Explosions of Light Move Me Along In Life

I thought my life would go like this.

Upward Arrow

A constant upward progression – to infinity and beyond with all possibilities before me. After all that is what the Bible says doesn’t it. “For with God, nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:27)

Even as a Christian, I believed that if I followed the right formula all would turn out just right. I set out on a path to study hard, pray harder and prophesy over anything that breathed. As a pastor in California, a speaker traveling to many different nations at times, lots of different cultural scenarios – life was good. It should all flow right into bigger ministry, better opportunities and more success. Something like this.

Graph people

But, it didn’t.

It doesn’t actually work that way. Nothing is impossible with God. That’s true. But that doesn’t mean that everything is possible for me. It all works for good, though.

Life constantly brings me down into its reality, where formulas don’t work, answers run out, and everything we thought would be, did not come about. Life twists and turns along a chaotic path. It’s not built on templates, or someone else’s path to prosperity or even on enough positive thoughts.

LIght GraphWhile drinking a caramel macchiato and looking through Flickr, I came to the conclusion that if I were to graph my life, it might look like this.

Chaotic Life Cloud

Or even this other great picture.

My life is not static, but dynamic with explosions of light in between the day-to-day, Revelation finds me and I burst onto a new scene, transformed by what has gone before. The before was the years it sometimes takes to get ‘there’ where there is no forward movement but just walking along in sync with Jesus, learning of Him and discovering His ways. “There” are the times when nothing seems to be happening and I can hope to leave ‘there’ but if I do, I will miss what I am supposed to learn “there” that will take me to the next place. Whew! Understand?

My life is organic in flow and eternal in focus, in the world but not of the world. In Christ. That is my point of reference, wherever He takes me.

My life is rocked in explosions of light where Jesus, the way, truth, and life intercepts my path and simply blows everything up at times. That is the way He teaches me that life is not lived in increments, gradual increases over time. For me, there are explosions of light, which shift me into new plateaus of living. With that comes new relationships, locations, revelation and maturity.

God seems to love life explosions where transformation propels us into new places.

As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “ Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? (Acts 9:3-4 NKJVS)

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne––high, exalted! ––and the train of his robes filled the Temple. 2 Angel–seraphs hovered above him, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew. (Isaiah 6:1-2 Message)

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “ Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:26-28 NKJVS)

My life graph is not in incremental increases of measured success. I can’t be graphed or timelined into measured points that produced measured output. Remember the post “We are not producers.” I believe in hard work and discipline IN the flow of Holy Spirit. God knows me, formed me and is intimately aware of my life path.

How can I break this down to those of you who may be a bit more practical in your thinking? As I live, move and have my being in Christ, internal transformation, the light and life of Christ in Holy Spirit leads and guides me on my life journey. Being in sync with Him means I can’t quantify my life by any worldly measurement scale of wealth, degree, knowledge, prestige, honor or fame. Those all disappear in time but that which is eternal never fades or goes away but remains forever.

Relationships, love, mercy, grace, Holy Spirit, compassion, courage, intercession, commitment, integrity, excellence………..virtues that build me up, maybe unseen by those looking for some outward measure of success. God looks on the inside, elevates those who are the least likely and turns things upside down in His kingdom. It is a glorious day to be alive.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
Rivers of Eden Ministry
About Me

We Are Not Producers – Nate Pyle

Enjoy this great blog post by Nate Pyle – We Are Not Producers

Lately, the words have been harder to come by. So many times I’ve showed up at my computer, cursor blinking, and sat staring with a hollow mind. The words used to come fast. I could knock out a blog post in under an hour. Writing wasn’t the problem, finding the time to write all that I wanted to write was the problem.

cropped-1images.jpgWriting was easier before I was a “writer.” I was a pastor with a blog. Not a popular blogger. Not an author. Sure, I was writing, but I sure as hell wasn’t a writer. A writer knows how to use a semi-colon and, let’s be honest, those are more mystifying to me than the question of predestination. No, I was a guy with some thoughts and an internet connection. Not a writer.

Then I wrote a book and became a writer.

Have you noticed that success can sometimes be your worst enemy? When no one is noticing you, it’s easy to go about your business. It seems like it is easiest to do your best work when no one is looking, but the moment you get noticed, the moment people begin paying attention, there’s a new pressure. I think this is true whether we are talking about writing, painting, starting business, or teaching. Success changes how we approach what we love to do. There’s an expectation to keep doing what you’ve been doing, but with a new intensity. A greater consistency. Along the line something shifts, a subconscious transition that morphs the desire to create into the burden to produce.

Producing is very different than creating. Creativity is an act with intrinsic value and joy. Producing is an act that has value only because someone else has deemed what you produced has value. You don’t produce simply for the love of producing. You produce to sell. To market. To get shares. To gain follows and grow a platform. You don’t create for those reasons. God didn’t create the world to gain a world that would worship him. God created because he loves. God created because he is the Creator. And we, created in the image of the Creator, are to create for the simple joy of the act of making something new.

