SP True Stories: Bye, bye mortgage!

3 Jul

(personal testimony)

Back in the early 2000s financing was easy to get… so we selected a “stated”/”no-doc” loan.  But there were all kinds of confusing financing options.  I felt the Lord led me to get a 5-year fixed, “interest-only” for 5 years HELOC, which then became an (ARM) adjustable interest rate loan.  That may seem scary, but I was trying to follow the Lord’s leading as best as I knew.  The terms stated that after 5 years, our adjustable interest rate was going to fluctuate with the national prime interest rate.  Now, what I didn’t know, was what nobody could have known at that time… this would be an amazing blessing to us!

We always paid much more than our minimum required monthly payment.  But after 5 years, the interest rate and required payments started to rise, so I called the mortgage company and indicated that I was going to ‘go shopping’ for another loan.  They volunteered to reduce our interest rate by one point… at no cost.  Thank you Lord.  So we stayed with them. 

In 2008 Americans experienced the national real estate crisis and our nation’s prime rate dropped to 3.25%… which lowered our mortgage interest to about 2%.  That’s crazy low… for the last 10 years!!!  Only God could have fore-known that our type of loan would be such a blessing to us!  Thank you God!!!  

Except for our mortgage, we have had no outstanding debt of any kind, for about 15 years.  During this time, we were believing God for supernatural provision to provide for “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (II Pet 1:3).  including our mortgage paid off.  We even received prophecies that we were going to be mortgage free.

It’s now year 17 of our 30 year mortgage, with just over $11K remaining on our loan.  We were only about one year from paying it off… 12 years earlier than required.  Now here’s the latest fun development in this story…

Earlier this year someone asked about the balance remaining on our mortgage.  Shortly thereafter, they gave us the full amount to pay it off.  WOW!!!  So much fun!!!

Thank you God, for Your amazing care and provision!  Your ways are truly higher than our ways.

— MLH

 

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DPM Update – 2018 June – ‘Open Hands’ Israel trip #2

14 Jun

Dear Friends

The adventure continues
We joined Dave & Ann Clark again on this latest installment as Team ‘Open Hands’ stepped onto the land of our mission objective.  It was a great trip!   Walking out this vision has been an exciting adventure, because although we had pre-scheduled with some people, many of those appointments led to unexpected meetings later.

Hashgachah Pratit – Hebrew for ‘personal divine guidance’
To our delight, our trips have been highlighted by many Divine connections and appointments.  In fact, as we shared our stories to our Israeli friends, several of them told us this phenomenon is something called, hashgachah pratit (pronounced hosh gah kah prah teet).  It describes a special place of favor that happens when they receive specific personal guidance from God.  And that topic inspired even more exchange. So much fun!

Great fellowship til midnight

Heart-level relationships
While some of our connections could be described as introductory relationship building, others have been surprisingly rewarding on the heart-level.  One late night meal with some of our dear Jewish friends yielded a most rewarding exchange of hearts… it was momentous for all of us.  We found a great deal of freedom sharing about… family, anointing, compassionate care for others, prophesying, tears, etc.  Encouraging ‘word in season’ deposits were made in each other’s lives.  We exclaimed to each other how spiritually refreshing our time was.  True friendships were established and deepened.  Several times on this trip, upon parting ways, people exclaimed, “It’s been like a refreshing breath of spiritual air” and “You’re special people” and “You’re spiritual people”.  No doubt about it, Heaven is delighted.  

Every person we’ve connected with has responded VERY graciously.  We leave deposits of love and care wherever we can.  We trust HaShem (their word for God) will watch over the deposits of ‘life’ from each other… to bring forth His fruit in all of our hearts.

Dignity Clothing warehouse and distribution center

Mission details: Clothing distribution
Earlier this year, Dave & Ann were introduced to a charitable distribution organization called Dignity Clothing.  It was a welcome and powerful ‘God-sign’ for the vision.  Dignity has offered to assume a significant part of the workload (free gratis) in the over-all ‘pipe-line’ between the clothing manufacturer and the people.

We personally presented the samples of clothing from China to the people who will be in charge of their distribution in Israel.  With a few modifications, the samples were approved.  We were impressed as we visited the warehouse that receives the clothes, bar codes each one and distributes them to over 1600 families in Israel.  The components for the ‘pipe-line’ of this vision are falling into place.  Next, we’ll place an order with the clothing manufacturers… and the vision will be in full swing.  

