Man… lower or higher than angels?

13 Dec

Let’s begin by establishing Jesus’ position first.

“To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” – Heb 1:13-14

This passage starts out by asserting the place of Jesus over the angels.  No debate can stand against Jesus’ deity and elevated status.  This passage ends with the assertion that angels are sent as ministering agents to serve all who inherit salvation (and that’s talking about me… and you).

Let’s continue establishing how Father has set Jesus above all heavenly beings:

“which He exerted in Christ when He RAISED Him from the dead and SEATED Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, FAR ABOVE all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.  And God put everything under His feet and made Him head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” – Eph 1:21-23 (caps mine)

Okay, I think we’re solid that Father has given Jesus supremacy over all other powers and authorities… which includes superiority over angels.  

Now, let’s look at man’s position and status. 

“What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty!  You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet…” – Ps 8:4-6

Originally God saw man as being only slightly lower than Himself… and God gave man authority to rule over all the works of His hands. 

Unfortunately, we abdicated our position in The Fall.  We became blinded by the wound and consequence of sin, from our elevated position of being made in the image and likeness of God Himself.  We’ve lived for thousands of years under the devil’s lie that we were just ‘clay pots’ and damaged goods and shouldn’t ever be presumptuous to think that we were capable of receiving our long forgotten favor or qualities of God.  

But by Grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9) in Jesus’ work on the Cross we are given back our abdicated place of favor and position.  At the time of salvation we WERE raised and seated with our Lord Jesus in Heaven.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” – Eph 2:6-7

Notice that this is a past tense event.  We HAVE BEEN raised and are currently seated with Him in Heaven.  Other passages confirm this:  Col 3:1-4; Rms 8:17; etc. 

Now I don’t know if you’ve caught it yet, but if we were raised with Christ… and are seated with Christ…  then we realize that WE TOO are “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion“… and that means above angels.  This may difficult to embrace, but the truth is that the believer has been elevated to a position that is superior to angels. 

In fact, we realize that angels are sent to serve us… (Heb 1:14) not rule over us.  They are emissaries and messengers sent to enable and empower us to fully embrace and carry out our Father’s business.  Our Father’s heart is so rich in favor toward us that He even commands angels to help us find our way! 

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;” – Ps 91:11

My personal opinion is that since we’re so elementary in our understanding of this powerful reality, we must walk carefully with our newly discovered status.  Maybe this is similar to the boy Joash (II Kings 11&12) becoming king when he was too young to understand.  He was overseen by tutors, aides and priests until he was old enough to rule.  In reality, young Joash had more status and position than they, but wasn’t wise enough to wield that authority yet.  He had to cooperate with his tutors until he could fully handle his elevated position and authority as King.

Now that we’ve got the principle, watch how it works similarly in a different context:

“Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.” – Gal‬ ‭4:1-2‬

You see, as we’re discovering and growing into our kingly status unto our God… we’re simultaneously being served by angels who are helping us into our full understanding and function as kings.  We must cooperate with angels in the growth process.  This process and transition from immature ‘kings’ to mature ‘kings’ will end up with a full manifestation of man ruling over every authority under Heaven and in earth. (Dan 7:27; Luke 10:19; Rms 5:17)

Then to give this whole idea a final paradigm boost, Apostle Paul tells us, “Do you not know that we will judge angels?” (I Cor 6: 3).  Before we knew our favor, status and position in God, this passage was confusing and overwhelming.  But as we understand God’s heart defining us and positioning us, we begin to see and have faith that He has placed more favor and Godly authority on us than we ever imagined.

So now we heartily welcome the angels’ service to us on our spiritual journey.  Without a doubt, they currently know more about our true status than we do.  But they’re committed to escorting us into our place and function as mature kings unto God… knowing full well, that even in our immaturity, we’re already “far above” them.

Don’t you just love angels more, now!!!

