Search results for 'lemon'

Lemonade and beyond!!!

6 Jun

A wise and timeless adage says: “If life serves lemons, make lemonade” (I write about that here.) Let’s unpack this process a little more.

Everyone experiences trials.  Those trials can be our bain… or our benefit.  But even more poignantly, every man and woman of faith MUST go through trials in order to be approved.  I think of James 1: 2-4

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  

And

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory.” – I Pet 4:12-13

And

Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.  When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.  You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him – with laughter and singing.  Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation. – I Pet 1:7-9

And

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. – Job 23:10

And

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33 

Disclaimer:  I am NOT saying that ALL tests come from God. 

1) God’s tests are intended to be redemptive, to empower us and to approve us. 

2) The devil’s tests are meant to wear us down and destroy us. 

3) This world’s trials are neuter… they’re just part of the package deal of living in this earth.

But no matter where the tests come from, we can be assured that there will be tests!  There is no getting around the issue of the testing of our faith.  Each of us experiences our unique kind of testing.  But just when we think we’ve ‘arrived’… and we get ‘graduated’ to the next ‘grade’… waiting for us there, are new testings.  (Remember school – each subject had tests to prove what we’d learned.)  Tests, in and of themselves are not our enemy.  Nor does it mean that if we’re in a test that we’ve somehow fallen out of favor with God.  Passing tests helps to affirm us… to approve us… to validate our faith… to give us ‘credentials’, etc.   Not sure I like it, but in God’s great master plan, tests are a significant part of the larger process that brings us into maturity. 

So it’s important that we don’t get angry at the tests.  That wouldn’t be beneficial to us.  Remember, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble…”  But God has a magnificent way of “… causing everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”  A similar sentiment is stated here:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works FOR us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; – II Cor 4:17

The important thing that I’m trying to learn and practice is to be proactive in the trials.  In other words, when I face a trial I want to get on God’s side of the matter versus my narrow-minded side. 

On God’s side, the answer is already here/“it is finished”… and He sees us as “complete and lacking in nothing”.  He’s waiting to see if we’ll accept and adopt His point of view. 

On our humanity side, we’re preoccupied with lack and pain and loss and rejection, etc… and we want our baby ‘binky’ back, NOW!!!!

On God’s side, we are learning to see from His bigger perspective… and to begin to proactively declare into being, those things which He wants in us and around us.

On our humanity side, we beg, plead, worry, fret, complain and view ourselves as lowly needy peasant creatures.

On God’s side, He’s looking for kingly partners who release His Kingdom realities on earth just as it is in Heaven.

I think God’s dream has always been to see us come out from under the tyrannical preoccupation and domination of our immediate needs… and find our solace in His goodness and love for us… and find our courage in the knowledge that He already has the answer ‘on the way’.  As this knowledge becomes more of a reality in us, we find it easier to partner with God in creating our ‘world’ around us by prophesying and calling into being those things which are lacking (Romans 4:17).

You remember John & Cheryl’s infant son Asher, who was suddenly and inexplicably stricken with total paralysis in both arms and hands last year.  I immediately informed our whole family that we WILL NOT be sucked down into a dark hole of despair and discouragement.  We will remember the trophies that came from past trials and use those trophies as launching pads for our faith in this ordeal.  Well… it’s been a little over a year and that little boy has 95% of his movement back in his arms, hands, and fingers.  And he will get it all, without a doubt!

Latest personal trial for Debbie and me! 
Recently, we were out of town for 4 or 5 days.  While we were away, a plumbing pipe burst and water gushed into the first floor and basement for nearly 1 ½ days.  Major damage!!  Tens of thousands of dollars of damage!  Insurance agencies tore out all of Debbie’s brand new kitchen and much of our basement, back to the floor/ceiling joists and wall studs.  It will all have to be replaced which will probably take several more months.  Insurance will cover everything except for the $5K deductible.

Hmmmm.  So how should we react or respond in a situation as devastating as this!?  A person could immediately go into despair and emotional trauma… or he could ‘draw upon’ the rich history of trophies gained from past trials.  And we did!  We heard about the catastrophe before we arrived home and I immediately informed our family:           

We’ll not forget the past cycles of trials!
Have we ever had trials?  Yes!
Have any of those trials yielded trophies?  Yes!