Bambi – midwifery
Our midwife friend Bambi, (you may remember that she is the woman who has personally delivered about 40,000 babies in her life) was instrumental in connecting us to Dignity Clothing.  It was fun to watch her surprise and pleasure as the favor of God gave Open Hands a solid relationship with the executives of Dignity Clothing.  Among other great accolades for Bambi, we’re impressed with her organizational records… including the moneys received from donors and given to people in need.  She has some great stories of the impact of her help.  Here’s one…

Pressing needs – woman with MS
A woman has 12 children, 6 of which are now married.  Some years ago, she was stricken with MS – she is now paralyzed, deaf, vision impaired and needs help 24/7.  She had a husband who was working in education.  He became sick with cancer last winter and passed away.  They were living in a 3 bedroom apt.  He left a lot of debt.  The family determined that it would be cheaper to move from Jerusalem and live in Modi’in Illit… and one of the married children decided to live with their mother.  They combined two apartments into one by removing walls in order to make room for the combined families.  Bambi’s organization gave them $10,000 for their financial debt and currently supports them $1000 per month to keep up with the bills.  Many more stories as dire as this one have stirred our hearts to come alongside Bambi with financial help.  

Divine appointment with Rabbi Machlis
A friend named Sally told us that we really needed to meet Rabbi Machlis.  We were told that he and his family open their home weekly to anyone who wants to share the Shabbat meals together with them.  Upwards to 100-150 people show up spontaneously.  Different beliefs and faiths are all welcomed.  He invites everyone to speak during the meal… and they’ve been doing this for 30+ years.  Sally’s account of this rabbi resonated deeply with our hearts.  We knew we had to get to know him.  When parting, she gave us a check to give to him.  Then she simply instructed, “Just look for him at The Kotel” (Western Wall).  

Prayers inserted in The Wall as a point of faith

On Shabbat, a few days later, we visited the Kotel.  Our minds were focused on finding our way to the Wall.  But as we entered the prayer area near the Wall, we were asked if we’d like to join a small group to pray about 10-15 feet from the Wall.  We found a place to sit down directly behind a praying rabbi.  As we approached our chairs, this rabbi graciously reached out to shake our hands… and shortly thereafter he found a book in English and gave it to us to follow along with him.  He kept reciting the prayers but occasionally turned around and helped me find the appropriate place in my book.  Having no idea who he was, we were struck with how gracious he was.

Eventually Dave and I went up to The Wall and prayed for about 15-20 minutes.  The rabbi was only about 10-15 feet behind us the whole time.  As we were about to leave the Wall area, we realized that we needed to take care of Sally’s check, so we asked someone if they knew how we could find Rabbi Machlis….  We could hardly believe it… they pointed directly back to the very same rabbi who graciously greeted us and who helped us follow along with him.  It was Rabbi Machlis!!!  Crazy cool!!

Well, we tried to give him the check but Rabbi Machlis refused, without explanation.  We didn’t realize it, but he can’t touch money during Shabbat.  We didn’t know!!  We apologized later!  Anyway, we were amazed that HaShem had helped us find and have a personal interaction with Rabbi Machlis, even when we weren’t looking for him!!

The next day, we called the rabbi and he quickly invited us over to his very modest apartment.  He was exceptionally gracious and welcoming!  It was a great exchange, although short.  We’ll definitely be connecting with him again when we return.  Here’s his website: https://www.machlis.org 

Here are a few more crazy stories that have too many amazing details to share: 

We just ‘happened’ to bump into a government official… in our conversation and in follow-up emails we’re all confident that it was a Divine appointment, which has future purpose.

One of our good friends was asked to be Israel’s president, but she refused because it would diminish her influence in Israel… 

A USA-based Jewish philanthropist to Israelis in need, has eagerly entered into partnership with ‘Open Hands’… accepting the cost of importing, warehousing and distribution of the clothing in 35-40 distribution sites in Israel…

A friendship emerged with the director of a world renown mental health institute… we shared a Shabbat meal with he and his family… and he’s a rabbi who sits on a rabbinical council over 1000 rabbis… 

We have a deep heart relationship with the director of an acting school in Jerusalem that is as influential in Israel as Hollywood is in the USA…

One late night the US Embassy security saw a fire directly across the street on our good friend’s 3rd story patio and woke them up by pounding on their door.  The fire was easily contained.  Our US Embassy may have saved their home and their lives.  A sign hanging from their patio now says: “Thank you President Trump.”

In the media/arts/movie industry, rewarding heartfelt friendships have been established with a director, a producer and a distributor… they each are well established, independent and seasoned veterans in the industry…

These are just some of the impacting encounters that were without a doubt, hashgachah pratit… personal divine guidance.  So many cool things happened that it looks very suspiciously like God is setting us up for something bigger than we’re currently aware of now.  And that’s the stuff that makes for great God-adventures!

