Biblical Imagination – Michael Card (The last one slipped away on me!) Read on!

The last post slipped away by mistake before I even started. Read on!

“I would be cautious of using the word ‘imagination,’ for with an UNINFORMED IMAGINATION Jesus is merely a FIGMENT of our IMAGINATION.. But when the imagination is surrendered along with the heart and mind, it becomes a unifying bridge that opens the scriptures in a new and meaningful way.” Michael Card Biblical Imagination

I am getting my thoughts from Michael Card’s article on Biblical Imagination. My study time is taking me into a deep well or revelation. What prompted this journey? To some it may be an obscure subject, somewhat inferior to other forms of expression. NT Wright says it better than me:

“The arts, the imagination, our capacity to create beauty ourselves, is not simply incidental to what it means to be human. For generations now, many Christians have really believed, and acted on the belief, that the arts, the imagination, are the pretty bits around the edges, the kind of decorative border, whereas the middle, the main bit, whatever it is, is the kind of solid, stodgy, chunky bit in the middle which is Christian truth, dogma, belief, and ethics, and all that stuff, and then you can kind of go away and play sometimes around the edge if your lucky.” 

Tunnel_Of_LoveWithout freedom of expression in the lives of Christians, we might as well relinquish our passions to Hollywood or Madison Avenue to convey creativity. Wait, they already are doing this. Why? The church has either copied the form of the world or retreated so far back into a shell of ambiguity that we have lost the luster, the grace and the glory of Jesus Christ manifested in us and through us.

I was a frustrated creative who allowed this passion in me to be subjugated/crushed under people’s opinions, deep rejection and insecurity. Now….I am enjoying this journey, hoping to see creativity restored to Christians so that God’s glory will amaze and astound us in unique expression.

Michael Card’s article above is worth reading. Some great quotes moved me right into Holy Spirit revelation. As I am read, my notes do not always reflect what is being said but what I am hearing and what Holy Spirit is revealing to me.

The subject of imagination can be quite touchy. Many Christians would rather be entrenched in routine week by week as a spectator in a performance based church setting.  I know there is a better way but it will take brave leaders who are surrendered to the glory of God, without trying to legislate it or manipulate the flow of meetings. It will take creative leaders who raise up new expressions in a gathering besides just the usual: songs, preaching, maybe altar ministry.

ColorfulLooking at Scripture, I can see that imagination is generally presented in a negative sense. Yet, as I read the article, my eyes were opened to SEE that it is not the word imagination but actually the problem with the heart as most references in Scripture reference heart or imply heart when speaking about imagination.

“When we imagine, we are working with our hearts and minds to create images. Working in concert, they are connected by a bridge, which is imagination. Imagination seeks to re-integrate and reconnect the mind/heart from the Fall where they were fragmented.” Thoughts from Michael Card

Well there you have it. Imagination is excellent but as in all things, our focus is Jesus. We desire to bring Him glory. We follow the leading of Holy Spirit who seeks to glorify the Son. We engage with Scripture, alive and real, allowing its narrative and story to grasp our heart. This is done through study, prayer, meditation, and in worship. Images come, Thoughts form and the Word of God is alive.

So here is what I imagine. A group of people flowing in unity in Holy Spirit as the divine leader. One mind, one accord to being glory to the Son. Preaching flowing from interpreting the dance. Artists revealing process as they talk of dreams and revelation. Prophetic songs flowing from psalmist who open the heaven’s wide so that corporates we may ascend into His presence. Step by Step……..I love walking in this direction. Some of this will be flowing in Kenya on the next trip.

There is so much more to come as I am just starting out. More study on imagination. Then at some point, Holy Spirit directs me to study the Renaissance.

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!

Creativity – Taking It Back? Or Just Moving Out?

Creativity calls us to stretch. Break out. Move past any limiting restrictions that we place upon the identity, character and nature of Jesus Christ,

As we move, a pervasive question still sounds forth from eternity. This question is not so much to challenge us as to change us by our answer.

“Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15) That question resounds today, loud and clear. Our answer should flow not from our own head knowledge but from being in sync with heaven’s revelation of the Son, imparted to us. Revelation flows. It hits our heart and our mind. We speak in clear and beautiful ways to reveal who Christ is.

Peter said it this way – “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. (Matthew 16:16-17 Message)

Who do you say that He is?

Jesus is……………….

There are any number of ways to express the glory of the Son. Words, of course. And dance. And song. And ideas abounding in Christ. And wisdom. And. And And…. so much more.

The Father longs to amaze us; astound us with an unfolding revelation of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Who (Jesus) being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power. (Hebrews 1:3 NKJVS)

We gaze in wonder at His beauty and reflect His glory so that the world will see our Lord. Our expression flows from revelation. This creative expression is then infused through our actions into the atmosphere in the Holy Spirit. Let creativity abound in the Body of Christ!

