Tag Archives: Richland Center

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!!!!



Angels on Assignment – A Personal Adventure

29 Sep


The following account is a true narrative of actual related events which have spanned more than 25 years. Even though the story doesn’t seem to be fully resolved, I’m relating this account to you because it has captivated our hearts. Honestly, I don’t know the future outcome of this story or ultimately, even what it means. It is rather lengthy, so read at your leisure.  I think you’ll be fascinated.

‘Angels on Assignment’

Trouble in paradise

In 1989 the Hendrickson family moved from Kansas City to Richland Center, WI and rented a very cozy rural house nestled in a picturesque hollow that was as beautiful as any picture you’ve ever seen. Nebraska Hollow (the name of the valley we lived in) was a haven for us. It restored our souls. Our family loved the setting and what God did in us while we lived there. The house was for sale and five months later, it sold. The man who bought it was literally drunk much of the time and was difficult to get along with to the point that he stubbornly declared that he wouldn’t fulfill the common practice of reimbursing us for the remaining fuel in the propane tank.

Angels commissioned

I took the matter to the Lord in prayer. For several weeks before we moved, I prayed over the property. With much grace and faith, I posted angelic sentries on each corner. I literally walked around the perimeter of the property and commissioned angels to do the Father’s bidding – to watch over whatever was ours in the natural and in the Spirit realm. This was a very real experience to me, accompanied with deep conviction.

Court hearing

We moved to another residence in the same county. Within the next few months, I scheduled a hearing at the county courthouse to settle the injustice regarding the propane fuel. A court date was set. The new owners didn’t appear in court. As a result, by default, a judgment was placed against their property.

Settling of the judgment

Several years passed and I had all but forgotten about the matter when the courthouse called me one day and said, “Mark, if you’ll be here at 10 AM tomorrow the couple will settle the judgment.” I showed up and the wife gave me a check. She was gracious but gave no explanation. I thanked her and that was that. Later I found out that the couple’s marriage had fallen upon hard times and they were getting a divorce. In order to divide all assets, they had to liquidate the property. But in order to sell it they first had to settle the judgment. Thus, I got paid.

Angels at work

Several more years passed and I inquired about the house and the couple. I was told that their marriage was reconciled and that they continued to live in the same house. I was amazed as I pondered how the angels had intervened in order to settle the propane fuel matter. My heart was moved with gratitude to my Father and the angelic help He gives to minister to His saints. Thank you, Father (and angels)!

Nebraska Hollow revisited – 2005

In 2000 our family moved from WI back to Kansas City. We felt eagerness for the future and had mixed feelings yet deep appreciation for the precious times during our nearly 12 years in SW Wisconsin. In the fall of 2005, I was back in Richland Center when one afternoon I decided to go see the Nebraska Hollow house. As I slowly drove past the house I was moved to tender prayers of appreciation for what the Lord had done and wondered what the Lord may yet have in store for that property. I thanked the Lord and angels for their watch-care over everything that pertained to us and the Kingdom of God on the property.

Nebraska Hollow house church

About a month later I was talking to Gary, a good friend who leads a house church in Richland Center area. He said, “Mark, you’ll never guess where we’re going to have our next house church!” and followed with, “In the Nebraska Hollow house!” I exclaimed, “What about the couple who lived there?” He said, “The man died a few years ago and the house was sold to a spiritually hungry couple who are now attending my house church.” I was surprised and my thoughts began to race about what the Lord must be doing in that house. I reminded Gary of the angels and court issues, etc. He said, “Would you please write it down and email it to me so I can read it to the group when we meet next week?” I did as he asked.

On the evening that Gary intended to read the account to his house church, and while they were assembling, one of the gentlemen exclaimed, “When I first walked into the room I saw an angel walk into this room? He was so big that he had to bend down to get through the door! He had to tuck in his wings as he went through the doorway and then he sat over there on the buffet.” My friend, Gary then read the printed copy of the email. They were all amazed and in awe at what had just happened, yet no one really knew what to make of it. But there was no question that there was a heightened awareness of Heavenly beings and their activity in the room.