More soon.  We’ll keep you posted. 

Our love and blessings!

Mark & Debbie
Dave & Ann

====================
Dwelling Place Ministries
Hendrickson
11011 Olive St
KC, MO 64131
====================
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DPM Update – 2018 May – Open Hands Israel trip

13 May

Dear Friends

Another Israel trip
Debbie & I are flying on Thursday this week, to Israel join Dave & Ann Clark again.  Together, we’ll be following-up on our original objective in Israel, which is #1) create organic friendship with the Ultra-orthodox Jewish sect called the Haredim and #2) to come alongside them with practical gifts of money and personal items, such as clothing.

Our last trip in Sept/Oct 2017 and two subsequent trips by Dave & Ann have been overwhelmingly successful.  True friendships have developed which have led to some amazing interactions and relationships.  It’s pleasantly surprising to us… and even to the Jerusalem locals.  We’re all inspired to realize that we’re pioneering an un-orthodox relationship which has mutual blessing.  Lotsa fun. 

In addition, the ‘pipe-line’ of clothing from China to the local Haredi in Jerusalem is nearly in place.  We’ve had lots of favor in China… in the shipping and transportation arena… and in the distribution of clothing through a trusted and well-established infrastructure in Israel.  This journey is very exciting to us because there are many places on this journey that significant God-signs have inarguably established the validity of the vision. 

Team ‘Open Hands’
Our relationships with the Jerusalem locals have been spectacular.  Friendships in Ohio, New York, California, Missouri, China and Israel are all rallying with fresh inspiration.  In fact, it was in an especially intimate occasion where our New York Ultra-orthodox Jewish friends said let’s call this concerted vision, Open Hands.  So Open Hands it is!!!  There just doesn’t seem to be any barrier between Jew & Christian… in fact, sincere respect and love are clearly evident.  

The financial gifts we’ve given are truly making a serious contribution to the families living in poverty status or below.  As you know, we never ask for money, but if you have a heart to help in any of these three areas, Dave & Ann and Debbie and I would be happy to make sure that 100% of your gift gets to one of these areas of need.

1.     Personal items for Haredim families
        Clothing (shirts, pants, dresses, skirts) are being manufactured in China to Haredi specifications, then shipped to Israel and distributed to families in the Haredi communities all over Israel.  This clothing is then ‘sold’ to the people for about 10% of its original cost, in order to preserve the dignity of the recipients. 

2.     Financial gifts to a Jerusalem midwife ministry
        A well-known and loved midwife named ‘Bambi’, who has delivered 40,000+ babies, is using her relationships, connections and services to help many poverty level young families as their children enter the world.  Several sizeable gifts have been applied to the greatest areas of need. 

3.     Girls Town Jerusalem
        A Jewish ministry in Jerusalem provides ‘home’ for over 500 orphan girls and young mothers in 3 or 4 locations in Jerusalem.  Recently, the main facility was broken into by thieves.  We’ll visit them again on this trip and will be helping them financially.  You can view a video of the current need here: https://vimeo.com/266650311

If your hearts are so moved to support these Israel focuses, you can use our DPM Paypal account to facilitate the gifts.  Just add memo note as to where you’d like money designated.  We’ll be traveling in Israel from May 17 to June 4

You may know that there is a heightened international unrest between Israel, Syria and Iran at this moment.  As you are inspired, we’ll greatly appreciate your prayers.

Lotsa love
Mark & Debbie
Dave & Ann

====================
Dwelling Place Ministries
Hendrickson
11011 Olive St
KC, MO 64131
====================
DPM home: www.dpmkc.org
Twitter: www.twitter.com/marklh
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Grand #8 is on the way!!!

8 May

ANNOUNCING !!!!  The tests say,   It’s A Girl!!!   Due July 27.   

Chris & Lydia and their 2 year old Charlie, will have a new little bambina in their home by late July.  Only 11 weeks to go!

That will make 2 kiddos for them… and 8 grands for us.   Yay!!!

And we’ll have another person in the family blood line to carry on the legacy of Jesus lover.  Wow!  Doesn’t that just sound awesome!?

We’re in Redding, CA right now, but in the fullness of time, Debbie and I will return to welcome our newest family member… and help with some of the extra work load that comes with newborns. 

So just thought you’d like to know… and like to celebrate with us.  We’ll keep you posted on the new arrival.