–MLH

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DPM Update – 2017 Dec – 40th anniversary

9 Dec

Italy adventures and cruise…

Early this year, Debbie was talking about our upcoming 40th wedding anniversary (which was in September) and said, “You know… I’ve never been on a Mediterranean Cruise before.”  And light heartedly, I responded, “You know… there are many things we’ve never done before.”  But I kind of had a feeling that it just might happen.

Someone heard of Debbie’s desire to celebrate our 40th anniversary with a Mediterranean cruise, and graciously gave us a gift toward making that happen.  Since we had plans to be in Israel already, it just made sense to combine the two trips.  The two trips added up to being gone for 5 weeks.

After Israel, we flew to Rome.  From there we immediately took a train to Florence and explored the older center of town.  It’s hard to grasp the contrast between the difference of what ‘old’ is in the US versus in Europe/Middle East.  Our ‘old’ is a couple hundred years of age.  Their ‘old’ is more like 500-1000… or even 2000 years old!  It’s mind boggling.

The second day, we rode a train to Pisa and viewed the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  It’s really there… and it really leans.  The third day, we took a train to Venice to explore the intriguing water canal city.  Lots of the buildings are 500-1000 years old and are sinking slowly into the sea, making many of the original first floors uninhabitable because they’re now flooded with sea-water.  It’s a crazy issue to try to get your head around.  We did the “romantical” gondola ride with the gondolier expertly steering us through the streets/canals.

On the fourth day we began our 8-day/7-night cruise which took us to five places in three countries (Italy, Greece, Croatia) (including the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Ionian and the Aegean seas and the Sea of Crete).  Through Debbie’s ‘super-duper deal finding abilities’, we were legitimately given a very spacious handicap room on the ship, which was larger than our hotel rooms where we stayed earlier that week.  It even had a spacious balcony. God is good!

At Bari, Italy it was a really great treat to meet special friends of my family: Vito & Pat.  They are strong believers, have huge hearts and are spilling over with love.  We spent about 3 or 4 hours with them and it felt like we’d known them forever.  It was hard to say goodbye.
In Athens, Greece we met my 2nd cousin and her husband: Marcy & George.  He’s Greek and they are Christian missionaries to regional churches.  They gave us a personal tour of Mars Hill and explained the Biblical context.  Fascinating to be sure!!  Just wish we would have had more time to enjoy their company and heart conversation.

After the cruise, we caught a fast-train from Venice to Rome.  Once there, after a little orientation of how to use the subway, we found it easy, fast and cheap… so we skipped around the city to see the Vatican and Coliseum, etc.  And of course we had to have a few romantic meals in the sidewalk eateries of Rome.

We found Italy to be captivatingly old and quaint, with friendly people… most speak at least some English.  The food was okay, but not sensational.  Mostly, we enjoyed the mystique of being in a unique and romantic environment.

Most sights we visited on our travels were old or ancient… and even though many architectures are stately, they look pretty ‘tired’.  Of course, oldness has it’s beauty because of what it stands for and the history attached to it.  It has survived wars, wear and tear, weather and earthquakes.  Since much of our Western culture has European and Middle Eastern roots, we give lots of respect to the relics and ruins which reflect part of our heritage.

Life there is pretty local… meaning, the mindset is mostly about the local community… little shops for everyday items, narrow streets, small apartments/flats, climbing stairs to higher floors, adjoining buildings with shared common walls, lots more walking to/from places or bicycle commuting and scooters for the longer distances, etc.  Here’s one for instance; There, most everyday groceries are bought in ‘little hole in the wall’ stores that are smaller than our smallest convenience stores.  Even their larger grocery stores are about the size of our local Panera Bread restaurant.

So, I could see why they may love visiting the West with its shiny glass, chrome, stainless steel and mirrors… it’s expansive green fields and crops… it’s modern mass travel on wide highways and interstates with a 65-85 mph speed limit.  In general, it strikes me that the West may miss the history and depth of culture… that could mean the West is more driven and less anchored.  But in any case, every culture offers its strength as an asset to all.

