Chutzpah – Boldness, Guts, Nerve

Chutzpah- noun – audacity, cheek, guts, nerve, boldness, temerity.

Courage is desperately needed in these times. Courage to know when to speak and when to be silent. When to stay in the flow and when to stir it up in a different direction.

Wisdom fuels courage to move in power. Its sound resonates in power, crashing into current trends of conformity and tolerance.  Persecution suddenly shows up on all fronts to tear down what wisdom is trying to build up.

courageWhen one confronts in truth, those hiding within a comfort zone of lies, delusion, or ignorance don’t like being challenged. I like to stay engaged in the forefront of truth in Christ. I don’t follow current trends of thought that flow outside of Christ. They are nothing more than shifting shadows on the landscape of cultural conformity.

I always remind myself to speak truth in love and with wisdom. Anything else is easily discarded as background noise, pushed to the side. Aside from those always wanting to pick an argument or stir up division, people at least want to be listened to and respected. So truth in wisdom does not barging in, even though it may not be wanted. Truth stands right in the middle of lies and speaks forth a sound that is clear. Truth does not qualify, justify to prove a point. It is truth. Truth is the person of Christ and He does not need to prove anything.

The enemy, for many years, has tried to kill my voice and silence me on many levels. It was confirmed by a woman at a conference recently who came across the aisle, laid hands on me and confirmed this with the same words.

A voice for God is tempered in time to flow in wisdom, grace, peace and love. It took years to heal my heart, restore purpose, and form me as pliable and obedient in the hands of God. I am always in journey but I am a bit further down the road at this point. I am a truth speaker. The years have taught me how to say it right, expect opposition and stand strong, even in silence. Truth has this funny way of lasting amidst all opposition that comes against it.

All of us are meant to get into the flow of who we are created to be. Find the sound that God has placed deep within your being and don’t hold back. We truly are meant to be a voice, not an echo.

I am finding mine. Deborah in Scripture was an agitator. I have tried to be a nice girl, a good girl until one day God said to me “Stop being a good girl and be the woman I have created you to be.’

Amen to that. I like to stir it up and now I can do it with absolute love and mercy but stir it up nonetheless. This is a new day. Tomorrow’s post about Deborah in Scripture is a good one. Stay tuned.

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!

Sounds Within Sounds – Speaking Truth, Bringing Healing and Confronting Contradictions Part 1

Heart MonitorA variety of sounds cross a threshold into my life on a daily basis. God anoints me in Holy Spirit to hear sounds within sounds and the discernment to know what people are really saying behind a multitude of words. He teaches me to walk in humility and grace in this, knowing when to speak and when to be silent and listen. Just because God shows me something, it does not give me the right to speak. Lesson learned.

Moving in this vein, I listen to what people are saying, and then discern the root of what they are dealing with in their life. Once discerned, prayers manifest which display God’s power and healing into the person’s life. This is discernment on an individual level, person by person. All of us in Christ should be moving to some extent in this way. It is normal Christianity.

As God forms my voice and my sound, I see something else happening in my life. My ear is being attuned to discern a sound that is coming forth in a larger wavelength, across a wider spectrum of people – a corporate expression of Christianity today. Many are answering a question: “Who do you say that I am?” How do we see Jesus? How do our words actually flow from our heart in who Christ is? Does religion veil His reality, His preeminence from us, trying to keep us imprisoned to Christ out there? ? Or is grace awakening us to Christ in me? Big difference.

As I check Twitter and FB, I often see trends or patterns as new sounds emerge through writing, videos and images. These new sounds can be shallow and trendy, without substance or meaning. These sounds take flight; people hook up to them and pass them on, never truly experiencing the reality of what they are saying. Quite often they are immature birthed from a need for reputation and image.  They can also be sourced in anger, fear and frustration flowing from a religious spirit. A lot is being said out there.

New sounds merge with old sounds. Some die a quick death. Some hang on and are espoused as truth even though upon closer inspection they are error. Some even create a movement in and themselves. We need wisdom and discernment. And, we greatly need the simplicity of Christ and the power of the Gospel, the Good News. Too much has obscured our vision and suppressed or even killed the voice of Truth in the person of Christ.