Have most of those trials yielded trophies?  Yes!
Is there any reason to believe this time will be any different?  No!
SOoooo, our confession will be, “Trials yield great trophies!”
Lemons make great lemonade… (maybe even lemon cream pie!)

Our history in God… and our memory of coming through those cycles of trials, serves as a great anchor point to help us participate with God as an asset to Him, rather than become a liability to God. (Obviously, I say LIABILITY facetiously, because His heart is so able to work with us wherever we are in our growth.)  If we forget how we acquired the last trophy we disempower ourselves in this current trial.  If we call to mind the past trophies accruing on the mantles of our lives, we can equip ourselves with peace, stability, and courage to walk through this trial.

Well, Debbie and I have already discovered a few trophies that will come out of this ‘baptism’ of water ordeal… and I’m sure that there will be many more… you just watch and see!!  We keep reminding each other of the lemon cream pie!!  🙂  

So this is life in the raw…. this is real life!  Our years of walking with God give us greater ability to face trials without being capsized or shipwrecked.  Thank you, God!

I’m sure that each of us is digging deep into our reservoir of history in God to find solid ground to ‘stand on’.  The testimony and trophy to God’s Goodness that you gain at the end of each ordeal will only serve to more deeply anchor your faith in God, make you unshakable in future trials, and empower your life message to those around you!  

I leave you with this verse:  II Cor 2:14-15

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.  For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing

Again, the same verse from the Message Bible:

In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade.  Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ.  Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.  Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.

I proclaim, “I believe in you!!!”  And even more, I believe in God and His goodness toward you.  I believe there will be a breakthrough discovered for your situation – whether it’s a physical, spiritual or circumstantial.  I believe you will rise up and stand tall again… and tell a great story about your latest trophy… giving glory to the Grace of God!

Prayer:  I partner with God today, making prayerful declarations:  Today we call forth breakthroughs that will free up Your people.  We call forth insights and dreams that will have a ‘key’ to breakthroughs!  I speak to our spirit man to increase in strength and to be full of courage.  I call forth supernatural strength and empowerment.  Be empowered this day with fresh courage, greater perspectives, and power from on High!  And we declare the fulfillment of all of Father’s intentions to come forth in you.  We bless those dreams that Father has been holding for you… to be released in the proper timing.  Come forth in Jesus name and not one of those dreams go unfulfilled!!!  Amen!

— MLH

Life’s lemons make great lemonade!