Love

Mark & Debbie

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

11011 Olive St
KC, MO 64131
====================
DPM home: www.dpmkc.org
Twitter: www.twitter.com/marklh
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DPM Update – 2018 May – Asher’s health

1 May

Dear Friends

Asher – sudden ailment
Our family has been going through a little health test with our youngest grandchild, Asher Mark.  It all started on April 2 in early evening, after John put Asher to bed.  At about 9:30pm he woke up crying.  After trying to console him, John and Cheryl soon realized this was not their typical Asher.  He couldn’t move his arms!  His arms were completely limp from his shoulders to the tips of his fingers.  He had just been playing with his 3 siblings a few hours ago.  No injuries.  No recent sickness or vaccines.  No indicators.  No warning signs.  So Asher was immediately taken to the ER and ended up at Children’s Mercy Hospital downtown, Kansas City.

No diagnosis
After 3 days of intensive tests including MRI, spinal tap, numerous blood works, steroids and 5 days of IVIG treatment the doctors had their suspicions, but were baffled.  It’s been over four weeks now and they still don’t have a confirmed diagnosis.

Asher is beginning to make remarkable progress, thanks to prayers from around the globe.  He’s doing physical therapy daily and we’re confident that small movements will lead to bigger movements… which will lead to full mobility!  Can you say, “Amen!”

Insights
As the symptoms began to be identified on the first day, the natural reaction would have been to be overwhelmed and devastated.  But we felt much grace to coach our hearts to stay in solid confidence in the unwavering goodness of God.  Our whole family lives in the favor of the Lord.  We remind each other frequently and attribute it all to God’s unmerited goodness.  Since that is a solid component in our hearts and minds, we haven’t let this circumstance ‘derail’ us and pull us down into a pit of helpless darkness filled with “O my’s” and “Why me’s”… which would be exactly what the devil would love.  The devil is the origin of this ailment… and he is a loser.  He ain’t no match for our Great Big God!  So… no plaintiff beggar prayers allowed!  From that place of security in His favor we began to make declarations of restoration of health and wholeness into Asher’s body… and we do it each and every day!

The cool part is that God has promised to work all these things together for our good!  Now is that amazing, or what!!!  This is another miracle story in the making!  Soon, we’ll tell the full story with great gratitude, just like all the other great trophies God has on His “Heavenly mantle”.

I find it quite interesting that the doctors can’t find a diagnosis.  Doesn’t that just sound like the Lord to not let our minds get ‘pigeon-holed’ with any negative mindsets associated with a stated malady?  This way, our hearts are kept unfettered to believe for supernatural healing… and I believe that we’re well on the way to seeing that happen.  We’re very grateful for the expert medical care Asher has received… but even though they still can’t find an answer, we all know the Great Physician has him more than covered.

Asher has made progress nearly every day for the last couple of weeks.  He’s beginning to move his forearms and wrists… and has varying amounts of movement in most of his fingers.  Thank you God!  Recently, Asher got out of the hospital and will continue ‘out-patient’ physical therapy at both Kansas City Children’s Mercy Hospital locations for an unspecified period of time.  He will likely receive another MRI in a month or so.

Thank you
We thank everyone for the many prayers and the gracious supportive comments sent via Facebook, email, text and phone.  You have been a great inspiration!!!  And we believe that together, by the Grace of God, our prayerful declarations are reversing a temporarily troublesome issue in Asher’s body.

For about 18 days John or Cheryl were at the hospital nearly 24/7 with their youngest son.  It has been a challenging time with 3 other young children (6 years old & under) at home, juggling work, family time and all the other life responsibilities.  Regarding finances, they believe insurance will be covering the majority of bills.  But Asher is home now and we’re believing that the family will be able to return to normal in the not too distant future..

Thank you so very much for your continued love, prayer, gifts and care for John & Cheryl and their family!!!!  If you have encouraging words, they would love to hear from you on their Facebook pages.

Declare with us that God will complete the good work that has started in Asher.

Love and blessings
Mark & Debbie

====================
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
Contribute: www.dpmkc.org/donate
Blog: www.marklhen.wordpress.com
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SP book: www.dpmkc.org/supernaturalprovision
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/henmlee/videos

Why do I need 2 or 3 God-signs?

25 Feb

Question:

Mark, even though it’s biblical to look for signs to confirm God’s voice, is it considered more mature to simply trust His voice rather than depending on two or three witnesses to confirm His voice?

