Archive | Testimonies RSS feed for this section

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

 

Advertisements

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

Testimony: Tears… and ‘catch a big fish’

31 Jan

A testimony from my trip to China:

A few weeks ago I joined a couple of my dear friends, Dave Clark and Jack Lee on a business trip to China.  In one of the business meetings, we all spoke to about 50 business leaders.  There were about 30 students from a nearby business university… and about 20 business people… some who were billionaires.  They were Buddhists, Daoists, atheists and a few Christians.

Dave and Jack shared the business opportunity and our values for living from the heart.  I shared about how to live with an ‘alive’ and soft heart… we must live for something bigger than ourselves… bigger than money.  I said one of those ways for our family, is to let our hearts be touched by the poor and to find ways to come alongside them.

I recounted the story of our trip to Cebu City, Philippines… to the Little Palace in Shanty-Town.  As I was telling the story I was overcome with tears… and a very discernable change occurred in the room.  The atmosphere changed from a business opportunity to a heart encounter.

Afterwards the university professor said to us, “I’ve been to many, many of these kinds of meetings but never one as meaningful as this.  Would you come back and do a 2 or 3 day seminar with my students?  I want them to learn how to live for something bigger than money.”

The power of God-tears is almost uncanny.  When we live with our hearts engaged and ‘ablaze’ with passion and God’s glory, it is infectious and revolutionary… especially to folks who have never been in touch with their hearts.

There is not a dearth of knowledge in the earth… there is a dearth of experiencing the realities of the heart.

Living for head knowledge as ‘king’, is the substitute for not knowing a satisfying reality in our hearts.  And we can’t blame the people, because they’ve never had anyone explain and model it for them.

But once their heart has been awakened… and had an encounter… they realize that living for head knowledge, is only ‘surface-y’… only ‘glitter’ that purports to be a life source.  In the end, it is quite powerless to create true happiness or true change.

After the business meeting I interviewed 6 or 8 people to see if we should visit their factory the next day.  After each interview I asked if I could take their hand and pray with them.  I felt like the Lord gave me little ‘sparks’ of special insight to pray for each of them.

At the end, a lady who had been watching, asked why we held hands.  I said, “For a sense of connection and agreement with one another.”  She asked if I could pray for her.  I did… and at the end she was VERY tender and responsive.  My translator suggested that we take the next step of leading her to Jesus.  I briefly presented Jesus and what it means to have a relationship with Him… then I led her in a simple ‘sinners prayer’.  Afterward she was very tender and exclaimed, “Something happened… I felt something change.”  Her eyes were very near tears… and mine already had tears.  We hugged… it was a wonderful God-moment.

I had not interviewed her so I didn’t know who she was, except that her name was Mrs. Cao.

The next day, we visited several clothing factories and as we walked into one large facility, there was Mrs Cao!  We eagerly and warmly greeted each other and I referenced how special our time was together.  Without hesitation she confidently and proudly announced before her associates that she had given her heart to Jesus the day before.

Well, it turns out that she was one of two owners of this factory.  And this factory is one of the main suppliers of uniforms for the airlines and military in China.

Who knew????  God did!  Sometimes you catch a big fish and don’t even know it.  And my translator even had to give me the nod to go the next step. 🙂

Thank you, God!!!!

— MLH

Testimony: Gold flake changes everything!

25 Jun

One Friday night a few years ago, I was invited to host an ‘encounter God’ evening at a house of prayer in Madison, WI where Dave Gerry was the director.  I was given full liberty to do whatever the Lord inspired me to do.  So I decided to celebrate some of the signs that have occurred in our ministry.  We projected them up onto the large screen and I told each story. 

Between stories, I invited us all to be as sincere and passionate as we could in a time of intimate devotion with Jesus.  We told Him how much we loved Him and how special He is to us. 

The objective was to use the ‘signs’ to inspire and increase our love for Him.  It is our experience that more signs appear as we allow our hearts to become acutely ‘enflamed’ with love for Him. 

Well, we had seen nothing by the end of meeting so we prayed for all those with physical ailments… body ministry style.  There were many pockets of prayer in the room.  And here’s where things get interesting…

Rufina, a 70-year-old widow from the Philippines, asked for prayer.  As she was being prayed for, she opened her hand and found a 1/8” rippled flake of ‘gold’ (I have no idea if it was real gold or not).

She showed it to those who were praying for her.  And as you might guess, everyone soon rallied around to view this phenomenon. 

I had never met Rufina before, but I found out 1 1/2 years later that she was a cook at the local YWAM base and always longed to go on a mission’s trip, but had no finances.

Surprisingly and without any announcement from anyone, people spontaneously began to throw money at her feet… such that for about 5 or 6 feet around, the floor was littered with cash… a total of $485.

She was a ‘basket case’ over the whole experience. 🙂  Jesus’ surpassing goodness broke through again – amazing all of us.  Each time she shared about it the following week she was overcome with gratefulness, wonder and tears at the goodness of God to ‘visit’ her in such a way.  But so far we’ve not even come to the best part.

A year and a half later I met her in a conference.  I exclaimed, “Rufina, how are you?  I’ve told your story many times.  Do you still have the gold flake?”  She immediately opened her Bible and I saw that it was taped next to the very verse we had rallied around when she got the flake.  But then she excitedly continued, “You have to hear what has happened since then!” 

That evening, 1 1/2 years before, we had highlighted Isa 43:18-19 which states that “God is doing a new thing”. 

“Forget the former things: do not dwell on the past.  I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up: do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” – Isa 43:18-19

And that’s exactly what happened for Rufina!!!  That special token signified to her that He is doing and will do something new in her life.  So here’s the rest of the story…

After that night, money mysteriously began to come to her.  So much so, that she had enough to go to Africa and India on her first missions trip.  She preached her first sermon and people got saved.   She went to the next town, preached again and more people gave their hearts to the Lord.

Listen to the transformation that happened to her as she shares in her own words, “Now I just back from South Africa and India.  It just the boldness in my spirit to share the GOSPEL to everyone… which I never did this before.  I got the courage to speak to the Churches and Schools and prayed for the sick and visited hospital & prayed for them.  God’s heart with compassion to the people flows through me so much that I cried with them & begged them to understand that the only HOPE of life is found in JESUS CHRIST alone.”

Is that good… or what!?!

Back home, the money continued to come, so she traveled to the Philippines to see her own family and many of them came to Jesus.  After she returned home, more money came to her and she was planning another trip to minister to her people.

And that is all good, but here’s the important part: She hasn’t asked for money!  (For more on this principle of living within Father’s provision read my book, entitled Supernatural Provision.)

As fun as that little gold flake was, it was not the main event!  Everything changed from that day… the spiritual atmosphere shifted for Rufina.  God truly began a “new thing” in her life. (Isa 43:18-19)  He created “a way in ‘her’ desert” and “streams” began to flood her “wasteland.”   Her dreams began to be realized… at 70 years old!  That gold flake was a sign from God which signaled a radical and change and launched her life in a completely new direction.  

So do I love signs?  You better believe I do!  Do I love Jesus much more than signs?  Absolutely!  And guess what…?  Every time the signs appear, they help me fall more in love with Him.  And always, the signs serve to anchor my heart in more awareness of His loving care! 

Thank you Lord for You… and for Your signs!

— 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

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