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Ascended life possibilities

17 Oct

Mostly, Christianity has relegated the benefits of the Gospel to salvation, eternal life, healing, Baptism of Holy Spirit, prophecy and a few miracles.  But Scripture cites many more exciting… even bazaar… benefits that Jesus and the apostles modeled for you and me to emulate.

Let’s see: disappearing, levitating, walking on water, showing up in other forms, transfiguration, translation, looking like a ghost, talking with OT saints, walking through walls… just to name a few.  These… and more, are all plainly and inescapably recorded in our Bibles!  And since Jesus is the Pattern Son, then we owe our Father the courtesy of at least asking Him about the relevancy and possibility of these things manifesting in our lives today!

So, for several years, I’ve been identifying a growing list of Ascended Life possibilities.  Here is an overview of 25 of these possibilities… just for starters.

Then, at the end of the video accompanying this blog post, we ‘moved right into’ Col 3:4.  We observed what kind of glory Jesus or Father were presenting to us and then ‘put it on’.  We asked Him what kind of glory He’d like to give us, that we didn’t know about yet.  It was very tender and effective.

— MLH

I present these ascended life possibilities in a 35-minute video here: https://youtu.be/U1BkEMyBmcg 

Download the notes here: https://www.dpmkc.org/insights/Ascended%20Life%20Possibilities.docx 

I saw satan fall like lightning

17 Oct

When Jesus sent out the 70 and they came back elated at the stupendous results, He responded, “I saw satan fall like lightning.”  What did He mean by that statement?

“And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” – Lk 10:18

I believe He meant that the success the 70 experienced had shattered long-standing fortresses in their minds.  They now knew God was real, was big, was here and was moving through them.  Never again would they say that God was afar off or not relevant!  Diabolic strongholds had told them that God was a distant uncaring God.  But these megaliths had just crumbled to the ground… and great was the fall thereof!!

The father of lies had created lie-based strongholds in their minds and had tyrannically ruled over those erroneous strongholds as a jeering squatter-king.  But he came a-tumbling down in this life-altering experience. Yes, in a moment, he fell like lightning… decisively and permanently!!  His castle was irreparably destroyed.

In the same way, outdated and erroneous strongholds between our ears (mindsets and belief systems) are quickly coming down as we discover a fascinating and dynamic world ‘above the line’.  New and upgraded Heaven-based strongholds are being constructed in our belief systems.  Ooo, and do they feel good… and right!

Thank You, God!!!

— MLH

I present these thoughts in a 6-minute video on our ALC video channel. https://youtu.be/BXrOzw8B7YA

ALC Conference 2021 – Oct 7-9

27 Sep

Dear Ascended Life Community friends

ALC Conference almost here!

We’re getting really excited about the ALC Conference coming up on Oct 7, 8 and 9.  We feel Heaven’s excitement… and I’m sure you are too!  That’s Thursday, Friday and Saturday… only 10 days from now!!!  And it’s all FREE!  Please register now if you haven’t already!

Already, we’re hosting over 40 guests from out-of-town, in local homes.  Amazing meals are being planned.  Debbie has her administrative / planning ‘hat’ on and is coordinating with lots of you to make it all come together. 

We’ll have a folder of helpful documents relevant to the Ascended Life for everyone who attends.

The host church is being SUPER gracious to ALC.  You will love the pastor and his wife – Drew & Melinda Smith.

On the spiritual front, there is an increasing expectation of God’s Heavenly surprises for us.  I’m confident that we’ll have many first-time personal encounters.  And I believe that we’re going to have some first-time corporate experiences.

There will be lots of sharing of testimonies, insights, revelations… frequent group interactions and participation… many activations as a whole group and in small groups.  

Lydia leading worship
We’re excited that our daughter Lydia, will be leading some of our worship.  Get ready for free flow and extended worship times, with a focus on sharing real-time Heavenly encounters and letting them ‘springboard’ us along the way.  We’ll be committed to listening for Heaven’s directions and emphasis’… and implementing them. 

ALC Conference registration
Here’s the ALC Conference announcement and registration form Read this for more info about the conference.  If you are attending and have not formally registered yet, please do so ASAP!!  This helps with food planning.

