Looking Out, Looking In – A Spiritual Vision Unfolds – My Journal

2770652191_67aeac9902_zStanding on the edge of a cliff, I look out over a beautiful panoramic view of a valley. I then look down at my feet, planted firmly in this spot.

Questions stir in me, shooting against the walls of my mind, each trying to one up the other in wanting me to make a decision…………apart from the Spirit of God. This internal conversation goes on and on and on.

Go………Stay
Wait……Move
There…..Here
Jump…..Stand

There is tension brewing within me between what is out there and what is right here. My heart cries out for adventure, yet the practicality of life’s day-to-days keep me anchored to my own fears in real-time. In the place that I stand right now, comfort and convenience can often become my best friends. Life can be lived through a lens of being too careful and too confined. Thank you Holy Spirit that you keep opening my spirit to see my life through an eternal lens of what it is in Christ not what it is in the world.

Is there a clear direction coming soon? Is there an answer to these weighty questions that I have been carrying for so long? I hope so. I don’t want to stand here forever. I like a change of scenery. I want to move within that sweet spot called destiny, called purpose.

Change is GoodChange is good. Change is in my DNA, or at least that is what I keep telling myself, over and over and over.

Yet why is it that at times, I fight this overarching storyline of my life? Why is it that I won’t always accept my own joy in spontaneity, travel and change? The voice of regret likes to remind me about what this has cost me, the price paid over years of travel. Lost time. Lost memories. Lost friendships. Sigh……….wait a minute. If I buy into this, regret would have its way and tell me what my life should have been like…….like this, like that. And if regret had its way, I would never ben standing on the edge of this cliff.

Lost in my thoughts, I smile and look up again to see this beautiful expanse of valley. Something occurs to me. I can’t stand here forever and at some point I have to shorten the distance between here and there. How? Jumping. There’s no way back. The distance between here and there must first be reconciled in me before any new step of adventure is before me

“Define yourself,” an inner voice whispers.

I think for a brief moment before words start flowing out of my inner being.

Words Words WordsTravel
Journey
Places
Inspiration
Color
Nature
Oceans
Mountains
Cities
Museums
Art
Coffee shops
Writing Dreaming Photo this Photo that Creativity Originality Movement Intentional Spontaneous Sound Music Worship Vision

I could go on and on and on but at this point I sense Jesus is smiling. I have been brought to the edge of this cliff for such a time as this. All these words are open-ended. They come alive within action and action involves faith and faith always involves risk and cutting against the grain of what is normal or acceptable. These words integrate my purpose and infuse my being.

So, why am I still standing here, frustrated at times? I am the one holding me back. True reconciliation must take place inside myself in order to move. I have to come to terms with who I am. Not the terms of what anyone says but who God says that I am, how He is forming my life.

I must look at me, the ‘me’ Jesus forms, Holy Spirit breathes into and Father God loves. I am my biggest obstacle to my own well being by allowing so many others to write the script of my life at times, while I passively look on and accept their terms.

What’s next? I don’t know. I’m still standing in this place, on the edge. Been here for a while but I perceive it won’t be for long. This place? It’s been about 4 years now. Preaching about the edge. Talking about faith. Out of the box journey and adventure yet…..I am still here on the edge. Why?

God is doing something so deep in me that it goes beyond anything I have ever been through up to this point in my Christian life. I can’t always define it. I don’t always know exactly what it is. I only know that at some point I will be asked to jump. I hope that what Scripture says is true. I know it is but again….faith in action? There’s always a few questions asked by even the most spiritual of us.

Soaring Eagle

 

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. (Isaiah 40:31 Message)

 

This is all preparation time for me into the next phase of my life. One thing I do realize. We never arrive. We are always in journey. And there will be another time that I find myself at the edge of a cliff in preparation to jump once again.

For now, I wait, looking out, looking in. As these two perspectives are reconciled, I will jump into my next place of glory and faith. Christianity is exciting. Or at least I see it that way. Enjoy the journey!

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
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Subliminal Sounds – Constant Noise! Help Us Holy Spirit!

Have you noticed that there is an undercurrent of noise that constantly tries to invade our space, divert our attention and distract our focus? There are powerful subliminal messages that exist all around us. And, they don’t let up one bit.

Here are a few.

Stay in the mix!

