Surprised by Pentecost on Pentecost

25 Jun

Gotta share a great testimony from this last Pentecost Sunday (5/31/20). 

This morning I spoke via Zoom to a church in Northern Russia (1200 km north of St Petersburg).  My dear friends David & Zhenya Verly have been pastoring there for several years and she was my translator.  Previously, they had asked me to share some of my recent supernatural experiences.  I was supposed to speak for 30-40 minutes.  So I gingerly unpacked a couple things… and got a little bolder as I neared the end of my 40 minutes.  But my hosts asked me to share another story they had previously heard from me.  Sooo, I get a little bolder. 

Then the Zoom attendees were free to ask questions.  I could tell that they were ‘rising to the occasion’.  There was beginning to be a buzz in the air.  Literally, they were ‘bubbling over’ with smiles, thumbs-up, nods and laughter, as I ‘gave them permission’ to enter new territory.  So, I got really bold and decided to take the big plunge… into a Holy Spirit New Wine fest. 😊 I invited them to ‘have another drink’ of the New Wine.  We all ‘tipped’ the glass and ‘took another drink’… and before long we were in a most delightful ‘out of control’ experience.  God bless my translator… she was overcome and couldn’t translate anymore.  Incapacitated, she just fell backward onto her husband.  Well, he can’t speak Russian, so I just went ahead and facilitated with generic style language – speaking in tongues, hand gestures and “More, Lord”, etc.  Before long I was rolling in holy laughter like I haven’t done in 10 years or more… and the Zoom attendees were too!  So much fun!!!  We were all most pleasantly surprised by the Spirit!  It was a wonderful experience! 

Pentecost was revisited.  Internet bandwidth and nearly 5000 miles of distance couldn’t stop Holy Spirit.  He was going to break out no matter what. 

After things began to simmer down and when my translator was able to regain her composure, I asked them to share what they experienced.  As people took their turns sharing, their testimonies made me laugh and made me cry.  Some were so funny… and some were so tender.  FREEDOM was in the air!!  Needless to say, we were emboldened to believe for more in the future. 

We were all surprised by an outbreak of Pentecost on Pentecost Sunday.  This touched all of our hearts very deeply.  Despite the circumstantial hurdles, Holy Spirit did something with us that we could never have ‘manufactured’ by our own initiative.  It makes us appreciate Him even more.  And so what was supposed to be a 30-40 minute ministry time ended up being 2 ½ hours… and it was ‘alive’ the whole time.   When we realized how long we had been on Zoom, we all had to laugh… and we did.  Needless to say, our hearts were warmly knit together on our first meeting together. 

I’m looking forward to our next meeting.

Several people have said that when they watched this video clip ‘it’ got on them, too.  If you’d like to join in the fun, click here then go to 3 hrs 00 mins through 3 hrs 17 mins – about 17 minutes of Pentecost New Wine fun stuff – joy, holy laughter, etc.

— MLH

Follow-up: After this amazing Zoom experience David & Zhenya sent this amazing God-story:

“One of the ladies in our church showed up in an unbelievers dream, prayed for him and he was healed!”

“Let me start from the beginning.  Our good friend Mark Hendrickson preached an inspiring message to our church in Russia over Zoom a few weeks ago.  He talked about stepping out of the box of our normal prayer life and moving into some new unexplored realms of prayer.  Our church loved his message and immediately put it into practice.”

“Tanya is a massage therapist and typically works with children only.  So when she received a phone call from a gentleman whom she’d never meet asking for a massage her initial response was, “No.”  However, she felt a little nudge from Holy Spirit to help this man, so she said, “Yes.””

“The man came to her office, she gave him a massage and at the end, she asked if she could pray for his back.  He agreed.  She laid her hands on his back, prayed and the pain immediately left.  He was so excited he paid her double for the massage.”

“The man went without pain for about a week, until he woke up in the middle of the night with intense back pain.  He eventually drifted back to sleep.  As he was sleeping he saw Tanya, our massage therapist, dressed in white, come to him in his dream.  She laid her hands on his back and when he woke up the next morning he realized that the pain was gone!  The man was so excited that he called her to tell her what happened.”

“God is doing a new thing! (Isaiah 43:19)” – D&Z

In search of the real Me!

23 Jun

Remember Jesus’ parable of the man who sold all to buy the field that had the treasure hidden in it? (Matt 13:44)  This parable can be interpreted in several different ways.  

We’re all quite aware that the primary truth in this passage is that Jesus is the treasure, and we must sell all to obtain the Treasure. 

A secondary truth is that we are Jesus’ treasure, and He gave His life to buy you and me back to Himself.  Lock these truths in, because we have no intention of diminishing their transforming power as we move ahead into a slightly different application of this parable.

Now try this third perspective: You are the field, and hidden inside of you is the God-placed and God-designed treasure of great price.  You must sell all so that you can ‘buy’ the field (diligently seek to understand our unique identity) in order to possess and develop the buried treasure (the uniquely made and God-designed you) which is of great price.

If you’re on a quest to discover the treasure called you, there are many great resources ‘out there’: personality tests, seminars, books, personal life coaches, etc.  I’ve tried many of them… and each has its strength.

But I’ve discovered two questions that are very simple yet powerful and could start you on your ‘trip’ into finding the basic motivational giftings that make up the real core you.  Start out with the basic question, then each time you answer, you ask the follow-up question of “Why?”

Two key questions

1. What made you feel most alive in your life?
This can be anything, (spiritual/secular, when you were a kid or last week).  But it will be the event or activity in your life that you measure everything by (e.g., “What I just did wasn’t quite as good as that”, etc)  It was the thing that kept you awake with excitement before or after it happened.  These are highpoints in your life.  Did you find at least one answer?
     The follow-up question is: “Why is that important?”
          Your answer might be: “Because I was with people”… or “because I was by myself.” or….
     The follow-up: “Why is that important?”
          Your answer might be: because I got to plan, care, entertain, instruct, fix, make someone’s life better, or….

     The follow-up: “Why is that important?”

Each answer is followed up with “Why?” until you ‘drill down’ to your core values and motivations.

2. What consistently makes you have tears?
This can be anything: a song, theme, verse, experience, daydream, art, beauty, nature, etc.  What makes you have tears most consistently.
          Your answer might be: when wrongs are made right, when right get vindicated, when genuine love wins, etc.