ALC website
Our new ALC website: www.ALC.one .  It’s under construction, but several pages are fully functional with lots of resources and inspirational material.

Girl goes to Heaven
Recently, a girl from the church hosting the conference, had an encounter where God told her that something very important was going to happen in that church in October. (she frequently ‘goes to Heaven’)  She had no idea of our conference.  I’ve asked the parents for more specific information about this.  🙌🙏

Man feels God for first time
Last weekend, I spoke in the conference host-church.  When I facilitated an activation of ‘going to Heaven’, an older gentleman was deeply moved when he felt God for the first in his life.  I know this man and it made tears come to my eyes to know that he had an encounter with Jesus, the likes of which he’d never had before.  Wonder what Jesus thinks of that?!  

See you face-to-face OR in the Heavenlies
Whether we see you in KC or in the Heavenlies, we’ll see you soon.  Actually, we’ll be looking for you in either case, in keeping with Heb 12:22-23 (we have come… to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven).  That’s you and me!  Whether we’re in the same building or in different locations we’ll plan on meeting in the Mountain of the Lord as our starting place.  From there… only God knows for sure!!!

View our greeting and welcome video to this ALC ‘family reunion’.  Welcome home!

Our love and blessings ❤❤

Mark & Debbie Hendrickson
www.ALC.one

New heart granted

10 Jun

Stories to Inspire series…

As we grow in God, we realize that He gave us a new heart, we just have to learn to live from our new heart instead of the old patterns of yesterday.  “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (kainos – new species) (II Cor 5:17).  We must be diligent to “get a new mind” (Rms 12:2) and experience “the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).  

O, it’ll take some time to wean ourselves from the earth-centered consciousness to the upgraded Heaven-based consciousness… but it’s so worth it.  

Below, my buddy Earl shares a story of how God recently gave him a new heart… at least took away all the problems that his old heart used to have.  If you have heart or blood pressure issues, let this testimony be your ticket to a position of faith for your own miracle.  


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New heart granted

About three months ago, I started to have issues with my blood pressure.  When I exercised it would rise instantly to over 180/100 and I would feel pressure in my chest. Just resting I would feel it rise and my head would start to pound.  It was constantly above 150/90 even when resting. I would wake up in the middle of the night with it 165/98. I was feeling fatigued all the time.


Add this with my history of having a quadruple heart bypass surgery 9 years ago; I have been understandably concerned my arteries were getting clogged again.  These were all the same symptoms I had before that last surgery.

Another concern was the VA Doctor has been after me for years to take cholesterol-lowering medications and I refused them.  I could hear them saying “I told you so.”

The first thing I did was give up salt and sugar.  Yes, I salted bacon.  Sylvia, my other Holy Spirit, has been saying I needed to quit the salt for years.  Amazing what you will do when you hear the “shot across the bow.”  That was five weeks ago and my resting blood pressure returned to normal, but I was still having chest pressure and extremely high blood pressure when I exerted any activity.  Going up the stairs twice caused it to spike and my chest to tighten.

At a meeting at Mark Hendrickson’s, I explained to him what was going on with me and asked for prayer sometime during the meeting.  Later there was a time of prayer for those who needed healing… so several gathered around me to pray.  God’s presence was wonderful.  I felt that something had happened but no real outward signs.
Five days later I went for a stress test at the hospital.  I walked and eventually started jogging and continued for 9 minutes.  They got my heart rate up to 125 and my blood pressure rose slowly from 125/76 to 135/80 to 175/88 and then when I rested it immediately came down to 135/65!  No chest pressure at all!!  After that, they put dye in my IV and had me run for another minute.  After nuclear imaging, I was sent home.  At 4 pm I received a call from the doctor’s nurse.  She said there were no issues and no further tests needed.  She said I was at low risk for heart problems.  I have not had a high blood pressure reading since that prayer time.