The artwork of paintings, sculptures and architecture are obvious and strong statements which give credence to a highly creative and deeply passionate people in that part of the world.

In those 5 weeks (Israel/Europe) I’m confident that we’ve walked more miles on more cobble stone sidewalks and streets than ever in our lives.  Walking in general, has been the primary way of getting around each city we visited.  BTW, it’s a little bit of a trick to learn how walk expecting unexpected unevenness in the ground… but that is the way it has been for 1000s of years… and after a while you don’t even think about it.

After Rome we flew back to Tel Aviv to catch the last half of our round trip ticket back home.  On this trip (because of different time zones, daylight savings time changes and different country policies) we had to change our clocks/watches 9 times to accommodate the local time.  That means keeping your body-clock flexible, too. That’s been fun! 😉

Our trip was very memorable and special for Debbie and me.  Most of our lives we’re happily ‘giving out’… but we were glad to get away from everything for just some ‘us’ time.  We both love adventure, so exploring everything new, was totally fun for us.  We’ll have to do that again… maybe on our 41st anniversary! 🙂  Or maybe the next time, we’ll take our family!  The Lord knows…..

Thanks for your interest, your love and your care for us.

The Lord bless you and keep you and give you peace!

Our love and blessings,

Mark & Debbie

====================
Dwelling Place Ministries
Hendrickson
11011 Olive St
KC, MO 64131
====================
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DPM Update – 2017 Oct – Israel trip report

29 Oct

Dear Friends

Israel trip report
Our 3 week Israel trip with Dave and Ann Clark was an amazing experience… an exploratory experience… and a Spirit led experience.  It was an amazing honor to travel with them and get to experience a few frontier dynamics with orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jews.  Each of us had been to Israel before and done all the sight-seeing tours.  This time was about relationship.  We have some cool testimonies… and made some new life-long friends during this trip.  It was rather exhilarating to search for and find those who God wanted to join us with… and then sow our hearts, our time, and our finances into ‘ground’ that the Lord identified.

You may remember that we had significant God-signs to establish our mission, but we were dependent upon God to work out the details. (“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” – Prov 16:9)  This wasn’t our first rodeo of walking by faith, but we definitely went to the next level on this trip. 

Every morning the four of us met in our room to worship and pray and ask the Lord what we should do that day. Then we prophesied over the city and engaged angelic help… and have several crazy cool stories to tell of their ministry.

Each day was fascinating to watch as uncommon ‘doors’ presented themselves to us.  We found ourselves in homes and synagogues and in meetings which surprised us… and surprised others as we later told them of our experiences.  We would sometimes say to each other after an unusual experience, “You just can’t make this stuff up!”  Sort of like trying to mix oil and water, many of these kinds of meetings just don’t happen in the normal course of life; but ‘with God all things are possible’ (Mk 10:27).  We made significant relational inroads into the orthodox Jewish people, the societal norms and with rabbis.

Our agenda was two-fold; 1) to create meaningful relationships with leaders of the Jewish culture such that would create a trusting bond of friendship between ‘us and them’ and 2) add value to people by giving significant and meaningful financial contribution to people who were truly in need and who we could have ongoing relationship.  And it happened! 

1.  We met with at least 3 orthodox rabbis and several families which led to meaningful relationship based on friendship and mutual values.

a) We attended a couple Yom Kippur synagogue(English) / knesset(Hebrew) / shaul(Yiddish) meetings to create some bridges of peace and support.

b) We participated in an extremely rare 2-day conference of orthodox rabbis and Christians which culminated in freedom, much music and dancing, mutual respect and real love.  Several rabbis spoke at this conference (including Prime Minister Netanyahu’s son-in-law).  Both, Christian and orthodox Jewish music bands led the conference, with Debbie and I leading one of the worship sessions.  The overwhelming consensus by all, was that this gathering should happen again and we should build on what the Lord did among us. 

c) We met in the home of Rabbi Joseph Ritchie for a meal with his family and a few friends.  Our exchange was gracious, affirming and welcoming without any sense of pressure or agenda.

d) We met in the homes of 3 different orthodox families for evenings of friendship and a Shabbat meal.  These joy-filled evenings were a highlight!! They were more rewarding than we expected with lasting friendships established over laughter, food, prayer and study of the Torah and Tanakh.

