Blogs, Kenya, Dallas – In That Order

From now until October, my life is taking quite an orderly direction. I’ve not blogged for the past few weeks simply because I have not had a lot to say. A short break is good isn’t it?

For the next 3-4 weeks I am going to reblog some great posts, share some awesome prophetic words I’ve been reading and send out some other things that interest me. Hopefully you will like them too.

Kenya Girls with Bananas

Kenya Girls with Bananas

Kenya Trip – August-September. Really excited about this. These past few years has been quiet for Marvin and I, not a lot of traveling. I am happy to say we are back on the road again. Our call to Kenya beats strong in our hearts. I started ministering there in 2002 all the way up to 2008. Then God said to take a break and we did. Now the door is open again and our vision is clear for this season.

Our itinerary includes prophetic meetings, conferences, and leadership meetings, teamed up with Pastors Augustus and Peninah Mutua. I am working on a 4 day discipleship course that centers on a revelation from Acts 17:28 – Being in Christ, Living in Christ, Moving in Christ and Creative Expression in Christ. This course will take shape in booklet form in the days ahead for upcoming trips. We have a wide open door of ministry and it feels good.

TexasDallas/Fort Worth Area – October – Moving, moving, moving. After these past 2 years of being in Southern California, we are settling in the DFW area for our next season. After much prayer, there seems to be no doubt that this is where we are going and again, we are quite excited about it in every way.

So enjoy the blogs that are forthcoming and be blessed in the Lord.

DebraIn Christ,

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!

What About This “New Thing”?

The prophetic word: “Contend for the new thing!”

My breakdown of the word “contend” is in the previous blog post. Now, what about this ‘new thing?” How many times have you and I heard from the prophetic community that there is a ‘new thing’ coming, already here, on the horizon, ready to break out, etc. etc. etc.???? I mean, let’s get real but not judgmental. But……let’s get real and honest. I can’t accept everything that comes down the wire as truth just because it is said by someone who is ‘in the mix’ or in the ‘prophetic limelight.”

Again, not being sarcastic here, but it is time to mature. And, maturity brings discernment, wisdom, and grace. I simply cringe when I hear people fawn all over leaders because they were prayed over, prophesied over, or slain in the Spirit over. At the risk of being labeled critical, judgmental, or not honoring of God’s appointed leadership, I simply can’t buy into it anymore. Just the sound of ‘reverence’ that comes out of someone’s mouth because they attended such and such a conference by such and such an apostle or prophet makes me cringe inside. Most of the time, I see little if any focus on Jesus Christ. In my humble opinion, I want Jesus and if it does not point to Jesus, then why bother with it?

Back to the ‘new thing’ in a minute okay? Just want to say a few more things here.

When I first heard this word “Contend for the new thing!” I questioned whether I had any right to confront it or challenge it. I see myself, at times, as little, and these guys out there (with a few gals) as big, experienced, iconic, with a following, and more. Who am I to confront it? Will I be labeled rebellious or judgmental? What about honoring leaders?

My self-talk went something like this: “Who are you? Why does your opinion matter? Who will listen anyway? They know more than you. God has appointed them in this position of leadership. Don’t go against them or you may be fighting against God’s anointed.”

After a few days of this, I realized something. I have been talking about finding my ‘sound’ for a long while now. To sound forth what is in my heart, I just need to say it. I used to speak forth consistently until all these years of brokenness, rejection, and persecution came my way. That knocks the life and light out of a person. It did me. Slowly, I am coming back and self-doubt is moving over to concede to a voice of truth in me that can’t be silent anymore or I will fade into oblivion.

Okay, with that being said, now what about that word ‘new’? What is this new thing we keep hearing about over and over and over? I will get to the crux of the matter in the next blog but let me process here with a few questions.

What is ‘new’? How do I understand the word ‘new’ in this word? As I said, the word ‘contend’ implies that I must strive, grapple, and go head to head with procuring the new thing?

I am not a theologian but I do study Scripture. There are several meanings to the word ‘new’ in Scripture. Neos or kainos. Neos indicates new in time such as an upgrade to a new car or a new computer, indicating a time frame. Kainos indicates new in substance, a different kind, novel, unprecedented, never seen before. So which one is it? Is something new coming in time such as a new move or revival OR is the new already here, within us in Christ?

I will make an observation here based upon years as a Charismatic, prophetic person. Here is what I believe many people would think about this word. The ‘new’ that is coming is something in the realm of a new movement, a new stream, a new revival, a new atmosphere, etc. For many, based upon the prophetic grid of interpretation, this word indicates that the ‘new’ is something ‘out there’ that is going to hit all around and we need to prepare for it.

Whatever the ‘new’ is often refers to something ‘out there’ coming because that is often what prophetic words today tend to focus on. What is ‘out there’? Well, here’s a few examples.