     The follow-up question is: “Why is that important?”
          Your answer might be: “Because of that one line, that one theme, the symmetry, the eloquence or elegance, the fluidity, the beauty, the bottom-line truth, the partnership, the compassion, the love…”, etc.
     The follow-up: “Why is that important?”
          Your answer might be: “Because of how it unlocks my heart, because it gives me a new start, because it affirms my major life values and convictions, or because mercy & forgiveness shines through, etc”
     The follow-up: “Why is that important?”
          Your answer might be: “Because this dynamic met me at a crucial time of my life… and I find myself gravitating to that theme often now as I share with others.

Each answer is followed up with “Why?” until you ‘drill down’ to your core values and motivations.

The point here is to do some soul searching to find the basic motivational gifts that are innately at work in us.  Finding and operating in these giftings/strengths is where we will find the greatest empowerment and effectiveness… with the least amount of ‘drain’ on our internal reserves.  In fact, Jesus said,

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent me.” – John 4:34

So, finding the treasure called ‘you’, will empower you to ‘stay in your lane’… you won’t be so prone to follow the money, or need, or open door, or popular opinion, etc.  You’ll know who you are, which will help identify tracks for you to run on and give you wisdom for making better decisions.

You see if we make decisions in accordance with our uniqueness, then all the grace of Heaven is available to support us.  Consider this verse:

“The eyes of the Lord look to and fro across the earth to show Himself strong to the one whose heart is completely His.” – II Chron 16:9

You see, if we’re in the center of His will then His strength is made available to us.  Conversely, if we’re out of sync with His design and desire for us, we may only get the general grace that “falls on the just and unjust alike”.  Unfortunately, this lack of grace can easily lead to burnout, because our objectives will likely have to be attained by our own strength when we’re in this mode.

You may find this little graph helpful.  You’ll have to stand back a little from your life… then from that perspective try to use as much objectivity as possible in evaluating how your heart is doing.  Don’t use a single day… or even a single week to reference your heart… rather, try to think in terms of months.

The questions to ask: How was my heart 6 months ago?  How is my heart now?  How will my heart be 6 months from now? 

Were you able to honestly assess the trend of your heart in the last six months?  What will your heart look like if you extrapolate that same trend out to six months in the future?  Are you okay with that?  Do you need to change something now so that you don’t end up in the ‘danger zone’?

If you’re not sure how to assess the status of your heart, use this little ‘dipstick’ to check the ‘oil’ of your heart.

These matters are of utmost importance because if we don’t come to grips with these principles then we run the high potential of exhausting ourselves… and if we discover the gold in these principles we will find ourselves empowered to ‘walk upon our high places’ and ‘leap and skip upon the mountains’.

For more on this subject consider this short and very simple study with ‘tests’, authored by my father-in-law, Bob Beckett – What is Your Motivational Gift.

For more related to this subject:
Your Inheritance Includes Supernatural Provision
Living Within God’s Grace

— MLH

What about ‘higher consciousness’?

5 May

Recently someone very respectfully asked this question on one of my social media platforms:

“I have some concern about the term ‘higher consciousness.’  This is a term used by New Agers.  Is it a me-becoming-a-god level of consciousness?”

Let me start out by saying you are powerful to have your own opinion and are under no obligation in any way to agree with me.  Be free and be powerful in your journey in God.

In response: Our Bible proves that revelation is not stationary… it moves… it evolves.  All through recorded history, God has upgraded our understanding of His heart for His people and the world.  From one dispensation to the next He unveils higher and deeper parts of His heart.

Take a look at Jesus; He introduced God as “our Father”.  That was considered blasphemy to the religious of the day.  But now, this revelation is the core doctrine for believers in Christ.  So God through Jesus revealed a higher understanding of our identity that was quantum leaps beyond the conventional wisdom of the day.

And God actually says He has reserved some revelation for the ages to come.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, that in the AGES TO COME He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” – Eph 2:6-7

In other words, there are riches of Grace and greater enlightenment that He has reserved for future ages.

And when we use the word ‘age’, we must not fear the ‘new agers’.  They only stole it from the Bible.  The Bible was here long before anyone ever thought of being a new ager.  We must be so confident in God’s heart that we’re not intimidated by the devil’s usurpation of a word or concept or reality.

Regarding ‘higher consciousness’, I’m confident that you have a much higher consciousness of God now than before you met Jesus.  And it would be naïve to think that we’ll not have a higher consciousness of God, His heart, His intentions for us, and our identity in God… 5-10 years from now.

The fact that new agers have taken ‘higher-consciousness’ down a Godless path and sought to have ‘enlightenment’ apart from God (and suffered the negative consequences) should have no bearing on Holy Spirit’s leading of us into our God-ordained identity and our inheritance in God.

Someone has appropriately admonished us, “We should have more faith in God’s leadership and ability to keep us, than in the devil’s ability to deceive us.”

Regarding “becoming-a-god level of consciousness”, I have written about this subject on my blog, Beyond the Map, in: What if ye are gods?

Let me cite a few more occasions of Biblical higher consciousness.

Paul was definitely ushered into a higher consciousness when he was caught up to the 3rd heaven in II Cor 12:2.  Did he come back a different person?  You betcha!

Romans 12:2 says that to be transformed (Greek metamorphoo = transfigured) we must actually get a new mind!  A better mind… a higher mind.  And this will actually transfigure us!  I wonder how many will call it ‘of the devil’ when believers begin to transfigure?

Col 3:2 actually charges us to “set our affections on things ABOVE”, not on the earth.”

II Cor 3:18 says that when we behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we “are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

Did you notice that we’re looking at the glory of the Lord… but ‘as in a mirror’, we’re actually seeing the glory that is on us because He is in us… and that as we behold, it actually transforms (Greek metamorphoo = transfigures) us.  And the Spirit of God is the One who is leading us into this.

Here are a few more verses addressing our oneness (homogenizing) with God.

till Christ be formed in you – Gal 4:1
unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ – Eph 4:13
that you would be filled up with all the fullness of God – Eph 3:19
I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one – Jn 17:23

Now, just for grins let’s look at a few changes that have happened in our lifetimes.  Here are a few things that we use to think were ‘of the devil’:

Instruments in church
Drums in church
Electric guitars in church
Tambourines in church
Speaking in tongues
Prophecy
Healing
Interaction/participation with angels
Interaction/participation with the ‘cloud of witnesses’

What other things will God unveil to us in the future??????