2.  We met with several people who are giving themselves to help orphans and those in poverty.

a) We met twice with an almost legendary lady, Rachel Chalkowsky (nicknamed ‘Bambi’).  She especially touched our hearts.  As a mid-wife, Bambi has personally delivered over 40,000 babies in her lifetime.  She and her husband live very frugally, and she primarily serves those who can’t afford it… which includes serving people from a variety of different religions and ethnicity.  We were impressed with how she serves anywhere the need presents itself… and were delighted to hear her heart and of her value system for determining which couples truly need ongoing financial help.  We felt really good about Bambi’s work because she has no big organizational overhead costs.  Our financial help went directly to the needs.  We gave a substantial gift to this lady and her work… and expect to continue a relationship with her.

b) Rabbi Stern oversees Girls Town Jerusalem girls orphanage that hosts about 500 young ladies of different nationalities and ethnicities.  This benevolent organization is amazing in its commitment to serve the girls for as long as they want to stay.  They provide the basics of food, clothing and housing but also provide special needs services such as medical, dental braces, and even fund their weddings, etc.  Some girls even stay in the orphanage to live and work there after they come of age.  So it’s more of a family situation.  We were able to leave a gift with the orphanage that touches so many lives.

c) We wanted to leave a tangible gift for each gal, so we purchased 500 little coin purses and added 4 shekels to each bag.  Debbie shared with them that God opened a door for the 4 of us to come.  A ‘door’ is the picture that is used to denote the dalet (the 4th letter of the Hebrew aleph bet).  The 4 shekels were like ‘memory stones’ to express how much God loves them, that He would always provide and  that He would open doors for them, too.  Ann and Debbie personally passed out the gifts and loved on the girls.

d) In this same girls orphanage, we met a very special young lady named, Abigail.  After Debbie gave her a few hugs, this early teenage girl quickly warmed up and asked all of us to come to her room. She had been learning guitar, so she proudly played a song for us.  Her face just beamed.  Later we learned that she struggles with depression and moods and sits alone for hours in their courtyard.  Our small gestures of love helped her ‘come alive’.  The staff commented that the smile and joy Abigail had while we were there was not her ‘normal’.  When we visited the orphanage the 2nd time, we gave a gift to be used toward formal guitar lessons… kind of as an on-going gesture of love from us… and as a way of giving her a form of therapy for her heart… (music).  With limited English, Abigail sincerely gushed with appreciation, “I’m very happy, happy, happy!!!”  We will be checking up on Abigail soon to follow-up with our friendship.

Other points of interest
Jerusalem is an enigma.  Competing religions vie for the city and more specifically, for the Temple Mount.  And each one of those religions has many factions (just like ours).  Go figure!  But for the most part, they all work it out in some semblance of peaceful co-existence.  We felt safe traveling at will and almost anywhere we wanted.

Mediterranean food is inviting and quite healthy.  Breakfasts are most unusual with veggies (eggplant, squash, cucumbers, peppers, olives, hummus, etc), cheese, fruit and varieties of fish. The people are very friendly and most speak at least some English.  We learned the dynamics of horn honking from the cabbies… sometimes horns are meant to motivate others… and sometimes they are used just to release stress. 🙂  Looking at novel merchandise is fun, but after you’ve seen the wares of a dozen vendors they all begin to look alike. 