A new revival
The rising up of apostles and prophets
Healing, signs, wonders
Extreme manifestations
Financial breakthroughs
Angelic armies

Are you getting the picture? I am all in for all of the above. I am all in for the prophetic. I am all in but……………………..

Don’t OUTSOURCE the word ‘new’ to something external to the reality of Jesus Christ who is all in all. This then takes the focus off of Christ and puts the focus on the ‘new’. Are you seeing this? I am not downplaying the prophetic. It just needs a new language to align us in the reality of Christ in me as the main thing. More tomorrow about this ‘new’ thing. Focus on Jesus Christ and Him alone. He is the center of it all.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:15-18 NKJV)

In Christ,
Debra Westbrook

Debra NapaRivers of Eden Ministry is called to challenge people to a life of creativity, revelation and intimacy in Christ. Marvin and I look forward to hearing from you, allowing us the opportunity to minister in the grace and love of Christ in your gathering, church, home group or conference.  Currently we are planning a trip to Kenya in July in which we are looking forward to establishing new relationships with leaders for a Kingdom purpose. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter for more information.

The Prophetic Word – Centered and Focused on Christ Jesus

I heard this prophetic word: “Contend for the new thing!”

I love the prophetic. I am prophetic. Yet, why do I feel that many of the prophetic words lately sound flat or feel like a remix of words that seem to be overused, over and over and over? I am thinking that perhaps – or quite possibly – or better yet – or assuredly in my heart – we need a change in language to convey prophetic thoughts and revelation. I hear the words currently out there and I don’t reject them. But, I also don’t accept them right away either. I pray. I wait. I discern. I ask for wisdom and understanding.

Heart MonitorWhat does “Contend for the new thing!” actually mean? Many years ago, I would jump in, accept, and shout amen without actually taking the time to consider. I don’t jump that quick anymore and that is a good thing.

Isn’t it good and right to ask for wisdom and understanding? It is for me. So what does it mean and should I receive it? I want what is truth and truly prophetic. But what about this word?

To contend: to grapple with, to strive, to struggle, to deal with, to face, to go head to head with.

So, for me – to “contend” implies that I must fight to achieve or receive something. In this case – the new thing. This suggests to me that I must be on the lookout for that place in which I will comprehend or apprehend this new thing. I should possibly do something to keep myself alert and able to catch it, in order not to miss it. Sometimes these prophetic words just make me tired thinking about all that I should or could do.

What if my life is in flux or I am a bit out of the mix? Will I miss it? There are any numbers of reasons why I may be out of sorts? Is my God greater than all of that? Is my forward momentum into a ‘new thing’ conditioned upon what I do? It seems like that when I read this word.

I am not being funny here at all. I am quite serious. I have too many words in my life that never came to pass because the prophetic was simply not held accountable in years past to any kind of credibility. And, yes, I gave out a few words myself to others that may have been a mixture of my own desire and my own flesh. That is the reality of the prophetic so I am not asking for perfection. I am seeking wisdom in the maturity of the prophetic coming forth in these days. It is time.

Words Words WordsFor years I have listened to hundreds of prophetic words. I have read thousands of words. At times, it caused me nothing but confusion with words flying in different directions, sometimes in competition with each other in order to be heard or noticed. So, it is right and good at this point in my life, having walked in the prophetic for many years to actually look close and hard at what is being prophesied. Not going to the next word and the next word but looking closely at this word and asking “Is it accurate. Can I trust that it will be fulfilled?” I would like nothing more than to see a new thing in my life.

Contend for it???? Well, let me think about what that actually means in light of grace and the finished work of the cross. It may take several blog posts to do this. It may help those who are thinking the same way as I am processing here.

So what about this word ‘contend’? Contend: strive, grapple with, go head to head with. What am I ‘contending’ for? I realize that there is a battle going on. According to Scripture, our battle is against a real devil but that real devil has already been defeated by Jesus Christ and I am in Christ– totally, completely secure and victorious. So with that being said, I don’t actually contend in my eyes, striving for what is already mine. So, there it is. I stand, fully secure in a position of righteousness, love and grace in Christ to know that He contended on my behalf so that I may rest in the realization of His victory. Having said that, I cease striving and rest – in a position of victory, not hoping to achieve one through some outward performance on my part.

So is “contend” a good word for me as a Christian who believe in the finished work of the cross? (Still processing here for a bit.) The finished work of the cross is reality. It is finished. What new thing am I contending for? What am I going head to head with or grappling for that has not already been defeated in Christ?

I acknowledge that evil and the devil exists and will attempt to try (I say try) to get me out of focus, out of position or confused through consistent accusation, lies and deception. Yet I don’t believe that I must contend to shout him down as if he is a power that trumps the finished work of the cross. The cross does not fight the battle. Jesus has already won the war.