We are not producers, you and I. We are not what we produce. We are not even what we create. I get caught up in believing that lie. In my head, I know that I am not the crossed off items on my to-do list, but damn if I don’t feel better about myself when I’m crossing things off the list. In my head, I know I don’t have to produce to be worthy of love, but man I feel anxious when I haven’t published something in a while. I know sabbath rest is good for me, but it just makes me feel like I’m lazy.Somewhere along the way I became a producer, with my worth and my value tangled up in the value of a product.

A producer finds their identity in what they produce. They find their value in the value of their product. Which is horrible to think about since a product’s value is based on the demands of a fickle market. Think about letting your identity be determined by the same people who made the Snuggie popular. No thank you.

We are not producers.

We are creators.

As creators our identity is not in what we create or in people’s appreciation of what we create. No, we are simply creators because we are made in the image of the Creator.

So today, show up. Do what brings you joy. Do you love to write? Write. Love to cook? Cook. Do you love to figure out marketing strategies for your business? Then do it with joy. Do you love to teach? Then show up as a creator.

Whatever you do today, enter into the full joy of doing that thing for the sheer joy of doing it.

Nate Pyle – From One Degree To Another

From Debra: I want to share blogs that resonate with my heart, bring life to my spirit, and confirm the journey in Christ that I am on right now. This blog touched my heart. We are not producers but creators because Jesus Christ in us is the hope of glory. He longs to express His unique beautiful glory through our lives as we are the creative expression of Christ Jesus in the earth right now.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
Rivers of Eden Ministry
About Me

A Time Of…Connecting, Piecing, Focusing

Glory of Zion/Chuck Pierce had a dynamic message on Sunday. He said that it is time for:

Connecting the Dots
Putting the pieces together
Vision becomes clear
Two things becoming one
People see you differently

It is time. Time for seeing the Lord re-integrate our lives into wholeness. Time to re-member our lives into His purpose.

The enemy seeks to fragment us by attacking our identity and scattering our focus. Scripture tells us that he roars around seeking whom he may devour and that his purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. This is still his plan today. And, for many of us, it has been a hard year, filled with attacks on our finances, health, families, marriages and more.

But God…….

God is going to re-integrate, re-member, and restore our lives to standing firm in the reality of our identity in Christ. How will He do this? It will be unique for each one of us. I believe in this word from Glory of Zion.  If you want to hear more of it just go to Glory of Zion and listen to Sunday morning’s message. I can sense that change is in the air. Here is how those points above relate to my life.

Connecting the DotsConnecting the Dots – There were times when I would try to form the picture from the very little I had. It did not work, at all. Many times I felt that my life was built on uncoordinated, out of sync pieces that would come together for a moment in time, never to be heard of again. Relationships that I truly felt were traveling with me into my future fell by the wayside. Ministry opportunities where I gave my all only to be put to the side when something or someone better came along disappeared into a vapor. The dots just drifted in space, each one holding substance but not yet integrally linked to see a picture. God will now connect some of these dots that seemed confusing at the time to show me that He was behind the scenes working in my life for a greater glory. Of course, not all will be revealed this side of heaven but that’s ok. I’ll take what I can get and more.

PuzzlePutting the pieces together – During this past year, in my frustration, I often mentioned to my husband that our lives felt like a puzzle, spread out in pieces on a kitchen table. The problem was that the pieces all appeared to be in the right color and form, ready to be put together but whenI tried, nothing happened. Over and over, I tried. It never worked. Why? Only God can piece it all together. All the mess, all the ups and downs, and all the in-betweens. They really are forming a great picture, called My Life and they all work for good.

EyeVision becomes clear & People see you differently – So much to say about this. This past year I have felt like this:

They arrived at Bethsaida. Some people brought a sightless man and begged Jesus to give him a healing touch. Taking him by the hand, he led him out of the village. He put spit in the man’s eyes, laid hands on him, and asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up. “I see men. They look like walking trees.” So Jesus laid hands on his eyes again. The man looked hard and realized that he had recovered perfect sight, saw everything in bright, twenty–twenty focus (Mark 8:22-25 Message)

My desire: clear focus again, clear prophecy, clear spiritual vision. It’s happening. As for people seeing me differently, that would take a whole blog post so whey don’t you look at this one? And this one?

Two things becoming one – still thinking about this one so I will focus on just the above for now.

This prophetic word is life to me. How about you? Do any of these points connect with you?

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
Rivers of Eden Ministry
About Me

Now You See Him, Now You Don’t – Faith and Imagination

7711866066_9ffdaf3078_zFaith infused with imagination is essential to my life in Christ. How do I engage with Scripture in a deeper way? Faith and Imagination.

I remember one time being so frustrated while reading the Bible that I literally threw it on the floor, laid out flat, and put my forehead right on top of the verse that I was reading. I not only wanted to read the word, I wanted to live and experience the word. I am still that way. I want to live, move and have by being in the living Word of God, Jesus Christ.

