Archive | June, 2014

Inclusionism and Universalism… Better Definitions

19 Jun

Recently Ben Kilen submitted the quote below on ‘New Day “Growing in Grace” Network Facebook page.   Man, when the big words inclusionism and universalism began to be bantered around, I didn’t even know what they meant, not to mention whether I believed in them.  But after some education, Steve McVey’s quote distills it to as briefly and as concisely as I believe it at this time.

Ben Kilen’s quote of Steve McVey  –  Jun 19

“Mankind’s inclusion in the finished work of Christ doesn’t mean that everybody has received it or is experiencing the benefits of it now or will necessarily experience the benefits of it when they die.  The gospel message, however, is that we all are included in Him and what He has done on our behalf.  Accept it and be blessed.  Reject it to your own peril.  The work of God in Jesus through the Spirit is what it is.  This gospel we proclaim isn’t a message of what can be but is the good news of what already is in Jesus Christ.  We don’t bring a sales pitch to the unbelieving world.  We are ambassadors for Christ, and we tell everybody, “God was in Christ reconciling you to Himself.  He does not count your sins against you.  You are forgiven, and He has received you.  Now, receive Him.”  These are the two sides to one coin.  One side has been settled in eternity, and the other side settles it experientially.  One side shows what has happened, and the other side shows what does happen as a person believes on Him.  Some Universalists will tell you that faith is a work, but that is nonsense.  Faith is the joyful acceptance of what is already true.  Faith isn’t something we do but is the spontaneous explosion of an enthusiastic embracing of Jesus and what He has given us in Himself.  Do I believe in the ultimate reconciliation of humanity to God?  Oh, no.  It’s better than that.  I believe in the historical reconciliation of humanity to our loving Creator, who is also our Father.  Without asking for so much as a nod of approval from us, before we were even born or could have an opinion on the matter, while we were yet helpless, sinners, enemies of God—He went and did it all.”  – by Steve McVey – from ‘Beyond An Angry God’

In short: we’re looking at better definitions of inclusionism and universalism… and our need to respond/receive… and realizing that there are consequences if we don’t receive.

The good news: everyone is/was forgiven at the cross (actually it was before the foundation of the world – Eph 1:4; Heb 4:3; Rev 13:8).  And it’s available to everyone… all we need to do is receive it.  That’s the Good News.

The part that is so good, is that if we can believe and receive it, not only are all the sins we ever committed forgiven… but the ones we will ever commit are/were already forgiven… AT THE CROSS.  WOW!  What about that declaration of freedom!!!  What about that liberty!!!   That is truly an ’emancipation proclamation’.  No wonder Heb 4:16 says to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  It’s already a done deal.  Of course, that doesn’t mean we take forgiveness lightly… and trample upon the goodness of God.  Rather because our hearts are so amazed at the Grace of God, His leading love for me eradicates fear (I Jn 4:18) and then His ongoing grace teaches my heart to not sin (Titus 2:12).

We must start at repenting (Greek word for repent – metanoia, which means “change your mind”) of wrong thinking.  We’ve had wrong thinking about God.  We thought He was hard, distant and resistant in love and forgiveness which made us unable to have confidence witRightBelievingLeadsToRightLivingh God.  But we’re coming to know Him as the better-than-we-thought-God.  And His loving kindness is leading me to repentance (a change of mind about who He is) so that my heart is instructed into right living.  You see, right believing leads to right living.

All this better understanding of who God is and His heart for us, will automatically lead us to a better understanding of who we are.  And who we are in God is staggering!  When we really see this, it will radically revolutionize our relationship with God and our relationship to our fellowman – saved and unsaved.  

From my perspective and from the signs already visible, I believe this revelation could radically change the face of Christianity in a single generation. 

— MLH

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DPM Update – 2014 June

14 Jun

Dear Friends              

Chris and Lydia are married!!  
It was a great wedding day with lots of pomp and circumstance and fun festivities in Redding, CA.  The months of detailed preparations by Debbie, Lydia and others finally came together.  And by all reviews, the 250 guests had an amazing time.

Chris and Lydia just arrived back home from their honeymoon.  I’m sure there will be official pictures soon, but here are a few snapshots.  Pic#1  Pic#2  Pic#3

Lydia’s the last one to get married.  Whew!!!  Now Debbie and I can make decisions without having to ask our kids… we’re foot loose and fancy free!!!  😉   But actually, we’ve been empty-nesters for about 4 years… now we’re enjoying the new ‘crop’ of grandkids.

