What Do You See?

Creative expression stirs my soul and my spirit. I love it when people take time to create for no other reason than to bring a snippet of beauty into the world. God, how we need that.

Here’s a great video a friend posted on FB. I was captivated by its form and its flow. Why don’t you take a few minutes to breathe and just look at it to see what it may reveal itself to you?

What do you see? Different expressions touch the heart of different people in different ways.

It is beautiful to me. And, in a world that merchandises beauty for profit and the bottom line, it is refreshing to know that beauty can interject itself into my day and just BE beautiful.

When I look at this video, I am not concerned at how it produces something in me to create material value or enhance my success. I love the fact that by gazing at this particular video, I can allow its creative force to infuse my life with a sense of wonder. And, a smile too – to think that someone actually had this creative idea and then made it work.

If I look once, I see what is revealed. When I look again, my imagination takes flight and I see forms and flow. I am excited about creative expression.

Beauty has no other desired end at times other than to be beautiful and to impart that sense of amazement into others.

As a Christian, Christ is in me and in the power of His Spirit, my spiritual senses are activated to see something supernatural about it, something wonderful about it. How is this bringing glory through my eyes to reveal the glory of Christ in me?

Colors shift from bright red to deep red, forming shadows.  At times it seems as if the fabric is in violent confrontation. Then there are moments of blending together in flow.

If I were to prophesy and allow Jesus to speak to me from this, I believe I would hear something like this.

“There are times, My child, when you fight the flow of My Spirit moving in your life. LIfe is dynamic, never static. Life comes with shifting colors and muted shadows, that rise and fall in times and seasons. Yet, I am always with you and never leave you, Ever.

My intent is for you to rise into My flow of life so that I breathe into you. Life is imparted fresh and new to you each and every day. There is beauty when you step back and gaze upon My beauty to see the bigger picture of what I am doing in and through you.

Do not be so introspective that you miss the beauty of divine moments in which I choose to speak to you through the most unusual and diverse ways. Look up, away from that which troubles and distresses. Look up and away and gaze upon Me, upon My beauty to reflect My Glory.”

As you think on Jesus, allow Holy Spirit to speak to you. What do You see and hear?  I would love to hear. Comment below.


In Christ,

Rivers of Eden Ministry

My Timeline of Life

Creative Potential Released As We Gather In Christ

I am heading to Calgary to visit a friend, Theora. February is a turning month for me. My steps are ordered by the Lord in Holy Spirit, taking me into a new place. An extended invitation and an immediate acceptance leaves me in awe of all that God has planned for me. So will be taking a few days off from blogging and will be back soon.

When we gather in Christ, we need Holy Spirit. Each gathering has a creative potential in Christ as we follow the Spirit’s lead to manifest creatively through visions, prophetic worship, revelation, art, dance and more. Leaders led by Holy Spirit are like orchestra conductors, waiting to see the creative expression of the symphony in motion in and through God’s people. That requires trust and leaning into Holy Spirit. Christianity is creative and expressive in Christ.

PaintbrushBy His hand, God creates a path in front of us and as we follow Holy Spirit, we walk on that path. In most gatherings in Christ, as I have said numerous times, Holy Spirit is left behind and quite often leaders go on without even knowing they are moving by their design and not God’s design.

A few good articles to read and challenge us.

The Spirit Led Church

Why People Don’t Operate In The Gifts

I am resolute in my focus on these things. Why? In my own experience in ministry, I find as Holy Spirit leads, the atmosphere is creative, expressive and glorious, reaching out to touch the heart of people. Let me give you an example

Recently in a prayer meeting in Rivers of Eden, I saw the hand of God before me in a vision. He was holding a writing instrument and began to write in the atmosphere into which I was looking a simple word – SWIRLING!

TO SWIRL: to move around or along with a whirling motion; whirl; eddy, to cause to whirl; twist; any curving, twisting line, shape, or form.

As He began to write this word, this word in the spiritual atmosphere began to swirl itself, moving and taking on many multi-faceted colors before my spiritual eyes. These colors were infused within the word that I was watching form before me by the hand of God. God was creating something in the building that night right in the midst of His people. The Creator was creating and showing me His process in this in a creative way to me. And He was revealing it to me and watching over it to accomplish the purpose for which it was being sent. The word SWIRLING began to take on life. A creative flow from the hand of God began to flow through this word as the Lord was watching over His word to create something in the atmosphere for us.

Suddenly the word itself SWIRLING was touched by the hand of God and it began to shatter into thousands of pieces in what appeared to be beads that fell to the ground of the building that we have in Finland. When all these shattered pieces fell to the ground, they disintegrated before my eyes into the very foundation of our building.

What I began to discern was that what I was seeing before me was the hand of God revealing to us what He Himself was doing that night in the building. He was doing this in a creative fashion through a distinct vision, rather than choosing to use some other means of revelation. I kept pondering why this was taking place this way and then it occurred to me. The heart of ministry in Christ, for me, is to challenge people to BE the creative expresion of Jesus Christ. God is creative and He has drawn people into His creativity  that are creative expressions of His glory. He is calling forth the musicians, the dancers, the artists, the inventors, the entrepreneurs and more.  Blessed with spiritual vision to see and spiritual ears to hear a creative God and to step out in what they see or hear through the creative medium of music, art or dance, business, writing, photography and more – all to His glory. This is the cry of my heart. To see a creative God express Himself creatively through His people.