Out of sight, out of mind!

Adhere to these statements from any subtle sense of insecurity and rejection and bam………you live by the flow of social media and current trends in a never-ending cycle of trying to BE on a journey of success, breakthrough or destiny.

Note to Self: You are EnoughMy life has taken this incredible turn today as a sense of ennui (that’s boredom and just plain weariness) settled on my life over the past week. Usually I would run from it. Stand up straight and head into the storm. Make it happen. Don’t quit.

But today…I am tired which has given me lots of time to simply BE in the presence of Jesus Christ where I discovered that I feel a bit lost in time.

If I succumb to the pressure of being in the mix and fearing that out of sight brings me out of mind which means that I will fall flat into oblivion and obscurity again, I will create my own flow helping me to be SEEN and HEARD. Heaven forbid! The pressure is unrelenting – blog more so you aren’t forgotten, tweet more so that you are out there, Facebook more posts to be a presence on line.

No more! I decide today, enough is enough. I decide rather than anyone else. I have my voice, a LANGUAGE OF BEING that flows from me like a river, Rivers of Eden to be exact.

All morning, I left the demands of a schedule and worshipped. In this beautiful process, there came intense Christ–discovery of the glorious one who is in me, Holy Spirit who syncs me with creativity and adventure, and Father who loves me. Selah. Selah. Selah.

Passion is overflow – contagious, resounding with words of life, attractive.

Self-promotion, trying to be in the mix – this leads to desperation and desperation is simply not attractive. Desperation seems to want to pull you, force you to listen.

My language of being…in Christ flows through me. I want to BE like Jesus when He said:

The Spirit can make life. Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen. Every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit–word, and so it is life–making. (John 6:63 Message)

 …the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63 NKJV)

It is appropriate that this happens right now at my release into preaching again. It allows me to rest in Me and in Christ in Me, giving what I know I have – His revelation flowing through me – a language of being with words of spirit and life.

What about you? Don’t follow trends or cutting edge concepts to BE something you are not. Flow in your language of being for God has created people out there waiting to hear you, not someone else speaking through you OR not a sound of desperation flowing from a place of insecurity or doubt that you are enough. You are enough….and so am I!

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!

Ready? Set? Go? False Start!

Apart From MeFalse Start – an attempt to do something you are not ready or able to do; an unsuccessful attempt to begin something.

With a passion to move out in ministry, my zeal often ran ahead of wisdom. In other words, I had a lot of false starts in my life. Timing is everything!

False starts are not failure. God looks at the heart, sees its passion and graces us to start over in a particular endeavor with more wisdom. Failure paralyzes with fear and shame.  False starts? I set out and somehow it just does not work. Perhaps a mistake has been made. Grace abounds in all ways and we learn how to move in sync with God.

I walk back to the starting line to try again. Father God looks at me with great compassion and whispers,  “Wait for Me! Watch me closely this time. Move with me. Live in Me. I have not forgotten you. You got a bit ahead of Me and you weren’t ready. The time is soon.”

Zeal propelled me forward in a self-paced momentum. I thought I was ready so off I went. God smiled and loved me through it all.

Zeal alone can’t set the pace. Wisdom paves the way in God’s timing. Wisdom often requires that we wait a bit until all the pieces are in place. Wisdom is necessary for maturity. While zeal pushes me forward in my own strength, wisdom releases me in the right time. It’s not about a fast paced track. It’s about maintaining passion and focus for the long haul, giving all glory to Jesus.

Zeal without wisdom can be disastrous.. It all starts good as we jump out but unless restrained it causes burn out, discouragement and despair. Zeal alone can’t sustain. Thank God for His grace, love and mercy in the midst of false starts.

PaintbrushAs we grow in Christ and go from glory to glory, there are platforms of breakthrough and breakout. Holy Spirit opens a door and we are encouraged to walk into a new place.

Moving in God is my life. Being in sync with my destiny positions me in that sweet spot where I know why I have been created and set into this time. This is normal Christianity for all of us. In going from glory to glory, we try, we leap, we jump, we learn, make mistakes and have some false starts.

In my life, I so often focused on the future instead of resting in the present growing in wisdom and grace.  I was not exactly a woman of great patience. As I began to think today about false starts in my life, I felt no condemnation, no regret and no failure. None of us are perfect. We are all growing in grace. False starts are part of life and always will be. They enable us to grow in humility as we look to God alone.