Truth be told, I’m practicing things that I can’t put on social media yet.  It’s just not commonly accepted and there would be a predictable ‘kickback’ from those who haven’t traveled this journey, yet.

I hope this has helped bring context and understanding to your question regarding ‘higher consciousness’.  I applaud you, that you are like the ‘noble Bereans’ who went back to the Word of God to see if these things really are true.  God bless your journey into His heart!

You are welcome to counter the thoughts and views found above… but just for the sake of everyone who might be reading our dialog, let’s make any further exchange private, by taking our conversation to text or email.  That way we won’t fuel the ‘haters’ and we won’t confuse or discourage the immature.

— MLH

Twenty-two year old dream finally tells its meaning

1 May

Have you ever had a dream and wondered what it meant… so you just archived it in your journal and forgot about it?   I did.  But 22 years later I realized I had been living the dream unaware… and that dream validated all that we had lived.  Isn’t God good to surround us with His affirmation?

Back in 2010, one of my Wisconsin spiritual sons and a great friend John Collins, visited KC to attend the IHOPKC Awakening meetings.  We’ve been best of friends for many years now… and he’s a great source of joy for my life.  In a vulnerable moment, I just wondered out loud if it anything we do is really registering in Heaven… does it all count for eternity’s sake.

The conversation drifted to our family’s move to WI in 1989 and back to KC in 2000.  They asked why we moved… and if we had any confirmations to help us make that move.  I said, “We had many confirmations and dreams that I’ve recorded in journals, but I’ll tell you a dream that I’ve never told anyone.”

(Later I checked my journal and found it recorded in August of ’88… eight months before we moved to WI.)

In the dream I was up on a cliff, looking out over an ocean when I saw a Sasquatch (Big Foot type creature) floundering in the surf and being washed toward shore.  I jumped off the cliff and into the water to rescue him.  When I got near to him, I realized there were two Sasquatches.  He told me that he had been taking care of some people, but the problem was that he was now tired.  He went on to say, “There are 150 more like us in WI”.  Then the dream ended.

I felt like the dream’s meaning was that when we move to WI we would meet people who were either unsaved, spiritually unawakened, or discouraged and they needed help… we were to help them find God or find their ‘footing’ and passion in God.

When I finished telling the dream, John’s eyes had gotten big and were telegraphing that he could hardly believe what he’d just heard.  He said, “Mark, you’re not going to believe this!  When I was in high school, my nickname was Sasquatch!”

We were both incredulous and just stared at each other for a moment… absorbing what we’d both just heard and what it meant to us.  In other words, God had let me know His plan for us to meet and run for God together… and this was four years before we ever actually met each other.  John had other good friends who encouraged him toward Jesus, but I happened to be there when he profoundly gave his heart to Jesus.  He and I have been best of friends for nearly 25 years.  I’m so proud of him that he’s never ‘fallen off the wagon’ in his spiritual passion for Jesus.

John and wife Nettie on a cliff overlooking the surf in Hawaii

I exclaimed, “John, why didn’t you ever tell me that your nickname was Sasquatch?” to which he replied, “Mark, why didn’t you ever tell me the dream?”  We both laughed… and then we hugged each other while tears flowed freely as we both saw that the hand of God and His design had been actively at work in our lives the whole time.  God really did have a plan… and “Yes! It really does matter what we do here on earth”.  Twenty-two years after the dream, its relevance and meaning were unveiled to us and we realized that we had been living out the fulfillment of the dream and God’s plan for us, all the time.

Hearing God’s voice and receiving His affirmation confirmed our past and gave great hope for our future.  We both said, “We can live off of this moment for a long time”.  God had encouraged our hearts, Big Time!!!

You may have a dream that hasn’t come true yet.  But what if you’re actually already living out the dream… you just haven’t bumped into that missing ‘key’ for the dream to make sense?

Lord, we bless those dreams to ‘come alive’ and ‘deliver’ their powerful confirmations in our lives.  Amen

— MLH

Life and Immortality

4 Apr

Do we really have to die?   What if the requirement to die was already fulfilled?   What if we are perpetuating a powerless force that is only propagated because we believe it to be so?  What if ALL of the Curse was really accommodated and removed from us by Jesus’ comprehensive crucifixion on the Cross?  What if the timing to overcome the final enemy death, has always been waiting on our discovery of its “abolishment”?  Interested?

This is likely too big of a bite of steak to chew… not to mention, swallow.  So, let’s start with something more believable.

(About 4 years ago I published ‘What if we don’t have to die?’ To read that post click here.)

Time Magazine’s theme in February 2015 was emblazoned on the front cover, with a picture of a baby and the caption said, “This baby could live to be 142 years old.”  The premise is largely predicated upon the breakthroughs of science, medicine and our environment.  Lest we think this is just wishful thinking, consider that even in the last hundred years our life expectancy has increased from 50 to 80 years in North America.  That’s 30 more years of life to live… a 60% increase in just one century!  What would you have thought if someone had exclaimed, “I can lengthen your lifespan by 60%?”  Would you have believed them?  I doubt it.  And I doubt if anyone living in the early 1900s wouldn’t have believed.  But it happened!

Now, let’s take this long-life speculation and see if there is anything in Scripture to corroborate it.

“Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.” … “For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.” – Isa 65:20, 22

Hmmm.   So, it looks like the reality of living beyond 100 years of age is not just the figment of someone’s imagination, after all.  In addition to modern expectations, this longevity was prophesied several thousand years ago.  And it hasn’t happened yet!!  Which means, of course, that it can happen… and it WILL happen.   So, what are we waiting for?

Whittling this ‘steak’ down to bite size

So, what if it’s true, what do we need to know in order to open up this incredible possibility?  Let’s start with one of the instant kneejerk reactions, “But what about the verse that says…”

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment…” – Heb 9:27

Seems like a pretty solid verse, but then what will we do with this verse?

“For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” – Col 3:3

Did you notice that for the believer, you have ALREADY died… and your life is NOW hidden with Christ in God?  This reality is not waiting for your ‘ticker’ to stop.  It’s a current reality.  So, if we can believe it and embrace it, we have already accomplished Heb 9:27.

