Archive | February, 2015

Process Toward Maturity – Living In Our Inheritance

9 Feb

I’m frequently asked by sincere and eager people how to get started in this life of walking by faith… because even though the mystique and intrigue of this faith walk is quite attractive, it can be difficult to get traction on something that is so ethereal.  

To walk in our inheritance, is shockingly simple… 1) become a son (generic, of course) and 2) learn to walk as sons unto our Father.  (which includes being humble enough to believe what He says about Himself… and about us)  Well, that was pretty simply stated, wasn’t it?  But this simply stated concept doesn’t always translate into a tidy ‘nuts and bolts’ definition and course of action.

So without trying to saddle us with another ‘law’ to keep, I’ve offered some steps to get started… something that I hope is ‘bite sized’ enough to begin meaningful and measurable forward movement.  This is not comprehensive, nor is it a one-size-fits-all.   So you may have to exercise some initiative to search the matter out for yourself.   

I also get this comment regarding living in Father’s provision, “Mark, its easy for you because you have a ministry.”  So I quickly point out that I don’t receive a salary, don’t have a pulpit or church, don’t ‘cold-call for bookings’, don’t require honorariums, don’t send out fund raising letters, give all our product away, and try to happily serve everyone we’re with.  That’s not exactly conventional wisdom’s equation for success… nor is it even commonly acceptable wisdom in religious circles.  But even though it’s definitely a spiritual walk, I believe it involves some basic practical components in order to realize our inheritance.

After a little disbelief and further explanation, they follow with, “Ok, so how can I get started?”  I respond by saying it boils down to 1) living in Heaven’s favor… which is best facilitated by learning to 2) serve – God and His people.  Yep, S-E-R-V-E… this little word is more profound than anyone would expect, yet it’s so simple that many won’t take it seriously.  Even Jesus spoke of it quite strongly…

But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. – Matt 23:11

Some people comprehend easier if they can see the ‘big picture’…. in other words, how does what I do today fit into a long-term outcome?  So in order to visualize the dynamic of transformation that occurs as we engage in the process of maturing and aspiring to live in our inheritance, I’ve created an outline and graphic.

Provision Chart

To download this graphic and the outline notes which accompany it, click here: Process Toward Maturity

Disclaimer:  Don’t take me wrong.  Serving can never earn sonship, right standing with God or security in the love of God! (Titus 3:5)  Serving expresses our love inspired response to God and our desire to grow up in Christ. (Eph 4:14-15)

For more on this journey into maturity, you may want to read my book Supernatural Provision, which conveys our Father’s desire to be Jehovah Jireh in all areas of our lives.  He’s a good Daddy and believe it or not, it is His “good pleasure to give you the kingdom” – Luke 12:32.



Quote: Willpower exhausts, love ignites!

8 Feb

HeartFireRom 3:27 – The law of faith cancels the law of works; which means there is suddenly nothing left for man to boast in.  No one is superior to another.  Bragging only makes sense if there is someone to compete with or impress. “ While we compete with one another and compare ourselves with one another we are without understanding [2 Cor 10:12].  “Through the righteousness of God we have received a faith of equal standing [See 2 Pet 1:1 RSV].  The OS (operating system) of the law of works is willpower; the OS of the law of faith is love (Gal 5:6).  Love sets faith in motion.  The law presented man with choices; grace awakens belief!  Willpower exhausts, love ignites!  If choices could save us we would be our own Saviors!  Willpower is the language of the law, love is the language of grace and it ignites faith that leads to romance; falling in love beats “making a decision to believe in love”! (See Rom 7:19; Rom 3:28)  This leaves us with only one logical conclusion, mankind is justified by faith and not by their ability to keep the law.

Thoughts For Life – 2/7/15 – Francois du Toit  (from ‘God Believes in You’ – available in print and on Kindle)

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Follow-up commentary:

Obviously we’re not talking about everyday choices, to breathe, eat, sleep, get up, be kind, don’t say that, do this, love God, hate the devil, etc.

The essence of the article is that if one’s confidence is in their own ability to make wise choices then they become their own savior.  The world is full of people who have decided that their ability to choose is better than what or how God can choose.  So in effect, they become their own God.