Hearing, on a larger scale, is being refined within me as I pray for God to clarify my voice as it flows from my life, removing any contradiction in my sound that would contradict the sound of heaven and the Kingdom of God. I constantly think about Jesus saying that His words are spirit and life. (John 6:63) I am listening carefully. What am I looking for in the Spirit? Who am I saying Christ is in the power of my words?

The prophetic flows in sound  and image – words, visions, dreams, dance, art, music. The prophetic needs an upgrade at this time into a clear sound flowing from being in Christ. Right now, I hear a lot of remix or mashup of past sounds just for something to say – words like revival, breakthrough, etc. Then there is also a dissonance coming forth as the Old Covenant is placed on the same level as the New Covenant denying the present reality of the finished work of the cross and Christ in us.

The Light Goes OnThe sound of the prophetic should actually move in a New Covenant reality, confronting the contradictions that permeate an old sound of religion or an old sound of mixture. An awakening of grace is here to stay and will only grow stronger in the days ahead. While moving in the prophetic, I confront contradictions. Why? To prove my point?  No. I confront any sound, which denies the preeminence of Jesus Christ, His grace, the finished work of the cross and New Covenant reality.

Have you noticed something?

Listen carefully as people talk, expound, argue, and ferociously try to defend their words. Listen to the sound of it all.

Simplicity sounds forth in resonance – rich, clear, full. This sound flows into us, imparting to us a deep knowing in Christ. These are words of spirit and life.

Religion always complicates and adds the extraneous and the externals to its defense. It is a dissonant sound, one that lacks harmony and is simply noise. It is essential that our spiritual hearing be fine-tuned to hear what may not apparent to many. Hear the sound within the sound.

Part 2 tomorrow.

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!

Hear! Hear! Chew the Meat, Spit Out the Bones!

Listen Grafitti Words are just words, groups of letters strung together, creating a sound as I speak. My sound displaces and shifts atmospheres with the potential to cause confusion and disruption or peace and clarity. What I bring forth flows from deep within me, revealing the true depth of my character.

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things (Matthew 12:34-35 NKJV)

Jesus spoke words infused with eternal glory, words of spirit and life. (John 6:63) Christ is in me; therefore my words also carry the sound of eternity into the natural realm. I am to be responsive to Holy Spirit to carry words of wisdom and to bring them out at the right time. I am to be response-able to speak words of spirit and life.

Listening as words are spoken to me, I weigh and discern their source. Who is speaking them to me? What’s their meaning and impact upon my life? I evaluate and look carefully (in the Spirit) at the person speaking them to me, discerning whether they are constructive or destructive to my well-being. Without discerning the source of the sound, I may be quick to label them as judgmental when they are essentially corrective for my good. Or, I can feel so good about them but they may be shallow, only ministering to my ego to feel good. I must learn to know the difference.

Chew the meat – spit out the bones.

Gulls ShoutingThe Internet can make me gun shy, afraid of speaking truth. Who wants to be blasted or raked over the coals, left for dead, bleeding and hurt because of words seeking to kill and destroy my dream or vision. I can internalize useless words spoken from evil hearts seeking to paralyze me on every front. This can leave me dazed for a bit, unable to receive anything, becoming defensive and angry or even fearfully withdrawing, losing my voice.

Chew the meat – spit out the bones and keep moving, getting stronger each day.

In my own life, I know that words sourced in love, despite being confrontational and challenging are essential for my growth. I must discern the difference. Not everyone has the right to speak into my life. And, I don’t let them but I am smart enough to know the difference between that which helps me grow and that which seeks to try to destroy me.

Chew the meat – spit out the bones.

Discern.
Evaluate.
Know.
Grow.

What I perceive as negative due to inner pain may be constructive criticism for my own growth. What I perceive as positive may enable me in my own dysfunction by someone just wanting to make me feel good. Discern the difference.

Jesus consistently said in Scripture: “He who has an ear to hear…………listen.”

3133347219_4c16658dd5_zOur ears have the ability to hear sound. Sound is transmitted to the brain, which interprets the signal. It’s easy to just hear sounds. I hear but do I understand? I can’t let everything said affect me. Taking it all in leaves me off-balance. I am tossed here, there and everywhere.