And just as an aside, if we’re going to be sticklers about men having to die (their ‘ticker’ stops) one time, then what are we going to do about people that you and I know who have died two or three times… and then been brought back to life by medical or supernatural means?  This will challenge our stickler perspective… and lets us know that there must be a broader meaning to this verse than we originally thought.

Death isn’t the door into eternal life, Jesus is! 

I am the DOOR. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” – John 10:9

Did you catch that?  We can go IN and OUT through this Door.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6

Here’s what Jesus did to break the ancient death syndrome?

 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have LIFE, and have it in all its fullness.” – John 10:10

“As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; (this is the pattern) and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so also shall we bear the likeness of the heavenly man.” – I Cor 15:48-49

“because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you FREE FROM the law of sin and DEATH.” – Roms 8:2

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Roms 6:23

“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” – I Cor 15:53-55

“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;” – Roms 8:29

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ…” – Roms 5:17

Since Adam, the inescapable consequence of death has reigned in all facets of humanity.  Even though Adam’s consequence was powerful… very powerful… this verse says that the abundance of grace we’ve received through Jesus is MUCH MORE powerful than the consequence of Adam’s offense!!  So how powerful was the sentence of death through Adam?  Almost no escapees!  Well, through Jesus the liberation unto LIFE is EVEN MORE powerful and pervasive!

“that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Roms 3:19

Think of it.  If we’re to be filled with ALL THE FULLNESS of God, then that must certainly include His immortality.  And how many other attributes of God are we still lacking in our experience? Hmmm.  Looks like we’ve accepted a subpar reality… way below God’s intentions for us!

Jesus’ strong statement against death

When confronted with Martha’s unbelief after Lazarus’ death, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25-26 NKJV

Look at the contrast: In the first sentence, Jesus acknowledges life AFTER death.  Then He states that those who “live (are alive… haven’t died) and believe, shall never die”!  And then, just to make sure that she really heard Him, He asked if she believed this.  It seems that He’s imploring her, “Please believe Me.  Partner with Me!  Whoever believes Me will not have to die.  We can break this death stronghold that has had its power over mankind for 4000 years!”

Consider this verse in the Old Testament in a couple different versions…

“In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.” – Prov 12:28 NIV
“In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway, there is no death.” – Prov 12:28 NJKV

Does it get more clear than that?!

And now, take a deep breath before you read this…

He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has ABOLISHED death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.– II Tim 1:10 NASB

Did you catch the magnitude of that passage?  Jesus ABOLISHED death and brought life and immortality to light”.  Death is a goner!  It has been rendered toothless… powerless… banished!  There is no hiding of this truth because Jesus has shone a spotlight on life and immortality.  Now He’s waiting, hoping and eager for us to SEE it.  He hid this truth in plain sight!  It was given to us before time, then revealed through Jesus, and since then it’s been waiting… just waiting… just waiting for you and me to SEE it and believe it.

Even death itself will be destroyed!

“For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death…” – I Cor 15:25, 26

Death has been ABOLISHED and is now waiting to be destroyed… by us… by our faith in His word!  Remember Jesus’s question to Martha, “Do you believe this?”  The death of death itself will actualize when we believe!

So, when was death destroyed?  When Jesus put all of His enemies under His feet.  When was that?  At the Cross!  And now when does the death and abolishment of death begin to manifest in us… where does death begin to enter into its own death throes?  It starts in our faith-filled “believing” minds!!!  Jesus abolished death on the Cross and in His Resurrection… now the old constructs of our minds must be demolished so that His LIFE can be experienced.

So what if we’re trying to actualize something that is only meant to be spiritualized?

For certain, this immortality issue has a strong spiritualized application.  Living forever with our Lord has been the blessed hope of all saints throughout all time.  But if we say that everything has to be spiritualized, we’ll run into problems with other aspects of the conquering graces that we believe in.  For instance, should we spiritualize references in Scripture about healing?  Are those passages intended for us to believe that we’ll only be ‘healed’ after we die?  If that’s true, then there’s no hope for experiencing healing in our physical body now… and I don’t think any of us wants to go down that road.  But if we’re determined to only spiritualize immortality, we see how it could rob us of our treasured realities in other areas.

Don’t we have to be a ‘super saint’ to experience this? 

The truth is WE ARE something special!!!  If we weren’t so jaded with outdated tradition, devilish societal norms and erroneous mental constructs, we could break free.  If our eyes could only see the way God sees us.  You see, if any man be in Christ, he IS A NEW CREATION…. the old is past!

“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he IS a new creature (he is of a new order): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – II Cor 5:17

“Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” – Roms 8:20-21

So why do people still die?

I believe that inside the cells of our DNA the outdated record of death (from Adam) still haunts us… it badgers us from inside our DNA.  Unrenewed memory patterns are like old ghosts of the past.  The ‘memory’ of the “abolished” law of death still lingers in the ‘memory banks’ of our body’s cells.  And in addition to the internal ‘haunting’, externally the long perpetuated but outdated realities of death scream unceasingly at us from every layer of our society.

Declare war on the record of death

Apprehending this revelation will require that we set ourselves to destroy our alliances with the record of death.  We must hunger for the Truth.  We must embrace upgrades from the Word of God.  We must tear down old strongholds in our mind and the faulty confessions of our mouth.  This requires diligence over our speech.  We must determine to speak only what the Word of God says about our identity and reality.

Everyone knows, our confession creates our ‘world’… and our confession comes from our inner world of thoughts.  Thus, it’s vital that we renew our minds and require that they conform to God’s Word.  Here it is, concise and straight forward.  How do we get transformed…?

Be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” – Roms 12:2

Has anyone ever told you that the Greek origin of the word ‘transformed’ is the very same word that describes Jesus at His transfiguration?

“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” – Matt 17:2

Look it up in your Strong’s Concordance!  The word ‘transfigured’ in Matt 17:2, (transfiguredG3339 μεταμορφόω metamorphoō) is the exact same Greek word that is used for ‘transformed’ in Romans 12:2!  So now we can say with all boldness…

Be transfigured by the renewing of your mind!

Wow, that opens up a completely new dimension of possibility and reality, doesn’t it?

How about dealing another blow to our outdated understanding of “it’s appointed unto men to die once”?  Consider that there are at least two men who never died… even once!  Elijah and Enoch.  What are we going to do with our ‘die once’ belief now?  They didn’t even die once.  And these men were in the Old Covenant.  They didn’t have the work of the Cross and the Ascended Life available to them, like we do.  So how did they do it?  How did they escape death?  What would you say, if I told you that… your faith can keep you from dying?