This gets even better.  I have been taking 12.5mg of Carvedilol for a heart arrhythmia problem.  The VA put a 24-hour heart monitor on me and my heart skipped a beat over 6,000 times during that period.  I have been taking that for 9 years.  I felt the Lord say to stop taking it, so that is what I did.  That was several weeks ago and my heart has not skipped a beat.  I have not had one side effect from the sudden discontinuation of the medication.  I feel like my youth is being renewed according to Psalm 103:5, “Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”  I have quoted this Psalm at least once a week for years.  And to think this is under the older covenant.  What does the New Covenant promise? – EA

Follow-up: “It’s been a month now. All blood pressure and arrhythmia issues are still healthy normal as they should be. But I’ve discovered another blessing… Since I’m off of the meds, my short term memory has dramatically improved. I began noticing a marked improvement… and even my wife and friends have noticed it. Wow!!! Thank You, God!!!”

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget ALL His benefits!!!” – Ps 103:2

Born again, again!

27 May

Over the last few years our ‘above-the-line’ emphasis steadily yields rich and inspiring breakthroughs. Significant new Scriptural building blocks are steadily being added to our belief system which establishes the framework of our expanding faith. And this has led us to making many exciting discoveries in fresh territories of Heavenly possibility.

Expansion… Truly, our spirit and soul were created with this need… to EXPAND. Think of it; everything – plant, animal and human – wants to expand… to conquer… to propagate… to grow. Sadly, if we don’t grow, then something deep inside begins to be agitated. But after a while, if we don’t grow, that agitation begins to subside and inwardly we ‘dumb down’ until we ‘go to sleep’.

Sadly, I think this is the condition of much of humanity… including many believers. If you think about it, this could be one of the applications of Ezekiel’s ‘valley of dry bones’ (Ezk 37). Remember, God asked him, “Can these dry bones live?” Those bones gave evidence of some semblance of life in the past, but there was no fresh life now. Ezekiel had to call the bones together, the sinews and skin on them and the breath of life into them before they could stand up and live again.

God is recreating that same ‘rebirth’ dynamic for many believers all across the world. He’s inviting our soul-man into a Heavenly positioning. And He’s validating our spirit-man as the rightful leader worthy of taking us into the Heavenly realities (under Holy Spirit’s leadership, of course!). This revelatory process is opening up powerful new growth and expansion possibilities. An awakening is happening which is creating new zest and joy for life. It’s an awakening similar to John’s revelatory experience when he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day and he heard a voice say through an open door, “Come on up here” (Rev 4:1).

The invitation, “Come on up here,” is now being heralded across the globe to many hearts that may have been partially dormant but were sincerely hungry for more. In the past, as below-the-line earth-dwellers, it felt like we had ‘maxed out’ the frontiers of formalized religion. We didn’t want to admit it, but we wondered why we felt bored… or why religion didn’t satisfy like it used to. It was because God’s grace was shifting, highlighting yet another of His awe inspiring dreams that He has held until the perfect timing for His people. And now… a large door has been opened granting access to regions ‘above-the-line’… in the Heavenlies.


Jesus said in John 10:9, “He shall go in and out and find pasture.” He made it so easy… and so rewarding. The time has come… the Heavenlies are accessible. With the sentiment of the two faith-filled Promise Land spies, we say, “Let’s possess our inheritance.”

Can you hear the bones rattling together? Can you feel the fresh life of the Heavenlies being breathed into your heart and soul? I can! Honestly, these last few years have been some of the freshest and most inspiring of all of my life! It feels like this is what I was born for. Actually, it’s like I’ve been born again, again. You watch, very soon, many will say like I’ve said many times, “I feel like I came to the Kingdom for such a time as this!”

For more, visit our DPM/ALC YouTube channel

— MLH

Go back and remake your choice

28 Feb

Stories to Inspire

Have you ever had a regret in your past that you wished you could go back and do it right?  Of course… I think most of us have.  What if there was a way to do just that?

1.  Is it Biblical to go back in time?   Can we have any influence over something so pervasive as TIME?

Paul admonishes us to “redeem the time”.  Most of us probably think that means to just work harder or more diligently.  And I imagine that is good for starters but I’m confident that there is more latitude for interpretation of this verse.  Here are just a few references to changes of time in our Bibles.

“Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” – Eph 5:15-16

“And another king shall rise up… and he will intend to change times and the law…” – Dan 7:25

Sun went backward ten steps for Hezekiah – II Kngs 20:9-11

“So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies.  Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.” – Josh 10:13

2. So how can I change things back in time?  How can I change things that seem buried in my past? 

Well, for starters check out a post on my blog of how a daughter was physically healed without knowing that her mother went back in time andrewrote the script.”