My response:

Good question.  Let’s assume that most people would truly like to know the will of God.  That’s good!  Unfortunately, most of us haven’t perfected our hearing skills… or developed a satisfying track record.  And quite frankly, many haven’t practiced that level of intimacy, yet.  It’s very likely that our hearing is limited by religious traditions and compromised by lethargy, fear or ambition, so we’ll probably need a method more objective and tangible as we start on this project.  Our hope is that eventually we could be certain that we’ve heard His will through something as simple as the “still small voice.”

So my response is, “If you’re having 100% successful results on hearing the voice of God… and the decisions that you are making based on your way of hearing are working out satisfactorily, then don’t stop what you are doing!!!!!!”

BUT if you are having trouble hearing… or when you think you have heard and yet you’re torn with doubt and second guessing, then you may want to try my Fleece Template (click here), which works 100% of the time for me.

Sheep fleece on grass

I have a question to those who are just trusting that they’ve heard His voice through their subjective-impression-antennae-system; “Where do you give God the opportunity to be sovereign… and what way have you created for God to be able to say in an indisputable ‘black and white’ way, “Yes” or “No”?”

I know my own humanity, and if I don’t have a way for God to interject His sovereignty, then I’m vulnerable to ‘tricking’ or rationalizing myself into hearing anything I may want to hear… or not hear.

My Fleece Template (based on Gideon’s fleece in Judges 6:36-40) gives that kind of opportunity for God to speak clearly.

As I use my Fleece Template, I always take note of my initial impressions and compare them against the outcome of my Fleece Template.  If, over time, my impressions AND the outcome of my Fleece Template are the same… then I learn that I can trust my impressions more and more.  As a result, I become more confident in my hearing process and that process becomes increasingly more simple.  After a while I use my impressions for the smaller decisions, but I still use my Fleece Template for the ‘big ticket’ items.

It’s kind of like a conversation I had with a friend who is a Missouri state trooper.  I asked him one day, “How much over the speed limit I can drive and still be OK?”  He quickly replied, “How much can you afford?”   Hmmm!

So it is for me, regarding my decisions.  For small ticket items, I use my impressions, because I’ve been comparing my subjective impressions against the outcome of my Fleece Template for decades and have developed a certain measure of trust in my impressions.  But even so, since I don’t want to have to pay for the consequence of an erroneous and embarrassing outcome of a ‘big ticket’ decisions, I still use my Fleece Template.

We’re all in a process of growing in God… which requires growing in hearing.  This is a learning curve for us all.  The important thing is to be conscientious and truthful about our hearing and decision-making process.  I can’t just ignore my bad decisions that I made when using my subjective ‘warm-fuzzy’ impressions.  I must get ruthless with myself and identify the faulty method from which I made that bad decision.  I must determine that the next time my method of hearing will be much more strict… and less easy to ‘fudge’ (rationalize).

This is the way we grow.  If we don’t grow in hearing, we’ll just end up circling around the same ‘mountain’ again and again.  But the good part is that after implementing objective hearing methods we become confident in our impressions and in our decision making.

Now that's livingNow where could that kind of confidence take me?  It could take me out beyond the gunwales of the boat… out onto the water… out where the fun begins.  Now that’s livin’!

Hope that helps.

— MLH

 

 

‘Ahead of Time’ people

23 Feb

I love sharing about our identity in God.  And one of the features of our identity is that we are “co-heirs” with Christ.  And since we’re “co-heirs”, we get to speak as Him, from Heaven into the earth.  We even get to look ‘ahead’ and see what He’s going to do… and partner with Him.   We’re not just “mere humans” (I Cor 3:3) anymore!

Throughout history, uncommon people have accessed Kingdom realities ahead of their time.  But then, isn’t that just like God who “calls forth those things that are not, as though they were” (Romans 4:17)?  Of course it is!  Uncommon people with uncommon believing become God’s special agents to release Heaven’s will and Heaven’s storehouse into the earth.

These Biblical examples will inspire you to be an ‘ahead of time’ person.

– Jonah
– The Syrophenician woman – Matt 15:21-28
– The woman at the well – J0hn 4:1-42
– Mary (Jesus’ mother at the Cana wedding) – John 2:1-12

One was reluctant… one was unwitting… and two were gripped with the catalyst of desperation and faith… enough catalyst to release a Heavenly reality into the earth, that was ahead of its time.

https://youtu.be/y-TOJBHvzd0

Heaven implores us to see beyond the natural world… to see what’s in God’s heart… and then call forth those things that are not yet manifest on the earth, as though they already were.

To hear me share, click here, Ahead of Time people .  (about 70 minutes long)

— MLH