“It was faith that kept Enoch from dying.  Instead, he was taken up to God, and nobody could find him, because God had taken him up.” – Heb 11:5

How’s that ‘chunk of steak’ coming along now?  Are we whittling it down to a manageable size to possibly begin to tolerate the idea of not dying… and who knows, maybe even desire to believe it?

Times and Seasons

Each of God’s ‘times and seasons’ have had specific emphasis’ and His intent was to usher the masses into the unique reality that He was highlighting.  Now one could say, that if the crowd isn’t experiencing it, then it must not be possible.  And yet there have always been individuals who didn’t let ‘times and seasons’ restrain them.  Actually, most breakthroughs in the natural and spiritual have come because of the desire and tenacity of some lone pioneers.

But is it Biblically allowable for individuals to experience a powerful reality of a facet of God that has not yet been revealed ‘wholesale’ to the world?  Yes!  I call these people ‘ahead of time’ people.  Here are a few examples…

“have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come – Heb 6:5

Enoch never experienced death (An OT saint experienced immortality)

David experienced the New Covenant realities around the Ark, hundreds of years early

Abraham – “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” – John 8:56

Mary ushered Jesus into His first miracle at the Cana wedding ahead of time. – John 2:4

The Syrophoenician woman elicited a miracle from Jesus ahead of time – Matt 15:21-28

Jonah reluctantly preached to Ninevah and spared that city 800 years ahead of time of the Gentiles – Jonah

Have there been any radical new spiritual breakthroughs in our day?

Someone might say, “I thought everything God did was already done and made available back in the Bible days.   Can you show me where a major spiritual breakthrough has happened in modern history?”

Well, first you’re partially right.  Jesus accomplished everything on the Cross and definitely made it available to us.  God’s part was done.  The Bible says Jesus “sat down at the right hand of God”.  The symbolism of ‘sitting’ denotes that something has been completed and that one is resting from the matter.

But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God.  Since that time, He waits for His enemies to be made a footstool for His feet, because by a single offering He has made perfect for all time those who are being sanctified.…” – Heb 10:12-14

What is Jesus waiting for?  I believe He’s waiting for you and me, His saints, to discover the grand-ness of what He accomplished for us.  As we discover it, our faith begins to rise to the occasion and we begin to ‘possess the land’ of that revelation.  Here are a few huge breakthroughs into the completed work of the Cross that occurred in just the last century.  By and large, these breakthroughs were not experienced (or even believed to be available) before the turn of 1900.  But because of a few tenacious saints, these realities in God became realities in man… and they are becoming more common each decade.

Assurance of Salvation – Prior to the 1900s (and currently still believed in some mainline Christian streams) one couldn’t be confident that they were saved and ‘going to heaven’.  Thanks to many who heralded the Truth in the middle 1900s, we now have a solid faith that a sincere believing heart and confession of faith will save us. (Roms 10:9-10)

Baptism of the Holy Spirit – Since Pentecost, very few people experienced and spoke in tongues.  But in 1905, a very large spiritual door was opened at Azuza Street in Los Angeles.  Now there is a common grace for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and many millions have experienced it.

Prophetic – Pre-1950s, evangelists were the only ones who prophesied.  In the 80s we began to understand that “you can all prophesy”.  Now it is more commonly believed and practiced by many.

Healing – Pre-1950s, only the ‘faith healers’ could heal.  But in the 80s we heard that we could all administer healing.  Now there is a common grace and faith for healingmany administer healing.

In each of these outpourings, awakened, desperate and impassioned hearts pressed hard into God for a breakthrough.   They secured and established a beachhead of new-found faith.  Now their successes are a matter of history that many of us enjoy and they’ve become so normal that we even take them for granted.

God’s people need an upgrade in mindset

God’s people have been invited into the ‘how much more’ dreams of our Father God.  We desperately need new mindsets to liberate us from antiquated… even devilish, strongholds.  For too long those old structures of thinking have held us in bondage… preventing the power of God’s word to be manifested in our lives.  The principles (principalities) of our faith in an inferior truth or mindset will keep us from entering in.  Erroneous faith will disempower our experience of the real Truth.  But the opposite is also equally true!

According to your faith be it unto you.” – Matt 9:29

God, release the revelators!

God releases truth through the ‘revelators’ who frame-up theologically sound structures and then practice it for all to see so that others can repent (literally: change their way of thinking).  “Faith comes by hearing” and when what we hear is the Word of God, then we begin to build a Godly stronghold toward a better reality.

Repent (Metanoia – change your mind, mindset) so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” – Acts 3:19

So, is it possible to not die a physical death?

If “Enoch did not die because of his faith”, and he didn’t have all the New Covenant realities of God available to him, then I think it is more than possible for us.  I don’t have any modern-day examples to point to yet, but since when did that become the litmus test from which we determine whether something is true or not.  I believe immortality has been clearly secured for us at the Cross and Resurrection and is now waiting for brave explorers to explore a brand-new world.  Millions and billions of people are waiting on our discoveries.  They’ll one day enjoy our breakthroughs and even take them for granted because the breakthrough realities have become so normal.  And even more than that, isn’t it an amazing statement of respect and appreciation to our Father, every time we receive and walk in all that He offers us?

As we begin to see that we’re living under the ravages of The Curse NEEDLESSLY, hopefully, our soul man begins to awaken.  Hopefully, a hunger begins to grip us even unto the level of a militance to “apprehend that for which I was apprehended” (Phil 3:12).

It’s time to have an ugly ‘breakup’ with death!!!

Let’s give death an ugly breakup!  Let’s give death a ‘Dear John’ letter and send him packin’.  Death has not been kind to us.  Death has not been our friend.  Death has only robbed us of our potential for Kingdom accomplishments.  Death deserves the most certain “Bye-bye” in no uncertain terms.

Death, we say, “We’re done with you.  You have been ABOLISHED.  Goodbye and good riddance!”