A phenomenon happens every holy day (depending on the religion).  That religious society shuts down, city-wide.  No trains, no cabs, no commerce and no restaurants operate during these times. The only cabs operational are those from the other religions.  But when the official holy day is over (which is determined by when three stars can be seen in the night sky) everything re-starts, the restaurants open, streets come alive with hustle and bustle, recreation and the evening street entertainers… and it continues until after midnight.   Watching the rabbis dance while in their unique clothing, and hearing them sing to EDM (Electronic Digital Music) is a hoot!!  But the crowds easily join in the dancing (girls and guys separate, of course) and it’s fun to observe. 

Our hotel was strategically in the city center.  Local life happened all around us, especially in Zion Square directly in front of our room.  The four of us integrated with local culture as much as we had time for… and cared to.  Most people were friendly… and eager to help when we asked question.  It was a continual adventure to push beyond the ‘known’ each day.

But three weeks came and went quickly… and seemed to end all too suddenly.  With the accomplishments, memories and relationships that we’re bringing back with us, we feel that our mission was more than a success.  We experienced more than what we thought we were going to encounter, so we’re ready to do it again and take it to the next level.  Can’t wait to see how the Lord will lead us to follow-up with our ‘mission’ in Jerusalem.

A blessing
“Lord, we bless the deposits that have gone both ways on our journey.  We bless the seeds of Your Spirit, seeds of friendship, and seeds of money that have been given to others.  May Your Presence cause each of those ‘plantings’ to spring up unto Eternal life in each life.  Amen.”

If you are inspired to help in either of these areas (mid-wife ministry or orphanage), we’d be happy to channel 100% of your gifts along with ours directly to the needs.

Thank you SO much for praying for us and for caring for us.  Our time was grace-filled.  We felt ‘covered’, empowered and clearly ‘led’ throughout our whole trip.  Thanks again!!!

If you care to view pictures of our Israel experiences, click here: Israel trip – Facebook album

Our love and blessings

Mark and Debbie
with Dave & Ann Clark

====================
Dwelling Place Ministries
Hendrickson
11011 Olive St
KC, MO 64131
====================

DPM home: www.dpmkc.org
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DPM Update – 2017 Sept

13 Sep

Dear Friends

Partner with you
As you know, we never ask for money!  So, after informing you of our upcoming Israel mission, it’s been especially fun to receive some spontaneous gifts from you.  We will be making some sizeable and meaningful contributions to poverty-stricken families among the orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jews.  (See the last post for more details)  If this is similarly stirring in your heart, we’d be happy to partner with you in this venture.  We’ll keep you posted.

40th year anniversary
Early this year Debbie said, “This year is our 40th anniversary… and you know… I have never been on a Mediterranean cruise.”  I said, “You know… there are a lot of things we haven’t done!”  🙂  But somehow I just felt like it could possibly happen.  After all, this wonderful lady has stuck with me for most of her life and I’m confident that God thinks she deserves a gold medal… or at least, something really special.  Well, it wasn’t but a few months later that someone said, “We want to send you on a Mediterranean cruise when you go to Israel.”  And there you have it… “God’s will is God’s bill!”  So we settled on a multi-country cruise from Venice, Italy.  Now, guess what?  My lady’s happy!  Yay!

Grands…
Our family is growing.  We now have 7 GRANDchildren… and we LOVE being grandparents!  Markus & Allison had baby #2 this year and live in Nashville, TN area.  John & Cheryl and their 4 children live here in Kansas City, MO, about one block away from us.  Chris & Lydia are in Redding, CA with baby #1.  And just for the record, we’re hoping for at least 7 more!!!

He-Man camping
Sometimes you’ve just got to get away from it all! (even Jesus did)  🙂  So, we went on our 15th annual He-Man Camping trip recently.  3 days/2 nights… so easy… nature all around.  During the day: caving, exploring with the kids, catching crawdads, building a raft, and fishing… and during the night: listening to raccoons, foxes, owls, crickets and tree frogs.  Fun and relaxing.  John & Cheryl and the kids… and Deb & I, all stayed in our big family tent.  Here are a few pics.