And now, check out Donna’s story as she remakes a choice in an event that happened many decades before.
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Go back and remake your choice

“A few years ago I read Nancy Ravenhill’s story and was impressed with how she prayed for Jesus’ help during some abusive times as a child.  Her story reminded me of something that happened to me when I was a little girl.  I wished I could have asked Jesus for help then, but at the time I didn’t know to do that.  Instead, my experience brought fear into my life.”

“Several months after reading Nancy’s book, I heard Patricia King speak at a conference.  She said that Jesus, as our redeemer, “buys back and reestablishes”.  She said, “If there is an area you have remorse over, go back into the memory with Jesus.  Repent, receive forgiveness.  Then make the right choice.  He can then fix and redeem the situation.””

“I decided to go back to my childhood experience and remake my choice, which I didn’t know how to make when I was young.”

“What happened—more than 50 years ago—was that I “saw” a man in my closet, an old man wearing a suit.  I was afraid of him and afraid to get out of bed.  My mom came, opened the closet, and showed me that no one was there.  But the fear remained throughout my childhood and into adulthood.  Looking back on this incident through the years I always saw that man in the closet.”

“I went back in time in my imagination to the experience with the intention to make a better choice than I made as a little girl.  I told Jesus I was sorry that I didn’t ask for His help back then.  I asked Him to help me and to take care of the man in my closet.  It was that simple.  The next part was not a product of my imagination.  I saw Jesus angrily dropkick that man right out of the house.  Gone for good!  I knew Jesus was not happy about what had happened to me, and that too was healing.  From then till now I see only an empty closet.” – Donna

Informed Prophetic Intercession

15 Feb

Recently my friend Earl Ackley, sent a communique to his followers and he used the term, informed prophetic intercession.  That resonated so deeply with me.  I love that phrase!  It connotes that before someone speaks, they have heard first.  It sounds like our ‘business’ of prayer is maturing.

I believe that intercession is getting a brand new definition in this era.  To me, it used to mean ‘petition loud’… but it’s changing to: ‘declare AFTER hearing‘.

As we know, we can’t truly be prophetic unless we’ve been informed… because true Biblical faith only comes by being informed… “faith comes by hearing“.   And once we’ve heard, then we have a “substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not yet seen”.   We can speak with the assurance and confidence that our words are the same as Heaven’s words.  

I feel the pleasure and smile of our Father upon us all as we mature in our hearing first, and then in our capacity to prophesy as “oracles of God.” (I Pet 4:11)  His dreams are coming true in and through us.  Wow!!  He’s always wanted to “give you the Kingdom”, but we had to grow up first before He handed over the keys. 

Can’t you just see Father calling the angels and Saints around and pointing at us with righteous pride and saying something like, “Look!  Look!  They’re getting it.  My dream for them is coming to pass.  Let’s all throw a party in the Heavenlies!  It won’t be long, they’ll be as comfortable governing earth from Heaven as they used to be when praying beggar prayers from Earth.  They’re gonna love spending more time in their Heavenly realm than the earthly realm.”  (just like Jesus in Jn 3:13)

It’s empowering and transformative to enter into the delight that our Father is feeling about us as we discover and embrace our inheritance.  It gives new meaning to the verse, “Well done, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

And if I can take it a bit further, I’ll bet Father is notifying Creation, which has been groaning in eager expectation for the emerging of the Sons of God upon the earth.  He’s probably giving Creation a ‘heads-up’, “FYI Creation!  You’re eager expectations are about to be fulfilled.  My sons and daughters are on a good track to discovering their true identity and latent DNA.  And that will mean your liberation, also!” (Rms 8:19-23)

Can you feel the jubilation of our Father?

Earl, you’re onto some VERY GOOD!  We’re advancing in maturity.  We’re becoming ‘mature sons’.  That’s good news.

I declare over each of you; Much grace, easy hearing and powerful declarations… followed by many compelling testimonies!!!!

— MLH

Sacred heart angel

10 Feb

Stories to Inspire

Every good father wants his children to begin to learn his heart and his values and his world.  We proudly introduce our children to the places we grew up and to the important people in our lives.  Our hopes are that in so doing that it will help form a paradigm for them to mature well.