10 Dec

Recently, I was traveling down the interstate and discovered that my exit was closed… so I went out of my way another way and found that exit to be closed, also.  Immediately I said, “God I don’t know what this is all about, but I’m sure glad to be on this adventure with You.  You and I are going to have a good time together, however long it takes to get to my destination.”

~~~~~~ Coach ~~~~~~

What was I doing?  I was coaching my heart with I Thess 5:18 –  “… give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  That may seem strange… and it may be difficult… but God’s word is true and applicable for all real-world situations.

So if we want to be exempt from the dictatorship of trials, we must learn how to coach our hearts to center on Him when they come.  Here are a couple powerful bullets for your ‘encouragement-bazooka’, to send discouragement back to where it came from. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.… – Jms 1:2-3

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. – II Cor 4:17

Years ago, I knew a pastor who was wrongly implicated in a money scandal and ended up going to Federal penitentiary.  But a few years later he said that his life in God was so much more rich in prison, than ever before.  He was leading people to the Lord and counseling them, etc… despite his seeming undeserving sentence.  Maybe this is not so much different from Paul and Silas (Acts 16:16-40).

I guess the old adage is really true: when life serves you lemons, make lemonade.

Obviously, no one likes hard situations in life.  But that situation does not have to be the dictator of our inner self.  We can coach our hearts into hope and faith for a great outcome.  How?  Listen to the Psalmist:

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. – Ps 43:5

Prayer: Lord, thank you for surviving grace… and for thriving grace.  You are so good at both.  I declare a powerful breakthrough in the midst of my situation… one that will bring a flow of provision of every kind needed to overcome.  Lord, overwhelm me again with fresh revelations and inspirations of You that will put courage in my heart and fresh vision in my eyes.  I call forth trophies that will make the duress all worthwhile.  And now… for some signs for good!!   Thank you, Father.  You are the best!!!  Amen.

— MLH

Good and more good!

17 Nov

My friend Mel Wild’s recent blog post ‘The Ultimate Immune System’, inspired the following.

When life brings disruptions, such as the ‘pandemic’, do we recoil and complain?  Or do embrace it as a golden opportunity to develop a new M.O. (mode of operation) for our lives?  Disruptions can be good and more good… depending on our basic perspectives on life and God.

Good
Some of us were stuck in the same ol’, same ol’… we’d grown overly familiar and very chummy with our comfortable but boring rut.  That rut was not giving us life… nor affording any opportunities for new life in our lives.  And sadly, we would have never gotten out of our rut unless something disruptive hadn’t come along.

So disruption, in this case, is good… even though it is disturbing and may be stressful.  O, it may require some purposeful activation, and a little help from others around us, but it leads us to better places… and a better M.O.

Even more good
There are others of us who are always looking for fresh frontiers because if we’re not moving, then we’re getting stale… and that’s not acceptable.  A ‘disruption’ becomes a welcomed opportunity to explore new M.O. for multiple areas of life.  Is disruption ruling you… or are you ruling over your disruption?  If you look at it from this perspective, this time of global disruption is like a pipin’ hot meal from Heaven, served up on a platter.  🙂

Really!  It’s like the ‘is-the-glass-half-full-or-half-empty’, sort of thing.  How do we view it?  Is it “Amen!” or is it, “O, me!”

Is this Biblical?
Take a look at Isa 60:2.  When do we get to shine?  When is our light shining the brightest?  When is our light most effective?  It’s right in the middle of the darkest darkness!!!!!

“For, look, darkness covers the earth and deep darkness covers the nations, but the Lord shines on you; his splendor appears over you.” – Isa 60:2

Expect the Light of Heaven in these times!  Look for it.  Greet it with open arms!  Embrace it!  Move into something brand new!

This could be one of the best transition times in your life.  It is certainly becoming that for me on several different fronts.

For more related to this subject try this.

— MLH

One hour to empower

26 Sep

I was asked this question:

If you had only one hour to pour into a new or growing believer, what ministry tool, verse, inspirational thought, exercise, or discipline would you share with them to help them?

Get ‘tools’ for your ‘toolbox’
With just one hour, I could hardly serve justice to a new believer.  Even Jesus needed three years to equip His disciples before He turned them loose to build the Early Church.  I have asked many times, “As maturing believers, how many (spiritual, character and skills) ‘tools’ are in your ‘toolbox’?”  So in one hour, I would emphasize these points below (all found on my blog: Beyond the Map), to empower them on their journey of growth and co-reigning with God.  Each of these points represents a powerful insight and tool for living in joy, spiritual vibrancy and strength.

Hang around people who have a ‘fever’