Upgraded prayer
You may not know that we began a prayer meeting early in 2016… gathering every Thurs evening.  The goal was to transition our prayer vocabulary from beggar / plaintiff / petition… to confident sons / co-reign-ers with Jesus.  In other words, whatever Jesus would say over our situation, is what we say.  He declared the status and mind of Heaven into the situation.  Some words to describe this type of praying are: declare, prophesy, release, proclaim, loose, bind, etc.  You see, all of these descriptives imply a strong sense of confident knowing of our position and authority in Christ.  Here are a few articles that I’ve written about upgraded prayer in my blog: Beyond the Map.

That prayer meeting objective proved to be more difficult than we thought.  Even though all of the 5 or 6 people who started with us are pastors and had been involved in the prayer movement for decades, none of us realized how hard it would be to ‘unlearn’ old petition-type vocabulary… and begin using confident declarations.  Praying from a completely different position is intensely mentally laborious at first… not to mention trying to pray ‘in the anointing’.  BUT something changed about 3 months ago.  We’ve had some very powerful prayer meetings since then.  I think we’ve ‘turned a corner’.

I firmly believe that God is inviting His people into this kind of prayer… “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracle of God.” – I Peter 4:11  What would happen if all God’s saints began to embrace confident joyful co-rulership with Jesus on this earth!?!??!  WOW!  I think God can hardly wait!!!!  🙂

‘Plying our trade’
Deb and I are still doing our stuff… traveling around, ‘plying our trade’ – being mothers and fathers where ever we go.  Maybe that is part of the Malachi 4:6 verse which says, “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers…”.  God is raising up men and women to ‘father’ and ‘mother’ an orphaned world.  That’s where we all (you too) come into the picture.

Thought for the day
No matter the difficulty of any circumstance, God is SO much bigger than any ‘oppressor’.  No matter the size, that oppressor is not even in the same league as our awesome God!

Lotsa love
Mark & Debbie

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Dwelling Place Ministries
Hendrickson
11011 Olive St
KC, MO 64131
====================

DPM Update – 2017 Aug – Israel trip

30 Aug

Dear Friends

The God-adventures continue

In a few weeks, Deb and I will be joining some of our fellow God-adventurers Dave and Ann Clark, to make a trip to Israel for about 3 weeks, starting Sept 26 through Oct 17.  This happens over the dates of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).  There will be thousands of Christians and Messianic Jews in Jerusalem at that time.  We have many friends in Jerusalem and no doubt we’ll attend some of the Christian/Messianic Jewish meetings, but that is not the primary reason for our trip.

The Lord has quite unexpectedly put the orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jews on our heart and in our path.  It’s not something that had even been in our thinking.  But through a on-line video series… and then through some rather impressive God signs, we’ve become quite confident in our unusual mission.

We had no idea of the level of poverty and strain some of the Jewish sects experience in the pursuit of the religious endeavors.  Literally, there are hundreds of thousands who seriously struggle for the basic needs of life.  A 5-part video entitled: Haredi: The Ultra-orthodox society in Israel communicates the philosophical ambitions and the practical struggles they face as they wrestle with religion versus the basics of life.  To some, the issue seems easy to solve… (like, husbands should just stop their intensive studying of the Torah and get a job) but to those who are gripped in this philosophical view, their intensely ‘devout’ lifestyle creates huge impositions for their families.

Give value and bless with open-hands

Obviously, our mission will not be to proselytize, but rather to give love and value… and offer an open hand of help to some of the hurting families.  After all, through Abraham, we are ‘brothers’.  And since all humans have amazing worth, we feel compelled to come alongside and support them in whatever ways God opens up to us.  That briefly described objective may seem a little ambiguous, but we’re quite familiar with God-adventures with this type of M.O.  Past testimonies from His invites for us to “come see”… coupled with our current confirmations, has given us much faith that we’re on the right path.