With the abundance of voices, sounds, and noise increasing all around me, I need to unplug for my own well-being. It is not optional, but essential to my life.

When we returned to the States in 2013 after living in Finland for many years, the first thing I noticed was the increased noise level in the United States. I may go into greater depth in another blog but for now I just want to say that the noise level I discerned was so high in many places. I was so sensitive after the quiet of Finland. It actually disturbed me. Background music, people talking so loud, 5-10 TV’s playing on the walls……………excessive noise with no ability to even communicate in some places without shouting. It appears to me many are talking, but not listening.

The volume is being turned up everywhere I turn. Excessive talking, words and more words, information overload, opinions, commentaries, constant news reports…….

Yet in the midst of it all, I still hear Jesus saying to me: “He who has an ear hear what the Spirit is saying…listen.”

I read that the increase of background noise has the same effect on our hearing as fog does to our vision. You can’t see in fog and you can’t hear with excessive noise bombarding your life on every turn.

In excess noise, I see people becoming defensive, offended, fearful, anxious, worrisome, angry and more.

Hearing is linked to understanding. As a Christian, I am in the world but not of the world. Holy Spirit is given to me to help me discern as I listen. What is the sound behind the words, behind the noise? What is really being said? Is it truth or a lie? Is it deception or an illusion? Holy Spirit gives me understanding and perception in all things. That is why even though there is darkness and chaos in the world, I am in peace.

Greater noise – less understanding, more confusion. To me, in my own life, it is quite simple.

And He said, “ To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand (Luke 8:10 NKJV)

Mysteries of the kingdom, eternity invading earth, are revealed to those in Christ who have an ear to hear, not what they want to hear or perceive through earthly wisdom but in the Spirit. As the cry of deception, illusion and darkness get louder, I walk in the light as He is in the light and I see and I hear in the light of truth.

Holy Spirit develops my spiritual senses as I pursue a life of passion, intimacy, worship, and prayer in Christ.

This is a life and growth process for me. I sometimes take 2 steps forward and 3 steps back but I am always n a forward momentum, being conformed to Jesus Christ, not the ways of the world. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I let something in that hurts or disturbs me and it throws me out of sync for a time.

Words come at me. I discern the source. Is there truth in the words? I reflect, redirect, and learn. Sometimes I ignore, rebuke, and let them go. One step at a time!

Again there is so much to say about this but for now I pray you get the picture and it starts you on your own journey in Christ.

Debra 2In 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!

Images via Flickr – Just click on image to see their source.

Time To Engage!

It is time to discern between a voice and an echo. An echo repeats, copies or imitates. A voice speaks what has been given to it in the secret place, hidden in Christ. This is a place where discernment to hear accompanied by wisdom to do, kicks in to sound out what is seen…and what is seen in the spirit often runs contrary to what is seen in the natural realm. Chaos in the earth – peace in Christ. Confusion abounds – clarity of vision hidden in Christ in heavenly places. There is truth in the secret place.

The spiritual takes precedence at all times over the natural. It is my reality. I look through the lens of Christ to truly see. What is seen in heavenly places helps me engage accurately in what is taking place on earth, giving me passion and purpose to walk out my faith, believing in Christ Jesus. It’s time to engage in Christ and speak!

This seems to lead into what is on my heart today. I am going round about to get to my point. Have you noticed some people drone on and on and on, talking, talking, completely oblivious to you? Words flow forth in quantity, yet hold very little quality. Here’s my Facebook post about it.

In this day and age, it is not wise to give credence to any sound. In fact it is very detrimental to our well-being to give affirmation to just any sound. People are talking, and talking, and talking. I pass over so much of the echoing noise to find the voices, those speaking light into dark places, speaking life into places filled with chaos and death.

People all around seem to be demanding attention to be heard. It’s hard to engage with this endless talk and that is why this statement struck me so hard.

“People drone on and on about things they’ve done even when they are normal things the rest of us do all the time.”