And our Heavenly Father is no different.  Jesus said, “It’s the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom.” – (Lk 12:32)

So how do we become familiar with our Father’s world?  Well, Jesus said that we can’t even get into the Kingdom of Heaven unless we become like a little child.  I think part of becoming like a little child involves learning how to simply recognize our Father’s leading.  If we can learn Father’s voice and respond to it, then we can be assured we’re safe to explore new territories.

Sometimes, I employ a simple activation that usually yields some pretty astounding experiences – sometimes tender tear-filled and powerfully personal… and sometimes hilarious, accompanied with lots of laughter.  God’s ways are way more personal and fun than we ever expected.  This is just one activation that can launch us into a process of wonderful discovery of our Father’s world.
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Sacred heart angel

At The Well – my sister and bro-in-law’s church in the Nashville area – we initiated an activation to become familiar with our angels.  We asked Holy Spirit to put something in our left hand… and with our right hand to take the first name that came to mind.  This would be a child-like ‘first step’ into the discovery of the function and identity of one of our angels.  

My sister Leann, felt like a glass heart was put in her left hand, but then the glass heart turned into a real beating heart.  The first name that came to her mind was ‘Sacred’.  One possible application of those two things is that Leann may have an angel that brings and reveals the Sacred Heart of the Father to her. 

Two days later, Debbie and I gave Leann and Carl their Christmas gifts.  My gift to Leann was a clear 2” glass angel that I brought from KC (see pic).  She gasped in surprise, “Do you know what this is!?”  Honestly, I had no idea of the significance!  She pointed out that the angel is holding a glass heart in its hands and reminded me of what had happened just 2 days before, with her Sacred Heart angel experience.  Then I remembered.  We were both amazed at how God is so good and so personal as He leads us into His world.  He is so fun!!!

— MLH

Prospering while trapped in another country

8 Feb

Stories to Inspire

In a recent post, I asked, “What did you do with 2020?”  You’ll love what my friends have done with 2020.

We’ve all had our 2020 hardships, but in March a great friend of mine and his wife had to go to another country in order to get their visas renewed.  Their home for the last several years has been in a foreign country where they serve as missionary pastors.  But in the day or so that they were out of their home country, Covid restrictions shut everything down.  They couldn’t re-cross the border to return home.  Now they were stuck in a country where they don’t have any friends… and only a casual contact.

But the cool thing is that after nearly a year of being stuck, they currently have a boatload of God-stories… including housing, finances, connections, ministry, etc.  Any normal human response to being trapped in a foreign country would likely be overwhelming discouragement and potentially ‘poisoning’ our future with murmuring and complaining.  But true to their norm, they’ve been actively engaged in listening and responding to God… even in this foreign land… even despite Covid.

BTW – Here’s the latest on their living accommodations: “We’re still stuck in ‘xxxxxxx’, and just got a major upgrade in our living situation.  We’re apartment sitting.  It’s a really nice place.  Eighth floor, beautiful view, great location and reduced rent. It keeps on getting better!”

This next story is about a new area that God caused them to prosper.  God loves to take what the devil means for evil and our destruction… but with our participation,  God turns it around for our good!! This story is a great example of that.
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Prospering while trapped in another country
“I know everyone is sending you cool ‘traveling in the spirit’ testimonies, however, I want to tell you a cool Divine provision testimony.”

“Earlier last year I felt Papa was leading me into a new area of investing. My wife and I had some extra money in savings, which was new for me. As a single missionary guy living on faith for most of my adult life, I was used to having ‘just enough.’  I was always more than grateful for what I received because it was usually the result of some cool God story of how the money came to me.  My wife and I began discussing what we should do with the extra money until we needed it.”

“I began praying, researching and felt I should look into investing in some companies on the New York Stock Exchange.  I’ve been a Christian most of my life and growing up in the church I had never heard a message or read a book on investing.  It was a little unnerving for me, but I remember working on a project in high school where we did some investing with imaginary money and I did quite well… and really enjoyed it. So this gave me some confidence.”

