The Noisy Now

Sound Waves From MouthThe Noisy Now – demanding, resounding, and LOUD.

It’s an atmosphere built upon words, and words and more words. People constantly talking, about everything and at the same time about nothing. Spend any amount of time on social media and the Noisy Now demands attention. In fact, not only does it demand attention, it makes me feel that if I don’t listen, or watch, or comment or like………….I WILL MISS OUT, BE LEFT OUT. What then? Is it necessary to always be in the mix? I don’t think so. God IS the mix and wherever I am, He is. So I don’t take my cues by the Noisy Now but from all that I glean in the silence of His presence.

If I let it, the Noisy Now manipulates me into its path intent on capturing my time. Live videos, urgent posts, pictures – before I know it, an hour flies by, then two and three. It tries to imprisons me in the grasp of its insignificant sound.

Social media has overstepped its bounds in my life so I pulled the plug, giving it no attention whatsoever unless it serves my purpose. No more entitled people, bent on arguments and constant streaming of every last thought, coming into my head. Out! Out!

This all started when I looked down my news feed on Facebook and actually got stressed out by all that I was seeing. Whether I agreed with it or not, I was tired of it all. It was as if unless I checked into the Noisy Now each and every day, my life would fade into oblivion  or lack significance. This is a dangerous place to be where I blend into every sound that is coming down the line. I will lose my voice here and I will be nothing more than an echo of all that is going on around me. No! No more!

There’s an undercurrent flowing under this noisy now. It seems that we want to be listened to, for someone to show us that our life matters. When it gets to the point where all the noise distracts me, using up precious time, I retreat into silence, into intimacy with Jesus Christ. I value alone time, silence. This is my message of impartation to those younger than me. Be quiet, get alone with Jesus to find yourself, to find out who you are and why you were born into such a time as this.

The Noisy Now is not something I want to get used to, not at all. I don’t want to be a hermit but I want to treasure silence with as much expectation as when I click on every link or picture in social media, hoping it will take me on a new adventure. It doesn’t do that but Jesus will – in the silence.

img_7240This is a message that I want to get across to a younger generation – to get away, to think. Thinking is good for the soul. As a Christian, meditation builds up and strengthens my spirit. I live in the spirit, not in the noise. Life in the spirit contradicts the noise. How can I get any direction for my life without meditative silence where I can think and hear Him?

Times of intimacy with Jesus preserves my sanity, strengthens me, and builds up my identity and faith. Quiet purges away the distractions, setting me on a path to walk in clarity of mind and strength of spirit.

There are whirlwinds of endless words trying to carry me away into confusion or distraction. In silence I gain wisdom and understanding about my life. To my younger brothers and sisters…….unplug and tune into Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In His presence are wisdom, peace, guidance, and direction.

Jesus calls us away, to come apart to spend time with Him. Be still and know that He is God. Don’t be swept away by the Noisy Now.Be still.

Debra

Living with Passion and Purpose In Christ,
Debra

Please share this – so many need to hear the simplicity of the message of Christ – peace in a noisy world. 

I’d love  to speak at your gathering, conference or home group, please send me a message on the contact page or email me at westbrook.debra@gmail.com Please visit Rivers of Eden Ministry page to find out something About Us.

To be Positioned to BE Present

God speaks to me with visions, dreams and prophetic words regarding where I am to go, to live, or to travel. A vision is what brought me to Helsinki in 2002. “Go to Helsinki and pray throughout the nation!” I went along with Marvin and another friend. Led by Holy Spirit, we prayed and traveled throughout Finland.

This Way That WayThere were many more directives over the years.

“Go to Italy! Here is how I want you to walk the land and pray!”

“Go to Detroit and pray over this area! I’ll lead, you follow! ”

To me this is just normal Christianity – filled with supernatural experiences that are in sync with my eternal reality, being seated in heavenly places. From this place, Holy Spirit leads and guides me in the natural realm with heavenly vision. For those who looked at me over the years and often indicated that I was bit ‘off,” I would like to just ask, “How’s your Christianity going for you? Has it settled into a mundane reality or are you living in the adventure of journey in Christ?”

As for me, despite all the ups and downs in the journey, I believe my love for Jesus Christ and my walk of faith is passionately alive and stronger today. I don’t want it any other way. Even through the years in the desert wilderness, I finally learned to be present in the moment to discover God’s hidden beauty in present time. All that dryness in the desert – I fought it at first. Over the years, and there were many, I finally saw the beauty of the moment. It was then that God finally said, “Okay time to move your position again.” God’s positioning of my life is always for a present purpose that He reveals to me over time as I obey and go forward. God is not random. He is purposeful for our lives. And the good thing, I don’t have to sweat over the details. I just need to be tuned into Holy Spirit.

As God positions my life in the natural, He also spiritually births within me a love for the land, the people, the city or the nation. This love is intertwined in my heart so that even as I walk throughout the land, I sense a unity with my purpose for being placed there. There comes intercession and prophetic visions and dreams for the land and the people.