This particular night God began to reveal Himself to us by giving me a visual demonstration of what He was doing in our midst. Because He watches over His word to perform it, we then discovered that there was a SWIRLING of His glory that began to be among us as we danced with creative expression, prophesied about His glory using verbal declarations in Scripture while our arms moved in a swirling motion through the atmosphere. I can go on and on. I pray that you get the picture here.

God can and will use many different creative means of expression in the days ahead to bring forth the creative expression of His glory. We have seen such a small measure of it up until this point. I have always known that Rivers of Eden was being formed by the hand of God all these years and I was, so many times, unable to define or explain it other than to say that we shall see the creative expression of God in our midst. In other words the Word shall be preached in power and accuracy but the difference is that God will show us the medium – through the dance, through music or the arts. God has many ways of getting His point across. We don’t want to limit Him in any way but to allow Him to do whatever He wants to do in and through us.

Enjoy the Journey!

Debra Westbrook

DebraPlease pray and consider having Rivers of Eden minister in your gathering, home group, conference or church in 2014. This is our year of release wherever and whenever God opens His doors bringing His grace and His glory through us to those to whom we are called in this season. You can contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

Creative Expression: A Never Ending Story

Life cannot be understood through a timeline of events. Events are just events, points on a line in time. Birth, death, marriage, or divorce are just a few examples of points on the timeline that we call life. The years come and go. Each day can pass without any meaning. By the time you know it, life has come and gone and you can’t help but wonder what it was all for, where it went, and what now?

freedom-in-christHow do I see my life? How do I want to impact time, here and now? It seems that I have been wandering for many years now. That is not a good thing but can often be the breeding ground of disillusionment or discouragement. This blog, from this point forward, is flowing from me. So who is me? And what makes me different that you would want to read anything about me?

I don’t want to refer to these posts as a patchwork quilt, piece-by-piece, varied and different with the whole making the final statement of a picture.

That’s not me. I am more eclectic than that. I am chaotic at times and my musings will throw me off balance, so I try to reel them in and then I feel compromised and complacent. I want to make you think and reflect. I want to stir up questions that make you see beyond the surface of the words to find something of eternal value and beauty. To do that, I have had to walk away from other’s expectations and my own fears to move in ‘me’.

I am perhaps like some of you – visually inclined to see and observe with stories and pictures running through my head in color. Of course, can I say that this part of me, of Debra, was not actually accepted for many years? That is why I lost myself and tried to be acceptable, understood and balanced. Well, I am quite often the opposite to all of that. I tend to be quirky and offset and intense. So this blog of Creative Expressions will be various creative expressions – stories, videos, pictures, and so much more. That keeps my creative energies stirring round and round, flowing, moving and just being.

to_be_or_not_to_be_by_sharp_negative-d3f1qr5 The foundation of my life is Christ Jesus. I keep trying to speak to this issue of creativity in the church and walking in creativity in Christ Jesus. I am not sure many are getting it so I have a choice. I can be the norm or I can walk ahead of the pack and believe that Christians will rise up into the creative expression in Christ, venturing out into unexplored vistas of possibilities. I will go and start walking now, right now. I will post at least 3 times a week, asking Holy Spirit to ignite this creativity in me so that each blog post will stir each of you with a smile, a tear and laughter. Some will be serious and forthright as a lion coming out in me. Others will be spontaneous. Others will be visual. That is ‘me’. Not a patchwork quilt, per say, but rather like a never-ending story in process as the Lord keeps forming me and anointing me for the quirky.

 So my next post will be about a vision, a story, a cracked mirror and facing disillusionment head on. Enjoy this journey with me!

How about you? How can you make 2014 more internally creative? It’s not about a creative act. It’s about YOU, being creative in Christ.

Creative Expression – Guilty As Charged!

Justice is the sound of a judge, pounding the gavel down in a courtroom. The pronouncement comes across loud and clear. “Guilty!” she says. To the one seeking justice, those words are the ultimate sound of vindication for wrongs done or crimes committed.

I have a strong sense of justice that beats in my heart. I get terribly upset by anything that is not fair or right. I love the underdog, the one that goes through hell and keeps on going, despite everything to shut them down. “Justice!” is the cry of heart. I want things just. I love closure.  But, what happens when closure never comes? What happens when you have to walk forward with a perpetuating sense of justice that pervades your life without any clear answers? Have you been there? I have.

justiceRead the dream blog. That is when God nailed it for me. Looking at that house in the dream, wanting to run back in and shout at the top of my lungs “Who are you to think that you can treat me that way? I am somebody. And……..I matter.” Yet, I could not go in. As far as I could tell, there was no justice or vindication in that dream for wrongs done to me in life. I had to turn, face the other direction and move out from that position, without closure of any kind.