“In the winter of 2019, I had just finished reading Kris Vallotton’s book ‘Poverty, Riches and Wealth.’  I was really inspired by this book, especially by Jesus’ parable of the ten minas (Luke 19:11-27). I began feeling a ‘nudge’ and soft encouragement by Holy Spirit to look into investing.  However, there was also the strong feeling to wait until Spring to invest.  I did my homework, researched the companies that I wanted to invest in, learned how to invest and was ready to go.”

“But I kept feeling like I was to wait until Spring. I thought, “This must just be fear that’s stopping me from investing.”  But the feeling wouldn’t go away.  So I waited.  Well, as you know, Covid took the world by storm in early March of 2020 and wiped out the stock market.  It dropped big time! I knew this would be a golden opportunity, as I had faith to believe the stock market would come back.  So I began investing.”


“My initial goal was to make 10% on my investments for the year.  I knew the bank would give me less than 3% and I had enough confidence that I could do better than that.  The stock market had its ups and downs but ended up recovering throughout 2020.  I had some disappointments and some victories.  I learned many lessons, took prayerfully calculated risks and exceeded my yearly goal rather significantly.  Like I said, my goal was to make 10%.  Well, I ended up making almost 100%… or close to doubling my investment. I turned my ‘ten minas’ into another ‘ten minas.'”

“This is not a testimony of how “God made me rich,” nor am I saying if you follow God He’ll make you rich, nor am I saying that if you invest God will tell you what to invest in (at least He didn’t tell me).  It’s a testimony of receiving a ‘nudge’, obeying the ‘nudge’, trusting God in a new arena, being faithful with what God has given you and then watching Him bring the multiplication.”

“It was a wild ride and so cool to succeed in a new arena with Papa.  I’m a bit cautious about investing in the current market.  But I’ll carefully and prayerfully move forward with investing if I feel that little ‘nudge’ again.” – DV
— MLH

Overview of 70 years of church worship – So where to from here?

26 Jan

I was born in the ’50s.  My father and father-in-law were pastors… so over my years, I’m happy to say that I’ve participated in almost every spiritual movement.  I’ve been in almost all the styles of church services, from high church, liturgical and evangelical to charismatic, pentecostal and fringe.   I’ve observed staid and stoic worship and experienced the wild and bazaar.  At this point in life, I’m pretty much OK with all of it IF people’s hearts are truly engaged with God as they’re worshiping… which is the main point, after all.

There has been an undeniable evolution of worship content and worship experience during my lifetime.  So I’ve used my perspective to create a little graphic to help explain what I’ve observed over the last 65+ years.

Disclaimer: Obviously, there were many exceptions to this… and this is a perspective derived largely from our Western paradigm.

Click on pic for full resolution

Before the 60s we either sang theology intense wordy hymns… or we sang dreamy folksy Gospel songs about going to Heaven someday in the sweet bye and bye.  Our song lyrics magnified the great ‘gulf’ of separation between us and God, but we at least had a genuine longing for Heaven.  Then in the 60s we began to get ‘nearer’ to God in our lyrics and it felt like we had more access to Him.  Some of the strong proponents of this came through the influence of the FGBMFI, Jesus People and Charismatic Renewal movements.  Those were some awesome times of spiritual awakening.  In our awareness of ‘proximity’ to God, it’s almost like we sang ourselves closer to Him.  Of course, in the big picture, it was God who was drawing us up to Himself… but at least we were following.

This progression continued through the Scripture in Song songs in the 70s and the spontaneous ‘spiritual songs’ in the 80s.  We felt so close to God that we changed many of our lyrics from 3rd person to 1st person perspective… e.g. from “He is good” to “You are good.”  This continued through several movements until somewhere around 2000 it seems like we plateaued in our progress into His Presence.  Holy Spirit’s moving in average church meetings became more sparse.  For whatever reasons – maybe insecurity had something to do with it – we began trading into surfacy temporal things.  When we lost the poignancy of Presence in our worship, trendy things may have been an easy antidote or solace for the loss.

A few of the temporal trends and styles we traded into…

Multimedia, lasers, smoke, animated screens
Professional hired musicians
Exact copy the big-name versions / like on the CD
Many of our songs are the same as a YouTube experience
Same rote song format, arrangements/sounds…
Band driven experience yields a concert atmosphere
which creates spectators in the audience
which leads to boredom for everyone
Leaders are pressed to try the trendy ‘next thing’
gotta stay current, you know
Hip hop, ethnic, rap, etc

Note:  I am NOT saying that any of these by themselves is wrong!!  They each can serve a helpful function.  But as a steady diet… and if the net result of employing these ‘trades’, ends up sacrificing His Presence, then… well, you get the idea.