Now, let’s pray

Jesus, I affirm that it is in You that I live and move and have my being.  So, I present this body and my life to You to be upgraded by the New Covenant recoding into my New Creation being.  I rescind the confessions that I’ve made which formed alliances with death and dying.  I renounce the agreement that I have made with Adam’s fallen state and the resulting curses.  I renounce my old DNA and the record of death resulting from Adam that still resonates in the memory banks of my cells.  In light of Your word, and by faith, I appropriate Jesus’ powerful liberation from the law of sin and death… since it has been fully “abolished” by and through Jesus.  I put on new life that has lavishly been made available to me.  I expect to see and experience “life and life more abundantly”.  I expect that Life to manifest fully in my whole being.  I expect to live and not die!  I expect to live eternally even as Enoch who “by faith, did not die”.  I receive all that Jesus made available to me and all that He intentioned to be my reality and my portion.  I receive it, Lord!  I receive it!  I will be among those who destroy the final enemy, death!  By faith, this corruptible is putting on incorruptible and this mortal is putting on immortality!  I am living eternally!  Amen

If you prayed that prayer

It’s vital that we begin to be judicious… and even ruthless with our thoughts and confessions and everyday vocabulary.  Tell your brain that it’s not OK to mindlessly ally with society’s out-of-date mindsets and philosophies.  We must seek out others who are reaching for and experiencing the higher life… the Ascended life.  This will be a most fun adventurous process.  We have an invitation extended to us from our King and gracious Father Himself.  He’s more eager for us to inhabit our inheritance than we are.

Any takers?  Good!  Let’s enjoy the steak and live forever!!!

—  MLH

‘Magic’ chords… and worship leader insights

30 Dec

By definition, leaders lead.  Therefore, it is the worship leader’s highest objective to lead the people into a meaningful encounter with our Lord’s presence… for their sakes… and for His.  As a worshiper, getting my body to come to attention is just the beginning of the journey.  Another important ‘ingredient’ is getting my brain and mind engaged in a theologically correct direction… both of which help me reach my goal.  But ultimately, it’s not my body or my soul that I want ‘driving’ my worship experience… rather, I want my heart / ‘spirit man’ fully engaged and ‘driving’ my worship expressions.  (Note, “The Father seeks worshipers who worship Him in spirit and in truth” – Jn 4:23-24)

Our body responds very well to a strong beat and faster tempo… (Think mindless/involuntary tapping of your foot to the beat of the music).  And my brain is intrigued and entertained with tight harmonies, super-fine musical ‘gymnastics’ and intricacies… and highly stylish leadership.  But generally, my heart needs a peaceful, relaxing, spacious, gentle, safe internal condition and surrounding atmosphere, for it be fully engaged and released in full capacity.

Here are a few things that may hinder full heart engagement with worship:

1) Stopping the music between songs

I realize that it is trendy to stop between songs.  But since the CDs are selling well, then we must do the songs just like they’re done on the CD – at least that’s PC.  And of course, that gives everyone an opportunity to ‘give it up’ for the band between songs… (maybe a little sarcasm there).

But here’s the truth: each time the music stops, the worshiper’s heart is interrupted by their head, which is now called upon to ponder… wonder what’s coming next…  Jesus, I don’t want to disengage my worship posture… but does the worship leader know what he’s/she’s doing… Jesus, I’m trying to stay engaged with You… has someone forgotten what to do… look at the band members signaling between themselves… oops, somebody dropped their chord chart… sorry Jesus, I’m trying… wonder who’s going to start the next song… this new song has a completely different feel from the previous song and I was just beginning to get into it… sure would have been nice to segue less obtrusively… etc.

2) Songs are too wordy or too new

As long as I’m having to read the words in order to know what to sing, that means my brain is in process mode… and all my available CPU bandwidth is being hogged by my mind.  Good theology, even wordy Biblical songs are good as a beginning place in our overall worship experience.  And in order to not get bored or boring, we must introduce new songs from time to time…. but the heart needs a significant level of non-mind-demanding familiarity with a song.  More important than the words, my heart needs the conditions and space to process the sentiments of the song, in order to fully engage in an encounter.

3) Melody notes are pitched too high to sing

Many vocally talented worship leaders have the ability to sing beyond the range of the average worshiper.  This relegates the worshipers to spectators unless they have enough skill to find a harmony part or sing an octave lower.  A good rule of thumb is this: the average worshiper has about a 13 half-step range – and that is usually between an A below middle C and D just over one octave above middle C.  (Note the green shaded area in this graphic)  Even though it may be exhilarating for the worship leader, if there are any melody notes of the song outside this range, then the worshipers become spectators… wishing they could join in the fun.  The worship leader has ceased being a leader… and is now just a performer.  If this dynamic is commonplace, the people will check out of worship and give in to the mediocre concert… and we may end up wondering why people just don’t seem to ‘enter in’.    

4) PA is too loud… or not clear… or has feedback

Having to cover our ears can’t be good any way you look at it.  It’s embarrassing to put your hands over your ears.  It’s embarrassing to find your earplugs and insert them.  The fact is, there are easy-to-obtain proven levels and durations of decibels at which ear damage occurs.  Sound level meters can be purchased for under $20.  It’s possible that churches could be held legally liable for violating accepted OSHA standards.  But more important than all of that, is the fact that we’ve created an environment where the worshiper’s heart is distracted from being engaged… the very thing that should be our ultimate goal.

5) Obtrusive instruments vying for my attention

As team members blend smoothly… or as one member shines in their appropriate time, the heart can move in sync with the ‘rhythm’ of the flow of sounds.  But if one or more instruments are obtrusive or attracting undue attention, the brain is sorely tempted to analyze and maybe criticize… which hogs the bandwidth of a heart’s ability to engage… which was our goal.

Conclusion:

All of the previously mentioned trouble areas scream for my brain’s CPU processing bandwidth.  And as long as my brain is in the ‘driver’s seat’, then my heart is trying to patiently wait for the time when it can engage and take over.  So if these are truly problem areas, then worship leaders must try to reduce the frequency of these ‘robbers’ of true heart worship.

A few personal tips to destroy the ‘robbers’

Since starting and stopping activates the mind and disengages the heart, I try to make each song flow seamlessly into the next.  And if my next song is in different key then I try to modulate the current song (raise to another key), thus giving that song ‘a new lease on life’ and also puts me in a better key for the next song.  This requires more forethought and planning but gives the hearts of our followers a better opportunity to arrive at our ultimate objective… a deep and meaningful experience where our spirit man has an uninterrupted encounter with His Spirit.