Picture collage of Chris & Lydia shown at their wedding reception (about 7 mins)

Upcoming Schedule

~ New Day Church here in KC on June 15 (tomorrow)

Cornerstone Church – Prairie du Chein, WI – June 22

Living Well Faith Comm Church – Wausau, WI – June 26-29
(Love of God Extravaganza)

~ Simon’s house church – Hixton, WI – June 29

Cross Creek Ministries – Family Camp – Lebanon, MO – July 3-4

~ Dave & Ann Clark – San Diego, CA – July 7-14

~ Dick’s house church – Mt Lake, MN – July 19

13th Annual ‘He-Man’ Camp (for families) – Mt View, MO – July 24-26

~ West Coast Bread of Life Family Conference – Murrietta, CA – Aug 22-24

Regional Leaders meeting – Springfield, MO – Aug 30

Women’s Aglow Conf – Greenlake, WI – Sept 12-13

Johnny Wang & Shelley Wu Wedding – Acadia, CA – Sept 14 

Upper Midwest GL meetings – Rochester, MN – Sept 29-30

~ ‘Kiss San Diego’ – San Diego, CA – Oct 8-18

Everybody say it with me: Change is fun!!
As you are likely experiencing, our understanding of: abounding grace… our Father’s love for us… and our own identity, has shifted immensely over the last few of years… and continues to shift.  Everything is moving so fast that it’s like we’re surfing a mega-wave and feeling the raw power of these transformational revelations… and we’re watching in exhilarating wonder as the theological scenery radically changes around us.  

When I saw this pic below, it impacted me how we’re on an epic ride of our lives.  We have our floaties and goggles on and our mouth is agape in total exhilaration.  Master Surfer Daddy has created an astounding wave of abounding grace.  He helped us find the wave and He’s riding it with us (guess who’s in control)… and He’s got us totally covered.  Wow!

Hang on for the ride of our lives.  As the Mario Bros. video game says, “Here we go!!!”Riding The Abounding Grace Wave

For more on Surf’s Up….

This little piggie went to market…
Last week I officiated a wedding in Iowa for a great couple, a fun family and at a beautiful outdoors venue.  And guess what?  They gave us a whole butchered, packaged and frozen pig.  Is that fun or what?!!  Beyond being totally grateful for having all that meat in the freezer, getting a pig is tons of fun purely for the conversational aspect.  We remember in the ‘old days’ both of our parents would receive gifts of farm products (meat, eggs, milk, garden produce, canned goods, etc) for their pastoral services.  It was always a great then… and it is now!!  We’ve already had some good eatin’ and I can already taste the pork steaks on the bbq grill, soon!  You gotta love how Father provides.

Nailing the male/female problem:
Women want a guy to just listen and understand while men just want to fix the problem…  http://youtu.be/-4EDhdAHrOg (approx 2 mins)

Salute to US Veterans
Memorial Day is just behind us and today is Flag Day in the US.  In honor of those who have served our country, watch this deeply moving ‘no-words’ video:  http://youtu.be/uoABty_zE00 (approx 1 min)

Lotsa love

Mark and Debbie

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Dwelling Place Ministries
Hendrickson
11011 Olive St
KC, MO 64131
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Web: www.dpmkc.org
Blog: www.marklhen.wordpress.com
Mark FB: www.facebook.com/marklhen
SP bk FB: www.facebook.com/spforu

Song: Arrested By Grace by WorshipMob

10 Jun

Sometimes music leads, sometimes if follows… but prophetic worship music will always accompany and reflect the current emphasis God is making.  The liberating and transforming power in the current message of Grace comes through this ‘now’ song.  Enjoy marinating (about 18 minutes)… you may experience meltdown, but you will experience breakthrough… just as these infectious radicals are.  MLH

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ARRESTED BY GRACE – lyrics

(by Garrett & Elaina Chynoweth, w/ Nico Perez)

Stuck in the mire of a standard too high 
Best efforts have left me weary and dry
From trying to trusting, the weight is released
The cross I am bearing You carried for me

Caught in the crossfire, confusion and doubt
Entrenched in this trial, too weak to dig out 
Redemption came running, with righteous decree
“I finished the work, Child, so fall into Me… fall into Me” 
—————-
You call me Worthy, shame flooded by Mercy’s sea
Forever forgiven, a new Life has risen in me 
Righteous and Holy, sin always and fully erased
Beloved, Accepted, my fall was arrested by Grace
—————-
From trying to trusting, this weight is released
The cross I am bearing You carried for me 
Redemption came running, with righteous decree
“I finished the work, Child, so fall into Me… fall into me”

Adopted by Perfection
You rejected my rejection
Made whole by resurrection…I’m Yours

You did what I wasn’t able
Your child, here at Your table
My heart is truly grateful… I’m Yours

Arrested By Grace (You Call Me Worthy)
by WorshipMob’s Garrett & Elaina Chynoweth & Nico Perez 

View here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQGjSCXVLO8
T
o follow WorshipMob: http://www.facebook.com/groups/worshipmob 

Test All Things

3 Jun

There is no shortage of wranglings over theological private interpretations of Scripture, so how do we evaluate whether something is valid or not.  Should we follow the loudest voice, stick to tradition, get offended at everyone, take the easiest route, bail out, give in to intimidation, take a vote, toss a coin…?  Sadly, most people cave in to one of these easy-out methods.  But test it we must, because each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” (Rms 14:12)… and none of us wants to blindly run head long over a cliff.  Paul charged us to test all things and only hold what is good.             

