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!

Open the door! Pull back the Curtains! Let the Light In!

Freedom in ChristThe darkened areas of our lives, those places filled with fear, memories of abuse, sexual addictions, emotional destruction, substance abuse, alcoholism – all those places are like rooms yet to be opened in a house where Christ dwells. He sees them. We see them. We know they are there but we won’t confront their reality, let alone open the door to let the light of Christ into these dark areas.

Even as Christians, there are these dark areas or internal rooms that need the confrontation of divine love to be healed and to be set free. Yet, we avoid pain at all costs. We worry about what others will think.  We wonder if God can be trusted. We don’t like suffering. We want what is easy and we love what is fast and doable. But that is not authentic Christianity. That type of Christianity is tailored to a Western mindset.

There is increasing chaos and darkness in the world. At the same time, the glory of the Lord will rise in His people. It is essential that as Christians, we face our own darkened areas, submit to the Lord, and receive healing and deliverance  in order to shine brightly in the earth. Receive His love and allow Him to deal with our lives, to reveal and heal those areas that are hidden in those darkened rooms.

In those dark areas the curtains are drawn tight, held in place by shame, guilt and condemnation. The truth of God’s grace and mercy in Christ wants to flood the room with light but we won’t open those doors. Therefore, we remain in the shadows of half-truths and subtle lies perpetrated by the enemy, keeping us bound, not trusting God.

CrossJesus Himself calls you out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. He calls you to be habitations of His glory, shining bright in His presence.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJVS)

There is a simplicity in Christ that is missing in the church today. It is hidden underneath layers of cultural add-ons that work in the world, fueled by man’s wisdom, but have no power in the church. We thrive on process – the unending path of needing more than Jesus – more conferences, more books, more seminars. In all of this, the Body of Christ is still immature and lacking in supernatural power and authority.

What would happen if we actually believed in the Gospel message, walk out the truth revealed in the Epistles, allow the Holy Spirit to lead and believe all that God gives to us in Christ? The church would rise up to BE in Christ instead of some other form and template.

To confront the evil outside of us with the authority and supernatural power of God, we must confront any evil within.  It time to grow up and allow God to change us from within. Going deep, not wide.

Keyhole

As Christ confronts us in love at our deepest level, there is pain. We will suffer in the flesh, which always tries to maintain its position, avoiding any pain or suffering, but we will be alive in Christ, free and filled with greater measure of light and life.  Submit to His way. It’s worth it. Walk in the light, as He is in the light and the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us, empowers us and sets us free. Open the doors to the closed rooms. Let Him in and He will heal.

Quiet down. Get a journal, a Bible, a pen, a computer, the beach, the couch…wherever…just be still, know that He is God and the simplicity of the reality of Christ Jesus is real. I am not trying to oversimplify this in any way, but there is only so much I can say in a blog. I know pain is real. Yet nothing is greater than Jesus Christ. He is all in all. He is faithful in all things.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

I would love to bring life and light in Christ Jesus to your gathering, your church or home group. Contact me here, on Facebook or on Twitter. Enjoy reading about Rivers of Eden and the Timeline of our Life!

Courageous Creativity

creativity-courage“Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse

Breaking away from the pack of the status quo takes courage. Think about breaking out. Suddenly, from within yourself, you have two voices talking to you. One is a voice of fear and the other is a voice of creativity.

Fear paralyzes. It speaks through uncertainty and anxiety. It asks questions that perpetuate more fear and more anxiety. Questions that you can’t answer like, “What if? How? But? Can you? Will you? What then? Do you know what can happen? What will people think?”

Creativity opens a door, wide open and says, “Walk through. Break out. Live. Move.” The voice of creativity is the voice of Christ that says, “Trust me. Take my hand and trust me. You know you are not satisfied where you are right now. Let’s walk.”

Why is this important to me as a Christian? It is important to everyone but why is this so important in my life? It’s simple. Christians actually lag far behind in creativity and innovation. I shouldn’t be bored as a Christian with Christ in me but when I go into most meetings, churches or conferences, I am bored.  Church is changing and shifting and moving into a new form, with its centrality in Christ. Hopefully, with that new shift, comes a new focus on walking in a new level of creativity.

