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!

Less Is More

Focusing on what enriches my life also means deleting what is nonessential for me or wastes my time. All the possible clicks, links, images, likes, and favorites leave me stressed and distracted, thinking I am missing something by letting them just scroll away. Without an internal censor, I get lost in information oblivion. This pulls me down into the mundane and I lose my creative edge.

Creativity is Subtraction

  (Image via Flickr Creative Commons)

According to Austin Kleon, the author of Steal Like An Artist, “Creativity is Subtraction.”

His quote: “In this age of information abundance and overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s really important to them. Nothing is more paralyzing that the idea of limitless possibilities. The idea that you can do anything is absolutely terrifying.”

A great verse comes to mind:

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious––the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies (Philippians 4:8-9 Message)

The source of my creativity is Jesus Christ who made all things. All things hold together in Him. There is an endless flow of revelation available to me as I am seated with Christ in heavenly places. Revelation downloaded into my life is the creative spark that activates my faith to do, go, write, sing, paint, move, and live in Christ. It’s a matter of flowing in sync with Him for MY life, not anyone else’s. For me, creativity is about subtraction so that my focus on Christ is simple and clear. Get rid of what appears good to find what is excellent for my life. It differs for all of us.

In the creativity of Christ flowing through me, I engage in life wherever I go for He is in me. I open myself up to see Him, hear Him, and watch Him move in unique ways. Christian books, movies, and music – I love some of it but I often find much of it lacks true creative innovation. In a creative world, staying focused just on what is labeled ‘Christian’ is not enough. It never has been but religion tried to get me to think it was. The sacred can be found right in the midst of the secular when my eyes are open to see God move in the way that He wants to move. Don’t misunderstand me. I love the word of God, worship, prayer but those entire things can and do become very mundane unless energized in Holy Spirit.

Austin Kleon also says, “Keep all your passions in your life.” I failed at this one. When salvation in Christ became my life, I was studying fashion design. Colors, fabrics, designing, sketching – I was right in the midst of it all on a daily basis. I finished the program but when I finished I started to believe this passion for design and creativity was not holy enough, not sacred enough. So I walked away. I sold everything and set up my design room as an office. I then told everyone that God told me to do this so that I could now follow His path for my life. This sounded so spiritual. After all, at that time in the church, design was fleshy and worldly. I left my passion for religion. I didn’t have to separate myself. I only had to allow Him to flow through me in whatever He called me to do for Him. Jesus did not tell me to stop this creative flow. Religion put pressure on me with laws of constraint instead of freedom in grace. The creative spark in me died that day but God is restoring all those lost years and redeeming the time, NOW.

Creativity is ContatgiousMay we spiritually wake up to the revelation that Christ in us is the spark of creative genius that should flow through His body worldwide. Creativity is not something to be ignored as if it takes a second place to more worthy theological pursuits. Creativity flowing through Christ in His children and all then, the world sees the beauty of Jesus in and through our lives.

Be brave. Be courageous in Christ. Be creative.

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.