Great Bill Johnson Video – Thankfulness In The Midst Of…..

This is short and powerful about being thankful in the midst of losing hope, feeling out of it all, loss, grief……..goes hand in hand with the past few blog posts on hope. Breathe and savor the blessing from the video.

 

Debra

In Christ,
Debra

Hope Restored – Dream Again

Green DoorHope is a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen. Without hope, it seems that I can lose myself in shadows, like I’m wandering about in a room filled with promises given but never realized. Without hope restored, infused into the fiber of my life, I can sink down into a certain nothingness that consumes me.

Hope wants to open the door again, to call me out of that room into the light of day, where even though the promises may still be in the distance, the light of Christ brings me into the present reality of His unfailing love for me (and for you).

Without hope, my heart is sick, grieving, and sad. Hope infuses my heart with life and with light.

Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around. Proverbs 13:12 Message

Hope fires up my vision again. It renews my mind in truth. Hope sets itself against any lies of the enemy that seek to destroy my faith in the Faithful One, Jesus Christ.

Hope is the antidote to life’s ambiguity and uncertainty.

Hope restores and makes my heart beat again to the rhythm of God’s promises for me. Tweet That 

Hope rises up. I believe again and receive again.

Questions may still persist during this time of hope restoration. When? How? Has God really said? They test my resolve to stay focused on Jesus.

Yet, Hope does not disappoint me and relentlessly calls out to me loud and clear.

“Look to the One who is hope.”

As I take my eyes off of the circumstances and everything that seeks to weigh me down into life’s uncertainties, I look up to Jesus Christ, with focused intention to see Him.

Christ does not disappoint, never lets go, and never lets down.   Tweet That 

Never!

Can I believe such an absolute statement filled with light and life?

Nothing separates me from the love of Christ.

Hope is restored; Christ rises up within me, imparting a sense of complete rest. In Him I trust. The process of restoration may have its ups and downs but He is faithful. Hope infused with faith to move ahead, even when we don’t quite see it all yet.

“Rest in the journey,” He says to me.

Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge––a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22 Message

Debra

 

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

Creative Expression – Without What?

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. What kind of faith? What does that mean? Do I have to work something up within myself to believe something to be pleasing to God? What if tragedy strikes and I simply fall apart and can’t believe? Am I pleasing to God? What if life throws me a curve, out from left field and I am not prepared to handle the stress simply because I am human? What if sorrow or discouragement comes? Does that make me less spiritual? What kind of faith is necessary to please God?

When my sister was murdered in 1980, I fell apart and crashed in the midst of the ‘why’s’ and the ‘what if’s’ and the ‘how come’s.’ I could barely breathe for a few years let alone have faith in God. I felt betrayed. I felt alone. So I hid out in the midst of life, pretending that all was okay. But, inside, I was falling apart. You can say that I had a crisis of faith. That would put it mildly.

I asked God all the right questions. It’s just that He never really gave me a satisfying answer. Why did this happen? It was hard to talk to anyone about this pain. Christians often retreat into cliches and platitudes when questioned about pain or sorrow that can’t be explained or Scriptured-out. The equation kept coming before me. Without faith it is impossible to please God. I had no faith therefore I was not pleasing to God. Without faith it is impossible to please God. There is more to this verse than just that.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJVS)

What is faith? At my lowest, I had none or at least I did not think I had. Yet God says that it is impossible to please Him without it. So what kind of faith is that? I had done everything I knew to do and yet, I simply didn’t have that mountain moving faith to get going and live again. Is there something more to this than meets the eye? It actually is quite simple.

The faith that God finds pleasing is faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Faith = a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God.

The simplicity of faith in Christ for salvation is wholeness- healing – physically, emotionally and spiritually. The faith of the Son of God, who gave His life for me, is the faith that God finds pleasing. I enter into that reality. Faith in Christ when life is impossible. Faith in Christ when questions are not answered. Faith in Christ when I am so low that I can’t rise up. When I am weak, then He is strong in me. It is not my faith but His faith. I believe in Him and that is where the journey starts.

I can breathe and rest in Him. I stood in the simplicity of that revelation, trusting Christ with my life. I relinquished my ‘right to know’ or even understand to just BE in Him. If anger, fear or grief rose up, I stood in His grace and mercy and love. That is hard for us as humans to swallow at times. Life is not packaged into manageable components. Life is filled with unanswered questions. Life also gives us the opportunity to disdain God simply because there are these unanswered questions. Years have gone by since my sister died. My faith is active and alive and moving again. Why is that? My life still has it extremes and its trials.

My faith rests in the finished work of Christ Jesus, not in me. I live and move and have my being in Him. That’s not an easy way out. It’s the only way. Life moves and I move with it. I don’t cope. I live. I don’t strive. I rest. I don’t control. I abide. Christ is the way, the truth and the life.