I’d recommend that they find Godly, wise and spiritually vibrant people to hang around… knowing that generally, we will become like the company that we keep.

A plan to succeed
I’d emphasize the supreme importance of regular and heartfelt personal communication with God – and I would give them my very practical
 plan to succeed.

Don’t let your heart bounce on ‘E’
Every once in a while we must evaluate how we’re doing… not how many verses we can quote, but the actual health status of our heart.  Sometimes it feels like our heart’s fuel gauge is bouncing on ‘E’.  If that’s the case, it’s time to refuel our heart.

Stayin’ alive
I’d point out how vital it is to keep their heart alive, “for out of it comes all the issues of life”.  There are no good alternatives to
 stayin’ alive in God.

Where/how do I feed my heart?
Along with that, they must learn how to feed their heart?  Just like our bodies, our heart needs to be fed.

Heart ‘dipstick’
Evaluating ourselves to see how we’re really doing, can be fairly subjective.  So just like you check the internal status of your car engine with the oil dipstick, here’s an objective 
‘spiritual dipstick’ to check on the status of our heart.  Keep this handy because it will be a very practical tool to use through all of the seasons of life.

Must-have God-encounters
Occasionally we go through cycles in life where we feel dry and callous… but we must not settle for lengthy times of this… we all need God encounters.

A little child can do this stuff
Our relationship and journey with God must be an easy yoke and light burden… in fact, walking with God has to be easy enough that a little child can do it, because Jesus said, “unless you become like a little child you won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven”.  Knowing this, helps me determine what is of God… or of something else, like; fear, pride, driven-ness, culture or religious duty.  All those lesser motivations will lead us to dissipation.

You are a treasure: Find YOU!
If we don’t know who we are, we will grasp for straws… or be lured by the highest paying job… or the career door that ‘uncle Joe’ opened for us.  This leaves us vulnerable, aimless, exhausted and confused.  So we must find the ‘treasure’… and
 the treasure is, the real ‘you’.

Find your ‘On-ramps’
We each have uniquely personal ‘on-ramps’ that are effective for helping us ‘into’ the presence of God.  These access points also help us discover our unique identity.

Must be able to hear His voice
Central to our life and journey in God, is the need to hear His voice, because “man cannot live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  So we must discover a tried and proven way to know that we’ve heard His voice.  My
 Fleece Template is a real-life-tested way.  It will work if you’re really serious about hearing.

Tears prophesy
One of the ways that you can discover who you are is by watching what unique circumstances, environments or topics make you have God-tears Believe it or not, if you learn how to ‘read’ your tears, you’ll find that they’re prophesying to you about your identity.

Expect and live by God-signs
Life with God must evidenced by the supernatural.  We must learn to expect and live by God-signs, which are one of the powerful ways that God uses to establish our lives and our way.  God signs still happen… and we need them to help us hear God’s voice… and besides that, they become one of the practical ways that God affirms our heart and assures us that He’s covering us with His presence.

You’re already a winner
Jesus ‘defanged’ the devil by taking the keys of hell and death.  And then he raised you up to sit with Him in Heavenly places.  Then as His “co-heirs”, He gave you nothing less than HIS righteousness. 
 You are a winner!  Believe it!

No more pickle juice
It’s time to upgrade our prayer life from the sour ‘pickle juice’ of beggar prayers.  We must embrace our status of royal heavenly citizens who are co-heirs with no less than, Jesus Himself.  Try a one-week fast from plaintiff prayers… even from the normal ‘asking prayers’… Really!!!  Get His mind on the matter, then make authoritative declarations in keeping with Romans 5:17, “reign in this life through the one man, Jesus Christ!”  Your exhilarating winner-orientation will result in:

1) Desperate beggarly intercession becoming confident kingly declarations,
2) Praying from earth toward Heaven will be trumped by praying from Heaven toward earth,
3) Instead of praying TO God… we’ll pray WITH God,
4) We won’t pray FOR victory… we’ll pray FROM victory… because, “It is finished!”  

Expect good!
Based on the Word of God, establish once and for all, that 
God is good.  From there, we must expect that God will “make all things work together for good”… despite any hardships we experience along the way.  If life gives us lemons then God has an awesome way to make lemonade.

Believe and live for increase
Expect that God will increase our authority and influence as we learn to “be about our Father’s business”.  But we must know that favor increases as we get better at being “about our Father’s business”.  As we’re about His business, He takes care of our business.  Another way of saying that is, “God’s will is God’s bill”… and there ain’t anything much better than receiving his supernatural provision for all necessities of life.

Declarations of favor and joy