A method some worship leaders use is to ask the keyboardist to hold a chord… or at least hold a warm-pad note through the song transition time.  Or some worship leaders have an effect pedal which they activate to hold a preprogrammed sound between songs; e.g. DigiTech JamMan Solo XT.  But in any case, the idea is to avoid whatever disengages the heart. 

So if can we agree that it’s all about the heart, then we need to give the heart ample time to express its own sentiments.  But if the worship leader monopolizes the worshipers with computer projected words only, then our hearts may never get the opportunity to exercise in finding personally unique words and expressions to communicate our own sentiments.  Without this heart-time, we may be creating ‘bottle-fed’ or ‘binky-only’ worshipers who have never been weaned from the projection screen.  Hmmm.  At least four times Scripture rather pointedly implores… and maybe even charges us, “O sing unto the Lord a new song” (Ps 96:1; Ps 98:1; Ps 149:1; Isa 42:10).  In light of this, we may want to explore more hang-time spontaneous worship.

I ask people which they prefer; day-old cold pancakes out of the refrigerator… or steaming hot pancakes right off the griddle with melted butter and warm maple syrup slathered over top?  Which would you prefer?  I understand that prewritten songs help to get us all ‘on page’ together… so there is a place for these types of songs.   But which do you think Jesus prefers from you… songs projected up on a screen that were written by someone else… or the ones that are fresh and current right off the altar of your heart?  Ok, I think we get the point.

So if you want to create the opportunity to ‘sing a new song’, add ‘magic’ chords to the end of the song.  “Ok, this song is really so good that I don’t want it to end, but I’ve already sung the verses and chorus several times… so how do I keep the ‘ball in motion’?”  Here are a couple ways: 1) repeat the chords of the last line… or 2) use one of the ‘magic’ chord progressions from ‘Chord Progressions for Spontaneous Worship’ (below).  Using these options, the worshipers now have a chance to offer their own fresh ‘pancakes’ to the One who knows them best and loves them most. 

I’ve used repetitive chord progressions all my life.  But a good friend and worship leader, was once in our meeting.  He usually played his songs as written… ended the song, then began a new one.  After our meeting, he exclaimed, “Mark, what are those magic chords?”  I showed him what they were and how simple they were to use.  Since then we’ve been calling them ‘magic’ chords because they unlock another level of experience in heart worship. 

These progressions can be tailored easily to fit any tempo, any key, and any time signature… whatever your song-feel determines.  Every 4-bar staff is a complete progression in itself… repeat it as many times as you like.  Experiment with them until they become second nature to you.  I’ve left a few open staffs to create and write your own ‘magic’ chords.  To download (click here)

Enjoy the ‘magic’!

–MLH

Testimony: “He’s Back!!”

26 Nov

This story is of a man raised-from-the-dead in mid-Oct 2019.

My sister Leann Albrecht, and her husband Carl Albrecht, pastor The Well of Nashville, a church near Nashville, TN.  One day Leann texted me that Cheryl, who attends their church, had just raised someone from the dead.

The story goes like this:

Cheryl’s friend Debra came to her door one day and exclaimed that her husband Walt had fallen and was showing no signs of life.  Within a few short minutes, Cheryl was at Walt’s side praying and administering CPR.  She continued for 10 minutes while Debra and Cheryl’s husband called 911.  Walt showed no signs of resuscitation the whole time.

After about 10 minutes, Cheryl realized that all her efforts were yielding no results.  At that point, a surge of “holy anger” rose up inside of her and she loudly commanded,

“Death, I command you to go from his body in Jesus’ Name!  Walt, in the name of Jesus, your spirit come back into your body – NOOWW!!”

At that very moment, Walt’s body jolted and he loudly gasped in a deep breath of air.  Cheryl looked at Walt’s wife Debra, and exclaimed, “He’s back!!”  There was rejoicing in the room… and as Cheryl puts it, “Buddy, we got our praise and worship on!”

Shortly the ambulance arrived and took Walt to the ER.  The next day Debra visited him in the hospital where Walt was recovering and continues to recover. 

Thank you, God!!!

Click here to watch an 11-minute video as Cheryl recounts the story.

— MLH

Testimony: Huge Surprise – Mortgage paid off!

18 Oct

(This testimony is from a close friend)

Over 15 years ago, our family moved to another state to serve a ministry.  My wife and I felt like we should donate our small dream home to the ministry that we left.  Soon after, we purchased another home, by faith, using our retirement funds for the down payment.  We faithfully made payments for 14 years. 

Recently, some of our dear friends (a precious couple) approached us with a radical thought: they wanted to pay off the remainder of our mortgage of $100k.  We were stunned, surprised, BLESSED… and mindful of the house we ‘sowed’ into our eternal bank account many years before.  (This action set off a chain reaction of blessings not only in our family but in their relationship.)

Jesus said, “Lay up treasures in Heaven where moth and rust don’t corrupt and thieves do not break through and steal.”  It’s really true… our Heavenly Father is the very best ‘banker’ and pays the highest dividends.  Thank you, God!

TB / KC MO

Mystics arise!

13 Sep

Through much of my life, I haven’t given much thought to the word ‘mystic’.  I used to relegate it to someone who was ‘over the edge’ in their beliefs and kind of ‘spooky’ in their deportment.

But historically, in religious circles, the title ‘mystic’, is used to describe some of our notable contemplatives.  In the last couple of thousand years, these ancient church mystics possessed a relationship, piety, and reality in God that set them apart.  Some of the more commonly known mystics include Francis of AssisiIgnatius LoyolaJohn of the CrossBrother Lawrence, and Jeanne Guyon, just to name a few.

Religious opinion and tradition generally require that to be called a mystic, one must have had a personal transformation… or must have effected transformation in someone else.

But if you think about it, that definition should apply to any seriously devout God-person.  In Christian circles, a personal and even radical transformation is not only sought after but is a powerfully validating evidence that one has truly had an encounter with God.  In addition, it will empower that one to be a ‘carrier’ of the attributes of the divine encounter and be able to impart those attributes to others.  A bona fide encounter with God has an inherent residual within it which will emanate effortlessly and contagiously to those around… almost involuntarily.

A sad commentary is that much of the Church finds itself diluted, even mousy, without much ‘transformational’ power resident within its gatherings and practices.  This is a travesty, especially since the Church’s Theology purports such great power.