This perspective of making choices is not only God-less… it is anti-God.

But when Christians make choices under the wholesome fear of God, then their choices are not of their own making but rather in right relationship with God.

Jesus said, “I can do nothing apart from my Father.”  “I only do what I see my Father do.”  “I only say what I hear my Father say.”

Even the Son of God didn’t make his own choices apart from His Father.  It’s not that He didn’t make choices… or couldn’t make good choices.  It’s that His choices were only initiated when He heard the Father’s will.

So, if I trust in my own ability to make my own wise choices (apart from God) then I become my own Savior.  “I gonna be saved by my own choices” – I think this phrase speaks for itself.

Case in point: I have a sexually challenged friend who now doubts God, the Bible and much of what he believed as a younger man.  Now he believes that his choices are to be trusted more than an “antiquated Bible” or a God who “doesn’t understand” the battle grounds of a man.  He believes that he is able to make better choices for his life than God.  So, he has become his own savior/god by making his own choices.


Family Matters: My Three Sons!

7 Feb
ThreeSonsStudio - 14-12

The brothers are reunited in the studio where they’ve worked on hundreds of recording projects.  Many wonderful God-encounters, national and international relationships and lifetime memories have happened in this room. 

This is a rare pic of our three sons together in our basement studio.  Each of them got their start at recording music in this very spot.  Fifteen years and hundreds of CDs later they literally have, and currently still are, shaping the sound of worship around the world.  Each of them are exceptionally skilled in their crafts.  It’s amazing to listen to their anointed creativity that continues to ‘paint’ new sounds and combinations of sounds that stir Heaven and unlock the souls of the listeners.  And all of that is on top of rock-solid character and an exemplary heart after God.

How many breakthroughs, how many happy tears and happy dances have you inspired with your sounds?  The Lord knows and is delighted that you’ve learned how to hear and recreate the melodies and sounds of Heaven.  Awesome job, my sons!  We’re so proud of you!!!

* Markus is involved with live and studio recording, mixing and playing bass/guitar and IT focuses at Grace Center Church in Franklin, TN.

* Luke is involved with live and studio recording, mixing and playing keys for his own business and at Bethel Church and Bethel Music in Redding, CA.
* John is involved with live and studio recording, mixing and playing drums for his own business and at IHOP-KC in Kansas City, MO.


Testimony – Stroke Victim Remarkable Improvement

6 Feb

(This is the first post in the new ‘Testimonies’ category on this blog.)

On Jan 11, 2015, Barry, Mary, Nick and I drove to western MN to visit a small house church that we’re friends with in Mt Lake.  As we drove, we prayed for an extended time over the meeting… we just ‘loved on Jesus’ and made declarations over the meeting.  In the process we released angels and blessed their activity among us.  We also called forth some ‘out of the ordinary’ occurrences during the course of the evening.

Food and fellowship started the evening… then worship and sharing.  During the sharing, an ‘out of the ordinary’ tenderness, with tears, came over our gathering.  We fell freshly in love with Jesus, all over again.

In that pregnant atmosphere we prayed for some relational and physical situations outside the group.  We didn’t do the down and dirty ‘combat’ warfare type praying… rather, we stayed up in the heavenlies (where we’re seated) and released the Light and Life of Heaven…. prophesying and declaring heaven’s realities into each terra firma situation.

One prayer target was a lady named Maejean, in Nebraska who had just had a stroke and could not speak at all or swallow or move one side of her body.  In the Spirit realm there is no time or distance so together we ‘stood directly in front of her’ and imparted life… resurrection life into the stroke-damaged parts of her brain.  We actually called forth significant ‘signs for good’ from this situation.  There was much faith and unity in the room as we exercised our heavenly privileges and responsibilities.

Shortly after we left and were on the road, one of the ladies who had attended the meeting, called to say that she had forgotten to mention that she had heard angels while we were in worship… two distinct voices including one behind her… where no one was sitting.  When asked, she said we had mentioned nothing about our declarations of releasing angels.  Strangely, she just happened to call us when we were on the same stretch of road where we had released angels prior to the meeting.  Then Nick acknowledged that during worship he had been surprised at the volume of sound that was coming from our group… and wondered how that was possible.  Hmmm… angelic accompaniment… and just like we prayed, some things were ‘out of the ordinary’.