Friday, as I was reading a great book,  I received a series of texts from someone who gave me a lengthy accurate prophetic word. The words shot into my heart like an arrow. They traversed the depths of my heart, healing and restoring. It was prophetically stated that the word came specifically on Good Friday because my time being in the tomb, in the darkness of vision is over.

The timing of this word was perfect. It addressed all my false starts in life, healing regret and disillusionment. The word addressed betrayals from people whom I trusted. These words healed rejection from just feeling humiliated that as I tried to step out in God over the years, I was often shut down, blatantly ignored with words of condescension.

I remembered the ministry work in Kenya, Finland, Abu Dhabi……so many false starts with great risk but also great successes too. Because of the regret, I sensed that I had been counted out of the race, a perfect lie from the enemy. There were buildings rented for meetings where money was invested, life poured out and no one came. That was a great source of humiliation and pain for me.

Is God in the pain? Is God in the false start? Well, let me just say my zeal and my flesh jumped out and He didn’t stop me. He knew there was much to learn in these mistakes that would be beneficial for my future. He allowed the setbacks for me to grow in wisdom. He saw the depth of my heart. He knew that with each setback, I ran back to my Father to learn, to cry and to grow. It’s all about grace.

Over the past few months until this Good Friday, I saw a momentum building in my life, step by step, glory to glory.  The prophetic word brought it all to the forefront and closed the past – done. It is finished. So appropriate to be on Easter weekend but God is so perfect in His timing.

TruthWhat about your false starts? Mistakes? Regrets?  When you dare to jump but it may not quite be the time. Walking sheepishly to the starting line again, one is filled with pain, regret and shame. Many want to hide for a bit. That;s normal but I want to tell you that without the passion of a false start, without daring to jump, without success and failure, how can you even come to know God’s grace? God’s grace flows through our weakness to be strong. God’s grace gives us life to take risks and to take chances and to see setbacks as just a part of life. His love for us NEVER changes. It is better to jump at times, risk it all and learn from mistakes than to live life doing nothing at all.

What happens when we jump out in a false start and realize it’s a bad choice? We walk back to the starting line, dejected and a bit shamed but what we see is God loving us through it all. His simply says, “Trust me. Wait. Follow me this time.”

Standing at the starting line is a place of growth. It’s hard to stand there and see others running ahead with what seems like great favor in whatever they put their hand to in life. I was there. I stood still. I watched day after day after day. In my heart, I was resolute. No false start this time at this point in life. There is this release upon my life to travel to the nations again – to preach, to build up leaders, to impart a revelation of creativity…..and so much more. After years of jumping out, learning, going back to try again, I feel free. No regret. No shame. Only a clear path. The power of this prophetic word Friday shifted my life. May these words I write to you today give you hope to try again, to release the past and to believe God. He is faithful! My life is my message. I walk and talk it so you can be ministered to by it. I tell my story….. without any pretense of trying to look perfect. 🙂

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!

The Journey Part 3/3 – Grace To Navigate These Times or What Now?

Jeremiah 29:11Fear can grow in me when I choose to be present looking at reality as it is, not as I want it to be. Is it a fear of being in the moment? How about a fear of fading into the facts of the current situation? What to do?

Faced with a situation that just IS I can panic and run away. There are more ways to run than I can imagine. I can run emotionally into denial, not accepting God’s way for me, even as it involves a measure of pain. I can run physically away, changing locations or moving. I can even run away spiritually, not wanting to look at God, thinking He doesn’t have my best interests in His heart. Look around, lots of people are running aren’t they?

Faced with a situation that just IS – I can also sink down into discouragement, feeling lost and trapped. I live life from a subdued place of hopelessness, thinking that it will be like this forever. Thinking that nothing will change, I resign myself to suffering without purpose. There is always a purpose to suffering.

Submit to the process. More importantly submit to God’s hand holding me in a place where I don’t necessarily want to be. His ways are good, right, purposeful, meaningful, justified and filled with love and grace. Like a good Father, He sees the end from the beginning. He knows process is essential for growth and maturity. Since when is Christianity all about ‘me” anyway– my desires, my wants, my needs? There are numerous verses that support suffering in this mix called life. Life is kaleidoscope of it all – joy, peace, suffering, freedom, pain, hope, mercy and love, lots of love – shifting and changing as we journey through each season.