My individual identity in Christ is not static but is flowing as I live, move and have my being in Him. When I move in Christ, I stir up the spiritual atmosphere around me with passion and possibility. Corporately, when Christians move in innovation and creativity, the Body of Christ shifts into new places that we have not been before. Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever, but there is so much to learn of Him and His ways every day.

Finding my identity and my purpose to innovate and create is not self-indulgent. When the revelation of Christ bursts open within me, a river of life begins to flow. That river flows through the body of Christ as people are joined in the reality, centrality and supremacy of Christ Jesus. The world takes notice, not of us, but of Christ.

In my life right now, ministry is simply not working in its current form. So I am praying with renewed vision and purpose, going outside conventionality to see with new eyes and hear with new ears. I want something new and fresh. I believe that is possible. Not wanting to fit into a system, I suddenly realized that there is no going back into an institution. Until I realized that as a pioneer there is only one way to go, forward, I kept looking back seeing how I can bring the new “in”. Now I know I am taking Jesus “out”.

Enjoy Your Journey In Christ, In Time!

Image You have been placed IN TIME for such a time as this. Reality. You are here in time, now.

Living IN TIME does not mean you understand your life in time. Reality (for many, perhaps not all)

We tend to look back on the past and get stuck in the present with regret or fears from the past. Or we keep looking at what we hope is in front of us in the future to escape our present or past and we fail to see the NOW. Sometimes we just have to enjoy the journey! We don’t always have to look at where we’ve been and analyze it in introspection. But neither do we have to always look ahead, trying to avoid our current situation. Again, enjoy the journey! I know, I know – I hear you saying, “It’s not so easy!” Actually it is when you release your expectations of your life in time to God. I am trying to help you to see a revelation of your position in Christ and in seeing that, live from that perspective in the here and now.

Eph. 1: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

Eph. 1: 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Each day of your life, you interact with TIME that is always moving forward, whether you like it or not. You can choose to enter its flow and let it take you where it wants to take you OR you can live your life in union with Christ, by the Spirit. In Christ, He sets the path as the way, the truth and the life. The reality of keeping an eternal perspective in time helps us to see that not only our life, but also our time has been redeemed in Christ.

You do not wander in time, aimlessly meandering as if in a nebulous cloud. BUT, neither are you called to be driven into an endless quest for perfection that constantly evades you. You will never answer all the questions in your heart that weigh you down in anxiety and worry. So why not change your perspective and enjoy your journey in Christ. Ephesians tells us we are seated in heavenly places so we are there. Yet look around, you are also here. Boggles the mind to even try to analyze or dissect it. You are already there in eternity. You are here in Time.

Just as Christ has redeemed you, He has also placed you in time in the reality of your redemption. In that, the Lord has redeemed your time. Now walk in that reality no matter what your circumstances may or may not be. Evaluate your life in terms of being in time, yet being seated in heavenly places. That gives us hope that there is more to life than what we are actually seeing in time. Look at this:

Eph. 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

What’s this actually saying and how does it help me get through my days in time? Well let me paraphrase it based upon having looked up the meanings of some of the words in this verse. Here goes.

These days are chaotic and frenzied. Open your spiritual eyes to see that you are on a path in Christ. Seeing that your path is not random or haphazard begin to walk with diligence and accuracy, knowing that the Way, the Truth and the Life lays the path in time for YOU. How do you walk this way? You walk in the reality of the finished work of the cross. He reveals Himself to you, with each step. You are in Him. Walk in Him. Move in Him. Have your being in Him and with each step in faith in this reality, purpose and destiny are inevitable. It’s a done deal worked out and working itself out with each step. Be sure footed and know that He who leads you along this path of life, will teach your feet to be sure-footed and accurate and secure in all things no matter where this path takes you. He is in you and with you.

Your time here and now has been redeemed so you walk contrary to the demands of the world at large. You are a new creation in your salvation so walk in this reality. You have been redeemed and set free and in time, you walk in this journey with a focus on the One who is walking with you. This time is limited. It goes so fast so make sure that you grasp every opportunity. There is nothing wasted. No sickness, no disease, no financial distress, no worry, no fear, anxiety that is greater than Jesus Christ– none of this can take you prisoner if you realize that in time, God works all things for good. All things.