I am not obliged to listen anymore and my discernment level is up as to what I actually want to spend my time on. I do not presume to think that everyone will want to hang onto every word I say but I do know that I am called to be a voice and those with ears to hear me, to engage in what I am saying, will walk alongside me as I will listen and walk alongside them. It is not a time to gather the masses. Since when have true voices even gathered the masses? It is a time to gather those of quality, not quantity. And it is a time to gather people in the reality of Christ Jesus.

I weigh my words carefully but I was not always like that in times past. Like the Facebook post, I actually learned this while living quite a long time in Finland – the value of silence. Silence in Finland can be quite wonderful or quite intimidating. This is a place where words, unless they are of value, are not presumed upon to be spoken into the atmosphere just because one is able. There is an unwritten rule of conduct in Finland. One is not allowed to invade another’s space randomly or haphazardly. There are positives and negatives about this but I want to focus on the positives. I learned to just BE without the need to talk and talk and talk, which is basically seen as an inalienable right to most Americans. That is not always a good thing. We tend to talk and drone on but our listening skills and our ability to communicate are immature at times, many times.

Visual representation of a soundwave

“A time to tear and a time to sow. A time to keep silent and a time to speak.” Proverbs 3:7 (NKJV)

“The more talk, the less truth. The wise measure their words.” Proverbs 10:19 (Message)

“Even a fool is counted wise when he holds peace. When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.” Proverbs 17:28 (NKJV)

I am not against conversation, fellowship or just being with friends, talking and laughing. God, we truly need that. I am talking about a necessary need in these times to weigh what we say carefully, neither to let fear or arrogant presumption guide us as we speak. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent. It is wisdom to know the difference.

This whole blog developed because over the past few years, as I talk to people, I see how much I am changing as I listen to hear what is being said and what isn’t being said through observation of actions. As I sat through telephone conversations where people did not even give me a chance to break in, or meeting people who asked to get to know me only to spend the majority of the time talking about themselves, or meeting people who interrupt, talk over and demand to be heard.

Silence learned in Finland and also in my times spent in the wilderness, God taught me and is teaching me to know the value in true conversation and the importance of voices bringing forth a true sound in this day and age. Let’s learn the difference.

The tables are turning and many that find themselves coming out, so to speak, after years of wilderness training and alone times with God, will have an aversion to sounds that do not speak truth with clarity, flowing in light and life. My ears are being trained to hear beyond the lying spirits of this age. My ears are being attuned to that which is an illusion or a deception. I have quieted down amidst the ever-invasive noise of culture at large to seek to not only see but to hear. Be still and know. It is a process that requires discipline on my part – turn off the TV (except for Downton Abbey of course), read (yes readers are leaders as TD Jakes quotes), meditate on Scripture, pray, listen and spend time with the Lord.

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 Expression – Time For Some Action, Don’t Ya’ Think?

“Words, words, words, I’m so sick of words. I get words all day through, first from him, now from you. Is that all you blighters can do? Don’t talk of love burning above. If you’re in love, show me. Tell me no dreams, filled with desire. If you’re on fire, show me.” My Fair Lady

Words Words WordsEliza Doolittle sang this song in My Fair Lady. She basically says “If you’re in love show me.” She confronts her beau’s excessive words which express his love for her, by exclaiming that words alone won’t cut it. There is not enough expressed and manifested action to back up the words. Like Christianity in many ways, don’t you think? At least that is what I think for my life today in my own Christianity.

Let me continue to connect the dots for you in this blog post. Follow along by reading this verse.

20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. (1 Corinthians 4:20 NKJV)

I have been on one heck of a journey in my Christianity. Haven’t we all? After years of performing in religion and more years after that, I run from so much word based Christianity that I can’t see any movement of the Spirit. In case we have to remind ourselves, Christianity is formed in the word (the Living Word) and the Spirit. Both are necessary to be formed for a life in the Spirit. The kingdom – talk and walk.

I read this post by Sarah Bessey yesterday and I saw so much of my own feelings in it that I want to share it here. I loved her post. We may differ in many ways but the foundation of her thoughts seem to line up with my own beliefs.

I lost something. I am getting it back. I have been saying that for some time now but each day things get clearer and clearer to me.