This diluted condition is not a true reflection on the Gospel, to be sure.  Rather, it’s the ‘handlers’ of the Gospel who have lost their passion, poignancy, personal devotion, and the resulting overflow.  But lest I get too far out on a tangent, let’s return to our theme.

So recently, as I did a cursory investigation about the subject of ‘mystic’and I found something surprising.  The label and the description of a mystic is not as crazy as I had believed, in fact, if we’re seriously conscientious about our faith and relationship with God, then all devout God-lovers will become a mystic… maybe even, mystical… at least by definition.

A definition of a mystic:

~ Someone who believes in unseen realities
~ One who believes that they can have access to hidden mysteries, that transcend ordinary human knowledge.
~ One who believes that they can actually know God.

It sounds like they’re talking about any passionate lover of God.  After all, doesn’t this describe the basics of our personal relationship with God?

So let’s get a little more technical in our definition of Mysticism.

1. Unitive experience (believes in union with God)

~ A sense of union with God
~ Usually a fundamental part of defining a religious experience
~ Perceiving a unity to God or the Supernatural
~ Sense of participation in that unity

2. Paradoxical (hard to explain experiences)

~ Beyond normal reason, cannot be explained
~ Yet, believed to be true
~ Knowledge was gained, yet can’t explain how that knowledge came

Well, it sounds like ‘mystic’ should define every true believer.  So, let the mystics arise, stand up confidently… and be mystifying!!! 

— MLH

DPM Update – 2019 Sept – Shefa / Outpouring

3 Sep

Dear Friends

Debbie & I will join Dave & Ann Clark this month for another trip to Israel.  We’ll pick up where we left off in our benevolence mission… as well as reconnect with our growing and dear friendships.  In our recent trips, we’ve made some deep relationships which have been mutually inspiring.  There can be no mistaking of Heaven’s guidance and God’s presence among us.  We’ve all felt God’s delight as we dialog about matters of the heart and share personal God-testimonies.  It’ll be a joy to see them again.

The following is just one of our many bright points in our recent trips to Israel.

We’ve become very good friends with an amazing 21-year-old young man by the name of Ezra, who describes himself as a modern orthodox Jew.  He is the great-grandson of an almost legendary rabbi, Ovadia Yosef (Obadiah Joseph), who died in 2013.  Nearly everyone in Israel knows of Rabbi Joseph and reveres him as a rabbi of almost royalty status in modern times… his picture is even posted in many Jewish restaurants.

Ezra gave Dave and I a tour of his prestigious yeshiva (religious school) Yeshivat Birkat Moshe, where he has studied with 200-300 young men for about 5 years.  We were very warmly welcomed by the rabbis, and then Ezra showed us the sizable library where some books date back 500 years.  The prolific writings of his photographic-memory great grandfather, are there in a collection that looks like rows of encyclopedias.

The really amazing part about Ezra is that he loves to dialog on any topic and easily relates it back to the Torah, Tanakh, or Talmud.  This was of special interest to us because we loved hearing his explanation of the original content and original intent of the Bible passages.  Beyond that, Ezra carries himself with much decorum and talks with ease about any topic.  One such topic was his explanation of the times we live in.

He called this present time that we live in, the “World of Process”, which might be described as the time in which man is in the process of being perfected.  He went on to say that the next world is called the “World to Come” which can have two possible meanings: after we die… or when Messiah comes.  That time is where all the ‘supernatural’ things found in Holy Scripture will occur again.  He further elaborated that the afterlife “World to Come” is not bound by time.  It is outside of time – bigger than time – so it will be and has ALWAYS been, existent.

After discussing a few topics, I asked, “What caused men of God in the Bible to experience the supernatural things, such as miracles, healings, prophecy, etc?”

Ezra said it was when they experienced the “stream” (his own word/description) out of God that they were empowered to do these unusual things.

So I asked, “How would you describe the “stream”?”

He said, “The best Hebrew word is probably Shefa.  There are lots of words to describe Shefa; such as abundance, wealth (not earthly), the flow of goodness, blessing, benefit, Divine ‘flow’, emanation or influence, etc… but the best English word is probably “Outpouring”!”

I was impacted deeply upon hearing this, because the word Outpouring, is the exact title we sometimes use to identify our Christian moves of God which are accompanied by the supernatural!  I described how we experience some of those Biblical supernatural phenomena and actually ‘reach’ for those phenomenon experiences as one of our core values.  I said that one of the common predicating factors for many of these outpourings is HUNGER… hunger for this intimate experience and for ‘breakthrough’ empowerment.

A rabbi’s description of Shefa
“Shefa is actually, on the broadest level, the flow of goodness that comes to our world from the higher planes of existence.  Shefa comes as a blessing and has many forms.  The Shefa, on one hand, is sent down… by divine direction, but on the other hand is drawn down to our level by need, by circumstance and in response to human action.” –
 Rabbi Fisdel

So I asked Ezra if he believed that Shefa can be experienced today.  He said, “We will experience Shefa when the Messiah comes… in the “World to Come”.  It will certainly be much easier to experience then.”

To that, I had to ask, “But if the afterlife “World to Come” is ALWAYS existent… and men of old have already experienced these “streams” and “outpourings”, then we too, should be able to experience it now, right?”  After a short pause, he concurred… and his exact words were, “We must learn to live in the stream.  It is the most amazing thing and the highest level of our existence.”

I could tell that this was a topic that was very dear to him, but one that may not be in mainstream conversations.  Shortly, I realized that my own heart was being strangely stirred.  I explained to him how I knew that I was having a mini Shefa, right there in the car.  Our discussion was so precious at that point that tears filled my eyes and I felt to prophesy over him that he was going to find himself drawn into the discovery of how to live in the “stream”/Shefa of God… that this quest would grip and consume him.  I continued, that his faith for this would rise as God gave him milestone experiences to surely take him into this kind of reality.  And he would be used to enlighten others about the validity of experiencing the “stream”/Shefa in their lives, too.  He was deeply moved and with great thoughtfulness responded, “I hope so.”

That evening was very encouraging for all of us.  Upon parting ways, Dave & I spoke blessings over him.  He sincerely acknowledged that this had been a most impacting experience.

We’re very happy to have met Ezra as he is a valuable resource of rich insights of original Biblical passages, but even more, I’m very proud of him and grateful that he counts us among his friends.  We’ve had several very meaningful exchanges since then and without a doubt, we will continue rewarding and stimulating exchanges for years to come.

— MLH