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SP True Stories: Above and beyond delayed reward

20 Jul

(personal testimony)

Many times, in the middle 90s, our family served in a church about an hour away from where we lived.  We loved the church and had lots of friends there.  But I can’t remember ever receiving any significant financial honorarium for our times of serving.  We weren’t concerned, since we loved the people and loved serving alongside them.

Years later, that church disbanded.  In the liquidation proceedings they decided to disperse their assets through a foundation which handles distribution of estates and trusts, etc.  The church chose several tax-exempt ministries to receive their assets.  We had no idea that this was happening, but to our complete and great surprise, we were selected as one of the beneficiaries.  This foundation sent us scheduled quarterly payments for seven years… the total amount of which, far surpassed any potential honorariums we would have received from that church.

Part of this unexpected blessing can be attributed to the principle of sowing and reaping, but the cleanest part about it is that we weren’t concerned about the payback.  Our serving was “as unto our Lord”. (Eph 6:7)

It’s been about 25 years since our involvement with that church and those quarterly payments stopped nearly 10 years ago.  But just recently we received another check for over $6K from that same foundation.  Completely unexpected, without adequate explanation, very timely and totally appreciated!

Our Great Banker saw our labors of love in that church many years ago.  He saw and never forgot.  His timing is perfect.  His care and over-the-top blessing system is the very best!  Thank you, Father!!!!

— MLH

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SP True Stories: Bye, bye mortgage!

3 Jul

(personal testimony)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— MLH

 

SP True Stories: Literal gold coin provision

11 Feb

(A report from a friend)

Recently, my good friend was encouraging his friends who were struggling financially.  They got behind in their rent and were about to be evicted.  My friend told them, “Papa wants to give you a token like a gold coin to show you that He loves you.”

Twenty minutes later, (about 10 pm at night!) their ‘pre’-Christian neighbor came over and unexpectedly gave them the 1 oz gold coin in this picture! (Gold is about $1320/oz)

Then, within a few days, ‘out of the blue’, they were given $2500 from an anonymous source.

At that point, they felt an urgency to give $1000 to some ‘other friends’ who were also behind in their bills.  Their ‘other friends’ had just prayed the prayer on page 230 in the Supernatural Provision book.  A minute after they finished praying, their phone beeped, notifying them that $1000 had just been deposited in their Paypal account.

Is God good or what!?!?!

‘Supernatural Provision’ prayer:  “Jesus, I love how You were so unconventional with Peter.  I think I get it.  I think I understand what You did with Peter.  It’s way outside of the norms of my society, but it’s beginning to make sense now that I can see how good my Father is.  I have to confess that it’s still a stretch to think of these truths working in my life, but I really want Your reality to be my reality.  I want Your easy yoke.  And I want to make You really happy as You watch me just skipping around like a little child without an anxious thought about provision.  Oh, make it happen in me, Jesus; make it a reality in me!  Amen.”

MS/CA

SP True Story: Old car retired… new car acquired

9 Feb

Over the last couple weeks nearly 10 people have given us sizeable financial gifts.  God knew we would need it soon.  He’s so good that way!

Debbie and I made a ministry trip to the cold ‘Nordt Country’ Thursday Feb 1 through Wednesday Feb 7.  Our 2001 Accord still looked good, but it had 320,000 miles on it.  I thought it would serve us well on this trip.  Even so, as we drove out of our driveway, I said, “This will probably be the last trip with this car.”  I didn’t know how true that would be.  Without previous coolant problems, I had to unexpectedly add anti-freeze twice before we arrived in Richland Center, WI.  In addition, we realized gasoline was leaking from under the car. 

Early the next day our friend Johnny, repaired the rusted gas line leak.  It seemed that the engine may have blown a head gasket.  And as we had it up on the hoist, the water pump sprang a significant leak.  We added ‘stop leak’ to the radiator and replaced radiator cap.  That stopped the loss of water… and we found that the water pump only leaked when the engine was cold.  So we continued our trip, but had to add water before starting the car each time.  😦

We spent Saturday and Sunday with our good friends at Mel Wild’s Cornerstone Church in Prairie du Chien, WI – three great meetings with lots of help from Heaven. 