Recently Debbie and I were in Los Angeles and just ‘per chance’ we met Fred & Wendy Wu who are taking a group to Jerusalem at the SAME TIME that we are going.  They have the SAME objectives… in fact, they’ve been cultivating relationships with the orthodox Jews for several years.  This year will be the first year that they are doing some JOINT meetings… and we’re invited to participate publically and in the rabbi’s homes.  This surprise development just happened to ‘pop up’ AFTER our mission and dates were already established.  We expect many more of these divine appointments will happen all along our way.

More recently we met a couple times with orthodox rabbi A.J. Kushner, in Canton, OH, who candidly shared the needs, the hurdles, the impossibilities, and the culture… all issues that we need to be aware of as we put our feet on the ground in Israel.  It was a very productive time of learning how to interact with that religious culture.

Even though we’re quite certain that we’re on a God-appointed mission, we still feel like: “Man plans his way but God orders his steps.” (Prov 16:9)  In other words, we’re confident of some big picture goals, but we still need the leading of the Lord regarding connections, directions, timings, daily schedules, etc.

So we’re inviting you to hold us in prayer and let us know as the Lord gives you impressions or connections… or any other innovative ideas.  For Dave & Ann and Debbie & I, our mission is to impart love and value.  That will undoubtedly involve giving money, practical gifts, acts of service and kindness… eating with them in their homes and identifying with their families, their passions and their struggles.  We also believe we’ll be in some hospitals and orphanages.  In the process, when the impact of genuine love manifests in the form of tears and true friendship, we’re confident that all of our hearts will enlarge as we see the God-love-factor break through boundaries of religion and culture.

St Francis of Assisi said, “Preach always, and if necessary, use words.”  We will be exploring all possible ways to show love, and maybe… quite possibly… love will overcome the barriers.  After all, didn’t Jesus say, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another.” (Jn 15:35)  

There you have it, a brief overview of our big upcoming adventure.  Thank you for your care and prayer as our foursome team is on this mission to open our hands with love to melt the barriers, paradigms and mindsets in all of us.

With love,

Mark & Debbie

Dave & Ann Clark

====================
Dwelling Place Ministries

Hendrickson

11011 Olive St

KC, MO 64131

====================

DPM home: www.dpmkc.org

Twitter: www.twitter.com/marklh

Itinerary: www.dpmkc.org/itinerary

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A Meal With Jesus – an intimate worship encounter

26 Jul

If Debbie and I are given lots of liberty, we like to take a regular meeting and create a setting of intimacy.  Thank God for formal gatherings… they have their important place in our Christian experience.  But intimate and informal settings also have their powerful place of importance.  In fact, this kind of setting, is almost always where the deep spiritual encounters happens.

In the Last Supper, Jesus admonished, “as often as you do this, do this in remembrance of Me” – I Cor 11:25.  Jesus is always inviting us to His table to have ‘a meal with Him’ and a special time of intimacy.

So on this special morning there was gentle exhortation, worship and freedom of body ministry in Jesus’ ‘living room’.  And then it all culminated in communion around His table.  The whole morning was a tender encounter with His presence and was accompanied with many tears.

Allow about a hour of your undistracted time to watch and come along with us.  It’s quite likely that you’ll have your own encounter… an intimate encounter, with this most lovely man, Jesus!  Click here to watch ‘A Meal With Jesus – an intimate worship encounter’.

 

For more videos from Dwelling Place Ministries – see our DPM Youtube Channel.

Special thanks to Lloyd & Brenda Rindels-pastors of New Day Church – Kansas City, MO.

— MLH

Progression of the corrections of God

1 Jul

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. – II Pet 3:9

God is so patient that some think He doesn’t care… or is going way too slow.  But really, He is just taking all the time needed to keep people from “perishing”.

God’s love is always persistent and pursuing us.  He uses the simplest and most subtle ways to get our attention first; such as, leading us with His eye (Ps 32:8) or whisper (I Kngs 19:12) or whistle (Zech 10:8).  And if that doesn’t get favorable results, then He resorts to stronger measures.  But we must not mistake the ‘stronger measures’ for God turning His back on us.