Over the past few days, I have come to see that justice for any wrongs done to me can become quite self-indulgent, as I keep looking to the past to get closure and see things made right. This is a biggie for me. These moments of self-discovery usually come with life-changing lessons from the Lord that impact my life. I don’t want to live with a sense of entitlement anymore. That thing that makes you feel someone, at sometime, somewhere owes you something. Considering that life is filled with injustice at every turn, would keep me constantly looking for that sense that all is just right. But, life does not work that way. Life is not fair. Life is not always just. Yet, I see the cross of Christ.

The cross, the beautiful awesome finished work of Christ. There is my vindication and my restoration for a life that is not quite as I expected it to be. There is that place where Jesus Christ died so that I can live my life in Him, in union with Him. In fact, it is such a perfect sacrifice, such a glorious vindication that I can live knowing the reality that all things work together for my good for I am in Christ.

Before you think I have entered a religious utopia built on self-denial and a continual Jesus smile, I would like to inform each of you that there are days when I would like to hold someone’s future in my hands for just one second. Or how about being responsible for the verdict for wrongs done to me? Give me that gavel. “Guilty!” I would cry. Or better yet, “Off with their heads.” I still have this strong sense of justice within me. So what to do with it? How do I work this out in my life so that I live outside a western mantra that drones with words like “You owe me. I am entitled to that. It is my right.” I am tired of selfishness, self-centeredness, and entitlement. So what now?

Benicia CrossThe cross. I live with eyes open to see outside myself. Ears that hear the cry of the oppressed. Ways to impact my word with life, love and truth. My deep sense of justice has been concentrated on me and my life when I sense that it is time to pour out my life as an offering unto the Lord in worship to walk in His will and His ways. Life will always be unfair, unjust, filled with violence, chaos abounding, bad things happening to good people – should I say more? Now what to do living in Christ – extend grace, mercy, forgiveness, hope and love. How to do this? Well, the dream says it best. I am walking into a new future feeling as though I have been awakened to live again, like Lazarus coming out of the tomb hearing the voice of Jesus.

You know, this is all a journey. If you have stumbled upon this blog by chance, you may want to read more of this journey of my life. This path is truly taking me places that are new and fresh in 2014. Why don’t you join me?

So what about you? Do you have a deep sense of justice or are you able to walk forward, forgetting what is behind you? Either way, we are all on this journey of life in Christ together. Not one of us has arrived……..yet.

Creative Expression – Questions, Questions, and More Questions

Words stirring in my spirit. Words of life. Words of confrontation. Words of revelation spoken to me over and over again in the past few days.

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV)

Questions rise up in me, provoked by these simple words above. What kind of focus is this? What kind of joy is seen here? Who willingly walks forward into pain and suffering unless He is seeing something much greater as His reality?

Abide In MeI call myself a woman of focus. Yet, reality shows me that my peripheral vision, my eyes wandering into distractions and diversions around me, cause me to stop in mid-stride. At times, I get stuck in doubt, loss of hope and even self-pity.

How do I do it? How do I flow like Jesus, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross with its pain, shame, and suffering? Sometimes I am paralyzed in my ‘present’. I don’t want any more dead ends in my life, so I simply stand still at times. I also don’t like pain. I have had enough of it. Haven’t you? What is this key, Lord that you are trying to show me? I am definitely over thinking this, looking for a complex solution in the midst of what appears to be a simple revelation.

My years in Pentecostalism or Charismaticism (new word) have taught me to do something, anything for a situation to change. To move forward when not seeing results, pray more. Cry out to God on my knees more. Worship more. Read the Bible more. But, what happens when you do all that and nothing happens? Has God failed me? Absolutely not. So what do I do? What must I learn in this?

Suddenly a voice of simplicity rises up within me. I hear one word, “Abide.”

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing (John 15:4-5 Message)

Is it that simple? And what exactly does ‘abide’ mean for me? How do I abide? Do I read the Bible every day? Do I pray an hour when I first get up? There I am again, looking for the concrete in the midst of the revelational. Hahaha! I am laughing at myself right now.

QuestionsAbiding. Can you assure me that it will work? What makes me want something more definitive and structured so that I can see results and measure life on some self-imposed graph of success? Again, I am laughing out loud. LOL. See, I am. Really.

How must I abide to enjoy this journey called life? How must I abide to walk in peace even in the midst of the storm? How should I abide when life comes with fears and struggles and trials when you least expect it?

The voice of simplicity again rises up within me, not a voice of compulsion or declaration but a voice of stillness and serenity. Holy Spirit says to me “Abide”.

I have preached this as concept. I have ministered this prophetically, preaching it out and declaring it. But, can I now say that I am walking it? I admit not even knowing what I was preaching in times past. I am now abiding day by day. There is joy in trust, in relationship with Jesus, peace and intense love – I abide in this reality. And when this reality is forced to hide behind days filled with insecurity and rejection I run back to that revelation of abiding, Christ in me. He walks with me each moment of my life, never leaving or forsaking me. I am going back to the basics everyone. More in the days ahead on this journey. Perhaps it is best that I stir up more questions in you than answers right now. That is what the prophetic does best. Leading you into questions so that you draw close into Christ and not my words. I point the way to Jesus. That’s all for today.