On Craigslist we found a suitable car in Sioux Falls, SD at the right price, but I couldn’t reach the owner via text, phone or email… and we wouldn’t have time to see it for two more days.

Sunday afternoon we continued to Rochester, MN to join a favorite event: a two-day Global Legacy Leaders Advance at Rod Marquette’s Destiny Church.  As usual, it was a Holy Spirit anointed time. 

Tuesday noon we decided to head for home early, just to accommodate any problems we might have with the car.  From Rochester, MN I had about 1 ½ hours of driving before we had to make a decision to turn south on I-35 to go home… or continue west on I-90 to Sioux Falls to look at the car.  Several things had to happen for us to continue to Sioux Falls.  1) The owner of the car had to answer the phone.  And he did.  I ask questions and was satisfied with car.  2)  Now we had to have cash.  We had money in the bank, but not in hand.  3) A good friend in Sioux Falls had to be home.  We called… and he was home.  4)  Would he have the cash to temporarily give us in exchange for a check from us.  He did.  He wouldn’t normally have that much money, but a medical bill hadn’t been paid yet, so it was available.  5)  The car test drive had to yield good results.  It did.  6)  We bought the car… but now we had two cars in Sioux Falls?  So we donated our old Accord to a local young man who I’ve mentored for the last 5 years.  We gave him permission to keep it and fix it… or sell it and keep the money.  He was happy to receive it.  

Each of those things were ‘make or break’ issues… but we didn’t ‘forced’ any of them to make them happen.  If any one of these issues had not happened we would have gladly accepted that divine guidance, without forcing the issue.  I really love being led by our Lord!  His ways don’t require (or allow) sweat!!  This is very much in keeping with our two-word life motto: Follow Life. (click to read more)

Interesting side note: That next morning our Sioux Falls host planned to participate in an early morn prayer session at the local House of Prayer.  He was to leave the house at 5:10 AM.  I told him that if I woke up at 4:30AM I would go with him.  I did.  We got to the prayer meeting and I thought I would just enjoy the atmosphere… but they discovered that their worship leader was sick that morning and wouldn’t be coming.  Hmmmm.  Somebody just happened to have left an acoustic guitar there… and so they asked if I would lead worship for their team.  I did.  God had a great plan for all of us!  🙂

Deb and I acquired a car and retired a car in Sioux Falls.  Then, ‘happy as a lark’, we drove to KC in our new vehicle – a 2015 Accord with only 17K miles. Nearly new!
  
Thank you so much, for your prayers, care and gifts… and THANKS to our over-the-top Lord!!!!

— MLH

SP True Stories: Payback for what the devil stole

22 Jun

(from a friend)

I was ordained into ministry in my early twenties.  During my ordination service, a woman come up and had a zip lock back of coins and a few dollars.  She said the Lord wanted her to anoint me with this small bag of money and said as long as I would serve the Lord He would provide for my financial needs.  She then proceeds to pour the bag of money over my head and prayed over me.  After the prayer time was over I picked up every single coin and dollar bill.  I don’t know how much money I picked up but I would estimate it to be around $25.00.  I keep it in a jar on my desk as a constant reminder of God’s promise of provision over my life.  I was tempted on many occasions to use the money when times were tight but each time I resisted the urge.  Over the past 12 plus years this little jar of money has seen me through many lean times yet His promise always came through.

I currently pastor a church in north central Wisconsin.  My jar of coins sits on my desk as a constant reminder of the everlasting promise of God over my life.  Unfortunately, the church was broken into over the Easter weekend and a small amount of money was stolen.  I came into the office on Monday to find my jar of money had been among the items stolen.  I was thankful the church had not lost much money in the burglary but I was upset that my jar of money was stolen.  I knew it didn’t have any magical powers but that was a tangible item that represented a history of God’s faithfulness in my life.  As I peered into the empty jar I noticed there was one penny stuck to the bottom of the jar.  I just shook my head in disappointment.