So there it is for me. Contend for the new thing? Not quite sure. Perhaps I will stand, actively waiting, watching, believing and receiving – living life in Holy Spirit for specific directives that show me a way in a new direction in Christ.

So for me – I will not contend, or strive but I will stand. That is a powerful word to me for it determines that I trust, rely on, believe in Christ Jesus to BE in and through me. Now on to what it means to stand, looking for a new thing and what is this new thing anyway……….next blog post.

I am determined to sound forth with what is stirring in me, being vulnerable to write and process – to get it right and to get it wrong but in the process being me, in Christ. I no longer receive everything that comes my way like I used to – especially in the prophetic. Again, I will say that I do not despise prophecy and will continue to prophecy but I want it all centered on Christ, in Christ, through Christ, and with Christ. I do believe we need a fresh language in conveying what is on the Lord’s heart. I do believe that our eyes and ears need to be open to receive some ‘new’ things – new to us, not to God, of course.

Much more about this over this week. All in process and would love your comments. The journey begins right now. My imperfect blog in the midst of an imperfect life wholly complete in Christ, yet growing in His revelation day by day by day. Arriving is highly overrated to me and can be a bit boring. Enjoy the journey.

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

Debra NapaRivers of Eden Ministry is called to challenge people to a life of creativity, revelation and intimacy in Christ. Marvin and I look forward to hearing from you, allowing us the opportunity to minister in the grace and love of Christ in your gathering, church, home group or conference.  Currently we are planning a trip to Kenya in July in which we are looking forward to establishing new relationships with leaders for a Kingdom purpose. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter for more information.


Creative Expression – Where You Lead, I Will Follow

Light on a PathI lead – always trying to line things up, gather things together, and move things forward. When there is a stall in things, kind of like a glitch on a conveyor belt, I then look to see what the problem is at that time.  Why are things not moving forward? What is keeping them back?

Well, it’s 5 am and I can’t sleep. This is my God time when He wants to get my attention. Dreams seem to be one way as I have talked about in a previous blog. Another way is the silence of the early morning when I can evaluate things in light of truth and reality. Daytime can somehow color things to make them look the way I want them to look. But, the early morning hours are raw, truthful and just plain reality to me. I see better in the still of the morning hours.

So I woke up, thinking that things are slipping out of my grasp. I can’t order anything anymore or lead anything. It seems that I have less than what I started with. (Again you really need to hear this by the Spirit) I am holding less than I thought I would at this time in my life. I am looking at empty hands and wondering what I am going to do right now. I can see it as something to fear, which I don’t. Or, I can see it as a new adventure, which I do.

It seems to me that people and situations around me are forging their own path, when in reality I believed I would be forging it with them but that is not the case. So this alone thing is something that is necessary to get me to the next point. When I say letting go, I am not talking about cutting ties with friends or family, or relationships in the natural. I am talking about finding this path outside of how I believed it would look for me and for Marvin. Right now, this path into this new place is a bit introspective and self-centered because this morning I realized that I can’t pull people onto it anymore. They are going their way and I have to go my way and when our paths line up, it will be God and not some good idea.

When I realized that Christianity has not panned out the way I thought it would, I also realize it is God’s way of telling me to align with His thoughts, His heart, and His way. It is better than I thought. The transition within me is relinquishing all the ‘stuff’ that man tried to feed me through religion, denomination, charismatic prophetic stuff and so on and to walk in the newness of the revelation of Jesus Christ flowing right now. So that is the way it is. Things are dissipating (definition: disperse, scatter, dissolve, vanish) right before my eyes but I am believing they are going to form into something greater for my hope and trust is in God.

Apart From Me, You Can Do NothingHow does this work out in the natural? Well, that’s a biggie for us right now. Transition is the name of the game in our lives. Where to move? Jobs to start for Marvin? People that we walked with have lined up their lives in their God-given path and it truly is a good thing but it appears to me that there is a finality in it all.  The finality that they have to lead their lives right now and I have to lead mine and let’s see where God takes this in the future. So our lease is up in 4 weeks and we have to decide where we are off to at this time in our life. God has prepared Marvin and I for such a time as this so let’s see where He leads us. This is my journey. Never did I think that it would come to this.

Here is what I thought, just so you get a better grasp on this. I thought we would have a home in the States, an apartment in Finland, travel into Africa and Europe to minister God’s grace. Prophecy after prophecy has come forth indicating this for years. I thought that I would be preaching and speaking, which is the desire of my heart. I am not. I believed that our lives would be full. They are not full with activity yet in some ways I feel very full with expectation that God is moving in a different way, a fresh way. I let it all go, today. God will resurrect what He wants to bring back to life. So I take all these years of experience, rich years of experience, and I now evaluate my life in light of where God wants Marvin and I. Enjoy this journey.

Would love to hear your comments about your own life. What are you holding in your hands right now? What direction are you going? Is it the way you thought or a different way? Well????