“the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” – Heb 12:6

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
– Heb 12:11

Lest we mistake His more serious attempts to get our attention as being less than loving, we must remember that God is love (I Jn 4:8); the full embodiment of love.  No matter the means He uses, they are motivated out of His goodness and love to get us to have a different mind about whatever needs to be corrected.

“…the goodness of God leads you to repentance” – Rom 2:4

(Greek for repentance is, ‘metanoia’, which means, change your mind/thinking.)  He would love to change our mind with his kindness and gentleness.  But He will go to great lengths to prevent us from ‘falling over the cliff’ of ‘no return’.   The love of God will even allow resistance to bring our hearts into alignment with His.  Who among us would not want the intervention of God to stop us from continuing in a wrong direction?

“Indeed God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices it.  In a dream, a vision of the night, when sound sleep falls on men, while they slumber in their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that He may turn man aside from his conduct, and keep man from pride; He keeps back his soul from the pit, and his life from passing over into Sheol.…” – Job 33:14-18

Have you ever thought about all the ways God uses to get our attention?  Well, I believe that not only does God use a myriad of ways, but there is a definite progression of intensity in His ‘invasion’ into our lives to get our attention.  The love of God will even allow resistance to bring our hearts into alignment with His.  So I think it goes something like this:

Progression of His ‘voice’ to us

1.  He speaks to our conscience
2.  We hear/see His ‘voice’ in Nature – Roms 1:20
3.  A verse jumps out when we’re reading our Bible
4.  We have a relevant dream – e.g. Nebuchadnezzar
5.  An ‘innocent’ phrase from an unaware person gets our attention 
6.  A person unaware of our issue shares a relevant dream
7.  We hear a sermon on the matter
8.  General invitational prophecy – non-specific / non-confrontational
9.  An aware friend has a dream about the issue
10.  An aware friend shares loving counsel
11.  Direct prophecy – specifics / exposure

If we persist, we risk stepping outside of Grace – Romans 1:24, 28; Ps 81:12; Ps 106:15.

12.  Circumstances – hardships / finances – from poor choices, etc
13.  Consequences from the ‘law’ – civil, moral or church take their toll

14.  Physical afflictions – consequences of unhealthy lifestyle, etc

In the New Covenant, I am increasingly convinced that God doesn’t give sickness or calamity, but I think He may allow it if we ‘demand’ it… which may look something like this: As we walk in covenant with Him, His strong hand is around us.  But if we increasingly determine to walk outside of covenant with Him, we effectively ‘dis-invite’ His covering.  We then begin to walk outside of His protection.  Hardships that come our way may be the ones we’ve allowed the enemy to perpetrate upon us because we’ve chosen to walk out from under God’s protection.

“… yield unto God …” Roms 6:13

This hurts our Father’s heart, just like it did the prodigal son’s father.  Consider that he willfully walked away from his father’s ‘jurisdiction’.  The father honored the son’s choice.  But just like the prodigal son’s father, our God has always been reaching out to us and is ready at first signs of our returning to receive us with open arms.

It just makes good sense to yield to God early on when His corrections are gentle.  Who wants to be ‘arrested’ by stronger methods?  Not I!

He’s always there waiting, because His love never stops.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” – Jer 31:3

nothing can separate us from the love of God….” – Roms 8:38,39

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” – Acts 3:19

Consider this: Wouldn’t it be alarming to not experience the intervention of God when we’re moving in a wrong direction?  That would probably mean that we’re on some ‘prodigal detour’ and will likely have to experience some consequences of our own actions until (like the prodigal son) we’re sufficiently motivated to return and yield to God.  God forbid that we resist this long.

But thanks be to God, we now understand that God’s pursuit of us is motivated by love, which makes our yielding so much easier.

To be reminded about how much your Father loves you, click here to hear the song Everlasting Love, which I wrote and our family recorded on our Heart Songs CD.

— MLH