Around the same time my coin jar was stolen a friend of mine asked me to write a book endorsement for a book she was working on. I agreed and sat down one day and wrote the endorsement for her.  Several days later I received a thank you note in the mail from her with a check for $2500!  That’s 100 times what was stolen!!!  As I sat in shock reading the thank you note and staring at the check, the Lord whispered to me, “You may have lost your jar of coins but you haven’t lost My promise or favor over your life”

Several weeks later a member of my church brought a large bag of coins from his house for my empty coin jar.  My coin jar continues to sit on my desk full of coins and now contains a lesson that His promises and favor over my life are not something that can be taken from me.

God is Good All the Time!

— RH/WI

Moving into supernatural provision – getting started

10 May

Let’s try a simplified approach to our journey into supernatural provision.

How do I get started?

Let’s say you have a skill, service or anointing and you believe that if you were to develop it, God could use it to supply for you.  But before you ‘burn the bridges’ and make some impulsive radical decisions which may cut off your current provision, let’s address some issues.

1. Are all of your bills caught up and paid in full?  If not, and if you are chronically behind in your bills, then temporarily get another vocational job because a man “must provide for his household…” – I Tim 5:8

The principle here is; either our provision comes 1) through our faith, anointing and growing favor in our relationship with God… OR… 2) we must obtain our provision by our brains or our brawn.

2. Self-discipline is vital.  Learning to be good stewards of our time is a very big deal in this process.   Too much idle time will jeopardize our potential and make us vulnerable to trouble.  Too much busy-ness will sap our time and emotional reserves… leaving us depleted, making it difficult to move into something new.  We must develop and adopt appropriate disciplines that meet the demands of the scope of our territory!

3. Learn how to host and impart eternal value through our unique field of inspiration.  Our ‘field’ doesn’t need to be a stereotypical ‘ministry’… but our heart’s approach to our avocation, vocation, craft or ministry, needs to have the decidedly focused objective of impacting the Heavenly realm for eternity’s sake.  Father is watching to see if we’re gripped with making His business our business.

4. Amass all the email addresses or social media connections of all your friends and contacts… then be a GIVER extraordinaire!  Give away all your testimonies.  Tell your trophy stories… or family stories, etc.  Be an encourager!  Make eternal deposits in their lives as frequently as you are able.  Let people know what God is doing in your life and around you, even if those things seem small.  Do not ask for money or even hint at it!   Be a giver!

Being a ‘giver’ must come from a heart that is consumed with desire to be ‘about our Father’s business.’  If being a giver isn’t an overflow from our heart, we’ll ‘burn out’ quickly.  In addition, being a giver will establish in the hearts of ‘our people’, that we are operating under Kingdom values and we’re worthy ground to sow into.  Their sowing into us may include; bringing their business to us, their time, their contributions, their prayer, their favor, etc.

5. Expect that moving into full time activation of our avocation, skill or ministry… and experiencing full provision… will be an incremental process.  Allow 2 to 10 years to reach our goal.  Expect that there may be times along our journey when poor finances may require us to supplement our growing faith with an extra temporary job for additional income.  This is not to be seen as a setback.  This is more likely a step to let other necessary factors catch up.  These factors may include: character, self-discipline, fullness of time, anointing, skill, people connections, circumstances, etc.   

Summary

After you’ve evaluated these matters and have several inarguable God-signs to validate His will, then you’re ready to take your first steps into the next phase.  Be sure to reevaluate your progress many times along the way to insure that you’re still ‘on course’.  Be patient, be consistent and develop your intimacy with Jesus so that your ‘hearing’ is at it’s peak and your heart is most empowered.  Happy adventures!

For more on this subject, read my book entitled, Supernatural Provision – Where God guides God provides!

— MLH

SP True Stories: A cool God-story ahead

17 Apr

(From a friend)

A family friend of ours was in need of a twin bed.  So, I went on Craigslist and found an amazing super clean twin bed, with box frame, frame, and a great head board with cubbies for $75 super close to me, that had just been posted.

When I showed up an older man came out and we began talking about hockey.  When I opened my tailgate I had K-Love playing and the song, God’s Not Dead, was playing.  The man made mention to the song saying it was a good song and asked if I was a believer?

Well one thing led to another, some good God talk was had, and when the bed was loaded in my van, he shook my hand, and gave me the $75 back, and told me to be blessed.    🙂

MC/MO