When I write these blog posts, I usually want to come to a bit of closure. Then, I realize that is very unrealistic. My life is a journey. If, through my experiences, I can stir questions up in you, that is a good thing. I have always believed the purpose of the prophetic is not so much giving answers as it is stirring up questions.

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

DebraPlease 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. You can contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

Some Great  Posts To Read

A Never Ending Story

Be Intentional

Guilty As Charged

Creative Expression – How Wonder……….ful!

As a Christian, I need, must have, a sense of beauty, majesty, wonder, and mystery when I live in Christ. My sense of being in Christ lifts me up above, allows me to walk in eternity now, and enjoy encounters that defy my understanding. That is Christianity – not just getting by each day as if the mundane is the destination on your journey! And, it is a journey in Christ!

This is where I am today. Several thoughts to give to you so that your spirit would be impacted with hope, encouragement and joy, pure wonderful joy. Here’s a word, one word to start this off.

You can’t carry loss, regret, grief or mourning into 2014. Leave it! Leave it! Allow God to heal and touch your life with joy, which gives strength.

The joy of the Lord is my strength. Despite anything life is throwing at you, live in joy, even in the midst of suffering which will come, not maybe, but will come at some points along the journey. Don’t mourn anymore! Cast off the grave-clothes and live! Prophetically, I woke up heavy in my spirit BUT as I prayed, worshipped and prayed in tongues, reading His word, a lightness descended upon me from above and rose up within me from Christ and I started to see.

Heavenly PlacesHere’s another word. I enrolled in a ‘goal setting’ class. Haha! Never thought I would do that. Even thought I was ‘above it.” Yet, I enrolled in it and this class is changing my life. In this class, He identifies having a ‘push goal” – one goal that acts like a catalyst to set in motion everything else. One goal to get you going and moving. When I sat and thought about it for a while, I could not actually figure out what that ‘push goal’ would be for me. Then I had this aha moment and I knew. And over the past few days, it is proving to be so true. Rather I should say, He, Holy Spirit, is proving Himself to be so awesome.

My ‘push goal’ – to start my mornings early and to spend my mornings with the Lord.

That is not religious exercise. That is glorious. I wake up; get my journal, praise, worship and listen. I even pray in tongues at times for a half-hour while I BE in the Lord. He fails me not. There comes a word, a vision, and a revelation into my spirit that reveals His beauty, His splendor, and His kingdom being worked out in me and through my life. He is faithful to BE with me as I BE in Him. ☺ You see, that ‘push goal’ catalyzes everything else around me. It fires up my hope, my faith, and my vision to see. Despite everything life throws at me, He is with me.

So here are my thoughts from this morning.

I am seated with Christ in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:6)

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. (Colossians 3:1-3 NKJV)

Do you see how often we are pulled down? Just spend time on Facebook and it can and does often drag you down into the mundane, into confusion and more. Wordy debates in Christianity – grace, faith, love, and joy hope – everyone has an equal and opposing opinion. I am sick of it all. No one actually has it all right so I leave it behind, totally behind. Creativity is birthed in greater ways through my life when I spend my time with Him and my focus on Holy Spirit. There’s my way!

My grace awakening did wonders for me. It is healing all performance to DO for God in order to BE for God. Yet, I am now hungry again for the prophetic and the supernatural moving of the Spirit. My life is built on movement in the Spirit, going to nations, speaking prophetically into people’s lives, and more. Years ago, I woke up at 2 am in the morning to encounter an angelic presence at my bed, calling me forth in the prophetic. It has been a long hard journey.

Rivers of Eden in Marvin and I is alive. I did not think it was. I said it could not be after all the years of defeat and failure. It is alive. Not outside of me, but inside of me right here and right now. What does that mean? Well, only that Holy Spirit will open His doors in the coming year into nations, cities, and even coffee shops – one on one and to many. I simply trust in that AND that is enough for me right now. Let’s see where this journey starts!

Life is alive again because I washed up on the shore of my destiny, beaten, bruised, wounded, tired, empty, ohhhhhhh so empty! I know nothing except Christ and Him crucified. I desire to speak His words again over nations and into people. I was not ready before this. I thought I was but I was not ready. Deborah, the bee, is me…………..in Christ.

What about you? Are your dreams dormant? Or even dead? Trust me when I say that I have been there and know. How I know! I am not into religious or spiritual clichés. I love the reality of the Living Word of God weaving His dreams through my life.

Comments? Give me one word that describes what you want for 2014. (Haha – I actually got that idea from Chuck Pierce but I have also used it before too.) What is that one word?

Creative Expression – Mirror, Mirror

Mirror ShatteredDisillusionment (disappointment, let down, discouragement) works side by side with disintegration (fall apart, fragment), attempting to shatter your identity in Christ!