Amish reconciliation video

In January of that year I watched a video of a powerful time of reconciliation between the High Church of Switzerland and some North American Amish and Mennonites. I was quickly and deeply moved by the authenticity and power of the occasion. I had never met any of the persons in the video. Through word of mouth, my name came before the Amish leader on the video. Three days later that man called me in Kansas City from his home in Idaho and said he felt strangely compelled to ask me to come to their community to get acquainted. It turns out that we had many friends in common, including their blood relatives in the Richland Center area. We both knew God was doing something we just didn’t know what it was.

Amish prophecy – Ez. 12

Recognizing the sense of God upon this strange development, our family made plans to visit the Amish in ID and MT. On the second day of our visit, the leader set Debbie and me down to prophesy to us. He quoted from Ezek. 12:17-28 which says, “Say no more that the word shall be delayed, for the word I have spoken will now come to pass. None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done.” He was quite emphatic about it and indicated that it had to do with “revisiting” Richland Center to complete a work that the Lord would bless. He gave almost no definition; only a commission. He went on to say, “God will go before you and prepare the way. He will move on your behalf even before you go. This time it will be different.” He said that the sense he had was that “The time is NOW!”

Fireplace mantle left behind

As we talked later, I mentioned that I had left only one thing behind in the Richland Center area – and it happened to be at the Nebraska Hollow house. It was a fireplace mantle – a large piece of oak wood normally mounted over a fireplace.  It was too big and I didn’t need it at the time so I had left it in the barn on that property. Even as I said the words I realized the significance of the word ‘mantle’ – a spiritual authority granted by God. Could it be that an authority to create a place for spiritual fire was still there in Richland Center? I pondered and wondered what the extent of this meant.

Cherokee prophesies – Ez. 12

About a week later we were in another Amish gathering. A 78-year-old Native American Cherokee, named Cherokee Jones, was there also. He and his wife had driven 8 or 9 hours from southern Idaho to get there. When asked if he had any special word to give to the group. He exclaimed, “I have a word so powerful that I have hardly been able to contain it!” As he got up to speak he said, “Turn to Ezek. 12:17-28”, and began to quote the very same verses prophesied just a week earlier. The first Amish leader, who prophesied this passage to me a week earlier, let out a “whoooop”, we looked at each other and I knew that God was saying something – just what, I wasn’t sure – but was keenly interested. Cherokee then instructed us to turn to Isaiah 43 and read a portion of scripture that began with “Fear not……”

We will search the matter out

Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of man to search a matter out”. I knew that we had to at least “search the matter out”. I said, “OK, sometime we’ll make a trip up there and see if we can have a meeting in the Nebraska Hollow house. We will revisit the place where the angels still seem to be active.” I didn’t have a sense of when we would go, only that we had to set our course in that direction.

Chicago conference

A couple days later a Chicago conference director called and invited us to lead worship the last of March (which was only a month away). We hadn’t been invited to lead worship there for about 4 or 5 years so the timeliness of the call made me take note.  The conference director also said that she had a sense of urgency and almost felt to call the conference, “The Time is Now!” (Remember the Amish man’s prophecy) Since it’s only a 3-hour drive from Chicago to Richland Center, I felt like the Lord was saying, “I will get you in the general vicinity of WI to help you ‘search this matter out!'”  So we confirmed our commitment to the Chicago conference. We also checked and secured permission to have a very small house church meeting in the Nebraska Hollow house on Monday, April 3.

Brother reconciles / God goes before us

Two weeks later Debbie and I were in Washington, DC getting ready for a meeting when my cell phone rang. The call was from a Christian brother in Richland Center who had caused us great spiritual and emotional pain over the years we lived there and had caused much pain in the larger body of Christ. He said that the Lord had given him a revelation of some deep-seated issues in his life that had been the source of the pain he had caused. He was penitent and asked for forgiveness. I extended forgiveness and affirmed what the Lord was doing in his life. When I hung up, Debbie and I remembered the word from the Amish leader – “God will go before you…..”