In HimOf course there is a flip side to this. As I observe culture, I see something else happening. It didn’t just start yesterday. As the church has been robotically cloned in the image of man’s wisdom over the years the devil has been hacking into creative minds right and left. While the church has followed man’s programs and agendas, lacking imagination and true creativity in Holy Spirit, the devil holds captive creative people to fear, greed, narcissism, spirituality without Christ, and perversion.

Creativity is his playground where he captures the hearts and minds of people who giving glory to him through their own pride in creating and its process and promotions. He uses creativity to beckon many to walk in a spirituality without Christ. Calling forth muses, or spirit guides, many attribute their success or acclaim to the occult realm. Others live in fear, rejection, and even contemplate suicide as the devil perverts the creative gifting in people. From movies, TV, books, video games and more, creative expression is sourced in the demonic and flows out in lust on many levels. This is not creativity in its purest form.

Father God expresses His glory through His Son. The Father and the Son are one. Christ is in us, the hope of glory. The Spirit is given to us to access heavenly realms. As Christians, we abound in creativity in our salvation. Creativity is in Christ and we are the creative expressions of His glory in the earth. Christ in us.

This is a good thought to ponder and a good place to start this week. Imagine in Holy Spirit a creative life and its flowing expression. Creativity is our inheritance in Christ – ideas, revelation, imagination, art, music, business…..

Technology Use Create

It is not so much that we are to take it back. It is not the enemy’s to possess in the first place. In essence, we simply move out in the creativity that is ours in Christ Jesus. Already happening through movies such as Holy Ghost or War Room, we are harnessing our creativity in Christ and telling His story to the world in unique and diverse ways. The well is deep. His love is wide. Each of us plays a part with a unique script and story. It’s time.

Each blog post is just a part of what is going on in my own mind and heart. I am trying to put this all in some sort of order but I find that it is impossible to do. Creative ideas and revelation are hitting me from all sides so I pray you are reading it all and taking what is yours and moving out, stretching in creativity in your own life.

Tentatively, I am going back to Kenya in December for the next phase in Rivers of Eden. Taking creative discipleship classes into churches where I am teaching on living, moving and having your being in Christ – identity. Then we move into prophetic meetings where we let Holy Spirit in creativity flow. Step by step in this journey.

Debra

In 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 Flow – Exercise Discernment

creative-sparkChristian experience is a spiritual sense, taste, or relish of the goodness, sweetness, and excellence of the truths of the gospel. And no tongue can express the satisfaction, which the soul receives, from a sense of Divine goodness, grace, and love to it in Christ. Matthew Henry Commentary

But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14 NKJV)

If we truly want to step into creativity, then we must go beyond the confines of religious exercise, which lacks the essence of Holy Spirit direction. Creativity conveys Kingdom reality, focusing on Christ alone. Holy Spirit manifests flow and direction. Christianity moves within spiritual senses – tasting to see God is good, engaging with Scripture visually and even at times smelling the very fragrance of Christ as we encounter His glory.

In my own life, through prayer, fasting, study of the Word, and worship, I exercise my senses to discern good or evil. Discernment is key to know the difference. Maturity brings discernment. And in discernment, I walk in a broad place of freedom and expression, led in Christ through Holy Spirit. Visions, revelation, prophetic dance and song are interpreted in the Spirit through those trained in the experiences.

MatchYes, to engage in imagination or creativity, many will fall prey to error and practices that do not focus on Christ. But, that does not mean that we stay in a narrow place of fear, unable to walk in a broad place in Christ Jesus. It is discernment that has been tempered through use, that give us the knowing between that which is of God and Holy Spirit and that which is of the flesh. Without creativity, Christianity becomes a static one-dimensional reality that flows through the mind alone. Without creativity and maturity, Christianity is chaotic and off-center, resting in emotions and feelings. With both the mind and the heart engaged and informed, Christianity is alive and organic, ever flowing in new fresh ways in Christ.

I choose to walk in that broad place, trusting Christ in me, not of myself, to lead and guide me in creative ways, innovation, and informed imagination. To usher in Kingdom creativity, flowing through people, we step out in faith, one step at a time.

Debra

In 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!

Rivers of Eden Ministry – Creativity! This Is It!

Rivers of Eden Ministry…..Creativity Abounds in Christ Jesus

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. (Psalms 46:4 NKJVS)

Rivers of Eden – helping people live outside the box, calling them into their unique creative identity and expression in Christ Jesus.