God often speaks to me short and to the point, choosing words that point to profound change and transformation if I choose to meditate on what He is saying at that time. His words can cut like a knife or flow like honey. Whatever way He chooses to bring them as a good Father, they bring confrontation and a choice to change. I still believe that a good Father, a really good Father, will speak to his children in varying tones of love. His words don’t always sound poetic or flowing. They can also sound confrontational and strong. Yet, again, love has many varied tones. That is a good Father. His words, always rich, full and right on time.

His words: Disillusionment fastens itself to disintegration! 

I sat and listen to what He is telling me. Then I close my eyes and receive an accompanying vision, a story from the Lord, filled with hope and restoration.

His vision reaches into the depths of my spirit, often where words simply cannot reach me. Let me share it as if I am telling you a story.

There she is standing in front of a mirror. It is me or it can be you. Looking, intently gazing at the image, she wonders about her life, questioning some things that are not easily understood. The questions are internal, not voiced but pondered within, as she stares at the image before her. She admits to herself that she really does not like what she sees. Outwardly, she appears content and happy. If she were to really admit it, she expected more than this in life. Disillusionment has left her fragmented, shattered, and wondering how to regroup lost time.

Suddenly the effects of disillusionment produce cracks in the mirror, right before her eyes. Her face begins to look distorted. Hope evades her for the promises are distant and ethereal, unable to be seen. Disillusionment crept into her soul, slowly but surely. The cracks show that hope has subtly turned to cynicism and doubt, wondering if God can be trusted. Would He come through for her?

She kept standing and looking at her image. Suddenly more cracks and distortions appeared right before her eyes. Any semblance of joy or beauty was gone. She did not recognize this woman. Everything is out of place in her life. She just kept staring, looking intently as she began to disintegrate, little by little, piece by piece.

That is what disillusionment does, you know. It fragments hopes, dreams and faith until all that is left is pieces of a life that are unrecognizable. The enemy, over years of accusations, kept asking the same question over and over and over. “Has God said?”

These words produced an inner disintegration of her very being, having her question everything she knew about God, everything she believed about God. Looking at herself, she knew that this woman, shattered and fragmented, is not the woman that she is created to be in Christ. She could not look anymore at this distorted image. Looking down at her feet, she saw sharp, jagged pieces of glass scattered all around her. There she was, fragmented pieces of a life that had once been full of passion and promise. How did this happen?

She looks up. The mirror is gone. Her image is gone. There is nothing left. Nothing. In that moment, reality hits illusion. This is when God is God or He is nothing at all, only a vague nebulous being in the sky that seems distant and unaware of her inner pain and struggle. This is it.

Pieces falling to the ground all around her, shattering into more minute pieces as they hit the ground. The mirror is gone. The image is gone. There is nothing left. Nothing. This is when reality hits illusion. This is when God is God or He is nothing at all, only a vague cloud in the sky that seems distant and unaware of inner pain and struggle and trials. This is it.

She looks down again at the pieces of glass, knowing that it was never supposed to come to this point of nothingness. There they lay on the ground. Time rushed in, life moved fast, like it always does. Live long enough and you will see this to be true.

At this point, silence pervades the atmosphere. Where are the tears? Too many have been shed. Where is the crying out? Too many years of that too. Silence is the appropriate response to this chaotic scene. She simply looks up and gazes. That’s all. She breathes. She sighs.

At that very moment of release, a wind begins to blow. It swirls around her, soft and gentle. The wind flows through the room and the pieces on the floor begin to move in the wind. At first, they rise up only inches off the ground, accompanied by a beautiful tinkling sound. Gradually, the wind increases in intensity and the shiny silver pieces strongly vibrate, hitting up against each other, yet they do not crack. They seem to have a momentum all of own, swirling and rushing around her feet.

The wind turns to a roar and it draws up the shattered silver pieces up and away flowing like a river towards the mirror form. Each piece hits the mirror in a strategic place. The sound is deafening to her ears. When they are all in place, the roar of the wind stops abruptly. There is only a deep silence. A silver-like river of shiny liquid suddenly begins to flow among the broken jagged edges. These pieces beautifully meld together until the mirror is restored to perfection again with no hint of any breakage.

All is silent. The woman cannot comprehend what has just taken place. There is fear in her heart, so she lowers her eyes, unable to look up into the mirror. She is apprehensive about what she will see. She breathes and looks up, slowly at first.

Me Jeremiah VerseTruth looks back at her from the mirror. Illusion has died.

Many of us struggle in time – its hopelessness, its pain, and all of the unanswered questions. These struggles erode our faith and belief in the reality of God’s love for us. Disillusionment leads to fragmented and shattered lives. We want answers. There are no easy answers. Life will still have many questions that evade our ability to understand it at times.

When there are seasons that I bottom out, seasons where my life just seems chaotic and random and void, it is at those times, He is real. He restores me and sets me on a new path of wholeness. I am richer for the experience. I can then encourage each of you to stand, when all hope seems lost, when grief overtakes you, when all is chaotic and crazy. Stand. Jesus Christ is real.