We thank God for some notable torch-bearers in the last 20 years; Hillsong, Bethel Music and IHOP-KC, to name a few.  Then in the last few years, we saw God shine His light on some new Presence seekers; like Housefires, Worship Mob, Upper Room and United Pursuit, etc.  Hungry hearts who wanted Encounter, had a place to go.

Then in 2020, Covid and politics created a huge upset… but God decided to use it as a reset.  Externally, everything went berserk, but God is so masterful that He can trump evil and make it work for good.  We were admonished to do church online… something we were always told would never suffice for ‘real’ church, before.  So the Church got shaken.  But many people found a new reality in personal worship on the very organic level.  Those people began ‘digging new wells’ and thriving through this unstable time.  Sadly, there are some casualties, too.  We must remember that God promised that everything that could be shaken would be shaken (Hag 2:7, Heb 12:27)… and boy, did it get shaken!

Many ‘social’ churches with a shallow worship experience will have serious struggles to survive.  O, there will always be some churches whose worship will thrive, because much of Jesus’ bride is still in those churches.  And He still loves them very dearly, no matter where they are in their growth continuum!

In order to establish a contrast, I’ll quote a popular song heard on a popular Christian Music radio program.  The lyrics are: “I’m begging you please on bended knee to help me.”  Did you notice any distance between the singer and God?  I know it sounds humble, respectable and religiously acceptable… and to be fair, that is the usual starting sentiment for all prodigals.  But as we grow, those lyrics should never come out of the lips of maturing saints, because our understanding of our Father’s magnanimous love for us drives out all fear.  No need to beg for His attention… EVER!  When fear is dispelled, we begin to believe Him when He tells us of our elevated status with Him… that we’re “seated with Him in Heavenly places” (Eph 2:6).  There’s no need to live afar off… we’re “hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3).  How could we ever have a bad hair day with this kind of reality?!

Shallow worship leaders and shallow worship times will always keep us at a distance from God… which makes us feel the need to beg for everything that is already ours.

So if we’re going to get back into the overall upward trend of the last 60+ years, I think we’ll find that God is inviting us to recommit to Presence Worship and follow His Presence ‘above the line’ into the Heavenlies.  This time, not just in theology or dreamy lyrics, but in experiential reality.  We’re being invited into partnership with God.  No more plaintiff songs/prayers.  No more beggar songs… no more ‘woe is me’ songs.  The Grace of God has worked a wonderfully transformational work in the way we think of and perceive ourselves… and God.  A large door has been opened to discover our true identity and inheritance.

So, no more songs that make us live back in yesterday!  We’re exchanging yesterday’s mindsets that we were just poor humans singing pitiful songs begging a God who was far away, for a morsel or two… we’re trading those songs for songs with lyrics proclaiming confidence in our Father’s love, our Heavenly citizenship (Phil 3:20), our new creation identity (II Cor 5:17), and our co-rulership with Christ (Rms 5:17).

Our worship is beginning to see powerful lyrics that declare Heavenly realities as ours… now!   We won’t have to wait to go to Heaven to experience Heavenly realities.  We’ll sing of our inheritance realized, rather than somewhere afar off in the future.  We will learn how to declare the truth of our status with God rather than begging Him for a breakthrough.  Instead of distance from God, we’ll confidently proclaim our oneness with God (Eph 2:13) and the benefits of it (Ps 103:2).

Wise church fathers have appealed to the prophetic songwriters, “Do you desire for God’s people to live in powerful new revelatory realities five years from now… then give them songs with lyrics that declare that revelation, now.”

So may our new songs be revelatory and equipping… like a Heavenly treasure map.  May our songs be heralds of a new era in God… ‘above the line.’  We call forth songwriters who are like the “Sons of Issachar who knew the times and the seasons and were able to tell Israel what to do” (II Chron 12:32).

Let the new revelatory, new creation, heavenly realities songs come forth!!  Can you feel it?  It’s happening!  We’re moving on up to our High Places. 

–MLH