He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. (Psalms 18:19 NKJVS)

Rivers of Eden – leading people into a broad place of identity and freedom, where Christ Jesus brings deliverance, healing and restoration.

As a creative force, Rivers of Eden imparts wholeness into the lives of people who have a creative bent given to them by God. Currently, we accomplish this vision in several ways.

Discipleship – Prophetic teaching focused on living, moving and having our being in Christ Jesus. (Acts 17:28) This discipleship is based on 4 distinct sections.

  1. Being in Christ– Establishing people in a clear revelation of their salvation and transformation in Christ, prophetically teaching on the beauty of the finished work of the cross of Christ.
  2. Living in Christ– Focusing on the reality that as new creations in Christ Jesus, we are seated in heavenly places giving a fresh perspective in how we live our lives on earth.
  3. Moving in Christ– Living our life in the Holy Spirit, supernaturally manifesting heaven on earth.
  4. Creative Expression in Christ– Each of us are the creative expressions of Christ in us, the hope of glory. Through revelatory prophetic teaching, people will rise up to BE creative in whatever sphere God has placed them in the earth. As we teach on creativity and its importance in the Body of Christ, people awaken into destiny.

Prophetic Gatherings – Expressing heaven’s creative flow, we allow the Holy Spirit to lead and direct us in prophetic preaching and worship. Our heart is to establish creative teams that flow and move in distinct creative ways under the orchestration of eternity.

Mentoring, Prophesying, and Encouragement – Each of us has a creative bent whether that be in the arts, in teaching, in business, or in administration. People need to be encouraged to BE in Christ in whatever sphere He places them in the earth. Our call is to bring creativity back into the Body of Christ so that the world sees Jesus in His glory and splendor. Each life, gathering, or church service should respond to heaven’s directive. As Holy Spirit creative orchestrators, we hope to establish a creative flow wherever God sends us through the presence, glory and power of God flowing through our lives.

Marvin Debra

In Christ, Debra & Marvin Westbrook

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!

Out of the Way – Off the Beaten Path – Sounds Like Holy Spirit

Blue Flowing RiverHoly Spirit loves to take us out of the way and off the beaten path where we discover the beauty of the journey and overwhelming joy in adventure. On those paths we meet Jesus in fresh new ways. He flows through our lives supernaturally. As a Christian, I am not called to walk in a rut, treading ground, looking down. No matter what the condition of my life right now or yours, we are seated in heavenly places, hidden in Christ, alive in Christ. Positionally? Yes. Experientially? Definitely yes.

…and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:6 NKJV)

Live out from this reality in knowing that in Christ we are eternal. Tune into the directives of heaven in Holy Spirit and life, as you know it will drastically change. Journey in Christ with Christ. Look at situations from an eternal perspective and engage with heaven’s call to walk in the Spirit right now, day by day. How we need Holy Spirit!

Live experientially from this reality. It’s called journey in Christ in Holy Spirit. Am I willing to be spontaneously shifted down an alternate path? Am I willing to take a road less traveled where I may be alone or find others just like me? The experiential outworking of our eternal reality, heaven’s directive, can completely wreck our life. Yet, what is the alternative? Living in the day to day, bored out of your mind, stuck in a rut. That is not Christianity, at least not to me.

Sunlight MarcoChristianity is a journey, creatively scripted for each one of us who are new creatures in Christ Jesus. My reality – I live, move and have my being in Christ. Holy Spirit directs my life, shifts my path, and moves me into different places all at the sound of the whisper of heaven, the voice of God. This is reality. This is spirituality. And, this is my call and my life. To challenge people to desire to know Holy Spirit.

Change for change sake is not what I want for I can shift my direction, follow new agendas, travel the world and still be dissatisfied unless the directives come from the Lord. That is real adventure.

So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “ Give Me a drink. (John 4:5-7 NKJVS)

The right place at the right time. Allow the Lord to lead you to people and then let the prophetic rise up in you to speak life to them. You never know what can happen.

Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “ Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship….(Acts 8:26-27 NKJVS)

Off the beaten path, led by heaven’s directive and there you have it…an encounter that changed a life. What comes next is even better….

Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:39-40 NKJVS)

Shifted in time and space…..reality? Yes for some people. It has not happened to me….yet….but this is reality for some of my friends, who by the way are 80 year old grandmas living on farms in Oklahoma, raised Baptist and touched by Holy Spirit. Adventure. Journey.

There is so much more – read Scripture. Christianity – alive, living, moving, flowing…….I was saved at 35 and when I saw Jesus, my life was never the same. I voraciously studied Scripture. I also hungered for what I realized was available to me – a supernatural life. I have it. Testimonies abound. And more are coming. Journey today. Expect Jesus to be real in your life, living and moving through your life.

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!