I personally engage with Scripture on many levels.

When I study, I learn context, word meanings, and cultural background. This is a solid foundation.

When I meditate, it’s an entirely different thing. I enter an open door of faith with imagination empowered by Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit opens a door to revelation, vision, and experience. I see, hear, and experience the Word in unique ways.

The Bible is not irrelevant, archaic and obscure. As a preacher/speaker I choose words of spirit and life to stir the heart and touch the imagination so that my listeners want more and more and more. From what I can see about my life, this is true for when we minister in prophetic preaching, I see lives touched and transformed.

That is my journey, to creatively express the depth and beauty of the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

Let me give you an example as quickly as I can. Please don’t opt out. Follow me in this okay?

This morning, as I was in prayer and worship, God dealt with some issues of shame in my life. At the end of this session of praying in tongues and listening to Holy Spirit, I entered a new place of freedom. God loosed my heart after years of struggling with this. Then God spoke to my heart.

“Much of who you ARE is still tied to the past. I will reveal what was lost as to redeem the time NOW and in the FUTURE. We will walk together out of this past into the future. I am going to reveal a new way of walking with Me.”

During this time, I immediately thought of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus.

I Drove A Lonely RoadThe Road to Emmaus

That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?” They just stood there, long–faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?”

He said, “What has happened?” They said, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn’t find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn’t see Jesus.”

Then he said to them, “So thick–headed! So slow–hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.

They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open–eyed, wide–eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared. Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us (Luke 24:13-32 Message)

Like these guys, I am out walking my life, believing in things through a faulty paradigm. Then Jesus shows up and proceeds to walk with me. Rather than force Himself on me, He is the master of intriguing questions. “What’s up?” He says.

Looking at Him quizzically, I think, “Is this guy out to lunch? Where has He been?” Then I begin to tell it to Him straight from how I perceive it all.

Then He begins to tell it to me straight, destroying my false narrative of defeat, fear and shame. He then expounds Himself to me in the power of Holy Spirit. Speaking words of truth and life, He confronts me with my own misinterpretation of who I believe He really is.

Then we come to a point in the road where it seems He is going to go on but I grab Him and ask Him to stay and eat.

“Let’s sit at the table.” I say. That’s all it takes. A few moments of intimacy and the word comes alive to heal and restore. The Word is alive. My eyes are opened to see and my heart burns within me. His word to me is confirmed.

“I am going to reveal a new walk of walking with me.” Faith infused with informed imagination heals, restores and sets free.

I get it.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra

Rivers of Eden Ministry

What Do You See?

Creative expression stirs my soul and my spirit. I love it when people take time to create for no other reason than to bring a snippet of beauty into the world. God, how we need that.

Here’s a great video a friend posted on FB. I was captivated by its form and its flow. Why don’t you take a few minutes to breathe and just look at it to see what it may reveal itself to you?

What do you see? Different expressions touch the heart of different people in different ways.

It is beautiful to me. And, in a world that merchandises beauty for profit and the bottom line, it is refreshing to know that beauty can interject itself into my day and just BE beautiful.

When I look at this video, I am not concerned at how it produces something in me to create material value or enhance my success. I love the fact that by gazing at this particular video, I can allow its creative force to infuse my life with a sense of wonder. And, a smile too – to think that someone actually had this creative idea and then made it work.

If I look once, I see what is revealed. When I look again, my imagination takes flight and I see forms and flow. I am excited about creative expression.

Beauty has no other desired end at times other than to be beautiful and to impart that sense of amazement into others.

As a Christian, Christ is in me and in the power of His Spirit, my spiritual senses are activated to see something supernatural about it, something wonderful about it. How is this bringing glory through my eyes to reveal the glory of Christ in me?

Colors shift from bright red to deep red, forming shadows.  At times it seems as if the fabric is in violent confrontation. Then there are moments of blending together in flow.

If I were to prophesy and allow Jesus to speak to me from this, I believe I would hear something like this.

“There are times, My child, when you fight the flow of My Spirit moving in your life. LIfe is dynamic, never static. Life comes with shifting colors and muted shadows, that rise and fall in times and seasons. Yet, I am always with you and never leave you, Ever.

My intent is for you to rise into My flow of life so that I breathe into you. Life is imparted fresh and new to you each and every day. There is beauty when you step back and gaze upon My beauty to see the bigger picture of what I am doing in and through you.

Do not be so introspective that you miss the beauty of divine moments in which I choose to speak to you through the most unusual and diverse ways. Look up, away from that which troubles and distresses. Look up and away and gaze upon Me, upon My beauty to reflect My Glory.”

As you think on Jesus, allow Holy Spirit to speak to you. What do You see and hear?  I would love to hear. Comment below.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra

Rivers of Eden Ministry

My Timeline of Life