Jeremiah was speaking to a people intent on getting out. He said, “Settle in.”  At this point, there are very few choices. Obey God, even when you can’t see the whole picture. Don’t fight the process. You will end up constantly stressed and strained in life. Jeremiah did say, “Settle in.” He also went one step further than that. He said “Bloom where you are planted. Live. Love. Grow.” (My words.) Not only submit to God but also submit with joy. Ouch!

So what now? There are three ways that work for me when I don’t want to do what God says to do but I love Him so I submit to His plan. He’s a good Father. So, settle into the present and trust Him. It’s all about seasons. Seasons change and this one will too but there is something to learn here and I don’t want to miss it. I can’t always get what I want.

So, in the day-to-day how do I go about this?

Be PresentBe present in the moment, in submitting to the way, His way. Don’t dwell upon the ‘what if’s’ or ‘what was’ – look at the ‘what now.’ Doors will open while walking in the present moment. These are hidden doors in the Spirit, doors that open as I mature in wisdom and grace. They are readily available to all of us but many simply don’t see them because they refuse to submit to these times of refining. Jesus encountered many opportunities on His way to the cross – the woman at the well (John 4:7) and the woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 9:20), to name a few. His life was filled with a keen sense of seeing through moments of time with the eyes of eternity. At these moments, while in submission to His Father’s will, eternity invaded earth. Be present. Allow Holy Spirit to draw us into the present where creative opportunities await where heaven will invade earth.

IMG_5508Focus on the Way, the person of Jesus Christ during this time. Focus. I may be unsettled but His way for me is sure, filled with light and life. As I walk in sync with Him, like the guys on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24), my eyes will open to SEE. Just walk and listen. This is a great time for listening. I don’t settle into passivity, apathy, or inertia. I settle into Him and He is moving in my life. Day by day, He shows me how to navigate the NOW by establishing my coordinates in the Spirit. He gives me wisdom concerning this time, if I listen. He leads the way and I follow. The next season is on the horizon. I keep my eye on it while being present. Time differs for each person. Don’t look at anyone else. Look at Him. He knows that NOW is part of my process into my next season. Just keep walking. Focus establishes hope again and hope does not disappoint. Hope grows and passion stirs in each step of our journey. Don’t run, don’t fear – submit to the process.

Be Real IMG_5508Be real. He can handle it. My emotions go up and down along the way. I am not robotic or cloned. I still question, get upset, and cry. Religion confines me to clichés. Here in the now, clichés are broken in an atmosphere where my authentic life is developing. I can’t say what I don’t mean. I say what I feel to a Father that loves me and does not disregard my weakness. In my weakness, He is strong. I don’t like this. I’m not happy. Isn’t there another way? I’m angry. This hurts. I can’t handle the pain. Keep walking. Express your emotions to Him but don’t let them stop you. If they are so intense, just lay down on the floor and let it out. He can handle it. He’s our Father.

There are seasons in every Christian life. In these seasons, we draw deep from the wells of our salvation, giving it new depth and meaning that enhance our life’s purpose in the coming days. I can’t say that each step on this journey has been easy. Just yesterday, I was in a ‘mood’ wanting out, wanting to get away, wanting life to be a bit different. Then after brooding for a bit, I began to worship and talk to the Lord. He was right there with  me things changed over the course of the day.

So how long does one find themselves in this place of settling? I don’t have an answer for you. I wish I did. Unlike Jeremiah’s day, I don’t think it will last 70 years. It could be a season of a few days, a few months, or a few years. He knows. Each of us is quite unique and different. Just trust Jesus in the process. The purpose of process is rooted in relationship and intimacy in Christ and there is no formula for that. Be present. Be focused. Be real.

IMG_5568In Christ
Debra

God Sees – People Don’t

With Brave Wings, She FliesHow can I be hidden in plain sight? Isn’t that a contradiction? God sees all and knows all. Yet, people don’t. I am not hidden from God. I am hidden in God in Christ.