Finally, I’d pray and prophesy the tangible favor and joy of the Lord over them… and bless them with 
angelic assistance to help, protect, minister to and escort them through life.  And then I’d bid them God’s speed!!!


Hopefully I could communicate this in one hour.  The abbreviated points above represent very useful resources that are both Biblical and real-life tested.  They are ‘tools’ to add to our ‘toolbox’… which help equip us to live life victoriously.

Mark Hendrickson
Dwelling Place Ministries

Happy son of God, worshiper, husband,
father, grandfather, friend, life coach,
musician, public speaker, Jesus re-presenter
and author of Supernatural Provision book

____________________________________________

Links to articles above, posted on Beyond the Map:

A plan to succeed
Bouncing on ‘E’
Stayin’ Alive
Where do I feed my heart?
How’s your heart?
How can I feel God?
A little child can do it
Finding the treasure – You
On-ramps into God
Fleece template
The language of tears
Signs – do they still happen?
Why do I need 2 or 3 god-signs?
He shall cover you
No more pickle juice
Increasing our authority
Life’s lemons – make lemonade
Defanging the law of Jante
Man… lower or higher than angels?
Insights – angelic interactions

DPM Update – 2015 December

4 Dec

Dear Friends

The Adventure
Wow, it’s been awhile since we’ve sent a DPM update.  Lots has happened.  In fact, this Summer and Fall has been one of our busiest.  We’ve served at a WYAM DTS and 3 or 4 area churches for about 10 days near Calgary, Canada, have been to California 3 times, to the Nordt country (WI & MN) several times, to Morningstar and many day-trips around our home region… we even led a several night meeting in my two home towns (Dallas City and Pontoosuc, IL) in August.  That was so much fun… after being gone for 40 years.  You can find our past and future itinerary, here.

One of the reasons you haven’t received many DPM updates is because I’m posting more of my inspirations and updates on my blog, ‘Beyond The Map’.  I’ve given it that title because ‘normal’ can sometimes feel very predictable… so I must commit to living Beyond The Map.  That’s what keeps me alive.  In other words, if I only do what I did yesterday, then I don’t grow… because my faith muscle never get exercised.  So I’m learning to live dependent, not upon what I know, but on His leading and His empowerment beyond my knowledge or ability.  This is wildly fun territory, filled with the richest of rewards.

Testimonies
We’ve collected some really cool testimonies along the way.  To read of healing, life transformation and supernatural provision stories, click here.

Supernatural Provision book
To get your own copy of Supernatural Provision, click here.  We fulfilled the original contract of 5000 books and are well into the next contract.  All the books have been given away free gratis (except for sharing the cost of shipping).  Of course you can always purchase it in hardcopy or kindle format on Amazon, or from any of the online bookstores.  I’m totally amazed at how God has supplied the necessary funds for us to purchase and give them away.   But He’s just that GOOD… and more!!!  If you would like to follow SP on Facebook click here.

Beyond the Map – my blog
I’d like to invite you to subscribe to my blog, Beyond the Map.  You’ll find several hundred posts of insights, testimonies, quotes, family matters, audios, etc.  There’s something for everyone… just search by category… or by a specific word.  And like our DPM Updates, we have never asked for money.  Our hope is that our communications would never ‘take from you’ or even ask from you, but rather, create inspiration and give encouragement to you, making you feel empowered to fulfill all of your God-given dreams.

Sign up
To follow Beyond The Map blog, click here.  Then add your email address to the “Follow” box on the right side of the page… OR… click on the red “RSS – subscribe” icon.  You will then receive every new blog post.  And of course, if this doesn’t interest you… or you just don’t have time for another email in your Inbox, then just ignore this invitation.  I totally understand.

Home for a while
Debbie and I have no plans for major travel through the whole month of Dec and most of Jan.  More grandkids times… and friends, discipling, day ministry trips, etc.  It’s just so good to ‘flow’ with the seasons of God.  His yoke is easy and His burden is light… and He knows when we’re to run and when we’re to rest.  He’s the best administrator and booking agent.   If we move with Him… it’s ‘easy peasy, lemon squeezy’.   🙂

You are Champions!
Thank you for each and every testimony of your valiant overcoming lives.  We sincerely thank you for your love and care for us.  You truly inspire us.   You are an inspiration to many more people than you know.  And you are more dynamic than you think you are.  Not only is heaven lovingly watching, but your friends and neighbors are watching and wishing that they had the ‘guts’ to do what you are doing.  You are making Jesus proud!!!!   We declare much grace to you and yours!

Lots of love
Mark and Debbie

PS  Web locations where you can find us:
====================
Dwelling Place Ministries
Hendrickson
11011 Olive St
KC, MO 64131
====================
DPM home: www.dpmkc.org
Twitter: www.twitter.com/marklh
Blog: www.marklhen.wordpress.com
Mark FB: www.facebook.com/marklhen
SP book FB: www.facebook.com/spforu