Facebook is glutted with excessive words. So I went down my feed and simply unfriended many people, not out of anger or any emotion. I just don’t see the point anymore. There are so many words out there. Grace people, prophetic people, evangelical people, and more and more. As I have said before, my weariness in all of it has reached a point where I just want to be free from it all. Hence the need to purge my list and to be me, even if me is the only one listening to me or reading me. That’s good enough. I am not blogging to convery some irrelevant ideas but to share my life, walking down a path of life, that is taking me somewhere in Him, Jesus Christ.

Since when has Christianity built up on words and words alone? On understanding or needing to be understood? Since when has truth been deconstructed to a message packaged to meet the needs of people or to make them feel comfortable or more secure? Since when? The life of Jesus was so messy. He walked around making everyone feel uncomfortable but yet so unconditionally loved if they would take it.

I love life. I am a passionate adult. I was a passionate child. I am giving up all justification and explanation as to why I feel the way I do about some things. That hinders growth. That is also for treatises, or discourses and this is but a mere blog. I am a woman of the word and I seem to avoid speaking of my experiences or my life in the Spirit because I still fear that I will seem flaky. Hey, I am quirky but not flaky. And the way I see it, I am in good company with many other quirky people in Scripture.

What happened? I remember some years back going to Italy and just walking the streets of Rome, praying, praying and praying led by the Spirit. Or what about that Detroit trip that I took years ago where the Spirit led me into places and meeting people that made me feel like I was in the book of Acts. There were many more trips and so much grace and glory. What happened?

I feel this constant tension in me that I am learning to live with day by day. Great tension blog.

I still feel that I am being deconstructed to get to the basic of Debra’s. Great deconstruction blog.

I am leaving all the camps. The grace camp, the evangelical camp, the Baptist camp, the Pentecostal camp, the prophetic camp. I am not starting my own. Haha! I am detoxing from it all and looking at Jesus and learning of Him by the Spirit in this season. I am not anti-church. We are looking for one right now, a community in which to share our life and to bring life to others.

Why leave the camps? Because it’s the same ole’ same ole. All these grace guys….just that. All the guys…..need I say more. No woman. Hmmmm, I’ll stop there. God will make a way to get past that stuff. I love them.

The prophetic camp. I still love them. I am part of that quirky stuff, seen by many as detrimental to the health of all Christianity. Yet, I won’t be part of the incessant crying out for more, devaluing my positions and experiences in Christ.

I am generalizing, not judging, all of this but I know you get the picture. I feel inside myself there is still a tension, a God ordained tension, breaking the membrane of my limited vision and helping me to see again with new vision. I am fighting to find my voice amidst a world with lots of noise. It is essential for me and you to find our voice. What if we don’t? Well, I guess then I can spend my life on Facebook liking all the iconic people who simply say one sentence and get 100-500 likes. I can become a groupie who may only parrot ideas rather than voice internal conviction. A bit of sarcasm perhaps? I don’t mean to, but it is true.

I am not fighting for individuality at the expense of peace or rest but I am seeking my brand in Christ. I am seeing myself in Christ alone. That is not contrary to grace or an add on to dilute its message. Had it not been for grace, I would not be at this place of awareness? I am living in tension, yet in rest.

Just a bit more of my ramblings here. Tension is a good thing. Tension blog again. I am not at war within myself. It’s just so darn easy to fit in… and to be part of a rising template of clones. I can’t do that and yet I don’t see myself as rebellious. I am in the fight of my life, in a good way, of course.

I was called to be a prophet. I did not want to say that out of shame, guilt and condemnation by others. So, in not at least saying it at times, I lived in a loss of identity, trying to latch on to anything but not really fitting in. Yet how can I deny that night and that experience, that voice of God to me? I can’t deny that experience of being called as my reality.  Today is my breaking out, not breaking bad. Haha- could not resist that.

I am called as a prophet but I have no platform to speak so I speak to myself, declare to the heavens, and write. II walked through wilderness training, being healed and set free in many ways. I have walked one step close to a line of humiliation and misunderstanding most of my life. The fight to fit in has almost killed me. Where does this take me? Well just saying it sets me free to be who God called me to be. I am a Debra in Christ, not Debbie, Deb or Deborah. Great post here below.

Onward and upward.

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 web site.

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