Later that same night in a dream, I saw us shoot a large caliber gun/cannon and hit a distant target 3 miles away.  I felt that God was saying that our prayers hit the distant target.

The next morning in a phone call to a person in the group, we discovered that the stroke victim had just moved her leg for the very first time… and since then she has begun to talk in full sentences and is telling of her stroke experience.  She can now swallow and is eating pureed food.

Update from daughter of stroke victim: “Mom was moved to a different facility tonight… she is able to walk just a little ways already. Mom is doing awesome.  She is talking up a storm and has quite the sense of humor back… and is smiling.  Amazing how much she has improved in just 2 weeks!  Praise the Lord.”

Hmmm, now this fun stuff is becoming ordinary.  Thank you, Jesus!!


DPM Update – 2015 February

5 Feb

Dear Friends

Introducing:  Elsa Jayne Hendrickson – our newest family member!
Cheryl had a very short no-med labor… baby and Momma are both doing well and home now.  Here are a few pics of our newest little princess.

Elsa - 15

Elsa4 - 15

Elsa2 - 15

Elsa3 - 15




Family update

It was a blast having our family here in Kansas City over the Christmas and New Year holidays.  John & Cheryl and their boys (Aslan & Eli), Markus & Allison and Avalee, and Luke & Sarah, all stayed at our house for abFamAquarium - 14out a week.  Of course we over-ate and had family time around the toasty fireplace.  Jack Stack BBQ and KC Aquarium (see pic) helped keep the family entertained… and we played games a few times in the evening.  Can I say that a few in our crew are just a tiny bit competitive.  Whew!!!  Had to play referee a time or two. 🙂  Guess that’s what makes our kids world changers!  It was a ton of fun to be together under one roof.  (We missed having Lydia and Chris here this time.)

They all left… and then came the baby.  So now we’ve had a new flurry of paparazzi to take pics of the little princess and hold her.  Some of Cheryl’s family from Virginia and Hawaii came… and of course that means more fine eating.  How about all you care to eat fresh caught Ahi sashimi straight from Hawaii?  Now that’s what I call heaven… or very close to it!!!  Now that batch of family has gone and a new wave of family has arrived (Luke and Debbie’s mother).  The fun continues…

SD, CA / Mexico trip
In early March we’ll return to San Diego and check on our friends there.  We’ll be in a few meetings but mainly we’re going to cheer for and officiate at the wedding of our good friends, David Ceja and Joyce Nava.  It’s a two day extravaganza… the first day in San Diego and the real wedding in Tijuana on the second day.  You gotta know, there’s gonna be some fine Mexican food in this celebration!  Maybe this is what weddings should be like… a really fun multi-day gala. 

Norway/England/Wales/Switzerland trip in March/April
Two days after we return home from CA/Mexico, we leave for Europe, which has been in our hearts for about 5 or 6 years.  We leave KC about March 19 and return about April 22… we’ll be sharing in a conference (Outcry 2015), a bible school (Veien School of Ministry), churches and house churches and fully expect to participate in some cool God-stories.  I think this trip will be largely about development of the relationships which have been established through the years, and watching to see where the Lord’s favor rests… which will give us insights into future trips to Europe.  

We hugely appreciate your prayer declarations over us as we plan, travel and minister. 

Thank you for loving us so well!

With love and blessings,

Mark and Debbie

Todd White testimony
You’ll love it!!! About 24 minutes

Dwelling Place Ministries
11011 Olive St
KC, MO 64131
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Reblog: We Are Far Too Easily Pleased

4 Feb

My good friend Mel Wild has done it again… he’s waxing eloquent and innovative in encapsulating the message of boundless grace and freedom in God.  Especially ponder C.S. Lewis’ quote: We settle for being far too easily pleased with mud pies… because we find it hard to grasp the magnitude of freedom God has for us.  You’ll enjoy this reblog from Mel’s In My Father’s House! — MLH

Boundless grace

Boundless_GraceThe purpose of God’s grace is not primarily about escaping punishment.  It’s primarily about freedom.