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3 NKJVS)

His hand hides me in the midst of people. Strange but true. The ways of the kingdom are contrary to the wisdom of man. In other words, God seems to do things that we don’t always understand. That’s a good thing. I am never hidden from God’s sight. He knows me intimately through and through.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well (Psalms 139:13-14 NKJVS)

Knowing that God sees me makes it a bit difficult to reconcile why a God that loves me beyond measure would set me in a hidden place. It does not make sense does it? Yet, I see so many gifted, anointed people just sitting and waiting while the chosen few seem to get ahead, pass us by, get lifted higher and higher in being seen, build bigger ministry platforms, and have great favor among the people. Many followers run here, there and everywhere wanting to be part of something bigger than themselves and they see that they can receive that from these ministries. This all seems to be a bit askew to me. This story comes to mind.

The story is told of an occasion where St. Thomas Aquinas was walking with a prelate through one of the grand cathedrals of his day. Referring to a coffer filled with precious coins, the prelate remarked, “Behold, Master Thomas, the church can no longer say, as St. Peter, ‘Silver and gold have I none!’” St. Thomas was apparently quick with his retort, “Alas, neither can we say what follows, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.’”

My father, raised during the depression of the 1920’s, used to tell me. “Honey, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” So what about today in the world at large and in western Christianity? The middle class gets smaller and smaller and smaller. The rich are getting richer and richer and richer. The poor are getting poorer and poorer. One calls it income inequality or an unfair distribution of wealth. Confirming this reality is a book I am reading called, Plutocrats. The rich are building their own kingdoms amidst the reality of increasing poverty, holding numerous passports AND paying homage to no country. In fact, they create their own countries among themselves. For whatever it is worth, I can see some similarities in what is happening in the world  and in the church at large. Why don’t you give it some thought? It seems to me that these iconic ministries, formidable church structures are creating their own kingdoms, enjoying the wealth, prosperity and fame it brings to them. They create a kingdom among themselves. There is so much to say about this. Let me go on. 

Amidst the grandeur of what is around us in Christianity, it seems good to get back to simplicity in Christ. In this transition before those who are hidden are pulled out into leadership, many stay hidden in plain sight. What does that really mean for me? I am choosing to submit to God’s way for me in this season. I can tell you that I tried to get out of this hidden state but no matter what I tried or did not try, I stayed hidden in plain sight.

Over and over, the gifts in me, any talent within me, the anointing of Holy Spirit, purpose, and passion was passed over in a myriad of ways. Choices had to be made. I could cry from the rooftops, hand out resumes to every conceivable ministry or church,  and force people to see me. Tried some of that. Didn’t work so I was more frustrated

So I did the opposite. I sat back and served. I was a good girl not rocking the boat. Again, despite my best efforts to conform to the church’s standard at large, I stayed hidden.

Perhaps you are wondering: What’s the difference? Why all the tension? Aren’t you making this harder than what it really is? What’s the big deal? Just get out there and do something.

Do we realize that as we mature in Christ, that this is NOT an option? In the process of maturing in Christ,  it is no longer an option to choose our way, whatever that looks like and however we can get it to work. Maturity brings with it a conforming to the image and the hand of God for my life. I don’t want just anything. In this season of my life, I want ME, the best me in Christ for this next step of the journey. What is God up to?

Well, it is twofold. He is teaching me to walk in the simplicity of Christ in complete trust so that His glory will be seen in my life, not me. He is teaching me to trust Him for His timing and purpose. And, at the same time, He is preparing his church at large, the Body of Christ, to look past the externals, the big names, etc. to open their eyes to see that there are many filled to abundance being passed over right in their midst. He is working on the church or the Body of Christ (whatever you want to call it – Christendom)  to accept ME and YOU for who we are, not trying to conform us to the current Christian standard or trend so that community and authentic Christianity can be built true to form and fashion in Christ.

Some Christian leaders can have people sitting in their midst, precious, creative, full of wisdom and grace AND what do they do? Nothing, Absolutely nothing. They proceed to take the same path that they always have, not willing to change or to see. Christians seem to want to grab hold of a sure thing, be part of some existing ministry or movement, rather than move into something creative and new and fresh. OR others want to stay in the same rut, the same way that they have been doing it for many years. There are problems to numerous to focus on. One thing is clear. Great shifting is taking place, great change is upon us and God is moving in our midst, His way. For that I am grateful for all that is happening and will happen in my life.

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.