“Test all things; hold fast what is good.” – I Thess 5:21

Test all things

Test all things

So beyond the theological points, here are some of my personal thought processes I use to find my footing in this abounding grace movement.

If I could only find a few people who were getting this ‘download’ about abounding grace (Rms 5:20), I would tend to feel suspicious of the veracity of these revelations.  And even if I was confident of their veracity, yet didn’t know that others were experiencing the same thing, I might still feel tenuous about buying in.  Like Elijah, who thought that he was the only one who still served God (I Kngs 18:22;19:10) I could feel prone to either pride… or discouragement and insecurity.

Thankfully, we’re not like Elijah.  We don’t believe that we’re the only one(s) who are walking in this revelation.  Figuratively speaking, there are ‘7000’ (I Kngs 19:18) who are leaning hard into abounding grace.  Across the globe many different and unrelated sectors of the body of Christ are getting rocked and liberated in this wholesale revelation of abounding grace.  This gives much confidence and impetus… and brings up a good point.

Consider the prayer movement which grew so rapidly in the last 1 1/2  decades… the fact that it emerged in so many unrelated sectors of the body of Christ gave credibility to it being Holy Spirit’s initiation and co-ordination of the movement.  Likewise this grace movement is springing up in many unrelated streams and groups… which by itself tends to give credibility that this is Holy Spirit’s abounding grace message.

Further, if the fruit of any movement leans toward increased carnality and lawlessness, then that poor fruit gives evidence of its undesirable source (Lk 6:44).  Conversely, if the grace community is falling more in love with this wonderful Man Jesus, then the fruit speaks of Holy Spirit’s handiwork.  Remember when Jesus was assailed by the religious crowd and His message was assigned to the devil, He said, “…A house divided cannot stand.  If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!” (Mk 3:25-26).  In other words, the devil wouldn’t undermine his own ‘house’ by making more deeply devoted disciples of Jesus… not 2000 years ago… and not today.

But we must establish some criteria as we seek to evaluate the fruit and thus, determine the root or origin.  There have always been rogues and renegades within any movement who make obtrusive and cross-current waves… even destructive waves.  But just because an individual runs amuck doesn’t necessarily indict a whole movement… e.g., mainline Christianity has way too many egg-on-the-face outbreaks of maverick individuals and spurious groups.  That didn’t negate the veracity of Christianity… it just gave insight into those who shipwrecked.  In like manner, if individuals distort and pervert abounding grace, it doesn’t necessarily black-list abounding grace… it just gives us insight into those who shipwreck.  Rather, we must look for the fruit of the movement as a whole.

So the way a movement emerges… and a movement’s fruit… both help to determine its authenticity.

We must watch to see how and where the Godly fruit of this abounding grace wave breaks out.  That will be the hot spot you’ll want to drink from.  That’s where God is giving His attestation from Heaven… where the abounding grace anointing is most strong… and where you get ‘infected’ most impactingly.  Ripe and hungry believers will instinctively be drawn there.  You won’t be able to keep them away.  It’s always been that way.  Even the Magi did it… they went to where the greatest outbreak was (the Star) in order to see for themselves.

And you know… true wise men are still looking and listening for the evidence… and then they go to find Him where ever He can be found.

— MLH

Surf’s Up… The Abounding Grace Wave

1 Jun

As you are likely experiencing, our understanding of: abounding grace… our Father’s love for us… and our own identity, has shifted immensely over the last few years… and continues to shift.  Everything is moving so fast that it’s like we’re surfing a mega-wave and feeling the raw power of these transformational revelations… and we’re watching in exhilarating wonder as the theological scenery radically changes around us.  

Ever tried to surf without a wave?  It ain’t gonna happen.  Paddling hard without a wave just wears you out.  But grace empowers.  In the timeliness of God, He not only creates an abounding grace wave, but helps us meet the wave and rides it with us… and for us.  We’re in one of those timings of God now!

This pic below, impacted me how we’re on an epic ride of our lives.  We have our floaties and goggles on and our mouth is agape in total exhilaration.  Master Surfer Daddy has created an astounding wave of abounding grace.  He helped us find the wave and He’s riding it with us (guess who’s in control)… and He’s got us totally covered.  Wow!

Hang on for the ride of our lives.  As the Mario Bros. video game says…

Riding The Abounding Grace Wave“Here We Go!!!”

 — MLH