The Time is NOW!

In this same time period – the middle of March – Debbie and I visited a church about 40 miles south of KC. As we walked in we were struck with the presence of a huge banner across the front of the auditorium that said, “The Time is NOW!” OK, OK, I think we’re getting it!!!

Check it out

With all of this in mind, we planned to meet on April 3, 2006, in the Nebraska Hollow ‘house of the Angels’. Most of our family was there. I had one thing on my heart for that evening – get simple and posture our hearts to hear what the Lord had to say.

What does it mean?

I had no grandiose visions regarding all this. I actually had significant apprehension about it all. A pastor friend of mine had returned to Richland Center about 4 years earlier for his second attempt to pastor in the area. Within a year his fire and grace had been reduced to survival mode and so he left RC… a second time. But our current ‘prophetic’ indicators were too numerous and profound to be ignored. I try to never do anything without the Lord’s personal commission and promise of His presence attending the venture – like Moses’ sentiments in Ex 33:15 – “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here”. Yet if God confirms His will and commits His grace, we would be eager to pursue the matter.

Found the mantle

Monday afternoon April 3, our family and about a dozen others arrived at the Nebraska Hollow house. After a few brief “Hello’s”, we went directly to the barn to see if the fireplace mantle was still there. The building was full of old machinery, miscellaneous farm implements and even though we were not in Amish country, there were some old Amish buggies. (Yes! how uncanny!) It was dark and very dusty inside. I searched for about 5 minutes, stopped to look around and was surprised to realize that I was actually standing on the mantle. We excitedly picked it up and carried it outside. The mantle was in nearly the same condition as I left it 17 years before. We brought it up to the house as everyone watched. The rest of the group had no idea what it all meant and were somewhat incredulous about the whole mystery. After an extremely brief explanation they all went inside and at my request, left me to have some time by myself before we all convened inside.

Kairos encounter

I slowly walked completely around the perimeter of the property just like I had done 17 years before, only this time I stopped at each corner and expressed thanks for the ‘angels on assignment’ and for their effectiveness over the 1 ½+ decades. I was profoundly aware of the presence of the Lord and His overwhelming favor. I knew this was a God moment – a ‘Kairos’ timing of God. Several deeply tender moments overwhelmed me as I experienced the poignant presence of the supernatural. I don’t think I have ever been so aware of the supernatural and the natural combined with such intensity. It was like I could just reach out and touch the supernatural while at the same time being very aware of the natural surroundings. I could almost see angels and the Lord’s presence. This is hard to explain, but I could almost ‘see’ the heart and desires of God as He had brooded over this property the previous years. I was reminded of Genesis 28:16, when upon waking from his angelic dream Jacob said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” Without a doubt, there are moments and places in the earth that God hallows; at least for a unique time and purpose. I truly didn’t want to leave that place. It was humbling and euphoric and overwhelmingly satisfying! This is the kind of ‘rare air’ that sons of God were meant to breathe! O, I wanted to stay in that moment!

Later we settled into the living room, introductions were made and the reason for our gathering was expressed – there was a matter to search out and we were going to be completely absorbed in discovering God’s plans and purpose that evening.

Angels will go before you

Since the owner of the house was away at work, Vickie, his wife, took the lead to explain some peculiar events leading up to this day. First, in 2004, before the couple purchased the Nebraska Hollow house, she was in Texas when a friend prophesied over her that “God would send angels, even a lot of angels before her to prepare a way for her and her family in WI”. This was very interesting in light of the commissioning of angels over that property 17 years before.

They saw an angel

She said that she and her husband Gary were sitting in their living room the week before when they saw a wispy cloud type figure pass by outside the window. They were both amazed and Gary said, “Wow that was weird!” They felt like it was an angel.