In Finland, as I look back in hindsight, I loved the land and the people. Still do. This enabled me to travel throughout this nation, to see and to know it beyond a superficial understanding. Same thing in Kenya for me – a sense of being divinely positioned by God for such a time as I was there AND will be there again in August of 2015.

I have never just randomly lived anywhere – picked a place on the map and said “Oh that’s nice. Let’s go there.” God is so awesome. Even Marvin’s job assignments were in areas ordained by God.

This is my life. Welcome to it. I am a woman in love with the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ and totally excited about all Holy Spirit has for me.

When we came back from Finland in 2013, we ‘settled’ in Southern California. This is when things seemed a bit different for me. For the first year, we felt lost, alone and not truly connected to anything or anybody. This was new for me. I felt no connection with anything. After one year in Santa Clarita, we moved further west to the coast. This is where I find myself right now as I sit blogging this in Starbucks.

Yet, over the past few months, I see something forming in the distance. I see new things, new assignments and I am walking toward them right now. These past few months have brought preaching assignments and divine connections with some great people. Driving along the coast road from Santa Barbara yesterday, I looked out at the Pacific and my spirit stirred within me about this state. The judgments against this state are so strong from other parts of the country but as one prophet just said “God is NOT through with California!” I believe that with my whole heart.

I Drove A Lonely RoadI am positioned here now to BE present and moving in God’s purpose for the hour i this location. Yet I discovered yesterday that fear began to rise up in me over obstacles to living here. The natural realities of actually committing to God’s purpose here for me in present time came with natural obstacles – finances, affordability, and more. When the natural tries to override supernatural directives, we can find ourselves pulled out of the moment with a million excuses.

“It’s too expensive Lord!”

“How do we do this?”

“Help Lord!”

I actually started crying as I was riding in the car. It was all a bit strange for me. I have always jumped when God said “Go!”

The tension of fear in me fights against trusting God and His purpose. There is a lesson in this for me. I am letting  you share this with me in the journey.

“Lord, how about Dallas…….a lot cheaper. How about that?”

Hope this is making sense for those caught in the moment……more coming…….

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

Rivers of Eden will be ministering in Oakdale, CA on July 11-12. We will also be ministering in Kenya for the month of August. We expect great and glorious things.

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!

Selah – To Pause and To Praise in the Midst of the Chaos

Pause ButtonSelah – pause and calmly think about it. Selah – pause to carefully weigh the meaning of what we have just heard and read.  To praise. To lift up. To praise.

To pause and to praise.

You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah (Psalms 32:7 NKJV)

God is our refuge and strength,a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah (Psalms 46:1-3 NKJV)

Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalms 62:8 NKJVS)

In a world of constant contradictions, there is a place of safety and rest in Christ Jesus who is our peace.

As culture implodes from within, crashing down amidst a diversity of unique challenges, there is wisdom in Christ Jesus.

Anger, division, chaos, anxiety, and worry  like a turbulent whirlwind swirling around lives trapped in hopelessness, despair and confusion. There is a way, truth and life in Christ Jesus.

Pause Shoes by OceanAs a nation, we are in desperate need of a divine selah, a divine pause to reflect rather than react. Who is God in all this unrest? How do I see this through the lens of Christ Jesus rather than my own sense of entitlement or vindication? Who are you God, in the midst of all that is going down before our eyes? What we see happening is just the tip of the iceberg, the initial stages of a volcano beginning to roar and spew forth lava, the divine unsettling silence before a massive earthquake,  or a warning system of a large tsunami ready to hit the shore?

People of every color, race, and gender, shame, blame and level charges at one another, talking but often not really listening. Their words flow from an inner ocean of emotional upheaval and distress. The outward flow is the result of deep inner turmoil of the heart. A nation that needs Christ. A world that needs Jesus.

Since returning to the United States from living overseas for many years, I see a country imploding from within itself. I also know that the answer is Christ Jesus. This nation is ripe for a spiritual awakening. Christians bear the burden of a divine responsibility to walk in the wisdom of heaven and to preach Christ. Christians are an opposing force to the flow of hatred and confusion as Holy Spirit guides our lives to impact the environment God has placed us in. Christians walk in the way, the truth and the life in Christ Jesus.

Our problems are complex residing deeply in the heart of man/woman. There is no simple, quick and easy answer in the world. No politician or political system, no social or economic answers will ease the pain or establish peace. They are part of the answer but our only answer is an awakening unto Christ Jesus – His salvation, His love, His mercy.

Many will continue to thrash around, looking for solutions and answers. Yet, I see a tangled mess that is only getting messier by the moment.  That answer is Christ Jesus. It’s really quite simple. From the reality of who He is there will flow wisdom, revelation, and peace.

So the only question to ask ourselves is simple. What would you have me do Jesus? In this place I am, this city I live, this metron you choose for me. How do I live, move and have my being in your creative expression in Christ Jesus?

Our answers turn us back inward on ourselves, Christ in me, the hope of glory. This is not some distant problem that we shut out as soon as the TV is turned off. It is our problem and we bear the responsibility to BE Christians so that the world may see Christ Jesus living, moving and having His being through our lives. What will I do? Personal responsibility.