God wants you to be free just as He is free.  In fact, this freedom is why Christ set us free (Gal.5:1).

Our problem is, we’ve only known various forms of bondage we thought was freedom.

So God must take us through a process to help us understand that His freedom is better than our freedom.  This process is the renewing of our mind (Rom.12:2).  For He wants us to see things the way He sees them (1 Cor.2:16).

And it should take no stretch of faith for us to believe that His understanding of joy and life and freedom is infinitely better than ours.

As C.S. Lewis so aptly put it in His classic work, The Weight of Glory

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased.”

What is this grace freedom all about then?  It’s God’s life within you that empowers you to fully function in all you were meant to be.  As Graham Cooke said at a conference I was at…

“Grace is the empowering presence of God that enables you to become the person that He sees when He looks at you.”

When we properly understand this, we find that God’s grace is boundless, just as His love is unfathomable and His joy is infinite.

Contrary to our popular sin-obsessed evangelical culture, the most amazing thing about grace is that sin is no longer an issue between us and God.

The truth is, He’s not counting our sins against us anymore (See 2 Cor.5:19).  In fact, He’s pretty happy with the finished work of Christ on the Cross.  He seems to be content to remember them no more (Heb.8:12).

Yet, most Christians still don’t believe this. Furthermore, not only do they think God is still remembering and counting their sins against them, they’re still remembering and counting everybody else’s sins too.  Sadly, they stay in a religious form of bondage instead of a rebellious one.

This irony is quite astounding in light of the fact that declaring God’s complete forgiveness and reconciliation is our ministry (See 2 Cor.5:20).

Grace is mainly about empowering who God made us to be in Christ rather than about getting what we don’t deserve.  I realize that this is a different take but, again, only because of our sin-conscious religious paradigm.  And while I do agree that everything we receive from God is unmerited, it still misses the main point of grace.

Defining grace simply as unmerited favor also means that Jesus cannot be our example of what it looks like to walk in grace.

Why is this so?  Because, as Graham Cooke also pointed out, if grace is the unmerited favor of God, then Jesus didn’t have any.  Yet, He was full of grace and truth.

The sin issue for us on this side of the Cross is not about forgiveness, it’s that we still see it as a forbidden fruit instead of a toxic poison.  We still don’t see that sin has its own punishment in the form of the bondage and toll it takes on our lives.  Not to mention, the wreckage of broken relationships it can leave in its wake.

Claiming grace to get away with wrong doing is the baby end of Christian living.  As C.S. Lewis said, it shows our complete ignorance of what we have in Christ.

Paul tells us that, while everything is legal for a Christian, it’s not necessarily good for us.  Here’s how the Message paraphrase states this reality…

“Just because something is technically legal
doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate.
If I went around doing whatever
I thought I could get by with,
I’d be a slave to my whims.” (1 Cor.6:12 MSG)

Do you see this?  Sin is bondage and slavery, and we are no longer slaves.  It’s not appropriate because we died and our life is Christ’s life (Rom.6:1-4, 14).

Spiritual maturity is finding the source of our life from Christ.  Everything we do from this place will be filled with His joy and love.

We’re not freed to sin, we’re freed from sin’s power to enslave us.

Unlike Adam, our eyes have been opened to what the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil actually is, and now we’re eating freely from the Tree of Life.  Sin no longer defines us, empowers our heart, nor compares with the fullness that fills God and the immeasurable power that works within us (Eph.3:19-20).  There’s really no contest.

I will finish by using my favorite passage from the Message Bible again.

“Dear, dear Corinthians,
I can’t tell you how much I long for you
to enter this wide-open, spacious life.
We didn’t fence you in.
The smallness you feel comes from within you.
Your lives aren’t small,but you’re living them in a small way.
I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection.
Open up your lives.
Live openly and expansively!” (2 Cor.6:12-13 MSG)

Beloved of God, hear what the Spirit is saying.  Live your life openly and expansively.  Don’t let the smallness of religion or rebellion fence you in.  You are free as God is free. Live in His boundless life of grace.  It’s more amazing that you can possibly imagine.