House fire miracle

And something happened just one week earlier that nearly canceled out any meeting we were having that evening. A grease fire broke out in the kitchen. Water was thrown on it which caused it to “explode” all over the walls and the front of cabinets. Smoke filled the house leaving soot all over the interior of the house. BUT miraculously the fire “just went out” within a minute. No fire extinguisher was used. A daughter said, “It just went out”. The thing that makes it so miraculous to me is that the plastic mini-blinds were melted behind the curtains and the curtains were soaked with grease. Vickie explained that later when she went to remove the curtains she was amazed that the curtains weren’t burned even though they were soaked with grease. John, a firefighter from the local fire department was there with us and exclaimed that “Grease fires don’t ever just go out! It was a miracle!”

Cherokee’s prophesy

Another thing about this event that displays the handiwork of God is that when Cherokee Jones stood up in the Amish meeting one month earlier he also said, “Turn to Isaiah 43” and then began to read, “You shall pass through the flood and it shall not overtake you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” WOW! The kitchen had a little soot on the ceiling and a faint dark place on the front of the cabinet but otherwise, it left very little trace of such a near-tragic event. God is good!

Angelic protection

One of the daughters said that as the fire flared up in the kitchen that she felt something shove her into another room and beyond her mother’s bed. She said, “It felt like something pushed me”. It may have been that an angel was protecting her.

Little piece of heaven

Meanwhile, we discovered that the wife of the previous drunken owner of the house said that her husband commented many times, “This property is a little piece of heaven”. Even in his drunken condition, he could sense the presence of heaven.

Angel feathers

As we talked that evening I showed a special feather that I keep in my Bible. It had miraculously fallen from the ceiling while I was preaching one time. On that occasion, it was obvious that heaven had broken through the barrier from the spirit realm to the natural realm to give us a sign of the favor of God. While we were talking a little later, our son John said, “Look, there is a small white feather stuck right in the middle of the picture window on the outside”. Now how often do you see a feather stuck to the outside of a window; especially when we were talking about such things!?!? We were amazed again at the signs present that evening. We felt it was significant of God’s display of favor to us as we searched into His purposes for all of us. We also felt that it was an invitation to embrace more of the supernatural in our lives. We all went outside had a brief ‘holy moment’ as we realized ‘Heaven was near’. As Vickie carried the feather inside I suggested that this should solidify their family’s desire to embrace God’s purposes and supernatural help. And as we all rallied in the house, we were even more committed to embracing God’s call to walk in the Spirit realm more.

God strengthens us with “weapons”

I suggested that Vickie place the small white feather somewhere so that it wouldn’t get lost and instructed her to use it as a sign for encouragement whenever she felt down or burdened. The feather was not to be worshiped or idolized – only seen as a ‘weapon’ that God gave to strengthen and encourage her in troubled times. God is fighting for them!!!

Orion, The Hunter

While we were outside, someone noticed that the star constellation Orion, commonly known as ‘The Hunter’, was just above us. The lack of city lights and the exceptionally clear atmosphere made the stars shine brilliantly. It seemed so profoundly like God to give us another witness that heavenly warriors were watching over God’s purposes and us, that very evening. And it was another sign that the warrior angels that I commissioned 17 years ago were still very much ‘on duty’. Later we were told that it had been printed in the local newspaper that Orion would be most clearly seen around 8:30 PM that evening… and we just ‘happened’ to be outside within just a few minutes of 8:30. We were quite encouraged at the awesome master-mind of God to bring one encouragement after another during the course of the evening.


Later we were praying for Gary, the man of the house, and we discovered that his name means ‘spear-bearer’. Someone said,”The Hunter, Orion, carries a spear or dagger!” Things just seemed to keep lining up. So we prayed that Gary (and each of us) would see our divinely given callings and fight with the weapons that the Lord gives us in order to see those callings and promises brought to pass in our lives and the lives of those around us.

We felt ‘alive’

The whole evening was one supernatural occurrence after another. There was almost an ‘electricity’ in the air as we moved through the evening – very exhilarating! We all felt ‘very alive’ spiritually. The verse, “Man can not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” came to mind. Our spirit man cannot survive on just ‘good living’ (common bread) we must have the voice and activity of God present in our lives to sustain a vibrant spirit!

