the Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit eyes to see them/us washed and clean and the hidden treasure, just be one dot of light or the tiniest spark…..” in the midst of the moment.

Jesus is beautiful. When He is exalted through our lives, our conversation, our worship…the Father looks at us with loving affirmation speaking out, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.” God manifests His presence anywhere, at any time where the Son is glorified through our conversation or any number of outlets.

I picture Father God saying, “I love to see My Son honored and magnified. It brings such joy to my heart. Just keep talking.”

Then, Jesus smiles and flows into the midst of it all as Holy Spirit reveals the Son’s presence. All while eating chips and salsa, or watching holy moments on TV or anywhere for that matter…just an extraordinary God showing up in ordinary moments.

Each Friday I want to do something a bit different so I call one Friday a month “One Day” to see how God invades ordinary moments. Another Friday, I want to feature creativity in another aspect as I did in this blog about prophetic artist, Shari Breault. Each Friday, something different led by the Spirit. Enjoy!

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!

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

Heavenly Minded

Epiphany – a moment of sudden revelation or insight, manifestation, appearance.

Like Mary.

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth 27 to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. 28 Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:

Good morning!
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you
(Luke 1:26-28 Message)

Like Paul.

When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. 4 As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice:”Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?”5 He said, “Who are you, Master?” “I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. 6 I want you to get up and enter the city. In the city you’ll be told what to do next. (Acts 9:3-6 Message)

Here are just two examples that crossed my mind today about sudden flashes of light, bringing with them change, revelation, and an angelic appearance. With an epiphany comes a purity in awe and wonder, rushing over a person in a divine exchange between heaven and earth.

I believe that we need epiphanies in our lives – divine interactions of the supernatural kind. Normal Christianity. We need to be awed again on a consistent basis, or at least I do. I desire that sense of wonder, filled with child-like faith.

New CreationThe essence of life can be dull and crusty in the day-to-day, as we all know and experience. As adults, we file our days away into categories or to-do lists that deal with the reality of life as we know it. We speak in clichés because it’s easier than to speak from the depths of our being as we encounter Jesus Christ.

How about being so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good at times? After all, we are already seated in heavenly places in Christ so why not learn to move in that realm, live in that place right now, today.

I believe what I am feeling today is what C.S. Lewis so beautifully said:

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

Have you ever felt like this? I believe this is deeply experienced by those who have turned themselves over to the Lordship of Christ Jesus. That sense that all is so shallow compared to the express longing to know Him in deeper and more profound ways.

Perhaps that is what a longing for holiness is all about. Not retreating into law and trying to find the right rules, regulations or declarations to draw close to God but throwing oneself headlong into grace. A grace that transforms us in the midst of our humanness. A grace that brings us into glory, a deeper revelation of Christ in me. A grace that transcends living in this world while we are living in this world.

To know Him. To see Him. To be like Him. To be transformed in His glory to walk in the light as He is in the light. To allow that light to permeate from the depths of our being so that we are walking light-bearers, filled with the glory of God. Perhaps it all starts with an epiphany that come purposely to destroy our sense of normalcy and set us on fire again.

Debra

 

In Christ and In Process,
Debra
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Mary, Did You Know?

In this week of Christmas greetings, transition is taking place in my life. This song by Pentatonix is so clear and so crisp in its sound…….my desire for 2016 for me and for you?

Silver BellsMay we rise up into the sound that God has redeemed inside each of us, the very deepest part of us, that part where we commune in deep intimacy with Him….the secret place. Your voice, my voice – unlike any one else’s – unique, clear, resonant with heaven. Hidden away in Christ,  He formed you, knows you through and through. It is the outflow of that intimacy that produces the clearest of sounds, the clarity of a voice that is destined to praise Him with all of our heart, our mind and our soul. That is how this video hits my spirit………the clarity of sound that rises up into worship and praise, like a silver sword piercing the heavenly realm.

Merry Christmas!
Debra & Marvin Westbrook

 

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