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!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! May everyone find the time to take a break this week, breathe and just rest in the Lord. It has been a wonderful and challenging year for me, as I am sure for many of you.  God makes a way through it all for us, giving us His peace, joy, and love every step along the way. I am taking a break from blogging until January 1. At this time of year, I love to just BE and SEE what the Lord may want to speak about 2015. It will be full of more challenges – of that I am sure. Yet, it will also be filled with great grace to encounter anything which appears to be impossible. Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas from Debra, Marvin and Chloe from Southern California – French Bulldog meet up 2014 – Long Beach with 80 other Frenchies……………………Dogs just keep making us smile and smile!

Procrastination – Go! Out! Be Gone!

What if I flyTo procrastinate or not to procrastinate? In the midst of this thought, I discovered that the journey to find out why I procrastinate led me into times of procrastination because I did not want to think about it. Did you follow that?

All kidding aside, I prayed for years about the reasons why I procrastinate at times. I read great articles, awesome blogs and even Googled questions about procrastination. I prayed about it for a long time and yet I could not figure out what is this thing, this root, in me that avoids doing some things that I know I should do.

I’m the type of person where people can tell me what they know, try to help me, and yet, I have to search it out myself and get that inner witness that says, “I get it.”

Procrastination is the avoidance of doing something or thinking something through because of an inner struggle which blocks our forward movement. It led to frustration and tension within me. In me, it was being driven forward by a fear of failure and also a fear of success. Doomed to fail or impeccable perfection. Both are not great options.  I knew this, yet I still procrastinated. I wanted answers. When I want answers I go to God. Prayer brings life-changing revelation, which anchors my soul in truth and that brings freedom.

So, today I have here to say that as far as procrastination and me, “I get it.” And as far as I am concerned, I now actually see some of the ‘why’s’ – why I do it, for what reason? Hope what I am about to write helps you.

One day, quietly sitting, unable to start writing or studying, I procrastinated for hours. The TV called to me from the other room. “Come on, just watch one episode of Survivor….you can do it. It’ll help you get going. Or how about Dr. Phil? That may help you see others are worse off than you.” I wish I were kidding but it’s true.

I was so sick of myself in the midst of a complete waste of time that I simply tuned everything out and began to worship, explaining to the Lord how sick I was of my life and how it was going. I cried out, “What is this? Why do I procrastinate?”

I heard this:

 “Because you were never praised in the process.”

breaking chainsThose words shot through me. They rearranged something in me. In a moment of time, revelation helped me supernaturally see and know what I could not have figured out in my own wisdom through days of reading self-help articles OR trying to force myself to not procrastinate. There is a root to all our problems and that root is not external. It is IN US.

My dad was a perfectionist who rarely praised. He loved me beyond measure but just did not verbally praise, until absolutely necessary OR at the last moment when all was done and I proved myself in some measure to deserve his praise. He never praised in the process, the journey in which I tried different things (art, music, writing).

It is so important to praise in the process. We all need to get a bit of affirmation in the process, the journey, when we wonder, question or ask – “Am I good enough? Is this okay? Am I okay?”

Love needs to speak in the journey of our imperfection so that we keep going, believing that we have value, whether what we do succeeds or we simply let it go. I know that my father could not praise in the process because perfection drove his own parents to withhold words of love. He gave what He could give. I know that now. Most important, I now see something so vital to my well-being.

God in Christ with Holy Spirit ALWAYS praises me in the process. Procrastination paralyzed me in the moment. At times, I was unable to walk forward for fear of getting it wrong, failing myself and others, being rejected, feeling less than, etc. I started and stopped many things, some having no follow through in my life for fear of failure. I needed someone to praise me in the process. My wonderful husband does that but there are times when I could not receive from him. Why? The root in me from years past kept me entangled in an old wound. How to get past this? See it, own it, forgive and move on in God’s grace, trusting Him to lead you in a new way.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I 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 139:13-16 Message)

Jesus praises us in the process. He knows that in our weakness He is strong and in our imperfection He is perfect. He is not waiting for us to get better, be better – we can’t. My life is lived in Christ – He is my life. I live out of that reality now, not procrastinating anymore out of fear.

Green DoorThis revelation is so important to me. It is like a small door, seemingly insignificant to look at, but once I step through it, I stand in a broad place of acceptance of my journey, along with its ups and downs.

Praise in the process of doing affirms our being – we are beautifully and wonderful made in Christ. Praise in the process helps us keep creating and finding out who we really our.

I believe I will write one more blog post on this before Thanksgiving for all of you and for me.

(My secret confession: I am so in process. Do you realize I was going to wait until next week to write this blog? That is too funny and shows you how procrastination will still try to get its foot in the door. But, I got the victory.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

Rivers of Eden Ministry would love to speak at your next conference, home group of gathering. Contact me on our Contact Page. Get to know me on Twitter, and by going to Our Timeline of Life.