Some thoughts in conclusion (at least at this point in the journey)

Ted – “Gift of God”

The mantle was stored in a barn adjacent to the house but the barn was not bought by the drunken owner 17 years ago. The name of the man who maintained ownership of the barn at that time was a friend of mine named Ted, which means ‘Gift of God’. Although Ted didn’t know it, he was a gift to us by giving safe harbor to a mantle that would many years later be ‘resurrected’ at a very timely moment. Ted hasn’t declared Jesus’ lordship over his life yet, but he was always very kind to us, like a ‘King Cyrus’. Thank God for Ted and ‘God’s gifts’. Reward Ted’s kindness with your mercy, Lord Jesus.

Origin of mantle

Actually, I first acquired the fireplace mantle over 25 years earlier. It moved with us from St Louis, MO in 1980 to Kansas City in ’83 and then to Wisconsin in ’89. I now believe that there were special events in my life at that early date which granted me spiritual authority symbolized by the mantle; albeit without my understanding of the relevance at that time. We’re researching to find the timing of some events back then.

Restore divine order

Finding the fireplace mantle in the barn reminded me of the Ezra 6:5 and following, “let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God…. (be) brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, everyone to his place, and place them in the house of God.”………. vs. 22, “for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.” There’s something about the timely resurrection of a God-ordained mantle that is crucially important here. When God’s order is followed it releases life in many levels of life.

Angels are fellow servants

Regarding angels and angelic activity: Although we interact with angels and pray that they fulfill our Father’s will concerning us, they are actually “fellow servants” with us in the graces of God. Rev 22:9 says it so well, “And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

Natural spring-like Ezekiel’s river

On the Nebraska Hollow house property is a natural spring that flows with a volume of many gallons-per-minute year-round. The spring has its origin under a small spring house and flows through a pipe under a door and driveway to the pasture, then into a creek, then a river and so on…. It brought to mind the Ezek 47 passage regarding the water flowing out from under the threshold and out under the temple and eventually became a great river too wide and too deep to cross.  It brought life wherever it went.  It had many trees along each side of it and the leaves were for the healing of the nations. God wants to do something astounding through this seed of revelation.

Lev 6:12 – Pursue intercession/fire for Richland Center and region

At this time, I believe the mantle stands for an authority in the Spirit to intercede. Lev 6:12 speaks of keeping “the fire lit on the altar” which is symbolic of prayer/incense before the Lord. I think that Heaven is granting a new invitation and empowerment to pray for hidden, latent, forgotten and/or rejected promises to be recovered. It’s a window of grace to pray, “Let Your Kingdom come here on earth just as it is in Heaven”.

What now?

My personal sense is that there is a renewed invitation to pursue intercession for Richland Center and the region. Currently, there is no plan to build or rally or gather. I believe at this stage of the journey we are to cry out with fresh faith and fervency. Actually, since that August, two or three Richland Center men have tried to meet weekly to pray their city. They have even fasted some for spiritual breakthrough. I believe that even this recent ‘resurrection of a mantle’ and heightened awareness of angelic and supernatural activity is a result of God’s sovereign timing, the intercessions from these men and the Amish brothers in Idaho and the ‘mountain’ of prayers from years past.

We are in the midst of God unveiling His secrets and plans. Ps 25:14 says, “The secrets of the Lord are with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” It’s possible that more pieces of the puzzle must be added before we have the full picture. Or maybe the prayers of the saints must continue until there is a fullness of time and prayer. I really don’t know. But there are too many undeniable occurrences to just let it slide. I realize that “we see as in a glass darkly” (I Cor 13:12) but I am reaching for a fuller understanding. This is the kind of stuff that most of the Greats of Scripture used as their ‘road map’ through life; strange, yet undeniable leadings of God into the unknown.

We covet your prayers and insights regarding this unresolved saga.  It’s humbling, exciting, uncertain, adventurous, and empowering.